Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Life in General (page 1 of 4)

Postcard from the Road

(from our hotel room in Fort Bragg)

Travelling can be stressful at times, so I’m glad Sophia and I decided ahead of time to enjoy ourselves, and to laugh off any bumps in the road. Napa is pretty, but not our glass of wine. How many wineries can a person visit? How many wineries can one visit and still safely drive those windy country roads? And how many restaurants can serve fifteen dollar organic chicken sandwiches?

Our favorite wine country town was Healdsburg. It is quaint, but not sickingly touristy. Santa Rosa is cool also, mostly because Charles Schultz lived there, and there are sculptures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy all over the place.

Safari West in Santa Rosa was as overpriced as our arugula salad in Sonoma. They advertised themselves as an “African safari” experience, but for safety reasons, they don’t have any animals that could actually eat you. So, you travel around on a crowded jeep watching giraffes and antelopes sleeping, eating, shitting, and ignoring you. At least at Universal Studios, the Jaws shark comes out to attack you at least once!

The tour guide at Safari West recently wrote a children’s book about animals, and he seemed more interested in promoting it than giving us a tour, always saying that we could “pick up a copy in the gift shop.” This is embarrassing to admit, but I fell asleep on Sophia’s shoulder while riding a bumpy jeep on a “African” safari. Still, it was an entertaining and different experience, but not worth the sixty bucks a person.

We liked this zebra the best. These electric zapcars are all over the place.

We had hoped to take a mud bath and massage in Calistoga. I was especially excited about posting a photo of myself with mud up to my neck, but we changed our mind when we actually saw the spa that we chose from some brochure we got at the hotel. Rather than it looking like an “Oasis,” it looked like a trailer behind a motel. When we went inside, Sophia asked the owner if we could see the mud bath before we paid, but the owner said we couldn’t — they were still “getting it ready.” Sophia asked to use the restroom, and like Nancy Drew, sneaked into the mud bath room. She immediately came out and told me that we should leave.

“It looks filthy.” she said. “They’re cleaning it up with dirty rags”

We were a little disappointed. I owe Sophia a mud bath.

Today, we drove from Napa to Mendocino. It was very interesting to see how the landscape changed from lush wineries to massive redwoods. Sophia was fascinated at her first look at these amazing trees. She even started to cry.


“It’s like a fairy tale forest,” she said.

I didn’t have much time to be emotional, since the darkness of the tree cover and the curvy roads made driving a little scary.

Eventually, we made it to Mendocino. While Napa had an upscale wine lover/foodie vibe, the Northern California coast has maintained much of the hippy vibe of the 1960’s (although wealthier hippies). We stopped to buy some fruits at a food co-op. If Sophia was ever in political enemy territory, it was here. There were anti-war petitions hanging over the dairy aisle, and photos of Bush with X’s marking out his face. We especially enjoyed this sign posted by the front door, telling customers to shut off their cell phones.


The views of the ocean are beautiful here. The oceanfront is rugged and… manly. In comparison, the beaches of Los Angeles are, as Ann Coulter might say, for faggots.


We’re staying the night in Fort Bragg, which is one town over from Mendocino, and is known as the place where visitors who can’t afford Mendocino stay for the night. As I’m writing this, we’re in a small coffeehouse that serves organic coffee and we’re listening to a talent hippyish-looking singer doing a Joni Mitchell song. What could be more Northern Californian?


Travelling is fun, but you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next, especially when you’re travelling on a budget. We were concerned about our hotel in Fort Bragg because it looked a little Bates Motel-ish when we pulled in at night.

“I’m not staying here.” said Sophia. “There’s a homeless man standing right outside!”

Luckily, as we got closer, we saw it was just the sea captain.


Better Late Than Never


Five months ago, Sophia was in New York working and I was lonely.  To ease my pain, many of you sent me photos of your beds.  Deannie, the writer of “Home is Where the Heart Is” told me that she wanted to send me a photo, but she didn’t have her own bed.  She promised to send me a photo once she got her condo and bought a bed.

Yesterday, I received a photo of Deannie’s bed.  Nothing impresses me more than someone who keeps a promise.

From what I gather, this is actually the wrong bed that was delivered to her home, but she decided to keep in “instead of going through all the hassle of the exchange process.”

I, for one, like the bed.  It is very antique-looking, like something you might see in an old house in Vermont.  I especially like the elaborate headboard. 

Now, as the rabbis of yore used to do, I would like to recite the tradtional blessing for a new bed:

“Deannie, may this bed bring you much joy.  May you have many a restful night as you sleep soundly in this cozy and warm bed.  May you have pleasant dreams and wake up refreshed from your nights sleeping in this wonderful new bed.  And may you have many memorable nights @%#@** against the elaborate headboard.”

Update:  Next time I am alone, I won’t be needing your bed photos, thanks to my new sheet and pillow case combo.   (thanks, Dagny!)


P.S. — I’m also doing my first “guest-blogging” stint at No Pasa Nada.   So, for one day you can call me Heather!

Dixie Martin: R.I.P.


The continuing saga of how Neil met Sophia on the internet has been canceled today for a special bulletin:

Dixie Martin, beloved wife of Tad Martin and mother of J.R. Chandler, died today, January 29, 2007, in Pine Valley, after eating a poisoned peanut butter pancake intended for her daughter-in-law, Babe Chandler.

This was a shock to All My Children soap opera fans across the country. Some fans are so upset they are refusing to watch the show anymore. In fact, Sophia and Neil couldn’t stop talking about it all day. Even tonight’s episode of “24” seemed to pale in comparison to the drama of AMC killing off one of the show’s most popular characters.

The producers of AMC made a big splash when they brought actress Cady McClain back to the show after a four year absence. They had spent an enormous amount of time and money to woo her back. The return of Dixie created a slew of new storylines, since her character was repeatedly said to be “the heart” of Pine Valley. Tad and Dixie seemed destined to reunite as a couple — and even find their missing baby girl that unbeknownst to them, was now LIVING in Pine Valley after her parents were killed in a car accident! But one year into her contract, it’s death by peanut butter for Dixie. What happened?

Insiders know the real story. AMC producers, desperate for more viewers, tried to use the internet to drum up interest. They gave Dixie (Cady McClain) a blog to discuss her life as a soap opera star, in much the same way as other bloggers talk about their work and families.

With their ratings low, AMC also let go many of their long-standing characters, such as Brooke English (played by Julia Barr), who was with the show since 1976 and Dr. David Hayward (wonderfully played by Vincent Irizarry for the last ten years.) While the older actors were thrown to the street, the show hired a whole new group of dopey teenage actors. “Dixie” made a statement on her blog, saying it wasn’t a good idea to fire the show’s beloved older actors. The producers apparently didn’t like “Dixie” giving her opinion on her ABC blog, so to punish her — they promptly killed her off, making mincemeat of the storyline.

When someone says they were Dooced, people understand it to mean that someone was fired because of their blog. From now on, when someone is “killed off” because of their blog, I will use the term “Dixied.”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Fact-Finding Mission

I Love John Updike (Not Really About John Updike)


This week was a milestone for me.  I submitted my Fame post as an op-ed at the Los Angeles Times. 

Will they ever actually print it?  Extremely doubtful. 

But it was the first time I ever submitted my writing anywhere (other than scriptwriting).  Deezee pushed me into it.  She literally emailed me three times to make sure I did it.  So, thanks Deezee, for being such a pushy bastard.

I’m sure I looked unprofessional in my query letter.  I wrote “Dear Editor” rather than using a specific editor’s name.  I didn’t know you were supposed to include a page count.  After I submitted the article, I found an informative article in Daily Kos about writing op-ed pieces.  I wish I had seen it before!  It is a must read if you want to write a piece.  Don’t look like an amateur nudnik like me!

I’m always reading blog posts from YOU that would be perfect for a op-ed piece, so I’m going to try to push some of you to submit your work. 

Deezee also advised me to take out certain words from my post, such as “penis” and “balls,” which I did.  Rather than saying “If John Stossel had any balls,” it now reads “If John Stossel had any guts.”  I know that totally destroyed the sentence.  I totally wimped out, but it’s all part of the game.

People who have met me in real life know that I am actually a polite guy who never curses.  I’m always surprised when I learn that a blogger who writes beautiful poetry can “curse like a sailor” in real life.  Maybe it is because I rarely use words like c**k, p***y, f**king, etc. in the real world, that I LOVE to use them on my blog.  But every once in a while now I might clean up a post, especially if I have a job interview that week. 

It would be a shame, though, to refrain myself from using these obscenities on my blog.  I liked to imagine that whenever I say tits or c**k in a post, that thousands of women around the world are getting so turned on that they having orgasms right at their work cubicles.  That is happening, right?

For some of you, this is the only sex you get all week, so I can’t just eliminate this sex talk.  It is a public service!   So, I’ve come up with a way to both talk about sex AND be PG-13 for the Los Angeles Times and prospective employers.  It is called USING CODE.  Talk having your cake and eating it, too!

From now on:

c**k = iPod
p***y = Toyota Prius
tits = John Updike
f**king = “Deal or No Deal”

So, for instance, imagine you’re reading the following post.  Can you decipher it?


Happy New Year, fellow bloggers!  How was your Christmas and Hanukkah?   I had a great vacation.  And guess what — I got a iPod as a Hanukkah gift.   What a great toy.  I don’t think I’ve every had more fun playing with anything in my life.  I’ve been using my iPod constantly, plugging it in, buying all these accessories, and looking for friends to share my playlist with.   I love the way it fits right in your hand.  And I didn’t even get the mini one!  No way! 

Soon, I’m hoping to figure out a way to install my iPod right into the Toyota Prius.  Then I can listen to music as I’m driving to the store.   I love that Toyota Prius.   It’s so comfortable inside, I almost want to sleep in it!  Dude, that would be the ultimate!

Do you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  I promised myself to read more this year.  I’m a big fan of John Updike and I hope to read all of his books this year.    There’s nothing better than curling up in bed with a good book by John Updike, especially one of his 500 page novels. 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the new season of “24” and “Lost.”  So far, I haven’t been impressed with the new TV season other than “Deal of No Deal.”  Has anyone been watching “Deal or No Deal?”  It seems to be on TV every night lately!  One of my blogger friends recently told me how she Tivo-es it and then watches 4-5 episodes a night with her boyfriend!  That made me feel old.  I haven’t watched that much TV in one night since I was in college!   In fact, sometimes I even zip past the commercials, and fall asleep in the middle of the show. 

I’m glad they renewed “Deal or No Deal.”  Hopefully, I will be watching it a lot more this year.  Usually. I’m watching it in the bedroom before going to sleep, but I think I’m going to change things around in 2007.  I’m going to watch it on the living room TV and even on the little TV in the kitchen!   This is a YEAR of CHANGE!   I’m going to try to watch it every chance I get, with or without Sophia!   Who knows, maybe I’ll even get the chance to watch the show with two friends at the same time!  I could throw a little “Deal of No Deal” party!  I can’t tell you HOW MUCH I love that show!  I wonder if you can download “Deal or No Deal” directly onto you iPod and watch it in your Toytota Prius? 

Anyway, I love you all!  I’m gonna go take a cold shower now.  Or maybe I’ll just relax and read some John Updike.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Girls Gone Geeky

To Sleep, Perchance to Blog


Nothing bugs me more than blogging “experts” pontificating on what a blog should or shouldn’t be about.  Sure, it might help them write a book on blogging or speak at a conference, but what does anyone know more than YOU about your own personal stuff?

In October, I complained about a blogging book with the title “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog.”  As a member of the LBADL (Lunch Bloggers Anti-Defamation League), I immediately wrote a post describing what I had for lunch.

Yesterday, I  read a post saying that bloggers should spend more time on their posts, in the hope of creating well-written essays like David Sedaris and selling themselves to magazine editors.   First of all, there already is a David Sedaris, so it seems hopeless to become another one.  Second of all, he is gay, and it is not worth becoming gay just to get published.  And honestly, the chances of your blog doing anything for your writing career are so slim, you might as well just have fun and experiment.

To prove my point, I’m attempted a live blogging experiment.  I went to sleep in the living room and put the alarm on for 3AM.  My goal was to ramble on about my dream, not giving a crap about whether it was interesting or not.

It is now 3AM.  The only problem is that the minute the alarm jarred me out of my gentle slumber, I immediately forgot what I was dreaming about.  This is pretty typical.  I never remember my dreams.  I’ve even tried keeping a pencil and pad by my bed, but by the time I reach for the pencil, the entire dream has disappeared like… well, like a dream.

Even though this blogging dream experiment was a complete failure, I’m glad I did it.  I could have wimped out.  I could have been afraid that some of you would say, “Oh my God, Neil’s post today was a complete mess that he wrote at 3AM.  I’m never reading this blog again!”

If anything, waking up at 3AM has inspired me to write a little bit about SLEEP itself.  

Did you ever notice that we love to write about food and sex, but hardly ever about sleep?   I don’t know about you, but sometimes, there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep.   Between Sophia and the whole car accident scare, and my mother in town, bugging me about getting a haircut, I’ve actually looked forward to just going to sleep the last couple of days.    

I did have a haircut today.  But not because of my mother.

“You look homeless,” my mother has told me over and over again for the last few days.   But I ignored her. 

Today I was in Ralph’s Supermarket, when a woman , around 30, started waving at me.  She was very attractive, but there was something odd about her.  Maybe it was all the chopsticks sticking in her hair.

“How are you?” she asked.

“Fine.”  I said meekly, unsure who she was.  She sensed that I was uncomfortable.

“I know you, right?”

“I don’t think so.  Maybe you mistake me for someone else.”

“Don’t you lecture at the Krishna Center?”

“I’m sorry.  You DO mistake me for someone else.”

I immediately left the supermarket and went for a haircut.

Jeez?  How did I get to talking about my haircut.  Wasn’t I just talking about SLEEP?  I think my mind is starting to play tricks on me, like those college students involved in sleep deprivation tests.

Boy, am I sleepy.  Why am I up at 3AM writing this stupid blog post?  To be honest, if I had the choice RIGHT NOW of being served a five course meal from the finest restaurant in New York, of having Kate Winslet walking in naked, climbing on top of me, and f**king until morning, or just going back to sleep — I would choose SLEEP. 

Now tell me sleep is NOT a worthy subject to write about.

Neil’s Penis:  I strongly disagree with the last statement of Neilochka’s ridiculous post, especially the Kate Winslet part.  I will now punish him by making it hard for him to go back to sleep.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  The Argument

Season Tickets


So let’s see, the Pet Shop Boys, Vince Gill, and a chamber concert all in one week? Dude, my life is so boring. We’ve done Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, the Book Fair, and Drama Club this week. Sigh.

V-Grrrl, commenting on yesterday’s post

When I was a teenager, my father gave me two pieces of advice on how to deal with women:

1)  Never hurt a woman.

I still don’t really know if he meant physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

2)  Take your wife out on weekends.

This completely went over my head when he first told me this piece of wisdom.  Tickets for the weekend was a central concept to my father’s vision of marriage.  My father was always getting theater and concert tickets “for Elaine” (my mother).   Even though he always said he was getting it “for her,”  I think he got them equally for himself.  My  father was the type of person who could never admit doing anything for himself.  It always had to be for someone else. 

My father was also obsessive-compulsive, so he had a huge bulletin board in his bedroom where he would micro-organize all his tickets to concerts, shows, and events.  He believed that if you bought tickets ahead of time, this would force you to go out, even if you got lazy at the last moment.  He would sometimes subscribe to a theater season a year ahead of time, so he always knew he had something to go to every weekend, and didn’t have to worry about it.  Box offices throughout New York City would know his name when he called up, because he would send his check in the mail before the season actually began.  He subscribed to the Roundabout Theater, Circle in the Square, Lincoln Center, Queens College Concert Series, Theater in the Park, and several others, including discount Broadway show tickets from the Theater Development Fund. 

My parents would go out practically every weekend, frequently taking me along.  There were times when it was clear that no one wanted to go, but we went anyway because we “had the tickets.”   It was my family’s version of being forced to go to church on Sunday morning.  We would travel two hours into Manhattan during a snow storm to see a poorly-reviewed version of an Ibsen play (awkwardly updated to 1920’s Chicago) just because the tickets hung on the bulletin board and the date was penciled in on the large calendar my father kept next to the bulletin board.  My friends would be drinking beer outside on Saturday night while I would be dragged to hear Chopin with my parents.  I  frequently fell asleep during these concerts and my mother would elbow me so I wouldn’t snore.

I realize that when I described my parents on this blog in the past, I created a picture akin to the parents of Seinfeld — real Jewish outer borough types.  That IS an accurate description of them.  But there was one big difference,  My father had an obsession with high culture.  Where did it come from? — I have NO IDEA, but it was important that we immersed ourselves in it. If my mother didn’t have a sense of humor about some of the boring stuff we saw, I would have turned into a hopeless prig.

Years later, though, much of my father’s wisdom has started to make sense — especially about the importance of going out.  In the two weeks since she came back from New York, Sophia and I have gone to three concerts, a Broadway musical, and a movie.  Like my father, we bought the tickets early enough to force ourselves to go out.  We knew that if we waited until the last minute, one of us (usually me) would start copping out, wanting to watch “Dancing with the Stars” instead.  But to be honest, going out is pretty tiring, especially to someone like me, who is happy enough just sitting at the computer, blogging.   Tonight we didn’t go anywhere, which was pretty nice.   After we watched — what else? — “Dancing with the Stars” (dancer Cheryl Burke is so cute!), Sophia turned to me and said, “Remember, tomorrow we’re going to the Improv with Danny.”

“Do we have to?” I sighed.

“Yes,” she answered.  We already have the tickets.”

Some things never change.

Even Cowgirls Have to Pee

Vince Gill’s “What the Cowgirls Do”

Tonight, Sophia and I attended a concert of country star Vince Gill, which was a little odd, considering neither of us know any of his songs. Bu it was still fun seeing all the fake LA cowboys coming out of their BMWs, many of them wearing cowboy boots they just bought in Beverly Hills.

During intermission, I was standing at the urinal between two accountants wearing large cowboy hats. And NO — despite what some women think — men do not “check each other out” while peeing. I can’t believe Sophia even asked me that question. In fact, while standing at the urinal, I was too busy coming up with a country song to write on my blog, but I gave up after trying to rhyme “urinal” with “Vince Gill.”

As I left the bathroom, I saw Sophia waiting on line for the Ladies Room. While I was pretty much in and out of the Men’s Room, thirty women were waiting to get into their bathroom. This is such a common event — women waiting for the bathroom — that most of us take it for granted. But why? When are women finally going to get their act together and ask for more bathrooms in theaters and concert halls? Why are women so patient? There is no way men would wait so long to pee. Most of us would just do it against the wall.

Now, I know some blame the patriarchal society for the lack of adequate restrooms for women. I say, BS. Those days are over. I live in California, a state that is not afraid to give women political power. Both of our senators, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, are women. The new speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi of California, is a woman. Write to them and tell them that you are tired of waiting to pee! More bathrooms for women! It should be a law!

Or as Vince Gill might sing:

My Cheatin’ Heart
Just Felt Amiss
Seeing all the pretty cowgirls
Waiting and waiting to piss.

(by the way, Sophia liked the Pet Shop Boys much better)

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: This is Not a Blog Anymore

The Final Chapter of the “Closet Trilogy”


Narrator:  Tonight on the HGTV, it’s “Design on a Dime!”  Let’s meet today’s couple, Neil Kramer and Sophia Lansky.   Their problem:  limited closet space.

Sophia:  There just isn’t enough room to fit all our clothes.

Neil:  And all your shoes.  Who needs so many shoes?

Sophia shoots him a look.

Narrator:  In order to get more closet space, some friends suggested that Neil and Sophia use professionals.  For instance, blogger Two Roads made this comment:

Call a California Closet designer and let them do it. It was the best thing I did and I doubled the amount of space in my closet without lifting a hammer. It is worth every penny and since they know what they are doing there is no headache worrying about measurements and parts and such.

Of course, Neil is too cheap to go the route of asking a professional.  That’s why he is on “Design on a Dime!”

Neil:  Did you see how expensive California Closets are?!  For the same price, we could just rent another apartment for our clothes!

Narrator:  Being a cheapstake, Neil went to Home Depot and bought a “closet kit,” but when he returned home, he realized that he was totally clueless on what to do next — and didn’t have any tools.

Blogger Rhea thinks this lack of building skill is part of the Jewish tradition, like keeping kosher and kvetching. 

Here in Boston a lot of the carpenters are Irish or Italian. My Jewish friend thought it would be nice to employ a Jewish carpenter. So this guy named, I don’t know, Marvin Rosenberg or something, comes in to install the new kitchen counter. Can you imagine a carpenter with that name? Do I have to tell you he was lousy at it. Yup, Jewish men are accountants, professors and writers. Forget power tools.

Neil:  I have no idea where this stereotype comes from, since I know quite a few handy Jewish men.  Even Jesus was a carpenter. 

Sophia:  Jesus could also walk on water.  You can hardly swim.

Neil shoots Sophia a look.

Narrator:  Desperate to put up the shelves for cheap, Neil turned to Sophia’s friend, Leo.   Several hours later, after installing the shelves, Leo became a hit with women around the world.   Blogger Tatyana said:

Nothing’s sexier than a man named Leo with a hammer in his hands…does he have a phone?

Today, Sophia and Neil started putting their clothes back into the closet. 

Neil:  I was very proud of what I had accomplished.

Sophia:  Even though you really didn’t do anything other than serve us apple juice.

Narrator:  And then, as Sophia was hanging a cute little floral print skirt, the entire top shelf gave way.  Half her clothes fell on her head.

Sophia:  So, there we were holding up up the remainder of the shelf to make sure the entire wall didn’t collapse on her head, when Neil runs off.  And where was he going?  To get help?  No…

Neil:  I went to get my camera so I could take a photo for the blog!  (I never made it to the camera, though.  Sophia selfishly demanded my help)

Narrator:  Luckily, Sophia was able to fix the problem.  Leo had installed it wrong.  Sophia had to take the shelf down and reinstall the brackets correctly.

Neil:  And I brought Sophia some apple juice.

Narrator:  And now Sophia is very happy with her new closet.   And Neil… well, he is another cheap guy getting away with murder on “Design on a Dime.” 

Proposition This!


It’s election time in California again, which means a last minute barrage of commercials and telephone calls, all aimed at confusing the voter. So far, my favorite TV ads are for Tony “The Tiger” Strickland, who is running for California State Controller.  I don’t know much about him except that he always runs around looking active and has the nickname of “the Tiger,” which he wants to hammer into your brain by actually putting in a ROAR at the end of his commerical (as if he was selling some sugary Kellogg’s cereal). 


Look at this guy.  Does he look like a tiger to you?  Or is this what his son calls him on the miniature golf course?

Frankly, I want a State Controller who is sitting at his desk working on the budget problems of the state.  Did I really want a state controller who spends most of his time rushing through hallways, passing off notes to his multi-ethnic assistants?

From now on, I will be Neil “the Leopard” Kramer:

“Neil “the Leopard” Kramer. He is a blogger! But you will never see him actually blogging. Watch as he passes by his Russian-born separated wife as he goes downstairs to the kitchen to make her breakfast!  See him as he smiles and chats it up with the African-American check-out girl at Ralph’s Supermarket.  Look how fast he walks. Watch as a multi-ethnic group of coffee drinkers nod and smile as “the Leopard” zips into Starbucks to buy a “fully-caffeinated” cup of coffee.  Admire “the Leopard’s” virility as he checks out the lovely female Chinese-American’s ass as she pours the coffee.”

Aw, who am I kidding? Tony “the Tiger” Strickland’s political ad was effective, because he is the only candidate I now remember!  I don’t even know what party he belongs to, but I am voting for him.

The one cool thing about voting in Redondo Beach is that voters in my area actually vote in someone’s LIVING ROOM! That’s right. I have no idea why we don’t vote in a school or someplace normal, but no — we wait in line outside someone’s apartment. You can even look into the resident’s kitchen as you are voting!

California usually has dozens of confusing propositions on the ballot about all sorts of issues, from taxing cigarettes to building roads. Being the liberal sort, I usually vote for DOING things with little regard to how California is actually going to pay for it, but there is one issue that I am changing my view on spending, and that is Education. Every year, I vote on allocating MORE money for MORE schools, MORE textbooks, SMALLER classes. Every year, I am told how important education is the success of California.

But are all these propositions I vote in actually working?

After years of more money for education — may I present to you the address of my voting place, as listed on every single one of my CA VOTING GUIDES, including the official one:


A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month: Modern Politics

Stuff Dudes Don’t Want to Know About Women


For the second day in a row, women complained to me via email about how I objectified Sophia in her photo when she is sick with the flu. The truth is that no man wants to see a girl looking bad, even when she has a 101 temperature.

Women, take note: If you want to attract men and keep them, you need to learn the dos and don’ts of acceptable gender behavior. One of the main reasons we are with you is because you are hot-looking. Why should we have to suffer looking at you without lipstick just because YOU feel shitty?

Hey, hey, hey, hold on there! Before you call me a misogynist ass, let me tell you that I didn’t learn about these “rules” in the male locker room. No, I learned about them today while standing in line at the supermarket leafing through the November issue of a women’s magazine — Cosmopolitan. On Page 58 of the “Cosmo Men” insert, there is a compelling article titled “Things Guys Just Don’t Want to Know About You.”

“There are certain topics that weird out dudes or bore them silly or simply annoy them…. Here’s a list of what to avoid bringing up if you want to keep your dude around…”

First of all, I don’t like being called “dude,” but that just might be my own personal rule.

Here’s the Cosmo list:

Your Weaknesses

“Spilling your guts to a guy you barely know is a surefire way to turn him off or, worse, make him think you’re a head case. Bottom line? Keep your eBay addiction, midnight binges, and obsession with bad reality TV on the down low.”

However, your addiction to oral sex is acceptable to discuss on a first date.

How Tired You Are

“In this fast-paced, snooze-you-lose world we live in, complaining about how beat you are just makes you sound whiny.”

Just like we don’t want to see you sick, we don’t want to see you tired. Erica Kane can be trapped in a mine shaft for a month on “All My Children” and still walk out looking fabulous. If you want to keep a man you must always be bubbly, vivacious, and eager for sex — even if you worked a sixteen hour day at your job. Leave your work problems at the office so you can focus on us listening to us talk about our jobs!

That Your Hair Is Different

“If the guy you’re with doesn’t notice your new do on his own, forget it! When you have to point out that you switched up your look, here’s what goes off in his brain: “Alert! She’s fishing for compliments.””

Hear! Hear! We don’t care about your hair, your nails, or your new shoes. Just look slutty. That’s all we ask.

Your Choice of Feminine Hygiene Product

“I’ll keep this one short and sweet: Most guys use the words tampon and pad interchangeably — and trust me, we’re completely happy not knowing the difference between them. If it stops the flow (or has anything to do with below-the-belt issues), we don’t want to know!”

Unfortunately, marriage has ruined me. I do know the difference between a tampon and pad. I just wish I was able to turn back the clock to those days when I was innocent and pure.

That You Read the Latest Mind-Blowing Sex Tips in This Magazine

“We don’t want to hear about them — we want you to do them.”

And if you do read this magazine, read it in the supermarket. I can use that $4.95 to buy Stuff Magazine.

The Fact That You Think Another Guy Is Good-Looking

“It’s not an insecurity thing. It’s a we-don’t-care thing. For example, calling another man handsome is a conversation stopper.”

Except George Clooney. He is sort of handsome.

Your Diet Strategy

“The goal of every diet is to get to a certain body weight. And just like vacations, nobody cares how you got there. We just care that you’re there.”

Do you know there is now negative zero sizes coming out by Nicole Miller? Don’t talk about it. Do it!

How Smart You Are

“Guys are looking to avoid that overeager girl who goes out of her way to show everyone exactly how intelligent she is. If you find yourself using the names Hemingway, Dostoevsky, or Nietzsche more than once per conversation, you may be guilty of academic name-dropping, which reeks of insecurity.”

This is probably the most important rule to follow. There’s a reason the librarian always TAKES OFF the glasses. We like the woman to be stupider than us. Of course, a woman should read, but preferably material like Cosmopolitan, chick-lit, or maybe a few mommyblogger blogs. Nothing too heady. Men are known to be better in math and science, so please don’t try to show off any of your math skills. It is a real turn-off. The only mathematical term you should be using in conversation with a man you are dating is “big,” as in “My Gawd, you are so big!”

Now, are these simple steps THAT complicated to follow? Believe me, we’re worth it.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Stars of David (or my Mother will Find this Funny)

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