Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Make Your Bed

So the other day, I was daydreaming about Husbandrinka's demise and wondering about the men that I would start dating after an appropriate waiting period. Would I get a boy toy and become a cougar? Or would I hook up with a geriatric kazillionaire? It's hard to say, because who knows which way the winds of love will blow. And besides, I'm in mourning.

But then I started to seethe and fume because I knew that no matter who I became involved with, we'd have the same problem that I've had with every person that I've ever shared a bed with.

The top sheet.

Because the world is divided into two types of people--the sane, who prefer the top sheet not tucked in underneath the mattress, and the insane, who like to recreate the feeling of being restrained in an asylum and want the top sheet tucked in so that their feet are trapped and don't get any oxygen. (There's also a third type of person, ones who like rye bread, but I can't even get into that level of emotional instability.)

And I seem to attract the people who like being trapped in the sheet.
It took me years to get Husbandrinka to see the error of his ways.
"It's cozy," he may have argued. ("May have" because who the hell can remember? The insane sheet ramblings of many all merge into one huge ball of nonsense.)

"Cozy?!" I shrieked. "Your feet need to move around at night and be free! They need to breathe!"

"Feet breathe?"

"Of course feet breathe! Otherwise they die." I was becoming a little less confident as I went along, but I didn't want to lose momentum. "Like those women in China."

"That's foot binding," suddenly he became a historian.

"Yes, but that's how it starts. They make little girls sleep with the top sheet tucked under the mattress and then they get used to less mobility. It's a slippery slope."

Thank goodness I had history on my side.
But I'm not sure that I have the energy to go through the whole magila with a new partner.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Street Rules

My 11 year old daughter told me that she wanted to walk to school and to her friends' houses by herself and I said, "absolutely, just as soon as I'm dead" which she thought was totally unfair, but I reassured her that we live in NYC in a middle of a terrorist threat epidemic and swine flu hysteria so that she may not have that long to wait after all.

That didn't cheer her as much as I thought it would, so I decided to do a practice run with her.

It worked like this: She walked to school and I walked a respectful distance behind her, to monitor how she stopped at the red light and didn't make eye contact with the hung over drag queens on the corner. (I can't believe people move out of NYC when they have kids and deprive their progeny of these sights). Anyway, she was doing so well that I decided to throw a little Advanced Street at her.

"Hey, little girl!" I said. "Come with me. Your mom said that you should."
She kept walking.
"I have a puppy that needs help!" I continued. "And a kitten that will be dead unless you come with me."

She ignored me.

"Of course, there's some candy and ice cream too." I went on. "So, to recap. You need to come with me to help save a kitten and a puppy and have some candy and ice cream. Because your mother said that you should."

She kept walking, not breaking her pace at all.

She passed my test!

I beamed with pride until we got to school and I realized that she had her headphones on. And that the people who were walking their kids to school right behind me were holding them unnaturally close and giving me wide berth.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Models Get Paid For It

Beloved gay friend John is back from vacation, and I feel like my oxygen tank has been refilled. I get home and have many funny stories to share with my family, courtesy of John and they drink it up because it's been very Gedrosian in his absence.

"So then, John hung out with this woman and she had a boyfriend that she described as, get this, a janitor and a model. Can you believe?" I am wiping away tears, because I am chopping an onion while regaling everyone with stories. I multitask.

And then Husbandrinka sticks his nose in and says, "Why is that funny?"

Here we go.

Not only does Husbandrinka refuse to be annoyed by obviously annoying things, now he refuses to see humor in obviously hysterical things. To spite me and to make me insane.

"Because those career choices don't seem to go together," I tell him.

"Why? Maybe he needs the money."

"Yes, of course he needs the money. But it's not like he's a waiter and a writer.
He's a model. And modeling is one of those things that you either are or are not."

"You could be an out of work model, or a struggling model," suddenly Husbandrinka is the Voice of the Oppressed Model.

"Struggling model?" I sneer. "If you don't get money to be photographed, you're not a model, you're just good looking, ok?" Clearly, I have standards.

And since we're on this whole topic of models, I must object to calling Kathy Ireland a supermodel. The original supermodels, the big six are Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer. How do you think it makes them feel when they watch Dancing with the Stars and hear Kathy Ireland referred to as a supermodel? (By the way, I don't watch DWTS, it's too high-energy for me, but I'm assuming that they refer to Kathy as a supermodel.) And please don't go all "but Marinka, you called her a supermodel." I did it for pageviews.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My kids say things every once in a while that I jot down and think that it would make a great blog post. Like when my daughter, after sunbathing at the beach one day this summer told me, "If you need me, I'll be in the Atlantic!" and my son, who recently confessed, "It will be a lot easier if you just do my homework for me."

Except it seems that after I write the quotes down, I have nothing to add to them, so it's not so much a blog post as a sentence.

But the other day, I realized that my daughter says something a lot and that I both love and not love.

She adds "ish" to many of her sentences.

"Are you ready to go?" I ask her in the morning.

"Yes. Ish" she says. Yes-ish means that she's not quite ready, but almost.

I don't blame her. We're a culture of "thirtysomething" and "let's meet for drinks 7ish" . Even Anymommy did it. We're imprecise. Why shouldn't kids capitalize on that?

She tells me that she'll text me when she's leaving soccer practice, so that I can pick her up.

"Leaving nowish," she texts at 5.
"What does that mean?" I text back.
"Please text me when you are actually leaving," I text. Which takes about an hour because I am a slow texter.
"I did."
"Nowish isn't now."
"Ok ish."

Kids! They say the darnest thingsish.


My note to you. Yes you. Stop staring at the screen and saying "me?" Other people can see you do that, you know. No, not the people inside the computer, the people around you.

Anyway. You. If you haven't checked out The Mouthy Housewives this week, you've missed advice on what to do if your husband updates his Facebook status with "I had an orgasm!" and whether it's normal not to want to have morning sex and a drawing that makes me happy whenever I see it, so I keep clicking over to it because I like to be happy.

But today is a real treat! Because today is The Mouthy Housewives' first ever Vlog. That's right. Advice delivered via video. So click on over and enjoy. I promise you will laugh. No ish about it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Call From Mama

Scene: Marinka is home, sick in bed with a rare combination of swine flu and brain fever. She just read an email from Wendi, who expressed sadness about Marinka's illness:
I just want to tell you in complete sincerity, that should your situation become dire and you need donated blood platelets or a kidney, don't hesitate to call Kelcey.

Marinka tries to regain the will to live when Mama calls.

Mama: How are you feeling, Marinka?

Marinka: Sadly, mama, I cannot boast of good health.

Mama: Did you open the windows to air the germs out?

Marinka: (in hermetically sealed room) Yes.

Mama: Did you the open them in true? Because I know you nervous that Nicki falls out of window.

Marinka: Of course I did. I feel the germs are leaving the apartment. Oh, there goes another one.

Mama: Good. Fresh air is important for health. You need fresh air.

Marinka: I was just reading.

Mama: I was going to watch Judge Judy, but she's not appearing. I don't know.

Marinka: Maybe it's on later.

Mama: Later not convenient. Later I have things to do. I give her ten more minutes.

Marinka: I'm hoping for the best.

Mama: You know, I saw picture of Cindy Crawford's daughters--gorgeous.

She has one daughter and one son.

Mama: No, two girls. Beauties.

Marinka: I know the oldest is a boy because his name is Presley. And I am an US Weekly Scholar.

Mama: That means nothing. My neighbor had cat named Elvis. But he was cat, not a boy. Can't go by names these days. Like that Orange.

Marinka: Apple.

Mama: Maybe Tangerine? Something citrus.

Marinka: Apple. Besides, why is it shocking that a supermodel has gorgeous children? If Quasimodo has beautiful children, then it's newsworthy.

Mama: You be surprised. I see attractive parents, ugly children.


Mama: No. Not about present company. Are you sure it's not Clementine?


Mama: Ok, calm down. This is why you get sick, you worry about nonsense and keep window closed. If it makes you happy, we say Cindy Crawford's daughter is a boy. Named Apple. I'm making joke. Everything is ok, Marinka. Feel better.

Marinka: Thanks, Mama. I am feeling stronger now.


I am feeling better. Thanks everyone for your expressions of concern about my health. I assume that you've sent these concerns telepathically, since I haven't received any in my inbox. On a related note, whoever said "it's the thought that counts" misspoke. Or misthought. What really counts are gifts. And Apple.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


If there's anything that I love more than problem-solving products, it's expensive problem-solving products.

I'm not one to complain, but for years now, I've been positively exhausted by having to stand on the corner of a busy NYC street, lifting up my arm and saying "TAXI!" when I want to hail a cab. Sure, sometimes I try to get someone else to do the dirty work for me, but let's face it, there are not as many saps out there who can be tricked into that kind of task.

Now, my problems have been answered and there is a purse that does the work for me. Yes, reasonably priced at $225 and big enough to hold a tampon, this purse lights up and hails the taxi for you. Which, I'm willing to bet, is more than your purse has done for you lately.

Now that the taxi has been hailed, however, I am re-exhausted all over again by having to tell the taxi driver where I'm going. Is it too difficult to design another purse, that will fit inside the TAXI purse nesting doll style, that says NEAREST WATERING HOLE AND STEP ON IT on it?

And what about you, dear reader? Do you covet the TAXI purse? Or do you want a purse with a different message? Please share.

P.S. I just saw that there were only 100 of these purses made. Hurry!

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Monday, September 21, 2009


For about twenty seconds, pre-Husbandrinka and I considered writing our own vows and then we were like, "eh, let's just use the traditional ones because they seem to cover everything and besides, we're busy and lazy". Over the years, I've started to see the errors of our ways.

Don't get me wrong, traditional vows are fine if you and your beloved are on the same page, but if you're on the different floors of your local bookstore, the traditional vows aren't going to do shit for you.

For example. Love, honor, whatever. Ok. Got it.

But there's a lot that's implied. And if there's not total agreement about what's implied, it's going to lead to what I will call a spot of marital discord.

One of the things that I say is implied is that if you find something or someone annoying, your spouse must agree, no questions asked, or if they are asked, they should be asked in quiet and deferential terms. I happily do this for my husband. Sure, it's not that much of a stretch for me because I find everyone highly annoying, but still, it's the principle here.

And you'd think that he would return the favor.
And yet he won't.
Because he hates me and doesn't respect the institution of marriage.

Like the other day, we were driving somewhere and while we were at a red light, I looked over and saw a mom, dad and a teenage daughter on the sidewalk, each one with some kind of frozen drink from Starbucks. And they were all sucking the drink from straw. Simultaneously. OMG, how annoying is that?

"Would you look at them!" I alerted Husbandrinka. "So fucking annoying."
He looked over and shrugged. "Doesn't bother me one bit."
"Are you kidding me?" I asked. "The three of them standing there, in some kind of a synchronized slurping event? That's totally annoying."
"It's not against the law to have Starbucks," he maintained.

Fortunately, the light changed shortly thereafter, but I continued to seethe for hours.
Because what is the fucking point of marriage if you can't be co-annoyed by the same things.

No wonder family values are suffering in America.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nicki is a Centerfold

I feel a little bad because I haven't updated Nighly Nicki all summer. Ok, now I'm over feeling bad. But in that nanosecond when I was still feeling bad, I decided to post not one, but two photos of Nicki.

I took this photo on Friday afternoon, when I came down with a life threatening cold and as I lay in bed, watching "General Hospital" as needed, Nicki stretched out next to me and basked in sun.

I strongly suspect that she has healing powers. She just chooses not to waste them on me.

This is one of my favorite parts of Nicki:

Her back paws. I like them better than her front paws because she doesn't scratch me with them and also because they look like rabbit feet, so I'm sure that they bring me good luck. And also I like the little tufts of hair that she has between her toes.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Bubble, Bubble, Toilet and Trouble

The other evening I came home late, after a full day of making sure that the earth kept spinning on its axis and as I sat down to have dinner, my 8 year old son ran to me and said, "here, hold this!" and handed me a lime popsicle. Apparently he had to go to the bathroom and wanted me to be his lime popsicle assistant.

"I'm EATING!" I said because I pity the fool who comes between me and a meal and he said, "No prob! I got it!" and hopped to the bathroom with the popsicle. Then he came out.

"I just held it in my other hand!" he announced.

Potty training doesn't stop when they're out of diapers, you know.

But I know all about potty jokes and how to curtail them. Bow to my wisdom here. And while you're there, enter our contest and win a book. It'll make you smart and shit.

P.S. Spell check is giving me a lot of trouble because it keeps saying that "popsicle" is spelled "Popsicle". But I'm not falling for it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Heap

My friend Melissa stopped by recently, took a look at Nicki and said, "wow, she's gotten fat!"

Fortunately Nicki was busy chewing at that moment so the sound of those hurtful words was drowned out.

"You think?" I asked. I noticed that Nicki was taking up a lot more room, but I assumed that it was because she was trying out a new hairstyle. That involved fur extensions.

"She's huge," Melissa said. "What are you feeding her?"

The bad news is that Melissa is my cat expert friend, the one who told me about Feline Pine and also confirmed that cats can get AIDS, if they're having unprotected sex. In addition, she sometimes trims Nicki's nails, so I defer to her on all things Nicki.

"I give her half a can twice a day and some dry food."

"That's it?" Melissa asked. "How much dry food?"

"A heap." Which is totally a serving size.

"A constant heap?"

"Maybe. Hey, Kanye is a huge asshole, isn't he?"

"So she's self-feeding. You should only feed her light dry food. Dry food's like crackers, it has no nutritional value."

"Okay. I'm sorry. Stupid fat cat."

That night I told Husbandrinka what Melissa said.

"Nicki is morbidly obese."

"She seems ok," Husbandrinka was in deep denial.

"Morbid obesity is the silent killer," I told him.

"That's hypertension."

"Which Nicki now probably has."

But it bothered Husbandrinka. A lot.

I could tell because he said, "Now that Melissa said something, Nicki's weight is really bothering me. Why is Nicki so fat?"

"Maybe she's going through a growing spurt?" I suggested.

"Are you feeding her properly?" he decided to blame me.

"What? I give her food."

"Yeah, but sometimes you don't give her the moist food until later and then she binges. She should have a healthier routine."

There is a lot that I will put up with in a marriage, but the word "moist" is not one of them.

But the good news is that Husbandrinka is now in charge of Nicki's feeding. She should have six pack abs in no time. Mmmm...six pack...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flock. Without the "l" and with a "u" instead of the "o".

A few years ago, the New York Times had an article about Asperger's Syndrome, which is sort of a condition where people are really good at math and have impaired social skills. Basically, it's high functioning autism. I think. The point is, many women in NYC read the article, reviewed the symptoms and promptly diagnosed their husbands with having it. (Ok, so because I'm a hypochondriac, I also diagnosed myself with Asperger's, except I'm sort of bad at math, so I probably had a terminal case, God forbid.)

Anyway, there was a lot of cocktail-hour-type talk, "oh, so this is why when I ask my husband if I look fat, he looks at me and says 'yes, you do' and it was all nice and merry.

Now I didn't really think that Husbandrinka had Asperger's, but I did think that he benefited from my wisdom in social situations.

"Now, you're going to meet Lauren at this party," I'd explain to him as we headed out. "She has a very huge nose. There's a saying in Russian 'it grew for two, but only one got it'. And she's the one who got it. It's impossible not to stare at it, but don't. Just look somewhere else. And do not tell her the Russian saying that I just told you. And don't mention anything nose-related. Like don't bring up bloodhounds. Or Barbara Streisand. As a matter of fact, try erring on the safe side and breathe through your mouth. Ok? Do you have any questions? Why did you just blow your nose? Is that a subliminal dig at noses? Oh? I don't remember your having a cold before. I suppose you're going to dapple in snorting cocaine, now, just to keep up with the nasal motiff. Whatever. I'm just trying to help."

So after one or eighty of these training sessions, Husbandrinka may have hinted that if I did something like that again, he'd have me killed and not even dental records would help identify my remains. Did you know that Hallmark actually makes a card that says that? I know, I was surprised, too.

After a lot of consideration, I decided to save my marriage and stop giving Husbandrinka "social hints". And now I'm paying the price.

Because Young Ladrinka was invited to go away for winter break to sunny Florida with a friend of his. The only thing that the inviting mom asked is that we please not tell the kids about it because (1) only a few boys were invited and (2) if we tell the kids now they will talk about this nonstop until winter.

Can you guess which faux pas Husbandrinka committed while talking to one of the other non-invited parents on the first day of school? Which is really unfortunate, because after a discussion with my mama, which consisted of hypotheticals such as 'how will you feel if the plane crashes, he gets the swine flu, he gets eaten up by an alligator, he returns with a thick Boca Jewish accent", I decided to keep him with me over break. And maybe until my coffin is lowered into the Earth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Economic Crisis

Recently my 8 year old son did some back of the envelope calculations and let me know that he's running dangerously low on cash. Which he desperately needs for a new Wii game. To make matters worse, he has absolutely no loose teeth, so he can't even count on any Tooth Fairy funding.

He has $24, and the Wii game is $50, so he needs $36 more, apparently.

I told him that he only needs $26, because of some recent changes to math laws, and this cheered him. But then we started to discuss ways that he could raise the $26.

Marinka: You could do extra chores around the house.
Young Ladrinka: Le groan! (yes, he really talks like that)
Marinka: Like what chores can you do?
Young Ladrinka: I could set the table. $5 per person.
Marinka: That's a lot of money.
Young Ladrinka: Ok.
Marinka: Not ok. What else could you do?
Young Ladrinka: I already take out the recycling.
Marinka: And you get an allowance.
Young Ladrinka: Maybe I should get more allowance.
Marinka: No.
Marinka: ...
Young Ladrinka: I could teach you piano.
Marinka: ...
Young Ladrinka: $100 for half an hour.
Marinka: $10.
Young Ladrinka: That's so cheap.
Marinka: Your sister could give me lessons for less.
Daughter: I am not interested in giving you piano lessons for any amount of money.
Young Ladrinka: HA! $100 bucks it is!
Marinka: $10.
Young Ladrinka: Treat others the way that you want to be treated.
Marinka: $10.
Young Ladrinka: Friends share and compromise.
Marinka: $10.
Young Ladrinka: $15.
Marinka: Ok, $15 for half an hour. But you have to make the lessons fun and interesting for me.
Young Ladrinka: I'll try, but it's piano.
Marinka: I know.
Young Ladrinka: We'll start tomorrow.
Marinka: Ok.

So either I am a genius or I just wrote the preface to my own eulogy.

I'm closing comments for a while, so you get to read this totally for free! I stole the idea from Anymommy. Please let me know what you think of it. Oh, wait, you can't. Because comments are closed.

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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Best Post Ever!

The other day, I blogged my heart out and confided about my worries about Nicki and her refrigeratorphilia. Why does she keep staring at our freezer? What does it mean? Is there a mouse? Is Nicki insane? Is the mouse insane? How long are cats supposed to live, anyway?

And for the most part, people were suportive, commenting that I was a wonderful person. Some troublemakers suggested that it was a mouse and one schadenfreudeist said "I can't wait til Nikki (sic) delivers a mouse to you as a present. Oh, that will be the best post ever."

Nice, right?

But it got me thinking.

What do you, as a reader, want?

Do you want happy posts, or do you want to be entertained?

Let's take a quiz and find out! For each question, answer "A" or "B".

1. On Monday morning, when I read Marinka's blog, I hope to find out:

A. That her weekend was relaxing and peaceful.
B. That surely this was the weekend that she'll tell us that Husbandrinka sent her packing! How much more can a mere mortal take?

2. When Marinka first got Nicki, what were your hopes and dreams?

A. A seamless integration into the family, and years of enjoyment.
B. That Nicki was really a cougar, and would tear the entire family apart. Preferably after she developed opposable thumbs and set up a camera to record the whole thing for multiple You Tube views.

3. When Marinka started reading Ulysses, you thought:

A. What a wonderful way to expand one's horizons! I want to be more like Marinka.
B. I give it a day, tops.

4. I look forward to Marinka's memoir being published.

A. Absolutely! Sign me up for multiple copies!
B. Absolutely! And it will be delivered to me by a unicorn!

5. These questions written in the third person, make me think that:

A. Marinka is paying homage to blogging idol Bossy. How fun!
B. Marinka is starting to crack. How fun!

6. Mama and Papa are

A. Beloved blog characters.
B. So Central Casting that they're obviously made up. Can't wait for Crap on Poops, or whatever that illiterate hate website is to expose her!


Ok! Quiz over! Pencils down! Tally up the As and the Bs.

If you chose mostly "A"s, you are a wonderful person and a asset to the human race. I hope that you are cloned and there will be more of you around soon. Unless cloning is painful, of course, because I only wish you the very best.

If you chose mostly "B"s, you are not a wonderful person, but because I suspect that you are ever so slightly unstable, I will say nothing further. But believe you me, I will be thinking it. Hard.

If you chose the exact same number of As and you did Bs, you're obviously trying to sabotage my post. Therefore, you are in the not wonderful person category.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Congratulations, Winner!

Last week I did a "caption this" contest, where I posted a picture and asked for captions. And I got some really great and funny responses. Thank you for participating and for making me laugh.

Although I loved them all, I picked Inna who blogs at Tanna & Inna and the Big McGees as the winner for her caption, "What you're staring at, bitch? You've never seen a white babysitter before?" because it made me laugh and laugh.

Inna, please email me at MarinkaNYC[at]gmail[dot]com with information about the Humane Society that you want me to make a donation in your name.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Last week my daughter told me that she wanted to have steak for dinner, so I said "My offspring! Your carnivorous dreams will come true!"

I announced the good news to Husbandrinka. "On Thursday, we shall have steak!"

He looked alarmed. "You should probably wait for me to get home so that I can prepare it," he said.

Blink, I said.
Pray tell, why, I said.
"Because you overcook everything," he said.
"Just because I don't want to give my meat a transfusion while I'm eating it, doesn't mean that I overcook it," I said.

I seethed and I fumed, but I bought the steak.

The only problem was that every recipe I looked up seemed to require a decade-long marinade and I was already starting to exhibit early warning signs of famine.

Quickly, I threw on some soy sauce, after triple checking that it wasn't Karo syrup because that shouldn't happen to any junior Julia Child more than once, and I was all set.

Except I was faced with my age old dilemma. Where the fuck is the broiler?

It's my culinary Achilles' Heel. My domestic Moby Dick.

I called John.

"What are you, a retarded moron?" he asked. (Please don't be mad at him for using such politically incorrect language. Pity him. For he knows not what he does. See, Exhibit A, Stroking).

I called Papa.

"This is complex question," he told me. "You lived in apartment almost fifteen years, and you don't know broiler? Also, what is broiler?"

Mama wasn't much help, either.

"Call Husband. He good cook and smart."

"I can't call him, mama," I sighed. "Because he thinks that I won't be able to cook the steak and if I tell him that I don't know where the broiler is, he will hold it against me in a court of law, forsaking all others for as long as we both shall live."

What? Are you trying to tell me that in a moment of tremendous stress you've never confused the Miranda warning and marriage vows?

"Why he think you can't cook? You are wonderful cook, Marinka. Wonderful. When you were more young, you made best cakes. They look good. I think taste good, too, because you always ate fast. No cake left for me and papa. But you were happy. And skinny. Metabolism changes. You are not young. You diet. Instead of steak, have fish. Maybe be vegetarian. I know you can lose weight."

"Ok, but where is the broiler?"

"I don't know, but the whole internet is oyster belonging to you. Ask internet."

Mama was absolutely right. And not just about the cake.

So, I asked Twitter.

Because Twitter is like The Oracle. You ask it questions and you get answers.

A Jew-hating Oracle.

The replies started coming in and the answer became clear as day. An overcast day on which a nuclear apocalypse occurs.

Behold the wisdom:

Huge disclaimer, ironically in tiny type: You may or may not have noticed that each screen cap has a "humorous" Google search term in the upper right hand corner. I did it as a sort of "bonus" feature for careful readers. Except, I chose an unfortunate one for this screen cap, which I think makes it sound like I am calling the people who responded to me stupid. They are not. I could have redone the screen cap, but I've already spent so much time on Project Screencap that I can't spare another second. Especially since I apparently have to write epic length explanations about it. Sorry. I love all these people. And if you are still not convinced, remember which one of us didn't know where the broiler was. OMG, typing in tiny print is super difficult. I wonder if anyone will read it.

I fully appreciated it:

and then, Eureka!

I was excited to discover where the broiler is.

I broiled the steaks and they were delicious.
Although I may have chipped a tooth chewing it.
I'm not worried, though, I'm sure that Twitter will walk me through emergency dental care. Because when the stakes are high, Twitter comes through for me.

Friday, September 11, 2009


September 11, 2009. I am reposting this from last year. A rerun, if you will, although last year, I posted it in July. Because that's when I think of September 11th, in July, when it's hot and gorgeous and the kids are running around carefree. (ok, so maybe they're playing the Wii. But still, carefree.) I also think of September 11th in the spring, when there is the cliche of rebirth and in December, when families gather to celebrate and during every other month and day therein.

I don't wear an American flag pin on 9/11 and I'm not putting a 9/11 memorial on my Twitter avatar because there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what happened on that day. And I know that I will never forget what downtown Manhattan smelled like on that day and for many, many days after in September.

Knock, knock.

Who's there?


9/11 who?

Hey, you said that you'd never forget.

Yeah, I know.

I will never forget September 10th. It would have been an ordinary day, in the way that the best days are, except that Meryl Streep held the door for me at a local furniture store, because I was pushing a stroller. She was wearing a baseball cap, but please. I'd spot Meryl from space. I thanked her and she nodded, not making eye contact. I remember thinking that I could die happy now.

The other thing that I remember that day is that I went to an overpriced paper store and ordered personalized stationary for my three year old daughter. I often think back to that. Did I really have money to burn? Did I realize that my three year old was not a big writer? Was I just that out of my fucking mind bored with my maternity leave that I had nothing better to do?

I wanted to write about 9/11 on a day that had nothing to do with 9/11 because I cannot stand the media coverage on that day, but also because I think about 9/11 every day. A few years ago I went to see a mental health professional in the hopes of getting magic pills that would alleviate my anxiety and make me a better person. When I told the therapist that I thought about September 11th every day, several times a day, he said, "I find that hard to believe." Apparently he was of the "Oh no, you didn't" school of psychotherapy and I didn't have the energy to deal with him. Of course he was all the way on the Upper West Side, in psychoanalytic mecca and I was living downtown, a mile from Ground Zero. It would take a better, and less kind, writer than I am to convey the smells of 9/11. It lingered for weeks.

On the morning of September 11th, I was taking my three year old daughter to school. My infant son was at home with my mother. My daughter was on the cusp of being diagnosed with speech delay and I clung to her words whenever she spoke. I was delighted when she said "samolyet", or "airplane" in Russian. It's hard to believe now, but it wasn't until months later that I'd realized that she was startled by the roar of the first plane as we'd crossed the street and she looked up to see it over our heads, heading to the Towers. I had not bothered to look up, because to me, it was just the noise of the city and I was more concerned with getting my daughter across the street safely. Amazing the things that mothers miss sometimes.

When I finally realized what her "samolyet" referred to, I could not believe that a moment that was so every day for me was a death sentence to the people immediately above me, who surely must have known what was happening. I think about that a lot--what must it have been like for them, seeing New York City so close, seeing people going through their morning commutes, all the while knowing that they were going to die. It is unimaginable, nothing good can come from thinking about it, and yet I don't think that I will ever stop.

That's my 9/11 connection. I will never forget September 11th, but I will also always remember the day before.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some People Don't Love Themselves Enough

Best gay friend John called me on Tuesday night to let me know that he was having a stroke. Apparently, he had a very bad headache and he was sure that a stroke was imminent.

Like most normal people, he wanted to spend his last few moments on earth with me.

Unfortunately, his timing wasn't a great time for me because Young Ladrinka was on step 15.9 of the 42 step night-time ritual, where he emerged from his room carrying a Star Wars light saber and wanted to hear my top five reasons why we couldn't have a light saber fight right there and then and I had to go and yell and threaten, as needed.

Anyway. John and I talked for a few minutes, I provided some medical advice which included and was limited to his taking some Tylenol and then I told him that I needed to get off the phone. To get the kids to sleep.

"You still have those kids?" he asked.
"Shut up," I said. "Can I call you later, or are you going to be stroking?"
"What?" Apparently his stroke had robbed him of his hearing.
"I want to call you later, if you're not stroking."
"That's disgusting," he said, actually sounding disgusted.
"Don't say things like that out loud. You think I'm sitting around masturbating, waiting for you to call?"
"Are you insane?" I asked rhetorically. "I was wondering if you were going to have a stroke. You know, stroking."
"Oh. I thought you meant would I be busy sitting here stroking my penis, so I wouldn't be able to talk."

Ok, I'm not a sexologist, but who strokes his penis? Doesn't that take approximately forever?


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Don't Be Alarmed, But I Think Someone's Dead

So every once in a while, meaning constantly, Nicki sits in front of the refrigerator and stares at it. I don't know why.

Husbandrinka thinks that she may be hungry, which makes no sense to me because her food isn't in the refrigerator, and she'd have to be a complete and total moron not to know that. I mean, I get her can from the cupboard every morning. She has fur holes for eyes, doesn't she?

So, she sits and stares and I keep thinking "it's not a mouse, it's not a mouse. It's probably a ghost. A ghost who lives under our refrigerator. There are many unsolved murders in NYC, surely it's one of those ghosts. That's why it's under the fridge. Because it's a cold case."

And then I say a quick prayer that Nicki is a better ghost hunter than mouser.

Whenever I start the discussion of why is Nicki sitting in front of the refrigerator with Husbandrinka, he always tries to end it.

"How the hell am I supposed to know why she's sitting there?" He asks. Rhetorically, I have to assume. "She's a cat. That's what they do."

I don't know what Feline Freak Show he's used to, but I've never heard of cats sitting there staring at refrigerators.

She sits and stares. Sometimes she pounces.

The pouncing worries me. Cats pounce at mice. Do cats pounce at ghosts? Maybe if she were Nicki Demi Moore and the ghost were Patrick Swayze, but now I'm worried that the joke is in bad taste, given his poor health. Also, the joke is not funny.

"Is it normal for cats to pounce at invisible objects?" I ask myself, because Husbandrinka has served me with a Cease & Desist Order as it pertains to questions regarding Nicki.

I don't answer, because I'm starting to get on my own nerves.

And then I notice something else.

Why is Nicki semi-camouflaged?

I think I have to move.

Please don't forget to enter my Caption This! contest. Who knows, the donation that I make may save an animal from a lifetime of staring at kitchen appliances.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy First Day of School, Children. Welcome to the Revolution.

Dear Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Friends,

In light of the murmurings surrounding our President's address to our nation's school children and the accompanying hysteria of the call to keep children home from school so that their ears won't be tainted by socialist propaganda, I have but one word to describe you and your ilk.


You heard me. Amateurs.

You think that President Barack Obama is a socialist?

Ignorant fools.

Naive cretins.

Trusting morons.

You have sucked on the teat of liberalism, not noticing that its milk has curdled.

Because I spent Labor Day weekend with my Mama and she opened my eyes.

Barack Obama is not a socialist, you innocent babes. Oh, if only he were a socialist. That's what we call the "good ole' days".

According to mama, Barack Obama a communist. A commie. A pinko, if you will.

Now, for those of you who have been more Twilight and less The Communist Manifesto for the past few years, let me school you.

According to Karl Marx (watch for his graven image to replace Abe Lincoln on Mt. Rushmore!) the stages of society are capitalism then socialism, culminating in communism. (It's totally true, I asked Husbandrinka, I don't know this shit on my own. But I do know that Vampire Edward glistens like diamonds! and I can recap the Bethanny/Kelly spats ver-fucking-batim, so we each bring something to the marriage).

So, while the pundits have paroled Obama at socialist, mama has advanced him to communist.

I was curious and eager to learn.
"What about him makes you think he is a communist?" I asked.
"Because I lived in the Soviet Union for thirty years," she told me. "I know what communist looks like."
"Well, can you enlighten me?"
"Yes, I can enlighten. Normal men don't speak to children. Normal people avoid children. The only reason to talk to the children is to confuse them and make them communist."
"Some people speak to children for other reasons."
"Yes, pedophile. Pedophile have many reason to speak to children, all bad."

Finally, something that we can all agree on. You've been warned. Keep your children at home, good citizens. Because ignorance is not only bliss, it means that you don't have to haul ass early to wait for the school bus.

Yours in capitalism, and possibly dictatorship,


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Monday, September 7, 2009

Caption This!

I don't often do contests on this blog because I am way too lazy, and besides, don't we all have enough crap?

But I'm doing this one because I want to take the sting out of being potentially totally offensive.

Here's the story. A white poodle gave birth to black puppies. I thought this happens all the time, but when I saw the caption, "mom, why do we look so different?" I thought, how lame.

So, I came up with, "Bo? Call me." You know, because the puppies look like Bo Obama.

Please submit your caption.

I will pick the best one, therefore potentially alienating a whole bunch of people by implying that their submission sucked and I'll make a donation to the Humane Society of that person's choice.

So please enter! It will be educational and fun for everyone!
Entries close Sunday, September 13th.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Fashion Plate

We are at the dacha for the long weekend, and papa modeled some new fashion. He wore a tank tops that the less sophisticated call "a wife beater". He came to dinner dressed like that and while the rest of us were grateful for the appetite suppressant and decided then and there to start our diets, he decided to ask mama if she liked his shirt. The great thing about mama is that she doesn't like to mince words.

"On you, absolutely not," she told him. "On Sylvester Stallone, yes."

Papa quickly changed. Into a burkha.

Friday, September 4, 2009


So here's the thing. I'm struggling a little, and when you're writing a humor blog, that's apparently not great news. Please do not worry, I'm ok and everyone in my family is ok.

Well, except for papa, who this week decided that he wants to take my daughter horseback riding because apparently what I need in my life is a super dangerous Christopher Reeve sport that is also Malcolm Forbes expensive. But everyone else is ok, with the possible exception of mama who is mad at me because I won't practice Russian with the children. I tried, I really did, and they asked me how to say "boring" in Russian and then they asked me how to say "Lord, Taketh Me Now" in Russian and finally, when they asked how to say "make it end, please, make it end" in Russian, I caught on and stopped.

But I've been eating a lot of Nutella, so I'm sure that things will turn around for me soon.

In the meantime, if you want a laugh, and also to help cure Ovarian Cancer, click on over to check out the very hysterical Jessica Bern as Aunt Flo.

And please don't neglect my other beloved projects, The Mouthy Housewives, where I dispense advice like Pez candy! If you want advice from yours truly or one of my sister Wives, email us at ask@mouthyhousewives.com. If you're feeling whiny, check out Secret Spineless Whine and while you're at it, submit your own whine at secretspineless.whiner@blogger.com

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Illiterati

When I lived in Russia, and before I started school, I had an illiterate nanny who took care of me while my parents worked.

One day she arranged to have me baptized behind my Jewish father's back, because she did not want to be taking care of a child possibly possessed by Satan. I don't remember that, of course, but all things considered, I am grateful. Mostly because she opted for baptism and not exorcism which seems, to me, at least, to be a bit more to the point. I didn't frown on illiteracy back then, my own great-grandmother, Pauline, was also illiterate. Baba Polya, as I, and everyone else called her, was approximately a million feet tall and stocky. I was mildly afraid with her and semi-dreaded the overnights that I had to spend with her, mostly because my papa's parenting technique included telling me, as he dropped me off, that if I did not listen to Baba Polya, she would die in the night. Somehow my father knew that sleeping next to a corpse topped my pediatric list of things that I wanted to avoid.

So one evening, Baba Polya asked me why I was looking so petrified.

"I DON'T WANT YOU TO DIE!" I blurted out, even though I'm pretty sure that papa warned me that telling Baba Polya that I was afraid that she would die would also lead to her instant death.
She started to laugh. "I have no plans to die, why are you afraid of that?"
"Papa told me that you'd die if I didn't listen to you," I told her and I watched her expression changed.
"I'm going to die when I am ready, and I am not ready yet." She reassured me. And then, when her granddaughter, my mother, came to retrieve me the next morning, I overheard Baba Polya telling her, "tell that idiot husband of yours to stop traumatizing Marinka. What a precious angel she is."

Because despite being illiterate, Baba Polya was an excellent judge of character.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good Help is Impossible To Get

In the late 1990s, when our beloved Basset Hound Mavis was still alive, we had a dog walker. But even before that, we had to interview several people to find a reliable dog walker.

For reasons that I like to call "Husbandrinka's difficult personality" it wasn't going well. The qualities I looked for in a dog walker were along the lines of "has legs and can hold a leash" whereas Husbandrinka was clearly anticipating the terrorist assault on our country and wanted to make sure that the people we hired to drag our dog around the block would be able to pass all security clearance.

I remember interviewing two women, partners in a dog walking business. They sat in our living room and fielded questions from us.

Marinka: Mavis likes to pick up garbage on the street, can you like make sure that she doesn't eat any?

Dog Walking Mavens: Yes, sure.

Marinka: Thanks. Because she can get really sick and throw up and shit everywhere. Nightmare. That's good, though, if you can keep an extra eye. Honey, do you have any questions?

Husbandrinka: (reading through notes) Do you have insurance?

DWM: Insurance?

Husbandrinka: Liability insurance. (I'm assuming for those times when Mavis accidentally fell asleep on someone).

DMW: Well, we just incorporated our dog walking business.

Husbandrinka (eyes lighting up): You're incorporated? Fantastic! Are you an INC or an LLC?

DMW: Err..

Husbandrinka: Just have the certificate of incorporation faxed to me when you get a chance. And the certificate of insurance.

Five minutes after leaving our apartment, these lovely ladies called me to say that they could not possibly work for us, although Mavis seemed like a darling. And I was a princess among women. They said nothing about Husbandrinka, but I didn't have to be Newton to do the math on that one.

"You drove away potentially fantastic dog walkers!" J'accused Husbandrinka. "Now Mavis' bladder will explode!" (Note: Mavis died a mere five years after that and due to what Husbanrinka referred to as "financial priorities", an exhaustive autopsy was never performed).

"They were full of shit," he told me. "No way did they incorporate. They were making it up."

So, with this in mind, fast forward to The Present. (Not like The Gift, but like The Here and Now. Good grief, English is a confusing tongue.)

After many false starts, we have a new cleaning lady. She's great in the sense that she cleans everything and I'm even willing to overlook that she folds our dirty laundry, instead of, you know, washing it. No one's perfect.

Except she asked that I leave her notes and I've toyed with the following:

"Please clean the apartment!"


"A clean home is a happy home!"


"Thanks for cleaning our home. In exchange for money!"


"Better you than me!"

But the other day, I decided to add, "Please do not open the windows because Nicki may fall out and die! Thanks!"

Husbandrinka saw that and was all, "you're going to drive our cleaning lady away and it took us forever to find her!" and I'm all, "Why would asking her not to open a window drive her away? We have air conditioning!" and he's all "Cleaning ladies really like to open windows."


Is this a really new fetish or something?

Also, I'm looking for good ideas for note fodder for the cleaning lady. But not "please do the laundry". I don't want to come on too strong.