Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome to Remedial Blog School

I've been blogging for over a year, which means that I am totally a blog expert with tons of blog wisdom to share.

So, if you're a new blogger, or a pre-blogger, considering carving a place on the internet for yourself, you're in luck! You know, because of the whole wisdom-sharing that I will be doing.

Although like the best teachers, I will sort of be winging this as I go along, I did want to give a brief overview in the EZ 2 Read Q&A 4mat.

Q: When and where will Remedial Blog School meet?
A: Every Tuesday, right here. Please show up bright eyed and bushy tailed, like a rabid squirrel.

Q: I am looking for excellent guidance on topics such as such as blog etiquette, the use of social media or the mysteries of StumbleUpon. Will Remedial Blog School help me?

A: Yes and no. Yes, because I will direct you to Jennifer of Playgroups are No Place for Children. Her 14-part series Blog Tips may be the most valuable lessons that I've learned about blogging. I still have the Blog Tips page bookmarked on my computer and review it periodically. If you are considering starting a blog or are relatively new to blogging--check it out. You can thank me later. No because I will be providing more of the do's and don'ts of blogging, based on my personal experience. And a lot of the technical "how-to" questions will be answered by "hire someone to do it for you." (Don't worry, I'll have suggestions of who!)

Q: Didn't someone already write a sort of "Blogging for Dummies" post?

A: Well, Aunt Becky wrote Blogging for Dummies post, (like TWO WEEKS AGO, so it's totally stale) which is great if you're one of those weirdos who likes humor and information mixed together in one pithy post. But if you like several posts that drone on forever with their own self-importance over a series of months, then make yourself at home! Because Remedial Blog School is in session!

Q: What if I have a question that I would like addressed in a future Remedial Blog School post?

A: No problem! Just email your question to me at MarinkaNYC@Gmail.com and I will try to answer it in a future Remedial Blog School post. Please put "Remedial Blog School" in the subject line of your email.

Q: You keep saying "Remedial Blog School". It's really annoying.
A: Sorry.

Q: Will you stop saying it then?
A: No.

Q: If I faithfully read Remedial Blog School and take your advice, what can I expect?
A: A more satisfying blogging experience. And fewer wrinkles. Remember, I made many, many blogging mistakes, so you don't have to.

Well, I think we can all agree that the Q&A session was both fun and informative, or perhaps, neither.

Please join me back here next Tuesday for our first official lesson:

I'm Starting a Blog! I Should Tell Everyone About It, Especially My In-Laws, Right?


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Getting a Cleaning Lady

I admit it.

I just can't get it up for the mommy wars.

Medicated or Natural Childbirth? My eyelids are getting heavy.

Stay at home mom vs. Working Outside the Home Mom vs. Working at Home Mom? Very heavy.

Breast or Bottle? This is the most relaxing sleep I've had in weeks.

Circumcision or Uncut? Seriously, check my vitals. I may be in a deep coma.

Moms who do reviews on their blogs vs. Those Who Don't? Flat lining.

But recently, I've learned through Twitter, which incidentally is so fucking educational, I'm sure our children will get college credit for reading it, that it is acceptable to hate women, mothers, who have cleaning ladies.

My eyelids are suddenly light as feathers and my eyes are wide open. I may never sleep again in the face of such hateful discrimination.

(OK, so I realize that I'm only showing what Neil said, even though others agreed with him. That's because I'm too lazy to find the other links, and it may in fact have been only Neil, but I am already outraged and will never admit that I am outraged over one measly comment).

As you may know, earlier this spring, I've mourned the loss of my cleaning lady. I had financial panic and also the type of megalomania that made me think that I could do the job by myself. And I did.

The only drawback seemed to be that every time that I was doing laundry, particularly folding the clothes, I'd be deep into a murder-suicide fantasy. Murder strictly in the Woody Allen in "Hannah and Her Sisters"-style because I assume my loved ones would not want to go on without me (to opt-out of the wanting to be murdered by me option, leave a comment below indicating your preference). And then I'd get all stressed out because I kept telling myself to remember to kill others first which seems like a lot of work for someone who is considering the whole mess because she's drained by folding laundry.

John has been completely unsympathetic, making comments like "you'll never get a job at the Gap" and threatening to send me a link to Martha Stewart demonstrating the fun and easy way to fold laundry which he insists will really get the kids into it. If he sends me that link, he'll be the first on my murder list.

So after watching me go all Yellow Wallpaper on the laundry for the past twelve weeks, Husbandrinka said "Screw it, let's just get someone."

The first woman met me, took a look at our cleaned-by-Marinka apartment, and instantly developed a cat allergy.

The second woman we met last week. She seemed super nice, is approximately eighty months pregnant and as I offered to show her the laundry room in the basement, said, "I don't do laundry."


I mean, I can't blame her, but WTF? And of course I'm smiling to show that yes, I agree, laundry is beneath her and of course, we should hire someone to do the laundry only, oh, you say that you have an amiga who can do it, but couldn't she just do it herself? And she says no, because she prefers to focus on cleaning.

So please don't hate me because I have a cleaning lady. Hate her because she doesn't do laundry.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm Worried About My Ass. Where "Ass" is Code for "Being Fat"

I'm not sure how it happened, but it looks like that after a year of sitting my ass, eating everything in sight and not exercising, I've gained some weight. I'm just as shocked as you are. I thought that things would be different with the Obama Administration, but apparently not. So much for change.

Papa called me three weeks ago and said, "We have to talk. I have important news. Let's meet for dinner." By the time that we finally met for dinner last week, I was on the verge of a nervous collapse, because I didn't know if he was going to tell me that (a) he is dying; (b) I am dying; (c) he is transitioning and will be soon Mama 2.0; (d) I am adopted and my birth parents would like to meet me and I will now have to spend all major holidays with them as well; (e) he ate the Lindbergh baby and would like me to facilitate the confession; or (f) he is a big Twilight fan.

Obviously each of these revelations is on a sliding scale of shock and horror, although of course in celebration of Pride, I would have to say that my papa transitioning would be the most welcome news of the bunch.

So we meet for dinner and papa says, "Our family has bad genes. My mother died of cardiac arrest, I have high blood pressure and you will too one day. If you keep gaining weight, it will make everything worse." So I, relief that he's not an EdwardCullenFanFirst pouring off me, said "I should lose weight, right?" and he says, "If you can hire someone to lose it for you, I have no problem with that." And then we had cocktails and dinner.

So that night, I decided that before I went to bed, I'd lift some weights as part of my new health regimen. For conditioning and shit. So I lifted my three pound hand weights ten times and then I was going to do some more, but suddenly became alarmed-- WHAT IF I BECOME TOO MUSCULAR? I mean, I don't want to get thrown out of BlogHer next month because I am supermuscular dude. Seriously. I haven't formally exercised in a year (give or take a decade) and I'm suddenly freaking out that after ten minutes with weights (four of them spent admiring myself in the mirror, holding them in pensive poses) I will resemble a steroid fiend. Weird.

But maybe there is something to it because this weekend I am going to a wedding and I decided to try on the sundress that I'd bought for the occasion. Well, the occasion was that it was on sale last January, but what is this, some kind of a clothes audit or something? Anyway, the first problem was that I couldn't get it zipped up. Part of it is my own fault because I was home with the kids and I couldn't bring myself to ask them to zip me. Because doesn't that just give you a really unpleasant image--young lanky kids trying to defy the laws of gravity and pulling the zipper on their mother's dress. So I did it. I zipped myself up, an exercise which in my case was most certainly aerobic and as I looked in the mirror preparing to beam, I was horrified to see that although the dress was fully zipped, it squished and pressed me in the most unflattering ways so that I now had flesh pouring out of the arm holes, and for some reason looked like I had four breasts. Although I'm sure that it would have made me a front runner for BewbFest '09-'13, it also made me mildly nauseated. Add to the whole thing that one of the ribs that I'd fractured self-stuffing into the fucking dress was now puncturing my lung and cutting off my oxygen supply and I quickly realized that I'd have to go get another dress.

This was not good news.

And maybe it was all caused by my weight lifting.

To be continued. Eventually.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This Sunday is the Gay Pride Parade in NYC. It's my favorite of all parades and I love the message of inclusion and fun. I know it's not just "fun" for everyone, but is cathartic. I have friends who faced unbelievable challenges for simply being themselves and having the courage to live their lives honestly. My beloved John told me that he was called a "fucking faggot" on Fifth Avenue in NYC (and not just by me!)

Last weekend, my BFF P.K. participated in Spartanburg, South Carolina's first ever gay pride march. Even more impressive, she organized it. I know how hard she'd worked on it for a good part of a year and I'm just so proud that I am smart enough to be friends with someone who not only talks a good game (like me), but who actually got something done.

Because for me, a gay pride parade is a gorgeous party. For someone else, it's a lifeline.

P.K. generously agreed to blog about it. Here it is:

On June 20, 2009, the town where I live (Spartanburg, SC) had its very first gay pride march. More than 100 protesters, mostly from area churches, lined the streets holding Bibles and signs. For a group of straight men (there were very few women and children among the protesters), they seemed unduly concerned with sodomy. Weird.

But the marchers were the real story. More than 500 gay, straight, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, intersex, and maybe a couple of people lying somewhere else along the sexuality spectrum, lined up in 97-degree heat, awaiting the word that it was 11 a.m. and time to take our first steps into the streets of downtown Spartanburg. The joy on our faces and the energy that buzzed around us was in sharp contrast to the dour look of the protesters, many of whom were wearing dress shirts and ties. Looking later at the photographs, I thought they looked like they were all from 1962. (Marinka, however, thought they all looked like pedophiles. Yes, she’s even funny in other people’s columns.)

If you live in a place like New York or San Francisco or Key West, you probably can’t understand what this gay pride march meant to the people in my area. I can’t even say my “town,” because people came from all over the state, along with a few from other states. Heck, if you live in places a lot less gay than New York or San Francisco or Key West, you probably can’t comprehend what a momentous occasion this was. I live in a place where Christian undertones are everywhere. The largest club at my son’s high school is the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. One of the first questions people ask newcomers is, “What church do you go to?” There’s prayer at school sporting events and before the local school board meetings. And lest there’s some confusion, these prayers are made in Jesus’ name, Amen.

A couple of days before the march, the local newspaper ran an online poll asking, “Do you object to the gay pride march scheduled for Spartanburg?” The result showed that 60.8% were against it, and 36.9% were in favor of it (2.3% were unsure). Even more interesting was that 834 votes were cast in the poll, by far the most number of votes received in one of their polls for as far back as the archives showed. Gays are a hot button in this area of South Carolina.

How did I -- a 50-year old happily married straight woman and mother of four straight (as far as I know) children -- wind up as the chair of the organizing committee of this historic event? It started as a joke. I’m a member of an ultra-liberal church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg, which is an absolute oasis of liberal religion in this All-Christ-All-The-Time area. Following a two-year program educating our congregation about GLBT issues, we were looking for ways to expand our ideals into the community at large. In November of 2008, four of us were sitting around a table in the Fellowship Hall early one Sunday morning, and during the meeting I said, “How about a gay pride parade?” We all laughed, because it was ridiculous, of course – a gay pride parade in Spartanburg? Yeah, right. A couple of minutes later, though, I said, “Why NOT a gay pride parade? Has it ever been done here?” (Duh, it hadn’t.) From there, the four of us agreed to investigate what was involved in getting a permit, and we started putting together a database of names of groups and individuals we thought might be interested in participating in such an event. As I said at the introduction to the Festival that followed the march, “Some people said it couldn’t be done. Some people said it shouldn’t be done. But we at Upstate Pride said it must be done, because like our theme for this year says, The Time for Pride is NOW.”

One story from the event explains exactly why The Time for Pride is NOW: As people were lining up in the church parking lot for the march, a 17-year old high school student was dropped off by her father. She was alone and seemed nervous, so I started talking to her and introduced her to my two daughters. She said that she doesn’t have any friends at school and that her family doesn’t understand her. She participated in the march and then stayed for the festival, which featured live entertainment, speakers, food vendors, retail vendors, and non-profit booths. Towards the end of the festival, as she was getting ready to call her dad and ask him to come pick her up, she told me that spending the day at the march and festival was the first day she remembered being happy in her whole life. That’s why Spartanburg needed this.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is That It?

My mother thinks that I do not spend a lot of time teaching my kids manners and she often gives me hints.

Last week was my son's 8th birthday and after the party, mama called me to lodge a formal complaint.

"You know, I gave him a t-shirt and a Barnes & Noble gift certificate and he said is that it? Please conduct a series of conversations of him so that he sees the error of his ways." (The last sentence is a loose translation from the Russian, but believe you me, that's what she meant. I'm not one of those blogging liars, you know!)

So of course I groaned internally because giving an 8 year old a T-shirt, especially one that does not reference bodily functions, is the equivalent of giving me a gift wrapped sandwich for my birthday.

But whatever, I'm at mom, and as John says "you had your heterosexual sex fun, now take care of those kids!" so I decided to have a chit chat with Young Ladrinka.
"Hey, what's with that is that it comment when your grandparents gave you your gifts? That's rude, you know."
"That's not what I meant," he insisted. "I meant is that it so that I could be sure to thank her for every item."

He's outsmarting me. That is it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


You know how I usually blog every day and I haven't for the past two days and you probably thought that I was dead? Well, the good news is that as of 3:30 Tuesday afternoon I am not, but the bad news is that I am recovering from last night's Jon & Kate Plus Eight episode and will be so for the foreseeable future.

I think that they are trying to destroy my marriage. The uber-popular Gosselins Without Pity blog asked me to recap an episode for their blog and I happily agreed. I've never been asked to recap anything before (probably because all other recap sites are anti-Semitic) so I took my assignment extremely seriously. As though I were overseeing President Obama's launch into space with the Jolie-Pitt twins. I'm picking the twins because they are the youngest and the most vulnerable. Not because they're the whitest.

Anyway, I made sure that both DVRs were recording and then, ten minutes into it, I positioned myself with my mini to watch and recap.

Now I've mentioned before that Husbandrinka and I are televisionally incompatible. I love trash TV and he doesn't understand why we need a television set. I gloss over our differences by pretending that I am either not watching TV or am constantly checking the weather. He is usually working in the office, but yesterday he was in the bedroom, where I was watching the goodness, packing for a trip. Or to leave me forever.

"Why are there so many of them?" he asked.
"They're sextuplets," I explained while typing away. OMG, am I supposed to do a transcript like retelling?
"There are more than six," he told me.
"Listen," I said, hitting the pause button. "You can't talk to me while I'm doing this. I have to concentrate." I rewound a little.
"Why do you have to concentrate? I don't even understand why you're doing this. Can't people just watch it themselves, does it really have to be explained to them?"
This is what I have to live with.

It's like the drama of Jon & Kate is playing itself out in my very own bedroom. All I need are six extra kids to come around. And maybe some freebies.
So now that the show is on hiatus (you know, for a month), I am ready to take over.

TLC, call me!

I only have two kids, but I can make it seem like a lot more.

And don't miss more life saving advice--are we all responsible for the mess that is Jon & Kate?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hatemongering 2-for-1 Special!

So, the economy sucks, so the humanity-challenged folk who brought you the "God Hates Fags" signs and protesting outside of American soldiers' funerals are bringing you a 2-for-1 hatred special, this weekend only!

They are targeting NYC synagogues, and on Sunday morning, as most of us are busy clogging our arteries with bacon byproduct, they are protesting outside of a synagogue that serves a gay and lesbian community, because they have it on good authority that in addition to hating fags, God hates Jews.

Here's what Fred Phelps and company have planned for this morning:

Cong. Beth Simchat - Your prayer book for the fags is vain! 57 Bethune Street Oh, wow, I'm so totally impressed by the fact that this is the LARGEST fag church in the world. NOT!

Like OMG, what is this the 80s? NOT? You got to update your hate speech. Like God H8s U! Besides, we're all so cosmopolitan here when you say "fags" we think you're launching an anti-smoking campaign.

WBC has seen the face of you violent brute rebels against God with NO CAUSE! We fear God, not man, and we will come with the only loving words of truth that you apostate (a little more honest than the other) Jews have had in your whole stinking, rotten lives. You are welcome for that. YOU are why Paul said these words: Philippians 3:1 � Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Paul dealt with you Christ-killing, filthy self-righteous Jews for a long time, and knew you were all of one mind: Fags, Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews. Violent and lawless like the Zionists in Israel, land stealers, baby rapers and reprobate concerning the only truth!

I am so totally glad you brought up the dogs! Because the pitbulls are a real problem, thank goodness not in lower Manhattan where you'll be protesting, but really, you can't be too careful.

Oh and the Christ killing again. You are so Vatican I. I also love the "Fags, Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews" line. Like they can say "fags" but can't bring themselves to use a
derogatory term against Jews. Because Kathy Griffin was right--don't mess with the Jews.

So our message is simple, to wit: If you do not repent, you will perish (i.e. go to hell for ever). If you do not repent, Obama will have his way with you. Nothing Antichrist will love more than destroying those whom God chose out of this world to make covenant with. However, 144,000 Jews will be saved. Not any of you who live like Satan and disobey God. AMEN!

Seriously, fellow LA Law fans, who doesn't love the "to wit". Henceforth and heretofore. I also like how they explain what "perish" means (i.e. go to hell forever). Wait, I thought it would be more like a two week staycation? No? Ok, then! I'm on my way to repentville! Especially since I see that there's a 144,000 Jew quota. Can I make a reservation on that quota? I have a coupon!

All kidding aside, these are hateful, destructive people. Fortunately the synagogue that they are targeting, Congregation Beth Simchat Torah is having people donate money for each minute that the hatemongers protest them. If you would like to support their efforts, please contribute to their Against Hate campaign here.

I don't like asking for money (other than for my botox, of course, Paypal info coming soon!) so if you are unable to contribute, please let others know about it. A chance to fight homophobia and anti-Semitism? This fag-loving Jew girl can't resist!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Favorite Body Part

What is Your Favorite Nicki body part?

Marinka: Her front paws. They are furry and cute.

Daughter: Her tail. It is long an cute.

Young Landrinka: Head. I mean, face. It is cute!

Husbandrinka: I am an adult. I don't have a favorite Nicki body part.

I was sure Husbandrinka was going to say ears. I think it's nice that after 13 years of marriage he can still surprise me.

Correction: We've only been married for 11 years. Feels like 13.

Today is Spartanburg's first ever Pride march. I am so excited about it, not only because Pride is so important, but because my wonderful friend P.K. is one of the organizers. I know how hard she's worked over the months and that makes me love her all the more. There are a lot of protesters expected and I hope that they do not detract from the very important message. Here's hoping that the march is a huge success and that everyone is safe. And so proud.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Aren't You Sorry That We Got the Cat?

It looks like Husbandrinka thinks that we are on a sitcom where the tag line is "aren't you sorry that we got the cat?" I'm certain that it will be renewed for many seasons and you should probably pre-order your DVD now.

Like the other day, Nicki shat on our bed. Now, I admit that it is not good, especially if you're not into that kind of thing, but he seemed to think that it was a sign of the apocalypse. No matter how many times I explained to him that a cat pissing on the bed is so much worse or lied to him that "Confucius says, defecating on bed cat, prosperous home," he was inconsolable. "Aren't you sorry that we got the cat?" he asked. Well, I was sorrier that I hadn't cleaned the litter box the night before, but that's semantics.

Yesterday afternoon, our trial cleaning lady was going to come by. To recap, we had to let our cleaning lady go because I became super cheap and decided that we could clean the apartment ourselves. That hasn't worked out so well. After many "discussions" along the lines of "why do you need to use more than one glass a week?" and "would it kill you to scrub the toilet after every use?" Husbandrinka decided to get a new cleaning lady. We asked friends for recommendations. The first cleaning lady we called told us that she would be summering in the Hamptons, returning to NYC in October, which makes me think that either she has amazing talents that Husbandrinka will totally miss out on or that house cleaning is a lot more lucrative than I thought and that I should enroll both of my kids in remedial house cleaning school immediately if not sooner.

So the second potential cleaning lady cleans for a friend of ours and Husbandrinka copied me on their email exchanges. Getting copied on your husband's emails to friends about a cleaning lady is as good as an Ambien prescription.

"We want someone who is reliable and speaks English," he wrote. "Reliable" stands for "will not steal". Unless people are really concerned that the cleaning lady says that she will come on Tuesday but instead will come on Thursday. We want someone who speaks English because for many years we had someone who did not speak ninguna palabra in English to the extent that when I said "hi!" she'd cock her head to the side like the RCA dog.
"She is extremely reliable," the friend wrote back. "When she finds money in my pockets, she leaves it for me on the table. And her English is perfect."

I know that this is supposed to be reassuring, but it rang a whole bunch of alarms for me. Like, if I were a thief, I'd totally leave a few quarters that I found in the pant pocket and while everyone was singing my honesty praises, I'd be moving the Faberge eggs out of there. But maybe that's just me. Maybe I'm not reliable, and I'm terrible at the housecleaning bit, does that mean that I wouldn't make a great cleaning lady? Anyway.

So this Shakespeare of honesty stops by to case the joint, sees Nicki and says "oh. You have a cat?" Like why do people say that? They see a cat on a chair and say "is that a cat?" No it's a cat hologram. But I'm glad to hear that you thought that it was a real cat! "I'm allergic to cats." Apparently she gets asthma from cats or something. Honestly, I think it's just a run of the mill scapegoating, of you ask me. Or scapecatting.

I email Husbandrinka to break the news to him and he responds with, "aren't you sorry we got the cat?" Seriously? Countless hours of joy for the kids, turds on our bed, how can you put a price on that? It's almost as though he's not a cat person.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If You See Me At BlogHer

So I'm going to BlogHer in July, are you? If you are a non-blogger, BlogHer is like a blogging convention is where bloggers (people who like to express themselves via the written word and avoid all unnecessary human interaction) get together to meet and greet face to face. Personally, I plan to participate via Twitter.

To make things go smoother, I put together a list of important things to know about me when we meet. You know, to avoid awkwardness.

1. I don't like to hug hello, good bye, or top of the morn to you.

2. Forget about kissing. And just to get this out of the way, you're not undoing my bra, either.

3. I don't mind shaking hands unless you're all limp and moist. Or I am.

4. You know that crap about how it takes a million muscles to frown but just one to smile? That totally doesn't work for me. My face naturally sets in a frown. I'm sorry! Even if I'm feeling super cheerful, which I am, like 99.9% of the time, I look like I'm pissed off.

5. I don't like pictures. Posing for them or seeing other people's. Your kids are adorable, your husband is a hunk and OMG, that looks like the best vacation ever. We're good now, right?

6. I was planning on wearing jeans through the whole thing, but Wendi told me that I need a slutty cocktail dress. I'll be channeling Courtney Love circa 1990. So the no smiling thing will still work for me.

7. I'm lonely! Why is everyone avoiding me? Just because I'm a frowning non-hugger dressed like a whore?

8. So my real name isn't Marinka and I can't quite bring myself to introduce myself as "Marinka". Can I get away with "Jenny"?

9. A few years ago I diagnosed myself with auditory processing disorder, which means that if more than one person is talking, I can't follow any conversation. I would really appreciate it if people spoke one at a time throughout BlogHer. If it's not too much to ask, maybe we can make a chart? Like Anymommy will speak on Friday from noon to 12:04, then Shallow Gal will pipe in at 12:05. Is that ok?

10. I feel bad asking this, but please have your blog URL tattooed on your forehead. I'll do the same. Because I have a freakishly huge forehead, so there's plenty of room. Also, forehead is slang for "ass", right? I just want to make sure that you'll be able to find me.

Bonus: I am super jealous of everyone who is a keynote community speaker at BlogHer. First I thought that I'd be big about it and be happy about it, but fuck that shit. I'm totally heckling them all. Or locking them in their room. Whichever requires less work on my part.

So, are you going? Can't wait to meet you! Smooches!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I woke up today with a heavy heart. Metaphorically speaking, of course, although it wouldn't hurt to have it weighed, I suppose. I've been thinking about my kids. They are in recovery from the school year and waiting for camp to start and we are spending the days doing things together.

On Monday, we went to the High Line in New York City. Then we went bowling. On Tuesday, we went to the Bronx Zoo. Although we are together all the time, I feel like I am running out of time.

The days are going by quickly. And my kids are growing up. On the train back home the other day, my son rested his head on my shoulder, but when I bent down to kiss him, he wiped it off and said "MOM". He'll still sit on my lap sometimes, but I know that I have a finite number of the lap sits left. They were always finite, of course, but now I can actually see the end. I know there's a time when he'll get off my lap and never come back.

It breaks my heart.

I know that I am so lucky. I am luckier than many and in my heart, I am luckier than all. Because despite all my constant whining, my kids are awesome and they make me laugh every single day.

Like yesterday, when I called my daughter to tell her that I'm on my way to pick her up from her friend's house and to please be ready when I get there and she said, "but I'm NOT ready! I'm in costume!" and when she was talking about the "f-word" and I asked her that it was, because in previous years it was "Fudge" and "fart" and she said "fuck". And my son, who when I told him that he can't be part of the summer baseball league because he's a year too young, said "let's just tell them that I'm a midget."

I love seeing the world through their eyes and I miss it already.
I miss them already. Because childhood is fleeting and in 2009 NYC it seems to be more fleeting.

I'm sorry for being so morose. I hope that this isnt' the start of menopause or anything.


When the kids were little, some days my mother would pick them up from school. The best was when she would talk to the other parents and report back to me. Because she never remembered anyone's name, her reporting back was always really fun.


"So the thin one that always smells of alcohol is hosting a party-" and "The G-string Showing From Pants is upset about the new math program--"

One day, however, she was very agitated when I got home.
"Hair In Pigtails wants to stuff Young Ladrinka into a bottle," she told me.
"What do you mean, stuff him into a bottle?" I asked. Young Ladrinka was four at the time, much too young to be a Genie.
"That's what she said in a bottle. You need to watch her."
Now, I'm one of those people who has enough going on without watching other parents for signs that they want to preserve my children.
"Hey," I told Pigtails the next time I saw her, when she was Headband. "This is slightly awkward, but did you talk to my mama about Young Ladrinka?"
"What about him?" she asked.
"Oh, you know. Kids. Bottles."
"BOTTLES?" she asked. "He still drinks from a bottle?"
"Of course not!" I stomped that rumor right out. "Did you say anything about bottles to my mother?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," she said and looked at me like I was the weirdo. Or maybe she was sizing me up to bottle me up as well.
The following week, mama had a recurrence.

"Unfortunate Bangs is at it again," she told me. "She wants him in that bottle."
"For crying out loud," I protested.
"You always look for good in people," mama said.
Of all my personality flaws, always seeing the good in people isn't in the top 5,000. But the next time mama went to the school to pick up Young Ladrinka, I tagged along.
"Hi!!" Suddenly Redhead waved to mama and smiled at me.
Mama nodded curtly. "Hi!" I squealed, for no apparent reason. Young Ladrinka grunted.
"Oh look at him," Red said. "I keep telling your mother, you should bottle this kid's looks. He's going to be a heart breaker."
"I told you!" mama said. "Bottle."
Yes. Bottle.
Fucking English.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


If your friend John calls you on your cell phone over the weekend, while you're at your son's baseball game and you don't pick up because you are busy cheering or maybe gossiping with other moms, and then he calls again while you're on your way home, and you don't pick up because you are talking to your daughter about the book that she is reading, and then when you are at home, he calls the third time, and as you pick up, you hear him unleash a string of profanities the mildest one of which is "Where is that fucking whore?" because he knows that you'd get a kick out of it, what do you do?

Well, if you're me, you pretend that you're my daughter and say, "Uncle John, is that you?" because that totally scared the shit out of him and taught him a lesson.

Marinka: 1
John: 12,485

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vacation Math

School's out and I've been busy designing a program of fun and education and so far, I'm hitting a lot of resistance. My daughter seems to have gotten the whole "BUT IT'S SUMMER VACATION" thing down for whenever I suggest anything that is not "have another snack!" or "you still have some functioning brain cells, please turn the TV back on!" At least I'm not the only one battling this.

Both kids got Math Review books from school and I put my Fred Flinstone Foot down and told them that there is no screen time until they do a lesson a day.

So far, it's gone like this:

Young Ladrinka: opening book I don't get it!
Marinka: opening wine Do your best!
Young Ladrinka: I've never seen this before.
Marinka: GRR! Let's see. 68 minus 12? How would you do this?
Young Ladrinka: Well, 60 minus 10 is 50 and eight plus two and twelve, so sixty eight! Can I play the Wii now?
Marinka: fake smile of horror creeping to face How's that, honey?
Young Ladrinka: Yeah, because when Mr. Ten runs away from Mrs. Sixty, their child Fifty is Born like Baby Jesus on Christmas.
Marinka: placing blood pressure cuff on arm
Young Ladrinka: Then the Eight Junior has a Playdate with 2 Twins, and hey, can I play Wii now?
Marinka: Yes, please.

Only eighty two more days until school starts! For anyone who wonders where does the time go, it goes into my having a nervous breakdown this summer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quotes from the Yearbook

Sometimes people Twitter quotes. I'm guessing it's because they find them to be super profound and want to share the wisdom with the masses. It reminds me of high school yearbooks.

I had a mini anxiety attack when I realized that I'd have to put a quote under my picture in the high school yearbook. What's that all about? Please come up with a pithy phrase that captures your adolescence and will explain to your future parole officer where it all went wrong. Of course you can't put something like "fuck you, stupid whores who made my life miserable by looking at me as though I had BO which I certainly did not because, hello, at this rate it doesn't seem like I'll even start to develop until I'm premenopausal. Have a great summer!"

So instead I settled for "may the happiest days of our past be the saddest part of our future!" And to this day it bothers me.

Because I get it. The happy days of our past, may that happiness pale with the happiness that we are still to experience in the future. And may it pale to such a degree, in fact that the past happy days will be sad in comparison. Makes sense. For the clinically insane. Otherwise it sounds like a curse. Let's say the happiest day of your past, when you're in high school, is when this boy you adore from afar looks at you and smiles. Pretty groovy, right? (Disclaimer, I did not attend high school in the 1960s). Now THAT is supposed to be my saddest day? Why, because he's stalking me now, right? Or am I in such a future state of constant euphoria that the black market Ecstasy market can't keep up with my demand?

Just weird.

By the way, I googled the "happiest days of our past be the saddest days of our future" quote and apparently it's a wedding toast. Jesus. What was I, thirty?

Do you remember what your high school yearbook quote was?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Let's Get This Party Started

My son's sleepover party was last night. The "sleep" in "sleepover" is there to mock me and the English language, I am sure. I don't know why they don't just call it "parental torture session" although I suspect that the reason is that then even morons like me would be reluctant to host it at their house. Unless my son convinced me that "torture is fun, MOM! Everyone's into torture. It's patriotic."

Ok, I know that it's insane to have six boys sleep over. I get it. The others moms asked "need any help?" and when I said "yes, I need a lot of help. Please come over and herd these fucking kids while I catch up on General Hospital," they laughed. I don't think it's nice when people laugh at you when you're asking for help.
But I get it, haha.

What I don't get is when people, people who are supposed to love me, ask me why I've decided to have this sleepover. People like mama. "Why is this fun?" she asked me last night after she dropped my daughter off. "It doesn't look like fun."
"That's because you're in your sixties and they're seven," I explained to her.
She seemed unconvinced.
"You never had sleepovers with six people when you were that age," she said.
"I was in Russia when I was that age," I said. "There are plenty of things that I didn't have."
"I see," mama got quiet. "I didn't think that your chilkdhood was so miserable. I suppose that I should apologize."

And then, when the kids were working my last nerve, Husbandrinka chimes in.
"Why did you want to have this sleepover?" he asks me. I mean, seriously? Why did I WANT to have six 7 year old boys over? Yes, Husbandrinka, I tried to hide it from you, but Michael Jackson and I have a few things in common and I'm not referring to skin tone. I love boys. LOVE THEM. This whole having children and then waiting until they were old enough to have sleepovers with every freaking friend they've ever met was just part of my clever ruse to lure them over to our house. Ah, the aroma of their flatulence, poetically narrated by them at life splitting volume is my Beethoven. I especially love when they start to punch each other, and scream because that is fun for me. And I don't want to get carried away, but watching them eat, with their hands, is pure poetry. Look at that young Adonis, wiping his nose with the back of his hand and then touching the wall is almost too much for me to bear.

Sweet Jesus, why do you think that I agreed to have these heathens over at our house overnight? Because Young Ladrinka said that it's what he wanted for his birthday.
And because I knew that I'd get blog fodder out of it. And a straightjacket.

Watch for these fun future posts featuring the sleepover:

Highlights of the Sleepover: My Daughter Explains The Miracle of Life to the Boys With the Aid of Sims II.

Fun Questions That Boys Asked At Dinner, including "Is Breakfast Included In This Sleepover?"

I Threaten To Kill Everyone.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Yesterday morning I was stuck on the subway for about twenty minutes, in the tunnel, with other people. If I had to rate it, being "stuck on the subway" is only slightly better than "getting stuck in hell with Rush Limbaugh and Heidi and Spencer" (disclaimer: I am not quite sure that I know who Heidi and Spencer are, but there is no doubt in my mind that they are, or will be, in hell. )

My first reaction is not to panic, which for me involves this breathing exercise that I learned in yoga where you press one nostril closed with your thumb and breathe in the other nostril and then release the thumbed down nostril and exhale out of it while shutting the just breathed in nostril with a different finger. And then switch. It's sort of like the breathing version of the pirate patch. What? John told me that pirates wear a patch over one eye so that when there's an attack, they can whip it off and voila! They have night vision. If this isn't true, I will kill him and sell his organs. Or do an organ giveaway on my blog. Hey, my blogaversary is coming up, after all.

Anyway. Back to me.

So I'm doing this exercise and it's relaxing me but it is the Opposite of Relaxing everyone else on the train because I am stealing their oxygen and generally look insane.

And an announcement comes on saying that there are heavy delays because of signal trouble, which is clearly code for "you will all be dead soon, but we don't want to tell you because then you will panic".

Everyone else in the subway car looks not panicked at all. Because they are stupid and don't realize that we are dying. I see that I'm going to have to be the brains of this morning commute.

One part of me thinks that I should tell my fellow passengers what's really going on, the other part of me thinks that I should let them enjoy their remaining few moments on earth and yet a third part of realizes that I have sealed my right nostril with my thumb and have been breathing in and out exclusively out of my left nostril in direct contravention of the yoga protocol and sanitary breathing practices. As I start to hyperventilate over this latest development, the train starts to move. I am liberated.

I milk the story of my heroism for the rest of the day.

Then I pick up my son from school. I am ready to share.

"Guess what happened on the subway today?" I ask him.
"There was a snake!" he says.
"Someone threw up?"
"No, I was stuck on the train!" I pronounce. He looks disappointed. I'm thinking of adding "with a vomiting snake" but he has the hugest mouth and will tell everyone.
"I was stuck for a really long time," I say, trying to regain the momentum in my mind. "Guess how long?"
"Ten hours?"
An aside: Over the summer, we are doing some intense math shit. So that when I drop him off at school at 9 am and pick him up at 4 pm, he doesn't guess "8 hours".
"No.. twenty minutes."
"That's it?"
"Did anyone poop?"

Moral: Don't get stuck on the subway. And if you do, make sure there's a snake there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can't Blog Now, Must Have a Nervous Breakdown!

My kids have summer birthdays which is a blessing because all of their friends are away on vacation so we can't have huge birthday parties.

I was especially grateful for this when my daughter announced that she wanted to have her birthday on Coney Island. You know, with a roller coaster. Please. I get vertigo on an escalator. So that's on hold.

But my son somehow Jedi mind-tricked me into having his birthday party on the last day of school when all the kids are super hyped up by the prospect of SUMMER VACATION! and FREEDOM!!! So not only are we having a party with every single child from his class at the karate place where they will each get to break a board with their foot (don't forget your health insurance cards, celebrants!) but then, in my son's infinite wisdom, and my complete lack of a backbone, all the boys from his class will be coming to my house to sleep over.

Is it too much to hope that a meteorite will hit Earth before that day?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blogging Like Everyone Is Reading and Judging

We have tons of footage of my daughter in the days after she was born. Husbandrinka videotaped a lot. There are the standard videos, my holding her in the hospital bed, my parents meeting their first grandchild, all sorts of family ensembles, and then there's the one where I am talking to my friend Liz when visited at the hospital. "So was labor a horror?" she asks, sitting on the edge of my bed and holding a staple remover with a satiny bow on it, a gag gift after my C-section.

"Oh my GOD!" I shriek on the video. "I cannot tell you the pain," and then I recount it in graphic detail. Walking is painful, moving is painful and if I have a say in it, I'm never having a bowel movement again. We laugh and I wince because laughing hurts.

"Hey," my husband says off camera and both Liz and I look at him. We'd forgotten that he was there, recording. "She's going to see this tape one day, you know." He pans over to the mobile cubicle crib where my pappoosed daughter is sleeping.

I look at him and then I look at Liz. She's still laughing. "I had a very traumatic C-section," I continue. "But I really love my baby."

I got to address the question of how much of the story was mine and how much of it I had to sanitize for the sake of my daughter while I was still at the hospital on a steady diet of morphine. Would my daughter knowing that labor was unbelievably painful mean that I adored her any less? Should I, as a mother who labored 48 hours earlier, have thought of my infant's feelings because, indeed, the videotape is preserved for eternity or at least until someone tapes American Idol over it?

Recently I've been blog hopping (which hopefully counts as exercise). Auds at Barking Mad brought up the idea of blogging with abandon, as though no one were reading, others warned to watch what we post about our children because a pedophile might be reading and Scary Mommy was told to watch her mouth on her own fucking blog.

When I read Auds' fantastic post I rejected the idea of blogging as though no one were reading because I thought that it would make for a deathly dull blog. And as I confessed in her comments, I'd like to be able to maintain eye contact with my children if they should come across my blog. I do censor myself. And in doing so, I touch my personal boundaries. I don't need anyone else setting them up for me.

I don't write for children. Not even my own children. The fact that I have children doesn't mean that I am no longer a human being, doesn't mean that my need to express myself on my blog is any less important than anyone else's. And lest there be confusion about it-it is very important. If I want to curse, it's my halo that's tarnished. If I want to talk about moments of motherhood that have infuriated me, why would anyone object? And beyond objection, how does that signal any less of an adoration of my children? Because surely we are sophisticated enough to know that love is complicated and we have rejected the notion that mothers are supposed to be in a constant state of rejoicing at their progeny at approximately the same time that doctors stopped prescribing dolls for all that ails us.

If parents are supposed to be blogging with the assumption that our children are reading our blogs over one of our shoulders, while pedophiles are peering over the other, with a nun standing in between them to monitor our language for good measure, why bother to blog?
Are we supposed to be so protective of our children's sensibilities that we are reluctant to share our own stories, in which they appear, because, well, they are our life's work?

As bloggers and as parents, we all have different boundaries. I do not post my children's photos on my blog or use their real names. I don't share stories that they have told me in private, but I do not for a second judge those who do. After all, I do share stories about my children and my husband and my parents. Because those stories belong to me as much as they do to them. I am honest about the frustrations and disappointments that I've experienced as a mother and it does not diminish the joys one bit.

Lindsey at Suburban Turmoil wrote about not blogging about her teenage stepdaughters because their stories are not hers. And it gave me pause, truly, because many of her sentiments resonated with me. I, myself, have not blogged much about my teenage stepson, much for the same reason. Because his story isn't mine. But isn't it? Isn't the intersection of our lives partially mine? Aren't all of our stories each other's?

Of course there is no one answer fits all for this. We all have different boundaries and I firmly believe that one blogger's not posting photo of her children on her site is any more or less valid than another proudly displaying a family album.

My own mother fed me the "once you hold your baby in your arms, you forget about the pain" line which makes me think that she either had much better pain killers than I did or a less acute memory. I'm sure that she meant to spare me, as did the female mafia who chanted "you forget about the pain" but instead they made me feel like maybe my love was defective because Holy Moley, I still remember the pain. And it was ouchy.

And yes, my daughter has seen the video of my complaining about the C-section. And she has laughed at my Bam-Bam styled hair. She is not offended that my labor was painful, nor does she feel responsible for it.

Kids today. The stories that I could tell.

Fruit Salad Math

The other night Husbandrinka and I hosted a small dinner party and right away it went to shit because I asked him what he wanted me to make and he said "nothing, I got it" in a way that made me realize that he doesn't value my cooking and probably wants to divorce me or have me killed. So I offered to make a fruit salad because I recently learned how to slice pineapples and haven't been able to stop doing it and he said "fine." When people say "fine", they mean "If it'll shut you up", by the way.

So the dinner party is underway and my stepson is there, and my daughter tells him that when he moves in with us in August, she will clean his room for $5 and he jokes that he will start saving money and then my son says that if he doesn't pay him $10, he'll mess up his room. Somehow the conversation turns to extortion and how terrible the mafia is and I can't understand why everyone's so judgmental suddenly. Live and let live, I say. It's not like these people are hurting anyone.

Anyway, we finished eating the main course (description redacted because Husbandrinka prepared it and everyone complimented it) and I leap up and say "we will now have fruit salad!" and Husbandrinka looks at the fruit salad and says, "this isn't fruit salad, this is pineapple and strawberries." Seriously? Is there some kind of a newfangled constitutional amendment now that says that in order to be labeled a fruit salad it has to have a minimum of three fruit? Because I don't remember this part in high school math. So I defended my fruit salad verbally because I am a naturally nonviolent person (especially when there are witnesses) and he said "why don't you add cherries?"

Now I pride myself on my open-minded flexibility and Buddha like serenity, but I firmly believe that Husbandrinka is trying to make me insane so that he can enjoy a peaceful life with our children and multi-fruit fruit salad. Why my being insane would lead to this peaceful slice of heaven I'm not sure, you will have to ask him yourself.

Because who puts cherries in fruit salad? Is that convenient to eat? You'd have to spit out the cherry pits every five seconds.

So I protest and he says, "forget it, never mind" and as I go to get the two fruit salad, he says, "let's serve it later. After cake." If you ever make something for a dinner and the hosts say "let's serve it later. After cake", it means that your dish is wearing the gastronomic dunce cap. Which is exactly how my fruit salad felt.

I tried to make Mean Eyes of Death and Marital Discord at Husbandrinka but he didn't seem to notice.

We served the fruit salad after cake.

People were polite and didn't gorge themselves on it.

There is still plenty left over.

Under the dunce cap.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Nightly Nicki has been updated!

Please check it out here!

Also, don't forget to visit The Mouthy Housewives to catch up on any wise advice that you may have missed last week!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Never Spanked My Children

I have never spanked my children and I'm so fucking proud.

My husband and I discussed it when I was pregnant. It's weird, you know. You date, you go out and have martinis, you meet each other's friends and eventually parents, you get pregnant and you find that you've never really discussed parenting choices.

What do you think about discipline, I asked him. Like spanking. You'd have thought that I asked him what he thought about launching our children into space for sport. "Spanking?" he asked and got quiet. "No spanking." He didn't grow up in a spanking household. His parents had been spanked, in a way that I am guessing most unindicted parents don't spank these days and they broke that cycle right down. So to my husband, the idea of spanking was foreign. And repellent.

Lest there be any confusion: I don't have particularly "easygoing kids". They have acted out in public. They've had tantrums. They've thrown things, they've told me that I am the meanest mom, they've done things that are not safe and I have never spanked them. Nor do I think that I particularly excel at parenting. But I am proud that I believed in the no-spanking rule enough to live it.

There were times that I wanted to spank my kids. There were times when I wanted to tell them to shut the fuck up, just shut up and bend to my will. I haven't done that, either, at least not out loud.

I've never spanked my kids because for me, it's a parenting cop-out. I disagree with the "I am stronger than you are and I can hurt you" lesson that it sends. More than disagree with it, I hate it.

I've discussed this issue a lot with friends who grew up in spanking households and who feel that spanking taught them limits. Interestingly, none of them is spanking their own children.

So that is my official reasons. My secret reason is that I have a temper and I know it and I never wanted to test it with corporal punishment. I knew that you are not supposed to spank children when you are angry, and yet that was exactly when I'd want to spank. I bet that's when most spank. Not when they're calm and reflective and saying "this is hurting me more than it is you". Because if your hand is hurting that much, then your kid's rear is way too bony.

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. We are entering my children's birthday season. In the next month, they'll turn 11 and 8. And I know that they have never been hit by their parents. Which is pretty awesome.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tuesday in Review

I wanted to do a Week in Review post, like I've done in the past after I ripped the idea off from Wendi, but I realized that everything that was fun about my week happened on Tuesday.

So, Tuesday in review:

1. I wake up with neck pain. I quickly put two and two together, where the first two is that I know that Le Shallow Gal had neck pain last week and the second two is that neck pain is an unknown symptom of the Swine Flu and I come up with I will be dead before noon. I email Le Shallow Gal with this news, and a few veiled accusations about her part in this trans-email transmission and she is totally unsympathetic.

2. I have a meeting at the kids' school and ask mama and papa to babysit from 6 to 9, so that I can attend. Papa calls me at 2 pm and says "I'm at your house, I'm ready!" When I mention that he is four hours early he says, "well, in this economy, I like to put in the extra effort."

3. Later in the afternoon, I see papa, who has a background in medicine. "My neck hurts," I tell him, hoping that he will suggest pain relief. Papa says, "when a person weighs a lot, it puts stress on their body and can cause pain." "But I didn't gain any weight overnight," I say. "You may have gained a few ounces and that was the ounce that broke the camel's neck."

4. On the way home from school, my son and I have the following conversation:

Son: Is it wrong to steal?
Me: Yes. Yes, it is.
Son: Is it wrong to steal back?

And just like that, I'm stumped. A guy walking ahead of us turns around, smiles and says to me, "I'll let you handle this one." As though he and I are co-parents or something.

What do you think? If someone steals something from you, like say a Pokemon card, is it ok to steal it back? The responses from various family members was "yes, and you should beat up the person who stole it from you" and "but only if you're bigger that the original thief".

Oh, and an update! I went on neck diet and it really worked! I lost neck weight and now my neck doesn't hurt at all!

I am doing Free Association at Ann's Rants today, so please visit me there for a terrifying peek into how my mind works.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baking Soda, Vinegar, Maybe Oil for Flavor?

Although I am fortunate to have two children now, after my daughter was born, I had a brief struggle with infertility. I didn't even realize that secondary infertility existed, and it didn't make me enjoy it any more. I knew that I was very lucky to have a child already, but I am an only child and it was important for me to raise siblings. Our family did not feel complete.

After a bout of tests of various degrees of humiliation, my doctor told me that I had a hostile cervical environment, which for some reason surprises no one that I share the news with. My doctor seemed confident that if I neutralized the hostile cervix, I would stop killing sperm and get pregnant. (Seriously, I should have bottled that stuff and sold it to teenagers. And yes, by "that stuff" I mean my "hostile cervix". Why? Inappropriate?) He told me to buy a baking soda douche and a vinegar douche and to use them -- in some sequence that escapes me now.

So I went to my local pharmacy and visited the douche section. Seriously, if there's anything that will make you pray for a quick death faster than strolling through the douche section, I don't know what it is. To make matters worse, I couldn't find either the baking soda or the vinegar douche. I dialed my doctor's office.

"Um," I told the receptionist, "I'm supposed to get the baking soda and the vinegar douche, but all I see is Misty Forest Dew and Sunshine Raindrops, do you think that I could substitute? What? No? Ok, yes, I do realize that they're not interchangeable, but I thought that if the doctor knew that that's all they had here..yes, I could go to a different drug store and try their douche selection."

Of course! Why not devote the rest of my life touring the various douche departments throughout the city? Perhaps I can make it a national tour if I really get momentum.

I still remember the drug store where I found the douche. It was, unfortunately, across the street from where I lived, so I would have to see these people every day. Maybe I should move.

"Hey, what's that for?" the cashier asked me. Now, I've never in my life had a cashier ask me what anything was for, even if I was buying an AskMeWhatI'mFor kit, so this wasn't good news.
"I don't know," I said. She looked teenagerish. Fucking kids.
"Hey, I'm a female, too," she told me. "Maybe it's something that I need."
"You don't need it if your doctor doesn't tell you that you need it," I hissed.

It took me months to try it, because the idea seemed so utterly ridiculous and because Husbandrinka kept saying things like "what's with the vaginal salad dressing?" But the month I did try it, I got pregnant. With my sweet baby boy. I can't wait to tell the story of his conception at his wedding one day.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Contest: Nicki Needs a Middle Name

We realized this week that our beloved cat Nicki doesn't have a middle name. In my kids' eyes, that's sort of like our beloved cat Nicki not having food and water.

This must be remedied immediately and I am turning to you for suggestions. Because you were invaluable in naming my son's loose teeth.

Some friendly reminders:

Photos of Nicki can be found in Nightly Nicki. You should probably study them for a few hours for inspiration.

Story of Nicki's adoption!

Don't miss the prequel!

Nicki's story in her own words!

Nicki's Facebook 25 Random Things About Me post.

Nicki's shelter name was Kendra.

After we've had Nicki for about a week and ordered her a monogrammed wardrobe, my daughter wanted to name her Lexi.

So, in addition to seeking a middle name, we are also looking for Nicki names in the following categories:

1. Stripper name (Lexi so doesn't have a lock on it!)
2. Porn name
3. WalMart name
4. Jewish name
5. Star Wars name

Please submit your nomination in comments, specifying the category in which you are competing.

Winners will be selected based on who submits the best name. (Ok, duh? What's the point the random selection of winners? Isn't this what's wrong with America today? Yes, your suggestion of Stripey Tabby is great! You win! )

Good luck! Oh, and there's no prize. Because I don't know if you've noticed, but the economy is shit and I can't afford to hire a cleaning lady.

Unless not having a prize is really bad for contests. In which case, the winner can name Anymommy's baby. I mean, she hasn't totally agreed to this, but I think that's just because I haven't asked her yet. But I'm sure that when she hears how much this would mean to me, well not to me, exactly, but to my blog, maybe not the whole blog, but this post, definitely, she will definitely agree.

So, come up with great Nicki names and the winner will get to name Anymommy's baby. Do contests get better than that?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


So yesterday my stepson and I go to pick up my son from school and he tells us, "Guess what? Jack and I got locked in the bathroom together, but don't worry, we weren't going to the bathroom together, we just went in there to trade Pokemon cards!" and I say, "I thought that you were not allowed to trade Pokemon cards at school" and he says, "Duh, that's why we went into the bathroom."

So I tell mama this story and she says, "Why don't you check his pockets before he leaves for school?" and I say, "Because I thought that I wouldn't start the pat- downs until after his 8th birthday," and she says, "very funny, but there's all sorts of stuff that he can bring to school if you are not careful."

And I know that I should just drop it, but I can't. Because I want to know what can he bring from our house that mama considers a danger to society. Will he sneak in my Oil of Olay face cream? Husbandrinka's shaving cream? What?

So mama says, "There's a lot of medication in your house, he could bring that." It's true. Husbandrinka has high blood pressure. But my son isn't interested in medication.

"Not yet," mama says. "When he was a baby, he wasn't interested in Pokemon cards, either."

Touche, with the little accent mark over the e. Also the little accent mark should be all over Pokemon and everything that mama says.