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I’m Starting a Design Firm

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In light of my recent job search, I have been forced to sit back and re-evaluate what I want in life. What I’m good at. And one thing I know I can do is design: I’ve been working with my aunt’s interior design company since I was probably around five. By this point, I’m good with colors. I get textures. It all makes sense.

What I didn’t realize is that it would be so easy to do!

Okay, so “Design Firm” isn’t really the right term. It’s more like…Design Inspiration Hub. But that sounds weird.

You want the full story? Okay. Are you on Pinterest? If you are, you’ve probably noticed these pictures going around. They’re nothing but cutesy pictures with some color swatches next to them, from this website called Design Seeds. They seem to be intended to inspire anyone who is planning to redecorate a room or a wedding.

Well, it seems everyone on Pinterest is currently planning three weddings and redecorating two whole houses. I can’t say I’ve never pinned something from Design Seeds, but seeing 500 of their pictures filling up my page gets annoying. And I’m sick of the cutesy pictures. Why can’t they find beautiful colors in less adorable things? Gross things, even?

So when Siren wrote a blog post about how, despite the fact that some pictures she’d taken made her really sad, she had to post them because she loved the colors, I knew exactly what I’m going to do with my life.

Behold, Siren’s Dead Dolphin:

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Decomposing Dolphin consists of a gray-blue ombre with a coral highlight and a neutral sand background. It would be the perfect color theme for a beach wedding, a nautical-themed nursery, or a comfortable living area in your home. The colors will evoke the feel of the slowly decaying dolphin without being too blatant about it, but you can always add a framed print of the dolphin to complete the look!

And why stop there?

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Dog Vomit is a beautiful array of fall colors, which would be–need I say it–perfect for a fall wedding. Getting married in October or November? Look no further for your theme, inspired by an image from Raising a Puppy. It would also be perfect in the kitchen, brightening up and energizing your cooking space to entice you to cook some fantastic foods. I know I’m in the mood for ethnic cuisine right now! Who wants Indian?

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You may have to tilt your screen back a bit to notice the delicate bone hue at the end of Mass Graves, inspired by a National Geographic photo of skeletons of soldiers and babies, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. Planning a garden wedding, and don’t want a super bright palate to contrast with the natural beauty around you? Mass Graves is the perfect neutral, natural palette–just make sure to order your dress in Bone! Not planning a wedding? No worries! Because the colors are so simple and pleasing to anyone, Mass Graves would be a wonderful palette for a guest room. And if you throw a lot of parties, why not decorate your main party room with Mass Graves? The room will look gorgeous on its own, and the neutral shades won’t contrast with any temporary decorations you put up!

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Of course, neutral isn’t for everyone! This moldy salad, inspired by a photo from New York Shitty, creates the perfect palette for anyone who wants a natural feel with a POP. The yellow and tangerine colors here are two of Pantone’s top colors for Spring 2012, so you’ll be right on-trend using them to highlight your sage green ombre. The neutral brown and gray provide some variety, allowing you to stray from the bright hues you’ve chosen while still fitting perfectly within a color scheme! And where couldn’t you put this in your house? Kids would be delighted by the bright colors, while the greens would make a perfect background in a master bedroom. Looking for something fun to do with your bathroom? Look no further than Salad Mold!

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And with Valentine’s Day coming up, how could I leave out this gorgeous pink palette? Inspired by blood spatter from a real crime scene in Bermuda, this palette screams love. Are you an NCIS fan? Have you heard that Pauley Perrette, who plays the lovable Abby, is engaged? Well I can’t imagine a better palette for her wedding–or anyone who loves pink (or blood)! Young girls would love to have their rooms decorated in these gorgeous pinks, or you could create the most romantic atmosphere in your master bedroom! Get ready for some passion with Spattered Hues!

When you design, remember how important it is to look for inspiration everywhere. Any image that catches your eye, no matter how beautiful or grotesque it is, can have some gorgeous colors hidden inside it! For this reason, I’m willing to help any of you lovely readers who need help with design. Do you have some redecorating you need to do, or a wedding to plan, and no ideas? Well, send whatever awful image you have to me at dearohrachael@gmail.com and I’ll respond with your dream palette. If I like it enough, I may even feature it here, right on this very blog!

Have you looked for beauty in anything disgusting recently? Or possibly found the perfect use for Comic Sans? Because I’m pretty sure I just did.

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What the fuck, Halloween?

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Last night was my first-ever time handing out candy to trick-or-treaters from my own place. Sure, I’d been the one giving kids candy from my mom’s house before, but there was something different about it this time. I wasn’t the girl handing out candy in place of her mom anymore. That made a difference, and I cared.

Mike bought a ton of candy. To be specific, he bought 11 bags of candy. I put aside any multiples and poured everything into a 8-quart stockpot. With two bags of candy missing, it was still overflowing. Awesome, I thought. There’ll be tons of leftovers. Of course, I didn’t want it to all end up being leftovers, so when our first trick-or-treaters didn’t show up until 45 minutes into the time slot, I started giving out fistfuls of candy. See, Mike tends to get excited and buy tons of candy or baked goods or ice cream or what have you and then completely forget and I become responsible for eating all of it. I didn’t want to eat 11 bags of candy. I didn’t want to get diabetes because I was stingy with the kids. However, the kids then started pouring in, and by the end I was almost out and giving out two pieces. Maybe small handfuls next year, Rachael.

At the end of the night, it became clear that my expectations had been too high. I realize now that I shouldn’t have had expectations at all.

Did you, as a kid, hate those houses that made you say “Trick-or-Treat!” to get candy? I didn’t hate it, but I never liked it. I was shy and felt dumb threatening to play a trick on people who didn’t give me candy when, really, I’d just walk to the next house that had the bucket out with the ‘take one’ sign and take a whole handful. (How much do I love that commercial with the little “I can’t read” girl? So much.) But when hordes of children started showing up at my door and staring at me expectantly without so much as a “Hi!” or a “Please!” or a “Happy Halloween!” I understood. I mean, I at least always greeted people. So I became one of those people who makes the kids say “Trick or treat!” before giving them candy. Whatever. That’s not even the point.

The point is this one girl. She ran up to my door with her sister close behind her. When I opened with the pot o’ candy balanced on my hip, she reached up and pulled it down. She didn’t say a word. I was too blown away to hold it back from her. So she runs up to the door, grabs the pot o’ candy out of my hand, takes one piece of candy, and runs off. What the fuck? Okay, one bratty kid. I wonder if her sister told her about the handful I gave her for not sucking.

The parents were the worst, though. Despite the fact that I had a lighted jack-o-lantern at the end of my porch, strings of Christmas lights lit up all along the railing, lights in the house on, and the porch light on, they wouldn’t let their kids approach my door unless they could see me waiting to give out candy. I was doing homework. I had to relocate to the chair in the corner of our entryway so that they could see me if they looked. One mom didn’t look and told her kid, “I don’t see anyone there, but if you want to go knock on the door and see if they’re giving out candy, you can.” Try to imagine the bitchy, skeptical tone of her voice, as if her kid was crazy for seeing a clearly decorated porch and thinking she could get candy from me. Isn’t the point of Halloween to go door-to-door and knock and ask for candy? Should I really have to leave the door open for two hours when it’s fucking cold out just because you don’t want to waste a few steps to see if I have candy when I clearly do? The rule as I always knew it was that if there was a light by the door, the house was giving out candy. Porch light’s on? Cool. We didn’t need decorations.

Who the fuck would put out a Jack-o-lantern and not give out candy?

At one point, a whole bunch of kids approached me in rapid succession. It seemed like five siblings from one family and two from another. They all said trick-or-treat, most of them without needing prompting, and they all got handfuls of candy. Then they all ran back to their parents (or possibly chaperones; I forgot that some kids go with their friends and their parents stay home). When they were out of sight, I could still hear the parents talking loudly to each other. One said something that sounded kind of worried about the candy her kids were getting–I wasn’t sure if it was the sheer amount of it or the fear that it was poisoned.

Another replied. “Oh, there are candy buyback programs.”
“Really?”
“Yeah, there are a couple places in town where you can go and they’ll buy all the Halloween candy from you.”
“That’s great! Where?”

What. The. Fuck. Seriously. That’s all I can say. No wonder kids are such brats–their parents aren’t even letting them keep the candy! Do they even get the money? And how much? At the end of the night, does each kid even have 5 dollars worth of candy? I feel completely ripped off. Do they even realize that Mike and I spent money on this? Would they throw a birthday party for their kids and then give away all the presents people bought?

Are parents treating this as a holiday to parade their kids around in costumes that the kids probably don’t even like? I’m reminded of women who buy tiny dogs and use them as accessories. Oh, look, I’m going to carry him around in my purse with this cute plaid jacket! People will love it! No, they won’t. We don’t want to see kids who don’t give a shit about the candy we’re giving them because you’re just going to sell it back for way less than they think it’s worth. I wouldn’t want to walk around for two hours in the freezing cold in a weather-inappropriate costume and knock on a bunch of strangers’ doors for nothing, either.

There used to be this house that I went to when I was little, sort of diagonally across the street from mine. The woman who lived there gave out candy, but she also invited everyone in. There was always plenty of mulled cider to warm us up from the cold, fresh cookies to enjoy, and I think there were caramel apples a few times. I loved going to that house. Maybe that is an unrealistic dream now, or maybe you’d at least have to live in a neighborhood where everyone knows you for anyone to come in. But the fact that Halloween paranoia has extended to not even keeping the candy is such bullshit.

Everything sacred about Halloween as a kids’ holiday is gone. There’s no knocking on doors, no visiting with neighbors, no saying “trick or treat,” no keeping your candy. All we’re left with, it seems, is awful parenting and the I’m a sexy candy corn movement.

Well clearly, I’m pissed about Halloween. What holiday traditions have you seen completely destroyed as you grew up?

I GOT A BLOG AWARD!

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Guys guys guys. This is SUPER FUCKING EXCITING. I mean, I imagine everyone is super fucking excited when they get their first blog award, right? So I’m sure you all understand the necessity of my posting to announce the news. I mean, I’m a freakin’ n00b here, you know? I’ve only been around since April! And not only am I in the League of Funny Bitches, but I also have….THIS:

Bitchin’.

Siren designed this award and definitely did not give it to me at all in any way. Can you believe it? I am on the fast track to internet fame and never having to leave my house again.

I’d like to thank…myself.

In other news, I noticed a puddle of water on the floor when I woke up absurdly early this morning and it turns out there was a leaky pipe so now it’s being fixed, but there are two huge holes in our ceiling because the pipe goes from one room to the next, and also a missing pipe. It is currently at the stage of repair where if the guy upstairs flushes the toilet, it’ll empty onto my stove. Do Gorons go to the bathroom? I don’t think Gorons go to the bathroom. We should be safe.

EDIT: Siren has come up with a few (minor) rules (okay, like, one)* about this blog award, and that is: When you post it, whether it be in a post or a sidebar or whatever, link it back to where you got it. If you click the one in my sidebar, it will bring you to Siren’s page about how the award came about and how it works. Lacrema, who stole the award from me, has linked it back to me (well, to both me and Siren). So if someone steals it from Lac, the idea is that they’ll link back to her. And then eventually when the award is all over the place because, come on, who wouldn’t want this award, you can see it and click back and follow the whole trail to what will probably be a lot of interesting blogs on the way. Cool? Okay, cool.

*It’s really more like a guideline.

The Stages of Moving

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Moving, like grief, evokes a specific set of emotions among those who are doing it. I would know. I’ve moved five times within the last three years. I’m familiar with the process, and it’s exactly the same every time. So if you’re thinking of moving anytime soon, remember this. Know what you’re up against. It’s the only way to come out on top.

1. Denial
There are a few key signals that let you know that you’re going through the “denial” stage of moving. You’ve looked at places. You’ve signed a lease or taken out a mortgage. You have a date that you’ll be moving on. But following all that, you’ll notice yourself thinking dangerous thoughts that might clue you in as to how not ready you are mentally. “Oh, I don’t have to pack yet. Moving day isn’t for a while.” This works when moving day is two months away, but you’ll notice the feeling that you don’t actually have to pack your stuff doesn’t go away when you get to the point that you really should have started packing your stuff. “I’ll organize my room. That way, when I pack, I’ll know exactly where everything is so my boxes can be nice and neat.” Good luck spending the next two months organizing your room. “Ooh, getting a lease that gives me overlap is great! I’m going to go to the new place and paint. I can pack later.” With few exceptions, you can paint once you’re there. Any of these thoughts, or thoughts like this, express one sentiment that you might not even be conscious of: This isn’t actually happening. Or at least, it’s not happening any time soon. You’ll deny the time you have left and, even worse–you’ll deny the fact that you haven’t done shit yet.

2. Anger
Eventually you realize you’ve been in denial. Usually about two days before moving day. Then you’ll start assembling your boxes and look around you and think: “Shit. When did I get so much SHIT.” You’ll notice how angry you are at every single one of your possessions. “T-shirt. I don’t even fucking wear you. What are you DOING in my HOUSE?” or “Fuck you, Nightstand. DON’T fit into the moving truck. See if I give a fuck.” You’ll also notice that you’re directing anger at yourself. “Rachael, you stupid bitch, you should fucking know by now. You’ve moved enough times. It takes more than two days to pack all your belongings. Screw you.” This anger may seem irrational, but it’ll get you moving–and chances are, you’ll end up with a nice bonfire of shit you’re angry at, too.

3. Bargaining
“Oh please just get in a box stuff just fit in the damn box please I’ll do anything I will even tape the box shut so it’s slightly open on top if you will just fit.” Sound familiar? You’ve moved recently, then. “Okay, bedroom, I know I organized you and everything but right now I need you work with me here. Please just pack yourself up. I will trade ‘organization’ for ‘speed.’ I don’t really care that much about being organized, anyway. Just work.” This one’s a little more dangerous, because soon you might find yourself putting things in boxes that don’t belong together at all. Make sure to keep your sex toys out of any boxes that might be opened immediately–like the one with the deodorant that you’ll want to put on as soon as you realize how much packing up the van has made you smell.

4. Depression
In some great miracle, you’ve managed to pack up all your belongings in an increasingly disorganized fashion. You’ve put it all into a moving truck. You even got the truck to your new place. With some help from friends or family, you got all the boxes and furniture into the appropriate room, or at least into your new home. At this point, you’ll look around, completely exhausted from a few days of heavy lifting and freaking the fuck out over how you’re going to get stuff to your new place, and burst into tears. Because you’re not done yet. You’ll look around your awesome new place and say, “No. No, don’t. I can’t. This…this has to be over. What did I do wrong? I’m so sorry. I’m…*sob* just not sure where to even put this.” It might also come with a few realizations about your place. “These cabinets. They’re so nifty! I love them!” will turn into “What the fuck can I even put here? They’re so tiny.” You’ll set up your bed, put some sheets on it, and refuse to do anything for days. You’ll feel apathetic and worthless. Don’t worry, though. It’s just a part of the process.

5. Acceptance
Acceptance happens approximately a month after you’ve moved. You’ve gone through the depression stage and forced yourself to set up a few rooms. Your kitchen is at least a little organized. The cable guy came so you have TV and internet. But at some point, you’re going to look at your place and think: “We’ve been here for two months. These boxes are NEVER getting unpacked.” And, for now, you’re completely okay with that. You’ll stash them in a closet or a basement, forget that you own them, wonder why you bothered moving stuff that you clearly don’t care enough about to unpack, and move on. And next time you move, those boxes will come with you. “Oh, I was so smart. This made so much less work for me!” you’ll think, not even considering the fact that in the years you’ve lived in your place, you didn’t look at the items once.

 

I’m still slightly convinced that we’ll get the rest of the boxes unpacked and set up. I just have to finish painting. It won’t take long. I’m not in denial. I haven’t started a whole new cycle. I swear. I just want a red kitchen.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

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I mentioned that we moved, but I don’t think I was very specific. We moved from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. People in Massachusetts like to spread rumors about how awful everything in New Hampshire is, but I think that’s just because if everyone knew how cool it was up here there would be no one left in Massachusetts.

The candy shop at the mall sells little bottle-shaped chocolates that are filled with whiskey.

The first thing I saw when we walked into our new local Wal-Mart to get a rod-thing for the toilet-paper-holder-thing because the previous tenants took that with them and seriously who the hell takes that was a rack of what I’m pretty sure were alcoholic Capri Suns. Like, mixed drinks in a bag inviting you to stab a straw into them and drink them.

One of the times I came up here to paint, I saw a school bus pulling out of the state liquor store.

Maybe this “booze is everywhere” thing isn’t quite as novel and exciting to people who aren’t from Massachusetts, but I’m used to having to go to a liquor store to get anything remotely booze-like. A few grocery stores have liquor sections, but that’s about it. This is so…freeing.

So anyway, when we were on that Wal-Mart trip trying to find the thing that makes our toilet paper holder actually hold toilet paper, we discovered a giant wine section. It was confusing. I mean, we must have looked like tourists, except we were at Wal-Mart and I’m pretty sure tourists don’t go to Wal-Mart, but we were just sorta standing there staring like they can do that here? So after a few minutes, we decided to get a cheap bottle of wine (Barefoot Zinfandel, yum) to break in the new wine glasses.

Mike’s (former) roommate got him wine glasses as a graduation present because he had seen, too many times, the results of our guests bringing a bottle of wine with them and us being like oh, we don’t have wine glasses, do you want a small or large glass? They are really nice glasses. They do the whole sing-when-you-rub-your-finger-on-the-edge thing and everything. Mike left the wine glasses in their packaging to decrease the chances of us breaking them during the move, and when I organized our kitchen, I left them in the smaller packaging to decrease the chances that we broke one of them when we were going for a glass for juice.

When we got home, Mike got one of the boxes-of-two-wine-glasses out and washed them. He dried them. We sat down for dinner and ate our meals and each had a glass of wine. The whole time, I’m sitting there like don’t break it Rachael this is a nice thing DON’T FUCKING BREAK IT. We even had a brief conversation in which we agreed that the glasses were a nice gift and possibly even too nice for us because we’re fucking clumsy. Anyway. We made it through the meal. We both finished our wine. I did the dishes. I left the wine glasses off to the side so I wouldn’t break them while washing something else. Finally, it was time to wash the wine glasses.

Oh god, I was terrified. They were so thin and delicate-feeling. I imagine it’s similar to how it must feel to carry a really old person with brittle bones, except I had to shove a brand-new sponge inside them (and brand-new sponges are way firmer than old, worn out sponges) and not break them.

I didn’t break them.

I was so proud of myself every single moment that I was touching one of the glasses and it didn’t break. All, yes, you have NOT fucked this up yet! Keep it up! You have GOT this! So when I got through washing them successfully and put them on the little glass-holder things on the drainer, I was cheering myself. I cheered for myself as I walked back to our room and sat down on my computer and did the stuff I needed to do for my online summer class.

A few hours later, I hear footsteps upstairs. The guy upstairs isn’t loud and doesn’t stomp around like an elephant like the people upstairs from Mike’s old place. It’s pretty nice. I didn’t think much of his walking around or anything, because it didn’t seem like something that would keep me up or disturb my lack of migraine.

I didn’t think anything of it until I heard a tinkling crash from the kitchen.

What the fuck.

The drying rack apparently can’t hold top-heavy glasses if there’s any movement anywhere. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

Until then, this is why we can’t have nice things.

You’ve seen “How to Train Your Dragon,” right? If not, you should. It’s excellent. But I’m really sad that I can’t find a clip of Hiccup saying, “But you just gestured to all of me!” Because we’d use that all the time. “DAMMIT, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.” “But you just gestured to all of me!” And that goes both ways. Mike and I are why we can’t have nice things.

Next time, I’m getting the Capri Sun things.

Outdoor Fucking, among other things

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It’s finals time. Well, it’s “I’m a creative writing major and all my finals are papers or writing/revising that is actually due before the official finals week so I’m fucking stressed for three weeks instead of one” time, except it’s the last week of that so shit is really hitting the fan.

Thus, in lieu of a real post, you get this. I promise it’s one of the best things on the internet.

Thank you, Jonathan Coulton and Stephen Torrence for bringing this into creation.

Some facts:
-I think fucking outside might actually be a terrible idea because there are bugs and dirt and also other people.
-I can sign the chorus. And do. In fact, I can’t really separate the signing from the singing. It doesn’t help that they’re practically the same word.
-I have a huge crush on the guy who signs these.
-You should watch the other ASL videos. “Party in the USA” is honestly hilarious. And for more Jonathan Coulton, I highly recommend “RE: Your Brains.” It’s about zombies.
-Doesn’t this guy kinda look like Eric from That 70’s Show?
-It totally bothers me that “Eric Foreman” refers to characters from both “That 70’s Show” and “House.” Couldn’t the writers of “House” have come up with a name that I didn’t already associate with someone?
-This is the first time I’ve ever told a blog post not to go up for a few hours. Because I don’t want any West Coast people getting this too soon.
-I have a headache.

Now I have to go to bed so I can be awake to go apartment hunting and write a paper about the use of “alright” and revise some plays and screenplays and poems and short fiction. AWESOME. See you guys soon. I hope.