Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: October 2006 (page 1 of 4)

I Sing, I Dance, but Dooce is Still Funnier

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(another famous Jewish entertainer)

Bloglaughs rating:  92.2, the exact same mark I got in my high school calculus class. 

My two favorite comments:

“He has an entertaining style of writing, but I believe he and others think he’s more entertaining than he actually is. However, I do like the talking penis.”

“In true Jew form, his writing is impeccable.”

Ha, no one ever says that about Mormons.

But can I really trust a review site that says this? —

“…most of his readers seem to be pretty smart.”

If they only knew.

Thank you Bloglaughs!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthBlog East, Young Man

Goodbye to Trash (The Song)

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Our reunion was great.   Sophia was impressed with my cleaning, liked my flowers… but Sophia is already in bed with the flu!

Still, as promised, what could be scarier on Halloween than hearing me sing?  

Goodbye to Trash (in mp3)

Goodbye to Trash (in .wav)

The lyrics are here.  Feel free to sing along in your office or kitchen.

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthJane Loves Target

Goodbye to Trash (The Lyrics)

Last night, I was watching poker on TV and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when I received a call from Sophia.   She’s coming home ONE DAY EARLY.   Sunday, not Monday!

Joy.  Joy.   But —

F**k!  I was supposed to be cleaning rather than watching poker on TV.   I needed to get on the job. 

Of course, a half hour later, as I was throwing out three bags of garbage, I came up with a song to sing on my blog about cleaning the house.  

Now, it would be totally irresponsible to spend the time making an Mp3 of me singing the song when I had so much work to do.   Isn’t that why Sophia and I are having problems to begin with?  Shouldn’t I prove that I’m a responsible person?

But I guess I could just post the lyrics.  That doesn’t take more than five minutes to do.  And I won’t put up a photo to save time.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  I think it is important to post something on Sunday when I actually get two readers.

Since Halloween is coming up, the song is sung to the tune of “Monster Mash.”

Goodbye to Trash

I was blogging in my house late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
The house was so dirty it was a shock
And Sophia was arriving at three o’clock

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

I called all my friends from Hollywood
Getting all the help that I could
Leaving emails to all I could reach
“Please come down to Redondo Beach!”

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

We washed the floor and the drapes
We went in the sofa and took out some old grapes
We threw out all the porno magazines
Cause this place was looking like Charlie Sheen’s

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

Sophia, I know you’ll be here soon
That’s why I’m singing you this little tune
I can’t wait to pick up you at LAX
Maybe, if I’m lucky, we’ll even have…

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

(and thank you, Charming but Single — I will buy flowers.  And not the cheap ones)

Dial O for Old School

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I sit on my couch, Friday afternoon, on hold with the Department of Water and Power. I’ve already been holding on the phone for ten minutes. Every thirty seconds, the same message repeats — they are “very busy” and a “customer service representative” will “be right with me” and that they “thank me” for “being so patient.”

I am patient, but I’m tired of waiting. My foot taps, impatiently. I have to leave… five minutes ago. I have an appointment downtown. I just want to talk to customer service about my bill. I want to get this payment issue over with before the weekend is here.

I wait ten more minutes. The repeating message is driving me crazy. “Very busy…thank you… patient..”

That’s enough. I need to go. I can’t sit here all day on hold waiting for someone to answer the phone.

I hang up, head out the front door, and enter my car, still holding onto the cell phone that I used to call up the Department of Water and Power.

Then I realize — couldn’t have I left twenty minutes ago WITH the phone in hand? Or any time after that?  Why did I hang up before I left the house?  And why was I sitting there on the couch connected by an invisible phone cord?

That’s something my father would have done. How Old School is that?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Jane Austen and the Pussycats

Make Me Insecure Friday

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In the tradition of Poetry Tuesday and Sunday Scribblings, I’d like to welcome you to the hottest blogging craze — Make Me Insecure Friday!

Yes, it’s Friday.  You’ve worked hard all week.  But before you go home and have a relaxing weekend, why not sit back while I tell you what a loser you are.

Today’s topic is:  Numbers.

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Numbers. 

Is there anything that makes us more insecure than numbers? 

The Top 10.  The Big 5.   The Technorati 100.  Hah Hah, I’m sure you’re not ANY OF THOSE!  

Have you looked at your blog stats today?  The numbers are down… way down!

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By the way, what exactly is your net income?  Is that ALL you make for doing that?

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Ooh, is that the Infiniti M35 you’re driving?   Nice, but NOT as nice as my Infiniti M45!

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Are you really a man who is under six feet tall?  What woman is going to date you other than Linda Hunt?

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Jeez, are you a woman with only an 32A cup?   Is your father Flat Stanley?

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And you’re over 35 and still not married?  Crazy woman, crazy woman!

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You’re not partner yet?  What kind of man are you?  You should be making twice as much as your father!

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My friend Trish is a size 4 and laughs at the big women who are size 6 and 8.   I have news for you, Trish, the laughter is over.  Nicole Miller is coming out with sizes that are LESS THAN ZERO.    That’s right — NEGATIVE ZERO clothes.

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Let’s make believe you’re a condom manufacturer in Japan.  You’re coming out with a new brand made specifically for men who want a condom that is, uh, of average length and narrower than others.  What would be a good name for this condom?  Let’s see… how about Beyond Seven

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Imagine the happy woman who sees you take out your Beyond Seven condom, and then…

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This is Jiro Okamoto, President of Okamato Industries, maker of Beyond Seven Condoms.  He sure looks funny, doesn’t he? 

I also bet you he makes 100x money than you will in a lifetime.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Make Me Insecure Friday.  Make sure you come back next week for another installment!  

Have a great weekend!  I’ll be cleaning up the house, and being insecure.

Sophia, Fortune Cookies from Redondo Beach Never Tell a Lie

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fortune from Seafood Village, October 25, 2006

(the waiter with the cool Chinese name who calls himself Paul says hello and looks forward to your return from New York)

The Return of the Prodigal Sophia

Have you ever been happy, depressed, excited, anxious, frustrated, and ecstatic all at the same time? That’s how I feel right now.

After two and a half months of misery, Sophia is coming home on Monday! It’s been over TWO MONTHS since she left for New York!

Of course I’m very excited, but I’m also very anxious. We’re going to be living in the same house for the first time in a while (“even though we will be remaining separated in reality” adds Sophia).  Now, if we have a fight, I have no where to run, unless some local blogger offers me their spare bedroom for the night.

Did I accomplish anything special in those two months alone? No.

Did I go into therapy like I promised Sophia in order to discuss some “issues?” No.

Did I write a screenplay that sold for a million dollars? No.

Did I find a high-paying full time job with medical benefits? No.

Did I take care of myself, eat the right foods, and exercise a lot? No.

Did I watch “Dancing with the Stars” last night because I am totally in love with the dancer Cheryl Burke? Yes.

Did I talk with my penis much too much? Yes.

Did I continue blogging successfully without having Sophia as my “editor?” Absolutely.

Today is Wednesday. I have so much to do before she arrives home.

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I need to clean up the house.

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I need to fix her car.

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I need to tell Emily and Trish that they must find their own apartment.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

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Last Halloween, while all my friends dressed up and went to Halloween parties, I stayed home under the old-fashioned belief that Halloween is supposed to be a children’s holiday.    I have so many fond childhood memories of going door to door with my friend, Rob, and collecting all our loot, as well as the pennies for UNICEF, back when the United Nations was a reputable institution.  Rob and I still talk about our famous “old-men” Halloween costumes, with the gray beards and old hats borrowed from my father, which has become less funny as we have started to get actual gray beards.

I bought tons of candy (at the 99-cent store, of course) and waited for the cheerful smiles of the local children.   I even bought this scary Frankenstein mask that lit up, hoping to give the kids some thrills and chills.  I waited and waited.  Not one child came knocking on my door.  Not one.  I still have some of the candy from last Halloween.

My only conclusion is that in Los Angeles, most parents do not want their kids knocking on strangers’ doors, even if the kids are accompanied by an adult.  Now, I didn’t live in a “bad” neighborhood.  I lived in what they call Beverly Hills-adjacent.  (Hah!)   I think parents are scared for their children, thinking that every stranger is a potential pedophile.

Now I know this is a serious issue, so parents, please don’t throw tomatoes at the monitor just yet.    Every day, I read about some young boy or girl who is being lured somewhere by some crackpot on MySpace.  But a red flag goes up in my mind when every “Inside Edition” and “Dateline” is about the same issue.  I know how much these TV shows love selling danger to a scared public.  “Eat spinach and risk death… or worse!” a squeaky-voiced female newscaster recently said on Eyewitness News.

From doing a little reading tonight, I’ve learned the obvious — MOST problems with children are with extended family members.  Going around for Halloween might be less dangerous than leaving your kids with Uncle Joe.  While I understand the fear of strangers, I think it is bad for kids to grow up feeling afraid of ALL strangers.   How are they ever going to empathize with others if they are only taught to trust their own family?

Today, I was at my local Starbucks.  It is situated next to one of those Gymboree’s.  As I was drinking my coffee, some little girl came running over to my table.  I smiled and said hello.  The mother, at the next table, gave me a glare, as if I SHOULDN’T be talking to her daughter.  

I just thought that was a little weird.   Should I not talk to children anymore? 

Well… I was unshaven…

But, I’m not giving up yet.  Not everyone can be so fearful.  After I left Starbucks, I did go and buy some more Halloween candy, just in case someone shows up.

A Year Ago On Citizen of the MonthJohny Kops, Remember That Name

My First Attempt at Targeted Advertising

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For the upcoming Poetry Thursday
demographic:  hot Yoga chicks

I’ve mastered my emotions
Through tantric practices
Through careful meditation
I’m a Ayurvedic wiz
I know my Bhakti Yoga
I’ve sat with Liz Elayne
I’ve read my Upanishads
While posing in the rain
To reach my inner chakras
is actually quite hard
That’s why I feel my oneness
With the Enlightenment Visa Card

You know how several times a year, you get offers for credit cards from every organization you’ve ever been connected with:  the AAA, your college alumni, Amazon.com.  Do you have any doubt that if my penis would apply for a Mastercard, that he would be approved for one?

I just happened to find the idea of an Enlightenment Visa card amusing.   From their website:

Finally, a credit card for people like us

Some people say money is evil…

We say “how” money is used determines the effect.

The Enlightenment Card was founded on the idea that money is energy and if used with positive and integrative intention, can have the power to affect change in our lives and the world. Everyone uses a credit card, so why not have one where people can earn points towards positive products and services that enhances their overall “Conscious” life path? Some of the categories of rewards you can earn points toward are yoga classes, organic products, retreats + workshops, travel, books + DVD’s, personal care, spa treatments, and more…And, members can even redeem their points to make donations to charities such as Trees for the Future.

Is collecting 154,000 Reward Points for a Thai Yoga Massage at a fancy resort really that much better than American Airlines Frequent Flier Miles?

There are eight different cards you can choose from, including “Truth,” “Love,” and “Peace,” each with a different “spiritual” picture on it.

I LOVE the Enlightenment Card’s slogan:  “Changing your world with every point you earn.” 

Net Neutrality – Phooey!

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My blog friend, Communicatrix, is very concerned about the issue of Net Neutrality.

“You should write something about it,” she emailed me.

I have noticed that it seems to be an important issue among bloggers. Patry Francis just wrote about it, mentioning a recent PBS special with Bill Moyers about the issue.

Last night, I decided to read up on the issue, since I honestly knew very little about what it was all about.

From what I gather, internet providers want to make more money from consumers by creating a tier system on the internet similar to the one they already have with cable TV. You would pay one fee for basic service, but extra for easier access to the higher-bandwidth of more popular sites, much like you pay extra for HBO and Showtime.

Advocates of Net Neutrality oppose any changes because it would undermine the free flow of ideas. For example, what if only those who could afford a “special package” could search on Google? A three tier-system might look something like this:

Gold Service
can search on Google

Silver Service
can only search on MSN

Basic service
stuck searching on Barry’s Search Engine

No, I may lose Communicatrix as a reader, but I say “Net Neutrality, Phooey!”

So, poor people can’t search Google? So what! They can’t afford to eat in Ruth Chris Steak House either and I don’t see you complaining.

Yeah, I know:

“Neilochka, Neilochka. What has happened to you? Are you really so heartless? What about the educational value of the internet?”

I’m not being heartless. I’m being smart. Think about it. A three-tier system is perfect for personal bloggers like us. Just imagine this:

Gold Service
can read Dooce

Silver Service
can only read Blogography

Basic service
stuck reading “Citizen of the Month” and most of us

You understand now? A tier system will increase our readership ten fold! Think of all the poor people and the cash-strapped families who won’t be able to afford to read Dooce anymore, and can only read YOU!

Be selfish! Fight Net Neutrality!

(ok, you’re right Deezee — it is a serious issue. I am definitely for net neutrality. Imagine what would happen if our children got a better education based on how much money their parents could afford?! Oops.)

Tons of links about Net Neutrality (via Liz Strauss)

This is from Bill Moyer’s special:

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Citizen of the Month Wants a Cure

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