Tag Archives: adventures in beantown

in which I make November Cakes

So I really like books. In case you’re new here.

There are many things I love about books, and many reasons I read as much as I do. I like stories. I like magic. I like imagined things. I like the feeling of being in many places at the same time, simultaneously on the train or in my bedroom but also far away in another state or country or world. I like living many lives through books.

But the real reason I read is because every once in a while, I find a book. A book that does more than just provide a few good hours of being somewhere else. Even more than just a book that makes me hold my breath or turn pages faster. It is the sort of book that takes me over. That makes me feel deeply and profoundly for people and places and things that do not exist. A book that makes me look at the world differently.

When I read books like this, the first thing I do is take several deep breaths and just bask. Then the second thing that usually happens is I feel inspired to create. Great things make me want to create something, and usually that something wants to exist in the same world as whatever book just moved me. I love people who create things based on things they love. This is why I love things like fan art. Fan fiction. Cosplay1.

And, in a new subgenre of fan culture I invented on Friday night, fan cooking.

Recently I have become thoroughly and passionately obsessed with a book called The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. It is a rare and exceptional book2. You should go read it3. It was introduced to me by a colleague at the bookstore, who feels just as passionately about this book. It was her initial enthusiasm that made me pick it up, and I was not disappointed.

Now in the book, the main characters eat a lot of something called November Cakes. Though what exactly November Cakes are is never actually explained, the small details of them appear again and again until you don’t even know what it is but oh my gosh you just need one so bad!

For example:

“Finn finds my left hand, opens my fingers, and puts a November cake in my palm. It oozes honey and butter, rivulets of the creamy frosting joining the honey in the pit of my hand. It begs to be licked.”

See? How could you not want one of those immediately?

Unfortunately you can’t just go to any bakery and say, “One November Cake, please!” This is not the magical island of Thisby. So my bookstore friend and I decided to try and make them ourselves. On Friday night, we tracked down a recipe created by Stiefvater herself and we endeavored to make November cakes worthy of the Scorpio Races.

They turned out…fine.

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Mostly they look like squashed brown cupcakes. Not the sort of food that begs to be licked4.

But we made them. And we ate them. And we had a wonderful time doing so5.

But what struck me most about the evening was that this one little book had inspired the creation of something else. We both feel so passionately about these people and place and food that does not exist that we had to bring this fiction into the realm of our real lives.

And honestly, that’s why I write. With the hope that someday I too will write something that, to quote another book I am obsessed with, “takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words6.”

 

  1. While I don’t really take part in any of these things, I love scouring the internet for them.
  2. OHMYGOSH it is SO GOOD. Not to over hype, but it is SENSATIONAL and will make you FEEL SO MANY THINGS.
  3. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS!? GO FIND AND DEVOUR IT AT ONCE!
  4. Though we certainly did do a lot of licking of frosting off fingers and plates.
  5. We also lit a towel on fire. But that’s a post script to the story, really.
  6. That’s Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Another good book7.
  7. OH MY GOSH why why WHY are you still reading this GO BUY THIS ONE TOO WHILE YOU’RE OUT GETTING SCORPIO RACES. GO GO GO NOW!
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in which December comes and goes

Every day for the past month, I have woken up with the same thought: Today will be the day I update my blog.

But that didn’t happen. December is not a great month for blogging. December’s not a great month for doing anything other than eating yourself sick and pulling your hair out over Christmas gifts.

So here’s a super quick recap of some of the things I did in December that did not involve binge eating or stress shopping:

–The MT and I explored Boston together. And let me tell you, you have not explored Boston until you have explored it with the MT.

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Seriously, friends. It was a time. We committed treason (see above), skated in a cemetery, wrote on museum walls, went to a Speakeasy, ate food in weird places,  wore strange hats, and were transcendental. Among other activities.

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–Flew home and celebrated Christmas with my family in Utah. Which included my mom giving us a knitted sorting hat from Harry Potter. We also got a Darth Vader voice changer mask. Not knitted.

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–Blind taste tested 13 sugar cookies on a quest to find the most delicious sugar cookie in the Salt Lake Valley.

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Seriously, it was a blind taste test. As in we were blind folded.

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The best sugar cookie in Utah, in case you were wondering, can be found at One Smart Cookie.

–Attended a Renaissance-themed murder mystery party dressed as Shakespeare.

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The  MT also came along, dressed as an Irish mercenary/Hamlet/Ronan Lynch.

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–Ate at my favorite Utah restaurant, Cafe Rio, multiple times with 14, fresh from her Norwegian adventure. No picture. Because I don’t believe in taking pictures of your food.

–On that subject, I ate too much good food.

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This is one of many examples. Resisting posting all of them.

–Read some great books out loud with the MT. Then made sweaters based on them, a picture of which was then retweeted by the author of said books. (MY LIFE IS NOT SUPER EXCITING, OKAY!? THESE ARE THE BIG MOMENTS OF MY LIFE!)

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–Saw friends.

–Saw my dog.

–Saw my mom holding a bowl for water so my dog would be more comfortable when she drinks.

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–Was given a Norwegian Christmas troll to protect me. I think he’s actually meant to cause mischief, but he loves me, and so I have trained him to be my guardian.

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His name is Chainsaw.

–Was given some excellent fan art by the MT. Bonus points if you can name either of these characters. 

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And I think that was December. I’m gonna be better about blogging from here on out. I made a pact with myself. I said, “Self, you should be better about blogging.” So that’s gonna happen. I’m even gonna go out of my way to do strange things that will result in good stories for the blog.

It’ll happen. Just wait. You’ll see.

Happy 2014.

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in which I meet my heroes

When I was a kid, I really loved books, and I really hated math.

Neither of those things have changed.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is my deep and abiding adoration of a picture book called Math Curse. It is a brilliant book that I loved as a kid and love more as an adult.1

So a couple weeks ago, when Milton asked me if I wanted to have coffee with her and the author of Math Curse, I said, “Is a Fibonacci Sequence created by adding the two previous numbers?”

The answer was yes. Yes I would like to have coffee with Jon Scieszka2.

On Saturday, Milton and I waited in the Sheraton Starbucks. We were both a little nervous. I had no idea what sort of person Mr. Scieszka would be. Did he, icon of children’s literature, really have the time to meet with us? The phrase “Never meet your heroes” kept running through my head.

But then Jon arrived. He sat down with us, and we talked for about an hour about children’s books, literacy, gender, and writing. This guy  basically changed the face of picture books and here he was, sitting in a Starbucks with two grad students, telling us stories about Mo Willems and Jon Klassen and treating our opinions and ideas as though they were just as valid and intelligent as his.

Milton and I were both impressively articulate and kept our cool, but I think both of our internal monologues looked something like this:

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It was an amazing conversation with an amazing guy, and one of those “aha!” moments that affirmed yet again I am in the right field. I don’t think I’m ever going to change children’s literature the way Jon Scieszka did, but someday I hope I can return this favor and sit down with an aspiring author in a hotel Starbucks and tell them everything they need to hear.

And then I will sign their book with a math equation. The same way Jon did for me.

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  1. Also I’m pretty sure there were a few questions on the SAT that I got right specifically because of Math Curse.
  2. Mr. Scieszka is also the author of The Stinky Cheeseman and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, among other dark and hilarious books. His new book, Battle Bunny, is sort of brilliant. He’s one of the rare children’s authors who writes books kids actually want to read.
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in which I don’t get an answer

Years ago, when I was in high school and my world spun on a different axis, I auditioned for a play. I wanted the lead role really badly. I was having the typical “what do I do with my life?” crisis and I thought that getting cast in this role would somehow confirm that theater was my place in the world I was about to enter. When I got a callback, I thought, I am going to get this part, and this part is going to be my answer to all the big questions I was asking about theater and the future.

But it wasn’t.

I didn’t get the part. And I was pretty sad about that for a while1. Mostly, I was upset because I thought this show was my answer—something that was going to set me on a course towards my destiny—and it wasn’t.

But it turns out, it kind of was. Because I wasn’t cast in that show, I had my first opportunity to direct a play, which set me indirectly on a path towards children’s literature2.

Fast forward a few years. Just before I moved to Boston, I started having Second Thoughts. You may be familiar with Second Thoughts. They are those niggling little worms of doubt that accompany any big change or decision you ever make in life. If you’re me, they also come with anxiety, nausea, and mild panic attacks every thirty or so minutes. How would I ever pay off these student loans? What was the point of an MFA when people get published all the time without one? Isn’t children’s lit just a stupid thing to study? Maybe this was a waste of time.

So the big question became, Should I move to Boston?

Then, a few months before I moved, I was asked to interview for a dream job. This is a sign, I thought. I am going to get this job, and I will not do my MFA and I will not move to Boston and I will not get up to my eyeballs in debt. This is my answer.

But it wasn’t.

Since you read this blog, you probably know I didn’t get that job. I was a sad over this for a while, and this was magnified by my anxiety over the move to Boston and the start of the MFA. But it turns out that job was my answer. My answer was moving to Boston, because now I’m exactly where I should be.

About a year ago, I got my heart broken in an “I will never love again” sort of way. But then I met a young man with whom I had Chemistry with a capital C. He was handsome and charming and we had the same favorite poem and affinity for jazz-age disillusionment. This guy, I thought, is going to counteract all the damage done by the first one. Even if we don’t have some epic love story, he is going to restore my faith in love and romance. This is my answer, I thought.

But it wasn’t.

He ended up being a tool, and I ended up seeing The Great Gatsby alone. But in a way, he was an answer. An answer to the question of, “Do I need someone to be happy with who I am3?”

This week, I thought I was going to get an answer.

But, as you might have guessed, I didn’t.

And it’s hard, in the wake of disappointment, to look at things not working out as maybe being an answer. I can tell myself these stories and still not recognize the direct correlation to my current situation.

But while right now I am lamenting the fact that I did not get my answer, a small part of me understands that in a way, I did.

  1. I was definitely pretty scowly as I sat in the audience and watched the performance.
  2. Via directing plays for people, then directing plays for slightly smaller people, and then discovering that those small people are usually the best people.
  3. Answer: No.
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in which I feast at Redwall Abbey

Grad students are, by nature, anti-social creatures.

They can most typically be spotted in their natural habitat, the library or a quiet corner of the apartment. They are usually drinking tea, wearing a large cardigan or two, and sporting thick-rimmed glasses. You will know you are approaching the den of a grad student by the stacks of books that mark the way and the tell-tale sound of furious typing. Be careful not to startle them. They startle easy.

However, every once in a while the wild graduate student will venture out into the wide world to engage in social activities, usually with others of their kind. And usually, after engaging in said social activity, they utter the phrase, “We should do this more often.”

They don’t, but it’s worth a try.

At the beginning of the term, Milton and I made a pact to engage in more social activities for the reason above—we always have fun once we get out and do it. It’s the getting and doing that can be a challenge. So in order to fulfill that pact, this past weekend, Milton hosted a dinner party.

The theme: Redwall.

You may remember Redwall from your childhood, or the childhood of your children depending on how old you are. It was Brian Jaques’s fantasy series starring a colorful cast of mice, rats, otters, weasels and other assorted varmints wielding swords and building fortresses and, most notably, eating fantastically delicious feast. Seriously, the descriptions of food are 90% of the reason you read the Redwall books. A sample:

“Tender freshwater shrimp garnished with cream and rose leaves, devilled barley pearls in acorn puree, apple and carrot chews, marinated cabbage stalks steeped in creamed white turnip with nutmeg.”

While I don’t like rose leaves, acorns, or barley pearls, reading that made my mouth water.

So this weekend, we gathered at Milton’s apartment and made a feast to rival that of Redwall Abbey.

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Main course. Complete with the very Redwallian iPad in the background.

French onion soup! Cinnamon tea scones1! Sweet potatoes and risotto! Turnip and cabbage mash! Pumpkin bread and meadow cream! And to cap it all, spiced cider and mulled wine.

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Dessert! Most important part of any meal.

I ate…so much food. So much delicious food. I’m not sure how these mice aren’t all grossly obese after eating like that every day. It’s a marvel they don’t have to be rolled onto the battlefields.

 

  1. This was my contribution. I spent at least two hours that morning wrangling them into shape because they did not work as well as The Pioneer Woman promised they would. Mine also did not turn out half as pretty as hers. But since the primary ingredients were butter, sugar, and cream, they tasted just fine.
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in which I dress up in strange costumes

So one of the dorkier things about me is how much I love dressing up in weird and awesome costumes. This week gave me a lot of opportunities to do so.

First of all, we had a Halloween Carnival at work, which meant I spent most of the day hanging out in Harvard Square dressed like this1:

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Then, as previously discussed, I spent most of Thursday and some of Friday dressed as the Hero of Canton, because Halloween:

Image And last night, Milton2 and I dressed like this:

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Why? We attended the Inter-Dimensional Vaudevillians’ Cosmic Sideshow.

What is the Inter-Dimensional Vaudevillians’ Cosmic Sideshow, you may ask? Honestly, I’m not totally sure. It was one of the weirder nights of my life. It included everything from extreme pumpkin carving to a magician to screamo rock bands to a burlesque show3. People were there dressed as Dia de los Muertos, clowns, dark circus vaudevillians, steampunks, and then there were a few people randomly wearing really fuzzy neon mittens. It was a strange crowd.

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Unfortunately all my pictures suck because it was very poorly lit.

Milton and I opted for the steampunk vibe, because I am steampunk obsessed at the moment and Milton is a good sport. Pretty impressive for costumes for being pulled together exclusively out of things from our closets4. We also garnered the attention of more steampunk gentlemen than I’ve ever had vying for my attention at one time. I got a lot of cards. I wish I was this good at real networking events.

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You can’t tell what’s going on in this picture so let me explain: an intense metal band is playing on a stage filled with pumpkins while a girl hulla hoops with a glow in the dark hoop. Like I said, a weird night.

All in all, it was a weird fun night at the Worcester Palladium. And really, I’ll take any excuse to dress up in weird clothes and have a bizarre cultural experience.

  1. I should point out my hands are not painted green because my job at said carnival was face painting, and I did not want to get green smudges on the children. Though that probably would have been an improvement over what I actually painted on their faces. Spoiler alert: I am not as great at face painting as I thought I’d be.
  2. You remember Milton of the New York trip?
  3. In the middle of which I got an email from my bishop. Irony!
  4. Except for Milton’s tiny top hat. That was graciously lent by a friend much cooler than us.
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in which I celebrate Halloween

Hello, I know I have been MIA for the last month, and I will do my best to be back to regular blogging soon but no promises. This thesis is sucking all my writing energy!

But I just wanted to say Happy Halloween to everyone from the crew of the Serenity.

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This is the most proud I’ve ever been of a Halloween costume. I made that tshirt. MADE IT. Not as in wove and stitched it. As in bought the grey shirt from Urban Outfitters and then put that lettering on it. STILL IMPRESSIVE!

If you do not know who I am supposed to be, leave immediately and go watch the 14 glorious episodes of Joss Whedon’s scifi masterpiece, “Firefly.”

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in which a portrait is painted

Right now there is a great thing going on in Boston called We Art Boston. It is a coming together of a bunch of amazing picture book illustrators to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.

I am all in favor of helping hospitals and children, but mostly I’m in this because OMG PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATORS!!!!!

The latest in a series of events happened yesterday at Porter Square Books. The general public of Boston was invited to bring their children and their children’s favorite stuffed animals to the bookstore, where those stuffed animals could be sketched as a memento of childhood to be treasured for years to come.

I have no children, but I am in possession of a once-white-now-dingy-brown stuffed Snoopy, affectionately named Noopy, that I purchased at the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California many years ago1. Noopy has gone all over the world with me. I love him very much, and have cried many tears and spilled much Diet Coke into his fur2. He’s a little worse for wear after so many years of love and adventuring, but more than worthy of a portrait commemorating our time together. So yesterday, I took him on the train with me to Porter Square Books, and had his portrait sketched by Barbara McClintok, author of Adele and Simon, among other adorable picture books.

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 photo courtesy of Porter Square Books

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Isn’t he a beautiful boy? And the portrait itself is very Ernest Shepard, don’t you think?

It was one of the most fun things ever, and fun to see all the kids coming out with their beloved animals3. Noopy is very pleased with his portrait4, and so I am. It shall be prominently displayed in my home5.

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  1. Though it was after the age it was probably appropriate for me to still love stuffed animals that much.
  2. I was also once advised by the MT not to use him as a means for transporting drugs when I went to college. She clearly had a high moral opinion of me.
  3. And fun elbowing them out of the way for my turn.
  4. It made him feel like a Victorian gentleman to be sketched so.
  5. It should be noted I have no pictures of any members of my family or friends displayed in my apartment. But a portrait of my stuffed dog—you bet.
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in which I protest taxation without representation

Last Saturday, a group of Bostonians1 dressed as Mowhawk Indians snuck aboard the British ship The Eleanor and dumped over a hundred crates of tea into Boston Harbor in protest of unjust taxes without representation.

Here’s photographic evidence of the event:

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Okay so what actually happened is that the Shark and I went to the Boston Tea Party Museum and got to reenact the Boston Tea Party. Including the part where you throw crates of tea into the harbor while causing a ruckus. We were really good at that part. We were also really good at the part where we were asked to vocally show our support to Samuel Adams’s speech about the tyrannical British rule. There was much foot stomping and pew banging and shouting of “Huzzah!” and “Fie!” in turn.

I haven’t done a lot of touristy things here in Boston. I keep waiting for someone to come visit me so I have an excuse to do them. But the Tea Party Museum was the Shark’s birthday gift to me, since we have both been insanely curious what was going on every time we walked by the harbor and saw tourists throwing tea into the water.

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The Boston Tea Party Museum is awesome. Mostly because it is not the sort of museum where you walk around quiet galleries and read long signs and look at artifacts you have no context for looking at. It is the sort where you get to attend a Sons of Liberty meeting, put feathers in your hair, board a replica of the ships that were in the harbor, and fling crates of tea overboard2. It’s living history, which is the best kind of history. If you find yourself in Boston anytime between now and the end of the world, you should go to the Tea Party Museum and take part in a historic event. It is well-worth the treason charges and possible hanging.

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Saturday was such a good day, for a lot of reasons. Before we went to the museum, the Shark and I got lunch on the waterfront. While walking around with our sandwiches, we stumbled upon one of the many colorfully painted pianos located around Boston3. We ended up sitting by the water and listening to this handsome young man play the most beautiful song while people gathered around him and little kids danced. And the sky was blue, and the sun was on the water, and it was that perfect fall sort of warm, and my sandwich was delicious, and I was just completely overcome with how wonderful the world was in that moment.

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This month has beaten me down a little bit. I’ve fallen hard-core in love with Boston, which has been great, but there’s been a lot of disappointment, and a lot of things didn’t go as expected. It’s been a little discouraging. But this moment, this beautiful moment and the whole lovely, mad day that followed, was a peculiar sort of answer to a prayer. The sort of moment that makes you wonder how you could be sad in a world so bright and lovely.

 

  1. Mostly tourists and non-natives.
  2. And at the end you get to sample the types of tea that were thrown overboard by the Sons of Liberty. All I will say is it was good that I was not a Colonial tea drinker. Those things would clear your sinuses with a sip, they were strong!
  3. This is exactly what it sounds like. Pianos are released into the wild around the city and anyone can play them.
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in which I accomplish 101 things in 1001 days

Right  now, I am sitting out on my porch in the sunshine, listening to She & Him’s new CD, drinking lemonade in my pajamas.

Look at me. With all this free time. Blogging without guilt. It is a beautiful thing.

In all the excitement of the last month (finals, bombings, and what have you) I forgot to talk about something mildly cool in my life. So backtrack with me for a moment.

A little under three years ago, I started a project called 101 in 1001. This was where I sat down and made a list of 101 things I wanted to do in the next 1001 days. Some of them were silly. Some of them were serious. Some of them were travel related, since I had just found out I was about to jet set off to Europe for a year. Lots of them were theater related. Some of them were weird and random. But there they were, 101 things I wanted to do.

My 1001 days ended on April 14 of this year. I did not accomplish everything on my list (partially because some of the things were really stupid and others were impossible, for financial reasons or other), but I’m proud of what I did accomplish. It’s a weird list though. It makes me aware of just how much I’ve changed since I wrote it and how different my priorities are. And it’s weird to look back and think about where and who I was 1001 days ago, before I had done any of these things, and how that version of me doesn’t exist anymore.

But I like me better now. A lot of these things made me much more awesome than I was before.

So here is my list! The things in bold are the things I did accomplish. I took off a few that were rather personal, so as not to make anyone feel uncomfortable, so if you count them, you’ll realize there’s not 101. I also added commentary and photos to a few. Because that’s more fun.

Mackenzi Lee’s 101 in 1001

Bake a pie
Read Gone with the Wind
Direct a play

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this play! Coriolanus! Aw Coriolanus….

Visit the Bronte home
Read the complete works of Shakespeare
Pay my own rent
Go to Paris

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tiny, but it’s me!

Read the Book of Mormon
Visit three new statesMassachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut
Watch an Academy Award-winning film
Swim in the Mediterranean – I waded. I’m not really a swimmer. 
Apply to grad school – I am shocked I had enough foresight to put this on my list 1001 days ago. Back when I had no direction.
Volunteer for a cause I believe in
Vote
Plant a gardenwhen I worked at This is the Place Heritage Park, which feels like lifetimes ago rather than just 1001 days ago, I planted a vegetable garden, which yielded watermelon, gourds, and beets. I had to leave for England before most stuff was ripe, but I harvested and ate the watermelon anyways. It was not ready. But it still tasted like victory, because I had grown it and it was not dead.
Write a novel
Buy red high heels (and wear them somewhere)
Go to Italy

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Not sure why Italy got preferential treatment on this list.

Fly a kite on the beach
Get a new and different hair cut
Go on a date with a man with facial hair you may remember this story
Go to a Kate Nash concert
Go to a She & Him concert
Go to a castle

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one of many. But Conwy was my favorite!

Drive on a motorcycle/scooter – while I did not technically do the driving, a friend of mine gave me a lift through Logan a few days before I graduated      
See “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” live ah, three years ago Mackenzi. Little do you know that one day, you will not only see Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me live, but you will be part of creating it.

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can you spot my name? Of course you can, because it’s fifteen letters longer than everyone else’s.

Buy a reliable messenger bag Duluth Packs. Seriously.
Make a friend at a coffee shop I’m not totally sure why this ended up on the list. Probably because I was kind of in my hippie phase, and I thought hanging out at coffee shops was hip. Either way, my antisocialness won on this one. 
Ride in a hot air balloon – I obviously had no sense of how much this cost before I added it to the list
Do service outside of the US – When I wrote this (again in my hippie phase) I was envisioning Peace Corps or something. But instead, I did service while I was living in England. I’m counting that. 
Drink a pina colada  virgin pina colada. I didn’t know what alcohol was when I made this list.

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Go backpacking
Read a book in a day – yeah, I’ve only done this ninety-five times since starting grad school
Enter a poetry slam – alas, I am shy and my poetry is terrible
Go to a temple outside of the US
Learn 3 guitar songs – lol nope. 
Attend a ballet
See an iconic movie – Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I had never seen it until last year. It’s now one of my favorites.
Go to a pub
Go to a midnight showing of a movie
Go on a road trip – Scotland! Lake District! Wales! Woo!
Buy a whole outfit in one shot
Take a great photo and frame it – Special thanks to 14 on this one.
Go boating  – I’m gonna go ahead and count kayaking down the Chicago River and cruising down the Rhine
Go to a classy party
Enter a photo contest – luckily I did not write “win a photo contest”
Buy a crèche
Sew a dress
Spend a day at the Louvre

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this photo could technically also be proof of the “new and different haircut” item on the list. Because have you seen my hair now?

Go on a cruise
Be in a Shakespeare play
Learn to change a tire
Write a song – I was going to do this after I learned the guitar. 
Kiss in the rain
Be in a musical – Jane Eyre woo!

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that’s me. Lighting Rochester’s house on fire. As one does.

Climb a tree
Visit Stratford Upon Avon
See a Royal Shakespeare Company show

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or four

Pay for someone else at the drive through
Buy a vintage bike – this was nixed when I realized how bad I am at biking.
Take a dance class
Draw a chalk mural

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though I did not draw the Tree of Life in the corner. I’m not that religious.

Sleep outside (without a tent)
Build a snowman
Meet a celebrity

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Authors count. This guy especially counts.

Go to a fashion show
Have a garden party
Start a blog
Go to an amusement park
Write to someone I admire/who influenced me
Learn to do the splits – ha. right. 
Do something that scares me – every time I sit down to write, I accomplish this
Read a Sherlock Holmes book – and to think I put this even before I was obsessed with Sherlock
Graduate from college

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I realize this proves nothing. But I did graduate.

Learn how to properly apply eyeliner – this was long overdue three years ago
Go a month without facebook
Visit the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Garden
Overcome my diet coke addiction – I have actually done this! In the last month! And I am REALLY proud of myself.
Make a film – this film!
Get a short story published
Cook a whole dinner by myself
See a Broadway play

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among a few others.

Get a job
Go to a national park I have never visited before
Go to a film festival
Go horseback riding
Live abroad
Choose a career path
Visit ten countries – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Greece…did I miss any?
Sing karaoke
 Ride a train
Read 100 books – ha. Yes. I did this.  
Lose 15 pounds
Move out

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