Something Spooky 5, Or: Just a Little Hocus Pocus

(Again, parts one, two, three, and four)

Day 21: Spooky-Scary Music

I spent a bunch of time in the car on this day, so instead of searching for another episode of “This American Life” I went with a Halloween Pandora station. I kept waiting for this to play, but unfortunately it did not.

Day 22: It’s just a little Hocus Pocus

Real talk – what Halloween movie is better than “Hocus Pocus?” No movie. It’s the best. I’m not the first person to note this.

Jump to my favorite part at the :30 mark:

Seriously the best.

Day 23: Treat Yo Self!

First, I bought all the candy.

All the candy

All of it.

Then, thanks to a deep love of Donna and Tom from Parks and Recreation (and an idea I saw online), I propped these signs up in my candy bowls.

Treat Yo Self to Candy

Treat Yo Self to cavities

Then I tried not to eat all of the candy. I’m not going to say if I succeeded or not, but I will say it’s probably a good thing I’m walk/run/jogging the annual Step Out to Stop Diabetes 5k on October 27th.

Day 24: Halloween party/Clothes Swap

Whenever my closet gets overly full or I decide I need to spruce up my wardrobe, I throw a “clothes swap party.” This basically involves inviting a bunch of girls to come over and bring anything they want to donate to Goodwill to me instead. Then there’s a free-for-all of trying on, commenting on, and swapping clothes. Some people go home happy to have cleared space in their closets, some people go home happy to have added more to their wardrobes, and I stay home with a kitchen table that looks like this.

Clothes burying table

The leftovers will eventually go to Goodwill, but for now my apartment looks like it was hit by a clothing tornado. I cannot be bothered to care because LOOK AT THESE SHOES I HAVE NOW.

sparkly shoes

Oooh…a Sparkly! You’re wearing a Sparkly!

It was also Halloween themed party in the sense that my apartment looks like a creepy yet well-read witch lives in it (not far off). Several of my friends are already afraid of my apartment because I might have a ghost (I named him Dennis, because of course I did), so it really added to the ambiance when the light in my hallway started doing this just in time for my guests:

OooooOOOOOOoooooh! More ghost hunting coming up. If I see anything I’ll try to remember to turn the camera the right way first.

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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!

Choose your own adventure, bring your own ginger

Hello, neglected blog!  The last time I wrote in you it was about something important.  This is the opposite of that, but my mother has been asking for an update on the past month.  I can’t remember that far back, though, so here’s what happened last weekend, when Favorite Guy: Ginger Division and I went on a little adventure to the east coast.

Day 1: In which we are awake for 22 hours

The flight was at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, which meant nervous-flyer Rachel was awake at 4.  We got to the airport too late for my usual pre-flight Necessary Calming Beverage, and the Ginger decided to regale me mid-air with tales of bad flights he’s been on in the past.  Luckily this was the only point during our trip when I thought about destroying him.  We got off the plane and a few train rides later we parked it at our first destination: a margarita!

Brooklyneer bar sign

Sesame Street: Influencing my decisions for over 20 years.

Also, the margarita was in New York City.

During the course of the first day of the vacation, it went bar/food, five-minute nap, shopping, bar/food, shopping, walking the High Line, food, five-minute nap, bar/food.  We stayed with some friends in the Upper East Side and had a pretty excellent time; there wasn’t a lot of sight-seeing what with all the sitting and eating, but we did manage to see  a whole lot of the subway and stay awake for 22 solid hours.

supergrover

Some of the details of this evening are best kept between me and Super Grover.

Day 2: Crazy in Connecticut

We woke up, showered, brunched, and bused to Hartford to visit the wanderluster herself, Sabrina!  The Ginger has a thing for suburbs, so Sabrina took us by one of the oldest in the country before showing us a good time in West Hartford.  And really, it was a good time.  There are in fact things to do in Connecticut.  Who knew?

Day 3: Bean Town

Our planes, trains and automobiles adventure continued with a drive to Boston.  The three of us stopped at the Onyx Hotel (highly recommended, and not just for their animal-print bathrobes and faux-fur bedspreads) before hitting Quincy Market and the Harbor and catching a bit of the Freedom Trail.

Nice donkey

No, I don't know why there's a statue of a donkey on the Freedom Trail, but I do know it's important for every tourist to sit on it, preferably while a stranger stands just off-camera and says "nice ass."

A little bit of shopping and eating and we were on to the Haunted Boston tour!  This was a highlight of the trip for the two ghost-loving non-redheads among us.

Later, out to the Oldest Tavern In America (or so the sign says) – The Bell in Hand – for a bit of live music and dancing.  Sabrina and I each picked out our “boyfriends,” and it took all night for us to realize our boyfriends were actually each others’ boyfriends.  Yep; in a room full of burly Bruins fans, we gravitated towards the two waif-y hipsterish guys with excellent floppy hair.  I have been in the Twin Cities too long.

Day 4: Family, Fenway, and Farewell

A few of my Massachusetts family members met the gang and I for brunch at the Eastern Standard.  It was great, but too short for a once-in-a-decade visit.  They took us around the corner to a little place called Fenway for a photo op.

Fenway

Then it was goodbye family and Sabrina, hello Old Ironsides/excuse to make Anchorman references!

Old Ironsides

It really is an old, old wooden ship!

She’s 214 years old and she’s still afloat and still commissioned – it doesn’t get much cooler than that.

Next up: Tavern on the Water for a nice view of the city and a little interaction with some real Massachusetts folks, who told us Happy Hours are illegal in Massachusetts but that they had danced on the bar we were sitting at before.  I should note these were two 60-ish couples.  I liked them.

Last stop before taking off: Giacomo’s, or as The Ginger keeps calling it, “Giergamo’s? Guillermo’s? Gargamel’s?”  We waited in line for about forty minutes outside, during which time I realized I needed to find a bathroom (bear with me, this story goes somewhere).  So I went to a pharmacy across the street and asked the employee if there was a bathroom.

“Not here, but at the fire station down the street.”

Naturally I left, assumed I heard her wrong, and went a few doors down to another store.

“Try the fire station next door.”

Sure enough, there was an actual fire station next door.  Full of not-unattractive firemen.  Who I had to ask to lead me to the bathroom (“It’s right back theah, sweetheaaaaht”).  My only regret is that I did not buy a t-shirt to commemorate my time at this fine establishment.  Or, you know, one of those calendars.  You know the ones I mean.

Firemen Calendar
You knew what I meant but I wanted to put this here anyway.

Anyway, back to the restaurant!  Or actually the line out in front, where we met another awesome local couple (the guy talked about his twenty years of working for Phil Collins and building a stage for Steven Tyler at Fenway) who pointed out when a local hero walked past us: Zdeno Chara, captain of the Stanley Cup-winning Bruins and tallest dude in the NHL.  Yes, I googled all of that.  I had no idea who he was.

Zdeno Chara

Although if he had been dressed like this even I might have recognized him.

Dinner, Necessary Calming Beverage and flight: our whirlwind tour of the East was over.   Now I’m back and it’s taken me the better part of a week to get this blog post together.  My goal is to have my next vacation planned before I completely unpack from this one; at the rate I’m going that shouldn’t be too difficult.

Best Things of the Week!

I’m not feeling super great today, so this will be both a short post and a way to cheer myself up.

1. I’m Certifiable!

A few weeks ago, I took a class at Dakota County Technical College; this week, I found out I passed — I am now a Certified Master of Social Media.

Social Media images

Internet, you just got owned.

Does this mean I know everything there is to know about social media? Obviously not. But I do have a good knowledge base and a good idea of how to keep up on this world. (’90s Rachel still can’t believe this is her life, by the way)

2. Lazy Saturday – my life isn’t all pedicures and shoe shopping

Look, sometimes a girl just wants to kick back with an old friend, grab some beer and some delivery Chinese, and play some SuperNintendo.

SNES control

As a Master of Social Media it's important to keep up on new technology.

3. Boooooo!

My love of ghost tours is already established.  I fell in love with the Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul during a tour last year.  The speakeasy/gangster history gets me (Tommy gun marks in the fireplace!), and it’s on the list of most haunted places in Minnesota.

front of the caves

My fellow ghost-hunting enthusiast Sabrina flew in for a visit this weekend and we decided to visit the Caves for the monthly “All Souls” Tour.  It was almost more fun – and creepier – than last time.  I absolutely recommend this place and can’t wait to go on the other tour offerings.  Particularly the gangster tour.

John Dillinger and Rachel

John Dillinger, you can be my ghost boyfriend.