Thursday, August 30, 2007


I took a break from chipping away at the story I'm writing to call Dr. Moo, number one because my mood has partly to do with female trouble, something we in the McPolack sisterhood refer to as Period Monster, and number two because she's my only sister and is bound by blood to listen to me bitch.

PM causes me to say things like this, in reaction to her tale of a potluck dinner party she attended with a bunch of college professors and librarians, to which she brought both pee-warm beer and pee-warm greasy store-brand appetizers:

1. God, remind me never to invite you to a dinner party. I bet the beer was Miller Lite.

And this, when I heard the main course at said potluck was baked ziti:

2. Baked ziti is a pussy thing to cook.

Of course Moo cheered me up both with the fact that a six-figure education and the letters D and R before your name aren't enough to convince you that the beer that's on the floor OUTSIDE of the refrigerated beer is not, in fact, made cold by its proximity to said fridge, and that, on the way back from the potluck, she flung some 40 now-cold still-greasy store brand appetizers out the window, one by one.



I'm having a jerk day. As in, I feel like a jerk, I act like a jerk. I even cancelled plans at the last minute to eat jerk chicken for dinner with friends.

I am not kidding about any of this.

I'm on deadline, and cranky, a delightful combination. I just had three, count 'em three, phone calls in a row from friends. The first, a writer, God love her, totally understood and hung up right away. The second was the jerk-chicken making friend. She wasn't so understanding. The third, well I didn't bother to answer the phone. I feel very ROWRRRRRRRR! Leave me alone!!!!

Also on my way back from getting iced coffee some boy going through his college hippie phase tried to get me to talk to him about Greenpeace and I didn't even give him a smile.

A new way to work...

So last night whilst watching a swell documentary film I noticed one woman in the flick, a playwright, showed "the magic" of writing plays. She has a kitchen timer next to her computer. She sets it for 50 minutes and for those 50 minutes she works. Then she sets it for 10. Those 10 minutes are for her to think things like "Who the f$#@ do I think I am? I'm no writer. Ooo, I suck. And I have a fat ass." OK the fat ass bit comes from me.

Also she'll clean in those 10 minutes.

I've done four of those blocks today. It does feel more effective to me than just going full-on which for me and my ADD can mean just 15 to 20 minutes of work out of an hour.

I'm starting on my next 50-minuter now. Cheers!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On time, and how to spend it

I've had a very busy week so far, and it's only Wednesday. This is really good news -- as a freelancer, you want to have too much work. I'm writing an article, transcribing, and also helping test a search engine.

Today I got up a little after seven, talked to my kitty, put on my gym clothes, had a snack. I said the rosary as I walked to the gym. I've been saying the rosary every day this month, because I'm all about Mary, because I want to really have a daily spiritual practice, and because, underneath it all, I'm fucking scared about my ability to support myself doing the work I know I'm good at. And in terms of actions speaking louder than words over the last few years I've been broke and alone, and it makes it hard to really believe in oneself when one has nothing and has gotten nothing, despite everything.

I'm tired.

On the way back from the gym I looked up, and saw the sky was super-blue. It's a gorgeous day out and I didn't even notice it. I just feel like this whirring tin thing, head down, not noticing what is happening around me or where my life is going. I wish it were easier. I wish people didn't feel the need to give me bad advice when they have no concept of struggle.

Ooo, and I wish 50 million dollars would rain from the sky on me, followed shortly by my husband, whose fall would be cushioned by all that sweet, sweet cash.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Animal rescue, on the other side of the pond.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

Went to the McPolack homestead on Saturday afternoon to spend time with my parents. Was floating in the pool with McMumsy whilst Chauncey the Wonder Corgi hung out in his wallow beneath the peony bush when PolackPappy came out. Pp was looking pretty old, I must say. What hair he has is getting whiter and his baldy-baldness is all speckled. McMumsy and I looked at him and realized at the same time who he looked like...Mr. Burns!

He wasn't too pleased with that, nor was he all that happy the next morning when, on the way to church, I noticed some stray shaving cream on his ear and told him Smithers hadn't done a good job on him.

Sunday afternoon was spent at the first birthday for my one of my cousin's kid's kids -- she had twins, and they were turning one. They're the great-nephews of cousin R, who died tragically earlier this summer, and his whole immediate family was sitting around the playroom talking about how to handle his ashes. Lots of odd questions like "Weren't they not able to fit all of him in the urn?" leading to answers liked "Yup, there's also a bag of him." Then there's the question of scattering ashes into the wind -- what happens if you get your dead brother on your pants? Do you wash him out?

Another cousin announced he wanted to be cremated when he died and basically poured on top of his wife when she died. I made everyone laugh by saying that we cremated Babcia even though "she wasn't really up for that."

All the while the next generation toddled about, or crawled, or smeared birthday cake in their hair, or filled their diapers.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Experiment update

Well I have decided to stop sacrificing my left buttcheek for science. Yesterday I began rubbing coffee grounds onto both sides of my tush. I do have to say it does make a difference, and although it may only be a temporary one, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, no?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Peterborough is one of the coolest places to live.

I lived there myself for several years. Just watched a cool flick at Harlow's there last week.

Maybe I shouldn't have left.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Babies, babies everywhere...

Spent Saturday at the newly-redone Children's Museum with OSB and KBH and their kids. The last time I was at the museum was when I was in high school, with KBH. We went crazy in the recycling center, where you could fill up a bag with goodies perfect for making things like 3-D adaptations of the plot diagram of Julius Caesar (which, if you find yourself ever needing to make such a thing, I found much improved by the addition of graham cracker teddy bears and copious amounts of blood-red royal icing).

Well KBH is now the mom of a two-year old and pregnant with her second, a girl, due in November. My how things do change. It's been 18 years since we first met.

But enough about that. Onto the babies! Or toddlers, more like it. As you might expect, it being a children's museum, they were everywhere, and most impressively, crawling in these tubes hanging down from the ceiling, like hamsters in a habitrail. It was exhausting just looking at 'em.

Monday, August 20, 2007

McPolack Movie Minute

Or maybe more like McPolack movie thirty seconds.

Children of Men. Damn. In a good way.

No, in a fantastic way.

Monday, Monday



Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh, Come ON!

So yesterday I met L for breakfast at the coffee shop near my house, a place I've sat in solo many a time (tho not so much recently). As L surveyed the room, she said "Oh, come on, you must get hit on here a lot."

Um, not so much. Not at all, ever, actually.

I did, however, get approached in the drugstore tonight. I was wandering the lotions aisle, looking for 75% clearance items when a mildy creepy, pale, construction worker/drug addict type in his 40's approached me. "Can I ask you something?" he said. "Um, OK," I said, worried that what was going to come next would be something icky and weird.

Which, of course, it was. He said his mother had a urinary tract infection and where did he go to get medicine for that? He didn't want to ask the ladies at the counter. OK, so you approach me? I led him over to the general genital trouble section of the store but told him I thought his mom really needed to see a doctor.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

G*damn you, SJP

Oh, sweet, sweet Sex in the City DVDs...I received five full seasons of you from cuarentayuno as he could not take them back to Mexico...and now I am yet again poisoning my mind, watching up to 4 episodes a night. I look at SJP, freelance writer, in her 30's, utterly chic in her Manolos and always looking fresh and darling -- and then turn mine eyes back on myself...sprawled out on my rickety futon, feet up on my dingy coffee table, belly full of dinner -- yet that does not stop my rhythmic spooning of ice cream into my mouth.

Am I wearing hip and adorable outfits?


So I try to cobble something together...yesterday it was a purple scarf, tied jauntily just up under my tits. It looked good in the morning, but not so good later on. So I tied the scarf around my neck, then rode the T home, crammed in like a sardine, and sweating so much on my neck that I could feel it drip down my back, over my butt (tighter thanks to those coffee grounds!) and trail on down the backs of my thighs before dripping onto the bag I have clutched between my feet. Then I get home to discover I've been wearing two different earrings all day -- not on purpose.

Am I having sex with various and sundry loaded, gorgeous men?


So I spend way too much time that should have been spent doing other things signing up for yet another online dating site...before realizing that in order to answer anyone who writes to me, I have to spend I do not at this moment have.

Ah, me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Flying Under the Gaydar

So I came home from a supersweaty T ride to a message from McMumsy saying my Gaydar was off, and was it ever...Mr. Ithoughhewasstraight, who I was set up with ostensibly to learn about his job, but really it was to sniff him out for husband material, is not, as it turns out, banging his boss but, well, banging his boyfriend.

Not that there's anything wrong with that!


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

In which I try and do some good in the world...

This morning on the train there was a lady next to me who looked very uncomfortable. I think she was having anxiety issues. I have had anxiety issues. In a word, they suck. It's terrible, terrible, terrible. So I tried to send her some calming vibes and said some prayers for her.

Then when I got into the transcription office and was climbing the marble stairs, I saw an ooooooooogey bug, about half an inch long, light brown, many legged, cockroach-esque, with long antennae. I've seen a bug like this on the stairs before, dead. This one was alive and waving its antennae. I looked down at the bug and I thought, AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiyeeeee! But I said oh, poor you, let me help you. Then I righted him using a magazine and tried to sort of gently nudge him to the side of the staircase so he wouldn't get squished.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dependable Auto Shippers is just the opposite

Dependable Auto Shippers done smooshed my friend's car. Spread the word!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Work/Life Balance

So I didn't end up going to the beach with Dr. Moo and her pals yesterday, mainly becuase I realized that one of the tradeoffs of being able to work from home is that you can't necessarily run off having fun, even if it's a Saturday, especially if you went to NH on a Thursday and stayed over, which I did, visiting cuarentayuno and helping him clean out his storage unit, for which I was rewarded handsomely (as in, free printer/fax/photocopier machine, which I needed for the work from home thing, plus crampons -- ! -- plus a couple of his drawings, plus a bunch of swell dishes and, curiously enough, some pointy-titted figurines).

Anyhoo, I left NH at around 3 on Friday, after a morning with OSB and her daughter, followed by an afternoon of doing a dump run in one of OSB's husband's giant trucks, which made OSB and I feel like big studs to be tooling around town in, and fed the kitty I am cat-sitting. Then it was time for yoga, after which I unpacked my car and then watched Before Sunset, which I enjoyed even though skinny-ass, Uma-Thurman-leaving manboob Ethan Hawke skeeved me out.

Long story short I had too much to do to have much fun this weekend. I'm missing Medal Day at MacDowell, although I did watch one of the film's the honoree made on Thursday night in Peterborough, but there's a sweet part-time research job I need to apply for, transcribing to do, plus unpacking and cleaning and other assorted chores.

So it's all good.

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Speed Racer

So last weekend, Little Brother came in second in this bike race in NH.

Whenever people think my exercise schedule (which is as follows: three days a week I run b/t 5 and 6 miles; 3 days a week I go to the gym where I do 30 minutes of cardio followed by 25 of weights and 25 of yoga/stretching/resistance; 1 day a week yoga) I remember that LB gets up at 4 AM most days to train, train, train. He'll show up early for spinning and stay late. He watches his diet. He's impressive!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

When Worlds Collide

This summer it's been all about everybody meeting everybody -- friends who moved to CA meeting friends I've made in Boston since they left (and came back), getting to know a childhood friend of Dr. Moo's and having her over last night to meet a new friend I made last summer. On Saturday I'm going to hang out at the beach with Dr. Moo and a bunch of her childhood friends. My friend KBH and her son are coming to Babcia's funeral in September and there she'll meet OSB and her daughter. (I like that there will be babies at Babcia's funeral, BTW, because I know she would have.)

I don't feel so much like that Seinfeld episode where you can't have people who know you in one way meet people who know you in another way anymore. I'm pretty much the same all around, everywhere.

I've coalesced.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


That I can stand up on waterskis.

Here's I, friend of my German friend

Here's my German friend

And K's boyfriend

And my German friend's boyfriend, shortly before doing a 360 degree flip.

And L


After a long hard day of skiing there's nothing like reeling in a sweet, juicy McPolack for dinner.

I'm not in control here

So Aunt Flo is paying her monthly visit with all her usual pals: Second cousin Sleepy Dwarf who makes me want to go to bed at 9:30 and then not get up until nearly 8, and Uncle Porkchop who causes me to want to eat everything in sight.

Well now it seems there's a fourth relation, closer to me than the other three. This morning I was walking to the escalator to go down into the train station when a tall, broad-shouldered man with dark hair walked in front of me. He had a beard. And I found myself following him through the train station. It wasn't me that was following him, though, not really.

It was my uterus. We'll call her, oh, I don't know, Sigourney. Sigourney is on the hunt for the father of my children and apparently she's stepped it up, big time. It was all I could do to yank her away and make her wait calmly for the train while I dug out my crossword puzzle. She quieted down some but she kept perking up any time a man walked by -- there were a lot more babes than usual on the train today.

Monday, August 06, 2007

RRR Update No. 2

So before water skiing on Saturday I asked the girls to check out my cheeks and see if they could pick which one was caffeinated. And they all picked the one that was! Boy oh boy was I excited!

OK not so much. But I did like another friend's idea of filming a movie about it, one in which I report on what really happens when you rub coffee grounds on only one side of your rear end. First you see my face and then I turn and walk away as the camera pans down and you see that one cheek is twitching nonstop.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Past Perfect

So this is where I waterskied, for the first time ever, yesterday. It's still lovely, but it's lovely with boats (of course) and a few more signs of modern society.

I'm dizzy today, though. It's boat brain -- I used to get it from deep-sea fishing with PolackPappy.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Want to know...

...what really makes a gal like me feel better when she's writing on deadline day?

Barbie-pink sparkly nail polish, that's what.


So apparently there was a DRIVE-BY SHOOTING near the old McPolack family homestead -- We're talking like practically right across the street from it.

McMumsy did say the neighborhood was going to pot when she decided to move to Concord several years back, after 30 years in Chester, but --

You know what? I don't really have words for this.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Recycled Rear Raiser Update

So I am on day 3 of rubbing coffee grounds on my right bumcheek and thigh. For good measure, when I've got extra, I rub it on my belly and also my upper arm (although these days my upper arms are pretty tight on their own). I've got to tell you, I sort of feel a difference in that all-important bumcheek edge meets thigh area. It's firmer! But the jiggly bits are still jiggling.

One word of warning: The coffee can get everywhere. I didn't think I was scrubbing myself as furiously as I was, but somehow I got coffee grounds almost all the way up to the ceiling.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Al Gore Loves Me

It's been fun to feel all self-satisfied as I watch various friends hop on the bandwagon of trying to stop global warming by doing things I, who came of age in granola crunchy hippie dippie birkenstock-wearing Vermont, have been doing all along. The stink of patchouli is now cool (well maybe that's going a little far), as is hanging your laundry out to dry and recycling and driving a car that doesn't suck up the gas - things I, McPolack, have been doing for years.

Of course while I've been concerned about the planet, I've also been poor. I drive a car that doesn't guzzle gas because gas costs money and I don't even own a clothes dryer, not to save the snowmen but because the sun is free. Also it's hotter than ever thanks to the global warming that's already occurred, which makes the outdoor drying more efficient -- a benefit that perhaps Shrub should start talking about.

What can I say? I'm a trendsetter and a policy wonk.