Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: July 2006 (page 1 of 3)

Eager to Please

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Thank you to those of you who sent me emails with advice on therapy.  I haven’t taken any action yet, but since this is my blog, I figured I can start my therapy already — right here with all of you.

Therapy – Day One

I feel an urge to please people.  It’s not a terrible trait.  If you met me, you would probably think I was a decent enough guy.  But I hate the feeling of NOT pleasing someone.  It makes me anxious.  Sophia has made fun of me about this for years.  For instance,  if I suggest that a group of friends go to a restaurant, and that restaurant ends up sucking, I feel responsibility.  I need to apologize to everyone, as if I cooked the meal.

Despite my charming demeanor, most of my women readers would hate to be with me in bed.  I’m the type who won’t leave you alone after sex:

“Did you have an orgasm?  Are you sure you had an orgasm?  Do you want me to try again?  You don’t blame me, do you?   I’ll try again if you want.   I’ll try to give you two orgasms next time.  Is that fair?”

Even now, anxious thoughts of pleasing my readers are at the forefront. 

“This post sucks.  My readers are getting bored.  In a second, they’re gonna move over to Brandon’s site.  I better say something funny… and quick.” 

The last week was a tough one for me and blogging.  A different blogger seemed to be upset at me every day.  Was I too flippant when I joked about psychological conditions when I wrote about therapy?   Maybe I shouldn’t have put a photo of a woman’s prison movie when writing about Blogher.  To top it off, I got a nice anti-Semitic email today, although I doubt it was from a regular reader.  (unless it was Brooke?)

Uh-oh, now she’s gonna be pissed.

Really, I just want people to be happy and to like me.   I like when people like me.

That is until I get some real therapy and learn to get some balls, so I don’t have to give a shit anymore about what ANY of you think.

Only kidding.  Ha Ha.  Only kidding!   I love you.

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthKissing

Mel Gibson Arrested for DUI

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INT.  LOST HILLS SHERIFF’S STATION – LOS ANGELES – NIGHT

Mel Gibson, still drunk off his ass, is sitting in his cell, mumbling to himself about the f**king Jews.  Suddenly Danny Glover comes bursting in through the door.

Mel:  “Danny, what the f**k?”

Danny:  “Partners forever, my Lethal Weapon friend.  Let’s get out of here.  I rigged the place.  It’s gonna blow.”

Mel and Danny jump out the window and the entire jail explodes. 

Mel:  “Thanks, Danny.”

Danny:  “We have to get out of here… and fast.  The Sheriff’s Department can’t cover-up your anti-Semitic rants forever.”

Mel:    “F**k those Jew-loving cops.  I would OWN Malibu if that Yenta Barbra Streisand didn’t already own it.  Let’s go over to Nobu in Malibu for some sake and sushi.”

Danny:  “Maybe we should hide out in my place until things calm down.”

Mel:  Yeah, we can pick up some ebony hookers.  Sugar tits, here comes the Passion of the Dick!”

Danny shakes his head sadly.

Danny:  “I’m getting too old for this shit!”

Mel:  No, you’re not, Danny.  You’re one motherf***ing good black dude!  As long as you’re not a fag.  You’re not one of those that take it up the arse, are you?”

Danny:  Why do I always have to be the responsible, by-the-book buddy and you always the crazy loose cannon?

Mel:  “It’s those f**king Jew screenwriters!”

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from police report

The story on TMZ.com.

Update:  Mel apologizes.  The “I was drunk” excuse.  Jeez, funny, but when I get drunk, which is very very rare, I sing dirty songs, but I never blurt out ethnic slurs!

To All My Friends at BlogHer

I wish I were there!   Enjoy the conference!

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I’m curious to hear about all the latest blogging “techniques” that you learn about.

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Previous “I am jealous about BlogHer” posts:  What Do You Mean by That?   BlogHim ’06

For live-blogging from BlogHer, go to Supafine, Chantel, Liz, Karl, and Heather

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthReading Others

Sigmund Fraud

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I have a situation. Perhaps you can help. I’m thinking of seeing a therapist to talk about my separation from Sophia, among other things. As you know, I’m a bit of a cheapskate. Even though Sophia and I pay about 800 dollars a month for health insurance out of our own pockets, my HMO will only pay for four sessions, with a co-payment of 35 dollars for each visit. Ater that, I will only be covered if the therapist insists that I have a serious psychiatric “condition” that requires extensive treatment.

While I’m hoping that I’m troubled enough to get my therapy paid for after the four sessions, I’m not a gambling man. I’d like to make sure of it, so since I know many are you are crazy, even certifiable, I figured you’d be the perfect people to ask.

Other than me actually talking to my penis in the therapist’s office during the first session, can you offer any other suggestions that will insure that my crappy HMO pays the bills?

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month: Very Superstitious, Writing’s on the Wall

Bloggers Rewrite History!

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Participants of Hands Across America in 1986

After 20 shameful years of failure, “Hands Across America” has finally been completed, as bloggers across the country hold “virtual” hands from one coast to the other, creating a “chain of blogger love,” and unifying the United States.  America is back on the right track!

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All participants — please touch your monitors tonight at 10PM EST.  You will be holding the virtual hands of other fine American bloggers.  If you were not on the designated cross-country route, please feel free to join in the festivities anyway — or just serve us all some ice cold lemonade.

WE BEAT LANCE BASS IS GAY!

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A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  The Biggest Tip She Ever Got

Blogs Across America

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Pat Benatar at “Hands Across America”

Since the last election, our country seems to be split, our citizens at odds with one another. Blue States vs. Red States. Blacks vs. Whites. Liberals vs. Conservatives.

Have we forgotten that we are one country: The United States of America, from sea to shining sea? Was it only twenty years ago that we all stood hand-in-hand, brother and brother, across this great land for a honorable cause?

“On the afternoon of Sunday, May 25, 1986, more than five million people joined hands to form a line that stretched 4,152 miles – from New York City’s Battery Park to a pier in Long Beach, California. This nationwide event, called Hands Across America, was intended to raise money to fight hunger and homelessness.”

Brooke Shields stood as anchor at the George Washington Bridge in New York. Ronald Reagan held hands at the White House. Bill Clinton was in Arkansas. Millions were raised. An awful song was written. For fifteen minutes, we were all one people.

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But there is a dirty little secret about this event, something that has been festering for twenty years:

The “unbroken chain” never really worked.

“There were many breaks in the chain. In order to allow the maximum number of people to participate, the path linked major cities and meandered back and forth within the cities.”

In some places, like in the Arizona desert, there were long stretches of emptiness.

For many of us, this failure has haunted us for two decades. Some say this was a new generation’s Vietnam — a societal disappointment that has prevented many of us from becoming self-actualized individuals.

But can we fix the mistakes of the past? Can our country become whole again? Can WE become whole again?

I say YES. In the last twenty years, modern technology has brought us high speed internet and blogging. We can finish the job left undone.

The following is the original route used in Hands Across America for connecting the two coasts:

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To reproduce and finally complete this historic event twenty years later, we will need AT LEAST one blogger in the following states to be a part of an unbroken blogger chain across America:

WE DID IT!

New York (Yes!)

New Jersey (Yes!)

Pennsylvania (Yes!)

Maryland (Yes!)

Washington D.C. (Yes!)

Ohio (Yes!)

Indiana (Yes!)

Illinois (Yes!)

Missouri (Yes!)

Tennessee (Yes!)

Arkansas (Yes!)

Texas (Yes!)

New Mexico (Yes!)

Arizona (Yes!)

California (Yes!)

Can we do it? I think we can!

The theme song:

Blogs Across America.

Blogs across this land I love.

Divided we fall.

United we stand.

Blogs across America.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: What is a Neilochka?

My Interview

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When I was in film school, we would get movie directors and writers come to our class and show us their latest film releases. While it was fun seeing the movies, the post-movie discussions were usually as dull as hell. Students would ask the filmmakers stupid questions, and the professionals would respond with self-important answers.

Q: “What were your artistic influences in the cinematography of Police Academy 7?”

A: “I’ve always been a big fan of Godard… blah blah blah…”

I was recently interviewed for a new website called The Blog Reader. Luckily, most of the conversation didn’t make it on the site, because I would have probably come off as a pretentious blowhard myself. It wasn’t all my fault. The interviewer, a pleasant woman named Jessica, asked me those questions that I hated in film school.

Q: “In that post where you mentioned Emily Dickinson, were you trying to show the dichotomy between 19th Century Literature and modern technologically-produced writing?”

A: “You mean the one where I f***ed Emily Dickinson and then she started to stalk me?”

At first I giggled at her academic questions to me, but soon I became like a druggie on crack. Someone was taking me seriously! Yes, I did read Emily Dickinson in college! Yes, I do see blogging as a literary experience. Yes! Yes! Yes!!

To Jessica, I wasn’t just a trained monkey, entertaining women in the hope of getting some photos sent to me of their tits. To Jessica, I was an ARTISTE! I even discussed my talking Penis as a literary device.

“I’ve always been a big fan of Kafka,” I said.

What could be more ego-gratifying? Here I was, a former English major, talking about my literary influences. And now I was talking to some intellectual woman about how my own c**k was a piece of literary history, like Don Quixote, Jane Eyre, and Holden Caulfield.

Of course, I’ve now gained some experience on giving interviews. You need to be wary of blabbing about everything.  You’re never sure how the interviewer is going to portray you. That is why Tom Cruise interviews with his Public Relations person at his side.

After Sophia read the interview, she called me, not very happy. It seems as if I was quoted as saying “Sophia HELPS edit SOME of the posts” when in reality — she edits ALL of my posts and very often makes them much funnier. But I’m sure you can all understand how I made that simple slip of the tongue.

Now I’m waiting for someone to comment on this quote:

“You’re seeing a high school kid, [for example], writing for the first time,” he said. “I mean, when was the last time before blogging that people wrote anything? Now people are writing all the time. I think it’s great. There are some blogs that are far and away better quality than others. Some of them, my best friends online, may not have the best written blogs, but they have a lot of heart to them.”

After reading this, Sophia said, “You realize you just said that some of you best online friends have shitty blogs, don’t you?”

Interview on The Blog Reader (the interviewer was Jessica Strul, and she was actually a terrific interviewer!  She had a great sense of humor and I enjoyed talking with her).

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month: Stretching the Juice

Los Angeles: The Glamorous Life

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A friend of mine once tried to start a magazine.   He explained to me how magazines became successful.  You take some niche topic (Golf, Fishing, Teenage Girls’ Fashion, Investing,  New York City Upscale Mothers) and you write articles which make your readers feel insecure.  This way, they’ll continue to read your magazine and buy your advertiser’s products, hoping that ONE DAY they could be as successful as the person on the cover.

I pretty much use the same technique here at Citizen of the Month.   I know that for many of you living in god-forsaken places such as Montana, Pittsburgh, and Staten Island, I must be the single most glamorous person you’ve ever encountered.   After all, I live in the star-studded entertainment capital of the world — Los Angeles.   I open my shades every morning and hear the birds singing, smell the ocean air, and see Lindsay Lohan walk her dog.  My life is all about glamour.  Sometimes, I think of quitting blogging.  But then I remember all the “little people” — people like you — the ones who depend on a little elegance and sophistication to add meaning to their small-town lives.    You can easily compare me to a Fred Astaire movie of the 1930’s — top hats, champagne, and Cole Porter — letting the sad, Depression-era audiences have a little bit of taste of “The Good Life.”

My Sunday began like many others in the beautiful City of Angels.  As I awoke, a beautiful Hollywood actress walked out of my shower.  I admired her perfect naked body.  She was exotic, with a sexy foreign accent. 

“Remember to watch Windfall on NBC this Thursday,” she said, reminding me about her upcoming appearance on TV.

“Of course, Sophia.”  I said.

Los Angeles.  City of Dreams.  The sun.  The beach.  Famous actresses. 

I was living my dream.  

“How about we go have some brunch?’  I asked her, as she combed back her hair, her highlights shimmering like the crown of a goddess.

“Sure.  Where?”

Those of you who live in boring places like Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Paris probably don’t understand that this is a complex question.  Los Angeles is filled with some of the most fabulous and cutting-edge restaurants in the country.  I know that for most of my readers, going “out” means shlepping over to “Mr. Pizza” at the mall with the kids.  But for someone like me, going out means choosing from one of the hippest and trendiest eateries in town.  For us Angelenos, eating out is important.  Like clubbing and shopping on Rodeo Drive.  You need to be part of the scene.  “See and be seen” is our motto.

“How would you like to check out ‘Chicago for Ribs’?” I asked my naked actress friend.

“Is it any good?”

“I have no idea.  But I received a two-for-one coupon in the mail.”

“Cheapskate, as usual”

Although I don’t mind using a coupon (Men: only use a coupon ONCE you’re married), I’m always embarrassed giving it to the waiter.  What to do?  Make you wife do it.

“Here’s the coupon.”  I said, as we entered Chicago for Ribs, trying to shove the coupon into Sophia’s hand.

“Be a man for once in your life.  You give him the coupon!”

I sighed.  Sophia was right.  How difficult can it be to give someone a stupid coupon?

We were greeted by Frank, the maitre d’ (can you call the guy who takes you to your booth in Chicago for Ribs a maitre d’?) .  He was a sourpussed man in his forties who looked like he took a summer job at Chicago for Ribs in 1980 and never left.

“You should give him the coupon NOW,” said Sophia, as we went to our table.  “They like to get it before you order.”

I hemmed and hawed.

“Give it to him now,” she repeated.

As we sat, I showed the coupon to Frank.

“I received this coupon in the mail.  Is it OK to use it today for lunch?”

“Yes.  I’ll take it. ” The stone-faced maitre d’ replied, not really giving a shit.

Our waiter approached.

“Hi, I’m Jamal!” he said with a smile.  Finally — someone friendly!

Sophia ordered beef ribs, with side dishes of corn and coleslaw.  I ordered chicken, with side dishes of baked potato and beans.   Originally I was just going to order a sandwich, but since Sophia ordered something for $12.95, it was mathematically important that I order something for the same price — or the whole point of a two-for-one coupon is lost.

The meal was both decent and mediocre.  Real BBQ lovers would have probably thrown the “Chicago-style ribs” from the top of the Sears Tower.  But Jamal was a nice guy, who kept on refilling our iced tea.  Jamal also had great teeth. 

We received the bill.  It was $35 dollars, with drinks.  There was no discount for our two-for-one coupon.  I looked over at Sophia.

“No way!  You handle it, once in your life.” she said.

I waited for Jamal to return.

“Um…  We wanted to use a coupon with this.”  I told him.

“Sure.  Just give it to me and I’ll take care of it.”

“Um…  Actually, we already gave the coupon to the other guy when we first walked in.”

“Who?  Frank?”

“I think so.” 

“OK, I’ll ask him for it.”

A few minutes later, Jamal returns, shaking his head.

“Frank said you never gave him a coupon.”

“Isn’t Frank the guy at the door?”

“Yes.”

“I’m positive I gave it to Frank when we sat down.”

Sophia was getting impatient with my method of “taking care of things.”

“Could you bring Frank over here, please?!” she asked.

Jamal returned with Frank.   This was the same sourpuss who I gave the coupon.

“You didn’t give me any coupon.” he said.

“Of course he did!” said Sophia.

“I told you I got it in the mail,” I added sheepishly, hoping he’d remember our conversation.  “I asked you if we could use it at lunch…”

“And I told you ‘yes.'” Frank said.  “But I never took the coupon.”

I quickly went through all my pockets, emptying everything onto the table.

“I’m POSITIVE I gave you the coupon.”

“I SAW him give it to you,” said Sophia.

“I don’t have it.”  said Frank.  “And I really need that coupon for accounting purposes.   Let me check in the back one more time.  Although I certainly don’t remember you giving me any coupon…”

Sophia and I were left there with Jamal.  Sophia was getting pissed.

“What is the big deal with this goddamn coupon?  Do we look like we would sneak in here, couponless, and FAKE having a coupon?” 

Jamal smiled.

“Don’t worry.  I’ll just take it off.   Frank loses everything ALL THE TIME.  The only reason he works here is that cousin is the owner.  Frank’s a moron.”

Jamal took $12.95 off of the menu and we went on our merry way.  

The rest of the day was equally as fabulous.  We went to E-Z Lube and got an oil change.  At night, I played in a high-stakes Texas Hold-em tournament with five women.  At the end, I beat an eighty-two year old grandmother in heads-up action.  I won the $100 pot.   The grandmother deserved to lose.  She was a card shark.

I do LIVE the LIFE!   Don’t hate me because I’m glamorous.

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Learning from Barbra Streisand

Summer Radio

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Radio DJ: “Welcome back to KNEIL, the HOTTEST music station on EARTH, home to the WIN WIN WIN KNEIL CONTEST. The fifth caller gets free tickets to this weekend’s HOTTEST concerts and MORE! Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend out there. It’s definitely SUMMER. It’s a SCORCHER out there. HOTTTT!!! Hoping you’re keeping COOL at the BEACH. Woo-hoo, I wish I were there RIGHT NOW! Bikini babes and surfer dudes — BLASTING KNEIL and rocking with the SUMMER BEAT of the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today. IT’S KNEIL. K-N-E-I-L. More commercial-free music. More rock. More soul. More. More. More. Summer means music and KNEIL plays the best summer songs all SUMMER LONG. Who doesn’t associate the summer with music? Remember the song that reminds you of your first kiss? Of that special summer vacation? Of “See You in September” playing in sleep-away camp? DING. DING. DING. It’s dedication hour. Call in RIGHT now with your favorite summer song from yesterday or today! What summer memory does this song remind you of? Call KNEIL! And the first caller is DING DONG: You’re on KNEIL!”

Neil: “Hi, this is Neilochka.”

Radio DJ: “Yo! Neilochka! What’s happening. What’s the STATION THAT ROCKS?”

Neil: “KNEIL!”

Radio DJ: “RING. RING. RING. What song do you want to hear and why?”

Neil: “It’s an old Donna Summer song, called “Bad Girls.” I remember being at a friend’s house and his sister putting it on the stereo, and some girl chased me around the pool, and I slipped and needed stitches. But I had the last laugh because the girl got in trouble  for running around the pool.”

Radio DJ: “BING BING BING. What a hot summer memory! BEEP BEEP BEEP. It’s SUMMER LOVE WEEKEND, all day today — COMMERCIAL FREE — on KNEIL, where it pays to PLAY! Neil, would you like dedicate this great song to anyone special?”

Neil: “Yes. I have a blog at citizenofthemonth.com, and I’ve become good friends with many brilliant, creative, and gorgeous women who I’ve met through my blog. I’d like to dedicate this summer song to these talented women, because I now think of them whenever I hear this song.”

Radio DJ: “GONG! This is for you, female readers of Citizen of the Month — a special song dedicated to YOU, here on KNEIL!”

Bad Girls by Donna Summer

Bad girls
Talking about the sad girls
Sad girls
Talking about bad girls, yeah

See them out on the street at night, walkin’
Picking up on all kinds of strangers
If the price is right
You can’t score if you’re pocket’s tight
But you want a good time
You ask yourself who they are
Like everybody else
They come from near and far
Bad girls, yeah

Bad girls
Talking about the sad girls, yeah
Sad girls
Talking about bad girls, yeah

Friday night and the strip is hot
Sun’s gone down and they’re out to trot
Spirit’s high and legs look hot
Do you wanna get down
Now don’t you ask yourself who they are
Like everybody else, they wanna be a star

Bad girl
Sad girl, you’re such a naughty bad girl
Beep-Beep, uh-uh
You bad girl you sad girl
Your such a dirty bad girl
Beep-Beep, uh-uh

Now you and me we’re both the same
But you call yourself by different names
Now your mama won’t like it when she finds out
That her girl is out at night

Hey, Mister, have you got a dime
Mister, do you want to spent some time
Oh, yeah
I got what you want, you got what I need
I’ll be your baby, come and spend it on me
Hey, Mister
I’ll spend some time with you

P.S. — It seems that everyone has music on their mind during the hot summer in the city: more music favorites at Fringes and Rebecca.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Lies and Lying

Sex Advice for Men

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This week’s challenge on Poetry Thursday:  Write a poem about sex.

Sex Advice for Men
by Neil Kramer

Problems in the bedroom?
Your lady unfulfilled?
Ask me any question,
And get her garden tilled.

Question: 

“I really like this woman,
She’s sexy through and through.
I always climax way too fast,
What’s a man supposed to do?”

Answer: 

“That happens very often,
When relationships are new.
So, here’s a tried and true technique,
Passed down from Jew to Jew –”

You entertain thy woman,
With everything you know.
You tell amazing stories,
From Dickens, Eyre, and Poe.

You paint a lovely portrait,
You wear an artist’s frock,
You balance twenty dishes,
You buy her penny stock.

You tell her she is gorgeous,
You tell her that is why —
Your passion rose so suddenly,
And hit her in the eye.

You kick and do a swing dance,
You cook her Cream of Wheat,
You promise her gelato,
You say you’ll sail to Crete.

You feel her being curvy,
You lick her little toe,
You spread her arms behind her,
You move her high and low.

You be an opera singer,
You be a Shakespeare bard,
You pray to God repeatedly,
“Please let me stay real hard.”

Soon she’ll be all ready
Her heatbeat all a rush
She’ll want to climb atop you
Her body all aflush

Of course, by now you’re tired,
From all that work and fun,
You still might be excited
But your c**k might say “I’m done.”

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