by Marinka on May 3, 2020

Today my son asked, “is there anyone here, obviously not you, mom, who is good at math?”

Immediately, I took offense because we are in the middle of a pandemic and I don’t have time to waste.

“What makes you say that I am not good at math?” I asked. Kids grow up so fast these days. First they’re little adorable babies and the next thing you know they’re whatever age that comes after seventeen.

“You seem to have trouble counting to three,” he said, referring to the time that I moved my backgammon piece four spaces even though the dice I threw had a one dot and the other one had two dots.

“That’s called strategy,” I explained.

“That’s called cheating,” someone else who is not instrumental to this story but will be punished piped in. 

“I am very careful with numbers,” I explained, refusing to give up on being offended and enraged. With Mother’s Day around the corner, I need to stock up on that stuff. 

“As a matter of fact,” I continued, because I knew that they didn’t have time to run to the court to get a restraing order against my musings, “when I was in the first grade, in Russia, the place of my birth and many Facebook bots, I devised a system of mathematical genius.”

Everyone at the table (oh, sorry,  I forgot to mention that this was all happening when we were sitting at the brunch table in our dining area. I guess when you’re a mathematician, like I am, sometimes the formulas swirl in your mind so much that you forget to set the scene. But we were at the table, so consider the scene set. And where the hell did you think we were, the movies? Storming the state capital? We’re not freak shows!) was silent. Probably in anticipation of the wisdom that was going to come their way.

“Ok, I’ll let you,” I said. And explained how when I was in first grade and learned math, I thought it was prudent to add a one to whatever the sum was. So, three and four? Sure, the answer is probably seven, but it wouldn’t hurt to make it 8 to make sure that we have all the bases covered.

“Did you do that too?” I asked my beloved quarantine buddies.

They all stared at me as though I suggested picking whose flesh we are going to eat once we run out of brisket.

“What are you crazy?” one of them asked.

“There’s no need to change the subject,” I answered. “A simple no would suffice.”

Some days the quarantine is harder than others. 



by Marinka on January 6, 2019

Happy New Year.

I seldom make New Year’s resolutions anymore (no more than once a year!) but this year I made one and I’m determined to follow through. It’s to stop being so nice to people.

If you’ve ever met me, you probably did not realize that this is a problem that I have, but that just shows how wonderful and thoughtful I’d been in hiding my natural niceness so as not to worry you.

But no more.

I made the resolution because I realized that I’m a misanthrope masquerading as a… non-misanthrope, and what’s the good in that. Also, I was talking to the Guy I Went to Ireland with and he said something totally insane and offensive that made me question life and his sanity. He was telling me how he was on the subway and started talking to someone and when I gave him an “ARE YOU INSANE?” look because I don’t understand why anyone with anything resembling sanity would voluntarily speak to another person without a subpoena or a substantial bribe, he sort of shrugged and said “I find people really interesting.”

I implore you, before you fall in love with someone, have them checked out for insanity markers, like voting for Trump or “finding people interesting.” Because once you’re in love, it’s sort of too late and then you’re stuck with a freak show who find “people really interesting.”

I have no idea what he finds interesting about them, and I’m not interested enough to find out.

But I do notice that at parties, he’s always talking to people while I’m always making sure my mouth is appetizers-enriched as an anti-talking aide. And on the subway or any other place where I may be alone, I always have a book and a DO NOT TALK TO ME sign pinned to my shirt.

So this year I decided to make it official.

“I decided to be less nice to people that I don’t really like,” I announced. To a room of one because apparently not a lot of people really like me either.

“That makes sense,” the one person said. “Like who?”

And then I spent the next three days trying to figure out who I was going to be less nice to. Unfortunately, I couldn’t come up with anyone, but that’s how they get you to break your New Year’s resolution.

Finally I solved the riddle and decided to go out and make some new friends and then I will cut them loose and not be nice to them. Good thing I thought this through.



January 28, 2018

No, those aren’t my measurements. If you must know, that’s the combination to my new combination lock which comes with its own set of problems. I started going to the gym recently, the local Y, because it’s less than two blocks away from me and because apparently according to “science” exercise is good for the […]

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Do You Like It?

September 13, 2017

The other day I realized that I weigh more than the Guy I Went to Ireland With, which is an exciting way to beat the Seven Year Itch, even if it’s only been three years and you’re freebasing antihistamines. Interesting story about how I figured that out. He announced his weight after he weighed himself […]

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May 25, 2017

Here is a list of problems that you will encounter when you decide to blog after a long absence from blogging: 1. You will find out that your domain name has expired. This will be a fine how-do-you-do, and you will wonder how this could have happened. Then you’ll remember that you got your domain […]

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Hello Whole30! Goodbye Happiness!

January 9, 2017

I have wonderful news. For my enemies, that is. Today, I am starting the Whole30 Program. You probably heard about it, but if you haven’t, it’s a gateway to happiness and a “reset” to eating habits. Since I’m almost 50, I suspect that reincarnation would be easier at this point, but I forgot to convert […]

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Next Year

December 25, 2016

I’m not a mathematical genius, but if everything goes well, I will be 50 in 2017. It’s hard to believe, since most days I feel like I’ve been 50 for years, but maybe it’s just because I’m wise beyond my years. You’re probably nodding along, and this is why I like you. Well, one of […]

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The Trip To Rome, Part I (of XXX)

April 13, 2016

I was going to do one of those I’m Right, You’re Wrong posts, but some things are so obviously right and the Guy I went to Ireland With is so obviously wrong, that I didn’t want to insult your intelligence. Also, I couldn’t figure out how to write it, given the details to be revealed […]

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