i am in a very good mood, even though i shouldnt be

i had a great interview. wonderful young woman. living right.

she made us delicious snacks to eat during the thing, which was good bc we talked for 2 1/2 hours.

that reminds me i need to wash my windsock.

usually i give the guest the mic with the windsock but i must have had a smoker because i was using it last night and omg it smelled so bad.

today i am working on things. i didnt do what i wanted.

i wanted to write a weed thing and put it on medium

but my heart was thinking 4/20 is the worst day to write weed stories

because EVERYONE is writing weed stories and maybe just maybe no one wants to read about weed on the day we are supposed to

plus ive got a good story and i dont wanna get it buried

anyways good things happened today and bad

for example the cubs lost

but i did get work done

and best of all my man Ben gave me a link to a job that i should totally get bc im super qualified

BUT i might have to move to San Francisco.

would i do that for the right job?

ugh. such a hard dilema.


but that would be the end of Hear in LA


who’s to say i couldnt jet down to LA a 2x  times a month, do 2 on Friday night, 2 on Saturday, and fly back Sunday. do it every other weekend. keep this hollywood apt because hotels would cost me basically what im paying here in rent. hell maybe even keep my car here.

just live in SF like a hermit, minamalist like this woman last night. with no car to save cash. then fly down on weekends.

actually if i was only doing 2 interviews on Saturdays, i wouldnt even need to spend the night.

i need to figure this out.

but the thing is… never quit. not even this. i can do both things. and do a great job.

thats the other thing about this job, i have sooo many ideas for it and i could do a way better job at it than anyone else.

here’s a tip for lyft that uber would never mimic

poor lyft, stuck in a race for the bottom as uber continually makes the ridesharing market unsustainable and unprofitable

im sure lyft doesnt want to be giving away rides just to match uber’s craziness, but do you really want to be known as the 2nd most expensive rideshare company?

for a while lyft could differentiate itself from uber, among drivers, because lyft was the only one that allowed tipping, and even put it in the app.

but now that uber – once their founder was forced out of the company – has tipping, lyft no longer has that big advantage as being known as the company who gives a shit about its drivers.

so heres my idea: introduce Pre-Tipping

Install a pre-ride tip button in the app that cannot be revoked and the driver sees before he accepts the ride. this will

  • encourage drivers to get to the pickup spot faster
  • make the driver happier during the trip
  • inspire a good vibe in the car where now the pax can ask for a lot more. Aux cable? Fine.

drivers’ attitude and alertness can change with as little as $2 because this does not eliminate the post-ride tip.

if the passenger was going to tip anyway, then do it all upfront. make a friend. be a hero. and guess what, the driver is gonna feel like he sorta owes you when you tip upfront. that is the best time to tip! it will inspire better service and deliver a more enjoyable experience.

and if Lyft really wants to market it right, they would call it a Stoke.

Lyft: where you can Stoke your driver even before you meet.

drove a nice gay dude from weho to dtla

super fascinating. sat in the front seat. apparently has lots of money and was cool.

so lets go.

drove through traffic and he was talking talking talking which was fine with me.

first he told me about his crazy friends who were buying and selling houses, then he was telling me about how he drives luxury cars too for fun and profit

but then he started telling me about when he was a paramedic in nyc.

“back then before GPS we would just park in an alley and sleep. if we heard a call come in like ‘Alex22, Alex22 are you there?’ we would just ignore it until they sent it to another vehicle. but some of those would balk at it. finally dispatch would say ‘Alex22 logging you out of the system in 3 seconds.’ and we would click the radio and say ‘Alex22 responding.'”

but a lot of times they would nap.

one day, he told me, they were in an alley and they heard that there were gunshots about two blocks away from them. so he told his partner to drive over to where he heard the sound. his partner was all, “fuck that, lets wait for the cops to get there.”

he was like, “we are literally 2 minutes away, lets roll, see whats happening, if its the wild west we will speed through but if theres a victim, lets do our DAMN JOB!”

so they drove and saw this teen boy literally gushing blood. gunshot to the neck.

my dude jumps out of the ambulance, and sees that every time the teen’s heart pumps, blood squirts out high and far from the wound. so he shoved his hand in the poor guy’s neck and blocks the artery. cops finally come.  they all help him get the guy in the back of the ambulance, they speed to the hospital, the whole time keeping his finger on the hole.

when they made it to the hospital and got him into the operating room they finally let him get his finger out of that bloody neck and bing bang boom he ended up ok.

my dude got a note a month later and they said not only did the victim walk out of there, but he had zero brain issues.

i asked, is that the most heroic thing you ever did?

he said, it’s way up there.

but then he tipped me $5, which was heroic for me!

sometimes things are good

and you dont wanna talk too much about them because you dont wanna jinx it

even though you dont believe in jinxes

but you just wanna let everything fall in place the way they seem to be falling

and not be the thing that clogs up the system.

took a guy from the beach up the 405 and then we wound our way through Sherman Oaks

up in the hills, in places i hadn’t been before because im not all that familiar with the val

and he had an interesting disposition like he was just about to erupt at any minute.

he had what i have when i have kidney stones and im waiting for the one thing to lead to the other thing

which eventually leads to someone eventually giving me morphine or demoral or heroin

whatever phony name they wanna call it

which eventually kills the pain and guides me to a beautiful dreamy sleep.

but before that happens you have to deal with The World which is full of People

and typically i am in love with those things but when theres a little baby asteroid in my loins i hate everyone

mostly because i am not allowed to say, look i know what the problem is, i drink too much pop

and the stone has been created, and it’s too big for my body and now i need that one or two shots of H

please and thank you.

this guy was like me. this guy was ready to pop. this guy, even when we were talking about happy things, had this edge

and i wanted to tell him look, we’re gonna get there, it’s gonna be ok. everythings gonna be fine.

and because of the 4th and the 100 degree heat (which was 112 in the val) traffic was amazing because everyone else said

fuck. this.

and stayed home in their airconditioning or pool side or ocean side

it was a dream.

and i didnt think i was gonna get a tip from him because even though we had a lot in common,

he didnt seem the happiest guy

and i didn’t really have the morphine he was probably looking for.

but alas the next day i checked the app, and boom, he tipped me $10

and i did a little jig in my sweltering apartment.

picked up a guy at a fancy hotel


as i normally do at hotels i ask the people if theyre in from out of town.

chicago! he said. older guy, which is what this hotel usually caters to.

i turned my cubs hat around and said, “did you see this?”

we laughed and i knew things would be good.

but i didnt expect them to be this good.

i asked, what are you out here to do?

“im here to visit my daughter.”

oh what does she do?

he said, “shes in a band, but unless you were a high school girl in the 90s you probably haven’t heard of them.”


he asked, have you ever heard of Veruca Salt?

i was all, omg The Seether? American Thighs! (i couldnt recall their followup hit)

we talked about the Beatles, the Stones, the Who. he told me that The Dave Clark Five were just as good, i told him I would look them up.

then he told me this great story about a friend of his whose son didn’t get accepted into an ivy league school.

he said, “oh it will be ok.”

the depressed dad said, “are you crazy? you’re a father. don’t you want things for your kids?”

and my passenger said that he thought about it and finally concluded the most beautiful thing

he said, “i do want something for my kids. i hope that they love music.”

rarely do i shake my passenger’s hands, but after that one i did.

i drove a big powerful movie executive on thursday

everything about her was smooth.

perfectly dressed. great sunglasses.

picked her up somewhere classy, dropped her off at a studio.

the whole time she was on the phone with this one and that one

and she was happy and smart and eloquent

and so insightful about this big director

and how to tell in an email if he had been drinking

because if he had you can disregard the tone.

she and i never talked but by piecing together the cast of characters

it was easy to find her imdb.

and when i got to where she had started in hollywood

i totally understood why she had such an even keeled disposition.

cuz that show was incredible.

even though i worked at e! and now where i do,

i have learned way more about hollywood from driving people in an out of century city

for uber

because these people are always on the phone

and this city is way smaller than it appears.

i just wish i knew who they were first because we would have better convos.

it’s not easy to get me jealous

but right now ive got friends in Egypt checking out the pyramids and in Kuwait playing video games with our troops

yesterday i had an interesting dilemma. it was surging 2.5x on Uber but i got a ping on Lyft Premium (which is like a 3x surge).

when i got the Lyft request i saw it was from a gated community near a country club and every time ive picked up someone there it was a short, irritating ride.

and now that Uber and Lyft tells you whether or not it is a long trip or not, i knew this Lyft ride wasn’t going to be a long ride.

so i was tempted to cancel it but i had just lectured all these dumb young kids on the Uber facebook page that you shouldn’t cancel a guaranteed decent ride in hopes that you will get a big fat long ride in a minute or two.

traffic was bad where i was gonna pick them up and again i was tempted, but the Lord led me out of temptation and i got to where i needed to be and there they were waiting for me.

one of the things about these rides is there is the small chance that as you are driving they will say, oh we didnt mean to drop us off here (a short ride) we meant for you to take us Alllllllll the way over here (a long, profitable ride).

but the other pleasant surprise is they can give you a $10 tip because they rich as hell and cool and appreciated you and are good hearted.

and thats what happened. a $10 tip on a $21 ride.

still i want to see the pyramids soon!

theres two techniques to getting a fare on lyft

you can either drive around to your favorite spots

or you can just go to your most favorite spot and wait.

usually im too hyper to wait so i just drive and drive and drive. who knows if you are actually driving to the hot spot or if you are leaving where something good was about to happen

but one thing for sure when you do that: you burn gas

another thing for sure when you do that: you increase your chances for getting into a crash.

so over the last few days ive been waiting.

i just sit there and read twitter or the news or text amber or think about taking a nap.

last night i was at my favorite spot and i got a ping on Lyft Premiere. bonus: it alerted me that it would be a “long ride” that would take 45 minutes or more.

typically on a thursday that means it is a trip to LAX, but last night i got lucky and we went to West Hills.

great guy, undercover hacker, told me all his secrets.

admitted that americans arent as good as russian or chinese hackers because we are lazy or can become lazy far quicker than our enemies because we get fat and middle class to quickly.

i said the key to success is the hustle.

he was all, you got that right comrade.

we took the 405 to the 101 in rush hour and he noted that i am ridiculously cool under the pressure of traffic.

what traffic i said as miles’ birth of cool eased out of the speakers.

he was like, is this miles? i said yep.

he said, with trane? i said, nope.

he said, oh with bird?

i said this was right inbetween that period. after parker, before coletrane. he said where did you learn that? i said every sunday i turn on jazz and read the bible for an hour.

he said how long have you been doing that for? i said since college.

he said, how long ago was that.

i said well, lets put it this way, i had a 300 baud modem at the time.

and we laughed as we drove through the western valley with its wide boulevards and shirtless denizens

on an unusually warm last night of january.

$69 fare + $5 tip.

got these girls from american somoa

beverly hills. outside of the drug store.

do you know how expensive everything is around here? they asked.

i laughed.

i said, you might be in the most expensive square mile in all of the usa.

they argued that maui might be right up there too, but they didn’t expect what they just had seen on Rodeo Drive.

i said, i think of it more as an art project. a game. a huge fakeout ballet.

we will put these things here and see if someone actually does the thing.

like when some guy developed a $1,000 iphone app, back when apps were just starting.

for a grand all it did was show an image of a gem and if you clicked it, these words appeared

i am rich, i deservd it, i am healthy and successful.

apple took it down after a day.

but in that day eight people bought it.

we drove and i told them about how to ride the bus, where Santee Alley is, and where they should stay in Las Vegas, which was their next destination.

about half way through the ride i turned the heater on even though it wasnt very cold.

they thanked me the most for that.

and tipped me two dollars.

i drove from midnight to 3:30am, made two mistakes

when i told my mom i was driving on new years eve she said


theres drunks, druggies, freaks, bad people, hookers, pimps, and worse: the underaged experimenting with drugs and alcohol for one of the first times

but i drove. first to ambers hotel to drop her off as she worked the dreaded graveyard shif

and then to the Cafe’s 50 on Santa Monica to read the bible from 11pm until the midnight hour, for several reasons including

i love the bible
i hadnt read it yet
and there i was about to drive on sorta Sunday night, but technically Monday morning, but i was nervous because its written there right in stone, dont work on the sabbath. but does that end when the ball drops? would the Lord understand? am i being greedy? am i being lazy since i barely drove all week and there i was doing it on sunday night / monday morning simply because the rates would be very high for a few hours?

i read. it was about Saul chasing David through the wilderness as Saul’s son did what he could to protect David. it was beautiful. some say they were gay for each other, and i could see how you could see that.

midnight i was off. 3x surge, four very loud very annoying pretty young women in short dresses, faux furs and Face Time rolling.

one in the back seat got a FT from this handsome young man in San Diego who was trying to convince her to meet halfway in Orange County. i was all, “i’ll drive!”

he promised her steak dinner, she said yeah fool Maestros get up here!

there was much confusion. horns blaring on his side, criticisms being blared on her side from her friends.

eventually we made it to Culver City, but not soon enough if you ask me.

already i could see the roads were going to be packed of buzzed drivers and bad uber/lyft dudes.

my next ride was a $45 lyft premium ride from Baldwin Hills to Inglewood and then a $44 lyft premium from the Dave Chappelle show at the Forum over to El Segundo. on that one the woman wanted to go to Del Taco but her husband, bless him, was all, no no, theres food in our hotel lobby. we settled on iHop.

right there i shoulda said, “i just made $100 in an hour. go home. you’re safe. no one puked. you werent in an accident. ”

but of course i didn’t listen to myself. who quits the super bowl in the 1st quarter?

around 2:45am, after driving little short deals all night in beverly hills, and two cancellations, i got a ping to the Soho House.

theres two places to pick people up there, on busy Sunset or on the narrow side street next to the garage. so i called as i approached and he was sorta mumbling, which is a RED FLAG to avoid avoid avoid especially at that hour because it means hes drunk or on drugs or up to something.

he was drunk.

and he took his boots off immediately.

and thank god passed out half way there.

but when we got there he didn’t know where he was and didnt want to get out.

frail little pup who claimed to work in the fashion industry. his cigarette broke as he gathered his things, but when he called his friend who’s house we were in front of the worst thing ever happened.

“my phone died. i don’t know where i am. i want to go home.”

huge problem because i had already ended the ride and they dont let you re-book with a passenger because they dont trust such things. also we were close to my house, it was late and i did not want to go anywhere else with this dude, who i could tell, was VERY DISAPPOINTED THAT HE DIDNT PUKE IN MY BENZ

so i charged his phone for him as my flashers blinked and cars had to go around us

and waited and waited, cursing my life choices.

it charged. he called. and the prettiest black girl i have seen in a very long time comes waltzing out

with a scruffy white dude.

they collect my passenger.

i clean out the back set of trash.

and call it a night.

Lesson: I should have just kept my Lyft on exclusively. it was paying better and on a night like that more Lyft passengers were out and drunk and not caring about price.