Thursday, December 22, 2016


As most of you know, I had gastric bypass almost 13 years ago.  I initially lost 165 pounds (and have maintained a little over 110 pounds of that weight loss).  In 2006, I had three rounds of plastic surgery.  The first round included a breast lift and lower body lift (which is an extended tummy tuck). 

Although I had plenty of breast tissue at that time, my surgeon suggested an implant with the lift, as you apparently lose a lot of volume when you do a breast lift.  We discussed a size that I thought I would be happy with.  However, as I was literally going to sleep, he asked, after I'm done with your hips, if I think I can go bigger on top, can I?  I said sure.  Then I woke up with these monsters.  As I was in the recovery room, the nurse yelled over, doctor is on the phone and wants to bring you a support bra, what size do you wear?  I said, 38D.  She laughed and said, oh honey, those aren't D's.  Ugh.  He never brought me a support bra, so I'm guessing I was beyond the sizes they carry. 

I have always felt like my boobs were too big (currently I'm something like a 42DDD aka an F, G or H depending on the brand) and too low (essentially hanging at my elbows), and the nipples dropped unevenly, so earlier this year (ten years later), I went to another surgeon for an opinion on fixing them.  She said that she generally does not do a breast lift with a tummy tuck since you are pulling down what you would like to pull up and gravity always wins.  She warned me that since this was a revision of old work, I may not be fully happy with the results and there was a high risk of having to go in for another round to do some fixes.  I figured it was worth the risk and scheduled my surgery for the day before Thanksgiving.  I scheduled a breast lift, replacement of implants with a smaller implant, and installation of a mesh that would keep them from falling again. 

I was pretty nervous on the day of surgery.  It is so much money, and time off work.  You can't go to the gym.  Shit, you can't even lift your arms above your own head or pick up more than five pounds for two weeks.  You don't realize how often you do those things until you can't do them anymore.  Yoga is out for at least six weeks.  Pole is out for probably more like three months.  Your whole life gets uprooted for a cosmetic change. 

I am now a month out from surgery.  I will admit when I first peeled the padding and garment off a couple of days after surgery, I was shocked.  Blood, bruising, angry incisions.  It looked scary.  I thought maybe I had made the wrong choice.  When the drains were pulled out a week later, I started getting a stabbing pain underneath that was apparently my body getting used to the mesh.  I was allowed to pull the tape off at about two weeks.  I was swollen and still pretty scary looking (I accidentally ripped a bunch of skin off with the tape), but I could see that once things relaxed, I was going to be extremely happy with the results. 

Now at a month out, I have people asking me if I've lost weight.  Although, I have lost 15 pounds in the last six weeks or so, what they are really noticing is that you can see my waist now that my boobs are out of the way!  The kicker is that my measurements are exactly the same, but that will go down as swelling settles in the next couple of months.  I'm struggling with getting off the pain pills (I like Percocet a little more than I should) and being patient to let myself heal, but I feel like I made the right choice.  However, there will be very little pole stuff on this blog for another couple of months.  I get to try yoga in a couple of weeks, but I'm still waiting to make sure that under-boob/mesh pain is gone first. 

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!  I will probably touch bases early next year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Milli Vanilli of Pole is Back!

Jade, Alana and I took another routine off YouTube and performed it for Twirly Girls' Trick or Twirl event in October (and found out they probably borrowed it from yet another group).  It is popular, as Jade recently attended a studio party and another group did a version of it as well.  Watch ours here (and don't mind me missing half the routine):

Monday, December 19, 2016

Photoshoot with Lockbox Studios

While I was in Las Vegas for Pole Expo in September, I did a photoshoot with Somer of Lockbox Studios.  I am absolutely thrilled with the end product, so I wanted to share a few.  I also made an album on the Confessions fan page, so you can see a few more HERE.

I know I've been quiet again.  I actually had surgery about three weeks ago.  I will share more about that later!  For now, please enjoy these photos!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Real World Problems

I almost felt guilty typing that title.  Real World Problems.  I don't have real world problems.  I have a great job, a warm place to sleep, food on my table, clean water, a new car, great friends and family, enough money to go out and enjoy life.  I don't have any actual problems.  Then why do depression and anxiety still plague me? 

Twelve years ago, I lost 165 pounds and went from being invisible to the world to having so much attention that I couldn't deal.  What a problem to have.  Too many people suddenly liked me.  Wah.  Eight years ago, when I was getting out of a relationship and was being stalked.  Three years ago when I was commuting to San Francisco to a job I could not stand.  Last year, when I went through another break-up of a mediocre relationship I should have known wouldn't work from day one.  Oh yeah, and then when my boss decided to end his life in a completely horrific manner.  I've lost two grandmothers in the last two years.  All, still not problems that should actually ruin me (okay, well I'll give myself a pass on the suicide since that is the most shocking and horrible thing that has ever happened to me and it didn't even happen TO me). 

Privilege at its best.  I'm doing so well in life, I have too much time on my hands to worry about shit that doesn't matter -- thereby causing me anxiety about ... about what?  Sometimes it's so small, it's nothing.  Truly nothing.  Try telling my brain that! 

For years, I battled this.  One day, I am on top of the world.  The next day, I can't even lift my head off the pillow.  There isn't always an obvious trigger.  Sometimes I can figure it out after I'm out of the funk.  But it is very real in my life, and my mind when I'm going through it.  There's only so much "keep your chin up" and "this too shall pass" before I want to scream.  I tried anti-depressants in 2006-2007.  One worked for me for about nine months.  And then it stopped.  I played Russian Roulette two more times.  Then I decided medication wasn't for me at that time.  When I was working in San Francisco a few years back, and was quite literally wanting to hurl myself off the Golden Gate Bridge, one of my doctors handed me an anti-anxiety medication.  He gave me 100 pills with instructions to only take half of a pill (and that half will knock me on my ass).  Two weeks later, he asked if I needed a refill.  Kickback much?  I'm not belittling the benefits of taking medication when it is needed, however, I know that the trade off for me wasn't worth it. 

I have been managing my anxiety and depression fairly well for the last five or six years.  I won't lie, I still pop a half a klonopin when I'm really struggling (I still have the bottle from the original 100 prescribed to me three plus years ago).  I have more good days than bad ones -- and I've had a fair number of amazing days lately.  Even my bad ones are no longer *so* dark.

I have been trying to spend less time on Facebook, because I have noticed an increase in stressed out posts with the elections coming up.  So, I guess the point of my blog post today was to say exactly what I hate:  this too shall pass.  Everyone fears the future since we don't know who will win the election today and people seem to think that these candidates are going to burn the White House down and start a dictatorship as soon as they take office in January.  Guess what?  I am pretty sure life is going to go on.  I am not saying we haven't made a complete mess of our country, but I am pretty sure there have been many other times in history when Chicken Little announced the sky was falling -- and everyone survived.  We need to take care for our future generations, but maybe we can spend more time living in the present instead of predicting inaccurate futures and causing everyone anxiety.

Lately, I have been spending some time acknowledging the things for which I am grateful.  All of those things in the first  I do appreciate that I have a job that I enjoy.  I appreciate that my health is good.  I have so much love for my friends and family.  I am thankful every day for the babies.  I find that the more time I spend thinking about these things, the less time I have to worry.  I hope tomorrow when half the country is upset that their candidate didn't win that you can spend some time reflecting on why your life is good and how it truly is a privilege that we even get to choose between two bad candidates. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Dangerous Curves V

I would like to congratulate Tausha Ostrander for taking the Dangerous Curves reins from Roz THE DIVA Mays, and putting on a successful event earlier this month in Denver.  I had the pleasure of attending the event and was impressed with Tausha's hard work.  The competitors did an amazing job as well!  I know how difficult it is to plan an event of this magnitude, and I cannot imaging doing it alone.

I really appreciate the safe space that Roz and Tausha have created, which allows plus sized pole dancers to compete.  Although I have often heard that plus sized dancers should just compete at the level in which they feel they are able, I do recognize that our bodies are not usually built the same as our "straight sized" counterparts.  We often have to move boobs out of the way, or we have more thigh skin that shifts when we try to attach ourselves safely to the pole.  Competing against other dancers that face the same challenges evens the playing field.

I have often blamed my size for my inability to invert or climb well.  Mama Bel has recently stopped accepting my whining and excuses and has been forcing me to do the work -- basically, each week I am climbing and inverting in class.  Watching these ladies do so many of the moves that I keep telling myself I'm too big to do makes me realize I really am just making excuses.

Congratulations again to Tausha for putting on a great event and to all of the competitors for sharing their souls with us!  I look forward to next year!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Dating Survey: Please Help!

Where are the quality prom dates?
Many of you have followed my online dating adventures over the last year or so.  I feel fairly lucky.  Although I have certainly run into some douchebags and have probably received more than my fair share of dick pics, my experiences haven't been horrific.  I have heard some pretty "interesting" stories from my friends though.  My friend Jade, also single, has been my dating consultant and partner-in-crime for most of this year.  After growing tired of the same 'ol, same 'ol in the dating world, we decided it was time to take action.  We are in the process of setting up a new dating service and we have created a survey so we can offer a service that people will actually be excited to use.  We are especially interested in hearing what makes men tick. 

So, even if you are in a relationship, if you have EVER tried online dating, please click the link below to take our survey, then share it with your friends.

Thank you!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I'm a Pole Dancer!

Sometime in the last year, I started noticing posts in a Facebook group called, I'm a Pole Dancer.  I'm added to new groups all the time, so I did't pay much attention at first.  I did eventually notice that the group was HUGE -- over 70,000 members.  And people were sharing everything they loved about pole -- from their favorite moves to their go-to products.  Then I found out my friend, Janette, was the creator of the group!

Not only is Janette facilitating this active group, she now offers pole dancing clothing!  She was a vendor at Pole Expo this year.  I bought a tank top and she also provided me with a birthday sweat suit outfit.  In addition, we represented at Thunder from Down Under by wearing our Pole Dancer hats.  It isn't always easy to find pole clothes in extended sizes and I am excited to share that Janette has larger sizes!  I generally wear a 2X in pole clothes and she had plenty of things to fit me.  If you would like to purchase clothing, please visit THIS link.

Please check out her group, show some love and pick up some cute pole clothing!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

5th Annual Pole Expo

Timber Brown
Just a few days ago, I returned from my epic adventures at the 5th Annual Pole Expo.  I have attended four out of five years.  2013 was pretty epic as I was in my walking boot post foot surgery.  And 2014 ended up being epic thanks to me flipping out of the fly gym, smashing my face on the ground and injuring my foot and spine.

In 2016, I successfully attended Expo without injury.  I did not arrive with any injuries and I did not leave with any.  I am not counting the fact that I hurt my back dragging my 50 pound suitcase around BART on my way home -- I made it out of Vegas injury free!!

This trip was a whirlwind.  I flew in last Thursday and essentially went straight to my room to get ready for the Pole Classic competition and showcase.  The Mighty Grip team kindly invited Robert, Janette and me up to their VIP suite.  I have to say this was one of their best shows. 

Underwater with Brett Stanley
Friday began with a floor workshop with Rafaela Montanaro.  I am not super flexible and the room was packed way too tightly, so I feel like I didn't get to perform well.  I also feel like it is difficult to learn a routine in an hour.  I did, however, video it and want to work on it further at the studio.  I then had an underwater photoshoot with Brett Stanley.  It was an interesting experience.  I bought the nose plugs (literally could not have done the shoot without them).  However, in my first pass underwater, I took some water in and came up coughing.  So, I got nervous that it was a sign of things to come and had to calm myself down.  Brett was great, though!  He is very calming and he would give me advice on posing each time I went under.  I certainly didn't do any epic pole moves (which I was hoping for since I was weightless in the water), but I am happy with many of the shots and am excited to see the official proofs.  (The one I attached here is just an unedited phone shot of his iPad.) 

Pepper - Yesod, Bret, Kaleo
Friday evening was pretty awesome.  After I booked Pole Expo, I found out that my favorite band in the wholewideworld, Pepper, would not only be in Vegas on the one night I didn't have plans -- but would be performing in my hotel.  That was a no brainer.  I picked up tickets immediately.  They did a meet and greet at the tattoo shop beforehand, so I got to meet them again.  My yoga instructor, Theresa, trained with the lead guitar player's wife, so we also talked about yoga for a bit.  The concert was at the stage by the pool.  It was hot so my night ended with me in my bra and underwear in the pool.  I guess next time, I'll just plan accordingly and just bring a bathing suit.  You're welcome to the guy who kept losing his shit and thinking I was giving him his own personal strip show.  The show was off the hook and I had a great time!  Thank you to Angela and Justin for coming to the show with me!

Saturday started out a little more quiet.  I sat by the pool.  I had a flexibility workshop with David C. Owen in the afternoon (yeah, I suck at it).  Then, while most Pole Expo'ers went to Pole Show LA Vegas, Robert, Janette and I went for my very first strip club experience.  We had received a tip that locals liked the Palomino.  It was about a 15 minute Uber ride away, but it was worth it.  I think I expected to go in there and see abused women who were being forced into slavery, but I really didn't get that vibe.  I met a couple of really cool girls.  We sat along the stage and threw extra dollars for the girls who could actually do pole tricks.  I loved it!

Sunday I woke up early to have my make-up done so I could do a photoshoot with Somer.  I think most people showed up wearing pole outfits and I busted out my pirate skirt and corset.  The shoot went really quickly and her direction was easy to follow.  I am also excited to see these proofs.  Sunday's workshop was Stripcraft with Lux ATL.  I love Lux's passion as she talks about accepting yourself.  I'm not even into chicks but her eye fucking alone during a lap dance is pretty fucking hot.  I also got to meet Eda from Eda Marbury's Climb To The Top.  We are besties now as we lapped dance each other in class.  Sunday night, Robert, Janette and I essentially ended our trip the best way we could -- front row for Thunder From Down Under.  It was a super fun show, but it was almost more entertaining to watch these ladies lose their shit for a little man meat.  I think I liked it because they didn't get down to banana hammocks during every performance.  I like to leave a little to the imagination. 

I flew home Monday to the post-Expo blues.  I'm still recovering from that.  There are so many people I didn't get to see (what, Nadia, how did that happen?!).  But I am looking forward to next year already!  Thank you to everyone I did see -- you helped contribute to a really fun trip!

Having make-up done for the underwater shoot

My Artista Activewear outfit for the underwater shoot
Dinner with my partners in crime and my polly pocket!

Steve Gale at the Pole Classic

My pirate outfit for the photoshoot with Somer

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Twirl for a Cause Reminder: Out of the Darkness Walk

We are only TEN DAYS away from our next show!

On Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 6:00 PM, Twirl for a Cause and Club 1220 will host a fundraiser for my Out of the Darkness Walk. 

I promise a fun show filled with pole dancers and faux drag queens (well, Marisa and me...).  I even understand we may have some singing and perhaps a burlesque performance. 

The subject matter may be a little heavy, and you may wonder if it is odd that we are using pole dance to support an event to bring awareness to suicide prevention.  In light of the recent withdrawal of support of an abused women's center for a Take Back the Night event in London because pole dancing was going to be a featured demonstration, I thought perhaps I should tackle the subject before it is applied to our situation. 

I sometimes wonder how it feels to sit on your high horse and judge those around you.  Part of me wanted to come here to say, how dare you compare pole fitness or dancing with stripping, because we all know that's what you're doing when you say that pole dancing shouldn't be featured in a night that is designed to bring awareness to sexual violence against women and "gender non-conforming folks."  (That is taken from their Facebook page directly.) 

However, after my recent experiences with Lux ATL, I am trying to be much more careful about the words I choose when discussing stripping and pole dancing.  Because somehow when I strip a shirt off in pole class and upload my video to YouTube, it's sexy and artful, but when the women I met at the strip club in Las Vegas last weekend do it, they're just whores. 

It seems like a center that deals with abused women may want to be more inclusive, and women -- humans -- of all walks of life experience abuse.  They all deserve support.  

I appreciate that our event has not had any backlash.  I imagine I could try to understand why outsiders may look down on using pole dance as a way to raise money for a cause, but I'm too busy thanking everyone for their support.  Suicide touches so many people.  It is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States -- almost 43,000 people per year take their own lives.  I realize it is too late to save my aunt or my boss, but if I can use this event to bring awareness to suicide prevention (also to making resources available and removing the stigma attached to asking for help), then I feel like I am doing the right thing. 

We are still accepting raffle prizes.  If you have a company that would like to donate to the cause, please let me know.  Thank you to Cowboy Wild (Robert) for setting this up for me.  Thank you to Club 1220 for hosting.  Thank you to the dancers who will be donating their time.  And thank you to everyone who will be attending.  I am always touched at the support of the pole dancing community and 1220 crowd.

If you are unable to make it to the event, but would like to donate, please use THIS link.  If you would prefer to send me a check, please contact me directly.  Otherwise, I look forward to seeing everyone on the 24th with your dollar bills in hand!

Friday, September 2, 2016

NCPP 2016 Wrap-Up

The third annual Northern California Pole Presentational is in the books.  We did it!

In year one, we worried.  We planned but we worried.  Would everyone want to participate in another pole event?  Turns out, we had nothing to worry about. 

In year two, we knew we were fine.  This wasn't our first rodeo.  We knew what to expect, and we had another amazing year.  I even got to watch a good portion of the show!

Year three finally provided us with a challenge.  It wasn't anything we couldn't handle.  Shirts bearing our awesome brand new logo came in two days before show time with damage.  Damn.  No problem -- discounted shirts for everyone!  New staff at the venue (who did a great job but sometimes when I'm stressed out, I forget people can't read my mind).  A checkerboard floor at the venue only the day before the show -- very cool if you planned your outfit around it, but not if you were wearing black and white yourself.  Parking issues.  Injuries.  But we did it.  A fantastic year and another group of awesome pole dancers successfully crossing our stage!

Ellen and I were discussing how we both really have no idea what the other person does.  We literally could not run this show without the other person.  We have a very easy working relationship.  We rarely disagree and it makes me extremely happy to have someone I can depend on working on this show with me. 

I don't have much to say other than thank you.  Thank you to the dancers, who make this event possible.  There would be no reason to do this if you were not hungry for an event such as ours.  THANK YOU to Chobi!  Seriously!  He travels from Los Angeles and rigs our poles to keep our dancers safe.  He keeps an eye on everyone during the event.  He has a sharp eye, will not hesitate to act as security when necessary, and offers hugs when he knows they are needed.  We could not do this without Chobi.  Thank you to our vendors who come out to support us and haul their wares to sell.  Thank you to our sponsors for supporting us and keeping this show affordable for their students.  Thank you to our volunteers for helping us out all day.  Thank you to Robert for always letting us borrow his stage poles for the warm-up area -- and for basically being our assistant all day last Saturday.  Thank you to Janet and Ginger for keeping the backstage in order and our dancers in line.  Thank you to Kai, Miles and Tiffers for standing in the back of the theater for the entire day taking photos and video.  Thank you to our lovely judges, who travel and give up their day to give feedback to our performers.  Thank you to Amy Bond for trusting me with her idea and letting me run with it.  Thank you to Rita for always helping with our interwebs questions.  Thank you to our audience for supporting local arts.  Thank you to Jonathan, our stage and sound person from the venue, who did that event on two hours of sleep.  Also, thank you to everyone who came out and celebrated my birthday after the event.  As I suspected might happen, after waking up at 4:30 AM and being on my feet all day, the party didn't get all that wild.  We ate dinner at a jazz bar, which had children present, so no lap dances were in the cards that evening.  I was also ready for bed at 8:30 PM.  Sometimes, it is the thought that counts, and I do hope downtown San Jose enjoyed the ass signing that I received in the middle of the sidewalk.  Finally, thank you to my pole mama, Bel, for introducing me to this beautiful world.  Unfortunately, I am sure I have forgotten someone (which is generally why I hate mass thank-you's, but please know that I appreciate everyone who touched this show). 

I am looking forward to year four, and I hope you are too!  (P.S.  If you missed out on one of the new shirts and you would like one, please send me a message.  We can ship!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Day I Turned 40 and the World Didn't End

I turned 40 today and...nothing happened!  My eyes didn't suddenly stop working.  My back didn't go out (well, that's a lie...its a little twinge-y today but that's because I was lifting heavy things over the weekend).  My bladder didn't start leaking.  I didn't lose my sex drive.  I didn't shrivel up into a little crying ball wishing I was 30 again. 

I think 40 is going to work out well for me. 

I've been on quite the adventure throughout my life.  Sure, I haven't traveled to a ton of exotic places or cured cancer, but I try to keep the excitement at a long-term sustainable level. 

In my 20's, I worked with local bands and spent a lot of fun nights in the bars and clubs with a great group of friends.  In my 30's, I started pole dancing and met another community of amazing people.  I have been in my career for 22 years.  I have been an aunt for 11 years. 

I have experienced tragedy and anguish -- the lowest of the lows, where I have considered ending my own life.  And I have experienced the highest of the highs, where it feels criminal to be so happy.  I am happiest where I stand now.  I enjoy my job.  I love my friends and family.  I am active and healthy and feel the best I have in years. 

I have climbed Half Dome.  Sure, it's not Everest, but it kind of felt like it that day as I looked over the edge, amazed that I made it.  I worked for the Raiders for two seasons.  I did the 100th annual Bay to Breakers.  I love drag shows!  I live for good live music -- and my favorite band is Pepper.  I have done yoga in Grace Cathedral.  The beach is my happy place.  Riding horses on the beach is a feeling I can't describe.  Sunsets make me cry -- in a good way.  I have helped build the first independent and largest pole showcase in Northern California.  I play a chunky superhero in my off time.  Seriously, my life does not suck. 

I am really trying to embrace the "fuck yes" mentality.  The article I read applied it to dating -- not wasting time with men who are just "meh," but it transfers nicely to life.  If it is not a "fuck yes," it is a no.  When I was at my highest weight, I felt myself pulling away from people.  So, that's when I got into the local music scene and started making myself go out.  I took on the attitude that I would pretty much say yes to any experience that was offered to me (within reason, of course).  Although it certainly helped me not become antisocial and showed me some really fun times, I spread myself too thin.  Suddenly, you realize you're super busy but spending time with people who don't matter.  So, although I still stay busy now, I make time for the people who matter to me -- and those people make time for me as well.  We make time for the things that are important to us.  So, I say fuck yes to those things. 

Anyone can buy you a gift.  I am more interested in the experiences.  The most valuable thing you can give me is your time and I appreciate each and every one of you who has shared your time with me (and apologize to anyone who didn't make the photo album below...I went through photos for an hour trying to find everyone!). 

my mom

my dad
my nephew, Dillon

Family at the beach

Babies at Golden Gate Bridge

My seastar's wedding

Grand Canyon


Introducing the Moose!

My youngest sister, Lindsey

John dragging me across the finish line

The battle between good and evil

My friend Neil, originally from the band Sunburn

Chunky Girls in action


Ellen and me at NCPP

Jade -- she is everything!

Kristina -- my friend since we were 15

Rachelle and Ness -- I have known them 20 years

My mom and me at the beach

Fancy dress party


Bret from Pepper

Yesod from Pepper

Kaleo from Pepper


Introducing Ness to snapchat filters

The Pearson family

Do you know who this is?

Mina, Nadia and Rita

in Tahoe celebrating Ness' 40th

Marisa and Gia

Wipeout Run

NCPP 2016

Larissa, Annie and Rita

Do you know who THIS is?

Twirly fun

My hoe ass giraffe sister and partner in crime