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!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Not The Only Disco Pony in Town

It's true. I thought I was so clever, so original when I came up with Disco Pony as my derby name. No one will ever come up with that same name. Granted, no other derby girl has dared touch it as far as I know (and so help me if they do), but apparently some British  clothing company has.

LUCKY thing for them that they appear to specialize in sequins, otherwise I would be furious. FURIOUS. And unable to sleep until I destroy them and their name stealing ways.

Okay, I admit it, I'm a little bit obsessed. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS DRESS?

Plus, their whole 70s-sequins-meets-Urban-Outfitters look is pretty much my entire life rolled into one sparkly, sparkly dress (and a matching sparkly cardigan).

It seems, perhaps, that Disco Pony was made for Disco Pony (or at least will be when they start carrying gold leotards).

Now that my rage has subsided and the sequins have won me over, I need to figure out how to get my hands on some Disco Pony. Think they'll give me a free dress if I tell them Disco Pony is my derby name?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lessons in Roller Skating

Always wear your knee pads.

And your wristguards.

And your...shoulder pads?

Especially when skating outside. 
And trust me, it looks worse in real life, and feels worse than it looks.


I thought I had my pads in my car. I swear I thought I did. So when I got to the park with no pads, I thought to myself, "crap. Well, I'll just go around a couple times and be really careful."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meet Bone Jr.

This is Bone Jr. (and me, standing all sweaty and streaky and pasty next to her) after our first public scrimmage with the Red Rockettes:

She is my new favorite. Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO! But really, she's on the Red Rockettes with me, and I am so glad she is. I love her more and more every week. Especially this week when she showed up with a surprise for me (more on that later).

First of all, she can totally hit me all over the track and leave me giggling, thinking to myself, "I just got boned." Her number is 36DD, and she loves unicorns as much as I do (it's destiny, I know). This one time she hauled me to Piper Down after practice, bought me delicious food, and made me laugh until I was crying.

Speaking of laughing and crying, she writes an incredible blog that has frequently made me laugh and cry (mostly from laughter). This post in particular did both.

She made me Disco Pony arm bands (oh, by the way, Dread Riding Hood is no longer; I'm Disco Pony now!) which are one of my most prized possessions. I have worn them to nearly every practice and you bet your boogety that I wear them disco skating on a regular basis.

This is not my arm. I stole this pic from Bone's FB page, bc I didn't have any good pics of them on me yet.
The best part (well, after the sparkles) is that she sewed felt into the inside of the seam so it wouldn't scratch me. She's also been crocheting arm bands for other girls on the league. How is that not the best thing you've ever heard?

As if the armbands weren't enough, she nearly (and by nearly, I mean just when she wasn't looking) brought me to tears at our last practice by showing up, IN AN ARM SLING, with one of the sweetest (meaning both 'aw, she's a totally sweetheart,' and 'this stuff is totally sweet') gifts I've ever received.

Do you like the way the unicorns turn into giant smears as they get stretched over my not exactly small calves?
This is my excited face, I swear!
And why was she giving me gifts? Just because (and not to buy my gay love, apparently). That's how awesome she is.

There are a lot of amazing girls on the Red Rockettes (every single one of them!). I love skating with each and every one , and I am so glad I found the Red Rockettes. We're like no other league out there. We have a place for everyone (which includes, thankfully, a place for me), and we do crazy stuff like hula hoop at practice and tape crazy shite to our helmets in celebration of the royal wedding (and you all know how I feel about the royal wedding).

That being said, thanks so much for the incredible gifts, Bone, and get better soon so I can knock you down on the track!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's 4 a.m. Do you know where your royals are?

So unless you've been in a comma or feigning indifference, you're well aware of the royal wedding happening at 4 a.m. tomorrow morning. Those zany Brits! Having weddings at such inconvenient times for me.

Let's pretend that I've unexpectedly become obsessed with the royal wedding and everything related to it since penning a couple blogs on the matter. Let's also assume that I, in no way, am ashamed of it.

Yes, I am excited for the royal wedding. Yes, I want royal tea bags (teeheeheehee). Yes, I am this close to tattooing the couple on my chompers. And yes, I now know a few terrible, terrible phrases of Britch slang.

Above all, the hype over the royal wedding has opened a treasure trove, nay, a gold mine, nay, an entire universe full of diamond-encrusted unicorns of internet awesomeness. Never has the internet been so full of spinster-making kitsch. Never has the internet been so good, and I dare say, it never will be again.

And so, with us at the very brink of the royal wedding itself, I give you the top 5 royal-related slideshows and other things I've found on the internet this week.

5. Royal look-alikes. I guess i can kind of see the resemblance in that old painting of Queen Victoria. Queen Mary seems to not even resemble herself from one rendering to the next, though. And they seem to be basing comparison on stuff like facial hair and camera angles. Whatever, I still love it.

PRINCE WILLIAM   photo | Prince William

4. Hats galore. Princess Beatrice is my new hero. I desperately want her butterfly hat, and the matching butterfly dress isn't too bad either.

PRINCESS BEATRICE   photo | Princess Beatrice

3. Princes and critters. You're welcome.


2. Who wore it better? Okay, I actually don't have a link for this, despite scouring the internet at length. But I heard about it, and thanks to a trustworthy coworker, I have some of the photos for your sampling. Not only is this pretty much one of the best things ever, ever, ever, but it totally takes me right back to my Jr. High days. William or Harry...Who Wore it Better?


MEET & GREET    photo | Kate Middleton, Prince William

This slideshow singlehandedly made my week, the captions in particular. I like to pretend that's what's actually going on in the picture. "The St. Andrews University alums revisit their college days – and retrace, step for step, their fairy-tale romance – during a return to their alma mater in February." Yes, I'm certain that's exactly what they're doing in this picture.
SCHOOL TIES    photo | Kate Middleton, Prince William

Similarly, if the captions are completely accurate, I imagine conversation between Kate and William to be something like this:

Kate: "Oh Will, we're so good at clapping together! Something happened on the stage, and we both started clapping! It's like we're made for each other!"

William: "That's because we are, darling. That's because we are."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 Reasons Why I Love Being a Red Rockette

Mind you, this is not  10 reasons why I love roller derby, but 10 reasons why I love roller derby with the Red Rockettes. Because I have recently become aware that playing roller derby somewhere else and playing roller derby with the Red Rockettes are not synonymous.

So here they are, in no particular order (because it's way to hard to pick a particular order), the 10 reasons why I love being a Red Rockette:

10. Even if you've never put on a pair of roller skates in your entire life, you'll be zooming around the track with the best of them in no time, thanks to our awesome teachers.

9. There is absolutely no pressure; everyone can learn and skate at their own pace (which in turn, helps you get a lot better a lot faster, because with no pressure, it's all just fun).

8. We have so much fun. Like really, so much fun I can't even describe it.

7. With resident Brits, England's Glory and Babe Rainbow, everything sounds better. Cross-overs become "crouwss-ouvahs," and important becomes "reeahlly eeessenteeahl." And yes, that is my attempt at trying to type in a British accent.

6. We are so nice. There's no backstabbing, ruthless pummeling or drama of any kind among the Red Rockettes. We are a group of women who genuinely just enjoy skating and derbying it up together.

5. We have the best logo in the entire world. Designed by England's Glory! Seriously, look at this thing!

4. If anyone falls or gets hurt, EVERYONE stops to make sure they are okay, and applauds when they get up. It makes falling and getting hurt totally cool.

3. We get a weekly blog feature thanks to the adorable, amazing, totally bad ass Babe Rainbow.

2. The way it makes me feel. Skating with the Red Rockettes is empowering, encouraging, and exciting. I leave there happy and high on endorphins, hardly able to sleep I'm so jazzed up, and I just barely come down from it right in time to head to another practice with the Rockettes.

1. (This would be #1 even if I were doing a specific order, because how could it not be #1?) The Red Rockettes themselves. This is honestly one of the greatest groups of gals on Earth, and I love them all to death. I reiterate my former statement that I have a whole league full of derby wives. Life really can't get any better than skating with these ladies every week. I would skate with them every day if I could.

The following picture, I think, best illustrates my experience with the Red Rockettes. After getting so caught up in looking backwards, waiting for the jammer, I forgot it's important to look forwards too, and took a spectacular fall right over Primrose.

My favorite part of the picture is the look of absolute concern and horror on Ruby's face. This is what the Red Rockettes are all about -- genuinely caring about your teammates, no matter what.

We're skating in our first public scrimmage this weekend, during halftime at The Rise of Roller Derby bout. While I'm slightly terrified, I wouldn't want to go throw myself around a track, on wheels, in front of a huge crowd with anyone else other than my Red Rockettes. I know that no matter what happens out there, we're going to look like a group of women having the best time of our lives.

Shameless plug: The next session of the Red Rockettes is starting on Thursday, April 7th at the Derby Depot (1417 S. 700 W. #17) at 7:30 p.m. If you have any interest in learning roller derby in a fun, low-key, low-contact, no-pressure, totally encouraging, extremely chill environment from some of the best skaters around, contact England's Glory at or message the Red Rockettes directly on Facebook!

Monday, March 28, 2011

There Was This One Time When I Got Sick of Wearing Pants

It was about a month ago.

Okay, I've been sick of wearing pants for a few months, but I thought momentarily that I was cured when I bought several pairs of extremely stretchy jeans from Old Navy (some would call them jeggings, but I stand by my statement that they were merely stretchy jeans, considering that they all had a functioning fly, all 5 pockets were real, and the waistband was not made of elastic). I was happy as a clam for a few weeks. I even went so far as to go skiing in my new stretchy friends.

My new-found happiness was crushed pretty quickly, however, as my Old Navy jeans started wearing out mere weeks after I bought them (shocking, I know). I started feeling bad about wearing them, because my thunder thighs were rubbing the inseams to ribbons with every step. And so pretty soon, I was back to hating pants.

Now, I'm not ready to go full Gaga and skip substantial leg coverings all together (though I revel in wearing nothing but tights, booty shorts, and no pants whatsoever to roller derby every week), nor am I ready to go full Ingalls and succumb to a skirt-clad summer. What, oh, what could I do?

Cue jumpsuits!

Now don't laugh. I know what you're thinking when you think "jumpsuit," and I want to tell you that your preconceived notions are only about 80% correct.  Trust me when I say that the other 20% makes all the difference in the world. You may also be remembering that season of ANTM when Tyra wore few things that weren't the worst jumpsuits man has ever seen. Well let me say this: anything Tyra can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than Tyra. So hold on to your panties, and get ready for the awesomeness that is MY NEW JUMPSUITS!

They're comfortable, pretty darn cute, the more mature older sister of rompers (which I am also a big fan of), and the perfect alternative to sucky jeans. Plus, Forever 21 has an entire shopping tab devoted to the joys of one-pieces -- rompers and jumpsuits unite!

Begone muffin tops, begone tight-fitting crotches and thighs that make that "voot, voot" sound when I walk!

So before you start to think that I secretly got a job shamelessly promoting jumpsuits and will soon start telling you that I "have an amazing opportunity for you where you can make tons of money doing little to nothing, you just have to get your friends to abandon pants and start wearing all-in-one attire," let me address that, as awesome as jumpsuits are, they pose one serious, serious problem: peeing.

I'm not joking. I have to get COMPLETELY undressed when I have to pee. I have to take off my cardigan, take of my belt, pull my jumpsuit off my shoulders and drop it to my ankles, and repeat the whole process in reverse when I'm done.

Sounds horrible, right? Well let me add that, upon my discovering this dilemma, I also realized that one of the jumpsuits I had bought buttons up the back. What the crap? I can't reach back there!  How am I ever going to pee?  I came up with 3 possibilities:

1. I cannot pee the entire day
2. I can pee, it just has to be in my pants
3. I can ask fellow restroom guests to help me unbutton and rebutton my clothing

Yeah. Those were the only possible scenarios I could see myself getting into while traipsing around in my one-piece wonder. Luckily, however, Forever 21 saved my life by giving the thing a REALLY wide neckline. Crisis averted; jumpsuit infatuation successfully launched.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Did I Mention That I Do Roller Derby?

Yeah, I did mention it, I know. A few times, I know. But now I'm going to really talk about it. I'm really going to tell you about derby, because it's awesome, and there's no reason you shouldn't hear me tell you all about how awesome it is.
Photo from Jason Santii. Thanks, dude!
  There are also all these devoted bloggers on my league, who give week-by-week updates on our killer practices, and frankly, they've inspired me. I want to talk about all my joys and pains and pains and pains and pains with the rest of 'em. So lets talk about ROLLER DERBY! Well, after you check out these other derby blogs from Bone Jr., IndyGo Wylde, and last but certainly as opposite of least as you can get, Babe Rainbow who writes a weekly blog for In This Week. Check out the latest post for awesome tidbits about a bunch of the girls in the league, including me, Lil' Dread Riding Hood.

And now it's time for me to blog. So here's the thing: roller derby is equally tough and addicting. There hasn't been a week that I haven't been sore the entire weekend afterwards, and there hasn't been a single week that I haven't had to force myself to stop. I genuinely do not want to stop skating at the end of practice. Or ever. I skate around the house all the time, practicing turning backwards in the hallway (often with hilarious/painful results) and doing crossovers between the kitchen and living room. Woot woot for hardwood floors, eh?

Last night we scrimmaged as a group, and I was so proud of myself for making it through the pack as a jammer, and more than once! And that also meant making it past some blockers who were being a total pain in the butt. Bruiser, I'm looking at you.

Another moment of personal pride: getting one good block in on Queen Anne's Revenge. Trust me, it's a big deal. Queen's like the crazy crack goddess of roller derby.

Then there were those few times I fell, got my finger smashed between the floor and someone's knee pad, and garnered a bruise on my arm I can't explain at all. It's not as good as the time I had distinct fingerprint-shaped bruises on my upper arm though. That was tight.

Then there was this time when we were having blocker/jammer drills and I went up against Sugar Plum Scary, who is totally kicking butt. But guess what else is awesome about her? She used to dance for Ballet West, and I USED TO HAVE A POSTER OF HER HANGING IN MY BEDROOM! I'm not joking. There was a time when my awe of her could not be contained, and now she's throwing me right back into it by turning into a killer roller girl.

On another random roller derby tangent: There's something in derby called your "derby wife." I totally wasn't there when Manna described it, but I heard through the grapevine that it's the one girl on your league you can count on for anything, but you also just want to hit the crap out of her. I'm always ready to lay a good one on Manna, and she is the reason I joined roller derby in the first place. I have to say though, I think I'm going to have a whole league full of derby wives soon, because I love them all to death, and heaven knows I want to knock them all to the ground.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

AN and a TM!

I finally watched the first episode of America's Next Top Model. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet, but I know one thing for sure, and that is that the pre-released photos of the contestants were completely misleading.Well, not completely. Mostly just for one girl.

I have abandoned all my favorites and settled, instead on Hannah.

And maybe I have a type, since she's got a similar look to former favorites of mine, Allison and Jane.

So I don't know how I feel about the whole skipping casting week thing. I was all for it until a coworker pointed out that we now know nothign about these girls. This is true. But getting straight to photo shoots and runways was right up my alley. And oh, did they really get straight to it.

Walking above water has suddenly become blase. Walking above water in a giant hamster ball full of red confetti, on the other hand, is not. And of course the judges acted like these gals were completely innept when they fell off the runway and couldn't get themselves righted again. They're stuck in a bubble floating on top of a pool, people! I loved when Erin Wasson said that she didn't think she could even do that. No one can. These runway challenges are asinine.

Among other highlights of the evening: when they tricked the girls who made it into believing, at first, that they actually hadn't. Tyra spewed off something about getting used to rejection, and learning the trick from Ashton Kutcher.Yes, Ashton Kutcher. The real clincher on the crapfest of the move, was that there was a flipside to the prank Tyra pulled on her cycle 16 contestants: A group of girls who didn't actually make the cut, who were lead to believe they had. Of course they were thrilled. Of course they all had flashes of themselves as in self-congratulatory photo shoots starring Tyra. Of course they were practicing saying, "you can see my latest photos in Vogue It-al-ia." And then, somewhere off screen, someone who I guarantee was not Tyra, broke the news that they didn't make it, but were, in fact, part of an elaborate joke on the girls who stole their dreams away.


Luckily, Jaclyn's fear that she would get stuck in the giant hamster ball forever brought me right back around and I forgot all about those sad sacks Tyra wanted me to forget all about.

So anyway, last week it was being a giant hamster, and this week it's posing with bees. BEES!?!?!! As much as I like bees, I'm starting to get the feeling that ANTM is turning into one giant episode of Fear Factor. Or 13: Fear is Real. Pretty soon you will see this face on your screen, saying:


That one's for you, Joel. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

This One Really is About the Oscars

Since my previous post about America's Next Top Model may have mislead some of you (Jeff), I'm here now to really write about the Oscars.

I'm a total film snob with absolutely no reason to be one. I know next to nothing about cinematography, and I'd be hard-pressed to name more than 5 directors. I do have a decent handle on celebrity gossip, however, and a whole bucket full of strong opinions to help me gauge movies.

I think I'm going to make cupcakes based on the Best Picture nominees for my Oscars party. It will involve some feathers and a lot of blood, but I think I'm up for the challenge.

And so, without further ado, here's my big blob of Oscars blog:

Let's talk about the films nominated for best film (since really, there are only like 3 other categories people tend to care about, and I don't want to talk about any of those):

1. Black Swan

A movie about ballet? A movie about Swan Lake? Obviously this one's going to get my vote. I mean, I would have expected this other ballet gem to win best picture, but alas it wasn't nominated. And Black Swan totally stole the pointe shoe shredding/bending/smacking on the floor/sticking under water scene directly from Center Stage anyway, which was clearly the most crucial scene in each movie. But seriously, my ballet movie devotion aside, I really liked Black Swan. A lot.

2. The Fighter

I didn't see this movie. I'm not sure what it's about either, but the name alone makes me wonder if someone is just feeling reminiscent about whatever year "The Wrestler" was the big thing. These movies may be nothing alike, but someone like me, who has nothing but the title to reference, can wonder if we're favoring a genre. And didn't Christian Bale already do that super-skinny creepo thing once before? Is the shock appeal as effective the second time around?

3. Inception

I saw this movie (because, really, who hasn't) and I have one thing to say: If it wasn't a dream the whole time, I'm going to be very upset; like cry in the grocery store upset. And Ellen Page could not bore/annoy me more. Not necissarliy in this movie; just in general. I feel like if I were to hang out with her, it would be just like hanging out with Juno, or that chick from Whip it, or whatever her name is in this movie. The rest of Inception is delightful, but I'm not sure if it's Best Film delightful.

4. The Kids Are All Right

I haven't seen this one either. I hear it's about lesbians. Meh.

5. The King's Speech

Apparently I'm really bad at seeing Oscar nominees, because I haven't seen this movie either. It looks charming enough, but I have a feeling it would just end up on my shelf next to all the dusty Jane Austen adaptations after a few months. Heaven knows I love Geoffrey Rush though.

6. 127 Hours

Did you know people passed out watching this movie?

7. The Social Network

I watched this one on the airplane, squashed between this movie and this movie. And it was edited. I enjoyed it nonetheless, and went home feeling guilty for using Facebook. I guess that makes it one powerful flick.

8. Toy Story 3

Wait, what? Really? This movie is nominated? It's cute, but not half as good as Toy Story or Toy Story 2. And it's not like the Academy ran out of movies to nominate either. I honestly keep forgetting it was nominated, because who actually cares that much about this movie. It will likely win Best Animanted Whatever, though, which is also unfortunate, because that means my favorite won't win.

9. Winter's Bone

Yeah, I know absolutely nothing about this movie, but somehow I'm getting a very "Lovely Bones" vibe from it. Maybe it's just the word "Bone" in the title and the desaturated picture of a girl on the poster that's doing it.

10. True Grit

I spent the entirety of this movie wishing that dumb girl would rebraid her obviously reinforced hair. Really, those things kept sagging more and more, like a swimming pool diaper. And what's with the PG-13 rating, dudes? These eyes are rated for non-head-and-rock and face-and-bullet scenes only. And can we all admit that Jeff Bridges was pretty much playing that one character from the other Cohen Brothers movie I hate? Matt Damon, however, was pretty awesome, and I always love a former Goonie. That dumb girl was just plain intollerable, and so was her stupid hair.

So there you have it. It's a good thing I'm not in charge of handing out Oscars.

Also, did you see Britney's awesome performance as Ke$ha on what may be the worst Glee episode to date?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just in Time for the Oscars

Tyra is really trying to play up the "cycles" metaphor, because *SWOOP* a new cycle of America's Next Top Model is starting today. SURPRISE CYCLE! Did you know it was coming today? Because I sure did not.

Luckily, there's still time to prepare yourself. Just take a look at the contestants here.

Tyra once again proves that she is in touch with the non-supermodel woman by saying of Ann (last cycle's winner):

Watching Ann realize that she is uniquely beautiful standing tall at 6'2 is one of the reasons I make it a point to choose contestants that the audience can relate to.

Because if there is one thing all us average women can relate to, it's this:

Many thanks to Jessica for finding my new favorite Tyra quote!

But let's get back to this cycle. I'm not going to say who will win, or even who will do well, since we all know Tyra will just choose whomever I like least, but based on preliminary pictures, Molly, Hannah, Jaclyn, Ondrei, and Mikaela are getting my votes. We'll see how I feel after tonight.

In simular, terrible TV-related news, Glee is slowly and tentatively winning me back, especially with this.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Wow, I sure suck at blogging, don't I? The fact that my blog background is still Halloween-themed (which it probably would be anyway) is just a testimony of how little I have blogged lately. So sorries!

And today is Valentine's. Great day to decide to start blogging again, right? But as we all know, Valentimes is serious times.

But seriously, it's tines. And I'm blogging. Since I have no lover (I was going to link to an SNL skit here, but I can't find the link, so you'll just have to deal with that word all on it's own), I shall talk about other things I love. Like baby animals and licorice. And this list of stuff:

1. Germany. I just went to Germany. It was awesome. I went for 10 days with my brother, Brian, and we stayed with my uncle and his family, which included, among spouses and children, a python, a bearded dragon, and some rabbits that hang out in the backyard.

Germany is beautiful. Between about 5,000 castles, the Alps, the Cyclocross World Champinoships, and Spezzi, it is absolutely amazing. I can talk about it for a long time, but I will not right now and will (fingers crossed) write another post about it with pictures and stuff.

2. Roller Derby. I do roller derby. It rocks. And hurts. And makes me eat like a banshee. I'm sore for days afterwards, I have some permanent bruises on my butt, and I feel quite certain I'm going to die at various times during practice. There are, however, few things I love more. Oh, and I picked a name. Wait for it...

Lil' Dread Riding Hood

A.k.a. Dread and/or Lil' D in the Hood, and looks something like this:

From here:

3. Disco skating. It's a lot like roller derby but with more glitter and Kool and The Gang. What's not to love(well, melted tights and burned skin, but that can be prevented)?

4. BABY ANIMALS! 'nuff said.

5. Costumes. I am currently on my third day in a row of costumes, and it's the third best day of my life. Day 1 was a 1940's swing getup. Day 2 was a mermaid. Day 3 is Ke$ha. Brilliance.

So that's it, kitty cats! Happy Valentine's!