From the monthly archives:

July 2012

Hello From Mama and Papa!

by Marinka on July 30, 2012

Today I am having a blog sale and am offering two posts for the price of one!

I haven’t mentioned Mama and Papa for a while, but let me reassure you that they’re both fine. The other day Mama called me to tell me what happened to her friend Tania. Well, nothing happened to her friend Tania, but fortunately something happened to Tania’s son, although to be fair I’m using the word fortunately in the ironic sense. So anyway, Tania’s son, who I will call Igor, because I don’t remember what his name is, went to Germany for a brief stay and he met some girl there and stayed at her apartment and to make a long story short because who has the time to read endless stories when there’s so much TV to watch, what with the Olympics being on and all, one day he woke up and couldn’t find his passport and also the girl he met and whose apartment he was staying at was gone and so was her dog.

And Mama says, “so you can imagine what happened” and I am nodding vigorously, and then I remember that we’re on the phone and she can’t see me so I say, “of course. The girl stole the passport” and this is met with silence.

“Stole passport?” Mama says. “No, no stole passport. We think dog ate passport and that is why dog left with girl.”

Then I didn’t say anything for a long time because I thought she was kidding, but after an elaborate explanation of how if the girl stole the passport, there would be no reason for the dog to leave, I was less sure. Of anything in my life.

“I think the dog left because the girl took the dog with her,” I tried.

“Well, it is very bad if she stole passport. Criminal even,” Mama was suddenly this girl’s moral guardian.

“I know, but good news about the dog’s character, right?”

But some people just refuse to see that rainbow, no matter how brightly it shines.

“If dog ate passport it’s not dog’s fault. Dogs eat things,” Mama defended him.

So the moral of the story is that if you ever go to Germany, don’t take your passport.

(Question: Why did I bother making up the name Igor for Tania’s son if I only mentioned it once?)

* * *

And last week I also had drinks with Papa. And Papa was telling me about a new neighbor-nemesis. The details of the neighbor-nemesis’sins are a bit convoluted but basically it has to do with him keeping his dog on a long leash, despite Papa telling him, several times, to put the dog on a short leash because when his dog is on the long leash, he runs all over the place, makes my parents’ dog insane and he interferes with Mama’s enjoyment of her morning constitutional. At one point their short leash vs. long leash discussion heated up and Papa said “put the dog on the fucking short leash or else.” He may not have said or else, again, I lost sight of the details because the neighbor-nemesis obliged and volunteered that he was a PhD.

This is the part that’s interesting to me because I understand that PhDs are important and hard to get, but once you have it, does it mean that you have to let everyone know that you’ve been PhD’d? I don’t know. But in any case, it didn’t go so well for the neighbor-nemesis nor his PhD because Papa’s said “I fuck you and your PhD.”

So, as you can see both Mama and Papa are fine. Thanks for asking!


ESL Grammar Lessons

by Marinka on July 28, 2012

I’ve been reading with my kids a lot this summer. Reading the same books they are, that is. My daughter and I are still in the middle of the Ebola epidemic (by the way, several women in my book group pronounce it Eh-bola, which I think makes it sound like they don’t think Ebola is a big deal, and let me reassure you it most certainly is; but can someone confirm that it’s pronounced EEEbola which admittedly sounds like you are scared of it) but Young Ladrinka and I took a lighter tone and decided to stick with The Series of Unfortunate Events. I love these books and am furious at everyone who didn’t insist that I read the series earlier. Which, I believe, includes all of you, so nice going.

And now I’m on the third Unfortunate Events book which I love because the orphans are living with Aunt Josephine and Aunt Josephine loves grammar. And as any person who loves grammar, she heartily disapproves of people confusing its/it’s. She is a character after my own heart and I am thisclose to starting to write Aunt Josephine fan fiction. 50 Shades of Aunt Josephine perhaps.

At one point Aunt Josephine, after being handed a card that says “Captain Sham’s Sailboats. Every boat has it’s own sail” says,

“This card says ‘it’s’ with an apostrophe. I-T-apostraphe-S aways means ‘it is.’ You don’t mean to say “Every boat has it is own sail.’ You mean simply I-T-S, ‘belonging to it.’ It’s a very common mistake, Captain Sham, but a dreadful one.”

I don’t want to give too much away, but this is an important point in the book, and incidentally, in life. So this morning I decided to check in with Young Ladrinka to make sure that he understood.

Here is a transcript of our conversation. For those of you who are more visual, please imagine Sofia Vergara in my role and Alfalfa in Young Ladrinka’s. But obviously a glommed up version of Sofia Vergara.

Marinka Vergara: Did you understand the whole I-T-S and I-T-apostrophe-S thing?

Young Ladrinka: Yes.

Marinka: So if you were to say “A mother loves blank children” how would you fill in the blank?

Young Ladrinka: Her?

Marinka: Oh, you’re a smart guy, huh? Ok, I meant a mother dog, obviously.

Young Ladrinka: Still her.

Marinka: A stuffed mother dog. And spell out the word, please.

Young Ladrinka: I-T-S-apostraphe.


This post contains Amazon affiliate links. And despair.


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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The Birthday List

July 25, 2012

My husband told me what he wants for his birthday. I may never sleep again.

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July 23, 2012

You know how most couples have a common goal? Whether it’s to pay off your mortgage, live a more green life, be able to pay for your kids’ college, start swinging? Whatever they are, these are the goals bind couples, the journey and the struggle towards the goal empowers them. There’s no reason to restate […]

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Good News/Bad News

July 18, 2012

The good news is that I got a new dress for BlogHer and modeled it for my daughter. “Do you like it?” I asked. That’s where the bad news comes in. “I like the color, but the shape does nothing for you. I prefer to wear more flattering clothes, like skinny jeans.” Oh, did I […]

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Mystery Diagnosis

July 17, 2012

Earlier this year I realized that I had trouble seeing. Not the big picture, but the fine print. Obviously I assumed that I was at the beginning stages of an advanced fatal illness. My vision was going, who knows what would be next? I called Mama to say my good byes, and she, being unable […]

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The Funny Thing About Rape

July 13, 2012

If you’re like most people, you love a good rape joke. Come on, violence against women, how is that ever not funny? Unless you’re one of those holdouts who prefers their humor without inflicting pain on people who have already suffered more than anyone should, of course. So Daniel Tosh was telling some rape jokes, […]

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