Happy Birthday! (Warner Promo) [x]

quick question: what do you guys think are the best webseries to start off with? for people who haven’t seen much/any?



When you are born you become a member of your first group. Depending on who they are, you are now part of that bigger community. In life, as circumstances and choices pave our way we become members and participants of more and more groups. Unfortunately, sometimes those groups are based on hardships, traumas, and tragedies. Once you are a member of one of these groups, you enter an entire world that is best understood by those exclusive members. For instance, I belong to the sexually assaulted group, the eating disorder group, my father’s been in an intensive care unit group, the touched by suicide group, the cancer survivor group, the morbidly obese group, the self loathing group, the divorced group, the immigration marriage group, the addict group, the co-dependent group, the Jewish group, the transformation group and the parent group. Being truly seen and witnessed by members in the group, who can empathize, feels grounding and affirming. I found it fascinating that when I worked in a restaurant, and then left the restaurant, the friendships basically ended there (love to all u rare exceptions). It felt similar to when I deactivated from a sorority in college, and then those “sisters” were no more. I was traumatized in 8th grade by my friends who teased me about my eating disorder, and then collectively isolated me from the group. I have been devastated to see that those same “mean girl” antics are often still playing out in adult friendship dynamics. A couple years ago, I felt insecure at my daughter’s school. I blamed my weight for being the reason why some people did not seem fond of me. Regardless of the reason for the disdain, it existed for me. I surmised that it was based on my appearance, but that may not have been their truths. Now that I don’t have my weight as an easy cop-out, I have found other excuses to rationalize my insecurities. Now, the critic in my head wonders if it’s because of my transformation and my journey. I worry I have been too successful, and now I’m triggering for being too confident or too thin. Again, these are my crazy circus monkeys, not someone else’s. There will always be a reason for me to beat myself up, if I’m interested in doing so (which I’m not!) I will never be perfect or anything resembling perfection. I am tired of being my biggest critic. Finding which new group I currently belong in, is proving difficult. I was told this week by the Militant Baker, who has over 90 thousand followers on her Facebook page, said that I should no longer post my before and after pictures on her (body positive) Facebook page. She is concerned that my photos may be triggering people. I was surprised and disappointed that was her opinion, because I hoped to be inspiring not triggering. One of the pictures I had posted was a close up of my stomach, in all of its glory and imperfection. I wanted that to stir emotions of acceptance and commonality. I believe my happiness and self love comes from loving myself, and taking care of myself every single day, in the body that I have. That love, regardless of my weight has helped me lose weight. I’m not sitting here saying lose weight and you’ll love yourself. I’m saying, love yourself and you will lose weight. It may be a thin (no pun intended) line to walk, being an inspiration, and not a trigger. I understand this first hand. I blocked a friend of mine on Facebook, before my journey began. She was having a lot of sucess on a weight loss plan, and I was so jealous I couldn’t take it. After I blocked her, I would still go look at her page occasionally. Ultimately, it was one of the numerous factors that motivated me to write my letter of intention almost a year ago. So, I get it and I am sorry if I have triggered anyone. I’ve been called skinny a lot lately, and a skinny bitch too. That was never a group I’ve been a member of or thought I would be a member of. There seems to be as much judgment and accusations attached to “skinny bitch” as morbidly obese. When I became a member of sexually assaulted group, my immediate response was to gain weight. I wanted a literal barrier around me, I wanted safety. Reading a quote on Facebook yesterday, about how eating cake will keep you safer from kidnapping, I cringed. Coincidently, I finished a movie yesterday on Netflix, called Cake. In the movie Jennifer Aniston is reeling from becoming a new member of two groups. One, living with chronic pain. Two, losing your child. Both of those realities are not mine, so I don’t feel worthy of speaking about either. Yet, the desperate measures that Jennifer was going too, to avoid feeling her feelings and numbing her pain resonated deeply with me. I have spent a lifetime numbing out through people, food, or substances and going to extreme measures in hopes of avoiding feeling uncomfortable feelings. This road brought more painful pitfalls than simply walking and sitting with the feelings. The perceived fears are far scarier than the surrendered reality. Sitting inside the uncertain mess feeling sad, mad, scared, or glad is where I get to have my cake and eat it too! I am grateful to be living freely today, without my safety caked around my body. I don’t run away from the unhappy or the uncomfortable. Instead I embrace, explore, and get curious. I may be in between groups, but I’m also now a member of a lot of new groups. I have normal blood sugar group. I get up at 5 am and workout every morning group. I own my bullshit and am accountable group. I lost 86 pounds by loving and taking care of myself group. I have a strong vibrant gratitude practice group. I feel blessed and lucky to be alive group. I believe in progress not perfection group. I’m not perfect, and I still want to make a difference for the future generations group. I love Sara Michele Kaplan group. I don’t need cake to be happy group. I’m not eating myself to death group. The one day at a time group.

Thank you for witnessing me, supporting me, and being a part of my Public Display of Self Love group.

Your groupie,
Sara Michelle

Girl Isn’t Cool Anymore and It Sucks

Some people at this point might be able to tell that skateboarding is changing. I’ve recently (within the past months) noticed that skaters and brands that I once thought were top of the game are quickly losing their flare. Now, most people probably noticed this long before I had this realization, but this is because I hadn’t actually dived very deep into skate culture until about a year ago. Last year I might have said my favorite skateboard company was Baker or Girl, both fine companies still, but everyone knows that Girl or Baker at some point must come down from their throne. 

I recently had a reckoning of sorts after I watched Supreme’s “cherry”; everything I thought I knew about skateboarding was fucked. “cherry” is a landmark video filled with no-complies and wallies galore, but at some point in the recent past these tricks were stupid as shit. When I first watched “Pretty Sweet” I didn’t have Instagram and I had no knowledge of the likes of Anthony Papalardo or Jason Dill. At that time (I have to admit) I couldn’t tell the difference between an inward heel and a hardflip. That being said when I finally put on my big boy pants and started to actually pay attention to shit, Pretty Sweet was probably two years old already. That was pretty much the peak of the last generation of skateboarding. 

As I aforementioned Girl is still a great company with a great team and a good image, but (unfortunately) they aren’t cool. Don’t think this post is only about Girl because i’m trying to explain the big picture, and that means that most of the companies from yesteryear have pretty much lost all of their influence on today’s skaters. Lakai, Emerica, Baker, Plan B, enjoi, Almost, the most influential companies of a few years ago are going extinct; not because of money or the people that run them, but it’s almost as if the very name of those brands are out of style. Who’s the hottest pro right this second? Alex Olson? Dylan Rieder? Na-Kel? Yeah, take a look at their sponsors. Alex Olson knew what he was doing when he left Girl. He is one of few pros that can keep up with the times and predict what the “kids will be into”. The East Coast is taking over and it’s bringing a revolution of jersey-barriers and tucked in shirts with it. Skateboarding is turning away from the influence from the likes of Chris Cole and experimenting with weird-ass lines downtown NYC. 

Do yourself a favor and watch Anthony Papalardo’s Fully Flared part. Done? Okay now watch Cyrus Bennett’s Space Heater remix. These parts came out almost ten years apart, but when Fully Flared debuted Papalardo’s part was shit. Now does it make sense to say that Papalardo was ahead of his goddamn time?Ollieing over rails and shuv-its over gaps were not thought highly of at the time of the Lakai Video, but skaters now care more about the style and quality of the tricks instead of the most fucking flips ever done. 

My point is, some of a couple years ago’s companies are losing their grasp on this generation of skateboarders. It fucking blows to see the best become washed up, but at the same time it’s refreshing to see the industry change.