by Marinka on April 16, 2014

I’m in Rome.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I thought if I did, you’d get all clingy and start dropping hints about how you love Rome/always wanted to go and/or have a Prada purse. So I took the easy way out and snuck out behind your back, without alerting you.

And there’s nothing that you can do about it. You don’t get a say.

I’m here with my daughter, who’s sort of the perfect traveling companion. We’re very gelato-compatible–it’s like I birthed her or something. I’m working on a post (tentative title: Meaning of Life/Key to Happiness (and Younger Looking Skin) but that will take a while and in this age of instant gratification, I wanted to share some of my off-the-cuff thoughts about Rome with you. I know you’re still mad at me for leaving you like I did. I’m mad at myself too.

1. I’ve been to Rome more than any other European city. Paris may be a moveable feast, but Rome insists that you visit. Or that I visit.

2. All Italians are attractive. I have no idea how they swing that, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of those miracles that the Vatican keeps harping on about. (Also, Italian men need to get themselves to NYC and other major American cities and give classes at the Learning Annex and maybe Harvard on how to look at women.  Because no one does it better.)

2a. You have no idea how hard it has been for me not to tweet “when in Rome, do a Roman.” But I’m a lady. Or something.

3. I know smoking is bad, but why do the Italians look so good doing it? Wait, is this related to 2, supra? Whatever. I’ll check with the Surgeon General if there’s any wiggle room on the denouncement.

4. You must have a native Italian friend when you visit Rome. We’re staying with ours. And when he embraced me and said in Italian-accented English, “Marinka, I hear you are getting  a divorce and also a new cat, yes?” he made it sound like not something I’d need to slash my wrists over. And not just because he held out a bottle of wine as a salve. (I didn’t tell you about the new cat. Sorry again.  I did mention that I’m going through gender reassignment, right?!)

5. This native Italian friend will make comments about you being American. Like when you want to take a very hysterical photo, he will say “oh, sure, go ahead. You’re not the first American to do this.”
This could have the potential to lead to an international incident, but fortunately I find Rome intoxicating. Besides, my cats need me to come home in one piece.

photo 27 e1397665219853 225x300 Rome!

6. There are a kazillion museums and churches, but Rome is basically an open air museum. Just walking down the street is a treat.

photo 25 e1397665463109 225x300 Rome!

photo 26 e1397665611146 225x300 Rome!

7. So is stopping by St. Peter’s Square on a late morning and seeing that the Pope is addressing the masses. I had no idea what he was saying, I’m guessing something the American Blogger movie. (Also, really disappointing that there was no Q&A at the end).

8. There is no Starbcucks in Rome. My friends told me this, and I said “that’s impossible, I have a Starbucks-locating app!” Because apparently I believe that the app comes with a brick and mortar extension so that a new Starbucks store could be built. But I checked and Rome is Starbuck-less. And when I insist on getting my cappuccino to go, they insist on pouring it into a urine-sample plastic cup. But it’s still delicious.

photo 28 e1397667263468 225x300 Rome!

9. There is a water fountain app that people in Rome use. And today we learned how to use an Italian water fountain correctly. With this knowledge, how far behind can relocation be, really?

Italian water fountain from Marinka NYC on Vimeo.

10. I can eat gelato every day. I can spend endless hours walking the city with my daughter. I never forget how fortunate I am.


I’m over at Alpha Mom Book Club with a review of Drew Magary’s Someone Could Get Hurt. You should read it immediately.



by Marinka on April 10, 2014

If it’s true that it’s better to be lucky than smart, then I have it made.

Because when the trailer for the American Blogger documentary came out earlier this week, I had friends who contacted me to spoof it.

And I’m smart enough to jump on it.


Thanks to Neil, who always has the best ideas.

And more news!

I’m very braggy because I was asked to contribute to a new humor collection, Moms are Nuts. My essay is about some of Mama’s eccentricities, and even though I obtained Mama’s permission before writing it, I wasn’t able to get them to change the title to Moms are Nuts, In My Opinion, Which is Often Wrong, per her suggestion/demand. So who knows what will happen when she reads it, but just in case, it’s been nice knowing you.

And I promise you if you buy a dozen or so copies of this book, at some point you’ll ask yourself “who did Marinka blackmail to be included with those hysterical writers. And why did I buy 12 copies of the same book? Is this why I’m always broke? I must make better shopping decisions.”

But we’ll file that under “next month’s problems.”

 Better Better

Thanks, as always, for reading and checking in. I’ll update soon about new things going on in my life (as soon as I make them up, obviously).

I know how lucky I am.



March 27, 2014

Last month I was spending time with some beloved friends. I think it was book group, but it may have been wine tasting night, who the hell can remember and/or tell the difference. At any rate, we were sitting around and one of the dear friends was blathering on about something or other. It wasn’t […]

Read the full article →


March 23, 2014

The other day I was sure that I was having a heart attack. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately, what with monitoring all the Breaking News from CNN about the missing plane and trying to piece my life together now that The Bachelor is over for the season, and then one day, I […]

Read the full article →

Good Breast Day

March 11, 2014

They haven’t been all great days, but yesterday was a good one. I had a good breast day yesterday. I started off with a mammogram, which I have once a year. When I made this appointment, about six weeks ago, the lady on the phone said “is this routine or is your breast bothering you?” […]

Read the full article →


February 27, 2014

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I can’t put my finger on it, I have a lot of stuff going on, stress, life. But the other thing is that if I wake up early, in addition to thinking “I should really get back to sleep,” I also think “I CAN WATCH EXTRA TV!” Because when […]

Read the full article →

Good News and Also Bad

February 23, 2014

Look, you can have the greatest friends, the best support system in the world, but there will be times in your life that you will realize that you are completely and utterly alone. I had that realization over the weekend, after Mama called me to tell me about her newly adopted cat. “Does he even […]

Read the full article →

A Name

February 20, 2014

I planned to spend Presidents Day figuring out once and for all if it’s President’s or Presidents’ or Presidents Day and also watching Scandal, because I’m a patriot. But shortly into my plan, Mama called. “We are going to adopt a cat,” she told me. Their Sly died over the summer. “Stay near the phone […]

Read the full article →