Sundays are usually pretty fun days. I got an early morning start this past Sunday and did my laundry super early in the morning. I went home, had a refreshing bottle of Stumptown cold brew and waited around until my sister got up for the Renegade Craft Fair. I love craft fairs, even though I don’t consider myself very crafty. It’s nice to see a gathering of artists and creative who have taken their passions to a new level. I always manage to fall in love with items that I see and I do my best to budget for these kinds of things. I did pick up two items I couldn’t resist though. That gallery above is an ode to my Sunday: Stumptown, Outlaw Soaps – hair of the dog – smells like whiskey and coffee, pencils from the fair, and sights of the fair with Yetis and friends.
I stumble on a couple of videos on Vimeo yesterday and thought I’d combine them into one post. They’re both inspiration and touching – the kinds of videos I enjoy watching because they make me think, and when I think, I am often inspired to take those ideas even further. So here they are:
I was over at Artis Coffee Roasters (twitter) in Berkeley a few weeks ago and discovered a company that I’d never heard of. For those of you who have never heard of Artis, I encourage you to look them up and go visit for yourself. I thought it was a neat concept because of the live-roast coffee that they do: right in front of you. It was my third time visiting. The first time, I went to get a demo of their super-cool, futuristic machines and the second time I went just to get a nice flat white and to do some writing – I was in the area already anyway.
While I was thinking about what to order, I stood right by the Aeropress section of the store and happened to see disk coffee filter made by Able Brewing (twitter). My dear friend had gotten me an Aeropress last year and I’ve since then fallen in love with it – it brews a mean cup. The Aeropress, combined with Perfect Coffee, and the disk filter from Able Brewing is unstoppable. It’s easy to clean, works like a charm, and is reusable. I invested $15 for something I can use over and over again. From the looks of it, Able Brewing is doing some great work and coming up with excellent products.
I learned about this movie through an email I received. I had, after watching several indie films over at the Roxie Theater, decided that I wanted to immerse myself in different genres and expand my severely limited palate. I’m happy I signed up for the newsletter because to date, I’ve been back to Embarcadero Center Cinemas on numerous occasions. Posh, reclining seats in the roughly 20-seater screening lounges, real food, alcohol, a polite crowd, and indie films. What’s not to like? I especially love the fact that people frequent the bigger chain theaters for popular films and leave the Embarcadero Center for folks who want to step outside their comfort zone a little bit and watch something different.
I’m not a big jewelry guy, even though my mother was an artist of unparalleled skill and vision. She sold her “trinkets” at the local artisan store and made a fair chunk of change, but I don’t think that’s why she did it. She would stay up late creating things because she loved doing it. My mother followed her passions and never strived to be famous. In this way, she made some of the deepest connections and the dearest of friends. I still, to this day, remember walking in on one of their girls nights and being shooed out for being a teenage boy. I was amazed by their bond and continued connection – I’ll always remember that and apply it to my own life.
Even though I’m not a big jewelry person, I’m not opposed to it. I visited the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto for the first time a week ago and my sister picked this ring up for me. On the surface, it means nothing to me. It is definitely a well-crafted ring and looks quite a bit like the barrel or focus-ring of a camera lens. If I look deeper though, I realize that when I put this ring on, I am reminded of home. Reminded of my blood ties, my obligations, and my love for my family – both the memory of my mother, the company of my sister, and the stoical-nature of my father. They are with me in this ring and so shall it be.
Independence Day is a great day of celebration in America, oftentimes celebrated with alcohol, BBQ cookouts, friends, family, and explosions. We have a strange fascination with fire because fire is bright, it is easily seen, and rages on – very much like the fervor of our great country. This 4th of July, I chose not to go out for a great BBQ or watch beautiful explosions in the night sky, but instead took a trip out to see the sights in Oakland. I don’t often get out of the city during a weekday and it was perfect, with most people out doing other things and taking advantage of the 3-day mini-vacation. I snapped these shots as I was wandering around near Pepples Donut Farm. It seems like everyone had sunflowers growing in front of their house and this particular house had a ton of bees milling about. Luckily I captured a bee, covered in pollen. Across the way – a scene that reminded me of historical times.
Outerlands is open for dinner again! I know I’m a little late on this, even though I live a couple of blocks away, but I’ve been too preoccupied by other things and forgot to mention it. It had expanded and is now completely decked out in some cool wood. I have to say, I like what they’ve done with the place. The food, at least for happy hour is spot on as well. I went over there with a couple of nice folk just to get started before heading out to dinner and saw a few things I just had to capture. I always opt for the ginger, honey, lemon, apple cider because it reminds me of my younger years and the Sunset cold. I’d walk over there sometimes and grab a cup just so I could have it for the stroll home. I had a little sip of a cocktail and it was stunningly well made. Can’t wait to go back for dinner.