Thursday, July 30, 2009


Man, this whole loving yourself thing really takes practice. Today I sat at a desk downtown and read about oxytocin and in between I thought bad things about myself, and about life. Bleaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Enough, whinocerous!

In other McPolack news, I went ahead and purchased both wet and dry fancy Ellen DeGeneres pet food for my kitty. She gobbled it right up, and now she's napping in the Ottoman Empire with a smile on her face.

In other other McPolack news, I am going on a second date tomorrow night. Honestly I would much rather bury myself underground like a cicada and pop up some years later with a family of my own, but, A, I am not a cicada, and B, cicadas don't magically grow families while they're buried anyway. And C, I can't go around. I must go through.

Through is the only way.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No, I do not have a minute

I wonder if the economy has anything to do with how g-d many college students there've been standing out on street corners lately asking passers-by if they have a minute for global warming, the environment, children, and the list goes on. They're always t-shirted and carrying clipboards. Yesterday I walked in the street to avoid one of them and she chased me down; it was all I could do not to snarl at her. WTF? Listen, I understand it's a public place and they have a job to do, but if someone is CLEARLY AVOIDING YOU perhaps it's best to take the hint, no?

Today at the farmer's market, where I got some plums that were, according to the sign by them, "sweet" but were more "mealy" than anything, so bye-bye 4 dollars, some kid wanted to know if I was interested in the environment. I said I wasn't. He kept bugging me! I don't know why I let myself get all bent out of shape over this, but I do. I do feel bad for these kids; it's tough to get crapped on all day. But I also wish they'd just leave me alone. I ran into two separate canvassers today on my walk home. And I am running out of nice.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Strange tastes

Part of the whole Dr. Moo's getting married process that's especially interesting has been learning about Dr. Moo's taste in fashion. For example, she was really into the idea of getting a hooded cape to complement her wedding dress and keep her warm during her winter nuptials. Wha? Where did that come from?

Also, when we were looking at bridesmaid dress possibilities at, she particulary enjoyed a metallic printed number.

Now that worries me. Am I to be a shiny mylar maid of honor? Hmmm.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Said yes to the dress

So. Dr. Moo got her wedding dress on Saturday. It was the first one she tried on, as a matter of fact. So as not to ruin the surprise for any blog readers who may or may not be attending the wedding (or, as a matter of fact, may or may not be marrying my sister) I'm not revealing any details of the dress. If you know for sure you're not going and you want to see pictures, e-mail me and I will send you some.

It's good to bring someone who's been through the process before, because they can do things like call BS on the salesperson when she tries to tell you all veils cost a lot of money. This would be what Sister-in-Law, who does not take crap from anyone, did, and it saved us 100 bucks.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedded Bliss

Tomorrow is McMumsy and PolackPappy's 39th wedding anniversary. When I asked McMumsy waht she was doing 40 years ago during the moon landing, she said she was at a bar with PolackPappy. A bar in Salisbury, MA. Which, if you know the NH/MA seacoast area, may make you wonder why McMumsy even married PolackPappy, much less stick around for the next four decades.

Anyhoo, congrats to them. And to Dr. Moo, who will be trying on wedding dresses in the NH seacoast area tomorrow at noon, while McMumsy, me, and Sister-in-law watch. I am sure Dr. Moo will clean the poo and blood from beneath her fingernails but I am sort of crossing my fingers for a lingering cow manure aroma because that's just how I roll.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Farmers Market Cookin'

I joined a new book club, my second, and last night was my first time there. We met at 7 at the house of the woman who invited me to join. She's someone I've been freelancing for, and over e-mail we realized we had a lot in common. So we had a friend date a few weeks ago and we're hitting it off. It reminds me of NewEnglandEating and I's courting. She'd seen my stuffed George and Martha dolls and wanted to know more. And she's become someone I'll always know, really know, you know?

Anyhoo I am getting a little off-topic. This book club meets one Wednesday a month at 7 and everyone brings a snacky thing or a bottle of wine. As I am an overachiever (in some areas) I decided I would bring two snacky things. I made tzatziki using new garlic, plus fresh cucumber and dill from the weekly farmer's market near my house, plus a spread using fava beans I got when visiting with my new book club friend at another farmer's market.

They were both pretty good, but the fava bean spread was the real winner. Unfortunately, it was also a giant pain in the ass to make. Have you ever cooked with fava beans? First you have to murder a guy and get his liver. No, wait, that was Silence of the Lambs. First you have to remove the beans from their pods. Then you have to blanch the beans. Then you have to remove their waxy shells. Luckily I remembered I needed to do this the night before, because there was no way I would have been able to get it together yesterday.

Also, you get very few actual edible parts from a pound and a half of fava beans.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling now, and I'm going to stop. Book club was good. And along with pet capybara I'm adding fava bean prepper to the list of things I'll get should I become an eccentric billionaire.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Still going

It's day eight of my push to juggle work from four different clients. It's as good a problem as any to have, but it's been sucking all the wit right out of me. Here's all I've got for you: there's this guy who annoys me in yoga class. (One of only two, surprisingly. The other one is small and hairy and always seems to be practically rightnexttome.) He's a loud fellow named Jacques who has to EMOTE! And make NOISES! And LAUGH, HA-HA, HEE-HEE! About NOTHING WORTH A GIGGLE. Nobody, and I mean nobody, else does this. Because yoga is not about YOU, Jacques, and your frickin' EMOTING.

I think Jacques is a jerque.

Monday, July 20, 2009

If I were an eccentric billionaire...

...I would SO get myself a pet capybara. I am currently obsessed with this site but the real gold is on the YouTube channel. Watch the "Caplin ROUS swims" video all the way through; trust me, you won't be disappointed. OK, maybe you will be disappointed, but only if you aren't a fan of ROUSes.

In other McPolack news, I need to take it down a notch. I've been working myself into a lather over my latest freelance gig, which involves some medical-type writing. I feel a little in over my head and then I worry I'm making mistakes, or appearing under-confident, and I thinkandworryandthinkandworry and allofasudden I hate myself. Or at least think I'm a loser who is behaving like a 22-year-old when it comes to reality. And think that other people I know, whose lives appear more "normal," whatever that is, think I'm some sort of spongy, flaky twit who needs to grow up. I look back at my past and see only mistakes, no growth. I think I've fooled yet another intelligent group of people into thinking I am somehow intelligent when, in fact, see above, starting with "I'm a loser."

I don't like feeling this way and I want it to stop. So I'm going to, as McMumsy advised, take it down a notch. As in, stop worrying so much. I went to yoga on Sunday and I'm going again tomorrow. I'm going to meditate, and pray. And I'm going to get all Stuart Smalley because, man, it may seem silly, but that sh*t works.

I love meself.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Daaaaaaammmmmnnnnnnnn am I ready for it to be the end of the week. I got up, ran to the loo, threw on some clothes, made out with my cat for a minute, ran to the coffee shop, ran to the train, ran to the office, woooooorrrrrrrrkkkkkkkeeeeeeeed, ran to the train, ran to the gym, ran home. Showered quick. Made something to eat, quick. Woooorrrrrrkkkkkkkkkeeeeeeed. Mouse broke. Ran to buy new mouse. Ran home. Pricked finger on f*&(ing plastic package mouse came in. Wooooorrrrrrkkkkeeeeeeed. Ran to get hair cut. Ran home. Worked. Made dinner. Just now getting a chance to breathe. But still have to get ready for tomorrow.

So. Tired.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Yesterday after yoga I showered but did not wash my hair. This morning I got up too late to shower and so did not wash my hair. Turns out that sweating into my hair, then sleeping on it, followed by a good brushing, equals gorgeous shiny locks. I'm talking fantastic shampoo-commercial hair. And I actually got to take it out in public, on the streets around South Station.

I was really feeling good. Pretty. The whole shebang. Then I stepped off a sidewalk and into some sort of pothole and nearly fell over. And when I'd crossed to the other side of the street, a construction worker who was having his lunch in the shade said "Be careful now," not unkindly.

I went for a run early this evening. When I came home I washed my hair. I haven't tripped since.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Four More Years

I missed my four-year blogging anniversary by 11 days. So happy 4 years and 11 days to me! At his point in my life, that doesn't seem like a whole lot of time. Which is comforting.

In other McPolack news, I am really tired. I'm taking the T to South Station for four days this week, then working for five hours, and taking the T home, at which point I have to do my other jobs. And exercise. And keep the apartment clean-ish. I forgot how much extra effort working in an office takes. I've got to plan my outfit, put on makeup, leave early enough, make coffee and breakfast, bring snacks. Office workers, I salute you!

And, in other, other McPolack news, we've got an appointment at a bridal salon in a couple of weeks so Dr. Moo can try on wedding dresses. McMumsy is b-a-r-e-l-y able to contain her excitement. By which I mean she is completely unable to contain it. The second after she made the appointment she called me up to tell me she'd made the appointment. "It's a closed shop!" she said. "Like 'Say Yes to the Dress!'"

As Dr. Moo intends to get married by January of 2010, McMumsy has a scant six months to live it up. I except the frenzy to continue and intensify.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Tyler's memorial service and reception were, as expected, incredibly sad--but also a testament to how many people he affected in such a short period of time. Including the staff at the zoo he worked at, and had decided was where he wanted to work, permanently. (The animal bug is strong in my family.) The zoo hosted a reception, with hot and cold food and drinks and desserts. And we were all free to wander the grounds.

Can I just say that in the future, all funeral receptions should be held at zoos? I ate with my family, then walked, while the sun set, and watched animals: a jaguar lolling in and nibbling on the grass, a lion and lioness napping, two tigers-one a Siberian-playing like kittens. There was a baby giraffe, lots of birds and monkeys, a camel, capybaras. I passed by Tyler's sister, who is in high school, a couple of times. She had a big posse of girlfriends with her, which I was glad to see, because she's going to need them. Her eulogy at the memorial service was beautiful, and eloquent beyond her years.

Later, I hugged Tyler's parents and, as I turned to leave, his dad said "Remember the guy who sang?" (A ponytailed fiftysomething fellow gave an...interesting melodical rendition of the Lord's Prayer, a cappella, before dinner was served)

"Yes," I said.

"I'm fixing you up with him."

RIP, Ty.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


Another busy day. Up at a little after 7; didn't get out the door until nearly 9:30 and I'll be darned if I know what productive stuff I did in that time. I have so much trouble getting going in the morning. I worked in the office, ran to the train, the gym, home. Talked to JoyceFrances. She is sad Natasha won't be waiting table (there's only one) at her next underground dinner. Ate a snack. Worked until 7:45. Had dinner. Washed dishes. And just now got off the phone with L, who is watching the Somerville fireworks, which I can hear from apartment but cannot see.

I sometimes feel, and especially in the rain, like I'm on a ship in here, a bit belowdecks, because even though I'm on the second floor, I can't really see the sky. There are buildings and trees in the way.

Listening to fireworks from my apartment makes me feel lonely.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I worked in an office for four hours today, for the first time in more than a year. Maybe two.

My main concerns were that I would get lost, which I did, and that I wouldn't be able to find anything appropriate to wear. I managed to scrape something together and discovered it's very casual dress there. But is it shorts, fuzzy Tevas, and t-shirts casual? Mmmm, prolly not. But I can handle it.

The work, also, is daunting. Medical writing. For doctors and nurses. I've got a few books about obstetrics to look at. Mind you, I don't need to know this stuff inside and out; it's more that I need to translate it into a specific format.

Anyhoo it's a trial gig, part-time, contract.

In other McPolack news, I am really wiped out.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In happier news...

...Dr. Moo got engaged yesterday. I am to be maid of honor. Though at this point I am teetering toward spinster of honor.

First I told her to get a manicure and take a photo of her hand with the ring so I could post it here. She said no. Then I said, wait, even better -- take a picture of your normal, poop-under-the-fingernails unmanicured hand with the ring.

She hasn't done that yet.

Still, congrats to Dr. Moo!

On the cousin front, memorial services are set for this friday, at the rink he played hockey at, and then at the zoo he worked at.

Monday, July 06, 2009


As the name of this blog conveys, there is some Irish Catholic in my blood. It's actually that side of the family that I've spent the most time with, and while we don't see each other every day, we are all still pretty tight. I grew up spending every Sunday until I was 16 at my Grammy Mc's house, playing with my cousins, and, in some cases, my cousin's kids.

Tina, the youngest child of my oldest auntie, used to get thrown in the pool every year at her mother's house, which was in the same town as my Grammy Mc's house. I was, interestingly, thinking of her on Saturday and hoping nobody would throw me in the pool. (I ended up going swimming anyway, only to have cousin Steve say, every time he swam by me, "I just went to the bathroom.")

Tina has two kids of her own. I've written about Tyler, her oldest.

And now I am writing about him again, because he was killed, yesterday morning, in a car accident in Maine. There were a couple of teeny articles about it online. OK, there were five teeny news articles online, which I kept reading, over and over, because you never think something is going to happen to you or someone you know until it does, and then you are astonished.

I feel so sad for his immediate family. I know how close they were. I remember talking with his little sister at his high school graduation party. She was saying how much she was going to miss him, and he was just going away to an in-state school. His mom is one of my favorite cousins. She has lots of sass. I remember when she was dating Tyler's dad. I remember their wedding, which they invited all us kids to. It was around the time that a lot of my older cousins were getting married. It was a joy to be there. It's pretty much always a joy to be around my extended Irish brood.

And now we'll be gathering for something that's pretty much the opposite of joy. I would just like to ask everyone to pray for Tina, Jim, and Libbi, Tyler's mom, dad, and sister. I will be praying for them, too. And give all the sweet, smart-mouthed boys around you extra-long hugs.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Sobering Realization

This Saturday is the annual McPolack 4th of July extravaganza. For many years, the extravaganza has been held in close proximity to a swimming pool. When I was a wee one, I spent hours and hours and hours in the pool. I only got out to eat.

I did not get out to go to the bathroom.

Now that the kids I used to swim with have kids of their own, all I can think when I see those kids with their kids, floating and splashing and playing in the lovely inground pool at the McPolack homestead is pee pee pee pee pee pee pee.

And if they've got a diaper on, number two.

I no longer swim on the 4th of July.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Further Thoughts on Fowl

In yesterday's post I mentioned a relative who'd drowned a rooster. In her defense, this is the only rooster she's ever drowned. She beheaded all the others. When I told her it was really mean to drown a rooster she told me "Oh, birds have brains like fish. Want to know what it's like to be a rooster? Close your eyes and look at the overhead light. They can only sense shapes."

I wasn't buying it. If you can sense shapes, you can sense a bucket of water.

Naturally, PolackPappy had to chime in with a story of his own. The Babcia's mother, a true immigrant (she came here around the turn of the last century at 17 to get married), would buy 25 chicks every Easter, raise them to teenagerhood in the bathtub of her Southie triple-decker, then send them to the farm in NH. For 25 weeks in a row there was fresh chicken for Sunday dinner, nearly through Christmas.

Pp and his brother were in charge of dispatch. One year, they were down to the last bird -- a rooster. There was freshly-fallen snow. They took that rooster to the front yard, chopped off his head, and immediately tossed him up into the air where, wings-a-flappin, arterial spurt a-spurtin, he sprayed blood in wide arcs all over the place.

Dee-lightful. That tale was followed up with one about Pp's pal Lester, who used to nap under an apple tree in the backyard with a pistol in his lap, so he could shoot woodchucks. Lester was out plowing one winter's eve when he hit a deer, nearly decapitating it. Not one to waste fresh meat, he got out his trusty sharp knife and field-dressed it. Later he heard cop cars go screaming by his house. "What's going on?" he asked a neighbor.

"Someone's been murdered up the road. There's blood everywhere but no body," said the neighbor. Lester got back in his plow truck and headed out to let the police know what had really happened.