I should uhh…
I haven’t done that since the last thing that got published. And I did one photo gig. And one special edition.
I guess that’s enough.
I have three to work on in the hopper. And character stories that come and go.
I should write something.
I should have done laundry.
NFL lazy Sunday and didn’t realize I don’t have that many clean clothes.
I should have done laundry.
Now I have to do it today or tomorrow.
And it’s weird week because of Thanksgiving.
In Mexico, it’s Día de la Revolución. Many businesses have a day off. The border is crazy right now.
In ‘Muricuh. Thanksgiving.
I like that holiday. It doesn’t come close to how I feel about Halloween. But Thanksgiving is fun. Or at least it was fun when I celebrated in the Midwest.
In Michigan, family and friends got together to eat and get drunk really early in the afternoon.
In Minnesota, the same thing.
But I was usually a guest with the Nelson family.
That reminds me.
This is the second time I have a roommate with the last name Nelson.
Now Joshua Nelson.
And I spend a lot of my time in Bar Nelson.
I was going to go to Bar Nelson yesterday. But then decided it fuck it. Let’s stay home and watch Netflix.
Yep. Instead of going out, I just ordered two pizzas and stayed home.
More Stranger Things.
I ate one and a quarter pizza.
I interview a friend today for an upcoming article. If not today, perhaps tomorrow. Then I have a few other things to work on, but not the material. Have to do the legwork so I can start writing about it. Not sure where to start.
I haven’t bought a fucking marker.
My whiteboard has things that I should take care off, but nothing.
And the San Diego Red still hasn’t paid me.
Student loans are on my ass again.
And I should work.
I should work way more.
That’s why I didn’t want to get up this morning. I’m back to my normal self.
I forced myself to watch Netflix past midnight though I was really tired.
Woke up at around 8 am.
But decided that since I didn’t have much to do, just sleep.
And while sleeping I kept thinking of how much work I should be doing but that I have nothing to really do.
What a mess.
What a mess I am.
Back to nothing.
And creating something out of nothing.
It’s celebrity throwback Monday.
I haven’t done one of those in a long time.
So let’s talk Hollywood.
Like I mentioned before.
I knew about Kevin Spacey.
Here is how.
It was years ago. Probably around 2009.
I forgot why I was at my agency’s office. But I was there. When they were discussing if they could be selling some photographs that they got of Kevin Spacey or if it was too much and litigation could happen.
It was just two really dark pictures of Kevin Spacey at some club apparently in Croatia.
The pictures were of a power-hungry looking Spacey, just like the face he does on House of Cards. Except he had an allegedly 16-year-old shirtless boy on top of him. Spacey had his hands down the boy’s trousers.
Pictures were dark and grainy. You could clearly see it was Spacey. You could clearly see what he was doing. But it wasn’t enough.
Pictures never went anywhere that I know of. I doubt they tried to sell them.
Fast forward almost a decade later and everyone is talking about the abuses of Spacey.
The list of people he molested is probably gigantic…
Other photographs that I saw that never made it anywhere.
My agency acquired pictures of Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo having sex in a private house in Puerto Vallarta.
A quick google search and apparently the pictures did make it somewhere.
Shitty shitty quality.
But yeah. I saw the whole set. There were way more pictures and better quality.
I remember hearing all about the legal issues the photos had or whatever.
And the industry was filled with stories like that.
Who is gay.
Who is a pedophile.
Weird sex shit.
A lot of underage shit.
Especially with Nickelodeon or Disney kids.
I saw a lot of Miley (amongst a lot of other teen stars) back in the day.
Miley was 15.
I was around 22.
She would go out of her house with a dozen of paparazzi following her. Braless. Pantyless. Did not give a single fuck. She wouldn’t “purposely” flash photographers. But let’s say… she didn’t make it hard to get pictures of her…
I saw other photographers that captured underage Miley. But obviously, those never made it the light of day (that I know of).
I also heard weird perversions about Britney.
Hollywood is a gross cesspool of sex, power, drugs, and illegal shit.
And now we are all acting all surprised that people abuse power.
It’s one of the most basic things that humans know.
Too much power makes you do crazy shit.
It’s obvious that people in power are going to abuse the fuck out of it.
Don’t act surprised.
Don’t act like you didn’t know.
Humans are disgusting fucking trash.
It’s always been like that.
Since ancient Greece.
And now we all act all appalled.
Politicians are in the same boat.
And so our managers at Hooters or the Tilted Skirt.
Or fucking anywhere.
A lot of people that have a slight power over someone is going to abuse. Be it against a man, woman, or child. People are fucking sick.
What started as a remembrance of Hollywood ended in a rant of life and the year 2017.
And that’s not even touching a country like Mexico. Where women rights are so far behind….
Children abuse is fucking horrible over here as well.
And here I am. Feeling guilty because I might hook up with a girl weeks after breaking up.
People think I’m nice and kind.
It’s just that the standards for humanity are so fucking low.
So now. Celebrity Throwback Monday.
Let’s try to get cheerful, huh?
I’m looking through my hard-drive to see who is worth it.
My first month working.
First celebrity is Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. Followed by Lindsay Lohan, Selena Gomez, and then Ed Westwick.
That was my first week on the job.
I can’t decide on a celebrity.
So fucking many of them.
Man. I really have no idea and I don’t want to edit many pictures. So this will be a stupid tough decision.
This is a really old pic of Patrick Dempsey.
That’s me in the background. 21 years-old. Running around with a camera chasing celebrities with MOTHER FUCKING FLIP FLOPS on.
And a random picture of Sophia Bush.
I remember that house was of a celebrity personal trainer. And he would train celebrities in his gym inside, but also had them run around the block. It was an easy target to get random celebrities working out.
You know what.
Mother fucking Elijah Wood.
I just found pictures of him on January 19th, 2011.
And I remember this day clearly!
He was really fucking nice. And I’m a huge fan. So I’ve told this story multiple times. He actually told me I should write a book forever ago. Or maybe I’m just making that up right now.
Let me see if I have more pictures of him.
Only one album.
Editing pictures. Then story time.
The album barely contained 30 pics and only three are good.
The picture when he saw me.
Then there are several pictures of him talking to the counter lady (shit pics).
And then him leaving… but that wasn’t it.
That was the last picture. But after that. He came to say hi. Then he told me he was going to have a cigarette. I told him I wasn’t going to bother him. I put my camera back in my bag.
He took his sweet ass time and I my instinct told me I should go take more pictures. But I didn’t. I just poked out. And he offered me a cigarette.
I told him I didn’t smoke but I stayed and chatted with him. I remember I had Ray-bans on similar to his that day.
He thought I was French because of my weird accent….
I just found it.
I wrote a note on January 19, 2011…. That same day I took the pictures…
This is intense.
This is embarrassing and this post is turning really really long.
But this is a really cute write-up I did six years ago when I met Elijah Wood. My memory betrays me since I believe the text I wrote the same day is more accurate. And it’s… well… it has my style of writing.
I meant that to be the first chapter of my book.
And here it is.
The first chapter of a book that I set up to write but I never did.
The Elijah Experience
I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm at 8:22 a.m.I always set my alarm on odd numbers. The same way I never put an even number when I’m reheating leftovers in the microwave. The alarm sound comes from my smartphone and it happens to be the song for Flashman from the game Megaman 2. I wake up, not wanting too, but I have to get up and go to work. It’s been two weeks now since I decided that I don’t like my life, that I need to quit and pursue something else.
I’m a photojournalist and not your normal one. I take pictures of celebrities, actors, musicians, athletes or people that somehow got famous for no reason at all. Also known as a paparazzo, stalkerazzi, scum of the earth, call it whatever you want, trust me, I’ve heard them all.
It is a fun job, for the first six months, then it becomes just like the other jobs, routine. Except there’s no much routine involved, everyday is a mix of things and everyday anything can happen, but it becomes tedious, annoying and unbearable. It’s such a terrible job, that an employee for one of the biggest paparazzi shows in the industry quit their job saying that if he continued working there, he would have to kill himself.
As I was saying, I woke up to the sound of my alarm, I turned it off and saw that my phone had several text messages, a lost call, and an email. The first thing I check is the e-mail, because I know it comes from my boss. The e-mail has a list of names and flight numbers. This is the e-mail:
AMY SADERIS- CO 1503
LOU GOSSIT JR- DL 1719
ROSEANNE BARR- DL 370
KARA DIGOUARDI- AA 21
KIM AND KOURTNEY KARDASHIAN- AA 185
I analyze the names and flight numbers and I realize a picture of the first four names are completely worthless. The only thing that is worth taking a picture is of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, celebrities with no real talent. After that, I call a secret number, that has a secret password in which in it contains a secret voicemail with the voice of someone that I have no idea who he is, reading a similar list. This is what the voice says to me:
“The 19th, 30 Frank and Dennis Jonas, 34 Darren Aronofsky, 33 Jerry Lewis, 4 Phil Johnson, 118 Ralph Edwards, 3 Angie Dickinson, 185 Kourtney and Kim Kardashian”
He says all the names really fast, so I have to listen at least one or two times through. If you are wondering who those people are, they are just people like you and me, they booked a flight in first class, and so they could possibly be celebrities. I recognized two names. The first one is Darren Aronofsky, one of the best directors of our times and he has directed several of my favorite movies, but you never see his picture in a magazine unless there’s some controversy. So I will not bother finding out at what time he will be at the airport. The second one is something I already knew. Kourtney and Kim were flying, the voicemail confirms it. I know several flight numbers by memory, and I know the AA 185 stands for American Airlines 185 scheduled arrival at 12:20 a.m. (yes, twenty minutes past midnight).
Great, I work at midnight, I can go back to sleep. I wake up again to the sound of my smartphone, this time is Airman music from the same video game, this means I’m getting a call, and yes, the call is coming from my boss. I pick up the phone, hopefully, it doesn’t sound like I was sleeping, though I’m sure it does. He asks me why is my work phone off, I apologize, then asks me if I’m at the airport. I said no, there’s nothing going on except the midnight flight that I’m covering. He tells me that I need to be there in 10 minutes because he just heard Jake Gyllenhaal was flying out of Delta and he is supposed to be there at 11:00 a.m. but most likely won’t be there till after.
It’s 10:53 a.m. I get up, put the first clothes I spot in my room, run to the kitchen to grab a glass of milk, grab my keys, my CF cards (for the camera) and run outside the door to my car. I live close enough to the airport that it won’t take me more than 15 minutes to drive over there. This time I made it in around 12. I make it to the airport 11:05 a.m. I walk around the Delta terminal and I stare at the screens, I know Sundance is happening, so I assumed Jake Gyllenhaal is flying out to Salt Lake City. The disgusting pungent smell of cheap orange perfume comes to my senses. Yes, its Delta alright, no other place in LAX smells like the Delta terminal. I keep scanning the screens, and there it is DL 2204 departing at 1:05 p.m. I stroll towards first class, my long lens camera on my left shoulder, and a messenger bag on my right shoulder containing another camera with a short lens, a flash and a power pack. The bag also carries my sunglasses, dead batteries that I choose to keep since I might need them someday, a flip video camera in case something weird happens and other assorted trash.
Celebrities usually don’t like to wait or check their own bags. They have people to all of this for them, they are called representatives (reps). I know Jake uses a rep, and on my way back from first class I spot the rep that most likely will have him. He is wearing a hideous red suit with some airport passes hanging from his neck and a couple of tickets in his hands. The rep spots me, this one doesn’t like me, they all know me and I know all of them. I nicknamed this rep “Grey Fox”. He fucked me over before with a Mariah Carey arrival. In this business, you can’t trust anyone.
Grey Fox gets on the phone, he knows I’m behind him and knows why I’m here so he decides to lose me. Like I said, I decided to quit soon, so I don’t worry too much to play the cat and mouse game with him, a game that I’ve been playing for over a year. I text my boss asking who is the source of the tip, he tells me it’s a reliable source but does not know the flight number. I start worrying and looking for any signs of Jake Gyllenhaal, and I don’t see any, I’m ready to give up. But then, I see something, a black Prius that for some reason I thought I recognized.
I approach it slowly and from a very long distance, I realized Elijah Wood just got dropped off by a friend of his. He is wearing a burgundy hood, a messenger bag, jeans and Ray-Ban sunglasses almost identical to the ones I wear. I am relieved its Elijah Wood because he is one of the nicest celebrities in the industry (most of them are actually nice). His picture is not worth much, but at least I can say I was at LAX working. I see him checking in, he starts walking towards me, so its time to take out my long lens camera out of my bag and start snapping some pictures. He approaches me and says “you guys are everywhere now”, I hated this comment, I don’t like being associated with other paparazzi, I never saw myself like one. I respond that he won’t see me soon, that I plan on quitting. He laughs and moves into a line that’s not the first class line. I told him I’ll give him space to check in and that I won’t bother him.
When he is done checking-in his bag he walks towards me again, so I take more pictures and then he asks me about my decision to quit. I told him I’m tired, I’m young, and I never really wanted to be a paparazzo. We chat for a little bit, I tell him I’m a great fan of Lord of the Rings and that I’m a musician. Then he walks out to have a cigarette. Most celebrities don’t like to be bothered while smoking, much less have their picture taken, since its bad publicity. I don’t bother him, I keep looking for Jake, though I know he has already gone through or it was a bad tip.
Elijah is done smoking, he walks back in and introduces himself and shakes my hand, his sunglasses are no longer on. He asks me if I’m from France, which I am not. I tell him I’m from Mexico, like everyone else, he seems a little bit surprised. Then he asks me what kind of music I play. I say its pretty complex since I like math-rock, and what a surprise, Elijah knows what I’m talking about, he knows what math-rock is, or at least he pretended to know what it is. Then I told him I’ve been thinking about writing a book about myself and about this crazy job I ended up with. He literally says “that would be a fascinating book”. The little Hobbit and an amazing actor (please watch Green Street Hooligans) just told me I could be writing a fascinating book. I came home and I wrote this chapter, the introduction to the journal life of a paparazzo. This was just a common day, a lot of stories await, and I have to go back to LAX tonight to shoot Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, I’ve taken their picture easily over thirty times.
There. I wrote that six and a half years ago. The only thing I was missing is the detail of Elijah Wood’s eyes. I forgot a lot of details about this story. Including me telling him I wanted to quit. But that’s what I was doing my final year as a paparazzo. I would see celebrities and sort of said my goodbyes….