Summary of My Last Decade – Tijuana Adventure Club – Don Rickles

I’ll be 30 next week, and I plan on living forever.

I only have one pair of pants that fit me correctly. They have a massive hole under my right butt cheek. I’m leaving my 20s… Cool decade.

When I was 20, I was still in college. Senior year. What a blast. I only had 2 classes, from 6 pm to 9 pm on Monday and Tuesdays. I had private guitar lessons for an hour with my teacher (on random days of the week). And I had to attend Jazz Ensemble. And also do some personal projects for school credit.

It was a blast. It was really the beginning of my freelance life. I spent the summer in Los Angeles working with my brother and my agency gave me a camera. HOLY SHIT! I’m going through my hard drive. I can’t believe that I have since 2004 cataloged all my pictures in order.

This is a trip, so I’m going to have to upload a bunch of old pictures. There are so many folders to go through. Folders like: Anything but clothes party, Halloween pumpkins, first weekend, portraits and one called art (which is horrible). 2007 was the year I started as a paparazzo, and my agency lend me a camera while I went away for college. It was a Canon 30D with a 17-40mm/4.0f and a nice flash (forgot which one) with a camera grip and an off-camera flash attachment. I was taking pictures of everything. I wasn’t very good….

field 2 This was my college’s award winning football field. I was rarely there.
frozen This is the type of shit I hated about living in Minnesota.
Hispanic! at the disco (35) This was my band junior year, Hispanic! At the Disco.
IMG_3474 This is a typical college party.

IMG_3491 And so is this one. I don’t know any of those guys. So fuck it.

IMG_5385 This is what the Latino parties looked like.
IMG_5572 This was my other Mexican friend in College. It was like 5 of us total…
IMG_5579 Yeah…
IMG_4492 This is in Querétaro. I look like a long stretchy twig.
meguyswoo With 1/3 of the roommates. There are a lot of embarrassing pictures of them, but I’m not going to post them.

 Graduation day, and then…

IMG_9652 Already in LA living that crazy West Hollywood life.

Yes I had a lip ring and tongue ring (and many piercings through my youth). Anyway, enough of going down memory lane. After that year my pictures are very well catalogued but it is mostly paparazzi stuff mixed with a bunch of randoms. This is I guess a timeline for my own sake.

2008 – First real year I was a paparazzo, by the end of the year, I got demoted from salary to freelance.

2009 – Started out horribly. I got a hand of being a paparazzo, got way better, got sent out to travel jobs, did a lot of fucking work. By the end of the year I was switching agencies.

2010 – I was working with a different agency and they agreed I was only going to work at LAX and travel jobs. It was a great year, but definitely got burnt out.

2011 – I got a raise, it wasn’t enough to keep me interested in the job. The agency knew it, they wanted an excuse to let me go. They switched me to full freelance and out of LAX territory. All my contacts were at LAX so I kept doing some LAX stuff while trying to get back to the street shoots. It was horrible. I bought a new car and left Los Angeles for a while (thinking I was coming back to the same job). When I got back to LA, I wanted to get out.

2011 road trip I drove and drove and drove. I went from Los Angeles, to Las Vegas, Denver, Iowa, Chicago, Detroit, stayed a while in Michigan, back to Chicago, to Minneapolis for a while. Then a long ass drive through North Dakota, ended in Miles City, Montana. Spent the night there in a horrible shithole hotel and went through the town. Oh the crazy shit I saw. I wish I was a writer back then. I guess I did a videoblog about my trip, but it’s not very good and I never ended uploading it all.

After the road trip, I felt uncomfortable in LA, but still thought I was going to stay there and keep working. A friend was getting married in Montreal, so I went to the wedding. I spent so much money just because I had it and wasn’t careful.

2012 – I moved to San Diego by the end of 2011. It wasn’t good. Apparently everyone has a shitty roommate situation in SD. I didn’t have a job and I didn’t want one. It is tough to get a job when your resume just says “paparazzi and college.” I actually got a couple of jobs on minor field of study (canvassing). They knew I was overqualified that they said I should just work for a couple months before they give me a better position than knocking door to door.

I didn’t even show up for my first day. I woke up remembering how much money I used to make in LA that I thought it wasn’t worth working in San Diego. I got depressed, spent all my money, sold my car and moved to Tijuana. The plan was to live in Tijuana and cross every day to work. Couldn’t do it. Fell into further depression, resulting on me selling a lot of my stuff and moving in with my parents.

Moving in with my parents was a wake-up call. I started writing in this blog, I decided I wanted to sell a book, I somehow became a writer.

2013 – I started looking for writing gigs or other stuff just to get out of my parents house. I landed a job with a soccer news start-up. It paid well enough for a TJ job, but it was a lot of work hours and extra hours on top of that. I also wanted to give it my best, that I truly tried to make the website work. Towards the end of the year I quit. I decided to try freelance and to write for the Reader. I probably got rejected like 20 times before I finally got something published.

Also, in between 2012-2013, Tijuana Adventure came about. My friends from LA were visiting frequently, paid for everything and often gave me cash for being an awesome host. That’s when I started charging for tours. It was a messy affair and a complicated one. In fact, till this day, it is still a complicated mess to give tours.

That’s why Tijuana Adventure changed to something like a TJ Adventure Club. I invited other writers and I will be posting frequently over there (Especially on Sundays). Just like I try to post here every Monday, on Tj Adventure I’ll post every Sunday about the beers I had through the week. Other writers will talk about their own adventures, then hopefully we can get all together for some beers and food and do a podcast. That’s the idea. I posted about my week yesterday, click the logo to check it out:

2014 till now – I’ve been active on my blog, so there’s no need to revisit each year. It’s been a crazy ride, but I feel comfortable going in this direction. I just wished I had more jobs and a steady pay. I guess that’s why I did the switch on Tj Adventure, so I write more often and push myself even more.

Today – All of the work I said I have, I still haven’t done any of it. I did post on Tj Adventure (and it was pretty successful post). But my time has been wasted on Reddit and trying to get to the front page. Also, writer’s block took me out on Thursday and Friday. Now that I am broke again, I have to write a lot. AND WRITTEN a lot I have. And I have all this week to work in a lot of stuff that I started, but did nothing.

All of it, before Saturday, because then craziness ensues. Saturday = Tacotopia, a day of free tacos and drinks. I will have my camera, so there will be tons of pictures. Sunday = my cousin will be visiting from Seattle and only spending a day, so I plan to make the most of it. Monday = my birthday. I have no idea wtf I’m doing but I will be posting on my blog like always.

NOW!!! To work!

Oh shit.. I almost forgot. Need a random celebrity.
Don Rickles

I seriously don’t give a fuck about Don Rickles, I barely know who he is. It was one of those that my boss sent me to LAX to take pictures of the dude in case he dies tomorrow. I know, horrible thing to say. But that was a common thing in the industry. If you take the last picture of someone, it is usually worth a lot of money. It happened to my friend who got Brittany Murphy at LAX. Is sad, but people profit from other people’s death. I’m glad Don Rickles still alive I guess. But if he had a heart attack a few days after I took that picture, I guess I would’ve made some $$$.

Anyway. I thought of him because I saw a picture of him somewhere on the internet recently and it said that he is turning 90. Here is Don Rickles in April 11, 2010, so I guess he was 84.

z don rickls april 11 2010

Well… That was a really fun and long stroll through memory lane. I’ll do it again when I hit 40. Let’s see what crazy shit awaits for me in the next 10 years. For now… I HAVE SHIT TONS OF WORK TO DO AND THIS TIME I AM NOT LYING I AM GOING TO WORK CUZ I AM BROKE.
K. Thanks.

2 responses to “Summary of My Last Decade – Tijuana Adventure Club – Don Rickles”

  1. Your roommate at graduation looks like he has a similar arm tattoo. Have you ever explained the significance of your tattoos and I missed it?

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