Tag Archives: lists

summer reads, just add water;

oyeyey{oh, woops! well, howdy there. as it is always doing, life had to be lived and summertime means laptop-thigh-sweat started happening. you know how that goes. we’ll just let my little absence slide, right? i thank you kindly. as a bartering tool, here’s one of my favorite things to put up on this little space.}

some of you might be wondering why i am in new york this summer. and most of you aren’t which is okay, because there are plenty of other things to wonder about like where to get a doris day tattoo {foot + ankle, all the way}, or what brand of tj’s hummus to get {white bean, guys}, or which corgi on reddit is the cutest {all of them. just all of them}

meanwhile, back at the ranch, i’m here doing the all-too-familiar grind of interning. which is great! i love that grind, especially when the intern in question involves something i didn’t even know people could do as a job.

kind of like when you realize that people train bears for movies. or everything tina fey manages to do. and the olympic sport of curling. but i digress. i’m interning at a fancy-schmance film studio in their literary department. “what does that mean, mackenzie?” you might ask, but probably aren’t. well, friends, that means i read not-published-yet manuscripts, book proposals, all the newspapers ever, and movie websites and comb it for any little nugget of adaptation news or books that could possibly be adapted into movies for aforementioned fancy studio.

usually the combing results in a lot of this. regardless, the combing is mega-fun. my life is essentially the devil wears prada {one of the movies the fancy-schmance studio has distributed *wink*}

except i work with a bunch of dudes and they don’t care that most of my outfits involve bike shorts of some sort. i also haven’t had to rush into oncoming traffic for the never-before-seen copy of harry potter book #8. at least, not yet.
…and also the internship means exposure to all of these books i think ya’ll would love.

where’d you go bernadette by maria semple {i know this is everywhere, but rightly so}
just kids by patti smith
how to be a woman by caitlin moran (life.changing. ya’ll.)
kiss me like a stranger by gene wilder
swamplandia! by karen russell
wild by cheryl strayed {don’t read the first 50 pages in a public place. you will want to cry and call your mom or both at the same time. one of those ugly-snot tears.}

*currently reading:
even cowgirls get the blues by tom robbins {for the mental livelihood of all girls-at-heart}

*to read:
the group by mary mccarthy
what she saw…:a novel by lucinda rosenfeld {can’t find this anywhere. what is this nonsense?} mr. penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore by robin sloan
someday, someday, maybe by lauren graham  {lorelai gilmore ftw}
vampires in the lemon grove by karen russell
my year with eleanor  by noelle hancock
the astronaut wive’s club
by lily koppel
the yonahlossee riding camp for girls by anton disclafani
high fidelity by nick hornby {or rather, finish reading it}

*internship reads {top secret, except not really, but i like to tell myself that}:
-neat YA novel about a 17 year-old girl spy in WWI-era england {loved it! can’t wait for it to publish}
-a new david levithan {!}
-some mega-bad british sci-fi.{like really bad, guys. weird short stories about sexual tension between androids is just awk.}
-romantic memoir about a romance editor, i.e. the dudes in the office didn’t want to read it.
-a new sarah dessen{!!!}

what have you read lately and loved {or hated!} ?

{ta-da! list} that time we walked the brooklyn bridge;


that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was the day we wore our feet down to little feet sausages with poor shoe-choices.{brogues and bright green pointy flats with rainbow sequins can do that to you.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was also the night we realized cash-only ice cream places are for-real.{and they are heartbreakers.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was when i realized that homesickness for boston and florida doesn’t have to make me feel sad, but more so lucky to have two homes i miss that much. {and also puppies. oh, and boloco. let’s be honest}

that time we walked across the bridge was the night we realized $1 vanilla cones at mcdonald’s can be bought with dimes, too. as long as you don’t have shame.{and as long as you have your regular mcdonald’s guys being heavy handed with their swirling.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge was when i realized strapless bras aren’t for fancy balls and proms.{that ish is for everyday. no straps= no problems.}

that time we walked across the brooklyn bridge i realized i am blind as a bat. big glasses forever*~ sally jesse rafael-style, ya’ll.

#classicbrooklyn outfit rounded out by a manfriend shirt. where’s my owl-embroidered tote bag? my straight bangs? feather extensions? it’s like i thought it was halloween or something.

seeing things clearly and un-blobby is underrated.
…especially bridges at night like this beaut.


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


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.

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.



five things;


{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.”

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.

{cycle love} winter cycling;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

biking in the wintertime

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

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

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

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.

a recipe for a good fall;

four hours spent in three of the best seats at harvard stadium. or, the nerdiest seats in the whole dang stadium. you decide for yourself.

three hours on a rainy day in harvard square for all the honk fest festivities. activism and marching bands and my favorite marionette girl?! sign me up. also, one sleepy victim of some total #honkfeststruggs

one package of gnocchi. two pumpkin beers. two best lady friends. all of the girl talk and tales of awkward dates.

three parts adding to what i call the “fall porn of the internet” by taking picture of all the foliage. totally exploiting all of the leaves.

six hours spent hiking up mt. percival in new hampshire and pretending to be smeagol/gollum/ brian from hatchet. one realization that the hiking signs in the white mountain were most likely written by damian from “mean girls.” 

eight hours at the life is good festival. free foodstuffs and good vibes abound. sara bareilles being hilarious and then sad, which just meant my mom and i yelling “SAD SARA. DON’T BE SAD” at her whenever she played a sad song.

no regrets were to be had, besides not eating any more corn fritters and blueberry chile sauce.

one author event for michael chabon, where i tried to suppress my school-girl giggles as he signed my book and shook my hand.

ten minutes spent on my walk home from the bookstore, debating how long i could go without washing my right hand. and interpreting every single thing chab-chabs (my new pet-name for him) as an invitation to be his mistress. or something. i mean. whatever.

two days with a cookie pie, that’s all it took to eat this bad boy. by myself, naturally.

two very happy ladies and two very large veggie burgers from bartley’s. one very cranky stomach, due to the unhappy mixture of fried eggs, cole slaw, and hot sauce.

live and learn, but bartley’s does no wrong.

one  mom getting hit on my a strange italian dude named bruno at south station. extra points if he calls her the next day and sings to her in italian on voicemail.

the result? one very good fall. so far, pretty damn good.

on the bedside table;

i’ve developed a bad friday habit. after relinquishing the throes of required reading from class each week, i walk myself to my local bookstore (way, way too close to my new apartment), perch myself on a piece of carpet in their bargain basement (most likely to be found in: classics, cookbooks, $1 books in plastic milk crates), and gradually pile books on top of each other. you know, just making mental to-read lists, i’ll say to myself. “oh, i won’t buy all of these. no, i’ll just write them down for next time.”

HA! good joke, self. you should do stand-up, self. why don’t you host the emmy’s next year, self. i end up with eight books and a ticket to an author event. every.time.

the result of this weekly habit is  my the book mountain that has taken over my bedside table. the bedside table is a beautiful thing for a reader. you can get an appetizer’s worth of reading done before you pass out. five pages of  historical fiction, twelve of a graphic novel, seventy-five of that guilty pleasure  (extra points if there is a bare-chested valiant knight on the cover, it’s called a “beach read”, or the lead heroine is described as “mousy”.)

this is the resulting mountain. :

spook: science tackles the afterlife by mary roach
the wonder spot by melissa bank (reading this right now and i can’t put it down….at least until i succumb to the warmth of my electric blanket and fall asleep, because i am sixty seven years old. just call me mildred.)
transformations by anne sexton
all the sad young literary men by keith gessen
best american essays 2007 and 2009 edited by david foster wallace and mary oliver, respectively
i like you by sandal stoddard warburg
meadowlands by louise gluck
the bitch in the house: 26 women tell the truth about sex, solitude, work, motherhood, and marriage edited by cathi hanauer
clarissa by samuel richardson
everything beautiful began after by simon van booy
i am charlotte simmons by tom wolfe
the iliad by homer
northanger abbey by jane austen (a special little project i’m doing with this lovely lady will be happening in the near future….after i can get the handle on reading 300 pages of required reading each weekday, that is.)

what does your bedside table look like? any bare-chested fabios that i should know about?