shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
shanmonster: (Default)
After a conversation with [livejournal.com profile] amelielee, I've dusted off a few of my fairy tale anthologies and started reading. Last night, I read Henry Morley's Melilot. The moral of the story seems to be that if you are completely subservient and always puts the needs of others ahead of your own needs--even so much as not eating when you are starving to death--that good things will happen to you. I can't say I agree with this philosophy, but it is a cute story.

I also read Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market, which has a more believable moral: don't eat stuff offered to you by creepy, suspicious people. ESPECIALLY if they're extremely demanding about you eating it. Yikes. The story also has an overt sexual undercurrent going on, with plenty of veiled references to lesbian sex, incest, orgies, and bukkake. Those Victorians had their kink on, that's for sure.

For those of you folklore and fairy tale buffs, can you point out some stories which deal with characters being born with the caul? I'm aware of folklore about the caul itself, but not really any fairy tales, legends, or myths. David Copperfield isn't quite what I'm looking for, here.

I spent most of yesterday writing and brainstorming for the epic bit of fiction I've been writing. All of this research ties in, and I was excited to have an epiphany while in the shower. It was my own eureka moment, and it didn't even involve water displacement. Thanks, Archimedes, nonetheless.

Apropos of nothing, I want to make myself a set of flag poi. I got to play with some last week and thought they were flashy and fun. And there's really nothing to them, construction-wise. I also want to make myself a set of voi (veil poi). I just need to figure out the right amount of silk.

I joined a spin dance group, and got to do a few hours of practice last week. In about an hour, I went from not being able to use a hula hoop to getting so that I can work it up and down my body, up and down my arm, neck, and chest, and to being able to dance and travel while hooping. I must get my own hoop. I'd love to have one or two ninja hoops, because they're easy to travel with, and I do a lot of biking and busing. Oh great rich generous people, you know what I'm hinting! Hahahah!

It's nice to be spinning poi again. For one, it's working out the pull in my rhomboids/traps from my New Year's mishap. And for two, I'm not nearly so rusty, and managed to pull off a couple of split jump double-kick direction changes. Shazam! I've been practicing at the gym where I work as a warm-up to the classes I teach, and have taken to carrying my poi around with me again.

Link time? Ok.

Saudi Arabia Captures Israeli Vulture For Being Mossad Spy: "Saudi Arabian officials have reportedly arrested a vulture suspected of being a Mossad spy, after the bird, tagged by Israeli scientists, flew into Saudi territory." How does one interrogate a vulture, I wonder?

Man Shoots Christmas Ornament Hung From Friend's "Junk" Using High Powered Rifle: A Darwin Award winner in the making, methinks.

Power Balance Maker Admits Bands Are Worthless: The cure-all rubber bracelets, surprisingly enough, don't cure much of anything.

And now, just because she's in such amazing shape, here's Monica Brant demonstrating her leg workout:

shanmonster: (Default)
I just got another picture from my performance at the Church St. Fetish Fair.

Thanks, MOPO!

[Spin]
shanmonster: (Default)
The Church Street Fetish Fair was excellent. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mystress for inviting me to perform. It was an excellent venue, and the best street party I've ever attended. I'd likely have not known about it if it weren't for her invitation.

Holy crap, but it was hot! I did a couple of performances. The first was a quick poi number, which was ok, but I have done much better. One guy in the audience looked so very happy at it, that I sent him a wink. The second was a burlesque piece, and I'm glad my costume malfunction happened backstage, or I'd have been doing more than a leg strip. And so I got to wear the same red top twice.

I know there are pictures of me in performance floating around out there, somewhere, but for now, this is all I've seen:

[Fetish Fair]

I have never seen as much ass as I did at the fair, and that includes Pride. So much bum, everywhere. Big ones, little ones, hairy ones, white ones, black ones, rubber-covered ones, spanked ones..... Ass. Everywhere.

---------

The 8 Digital show on Wednesday has been canceled, so I will not be performing at Neutral, after all. The show is being rescheduled to the autumn. I'll post more information when I have it.

---------

I have a job interview today. If all goes well, I will become a chocolatier. Here's hoping it goes well! And here's hoping I don't get a fat ass from it. Heheheheh....

After the interview, I'm renting a carpet steamer.

The air conditioner in my room did something very, very bad. I think that it wasn't hooked up properly, because it filled with water, presumably starting last year, and finally overflowed last week. My carpet is soaked and it smells musty in here, which has been doing wonders for my asthma. I sprayed it down with mould-killer stuff. I sure hope the steam cleaner works. My room reeks like a rotten jock strap or something. Eugh.

And then I'm off to the gym to do part two of my bicep-growing routine. Stage one has been giving me results. I'm looking forward to what happens with stage two. Hello, gun show!
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
Oof. Still exhausted. That rude awakening did a number on me. I had a nap, but it didn't help much. I'm skipping the gym today, because if I went, there'd be nothing left of me to teach dance class tonight. But I'm going tomorrow as usual.

My shoulders are really feeling the addition of the poi practice. It's been so long. I've gotten rusty on my reverse three-beat weaves, especially with kick directional changes. Reverse spin arm wrap directional changes have also gotten rusty. Everything else still seems business as usual, which is a relief.

I got my copy of Serpentine - Belly Dance with Rachel Brice :: Bellydance Technique & Yoga for Strong, Relaxed & Sinuous Movement in the mail yesterday and started watching it. I was shagged out from just getting home from a workout, so didn't practice any, but I did watch to get acclimatized to it. I'm enjoying the drills, but man.... That's a seriously long DVD. I guess I won't be following along with all the drills before doing my other work for the day. I'm almost 2 hours in, and I'm still not through watching everything. Holy crap! And there's another DVD in the case, too. Definitely worth the coin, but until I can clone myself, I can't do this and all my other workouts and regular day-to-day stuff on a daily basis. I gotta eat and sleep sometime!

And I haven't even looked at Rachel Brice: Bellydance Arms and Posture, yet. Yikes.
shanmonster: (Default)
My workouts last week took a nosedive because of a headache that just wouldn't leave, but the headache is gone today, and I marched off to the gym and went to work. I've added yet another exercise to my warm-up: poi practice. It warms up the arms and shoulders really well, and I get some much-needed practice. I can't really do poi inside my current apartment because of the unforgiving placement of the ceiling lights. Doing it at the gym with the rest of my workout ensures I'll get the regular practice in that I need.

I caught sight of myself walking in the mirror, and I was pleased. I did a LOT of walking over the past several days, and it's leaned me down a bit so that I'm showing more definition. I love walking. I especially love walking on dark trails at night, but haven't been doing so because I do not love altercations with undesirables. I sure do miss the forest.

While I was at the preacher bench doing bicep curls, a guy started doing hanging leg raises--straight-legged. Someday, I say. Someday....

My cardio is coming along well. All that skipping isn't hard at all, now, and I'm going at a good clip. Eventually, I think I'll just do straight skipping for five minutes or so, I guess.

My arms are still wimpy, but they won't remain that way. Just you wait and see. I'll be bending iron bars in no time.

My teeth, however, continue to evacuate my mouth like rats abandoning a sinking ship. A hunk fell out Saturday. An even bigger chunk came out tonight during supper. I'll be scheduling a dentist visit to get yet another gold crown. Ouch.
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
And for my second act, poi on the balcony. First time spinning poi in performance in about a year, I think.

The music is "Trinkit" by Beats Antique. Again....

shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
The burlesque show was a success, despite the crazy lady. Lots of good acts. Ginger St. James was my favourite, though. She's got a great set of pipes!

Here's a picture of me from the beginning of my poi performance.

[Me with poi]

I'd talk more, but sleep beckons with a feather-stuffed finger. Or maybe that's a pillow and not a finger....
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
[Burlesque]

Tonight's the night. I'll be doing two pieces: poi and circular veil. This will be my first veil performance in years (last one five or six years ago, at least), and I've no idea when I'll do another, so if you want to see me whip around a piece of fabric all glamourous-like, make sure you get your arse on down to the Registry Theatre on 122 Fredrick St. in Kitchener. Doors open at 7 pm, and the show starts at 8.

The show is 18+, so leave the kiddies at home.

All proceeds go to the Pin-Ups for Troops project, wherein vintage-style photos of wholesomely naughty ladies are sent to Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Even if you don't support the war, please support the soldiers.
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
This is the only photo I've seen from my weekend performance (as taken by Anka Dolhun)....

Poi backbend
shanmonster: (On the stairs)
The weekend was a blast. I went to [livejournal.com profile] shbe and [livejournal.com profile] tailchaser's stag and doe party, where I decorated and performed. I wore a crazy technicolour Viking outfit (holographic dress, a mish-mash of various cultural jewellery, braids, a fluffy white sheepskin, hip scarf, Spanish silver belt, and what I call my gay Viking orgy hat). Then I danced to "Indiscrete" by Qntal, starting off with poi, dumping those and dancing solo, then grabbing a dagger and ending the performance with a pyrotechnic flash. Huzzah! It seemed to go over well, despite me looking like an utter goof and having never heard the music prior to the night before.

Afterwards (once the fire and dagger were put safely away), I got right and utterly wasted on beer, screwdrivers, whiskey, and vodka. On realizing I was staggering around and hoping to start bar fights, I drank enough water to submerge a submarine, and was fine a half hour or so later. Two days later, I'm still peeing like a race horse. I drank a LOT of water....

Want some links? Here you go!

How to be a Scene Kid: Includes such great advice as "Scene kids should listen to 'Conway Twitty', 'Jimmy Buffet', 'Harry Chapin' and 'Brook Benton'," and "Add extra letters to many of your words. For example: 'rawwr' 'kiiid' 'kayyy' 'baaby'."

Anti-Emo Riots Break Out Across Mexico: Ok, I understand that people don't like emo kids, but rioting over it? Hmm.

*barf*: Clamato beer? No.

USB Humping Dogs: I don't get it.

Ken Lee - Bulgarian Idol: Bwahahahaha!

Velvet Worm Juice: Now that's just too weird (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] shbe).

Rachachuros Seasoning: Pig: Necrophiliac bestiality cuisine ads. Just plain bizarre.

Naughty Nads: Kitties.

Appendix Removed Through Vagina: That sounds rather complicated, to me (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] gha5t).

DANCE!

Feb. 28th, 2008 03:15 pm
shanmonster: (Sigh....)
After teaching my classes last night, I ended up doing some role-playing gaming online, something I haven't done in a decade or so. Just as I was wrapping up, my phone rang. It was Sara, wondering where I was. You see, last night was goth night at the Ren, and I am usually there around 23:00. Here it was, 23:30 or so, and I was nowhere to be seen. I guess the regulars were nervous! So I heeded my summons and got my arse down there.

I didn't end up doing too much dancing. I was pretty shagged out. However, I did try that descension from yesterday's Danse du Jour clip three times. The first time, it worked. The next two times, I got cocky and ended up falling flat on my back good and hard, and not at all with any grace. So yeah. That move needs work, but I know I can do it....

Today's plans include figuring out what I'm going to do for my next upcoming dance performances. I still have to figure out something concrete for the Beats Antique song, and I'm still contemplating what to mix with it. The venue has lots of room, so I could do poi, if I were so inclined. It might be a good accompanying piece for the "Trinkit" dance, which I see as being half standing up, and half down on the ground, and all pretty slow and controlled. So something speedy and energetic might be nice.

It would also be nice to use veil poi (or voi), but sufficient practice space is problematic. I need high ceilings. Hmm... I could go early to my Wednesday teaching gig, and use the room there. Huzzah!

I've been invited to perform at a couple other events in Toronto, but I'm still hedging. I'd have to make new costumes, just because of the themes of the show, and I'm not sure I have time to complete them plus put together new dances.

I also have an upcoming photo shoot with 8 Digital, and need to practice more for upcoming gigs with them. The black leather dance costume I'm working on would work well for this.

Tonight, I'm back to tap class, and then I'm going to try out a breakdancing class (although I won't be able to continue, because it's during my regular wing chun slot).

Oooh. I just had a cool idea for the costume I'm making. Gotta scribble it down while I'm thinking about it....

Oh yes. Inspiration. It could very well work. I'm going to need a lot of cord/lacing. Anyhow, I'll post these links, and then I'm back to work doing costuming while pounding my music deep into the recesses of my brain.

7 Abandoned Wonders of the European Union: From Deserted Castles Retrofuturistic Factories: The castle is especially beautiful. I wish I had something this amazing close by. Imagine the wonderful photo opportunities....

Google Gives All SF Homeless Free Voicemail: "A homeless person will be able to call in for his or her messages from any phone. The move by the city and the company would allow someone to be able to fill out a job application, which asks for a call back number."

New Underwear Technology May Devastate U.S. Masculinity: Is it really any worse than underwire bras?

[Hardcore kitty dancing]
shanmonster: (Don't just sing it--bring it!)
Friday night was spent with 8 Digital and friends for a jam session/rehearsal. Ostensibly, I was to be interviewing band members, but the environment really wasn't the best for that. I'm sure I'll get more usable information from them in a one-on-one setting. I can't let the world know how offensive they really are! No. I must cushion the impact.

I managed to whirl my poi during the run-through. I'd figured the music would be too slow, but found out the rhythm is conducive to spinning. So depending on the venue, I might be doing some poi. We have shows coming up later this spring. Maybe there will be something sooner, too. I'll let you know as soon as tour dates are settled.

Sunday was spent at the brand new club Z in Toronto. It was [livejournal.com profile] schwartzung's inaugural night DJing for This is Heresy: Sadistikal Sundays, and Blue Hour's first time performing. I took some pictures while I was there. You can see them here.

[Blue Hour]

When I first got to the club, I found myself in a brightly lit stairwell. I walked down to the very dark basement, and blinked a few times, trying to get my dark adaption. I could see the silhouette of a man rushing my way. His hand shot out toward me and he pawed at my throat. I was just thinking that maybe I'd have to attempt to lay a beatdown on whoever this was when he said, "Don't I get a hug?"

It was Ward (of H-427). So I hugged him instead of decking him one. Heh....

Sara and I danced most of the night away. We were pretty much the only dancers. We were the only two dancing to Blue Hour, and that's a blooming shame. Folks, if you like a band, show your appreciation! Toronto folks, you need to loosen up. Standing there looking blasé may make you feel goth as fuck, but it does sweet fuck all for the entertainers who are working their arses off for you. And a polite golf clap at the end of a song just won't cut it. Dance, damn your eyes, DANCE!
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
Today I'm featuring Fire Groove, a fire dance and burlesque troop out of Hollywood, CA. In this video montage, they use a variety of fire props. I particularly like the acrobatic staff-spinning at the end of the video.

Nonetheless, I am appalled that at least one of the long-haired dancers spins with her hair down. What was she thinking?

shanmonster: (Spasmolytic)
I just got in a couple of action shots from Tribally Yours, courtesy of Isabelle Jetté. They're not the most flattering photos, but not too bad considering I wasn't able to breathe much while dancing.

[Poi weave]

[Backbend with poi]

[Backbend]

[Not the most flattering...]
shanmonster: (Dance Monkey Dance!)
Today's clip features fire dancer Sage at Burning Man 2002. I'm blown away by the acrobatics she does all while spinning burning poi.

shanmonster: (On the stairs)
Augh! I'm feeling a little megrim-alicious again. It's a bit like being really stoned. I'm a bit disoriented, my attention span is shot, and reading is tricky. I had enough sleep, and I've eaten properly today, so I have no idea what's triggered it.

I'm sure it'll be gone by the weekend, right? RIGHT?

I'm pretty much ready for my trip tomorrow. I have my costume and changes of clothes packed, I have my contact information and maps ready to go, and I even painted my nails up all girly-like. All I need to do now is redo my poi so they look splendid and shiny, and get my portable CD player laden with my performance piece so I can play it to death during my trip.

Does anyone else prepare for a dance this way? I've listened to my performance music for an average of two hours a day for the past two months. I should know this stuff well enough to dance it backwards.

Too bad I haven't had enough room to practice my poi, though. My ceiling has a light fixture placed most inconveniently. I have to spin in a most miserly fashion. Summertime is much more conducive to practicing poi. I can practice outdoors, and don't need to worry about pesky things like wanton property destruction.

I'm still not feeling the soreness from yesterday's two-hour pole dancing session. However, I am seeing the evidence. I have bruising on my knees from less-than-graceful landings. I'm going to start wearing kneepads in class until I have my descensions under control.

I also want to find out what club my instructor dances at so I can go and see her in action. She did a short demonstration for us last night, and she's really good. I want to see her do the same stuff in 6" heels.

Want some links? Here you go:

Gunslinger's war on weeds: "There are many ways to get rid of weeds. You can dig them up, spray them, cut them to pieces or burn them. But noxious weed eradicator Trevor Thompson prefers to shoot them."

Helpful criminal calls police: "In a heartwarming example of criminals going out of their way to help the police, a Wisconsin man was arrested by police after ringing them up to tell the he was trying to break into a church, and then inviting cops to come home with him to have a look at his impressive drugs stash."

Black Weatherproof disguised Bullet/Stab-proof jacket: I want one! It looks comfy and will serve me well in all my illicit undercover dealings.

Girls Who Said 'Vagina' During Monologues Suspended: This is so fucking lame.

North Korea | Children's Parade - Arirang | Mass Games 2005: "This is unreal. You're seeing about 2-3000 kids under 10 in the front doing intensely choreographed gymnastics moves, and look in the background. That's not a giant screen, that's thousands and thousands of children holding up sets of cue cards for the routine. I don't know what it is, but there's something frightening about this. | Children's section of 'Mass Games' or otherwise known as the 'Arirang' performance in Pyongyang city, North Korea in 2005. Watch the giant human mosaic in the background, composed of 15,000 or more individuals each holding a colored placard. The mosaic changes with the music."

Holy Cow! Meat-loving calf eats Indian chickensHoly Cow! Meat-loving calf eats Indian chickens: The end-times are obviously nigh.

Elf defence for 'lingerie thief': Shadowrun player runs amok, Mazes and Monsters-style.

Serbian vampire hunters prevent Milosevic come-back: More gamer news?

The community du jour is [livejournal.com profile] bible_slash. Enjoy!
shanmonster: (Da Vinci ShanMonster)
Today I finally lit up my poi and spun them. It's the first time I've spun fire in about two years. I'll be doing it again.

I also lit [livejournal.com profile] snowy_kathryn on fire (on purpose, and unrelated to the fire poi...). I'm not particularly interested in creating human wicks, though, and only did it to say I'd set someone alight.

I also did a little fire cupping, which is about the weirdest-looking thing I've ever done. Kathryn now looks like she's been attacked by an octopus. That was rather fun, in a squicky sort of way.

What did you do today?
shanmonster: (Spasmolytic)
I didn't make it to dance class last night because I'm just feeling downright shitty. My plague is determined to turn itself into a full-on head cold, but I'm trying to fight it off. The battle rages on. Tissues are dying by the score, falling into their wastepaper basket graves after being riddled with yellow-green holes thanks to my shotgun nose. My chest occasionally fills with napalm, courtesy of my asthma. And still I soldier on....

Even if I'm not better by Sunday, I'm going to fill myself full of cold/flu tablets and go to Jillina's workshop in Scarborough.

If all goes well, I'll be attending a wholly different sort of workshop early in December: fire play and Polynesian fire poi. I'm more interested in the latter, as I'm not particularly interested in setting people alight (although it will be interesting to watch).

My costuming endeavours have met with a snag. The lovely silk I've been using will not lie flat when I sew, so the triangular panels I want to add to my belt are less isosceles and more scalene. I think I'm going to scrap the triangle idea and go for plain old edging. It'll still look nice, and I'll waste far less of my precious fabric this way. Maybe I'll just use pretty ribbon for fancy detailing work. I'll have to look through my collection and see what I can find....

Oooh! I found some very nifty stuff, indeed. Who'd have thought bright green rick-rack would go so well with PVC and silk? And I found some scary old earrings (given to me by [livejournal.com profile] elanya and [livejournal.com profile] longpig along with a collection of beads) which will set the whole thing off beautifully. Now, to figure out how to attach those earrings.

The lacing and tassels (I'm still not sure if I'll use tassels) will be made of some gorgeous rayon/cotton yarn I bought a while back. With just the silk it doesn't really work, but when I bring those earrings into the mix, I think it really pops. We shall see.

I never would have thought black PVC would be so versatile. And to think so many people only think of decorating it with silver metal. It's a waste, I tell you. A waste!

By the way, I tried hanging the PVC in the bathroom while it was nice and steamy, but to no avail. I may try ironing a bit on low heat under a damp towel next.

Completely unrelated, I know, but Tazo Chai is delicious! [livejournal.com profile] snowy_kathryn made some, and I'm savouring mine before I grab a much-needed shower. Honestly, I showered last night, but I smell like a ripening cheeseburger this morning. What's with that?

And now for some links:

[Cybernetic hair curlers?]Hitachi: Commercial Mind-Machine Interface by 2011: And when you take it off your head, your hair is in perfect little ringlets! Heh...

Artificial Intelligence
When Humans Transcend Biology
: "People have created systems that can tell the difference between a dog and a cat using the millions of pictures of dogs and cats that you can now get from google." I'm a little dubious. Can it tell the difference between a stylized cartoon dog and cat? I can.

Beverage firm offers pea-flavored soda: Mmmm.... They also sell turkey and gravy-flavoured pop. Perfect for Christmas, hmm?

Weird Foods from Around the World: I'm fond of a few of these, like dulse (it's great wrapped around popcorn!).

Some Newfoundland Phrases, Sayings, and Figures of Speech: Almost makes me homesick for Newfoundland. Almost. Nice place to visit, but I never want to live there again.

I really don't give a fiddle's fart about politics, but this photo is just too good not to share. Enjoy!
[Political pyjama party]
shanmonster: (Default)
Somewhere between hip, back, and pelvis, I have a sore muscle which is making my dance practice very problematic. It hurts to do any kind of hip work, and my range of movement has been negatively effected.

I had this same thing about two weeks ago, and it morphed itself into a relapse of my old whiplash injury. I have no idea what I did that set this off, but it's distressing. I have two days of dance ahead of me (tomorrow with Aziza, Sunday with Denise Fujiwara), and my own floorwork classes to teach in just two weeks.

My chinchillas are still stricken with the dumb. They have not figured out how to use their wheel. I boxed Squire into it with a piece of wood for a while this morning. He took a few steps, but he still hasn't clued in that he can do this at will. I am going to try shutting them into the wheel for about ten minutes at a time. Maybe that'll learn 'em.

I'm their personal trainer. Or maybe I'm just an evil animal experimenter.

There exists a possibility I may be performing at Evolution next month. I'm still waiting to hear back. If so, I'll likely be spinning fire poi. Just how this fits into the director's rather Orientalist vision, I have no idea. But it'll look purty.

I have a performance lined up for February in Stratford, and possibly one just outside Montreal in March. I'm working on increasing my exposure around here. It'll be much easier once I'm through my job. Eight days from today I will be free of doughnuts! And don't forget, you're invited to my celebratory party.

Before I get back to my dance practice, here are today's links:

Odd Couple Attracts Neighbours: This is probably the worst headline I've seen in a while. I mean, do you get the idea from the title that this story is about a 6-metre python who babysits a little kid it could quite possibly eat?

Tesco condemned for selling pole dancing toy: Honestly, I don't see anywhere that this was marketed for children. I wouldn't mind having a pole dancing kit, myself. It's excellent exercise! And there's nothing inherently wrong with kids learning to dance with poles. Dr. Adrian Rogers of Family Focus says, "Children are being encouraged to dance round a pole which is interpreted in the adult world as a phallic symbol." I can't be the only one who automatically thinks of this, can I?

The Scales of Poi: The next poi purchase I intend on making. This looks like a systematic series of drills which will radically improve my precision and range of movement.

Aziza and Dorian: Baffling but excellent dance performance from circa 1990. Yeah, I'll be studying with the first dancer on this acid-trip of a video.

And your what-the-fuck image of the day is this painting of Hitler with ice cream cones. I don't get it, either. )

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