From the monthly archives:

March 2012

US Weekly: A Reader’s Companion

by Marinka on March 31, 2012

Yesterday I flew back home from North Carolina. With two kids. On an airplane. I knew what I had to do– Chardonnay and Us Weekly. Remember when I used to do these Us Weekly posts and we all cheered and were happy? And then I got sick of it and stopped and everyone became very sad and unhappy?

Well, it’s back!

Like a pre-Easter miracle.

Let’s begin!

page 9. The Party’s Over for Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. Spoiler: He’s addicted to pills. And he’s quoted as wanting to get control of the prescription-medication problem he had due to exhaustion. Let me repeat that: due to exhaustion. The Situation is exhausted. Because tanning is exhausting. OMFG.

page 12. Stars in Outer Space! (they’re just like us! kidding!) When I read this yesterday I thought, hmm, this must be some strong Chardonnay because I couldn’t figure out if these celebrities actually signed up for Richard Branson’s 2013 space flight or if we think that they should go. But now I see that Ashton Kutcher, Russell Brand, Angelina Jolie and Tom Hanks did indeed purchase tickets. Only $200,000 each! (I wonder if you can use miles).

page 16. Bridget Moynahan thinks she’d win The Hunger Games because she’s a dirty fighter and as a former model she doesn’t need to eat a lot. I assume she means as long as Gisele wasn’t one of the contestants.

page 28. Stars read books! My favorite is Bon Jovi reading Bill Clinton’s Back to Work in St. Bart’s.

page 34. A photo of Leighton Meester yawning makes her have a double chin. I am framing it.

page 45. An advertisement for a new show: FATAL ENCOUNTERS which I am already pre-addicted to. It comes with a quote “If I had’t opened that door I might be alive today.” OMFG. I’m never opening a door again. It starts on April 9th at 10 on Investigation Discovery- a channel I have never heard of and now can’t get because I’m locked behind this door.

page 56. Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana broke up. We know this because there is an Us Weekly torn photoâ„¢ of them. What more proof do you need?!

pages 62-67. An epic-length article on Kim Kardashian’s divorce. It’s so chock full ‘o wonderfulness that I sort of hate to spoil it for you. But here we go: Kim works out twice a day! Her divorce from Kris Humphries has so far taken twice as long as her marriage to him! They’re no longer on speaking terms! No word on whether they’re still on grunting terms! Kris Jenner says Kim didn’t make a dime from the wedding! The New York Post estimates Kim and Kris H. made $17.9 million! (Which in Kris J’s defense isn’t a dime!) My favorite quote about the wedding gifts, claiming that Kris H. gave a lot of stuff to his family “You should check the Humphries home in Minnesota for some $27,000 Lalique vases!” A claim that Kim doesn’t care if she never sees another camera again. She doesn’t want another TV wedding.

Please, everyone. Leave Kim alone and let her return to quietly doing her charity work. Thank you.

page 70-1. Interesting quotes from my favorite I can’t believe she’s not a 45 year old Miami resident, Jessica Simpson. Including some about Skittles and her vagina. OMFG.

page 109 New on DVD: A Dangerous Method, with Keira Knightly, nailing a Russian accent. I’m still waiting for a tutorial on how to tell her Knightly and Natalie Portman apart. Although maybe they can just marry each other and then Natalie would be Natalie Knightly.

That’s it!

I’m pretty sure this issue is going to win a Pulitzer because, brace yourselves, there is not a single Jennifer Aniston reference! (Now that I put that in, I’m very worried that it’s not actually true, since I skipped the beauty pages.)



by Marinka on March 29, 2012

I have bad teeth. Terrible. It feels like a character flaw, like laziness or disruptive jealousy rather than a genetic mishap– a short limb or freckles. Freckles which I also have, incidentally.

In contemporary America, where perfect teeth are a birthright, teeth whitening is practically constitutionally protected, having problem teeth is just this side of treason. People suspect. They suspect you of either having poor hygiene, being British or poverty. Even in dystopian Panem, everyone has perfect teeth. People lose humanity before enamel.

None of that applies to me. And yet.

I think of someone to blame. Mothers are always good for that and I imagine that maybe my teeth chip so much because my mother spent her pregnancy eating peanut brittle. What did she know, after all? She was a teenager, for god’s sakes. A teenager with a sweet tooth, probably.

But even if she had a sweet tooth, it was perfect. A chicklet tooth, white, smooth, her mouth is filled with them. My mother has perfect teeth effortlessly, which probably explains why she married a man with such terrible teeth. Opposites attract, after all.

“Why did you have to marry papa?” I ask her at moments of extreme agitation. Things could have been different for me if she’d married Julia Roberts. I could have been unapologetically American.

She shrugs. Who can remember that far back?

“I’ll take the genetic gamble,” She must have thought, considering my father’s dentition. Or she may have gone the more ridiculous “love conquers all” route.


But love doesn’t conquer year after year of cavities, cracks, discoloration, root canals, extractions, and crowns. Nor does my dental insurance cover it all.

“I have such terrible teeth,” I complain to my husband. He is 53 years old. He had his first cavity two years ago. It was a big deal. I considered dressing up as the Tooth Fairy. I had three root canals before I turned 10. He knows better than to say “oh, no, your teeth are fine.” My teeth may be bad but I’m not a complete moron.

“Then it’s lucky that your mother is a dentist,” he tells me.

I know I must be lucky that my mother is a dentist, but when I’m sitting in her chair, I’m not thinking lucky. I’m thinking damned to hell.
Because you try sitting there with your mouth open while your mom pokes around with pointy instruments, shaking her head disapprovingly.

“I don’t think you brush,” she tells me.
“Ya ba ba,” I respond, mouth hanging on its hinges.
“Oh? You think you can talk?” she shoves some more cotton into my cheeks. “No, you listen. You do bad job brushing and worse job with the floss.”
I sigh.
“No need for dramatic sigh,” she says and continues to work.
On a good day, I have a cavity.
“I will drill just a little,” mama tells me, trying to talk me out of a topical anesthesia, so I don’t get addicted to it.
“Please give me some novocaine,” I ask her. I assume people who are not treated by their parents don’t have to beg to have them nerves numbed.
“I will drill and if you feel pain, you raise hand,” Mama says.
“But I don’t want to feel pain,” I tell her. I feel like a baby. Does anyone want to feel pain?
She ignores me.
“Open,” she says, and I do, reluctantly.

She starts drilling. I feel pain immediately. Not pain exactly, maybe, but I know it’s coming and the anticipation of the pain is almost worse.

I raise my hand.

The drilling stops.

Mama takes off the blue mask covering her mouth.

“I felt pain.”
“You did not.”
“Yes. Pain. Painful pain.”
“Impossible. I was no where near the root.”
“Maybe my root grew. Besides, I don’t like the noise of the drill.”
“I will get drill that sounds like Stradivarious next time. Open.”
“I really want a shot.”
“It’s like a disease with you, begging for needle.”
But finally I get it. My mouth numbs and I settle back.

Mama continues to drill.

I am relaxed. I will feel no pain. Drill away, Mama. Drill away.

But oh.

My jaw hurts. How long are humans supposed to keep their mouths open?
This isn’t natural.

I hate teeth. I hate my own teeth and I hate people who have perfect teeth.

Mama completes the filling.
She polishes and she cleans.
“I hate my teeth,” I tell Mama.
“Your teeth are fine,” she tells me. She removes her mask, hands her instruments to her assistant for cleaning.
“They’re yellow. And I get cavities all the time even though I brush and floss,” I whine. I’ve been whining for years and yet nothing has changed.

“Color doesn’t matter,” Mama said. “It’s genetic. Some people have white and some people have darker colors. It’s not important.”

It’s not important to people who have perfect teeth, like Mama. And yet here I am, forever looking wistfully over the dental fence.


Freckled Women Can’t Shoot Hoops

March 28, 2012

I remember when he was born. It was as though I were a carrier for Husbandrinka’s genes. “He’s totally you,” I said, holding Young Ladrinka. “I know,” Husbandrinka said, not displeased. “Maybe he’ll have my freckles,” I suggested. “You can’t have freckles if you look like me,” I remember my husband saying. I knew what […]

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Thanks to My In- Laws, I Have No Blog Fodder

March 27, 2012

So my kids are on spring break, and we are visiting my in-aws in lovely North Carolina. I am here without my husband, which normally would qualify me for some kind of sainthood, except I happen to really like my in-laws. I know there are some other bloggers boast about their monsters-in-law. Sure, it must […]

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This Makes All The Pain of Childbirth Worth It

March 24, 2012

This weekend my 13 year old daughter, Young Ladrinka and I are leaving for a weeklong trip. Just the three of us. Without Husbandrinka or my stepson. This is the heartwarming conversation we had at the breakfast table this morning. Me: I’m so glad that we’re taking this trip together, just the three of us. […]

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Week In Review

March 23, 2012

Ok, so this is less Week In Review and more Things That Have Been On My Mind Lately, but as you can see, that is not a very catchy title. But the things that have been on my mind lately are all super important and fascinating especially to people who are new to the English […]

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A Very Reasonable Person

March 22, 2012

Look, I know that every lunatic begins every rant with a reassurance that he is a very reasonable person, but in this case, it happens to be true. I am. I know that because my daughter is 13 years old, it’s normal and healthy for her to spend time with her friends, at the frozen […]

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Some Days The Pride Is Almost Too Much

March 20, 2012

My kids are impressive. No, not just because they’re my kids, although let’s be honest, that doesn’t hurt either. When I look at their childhood resumes, they’re nothing to sneeze at. They’ve good piano players, my daughter has been on her school’s volleyball and basketball teams for years, my son is great at baseball. They […]

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