Thursday, December 31, 2009

I see the moon and the moon sees me

Caught a glimpse of the haloed blue moon while bussing it from South Station to Concord this evening. Can I say how glad I am this decade will be over in less than an hour and a half? Why of course I can!

I am SO glad this decade will be over in less than an hour and a half. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out, two-thousand-and-oughts, you with your 9/11 and your war and your bad, bad, bad Bush and your stinkin' economy and the end of my youth. Thblpppppttt!

Aaaaaaaaaaaah. I feel better now. I will probably be up to ring in the new decade old-school, as I am at the McPolack homestead. Tomorrow we pick up auntie P and caravan it north to Dr. Moo's wedding. Quite a fine way to start off on the right foot for the next ten years of this incarnation.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

You can have everything if you let yourself be

Off to NH tomorrow, then onto VT for Dr. Moo's wedding. I can't believe it's so soon. I finally meditated today; hadn't since Saturday. It felt like a drink of water on a hot day.

I've been doing my annual material goods purge, and damn do I have a lot of shit. Seven bags less of it now, though. I'm getting better at letting go.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


The gifts this year were pretty spectacular. Walnut told me to keep the KitchenAid mixer she'd been letting me foster. Little Brother and his wife gave me a leather wallet from Italy and a fancy French cast-iron dutch oven. Dr. Moo finally came through on the French Laundry butter (some of which I salted and used to fry up penis-shaped pancakes the morning after Dr. Moo's bachelorette). Really I'm a little in awe at my loot. And very grateful.

I went for a walk in the woods on Christmas day, hoping to use the book I got to id some trees. Only, whoopsie! It's winter and there aren't any leaves on the trees. So I kept the book closed and followed some deer tracks instead. Did my usual poking of poop (deer and coyote) with sticks, found a turkey feather, deer beds, some blood. There was a tiny woodpecker waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay up high and a tiny spider way down low. I didn't run into any bigger critters, which was fine by me, because while walking Chauncey the Wonder corgi the day before I think I heard a bunch of coyotes running down a deer and it was loud and scary.

Monday, December 28, 2009


According to Dr. Moo, at least one Vermont family practices this: If a younger sibling marries before an older sibling, the latter must don overalls and dance in a pig trough while the other family members throw things at her.

I haven't owned overalls since the '90's, thank you very much.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hit with the baking stick

Just finished a two-day baking extravaganza. Made the same rolls I did for McQ Family x-mas; another double batch. This time I kneaded by hand and they're much fluffier. Also made a batch of macadamia nut/coconut cookies, and a double batch of cookies that called for rolling, cookie-cutting, and filling. Also decorating, but I am effing exhausted so they're going to be a nice simple sandwich cookie. I managed to get to a yoga class today and go to Johnny's Foodmaster, a classic Somerville grocery store. It is carpeted. Ahem.

Also, I had forgotten how much the furball likes to sit amongst crinkly tissue paper sheets: a lot. She's all puffed up like a Christmas tree in there right now.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I interrupt this blog...

I'm, like, wicked busy. It's Christmas, all of a sudden. Who knew that was coming? I'm still not done shopping. I have a long list of things to do. Then Dr. Moo gets married. Which comes with its own list-o-things. Right now there are helicopters over my house, owing to a train derailment-no injuries, thank goodness. I have a double batch of halfway-to-brioche dough on its first rise in the oven and about 8 million pounds of laundry to put away.

McQ Family Xmas was big fun, as usual. This year I got a glass jar with a string of colored lights stuck in it; the plug hung out the top and there was some gold star trim wrapped around it-it wasn't even taped. Total piece-o-crap. I left it at the McPolack homestead. I assume its next stop will be the dump. We had a white elephant yankee swap and while if I was given an actual white elephant I would probably take it to the SPCA as opposed to throwing it away, trading crap gifts is kind of the point. Only sometimes people bring gifts they think are nice, until someone (or several someones) guffaws at that gift's monstrosity. And this is how family feuds are born.

Also at the McQFC was a giant scrapbook filled with old pictures, news clippings, and telegrams. One of the articles was about great-great-grammy Bean and how she was still farming and splitting cords of wood and raising multiple (grand)chilluns at the age of 81. It extolled her many many many virtues. The only problem with the article, as I was informed by relatives in the know, is that it was her daughter Thus who actually had to do all the work. Because great-great-grammy Bean was a total bitch.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Got a Christmas card from my brother and his wife. They follow her family's holiday photo tradition. Last year they posed with their kitties. This year it was just the humans, standing in a far-flung meadow. But their kitties were still there, on the stamp on the envelope.

(the accompanying photos are of my kitty. I am thinking of becoming a pageant mom on the feline circuit.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I made some yeast rolls today for Sunday's, I don't know, 17th annual McQ Family X-mas? Dr. Moo will be attending this year, which is nice. Anyhoo, I decided it was time I took a more active role in the family holiday party scene and so I'm baking and roasting and appetizer-ing for three dozen. Walnut's KitchenAid mixer has been a real help in the kneading department and the smells in the kitchen are making me want to try brioche next. I've got one pack of yeast left and plenty of bake left in me.

On the X-mas shopping front, I have very little to buy this year, which is good, as I have very little money. On the X-mas front in general I'm starting to feel like a womens magazine. I've been writing this durn blog so many years now there's nothing new left to say. Christmas: it makes me happy, it makes me sad. I drink eggnog and suck on candy canes and on Christmas Eve I lose my shit. Though I actually have managed to avoid that last part these last few years, by losing my shit in dribbles (heh heh) over the month of December. Last night, for instance, I cried a little while watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. It was good. I might give someone the finger with my mind while driving tomorrow. Or maybe I'll punch a reindeer.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Helping the homeless

McMumsy and PolackPappy had talked about possibly taking in foster kids once we were grown and while they haven't done this, they are giving back in other ways. They both volunteer at a local homeless shelter; McMumsy had her first stint of the season (it's open only in the coldest months) Saturday night. Like when she comes home from her first days teaching reading to troubled kids each September, she was full of stories.

Like the one about the 20-year-old guy who'd been written up in the paper, because he'd been thrown in a river for stealing someone's shoes, and nearly drowned. McMumsy was doing his intake as he sat in front of her, glaring at her, and flicking his lighter on and off and on and off and on and off, ad infinitum. One of the other volunteers asked McMumsy if she'd been scared; she said no, but that she knew he was trying to provoke her. It's how the kids she teaches sometimes act, so she's used to it.

When I asked her if she felt sad about this guy's life, or that of any of the other people at the shelter, she said no. She finds them fascinating. There are times when she doesn't know who's a volunteer and who's a guest. I guess it's a good lesson in not judging a book by its cover.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Today's post is brought to you by Dr. Moo's FB status...

In her own words...

It wasn't the grossest thing ever, I think the main factor is that when my uterus is kind of crampy and angry, I shouldn't be fishing stinky bits out of somebody else's uterus.
It was a first calf heifer with hind legs dangling from her vulva by skin. There was some sort of pink creamy GI on the ground that had fallen out of the stinky, gelatinous... See More dead calf. The heifer was chowing down on it and had a pink milk mustache.
It wasn't your typical rotten emphysematous fetus where everything is bloated and dry. There was plenty of fluid that came pouring out at me with every contraction. I reached in for the rib cage and what I pulled out included a head but when it flopped on the ground, I realized there were no bones. That is when I gagged. I fished the rest of it out bit by bit from a sea of stinky fluid. The heifer was fine but kind of pissed we wouldn't let her eat the rest of the junk I pulled out. The End

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Made my way over to my friend Lydia's last night to share my pirogi. I'm glad I went. She's a very curious (in a good way) individual and we really click. For all the lack of man in my life, there's more than enough woman to make up for it-by which I mean I have a lot of women friends. I'm really grateful for them.

We talked about ways of looking at the world. Lydia tends to find her life to be satisfying-and her husband told her perhaps this isn't due so much to her creating a positive outcome by way of her positive energy as it was that no matter what the outcome, she was OK with it-more judgment than cause and effect, if you catch my drift.

I felt lighter after talking with her, and better about my situation. Later, I felt like shit again.

A few days ago, I had a bizarre, apocalyptic dream and watched War of the Worlds for the first time the day after; my dream and the movie were similar, though on more of a meta-level.

In the dream the world was obliterated and everyone went underground. I was carrying around a baby and a kitten and was super-worried about them; they ended up dying and I felt relieved. I eventually made my way above ground and encountered a race of baboon-men -- they'd chop the heads off baboons and replace them with human ones, because the bodies of the humans were destroyed. I watched the surgery. WTF, subconscious? I also am developing TMJ. The Paulist Center happens to have a Jungian analyst in residence and I am considering paying him a visit. And I must add that one of the many upsides to years of therapy is the ability to not freak out over things like this and instead look at it as an opportunity for growth. I just need to figure out how to grow.

Anyhoo, I'm working on a story this week; it's due Friday. It's kicking my ass. I've looped back into hyper-perfect mode and I have got to get myself out. So if anyone wants to send me some bust-through-the-block energy, I'll take all you can spare.

In other McPolack news, Beefy Chunks had his balls off and made a new friend.

Talk to youse laters, alligators.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Back to the beginning

In some ways my 30s feel like childhood again, mostly the fact that so much seems to happen in so little time. Mostly this would be what's happening to my ovaries. I don't feel particularly more or less ready to have children, but the lady parts are aging rapidly.

I suppose this means on some level that I'm immature. Actually, that would be on the head level. On the crotch level, I am definitely 36. Heh heh.

Lately I am considering either, a, making my blog invitation-only, or b, doing away with it all together. I feel ready for something different in my life.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I am so popular

Last week was a busy one. I had a good, long conversation about family and what it means to be heading for 40 and whether God exists with one friend, and visited a teeny craft market in Union Square with another. I lifted a four-year-old up on my shoulders so she could put a star on top of a Christmas tree. I shopped for, and finally bought, an MOH dress. Walnut helped. She was very understanding of how much I hated my hips that day. And I hated them a lot. (The dress, BTW, is an iridescent sort of burnished gold taffeta, strapless, with a wee train.)

Sunday I had crepes with the four-year-old from Friday, who had just braved a flu shot. Then I went downtown to pick up the dress. Then I ate sweet potato, chick peas, and jasmine rice at Walnut's, and wondered again at how much life I feel I've already lived, and how incredibly short it seems at the same time. I guess I'm worried I'm not moving forward fast enough. Like since I'm not getting married I need to do something else equally momentous, drive some stake in the ground that says this is who I am as an adult. But I have absolutely no clue what that stake looks like. And I really wish there was someone to hold the stake steady for me.

Anyhoo. It is what it is. And of course it's not all bad. This, for instance, exists (NSFW):

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yay for me

Went to a networking event tonight; talked to nine people, gave out and got back five business cards and had some interesting conversations. I spoke with a couple of women who run their own businesses. It felt good. I was confident. I am confident.

Now it's cookie-eating time, followed by snuggle time with the furbina, who is sitting in her basket at my feet.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Checkin' in with Gee-zus

Went back to Mass this Sunday after some time away, and at the Paulist Center to boot. Tonight I went back to Taize at the Methodist church and it was just what I needed. I'm jumping back into writing this week. It's not a particularly compelling topic in the grand scheme of things but I can't help but take it very seriously. I'm still working out the balance between a healthy amount of fear around the writing process versus an incapacitating amount.

I forgot to talk Turkey Day so here's a story from this year's event: We were sitting around discussing adoption; specifically, one group of relatives was trying to convince the daughter of my cousin T that her grandfather, my uncle D, was adopted. And Spanish. With the middle name "Juan." They really got her going. Later, I mentioned another cousin, who in fact had been adopted. "Wait a minute," said yet another cousin, "I thought that was a joke."

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

O Tannenbaum

Did you know you could get a permit for just 5 bucks, then hike up into the White Mountains and cut your own Christmas tree? I remembered hearing something about this last year. This year I did some investigating. And found this.

I mentioned to both PolackPappy and McMumsy that I'd really love to hike partway up, say, the Moose, chop down an adorable little pine tree, lash it to my backpack, then drive it home. It could sit in my back seat! Well, insofar as trees sit. I was thinking of getting a three-and-a-half-footer. Then I'd have some of the mountains in my house. Later, I could drive it back to NH and recycle it.

I mean, is this awesome or what?

Or what would be Mcm and Pp's answer. "You'd end up spending 30 bucks on gas," said Pp. True enough. But if I get depressed enough, I'm tossing my boots, my crampons, and an axe into my backpack and I'm heading north.