Jake LaCaze

Falling Back In Love With The Library

Join me in my garage as I romanticize the library.

I’m a simple man. I see that my library has Joan Didion’s latest book with no holds, and I click to check it out.

It’s unfortunate Washington Football Team couldn’t trademark its name, because I actually like the name. It’s refreshingly simple. The biggest problem is that when it’s abbreviated to WFT, it’s nearly impossible not to see WTF.

Today’s entry of The Daily Stoic

Hope is not a strategy!

I scoffed when I first heard people singing the praises of the disposable Pilot Varsity fountain pen.

I picked one up yesterday.

Homeboy ain’t scoffin’ no more.

I just discovered that I can check out The Economist via my local library on Libby.

What a time to be alive!

I just brewed 8 cups of hot water because I forgot to grind and include the coffee beans.

That’s how my morning’s going.

I’m definitely interested in this place’s story.

I’m always interested in the stories of abandoned places like this.

It’s been a while since I’ve ordered a meal that intimidated me.

Bobby Gillespie is releasing a memoir? That’s a definite buy for me.

Screamadelica and XTRMNTR were transformative albums for me. And the dude had a hand in Psychocandy.

Looking for My Orange

These days if I’m lucky enough to find something that gets me out of a funk, I refer to that something as my “orange”.

A couple years ago I was in the thick of a depressive episode with no obvious way out. The numbness had persisted for weeks, maybe even a couple months at this point. One day, I went into the kitchen in search of a snack. For once, I denied my sweet tooth–maybe I had no artificial sugars stocked–and opted for the healthier option in the form of an orange. I wasn’t expecting any miracles as I peeled the fruit, but when I bit into that first slice and the citrus hit my tongue, my eyes opened wider. My spirits lifted. My mood recovered.

Why was the orange so effective in that moment? Was I on the verge of scurvy? Unfortunately, the orange has proven not to be a reliable cure for my funks. Believe me, I tried again for my first few subsequent episodes. No dice.

Now, when I’ve been in a lull for a while, I alter my routine in search of something to break the cycle. Maybe I try going to sleep early one night. Maybe I go for more walks. Or maybe I try writing my way to a better place, as I am doing in this post.

When my wife notices these changes in behavior, she’ll ask if I’m looking for my orange. I’ll confirm and she’ll usually give me a look of sympathy and a hug and then release me to continue my search. How lucky I am to be with someone who gets me.

I’m writing about this now because yet again I am looking for my orange. Maybe I’ll find my orange in the form of the disposable Zebra fountain pen I bought last night and then used for the handwritten version of this post. Maybe I’ll find it in next week’s out-of-state vacation. Or maybe I should try a damn orange again. It’s a low risk/high reward situation, so I have little to lose.

Today I used a ride share for the first time since the pandemic. Every little step toward a new normal feels weird in the moment.

Social media has not corrupted us, it’s merely revealed who we always were.

Social Media Isn’t the Problem… We Are by Mark Manson

It figures that I’d learn about the end of Tomoe River paper shortly after falling in love with it. I’m always late to the party.

Recently I wondered if I was done with sports. Then I started playing NCAA Football 13 again. Now most of my YouTube time is spent watching coaches break down the air raid offense so that I can turn LA Tech into the dynasty it deserves.

Also, I’m loving me some 4-2-5 defense.

A Writerly Identity Crisis

Join me in the Garage Cafe, where I share a writerly problem that has crept back into my thoughts.

I was sitting in the Garage Cafe, listening to some tunes on my iPad, when my neighbor decided to mow his back yard. I beamed my displeasure over the fence, in his direction, and he stopped and went back inside. I might have telepathy, y’all.


I can handle if someone dislikes my writing, but there are two criticisms I try to avoid:

  1. Jake’s writing wasn’t clear; or
  2. Man, Jake just went on and on and on and on and on.

That said, I’ve been trying to let loose with my stories to give them room to grow. This morning, I finished what may be the longest story I’ve ever written, and I can’t help asking myself how the hell it got out of control.

I’m no marketing expert–just a lowly marketing major–but “10% Hawaiian” doesn’t feel bragworthy to me.

In the latest issue of Emergency Coffee, we’re breaking grammar rules, giving a shoutout to Bluey, and talking about persuasion in writing.

Earlier today I finished re-reading Stephen King’s On Writing, and while I doubt King cares one bit about my opinion, I owe him an apology. I’ve criticized On Writing as being heavy on memoir and light on writing tips, but I now realize how wrong I was.