Wednesday, January 31, 2007

G-d. Damnit.

So late last week I got an e-mail from an advertising agency which runs campaigns for companies you have definitely heard of. Some quirky and award-winning stuff. Said agency wants to interview me; someone who works there who I once worked with has "highly" recommended me.

I am thrilled, natch, as the cash is running low and it is high time I got a new gig. So I prepare myself as best I can -- get clips together, read up on agency, dress myself nattily.

I get to the agency right on time and am told the HR person will be "right down." Right down turns out to be 15 minutes. I am then sheperded to this strange opaque-walled and balsa wooded box in the middle of a giant room of people working. It's like there was a hurricane and a private dining room from a Japanese restaurant plopped down in the middle of a Soho loft.

I am left there alone for another 10 minutes.

Then I am interviewed by a delightful woman. During the interview a bald man comes in. He says "Let me see your stuff." I give him my clips. He asks do I have any advertising experience? Um, no, but you all called me and besides I am the queen of coming in on the fly, I've worked at start-ups, I'm good.

No dice. He tells me "You know, I have a lot of respect for what you do" in a way that makes me think he doesn't, after paging through my article on stem-cell research, which he remarks must have taken "a lot of time." Then he tells me he is sorry to have wasted my time; they are looking for more of a "creative" writer.

Um, WTF? I try and explain to him that this is just what I am. He is not buying it. He apologizes again. I offer up my freelance services. He says he'll ask the HR lady. More waiting alone happens. Then the HR lady shows up and says she'll "keep my resume on file" and that's that.


That is it. I have absofuckinglutely had it. OK? I'm done. I'm done with going on lousy fucking dates and I'm done with going on bullshit interviews. I am going to see a career counselor on Friday, one who specializes in the ADD-types, which I am glad I signed up for because you know what? I can't do the rejection anymore. I'm smart and attractive and I don't say that to be snotty or to make myself feel better. It's just the truth. So start f'ing recognizing it, Universe!


In other news, thank you for listening!

: )


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


...would be the word in the center of a red sparkly circle on the long-sleeved onesie I bought this wee girlie for Christmas. Meet Ella, OSB's daughter. She just turned one and she is one of my favorite babies ever.

For one thing, she likes to hold her toys between her teeth and then shakethembackandforth like a rabid puppy. Hee hee! And during one of her visits to my apartment she stood across my coffee table from me while I picked pieces of cheese of a block of dill havarti and fed them to her. When I stopped for a minute she banged one of her tiny fists on the table and looked me right in the eye. I kid you not, I felt like I was a bartender and she was pounding shots. Too funny.

Anyhoo, I am looking forward to see what sort of a teenager this one becomes!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Oh Man

So some of you may recall I mentioned hitting on an architect at the MFA and getting his number and e-mail? Well I have been avoiding writing about him because I don't think it's best to write so much about matters of the heart (well, matters of my own heart when it comes to a relationship whose point is eventual marriage and kids).

Unless of course said relationship goes nowhere in which case it becomes open for discussion. So. The architect. Or as I now call him, the barkitect, as he is a dog. Not that he was horrible, just that after some protracted e-mailing I tarted myself up, met him for coffee at the Boston Public Library, then hung out with him at a bookstore for awhile and listened to him talk...and talk...and talk...oh, and did I mention talk?...about himself. See that store on Newbury Street? His friends own it. Seen Austin Powers? His friend was a set designer for that movie. Ever been to Italy, London, Edinburgh? He's lived there.

I asked him if he was into hiking. He said "Once I hiked in the Dolomites wearing these shoes." I looked down to see some fancy-pants leather dress shoes. He was also wearing a black fedora purchased in Italy, black overcoat, pinstriped pants, and black zip-neck sweater.

Anyhoo. He had a whole long story about how he climbed for three or four hours in some fancy clothes to stay at the only open hotel in the area of Italy he happened to be visiting.

The weekend previous, he had been on what he called a "lad's weekend." By which he meant he went out and drank beers and looked at boobies with college friends of his. From Syracuse. Which Moo, who got her doctorate from Cornell, promptly harumphed. With which I tend to agree. If one is going to put on Ivy League airs, one should prolly have attended an Ivy League school.

But then maybe he got a masters at Harvard. Who knows? I won't, since even though I told him on the train home I would hang out with him again (mainly because he was, er, a stone fox but also because I thought perhaps some of our communication problems were more due to venue than compatibility)he did not deign to hang out with me. I have not heard boo from him since he Euro-kissed my right cheek and said "Ciao" as I exited the train a week ago Saturday.

Ah well. There are other fish in the sea, no?

Well, actually, no, not according to Oprah, who did a show on women in their thirties last week and opened it up remarking on how bleak the dating scene is for them, um, us, um, me.

I also read a really nauseating article in Details (I was at the gym, OK? and the only other choice was Woman's Day) about how it is now a really fabulous frickin' time to be a divorced middle-aged guy because you can totally date babes 15 years younger than you, like, lots of them, plus you've got gobs of disposable income and free time and BTW, advertisers looooooove you.





Friday, January 26, 2007


So I am still suffering from the blahs and the crankies, oy, but this made me laugh out loud and so I share it to cheer up all who may be feeling as I am, which would just be shitty. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


So I've been a-reading the December issue of Vanity Fair and was, well I don't know what emotion I was, to discover not one but two super-rich and doddering strangeporks are enough in love with their wiener dogs to have them featured in accompanying photos. Marvel at Brooke Astor as she poses with her grandson Philip and her dachsund Girlsie.

Then, less than 10 pages later, oo at the photo of Viacom wackadoo Sumner Redstone posing with his muccccccccccch younger (and smart!) wife and their two dachsunds, Murray and Arthur, one of whom is being cradles by his smiling trophy wife.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Well I heard recently that this past Monday was the most depressing day of the entire year (the happiest is June 21st or 22nd) and I have to say I was, and am, feeling it. That and a whole lotta crankiness. But as I pledged not to be a whinocerous this year I have been keeping it to myself. I'm just going to knuckle under and drink some tea and put a smile on my face and only give the stinkeye to every third person that does something to piss me off.

In other news I had a busy day today, what with the typing, the babysitting, and the stitch and bitch (and bitch and bitch) and now I am going to ring Dr. Moo.



Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One more observation...

...on the State of the Union. If you look at Dick Cheney he's got his mouth shut but it's sort of moving. As if he is speaking and Bushie is his ventriloquist's dummy.



While I don’t know if I’ll make it through the whole speech I am watching the State of the Union and I, dork that I am, stood up and clapped when Nancy Pelosi tapped the gavel. She is the first female Speaker of the House EVER and as such it’s the first time there is a woman up front with POTUS and the veep during the State of the Union and that is a big deal. It makes me more proud than usual that I’m a woman and I like being a witness to this sort of history.


Bad Medicine

So today at the transcription office I've been listening to and typing up a recording of a focus group who all have a particular disease in common. Some causes of and/or behaviors which exacerbate this disease include being overweight and smoking.

The group was asked what their "perfect" medication might be, as opposed to what they all currently take, a pill.

Focus Group Participant Number One: "It would be great if it were something you could eat."

Focus Group Participant Number Two: "Or smoke."

Monday, January 22, 2007


...he is an entrenched political brand — “Bernie” — and voters will forgive a little blowhardedness (if not demagoguery) from someone they basically agree with and who has grown utterly familiar to their landscape, like cows.

The above is from a great profile of Bernie Sanders from this week's New York Times Sunday magazine. He is also described as striding head down through the streets of Burlington, responding thusly to people trying to tell them how much they like him: Sanders dispatches these glad-handing chores with the visible joy of someone cleaning a litter box.

I used to pass Bernie by walking for his bagel while I was on my way to work at the alternative newspaper that was my first "real" job out of college. That was 11 years ago and I have to say the reporter captured exactly how he appeared to me, head down, with his crazy hair and his grumbly wumbly face, making his way through the streets of the first city I ever lived in.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Tickle Me Elmo, or, The End is Near

So the little girl I babysit is learning to talk and she said my name last week for the first time. It was, well, pretty cool. She still cries when I show up at the door but she calms down maybe 10 seconds after her parents leave and then she tells me stuff. Here's an example:

"Mcpooooooooooollllllllaaaaaaaac, babblebabblebabblePooh!babblebahloongibberishbahloongibberishspohnbab."

I of course pretend to know exactly what she is saying.

She's also picked up one of my mannerisms -- to calm her down in our early babysitting times together I would pat her arm and tell her things would be OK. Tonight while we sat next to each other on the floor watching a video she said my name and then reached up and patted me. On the left breast. So I'm not sure what to do about that. I moved her hand to my shoulder but she went for the boob a second and a third time. And again with the patting. Any advice on how to correct this behavior?

In other wee one news, she got a Tickle Me Elmo TMX and I'll be goddamned if it just doesn't freak me out. It is very Terminator-esque, all furry Elmo shell over a robotic interior, along with the fact that It. Just. Won't. Stop. It rolls around on the floor, stands up, falls down again, hyperventilates, waves its arm around.

Yes, that's right, arm. As in singular. The other arm is this dead thing, stitched to the side of its body. It's like it had a stroke or something. It's Dick Clark!

Oh I am surely going to spend some time in purgatory for that one. But seriously, Tickle Me Elmo TMX is a scary, scary thing.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knit One

Went to my first Stitch 'n Bitch session at Spark Craft Studios, women-owned and conveniently located basically up the street and around the corner from my apartment. L and my German friend joined me and then L came back to my place after where I ate a hamburger and we both had tea and dark chocolate.

I liked the S 'n B for the most part although there was a fair contingent of twentysomething sci fi radical womyn types there. It took almost all I had not to be like, sweetie, just live a few more years and it'll all seem much less important to you. The reason why it didn't take all I had is because I used to be a lot like those ladies.

Anyhoo. One gal was making some bitchin' fingerless gloves while another was sewing herself her own fancy piece of lingerie. I am working on scarf number two, having taken a break from scarf number one, which has generated a fair amount of laughter from friends. I haven't decided yet who to foist it upon when it's completed. It's going to be a lumpy, holey, misshapen mess, so whoever gets it has to love me a lot to want to wear it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So I had a phone call and a run to get in before 5 today and I got home at 3:30 which meant I had to run fast and then wait on the shower. Which left me sitting in my unheated apartment in my sweaty clothes, which lowered my core body temperature, and now I am cold cold cold and wearing a hat and a scarf.

Also I have turned on the heat.

The phone call was a tough one. I interviewed last week for a part-time (10 hour) position doing some office work and outreach for friends of a friend. But I am nervous about my ability to give them the commitment they need, because what if the freelancing doesn't work out and I need to go to work full-time? Or what if a project comes up and I can't honor the commitment? Ugh, ugh, ugh. They really want me to come work with them and I felt like such an asshole saying no. And now I am wondering if I should have said yes.

It's just so hard to know. I wish someone would give me a crystal ball I could look into and see, yes, McPolack, here is your next project, and the next one after that, and everything will fall into place. I wish I could trust more that things will be OK.

I wish I had a big fat trust fund.

But barring that I navigate my way through the world of work with my little candle, lighting the space in front of me and a bit of the space behind me, trying not to trip or skin my knees.


Monday, January 15, 2007

Weekend Updates

I've had a busy bee of a weekend, hosting JoyceFrances and her husband, Mike, from Friday through Sunday, along with OSB and her daughter, who came for the day on Saturday, and then heading over to my German friend's house with a big fruit salad and a new knitting project on Sunday night to watch the premiere of 24.

I must say that I was quite impressed with how ridiculously over the top 24 is. On one of last night's two hourlong episodes (and there are two more tonight), the star of the show, in a bid to escape from a torture situation, actually gnaws a big chunk of neck meat and a piece of the jugular vein of one of his captors and then spits it out on the floor before running away. So disgusting! And yet, surprisingly effective.

The show also features Alexander Siddig, who I first discovered in Syriana, and upon whom I have developed what I now realize is a very specific crush on. I only like him when he's playing an Arab, a bearded Arab. And then I like him a lot. I discovered this when, dork that I am, I googled him and found I wasn't all that into him as a regular human being. But wrap him up in a salwar kameez and a head scarf and I practically salivate. And it's not a thing for men in salwar kameezes and head scarves or any other combination you can think of. It's pretty much just Alexander Siddig acting as a Middle Eastern man who is sympathetic to the West. Go figure.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Here's poor, poor Tess, all suited up in the hottest doggie fashion, a pink down-filled fur-trimmed hoodie parka from the fancy Polka Dog bakery in the tres chic South End. Now Tess is a coonhound and lived in a barn in Vermont for five years. This was her first trip to the big city. She even rode on the train! Doesn't she look pretty?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Slow News Day

Not much to report from the land of McPolack today. Got up, transcribed a bunch of blathering, pompous asses from the business and business education worlds going on and on and on and on about how smart they are and who they all have in common at the top. If you think the world is no longer run by old white gladhanding windbag men, think again.

In other news, JoyceFrances and her husband Mike are coming for the weekend and I am v. excited. I think we're going to go to the new ICA, eat lots of tasty food, shop, talk, and laugh. OSB and her baby are to join us on Saturday.

Monday, January 08, 2007

On Doughnuts...

I just found out that Verna's doughnut shop is to remain open. Though I have eaten just one of their doughnut since living a scant five minute walk from their front door, I have eaten zero doughnuts from their chief competitor, the evil Dunky's. Go Verna's!

In other news, Dr. Moo came up this weekend with her swell dog Tess the Wonder Hound. One of our many adventures was a trip to a quasi-singles event at the local art museum, where poor, poor Moo was hit on by a skeevy guy old enough to be our father. This normally happens to me but for whatever reason this time it was all about Moo. I believe his pickup line, directed at her shirt, was "Is that satin?"


I wanted to kill him. But Moo can take care of herself and did so by telling him, after she'd gotten away from him once and then turned around to find him trying to talk to her again, "I don't want to talk to you anymore."

Meanwhile I somehow managed, with gentle prodding from L, to actually approach, chat up, and get the phone number and e-mail address of an intelligent, attractive, gainfully employed man. I do not know from whence this wellspring of ballsiness came but I like it.

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...and Sufism

Finally I wanted to share the following, from a book of "renderings of" poems by Hafiz, a 14th-century Sufi poet. Sufism really fits in with my view of all religions essentially being different ways to the same Truth, but that's a posting for another day. I would also like to admit that I feel a wee bit dorky and over the top posting this but not quite dorky or over the top enough to stop myself.

For a While (from I Heard God Laughing by Daniel Ladinsky)

We have all come to the right place.
We all sit in God's classroom.

The only thing left for us to do, my dear,

Is to stop
Throwing spitballs for a while.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I still have these days where I feel depressed and lost, sad, hopeless. And I've slowly realized that I've felt this way almost my whole life -- not every day, mind you. It comes and goes. PolackPappy told me he has the same problem. The light dims, the candle sputters. But it always comes back.

I'm glad I'm not so self-destructive anymore. I'm much, much better at moving through rather than running from things. Today I felt pretty low but instead of spending the entire day wallowing I did some cleaning, attempted some writing, went to yoga, took a bath, called a friend. Tried to put forth a little love.

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Isn't He Adorable?

It's my new governor, Deval Patrick. First African-American governor of Massachusetts and second in the country. Yay for Massachusetts! Yay for the Democrats! Yay for us all!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Say It

I know I haven't said much about the book lately and it's because I haven't been doing much with the book lately and it shames me. Because I have so much to say. I just can't seem to pick what to say something about. Do I talk more about my love of open spaces, solitude, nature? Where in my book fits the story, still vivid in my mind, of finding the family kitty Devil laying stiff on the path to the stream in back of the house I grew up in. Winter was barely yielding to spring, you could feel it beneath your feet. I ran inside and told my mother the cat was cold. I can still seem him laying there on his side in the tall grass across from the wild raspberries.

I poked his body with a yellow plastic bat, the kind you use for Wiffle ball. I kept that bat under a doll crib in my bedroom for a long time after that because I felt like if I didn't it would mean Devil's life hadn't mattered somehow or that he wasn't loved anymore and even though he was dead I didn't want to hurt him or make him feel cold and alone.

Ah, me.

McPolack Recommends

So I've been having amazing luck with books lately, finding ones I love practically one after another when normally I might get that stellar read maybe twice in a year.

I tried writing up reviews that might make you consider reading the following three, but then I realized that the qualities that make you love a certain book so much that you want to sip slowly every word even as you stay up past your bedtime reading it are different for everyone. Well mostly different, except for this: It makes you feel less alone.

These books have done that for me:

Drinking the Rain by Alix Kates Shulman, who also this essay, considered very controversial for its time. Partly why I love this book is because she lives in a wee cabin by the sea and teaches herself how to get almost all of her food from the water and land that surrounds her but it's also about so much more than that.

Here and Nowhere Else by Jane Brox. Reminds me of the years I spent wandering the farm near the NH Seacoast that my paternal grandmother occupied for some 50 years. It makes me happy to know there are other people out there who've had the opportunity to run free through fields and forests, and to really know a piece of land through seasons and years, and feel it and smell it and play on it and eat and drink from it, which is an experience, I have realized as I grow older, that not many people are blessed with.

Red House by Sarah Messer. I grew up in old houses with low-ceilinged cellars and broad beams and stories. Messer writes about the old house she grew up in, which was continuously occupied by members of the same family (before her family bought it) from the 17th century up until the 20th. And she writes about her own family and her life and she weaves it all together beautifully.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Self Preservation

I'm watching highlights from the funeral service for Gerald Ford. W is speaking now so I feel OK turning my attention away to note that, goodness, they must have had to embalm the bejeezus out of Ford because he's been at room temperature for quite some time now.

No disrepect to Ford, of course. He was a great man and a fine President. I wish I could say the same for the man running the country now.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Kittenwar! McPolack Style

Dr. Moo: "Can I bring Tess (the Wonder Hound) when I come visit next weekend?"

Me: "What if she eats Daphne-Moon?" (cat belonging to me who Dr. Moo says is horribly spoiled.)

Dr. Moo: "She didn't eat Chloe Claws." (cat belonging to Dr. Moo known to express her anal sacs when you try to box her up and take her anywhere.)

Me: "Yeah, well that's because Tess knows she'd taste like ass juice."

Dr. Moo: "Well Tess won't eat Daphne-Moon because she knows she'd taste like spoiled milk."

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Happy New Year!

How was yours? Mine was quite uneventful, by choice. I turned down a couple of offers to stay in and, er, clean my fridge. It was part of the great McPolack purge, which also involved putting the bags of clothes and books that have been sitting in my bedroom for months into my car so I can take them to Goodwill, and then filling more bags with clothes and books.

Then I made my favorite shrimp dish and ate it, along with the rest of my chocolate Santa, because Lord knows you can't go into a New Year with last year's chocolate Santa. And then I went to bed before midnight.

I don't do resolutions because, for the most part, I feel like my life marches to a different beat than the ticking by of years but I will say that I'm going to be more grateful and less judgmental, and spend more time giving and less time gazing at my own fucking navel and being a whinocerous. And I will try harder to put as much love and peace and hope and faith into the world as possible, all the while being open to what I am supposed to do next.