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35 - Things Jessie Loves

Things Jesse Loves 

This week, we will explore the marketing world through the eyes of our VP/CCO, Jesse. His passion for positively impacting the businesses we work with drives him to work hard on every project he's a part of. His passion is just the beginning of what motivates him to work in this field. 

Sparkling Grapefruit Soda with Gin 

This week's cocktail is a refreshing combination of sparkling grapefruit soda with gin. The tangy sweetness of the grapefruit soda perfectly complements the botanical notes of the gin, creating a perfect summer drink. 

  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Grapefruit zest
  • 2 oz. of fresh grapefruit juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1.5 oz. of gin
  • Top with sparkling grapefruit soda or club soda
  • Ice
  • Lime wedges and grapefruit wedges for garnish


  1. Combine the granulated sugar, water, grapefruit zest, grapefruit juice and lime juice in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Whisk the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Strain the simple syrup through a fine mesh sieve and set aside.
  3. Fill one cocktail glass with ice. Add a shot of gin followed by a shot of the simple syrup. Fill the glass with sparkling grapefruit soda and garnish with lime and grapefruit wedge. Serve and enjoy.

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Episode Transcript

Rich: Hello, and welcome back to Cocktails, Tangents, and Answers for another week of, uh, randomness, booze, and fun with, uh, me, Rhyme Rich Mackie, and also, uh, my partner here in crime.

Catelin: Kaitlin Dre, how are you? Rich Mackey?

Rich: I am doing okay, having some technical difficulties on this end, so hopefully everything goes fine.

We're recording remote today, uh, technically in three different locations. Producer Zach is in our office, I am at home, and Caitlin is in her, uh, I think, I want to call it a speakeasy though, I feel like it should be a speakeasy.

Catelin: It's not that, I don't think that's the right mood though. Yeah, that's true.

It's more lounge. That's, you know what I mean? It's a lounge. It's a cocktail lounge. A salon

Rich: perhaps? Yep. Does it

Catelin: feel salon? We like that. I think it could, the, the like inspiration we pulled from was like sixties Cuba. So like early architecture, like art deco architecture. But then like some remodeling has happened and like some updates and a new couch, some kind of weird, I've


Rich: there's a new couch

Catelin: that came in.

Yes. The couch is here and she's beautiful. I cannot recommend working with a local partner enough. Um, she sourced a lot of really fun, cool things and kind of pulled together mood boards for us and just, yeah, great stuff. So that's fantastic. Yeah. In the Midwest area for, uh, furniture. I, I got a guy really, I got to get up.


Rich: spectacular. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. So, um, today we are getting into, uh, I believe we have Jesse, our creative director, chief creative officer joining us today. Isn't that right?

Catelin: It is right. And I'm told he's very excited, which Is really something, because Jesse doesn't get excited about a lot of things.

Rich: Yeah, the creative types tend to, um, He's very mellow. Yeah, and they tend to be a little bit more introverted. Like, they want their people, but they don't want to be, like, out there for the whole world. Like, I think Jesse's, like, he's a little more extroverted than he lets on. But that could also be because we've got a lot of severe introverts in our office.

By comparison, he's extroverted on our scale curve.

Catelin: I was just, yeah, I think, I don't think that like positive numbers only are enough for us to like accurately depict the scale of introversion to extroversion. Because we have like. We have like some like negative twelves, right? On that some

Rich: are probably

Jesse: below your median or

Rich: middle number. Like below that zero, like on a scale. I would, I would agree on that.

Catelin: It has probably also some situational. Introversion, but then we go to like negative ones to like threes, maybe like a five and then I'm like a 12.

Rich: You are definitely a 12. You are, you remind me of the, this is spinal tap.

Turn it up to 11. You just go one beyond that because you must

Catelin: take it to 12. Yeah. Like, I don't know if we've ever done this. I think it's an interesting exercise. I have a couple of like interview questions when we, when we do like our panel style interviews. I really like to know what someone's like, if they had to only eat one food for the rest of their life.

But my other favorite, like non traditional getting to know your question is if you were an emoji, which one would you be?

Rich: Have you ever asked that of the current team? No, I've never asked that of Jesse. I feel like that's something we should have included in Jesse's interview, but it's already recorded, so we can't.

We're doing an intro after the fact for this one. Yeah, what emoji would he be? He could be the eye roll emoji I

Catelin: suppose. I was thinking that or just like the grandpa because he's like pleasant and cute but also has some like, he just has like a lot of crusty old man energy which I love.

Rich: 20 something on the outside, crusty old man on the inside.

Definitely and he would agree with that 100%.

Catelin: Absolutely. He has, he's bringing like a lot of get off my lawn vibes.

Rich: Oh yeah, absolutely. I think one of the most exciting things for him and getting a lawn was to tell people to get off

Catelin: of it. So to just like bring it back to the emoji, what to like fully illustrate when I'm going to 11, if I was an emoji, I'd be the party hat.

And then all the confetti that's all my feelings and it's just like

Rich: oh wow that's a lot to think about i don't even know what an idea would be a little

Catelin: bit all over the place but like still entertaining

Jesse: i

Rich: think that's you fun and a little bit all over the place Sounds exactly right to me. And just like, yeah.

Yeah, mine would probably be either the thinking guy. Or just like

Catelin: the wine glass.

Jesse: It could just be

Rich: the wine glass. Yes, it could just be the wine glass. Or six of them, or whatever. That would work

Catelin: too. Five wine glasses in a row.

Rich: That's probably pretty accurate. Absolutely. Oh, well, you know, talking about wine reminds me of cocktails, and I don't think we've shared a cocktail for this episode yet.

It's very simple today. And I know it's not wine, and I know that you have it, and it's pink,

Catelin: right? It is pink. Uh, it Is in line with the theme of my cocktail lounge, um, and also in line with Jesse. So it's just a sparkling grapefruit soda. I really love fever tree, but you could choose whichever one that you liked and then a couple shots of gin.

Really easy, summery, sparkly.

Rich: It's grapefruit and gin, basically. And with grapefruit soda. So not grapefruit juice. So you're like short cutting it there, right? So you don't have to do like the grapefruit and the simple syrup and a little bit of splash of something bubbly.

Catelin: I wonder if, uh, what are my ingredients here?

I think there is like a little bit of... Yeah. So if you want it, like, if you wanted to do it the long way, you could just do like a soda water and a splash of grapefruit juice and maybe a little bit of simple, if you needed

Rich: it, because sometimes, you know, you do like a Greyhound because you want it to be that kind of bitter, like non

Catelin: sweet drink.

Um, what I find interesting about fruit is that it's like less easy to predict. Like you'll get some grapefruits that are sweeter than others. So yeah,

Rich: that could be, yeah, we did blood orange cocktails. Um, and got some really great blood oranges, but one of them, like, when you cut into it, half of it was just orange, it wasn't red, and so then it ruins the aesthetic of your, like, cocktail.

Like, it was really weird, because half of it was, like, dark red on the inside, and the other half, it just sort of, like, gradiated to a normal orange on the other side. Like. So.

Catelin: Like half so you can see the triangles or half the other way.

Rich: Oh. You know what I mean? Um, I didn't pay that much attention because we were making drinks.

I just noticed it as we were cutting into it. So I don't know which way we cut it. I think we cut it the non triangle way. I think we cut through it so that it couldn't, you couldn't have taken it out as triangles. You would have taken it out as like half triangles if you were to pull the segments out.


Catelin: yeah, yeah. Today on Cocktails, Tangents, and Answers, Grapefruit Anatomy.

Rich: Oh my goodness. Who would have thought we'd talk about Grapefruit Anatomy before any other anatomy? Can

Catelin: you dissect it for me? What, where's the... Where are the flower parts? I don't know. I, it's been a long time since I've,

Rich: I think the stem area is where the flower was.

So it's that little, like on an orange or whatever, it's that little bump that you usually just snap right off. Yeah. So how is the cocktail? I actually see you're drinking

Catelin: it. Yeah, it's, um, it's just like, it's light and sweet, but not like, It's not like a sugar bomb, like this would be a good, like, like, uh, porch sip or patio.

What are they? Porch sip. Patio. Somebody told me. Patio pounder? Yeah. It's not that though. Cause like you wouldn't want to drink a puncture bomb. So I

Rich: don't think that's it. I think a patio pounder is a completely different thing.

Catelin: More of what you didn't sign up for today.

Rich: In drinks. Sometime we should do the, uh, the interesting Zillow Homes because there was a.

There's a couple of those that had like the signage people put in kitchens and bedrooms and you're like, what? Do you know what that means? Definitely very interesting. Um,

Catelin: yeah, gosh. I don't ever want to, I'm trying really hard not to like yuck someone else's yum, I think, I don't know, you know what I mean, but it's like, that's definitely not a choice I would make, but I hope you're happy,

Rich: that's, Yeah, I think that It is hard because the aesthetic that different people have, and I mean, there's also budget considerations, you know, but at the same time, it's like, you know, maybe you should have just done nothing instead of doing that.

Sometimes nothing is a better choice. I think that's the case in marketing too. Could you just not? Yeah, just, just leave it as it is and just don't. Um, and that can sometimes be good. Yeah. I think that's not what this episode is though, because that's more like things that we don't like. And this episode is going to be all about things Jesse loves, right?

Catelin: Yeah. Yeah. And there, there are some good ones in here. I, I love whatever Jesse loves as far as design is concerned. It has been just really fulfilling for me to watch him and his creative process. We've done a ton of web work lately and it's. Like he just has this like, like 50, 000 foot view of stuff where he can like pull way back and, and see how a user would flow through a website.

And he thinks about that really intentionally. And I don't have a 50, 000 foot view. I am like in the minutiae, in the details. Like, well,


Rich: the person like saying, this is three minutes late. This is due tomorrow at 1 53 PM. Like you have to be in the weeds. And so it's interesting. Your roles are so different in that, but you're also, your roles play to your strengths.

Like you're really good at that. Like driving it forward and keeping them in the weeds and yelling at people like me, not yelling. Of course, gently prompting repeatedly when something needs to be done. Yeah. But the, the other thing that I like about this, um, and you know, we'll get into it here in a couple of minutes, though, Jesse really, he goes beyond just marketing and design with what he loves.

And he talks a little bit about kind of being a leader and what he loves for his team, uh, and those types of things as well. So I mean, I think that's pretty much it, but that should be, should we let everybody listen to that and stop listening

Catelin: to us? I mean, I would always listen to us. But that's me being a 12.


Rich: all right. So here is our episode on things. Jesse loves enjoy.

Catelin: Welcome back to cocktails, tangents and answers. I'm Caitlin. Oh, and I'm rich. I'm still here too. And we're here with our creative director, Jesse. And we're going to talk about stuff that he loves. And I can't wait.

Jesse: Yeah. A little bit different than last time.

Catelin: We hope that you've gone back maybe and listened to part one with Jesse to give you an idea.

He is our, our favorite crusty old man on the inside. Um, so we talked a little bit about that in the previous episode, but, uh, Jesse, tell me what you love.

Jesse: So I think number one, uh, is when people, and this just isn't just in marketing, but probably a little bit more in life too, is when people, uh, trust your opinion and decisions in your like area of expertise.

So, uh, I just dropped my truck off at the shop the other day. I'm not going to tell my mechanic how to fix my

Catelin: truck. Could you? Uh, doubtful. So even if you wanted to, you couldn't.

Jesse: Yeah. And so, just like trusting people that they know what they're doing in their, like, work, I think is, One of the things that I really love when you have a client or anybody really that kind of trusts you in that way.

I think that's, that's really important.

Catelin: How much of that do you think is like communication style? Cause I know some people that like, they are an expert at. They're like in their domain, but they're not necessarily great at being like, I absolutely know what I'm talking about.

Rich: Yeah, they portray this lack of confidence, even though they know what they're saying is right.

So like, you know, somebody can completely lie to you or bluff you about what they do by being super confident about it. And I think in the same flip is what you're saying, like. If you've got this hesitancy, like if your mechanic was like, well, you know, I'll see what I can do about the truck. You're like, I'm going to see what I can do about a new mechanic.

Jesse: Yeah, that's true. I, I see that both ways. There's definitely like, uh, being too hesitant and, uh, acting like you and having confidence in what you're saying. But then the flip side of it is not knowing what you're talking about, but seeming

Catelin: really confident. And also telling somebody who. Who actually does know that you think you're a victim.


Jesse: I, I think that actually kind of hurts your point or everybody else's point too and kind of, uh, Under, undermines that trust too is maybe they've been hurt too many times before with that overconfident. Uh, so that might be

Rich: part of it, but yeah. Yeah, I think there's a confident way to say, you know what, like we, we're confident we can figure that out.

Like we don't have all the answers and that's a lot of our business. We don't know necessarily how we're going to approach stuff, especially you, you start with like a blank page most of the time, um, and you don't necessarily know the end vision, but you know how to get there and you've studied your whole life and been doing this for a long time to get there.

Um, I think that's a great one. And it's something that we do too. Like we talk about, like we have an accountant because We're not accountants. Yeah. And we're not good at that or don't want to do that. Um, and that's the exact same thing. It's like, let people do what they want to do and trust them. And that's, you get better work I think when you know the client believes

Catelin: you.

That's the security, the security and knowing like you could throw something at the client trusts you, they're MRI audiologist I believe in that idea, or I want to see where that takes us. Like this is a good start or, you know, whatever that might look like. That's interesting.

Jesse: That actually really ties into the second thing.

It's, uh, when you present multiple concepts to a client and they.

Rich: I really

Jesse: like both of them so much, uh, kind of proving that we, we do know what we're talking about. But if we, I love going into a meeting like that where they can't make a decision because they love both pieces equally, because that means we're doing our job really well.

Rich: When it starts to get to a better analysis of both then versus when you go in and they're like, well, I hate option two, so I guess it's option one. Um, you can sort of win by default and we never like winning by default. It's really we want to have two really great options and then let's talk about how they're each great and which one works best in the end

Jesse: ultimately.

Yeah, you really get into the nitty gritty of what they actually really like about both things and you can kind of start to go from there. It's like the truest

Catelin: sense of capitalism. Like the competition drives the best idea to win. Right.

Rich: Yeah. And I love it when, um, we've got same, same vein when you do something and Desi does something, but a couple of designers working on something and like, I don't necessarily know who did what going in.

I can probably guess it's getting harder. I'll tell you that. Um, but I do know your style pretty well. Um, but when I can look at them and go, wow, I love both of these and I would be perfectly happy for the client to choose either one. It's just really fun and neat. And then like to also then go all the way to the client without knowing which I did.

Um, one of the websites you guys did, not knowing which one of you did which concept and having them pick one and then having to be the junior employee. And what I love about that is your celebration. Like they love both of them. They happen to pick, you know, hers over yours, but it's not a competition between the two of you.

Oh no. It's leveling everything up and the fact that she did such a great job means that you guys are working really well together and you're pushing each other and that's just such an amazing, amazing feeling for

Jesse: me. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

Catelin: What else? What else is on this list?

Jesse: Um, man, all these kind of fit together.

Uh, when we solve a really big problem. I love doing that for people.

Catelin: It's so stressful like reading up to this. to hear like your most recent big problem without like naming names. Oh man, you're really good at putting me on the spot here.

Jesse: I mean, uh, so part of, part of this was that it, it, um, kind of relates to so many things. It could be a design problem, it could be a development one, or even just like a messaging point or a thing that we're trying to get across. I think the most recent was, it was actually yesterday. I'm not a developer, I just play one on TV.

And, uh, I finally got this module to be centered. And it was like a really weird position. It sounds so dumb, but I was, I was so excited. Uh, those are probably my biggest wins because that's not my area. So when you figure something out that, I don't know. The

Catelin: historical knowledge is allowing you to like, peel things back to their, like, main.

Rich: Yeah. And you've really been bleeding. I remember like a bleeding over, not leading the bad way. Sorry, bad,

Jesse: bad transition

Rich: for me. But you had started leading into like the HTML and the web development. I mean, geez, like only five years ago, you, at one point I remember. Like we needed some HTML banner ads and you're like, I'll figure out how to do HTML banner ads.

It's a design thing, but it's also a design thing. And I know you like dive in there, not to the point where you're going to, you're going to go hard codable website from scratch, but using the tools you do for design and getting those to work in a CMS or WordPress or wherever, and getting all that to work because it's different.

Like the end result should be similar. I want this thing centered and in InDesign, you'll have that done in like four seconds. Right.

Catelin: Snap to the guides. Just do

Jesse: what I'm telling you. It's a button. Just go. It's like the

Rich: button. Yeah, it's so different. When you win that, it's like, it's like, Hey, this seems like a really small win, but it's actually a pretty big deal.

Catelin: I'm realizing it's like an interesting overlap of your personality because you are so creative. But you are also like very rigid in like structure and organization, which is such a strength.

Jesse: Like, that's what makes it so frustrating that like

Catelin: you are a creative unicorn in that sense, because in addition to being like the creative guy, as far as like that side of your brain and like Thinking big picture things.

You're also like our process and server, like North star where you're like, well, if Jesse doesn't think this is going to work, it's probably not going to. So it's interesting that because, because coding is so rigid and like, there's, there are many ways this is me playing, playing a developer on TV, but like, there are many ways to.

Kind of get to the root of the problem, but it is very structured and there's, there are only so many like numbers and letters you can plug in to make it do the thing that you want to

Rich: do. So on the structure of the server, I really appreciate Jesse for that. And he manages that because the one thing that, um, we didn't get to the Jesse hates, and I don't want to go too far, but I'm going to go

Jesse: back.

Rich: Jesse's computer has multiple desktops for different things. Like if he's working in design, there's a whole desktop. For them, like he slides over to it. If he's, you know, doing other things, he keeps his chat things on his laptop window, like it's very prescriptive my desktop. There's one and thank goodness that Apple created that like group by type.

So I just have little stacks down the right hand side when I ungroup by type and they not only fill the screen, but they fill the screen in layers on

Jesse: top.

Rich: It's just thinking about it. I'll clean that up for you. So, that would be me on the server. It'd be like, oh, it's on the server. And people would be like, I have no idea where it is. Just search for

Catelin: it. Just search.

Rich: Um, luckily Jesse has that great folder structure. Um, Okay. But before we get away from solving big problems, um, there's one that you solved like recently that I want to touch on.

So I promise this won't be painful. It

Catelin: really needs public accolades. So this is going to be great. Okay. So it can be a little bit

Rich: painful. Um, but we were working on a value proposition for a new client, which is one of the things we do in like our strategy and planning. And, um, you know, writer under you was working on it because you oversee writing as well, because you're chief creative officer.

Um, and so. He worked on it, I reviewed it and was just really like, ah, I just don't feel like it's there yet. Um, and you and I had a conversation, you kind of kind of worked out my frustrations with it. Like, what are you talking about? Like, give me some good feedback about like, you know, it needed a little bit more hard.

It was probably like only focused on one part of the business and you took that and you went back and big, big. This is a big task is for a brand new client that needs to, you know, be impressed basically. And you took it back and you worked with the writer on it. And like, I just tried to stay out of it.

I try to stay out of things. I don't always do a good job, but sometimes

Catelin: sometimes though, we're like, Rich, help us. Like you're like our security.

Rich: But I stayed out of it at this instance. And I did start my career as a writer. So it's, that's a hard area for me to stay out. Um, recognizing that it's, you know, you supervise that came back a week later. Like, you know, I checked in with you and you're like, we're still working on it. And I'm like, okay, like, I know it's hard, but let's go.

Um, and you came back about a week later and not only was there one value proposition, there were three value propositions. All of them approached the client's business from a different way, a different direction. One, a little bit more broad and a couple of them that got more specific, great paragraph explaining it great supporting points.

And I was like, yeah, like, this is great. I absolutely love this. And I told the writer directly, like, Hey, nice job on those value pops. Like you really got that. Um, and he shared a little bit about the process you guys went through, which was great. So for me, um, being able to have you focus on a piece of creative that wasn't where you started your career, illustrator, designer, but you're in charge of writing to you in charge of our creative product, having you solve problems in that area.

I mean, selfishly as a business owner, it's an area I don't have to solve problems now because I would be the one default solving writing problems. And I still do. That was a really great one for me. Um, and moreover, the client, like he threw out one of the three value props, which is probably a good thing, but really torn on the other two.

He likes the really broad one and he likes one of the other ones. It's a little bit more specific. Um, so actually

Jesse: the other love point that we had of giving multiple. Good pieces and yeah,

Rich: tying it all together and trying not to embarrass you too much. Um, you are the color of our little love drink. I love vodka.

Um, but it's appreciated. And I think that that's something that we, we do fairly well is tell each other when something's going good. So, all right. Enough about that.

Catelin: What's your last, like, let's put a ball on it. What do you, what do you love the most? Yeah. So the

Jesse: last one kind of ties in with, uh, the end of the, the things we hate.

Uh, episode when I tried to end it on a, on a good note.

Rich: Well, we

Catelin: tried

Jesse: and it's really about, uh, I love when we can make a positive difference in somebody's business. Um, and not just in their business, but. Maybe in their lives or somebody else's lives, uh, because at the end of the day, we're, we're trying to get the word out about their business and hopefully give them customers, but it's all about improving that.

So, uh, we give them something that helps their business. Maybe they can, uh, hire more people and those people can provide for their families. It's just kind of a ripple effect, uh, that there's just kind of spreads. So,

Rich: yeah. Is there anything recently, like, I think that we had a client you did a website for that you really loved that actually like came back to us with really positive feedback, which is another thing.

We love internal positive feedback. We love external positive feedback. We love external negative feedback or creative constructive criticism, I guess. Um, anything that makes things better. Well, like talk a little bit about that one client, um, you know, we won't name names, but yeah,

Jesse: kind of what happened with that one really sticks with me because it was a website.

We were all really proud of, uh, one of my favorites, uh, ever that we've done. And they came back after, you know, a few weeks and their traffic had increased and they actually had to hire, was it, was it three, three, three news. Staff to, to keep

Catelin: up with and not like entry level staff either. They're like, they're

Rich: professional services.

Like these are, these are good jobs that you've gotta

Jesse: pick somebody for. Yeah. So when we get that like immediate, uh, like positive feedback and that we actually really did make a difference on not only their business, but again, the people that they hired. Uh, the service that their customers are getting in return are all benefiting.

So just making that positive.

Rich: Yeah, everything just sort of trickles downhill. It's that old, uh, you know, the butterfly farts and was a Brazil or wherever, and there's a tsunami in Japan and it's all related.

Catelin: It's the butterfly flaps its

Rich: wings. I think we're going to have to Google whether a butterfly farts or not because I like that.

But it's that effect and it's the same thing like with the economy. Like, you know, what we does help somebody else and then in turn they can pay, you know, they pay us for a service. They get people paying them for their services. They use that money to hire staff and pay them. They go out into the community and buy groceries and buy houses and remodel and

Jesse: do whatever.

Give money to another business. That then employs us and it all,

Rich: yeah, it all, it just creates this and again, if you get enough people, like with that mission from an advertising standpoint, it takes, it elevates it above sort of the like, Oh, cheesy admin kind of a thing. Well, I think

Catelin: sometimes two marketers get a bad rap.

Like, you know, it's like that's like, we're trying to sell you something. And it's like, yes, we are trying to sell you something. But it's not out of a, like a deep seated, like, it's not like a yucky selling.

Jesse: I think what gets lost in that kind of like way of thinking is that people are getting something in return for that money.

Like whether it's a service or a product or something, they're, they're exchanging their money for something else. So it's not just. Yeah.

Rich: And our ultimate goal to your point is to help their business grow, because if their business grows, our business is going to grow. Like we only grow if our clients grow.


Catelin: I love that. Hey Jesse, this was great. Thanks for sharing with us the things that you love. Yeah. Thanks

Jesse: for

Rich: having me.

That's it for another episode of Cocktails, Tangents, and

Catelin: Answers. We hope you enjoyed listening, we enjoyed recording, and this week's cocktail. You can

Rich: find me on Twitter or Instagram at Rich Mackey. I try not to make it too difficult, it's just my name. And you can find our agency at antidote underscore That's A N T I D O T E underscore seven one on Twitter and Instagram as well.


Catelin: you can find me at home sipping a craft cocktail prepared by my in home bartender is my husband.

Rich: We'll be back next week with another episode and a whole new cocktail recipe, plenty more tangents and of course answers to those pressing marketing questions.

Catelin: And if you'd like to send us a If you can go to ctapodcast.

live to get in touch,

Rich: or you can call our hotline at 402 718 9971 and leave us a voicemail. Your questions might be used for future episodes of the podcast.

Catelin: For now, like and subscribe and we'll see you next week.