Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: December 2005 (page 1 of 3)

Happy 2006!

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Better than Therapy

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I once taking a screenwriting class where the teacher kept on drilling this point into us:

It is not really important what a character says, but what he does.  It is his actions that determine his true "character."

Talk can mask the truth.  It is easy to deceive ourselves.  That’s why some people go into therapy — in order to dig deeper into themselves and learn what really makes them tick.

Well, I’m going to save you some money here.  Forget therapy.  Toss your Prozac.  Do what I did last night, and go through all your blog posts to come up with a list of your "favorite posts" to put on your sidebar.  I used to have my "Most Popular Posts" there, but they were usually the posts I hated the most, about Nicole Richie and anorexic women.   So, now I put up some posts I liked. 

And, really, what better way to analyze your "real" interests in life, than examining what you wrote about all year on your blog?  I recommend that all bloggers do this.

I consider myself a cultured person, so I was a bit shocked that I didn’t write one serious post about a book.  I never brought up poetry, ballet, or art, at least not directly.  I rarely talked about world events.  I made a brief mention of Katrina, and that was it.

90% of my posts were about Sophia, my parents, blogging, Jews, and my penis — not necessarily in that order.  Is this what really occupied my mind in 2005?

What was on your mind during 2005?

Of course, we all change, and 2006 can bring on a whole new set of priorities.  Hopefully, I’ll find a great job and write about my career often — that is until they fire me for blogging about my job.  Maybe I’ll start dating someone new and write about "my dating life." 

Who really knows what the future brings?

Male Voice:  "Uh, excuse me, Neil…"

Neil looks down.  It is his penis, talking to him from inside his pants.

Penis:  "Does this mean you’re not going to talk about me anymore?"

Neil:  Penis, don’t be hurt.  It’s not that I don’t love you.  I just think it’s time to act more mature, especially after all that conflict on Blogebrity.  It’s really not appropriate to write about you online.

Penis:  I thought the whole point of this post was to show "what you were really interested in" during 2005…

Neil:  I have other interests besides sex.  Didn’t I just come back from the Getty Museum, where I saw the exhibit, Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art?

Penis:  Oh, yeah, right.  Like you were really interested in that.

Neil:  Actually, it was very interesting.  Did you know that for three hundred years, from about 1250 to 1550, the book of hours was the "bestseller" in Europe?

Penis:  Yawn!  Hey, did you notice that Sophia looked really good in that new dress she bought at Macy’s?  Did she lose some weight?  Her ass really looked good.

Neil:  Penis, stop it.   I’m busy now.  I want to blog a little bit about this museum exhibit I just went to.

Penis:  I noticed you took a great deal of interest in that statue of Venus.  Can you imagine how hot it would be to fuck someone from 100 A.D.?

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Neil:  Penis!

Penis:  It’s getting a little uncomfortable and tight down here, Neil.   It would be nice to breathe some fresh air.

Neil:  My mother is downstairs!

Penis:  And Sophia?

Neil:  She’s in the shower.

Penis:  Ha ha ha!  Hmmmm… sexy…. where’s all that blood flowing, Neil?

Neil:  I give up!

Penis:  Just testing you, Neil.  You can try to hide from me, but you know that it is impossible.  Many a man has tried to battle his penis, and few have survived.  You can say all day that you won’t write about me in 2006, but you will.  Mark my words – you will. 

Neil’s Penis turns to you, the reader.

Penis (Cont’d):  Now as Neil washes his face with cold water, let me wish all bloggers out there a Happy New Year from both me and Neil.  We hope that the New Year brings joy and happiness to you and your families.  Happy 2006! 

Today on Blogebrity:  Nicole Does Craigslist:  (Nicole’s Blog)

Holiday Songs

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Sophia sings “Hanukkah.”  (a real trouper because she still has a cold and is hoarse)

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Neil sings “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  (with no excuse for my voice)

On Blogebrity:  Random Acts of Reality (Tom Reynold’s blog)

Does Anyone Care About Neil Kramer?

On Blogebrity:  Does Anyone Care About Neil Kramer?

You Hate Me, You Really Really Hate Me!

For a writer to be parodied and mocked is one of the greatest honors.  Or is it?  Although it’s not much of a parody if I’ve already said most of these things about myself. 

This is a post from Douchebrity, an actual new site:

God, I’m So Fucking Brilliant

I was so excited when the folks from Douchebrity asked me to write for them this morning. I thought to myself:

“Now here’s a great opportunity to try and pump my stats and link back to myself constantly”

You see, I spend ALL day refreshing my statcounter. As a matter of fact, my imaginary Ex-Wife that I made up so people wouldn’t think I was a complete loser, has tried to pry my swollen fingers away from the F5 button, to no avail. I can even find it in dark. Cause I like to turn off the lights and look at hot blogging chicks and pretend they might actually be interested in me.

The other day, while my mom was making me noodle koogle, I thought to myself:

“Thank god my female readers don’t look into my archives or else they’d find out the truth about my appearance. Then they’d laugh at me when I try to talk sexy with them in the comment section. Or when I ask to be nominated for the World’s Sexiest Blogger. Or stop cyber-sexing me on AIM. And who are we kidding, that’s the only action I get.”

But that’s what it takes to be a problogger. Technorati’s my real bitch…links, links, links. Say it slowly with me now (hold on while I get out my astroglide) OH YEAH LINKS, OH OH OH PLEASE MORE LINNNNNNKS.

Holy Kishkas, that was good.

by NCramer | No Comments | tags: Penis Envy

Today on Blogebrity:  Personal Blog-a-ramaKris’ Best of 2005, The Carnival of the Mundane

The Argument

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Sophia and I had an argument today and I was going to blog about it — when it occurred to me that I never read anyone blogging about arguing with a lover/companion/spouse. 

I read blogs about dating. 

I read blogs about couples in love. 

I read blogs about couples that hate each other after they split up. 

But somewhere in between there, there must be a lot of arguments going on about something.  Maybe domestic arguments are one of those topics you don’t talk about — sort of like not talking about money.  Sex is fine to talk about.  I think it is easier for a wife to blog about oral sex with her husband than to write about the the fight she had with him after he forgot her dress at the cleaners.

This was a big year for celebrity breakups  — Nick and Jessica, Brad and Jennifer, etc.  I know that because I was reading this in some US Magazine I swiped from my doctor’s office.  Like couples in blogs, these couples never seem to fight either.  The magazine writers always base their breakups on something concrete and logical.  One celebrity wanted a baby, the other didn’t.   One was always too busy filming some pirate epic half a world away.  Someone had an affair.  Someone was caught with a hooker.  And so on. 

But no one actually has a fight — or talks about it.

Today, Sophia and I had a argument.  It wasn’t a particularly big one.  Or an impressive one.  We’ve had those in the past.  Today, I’m mostly interested in my reluctance to write about it.  Will other bloggers think less of me if I reveal that I actually have arguments with my separated wife?

Sophia and I have both been feeling cranky because of the flu.  My mother, who just happens to be visiting from New York,  has been taking care of us like we are kids again.  (Note:  Both Sophia and I are only children used to a lot of attention).

"Mom, can you bring me some tea?" called Sophia from the bedroom, where she has barricaded herself in her bed with a week’s worth of figure-skating programs on her TIVO.  "Mom!"

I’m in my office, lying on my couch, my laptop on my lap, my tissues for my running nose at my side.   It’s actually started to bug me that my mother is splitting her care between Sophia and me.

I crawled into the bedroom, mostly to show Sophia that I was sicker than she was.

"My mother is making some soup for me.  Can she finish before you start asking her for some tea?"

"Tea only takes a minute."

"I’m sorry, but I’m the sick one now."

"What are you talking about?  I’ve been sick three more days than you already."

"Exactly, your time is up.  Now I’m the sick one."

"You don’t look very sick."

"Don’t you hear me coughing?"

"Well, you were able to blog before.  How sick can you be?"

"What, are you insinuating that I’m faking being sick?"

"All I know is that I have 102 temperature and you don’t have any."

"I’m hot!  I’m very hot.  Those digital thermometers never work with me."

"You’re not just playing it up for you mother?"

"And why would you say that?"

"Because you don’t like her taking care of me."

"That’s ridiculous.  I think YOU’RE the one who’s upset because she’s making me soup before she gives you tea?"

"That’s asinine."

"Is it?"

"She makes everything for you before me."

"She’s my mother.  She’s supposed to.  And it’s not true!  If anything she spends more time on you than me!"

The phone rings.  It is Sophia’s mother, who lives in Los Angeles, but doesn’t have a car and can’t really get here.  They talk in Russian for a minute, then Sophia hangs up.

"Who was that?" I asked.

"My mother.  She wanted to know how I’m doing."

"Did she ask about me?"

"Yes."

"No, she didn’t."

"Of course she did."

"I took that one course in Russian.  I didn’t hear anything that sounded like "Neil is fine" or "Neil is sick.""

"No, but she did mention, "When is Neil going to get a new job already?"

"Oh, she did, did she…?!!  Well, there’s certainly a big difference between your mother and my mother here."

"I’m not too sure.  I think your mother wants you to find a job already too."

"I’m looking.  I’m looking."

"Oh, yeah, like writing for that Blogebrity is a real JOB?!"

Then the argument really took off, until we both started coughing and sneezing, and went back into our separate rooms to go to sleep.

Today on Blogebrity:  Lynn Sees Heaven  (Lynn’s site, Sprigs)

Blogging the Big Event

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(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

A few years back, I was visiting New York when there was a big earthquake in Los Angeles.  Everyone in New York was saying how lucky I was to not be in LA, but I actually felt depressed.  There was finally a big Los Angeles communal event that everyone was invited too — and I missed out.  This feeling of missing out on a big event is not unusual.  I know someone who was out of New York during 9/11 — and has been pissed about this for years.  While most New Yorkers can tell you exactly what they were doing that day, my friend has the embarrassing distinction of being in a hotel room in Denver.  Does it really matter that he was watching the event on a TV in a Denver hotel rather than his Brooklyn apartment?  Apparently, it does.  He can’t tell others the story about "being there."

Things have only intensified with the growth of blogging.  As I was making my rounds of blog-reading today, I noticed that every New York blogger was weighing in with his opinion or experience with the big NYC transit strike.  As is usual now, traditional media has turned to bloggers for "eyewitness accounts" of events such as the transit strike, and have used blog posts in their newspapers.  In fact, I  recently reviewed a book for Blogebrity titled, 2005: Blogged (edited by Tim Worstall), which is a collection of blog posts commenting on the big news events of the year.

I’m jealous of all you New York bloggers who got mentioned in today’s news media because of your blogging about your experience walking from West 76th Street to West 67th Street.   A blogger knows that he only has one chance to strike gold.  Newspapers and TV shows have a deadline to make, and they can’t wait for procrastinating bloggers to perfect their "I was there" post on some news event.  No, it is the blogger that gets there first that gets the media mention.  An ambitious blogger needs to wake up 5AM every morning, and be ready and willing to write a post on any big event that occurs in their city.  You also need to write it fast, especially if you want to be the first one on Technorati with the story. 

My big problem is that I’m lazy.  I don’t like to wake up early.  I procrastinate.  I want the fame and media attention, but I don’t want to work for it.  So, I’ve taken a page from the traditional media in order to ensure that I will always be the first at bat with a hot story.  I will use a technique perfected for decades by obituary writers.  I will pre-write my important posts.  Do you really think that that the NY Times didn’t have their Ronald Reagan obituary ready for publication years before the president actually passed away?  

Despite my flu, today has been a very productive blogging day.  I’ve written about the next big earthquake in Los Angeles and how it brought me closer to my wacky neighbors.  I wrote a very amusing post about my 2006 New Year’s night out.  And 2007.  And 2008.  You are going to be amazed at what I saw at the amazing Opening Ceremonies at the Torino Olympics, and how proud I was to see that one free Iraqi bobsledder enter the stadium.  I especially enjoyed my post about waiting in line all night to be the first to see Daniel Craig as the new James Bond.  All of them are now ready in my draft mode.

Clever, huh?  Can you guess who is going to be first one listed in Technorati when the next LA earthquake hits?  Luckily, my mother is here, so I’ve been preparing her to be my plan B in case of any emergency during an earthquake, such as the power going out or my apartment building collapsing around me.  I will quickly call my mother in New York via cellphone and get her to publish the post for me.

"Mom, it’s easy.  Log in.  Yes, now go into WordPress, just like I showed you.  W-O-R-D-P-R-E-S-S.  Under Manage.  Under Drafts.  Blog… Mom… Blog, not Blodge.  Do you see where there is a post titled "The Big One."  No, not in the comments.  No, I’m not yelling. That’s just a loud aftershock.  Yes, in Posts.  Under Manage.  Mom, are you listening?  Mom, my apartment building is on fire and my upstairs neighbor just fell through the ceiling.  Please pay attention as I try to walk you through this.  I want to be first on Technorati with my personal account of the earthquake!" 

Maybe I should ask my Uncle Milton to be Plan B instead of my mother.

Sophia and Neil’s First Date

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Welcome to the Love Connection, where old-fashioned romance meets modern technology.  And here’s your host, Mr. "2 and 2" himself, Chuck Woolery!

Chuck:  "Welcome to Love Connection.  On our last show we met Sophia Lansky and  she was about to tell us about her date.  Her three choices of bachelors were Ron, a successful podiatrist from Studio City, California — Dave, a Grammy-award winning composer from Beverly Hills — and Neil, an unemployed writer from Los Angeles.  The audience chose Dave, by 65%, Ron came in second  with 33%, Neil, oh well…  So, Sophia, whom did you pick?"

Sophia:  "I picked Neil."

The audience gasps and boos.

Chuck:  "Let’s say hello to Neil."

No response from Neil.

Chuck:  "Neil… Neil…"

Neil:  (distracted)  "I’m sorry, I was busy blogging in the back here."

Chuck:  "Blogging?"

Neil:  "Oh, right.  You were cancelled ten years ago.  You don’t yet know what blogging is.  Well, it’s sort of an online journal where you write every day and then other bloggers…

Chuck:  (bored) "Uh, very interesting, but let’s hear about the date.  Sophia?

Sophia:  "Neil came to my door.  He was carrying some flowers."

Chuck:  "How nice."

Sophia:  "That looked like they cost him $3.99 at Ralphs."

Chuck:  "Neil… Neil… Neil…

The audience boos Neil.

Chuck:  But, Sophia, what did you think of Neil looks-wise?"

Sophia:  "He was wearing this weird orange flannel shirt and I thought he looked gay."

Chuck:  "Gay?  Neil, what’s going on with you?"

Neil:  "I’m not gay."

Chuck:  "If you say so.  What did you think of Sophia?"

Neil:  "I thought she was hot.  You see… not gay." 

Sophia:  "Listen to this, Chuck.  The very first thing Neil says to me is, "You smell.""

Chuck:  "You smell?  Neil, are you insane? You didn’t really say that, did you?"

Neil:  "I was nervous.  I meant to say, "You smell nice" because of her perfume."

Chuck:  "Neil, had you ever gone on a date before?  This sounds like a disaster.  Tell us more."

Sophia:  "So, Neil drives me to this Peruvian restaurant that he’s raving about.  But when we get there, it’s in this filthy, disgusting mini-mall."

Neil:  "But they have great food!"

Sophia:  "Well, we never found out, because Neil never bothered to find out that the restaurant was closed on Monday."

Chuck:  "Neil, were you brought up by wolves?"

The audience starts throwing their voting devices at Neil.

Neil:  "I did find us another restaurant."

Sophia:  "Yes, he did.  After we drove around Hollywood for a half hour."

Chuck:  "How did things go when you reached the new restaurant?"

Sophia:  "It actually got better.  The conversation was nice and we had a lot chemistry."

Chuck:  "Ooh, so tell me, Neil, was there any… romance?"

Neil:  "Absolutely, Chuck.  On the way home, there was a long light on Wilshire Blvd. and I leaned over and gave Sophia a passionate kiss.  It was amazing."

Chuck:  "How was the kiss for you, Sophia?"

Sophia:  "Eh.  First – we almost had an accident, because he took his foot of the brake.   And, it actually was a little weird.  Like he didn’t really know what to do.  But I guess the first kiss wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time we had…"

Neil:  "Uh, excuse me, Chuck, this is getting a little too personal.  As the writer here, I’m ending things here much earlier than scheduled…"

Sophia:  "Hey, that’s exactly what happened in bed the first time we… and the second… and the third…"  

Mom! I’m Sick!

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Sophia is in her bedroom with a 102 temperature.    I came here yesterday to help out.  Now I’m in the living room, feeling hot, coughing, and dizzy. 

So, of course, the first thing I do is blog about it. 

I don’t know if Sophia got me sick or it was because I walked around in that kilt underwear all day.

I’m beginning to feel pretty miserable.  How miserable, you might ask?  If some female blogger would IM me right now, offering to take off their top for me on the videocam, I would refuse, because I just don’t have the energy to watch.

Luckily, my mother is coming to town tomorrow.  What an exciting vacation she’s going to have — taking care of two sick people!

This is the first time my mother is visiting me here since my father passed away a couple of months ago.  So, the visit is a little sad.  But it’s also an opportunity to bond with my mother in a way I haven’t done since I was a kid.  Let’s see if I can still beat her in Scrabble.

Do you think it would be weird to go see a movie about two gay cowboys with your mother?

Since I’m pretty much rambling right now, can I act Jewish again and say I feel a little guilty for not keeping up with some of your blogs.   I’ve been doing that gig at Blogebrity and it’s actually harder than I thought to write two posts a day. 

I think the medication I took is settling in, so this is where I really go all crazy. 

A few days ago, Communicatrix had this very moving thought (her blog may look a little funny today because of the Typepad problems):

So…why am I here? And what the hell should I do with my life, or what’s left of it?

The truth is, while over the years I’ve become a passable copywriter, a decent actress, a fairly good designer and made money at all of them, nothing** has proved as rewarding as writing this stupid blog.

I’m sure that holds true for many of us.   I actually thought of going through all my comments and sending each and every one of you a Christmas, uh, Holiday email, but then I’d look like a total wimp, and not the snarky trend-setter that I aim to be.

OK, excuse me while I pass out.

Moving on: Scots are the New Trendy Ones

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For my first HNT (Half-Nekkid Thursday) photo, I decided to wear what is the hottest new rage in menswear, Scottish-wear.   I had so much fun modeling this for a fashion-designer friend of mine,  Aiden Donnachaidh, that I just had to show you the results.

Those Scots are brilliant!

Forget John Stewart, Sarah Silverman, Krukoff, Spielberg, Citizen of the Month, and all those other trendy Jews.  

The Scots are up next!  

Enjoy my photo!   I’m a little shy doing this, so be gentle with the comments.

(thanks JJ)

Today on Blogebrity:  The Religious Hate Dave  (let the non-Jews get a little tsuris for once, sorry Dave at Blogography)

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