From the monthly archives:

December 2012

Beware of Cats with Yarn

by Marinka on December 27, 2012

I don’t want to sound more insane than usual, but what the fuck? And by that I mean, what the hell?

You know how we, as a country, and as a human race, hold certain truths to be self-evident and they’re also so-ordered by God? I could give you a million examples, like All Men are Created Equal, Not Sure About Women, but the one that really brings it home is the fact that by law, all cats like to play with yarn.

You know this, right? I’m not breaking any new ground here.

Kitten and yarn, what could be more adorable and wholesome and natural? Well, science and nature had to take a backseat the other day as my family went through an ordeal orchestrated by Satan himself in his spare time.

On Saturday, the day before Sunday, when the Good Lord rests and my family was scheduled to fly to North Carolina to celebrate Christmas with my inlaws, my beloved Husbandrinka sat down for the annual tradition of writing holiday cards to the doormen and others who work in the apartment building we live. The cards are to wish them a happy holiday season, thank them for all the good hard work of saying “good morning” and “good evening” according to the time of day and answering my questions of “WHAT’S THAT WEIRD SMELL? IS THERE A GAS LEAK? SMELLS LIKE THE GAS CHAMBER IN HERE!” a few times a year. So we include a holiday gift in the card, as a way of saying Thank$. And obviously we need tons of cards and that’s where I really came through this year.

Because Young Ladrinka’s class has been learning to use the printing press and to celebrate their success, they had a card sale where all parents could buy a pack of cards for only $20. Boy did I jump on that deal! I got one package of 24 cards for $20, even though Young Ladrinka tried to persuade me to make a bigger investment, because apparently you never know when you will need to go on a card sending campaign. I made a few observations of my own like the fact that they had approximately 8000 cards left over means that they did not price them competitively and perhaps the school should focus on modern concepts such as “supply and demand” instead of the printing, since most kids in the class have MacBooks, and then we were suddenly discussing the Fiscal Cliff and how I was going to throw myself off it.

But the point is that I brought out the cards and presented them to Husbandrinka. I may have said TADA! and made a few comments about my saving the day and the human race, but that’s a different award-winning post.

And Husbandrinka took the stack of cards that were festively tied with a piece of bluish yarn, and untied it and then there’s all that stuff that happened when he wasn’t sure whether these were good cards to send or whether we should save Young Ladrinka’s handiwork and I went to get the laundry and when I came back, Husbandrinka told me that Nicki swallowed the piece of yarn that had held the cards together.

One of my real strengths is keeping a cool head in a time of potential crisis, so I took the news in and told Husbandrinka that string swallowing was often fatal in cats, that Nicki’s intestines were going to get all tied up, she would die and we’d have to tell the kids that their father killed their cat for Christmas.

Husbandrinka looked like a little unsettled, but murders often do, until they get the hang of it and appear more blasé.

Then I Googled CAT SWALLOWS YARN, which led me down the rabbit (no pun intended or made) hole of cat forums, with many jovial accounts of how someone thought their cat swallowed some string and was about to panic only to discover that the string was somewhere else, like being used as a noose in the next room, for example.

“Are you sure she swallowed it?” I asked Husbandrinka and he nodded, yes, he was sure. And he had evidence, a tiny piece of yarn that he was able to rescue. He showed it to me and we both looked at it sadly.

Then I realized that I was sitting there looking sadly at a piece of string, and snapped out of it.

The other cat forum advice was to check if the string was still in Nicki’s mouth, which was excellent advice, because if your cat takes string into her mouth and then just sort of keeps it there, you’re on your way to training her to tie a cherry stem into a bow with her mouth. How could that be not fantastic?

Unfortunately, when I looked in Nicki’s mouth (by inserting my entire head into it, lion-tamer style) there was no yarn. Only gums, teeth and sandpapery cat tongue. Maybe some other cat mouth stuff, I wasn’t doing a full anatomical study.

Husbandrinka wasn’t wasting any time either. He called the Emergency Vet clinic that Nicki previously had visited and told them the tale of woe. Apparently, they had good news. Because Nicki swallpwed the string so recently, if we brought her in, they would induce vomiting before it got into her intestines or some other Point of No Return Organs.

So he did. He brought Nicki in. They did an intake form.

And then the doctor told him that they would try to induce vomiting but that “cats are weird” and don’t always vomit. Personally, I find that really racist. Especially when I found out that if she didn’t vomit, they would have to do an endoscopy, which is a $urgical procedure.

And then a bunch of stuff happened, and Nicki vomited up the yarn, and then got some anti-nausea medication, like Kate Middleton, probably, and then we took her home.

And the whole thing was only about $200, which I think we can all agree is not that bad to entertain a family of four for the afternoon. Five, if you include Nicki.

So I don’t know what all those cute images of cats and yarn are about. I suspect it’s propaganda by the Cat Vomiting Inducing Medicine Association. Don’t fall for it.

New! I finally updated the Books I Love page on my blog. I’m hoping to carve out that space to list all the books that have been important to me and/or that I’m reading now. It’s entirely possible that this will be interesting only to me. But if you think you’d like that kind of thing, here’s the link!


Why I’m Not Doing A Gift Guide This Year

by Marinka on December 20, 2012

The other day I said to myself, “wouldn’t it be fun to do a Gift Guide on my blog?” and then I responded, “what are you, crazy?” Some more heated words were exchanged and as a result, I’m no longer speaking to myself and am forced to communicate with other people who are not me. I’m sure it goes without saying (to myself or anyone else) that this is agonizing.

One of the problems with doing a Gift Guide is that I hate shopping. I know people say that they hate shopping and then they have 3,000 pairs of shoes and 1200 purses, so you have to assume that they suffer from Post Shopping Stress Syndrome. I’m not like that. I have like 3 pairs of shoes and one pair of sneakers and one pair of boots, because in case you’re skimming this, I hate shopping. I have buyer’s regret before I set foot into the store, before I click “confirm purchase” before I get the package. Retail therapy doesn’t work for me. I’m looking into retail shock therapy, maybe. Who knows.

The other problem with doing a Gift Guide is how the hell do I know what you should get the people on your list? What am I, some sort of Gift Giving Miss Cleo? Solve your own gifting problems, Magi.

But then I thought, well, there are certainly things I like, so maybe I can recommend them. Does that even make sense? For example, I really like this:

Yep, Smashbox Photofinish Primer is great and makes my face feel like a baby’s bottom, which is apparently a desirable facial feature. But how do I know that everyone will like it? I mean, it’s just my opinion and my taste.

So maybe I’m supposed to make a Gift Guide for things I’d like to receive? That would be ok, because I certainly know what I like, but the problem is I already have the things that I like, that’s how I know I like them.

As you can see, Gift Guides are agonizing. That’s why I leave them to the experts. But if you insist on my advice, I recommend giving the gift of humor. Because goodness knows, we could all use a laugh or a million. Fortunately, my Twitter friend Suzy has a new book out, Celebrity sTalker about her run-ins with celebrities. And they’re not celebrities you’ve never heard of, they’re celebrities like Bea Arthur and Angelina Jolie. I laughed on almost every page. I love Suzy’s sense of humor and she’s very self-deprecating. And I really think that if I lived in L.A. and did standup comedy (while sitting down, probably), I’d write a similar book. Except I don’t have a sister, so that chapter about how Suzy’s sister was dating Johnny Carson wouldn’t be in the book. So you’ll get more out of Suzy’s book than mine. So, buy it. It’s my gift to you. Also, there’s an Amazon Affiliate link in there, so I’ll probably be a billionaire soon, just in time for Obama taxing the rich. I just can’t catch a break.

Finally, my friend Peajaye made this animation and it made me laugh and laugh and laugh. Take a look!

And Happy Holidays!


I Don’t Know What That Means

December 17, 2012

I may have mentioned before that 11 year old Young Ladrinka loves Magic The Gathering. I know it sounds like some sort of a cult, but if only life were that easy. Because if he were in a cult, he probably wouldn’t keep telling me about Magic The Gathering all the time because I assume […]

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December 12, 2012

Recently I had to do something unpleasant. I had to tell my friend that her husband resembled the serial killer on American Horror Story. Bloody Face, to be exact. (Oh, if you’re spoiler-free for American Horror Story and don’t want to know who Bloody Face is, maybe stop reading now. Or maybe stop pretending that […]

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Calls From School

December 9, 2012

Let me just tell you this right now to save you the suspense. When you get a call from your kid’s school, it’s never good news. It’s never, “the principal and the director were just talking about how you are the best mom in the whole school and we were wondering if you would mind […]

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So Different

December 5, 2012

Recently I had to take my 14 year old daughter and 11 year old son to get their flu shots. The morning of the day, I texted my daughter. “Flu shot after school today” and she responded “when and where” And that was it. It was slightly different with Young Ladrinka. First of all, I […]

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Google Searching for Elf on the Shelf

December 3, 2012

Do you know from the hell that is Elf on the Shelf? Well, I wrote about it last year and over the past week or so I’ve noticed that it has been getting some traffic. Which is normal, I guess- a masterpiece will often find its audience. Oh, and maybe it’s also Elf on the […]

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