Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It's cement truck day here at my place; they're pouring the floor for the basement apartment. This meant I had to move my car a little after 7 in the morning. I ended up scraping my car against some bushes a few times while trying to back it out of the driveway, then banged it against a curb while parking it on the street. Then I discovered I'd locked myself out of the apartment. Luckily I was able to jimmy a window. The contractor offered to climb in from the fire escape, and I accepted.

The cement truck came complete with a bevy of scary-looking shirtless men who, when I returned from the gym, were standing around watching the truck spit rocks and water out its backside onto the driveway.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Nose hair goo

Of the three farmers markets I visit on a semi-weekly basis, the one at Hahvahd has the best mustache. Conveniently it resides on a fellow selling baked goods, and I am a sucker for baked goods. I am not normally a sucker for mustaches, and have turned down McMumsy's offer to set me up with a weirdo from her church who sports an unironic walrus-y one.

But this mustache is very Daliesque and holds its shape even on the hottest of days, even when it's 100 degrees out.

Early in the season I asked the person attached to the mustache if he was worried about the mustache melting. He said he was, a little. I told him maybe he should think about putting some wire in there, painted black, to hold it up.

I decided today to create a new mustache wax called Dali-curl. It will be like Jheri-curl only instead of relaxing hair it will tense it up. Also instead of being for the hair on the top of your head it will be for the hair on the front of your head, specifically the part under your nose but above your upper lip. It won't be tested on animals but it will be tested on men like the weirdo my mom tried to fix me up with.

Monday, July 26, 2010


While taking a pre-dinner dip in the pool on Saturday evening, the immediate McPolack family was discussing the next generation, currently in residence in Sister-in-Law's uterus. Little Brother is of course on full-time litter box duty and he mentioned that, as with all kitties, as soon as he finished cleaning the litterbox, a kitty jumped in and sullied it anew.

I mentioned a friend I'd visited earlier in the day had been checking out daycare centers. One of them smelled like dog pee, and the owner included her pet German shepherd as a selling point. Not for protection, just that the dog would hang out with your kids. Because there's nothing safer than a room full of toddlers face-level with an animal capable of ripping their throats out.

The fact that kitties wouldn't hurt kids was discussed, at which point McMumsy suggested that perhaps LB and S-I-L's pair of felines might even create a mobile out of their dingles for the babies to bat around.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Family dinner

I just spent several hours roasting eggplant, toasting hazelnuts and removing their skins, and making bechamel and pesto. It's for a lasagna for McMumsy and PolackPappy's 40th wedding anniversary. Their present is (hopefully) all their children cooking them a tasty meal. I contributed something a little extra: knuckle chunks from my right index finger, which I grated on top of the lasagna along with some Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Large jellyfish stings Wallis Sands beachgoers - Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010

Large jellyfish stings Wallis Sands beachgoers - Thursday, Jul. 22, 2010
This is one of my favorite NH beaches; McMumsy used to bring us here as kids and I spent most of my time looking under and climbing on rocks. When I watched this on the news last night the reporter got one of the lifeguards to open up the trash bag the jellyfish was in. Then everyone talked about how gross it looked and how awful it smelled. God it was wonderful. I love New Hampshire.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In happier critter news...

I totally know the person who submitted this photo to Cute Overload. She's in a book club I belong to. She took her husband to South Africa for the World Cup, as a gift to him for completing his master's degree.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Doggy down, for good

Dr. Moo was making lunch on Friday while Jimberley James the Horrible Hound gamboled about in the invisibly-fenced yard when she heard a loud thunk. She looked out the window and saw a dump truck but no Jim, and thought nothing of it. But when several seconds passed and no Jim appeared, she stepped outside.

Jim was laying on his side next to the truck. He was still alive, but Dr. Moo could see his injuries were not survivable. She ran to her truck to get medicine to put him to sleep but Jim died in the brief amount of time it took her to do so.

From talking with the dump truck driver and seeing the large piece of metal that had broken off the dump truck in the collision, Dr. Moo realized Jim hadn't been run over. He'd run into the very large vehicle. Jim didn't like loud noises but had recently begun fighting back, e.g. he bit the vacuum cleaner. So Moo thinks he was trying to make the dump truck stop being loud, which is why he - for the first, and sadly last, time - broke through the invisible fence.

After moving Jim's body out of the road, Dr. Moo had Mr. Moo dig a grave back by the burn pile.

We're celebrating 40 years of wedded bliss between McMumsy and PolackPappy on Saturday. Jim has been part of the McPolack family for just a year and a half but it was more than enough time for him to make his mark.

He was a wonderful, wonderful doggy.

Friday, July 16, 2010


The positive side of feeling like crap is the opportunity to try multiple crap cures. At the moment I am doing the cure of action. It involves no sitting around.

OK it involves a little sitting around. But only because the heat and humidity have returned. (I am grateful for the two nights I did not require air conditioning to sleep.) I just finished vacuuming and got very schwassy. Schwassy is a term I learned from Mr. Moo and it is a combo of the words sweaty and ass, with a little Peter-Brady-as-Humphrey-Bogart thrown in.

I am also schwbooby. I told my friend JoyceFrances that I was having schwbooby issues and that I was using paper towels to deal with the situation, and she laughed at me.

So now I am using orphaned socks.

Last night I was bitching to McMumsy about the landlord and she remarked that capitalist and pig are interchangeable.

Amen to that.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I have been in a foul mood for awhile now. Yesterday I did a guided meditation on my iPod that purported to help one deal with difficult emotions. I kept silently conveying one fuck you after another to the leader, b/c he wouldn't fucking shut up. He was all "focus on your emotions..." and then in the next breath he kept right on talking. So there wasn't time to focus on anything at all.

What has really been irritating me lately is my cheap-ass landlord. I have for many years now tried my best to be grateful for what I have...a decent-enough apartment at market price in a great location...while ignoring the ciggie, weed, and booze smells that waft through the walls; the shitty windows that leak air like sieves; and the lack of snow removal. (When I asked for new shovels he of course bought incredibly cheap ones.)

Well now he is turning the basement into an apartment for his son who drives a Mustang with an automatic transmission. The apartment includes radiant heat flooring, and a kitchen...which is not mentioned on the permit taped to the door. That permit states that what's being built is an extension of the first floor apartment, an extension that includes a den, a living room, and a bathroom. But no kitchen. So it's yet one more illegal basement apartment in what is understandably the most thickly settled place in the entire state.

The kicker? His son will be living in the apartment while he GOES TO LAW SCHOOL TO BECOME A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY.

Un. Fucking. Believable.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't mess with Texas

I was chatting with a Colombian post-doc in the lab today; pre-Cambridge, she spent six years in Texas. Apparently the men there hold doors for women, and step in front of women to open doors, and help them carry their bags, and let them cut in line at the grocery store. All the time.

That's one nice thing about Republicans.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Looking at the bright side

This morning I used one of the high-quality disposable razors I got with a coupon a few months ago. The difference between it and the el cheapo brand I normally used was immediately apparent. First I shaved off a chunk of my pinkie fingernail. Whoopsie! Later I shaved off an armpit chunk. It still hurts. I'm used to shaving the way I vacuum: go over the same area multiple times, with force. (My vacuum is el cheapo as well, and old, and held together with Gorilla Glue.)

I sure am glad I don't have nipple hairs!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stink Plant Update!

This afternoon I visited the stink plant. It bloomed Sunday evening but still had a decent amount of rot-smell at noon today-and a bevy of camera-wielding admirers. I forgot my camera, but other people had theirs, and there were several nose-holding shots taken which I will post if/when I find them.

Unfortunately only one fly had visited in the roughly 16 hours since the plant opened. There was a mosquito laying at the bottom when I peered in to get a closer look/whiff, obviously not a very smart mosquito. After tonight, the stink plant's keeper is going to cut the plant down, chop it up, and dry it. Which is done in a highly technical fashion: by pressing it between newspapers and cardboard and putting a weight on top.

In other McPolack news, PolackPappy entered his 70th year yesterday. He was celebrating by cooking chicken on the grill. For McMumsy. He did tell me he was no longer middle-aged and I tried to cheer him up by saying he might be old but he's young-old. Technically he is baby-old. I don't consider a person old-old these days until they're 90. And besides, PP spends a good five minutes each night chasing Harry the Wonder Chinchilla around the family room with a broom. If that's not spry I don't know what is.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Stink Plant!

Exciting news greeted me at the large 'n fancy university today: the titan arum, which lives in the same building as me, was about to bloom. So I went to pay it a visit.

The stinky stink plant was kind of hard to find, and not only because it had not yet begun to stink. I had to take one elevator, then find a guy, then try some stairs, then hit the down button on another elevator, and then go up, and then walk through several which point I came upon this:

photo of actual stink plant I sniffed

It was just me, the photographer, and the mildly wienus-like plant. So Igotveryveryclosetotheplantwithmynoseand...snifffffffff!

I smelled nothing. Which makes perfect sense, as the titan arum has not yet bloomed. I imagine it is working furiously at creating its grody rotten-meat aroma as I type, and will soon unleash it upon the earth. I am so going back to visit it next week; hopefully I will remember to bring my own camera.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I am tired already of the heat. Although I must say that having the hottest day of the week happen at the beginning is a plus of sorts. It felt noticeably cooler today even though it was in the 90s and humid.

At the large 'n fancy university, the students are not exactly displaying whatever qualities garnered them a spot at the top: they've been playing volleyball outside, lots of them, at least a couple of times a day. I saw one guy playing in jeans.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Hack hack

Long time no post and with good reason. Whilst breakfasting, and perusing my email at 8:00 am on Thursday, I watched as someone hacked into it, and then hacked into another account-and changed the password on that one-and then proceeded to spam everyone I know with a message saying I'd been assaulted in a foreign land and needed money, bad.

I almost immediately deleted an email account I've had since college. That sucked. I managed to save another email account, thankfully. But I lost a day changing every password I could think of, and had to deal with some boob at Commonwealth Choice who was stupid, but thought she was smart, and was trying to tell me what electronic payments are all about. Argh! I just let her blather on and hung up as quickly as I could.

Anyhoo, although McMumsy did call me as soon as she read the offending email, it was my sister-in-law who shall be my Russell Crowe, Proof-of-Life-wise. 15 minutes after I figured out what was going on, Little Brother called to say s-i-l had called him about the weirdness. That woman is on the ball. Damn.

In other McPolack news, lots happened. Such as, I visited the McPolack homestead garden and out of the many seeds I put in the ground, I have two beets, two melon vines with no melons, some basil, and two of what may be parsnips but also may be weeds. It's been a really good year for wild raspberries, though, and for bugs that like to feed on wild raspberries. I picked a bunch of berries and noticed a wee spider in the pile so I poured the cup out to remove the spider and mannnnnnnny other worms and beetles, all teeny-tiny, made themselves known. I'm all for a little insect protein with my fruit, but that was groh-dee.