Accepting loss

Where I live, there’s a local coffee shop called Klekolo World Coffee. It’s been around for nearly 20 years. The coffee shop serves some of the finest coffee in Connecticut.

As I frequent the shop more over the years, I noticed the family that has formed from the patrons and baristas and all.

Recently, we suffered the loss of one of the regulars. Joe was 76 when he passed and the effect of his death has hit us all. It’s amazing the ripples that one life can affect so many.

Through loss, I feel it expresses the strength of the community. It’s the resiliency of how all of us deal with the slings and arrows that hit us that determines the positive course of our lives.


Events Live Shows

January 18th Comedy Show


Jan2013-posterJoin us for an evening of improvised comedy. Come see troupes of actors take to the stage without a script and create scenes based on audience suggestions.

Where: Oddfellows Playhouse, 128 Washington Street Middletown, CT 06457

When: Friday, January 18th 7:30PM

Who: Hartford’s Sea Tea Improv, Middletown’s Great Make-Believe Society and East Hampton’s The Sticks Improv.

Cost: $10
Refreshments by NoRA Cupcake Company


The Rough Day

I set a goal to write something on my blog every day. Well, today is the first day I’m coming in unprepared.

It’s a rough day to think that I have nothing to say. Not every entry will be epic but you still have to put in the the work. So I sit here typing this thing, not sure if I will publish it. This is me stumbling!

What makes the rough day easier is forgiveness of self. I will get better at writing and viewing the world through writing better. It takes practice and persistence. and all of that takes time and work. I won’t let, you, the reader, down. I’m devoting 30 minutes a day to writing. Doesn’t seem like much but when your day gets hectic its a challenge. I strive to be a better writer and can do it with your help.

So, I will be easier on myself and I have another topic now for tomorrow. What is it? Visit again to find out!


The Least I Could Do

This has been a concept that has been floating around in my head for a while. It’s something I call “The Least I Could Do”. I use it as a barometer with working with new people. Here’s how it works:

Someone asks you for a favor. Often, I’ll get asked to start a new project and, often, my enthusiasm gets the better of me and I agree to do too much. This takes the project out of scope, items get missed, etc.

So, The Least I Could Do is my new mantra. What’s the smallest part of work can I take on that will move the project forward without taking on too much, skewing the project or taking on too much.

The Least I Could Do is not a lazy concept. It’s a practical, step-based approach to starting and building good relationships when working with people.


Set the Alarm

One of the blogs that I follow is one written by Andrew Watt. Andrew is a he’s a teacher currently serving up the subjects of Latin, History and Design Thinking. He’s also very disciplined. For example, he’s taken on a practice of Tai Chi daily of a year. Another great topic Andrew has written about is the Palace of Memory.

So Andrew is a wicked smart friend of mine and if you look at the dedication he’s taken to the tai chi practice and read the daily entries like I have, you’ll find he’s discovered more in this practice than simple body movements. He’s discovered the basic tenets of work and discipline

If you take any activity and repeat it, deliberately, there’s something of value in the act.

Now take that thought and combine it with this Facebook quote from Patton Oswalt:


It says: “Everyone: just pick one small thing you want to try to do, and quietly do it as many times as you can in the new year. But don’t give tomorrow any importance. Calendars are constructs. It’s just you and the pursuit.

Whoah, who dumped bath salts into this Chex Mix?”

Let’s look at the value of doing something you’re passionate about and doing it over and over again. Forget the calendar. If you like to paint, then paint. I find if the activity is small and deliberate, like a set of specific tai ch moves, the progress can be accurately measured. You’ve either done it or not. As I discovered from Andrew’s tai chi experiment, he was able to explore a daily process and find near infinite interest and detail in the daily act. It’s the discipline and work that truly rules the day.

So set that alarm and write in that journal. Leave that reminder and pick up that drawing pad. Discover the joy in that activity. And while you are at it, forget the clock.

Blog Media

Making Christmastime

One of the things I enjoy doing is volunteering in my community. Middletown, Connecticut has a vibrant population. A cool thing about Middletown is the community involvement. For example, We have a community run blog called The Middletown Eye. It’s all run by volunteers like me in an effort to get news and local info out to people.

I like play with technology too. It’s fun when I get to merge my love for community with technology. Occasionally, I’ll produce a blog post or video to showcase something going on in town.

This year, great opportunity happened. My neighbor Michael sings with the Greater Middletown Chorale and for the past few years he’s organized an informal gathering of professional singers and friends to go caroling at a few senior centers in town. I thought that this was such a fun thing to do that I felt I could also capture it on video. So armed with my iPhone, I was able to document the fun everyone had singing holiday songs and making merry.

Middletown Caroling


A New Day Dawns

It’s a new day for The Diversion. This will be the place for my experiments in blogging and social media.

Who the heck am I? My name is Christopher Polack. Most folks call me Topher. Hello, how are you? I’ve been running The Diversion for over a decade and I’m still not sure what it is. It’s been the house for all the things that interest me: Improvisation, Internet and connecting with people.

So, this site will be used to track all the things I discover and wonder about. I hope to serve you, brave Internet traveller, with tales of interest as I explore this grand world and share my vision of it.

Live Shows

December 7th Comedy Show

Come see two great comedy acts 
Hartford’s Sea Tea Improv and Middletown’s own BenTopher and Friends entertain you with a wonderful night of comedy!

Our improv shows are different every time!

Friday, December 7th at 7:30PM

First Church of Christ Parish Hall, 190 Court Street, Middletown CT

Tickets $10 day of show

Click here to reserve discount tickets via Eventbrite 

Doors open at 7PM

Call 860-325-2386 or visit for more info.

Live Shows

DIVERSION Comedy Night – November 2nd

Come enjoy and evening of comedy with 4 great acts. See Tick Tick… BOOM! and The Sticks Improv and Wesleyan University’s own Gag Reflex and Desperate Measures entertain you with a wonderful night of comedy!

Friday, November 2nd at 7:30PM

First Church of Christ Parish Hall, 190 Court Street, Middletown CT
Order Early Bird Tickets via EventBrite

Tickets $10 day of show

Doors open at 7PM
Call 860-325-2386 for more info.

Blog Media

The Diversion Radio show 002

The Diversion Radio show is live every Monday at 12:30AM to 1:30AM.

Check out this video from the radio show.

This episode features  Matt and Topher in their quest to help Puppet Wolfgang needs to find a job. Also, The Comedy of Flip Wilson and George Carlin.


Remember to check out our live October 5th Comedy show.