Friday, October 31, 2008

Douche Cap

I wear a shower cap, do you?

You'll be surprised how many perfectly normal looking people forego the shower cap, so you can't always tell by appearances. Unless you sneak into the shower with the perfectly normal looking person, but that could be awkward.  But the next time you're in a crowded elevator, or in the subway, or waiting on death row, look around you and ask--who among the people that you see has the moral fortitude to wear a shower cap and not get their hair wet every time they take a shower? By the way, if you decide to ask this question out loud, it may help to be naked and holding an open bottle of vodka, to get into character.

In recent years I've had my share of shower caps that have come to a tragic end.  A few were thrown in the laundry and since they are made of some kind of plastic, for some reason they melted.  A few were stolen. I mean, lost.  Many were mocked by shower cap foes.  It's hard to maintain shower cap harmony.

My most recent shower cap has undergone something incomprehensible.  For no apparent reason, the elastic has started loosening at at unprecedented rate and the shower cap has gotten enormous.  Why is this happening?  And why is neither candidate addressing this?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Was A Teenage Vegetarian

As parents, we have hopes for our children. They span from the most basic--let my child be healthy and safe and happy, to the more specific--let them be employed and marry someone who I can stand, and if at all possible, no French pedicures. But lately, I've been obsessing about a different type of hope.

Dear Lord, please do not let my kids go through a vegetarian stage. Amen.

I have absolutely nothing against vegetarians. I am of the "eat and let eat" school of thought. But I cannot stomach the idea of a child, particularly a teenager, who decides that she wants to be a vegetarian.  Or more specifically, who becomes a vegetarian and then tells everyone why. (By the way, my daughter has been known to approach a grazing cow and take a bite out of her side, so I doubt that she is in immediate danger of vegetarianism, but still, as a mother, I worry.) The reason I fear this is that I was a teenage vegetarian, and wow, was I ever a pain in the ass.

I decided that I wanted to be a vegetarian after a Gandhi-like experience of finding a vein in my chicken. "WHAT IS THAT?" I said after I was revived from a fainting spell.
"Iz vein," my mother said. "You don't haf to eat, but you haf to zit down and stop making faze. Faze can freeze." (Ok, I know I'm making my mother's accent sound more German and Russian, but you try doing the Russian accent. On your own blog.)

Right then and there, I became a convert.

"I think I'll have a cucumber instead." I announced.

My already-hip-to-vegetarianism friends preyed on me.

"Meat is murder!" "Why should an animal have to die so that we can eat?" "Haven't you ever noticed how we have to disguise the meat we eat with ketchup and mustard to mask that we are eating flesh?!"

So, in order to blend in with the semi-cool vegetarian kids, I became a zealot.

"Nice of you to serve me a dead animal," I'd comment at dinner-time.

"Why do others have to die so that you can have bacon and eggs?" I'd initiate a breakfast-time discussion.

"Because it's delicious," my father chewed.

"You know what's delicious? This beet. And the knowledge that no one had to die for it. But that's me, I guess I'm just not comfortable with murder," I would reposition myself on the cross, while simultaneously adjusting my halo.  

This went on forever. I rebuffed my parents' attempts of reasoning with me--everything from the nutritional value of protein ("you know what else is loaded with protein? SPERM! And yet, I don't see you suggesting that I become the school's fellatio queen!") to their sneaking suspicion that I was more of a dessertarian than a vegetarian ("I need to get my calcium somehow and no innocent life had to be cut short for this ice cream!")

My parents put up with it all with good humor and indulged me. They didn't even harp on the fact that I was basically freebasing pate and that it could possibly be at odds with my vegetarianist zen.

It lasted for years. Until I went to college. Until I went to a Pro-Choice march in DC. Where carrying a hanger, I became so ravenous that I grabbed the first hot dog I saw and then ate another one of its brothers.

And although during my vegetarian rant my parents never once said, "just wait until you have a lunatic child of your own!", they totally should have. Because believe me, I certainly have a few drafts of that speech written for my kids.

Coming soon on Motherhood in NYC:   "Marinka watches a Porno".  (Sort of an unfortunate transition from the whole kids thing, but what the hell.)


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordful Wednesday

I panic easily.  A few times each week when I get out of the subway and look down Fifth Avenue, I become very concerned.  Because the Empire State Building is missing.  And apparently, I am the only one who notices, because everyone else is going about their business like nothing is wrong.  This is way too much responsibility for me.

See?  Where is the Empire State Building is not there.

But then I walk a little more, and suddenly The Empire State Building reappears.  What a relief! Although, uh-oh.  The light has now turned red and  I can't cross the street.


On Tuesday, I walked past the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Park Avenue. All the important political people stay at the Waldorf when they come to NYC and then the traffic around there is a nightmare.

Question:  Doesn't it look like someone left an Emmy on top of the hotel?

And follow up question:  Doesn't $400 million seem like sort of a lot to spend on the restoration?  I'm pretty sure that I could have done it for $399 million.

* * *

This week we're taking a break from the Saks Fifth Avenue window displays because they betrayed us last week by being superdull and also because I was uptown and saw these beautiful Bergorf Goodman windows.

I love how the mannequins have that high fashion pose of being all hunched over. I can never figure out what the bad posture is all about, but John thinks that when models pose like that, they are supposed to resemble hangers. Maybe it's one of those "No More Hangers!" pro-choice campaigns?

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stroke Me Tender

Disclaimer:  I have a fucked up sense of humor. In no way am I mocking people who suffer from heart disease. I am mocking my own hypochondria. Lovingly.

I don't want to alarm you, but Oprah and I are having some issues. For example, I was enjoying the October O (the magazine, not a monthly orgasm, you perverts), learning about enhancing my bliss, when I came across some jarring news. Apparently, if you have migraines with auras, you are more likely to have a stroke and absolutely everything, including hiccups, is a warning sign, so you may as well go to the Emergency Room, fill out a toe tag and wait. The bright side of this is that you don't have to worry about your IRA. Or anything else for that matter.

So the bad news for me is that I've been having migraines with auras for approximately forever. It's a really weird thing where suddenly I will have trouble seeing out of one eye, and the things that I see will look like they've been painted by Dali. In other words, you probably shouldn't get too attached to me although you may consider advancing my next 20 birthday gifts.

So, when I read that, I put the magazine down and shared this news with Husbandrinka.  Or maybe I didn't put the magazine down, who can remember this crap?

"I think I'm dying," I told him. "We need to make preparations."

"I will not remarry until a respectable period of time has passed," he answered automatically.

For the first few years after I trapped him, I was obsessed that if I died in childbirth or by overdosing on Haagen Dasz Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream, he'd marry someone before the autopsy report was filed.   His new bride would be prettier and younger and more alive.  Which would be mortifying to me in the afterlife, as I tried to blend in with all the cool corpses.  But that was years ago, and I am much more secure now. I don't give a shit what those postmortems will think. Although the fact that he appears to be so accepting of my death is very troubling and is making me think that I've been too lax in paranoia relationship maintenance.

"I may be having a stroke," I told him. "I get those headaches and Oprah says that if I also start hiccuping, I should present myself to medical authorities. Since I assume I'll be busy having the stroke, you will have to do it for me."


"O.K. So what's our plan? Because we work in different places, so how will you know if I am stroking?"

"Stroking what?"

"Stroking. I'm pretty sure that's ER talk for having a stroke. Because they probably won't have the time to say, 'Marinka is having a stroke', they'll just say 'Stroking. Code blue!' to save time."

"Is this like the other time when you thought that you were having a heart attack?" he asks, and I suspect that he is considering laughing.

It's true in the summer of 2007, I was convinced that I was having a heart attack.

This flashback is brought to you by Enchanted Memories of a Hypochondriac:

"I'm dying!" I told Husbandrinka from the couch. "My chest hurts and I am convinced that I'm having a heart attack.  Boy, it sure is hot this summer of 2007."

"Should we go to the hospital?"

"I don't know. Maybe. Do you think that there will be a long wait?"

"It's Saturday night in Manhattan, you get your standard gun shot wounds, bar fights-" Suddenly he's Sipowitz.

"I don't really feel like waiting." I readjust myself on the couch. "Could you maybe call St. Vincent's and NYU to see who has the shorter wait? Or maybe ask them what time we could come in that won't be so crowded?"

"Are you insane? You don't call the emergency room to make a reservation. If you're having a heart attack, we should go now."

"Ok, ok. Burp. Oh. Hm, I seem to be feeling better.  Can you take the ice cream out so that it can soften?"

(By the way, the line of the night went to my father who was consulting with me over the phone and asked, "When the pain stopped, did you by any chance see the image of the Virgin Mary?" and when I said that I didn't, commented, "that's too bad. We could have made a fortune.")

But this whole thing got me thinking.  

I think that if you're going to break the news to someone that they are candidate number one for a stroke, you should do it in a way that won't give them a fucking stroke.  Like gently.  With some images of waves gently tossing a sea shell on the sandy beach in the background, instead of the opening scenes of Natural Born Killers.  And I really think that as the owner and queen of the magazine, Oprah could have done a better job of preparing me for this news.  She could have invited me over to her house, given me a few of her favorite things or a million and then, as we called Gayle to let her know that she's been replaced as Oprah's best friend, she could have whispered it in my ear. 

I hope that we both can learn from this experience.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

How I Survive Subway Rides

Ok, so I already terrorized you with my subway fears, so now I thought I'd make up with some subway joys.  The key to a wonderful subway experience in NYC is to make sure that my friend John is with you.  If you are visiting New York City, he is available to escort you on the subway for a small fee. Lest you think that he is an escort just because I used the word "escort", however, you are a completely depraved pervert.

Here are the Top Ten Ways That We Make Subway Rides Fun!

1.  Who Would You Have Sex With?

Look at the people sitting across from you.  Going left to right,  number them.  Now, who would you have sex with, death is not an option?  Luckily, at rush hour, the contestants will change at almost every stop, enhancing the fun!    It's amazing how often both John and I will opt for a woman.

2.  Spot the Al Queada Operative.

Needless to say, this game is fraught with anxiety, and requires participants to  become temporarily politically incorrect.  The good news is that John and I have coded this game to perfection and now when we spot someone suspicious, we ask each other, "do you have your CELL phone with you?"  We pause dramatically at the "CELL" for about three minutes and make meaningful eye contact with each other, to make sure that the MEANING is clear.

3.  We would rather be single forever rather than end up with THAT.

Spotting that special someone on the subway who proves to us that being alone forever is better than spending twenty seconds with THAT.  Usually reserved for metrosexuals, whose eyebrows are tweezed into a hypernatural freak show.  We have no doubt that we feature prominently in other people's version of this exercise.

4.  Spot the My balls are so big, I take up two seats guy.

I'm afraid that I have to take the credit for this one.  It's the man who sits with his legs spread so far apart that he literally takes up two seats.   It is very difficult not to say to this individual, "kindly readjust your testicles so that they fit on one seat".  

John and I had a priceless moment once when a passenger with an ass shaped and sized like two baby elephants glued together at the trunk tried to wriggle into a seat space that is best suited for Barbie's fetus.  And that's how John coined one of my favorite terms, "If the ass don't fit, don't sit."   He's a regular Johnny Cochran!

5.  Avert eyes from the head wound.

Once John and I were seated next to a man who had a hole on the side of his head.  A gaping hole.   This was alarming not only for obvious reasons, but also because through the powers of telepathy John and I were able to communicate to each other that his brains were about to spill out on us and it was making us nauseated.  What really helped our "telepathy" along was John making the "I'm throwing up in my mouth" gagging face at me and my saying "I am going to vomit, let's move subway cars" to him.

We have also had to avert our eyes from a man who had a scab on his finger that was certainly small pox infected and numerous incidents of facial unpleasantness.

6.  Comment On Insane Buttons.

One day we saw a woman whose entire coat was apparently sponsored by PETA.  She had approximately 10,007 buttons screaming that "meat is murder" and "you wouldn't wear a coat made out of infants!"  John couldn't help himself and made comments like, "If I ever become insane and wear buttons on my jacket, arrange to have me shot, ok?"  The great thing about making comments about insane people on the subway is that they usually assume that you're the insane one and leave you alone.

7.  Who Has Marionette Lines?

Marionette lines are the lines from your nose to your mouth.  With age they deepen and scream for Botox.  John and I like to inspect our fellow passengers for such lines and are always depressed because we have the most pronounced ones.  We may need to visit some nursing homes to feel better about ourselves.  Or perhaps the morgue.

8.  Preggo and Queer

So, I just called John because I couldn't remember any other games that we played on the subway and he reminded me of Preggo and Queer, which we used to play when I was pregnant (Preggo.  Get it?  If I have to explain Queer, I give up)  We were a crime fighting team, looking out for the safety of our fellow passengers.  "It was about your extra testosterone and my not having any," he reminded me.

"What the hell are you talking about?" I asked.  "I didn't have any testosterone."
"You were a very manly pregnant lady," John told me.

This is totally untrue, by the way.  But I have to use it because my list is too short without it. 

9. Glamour and Romance Can Be Yours

Whenever someone eats on the subway, this phrase comes to mind. John said it one time when someone wearing a large pair of bedazzled jeans was eating a very large bag of potato chips and licking her fingers. (Finger licking is one degree removed from cannibalism in my book, except less appetizing.) John took one look at her and said "yes, glamour and romance can be yours!"

10.  Who Gets Nauseated First From Motion Sickness

This is usually limited to the bus that we take sometimes, to avoid the fraught with danger subway.  John will show me something on his ipod, which is usually a Bewitched episode and I will tell him that I get carsick if I watch it.  He then accuses me of making it up to avoid watching the video  I will not stand for such an attack on my character.  I will have an Altoid to cut down on my nausea.  He will accuse me of buying the Wintergreen Altoids specifically to spite him and tell me that the smell makes him gag.  I will say, "Fuck you." and he will say, "you're a witch and a Russian whore."  For some reason, usually no one sits next to us.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

11 Years of Happiness

Yesterday Husbandrinka and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary.

I celebrated by getting a new zit on the side of my nose, which, incidentally, is my least favorite place to get a facial zit.  Then I continued the celebration by announcing that I wasn't feeling well and going to bed and he extended the merriment by saying, "didn't you do the exact same thing last weekend?"  This is what I've had to put up with for eleven years, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.

We went out to dinner.  And it was lovely.  Not as lovely as our tenth wedding anniversary, when we went to Quebec, but not every anniversary can be international.

I'm not going to wish him a Happy Anniversary on my blog, because he doesn't read it.  But between us, it has been an amazing eleven years.  That man deserves some kind of an award.  Disagreement with the last sentence is strongly encouraged.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

And Also, You Missed a Spot

A note from my daughter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Things I've Been Meaning To Tell You

Here are some important things that I've been meaning to tell you, none of which merits a post of their own.

1. My son has two loose teeth. I call them "Wigglies" and he calls them "Wigglers". I told him that I will never call them Wigglers because Wigglies is the proper scientific term. He is thisclose to buying it, so play along, ok?

2. My daughter made a list of baby names that she is considering for her children of the future. I hope that it doesn't violate any kid konfidentiality to tell you that "Donna" and "Pandora" are on the "DEFINITELY NOT!!!!" list. Also, for some reason she has approximately fifty girl names and six boy names selected, so I am assuming that she is planning on being her generation's Mrs. Duggar. Dabbling in eugenics.

3. I lovingly hinted to Husbandrinka that he should get a haircut and he said, "that's all that I have planned for the weekend!" Which sounds great, except it's our anniversary. He forgot! I just love when we're all American like that!

4. I am reading Are You There, Vodka? It's Me Chelsea! which is very, very funny and a quick read. I recommend it.

5. I have Raging PMS. Which means that I am available to itemize your personality flaws for you, completely free of charge.

6. If I get another email from the Obama campaign, I may have a nervous breakdown. I realize that the election is entirely in my hands, but calm down already.

7.  Oh, yeah, because some people asked.  This is the picture of the Ralph Lauren perfume bottle in the Saks window display.  They had four windows of this. I don't get it.

8. Two blogs that I love went offline this week. I'm trying not to take it personally.

9.   It's cold in NYC.  And you know what happens when it gets cold?  Random insane people that you meet in the elevator tell you that it's cold and "summer sure is over!"  They will continue saying this until the late spring, when they will commence with the "Sure is hot!  Winter's gone, definitely!"

10.  I have nothing interesting more to say!  I tried to upload a photo of a mushroom to avoid this confession, but Blogger was taking too long and I gave up.  So now I'm boring and impatient!  Get to  know me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Breakfast of Champions

If I ever have a nervous breakdown, it'll be because my daughter can't decide what to have for breakfast. Or because Gossip Girl doesn't tape on Tivo again. But I'm betting breakfast.

Every fucking morning we have this discussion.

"I don't know what I want. What do we have?"

"We have cereal, toast, eggs, waffles, yoghurt, banana and lasagna." (Of course we don't have lasagna for breakfast, but do you really think that if I culinarily exerted myself the night before I'm not going to mention it?)

"I don't know."

"What do you feel like having?"

"That's what I don't know."

(insert image of clock with the hour hand going by)

"I guess I'll have eggs."

"Great! I'll make them."

"No, I'll do it. Ok. I guess I need a pan?" (deafening noise as pan is removed from panitorium). "And a flipper. And some salt and butter. All set."


"Oh. Yes."

All of this takes approximately twenty hours. and by this time, my diet pill is wearing off.

I know that I should applaud that she is making her own breakfast. And I do. From my padded cell.

P.S. Ok, so my mother is the one who made the lasagna, and not me, but is that any reason that I can't take the credit for it? It's not like the invented penicillin or anything. Although if I'd made the lasagna, penicillin is not a bad thing to have on hand.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Werbose Wednesday

Sorry, I can't do the whole Wordless Wednesday thing. I'm just not that good of a photographer. But I thought that every week I would post photos of New York things that catch my eye and then write a million words about it. Hey, if you don't like it, get an injunction, the court are open!

Ok, do you see the weird thing about this truck? It's the "Driver does not carry cash" sign. Shouldn't it say "Driver does not carry baked goods" instead? Because who needs cash if you can have Entenmann's Walnut Ring? Disclaimer: I do not advocate hijacking Entenmann's trucks for cash or baked goods.

* * *

So Saks has decided to sabotage my plans to post a weekly photo of their window display by having the most sonarific display that I have ever seen. It's enormous bottles of Ralph Lauren perfume bottles.  If there is a huge demand, and a blog riot, I will post the picture, but otherwise, trust me:  yawn.  Not to be deterred, I went across the street and took this picture of the American Girl store display:

I just realized that it's sort of odd that American Girl is right down the block from Saks. Like, it's an easy transition for the girls to graduate from one store to another.


I thought the American Girl window display was interesting and I liked that they prominently featured books, until I thought OMG--does that say "twats"?

Oh. Tawts. What the hell is that? And shouldn't they be more careful about which page they display for all the world to see, with the impressionable minds out there?!

* * *

Finally, here is another image that I see almost every day, when I enter Fifth Avenue.

I bet you've seen this statute of Atlas in front of Rockefeller Center many times. But I like the back view and not just because he has an amazing ass, but because you can see St. Patrick's Cathedral in the background. I wonder if that was the first time that "ass" and "St. Patrick's Cathedral" were combined in the same sentence? On Monday, as I walked across the street from St. Patrick's, a man, dressed in a suit, rushing along, crossed himself, and blew a kiss in its direction. Although I am not a religious person, it was strangely moving to me. Someone, in the morning rush, taking the time to pay tribute to his faith. Good grief, I hope I'm not having a nervous breakdown and getting all sentimental.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Details Are Not Important. And the Devil is in Them.

This morning, Husbandrinka and I interrupted our state of marital bliss and had a fight. As most of our fights are, it was very stupid and he was completely in the wrong. The details are not important, what's important is that you back me up completely and be available to testify in my defense before a Grand Jury. Thank you.

OH, Ok! I'll fill you in, but wow, are you nosy!

Last week, I was blow drying my luxurious (and as far as I know, lice-free) hair in my bedroom. What? The lice? More on this later on the week, when I stop vomiting. Anyway, since we're in a recession and do not have a power strip, I had to unplug the lamp to plug in my hair dryer. And then when I unplugged my hair dryer, I didn't plug the lamp back in because I was busy solving the current economic crisis, or irrigating the Sahara or possibly I saw a shiny object. As I said, the details are irrelevant.

So, this morning, Husbandrinka goes to turn on the light, and apparently because the lamp is not plugged in, the light does not turn on. I point this out to him, in my best Joe the Plumber manner. And you know what he says? He says "you should plug it back in, since you're the one who unplugged it and it is your responsibility." Exhibit 1, ladies and gentlemen.

I know many girls dream of being brides. I dreamed of my husband giving me an opening by telling me that I'm not doing my job, so that I can point out all the things that he has not done. I am so excited that my moment has come, except now I am like Cindy Brady on that quiz show where she is hypnotized by the red light and just keeps staring at it, unable to speak. Except I don't have those pigtails that she had and I'm not lisping, nor am I wearing a miniskirt. I am also not a prepubescent fictional TV character, but perhaps you get where I am going with this.

This is my big moment and the only thing that I can think of is, "Well, when you take your dish in to the sink, you always leave it in the sink and it is your responsibility to put it in the dishwasher!"

And guess what he says? I'll give you a hint: it is the most infuriating thing that a man can ever say this side of "are you getting your period or something?". He says absolutely nothing, just goes along doing what he was doing. In the dark, but still.

So I resolve right then and there not to plug in that lamp, ever. EVER. I am enraged and engorged. With rage. As a matter of fact, I think I'll unplug every other lamp in our apartment and take the batteries out of the flashlight for good measure. But then I change my mind and plug it in, to prove that I am the rational one. And I call him to show him. See? I plugged it in! Yay, me.
He looks at me as though I were crazy and says, "Well, now you have something to blog about." Like I'd ever blog about that.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is This a Bad Time To Tell Him That We're Jewish?

Because this Christmas List thing isn't working for me in this economy. Yeah, I know that Christmas is about love and family and well, I suppose, Jesus, but are more Reformed than Orthodox, so it's pretty much a gift exchange for us. So, I'm the only Jewish one in our family, and even I am only one half Jewish (and the wrong half at that--my mama is a shiksa!), but if we are relying on stereotypes (it's easy and fun! you know that you want to! everyone's doing it!) this Jewish thing could be a real money saver! We could get rid of Christmas and celebrate Channukah, which, if memory serves, requires only a few wooden dreidels, some chocolate gelt and the promise of a nose job "when you're old enough".

The other thing about this list is that my son wrote it with a lime green Sharpie and I almost passed out from the fumes.

But it's not just about the economy. Or the stereotypes. It's about my struggling to strike a balance between the Christmas list and the reality that I want for my children. I want them to ask me for books. I want them to ask me for educational toys. I want them to ask me to donate toys in their names to underprivileged children. I want those things for them even though I never wanted those things for me.

Of course he is not going to get everything on the list, and he knows that. But the items that trouble me the most are the electronics--the XBox, the PSP and the Playstation. I'm not sure what they are and why kids need more than one system. I'm worried that I'm becoming a "back in my day" old fartinka. My son was the last of his friends to get a Wii this year. They all got it for Christmas, and he got it six months later, on his birthday, rather than Jesus'. I thought that I was proving a principle--you don't just get things because you want them for no reason, he thought that he was being punished--everyone else had one. And I'm not sure that I was in the right. I spent the months that he was Wii-less fervently scheduling playdates with Wii-enhanced kids. But perhaps that's the lesson that I will ultimately teach my children: if you don't have, learn to borrow. Because certainly that can't lead to any problems. I'm blaming the lime Sharpie fumes.


Since my very first subway ride in New York City, when I was 10 years old and I saw a blood stained seat (ok, so it may not have been my very first subway ride, but wouldn't it make for good blog if it had been?), I've had a complicated relationship with the NYC subway system. I am both scared of it and in awe of it. After 9/11, I was terrified to take the subway. Of course, I was also terrified to take the subway before 9/11, so this introductory paragraph already sucks.

I always had a touch of claustraphobia which would spring into action as soon as a train stalled between stations. "We apologize for the inconvenience," a recording would narrate my panic. "We are experiencing a delay. We will be moving shortly." This would repeat in a loop as I gathered witnesses within the subway car to sign off on my last will and testament. I, Marinka, hereby leave the Altoids in my purse to that bitch who has a seat across from me and can't stop doing the fucking word searches and look up and make eye contact with me to acknowledge that Holy fuck! we're stuck in this death trap. I hope that one of the Altoids gets lodged in her throat.

Once, in the mid-1990s, I got stuck on the train and started going into full-panic mode. "I'm really sorry," I told the woman stuck next to me, "but I am very panicked and I think that it would help me to talk to you."

"Ok," my co-stuckee said, "I am really scared, too." Which was a fine how-do-you-do, because I prefer to be the panicked one in the relationship. And I believe that by announcing my terror first, I had dibs on it.

"Why are you scared?" I asked. Turns out that she was afraid that after being on a stalled train for a while, they would force us to walk off it on the tracks and we'd all get electrocuted, especially her. Isn't that ridiculous? I don't understand why they let these nuts ride on the subway unattended.

"That makes no sense," I reassured her. "I've never ever heard of that happening anywhere. Your fear is dumb."
"Oh yeah?" she challenged me, somewhat offended, despite my reassurance. "Well, what are you afraid of."
"My fear is much more grave," I sighed. I was afraid that we would be stuck there forever, you see. That the rest of the world would forget about our train and we would be there, abandoned, and turning into fossils, curiosities for someone to find centuries from now, remnants of "Lost New York."
The track walking lady looked at me like I was the crazy one.
"How would that happen? All the other trains going downtown use these tracks, I think they'd notice if something was blocking their way."

If there is anything that I can't stand, it's people who don't respect other people's phobias. It could happen! All of Manhattan could suddenly decide to stay put and not use the subway for the next century. People are real homebodies!

Just as I was about to school her on the ways of tolerance, the train started to move. We were free! We were safe! Sorry, achealogists of the future!

It took me weeks after 9/11 to get on the subway. It would have been longer, but the bus that I took instead of the subway took forfuckingever and besides, I got motion sick if I read on the bus. Whereas, I could read on the subway. Sure, I was risking certain death, but I am proud to say that I am more lazy than cautious. It didn't help that everyone from politicians to psychics picked the subway system as a likely place of the next attack. Good thing I'm not the type to panic easily. One day John and I were going home from work on the subway and the train stalled and there was an inaudible announcement. "What are they saying?" I asked him, panicked. "Oh," he said, "something about 'due to terrorist activity at the next station, we are being delayed here.'" I still remember how hard I laughed and how amazing it felt to laugh at my fear, not because it was funny, necessarily, or unwarranted, but because sometimes it's easier to laugh, even when scared. And certainly more entertaining.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week in Review

Weekend: We are upstate New York, telling each other how beautiful the leaves are and how fresh the air is. I am also casually mentioning how slow the dial up internet connection is and maybe we should return to NYC and high speed internet sooner rather than later.

Monday: We are back in NYC! But oh NO! My daughter needs a Halloween costume because she is going to a Halloween party next weekend. She wants to be a devil. I say something like, "great! That'll save us money on the costume!" but she doesn't seem to have my sense of humor. We are unable to buy a devil costume because the costume place in our neighborhood only sells Devil-Whore costumes, made by a company called "Fourplay".

Tuesday: I settle in to watch a recorded episode of Gossip Girl only to learn that my TiVo failed me. Am in midst of spiritual crisis.

Wednesday: My book group is rescheduled until the following Wednesday because of the debate. This is good news for me because I didn't finish the book. I am stepping up efforts to have an extra debate scheduled next Wednesday.

Thursday: While walking on Park Avenue, I see not one but two stores with cars in the window. Are they fucking with me? The world is my vagina.

Friday: I have a sore throat. I am planning on milking it all weekend, and send a warning email to Husbandrinka. Instead of dropping everything and rushing over to rescue me from the clutches of work to ensure that I get rest and care, he emails back a "Take some Tylenol." Doesn't it sound like something Claus von Bulow would say?


Friday, October 17, 2008

Dear Diary, I Think My Mom is Reading This

So, I'm taking the Blogosphere's temperature. Please bend over.

Here is my question: How do we feel about reading our children's diaries? (Once they are stupid enough to keep them, I mean.) I know some of you have children who don't keep diaries yet, because they're illiterate. Oh, I'm sorry, I guess "young" is the politically correct term these days. So, your children are too "young" to keep a diary, but let's say they become unyoung later. Read their diaries or not?

I was faced with this dilemma recently and I made a mental pro/con list:


I am curious.

I may learn something important! I mean, maybe she saw Bin Laden in the park and is afraid to tell someone, I could read about it, report it and be an American hero!

It's a parents' responsibility to know what goes on in their kids' lives and Husbandrinka seems to be abdicating this responsibility by calling it "snooping".

I am really curious.


Encourages distrust.

Violates privacy.

Like she'd recognize Bin Laden. Especially if he wasn't wearing a Hannah Montana wig.

I'd be annoyed if my parents read my diary.

So, the way I balance this out my curiosity totally trumps everything else, right? I called mama to get her input and she said, "only parents who don't snoop are lazy the parents." Which was somewhat reassuring, but I'm not sure it's in line with Modern Parenting Principles.

Please tell me what you think.

Would you read your kid's diary?

And purely hypothetically, assuming that you would, would you write a blog post about it, complete with annotations?

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

I Call it Maize

Over Columbus Day weekend, the kids, Husbandrinka and I went to a corn maze in the Catskills. I was fairly certain that I would never come out of it alive, and yet, here I am. I did my favorite corn maze joke where I walked past a corn stalk and wrapped part of it around my neck to make it look like it was attacking me and pulling me into its depths. The kids asked, “What are you doing?” and Husbandrinka didn’t say anything, as though I were a crazy person who does shit like that all the time. Whereas I do it only when I’m in the corn maze. I certainly never do that in the produce section of Whole Foods. At least not if it’s really crowded.

And speaking of crazy people, I started to think about what if someone in the corn maze was insane and was about to kill us all, especially me. Incidentally, this is not a great thing to think about when you’re in a corn maze because I guarantee you, the second that you think of it, you will see that one of your co-mazers does indeed look homicidal. (By the way, since I’m lecturing on things that you should not think about, let me add “the possibility of a power outage while getting an MRI”. That’s another post, but please trust me on this.) So I tried to make eye contact with Husbandrinka to relay to him that we were in grave danger, but it was difficult, mostly because he doesn’t have eyes on his back as he was walking ahead of me. I do think I turned around to look at the insane murderer one too many times because he started looking at me pretty intensely. The only thing that could have made it better is if he had been carrying a McCain sign.
“Do you know where you’re going?” he asked me finally.
“As a matter of fact, I do,” I said, walking straight into a dead end. I did not want to appear vulnerable in any way.
“Great,” he said, “I’ll follow you, because I’m getting claustrophobic and I’d like to get out of here.”

Just my luck to find a murderer with a phobia. And besides, claustrophobia is my signature phobia, and I didn’t even realize that I could be enjoying it in corn hell, because I was too worried about being, you know, killed. But fortunately, the claustrophobia got the better of him and he never got around to killing me. Although after following me around to every dead end of the maze, he did appear anxious to never see me again. “Why did you say that you knew where you were going?” he asked, mid-hyperventilation. There was no good way to answer that question. “Well Columbus didn’t know where he was going, either, and looked what happened,” I explained. He did not seem reassured.

After we all made it out of the maze, I asked my kids if they had been scared. “Why would I be scared?” my daughter asked. “What’s so scary about corn?” my son asked. Oh, excuse me, your Mental Health majesties.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Vagina, My Saks Fifth Avenue Window

Every woman who has ever been on the verge of giving birth has wondered, "how will a human being pass through my vagina?" And so this week I looked at the Saks Fifth Avenue window display and wondered, "how did they get that Mercedes in there?"

No one understands how it happens, but yet, there it is. Because a Mercedes getting into the Saks window is a beautiful miracle. With state of the art engineering. Like a vagina.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Babies are Awesome, You're Awesomer

So a bunch of us (Anymommy, Psychmommy,Instamom, Kate, Issa, For A Different Kind of Girl, and Eat Play Love) decided to throw Imommy a virtual baby shower yesterday, except apparently I was the type of guest who shows up empty handed and just sits in the corner and eats the cake and glugs the champagne and then asks, in a drunken stupor, "so, who's having the baby?" Or maybe I'm just fashionable late?

Sorry about that, but I am here now, with pearls of wisdom, which is not to be mistaken for a pearl necklace, you perverts.

Babies are awesome. Motherhood is great. Life is beautiful. I felt like utter and complete shit after I had my babies. And what I needed someone to tell me is "it will get better. The way that you feel now is not the way that you will always feel."

Not everyone feels like that, and my greatest wish for an expecting mother is that she not feel like that. But in case she does, I hope that she asks for help. Because help is there and it is important and we don't have to suffer.

But I also have some practical advice! Be that selfish girl who sits in the corner and eats cake. The one who doesn't care if her guests are comfortable, if they have enough to drink, if everyone's been introduced properly. Having a newborn means that we can let the social formalities slide. At least for a decade or so.

Don't send "thank you" cards when an email will do. Or a phone call. Or a telepathic message. Don't say, "nothing, really" when people ask what they can do to help. Have them hold the baby. Have them bring some caviar. Have them wash the dishes.

It's not that I'm advocating being rude. I am advocating putting yourself first. Yes, even with the baby in your arms. You come first. You have to.

Now, get me some more champagne.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not Alice's Restaurant

Approximately twelve years ago, Husbandrinka and I almost got a divorce. I am convinced that the only thing that stood in our way was the fact that we were not yet married. We are traditional like that—we believe that there is a natural order to things and we have enough restraint not to get a divorce until we are legally wed. We are people of faith and have strong family values.

Specifically, the period of our discontent came when we were choosing our wedding song. Coincidentally around this period, I started thinking that it would be best if we were “just friends”. Preferably ones who lived on different continents and exchanged mis-addressed holiday cards. For our wedding song, I wanted something along the lines of the Osmonds’ “I’m a Little Bit Country, I’m a little bit rock-n-roll”, but the version where Donny takes the country route and Marie does rock and roll. NearlyExFianceinka immediately refused, with a “it’s a wedding, not a freak show” slam. Then he said that he would not agree to anything Tom Petty because he couldn’t stand him nor anything Celine Dion or any other wailer. I don’t remember what he did in fact want, but for arguments’ sake, let’s say that it was “Alice’s Restaurant.”

I just mentioned this post and “Alice’s Restaurant” to Husbandrinka and he called it “pure fabrication” on my part. I suggested that he use his blog to rebut my version. He said that if he were to rebut all my versions, he would need to quit his job and I told him to leave the humor to me. Then he repeated “humor” and put air quotes around the word and then I had to explain that I was using “Alice’s Restaurant” not literally but as an example to plant a hint about his sanity without actually making a libelous allegation. He pretended to be really focused on something that he was reading.

Anyway, we finally agreed on a song, but it was a torturous process, made particularly difficult because it came on the heels of my coronary crisis. The coronary crisis consisted of my having sharp chest pains every time I went to my wedding dress fitting and included chest xrays, EKGs and my researching potential heart donors for an immediate transplant. You guys are lucky that I wasn’t blogging back then, because instead of that Poll over there asking what blog topic would you like me to focus on, I’d have a poll up asking for your blood type and how you felt about lifesaving heroism. The fact that there appeared to be nothing wrong with my heart according to the “doctors” did not deter me, because I fully believe that I know my body better than any medical professional and I was fairly certain that I was having a heart attack, or maybe a stroke, whichever one of those comes solely at dress fittings. It was not until my therapist suggested to me that we explore the possibility of an anxiety attack brought on by making a lifelong commitment to a man while I was so young and the possibility that it was, like all marriages, a huge mistake, that I started to breathe easier. My pre-husband, on the other hand, became mildly outraged. “A mistake?” he said. “And so young? You’re thirty. I’m rescuing you from spinsterhood!” Aren’t you glad that he doesn’t have his own blog? And that you trust my version of events completely?

As I often tell Husbandrinka, next time I get married, I’m eloping. And you know what he had the nerve to say to me? “Me too.” Can you believe it? What kind of man talks to his wife like that?!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Emotional Pajamas

I accidentally published a draft of this post last week, for about thirty seconds. But apparently, it registered in people's readers and they were forced to read it. Sorry! Perhaps you assumed that I was out of my mind. I hope that the complete version of the post removes all doubt.

Before my dog died, we had to walk her. Now that she's dead, not so much.

But she was my dog, I brought her to the marriage, so it was technically my responsibility. But me being me, I quickly tried to get around that technicality.

Fortunately, I got pregnant almost as soon as the ring was on my finger, so I had that to milk for a while. Then, I was saddled with the joys of motherhood.

We worked out a routine--I took the dog out in the mornings and as soon as I got home from work. One of us would take her out before we went to bed.

This, to me, was unfair.

Every day, I had to walk her a minimum of two times, sometimes three.

Husbandrinka only had to walk her once a day at the most.

It's like he wanted me barefoot and pregnant and not allowed to vote or something. I could not live in that kind of mysoginistic state.

So, I devised a plan.

My plan consisted of being ready for bed before Husandrinka even considered going to sleep so that he'd be forced to walk the dog.

Often, by the time he got home at 7:30, I was already in my pajamas. "I'd love to walk the dog," I'd tell him, adjusting my night cap, "but I am already dressed for bed."

"Why are you in your pajamas before 8?" He would ask, with an inappropriate and mildly offensive tinge of suspicion in his voice.

"I like to be prepared," I'd say, fluffing up my favorite sleep toy. "See you in the morning!"

This worked for a while, but my plan wasn't full-proof. Mostly because sometimes there were things that I wanted to do after I got home, that required me to be dressed in clothes that were not pajamas. Like taking out the garbage. Or going to the store for emergency Haagen Dasz. Or modeling an outfit in front of a full length mirror and giving mock interviews about how offended I was that just because I was a supermodel, people assumed that I was dumb.

And that's how "emotional pajamas" came into play.

Because I would come home and telephone Husbandrinka.

"I'm home already," I'd announce. "In my emotional pajamas."

"What the hell are emotional pajamas?" he'd blasphemy.

"I am not literally in pajamas, but emotionally, I am." I explained. And he understood. And shockingly he respected the emotional pajamas. Because who can argue against it, really? To do so, would be to call me lazy, and I think we all know that that wouldn't end well.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Have a Happy Weekend!

When my son was three, I got a call from the school asking Husbandrinka and me to come in for a meeting about him. I wanted to know what about him. They said that they would explain once we had the meeting. I said that I needed more information, and they finally told me: They were concerned about the way his body was in space.


I wasn't familiar with terms like that, so I asked if he'd been levitating because I can see how that could be alarming to people who are especially fond of gravity.

Turns out there was some concern that our son had sensory issues.

Ten million specialists later, it turned out that he didn't have sensory issues, but he was, you know, a three year old boy.

But he always had drawing issues.

All his figures are stick. All his drawings were of the "Hmm, why don't tell mommy what you see here, pumpkin!" variety.

I was totally ok with it, because, what, Van Gogh had such a happy life?

But recently he started drawing things that I love. (Ok, so I loved the stick figures too, even though they reminded me of bathroom signs).

And I display them with pride.

Super blog shout out to the first person who identifies that creature correctly, by the way.

Have a great weekend!
See you Monday.


Blog Pulitzers

I'm pretty sure that I've told this story before, but I'm not certain whether it was here or in someone's comments or in my dreams or something, so here it goes.

When I was a miniMarinka, I was on a swim team in the Soviet Union, destined for greatness. I mean, my parents and I lived in Leningrad back then, I wasn't commuting to Russia to compete in swimming and thaw the Cold War or anything.

But I was also supernervous, so the first day that we had practice, I went to the locker room to get changed and then I came out and asked my coach about where I should go next.

"To the right." he said. "But why don't you put on your bathing suit first?"




Is it any wonder that my parents and I fled the country and immigrated a few short years later?

So, now that you know the big horror story of my childhood, I can ask this question, which may seem slightly less humiliating in comparison, especially if you consider the fact that I am now fully clothed, in multiple layers:

When you are an award-winning blogger, such as I am, how do you install those awards on your blog?

Because I am worried that people who bestowed them on me will think that I'm an unappreciative bitch, whereas in reality, I am merely a techologically-impaired shrew.

And finally, but not leastally, I have been tagged for My First Ever Meme by WFBdoglover! It's for six odd things about me. Thanks WBF!

Here I go:

1. If I really love a book, I won't finish it. I hate knowing that it'll be over after the last page, so I keep a few pages "on reserve" forever.

2. I can't stand "romantic comedies" because I know how they will end.

3. I've been watching General Hospital for over thirty years (on and off). I fast forward it a lot.

4. When I get a telemarketing call, I speak to them in tick Ruzian axcent.

5. When I was pregnant, my friend John and I developed a treatment for a detective TV show, called "Preggo and Queer". When I say "developed a treatment", I mean, "came up with the title" and "repeated it to each other, while laughing hysterically."

6. When we went on our honeymoon, the two books I packed were Drinking: A Love Story and Kitty Kelley's The Royals. By the way, "our honeymoon" refers to my honeymoon with Husbandrinka, not with John. I can see how it looks confusing the way that I wrote it.

Ok! Now it's time for me to tag people. Oh my god, I forgot how many, I'm supposed to tag. Be right back! Ok, I'm supposed to tag six people. The rules are if you're tagged, post six random/weird things about yourself on your blog and tag six people. And leave them a comment on their blog letting them know that you've tagged them. And pay my mortgage.

Here are the tagees KLS, I Left My Heart at Preschool, Jess, Maura, Kylie and Madness of Me!

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wordless Wednesday. Now on Thursday. And with Words.

So, if I were you, Readerinka, I would be feeling royally ripped off just about now. Because I have the whole "NYC" thing as part of my blog and from the posts that I've been writing, I could be living absolutely anywhere. As long as it was well-padded, that is.

Is that fair to you? Don't you deserve more?

It's my fault. If I'd been carrying my camera around last week, I would have captured these "only in New York" moments and you would have seen photos of a man wearing an American-flag g-string and nothing else biking downtown. You would have seen the enormous vat of cranberries outside of the Today Show studios. You would have seen the look on Husbandrinka's face when I said, "hey, wouldn't it be fun if I quit my job to blog full-time?" But, alas, you missed all that, and you have no one but me to blame for it. I hope that you can live with myself.

But now, I'm turning over a new leaf.

Every day, I walk past Saks Fifth Avenue, which is like so deluxe, they practically don't let me in.

I have a rocky relationship with the store. It's the place where my mother took me to buy my very first bra and the sales lady visually violated me and said, "come back in a few years." Seriously, that's the kind of bitch that I can sort of admire. Works on commission, but is willing to forego it to get a snark in. So, you can see why the store holds a special place in my heart, right behind my breasts. Saks is the only store where not once, but twice, I got stuck in the changing room and the sales lady had to liberate me with the special key. Fortunately, their dressing rooms are roughly the size of my apartment, so I was pretty comfortable. Is this a bad place to mention that one of the times that I was stuck, I was stuck inside a dress that I couldn't move past my Eli Manning-like shoulders? Because I'm pretty sure that the sales lady that walked in on the sight is still in recovery.

But the biggest joy I get from Saks is walking past their windows. Around Christmas, they are spectacular, and have snow flakes that light up and there is a velvet rope and people line up to look at the windows and even videotape the scenes. I like the Saks windows on all other days, though. Because they are outrageous.

Like in August, they had this:

Can you tell that the ruby slippers actually protrude from the window? Fancy, right?

And in early September they had this:

Now I don't know a lot about men's fashion, but I am certain that this is what they're wearing in all the finest insane asylums. And don't miss the "WANT IT" written across the window. I believe that's called subliminal advertisement.

This week, they had the Dior display above. I thought it was so lovely, it looked like Catherine Deneuve from Belle de Jour is modeling in the window. Except I think she's a whore in that movie. Which may be the ultimate in window shopping.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birth Story

A few months ago, my best blog friend Stacey posted her son's birth story and asked her readers for theirs. Birth stories, not children. I think.

I'm still not ready to post mine (I hope that the blog world can live with this devastating news), but there are two things that I will never forget about the birth of my daughter. Well, three, if you count the whole miracle of birth, getting to hold my daughter in my arms for the first time thing. But besides that, two. And I will share them with you for free right now and may they serve as a guide forever, amen.

ONE: When you have a c-section, and are lying there and feel all sorts of tugging and pulling, one thing you don't want to hear is "ok, now let's put everything back in her," from the mechanic, I mean, the doctor. Because shouldn't they teach them that their patients can hear them in, you know, medical school? And it sort of grosses the patient out to think of her internals being on the little night table there.

SECOND: When your mother comes to the hospital and tries to entice you to do the nurse-mandated post-C-section walking by saying, "hey, why don't you walk over to the scales to weigh yourself, I bet you lost tons of weight since you had the baby!" and you waddle over to the scale and realize that you weigh five pounds more than you did before you delivered the baby, it really would behoove everyone within screaming distance to say, "the scale must be broken" as opposed to the apparently popular, "I hope they didn't leave any metal instruments in your uterus!"

Thank you.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Turnip Point

Nothing makes me happier than making beef stew on an autumn day. Well, except having someone else make it, of course. Or ordering a pizza to be delivered. Or heating up leftovers. But other than that, really, beef stew is it. So a few Saturdays ago when I woke up and announced that it was going to be a beef stew day to my husband, I was not prepared for his response.

"Make sure to put turnips in," he said. And then went back to sleep.

Now, I don't know what it says about a man who can practically sleep through an earth shattering announcement of beef stew preparation. And I'm afraid to know what it says about a woman who was unprepared for the turnip request, since my husband's turniphilia is well known. He practically worked in the devotion to turnips into our vows. "I, Husbandrinka, promise to love and honor you above all others, with the exception of turnips, so long as we both shall live. With turnips."

The problem is that I don't love turnips. And more than not love them, I despise them with an intensity that most people reserve for tyrants and despots and Paris Hilton. The taste gags me and their similarity to my favorite potatoes enrages me. How many times have I bitten with anticipation into what I suspected was a beloved potato only to discover that it was a turnip? Well, maybe only once, but it wasn't pretty.

Every time I make beef stew, we have the turnip vs. potato debate. It never ends well.

"I can't take it anymore!" I sobbed on the phone to my friend John. Yes, of the clitoris fame. Suddenly, he became a marriage counselor. "Just put in both potatoes and turnips, but cut them in different shapes," he suggested.

Great. Now I had to cook and become a geometry expert.

"What different shapes? Like crucifix turnips for him and Star of David potatoes for me?" I blew my nose.

"I was thinking more circles and squares, but that could work too," John said. "Weren't your ancestors turnip pickers in the Old Country? You should be more respectful of your heritage."

So, I was going to do it. I was going to make stupid circles of disgusting turnips and beautiful squares of scrumptious potatoes, but then it seemed like too much work, so I chopped everything and threw it in.

And had a slice of leftover pizza for dinner.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't You Hate It When

You take your son to Pennsylvania to visit his friend that moved away, and while you're away, your husband and daughter are at home, sleeping in late, dining out, going to soccer practice, making bacon and eggs for breakfast and as you're sitting on the train ride back home, you know, based on previous experience and common sense, that the sink will be filled with dishes, the trash can will be overflowing and that the kitchen will qualify for federal disaster aid. And you can't help but mentally compose an award-winning blog post about how unfair it is that it is the 21st century and we have a female vice presidential nominee, and yet it is always the mother who is expected to clean the kitchen, even if she was away for the whole fucking weekend, listening to Pokemon chatter and driving past McCain lawn signs and demonstrated tremendous reserve in not vandalizing either the Pokemon or the signs, and realizing that she'd rather have Picachu than McCain running the country, and then as you mentally hit "publish post", you walk into your apartment and see that your husband cleaned the entire kitchen and did all the dishes and totally ruined your fabulous idea for a blog post and now doesn't understand why you're giving him a hairy eyeball and are generally seething. MEN.

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Excuse Me

but I was just on a train with two seven year old boys, who played Pokemon for an hour and a half and whenever they called the same Pokemon at the same time, they'd scream, "JINX!" and then one kid would say, "The Jinx machine is out of order, kiss my butt and give me a quarter!" and my son would say, "I'm sorry, that's a lie. I did not kiss your butt, the quarter is not yours, it belongs to I!" And then my friend (and a mom of one of the 7 year old's) asked, "Who is Jesus?" and one kid said, "Sort of like a God" and the other one said, "A really nice guy. On a post."

Oy to the vey.


Friday, October 3, 2008

Highlights of the Week

Saturday: Husbandrinka takes our son Halloween costume shopping. Son decides he wants to be The Incredible Hulk. At home, the costume is tried on, the receipt is lost and son has Halloween Costume Remorse.

Sunday: Husbandrinka returns from the farmers' market with so many tomatoes that I worry that he cashed out our 401K plans and put it all in tomatoes. I try to impress everyone with my bit of tomato trivia--"it's a fruit!" My daughter asks, "are you going to tell us that every time we have tomatoes?" Ego bruised.

Monday: I get an email from someone who read my blog asking me to appear on a documentary about Beta Moms. Beta Moms, apparently, are moms who have made "the intelligent choice" not to be obsessed with the cleanliness of their homes, their kids' clothing matching and anything that doesn't involve a gin and tonic. I mention this to my friend John who suggests that I am not Beta Mom, I'm Omega Mom.

Tuesday: I am supposed to meet bloggers Meghan and Z for drinks! I have pre-meeting anxiety! What if they don't show up? What if they are insane? What if I am insane? They show up and they're not insane and we have a great time until I realize that they were probably the pretty, popular girls in high school and would have ignored me. The nerve! But they are so nice! Maybe they would have befriended me? Yes, I think they would have! Great, now they're pretty and nice. I may never forgive them.

Wednesday: I have dinner with some of my friends, who are moms from my kids' school, to celebrate two of their birthdays. We have many margaritas. I pay for my portion and when I get home, I realize that even though my receipt says $100, the online statement shows that I was charged $350. Many unpleasant phone calls follow. I vow never to eat again. The manager asks me to call back tomorrow, because maybe the charges on my online statement will reconsider and leave or something and maybe he's hoping to be struck by lightning to avoid talking to me ever again.

Thursday: I call the manager of the restaurant to report that the wrong charges are still on my statement and he says, "call me tomorrow, I am feeling nervous today." Huh. I call the credit card company and cancel the charges. I am a master of international finance.

Friday: My daughter's violin playing cannot be described in words. I tell her that if she doesn't want to practice, no one has to know! It'll be our little secret! She tells me that she loves the violin, and intensifies the screeching. I change strategy and tell her that she should practice more, because she's getting really good. She says, "Ok, I will!" My plan backfires. As do my ears. The violin surge continues.


Things That I've Wished That I Could Have Payarized People To Have Did For Me

hey, ever get into a grammatically awkward title and don't have the energy to fix it? I, too!

Here's my list of ten things that I wish other people would do in my place.

1. Pee. Before you start polishing up your resume, I should explain. This applies post-childbirth only. After I had my c-section and settled in comfortably with a morphine IV (seriously, could they call it something less dramatic than morphine? Because that conjures up images of war wounds and I tend to pass out when a hangnail goes chronic) and innocently asked the nurse, "hey, where's the bedpan? And does it come in blue, because that would match both my eyes and my veins and I will also see if the pee will turn it green, I'm sort of a color scientist, if you will" and the nurse said, "no, you need to get up to use the bathroom. It's good for you to walk." And I said, "can I have a sane nurse, please? I'll wait right here." And she said, "After surgery, you need to move." And I said, "security please." And she said something that wasn't necessarily in English but from her head shaking, I inferred that she agreed with me and greatly admired my wisdom. If I had someone to pee for me, problem solved!

2. Overhear other people's cell phone conversations: I'm sure somewhere out there is a soul having a very profound conversation on her cell phone, but apparently she has gone to great length to insure that she is not within my earshot.

3. Listen to jazz. I hope that I don't have to explain this one.

4. Listen to people discuss the pros and cons of taking a certain route somewhere, accounting for traffic possibilities, weather and planetary alignment. Maybe it's because I don't drive, or maybe it's because I'm not out of my freaking mind, but I cannot stand it when people start debating the merits of the Long Island Expressway versus the New York State Thruway. And yes, I know that these two highways go in completely different directions, but since I tend to slip into a mild coma as soon as I suspect that traffic is the topic, I cannot come up with a better example. Sorry.

5. Talk to that automated voice on customer service helplines. If I am ever led away in a straight jacket, don't worry! It's just because I was trying to fix my cable connection with one of those automated help lines, where "help" is obvious code for "torture". For some reason, my screaming, "Fuck you, I want a real person!" always gets the calm response of "you have a billing inquiry, is that right?"

6. Look at the illiterate cat website. Every once in a while, someone, for no reason that they are able to articulate, will link to the website that has "cute" cats with something illiterate written as the caption. Something like "I canz imbecilzzz" Do you know this website? Because I'm sorry, I am not linking to it. It's horrific. Apparently, it's written in a semi-literate way because that's how cats "talk". There are many things that are wrong with this, not the least of which is that it gives me seizures.

7. Speaking of seizures, editing Jane Seymour out of all TV and print media. The actress, not Henry the VIII's wife. Although was never a huge fan of Mrs. the Eighth's, either. By the way, isn't it weird that there are two actresses with the same names as Henry VIII's wives? That guy was really ahead of his time! (Isn't this blog educational? You could almost home school your kids with it!)
I can't put my finger on why Jane Seymour elicits such a strong reaction from me, but I think it started when she did that commercial for a perfume in the 80s, where she looked at the camera and said in a whorusky voice, "some people say romance is back in style. I say it never went out."
Ok, does that make sense? Who the hell are these people who thought, "hey, great news! Romance is back in style!" I realize that she probably didn't write herself, but what am I supposed to do--hate anonymous ad people who are now probably writing for the illiterate cat website? What kind of sicko do you think I am?

8. Man fur avoider. Have you ever seen a man in a full length fur coat? If not, please go look and then once you've recovered the power of speech, get back to me with any questions. My man fur spotting assistant would avert my eyes from the offender.

9. Greeting negotiator to explain to people that I meet for the first time that I don't like to kiss, hug or have unsafe sex . Eye contact is ok, unless someone is wearing Hello Kitty contact lenses, and in that case, avert your eyes please. Also, if someone has a limp handshake, just wave to me, ok? On the other hand, too firm a handshake can be ouchy and obnoxious. Certainly the greeter will have a fine line to walk, but fortunately my greeting negotiator will be available to train and oversee.

10. Pee, part deux Ok, I know that I said that this applies to post-childbirth only, but I just remembered that sometimes I'll wake up in the middle of the night and I have to pee, but I'm also too tired to get up and pee. And sometimes, I'll poke Husbandrinka and ask him to go pee for me and for some strange reason he won't. So clearly someone else will have to do it for me.

I think I'll need to hire someone to find an intern for me to do all this stuff for free. Because I'm not sure how people expect me to pay for all this stuff.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Humorless Post

Yesterday was a hard day for me. Not because anything happened, but because the enormity of being a parent sometimes catches up with me and it's overwhelming. I had a meeting about one of my children and although it went well, I started crying on the subway on my way to work.

Here's what I've seen people do on the subway: various sex acts, threats, maniacal ravings, desperate pleas, eating what appears to be a four course meal, and doing word searches with the intensity that most people devote to nuclear power talks.

Everyone who rides the subway in NYC knows to avoid eye contact at all costs, so when I put my sunglasses on and sobbed silently, I was shocked to look across the subway car and see a man smile at me sympathetically and mouth "are you ok?" At least I think that's what he mouthed, it could have been, "are you gay?" because he wanted to introduce me to his lesbian sister or something.

But it made me feel better. Although not as better as I would have felt if he had been George Clooney. Why, why can't George Clooney ride the subway like a normal person and comfort me when I'm feeling weepy?

But I am ok, so please do not worry about me. Unless "worrying about me" involves gifts. In which case, I recommend full-fledged panic.

I think the reason that I wanted to write this was that I often write about my life in a lighthearted way, because that's what is appealing to me, but I wanted to let people know that it's not all fun and games around here, either. I know one way to convey that is to write something profound about the meaning of life, and the ennui that we all feel at times, but who the hell has the energy to look up "ennui"?


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scene from a Marriage

Marinka: Am I your trophy wife?

Husbandrinka: No.

Marinka: Why not?

Husbandrinka: Because you are my real wife, my partner and the mother of my children. You are not someone that I married to impress anyone because I am old and am having a midlife crisis.

Linda Hunt: In other words, you think it would be best for me to cover my face when out in public so as not to "not impress" anyone, right.

Dick Cheney: Yes.

Mother Theresa: I can't believe the way that you talk to me.

Voldermont: Sorry.

Sarah Palin: Well, maybe I am part of a culture where a "sorry" is perhaps not the verbiage that will comfort me right now.

John McCain: You know I'm a POW, right?

Marinka: Do you think that the people who read this blog will know that this is not an exact transcript?

Husbandrinka: You mean the people who are "completely on your side" and bemoan my "many personality flaws?" Doubt it.

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