Monday, April 30, 2007

Sister Vibes

You know how you hear those stories about siblings who can sense what the other is thinking and feeling? Often this happens with twins, but it can also happen with parents and children, and, as in my case, with non-twin sisters.

Dr. Moo and I seem to have this connection. When she came to visit on Friday she said to me "Guess what I saw while I was driving down here!"

I said "A giant naked white ass?"

And that was what, nay, exactly what she had seen. Some dude was changing into bike shorts on the side of the road in Ripton Vermont and it was full-on double-cheeked big white moon.

Eerie, isn't it?


Thursday, April 26, 2007


So today I went to yoga and then right after yoga I went to spinning class, my first ever, with a childhood friend of Dr. Moo's.

It was good, I sweated, the kind where the sweat beads on the hairs on your upper lip. Thankfully the hair on my upper lip is blonde and soft. I wish I could say the same for the man hairs on my chin.

But I digress.

After class we did a stretch where you make a figure four by crossing the ankle of one leg over the knee of another. I'd just done an arm balance with my legs in this position in yoga class, as in like an hour and a half before, and I was feeling special, so I decided to show off and do the pose in the locker room, in a slim space between some lockers and a bench.

The position is, of course, awkward -- ass in the air, and such -- and was made even more awkward when I pitched forward too far and toppled over, bashing my head, followed by my shoulder, onto the hard tile floor.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's like going to HBS for free.

That's what I tell myself to get myself through transcribing 80 straight minutes of a class on the restructuring of the Nikkei index, whether there was an opportunity for arbitrage, and if so, how to execute on it.

Actually sometimes I answer the professor's question right before any of the students, which makes me feel more smarterer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I am part of what is wrong with this country...

...sometimes when I call OSB, and I call her often, her husband answers the phone and says "I thought I told you never to call here again," reason being that I oftentimes get her hooked on absolute crap TV.

Let's take last night, for instance. OSB calls me. I'm eating dinner. I call her back. Hubby is not home and OSB is bored with Dancing with the Stars. She also shamefully admits to having watched not one but two episodes of a search for the next Pussycat Doll reality show.

True friend that I am, I tell her to go to the country music channel, where they are running a marathon of a reality show where they pick people to work at Coyote Ugly, a chain bar where women tart themselves up, dance suggestively, and pour liquor down peoples' throats. Classy. To make OSB feel better, I tell her I watched the Coyote Ugly movie. Then I explain a little more about the show to her. "See, Liv, she's like the bitter old washed-up whore and her job is to make the young women feel bad about themselves."

Which she does. Last night the cranky old whore got all up in arms over two women that weren't wearing enough slutty makeup.

Honestly, you should change the channel if you come across this program.


Well this post is going to gross a lot of you out with its TMI factor but it's my blog, so too bad!

I've been really depressed the last couple of days. It's just something that happens to me, and I try my best to suck it up. Today I was lucky enough to be able to bring work home from the transcription office. While I was typing, I noticed my kitty was pacing around, and crying.

Oh, and licking her butt, which is where the TMI comes in.

But first, the backstory.

Now PolackPappy was among the first few thousand men and women to join the Peace Corps after it was established by President Kennedy; he was deployed to Peru in the mid-1960's. While there, he became quite acquainted with the local flora and fauna, including the Peruvian guinea pig, which has long hair, and which ran around and were snatched up and eaten with some regularity, sort of like small, hairy chickens.

When Dr. Moo was around nine she found one of her Christmas gifts in the pocket of my father's father's jacket. It was Sheila the Peruvian guinea pig. Sheila lived for nine years, a long time for any pig. And she was really my father's pet. He would sit with her on a towel in his lap and they would both fall asleep. Sheila would also go to the bathroom when she fell asleep, hence the towel. Lucky for us, PolackPappy wasn't one for crapping himself at naptime.

But oh did he love that pig. And she him. She used to get these enormous balls of poo stuck in her lower GI tract, and my father would hold her, belly-up in his hand, and pick the poo out with tweezers while cooing at her. She cooed back. It's gross to think of, I get that, but it's also sweet and touching.

Which brings me the long way 'round to my story: My poor bunny had a poo stuck in her bum and so I pulled a little bit of it out for her (using a tissue!) and then waited by her litter box until she passed the rest of it, put on some gloves, and examined it to make sure everything was OK. Which it was. It's spring, and she's got long hair and she's blowing her coat, and there was just a lot of hair in there.

And now she's laying on the carpet resting and giving me the lovey bunny blinky eyes.

I'm a good Mom.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Fully Covered

Soon everyone in Massachusetts will have to have some form of health insurance. Including me, a woman who has been uninsured for most of my adult life. I have stopped being surprised at how shocked people are when they find this out about me. I see in their expressions and reactions a combination of fright at imagining themselves in my situation, and amazement that I do crazy shiat like leave my house in the morning without the protective umbrella of, say, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

This week and part of last, I've been transcribing this weird tapes in which folks are asked, under hypnosis, questions about their own health insurance, and how they feel about the new Massachusetts law, and what they know about it. A lot of them are like me, in that they're just trying not to think about it. I mean, I've looked for information online several times now, and you'd think there would be some sort of a central clearinghouse of information but there's, well, nothing of note, really.

The tape about the woman/preop tranny that I made fun of recently turned out to be depressing, as the reason why the woman sounded so bad was because she'd had laryngitis for months and it hadn't cleared up and she has no health insurance and can't afford to go to the doctor. She took some leftover antibiotics from one family member, and to deal with her anxiety, had another insured family member up her antidepressant dosage so she could get one from her for free. She doesn't know what she's going to do.

Health insurance is one of those things that, in a life full of putting out financial fires (and that's the sort of life I've led), you just ignore until it's licking at the curtains or even the bedsheets, because there's just no room in your head, amongst all the other worries, for that one. I really wish my life wasn't like that but it's that age-old conundrum -- you can look up at people with better lives than you and feel bad about it, or down at people with lives worse than you and feel grateful, but mostly you just try to get through the day a little better than you got through the day before, and keep climbing upwards.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Victory is mine!

I FINALLLY figured out how to make the Cuisinart I got for five bucks (it's missing the plunger thingie) work. I have been lugging it around for three years, dusting it off occasionally and plugging it in, only to find it still won't turn on.

Well tonight I came home with basil from the Market Basket, intending to make fresh pesto to go with the ravioli PolackPappy shared with me a few weeks ago. I assembled the ingredients in the cup for my handheld mixer...and realized I'd left the mixer itself at my parent's.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, I thought.

But then, oh ho, I decided to give the old Cusinart another try. Turns out you need to line up this white spring-loaded plunger thingy on the bottom of the bowl with a wee brown button on the base, and THEN you ALSO must line up a part if the lid with the plunger thingy.

Well color me excited. Now I can grind almonds for tarts! Along with lots of other things! When my brother and his wife come for dinner next week we just may eat pureed everything, sucked up with a straw!

Ok, probably not. But still -- !!


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Here's a funny for you

I transcribed this today, at the end of what sounded like a doctor but what could have been an I'm not a doctor but I play one on TV doctor interviewing a couple of "patients" about various health issues, in front of a camera. It was 40 minutes of so of the doctor speaking in dulcet tones, gently drawing out this and that from the patients, all professional and regular, when all of a sudden he said...

We’re going to start with, I think, a running colonoscopy, if you’ll just bend over that table I’m going to get in that other room and run in here and just ram it home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

You Say Tomato, I Say Go F#%* Yourself

Ah, sweet Aunt Flo...

About a week or so before she is due for a visit I have bouts of searing irritability and barely contained crankiness. Let us take today for example: On my lunch break from the transcription office on the way back from paying for a small cup of coffee partly from the nearly-empty change basket in my kitchen, I am approached by someone in a black fleece jacket. She says ma'am to me or some such thing and starts following me.

I snarl at her, "What do you want?" She throws her hands back and explains she is from Save the Children. Well we'll see about that, but I do give her a bit of time and apologize for being initially nasty.

Then later I get on the train and, sweet Jesus, I find a seat. Unfortunately it is in front of some pockmarked freako who keeps swinging his crotch forward and backward, ever closer to my face. I hold my crossword puzzle daybook in between me and his junk but spend half my time thinking expletive).

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Then I get home and can only locate one library book. I go to the library and a middle-school aged girl, clearly an idiot, darts into traffic, gets honked at, and tries to shove her way past me to get in the door. I see her coming and block it with my Polish ass so that the entitled Cambridge leftie brat has to wait her turn.


I have no words...


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Don't Buy This

Unless of course you wish to get very, very large...this wee box of adorable Japanese choco-biscuity goodness has 500 fatty calories in it and, trust me, unless you have stuffed your maw beforehand (as I did) with, um, jellybeans, a peanut butter and chocolate chunk cookie from a batch you made yourself, and six foil-wrapped milk chocolate New-Hampshire made eggs, you will not be able to resist eating the entire thing and then feeling sad that you are bloated and gassy from stuffing your face, sadder still that the box is empty.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Close to Home

Dr. Moo got her undergrad degree at Virginia Tech. I visited her there while she was in school and even came along on her initial tour of the campus. I got my tattoo in Blacksburg, at the same place the churchy folk Moo was close with went for their WWJD tattoos.

I haven't heard from Moo and I don't really know why I'm writing about this, other than to say that I know the place, albeit only a little, and it's lovely there, and the people there are lovely, too, and I'm sorry for everyone involved.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Rally Hopping

I'm in this photo, somewhere between the two signs to the right of the lamp post on the left. Saturday was a banner day for me in terms of sheer busyness, with a trip to the gym first thing in the morning, followed by feeding a coworker's kitty cat, followed by breakfast, followed by one global warming rally in Davis Square, followed by a stop at my apartment, followed by wonderful spring rolls eaten in the hallway of a combo sandwich stand/jewelry shop in Chinatown, followed by another global warming rally in downtown Boston, which Dr. Moo and Tess came to, followed by more cat feeding, followed by dinner out, followed by seeing smoke coming from the general vicinity of where I live with speeding police cars and fire trucks and speeding me, thinking, holy shit, my bunny.

By which I mean my kitty. But it turns out it was at a place a couple of streets over and it looked like nobody was hurt. Moo wanted to watch it. She's also gone to a mob trial. We walked by the house this morning and it was the attached garage that was toast, as opposed to the house. It didn't make the news.

In other McPolack news, I passed by yet another dead bird, a seagull with a broken neck, and it was making me so sad that I said to my sister, let's pick it up, and then she picked it up for me, saying it was awkward for everyone, and I said it was undignified for the bird, and now he's in my trashcan outside and I feel much better that he is there as opposed to out on the sidewalk.

I've said a lot and the only thing I've got left is this: PBS might not be the greatest Friday night date, especially if you watch three solid hours of depressing documentaries on how hard it is to be an overweight person followed by one on Jonestown that concludes with listening to a recording of Jim Jones yelling while babies are crying and people are screaming because 909 of them are commiting suicide rightthen.



Friday, April 13, 2007

Who knew?

Well apparently I am a Republican. Today at the career counselor I prioritized my values and my top three values were God, fulfillment, and family.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Well, 'ello, Lovey

Tonight I sat in a pew at an Episcopalian church with Carmen to watch an author read from two of his books and then speak at great length about the problems in the Middle East and contend with some beastly folks in the back who kept, quite literally, bitching whenever they couldn't hear the questions being asked.

Now while I have purchased one of the author's books as a gift for a friend, I have yet to actually buy any of them for myself. OK, or read them. Of course I was interested in hearing what this gentleman had to say, because he is a walker, because he's my age and has done a lot with his life, and because I was genuinely curious to get the opinion of someone who has related to the people of Afghanistan on a very human level.

But I would be remiss if I did not also add that said author is a tall drink of Scottish. Look at him! Whee-hoo is he ever adorable. And articulate. Not to mention all dodgy on a certain question related to why he felt he had to walk across Afghanistan the hard way, dropping a vaguely Jungian allusion before pretty much avoiding the answer all together. I could have told him a thing or two about why I think men insist at times on doing things the hard way. Also I have read the Jung. We could talk philosophy! He was also very excitable and amusing and sweetly annoyed when, after an hour and a half of hearing him expound upon the issues in the Middle East, some people got up and left. And then at the end he quoted T.S. Eliot, on humility.

Sigggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Would that he did not live in Kabul. Readers, this man is d-r-e-a-m-y.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hunky Monkey

Hearts were a-flutter at the transcription office today. It was the first day for Ben (not his real name), a tall, strapping, lad who's taking pre-med classes. After he left, the boss came in and said "I like it when we get big boys in here." I shared with her his plans to become a doctor and asked how old he was. "oo, I have his driver's license," she said. So she went and checked.

Alas, he is 23. And though she and I crowed about him to the more age appropriate girls in the office, they didn't seem as interested as we were. One of my coworkers said I don't look 10 years older than him, and she'd never tell, but let's be honest: 23 is just too unformed.

On the online dating front, that guy never wrote back to me. But he did change his profile, which included cutting his list of interests down to included only "beauty."


In other McPolack news, I feel a wee bit barfy and really don't want to go out but I am instead taking the f'ing bus to visit friends. It's important to be social. Even if all you want to do is lay in bed and eat salty things.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Finger Flickin' Good

Lately I've been writing five positive things from my day in a document I call "The Happy File." I'm doing it to turn around the stinker of a mood I've been in and also to combat my self-hatred. I'm trying to turn up the volume on the positivity.

Well today I included in that list "Gave two people who almost ran me over the finger and was OK with it."

In the past when I'm running and someone almost kills me I've given them the finger, or a dirty look, or smacked the car with my hand, and then afterwards felt like a bad person for letting them make me mad. At the same time, everyone who let me by got a smile and a wave and a thank you. I'm still operating under the same rules except for that I no longer feel like a heel when I flip someone the bird. Today I was on Brattle Street, home of the super-rich Cambridge Communists (hee hee) when one jackass almost ran me over. Well I gave him a dirty look and threw up my hands and when he didn't apologize, it was fingy time.

Then the lady in the car behind him had the gall to honk at me. What's that? You want a fingy of your own? Well here you go, sweetheart.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh. It felt good to let them know my feelings and better still to let go of the guilt.

Monday, April 09, 2007



And the Easter Quote of the Year Goes To...

...Dr. Moo.

When the should-have-been-a-Southern-Baptist-but-instead-ministers-to-the-frozen-chosen-Catholics priest at my parents' church, said, as we were all reaffirming our beliefs as Catholics by saying "I do" en masse and quietly, "This next time I want you to blow my vestments off!"

"I don't," said Moo.

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Friday, April 06, 2007

I'm A Russian

...all over the place today.

Up early, do the dishes, in Sudbury for a 9 am appointment with the career counselor. We talk about what it will take for me to freelance. I have steps to take. I am open to many things.

Zoom over to the Whole Foods for edamame and coffee; also, edamame hummus, super fantastic focaccia, cheese, and chocolate for my inaugural hike with OSB's baby Ella. OSB of course will be coming, too, and carrying Ella on her back. We're doing a wee mountain; I hope to work up to Mount Washington soon.

Now it's off to the transcription office where I will by typing up the adventures of dumb criminals; then the gym, where I will be working off the effects of Cadbury sugar shell eggs; then home for baking, packing, cleaning, et cetera.

It's Holy Week for the Christians and was just Passover for the Jewish folk. I think that makes it a high spiritual time for the planet. I hope today finds you well and healthy and hopeful.

That is how it finds me.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

This alone would make me go out with me in a second

Boy was that some bad English...

But anyhoo. The dating site I am on asks me to list:

My most unusual or impressive skill

Here's what I responded:
I can eat a rubber tire to The Flight of The Bumblebee.

Oh wait, that was Gonzo.



Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Well I've got a Boston Public Library card and I have to say, I'm pretty excited about that. They've got great big stone lions in there! And non-scary bathrooms! And cranky middle-aged female librarians! And helpful young (not marriage material, Mcmumsy) male ones!

Oh, and they have books -- lots of 'em.

I spent about an hour in the reference area copying information out of a book on writing -- got a fairly decent list of professional organizations, plus a formula for calculating how much you should charge per hour, plus a suggested range of hourly charges. Then I checked out their John Adams exhibit -- they have his whole library there, behind glass, along with an exhibition. My favorite parts were a smattering of leaves someone had pressed between the pages of one of the books years ago, as in hundreds of years ago, and a book on slug worms -- neat! I do like how committed Adams was to reading, as I come from a family of readers myself.

And if you're wondering about my latest Internet honey, well, he updated his profile but didn't write to me. Which sounds like outlook not good to me. Which is a pissa for him because after I went to the BPL I went to Anthropologie and tried some cute shirts on and damn, am I fine.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not Much Happening... the world of McPolack, unless you count my renewed commitment to be a freelancer (while not ruling out great full-time work), which means I need to be more serious about the fact that I am a sole proprieter. So I am on the hunt for a good, free business card design program and am also on the hunt for more work. I'm still seeing the career counselor as well, meh, and have to go to the library at her suggestion to look for professional societies in the areas of work I'm interested in. Now part of me thinks this is just ridiculous -- who goes to the library and does shit like that? Isn't that like listening to 8-tracks or trying to find out about potential dates by actually stalking them, as opposed to stalking them on the Internet?

Anyhoo. I haven't heard back from online dating man yet but I am pretty sure he got my message. It is taking -- well, not all of my being, but some of it -- to avoid constantly checking my e-mail and thinking and obsessing about it.

Oh, and did you see the news that the citizen group that patrols the US-Mexico border is going to be doing the same for our border with Canada? Well, thank God, I say, because the last thing this country needs is another Brandon Walsh.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Feet First

Despite feeling lonely sometimes and really wanting to have a nice supportive partner in life I've really been doing very little in terms of actual dating. I hope and hope and hope and I doll myself up and, like I did tonight, occasionally troll the Internet dating sites for available men.

Tonight I did find one really cute, really interesting sounding fellow. His photo and his writing both come across as sweet. I mean, tall, nature boy, glasses, scruffy, a-dorable. Smart.

So I thought, hmm, maybe I should turn my profile back on if only to write him.

He's pretty hippy-dippy and honestly after I stared at him for a while I thought, you know, I prolly shouldn't go out and find a zany free spirit such as myself, because then what will our children eat?

Also I couldn't find any good pictures of myself.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Small Town

So this is a view of the center of where I grew up, Chester, NH, where my parents lived for some 30 years. Note the church, where I, my brother, and sister, all had our eighth grade graduation ceremonies. Note also the blinking yellow light. That would be the only traffic light in the whole town, and it wasn't always there. I haven't been back to Chester in a long time. In my day (and please try to imagine that being said in the voice of a crotchety old person) every business in the center of town -- the hardware store, the general store, the restaurant, and the hair salon -- were owned by members of the same super-procreative family. They had 12 kids.

Now apparently the store and restaurant are owned by someone else, and were sold within the last couple of years. So I guess some things do change. But certainly not what passes for entertainment there on a weeknight.

(I should also add that I in fact would TOTALLY have been up for watching something like this. It's like the parallel universe of when they parade the elephants through NYC.)