Saturday, June 30, 2007

Creature Quadruple Feature

They say death comes in threes.

Late this past winter my second cousin C died of cancer...then there was my cousin R on Wednesday...and I got to my parent's house today and was told that Babcia died this morning. She was in hospice care in a hospital and had slipped into a coma the night before.

My parents left for 10 days in Ireland about 20 minutes ago and I've got a big story I'm working on so I have that to focus on but honestly? Being all alone with all this to process sucks. I'm all for being a strong independent woman, and I am, but it's times like these I wish I had a husband and kids -- or a boyfriend -- or, geez, somebody.

What I do have are four wonderful little animals. Tess the Wonder Hound is here, as Dr. Moo is visiting her boyfriend (!). Then there's Chauncey the Wonder Corgi, my kitty, and Ethel, who came here from my Babcia's farm in Hampton Falls. I really do feel like animals can sense things -- Chauncey and Tess have been on me -- well, they're on me anyway -- they're needy -- but I'm glad to have them around. I sort of feel like I could use a good cry at some point but right now I need to get a birthday gift for a swell baby, and some groceries, and maybe something swell at Target.

Peace out.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

i am the walrus.

I come from a fairly large Irish brood on my mother's side and my birth marked the start of the second round of cousins, with the first having come from those born to the children my GrammyMc had before her husband went off to cover WWII for a local newspaper. The cousins who came before me gave me stuffed animals as presents and I still have some of them, named for the giver -- including a bear named for cousin B and a walrus named for cousin R.

On Wednesday, cousin R was found dead by his only child in that child's parked car. He'd been homeless on and off for a while, and he was an alcoholic. He'd been in and out of treatment and he just didn't make it -- he probably died from a combination of too much alcohol and being in a car on that awful hot day.

I remember a time before the booze swallowed him up. He was a good person.

It breaks my heart to think of his child.

Tubby, tubby, tubby tank. Tubby tank-tank.

That would be one of the songs I sing to my kitty. At the moment she is sprawled out across the floor close to me, sleeping, and exposing an enormous amount of fuzzy bunny belly. She's only a pound overweight but she's got a lot of fur. I sing that song to her while scratching her belly. I know she likes it because she kneads her front paws.

I've got a second story assignment from one of my contacts -- which is great news! Of course as you might recall, the last one was 600 words to be written quickly around Memorial Day. Now its 1200 to 1500 in less time and, say, it's the fourth of July next week! So I wonder if I do great on this one, too, does it mean a 48 hour turnaround for 5,000 words on the day before Thanksgiving?

In all honesty, I'm glad, really, really glad for the work because I feel like it's a recognition that I'm on the right path. Oh, and it pays cash money.

As an aside to my dear friend AT, congratulations on your new job!!! Of course I will come and eat many meals with you. And I just saw Sir C-B's babysitter at Diesel; she said he was sprawled across her kitchen counter when she left, and was feeling fine.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Toys of My Youth

Along with Bug World, my personal Holy Grail of childhood toys -- I have yet to find even an image of it, let alone a set to purchase -- there is this.

It's Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow. Now I never had this toy, but my only child friend Gabby Perry did -- or, scratch that, her neighbors had gotten it for her to play with. It was like she was the only child of four parents. It was a toy utopia.

Anyhoo, I have a distinct memory of Milky being set up on her mat on Dottie's kitchen counter. I wanted to play with Milky so bad. I was AMAZED that when you put water in Milky, milk (all right, "pretend milk") came out. It was on the level of Jesus turning water into wine for me. I had the same awe for the plastic baby doll who, when she wet herself, would get a diaper rash.

As I recall, I wasn't allowed to play with Milky, for whatever reason. I may have surreptitiously pumped her tail up and down a few times when nobody was looking but it obviously wasn't enough for me because damn it, I still want Milky. Oh, and also Gobbles the Garbage Eating Goat. Hee hee!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

TV Land

The last two visitors to stay at chateau McPolack, JoyceFrances and Dr. Moo, do not have television. Of course your stay at chateau McPolack includes clean sheets, a wakeup nudge, and a giant TV with working remote control (courtesy, oddly enough, of JoyceFrances, whose husband bought an even bigger TV).

JoyceFrances, who slept here on Wednesday night, particularly enjoyed the infomercials for powdered foundation and the show about morbidly obese people who are getting gastric bypass surgery. She commented that TV is about fat people, selling stuff, and Jesus -- which means she caught Joni and her scary-ass husband on DayStar. She fell asleep watching a show about a tanning salon featuring two bimbettes named Molly and Holly who call themselves the Olly girls.

Meanwhile Moo is a woman after my own heart. On her last visit she was up until three in the morning watching reruns of American Gladiator on ESPN2. Remember that show? With the giant be-spandexed men and women who whacked each other with even gianter q-tips? I was a little afraid my legs were as big as the women on that show but oh my they certainly are not.

I myself went off the sauce for a year back when I lived in Wilton, NH. This was before the age of DVD's, but I did rent a fair amount of movies. Can't say I missed the TV much, but I'll tell you, I think I'd miss it now.


Monday, June 25, 2007


Whilst on the Vineyard I got up a bit after 5 in the morning (I was nervous and not sleeping well) and went for a run that took me through West Chop and past these dead people. The wildlife was a little more, uh, lively -- I saw a brown bunny happily munching leaves on someone's front lawn, a shuffling teenage skunk on another, and a gull with a perch perfectly clasped in its feet. It was all so peaceful and quiet -- I even paused for a bit to enjoy the view over the Atlantic. I was grateful to have a moment like that.

On the beach I decompressed for an hour or so by looking at what had washed ashore. Saw tons of slipper shells, a couple of common spider crab carapaces, and bay scallop and jingle shells. There weren't many moon snails to speak of -- when I lived on the Vineyard 10+ years ago there were lots. I used to wear one on a piece of yarn around my neck. Yes, I was that hippie-dippie.

Anyhoo I brought home a piece of green sea glass, a couple of jingle shells, and a handful of the prettier bay scallop shells. I like decorating with found objects. It's thrifty and meaningful all at once.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Morning Coming Down


What a weekend it has been, dear readers. What. A. Weekend.

On the Babcia front -- she lives! After spending some time mourning and feeling sad for her whilst on the Vineyard (she was taken to the hospital on Wednesday for rehydration) I called home, and talked to PP, who said she'd turned the corner back to life. So part of me feels a smidge like The Boy Who Cried Wolf only instead I am the Woman Who Cried Dead Grandma. So I thank you all for all your thoughts and prayers and I'm glad the Babcia is comfy and happy and not-dead and I can only hope she continues in that fashion until she is not-not-dead.

So. The Vineyard. I have several stories to tell. First, the overall picture -- in a word, overwhelming. This was a conference made up pretty much entirely of powerful, wealthy, intelligent, driven people -- to the nth degree. I unfortunately was not listed in the guidebook so nobody knew my role as a writer and I was viewed more as a helper and therefore was largely ignored -- ignored to the point, unfortunately, where at lunch on the last day, a gentleman came and sat down next to me, realized who I was, and, I shit you not, made up an excuse and got up and left.

So that was insulting.

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut there is a positive side to all of this which is that I know what to do the NEXT time I am in this situation -- barter for more notoriety. Ask to be introduced to more people. I do have to thank one SK for doing that even without my asking -- he introduced me to this man, as both potential suitor and employer. It was such a compliment to get that sort of a fix-up. I would say the overall lesson from this would be to believe in myself more. Which I do.

One more quick story -- with more reflections to come later: On Friday afternoon, I was timing a session -- basically I'm like a ring girl, holding up signs to let the moderator know how much time is left until break. Well didn't two of the most attractive non-wedding-ring-wearing men just sit down on either side of me. Woo-hoo me, I thought. That is, until I was summarily ignored by both -- they also ignored the speaker. Instead I heard, at times, simultaneous clicking noises as they either furiously Blackberried or munched on their fingernails as if they hadn't eaten in years.

Crazy stuff.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Martha's Vineyard

I'm off to the Vineyard early tomorrow morning to work at a conference. I lived there for a summer 14 years ago. It was a weird summer.

But I'm glad to be going and gladder still that JoyceFrances is joining me -- she'll be doing fun vacation-y things and sharing my room while I work. There's been no news on the Babcia. I'm overtired and cranky but grateful I was able to find time to clean my apartment and get organized and that my sister-in-law will be stopping by to check in on my kitty!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The Landlord

Silence Part 2

I realize the last post made it sound as if my Babcia would be gone by morning. And she could. Or she could linger a couple of days. This is uncharted waters, blogging about someone dying. I don't know what to write. I guess I'll leave it at this: Babcia's 91 today. She's in my prayers and on my mind. Along with a lot of other stuff. Which I don't necessarily feel makes me selfish.

It makes me human.


Monday, June 18, 2007


My Babcia's dying -- I just said goodbye to her. It's OK, she's surrounded by people she loves, she's comfortable and safe. I'm so glad I got to tell her how much I love her and I'm glad I got to hear her voice one more time.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I am wicked tired. I'm even too tired to find a funner way to say I've been burning the candle at both ends. Yesterday I was up at 7:30, went to the gym, did my catsitting duties, picked up a prescription refill, waxed (yee-ouch and it was a new DIY brazilian wax kit -- who in God's name would choose to do that at home without some Demerol and a ball gag is beyond me. I just did the inner thighs), met a dear friend and had a picnic on Cambridge Commons and a moment of grace unlike anything I've experienced in more than 10 years. Which is quite significant. And which I want to recognize now but write about later.

Then I met another friend downtown for shopping, only it turns out I have 18 dollars in the bank and I need to get cat food and another prescription and groceries and, ah, fuck me. I took some money out of my savings account, which I didn't want to do, but I wanted to ask for it from somebody else less. I do still feel like I'm on the right path and I am working so g-d hard and I trust that it's all going to be OK because I am going to make it OK.

Anyhoo, got home from shopping late as they are busing on part of the T and then went to Market Basket which at 8 on a Saturday night is perhaps only 75 percent as full of batshit crazy people as usual. But I got some nice blueberries! Then I came home and talked to OSB and made a big chicken sandwich and watched Thank You For Smoking, which was a fine flick. And then I went bed. To arise today at 7:45, get the paper, run, do laundry, do the dishes, change the catbox, wish happy father's day to PP who commented on the fact that it was his broke child calling and then when I said he was a great dad he said "great. they can put that on my headstone."

Then it was back to feed the cat again, put the laundry on the fire escape to dry, get ready for book club, pick the dry laundry out of the bushes after it blew off the fire escape, try to pick up at least one part of my apartment so it isn't all a dump, which makes me nutty, and worry worry worry about going to Martha's Vineyard for this conference on Thursday.

Oh and I put my air conditioners in. And had a wee pity party after I couldn't get the one in my bedroom to turn on. First it was the plug. Then it was the plastic knob, which broke last year but I taped it but no longer did it work. So then I was on to plastic knob number two. It fucking broke. Then I tried one of my heater knobs. Didn't work. I was hot, dirty, and pissed. Went to the basement and got a clothespin. It didn't work. Went to the dollar store and bought needle nose pliers (which, M-f'er, were MORE than a dollar). They didn't work either. Gave up. Went to book club. Ate lots of meat.

And now I'm home. Thank Christ and God and Our Lady of Guadelupe, I was able to turn on the A/C in the bedroom. Despite all my bitching I'm really A-OK and feeling fine. I'm quite excited by the freelance work that's come my way and I'm pondering a change and really feeling that I'm in a good space and headed towards a better one.

So peace out to you all and to the Dads, (like you, sir loins, whose daughter is lucky to have you.)
and you, PP, who doesn't read my blog, but who I admire and love tremendously and am so proud of and so grateful for, Happy Father's Day.

(and now I realize I did not make the same tribute to Mcmumsy on her special day. So the above is ditto for her. Plus extra kudos for enduring natural labor to phoot my ass out into the world.)

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Spies Like Us

I've got an analytics tool I use to track visitors to my doesn't give me a ton of information, but it lets me know how many unique visitors I get a day - usually around 50 or so - and where those visitors are from, both by global and by network location.

Well lo and behold today I find out this site has been visited in the last month or so by the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Now neither of these visitors stayed long enough to register even a second of time looking at the page, so I imagine I was just pinged by some sort of search program, but still -- spooky! Homeland Security visited the day I talked about the Democratic debate -- I'm sure they've marked McMumsy and my Aunt Peggy as subversive troublemakers, :) -- but I can't really figure out why the State Department was here on the 21st of May.

Anyhoo, if you ever want to make yourself sick to your stomach about the state of privacy in this nation, including on the Internet, you should watch this episode of Frontline.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Sometimes I pick up on these weird trends. A few months ago I read about this blonde dude in Elle. And now, in the last three days, Lapo Elkann has been all over the place. He's a kooky rich Euro with a fancy family and a super publicist. First there was the multipage spread of him in Vogue (which I brought home from the gym) with a model with the equally bizarre name of Doutzen. WTF is up with the wacky names, rich people?

Then there he was again, talking about his Lichtenstein in the Style section of the Sunday Times (which I read online today). And finally Gawker linked to an article about him in the NY Observer.

Yet I cannot figure out what the big deal is, save he's rich and interesting looking and is most known for OD'ing on heroin and cocaine while with a transexual prostitute. OK, NOW he's known for selling sunglasses, apparently. And of course for being mentioned on McPolack, Inc. Now he can really say he's made it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Oh how I want this to be a post about underpants if only to live up to the title.

But it's not about underpants.

It's about briefs.

As in, the middlepersons liked my pricing and pitch (phew, as I felt like I didn't prepare enough for it) and now I am to write up a proposal for said foreign government. I think I could have gotten more money had I asked but honestly it felt like a fair price to me and I'm not about ripping people off, or even squeezing them in the slightest. I like for things to be fair. It's the Libra in me.

On the man front, ODMWCMH (as in older doctor man who called me hot) sent his phone number and said I should call to set up a time for meeting for coffee. I'm trying to figure out how to call him without having my name and number show up on his caller ID. Dr. Moo said I should call him from a pay phone. I countered with calling him collect from a pay phone.

Finally the Daphs had her yearly checkup today and I am pleased to report she is fit as a fiddle. And she stopped crying, mostly, if I carried her around in the examining room, and told her she was a good bunny.

It's nice to know I can make someone (well, some kitty) feel safe.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Learning Curve Steep

I've got a phone meeting tomorrow in which I have to let a representative agency know how much money I would like to propose the government of a foreign nation pay me to ghostwrite an article for them. Which is wicked exciting! And also not the easiest thing to figure out, despite having taken a great book out of the library and looked online. I would like to be paid what I am worth but I also would like to not quote an amount that seems obscene. My, my, my.

I also have been educating myself on the nature of publishing bylined articles.

So much to learn!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Dumps like a truck

Just got off the phone with architect number two...surprise, surprise, he said he had fun hiking but felt more of a friend vibe.

Well I took the opportunity to let him know that going on a super long date and getting sweaty and et cetera the day before and then showing up unshowered for a second date was insulting.

Of course he said he begged to differ.

Which would be when I begged to differ and told him that he smelled.

Then I let him dangle like a fish on a hook for a little while as he tried to explain that away.

Then I felt sort of bad and told him it wasn't all bad and good luck with his job, et cetera.

Honestly, I'm proud of me. He was a shithead and needed to realize that. Which he did. So score one for me.



The Dating Game

OK just looking for some quick opinions here. I just got an e-mail from a fellow who is in his mid-forties (so out of my ideal age range), says he is 5’8” (which could mean he is shorter) and a doctor (but no longer practicing and is now a consultant). The problem would be that he said in his e-mail it was nice to see someone who was so “hot” not take themselves so seriously.

Um, WTF, hot? How old is this guy? Or rather, how old does he think I am?

Do I write to him? Because I’m thinking eeyew, no. But then again, hello, handsome doctor.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bark Bark

Yesterday I learned that if I eat my lunch a half hour early and then go running before my afternoon snack, so as to avoid getting caught in dangerous thunderstorms, I'll make myself sick. I had to stop running at one point because I was having heart palpitations. Not good.

Ooo, and then there was a little old lady walking a little old doggie and I said "Aren't you a cute doggie?"

And the little bastard bit me! Right in the calf. It didn't break the skin but I've got a lump with an angry red dot in the middle of it surrounded by a nice bruise. The little old lady said her dog didn't have any teeth. Um, clearly he had at least one.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just ranting

Soooooooooo L and my German friend came over tonight...we had a delicious dinner...stuffed cauliflower, pork loin, tortelline with roasted red bell peppers, garlic and cheese, plus fresh fruit and lemony fizzy water.

I went to show them the second architect's profile...only to discover he had turned it off...and I haven't heard from him since the stink incident on Sunday.

Which makes me think, hmm, he likes that other woman and he already had decided he liked her when he went hiking with me, hence the no showering, and other bad behaviors.

Which makes me think FUCKING ASSHOLE.

Also L and my German friend left before the movie was finished so L could go snuggle with her boyfriend, who she called while sitting with all of us on the sofa.

And now I am suffering from a case of the poor mes.

Of course I could be totally wrong about the second architect. But I sort of doubt it.


But I am already back on the horse, having e-mailed another person from the personal ads today. But I'm also thinking of leaving Boston come September and moving to Center Sandwich on my own because, fuck this city and its idiot men; I want to be in the woods.

Why bother with CNN?

When you can come here to find out what Sunday's Democratic debate was really like. McMumsy e-mailed me her thoughts on what she saw:

The debate was wonderful - Anderson Cooper was broadcasting outside the restrooms, James Carville was strolling about, and Larry King was standing a stone's throw away from Peggy and I, which was a good thing as he looked like he might need CPR at any moment. I shook hands with Barack - They are all good, but I am leaning towards him at this point.

I should also note that Peggy, my mother's younger sister, is, along with being an attorney, a geriatric nurse.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Stinky McStinkpants

Ah, me.

So yesterday dawned with me and the second architect on the road bright and early, headed out to climb one of the hills of NH. He showed up at my door wearing what looked like a pith helmet but what turned out to be a piece of what beekeepers wear.

No (cough) big deal there.

The big deal is that I think yesterday his day that was spent on one of the harbor islands in Boston sweating a lot and swimming, possibly naked, with the other person he's seeing.

OK, no, the BIGGER deal is that he did not bother to take a shower after all of that. It was hot in Boston yesterday, hot and humid, and he was on a boat and then he was riding his bike everywhere and swimming in the ocean and then it was back on the boat and lord knows what else.

He smelled.

Also when I thanked him for getting up so early he said "Well I really wanted to go hiking." As opposed to any mention of wanting to see me.

He did pay for some gas and offered me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and mentioned he'd told a friend of his about me. And he commented on how pretty my fuzzy duckling kitty is and she let him pat her. I don't want to hang him out to dry. But the bathing thing? -- honestly.

Oh, then when we got home (after he mentioned he doesn't like driving by way of explaining how he didn't offer to drive for any of the 5 hours we were on the road) he immediately went into my bathroom, STANK IT UP (I have matches and spray, neither of which were used) and left. With no kissing. I had to hug him. I did not get the sense he was embarrassed by the, uh, toilette episode.

And THEN after he left I got on the phone and there was nobody home for me to talk to! Dr. Moo was on call, OSB was probably asleep, and McMumsy was off gallivanting around at the Democratic debate in Manchvegas.

I don't know. Maybe I'm being ridiculous and mean for even writing this. I still feel like there's possibility there, even after all this. But another part of me is sad and still another mad, and that one wants to keep the hundred dollar sunglasses he left in my kitchen (I made cream ginger scones and Americanos for breakfast and he hemmed and hawed over paying for my coffee and doughnut at DnD on the way back) as payment for putting up with him.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

GH, Friend to Smart Ladies Everywhere...

Today my 600 word magazine article is due. I've been working on it for a week and a half. I have a LOT of information. I'm on the third draft of writing it and I'm turning it in by 7 tonight. I am a smart and capable lady. But I needed a break.

And that break is the last half hour of General Hospital. I've been watching GH more than half my life, on and off. I kind of, well, actually like it -- of course for the kitsch value but then, well, it's sort of -- good.

I mean it's no Frontline but for the genre, I think the actors do a good job. One of them is from New Hampshire! And when he was interviewed by NH Chronicle he said what people who grew up in NH do -- that it's a wonderful state. When you're from NH you have pride in it and a sense of place the way people do about Texas. People not from NH have laughed at me when I told them this. People who are from NH never do.

But back to the GH -- I'm not the only smart lady who's a fan. Dr. Moo watches and she went to Cornell! And my cousin Katie, who is in charge of a major state Web site, watched GH while on maternity leave. I'm calling it the thinking woman's soap. And by thinking woman I don't mean it's going to educate you or enlighten with you. It's more like eating a bag of those multicolored all natural potato chips as opposed to a bag of, say, Lays.

I think you should watch it, too.