My name is Mark. I’m a follower of Christ, husband to one wife, father to three beautiful girls. We are a homeschooling family, giving our children a classical education. This explains my use of Latin at times.
Besides my God and my family I also love coffee and hip hop. All four things have something in common, they are conversation starters.
My relationship with hip hop started the year the year after my brother died. Prior to his death, I followed in my brother’s footsteps, as any younger brother who looks up to his older brother, I took on his musical taste. This consisted of AC/DC, Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeath (it was the late 80’s I even had a baby mullet). In 1990 I bought my first hip hop albums- Ice T’s Freedom of Speech, and Maestro Fresh Wes’ Symphony In Effect. I was more drawn to the gangsta rap though and my favorites were Ice T, NWA and Ice Cube. I wasn’t a big Public Enemy fan. This was high school, I had a lot of anger issues from my brother dying and hip hop seemed to help.
Listening to hip hop also lead to everything dealing with urban black culture. I became a Raiders fan, I watched all of the Spike Lee and John Singleton movies and started to try and understand the impact that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. had on their communities.
It was during this time I met my wife. As you can see, she is black. I liked her, a lot, was this only because she was black? Perhaps, but she was also an amazing girl with an incredible strength about her. We met in the final year of high school (starting dating October 5, 1993) and have been together ever since. It was my wife who introduced my to Christ. Yes, we were “unequally yoked” and no, we wouldn’t recommend or encourage anyone else to follow our footsteps. God can change a person’s heart as is evidenced through us, but usually, the person who is following God when the relationship starts is the one whose heart changes and they forget about God (I have no evidence to cite this but trust me ok).
As far as coffee goes, I drank it in the office as most people do, but I never really enjoyed it. Sure I thought Starbucks and Second Cup were the epitome of frothy, milky coffee beverages, but it was May 2010, in Vancouver, at Caffe Artigiano that I had a latte that changed my view on coffee. I didn’t need to put sugar in it, it wasn’t bitter. The espresso had an incredible sweetness all on its own. This is where my love of coffee started. And although I enjoy a really good latte or cappucino every now and then, my coffee love is around single origin coffee, roasted in small batches. My favorite coffee region is Ethiopia and more specifically the Yirgacheffe region. I make my coffee one cup at a time with an Aeropress and yes, I travel with my own coffee and take my own coffee to work.
So what you will see around this little piece of real estate that I happen to own, will be conversations. They may be about spiritual things, coffee things or hip hop. I may make you angry with some things I say or I might just make you think. If I make you angry, hopefully it isn’t at me but at the injustice in the world. If you do get angry at me, let me know, let’s have a cup of coffee, turn on some hip hop, and have a conversation.