Sunday, July 24, 2005

Welcome to Wally World

I went to WalMart today with Mom and I noticed that with each trip there, it gets increasingly weirder.

On the way across the parking lot, somebody's car alarm went off for absolutely no reason, nobody was even near it. The horn started up a constant rhythm.

Honk. Honk. Honk.

As we neared the building, I noticed something that made the situation even more bizarre. A flock of geese in a nearby field had joined in and were now alternating honks with the car.

Honk. Honk! Honk. Honk! Honk. Honk!

As we got inside we were greeted by the elderly singing greeter I always see up there. He's usually singing a Frank Sinatra tune, frequently just the same line over and over again. Tonight he was singing "Georgie Girl" and as I passed, he approached and started saying something about George shoes, maybe Georgio? Anyway, he pointed out that his shoes weren't those, he bought them at Sears. Mom jokingly shooshed him, saying the WalMart big wigs would overhear that he'd been shopping elsewhere. He replied by telling us how we should all shop at as many different stores as we can and that it's good for the city. He then ripped a few WalMart smiley face stickers from his roll and gave them to me.

Geese with rhythm, being greeted with a song, a discussion about shoes and the economy, and a pocket full of stickers. What more could a guy ask for in a night?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Sunrise Storm

Somewhere to the east, the sun's rising. The sky to the west is flashing and rumbling as a thunderstorm heads this way. A cool breeze is blowing in off the lake like a herald of the coming storm. There's a really vibrant feeling in the air right now.
I'm about to head to bed and just thought I'd share that.

It Begins: Follow-Up

How about a short film update?

A few days back, I received from Cathy a CD with all of the pictures from our little photo shoot. Excitedly, I browsed through them, one by one until I had looked at all seventy-five.

The verdict? Cathy rules. Period.

Let me tell you guys, these pictures are fantastic.

Next on my to-do list for the film:
  • Put the pictures in order, mapping out the whole thing shot by shot
  • Find equipment, a cast, and a crew
Sounds simple enough. That sound you're hearing is me moaning a lovely "in over my head" moan.

As usual, I'll keep you guys updated as things progress. Now I suggest you all go check out Cathy's awesome photography over at her website:


Monday, July 18, 2005

Why I’m Angry Today

  • Tiger
In two years of owning my iBook, it’s frozen a total of maybe five times. Since installing the new OS, Tiger, it freezes about three times a day.

  • Telephone Customer Service
I called to activate my first credit card today. The lady at the other end of the phone was nice as could be, but I’m convinced she was some kind of cyborg, as she talked faster than what I believe is humanly possible. It was like she was reading from a script that had no spaces or punctuation. I got so frazzled, I had to have her repeat one bit three times and I still don’t know what she was talking about.

  • The Heat
I love summer. I love the heat. The problem? Nobody else can handle the heat, so I’m often left with nobody to do anything with.

  • Lack of Motivation
It seems I can want and want and want to do something, then as soon as I have to do it, I just don’t feel like it.

  • This Town

  • People
Bleh. They’re all nuts.

*I’m having a bad day. Please forgive the negativity.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

"Take My Hand, Come With Me..."

At 7:00 tonight, I was flying down the freeway in the Jacobmobile towards downtown Cleveland. Directly ahead, ominously dark clouds filled the sky. Every few seconds, brilliant lightning bolts cracked down from the heavens like I've never seen before. It must've been an offshoot storm from the remnants of Hurricane Dennis.

"I'm heading into this?" I thought to myself as the rain obscured my view through the windshield.

What could possibly make me keep going in the direction of such an intimidating sight? Concert tickets, of course. Tickets to see Pete Yorn.

After a minor parking incident, we arrived at the House of Blues. An incredibly helpful lady from the giftshop led us through the building to where we needed to be, as it was our first time there. From there, an equally helpful guy led us upstairs to the disabled seating.

I won't go off on a rant here, but I'd just like to take a moment to state that in my twenty two years, I've yet to see handicap seating that shows any kind of actual thought behind it. As I pulled into the spot tonight, I found that the bar from the railing in front of me, directly in my line of sight between the stage and me. I said flat out that this wasn't going to work and the guy offered to take us downstairs to the pit.

We got down there and I got myself comfy right up front on the left side of the stage. A little while later, around 8:00, the curtains parted and the opening act, Minibar, took the stage. A group of guys from London, they had a great sound and kept my attention throughout their whole set. Their sound compliments Pete Yorn's strikingly well. I'll have to go grab one of their CDs soon.

Around 9:15, the curtains opened again and there stood Pete Yorn, strumming the opening to "Feel Good Again". Halfway through the song, it dawned on me that the band backing him up was actually Minibar, a perfect fit. Pete sounded great and everyone, both on stage and in the audience, appeared to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Pete kept everyone dancing with his retro-ish rock style upbeat songs, and even his slower songs, such as "All At Once" and "Strange Condition", were performed with enough power to keep everybody moving. He also gave fans a taste of what's to come when he played a few songs from his upcoming album, due out later this year.

It was a great show, though it seemed to end earlier than I'd expect, long before 11:00. I had a blast and hope Pete'll make his way back to Cleveland soon.

Other amusement came from a girl who had clearly been enjoying her drinks throughout the evening. During Pete's set, she came out of nowhere, bent down next to me, and said "You lucky bastard." Unsure where this was leading, I listened as she continued "My Dad told me I should get a wheelchair and I could get right up front. He was right, huh?" Not knowing what to say, I just laughed. She then began dancing like a madwoman.

My final note from the night comes from my realization that I'm ridiculously un-smooth. After the show, I found myself just hanging around in front of the stage. I looked to my left and saw a beautiful woman walking directly towards me. She leaned in, her long, dark hair hanging down, and asked me how I liked the show. We talked for a bit about the concert and Pete Yorn. She asked my name and told me she was Kelly. A few minutes later, our little conversation ended and she walked away.
Then it hit me. This gorgeous lady made the effort to come over and strike up a conversation with me...and I made no attempt to ask for her number or anything. What the hell is my problem? I swear, my brain just freezes up at the sight of a pretty lady, doubly so if they're nice. I'm kicking myself (so to speak) now.

Anyway, it was a great night and a great show. Stay tuned for my further misadventures, won't you?


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Poem, Anyone?

by Jacob Drake

Her face alight with the candle’s glow
She stares into the flame below
The windows to one’s soul are found in their eyes
Raven colored lashes, hers are hidden behind
Fire’s shadow leaps back and forth like a blackened tide
It jitters around like the butterflies I’m feeling inside
Her windows raise up and gaze deep into mine
Lady of light, swimming in shadow, suspended in time
Searching my being, reading my soul, her stare never sways
I try to be steady, but my courage wanes as I look away
I am broken and beaten as she embraces me alone
Away from the world in somewhere only we know
The glow disappears and we’re left without light
A coy smile appears as she walks into the night
Away with this woman, a little piece of me goes
I remain haunted by the face in the candle’s glow

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Another One of Those Days: Follow-Up

Well, as much as I want to, I can't say my day improved much. In general, it was a whole lot of nothing.

The only actual bit of excitement was the sight of a deer running down the center of the road in the middle of the day. The initial thought was "That's a big dog", then it clicked that it wasn't a dog at all, then it was out of sight, all in the span of about two seconds. Thrilling, huh?

I did get some work done on an animation I'm doing for Zoe, so I guess the day wasn't a total loss.

Here's to hoping tomorrow's an improvement.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Another One of Those Days

All before noon today I missed a private concert, lost a contest, and I'm out $100. It's only 2:00 now and I'm wondering what the rest of the day can throw at me. Wish me luck.


It Begins

Maria and I study the script to plan the next shot.
Photo courtesy of Catherine Weisheit

Well, the early stages of my short film began today. I had been trying to make up some storyboards to help me get a better idea of how everything would flow, but I just wasn't able to get them right and look how I envisioned them. Some artist, eh? At some point I got the idea to try photo storyboards. Much to my delight, my wonderful friend, Cathy, looked at the screenplay, liked it, and offered to help me out.

Cathy is an incredible photographer and I advise you to check out her work right away at her website:

So, today I briefly battled my printer and eventually printed the first copies of my screenplay for us to use. A little while later, Cathy came over to see what we could do. Maria also came over and was kind enough to stand in as the main character during our little shoot. I had fun, I'm pretty sure Cathy did too, but I felt a little bad for Maria. It was basically a lot of me telling her things like "Okay, spill the drink", "Sit on the ground", "Look up the sidewalk", "No, farther down the road", "Can you rub your eyes or something to look teary?", and "Get back on the ground." She insisted it was fine and she took it like a trooper, but I still felt for her.

One especially funny moment was when Cathy was laying on her side in the front yard trying to get a shot through the grass. One guy driving down the street was staring as she laid there in the grass and Maria and I just sat by watching. He just shrugged to himself as he passed.

After a couple rolls of film and a few pauses for each of us to vent about various things, we finished up and Cathy and I announced that was a wrap. I got a taste of directing and took a much needed step in the right direction, so I'd say it was a productive day. Now I just have to wait for the pictures to be developed. I'm not worried though, judging by Cathy's other work, they'll be fantastic. I'll keep you guys posted and let you know when I see them!

Thanks again to Cathy and Maria!


Friday, July 08, 2005

A Bottle of Red? A Bottle of White? Psh, Bring Us Sangria

On Tuesday I woke up to a MySpace note from Sara simply asking " hey, whatcha doin thursday?" I had no plans, but was intrigued by this unexpected query. A few minutes later I found out Sara, Bridget, and Monica were talking, I somehow came up, and they decided they wanted to come visit and maybe head to a bar. I loves me some plans.
Like the odd breed of 22 year old I am, I'm not knowledgeable at all about the bars in the area, so I turned to someone who knows every good place to go and every place not to bother with, Maria, the ultimate social butterfly. When I asked where would be a good place for us to just go and chill where it's not too loud to talk without blowing out any vocal chords, her immediate suggestion was the Willoughby Brewing Company. I had heard good things, so I figured it'd be worth a shot.

Flash forward to earlier tonight. Some plans had changed and sadly, Bridget couldn't make it. Around 9:00, Eric, Monica, and Sara arrived. We hung out here for a little while before Eric counted us down and we set off in our apparently spaceship-like van. After touching down in Downtown Willoughby, our short trek to the Willoughby Brewing Company began.

Upon arrival, we entered to the sound of the Barenaked Ladies song "If I Had $1,000,000", but something was horribly amiss. I wasn't hearing the charmingly goofy singing of that band of crazy canucks, I was hearing someone stumbling through the lyrics as their voice danced around the key it was trying to stay in. Yes folks, it was karaoke night. Despite the sound, we looked, but didn't see any tables available. What now? Plan B, of course! The only problem? There was no Plan B.

We stepped outside so we could more easily discuss what we were going to do next. I called Maria to see if she had any other suggestions and if she'd be joining us. Nothing she suggested jumped out at me and the group was getting hungry, so we decided to march down the street to Arabica. It was a beautiful night, the temperature was perfect as we strolled down the old fashioned street under the trees strung with twinkling white lights. We came upon a dozen or so skater type kids just sitting on the sidewalk, I parted them as Moses might part a sea of skaters and we passed through. We finally reached Arabica and of course, it's closed. Watching through the window as they vacuumed the floor inside, we agreed to just turn around, walk back up the street, and just see what looked inviting.

We passed through the skaters again, who now seemed to be kicking each other for fun, then we passed a car that had a ghostly soft neon glow to it. Further up the street as we continued, we came upon our accidental destination when Eric spoke the words "...Wine bar?" We looked at the place for a few seconds and decided this would do.

We entered the dimly lit Corks Wine Bar and instantly knew this place was nice, dare I say "swanky"? The atmosphere was something out of an old noir film. We found a table and got comfortable as good chill music such as Keane, Jack Johnson, Soul Coughing, and Zero 7 played over the speakers. The main source of light came from the candles placed on each table. We all felt like it was too classy a place for us four to even be inside, but we were loving it.
After briefly browsing the menus, Monica ordered us a pitcher of sangria. Each of us ordered our hors d'oeuvres, I decided to go with the bruschetta, which we eventually renamed "snobby pizza."
It was an amusing moment as Sara prodded Eric to feed Monica some of the fruit that was brought with the sangria. After feeding her a strawberry, Monica insisted he now feed Sara some fruit. Sara got hers, then they both decided he wasn't going to leave me out, I agreed with the classy outburst of "I want some fruit too, bitch!" Yeah, we fit in just fine there.
A little while later, Maria and Renee arrived and joined us. We talked, laughed, and drank as the candlelight flickered upon our faces and the paintings that lined the walls. Time disappeared and before we knew it, the bartender was announcing last call.

We made our way down the now emptied streets of Downtown Willoughby and parted ways with Maria and Renee as we headed for the van. A short while later, we were back in my driveway saying our good nights before the three of them started their drives home. It was really enjoyable how everything seemed to just fall into place to create such an enjoyable night. With a hug and a ruffle of my hair from Sara, the night came to a close as they piled into the car and drove off.

What a pleasant evening. Let's do this again, shall we?


Sunday, July 03, 2005

Caged Bird

I'm so incredibly restless lately. I'm suddenly feeling a lot of anger and frustration towards my surroundings. I guess I'm just really sick of this city and even the surrounding cities. It seems all the places I used to love to go have either changed so much they've lost their charm or they're just not even there anymore.

Sea World used to be my favorite place in the world. It was a challenge to see everything I wanted to see in just one day, but we always did it. The best part came at nightfall. As soon as it got dark, everyone in the park headed for the lake to see the big fireworks show, but not me. I would make my way to the Dolphin Cove to experience a magic like no other. With everyone watching fireworks, the Dolphin Cove area was empty, so it was basically just a group of bottlenose dolphins and me. I've never felt such a sense of peace and wonder as I did on those nights, I'd go so far to say it was a spiritual experience. Sadly, a few years ago Six Flags bought Ohio's Sea World and those nights ended for me when it was changed into an amusement park.

In Sea World's absence, I had to find a new special place for myself. For a while it was Tower City in downtown Cleveland. It's basically just another mall, but it had a big highlight for me: The Warner Bros. Store. It was a nice reason to make our way downtown and I got to see tons of great Superman stuff. A few years ago almost all of the WB Stores closed. I think there's still one in Times Square, but that's a bit out of range.

So, I now find myself in the midst of summer, the ultimate time of year where the opportunities are endless...or at least that's how it used to be. Instead I'm in a constant battle against a formidable enemy called boredom. I try the old fail-safe activities like going for walks or seeing movies. It kills some time, but there's no lasting feeling of satisfaction afterwards. In an attempt that couldn't possibly fail, I go to the mall. All my life the mall has been a sure fire way to occupy yourself for two or three hours easily. Yet now most of the stores I liked are gone and I'm left with overpriced DVD, CD, and book stores. Within fifteen to twenty minutes, I'm so bored I wish I had never left the living room.

It's now dawned on me that there's nowhere around here that interests me, I don't even have a good hangout spot. Restlessness and anger are now settling in, knowing how many incredible things there are to see and do outside of Ohio, especially after my adventures in Toronto and Niagara Falls last year. I'd love nothing more than to pack up the van this very moment and start the journey back to Niagara Falls. See the view from the top of the Skylon Tower. Stroll down the bizarre area that is Clifton Hill. Go for a ride on the river aboard the Maid of the Mist. Look out over the Horseshoe Falls as I let the mist envelop and rejuvinate me. It would just what I need, but it's just not possible right now. Trips cost money, money I don't have. It's really annoying when little green pieces of paper are the key to the door that looms in front of you, but such is life, eh?

For now I guess I'll just have to start saving up as the battle with boredom continues. Or maybe I'll make a sign out of cardboard that says "Niagara Falls or bust", that could work too...


Friday, July 01, 2005

Short Film Update

Well, things have changed a bit since I last updated you all on the film. Some personal things have popped up in Zoe's life that need her full attention, so in a completely understandable move, she won't be heading up her Youth Summer Movie Project this summer. My thoughts and prayers go out to Zoe and her family.
So, now I find myself with a screenplay and a summer with no big plans in sight. Perhaps I'm a little crazy...well, it's pretty likely, but anyway, I'm currently looking into the possibility of helming this project myself. I'm a rookie, so this would be a huge step by step learning process. I'm intimidated beyond belief, but I think I'm up for this task.
I'll keep you guys updated as things (hopefully) move forward.
Until next time, have a pancake.