Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"He can't handle the farting."

Last weekend Dr. Moo brought her new husband along with her to help her roll a cow. Rolling a cow is a maneuver you do to fix an ailment -- sort of like with inner ear issues in people -- but the former involves a lot of loud, smelly flatulence on the part of the patient.

Mr. Moo, as Dr. Moo's husband shall now be known, was a big help except for one issue: He couldn't stop laughing. Just like PolackPappy, Mr. Moo never met an air biscuit he didn't like. Unfortunately for Mr. Moo, his lovely wife is a doc-tohr, thank you very much, and failed to see the (incredibly obvious) humor in newlyweds working together to roll a large mooing farting cow around.

On a side disgusting note, when Dr. Moo called to tell me the above story she was on her way home from cutting into a cow who had died the day before. She smelled terrible, owing, you know what? I'm going to spare you the details.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Goodwill has gotten pretty expensive, or maybe it's just that I've been shopping there nearly 20 years (yikes) and prices do go up, even at thrift stores. It could also be that I have been so broke lately that I cannot afford to shop even there.

The latter is why I was pissed at myself, initially, for forking over 10 bucks (!) for a pair of rain boots some weeks back. I don't have 10 dollars to spend on something so frivolous.

As anyone who lives in New England could probably guess, I have been wearing nothing but those rain boots.

OK, I have also been wearing clothes.

In other McPolack news, I have very little time for anything these days. And I am cranky. It's not a PMS cranky neitha. It's more of a festering cranky cold sore. For example today I finally went back to my usual yoga studio to take the last class I had left on my class card. It was really windy and rainy. Does anyone make an umbrella for less than 20 bucks that can withstand, say, a chihuahua sneezing on it without blowing back and breaking? No. I had to tilt the umbrella into the wind but lift it every few seconds to make sure I wasn't going to run into anybody. And could the wind blow in just one motherf*&*ing direction? No. Stupid wind.

So I'm walking and trying to move my umbrella with the wind and be mindful of strangers and of cars and I'm thinking, wow, this is really Buddhist-I am so living in the moment. Only the moment sucked. It was like: Suck. Suck. Suck. Suck. Suck. Suck. And repeat.

Peace out.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Rock on

Last weekend I raked poo at the McPolack homestead; this weekend I raked rocks. Then scooped them into a plastic trashcan and deposited the in the depression at the end of the driveway, which is where they were before being plowed up onto the lawn. It was much colder this weekend than last but I prefer cold because I sweat less. I was in short sleeves in the 40-degree air.

The night before I spent an hour removing mats from Ethel the barn kitty's fur while she laid in my lap purring and drooling and kneading. She is my proudest achievement, kitty-wise. I remember spending many an early evening on the slate stones outside the Babcia's kitchen, taming her with a bowl of chow and a lot of patience.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Owly goodness

Found out about this super-neat live webcam from a friend. It's Molly the owl; so far she's hatched two of her four eggs. The father, McGee, brings them bunnies and birdies to eat. It's way better than tv.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Doing good work

Today I helped someone put more women and minorities in positions formerly held by Cheddy Cheddingtons. Tomorrow I'll be transcribing more interviews about poo. I need to have myself some kids because I bet I'd be a real hit on career day at elementary school.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Piggie Pie

Spent some time at the McPolack homestead this weekend catching up on laundry and doing yardwork. Chauncey the Wonder Corgi made his first wallow of the season while I made my way through the backyard picking up pine cones. Hundreds of pine cones. Later I picked up Chauncey the Wonder Corgi's wintered-over doo-doo.

In fact it was a poo-themed weekend as I transcribed an interview with the parent of a constipated toddlah. I shall never think of the words "thin sausage" quite the same way again.

And now, neither will you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tough crowd

I went to the eye doctor's tonight for the first time in almost a decade. And I think my optometrist is clinically depressed. I had a very Bueller...Bueller appointment. I did my best to liven things up. After he squirted the drops that give you black eyes like a doll's eyes he asked me if I was wearing mascara. Then he handed me a tissue and pointed me in the direction of a mirror. I said "Actually my eyes have been seeping out black liquid for days now."

Which, OK, is pretty lame. But still! I got nuthin. No response. Other than telling me to wait out in the lobby for 15 minutes.

Maybe he should have been a dentist.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Peruvian Polack Porter

PolackPappy showed up a couple Sundays back with this bookcase strapped to the back of his dress Volvo. We stood it up in the driveway and while I was contemplating the bookcase, Pp was looping some 300-pound tuna fishing line saved from Ed King's boat, Ed King being a classic salty sea dog and owner of the Stranger, a 60-foot sailboat docked at the Portsmouth yacht club.

Now on writing this I realize it seems a bit odd to fish for tuna off a sailboat. Hmm.

But back to the story! As you can see in the photo above, the bookcase has doors. Naturally I thought Pp was tying the doors shut. But after tying the final knot he stooped down, slipped his arms through the rope, and hoisted the ginormous book case on his back.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I yelled. This was ignored. Oh, Dad, you are SUCH a weirdo, I said. Also ignored. Actually, he looked quite pleased with himself. Then he asked if his hauling method looked familiar and what I thought was I bet that's what they did back in the day (that day being the early '60's, when PP was in the Peace Corps) in Peru. But I said I didn't know.

It's Peruvian! he said. He went on to explain that of course the Peruvians were much, much smaller than he and their loads much, much bigger. Like 150 pounds. Carried up 20,000 feet. Then they'd turn around, walk down, strap on another 150 pounds and walk back up again. All day. Until age 40, by which point most of them were dead.

Thankfully Pp did not expire; he made it up the fire escape with me helping balance the load from behind, and with me feeling slightly embarrassed that someone would see me making my poor sixtysomething father do backbreaking labor. But when I posted about it on FB the response was more along the lines of "Rock on, Pp!"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I finally got a cholesterol test after many, many, mannnnnnnnny years. McMumsy and PolackPappy both have high cholesterol. I think they take medication-actually, I have no idea if they take medication. But I told the PA they do. And when she heard that she said it would be good for me to "delay the onset" of having to take cholesterol medication for as long as possible.

Um, what? I am not going to HAVE to take cholesterol medication.


My bad cholesterol is at the moment a smidge high. I eat an extraordinary amount of butter, so this does not surprise me. But when it comes to the good cholesterol, I am a supahstah. It's a wicked 'igh numbah, baby.

Honestly the whole doctor experience makes me anxious. I hate it. And I hate it because of the finance aspect. It is the worst fucking thing in the world to know that if you get really sick, you could either, a, not be able to afford treatment and end up dead or, b, end up in a ginormous amount of debt. If I don't go to the doctor, I don't have to think about that sort of thing.

But of course it is by going to the doctor regularly that one potentially avoids letting an illness reach critical mass.

Ah me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Standing up for yourself

Dr. Moo was on call this weekend, as she has been for many weekends owing to another vet's quadruple bypass. One client's 35YO horse wouldn't get up. Dr. Moo called her horse specialist cohort and was told 75% of the time when a horse won't get up, it's never going to get up.

However when she arrived the horse was walking around. Apparently he'd gotten up while his owners were talking about him in the past tense-"He was such a great horse," etc.-in front of him. At which point the horse thought well, f&*k you two, and got up.

Later Moo was talking with another client about a cow who wouldn't get up. It was first thing in the morning, so the farmer went in and got breakfast. He came back out to the barn after and walked by the cow, carrying his gun. The cow immediately leaped up and ran away.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicks dig me

Oh if only I were gay. A couple of weeks ago the 23YO adorable lesbian who works at the community access cable station said she had a crush on me. Which explains the (what I interpreted as) standoffish behavior. She also said she thought I was 26, bless her ever-lady-lovin' heart. This afternoon at the large-and-fancy university a postdoc was waiting to see someone and chatting with me and she was definitely gay plus she was very nervous. And I realized she was nervous because she thought I was cute.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We interrupt this blog...

No real post tonight as I ended up going to a healing service right after an afternoon at the office, got home and chatted with JoyceFrances for an hour, ate dinner and am now watching the Real Housewives of OC reunion. The show is a train wreck of women behaving badly and I cannot stop watching.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Me and my schedule

One of the things that's really helped me address my ADD and work freelance has been having a schedule. It may seem weird given that I don't know what work I'll be doing from one day to the next, but when all the time in my day became mine to mete out, I got pretty good at setting up a framework that allowed me to take care of myself and build a solid foundation.

And now it's all up in the air. And I don't like it. I know it's temporary and things change and blah, blah, blah but there hasn't been any breathing room in nearly a week now and I am almost out of laundry, yogurt, and clean floors. Which hasn't happened in years. And I'm certainly not making the fat cash that would justify this.

But I'm hopeful what I'm doing now will pay out over the longer term, and I needed to make a change. And I've made it. And I can handle shifting sands better than I ever could before. I'm glad I can look at what's happening as a growth opportunity.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Teeny tiny

Got to sit in on a lab meeting today at the large and fancy university. Lots of what was discussed went waaaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head. Genome sequencing and microbes and such. But I was able to contribute a little to the bacterial discussion thanks to public radio!

I'd listened last night to a story about a guy who purposefully infected himself with hookworms, which you get from other peoples' poo, in order to cure his allergies. They use their sharp little teeth to sucker themselves into your GI system and can apparently help with allergies and autoimmune disorders. Now the guy sells hookworms from his own poo.

The story was well-received. I think.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Down the rabbit hole

I had to make copies for a grad student today and the machine jammed. I suppose I could write something about how weird it is to be doing this at 36. As I've made my way through the work world over the past 20-odd years I've met people who feel like it's OK to consider certain types of work beneath them, and a lot of those people have gotten a lot farther than me in life, but I just can't bring myself to share their attitude.

I've got my nose pressed against the glass of a window into a very curious world right now.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

ohhhhhhhhhhhh man

Let me just say this: the building at the large and fancy university in which I am temping doesn't have lady loos on every floor. Why? Because it was built in a time when there weren't ladies doing the sorts of work that is done in said building.

As to why they have not since updated the building to include a lady loo on every floor I cannot say.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My favorite museum

I had to bite the bullet and sign up at a temp agency recently; I start my new part-time job tomorrow. But I figured if I was going to do office work for low pay I may as well do it somewhere interesting and close to home. Hence I signed up with an agency representing a certain large and fancy university.

Anyhoo, one of the offices I will be doing business with is located here.

In other McPolack news, I'm back on the Frontline. Tonight it was about assisted suicide. Uplifting as usual. The wife of the man who traveled to Zurich to kill himself was very matter-of-fact about things, and self-contained, and strong. She reminded me a lot of McMumsy.

I've also been transcribing a lecture on Buddhism; the first half-hour delves into the idea of suffering as the act of running away from the uncertainty of life, from the anxiety this causes, which means the cessation of suffering comes from embracing these things. The fellow in the Frontline episode told this parable. He wasn't sure what was going to happen to him when he died and seemed relatively certain what happens here on earth is it. Still he was open to possibilities and excited for the journey he was embarking upon by dying.

Monday, March 01, 2010


My kitty is OK! And thank you to Heidi for asking after her. : ) When I picked her up on Saturday morning the vet said she made horrible growling sounds while they were trying to syringe-feed her but as soon as they squirted the food in she was all "mew mew" and fine. Which is classic behavior for my spoiled little princess.

She ate right out of her bowl as soon as she got home, and used her tootie box, and then later she took a face-plant nap in the crook of my knee. Those are my favorite naps and they're hard to catch because she'll be looking around and her head will start to droop but if she sees you watching her she perks up.

However if she doesn't see you, eventually her little face drops flat on whatever surface is in front of her.

It is extremely cute.

I'm still exhausted from the stress of worrying over her. I wasn't expecting to feel quite so much of it. I think I might have a bad bedside manner. If you're sick and it doesn't look good my reaction seems to be to stare at you, dark circles under my eyes, and beg you silently not to die.