“Fall Is”: A Poem by Rachel Marsh

Fall Is…

Fall is natural beautyFall

Fall is red trees.

Fall is bon fires.

Fall is s’mores.

Fall is roasted marshmallows.

Fall is mountains.

Fall is Sunday afternoon football with friends!

Fall is acorns.

Fall is pumpkin patches.

Fall is corn mazes.

Fall is cozy evenings at home.

Fall is trendy boots and flannel.

Fall is chili.

Fall is going to Starbucks with a good book.

Fall is pumpkin lattes.

Fall is sleeping with the windows open.

Fall is camping.

Fall is hiking.

Fall is chattering teeth.

Fall is warm hot chocolate.

Fall is hoodies.

Fall is toasty sweaters!

Fall is romantic chilly walks.

Fall is hot cinnamon apple cider.

Fall is warm socks.

Fall is snuggling.

Fall is crunchy leaves.

Fall is pink cheeks.

Fall is holiday anticipation.

Fall is fireplaces.

Fall is red wine.

Fall is a second glass of red wine.

Fall is screw it, the whole bottle of red wine.

Fall is accidentally passing out on the couch.

Fall is miserable hangovers from all that damn red wine.

Fall is all of the flowers dying.

Fall is mice coming into your house.

Fall is not liking camping, actually.

Fall is so many frickin’ leaves to rake.

Fall is being too old to jump in the pile of leaves.

Fall is burning the crap out of your tongue on hot chocolate.

Fall is not giving a shit about football.

Fall is your coworkers not being able to discuss anything except football.

Fall is one step before winter.

Fall is a great reminder that you’re still single.

Fall is the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Fall is wondering why all of the malls have started decorating for Christmas already.

Fall is trying to get that musty storage smell out of your winter clothes.

Fall is remembering how annoying scarves are around your neck.

Fall is fake holidays that we celebrate anyway, like “Black Friday,” or “Columbus Day.”

Fall is pumpkin spice-sponsored cavities.

Fall is what the hell am I going to be for Halloween this year?

Fall is stupid kids ruining your evening with their trick-or-treating.

Fall is the looming family-infiltrated holidays ahead.

Fall is getting fat from the holiday carbs.

Fall is remembering how much you hate pumpkin beer.

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Farewell, Crossroads

Well, friends and readers, the day has come. I’ve found a full time job. Which means a whole lot of things, but one of them is that I’ll have to quit my part time job at Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream.

In all my experience in the service industry, this has easily been the most consistently laidback position I’ve ever worked. I’m going to miss the coworkers, the laughs, and above all, the free coffee. But what I’ll miss more than anything are the regulars.

A 14-year-old coffee shop located in the middle of a neighborhood on a high-traffic road is bound to bring in a lot of regular customers. I would like to take this time to commemorate each of them, but, to protect their privacy from my high profile blog, I’m just going to refer to all of the regulars by their orders instead of their names.


Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with One Egg Patty and a Side of Grape Jelly

I don’t really understand your breakfast preferences but you are the smiliest person I’ve ever met and are the only white person in my current life who calls me “Miss Rachel.”

Large Iced Coffee in a 24-oz Tervis Tumbler with Refill

This time two years ago, if someone had asked me if it was possible for someone to drink that much coffee in the span of 15 minutes, I would have said no. Thank you for showing me that anything is possible.

Large Coffee and a Cinnamon Chip Scone

It’s pronounced “scone.” NOT “SCON.”

Small Coffee with a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

You’re shy and sweet and smile a lot, and you always insist on buying something you could just make at home. I will miss our brief interactions, many of which consist of me commenting on your scrubs.

Large Nonfat Decaf Latte

What’s the point?

Egg Sandwich on a Croissant with Pesto

Thank you for the weird cartoon you drew me last year, acknowledging how much you enjoyed the sandwich I made.

Pork Rinds

Hey, lady, I saw you sneaking pork rinds into Crossroads every day. And not buying anything. And getting mad at me whenever I ask you not to bring in outside food because it’s a health code violation. I sure am going to miss you. And your crazy eyes. And your bigoted conversations about gay marriage.

Everything Bagel with Vegan Cream Cheese and Avocado

It took me forever to realize…

Egg and Cheese Sandwich on Wheat Bread

…that you two were married.

Large Mocha Smoothie with Whip

I’m sincerely sorry that you dislike your job as a teacher so much. I’m sorry that you have a classroom ratio of 30:1. I agree that the education system is really screwed up. I agree that teachers are treated poorly and severely underpaid. But please stop complaining to your baristas. And for gosh sake’s, tip them once in awhile.

Small Iced Mocha

I look forward to the day when I too can retire and spend my afternoons on the patio of a local coffee shop, wearing Hawaiian shirts and drinking cold beverages.

Large Vanilla Chai Smoothie with Whip

I thought you were kind of strange and then I read a local article about you and how you used to fly Black Op helicopters for the army, so now I’m too intimidated to talk to you.

Egg Patty on Gluten Free Bread with a Dry Almond Milk Cappuccino

You are a person that knows what you like, and I have to admire that about you. But please get yourself acquainted with some seasonings. Or some condiments or something.

Southpark Tie Guy

I couldn’t categorize you by your order because you’re wildly inconsistent, but let me just say that your ability to turn any karaoke song into a show tune is something in my life I never thought I would see.


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Farewell, Crossroads. And an extra special farewell to its regulars. You guys drove me crazy and kept me sane all at the same time.

Or was that the constant over-consumption of caffeine?

My Latest Car Inspection Report

Inspection Summary for: MARSH, RACHEL D.

05/09/2017 1:52 PM


1999 Honda CR-V EX RED

Odometer In: 240966

License: XYY-8047


Sub Estimate #1

Lube, oil and filter

Labor: $35

Parts: $117.52

Total Taxes: $17.83

Sub Estimate Total: $170.35


Sub Estimate #2

R&R front disc rotor and alignment

Labor: $57

Parts: $478.98

Total Taxes: $90.05

Sub Estimate Total: $626.03


Sub Estimate #3

Radiator air shutter

Labor: $125

Parts: $732.60

Total Taxes: $208.75

Sub Estimate Total: $1,066.35


Sub Estimate #4

Something something something something car terms blah blah blah

Labor: $679

Parts: $2,450.38

Total Taxes: $980.57

Sub Estimate Total: $4,109.95


Sub Estimate #5

Automatic power steering transmission fluid I’m blue da ba dee da ba daa system flush exchange disc rotors hips don’t lie catalytic converter mmbop oil filter engine replacement.

Labor: $1,975

Parts: $3,050.45

Total Taxes: $778.94

Sub Estimate Total: $5,804.39


Sub Estimate #6

A voltage regulator, whatever the heck that is

Labor: $480

Parts: $3,728.55

Total Taxes: $752.90

Sub Estimate Total: Call your parents


Sub Estimate #7

Family vacation to Cancun

Labor: $4,085

Parts: $5,728.55

Total Taxes: $1,752.90

Sub Estimate Total: Your firstborn child


Sub Estimate #8

Transmission harmonic torque converter module

Labor: A LOT

Parts: We don’t even know if there’s a number for this

Total Taxes: Your rent for a year

Sub Estimate Total: Bankruptcy


Grand Total All Sub Estimates: the equivalent to your entire college tuition, times three, plus six years of indentured slavery, with an additional $65 service fee.

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Dogsitting

This week, my mother is out of town for some important media trip, and has asked me to dogsit for her.

Which is a task I dread every time I have to do it. And I want to be a good daughter, because she raised me and still supports me and has been there for me when I’ve needed her and blah blah blah. But every time she asks, I cross my fingers for an excuse not to do it because frankly, dogsitting for her is a fate I wouldn’t bestow upon anyone.

 

  • First of all, the best part about housesitting or dogsitting for anyone is raiding their snacks. But everything she has is so gosh darn healthy, I don’t even know what to do with it.

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  • In fact, I can barely find any space to put my REAL food.

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  • Okay, but no big deal. As long as she has coffee, I’ll be fine.

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But…a jigsaw coffeemaker!?!?

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But who invented this
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Maybe if just shut it really hard
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Maybe it just figures it out itself
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Maybe I’m thinking about it too much
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Close…
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…enough.

 

  • Oh and another thing. My mom has one of those iSmartAlarm alarm systems, so she’s alerted whenever a door or window has been opened. Therefore she knows whenever I get home at night, whenever I get up in the morning, and if I’ve stayed out all night partying without coming back to feed the dogs.

 

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It’s like dogsitting for Big Brother.

 

  • And I can’t even try to get anything done with this face looking at me the entire time.

Should I Reinstall My Bangs?

I was bald for the first year of my life.

I went that entire year having to rely on my large eyes, easy smile, and rolls of fat to get people’s attention. I didn’t have the advantage of thick, shiny hair, like many of my associates had, to fall back on.

Every day was a struggle.

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Eventually my hair grew in (blonde, in case anyone was wondering). I went through the “Baby’s First Haircut” photoshoot, and I’m sure somewhere there’s a lock of my hair stuffed into one of those baby scrapbooks that literally no parent has ever completed.

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So as my hair grew and became like a normal child’s, my hairstyle matched those of any young white girl’s in the 90’s: long hair that was usually tangled in hundreds of places, topped with thick bangs sitting straight across my eyebrow line. And if I was lucky, my mom would toilet paper them on special occasions.

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To put it bluntly, I was…well, I was adorable.

Then came third grade. When every girl whose parents had bestowed bangs upon them decided to grow them out. And since I was definitely cool, that’s what I wanted to do too. I asked my parents to buy me clips to help shove them aside during the growing process, and they did.

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By fourth grade, my forehead was the clear, bangs-free forehead I had dreamed of.

I lived the low-ponytail, center-part life every day until middle school.

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Like I said, I was definitely cool.

Then in seventh grade, the bangs fad returned. And since I was definitely cool, my bangs also returned. They were the feathery kind, not as thick as before…and I think they lasted about a month until I realized that they did not look good I was too cool for them.

My hair has gone through a lot of alterations since then, including some highlights, blowouts, bad haircuts, good haircuts, its own recent decision to become curly, and more split ends than I care to even imagine.

And now I’m starting to wonder if the bangs life is for me again.

And that’s where I need your advice.

If you’re thinking, “Well Rachel, how can we give you advice if we don’t know what your hair would look like with bangs?” I have a solution. A solution called the internet.

I’ve replaced my face with some celebrities’ faces, to see what exactly I would look like with bangs. I sat on my couch last night experimenting with all sorts of potential hairstyles, and I’ve set aside the best options for you to look at.

Take your time, sleep on it, don’t feel like you need to answer right away. But here are some accurate depictions of what I could look like with a new ‘do, for your careful consideration.

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Technology these days is amazing.

Anyway, thank you for your contemplation, and I look forward to your feedback.

Boy, the Crazy Thing About Richmond is that They Really Like Smiling

To all both of you who asked when I was going to do a follow-up to my last blog post about Dunkin’ Donuts (one was my mom, and one was my mom when she was drunk), here it is.

First let’s recap: I went to Boston, it was a great city, I enjoyed myself, and I had a heated run-in with a Dunkin’ Donuts employee where very little smiling happened.

After that incident, I concluded that the stereotype about rude northerners and warm southerners was accurate: all northerners are mean, and all southerners are hospitable and friendly to everyone they meet.

Then I realized, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe it’s just all Dunkin’ Donuts employees who are cold and unfriendly. So I went to one in Richmond to find out for myself. And during my experience there today, the cashier gave me a survey code to fill out online.

Survey

Did you wait in line to place your order?

Yes

√ No

What Dunkin’ Donuts item did you purchase for yourself?

Food only

√ Beverage only

Food and beverage

Please select how you placed your order:

Placed order using the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app

√ Placed order with a crew member inside the store

Placed order using the drive-thru

Please rate your overall satisfaction with your visit at this Dunkin’ Donuts:

√ Highly satisfied

Satisfied

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

Dissatisfied

Highly dissatisfied

Please rate your overall satisfaction with your visit at the coldhearted Dunkin’ Donuts up north:

Highly satisfied

Satisfied

Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied

Dissatisfied

Highly dissatisfied

√ So dissatisfied I don’t think I could ever return

Did you come back inside to get some ice in your coffee because we serve it so gosh darn undrinkably hot all the time?

√ Yes

No

Did the cashier roll her eyes and wish you would go away, or abide by your request with a smile?

Rolled her eyes and wished that I would go away

√ Abided with a smile and even offered to stir the ice into my coffee so that the temperature wouldn’t get off-balance

Did the cashier bid you a good day as you left?

√ Yes, it was so nice!

No, not even close

Please tell us what you liked most about your experience at this Dunkin’ Donuts.

Where do I begin? The second I walked in the door, I was greeted with a huge smile and a meaningful “Good afternoon.” This kind of service does not happen everywhere, I can tell you that.

And then, she was so eager to know how she can improve, that she gave me a survey to fill out. This kind of service also does not happen everywhere.

After I ordered, I walked outside and realized it was too hot to drink right away. What a dilemma! So I went back inside and asked Karen for a few ice cubes. She was so helpful. She walked me through the whole ordeal with ease, even giving me a new lid so as not to spill the coffee everywhere. This kind of service…well, you know.

How would you suggest we can improve our service at Dunkin’ Donuts?

I think you should send all of your Richmond Dunkin’ Donuts employees to Boston to train them how to be nicer.

 

 

Thank You for the Birthday Gifts

Just when you all thought you were done hearing about my birthday, you were wrong. There are just a few acknowledgments I need to make before officially moving on to my 29th year. I want to thank the people who helped me celebrate my birthday last week, but in particular, the people who gave me stuff.

Zucchini bread

Thank you, Ben, for bringing me that slice of zucchini bread that your wife made. Tell her it was pretty good.

A birthday voicemail

Thank you, Melissa and Jack from 103.7 Play, for calling me while I was at lunch with my mom and wishing me a happy birthday. I have absolutely no idea how you got my phone number or how you knew that it was my birthday, but it was really nice of you to say something. And it made for a great story that all of my friends enjoyed hearing over and over.

A card with a bunch of money in it

Thank you, Dad, for giving up years ago on trying to buy me something I might like, and switching to straight up cash.

A happy birthday email

Thank you, River Lofts, for not only providing me a place to live for the past three years but also sending me an email with a small birthday cake graphic, acknowledging my special day. That was really above and beyond.

The offer of a free croissant

Thank you, Alex and Greta of Lecker Baking Company for offering me a free birthday croissant, that I do one day intend to redeem.

A bike that I bought for myself

Thank you, Rachel, for buying me that bike. I know I’m really going to get a lot of use out of it. That was super thoughtful and literally, exactly what I wanted.

A gift card to Union Market

Thank you, Sarah, for fueling my already excessive habit of frequenting this Church Hill establishment. I’ll use it wisely (on beer).

A book about going to strangers’ houses and documenting their lives

Thank you, Josh, for the book that you wrapped and brought to me at work. So far it has provided me hour of entertainment.

Tickets to the Book of Mormon

Thank you, James, for combining two of my favorite things: theater and organized religion. Oh and for wrapping the tickets in that box of chocolates that you got as a Christmas gift from your company. I know you didn’t actually intend to give that part to me, but you let me take it anyway. That was really nice.

An iced coffee refill

Thank you, Katelyn from Urban Farmhouse, for refilling my iced coffee for free after I told you it was my birthday, even though technically you were supposed to charge me a dollar. Birthdays are important, coffee is important, and now I consider you important.

Some books

Thank you, Mom, for those books you gave me. I can’t wait to read them.

Oh, and also thank you for giving me life all those years ago, etc.

A virgin Mary candle with Amy Poehler’s face on it

Thank you, Brittany, for always knowing what I need even before I knew I needed it.

A beer

Thank you, everyone who bought me a beer the night of my birthday. I totally forget who the heck did, but gosh I know I appreciated it.

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