shanmonster: (Liothu'a)
It's been far too long since I did any substantial blogging. I do a lot of posting on FB, but it's not at all the same thing. FB does not encourage active conversation. The threading on posts is borked, and on more than one occasion, misunderstandings have arisen from replies made in these threads that were so severe that they resulted in people dropping me as a friend. In one instance, I was busy formulating a carefully-worded response to an earlier comment in a thread. While in this process, they were responding to other things and making other points. By the time I'd finished my write-up, there'd been several messages in the interim and because of simple timing and non-threaded discourse, it made it look like I'd completely blown off the points they were making. I tried to send a private message to explain what had happened, but they'd already blocked me.

This sort of platform does not make for good communication. It does not make for lasting friendship. Now, I'm not completely dismissing FB. It is excellent for sharing photos and links, and for networking and sharing events. I have missed the nuanced conversations and friendships I made in my years of blogging on my own defunct site and, later on, on LJ.

My intention is to resuscitate my old website. This is a daunting task. I hand-coded every single one of those many hundreds of webpages. It was years of work. Can I port things over without destroying my old formatting? How does FTP even work anymore? I haven't done it in so long that I've forgotten almost everything.

In other news, I've been working hard to promote my artwork and get more regular practice in. I started an Instagram account where I share artwork regularly. I've been updating it daily since I started paying attention to it. I haven't sold anything via that venue (yet). I have, however, sold several pieces through FB. Go figure.

I hope to go back to university at some point to pursue my fine arts training. In the meantime, I'll practice independently.

Here is my current major work in progress. If you click on the picture, you'll go to a gallery of my progress shots:

In other news, this afternoon I'll be going to Brass Butterflies (an aerial studio in Waterloo) to study handstands and acro-yoga. The training will never end until ten minutes after I'm dead.
shanmonster: (Default)
I was determined to bake bread today, and a loaf is in the oven even as I type. I modified this recipe and turned it into this, instead:

- 2 tsp honey
- 2 2/3 cup lukewarm water
- 4 tsp dry yeast (I used 2 little packs)
- 3 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup ground flax meal
- 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stir honey into 2/3 cup lukewarm water in a small bowl.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. In another small bowl, mix molasses with 2/3 cup warm water. Combine with yeast mixture.
  5. Put flour in a large bowl. Add salt, flax meal, 1 Tbsp of flax seeds, and 1 1/3 cups warm water. Dough will be sticky.
  6. Pour dough into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Smooth top down, and sprinkle with flax seeds.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes
  9. Cool 10 minutes on a rack, then turn out of pan. Let cool before slicing.
I'll let you know how this turns out. The recipe was just so quick and easy, I had to give it a try.

[homemade bread]

The verdict: Dense but good. I think I'll keep trying out other recipes, but this isn't bad.

Flex Appeal

Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:03 am
shanmonster: (Default)
And it's time for the monthly progress pictures and measurements. )
shanmonster: (Default)
I'm looking forward to the gym today. Even on my less than spectacular gym days, I feel like I'm making progress. I increased my jumping jacks from 200 to 300, and I'm feeling the difference from when I first started. I can almost see the fat disappearing and feel my lungs getting stronger. I'm still working on getting my heart rate back to normal immediately after cardio. I was able to do it before. I'll be able to do it again.

90-second straight-armed side planks are no longer difficult. I hold the top leg up for the first 40 seconds. That challenges me. I'm looking forward to being able to hold a full star position for the complete 90 seconds. Then I'll change it up yet again.

I've still had no luck finding work, but I've been working on at least one creative project a day, getting caught up on my reading, and getting my back view to look like this:


I'm curious to see what changes will happen as I progress with my bent-over rows. Come on, lats. I know you're in there!
shanmonster: (Default)
I got the rest of my octopus ink today.

It is darker than I envisioned. It's still swollen, but it doesn't hurt. I go back in a couple of weeks to see if anything needs to be touched up.



Aug. 27th, 2010 03:53 pm
shanmonster: (Tiger claw)
Today I've been cleaning my room. And then I got distracted by an unlikely outfit, put it on, and took this picture.



Edit: Now with added silly dance!

shanmonster: (Sacrilicious)
I had a scary moment last night. I was biking home from my dance class when I saw someone was throwing out a bunch of stuff, including a toy shopping cart. I thought my nephew might like such a thing, so I spun back and got it. It was not heavy or particularly large, but it was awkward. I found a way to hold it in one hand and started biking home.

At one point, the breeze caught the toy and shifted it in my grip, and my knee got caught in the basket part, which caused me to suddenly veer out into the street without warning.

There were no cars, but my heart was pumping pretty hard and fast up in my throat for a moment, there.

So now, at great potential cost, Ralph has a free toy shopping cart, next time he comes to visit. He'd better like it! Ha!


I'm searching for music to use for an upcoming Hallowe'en dance performance. I'm looking for something I could use for a piece about necromancy. So far, the most interesting pieces have been from the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack, the opening sequence of Ghost in the Shell, and Nox Arcana's Night of the Wolf. I wish I were better at sound editing on my computer. I'd find a way to mix them together.

Today I sent in a submission for an interesting-looking dance opportunity in November.


Link time.

The Candy With the Hole: This advertising campaign can't possibly be accidental.

Female Infants Growing Breasts: Another Disaster From Hormones in Milk Production: Horrid, yet the morbid part of me laments there are no pictures.

'The Walking Dead': Zombie awesomeness in series trailer: This looks so good! I need to see it.

Visual Impact Muscle Building: I don't agree with all of the author's opinions, but he did give me some interesting food for thought, and helped me understand why the exercises I've been doing have been making my muscles grow suddenly. I'm intrigued.

Chinchilla Poop Reveals How Much It Rained: "Chinchilla poop is serving an unlikely purpose in one of the world's driest places, Chile's Atacama Desert. The animals' tiny waste pellets are helping scientists reconstruct the rainfall in the region over the last 14,000 years." Lucky scientists, playing with poop all day.

The 200 yard gong shot: About the only time golf has ever been interesting to me. Impressive! But I think gongs make everything better.

Using the Lat Pull Down Machine to Get Strong for Your First Pull-up: Makes perfect sense, but I hadn't thought of it this way. Looks like I have a new way to think about pull-ups.

Eye Wired Open: "When Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence decided to have his badly damaged eye removed from its socket, he chose to replace it not with a prosthetic, but with a wireless camera. The decision, he says, was easy." Cue Terminator II theme music....

Persephone: A lovely painting by Colette Calascione (nudity). I'd love to have this on my wall. In the meantime, it is my desktop image. The other paintings are interesting, too.

Crazy dildo time! Cthulhu | Xenomorph | Zombie. The last one reminds me of that creepy disease porn I wrote a while back.

Miniature Motor Home: I ... I think I want one.


And just 'cause, here's a picture of me in action, doing jumping Hindu squats. Shaun thought this was the funniest shit, ever. The picture is probably blurry because of his laughter.



Aug. 20th, 2010 01:39 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
Here you go, [ profile] tlatoani. The side view.

I have wicked cramps today, so this is a bit bloaty.

[Side view]

Bonus round! Horse stance really does look silly in undies. Hahahah!

[Horse back]
shanmonster: (Default)
I'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular, because this is an issue I've been encountering over and over again for decades. But, I am intrigued by how it's more culturally acceptable for a man to show progress photos of physique development than it is for a woman. Why is this the case? Discuss!

[Me today]
shanmonster: (Default)
Last night I modeled for artists for the first time since moving to Ontario. It felt like I'd never really stopped, and while I was holding a pose, I realized I've been modeling for 20 years, now. Scary.

Afterward, I hustled to the gym to do my arms workout. Partway through my second set of upright wide cable curls, I wondered what was wrong with me. The workout was so much more difficult than usual. I knew I'd taken a couple of days off (because of going to Toronto on the weekend), but that shouldn't explain my sudden wimpiness. So I looked down at my chart, and then realized I'd gotten the weights wrong, and was lifting 20 pounds more than usual.

I could never have done that before. I would have noticed on my very first curl that the weight was too heavy, and certainly wouldn't have been able to complete two sets.

So yes, this workout is showing major results. My arms have always been my weakest part, and for the first time in years, I've cracked that plateau. I guess it wasn't set in stone, after all. Huzzah!

I haven't measured my biceps, yet, but they do look bigger to me, and they are definitely stronger. Here's me, right now:

[The gun show]

And there are finally pictures of my performances on the weekend. More here.

shanmonster: (Default)
My kung fu figurines went through a violent experience. One died. See?

shanmonster: (Default)
What I did today: [Octopus Ink]

I'm getting it finished in a couple of weeks. I reached the end of my pain tolerance, but the next session will be much faster.

Requisite plug for Cam at Faith and Glory Collective. He's da bomb!


Jul. 15th, 2010 02:07 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
I finished [ profile] knightky's shirt this afternoon. Here it is. I suspect it'll look very different on him.

[Kyle's shirt]

shanmonster: (On the stairs)
My lungs finally relaxed a bit around 3 pm, and off I went to the gym. I am now doing 90-second straight-armed side planks. They hurt like hell. I blame [ profile] knightky for my pain, because he was the one who asked me if I did my side planks with straight arms. So I had to step it up, of course. I need to be able to hold a side plank with ease to do my style of floorwork, anyhow, so it's about time I started working on those.

Speaking of floorwork, I need to get back onto doing these. I used to be able to do those with a 10-lb weight held over my head, so it's time to get back into that shape. Booyeah.

I am getting my first tattoo on Monday. I've been contemplating a tattoo for well over a decade, and I'm finally going with it. I'll post pictures when it's done, of course. It's pretty substantial, and will cover my left deltoid and shoulder blade. Cam from Faith and Glory is doing the honours.

8 Digital

Next month, I believe I'll once again taking the stage with 8 Digital. We'll be opening for Android Lust on August 18th in Toronto. More details forthcoming.

Bargain Bargain Bargain had a sale on their sun dresses, so I got this little number for ten bucks. I think it'll get a lot of wear with the hot weather we've been having here.

[Sun dress]
shanmonster: (Shh...)
I must have really needed sleep. I got to bed around midnight last night, then slept until 8 this morning. Then I was still tired, and went back to bed until about 1:15. Holy crapulence! I've had a flu/cold for almost a week now. Hopefully, that sleep binge will kill the last of it.

I put a pork tenderloin on to marinade in fermented garlic wine for over 24 hours. I just roasted it with onions and baby potatoes in olive oil today, and it was divine. So tender and delicious. I had second helpings.....

The weight training continues despite me being sick, and much to my surprise, hasn't even slowed down. I thought it would take me two or three times as long to complete my workout, but I'm making good time. I've gained about four or five pounds of muscle, too, so I'm pleased. I'm back to the gym today for another workout, once my lunch has had a chance to settle down. I hate exercising on a full stomach.

Link time? Yes.

Mother has dead son's ashes tattooed into her skin 'so he will be with me for the rest of my life': "A heartbroken mother whose 20-year-old son collapsed and died after taking party drug GHB has had his ashes tattooed into her skin in tribute to him." Actually, she looks pretty pleased in the photo.

The Poetry of Life: Spinality: Some beautiful design ideas here, inspired by the spinal column.

I'm particularly fond of this one:

[Spine shirt]

Man fathers child with intention of murdering him: I think this guy out-vengeanced Medea.

Meat-flavored vodkas hit the market: You've probably already heard of the bacon vodka. Well, now there's smoked salmon vodka.

‘Weapons’ seized in G20 arrests not what they seem: A LARPers boffer weapons were seized and described in a most creative/alarmist fashion.

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning: Hollywood's depiction of drowning isn't accurate. I was once rescued from drowning, and this article describes what I was going through very well.

A Soldier Serving in Afghanistan's Letter to the #G20 Police: A different perspective on the actions taken in Toronto last month.

Tired Gay succumbs to Dix in 200 meters: Best sports headline I've seen in a long time.


Me right now, just before I go to the gym:

shanmonster: (On the stairs)
The smog is trying to kill me. My lungs are seized right up, and I sound a bit like Harvey Fierstein because of it. Stupid bad air. Stupid lungs. But I'm going to attempt the gym again today, anyway. Just in a few hours, when my puffer has had a chance to percolate more. Also, black coffee. That might help do the bronchiodilator thing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

On the plus side, I went to my first Pride event this past weekend. It was the biggest parade I've ever been to, ever. Also the hottest. Toronto was a kiln, and I spent little time in the shade. I drank enough water, juice, pop, tea, cappuccinos, freezies, Gatorade, etc. (anything wet and icy when it's that hot) to sink a battleship, and look like I vacationed in Hawaii. Even though I wore lots of sunscreen, I'm all brown. I'm not pleased I drank so much crap, but again, if it's cold and wet, I will drink it, even if it's full of sugar and glucose/fructose. I even shelled out money for bottled water, and I have ethical issues with paying money for water in Canada--especially water imported from across the ocean.

I also walked. And walked. AND WALKED AND WALKED AND WALKED. And danced. Oh yes. And now my legs are made of iron. They're hard as rock and have some serious muscle definition going on. I'm quite pleased with them, and am going to step up the workouts even more to continue the trend.

This is me today. Hi.

[Bang bang]

If my faulty lungs will allow it, I'm adding the following exercises to my daily routine. They can be done at home, and require no equipment.

I'm working my way back to doing one-legged squats again. I'm scared. They hurt so bad....

Pride was a whole lot of awesome, excruciating heat notwithstanding. More on that later....
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I seem to have become lactose intolerant again. I had a lot of dairy yesterday, and spent last night in an agony of cramps. I'm still a little crampy this morning, but not unbearably so. So I guess I'll be off to buy some almond or rice milk to have with my cereal. It's not very nice in tea, though. Boo.

If I'm lucky, maybe goat milk won't bother me. I've had variable success with it in the past when my guts have decided to revolt against cow milk.

I've also noticed a correlation between my lactose intolerance and time of year. It tends to hit more often in the summer. I've no idea why that is.

I bought a five-dollar bikini yesterday. Here I am before the bloating got too bad. It's just enough to hide my abs, here. Heh....


Link time.

Utah firing squad death announced on Twitter: Interesting.

German student attacks Hell's Angels with puppy: Sent to me by a gazillion people... A guy wearing only shorts went off his meds, threw a puppy at Hell's Angels, mooned them, stole a bulldozer, and escaped in a slow-moving chase that caused a major traffic jam, got out of the bulldozer, and hitch-hiked his way away. Amazing.

Hitler memorabilia 'attracts young Indians': Apparently, Hitler is da bomb in India right now.

Jury rules 'Diaper Boy' guilty of sex crime, lewdness: "Barton Jason Lewis Bagnes said he flashed his diaper-clad pelvis at children in a campaign to show it's OK for adults to wear diapers."

'Scar My Tattered Body No More With Your Punishing Dildo Mallet': Accused Militia Plotter Bared Almost All In Film: This fundamentalist Christian militant has a goofy side.


Jun. 17th, 2010 12:34 pm
shanmonster: (Default)
I still want an inkle loom. I miss weaving. Any woodworkers feel like making one up for me? I work for barter, and make excellent pies and cookies.

I've been knitting since last night. I'm learning to cast on, continental-style. At first, the knit was terribly tight, and I was having a very frustrating time. But now I've learned to relax, and although I'm certainly not speedy, I'm not moving at glacial speed anymore, either.

Now I have my needle all loaded, and I'm not sure what to do next. I guess I'll be trying to figure out knitting tutorials on YouTube.

shanmonster: (On the stairs)
I'm off to the gym. Time to see what my calves max out at, because I still haven't found their limit, and I'm starting to think that maybe I have superhuman strength.


Yesterday, I went for a run around the park, did an advanced pole dance class, and walked up 14 flights of stairs. And then had a bowl of ginger ice cream and some popcorn. Heh.

Pole dance class was permeated with brutality. My skin screamed in agony at some of the grips I did. One is called Superman. Here's how it works. Put yourself in a plank position, with the pole jammed tight against your crotch. Raise your legs and cross your ankles so your legs are level with your torso, squeezing tight with your thighs on the pole. When you have a grip, the arms come off the floor. OMG-PAINFUL-OW-OW-OW!!!! I have the strength, but not the pain tolerance to do that hold. Jiminy cricket....

I am still quite perturbed at my birthday. How the hell did I get that old? 39 on Friday? Ridiculous! I don't feel like Jack Benny. I still feel like a twenty-something. Obviously, there is something seriously askew with my timeline. I still want to enter a bodybuilding competition before I turn 40.

Ok. Time to get to the gym. I have a workout buddy, for once. Hello, Syndi!
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
My lats are growing. See?


They're still not as big as they used to be, back when I could see them all the way down to my waist. But it's a beginning.

I'm going to the gym within the hour, and then I'm home to make myself a super cute skirt of awesomeness. Oh, and I'm knitting this week. Yay!

Link time!

This Guy Has Got a Really Bizzare Water Fountain Talent: A very skilled regurgitator. I wonder how one discovers one has a talent for such things?

Chimp Rapes a Frog: Nonconsensual interspecies oral. Um, NSFW (thanks, [ profile] schwartzung).

Teenager Passes Out Marrying Cow He Had Sex With: Umm (thanks, [ profile] elanya)...

Cool Cats Drawn to Scent of Calvin Klein: Jaguars like Obsession. A lot.

Super Sexy Abdominal Thrusts: The Heimlich manoeuvre is hot!

German Police Summoned Over Vibrator: What makes this story notable is that the woman who owned the vibrator is the one who called the po-po.

Ok. Time for me to go pump some iron....

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