Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: May 2009 (page 1 of 2)

Sushi with BHJ

Sophia came out of the bathroom wearing a brown dress and flats.

“You can’t wear that,” I said.  “Wear the short dress and the hooker shoes with the heels.  This is a MALE blogger we are meeting.  His wife is going to be there.  I’ve seen a picture of her.  She’s very good-looking.  YOU have to be HOTTER.”

“Why?”

“It’a a male competitive thing.  I mean all men love their women and respect them and all that stuff, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, we just want to show the other guy that our babe is foxier.”

“I thought we were coming to Vegas to gamble or see a show, not spending time with bloggers.  Don’t you spend enough time online?”

“This is not just any run-of-the-mill blogger we are meeting.  This is Black Hockey Jesus.  His blog, Wind Under Her Vagina, is very popular.”

“Is he more popular than you?”

“Uh, well… yeah.  Bastard.  Now do you understand why I want you to wear the hooker shoes?”

“Is he a good writer?”

“People say that he is one of the best.”

“What does he write about?”

“How the f**k would I know?  I don’t waste my time reading blogs by men!  I figure that because of his name, he is a black Christian guy who writes about hockey.”

“So, why are we meeting him?”

“For one reason only.  He knows the The Bloggess.”

“Oh, she is so funny!  Why can’t YOU be as funny?”

“Yeah, anyway.  I figure that if I can get in good with this dude, The Bloggess may talk to me at BlogHer, and someone will take a photograph of the The Bloggess talking with me, and it will be published on some blog, and my traffic will SOAR!”

“If you don’t know anything about this Black Hockey Jesus and his wife, what are we going to talk about.  I’m not going to sit there for two hours listening to you talk about Twitter or gossiping about Dooce.”

“This is EXACTLY why our marriage is failing.  You don’t understand your role as the wife.   You’re supposed to show up with the hooker shoes and laugh at my jokes.  A half hour into the meal, I want you to lean over to me, as if to whisper, but saying it loud enough for the others to hear, and say, “I wish the OTHER COUPLE wasn’t here, because I am so turned on by you, I would give you a blowjob right now.”

“Yeah, right.  You would be the one freaking out if any woman tried to do that to you.  You would be screaming, “What are you doing?  Are you crazy?  We’re in public!  I’m not ready yet!”

“You’re an actress.  Think improv.”

The story, rushed because Sophia is anxious to get out and gamble — Last night, Black Hockey Jesus and his wife, J, picked us up at our hotel and took us to their favorite sushi place in Las Vegas.  I have a love/hate relationship with this blogger.  He is a terrific writer, but he came out of nowhere a year ago and stole half of my readership.  He forced me to work harder on my blog posts.  In the old days, penis jokes were enough to get comments. Now, I have to WORK for my no pay.  I was hoping to meet him while in Vegas, and get some dirt on him, and destroy his budding writing career.

And yes, I have found his Achilles heel.  He is not the arrogant jerk like he is on his blog.  He is SWEET and FRIENDLY and LOVING with his wife.  He lives in a suburban community and worries about the kids.

Now, let’s talk about ME.  I pose as a “nice guy” on my blog, but I am the TRUE JERK.  I ogle the breasts of women, and honk at old ladies crossing the street. I have an unstable marriage and find your children annoying.

I AM THE REAL REBEL.  You should be reading my blog, NOT his.  Reading his blog over mine is like reading Garfield over Kafka.

He is a fraud, just like Las Vegas herself.

But his wife is really nice.  And hot.   But mine has an accent, bigger boobs, and hooker heels.   So there!

Call Box

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I brought along a pile of old CDs to play in the car as we drove to Las Vegas.  I had planned on us leaving Friday morning, but Sophia had the idea of leaving Thursday night instead.  I was wary of the idea, not liking the idea of driving for five hours after a long day working.  Sophia argued that if we followed her plan, we would get another day of vacation by waking up in Las Vegas on Friday.
She won the argument, as usual.

I was driving Sophia’s Prius.  We had just left Los Angeles County.  Cake was playing in the CD player.  Sophia liked a song, and tried to sing along, but couldn’t figure out lyrics.

“What is he saying?” she asked. “I have no pants?”  “I have to pant?”  “I have an aunt?””

Sophia played the song over an over again, trying to decipher the lyrics.

And she calls me obsessive.

A collective lightbulb popped up over our heads.  We have iphones.  We have an app in which you can lift the iphone up to a speaker, and it will figure out the title and artist of any song, as well as give you links to YouTube videos and lyrics to the song.

Sophia was now free to sing songs, knowing the lyrics.  This made her very happy.  We listened to ten songs, using the iphone to bring us the correct lyrics.  Sophia’s energy was infectious.  I sang along.  The Prius was filled with our voices.  This is what life SHOULD be.  Away from the chaos of urban life, on the open desert road, the dust and darkness surrounding us, a primitive landscape as seen from the modern comfort of our musically-filled cocoon.

Because we were singing so loudly, it took us a moment to realize that the car was started to stall.  We were out of gas.  The battery of the Prius had also run out of juice.  I was assuming that Sophia was watching the dashboard, since it was HER CAR.  Sophia assumed that since I was driving, I would be smart enough to have seen the blinking empty gas light.

This is exactly what has happened over and over again in our marriage.  We would be having fun, and then realizing that no one had done the taxes, or paid the bills.  And then the fun stopped.

I slid the car to the right shoulder.  I had never run out of gas before.  We started blaming each other, but quickly stopped.  It was more important RIGHT NOW to come up with a plan.   It was midnight.  We were in some deserted stretch of the 15 Freeway in San Bernadino Country, 40 miles from the next town.

Earlier that night, our iphones saved us by deciphering the lyrics to songs.  Now, we need them to save our lives again.  But just our luck.  There was NO SERVICE!  Thanks a lot, ATT.   I stepped out of the car, carefully avoiding the trucks whizzing by, hoping to catch a signal, but nothing.  Sophia did the same on the passenger side.

“I think something bit me!” she said, as the dust made my eyes itchy.

Now we were getting a little scared.  I once saw this movie about two strangers stuck in the desert, when a sleazy looking trucker stopped, offering his help, and then —

I wanted to tell Sophia about this movie, but decided that it was not the appropriate time.  Instead, I did what any male does in a situation like this, when there is a helpless woman at his side — I worried and bit my nail.

“What do we do now?” I asked.

“You need to go find a call box.”

I walked through the darkness of the freeway shoulder until I found the call box.  I had a sudden urge to pee, but was afraid of a rattlesnake jumping up and biting my dick off.

I reached the call box.  The instructions were written in a font so small that I had to take off my glasses and use the iphone for a flashlight.  I called someone — some gruff sounding woman, I’m not sure who — highway patrol?  — who connected me to AAA.

The rest of the story is not that interesting.  It took the AAA an hour to show up.  The driver only had two gallons of gas on the truck, so we crossed our fingers, hoping we could make it to some nearby truck stop.  We luckily made it to the truck stop, where I quickly filled up the tank.  I didn’t want to hang around too long.  Everyone at the station looked EXACTLY like the trucker I remembered from the movie I didn’t want to tell Sophia.

Marital report card:

We cursed at each other, blamed each other, and exploited this experience as proof to why we shouldn’t be married, but we made it through with most of our dignity.  We made it to Las Vegas at 3AM.  We were cranky, but semi-amused by the adventure.

We didn’t freak out THAT MUCH.  We handled it.  And it made us proud.

Anxiety Friday – It’s Your Turn!

Off to Las Vegas for the weekend, so my Friday post is early. I’m meeting some bloggers, which always causes me some anxiety. But why should I be the one always talking about my insecurity and self-esteem problems? I’m curious to learn about your main anxieties about being a blogger. Pick the one neurotic obsession that best fits you — the statement that best explains why blogging is an unhappy place for you at times, rather than a joy. Have fun, suckers!

1) My writing is not as good as other bloggers.

2) I don’t get as many comments as other people.

3) I am not included in the name-dropping and lists of all the “cool” bloggers who everyone seems to know.

4) I really like and respect the work of some blogger, and comment all the time on her blog, and this person doesn’t give a shit about me.

5) It is important that I network only with the cool people, even though I feel guilty about ignoring the bloggers who “don’t matter” as much.

6) All my new friends online ARE cool, but my old unpopular friends still bug me, thinking I still want to hang out with them, which I don’t.

7) I never get invited to go on any free cruises, and feel bad that everyone blogs about their great time.

8.) I never get invited to write on any paying sites or Kirtsy books, even those who do are frequently crappy writers.

9) No one ever recommends me on Twitter’s “FollowFriday.”

10) Neilochka has never asked to see me wearing only a bra and glasses.

11) Everyone forms cliques and ignores me.

12) Everyone thinks of me as a mommyblogger, and nothing more substantial.

13) No one thinks of me a true mommyblogger.

14) I can’t be totally honest online about my personal life, because I don’t want my family to read it, so I feel like a fraud.

15) I’m afraid of expressing my feelings about certain subjects on line because I will upset some big blogger, and fear being ostracized by her friends.

16) Trolls.

17) Fear of coming to the conclusion that I am an untalented loser.

Proposition 8 and the California Supreme Court

Comment on Backpacking Dad‘s post on California Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 8 —

I’m saddened by today’s decision but optimistic that, in time, a few more old conservative California bigots die off and a new wave of young liberals will take their place and overturn this embarrassing discriminatory law.

I remember people getting pissy at me after Proposition 8 passed in California in November because I mentioned something I read in the LA Times — that the proposition passed because traditionally-oriented, religious citizens of the state weren’t comfortable with gay marriage, including a very large percentage of African-Americans and Mexican-Americans.   They voted for Proposition 8 because, on average, they tend to be more traditional and religious.   I’m not sure why this upset people at the time.   I was just trying to spread the blame!   Just like it is great for America to have an African-American president, it is a credit to our democracy when all ethnic and racial groups can vote as stupidly as the majority.   This is called normalcy.

Voting is as close to a spiritual experience as you can get in America, so I tend to agree with the California Supreme Court’s decision not to overturn Proposition 8.   I know this is an unpopular thing to say, and this has nothing to do with my feelings about gay rights or gay marriage.  This has to do with my belief in the sacredness of voting.  The idiotic citizens of California voted for Proposition 8.    For the State Supreme Court to overturn the vote of the people, they must have a very strong legal reason to do so on the state level, and they didn’t have one.   This is an issue that needs to go to the United States Supreme Court, so THEY can rule it as unconstitutional.   Or Californians need to wait until next time to fight it in another vote.

So who should we be angry at because of this injustice?  When I read quotes online saying “I hate California,” “Shame on California,” etc., I am unclear who we are talking about?  All of California?  Me?  White male executives?  Old Conservative Bigots?

I know I don’t have any close friends who voted for Proposition 8.   I even know Republicans who believe in the rights of gays to legally marry.   Is it the fault of the California Supreme Court?   No.  They are intelligent scholars doing their job, which is to uphold the law, not to do what people on Twitter think is popular.   They need to have some legal reason to be activist, or else the the will of the people becomes meaningless.

California is a big state with a lot of different types of people.  If you really want to be angry at someone, try the religious establishment — of all races and ethnicities and religions — old AND young — who continue to make this “gay marriage issue” into a political issue.    Don’t they have something better to do with their time?

More views — Whit at Honea Express

Wants to Be Congratulated for Picking Up a Can

When I sell a script or win a Nobel Prize, don’t congratulate me.  I don’t need your praise to have achieved these goals.  I would have done them anyway.   Besides, I will have just won the Nobel Prize!  What do I need YOU for?

When I succeed in something, I hope to be mocked.  Not hateful mocking, but amusing mocking.  I don’t want to get a big head.

Anyone just lose their job?  We should be praising YOU rather than someone who just landed a big deal.  We need to help you booster your confidence!  We have our priorites all wrong.

Today, I picked up a discarded Coke can that I found on the street and threw it into the trash can.  I would like to be congratulated on that action.   Is this why people believe in God?   So they feel rewarded for doing good?   Otherwise, why do it?   I’m iffy on the God thing, so I feel the urge to tell you instead.

Would anyone read a blog post about me picking up a can from the street?  Or does it seem like someone crying for attention?  And so what?  People are always blabbing on about stuff they are doing, parties they attended, or getting named as one of the Ten Best Blogger.  Why not tell you that I picked up a Coke can this morning and helped save the planet?

Honestly.  Which is a better and more impressive marketing line — Neilochka: One of the Ten Best Bloggers in the Universe or Neilochka: He picks up discarded cans!

Do you praise your child for helping the old woman across the street as much as winning the spelling bee?

Did anyone do anything today worthy of congratulations?

Pandora’s Box

The reason I write so many stupid posts about sex with mommybloggers has nothing to do with sex.  After four and half years of blogging, I feel emotionally connected to so many people online.  That makes me feel uncomfortable, because I has no idea what to do with that information.  So, it is easier for me to just have imaginary sex with everyone.  Would you rather I say that I care about you, which opens up a Pandora’s Box of emotional stuff?

I envy those who blog solely for attention or to make money.   I hate to say it, but they have it right.

What Would Jesus Rodriguez, Moralistic Web Developer Geek, Do?

Dear Jesus Rodriguez, Moralistic Web Developer Geek,

I have a dilemma that only you can help me with.  Last night, I was in the bed of a beautiful brunette.  She had invited me there, eager for carnal pleasure.  Our lips were together all night, biting and kissing.  I could feel her wetness with my hand.   She stroked my manhood and whispered into my ear, “I want to feel you inside me.” I had never been more sexually excited in all my life.  All I wanted to do was to make love to this goddess of passion.

But then, the damn guilt set in.   There was a moral dilemma that weighed on my shoulders.  Here she was — a woman with the most sensual body, only twenty-five years old, so full of life, when I glanced over at the calendar hanging over her desk.

It was 1989.

I had to tell her the truth.

“I travelled here in my time machine,” I told her as I felt her perfect breasts.  “I come from 2009.  In the future, we are good friends.  You are mommyblogger married to a wonderful husband.  You have three wonderful children.  After a year of torment and lust, I figured the only way that I could ever sleep with you was to spend the last year downloading the specs to a time machine onto my iphone, and then building it in my mother’s kitchen.”

“What’s an iphone?” she asked.

“Never mind.  You’ll read about it on Twitter.”

“And you live with your MOTHER?”

“Let’s not get into that now.   Time is of the essence”

“So you mean you’re not just an older man who I met in a bar, who wants to teach me everything about sex, but a computer friend from the future who was so desperate to f*ck me, he spent a year building a time machine, just so he can travel back to 1989 just to get into my pants?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Well, shit.  How can I NOT f*ck you?!”  she said, as she climbed on top of me.  “No one has ever done THAT for me!  Usually they just buy some flowers at Trader Joe’s”

“Wait!” I said, still torn over the moral dilemma.  “But is this right?   Your future husband is a cool guy.  Your children are a delight.  You post photos of them online.”

“I post photos of my children online for everyone to see?  Isn’t that irresponsible?”

“Yeah, but you make money from exploiting them on the blog.”

“Oh, OK,” she said, relieved.

“So what do you think I should do?” I asked.   ” Have sex with you, fulfilling my ultimate fantasy, or just returning back to the future frustrated?”

The woman pondered for a moment.

“Sometimes, when I have a moral dilemma, I ask myself, “What Would Jesus do?”   But then again, I doubt Jesus ever had to deal with issues of time traveling to get laid.”

“Well, first of all I’m Jewish.”

“Really?  I’ve never had sex with someone Jewish!  Do we need to say a prayer or something first?”

“But wait!”  I cried suddenly, with an idea.

“Yes?”

” I DO know of a Jesus who CAN help.   Wait here in bed while I travel back to the future, go on Facebook and ask Jesus Rodriguez a question.”

“Facebook?”

“Avoid it.”

“The future seems really stupid.  By the way, if I have an orgasm with you, can we use the time machine to keep on back to that moment over and over again? — cause that would be nifty!”

Jesus Rodriguez, Moral Web Developer Geek, please help!

Should I have sex with the hot mother of three by going back in time and f**king her before she gets married?

Handshakes and Hugs

For years, I have been worrying about the appropriate greeting when meeting a female for the first time. Do I hug her? Kiss her? Fake kiss her? Shake her hand? Just when I was getting secure in my social etiquette with women, a new problem has arisen — how to greet MEN. It used to be simple. You would meet a guy and you would shake his hand. This technique was passed down from generation to generation, father to son.

Last week, I went to a Hollywood party. There was one film producer that I was hoping to talk with, despite the event being held in the noisiest, most crowded bar imaginable. Why do people meet in loud bars where you can’t hear anyone talking? After finishing my twelve dollar mojito, I saw Mr. Big.

“Hello,” I said.

“Hey, Neil!” the producer replied, and stretched out his hand for what I thought was going to be a traditional handshake.

But rather than his arm facing towards me, it shot up at 45% angle. I was confused at the gesture, and what was expected from me in return. Sweat formed on my forehead. I didn’t want to blow this opportunity for male bonding. Was I supposed to give this important man a “high five?” It seemed too informal, as if we were playing on the basketball court. I rose up my hand, hoping to improv the whole handshake, and he gripped it in an unusual manner. Our thumbs intertwined, but the hold was less “a soul shake” from a blaxploitation film of the 1970’s, but a “pinkie squared” with the thumbs. The producer moved his other hand around my body and onto the small of my back, and gently pushing me forward until our right shoulders bumped. This move was reminiscent of the hug that President-Elect Obama gave President Bush on Obama’s first visit to the White House. News commentators made note that it was Obama who gave the gentle push forward to Bush, telling the world that the power structure had changed, and Obama was now the alpha male.

Clearly the producer was being friendly, even more intimate than I expected, but at the same time showing me who was boss. I dare not put my hand on HIS BACK and push him into the shoulder bump, or attempt to change things up and bump him on the left side. No, it was I who was being bumped, like the weak, submissive one. And that is the Hollywood game.

I expect BlogHer to be very stressful. I will have to hug many women. During those brief moments of introduction, I will need to walk the fine line between “I am a fellow blogger” and “my room number is #2103.”

Meeting the men will even be more stressful, now that male dominance has taken over the friendly handshake. Who is going to be the guy that initiates the shoulder bump — the one with the more comments on their blog posts?

Monday Night Therapy

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(actual magazines from therapist’s waiting room!)

Last night, I went with Sophia to her therapist. It was the first time EVER that we sat in the same room with one therapist.

(this part deleted)

After the session, I thought I had “won.” Sophia laughed, saying it was a clear victory for her team.

(this part deleted)

Later, we realized that the big winner was the therapist. $$$$$$

I Want to Be a Samba Dancer

Lately, I have read some posts where bloggers write about their longing to be “truthful and honest” on their blogs. I think about this issue, too, but I have a difficult time choosing my reality. What is truer — the facts of my daily life, my emotions connected with specific events, or the chaotic mess that goes on inside the head?

Yesterday, we took Sophia’s mother out for mother’s day. We went to a Brazilian restaurant. Sophia wanted me to dress up for her mother, but I brought very little with me from New York, so I hobbled together a look that was a fashion emergency. I wore blue dress slacks, a green shirt, black shoes, a brown belt, and different color socks. Just like the typical guy. In most ways, I am the typical guy. I don’t care what I wear. I would have preferred to wear jeans and sneakers.

In the restaurant, Samba dancers entertained the guests by dancing in the aisles. They were a lot of fun to watch. Did I fantasize about dancing with one of them? No. I fantasized about BEING one of them! For that moment in time, I was enchanted by their costumes. I wanted to be flamboyant like that, wearing feathers on my head, and shaking my goods for adoring fans. Imagine how good a samba dancer feels, knowing that all eyes are on HER!

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So what is the real me? The schlumpy guy wearing two different socks or the one wishing he was dancing the Samba as a seductive woman? Can a man ever get the same amount of attention as a female Samba dancer? I doubt it.

If I were a beautiful woman, I would wear the hottest clothes, and strut down the street with my ass shaking. I would be like one of those women in those shampoo commercials where, after I washed my hair to near orgasm, everyone in the street would turn to look at me — the ultimate expression of glamour. I believe those commercials where the product is for a woman. I do NOT believe those Axe commercials where women jump the guy because he is wearing some crappy cologne.

So, what is my reality? Boring guy or closet cross-dresser?

Is this entire post bullshit? By tomorrow, I might think so. But for this moment, while I am typing this, this is my reality — because I am thinking about it. I want to be a female Samba dancer. I also think about threesomes and being an astronaut. So, what is reality?

After returning home from the restaurant, I told Sophia about my fantasy of being a sexy female Samba dancer. I was surprised that she WASN’T surprised.

“You would not be happy as a woman,” she said.

“Why not?” I replied. “I think it would be cool to have both men and women admire me for my beauty, mystery, and sensuality — something you just can’t get as a man.”

Just by chance, Sophia had just downloaded a new photo app to her iPhone, which helped her prove her point.

I would not be a good woman.

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