Monday, July 31, 2006


I don't know if anyone's reading this right now, but I'm watching the osprey cam and I think you should, too. The sun is setting and the birds are nestled close to each other and it's just so super neat to see. It's really, really peaceful.

Reading Between the Lines

So I was at a shower this weekend for my brother's fiancee and after the shower when we were back at the (unbelievably gorgeous set up on a hill with a breathtaking view of the Atlantic, which is right across the street) home where she grew up and she said: "Bridesmaid Y wanted to know if you were going to be wearing your glasses at the wedding."

So I asked the fiancee if she wanted me to not wear my glasses at the wedding. She said "Oh, no, no, no. I like your glasses."


So the next day I am at book club and I ask a fellow book club attendee, H, who is similar to the fiancee of the brother in that she takes no shit from anyone, if what the fiancee meant when she said "Bridesmaid Y wanted to know if you were going to be wearing your glasses at the wedding." was "Don't wear your glasses at the wedding."

H immediately said "Yes."

So it looks like I shall not be wearing my glasses at the wedding. I should note that I am in the wedding and also that whenever I see a bride wearing her glasses in her wedding picture, I think, oh, lordy, she looks dumb.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Tonight Dr. Moo arrives at the McPolack homestead, to leave off her pets as she sets out on a 10-day vacation to Hawaii. This will bring the total number of troublemakers for McMumsy to deal with to, well, let's do the math:

One fat, needy corgi plus
One angry orange kitty plus
One old Polack who likes to run around without his shirt on plus
One even older Polack who likes to sit around without her pants on plus
A former barn cat with half a tail plus
A current barn cat who drools like mad when she's happy plus
One not fat but definitely needy howling hound dog equals...

Ah, I don't know what it equals, but I feel kind of bad for my mother.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


This week the happy hippy lady at the farmer's market was having a 2 for 1 deal so I got a head of Simpson's black seed and one of speckled lettuce (which dates back to 1660!) for just two American dollars. Such a bargain. Then I visited the married man-slut farmer who flirts with everyone and bought a tomato and some beans. He wanted to know what the good word was but I was too slow on the uptake to give him anything, although after awhile I came out with a half-hearted pierogi after he said something to me in Russian that he said meant "beets."

Then when I got home I decided to treat the Daphs to some kitty greens, also known as the lawn. When I walked in with a handful of it she literally howled at me and kept howling until I fed it to her in clumps, which she ate sideways making munchmunchmunchpurrrrrrrmunchmunchmunchpurrrrrrrrrr sounds. Now she's napping on her ottoman. I suspect she'll throw up later.

I'm glad to say that greens don't have that affect on me, however, and that I shall be eating a large salad with greens in it for dinner. (Oh and also a grinder with pepper turkey, brown sugar ham, provolone and lorraine swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, and more lettuce. and pita chips.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

"In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns"

So I'm headed to work this morning in Downtown Crossing, passing by the Filenes that is no more, and its bells are ringing. These are some churchy-sounding bells and you would think they would therefore play churchy-sounding music instead of what they were playing this morning, which was...the theme from The Godfather.

It was oddly appropriate, what with the colorful produce and the mix of people from everywhere and the cobblestones and the noise but you know what, bell ringing programmer person? I think you're encouraging bad, mafioso-like behavior by playing that dang song, and I for one do not want to get shot.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I come from a family of nappers. Polackpappy enjoys a daily snooze on his big green leather sofa; McMumsy likes to close her bedroom door for an hour or so in the afternoon; even Dr. Moo on visits home can be found face down and snoring during the day.

Now this tendency towards nappage is something I wrestle with. I took a nap today, despite the fact that it meant that I definitely won't get to side two of the tape I am transcribing, because I was so pooped from going to bed late and then getting up early to see cuarentayuno off that I was typing the wrong words and practically drooling on the keyboard. I took a little more than an hour and I feel fine. The kitty even came in to join me.

But there are other days when a nap is like a chocolate bar for me. Tantalizing but unnecessary. These are the days when I have a lot to do and I'm not really that tired but a nice 20 to 45 minute stretch just sounds delicious. As I work (always!) towards becoming a more productive and self-sufficient adult, I have to fight my need to stick my hands in the sleepy jar.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006


So cuarentayuno is sitting on my living room floor wrapping up his four colognes (Tommy, Joop!, a Calvin Klein one and one more I don't remember) in the protective plastic he brought the wonderful drawing he drew (and one first prize for) and framed himself in an antique frame for me as a parting gift.

Parting because I'm waking him up at 6 in the morning so he can go back to Mexico. He was let go recently from the place I met him at, a place I was let go from three and a half years ago, and had ten days to pack up seven years worth of stuff and leave.

He has to stay there for a year because of various and sundry immigration laws and because the laws in this country (as far as I am concerned) suck.

Anyhoo. He's taking it a lot better than I am -- looking at it as a way to reevaluate his life, take a break, maybe go back to school, work on his art. I'm happy he feels good, happy he has something to go to in Mexico, but he is a dear, dear friend and a wonderful person and I want him here with me.

We've had a good sendoff though. OSB brought her baby and we all had lunch at the hipster cafe in the square near my house. Then Gil and I went downtown to get him some clothes and shoes (and I got a swell cheap nice dress at Hos 'n Mos) then L came over and we took Gil out for Greek food and I just finished baking him cookies to have for breakfast and take with him on the plane.

c, just so you know: you are a spectacular human being. I love, love, love you and I am so glad to know you and God willing I am coming to Mexico in January.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pass it On

I was thinking, while eating a health magazine-approved snack of a piece of whole grain toast with all natural unsalted peanut butter and honey, that there were three important life lessons I will make sure to pass down to my future children.

Do not, under any circumstances, accept the offer of:

1. A hurts doughnut for breakfast
2. A knuckle sandwich for lunch
3. Crackers and fromunda cheese for dinner.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The World at your Feet

Last Saturday, I took the afternoon off and headed down to this big unairconditioned gymnasium at MIT called the Rockwell Cage. L was hanging out there while one of her new dating conquests judged a badminton tournament.

Now you'd think MIT, what with all its wads-o-cash, would have a pretty decent facility, and their pool, attached to the RC, is beautiful. And the RC is beautiful as well. But it is not air conditioned and there was not a fan in site, not on the ceiling, not on the floor, not in the building's many, many windows. It was hot in there. I sweated sitting still. But that's not what this story is about. This story is about the whole wide world, under one roof, playing a game I thought was normally meant for backyard bbqs.

Apparently badminton is a popular sport in all sorts of other countries: There were folks there from England, Pakistan, India, the Ukraine, China. And they were playing hard -- whipping the shuttlecock (which they just call a shuttle) back and forth, running, jumping. Well, except for the players who were really good. You could tell when a team wasn't well-matched because a pair on one side would be racing back and forth, moving up a down and sweating, while the pair on the other side essentially stood there yawning and reaching an arm out to whack the shuttlecock back to the crazies on the other side.

It was great! All that hot, sweaty humanity from all over the world, on a steamy city summer afternoon. I really loved Boston that day. I even saw a terrorist playing badminton! Well, sort of. One of the Brits was telling me what country everyone playing was from when he came to a Middle Eastern man with a thick beard. "Nobody likes him," he told me. Apparently this guy is a misogynist and a jerk and nobody understands why he plays. So they call him a terrorist. Honestly, I felt for him (although obviously not enough to not be snarky about him on my blog), just as I feel for any bearded Middle-Eastern man, especially ones I see carrying backpacks on the train. You can't change how you look -- OK, I suppose you could shave your beard, but I don't think that's fair -- and these days that look is very unpopular.

Ah, me. Anyhoo, I met L's Brit; he was super-cute. Then she and I grabbed an iced coffee and walked on the Esplanade and she told me that yellow fever is when a white person likes a Chinese person and I told her that my brother's fiancee therefore must be suffering from kielbasa fever because she's marrying a Polack.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Cat Town

So this is pretty g-d funny. I laughed out loud.

Thank you, Jesus!

I guess it's really thank you McPolack. I got called to serve for the FIFTH time on a jury (although the first time in this state) and was due to go in tomorrow on standby. I SO had my fingers crossed that I wouldn't be called in because I have an article due on Thursday, but, g-damnit, of course I was told to report in. Thankfully though you get one postponement, which they gave to me last-minute when I called and pled my case so now I am serving on August 1.


I also googled the chickenfucker just for the heck of it and discovered first of all some weird posting on a cheaters Web site about what a boob he is and a new photo of him at his place of business. I think he's gotten fat, ha-HA!

So it is good news all around.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Personal Assistant

I spent the bulk of the hottest day this year indoors in my living room/home office with the a/c on and with my kitty by my side. Except of course when I was trying to interview a prominent doctor and researcher over the telephone, at which point she chose to jump in my lap and stick her ass in my face, then lay on my notes, and then when I got up to get away from her, follow me into the next room and jump on me again. Do you know how hard it is to be serious and professional when you have a face full of cat ass?

Well, it's tough.

Of course once I hung up the phone, Daphs left.

But I still love her.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It Sucks to Be Me

So as I was checking my email at the transcription office today to see if I had any more responses to the stem cell research piece I am working on I discovered that the computer book I was five chapters into copyediting has been taken away from me and given to someone who has more technical editing experience.

In all honesty, this is becoming comical. I have now lost more jobs than I can count. I'm talking years of job losses and lately it's just been coming faster and faster.

There's this song in the musical Avenue Q called It Sucks to Be Me (you can find lyrics for it here but you have to do a lot of scrolling) where various and sundry folks around my age sing about how much their life sucks but in the end Gary Coleman ("from TV's Diff'rent Strokes/I made a lotta money/that got stolen by my folks!") wins by having the life that sucks the most.

I feel like Gary Coleman.

I really feel like it's time to throw in the towel in terms of doing any sort of professional work. I want to move to northern NH, go to work at the J. Crew outlet up there, write, hike, and just see what that feels like, because this just isn't working.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Chardonnay of Errors

So I wrote this last week and didn't post it and now I know why...because I have no time to write anything today. Enjoy!

What happens when an alcoholic tries to deal with a recipe that calls for dry white wine? Well, I'll tell you: She heads out to the grocery store after digging around for her driver's license. On her way to the store she realizes the local farmer's market is opened so she stops to buy some tomatoes and zucchini from a hot farmer and decides, to heck with the grocery store, I'm going to the liquor store.

Said alcoholic arrives at the liquor store and realizes that as it will be, in less than one month, a full decade since she last took a drink, and she was no connoisseur then, that she has no idea what dry white wine even is. So she asks the clerk, explaining that it is for cooking and she can't even taste it and she's knows it's weird, hahaha, then realizes she's babbling and goes and buys a bottle on sale for 8.99 because she remembers skinny Giada from FoodTV says you should cook with good wine and 8.99 seems good enough.

She gets the wine home and realizes the only bottle opener she has is this wire thingy with two flat pieces that you shove between the sides of the cork and the glass bottle. After much wrestling, the cork plops into the wine bottle itself.

Hmm, not good, thinks the alcoholic. She had been hoping to offer some wine to go with the dinner she is making for L on Friday night but thinks it's probably not right for drinking. It is, however, she determines, thrifty peasant girl that she is, just fine for cooking, and so she dumps it into the plastic Rubbermaid container she uses for her water at the gym, does her best to fish out the pieces of cork, and sticks it in the fridge, where it sits on the top shelf between a bottle of soymilk and a carton of lemonade, trying desperately not to look like a urine sample from someone who drank eight Big Gulps in a row but, alas, failing miserably.

You Learn Something New Every Day

So an awareness of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has come into my life recently and I thought I would share it, because I didn't realize that such a place existed, nor that its funding was second only to that of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's. That HH, as we all know, was one crazy cracker, and yet the fact that he was a nutball has not stopped his money from being put to some pretty good postmortem use. Just yesterday I discovered in Institute's involvement in stem cell research (as I am doing a bit of research on stem cell research myself) and then last night, still in the mood for science, I found the Institute had funded this PBS program on string theory.

The world is a very curious place, it is, it is.

Dreamy II

Had another interesting dream last night, and a long one. I was in some unnamed place in New England; earlier I had been exploring, with a friend a shirtless man, a road that went around a big beautiful lake. We were about to go out again when it started to get stormy; off in the distance from the back porch we could see lightning, yellow lightning, which seemed to be hitting the same spot over and over again. Then this horse showed up and someone else in my dream mentioned that he had gotten some sort of bad puncture wound and had run away becausehe didn't trust his owners. I called the horse over and he started coming towards me. I should note at this point that horses really freak me out. They're just big. But I felt for this horse.

So the horse starts coming towards me. My dad is in my dream; he is warning me to be careful, and I back away a little, turn around, even, but before I knew it, the horse was coming onto the porch and I was comforting him, and telling him everything was going to be OK.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hail Mary

It's been a big day in New England. First a poor lovely-seeming hard-working immigrant gets squished thanks to, I'm sure, some asshole businessperson cutting corners, and then it rains and hails and thunders and lightnings like mofo crazy in one of my old stomping grounds, Exeter, NH. There's a real swell, quality video of the destruction here. I love New Hampshire journalism.

The weather didn't turn too ugly in Somerville but the big storms were almost right next door, in Arlington and Lexington, and all four of the networks were covering it, and freaking me out. A fairly good-sized storm came through, with some impressive cracks of thunder and vivid lightning, but that was it, and that was enough for me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Penises on Parade

So apparently there's been a rash-o-flashin's at one of my favorite NH parks, Odiorne Point. I spent many a happy a hour there in high school and college with my good friends Hazel and Katy and there is a rock there with a teeny tree growing out of it that I've always loved.

I've also found amongst the rocks a couple of naked men of my own. Once, when Katy and I were walking the shoreline, a naked man crawled out from underneath a pile of rocks and apologized for his state of undress but he made no attempt to hide his bits and pieces.

And once Hazel and I (or was it Katy again?) were scouting out a place for a picnic lunch when we saw a guy who looked from afar to be wearing the weirdest, tiniest dark little bathing suit. We were giggling to ourselves about it but then we got closer and say, of course, lots of hair and a dingly-dangler Ee-yuck. This gentlemen also stood to offer his apology and did not bother to cover anything up.

All I'm saying is, if you're going to Odiorne Point, you'd best be on dick patrol.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


On my way back from the gym this morning (I am working this weekend but as it is the weekend I'm not getting started until 11 a.m.) I discovered, just two houses down from mine, two really great, really sturdy solid wood chairs painted to look like cows. A gift from the sidewalk furniture gods that fits perfectly with the McPolack early-to-mid whack-a-doo style.

And not only do they look fabulous, they apparently smell fabulous, too, as my little kitty, Miss Daphne-Moon, has been crawling all over one of them and doing that weird sniffy thing where she half-opens her mouth.

My apartment is made up of many such deals. Last month, I found a mint-condition solid wood folding bookcase on the street. I folded it up and took it home. My dining room table, coffee table, and microwave table with stools came with the apartment. Friends donated a second bookcase, a night table, and a chair to go with the desk I got for 40 dollars. I got a futon for free from a couple I met at a party. On top of my TV is the top part of a self-leveling chicken waterer from the 1930's that was dug up from OSB's backyard during a construction job.

I am all about the free.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I was just thinking...

...after getting off the phone with one friend, who called to tell me the news that another friend had been laid off and would have to leave the country, news I found out last week but was asked not to share with her (and didn't) about the idea of information as currency. Over the years, I've learned a lot of things that, unlike the story I shared above, I can never, ever tell. At first I thought it was like money in your mattress, thousands of dollars, that you can never spend. But I guess it's really more that you become more valuable as a person because of the higher level at which you can be trusted.

I don't know. I am a terrible gossip, that is for sure. But when it comes right down to it, I am (mostly) the sort of person you can trust with just about anything.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

So a Mc, a McPolack, a hound dog, a Welsh corgi, and a bitchy orange cat walk into a studio apartment...

...tomorrow is Dr. Moo's 28th birthday and as she is alone in Vermont save her pets McMumsy is traveling, with Chauncey, the corgi/fat stick-o-butter, to take her to dinner and spend the night in her wee apartment, driving her to a garage to get her car fixed the next morning.

It will be my turn to drive the Moo somewhere in August, when we go to Canada for her Lasix surgery. (This is nothing like going to Mexico for a liver, I promise.) I asked her if we were going to have a Scent of a Woman sort of trip, one in which Dr. Moo, blind as a bat, drives her Subaru willy-nilly through the streets of Montreal while I hang onto the OhJesus handle and shout directions in both English and French.

She said no, but that I will have to entertain her while she sits in the dark with pads on her eyes for four hours. After that, though, I can leave to explore Montreal while she stays in the hotel room and does the Stevie Wonder thing.

Anyhoo. Happy birthday, little sis! You're unique and wonderful and I love you very, very much.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh, and another thing

Here are the blogs of two of the women I met tonight. Check 'em out!



Well, my breasts are verrrrrrry popular in Southie

On my walk back to the Andrews T stop from a fab barbq (more on that in a bit) I passed by a couple of old men outside a packy who remarked after I'd walked by "Now that's a pretty lady." Then on the next block a younger man, a revolting younger man in dirty jeans and untied cowboy boots (and this is according to L because I didn't look at him because I feared what was coming) stared right at my breasts and sloooooooooooooooooooooooowly licked his lips, all the way around.


It's partly my own fault though for wearing a tata shirt.

But back to the bar b q. It was hosted by the woman who went with me to Louis Boston last December and her husband. They are, in a word, fabulous. They're both gorgeous and talented and interesting and lovely and very, very cool. They own a beautiful row house in Southie, with four lovely floors, a deck, and a patio, and they can cook.

And when I say cook I mean that they turned out the most delicious pork chops, hot dogs, shrimp, and chicken off the grill that I have ever, ever tasted. Ever.

And did I mention the pie? Oh my, the pie. MC is sending me the crust recipe.

The only disappointment of the evening was that my cake, which was modern and sleek and simple and the most beautiful shade of pink and for which I walked to three stores in gross heat to get ingredients for, was utterly outdone by one of their neighbors who fucking went and baked this. The only three tiny slices taken out of my cake were by me, the host, and one of the lovely women writers I met. To all the other guests, and especially to the one who outbaked me, I have two words for you and they are SUCK and IT.


But MC snuck me a porkchop in a plastic bag to take home and I only embarrassed myself once, by telling her (aye yi yi) that I had thought I had been dropped from her list of friends (you see, we'd had this conversation about how awkward it is to drop friends and after that she didn't call me for, well, until now, so I thought...). Anyway, I also met some great and interesting people and I was so glad that L came along and even though I'm mad about my cake I overall give the day two thumbs up.

And my belly, if it had thumbs, would do the same.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Moose vs. McPolack

My Saturday hike up Moosilauke ended up being a wee bit of an adventure. After hitting the road a bit late we arrived to find an older, sinewy couple had snagged the last good parking space; when we rolled down the window to ask if they were coming or going both L and I were treated to the sight of the male's erect penis poking quite obviously through the wicking material of his shorts. ICK!

Also I ended up with poo hand but that is all I am going to say about that.

Anyhoo we put on our boots and our sunscreen and our Deet and headed out into the wilds of NH. It was a gorgeous, gorgeous day, all sun-dappled and breezy, and the tropical weather we've been having made everything super-green and Miracle-Grow lush and there were flowers blooming everywhere -- in the clover, in the trees, and along the sides of the trail. We passed some happy hikers coming down, all of whom said the summit looked great.

I lead for much of hike up; we went at a moderate pace and L and cuarentayuno kept up quite nicely. It felt every bit as good to be outside as I knew it would, and I didn't even mind all the sweating I was doing. My good mood was remarked upon by my companions.

The trail we took up Moosilauke meanders along a ridge when you're maybe 10 minutes from the top and on a clear day it is absolutely stunning. It was clear when we started out on our hike but by the time we arrived at the ledge-y section of the trail, everything was clouded over and misty. Still, I thought nothing of it and figured everything would be clear at the top. Oh, how wrong I would soon be. Not 5 minutes later, it started to rain, and not five minutes after that to pour, and then the wind started to blow the rain at us so hard it hurt.

I had apparently drunk stupid juice instead of coffee that morning because I distinctly remember thinking, A. I should put an extra long-sleeve top in my bag in case L doesn't bring one of her own and B. I should bring a trash bag in case it rains. (If you want to pack light, a trash bag can serve as a raincoat in a pinch and it weighs almost nothing.)

Of course I did neither of those things and as it continued to rain, the two friends I'd asked to hike with me and who I'd walked in front of all the way up the mountain naturally looked to me to see what we should do next. Press on, I said, although inside I was starting to get nervous about how L was going to handle a windy, rainy, clouded-in summit in her tank top and shorts. I also started to think about people dying of exposure and of how stupid I used to think those people were.

Not five minutes after we got above treeline there was an enormous clap of thunder. Oh, motherfucker, I thought. Motherfucker, motherfucker, motherfucker. I told L and cuarentayuno to turn around and start heading for the trees RIGHTNOW and as fast as they could safely go. The problem with being on top of a treeless mountain during a thunderstorm is that you essentially are the tree and therefore the tallest thing there is and the most likely place for lightning to strike.

So L and c and I made it safely to the scrub pine and hunkered down. L is quite a bit skinnier than me so I gave her my long-sleeved top. I remained in my tank top. C took his t-shirt off and stuck it in his pack and gave me the what for for not checking the weather report. And, truth be told, I really did feel like a big idiot especially after I'd just posted on this very blog what about what a safety Susan I am about going into the woods.

Oh, but it got worse. We heard voices and who should come crashing through the pines but the two skinny minis we'd seen at the bottom, Herr Dinkus and his lady friend. HD had on a trash bag raincoat, that bastard, and his wife had on an actual raincoat. I'd brought an actual raincoat with me but left it in my car.

What followed was verrrrrrrrry embarrassing for me. Embarrassing because I worked customer service at Eastern Mountain Sports for awhile. Embarrassing because I am the sort of person who once yelled at some poor tourists who had driven up Mount Washington the day I'd hiked it; they were trampling all over the alpine flowers. Embarrassing because I have been spending time in the woods since I was five years old.

Herr Dinkus got all mountain-man with us. Do you have warm clothes? Put them on, he said. What's your plan? Are you going down the mountain? Do you want us to come with you? Why don't you crawl under the pine trees; it's drier there. Aaaaaaaaaaand so on.

Here's the thing: I did not want to admit necessarily that I was unprepared. Yet I was in fact unprepared. What I should have done before I got to the mountain was all my normal crazy packing. I should also have checked the weather and told L, who is not an experienced hiker, what she needed to bring with her.

Alas I did not and I had some harrowing moments some 4,000 feet above sea level. It was a lesson that I will not soon forget.

After a couple of minutes, Herr Dinkus left. We followed soon after. Then it stopped raining. We kept hiking down. Then the sun came out and some people passed us heading in the other direction and we turned around and headed for the top. The clouds blew away and it ended up being absolutely stunning; a lot of the top is grassy and you can see the wind as it moves through it and it's all so lovely it almost hurts.

So all's well that ends well, I suppose. Cuaretayuno got me back for singing the Neil Diamond version of Mr. Bojangles to him on the way down by breaking out with a song from Yentl and we all split a 20 piece box of tasty McNuggets and large fries on the drive home. (C also asked if I wanted to watch his nipples dance; I did not.)

When I related this story to Dr. Moo she didn't think I did such a bad job and remarked that normally I make everyone that goes hiking with me bring a gallon of water and a peanut butter sandwich. In the future they're going to have to bring a trashbag and a wool sweater, too.