From the category archives:

Famous People

Learning English

by Marinka on January 22, 2014

I went to the dacha this past weekend with my parents and my mother’s sister, who is visiting from Russia. She has been taking English classes in St. Petersburg so we were excited to practice the language with her. Unfortunately, shortly after her plane landed, she took a vow of silence where English was concerned and will only answer us monosyllabically.

When we all went to Jamaica after Christmas (oh yeah, sorry I forgot to tell you about that trip! TL; DR: It was great!) the kids really enjoyed trying to engage her in English-based conversation by prompting her with yes/no questions like “Do you like kittens?” and “What about people who murder kittens?”

But now we were at the dacha and my aunt revealed to us that since arriving in NYC, she has been studying English by reading articles in English. More specifically, the recent Vanity Fair article about France’s most famous, and being in her 80s, I’m guessing most geriatric, dominatrix.

“From what I understand,” my aunt told us, in Russian (I will indicate the Russianness of her speech but taking out all articles) “She is crazy. She whip people and one woman, younger woman loves her. Younger woman wrote old bat letter that she devoted to her. Why, I do not know. Maybe I misunderstand.”

“Why is she crazy?” Papa, who has never met a sentence he didn’t want to argue, asked. “Just because she whips people? Because you don’t like to whip people and she does, suddenly you are sane and she is not?”

I really admired Papa’s coming to the defense of a woman he has never heard of, and was not at all worried that I was surrounded by lunatics.

“Not because she whip people, but because she has crazy expression in her face,” my aunt held her ground and displayed her obviously impressive diagnostic skills.

“Look!” she shoved the magazine at Papa. “She has crazy eyes.”

Papa studied the 80something.

“She has good features,” he said. “When she was younger, she was very beautiful.”

Then there was a discussion about beauty vs. crazy. Finally, Mama piped in.

“I wonder which one of them does cooking,” she said.

“What?” I asked, excited that we had moved away from the whole crazy-dominatrix thing.

“Old whipper or young girlfriend. Who does cooking?” Mama asked.

Because when reading about an S&M geriatric lesbian couple that is the first question that comes to mind.

(The article mentioned that the 50 year old is an excellent cook, so I’m guessing she does the cooking.)

There are many reasons I love being with my family. Blog fodder is just one of them.



by Marinka on November 26, 2013

If you have internet access and eyes, you’ve probably seen the amazing #TheoandBeau photographs.  What you may not know is that they were taken by my friend Jessica Shyba– under my guidance and supervision.  And exaggeration. I really encourage you to click over to look at the beautiful pictures of Jessica’s son, Beau, napping with their puppy, Theo. It will make you want to get a baby and a puppy. Or at least a camera.

Sadly, I have none of those things.

But I do have a cat, some CSA-vegetables and an iPhone 4S camera, so I’m doing the best I can, people.


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Seasonal!  And I wouldn’t be surprised if Theo and Beau suddenly start napping with squash.


With the holiday season around the corner, have you gotten all your loved ones a copy of Wanted Cat? It’s a heartwarming book about one family’s search for the perfect cat. I wrote it, Peajaye illustrated it and my daughter took the photographs. What’s not to like? Make sure to get a copy for all your disliked ones too, but give it to them ironically.

Click here to order!


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A lot to take

October 14, 2013

For a variety of reasons, my husband doesn’t read my blog. Something about not enough time, having heard all this stuff ad nauseam, not wanting to give me the page views. As with more things, the details are less important than distracting. So I go on, post what I like, knowing that he will never […]

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The Friendship Club

April 28, 2013

When you get to be my age, it’s hard to make new friends. I used to blame myself. Maybe it was my personality. Either that or my general dislike of other people. I know it’s hard to believe, but some are really turned off by that. I don’t get it either. Assholes. But I now […]

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December 12, 2012

Recently I had to do something unpleasant. I had to tell my friend that her husband resembled the serial killer on American Horror Story. Bloody Face, to be exact. (Oh, if you’re spoiler-free for American Horror Story and don’t want to know who Bloody Face is, maybe stop reading now. Or maybe stop pretending that […]

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Dance Moms is Coming Back! Sponsored Video! And Happiness!

May 26, 2012

You know how when you’re a kid, you wait all year for Christmas (or your own birthday) and then the big day comes and it’s great, but then eventually it’s over and as you go to bed that night there is a little sliver of sadness that the best day ever is behind you now […]

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I’m Kright, You’re Kwrong!

November 3, 2011

It’s time, once again, for I’m Right, You’re Wrong–a post where I share a disagreement that I had with a loved one and ask the internet to weigh in. To protect the scientific integrity of this process, I don’t disclose which position I support. This week’s dilemma is brought to us by the tragic news […]

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Celebrity Photographer

June 29, 2011

I’m turning into some kind of a paparazzi (paparazzo? pepperoni?). First, last week I ran into Picasso on the subway, and then today I saw Jenna Bush at Starbucks. The way things are going, I’ll be coming to fisticuffs with Sean Penn by the weekend. But back to today. So, I’m at Starbucks at Rockefeller […]

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