Thursday, January 10, 2013

Somethings Things Don't Come Out Right

I was just lamenting to a roommate last night about how I'm terrible at writing on my blog, and it's never going to be hilarious or awesome or garner lots of followers, nor am I ever going to become independently wealthy off of it.

The truth is, I'm terrible at thinking of things to write, and most of the hilarious things that happen to me, I don't think about immortalizing in the written word until months afterwards. And they become less and less funny as time goes by, simply because it's not particularly funny to say, "I got pulled over for speeding while rocking out in my car, wearing the teen wolf wig I had just bought for $6 at Smith's. 5 months ago." Okay, that's still funny, but my retelling of it just doesn't have the same weight as it would have, say, 5 months ago.

Anyway, in an attempt to be better at blogging, I told my roommate that I would start blogging about funny stuff right after it happens, whether it's a good blog topic or not. And that way, when something really blog-worthy does happen, I'll be in the habit of sharing it with the world already. So that's my promise to you: you'll get one in, like, 30 good blog posts. I hope you all (and I'm talking however many of you are left (which is probably 3, if I'm lucky)) don't hate me and my boring posts, because I swear something interesting will happen one day that maybe you'll want to read about.

So without further ado, here commences my most recent, mildly-funny story:

Like just about everyone else in this smog-filled, unicorn-forsaken state, I've been sick. Maybe it's the flu virus burrowing deeper and deeper into my sinus cavities, or maybe it's the fact that until the inversion finally cleared up today, every breath I took was the equivalent of smoking 6 packs of Virginia Slims at once. But the point is, I have been capital S-I-C-K.

Here's another little thing you need to know about me: I often say things in unintentionally weird ways. I think it's the by-product of being a professional writer. After a full work day of nothing but words, words, words, words, I simply cannot speak like a normal person. I pull the most abstract, strung-out synonyms for normal words, like "do" and "go" and "refrigerator" out of you-know-where, and I pretend that there's nothing wrong with saying "nutritional substance-cooling apparatus". I'm not sure if I'm doing it half-consciously on purpose, or if some little wire in my brain that connects eloquence to typing fingers somehow didn't get connected to my speaking mouth.

So in a cosmic collision of what felt like the plague and my normal bout of word-deficiency, all sorts of random, dictation cluster-flusters came pouring out of my mouth, not the least of which was when I told my roommate and her date that I was "going to go be a sicko in my bed."

Yes. That is what I said.

I'm tempted to leave it at just that, but I suppose some explanation is due. If you didn't gather, I was trying to tell them that I felt bad that I was sick, and was evicting all sorts of noises and liquids from just about every orifice in my face (I repeat: in my face), and that they had to stand there and talk to me while I was essentially a walking snot machine. So my intention was to say something like, "Well, I'm super sick, so I'm going to stop subjecting you to my disgusting mess of mucus and phlegm. I am going to bed."

But no, instead I simply said: "I'm going to go be a sicko in my bed."

And I wonder why I'm still single.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, which means tomorrow is the St. Patrick’s Day parade! This will be my second year skating in it with the Red Rockettes and I am beyond excited.

Last year’s parade was actually quite monumental for me. It was an amazing bonding experience with my teammates and it more or less marked my public debut as a derby girl. That alone would have made it incredible, but it’s also the day I chose my derby name, Disco Pony.

That’s right, it is my nameiversary.

It may not be to the day, because the parade wasn’t actually on St. Patrick’s Day last year, but I will always associate the parade with the day I became Disco Pony.

You may or may not remember that I was originally Dread Riding Hood. I had gone through about 97 thousand names, and they were all either already registered by another skater or they just didn’t feel right. Then, I was standing in my basement on day, wearing glitter tights and a giant pony necklace. “Disco Pony,” I thought to myself, and secretly loved it, “but it doesn’t MEAN anything,” I would say. And so I picked Dread Riding Hood. It was everything a derby name should be: cute, tough, a pun on something well-known. I had found my name! I started making big plans to buy all the Red Riding Hood paraphernalia I could find and to take pictures in my roller skates and a red cape.

In the meantime, I had still been bouncing Disco Pony off people, because I think I knew deep down that it’s what I really wanted. No one ever seemed as excited about it as me (really, they’d all just giggle and not know what to say), and for some reason I thought I needed everyone else’s approval, so I stuck with Dread Riding Hood in spite of that little voice in my head saying “Disco…Pony.”

Then it happened; probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. Dread Riding Hood was suddenly unavailable; registered by another skater.  I was back to square one.

I started bouncing new name ideas off of Mannarama (poor Manna was probably getting super annoyed), my family, and pretty much anyone else who I could make listen to me. Most of them were still some sort of variation on Red Riding Hood.

I still hadn’t settled on anything that I liked, so of course I was still flipping through all the possibilities the morning of the parade.

“Manna, Manna, what about this one?”

I swear, she should have just slapped me and told me to shut up and pick a name already. But no, she was patient and told me they were all great. Then, when we were finally starting to move a little bit, I skated up next to her and said, “so, I’m kind of thinking about Disco Pony.”

And that was it. Manna loved it (she even said my eyes lit up a little when I said it). I just needed that one person to validate my secret name desires. And who better than one of my teammates? Who better than the teammate who got me started in derby in the first place?

And that brings me to this point in my post where I talk about how important a derby name is. Guys, it’s really, really important. When you find the right name, you KNOW it’s the right name for you. Some people say it’s their alter-ego, but for me, Disco Pony isn’t an alter-ego at all. It’s me, and it gives me a free ticket to be myself and do whatever I want (leotards and glitter tights included). I don’t have to play a persona. I guess that’s what picking the right name means. I’m just as much Disco Pony as I am Andrea. From the very beginning, it didn’t sound weird or feel strange to hear people calling me Disco. I even remember England asking me what took me so long.

So as I’m celebrating St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow morning, skating through the wind and (hopefully not) rain, with my amazing teammates, I’ll also celebrate being a derby girl, being Disco Pony. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Better Late Than Never

So I realized today, on this, the first day of December, that I never gave my final haunted house rating of the year. So here it is, short and sweet, better late than never:

Fear Factory: UNDECIDED

The place is huge, they have giant cilo slides, and enough animatronics to give Disneyland a run for their money. (I've actually never been to Disneyland, but in my mind, that place is teeming with robotic princesses.)

The main downfall is that they rush you through so you don't get a chance to look at everything, which is unfortunate considering how much stuff they have there. There were constantly security guards telling us to "keep moving," and even the actors would hurry us along.

All in all, it was like going on a very good version of the Terror Ride at Lagoon. Lots of fun stuff to look at, not a lot of scares, over too quickly. 

There's enough amazing stuff in there, though, that I'm certain within a couple years, Fear Factory will be at the very top of my list.

So there's that. I'll be back soon with more seasonalbly appropriate material.

Friday, November 4, 2011


Okay, so I mentioned that I saw Ballet West's Dracula. I saw it twice. I am obsessed. And so, I need to talk about it more. This post is, therefore, devoted to Dracula whether you care to hear more or not.

So I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not before I saw the actual show. I learned about it back in February when I went to see Sleeping Beauty. I nearly peed my pants, because a) Dracula is one of my favorite novels ever ever ever, and b) after doing ballet for like 20 years myself, I really love ballet. Put those two together and it was one of the best things that ever happened to my life.

Then I read this synopsis on the Ballet West website:
Act I: The Crypt of Dracula’s Castle
In the evening, Count Dracula and his wives awaken in their coffins in the crypt of his castle. In order to satisfy the lust of the Count, his most trusted henchman, Renfield, arrives in a coach with Flora, a lovely young girl from the village.

Act II: The Village
The innkeeper and his wife are celebrating with the villagers the eighteenth birthday of their daughter Svetlana. Frederick, a young man from the village, is in love with her and asks the innkeeper for her hand in marriage. At the height of the festivities, Count Dracula, who has been informed of Svetlana’s beauty, arrives to abduct her.

Act III: The Bedroom of Count Dracula
Flora and the other brides await the return of Count Dracula. He enters with Svetlana, who is to become his next bride. At the climax of her initiation, Frederick, accompanied by the priest and the innkeeper, storm into the Count’s bedroom in an attempt to save her.

Uh, wait, what? Pretty much the only resemblance this synopsis has to the actual Dracula story is that there is a dude named Dracula who is a vampire. At that point, I really considered if I wanted to see one of my favorite stories torn apart. But I bought tickets anyway, and it turns out that I didn't really care if it followed the story or not, because it ended up being absolutely brilliant.

To avoid talking about it for the next 18 hours, I will focus on the best points and present them here in no particular order (bc I'm indecisive like that):

-So the score is Liszt, and this is the opening piece. Yes, this is the music. Amazing. (Also, "Totentanz" means "Dance of the Dead" in German. Very appropriate indeed!)

The music starts, the stage is all foggy (with the creep-along-the-floor kind of dry ice fog (the superior fog, in my opinion)) and red and purple lights with a spotlight on some spooky looking stone stairs, which suddenly move quite swiftly to the back of the stage and Dracula is there! He had some seriously shocking appearances throughout. How on earth he got there half the time, I have no idea.

-Flying vampires? Yes please!

-Okay, Dracula's brides are by far the best part of the ballet (followed closely by Dracula himself). Their choreography was super eerie, and they did this zombie-arm thing that I am OBSESSED with. Also, they were frequently laying face-down with their arms splayed out. Seriously, one of my favorite moments was the opening of Act III when the curtain opened up to a handful of vampire brides posed on the stage, some standing, some just laying there, face down. So creepy! Dracula also does an incredible pas de trio with two of them. Here's a video of another company doing it, but I have to say that Ballet West's was much, much better.
HaleyHendersoninDraculaphotoLukeIsley63.jpg (528×480)

-I loved the coach that Renfield drove. It was always full of fog that would spill out when the coach went careening around the stage.

-At the end of Act I, there is a very graphic, very dark, very shocking scene where Dracula bites this girl Flora's neck. It was surprisingly animalistic. Dracula has her on the ground, then stradles her and yanks her head up to bite her neck while she kicks and twitches. Holy cats. I was honestly speechless when the curtain went down after that scene. Oh, and before the curtain goes down, Dracula does this amazingly uncomfortable dance on the floor and the other vampire women swoop in and start tearing the girl up to feed on her too. Then Flora shows up in Act II as a vampire and exits the stage hanging bent over backwards from the back of the coach. If I could be in that ballet, that is the part I would want.

-Burning vampires (this is especially for you, Joel)! One vampire melted into a puff of fog, and SPOILER ALERT, Dracula goes up in flames (being fireworks) inside the chandelier, then ends up dangling out of the bottom of it right before the final curtain closes. I like to think that he wasn't really dead.

-Act II was a village scene. Normally these are the most boring in the ballet, alongside wedding scenes and anywhere else there's a pas de deux. This was village scene plus pas de deux, which is kind of a recipe for boring, long-winded dances. This village scene, however, was so entertaining. It was humorous and fun and infused with a very folk dance feel, but all the ballerinas were in black pointe shoes with boot tops to make them look like boots. For anyone who's not familiar with ballet, the folk (or character, as it's called in ballet (which really isn't the same as folk dance, but rather a mix of folk and ballet)) dances are usually done in heeled character shoes. The mere fact that they were in pointe shoes was awesome.

-Oh man, what else was so good? Everything, really. The costuming and set were amazing. I'm a big fan of Dracula's cape. I also loved that I went twice and pretty much saw two completely different shows. Dracula himself was so different from cast to cast. Above all, the amazing acting, especially from Dracula, really made the ballet. Everyone was so 100% into their characters, and that passion was conveyed very, very well.
BeauPearsonDraculaandJacquelineStraughanFlorainBalletWestsDraculphotoLukeIsley7.jpg (600×480)

Okay, I need to stop now, because I'm sure so many people are super interested in my long-winded ballet talk. But really, this was one of my favorite, if not the favorite, ballets I've ever seen. I hear rumor that they're going to do it again each year for the next little bit. If that's true, I HIGHLY recommend going to see it. Even if you're not into ballet, I think this is one anyone could handle, if not enjoy.

P.S. I got all my images here and here, where you can see even more and read someone else's opinion of the ballet (SPOILER ALERT: she liked it too).

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloweeeeeeeeeenie Part Deux

So Halloween is over. Sad face.

Luckily it was one of the most jam-packed Halloween seasons I've ever had, so I certainly took advantage of it while it lasted.

I previously posted reviews of a couple corn mazes and a couple haunted houses. Here's my list of reviews for everything else I did (still trying to make it to Fear Factory):

1. Provo River Halloween Cruise: Cute but short

With Halloween lights strung across the river and hundreds (or maybe one hundred) jack o' lanters, this cruise is pretty much one of the cutest, most classic Halloween things I did all year. You sit on a barge and make a little round-trip cruise on a very calm part of the river. I thought I spotted a unicorn jack o' lantern, but it was really Batman (so disappointing). It's cute, they sell hot chocolate and scones and taco hot dogs (which I did not eat) to keep you warm while you take the cruise, and your boat gets attacked by a pirate in a canoe (I'm sure they had canoes) who tells some fantastic jokes. Example:

Q: What's a pirate's favorite letter?

A: You might think it's R (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrr!), but it's really P. It looks like an R but only has one leg.


Q: Why are pirates so mean?

A: They just aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr!

I'm easily entertained by pirate jokes, clearly. The only down side was that the cruise was pretty short and the majority of it was listening to a sales pitch for the place doing the cruises. You eventually get to hear a scary story, which is a recited poem delivered with as little inflection as possible. But it's worth seeing all the lights and jack o' lanterns, which are carved out of real pumpkins, awesomely.

Oh, and Provo is the worst place in the world and pretty much every single street is under construction or blocked by a train. That's not the Halloween cruise people's fault though.

2. Anguish Asylum: 0 stars. Negative stars, if that's possible

This is honestly the worst haunted house I have ever been to. I feel bad saying that, bc I think it's family run. But really, it was awful. Here are the reasons why:

-It's in the parking garage of a mall. I won't hold that against them, because resourceful, but there was A LOT of light leakage and and it was freezing cold.

-It was super short with very few actors. The majority of the rooms didn't have any scares.

-Their last ride (which costs $4 extra and I didn't do it) is a burial simulator with a camera inside. So everyone can watch you. Pay $4 for my friends to watch me bored in a coffin? No thanks.

-They claim they're better than Nightmare on 13th. News flash: you're not. The ticket booth at Nightmare on 13th is scarier than your entire haunted house.

-There was a maggot-faced zombie with SERIOUS anger issues who started going off about missionaries and Mormons. Tell me why a zombie in a haunted mansion-themed room has a "Dear John" letter and needs to beat up every Mormon with a bloody baseball bat, because it made no sense to me. I think the guy was honestly supposed to do something different and was just taking out his own issues on paying customers, which was totally supported by his getting genuinely angry when we didn't play along and calling a member of our group a slur that also refers to a cigarette if you're British, or a bundle of sticks if you're a 17th century peasant.

There were a couple good-ish parts, though the bad outweighed them. They were:

-A room full of blood-filled IV bags hanging from the ceiling that you have to find your way through.

-The fact that the chainsaw guy had nothing better to do, so he decided to chase a conveniently hysterical girl in our group out of the haunted house and through a large portion of the parking lot. Well done, sir.

Okay, enough with the suckfest and on to a literal suckfest:


Seriously, this was my favorite thing I went to for Halloween, and I actually went twice. I feel bad for anyone who missed it (though rumor has it that they bought the rights for 6 years and will be doing it each year for at least that long). I have no desire to ever see Thriller again as long as Dracula is around. Maybe I'll do a separate post about what made Dracula so amazing, but for now, here are the highlights:

-The vampire women who had matching powdered wigs, amazing zombie arms and were frequently laying face-down on the floor.

-Everything about Dracula, especially his cape.

-A carriage that billows fog from inside.

-Burning vampires.

-An incredibly graphic (for ballet) neck biting scene in which Dracula throws a girl on the floor, stradles her and violently bites her neck as she kicks and twitches. Then the vampire women come in and tear what's left of her to pieces. EEEEEEEEEEEE!

-When that same girl returns as a vampire. Genious.

Okay, I'll stop now, bc I could go on and on and on and on and on.

4. Haunted Village at This is the Place: My favorite haunt

It wasn't as good as last year, but the fact that was compeltely different from last year was awesome. You won't get stuck seeing the same stuff year after year with this one. Highlights include:

-A very, very scary staircase.

-Something under the bed.

-Really for real haunted buildings (I've heard EVPs from that place. Serious stuff, peeps. Serious stuff.)

I also put on my own haunted house in my basement, which people told me was better than Nightmare on 13th (hahahahaa, zing!). Not really. BUT, I did do some crawling around in a Ring wig, and my friends made very convincing psychopaths. I wish I had taken pictures or a video. Maybe I'll talk about that more later too.

And review of Fear Factory to come when I actually go!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I can't believe that I'm right here, right smack in the middle of my favorite time of year (being fall, October,a nd most of all, Halloween season) and I haven't said ONE WORD about it on my blog. Granted, I haven't been doing a ton of blog writing lately, but usually I would have had like 10 Halloween posts up by now. But anyway, here is this one!

I've done this for the past few years, and am attempting it again this year: to do something Halloweenie every single day in October. Sometimes that means watching a scary movie, listening to Halloween music or going to a haunted house, and sometimes it just means eating massive amounts of Halloween candy. Most of what I've done this year falls in that last category, but I have gone to quite a few haunts and other Halloweenie activity locations around Salt Lake this year, and here are my thoughts/reviews/spoilers about each:

#1: Nighmare on 13th. My rating: Three stars (out of four or five, whatever you want. Probably five though).

Okay, I've actually been to this one twice, and I'm glad I went back the second time. Based on my first visit, I was ready to categorize this under super boring and not worth the money. However, I realized that my first trip was extremely early in the season, and they just didn't have everything ready and polished. Definitely better the second time around.

*SPOILER ALERT* (Though I'll try and be vague enough not to really spoiler TOO much)


1. The animatronic Balrog thingy is back above the front door. It was replaced for a couple years by a headless horseman, which was also cool, but not quite as cool/menacing/loud/big as the Balrog guy.

2. New zombie moment in the Nightmare Theater (at my first visit, it was just an animation of a zombie getting shot in the head (which I HATE, bc I hate gore, especially when it has to do with heads), but now involves zombies supposedly breaking in, and it's actually quite good).

3. Possible Invasion of the Body Snatchers themed room, but it may be something else. Either way, it involves people in pod thingies and is FANTASTIC.

4. Midget zombies.

5. Free bounceback days (which is how I ended up going the second time).

6. The scary dentist room actually had that horrible drilled tooth dust smell. I don't know how they recreated that, but well done!


1. Lines. Good crap does this place have lines! A line outside, which leads to a line inside, which leads to yet another line inside.

2. MOST LACKLUSTER CHAINSAW GUY EVER!  "Oh, I'll just stand here and rev it a couple times. No need to chase anyone." SNORE.

3. I miss the Nightmare Before Christmas room. So much.

4. Gore, gore, gore, gore, gore. I hate gore. It's not scary, it's just gross.

5. The supposed 'Night of the Dead' zombie zone was just the same rooms they've had each year but with a few zombie signs on the walls.

#2 Cornbelly's Corn Maze. My rating: Meh

Well, it's huge and the maze this year is NASA approved, but really, I think I'm done with this one. I'll explain in my rants below:



1. It's big and there are plenty of additional activities so you could spend the whole evening there if you're into that sort of thing


1. Corn mazes are only fun to a point. After three hours, I start to feel like this lady.

2. It has a very the Walmart of corn mazes feeling. Like this is only one of about 8 million in the U.S. and I don't really want to go to any of them. (I think it actually is the only one, but the fact that it feels like a big corporation makes it that much worse.)

3. The hot chocolte is $6, or something like that. I don't actually know, but I feel like it would be.

4. Too many lights. It's supposed to be dark and scary

5. Too crowded. The end.

#3 Crazy Corn Maze. My rating: 5 stars if you're not comparing it to anything!

Is it small? Yes. Could I build a more professional-looking haunted maze out of stuff I found under my bed? Probably. But that's the charm. I feel like this place is small and family run, and that makes it quaint and exactly why I like it.



1. Haunted maze available, but not necissary and in the same vacinity as the actual maze (unlike some other corn mazes that I won't coughCORNBELLY'Scough mention).

2. I don't even know how many chainsaw guys there were, but sometimes there was more than one, sometimes you ran down a path just to realize you're going in a circle and headed straight back towards the chainsaw guy you were JUST running from). Really, so many chainsaws. Brilliant.

3. We were the last ones to go through for the night, so as we passed each chainsaw guy/other scary character, they would just start following us through at the perfect distance for creepy lurking (lurking, in my opinion, is totally underrated in most haunted houses. More on that later).


5. Candy prizes when you make it through the maze alive.

6. Cute, quint, and just the right amount of scary.


1. Getting pushed to the ground. Seriously.

2. Um, there are no other lowlights.

#3 Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus. My rating: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Okay, so I never got the clowns are scary thing. While I still don't believe that clowns are innately scary, these clowns were pretty good, and they made me realize the genious of clowns in a haunted house: scary AND funny. I like both of those.



1. Zoltar-esque machine. Don't trust it.

2. The train. THE TRAIN! A very, very good finale.

3. The majority of the haunt is actually in the trailers of semi trucks. Genious, if you ask me.

4. Bars + strobe light + super reflective plexiglass + something over your head + just when you thought you were safe, HANDS!

5. A little bit of humor

6. Open graves

7. Extremely good actors
8. Some seriously creepy lurking (I told you!), especially at the end of those spinny tunnel things that every haunted house has that I hate.

9. *FOR REALS SPOILER ALERT* You think it's animatronic, but then the body detaches and chases you!

10. Some animatronics that really look real and some actors that really look animatronic.

11. The hallway of doors, even on the ceiling! P.S. There's something behind most, if not all of them.

12. I was legitimately second guessing my decision to go for the first little bit. Maybe it's just bc I had never been there or heard anything about it, and I had no idea what to expect.


1. An animatronic obese person with fake poo and fart noises. Not scary, just gross and extremely poor taste.

2 No chainsaw guys, though really, I don't know if I could handle a chainsaw guy on top of everything else that was going on in there.

3. Less sideshow stuff than advertised. Pig guy from the website was nowhere to be seen (but I'm kind of grateful for that, actually).

So that's it! That's what I've done so far, and here's what's on my definite list of things yet to come:

Haunted Village at This is the Place, Dracula at Ballet West

And my list of things I'm hoping are yet to come:

Fear Factory, Thriller, SLC ghost tour

I'll try and post more reviews as I go to more things.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!  It's really the best, guys. It really is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's Official

There have been a lot of things for the Red Rockettes to celebrate lately:

Our 122-77 win over the Happy Valley Derby Darlings.

Our 1 year anniversary, which is also my one year anniversary as a rollergirl. That's right, whether it shows or not (probably not), I have been Rockette since the very beginning.

And now, oh glorious day, our first batch of Red Rockette names have been approved by the almighty derby name approving powers on twoevils:

I am now officially Disco Pony!!!

And look at all those other Rockettes who's names are registered now too!


And what am I doing to celebrate? Well, I bought a new gold leotard!