Something Spooky Finale, Or: Happy Halloween!

Day 25: “Shadows and Spirits” at the Capitol

Ghost hunter Sabrina and I took a tour of the State Capitol, led by “spirits” and lit the way it was 100 years ago (which is to say: dimly). The tour guide/ghosts were great, and I learned some things (it was put on by the Minnesota Historical Society). I tried to take a picture of a sign that said “Please Do Not Lean On The Historical Table,” but was forbidden.

Spooky State Capitol

This was also forbidden, but I’m a rebel.

Day 26: “Caves and Graves” Tour around St. Paul

I’ve already mentioned that I love the Wabasha Street Caves. Gangsters AND ghosts? I’m on board. This tour started at the caves, where we were all released to ghost hunt through a couple of unfinished caves.

Wabasha Street Cave Candle

Then we loaded up on a bus and drove around St. Paul, learning some great macabre history of the town, like the story of William Williams (the last man executed in Minnesota) and Louis Arbogast (the oldest unsolved murder in St. Paul).

My interests are vast.

Day 27: St. Paul BOOs Crawl

This was essentially Halloween for the 20-something set, since who wants to bar-hop on a Wednesday? (Answer: lots of people, just not me) After doing slightly terrible things to Dorothy and Toto for Zombie Pub Crawl this year, I kind of made it up to them by doing this:

Desaturated Dorothy

Dorothy…before the rainbow.

Props to my friend/makeup artist Kelly for making us look like living photoshops.

Day 28: Pumpkin Lantern

Since I’m better with power tools than I am with knives, I decided to break out the drill and three bits and make my itty-bitty pumpkin into a luminary.

Pumpkin Luminary

I made a huge mess, and I can barely fit a tea light in there, but I like my tiny, dotty pumpkin.

Day 29: Treehouse of Horror

My dad recently gifted me with an antenna (and a new TV) so that he has something to look at when he comes to visit. I’m still getting used to having channels for the first time in over 4 years, but it came in handy while switching back and forth between SuperStorm Sandy coverage (consider donating to the Red Cross, blood or money!) and a rerun of a Simpsons episode.

Day 30: Facepainting at the YWCA

Am I an expert facepainter? Heavens no. But can I draw a ghost, a pumpkin, or something that vaguely resembles a cat onto squirmy, sugared up children who do not have immediate access to mirrors? Heck yes I can! And I can do it while dressed like a fairy princess.

Unfortunately, I can also forget I’m dressed like a fairy princess and accidentally wear a tutu into a deli, but that’s my challenge.

Day 31: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Today I dressed up as a princess again at work.  My mother makes tutus for toddlers, and “felt bad” she never made one for me as a toddler. So she made one for me now. Logic! This tutu is amazing. It pairs perfectly with my silver heels, which are impossible to walk in, so I’ve been hobbling around, leaving a trail of glitter in my totally graceful wake. Not a single person asked me to take my toy back to the caaaaahpet, but I did win a costume  contest.

Now I’m in costume number 4 for the month – some sort of generic witch devil, aka “everything black and red in my closet and a headband from Walgreens” – reminiscing about Halloween ’91 (as we Minnesotans like to do), and waiting impatiently for trick-or-treaters to arrive. I hope everyone has enjoyed October as much as I have!

BOOOOOooooooOOOOOOO!

Advertisements

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.

Best Things of the Week!

Today started with a trip to the dentist and concluded with a visit to the eye doctor because apparently it’s Rachel Maintenance Day.  There’s just about nothing I hate more than going to the dentist, except possibly someone poking me in the eye while talking about my “unusually large optic nerves.”  So let’s bring on some Best Things, I need cheering up.

1. Back to the basics: Dinner, Movie, Shoes

My Favorite Guy: Ginger Division took me out for a date with the mall on Thursday.  We enjoyed 1/2 price bottle of wine night and then went shoe shopping, which is the preferred order of things.  Then we went to see Contagion.

Contagion Poster

A.K.A. that movie where Gwyneth dies horribly and immediately. Fun for the whole family!

We didn’t love it: me, because I’m not really a fan of end-of-times movies that are in any way realistic (throw a Terminator in the mix, though, and I’m there). Him, because it doesn’t really have an ending.

Part of the movie takes place in Minneapolis, which was jarring.  Not so much because having the end of the world start in my backyard is scary, but because it was Movie Minnesota, which is: suburban Illinois with a thin, even layer of snow on it.  I found this…distracting, and it made me glad more movies aren’t based in Minnesota.

After all, this is the only movie we need to represent us accurately:

2. RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL!

I went to my first ever Ren Fest on Saturday!  I rode an elephant in a circle; I went to a Guinness tasting (I enjoy my Irish roots very much); I posed for a courtly photograph and looked ridiculous; and I paid an old Irish man a dollar to play “Ashoken Farewell” on the violin.  That was probably the highlight for me, though it made me a little weepy.

You’d think riding an elephant would be the highlight, wouldn’t you?  No, later Manolo gave me a piggy back ride across the parking lot, and she moves a lot faster than elephants and I do not have concerns about whether or not she is treated humanely.  So that was the other highlight.

There was then an unfortunate run-in between a head (mine) and an elbow (not mine) that wasn’t fun, but didn’t leave any lasting damage.  If the elbow reads this blog, the elbow should understand that all is well.  And I think it might have been my fault, anyway.

3. Love is in the Arb

Yesterday, I went back to the Arboretum for an event called Collegeville Colors.  I visited with my old Arb pals and wound up taking a walk with two environmental education enthusiasts.  You would think I’d be able to identify trees after working at an Arboretum for a year, but I really can’t.  Correction: I can identify when something IS a tree.  But beyond that I’m kind of lost.

Well!  Three years and one personalized walking tour later, I can now almost definitely tell you if the leaf you are holding is from a Red Oak, a White Oak, or Other.

tree at arboretum

Nature is a beautiful and confusing thing to some of us.

A whole new way to be a fanatic

I feel like I should clarify that I use social media for a lot of things besides shoe shopping and watching videos of puppies who can’t get up.

Shoes

Mostly those things, though.

But there’s something else I love even more than shoes, and it’s not clothing-based, unless that clothing is purple: I love the Minnesota Vikings.  A lot.  To the point of…well, admitting it on the internet.  And having a Vikings-purple pedicure.

Rachel is a Viking

And dressing like this in public.

And following a bunch of sports outlets and actual Vikings on Twitter, including the man I’ve been claiming as my cousin for a few years now, Adrian Peterson. (And yet he never comes to the reunions…)  This was fun over the summer, when their updates were as meaningless as mine.  Then the NFL lockout ended and so did my regular sleep pattern.

Case in point: two nights ago, Visanthe Shiancoe tweeted the word “Welcome” and I lost my mind trying to decipher that message.  Did it mean the deal with Donavan McNabb was complete?*  Did he just hit enter before he finished writing his sentence? Was he just toying with my emotions like the entire team does season after season?  I spent the better part of an hour Googling, ESPN-ing, and Tweeting when I absolutely should have been sleeping.

Social media, I’ve discovered, has brought me a whole new way to be crazy.  I mean, a fan.  Maybe it will calm down again once this week of trades is complete, but somehow…I doubt it.

*It wasn’t then, but it is now. I have a whole bunch of thoughts on this, and losing Sidney Rice, but they mainly just make me go “I can’t with you right now.”  This is what it means to be a Vikings fan.

PS: I know I lost some of you a while back there, so here’s this:

In which I write about important things, like shoes

Yesterday morning, my barista said to me, “Your dress reminds me of my curtains!”  She tried to clarify that she meant the floral pattern looked like her favorite new curtains that she just made herself, but is there any way to hear this without immediately picturing Carol Burnett? I think I even checked my shoulders for curtain rods.


(skip to 3:22 for the fashion show)

I decided to take this as a compliment (or at the very least, an insult worth sharing with the internet), but it did make me think about my personal style.  Let me be the first to admit I’m no fashionista.  I do wear dresses almost every day of the summer because I live in Minnesota, and for nine months out of the year I have to wear all my clothing at once just to survive.  Sometimes I add a cardigan because, like actual fashionista Zooey Deschanel, I believe you can never have too many cardigans.*  I would be wearing my hair in a side-pony right now even if the look hadn’t made a comeback.  My style literally has not changed since I was four years old.

Rachel at four

Some looks are timeless.

Apparently the only thing that’s changed about my look in the past two decades is the footwear.  Excuse the (possibly boys’) flip-flops above, because current me loves shoes almost as much as I love the Minnesota Vikings.**  I’ve written before about my inherent brand loyalty, and while I don’t have a favorite shoe designer, I do love one store above the rest: DSW.

Shoes

YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!

It really isn’t that hard to sell shoes to a shoe-lover like myself, but what really sold me on DSW was the rewards program.  I’ve actually remembered to check my mailbox every day this week because I’m expecting a $10-off coupon.  The store occasionally emails me about web specials; I don’t usually buy shoes online, but I DO usually find something on the website that I will then drive ten miles to find in person.  They also give away shoes through Twitter on Fridays.  I have yet to win, but this in itself is a reason to have a Twitter account.

And just in case writing about how much I like shoes has made you think I might have some fashion sense, this once happened.  Forget fashion sense, I’m still waiting on my common sense to kick in.

*She said this in Lucky.  I can’t find the article online because it’s over a year old — it’s been that long since I’ve read a fashion magazine.
**Which is a whole lot, despite how girly this post has become.