Friday, June 28, 2013


Not a workout video, but definitely some of the strangest sass I have seen this year. 

So I'm really into Depeche Mode right now. Like full-on. Reading the magazine profiles; combing through the back catalog; having to stop myself from posting Depeche Mode-related status updates on Facebook; buying tickets to their concert that is five hours away and on a Wednesday, meaning I'll be taking off work and building a small vacation around going to see them. It's kind of nice and throwback-ish to be this into a band again?

There's a whole world of YouTube choreography videos out there, and I figured there'd be tons and tons of Depeche Mode choreo for me to feast upon. I was wrong. Aside from a few contemporary combinations set to "Enjoy the Silence" or "Personal Jesus," there are mostly odds and ends -- which is where this Russian or Ukrainian student performance, set to a medley of DM songs, comes in.

There's a lot to take in here, but mostly I need to discuss the outfits. I do not understand the costuming choices here at all. I guess I understand the desire to shake up the standard Depeche Mode style wheelhouse of black, leather, mesh, more black, and a bloody crucifix thrown in for flavor. But Medieval tights and tunics + Hanna Barbera-esque headwear . . . I'm not getting it.

Here's a look drawn from Bourbon Street gift shops:

Here's a little giantess who is also an executioner:

And this girl is werking the hell out of her purple headdress (I just learned that it's called an escoffion. Neato!):

Sorry/not sorry for the digression. Eastern European sassy dance weirdness is catnip to me. I get a little taste and then I'm squirming around on the floor for an hour. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Aqua Prancercise

If you're wondering about the radio silence over here, I could blame moving, three different short vacations, and a bunch of deadlines at work in the past month. But really, I blame Prancercise. 

You see, I am supposed to be the one to break hard-hitting stories about the premier at-home workout fads of our day. Once upon I time I was an actual journalist at an actual newspaper, and even though I got off that sinking ship in the nick of time, I'm still a Ding-Dong-crumb-encrusted, coffee-guzzling, barely-making-deadline reporter at heart. 

So to be SCOOPED . . . by the INTERNET . . . on something as monumentally amazing as Prancercise? To discover it only after it had gone viral? Well, it kind of broke my world (of sass) for a minute.

Ridiculous? Of course. Instead of being like, "THANK YOU, Internet, for giving me this wonderful blog fodder that I will immediately write about in a new and unique way!" I got all bent out of shape because the faceless forces of viral video had plastered Prancercise all over the place, saturating the digital landscape with horse chips. By the time I saw it, it had already been parodied (not my wheelhouse), covered by the Today Show, and given the hipster treatment. (The Hairpin's simple, straightforward interview with Prancercise founder Joanna Rohrback was tops.) Almost instantaneously, the whole thing was too meme-ified, in my mind, to touch. Because once you have Prancercise, what else is there?

The answer, it turned out, was aqua Prancercise. 

This idea occurred to me about three drinks into a trip to my neighborhood pool/bar/short-term nudist's colony. Kinda hard to stay inhibited when half the people around you are casually nude in sweltering daylight and high on the scent of each other's pheromones. My two companions and I went through the patented Prancercise moves -- the prance, the trot, and the gallop -- at first subtly, then with abandon. It made for quite a bit of splashing, which inspired even more splashing. Same thing with neighing, though to an even greater degree. BE CAREFUL about the neighing . . . it can get weird quickly. 

We probably burned some calories. If we'd had ankle weights we would have been in serious business. It was delightful and meditative. More important, I sublimated my reporter's rage at Prancercise ubiquity with a refreshing dose of Prancercise liquidity.