Rebooting (with spoons)

A few years ago, I was getting ready to host my family for Thanksgiving when I realized I didn’t have enough forks. I did all the dishes, looked in all the drawers and came up with exactly five forks. I fretted for a few hours, until I remembered there are only five people in my family and as long as no forks disappeared mid-meal we’d be fine. I still fessed up to my family, and my fork shortage became a running joke. (My mother gave me one fork in a jewelry box for Christmas.) Now that I’m no longer literally running out of forks, I find myself counting my metaphorical spoons.

There’s this thing called The Spoon Theory.  If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s an explanation of life with a chronic illness as illustrated by a bouquet of spoons. Why spoons? Because they were the closest object to the storyteller at the time. It’s a weird metaphor, but it caught on long before I came to the chronic life scene, so I’m rolling with it. I have now joined a gang called the Spoonies. (Like the Goonies, except instead of searching for pirate gold we might eat some soup later if we can get out of bed.)

It took me a while to admit to myself that I am a spoonie, and even longer to admit it to anyone else, even the people to whom it is painfully obvious. I am speaking here specifically of Lacy, my best friend and roommate who has become my accidental but eternally patient caretaker. Well before we knew what was going on, she took over grocery shopping. She accepted my total domination of the couch. She accompanied me to several late-night ER visits. And she makes great coffee.

Lacy and many others have been there for me over the past year and a half, particularly during what I like to call the Hard Reboot of Rachel. My wonderful workplaces and school let me take several months off to attempt to “get better” or at least figure out what was wrong. Basically, I watched everything on Netflix in between doctor’s appointments, and even though I am not better, I’m so grateful to everyone who let me take that time and supported me through it.*

I’m still Rebooting. I’ve had time to come to terms with the pain of ON, but it’s harder to accept the changes to my life. Knowing my supply of spoons is limited does not stop me from trying to do everything I used to do. It’s kind of like deciding to have another beer and knowing you run the risk of a hangover the next day, except instead of having a beer, it’s reading a book. Or taking a shower. Or working a full day. And instead of a hangover, it’s…actually, that is what it feels like sometimes.

I’m trying to spend my spoons wisely. Work. School. Seeing friends and family in limited ways, even if I know it will cost me later. And the upcoming Women’s March Minnesota.  That one is going to hurt in so many ways, but it’s necessary in so many more.

*I’m especially thankful to the people who went above and beyond to bring me to or from ERs, hospitals, pain clinics, and more: Aimee, Bryan, Lacy, and my family.

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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.

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.

#26Acts Completed. What’s Next?

Well, it’s taken me almost three months, but I’ve ‘finished’ my #26Acts of kindness. I hope I’ve been nice other times in between then and now, or at least not outright mean…Don’t answer that.

Things like this remind me that a lot can change in three months. Important things can be forgotten, and promises can be broken. I started following the #26Acts challenge to consciously do, in very broad terms, Good Things; they weren’t always the biggest things, and they weren’t always ‘random,’ but they were always done with good intent. It’s my choice to remember those 26 victims through positive actions; they should not be forgotten.

Anyway. The theme of this section is “free,” because I’m saving for a vacation (and kindness doesn’t have to cost a thing).

19. Helped two gentlemen across a parking lot and into Bruegger’s (which is where they were headed, not just, like, where I decided to put them)

This was maybe my first totally random act of kindness, and it was perfect for me, because a man after a sandwich is a man after my own heart. In this case, two older men. With walkers. Even better!

20. Did the dreaded unclaimed dishes

Every shared kitchen has unclaimed dirty dishes in the sink at almost any time. It can cause wars. So for a few days, I did other people’s dishes without writing a passive-aggressive note or acting like a martyr. Just blogging about it!

21. Tucked handmade bookmarks into books at the library (I AM VERY NORMAL)

I love finding things in books.  Hopefully I’m not alone in that.

isthisakissingbook

All the bookmarks I made had a quote from the movie version of my favorite book, The Princess Bride, and several of them wound up in romance novels, which just amuses me to no end.

22. Volunteered at Operation Glass Slipper

Operation Glass Slipper outfits around 1,000 girls for prom at no cost. Lacy and I helped out in the shoe section. Mainly we tried to keep the shelves stocked, but we also got to help a few girls find the perfect shoe. This is as close to being a Fairy Godmother as I will get in real life.

23. Proofread homework assignments for a friend

I may not know what your grad school paper is about, but I can tell you if you’ve misspelled “occurrence.”

24. Visited a home-bound friend on St. Patrick’s Day

A meaningful visit on a meaningful day, for both of us.

25. Brought leftover St. Patrick’s day goodies (not whiskey) into work to share

The shamrock cookies went immediately – but the Irish flag veggie tray was a little slower. What does that tell us?

irishflagveggietray

26. Finally bought my coworker a coffee. Then she bought me one back. This will go on forever so at some point the thought just has to count.

There you have it; 26 Acts of Kindness, some random, some not. But just because I’ve met my initial goal does not mean I’m done with kindness and going to turn into a Disney Villain. Although…I am plotting something. Scheming, if you would. Stay tuned.

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?

Social/Life

A while back, I went to a totally not embarrassing concert and mused about what the experience would have been like if I’d been able to “live-Tweet” during it. Would it take away from the experience, or would it add to it? At the time, I didn’t have a smartphone, so sharing the experience while it was happening was not an option. Well, now I have one, and after figuring out the basics I’ve managed to become a slight oversharer.

Instagrammed photo of bird poop on my car

“I appear to have deeply offended a large bird.”  Okay, a huge oversharer.

I keep making vague promises to myself that I’ll settle down, but the honeymoon phase between me and my new friend Siri has overlapped with the start of summer. Like any true Minnesotan, I’m not about to let this all-too-brief season slip by. What people in less volatile climates do in a year, I’m going to try to do in three months.

That’s not anything new; last summer, you may recall, I did plenty of things. The difference is now I can share my nonsense in real time.

I think we can all agree this might not always be a good thing.

Dog of Censorship

Someone needs to invent a “Dog of Censorship” App ASAP.

Anyway. Last Saturday, I took myself to another totally not embarrassing concert at the Target Center: Aerosmith. And because I love Aerosmith for no and beyond all reason, my guess from last year’s NKOTBSB concert was not far off – once Steven Tyler hit the stage, I basically just went “Squeee!” and forgot about the ability to share/brag beyond one fairly good picture:

Steven Tyler Instagram

Instagram gets the save on this one.  Some of that confetti is still in my purse.

That (amazing) experience over, I thought I’d answered my own question about how I’d use social media at events. I’d managed to do some sharing while staying in the (really amazing) moment. And anyway, I’d blown my summer budget on that (really, REALLY amazing) ticket, so I didn’t expect to get the chance to try it out again for a while.

Less than 24 hours later, I found myself enjoying some Trampled By Turtles from the comfort of the terrace view at Target Field. Since I didn’t know about the bonus concert until I got to the Twins game, and since I was an hour early for the game thanks to my pops, I had to share the news of my good fortune.

All the mascots at the Twins Game

I was too disturbed by the presence of literally all the mascots to take a picture of TBT, however.

This caused a tiny uproar amongst some die-hard TBT fans I call my friends, but more importantly, it made my pops wonder why I kept looking at my phone. As much fun as it would have been to keep spreading the joy/jealousy of a bonus concert (not to mention a 15-inning baseball game), it was more fun to enjoy Father’s Day with my pops. (We actually only made it through 11 innings and I did respond to a few messages, but hey. We tried.)

After determining that “losing your mind to your favorite band” and “hanging out with your father” are not quite the right times to go live-Tweeting, social-sharing crazy, I struck upon a much better opportunity: the River’s Edge Music Festival in St. Paul on Saturday.

I managed to win free tickets* last week and took Lacy, another twenty-something with a smartphone, and we did it all. We admired the lead singer of Coheed and Cambria‘s magical hair. We blew our budgets on outrageously overpriced beer. We held a few inebriated souls upright in the Sublime with Rome crowd. We soaked in some much needed sun rays to the tunes of Blaqstarr. We lost our voices to Tool. We Facebooked, Instagrammed, Tweeted, sang and danced.

We shared a wonderful day with each other, and then we shared jokes about it on the internet. And that, #youguys, is the best balance of social media and social life I’ve found yet.

girls who look like girls

Just your average Tool fans.

*I won 2 single-day tickets through a Twitter contest, which is awesome. However, the publication which ran the contest was non-responsive about how to get my tickets until two days before the concert despite three attempts to contact them, then they told me (twice) to pick up my tickets at will-call at the River Centre (which is a place in St. Paul, but has nothing to do with the River’s Edge Festival). Finally, the tickets, which were not at the regular will-call at the event either but rather at the media tent, were not for “either day” as promised, but for Sunday only. Luckily two very nice Live Nation employees took my declaration that “75 minutes of Tool is infinitely better than 3 hours of Dave Matthews Band” seriously, and switched the tickets for me. Despite this rant, I did get in completely free, so thank you, Live Nation; less of a thank you, publication with really poor communication/customer service skills.

Best Things of 2011

Another year, another Nuns Having Fun calendar, and another chance to look back and ask, “What was I thinking?”  Welcome to 2011: The Year That Was.

January: Best Month I Forgot About Entirely

Seriously, I had to turn to the new-fangled Facebook Timeline to help me remember January 2011.  And here’s what I found out:

1. I made these cookies with Manolo.

Cookies, Kind of

On the left, either me or Velma from Scooby Doo; on the right, Manolo with a tan or Medusa.

2. We also ate them.

3. I finished what wound up being the best book I read all year: The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop by Dan Charnas. I could tell you how well-written, informative, and crazy-interesting it is, but if you’re not already on board from the title, this might not be the book for you.

4. And I found out my name would be featured on “millions of cups” at Caribou Coffees everywhere. This would be the peak of my fame in 2011.

February: Best Second Month of the Year

Another one I don’t remember! Apparently: I went to a couple of concerts (favorite: Pete Yorn at First Ave), and I continued one of my favorite traditions of watching the Oscars with my bro.

In my defense there was a lot of snow on the ground last year. I didn’t get out that much.

March: Best Month To Start New Friendships

At some point in March, Lacy invited me out for brunch with one of her old friends who had just moved down the road from me.  Going against my usual winter attitude of “people are the worst,” I agreed to go.

That friend was the Ginger.

Also joining us that day was the Ginger’s roommate, another guy I vaguely knew years ago. And because I feel confident he will never read this, I don’t mind telling you he totally ignored my presence for the first half hour or so of our brunch and I wasn’t thinking we’d ever hang out again. Then I mentioned Battlestar Galactica. And now I can’t get rid of him.

****JOKE! THAT PART IS A JOKE.****

But really, our friendship formed because of BSG, found its footing in football, further developed over beer, and continues despite the amount of hell I give him.  He would probably like to make some jokes about getting rid of me, too, but is too nice to do so.

Easily the best brunch of my life.

April: Best Month to Get Older

I turned 26 by being sick on my couch and having a Die Hard marathon.  Later I convinced some coworkers to buy me an ice cream cake if I picked it up; this is what I chose to put on it.

Die Hard Cake

"Live Free or Die Hard" PG-13 version; the DQ employee had no idea who John McClane was. KIDS TODAY.

April was also when I saw Chuck Klosterman at the Fitzgerald, and went to my first of several Twins games of the year.  Spring is better than winter, you guys.

May: Best Month To Be Named Daughter of the Year

I took my mom to see Paul Simon at First Ave.

Paul Simon at First Ave

Therefore, I win.

And I took Lacy to see Donald Glover/Childish Gambino at The Varsity.

Donald Glover

Therefore, I need a new camera.

I also got a tan-line from a candy necklace while at the Lyn-Lake Festival. I regret nothing.

June: Best Month To Start A Blog

I started this blog in June for a class, but at first I tried to keep it homework-centric. Some adventures that happened in that time that haven’t yet been shared with the internet:

1. I took a tour of the Liberty Belle, a WWII bomber like the one my grandfather was in as a gunner.

Inside the Liberty Belle

How happy do I look to be holding that gun?

2. I rode a mechanical bull at Grand Old Day.

Rachel and the Bull

And you thought I looked happy with the gun.

3. I broke my bowling record (133 and it still stands! I’m not very good at bowling!).

4. And I officially became an Irish citizen (oh, have I mentioned that a time or two before?).

July – December: Best Things I’ve Already Written About So Just Read the Archives, Particularly Anything About Traveling With The Ginger, Visiting Virginia in July, Screaming at The New Kids On The Block, Being Thankful For Things, And Being Disappointed By The Vikings Live and In Person.

(We may be on memory lane here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take shortcuts.)

So that was 2011: New friendships, new adventures, and a new passion for volunteering. Things were constantly ridiculous. Some ideas were bad. Mistakes were made on a daily basis. But overall, I think I nailed it in one take.

Bring it, 2012.

All I Want For Christmas

My Christmas gifts to others are falling into four categories this year (uh, spoiler alert): free, almost free, events, or charity.

Free or almost free: My family started the “free or almost free” Christmas tradition two years ago, and it’s my favorite thing.  I never have to set foot in a mall in November or December.  Do you understand how freeing that is?  Instead, I spend the year gathering free things, or making things, or buying ridiculous things for a couple of dollars.  This can result in a pile of junk, or it can result in putting more thought and effort into gifts than I’ve ever bothered to in the past.  Last year my mother made me a t-shirt quilt, which is currently wrapped around my shoulders.  Two years ago, I drew a portrait of my grandfather for my dad.  It was a moving experience for me to draw it, and to watch him open it.

These handmade or sentimental things are worth so much more to me than, say, the DVD of North and South that I totally want but can buy myself.  And it makes me love the season, rather than dread it.  I can even listen to Christmas music without wanting to scream.  Except for “Little Drummer Boy,” of course; I’d rather shower with a bear than listen to that thing one more time.

Events: It turns out that in addition to family, I have some friends.  They’re not as big of fans of the “free or almost free” concept, and also it is way harder to make things than buy them for most people.  So I’m trying to give events, if possible.  A night out. A sporting event. A beer festival.  And less imaginative things too: the promise of a visit to friends who are moving far away.  Dinner and drinks some night.  A party at my place (this is only a gift as long as I don’t do the cooking).  It’s the most selfish of all my Christmas-giving, since I get to enjoy the events in the company of good people.

Charity: Look, I volunteer a lot.  I’ll be working with the Salvation Army in the coming weeks (including being on TV), I recently got Lacy to serve dinner with me at a shelter and we’re looking forward to doing it again, and I’m going to count the 45 minutes I spent agonizing over the perfect Barbie for Toys For Tots as “Charity” rather than “A Sad Activity For An Adult Woman.”  But this is not so much about what I’m doing as what I would like you to do.

Yeah, guys.  That’s right.  I’m asking you to be good people again.

If you are the type of person who wants to give me something for Christmas, just give me this: the promise that you will support my volunteer efforts from time to time this coming year.  You can throw money at me, or come to FMSC sometime, or not make fun of me when I show up at a bar with craft supplies stuck to my person.  Let me know you’re interested, so I don’t have to feel like I’m bothering you.  In return, I’m going to try to stop bothering you.

So there.  That’s all I want for Christmas, plus maybe to win the lottery.  I just wanted to tell you that.

And this:

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Also, this cannot be watched enough times this season:

Merry Christmas.

“Liquor and nuns”

I may not eat turkey, but I still like Thanksgiving.  First of all, there are so many other things to eat!  And it’s practically National Napping Day, which is a cause I celebrate.  And finally, I’m thankful for so much.  Here are a few things in no particular order:

  • coffee and lefse for breakfast (okay, perhaps these are in an order: the order in which they are in front of my face right now, and order of deliciousness)
  • my brother for the sheer amount of inside jokes and movie quotes that make me laugh and make everyone else wonder what we’re talking about.  “Bread.”
  • my sister-in-law for working Thanksgiving so we can finally, maybe, all get together for Christmas
  • the friends and family who helped me raise $220 for the Walk to End Hunger yesterday!
  • my mom for walking with me, and then asking “how does my walking help end hunger, exactly?” That kind of blind support is love.
  • Muppets.
  • My mom’s official review of the new Muppet movie: “Jason Segel’s mother should be proud!”
  • The ladies who found out I was without Thanksgiving evening plans and said, “Rachel, you should come over! There will be liquor and nuns. We won’t have room for you at the big table but we can set up a kids’ table for you.”
  • Great friends and their excellent families who take in strays at the last minute.  And feed them too much. More mint cake please.
  • My dad for driving through terrible weather last weekend to attend his first-ever Vikings game with me.
  • The Minnesota Vikings for keeping me humble.
  • Naps.
  • Laughter.
  • Beer.
  • God.
  • I told you these are not in any order.
  • The fact that my iTunes just started playing Protozoa’s “Zoom Zoom Zoom” from “Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.”  Why do I own that? And how could I forget I own that? Amazing.
  • The fact that I can afford to have iTunes, and coffee and lefse, and access to the internet and clean water and everything so much of the world is without.
  • Hands On Twin Cities for introducing me to some great local causes.
  • Feed My Starving Children – and all the friends and family I’ve made go with me recently
  • Not working in retail on Black Friday.
  • Terrible/amazing action movies, and friends who send emails like this: “Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris are in Expendables 2. Get the f*** in line.”
  • Ten years of friendship with Lacy.  “Weebles Wobble…”
  • Really, just all of my friends who let me be my ridiculous self and seem to like me for it.  I like you, too.
  • And this: “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
    and try to love the questions themselves…
    Don’t search for the answers,
    which could not be given to you now,
    because you would not be able to live them.
    And the point is, to live everything.
    Live the questions now.
    Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
    you will gradually, without even noticing it,
    live your way into the answer.”
    Rainer Maria Rilke

Happy everything to you all.