Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Men and Women (page 1 of 2)

“But Are We Compatible?”

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I know how much you’ve enjoyed me turning my blog into a promotional tool. Unfortunately, this is the last day of the bidding, so next week I will back writing about the usual important issues that I normally blog about.

Many people have emailed me saying that they’d love to give money to V-Day, since it is such a worthy cause, but they are on the fence about going on a date with me. So many of you have been burned by going on bad dates with men who were completely WRONG for you. How can I assure you that our date with be fun? Who wants to BID good money to go on a crappy date? If only there was a way to SCIENTIFICALLY learn if you and I were compatible for this charity date.

Now, there is!

Thanks to the kind hearts of those at E-Harmoni, I have been licensed to use their official 5-point compatibility quiz. Take the quiz, then compare it to my answers. If we are compatible, you owe it YOURSELF to bid on me! Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet your soulmate!

E-HARMONI “FIVE POINT COMPATIBLILITY QUIZ”

Question 1: Do you enjoy eating food? Yes or No?

Question 2: Do you consider breathing a “necessity?” Yes or No?

Question 3: Would you rather make love on the beach or be tortured by Jack Bauer from the television show “24?”

Question 4: Does the sun set in the West? Yes or No.

Question 5: Which birthday gift would you prefer: A new widescreen TV or a piece of celery?

Neil’s answers: Yes, Yes, love on the beach, Yes, widescreen TV.

Thanks, E-Harmoni!

So, are we compatible? If at least 4 of your answers are the same as mine — you know what you must do!

How the Advice of Bloggers Saved My Ass

Thank you for your advice on not doing it myself. Once I actually looked inside the closet, I realized that I had absolutely NO IDEA how to remove and reposition the old installation, not to mention putting up these new shelves and rods, even though the guy at Home Depot said it was “relatively easy.” Is it so wrong that I’m a lover, not a builder?

Luckily, Sophia’s friend Leo knows how to do most handy things… and, lucky for me – he was home bored. Sophia helped as his assistant as he did all the hard work… we bought him some sushi for dinner… my role was pretty much reduced to serving apple juice… and 7 hours later — ta-dah! — MORE CLOSET SPACE!

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Update: A cool NY Times article about “closet-starved” folk in New York City. (thanks Pam)

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Neilochka Girls

Making a Plan at Hot n’ Tot

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After much thought, I realize that my frustrations lately haven’t really been about writing every day for NaBloPoMo, but about — surprise, surprise — moving back with Sophia.   Since she’s come back from New York, it has been very nice being together, but NOT exactly the way I fantasized.   I visualized us running down to the beach every morning hand-in-hand and with as little clothes as possible,  then skinny-dipping in the Pacific Ocean while eating homemade breakfast burritos in the surf.  Sadly, we’re still having the same exact issues we had the LAST time we lived together.

One of our arguments is always about “our stuff” and our limited closet space.   It is an especially loaded subject now because it is still not clear whether I am here for good, or just for the the short term.  Who knows — maybe me moving back before we resolved things was a bad idea.  We’ll see.

But we have matured… a bit.   Here’s my evidence:  Over lunch today at the Hot’ n Tot restaurant, we decided to be proactive and make a plan.  Rather than fighting, why not BUILD extra shelves in the closet?

Can we actually build new shelves?  Will we survive?  Will I be able to walk into Home Depot without getting hives?  Will someone get injured by a falling hammer?  Stay tuned!

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Stuff Dudes Don’t Want to Know About Women

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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)

A Story for My Younger Readers

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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“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. 

Sophia: The Song

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I know you’ve been waiting patiently since I wrote the lyrics to the song

Sophia, are you ready to ROCK?  I can’t hear you!  Are you READY TO ROCK?!

LISTEN TO “SOPHIA”

Crime and Punishment

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For every crime, there is a punishment. 

All has been resolved.  The post that "mysteriously disappeared" is back up. 

But the punishment was severe and costly, and required me to spend my entire Saturday standing around shoe stores and nodding about how "nice they look."

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What I Learned on the Internet Today

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Women, you’re Not a Failure if You’re Not in a Relationship

(terrific post by Stephanie Klein)

"It’s amazing how we think of ourselves as failures because something doesn’t work out.  Yes, we see it as a learning experience.  We see it as "for the best," but really, deep down, we worry that we’re failing at this.  At being with another person.  At making it work.  Instead of realizing, maybe it just wasn’t the right person.  No, screw maybe.  You’re not a failure when a relationship ends.  The same way you’re not a success when one begins.  Too many women are beginning to measure their worth on the merits of their relationship.  "But I was the only woman in that room without a ring on my finger, and it just…"  NO.  Stop that.  I’ve been her, too.  I’ve been in and out of "us," the kind of "us" with a ring.  It didn’t make me more of anything.  And it didn’t make me less once I was alone.  You’re failing yourself when you measure you that way.  Instead, value yourself on the strength of your female friendships, on the wise old women you can turn to for guidance.  On your ability to make people laugh, or think, or know that you’ll always be there for them.  Even when they feel like the failure."

Men, you are a Failure if You Show Any Fear

Self-Confidence — How to Develope the Self-Confidence You Need to Succeed in as Few as 31 Short Days!

"We should not apologize to ourselves. A sense of the dignity of life, and the sovereignty of the soul, should keep us strong and positive. We should be too big for the little habit of excuse-making. Self-depreciation never won a single battle of life. It has, on the contrary, killed ambition, weakened the will, and incapacitated thousands of men for noble work. Apology is weakness on parade. Avoid it. Observe some man who comes toward you, walking with short, jerky steps, his dress careless, the corners of his mouth turned down, keeping well to one side of the walk. As he passes, he gives you a hasty, frightened glance, which tells you unmistakably of despair, discouragement, and failure. The man’s whole life probably has been negative in its character and outlook. The daily, and perhaps hourly, streams of false suggestions poured into his mind have at last overwhelmed him and his life closes in an eclipse.

Many a man tormented by fear and timidity does not realize what a flood of negative thoughts daily affects him. He hedges himself in with suggestions of limitation, incapacity, and unworthiness. He constantly thinks not of how he will succeed, but of how he will surely fail. When Washington Irving was asked to preside at a public dinner to Charles Dickens, upon his visit to America, he hesitated and said he would surely fail. It was pointed out to him that he was really the man properly to direct that high function, and at last was prevailed upon to accept. But to many friends he repeated his fear that he would fail. The night came, and before a brilliant gathering Irving arose to speak. He made an excellent beginning, but suddenly stopped and brought his remarks to a close. As he sat down, he whispered to a friend on his left, "There, I told you I would fail, and I did!""

Women, you Can Be Successful as a Stay-at-Home Mom:

Our Life:  Feeling Successful as a SAHM

"It’s taken a long time but I’ve finally realized that my achievements are extraordinary every single day. It is this recognition that I have given myself that doesn’t just make me able to mop another floor, wipe another nose, scrub another toilet, prepare a meal and not really expect a whole lot in return and be able to do it without grumbling and complaining, but to actually do these things with joy. I can wash the same clothes every other day, shop for the same groceries, run kids to the same practices and lessons each week, and know that I’m successful, because I know if I wasn’t doing those things that may at times seem unappreciated, that my family members lives would not be as pleasant or enjoyable as they are. In the same way that a nurse, or a doctor takes care of yet another patient (Hopefully because it makes them feel good) or a marketing person comes up with yet another witty ad, or a lawyer closes yet another real estate deal and feels successful for it when they have been acknowledged momentarily with a monetary or sometimes even maybe more satisyingly with a personal compliment or thank you, I can feel successful when I have found a knew way to deal with my children’s arguments or created a new meal that "almost" everyone liked, or knitted a new baby blanket for the newest baby coming, or delivered a meal to a neighbour or freind in need, or spent some time doing one of my favorite things, writing because it brings me joy. If we go about these things with a positive happy attitude, not expecting anything more then the realization that we are raising a happy, loving family then that can be a reward in itself and we will truly enjoy it."

Men, you are  Committing Career Suicide as a Stay-at-Home Dad:

from the Wall Street Journal

"When Steven Greenfield, a 40-year-old software-development administrator in San Jose, Calif., started looking for work early last year, he found he had some explaining to do. Managers kept quizzing him about his decision to stay home the prior four years to raise his three young daughters.

One interviewer asked him if he was gay or "just weird, since ‘stay-at-home dad’ isn’t something a man is willing to admit to," he was told. A second interviewer accused him of failing to keep current with technology because "raising kids was too time-consuming," although the interviewer never bothered to ask Mr. Greenfield about any of his specific technological abilities.

A third, informed of Mr. Greenfield’s stay-at-home status, simply seemed at a loss for words. The interview wandered off track, and ended quickly."

Newsflash: Men Don’t Understand Women

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My Valentine’s day was great.  Sophia and I went out to dinner and then saw a comedy show.   After many years of experience, I was smart enough to hold my tongue when I saw that this overpriced "Valentine’s Day Romantic Dinner" was fifty dollars a person (and ten dollars for a glass of wine!)  

Ah, the high cost of romance.  

I even let Sophia eat most of the overpriced cheesecake herself.  So, yes, I was a real Prince Charming. 

Our only small bit of conflict was over whether or not we should pay the five dollar valet parking fee or keep on driving around Hollywood.  Let’s just say, we ended up paying the fee.

One of the comics we saw was particularly bad, telling unfunny jokes about venereal disease (a Valentine’s Day favorite!) — so I zoned out and just gazed at Sophia, this beautiful woman across from me. 

"For all the years I know her," I thought, " I still don’t feel I really KNOW her.  Isn’t that weird?  Why is it so difficult to know a woman?  Is it just Sophia or do I understand women at all?  Do women make themselves intentionally mysterious or is that their true character?"

When I sat down to think about this subject today, my first thought was about men themselves.  Men have a simplicity and comaraderie that women frequently lack.  Women can be sweet, but they’re also more complicated — and way more catty and backstabbing than any man can ever be.

Recently, I played Texas Hold-em poker twice — once with a group of guys and once with a group of women.  With the women’s group, I was the only male player.  The guys played poker — period.  At some point, we ordered a pizza from Domino’s, but we hardly talked about anything but poker. 

Things were different with the women.  The women brought pot luck dishes.  One woman brought a catalog showing the future locale of her wedding ceremony.  She kept on repeating, "My fiance… my fiance… my fiance," like I once saw in a Seinfeld episode.  One single woman looked like she was going to bust a vein.  At the other game, not one male ever brought up his wife or girlfriend.   OK, maybe I did — but now I’ve learned better not to.  We were there to play poker — and to get away from the women — not to talk about them.  On the other hand, the women wouldn’t shut up about their boyfriends and husbands.

At the women’s game, the poker was merely a backdrop for more important issues.  Two women got into a nasty fight because one of them took too long deciding if she was going "all in."  They started arguing about some weekend in Lake Tahoe from THREE years ago when they both liked this guy from Israel, but only one got lucky with him. 

This is poker?  I had prepared for this game by watching poker TV shows, hoping to learn how to "tell" when a player was bluffing.  But not one of these shows gave me any advice on how to play with women who were more interested in fighting over some hunky Israeli than what cards they had.

Will men ever understand women? 

One of best thing about the blogosphere is that we can turn to female bloggers for advice and information on the opposite sex.

Some bloggers are already doing a public service.  For instance, Trixie of Bated Breath, just wrote a post titled "Trixie’s Guide to Woman-Speak."   That’s perfect!  Just what we need:

Let’s face it. For men, understanding the inner-workings of the female mind is nearly impossible. At times, we can be incredibly vague, often leaving men searching for the appropriate answer so as not to find their nuts in a vise. On other occasions, we pepper our statements or questions with innuendo, leaving everything open to the males’ interpretation.

What a useful post!  I wish more women would help us clueless men.

Immediately, hundreds of questions come to my mind that I would love answered by some woman.  For instance:

1)  How can you be so neat and put-together, but your purse be such a mess?

2)  Why will you kiss me, but not use my toothbrush?

3)  Do women really talk like they do in "Sex and the City?"

4)  Are you really bullshitting about that PMS thing just to get some extra attention?

Why I Am Against Interracial Relationships

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Lately, I’ve been noticing an increase in interracial relationships here in Los Angeles. Blacks dating whites. Whites dating Asians. Asians dating Blacks.

I am against this type of relationship, much like I am against inter-religion dating or members of different cultures getting romantically involved.

My reason is simple: saving Hollywood.

As a lover of movies, particularly of the romantic comedy, I fear the death of the gimmicky movie obstacles to the young lovers’ happiness. In Shakespeare’s day, we had powerful families that hated each other, like in “Romeo and Juliet.” But since the dawn of the movies, filmmakers have used race and religion as a way to create drama, such as the movie I just saw, titled “Something New.” She’s black! He’s white! What will their parents say?! Will his friends accept his “Jungle Fever?” Will their love overcome the obstacles?

Think about it. Once these obstacles are gone, what will happen to the romantic comedy? Sure, we still have the old stand-by — he’s funny (Jewish) and she’s a anal shiksa (“When Harry Met Sally,” “Annie Hall,” “Meet the Fockers”). But even that sub-genre is getting old as assimilated Jews become less funny. Some of these Jews are so desperate for funny material, they just tell the same penis jokes over and over again. Even worse, the shiksa women are learning to tell their own jokes, ruining the dynamic.

Another old standard is the guy who’s a dullard who meets the woman who’s a free spirit (“Bringing up Baby,” “Something Wild,” a thousand other movies). I never really bought into this gimmick. I understand the boring tax accountant who is excited by the wild woman, but do exciting, fun women really want to hang out with the tax accountant? Or is this more wish fulfillment on the part of the mousy male screenwriters? I’ve been a dullard all my life.  Where are the women, grabbing me by the arm to take me on a wild ride? Well, OK, there is Sophia.

OK, maybe Sophia was one.  Sadly, even this genre is getting old, with “geeks” and accountants actually becoming sexy in popular culture.

Is the romantic comedy genre doomed? Unless we take some action now, I give it a few more years, right after they make the movie about the single rabbi and the ditsy Muslim divorcee who lives across the street from him.

Hopefully, we’ll hear from the author of the book “Writing the Romantic Comedy” himself, who keeps a blog here.

As for myself — I have a special place in my heart for women of other races and religions.  But I must insist that we not get romantically involved.  For Hollywood’s sake.

(editor’s note: These statements are here for humorous effect.  Any woman of any race or religion who wants to throw herself at Neil’s feet, will not necessarily be rejected.)

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