Tag Archives: boston i love you

{feed the mackenzies} doctor who blue velvet tardis cake;

IMG_4526last month was a pretty nutty one in boston. pressure cooker bombs? lockdown? manhunt? city is shut down?
it all sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie. orson scott card called, and he wants his plot back.

in a way, it was terrifying and stressful. in other ways, completely fascinating to reload reddit until 5am watching all of the updates and marveling at all the lovely people across the country who were up for 27 hours, listening to a fuzzy police scanner to give us news.

as we all know now, a lot of that craziness has blown over. but that lockdown day was a day homegirl over here needed to de-stress.

enter….blue velvet tardis cake. a birthday cake for the whovian manfriend.

because….birthdays are cool. 

exits are on the right if this is too much for you. this is almost as bad as the “meiosis + mitosis” cookies i made in high school for my bio teacher, using sprinkles as chromosomes.

once again, you may ‘X’ out of this post now. it doesn’t get any less disgusting from here.

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if you’re not familiar with good ‘ol doctor who, its a british series that has been on for the last fifty years.  it chronicles the doctor traveling through space and time with a companion {rose is my obvious favorite so far}  in a magical space ship called the tardis. simply put, it’s aliens and cheekiness and all kinds of feels.

okay, i just now spent 35 minutes looking through rose tyler .gifs and now i am headed on a one-way train to sob city, so we will continue. just…watch it, guys.

let us proceed.
this is the kind of cake that is excellent if you:
1. have ocd
2. are currently experiencing an all-day lockdown
3. you like making stencils.

blue velvet cake:
i used this recipe. follow it exactly.
don’t use food coloring like i did, unless you want a pond-scum colored cake {seen above}. use the gel. seriously, just do it; you won’t have to go through various stages of grief and sprinkles and instagram filters if you just use the gel.

icing:
manfriend’s favorite icing is this one i used before in a guinness chocolate cake for him.
tears will be shed, it is that absurd.

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once i baked the cake, i made a handy stencil using an x-acto knife.
you can also print one out and cut it out, but it was 8pm and we still hadn’t heard any updates about the manhunt, so the x-acto knife was quite helpful in stress-relief.

9pm? still no updates. so putting individual sprinkles on the cake one-by-one. it happens. i regret nothing.

10 pm? manhunt is over, ya’ll. the result?

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but a certain someone  was not amused by the end of the manhunt/lockdown . can you guess who?

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these days;

spring2013

signed a sublease for a charmingly large {that’s what she said, heeey ohhhhh. sorry, mom} one bedroom in upper {upper…upper} manhattan for the summer.

two favorite berries:  pinkberry on newbury.

putting “or whatever” after heartfelt sayings has been my main jam, i.e. “i love you or whatever”, “you’re cute or whatever”, “no, i’ll miss you or whatever.”

edie has been developing a love of fine luggage. baby girl knows what she likes.

the $8.95 thai lunch special at dok bua is both the life and death of me. dumplings on dumplings on curry on dumplings.

fenway has never been more gross and sticky and yet so very much my favorite place, even if i did drop my favorite scarf right into a puddle of day old bud light.

i’m also trying to convince coolidge theater that i can sublet one of their recliner chairs forever, because that’s what success and happiness look like to me.

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kate nash. jukebox the ghost. matt pond pa. all of the paper bags being hyperventilated into. all of them.

the discovery of the one direction store in boston= life has improved a million percent and rising.

my loyalty cards have extended from just cvs to include: panera, petco, dunkin’s, pavement, starbucks, and whatwaslifewithoutfreescones,guys

brother and mother filson and i pillaged the harpoon brewery of its pretzels and harpoon summer. 

{and considered going by ferry to do the same at cisco  brewery in nantucket. we don’t mess around}

tardis blue velvet cake for the whovian manfriend. disgust-o-meter went way off the charts this weekend.

slowly but surely the people of boston are getting back to their normal selves;

…which is to say the italian guys in the north end give me discounts on strawberries for my red hair,  and i delight in the drunken conversations had by people on a saturday night on the train home.

 

 

monday’s fortune;

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{monday’s thai food fortune cookie.}

monday we overslept.
my brother was on a plane home at 9:30am.  mom and i ate thai, until at 2:50 pm my mom looked over my shoulder to see what everyone in the restaurant was staring at on the television.
“ooh! the runners two blocks away from the finish line.”

somehow i knew this couldn’t be right. without my glasses on, i felt this was fishy.
i knew from half-wrecklessly running a half marathon a few years ago that the majority of runners would be finishing around 2:50 in the afternoon.
it seems that someone else knew that, too. curse my mom and i’s poor eye sight.

in a lot of ways, i’m still in shock. the blasts were around 2-3 blocks away from my school. seven students from my school were injured. it’s also the origin of where i first got smitten over boston.
first saw that library rotunda. bought my dried apricots from trader joe’s. get caught by pushy canvassers on my way home.
aimlessly wandered on tuesday afternoons when i had nothing else to do but gawk at buildings and residents of this little city.

in these situations, i can’t even be angry. anger is what your bully wants to see. sadness is what these people feed on.
as a younger sister of an older brother with a penchant for wrestling and light-hearted sibling fighting, i know that you never show that person you’re upset. that’s what they’re looking for. the sooner you stop showing sadness and anger, the sooner the person in question leaves you alone. terrorism, while terrifying, is only successful if terror is sensed in the victims.

boston is better than that.
if you’ve ever gone to a sox game, or a farmer’s market in the italian end, you know these people won’t back down. they will insult your mother. they will be the first to drop their “r”s in conversation, but also the first to fight for you.
if there is anything i feel from yesterday’s events, it’s even more love for this city.

i’ve grown up here, these last few years. i became a fully functioning adult here. and i’m lucky to live here, if not for the people i’ve met, but for the people i haven’t met, who i got to see run yesterday.

not just running  in the marathon, but for the running they did towards the destruction that tore up so many people’s lives, wrecked their dreams of finishing 26.2 miles in boston, rendered them a little less innocent to the things that a small fraction of a fraction of a percentage of the world decide to bring into this world.

because that’s the truth of it. that’s why i can’t be angry or sad.
because these things can’t wreck my view of “humanity” because the people who do these things are a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the population.
and the runners and helpers towards those people in the blasts outnumber them in the millions and billions.

if you need any more proof of this, click the links below:

the google person finder
runners run to mgh to give blood after marathon
cowboy hat hero saves lives at marathon
13 examples of people being awesome after the bombing
red cross: how to help (apparently, they’ve exceeded what they need. humanity wins again)
 to boston, from kabul, with love

january favorites;

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golden retrievers curbed outside the library just ready for mackenzie hugs.

the diamond-encrusted violin at the ra ra riot concert (third time i’ve seen them in less than two years…whoops.)

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crunchy snow. and going “CRUNCHCRUNCHCRUNCH!” outside whenever i stomp on it. even though for every time i smile when there is fresh snow i usually whisper under my breath “moving to california to avoid this baloney.”

the fact that brookline has smelled like potato pancakes for the last month and a half.

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running out of coffee creamer, so i had to resort to putting soy ice cream in my coffee.

anything containing mayonnaise. my mother spent 21 years of my life trying to get me to like mayo (#thesouth) and now i order things based on their mayo content. not sure who is the winner or loser in this situation.

ethan hawke’s dimples in “before sunrise.”

swing dancing in brookline synagogues.

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practicing the robyn “call your girlfriend” dance in my room. still trying to acquire the platforms and sweater that looks like it was made with yorkie fur, but whatever.

the lower depths $1 veggie hot dogs covered in the aforementioned (garlic) mayo and seasoned french fries (mel, you were so right. i just…i died.)

preferring to ring in the new year with two favorite college girl cakes: cheesecake acquired from colombian churches and cupcake (wine).

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oliver’s clinginess. and his “draw me like one of your french girls, kenz” pose.

 the fact that cookie pies last <36 hours in this house.

my gender studies professor asking us to kindly sit in a circle on the floor. and talk about feelings. on the first day of class. a dream among dreams.

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and now for a not-favorite….this book. has anyone read it? i spent whatever time i wasn’t cringing over this book, throwing it repeatedly at a wall. care to share your feelings? i’ve texted everyone in my phone enough about how much i hated this book and am running out of friends. help.

december favorites;

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a maniacal amount of grapefruits in my fridge.
how cute beantown can be….even in her soggy dreariness.
reinbeers. naturally.
grizzly bear slippers….naturally.

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roommate christmas: a gnome necklace. a star wars violin solo book. bacon t-shirts. hilarity ensued to the tune of  “the imperial march”.

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einstein cup giving me the strength to get through finals, a paper on disembowelment and poop in the inferno (literally), as well as a paper on nymphomania and  in british literature. am i insane and just don’t know it yet? could you let me know? thanks.

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finding my roommate like this one night. exploiting it. u kno i love you, rubes. xoxo

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dumpling dates with my favorite latin lovah*~ 
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crocheting on the t as a means to preserve what little sanity i have from writing papers about poop. so far, so good.

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4a coffee getting all of my money. and they also get a show and dance from me as well, which is only natural when i’m frazzled at 9am and just want a iced coffee in my mouth asap. 
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otto’s slices with this lady talking lady-talk. which only means we scared all pizza-eaters within the five feet radius of our bar stools.


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new additions to the picture book collection. best line? “i’ll sit on your cold feet. and you sit on my cold feet. and i’ll sit on your cold feet…and you sit on my cold feet…”, of course.


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loving on this nugget. exploting this nugget. putting antler’s on this nugget. putzing around the house with my bear slippers, running after this nugget. oliver, you are my fur boyfriend through and through. thanks for the keeses, even if i am the worst.

happy holidays, ya’ll! eat all the cheese balls. and kiss all of the strangers. and drink all of the pink sparkly liquids! xo

{adventures in lady-dating} ghost-touring;

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i am stubborn to a fault. whoa. shocker, right?
i have a good idea of what i like, how i like it, and usually stick to it. and for me, some activities are best done solo. i once missed out on steve martin tickets because i waited for people to get back to me and i still have night terrors because of it.

i am also a firm believer in lady-dates. taking yourself out to dinner. concerts in cramped concert halls with a bright orange wristband confirming your existence because friend’s instagram photos won’t. and that’s perfectly fine. buying that “for two” groupon that might make you stick out in a group of 11, where you have to say “#12 isn’t coming” when they take a roll call. but you’ll smile as you say it. it was on purpose.

enter: that time i went on a groupon date by myself. in salem. for a ghost tour.


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unlike most of my lady-dates, this was quite accidental. my roommate hannah and i had been planning this groupon date for months. i got a coupon for a groupon (aka. a groupon coupon.) which made all of my ghost tour dreams come true at a price of $5. i am cheap date. and derive much satisfaction from this fact. i also got to take the commuter rail and i have a not-so-secret obsession with taking the commuter rail. that purple train gets my heart bumping, for sure.

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about thirty mins before our date, as i was nestled in my cushy seat gulu gulu cafe (dog-themed! modeled after a cafe in prague where the owners met and fell in love! all the wifi!)  in salem, poor hannah had to cancel because she had been spending the weekend in the fetal position and speaking was arduous without the need to vomit coming soon after. homegirl got a rain check and i trudged on through salem after getting lost in a graveyard with the ghost tour guide on the phone with me for a combined total of twenty mins (over the course of three phone calls. i really really wish i was joking)
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after i freaked out my tour guide, and squeaked out that i bought the groupon for just me (and a group of groupon biddies raised their eyebrows in my general direction), she handed me what seemed to be a “barbie ghost tour” device and a bejeweled pendulum and on we pranced through a graveyard.

so far, so good.
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we ended up going through a bunch of graveyards, and in the bottom of a basement of an former firehouse/present day insurance office (where apparently there was a puppy ghost who had a history of thumping his spectral tail at ghost-hunters. needless to say, i focused all of my energy the entire two-hour tour trying to find ghost puppies. not even lying.

being honest, the tour was a total hokey-fest. i should have known it when my tour arrived wearing leopard yoga pants and uggs, with her best friend who sat behind her and laughing quietly from time to time, staring down at her own pair of uggs to hide her chuckles. i got heckled by a really drunk woman in a graveyard, who stumbled out of a salem bar and asked me if i was a ghost hunter and if she was on tv at that very moment in time.

it felt like an episode of “the office” , but i was the only one aware of  the cameras. totally worth the five dollars, two hours of my life, and eyebrow raising at the unseen camera like i was jim and pam. it got the “mackenzie lady date” stamp of approval.

{tune in to my next adventures in lady dating post, where my dear friend emily and i take on montreal, 24-hour bagel shops, and i will attempt to touch josh ritter’s suspenders at his concert…coming to a blog near you ~ mid-february.} 

 

 

toodles;

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itemized receipt of finals:
four papers due by this coming tuesday. two exams on a saturday.
one paper about wombs. one paper about disembowelment. one paper about an awkward beard-filled first kiss.
one paper about lesbian sisters being drenched in fruit pulp by goblinmen (why is british literature the best?)
one too many coffees. or, just enough coffee. you decide.
brb, gotta get rid of these finals-induced ulcers! until then, my dears.

{cycle love} holiday cycling;

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oh gosh. can’t believe i forgot to clarify this in my other cycling post.

thiiiiiiiiis is what i meant by “winter cycling”. easy mix-up. so sorry. easy to do, ya know? can you tell millie and i are very excited for this winter cycling season?

disgruntled face optional, but very recommended.

november favorites;

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walking down harvard st. with a bottle of sriracha sauce. typical.

the smiling poop emoji (who am i kidding, really? year-round favorite).

rediscovering how much “benny and the jets” has an effect on my internship productivity.

10:30 pm bed times. three blankets. a new space heater. i’m going by the name “mildred” now, just an fyi.

burt’s bees chapstick in ruby grapefruit. bought only because it reminded me of the homeland.

speaking of the homeland, daydreaming about swimming in my community pool.  as soon as i get off the plane. in mid-december. swampland, i salute you.

ordering home try-ons from warby parker. the most hipster ones. so ruben and i could try them on.

hosting a holiday party for this weekend. with a dress code (cheesy sweaters are openly verboten. fancy dress only). and this afroman christmas cd bumpin’ in the background. naturally.

that all of my conversations with my mom lately have been about the ranking of black bean burgers in orlando (toojay’s wins always) and which restaurants we are planning to pillage of their foodstuffs once i make landfall.

the tikka masala burrito at boloco. i’ve been getting hot and steamy with one of those guys on a weekly basis. so good. currently in need of godparents for my food-baby. whoops.

that the super soft-spoken guy in my creative writing class started off his critique of my piece with “so, you used the word ‘turd’ a lot.”

how proud i felt making the soft-spoken guy say “turd” out loud. and then he asked “so, what’s the origin of this ‘turd’?”

recipes for pumpkin chocolate chip bread that yield two loaves. not one, two. two, as in the quantity that is completely necessary and recommended.

cutting the aforementioned pumpkin bread into one big slice, instead of two smaller slices, because then it means i’ve only had one slice. mackenzie logic always wins.

 

 

{cycle love} winter cycling;

one of the questions i get asked the most is, “you bike everywhere? even in the winter? isn’t that, like, cold?” the next question i am asked in terms of frequency is, “why are you carrying around a bike helmet?” (i was once asked this questions four times in the matter of two hours on campus at emerson. emerson kids, context clues! come on! get with it! don’t make me roll my eyes at you! )

in some ways, people will put me up on this pedestal because i bike year-round in massachusetts. they think i’m somehow stronger than them, or faster,  or more able to dodge oncoming traffic. and i can tell you plainly and bluntly, i’m not. my bike was $100. i wear tights essentially every day that i bike (i’ve probably worn pants a record two times this season). my bike bell was free. i don’t use clip-in shoes on a thousand dollar racing bike. and biking in the city really isn’t that hard or scary as long as you find a route that makes you happy, has a bike lane, and you don’t run red lights that often (i’ll admit that i do, but only when it’s downright stupid not to, like if i am biking up a hill.)

i get winded. i yell expletives. i hum the tune of “it’s not my fault (it’s my fault)” whenever a car honks at me unjustly. but i also meet lovely bikers. nice drivers that let me pass them. kind police officers that make sure i’m safe on the road. get greeted by the twinkling citgo sign as i stroll through kenmore. smell wood-burning fireplaces on commonwealth as i bike home after class. and have such a wonderful routine of riding through brookline doing errands. i spend the $80 i would have spent being scowled at on the T each month on things i actually enjoy. i don’t have to go to the gym. i’m outside virtually all of the time. i get sun. i get happy.

one way i know i’m not a hipster cyclist is that i genuinely wish other people biked or enjoyed biking year round as much as i do. and not just on a road bike. you can bike on a schwinn or a bianchi or a tricycle. on road or off road on nature trails (just not on sidewalks or else i will roll my eyes at you.) with pants or without pants (i’m a skirt-wearing bicyclist through and through.) a lot of people say the cycling season is over at the end of november (ahem, hubway being taken out at the end of this month. ahem.) and i think that’s a shame. who’s to say the cycling season has to end?

oh, what’s that? you want tips on how to bike in the winter? oh, wow. who could see that coming?

1. wear what you’d wear normally. really. just keep a sweater in your bag rather than on you while you ride. you will sweat. you will glisten. it will be worth it.

2. bike lights. don’t be silly. it’s illegal to bike in boston without lights, and when you’re not biking with them, you can take them off and have a strobe light dance party. not that i’ve done this or anything.

3. need some winter inspiration? dottie from let’s go ride a bike rides year-round in chicago because she and her BFF in nashville made a challenge to bike year-round. homegirl always looks classy, too. and simply bike is actually the best at motivating me to bike in the cold (bikes year-round, with a baby, while she was getting her ph.d.)

4. my eyes always tend to water up a bit more during the winter. easy solution? wear my damn glasses, that i always forget i have. sunglasses also work, too. and you’ll look presh. double win.

5. bike shorts are your friend. and you don’t need to get fancy, padded ones. i use leggings, hand-me-down bike shorts, and get cheap spandex ones from tj maxx. you’ll slowly but surely find that you wear them even when you aren’t biking. whatever. it’s a thing.

biking in the wintertime

6. my typical biking outfit? this jacket (marked down a crazy amount at marshall’s.) + stretchy pencil skirt (i have a bunch of $5 ones from h&m that complete me heart and soul) + knee socks or sweater tights + flats or boots + helmet + my trusty timbuk2 bag that i love so much. and the above polyvore is a typical formula for my outfits.

7. even if you don’t want to start biking until spring, bikes are sooooooo much cheaper in the winter. my first bike (bought in august, not the highest quality bike, bought with a broken brake) was stolen in november of last year. i knew if i waited until december i could get a really nice one for super cheap. bada-bing-bada-boom, i got my peugeot, millie (previous name= mordecai), for $50 cheaper than my crappier bike, in perfect, just-fixed condition.

 in closing, don’t think that because you don’t have to bike more than five minutes to a place that it’s not a worthwhile ride. it can be to the grocery store down the street with some cute panniers (i want these sooooo bad), or your bff’s house across the river, or to your foot doctor appointment. just bask in the glistening you’ll be doing under your sweater, get your hand signals on, and be glad you get to stare at changing leaves on trees and not grumpy businessmen on the T.