Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Neil Kramer

Almost Weekend Update

Just some random blogging updates before the weekend —

Sprint disconnected my Sprint Ambassador phone today.  So much for my pimping.  

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I do, however, command respect from the Bunch O’Panties website.

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I am on the shortlist to be reviewed by Bloglaughs, which is problematic because when I am expected to be funny, I just freeze up and become mean.   Dooce, maybe you can call me up and give me some advice.

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Citizen of the Month has gone Pink for October.  Remember to donate to good causes, such as The Wellness Community of the South Bay.

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I received one more bed today (a little behind schedule) from the talented artist, Margaret.  Now Maggie, I know some people like to keep their bedroom “romantic,” but how about putting a few lights in there?  How is a man ever going to see you naked in the dark?

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Finally, did any of the “Yenta the Blogmatcher” matches work out?   I’ve noticed a few of you are now reading EACH OTHER rather than coming to me.  That’s fine.  I’m not going to go all yenta on you and give you some Jewish guilt.  Go, have fun.  Go to Vegas together and live it up.  I’ll just sit at home alone and write blog comments. 

Don’t worry about me.

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And – be warned about future posts about loneliness and drug intake during the entire month of October.  Sophia is now going to be working in New York until November.

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(Sophia Lansky)

But, on a positive note, because so many kind bloggers have reminded me to take my cholesterol medicine while Sophia was gone (particularly Leese and Akaky), my “bad” cholesterol has gone down to 190!

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Life is good!

 

Sophia, Thinking of You at Dinner

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The Romantic Post

This morning, I had a pleasant surprise.  Sophia sends me a photo of herself at work, taken with her cellphone.  I called her a half hour later, telling her I have a surprise for her in return.

Neil:  “Sofotchka, cute photo!  I made a post out of it for the blog.  Check it out.   It’s in draft.”

Sophia goes into my “manage” area of WordPress to look at the post.  It looks something like this:

Thursday Morning, 8AM,  Los Angeles —

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Thursday Morning, 8AM, New York —

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Sophia:  “Uh, I don’t get it.”

Neil:  “It’s supposed to be romantic.  It’s like we’re 3000 miles apart, but I’m still dreaming about you in bed.”

Sophia:  “Huh?  You’re really losing it.  No one is going to get that.”

Neil:  “No?’

Sophia:  “What it actually looks more like is, “Look here.  Sophia is awake and is already hard at work as a Russian Dialect Coach early in the morning while I’m still in bed lying around.””

Neil:  “Why would I write a post like that?”

Sophia:  “I have no idea.   That’s why I was confused.”

Neil:  “It’s supposed to be romantic.”

Sophia:  “Well, thank you.  But how old is that photo of you?  It doesn’t even look like you.”

Neil:  “A few years.”

Sophia:  “A few years?  At least five or six.  You don’t have one white hair on your head.  Are you trying to fool your readers?”

Neil:  “No, I just needed a photo of me sleeping.  I’m supposed to be dreaming about you, remember?!”

Sophia:  “I remember this photo.  This is like SEVEN years ago.  I took it while you were sleeping… of your tush.  You’re obsessed with this naked thing!  What is this — a porno blog now?”

Neil:  “It’s supposed to be romantic!”

Sophia:  “Email me this photo.  I forgot all about it.”

Neil:  “No.”

Sophia:  “Now you’re shy?”

Neil:  “I don’t feel romantic anymore.”

Sophia:  “Aw, come on.   You flirt with every girl on the blogosphere, but won’t send your own (separated) wife a  photo of your tush.”

Neil:  “OK, here…”

I email the photo to Sophia.  She starts laughing.

Neil:  “What’s so funny?”

Sophia:  “Forget about your gray hairs.  Your ass doesn’t look like that anymore, either!”

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthNeilochka vs. Nicole

Sophia Wants You!

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Hello, friends of Neilochka. This is Sophia. I know these are anxious times, and politics and world events are tearing us apart. But sometimes we need to put aside these disagreements and work on a common cause.

On Tuesday, I will be flying to New York to work as a dialect and acting coach on an independent film. I will be in New York for at least seven weeks. Neil will be staying here in Los Angeles. This will be the longest that we will not be living in the same city. I will be very busy on this film, working up to twelve hours a day. I do not know if I can fulfill my responsibilities as Neilochka’s separated wife.

This is where you come in.

Please volunteer your time and energy into making sure Neilochka remains properly clothed and fed.

Here is a short to-do list that must be accomplished while I am gone:

1) Someone must remind Neil every few days to take his cholesterol medication or he will completely forget.

2) Someone needs to remind Neil to buy new underwear/or do his laundry — because I will be taking most of my underwear with me to New York.

3) Someone needs to remind Neil every three days that blogging ten hours a day is bad for his health.

4) Someone needs to tell Neil at least once daily that a few gray hairs on a man are sexy and that he should stop worrying about it.

5) Someone must remind Neil that he needs to eat at least once a day, and that a Winchell’s donut is not a meal.

6) Someone must bring Neil ready-made brisket in some tupperwear at least once a month.

7) Someone must call Neil on the first of the month and remind him to pay the Cingular bill.

8) Someone needs to watch “All My Children” every day and discuss with Neil why “this show gets shittier by the week.”

9) Someone needs to speak to Neil’s mother on Sunday and say that he is in the shower and can’t speak to her, when he is really watching “Cash Cab” on the Discovery Channel.

10) Some female needs to show Neil her breasts at least once a week, or else he’ll get all cranky and will be bugging me too much on the set.

Will you be kind enough to volunteer to help poor Neilochka in his time of need?

I also won’t be able to be Neil’s editor for seven weeks, so please excuse all the spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and dull writing on Citizen of the Month during that period.

If for some reason you meet up with Neil while I am gone, and he takes you to a restaurant with a 2-for-1 coupon, make sure HE gives the waitress the coupon and doesn’t wimp out and ask you do it. And if he uses the phrases “Umm” or “like” in a sentence, you have permission to snap the rubber-band on his wrist and hurt him. Tough love works.

Finally, if there is an emergency, for example: you are a female blogger and Neil IMs you every night and rambles on about his penis — you can contact me at sofsof007 AT yahoo DOT com. You’re also welcome to email me if you want to show me some LOOOVE while I’m in NY.

Thank you for your support. Every little bit helps.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Jewish People are so Smart

Ummm… Like…

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I thought my radio debut went pretty well.  The host laughed a couple of times.  But my Lethal Schlepin’ joke, so popular on line, fell flat because of my bad timing.  I was a little nervous, mostly because I had no idea what I was supposed to talk about.  Afterwards, my biggest criticism came from Sophia and it was less about the content, then it was about my speech.  She absolutely HATES when I go “ummm…like…,” thinking it’s just one notch above ape-language in the world of communication.  Combined with my fast-talking, Noo Yawk accent, I’m probably not going to get a career in radio anytime soon.

But I probably should work on that “ummm…like…” speech.  Any suggestions?  Maybe there’s some sort of “My Fair Lady”-type elocution class at UCLA? 

“The rain in spain falls mainly on Erica Kane.”

I woke up early to listen to the beginning of the online broadcast to get a sense of David Burd’s Washington Post Radio show.  4 AM in LA!  I broke out in a sweat when I heard him say, “Later we’re going to speak to Neil Kramer in LA about why he chose Mel Gibson as his Citizen of the Month.”

Huh?  I never said that!  Is he calling me thinking I am a supporter of Mel Gibson?  Of course, I immediately woke Sophia up, who was not very happy (we were at a wedding last night until late). 

“I need to come up with some line to explain why Mel Gibson is my Citizen of the Month!” I spouted.

Sophia threw the alarm clock at me, but, as always, came through at the last moment with a great opening line.

I tried to download the online broadcast, but I screwed up.  I only captured the first minute.  I wrote to the show to see if they can send me a copy of my spot.  Let’s see if they actually will…

You can hear that little piece of my interview about Mel Gibson here. (link)

All and all, I did pretty good, but I think I should stick to ummm… like… writing.

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthAnd the Winner is… Boules!

On the Radio

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On Sunday morning at 10:45 AM (EST), Neilochka can be heard on the radio! 

Yes, I can’t understand it either! 

I will be a guest on the David Burd Show on Washington Post Radio (107.7 FM and 1500 AM).  (link)  You can hear in on-line, too.  They want me to talk about my piece on Mel Gibson. 

I’m hoping people can understand my heavy New York accent.  Also, I am much better at writing than at ad-libbing.  Will they let me sing a song?  Don’t think so.  Anyone who gives me a dynamite one-liner to use, will earn the Crush Of The Day spot on Monday.

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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