So, there's this 19-year-old guy who says he's spending an entire year at Disney World: 24 hours a day for 12 months, nothing but Disney, Disney, Disney. He's eating there, sleeping there, buying Disney crap there in an attempt to create the world's largest collection of Disney crap. One day a week he flies home for a break, the next it's right back to the Disney grind.
He calls himself Jupelo, and says that he'll spend $100,000 on this year-long retreat from reality. And you can watch (almost) every grueling second of it via his website, www.jupelo19.com/index2.html. If you like shots of the backs of people's heads while they stand in line, or interior shots of restaurants, or exterior shots of hotels, or shots of bushes, this is this site for you. It's oddly addictive to click and click and click through the vast collection of unremarkable photos, all taken on Disney property. His daily diary is entertaining too; as of this writing, he's on day 24 and starting to get overwhelmed. By day 83, he'll probably be suicidal.
But the best part of the site is the mail section. A lot of people think he's crazy and/or a fool, but the majority are cheering him on. And that's just scary.
Where does a 19-year-old get 100 large to throw at something like this? By starting and running three businesses at the age of 15, says Jupelo. Why does a 19-year-old throw 100 large at something like this instead of doing something more age-appropriate, like bumming around the Continent hitting on Eurotrash girls? Because starting those businesses at such a young age means our hero is burned out and having a midlife crisis. At 19.
Of course, we have no way of knowing that Jupelo is real. Not to be cynical or anything, but the only proof the guy exists is his website, and Mom told us not to believe everything we see on the web, especially the porn stuff. We e-mailed Jupelo to see if we could meet and hang out with him. He said he was open to the idea, but wanted to wait a bit to make sure Disney didn't kick him out first.
If the site's a fake, it's a good one. If it's real, we have confirmation that indeed it does take all kinds.
What exactly does the Orange County Sheriff's Office have against strip clubs?
Last week, Happytown™ reported allegations that sheriff's deputies evacuated Cleo's on Orange Blossom Trail with the threat of a bomb scare, but didn't do any investigating to see if there was a bomb.
Now comes word that on Jan. 27, Orange County deputies conducted a prostitution sting on Cleo's property. Steve Mason, Cleo's attorney, wrote a letter complaining about it to sheriff Kevin Beary. "Your office has repeatedly conducted prostitution decoy/sting operations on and adjacent to Cleo's property," Mason wrote. "The result is obvious, same has intimidated and deterred patronage and has financially injured the business. … These sting operations have been going on for some time and Cleo's has documented same in a variety of ways, including note-taking. Additionally, on one occasion attorney Richard Wilson, who also represents Cleo's, was required to drive to Cleo's and order the deputies from the property."
For the second week in a row we contacted the sheriff's office for a comment, and for the second week in a row they blew us off. These are your elected officials at work.
The forces that brought you 'N Sync and Britney Spears (Johnny Wright and his baseball cap) and the forces that bring you fire and brimstone (Jesus, Matthew Crouch of Gener8Xion Entertainment, Trinity Broadcasting Network) have collided to present a Christian take on American Idol, painfully titled Gifted. The casting inquisition rolled through Orlando last weekend, populating FaithWorld (really) with warbling hopefuls she-banging their way through a cappella renditions of "Amazing Grace" and "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." According to Steve Bloem, one of the show's producers, no tears were shed.
"When I watch Idol, it's very cutthroat," he told us. "Before these young people go in to sing, they're all huddled around each other, some having a word of prayer. Afterwards, they give each other hugs." Aww.
Those lucky enough to be selected from the nationwide search will be shipped out to Los Angeles for a final round to be broadcast on TBN in late March, hosted by God-fearing Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. The winner will be managed by Wright and booked by AEG, plus they'll get a major label release to rival Amy Grant's Unguarded.
If you missed this round, the tryouts return to Tampa Feb. 11 (check the website, www.giftedtalentsearch.com). And if you don't care? You're going to hell.
The skies were blue Jan. 25 in front of the CNL building at the corner of Orange Avenue and Anderson Street as the Orlando Performing Arts Center folks announced their choice of architects to build this thing respectively, Barton Myers Associates from Los Angeles and Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects from New York City. The presentation translated thusly: The bigwigs are on board so fear not, even if the money part of the deal is still an open question.
Barton Myers designed the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J., a model for OPAC from the beginning, as well as the Cerritos Center for Performing Arts in Cerritos, Calif. EE&K were the master planners for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the New Brunswick Cultural Center in New Brunswick, N.J. OPAC must present a "conceptual plan" (not necessarily a feasible one) to city and county officials by March.
In a press release announcing the architect decisions, a section titled "OPAC in the News" referenced reports from Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal as well as WFTV-Channel 9. We guess they don't like what we've been reporting: the truth.
This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Billy Manes, Lindy T. Shepherd and Bob Whitbyhappytown@orlandoweekly.com