Margarita Monday: It’s important. Really.

I didn’t know what to expect when I moved in with my best friend, but I never guessed we’d actually see less of each other. It turns out we have sort of opposite schedules/social lives. That’s why what started as a “oh-hey-we-live-by-a-Mexican-restaurant-let’s-go-there” moment one Monday has blossomed into a sacrosanct weekly ritual: Margarita Monday.

There’s actually only about a 50% chance it will involve margaritas, but if it does there’s a 100% chance it will also involve online shopping and regret. Basically, this is our time dedicated to catching up with one another. Despite the fact that we are never actually out of touch. It’s just that text messages like this – although constant – are not enough.

photo 1

She gets me.

photo 2

We are the same, yet different.

photo 3

Honesty.

Margarita Monday roommate time is my favorite thing about living in this new apartment – aptly nicknamed the “Nerd Haven.” If you have the chance, I recommend having an awesome best friend and moving in with her and catching up with her in person at least once a week.

If that’s not possible, have a margarita. You deserve it more than I do.

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Dedicated To My Roommate

A few days ago, I met up with someone I hadn’t talked to since early August. She asked me what was new in my life, and I laughed in her face.

There’s just a lot going on right now, guys.

One of the best things to happen to me recently – and probably in all of 2013 – is acquiring a roommate. This is not usually the top of the list for the almost-thirty crowd, but my roommate is not a stranger I’ve found on Craigslist; she is my best friend hetero-lifemate, Lacy. Who I found on Craigslist.

No, that’s not true, I found her in high school.  A dozen years later, we’ve finally fulfilled our teenage dream to get an apartment together and fill it with books. Nerds in high school, nerds 4 life!

So far, living together has resulted in texts like this:

text

And notes like this:

note

And nights like this:

night

Currently, we’re following up our traditional Margarita Monday (two weeks is a tradition, right?) with some Futurama in our pjs. She doesn’t know I’m writing this. And she just texted me an emoticon of Zoidberg from the other side of our couch.

So far living with my best friend is as amazing as I imagined it would be, but with more cartoons.

I know; it won’t always be this way. Check back in six months, and maybe the “Dedicated To My Roommate” post will be nothing but “It’s YOUR Turn To Re-Alphabetize The Books” or “If You Drank All The Wine I Will Eat Your Babies.” But right now, it’s great. It’s comfortable, and comforting, and more than I could have asked for.

Life is not perfect, but my life has some very good people in it. I’m lucky to be on this adventure with one of the best.

Something Spooky 2, Or: The Haunting of Rachel Peterson

The challenge to do “something spooky” every day of October continues…

Day 5: Costume shopping, bloody candle making

Co-“Halloween Nut” Sabrina and I hit Savers in preparation for the eighth annual (and our fourth) Zombie Pub Crawl on October 13th. We also did a little decor shopping, and I picked up some glass candle holders to hold my homemade bloody candles and complete this scene in my living room.

Raven, bloody candles and black flowers

Quoth the raven: she stole this idea from Martha Stewart.

Day 6: “Beetlejuice” and photoshopping some freakiness

I popped in “Beetlejuice” while firing up photoshop on the computer  thanks to this idea from Young House Love. Basically all the frames in my apartment are now filled with portraits of my loved ones as skeletons, ghosts, or zombies. Surprise, loved ones!

Lacy as a ghost

Imagine getting an email that just says “look what I did to your face” and then you see this. That’s what it’s like being friends with me.

Day 7: “Bleak House” and creepy art takeover

The creepy portrait takeover continued for another day while I started watching BBC’s 2005 series of “Bleak House.” That title, what I know about Dickens’ other work and the presence of Gillian Anderson convinced me it would fit the theme of Something Spooky, and I was right. The character names are pure Dickensian nonsense (“Prince Turveydrop,” you guys), people walk around wearing black veils and shooting each other, and someone spontaneously combusts.

Day 8: Homemade apothecary jars

Perhaps inspired by my marathon of “Bleak House,” I decided to make these things.

instagram photo of apothecary jars

Looks like we need to restock on that Swamp Water.

And you can too! Here’s how:

Step one: Raid your recycling bin for glass bottles. Find one Snapple and two beer bottles.
Step two: Realize that’s not going to be enough. Consider drinking more beer (you are out of Snapple). Instead go to Goodwill and buy three interesting looking glass jars, one of which is filled with sand from Hawaii.
Step three: Do the dishes that have been sitting in your sink for a week.
Step four: In your now empty sink, soak the bottles (aside from the sand one) in hot water to remove leftover beer/tea/Goodwill dust, labels and price stickers.
Step five: Print spooky labels found primarily through Pinterest.
Step six: Cut out labels and adhere to bottles with Mod Podge. (Er, step 6.5: have Mod Podge.)
Step seven: Tie little charms to the tops of bottles for added effect (you found these in the clearance bin at Michaels when you bought the Mod Podge earlier).
Step eight: Group together, photograph, Instagram, admire, and acknowledge you are a woman of odd enthusiasms.

Day 9: Draw a spooky picture (while finishing up “Bleak House”)

I knew I wanted to do a spooky sketch, and since I’d been photoshopping skulls for two days, I decided to continue the theme.

Rachel's drawing of a skull

Eeeeeek

When I draw, I get pretty focused on what I’m doing without actually realizing…what I’m doing. That is to say, I worked on this for about two hours before stepping back and going “Holy crap. I’ve been staring THIS in the face? Get it away from me.” So while it’s not perfect, I’m not touching it again.

It turns out covering my apartment with cobwebs was not enough. Making candles bleed was not enough. Decorating with books I had lying around the house (including, and I’m not kidding when I say I already had this on hand, a copy of the actual Rite of Exorcism) was not enough. But a picture drawn with pastels, the medium of softly-lit portraits of children and fluffy animals, was enough. I finally, legitimately gave myself the creeps. Not that I’m crying uncle; I just think I need to give skulls a rest.

On to zombies!

Something Spooky, or: The Science of October

I love October. Not only were two of my best friends born this month (love you, Lacy and ma!), it is the first month that truly feels like fall, my favorite season. And, because this is Minnesota, it is also the only month that feels like that.

Best of all, October is the season of spooky. It’s my preference to look ridiculous at all times, so I love any excuse to wear a costume. I love history, and weird, macabre history is the best. And c’mon, I super love candy.

So in order to make the most of life, I’ve decided to challenge myself to do something spooky – every day in October. I’m calling it…wait for it…

Something Spooky.

(and your reaction to this reveal is…)

Day 1: (Re)watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode, “Halloween.”

Look, I made up this challenge at about 9 pm on a Monday, so I had to start with what was available. Plus, what’s more fun than the episode of BtVS where the Scoobies become their costumes?

Day 2: Apartment Creep-ification Begins

I’m a dork (sentence could end there and still be true) for home decorating. I’m obsessed with Apartment Therapy and Young House Love and antique stores and artwork and crafting. Still, my Halloween decorating usually begins and ends with knocking down real cobwebs to hang fake ones. But not this year. This year, my 100-year-old-apartment is getting a haunting Halloween makeover.

Skull and webs

My new doorman

Books and Petals

“Spooky” books are essential to the decor

Please note that I do not have roommates, nor do I entertain guests all that often. I’m just doing this to creep myself out, I guess. There’s more to come, and some things will even be handmade. Blame Pinterest.

Day 3: Read a spooky story

I did not watch the debates, because I am not after a real “what is this world coming to” kind of terror. Instead, I reread one of my all-time favorite stories: “Lamb To The Slaughter” by Roald Dahl (part of the collection “Skin,” or you can read it online here). Oh, you didn’t realize your favorite children’s author also wrote creepy stories for adults? Do yourself a favor and check them out. Then re-examine your childhood.

Day 4: “Dead and Undead,” a Social Science Event at the Science Museum of Minnesota

I’m very lucky to have a wonderful and delightfully weird best friend who, when asked, “Instead of taking you out for a nice dinner for your birthday, what if I take you to a science museum and we learn about mummies and zombies?” immediately answered, “MUMMIFIED CHICKENS!”

The Science Museum of Minnesota occasionally has “Social Science” events for the 21+ crowd, and this week’s “Dead and Undead” event was a treat. Lacy and I:

Took this awesome picture in the Lost Egypt exhibit.

Fake camel photo bomb

Photobombed by a fake camel

Saw this guy sewin’ up a squirrel.

Taxidermy on a squirrel

Some people juggle geese.

Became ghosts.

Ghost Rachel

Boo!

Allowed professional makeup artists to do this to our faces.

Zombie face Rachel and Lacy

We later ordered a pizza and were so prepared to freak out the delivery guy. He did not react at all.  Apparently that delivery guy has seen some s***.

Did the “Thriller” dance up the stairs of a museum as zombies.

Lacy doing the Thriller at the Science Museum

‘Cause this is THRILLAAAAAAA!

And of course, saw this mummified chicken.

Mummified Chicken

No birthday is complete without a mummified chicken.

So much more to come. Something Spooky October has just begun! I’ve got a huge to-do list started, but suggestions are welcome. Any great Halloween-y activities out there I just must try?