From the monthly archives:

March 2009

Motherhood in NYC: The Pilot

by Marinka on March 31, 2009

Recap: If you’re too drained to read yesterday’s post, which I totally relate to and respect, Husbandrinka and I discussed turning one of my posts into a sitcom. Based on his guidance, I prepared this script!

Motherhood in NYC: The Sitcom.
“She Ain’t Misbehavin’, She’s Brain Damaged!”

Exterior shots of NYC to let viewers know that the show is set in NYC. In case “Motherhood in NYC” is too subtle.

Interior. Apartment in Manhattan. Like Different Strokes, but more recession-friendly.

A 10 year old girl comes skipping into the kitchen, where Husbandrinka, the patriarch, is reading The New York Times.

Girlchild: Daddy?

Patriarch: Yes, honey?

Girlchild: Daddy, I would really like to have a kitten. They are cute and cuddly!

Patriarch: We have discussed this before. You and your brother really want a kitten because they are cute and cuddly. However, I do not want a kitten. For they make a mess and have an erratic personality.

Girlchild: Please, daddy!

7 year old boychild runs in, carrying a baseball bat and maybe a football.

Boychild: I would like to have a kitten, too. They are very cuddly and cute!

Patriarch: (throws up hands) I give up. Children, you may get a kitten. Your Russian grandmother, babushka, will take you to adopt one. Against my better judgment.

Kids: Yay!

Opening credits.

Daniel Craig as Husbandrinka!
Adorable Unknown (female) as Girlchild
Adorable Unknown (male) as Boychild

and special guest star: Linda Hunt as Marinka

Interior Pet store.

Mama (dressed in Russian national clothes, or maybe a fur hat): Here we are, kids, ready to adopt a kitten! Although we are at a pet store, they do not sell kittens. They are for adoption. Let us wait in line. Like I used to wait in line for bread in Russia in the coldest of winters.

Boychild: waiting in line is boring! I think I’ll jump around!

Mama: Well, this is a pet store, you little monkey! Go right ahead! Na zdorovye!

Boychild jumps up and lands on some woman’s foot.

Cranky Hag: Ow! In my day, kids were seen and not heard!

Girlchild: In your day, kids were not heard because of the roar of the dinosaurs!

Adoption agent: Well, what a multigenerational and international family you are! Have you selected a kitten?

Kids, in unison: THAT ONE!

Adoption agent: Aww, that’s little Sundance. She’s adorable and completely sane! Congratulations.

Kids: Yay!

Mama: I’m sure that Sundance will be a perfect addition to your family! Nothing can possibly go wrong!


Angelina Jolie walks into a war-torn refugee camp.
Hi, I’m Angelina Jolie, an Oscar winning actress, a UN goodwill ambassador, and most of all, a mother. Whether I’m on location to shoot a film or on location to expand my family, I always have my HP Vivienne Tam mini computer with me. Because I never know when the inspiration to write a letter to the editor will strike, or when I’ll need to leak some news about Jen still being single and childless to the tabloids. The Vivienne Tam mini is portable and fashionable. And it beautiful. Like me. And Shiloh. I love the Vivienne Tam HP mini so much, I named my youngest daughter Vivienne!

Interior: Family living room.
Marinka is on hands and knees washing the floor. The kitten, Sundance, keeps trying to grab at the rag that she is using.

Marinka: Sundance, you silly puss! Stop that.

Girlchild: She is just playing!

Boychild: Leave her alone, MOM! And you missed a spot.

Marinka: Oy, children, how you talk to me (writer’s notes: explore possiblity of Marinka breaking into a Fiddle On the Roof-type song)

Children: Whatever. Oh my god! Sundance is now biting the bottoms of our Levi’s stonewashed jeans!


Interior: Bedroom.

Patriarch: Marinka, have you seen my wallet?

Marinka: No, not since you gave me my weekly grocery allowance earlier in the week.

Patricarch: I left it on the dresser, and then Sundance was jumping around here–
Patriarch and Marinka in unison: SUNDANCE!

Interior: Living Room. Doorbell rings.

Patriarch: Who could that be?
Door opens, John comes in. He is wearing a bright pink scarf and a tophat

John: Hi ho, everyone! I was just in this turkeyneck of the woods and thought I’d pop tart in to check in on you!

Kids: YAY! John!

Patriarch: Marinka is not here today.

John: Where is she, shopping? Mani-pedi? Women! I don’t know how you put up with her, Husbandrinka!

SUNDANCE runs in and jumps on top of John’s head.

Everyone in unison: SUNDANCE!

John: WOMEN!

Interior: Dining room;

Patriarch: You know, call me crazy-

Kids: Hi, CRAZY!!

Patriarch: as I was saying, call me crazy, but I think there’s something wrong with our Sundance.

Girlchild: What do you mean? She’s cute!

Boychild: And cuddly!

Patriarch: Well, she hid my wallet. Girl child saw her drinking from the toilet, She bit everyone’s jeans. This isn’t normal kitten behavior. Now, your mother had to go on an emergency trip and won’t be back for a few episodes, I mean, weeks, but I think we should go back to the place from whence Sundance came and have a conversation.

Intrerior pet store. Kids and Mama are back, with sad faces.

Mama: Sundance seems to be, excuse me, how to say, like Krushchev at UN assembly in early 1960s.

Adoption agent: I don’t understand, Sundance has been banging on the table with her shoe?

Mama: Darn these cultural misunderstandings. I feel like I need vodka and caviar. No, I mean, Sundance seems like a crazy.

Adoption agent: This is a very serious allegation.

Boychild: She poops outside the box!

Mama: Hush, boychild!

Girlchild: Mommy says poop is natural.

Mama: Oh, you Americans!

Adoption agent: Oh dear! I’ve checked the adoption records and it looks like we forgot to tell you that Sundance has brain damage! So sorry!

Mama: Well, now at least we understand why she acts like that!

Kids: Brain damage! Yay!

Ending credits…

Next week on Husbandrinkahood in NYC: With Marinka away, Husbandrinka will play! Who will steal his heart? We can’t tell you, but she is younger and thinner than Marinka! (But then, who isn’t?)



by Marinka on March 30, 2009

We were on vacation last week, at my parents’ house in the Catskills, with lofty plans to drive to the Niagara Falls for a few days. I also managed to sneak in some time to fume over the fact that Husbandrinka has never read my blog. No doubt because he’s seething with jealousy.
“You know what would be fun?” I asked him one night-“if we could make a TV show out of my blog.”
Within a day, he had written a treatment for a proposed sitcom based on “Motherhood in NYC”.
“How did you know how to do this?” I asked.
“I know stuff,” he watched me read it.
“This Husband, the heart and soul of the family, as it says here, sure seems to be the focal point on the show.”
“Well, it’s just a rough sketch.”
“And what is this “homosexual confidant” who drops in all the time, saying hilarious things? Is that John? He never “drops by”.”
“He calls all the time, that’s the same thing.”
“It is not the same thing. John and I don’t drop in on each other because we’re both too drained to go anywhere. So the phone is perfect. Except for having to pick it up and dialing and shit.”
“You can’t have two characters just talking on the phone all the time.”
“Well, not all the time, but having him drop in makes him sound like Mr. Bentley from The Jeffersons. And insane.”
“That’s what makes it FUNNY.” He says “funny” in the way that you would if you were speaking to a child who has yet to acquire speech.
As I’m pouting he uses a very unique to Husbandrinka method to try to cheer me up. He suggests that I bring my laptop on our car trip so that he can dictate some episode summaries to me. No, no need to run to your nearest opthamologist (unless it’s time for your check up, of course, I can’t really give medical advice. Although you should definitely have that mole looked at), Husbandrinka really did tell me that he was going to dictate an episode of a sitcom, based on Motherhood in NYC, which I write and which he has never read, to me. Because apparently the biggest appeal of the blog is that it is well typed.
“Oh, fuck you, already,” I told him. “I can’t believe you think you’re going to cocktate to me.”
“You can’t use that kind of language on television,” he says.
So any sitcom producers out there–if you hire Husbandrinka, you’ll get a head writer and network censor all rolled into one, a real savings in this economy.

While we’re driving to Niagara Falls, I spend the first three hours in steely silence. Finally, I can’t take it anymore. Because the bad thing about giving Husbandrinka the silent treatment is that (a) he has no idea that I’m doing it and (b) he thoroughly enjoys the silence, which makes it more like an early birthday present than a punishment.
“Ok, let’s brainstorm,” I tell him as I power up the HP mini, which is feather light, (assuming that feathers weigh what the Vivienne Tam mini weighs).
“Well,” he says. “Let’s think of what funny things happened to our family–oh, how about the cat adoption?”
“The cat adoption isn’t that funny, the near-adoption is funny,” I tell him, referring to the near-miss of adopting a brain-damaged kitten.
“Right–so get this down: After badgering the Husband for a kitten, he agrees, reluctantly. Mother in law takes children to look at kittens-“
“MOTHER-IN-LAW?” I hyperventillate. “What mother-in-law? Your mother is “mother-in-law”, my mother is “mama”. Everyone knows that.”
“Fine. Mother takes children to look at kittens.”
“Mama. Porca Miseria”
“That’s not very nice.”
“Va fongul.”
“Do you want to do the episode synopsis?”
“Yes, but you keep trying to wedge yourself as the main character.”
“It should be that they go and adopt a brain damaged kitten and then there’s all sorts of crazy stuff and when the family calls, despondent, they find out that the cat has brain damage. That’s what makes it funny.”
“That’s not what happened, though.” I briefly remind him that what made it funny was that the kids really wanted the kitten which the adoption coordintor would not let us have because of their policy of adopting out two kittens together only, but then, ironically, the adotion coordinator seemed to reconsider because with our good fortune, the ktiten that the kids selected was suffering from brain damage, which was the exact moment when I realized that we must do everything in our power to ensure that the brain damaged kitten was not coming home with us.
“That’s too talky,” he says. “A sitcom is a situation comedy. You need a situation.” (ok, am I the only one who thought that sitcom was a comedy that you watched while sitting down? Because I wasn’t going to mention that to Husbandrinka).

Seriously, he just wore me down emotionally. So I did the only thing that I could–I wrote a script based on his concept based on my post, which he hasn’t read. Stay tuned.

Hey! How come you haven’t entered the Thomas stage show ticket giveaway? Because you hate children? Because you hate fun? Stop being a hater! Seriously, folks, can you enter this giveaway, tweet it, blog about it, sky write it. Because I think Thomas may go rogue on my ass otherwise. Thanks! You’re the best! love you! If you tweet, blog, etc, leave me a comment on the Thomas post and I’ll double/triple enter you in the giveaway.



March 29, 2009

I’m back from vacation! Thank you all for making my guest bloggers feel so welcome. While on vacation, Husbandrinka, the kids and I drove from upstate to Canada, to see the Niagara Falls. Which reminded me of the driving that my parents and I did one summer, many years ago. I believe that this is […]

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Guest Blogger: My Lovely Daughter

March 26, 2009

For the finale of family guest bloggers, I interviewed my 10 year old daughter. In the middle of the interview, I realized that I am no Katie Couric and switched to the Proust interview that Vanity Fair uses in every issue on their last page. Here she is! M: How would you describe me as […]

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Guest Blogger: Mama

March 25, 2009

I called mama. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic about being my guest blogger, but finally, she agreed to let me interview her. “So long as it’s not too stressful”. Marinka: Just please speak English. Mama: Oh, crap. Mama, what do you like most about America? Och, not again.What do you mean not again? Because someone just […]

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I’m on Vacation! And a Segregationist!

March 24, 2009

My fears: 1. Death2. Breaking every (oh hell, any) bone in my body3. Seeing my children hurt4. Crowds5. Heights (specifically, ski lifts) So clearly the first order of business on vacation should be for me to go skiing with papa and my children. Husbandrinka was enjoying a cartlige tear, that lucky bastard, so he couldn’t […]

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Guest Blogger: Papa

March 23, 2009

Marinka calls Papa on his cell phone. M: Hi, papa, everything is fine, I wanted to ask you to do a blog post for me. P: (Russian words, expressing malcontent). M: First, you have to speak in English, and drop a few articles for effect. P: I was just booking vacation to Krem. M: To […]

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Guest Blogger: Young Ladrinka

March 22, 2009

So for my first guest blogger, I decided to ask my seven year old son if he would like to say something to the blogosphere. And he said “no.” Luckily I’m one of those mothers who feels that since I gave him life, he owes me big time. Marinka: Well, you have to. Young Ladrinka: […]

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