From the category archives:

In the News


by Marinka on August 5, 2014

In case you read this blog for all your breaking news, there is an Ebola outbreak going on right now. It’s mostly in Africa, although two infected American missionaries have been brought to the United States. Also someone walked into a NYC emergency room, feeling all Ebolaish, but the hospital spokersperson is telling us not to worry and inhale deeply, so all should be ok.

There is also no cure, so in case you’ve been sitting around trying to figure out what’s the next great thing to invent, I’d definitely give Ebola-Be-Gone a try.

Personally, I don’t like epidemics with no cure, but that’s just a personal preference, I can’t speak for everyone. What I can do is share a post that I wrote two years ago, because where Ebola is concerned, it’s pretty timeless.

* * *

As you may remember, this summer my daughter and I are reading The Hot Zone, Richard Preston’s account of the Ebola epidemic.

Obviously I’m reading it under duress and already have diagnosed myself with Ebola so I’m just awaiting the autopsy to confirm my findings.

But I’ve also learned a few interesting facts from the book and I’m going to share them with you here, absolutely free of charge.


1. There is a river called Ebola. It’s in the Congo, in case you’re still in the destination-shopping phase of your honeymoon planning.

2.The United States Army has veterinarians. They take care of the Army’s guard dogs, pigs, cows, sheep, horses, monkeys, mules and rabbits.

3. The United States Army seems to have a lot of animals. You’d think they’d feature it more prominently in their recruitment posters, but it’s almost like they’re not even trying to appeal to 9 year old girls.

4. The United States Army doesn’t seem to have any cats. I don’t understand how we can expect any of our stealth missions to succeed with this blatant anti-feline bias. Have we learned nothing from the Don’t Ask, Don’t Meow fiasco?

5. HIV is only a Biosafety Level 2 agent. Ebola is a Biosafety Level 4 agent, although after reading the book, I am going to start a petition to have it upgraded to Biosafety Level 8 kazillion. (By the way, “What’s your Biosafety Level?” is an excellent pick up line!)

6. The good people at the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)were reluctant to travel to the Hot Zone. “They did not care to do research on Ebola because they did not want Ebola to do research on them.” Finally, a sentiment I agree with. I wonder if it’s too late for me to enlist?

7. “The first line of defense against a hot agent is sticky tape, because it seals cracks.” I don’t know about you, but I am going to be buying a lot of sticky tape. And maybe a stapler, just in case.

8. Apparently, it’s very ouchy to lose the surface of one’s tongue. OMG, I’m losing consciousness just knowing that tongues have surfaces. I hope that doesn’t affect my chances of a career with USAMRIID.

9. When I tweet an educational excerpt from the book:

some First Amendment enemy will tweet this in response:

But I won’t be silenced, Stacey, I won’t be. Because silence=death. And Ebola=death. So my silence=Ebola. I believe the math and science speak for themselves.


Things I Learned

by Marinka on February 6, 2014

Last year I learned something so shocking that it has taken me up until now to discuss it with you.

I learned that literally now also means figuratively. And not just according to people who don’t understand how language works and have been using it incorrectly for years. No. According to the dictionary. This makes zero sense to me and I’m very upset about it.

So to distract myself from this outrage, I will share some other things I recently learned.

1. Two of my friends thought Nicki was a boy.

Here is a picture of Nicki, and I’m sure you will agree that she’s the embodiment of female grace and loveliness. As a matter of fact, it’s just a matter of time before Miriam Webster inserts Nicki’s photo under the “female” entry.


When Papa heard that two of my friends thought that Nicki was a boy, he was disgusted (and possibly surprised that I had friends!)

“Nicki looks like a typical whore,” he said.

Yes, because that makes sense.

2. I’m not good at code.

Two friends and I had dinner in one of our favorite West Village Mexican restaurants. The food is fantastic, but the place is tiny, and the tables are very close to each other.

“When I had lice,” I started to share my week, when I was rudely interrupted by one of my friends.

“You need a codeword for that.”

“When I had gonorrhea-” I tried again.

IDK, what code word do you use for lice?

3. Call it Sleep.

Son: You know what I hate?

Me: Nothing, because you are filled with love?

Son: I hate when I wake up at 7:11 and fall back asleep for a minute, it’s suddenly 7:30, but at school when I fall asleep for five minutes and then I wake up, only one minute has passed.

Me: … ??? !!!

4. Saving money is a good thing. But maybe not if you’re saving money on Russian- English translators when you’re hosting the 2014 Olympics.

I can’t stop looking at the official Sochi 2014 website and particularly this fantastic logo:

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 8.44.48 AM

Hot. Cool. Yours.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Is Russia trying to confuse us so that we overlook their human rights violations and the #Sochiproblems tweets?

5. Mama is in deep denial.

Me: Mama, so I’m working on my memoir and-

Mama: That thing again?

Me: Yes, so I’m working on it, and by chance, do you remember beating me when I was a child?

Mama: No.

Me: Do you think you don’t remember beating me because you were in a drunken stupor and blacked out?

Mama: I don’t remember it because it didn’t happen. Same reason you don’t remember it.

Me: I was hoping that the reason I didn’t remember it is that it was too traumatic.

Mama: Idiotka. (Translation: female idiot)

Me: I remember you taking me to the ballet a lot.

Mama: Yes, we did that. But taking child to ballet is not same as beating.

Me: You just keep telling yourself that, Mama.

6. Yelling does not mean what I think it does.

My son and I were having a, shall we say, difference of opinion, about some issues having to do with whether or not I should be devoting myself to transporting him to and from his various social commitments or to less relevant tasks, such as work and laundry and making dinner.

“Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you should yell at me!” he said. In a loud voice.

“I haven’t raised my voice during this whole conversation,” I said, not pointing out that the reason that I haven’t is that I am utterly without energy.

“UGH, MOM!” he said. “When will you get that for kids yelling just means disagreeing.”

Kids today. They’ll be writing the dictionary one day.

What did you learn this week?


P.S. This is cheating because I’ve known it for a long time, but I also learned that my friends can make me laugh hysterically and embarrassingly. Don’t miss these posts from Kelcey and Wendi.


The Menstruating Vagina T-Shirt

October 9, 2013

Yesterday I was spending some quality time on Facebook, when I saw that Amy posted something about a menstruating vagina T-shirt. Which is an excellent way to get to Friendship Probation, by the way. Here it is: You can buy it here! But I have some questions, besides the obvious why. I mean, I’m the […]

Read the full article →

I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Execution

March 20, 2013

Last week, Husbandrinka and I had a romantic dinner out, just the two of us (and the other people in the restaurant, it wasn’t one of those romantic gestures where he bought out the entire restaurant and led me into it, mostly because I suspect  that’s less romantic and more creepfest). But we were having […]

Read the full article →

Inaugurate This!

January 19, 2013

Photo credit: Solomon, my friend’s 10 year old son. I love the kid’s vantage point. Last week I was relaxing and watching Lance Armstrong confess to Oprah, when suddenly I got an email from my children’s biological father. You know, Husbandrinka. I’m trying out some new nicknames for him. He mentioned that a friend of […]

Read the full article →

Please Help

November 4, 2012

You don’t want to read the post that I’ve been writing in my head. You don’t. Because it is about how even though we got our power back yesterday, I still think I smell urine everywhere. Did I type smell? I meant stench. I really missed flushing the toilet. A lot. Or the suggestions Mama […]

Read the full article →

If You Tell One Person

October 20, 2012

My fellow Mouthy Housewives and I have been keeping a secret. In August we started a Twitter parody account, @PaulRyanGosling, which melds the horror of knuckle-dragger Paul Ryan and the dreaminess of DNA-winner Ryan Gosling. We wanted to tweet anonymously, so took an Omertà oath of silence. Just about being the ones behind @PaulRyanGosling, not […]

Read the full article →

The Funny Thing About Rape

July 13, 2012

If you’re like most people, you love a good rape joke. Come on, violence against women, how is that ever not funny? Unless you’re one of those holdouts who prefers their humor without inflicting pain on people who have already suffered more than anyone should, of course. So Daniel Tosh was telling some rape jokes, […]

Read the full article →