From the category archives:


Exciting Business Opportunity!

by Marinka on February 3, 2014

A few weeks ago I had a brilliant idea.

It shone so bright that I had little choice but to accept the fact that it was inspired by nothing less than genius.

I decided to share it with Mama and Papa and Russian Aunt, Mama’s sister, who is visiting from Russia for a few months.

“I had a brilliant idea,” I warned them in case they were unaccustomed to flying too close to the sun.

“Tell us!” they said in unison, Greek-chorus like. “Tell us, for we want to know!”

“I will tell you,” I could afford to be magnanimous because I had decided early on that I wasn’t going to be one of those Evil Geniuses you hear so much about. It’s really an awful stereotype and I will devote myself to dispelling it.

And then I told them.

My idea is that we would invent something and it would make us super-rich. Well, mostly me, but if they played their cards right, they would be “comfortable”. Because I would buy them fuzzy socks and once you slip those on it’s impossible not to feel cozy!


I’ve been watching Shark Tank and it really inspired me. Shark Tank is a reality show where normal people who are aspiring entrepeneurs pitch potential business/inventions to a panel of bitchy millionaire and billionaire investors. The potential investors grill the normal person/potential entrepeneur about their business, asking such personal questions as “how much money have you made thus far?” and “how did you come up with the valuation?” And then they decide if they want to invest or not.

Seeing some of the crap people invent really inspired me. These two guys invented some kind of a grilled cheese and tomato store. I decided I wanted in.

“We will invent something and it will make us rich,” I shared.

Mama and Papa and Russian Aunt all wanted in.

“Da!” They said. “Yes, we will do this.”

Fantastique!” I said, because I decided that once I’m rich I will sprinkle French words throughout every conversation. Words like Dom Perignon and Merci (for the caviar) and this was a good opportunity to practice.

I settled back to plan for my financial success. First thing, I will have to join the Tea Party because I don’t need to pay any bullshit taxes on my hard earned fortune. If you think it’s so easy having brilliant ideas, why don’t you go ahead and have one of your own instead of wasting your day reading mommy blogs, genius.

“I almost invented something once,” Mama said.

“Oh?” We all perked up. Perhaps Mama was a natural and would lead our Development Team.

“Yes, but someone invented it first,” Mama looked sad. And then she told us how she had this great idea for a camera that attaches to a cat collar and records wherever the cat roams. Apparently some other couple came up with this idea and are now sitting on a pile of cash that’s surrounded by gold.

“I can’t imagine this would make a lot of money-” Papa started and I agreed with him. It is important to keep the crazy at bay. Who the hell wants to see where their cat is? It’s one thing if your cat travels intergallactically or is some sort of crime-solving cat but do I need to know if Nicki has been on the couch vs. the bed all day?

“Also there was a couple who invented kitty litter made out of newspaper,” Mama continued. “That was my idea too.”

I don’t know if it’s the same cat-market-cornering couple that created the hidden camera, but it quickly became obvious to the us that either Mama’s thoughts were being raided by some entrepreneurs or Mama was, as we would call in the industry, a weak link.

“Moving right along,” I said, hoping to move the meeting right along. “Does anyone have any other ideas? Something that hasn’t been invented yet, preferably” I added helpfully because I could see that this Dream Team was going to need a lot of guidance.

“A woman invented Rent a Husband,” Mama offered, apparently confusing this for a meeting where we review other items that have been invented.

“That sounds like nightmare,” Russian Aunt said.

“No,” Mama defended the invention. “Let’s say you need a man to do something, like fix refrigerator, you can call Rent the Husband and he comes to fix refrigerator and then maybe you go on date-”

“This is prostitution, pure and simple!” Papa interjected, completely overlooking the fixing the refrigerator part. Which didn’t even make sense to me, because what if it was under warranty and you only had to pay for parts?

I was starting to feel discouraged, fearing that I picked the wrong partners for my genius-money making venture.

“Do you have any ideas, precious Marinka? You are always so filled with wisdom and virtue!” Russian Aunt asked. (This was in Russian, so I am paraphrasing.)

“Well, Russian Aunt,” I addressed Russian Aunt. “As a matter of fact, I do. I was thinking something that would really fill a void in the market, something that many people would buy.”

“Like what?” The Russian-Greek chorus sang.

“Like, oh, I don’t know. Wine for diabetics, maybe?”

There was some mumbling about fermentation and wine for cats but then Papa took the floor.

“We make cat food that is good enough for owner to enjoy,” he proclaimed.

“?” the rest of us said.

“Yes, cat food. But also human food. Cat and owner dine together. Beautiful bonding experience.”

“I think that’s tuna,” I suggested softly. I didn’t want to make any sudden movements because clearly he was abut to snap.

“Not only tuna!” Papa was off and running. “We have chicken and beef entrées, and also vegetarian.”

“Maybe vegan for popular people,” Mama chimed in. “And glutton-free.”

“Glute-” I started, but before I got to the n I decided it wasn’t worth it.

“And ethnic cuisine,” Russian Aunt was suddenly onboard, probably envisioning a Cat/Person Borscht line with a Creamed Herring appetizer.

“I don’t…” I started. But then I stopped. Because what if they are right? What if Cat/Human food is the next frontier and I am too grossed out to see it? What if I am sitting at the front door of Tomato and Grilled Cheese shops for owner and cat?

There’s a lot to do, of course. There are recipes to develop, cat studies to perform. But who knows? This could be the next big thing.

Let me know if you would like to invest.



by Marinka on November 26, 2013

If you have internet access and eyes, you’ve probably seen the amazing #TheoandBeau photographs.  What you may not know is that they were taken by my friend Jessica Shyba– under my guidance and supervision.  And exaggeration. I really encourage you to click over to look at the beautiful pictures of Jessica’s son, Beau, napping with their puppy, Theo. It will make you want to get a baby and a puppy. Or at least a camera.

Sadly, I have none of those things.

But I do have a cat, some CSA-vegetables and an iPhone 4S camera, so I’m doing the best I can, people.


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Seasonal!  And I wouldn’t be surprised if Theo and Beau suddenly start napping with squash.


With the holiday season around the corner, have you gotten all your loved ones a copy of Wanted Cat? It’s a heartwarming book about one family’s search for the perfect cat. I wrote it, Peajaye illustrated it and my daughter took the photographs. What’s not to like? Make sure to get a copy for all your disliked ones too, but give it to them ironically.

Click here to order!


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Sometimes My Husband and I Don’t See Eye to Eye

August 30, 2013

My husband is a great guy and everything, but he and I don’t see eye to eye on some things. And Nicki’s welfare is one of those things. Here is a recent photo of Nicki, so feel free to gaze into her eyes and fall head over tail in love before you proceed with the […]

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April 20, 2013

I think this may have been the longest unintentional blog break that I’ve ever taken, and the problem with coming back is that so much has happened, I don’t know where to begin in updating. First things first, my son found his mitt. It was lost for a week, and then the team who had […]

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Beware of Cats with Yarn

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 […]

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The Color Orange

November 5, 2012

The other day I was playing mah jongg at a friend’s house and fell in love with her cat, an orange tabby. I’ve always wanted an orange tabby. I came home and told my husband my tale of woe. “What are you talking about?” he said, “Nicki is an orange tabby.” Here is a recent […]

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October 10, 2012

Look, I’m on a budget, ok? And the budget includes only essential items except for those rare times that I  have to go out to have caviar pizza with Kelcey, Karen and Stacy. Oh, I haven’t told you about that yet? It’s sort of a long story about how one day I bought a Groupon-type […]

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A Glimmer of Good News

July 26, 2012

As you know, it’s been Husbandrinka’s Birthday Gift Indecision Central around here lately. To recap: He wants a chain saw, I want to remain undead. (And yes, he also wants a camera, but that tidbit doesn’t help with today’s post, so forget all about it, ok?) So: Husbandrinka wants a chain saw and I don’t […]

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