Archive for the ‘Random Shit’ Category

Well That’ll Ruin Your Day

Besides car trouble and root canals is there really anything worse than having to deal with a hole in your sock? It’s one thing to put your socks on in the morning and notice the hole right away. You simply put on another sock. Tragedy averted. It’s a totally different thing when the hole only becomes apparent once you’ve left the house and will be gone all day. You’re stuck to deal with it. Sort of like when you realize you’ve drank too much and are all, “Great…now I’m going to have to deal with this situation for awhile.”

Anyway, I’ve become a sock snob in the last year or two. It started when I was gifted a pair of Stance socks. They were actually a perfect gift because they are at that price point where I don’t want to spend my own money on them, but I have no problem if somebody else wants to. You know what I mean? To me, those are the best gifts. And of course, since getting that first pair of Stance socks I’ve purchased several on my own. They probably aren’t even that expensive, but when you’ve purchased socks in bulk from Costco your whole life…well, you get the idea.

Needless to say, it was sad to say goodbye to another sock. On the plus side, buying a new pair or two is totally justified and what feels better than slipping your feet into a brand new fresh pair of socks? Nothing. Oh wait, putting socks on as soon as they come out of the dryer is pretty amazing.

And we’re just hitting these blogs out of the park. This was the twenty third day in a row and we have eight more to go. I wonder what lurks ahead. Will I be able to find something more exciting than socks to write about? Who knows? You’ll just have to wait and see.

Until next time.
– Jeff

Unexpected Guest

I was a few minutes late opening up the shop today and when I got there an unexpected guest was waiting for me. Say hello!

Maybe you don’t see him. That’s ok. At first I was like, “what the?” But on closer inspection I realized it was a praying mantis.

Here’s the same photo, flipped over and zoomed in so you can get a better look at him.

Isn’t he adorable?

If you don’t know already, praying manti are my favorite insects. Not sure if manti is the right word or even a real word, but I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s like using the word “octopi”. It just makes sense. And it sounds cool. Manti. Anyway, I had to squeeze by him with my bike when I walked in and had to make sure one of his legs didn’t get caught in the door when it closed. And wouldn’t you know it, just as the door closed he made a leap for it and landed on my bike chain. Had he waited a second longer he probably would have been squished. I should also mention that I had to stop immediately so he didn’t get ground up in the gear of the bike. Mantis burger, anyone? Little daredevil, this guy.

As much as I loved him and wanted to take him in and raise him as one of my own, I decided to put him in a nearby planter.

I’m not sure where he came from, but it was pretty random to find him chilln’ on my door. I hope he’s happy now and eating plenty of French Toast or whatever Praying Manti eat.

Here are some fun facts you might like to know about the Praying Mantis. I posted these years ago, but they never get old and are always fascinating. So, here you go. Praying Matis are the only insect that can turn their heads 180 degrees. They will eat their own kind. The female will sometimes eat a male during or after mating. They have a one year life span. The are loved by farmers because they eat crop destroying insects. Of about 2000 species there are only 18 known species in the entire North American continent. And this last one might be the best one. They have a single ear located on the underside of its belly. What? And why? An ear on their belly? What do they need that for? I won’t judge. I still love them anyway.

Good times.

– Jeff

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Need more? Not to worry. I can talk about myself all night. Just kidding, I can’t. Anyway…
– Check out my other praying mantis post from October 2013.
– Not sure how many people read all the way down here, but if you have dreams of owning a cute shop I will totally sell you Viva Paso. Let me know. I’m totally serious.
– Be sure to check out my Society 6 shop if you’d like phone cases, leggings, totes, etc. with my artwork.

Late Night At The Hardware Store

Oh snap! It is 11:28pm, which means I have 32 minutes to write this blog post or else I will fail Blogtober. I’m really not sweating it though because, let’s face it, I could literally click “publish” and this would be my whole post for the day. Yea! I’m a winner! Where’s my Blogtober prize?

I wouldn’t do that though because I’m not a little bitch. The truth is, I’ve been working on blog stuff and I lost track of time and am now editing photos and typing as fast as I can. So…

I’m working on a few paintings and got to a point with two of them where I did not have a color I wanted. Normally, I just roll with the punches in this situation and make the best use with what I have. I just didn’t feel like doing that tonight. Sometimes rolling with the punches is fun and inspiring because I’m forced to use something that’s not my first choice. Tonight, rolling with the punches felt more like settling, in a bad way, and I don’t want to settle. So, this blog is about my impromptu trip to Home Depot.

I left work at 9:30pm and headed to the hardware store.

Oh my goodness! Will you look at that? Have you ever seen anything more delicious?

UPDATE: It is now 11:40pm. I need to think and type faster if I’m going to pull this off. Ok, go!

I picked out two new colors and also got two colors I’ve had before that I needed more of. Check these beauties out.

The purple one is called “Wizards Potion”. How do you pass that up? You don’t! The pink one is “Strawberry Freeze” and the other two have boring names, but they sure do look great. Anyway, this was not planned out at all, but those four colors actually make a pretty sick color combination that I’m excited to use as soon as I can.

The nearest Home Depot to me is in Atascadero and it’s really hard to go to Atascadero without swinging by this palm tree place.

Now I’m back at work and ready to get some more painting done. It’s going to be a late night.

– Jeff

Oh, here’s one more shot of all the fun colors you can get at Home Depot.

Whew…that just makes my heart go pitter patter.

Ok, see you tomorrow!

These Toothbrushes Are Multiplying

First off, this is not a post to highlight my incredible photography skills. Here’s the thing. I live in a house with two other people. Numbers and math are by no means something I excel at, but I am pretty sure I got the math right when I say that three people live in this house. It’s true, there were five of us at one time and if I blogged regularly I would have mentioned that the big kids have moved out. If you’re a parent and you’re wondering what that feels like. It feels amazing.

Anyway, back to the photo. It does not take a mathematician to count seven toothbrushes in the photo. What you can’t gather from this photo is the fact that Coral keeps her toothbrush in a drawer. I’m sure that has something to do with her being an only child…and maybe something to do with her introversion, but that’s a whole other blog post that I will probably never write because she’s an amazing cook and I love eating.

There should really only be two toothbrushes here, but we have seven. Well, technically, we should have three because for some reason Elliott has two toothbrushes. One he uses on the daily and one that he’s…saving? This might be the beginning stages of a hoarding problem and I have no idea where he would get that from. His are the one hanging in the penguin thing and the pink Crayola one. That one came in a two pack and he used the blue one first. He knows pink is one of my favorite colors, so I like to think he was saving the best for last. Mine is the black one and get this, it’s normally in the boring toothbrush holder, but it got demoted to just sitting on the countertop like nobody cares about it. Now here is where things get a little fishy. Remember I said the big kids moved out. Well, one of them spent the night this past Sunday and after SHE left is when I noticed my toothbrush got demoted to the sidelines and the toothbrush holder was full of other toothbrushes. Did she open a four pack and thought it best to put all of them in the holder? Did she think she was doing us a favor? Did she bring four from her apartment and each brush serves its own unique function? Maybe the blue one is only used for the front of her top row of teeth, while the job of the pink one is for the back of the top tow of teeth. I really have no idea and am a little disappointed I’ve thought this much about it, which makes me feel a little bit guilty that I’ve now made you think about it. Sorry. Admittedly, I did not see her do any of these things. There are no witnesses that saw her remove my brush from its esteemed spot in the toothbrush holder, but it does make you wonder.

Nobody that lives in the house is claiming ownership to these four mysterious brushes. If I soak them in extra hot salsa will they taste spicy to the person that uses them next? Will a person actually use them or will they just sit in my bathroom forever? Should I scrub the toilet with them and put them back in the toothbrush holder. Look, this is just where my mind goes. I wouldn’t really go through with it.

Like I said, it feels amazing when the kids start moving out, but I might actually miss solving mysteries like this in the house. Like when you find an old onesie tucked away in a drawer and you get all sentimental. “Ohhh…remember when they were so teeny tiny.” Just maybe though. Because last time Evelyn stayed the night, the time before this toothbrush thing happened, I found this bullshit in the pantry.

Again, no witnesses. But, I did hear her ask Elliott if she could eat one of his BelVita snacks and what you see in the photo is what I found in the pantry later that day. Keep in mind there is a trash can just a couple of feet away that you HAVE TO walk by as soon as you step foot out of the pantry. You literally have no choice but to walk right by it. Don’t worry, I’m trying to figure out how to wrap this all up and what I’ve come up with is this. Despite having moved out of the house kids still cause all kinds of bullshit and because of that, after all of these years, I still have source material for this blog.

Thanks, kids!

Remember, I’ve challenged myself to posting on here once a day for the entire month, so be sure to tune it tomorrow for…who knows what. Do I look like a guy that plans things?

(Imagine a photo of me here doing something that looks unplanned. You know, like I’ve painted myself into a corner or something.)

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

How Do I Have Any Twitter Followers: A Revealing New Report

I’m not much of a tweeter. At times I want to be and this past week I’ve been hitting the Twitter pretty hard. Just now I checked out my analytics and it’s no surprise that the more active I am the more active others are with me. Seriously, a dog with a smart phone could tell you that much. However, I came across this “Audience Interests” chart and it makes me wonder how I have any followers at all.

The term “art” doesn’t show up anywhere and I would estimate that 99% of my tweets are art related. So, I have to ask myself, “Where did this dog loving audience come from? Where is my audience? Where are the art fans?”

Conclusion: If I want to build a better relationship with my Twitter audience I need to write posts about tech savvy dogs at music festivals.

Second Conclusion: Twitter probably isn’t the best place for me to sell my artwork.

Third Conclusion: I should consider painting dogs instead of sad girls that look like they got beat up.

That’s it for now.
Thanks for watching. Like and subscribe…oh wait, this isn’t a YouTube video.

Thanks for reading!
– Jeff

Some Paintings And A Sick Bird

Still working on the big bunny painting. This photo is about a month old, but I just found it on my hard drive and was all, “the people NEED to see this!”

Ok, not really, but so much effort goes into taking a selfie in the middle of the night…what, with putting the camera on a tripod (or gorilla pod in this case), setting a timer, running to get into position and posing as if you’re “in action” all before the camera timer goes off and takes the picture. Why have all that effort go to waste? Anyway, the painting has progressed a little bit since this photo, but not much. Hopefully I can finish it very soon. There is an extremely sad and lonely empty wall space in the shop that needs filling. So, the sooner I finish this thing the better.

Since I was going through my hard drive you are in luck today, because I found a couple more things to share. If you frequent this blog you know about my recent mini canvas obsession. Por ejemplo: this and this. Anyway, I am happy to report that the obsession has extended past my own desires and trickled down to my offspring.

Not my best octopus and I blame the tools. I’m simply too advanced at this point in my career to use Crayola markers on a canvas. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Elliott, on the other hand, has got it down. Flowers and sunshine, baby!

This next one is just to illustrate how funny I think I am.

Sadly, this little birdie never did get better. Sorry, buddy.

That’s it for now. Thanks for tuning in!
– Jeff

* * * * * * * *
Keep the good times rolling!
– Post from 2 years ago in which one of the kids invents a new awesome word.
– Tweeting: @jeffclaassen
– Gramming: @jeffclaassen

Pink Mocha Cupcake Breakfast

On my way to work this morning I stopped by the downtown gas station to pick up the world’s healthiest breakfast, a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino and a pack of cigs. And by “cigs” I mean a pack of Hostess Cupcakes. I know, I know…you’re impressed with the healthy food options at our gas station. It’s like “farm-to-table”, but with a twist of “shit you should not be putting in your body”. What can I say, this town is a treasure. Speaking of treasure, this is what I walked out of the gas station with.

Not exactly what I planned on, but why not toss some fancy Rosé into the mix with your gross “coffee” and awful “cupcakes”? I have been a long time fan of the Chronic Cellars artwork, but this is my first ever purchase. Of course, I’ve also heard plenty of good things about the wines. And you probably didn’t realize how fancy I am, but I’ve also met Josh a few times. He’s the winemaker and one of the Beckett Brothers that created Chronic Cellars back in 2004. Anyway, I’ve been trying to hunt down this Pink Pedals Rosé for a few weeks. Despite living 3.5 miles away from the Chronic tasting room I’ve been trying to find it at local grocery stores. Going straight to the source is always my first choice, but my work hours conflict with their tasting room hours. I see their other wines in the stores and figured it would be no problem finding the bottle I wanted, but have yet to come across the elusive Pink Pedals. Until now…

So, I was at the gas station and a lady in line before me was buying a bottle and I was like, “What the…? They sell that here?” This place is about one minute away from my shop. It’s like Pink Pedals has been laughing in my face this whole time. Well, I’ve got you now, Pink Pedals!

If I seem a little more talkative and animated (or we’re closed early, but you see me asleep and drooling on the counter) at work tonight you know why.

Rosé all day,

Oh yeah, check out Joe’s artwork on IG: @jkalionzes. He’s freakin’ awesome.

Scrumptious Steve: The Best Goodwill Find Ever

No, a card of smoking angels is not the best Goodwill find ever. It’s the message inside that’s the prize. But before we get to that let me tell you how I came across this. I’ve been making little paintings on old record sleeve inserts. Stuff like painting a face over an ad for a Dean Martin album. They’re all small and I’ve been getting frames for them at Goodwill. So, when I bought this smoking angels card I had no idea it was even a card. It was just a picture in a frame that I needed. When it came time to frame my little painting I removed the beer guzzling angels from the frame and what do you know…it was a card. Naturally, I opened it and that’s when I realized I was holding the best Goodwill find ever in my hands. And now, it is my great honor to share it with all of you…my two loyal readers. Enjoy!

My first thought when I read this was, “Steve, you dirty little devil! What on Earth did you do to receive such an amazing little note? I want to be thought of as a scrumptious man. Teach me!” But that was my first thought and when I thought about it more I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to these two. Admittedly, I can’t make out the girl’s name. Why is it the only thing written in cursive? Isn’t cursive obsolete at this point? I suppose that’s a whole other story that I’ll ignore for now. I’m guessing Steve must have thought pretty highly of T (we’ll just call her that for now) since he framed the card. But what happened? How many decadent dates were there? Did Steve become less scrumptious over time? Did they live happily ever after? If not, will T ever find another man as amazing as Steve? Why would Steve donate this to the Goodwill? Or maybe in a fit of rage T donated it because Steve’s scrumptiousness evolved into assholeness and she couldn’t stand the fact that there was written proof that once there was a time when she loved Steve. Sadly, only Steve and T know the truth. I sincerely hope the two of them are still sharing decadent nights together and that maybe they’ve had a baby or two.

As for you, loyal reader, get out there and share a decadent night with your own scrumptious Steve or Samantha or whoever. Just make sure it’s decadent and delicious. Then, after you’ve had your fun donate all the evidence to your local Goodwill.

See ya!
– Jeff

Idiots And Assholes

This is what I saw when I walked out of work a couple of days ago.

Just because you left somebody in the backseat with the door open does not mean you are allowed to park like an idiot. Seriously, with two open spots side by side how hard could it be to park in between the lines? Perhaps this person needs to trade this car in for a Mini Cooper. Or better yet, maybe they need to start taking the bus. Or, even better, stay home. However, this is nothing compared to what awaited me two days later when I got to work in the morning.

Who does this? I’ll tell you. Assholes do this, that’s who. Seriously, what is wrong with people? There is nothing more annoying to me than having to pick up somebody else’s mess. Why do people think it’s ok to do this? There are four containers here. That means it’s safe to assume there were four people (or 2 very hungry ones) eating on/around the bench directly in front of our shop. Probably adults. Not a single one of them noticed the garbage can on the corner, which is about a 15-20 second walk from the bench. Not a single one thought to pick up after their retarded friends. And not a single one spoke up to be all, “Yo, guys…let’s not leave all our shit here.” Should I mention the place their food came from was a 15-20 second walk in the opposite direction of the trash can on the corner and it would have been totally appropriate to walk the trash back to the place where the food came from. To put that another way, these assholes were 15 seconds away in either direction from finding a place to dispose of their trash properly.

Someone parking like an idiot is funny to me. People acting like assholes is not funny. It’s annoying, but hey…it gave me something to write a blog post about. See, inspiration is all around us. Thanks, assheads!

Update 8am: BONUS IDIOT

This person was in front of me and we both pulled up to the curb at the same time to park. She refused to pull forward for some reason and stopped just in front of the red zone. Oh, I know why, because she’s an asshole and an idiot. I won’t say I was “forced” to park in the red zone because of her. I’m an adult willing to take responsibility for my actions and I admittedly chose to park in the red zone as opposed to driving around to find a spot further away from my destination, but I could have been a lot less in the red zone (like just my bumper, maybe) had she pulled forward like a decent human being. The further out of the red zone I could be the greater the chance of not getting a ticket. Hey, you know what? I have photoshop, let’s see how this would look if Miss Poopy Parker did pull forward.

See, my car totally fits!
Ok, I know that’s only half my car, but use your imagination. I’m guessing that half my back tire to the bumper would be in the red zone. And here’s how much of an idiot I am. I honestly contemplated driving back just to get a photo where my whole car would be in frame.

Happy parking!
– Jeff

P.S. – Check out the new “Parisian Princess” t-shirt.

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.


– Jeff

Twisted And Glazed: New Donut Shop In Paso Robles

I could not be happier with the fact that there is a new donut shop in my little town. Some might say, “do we need a fourth donut shop in this town?” And my response is this, “Yes. Yes, we do.” And here’s why. I love donuts. So much, in fact, that my business card reads, “painter. donut eater”. No joke. Here, I’ll show you.

Of course, I do have to admit that four is a bit excessive, but the reason I say we need a new donut shop is because the other three aren’t doing it right.

I’ve lived in Paso Robles since the summer of 2013 and have been tolerating the donuts this town has to offer the entire time. In a way, donuts are like pizza. They are both round and it’s pretty hard to find one that I don’t like. That being said, I still haven’t LOVED any donuts I’ve come across in this town. It got to the point where to satisfy my morning sweet tooth I started going to the little Mexican Market down the street to get concha’s, which are those deliciously tasty sweet breads most people simply refer to as “Mexican Bread”.

They were pretty satisfying and I can’t think of a time where I ever came across a concha I didn’t like. But, alas, it still wasn’t a donut. When that phased out I really digressed and found myself at a local gas station buying Hostess Cupcake’s before going to work. Talk about a low point.

And then…

Twisted And Glazed opens their door and hits the scene with these!

You’re looking at an animal cracker donut and a S’mores donut. That’s right, a mutha fucking S’mores donut!

This is a not another food or restaurant review blog, so I’ll just end this by saying I’m extremely happy that there is FINALLY a good donut shop in town.

And a quick shout out, of course. You can find Twisted And Glazed on
Instagram: @twistedandglazed

But, what you really need, is to shove one of these fuckers donuts in your face and you can do that at:
541 Spring St in Paso Robles, CA.

Happy eating!
– Jeff

* Donut photos by @slomygosh

Random Photo For The Day

The best way to describe ¡VIVA PASO! is probably to call it “eclectic”, as evidenced by this photo featuring paintings, organic seeds, a candle and Marimo Pets. I mean, seriously…