Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Yeah!

Due to snow and lingering illness I skipped a planned drive to Albany and am staying home for the night. I headed out to the post office to send out some bills because it just feels right to pay them before tomorrow and saw there wasn't a big line inside. So I went in to buy some stamps.

I'm not sure if it's temporary help but the usual folks weren't there. I got a cheery weirdo who looked to be in his fifties. He pawned some crap-ass leftover holiday stamps on me which I took because, well, the economy's bad and I'd hate to see the USPS go under because I don't like nutcrackers.

So let's call him George and his coworker at the next window Martha. No, Mah-ther, since this is Massachusetts. Here's what transpired after I bought the stamps:

GEORGE: So Mah-ther, I've got anotha bird story for ya.

MAH-THER: Oh yeah?

GEORGE: Yeah. So I come home the otha day and I'm gettin ready to take my motha (ed. note: I guarantee you he lives with his motha) ovah to my brotha's house and I look unda that bush, you know that bush? And I sees a pigeon cahcass. Not a whole pigeon, mind you, just the ribcage and such. I thought it was that blasted black cat again.

MAH-THER: Uh-huh.

GEORGE: So then I look up and I see this HUGE hawk. He's like this big!
{George spreads his hands about a foot-and-a-half-apart}. And I says, Jaysus! Ma, don't come out heyah!

MCPOLACK: Yeah, the bird might have ate your mom!

MAH-THER: His mum's 95 yeahs old!

GEORGE: Yeah, she's old. So I seen this bird with anotha hawk, too, they sit on the highest point, you know? The highest point. And they watch. One day I saw 'em take a pigeon-bang!-right out of the ayuh. Then anotha day that same hawk was eaten a bluejay.

MCPOLACK: Well at least it wasn't a cardinal.

GEORGE: Yeah but bluejays ah really beautiful. And he was just {making a pluck-fling, pluck-fling gesture with his hands} ripping its feathers out and tossing them to the ground, one after anotha. And then...

MAH-THER: George.


MAH-THER: I don't think you want to tell ha that story. She's got that sweet look about ha. {Mah-ther smiles at McPolack and McPolack smiles back.}

MCPOLACK: Yes please don't tell me that story.

GEORGE: All right. Well Happy New Yeah.

MAH-THER: Happy New Yeah.

MCPOLACK: Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why I heart Somerville

There is, on the bike path, a perfectly-person-sized hole in some chain link fence near an auto repair place. Someone decorated it for the holidays by threading a gold ribbon through it and tying it in a big bow at the top.

Also, this.

Yes it gets stabby here and my neighbors shoot up drugs but it's nice to know the city is not without merit.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Crocuses and squirrels

Along with lavishing attention on their three pets and prodding my sister and I towards marriage and babies (with my prospects growing dimmer by the day apparently, as at lunch last week McMumsy eagerly asked Dr. Moo to set me up with a five-times-a-father farmer called "Rude Dog"), my parents also spend their time as empty-nesters volunteering at a local homeless shelter. Unlike most of the shelters in town, people can come to this one drunk. Which is nice, I think, partly because it's dangerous for more serious alcoholics to just stop drinking suddenly.

Anyhoo while they can come to the shelter drunk, they can't bring their booze in. Come spring, all around the building, you see vodka bottles instead of crocuses slowly emerging from the melting snow.

The shelter guests, one volunteer told McMumsy, are like squirrels, only instead of burying and forgetting their nuts it's their bottles of hootch.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Hack hack wheeze

Christmas Day dawned for me with a chest full of phlegm and a crackly voice; by the end of the day, my voice was gone. It's still not back. Kudos to cousin Tim, who kept saying "What?" over and over again at dinner whenever I tried to whisper him anything, Dr. Moo, who kept farting on me and laughing because I couldn't yell at her, and McMumsy, who recommended that I "learn to sign, like that gorilla."

More on Christmas later. Just wanted to check in. Hope the holidays treated everyone kindly.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Not sure if I'm going to get to post tomorrow so just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and, for my lovely Jewish readers, a Happy Hanukkah.

Be safe, warm, well, and happy, everyone.



Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bionic Woman

So yesterday I had my annual physical, which cost 210 dollars, since I went to my doctor in NH. I've been going to her for many years and I'm a girl who likes tradition.

Anyhoo, turns out I am officially old enough to warrant a mammogram, and I'll be sure to blog all about that delightful experience. I'm also going to get a bunch of blood tests I haven't had in quite some time, since those at least are covered by my insurance.

But the best news of all is that I don't have athletes foot. Since May I have been molting; the soles of my feet crack and peel and peel and crack, every few days. I thought it was a fungus and have tried various and sundry remedies, all to no avail. Meanwhile I have felt grossed out and embarrassed. Turns out what I really have is hyperkeratosis, which is when your body produces too many skin cells. Which means I have bionic feet! (Walnut recommended calling them dragon feet.) I grow skin on them much faster than the average person. I plan to start using them as a skin graft farm for burn victims tout de suite.

Well, either that or rub them with the steroid cream I got a prescription for to clear that mess up.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Would be what I am developing from shoveling this weekend. I spent probably three and a half hours moving snow from one place to another. I wish I lived near someone who thought women shouldn't have to shovel and would do the shoveling for me but I guess you've got to take the good with the bad in the feminism department.

In other McPolack news, big thanks to Little Brother for driving in terrible weather to NH so we could all enjoy opening, and then fighting over, everyone else's crap in our first-ever White Elephant Yankee Swap. The gift that was fought over the most came from Babcia's house. As is true with many items of that special provenance, this one is hard to describe. But basically it is a life-size brass snake standing on its curled tail. Apparently someone was going to turn it into a lamp "one day." But then, whoops, someone died. That house was F-U-L-L of things that were going to be other things "one day." Anyhoo, when I first saw the snake my heart broke a little because I remember it really well. It sat at the base of the stairs in the front hall, gathering dust. I imagined I would have it one day.

But then I employed my special Buddhist muscle and let my attachment to it go. It now has a new home somehwhere in cousin Al's house, having moved from the Polish to the Irish side of the family, and hopefully it will do more in its new space than gather dust.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holy Mary Mother of the Market Basket

I headed to the Basket a little before 11:30 today, after having a bit of a frenetic morning in which I sat on my fanny, then dug through a pile of papers for checks to send to the bank, stamps, and Christmas cards. Also I cleaned the kitchen a little, and tried not to beat myself up too much for letting the ADD get the better of me.

Unfortunately I forgot we were getting a foot of snow tomorrow. But nobody else in Somerville did, because they were all at the grocery store! Good God almighty. I ended up waiting in an endless line of cars in the parking lot for, I don't know, five to ten minutes? And this is a tiny, tiny parking lot. Then some lady unloads her groceries into her minivan and it's right next to me and I think, great! And I put on my blinker.

Then someone coming in the other direction stopped and made like she was going to take the spot, well after I had staked it. So I rolled my window down and stinkeyed her into next Tuesday. She left. But then the minivan lady just sat in her car. WTF!

It was at this point that I took some deep breaths and decided that I needed groceries, I was going to get groceries, and I was going to have to just suck it up. I drove around the lot a little more, and found a space. Then I made my way through the madding crowds, waited in a looooooooooooonnnnnnggggggggg line, and did my best to be courteous. I smiled at people. I gave the Salvation Army bell ringer a 20 because that's all I had in my wallet.

When I got home, well, I still felt like I needed a cigarette, but I didn't hate myself. And that, folks, is the power of Jesus.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blue Christmas

I'm starting to rethink all my whinging, given the state of the world, but I haven't rethunk myself out of this sort of post, at least not yet. I just got back from yet another tour of my neighborhood shops (of which there are but three), trying to figure out what to get people for Christmas. Normally it is a joy to buy things for others, and one of my favorite parts of the holiday. But this year it just feels like a pointless chore. All of Christmas seems kind of pointless, to be honest.

Did I mention I think I have PMS? I should mention that.

Anyhoo I was feeling very snarly today, mainly towards the weirdo men that seem to come at me from all sides. Yesterday, when I stopped at the library after my run, some creep was outside smoking a cigarette, watching me. I gave him the stinkeye and he came stomping into the library after me. I wish I had one of those retractable boxing glove things because then I could have punched him without having to touch him.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Last night I dreamed I took a yoga class on a big mattress, fell asleep, and when I woke up someone had peed on me. Everyone but me knew who the person who peed on me was but no one would tell me. Finally I figured it out and I pushed that person off a balcony. Everyone ran after the person I pushed and then I felt guilty about it and went to help, too.

I'm pretty sure this is related to my issues with confrontation, of which there are many. But what was especially weird was that I could smell the pee. Is Daphne-Moon sticking her butt in my face now to wake me up? Because sometimes slapping upside the head with her giant fuzzy feet doesn't work, and she's a smart girl.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Sniffle snuffle

Dr. Moo is still sad about the loss of Tess (of course) but (and again, of course) when she went to drop Tess's things off at the animal shelter she went from thinking "I'm not going to get another dog for awhile" to "I'm going to get another dog soon."

She's looking into younger male treeing walker hounds, which equals crazier, more energetic treeing walker hounds (and Tess, at 13, climbed Camel's Hump). She misses having a dog around, and as someone who works solo much of the day I can attest that a critter just makes everything like a million percent better. My kitty Daphne-Moon is either snoring on the Ottoman Empire, snuggling in my lap, or doing something else equally adorable, and she makes me feel less alone.

So I'm all for Dr. Moo getting a new doggy as soon as possible. But until then if she needs to feel happy, there's always this:

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hooray for yoooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sweet Doggy

My phone rang at 12:01 this morning, which is about the time I am usually half-awake debating over whether to get up and pee. Getting up and peeing always wins but I keep trying to argue both sides.

Anyhoo, it was Dr. Moo calling, crying so hard I could barely understand her. She'd just put Tess the Wonder Hound, who had only three short days ago wiped her eye boogers off in my armpit, to sleep. Tess had gotten sick, then sicker, quickly, as older doggies do (she was 13)and had been crying out to Dr. Moo from her perch on the luxurious, gigantic doggy bed Little Brother and Sister-in-Law had given her for Christmas.

It was a good death, just Dr. Moo and Tess (well, and Chloe Claws the bipolar kitty who kept asking for a brushin'). "I'll never have another dog like that," Dr. Moo told me. And she's right. Tess, giant pain in the ass though she was, was kind of a savior for my sister in her early days in Vermont - she was there first. Before the move into town, before the solid group of friends, before the great boyfriend, there was Tess and Dr. Moo. And that's who was there at the end.

Rest in peace, sweet doggy. And thanks for being there for my sister.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

To all my Seacoast NH readers...

You should check this out. Scott is a talented writer, an interesting speaker, and a friend.

Plus, free popcorn!

Monday, December 08, 2008

It takes an irritant to make a pearl

My real name, as opposed to my blog name, means "pearl." I'm definitely still in the irritant stage. I feel like I'm in a dust storm lately: everything stings and nothing is clear. I do not like it. Part of the problem is I'm not in touch with any of my mentors, which is where I, and I think everybody else should, go for advice. Save McMumsy and PolackPappy, I'm not in touch with anyone like that right now, and it sucks. So I'm putting the message out there to the (and it makes me gag a little to say this but I'm working with what I know) universe that I need some guidance, please.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

In the rear

So I live in a house that was converted into three apartments, one downstairs and two upstairs. The upstairs apartments are designated 2-F, for front, and 2-R, for rear.

I live in the rear. Which is a source of endless amusement to certain people in my life, such as my dear friend KBH, who guffaws in her special way while ribbing me. Also my dear sister, Dr. Moo, who tried to send me two birthday cards this year. The first, which featured a wiener dog giving an uncomfortable come-hither look while laying in a bed meant for humans, arrived. Most of my address was written in normal-sized letters. Except for the word "rear" which was in ALL CAPS.

Ah me.

The second card never arrived. Word to the wise: If, when addressing an envelope, you try to turn one of the "Rs" in "rear" into a butt, and the zero in the zip code into a piece of poop, thereby creating the charming effect of a disembodied fanny doing what fannies do, your mail will be "returned to sender."


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's time...

...for me to get out and live a more interesting life so I will have more to write about here. Dr. Moo and her bf come to visit this weekend, to stay at Little Brother and Sister-inLaw's Beacon Hill abode with Tess the Wonder Hound, dine on pierogi at Chateau McPolack in the 'ville, and then on Sunday we all journey north for McMumsy's birthday.

In other McP news, I meditated this week, twice. I either listen to wackadoo music compilations or guided CDs I have loaded on Sheena. One of the CDs is an intro to meditation and there's a series of progressive exercises. The first, and supposedly easiest, is paying attention to your breath. You breathe in and out and the guy on the CD says focus on your nose...or your belly. Who can choose? They're both great. I usually hash it out for awhile, then feel cranky, then...I actually get a few moments of nothingness in there and my mind shuts up and it's really quite lovely.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The cost of staying well

So I went to refill one of my scrips today...which I had to jump through hoops to be allowed coverage last year...and discovered my plan had changed. My monthly bill overall costs more and this medication in particular has gone from 50 to 130 dollars a month...I'm sorry, is the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield taking a pay cut? He had fucking better be. Health insurance should not, not, not, NOT fall under the same rubric as other businesses. Please, Jesus and Obama, fix this, and fast!

Monday, December 01, 2008

What being a good capitalist in the People's Republic of Cambridge looks like

Walnut and I did a little holiday shopping Saturday at a fair where everything was made by disenfranchised foreigners. Here are our purchases: A hand-painted tablecloth, a cantankerous llama, and the perfect gift for the Christian/Muslim couple in your life.