Tag Archives: boston

{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.


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.

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.

IMG_4521 (1)

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?


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



these days;


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.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg
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;


{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

dear russell, the apartment rat;


to my dearest russell, my newest roommate, and most memorable apartment rat.

your days are numbered. your meals feasting upon the dropped crumbs of my orange cinnamon rolls are dwindling. your little rat teeth have gnawed on the pipes of two now-defunct dishwashers.

and i know you deviously rub your paws together each night as you scheme which bathroom toiletry you will steal for your rats nest next.

many nights as i go into the cupboard to grab my bag of rice cakes, i’m almost sure i will come paw-to-paw with you among my long-expired boxes of couscous and the absurd amount of refried beans i hold onto in case of a refried bean shortage in the town of brookline.

many nights i expect to enter the cold kitchen to stress-eat full-fat yogurt straight out of the container, and you will somehow have a rat-sized rolling desk chair to sit upon…gradually turning around to greet me, you little freak.

many nights i raise my fists to the gods and cry “RUSSELL, THE RAT BASTARD HAS STRUCK AGAIN.”

many nights i imagine you hovering over my sleeping frame, wondering why i’ve put all boxed crackers in the fridge since the beginning of january.

many nights i’ve heard your signature “russell rustling” in my cupboard and known that my box of maple frosted mini wheats were as good as gone.

and you stole my damn tooth brush. and you gnawed a hole into my toothpaste.  like what is the deal, russell. what is the origin of this angst.

if you see a trail of my cracker-shaped slices of cheese leading to a pool of chloroform, you’ll know it’s from me.

until we meet again, please spare my loaf peanut butter banana bread, it’s all i have.

mackenzie, the rat bounty hunter of brookline.

january favorites;


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.)


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.

TTYL, cambridge;

{mass ave. and holyoke}

{safe little unicycle, mount auburn street}

{dining hall, harvard}
{view from weld dorm, harvard}

{petsi’s pies, green street}

to my dearest home for the last year,

i will miss all of your denizens;

the toothless and the fully-toothed. the strange men who yelled, “YO RAGGEDY ANN!” at me when my hair was long, red and crazy (and i miss my cantabridgian hair too. hair, grow back please?)

the cat-callers, the jay-walkers, the strange men who tell me they are “the archangel gabriel” outside of my church.

the curbside magicians, the rude hipsters that never got my jokes at the middle east club, and the various two-year olds that laughed at my story-time readings.

the biddies who lunged at me drunkenly in dark alleyways, the freakish quantity of harvard ph.d students that asked for my digits (i.e. five and counting… my friends make fun of me), and the asian tourists who always mistook me for a harvard student and asked to take pictures with me (i.e. at least 3-4 times….my friends make fun of me).

‎(oh, and celtics-jersey-guy who only came to my job to talk to me about sesame street; he deserves a shout out).

i will miss having the mere ability to be able to throw a rock and most likely hit four different bookstores, eating bbq seitan sandwiches at clover on the daily, and my very favorite “milk”shakes at my favorite vegetarian diner (don’t remind me, i’m already sobbing).

on to new adventures, i go. i’m off to the land of cute jewish grannies, a synagogue on each corner, high- quality bagels, coolidge theatre, and the land of the kennedys. and while i’ve joked that, when i move out, i will be singing my own version of this song (except it will be re-titled “goodbye central square (covered in used needles)”, bike rides from brookline to you will be plentiful, i’m sure, my dear cambridge.

your former occupant, who will always be cantabridgian-at-heart.

dear boston, we have some talking to do;

i’m all about honesty. i find that i can’t get things out of my head, unless i am able to mentally unpack the less-than-happy-instagrammed-version of my life.

because not everything is able to look nice under the “nashville” or “walden” filter. and sometimes it’s nicer when those things aren’t put out of focus in order for the sole purpose of looking nicer to the outside world.

boston and i have been on the out-and-outs lately.  i’m not sure if its the realization that i’m not really a city girl after all. or rather, there is a dissonance between my perception of this city as an outsider and as a resident. or a muddled combination of the two. but i know with a startling certainty that my time in this town of beans and blank-staring people on the subway is limited.

i first had fuzzy feelings about living here when i was eight, something someone should question when moving somewhere. i remember i was watching the first episode of “survivor” and elizabeth hasselbeck was being filmed as a contestant pre- “the view” in her hometown of boston.

they had a helicopter shot of her standing on a bridge (which is odd, because i’m sure its the one i cross with my bike everyday) and i remember thinking “i’m moving to that city when i’m a big girl. i’m doing it.” and “gosh darn it, i want a grape popsicle right now”.  she was smiling and it was sunny outside and i could only imagine sunny and happy days and winning a million dollars on reality tv in this fabled city i had just seen for the first time.

and i guess in the midst of being 21 years old in a now-foreign city where i don’t enjoy $145 handbags and scowling, i feel a bit like i was lied to. when i first moved here, it was almost eery how amazingly the city seemed to roll out a fancy, ornate carpet for me to walk on. i had a kick-ass apartment in fenway. i started dating a boy a month after i moved here. i got my two dream jobs. i was making friends and wearing peasant skirts and clogs and getting free food out the wazoo and petting puppies and not caring that i was so broke and eating ramen every other night.

and then all of a sudden, i got dumped. i moved into a less than ideal apartment with a less than ideal roommate. i was forced to quit one of my dream jobs. i was biking 16 miles a day in order to take 8am classes and then close at a job i was slowly starting to resent. my dog died+ my bike and phone were stolen all in the same month. i had to manually end a friendship that turned sour very quickly. in short, the city seemed to slowly roll back the ornate carpet it had rolled out for me. all of a sudden, without warning, and didn’t show signs of coming back anytime soon. the city wasn’t a good place for me in this time period, not a very soft cushion to soften all of it down. a scowl on the subway could unravel me entirely.

i’m not a person who is emotionally affected by weather shifts, but it seems that common courtesy, “excuse me”s and door-holding is seemingly forgotten once the temperature dips below 40 degrees. i’ve slowly become a person who is shocked when people are nice to me, rather than expecting kindness, something that honestly disturbs me sometimes. my most commonly used phrase during the months of december through april was, “man, boston sure is on the rag today!” 

despite all of this, boston has been a dream actualized. i know i wouldn’t be a content human being without living here for the last 12 months. but i’ve now realized that cities seem colder to me, not in the sense of weather, but in the sense that most sentences that float around the city start with the word “i….”, laced with entitlement, tied up neatly with a bow of expecting to come first at all times.

maybe it’s me that needs to grow a thicker skin. or perhaps the city and i could meet half-way and get back to that sweet spot of luck and free food again. because gosh darn it, burritos and cookies always taste better when they are free.

even so,  i’m still holding out for that richly adorned carpet to come back. perhaps it just needs to come back from the cleaners.

{berets and bongos} 56;

“the campus, an academy of trees,
under which some hand, the wind’s i guess,

had scattered the pale light
of thousands of spring beauties,
petals stained with pink veins;
secret, blooming for themselves.

we sat among them.
your long fingers, thin body,
and long bones of improbable genius;
some scattered gene as kafka must have had.
your deep voice, this passing dust of miracles.
that simple that was myself, half conscious,
as though each moment was a page

where words appeared; the bent hammer of the type
struck against the moving ribbon.
the light air, the restless leaves;
the ripple of time warped by our longing.
there, as if we were painted
by some unknown impressionist.”

-ruth stone, in the next galaxy.

a song, winter;

if it were possible for a song to be my own personal winter, it would be this one. my roommate used to fill our near-empty old apartment with this song all the time. it echoed through the walls on a near daily basis and i always kept finding myself prancing to the beat of it when i eloquently made ramen noodles. or wrote letters. or read YA fiction.

 it reminds me of all the different homes i’ve had this year and was so lucky to call a home. and though the scheduling gods did not bless me this year and i’m sequestered in boston far away from my real home, i am actually still carrying this twinkly feeling i think each of us carries around during this month.

 it’s all kinds of twinkly, for me. and i hope it has the same effect on you.




{edit: so, i almost never watch the youtube videos to songs. i usually just put them on in the background and never notice the video aspect. which basically lead me to just posting the first video (if you got that in googlereader) without even noticing it was in fact, g.w. doing illicit acts. tooooootally my bad. but i hope it gave you a hearty chuckle and didn’t make you cringe in any way.}

boston, rekindled;

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so i had the lovely pleasure to have not one, but two friends (i has two friends?) visit me this week! we feasted, pranced, and caused mayhem around the boston-cambridge area. i ate enough to hate myself, realized the magic of red lipstick, and had a squirrel get all up in my grill.

in short, my little flame of love for boston had been rekindled. i will not lie, since my bike was stolen and then two weeks later my iphone was literally grabbed from my hands* i had been feeling quite downcast about the status of my relationship with boston. for a week or two i really couldn’t find myself staring starry-eyed at the changing leaves, and i really only felt safe when i was safely in the emerson library, where i’ve basically been living since these events.

but there really is nothing like watching your friends experience boston for the first time. and it’s in that moment that a bunch of hoodlums really can’t take away your real love for a city.

*it was a two-high-school-boy operation. one distracted me by asking for the time while the other came up from behind and stole it. i ran after them and luckily the police was right next door so i got them to run after them. they caught one kid (that didn’t have my phone), but not the other that physically had my phone. but here’s the best part, i got to yell at the little ruffian! i did it in a very classy matter, but i really taught him a lesson. it was great, which is mostly why i am not too upset about it in general. yelling is awesome, guys. especially when you’re a typically docile creature, like i am.