Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: May 2008 (page 1 of 3)

I’m Back to Being a Man

I’m sorry I was such an insecure woman yesterday.  I’ll try to be a better woman next year during “Write Like the Opposite Sex Day.”   A woman that will make you proud.  That you will want to befriend.

Next time, maybe I’ll be Janet, a strong-willed female poet, a single mother living in the South. 

“I come from from Mayflower stock, but there are demons in my past.   I live in a great big ‘ol house that my late father owned.  I loved my father and was heart-broken when he died.  I dote on my son, watching him grow up to be a man.  My best poems are about death.”

Another possibility is Kendra, a fashion model living in Paris.

“I’m very flamboyant.  I’m cold to other women   I’m confident, knowing that I’m idolized by everyone.  I’m knock-out gorgeous and my face is on magazine covers. Even though I’m not supposed to,  I eat pastries.   I have two big secrets — I don’t like people.  Or modeling.” 

 I’d probably be most happy as Angie — a playful, small town waitress in Vermont. 

“Some may say I am a child at heart.  On Fall mornings, I run outside, still in my pajamas, and jump into the colorful leaves, much as I did when I was a tomboy at seven.  I’m plain-looking, but don’t worry about it.  I have a “good personality,:” as my mother would say.  I  have three lovers.  I have sex five times a week.   Last night, I was with Tom, the chef from The Tamarick Cafe.  I loved feeling his calloused hands on my ass as I moaned deeply into his strong manly chest.  In the morning, I drank my coffee, rode him again until I came, and then went to play in the leaves.  If I had more money, life would be perfect.”

On Friday, several of you wrote blog posts “written as the opposite sex.”  They were all funny.  But we all made the same mistake — we reached for stereotypes.   I’m curious if we would have had more realistic results if we just wrote our regular blog posts, then changed a few gender-specific words here and there?   

Are we really that different in the way we write?

And seriously — do women really see men as such gruff horn-dogs?! 

For me, Christine’s post came “closest” to being one actually written by a man.   As the winner of my first real “contest” on “Write Like the Opposite Sex Day,” she wins a DVD of  the movie classic, Tootsie!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthGood Humor

Today I Am a Woman


My name is Neilochka.  I am a mother of two living in Los Angeles, who doesn’t really feel like she belongs.  I am insecure being around some of my more successful friends and wish that my husband was more attentive to me.  I like to bake scones, play board games, and kiss by the fire.  I miss my parents back home.  I am size 12 and trying to lose some weight.  I am from Wappinger Falls, NY, a small town upstate New York.  I graduated from SUNY Albany with a degree in Psychology.  I was working in marketing when I met Josh.

I had plans to go see “Sex and the City” with Megan and her friends tonight, but I wasn’t in a Carrie and Miranda mood.  Do I really want to sit through two hours of self-absorbed women negotiating relationships, looking absolutely terrific, AND living in NEW YORK?  As a former hipster gal myself (I lived in New York for six months after college before I moved back home), now mother of two — who now finds herself shopping at Costco! (can you believe it?), I have nothing in common with the Sex and the City gals anymore.  My life has not been “Sex and the City” for a long, long time.  Will someone please buy my book, “Diapers and the Poop?!”  Seriously,  I wouldn’t even have the time to write it with Kyle jumping on the couch every minute, making believe he is Iron Man (although he calls himself “Iron Chef” — hee hee).

Megan and her friends are nice,  and the screening was at the movie studio, but I didn’t feel like fighting the traffic.  I’m also a little insecure around Megan’s friends.    Last week, Erin had a birthday party for her seven year old at — get this — the Pantages Club in Burbank!  A nightclub for a child’s party!  I remember my seventh birthday party — at the Wappinger Falls bowling alley.   We had a Carvel “whale of a time” birthday cake.  Remember, this is LA.  Even Chuck E. Cheese has valet parking.  Now I’m worried about where we should have Kyle’s birthday party.  Josh suggested we rent out the Griffith Observatory.

Sometimes, I wish we had never moved to LA.  Josh says I’m just being silly… or depressed.  He means well.  I mean, I know there are a lot of cool Moms who live in town, who are able to juggle being a Mom and still being hip and trendy, like Rebecca from Girl’s Gone Child and Stephanie from Baby on Bored, but they are superstars compared to me.  I’m just a small town girl at heart. 

I’m thinking of going to synagogue on Saturday for the first time in twenty years.  Josh says he won’t go with me.  He doesn’t believe in any of that.  But I spoke to my sister, and we agree on one thing — I hit the lottery with Josh.  He is a darling.  Today, he sent me flowers from the office.  I think he’s a keeper.  Or he wants sex.  Bad.  Ha Ha.

I know work is everything to Josh, but with the internet, he should be able to write his animated cartoons anywhere he wants, even from upstate New York, near my parents.  I could even go back working with the marketing firm.  I need to look for freelance work.

Well, listen to me.  Blah blah blah.  I know… always complaining when I should be telling you how lucky I am.  I am lucky, knock on wood.  I even lost those extra three pounds this month.  I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and said to myself, “Not bad!”  I hope I win that wii fit on Redhead Momma’s blog.  I have a long way to go before I reach my ideal weight goal.  Soon is high school reunion time… and BlogHer.  Does anyone need a roommate on Saturday night?!

Are you guys going to watch “Lost” tonight?  I know I am.   Sarah B. was so funny on Twitter today. 

“If Sawyer takes his shirt off once more, I’m leaving my husband and marrying him.”

Sorry, Sarah.  He’s already taken.  By ME!

Toots, y’all.  xxxooo — Neilochka

(This is a project of “Write Like the Opposite Sex Day.”  Please comment on this post as if you were of the opposite sex)

Others changing their gender for one day:

Memarie Lane is a man.

Finn is a man.

Anymommy is a man.

Melanie is a man.

Christine is a man.

And check out the amazing haikus written for Haiku Friday  (also here) by women… writing the haikus as if they were men.

Tell All

via Publishers Weekly:  In the tradition of the tell-all, screw the loyalty, backstabbing, I wanna write a book and tell the truth now that I have a book deal, even though I was too wimpy to do so when I was there sucking up to the Man, tradition of “What Happened — Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” by Bush spokesperson Scott McClellan, “Behind the Oval Office” by Clinton aide/prostitute-lover Dick Morris, and countless other memoirs by bloggers lucky enough to obtain impossible-to-get glamour jobs in law, publishing, and the entertainment fields, who then turn around and betray the trust of their former bosses and co-workers, comes Neil Kramer’s new book, “Behind the Blogosphere:  What Other Bloggers Really Tell Me.” 

In his three years of blogging, Mr. Kramer, or “Neilochka from Redondo Beach” as he was known online, kept backup copies of every IM conversation, Twitter, email, and blog comment he was ever involved in — right on his computer in his office in Chicago, discussing the intimate details of the lives of his “blogging friends.”

“I carefully created this “Neilochka” personality,” said Mr. Kramer, “using the the Britten-Margolis Personality Quadrant, making sure that this character seemed open, friendly, and sensitive to the needs of others, especially to that of women.  In fact, one of my first posts was about “Neilochka” vehemently insisting that women who are size 14-16 were just as sexy to me as the truly attractive women who are size 0.  And my readers believed it!   Combined with other little details, like an unstable marriage where my wife was completely at fault, humorous jokes stolen from obscure Japanese comedies, and hints that I was pretty well-endowed, was enough to get women to tell me anything!”

And tell me they did.  In complete confidence, they talked to Neilochka, thinking him safe, like the gay friend in a chick-lit novel.  After three years of blogging, he KNOWS everything. 

And now YOU will too.  In Neil Kramer’s new book, “Behind the Blogosphere:  What Other Bloggers Really Tell Me,” the author takes no prisoners.  Nothing is off-limits. 

Some highlights:

  • Which bloggers don’t look like their photos AT ALL because they always use a high angle to hide the double chin?
  • Who are the blogging perverts, sending “Neilochka” photos of their bras — and worse? (including some men!)
  • What anti-depressant each blogger is taking, and who has completely lost their libido because of it?
  • What “really” goes on behind the closed doors of Room 1243 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel during BlogHer?
  • Who is the quiet, shy “cat blogger” in Toronto who has slept with every male blogger east of the Mississippi, and has made sculptures of their privates which she sells on a secret Etsy site?
  • Which female blogger never has anything to wear for her high-profile job as a social media specialist because her “wonderful” husband insists on wearing her clothes around the house, stretching the fabric?
  • Which mommyblogger actually thinks her new baby is “sort of ugly?”
  • Which “Momocrat” is really voting for McCain and thinks her other friends are “liberal pussies” who hate America?
  • Which “good friend” of Dooce said “her favorite blog is “Citizen of the Month,” but Heather “Dooce” is so insecure she would never say so publicly in fear of losing her own “standing?”

And so much more.

Soon, at a bookstore near you.

Remember:  Tomorrow is “Write Like the Opposite Sex Day.”  If you so choose, write your post as the opposite sex and then tell me about it in the comments.  I’ll put up a link.  Hell, I’ll even give you until the weekend.

And if you comment on my blog tomorrow, make sure you do so as the opposite sex.

Masculin, Féminin


(how I visualize myself as a woman)

I’ve given a lot of thought about masculinity and femininity in the last few days, since I first mentioned this idea for “Write Like the Opposite Sex” Day.  This week — my blog, my therapy, my marriage, and my sex life all converged at a point somewhere in my brain. 

I’ve come to a definite decision about something.  I am a man.  I’m a man despite being pegged as a “female writer” by the Gender Genie (thanks Schmutzie).  That’s right.  I’m a man and I’m proud.   Even when I watch “All My Children,” I watch it like a man.  Sophia and I watch it completely differently.  I pay attention to the ridiculous plot.  Sophia notices that “Kendall is anorexic.” 

I’m honored that so many women choose to read this blog, but I’m not really sure I would ever want to be one of you.  Sure, it would be nice to be allowed to speak at BlogHer, but who the hell needs it?! 

I like being a man.

Men, we’re the lucky ones!  Sure, the women can have babies and be all “nurturing,”  but WE have our penises, and they can’t take that away from us.  I guess they can try to take them away, either physically or emotionally, but when I say penises, I don’t just mean our large and strong c*cks.  I mean the penises in our hearts.  The ones that makes us MEN.  You know what I’m talking about.   The woman NEVER will.

That said, I would make one helluva woman.  Just like the Michael Dorsey character in Tootsie.  If you are a male reader, do you think you would be a good woman?

If I were a woman, I have no doubt that every male reading this right now would be killing himself to get to know me.  You would totally want me.  I would be such a sexy woman.  I would show cleavage, but not too much.  I would know exactly when you are looking at my ass.  I would surprise you with my off-the-cuff remarks.  I would be funnier than you are.  You would say to yourself, “I have never met such a f**king amazing woman in all my entire life.  She’s as cool as a MAN, but he’s a woman!”

Sure, I know I sound like the ideal woman to you.  But don’t waste your time thinking about it.   If I were a woman, I would not go out with any losers like you!   Bloggers – heh.  A waste of my feminine time.  A woman like me deserves better.  I expect better.  I mean,  I can hang out and bullshit, and be one of the guys, but I also want to be treated like a princess.

And don’t try to use any two-for-one dinner coupons at the Olive Garden with me, you cheap assholes.

The plan is still the same for Friday — Write as the Opposite Sex Day.

“Write Like the Opposite Sex Day” – A Question

Note written an hour later after emailing with Jane:  OK – forget this post!  Write Like the Opposite Sex Day will go on like I said in the last post.  But I’ll keep this post up anyway just so you can see how neurotic I am, and how quick I am to change ideas when I hear criticism, although she was completely right on.   But who cares!   Gotta have balls, like a male writer, and stick to my guns!

Jane made an interesting comment on my last post.  I decided to quote it as a separate post. 

Not meaning to critique your idea, my dear Neil, but stereotypical behaviors and expressions are probably not that involved, outside of some comedy, in the true-to-life expressions of most modern male and female characters. . .they just perpetuate the stereotypes. 

Maybe for your next contest, you could consider blind entries — people writing  characters — and then guessing whether the author is male or female.  That would go above stereotyped expressions into who really might understand the opposite sex more.

(Please don’t hate me.  I adore you!  [she said that, not me])

Perhaps she has a point.  If a writer tries to “write” like the opposite sex, won’t the results be characters who are stereotypes?  Sure, it may be funny, but it won’t help us understand the other sex any better, or create strong characters.  After all, not all women think about shoes all the time, like the gals on “Sex and the City.” 

I’m a man, right?  I don’t watch football.  I rarely drink beer.  I watch “All My Children?”  How do I fit in?  I worry that if we try too hard to write like the opposite sex, the results will suck.

If I am going to write like “a woman,” maybe I should avoid thinking of her — first and foremost — as a woman.  She is a human being.   A mother in North Carolina might have more in common with a male Eskimo than another mother down the block.  Maybe the mother and the Eskimo both have phobias about snakes, or both had a controlling father!   I can delve into a female’s character motivation and emotional state without even thinking about her gender.  Wouldn’t this be the best way to make a female character three-dimensional?

When I talk to you on IM, I don’t say to myself “this is a woman.”  OK, sometimes when I look at your photos on Flickr I do, but that’s for another reason.   And it usually sounds like “This IS a WOMAN!” and my mouth is hanging open.  You are a person first, a person with neurotic character flaws — before you are a woman.    Some of you like to cook and some of you play roller derby.  Some of you do both.  And what’s wrong with me watching “All My Children?!”  And most of these external things are just the surface of the real person.

Of course, there are some stereotypes that exist because they are true.  Men and women act differently.  Our brains are different.  And there are differing social constraints.  But real character is internal…. what goes on in the brain.   Honestly — I have this strange feeling that some of you nice mommybloggers who write about knitting and cooking, are way more kinky and perverse in your minds, than any of us guys talking about our “dicks” all the time.

So, what do you think?  Should I continue my contest the same way I outlined it earlier?  Or will we just get stereotyped nonsense without stretching our writing skills?  Or should I change it to Jane’s idea? — you send me a paragraph of something you wrote as yourself, and then something written “as” the opposite sex.  Anything you want.  I will post them without revealing the author’s name.  Others will then vote on each piece — was it written by a man or a woman.   It would be like in the old “To Tell the Truth” game show:  “Will the real man or woman please stand up?”  Later on, I will reveal who wrote each paragraph, with a link to your blog.  The one who fools the most people wins!

I’m all about destroying gender stereotypes!  Would Jane’s idea be a better way of doing this?  What do you think?

And yes, Tootsie DVD will still be given to the winner.

“Write Like the Opposite Sex Day” on Friday

Over the weekend, I mentioned that I was struggling with trying to make one of my female characters believable.  No matter what situation I put her in, she seemed to always be taking off her blouse, rubbing against the male lead, and saying “Take me now, you hot-blooded schmuck.”

When I asked for male writers who can “write women,” you gave me a whole bunch of cool suggestions, from Wally Lamb to Stephen King.  Thanks.

On a somewhat related note, the director Sydney Pollack died at the age of 73.  He was a very classy Hollywood professional, director of such mainstream classics like “Out of Africa.”  He directed my mother’s favorite movie — “The Way We Were.”  Redford?  Streisand?  Is it surprising?  He also director one of my top five movies of all time — “Tootsie.”

In Tootsie, the Dustin Hoffman character dresses like a woman to get a soap opera job, and does such a good job that he/she becomes a star.  It is a very funny movie.

Maybe I need to be a little like Tootsie in order to write like a woman.  BECOME the WOMAN!

In celebration of Sydney Pollack’s work, Friday will be “Write Like the Opposite Sex Day” here on Citizen of the Month.  I will write my blog post as if I were a woman (even more so than I already do), just to have you judge my ability to see my own life as a woman.  On Friday, please also comment on my blog as if you are commenting as the OPPOSITE SEX.  That means, men should be giving me the “hugs” and the women should be making sarcastic, unemotional, unrelated comments.

I will also run a little contest here on Friday.  Write your own post like a member of the opposite sex!  

Can you do it?  Would you write about your day differently if you were a man?  Would you curse more? 

Can a guy find his inner woman?  Would he be all emotional if he was a woman with PMS, crying because he was stuck in traffic?  Can you see yourself as being a member of the opposite sex? 

I will be the judge. Whoever I deem to be most in touch with their masculine or feminine side, will win a prize.  Usually my prizes are zilch.  This time, it will be a brand new DVD of Tootsie!  Hey, so it isn’t a wii.  At least, I’m paying for the damn prize with my own money, you ungrateful…! 

Wait, wait…how would a woman handle this situation?   “I hate you!  But I love you too!  Waaaaaa!  I am having the worst period EVAH!  Oh, did I tell you about my new shoes?!”

The Ram

When unconditional love fades, it doesn’t melt away like the Wicked Witch after she is splashed with a bucket of water.  It happens slower, in a more painful way.  Like the drip drip drip of Chinese water torture.

I was in the laundromat.  It was Saturday night.  It was quiet except for the sound of the the dryers.  There was one other customer.  He was about 60.  Joe introduced himself.  He said he played the mandolin, and gave me his card.  He lived in some trailer park. 

“You mind if I change the channel?” he asked. 

I shrugged.  In the right corner of the laundromat was a small TV that was playing the Dodger game.  The Dodgers were losing.  Joe turned the channel to one of those “America’s Funniest Home Video” rip-offs.  I hate these shows.  I don’t find kids falling into mud or dogs biting their own tails funny.  Ever.  And I consider myself to have a sense of humor.  Since when is pain, shown out of context, funny?

On the TV, a ram was butting his head into a children’s swing set. The bench swung in an arc and then hit the ram back in the head.  The ram showed no fear.  He pushed to the other side of the swing set, and then rammed his way from the opposite side.  He banged his head a second time.  He was relentless.  He attacked the swing set over and over again, each time with the same result.  I know rams do this naturally, but I was worrying about the animal’s health.  Was he damaging his brain?  Was he trying to forget about something?  About someone?  Was he in and out of love?

The onscreen audience was laughing and cheering.  Joe was cracking up.

“Are you watching this?  Man oh man, this is hilarious!”

I went to fold my laundry.  This stubborn ram doing stupid things to himself was not funny, even if he was deceiving himself into thinking he was being productive.  He was in pain.  Emotional pain.

Saturday, May 24th

MORNING

In the morning, I went to see an apartment that is being rented.  This is a big step for me.  I’ve been telling you that I’m moving out for… about six months now.   To make the whole situation more pathetic, Sophia (my separated wife, for newcomers) came with me to check out the place!  Before you make the comparison of mommy accompanying her child on her first day of school, I will do it FOR you. I was nervous about seeing this rental.  I found it on Craig’s List.

“Why is it so… inexpensive?” I asked myself.  “Is the economy this bad?” 

The reason…? Let’s just say that the neighborhood was so-so, and the apartment manager seemed to have a side job running a meth lab.  New theory:  It is OK to use a coupon at Olive Garden, but not in apartment hunting.   Even Sophia hated the place.

New vague plan:  Go to NY and visit my real MOMMY for a few weeks and finish this screenplay, then come back and find an apartment.   I know… procrastination.  Brenda, my therapist, is going to give me one of her “looks” this week.

AFTERNOON

As I’ve mentioned to some of you, I’ve started to work on this screenplay project with another writer.  It was a long process of pitching and coming up with ideas.  While nothing is certain,  there is some interest, and I’m hoping to make some real money this year, not just the fake dollars that you can use on Second Life.  Then again… Hollywood is a risky place until the money is paid.

It is not easy working with another writer.  It is like a marriage.  It takes some time.  The other writer and I split up the work load.  I’m writing some of the scenes involving the major female characters.  I opened my mouth and said that “I understand women,” when in reality, this is an obvious lie.  Belinda from Ninja Poodles told me to read Stephen King. 

“He writes excellent female characters!” she said. 

Wht do you think?  Do you think most male writers do a poor job in creating female characters?  I don’t know about you, but I found it completely believable that the Sharon Stone character wore no underwear during that police interrogation in “Basic Instinct.”

Speaking of sex-starved screenwriters, I tried to write a scene on Saturday afternoon while shopping at Target.  Target is my new pharmacist, mostly because they give you the pills in these hip red plastic containers.  I went to Target to pick up my cholesterol medicine (and some paper towels).  This time, I travelled without Sophia holding my hand.  After walking the aisles of products of artists and architects who sold out to the Target Man, and drooling over this cool red Michael Graves toaster, I decided to have a cup of coffee in “the cafe.” 

Our new Target is a rather fancy one.  The parking and the “courtyard” are on the first floor.  The “cafe” is on the second floor and looks out over the courtyard.  I use the term “cafe” loosely.  They sell hot dogs, popcorn, and Pizza Hut slices.  However, a tiny Starbucks franchise is attached to the side, and the atmosphere is light and friendly.  I ordered my “tall” coffee, sat down with my Target bag, and decided to write a scene in the trusty black-and-white-covered composition notebook that I always lug around in case inspiration hits.

Being a New Yorker, noise and chaos is usually calming.  I have no problem writing when there is activity going on.  I just couldn’t focus in Target.  Some bratty kids were playing with the ice machine and the open mustard package sitting on the plastic chair adjacent to me was bugging me.

I decided to take a breather.  I walked over to the railing and looked down into the courtyard.  Customers were flooding in and out, some wheeled shopping cars, others with children in tow.  The majority were women… mothers.  Not surprisingly, my second floor position gave me a pretty good view of the finest cleavage that Redondo Beach had to offer.  I could look right down the tops of women’s blouses.  Hello, mothers!  Some thin, some buxom, some size 2, some size 16, some in tight dresses, some in low cut blouses.  I completely forgot about my screenplay and just enjoyed the view.  This was better than looking down at the Grand Canyon.  So many women!  I glanced up and noticed that there was a video camera.  Big Brother was watching.  This changed everything. 

“Is anyone watching me?” I wondered.   “I must look like a total pervert!”

I certainly felt like a total pervert, especially when I realized that my Target shopping experience had aroused me to the point where I had to sit and wait another twenty minutes until I could leave.

What would my mother think if she saw me on the nightly news, arrested and dragged from the Redondo Beach Target “cafe,” still aroused from looking down the blouses of mothers shopping for Pampers for their children! 

Tonight on America’s Most Wanted

“Redondo Beach is a sleepy town on the coast near Los Angeles.  It is a family-oriented town where children go to church and everyone is polite.  But every community has their bad apples, the underbelly and perverts who walk the street.  One of the favorite Saturday activities in this pleasant beach community’s is for mothers and their children to go to the local Target for some fun, relaxation, and shopping.  Little do the unsuspecting mothers know, that in the cafe, is Neilochka Kramer, the lowest form of pervert, ogling women like  one-dimensional sex objects when he is supposed to be writing realistic female characters. “

NIGHT

Sophia got her Wii fit delivered.  I said I would connect it and figure out how to use it, but I did the laundry instead.  I was feeling passive-aggressive.  Why are we getting a Wii JUST as I’m about to move out?

At 2AM, I turned on Showtime.  There was some soft-core movie.  I have no idea what it was about, but I watched a scene where  a sexy woman in high heels (male screenwriters again!) comes into a bar/restaurant, asks the bartender to show her to the women’s room, and then the two have sex in the cleanest and well-organized restaurant kitchen in existence.  

The minute the situation became “hot” and the woman stripped down to her bra, some annoying jazz music started to play on the soundtrack.  It made me wonder what would happen if sex really caused this John Tesh-like music to play in our minds.  Would I become impotent?  I think I would rather BE impotent than have to endure this same music every time my pants came off.  I certainly would want the sex to be over VERY QUICKLY just to stop the music.  On the positive side, women would want it over fast, too. 

“Come on.  Stick it in and get it over with already!  Just make this third-rate jazz music stop!”

This was my Saturday, May 24th.

Two Years Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Driving in LA – In Two Parts

Pineapple on Pizza: Yuch!

If you know that your friend’s husband is cheating on her, do you tell your friend?  Of course you do. 

If your friend is dating a man who is hiding his prison record from her, do you tell her?  Absolutely.

If a family member is in trouble, and you have the opportunity to help save him, wouldn’t you?  Yes!

To most of us, the blogging world is a safe haven from the real world.  We chat, we tell jokes, we listen.  But there are some of us who don’t belong in civilized company.  The sick tastes of these individuals have been so perverted through time that they are a danger to us all. 

I am naturally speaking about those who put pineapple on their pizza.

Two days ago, I made a sarcastic comment on Twitter about the inhumanity of putting sweet Hawaiian fruit on pizza — PIZZA — Italy’s greatest achievement, surpassing even that of the Renaissance. 

I’m a traditionalist.  I don’t like pizza with anything on it other than cheese and sauce.  But I accept the weaknesses of others, and have enjoyed pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and other acceptable toppings.

It wasn’t until I moved to California that I became aware of the terrible illness that grips the rest of our country — putting weird crap on pizza.   Was it the fault of the infamous California Pizza Kitchen?  The nasty Wolfgang Puck (who once tried to injure my family with a cheaply made pan)?  Or the negative influence of the Papa John’s and Domino’s and Pizza Huts of the world?  Why would you put PINEAPPLE on a slice of pizza?  Do you put apple sauce on your hamburger?  Mango on your pot roast?  It is insanity!

Sadly, many of you ARE insane.  Several of you wrote back to me, announcing that pizza with pineapple was your favorite type of pizza!  How weird!  And disgusting.

I know you took me into your confidence when you revealed this information to me, but this is too serious an issue not to warn the others.  I am not suggesting that we make a blackmail list against bloggers who enjoy pineapple on their pizza.  I am just suggesting that we proceed with caution.  Perhaps there are other “secrets” that they are hiding.  Do we really want to share a room at BlogHer with any of these folk?  I personally don’t trust them.  Who knows what other sicko things they are doing with their food products?

If you put crazy things on your pizza, please tell me now, so I can delete you from my blogroll.

And please be wary of the following individuals:

dailytannenbaum @Neilochka Take me off your blogroll if I’m on it. Although I did burn out after having pineapple pizza as much as possible in college. 01:22 PM May 21, 2008 from web in reply

iamthediva @Neilochka i like pineapple on my Teriake Chicken Pizza… and yeah, the whole “Ham and Pineapple” thing is huge up here. 12:08 PM May 21, 2008 from web in reply to Neilochka

Nedra @Neilochka There goes my chance to make it onto your blogroll — pineapple pizza is my very favorite. Oh well. 09:38 AM May 21, 2008 from web in reply to Neilochka

DownWithPants @Neilochka – I like you Neil, but if it comes down to you or pineapple on pizza, I’ll have to pick pineapple. 09:18 AM May 21, 2008 from txt in reply to Neilochka 

Miguelina @Neilochka If pineapple on pizza is a sin, then I guess I’m going straight to hell. 12:12 PM May 21, 2008 from web in reply to Neilochka

catheroo @Neilochka I had pineapple on my pizza just last night! 09:06 AM May 21, 2008 from txt in reply to Neilochka

lauriewrites @Neilochka We call it Hawaiian pizza in Maryland. Ham and pineapple. : ) 12:06 PM May 21, 2008 from web in reply to Neilochka

— and here’s a real pervert:

fluidpudding @Neilochka I am hesitant to admit this, but my absolute favorite pizza showcases pears, pine nuts, and Gorgonzola cheese. 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthOut of the Past

Imaginary WordPress Plugin: Automatic Comment Respond-o-Meter

Are your readers complaining that you never respond to their comments, or spreading mean-spirited rumors that you only email those female bloggers who can be seen on Flickr wearing tank-tops or extremely tight t-shirts that read “Fussy:  writing well is the best revenge?”  This plugin is for you.

Imaginary WordPress Plugin:  Automatic Comment Respond-o-Meter

Overview

This WordPress plugin allows you to respond to your commenters automatically, bringing a human “touch” to your blog and making your readers feel as if the blog administrator really cares about their opinion rather than just their “hits”.  Social media strategists and probloggers all agree that taking the time to “service” your reader will help you monetize your online property and increase you page views. 

Automatic Comment Respond-o-Meter has 350 unique responses to every type of comment.  Most responses are general enough that after publishing your blog, you can just go off to see a movie, and let the plug-in do all the work.  Your readers won’t know a thing.

The 350 responses have been scientifically picked to be as broad, but as positive-oriented as possible, delivered randomly.

The blogger “response” will show up several minutes after the initial comment, at varying times, so it appears to the average reader to be written by a busy, but lovable human being, and not the plug-in bot.  Gender set-up is done on the administrative page, as well as the level of “snark” that you want exhibited in your personal response.

This plugin requires a basic knowledge of HTML to modify your comment form.

Example of Use

comment:  I loved this post.  And it is so true what you say about American Idol.  I’ll be glued to the screen tonight!

automatic response after three minutes:  Thank you for that great comment.  You are the best!

Other popular responses include:

“How true!”

“Have you seen the Wikipedia article on this subject?  Fascinating!”

“Now I know why I chose you as my blog crush.”

“Can’t wait to see you at BlogHer!”

“LMAO.”

“I hate you.  Only joking!  I’m just jealous of how talented you are.”

“Dooce couldn’t have said it better.”

“That comment totally turned me on, baby.”

and the always useful, “Yes!!!”

Installation

Download the Automatic Comment Respond-o-Meter Plugin version 1.1 Beta
(For Imaginary WordPress 2.5+)  
Coming soon!

To install, unzip the files into your /wp- content/plugins/ folder. Then activate it under the Plugin menu in your WordPress admin.

If you want to modify the theme, it is extremely easy to do.  Simply make all the necessary changes to the following:

<ol class=”commentresponse”>

<?php foreach ($comments as $comment) : ?>

<li <?php echo $oddcomment; ?>id=”comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>”>
<?php echo get_avatar( $comment, 32 ); ?>
<cite><?php comment_author_link() ?></cite> Says:
<?php if ($comment->comment_approved == ‘0′) : ?>
<em>Your comment is awaiting moderation.</em>
<?php endif; ?>
<br />

<small class=”commentmetadataresponse”><a href=”#comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>” title=””><?php comment_date(’F jS, Y’) ?> at <?php comment_time() ?></a> <?php edit_comment_link(’edit’,’ ‘,”); ?></small>

</li>

<?php
/* Changes every other comment to a different class */
$oddcomment = ( empty( $oddcommentresponse ) ) ? ‘class=”alt” ‘ : ”;
?>

<?php endforeach; /* end for each comment */ ?>

</ol>

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