Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A cat smoking a cigarette

Another short poem I thought of tonight.

Tonight as I drove home,
I saw a lot of cats crossing the street.
I thought I saw one smoking a cigarette.

A kid I remember

This is a short poem I am writing about a kid I remember from kindergarden.

When I was in kindergarden
There was a kid who was in a fire as a baby
Half of his face was burned and his right arm was gone
He also had no right ear.
I remember feeling sad that he couldn't properly do the pledge of elligience.
Or it was the other side of his body and I remember thinking, he lucked out because he can still do the pledge of elligience.
Memory is alive that way.
We also shared a locker together.
Later on in life I found out that he was really good at soccer.
I always thought he was from India but now I'm thinking he was probably Hispanic.

The end.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Something Wrong with this Picture

So I was on my daily internet browse today when this pop-up came along to entice.

I almost clicked to win, but then I noticed something. Who can tell me what it is?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Professional website

Hello world!
I've got my new portfolio website up and running for the most part
Not sure if that's a link since I'm using a moble app to write this but if it's not then I will fix it later.
You will notice when you open the page that it includes my other blog miles of smiles on the home page. So those two things are merged now and the rest of the site holds my art work.
So the new site will be a place for a more cohesive blog and portfolio and torlando today will continue to be the rediculousness of my happening and stories from work and other rantings.
Thanks and I hope you visit the site!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Raphael Saadiq "Let's Take a Walk"

take a walk outside from videos222 on Vimeo.

I'm not sure why I decided that this would be best on this blog, but I did. I'm not sure that I'm even crazy about it. I do love doo-wop, but maybe I don't like such obvious throw backs, you know, maybe I want something a little more subtle. I feel like this kid has just watched the VH1 Temptations movie as much as I did and told the director I want that. I could be wrong... but those were david ruffin glasses.

I think my main point this evening is that there is a shift going on in the pop world. And I don't know if I mention this at all but I feel like everything is going back to the 50's. About five and half years ago I started to make this change in myself. I wore more casual slacks and shirts with collars. But at the time it was just my mom and dad asking me why I was dressing like an old man. Since that time I've gone back and forth in between jeans and trousers, but after my late night online shopping spree I'm totally going for it. I bought nothing but slacks and sweaters and a beautiful hat that I just learned is shipping. This hat:

I'm no trend setter though, I'm just a guy who dresses kinda weird and then all of a sudden is a complete trendster without changing a thing. Its used to bother me in high school but then I went through that I don't care what people think of me stage, but now I'm in that I do care what people think of me, but in a healthy way. What I'm really trying to say is, I'm bout to look goooooooood.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


When I was in the eighth grade I had a science teacher that asked the class what was the smallest size mirror that you could use and still see your whole body. I thought, well, I suppose as long as you were back far enough and you could still see the mirror, then it could probably get pretty small. She said no, and that the mirror had to be at least your exact height and width in order to see your entire body. That was when I stopped trusting teachers to come up with real facts. I went home that night to test her theory only to find out that it was incorrect. Today I figure the only science she really valued was the science it took to give her enormous fake boobs. The tough thing is, you can't teach kids that sometimes their teachers are teaching bogus material. That would be a scenario when the exception became the rule. And kids will do that, so you never teach the exception, you only make them.

I remember another time in elementary school when I was taught something by a teacher that didn't have much authority behind it. There was a boy in my class that made fun of me for something, I can't really remember, it had something to do with an overhead projector. And later on that day she tried to explain to me that emotional scars last longer than physical scars. And she sited and emotional example from her life and a physical example. She had some scar on her hand and said that the scar would eventually go away. I thought, well you're pretty old and if it hasn't gone away yet, IDK, but I didn't say that to her. Around that time it became popular amongst boys to scratch a small layer of skin off the top of your hand as a test of strength. We were boys, what do you expect? Looking at my skin to day I can still see a faint scar of where I tested my manhood and yet I have no clue as to how that boy offended me. All I remember was that I was at the overhead projector and he said something. And the only reason I remember who it was that said anything was because he was really good at basketball and could nearly dunk on an eight foot rim, which I can sort of do now. Thinking of those two "scars" neither of them are really that big of a deal.

In conclusion, I'm not saying don't trust teachers, because they can be helpful, but do realize that some of them are really full of crap. So maybe this is a message to teachers, don't be full of crap or some kid is going to call you out on it, and maybe that emotional scar will last longer than any physical laceration, but I doubt it because at the end of the day, you have a job, an education, a car, house, maybe not a lot of money, but good benefits, and you are an adult.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Two Quizes in Twenty Minutes

I just had a truly terrifying experience. I looked at my schedule this morning suddenly realizing that there would be a quiz at the beginning of the class. So I decided to be on time. As I sat down, I looked to make sure I was sitting next to the most bodacious woman. And I got out my pen and turned off my iPod. And I looked around and saw that everyone was reading a copy of a story by Benjiman Franklin and I thought oh great they must have put something up on oncourse and I did not get it. I didn't even check. (bare in mind this is an art history class - renaissance) so I think well Benjiman Franklin was a Renaissance man I suppose. And so I get out my phone and check oncourse. Well the server is jammed and I can't connect. So I'm like ok this is alright I'll just wing it. I know about old ben, a penny saved and all that, catheder, illegitimate children ok I got this. Then the ai comes in and it is not the normal ai. And I think, well swine flu is going around and the university is really pressuring instructors to stay home so I say must be a sub. And then he passes out the quiz. Four questions. First question, what did Benjiman Franklin put on his chart to show he made a fault? Ok easy, a check mark. It's a guess but it makes some sense. Question two, Benjiman Franklin wrote of a man that bought an ax, what did the man decide to think at the end? Oooookkkkaaaayyy, he decided that he didn't actually need to use the ax. I'm doing gooooooood. Question three, who did Mark Weber say was the example of a "essential capitalist"? ............. Thomas Jefferson? Why have I never heard about any of this in class!?! Then I look around and realize that I don't recognize a single person in this class. Am I in the wrong class? I look at the top of the paper. Section number class number is what? A102? I'm in the wrong class. Ai says there is 5 minutes left on the quiz, as rolling stones would say, should I stay or should I go now? I check my schedule again, I'm in the wrong room, I go to this room tomorrow.
So I decide to fold up the quiz, get up, not say a word, not look at anybody, and just leave. I arrive at my proper class I walk into the lecture hall, the professor says we are on the essay portion, start there. The exam says describe the image. I've never seen this image before in my life!!! I look at the two previous questions to gain some sort of context. Some glimmer of hope. The question is a list. Title, artist, date, etc. THAT DOESNT HELP!!! HOW WOULD I EVEN KNOW THOSE ANSWERS!!!
So I wing it.
Two quizes in twenty minutes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Obama's Article in the NewYork Times on Healthcare reform.

You know what? I'm one of the 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance. You know why? Because I can't afford it. I'm 24 and an independent student and am not covered by my parents anymore. I can barely afford my most basic needs. I have about two or three health items that could use some attention but they would all be considered pre-existing conditions because I had them checked out when I was on my parents plan, and got turned down by the insurance companies for coverage, and even after paying the doctors straight up, the problem is still there. Now ain't that somethin' else. Read this article in the New York Times by President Obama and pass it on. Why We Need Health Care Reform

Thursday, August 6, 2009

6th sense technology. The tourists dream machine.

I just caught this TED video over at and can I just say that I love technology. This is something that I would use, although I would prefer if it were in the form of eyeglasses and a medallion for the projector. The eyeglasses, having a couple different styles and made available in tinted or non and the medallion hopefully with either a piece symbol or the continent of africa for a lens cap. I could also see it being stolen from the MIT kid who invented it and then becoming an app in the app store. AAAAPPPPPPLLLLLLEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Inventions of the future.

When I was 9 years old I had two great inventions. My mom just bought a caller ID and I realized text could be transferred through telephone cords. I thought that radio stations should be able to do this with telephone cords and display the names of musicians and songs that were playing. Little did I know that this would happen through the internet and satellites. When XM Radio came out I thought, great, there goes my great invention done better. The next invention came at the age of 11 when I invented Roller Blades with shocks in the wheels, those too became a reality but not by me. Those are just a couple examples.
But now in this new segment entitled "Inventions of the Future" I will be letting out my latest ideas for inventions that I think would work. Only to let them be discovered and invented for the purposes of human advancement.

1) In the future television, computers and telephones will all operate via free public wifi and will all be variations of the same thing. Phones will be full out computers, tv's will be phones and computers will be tvs and vice versa. Televisions will have a computer operating system and hard drive where it will store television shows, and movies and any other file that is desired. There will be a built in webcam that will allow for video conferencing and the remote control will operate like a wireless mouse or wii remote.
(you might be saying to yourself, "ain't that the idea of AppleTV?" Naw!, It aint't, you don't know when I thought of that either!)

2) Individually Wrapped Frozen Pizza Slices. Look, imediate nay sayers can be shut down by he individually wrapped cheeses. Its a soccer mom thang, ya'll don't know about that. You might got three kids and all of them want a different kind of pizza so its a waste to make a whole frozen pizza and those individual pans are too expensive and the kids hardly ever eat the whole thing. Just unwrap, pop them in the toaster oven and you're good. (And pizza pockets are gross.)

3) Back to technology. In the future we need to think about our cars. and I'm not talkin about flying cars, i'm not talking about gas or power. I'm talking about systems. Right now, we are leaving behind the cd player in the car and starting to plug in our ipods, but in the future, you won't even need to bring your ipod, your car will have a built in hard drive. Prolly a terabyte put in the trunk like you used to put in them six disk changers. The stereo will be a sophisticated touch screen interface that will connect to the internet via wifi (3G network in the early years) and gps. Much like the television there will be a built in webcam and telephone application that goes based off of your internet telephone number that you will also use for all of your other appliances, television, cellphone, computer. And oh yeah, you wont have a cell phone plan, you'll just buy the device and operate via wifi. (But thats when wifi is everywhere)

I give the invention of these three things, two years to go from luxury to necessity.


I think I have thought to myself a total of three times that I would like to start cooking more.
Each time I think that I try to cook and end up mildly disappointed. Its not that my food is gross, but i will say that for all of that effort in buying ingredients and preparing and then cooking, the return is very meager indeed. Not to mention the clean up.
For me the real miracle is in food that you don't have to buy, or cook or clean up after. The food is always amazing and I'm always happy at the end. That's why I love america and why being a kid was so great.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

some thangs I didn't know

I didn't know A&E gave ex-tampa bay buccaneers wide-out and ESPN analyst, Keyshawn Johnson, his own interior design show. I watched it today and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

(they ended up not going with the wallpaper, much to keyshawn's dismay)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Did you know that kip takes pictures?

yeah, kip from napoleon dynamite. This is hilarious.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jupiter jack

Man sittin here watchin the tv and billy mays comes on sellin the Jupiter jack. Go to to see what it's about. He was definately at level ten the whole time. There was a role playing segment when he actually used the device. It was also at a level ten.

Going back to indiana

I always have a particular experience whenever I travel. I tend to become engaged with the pertinence of where I live which is Indiana and reflect on the places I've lived in the past. (I.e. Michigan, out west, down south) maybe I will one day live in the east although I do frequent the idea of becoming a fisherman in Mexico or a house painter in Spain. But I am a terrible fisherman and knowing my luck they are probably really into wallpaper in Spain. So when I do travel, which is not often, (I do not know if that is enough or not enough) but when I do I become caught up with the idea of going back to Indiana. You know the old Jackson 5 song. As I was driving north through indiana I took notice of a true Midwestern sunset. The plane farmland with dilapitated barns and hawks perched on highway signs. The sun, orange and round bursting through the straight and tall stick like trees in the distance. I saw with my eyes the establishing shot that gave meaning and metaphor to my trip back to my home state. And that old Jackson 5 song played on the radio. "Cause that's where my baby's from. "

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Hunger Artist

This is a copy of a post I shared on my new blog specifically about animation, and I just realized that I probably should have posted it here as well, just in case some of you out there didn't add miles of smiles to your bloglines or next preferred blog reader. tut tut. PS I'm back in America and I had a good time in japan.

I am very excited about this post. The reason for this is because I finally have jumped through the proper compression hoops to upload my and dear friend Erin Robinson's last video art piece from our video class last semester. We started the project around spring break time and finished in late april. We primarily worked in Adobe AfterEffects, and also used Flash, Photoshop for coloring, and Premiere Pro CS4 for the final edit. My good friend DM Stith provided the music from his album Heavy Ghost on the Asthmatic Kitty Record Label and he also portrayed the Hunger Artist himself. The story was inspired by Franz Kafka's short story "A Hunger Artist". Enjoy.

A Hunger Artist from Torlando Hakes on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sound of Silence

My heart was a little heavy today, and head like the milk weed. Sometimes I think God battles negativity with generosity. My own thoughts of negative things or situations are egged on by the world and yet I feel that the universe is for me.
The battle is fierce and the clouds of dankness are thick. But God won today.

I remember being very impressed by the music of Simon & Garfunkel when I first watched The Graduate but I never got into them beyond that until a few days ago when I heard an instrumental version of The Sound of Silence in a restaurant in Japan. The song could not escape my mind and my roommate who was visiting me would hum the harmony with me as i worked out the melody with my own hums. Then I looked up this old recording of a performance

When they talk about people not loving each other in the beginning, that's where my heart was feeling heavy. But as I said God won today. And the people of Japan have been very generous. We decided to go to Dominoes today. I used to work at Dominoes and I can tell you that in America Dominoes is not a group that is happy to serve anyone. But these workers were legitimately happy to serve us pizza. They were so moved by the spirit of service that they gave all of us Dominoes soup bowls that I didn't know existed.

Unfortunately their generosity was lost on this ol' poopy pants pupil. But the universe did not give up on me. As I became progressively more self-aggravating as the night went on, I felt that the only remedy would be some good old fashion mac donald's french fries. And so I walked all the way down there to find out they were already closed. So I figured I'd go down to the Lawson Station and pick something up, which I did. But I really wanted meat. And Yoshinoya was close, and open. So I went.
Upon ordering and trying my best to describe that I wanted no onion I engaged in conversation with a young Japanese man. His English was about as good as my Japanese so we immediately had something in common. He asked me how I was, I asked him how he was. And that was about the gist of it. So here is where the sound of silence and the universe come together to win tonight. The song talks of people who are talking without speaking and hearing without listening. If I could have said more in his language or if he knew more of mine, I would have talked to him and he would have heard me. But instead I think he listened to me and I spoke to him without him hearing anything or me talking at all. And he bought my meal. I understood that even though we were strangers, I was a guest in his country and we were brought together for a purpose.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Five Crowns

My family is pretty musical. My moms dad had a group called Hot Howey and the Hot lips back in his heyday and he played the saxophone for them. And my Dad was a Michael jackson impersonator in College and then went on to produce an album in the mid-90's. And I was always told that his dad, my grandpa was in an old chicago doowhop group called The Five Crowns. We just found a track on Youtubes. All Hail Youtubes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Miles of Smiles

Hi everyone, I've decided to start a new blog. One a little more geared toward art and comics and whatnot. We'll see how diligent I am with it. I'm making it under the pretense that it will be a place where people can see my stuff when they ask as opposed to me subjecting my artwork upon the few readers of Torlando Today. I'll
still do Torlando Today, but it will prolly be my usual complaints about the Bannekids and other poopery nonsense. and the link is

And for some more japan you can of course go to my flickr But I will give you a preview.
These photos were taken in Kyoto. We saw a lot of shrines and temples on this trip. But a couple of impressive things here were the massive coy. I've never seen a group of fish this large in an outdoor pond before. They were beautiful. My professor is chinese and he told me of the old fable about how if a coy swims up a waterfall it turns into a dragon and that's like getting your big break in life. I don't know about the getting a break in life thing but I just might believe these things can turn into dragons. Preferably ones that breathe snakes who in turn breathe killer bees. Its a trifecta.

We also went to the ocean on this trip to see the two rocks that were tide together with rope? I got some good pics and since I'm sort of into frogs like weird white women are, I decided to show this funny statue, which I'm sure has some sort of religious meaning.

This was a really neat shrine. Solid Gold.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just a few photos today

this is the welcome sign for us students to the photography and film school here in osaka. I believe it is a college but it behaves more like a high school with classrooms and lockers and a prinicple. the principle really likes how fat my belly is.

here is a little good luck shrine where you ring a huge bell, bow twice, clap twice, pray, then bow again and make a prayer. The principle of the photograph school said I midth nee to pray for a girlfriend. I sort of agree.

here we are at a sushi bar on a conveyor belt. I had a lot of high price fish.
ok bye

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Made in Japan

Today I arrived in Japan. Its my first time out of the country and I'm sort of like, ok this is neat. Everyone has been pretty nice so far. We went down town and saw some of the city. There were some pretty hip lookin dudes with GoKu hair. I didn't know it could do that in real life.
I also figured out how to bypass jet lag, that's by sleeping/being awake during the time your destination is while you're on the plane and using one of those neck pillows that look like seat cushions for public restrooms. Subsequently you can use those pillows in the airplane lavatory to ease your situation during "mobile relief". Being in this foreign land makes me want to pick up some of that foreign language (if you know what I mean)(chances are you do because I'm speaking english and most of my readers understand english)(perhaps a hidden metaphor would have sprung if I used another language like spanish, ¿me entiendes?¿eh? ¿eh?) So yeah, I'm bringing out some of my old missionary language learning techniques so I can impress my friends with about 20 or less japanese words.
ja mata

Friday, May 22, 2009


I'm getting ready to leave for japan this fine morning and as i sat down to eat my rich & creamy edy's Grand ice cream for breakfast, I read a really good webcomic. it has been really hard so far in the web comic sphere to find things that are truly beautiful. And Manmachine is really beautiful. You may want to check it out.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So the other night, there was a church dance. And you should know that church dances are very removed from normal college clubbing atmospheres. We have a book of conduct that says dance rooms should be well lit inviting the presence of the holy ghost. Because as it turns out he's afraid of the dark. this little light of mine is nothing more than a mickey mouse night light. I've had it since I was five. And the dancing at these dances is partially rhythmic partially swing with the understanding that both terms are relative. So I went to this dance and I was not excited to go. I was a camp counselor for a few summers and I figured I'd see some of my kids that had turned 18 recently. I was right. And I felt obligated to ask them to dance, that inward feeling that tugs at my ego. I was a very cool counselor. It also just so happens that I am on the committee that organized this particular dance. I'm a very person and I don't really have time to help as much as I should, between school, a job, private business and My time is stretched thin. And I'm not sure but I think it was my responsibility to find a dj, being the most sensibly urban of the group. But I just didn't have the time you know? So I told them I know someone, he's really cool, very fashionable, great taste...His name is Mac...He's an mp3j he's got a great interface. Mac wasn't available so they ended up going with some geek named Dell. so I get to the party, its just as I expected, and I didn't want to dance. they had lighting and streamers and they forgot about decorating so half hour before it started we just grabbed all of the holiday decorations we could find and figured we'd have a multi-holiday theme, you know? Why spread out the holidays when we can just cram 'em in before easter. The decorations were a smash! I saw Father Christmas and the Great Pumpkin forming a limbo line. The thanksgiving turkey started laying eggs and the easter bunny got jealous. John Smith left Pocahontas for one of the Angels Heard on High. All was going well until Dell started to fatigue. He became an emotional wreck when he started playing Disturbia after playing a Chris Brown song, started to skip and we found ourselves without music at a dance. Now I do not DJ. It is not my thing. Somethings are, some are not. I don't do dances and especially not church dances, my tastes...are to worldly. But alas I was the one with the ipod in my pocket, which is funny because I almost left my house with out it but something told me to go back and get it, I think it was the mickey mouse night light. And so I plugged into the sound system and started playing Prince, it was off of his songs formally known as hits record. I had it. 1999 is a little ironic ten and twenty years later. Its like reading 1984 or watching Demolition Man with sylvester stallon. I was very worried about censorship. I kept screening the songs for curse words before I played them. I started to run out of clean wholesome dance music toward the end of the I began to frantically download pirated clean versions of songs formally know as hits.
so thats my perpetual lesson in reading the fine print before you volunteer to do anything.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Announcement Doodles

this sunday's doodle was inspired by one of my top five favorite tv shows, Friday Night Lights. I won't say how the season ended or anything but you could say that this picture is a clue. I will say that I was completely satisfied with the season as a whole, I think there was a certain amount of closure that I needed and a good amount of cliff hanging.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Announcement Doodles

And now for a new segment we like to call "Announcement Doodles". I've got a mind deficiency, at least I think it is, where when there is one thing that needs my attention, I have a hard time focusing on it unless there is something else competing for that attention. So at church when I as a nice little mormon boy need to be paying attention to the talks, I draw. I've decided that it might be fun to display the drawings on my blog. So here is drawing one.

for the younger kids in the audience it's a scene from the lourne michaels produced feature length film, "the coneheads"

Monday, March 16, 2009

Got to love black youth

this would be a bannekid, but i don't know if they could figure that one out on their own.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

James update

Well today James had his acting debut premiere in my video art class as the farm mouse who moved to Kalamazoo. It got raive reviews and apparently it all went to the mouse's head. James figured out how to escape from his cage. I found him when I got home munchin on a pile of edamame pods. Bad mouse! Bad bad mouse!! Luckily he is too scared to jump off of our octagonal coffee table or else he might have pulled off the "mouse-shank redemption" of a life time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mix and Pokemon/Ben-10

The other night at work I was asked by a kid if I could let him pick up something from his house as we dropped off his little sister on the bus run and then go back to banneker. I reluctantly did so. The boy's name is Stewart and Will Rose says he looks like a character from duckman. I think Ajax is who he's talking about but we were both a little foggy on what Ajax really looked like since we were both kids when that show was popular.

So Stewart comes out with a box that once held printer paper with a drawing taped to the cover. We get back to the banneker center and he says, "Torlando will you play my game that I made up with me?" I said, "of course!" only as a good after school facilitator should. And we proceeded to play the second most weird game I've ever played in my life. The first place belonging to a Ouija board game I played in the eight grade with my friend Adam when we met a 19th century lady spirit from the Orient that told us the key to life was happiness. Stewart's game was a close second though, no, I am officially declaring Stewart's game, Mix and Pokemon/Ben-10 as the weirdest game I've ever played.

Here's how to play: Each player selects which character he/she wants to be. You can be the evil villain Mix, who is a gangster with a blue hat, a gun in one hand and an axe in the other and a fancy "S" on his shirt. (You know, the kind every fourth grader learned how to draw with the six vertical lines connected by diagonal lines) Your other option is Ben-10. Then you select which weapons you want to use and how many of each you want. Stewart then draws them on a stickie note. He asked me first so I said, I'll be Mix and I want a Gun with 100 rounds, I want an axe, and I want ten hand grenades. Then it was his turn. He chose Ben-10 and wanted 100 gnome warps, a gnome warp escape grappling hook and three pokemon. I said "what's a gnome warp?" He said,
"a portal that when you drop in it, you can't get out and you'll be stuck forever." I replied, "how can you get out?" He said, "with the escape grappling hook." And so I bought one of those, and added to my purchase the "perpetual prison" (That was my idea). Then he drew on my stickie note a prison that was built one thousand feet in the air. I said, "perfect, I'll take 100 of them." Then he got a bazooka to blow his self out and a flying alien to get safely down.
There are three dice to role, this determines how many spaces you move, once you've landed on a space you do what it says and then draw a card to see how many more spaces you move. He landed on the battle space that meant we had go to battle. He threw me in the gnome warp, I grappling hooked out of there and shot him three times. He sook his pokemon on me and then I hit him with five grenades and he died and had to go back to start. At banneker we don't let the kids win, its sort of our thing. Then I landed on "buy a car" and because I had 1000 gold pieces saved up I bought a blue mustang hot wheel. And that replaced the eraser head that was my token. It was a grueling match, many battles and blood loss, I got married, bought more cars, I even got some pokemon of my own, including Raichu, some weird Picachu morph. In the end I bought all of Stuarts cars and caused him to go bankrupt. It would have been a done deal but the other staff members called for "snack time" and we ran down to eat our dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.

The end.

coming soon, pictures commemorating this epically weird game!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Much to my roommates' future surprise and potential discomfort, on saturday, I bought a pet mouse. I know what you are thinking, "aren't you Torlando Hakes, Hater of all animals and fearer of pet shops?" Yes, yes I am the same man. But allow me to explain.

Last thursday I completed a project and had the critique, it all went well. As the class period was coming to a close I asked my teacher what the next assignment would be, to which he replied that it was open ended. I found myself clueless as to what to do next. Most of my projects had just fallen together or I had the idea a couple of months in advanced. Well I was puzzled, what new art project could I possibly conjure up now? I thought. Then I remembered a children's story my mom came up with and asked me to illustrate and I thought, what if I did a video project along those lines and since the story involves a mouse, what if I had a real mouse.
The presented a problem. One, I don't want any pet, I hate pets, right? Two getting a mouse would mean that I would have to go to a pet store. "NO!!" I exclaimed, "Not a pet shop!" When I was in middle school I developed an intense fear of pet shops. My friend angelo kim and his sister "and-law" took me to a small pet shop in my home town of Kalamazoo. The owner of the place thought it would be fitting to have various reptiles and birds out of their cage and lounging around the store. I became frightened that these critters were going to stage an attack opening the rat and other rodent cages letting them run amok in the store crawling up my pant legs and birds flying in my hair flapping their wings ferociously onto my forehead. I had to get out of there.
This experience and others led me to shun pet stores from my life.
So mustering up as much vim and vigor as I could I entered the conveniently located petco and bought my mouse. Nobody in the store was particularly helpful which prolonged the experience, leaving me to search for mouse necessities on my own. I found a ball, and a watering apparatus and bedding. I found the cramped quarters of the mouse, rat and gerbil den, gross. And I eventually found James. My mouse.
I first thought to myself that as soon as I was done with the project that I would just let him go into the wild, but then I watched doctor dolittle 2 and thought maybe thats not such a good idea. Then I thought perhaps I could give him to my sister for her thirteenth birthday, then I realized she's not a six year old. Hmmm, Banneker maybe? I don't know if that'll fly.
When I took James home and prepared his cage, I had a little conversation with him while he was in his ball. He's easy to talk to, and a good listener. Sometimes I wish people had such big ears so they could listen like James.
There is also a lot in a name. Calling him James is the best decision I'm made in recent history. My first pet ever was a rodent. It was a guinea pig named Jesse. At that time, Jessica was my favorite name, and my family has a thing with names ending with the long "e" sound. For example my mom and aunts, tammy tracy and terri. And when I was a kid, Tory. Now-o-days my favorite name is James, a name I used to not like because its hard to make it possessive or plural, but now I just love that name.
So yeah, I've got a pet mouse, I guess this only adds to my life long feud with cats.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Catchin up w/ SNL

So its been a while since i've caught up with Saturday Night Live and today I found this little gem from Keenan on James Harrison the Line Backer for the Steelers that ran back a 100 yard interception and went on oxygen immediately after scoring because he was so out of breath. Enjoy.

I think he's still out of breath. I've never seen a man stay winning and losing at the same time before.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

America let me tell you something.

America. Yesturday I watched bernie mac show and realized that he did what could be qualified as the first vlog of scripted sitcom history. So now in memory of funny man bernie mac I will be referring to my audience as "America" so I hope you really are American.
America we have a serious problem. Now I realize that my last post was doom and gloom dreams not commin true and whatnot I stand by that. dreams don't come true, plans do and my plans don't match my night time dreams America! My problems today exist in reality or rather perceived reality. I just realized that I spent the weekend romances watching startrek next generation with my roommate dixon. What's happening to me America? Have I lost my mojizzle? Tell me America about your mojoless weekend if you had one. If you indeed had a date then in the censored words many a movie watched on network tv, buzz off.

I woke up a little saddened by my dream this morning.

I have a couple prefaces to this entry to point out ironic findings and also to preserve abiguity.
Preface 1: I'm a contractor listed on angie's list so of course I get spammed and the latest email was valentimes themed. It said "mending a broken heart?" which is ironic because it was an add to find a good cardiologist which I don't need nor do I have a broken heart in the traditional sense of the idiom. None the less I was in fact nearly heart broken because of this dream, and the timing of this spam, I felt, was apt.
Preface 2 (to preserve ambiguity): I am a very visual person. My memory works like watching a video. I can see events very clearly in my mind, it's not photographic though because I can't sit down and memorize a book, it's filmographic and plays like a video. So my dreams are extremely vivid and I almost always remember them and everyone I've met in my life shows up in them. Last night my high school quarterback was there with a few people I met at college in class a couple of semesters ago and they knew each other, so there you go.
Also last night another friend showed up in my dream. This was the second time she's showed up in my dreams (don't worry it was all clean). What's wierd is the first time she showed up in my dream I hadn't met her in real life yet but it was her and this time our meeting carried the complications of our real life relationship. As we were walking my high school quarterback shot me a text and then I looked back and was holding hands with my friend. Then I woke up. I was saddened by two reminders. One was that I fooled myself into thinking that I'm saddened about not being in a relationship right now and the other is the sad realization that dreams do not come true.
Postface (do those exist?): I'm just friends with this girl and don't have intentions of trying to pursue anything if thats what you're thinking, dreams mess with your subconscious more than your subconscious messing with your dreams in my opinion, but if you are reading this and you think its you, it probly isn't. I would have tagged you duh. Besides I had over seven different high school quarterbacks, it could have been any of them and how many friends that are girls do I have? Miles! (thats the spanish word for thousands, not my little brother, he spells it with a "y"). I have a mercucio view of dreams, you know queen Moab.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DC Vlog

Inauguration Trip 2009 from Torlando Hakes on Vimeo.


I am really feeling burnt out today. I have a piece I've working on for the digital art show for probably the last six months and the art is done but I cannot get the presentation to work and it is frustrating the hell out of me... Now there is an interesting adage. Is the hell really being frustrated out of me? Or has it caused me to swear more than ralphie's dad from Christmas story, joe pechi in home alone and ol' semitti sam combined? I had to leave. I went for a walk. It was nice, it was a warm evening, got me out of my room away from my computer. But I still feel like I'm not refreshed and I really need a refresher. Anyway you can check on my progress at on a good day.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's snowing upwards

It's snowing upwards
I'm not sure what to think of that
It's slow and hardly blustery
And demands no fear
It's light and uplifting
I find that interesting
Because the walk to school
Clashes with that idea.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The metro

I am from a small town and I have never ridden on a metro system without my uncle mike. This is a little scary. I would take out my video camera but I am scared like goin to Woodward.
I just got done however with a service project in the ghetto. Prolly worse than any area in my mission and we went door knocking giving out energy lightbulbs. I went with two strangers named iayelet and john. They were from the Maryland side of DC. They sort of reminded me of my aunt tammy's crowd but a little less critical of people well actually a lot less critical. I was glad I went with them because they had what they called the robot which was a tomtom gps and they guided me to the metro and told me how to use it. They also wished me luck with my art.

DC to it's fullest.

Throughout all of the activities there was so much to do I hardly had time to blog about it. But allow me to give a massive overview of the trip after the service project.

When I got into the mall area my first initiative was to visit as many museums as possible but everything in the museums I visited was so overwhelmingly amaizing that I took forever to go through the ones I went to.

I started with the freer gallery of art. I believe the features artists name was john mcneil whistler. There was something about the pallet of colors he used that really blew me away. It was so soft and desaturated in a way that extended the depth of plain out to the hemisphere. The rest of the gallery was filled with ancient Asian art. From sculptures to ink paintings and a 54 foot scroll of a hand painted panned landscape. I felt overwhelmed to be around such an amaizing history of art and such brillance in execution.

After that I went to the hirsshorne gallery of contemporary art and got a glimps of yoko Ono's wish tree. There were some really awesome inkjet prints and video installations and sculptures. I like how the new stuff requires a mastery of multiple mediums. The new scultper must paint and the painter must sculpt and the video artist has to do everything.

From there I caught up with my new bff celeste. We met on the bus ride there. And in the immortal words of michaelangelo in reference to April o'neil "I think I'm in luuuv!"
We briefly went to the African art museum. I feel about those sculptures the same way I feel about spike lee joints. (that I can stop pretending to like them since racism is over)
After that we tried to go to the haulocost museum but we were too late it was closed. So we decided to go eat. Now for some reason there are no visible eateries in the Washington DC most visited tourist attraction so we decided to take the metro rail towards where my good friends James and melinda Baird live. The whole time I told celeste that I was going to visit friends and that's all so after dinner when James came to pick us up she got scared away by his excedingly great age and hopped back on the metro to visit some of her own friends. At James and Lindy's we played a game and talked and then I had to fast track it back to the hotel for an interview with wtiu.

The interview went well. I thought that I rambled a little bit and I know I was specifically trying not to but overall it went well. So well that they decided to follow me around on inaugoration day.

Inaugoration day

We left for the inaugoration at 6:45 in the morning. We took our charter bus to the rfk stadium and then took a shuttle to the city. From there we were off and rollin like a hurd of turtles. It was celeste and I with the wtiu crew bill, shameka and chad. Bill reminded me of a slightly more a.d.d. 46 year old al doan. At least we sort of clicked in a similar way, which is sort of weird because he's actually four years older than both of my parents and has an hijo that is three years older than me and yet we were instant friends. Shameka was the reporter and was so jovial and out going that she could talk to absolutely anyone. She was most comfortable with talking to every police officer she could find and asking directions. Chad was also cool. He sounded exactly like David nosco but different personality. He was being mentored by bill.

The crowd was obese. There really were two million people there. It was so immense that tammy got lost, our group got seperated and by miracle we found Richard and his family. We were supposed to meet them by the lincoln memorial building but I went to the Jefferson by mistake. So we back pedalled to the Washington monument. We saw canadians for Obama, jamaicans for Obama, kenyans doing Obama dances, whtie people in shorts and bare foot. And we saw every black woman over 50 in their Sunday best fur coat. Bill even let me use his $60,000 hd camera that records on blueray disc and film some of the people. What?!?
It was about 11:30 at that time and almost ready for the main event. We decided that the WWII monument had the most visible and audible jumbotrons so that's where we went.
Obama nailed it. I was beginning to miss those inspiring speaches from the campaign days. And whether you were there or at home I doubt you had a dry eye. This is definately an "I remember where I was when..." moment.

After the speech we got caught up with shameka and celeste and tried to make our way over to the haulicost museum figuring that we could look around there while the crowd dispersed. Well we were wrong. It took almost an hour just to get there by foot and we were only a block and a half away. As were walking through the crowd celeste got a little ahead and I tried to catch up and this girl about eleven or twelve said "let him through he needs to get to his fiancé!" not girlfriend not wife not even friend but fiancé. (can you tell I'm saying fiancé in the fancy smarmy voice?)

So we got to the museum but it was closed again. So then we said well, we're hungry, let's go get something to eat. Yeah. Right. Trying to get out of there was like waiting for FEMA. There were people all over the streets in the museums on the floor. Kids were crying we were all cold couldn't find any thing to eat and they shut down all but one station of the metro. And I mentioned it before but tammy was still lost. (tammy's a nine year old girl that came with her grandpa) By this time shameka was not doin so hot. She was cold hungry and had to pee and thanks to the figures of jenna beasley there was one bathroom to every 6000 people. So we debated on wait til 6 for the shuttle to take us to our bus or wait in line for the metro. We found a fast moving line for the metro so we took it. There was finally light at the end of the tunnel. We met more canadians for Obama, a couple that said that this trip will be the one they tells their kids about. How interesting that people in other countries are so invested in our government. How was it that our president came to be the most powerful man in the world? How was it that I was born an American?

We finished the day off with a shuttle ride with mohammad the craziest morrocan I've ever met. Dude just yells about everything. And went to dinner with celeste and the wtiu crew. No cameras just friends.

Rest stop in illidelphia

I am at a rest stop in phillidelphia aka illidelphia. Its 4:23 am. This is a place I think I would like to visit sometime and meet danny devito. I am in the most gross bathroom only being comforted by a non bumpy toilet and also the song jenny I got your number. Who can forget the number to that girl, right? 8675309ieieion.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama time

At work a sorority approached our program with an opportunity for the kids to enter in an essay contest to go to Washington DC during the inaugoration. About six kids are going to come. I am on the bus waiting to leave. I'll be blogging and eventually vloging the whole trip. I'll also be twittering snippets of fun as well.

I'd like to take a moment as well to speak about my current thoughts and impressions about this historic time.

I followed very closely the election not only because of the historic meaning it held with women, African American, and Mormon canidates running but also because of the perilous economic situation surrounding our country. Becoming a fully self supported adult in this time is more than scary and doubtful. And I along with many Americans have felt frustration mixed with fear and also compassion for our nation. And we all feel invigorated with hope for our own recovery. And yet with this hope has lingered doubt with regaurd to the currant administration. The beautiful thing is that this is all about to change and we feel it is because of president elect Barack Obama.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Somebody answer this for me.

Why did the homeless guy with severe turrets decide that outside our house would be the perfect place to spend the night? It would be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Mom and Me

When I was a goodly four year old back in 1989 my mom and I finally broke out on our own as a single mother and child. We moved to the west side of Kalamazoo in these apartments that everyone just called "Village". I do have strong memories of times before we moved in there but my most vivid memories definitely start around this time. I helped my mom pick out the only car she ever owned independently of any other person. It was a red Geo Prism that topped out at 85 mph. (In '97 we tried to sell it in garage sale and the only offer we got was for 25 dollars.) Her boyfriend at the time helped her to install a tape player late in the winter of '89-'90. That summer I remember riding with her in the car with the windows down going to labamba to get burritos the size of my head and then to the tanning salon where I would flirt with the overly tan and blond employees. One named Tammy gave me a birthday present that year, it was a toy policeman set, with gun, cuffs and a badge. The number one jam that I always wanted to listen to that summer came from a Reggae singer named Shelly Thunder. If you asked me who my favorite singer was that summer I most likely would have said her (or Bonny Rait, we listened to a lot of her as well). And so for your listening and viewing enjoyment, here is Break Up by Shelly Thunder:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Eating like batchelor

Some people don't know this but the dude I call dad is really my step dad and I remember when my parents first got married he still ate like a batchelor but just had my mom make everything. The two meals that he ate the most were a bowl of Raman crushed into soup with ritz crackers and strips of fried balogna and the other meal was two hotdogs sliced the long way, lying side by side on a plate with a slice of cheese melted on top. Then he'd squirt ketchup and mustard on it, no bun. I tried it a couple times, not my thing. I only thought of that because my parents stopped eating meat recently. They still eat fish though. They say it's for health but all the fish they eat is fried.
The end.