# of divers

Monday, December 31, 2012

The 11th hour

A lot can happen in a year.

A shifting of paradigms,
challenges to your belief system,
adaptations to change,
a rearranging of feelings.

...and the clock continues to tick life away

You see, time isn't timeless.

Those "they" folks say it takes a life to learn how to live. I believe this to be true, for I am learning this by and by, as the years go past.

You live
you love
you lose
you bleed
you learn

You find that life can be quite the emotional journey,
and one hell of a wild ride.

This time of year lends to the perfect timing and natural tendency to look back and reflect. A time to dissect the year's milestones and mishaps.

Reflection is healthy and critical for development.
So, here I am, hunting down the calendar memories, and pecking at the words to chronicle the year's passings.

Here's what I learned in 2012:

money is not the root of all evil, fear is

your thoughts create reality

keep yourself in excellent company

those who aren’t the easiest to love are the ones who need it the most

being kind is far more important than being right

find work that leaves you happy

keep your hands busy with books and hobbies

keep your head filled with dreams, big dreams, as they create your future

saying no is incredibly liberating

accepting help is not a sign of weakness

gratitude can change your life

have the courage to express your feelings

kiss people who find you to be extraordinary

give back to others, cultivate altruism

let it go

there is always a graceful solution to every problem

May this be your year to follow dreams,
your turning of the tide.

Your year to live
to believe
to give
to receive
to share a smile
to fall in love
to walk an inch
to run a mile
to dive into sunsets
to forgive
to forget
to love more
to hate less
to love where you’re going
to embrace where you’ve been

and maybe even to welcome a new gray hair, or two.

I'd like to pay a special tribute to the incredible humans I met in 2012, to the loyal friends and family who have stayed at my side along the tumultuous journey of life, and to my readers who choose to share a small part of their precious time with me everyday.

I could have never predicted the life I have today would be rich with such ridiculously beautiful people.

My only resolution this year?

I resolve to make mistakes, guaranteed.

Marvelous mistakes that I learn remarkable things from.

For making mistakes can only mean that I'm trying and testing new things, that I'm chasing dreams, that I'm learning and living without the fear of failing.

 I will allow my mistakes to define who I am.

 I will learn and grow with each choice that I make, right or wrong, and in the end there will be no regret.

I decided quite recently that I would rather spend my life making mistakes, than being trapped in the mundane rut of living out a safe, but humdrum'ish life.

I am through with short-lived resolutions.
Instead, I plan to flub, and to allow my blunders to provide me with insight and perspective. I shall carry this out the entire year, and for the remainder of my days on earth.

Most importantly, I truly resolve to surprise myself,
so that I can write a better story next year.

2013 is the next chapter of our lives.
How will your story be told?

Here's to making better mistakes and 365 new chances

Be safe out there my beautiful friends,
and cheers, my dears.

Happy 2013


Friday, December 21, 2012

Waiting for something beautiful

So this is it.
The end of the world.

And here I thought it was only the beginning of the final weekend of holiday shopping.

Yet no asteroids careeening into the surface of the earth, no horrible mutations of the zombie sort*, not a single, rogue black hole, no four horsemen riding forth from the dregs of hell to punish the wicked, no earth crumbling beneath the depths of our feet, no megaquakes, supervolcano activity, nor other hideous apocalyptic options, as of yet.

*and I was so looking forward to kicking some Zombie ass to save the planet's inhabitants from having their delicious, meaty brains devoured.

I'm quite certain that big star in the sky has still have a bit of life left in it before it turns into a hulking red giant, and though it has yet to strike midnight, I trust that we are still spinning on our axis, and sincerely hope that all bets for life terminating on earth are off by now.
Perhaps what's really occurring is that we have latched onto eager desires to have our slates wiped clean?

And that we're long overdue for a reset.
So before we get around to lamenting the old order, perhaps we should get to building a new one?

We are not alone, and this is not the end of our story.
Besides, I'm still trying to figure out if midnight is the beginning, or the end of the day.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

An ode to joy

The Vall├Ęs Symphony Orchestra flash mob playing Beethoven's finest. 


It makes my soul so immensely happy.

I can feel the music throughout every cell in my entire being.

This feeling is the very reason we are music artists.

...and look, not a gun in sight.


It has the power to calm any savage beast.

Find it

Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one. 
 ~Stella Adler


Monday, December 17, 2012

Bathroom Clutter Busting Sunday

It has come to my attention that I'm in desperate need of a clutter intervention. Which means that the time has come for some hard-hitting, life-changing, no effing around, deep-cleaning, life-changing organization.

Why even my blog at this point is in need of some reformatting to create room for some extra storage, having maxed out my 1GB quota for photos after publishing 490 blog posts, and 267 drafts! 

I've been eyeing varying bits of tidy home porn floating about the interwebs. Sites of the pinning and finger-down-my-throat-vomit-inducing Martha Stewart variety, and other pages of the disgustingly organized that lend detail to spectacular bathroom organization projects.

The kind where people place select rolls of toilet paper into wicker baskets and sorting devices such as this:

Then I set to begin the daunting process of eliminating the existing crapcastle beyond my bathroom cupboards. If I am indeed set to take up the entire internet with my wordiness and likeness for photographic images, I need to very well ensure that my living space becomes a bit more livable.

With this, I elected to spend my Sunday afternoon incarcerated in my bathroom for good reason.

I set out to take on the grand poobah of bathroom organization.

It's really, rather remarkable how quickly those hair products start to accumulate,

as do the tubings of toothpaste,
and the odds and ends of personal effects.

 Turns out I have an excess of products for self grooming and an overstocked medicine cabinet stock full of contents that would make even Lindsey Lohan weep.

It had been so long since I ransacked the repository, I nearly felt like a kid on Christmas morning finding such elapsed delights such as the oh so former and wondery,"no scream cream", used for utterly barbaric practices of the female sort,

and band aid collections well on their way to starting their own dust bunny collections.


One thing was for certain, it was high time to ferret out the old bacon hand and bath soap.

I believe this to be my son's?

The tidying went really, rather well but led to much mental anguish, and a near Varsi meltdown. In an effort to maintain my sanity, I headed off to the nearest organizational storage container selling facility and returned home with an excess of bins, a mission, and a firey spark in the crook of my eye.

Back to the bathroom for round two it was. With the garbage bags now nearly bursting at their seams and a heavy sweat on my brow, the makings of a far more systematized washroom slowly started to rear its much welcomed head.

Then finally, order.

Well received order of the red carpet salute kind.


I was no longer playing a game of bathroom cabinet Tetris, nor sinking into a organizational Bermuda Triangle. 

Prim and proper, in an orderly fashion everything surely fell into place. 

Best of all? 

Out with the formers!

Yes, I was delighted to run into my dear old sap of a sad chum, this charming little Pac Man ghosty tin formerly used to keep my blue happy pills.

You see, the beauty of getting off all your pharmaceuticals is that one day you may just stumble into your fine collection of expired goods, and can happily toss them out with yesterday's rubbish.

Wiped my hands clean, no more meds!

It's been nearly fourteen months since I've defeated those pesky capsules.

It made for the better part of the day, maybe even the entire year.
Good riddance!

Hours upon hours later, there was a bit of a gasp, then something other a snortgiggle.

Imagine my delight when before my wandering eyes did appear a lavatory that was less muddled and more spa!

I was delighted to be reaquainted with an old friend, my beloved long lost countertop.

I'm feeling incredibly satisfied at the moment. Why, if I was the smoking type, this would be the perfect occasion to light up, but I'm certainly going to take up smoking for such purposes.

I think I'll just hit the shower to consider my next organizational undertaking.

Operation Teenage Boy's Room.
Dare I?

Perhaps a celebratory glass of wine is in order.

I believe it was well earned.
Cheers dears!


Friday, December 14, 2012


 In the most peculiar and serendipitous of ways, I found myself spending some very, much needed, precious time with my son this morning. The cool, morning air was brisk, and the clouds gray, loomed high above.

He had a routinely scheduled dentist appointment, and I elected to play a game of hooky with him afterwards, American Diner style.

In the North Park region of San Diego, there is a charming place that we adore, tried and true and simplistic in every way. 

This tiny little breakfast eatery has been in operation since the early 1950's. It's open Monday through Saturday from 9am-1pm, without fail, and has a long, winding coffee bar top which meanders in two distinct "U" shapes within the facility. No booths on site.

It's a chinese decor laden corner, with golden dragon and singing bass artifacts, quaint, with no frills, and the food is at best, average and greasy-spooned. But there is a real sense of kindness, of belonging, and of a real community here. The kind of place where you walk in and heads nod your way as a welcoming greeting.

It's the sort of place where you can fine a hearty, filling breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, pancakes and coffee for about $5 dollars, including the $1 OJ.

You won't receive a bill.

And then, there is Lucky.

Lucky, is the adorable, elder, Asian gentleman who owns and operates the diner. He will memorize your order, pour your Folger's coffee, head to the back, cook to order your hearty breakfast while helming the kitchen, serve it up with a honest to goodness smile that makes it up to his eyes, then he'll happily give you a second serving of hash browns, before he takes your cash to make change.

Yes, Lucky is a one man show.
He runs this entire operation solely, and has always done so.

There is a certain something about this place, though quirky with its gaudy furnishings, it bears the feel of a real sanctuary, a bona fide respite from the real world, with comfort food and comforting company. The outside world feels like a safe place inside here.

More importanly, it's the sort of place where you are left to count your blessings and actually feel lucky.

I know I do tend to get a little sentimental about breakfast diners, but this one here is a real, kitschy, heartwarmy treat. Bring cash, and be prepared to wait. In fact, I highly recommend you pay Lucky a visit during the week

And in spite of all that's going on in the greater part of the world, I can truly say I do feel lucky, and not just because of the complimentary fortune cookies.

Don't forget to hug your littles and loved ones extra tight. Oh, and make certain to count your lucky stars now, you ridiculously likable creatures, you.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Queso Diego: A Night of Cheese and Beverage Mix Matching

Egads! I've neglected to update the cheese-up from November past. 
 I do hope you can forgive my untimely post!

Yet again, the Queso Diegans set their sails for a scrumptious eve. 

This go around? 
A furious bout of pairing cheeses with beverages. 

We had great success with pairing scotch with aged cheeses, mead with a honey chevre, coffee porter with a vintage gouda, berry kombucha with lemony quark, and as it turns out, homemade bacon jam goes with everything. 

So many happy marriages in one little eve!

Membermade French country artisan breads were on site to accompany the mix-matched, flights of fancy.

I prepared two plates just for the occasion.
A vintage Gouda alongside a spiced, creamy, spoonable blue,

and a homewhipped lemony quark, served up with slivers of perfectly-ripened pear.
It's a young bit of fresh cheese made better with Meyer lemon zest.

If you've never heard of, nor tried kombucha before, it's a bit of a fermented science project. Our Treasurer Larry, is a champ at concocting the fizzy magic. Generally, it tastes of vinegary, tart apple cider. This particular batch yielded notes of sweet, berried refinement. 

Standard staples were on deck, such as this fine Manchego.

We sailed a savory sea of beverages for pairing pleasures.

And even enjoyed this exotic beer treat. 

Brian, our award-winning brewmaster created a porter for the occasion. It was aptly named Insomniac Taddy Bear Porter, as the delightful beer was infused with notes of coffee. 

It went swimmingly with the vintage Gouda, as though the two were perfect bedfellows.

A homemade hefeweisen and commercial brews were included in the vast selection.

The Johnny black disapoofed almost immediately. I hear it went really, rather well with a few of the cave-aged varieties.

More homemade cheeses infused with fruit, herbs, and layered as such.

and of course it's never a party, until someone brings a sampling from the "Mysterious Mead Co." 
This version berried for the masses.

With all these scrumpschulescent bits, it's no wonder us curd nerds are making some serious cheesy headway at the moment.

It's true, and I've just the publication to show for it. Yes, I have some fantastical news to report my lovelies!

I'm officially an international author! My article on how to start a sustainable cheese club is now in global publication, and was highlighted as a featured piece on cover of the Winter issue of Culture Magazine - The Word on Cheese and can be seen here.

Big ups for cheese ups!

Now onto the plotting and planning of the 2012 holiday party. You should know that I'm just seething with "cheesy" sweater contest inspiration now.

Cheese, cheers, and holiday happies to all.

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