From the category archives:



by Marinka on October 3, 2013

Last week, I went to L.A. to visit my friend Peajaye. I met him through my other friend Wendi, when she and I guest posted on each other’s blogs back in the good old days when people did that. Anyway, Peajaye and I have been friends since 2008 (which sounds ancient), so I wanted to test the friendship and visit him in L.A.

“Can’t we just Skype?” he asked when I suggested the trip. We are working on a novel together, and after exchanging several dozen drafts and death threats, I thought it would be best if we were in the same, preferably padded, room.

I just can’t get into Skyping, though. For one, I always forget my username. And for another, it seems like a lot of work. I have to find a spot to sit. And talk. Obviously flying to L.A. is a lot more convenient.

Finally, Peajaye exhausted the appeals process offered by our legal system and I booked my flight.

“I don’t understand this,” Mama said. Which was deceptive because “this” implies there is one thing she doesn’t understand, but in reality there were Quite A Few.

“I don’t remember Dostoyevsky flying to California,” she mentioned. “He was a genius and wrote at home.”

“Well, that’s the difference,” I explained patiently. “Geniuses write at home. I, on the other hand, have to travel. As a matter of fact, with my talent level, I’m lucky that I don’t have to travel intergallactically.”

“Where did you meet this person, anyway?” Mama asked over the phone a week before my trip and for some reason wasn’t reassured when I replied “the Internet.”

“What does your husband think about this?” she wanted to know. “Isn’t he worried about you?”

“Hey, are you worried about me going to L.A.?” I asked my husband. He was standing in front of the open refrigerator, as though in a trance.

“No,” he said. “Although I’m worried that our refrigerator doesn’t seem to be as cold as it was before we got the freezer fixed.” To be honest, I’ve been worried about it too. That’s why I wanted to put some miles between me and the freezer.

It was a great trip. We worked on our novel, we talked, we ate the meals that Peajaye prepared.

And I was reminded how important friendship is. And how it can come from anywhere. Even the Internet.


I’m Right, You’re Wrong: The AA Version

by Marinka on August 21, 2013

No, I’m not in AA, although please keep checking this post for updates, depending on how things are going.

Recently, my “friend” Peajaye and I were having a loving conversation about people we know in AA and how they acknowledge the time that they have been sober. Specifically, is it a birthday or an anniversary?

Now, neither Peajaye nor I belong to AA, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t have strong, violence-inducing opinions about it. And we need you to weigh in.

As always, with I’m Right, You’re Wrong, I’m going to present the two points of view without identifying which one of us holds which position so that you can be completely fair and impartial.

Dilemma: In AA, is sobriety marked with a birthday or an anniversary?

Contestants: Marinka and Peajaye.

Position One: Things that mark a year long anniversary of something are called anniversaries. Because that’s how language works. A birthday is when someone gives birth to you.

Position Two: I’ve heard people refer to it as a birthday. And online, there it was, in page after page on sites about AA. On the East Coast, most people referred to it as an anniversary, but in California, it was known as a birthday. As we were discussing someone who lives in California, I was right.  I emailed a screen-cap to [gender specific pronoun deleted to preserve the sanctity of the IRYW process] to help clear the confusion.  Surely this would settle matters.  If the person you’re writing to were sane.

But no, that was [see previous note about gender-specific pronoun] cue to start torturing me. Was I sure? But it didn’t make sense! Why was I sending a screen-cap?! Did I see what one of those people wrote on the message boards about a “belly-button birthday”!?

Look, I didn’t make up the expression. Just like I didn’t make up the expression Born Again Christian. I’m not going to argue it should be something like Anniversary of Baptism Christian. In fact, I am not going to tell any group how they should self-identify. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for that. If west coast AA members want to celebrate the day they became sober by calling it a birthday because they feel like that was the day that they were reborn, who cares?

Position One, Rebuttal: Who cares? People who speak English care. If the West Coast wants to start referring to cats as pianos are we all supposed to just play along and pretend it’s normal behavior? Look, I understand about self-identification (or I will as soon as I Google it) but these people are maintaining their sobriety.  Shouldn’t we help in any way we can?  Starting with vocabulary?


I’m Right, You’re Wrong: On Your Period, Lass?

March 19, 2012

It’s time, once again, for I’m Right, You’re Wrong. A few weeks ago, my sister Mouthy Housewife Wendi tackled the issue of what to do when your friend refers to menstruation as “being on my period.”  Some sick shit, right?  Well, no sooner did that happen than my friend and homosexual-American Peajaye and I almost […]

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February 3, 2012

The other day I was emailing with my “friend” Peajaye and mentioned how Husbandrinka was going to be spending the night in the homeless shelter. He does that as volunteer work at his church. And when I say ‘his church’ I mean the church that he attends, lest you think that he leads a congregation. […]

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