"The Fear Of Weeding Out" by Ross Farrar

I'd met Ross over a decade ago.  We were both from the San Francisco Bay Area.  He in the far North Bay, and I out East. 

At the time he had started singing for what I considered a half joke band called Hammertime.  They had an energy that was pretty palpable.  It was hard to deny the fact that Ross exuded something that hardcore punk kids could latch onto. 

Soon after he and a few other of my buddies started the Hardcore/Punk/Indie powerhouse band Ceremony.  They were incredible, and they haven't slowed since their inception.  They're incredible, and if you're reading this, you probably know or have known someone in the band of heard of the band.  If you haven't, do yourself a favor get to YouTube.

Although our lives have diverged quite over the last ten or so years, I've tried to keep an eye on what Ross, and Anthony from Ceremony have been doing on the side.  Ross recently has taken to studying literature, which I thought was just incredible and I secretly really wanted to start reading his work.  

Anthony started a new small run press company called First Letter Press.  The first two items published were works by Anthony and Ross respectively.  I bought both of the books because I had toyed with the idea of writing more, and doing something like this for myself and loved the concept completely. 

Both written pieces are incredible, and for many different reasons, but most specifically.  They both remind me of my old friends Anthony and Ross.  

I specifically want to point you towards the story called "Fear Of Weeding Out." by Ross Farrar. 
If only so you can enjoy an extremely well crafted retrospective on the idea of missing out on something.  Not just a night out with your friends, or an excellent outdoor desert music festival, but the concept of actually mis-understanding someone, something or some place.  

Although I'd beg to argue with Ross that maybe missing things is ok, because a person's unique interpretation of reality is exactly what makes us human.  The task for me personally is that I'd like to understand my interpretation of reality, and then try my best to understand other's perception's of reality.  Thus trying to comprehend reality from all view points.  Yes, this is exhausting, but to be completely honest.  I've tried to do this since I was very young.  I think that's why in college I gravitated towards sociological courses, and have found myself interested in non-fictional story telling and filmmaking.  These things fall right in line with my desire to want to hear an argument, hear a counter argument.  Hear a response to counter-arguments and then finally come to my own opinion on the subject.

So I don't necessarily worry about missing out, or weeding out because I know that we are all on different path's with different perceptions of reality.  I just try to live the best I can in that day.  Whether it be great, good, bad or terrible.   Or, maybe I missed the point entirely.   Either way, go and read Ross and Anthony's work and form your own opinion on it.

Advice

Advice

This letter came across my feed again this morning.  I know that I've read it before and I'm sure that all of you have read it as well.  However, it's yet again a friendly reminder and/or confirmation of how your path is taking shape.  At some point I'll record some audio clips of this letter and post here so that I can have them to play and replay in the car to remind myself that accidentally already live my life the way that this author suggests.   Go get to it.

Read Below:

Saint Frank Coffee Roasters

I can’t remember where we were sitting, but from over my tiny cappuccino this giant “F” caught my eye.  On closer inspection I realized it was by a brand I’d heard of before called St. Frank.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this company is owned or run by someone I know personally, though honestly I’m not quite sure anymore.

The packaging is “Wow” and jumps off the shelf.  I was excited to brew a batch of St. Frank out of San Francisco at home.

A few things to note about the roast as realized from the label on the front.  This roast was called the “Las Nubes” from Honduras.  Even more intimate information tells me that it was grown by Alexi Moreno in El Cedral, Santa Barbara Honduras.  How awesome is that?  It truly brings a face to the farmer that created the first thing you drink in the morning.

This roast is “YEOWZA”.  A very light roast that almost hits you like a ton of bricks.   Usually I’m slightly offended by flavor like this, but for some reason in St. Frank’s capacity, it was wonderful.  Sure it had me bouncing off the walls making my 3 year old say “whats up with papa?”  But he wasn’t complaining when I was ready to play with him all day.

This thing is great, and hopefully some day I’d like to enjoy St. Frank in it’s natural habitat.  The city by the bay.

Saint Frank Coffee
2340 Polk Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

The 2016 Holiday Greeting

IMG_8523 copy.jpg

I thought I'd do a little write up on my business Holiday Greeting card this year.  Otherwise, you know, all that work only gets seen by maybe forty people tops.  This is just another piece of creative that I made at the end of the year to say thank you to all of the client's I had the opportunity to work with over two thousand sixteen.

First off, a little business card pictured top.  Paired with a "thank you" note, a picture of some coffee.  I bag of Blue Bottle's Perfect Grind all placed into an envelope for delivery.

Excuse the wrinkled envelope.  My tiny boy Elliot got a hold of the card before I could take a picture of it.

Excuse the wrinkled envelope.  My tiny boy Elliot got a hold of the card before I could take a picture of it.

The Blue Bottle perfect grind packets have worked well for me as far as gifts go. They're small, easy to ship, taste great, and are the perfect compliment to my personality (love of coffee, and need for caffeine).  

 

Inside the "Thank You" note was a list of very confidential thank you letters, and personal messages.  However, there was also a link to a fun little film I made specifically for my 2016 clients.  

Now being about four months removed, may as well show it off.  It's a bit of a rendition of my "Coffee for the Creative" film, but with a  yearly twist.  I linked to an unlisted URL which is below as well as a short film of "thanks."

http://www.johneightclip.com/thanks2016

 


 

 

49th Parallel

I picked up this 49th Parallel “just add creme” blend during my staycation out in the central/eastern side of Los Angeles at a Coffee spot called “Go Gett’em Tiger”.

I’d seen this brand around from time to time.  They’re based out of the Great White North in Vancouver B.C.

This specific blend was roasted exclusively for Go Gett’em Tiger, and a spot in the Los Angeles Grand Central Market called G&B.   While I’ve never been a HUGE fan of G&B for a variety of reasons.  Brewing this blend at home yielded excellent results.

It was a calm light roast that didn’t offend, and worked well with cream and agave which is my go-to right now.  The price tag isn’t terrible, but it’s on the high end.

Tasted great!

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
2902 Main Street
Vancouver BC Canada V5T 3G3

Joes Cold Brew Coffee

Yesterday I was browsing the cold drink section at my local grocery store, just trying to peep on the cold brew scene, and this packaging caught my eye.  

Joe's Cold Brew Coffee.  I'd never had it.  Well designed, and a slightly gimmicky "flask" style bottle but I couldn't pass up giving it a try.

To my delight the brew was smooth, easy to drink and had an almost nutty flavor.  It was a little pricey for the amount of beverage.  You get more out of the grenade style bottles.  However, if you see it in your store.  It's worth giving it a try.  Especially because you get to keep the odd shaped bottle for future uses. 

https://www.facebook.com/joescoldbrew/
Pasadena, CA

 

Poetic Resolve

At the end of 2015 we got a message from our friend Jessica that she had made a resolution for two thousand and sixteen to learn more poetry.  Each month of two thousand and sixteen she would send us a postcard and on the back would be a poem that she had picked to learn that month.  

Pretty early on in this process we had made the decision that we would answer her with Gaelyn reading the poems she picked back to her and we would compile the films and create a place where Jessica's initial project and our answer could live together.  Below is the first poem that we received.  If you're still interested and want to see more, you can click the button below or the link here to see the rest of:

POETIC RESOLVE

 

Watch The Entire Series Here:

A Simple Story

“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.” -Kurt Vonnegut

This is a Simple Story about a friend of mine named Lorenzo Diggins.  Lorenzo is a creative individual with a unique style and an even better way of making you feel like you're important.  Like what you do is important.  Over the past couple of years I've spent some time getting to know Lorenzo, and we had this chance to shoot a short film on his process and his new venture called "Simple Things".  

Year In Review 2016

Dude,  What a year. 

I don't mind being cliché in saying that two thousand sixteen can get the hell out of here. 

That being said, we had as a family had quite a year.  What an amazing journey we are on, and I can't wait for two thousand seventeen and all that it'll bring with it.

After looking through all of our footage from this last year, I have already pinpointed a few resolutions I'd like to make for two thousand seventeen.  Here's to better times, greener pastures, and hopefully a million more adventures to come.

Bring it.

David Garza "Bunkhouse Session"

Awhile back I had the incredible opportunity to work with Jay Carroll on a few projects he had cooking when he moved down to Los Angeles.  This was one of those projects.  A short little musical piece by David Garza out at the Bunkhouse in Marfa Texas.  Beautiful imagery and beautiful music smashed together.  Hope you enjoy it.

Kilz Visionaries "Chip Gaines"

My family is definitely what one would call "big fans" of the show Fixer Upper. 
It's not that I necessarily seek it out when it is being premiered on teleivision, but if it's on, we will watch it.  Since they've finally put the show on Netflix, it's one of our go-to background shows.  A show to put on and then fold the laundry to.  Something we watch while cooking dinner.  That kind of show. 

A recently client of mine had the opportunity to use them in some of the branded content they were creating, and I couldn't have been more thrilled.  The piece isn't ground breaking, or earth shattering.  It is however beautiful, and even more enthralling is being able to hear the philosophy of both Chip and Joanna straight from their mouths. 

I couldn't be more proud of how these pieces turned out, and I hope they turn you into fans of them, and their show as well.

 

An Email That Makes Your Day

photo by: Carina Romano (Love Me Do Photography)

photo by: Carina Romano (Love Me Do Photography)

I'm sure you (reading this) are like me in many ways, and in some ways we are completely different.  However, I think we can agree on this.  Sometimes you receive an email that just completely makes your day.  Recently I received one of those emails from a wonderful woman who is an editor at a website called Motherly (mother.ly).  

They were looking for a few quotes or sound bites from fathers to incorporate into a piece they were writing about.  I have quotes, I thought.  I also have a lot of shit to say, I also thought.  I asked if there was an opportunity to write a column of my own as well and be featured on the site.   Lucky enough for me, Colleen and the team at Motherly were very welcome to the idea of allowing me to contribute.  All of that out of the way, I'd like to link you to my first written piece on Mother.ly entitled.  "4 Things I Learned to do for my Marriage after Children Came Along."

I hope you enjoy it.   If you have an suggestions of things, topics, situations or anything else you may want read my thoughts about, leave them here in the comments.  I want to write more, but I need your help.  Are you interested?  

http://www.mother.ly/love/4-things-i-learned-to-do-for-my-marriage-after-children-came-along

Coffee: Brújula Specialty Coffee Roasters

I got this pound of coffee from my in-laws who spend quite a deal of time in Mexico.  They found this tiny Café while on their trips and said that they fell in love with the coffee and brought back as much coffee as they could.

I must say that this bean was quite incredible.  I brewed it first in a French Press an it had a beautiful swirling top layer of coffee oils.  I knew it was going to be pretty tasty. 

I also had this in our coffee maker a few times before using the pound up and it was great!  I wasn't hoping for an online ordering presence like my in-laws, but if they go again, I'll definitely ask them to grab me a bag.  Yum!

 

 

Coffee: The Infamous Kopi Luwak Coffee

Oh here it is... a few months back my sister took a trip to Thailand and she asked if there was anything I wanted.  Obviously I mentioned coffee and happened to have mentioned something about this rare/expensive kind of coffee called Kopi Luwak.

If you're interested in learning about what exactly Kopi Luwak is, follow the link above.  Regardless of how you feel about how weird the method of roasting is, or if you think it's gross or not.  I just had to try it.  Because I'm a fan of food.

Let me tell you, it's a very very good bean.  Mild and smooth, the acidity is wicked away and it is very easy to drink.  However, the price/value ratio is way off.  For how much this coffee costs, and the extensive process that this coffee takes to create, it's really not worth it.

Yet, if you're a foodie, you have to try it. 

Coffee: Knight Owl Coffee

I'd seen Knight Owl Coffee at different events around Los Angeles over the past year or two.  I've picked up a bag, or a bottle of coffee concentrate occasionally.  I am super happy that they appear at a Farmers Market not too far from my home.  I really get frustrated with the coffee selection at most farmers markets and having Knight Owl there is a refreshing surprise.  I love that being based in Los Angeles they focus on having an Iced product and over all I feel like their beans are two thumbs up.  Give them a try if you see them at Unique LA or Renegade Crafts Fair or a local farmers market.  You won't be disappointed.

 

Knight Owl Coffee
http://www.knightowlcoffee.com

Coffee: Steep Organic/Fairtrade Coffee

Over the summer we had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time in the WAY WAY Northern California region.  Of course while up there, I was on the lookout for some local coffee roaster/brewers and I happened to have found one in the tiny town we were staying in.

This is Steep Organic/Fairtrade Coffee out of Hopland, California in Mendocino County a roast that is packaged by Thanks Giving Coffee which I believe is based in Fort Bragg.

This is a delightful roast, bold, but not a completely dark roast with a flavor that goes well both as an iced coffee and as a hot coffee in pour over method.  If you're in the area, go pick yourself up a pound to enjoy.

 

Steep Organic Coffee & Teas
UNIT 7 / 13275 S Highway 101
Hopland, California 95449
http://www.steephopland.com

Coffee: Lucky Jack "Sweet Thing"

This is LUCKY JACK coffee...  Here in Los Angeles, we have stints of fall and winter punctuating what commonly is referred to as "perpetual Summer".  Which means that almost year round you can find a few days to enjoy iced coffee and this is one of my favorites.

The last two of my major professional jobs have been fueled by this stuff, and whether or not my clients appreciate my bursts of enthusiasm that come from me consuming this beverage is yet to be determined.  However, this stuff is wonderful.  The top perks include that it is pre-sweetened.  Meaning you can open the bottle and it has the right amount of sweetener to make this the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.  The best part about it, is that the small co-op across from my current work place keeps these things stocked.  I just have to be careful about how many I drink so I don't get that dreaded caffeine migraine.

I prefer this drink poured over ice with a little bit of half and half, but that's my personal preference.  I think you should give it a try and let me know how you like.

 

Lucky Jack Iced Coffee
http://luckyjackcoffee.com