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Because Nudity is Only Skin-Deep

Doomed by Oxygen

The ShanMonster
18 June 1971
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I only have one life to live, so I do my best to fill it up with absolutely everything which interests me. I have whims of steel. I'm some sort of crazy art jock, because I'm an erstwhile DJ, multi-disciplinary artist, costume designer, dancer, writer, web designer, lover of boots, martial artist (Wing Chun, goju ryu karate-do, Wu-style t'ai chi chu'an, Hung Gar kung fu, Praying Mantis kung fu, and a wee spot of Choy Li Fut, kali stick, and European-style fencing), long-distance bicyclist, fitness instructor, actor, gym monkey, model (figure, photo, and fashion), metal artist, weaver, scholar, tamer of pigeons, and chinchilla breeder (I didn't breed them personally; they took care of that themselves). I've also managed a comic/game shop, worked with horses, raised champion (and not so champion) dairy goats, been a botanic illustrator, camp counsellor, stage actor, art gallery attendant, theatre sound tech., public relations maven, reservations agent, and landscape gardener, and I also helped organize a protest. I like to keep myself busy.

My passions are for the beauty and potential of human and animal movement. I want to know how to bound about like a squirrel, swivel my head like a pigeon, do grand leaps like an antelope, sinuate like a serpent, and scale walls like Jackie Chan. In the meantime, I suffice with walking from one room to another without stubbing my toe and by practicing my dance and my martial arts. The irony is that throughout my school years, I hated physical education, and did my best to disappear during gym class. Of course, that probably had more to do with the instructors and other students than anything else. I went to some bad schools.

I studied metal arts and jewellery design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design and worked primarily with sterling silver.

I left the craft school to pursue my studies in movement arts. I teach floorwork and world fusion belly dance, am a tribal fusion, North American cabaret, and experimental dancer, and I also sell my self-published dance costuming books. As of late, I've been brushing up on my American Tribal Style belly dance, and taking lessons in ballet, butoh, and pole dancing. I am one of the founding members of Revue Royale, Kitchener's first burlesque troupe. To top it all off, I maintain canadaraqs and am a co-moderator at bellydancing.

I am a compulsive chronicler. I am compelled to write down my experiences, both to share with others and to maintain a backup for my own faulty memory. If I can't remember something on my own, at least my writings can serve as a remembrance.

My brain works in mysterious ways. I have synaesthesia. I often see sounds, and some cause me physical pain. I interpret pain in strange ways. Some wrist locks which would leave anyone else screaming in agony don't register as pain at all. And sometimes when I get injured, it feels like that body part is going to vomit (my knees, for instance, will experience nausea). I live with ever-present visual hallucinations due to migraine status aura. I see what look like strobe lights, flickering puddles of oil, and wires and ropes shooting out at me. I know they're not real, but that doesn't keep me from jumping away from them, from time to time.

I have illogical phobias of Astroboy and anthropomorphic potatoes. The sound of rattling plastic puts me in a murderous rage.

I'm extremely interested in stories, whether they be new (modern cinema) or ancient (mythology). I would love to have worked on a degree in folkloric studies, but such a programme isn't offered anywhere I can afford. So I did the next best thing and graduated with a double major in English (drama) and Classics (civilization) and a minor in Fine Arts (creative writing). It only goes to follow that I enjoy role-playing games, too: games focusing on story rather than dice-rolling. I play Vampire on a regular basis, and have hundreds of pages of notes from my current campaign. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

I'm also an ex-Jehovah's Witness (JW), which means if you're a JW, you could be disfellowshipped for reading my apostasy-ridden stuff. Well, technically speaking, I was never actually a JW, because I didn't ever get baptized, but still, over twenty years indoctrination counts in my books. I was fourth-generation JW, with its roots going back in my family to before JWs were even called JWs. Anyhow, I'm completely out of that nasty sect, and so is my sister, and maybe even my evil grandmother. My parents are still firmly mired in the misogynistic, elitist, Leave It to Beaver Land that is JWs. I can't imagine them leaving any time soon.

LiveJournal is certainly not my only home on the net. My blogging is done here, but I have MUCH more material on my website: The ShanMonster Page.

One last thing: don't bother asking if you can add me to your LJ friends list. Just do it! I'd appreciate an introduction, and maybe letting me know how you came across my site, but that's entirely optional. I certainly won't feel suspicious if you don't. Please don't feel badly if I don't reciprocate the LJ friending. I just don't have enough time to read everyone's posts on a daily basis. Rest assured that I do visit everyone from time to time, though. You're not invisible to me.

And now, because it seems such an oversight on LiveJournal's part, here is my list of disinterests:

anal torture, astrology, babies, beer, being religious, blind faith, casting spells, chakras, chick flicks, country music, D/S,eating disorders, engine repair, freeform jazz, furries, heavy metal, holism, homeopathy, horoscopes, hunting, jim carrey, manga, mercedes lackey, other people's games, politics, polynomials, reiki, romance novels, slasher flicks, sports, television, tole painting, top 40, turnips, veganism, wicca

But just because you like one or more of these things doesn't mean we can't get along. I wouldn't want to hang around with a clone, after all.

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a life worth living, absurdity, agnosticism, american tribal style, apotheosis, appreciative audiences, ashtanga, bad movies, baubo, bitter irony, bizarre fetishes, burlesque, butoh, candle dance, chickens, china mieville, chop socky, collage, contemplative dance, counter-culture, creating, critters, cyberpunk, dance composition, dance costuming, dangerous liaisons, designing costumes, drum solos, earl grey tea, ebm, elegant violence, everyday hallucinations, existentialism, experience, experimental dance, fairy tales, fire dance, firestaff, fishing, flashman, floorwork, folklore, fook fu, freethinking, fu hou, full potential, george macdonald fraser, goldsmithing, gothic fusion dance, goya, great bods, gung gee, gustav klimt, haberdashery, heavy metal, hieronymous bosch, hong kong action movies, human potential, humanism, hung gar, improvisation, industrial music, infornography, interpretive dance, ipunk, iron chef, kali sticks, kasiklar, kayaking, kung fu, language, learning new things, light painting, lucid dreaming, martial arts, metalworking, middle eastern dance, migraine aura, movement as art, mst3k, muscle, mythology, neil gaiman, parkour, performance art, perversions, physique, pigeons, poi, pole dancing, pony boys, pop culture, rachel brice, raqs sharqi, ray harryhausen, really bad movies, recreational christianity, religion, ropes, schadenfreude, secular humanism, self-improvement, sharing knowledge, shibari, sil lim tao, skepticism, skinny puppy, southern praying mantis, sparring, staves, steampunk, stick fighting, storytelling, sup bat sou, surface design, surrealism, sword dance, synaesthesia, synthpop, tahtib, tai chi chuan, the renaissance agency, thrift stores, thunderstorms, tickle attacks, tribal fusion, turkish dance, twisted fairytales, udo kier, underwater dance, underworld larp, urban tribal, vagina dentata, vampire the masquerade, ving tsun, vintage erotica, weapons training, weightlifting, wing chun, wordplay, world of darkness, yoga, zaar, zombies