Tag Archives: confessions

i want to go to there, a reading list;

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{old orchard beach, maine}

basically, ya’ll, my wanderlust is going crazy enough to make me want to say “ya’ll”. luckily, a one bedroom in manhattan is my destiny this summer, so thankfully i have some place to walk my new mom-ish shoes around {baby girl loves sensible shoes, even if they age me ten years}.  never have i been more excited to kiss my little floridian weiner dog, or buy mass amounts of mangoes in crates on a street corner in new york. these books are helping homegirl in the meanwhile.

{berlin} berlin stories by robert walser

{berlin + france + boston}  my berlin kitchen by luisa weiss
{the happiest places} the geography of bliss by eric weiner
{britain + america}  i’m a stranger here myself by bill bryson
{ireland}  irish journal by heinrich boll
{europe} neither here nor there by bill bryson
{actually, just read all of the bill bryson: appalachia, britain, australia, small town america}
{paris} the dud avocado by elaine dundy
{italy} la bella figura by beppe severgnini

 

meet edie;

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this is edie. her original name was princess, but we thought that name was lame.
so around these parts we call her “princess edie dalek caan cybermen“.

actually only two of us call her that, but my best friend lately has been a plump cat, so we’ll forget that for now.

she is my new kitten friend. she is ten years old, which technically makes her a dame.

{ guys, i’m so excited to be able to exploit my cat on the internet. i finally feel like i belong in the blogging world.}

she enjoys the following:
-farting.
-showing you her butt.
-clamping on to your shoulder when you hold her.
-having her belly fat rubbed.
-wheezing heavily
{she has cat herpes, which is sort of like the common cold to felines, so she has an adorable case of nasal congestion that i secretly hope never goes away. she sounds like stinky from “hey arnold!”}
-when her cat food is microwaved for 14 seconds.
-she also likes holding hands. and sitting on hands. oh, she loves sitting on hands. that’s babygirl’s favorite.

she does not enjoy the following:

-the bikes in my hallway {she’s been confronting her demons a lot this week}.
-the music of prince.

she’s kind of the best.

obviously we need to get the cat formerly named “princess” to like the artist formerly known as prince,

that’s just necessary for survival in my apartment, but for now she’s all good.

{yeah, i spent all night on that last one. hey-oh.}

five things;

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{my “eff you, winter” shoes.}

i’ll be honest. i’m not one to do the cutesy blog q&a tagging rituals on this space.

i think it’s mostly because i’ve had a blog since i was 12 {thank god blurty is defunct and livejournal mercifully deleted my 13 year old blog, to the betterment of the world. i think i wrote an entire entry on weaves when i was 13, and i wish that was a joke} and did those deliriously long surveys that only slightly chubby middle schoolers do when their “the sims” characters are sleeping or peeing in a corner. meaning 12 year old chubby me, of course.

you know the ones. the ones that are 96 items long and ask you what deodorant you use and the last thing you ate, which was always what your middle school self thought the outside world was dying to hear. which was most likely some sort of strawberry “teen spirit” deodorant and a bag of cheetos. 22 year old me hasn’t changed too much. i just ate a cheese stick and i use whatever deodorant manfriend and my male roommate have in the bathroom. all the growth, ya’ll.

regardless, i got done-tagged, ya’ll. and since i’ve already told you what deodorant i use, we’ve knocked that one off the list. we’re ahead of schedule. here are five more. don’t get too excited.

1. i’m obsessssssssed with cvs extracare bucks. like actually obsessed. i keep all of them. one time manfriend snuck out of nowhere and scanned his extracare card when i was scanning my stuff, and he took my points, and that is essentially on par with kicking a small dog in front of a schoolbus full of small children.  i strategically plan when i’m going to use my “$2 off two $9 packs of cvs brand tampons!!!” and am visibly sad when i don’t get any more bucks when i go to cvs. i once went to three cvs stores in a day and bought a delusional level of stuff in order to use my extracare bucks up (rimmel eyeshadow! 1 dozen eggs! 1 tub of coolwhip! earwax-clearing drops!)

2.i pretty much have to announce to whomever i’m with whenever i see a dog, have to pet said dog, that there is a dog currently within 40 feet of me. i usually say “wubby alert. wubby alert. sound the alarm it’s a wubby.” {taken from the always-relevant andy milonakis}  when spotting a pretty pooch, and if i’m by myself i will usually speedily greet the dog. times i’ve  been sniped at?  just once. i count this as a win. times i’ve almost untied a dog that was curbed to a tree or lamp post and brought it home to be my own personal wubby? zero, but it’s only a matter of time.

3. i loooooove numbers. number games, get at me. one of my pet peeves is people assuming that because i am a writing major that i hate math, but i lurve it. i find it comforting and predictable, like a syndicated episode of “friends” at 10pm. for as long as i can remember, i’ve played a stupid number game i made up in my head. i basically take a phone number, mailbox, or birthday and add,multiply, divide, or subtract until i can get the other numbers in the series. for instance, when i got my phone number, i had to let out a little schoolgirl giggle. it was perfect. without area code (ya creeps), it’s 8081535. so the possible equations are 8×0=0, 1×5=5, 5+3=8, 5-5=0, 5/5=1, 8/8=1 (uses two numbers in series, to get another number in series is the main gist).  i once zoned out on a car ride with my old roommates and yelled, “that’s a good mailbox!” out of nowhere, overwhelmed by the mathematical perfection of a mailbox. they were not amused. still with me? in short, i’m gross.

4. speaking of pet peeves, i have a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to jokes about being a girl. i seriously will turn off a show, resolve not to follow a comedienne, or disregard entirely if someone even jokes about “becoming a cat lady”, “hanging out with my best friends, ben & jerry”, or “dying alone, being eaten by all my cats, my remains never to be found.” {actually, i like the last one. but anyways, you get the jist.} i’m a gigantic comedy nerd, and was force-fed comedy central stand-up shows ever since i realized at age six that i would never win the remote control from my 13 year old brother. i may not be the funniest lady in all the land, but i know these are cheap jokes and they make me wanna vomit a little bit. i’ll still love you, but i also might twitch a little. a love twitch.

5. if hip hop is not secretly playing in my headphones, no work is getting done. or r&b. or motown.  that’s just a fact.basically i wish i was a bouffant-haired buxom lady with major pipes and cat-eye make-up. and that’s the reason i’ll give for why i still haven’t folded any of the clothes in the reusable grocery bags spewing all over my room. yes, that’s it.

{pretty sure everyone in the world has already been tagged, but let me know if you all decide to fill one of these badboys out. i’ll just be over here looking at “good” mailboxes.”

modern vampires and fangirling;

guys, the time has come. my fangirling has reached a comedic height.

new vampire weekend jams, or what i usually call them, vampy weeks.

i am beside myself.  does anyone have a paper bag?

black and white. bold fonts. scenes from new  york. what seems to be a monster as a background singer. i am just can’ting all over this.

i might stuff a homemade guinness whoopie pie (you heard right) in my mouth to stifle my happy cries to the musical gods for newly released jams.

yeah, that sounds pretty good. i think i’ll do that.

anorexia at a distance;

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{in honor of neda week, i have a thought or two about my experience with anorexia nervosa}

when i wrote my “i binged on fun at remuda ranch” series (part one. two. three.) last year,  i was hoping to reach people, to change their minds, to shake things up in terms of what people think of eating disorders. what i got was not only an outpouring of love from readers, strangers, and middle school acquaintances. it’s my most-read piece, by far, and the fact that scared mothers who googled this issue and read everything they could do to help their daughter or son beat one of these nasty disorders and found this piece through the magic of the internet   touches me on a daily basis.

sometimes people shift in their stance or seat when i tell them that in the span of my anorexia lies one of the best collections of moments in my life. it’s also the reason why i got the above tattoo (dewey decimal number for harry potter #7, as the night i bought it was the first time i’d left my house in months/decided to recover). the three months i spent riding a glorified donkey at a po-dunk ranch in arizona with 40 other girls were some of my favorite to date. to this day, i haven’t found a more supportive bunch of girls with which to high-five about bowel movements, getting your period, or whenever that hottie psychiatrist decided to come and do rounds. i would say that sharing woes of having a feeding tube at the dinner table, being forced to drink milkshakes, and falling asleep during church six times a week would have been a lot less fun had it not been for the group of overly-medicated girls i lived with. and oh, were we medicated.

sometimes i want to shake people around so that they’ll know that because i had a nasty, little eating disorder doesn’t mean that i was somehow made more delicate, more difficult to handle, like i have a huge “handle me with care” stamped on my back that i’m unaware of.
when i returned to school after missing the first eight months of my freshman year of high school, i felt like a white elephant. i was hugged tightly, but not too tightly. i was invited out, but i could feel the compulsory nature of it. i could tell that nervous mothers had brought up the idea at first. i could feel the stretch of having to fabricate an entirely new personality and set of memories for the last 8 months get to me. there was no one to share my experiences with, no one who could listen and not feel discomfort, even thought my time in treatment was largely one of the most special experiences of my life. they didn’t accept what they thought was just “a brave face.” 

when i finally got the courage to eat in front of people, i could feel the need of others to ask me how i got to the point where i was eating a yogurt in pubic. “but anorexic people don’t eat anything, i thought,” i could hear them want to say. i always wanted to laugh at that notion. i always wanted to say “of course, we eat. that’s all we do.” but i knew that would get met with some concerned looks. you see, all anorexics eat. it’s all we do, because we can’t do anything else. this is not to say food is our obsession, it’s just a placeholder for something larger, something darker, and something a lot hairier or more difficult to distinguish.

we don’t all want to be these fainting, anorexic ballerinas. we didn’t “give ourselves an eating disorder”. sometimes getting to 89 lbs was an accident on the way to getting perfect, manageable, or someone who didn’t inhabit very much space. you want to compartmentalize your entire being, and eating a few hundred calories a day allows you to fade away for a bit. you think you’ll get over it. you think you can just stop as soon as you feel better, but the best you feel is when you trick yourself into staying home, because you know as soon as you leave your house you might hurt someone, distress them, or make them upset.

if anything,  beating my eating disorder has made me want to muckrake more. i wasn’t always like this, i can tell you that. i wanted the deep, un-awkward hugs. i wanted the invitations to friends’ houses without hesitation or motherly intervention.  i wanted to be the furthest extension away from an “anorexic girl”, whatever that was to me back then. but then i realized i was doing the least i could do to the girls who, like me, had no one come up in google to make me feel like the little angry man inside my head would get quiet. no success story. no chance of survival, when i wasn’t sure if i did anymore, if it meant a life of 40 calorie rations of slippery turkey slices, no-calorie peanut butter, and the horror of finding out that ketchup and toothpaste had calories.

i don’t necessarily to cause someone distress, but i want them to know that the way we think about eating disorders right now is not productive or even factually true. google searches only arise more conflicting opinions, testimonials where you will “never fully get better”. talks with insecure girls in the  high school bathroom about how their friends look “anorexic” and ask how they can, too, just backtracks us back ten years. the more girls get recovered, the more they want to be quiet about their recovery, they are afraid of the misconceptions of anorexia, bulimia, and the myriad monsters that fall under the eating disorder diagnosis.

we need to make sure that the next set of girls with one of these nasty disorders have heard us clearly, that they know there is something beyond this. those of us that are quiet and recovered need to get louder. a lot louder.


all the happy tears;

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{josh ritter at cabaret du mile end, montreal. february 2013}

we interrupt this blog of corgi lovefangirling, and nerdy gifs to bring you an overly dramatic post about the first love of my life, josh ritter.

guys, i got to see him the flesh this weekend in montreal. my years of adoration and dreams of one day touching his suspenders are over. i was ten feet away from him for two hours of my life, and it was all i could dream of and more. if anyone cares to know, he was only singing to me. it’s whatever. sure, i didn’t get the butt pinch and suspender grazing night i was planning for due to the montreal metro, but i will still tell my grandchildren that i got a handful of his goofily-decorated suspenders and he complimented my silly glasses and he gave me a wink or four from the stage. please don’t tell them otherwise.

i remember hastily listening to him in german class my senior year. one ear bud shoved in my ear, the other in my lovely friend estefania’s earbud. we listened to “the temptation of adam” with half the sound but all of j-ritt’s signature manboy charm. i’ve since watched live at iveagh gardens in 28 awkward parts on youtube, and am always in the process of just can’ting (as in “no, i just can’t”) whenever i maniacally spend hours just staring at him smile so gleefully in his signature vests and schoolboy smile. i should have been conjugating verbs, but instead i just got smitten. it happens.

guys, i’m still sobbing inwardly over how i got to see this man in the flesh on friday. i’m still shaking with the words of “new lover” and running past bouncers to get out of checking my coat for two canadian dollars, because i am the cheapest person on the face of this earth and hellbent on getting a good spot in front of my lover boy before everyone else. and it was worth it to hold my puffer coat to see those man-boy dimples, so big you could hide something inside of them. and he’s still the only man who can make me cry about a puppet romance.

he was perfect. i just, ugh. i just still can’t. i will be over to the side in a dark corner, just beside myself with the same schoolboy smile on my stupid little face.

a february playlist {a-side};

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{click image for playlist!}

this may or may not be a shock, but i’m really not a romantic.

don’t get me wrong; i love love. i just don’t like the notion that love has to be this compartment that we have to fill with this sounds-like-love, looks-like-love, smells-like-love, feels-like-love-so-it-must-be-love-kind-of-thing. that it must be from someone who is romantically entangled with you for it to be legitimate. that is has to be someone who makes out with you under yellow-lit light posts, or in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, or in the rain, or any other taylor swift-ized notion of romantic love.

love, for me, is how much i spread my appreciation towards the things that have decorated my last 21.9 years on this earth. the cinnamon rolls my grandma forced me out of my fold-out-couch bed every year on christmas even to make, that took three agonizing-yet-delicious hours. my grandfather inviting me to pick corn in the backyard, picking out special ears of corn for each family member.

it’s the tattered old vhs tape of the b-rated, non-disney version of peter pan, which i still think of as the best (can someone pleeeease help me find it).  the elementary school boys who ripped up my gel-pen-decorated love notes (complete with cover letter…wish i was joking) on the bus as i stood and watched them do it (i’m looking at you, hunter, i’m looking at  you and your stupid gelled-back hair.)

the mayonnaise my mother attempts to put in her famous broccoli casserole each new year’s day, that i lovingly pretend not to notice, gets my adoration. it’s your roommate, who chimes in when you pen a katy perry parody song about turkey slices when you really should be sleeping. it’s the moment when you really  made your brother, the funniest person in your small world, really sit back and laugh.

these are the songs that aren’t of the sound-like-love, feel-like-love, taste-like-love, look-like-love, must-be-love sort. they’re the love from your family when you still pick all the dried blueberries out of the box of “blueberry morning” cereal, and the moment when you found a dear friend who did the same thing growing up. mouthing the words to billy madison with your older brother. the matching set of skinned knees you and your best friend got from roller-blading into mailboxes because you still didn’t know how to stop. sure, the ooh-yay-i-just-got-kissed-in-the-rain-by-a-really-big-dream-boat kind are sprinkled in there, but they also deserve a spot in that definition, don’t they?

 what it boils down to is this: hunter the love-note-ripper gets my love. mayonnaise gets my love. i think approaching the world, this world of long-lost-hair-gelled crushes of fifth grade, with all kinds of love is the only way to approach it. i think of valentine’s day under this lens. i think of most special days with this lens. i remember when i was thirteen i read that ronald reagan called his mother-in-law each year on his wife’s birthday to thank her for giving birth to his wife. that sort of love, stretching out of something bigger, is the kind of love i’m trying to hit upon. to love all the things that surround the little moments, the little quirks, the little essences of all your favorite people and memories.
that’s what i’d call love.

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{tune in next week for the b-side!}

post-grad reading list;

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the other night i had the pleasure of meeting a really kindred spirit in the unlikely place of a new frozen yogurt shop  where i was attending a babysitters-parent networking event (feel free to laugh. this is my normal.) we hit a lull in the event, the other babysitters really weren’t talking to other babysitters and hardcore ENFP that i am, i just couldn’t handle not talking to other human beings.

i ended up talking to the girl next to me, a nice, bubbly post-grad and we shortly began gabbing to our hearts content about work, preferred take-out restaurants (indian food court restaurant @ the pru/ chili duck) and the like. admittedly, she met me on a rough day of realizing hey, i don’t think i want to work a job in my major (which tends to happen when you just got finished with a two hour lecture on paper.) and hey, maybe i want to do this one really “unpractical” thing that i’ve always wanted to do since i was eight. and hey, i’m graduating this year and i’m very scared i might have to work at a quiznos. 

the girl was the best part of the event. since my post-grad woes had been distracting me all week (and also the coordinator of the event mistook me for a mom as soon as i walked in the door, grumblegrumblegrumble) i was feeling a bit disgruntled and distracted. “you don’t have to work in your major!” she said, calmly. “you can literally do anything you want,” she said after hearing my questions about post-grad life. and then i thought about all the books i’ve read in the past few years or so that said the same, stupidly simple little reminder that i’ve heard a million times, both in books and by multiple elementary school teachers. once again, i’m nope-ing to doing a job in my major because it’s “practical”. i’m nope-ing to working at quiznos. boom.

so for your reading pleasure (and because i hope/know i’m not alone in this feeling) here are some “hey, you don’t have to work at [insert fast food establishment here]“ book list for post-grad survival

100 demons by lynda barry (a coming of age omic book!)

great gals: inspired ideas for living a kick-ass life by summer pierre

the artist in the office: how to creatively survive and thrive seven days a week by summer pierre

i was told there’d be cake by slone crosley + my boyfriend wrote a book about me by hillary winston  + the new york regional mormon singles halloween dance by elna baker    (the three women who are essentially doing what i want to do, no biggie.)

the happiness project
 
by gretchen rubin (reading this right now and my mind is bubbling over with ideas, ya’ll.)

what i know now: letters to my younger self by ellen spragins (one of my dearest friend’s mothers gave me this book when i graduated high school and it is actually the best little nugget of wisdom i’ve ever received.)

 

{what are your favorite reads for the post-grad-i-don’t-know-what-i’m-doing-but-i’d-like-to-still-have-money-to-eat group?}

i just want to wear all the hats, please;

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{my preferred means of studying}

i’m gonna whisper this really softly in case i startle any of you.

i figured out i don’t want to apply to grad school. not this year at least. maybe not even in five years. maybe not ever. whatever.

in the spirit of 2013: the year of “nope” i’m saying nope to running wild with ideas i’ve half-convinced myself of going forward with. i’ve always loved learning. i sometimes will exclaim it to whomever is near me. “siiiiiiigh, i love learning,” which is usually met with an eye roll. the fact that i was never on the scripps spelling bee when i was in middle school is still a weak spot for me (i would definitely be one of the little dweebs that writes the word out with her finger and the back of her number pinned to her mom-picked-out-polo.)

 in typical mackenzie fashion, i get a really romanticized image of the future and run maniacally with it clutched in my grubby, little paws. and this is all looked nice when i put this on me.  it was convincing and comfortable and fit me well.  this image was of me wearing tweed and classy-lady blazers, stacks of books in hand, trying to get people into poetry by super pissed off american women in the 20th century (my favorite), glasses sliding down my nose, as my head falls in between the crack of a book.

and that’s cute and whatever, but then i got this itch. it was along the lines of “mackenzie, but you would have to go to grad school somewhere for six years minimum, you effing HATE sitting still, ya turd” and “goodbye, time to read teen chick lit,” as well as a simple “ugh, when would all the sleeping happen?”

because when it boils down to it, i’m afraid i won’t keep learning new things. which is actually stupid, considering on my year off i taught myself pre-calculus, bought a german workbook last summer, and read james und der riesenpfirsich last spring. to say i’ll never learn new things is like telling myself i will never eat a whole cookie pie by myself (#14 best decision of my life, actually.) i rushed into this tweed-filled daydream of mine because the younger mackenzies thought i wouldn’t hold up my side of the bargain, to always learn things.

i’ve always liked to wear many hats. happy mackenzie rushes from babysitting (paper hat, made by charley) her favorite two year-old homegirl(“i get to listen to ‘sweet baby james’ when i go poop on the potty!”- charley, on her love of the music of james taylor) and bakes orange cinnamon rolls (ratty white target beret), and reads poetry when she wants to, for fun (still the beret, but turned to the side all fancy-like), and ya fiction, for fun (let’s be real now), and picks apart things stories, and crochets absurdly thick scarves (ten gallon hat, to change things up), and sings when she does the dishes (a top hat), and makes horrible jokes (a bowler hat). and shedoesn’tliketoplananythinginadvancethankyouverymuch (no hat at all.)

and at this point my hat collection is wide and varied and  and going to grad school in the next year or two would be like wearing the same beret every day for the next year, and gosh darnit i want to wear a sombrero.

smelling my syllabi;

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guys, school started up again this week.
i’m happier than a jack-rabbit on speed that was just given a can of mountain dew. and i’m jumping on a personal trampoline. don’t know how the trampoline got there, but it’s there and i’m pleased. ugh, now they gave me a kazoo.

i already have a strain in my arm from raising my hand too much.

i want to hug all of my syllabi. and smell them. is that bad? i hope not, because i just hugged all of them.

i got new pens and a new notebook and a gender studies professor that asks us to sit on the ground in a circle and talk about feelings. and lady-parts. and more feelings. i kind of think i love her already.

i’m also taking two poetry classes(!!!!!!!!!!)

(i have to scream into a pillow out of joy every time i remember the aforementioned fact.)
guys, every time i think i am not going to apply to six-year ph.d programs, and get
really strong bifocals because of too much reading in poor lighting, and stress-eating noodles in libraries, school starts again and every poem is like a present and yesmyroommatesandmotherandboyfriendcannotstandhowdisgustingiam
andyestheyhavetoldmemanytimes.

now if you’ll allow me, i have to go spoon all of my textbooks. they are very needy and i must attend to them.