From the monthly archives:

January 2013

Or for those of you not living in Ancient Rome, 10 Reasons You Should Be Glad I Didn’t Blog When I Was in my 20s.

10. I was pretentious. I used Roman Numerals. (related: I recently got a PR pitch about how to make Superbowl Sunday Math-tastic. Example: For older kids, put a fun – and challenging – twist on regular addition and subtraction by introducing the concept of Roman numerals; then, use this different number system to practice adding and subtracting. L minus X (50 – 10) equals 40; V plus II (5 + 2) equals 7. OMFG.)

9. THIS.



And the whole “here I sit looking sad on my college dorm room bed, even though my friend is taking this picture and I’m wearing a Rolex watch that my parents gave me for the incredible achievement of graduating from high school. Also for some strange reason, there’s a giant bag of Herr’s popcorn on the bed behind me.” I guess a picture really is worth a thousand calories.


8. I was a feminist. I still am a feminist, but in my 20s I was the type of feminist who said things like “I’m going to my Herstory class now.” Out loud.

7.  I didn’t have any kids, so it would have been really hard to write the Motherhood in NYC blog. Not authentic at all.

6. Mama knew that I didn’t have any kids, so every post would have been titled “I’ll have kids when I’m ready! GOD! I’m a womyn! I am more than a uterus! I DON’T EVEN WANT TO HAVE KIDS! I can be anything I want! Like an surgeon, if I weren’t so afraid of blood. Or an artist, if I had any talent.”

5. I was a vegetarian because Meat = Murder (-hot dogs because hot dogs = delicious).

4. I had a job as a paralegal. Which means that I considered suicide daily. Except…

3. I had a super cute boyfriend. One day Mama mentioned to me that if he really loved me, he’d make me tea, so I woke him up in the middle of the night to ask him for a cup. It did not enhance our relationship.

2. Oh yeah, we were living together. In sin.  There would have been many posts about admonitions from Mama and Papa that included words like “why” and “buy” and “cow” and “if” and “can” and “get” and “milk” and “for free”

1. I met Husbandrinka-to-be! And after our first date, he “went on a business trip” and stayed gone on the “business trip” for “four weeks”! DOES HE LIKE ME OR IS THIS WHOLE BUSINESS TRIP STUFF A HUGE LIE TO GET RID OF ME. WOE IS ME!

So yes, thank your lucky stars that I didn’t have a blog when I was a single womyn in my XXs. And then check out these fabulous writers to see why you should be glad that they didn’t either.

The Mama Bird Diaries
Baby on Bored
Peace, Love & Guacamole
Wait in the Van
Tales of (Married) Mikkimoto
Ann’s Rants
Wendi Aarons
Midlife Mixtape
The Flying Chalupa
I’m Gonna Kill Him
Earth Mother just means I’m dusty


Hammer and Sickle

by Marinka on January 30, 2013

My writing hit a bump a few weeks ago, when my parents and I had a discussion and they expressed displeasure with what I was doing. Oh, they hadn’t read a word of it, lest you think that’s necessary for criticism. They feel strongly that a person like me, who was largely shielded from the horrors of the Soviet regime and whisked out of its grasp before any long lasting damage could take place, was not up to the task.

But I am writing about my childhood, I protest. Not a definitive history of the USSR.

They dismiss me.

It’s hubris, they think. And pure stupidity.

There’s a type of nostalgia for the USSR now, FX is airing The Americans tonight, a new drama about KGB agents living in Washington, DC, and don’t the 1980s look quaint? Keri Russell is going to be one of the KGB agents and I don’t know how it will be possible not to root for her.

The show’s Twitter avatar is the hammer and sickle, a disturbing and offensive image that now passes for pop culture.  It’s not the exact replica of the hammer and sickle used on the Soviet  flag, but still.  It was the image of Communism, of Stalin, who let me remind you, killed more people that Hitler. But it’s retro, so it’s fun, right?


Of course I’ll be watching. How can I not be? And I don’t even think it makes me a hypocrite to see what Americans think the Soviets were like.

And I’m slowly getting back to writing. Not because the world needs to hear my story, of what seeing a hammer and sickle avatar in my Twitter stream does to me, but because I need to tell it.

So there.


Baby Fever

January 26, 2013

A few months ago my neighbor had a baby. Which was definitely a relief, because one day I asked her if she’d swallowed a watermelon and she said “no, I’m pregnant” and I told her about hysterical pregnancies and how she may think she’s pregnant, but this is why swallowing a watermelon seed is no […]

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I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Pom Poms

January 23, 2013

I’m Right, You’re Wrong is back for the very first time ever in 2013! If you are new to this life-changing series of posts, I’ll bring you up to speed in a jiff. Inspired by Jennifer of Playgroups are No Place for Children, I have been turning to you wonderful people to settle disputes between […]

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Inaugurate This!

January 19, 2013

Photo credit: Solomon, my friend’s 10 year old son. I love the kid’s vantage point. Last week I was relaxing and watching Lance Armstrong confess to Oprah, when suddenly I got an email from my children’s biological father. You know, Husbandrinka. I’m trying out some new nicknames for him. He mentioned that a friend of […]

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Fear and Trembling

January 18, 2013

In May, I am going to L.A.  I’m going to be attending Mom 2.0 Summit and lounging poolside, with a drink that has an umbrella in it, so long as it doesn’t take too much reserved-for-alcohol real estate in the glass. I will be flying with my friends Stacy and Karen, because I thought it […]

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2013 Reading List

January 13, 2013

Below is reading list for the upcoming year, which I hope will miraculously transform into reviews as I finish each book. I read primarily contemporary literary fiction, but I am, of course, partial to memoirs as well. 2013 Reading List! The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty From Amazon: The New York Times bestseller and the USA […]

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Books I Loved in 2012

January 13, 2013

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan surpassed me. It was our book group’s pick for January and although I knew that it had a mystery streak, I was not prepared for the humor. And there was plenty of humor. But the story is about a young man who gets a new job at […]

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