Tag Archives: deep thoughts

things you learn at twenty-two {so far};

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1. relationships and friendships should never be kept alive based solely on how  you both really love paul simon’s album graceland. get a grip; everyone dug graceland, everyone will always love graceland, and anyone who doesn’t love graceland is a robot at the core.  this means once they take a big dump on your heart/ question you buying that one denim skirt with patchwork and tassles that you love because it’s so ugly it’s cute, they should not get immunity because “boy in the bubble” is their jam.
 

i know, it’s a great album. and it’s hard. i know. but they refused to step on your back that one time you really needed your back cracked/ they ate a loaf of your bread without replacing it/they told you you smelled like a dog once, and that’s not a true friend.

 

2. most things can be resolved with watermelon.israeli-palestinian conflict? give those dudes some watermelon. people hating on gay marriage? sounds like they need some fresh, juicy watermelon to cool those hot heads down.

 

3. the only way to walk your dogs is by imagining you are in homeward bound. except not the sad parts. you can imagine the cat-running-from-a-mountain-lion parts, but not the injured-golden-retriever-in-a-ditch-in-an-abandoned-railroad parts.

 

4. navy and bright orange totally go together. eff the haters.

 

5. putting every little, tiny milestone in your life on facebook is reeeeeally annoying to most people around you and i’m not sure you want everyone to know for genuine reasons. i’m glad you got an internship/passed a kidney stone/your baby stopped barfing, but i know you’re just hurting for some likes. be silently content with the lack of baby vomit in your life by yourself. it’s a much cuter look, i think.

 

6.  just because you have four “$4 off your next $20 purchase at cvs!!!!!” coupons does not mean you should spend all of them on orange coconut waters and expired 50% off easter candy.and apricot face wipes. and little flossers that you might have bought because they look like violin bows for kittens.

 

7. princess diaries was meant to be watched twice in one day. that’s the serving size.  dont deprive yourself of this pleasure.

 

8.you really only need one to three good friends. these can include your mom, your dog who has a habit of finding old condoms on walks to the sketchy park where high schoolers go after dark, and your cat that likes to hold hands more than most things. it can also include the cvs man who calls you “sweetheart”. whatever.

 

9. science museums are much, much, much more fun than ragers.


 

10. you’re twenty-two and you still don’t know how to make a bread bowl? what a waste. you could be eating your dishes by now. maybe by twenty-three you’ll know.

{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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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.


{berets and bongos} 99;

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“i’ve got to tell you
how i love you always
i think of it on grey
mornings with death

in my mouth the tea
is never hot enough
then and the cigarette
dry the maroon robe

chills me i need you
and look out the window
at the noiseless snow

at night on the dock
the buses glow like
clouds and i am lonely
thinking of flutes

i miss you always
when i go to the beach
the sand is wet with
tears that seem mine

although i never weep
and hold you in my
heart with a very real
humor you’d be proud of

the parking lot is
crowded and i stand
rattling my keys the car
is empty as a bicycle

what are you doing now
where did you eat your
lunch and were there
lots of anchovies it

is difficult to think
of you without me in
the sentence you depress
me when you are alone

last night the stars
were numerous and today
snow is their calling
card i’ll not be cordial

there is nothing that
distracts me music is
only a crossword puzzle
do you know how it is

when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
i beg you do not go”

-frank o’hara.

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?}

{berets and bongos} 97;

“you do not always know what I am feeling.

last night in the warm spring air while I was
blazing my tirade against someone who doesn’t
interest
me, it was love for you that set me
afire,

and isn’t it odd? for in rooms full of
strangers my most tender feelings
writhe and
bear the fruit of screaming. put out your hand,
isn’t there
an ashtray, suddenly, there? beside
the bed? And someone you love enters the room
and says wouldn’t
you like the eggs a little

different today?
and when they arrive they are
just plain scrambled eggs and the warm weather
is holding.”

-frank o’hara, “for grace, after a party.”

2013: the year of “nope”;

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i am a yes girl through and through. i say yes to new friends because, hey, new friends! i say yes to babysitting new kids for new families because, hey, money for me to blow on overpriced decaf americanos and concert tickets and ingredients to bake speculoos cookies! i say yes to including not-the-nicest people in my little world that might not be paying the adequate amount of rent money to inhabit that space, because yes is always best, right?! especially in this twenty-something female blog world, i can’t tell you how many times i’ve seen a twee little “say yes to life” message riddled among blog posts. and you know what?

nope. just….nope.

don’t get me wrong, i love that i am agreeable. i love that i can easily get myself excited about doing things that the people in my life love to do, because if they love it, what’s not to love? i love that excitement is something i can easily tap into, like a little maple tree that’s overflowing with sap a bit too much.

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but then i get tired. and i keep saying yes. because that’s who i am. and who would i be if i said no every once in a while? ergo, my inability to say no. my inability to say “ya know, i kind of wanna go by myself to this concert, if that’s okay” to the cross-armed wet-blankets of my world. my struggle to stay in, stay put, and stay still, wondering what might be going on in the city of beans. “what’s so wrong with having internship, class and babysitting from 10am-10pm on tuesdays?” i’d say to myself, stress-eating bowls of microwaved pan-asian noodle bowls and 50% of my daily sodium intake. and then i saw this cute little drawing and it all made sense. 

such things only get harder when you spent an semester interning and making event calendars, where your only goal was to glean the internet for the funnest of events going on outside (murder mystery scavenger hunts inside museums! ladysmith black mambazo concerts! oktoberfests out the wazoo!), bombarding you with things you “must” say yes to.

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this is to say i will say yes to only the things that add, not subtract. saying yes to baking speculoos cookies to the tune of the ronettes than overworking myself to hyper-rory-gilmore-ic tendencies (and we all know i tend to do that). yes to the worthwhile things (new issues of ploughshares read on the t, tacqueria dates, and my favorite two year olds). no to the  things that wear me down until i am cowering under my electric blanket with a bag of sweet potato chips and twilight zone episodes acquired from sketchy dutch tv websites. i’ll still be a yes lady, but with a couple dashes of “nope”.

appreciators to the right. haters to the left. its the year of nope, ya’ll, and you’re welcome to join along.

seven year old selves, a playlist;

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{click above picture of three year-old mackenzie for playlist, because seven year-old me had an unsightly white girl ‘fro}

like i said before, the sads don’t typically prey upon me in the winter, i’ll admit. but i also have a pretty unfair advantage for combatting the nasty little case of blues that seem to hover above  most people post-january 1st by having a conveniently late-winter birthday (ahem, march 7th. ahem. i’d love this sriracha sauce iphone case, ahem).

but sometimes, like most people who live in cities where the days look the same at 4am as they do at 4pm, it hits me. it really does. it sneaks up and settles in and asks to stay to take the chill off in my living room and i’m sometimes to nice to shoo it away from my threshold.

and i’m all about honesty on my little space on the internet. i get bummed, despite tales of lady-dates, dance parties, and lit-up bicycle rides. i get sad.  i feel like andre the giant is sitting on my chest at times. i wish i didn’t have #anemicgirlproblems and could feel the tips of my fingertips when gallivanting out in the cold. you know, the usual. nothing out of the ordinary. we all get it.

i sometimes think the origin of this sense of sads we get is when we get disconnected from whoever sits comfortably at the seat of your soul and monitors the goings on of things. i’ll notice i get disconnected to the little seven-year-old mackenzie that inhabits somewhere between my heart and my spleen (whatever, it’s prime real estate there). she’s the original, core mackenzie. she’s a fledgling mackenzie, but still the most authentic. the girl who knew more about  the proper way to attain skinned knees (rollerblading into mailboxes because she didn’t know how to stop, real talk),  than how to order replacement books of checks (ugh, the worst).

she gets angry when she doesnt get to break free and crunch on the snow, watch a disney channel original movie in the safety of her grandma chair, and eat a spoonful of marshmallow fluff right from the jar. spunk without inhibitions and thoughts of compensation, consequence, or outer perception. and she’s been bogged down lately. and its time to shake off the dust and get seven year old self to stretch out her legs, preparing her for another round of roller-blading mishaps.

so, if you’ll excuse me, seven-year-old mackenzie is getting very impatient waiting for me. classic seven year old self. so classic.

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.

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