Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Citizen of the Month (page 2 of 2)

My Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Two Birthdays and Blogiversary

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Neil is asleep in bed. 

Neil’s Penis:  Neil, Neil, get up already.

Neil:  I’m sleeping.

Neil’s Penis:  Time to get up.  Don’t you know what today is?  It’s our birthday!

Neil:  Happy birthday, Penis.

Neil’s Penis:   You too, Neilochka.  We’ve certainly been together a long time.  I even consider you a friend.

Neil:  Wow, Penis, I didn’t figure you to be the sentimental type.

Neil’s Penis:   Sentimental?   Bullshit.  I sometimes wish I was attached to someone else.  Someone who actually fucked a woman a little more often.

Neil:  I love you, too.

Neil’s Penis:   Aw, shit.  You see right through me, don’t you?  You’ll always be my best friend. 

Neil:  Thanks, pal.

Neil’s Penis:  Just try to work with me more, like a partnership.

Neil:  What do you mean?

Neil’s Penis:   Are you a numskull, Neil? 

Neil:  You don’t have to get nasty.

Neil’s Penis:  Let me see if I can explain this to you so you can understand.  Imagine all you ever eat is pizza.    All you want every minute of the day is pizza.  And everywhere, 51% of the population is walking around with pizza.  Beautiful pizzas. some with mushrooms, some with anchovies, some with green peppers.  And all you can think about is all that pizza, with all that cheese and spicy tomato sauce, and the pizza dough that’s cooked to perfection.  You getting it now?

Neil:  Not really.

Neil’s Penis:   Get me some fucking pizza!

The doorbell RINGS.

Neil’s Penis:   That better be Domino’s!

Neil:  Do you really want pizza?

Neil’s Penis:  It’s a euphemism, moron!  A euphemism for some pussy! 

Neil:  Oh!

Neil opens the door.  It is Sophia and Neil’s mother.

Neil:  Mom?  Sophia?  What are you doing here?

Neil’s Penis:   Aw, jeez, your mother is here.   Talk about a mood-killer…

Sophia:  We wouldn’t miss your birthday, Neilochka. 

Neil’s Mother:  Look at you.  All grown up.  A real mensch. 

Sophia:  And we brought you a birthday cake.  It’s giant pink Hostess Sno Ball.

Neil’s Penis:   Oh great.  How about giving him a hostess with real giant pink Sno balls….

Neil:  Huh?

Neil’s Penis:  Tits, you imbecile!  It’s another euphemism… for a woman with a nice pair of tits that you can just…

Neil’s Mother:  Neil, are you still talking to that "thing" on your blodge?

Neil’s Penis:   Penis, Elaine!  Penis!  I have a name!

Neil’s Mother:  Who’s that talking?  Do I hear someone else talking?

Neil:  Uh, it’s the TV.  "American Idol."

Sophia:  No more TV watching today.  We’re taking you out for you birthday.

Neil:  I’m not in a very celebratory mood. 

Sophia:  C’mon, it’s your birthday!

Neil:  It just hasn’t been a great year.  Things are still unresolved with us.  I’m still looking for a good job.  I just found out I may be kicked out of my apartment for illegally subletting it.  And the saddest thing, of course — Dad passing away in September. 

Sophia:  Yeah, we all miss him.

Neil’s Mother:  Especially me.

Neil:  This is my first ever birthday without him around.  When I moved to Los Angeles, he was always the first one to call me up — always seven in the morning LA time because he couldn’t wait any longer to sing "Happy Birthday."  He always made such a big deal over my birthday.

Neil’s Mother:  It certainly hasn’t been a good year for any of us.  

Sophia:  But you’re forgetting one good thing about this year. 

Neil:  What’s that?

The doorbell RINGS again.   Ther are a few hundred bloggers standing outside.  It’s every single blogger Neil has interacted with this year, from Akaky to Xtessa.   

Sophia:  It was exactly one year ago — on your birthday, that you set up your WordPress template.  And you published your first post on March 8th.    Here’s what you wrote:

"What’s on my mind this evening — the night of my first post?   It’s the future.   My future. 

I see it so clearly.

I’m a very spry 100 year old man, thanks to medical advances and the ability of the medical establishment to take chances with modern patient care.  Who knew that the diet supplement Trimspa would end up eradicating most illnesses from the world?  

I’m in my home of the future.  My grandson, Bar Code #466408736664, sits at my side, browsing the internet in eye-scan mode  (using the latest upgraded Intel mini-chip in his brain — the PC having disappeared decades earlier)..  Suddenly, he tells me that he’s at the Coca-Cola digi-Archives site (formerly the Library of Congress) and viewing this very first post that you are currently reading.

At that moment, I will be an old man remembering the early days of the Internet.  The 56K modem.  Netscape.  Those AOL disks falling out of every magazine.  That first illegal MP3.  That first post on the blog.

"Grandpa," #466 says with a twinkle in his eye.  "Man, grandpa, this post really sucks."

And just then, I realize that it isn’t a twinkle in his eye, but a reaction to one of those synthetic drugs he’s been taking at school.   I laugh, remembering how I was drunk while writing that first post.  

"He’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.""

Neil:  Wow.  I did forget that. 

Neil’s Mother:  I think your blodge really helped you going all year.  I know it helped me, except when you write about that "thing."  I can do without that.

Neil’s Penis:  (Robert De Niro voice)   You talkin’ to me? 

Neil:  You know — originally I was going to wrte about movies and TV, but then I saw how Hilary wrote about her dating life.  So, I started writing about Sophia.    And I saw how Pauly would write every single day, so I was inspired to do the same.   I was encouraged by the support of 2 Blowhards and Nick Douglas at Blogebrity, now at Valleyrag.  And I began to look forward to blogging every day.  Especially when I had the help of Sophia, editing me and telling me when a post was too shitty to post.  And when I needed comfort, like when my father passed away, I got it not only from Sophia, but from bloggers themselves — strangers who weren’t really strangers anymore.   And during this year, I’ve made some great friends.

Neil’s Penis:  If you had some balls, you could have had some action, too. 

Neil:  And what about now?

Neil’s Penis:  Now it’s too late.  Six months ago, female bloggers might have slept with you .  Now you’re like the gay cousin who they talk about shoes with.  

Neil:  Damn it.  I knew I should have made the move on ****** when I had the chance.

Neil’s Mother:  I think you and Sophia need to sit down, discuss things about your marriage, like two adults, and get back together.

Sophia:  I think you need to stop writing about me without asking my permission first.   Or if you do, at least start giving me some good lines.

Neil’s Penis:   I think you need to get laid.  And soon.  And your best shot right now is with —  Tatyana.  She seems to get turned on by liberals.  I think she’s married, but I think if you buy her some expensive flowers, not the cheap ones you usually get for Sophia —

Man’s Voice:  I think your blog is just fine!

Everyone turns around towards the open window.  It is the Spirit of Neil’s Father — Arthur Kramer himself.

Neil:  Dad?  You’re here!

Neil’s Father:  Of course I am.  I wouldn’t miss your birthday.  Even if I am in heaven.

Neil:  This makes me so happy.  Hey, everyone.  This is my father.

All the bloggers greet my father.

Neil’s Father:  Taking care of my boy, Sophia?

Sophia:  I promised, didn’t I?

Neil’s Father:  Hello, Elaine.

Neil’s Mother:  Hi, Artie.

Neil’s Father:  I hear you’re going to put "Be of Good Cheer" on the stone.

Neil’s Mother:  You like it?

Neil’s Father:  Very much.  Is it possible to have it play the theme from "Gunga Din" every time someone approaches the plot?

Neil’s Mother:  That’s just ridiculous.

Neil’s Father:  I think it would be funny.

Neil’s Mother:  No.

Neil’s Father:  Just like a woman.  Even when I’m dead, I still can’t get what I want.

Neil:  So, Dad, how’s it going up there?

Neil’s Father:  Eh… surviving.  It’s comfortable.  Relaxing.   Good entertainment at night.  It’s a little bit like how Grossinger’s used to be in the Catskills.  The food is good.  But I don’t like the way they cut the corn beef.  It’s too thick —

Neil:  Yeah, you never liked it like that —

Neil’s Father:  You’d think in heaven they can do better, but frankly Pastrami King on Queens Boulevard made a better corned beef sandwich than they do in heaven —

Sophia:  So, Dad, can you explain to us how heaven works?   I’ve always been curious.

Neil:  Yeah, do you watch me all the time from above?

Neil’s Father:  No, no, no.  That’s only in the movies.  But don’t worry, Neil.  I follow everything about your life.

Neil:  How?

Neil’s Father:  I read your blog.  Everyone reads "Citizen of the Month" up here in heaven.

Neil:  They do?

Neil’s Father:  Oh, we love it.  A few days ago, we were all laughing so hard!

Neil:  You mean people in heaven really appreciate my sense of humor?

Neil’s Father:  Not really.  We were laughing at you because you still wear those tighty-whiteys.   Even in heaven, no one would be caught dead wearing those.  In heaven, we all wear boxer-briefs with microfiber material.   C’mon, son, get with it!   Stop embarrassing me in heaven with this mama’s boy underwear!

Thank you all for one year of great blogging.  

Be of good cheer… until tomorrow…

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NEIL

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SOPHIA

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MOM AND DAD

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NEIL’S PENIS

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Call Me

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Last week, I made fun of businesses that “pay” bloggers to talk about their products.    I became a hero to consumer advocates everywhere, a Ralph Nader of the blogosphere. 

That exact night, in a bizarre twist of fate, I received an email from Sprint.  In it, someone from Sprint wrote that after reading “Citizen of the Month,” they wanted to invite me to be part of the Sprint Ambassador Program.  As an “ambassador” for Sprint, I would receive a free phone with free calls, emailing, etc. for six months. 

The Sprint Ambassador Program is all about exploring our latest products and services and allows you to give direct feedback to Sprint. We recently launched the Sprint Power Vision (SM) Network and want to provide you with the full experience, at no charge. Sprint Power Vision Network enables customers to download data at faster speeds and experience new data products.

I wasn’t required to do anything, but I wasn’t discouraged about writing good things about Sprint on my blog.  At first, I thought this was some sort of Nigerian scam, but I Googled the program, and found out it was legit.

“Go for it,” said Sophia.  “Then give the free phone to me.”

“Why should I give it to you?  They want me to use it.”

“Neilochka, you still haven’t figured out how to use your current phone.”

She was right about my lack of interest in my current phone.  And what type of ambassador would I really be?  Would I have to keep on bugging my readers to switch from Cingular and T-Mobile?  I could imagine the post I would be writing in a month: 

Hey, blogger pals!  Have you seen Sprint‘s new phones lately?  SEXY!   And Sprint‘s sound quality?   I haven’t actually listened to it yet, but I know it is the best in the business.   You can hear a pin drop!   And I’m not just saying this in the hope that Sprint extends my use of a free phone to one year.  Of course not.  As a fellow blogger, I care about you.  That’s why I strongly advise all of you to go out RIGHT NOW and…

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted with a tapping sound.

“Uh, excuse me…”

I looked down and saw my penis tapping me on the right thigh.

“What is it, Penis?”

“I guess I should also come clean with your readers.”

“Jeez, Penis, I don’t think my readers want to hear the details about what happened while watching Cheryl Burke, Drew Lachey’s amazingly sexy dance partner, do the mambo on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

“No, not that.  I also got an email from a company wanting to recruit me.  I’m now an official “Trojan Brand Evangelist.”

“What the hell is that?”

“I get to try out Trojan’s new “Super Ribbed for Her Pleasure” condoms for free.    Only a select group of A-list penises are asked to be evangelists.  Of course, there’s a little promise I made.   You’ll have to write about how good the condoms are on your blog.”

“Write about them?  I haven’t even used them!”

“But I did.”

“You did?  When?”

“While you were sleeping last night, I put one on myself.  And they are excellent.   Much more comfortable than those awful Japanese ones you bought last time.   And with the “Super Ribbing,” women are going to love getting fucked by you.”

“Penis, could you watch your mouth?   I have religious people reading this blog.”

“I’m trying to get you laid, you idiot!  Now shut up and listen to your big cock!”

“Well, you’re really not that big…”

“Shut up, moron!   It’s all about salesmanship!  You’re never going to get anywhere without selling yourself.  No matter whether its cell phones, condoms, blogs, or getting some pussy.”

“Penis.  I must insist you stop talking like that.  I pride myself on being a feminist.  I don’t think women should be objectified as sex objects.”

“Think about it, dumbass.  Why do you think you’re not getting laid?  Women like sex.  Don’t you read your own comments?  They even like getting spanked.  So stop asking Sophia, “Would you like to fool around?” in a meek little voice!   Carry her to the bed, go between her legs, and don’t come up until she’s screaming for yours truly, your cock, in Russian and Hebrew.” 

“That’s enough out of you… or I’m going to wash your mouth with soap.”

“Ooh, please do.  By the way, Neilochka, that was an interesting IM conversation you had with that female blogger last night.”

“It was completely innocent.  We talked about stat counters and blogging.”

“Oh, you wanted to blog her alright.  So did I.  Several times that night.”

“Penis, she’s married.”

“So?  Her husband never has to find out.  After all, soon you’re going to have an extra, untraceable Sprint cell phone to give her as a secret “fuck me” line.”

“A “fuck me” line?  Are you crazy?   I’m a Sprint Ambassador, not a pimp.  What would Sprint say?”

“They’d love it.  Think of their sales!  Think of the ad campaign:  “A new reason to get another Sprint phone.””

“Please, Penis.  It’s like you alway have just one thing on your mind.”

“Salesmanship. Neilochka!  Remember — it’s always Salesmanship!”

Tommy Lasorda to Neilochka: “Drop Dead!”

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Newsflash: 

Blogebrity writes item about ‘Citizen of the Month.’   Tommy Lasorda furious that Neil’s inclusion drops his blog one notch down on the C-List.

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