Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another fucking cat post!

So, today (or The Day Which Shall Live on in Infamy, as Husbandrinka calls it, because you know, that's catchier than "Saturday") is the day that we all are going to the shelter to adopt a kitten.  By "we all" I mean Husbandrinka, the kids, my parents and I, not everyone who reads this blog.  Boundaries, people.

The preparations have not going well.

Last weekend the kids and I went back to PETCO to get "the basic necessities" which, according to me, were a litter box, a food bowl and a litter scooper and according to the kids were a scratching post, a $250 "kitty home" that if the economy gets much worse I could move into and a collar that spelled out  'N heat! in rhinestones. After an animated discussion that had a PETCO employee with her Lee Press-on Nail finger on the security button, we agreed to "revisit" the issue of their necessities at home with daddy as the "tie breaker". Seriously, sometimes these kids are such suckers.

Husbandrinka still hasn't embraced our expanding family.  He's been sighing deeply all week and making comments like, "Our peaceful lives will be over soon."  Peaceful lives? Ok, I was less than a mile from Ground Zero on September 11th and I ride the NYC subways every day, while he's at a Zen retreat, apparently.  Then my daughter starts with the whole "we have to interview veterinarians"crap. I don't know if people do this where you live, but in NYC parents interview pediatricians before their kids are hatched. I'm not kidding. So you're all pregnant, and you're sitting there talking to the pediatrician about your hypothetical issues with the child to see if you "mesh".   If I were a pediatrician, I'd hire professional actors to do those sessions in my place, because I don't understand  how a normal person be expected to put up with that crap.

So my daughter has the idea that we should interview veterinarians in the same way. On the one hand, I love the idea, because, hey, free time-killing activity with the kids! But on the other hand, I'm not certifiably insane, so I pull the plug on that.  
"We're going to get a vet upstate," I tell her, referring to the area where my parents have a dacha.  Because it's cheaper there than in NYC.
"WHAT?" she nearly faints, "We need someone close by in case the cat has a health emergency."
Can you guess who was close by when she said "cat has a health emergency"?
Husbandrinka has been very cranky about it.
If I didn't know any better, I'd think that he was planning on putting the cat on his back and doing the twelve stations of the cat, I mean, cross, with it.

So here we are.
By Saturday night, we should be cat parents.
There will be a lot of work to be done--litter box training, petting and fussing.
But Husbandrinka and the kids are going to be in charge of that.  Because I'm going out with some fabulous blogging friends!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not Your Father's Circumcision

I think that if you have your son circumcised at birth, you are making a huge mistake and are giving up a fantastic discipline tool for no good reason. I'm sorry, I know that the truth hurts. As do circumcisions, especially when performed later on in life. Which is what, and I apologize in advance for ending the sentence in a preposition, I am getting to.

So the mommy blogosphere has been abuzz lately with the circumcision debate. To cut or not to cut, that is the question. It went from Dooce to Momversation to (my favorite) Finslippy to Her Bad Mother and let me tell you, it's fucking exhausting. The moral chest pounding is deafening. I was half expecting The Bloggess to weigh in with foreskin fashions or something.

It's either a really bad idea to get a circumcision or a fantastic one, depending on many factors that you can discuss ad nauseam, but that basically narrow down to "I'm right and you're a moron and possibly a child abuser." I'm paraphrasing, of course.

Fortunately, I can offer some guidance on the issue:

I didn't circumcise my son, but I threaten to, when necessary.

"What's that? You don't want to take out the garbage? Let me just dial Bris-on-the-Run!"
"Please put your clothes away! No? Hello, Foreskin-be-Gone!"

Ask yourself--why would you give up such an important discipline tool so early in your child's life. I mean, you wouldn't give your kid a car at birth, would you? No, you'd wait until your child "earned" it, by showing responsibility, and you know, getting a driver's license. Same thing with circumcision. Get it at birth and you can never threaten it again. Not unless you want to appear like some kind of whack job.

Think about it. Perhaps there are circumcision-reversal services that can help if you didn't wait for my wisdom in the first place.

Your son will thank you for it. And so will America.

* * *

And now to lighten the mood, I will share the song that my son has been singing non-fucking stop all week, in the hopes that you will sing it all week and I will thereby be released from its grasp:

We will
We will
Rock You!
Sock You!
Drop You!

Flush you down the toilet, See if you enjoy it!

We will
We will
Rock you!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Whine Factor

Ok, I have good news and bad news.

The good news is that Le Shallow Gal and I started a new blog, called Secret Spineless Whine. We were inspired by Secret Tweet and PostSecret, websites that allow you to share your secrets, anonymously, with the world. They do a great service, but we're not about service, so we are providing a website where you can whine. Anonymously, if you choose, but if you are a huge attention whore like me, go ahead and sign your name and or link to your blogs, drug dealer, whatever.

So please check out our debut, subscribe to us, follow us on Twitter and generally rearrange your life around this exciting development.

Oh yeah. There's no bad news. I just thought that this post needed some suspense so that you'd get through the whole thing. Well, there's the economy, the mid-East conflict and the two wars. Bad enough for you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Comment Policy

I never understood bloggers who have a "comment policy", telling readers what kind of comments are acceptable and not. I mean, who cares? People are reading, they care enough to comment and unless Jodi Picoult is leaving snippets of her writing in your comment box, it's all good, right? (Note to self: I can't get away with expressions like "it's all good".)

But then I read the comments on my kitten acquisition post and had a complete revelation. The people who have a comment policy are geniuses and I have been a damn fool.
Because it has taken me and my daughter, collectively, years to get Husbandrinka to agree to a cat and you people are totally about to blow it for us.

As you may recall, Husbandrinka agreed to a feline American after a carefully orchestrated campaign of begging and pleading. What you may not know is that I had to pepper it with lies in order to cement the deal. And mix some metaphors while I was at it.

For example, one of Husbandrinka's issues was that "in 8 years the kids are going to go to college and move out and we'll still be taking care of this fucking cat."
My response, "Silly, cats only live for 3 to 4 years, at which point they die peacefully and inexpensively in their sleep." I wanted to mention that the threat of college may be exaggerated for our daughter, as she spent the evening telling us that she couldn't possibly do her math homework without her glittery pencil, which she left at school.

Husbandrinka was also worried that we couldn't go away on vacation because of the cat or "spend a fortune" on a cat sitter. "Do not fret," I told him (perhaps not in those exact words), "I have many friends who will gladly watch the cat when we go away." (I have no such friends).

So with these carefully crafted lies, we are proceeding with the cat adoption. And I would appreciate it if your comments could be less discouraging.

I will give examples and I'm sorry that I have to call people out, but this is the only way that everyone will learn.

Jen offered that her cat likes to chew wood. Thanks for the heads up, Jen, but what if Husbandrinka reads my blog? Didn't think of that, did you? Well your not thinking of it could have cost me hours of conversation along the lines of "What if we adopt what turns out to be TermiteCat?!" I don't have time for those conversations, Jen, I have a blog to write.
The fact that Husbandrinka doesn't read my blog is a very weak defense, by the way. Sort of like "I didn't think I'd get stopped by the police officer and who knew that they'd ask me to open the trunk where I was storing the body?!" is not going to get a lot of mileage.

And Blognut, of More Mindless Ramblings. Seriously, mindlessly ramble all you want, but why would you leave a comment about a cat toy that could scare the shit out of Husbandrinka when he stepped on it in the middle of the night? Husbandrinka is noise sensitive and also is one of those weirdos who doesn't like having the shit scared out of him while half-asleep.

Then SweetPeaSurry chimes in with the helpful suggestion of a hamster or a rat or whatever mutant she's trying to pawn off on me. I wonder if Sweetness asked herself how she would feel if my beautiful daughter was forced to cuddle with a python instead of a kitten because Husbandrinka thought that a smaller critter was a better idea. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Oh, what's that Moziesme? Your cat just sheds and claws at your door? I don't know what could be more charming and wholesome! I'm sure Husbandrinka will be on his way to getting a whole litter of cats when he reads that!

And Belle, with her kangaroo-style shitting cat:
Belle said...
Our kitten DID grow into a Kangaroo. Or at least it shits like one. And not always in the litterbox!
Who do you think is going to clean up the katgaroo turd?
I don't know, Belle, who? Surely you're not suggesting that either Husbandrinka or I will have to do it, are you? Because I already reassured Husbandrinka that they now have non-defecating cats and I'd just as soon that you didn't throw your outdated model cat at him. It'll just confuse him.

Kylie's cats won't use the litter box. But that's because her cats are Polish. Insert your favorite Polish joke here. And for no specific reason, I would like to announce my complete love and adoration of OHMommy.

So, from now on, we're going to do things differently. Before leaving a comment, you will ask yourself, "will my comment help or hurt Marinka? Will it give ammunition to Husbandrinka? How can I make everything better for Marinka?"

I know that it will take some time to adjust to this new policy, but you really have only yourselves to blame.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Date was Blind, Unfortunately I Wasn't

This weekend, I read Tucker Max's book--I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.  He also has a website and is a self-proclaimed asshole.  The thing about people who admit to being assholes is that they very rarely underestimate themselves.  But he is an excellent writer and hysterical and I'll take asshole over dullard any day.  Except maybe Thursdays. I really recommend checking him out (although it's not for the easily offended) and then after you read his stuff, my cruelty to unattractive people won't seem so bad in comparison.  Also, check out Mein Kampf.  Because, really, I come out smelling like a fucking rose after that.

I've been on two blind dates in my whole life and one of my big fears is that Husbandrinka will leave me and I'll have to go on a third one.  Because things happen in threes.

The first blind date was when I was in high school. It didn't go well, although he was handsome and paid me the highest compliment that I'd ever received. He told me that I looked like Linda Evans. Why a fifteen year old girl would find it complimentary to be compared to a post-menaupasal tv star with immovable hair isn't clear to me right now, but back then, wow.

But this is about blind date number two, when I was approximately 24. The one that my mother set me up on with her friend's son. A friend that I've never heard of before or since. Over the years, I've tried to think of a conversation that must have preceded this decision:

Mama: My Marinka is still single. Everyone else's daughters are married and have children. Why am I so cursed?
"Friend": It's different now. Women want careers. She's still young.
Mama: Young? HA! She's in her 20s. When I was in my 20s, I already had my Marinka. Maybe that was my mistake. Having a baby so young. Maybe God is now punishing me with an unmarried daughter.
"Friend": Don't talk like that. She'll meet someone.
Mama: I doubt it.
"Friend": But Marinka is so beautiful. I've never seen her, but she is your daughter.  Is she a model?
Mama: She is a model of single. I am so unlucky. Woe is me. Do you know any single men?
"Friend": Well, my son-
Mama: Perfect!

It was not love at first sight for "Dave" and me. We met at my favorite Thai restaurant in SoHo and I know that I'm a very shallow person and that appearances are not everything but as soon as I walked into the restaurant and saw him, I immediately started dialing convents, because if THAT is what was out there, the vow of celibacy would be like a cool breeze on a stiflingly ugly summer day.

The fact that we were incompatible, however, did not seem to deter him.
"How do you feel about moving to New Jersey?" he asked me at dinner.
"Why?" I treaded cautiously because depending on where he fell on the issue, I was either relocating to the Garden State or petitioning for NJ to secede from the union.
"I don't see myself raising a family in the City," he told me. "There's pollution, and the crime rate. I think New Jersey is a much better environment for kids."
It took a few terrible seconds for me to realize that he was talking about the two of us raising a family together. I may have had a mini-stroke at that point or passed out for a few moments, because the next thing I remember was telling him how the last thing that I wanted was a family, how my career was my life and that I'm glad that we got this out of the way before things progressed "too far" between us, neglecting to mention that by "too far", I meant the second course. The only problem with my speech was that I was unemployed and had no goals besides "do something amazing", but whatever.
He inquired about my career.
"I'm not sure what field I will pursue," I told him, looking around the restaurant for inspiration. "Something in the beer industry."
"Beer industry?"
"Yes, beer. I love beer." I ordered a second beer.
"Don't you think that one beer is plenty?"

Things didn't improve. With the exception of both being members of the same species, we had nothing in common. By the time he ordered desert, I felt as though I'd undergone an emotional cliterectomy. At the end of the evening, I was fully prepared to die alone. Hopefully within the hour.

Breaking News! I just asked Husbandrinka if he ever had a blind date and he said "I'm not really remembering specifically" which means "Yes, and I am still in love with her."


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good To Know

So apparently when you're talking to a friend and make an innocent suggestion, like "maybe you should consider some psychotropic medication" and she says, "Yes, but won't it affect my real personality so that I won't really be me?" and you say, "I wouldn't be too worried about that if I were you", it gets filed under "obnoxious" rather than "helpful reassurance".


Friday, January 23, 2009

Kats! (Part 2)

UPDATE: Wendi was kind enough to email me this offer. What do you guys think?

Want to know where part one is? Yeah, I want to know why you didn't read it when I first posted it, so I guess we're even.
This week my mama and the kids go to Petco to "look" at cats. Immediately both kids fall in love with a kitten named "Sundance" who they agree to rename Jake, even though she's a girl, so now we have a potential feline transgender situation.

So they have to come back at a certain time to adopt a cat because apparently "on the spot" adoptions are too easy and when they do, they find out that if you want a kitten, you have to take two. Both kids start crying hysterically and mama calls me to see if we can take two or if we can do anything else to shut the kids up. And I say "sure, we can just drown the second one!" I mean, what's the problem? But mama doubts that the kids will Andrea Yates the extra kitten. I'm so sick of this child coddling, I can't tell you.

By the way, before they went to adopt the cat, I had the following phone conversation with Husbandrinka:

Me: They found a cat they want, they're going to go get it.
Him: TODAY? We are not in a position to take a cat today! We're not ready to care for a cat!
Me: What care? You just give it a litter box and some food. Remember, you agreed to our getting a cat. At first, when I wanted it, you said no, not even when I asked for it for my birthday and our anniversary. But then our daughter made a good pitch and you folded.
Him: Yes, I do remember that. And that was an excellent summary.
However, we don't have a litter box!
Me: We will buy one!
Him: What about a cage?
Me: Cats don't need cages.
Me: The cat can go wherever she wants.
Him: Is she spayed?
Me: I think she's pregnant, but I'm sure that the kittens won't be cute, so the kids will give them up.
Him: That's not true.
Me: They're going to get the cat.  

key: things in italics never happened. I took poetic license to catch up readers on post number one. Which is more than those "readers" have ever done for me. Also, I'm thinking of starting a movement to make sure that whenever poetic license is taken, it has to be in iambic pantameter. (note to self: look up what "iambic pantameter means).

So I tell mama to hang on, I'm on my way to Petco, which for some reason I start calling Costco. I get there and my kids have tear-stained faces and mama looks like she has an Excederin Number 3 headache and points me towards the Woman In Charge and gives me an application that my daughter has filled out.

I look over the application and under "list your pets" my daughter listed our dog, and my parents' dog and under "where are they now?" she wrote "dead" and my heart melts and I don't care if I have to take out half the store, I am leaving with the fucking kitten that she wants. I am fully confident in my negotiating skillz and I totally read this woman well and know what to say.

Turns out that she knows what to say too, and tells me that in their experience, people who adopt kittens often become disappointed when the kitten grows up and turns into a cat and they get rid of the cat. So Petco decided that their new policy is that kittens should be adopted in pairs, because, get this--people are less likely to return two cats than one.
It was really difficult for me to keep a straight face during this speech because first of all, who are these mental midgets who are disappointed that the kitten grows up to be a cat? Were they expecting a kangaroo instead? And second of all, in what universe is it more difficult to return two cats than one?

But I made sympathetic nodding gestures and reassured her that I am not like those people, and that there is absolutely no way that I would ever get rid of a cat, unless, of course, and this is highly unlikely, I happened to redecorate and the cat no longer went with the new color scheme. But I repeat, this is highly unlikely, because, first, the economy is in the litter box (ha ha! this shows that I am down with the cat lingo!) and second, I am very lazy and I'd rather take a catnap than do anything. So, the cat is not in danger.

Ok, if you're not going to have a sense of humor, I don't even understand why you're working at Petco cat adoptions. It's not like I'm some sick fuck who wanted to make mittens for homeless people out of dead cats. Whatever.

But then I get a break!
She concludes by saying, "but I see that your kids were interested in Sundance and that's a very special cat."  I'm thinking "special" along the lines of cuddly and friendly.  But apparently, what she meant by "special" is that the cat "had distemper, which is not dangerous to  humans and it's a neurological brain disorder, so it may be harder to place, because it's a little unusual, so it's up to the rescue worker who found her, I'll ask, oh, that's her on the phone now, wait right here."
So she goes to talk on the phone and plead our case and I turn to my kids and say, "This cat is going to die and possibly infect us all, we have to leave right now."  They look kind of sad, but also like they want to live. Their mama didn't raise no fools, you know.
"What do you mean?" my daughter asks.  "It's so cute."
"It's cute, but it has brain damage," I tell her. "You'll find that a lot in life."
"But what will happen to it?" my son asks.  I panic. I want to get the fuck out of there before the lady returns with the "good news" that we can adopt this freak show and my kids renew their waterworks.  So I lied.
"The kitten is going to be adopted by a veterinarian who specializes in this kind of illness," I tell them. And then for no good reason, I add, "She's going to be on TV."  In my defense, I am unclear as to whether the vet or the kitten will be on TV and they don't ask, so I plan on finessing that lie a little later on, after I retain counsel.
They seem reassured.
"Can we get ice cream?" they ask.
"Only if you hurry!" I sing.
And we're almost out of there, when the adoption lady comes back.
"Bad news," she says. "The rescue owner says that Sundance needs constant company and that she screams all night, so she can't let you have her."
I make a sad face.  It's certainly good news for Kate Winslet that my sad face performance wasn't eligible for a Golden Globe this year, because that sucker would have been mine.
"Well," I sigh. "At least we know that the cat will be well cared for."
"By the vet!" my son says. 
"On TV!" my daughter says.

UPDATE:  We are still cat-free, but our journey doesn't end here.  This weekend, we are getting a litter box, so that Husbandrinka can get used to it. Then we will get a bowl of water.  And if that adjustment goes well, next weekend, we will go get a cat from a city shelter.  I'd prefer one that can do simple domestic tasks, like a service monkey. 

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cat Adoption is Not for For Pussies (New EZ to Read Format!)

2 years ago, Marinka wanted a cat.

"Husbandrinka, I want a cat!"

Husbandrinka did not want a cat.

"No cats."

Marinka had to develop a strategy.
"I will be turning 40 next month and I want a cat!" she told Husbandrinka.
Husbandrinka gave her a ring with sapphires.
"Fuck the cat!" Marinka thought.
Then Marinka changed her mind.
"I still want a cat!" she told Husbandrinka.
"No cats," said Husbandrinka. And probably considered taking the ring with sapphires back.
Marinka had to develop a better strategy.
"I want to have another baby," she said, hoping to plea bargain down to a cat.
"Well, good luck finding someone to have it with," Husbandrinka said.
"Our tenth anniversary is coming up," Marinka said. "A cat would be a lovely gift."
Husbandrinka gave Marinka a ring with diamonds. Marinka's finger was jewel encrusted. But she still didn't have a cat.

Marinka waited.
Marinka plotted.
Every plot was foiled.
Marinka fumed.
Marinka seethed.

Then Marinka and Husbandrinka's daughter said, "I want a cat."
Marinka didn't say anything. Husbandrinka said, "We can't get a cat."
"Why not?"
"Because it's a lot of work."
"I'll take care of it all by myself. I read books about it. I'll clean its litter box and I'll feed it and I'll love it. Please?"
Husbandrinka said "no." But it was a different kind of 'no' and that was all that their daughter needed. She went to work on it. Every day, Marinka and Husbandrinka woke up to lists of things that the daughter would do and reasons why she deserves a cat.

Marinka said, "Hey, Husbandrinka, why don't you tell her that we're not getting her a cat because she's a rotten kid?"
Husbandrinka said, "She's an amazing kid, what are you talking about?"
Marinka said, "Well, since you're punishing her and she's the only kid without a pet in her whole class, I thought you should drive your point home."
Husbandrinka became concerned, "Is she really the only one without a pet?"
"Yep." (Disclaimer: lie.)

Husbandrinka said ok! HE SAID OK!
Plans to adopt a cat were made.
And then one day, mama (Marinka's mother) took the kids to Petco to adopt a cat.
And no one was prepared for what happened next.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So yesterday, my kids were overwhelmed by patriotism and excitement and when it was bedtime, my son decided that the day wouldn't be complete without an official portrait of President Obama. From memory.  He ran into his room after telling us "it's a good thing that I have brown markers" and then there was a lot of "WHAT COLOR IS HIS HAIR?  WHAT COLOR ARE HIS EYEBROWS?"  Thank goodness that he didn't ask about his eyelashes because I can't live with the humiliation of not knowing about the Presidential eyelashes.

And to show that change is really upon us? My son, who has never drawn a nose before, drew President Obama's.  And he's not even Jewish.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Weekend in Review

This weekend, my kids went to the dacha with my parents. Dacha is a Russian word that means "summer house out in the countryside" where many Russians would go to stay on the weekends. Or maybe in the summer. Not all at the same house, everyone would have their own house. I don't mean that every person in Russia had their own house, but people who did, called it dacha.

Anyway, my parents' house, I mean, dacha is upstate and it's beautiful there, and the only drawback is that it doesn't have a TV or high speed internet and also that sometimes when Americans pronounce "dacha" they make it sound like Dachau, which is a very different type of place, lack of TV/high speed internet notwithstanding.

Originally, Husbandrinka and I were going to come up on Sunday morning, after he returned from a Caribbean business trip (not pirate related) but then we woke up on Sunday and said "snow!" and decided not to risk our lives driving. Husbandrinka was all, "I really miss the kids" and I was all, "I get to watch Rock of Love Bus tonight LIVE!"

So I spent the whole weekend lounging and watching mindless television. In addition to Rock of Love, John and I watched (over the phone) Parental Control, an MTV show where parents who hate their kid's significant other try to find them a better fit, The Bachelor and Mama's Boys. My IQ is now in the single digits, if single digits means very low. I don't even know anymore.

But it was completely relaxing and I loved every second of it. But of course because I am always yearning for more knowledge, I have questions. I'll limit it to three because it's Inauguration Tuesday and we're all celebrating.

1. The girls on Rock of Love Bus. Specifically, their breasts. Under what circumstances does a woman go from like a B cut to a ZZZ? Do normal women do this, or just the ones looking for a career in porn? (And can I just say that compared to the whores on the Rock of Love Bus, The Bachelor girls are positively high society).

2. So the big reveal is that one of the girls on Mama's Boys is Penthouse Pet of the Year. Am I insane or is this every boy's wet dream? Why is he so upset? "WHAT? I thought you were into crossword puzzles and helping lepers!"

3. How fucked do you have to be to appear on those shows? I mean, what happens--are they all attention whores, or does someone say, "You know, I feel ready to settle down, have a family. I know! National television!"

Important blog notes:

Thank you to everyone who submitted questions for John to answer. He reassures me that he is hard at work on them. I can practically feel the sweat pouring off his brow as I type this. At least I hope that's sweat.

Also, thank you for your submissions for the Champagne contest, I loved the responses. So, either I'm going to drink heavily in all of your honors (look for my Donate Your Liver to Marinka! contest coming soon) or you can put me to the harsh task of picking my very favorite, knowing that many, many people will feel excluded and alienated. Just like Rock of Love Bus contestants.


Monday, January 19, 2009


Here is a brief yet exhaustive list of circumstances under which you would find me on a cruise ship:

1. I am dead and my torso is being transported to a watery grave.
2. I have been sold into freckled slavery and am being moved to my new destination.  (Hopefully, this destination has a full staff, because I'm super lazy.)
3.  I have had a complete nervous breakdown and I'm doing everything that is the polar opposite of my usual habits.  This would also mean that I am now a fundamentalist, have frosted highlights in my hair and am working hard on the "Amend for Arnold" campaign. 

I do not understand why anyone, not heavily and illegally medicated, would willingly go on a cruise.  Maybe it's because I take the NYC subway daily so the novelty of being trapped with many strangers has worn off.  True, you get the extra perk of seasickness on a cruise not available on the subway, but is that really worth the heavy price?  And I don't mean just money-price.  I'm talking about how every time you hear about a cruise,  it's "missing passenger"-this and "quarantine because of horrific illness"-that.  With some pirate action thrown in for good measure.  Seriously, who needs this shit?  Being trapped on a death vessel with everyone wearing pastels is not relaxing to me.  

But I want to learn, so help me.  Do people going on a cruise ship get tax credits or something? Discounts at Saks?  Human organs? This would certainly explain why people keep disappearing on cruise ships.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Sick Fuck

I had dinner with a girlfriend the other night and she mentioned a friend of hers, an elderly man that she'd known for years.  So I had a brilliant idea. "Hey," I told her, "Why don't you Anna Nicole Smith him?" My friend didn't think that the idea was quite as brilliant as I did, the main flaws being that she is not a whore like Anna Nicole Smith and this guy may or may not have any money,  and also apparently things didn't work out so well for Anna Nicole Smith. Overall,  I was left feeling like maybe there was something wrong with me.  You know, mentally.

This isn't the first time that Anna Nicole Smith has screwed me.  There was that time that there was a paternity debacle--who was her daughter's father?  Not The Howard Stern or that blond guy?  I had another brilliant idea at the time.  "You know," I told John, "I bet her son is the father of her baby."
"What?" John asked.  John is hard to shock.  Once when I had  a panic attack, John calmed me by saying, "Put your head down between my legs."
"Well, you know she and her son were always close, he died mysteriously, right when the paternity thing was hitting the fan. I  bet he was the father."
Instead of embracing my brilliance, John attacked: "Only a sick fuck would come up with something like that."
"Time will tell!" I was feeling smugly confident.
Unfortunately, time was not on my side and the blond guy is the kid's father. DAMMIT.

And then it happened again. The US Airway flight lands in the Hudson River and the pilot is hailed as a hero.
"I bet he did it on purpose," I told Husbandrinka. 
"Ridiculous.  He executed an incredibly hard landing. He saved lives."
"Why would someone do something like that on purpose?" Husbandrinka asked.
"You know, the attention.  I heard he has a lot of new fans on Facebook.  People will do lots of crazy shit to become popular on Facebook."
Husbandrinka didn't buy it.  And this morning he tells me that the New York Times reports that the co-pilot reported seeking a flock of birds to the right of the airplane. And passengers reported hearing a thud.  I don't know.  I'd like to see their Facebook pages before I decide.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't Touch My Hair, You Hetero!

Although many of them are my friends and I have nothing against them in principle, no way in fucking hell am I going to let a heterosexual-American touch my hair professionally. If you are not sure what I’m talking about, I recommend looking at your hair in the mirror and then donning a hat until such time that a gay person can tend to your locks, you poor, homely thing.

It hurts me to judge people by their sexual orientation, but not as much as it hurts me to get a horrific hairjob.

I know what you’re thinking—Marinka, you’re a genius! But how can you tell if the person who is cutting your hair is gay? What if he is bi-curious? Isn’t it possible for a heterosexual, properly trained, to give a good haircut? And isn’t this flat out discrimination?

All these are wonderful questions and really show me that you’re thinking.

All I can offer is my own experience. I guess I was lucky. I called the salon that someone recommended, made an appointment for an October afternoon and within ten minutes of my being in his chair, I asked him if he was dressing up for Halloween. This is a wonderful question, and since the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy doesn’t apply to hair salons, it’s perfectly legal. Here’s my tip: If he dresses up as Zoro, Elvis or anything Superheroic, get the hell out of there. But my hair guy dressed up as Barbie. Totally safe. Also, he mentioned his partner “Frank” ten seconds later, but don’t go by that alone.  It could be short for Francesca.  Demand proof. Hum a show tune if absolutely necessary.

Bi-curious? Highlights only, nothing more.

Can a heterosexual, properly trained do hair? Yes. But I’ve also heard that if enough monkeys sit at the typewriter long enough, one of them will produce Macbeth. In other words, it’s possible, but you’re taking your chances.

Is it flat out discrimination? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just that stereotypes save time. I’m not going to tell you what to do. It’s your hair, after all. Bless your heart.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm pretty sure that The Moron's Guide to Blogging says that you're supposed to write blog posts that keep everyone in suspense, but let me just get to the money shot-I had a mammogram this morning and everything is fine. There. You can leave the post now and not worry about me. (It's entirely possible, by the way, that I, and the rest of the free world have a different understanding of the term "money shot"). But you should worry about you, because what assurance will you have that I'm not going to talk about you in the very next paragraph? None at all.

Anyway, I go get a mammogram every year because once I felt a lump and I didn't do anything for like two years, except feel my breast throughout the day regardless of where I was to see if the lump was still there or not. And when you do that, people look at you like you're a fucking weirdo instead of a General Hospital-trained para-medical professional. During the two year period I kept telling myself that I was a moron and that if I'd only gone in two years ago, one year ago, a month ago, last week, to have it checked out, it would have been better than it was by that point. And although I heartily agreed with myself that I was, indeed, a moron, I remained unable to take action. During this two year period my lump would appear and disappear at will, sometimes switching breasts, which led John to refer to it as the Mexican Jumping Bean Breast Lump. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing, but the years that I'd spent worrying and torturing everyone within whining distance about it made me commit to getting an annual mammogram.

I hope that I don't have to go on about how important mammograms and breast self-exams are, because this isn't one of those blogs. But visit here for more information.

What I offer is a way that the Mammograms-R-Us Center that I visited can make the experience less stressful for me.

1. When I make the appointment, don't say "I'll try to squeeze you in." But if I say, "Could you squeeze me in?" laugh maniacally.

2. I know everyone's making cutbacks, but why do I now get a bolero-style paper gown, as opposed to a full-length one? Also, please provide full-length paper burkhas.

3. Give me some lead time in telling me to hold my breath while taking the film, so that I can inhale.

4. Also don't say, "just stop breathing". Because I'm like an oxygen addict at this point.

5. When telling me that you need additional films, try to limit your chit chat with the technician about last night's meal. Because hearing "additional films" makes most women want to throw up.

6. In waiting room, replace mints with Xanax.

7. In waiting room, replace chairs with Xanax.

8. Fill water coolers with vodka.

9. Don't pause two feet in front of me with my file in your hand and make small talk with someone else before giving me the results.

10.Instead of sitting there with a "I-smell-sour-shit" expression, the receptionists should approach women waiting for their results and engage them in in-depth conversation about Rock of Love Bus and how infuckingsane everyone on that show is.

Oh, by the way that reader that skipped out of the post after the first paragraph? Huge whore.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stand Up for Champagne

If you're like me, you really like to watch TV and get massages. But if you're like other people, you are looking for small but meaningful ways to make this world a better place. Maybe one of your New Year's resolutions was to get more involved with a cause you believe in--whether it be to make a financial contribution, volunteer your time, or just read up on an issue important to you and discuss it with your friends, hoping to start a grass roots movement.

And there are many worthy causes. We have to be better at supporting our veterans. The economy is taking a toll on services available to the homeless. The food pantries in many soup kitchens have been sparse.  There is child abuse and neglect and our civil liberties are threatened.

But when I sat down to read my weekly issue of the New Yorker, I could not avert my eyes from an advertisement that warned me of the latest outrage against our values and way of life:

It's true.

Through a legal loophole, devised by Satan himself, American wine makers can now call their sparkling wine Champagne, even though it does not come from the Champagne region in France. I know.  It took me a while to calm down after I read that, too.

I visited the website that encouraged me to sign the petition protesting this anti-Champagnism.  I admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had a Champagne hotline, although their response time to my plea of "I'm out of champagne, and also rubbing alcohol!!"  has been disappointing.  They also offered Champagne Kits, asking "Does your wine club need champagne?" Does it ever!  My wine club (membership: 1) could really use some champagne!

But overall, I feel like the advertisement calling attention to their plight could be better.  The "might be legal but it isn't fair" tagline is so fucking whiny, it makes you want to hit the gin instead of the bubbly. (WAIT A MINUTE:  is it fair to use the term bubbly?)  So, in the spirit of promoting international peace, I wanted to come up with a more effective tagline.
Here are my suggestions:

1. If you've been drinking American "champagne", you've been poisoned.
2. Champagne comes only from France.  I dare you not to drink it. I dare you.  (This would involve a Robert Ulrch celebrity endorsement, with a miniature bottle of champagne placed on his shoulder)
3. Champagne from France: Because you're not a common lush. (slight danger of offending common lushes. Because we can be sensitive.)

Please add your own. And to encourage you to submit yours in comments, I will select the catchiest and drink a glass of champagne (from France!) in that person's honor. I know. The things that I do for you.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'll Just Sit Here and Look Pretty

When Husbandrinka and I got married, I decided to be all-feminist and "pull my own weight" in the relationship.   Which would have been fine if I weighed twelve pounds.  He outearned me a margin of kazillion to one, and also I wasn't much of a housekeeper, or a cook, now that you mention it, so I offered to pay the bills. Not with my own money, bite your tongue, but to write out the checks from our checkbook and send them out.  With a stamp and everything, I'm not a complete slug.

Husbandrinka was delighted with my offer, although he became somewhat less delighted within a few months when we started getting "turn off" notices from the phone company and our electricity provider.   I was used to living paycheck to paycheck, so turn off notices were my equivalent of those little "friendly reminder" notes.
"What's the big deal?" I asked. I may have been eating ice cream at the time.
"The big deal is that we are supposed to pay our bills," he explained. He may have been taking Exederin Extra Strength at the time.
"Well, I didn't.  So what?  Is that like against the law or something?"
"Do you like heat? Do you like lights? Let me rephrase that, do you like TV?"
I nodded.  I did like TV a lot.  I liked it so much that I taped General Hospital every day.  As a matter of fact, this conversation was eating into my TV watching time, so I was hoping that it was approaching a quick conclusion.
"You have to pay bills on time," he told me.  Seriously, it takes all kinds.

I realized that this marriage business was going to be more work than I'd bargained for, what with all these "we must have electricity" demands. But I made sure that the electricity bill was paid, so that we wouldn't have that awkward conversation again.  But this was in the days before automatic check paying, so I had to manually write out the checks, like an animal, and I don't know, I got bored or my hand got tired, so although I paid the electricity and the phone, I didn't pay the credit card bill.  For a few months.  And do you know what those anti-Semitic Jihadists do when you don't pay your credit card bill?  They charge late fees and also increase the sodomite finance charge.  

So Husbandrinka looked at the credit card bill and the finance charge is like 800% and he askedme if I have a credit card with Tony Soprano, which is funny, so now we're Husbandrinka: 1, Marinka 1,986.  
And then he told me that I wasn't allowed to pay bills anymore.  The one thing that I was able to do, he took away from me, just because I did it badly and nearly bankrupted us.  Men.  They try to keep you down.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gather around kids, mommy has a story for you!

So, someone mentioned to me that one day my children may read my blog and that maybe I should make this blog more child friendly. My first reaction is along the lines of fuck that shit, but then I thought that I'd give it a try and write a child friendly post about men. Here I go! Is everyone cozy wozy? Aren't you the cutest little reader? Yes, you are! You are!

One day, many, many months before the happiest day of mommy's life when she met daddy, mommy had another friend. Peter was a boy, and he and mommy were very good friends. They were such good friends that they lived together in an apartment, because sometimes friends do that because it is friendly. So one day, mommy wakes up to see Peter in the kitchen, cleaning the refrigerator. Mommy notices that steam seems to be coming out of Peter's ears and that he looks angry. So mommy walks into the kitchen and says "hi!" because mommy is very polite and Peter grumbles because he is not as polite and that is one of the reasons that he is not your daddy. The other reason is that he told mommy that he never wants to see her again, but that's not today's story. So mommy ignores the grumbling and has some coffee and then Peter slams the refrigerator door (how rude!) and says, "You never clean the refrigerator!" It turns out that Peter put some Chinese food leftovers in the refrigerator to see how long it would be before mommy cleaned it out and it turned out that the answer to that was "infinity" because mommy has good manners and doesn't take other people's stuff. She trusts them to take care of their own stuff.
Mommy thought that Peter was a weirdo for doing this Chinese food-refrigerator experiment, although maybe a more accurate term would be "eccentric".

Mommy and Peter stopped being friends after a while and mommy got a new friend. After a few more friends, mommy met daddy and she decided that he was going to be her friend forever or at least until someone asked her if she was his mother, because mommy has heard of that happening as couples get older and mommy will not put up with that.

So, mommy and daddy are good friends, except in December when daddy's own mom and dad came to visit and they stayed in the guest bedroom, and used daddy's bathroom, so that mommy and daddy were forced to share a bathroom. Mommy thought that the bathroom sharing went very well, but apparently daddy had a lot of steam coming out of his ears. And last night he told mommy that in the past twenty five days she has not put the cap back on the toothpaste once. Although mommy is proud of daddy's counting, for some reason this reminds her of Peter's experiment.

Has daddy been marking off each day that the toothpaste cap was off?
Has daddy been getting angry every day that the toothpaste cap was off?
Why didn't daddy tell mommy about it before Day 25?

So, the lesson that we learn today, children, is that either all men are weirdos or mommy is a lazy slob.

Good night!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

This could have been in your reader this week!

Here are the blog posts that I started to write this week.
They've been aborted. But they may be born again soon. Could I be any more politically correct?

Your forebear's foreskin: If you've never received a phone call from your father telling you that he was about to get circumcised, I congratulate you on your good fortune and subsequent excellent mental health.

First Love: When I was five, I was in love with Lenny. We met when we were three, but I played hard to get for the first two years.  

In-Laws, Out-Laws: My in-laws left after a three week visit, and not before telling my husband that he should hire someone to cook so that the kids had "proper meals".  

In Defense of Husbandrinka:  Err...

Don't Mind the Black Guy with His Hand Up  My Vagina:  I don't know what your "before I go to the hospital to deliver the baby to do list" looked like, but mine had "tell of course we're not racist future grandparents that my OB/GYN is young and African American to avoid potential awkward scene at the hospital.  Because they think that only old white Jewish men are doctors. " 


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gem-Encrusted Animal Jewelry. For Jews

I don't understand the "gem-encrusted animal jewelry" concept and not just because the word "encrusted" makes me think of dried shit.

This week I read something horrifying in The New Yorker. Apparently there are many, many people in Palm Beach (which I'm pretty sure is code for Jews) who are selling their David Webb gem-encrusted animal jewelry to raise cash, because they were defrauded by Bernie Maddoff. Seriously, and I say this as a member of the Tribe, if my people want to keep being "the Chosen", they've got to be a little more choosy with their jewelry. I'm pretty sure that was the 11th Commandment.

Does anyone (who is not Cleopatra) think that this looks good? 

I think he looks superguilty and also a little like he's posing for a mugshot. Sort of like Madoff.

This is the one upside to this encrusted economy--I don't have to worry that Husbandrinka will bestow one of these on me.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nice Capades

Every year, I take $120 from my wallet and flush it down the toilet. It's a very special ritual, also known as buying ice skates for my daughter. She ice skates about half a dozen times in them and then for no apparent reason, her feet grow over the summer and by the next winter she's all Cinderella's stepsister-like and her ice skates don't fit.  I'm trying to get her to start smoking to stunt her growth a bit, but she's resisting it.  Apparently it's not healthy of something.

So I placed last year's skates on Craigslist.

Reidell girl's ice skates
Size 6, model 121, white ice skates.
Gently used, some markings and a few scratches.
$50/ BO.

I thought that my ad was very to the point and was overall Madison Avenue-style excellent.  I filled out a deposit slip for the $50 that I was sure would be coming my way soon and picked out a spot for  my future Clio on the mantle.

For the first few days, I did not get any responses. I did not panic because it's not like as soon as you see a Coke commercial you run out immediately to get a can, especially if it's like in the middle of the night or you just came out of a surgical procedure or something.  The next few days brought similar results.  It was getting harder to keep my spirits up but papa encouraged me by saying "$50? Are you insane?!  You should pay people to take that crap away from you."  

But then on the sixth day, it happened.  I got a response from someone who truly appreciated my ad:

From your post you seem very interesting so i thought i'd break the ice. I'm 21
years old and single again. I recently got out of a long term relationship and I
have totally forgotten how to date. I'm not looking for anything serious right
off the bat but I would like to go on casual dates again and get to know people,
if it turns into something more then no problems. I'm somewhat shy, a bit
eccentric and I can be very blunt. I wear t-shirts, play video games, have a WOW
account,watch anime, and I love pizza and sushi.

I know that the customer is always right and all that, but what the fuck that does this mean?  I put an ad for ice skates and I seem like an interesting person?  I can just see him thinking--"intriguing. Such small feet. And she no longer ice skates... There must be a story behind it!"  And how do you get out of a long term relationship when you're 21?  (AND ALSO--I realized that when my daughter was born, 10 years ago, he was 11 years old. OMG.)

Oh, and he forgot how to date?  Well, I haven't been on the dating scene myself in over 12 years, but from what I seem to recall, you find people to date on, oh, I don't know, dating sites as opposed to "selling children's ice skates" sites.  Although it's certainly a relief that he wears t-shirts because the last thing I need right now is to get involved with one of those hardline-against-t-shirt wearing freaks.

Is this what it's come down to? Do I need to start a relationship with this anime lover to sell the skates? Because I love pizza too.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Name This Tooth!

So the other day, my 7 year old son pointed to the empty space where his tooth used to be--top, front and center--and said, "He was my best chewer, I miss him!"

I asked him what the tooth's name was and he told me to guess. This is what passes for "family time" in NYC.
I guessed "Chewy" which I really thought was an award-winning guess.
"Nope," he said. "But close."

(An aside: saying "nope" and "yep" sounds really smug and annoying.)

"YES! How did you know?"
"I'm really smart. Hey, let's see if dad can guess."

. . .

(another aside.  "..." stands for my son and I walking to find Husbandrinka.  Please do not think that this was done in silence.   "Can I have a new Mario Super Sonic Wii game?" "No."  "Why not?" "Because no." "Because no is not a reason. Give me three reasons." "Because you don't need it, I can't afford it and the stores are closed." "I do too need it, you can charge it, and you can order it online."  ""You want it, that's different from needing it, I still have to pay for things that I charge."  "So you admit it's only two reasons, since you can order it online?" "Yes." "Well, I said three reasons, you lose."  See?  ... is so much simpler).


"Honey, guess what the missing tooth's name is."
"What are you talking about?"
"See, he's missing a tooth. Guess what its name is."
"Why does a missing tooth have a name?"
"You don't name your teeth?"
"Dad, I'll give you a hint.   It's sort of like Chew."
"I don't know."
"Come on, honey, guess."
"That's nothing like Chew. I'm going to give dad another hint: Think Star Wars."
"Chew Wars?"
"Oh, that's nice, look, I don't know what the solution is and maybe Israel shouldn't have gone into Gaza, but to call it Jew Wars-"
"I said Chew Wars."
"Oh. That makes no sense."
"That makes no sense? And naming teeth makes sense?"

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Intimacy Now!

So on New Year’s Eve while my parents and inlaws were debating whether Dick Clark was still alive or was computer generated, I decided to focus on self-improvement and read Oprah Magazine’s relationship tune ups. It was the same ole—give and take, communication is important nonsense, but then I reached this golden nugget on how to get closer to your partner.

Try the one minute drill. One person starts as the Talker, the other is the Listener. The Talker (your husband, let’s say) expresses anything that’s on his mind for 30 seconds while you give him your full attention, without interrupting, agreeing or disagreeing. The idea is to sharpen your listening skills, so after 30 seconds you summarize what he said and he grades your response, from 0 to 100 percent, based on how accurate it is. If the grade is below 95, he points out what you missed or got wrong and you repeat the exercise until he gives you at least 95. Now switch roles. Almost immediately, says Burns, communication between you will improve.

Does this seem like a good idea to anyone except the immediate members of the Burns family? I read it to mama and she said “there are a lot of sick, crazy people out there.”

The problem with the whole grading thing is that if you’re me, even if the person delivers verbatim what I said, I will give them an 87.5%, because of presentation or something. Having that 95 or above requirement there is just asking for trouble, if you ask me. It’s too tempting to fuck with them.
The next morning I read it to Husbandrinka.
“Want to try it?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “I don’t have any problems communicating. When people talk me to me, I pay attention and listen. You’re the one who doesn’t pay attention and exaggerates everything.”
“You feel that you are a good communicator and that you listen when people talk to you. You further feel that I do not pay attention and exaggerate everything.”
“Yeah, I didn’t talk for a full thirty seconds.” He is refusing to give me my 100.
“Really? Because it felt like you talked for 30 hours.”
We are closer already. And by “we”, I mean his hands and my neck.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Know what makes you feel good about your life? Finding out how fucked up someone else's is. Even if it's fictional.

So the other day I was watching one of those crime shows on TV like CSI that I am not allowed to watch because I am afraid that I’ll get murdered immediately (I’m also not allowed to watch hospital dramas because I am a huge hypochondriac). And I learned something important.

So this she-corpse is murdered and while they’re doing an autopsy, they realize that she doesn’t have “lady parts”. Seriously, are you telling me that fucking forensic pathologists can’t say “uterus” while in the lab? I mean, who do they think they are, Oprah?

But whatever, the real mystery is why if she doesn’t have lady parts (and they don’t mean bouncy hair!) does she have a tampon inserted in her vajajay? And the answer is because she is an alcoholic who is not allowed to have alcohol because she gets ulcers so she soaks tampons in vodka and inserts them.

I have questions. I must know if anyone has ever really done this or if CSI writers are on acid or something (ingested by maxi pad). Also, does this just work with vodka, or could you get a nice chardonnay or a full bodied borollo? A gin and tonic, perhaps or a dry martini, with the olives served separately (and perhaps rectally?) And is there any way that we can capitalize on this, without catering to the alcoholic contingent? Finally, doesn't everyone feel really good about their own drinking right now? Like sure, maybe your reach for the bottle a little too often, too eagerly and too tenderly but at least you don’t get a Tampax chaser.