the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Life in General (Page 2 of 4)

Male Nurse


Thank you for your nice comments yesterday. You would be a perfect bunch of readers if there weren’t a few of you, an unnamed minority, who frequently accuse me of pandering to my female readers in hope of hearing you go “ooh,” “awww,” “how sweet,” or “You are so hot, I really want to **** you on my kitchen table!” As if that is why I started blogging —

I deeply resent this accusation. As an artist, I use my writing to communicate my inner feelings and creativity, not to manipulate the emotions of fragile women eager to find a man who has the sensitivity of the poet, the wisdom of a philosopher, and the animalistic prowess of a love machine (and is Jewish to boot!).

I repeat. I have no interest in sucking up to a bunch of dames. Just because you might have some curves in the right places and smell like flowers does not make you any more special than my dull, sweaty male readers.

Today’s post will be short because I am caring for Sophia, who is sick. Even though we are separated and she still calls my moving back into the house, while she was away on location, an “illegal squatting,” I feel it is my duty to care for her while she recovers from this debilitating flu. Look how miserable she looks in this photo.


Luckily, she has me to bring her hot tea and medicine.

Oh, I have to go. I think I hear her calling for some DayQuil! But don’t feel bad for me. She’s the one who is sick. I love catering to a cranky woman’s every demand when she isn’t feeling well, especially after not seeing her for two months and hopelessly hoping for some very very needed T&A (see magic orbs)! I don’t need any special “oohs” and “aahs” just because she is the worst patient ever and is sneezing all over the place. Doing a job well is all the thanks I need.

P.S. I bought a chicken to make her chicken soup, but there is no way in hell I’m going to wash this thing. Am I wrong to wake her up to tell her to cook it herself?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Man Who Loves His Friends

My First Attempt at Targeted Advertising


For the upcoming Poetry Thursday
demographic:  hot Yoga chicks

I’ve mastered my emotions
Through tantric practices
Through careful meditation
I’m a Ayurvedic wiz
I know my Bhakti Yoga
I’ve sat with Liz Elayne
I’ve read my Upanishads
While posing in the rain
To reach my inner chakras
is actually quite hard
That’s why I feel my oneness
With the Enlightenment Visa Card

You know how several times a year, you get offers for credit cards from every organization you’ve ever been connected with:  the AAA, your college alumni,  Do you have any doubt that if my penis would apply for a Mastercard, that he would be approved for one?

I just happened to find the idea of an Enlightenment Visa card amusing.   From their website:

Finally, a credit card for people like us

Some people say money is evil…

We say “how” money is used determines the effect.

The Enlightenment Card was founded on the idea that money is energy and if used with positive and integrative intention, can have the power to affect change in our lives and the world. Everyone uses a credit card, so why not have one where people can earn points towards positive products and services that enhances their overall “Conscious” life path? Some of the categories of rewards you can earn points toward are yoga classes, organic products, retreats + workshops, travel, books + DVD’s, personal care, spa treatments, and more…And, members can even redeem their points to make donations to charities such as Trees for the Future.

Is collecting 154,000 Reward Points for a Thai Yoga Massage at a fancy resort really that much better than American Airlines Frequent Flier Miles?

There are eight different cards you can choose from, including “Truth,” “Love,” and “Peace,” each with a different “spiritual” picture on it.

I LOVE the Enlightenment Card’s slogan:  “Changing your world with every point you earn.” 

What Did You Have For Lunch?


“Your posts this week have been the WORST,” said my blog editor/separated wife, Sophia, speaking on the phone from New York. “And stop writing about blogging. It is SOOO boring!”

There were other words exchanged during this conversation, mostly about my fear of putting advertising on my blog, but I’m going to avoid retelling some of the more “colorful” expressions she used to describe my “artistic integrity.”

I agree with Sophia that my posts have been lousy this week. I blame it on that video where I’m dancing with the mop, which premiered on October 13th to critical acclaim.

You know how some authors write a masterpiece for their first novel, but their second one sucks? After that video, I figured that I could just lie back and take it easy, but I was wrong. Modern readers are fickle. One false move and they’re off to read the blog of the latest young hunk right off the bus with a Dell laptop under his arm.

Looking for inspiration, I was intrigued by this new book titled “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog,” written by Maggie Mason, who also has a popular blog titled Mighty Girl. (via Fussy)

A reviewer on Amazon described the book like this:

“Mason is thrilled at the opportunities that blogs have given the average person for self-expression, but laments that too many blogs are obsessive navel-gazing exercises that hold little to no interest over time. She wrote No One Cares as a way to help you come up with creative and new ideas for blog material that can lead to unusual material and interesting insights to the life and world of the writer.”

The book sounded interesting, but I took strong exception to the title, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, even if the author is being tongue-in-cheek.

Think about the gullible young blogger out there who might read this book and accept this notion as a blogging “rule.”

In my opinion, blogging about your lunch is EXACTLY what you should be doing. This was what Sophia was trying to tell me on the phone. Is there anything more human, more sexy, more filled with human drama… than lunch?

Remember those cool lunch-boxes in elementary school? Remember grandma’s tuna fish sandwich? Remember having a romantic picnic lunch with your beau? Isn’t it true that the minute you get to work at 9AM, you watch the clock for three hours, waiting for what…? LUNCH!

When I finish my blogging primer, I’m going to title it “Write About Your Lunch.”

Of course, by the time I get around to writing it, no one will be blogging anymore because the fad will be dead. I’m always behind the times. (but please remember to buy my new book coming out in January, “The Dummy’s Guide to Making Money with Enron Stock.”

Sophia — today’s post will be about MY LUNCH. I want to prove to others that eating your lunch can bring about as many philosophical insights as reading the greatest philosophers.

Here we go —

Around noon today, I had a hankering for a hamburger. I felt like I deserved a treat because my cholesterol levels had fallen dramatically recently, thanks to my pills. I jumped into my car and headed for In-N-Out Burgers, but half-way there, I felt a nagging guilt. I suddenly remembered that I had eaten two slices of pizza for lunch the day before. I already had my “unhealthy” treat for the week.

What should I do? Go with desire or reason? I thought about the ancient Greeks. In his theory of anamnesis, Plato preached mastery over the body through reason. Did I really need this hamburger?

Thomas Aquinas, the medieval theologian, once said of Gluttony: “Gluttony denotes, not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate desire… leaving the order of reason, wherein the good of moral virtue consists?”

I decided to find a balance between the two extremes — hunger and hamburger, much as in Hermetic Philosophy.

The solution: A Gardenburger!

I once had a pretty good veggie burger at Burger King, so off I went to see the King.

At my local Burger King, I was greeted by a slightly frazzled teenage girl, who took my order for a veggie burger, a side salad, and a cup of coffee. The bill came to $3.50. I looked at the receipt, puzzled. The Gardenburger alone was supposed to be $3.50. The girl had clearly charged me $2.00 less than what she was supposed to!

I went into a silent panic, mixed with glee. I enjoyed saving the two bucks, but I felt guilty about my moral stance. After all, I was stealing! I knew she had made a mistake, but I was intentionally remaining silent. What would the Talmud say about this? I certainly know that Immanuel Kant, the 18th Century writer of “Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals,” would be shaking his head in shame.

Clearly it was my moral duty to speak up and say, “Young lady, I think you’ve made a mistake.” Think about it: What if I knew that her boss was going to dock her the two dollars that she lost — would I speak up then? What if she was fired? What if she quit school because of my action? What if, because of me, I knew she would eventually BECOME A PROSTITUTE?!

But, I wanted that two dollars. I kept my mouth shut. I pocketed the extra money, waited for my food, then headed for my table without ever saying a word.

There was no thunder. No lightening struck me down. As I sat down, holding my tray, I rationalized my action. I was a Robin Hood fighting an evil fast-food corporation. Even Michael Moore would be proud of me!

But I knew this was a lie. I knew I was never going to give any of my two dollars to charity. I was going to keep it. I was going to blow it on an ice cream cone on the way home, my cholesterol be damned.

And I was enjoying acting like a selfish criminal.

I was like motherf***ing Samuel L. Neilochka!

I ripped open the paper wrapper and took a determined bite of my sandwich. All I received was a mouth full of soggy lettuce and wet bread.

I looked down at my sandwich and opened up the bun. Inside was lettuce, a tomato slice and a piece of pickle. There was no Gardenburger! No meat! Nothing!

Soon, it became clear to me. At Burger King, if you ask for a “Veggieburger” rather than a “Gardenburger,” you get this ridiculous “veggie” sandwich with nothing on it except soggy lettuce, a sliver of tomato, and a tasteless pickle slice for $1.50!  There wasn’t any two dollar mistake. I was the idiot who made the mistake. I ordered a sandwich with NOTHING on it.

Have it Your Way! Right-O.

Do I even need to bring up the Eastern concept of karma?

So, what do you have for lunch?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A New Hobby

The Russian Market


I feel a little guilty bringing up some marital issues yesterday with Sophia, but I guess it is not a “true blog” unless you get in trouble with a family member over something. The truth is, none of us are perfect, and in most things, I couldn’t ask for a more supportive woman for a wife or a friend. I haven’t been the best of husbands financially, and Sophia has always stood by me in whatever I do (or haven’t done).

Sophia has been especially encouraging in my writing. A few days ago, I called Sophia and told her that it might be time to start writing something creative BESIDES my blog — something where I can actually make some money.

“That’s great,” she said. “I was waiting for you to say that. What are you going to write?”

“I don’t know yet.”

“Why don’t you call your agent and see what’s going on?”

“Are you kidding? I haven’t spoken to him in two years. He probably thinks I moved to Tibet and became a monk or moved to Encino and became an accountant.”

“Eh, he wasn’t good for you anyway. What about that meeting you once had with that young literary agent at CAA [Creative Artists Agency]?”

“That was over a year ago. And we never even talked about the script. All he talked about was HIM. About how he was a big shot with “Young Executives for the Environment” or something like that, and how we have to save the oceans from pollution.”

“Well, put him on your contact list anyway.”

“OK, I’ll sit down on Sunday and start thinking of some idea…”

“Oh, well, before you do that… I volunteered you to drive my mother and her friend Maya to the Russian market on Santa Monica Boulevard.”

This wasn’t too bad of a request. I like going to the Russian market in the Russian-part of West Hollywood. I like seeing all the cans of exotic foods and the different types of cheeses. Fruits and vegetables are usually half the price of the regular supermarket, although they frequently look like the “rejects.”

Neither Fanya (Sophia’s mother) or Maya can speak much English, so it is always an adventure going out with them alone. My Russian vocabulary consists of “hello,” “goodbye,” “thank you,” and “this is tasty,” but the women get such a kick out of hearing me pronounce these incorrectly, that it is very easy to make them laugh.

The trip from their apartment building to the market usually takes ten minutes, but Sunday was different. Melrose Avenue was blocked off because of the annual AIDS walk. It took me forty-five minutes to get to our destination. Maya, a flamboyant woman, was sitting next to me in the passenger seat, chewing my ear off in Russian. I have a feeling she was once a real beauty back in Moscow, because she loves attention. She always dresses in flashy, zebra-striped outfits that are a size too small for her body. Even though it was a beautiful day on Sunday, she wore a small mink stole to protect her from the non-existent “Fall breeze.”

We finally made it to the Odessa Market. Fanya bought meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Maya bought vodka and a carton of Marlboros.

On the way home, I tried to take a shortcut, which was a terrible idea, and we got trapped in the middle of the AIDS walk. A police officer was blocking traffic, allowing the walkers to pass by. We were stuck there for what seemed like ten minutes, and I had a helluva time trying to explain to Maya what a AIDS march is all about.

The walkers were segmented into groups, each being from a different sponsoring company, and the first walker of each group carried a little sign signifying what company they worked for, much like they do with the national flags in the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

As we waited in the car — I saw the sign of CAA talent agency pass in front of me, and a huge contingent of employees following behind. I’m not sure — maybe it is because Maya looked so flamboyant — but it seemed as if every member of this group was looking directly at us as they passed by.

One walker even looked familiar.

Yes, it was that agent that I met with — the crazy one into environmentalist causes! The one I was just talking about with Sophia a few days earlier! The one who I was thinking of contacting and jumpstarting my career!

I smiled at him, but the look he returned was not a friendly one. It was more of a glare… almost of disgust.  Uh-oh.  Suddenly I realized why — I was there in Sophia’s gas-guzzling SUV rather than participating in the AIDS walk, while sitting next to a woman wearing a piece of FUR around her neck and holding a carton of CIGARETTES on her lap?

Why, why, why DIDN’T I take the Prius instead?!

When I got home, I crossed CAA off my contact list.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: The Information Superhighway of Broken Dreams

Two Nerds on the Phone


What happens to our dreams? Where do they go? Time flies so quickly. Just this morning, I was thinking how little I’ve achieved in my life plan. Do you realize that I am an adult male, and I have yet to sleep with a black woman, an Asian woman, a Latina woman, an Australian woman, a Native American woman, a woman that was taller than me, a blond woman, a woman that wore high heels to bed, or a woman from 48 of the 50 U.S. States? It’s sad really, especially since I am always promoting “diversity.”

While I’m in a rut, sitting at home, still waiting for Sophia’s return, others are breaking new ground. Last night, I got a phone call from my childhood friend, Dennis. I was surprised to hear from him because it was 2AM in New York.

“You’ll never believe what just happened.” he said.

“What?” I asked, nervously, worried that the call was about somewhat sick or dead.

“I went to a retirement party at work, and I was carpooling with this woman from work. This younger woman. Debbie. She’s about 25. Very attractive. We get along really well. She’s very funny and we’re always joking with each other…”

“So… ?”

“So, on the way, we decide to stop…”

Oh my god, I’m thinking to myself. Dennis is married with two children. He is the most straight-as-an-arrow guy I’ve ever known. He actually used to LIKE going to synagogue on Saturday. He wouldn’t…

“I did it! I finally did it!” Dennis yelled. “She took out this little pipe and I smoked pot — for the first time!”

I sighed. At the same time, I knew this was a big moment for him.

“So, what did you think?

“I only had a few puffs, but I felt that floating sensation.”

“Did you like it?”

“It was OK. I’m probably not going to do it too often. Not that I’m afraid of getting hooked on the hard stuff, like heroin. It’s just, when do I have the time to smoke pot? I have work, I need to pick up the kids…”

“How much does it cost now?”

“I have no idea. I’m sure with inflation it’s gone up quite a bit since we were kids.”

“I suppose so. Well, congratulations, though. You are now officially a pothead.”

“Thanks. The Grateful Dead rule!”

After I hung up, I was jealous of him. He seemed so energized by this new experience. I bet you he got home and jumped into bed with his wife, a new fire in his eyes.

While Dennis might think I’m a marijuana expert, the truth is I haven’t smoked a joint since I was 14 years old, and I only smoked it a handful of times. And like President Clinton, I didn’t inhale much, afraid that the ashes would burn my throat or I would immediately get cancer. The first time I smoked pot was at a Yes concert at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island. The few other times were in my friend Philip’s basement, as we listened to Pink Floyd over and over again. Just hearing “Dark Side of the Moon” now makes me dizzy.

So, as a true goody-two-shoed Citizen of the Month, I’m just one notch less nerdy than Dennis — and now with his pot-smoking, he’s leaving me behind. I’m officially the geekiest person I know!

I only felt worse when I saw this meme going around — different variations here, here, here, here, and here.

Fill in what you’ve “done”:

(x) Smoked a joint
( ) Done cocaine
(X) Been in love
( ) Had a threesome
(x) Been dumped
( ) Shoplifted
(X) Had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back
( ) Been arrested
( ) Made out with a stranger
(X) Gone on a blind date
() Had a crush on a teacher
(X) Been to Europe
(X) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
(x) Seen someone die
() Thrown up in a bar
(X) Met a celebrity
(X) Met someone from the internet in person
( ) Been moshing at a concert
( ) Gone backstage at a concert
() Lain outside in the grass and watched cloud shapes go by
() Made a snow angel
(X) Flown a kite
( ) Cheated while playing a game
(X) Been lonely
( ) Fallen asleep at work
() Fallen asleep at school
(x) Used a fake ID
() Been kicked out of a bar
(X) Felt an earthquake
( ) Touched a snake
() Slept beneath the stars
( ) Been robbed
(X) Won a contest
(X) Run a red light
( ) Been suspended from school
(X) Had braces
(X) Felt like an outcast
(X) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night
(X) Had deja vu
() Totaled a car
( ) Stolen a car
(x) Hated the way you look
( ) Witnessed a crime
() Been to a strip club
(X) Been to the opposite side of the world
(X) Swum in the ocean
() Felt like dying
() Cried yourself to sleep
() Sung karaoke
() Paid for a meal with only coins
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t
() Made prank phone calls
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Been kissed under the mistletoe
() Had a bonfire on the beach
(x) Crashed a party
( ) Seen a tornado
(X) Had a wish come true
( ) Gone bungee jumping
() Screamed in public
( ) Told a complete stranger you loved them
( ) Had a one night stand
( ) Kissed a mirror
( ) Had a dream that you married someone
( ) Gotten your fingers stuck together with super glue
( ) Been a cheerleader
(X) Sat on a roof top
( ) Talked on the phone for more than 6 hours straight
(X) Stayed up all night
(X) Not taken a shower for three days
( ) Made contact with a ghost while playing a Ouija board
( ) Had more than 30 pairs of shoes at a time
( ) Gone streaking
(X) Been skinny dipping
( ) Been pushed into a pool/lake with all your clothes on
( ) Had sex in a public or semi-public place
( ) Been kissed by a complete stranger
( ) Broken a bone
( ) Caught a butterfly
() Mooned/flashed someone
() Had someone moon/flash you
( ) Cheated on a test
(X) Forgotten someone’s name
(X) Slept naked

Sure I’ve done some cool stuff, but look at EVERYTHING I haven’t done!

What kind of life am I leading? I’ve never shoplifted. I’ve never made out with a stranger. I’ve never made a “snow angel.” I bet you even Dennis has made a snow angel.

Depressed, I took a walk today, hoping to meet up with some new experience, something I’ve never done before that will re-energize my life! I walked and walked, down the same old familiar streets, the same faces smiling at me, the same shadeless palm trees overhead. I decided to enter a 7-Eleven and buy the Los Angeles Times, hoping I might read about some spiffy event in town that I have never experienced before.

And then I saw it. My New Experience. Something I could check off on my “list of Life.” Something I know for certain that Dennis has never done.

After my experience, I ran home and called Dennis at work.

“Hey, Dennis! Guess what? I did it!”

“You did what?” he asked.

“I tried Beef Jerky for… like for the very first time!”

“Beef Jerky? Yuch. Where?”

“At 7-Eleven?”

“You mean the stuff they keep on the counter? Is that stuff kosher?”

“I doubt it, but I’m not kosher anyway.”

“Yuch. Was it any good?”

“It was awful. Like a cross between a cold rubbery hot dog and a gummy bear. I took one bite and threw out the rest.”

“You are a brave man.”

“Yes, I am.”

Although he didn’t say it out loud, I knew he was impressed.

Dennis can keep his pot smoking. Today, October 9th, I tried beef jerky, something I’ve seen in convenience stores all my life, but never had the nerve to try.

And frankly, it is probably more dangerous to put into your body than pot.

I’m Neilochka, a Rebel with a Beef Jerky Cause.


A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Welcome to the Hotel California

The Infomercial in the Donut Shop


Near my home is a little independent donut shop. I’ve never seen one person inside other than the owner — a petitie, middle-aged, Korean woman. I was driving by today and decided I was in the mood for a donut. I went in, ordered a jelly donut and cup of coffee, and sat down at the bright orange, plastic, uncomfortable, table/chair thingamajig that’s bolted to the floor. The donut and coffee were truly the worst coffee and donut I’ve ever tasted. As I sat eating my disgusting donut, the owner watched some infomercial on a 13″ TV sitting on the counter.

The infomercial was one of those get-rich-quick schemes:

“Use my stock market technique, and within two weeks, your two thousand will be two hundred thousand!”

As one “success story” after another gave his testimony, I could see the eyes of the donut woman widen. She was totally enraptured by what was being said.

I began to feel bad for this woman. She clearly had no talent in making either donuts or coffee. She was probably losing all her money in this awful donut shop. This type of infomercial preys on a woman like this — someone who may be uneducated or part of an immigrant community. It is these innocent people who don’t realize that it is all a scam.

“I put two thousand dollars into the stock market, and soon I was able to quit my job,” said some overly-eager male voice on the television. “Now I don’t spend time behind a desk, but behind the wheel of my new yacht!”

I felt anger at this scam artist on TV, with this modern era three-card Monte swindle. I was so furious that I squeezed my donut with my hand, shooting some jelly onto my shirt.

What was I to do? I had to warn her. I saw her writing some information on a piece of paper. Was she actually going to call these crooks?

I knew this really wasn’t my business, but I felt it was my duty to speak up. As an American citizen. As a Good Jew. I walked over to the counter. She pointed at the pile of donuts.

“Donut?” she asked.

“No, thank you,” I said. “I just wanted to tell you to be careful with these types of TV shows. They might look like real shows, but they are commercials. Don’t believe everything they tell you. You weren’t thinking of calling them up, were you?”

“Donut?” she asked again, being that it was the only English word she knew.

(photo by roadsidepictures via flickr)

A Story for My Younger Readers


Once upon a time, there was a boy named Max.  One sunny day, while Max was walking through the park, he met a female Genie who lived in a bottle.  Max and the Genie became friends. 


This female Genie had these two Magic Orbs.  Max learned to love these Magic Orbs more than anything.  He loved to hold them, play with them, and squeeze them for good luck. These Magic Orbs made Max the happiest boy in his little town. 

One night, there was a violent storm and the Genie was blown out of town. 


Max had no Magic Orbs to play with anymore.  Max was very sad.  Max’s father saw that Max was sad.  He told Max about this other toy that he could play with instead. 


For several weeks, Max played with this other toy, sometimes two or three times a day.  Still, Max missed the Genie’s Magic Orbs.  

Max went to the park to find another Genie with Magic Orbs.  


While in the park, he saw many other Genies.  Some had big Magic Orbs.  Some had little Magic Orbs.  Max liked these Magic Orbs, but they were not his to play with and hold. 

Max became sad again.  Suddenly, Max heard a friendly voice.  It was the Good Spirit of the North, who came to help Max. 


“Here is what you must do,” said the Good Spirit, and whispered the secret into Max’s ear.

Max ran home as fast as lightning.  Now he knew what to do.  He would not be sad anymore. 

Max ran upstairs to his computer and wrote a blog post about Magic Orbs, letting the sadness disappear, and then Max played with his other toy until he fell asleep. 

Blogmatcher, Blogmatcher


Hodel, oh Hodel,
Have I made a match for you!
He’s handsome, he’s young!
Alright, he’s 62.

Being a Yenta the Blogmatcher was WAY more complicated then I thought.   My apologies if you are not in one of the pairings.  Some of you are easier to match up than others  — and remember, I’m a newbie matchmaker.  I’m  hoping some of you will try to make some blog matches from your own readers either here or on your own site.

Matching bloggers is as every bit as difficult as matching a real couple.  You want the pair to have common interests, but you don’t want them to be SO similar that there is no spark — no chemistry, as if they are brother and sister reading each other’s blogs.  On the other hand, you just don’t want it to be all blog lust.  Many bloggers begin a friendship by devouring each other’s words as passionately as lovers, but then it explodes when one blogger wants more of a “blogroll relationship” and the other just wants a “one post stand.”

I hope each person matched will try to read each other’s blog.

Neilochka’s Matches


Sarah (of The Delicious Life) is a sarcastic “food freak” from Los Angeles.  Her adventures dining out at exotic restaurants are more like stories than restaurant reviews.  

Deb (of Smitten Kitchen) is a food-lover in Manhattan.  Deb thrives on being a hands-on gal who enjoys cooking and baking.  One look at the photos of her soups and breads and you’re going to be starving.

Sarah, meet Deb.  Deb, meet Sarah.


Bookfraud (of Bookfraud) is a self-described “struggling novelist facing middle age.”  He loves reading the great masters and cursing at today’s hack writers who with their crappy novels (that sold).

The Humanity Critic (of Daily Views) lives in Virginia Beach and is the winner (along with Manjula) of the 2006 Black Weblog Awards for best writing.   The Critic loves to rant and rave about pop and hip hop. 

This pairing may seem odd, but think Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy in “48 Hours.”  Bookfraud and the Humanity Critic both skewer the pompous, and always with great humor.

Bookfraud, meet The Humanity Critic.   The Humanity Critic, meet Bookfraud.


Rachel (of Crisis Intervention Summit) is a British mother and writer.  She presides over a staff of twenty at a bar.  Since most of these bar girls are young, Rachel has become the “mother” figure.  This is surprising, since Rachel can party as well as any twenty year old.

Chantel (of Uncharacteristically Sober) is a divorced mother of two from Portland who is “a cool cocktail mix with a serving of Lucille Ball, a splash of Carrie Bradshaw and a Mae West Twist.”  She loves to enjoy life as much as Rachel, but has recently been thrust into talking to her children about “the birds and the bees.”

Rachel, meet Chantel.   Chantel, meet Rachel.


Paul (of Words for My Enjoyment) is a writer known for his quirky comic sense of humor and his outlandish post topics, such as “If I Was Your Sister’s Best Friend’s Brother’s Cousin’s Cell-Mate’s Overly-Enthusiastic And Partially Egotistical Tennis Instructor.”

Karla (of Karlababble) is a Texan Blogger who has a personality as big as a ten-gallon hat.  Her interest include “spying on the elderly” and “poking children with sticks.”

I have a feeling that these two will drive each other crazy, which is part of the fun.

Paul, meet Karla.  Karla, meet Paul.


Heather B (of No Pasa Nada) is a single JD Salenger-loving Washington DC resident who graduated college in 2005.   Now she’s figuring out what life is really all about post-college.

Girlgoyle (of Chronicles of Ed) dedicated 10 years to a man in a relationship that went kaput.  She’s moved on and is now trying to figure out the mystery of love and sex.

Heather B, meet Girlgoyle.  Girlgoyle, meet Heather.


CrankMama (of CrankMama) is what they call a mommyblogger, but not your ordinary mommyblogger.  Her motto is “Good Mama, Bad Attitude.”  Despite her role as “mom,” she doesn’t forget that she has a life outside of her kids. 

Jenny (of Run Jen Run) is a vivacious single woman in the big city, sort of a like a modern Mary Tyler Moore, except this is in Chicago, Jenny is not as idealistic, and Jenny doesn’t have a hat to throw into the air.  Her life is one funny adventure after another, much like Mary…

CrankMama, meet Jenny.   Jenny, meet CrankMama.


Eliza (of Elizaf) is a mother who lives in London and has a “wicked” sense of humor.   Although she loves her life, she sometimes gets restless and dreams of doing something a little more wild, such as fencing, like she did in college, or bungee jumping.

Karl (of Secondhand Tryptophan) is a divorced father living in Florida.   Recently, he turned 40 and undertook a serious of adventures to celebrate his new decade, one of them being jumping out of an airplane.

Eliza, meet Karl.  Karl, meet Eliza. 


Javacurls (of Somewhere in the Middle) is what we used to call in Queens a “hot-blooded Latina.”   Born in the Bronx, Javacurls never pictured herself living in Belgium with her husband!  She loves travel, city life, and salsa music.  She is an amazing photographer and dreams of becoming a professional.

Alison (of AliThinks)  lived most of her life in France.  She never pictured herself living with the love of her life in Kentucky!  At first glance, Alison seems too “WASPy” for Javacurls, but Ali can surprise you, as evidenced by her recent piercings.   She is also a marvelous photographer.

Javacurls, meet Alison.  Alison, meet Javacurls.


Dashiell (of Precogs) is a New Yorker (via Michigan) who is into politics and music. 

Darling Nikki (of Imperfect Like Us) can be found “spinning some discs” on KZYX, a public radio station in Medocino County, California.

Dashiell, meet Darling Nikki.  Darling Nikki, meet Dashiell.


Colleen (of Communicatrix) is a blogger from Los Angeles.  Lately, her blog has gone into some rather odd territory, including a 21-day salute to cleaning her apartment.

Abby (of Girl With a One-Track Mind) is popular sex-blogger from the UK.  Her posts are often about orgasms and f**k-buddies. 

Colleen needs to be reminded that some things will always be messy and unorganized, such as sex.   Abby, who was recently “outed” after her book was published, could gain some management and business insights from Colleen.

Colleen meet Abby.   Abby, meet Colleen.


The PhoenixNYC (of Skinny Legs and All) is a New York blogger who has travelled the word and his “greatest achievement in life was to change and grow as time has gone on.”  Just last week he went to a seminar where he studied with the Dalai Lama!

Modigli (of Modigli) is a teacher in San Deigo.   Since starting her blog, she has become increasingly political, bringing up issues that concern her.

Do I see a match made in Whole Foods?

The PhoenixNYC,  meet Modigli.  Modigli, meet The PhoenixNYC.


Sarcastic Fringehead is a writer in Dallas who loves literature and the Houston Astros.  Fictional Rockstar is an academic-musician in Washington D.c. who loves literature and recently started loving the Washington Nationals.

Luckily, these two bloggers will never have to worry about their teams playing against each other in the playoffs, avoiding all arguments.

Sarcastic Fringehead, meet Fictional Rockstar.  Fictional Rockstar, meet Sarcastic Fringehead.


Heather (of Dooce) is a popular SAHM who was raised as a Mormon and once lived in Los Angeles.

Neilochka (of Citizen of the Month) is known as a Jewish blogger from Los Angeles.  He likes to match bloggers together in the hope of looking “noble and selfless” to his flighty readers, so they feel all guilty and don’t take him off their blogroll. 

Heather, meet Neil.  Neil, meet Heather.


Would anyone else like to take a shot at being a Yenta the Blogmatcher?

UPDATE:  I’ve been so successful today, I’m adding some more:

Danny and 2 Blowhards — you should be reading each other. 

Jessica, have you met V-Grrrl, a mother and  American expatriate living in Belgium?  V-Grrrl, can you believe that this knockout has teenage children?!

Sarcomical, you are a creative writer — have you met Eileen, who has her first novel coming out in February 2007?  Eileen, you must check out Sarcomical’s wild photographic self-portraits.

Pearl, have you met Orieyenta, the coolest kosher babe in hot Miami?  Orieyenta, have you met the hottest kosher babe in cold Toronto? 

Felicity, I know you like taking NSFW photos of yourself, which made it difficult to pair you with someone, but I think you’ll really get along with the Argentine-born Mari, and enjoy her artwork, which is an “expression of feminine power in art.”  Mari, I think you will be inspired by Felicity.

Kevin, I think you and Pete have similar senses of humor!  Pete, you better start watching “24” if you want to click with Kevin!

Amanda and Jody — you have more in common than you know!

Deezee and Lynn — you both have poetry in your soul!

Schmutzie and Sarah — Have you never met?  You’re like long-lost cousins!

Miss Sizzle, meet EEK.

Tara, meet Brooke.

Anomie-Atlanta, meet Akaky.

P.S. — Since we are on the subject of blogger love, here is one of the most moving acts I’ve seen on the blogosphere, proving that we’re not a bunch of narcissistic nuts –  over 200 knitting and crocheting bloggers have joined forces to make knitting squares on their own time for the sick grandmother of knitting blogging queen Laurie of Crazy Aunt Purl.  If only Congress could be so organized.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  A Walk Around the Block

Yenta the Matchmaker for the Day


In the old-country, Jewish marriages were arranged by matchmakers.  Perhaps the most famous Jewish matchmaker was Yenta.  Yenta was the name of the matchmaker in Sholom Aleichem’s stories, several of which were collected into what became the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.”   The word “yenta” has taken on negative connotations in the modern word, and it is usually used to describe a “busybody.”

I’d like to defend the good name of matchmakers.  Being a busybody was part of the job.  A matchmaker HAD to sneak around and ask a lot of questions because she was a detective — always looking for clues that would help her make the best match.   In the Jewish tradition, it is also a mitzvah (good deed) to help make a successful match.

(from Matchmaker, Matchmaker — Fiddler on the Roof) 

Well, somebody has to arrange the matches,
Young people can’t decide these things themselves.

She might bring someone wonderful—-

Someone interesting—-

And well off—-

And important—

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match

I’d like to revive the spirit of Yenta the Matchmaker right here on this blog — on these special days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.   Tomorrow, Thursday, will be a special day on “Citizen of the Month.”  Tomorrow, we shall all become Yenta the Matchmakers. 


I will be making blog matches between 10 pairs of bloggers.   These are not romantic pairings.  These are pairs of bloggers who I have never seen read each other’s material (I’ll check their blogrolls), but I think should give each other a try.  Using an ancient technique passed down from my grandmother, I will try to match bloggers by their sensibilities and interests. 

Recently I was successful in introducing Danny and Elisabeth to each other.  At first glance, they have nothing in common.  But a true matchmaker realizes that they are both brainy bloggers with a twisted sense of humor.   Now they are on each other’s blogrolls.  

This is not easy for me.  I do have a jealous streak.   I used to get upset when my “blogging friends” became friends with each other.   One day, I’ll be reading Blogger X and I’ll be surprised to see my friend Blogger Y writing a comment.  Before you know it, Blogger X and Blogger Y are taking a trip to Las Vegas together, without even sending me a postcard.

But the week before Yom Kippur is one of reflection and self-improvement.  I’m going to fight my jealousy and spread the love.   So, if I match you up with someone, give their blog a chance.  I know matchmaking is not a perfect science. 

Please join in tomorrow with some matchmaking of your own, maybe even mix and matching blogrolls.   Are you the type who is always saying, “These two bloggers really need to read EACH OTHER!”   If so, tomorrow is your chance to do a mitzvah by becoming a Yenta the Matchmaker for the day.

Update:  The matches.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  A Shanda (Yiddish for Shame)  (I really get Jewish at this time of the year, don’t I?)


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