Posts Tagged ‘elliott’

We’re Not Bringing That Fraudulent Shit

Nope, this is the Real Deal Holyfield.

We’re talking REAL cactus with REAL spikes.

And hey, while we’re here, we might as well promote something. After all, we do have bills to pay and food to eat and whatnot. Check it!

Yes, we are experimenting with our Viva Paso online shop and offering FREE shipping on ALL items. No coupon code or any B.S. Just straight up free shipping for you. Happy shopping!

In art news…
I haven’t been very productive lately, which bums me out, but I’ve been using the Procreate app on the iPad and it’s super awesome. For me, NOTHING (at least at this point in my life) could ever replace brushes, ink, paint, and wood, but those 4 things are not the most convenient items to carry around when you’re on the go. I mostly draw using the iPad during Elliott’s gymnastics class or late at night in bed while Coral is listening to an audio book or watching videos about WWII. She loves that stuff. Anyway, Procreate has this really cool feature where it records everything you draw and then you can export the file to your camera roll, email, etc. and have a time lapse of your drawing. It’s the easiest way I have ever seen to make an art time lapse. It’s amazing. Check out the video!

I hope that was worth your while. Thanks for reading/watching and have a great weekend!
– Jeff

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In case that wasn’t enough of me:
– check out my instagraham cracker: @jeffclaassen
– watch all the videos.
– And, of course, read all about The Bite Fight. It has nothing to do with me at all, but still.

Spring Break 2018: Ostriches, Tramps, And Other Exotic Creatures

Spring break has come and gone, but the memories will last forever.

Is that the cheesiest line to start a blog post with, or what? Ok, let me wipe the throw up off my face and brush my teeth. Yes, that sentence made me vomit. Anyway…

It’s a bit overdue to post about something that happened over a month ago, but that’s just my life. Before we dive into the Spring Break shenanigans I have to show you a couple of things. First:


Elliott wanted to draw a little boy so I made a very quick drawing of a little boy and Elliott colored it. That’s right, it’s a collab. Limited edition prints coming soon! Just kidding.

Second, Elliott drew the coolest freaking leprechaun I’ve ever seen.

Limited edition prints coming soon!
Again, just kidding.
But maybe…

And now, I’ll tell you all about the crazy Spring Break debauchery that went down. You’re not going to believe it, but Elliott and I went to Fort Lauderdale to party and pick up some beach betties. And we’ve got the photo to prove it!

After a couple of days in “The Fort”, as we call it, we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. If you’ve ever been there you know what I’m talking about. Two days is too many. So, we went where everybody else goes when they’ve partied too hard…SOLVANG!

We fed the ostriches and a couple emus. Nobody quite knows exactly what an emu is, but we didn’t discriminate. We made sure to feed the emu whatever we found on the bottom of our feeding dish. You know, just like you would any other second class citizen. Did you know you can now ride the ostriches at Ostrichland? Here’s Elliott taking Ozzie The Ostrich for a little joyride around the farm.

(Sidenote: It’s taken me 4 days to get to this point in the blog. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore, but let’s continue. Shall we?)

You can count on us to sniff out the coolest playground in town and I’ve got to tell you, Solvang did not disappoint.

This photo is literally just a fraction of what Pirate Park has to offer. It’s not actually called Pirate Park, but I don’t have the time to google “cool park in Solvang” to find out its real name.

Ok, we need to backtrack a little bit. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. As parents, Coral and I never look forward to breaks. Thanksgiving breaks, Christmas breaks, Spring breaks, Summer breaks and all of those 3-4 day weekends that are scattered throughout the school year. For some people, particularly the kids, I’m sure they are great. For us, we twiddle our thumbs and wonder what the hell we’re supposed to do with these damn kids all day. Well, this past Spring break I actually thought of something. I decided to take Elliott on a little out of town adventure for a couple of days.

I love trampolines.

That sentence will seem less random in a minute. When I was a kid I had a trampoline. I’m not very good on them, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve that make me feel like a rockstar. A few years ago these trampoline parks started sprouting up. A trampoline park is basically a warehouse full of trampolines that are all lined up together and you can jump from one to another to another to another to another until your face smashes into someones knee while they’re going up and you’re falling down. Nose bleeding fun for the whole family! They are basically a dream come true to the 15 year old that still lingers somewhere within my psyche. I’ve been wanting to check out one of these parks since the second I heard about them a few years ago. My plan was to hunt one down and take Elliott there for our daddy-son getaway. It wasn’t totally selfish. Ok, sure, it was a little selfish, but he loves trampolines too. Did you not see the video? Like and subscribe? 😜

But really, like and subscribe. Or don’t. But you should. Well, wouldn’t you know it, some genius opened one in Santa Maria, which is only 1 hour away from where we live. Discovering the one hour away trampoline park was exactly the catalyst we needed to set the rest of our adventure in motion.

The plan went something like this. Leave Paso Robles, tramp park in Santa Maria, feed ostriches and stay the night in Buellton, wake up the next day and go to Santa Barbara zoo (which neither of us have ever been to).

All this trampoline talk and the only photo I have is of Elliott climbing a wall at the trampoline park without a single trampoline in sight. But here’s the thing. I did take some video and one of these days (if we’re lucky) I will edit it and upload it to my channel for your voyeuristic viewing pleasure. Stay tuned, but don’t hold your breath. Oh, here’s an idea. How about I post a screenshot from the video?

Great idea! Here it is.

I typed way too much about trampolines. The idea was to post photos with captions and I failed big time at that, so I’ll keep it minimal on the words from here on out. Don’t worry, it’s almost over. Look, I’m bored too. I can only sit at SLO Do Co surrounded by 19 year olds for so long. Also, it’s currently 10:50pm on a Wednesday night and I’m 35 minutes from home and still have real work to get done before the night is over. I’m doing this for you. That’s right, because you NEED to know all about my Spring break that happened 56 days ago. What was it I said about keeping the words at a minimum? Ok, here we go!

Elliott’s main goal at the zoo was to see the elephants.

Goal accomplished.

We also saw this amazingly impressive staghorn.


We waited so long to get this picture. This gorilla sat with its back to us for an insane amount of time. You’d think it would be more concerned with the humans getting good photo ops, but no, not this gorilla. It’s just going to act like it has nothing better to do all day while trapped in a zoo wishing it could be back in the Congo where it belongs.


Spider-Elli!

You know what, that park in Solvang is called Sunny Fields Park. Turns out I do have the time. Ughhh…

Speaking of time, it is time to wrap this thing up because, let’s face it, this post has outstayed its welcome. Trust me though, I totally spared you. Things missing from this post:
– The Easter Egg Hunt and other Easter activities.
– I didn’t mention how Elloitt may have had just as much fun on the escalator in the Santa Maria mall as he did in the trampoline park.
– Hotel room tour photos.
– Continental breakfast photos at The Marriott.
– A plethora of other things that I can’t even remember.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Even if you skipped all the words and just looked at the photos I still appreciate that you checked it out when you could have been watching trick shot videos on YouTube instead. Speaking of YouTube, I really did take a lot of video of our Spring Break adventure. I’m going to edit it and will try my best to upload before Spring Break 2019.

See ya!
– Jeff

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You can’t possibly still want more of me, but who knows…maybe you’re crazy. If so, check me out on:
– Instagram: @jeffclaassen
– Snapchat: kidding, I don’t snapchat.

SLO Adventure: We Hiked Madonna Mountain

We finally hiked Madonna Mountain. I can see the hardcore locals cringing now, but I grew up in SLO and I know that’s not the real name. It just happens to be what (almost) everybody calls it. Should I even mention the giant M on the side of the mountain? Maybe it’s stating the obvious and the M simply stands for “mountain”.

You say, “I’m hiking Cerro San Luis Obispo” and people will undoubtedly ask you what that is. And if you say something like, “Oh yeah, me and the kids are hiking one of the Nine Sisters today.” then you can expect a drop in from Child Protective Services because no parent should be taking their kids to a brothel even if Nine Sisters offers a buy one get one free deal. So, let’s keep it easy and just call it Madonna Mountain. Anyway, it was Elliott’s first time hiking it.

Is it really a “hike”? We were both in jeans and I was wearing the type of shoes you might wear to church or a business casual luncheon. In no way are they ideal for hiking, so let’s be honest and simply say we walked up a hill. And it’s a beautiful hill, but if I am going to go truly hiking then backpacks, canteens, bug spray, and a Swiss army knife should be involved and the fancy leather Clark’s will be left at home.

Elliott had been talking about hiking for weeks and was incredibly excited to go. He doesn’t remember it, but he actually sort of hiked it before. Or, at least, attempted to. Well, it’s more like he was carried up the hill and did no actual walking on his own. It was around Christmas and I wanted the whole family to hike up at night so we could sit under the Christmas lights on the top of the mountain. He was strapped to my chest in a front pack and we didn’t even make it halfway because somebody in our group wimped out. I won’t say any names (Coral), but we all turned around, walked back to the car, and returned home. Defeated.

This time was different. It was just Elliott and I and no front pack. If you think I’m strapping a 6 year old kid to my chest and walking up a mountain then you’ve gobbled down one too many space cakes. Growing up in a neighborhood near the base of Cerro San Luis gave me the opportunity to hike/walk up it a million times. It was basically right in my backyard and somehow I had never once walked by the giant M until a couple of weeks ago when I was with Elliott.


(Sidenote: It does not stand for mountain. I’d tell you what it stands for, but you can wikipedia that shit.)

Even then, we only discovered it by accident because I took a wrong turn. I know, how could I take a wrong turn when just a minute ago I claimed the entire mountain as my backyard. Well, as a youngster I always started the hike/walk from what I guess could be referred to as the north side of the mountain. Perhaps the locals call it the Foothill side. For this particular adventure we started from the parking lot on the Marsh Street onramp.

Here’s Elliott at the tippy tip top. We made it to the summit just before sunset, which was pretty awesome.

In case these photos weren’t enough I made a video of our hiking adventure. Check it out!

If you’re planning on watching the sunset from the top of this or any mountain, be sure to take flashlights. We did not take any and it was totally pitch black for at least half the walk down. It made it somewhat exciting, but maybe not the type of exciting you’re looking for.

Thanks for reading and watching!
– Jeff

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If you’re not totally sick of me yet I encourage you to:
– check out the other videos on my YouTube channel.
– Follow me on the IG.
– and next time you eat a donut, think of me.

Trampoline Surprise

So, my lovely nieces gave their little cousin, Elliott, their trampoline. Obviously, he is THRILLED.

He totally adores these girls.

It’s safe to say, they adore him too.

And here’s a video of me setting up the trampoline and surprising Elliott with it when he came home from school the other day. Enjoy!

Thanks for watching!
– Jeff

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If you’re looking for more things to click on, check these out:
– Time lapse painting videos!
– The Vlogtober Challenge, in which I teach you how to be a professional art vlogger.
– Listen to the Podcast Coral and I never have time to record, Live Work Love.

New Goodies At Viva Paso And Other Random Shiz

Things have been pretty busy at Viva Paso this past week. We’ve received a lot of new products. I’d talk about all of them here, but I’ve already done that on the Viva Blog.

Work stuff aside, let’s engage in some random photo time. I’m just going to scroll through my phone to find some things worthy enough to be shared with the world…or the two people that happen to read this. Here we go!


Here’s Elliott with all of his friends. How do kids end up with so much shit? What’s weird is how they’re able to keep such a good mental inventory of it all. If I secretly take one of these stuffed animals Elliott totally knows it’s missing.


Coral and I on Halloween just before hitting the streets for trick-or-treating. It’s hard to see in the photo, but Coral’s eyelid was covered in glittering turquoise to match her sweater. I was in my typical uniform.


Seriously, Postman? You couldn’t walk this one to the door? It took half a jar of Crisco and a Slim Jim to get this out. And while we’re on the Postal theme…


The line at the Paso Robles Post Office on Dec. 19. I think a read about 2 chapters of a book before I got to the front.


When the box of hot cocoa, James, and a ballpoint pen are left alone together.

Pretty random, but that’s just how life goes. A random string of events that sometimes make the most perfect sense or no sense at all.

Enjoy!

– Jeff

Polar Bear Dip 2016

I grew up in SLO and had never heard about The Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos until about 10 years ago. Probably because I was off in the mountains snowboarding and snowmobiling. Oh, how I miss those days! The first New Year’s after I met Coral she introduced me to The Polar Bear Dip and we haven’t missed a year yet. The funny thing is we’ve never truly participated in the dipping part, but our kids do and it’s become a family tradition. I think this year was the kids’ eleventh year of running into the freezing surf. Their grandparents even drive up from San Diego every year to join the madness. Also, it’s James’ birthday so it’s just a big party all around.

You can click the photo at the top to see a movie I put together of the event. I also made a short movie documenting Elliott’s first Polar Bear Dip (it’s only 1:29). We did not anticipate that he’d take the plunge so he braved the cold ocean in his Lightning McQueen underwear. Click this photo to see that video:

Enjoy!
– Jeff

Sunday Afternoon Up For Auction On Facebook

A couple of weekends ago I wanted to make a time lapse video of making a painting. My plan was to paint the whole thing in one sitting. Both ideas didn’t quite happen, but that’s totally ok. The time lapse idea evolved into a short movie with a couple of time lapse sequences thrown in. I started the painting in my front yard and once Elliott (my 4 year old) saw what was happening he really wanted to get in on the action so the painting turned into a collaboration when he found himself a paint brush. It was very cute and I love that he wanted to join me. Speaking of four year olds, making a 24″ x 48″ painting in one sitting is quite ambitious with one of them around, so the painting took two sitting sessions. I was super stoked to still finish the painting in one day, so I felt quite accomplished. I mean, I have 6″ paintings that sit unfinished for weeks at a time, so making a big painting in a single day felt pretty good.


(Click image to see the video)

This painting is on a 1/4″ thick piece of plywood and has been coated with multiple layers of a high gloss protective finish. If you’ve seen my work in person that is covered in epoxy resin this piece is different. It’s shiny, but not thick like the resin.

I have this painting up for auction right now on my Facebook page. If you’re interested in bidding on it please visit the page and read the full description: www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207132695690182.

At the time of this posting the highest bid is $50 and the bidding will continue for another 30 hours. The official ending is December 14, 2015 at 11:59pm.

This is a good chance to get a one of a kind original at below gallery price. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Happy bidding!
– Jeff

Elliott Upgraded His Playpen

Elliott finally upgraded to a new playpen. It’s much more roomier than the one you might remember from last summer. The only thing I can think of that would improve on this new set up is if we crane lifted it upside down and set it over Elliott. It would be like when we used to put the laundry basket over my sister’s cat and called it Kitty Prison, except this would be with a trailer and human.

Just A Couple Of Check Out How Badass My Kid Is Pictures

I’d like to say that Elliott can now teeter-totter, but if I said that I’d be lying. I totally did all the work. I mean, look at his feet. He’s not even trying to fake it a little.


And here he is flying a helicopter. He’s not going to let a little rug burned chin stop him from being a badass. Nope, not this kid.

Elliott And An S-Load Of Birdhouses

A few blocks down from our house lives a person with an insatiable appetite for birdhouses. And I’m glad they do because it looks awesome. This is literally just a portion of the fence. What you don’t see is how far it extends out of frame. Also, the opposite side of the fence has birdhouses on it and when you peek over the fence into their backyard you see even more birdhouses all over the place. I wish I had the same thing, but replace each and every birdhouse with a stack of $100 bills. Or cocaine.* One day I had a brief conversation with the owner/birdhouse addict. He was an incredibly nice fellow and pointed out a specific house to me as he told me the story of a little boy, about 5 or 6 years old, who walked by one day, loved all the birdhouses and told the man that he had built a birdhouse and asked the man if he could hang it on his fence. Of course, that was the birdhouse he was showing me. I thought that was awesome.

*Just kidding about the cocaine thing. Although, if you think it about the cocaine might be worth more than the stack of $100 bills. But really, I was just quoting Gob from Arrested Development.

See.

Speaking of, how awesome is it that Season 4 was finally released on DVD. Coral got it for me for Christmas and I haven’t watched the special features yet. I better get on that.

End scene.
– Jeff

Photo Shoot Sunday


James really wants to pursue acting as a career. Unfortunately, we don’t live in Los Angeles, but we’re going to do what we can to help him. Coral’s working on a website for him and wants to start submitting head shots to agencies. And if that means impromptu trips to The City Of Angeles, so be it. We hired our longtime photographer friend, Richard Fusillo for James’ photo shoot and I tagged along taking some of my own photos while keeping Elliott away from the action.


Elliott stole mom’s camera and took his own “behind the scenes” photo.

After walking around downtown SLO for a couple of hours we drove down to Shell Beach. I wasn’t around for all of the SLO locations they shot at because I was keeping Elliott busy strolling him through the rough and tough streets of SLO.


A RARE SIGHTING…Coral in front of a camera! She’s so cute. She’s also very demanding. I don’t know how she talked James into getting into the water. And not just walking a few steps in the water, but getting fully immersed.


He’s such a good sport. Or he’s just straight up loco en la cabeza. Probably a little of both.


We are so lame. Yes, this is a photo of Coral and Richard both taking photos of James. If only Evelyn was with us, she could have stood back and taken a photo of me taking a photo of Coral and Richard taking a photo.

Typing that last sentence made my brain hurt.

Elliott was not too excited to be on the beach today. Last time we took him to the beach he was running, tripped and landed face first in the sandy water while fully dressed in jeans, sweatshirt, socks and shoes. This was on New Year’s Day, so the water was pretty cold. Needless to say, I carried him almost the entire time we were at the beach today.


Homeboy’s getting heavy and I had to set him down from time to time so my arms wouldn’t fall out of their sockets. As soon as I set him down he would start reaching for me, yelling, “Catch!”, which in Elliott language means, “Pick me up, dude!”


Daddy selfie. Fake smiling through the arm pain. Check out that ninja grip he has on my hoodie. He was making it very clear that there was no way I was setting him down again, which bummed me out because I really wanted to stack rocks. There were a couple of rock stacks where we were and they were beyond sad, standing at about 12 inches tall, if that. As soon as I saw them I was like, “I eat weak stacks like you for breakfast! I will murder you!” but I never got the chance to show off my skills thanks to Mr. Lead Butt Elliott.


Luckily, I managed to pawn him off on Coral for a couple of minutes. Not long enough to stack a pile of rocks, but long enough to get some of the feeling back in my arms.


Coral turned her phone away from James dunking himself in the freezing water long enough to catch Elliott and I heading back to the car.


When we got to the top of the stairs we ended up sitting on a bench to watch the sunset, which was quite spectacular.

And that’s how you spend a Sunday afternoon. I hope you all had a good weekend.

– Jeff

Elliott Attempts To Break Into Mission San Miguel

We took a little family outing to San Miguel today. I took A LOT of photos and videos of Elliott. I even got some more photos of Coral taking photos, but it’s all too overwhelming to edit them all tonight. I did like this one though, so I’m posting it as a preview to a future post. Keeping it short and sweet tonight.

Sweet dreams.
– Jeff

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