Monthly Archives: January 2016

Dianas Lesson

DIANAS LESSON

Sometime in the Fall of 2015, I introduced myself to a couple of young girls in the parking lot of Aliso Beach. One of them turned out to be Diana Rosa Cordova, the only Mexican, Female, Professional Skim Boarder on the planet.  Little did I know, a month later or so, she would sit with me for several hours and take a barrage of questions, and pass along what I now call Diana’s Lesson.  As manager of the Aliso Beach

diana rosa, diana rosa cordova, pro skim boarder, professional skim boarder, mexican professional skim boarder

Diana Rosa enters friend Samantha’s hoverboard picture for Aliso Beach website

website, I am constantly looking for cool stuff to include in the blog.  Her friend Samantha was riding one of those hover boards that are getting a lot of press for spontaneously bursting into flames, and I asked her if I could take a picture of her riding.  She was hesitant, and I get it.  It’s like, who is the creepy older guy that I don’t know requesting to take pictures?  Samantha was joined by a wide-eyed, vibrant personality that you couldn’t help gravitate towards.  After talking to them about the website and how I envisioned it playing a role in the community, I told Diana that I would like to do a write up about her for the site.  I have talked with several people in the community about doing stuff on the website, and because her enthusiasm for the website was so great, I knew that doing a nice piece for her was meant to be.  Diana joined the picture with Samantha on the hover board with a flare that is typical for someone with the love of life and people that I have discovered she has.

We met up last weekend, and although I knew it would be fun to talk with her, I had no idea that when we parted ways that I would have so many great angles for stories that shined brightly on this young and rising skim board star.  Initially, I thought the pieces would focus on skim boarding, but during our conversations, it became clear that this enterprising and personality full, young lady was a collection of really neat stories that I feel blessed to pass along.

Diana indicated that she didn’t grow up with a whole lot of money.  Her parents divorced when she and her brother were young, and so her mom had to make a go of it as a single parent.  The feeling I get is that it made her mom tough, resilient, driven and willing to work hard for everything she gave her children.  I am happy to say that despite her friendly demeanor and kindness, Diana Rosa exhibits many of the same qualities she described in her mom.  Her mom has to be proud of the woman she has become and the woman she has the opportunity to be.

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Education was a topic I was really curious about when we spoke.  I was impressed by her college education in aerospace part manufacturing.  I can count on one hand the number of people that I have rubbed elbows with that are in that field, and there is no question you have to be smart to enter into the field at the college level.  This gives her an opportunity to work in a field beyond skim boarding if she chooses, and she indicated that her experience in the manufacture of aerospace parts has her thinking and believing she will become involved in her own projects. Diana is strong in her belief in what she can do and about the amazing opportunities that are out there for her.  Look out world!  I sincerely believe that she will do great things.  While learning of this part of her education was fascinating, it was what her mom did with respect to her desire for her children to get a quality education that paved the way for Diana’s lesson.

Diana comes from humble beginnings.  Her mother could not afford the kind of education she wanted to give her kids when they were young.  It didn’t stop her from making a quality education happen for her children.  As Diana tells it, her mother walked into a Montessori School and told the administration that despite not being able to afford it, she absolutely believed her kids should be there.  The school took them in and Diana tells me that it changed her life.  It was there and at a young age that she learned English.  They were her formative years, and this education left an undeniable, positive impact on this child who now as a young woman has the world in the palm of her hands.  What her mom did was so valuable proving that if you want something bad enough, go after it.  It changed the course of history for Diana.

So there it was, August of 2015, and Diana was entered in the most prestigious skim boarding contest called the VIC as an amateur.  Some of the men’s professional skim boarders from South Laguna that come down for contests at her local skim breaks in Mexico, encouraged her to jump to the pro event.  She made the leap and placed 8 with no sponsors, no competitive track record in the US, and absolutely nothing to lose.  She was not intimidated and she gave her best effort.  It is hard to be anything but excited for someone that just goes for it.

Diana has a lot of friends in the skim board community, and they have helped her remain in South Laguna to continue practicing and getting better.  Aliso Beach is a pretty good beach among the other South Laguna skim spots to hone her skills.  Fortunately, the water stayed warm until the middle of December, so she was able to get by without a wet suit.  Just half way past the middle of the last month of the year, the cold water in Southern California started to bite a little harder.  Not to be deterred, Diana successfully negotiated a wet suit sponsor that is dedicated to the women’s market.  She understands that opportunities come with effort and believing in herself.  Diana’s lesson is that if you want help or you want something, ask for it!  This type of success and application of lessons taught to her by an amazingly driven mother are the way a parent hopes their children respond when it is their turn to take on the world without them.

I am proud to know Diana Rosa!  I am proud to call her a friend.  I happily root for her in everything that she does and everything she hopes to achieve.  The sky is the limit for her.  She can do whatever she wants to do and she will continue to amaze on her journey through life touching and inspiring people wherever she goes.  If you can’t smile in the presence of this beaming and blissful young lady, I would not know what to say to you.  She is everything that is good about people.  Diana is kind, thoughtful, respectful, genuine, empathetic, articulate, smart, funny, light-hearted and so much more.  You might call me one of her biggest fans, but I do know the kind of impact that kind of personality can have on all sorts of people.  It is not surprising at all that she has been embraced in the Laguna Beach skim community.

Thank you Diana for spending time with someone that you barely even knew. I appreciate your being open about all of the personal things that you really didn’t have to talk about.  That was a conversation I will probably remember forever and I enjoyed it.  Whether you stay here in the United States, travel the world or settle back down in Mexico, you can count me as a friend.  While this story is one of many that I will write about you related to our conversation, this certainly is not the end.  I wish you the best and will root for you in whatever you do!

Diana Rosa Facebook

Diana Rosa Victoria Skim Boards Profile

Victoria Skim Boards Instagram @victoriaskimboards

Diana Rosa Instagram @diana_cord

Diana Rosa Tattoo Sponsor Pure Tatts

Diana Rosa Wet Suit Sponsor GlideSoul

 

 

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, aliso beach skim boarding, Aliso Beach Stories, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Flu Season

FLU SEASON

This flu season is shaping up to be a real pain in the you know what.  I have joked that I deserve this illness because of a pause I took with my daily wheat grass with ginger and mineral shots routine.  It’s hard to imagine anyone deserving something this miserable.  I am not kidding.  For 3 years I have laughed in the face of the flu because I was armed with juice that kept me healthy.  As I got focused on the holidays and making sure my clients planned their marketing campaigns for 2016, my healthy routine had way too many gaps.  As I write this I can assure you that I am paying for it dearly.

Keep in mind, that much of my childhood produced asthma influenced illnesses with blood curdling coughs, weezing, sinus infections and trouble breathing.  I don’t know what I would have done without a vaporizer.  I was thinking I would love a vaporizer right now.  The mucous that I am choking on resulting in an unpleasant cough is trying my sanity.  My face is puffy and it itches from my nose to underneath my eyes. I have thought about punching myself in the face!  Every so often, the cough acts up and I am compelled to get face first into the Robitusson cough syrup and I have taken multiple hot steaming showers to loosen things up a bit.  Can you tell I am suffering?

The last several nights have been sleepless.  I simply can’t stop coughing long enough for the body and mind to fall asleep.  Just when I get to the point of fading off into the realm of sleep the mucous settles in a place that causes me difficulty breathing.  Yep, that is super fun and I am exhausted!  Ricola drops are helpful but not effective.  Vicks vaporizing rub helps reduce my stuffy nose and clear my chest.  Come morning it settles in a way that causes me to choke for the first few hours I am up. I am not sure I can call that being awake because my body and mind feels like I never slept at all.  Wheat grass offered me a way to beat flu season, and like an idiot, I slipped up, broke my routine and now suffer.  Don’t feel sorry for me!  I am not the only one out there dealing with this aggravating flu.  It’s everywhere, and with a colder, wetter winter than we have seen in years, I am expecting this to be a prolonged battle against the forces that make us sick.  If I went to the doctor I would be diagnosed with stupidity and not the flu.  I had the recipe to avoid this situation and I put it aside.  And so here I am trying to make light of a very aggravation illness in hope that something good comes out of it….like maybe you laugh a little!

It’s okay though!  I am back on my routine and hellbent on telling the flu season where to stick it.  If you are not drinking wheat grass, I highly recommend 2-4 ounces daily.  Happy Flu Season….bury it with healthy juicing choices!

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Eye Off The Ball

EYE OFF THE BALL

Because going into 2016 I took my eye off the ball, I am no suffering the indignity of a flu that I had not experienced in 3 years.  Yes, I am telling you that I am miserably sick for the beginning of the New Year as a result of my own doing.  For a couple of years, I have diligently gone to Juice Stop or Mother’s Market for wheat grass and organic vegetable juice.  I rarely missed a day.  Choking on phlegm, I spent the first day of the New Year fighting my way through a day of getting back to work.  It wasn’t an easy task speaking with customers while trying not to rip my own head off to rid myself of this obnoxious flu.

I did this to me.  Right before Christmas, I got hyper-focused on clients because I knew that the business would slow to a crawl that would made the idea of receiving a commission check equivalent to chasing a unicorn.  No matter how much belief there was, a commission check wouldn’t magically appear without some sort of Herculean effort. My intentions were really good and I was able to board a number of new clients that really helps get 2016 started off strong.  The problem is that with my desire to get to as many new clients as possible in a short period of time, I neglected one of the most important aspects of the work I do.  Health is perhaps the most important aspect of productivity, and by allowing myself to come unplugged from a really good routine that kept me healthy while others got ill, I joined the ranks of people battling this terrible flu.

As you may have noticed, I slowed down with the new features here on the Aliso Beach website.  I needed time to reflect on the two years I have put into the website and how I would like to change it for the better in 2016.  While it is true I took an eye off the ball as it relates to the website, I probably see more clearly a future for this website and the benefits it will provide to the South Laguna Community.   I have been working on the intake of photography and art that will become a part of an offering geared to split profits between artists and Laguna Blue Belt.  Just this past weekend, I interviewed female skim boarder Diana Rosa, the only Mexican, Professional skim boarder in the world.  I already had an idea of what kind of person she was but she is really interesting and will be featured on the website.  I also have a commitment from Austin Keen to sit down next weekend.  Given the pleasant surprises I found in my interview with Diana I have an idea as to what I would like to do in an interview with Austin that I feel everyone would enjoy.

I have also been working on the Scotty Carter showroom down at Laguna Foundation For the Arts.  Renovation in the showroom will be complete this week and there will be an impressive and legitimate fine art section of the gallery dedicated to Mr. Carter.  It will be, hands down, the most impressive collection of Scotty Carter Water Sculpture Art in one place.  Featured art will include a 6o inch  40 inch one off speaker unit featuring one of Scotty’s pieces.  If you have Itunes or Pandora on your phone you can play music from your phone on the speaker.  It is badass!

You might say that I had an eye off the ball.  I might agree with that!  What I didn’t stop doing was working, thinking about business, networking, hanging art and making deals.  Unfortunately, that has me worn down but I am blasting this cold with all the fresh vegetable juice and wheat grass that I can.  Hope I can shed this flu quick.  I simply don’t have the time or the patience to deal with being sick!

Hope you all had a healthy start to 2016!  Watch yourselves!  Breaking healthy routines and getting run down get us nowhere but in bed hoping the flu will break, and it sucks!

 

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Great Big Plants

GREAT BIG PLANTS

Great Big Plants, tomato plant

Before Great Big Plants feedings for 5 weeks

I have been promising a Great Big Plants Story for months now, and I thought that people from the Aliso Beach and South Laguna communities would enjoy the article.  I am glad, however, that I waited to write this story because the success of the product since the time period that I was supposed to write the article in has shown 15 times better results.  Let me start by going back in time and talking about how a connection has turned into the promotion of an amazing product with real results in my own backyard.

My fraternity brother’s family owns Left Coast Brewco in San Clemente, California.  He had been nudging me for at least a year to come check out the tasting room.  Not sure why I didn’t take the bait of finely crafted beers until nearly 2 years of existence as a business, but I finally got there.  In addition to the quality of their micro brews, I was struck by the type of people that were in the tasting room regularly and felt like it could be really good for business.  The clientele at Left Coast is really cool. One of the people I met early in my time at Left Coast was this funny, young, twenty something who had a penchant for thrift store work shirts.  Everyone of them came with a different name sewn on the shirt and a different company name.  I found that hysterical and lo and behold Spenser was someone I talked to a lot while at Left Coast and a friend.

One day we ended up in a conversation about his family business Great Big Plants.  I told him that 2014 was very productive for tomatoes in the backyard and that 2015 had been for the most part a disappointment.  He suggested that I try his organic Great Big Plants solution which puts beneficial nutrients and microbes back in the soil that are beneficial to growth and productivity. He was even willing to bring me a complimentary sample.  It seemed like a lost cause but I was down to test it out.  The plants looked like they had completely given up and the life had been sucked out of them.

Two of the three tomato plants after feeding them the solution for a couple of weeks roared back with a deepening healthy, green color and new foliage.  There wasn’t a single tomato initially, and the flowers that started to spring to life seemed to be die and fall to the ground.  That was discouraging, and the bees that were so prevalent in the spring were nowhere to be found.  When this feeding process first started it was late summer early fall.  It was not a forgone conclusion that this would work but in addition to the color, the vibrant smell of the plant became more pronounced and a tomato magically appeared.  I began to notice that the local humming birds that chase each other around the yard for priority on the feeder hanging from the back patio, were now interested in and feeding on the nectar from the tomato plant flowers.  For awhile, the lone tomato grew larger and then one day, it seemed like there were 5 or 6 more.

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The plants aren’t out of the woods though as winter temperatures and predicted El Nino rains threaten the viability of keeping the tomato plants.  There are now 15 tomatoes on the plant which to me is absolutely remarkable.  They are all green and not quite at the ripening stage.  I am hoping that they continue to develop into a salad friendly fruit, or vegetable depending on who you talk to, but the branches are starting to split under the weight of the tomatoes.  This may force the decision to pick the larger tomatoes to see if placement next to a ripening banana starts a chain reaction that leaves them all red.  Understand that I had no expectation for results like this.  I was convinced that there was something to this solution when I saw the new, green growth and a single tomato formed. The odds were long so getting to 15 tomatoes in my mind is nothing short of amazing. We are approaching 3-5 days of rain, and I will be interested to see how well the plants hold up.  Plan B is to remover the big ones to see if they can be influenced to ripen by bananas.

Why is this important to Aliso Beach or South Laguna?  One of my initial thoughts was that the greens over on the 9 hole course at The Ranch At Laguna Beach were treated with pesticides and fertilizers that get into Aliso Creek.  As you may know, phosphorus in fertilizers contribute to algae blooms that upon their death leave a toxin called domoic acid that poisons shellfish beds, lobsters, crabs, fish and larger sea creatures that feed on them.  Couldn’t the Ranch at Laguna Beach make a change that keeps the greens healthy and pristine without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers?  Wouldn’t such a move keep in line with the purpose of maintaining the Marine Reserve at Aliso Beach which is downstream from the golf course? Keep in mind this is just me thinking about the potential uses for Great Big Plants.  The company is already responsible for flipping a country club in South Orange County into their product and doing away with harmful fertilizers and pesticides. It makes me think that it is possible at a place like the golf course at the Ranch at Laguna Beach.

To be crystal clear though, I have no idea what the Ranch at Laguna Beach uses to maintain that golf course.  I think most would agree that golf as a sport generates so much interest and revenue that keeping the greens attractive and top notch are important to the success of the course.  I would bet that most would agree there is a good chance that like many other golf courses, the one here uses pesticides and fertilizers that we would be smart to keep out of urban runoff, out of Aliso Creek and out of South Laguna coastal waters.  Again, I have no idea what they are using at the Ranch.  I do think it would be cool if a business like Great Big Plants got in there and helped them make a change to organic solutions that went along way to protect local ocean waters and honor the Marine Reserve that environmental activists in Laguna worked so hard to create.

The product works.  I can and do enthusiastically speak on behalf of the Great Big Plants solution.  I thought that in order to talk about the product the way I should that I would need to perfectly understand the science of it.  With the plants coming back to life off season and producing tomatoes, all the evidence needed is the tomatoes growing on a couple of plants that were basically dead when the solution was first applied.  After a 30 day period not feeding the tomato plants, some of the foliage died and they did not look as healthy.  The tomatoes kept growing despite the leaves turning brown and the Great Big Plants feedings are back under way.  We will see what happens, but either way, there is more than enough to convince me that this product does what it says it will do.  I will leave the science of that up to Spenser.  My enthusiasm for and belief in the product was enough to connect Spenser with a large player in the landscape and organic gardening business in South Orange County.  The rest is up to Spenser!  It feels good to get this article out there and honor my friend whose family has a product I believe everyone can benefit from.  Linking the organic gardening and landscape business to Great Big Plants feels like a very natural fit with the opportunity to partner on business that makes a real difference in South Laguna and neighboring communities.  The potential for this company to redirect businesses and residences to organic and sustainable gardening is a massive opportunity.  In today’s climate, I feel like people are ready to circle back to growing their own vegetables organically and contributing to the environment by discontinuing the toxic pesticides and fertilizers that deliver foods laden with poisons and soils that produce runoff that gets into our salt and fresh water.  Using Great Big Plants is a win for everyone!

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New Years Day

NEW YEARS DAY

New years eve and new years day were extremely quiet for me.  I did head up to the office in Costa Mesa on New Year’s eve to find a new IPAD Pro left for me by the owner of the company.  He and I have been through thick and thin together.  Seeing his company grow like that was the best thing that could have happened to us in 2015 and it sets up what could be an incredible 2016.  I fell asleep around 10 that night as the days of Rose Parade route festivities, New Years hotel parties, Teke parties and drunken madness have all fallen out of sight in the rear view mirror.  I just can’t do it anymore and nor do I want to try.

On New Years Day, I went to the Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery to check on a partition wall being built for the Scotty Carter Art showroom.  It is getting close to being done and should be ready for art walk Laguna on January 7th, 2015.  There is lots of cool stuff going on at this new gallery with many exciting announcements to come.  While talking to Tony Cox, the lead partner in the foundation, I was also trying to coordinate an interview with the first Mexican female, professional skim boarder Diana Rosa.  I happened to meet her in the parking lot at Aliso Beach one evening at sunset and I was really taken aback by her energy.  After learning of who she was and talking with her, I realized that she would be someone that I would love to interview for the website.

seagull, california seagull, aliso beach, laguna

What are you eating?

On the first day of 2016, our schedules just couldn’t line up.  I waited at Aliso Beach for a couple of hours before a transportation issue delayed Diana and forced me to reschedule. I arranged to meet with her on the second so there is an interview coming with her that I am sure will be an interesting read.  While I waited for Diana on New Years Day, a couple was sitting at the tables over by the Sand’s Cafe. The dude had a to go box of fries and the natives became restless.  Those natives I speak of were, of course, the local seagull population that has never passed on the opportunity for a free meal.  As the couple began to sense the interest in their food, I told them that it could get ugly. Advising them that seagulls routinely steal food from people at Aliso Beach, the dude asked me if the birds would come down and beat him. I thought to myself, these are seagulls not vultures!  I told him no but that for a couple of fries they might buzz his head and do fly by maneuvers in attempt to separate fries from his grip.  He and his lady friend decided they had seen enough, but I noticed the dude was irritated with me.  The birds were circling and more were arriving by the second.  If you attract one gull the rest of them don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for a snack and promptly join in.

As he walked away, he did something that was super not cool.  As he headed towards the parking lot with his to go box of fries, he through a handful at my feet as I sat at the table. A cloud of seagulls descended over my head and to the ground to enjoy that seagull delicacy known as french fries.  I wasn’t happy!  All I could do was cover my head and hope that the seagull frenzy did not result in an excited seagull leaving a steaming pile on my head.  I dodged a bullet there and came out unscathed.  It’s like yea bro, Happy freaking New Year to you!  Any enjoyment he got from putting me in the seagull swarm was short lived because they fought over a few scraps and then followed he and his girlfriend to the parking lot.  When he realized that he had not gotten far enough from the hungry gulls he surrendered throwing his box of fries to the ground while sprinting for the beach.  I call that karma homey!  Here I tried to give you friendly advice and you threw those fries in my direction so I would be in a mob of flying sea birds.  You are only as good as the last fry you give them and if you have more, remember they are coming for you!  That was a classless thing to do to start the New Year.  Oh well!  As for me it was an interesting New Years Day to start 2016 in what is shaping up to be an amazing year for me.

Thanks for reading the stories on this site.  It is a lot of work and at times hard to come up with cool things to cover.  I am working harder to find thing to publish and ways to keep this website fresh and fun!  It should be a good year, and as I have always stressed, I am interested in collaboration with artists, skim boarders, photographers, surfers, body boarders, Lagunatics and anyone else that loves Aliso Beach to make this website an incredible representation of South Laguna, its beach culture, and water sports.  Email me at info@alisobeach.com if interested.

Photo Credit:  Scotty Carter

 

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