Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: July 2008 (page 3 of 3)

Talking “Green” with My Mother and Her Friend, Laura

I had lunch on Sunday with my mother and Laura, the friend who went with my mother on the recent Alaskan cruise.   I hadn’t seen Laura in a while. She was the one who made the arrangement for the trip.

Neil:  Did you enjoy the Alaskan cruise?

Laura:  Wonderful.

Neil:  What was your favorite part?

Laura:  Everything.

Neil:  I think Mom liked the food the best!

Mom:  Ha Ha.  You’re right!

Neil:  When my mother came back, I asked her to tell me all about Alaska, and she spent most of the time talking about the food.

Mom:  It was too much, even for me. You could eat 24 hours a day, even at midnight.  This man at our table would order three entrees every night — meat, chicken, lobster.  That’s just not healthy.

Laura:  I tried to limit myself.

Mom:  Me, too.  I still put on ten pounds.  From now on, I’m good. 

Laura:  There were plenty who were a lot worse than us.

Mom:  Remember when that woman from Seattle came to the table with a big tray of ten desserts, and I thought, “How nice. She’s bringing one for everyone at the table,” and then we found out that they were all for her!”

Laura:  She would have slapped you if you went near her dessert.  People went crazy with the food.

Neil:  Mom said the glaciers weren’t as impressive as in the brochure. 

Mom:  They looked more like rocks with snow on them.

Laura:  Well, it was that time of year.

Neil:  It was funny how on the Princess Cruise website, they show the ship sailing between what look like the icebergs from the Titanic movie.

Mom:  They also never show you the five OTHER cruise ships that are there at the same exact time you are.

Laura:  But it was a lot of fun.  We played some trivial games with some other passengers.  Some never even left the ship!

Elaine:  We loved this train ride up… where was this…?

Laura:  I don’t remember.  It was nice.

Elaine:  And the entertainment was Las Vegas quality.  Maybe not the Belaggio quality, but one of the lesser casinos.

Neil:  Did you see any whales?

Mom:  That was funny.  One day, they said “Whale on the right side,” on the loudspeaker, so everyone ran — and all you could see was a fin.

Neil:  On the website, they show whales jumping out of the water and eating snacks from the hands of the passengers.  Liars.

Laura:  But it was delightful.

Elaine:  It was.  The people of Alaska are very nice.

Neil:  How many Alaskans did you meet?

Elaine:  The tour guides.

Neil:  Do you think the glaciers are smaller now because of global warming?

Laura:  I don’t believe in that Al Gore stuff.

Neil:  Why not?

Laura:  I saw another show where they said it is a natural occurence.  We had an Ice Age once before and now the weather is changing again.

Neil:  What do you think, Mom?

Mom:  I believe in global warming.  Too many cars.  Whenever I go to LA, everyone has three cars.

Laura:  I don’t believe in the whole “green” thing.

Mom:  I do, but some of it — I have to admit — is just plain stupid.

Neil:  Like what?

Mom:  Like they say, “Don’t take the plastic bag at the grocery store.  Take the paper bag.”  Now if I take the paper bag, where am I going to throw my garbage in the kitchen?  The paper bag will just fall apart.  So, then I will end up buying Hefty plastic bags to throw out my garbage, and it’ll be the exact same thing, except before – I could have gotten the plastic bags for free.  Right?

Neil:  You know, you make a good point, Mom.  I don’t know the answer to that question.

Mom:  Why don’t you write THAT on your blog?

xoxoxo

One aspect of blogging I enjoy is taking some random element and squeezing it until it runs dry.  Such is the case with my web-cam.  So, until I return to reality, let me continue living in a fantasy world until the weekend is over —

Ladies and Gentlemen — the last entry in the Web-cam trilogy:

Today, I chatted with Haley, a female blogger who I haven’t spoken in months.  Haley had moved across the country and had stopped blogging for awhile.

During our chat, we talked about her work and my writing.  She told me that she had been keeping up with my life through the blog.

Haley: “Why did you really buy that web-cam?”

I told her that Otir was using Seesmic (a video blogging app) and had been trying to get me to use it.

Haley: “No, really…?  We’re friends.  You can tell me.”

Neil: “That is the reason.”

The conversation continued on without any more mention of the web-cam.  I had a feeling that she didn’t believe me.

After chatting for a half hour longer, I told her that I had to go.  My mother and I were off to have dinner at the local Dominican diner.

Neil: “Take care.  Speak soon.”

Haley: “Bye!”

Neil: “xoxoxox”

I paused for a second.  That was the first time I had ever written that sign-off — xoxoxo.  I’ve seen others write it, but I’ve never seen a man do it.  It’s OK when woman says that to a man, but… I worried that I looked too forward.  I didn’t want it to seem as if I was hitting on her.  I figured it was time for some damage control wth Haley.

Neil: “That’s the first time I ever wrote xoxoxo.  I’ve seen others use it.  I’m experimenting with it.”

Haley: “LOL.”

Good, she LOL-ed.  She isn’t upset.

Haley: “xo”

xo?  I found that odd.  Why was she giving me an xo rather than the full xxxooo?

Neil: “Why just xo?”

Haley: “Huh?”

Neil: “I gave you xoxoxo, and you just said xo.  Are you mad at me?”

Haley: “No, of course not.  xo and xoxoxo mean the same thing.”

Neil: “I don’t think so.  xo is like a tiny peck on the cheek.  xoxoxox is more intimate — like we’re actually doing it.”

Haley: “Doing it?   You mean… like f**king?”

Neil: “I was just joking.”

Haley: “I don’t think you were.”

Neil: “I was joking.  I was making a literary analogy”

Haley: “I think you want to f**k me.”

Neil: “I don’t want to f**k you.  I don’t really know you.”

Haley: “Oh sure, but that wasn’t going to stop you from taking out your c**k to show me on your web-cam!”

Neil: “I was never going to do that.”

Haley: “Well, that’s because you ended up buying  a cheapo web-cam that doesn’t work.”

Neil: “The only reason I got the web-came was to debate politics with Otir on Seesmic.”

Haley: “So how many times have you shown your c**k to Otir on Seesmic?”

Neil: “She’s a married woman.  A religious woman.”

Haley: “So are you saying religious women can’t be sexy?  I believe in the Lord my Savior Jesus Christ and I’m very very sensual.”

Neil: “Really?”

Haley: “You want to see my tits on my web-cam?”

Neil: “My mother is calling.  We’re going out to the Dominican
Diner.”

Haley: “Your loss.  I have really nice tits.”

Neil: “Maybe later.  xoxoxo”

Haley: “xo”

Neil: “Hey, why just xo…?”

Yahoo Messenger:  Haley is now offline.

And she then blocked me.

Truth Quotient: 31%  (I did IM xoxoxo to Melissa from “the Daily Minute” today and she only returned a xo, Otir did ask me to try out Seesmic)

The Cheap Web-cam

I showered.  I shaved.  I trimmed.  I combed.  I brushed.  I flossed.  I tweezed.  I washed.  I dressed, wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and those new colorful new boxer briefs I bought two days ago at Target.

I waited all morning, my new web-cam at my side.  I felt ready, confident.  I had practiced the striptease earlier in front of the mirror, moondancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  And most importantly, I felt good about the terrific bargain I had gotten at Radio shack — a web-cam at 75% off.  Suddenly, her name popped up in Yahoo Messenger.  It was time! 

Now, have you ever read an O. Henry story, where there is a twist at the end?  

Consider this a tale of bad karma.   After bragging about my new web-cam for a week, when the time came to use it, I couldn’t even get it up and working! 

I plugged it into the USB slot, and NOTHING.  After a half hour of fiddling with the camera and the drivers, I found some online forum that told me this piece of Radio Shack/Web-Cam for Dummies crap was incompatible with Windows Vista!

Moral of the story:  Don’t be cheap in matters of the heart.  Or if you want to strip online with a web-cam, buy a Mac.

(Truth Quotient:  4%.   There is absolutely nothing true in this story except for buying this useless, incompatible  web-cam at Radio Shack.  No wonder why it was so cheap!)

Signs of the Times

I wasn’t lying when I said I bought a web-cam.  But maybe I shouldn’t tell you that I got it for 75% off at Radio Shack.   Hey, that’s a great bargain!  Even my mother said so.

OK, so now what do I do with it?   What?!  I’m just asking. 

In other news, my mother dumped me today to go out with her friends to see “Sex and the City,” and didn’t even invite me.  How do I become so co-dependent in my marriage when my mother so easily drops me like the British tea in Boston Harbor (please note the clever American history reference for Independence Day).  Well, whatever.  I’m not going to stick a feather in my cap and call it macaroni over the whole thing.

You know, I haven’t had macaroni and cheese for ages.  I need to buy a box of that Kraft stuff to see if I still like it.

So, how did I become so co-dependent?   It must have been my father.  Yeah, it was him.

So, today is July 4th.  Despite our country’s faults, America is a cool place.   I know July 4th is all about liberty, justice, pursuit of happiness, and other American values — but in my opinion, our greatest gift to the world is free speech. 

May we always protect our right to free speech.

In honor of this important American value, I’d like to bring up the Pelcorp Management Company again.   On my last trip back to my old Queens neighborhood, I reported on how Kissena Boulevard, the street down the block, looked like a slum because 75% of the stores were shuttered, with graffiti everywhere.  Many of the stores have been closed for TEN years, despite a thriving community.  Why?  The plan seems to be to slowly force everyone out when the leases are up, so the management company  could bring in a K-Mart, or something similar.  While this is promising for the future, the entire block has been an eyesore for a decade. 

As I wrote in the previous post —

Despite a history of New York building, the fourth generation of builders now “specializes in the marketing and sale of luxury properties in Palm Beach County. This includes waterfront, country club, and other estate properties.”

The Kissena Boulevard holdings, one of their four retail holdings still in New York, must be their least attractive holding, compared to their shiny new malls in Florida. No wonder they seem so disinterested in the upkeep of Kissena Boulevard!

So, let me once again mention Prescott Lester and his Pelcorp Management Company (why did their website suddenly disappear?) on this July 4th.    Thank you, free speech!   Thank you, America.  Mr. Prescott, you are always welcome to comment here or write me – and give me your side of the story on how your company intends to enhance the community, and why shops like the bakery were left to rot for a decade. 

I wish the best to all the hard-working immigrants who owned these stores and now were forced to move, or give up their businesses.   Of course, I like to look on the positive side of things.   With some of these new Americans out of work —  they can spend more time taking spelling lessons.

This Time, It’s For the Women

The big question on my mind after yesterday’s post was “What type of pornography do women like?”  After doing extensive research and interviewing several female bloggers on Facebook chat while offering unsuccessfully to show them my new “web-cam,” I now can present the results. 

The methology used was completely scientific, and included questions such as, “What do you fantasize about when you make love to your husband?” and “What visual stimuli gives you the most intense orgasm?”

A Critical Look at this Porno Clip

OK, I’m not going to lie.  I read about this website today that is called “a YouTube for pornography,” so I took a little “peek” to see what it was all about.  Believe it or not, I try to avoid pornography, not out of prudishness, but from a belief in feminism.  I was educated by intelligent teachers who taught me that pornography was anti-women, a patriarchal tool that turned capable women into mere sex objects.

I was sitting at my laptop watching Big Boob Woman and Muscle Chest Guy go at it on a kitchen table, doing it every way possible, including positions hat would require me to do a lot more exercise than the hula hoop on the wii-fit. The woman in the video was making so much noise that I turned down the speakers.  I didn’t want my Orthodox Jewish neighbors to think I was a freak.

During this bland sex scene, I had thoughts.  Not sexy thoughts.  Not thoughts about feminism and how women are objectified.  No.   I felt that the video was anti-MALE.

Let’s look at the female character.  It was only a clip, so I don’t really know how she met the guy, but – for argument’s sake — let’s go with the old story that he is a plumber coming over to fix her sink.  One thing leads to another and soon they are f**king on the kitchen counter.  Typical.   We’ve all seen it.   I’m sure this exact situation has happened to most of the mommybloggers who read this blog.

If you look at the woman during the sex, she is having the time of her life.  She is yelling at him to “do it harder,” throwing her head back and forth, and rolling around like an Energizer bunny. She is as demanding of him and his time, like a wife who wants to spend all Sunday shopping at the mall and buying shoes.

The guy seems unhappy, as if he isn’t even present.  He is a robotic Terminator of sex.

You can almost hear him say, “I must pound her.  I must pound her.  I must show no emotion.  I must pound her.  Harder.”

At some point during the sex, he turns her over, face down like a fried egg in the skillet.  I thought that during this brief intermission, their might be some conversation, or a joke told.  Nope.  The woman doesn’t even give the guy a “nice going” or some kind encouragement.  She just wants MORE!

He quickly goes back into robot mode. 

“I must pound her from the rear.  I must pound her from this rear.  It does not matter what side she is.  I must pound her again and again.”

While the woman seems in heaven from all the thrusting, the guy looks like he is stuck on a hot subway in August.  His face is as sour as a dill pickle. 

As I watched the video, I felt bad for the dude.  While he didn’t look very bright, he obviously spends a great deal of time at the gym, making his body buff.  He is proud of his body, but when he jumps out of his clothes in one quick swoop, she hardly looks at him.   If anything, she goes straight for his penis, the one muscle he didn’t work on in the gym.  Is that what we are to women?  A penis?

“I must pound her.  I must pound her.”

I wanted to reach into my laptop and comfort the fellow. 

“Relax, big guy.  It is noble of you to want to give this nice lady several orgasms before you finish fixing the water pipes, but why not enjoy it yourself?  I know what it is like to be a people pleaser, but sometimes you have to be a little selfish — to take care of yourself, too.  Who knows?  Maybe she might even enjoy seeing you having a little fun. It’s not all about her, you know?”

“Pound.   Pound.   Pound.’

My advice would fall on deaf ears.   The filmmakers want him to be a robot.  And the woman, despite being an educated woman (she wore glasses that she takes off early in the scene), is presented as self-absorbed and uncaring about the man’s pleasure.  She WANTS him to be a machine.  How else can you explain the constant cry for “Harder! Harder!” like she is a drill sergeant at Fort Bragg.

Men, let’s talk privately for a second.  Seriously, how many of us can make love to a woman for three hours straight, in fifteen different positions, without… you know… having to come…

Is it any wonder this guy looks like he is constipated.  He’s been pounding her for three hours, still waiting for her to have her fifth orgasm.  He is a SAINT!

Ladies, is this fair?  I have no idea why women complain about these types of pornographic films. The female character gets all the attention and has all the fun!  The man is practically her love slave.  He is expected to act like a soldier in combat, refusing to enjoy himself – just so he can bring the woman to sexual ecstasy and have her nearly pass out!

Sure, at the end, the guy comes too, but by then, he is so exhausted, numb, and out of it, I bet you he doesn’t know what is going on. 

“Uh, wait a minute.  Did I just come OR was that my foot falling asleep?”

And even after his orgasm, he still isn’t smiling.  Of course not.  He’s thinking, “Holy shit, tomorrow morning I have to f*ck this woman for another three hours!”

These movies do more harm to men than women.  These ridiculous lovemaking scenes screw up the minds of men.  Think about the messages being sent to your own sons, brothers, and husbands:

1)  You have to keep it up for three hours and never orgasm until the woman faints from intense pleasure.

2)  Every time you make love, you are expected to do it in several complicated standing positions which can give you knee problems later in life.

3)  Sex is not really sex without giving her oral sex for an hour, no matter how uncomfortable it is for those with weaker jaws.

4)  Lovemaking is all about getting the woman to come.  The man must never enjoy himself or smile.  The man’s role is to be a human sledgehammer and repeatedly hitting her in the correct spot, like those Whack-a-Mole games.

5)  And the most pathetic thing, is after all this work — and I mean hard, physical labor — the man isn’t even allowed to have his orgasm INSIDE the woman.  No, he has to quickly pull himself out, so he comes all over the place, ruining the good sheets he just bought at Target.   What the hell is that all about? Men like to have clean sheets too!

Seeing these porno films has made me lose interest in sex.  I  can understand why women want sex, but what man really wants to go through all that effort, especially when he has HBO? 

And god forbid, a guy has sex and doesn’t make it all the way through the three hour/twenty position love-fest!  He feels all guilty and inadequate.

“Oh, you were fine,” the woman says. 

Yeah, sure.  We know the truth.  You really want the robotic guy in the porno film.

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