Thursday, October 29, 2009

Forever 21

Like the Christmas Tree Shop, I find myself wondering why I never realized what a completely awesome store this is. I went there this afternoon, to see what I could find to turn myself into Rachel Zoe for Halloween.

I am not in fact going to a single Halloween party. I am trick-or-treating with tiny children. None of whom have agreed to make it a team costume by dressing up as Rog, Tay-Tay or Brad. But no matter! It is an excuse to wear clackety bangles, leggings and heels, and to do interesting things with my hair.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Frontline, the abusive boyfriend I can't seem to leave

Watched another depressing documentary last night. This one looked at the economy from the perspective of a hair salon on the Upper East Side. It freaked me out. There were all these older folks, mostly in their 50's, who were running out of money, and they were really screwed--aging, with nobody around to help them. One poor fellow went from networking event to networking event, doing his best to do everything "they" say you should. He broke my heart.

I haven't had as much work lately, which scares me. A friend suggested we could trade our skills where she'll help me with the design for a Web site about my business and I'll help her with the writing for a Web site about hers. It seems like a good idea to me. She's recommended trying out Craigslist, not to search for work, but to post that I am available. That's a good idea, too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It's a woodpecker, in the wilds of Somerville. This little fellow is trying to get some treats off the faux bois shingles on the house next door. If he pecks hard enough he might get some drugs, because I'm pretty sure that's what the people who live there do all day.

Yesterday I emailed my sister-in-law to tell her Martha was having a Halloween Pet-tacular. She is a fellow appreciator of Martha's unique charms. The pet-tacular involved a fashion show which MS and Isaac Mizrahi commented on. One of Martha's perfectly-coiffed/dressed/slender minions carried her pet bunny, Mimi, in a monogrammed snugli. OMG. S-i-l e-mailed back that she'd read in a recent issue of Martha's magazine that Martha had installed a "bird cam" at one of her properties.

That's when I realized I have my own version of a blond Polish lady bird cam. Me and Martha, we're two peas in a pod.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fun with dry ice

Had a busy weekend. Met a friend for breakfast and farmer-marketry, then watched Tom Perrota interview John Hodgman on Saturday. Tried out a new yoga place Sunday. Did not realize it was the super-sweaty kind, but did OK. Then it was off to the third-annual pumpkin party held at my friend Amelia's. The party started when her daughter was 2. It was loud. By age 3, she was attending a Montessori school and there were more kids and it was louder.

But 4? Four is a MUCH quieter age. I like it. Four-year-olds can also hold more of a conversation and I, like most grown-ups I suppose, am amazed at how adult these tiny creatures can act. While making a princess crown for my friend Walnut, the wee girl next to me piped up, unbidden, "I decided to be Pink Girl today." And pink she was: shirt, pants and shoes. I asked her if it was her favorite color. "No. I like blue. I just got up this morning and said to myself 'It's feeling like a pink day today.'"

(The one thing this year's party lacked was other childless grown-ups. You feel much less strange decorating crowns and cookies amongst a group of four-year-olds and their parents if you've got a partner than you do if you're alone. But at least I'm not a man, because that would have moved my status from slightly odd to very creepy.)

After delivering one crown and two decorated kitty-cat sugar cookies to Walnut (and getting a wonderful scarf in return), I went back to snag a couple of leftover pumpkins. When I arrived, Amelia had D and I hang out on the stairs, for a surprise. Check it out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What I saw in the woods

Brought my car to NH yesterday afternoon so PolackPappy could install a new master cylinder and bleed the air out of the brake lines. I helped with the second part. This morning we're getting new back tires, and then it's back to MA for me.

I took Chauncey the Wonder Corgi on a dump walk and saw some of this. Then, while sitting and meditating on a rock on one of the stone walls behind the McPolack homestead, I heard a rustling, and the rustling moved in a wide arc. Suddenly I was being eyeballed by a very curious vole. I decided to be a little less at one with nature for a minute or two so he wouldn't jump on me. Later I realized I was sitting next to what was probably his half-eaten pine cone.

Later still, while walking back, I grazed some poo with my thumb. The poo was furry. With mold. It did not look innocuous and so I did not investigate further. I said yuck and cleaned off my thumb, first on a leaf, and later with soap.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Heatlh Care

I like this ad, both for the yoga moves and the message. I can do the forearm stand at the end and have attempted all the others. Attempted being the operative word.

In my own health care saga, I missed a call from Commonwealth Care, which administers my plan. The customer service rep let me know prices were going up. Well, s-h-i-t, I thought. This can't be good.

Aaaaaaaand, it wasn't. Got my latest bill and it's gone up by more than 50 bucks a month. For bare-bones coverage. The only other option I have is to cancel my prescription coverage, which is pretty much the only thing I've used the insurance for. Luckily, of course - who wants to have to go to the doctor? OK, people with Munchhausen's, but other than them?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have been a scone addict for many moons and for the last few months I've been baking them at home all the time, as opposed to some of the time, to save money. I used to get scones at one coffee shop, then switched to another, where the scones were better. Unfortunately, the scone-sellers magically morphed into irritating bitchface hipsters and I just could not bring myself to give them any more of my cash.

Today I decided I was sick of scones all together and have moved on to muffins. My first attempt is at carrot-raisin. Since I like healthy, I used a recipe that called for some wheat flour. I also tossed some ground flaxseed in there. The muffins aren't quite bricklike but they are dense. Here's hoping they taste good!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I watched a bit of Joy Behar last night on my troll through the channels. She was chatting up Janeane Garofalo and a very well-put-together, attractive young conservative blogger lady. They were talking politics (as opposed to entertainment, which is more what I look to JB for); specifically, about accusations that the Obama administration immediately, aggressively, and inappropriately stamps out anyone who is critical of them. Accusations made by Karl Rove.

JG brought up how hypocritical it was for KR to be saying such things, bringing up a specific case. Attractive conservative blogger lady's response was oh, well there are several nuances to that case that we can't get into here because there isn't enough time to discuss them.

I changed the channel. Because what is the point of talking about issues if you're not really going to talk about them? I think both liberals and conservatives are guilty of this. And we all suffer for it.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Dr. Moo loved the shower we threw for her this weekend. She called me the day after to tell me Aunt Flo had arrived and I knew exactly what she was talking about. Forget Midol. The ultimate cure for PMS involves sitting in a rocking chair and opening presents while a roomful of people who love you shower you with attention.

Her next shower (yes, she's having two) is in a few weeks, in Vermont. Should be interesting.

In Beefy Chunks news, Beefy Chunks really likes to run. And his favorite place to run is the street. Because he can run faster on hard surfaces. Go, Beefy Chunks, go!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whoa nelly!

It is cold here in Massofchewyzits. And my downstairs neighbors don't seem to have turned their heat on yet. I don't know how the 90-something lady is keeping warm, but I miss the warmth from downstairs floating upstairs before wafting out my sieve-like living room windows.

I spent much of the day today in a mothballish sweater. One cuff smelled like balls. (heh heh)If I saw/smelt a lady who looked/smelled like me on the street today I might have thought, whoopsie, crazy. Luckily, I did not leave the house.

Tomorrow it's off to NH for an 8 AM appointment in Concord. My car needs lookin' at. Then on Saturday it's Dr. Moo's shower. Good times.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why I'm not in the news business

Did a bit of a tour of PolackPappy's roots today, with stops at a stoop to nowhere in Southie, my grandfather's birthplace in Taunton, and a wee house between two rivers on the Cape where PP used to vacation as a child. In between the latter two visits, on a major highway, was a big construction arrow indicating we should move over into the left lane. As we got closer, we realized it wasn't construction but an accident. Then a police officer stopped traffic at the car in front of us, popped down a road cone, and came to our window. The person in the accident (which due to probably the abnormally large number of terrible accidents that have happened over the past few days I could find no note of online) had to be med-flighted out and the chopper was due in any minute.

So I sat and watched as a helicopter landed on the highway. It was just like on TV. And so surreal. SO surreal.

I didn't want to get any footage of the actual injured person out of respect for whomever it was and at first I wasn't going to take any video. But then after seeing how AMAZING it is to be so close to a helicopter doing its thing, I thought, OK, I'll film it.

And juuuuuuuuust before the chopper took off, my memory card filled up.

So we're back to word pictures on this one. Only word pictures don't do this sort of thing justice. Just think big, loud, close. Like watching planes take off at the airport only you're on the runway.

I hope whoever the person was they were flying away is OK.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I'm not really feeling this blogging thing today. Maybe it's the rain.

Monday, October 12, 2009


The haul, from this fall's Dub-dub rummage:

1 vintage wool sweater, "handknit in England for Neiman-Marcus." Looks to be maybe from the early '80's.

One blouse that stank so much of mothballs I threw it away. Whoops.

1 set of four cloth napkins from the '60's or 70's with the tags still on.

1 set of four Scandinavian placemats and napkins, with a primary-color rooster/farm-y theme.

This down robe, only I paid 2 dollars for it, not 99.

1 pair Lauren by Ralph Lauren pants

2 spatulas, as mine keep falling behind my stove, never to be seen again.

1 old pretty green glass canning jar

1 kitty-print table runner but not a hideous schmaltzy kitty print, more of a cool woodblock kitty print.

I really held myself back this year owing to my new Buddhist attitude of "less is more." Well maybe Buddhist isn't the right word. I'm trying to just get things that are quality and that I know I'll use.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Amen to all that

Can I just tell you that today ended up being completely excellent? I felt so loved I am a little embarrassed for ever acting like 36 was anything but good.

It's all good.

Hugs and kisses all around. And many thanks.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

So long, 35, and thanks for all the...?

I CANNOT BELIEVE that as of tomorrow, I will be older than 35.

And I will continue to get older than 35 until I am dead.


Logically I understand I'm still young, it's just a number, at least I'm not 45/55/65, etc. But I've got to get this off my chest: How the FUCK did I get here? I mean, SERIOUSLY. It's a little embarrassing how just like everyone else I am with this.

I think what's most troubling is that my youth is finally, irrevocably, and utterly gone. I know too much now. Plus, I've got wrinkles. Jesus, even my eggs are starting to get a bit...stale. This is very, very, very, very, very, very WEIRD.

I remember when I turned 30, all my younger relatives-and there are a lot of them-were a little freaked out. Because as the oldest of the second run of cousins, those born to the babies my Grammy Mc had after WWII, I'm like their big blond canary in a coal mine. Well guess what, kids? It's getting pretty OLD in the coal mine.

OK, that's enough for now. I'm really OK, and even excited. I don't like placing bets but I do have a burbly-good feeling about 36.

Or maybe it's just gas.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Went with a friend tonight to try out Taize-style worship at her church. She's Methodist. I know zilch about Methodists, but if I were to base my opinion on this friend and that worship, I'd have to say they're a fine religious community.

(I just now figured out where I know the word Taize from. I don't know what happened to this bible but I read it as a kid.)

The church was lit mainly by candles and the fading sunlight streaming in through 115-year-old stained-glass windows and we sat in the choir pews in the apse. There were maybe 10 of us there, including a singer/piano player and a guy playing a drum. Since it was some sort of world communion day, we had communion, but it was pita bread dipped in grape juice as opposed to the usual Cat-holic styrofoam wafers and jug wine.

However, Jesus is Jesus, whether He shows up as pocket bread, non-recyclable mailing materials, or in the flesh (in which case taking a bite of Him is probably not the best idea). I was glad for the opportunity to take communion and it felt the same with the Methodists as it does with the Catholics: right, warm, and peaceful.

As did the entire service. When we'd finished our hour of prayer, chanting (well, sort of chanting -- more singing of a few verses, some in Latin, several times in a row), and silent contemplation -- the sun was no longer shining through the stained-glass windows. It was as if we had ushered in the evening.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Shot a couple of fantastic (cough cough) videos over the weekend.

First we have Harry the Wonder Chinchilla, enjoying his time in the "exercise yard."

And then it's what constitutes a fun night at the McPolack homestead: Start a game of tug-of-war with Chauncey the Wonder Corgi. Once you've got him worked up into a lather, stick your end of the toy into the mouth of his mortal enemy. Laugh.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Lots going on right now and lots to write about but not a lot of time. So I bring you this story, for now: Yesterday I managed to fit a run into what turned out to be a tight schedule mostly of fun things like having dinner cooked for me by friends and getting a present from them. While on that run a nice fat bumblebee rode one of my thermals. He was flying by and he made a perfect arc around the the front half of my midsection. It was really cool.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Meditation train

I meditated on the T today and it was good. I did one where you're supposed to close your eyes (I didn't) and listen to everything that's happening, all the sounds, moment by moment, and then you expand that awareness to include other sensations. I felt like it was productive, even though I couldn't go 100% deep because I didn't want to miss my stop.

The meditation is from a Jack Kornfield CD. It took a little doing to get over his voice, which is very breathy, and Stuart Smalley-y with a dash of creepy. Of course I took that dash of creepy and ran with it. I kept imagining him softly suggesting things like clubbing baby seals and kicking handicapped people in the shins.