Thursday, July 31, 2008


I met L for coffee this afternoon and spent a couple of hours catching up. It was good to see her. We stopped by the gym that opened up a few months ago literally at the end of my street. It is pretty sweet! Of course even with L's work discount she'd be paying twice as much as what I pay for my gym membership, but oh, the amenities. The locker room does not smell strongly of farts! You are up on the second floor and not in the basement! Flies do not land on you!

But then my gym builds character along with muscles. Or maybe it just builds my ability to bypass my nose while breathing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Well this week Dr. Moo and her bf are headed to NY state on an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of a pharmaceutical company. They're getting a free day at the spa! (They had a choice of spa or golf; neither of them golf.) And also many other fabulous things! (I assume.)

Normally trips like these are luxuries reserved for people doctors. But now cow doctors get get in on it, too. Let's just hope Dr. Moo doesn't have a crisis of conscience and start writing out name-brand prescriptions where generic would work just as well for Bossy the bovine, who, with eight mouths to feed but only four teats, can ill-afford the increased cost.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

All's fair in love

In the list of moral quandaries, this probably doesn't even rate but I'm curious to know your thoughts, dear readers. Last night my FOB cohost called and said there would be no show this week because, first, he wanted to see a girl he met online for a second date and she's going away for 10 days and wednesday is the only night she's free, and second, because he told her I don't like to host the show alone, to make it look like he was really giving up something important so he could go on the date. On the off chance that she or someone she knows lives in Somerville, I now cannot do the show this week because then his lie would be exposed.

My immediate reaction was that I'm not one to judge, and when it comes to meeting someone, well, that's more important. But I also felt a little irritated and asked him not to do something like that again without at least asking me first.

OK, it's a slow news day here in McPolackland. How about this?

Monday, July 28, 2008

3:45 AM

...would be what time Little Brother gets up at during the week so he can ride his bike before work. Granted, he does work in Portsmouth, an hour's drive when there isn't traffic. But still.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Holy crap

New Hampshire, oh noes!

Deerfield is where Babcia is buried, right next to the house PolackPappy's oldest friend lives in.

Candia (near the hard-hit areas) is where McMumsy grew up. Still have some family there. Haven't heard anything but I have the feeling they're OK. Tried calling the McPolack homestead and got no answer but again I'm not too worried. They're farther away.

But my poor sweet home state!

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McMumsy and PolackPappy paid for an ad in the back of my college yearbook that said they hoped I'd one day take Eleanor Clift's seat on the McLaughlin Group.

Well last night I pulled someone's finger on live TV. Eleanor, you'd better watch your back.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Working Girl

I had to turn away work for the first time because I have too much to do...woo hoo! Of course I am still tres broke but if things continue in this fashion, I won't be for much longer.

In other McPolack news, wait...there IS no other McPolack news. Because all I've been doing is work.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank you for being a friend...

Of the many traits Dr. Moo and I discovered we share, this is one of my favorites: When we're feeling sad and lonely we like to watch reruns of the Golden Girls. Moo and I have had extended conversations about specific episodes ("Miami is nice, so I'll say it twice", )Dorothy's weird outfits, and the Golden Palace spin-off.

For me, whenever GG is on, it brings back memories of babysitting on Saturday nights. It came on at 9, after the kids had gone to bed, and I sat in a wicker chair by an open window with a bowl of popcorn and a kitty in my lap, enjoying the freedom that comes from having a whole house, and the remote, to yourself. The show makes me feel warm and safe inside.

And now Estelle Getty, who played Sophia Petrillo, is gone. She looked a little like my Grammy Mc, with the mouth to match. Rest in peace, Estelle. You were a great lady.


Icky Sticky

On days that I run, I find it easier to get up at my usual time, do a little work, and eat breakfast before heading out at 10 or 10:30. But here it is not even 9:00 and not that hot out and I'm already sweating from a quick walk into town and back. I haven't been working hard enough to condition my body to exercising in this soup, and the air quality is bad on top of it. It's hard to motivate when you come back from exercising headachey and nauseous. Blecch! But I will perservere.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Lovin'

The free hugging went well. It was steamy-hot so we didn't get many takers, but I only had one guy stare at my boobs, one guy hang around too long talking to me about his dead dog, one weirdo sit and eat a sausage sandwich behind me, and one old man come back for seconds. That's four weirdoes in two hours, or one weirdo every 15 minutes. Which, when you consider the fact that I was basically inviting every weirdo in sight to come touch me for free, is a surprisingly low number.

After the hugging I showered and changed and drove an hour and a half in my unairconditioned car to ctale's wedding. But first, a surprise! I picked up thursday, who I previously knew only through her blog, at an inn along the way. She flew in from England to surprise ctale, who we both know through time spent working with her. It was so neat to meet her! Like meeting a pen pal for the first time, I suppose. She is just as delightful and lovely and funny in person as she is in words. I'm going to try to hang out with her at the airport before she flies out tomorrow.

Anyhoo, the wedding, like ctale's story, was like a movie. (I was there when ctale and her husband met, at a diner. I was catching up with a friend I spent some serious time with when I lived in VT; her roommate at the time, D, chatted with ctale. One week later he and ctale were inseparable and now they are married and own a home and have a sweet baby girl.) The air was misty and soft and everything was just easygoing and mellow. There were sandwiches and salad to eat, whoopie pies and a candy bar, and some fantastic dancing. It felt outside of time somehow, like that French plantation scene in Apocalypse Now Redux, only without any of the horribly depressing war stuff, of course. My friend from VT was there, along with a lot of friends from the wacky publishing house I worked at in my 20's and seeing them all made me realize just how close and deep all those relationships were to me, and still are. I hold all of those people in my heart in a way I don't know that I hold a lot of the people I've met since. Maybe it's because I don't want to let people in as much anymore, a side effect of adulthood.

Or maybe it was just the mist and the moment.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fist bumping

Today in yoga the teacher asked if we wanted to do restorative stuff on the floor, due to the heat and humidity, or suck it up and sweat. Naturally we went with the latter. To get us going she had us thump every part of our body (well except our faces) using our fists. I especially enjoyed beating my own ass.

Then we got down to it and man am I an efficient sweater. That's what it's called when you start sweating immediately and copiously: efficient. It's nice to be efficient at something. My sweat was tasteless, which is a pleasant thing for sweat to be when it drips into your mouth, and I was grateful for the sweet mat-length towel my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas. I was worried in a couple of poses that I was going to squirt through my own limbs like a greased pig and bang into a wall!

OK I really wasn't but it's quite the mental picture, eh?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Huggy Bear

I will be working a free hugs booth for a couple of hours this Saturday, before heading up to NH for ctale's wedding. Dr. Moo was horrified to hear this bit of news, and was quick to remind me of the sort of person I could expect to show up asking to be wrapped in my arms: the weird, dirty old man sort. I should also add smelly and sweaty to the mix, since the weather forecast is hazy, hot and humid. I'll be drenched in DOM drippings. Yummy!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My Moostake

Whoopsie. Just listened to a voice mail from me sistah; turns out there's no such thing as a brown holstein. Carnation is red and white.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Odds and Ends

* Finally watched Into the Wild this weekend. Despite knowing how it ends, I cried and cried. Sobbed, really. I blame Hal Holbrook, who very convincingly played a poor wounded old man and broke my heart a little. Then as I was snuffling back my tears I heard a weird whirring sound up in the sky. I looked out my living-room window and there, moving like a windup toy across the night sky, was the Hood blimp. It has an eerie glow to it.

* I got up into forearm stand all by myself in yoga class on Sunday morning.

* I awoke this morning to find a pretty orange orb-weaver spider sitting in the middle of a beautiful web near one of my bedroom windows. I said good morning to the spider, then went to move Daphne Moon's scratchy box out of the way. Turns out the web was partly anchored to the scratchy box. I apologized to the spider.

* Dr. Moo is going to be showing a six-month-old brown Holstein named Carnation at Addison County Field Days in early August. When she first introduced Carnation to the halter, Carnation, who is already a healthy 400 pounds, sat down and refused to get up again.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Beak to Beak

I found myself up close and personal with this last night. (Well not that exactly as it's a picture of someone else's chinchilla's schnoz, but close enough.) When I initially went to bring Harry into the downstairs bathroom for his daily exercise, he was having none of it, and tried to stuff his furry self behind his wheel. I'm not PolackPappy and he knows it.

Anyhoo, I eventually got Harry into the loo. I was laying on my stomach reading the New Yorker when all of a sudden there was Harry. He sat up on his haunches and stuck his nose with its superlong whiskers rightnext to mine. He sniff sniff sniffed and took a little nibble. "Hey!" I said. Then he bolted off.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Snorky horky pork chop

I'm typing from my seat at the foot of the dining room table at the McPolack homestead. It's actually a Mctable as it belonged to my mother's mother. I can remember playing underneath it as a child with cousin Molls.

Anyhoo Chauncey the Wonder Corgi (aka the pork chop, pork chopples, pc, et cetera) is under the table now. We just got back from a run to the coffee shop for a cool beverage for me and some treats for him. He's pretty good about riding in the car; he sat in the front seat next to me and let me know when he wanted a head scratch.

Later I will be phoning in to F or B while I hang out with Harry the Wonder Chinchilla in the downstairs bathroom; in the morning I am hoping Ethel the Wonder Cat will have killed me something special. Good times, good times.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy 30th, Dr. Moo!

So Moo turned the big 3-0 on Sunday and I've been shopping for the perfect gift. Turns out it's been on this Interwebs thing all along...


Monday, July 07, 2008

Ankle biters

One positive aspect of city living is the lack of nasty biting bugs. I tried to go for a walk in the woods behind the McPolack homestead on Friday and got dive-bombed by horseflies. While weeding PolackPappy's beets I ended up with bites that left me with wee itchy blisters on my ankles. This was despite wearing bug spray with deet in it. Of course I wasn't wearing Maxi-Deet, which is what I bring hiking. It's 95% deet and I think it melted off the lining of my raincoat. It's a little depressing wearing that kind of bug spray because black flies land on you anyway and almost immediately go into death throes. I took to yelling at them to stay away if they wanted to live.

I spent some time early in the evening on the fourth watching the munchkins -- a two-year-old, a four-year-old and two nearly two-year-olds -- race up and down the stone steps leading up to the McP homestead, and trying to hold their hands while they walked on a slab of granite between McMumsy's bee balm and daisies. Neither Dr. Moo nor Little Brother was at the party; they had other plans, and while I was happy to be there and see my family I couldn't help but wonder about when/if I will ever have a family of my own, or if I need to work more on being grateful for what I've got. It's strange. I would like to be married and have children but I have no idea how to go about doing that and besides, there's no guarantee my life would look anything like I want it too if I did. On the other hand I worry about how deep the well of regret will be if I don't. It frightens me a little. Mostly I don't think about this, because it's unproductive and maybe even foolish, but when I'm bouncing one of my cousin's grandchildren on my knee, it's hard to ignore.


Thursday, July 03, 2008


I settled in to watch some TV tonight at the McPolack homestead and decided to do some work on my tootsies. No sooner had I clipped one toenail off and placed it on a nearby wooden stool when - chomp! - Chauncey the Wonder Corgi gobbled it up.

In other McPolack homestead news, now that Babcia has passed, PolackPappy has taken up gardening again and is growing beets, much like Babcia used to do back on the farm, for pickling and such. He's also growing pole beans and he has a wooden tepee-like construction set up for them to climb up. It looks just like the one in the replica of Thoreau's kitchen garden at the Old Manse. Which is pretty nifty. Pp is quite excited about the pole beans and is fascinated by their upward-reaching tentacles.

Well I'm off to bed. I'm hoping for a break in the jimmy legs episodes I've been having. Lately they've been so bad it takes me an hour to get to sleep.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I cannot take much more of this muggy disgustingness. I've been in the kitchen for more than an hour prepping spring roll fixings as some friends are coming over for dinner tonight. Spring rolls are cool and lovely. What is not cool and lovely is boiling chicken and shrimp. Bleccccccccccch. I am on my third shirt and came close to just cooking in my bra.

Somebody needs to call me a wahmbulance.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I spent Sunday with my friend Heidi; we're making a tradition of getting together to geek out over history. This time we did it Transcendentalist-style, visiting Concord MA with stops at Ralph Waldo Emerson's home (whose robotic weirdo tour guides said over and over that "the house remains in the Emerson family") and the Old Manse, which is where Emerson wrote his "Nature" essay, babealicious Nathaniel Hawthorne spent three years writing until he got kicked out for nonpayment of rent, and Henry David Thoreau swanned about, gardening for Hawthorne and ice skating, among other things. Oh and the "shot heard round the world" was fired from a spot you can see from the house. Pretty neat stuff. The tour guide there was SO in love with Nathaniel Hawthorne. He spent his honeymoon at the Old Manse and he and his bride took to carving things in the windows using her diamond. "Oh, it was SO romantic," gushed the guide. "And look at how Nathaniel just carves in those big letters! What an animal!"

OK so I added that last bit about the animal, but still. N.H. is totally this woman's imaginary bf. Really though she was a fantastic tour guide. I get excited about old stuff and this was some primo old stuff. There was a clock in the Old Manse that had been chiming since before the U.S.A. was the U.S.A. Also a freaky stuffed female juvenile great horned owl under glass.

After the house tours Heidi and I ate a picnic lunch in the Old Manse's backyard, then headed to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery to visit the graves of Thoreau, Emerson, Daniel Chester French, and Louisa May Alcott. All in all a super neato day.