Thursday, November 29, 2007

If only I had known this when I was a kid

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Costume Ball

Since I removed the post about my did as I predicted get an angry phone call, one in which she reminded me of the whole vegetable farmer incident...I instead bring you the following safer sister tale...

This, as my regular readers know, is Tess the Wonder Hound. She's wearing her fairy princess costume from Halloween. It's important to note that this is one of three Halloween costumes purchased for Tess by Dr. Moo. The first, a lobster costume she special-ordered, didn't fit; the second, a spider outfit, was purchased when Dr. Moo discovered the lobster outfit didn't fit. She bought the fairy princess outfit at the same time as the spider outfit in case the spider outfit didn't fit. Her reasoning? She didn't want her clients (the dairy farmers) to have to miss out on seeing Tess all dressed up at Halloween. Because it makes them happy to see Tess and therefore it would make them happier to see Tess in a dress, was Moo's reasoning.

(Martha Stewart and Moo are a lot alike, BTW)

The spider costume was passed on to Ctale; one of her nieces may wear it next year.

And as for the lobster costume, we dressed Chauncey the Wonder Corgi up in it. He looks a little mad in this pic but that's due to there being another doggie in the room getting attention he feels should be his. He actually kind of liked being a lobster. Really corgis like anything you dress them up in, as long as you praise them, because they are very full of themselves. We used to dress our first corgi up in my Dad's nasty Fruit of the Looms and tell her she looked beautiful. You could view this as mean, mean, mean or you could view it as we did: a way to keep a large ego in check. Also that's sort of how we love one another in my family. And we love our corgis a whole lot.

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I'm going to see Gogol Bordello on New Year's Eve in New York City. Hot damn!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dance. Dance Motherf&*#er, Dance.

On Saturday I visited Ctale, D, Miss S, and their menagerie of geriatric critters. We dined on tasty turkey soup made by D, crab dip (also made by D) and insanely delicious homemade Fiddle-Faddle (courtesy of Ctale).

Miss S ate cheddar bunnies and sipped at water as she watched the floor show from her booster seat, set atop the dining room table. The stars of the floor show were Ctale and I, performing an interpretive dance to "Eye of the Tiger," one of Miss S'es favorite songs.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Turkey Day this year was quite the event. The auntie who hosts moved in with her boyfriend and so a very large number of us, the largest it's been since the Thanksgivings when Grammy Mc was alive, showed up and overwhelmed the boyfriend's family, who numbered five to our 24, which swelled to 28 at dessert.

There were in fact people from ages one

to 99

I was deemed worthy of the "cool kid's" table, where I sat next to M M, one of my first cousins once removed, and learned all sorts of interesting things.

Another first cousin once removed sat to my left, giving bad boy advice to M about her myriad and sundry suitors, one of whom was deemed a "Chub Scout," while his mother told the story of the time she flushed our cousin M W's mouse Myron down the toilet while she was babysitting. She forgot to put a weight on the cover of Myron's cage, and happened upon Harry the cat sitting on the back of a toilet with a mouse tail hanging out of his mouth. Poor Myron, who had already suffered the indignity of having his balls gnawed off by his cagemate, floated off to his burial at sewage with no tears from T, who scoffed at M W's sorrow over the demise of a lowly rodent.

It was a pretty typical Mcholiday.

And this is M W's son T. I remember when M W's youngest brother was this small. Now he is apparently dating five women at once.


Friday, November 23, 2007


Holy moley did my hike not start out well. After foregoing one mountain for another (after reading online a warning about how much harder the former mountain was to climb in snow and ice) I first got lost trying to find the trailhead. I ended up back at the parking lot after circling for some time, and asked an older man with NH license plates where it was.

He wasn't that helpful and clearly thought I was a loon.

That opinion was further solidified when, upon attempting to cross Drake's Brook, which, BTW, is only a brook if you consider Mount Monadnock Kilimanjaro, I slipped on an icy rock and ended up in the "brook" nearly up to the middle of my shins. Which wouldn't be so bad considering that my boots are waterproofed. Unfortunately they only go to just above my ankles. The older man, seeing my folly, crossed safely, while I, trying to get away from him to nurse my embarrassment in private, sloshed as fast as I could up the trail. My feet were soaked.

But all was not lost! For I had one thing in my favor: A positive attitude. No, I had two things in my favor, and they were a wee bit contradictory: I had a positive attitude and also sheer donkeyheaded stubborness and I knew that these two things combined would get me up the mountain.

The positive attitude part consisted of me saying over and over in my head these two things: 1)Wool is insulating even when it's wet (I was wearing wool socks), 2)Walking 9.4 miles in soggy socks is sort of like getting a pedicure in that my feet will then get soggy and soften up and so ta-da! ladylike tootsies. Also I thought a third thing that I think from time to time when I'm physically uncomfortable, and that thing is: Imagine what it's like having a baby. This is nothing compared to that.

The sheer donkeyheaded stubborness part was mostly my bruised, bruised ego driving me ever forward.

At about mile 3.2 it all turned around, and I've got to say it's mostly due to sheer physical exertion, fresh air, and solitude. All the angry juice got sweated out. I felt fantastic. I made it to the top and took a spur trail to a separate view; it was gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous and peaceful and quiet.

Unfortunately on the way down I realized there was no way I was going to get back across the brook without getting my now-dry feet soaking wet again so I just sucked it up, stepped in, and then defrosted my frozen-solid boots and pantlegs when I got back to the car, squeezed out my socks, and headed back to my parents'.

And now I'm clean and dry. Yippee!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

J to the C

Sometimes I really, really, really think technical mountaineering gear is made by elitist snobs for elitist snobs.

Take these puppies (I'm on a Mac and can't figure out the coding so you'll have to cut and paste They're instep crampons and as I am heading out for a solo hike tomorrow on a mountain that will most likely require them at some point (well I'm hopeful it will require only them and not an ice axe because A, I do not have and ice axe and B, I do not know how to use an ice axe to self arrest which means that C, I will have to turn around and go home). Unfortunately my brain and putting things like this together just don't mix. I'm very big picture, love and death and life and truth and beauty and creativity and not very insert tab A into slot B. It's a challenge for me. And it would be a heck of a lot easier if there were more directions than what the fancies who made the crampons have provided.

(BTW, note to cuarentayuno, thank you for the snotty crampons and I wish you were here to hike with me.)

Anyhoo, just going on a ramble. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nine Polacks Agree

I'm trying a new dough recipe this year for the pierogis and my fellow Polacks seem to be all for it. The dough is resting right now and I'm having a cup of spicy tea. The tea box recommends doing a yoga move that involves circling your hips in one direction for one to three minutes, and then circling them in the opposite direction for one to three minutes. It says this will make you happy.

I don't know about you, but swiveling my hips around like that makes me feel like a five-letter word that begins with an "h" and ends with a "y", and it ain't happy.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Alack, Alas

Due to prior commitments on all sides, I shan't be hosting a Pierogifest this year. Well I will but the only people in attendance will be me, Daphne Moon, and Sheena. I'm going to make the potato filling tonight, assemble and boil/freeze tomorrow, then fry at the McPolack homestead on Thursday.

Monday, November 19, 2007

McPolack Predicts the Weather

Saw my first snowflake today, on my way home from the gym. It was more of a snowball, really, and hard to distinguish between the tiny pills of kitty hair on my ancient blue microfleece half-zip.

Anyhoo, it's going to be long winter, and I base my prediction solely on the area squirrels, who are cornfed Midwesterner sized as opposed to being more New Yorker trim, and who seem to be stuffing themselves silly with whatever they can find. Except, of course, for when they are frantically burying nuts on peoples' front lawns. Today I saw one eating a cherry tomato.

I think I'll go bury some Lindt balls under the mulberry tree.

Friday, November 16, 2007


With the holiday season nigh upon me, I was reflecting as I jogged to nowhere without hurting my joints on the ellipitical machine about PolackPappy's fondness for taking pictures and that special Polish flavor he adds to each shot.

And by special flavor I mean that he makes it his mission to catch all the women in the family at their most unattractive.

I first noticed this at McMumsy's 50th birthday party some years ago (and I won't say how many) when he got all worked up about what he called "the unveiling." The unveiling featured a picture on an easel in the center of the room, covered by a velvet cloth. The high point in the evening came when Pp whipped off the cloth with a flourish revealing a photo of McM tucked in bed, pregnant with me, all buck teeth and giant glasses. In my own collection of McM pictures is one he took of her oh-so-attractively gnawing away on the three-pound hollow chocolate creature he gets her every year from The Chocolatier. You have to open your mouth pretty wide to fit that thing in there and McM did not disappoint.

Then last year Moo was the last to get up for X-mas morning. As she shuffled sleepily from the kitchen to the bathroom to do her business Pp called excitedly to me in a low voice "McPolack, McPolack, come here! Your sister looks like crap. You keep an eye on the bathroom and let me know when she's about to come out and I'll take her picture!"

In his defense, Pp does allow all manner of ridiculous pictures to be taken of him, including a couple last year when I asked him to act like a crazy old man. As you can imagine, this was not a hard look for him to convey, although he did take out his teeth to add that extra je ne sais quoi.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


Well I just signed up for health insurance, on the last possible day. It's just shy of $300 a month which in the grand scheme of things doesn't seem like an obscene amount of money but which in the McPolack scheme of things is another scary, scary bill. Naturally I just had my annual physical the day before yesterday and paid $190 for it. Why? I really can't explain why. Let's just call it my kryptonite and leave it at that.

In other news, God do I want to be in the woods right now.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The best conversation I had all day...

Daisy (who is two and three-quarters): "Uncle McPolack, Uncle McPolack!"

Me: "What is it, kid?"

Daisy: "Guess what?"

Me: "What?"

Daisy (with pitch-perfect delivery): "Chicken butt!"

(PS to the reader who wanted a copy of that CD -- I've got it for you!)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh the flossy flossy

Well I went to the interview today and the person who interviewed me really liked me and I am pretty sure I could have the job if I wanted it -- although I still have to go through some more hoops -- but I don't want the job. Ugh, ugh, ugh. It's not great pay, there's no room for advancement, my immediate superior is quite a bit younger than me, and the manager of the whole place, while being an honest, kind person who is concerned about his employees just didn't click with me. Also it's a commute to work in a cube all day. OK in a cube and out of it. The thought of having to go to work there makes my tummy feel like I ate an entire mincemeat pie with a barbecue potato chip chaser and there are no Tums in sight.

In other work news, my favorite television program is hiring and I applied for a job there on Friday evening. I haven't heard back. In other other work news, the freelance stuff is finally starting to pick up and I'm figuring it all out and I have to say that, despite the long hours, I really like it.

When I got back from the interview I went for a run with Sheena, my iPod. I'm not a real top 40 kind of girl but I did purchase a Fergie song, Glamorous. And oh do I love it. I am a big fan of Fergie. She peed herself on stage, she's said the words "lovely lady lumps" in public many times, and she makes up ridiculous words. Like flossy flossy. WTF is that? My first kitty was named F-l-o-s-s-i-e Flossie. She was named for one of the Bobsey Twins and she slept on the end of my bed when I was a girl until she got old, crawled under the barn, and died. I'm sure Fergs isn't bemoaning the fate of my pet when she sings "Oh the flossy flossy." I have no idea why she's singing it and also, let's be honest, it's a pretty stupid thing to sing. Stupid but in the context of the song it's like buttah.


Monday, November 12, 2007


Well when I got to my friend's place on Saturday the Brazilian was practically running out the door to get away from me. I think I was sprung upon him unexpectedly and he wasn't having any of it. So I introduced myself and he fled. Which is no big deal, really. Tall handsome men from south of the border remind me of cuarentayuno; instead of wanting to date them, I want them to help me buy shoes.


Saturday, November 10, 2007


Got my eyebrows waxed for the first time ever today. It was nice, not too painful, and done by someone who went to the same high school I did but graduated 12 years later. Good lord. I got my hair cut, too, and I'm wearing the fab dress KBH gave me and shoes purchased with a gift card from NEE and after the fancy-fance Mamiko and I, who had gotten a similar salon gift card for her birthday and who got her hair cut next to me at the same time, had lunch.

She convinced me to come to her place later and meet some nine foot tall 27 year old Brazilian man who looks like Borat "But in the good way!" Whatever that means. Really he's 6'5" and likes Polacks so score one for me. I'm hoping L will also come over and I'm bringing bundt cake with honey-lemon glaze and toasted almonds that I made last night and a fresh dragonfruit I bought at the fancy cheese shop where I normally buzz through and eat samples without buying a thing. Although today I was tempted to buy a runny cheese that tastes like milk sucked straight from the teat of a cow grazing in an Alpine meadow.

Anyhoo, my plan is to spend no more than two hours with the large Brazilian. I'm in, I'm out, I'm back home to watch A Room With A View, which I just borrowed from friends whose kitties I am watching. (Note to those friends, the kitties are fine, but one of them, and I'm sure you know who, knocked the remote into the kitchen sink.)

It's a beautiful day here in Beantown and I took myself for a nice long walk with my fancy hair, stylin' dress, and manicured brows, a-listenin' to my iPod and feeling right with the world.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Tonight in yoga, as I stood in downward-facing dog, instructor Pedro put his hand on the small of my back and puuuuuussssssshhhhhheeeeeeddd...and my heels touched the ground. Holy hamstrings!

I like yoga for many reasons; the peace and quiet it brings to my busy brain; the way it makes me feel connected to my body. I'd like to do it more often.

Anyhoo, after yoga it was off to the grocery store where I picked up pomegranates and blackberries -- yum! -- and sundried tomato pesto.

And now I think I'll go meditate.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Worka Worka Worka

I've been heads-down all day, all week, really, and will be into the next one as well. I'm going on an interview for a full-time in an office type job next week, just to see, really, if it would be right for me. I'm nervous because the last person in the position last approximately two days before angering a muckity muck and getting canned. I wonder, what is G-d trying to tell me here? That it's another crazy tyrant I'll be working for, and so don't even bother? Because you know, I'm liking the freelancing, and business is finally starting to pick up. Interesting jobs, too. Do I really want to be commuting in a car every day?

But then I think health insurance would be nice.

But so would getting laid. Not as part of a job, of course. That was just my vagina talking. Don't mind her.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oh my aching heart

Along with PBS, which made me cry last night with its tribute to Carol Burnett, who reminds me of my mother in some odd unexplainable way, and made me cry last week with the best episode of Frontline that I have ever seen, I can now add my iPod to the list of entertainment vehicles that make me weepy. Because I can play songs like the one from the end of Rushmore as I indulge the overly romantic wistful melancholy brooding dreamer in me. Oh, and sweep the floor because I am all about multitasking.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tale from the city

So the above is a clip from Saturday's show...although by this point I was standing in the second balcony, having left the mosh pit after it semi kicked my ass.

What happened was this: I, McPolack, being of sound mind and body, tarted up in my "Somerville is for lovers" t-shirt, a sweater I got for 5 bucks at Goodwill, a turtle belt I got for 2 bucks at a Unitarian thrift shop, a jean skirt, tights, my favorite sneakers, and twin blonde braids, made my way to the floor while the first band was playing. There were some dummies in front of us who clearly had no idea what was going to happen when GB started to play -- they had full cups of beer and were wearing fleeces and hats -- and when L tried to warn them they scoffed at her. It was a real treat to see how shocked they were when, en masse, people began screaming at the top of their lungs and jumping up and down. They were shoved out of the way by the force of the crowd.

I myself felt a bit like a wee fluffy lamb in that crowd of New Yorkers and I only lasted three songs in the pit. Despite having my arms up in front of me, I got the breath squeezed out of me several times, and the big-bellied man behind me who I hoped would cushion any blows disappeared. Then a bunch of people fell over all at once, and as I was bending over to pick a girl up by her armpits, my glasses fell off...


But here's the thing. That group of frenzied sweaty moshers cleared a circle for me and helped me find my glasses. Another guy found my smashed glasses case on the floor and handed it to me. Only when I said I was OK did they go back to the crazy dancing. It was actually really wonderful. I left the mosh pit and went out front and got some masking tape for my glasses, then stood on the balcony doing some reserved bouncing for the rest of the show. The next day, I super-glued my my glasses back together. It feels SO GOOD to have experienced something like that -- being in an immense crowd of people at a punk show in NYC -- and good to know when it was time for me to get out. I took care of myself and I really lived, you know? It's been that kind of fall for me. I still feel happy and it's Monday afternoon.

It's good to be me.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

McPolack Versus the Mosh Pit

I'll tell you all about it when I get home...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

You're Welcome

Things I was going to blog about tonight but didn't:

1. The enormous pan of butternut squash lasagna in my fridge.
2. My hangnail.
3. My iPod.
4. Weighing the merits of store-brand versus name-brand dusters, and whether one should just use her old holey underpants to wipe off the TV set instead.
5. Robert Goulet.