Sunday, October 30, 2011

The faces of a Mad Hatter

My official costume for Halloween was a Mad Hatter costume that I won through the website Hips & Curves.  It was a super complex costume and a lot of fun to try to pull off.  Thanks, Hips & Curves!

Friday, October 28, 2011


How many times has a murderer passed you on the street but circumstances or chance (or a higher power) changed your fate?  Maybe you were walking down a dark street and someone else happened to walk out of a doorway and changed their mind from snatching you?  Maybe you got to your car faster than they expected?

This is the weird and random shit I think about.  Does anyone else wonder about this stuff??

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bari-Buddies: Walnut Creek Weight Loss Surgery Support Group

Our little gastric bypass/weight loss surgery support group is really growing!  It is so exciting.  I know a lot of people, like myself, had surgery in San Francisco or other areas far away from their home and can't make it to support group meetings, so it's nice to have a local group of people.  I am also really excited that a couple of people have found the group through my blog.

We meet once a month -- the first Tuesday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, California.  We welcome pre- and post-op patients.  We have gastric bypass, lap-band and gastric sleeve patients in attendance.  There is no cost to attend.  You can also bring friends and family for support.  In fact, we encourage it! 

Please join our Bari-Buddies group on Facebook for more info.  Even if you aren't local, we share recipes and other fitness or health related advice for weight loss surgery patients.

See you next month!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pro Spotlight on Felix Cane!

It was recently revealed on Facebook that Felix Cane was in a horrible accident several months ago and has been going through surgeries to help in her recovery.  I am absolutely touched that she took the time to be part of my blog.  I wish her all the best and hope she heals quickly and is able to continue performing very soon.  If you haven't seen Felix perform before, check out YouTube. And prepare to be amazed!!


What is your fitness background?
I was trained in classical ballet from the age of four. I was also a competitive swimmer in school and a swimming instructor in a former life.

What is your fitness routine (on and off the pole)?
When I am on tour with a show I do very little training on the pole. As I am performing close to every night I get enough hours on the pole with out extra training. I have a lot of wear and tear injuries which are part and package of being a performing artist. When you do extreme things with your body repetitively you tend to develop tears and strains. I have to have regular physiotherapy and exercise regimes to help maintain the standard of my body.

What kind of diet do you follow?
Well, until recently I didn't follow any particular diet. I believe in food, good food and a healthy diet. Eating well is the best thing for your body, it is designed to process and extract nutrients from food and is highly efficient at doing so. If you feed your body fresh, lean, nutrient rich food it will function very well. I believe that supplements, unless recommended by a nutritionist or medical practitioner, are extremely expensive and unnecessary.

I recently broke my jaw which changed my diet completely. Now I can only eat soft foods until I can rehabilitate my jaw to it's former strength.

Do you have a dance background?
Yes I am a little ballerina at heart. I started ballet at the age of 4 and began competing in dance at the age of 9.

Which competition(s) do you like to do?  Do you have any title(s)?
My favorite competition is Miss Pole Dance Australia. It is where I started and has a very very special place in my heart. I have won Miss Pole Dance Australia thee times and also won the World Pole Sport Fitness Championships two years consecutively in 2009 and 2010.

After 5 years of competing I am pretty much ready to retire from competing. I have no more urge or drive to compete. I want to focus more or expanding and growing pole dancing as an industry.

Where do you train?  Do you have your own pole studio?
I train where ever there are poles! I do a lot of training in my down time at O.C. Pole Fitness in California. It's such a beautiful location inside and out, they also offer areal yoga and lyra (areal hoop) classes so I can indulge in my passion of swinging off just about everything! It's super close to the beach too which is just an amazing added bonus It is my wonderful manager, Collette Kakuk, who owns and runs this studio. How she manages to maintain such a beautiful studio and my hectic schedule is a mystery to me but that's why I love and need her, God bless that woman!

Do you have sponsors you'd like to acknowledge?
I have worn Tony Shoes since I was  a pole fledgling and they are wonderful sponsors and such lovely people to work with. They are are family owned and run business and they really care bout their products, their customers and about me and my opinions.

What first interested you about pole dancing?
My Mother, she tried out a pole dancing class for a bit of a giggle with some girlfriends and my little sister who was 14 at the time.

Do you have a preference? "pole fitness" or "pole dancing"
Oh for me it is pole dancing all the way. I am a dancer and I like to watch dancing. I was never into fitness or body building before so while I am impressed by strength and athleticism unless it has a performance element and strong dance feel I don't feel moved.

What do you think about the stripper vs. pole fitness debate?
I have a lot to say about this debate. These are two very different worlds but we can't deny that one was born from the other. There are a lot of assumptions made about the striptease industry and I believe that unless you have worked as a stripper then you don't know what a stripper does. Both pole dancing and striptease tend to be frowned upon because of the highly sexualized nature of the performance and what people assume each performance entails. It is ignorance and misled predispositions that form such polarized opinions. I could go on about this for ever, I guess the point I am trying to make is that you can do the most sizzling, jaw-dropping, wolf howl inducing striptease on a chair and the chair will still be a chair. A pole is an inanimate object it's down to the performer to change the context.

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?
Blood and sweat. No, I'm kidding. I am a very simple girl good old resin and alcohol will do for me. But it all really depends on your skin type and the climate. If you have oily skin and you live in a humid country you will need a magnesium or chalk based product to deodorize you and absorb extra moisture in the air and on the pole. on the other side of the spectrum if you are a super dry person (like me) you need to add moisture and tackiness.

How do you deal with the dry skin on pole days (and on off-pole days)?
I have extremely dry skin - in fact i have acute chronic atopic dermatitis. Or eczema so my skin is always dry problematic so I have to moisturize twice a day.

Where do you like to buy your pole clothes?
At! I designed my own line which I really love and wear all the time when I train. It should be all up online to see by the holiday season.

Do you like to dance in heels or barefoot?
I always perform in heels. I think it is more dramatic, it extends your lines and creates a certain feel or character to your movements. If i am training a new trick I will go bare foot but mostly I train in heels too. No point training bare-foot if you are going onstage in 7 inch stilettos!

What did you do before competing and/or opening your pole studio?
I was studying at university to become a geneticist.

What is your favorite song to dance to (at this moment)?
Presently I am incapacitated, I had an accident (not pole related) which resulted in a fractured wrist and a shattered jaw. But I can't stop listening to INXS. So I think if I was pole able that would be my groove right now.

Do you have any other upcoming events/competitions you'd like people to know about?
Yes! My DVD's!! They are out! Done! Available!! I am so excited about them, it was a lot of hard work but finally they are here. Again go to and hit the Store button.

What else would you like people to know about you and/or your studio?
Ummmm.... I think everybody should know that I have had an accident and was badly hurt but I have a positive attitude and I will heal up as fast as I can. And I will post a video of my first pole attempts after 3 months of no training whatsoever on my website so that everybody can have a little giggle at me and with me.


I promise we will not be giggling and I hope to meet the lovely Felix Cane at OC Pole Fitness one day soon!  Get better soon, Felix, we love you!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Project 365: Days 125-132

Day 125
Monday, October 17

Day 126
Tuesday, October 18

Day 127
Wednesday, October 19

Day 128
Thursday, October 20

Day 129
Friday, October 21

Day 130
Saturday, October 22

Day 131
Sunday, October 23

Day 132
Monday, October 24

Social Sonar in the news!

Just released:  A video from Social Sonar!  It is on the front page of the website, so check it out!

While you're there, download the FREE e-book about social media:

Then read up on who Social Sonar is:

Next step, read some of our blogs:

Last step, give us a call if we can help you!

(866) 843-4490

I am very passionate about helping businesses grow through the use of social media.  Each business will have it's own plan to follow.  Let us help create your social media plan for a successful business!


Last week I heard a report about some little twit celebrity who was claiming she eats and eats and eats all day long, never works out and doesn't gain a pound.  Before you go off on me about how underweight people have it just as rough as overweight people because they are battling health issues too, stop...I know that there are a few people in the world who actually have metabolisms that work like that.  Most people do not. 

I am actually surprised at myself for this reaction.  In general, I feel like celebrities should NOT be role models and we should try to help our children understand that stars have a lot of smoke and mirrors to make them look the way they do.  But for some reason, this comment pissed me off.

How difficult is it to say, yeah I try to eat healthy and workout a few times a week to stay in shape?  She (or he) doesn't have to admit the truth (that they probably eat one piece of lettuce a day, chain smoke and spend four hours a day at the gym), but why is it so difficult to admit to a reasonable and healthy diet and exercise regime?  No wonder so many  kids have a distorted body image. 

Even IF little Miss I'm-So-Hot is currently able to down In-N-Out all day at the age of 18, she has to know when she hits her 30's, it's going to be all downhill if she isn't setting up good eating habits!


Anyway, so there's my rant for the day.  Look here, celebrities, we know you have an "image" to uphold (that you are "perfect" without effort??) but stop telling kids you eat fast food all day and sit on your ass doing nothing.  It is giving them unrealistic expectations. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A guest post from Twirly Girls' very own Maleko Wine!

A few months ago, Twirly Girls added a Twirly Boy to one of the classes.  And I asked him to do a guest blog.  This is Maleko!


When the opportunity to contribute to this blog was made by Lori, I almost hurt myself getting to my keyboard. I felt that "Confessions" would be a good place to talk about my experiences. You see, I'm not your typical pole dancing enthusiast: I'm a guy.

When I started down this path over a year ago, I wanted to be more comfortable with my body and learn how to be a bit more erotic for my sweetie. We had watched some movies and the male dancers got her attention in a big way. So I called around looking for a place that would teach a guy how to be an exotic dancer. I figured that learning how to strip might be fun for both of us.

Needless to say, there were no places for me to do that. Someone suggested that I might want to check out the local pole dancing studios since they seemed to cater to teaching housewives how to be sexy, sultry and erotic. It sounded reasonable, so I made some phone calls and sent some emails trying to find a teacher. But reasonable it wasn't. Nobody wanted to teach a guy or have a guy in their class.

The was no equivocation in their response either. It was no. Simple and to the point. No. I was shocked! In a world where we supposedly have opened up in so many dimensions, in a world where any mom can get lessons on how to be sexy, I was alone. Rejected. I guess they assumed that guys are sexy and erotic enough. Okay, maybe it was more about not having a business model or resources to deal with a guy, or maybe some of us are a bit, well, leaches, but I still felt rejected. And, on top of it, I still felt like a plodding clod.

And, when I feel like a totally rejected plodding clod, I turn to my computer like any geeky guy does. But instead of binging on Aces High, I started to do more research about pole dancing. I figured that I didn't know enough so I started to did and that's when I discovered Shelly Lamb, Bel Jeremiah, and the Twirly Girls. Oh, did I mention that I was a guy? I mentioned it to Shelly when I talked to her and she seemed to be fine with it! Seems she's done this before!

So I started my journey down the path of Vertical Dance in Shelly's SLAPD class. My first personal success was performing at the Twick or Twirl event last week Saturday with Shelly and three of the most talented women I've had the opportunity to work with. If somebody had told me 3 months ago that I would be doing a shoulder mount in a public performance I would have told them probably not.

Sure, it was a crappy shoulder mount, I slid down the pole, but I did. I did it without a crash mat and I didn't go "splat" at the end.

Do I still feel like a plodding clod? Not as much any more. But it's a long journey and I'm just at the beginning. What I do feel like is a part of a family that takes their art very seriously.

Men taking pole classes is definitely a hot topic right now.  We at Twirly Girls love our Maleko!  Here is a photo and my video from the performance!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Psoriasis and Humira

So I am currently three months into taking Enbrel shots for my psoriasis.  Enbrel is an immune system suppressant.  My last update was at two weeks:

At two weeks, everything was going well.  My psoriasis had easily gotten 50% better.  But for the last two and a half months -- nothing.  So my doctor is switching me to Humira

According to my doctor, it goes like this...

Side effects:

Placebo:    ***
Enbrel:      *****
Humira:    ******

Effect of medication on psoriasis:

Placebo:   ***
Enbrel:     *****
Humira:   **********

So if that makes any sense...there might be a little more chance of side effects (oh, only infections like TB or cancer like Lymphoma), but a much higher chance of the medication working.  The only side effects I really dealt with while on Enbrel were headaches and being sleepy.  Mostly those happened in the beginning and then tapered off.  Maybe that meant the drug wasn't working??  Since the shot is given directly into the skin, my gastric bypass wouldn't have anything to do with absorption issues. 

Anyway, I took my last Enbrel shot on Monday.  The Humira comes on Friday.  I was taking two Enbrel shots a week.  With Humira, I take two shots on day 1, one shot on day 8, one shot on day 22, then one shot every other week.  So that will be nice...not having to shoot myself twice a week.  It burned and I wasn't a fan.  I just hope I don't have to deal with being super tired and getting headaches again.  That wasn't fun.

I did find an awesome lotion made by a local guy at a Farmer's Market.  It has been helping a lot this week.  Although psoriasis is a "smart" disease and it gets used to whatever magic product you find and it eventually stops working so who knows how long it would have helped anyway.  The stress in my life hasn't gone down at all (if anything, it's going up), and I'm sure that's not helping the disease either. 

 So let's see how Humira works!

Latest photo (certainly better than when I started, and looking especially good today because I cheated and put on lotion even though its a pole day):

Monday, October 17, 2011

Project 365: Days 119-124

I totally broke the rules this week.  Too much awesome stuff going on to just post one photo some days.  :-)  I can't believe I'm a third of the way through the year already!

Day 119
Tuesday, October 11

I climbed!  I climbed!  I climbed!  More than once and all the way to the top!

Day 120
Wednesday, October 12

Day 121
Thursday, October 13

Early morning moon over the crosses in Lafayette:

 My sister's new puppy, Wyatt, and baby cow, Ferdinand.

My cousin, Janeen, was visiting from Thailand.

Feeding Ferdinand.

Day 122
Friday, October 14

Supporting Tracey's battle against cancer.

Day 123
Saturday, October 15

Trick or Twirl!

Day 124
Sunday, October 16

Drag show at 1220!

A Zumba FUNdraiser for Tracey Horne

Last week, I posted a blog about Tracey Horne, one of our pole sisters who is battling breast cancer.  Last Friday, I went to Poletential in Redwood City, California to meet Tracey in person and Zumba my ass off to help in Tracey's fight to kick cancer's ass!

First off, I am a terrible Zumba'er.  However, I had a complete BLAST, dancing and sweating with the packed room.  It truly showed how much love the studio has for their girls, and I so admire that. 

So here are some photos from the evening.  No, I did not take any video.  I was too busy dancing -- DUH!  :-)  Don't miss Tracey's flag pole.  She is still strong!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Studio Spotlight: Shirley of The Studio -- Pole Dance Aotearoa

Shirley is a Facebook friend.  When I first asked her to be in my blog, I sent her the Power of Pole questions.  But now I realize she's a studio owner so I am calling this a Studio Spotlight!  It's a bit of a mix of the two -- so here's a Power of the Pole Studio Spotlight!  :-)

How long have you been pole dancing?
4 years as at 17 October (is it really that long???)

What first drew you to try it?
My recruitment agent/ friend said she did it and I thought it sounded like fun

Where do you take classes?
At my own Studio, The Studio - Pole Dance Aotearoa [] and with Bonnie Black from Vertical Aerial Dance [] in Dunedin whenever she's up in Wellington.  She's a tough mistress!

Do you have a pole at home?
Not anymore... I have 11 to play with at The Studio  :O)

How often do you pole?
6 - 15 hours p/w, Friday and Sunday are rest days and I get the odd Tuesday.

What else do you do to keep your body in shape to pole?

A functional fitness strength class each week, which we call Vertical strength.  This is run by a friend who is an amazing fitness professional and has designed this class for pole dancers to gain strength.  She also takes monthly splits workshops for us too.  Other than that, nothing but pole.

Do you like to dance in shoes or barefoot?
Barefoot is preferred.

How do you deal with dry skin on pole days and on off-pole days?
Aveeno moisturing cream in the morning does the trick all year round.  On really bad days (winter), I've been known to wax a pole to get grip.

What is your favorite product to help you stick to the pole?

Where do you buy your pole clothes?

At chain stores  Usually leggings that are heading to "legging heaven" get cut down at mid thigh and turned into pole clothes and I just purchase singlets from chain stores.

What is your favorite song to dance to right now?
It depends on the mood - Krezip "It's probably me" is one I'm working on as a routine; the Roxanne Tango from Moulin Rouge and a pile of others, including classical.

How do you feel like pole has improved or changed your life?

I've dropped a lot of fat, I get enamoured with my biceps (justifiably so too) and I'm a lot healthier and stronger than when I started.  I'm also a lot less concerned about my body image and my self-esteem has improved: so what if I have a wobbly belly or cellulite, I can hang upside down by one knee and do oblique sit ups off the pole... which is more than a lot of people can do.