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.

*read:
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!} ?

being one with nature &etc;

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{prospect park}

it may not be obvious, but i’m a big fan of dirt.
i really dig the stuff {hyuk-hyuk. see what i did there?} hiking in new hampshire and massachusetts has been one of my new loves since moving to the northeast, behind the burritos at boloco, petting strangers dogs outside the library, and pretending not to have pet a stranger dog after it ferociously barks at me. it wasn’t me, i swear.

i am also one of those people that doesn’t really enjoy going to the gym to feel worked out. i actually kind of hate it. people are too clean at the gym. and also, that freakish breed of women exists there.

you know the ones; the ones with a sephora-employee-level of “smokey eye” on their eyes? i’m sorry, ya’ll, but you should not be trying to rock major eye definition while working on your calf definition. just my #twocents.

just bask in your dirtiness for once, is what i have to say. that’s the one way i feel successful, is with the amount of dirt in between my toes. post-hike shoe removal? sigh. end-of-beach-day griminess? the best. the resulting shower? i could cry at the thought.  it’s a good benchmark, i think. which is why i’ve been trying to romp in new york city parks all the more often like i’m a wild shetland pony or something.

who knew i’d find myself at my delightful dirtiest in new york? the parks of new york have been the background of all my daily, sweat-filled walks, where i pretend the cars rushing on the roads above me are just ocean waves picking up speed.

in this city full of grown women wearing freshly-pressed gaucho pants and fitted blazers, i’m more the type of person that realizes at 4p.m. that she has a peanut butter stain on the crotch of her $5 pencil skirt. and thats exactly how i like it, and exactly how i think i’ll keep it.

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{fort tryon park + the cloisters}

mother-lover;

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my mother is a well-loved lady. when i was little i was always so startled by how many people would stop her in the grocery store, and told myself if half as many people stopped me in the grocery store to talk to me, i’d be content. ’cause then i’d be technically half as cool as my mom. achievable goals, ya’ll.

she’s a sassy little lady. and the source of 80% of my brother and i’s jokes. recently the forces of my older brother and mother collided with boston. hilarity ensued mostly because we all can drink and my mom has a habit of thinking of the worst {but best} business ventures and ideas for projects ever. some include the following:

1. glow-in-the-dark toilet seats for pregnant women when they have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
2. a party favor business called “do me a favor”
3. the new pope should’ve come out on the balcony and proclaimed, “what up, bitches”.

on our weekend of borderline infamy, my brother said the following to my mother:
1. “it’s like you want to get smacked, mom.”
2.”dont be a dummy.”
3. “if i wrote where the red fern grows, you would have been the gross bad guy that killed one of my dogs.”
{and five minutes later}
4.”…i just realized you killed my dog.”
5.”is {what you’re about to say} actually funny or is it ‘i laughed in swingblade’-funny?”

what this all translates to, is “i love you, mommy.” my mom is just another perfect piece to the crooked, weird puzzle that is somehow depicting the 100 piece set of chubby pugs in a red wheelbarrow that all puzzle companies seem to have, that i call my family. i think she’d be the crafty, chubby pug, giving personal advice to the pope about her new patented glow-in-the-dark toilet seats in the back.

but that’s just me.

{feed the mackenzies} speculoos mini donuts;

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guys, i am a lady of many dreams. most people chuckle at my many varied aspirations. “firewoman?! and you want a great pyrenees dog rescue? and a vermont cabin?! and learn how to sail? and you want to write books?! and learn german? …but wait, firewoman?!”

many people think you can have only one dream in your brain, can only hold one close enough in your heart. and i just think that’s a load of baloney. for as long as i can remember one of those dreams was to have a bakery. it’s gotten more elaborate over the years. it now has a name (“eclair de lune”, and if you steal it  i will fight you, and i am pretty scrappy.)

i also have a growing desktop note on my laptop labeled “kenzie dream bakery” where i have all of the lard-filled creations i plan to fatten up cops and schoolchildren with. i would be known city-wide for my baklava and deep attachment to my crisco container, and my tendency to speak to said crisco container. my dream is not of a bakery with cutesy aprons and banners and polka dots and other things i pin mindlessly on pinterest. i wanna be the old lady who you can’t tell her grays from the flour smattered in her hair.

one of the desserts i dreamt up for my “kenzie dream bakery”, during a super boring 2 hour class on the history of paper, (no joke, this is where all of the donut-flavor combos are born for me),were these little bad boys.

speculoos donuts.

yes, speculoos donuts. yes, that means ground up cookies and butter….inside more sugary flour and more butter. i believe this is what drake has been talking about all along when he first uttered “yolo”. that’s just my bet.

these little guys are pretty simple.{i tend to have whole wheat flour on hand at all times, so like these are basically a superfood. or something.}

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donuts:
1 3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. sugar {seems like on the low side, but the cookie butter really sweetens them a ton.}
1/2-3/4c. speculoos {dutch cookie butter. sold at trader joe’s, dangerously enough} i did this to taste, which is to say i smothered myself in it.
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4- 1 cups milk, use more if the cookie butter dries the batter out.
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled.

glaze:
1 1/4 c. powdered sugar
remaining giblets of your cookie butter jar {if there’s any left} ~1/4 cup
2-3 tbsp milk
1 tsp. vanilla

1. mix all ingredients together into a medium sized bowl {save milk for last, to see how the texture of batter develops. should be thick but you should be able to mix it without too much effort}
2. transfer batter into a ziplock bag to pipe into donut pan.
3. bake for roughly 12-14 minutes, depending on what size/ shape pan you use. less for minis, more for larger donuts obviously.
4. while donuts bake, mix glaze ingredients in separate bowl, set aside for dipping the little morsels into face down once they are properly cooled.

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….then, debate how you will slyly “motorboat” your face on to the glazed donuts incognito.
this will involve yelling that there is a mouse in the kitchen and your roommates should leave the apartment immediately because you, a baseball bat, and the mouse in question have some talking to do.

or simply put, bake things between 12- 2am, which i sometimes tend to do {re: the 3am guinness-chocolate valentine’s day cake of 2013}.

donuts motorboat’d. problem solved.

a montreal itinerary;

{this past valentines day weekend i got myself on a greyhound and traveled all the way to montreal. for other itineraries, click here.}img_4083

get to south station at 7am after a valentine’s date of romantic egg sandwiches eaten under the glow of subway lights and alfred hitchcock, which is to say i was under a pretty hefty bagel coma.

promptly down the largest mcdonald’s coffee and delight in all of the artificial sweetener, fake cream, and ambiance. then, take two melatonins.

but actually don’t, because that’s like a big LOL to your body. if you feel the need to shake your right leg in place and scratch your head, but also fall asleep, you’re doing it right.

allow seven hours of talking to patchouli-scented busmates and buying $9 maple syrup at a sunoco in white river junction, vermont to pass. this is very important. do not question me.

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gallivant the city of montreal solo hell-bent on trying new things like poutine and maybe use some high school french (french club president 08-09, hollaaaaaa), but end up speaking english and ordering a fast food tofu green curry on styrofoam plates almost immediately. it happens.
extra points if you accidentally shout “I’D VOUDRAIS A  VERT TOFU CARI S’IL VOUS PLAIT?” when you get nervous.

that also happens.
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delight in the dreamboatiness of josh ritter and fantasize about him noticing your glance across the room, prompting him to say “you want to pull on my suspenders, don’t you? come on over. don’t be shy.”

what actually happens:
1. you forget to get cash out for coat check and the canadian bouncer is really not jiving with you holding your puffer coat the whole concert, but your card shuts down before you can because you’ve only just crossed the canadian border abruptly and are buying erratic things like ear plugs, sketchy hostel reservations, and $9 bottles of maple syrup. you are essentially a terrorist.
2. also, get a nose bleed in the middle of the concert.
3. get one of those delightful chronic uti’s is also a plus (tmi, but i need you all to really understand the gravitas of this comedic display of sad). go to the bathroom eight times, strategically placing the bathroom door cracked so you can still sing along to “bright smile”.
4. forget to pull your skirt down when you return from the bathroom for the sixth time. don’t notice that everyone can see the butt flap on your sweater tights until you go back for time #7.

even so, fun was had.
home girl doesn’t play around. she plays for keeps.

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spend the next morning prancing around mont royal imagining how on earth montreal hospitals and public parks can be sexy. they’ve taken it to an art form, ya’ll.

eat a burrito-sized crepe filled with nutella and raspberries on a stoop near mcgill because you really don’t feel like tipping anyone.

pretend to your instagram followers that you went into museums, because you truly can’t afford it. but pretty pictures outsides and selfies in gift shops count for something.

realize that your southern accent is coming back the more you go north on this continent. it’s probably been at least 11 hours since you’ve spoken to someone, so you spend two hours laughing about “montre-ya’ll” as a pun. this will help in hiking up mont royal, somehow.
this is how you solo travel, ya’ll.

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if you’re ever in the market for a porn version of “dude, where’s my car?” or some disney channel original movie (i’d be all for a “luck of the irish” version personally), fear not; montreal has already done it and it’s playing right around the corner.

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meet up with lovely blog soul-sister, emily. and delight in all things kitschy and dairy-filled (foreshadowing*~).

suddenly your mind is filled with all kinds of exclamation points: accordion players! french things! kitschy thrift stops with clear coffins with a dead jesus inside of it (really, this happened. it was right below the cash register)!!

bike baskets outside of erotic movie theatres! erotic bookstores! erotic lingerie stores! i was significantly disappointed on not finding an erotic bakery, but you win some you lose some.
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and then the inevitable happened. seeing as emily and were those types of girls: the kinds who ordered virtually ordered all the same things at all the restaurants we went to, we got lactose-sick off of a plateful of omelet du fromage, sadly enough.

we hobbled from shop to shop, through creepy jesus-sarcophagus-filled thrift stores to  shop-dog-filled shops, but realized a nap in our hostel bunk bed was what the doctor ordered.

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seeing as we had been calling out things as “so0oo0o instagrammable” (you know what i’m talking about: lattes, cats, flowers, clouds, anything fluffy/sparkly/alcohol-induced) all around the city, we decided to strike the most instagrammable poses; that of us crouching in pain inside a metro station. we tried to make a statement and i think it worked.

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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.

{feed the mackenzies} orange-glazed cinnamon rolls;

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one month into my gender studies class and i’ve realized the following: i sort of find the “women’s protein” powder i bought a few weeks ago hilariously sexist, and i’m an inherently domestic lady.

which probably stems from the fact that nothing excites me more than “NEW CANDLE FROM TJ MAXX DAY!”, one of my new favorite holidays that i’ve recently been celebrating. it almost rivals my love of my favorite month, february, which i’ve come to call “BAKE EVERYTHING IN A HEART-SHAPED PAN MONTH!” 

things baked in a heart-shaped pan thus far? cornbread x2 , guinness cake, two-layer carrot cake, and….these orange-glazed cinnamon rolls. or what i called them during the four hour baking process, “those bad boys”.

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i zested (and giggled).
i pretended this recipe was entirely my own. ahem. putting two recipes together counts as a new one, right?
i put dough on top of my radiator for it to rise for two hours because my apartment has the tendency to be a drafty siberian tundra.
i cursed the rising dough for the two-hours of rising time. and put on my bear slippers to combat the tundra.
i giggled more when i made a ginger dough man. i think it helps the dough rise or something.

oh yeah, and maybe telling you the recipe would help:
{i adapted from this one for the dough and this one for the filling. i just added orange juice to the  first recipe’s glaze.}

1.mix the dough. let it rise, as you silently weep over how easy it was to use bakers yeast for the first time. around two hours, or so.
2. knead again. weep again. rise again.
3.after you’ve kneaded your ginger dough head and made it talk like sloth from the goonies for 15 minutes, and chased after  your roommates with it, it’s time to fill and bake those aforementioned bad boys.

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slove love chunk. mackenzie love orange-glazed cinnamon rolls. it’s a similar kind of love, hence the heart-shaped pan. 
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last step is obviously to insert your face into one of these bad boys. and bask in the glory under the glow of your newest tj-maxx candle.

and spend your sugar high imagining j-schwartz is praising your baking prowess.

and that totally original cinnamon roll recipe that you totally made up yourself. or something.

{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.