Summer is over, though the weather doesn’t show it. It’s been hot as fuck. And it is time to slow down my vices.
There is nothing that I enjoy more than great food, coffee, beer (whisky) and marihuana. But all those things besides being awesome, are expensive and make me lazy. At least I got work done last week. I sent in a total of three stories, two food reviews and a newsy one about Taxi vs Uber. On the newsy article, I worked for a couple of days and took my sweet little time, which was overkill, I could have just worked on it one day and kept it simple. But no, I am obsessed with Tijuana and with my ideas, that I wrote 1,600 words. I wish I could get my own column somewhere.
Saturday was the San Diego Reader’s Feast and since I work for them, I got a couple of VIP tickets. I went on a mandate with writer, Justin, who just started sending stuff to the Reader but writes in many other sites. The food was outstanding for the most part, but the people in SD and the music were so horribly bland and white (not racially, just in the way they act).
The VIP ticket included two free drinks, a small cup, two paper votes for the best food and basically everything inside was for free. I ate and drank so much to the point that I almost puked. I gave my vote to Sushi Freak and to a tostada place that was the side business for City Tacos in North Park. The sushi was very well served, with a side of cucumber and a small shot of sake. The tostada had a floor of watermelon (that deceiving acted like fish), then fish, peanuts and other goodies. My vote was mostly influenced by the weather, it was so damn hot. Everything else I ate was also great, but especially an Italian place that I don’t even know the name off (I was already drunk, but it was so good that it deserved my vote).
After overindulging and having a king’s worth of a feast, I went back home to Tijuana, where I had my date with my ex-girlfriend. She ditched me. My Saturday turned to crap and I did nothing but play video games.
The end of 2015 is ahead and though I accomplished some of the things I wanted this year, I haven’t really made much money and other things have been completely forgotten. All the updates I wanted to do to my tours, TijuanaAdventure, haven’t happened and I don’t see them happening soon. Some people have emailed me, but I haven’t done a tour since that lovely couple from North County (and Australia). It might be time to get another part-time job (already send an email to apply for one).
It is also time to slow down everything, especially marihuana, and have a tolerance break for a week or more. This is not because I want to quit, it is because I am broke and I have been overdoing it. It is time to save money and start working hard towards my goals, except when it is party time with my band, Donkichow! So I am not smoking until next rehearsal (which is rare) or next show.
Speaking of which, the next show we have booked is on September 25th at Mous Tache Bar in Tijuana with Stoneworm, Sun of These Days and maybe more.
For those who know me, they know I constantly smoke. When I haven’t smoked, people think I am high and when I am done smoking (which is every other minute) no one says a thing. So I think I have that kinda stoner face. A lot of people say I look like Shaggy (from Scooby Doo, and the actor Matthew Lillard, not the cartoon). But I do have pictures of someone that always looks stoned, even though he might not be (possibly he is though). I admire him as an actor since Freaks and Geeks, but in person he was a bit weird and not cool with the paps. Only one time he was really cool with me and my friend that worked for TMZ. Here are my stories and pictures of James Franco.
These first couple of pictures are from September 27, 2008, which means, I was barely starting as a paparazzo. I remember being by myself, taking a couple of pictures with my flash camera and him not having any. You can see how angry he was, but after that, I only used my long lens and he was more chill.
The second time I saw him was on April 4, 2010, I also did not have luck (again, completely by myself). I took a few pictures without him noticing me, but they were no good. Then the flash came out and he was not having any and just walked with his head down. Pictures were not that good, I was disappointed he was not a cool stoner like I expected.
And finally, the last time I saw him was almost when I was about to quit my job. It was on March 13, 2011 when Franco arrived at Terminal 5, my TMZ friend was there. We did not bother him and only took pictures/video from far away and we told him we were big fans and just chill. I did not use my flash camera (though I should have… ). Franco is such a normal dude he just took the LAX shuttle instead like most celebrities that have limousines. He took a video of us while he was on the shuttle and then tweeted about us… A bit after that, he deleted his Twitter account.
When I quit my job back in 2011, I had the idea of writing a book about my paparazzi days. Not much ever got done, but I did write a few chapters while my memories were still fresh. This is one of the first things I ever wrote 4 years ago, unrevised, unedited, never published just true form of what I wrote back in the day. Is most likely embarrassing. I’ll read it after posting it.
I have a lot of work this week and hopefully I’ll make enough money to survive until my next paycheck or new job, let’s see what comes first. Until next Monday when I will be talking about my success or my failures like always. In the mean time, here is more of my words.
I don’t even if this is going to be chapter 19, I just felt like calling it chapter 19. To start, I’ll try to summarize my week quickly so we can move on to this strange but great day of March.
The week started super slow, for which I was thankful for, since I started feeling sick on Saturday. We basically took Monday off.
The list in LAX was really nothing, the e-mail I wrote to my co-worker, Hudson, in the a.m. was the following (not edited):
180 cicely tyson dep 4:30 pm
21 tyra banks, blair underwood arr 10:42 pm
185 sam jackson past midnite
James Franco- UA 857 dep 9:15 m
Brett Ratner- AF 65 dep 3:45 pm
Lisa Ling UA 84 dep 8:30 am
Tom Selleck UA 84
Brian Austin Green UA 82 dep 10:42 pm (or arrives at 9)
Chris Matthews UA 57 dep 9 am
so basically.. NO LIST. hahah
i couldnt sleep last nite and I feel like i have a fever again. so i need rest anyway. let me know when you wanna roll in.. if even.
also. you have my D3 charger and my check :P
On Tuesday I adopted a puppy. Well, not quite, my brother who was going with his girlfriend to New York City had a puppy, and I volunteer to baby sit him for the week. This adorable puppy of three months named Cornelio went from living in a house in Tijuana to an apartment in Los Angeles. The puppy is not trained in anyway, so he pissed and pooped wherever he felt like, poop which I picked up for the whole week (I also tried to train him). The list was similar to Monday’s so I didn’t go to work until night time that I went to LAX for Russell Brand and Jake Gyllenhaal on the same flight. I worked it with my brother, Brand was nice, Gyllenhaal after great effort, he succeeded in escaping.
Wednesday I took off, basically the list was empty and I wanted to take care of the puppy. I also started to feel a little better, I even played tennis with my brother, I won, and I was still sick.
Thursday had a pretty good list, and me and Hudson worked it nicely. We got Minnie Driver, Joe Jonas, Hillary Duff, Natasha Bedingfield and Demi Lovato. Everyone was surprisingly nice that day, smiled for every picture and talked to us when we greeted them.
I was off on Friday/Saturday so Hudson covered LAX by himself. Friday I got a tattoo and took Cornelio to the Beach. Saturday I spent it playing with Cornelio and taking him places. At night time some random girl started texting me, and she ended up coming over to my place, and finally Sunday which is usually really busy day for LAX.
I woke up next to someone that wasn’t Cornelio (he slept with me since the first night). It was daylight savings time, so the day I started it earlier than it was supposed too. I got rid of the girl early morning since I had to go to work. I went back to my room and figured out LAX for today. This was the e-mail:
RN HOWARD UA 25 arr 9:30 am
RACHELLE LEFEVRE- AA 3156 dep 10 am
EMMA BELL- AA 3156
ANGELA BASSETT- AC 798 dep noon
RYAN SEACREST- UA 890 dep 1:50 pm
SELINA GOMES UA28 dep 4:27 pm
KATE BECKINSALE- AC 796 dep 3:15 pm
JOHN LITHGOW- AA 19 arr 1:37 pm
EWAN MCGREGOR- BA 282 dep 6:50 pm
CATHERINE HARDWICKE- AA 427 arr 8:05 pm
BLAKE LIVELY- UA 27 arr 7 pm
117 james franco arr 5 pm
2 debra messing dep 9:30 am
133 sarah silverman arr 7 pm
32 ashley green, vanessa minillo dep 1:45 pm
see you at around noon at AA?
So I went back to sleep and just my luck, my boss woke me up with a call around 10:42 a.m. I’m sure he could tell I was still sleeping on a work day. He called me to tell me Ashley Greene changed her flight to 9:30 p.m. I took a shower, fed Cornelio and cleaned up all his mess. Had some yoghurt and drove to Starbucks to meet Hudson at noon. We carpooled to LAX. Competition (Bauer-Griffin) was at LAX already along with Goth. Two photographers that I used to work with were there, so we chatted while we waited for Vanessa Minnillo to show up. Just like usual, she checked herself in without any airport assistance and went to the checkpoint. We took pictures on the way and she was nice about it, though we heard that she was complaining about us to TSA.
One set done, next up is Kate Beckinsale at a different terminal. Before walking over to try to get Beckinsale, I told Hudson I heard Lindsay Lohan was flying out on the same flight that she was booking for days now. I said it was probably a bad tip and that we shouldn’t worry about it, but he insisted in staying back to wait if it happens. I went to Terminal 2 with Goth and on the way Marcelo texted me that he was at Terminal 1 waiting for Snooki and JWoWW to arrive. I went for them first, since it was most likely going to happen quickly. It never happened. Walked to terminal 2 and Goth told me he hasn’t seen anything, so I knew that wasn’t going to happen either.
To my surprise, Lindsay Lohan did go to LAX, and Hudson got decent pictures, though competition was around, he easily outshot them. Lindsay wasn’t supposed to leave the state because she was on probation and going to court. We had to go send the frames as fast as possible, so we went back to Starbucks to edit and send. We rushed back to LAX for Selena Gomez, and her car was already there. Justin dropped me off and he went to park the car. My boss and Goth were there for graphs already, I went to talk to them, they weren’t sure if she was in the car, but I knew she was. My boss confused her stepdad with her bodyguard, who was checking in for them while she waited inside the car. Hudson made it from the parking lot while she still waited (its a good 200 yards away). Allan Zassy, competition showed up out of nowhere. I tried distracting him, but it wasn’t working, Selena was about to get out of the car. Her stepdad walked by the graphers and said she wasn’t going to sign today. She came out of the car and I started taking pictures with my flash camera while Zassy used his long lens (its usually the other way around). She made a noise like she was scared, I said “sorry, Selena” and she responded “don’t worry, I just wasn’t expecting you guys” which was really weird, since we were outside her car with our cameras out and I’m sure she saw us. The pictures weren’t that great, but at least she was a bit nicer than the last time I shot her.
By the end of the shoot, my boss told me and Hudson about Drew Barrymore flying in with her boyfriend to Long Beach airport tonight. He told us to skip the night jobs and not to worry about Ashley Greene. We had a little break but Justin and I were devastated that we were going to have to work late at night and all the way in Long Beach. Not only it was far, we don’t really know that airport as well as LAX.
We went home to check on Cornelio, walk him a little bit and edit the Selena Gomez and Vanessa Minnillo sets, the only thing so far. Next thing on the list was Ewan McGregor, who is not very nice to the paparazzi, though one time he was really nice to me (I was nicer to him). On my way back to LAX, I went to grab lunch at Quiznos and Hudson got there for McGregor earlier than I thought he would show up. He showed up early. Justin called me right after I was done with Quiznos to tell me that he was there and that he wasn’t very nice that he almost attacked him, he needed back-up, quick. I went as fast as I could, but when I got there, it was all over. He didn’t do anything to Justin, except rudely insult him and said the usual stuff like “you are garbage” and “get a real job already!”
Since he came early, we had another small break because James Franco’s flight was delayed. On our way back for Franco, I spotted JC (Kate Beckinsale’s airport rep) at Terminal 2. I knew Kate had to rebook since she didn’t show up earlier. The rep took the bags out of the car, ran inside, and then put them back inside her car, got inside the car and drove off. It was really odd, so we thought the car was going to just go around and get back to Terminal 2. After a while we didn’t see the car again, so I turned around and took a really far away picture of terminal 3, zoomed in and saw two specs, one black and the other one white, that looked like JC and Kate Beckinsale walking into the terminal. I was right, but we didn’t get their in time and she was already going through security and the pictures were lame.
We walked to Terminal 4 for James Franco, and Big Shane was there waiting with Goth and the plane had arrived. We had the wrong flight number he wasn’t on it. I called Jesse because he told me he was going to cover it, and he told me he had him on a Delta flight in twenty mins. So I walked to Terminal 5 while Hudson went back to his car for a little break. Jesse had the right info on his flight and we got him. It was quite odd, James Franco is usually not nice, though I’m a huge fan of his. There was a car waiting for him curbside. I shot him coming down the escalator, and he went the opposite of the car, which was a huge surprise because he usually walks straight to his limo, doesn’t say a word, looks down and gets in. We looked at the car, there was someone already in it. We followed Franco downstairs, we thought he would go to baggage claim so we gave him space. He walked outside and did not grab any of the drivers. He suddenly cross the street and I had no idea what he was doing and he signal a Rental Car Shuttle Bus towards him. I ran in front of him and got pictures of him getting on the bus. He sat next to the door and grabbed his cellphone and started filming us, shooting him. Out of fear, I kept my camera on my face, though I really wanted to smile and wave at him. He later posted that video he took on his twitter account and wrote:
After Franco, Jesse told me he had Melissa Joan Hart on a flight in which I had Blake Lively. I’ve never shot Melissa, but I have experience with Lively, and she does not like it one bit. Though I don’t understand why, she dresses up really cute and looks amazing overtime she goes to LAX, and she’s really not that famous. We never saw Blake, but we got Melissa and she was nice, I told her I grew up watching all her shows, she laughed about that.
Finally, it was time for me and Hudson to head down to Long Beach airport to a job I did not want to do out of fear and because I didn’t think it was worth it. We needed one to follow her vehicle and the other one to take pictures and to spot the vehicle. I ended up being the one that was going to take the pictures and he was going to follow. LGB is really small, and I’ve been there once before, so I felt like I knew the drill. The lighting was better so I didn’t have to flash and I could remain hidden the whole time. There were a lot of people in there, and four drivers waiting for the flight, only one did not carry a sign. Before the board information changed from “landed” to “arrived” Drew Barrymore and her new boyfriend came out of nowhere to practically right in front of me, since I was waiting near the driver with no sign by the baggage claim area. She hugged the driver and introduced the new boyfriend, I grabbed my phone and called Justin to let him know what was going on. She sent the driver to get the car and she went to baggage claim with her boyfriend.
Drew is one of those that doesn’t like to get her picture taken unless she feels right about it or she’s happy or something, but you could never tell, so I played it safe. I hid and stalked her, which I hate to do, but I had to do it, to wait for the right moment to risk everything and take a picture.
Before I even had time to hide she was already making out with the new boyfriend and the light was decent enough, but the angle and the crowd did not make it easy. I switched angles, hid some more, worked as hard as I could to get pictures of her and the new boyfriend without being seen, not only by her, but by the people around me. If I get seen by civilian I risk they will tell Drew about me taking pictures and it will all crumble. The tension is on, I also have to keep an eye on the driver who went to go get the car, and be on the phone with Hudson to tell him everything that is happening. They move to the beginning of the claim, there’s not that many people there, but its darker, I have the right angle but I’m in an obvious spot, its an “all or nothing” moment so I stay put and start taking pictures. I don’t think they saw me, but I hid my camera and they walked right next to me. They were standing curbside waiting for the driver, traffic at LGB was terrible. I went far and around to the parking lot where I could hide and take pictures without bothering them, but also with terrible light and from far away.
She was still hugging him and kissing him and being a really cute couple, and I was taking pictures from the parking lot on a real low shutter speed and real high ISO. A cop saw me taking pictures and flash his flashlight my way. I ignored it because I thought he knew what I was doing, and I kept taking pictures and telling Hudson what was going on. The car was finally there it parked 20 feet from Drew, but she didn’t even noticed it because she was being busy fondling her boyfriend (there were people all around them). The driver had to get out, and run towards them to grab their attention and helped them with the bags. I switched my angle and moved with them towards the car but from the parking lot and kept taking pictures. The cop yelled at me “Hey! You stop”. Which I understood as, you better leave or we’re going to come bug you. I got scared, and went to my car since I did not want to deal with cops, there was nothing illegal to what I was doing, I just don’t like dealing with cops. I got to my car, sat down and I saw a cop coming towards me, I did not move and opened my door slowly and grabbed my wallet.
He ordered me to get out of my car, to leave my wallet on top of the trunk of my car and go against the wall and spread my legs. He told me to put my hands behind my back and then reached to grab him like he was going to arrest me. I was scared shitless. He asked me if I’ve ever been arrested, I never have. He searched me and couldn’t find anything. He asked for my ID and did the whole cop drill. The megaman 2 Flashman theme played over and over on my cellphone, it was Hudson trying to get at me to find out what was going on.Then the cop finally started asking me what I was doing and he ordered me to show him the video I was taking. I told him I was taking pictures and not a video, and he asked for the video again. I showed him the pictures and told him there was no video and explained to him the whole situation. I thought I was in trouble for sure, but he ended up being a really nice guy and I explained who I was and how I dislike my job and everything that happened that day. He was curious into how we get the information that she was going to be here, and I told him I don’t know, which is the truth, I have no idea how my boss knew she was on the flight. Two other cops came in, but didn’t really talk to me, just to the first cop. He asked me a couple more of the usual questions and let me answer my phone, I told Justin to hold on for a little bit, that the cops were with me, the cop corrected me and said that I was with them, all the cops laughed. Then he told me to be more careful next time I’m at LGB, that they were ready to draw guns at me and tell me to freeze because they thought I could have been a terrorist. I told him he will most likely never see me again, but that if I went to LGB I’ll let an officer know that I’m there taking pictures of a celebrity and hiding from them, and not from the law. He seemed satisfy and let me go.
Hudson was still worried about the follow, but I told him there was nothing we could do, that I almost got arrested and the traffic was terrible. There was also no point on the follow, they were probably just going home, but our boss had the suspicion they might go somewhere weird and random. We will never find out.
sidenote: I completely fell in love with this puppy, he is actually right next to me right now, still playful though its late at night. We will be sleeping in the same bed in a while.