Great Night in SD with Chad – Finding TJ People in Unexpected Places – Midnight Light Painting and Trolley Generosity


Done editing. So many pictures… And a few extras for myself.

Last night was great.

I had Taco Bell.

And it was glorious.

Fast food guilty pleasure. Them bean burritos are cheap and necessary after the night I had.

I mean… I wanted In N Out or something ‘Muricun, but Chad wanted Taco Bell.

Taco Bell it was. ‘Muricun enough.

Okay. Hungry. Not sure what’s for breakfast. Figuring that out. Then I’ll come back to this.

Oh crap.

I got an email getting rejected/re-write for the work I did yesterday.

I can re-write it. It needs more information. And I know I can get it…

If that got published, then yesterday would have been better than it was. But it was still good. And I still get to re-write it today.

Writing! No fear of rejection! That’s going to be my new motto…

Though last time I did that… I ended up not writing about food anymore.

Okay. Got to finish this so I can concentrate on my re-write. Then go out for some fried chicken Friday.

I sent the article around 3 pm yesterday. I started working on it forever ago, left it alone, and a news story reminded me I should keep writing it. Especially because I need to get published once more so I can be comfy with money and then I can concentrate on the Tijuana story I want to write. The one that I haven’t written dick yet, but that I am building in my mind and I know I can get it.

My friend Carlos got to my place at around 3 pm. We chatted about his adventures in California and travels yet to come. Then we got hungry and ended up in Plaza Friki. I got a shawarma taco and he got three tacos de papá with lomo on top from el Tió Pepé. His food looked better than mine, but I wasn’t that hungry.

I had time to kill before I crossed the border to do the photo gig. So I had a couple of beers at Mamut with him. It sort of helped me relax. Also… it’s weird but I had no idea what else to do to kill time. I didn’t want coffee. I wasn’t hungry. Drinking beer is like one of the best ways to kill time…

Crossed the border at 6ish. Got to Barrio at 7ish.

Barrio is nice.

I enjoyed Barrio.

Right away I had the usual thoughts when I’m in San Diego of “I should move somewhere around here.” I just miss so much American stuff.

I love Tijuana so much.

But San Diego is so nice and clean. And I miss making money. And having American things. A car. A serious job. A savings account…

The guys from Border X Brewing weren’t there. I talked to the musicians to let them know I was going to be flashing and taking pictures. They were cool.

Pictures look good. Or at least I like them. You know. The usual long exposure flash that I do. Hopefully, the editors like it as well, because I do it a bunch…

One beer there.

And on to the next.

Chad drove us to Navajo Live. He said he grew up there briefly before moving to Jamul, so he knew the area.

And lo and behold. This place is in the back of a strip mall, next to two shitty pizza places. One was Domino’s Pizza. The other was something local that looked even worse than Domino’s.

And oh my.

How much fun.

We got to the bar to order some beers and right next to us there was this girl from Tijuana that I recognized. I saw her at a few shows with Danger Dave back in the Tijuana Rumble Fest days.

But it couldn’t be. We were in a really weird place to be finding TJ people…

We got beers.

I found the people I needed to get pictures off. They were all really nice. They all love the Reader.

And you know how it goes. Give me beers, I get trigger happy.

Once I started taking pictures, the girl stopped me when I walked by her and was like “I know you, don’t I?”

Oh shit. It was her.

I was like… “Yeah… thought that was you but didn’t make sense.WTF are you doing here?!”

She was with a dude with a camera named Ramón and a band that was going to play. We talked TJ vs SD life and camera stuff. And again, it made me think about moving to SD.

More pictures! Tons of light painting/flashing pictures inside the bar. I’m happy with a lot. And again, I hope that’s what we needed because that’s what I did. I wonder how another photographer would approach this. I wonder who else could be doing my job.

It’s an odd one for sure.

And I still feel like I should ask them for a full-time job or something more. I want to make more money and still do more… and not write as much.

Writing is fucking difficult. And writing for money becomes pressure. And then it’s not always exactly what you want.

And… rejections.

It’s also something I hated back in the paparazzi days. I would think I would get a great shot… but you never knew if the market will buy it. And sometimes they would get ruined by something that is not my fault.

I just want something steady…

After a few hours of hanging, taking pictures, talking to locals, and basically having a blast, it was time to go.



Oh, delicious and gross Taco Bell.

It was better than I expected. And just what we needed.

A shitty Taco Bell meal to end the night before my lonely trolley ride home.

Chad dropped me off at the Barrio Logan trolley station.


21 minutes until the next trolley comes. Already past 11 pm.


Ok… there’s an interesting scene nearby…


First attempt:

Pretty good.

Shopping cart under the bridge.

It was eerie around though. Almost no one except some government workers doing something at the trolley station.

Second one:

Yay. I jumped inside the frame.

And I liked that one. The rest are very similar.

Light painting.

I have no idea what I was trying to write…


Closer to the cart, it got cropped. Still liked it.

A complete light painting fail.

Keep in mind… I have no tripod. The camera was set on top of my backpack. Which is not ideal at all.

I need to get a cheap, light, nice tripod.

The image is mirrored (flipped!)

I know what I wanted to write…

Do you?

… can you guess?

This was the last shot.

Then I ran out of ideas…

And the trolley was going to be there in three minutes.

Midnight trolley.

There was a dude right next to me that kept saying “are we going to make it? are we going to make it? what time? what time is it?! Is it 11:15? Are we going to make it!?”

He seemed crazy, but the nice crazy.

Closer to the border, an old man with a walker sat near the stairs. A young guy offered him a big chocolate muffin. An old man took it happily and started to eat. A woman approached the man and gave him a $5. Then another woman gave her a Maruchan ramen noodle cup. The old man opened it and started eating raw. Another woman then got up and gave the man a huge Chipotle-like burrito and told him “don’t eat it like that raw, eat this burrito instead.”

I was amazed by the generosity at the trolley.

Crossed the border.

10 peso taxi to downtown.

Might as well check Nelson at midnight.


It was the posada. The live band had just finished. There was nowhere to seat and barely any oxygen from all the cigarette smoke.

Used the bathroom.

Thought about beer.

I wanted too. But I was tired and I didn’t…

Came home to Lord of the Rings again. This time I fell asleep before they killed Boromir.

SPOILER. Boromir dies.

If you didn’t know that… Then… well… Sorry?

Ok. Time to re-write. Workout. Shower. And figure out next week and start writing that text I wanted to write. Should be fun.


I was trying to write CALI.

Because I don’t really have many ideas when I do impromptu light painting… I should have trying to draw some groceries or a man pushing the cart now that I see it…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: