Friday, May 30, 2008

And we're off!

Just in case I have a crazy stalker, I'm not saying where, but Dr. Moo and I loaded up our backpacks (mine's 45 pounds) and are headed up to the Whites...we're doing about 25 miles worth of hiking in two days. For some strange reason -- or not so strange given that we're McPolacks -- the one thing we keep worrying about is how badly we're going to smell at the end of it. We McPolacks like our showers.

Anyhoo, being a safety-minded gal, I have brought lots of food, water, and Grammy Mc's rosary. Not that I think we'll need it! It's just nice to have.

Full report, with pictures, when we return.

Peace out, dear readers!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What the love of a good woman can do

As we all know, many a man is unformed, a rough shell of the gentle fellow he could be until he meets the "one." It was like this with Little Brother, who has shed many of his bachelor ways in the year and a half since marrying. In this photo we see my sister-in-law has finally broken him of drinking from the toilet. Good job, sis!

Toe L'oeil

I just can't seem to win when it comes to my feet. The big toe on my right foot is still growing in, to the point where I can fake it's grown in with toenail polish and this morning I find the one on my left foot is fixing to come off. Plus I'm still molting. Well, better stuff falling off your feet than your face, I always say!

And apologies if I grossed anyone out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Sometimes still, even though I know logically you can't do things like bend spoons with your mind, I try to will stuff into existence. I have been peering into my carnivorous plant terrarium, which at this point would be better termed a lackadaisical pile of dirt, and think germinating thoughts. And I've been trying to focus on my uterus because if I don't get Aunt Flo soon she's going to be with me on my backpacking trip and there aren't any wastebaskets in the woods.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Love Thy Neighbor

Following what was practically a drive-by visit in which McMumsy decided the geraniums we'd gotten for Babcia's grave would be better planted "in her memory" at home we sped back to the McPolack homestead. One of the neighbors up the hill, who raised his own family in the McP homestead and now lives within spitting distance of it, helped McMumsy, PolackPappy and I open up the pool.

Then I set to work tearing out thick pelts of blue flags from one of McMumsy's gardens. A couple of hours in, I took a break, and drank ice-cold lemon water and ate cherries while sitting under an awning on the deck. Oh and I belched, loudly and repeatedly. Then I looked up and, whoopsie! There was the neighbor, working in his yard. I can just imagine what he was thinking: "Hmmm, now I see why their oldest child remains unmarried."

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I heart wiener...

...dogs! Here is a little fellow I met in the park on Saturday.

Too! Much! Cuteness!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


...I was not awakened this morning by the calls of a baby bird. I went to yoga at 8:00; then L and Carmen came over for scrambled eggs, pancakes, and fruit. Still no baby bird calls. I heard the adult crows, though. As we were getting ready to leave for a free sample-a-thon at the Hatch Shell, I stopped by the backyard and found the little fellow had died. One of the adult crows flew thisclose to the top of my head but it was a gentle skimming and so I took it as a thank-you.

I scooped the baby bird's body out with a trash bag, wrapped him up in it and gave him a little kiss (through the outside of the trash bag) and told him I was sorry he didn't make it. Carmen was surprised by how big he was. Baby crows are surprisingly big.

Then I gave him a trash can burial. Which involves picking up the lid of the trash can under the fire escape, placing the birdie in his plastic shroud inside the can, and closing the lid while thinking solemn thoughts.

I'm pretty sad he didn't make it but glad he didn't get gobbled up by a kitty.


Friday, May 23, 2008

Baby Bird Update

He's still alive!

I was awoken at 6:30 this morning by baby and adult crow squawks coming from the backyard. The little fellow is in his basket and looks OK. I did more research online and found out that most birds tend to spend a few days on the ground before they're able to fly, which is what I think is going on with Junior. He's grousing about being on his own while his parent keep a watchful eye overhead. When I went to my car they started flying around cawing loudly and they did the same when my neighbor let her dog out.

One other interesting crow fact: If you find an abandoned fledgling, you can bring it over to any random bunch of crows, get it to move its wings around and squawk, an those crows will take care of it. And once baby crows have grown up, they'll often go back to visit the crows that raised them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baby Mama Drama

I got back from my fabulous mall visit with ctale to find my downstairs neighbor in a tizzy. Turns out the crows I'd heard squawking nonstop earlier (and were still squawking, hours later) were doing so because there was a nestling crow on the ground by the porch, crying.

I went online and was able to determine the baby was really more nestling than fledgling -- which meant it probably wasn't in the stage when it should be out of the nest -- and did what the site recommended when you can't put the baby back in the nest, which is take a basket and put leaves and twigs in it, put the baby in the basket, and tie it to the branches of a tree.

I understand the laws of nature but I feel for my neighbor. She was home all day listening to the little fellow cry, and his parents squawk. I feel for the baby, too. Flies were landing on him when I got to him, big ones. Poor little thing.

Anyways, at least he's up off the ground now and fairly well nestled in; if he ends up dying it will hopefully be more peaceful there.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Noisy McNoiseloud

There has been a fire alarm going off for a good half an hour up the street from my house. The fire trucks appear to have come and gone and done nothing about it. OK, save checking to make sure no one was on fire, and good for them for doing that. But hearing BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP is starting to drive me a little batty.

In other McPolack news, it's been a busy week, and that's a good thing. Tomorrow I get a little break, during which I will watch ctale dance around in foundation garments and try to take cell phone pictures of me in slutty dresses when my guard's down.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Give it a rest already!

OK Boston TV stations, I totally get that the fact that Ted Kennedy has a brain tumor is important news. And I'm sorry he is ill. But do you all need to be on for hours? All I wanted at 3:30 this afternoon was a sweet half-hour of General Hospital and now I'm watching an E True Hollywood Story about The View instead.


Monday, May 19, 2008

What season is it again?

It feels like fall outside, cool and breezy and as there was sweet italian sausage from healthy piggies on clearance at the supermarket this morning I am making some spaghetti sauce.

I'm on another busy streak, juggling work and social obligations and normal life stuff. It's good to have too much to do. I am, however, wicked tired, and have been having trouble falling asleep because neither my mind nor my jimmy legs want to stop wiggling.

Anyhoo, in other McPolack news, Dr. Moo and I are planning a two to three day backpacking trip in the White Mountains in a couple of weeks; we'll be carrying our homes on our backs like turtles. If anyone has any good route suggestions, I'd love to hear them.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Roving Reporter

Where am I blogging from right now, gentle readers? Why the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Boston. I spent the night here, guest of JoyceFrances, who treated me to a lovely dinner at Sage, and gave me a coupon for a free t-shirt, one for a free half-hour chair massage, and signed me up for a free class taught by Rodney Yee! So it's like my birthday, only it's my unbirthday.

I didn't sleep so well at ye olde hotel, because our room was next to the elevator shaft, and I ended up reading a magazine on the bathroom floor until 1:00 in the morning but really, who cares? I was up at 7:30 and working out in the hotel gym, after which I showered. And now I breakfast, in yoga pants that make my butt look nice. I'm representing the yoga retreat center JoyceFrances works for, so it's a barter situation -- I help her and she helps me. Which I really like, because it satisfies the Vermont hippy that still exists in me.

What does not satisfy that hippy is that I put on foundation, blush, and lipgloss today despite the fact that I will be sweating it off in two hours. But whatevs. A girl's gotta look cute.


Friday, May 16, 2008


I'm feeling pretty angry at the world right now. I just got off the phone with a friend. She's got young children and she's caught up in the foreclosure crisis sweeping the nation. The latest wrinkle in her saga is her husband's four-day stay in prison last week. Police came to their house and took him away in handcuffs. Thankfully they cuffed him in back of the house so the children couldn't see. It was essentially a Dickensian debtors prison arrest, as he owed some money but was holding off on paying it in the hopes of keeping their home.

I was crying as my friend was telling this to me, for her and her family. Logically I realize that in the grand scheme of terrible things that happen in the world, this doesn't even rate, and I still believe in the good in people. But I'm having a why her? moment. Her husband didn't even go to some rinky-dink prison. He was in a holding cell in general population, orange-jumpsuit-wearing, poop-in-a-metal-toilet-in-front-of-everyone jail. Um, shouldn't we be putting real criminals in there?



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cable success

Judging by the three confirmed viewers, two of whom I've never met and one of whom I met once -- and the cohost -- my television debut was a success! I do believe the term "a natural" was bandied about.

For me it was mostly anticlimactic. I have this Boy Scout in me who likes to be prepared, so I had an index card of talking points written up, I'd planned my outfit earlier in the day, and triple-checked directions to the studio. I got there on time to be greeted by...nobody. There had been some sort of reception earlier in the evening and it smelled like warm salad dressing, and I ran into an inebriated lady who really wanted me to drink wine, but I was pretty much alone. So I knit until Adam, who is the cohost and founder of the show -- really it's his show -- showed up.

And then it was just he and I. You don't even need a camera operator. You just sit behind this desk (which had, to my horror/gratitude mini tv screens in it so I could stand up and turn sideways and see the way I look on TV isn't beached-whaley) and at the appointed time something clicks on somewhere and bing! You are on television.

I felt very comfortable, although I didn't really know what to do in terms of looking into the camera. Mostly I knitted, and chatted with Adam. His dad, mom, and uncle called in. Someone who works at the station stopped by.

And then, just like that, it was over, and Adam and I went our separate ways. He's going to maybe put up some sort of voting widget on the F or B site; I'll let you know if/when it goes up so you can vote for me. There will be some more auditions over the next month and then of course I will be named cohost.

Unfortunately the show didn't get taped.

Anyhoo, JoyceFrances is in town for a yoga conference. I'm going to help her set up and then she's buying me dinner. I've got a deadline tomorrow for the BG and lots of other work and with the exception of Tuesday morning, much of which was spent bemoaning my fat ass, it's been a good week.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dr. Moo, this one's for you...

...but I figured I'd share it with the world, too, just in case: It's a Bea Arthur video clip extravaganza! Moo and I love Bea Arthur. And let's be honest, who doesn't?



Well tonight is my community access TV debut. And I'm nervous. Carmen gave me a call of support and sent me a list of talking points in the (e)mail, both of which made me feel better. Hopefully I will not have to stick crumpled-up paper towels in my armpits to suck up excess sweat, which is what I did before my taped audition. This time it's live.

There is some competition involved. I'm not sure how much but I know there are other lovelies vying for the spot. Of course I hope to come out on top. I also hope I do not do something like I did when I was a junior in high school and running for treasurer of the literary magazine, which would be to lose by one vote because instead of voting for myself, I voted for someone else as I thought voting for yourself meant you were full of yourself.

Well I'm off to do some work and boo on Oprah for tempting me away from it with a tour of a polygamist compound. Peace out, y'all.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The number of children in my life has increased by two in the last month, with both OSB and Amy giving birth. I've followed McMumsy's pattern of gift-giving in that I pretty much only give books, with the occasional Ugly Doll thrown in for good measure.

Tonight I am meeting Amy's son Max and I am bringing him Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, a book you can tell is wonderful without even opening it. Because that extra Lyle adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

Monday, May 12, 2008


* Daphne-Moon and I are both molting. When Daphne-Moon molts, soft clumps of her fur come off when I brush her. My molting involves my feet and it's a little gross.

* I was befriended recently by one of the more colorful people at my gym, which I like to describe as "cheap, but sometimes flies land on you." The colorful person told me exercise is like breakfast and without it she feels hungry all day. I completely agree. Then she told me what's happening in Myanmar is upsetting her and thanked me for listening to her pain.

* I saw mountain laurel (I think) in bloom up and down the highways of near-northern NH and booooooooy do I need to go hiking. Dr. Moo and I may do a three-day backpacking trip in the Whites over Memorial Day weekend. My only concern is how much I am going to smell at the end of it. For Moo, who is up to her shoulders in cow bum-bums all day, stench is not a factor.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

You oughta be in pictures

Well the initial audition for the cable access show went well and I'm going to do a trial run this Wednesday evening. Yes, I will be on television! There is one other contender for the cohost spot but I'm hoping to outshine her, which I intend to do by being the McPolackiest McPolack I can.

Anyhoo, I am coming off of an insanely busy week. Met my deadlines yesterday (yay!) then took the train allllllll the way to Brookline (about an hour's ride) to see this collection at a trunk show. I met O at a party a few years back and haven't seen her in a long while, which is a shame, because she is fabulous. I'm saving up my money to buy one of her pieces. After the trunk show I came home, ate dinner, read some, and went to bed.

Now I'm having coffee and getting ready to go to the dumpster party of another friend. We're tearing down a shed in her backyard. Then it's off to NH for a party that's a little bittersweet. My maternal grandfather covered WWII for a NH paper and so there's a space of several years between the first and second sets of aunties and uncles born of his marriage. I am the oldest child from the second set. The youngest child, cousin Tim, whom I remember being born on a sofa in Manchvegas (it was a home birth), was graduated from college last week and the party is for him. I can't believe he's all grown up.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

"Wear a Boob Shirt"

See above for the helpful advice given to me by Carmen, who convinced me to audition as co-host for a local cable access game show.

Auditions are being held tonight at a local pub. I told C I would only go if she drove me there and back, and ate dinner with me. And I thought I'd be cool with all this but I am instead really nervous. I polished Babcia's Polish beauty queen trophies from the thirties to bring with me, as proof that I come from good stock, and I can't decide what to wear.

In the midst of all this, I have a crapload of work due tomorrow.

But honestly, I think I'd really like to be on tv for half an hour a week yucking it up with someone. There is part of me that wants to be a STAR, baby. Or at the very least connect a little more with some other human beings, so as to save myself from crazy catladydom.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

On furniture and family

So last night my friend Lydia and I headed over to Beacon Hill to pick up a sofa, armchair, and ottoman, courtesy of my sister-in-law. My sister-in-law and I are quite different in that she is the sort of person capable of owning a white sofa in her twenties, whereas I am the sort of person for whom the color white seems to shout to to the universe "I am an empty canvas! Please fill me with colors that come from spilled food!"

But I am a big believer that one can change. In the meantime, I'm throwing a sheet over the sofa anytime I eat or drink on it.

Little Brother demonstrated some of his inherited-from-Polack-Pappy skills by tying the sofa to the rented truck using some garden twine. It's nice to see such skills are in the family bloodline. It's also interesting to note that, with the exception of Little Brother, it was all women who moved this furniture. For this I blame Boston, land of the pasty overeducated metrosexual. I also blame myself, for doing whatever it is I've done in the past that has left me not knowing any men with trucks who can move shit.

But mostly what I am is grateful, glad for my own strength, the strength of others, the love of family, and the flow of used goods through the downstairs neighbor ended up saving my old coffee table, one I'd gotten for free from the previous residents of my apartment, from the trash man, to use as a table for her plants. Everything is repurposed.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008


The pendulum, as it always does, has shifted. I've been going full-steam since yesterday. Today I got up and went for a run at 7:30 then worked worked worked and now I'm going to pick up furniture, followed by grocery shopping, followed by late dinner, followed by bed, followed by another hectic day.

But it's all good, yo.

One thing that is quite curious is that in ADD-land it helps to write out a to-do list. Using Crayola markers in various colors. I do this on grid paper. Something about it tricks the brain, or bypasses whatever it is that makes it hard for me to focus when there's so much going on. Right now my list is purple and green. And it feels good to cross things off it.

Monday, May 05, 2008


The rummage sale was a great success. Not only did I have a lovely chat with two women in line, one of whom is the cook for a transcendentalist meditation center (of course!), I also came away with the following:

1 thick plaid wool blanket, slightly stinky with a few very fixable holes.
1 beautifuly hand-embroidered full-size cream wool blanket, also a tad stinky. (OK everything you get at any rummage sale that's fabric is a tad stinky. But it airs out right quick.)
1 short-sleeve printed top from J. Crew
1 tan cotton boatneck Banana Republic sweater
1 short sleeved blue Banana Republic sweater
1 red cowlneck short sleeved Anne Klein shirt
1 white and red embroidered casual Anne Klein blazer
1 vintage short-sleeved blue printed silk shirt
1 brown Anna Argiolera brown peasant skirt
1 sleeveless Irish linen (but made in China, hmm...) sleeveless blouse
2 vintage tea towels
2 vintage hand-embroidered dresser/table runners
2 vintage kitchen implements, metal with lovely soft wooden handles
1 hand-carved slotted wooden spoon from Spain
1 floor-sized horsey puzzle + 1 regular-sized horsey puzzle for 1 Ella H.M., who is some more than 2.
1 vintage chinoise with stand and wooden pestle

All for nineteen dollars and sixty cents. Sweet Jesus, amen.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

In the weeds

Went from having nothing to do, which is f**ing frightening, to having lots, which is better than nothing to say the least.

Also right now I am watching La Vie En Rose and I must say that Marion Cotillard totally deserved the Oscar she won. She is amazing.

Anyhoo tomorrow I go to NH to visit OSB's new wee one, Lucy, and to hopefully get some clothes and other things at the rummage sale. Then I'm back on Saturday to babysit for Daisy, then work work work on Sunday. With of course the weekly visit to Jesus!