have i told you i am loving the pax vape?

its the pax era – $50 for the pen

and $40-$50 for the cartridges that get you high

i can sleep, i can eat, i can concentrate, i can write

and it gets you high.

im glad i went through all the nonsense with the oils and tinctures and edibles first

because its nice to know those things dont work for me

and this does

it does de-motivate me, which is weird bc i dont smoke it that much

3-4 puffs max a day

usually late at night

but it carries over

if i ever do get a little fu-money i would like to go to vegas and see if i can get a 12 hour sleep

thats the only place i can

isnt that weird?

i think it’s bc my mind is vegas inside

and ive had soooo many good times there

so many

nearly died once but that was my own fault

so yes my mind is at pure rest there.

one of my very first busblog posts was about meeting ashley there


it was the day of rest, i had just finished reading the bible

and then phone rang

unlisted number

familiar voice

can you come over here and pick up some suitcases and drive them out to las vegas


right now.

the bible is pretty clear about not working on the sabbath, but theres great debate as to whether thats a saturday or a sunday

and even Jesus made some exceptions

i didnt consider this being tempted because technically it says to work six days and take a day off on the seventh and technically im unemployed.

how much are you paying?

a lot.

whose bags are these?

rich people’s.

i put on shorts and a cubs hat and collected the bags. there were lots of them.

they filled up my trunk, my back seat and my passengers seat.

were drugs in there? weapons? stacks of cash?

that was none of my business.

all i knew is they were paying more money than i had been paid in months and if i died or got arrested or got shot, at least id have a stupid story to tell in the world famous.

and even though it irritated me that i didnt know what i was transporting, what worried me more was i wasn’t going to arrive in sin city until 1:30am

i was worried because i get sleepy when i drive long stretches, alone, late at night.

i learned this when i drove around the country a few months into my reign at LAist.

often i would pull over after a late lunch and take a nap, but still i’d get sleepy again at 7pm and have to find lodging

there would be no stopping for this assignment.

but i did make one stop. two. one for gas and another for a Beyond Beef burger at Carls Jr and a large coke.

that burger was vegan and it was so tasty i want another one asap.

i listened to artie lang’s second book, Crash and Burn (2013) as i sped through the night, which was compelling but it’s not the type of stories that put you at ease since they’re mostly tales of him fucking up his life via drugs and drinking and lying and sleeping and being a total ass wipe to everyone around him.

but it did keep me awake.

at midnight i made it to the famous Baker thermometer where i took a great picture of a pretty girl once upon a time. back then it was broken but the other night it was working perfectly. my car was telling me it was 100 degrees out there in death valley, at midnight and the giant thermometer was more conservative: 99.

i took a pic.

then i texted the luggage owner. i said “im 90 minutes out, right on time.”

he texted back. “thats great, when you arrive i will be asleep but my daughters will be up. in one of the bags is medicine. important medicine. please text them when you get here.”

but the number was clearly international and i said, “im not sure i can call that on my phone.”

originally i was told to leave the bags with the doorman but the doorman wasn’t gonna give me any tip. and if ever a guy deserved a tip it was the one driving all night like springsteen delivering the cocaine i mean medicine

but it didnt happen.

i texted when i arrived. the guy said great, thanks.

he texted the dark colored praying hands emoji

and that was that.

no drama obama.

i deposited the cash in the atm the next day and drove home the long way, still fueled on the adrenaline of breaking all the common sense rules of accepting gigs

and being a little more desperate to say yes to anything than im comfortable with.


even when we were poor we still had money to see concerts

chris joe and me at the dead in vegas

this is chris, joe and i at the Imperial Palace in Vegas, May 1992 about to see the Grateful Dead with Steve Miller opening.

the imperial palace doesnt exist any more. the dead doesnt exist any more but i still have that cubs shirt.

that concert was the first time i ever really started to understand the Dead. i had seen them once before at the Forum but passed out due to an over achieving pot cookie given to me by a beautiful stranger who only asked for a hug in return. i didnt catch her name but she had long blonde hair with flowers in it and a day glow bikini top.

because i didnt wanna pass out at the Vegas show, i only drank beers.

you cant tell from this pre party picture but later that day thunderstorms rolled in right about the time the band started playing Drums/Space

in one of the most spiritually trippy experiences ive ever had at a rock show, the thunder started jamming with the drummers and the drummers jammed right back.

in that dusty weird twilight out in the desert, i was all, oooooooooooooooooh

so this is the grateful dead!

and then two girls with see through tops kissed my cheeks.

its 421am

rihanna im in vegas. listening to gogol bordello on the plasma screen. karisa is snoozing away in her room. my room is calling my name. last night we attended the mtv video awards and it blew our minds.

like many of you, i grew up on mtv. but unlike most of you, i remember life pre-MTV so when our town finally got it, we were glued to the set – even when the videos were as lame as chris debarge, men at work, and krokus.

but through all of these years mtv has been a mainstay on my television dial. not only did they turn me on to a lot of music that i ended up love, ive also watched almost every reality series that theyve run. definately every episode of The Real World, Ozzy, Remote Control, my super sweet 16, “I’m a …” and oh so many more.

so to actually Be at the vmas, and get invited to interview people on the red carpet, and hang out in the free bar – i mean Press Room – and get to talk to Common whose song “The People” i play almost every day – was so surreal.

i met so many stars. i saw so many of the biggest people. i got to interview so many artists who i’d seen so many times – from Scary Spice to Steve O to Ron Jeremy – and to be there with one of my best friends, in my third favorite city, and get paid for it. well, if you were ever gonna hate, this would be the time to unload cuz ive had a dream weekend.

speaking of karisa, mtv gave me 1 pass to one of the fantasy suites that they had. in each room there was a band playing. in one room you had fall out boy, in another foo fighters, in one was Kanye, and in another was justin timberlake. mtv said you can get a pass for one room and party there for the length of the awards show and the artist will perform a mini concert. but you can only pick one suite to go in, and you have to stay there.

so i picked JT for our girl but because Justin was winning awards and having to perform on main stage downstairs at the Pearl, he had 50 cent do a concert in his suite, and then TI, and then Justin came up and did his thing. so yeah, 3 concerts basically. although the suites are big, theyre still just a hotel suite, so karisa was just feet away from the fellas.

she also told me that when Justin was trying to get on stage, someone pushed her into the former boybander and her hand sorta ended up on JT’s backside. which means that if you hooked her up to a lie detector and asked karisa if she had ever tapped Justin Timberlake’s ass, she could say yes, honestly.

after the awards we tried to accept Diddys invite to meet him on the 32nd floor of the Palms but were shunned by security at the door of the suite. but we got to ride in the elevator with Megan Fox who was the only chick in the house, other than rihanna, who gave karisa a run for her money.

afterwards we ate crab cakes and fried cheese at the Peppermill and one guy seriously spilled his drink when karisa crossed her legs in her short black dress.

and in 7 hours we have to leave this excellent hotel and this fine city and go back home. and ive been here in vegas many times, but this was probably the most fun ive ever had here. booze flowed like it was liquid! the food was amazing. and the company was ideal.

and in a strange bit of good luck we ended up in a stretch limo that took us to the awards for a ridiculously low rate. particularly since so many limos had rolled into that hotel at ridiculously high rates.

once again, the Lord showing that he has my back.

on the way here to vegas, karisa suggested that we make it an Honesty Weekend. since we’re good friends, and since what happens in vegas stays here, we could be brutally honest about everything regarding life, our friendship, and rock music and we had to accept the feedback or answer the tough questions. and i gotta tell you it was a great excersize cuz i learned things about her that i never knew, and she told me things that i would have never guessed.

if you do have a close friend who you trust, i highly recommend it. you might be pleasantly surprised by their feedback.

matt played 10 songs tonight here in vegas.

to a crowd of about 30 people, many of whom flew in from Connecticut, Frisco, and various locales in Canada. and for a few who were big fans but had never had the chance to see him play, this was their first gig.

the gig was the living room in the huge house that ive been stayed at with matt here in the suburbs of sin city.

matt told his fans through his site that he was going to be in vegas and he was going to be playing to a few dozen people and i guess people emailed in and he gave invites to the “winners” and they all came here and oh yeah apple was here too.

and these two dudes from currentv

and your boy.

and its really sad that a lot of americans dont know about matt because seriously how many musicians of any stature let alone one who is currently #2 on amazon.ca for a record that doesnt even come out for a month, invites friends fans his favorite computer company and the press to come into his vacation and listen to what hes about to tour with on an acoustic guitar barefoot while wearing shorts?

and not charge you three grand, prince.

i got to meet miss604 who liveblogged the event perfectly and gracefully and far better than i imagined. she took pictures and was later relived from that duty by the totally capable duane storey who had a sweet camera and was uploading them to flickr within minutes of taking the pics.

it really shows you how quickly a live event like this can be spread through the world if you have people working as a team who know what the heck theyre doing and are fans of the subject.

matt ended the show with a cover of daniel johnstons true love will find you in the end and lets add love to the end of the paragraph above. when you have people working together who are loving what theyre doing the end result is not just something good, its something beautiful.

which is what the evening was.

it started with people showing up, taking off their shoes, meeting each other, then matt emerged and went around the circle and met everyone and seemed to remember where everyone lived.

then everyone hung outside and chit chatted by the pool. now these are matt good fans, which means theyre smart, theyre mellow, and theyre sweet as hell. so basically they drank as much water as i drank beer.

eventually the group made it into the living room and matt lounged on the bad ass leather couch and strummed some tunes casually and talked to the people. we were waiting on some people who couldnt get their yet. later when the late guy arrived we found out he was a heart surgeon. so there were many predictable jokes about how the person about to get a transplant better hope that matt’s show doesnt go too far into the night.

in the middle of the show the docs beeper went off and he had to leave. thirty seconds he returned and someone joked, patient died? but the doc had just forgotten his keys or something. whoops.

matt chimed in with, didnt mike moore just make a movie about this?

the new album is called hospital music.

after the show we adjourned to the kitchen, finished off the drinks, matt signed autographs for people who brought stuff and posed in pics with them and then they went home.

everyone was glowing.

one of the guys outside said to me, that was the best show ive ever been to.

i was all, yep, and it was some dudes house.

and then a convertible packed with fans sped off into the desert night.

matt good in vegas playing to fans

photos by duane storey

some of the best advice

ive ever gotten was given to me about a year ago today. i was about to take a job working at an all female market research company and i wasnt sure if i wanted to do it and i was told to go into the desert for a week with no computer and meditate on it.

so i went to vegas for the night and talked with strippers and they pretty much just told me about themselves and where they were from and it was then that i decided to stop smoking pot and devote my life to Jesus.

a year later one out of two isnt bad.

this weekend i went to the scene of the crime, las vegas, and stayed at the hooters hotel because i thought itd be funny.

i have a few things against hooters. mainly the nylons. here they have these cute girls, who ironically Dont have big cans, and they ruin their hot shorts look with these ridiculous stockings. it makes me not want to be there. no really.

but the hooters hotel is a lot like the hard rock hotel – much cooler than their dorky and embarrassing franchise.

formerly the san remo, a cruddy and forgettable old school vegas hotel, the hooters hotel and casino is conveniently located right across the street from the mgm and a short walk to new york new york, excalibur and luxor. or you could walk across the street and catch the new vegas monorail ($5).

or you could drive through the night, check in, call someone you know in vegas, order roomservice of those hot wings hooters is known for, have said friend knock on your door as the wings are arriving, get driven to treasures which is supposed to be the classist strip club in the world

but since i dont go to a lot of strip clubs i wouldnt know if this is the classiest one or not but i will tell you this, i felt like tom cruise in eyes wide shut walking into this place that looks like a mansion inside. and old mansion. a haunted mansion with ghouls who look remarkably like strippers but theyre too good looking to be strippers certainly theyre angels, but you know what, those girls are no angels.

thumbs up on treasures. a surreal, and definately classy experience of beautiful young women one of whom dressed up as a cheerleader almost as if she knew i was coming.

donny osmond was playing across the street at the orleans. i really wanted to see him there because its sort of a downgrade to not only not be playing on the strip but being on the other side of the freeway from the strip. ouch! so i wanted to see that trainwreck but time flies at places like treasures.

my only complaint was the music wasnt very good. it was almost as they let the chicks pick the tunes. bad move. you can have a classy joint and play good music. sexy music. it can still be classy though. this new christina aguelera might not be bad. anyways i didnt love the music. the bathrooms were clean. and it was the first strip club ive ever been to where they have fully enclosed stalls in the mens room. is that classy or what?

woke up the next morning at noon and wrote in my notebook at the hooters pool.

only problem with the hooters pool are the people who would be at the hooters pool. maybe i was being paranoid but i felt like i was at a perverts convention. and the reggae band was way to loud and harshing my mellow so i took a quick lap and went back into the room and ordered a pizza and wrote until the night came.

my date called and cancelled at the last minute which was a bummer because she was working for the arena league football super bowl and we were going to go to some parties. instead there i was playing nickel slots in the hooters casino. at that point the joke was over.

i was let down, alone, and a little mad. and then a hooters girl cocktail waitress came over and asked me if id like a drink since i was sitting there gambling.

i said yes can i have two armeretto sours.

she was all is that it? and i was like and a shot of rum.

i wasnt playing the nickel slots because im a cheap bastard, i was playing them because i keep telling you, im a scientist, i have to know about things. i wanted to figure out how these spanking sweet machines could even exist. a nickel? how much could you make off people at a nickel to justify the new electronics and maintenence, etc?

and as i played it i realized that you could up your coinage to ten cent bets or quarter bets. it was a quarter machine disguised as a nickel machine! brilliant!

and it worked. as i started winning with my nickels, i switched over to quarter bets, and then quickly back to nickels.

i saw that you got better odds when you MAX BET your hand. and at a nickel what did i care, it was like 10 nickels to max bet which was what, 50 cents? look at me high rollin at the hooters casino.

it was a seven card stud poker game basically and on a few hands i wasnt max betting because the cards totally sucked. so then when i thought the hands were gonna get better because they HAD to get better i max betted and i got four kings and i won a bunch but i didnt know how much it was because it was in nickels and i was having a really hard time calculating nickels in my head after those armerettos and that shot of 151.

it appeared to be like $60 or something, which is a lot for nickels if you ask me. especially when you started with eight. but when i switched over to quarters it stopped telling me i had several thousand nickels it told me i had $155, so i played a max bet hand in quarters and lost so i cashed out and decided i wanted to give this money back to the extremely friendly yet classy cheerleader over in that haunted mansion.

and i was all dressed up. but when i got in the cab and told him where i needed to go he was all yeah that place is a little too upscale for me. me, i like a little dirtier of a girl.

and he kept talking and soon i was at the blah blah blah which i always thought was a cheesy place but no, this place was amazing. and friendly? anyone can have a good experience if you walk into a club with a pretty girl, but if you get that sort of treatment lookin like me and clearly a little drunk already while wearing a dumb hat and plaid shorts… then you have been rewarded for trusting the word of the local cabbie.

there were girls everywhere. one could almost say too many girls but thats why hes the only one. people were getting lapdances all over. there were curtained rooms, secret private vip rooms, and just plain old back areas that cost $100 for three songs.

because my lucky streak had clearly not ended at the nickel machine i ended up in the back room with a tattooed pierced dark haired avril lavigne for a few hours as she told me all the things strippers should never say. she talked about how she hated these black strippers. niggers she called them. i think i look mexican in my hat. she told me about her nine month old baby. she told me about her absentee babys daddy. i thought she was trying to milk me for more dances but she never even gave me one dance. id never seen her boobs and i was with her for at least three hours between drinking at the bar and sitting at the rail giving dollars to the pole dancers and then being in the back room making out because i cannot resist tounge piercings on strippers at 5am when the right music is being pumped into the super dark vip area where yes there were stars and it appeared that the stars had their hands on the girls boobs

and i said baby is it cool to touch girls in vegas now and she said no but if a guy is paying 400 for an hour of dances, whats the harm. i was all i dont have four hundred, she was all, i havent even danced for you once yet, dont worry ill give you three dances for a hundred, and just then she put her head on my shoulder put her legs across my lap and fell asleep holding my hand.

and i was forced to watch super hot strippers lap dance back there in the vip and get groped. as super good music played.

a cocktail waitress came by and i said i would have whatever my girl just had and she laughed and brought me a miller high life and i tipped her way too much but thats impossible and she said do you like weird drinks? and i was all im a scientist. and she said i’ll be right back. and gave me a shot of something totally bizarre and i was all um its um hmmm. and she laughed and drank one herself and said its not for everyone and wouldnt accept the money for the shot. which made me wonder if it was leftovers from other drinks.

still i drank it down because i had a really cute girl on my lap who eventually woke up and we talked about the genius of motorhead. and an hour later she said she had to pee and i said i have to go to bed and she said whats your number and i gave it to her america because im a scientist

and last night she texted me because thats what all the young cute kids do and last night i made out with someone who looked faintly like anna kournikova if you squint which makes me conclude that i know i dont deserve it but i’ll take it. and tip ridiculously.

neal + shanghaiist + nsfw + happy belated birthday jeneane