Tag Archives: girl why you gotta be so deep

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.

a winter’s tale;

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{click above for playlist!}

winter, in my eyes, is kind of the best. it’s a time of upheaval. of paring things down. there’s always a certain case of giddiness i get when winter rolls around, and that’s not even because of christmas or the holidays. i love the dead cold of january. i even love the brand of post-january 1st dreariness that only merits a bag full of $1 books and a new kind of cookie. maybe this shows the floridian in me, but summer dulls me down while winter perks me up like a shot of espresso to the brain.

it’s a built-in recharge button. a season of snooze-ing alarm clocks and basking in the warmth of your space heater because you have #anemicgirlproblems. whistling tea kettles. dust-covered hello kitty house slippers. late-night bananagrams. it’s crusty bread and soup and apple cake and mulled cider and buckeyes.

winter is a kind of music that sounds like drinking whiskey. it’s paradoxically warm and biting. it’s staying up later than you reckoned because it’s dark all the time and you can’t tell the difference between 4am and 4pm. winter is clean and bright and shiny. winter is going out dancing until midnight because you know it’s a cheap way to stay warm. winter is pretend “smoking” with the cold air and a fake cigarette between your hands, like a seven year old. winter is basically permission to be seven years old.  i don’t think people really appreciate winter past january 1st, and i think that’s a shame.

because like, best of all, no need to shave. that’s really the best part about winter, amiright?

{berets and bongos} 92;

“december 16th

once upon a time
you grew up in a bedroom the size of a dime
and shared it with your sister. that was west end
avenue in manhattan. longing for country you were penned into city, peering across the hudson at palisades park.
the boy in you played stickball until it was dark.

once upon a time
i was the only child forbidden to climb
over the garden wall. i didn’t dare to speak
up over the victorian houseful of rare antiques.
my dolls were all proper, waiting in neat rows.
my room was high ceilinged, lonely and full of echoes.

once upon a time
you said, ‘now that cabin is ours, i’m
going to run the power in.’ and we had a power party.
i made gingham curtains. we nailed up your doctoral degree.
we turned the stove on twice. oh my love, oh my louse,
we make our own electricity while we play house.”

-anne sexton, “eighteen days without you”.

all of the thanks;

thanks to having enough time to read books for pleasure this semester….err, i don’t actually have the time to do it, but i stubbornly assume i do…and then don’t do required readings. so, um. whoops. but thanks.

thanks be to louis c.k., sangria, and fresh skeins of yarn. that is all i need.

thank you to eight minute “cleaning lady” version of  fleetwood mac’s “sara” (“i wanna be a star! i don’t wanna be a cleaning lady!”= my new mantra for post-grad life.)

thanks to the hello kitty house slippers that make me forget i have the worst circulation in all the land. #anemicgirlproblems.

thanks be to the lovely state of massachusetts. your weather confusion, subway performers, and creepy churches keep me smitten with you despite the snot-filled, 27 degree bike rides i endure each morning.

thanks to the bulldog upstairs that really isn’t supposed to be upstairs. even though my landlord doesn’t know about you, i’m glad i get to pet you illegally every other morning or so.

thanks to the right to vote. and the eight year-olds that tried to sell me quiche as i waited in line at the elementary down the street. classic brookline, massachusetts.

thank you insulting bowling alley personas, and salty tasty burger fries.

thanks to the tea selection at the tj maxx down the road (whatever, it’s so good!) and the odd stares i get from my friends when i tell them i have to “stop by tj maxx to get more tea.”

thanks to all of my coffee mugs for looking so damn cute in my  pantry alcove.

thanks for having a dreamy apartment with a freaking pantry alcove.

thanks for three weeks and a plane flight being the only barrier between loving on this nugget.

thanks to the dirty jokes my mother texts me each morning. you are the best way to wake up.

thanks to you, dear reader, for sticking around for my rambles. i adore each and everyone of you. really and truly.

that girl;

{anticipating ben folds with uneven lipstick. a typical friday night.}

the other day i realized some things mid-8:30am bike ride:

i’m on email lists for  ballroom dancing, swing dancing, and “acro-yoga”.

my sock collection (seventeen pairs strong) is larger than any collection of sassy underwear or stack of crappy women’s magazines.

i’m buying rain pants this week.

the words “nah, i can’t go contra dancing, i’ve got swing dancing tonight,” came out of my mouth recently.

the only way i can get stuff done at my internship is if nicki minaj or missy elliot is blasting secretly in my headphones.

i often wonder what happened to rachel leigh cook. come back to me, rachel leigh cook. you gave awkward girls a voice in 90′s rom-coms.

a local library retweeted me this week. we had a twit-versation. it was awesome.

my mom recently digitized all of our home videos. 85% of my videos involving me chasing after my childhood dog to either 1. rock him to sleep, 2. put a t-shirt on him, or 3. pick up his front legs to dance to michael bolton. nothing has changed, and this pleases me greatly.

the words “man, i just have such a crush on his brain,” have also come out of my mouth lately.

i’ve been on a never-ending quest for a “mama’s chair” for my apartment. as in, one of those “you can’t sit in that chair, it’s mama’s chair” sort of chairs. is that just a southern thing, chair-claiming?

in short, i’m slowly becoming the girl i’ve wanted to become.

musings on the blogosphere;

{world’s end. hingham, massachusetts}

it may or may not be evident, but i’ve been having some, well, perturbed feelings about the world of blogging. warning: please note that the point of this is not to call out anyone, but to call attention to a theme i’ve noticed. after reading this post and having a good skype chat with one of my favorite bloggers, i knew i wasn’t alone in noticing this theme.

i sometimes wonder if i’m missing the point of it. and sometimes i wonder if others are missing the point.

let’s start with the former, shall we?

i get frustrated sometimes, er, a lot of  the time lately. blogging, for me, has been the origin of some of my good friendships. it was a place i could share what i’ve written, experienced, and a good place to mark how much things have changed. i’ve been accompanied to concerts in san francisco. stayed with friends in d.c.eaten soy froyo with one of my favorite boston bloggers. eaten vegan brunches with people that make me feel like i’ve known them for ages. and this is all amazing and, if it weren’t for this little spot of mine on the internet, that i treat almost as if it’s my child of sorts, i would not have had the pleasure of any of the above. and i’ve read some amazing blogs; blogs where they let you into your world and don’t expect anything in return (commenters, followers, sponsorships, etc.) and these are the blogs i respect so much and comment on as much as possible, and make efforts to get to know better, because i appreciate the sacrifice they put in their blogs.

and i put a lot of effort into this little space. i spend hours on this space. i pore over different things i can write about, making sure nothing has been written about before, nothing has become too cliche in the 20-something blogging world (and there are lots of those), and nothing comes out that isn’t in my authentic voice. non-fiction is my absolute favorite form. it’s sacrificial, it’s awkward sometimes, and it’s often absurdly personal. and if you take a non-fiction class with me in college you will quickly wonder if i am ever going to run out of bizarre stories to write about (subjects: a man-friend who was “allergic to me”, my eating disorder, and a foray into public indecency, shhhhh).   and i hope that each post on whatever,gatsby can get to that point. maybe not the public indecency part, but i think you get my point.

the crux of my frustration is where the latter point comes in. i read a lot of blogs. a. lot. and have for years. cycling blogs, food blogs, healthy living, fashion, personal, crafting, animal… i’ve read it. and something i’ve noticed is a rampant case of “the samesies”. yes, the samesies. which seems impossible, don’t you think? we’re all these different, delightful little pockets of stories and experiences and memories, so why do we all sound the same?

{boston bloggers event with some of my favorite bloggers. anna. jenna. me. emily}

in some ways i find some of these blogs, like people, to be safe. they tread lightly, hoping to not rock the boat so much. i continue reading, hoping that i might learn something different; i might not have to sift through largely unoriginal material, i might not have to read (or not read) dumps of instagrammed photos without a narrative of any sort, i might not have to see blogs started four months ago with huge sponsorships and millions of followers when they spend multiple posts talking about minutiae (new wrinkles on their faces, what they ate for each meal that weekend, gratuitous pictures of their pugs). i stumble on these blogs because i hope they might have something to teach me, but quality shouldn’t be inferred by clicking on their link after seeing an overdone “ooh, cute!” comment on a favorite blog, but anyways. back at the ranch.

it bums me out sometimes. i don’t agree with it all the time. because i’ve never been a fan of safe things.  and while i know that not everyone wants to get suuuuuuper personal on their blogs, i can’t fathom being able to blog truthfully without exposing when things aren’t always perfect and in a walden filter and always at the most flattering angle and always with a perfect tan after a perfect summer beach day in your new target swimsuit and sunhat and oh-hey-someone-brought-sangria-oh-wow.

because i wonder if these people have been able to foster some great friendships from their blogs, and actual genuine interaction with people. just like in life, what’s the point of talking or living or breathing or writing if nothing that comes out is actually of your own design or intention? and while i can’t control the blogs themselves, i can control two things: whether i follow them and the content i choose to put up here.

{this is arguably my best look. playing a vengeful, dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film}

i hope that whatever, gatsby never gets into the samesies category, which is why i can assure you, dear reader, that never will i ever:

-put up schmoopy couple photos in some sort of field (where are they finding all of these fields?!)
-post self-taken, non-ironic, glamour shots.
-post an “oooh! cute!” comment on your blog.
-posts with only pinterest pictures in them. no words. nothing.
-hold back a bizarro story to the best of my ability.
-gratuitous photos of just me. pouting. with red lipstick on.
-posts with only instagrammed photos (sans words and stories).
-not talk about andrew garfield’s inherent dreaminess (this is a reading check. still here?)

things i will do?
-talk about my love of wearing old spice deodorant (guys, it’s the bomb).
-web cam photos of when i played a vengeful dead ex-wife for my friend’s horror film (see above).
-some hopefully interesting posts on durham + charleston (soon!), life, the universe, and everything. in an untimely manner, because that’s authentic.
-get even more personal with you all in the next few months. because what’s the point of censoring myself on my own internet space?
-put up schmoopy photos of me kissing my dogs. naturally.
-more texts from my mother.
-borderline-unflattering photos of myself jumping.
-more poetry. because my love of it rivals that of men’s deodorant, and writing things that would make most people cringe (i.e) like white girl raps.

think of this as your reader’s bill of rights of sorts.

so with that being said, i’m going to go sit in a field somewhere (in a zooey deschanel-style dress, naturally) and talk about my “perfect” weekends. let’s hope someone captures the moment with a dslr and puts it on tumblr or pinterest.

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.

thin-skinned in the city;

{the top of mission hill. isn’t boston enchanting?}

i was nervous the other night. i could make a list a mile long with things that don’t make me nervous (first dates, petting strange dogs, eating alone at restaurants) and do make me nervous (eating shellfish, other people biking without helmets, meeting someone who says they like the band nickelback). and coming back here to the city made me so intensely nervous; nervous i didn’t develop a thick enough skin for it over the past four weeks of nomadic suitcase travel and city hopping and being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

and then it hit me. somewhere between the red and green line trains at 9pm after a 11 hour bus ride. somewhere between a man offering me his seat after noticing the 60+ lbs of luggage i was carrying. somewhere between three hours of swing dancing at m.i.t. and finding a place to store my stuff (and a way to breathe) because of the kindness of a friend. and smiles at trader joe’s and a new container of hummus (i admit, a lot of my optimism is hummus-derived), i realized i didn’t have to somehow become hardened to love the city. i don’t have to scowl or grunt at people or discomforts or minor issues because it might be the “culture” of a city. i can smile at strangers; they might think i am insane, but i’d rather be that than be an ice queen. i’d rather say,“hihowareyou!” hastily and be met with silence, than not try at all.

it’s a myth i hate, this need to be hardened or cut off in order to be able to survive life in the city. it was the definite crux of my first year of living here. once that idea seeded in my brain i definitely began to stop skipping along cobblestones, singing while doing the dishes, and apple cake-baking.

so it’s time to shake that myth off, if you’ll allow me. this is the year of thin-skinned city living, which is to say i’m not going to feel like i have to be hard-hearted to cities. if anything, i’m going to let more of the city into my life.  if anything it means i need to bake more cakes. and crochet more scarves. and be aware of how nicely my favorite heels click-clack on the cobblestones in beacon hill.
because it sure has a nice tune to it.

that time i cried at the library of congress;



i’m not a very emotional person. no, really. i only cry in animal movies that require animals to perform feats of strength and courage. don’t ever ask me to watch “homeward bound”  with you. and  all fifty-six “land before time” movies caused major trauma for me as a child. so you can imagine my surprise when something besides a brave pterodactyl/ golden retriever brought me to lady-tears the last time i was in d.c.

it was innocent enough. for months i had had friends tell me i wouldn’t be able to see the fabled reading room portion of the library of congress. you’d need a pass. or to be a genius. any non-geniuses who strolled in would be met by a guard who would escort you out and deport you from the country after measuring the size of your brain. okay, so maybe not the last part, but my friends were being major buzz kills, for sure.

so i stumbled into the library of congress innocently enough. i thought i’d buy a tame, little water bottle to note my visit and maybe see a rotunda or two. no hyperventilating between stacks of book would happen. i could be just a normal person for the day, not a girl who has visited 20+ ornate libraries over the course of three years. a simple goal, if you will.

and if you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that what i expect to happen almost never does (in the best ways possible).

i saw a huge swarm of people gather together like a cattle call up a nondescript flight of stairs. i assumed there was free food involved, mostly because i was shocked any large group of people was bum-rushing any part of a library, in general.

i followed them. and then i saw it. the reading room. and i cried. i actually cried. i wondered for a split second whether or not i had watched “air bud” in my dreams the night before and it was just playing out of my subconscious. but no, it was a bunch of hustling scholars and a fiiiiiiiine rotunda (if i do say so myself, homegirl has a lovely rotunda) that brought me to animal-movie-level tears.

to save face, i decided to silently back out of the observation room (it was a silencing, glass box that overlooked the reading room) and went to one of the exhibits that looked tame enough. 100+ books that changed america. it only took a whiff of the room to realize that these books were all first editions (have i lost you yet?) catcher in the rye. a tree grows in brooklyn. goodnight moon. all in their old, musty glory. the tears started again. i just couldn’t handle the fact that i was seeing all these books in exactly the state that the authors had decided they would look. and how they’d sound. and how they would be perceived by the books’ first readers. no movie-edition covers. no abridged versions. it was almost as if i could see all those famous authors’ hand-prints on each copy i passed by.

pure magic, guys. absolutely magical.

i just bought a ticket;


there is something weirdly noble surrounding the idea of traveling; the sacrifice of certain pairs of shoes left at home and the inevitable awkward foot tan that will come with it. the forgoing of certain pleasantries so you can afford another museum in new york city. another styrofoam container of steaming dumplings from a corner shop in the lower east side.

a particular book you’ve been scavenging for months in a little university book store, the clerk shocked that any girl is buying a thick poetry anthology in the summer time. the inevitable baby wipe shower you will administer when you know your b.o. is insulting the man next to you on the bus. the fact that  one of your mom’s first reactions to your arrival home is that she can see how bad your underarm hair has gotten.

when i told people about my trip, i was somewhat shocked at their reactions. reaction number one= “oh, so how are you getting down the east coast? biking?! “ which flattered me, but my white girl calves could definitely not handle 1,000+ miles. even if i did google-map a bike route for it, i’m not that cool. reaction number two= “white girl, you’re crazy.” and reaction number three= “three weeks of traveling?! who are you doing it with? by yourself? girl, you’re too cool” which made me shake my head.

because… i’m not that cool. holding up your debit card to your face so you can see the numbers to type it into the megabus website does not make anyone cooler. fact: my tickets from bos–>nyc–>philly–>d.c.–>durham, nc =  a whopping $43. $43 to get me through five states. i’m not scrooge mcduck over here, dishing out gold from my velvet coin purse. i mean, come on. i just made a duck tales reference.

i read a quote a few years ago that was along the lines of “all those people who traveled the world were just people who bought plane tickets” and it really stuck with me. i don’t think there is any sort of illusion that makes one type of person a traveler, and the other not. i think one group is just used to popsicles for dinner and not opening a bar tab because they know that they’d rather have the money (that might, just might, end up getting stolen by french gypsies. but oh well. it’s a story?) to try fresh ceviche with the cook’s mother’s recipe in spain. or go to a punk concert at an ethiopian restaurant in d.c. or take those trapeze classes off the pier in santa monica.

for me, it’s the ability to string a story after a trip that really makes me see how cool a person can be after travel. not the fact that they decided to take the plunge, but what they did after they did what a lot of people can do if they make sacrifices. jealousy is usually (and thankfully) a foreign concept to me.

but i do find myself a bit envious when i see photos pop up with travels to prague or buenos aires or thailand. because i usually imply coolness to their journeys. but i don’t know how those people live their lives. they might be traveling in “hermetically sealed pope-mobiles” for all i know. they might have napped a lot while on their two week trip to new zealand. they might have said no to things a lot more than they said yes. they just bought a ticket.

you can have just as much fun (if not more) in your own town and have a larger variety of shoes to choose from, and whether or not you are in london has nothing to do with it. or you can travel. but that still only means you bought a ticket. it’s the resulting stories of the old cigar shop clerk in university city with the weird, near-pornographic post cards. and new bus stop friends that gave you a hug and told you “god bless”. and the somewhat-annoying-yet-endearing greenpeace canvassers you talk to for fifteen minutes about brooklyn.

it’s those stories that are noble. not the travel.