Saturday, September 30, 2006

Real-time action

Said not 120 seconds ago by Dr. Moo about Tess the Wonder Hound:

"It's not her rump that smells; it's the hole."

Moo gets the double bed with the hound while I get the floor in front of the bed, without a sleeping bag.

More to come later but I totally got hit on by a hot fireman sitting behind me at the horse pull (Moo and I's second night at the Deerfield fair in a row, as we discovered we LOVE horse pulling). I didn't get his name but there's a family connection.

And now I'm off to bed.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

So long smokey treats

I just got an email that it's been three years since I quit smoking, so yay for me. I say, if you are willing to gain 20 pounds, which I very nearly did, then you can do it. I replaced the smoking with exercises, nicotine patches, and a support group and gum and cold water and coffee. I do sometimes still want a cigarette. I wanted one today. But I didn't have one.

What I did do was say goodbye to the Indian man. I took some pics of him near the Christian Science building, and he took a few pictures of me. He said I am welcome to visit him in India any time and he showed me a rupee note. This makes it sound like he thinks I am a hooker, but I am sure this is not so. He was not up for a hug goodbye, but he did accept a warm handshake, and I brought him some chocolate cake today, which he liked a lot.

Tomorrow it is off to the Deerfield Fair with Dr. Moo. We will be spending seven straight hours there, eating and looking at everything, visiting every last building and scratching behind the ears of every last fat bristly-haired pink piggy.


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Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Had an interesting day today. Since the Indian man I have been working with is going back to India on Friday, he and I were treated to lunch today. Me and the treater ate oysters, a small Japanese kind available now from a farm in Washington state. “Smooth, with a cucumber finish” is how the treater described them. “Like the taste you get in your mouth when you smell the sea, with a cucumber finish” is how I described them. Really, they were funky, like uni. Slippery. I chewed them because otherwise, what is the point of eating oysters? Obviously, the libido-enhancing qualities will serve only to frustrate me.

The Indian man was, it turns out, positively horrified by our choice of appetizer, because when we got back to the office he said “My god, McPolack, how could you eat those? They were alive! What if they are still alive now, in your stomach?” It was as if we were biting the heads off of live kittens at lunch. He was similarly horrified at the idea that my parents let me go hike in the woods all alone. In India, you could get eaten by a tiger. I told him we had mountain lions in this country, and that first, they eat your face, and then they raise one claw – plink! – and carve a circle around your torso, and eat your guts. Then, they bury the rest of you for later.

I think he is glad to be leaving.

Underwear that's fun to wear

I had a wardrobe malfunction this afternoon. I was headed downstairs at Park Street to catch the Red Line to Alewife when a gust of wind blew up and blew the two sides of my wraparound dress apart. Alas, I do not have the legs of Marilyn Monroe. They are more the legs of Arnold Schwarzenegger. They are meaty. Muscular. They also have some cellulite.

Alas Alas, I was wearing a giant ill-fitting saggy-baggy pair of flowered grandma underpants. At least they weren't the ones I wear when applying self-tanner, which are an appetizing shade of cacadoodie brown.

Monday, September 25, 2006

What's a girl to do?

My evening meditation somehow spurred a dusting jag. Who am I to argue when my Yoda sense tells me to sweep softly the excess dirt?

So I opened up a package of those Pledge Grab-it wipes and got to it. I dusted high and low. In the kitchen and the hall. I dusted the fire extinguisher. The toaster. My original cast recording of Sesame Street.

I went to the bedroom and discovered lots of kitty hair seemingly floating in the air and set to getting rid of it.

That's when I discovered one wee spider, and then another, had set up shop near my loveseat. I'd wrecked utterly the home of one of them and partially the home of the other. I apologized and stopped dusting.

So here is my quandary: Does the spider have the Buddha-nature? Ok, kidding. But I really don't want to kick the spiders out. Winter is a-comin' and they're being all good and nesting at the opposite corner of where my bed is, as opposed to crawling into my ears at night.. But spiders and cat hair in your bedroom? Um, hello crazy person. Sometimes I do not know what level of wack it is safe to embrace.


Oh, New York Times Style Section, Why do you Wound me so?


Ack ack ack.

I picked up the Sunday NYT yesterday, as a treat. I am a real fan of the style section. I like the half-page of rich/trendy New Yorkers bedecked in whatever is the current rich/trendy outfit of the week. I'm all about the wedding announcements. I have sent two essays in to the Modern Love column, but those bastards haven't published anything of mine. Yet.

I also tend to read most of the articles therein. This is a soft-news section, so I'm not expecting to really edify myself on much more than the current state of Chloe Sevigny's closet, but I also don't expect to want to ball the Style section up and wipe my butt with it, which was my reaction when I read an article about parents who buy modern art for their toddlers and babies. There was talk of the thousands of dollars that had been spent on "collections" for the under-five set, and of what sorts of art these babies who still SHIT THEMSELVES are drawn too.

I am all for having a colorful bedroom for your baby. The little girl I watch has the solar system with glow in the dark stars on one wall of hers. But modern art? OK, OK, I think it's good that these parents are supporting the artists whose work they are buying, but jesus christ almighty, it's just a kid, OK? She's not going to stand in front of a Basquiat and critique it. She'd much rather bang on pans with wooden spoons and put whatever she finds on the floor in her mouth and let the dog give her a tongue bath. Because she's a BABY.

I'm getting the feeling that the NYT is going the way of Vogue magazine -- targeted only towards an elite, and tiny, and stupid community. It's very disappointing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Eating a sandwich in the Sandwich Range Wilderness

Would be what I did today. 11.9 miles of hiking, all by myself, as in me, my legs, my backpack, and my girlie pink underpants. I did two mountains, wearing a pair of hiking boots half a size to small. Know what that last bit gets you? Blisters the size of diaphragms on the backs of your ankles. Painful, nasty blisters. Still it was a good hike. Climbed Whiteface and Passaconaway and definitely reached my peak heart rate several times over, which is something I don't know I've done in a while. Here's how you know you're at peak: You can't breathe anymore. I had sort of a wheezy feeling in my chest and my heart was thumpa thumpa thumping. I kinda liked it, though. It felt like I was flushing my system out.

Anyhoo, I saw some forest that had never been logged, and a swell grasshopper that was the same color as the rock ledges I was scrambling up. I took a picture of him where I pointed him out with my finger. He sat really still for it. Same went for the big 'ole toad I spotted, trying his best to blend into the underbrush. I got pretty close and photographed him, too. I decided not to snap any of the paunchy middle-aged men I saw soloing, or the flock of wild turkeys I saw crossing the street in Center Sandwich, a town filled with not only the Sandwich Range Wilderness but also many, many beautiful white farmhouses and wee capes and red barns and everywhere green. God did it make me want to leave the city. I have this dream of being able to live in a place like that, having a garden, being near the trees, having a nice big lawn with soft grass and clover and a store where you can get a good cup of coffee and an oatmeal scotchie, which they have, and a historical society, which they have as well.

As for the sandwich sandwich I had for lunch, it was almond butter and damson plum jam on multi-grain, and it was delicious.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

T Time

They're switching from tokens to Charlie tickets at T stations across the city. In the old system, you pop in a token and walk through a turnstile. In the new system, you put your card in this card-reader/sucker thing and a pair of plastic doors whoooooosh open.

Except for when they don't. Sometimes they make this loud, angry, disapproving sound, for really no good reason at all. It's like you're Veruca Salt being rendered a bad egg. When I was riding the T home yesterday I watched as the new system loudly disapproved of a small female. Perhaps she forgot to floss, or didn't match her belt to her shoes. Who knows. She threw her hands up, shrieked, and scurried, head-down, to the train, shamed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Believe I can Fly

It was spring rolls and sorbet with L and my German friend this evening. When my German friend's boyfriend arrived home talk turned to that new show about superheroes that starts next week. I mentioned that on the bus ride over I wondered, while passing by the Somerville Armory, how I would rescue someone off the lower floors, which have iron bars on the windows, in the event of a fire. Would adrenaline give me enough strength? Hmm, no. But if I was a superhero I could do it! I am not kidding about the thought process. I think maybe all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer watching I've done over the years has had some effect on the things I wonder about, but really I was trying to bend spoons with my mind when I was like 11, after getting ahold of a Uri Geller book of PolackPappy's.

L shared that if she had the ability to move things with her mind she'd get really fat because she would just sit in a chair, open her mouth, and use her powers to inhale ice cream out of the nearest freezer. Then she'd die tragically at a country fair after inhaling a hot dog from a stand across the midway and getting it lodged in her throat.

Then I misinterpreted her saying she wanted to fly to her wanting to be a fly and I said, wouldn't it be gross to be landing on poo all day?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

International Man

Well my current freelance position has put me square in the middle of the latest U.S. employment trend: outsourcing. Only, as I've blogged about before, I've been outsourced in reverse. Or in triplicate, as the work I'm doing was sent from here to India and then back here, to me.

Anyhoo. The man I am working directly with is not a bad fellow, although he is a good tester of my cultural adaptability and my patience. Cultural adaptability in that there are many times that I need to work a little harder to understand him, and vice-versa, and patience in that he has none. And when I say he has no patience I mean that if you wait one beat before responding to him on the telephone, he says "Hello! Hello!" and if a computer program isn't loading fast enough he's all "oh god oh god oh god shit shit shit oh god oh god" in rapid-fire staccato succession. He also gets upset if you show the slightest bit of frustration when he's explaining something, even if he is doing it without the, how shall I put this -- the niceties you might use here in the States.

He also talks v.v.v.v.v.v. fast and explains things 500 different ways that could be explained once and talks over people and is quite excitable. And I think he's pretty lonely, because he told me last week "In India, we walk to the train and take it together" and now he leaves at the same time I do every day, or tells me when to leave, and then as we are walking together he asks me questions about how much to tip the taxi driver, where the banks are, and can I take his picture by Copley? All of which I am happy to oblige.

Finally, his wife was sick for a while, with jaundice. In India, most marriages are arranged, and his was as well. I was on the phone with cousin Molls the other night and she made an amusing remark along the lines of "Here is your wife. So sorry she's yellow."

Overall I would say the job is going well, and I am sure there are many irritating things that I and other Americans do (like, say, acting like the big bad boss of the whole entire world) that drive people in other countries crazy.


Monday, September 18, 2006


I was talking with McMumsy last night and sharing how I'm worried about one of our relatives -- one with issues similar to mine -- and from what I saw of this relative's recent behavior, this person has not overcome those issues. I was debating whether I should say something and whether saying something would do any good. I mean, you change when you're ready to change, right? It was that way for me. You have to find your own bottom.

Anyway. On the topic of not wanting someone else to make the same mistakes you had, my mother mentioned a friend of hers from church, a friend who'd talked to me about career options back when I was on a search for one. This friend married the wrong man and had children with him, and while she does not regret the children, she does deeply regret her choice of father for them. When my mother mentioned I am on the cusp of my 33rd birthday, she worriedly told my mother that that was the age she was when she started to really freak out about being childless and alone. Much as I am childless and alone.

I assured my mother that I had no intention of getting pregnant, although I did let her know that I took my last bc pill last week. I just don't see the point of taking them. I'm not having sex and they cost 60 bucks a month. And honestly, I feel like from here on out it's going to be up to the man to deal with birth control. I know this is rant-y, but, goddamnit, when are they going to invent some sort of a pill to stop the effectiveness of sperm? I don't know. I've been getting all man-hatey lately. Just lots of rowr! feelings about that whole gender. It worries me that there may be more assholes out there than decent ones. It pisses me off that they're fucking over the entire planet with their killing and their raping and their penis-swinging and their war-mongering.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand breathe out. I think I'm going to go meditate now.


Compassion in Action

So in a curious turn of events, the day after I post about compassion I end up running into one of the most compassionate women I know, a couple of places ahead of me in line at the hipster cafe, where I'd gone to do a couple of hours of editing work. You can read all about her here. Or better yet, you can give her foundation money here. When I first met her, she was living one town up Route 101 from me, and she's part of an extended group of people I know from the area.

She looked fabulous and was super-happy and just radiating this great, positive, loving energy -- proof to me that you get what you give. I'm really impressed by her and am proud to call her a friend.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I just finished this book by a fallen nun who left the Catholic church and religion all together only to study it as an academic and come back to believing, years later, on a higher plane than she was before. I liked what she had to say about God and religion but I won't go into that here other than to say that for her, experience of the Divine comes from compassionate acts. So she gives of herself, and that diminishes her ego, and takes her outside of herself, and she experiences ecstasy.

Anyhoo. I thought, why not apply this compassion to the Indian man for whom I am currently working? Because he, let me tell you, drives me up one wall and down another and then I run screaming out the plate-glass window, leaving a McPolack-shaped hole in my wake. So instead of getting frustrated I tried to be compassionate -- really feel what he was feeling -- and to be kind to him.

I've been riding the edge of compassion and pity with him and I must say that both feelings are preferable to the white-hot rage I was starting to feel.

Then I went to yoga. Ah, further destressing. And my favorite teacher, who left the Tuesday class to teach on Sundays, is for some reason teaching the Thursday class. And she is having us do this pose where you extend one leg and pull the other, knee up and sole of the foot down, in towards your hips. Then you lean forward with a flat back and grab the extended foot.

Then you attempt a bind, by pushing your shoulder past your knee and wrapping your arm around that knee and around your back. Then you wrap your other arm around and reach for the hand.

Well today my yoga teacher came over to help me out. To help someone out in this position involves essentially wrapping your entire body around said person and trying to smoosh them, so that the hands that are not meeting meet.

My teacher did this for me. "You're almost there, McP!," she said, using a shortened version of my name that folks who find me endearing sometimes used. And I realized that she was quite possibly feeling compassion/pity for me as I think the reason I can't bind is because there is just too much of me to wrap my arms around, and also because I am sweaty and my yoga clothes smell like dirty feet because I wash them in a broken washine machine and hang them to dry and instead of drying they sort of just smell.

So that's compassion/pity for you. I share my time and my chocolate truffles with the annoying Indian man, and my yoga teacher gives a big stinky stretchy pant-wearing elephant a tight squeeze.

And the wheel goes 'round.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wake Up Happy

So I had this dream the other night and I thought I would share it. I'm the age I am now, but I'm in college, in some sort of computer class -- maybe the one where I learned PageMaker -- but that's not so important. What is important is that I look to my right and see Stephen Colbert sitting there. He hits on me and I say, Stephen, you're Catholic and you're married and you've got a bunch of kids. But if your wife ever leaves you, look me up. This makes me feel warm inside.

I woke up happy. What does that say about me?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Much to McMumsy's chagrin, Little Brother was not married in the Catholic church. He instead chose the church of his bride, the Second Congregational, which has no Jesus a-bleeding on the cross upstairs but a big ole picture of Oprah downstairs. Anyhoo, McM brought on the Catholic at the rehearsal dinner by saying grace, although I forgot to carry Grammy Mc's rosary down the aisle.

This post is all a lead-in to this song, which I think could have taken the place of the grace said by Mcm in a pinch.


I heart Minnesota

So my favorite couple of the evening at the wedding of the Little Brother ended up being a couple of Minnesotans. The husband danced with me during the first dance and managed to not make me feel like an elephant in a tutu, no easy task, and also caused a stir in my family, who sent a spy over to ask "Who was that?"

I had to inform the spy that as he was currently a husband he was therefore not future husband material. He did, however, seem a bit like my brother from another mother as he was very attentive to his 92 year old grandmother, much as I am attentive to the old lady in my own family.

The wife actually went to college at St. Olaf's, and while she is sweet like Rose Nyland, she went to business school at Tuck, which is where she met her husband, and is most popular with 50 to 80 year old men, just as I am. She and I went and explored one of the big barns on the property, and found some giant mouldering trophy meese.

I mean moose.

In other McP news, I am sick, and I skipped yoga to take a nap on of course a day when someone is using a chainsaw and has been for hours. There aren't any trees here! What the hell could they be chopping? Grr.


Monday, September 11, 2006

It's Me!

In my dress
On the porch
The 24 year old
The house
Dr. Moo (blondie)
Bride and Little Brother
And Polack Pappy! (sharing of course the story about the time I asked him to flush Little Brother down the potty)

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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Chicken With 40 Cloves of Garlic...

...would not be what we ate for dinner at the Little Brother's wedding this weekend but rather the culinary equivalent of my hairdo, which had 40, count 'em, 40 bobby pins holding it all together, along with at least a can of hairspray, and two tiny black elastic bands.

I looked frigging fabulous, BTW.

I promise to post more later but at the moment I am kind of emotionally exhausted. Unfortunately there was no Vince Vaughn or Owen Wilson there to take advantage of my fragile emotional state, although I did receive one proposal of marriage from a 24 year old.


Friday, September 08, 2006

I Do

Well I'm off to the Little Brother's wedding. I'm taking the train to the boat to the backseat of the McPolack sedan. Rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, hair, lunch, dress, photos, limo, church, limo, reception, sparklers on the porch (and what a porch it is, with a view of the Atlantic, which is right across the street), brunch, and then the carriage turns back into a pumpkin. But hey, I like pumpkins.

Wish me luck! I'll report back when I return.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And still with the hating

My g-d neighbors came back from their extended vacation and, in true horrible neighbor form, resumed their lazy, slothful ways. I came home to discover some poor luggage delivery man waiting in the driveway because they weren't answering their doorbell or picking up their phone, so I opened the front door so he could deposit their shit there. Then Mrs. A-hole opens her door a while later and, without saying a word of thanks to me, bolts after luggage man, whining that he was supposed to deliver another bag. Um, hello, you're lucky you got the first bag!

I KNEW I should have gone number two in their backyard and buried it, like a naughty kitty, while they were gone. But oh, no, I had to go and take the high road.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Jesus Loves You!

Well McMumsy just forwarded me an email about a conference for Catholic singles and the only thing she said above the forwarded material was "perfect husband hunting."

The keynote speaker, BTW, is listed as a "Mrs." and topics include "Singleness as a Gift" and "Refocusing your Life after Divorce"

I'm curious to know whether they will be addressing "Premarital Sex: Is it Still a Mortal Sin after 30?"

Total aside here, but if you're ever bored, and you've got a mango handy, try shucking the hard pod inside with a butter knife, like an oyster. There's, like, a giant lima bean in there!


Monday, September 04, 2006


Dr. Moo did a bit of rescue breathing for a newborn calf this weekend. If you ever happen to be around a newborn calf in need of rescue breathing (and aren't we all, at one time or another?), here is what you should do:

Step one - Hold hands over mouth of calf to keep it closed.
Step two - Be sure one of the nostrils is plugged as well.
Step three - Insert lips into open nostril (yes, put them inside the nostril) and blow.
Step four - Repeat step three until satisfactory results are achieved.
Step five - Ask nearby farmer for a tissue to wipe slimy amniotic fluid off lips.
(That's off of your lips, not the calf's)



Well I was certainly sad to read of the death of Steve Irwin. I'm all for animal conservationists, even the baby-dangling kind. In my anthropomorphic thinking, this was definitely an accident, because why would critters want to kill someone who is there to help them?

I remember telling some coworkers who were laughing at me one day as we were walking after a rainstorm and I was doing my usual rescuing of efts, snakes, and earthworms,that if I got run over by a car, there'd be a team of them waiting to pick me up and deposit me on the side of the road, as a thank-you.

I also rescue worms off of city sidewalks and just had a conversation with a bug I rescued off my shirt; this was after forgetting I had a skirt on and crawling underneath my car with my butt in the air to try and diagnose a leak.

I think all this alone time is making me weirder and weirder.

Saturday, September 02, 2006



I'm doing a little deep breathing after spending 3 hours in the hipster coffee shop doing editorial work for the Indian firm (where the person managing me is a VERY freaked out and depressed man who will eventually get a post all his own but whose very presence makes my heart go faster and it is not because I find him attractive) and drinking a GIANT cup of iced coffee, after which I discovered that my car was leaking some sort of smelly fluid from beneath the front passenger side, after which I went to Market Basket and despite it being Saturday night of a holiday weekend, it was an absolute fucking madhouse.

I could feel my brain going all a-googly while I was in line. This was after deftly navigating a parking lot filled with immigrants and angry taxi drivers, twisting my car this way and that and backing up in odd spaces to find a place to park my leaky jalopy, and after navigating aisles crammed with people and after trying to remember my grocery list, which I'd left in the car.

Now I'm cooking dinner -- fettucine with roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), shrimp (frozen), capers (jar again), garlic (from the farmers market) and baby spinach (prewashed) with lemon and romano cheese. Along with working today, I went to the gym and did the aforementioned grocery shopping. Tomorrow is yoga, clean, work, toga party (being thrown by a really nifty woman I met at the party of another nifty woman). I've got to go Google instructions for making a toga out of a bedsheet now.

Oh, and take more deep breaths.


Have I mentioned lately that I'm lonely?

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