Welcome to the newly relaunched Rachelskirts.com!
With any luck, you won't notice very many differences straightaway, but behind the scenes, everything has been rebuilt. The content is now being published by Ghost, and the comments are embedded from a Discourse forum (both hosted on DigitalOcean droplets).
This marks the end of an era, a twelve-year love affair between me—a very loyal, very stubborn lady—and Movable Type. I started this site with Movable Type in 2006, and it will always have a special place in my heart. It was reliable, sensibly structured, and charmingly archaic. I installed the final free version in 2010 (and was very excited about that), and I would've carried on using MT 5 through the end of my days if not for an automatic update to my web server last year, which rendered the outdated code obsolete and unusable. 😭
Since I could neither justify nor afford the price tag of the current versions of Movable Type, I grieved and whined bitterly for months and then started looking into Ghost between sniffles. And here we are!
Many thanks to Tyler and my boyfriend, both of whom are so generous with their advice, expertise, and encouragement. I also want to thank myself for months of hard work. Thanks to my own grit and determination, the theme has been recreated, a few typos have been eliminated, and a handful of new errors have been hidden. I have manually moved over every damn entry, one at a time, and I am now working to move over the original comments.
It is so wonderful to have an online home again—a safe space for the ups, the downs, the laughs, the cries, the important memories, and the very mundane updates about how much laundry I have left to do. Thank you for joining me in this next chapter!
The night before I left for Tennessee—moving out on my own for the first time—my dad gifted me a set of stationery and matching envelopes, so we could keep in touch by writing letters. Every week or two since then, he has faithfully sent me news from the home front—updates on the dog's antics, the family's move from Chicago to Cincinnati, the backlash he received from my mom and brother when he cut his own hair too short for their liking, etc. Every letter is full of love, and reading just one page is usually enough to make me weep.
But there is almost always one story in each letter that makes me laugh out loud, and I wanted to share the one from January 1, 2019. (Backstory: my parents recently moved to Cincinnati to downsize but had to build a new home in a new neighborhood. They've been in a construction zone ever since.)
We're down to two houses under construction on our street. Someone moved in two doors down over the weekend. Caught me by surprise because they don't have a driveway or sidewalk yet. I didn't think you could get an occupancy permit without those?
To welcome them to the neighborhood introvert-style, we baked some chocolate chip cookies and ate them while we watched them move in from our window.
I love my family so damn much. Never change, y'all.
Best nickname given: Ice King
Best nickname received: Fire Queen
Best nickname stolen: Knife Pervert
Best Twitter name squatted: @BigSkirtsEnergy
Best boyfriend: Ice King
Best new crush (sorry, boyfriend): Marty Scurll
Best friend forever: Tyler, aka @thursdayschild
Best new Twitter bio: "I'm into smart and beautiful chicks fucking everyone over."
Best inside joke: "Sip."
Best imaginary harem invented with Tyler: The Great French Bless-up
Home & Abroad
Best pet adopted: Gus the Explorer, a very cute and very aloof hedgehog
Best furniture inherited: a couch, finally; I sat on wicker chairs for two full years
Best plant not killed: a bird's nest fern ordered online from The Sill
Best meal cooked after a month with Blue Apron: this tilapia recipe, omg
Best food not found in Tennessee: bagels
Best pizza shipped across the country: Giordano's
Best new-to-me root beer: Virgil's
Best event attended, #sincerely: NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed
Best geocache found: definitely not the one that required walking through small ponds in a forest until my socks and shoes were destroyed forever, Dad
Best unhappy travel companion: Gus, who does not like road trips one bit
Best new television show: The Good Place
Best television show to watch on repeat literally every week for the entirety of 2018: Great British Baking Show
Best television show for taking nine seasons to give me the romantic relationship I wanted all along, oh my gosh, just kiss already: Frasier
Best album for really letting loose in the car: A Pentatonix Christmas, which was on repeat for at least two full road trips
Best soundtrack to encourage speeding: Baby Driver: Music from the Motion Picture
Best Pentatonix song covered by my church (with a professional beatboxer and everything!): "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
Best movie sequel watched out of order, oops: Once Upon a Deadpool
Best oh-so-pretty movie that was also oh-so-good: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Best holiday movie watched with family: The Christmas Chronicles
Best video game watched: Assassins Creed: Origins
Best mobile game completed in one sitting: Donut County
Best mobile game full of garden gnomes: Sims Mobile
Best book read for self-improvement: The Five Love Languages
Best book read to expand and challenge my worldview: The Hate U Give
Best book read purely for entertainment: Foundation
Best podcast that I will actually stay caught up on: My Brother, My Brother and Me
Best podcast that I am very behind on but still love: Roderick on the Line
Best podcast episode that I immediately wanted to listen to a second time: Kristen Bell's interview on Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend
Best app: Pacifica, a mental health app which I downloaded at the recommendation of my boyfriend; I love it so much that I spent real money to unlock additional features for a year
Best smart home upgrade purchased for a hedgehog: Philips Hue bulbs, one of which is set on a schedule to simulate summer sunrise and sunset in the guest room (to help my nocturnal hedgehog maintain a steady schedule even in the dark winter months)
Best day of the whole damn year: November 16, when a new Panera opened in Tennessee (only thirty minutes away from my house; prior to that, the closest one was two hours away)