Rock N’ Shock 2013 Recap: Day 1.

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Every year for the past four or five years, I’ve made a point to drop by the annual Rock N’ Shock Convention in my beloved-but-often-teased hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts. Rock N’ Shock, a 3-day gathering and celebration of all things horror, offers attendees the chance to meet legendary horror icons while introducing them to aspiring and up-and-coming artists, filmmakers, apparel and accessory companies, writers, and genre-appreciating personalities through various booths and panels.

This year’s festivities, celebrating ten years of success, kicked off last night. I was fortunate enough to get V.I.P. access for the weekend, and headed to the convention center after work to dive right in with my dear friend (‘boo!”) Mike, and his lovely friend Amber, who were stopping by for the night. After a brief walk-through of the area to familiarize myself with the layout of where everything and everyone was located, we headed to the celebrity area to check things out.





Amber, Lew, me, and Mike- getting our 'stache brigade on.

Amber, Lew, me, and Mike- getting our ‘stache brigade on.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I was really excited to see some of the cast (and former cast members) of The Walking Dead: Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon,) whom I professed my love to for the second time this year, and who remains one of the funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to. Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene,) who was so sweet- and yes- still has two legs, IronE Singleton (T-Dog!) who’s humble, appreciative demeanor was inspiring- and Lew Temple (Axel,) who had so much personality and one hell of a mustache. Not content with being the only one rocking one so ferociously, he insisted on the above ‘stache brigade picture. Poor Mike’s hair wasn’t long enough to fake one.

As if talking to and laughing with these incredible actors and people wasn’t enough, I had a shot of nostalgia in the form of N’Sync’s Joey Fatone being in the building. Now, I know I literally JUST ripped apart the movie “Inkubus” in my last entry, but I have to give credit where credit is due. I loved N’Sync when I was in my early teens (okay, and even now. “Tearin’ Up My Heart” is still my jam,) and Joey Fatone being such a personable, down-to-Earth, and very funny guy reduced me into a giddy fourteen year old girl.


You see that face? That’s the face of someone whose teenage dream just came true.


Now, although I absolutely love to rip apart bad movies and shitty acting, I’m not one to speak badly about anyone personally- unless it’s 100% justified. People have bad days, and sometimes you catch them at the wrong time and they say or do things they don’t necessarily mean. It’s only human- and I can absolutely understand and excuse that. What I’m about to say, however, I feel is completely justified. Eric Roberts was also in attendance last night, and having enjoyed his work in various movies and his appearance in two of my favorite Killers’ music videos to date- I stopped by to say hi.

Eric was seated at a table with a group of people from the upcoming “Army of the Damned” movie, between two of the lead actors, and myself, having not heard a thing about it until that moment, had innocently assumed he was in it, too (why the fuck would he be sitting at the middle of the table otherwise?) This was apparently a gross offense to Mr. Roberts, who went from looking bored with being there to being annoyed and extremely rude to Mike and I. I tried to brush it off, asking if he’d pose for a picture, which he seemed fine with until he flat-out YELLED at Mike while he was two inches away from me for the way he was holding the camera- hence my look of discomfort in the above photo. I ended up rolling my eyes and walking away, completely disgusted.

Like I said, people have bad days and that’s fine- but I feel that if you’re being paid to promote whatever B-level horror movie you’re in (or not in, apparently,) and the people who are responsible for your success (i.e.-  fans, obviously) are there to continually support your artistic endeavors- the least you can do is grin and bear it and try to not be a complete dickhead in their presence. My take away from the experience is that every story I’ve ever heard or read about Eric Roberts being an ungrateful asshole were 100% true. His ass needs to go back to “Celebrity Rehab” so Dr. Drew can straighten him out.






To end my night on a high note, however, I got to attend the hour long “Walking Dead: Dearly Departed” panel before I left for home. The Q&A, featuring Michael, Lew, and IronE, was comical and pretty interesting as they discussed how the show changed their lives, their favorite scenes to film, the filming process itself, and their thoughts on the current season and it’s story lines. It was a blast.

I’m getting ready to head back to the convention again this evening to check out the artists gallery, hopefully pick up some cool stuff along the way, and see who else I run into.

Prey for the Dead.

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As an avid fan of all things “The Walking Dead,” it was a pleasure and a privilege to be able to head out to NYC this weekend to participate in last night’s official “Walking Dead Escape” run & obstacle course at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. I had a bloody (emphasis on bloody) good time performing as a walker- which come to find out- is a lot more difficult than you’d imagine. After a pretty intense and sticky makeup and gore application- myself, as well as a group of other walker participants- received training on how to walk/limp/crawl and growl/snarl/groan like the walkers on the show before being placed in different areas around the course.

We were told that in order for the experience to be as authentic as possible, we couldn’t break character. Naturally, walkers don’t know how to use cameras or cell phones- so I don’t have too many pictures from the course itself apart from the ones I took before I went in for hair & makeup of a group that were doing the run before I started, and afterwards when my shift was over. I’m sure there will be plenty of pictures and YouTube videos up soon, though. A lot of the runners (“survivors”) I saw were snapping and recording away with their cameras while they ran for their lives to the finish line.

I was stationed up on the flight deck of the Intrepid by a bunch of military helicopters and planes, in between other walker participants and volunteers dressed up as soldiers and Special Ops with an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline. As people ran through my area in groups or clusters, I would stumble towards them, reach for them, bump into things, bump into other people, and occasionally grab anyone that got too close until they broke away and bolted. I have to say, it was quite a thrill scaring people. The amount of grown men I heard screaming like little girls when they would come around a corner and I’d be standing there, or hiding next to or inside strategically placed MEDICAL SUPPLIES or FOOD RATIONS boxes was so unbelievably funny.

The only semi-bad incident that occurred was when a woman who was already pretty freaked out when she ran around the corner where I was standing and nearly collided into me smashed me in the eye with her rolled up sweatshirt pretty hard as a reflex. She kept running, but her friend stopped to make sure I was alright. Not wanting to break character, I just groaned and growled. My eye was still a little sore this morning, but it’s doing just fine now. Lesson learned: next time- wear safety goggles.

I got the above-photographed poster as a souvenir, and would have kept my tattered and bloodied t-shirt as a memento if it wouldn’t have ruined the rest of my clothes in my bag. If “The Walking Dead Escape” returns to NYC next year, I’d love to run through the course and give other walker participants the chance to have as much fun frightening me as much as I enjoyed frightening others last night.




After the event, the only logical thing to do was head to Times Square in the zombie makeup. We got some funny looks, and some people asked to take photos of us.

After the event, the only logical thing to do was head to Times Square in the zombie makeup. We got some funny looks, and some people asked to take photos of us.

Zombies love NYC pizza, too.

Zombies love NYC pizza, too.

It wasn’t ALL blood and gore in NYC, though. When I wasn’t trying to take a bite out of people or scrubbing the airbrushed bruises from my skin, I also enjoyed a couple of beautiful Autumn afternoons by Strawberry Fields and in the Lower East Side.




And now, to end this most fun and wild weekend, I’m off to prepare for the season 4 premiere of “The Walking Dead” tonight. 9 P.M. Don’t miss it!


June 2013: In a Nutshell.

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If I could describe June 2013 in one word, it’d definitely be “frenzied”. Work, my cousin’s high school graduation, The Rolling Stones show, attempting to soak up the sun in between running errands and plotting out plans for July, and a Walking Dead-filled day in NYC (I’ll get to that in a few minutes)- I felt like I rarely held still for more than a couple of hours at a time. As much as I like keeping busy and staying active, I’m looking forward to some rest & relaxation in the coming month. I have a couple of weekend getaways planned with friends that I’m excited for. Of course, I’ll have my camera with me (I always do) to capture all the good stuff.

Frenzy aside, I also took a great personal leap forward in June by choosing to share my story about my struggle with panic attacks & Hyperventilation Syndrome, a disorder I’ve been recovering from and that I’d been keeping mostly to myself for close to two years now. I received feedback: on here, on Twitter, and other forms of social networking- and I’m truly touched by the support and kind words. I feel more in control, stronger, and above all else- hopeful- with every day that passes.



To close out the month of June, I headed to NYC yesterday to participate in the Wizard World Comic Convention, which was going on from Friday ’til tonight. For the past few years, I typically attend Rock & Shock, the horror movie convention held in my hometown every October- but I’ve never been to anything quite like this before. The entire Basketball City Facility in the Lower East Side was filled wall to wall with artists, celebrities, vendors, people in elaborate costumes, and fans. I had met up with my friend Ali who was also attending to spend the day checking things out, and apart from the lack of air conditioning in the building, resulting in uncomfortably stifling, sweaty conditions- we had a good time and met a lot of fun, interesting people:







The highlight of the day was by far being able to hang out and goof off with some of the cast of “The Walking Dead”- Norman Reedus (who took my no-holds-barred personality in stride, made me blush something fierce, and completely cracked me up), Michael Rooker (who only encouraged said no-holds-barred personality and who also completely cracked me up), Danai Gurira (MY GIRL-CRUSH), Laurie Holden (breathtakingly beautiful. Absolutely stunning in person), and Chandler Riggs (total sweetheart.)

Despite the heat and what I can only describe as exhaustion, everyone seemed to be in good spirits and didn’t miss an opportunity to crack jokes or answer questions. Such an amazing group of people who made the day an experience I will cherish forever.

“The Walking Dead” cast weren’t the only people we saw: Stan Lee, Patrick Stewart, James Marsters, and the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler- among a few others- were also milling about:


At the end of the day I was a tired, sweat-covered, frizzy-haired mess- but I couldn’t stop smiling. Even now, 24 hours later, I’m just so grateful (and still a little shocked!) for how wonderful the day turned out.

I also scored some cool stuff to take home, including autographs, a special edition of the first “Walking Dead” comic book, and a dress I’ll be showing off in an entry later on this week.:



After grabbing dinner with Ali, I was walking- with a spring in my step- back to where I’d left my car, and I happened to glance up at the Empire State Building. I had to stop and take a photo. I couldn’t think of a better way to cap off the night than with a beautiful display for marriage equality:



That’s a Wrap! Dissecting Season 3 of “The Walking Dead”.

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As most people can probably guess, either from knowing or meeting me in person, or from even skimming this blog, I’m such an avid long-time fan of “The Walking Dead”. Every Sunday night that this show is on, it’s like an event- something to be prepared for. It’s gripping, it’s gory, it’s often infuriating, and sometimes even heartbreaking (especially with scores from the show’s composer, the brilliant Bear McCreary, playing in the background) and when it’s over, you’re left wanting, no, NEEDING, more. It’s like a zombie-filled television version of crack-cocaine- and I need to check myself into rehab for it.

I remember seeing the advertisements for the series premiere (which took place on Halloween night, of course) back in 2010, during AMC’s annual “FearFest”. At the time, I had only heard about the comic books and novels in passing from friends and acquaintances, and wasn’t quite sure what to expect- but I was intrigued, so I tuned in to watch it, and was immediately captivated by the story- and have been ever since. In nearly three years, I have yet to miss an episode, and thanks to other helpful die-hard fans, I’m nearly caught up on the comics.

It should also be said that I also love the hell out of other “Walking Dead” fans, too. So many passionate people with such spot-on senses of humor when it came to picking out characters’ flaws and poor logic in post-apocalyptic situations, or just making light of certain story lines all together. I’ve met and corresponded with some brilliant, hysterically funny, and just generally great people because of this show, which makes it even more fun to get into.

This past Sunday wrapped up the frenzied and bloody third season, and I wanted to share my thoughts (and probably some .gifs from Tumblr, naturally.)

*PLEASE BE WARNED: THERE ARE HEAVY SPOILERS AFTER THE CUT. Please don’t read if you’re not caught up or don’t want to know how the season ends!*

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January 2013: In a Nutshell.

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At my old blog, near the end of every year, I liked to do a “Year In Review” post that summarized some of the biggest news stories, pop culture phenomenons, personal reflections and thoughts, and other random oddities from the previous twelve months before I dove headfirst into a new year.

I thought I’d do a mini-version of that here, albeit a little more personal, at the end of every month to reflect on some of my own highlights from the previous few weeks. I decided to call it “In a Nutshell” instead.

So here’s January 2013:

January, and 2013, couldn’t have started off better. I was in NYC having the time of my life with my best friend- and I will admit I was, in the back of my mind, a little worried that the fun and good vibes wouldn’t last much longer than our weekend (because it’d be hard to top our New Years Eve festivities), but much to my surprise and delight, the month proceeded to stay on an incline of awesome. Despite the Arctic Tundra-like temperatures, I got to see and photograph some beautiful urban exploration locations, I had an incredible birthday that was full of fantastic surprises, I learned a couple of new recipes, and I got to catch a couple of really kick-ass last minute shows- including my favorites- The Dropkick Murphys!

(.42 seconds in- watch the beer. There I am!)

And even though this blog has only been up and running for a month now, and I’m still getting a feel for it, the feedback I’ve been receiving, both on here and on other social networking sites- has been really positive and lovely. Thank you all so much for the sweet, encouraging words and support. This blog is still taking it’s first baby steps, but I’m having a lot of fun writing it so far, and I hope you’ll all continue to enjoy it.

I’m looking forward to February, and not just for obvious reasons:


SO excited.

See you all there!