by Marinka on January 23, 2010

Obviously, I’m going through some kind of a hormonal imbalance and am posting depressing things on a humor blog. But fuck it, if grown ass men can have hissy fits over multimillion dollar contracts, I’m going to whine about how hard it is being a mother in NYC in 2010, and in every other location in every single other year, too.

Awkward transition.

Here are some updates of what’s been going on this week, while I’ve been busy freaking out because I saw a very fast car zooming along.

1. My cable/DVR/Reason for living is broken. It doesn’t look broken, but it doesn’t work. I discovered this on Tuesday, when I settled in to watch the day’s recorded episode of General Hospital and there was no day’s recorded episode of General Hospital.
Also, there was no picture on the TV. I quickly put 2 and 2 together, got a calculator to double check my work and went into full panic mode. I called Time Warner, and they were like “it’s broken” and I’m was like “please fix it” and they were like “Saturday, 2 to 6”. Which is super convenient, because today, Saturday, 4 to 7, I am invited to a wine and cheese party with friends. Who wants to bet what time the cable guy will be arriving?

2. I had a mammogram which, thankfully, was completely normal. What wasn’t normal was the woman who administered the mammogram. She wanted to know where I was from.
“St. Petersberg,” I told her. She’s from Poland. “Small world!” I said. Not because I think it’s a small world, a large world or a medium-sized world but because when you’re standing there, holding on to the mammogram machine, waiting for compression, you’ll say just about anything.
Except for this Rhodes scholar, who apparently insists on geographical accuracy.
“Not really. You are from Russia and I am from Poland,” she said and adjusted lefty. “Although I was in St. Petersberg in 1972 with my aunt.”
“Haha,” I said. “Maybe we passed each other on the street.”
“I doubt it,” she said. “Don’t breathe.”
When she released the clench, I wanted to know why she was so certain that we didn’t see each other on the street.
“Because it’s a big city,” she explained as though I had my brain mammogrammed and was now suffering the aftereffects.
Then, as she sent me out to await my results, she told me to “think positive.”
You know what? Fuck you with the think positive bullshit. I came to this place, breasts akimbo and checkbook in hand, for a medical diagnosis. Whether they see something on the film or not is totally outside of my thinking positively, negatively or being lobotomized. But yes, I feel very, very lucky.

3. Nicki’s journey to litter-box freedom is on the way. After Nicki finished celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at my parents’ dacha, we came back home and I started elevating her litter box a few inches a day. The goal is that after a few weeks, the litter box is at the same height as the toilet, and then some kind of a miracle occurs and the cat is all “I want to go on the toilet!” and never uses the litter box again. Husbandrinka thinks that this is bullshit and will be a colossal failure. If there’s one thing that I can’t stand, it’s people who can’t think positive! Oh. Despite my good intentions, there were almost immediate problems.
(a) Our original litter box location was in the bathroom, but not right next to the toilet. So, if I elevated the litter-box to the same height as the toilet, they would still be across the bathroom from each other and I’d have to get some kind of ladder to bridge the two. So Nicki would need to train to be a trapeze artist or something, which I think would totally work, but everyone else in the house would have burst bladders.
(b) I had to move the litter-box closer to the toilet. But the litter-box was too big! I went to buy a smaller litter-box. It was supersmall and I sought reassurance from the pet store person that it was a box for real cats and not for Webkinz.
Marinka: “It looks really small. Is it okay for a cat?”
Pet Store guy: “It depends on the cat.”

(c) The small cat box is okay for Nicki. Except the sink is next to it and the way it juts out, I can see that I won’t be able to elevate the litter box the whole way. Obviously, we’re going to have to move, because I will not admit defeat.

4. My baby brother Looka ate a part of his blanket and spent the day throwing up. He’s fine, but mama has a new diet tip for anyone who’s interested. “The foam inside is filling and you spend so much time with vomit, you don’t want to eat.”

One year ago ...

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

A Mom on Spin January 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Oh, you used my favorite word. . . AKIMBO!!!

Excellent on the context too!!!!


anna see January 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Loved your use of akimbo, too! Don’t worry about depressing us. You always find a way to make us laugh even when writing about the real, hard stuff of life. Is Nicki bigger than a Webkinz?


Casey January 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Do keep us informed on the litter box shenanigans. I’m intrigued.

“Think positive.” This girl’s bedside manner is fabulous.


E January 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Glad to hear the ta-tas are doing well. And good luck with the litterbox/toilet training. I considered doing that with my cat, but frankly I am too impatient to try and make it work!

I think your response to Scary Mommy’s question was awesome. You are SO right, no matter what the question is the right answer NEVER EVER involves Jessica Simpson!

I figured I would stop by yours since you came by mine, small world 😉


Kate Coveny Hood
January 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I so intrigued by this whole cat potty training thing – I can’t wait to hear more.

Personally (having had MANY mammograms) I think technicians should really stick to giving directions and apologizing for the wait. But then I can come across as rather aloof until you get to know me.


Birdie January 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Any blog post including the word “akimbo” cannot be depressing. Not possible.

Re Looka’s blanket eating, I have two words for you: Vaseline sandwich. They’ll be picking up the blanket remnants in the pooper scooper in no time!


January 24, 2010 at 12:55 am

Goodness … you’re in a real conundrum with Niki and the litter situation. Maybe instead of moving you could just remodel your bathroom, to make it more ‘cat training’ friendly?

Well best of luck! Think positive!!!


Jonathan January 24, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Is the TV fixed? As a recent fellow broken cable survivor, I was feeling your pain.
I am also fascinated with the toilet training. Maybe you can start her on one of those baby pottys?


Elise January 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm

At least the TV place didn’t tell you to think Positive about the time thing.


Lady Ashfield January 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm

yes…AKIMBO…better visual than PENDULOUS.

ohhh…and good luck with that cat shitting project- my brother’s partner tried it, and the cat, (as we all know cats are superior beings and lazy- just like Marinka), said “fuck you” to the idea and the effort of the leap and decided the bathroom corner was just as suitable to his needs.


minor catastrophes January 24, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I am still in shock from my first mammogram last year. I’m twitching as I write. I didn’t realize there actually was a machine that could flatten A-cups into full-size pancakes. Took at least a week for the girls to fluff back up.

Glad to hear you got a clean bill of health and don’t have to do that again for a while 🙂


the mama bird diaries
January 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm

you’re really potty training your cat?

i think time warner got there at 5:47.


Crys January 25, 2010 at 9:02 am

Ouch on the ta-tas, good luck with the toilet training (please let me know if cats are any easier than kids) and since Walt Disney started the whole its a small world thing this world has been getting smaller and smaller.


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