Tag Archives: San Diego

Living in the Moment.

I used to not know how to live in the moment.  I didn’t know how to really appreciate the joy that experiencing the here and now can bring.  It took spending time with more than a few people who lived life so gingerly that it no longer appeared to be enjoyable to see how important it is to throw caution to the wind.  Or at the very least forget about it for a little while.

Have you ever played chess or seen someone play chess?  Typically chess players think 3-5 moves ahead and focus on the most plausible ones.  It’s possible to play on instinct and still make good choices, and this instinct comes from years of experience.  But what happens when a person lives their life like a chess player and plans out every experience 3-5 moves ahead?  What happens when every move is so calculated and examined that only the safest and danger-free path is chosen to avoid being hurt or disappointed?  What happens when it’s not just the plausible moves that are considered and they conjure up some implausible ones as well?

There is a definite need for planning ahead and ensuring that you have some sort of loose plan for your life.  However, recently I’ve been spending time with some folks who have made me realize even more the importance of enjoying the present because worrying about the future only diminishes the experience.  They’re leading their lives like chess players and trying to think of the possible moves that they can make so that their lives will be easier.  When you plan your life out using a flow chart of your options you may think that you’re living life smartly, but you’re really limiting yourself to the number of wonderful possibilities available to you and living by a set of restrictions.

Even though I never really got in to the SoCal way of life after living in San Diego for 8 years I did learn the importance of letting go, even if it was just a little bit.  Not that I planned my life out step by step, but I would think about things so much that I ended up not taking any action at all and therefore missed out on a lot of fun.  Southern Californians lead lives that are wonderfully laid back, and even when things aren’t going so well there is always time to relax and enjoy the sunset or surf, to have a a drink with a friend, and to enjoy the sound of the palm trees rustling from the light breeze coming from the ocean.  It was important to take in the beauty of the now and not worry about pressures of every day life.  It was important to live.  I picked up on some of that and I’m so much more relaxed for it.

Try not to limit your decisions to some fabricated flow chart of your life.  Do your very best to take the experiences of your past and learn from them without becoming colder and closed.  It’s not an easy thing to do because by being open to new experiences there is the distinct possibility that you will get hurt.  And there is also the distinct possibility that you will experience something wonderful and feel a little more alive.

Live in the moment.

Tandem skydiving at Otay Lake, Chula Vista, California (that's me strapped to that dude's belly)

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Balboa in Spring

Spring in San Diego really does me me feel alive.  I live so close to Balboa Park that it’s a quick walk to the Prado for some practice with my camera, good food, and to blend it like a tourist.  And that’s exactly how I spent this afternoon.

The Botanical Building is always nice to get out of the Sun and cool in the shade.  I have little interest in flowers, but as photography subjects and with the lighting in there can make for some pretty interesting shots.  It’s also one of the free exhibits there so it’s a must-see.  Today I was looking for spiders and some different flowers to shoot and ended up with just a few plant shots instead.

I also love the talent that shows up there.  Usually it’s palm and tarot card readers, random musician that may or may not have talent, caricature artists, and food vendors along the main corridor where the museums are.  On occasion you’ll be presented with some real talented people, like Steam Powered Giraffe.  They are a “Musical Pantomime Troupe” with a Steam Punk theme that are funny have some original and pleasant songs.  They were really good.  How they handled being in the Sun wearing all black and having their faces covered in makeup is beyond me.  That’s dedication.

If every day could be like this I wouldn’t ever want to leave.  I think the worst part of Balboa today was watching a woman who was wearing a dress that was too small and colorful for her adjust her panties by tugging at them through her dress.  Snap!  Snap!  Ugh.  Shudder.

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Derby Days


I’ve never had a tremendous love for sports or sports-related activities, and even have somewhat of a dislike for those that are gung-ho about following them. But last night I was introduced to a sport that I might be able to get behind. I found myself getting really in to the event without even realizing what was happening to me.

Roller derby. That’s right, I’ve become a fan of roller derby and the San Diego Derby Dolls. As a San Diego resident I was pretty outnumbered during last night’s event in Los Angeles but there were still a large number of San Diego fans during the game. Everyone that was there was in to the spirit of the game, and I got swept up in it as well.

When my friend Lori mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that she was going to see the LA Derby Dolls (the Varsity Brawlers) at the Doll Factory I kinda chuckled and asked, “are you serious?” She was, and she bought our tickets that afternoon. As it turns out her friend Ashley from Michigan is part of a roller derby called Mid Michigan Derby Girls and she was going to be in town visiting this week so we had someone with us who was in the know on what was going on. Ashley goes by the name of Smash YoFacin’ (#TKO) and none of us, including her, knew exactly what to expect when we showed up at the Doll Factory.

The Doll Factory is a warehouse in Filipinotown and at the time that we arrived there were people approaching the entrance (2 or 3 bay doors) from all directions. Outside the Factory there was a Hot Dog on a Stick roach coach and more than a dozen port-o-potties, and droves of people dressed in everything from rockabilly to suits. Entering the Factory the men were patted down by security and everyone was checked to make sure that they weren’t smuggling any cameras. My one problem with the evening was that the Factory and the Brawlers don’t allow cameras of any kind (cell phones are OK) in to the facility so there is no obvious filming of any kind approved.

I’m not sure why but walking around the warehouse prior to the start of the first match brought me back to my college days. I think it was the rockabilly and non-mainstream people that were everywhere that did it. I wasn’t really out of place, but I didn’t quite fit in either. It was great. And the mood there was so upbeat that it made getting in to the spirit of the event that much easier. Beer was everywhere, a few different kinds of food, and all kinds of “derby-ware” for sale in every corner of non-arena half of the Factory. Live music on the stage to the back of the warehouse set the mood.

On to the arena. We had VIP tickets ($40) which gave us access to an indoor bathroom and VIP bar, and we were able to sit in bleachers above the banked track. As uncomfortable as the bleachers may have been during the 3 hour game it must have been more comfortable than standing in the general admission area ($17+). I was grateful that we had a place to sit and there didn’t seem to be a bad location on the bleachers to sit, but I’m easy when it comes to finding a seat that I’m happy with.
I won’t get in to the game itself other than there are women skating around a banked track trying to score points against one another. The rules can be found here. The matches are short and exciting and it was easy to get me riled up over a San Diego jammer getting knocked down, blocked, or otherwise locked out from getting a point. Some of the girls are hot, some are ruggedly hot, and some are just plain rugged. Hell, I think every one of them there could take me in a fight, with or without roller skates. The names are hilarious and the numbers that they choose for themselves are just as outrageous. Kiki Diazz (#88) and Kung Pow Tina (#7&7) were my favorites on the team, but Slamurai (#7) and Estro Jen (#ru486) were easily contenders as well. There were several others that may have performed better, but being up close to those 4 has helped to sway them in to my favor.

I spoke to Kiki Diaz briefly before the first match and she let me know that the San Diego teams compete at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and that I needed to come out and support them. I very much agreed. Her tattoos and booty shorts convinced me.

Roller derby is my new favorite sport. The San Diego teams do allow photography so I’ll be sure to have something to post here after the next match that I make it to.

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