The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - Oct. 30

Spiders, snakes and the Shibs -- Oh My!

A wee Adam Rippon dressed as Batman's sidekick Robin for Halloween.
A wee Adam Rippon dressed as Batman's sidekick Robin for Halloween. (courtesy of Kelly Rippon)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(10/30/2009) - So, what are you going to be for Halloween? It's been a while since we did one of our holiday-themed surveys, so we've been asking everyone we talk to what scares them. We heard on the BBC that there's an Australian movie about a killer koala coming soon, and now we're scared.

What scares you?
Katy Taylor: Growing up scares me. I am now twenty, and it's the first birthday that I have ever woken up and felt completely different. I live on my own and discovering the cost of life is scary. Trying to figure out my major scares me. But nothing got a bigger scream out of me than a roach in my roommate's and my apartment, as we chased it around with hairspray bottles.

Tim Goebel: I hate flying, and the hand-holder things on escalators. So dirty, ew and now with swine flu, I'd rather fall down.

Adam Rippon: PIGEONS! To be fair, I don't like any birds. I don't know why! Sorry to any birds I offended.

Marissa Castelli: I'm scared of the dark and serial killers.

John Kerr: Being embarrassed scares me.

Becky Bereswill: The opossum family with razor-sharp teeth and claws in my backyard!

Johnny Weir: I'm afraid of spiders, and sharks -- well, everything to do with the ocean really... except for tanning. Oh and faux fur. And fake rhinestones.

Caydee Denney: I'm really scared of any type of insect.

Alex Shibutani: NOTHING.

Meryl Davis: I'd say I'm really scared of Alex Shibutani. Sometimes, when I come into the rink, he sends a little shiver down my spine.

Alex Johnson: So many things scare me, but mostly spiders and for some reason they keep showing up in my bedroom. I swear I killed like eight within the past month.

Melissa Bulanhagui: The scale.

Fedor Andreev: The "Check Engine" light.

Ross Miner: I am scared of spiders, bugs (excluding bees but not wasps and hornets), germs, heights but not planes, and enclosed spaces.

Amanda Evora: I hate scary movies!!! There's no reason to sit and watch a two-hour movie of things that I know I'm going to erase from my mind anyways! It's a waste of time and good energy!

Jeremy Abbott: Spiders and failure and getting older. And the voices in my head.

Piper Gilles: The things that creep me out on Halloween are people in coffins and people with chain saws, 'cause when I was little there was this house on my street that was always super-scary and every year we would go there to trick or treat and always run away after we got the candy because it was so scary!!!

Alexe Giles: I am afraid of haunted houses and scary movies! And the chainsaws!!!

Todd Gilles: I'm scared of the Cubs never winning a World Series in my lifetime.

Kaitlyn Weaver: The dark. I could get technical and say "failure," but that's pretty somber, don't you think?

Trevor Young: I'm afraid of Shibs (Alex Shibutani).

Morgan Matthews. Slugs. They keep getting into my laundry room somehow. I throw salt at them. They die.

Nathan Miller: Clowns and haunted houses. My sisters made me watch the movie "IT" when I was six, and ever since then I have hated clowns.

Laura Lepzinski: Ethan's nappy hair. (She is speaking of her partner Ethan Burgess, by the way).

Charlie White: I'm gonna have to go with heights. And also Shibs.

Scott Smith: Snakes and sharks.

Olivia Gibbons: Scary movies, bugs and when people sneak up on me.

Dean Copely: I have been scared of the dark for as long as I can remember. I've almost completely gotten over it except when I've just seen a scary movie.

Timothy McKernan: Snakes and needles.

Ryan Jahnke: Dark basements creep me out.

Jessica Rose Paetsch (newly licensed to drive): Police and big trucks on the road.

Mark Mitchell: 36 years ago on Halloween I started skating. So Halloween is scary because it reminds me I am getting older! Lorrie Parker, team leader in China, and the team leader for the 2010 Olympic team: It scares me to turn my phone back on after a 13-hour flight!

Sarah: Heights and back inside three-turns.

Drew: Spiders. And combining black and brown in the same outfit. So tricky...

Working on this blog was quite interesting, by the way. It turns out that asking people what scares them often leads to long deep conversations. We had a long chat with Katy Taylor about her future, starting with her college major and moving on to careers and parental expectations. We talked to Fedor Andreev about his future, and about driving, naturally. We had a very long talk with Alex Johnson about books and, well, personal stuff, and we talked to Todd Gilles about baseball. Tim Goebel shared thoughts about Plushenko's comeback and Carolina Kostner's coaching change.

And skaters sure are scared of spiders.

Moscow Matryoshkas
We were glued to the Cup of... um, the Rostelecom Cup, live from Moscow last weekend. We got up early to watch the men live and stayed right through to the end of the dance.

Sarah went to the Cup of Russia back in 2005 in St. Petersburg, and a wild and crazy event it was. From all accounts, this competition was a little tamer. "Everything is kind of serious, since it's the Olympic year," according to this year's dance champion (and world #1) Charlie White.

Charlie turned 22 on the day of his and Meryl's winning free dance. We hoped that at least there had been some kind of birthday party for him!

"Rockne (Brubaker) and Keauna (McLaughlin) brought a cake to our free dance press conference," Charlie told us, "And everyone there sang "Happy Birthday" to me. Then we had a party at the hotel with the whole team USA. We got a lot of pizza and had fun, nothing crazy."

What kind of cake did Keauna and Rockne bring? And where did they find it?

"Some Russian market I think," said Charlie. "I couldn't say what kind it was -- I don't think I've ever had anything like it before. It was pretty good actually."

Meryl and Charlie were given unique Russian keepsakes during their visit: hand-painted Matryoshka nesting dolls, with the first two dolls decorated to look like them.

"They painted pictures of us in poses from our programs last year. They were very well done," said Charlie.

"They came from the Russian Figure Skaters Online," added Meryl. "It was an award we got from them as 'best non-Russian dance team' for '08-'09."

Apart from that, Meryl and Charlie had a pretty quiet Moscow visit, forgoing sight-seeing for rest and practice.

"Competing the compulsory dance and original dance on the same day doesn't give you too much time," said Charlie. "And we have Japan coming soon so we were looking to just stay rested."

"Charlie is looking forward to another trip to Japan," said Meryl. "I'm looking forward to it.

"I love Japan," Charlie continued. "It's a very fascinating culture. I love the food, and the skating fans there are very supportive."

Charlie's favorite Japanese food is sushi.

"I can't get enough. My favorite is probably the shrimp tempura rolls, but I'm not picky."

Our favorite imaginary prop from the Rostelecom Cup: Charlie's invisible Krishna flute in his original dance. Can't wait to see what shows up at Cup of China...

Sarah and Drew
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