From the monthly archives:

June 2014


by Marinka on June 18, 2014

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Like you’re living your life and things are pretty good, if you don’t focus too much on the Human Condition and the frailty of life and the fact that the we are all, each one of us, is going to die alone. Unless there is some sort of a mass-casualty incident, of course, but that’s cold comfort too.

But, anyway. You’re living your life and things are going well, tolerable, at least, and then one day one of your cats pees on your bed, and let me tell you, no matter how great the mental health you’ve been enjoying thus far is, you will contemplate suicide.

I know because it happened to me.

Goldilocks, style.

The other day, I was at home enjoying life and the Lord’s bounty, when my son suddenly screamed.

“I am going to kill one of these cats!”

Now I don’t like hearing things like that because I noticed that in our society, when a child kills a cat, the trend is to blame the mother. I have no idea why that’s popular these days, but my plan is just to ride out that trend with as low a profile as possible.

“Don’t kill the cats,” I gave him a direct command, but he was already blathering something about one of them peeing on his bed.

“I’m sure no one peed on your bed,” I reassured him in what we will refer to colloquially as Marinka is wrong about many things.

Although I was sure that no one had peed on his bed, there was a puddle of urine on top of it, and that was difficult to explain.

Also, I had to do tons of laundry. Fortunately, my son suffers from a kazillion allergies, so his mattress is encased in some sort of protective (and apparently cat urine non-penentrating) covering.

This is what we in the industry refer to as foreshadowing. (And that is what we in the industry call plagiarism, since Wendi is the one who used the phrase we in the industry first; but all is fair in love and bloggers ripping each other off.)

The next morning I woke up and looked at the empty space in the bed next to me (in case some of you don’t understand how divorce works). Except the empty space in bed next to me was not so empty. The empty space in bed next to me was a puddle. And not a puddle of my tears (in case you don’t understand how divorce works, 2.0), but a pungent puddle.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?” I shrieked. And then I sniffed. And the rest is sort of a blur. A urine-soaked blur.

A urine-soaked blur that involved 5:30 am laundry and Googling HOW TO GET FUCKING CAT URINE OUT OF MATTRESS and then going to the store to buy vinegar, baking soda and refill my cyanide prescription.

I’m not really ready to talk about what happened next.

Let’s just say that if there were a way that I could frame the cats for my murder, I would definitely kill myself. Over and over again.



by Marinka on June 7, 2014

The other night I won three games in a row at mah jongg, improving considerably my 2014 record of winning zero games in a row. The thing about me and winning is that for reasons that science cannot yet identify, once I win, I become completely intolerable. The wonderful, kind person that you’ve come to adore is transformed into a wonderful, kind person who cannot stop boasting about what a winner she is and lets you guess what exactly that means for you, you huge loser. Some people don’t like it. Who knows why, there are a lot of psychos out there.

So I won three games in a row at mah jongg, and after I made sure that my mah jongg group bowed at my feet, I decided to take my boasting outside the confines of the group. And not just because the group asked me to leave. Politely, of course, but there was no mistaking their ugly jealousy. Ugly loser jealousy.

I called a friend of mine to let him know the good news.

“Guess what!” I said and before he had the chance to guess incorrectly, I told him about my winning mah jongg three times in a row.

“What’s mah jongg?” He asked, probably because as a way of buying time to come to terms with what a huge winner I was.

“Mah jongg is an ancient tile game that’s based on skill and good looks,” I explained. To be fair, I’m not that great at explaining what mah jongg is. I’m much better at winning at mah jongg. It’s sort of my thing.

And then this friend said something that was so hysterical that I still tear up thinking about it.

He said- oh, excuse me, there’s something in my eye. He said “I can master this game and beat you at it.”

Now I don’t know if he has some sort of Tourette or some other condition that makes him blurt out inane shit, but I just laughed merrily. I won thrice, after all. Which is practically the Triple Crown, except no one was going to make glue out of me. Probably. Hopefully.

But then he mentioned it again, and you know what? It sort of started to chafe at my three games in a row win. Like the only reason I won (THREE TIMES) is that he, the Gary Fisher of mah jongg, wasn’t there throwing tiles. So I said, GAME FUCKING ON.

So few days ago, some (loser) mah jongg friends and I gathered to teach him the art of mah jongg. I was confident in my prowess as a mah jongg champion, but because it never hurts to have a little help, I suggested to these friends that we make a few “mistakes” in teaching him. Mistakes that would lead to confusion and most importantly, losing. This is what we refer to as “insurance” in the industry, but apparently my friends had recently became Jehova’s Witnesses because they were all “why would we lie?” and “why would we cheat like that?” And look, I don’t mean to be all judgmental, but there are people who understand exactly why you’d lie and cheat and I’m sorry to say that these women were not in that category. And I didn’t have the energy to explain it to them.

“Well, obviously, I don’t want to do that,” I lied while stuffing a few tiles in my bra. “I just wanted to throw it out there in case you guys wanted to!”

We said no more about it and trained this guy. Unfortunately, he was a quick study and without my insurance policy, he soon won the first game.

We call this “beginner’s luck” and cross-file it under “Fuck it, where is the justice in this world?!”

“I won my first game,” he said.

Personally, I don’t understand people who boast like that. But I guess some people feel better about themselves when they do it.


Ever wonder what winners read? I’m over at Alpha Mom, discussing “David and Goliath” by Malcolm Gladwell.


Things I Think About When I Can’t Sleep

June 3, 2014

I love Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah but I have to be in just the right mood to listen to it. Sometimes I’m too fragile for it. And I don’t know what kind of secret chord David has although I’m definitely glad the Lord is pleased with it. Oh and you know what’s weird? Why is he […]

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