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Horrible Medical Advice: Martha’s DIY Plastic Surgery

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It’s been a while, I know. See, I finished school, and then I was desperately searching for a job, and then I got TWO jobs, which took up more time than I expected considering that I still work much less than full time. But you know what? I’m blaming the fact that Netflix has pretty much every show that I’ve ever thought, “Oh, I want to watch that, but I missed the first few seasons” on streaming, so sue me I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix recently.

But more importantly. Do you remember last summer, when I said that sometime I’d get drunk and write a post?

This is that time. This…is sometime.

And it’s more Horrible Medical Advice. I know y’all love that shit. And this is reader-request, so no one can even complain.

Dear Oh Rachael,

Ever since I became a real grown-up (as opposed to some whiny teenager who only thought her skin sucked), my skin has totally sucked. I have wrinkles and shit. What do you recommend I do for this?

Sincerely, Your Aunt.

(Okay, my aunt didn’t, technically speaking, write to me. But she did say I should write this, so that sort of counts.)

Dear My Aunt,

A lot of people think their skin sucks when they get past age 20. In fact, I’ve recently been plagued by the “Dammit Why Doesn’t My Skin Look Like It Did When I Was 18 Only Six Years Ago” Virus as well. However, if your problem goes beyond “my pores are bigger than they were, WHAAAAAAA,” then I highly reccommend the Martha Stewart Approach.

Has anyone else noticed that Martha Stewart doesn’t age?

I can't guarantee this is a picture from 2000, but it did come up in an image search for "Martha Stewart 2000."

Well, that might be a picture of her in 2000. And what does she look like now, a full 12 years later? And remember, she’s at an age where a 10 year difference should be HUGE. (I mean, I have friends who are 20ish and friends who are 30ish and they don’t look all that different to me, but from 40 to 50 and 50 to 60 and 60 to 70 and so on…those are supposed to make a huge difference.)

Showed up when I searched "Martha Stewart Current," so it might be a current picture.

You may notice that she looks exactly the same.

Okay, one picture is HD and the other isn’t. In that case, my advice is to not take pictures with HD cameras, because hot damn will they show off every imperfection. But what REALLY happened here?

What happened is that good ol’ Martha did some jail time. And by “jail time,” I mean “house arrest.” And by “house arrest,” I mean “the same ol’ thing Martha always does, except she’s got an excuse for the cameras not to show her for a while so if she has a visit from a little ol’ plastic surgeon no one will be the wiser.”

That’s right, folks. To look asthe-same-age-you-looked-ten-years-ago, all you’ve got to do is get arrested. Then, you’ll be free to do all of Martha’s DIY Plastic Surgery you can.

If you can’t afford an at-home plastic surgeon, don’t worry. A facelift is simple, and that’s the most basic of your underlying needs. One you have one, it’ll be a long time before you start worrying about your really minor imperfections!

All you need for a facelift is a scalpel and some medical tape. You can get the medical tape at any drugstore–just tell them you’ve got a kid with a sprained finger and you need to tape it into the splint and they’ll take you right to it. Hell, you might even have some on hand!

Now all you need to do is imagine your skin like a piece of plastic wrap over the dip-bowl of your face. Pull it tight in segments, starting at one temple. Work in opposites–that is, pull one temple fairly tight, then pull the other temple the rest of the way. Now move down a little bit. Repeat–pull one side a little tight, then pull the other side so you’re completely wrinkle-free. Keep working around your face.

Once you’ve reached your chin, you’ll be all set! All you’ll have to do now is let your project (that is, your face) dry completely (that is, heal completely) and you’ll have a full Martha Stewart DIY At-Home Facelift. You can start a little higher by cutting around your forehead, or customize your lift to focus on problem areas–it’s up to you! That’s the beauty of DIY.

Now, dear My Aunt, I hope this has answered your questions and concerns. I’m sure that in a few months, after hiding in your home and avoiding any social interaction for a long, long time, you’ll look just as young and beautiful as you did ten years ago. In the meantime, I hope to give you as much reading material as I can without getting distracted from the series I’m currently reading (just say NO to Netflix, kids!).

Thank you all so much for your time.


Oh, Rachael.

Do you have a question for Rachael? Well, she now has a special email address just for you! Whether it’s medical or just, you know, a random question, send Rachael an email at She’ll respond with a Horrible Medical Advice post, a Horrible Advice post, or just a Horrible Advice email to help get you through your misery!

(Seriously, please email me. Your questions are inspiring, and I miss writing for you.)


Thank you, Dr. Boyfriend. We all appreciate your advice. However, you’re male, so you can’t possibly understand, and we’ll be getting back to our DIY surgeries now.


Baking Up a (Shit) Storm

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Every year, I bake a billion pies for my family’s Christmas celebration. In fact, up until I started going to Mike’s family’s Thanksgiving, I baked two billion pies a year. TWO BILLION PIES, all completely from scratch. This started after the time that I was 12 and decided I should see if I could make a pie. It was delicious and I’ve been stuck with the job ever since.

However, as you might imagine, baking a billion pies in one day is difficult and highly stressful. This year, I thought it would ease the pain a bit to change it up–maybe not the same old apple, pumpkin, pecan thing I always do. I found some fantastic looking substitutes (though I’m not allowed to not make apple pie), bought seven hundred dollars worth of ingredients (fuck you, maple syrup pie), and decided that it looked kind of stressful after all so maybe I should have some booze so I’m not freaking out.

How to bake two Guinness Chocolate Cakes with Bailey’s Frosting, one Maple Cream Pie, and one Apple Pie in One Night

Step One: Wonder if the cake will actually taste like Guinness and, if it will, if you’ll even like it. Drink a bottle of Guinness to find out. Realize that the cake requires a springform pan, which you only have one of, so you can’t make them both at the same time. Use one cup of Guinness in cake batter, finish second bottle.

Step Two: Preheat the goddamn oven. Pour yourself a glass of wine! You deserve it.

Step Three: Stick the cake in the oven and set the timer. Drink more wine while you prepare the first pie crust. Bring a timer with you to your computer to watch an episode of Torchwood while the cake’s in the oven.

Step Four: Upon removing the cake from the oven, realize that you turned the fucking oven OFF when you set the timer. Pat yourself on the back (read: have a mild nervous breakdown, but you’ve only lost about an hour, which isn’t so bad, right?), wonder what you can mix with eggnog, and try heating the oven again. (Decide on butterscotch schnapps.)

Step Five: When you go to put the cake back in the oven, notice that the springform pan doesn’t seal properly and has dripped all over the stove. Don’t clean it up, but put the cake on a pizza pan so it doesn’t drip more in the oven, since you can already smell burning. Rinse out your glass and pour another glass of wine.

Step Six: Double-check that the oven’s heated. Watch another episode of Torchwood while the cake’s in the oven.

Step Seven: Prepare maple cream pie filling while you par-bake the crust. Wonder if par-baking actually does anything. Filling seems to go perfectly–have a glass of wine to celebrate! Lose track of alcohol consumption.

Step Eight: Remove par-baked crust from the oven and realize you forgot to line it before filling it with beans. Pull each and every individual bean out with your fingernails. Be very glad you didn’t cut your fingernails because fuck this is hot. Stick it back in the oven. Drink.

Step Nine: Pour filling into par-baked crust until it overflows. Stick it on a cookie sheet so it won’t drip and wipe up the huge mess that is now on your counter. Stick it in the oven, set a timer, make sure you didn’t turn the oven off again. Go wrap some presents. Drink.

Step Ten: You ran out of ribbon. Cry. Drink.

Step Eleven: Remove pie #1 from oven. Place on counter. Prepare cake batter #2. Make Harry Potter jokes as you melt two sticks of butter into a cup of Guinness. Things are running smoothly! Drink.

Step Twelve: Get extremely frustrated when the rolling pin seems to slide the entire crust-and-wax-paper assembly around on the counter rather than rolling out the crust. Eventually succeed. Drink.

Step Thirteen: Take cake out of oven. Prepare apple pie filling: Peel apples, cut into slices, cut anything you don’t want off the slices. Eat some apple peel. It is delicious with the Riesling. Start mixing all the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the filling but the bowl’s too small and, really, that takes effort. Decide that it looks good enough and it’ll all melt together in the oven anyway. Eat some more peels. Drink.

Step Fourteen: While putting cinnamon and nutmeg back in the spice cabinet, knock everything onto the counter. Realize that “the counter” right there is actually the cream pie you already finished making, which used to be gorgeous but now is just gorged. Have another nervous breakdown. Cry. Drink.

Step Fifteen: Assemble apple pie. Successfully put bottom crust in pie plate. Dump apples in. Don’t even pretend to spread them out evenly. Get top crust from refrigerator. Forget to let it warm up a little before you put it on the pie. Break it into a million pieces. Realize you now have to decide between really ugly pie crust and overworked pie crust. Reassure yourself that rustic patchwork style things are in and it’ll be fine. Make sure each piece of crust is connected to another piece at at least one point. Place pie in oven. Wait. Drink.

Step Sixteen: Remove pie from oven. Let cool. It is now almost 4am. Cover everything with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. You can do the frosting tomorrow.

Step Seventeen: Wake up at 1pm on Christmas eve, amazed at how not hung over you are. Brush your teeth. Trigger gag reflex with toothbrush and realize that you are, in fact, hung over. Whine incessantly about still having to make frosting. Drink some Pepto Bismol straight out of the bottle.

Step Eighteen: Begin to feel better. Prepare frosting for two cakes. Frost one cake, transport second batch separately. Wonder if you made the apple pie last night. Check the fridge. See apple pie. Wonder if you baked it long enough. It looks done. Hope.

Step Nineteen: Transport everything. You did it! Maybe. The jury’s still out on the apple pie. Agonize over the integrity of your apple pie, suppressing a third (mini) nervous breakdown.

Step Twenty: It is now Christmas. All you have left to do is frost that last cake, putting aside some of the frosting for the people in your family who can’t have gluten, and you’re good. (Except for that apple pie. Maybe. Still not sure.) Go to frost the cake and realize that the frosting has hardened in the fridge. Freak out. Attempt to stir frosting back into a reasonable texture. It won’t work. Attach to kitchenaid and whisk. Not changing anything. Finally, your aunt looks up how to fix a meringue buttercream and miraculously saves Christmas with a pan of hot water. Frost your cake. Realize that the apple pie is delicious, though it does seem like you may have put a quarter cup of cinnamon into it. Bask in the glow of a job well done.

My Holiday Miracle was that these desserts were finished and actually pretty damn tasty. What was yours?

Horrible Medical Advice of the Fortnight: Prescription Warnings

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Has anyone ever noticed a discrepancy between what the images next to the warnings on their pill bottles seem to imply and what the warning actually says?

Honestly, it’s not something I ever really paid attention to. Probably because I never really gave a shit about the warnings on my pill bottles. But yesterday, Mike brought them to my attention, and I must say: this shit is fucked. I’ve taken the liberty of copying the pictures into files here for your enjoyment.

What the bottle says: WARNING: Do Not Use If You Are Pregnant, Suspect That You Are Pregnant, Or While Breastfeeding. Check With Your Doctor Or Pharmacist.

What I’m getting from the picture: This is birth control.

I think this one may actually be the most dangerous.



What the bottle says: Do Not Take Other Medications Without Checking With Your Doctor Or Pharmacist.

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication may cause you to develop a square head. Also, stop plugging your phone into your neck.

Just a bit nerve-wracking.



What the bottle says:  May Cause Dizziness

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication may lead to the development of curly-fry eyebrows.

All my pills have this picture on them. I’m checking the mirror compulsively. It seems important to pull out any eyebrows that are sticking up oddly to prevent this side effect.


What the bottle says: May Cause Drowsiness. Alcohol May Intensify This Effect. Use Care when Operating A Car Or Dangerous Machinery.

What I’m getting from the picture: This medication will cause you to seduce someone over a glass of wine.

This is on two of my bottles. It seems like it would be in Mike’s best interests to buy me a bottle of wine, no?



What the bottle says: Take With Food

What I’m getting from the picture: …Actually I’m drawing a blank here. Let’s work on this together, kay?




Option 1: This medication will turn you into Bullet Bill.

You guys played Mario, right?


Option 2: This medication is actually a bullet vibrator.

I honestly haven’t tried to find out.


So when you’re taking your pills, make sure to look at the pictures. They’ll tell you everything you need to know.

But seriously. What do you guys think that last one is supposed to be a picture of?

Horrible Medical Advice of the Week: You have 36 hours to completely invert your sleep schedule. GO.

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And yet, this is the sort of “medical advice” you’re required to follow if you want to be a fully-licensed doctor. Kinda fucked up, I think.

Right now, there is some sort of THING dancing around Mike’s shoulders–like the angel and devil things, except it’s a doctor trainer. And it’s going: “Hey, asshole! You liked that thing where you had all of May through June 20th off completely? Yeah? You got to sleep whenever you wanted, didn’t you? I bet you enjoyed your 3am-11am sleep schedule. It probably wasn’t all that difficult to suddenly adapt to orientation schedule that was basically normal work hours. I mean, sort of early, but you were at least getting some sleep. But HAH! Fucker. Could you become nocturnal in two days? COULD YOU? Well, I guess you could, because you’re awake…but how are you doing with that whole the care of pregnant woman, newborn babies and new mothers is now in your hands thing?” I mean, seriously. That can’t be smart. Screwing with your sleep schedule screws with your ability to function, and fucking up someone’s ability to function and then going all TAKE CARE OF BABIES, BITCH seems stupid. If you ask me. Of course, I’m not a doctor, so who knows.

I discovered a problem pretty much right away where, while I’ve been sleeping through Mike waking up and getting ready to go to the hospital for almost two years now, I can’t sleep through him going to bed. At all. So either our sleep cycles are complete opposites (which, no, mine’s not waking up before 8am) and we never see each other, or I invert my sleep cycle with him. AWESOME.

I woke up at 11am yesterday. I have not slept since then. I am currently trying to figure out how to make a face that I made with the fun characters my cell phone lets me type but my computer doesn’t. (What the hell, computer? I need these people to see how hard this is!) My face hurts. It’s hilarious. I kind of wish I had my webcam set up because then I could see what I looked like and maybe post a picture, but I don’t and I’m too tired to find it.

So your horrible advice this week is to do what we just did. Or to blow yourself up with a firework. Whichever.

You know me, but how fucked up are YOU?

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I found this on another blog and it’s one of the funniest “tools” I’ve come across for a while. It’s a psychological word search. There isn’t a word bank that you have to find all of them–you’re just supposed to look, and the first three words you find will describe your personality.

I found this first on, then this particular image on, but it's all over the internet if you search for it.

The first words I saw were “crush fool rageman.” Now, “rageman” probably isn’t a word, but I’m pretty sure Mike uses it sometimes anyway. Usually to describe himself, because he’s as weird as I am. So apparently I’m a robot (because, duh, robots are the only ones who want to crush people) who wants to crush my foolish rageman-boyfriend. I worried that maybe this painted a bad picture, so I kept looking and found “malice,” then “kick,” “flesh” and “secrets.” Secrets might be good with a different group. And my worry wasn’t helped when I saw that the “man” that I’d attached to “rage” was really part of “maniac.”

So, my lovely readers. (Doesn’t that sound creepy after the above paragraph?) What three words now describe your psychological makeup? How do you interpret them, and do you agree? I’d love to know.

Neighbor Theories: The Dude Upstairs

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Do you ever sit and wonder about the people who live near you, but you never actually see or interact with? Maybe you do this so much that you create neat little made-up lives for them in your head. Maybe you don’t do this at all, in which case you are probably more sane than I am. Congratulations. But I have to tell you about this guy.

The facts: He’s lived in the upstairs-from-us apartment for over 10 years now. When we moved in, he saw the Uhaul outside and came down to introduce himself (his name is Mike; there’s also a teenager in the third apartment in our three-family named Mike–it would actually be confusing if we all interacted). He warned us that, when he’s loud, it’s usually in one particular room (and he pointed to the windows so we knew) and told us that if it was ever too loud or bothering us, just to let him know. He doesn’t have a car. (This isn’t an urban area. I don’t think there’s public transportation. I have no idea how he gets places.)

Every once in a while, I look out the front room’s windows and see him step out or in. Other than that, I think he’s pretty much always home. I think this because his music is pretty much always on. It’s not particularly loud or annoying most of the time–just a steady bass that never changes and is quiet enough that if I turn on a fan it drowns out the noise. I’m not entirely sure why the beat never changes, though. Does he just listen to the same song…all the time?

Let me explain this music. From inside my apartment, all I hear is a bass. But if I go outside on a nice day when he’s got his windows open, I can hear a little more. It’s carnival music. Creepy carnival music that plays constantly.

And that’s what got me wondering. Here are my thoughts on Upstairs Mike.

The dude inherited some money, and by “some” I mean “shitloads of,” about 11 years ago. He cleaned up affairs wherever he was and invested in Apple and Starbucks. Ever since then, he’s made enough money off his investments to pay his rent and utilities every month and he’s got plenty of spare spending money. He doesn’t have a car because he never needs to go anywhere that he can’t walk (or possibly bike, I have not confirmed this yet) to. He doesn’t have a job (because if he did, he’d leave the house).

He spends his spare money on LSD. He buys enough LSD that he can also sell LSD, which explains the occasional sound of feet going up the stairs, voices, then feet going down the stairs shortly after. His guests never seem to stick around long. He spends his time dropping acid and listening to his music.

So eventually I thought, I thought, what music might sound similar to creepy carnival music? And my theory came to being. Video game music. I bet, if heard from an open window a floor below where it’s playing, the two sound pretty similar. But this guy doesn’t sit around and play videogames. Oh, no.

Your typical Twilight Princess Goron (via

Have you ever played the Legend of Zelda games? Specifically, Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess or any other game that involves a Goron temple? You run around the temple killing the bad guys and there isn’t really music. It’s pretty quiet, with a few creepy noises to let you know you’re in an evil place. But every once in a while, you’ll end up in a room where there’s a Goron just sitting there. Suddenly, the normal temple sound effects change to the Goron town’s background music. This Goron inevitably gives Link a valuable piece of advice or weaponry or lots of rupees.

Upstairs Mike puts his music on, drops acid, and sits there like one of the Gorons in the temple, doing nothing except existing in the room that he’s in. When someone comes in, he gives them something of value.

Over time, he has done so much LSD that he is entirely convinced that he is a Goron giving legendary heroes instruments that are vital to their quest to save Hyrule.

What the guy upstairs thinks is happening every time someone shows up. (Via

The best part about my theory? From everything we know, it actually seems completely plausible.