From the category archives:



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. 


Do You Like It?

by Marinka on 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 and then after he left and I secured all doors and windows, I weighed myself and the number that I weighed was higher than the number that he weighed, so doing some back of the envelope calculations, I came to the conclusion that I was heavier than he was.

Immediately I tried to pry open one of the windows for the needless-to-say-but-apparently-necessary-to-write purpose of flinging myself out, but my weight gain was less “muscle” and more “ass” so the window remained sealed and I remained.

A few things came into my mind right then, in no particular order: Fourth, no one must ever find out. First, well, he is as bald as a baby’s bottom and I have a glorious mane, which explains everything. Second, I have to start dating two men simultaneously, preferably conjoined, so that they always weigh themselves together and I will never outweigh the person(s) I am dating again. Fifth, this wouldn’t be a bad time for a light snack and, finally, third, maybe I should lose some weight.

I didn’t like that last third idea so much because of the whole patriarchy thing and ObamaCare but on the other hand, I am not entirely comfortable with the conjoined. I know it’s my thing, my limitation and not theirs, and to be fair to them, they haven’t been exactly seeking me out for dating purposes, either, but if I am being honest with myself, I have to admit that I have no interest in dating ever again, even the non-conjoined, especially now that there are those walking among us who voted for Trump. I’ve never even dated a Republican, so I can’t risk this shit now. Besides, I love the Guy I Went to Ireland With, so getting a haircut is the only thing that made sense.

This is the part of the post where I put in a lot of transitional stuff that ties everything together nicely and earns me a Nobel in Blogging. Except I have things to do, so if you wouldn’t mind taking over this part, I’ll share a snack with you.

To make a long story slightly shorter, I decided not to cut my hair but to lose a few ounces instead so before I knew it, the Guy I Went to Ireland With and I were doing the Whole30 eating plan again and it was going great. I know what you’re thinking. If we’re both doing the Whole30 and we will both lose weight, won’t he still weigh less than I do?

And the answer is, I guess, if you believe in math, that’s how it works. But I believe in love and its power to transform and make me weigh less than him. Also I plan on injecting him with lard while he sleeps, so this is one of those clear eyes full heart can’t lose situations.

Now if you’re finished with the interruptions, I will tell you what happened last night so that you will know.
I don’t know if you’ve ever done Whole 30, or eaten any food, but the essential element is food preparation. Whole30 means no dairy, no sugar, no wheat, no something else, so there’s a lot of label reading and cooking from scratch. And I don’t know what scratching has to do with it and if it’s related to the Seven Year Itch. And I love cooking for my family. Knowing that I’m providing healthful, nutritious meals is a feeling that I cannot describe, but what I can describe is how great I feel when I get complimented on it.

You know who doesn’t get how great it is to get complimented on a meal lovingly prepared? The Guy I Went to Ireland With.

“Thank you,” the Guy I Went to Ireland With said when I handed him a plate of love in the shape of lamb shepherd’s pie.
And then we masticated. In silence.
“Do you like it?” I asked.
“It’s ok,” he said.

It’s not his fault. I asked him a question and like a damn fool, he answered it honestly, probably because I am the first human being that he has ever met and is new to human interaction.

So as a public service, I will explain what someone who prepared your meal wants to hear when they ask “Do you like it?”

A Step-by-Step Guide

1.Put your eating utensil down or disconnect your feeding tube
2. Look at the food preparing angel with love in your eyes.
3. Swallow, while looking at food preparing angel with love in your eyes.
4. Say, “Do I like it? No. No, I do not. I love it.”
5. Pick up your eating utensil but then put it down again, for effect. I’m not sure how this will work with feeding tubes.
6. Say, “I’ve never tasted anything like this. Amazing. Truly.” (Warning: do not say this if this is the second night you’re having this meal, although you can say something along the lines that it’s even better on the second night, but that’s a thin line you’re going to have to walk, so I can’t help you).
7. Pick up/put down utensil, but not so that your good preparing angel notices a pattern. Maybe give food preparing angel $100 as a distraction.
8. Say, “seriously, how did you do it?” If FPA™ starts to respond, say, “No! Don’t tell me! I Can’t be trusted with this secret!”
9. Give FPA™ another $100. Because you can’t put a price on food. And love. No matter what restaurants and Tiffany’s say.
10. IF and ONLY IF FPA™ questions your sincerity, throw down your napkin (oh, pre-step 1, make sure there’s a napkin folded on your lap. And also that your wallet has a few $100 bills) and say, “Please do not question my love!” Squeeze out a tear. Tell FPA™ that you are too hurt to continue this conversation, but fortunately not hurt enough to stop eating.
11. Finish everything on your plate.
12. Lick the plate.
13. Ask if there’s an antidote.
14. Say that you’re kidding. Offer another $100 to “take care of” any “misunderstanding.”

I hope that this has been helpful.

$100, please.


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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January 16, 2014

Recently I told a friend of mine that I will be single soon and because she knows George Clooney, I asked if she would introduce us. This is called “keeping your options open.” “Of course,” she said so quickly that I had to assume that Clooney had been on a decades-long campaign badgering her left […]

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You Will Like This

November 22, 2013

The other day Papa sent me an email with the subject heading “You will like this!” I immediately became very excited because I really like liking things so I assumed it was something like a revelation that I was one of the Romanoffs and should expect to be on the receiving end of  an immediate […]

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September 11, 2013

Last week the Good Lord tested my marriage as though it were Job. Our freezer wasn’t working and instead of looking into the more affordable murder-suicide option, my husband decided to call some sort of freezer shaman. “Maybe we should just get a new freezer,” I suggested, but apparently I’m married to someone who comes […]

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September 7, 2013

The other day my husband and I had the type of conversation that makes people like me wonder why heterosexual marriage is legal in the first place. Or why people were given speech. “You know,” he started, “we’re going to have to talk about our budget.” “Are you concerned that I’m not spending enough money?” […]

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