Thursday, September 27, 2007

Who Would You Vote For?

Take this quiz and find out.

(Thanks to Little Brother's wife - I'll call her VanderMcP -- for sending this along.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

McPolack's Late Summer Avoidy Dance Deadline Pesto

2 big bunches basil (from scary-ass overly excited loud tattoed man at farmer's market, who chides you for picking a bunch yourself and then offers you a second for only 50 cents more)

several glorps of olive oil

six cloves of garlic

grated parmesan cheese (grate it yourself; initially enough so that you are sweating from exertion, because it's g-d 90 degrees out in late September; then to taste)

juice of one lemon

1/2-pound size expensive accidentally squished heirloom tomato

fairly large funny-looking free honeycrisp apple

6 ounces pine nuts, toasted

1. First, go to farmer's market after spending many excruciating hours forcing self carefully through frustrating copyediting project, all the while nursing secret worry that writing project also due this week isn't getting enough attention and will expose you for the hack writer and terrible slovenly worker that you are.

2. Thank apple man for telling you not to buy that funny-looking honeycrisp apple then giving you the funny-looking apple for free.

3. Buy one expensive heirloom tomato for eating later this week.

4. Buy one head cauliflower, one small melon, two shallots, and three purple onions.

5. After some debate, buy basil from scary man.

6. Buy coffee from hipster coffee shop. Feel ac cooling the sweat that has been literally dripping off you.

7. Go home, check e-mail, worry. Notice that cauliflower has beat crap out of tomato when you weren't looking.

8. Wash basil leaves. Pick through them while watching the last five minutes of General Hospital.

9. Throw basil leaves into five-dollar yard-sale Cuisinart. Hold palm of hand over top of chute because chute cover did not come with Cuisinart.

10. Add toasted pine nuts, basil, oil, and cheese. Discover you can cover chute-hole with Glad Press 'n Seal. Feel good about self. Mix. Season to taste.

11. Dump ice cubes out of ice cube trays, grab handful and rub on back of neck and front. Consider rubbing on armpits but decide not to.

12. Scoop pesto into ice cube trays to freeze for later, reserving some for dinner.

13. Do dishes.

14. Eat pummeled expensive heirloom tomato sliced with salt and pepper, followed by funny-looking apple. Drink coffee. Blog. Worry some more.

15. Go back to work.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Let's Get Lost in a Hug

I've had a frustrating day today; just feeling very ADD and underconfident and blah. I couldn't even figure out the best way to post this video, so you'll have to clicky the link to check it out.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Arose before 7 yesterday to meet Dr. Moo at the airport and enjoyed her lack of sleep mood swings, which involved snortling one minute while telling me about how she dropped her new purse in the toilet ("only pee" was her answer when I asked the obvious question) and then gave her still-damp meal ticket to the meal-ticket checker-inner, and grumbling the next that I was going to break her eleventy-jillion pound suitcase as I dragged it onto the Silver Line bus. Then we went back to my apartment where I rubbed her scary bloated feet, fed her some blueberry pancakes and veggie sausage, and left her passed out in front of a "So You Think You Can Dance" marathon on MTV.

Late that afternoon, we headed to see the new digs of Little Brother and his wife, which are quite lovely, let me tell you. Four floors of gracious Beacon Hill living, with a Viking stove, patios, and giant bathtub with crazy spigots that spray water right out the window. There's also a long brick tunnel that goes from the ground-floor patio (there are two wee patios, quite cute) to the street. I went in there and Little Brother shut the door on me and boxed me in. I heard him and the rest of the McP's giggling on the other side. Once I was let out I announced it looked like a mighty fine underground railroad for poor folks, as in me, to hide out from their creditors. Not that I have any creditors looking for me!

Then we went upstairs for dinner and PolackPappy shared that the photographer at a recent Polack wedding they attended had been on Whitey Bulger's first crew, and then a Boston police officer after that, which made me wonder if the sequel to The Departed would be more like The Wedding Singer. Also Little Brother and his wife let us look in all their closets, which was very gracious, as isn't that what we all secretly want to do when looking at someone's new home?

Anyhoo, Tess the Wonder Hound was there barking the way coon hounds do, at a place both coon hounds and McPolacks normally are not, but now, normally, are, and it was and is a good thing.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Size Matters

I have been looking for the last couple of weeks for one of my favorite harbingers of fall, the Brachs Mellowcreme pumpkin (third annual poem to come at a later date, once I spent time with the sweet, sweet flesh of my sugary orange muse) when lo! and behold! there they were, at Shaw's, tonight after I left the gym.

But curiously, the bag had grown to a hefty, tooth-decaying 22 ounces. Which made me think: let's have a new size. And let's call it Sabado Gigante.

Think of it -- Sabado Gigante-sized tampons! Sabado Gigante-sized bags of frozen corn! Sabado Gigante-sized wheels of brie! It sounds celebratory! And large! Really, really large!

I'm going to go eat some more mellowcreme pumpkins and see what other fantastic ideas pop up.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Big Fun

So although my birthday is a couple weeks off I'm already receiving word of fabulous presents. JoyceFrances will be arriving with friends two days after I enter my last year of advertising relevance (I'll be 34) with a ticket to see Gogol Bordello, a wack-ass super-fun Ukranian gypsy punk band, the leader of which JoyceFrances recently dreamed was inappropriately licking her very married ankles.

Then last night Dr. Moo (who stayed the night to catch an early flight to a big cow conference in Vancouver) said she wanted to go in with my parents and buy me an iPod for my birthday! Such fanciness that I could only dream of, let me tell you. I recently fondled L's sleek 80-gig'r but had resigned myself to my usual workout companions -- a banged up CD player along with several CD's and replacement batteries, that I carry with me on all my runs, like a peasant seeking refuge at a neighboring country's marathon.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Ah, me.

I gave out me blog to a couple of personal ad dates, just to stop myself from saying anything untoward about them, because I thought it was maybe a little unfair.

But then I am left having to vent in the usual fashion, as opposed to the public fashion. So I'm still on the fence on all this. Today I'm on the side of the fence where I blog about dates. Like the one I went on last night, with a Russian doctoral candidate. I wrote him first and he asked me for coffee. He seemed excited to meet me. Then when we met for coffee I could see, the second he laid eyes on me, that he wasn't interested.

And you know what? You know what, reader peeps? I'm cuter than him! In the body and in the face! Boooooooooooooooooooo!

Also he did NOT pay for my coffee. Bastard!

But points for him for keeping the date to just one hour, shaking my hand at the end and not making false promises (something I am not so good at at times because it feels awkward) and writing me later that night to say he had fun but there was no chemistry.

Oh husband, where are ye? I'm waiting...


Monday, September 17, 2007

Out with the old, in with the...old

I haven't blogged about this yet, but my downstairs neighbors - hooray! - moved away. The landlord didn't renew their lease and they were actually shocked. Of course they were FINALLY taking out the trash and in general improving but isn't that the way things go?

Anyhoo, guess who moved in? Why, a blind 91 year old woman! That's right, the oldest lady in my life goes in the ground and sproing! - another one pops up.

I haven't met her yet; she's my landlord's mother and is living here with her daughter. I'm a smidge nervous this is going to turn into a house of no ill repute whatsoever, filled to the brim with spinsters, so I must immediately go find someone to have sex with.


Thursday, September 13, 2007


So yesterday when I called PP he said he was leaving in an hour to dig Babcia's grave. No big deal, as she is cremated, but I was worried about him being alone. He wasn't; his friend PH, who has known him nearly his whole life, and whose parents were friends with Babcia was there.

Then today, as PP stood with the priest at the grave, PP called me up. I stood next to him while we prayed; the priest sprinkled holy water over the small box Babcia was in, and I picked it up, kissed it, and put it in the ground.

I buried Babcia.

After I put her in I knelt down and said a Hail Mary (Dr. Moo, when I told her this, said "I wonderered why your ass was sticking out the side of the headstone"), then PP handed me the shovel and I scooped in some dirt. He finished the job. Dr. Moo brought roses and then Little Brother and his wife and my mom and everyone else came up to check it out. Moo scratched the moss that had grown over the V in Babcia's name. OSB's daughter and KBH's son picked wildflowers.

It's surprising how tired four little shovelfuls of dirt can make you.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

SO geeky!

NOAA has a fight song.

This warms the cockles of my heart.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Free to Be You and Me

Went to see Alan Alda last night with Overmatter, then for cheap eats at Pho Pasteur which is now Le's but which I, horrifyingly and for many years, called Pol Pot.


Anyhoo, I mostly thought nasty thoughts at poor Alan, chief among them being "Oh, so some of your intestines went bad in Chile. Poor f#$%ing rich celebrity baby." Also there was much discussion as to the meaning of life and I've got to tell you, I'd heard it all before. All of this "so many people just let life pass them by," and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

I have the opposite problem. I spend too much time thinking about the point of it all. I am really good at appreciating things, like when I sat with my father on the front lawn of the McPolack homestead a few weekends ago, just after a midge hatching. The air was thick with dragonflies and we sat with our hands propped up behind us behind us experiencing it. I felt a dragonfly take a mosquito -- swish! -- from right next to my ear. I could feel its wings fluttering.

That's the good side of all my thinking. The bad side is that, well, goddamn, I have the worst time making decisions and I worry and fret almost all the time about everything. To the point where I'm wasting my life worrying about whether I'm wasting my life. I told Overmatter last night that I needed a vacation from thinking about the meaning of life and trying really hard to be better and more independent and more self-sufficient and kinder to my fellow man, and less of anything bad.

I want to go somewhere where I don't have to do any of that shit, just for a little while.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bring out your dead

My uncle wrote some nice lines about Cousin R in today's paper. In other dead people news, we bury Babcia on Thursday. Funeral mass is at 10 AM followed by burial in Deerfield followed by lunch. There was a fine bunch of dead people snacks at the McPolack homestead this weekend, sent by some Southie relatives -- Harry and David, a fine company, and much better than the Hickory Farms we used to get at Christmas (though not from the same people). I don't know how they get such perfect peaches.

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A Wrinkle in Time

Madeleine L'Engle died last week.

She's my favorite author, ever, and for a girl who got sent to see a counselor in the seventh grade because she was reading too many books, that's saying something.

I read an article a while back that said there were two sorts of girls -- those who read Madeleine's books and those who didn't. I'm proud to count myself as one of the former and I'll never forget the day I discovered A Wrinkle in Time, on a summer afternoon when I was 12 years old, in a back bedroom at my aunt J's house. That book gave me comfort and hope.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Gift from the sea

"Polackpappy has sunk to a new low in trashpicking," announced McMumsy, supine on the sofa watching a rerun of What Not to Wear. Pp was 20 miles out to sea, fishing with his friend Dennis the Menace, when he saw something bobbing of the corner of the bow. the Menace pulled closer and they fished it out -- 100 pounds of bench, nice thick wood, light blue (though a lot of the paint was gone). It was worn and soft, like sea glass -- it's sea furniture!

It's now sitting under a tree in the front yard, hidden. Poor Pp has been told he must give it away as it is "trash, trash, trash!" Dr. Moo did not inherit the gahr-bahhhhhge pickin' gene, which comes solely from the Polish side of the family, but I sure did. At last count I had a lamp (worth 150 bucks apparently!), two dining room chairs, a folding bookshelf, an ironing board, and a spatula, all tossed aside by others.

Of course I found my treasures on the sidewalk. It's like we're undergoing a special Polish evolution, jumping from the land into the water as opposed to growing legs and crawling ashore.

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Thursday, September 06, 2007


The above exclamation was uttered in e-mail by a friend when she found out I would be attending spinning tonight. Today, when I went into the transcription office, Chef, the doorman, called me Sweetie Boo and was clearly quite thrilled to have me back after two weeks away. Last weekend, in NH, OSB sat alone in her kitchen because her dog, cat, and child had all followed me into another room. I was the clear favorite of both my grandmas and one of my great aunts and sometimes dogs try to follow me home.

I am, like, so popular.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Busy day today. But not so busy I couldn't cook up a fabulous meal -- shrimp and heirloom tomatoes and garlic, in a lemony buttery olive oil sauce with tortellini. Got the garlic and the tomatoes five hours ago at the farmers market around the corner. I've been getting better about not overbuying food -- especially hard to do when faced with tray after tray after tray of all different sorts of tomatoes -- and this week bought just what I could eat -- the aforementioned, plus two Macintosh and one Honeycrisp apple. Yum, yum, yum!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I have been in a shitty mood on and off now for six days straight. It's really quite extraordinary to experience. It is as if I am floating a pot of Bitch Stew, which has but two ingredients: water and me. On Sunday I pulled out all the stops -- I prayed! I knitted! I watched bad TV! I read on my sofa! I read in my bed! I laid in my bed!

Nothing worked. So I decided to just go with it.

There were rays of sunshine -- a short hike with OSB and her daughter (I carried her round trip on my back this time) on which I got her daughter to sing along with me to a Jack Wagner tune OSB can't stand -- oh and also whenever OSB sings her daughter says "Mommy, no!" I am tone-deaf but apparently music to her ears. This may make me seem like a horrible person but really it was all in good fun, I promise.

Sunday I babysat D, who is two-and-a-half and made me feel immediately better about myself by clambering up on the sofa next to me and showing me some of her toys. And her mom bought me a whole pizza. And I watched Harold and Maude.

Monday it was another kind of epic -- an epic walk with L, who's totally into that sort of thing, which is nice, because some people might get pissed off spending two solid hours meandering towards a bakery outlet store in a deserted industrial park on promise of free samples, only to find the bakery closed and have to stumble, weak-kneed from hunger, to a nearby Whole Foods, where we clunked wee plastic cups of free mango juice together in a toast to our journey and our lovable dumbness.

Then L and I had dinner at New England Eating's house and it was delicious.

Honestly I need to get back to the day at a time thing because it is only when I look to the future and get all monkey mind about it (well that combined with monster PMS) that I turn into a depressaholic punchbowl turd.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The people in my neighborhood

I live around the corner from the convenience store this gentleman works in. I'm glad someone noticed him in a more public fashion. He read me his thought for the day today after I bought the paper. It was all about accepting life as it comes to you. He's a pretty neat guy.