Sunday, July 26, 2015

Booty Swing

Today is better than yesterday, but that's not really saying much.

I am feeling as optimistic as I can, however I am having the type of anxiety where I am battling back panic attacks constantly. Work ended up being a great thing, because we were incredibly busy, and keeping busy kept me outta my head, and present, however this morning I woke up and I already felt close to tears, and the idea of leaving the house was daunting, and difficult.

I am grateful that Bradford has been around, especially the last two days-- his calming presence matched with being ready with open arms for hugs, and yesterday, when I had two bawling break-downs he was there to listen to me sob, and reassure me while I was momentarily broken.

Adding to my hysteria has been this added sadness of really missing my mom. My step-mom has been upset with me, so even though I am really excited for my upcoming trip to visit my parents I have felt awful distance. So, I feel lonely, sad, and I am missing my mom. 95 days since she passed away, and it's still a fresh wound.

Honestly we're both down-- he's doing better than me at the moment, but he too has been struggling for a while. I think currently he's Mr. No Personality due to him being on day two of being covered in hives (he's having a severe allergic reaction), other than that he's been my support; we volunteered this week at the Lane County Fair, we both donated plasma together, he's been transcribing documents online as a way to try and generate income, and we've been applying to jobs and aid like crazy.

Moreover, we've been lucky enough to do some trades with friends to keep ourselves a little a float, we sold a couple of Bradford's things (and now can make rent), we are donating plasma again in the morning (which should take care of our phones, and comcast), I get paid on the last day of the month, we both have SNAP benefits (finally), we chose to forgo assistance from FOOD for Lane County for July (we thought we were okay, and felt like we should receive a food box unless in need) but will be getting one for August, and our friends are able to give us $20 for babysitting the other day.

We are doing everything we can, but I am close to saying the hell with all of this, and asking Colbi and Brett if we can stay with them until we can afford to move again. It would be cramped, and full of animals, and we would need to put almost all of our things in storage, but then we might have a chance in the next few months to get ourselves situated.

I dunno.

I do know that I am lucky that yesterday when Skye and Keith were picking Juliet up after a day with her I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking to them-- it grounded me, and made me feel less like a complete failure of a human being. And, Stephanie also came by yesterday, and that helped too.

I guess the meaning behind this post is really nothing than a moment to say we are trying, and working, and hopefully soon things will get better, and until then if you see me and I seem drained, tired, stressed, sick-- it's because things are stormy, and I feel weathered.

Anyways, I am hoping to be posting something other then a pile of sadness. Maybe in the next week, or two I'll have some new recipes to share. And, pictures.

And, hopefully the next time I post I'll have the good news of Bradford and I both finding amazing employment, or something. Fingers crossed.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Three Months. Just rough.

Everyone, please send me positive, strong Find-A-New-Job vibes for Corvallis.

It's not a secret that we lost our main source of income back at the beginning of April, since then Brad has sent out well over 300 application (we keep a running list), we didn't receive a denial about unemployment until June, Brad was JUST NOW able to get on SNAP, because there's been some note on his application, because he applied for Unemployment benefits.

We are on a waiting list for pretty much every single low-income assistance that is out there.

I love my current job, however this week I was scheduled only 10 hours-- I requested that I be off work by 1:30 on Wednesday (the time I am normally off) because I was working a volunteer shift at the fair. I requested Saturday off so I could babysit. Other than that, open availability. 10 hours.

And, I am just so tired. Tired of selling anything of value online (seriously, people suck most of the time and I don't want to work fucking retail on my off time). Tired of having my Facebook turned off every few hours to ensure my identity, because of selling my valuables online. Tired of having 40+ hours open availability and constantly getting less than 20. Tired of not being able to market my personal business the way I would like, or be able to schedule private lessons, because my schedule is NEVER finished remotely close to being on time (seriously if the week starts on Monday, I shouldn't be getting my schedule on Monday).

Yesterday, we spent well over 4 hours at the plasma donation center, because while we are waiting for energy assistance we got a shut off notice, so we sold our precious fluids just to keep our lights on...in the meantime, every month since Brad has lost his job we've barely make rent-- depleting our savings for moving, selling my services and Hoops lower than they are worth just to get by, asking to be cross-trained at the restaurant to get more hours...and, I got my paperwork for the reproduction endocrinologist-- there's a $579 deposit due at the beginning of my appointment.

So, it would be dandy if Brad and I both got a decent job in Corvallis so Brad can finish his undergraduate work (Bradford took this last year off from school to become an in-state resident so he would no longer have to out-of-state tuition).

It's been a particularly rough three months. Dealing with this, dealing with the emotions that go along with my mother's passing, dealing with a partner that's depressed. Just rough.

Monday, July 20, 2015

'It's Part Of the Noise When Winter Comes It Reverberates In My Lungs' -- A Quick List of My Favorite Hula Hooping Videos

I have been meaning to put together a short list of my favorite hooping videos, which, as it turns out is harder to do than one would think. 

THERE ARE SO MANY WONDERFUL HOOPERS, AND HOOPING VIDEOS. 

Mostly this is steaming from a need to dead-head an issue I encounter with a lot of newbie hoopers,and students which is often times we get this idea in our head of how hooping should look, and we try to mimic that. 

Flow is a state of complete immersion into an activity. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says;"(flow is) being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follow from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

I have read different ways to encourage flow in others (that's a different topic on it's own), however often times newbie hoopers are not 
committed to finding their own flow, that there is a certain amount of expectation that someone else will come along and drop flow inside of them, and magically they're hooping like Anah, Rachael, or Christabel. The truth is, not all of us are going to wake up one day and have Brecken's masterful isolations down, or be as bold as Emma, have Baxter's balance (or blindfolded meditation down).

Hooping is moving meditation, and flow looks different for everyone, and when you're a newbie, or just interested in hooping it's a good idea to try and watch different kinds of hoopers-- doing this taught me early on in my hoop path, that I am never going to hoop like anyone else but me. I will never hoop like Gail, because I am Sari. 

That being said, here are some of my favorite videos showcasing different types of flow...


I actually don't know this girl. Her Youtube username is hadriabeth. I first found this hooping video when I was just becoming comfortable with my own newly found title of 'Hooper.' Today, it remains to be one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. She is using a "bigger" hoop, she is moving, she is having fun! This is a single shot frame, in a grassy area. She's not performing to perform-- she is dancing, and spinning art in the front of her apartments. To me, this is often times what hooping really looks like. Bomb music (she is dancing to Love Today by Mika), moving, smiling-- really not giving a damn except #hooplove.

I do not know this hooper either-- her username is victoria989 on youtube. I discovered this video a few years ago while making my entry for the Curvy Hoopers Video Challenge 2012. This video is actually what inspired me to try a slower flow for my own personal entry. This entire video gives me a man-crush; I love her flow, clean lines, and thoughtful movement. I love that this video isn't "perfect," but somehow always comes across as perfect to me. Matched with music by Pretty Lights it is sexy without being overtly sexual, and every time I watch it I can't help thinking of how strong, and beautiful the dancer looks.

I had the pleasure of meeting Matthias Elliot a couple of years ago at HoopCamp, and have been Facebook friends with him a little while longer. However, before Hoop Camp 2013 there was this awesome video, and it remains to be one of my favorites, because it is silly, it is full of body love (because you can't be shy and wear that and dance, right?), and I often share it with my male clients starting out, because Hooping IS f#$%ing Manly. 
I love Olive photobombing in the background on the Cyr Wheel at HC13': Matthias and I.

This is Nakotah LaRance my interaction with him online have given me the impression that he is a goofy, sweet guy. And, this is actually a music video that Nakotah was featured in for The Knocks & Fred Falke's song, Geronimo. I don't think there is a hooper I know that doesn't consider this a hooping video, honestly, because it is so bomb dot com. Hoop Dancing doesn't actually begin until about 1:40 into the video, and once six time World Champion Hoop Dancer, Nakotah LaRance starts to put his own spin on traditional Native American Hoop Dance it is a spiritual experience. 


Jessica Sparrow, was the first person to introduce me to the idea of "hoop space" it's because of her area (in this video) that she had deliberately cleared for hoop dance that my living room in Salt Lake City was left empty for hooping. It's a beautiful example of simplicity in flow being breath-taking. And, I love all of her deliberate movement. 


I shared this video with Jess several years ago, and she immediately pinned it in one of her boards on Pintrest. This is Leslie Loges, and I think the reason this video is one of my favorites is summed up simply by Leslie's smile at 1:45 into this video. This entire video always makes me smile, each time I watch it, but at 1:45 Leslie's grin is a reminder to me why I hula hoop. That smile is pure joy and love-- it's the feeling you get when you find your flow. It's impossible to feel sad when you're hula hooping, and this is always a reminder of that sentiment. 

This is me. Sari, or Sarah if you're a purist, of Buckleberry Hoops (hey my actual web-site is coming, bitches). This is a new favorite, and I feel silly adding it to this list, but for personal reasons it is a favorite. I love the work that Skye and Keith of Radiance Photographics put into it. I love that even though it's been well-over a year between this hooping video and my last one, I still had the courage to make it. Hooping makes me feel more comfortable in my body. It makes me feel strong, and even though this last year has been a vulnerable one, I feel that this video highlights a lot of the joy that has been ever present too. Plus, it really highlights the  beauty of where I live, why I love it, and why it feels apart of me. Hooping at home (Oregon) is the most satisfying and loving thing I do for myself. 

This video is a staple I show to students, and friends that are first starting out. I think Sandra SaFire did an extraordinary job really highlighting the key elements to improving; drop, drop, dropping. Often times, in the pursuit of "getting good" we look upon dropping the hooping, and messing up as failures instead of taking the time to see what went well, or how you can improve upon your 'mess up' in the future. This video taught me to love the sound of my hoop dropping instead of wincing, and kinda encouraged that goofy play attitude one needs to have the self-esteem to pick up your hoop, smile and keep going.  

This is a short video of a bunch of clips from Nick Guzzardo's hooping practice. I really encourage taping practices-- this provides you with the opportunity to document improvement, and watch yourself to note the things that went well. And, when you tape yourself during practice you sometimes get a fun video to share on YouTube to inspire others. Nick talked about how the solo dance part where the hoop got away from him was a hard thing to post, because he felt self-conscious and he shared it anyways. I think the reason this is a favorite is because admitting that something was hard, and doing it anyways, is beautiful. Go, Nick, go. 
Nick Guzzardo and I at HC13. I look like this, because as it turns out camping knocked up can be rough.

This is my Sammy. She is like that friend that you go long periods of time not talking to and when you reconnect you pickup where you left off. I think the reason I love this so much is for a variety of reasons. Mostly, steaming from the fact that I get teary eyed and full of pride because I see so much improvement, love, grace, and strength in this. I wish that Samantha Rogers was able to continue on in this year's Hooping Idol on hooping.org-- I really think we would have saw some amazing things from her during the competition. In the meantime, this video has become a recent favorite (like the one of me), because it showcases beautiful Alaska, and a very happy Sam. And, I really love that. 

Sam and I meeting Jonathan Baxter for the first time. 

Anyways, there are tons, and tons more I want to share. More male hoopers, more tutorials, more friends, more joy. However, I just wanted to compose a short list of my favorites, because I've been meaning to for sometime. If you're curious about new videos following hooping.org is a great way to stumble upon amazing things, so is Youtube and Vimeo.


Honorable mention videos on Vimeo:
Amy Hula Hooping with a GoPro

Also, newbies should check out Sarah Jordan's YouTube channel for a plethora of different resources.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

They Are Crazy.

Today I had a doctor's appointment with a practitioner that works in my new primary care provider's office. 

Today has been productive.

I walked away from the appointment feeling nervous, but more hopeful than I have felt in a long while, with new medication to try and better regulate my pain symptoms, and two referrals.

The first referral is to go see Dr. Austin, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist. And, the name of the Women's Clinic for Laparosocpic Surgery for Endometriosis...though, there is no doubt in my mind that I have other issue(s) outside of PCos. I have suffered near debilitating pain constantly since my teen years, that has only gotten worse.

I went in, near tears the entire time. I told "them" that I have had 7 miscarriages; 3 confirmed, 4 positive home tests only to experience a loss prior to confirmation. I explained that my best friend, Jessica Stahle, is a midwife and that she has been apart of my support during all of this. I explained that my history of miscarriage started in 2006, and that a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood in 2007 diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, that I was diagnosed through a process of elimination of testing, and labs. I explained that with my loss in November 2013 I had weighed about 185, and yes, by the time I found out that my next pregnancy was ectopic I weighed 209, and today I weighed 236.

I did cry. I cried because I hurt a lot, constantly. That I have maybe five to seven days out of the month where I don't have pain, and that's it. I cried, because I am active, I am healthy, and I know I can be healthier, but I am doing everything in my financial power to eat good foods.

And, now I sob, because even though I love my body, and I know I am doing what I can to take care of it-- this is a good example of the difference in lifestyles I had in Utah, versus here in Oregon. Though, I feel my quality of life is exceptionally better here, there is no denying that I had a certain amount of financial freedom-- yes, I worked less, and made less money in Utah, I also lived with Jess and Ian most of that time, and they only ever asked me to pay them whatever I could afford to help out. Nothing more, nothing less. And, when I didn't live with Jess and Ian, I lived at Primrose Cottage-- Marc's parent's had the house in their name, and Marc paid them monthly.

I never had to worry about anything outside of paying my cell bill, working on paying on student loans, and paying off random stuff...everything else was taken care of because I either just handed money to Jess (whatever I felt I could part with), and the rest went towards self-care.

I took care of myself in Utah. And when I say I took care of myself I mean, I worked a job I loved. I spent the money to pamper myself on occasion (facials, or other random treats), and once a month I would get a massage. And, my food was organic (mostly), gluten free, and almost all my meals were not processed at all (my food didn't come to me in a box).

I simply can't afford to take care of myself. I cannot afford organic all the time. I can't afford gluten free foods, and I for sure have to eat processed things, because when you pickup food boxes you're just grateful to have food.

Anyways, back to the doctor's visit-- we talked about my facial hair growth, we talked about my dandruff and acne, we talked through my symptoms of depression, and anxiety, and, as always, the pill was pushed at some point.

Because when it comes to pelvic pain the cure-all is birth control.

Anyways, I feel excited, because I want medical assistance in trying to fix this situation. I want to have a child someday, for fuck's sake (not tomorrow, but before I am thirty-five), and I don't want to be in pain all the fucking time anymore. And, I don't want to be this major cunt to be around most of the time, because I am in fucking pain. And, I don't want to be over-weight my entire life.

I also would like the money to better take care of myself and Bradford.

So, today, feels like a win. I'll have some exploratory surgery, because I am so desperate to find out what's wrong, why not cut into my abdomen to try and see if endometrial cells are growing outside of the uterus. They probably are.

In the meantime, I have a couple of blogs in the draft box-- I am really behind on a few entries, and at this point they may be scrapped all together. I am waiting to hear back about the referrals (about five days), my next appointment with my doctor is the 12th of August. I already have my new medicine, and I really hope to see an improvement over time now that I have doctor's working for me. #ThanksObama

So, I am asking for extra well wishes at this time. I will let people know as I have things scheduled. The surgery won't be a big deal at all, however I am a wiener and I'll probably be nervous until it's over. I am also asking friends to send me job prospects for the Corvallis area, and places to live. Part of us trying to do better consists of one of us finishing school. And, I really want Corvallis to workout as a good spot for us for the next two years as I get a handle on my health.

#sendlove

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

"Mermaids don't lose sleep over the opinion of shrimp."

So, there has been a lot going on in a very short amount of time.

I think that this post will mostly focus on the good stuff zooming around.

-- I was featured on hooping.org for the Hooping Lane County video.
-- My brother turned 25, and recently got engaged.
-- I was finally able to nail down a primary care provider that accepts my insurance, and is accepting new patients.
-- I have a doctor's appointment scheduled.
-- I vagged up and asked to no longer work with a manager that I don't get along with.
-- I recently put together a stand for my hoops that are for sale. Creating a lot more organization inside my home, and making me feel a little bit more legit outside while selling.
-- I have a Hoop Jam coming up for July 18th at Emerald Park.

-- I have a private lesson scheduled for this weekend.
-- We've been trying to gear things up for relocating to Corvallis since Bradford needs to finish his Physics degree.
-- Bradford and I have plans for a fancy Grocery Outlet date.
-- I need to be outside more, and swimming more.
-- I am spending the day with Brett and Colbi tomorrow. I am really stoked.

Then there's this picture (which I love):



Other than that, our most recent selling venture was at the 4th Annual Dexter Lake 4th of July Celebration. I sold more hoops this year, then I did the year before. It was a good time, and you can see how we spent our 4th of July in this video Keith made:



It's also neato, because nearly all the hoops (except for maybe one) I made in the video. Go team #BuckleberryHoops!