Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Sophia Lansky (page 1 of 2)

Sophia Went to Temple with the Satin Slayer

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Someone has been killing half of the town of Pine Valley on “All My Children,” including the beloved Dixie Martin. This week, the mysterious and villainous “Satin Slayer” was revealed as Billionaire Alexander Cambias Sr.!   Not only was Alexander Cambias previously dead on the show, but this billionaire serial killer was famous for something even more important: in September, he helped Sophia obtain impossible-to get-tickets for temple during Rosh Hashanah services when they were both working on the same movie in New York.  The actor, Ronald Guttman, was playing a Rabbi, and Sophia was there as a Russian dialect coach par excellence.

I’d like to think that his good deed for Sophia was “paid back” by the producers of All My Children, when they brought him back to life again for such a juicy role.  Mr. Guttman, you are doing a smashing job, although to be honest, you look a little bit too kind and bohemian to be a serial killer. But, hey, you’re getting paid! We’re looking forward to the big scene where you and Zach Slater finally have your big showdown (and he will probably kill you).  But who knows? — maybe when Zach finally kills you, it won’t be forever.  After all, you were dead once before, and see…

Sophia and I even forgive you for killing off Dixie.

So, let this be a lesson to everyone out there. Do something kind for someone today and you will be paid back in an unexpected way — like being brought back to life to play a serial killer on a soap opera!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: the always popular “Briefs or Boxers” post

Remember:  Send Carnival of the Mundane links to neilochka at yahoo dot com.

Goodbye to Trash (The Lyrics)

Last night, I was watching poker on TV and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, when I received a call from Sophia.   She’s coming home ONE DAY EARLY.   Sunday, not Monday!

Joy.  Joy.   But —

F**k!  I was supposed to be cleaning rather than watching poker on TV.   I needed to get on the job. 

Of course, a half hour later, as I was throwing out three bags of garbage, I came up with a song to sing on my blog about cleaning the house.  

Now, it would be totally irresponsible to spend the time making an Mp3 of me singing the song when I had so much work to do.   Isn’t that why Sophia and I are having problems to begin with?  Shouldn’t I prove that I’m a responsible person?

But I guess I could just post the lyrics.  That doesn’t take more than five minutes to do.  And I won’t put up a photo to save time.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  I think it is important to post something on Sunday when I actually get two readers.

Since Halloween is coming up, the song is sung to the tune of “Monster Mash.”

Goodbye to Trash

I was blogging in my house late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
The house was so dirty it was a shock
And Sophia was arriving at three o’clock

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

I called all my friends from Hollywood
Getting all the help that I could
Leaving emails to all I could reach
“Please come down to Redondo Beach!”

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

We washed the floor and the drapes
We went in the sofa and took out some old grapes
We threw out all the porno magazines
Cause this place was looking like Charlie Sheen’s

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

Sophia, I know you’ll be here soon
That’s why I’m singing you this little tune
I can’t wait to pick up you at LAX
Maybe, if I’m lucky, we’ll even have…

Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash
Goodbye to Trash
I was not being rash
Goodbye to Trash
It was out like a flash
Goodbye to Trash
I threw out the trash

(and thank you, Charming but Single — I will buy flowers.  And not the cheap ones)

Sophia, Fortune Cookies from Redondo Beach Never Tell a Lie

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fortune from Seafood Village, October 25, 2006

(the waiter with the cool Chinese name who calls himself Paul says hello and looks forward to your return from New York)

The Trees of California

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Even the trees of California
Are beginning to change color
Knowing you will be home
Soon

Happy Anniversary, Sophia!

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(thanks, Jerry, for the tree photo!)

Almost Weekend Update

Just some random blogging updates before the weekend —

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t worry about me.

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

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(Sophia Lansky)

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

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Life is good!

 

Donut Shop Redux (Now with Sprint Phone)

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Six months ago, Sprint invited me to become part of the Sprint Ambassador program. I received the Samsung SPH-A920 phone and free service for six months.  Sophia, being my blog editor, received one as well.  They were interested in feedback and let’s be honest — me blogging about it (although this wasn’t a requirement).  I really like the phone — it has great sound quality — but Sophia LOOOVES the phone and the service, especially now that she is in NY, working as a Russian Dialect Coach par excellence on an independent film. Miss Lansky uses it all the time and is totally turned on by the fact that you can download music, watch TV and movies, read the NY Times, play Ms. Pac-Man, get talking walking directions, find restaurants, etc. all on one phone. Of course, if we had to PAY for all of this, we wouldn’t be able to eat.

Sophia, being Sophia, thinks we can wrangle our way into getting another SIX months with the phone. I told her it was a six month deal, and everyone seems to have gotten the same email recently that “time was up.” Sophia does not understand those words.

“Maybe if you had blogged about the phone more, Sprint would let you keep it.”

“How many times can I blog about it? I did blog about it.”

“You blogged about it ONCE — using the camera phone to take a photo of your c**k. That’s not the type of publicity Sprint wants.”

“The official phone of Neil’s…”

“That’s not funny. Write about them one more time. Maybe they’ll extend the term.”

“I’m not going to do that. My readers will see right through that. I’m always complaining about how bloggers are sell-outs. They’ll lose all respect for me.”

“How much “respect” do they really have for you anyway? You don’t think THEY would sell you out for some free phone service?”

“Never. Brooke maybe. But no one else.”

“Just do it for me. Just write about them one more time.”

Now, as most of you know, “pleasing a woman” is my middle name. So, since most of you didn’t read my story about the donut shop from a few days ago, I’m now going to rewrite it, showing you how much more of a better “experience” it could have been if my Sprint Ambassador Phone had played a bigger role in the story.

THE INFOMERICAL 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 petite, middle-aged, Korean woman. After being woken up in the morning by the alarm on my Sprint Ambassador Phone, I went out to get something to eat. As I was driving, I decided I was in the mood for a donut. I used the Garmain GPS I downloaded onto the Sprint Ambassador Phone to lead me straight to my local donut shop. 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. I used my Sprint Ambassador Phone to read the New York Times and my favorite blogs on Bloglines. 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. I thought about downloading some tunes with my Sprint Phone, but I decided on watching the owner instead.

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 made a voice recording on the Sprint Ambassador Phone reminding me to call the TV network and complain about them showing this type of crap on air, and I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to email my attorney uncle in San Francisco about taking legal action against them.

I began to feel bad for this woman. She clearly had no talent in making either donuts or coffee. I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to IM my friend at El Camino Community College to see if there was some type of “refresher course” this woman could take. This woman was probably losing all her money in this awful donut shop. I used the calculator on the Sprint Ambassador Phone to do “the numbers.” It looked bad. And 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 took a photo of the woman with Sprint Ambassador Phone so I would always remember the sad moment, and emailed Sophia a copy.

“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. (is it monte or Monte? I used the dictionary on on my Sprint Ambassador Phone to figure it out). I was so furious that I squeezed my donut with my hand, shooting some jelly onto my shirt and the Sprint Ambassador Phone (but the sturdy plastic is easily cleaned).

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.

Luckily, I had my Sprint Ambassador Phone. I contacted Sarah, an Asian-languages professor at UCLA, and downloaded a English-Korean dictionary from the internet. I was able to explain everything to the woman in Korean, who revealed to me that she was about to invest her life savings with this crook. She was so grateful for my help that she offered me free donuts for life. I was honest and told her that her food needed improvement. I told her about this “Donut Shop” course they had at El Camino Community College. We quickly enrolled her online with my Sprint Ambassador Phone, grabbing the last spot in the class.

Meg (the donut owner’s name) now runs a chain of donut stores in Redondo Beach and is a great success. We also became lovers while Sophia was in New York. We send cutesy text messages to each other every day. Thank you Sprint Ambassador Phone. Think what else I could do with six more months of free service!

The Rosh Hashanah Challenge

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MC: It’s The Rosh Hashanah Challenge, the game show where you decide the winner! And here’s your host, fresh off her third-failed game show, former MTV star Kennedy!

Kennedy: Thank you. Welcome to The Rosh Hashanah Challenge. You know the rules. We bring out two contestants and they each tell us about their Rosh Hashanah, and the one with the most wild, exotic story wins. And you’re the ones who vote for the winner! So, let’s meet our two contestants. He’s a blogger from Los Angeles — Neil Kramer. And she’s a Russian dialect coach from Redondo Beach who is separated from her husband but still debating her next move — Sophia Lansky! Welcome, Neil and Sophia. Now, we flipped a coin before the show and Neil gets to tell his Rosh Hashanah story first.

Neil: Well, Kennedy, at first, I didn’t have anything special to do on the Jewish holiday, so Danny invited me to go to temple with his family. It was a very nice gesture, but the really surprising twist was — listen to this — they attend a gay and lesbian synagogue! Even thought they are straight, they like the rabbi and the service. When I heard about this “gay synagogue,” I was too excited for words. What a blog post I was going to write! What funny stories!

Kennedy: Oh, wow! Talk about a wild and exotic Rosh Hashanah. How were the rabbi and cantor?

Neil: Very nice. They were both women.

Kennedy: Oooh-hooo, do I hear make-out session during the service?

Neil: Actually, they were both pretty conservative.

Kennedy: What about the choir? Were they dressed like the Village People?!

Neil: No, they were normally dressed. They had very nice voices. It was a very pretty service. One of the best I’ve attended.

Kennedy: I guess all the crazy Queer Eye for the High Holy Days activities took place in the congregation?

Neil: No, everything was pretty much the same as every other Rosh Hashanah service I’ve ever attended. If you walked in, you wouldn’t even know it was a gay and lesbian congregation. My biggest surprise was how “normal” the whole thing was.

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Stained Glass at Beth Chayim Chadashim

Kennedy: That’s the story?

Neil: Pretty much.

Kennedy: That’s the wild and exotic story about going to a gay and lesbian temple for Rosh Hashanah?

Neil: Yeah.

Kennedy: (sighing) OK, let’s now turn to the second contestant, Sophia Lansky. Tell us about your Rosh Hashanah in New York.

Sophia: I also didn’t have anything planned, but Neil told me about this temple on the Upper West Side that was supposed to have a very nice service. I was sure they didn’t have any tickets left, but I asked Neil to find me the phone number online. He ended up mistakenly gaving me the phone number of one of the TEMPLE MEMBERS rather than the temple itself. So, this is how the phone conversation went:

NY Woman: Hello?

Me: Hi, I’m visiting from Los Angeles and I’m looking for somewhere to go for Rosh Hashanah. I was wondering if I can still come to you.

NY Woman: Uh… sure. That would be fine.

Me: Great! What time do things start?

NY Woman: I would say around 6:30.

Me: O.K. Could you do me a favor and just give me your address.

NY Woman: Yes. We are on XXX 79th Street, Apartment 3D.

Me: Apartment 3D?

NY Woman: Yes. Just ring the buzzer downstairs and take the elevator up.

Me: I don’t understand. Am I calling Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun?

NY Woman: Huh? You’re calling me — Millie Schwartz! Are you asking to come over for Rosh Hashanah dinner?

Sophia: After we both laughed about the misunderstanding, Millie and her husband invited me over for Rosh Hashanah dinner anyway! So, I went to a stranger’s house for dinner. It was amazing. There were a whole bunch of musicians there, and after dinner, everyone took out their guitars and started to sing.

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Kennedy: What a terrific story! It’s just too bad that you never made it to that synagogue!

Sophia: Oh, but I did. That same day, I was working on the film and someone mentioned that one of the actors was a member of this temple and that he could help get me a ticket! What luck. So, I went over to the actor to thank him, and I took one look at him — and I instantly recognized him as the actor who played billionaire Alexander Cambias on All My Children, my favorite soap opera. So, I went to temple using a ticket given to me by a character on All My Children!

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Billionaire Alexander Cambias Sr. (aka Ronald Guttman)

Kennedy: This story get better and better!

Sophia: While at temple, I sat next to a woman who happened to be, of all things, a Spanish court interpreter! So after services, she invited me to accompany her to dinner at another person’s home! So, off we went, to a home of two young opera singers/students — after I kissed the cheek of the actor who played Alexander Cambias for helping me get a ticket to temple!

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Kennedy: Holy Moses! That story blows my mind.

Neil: Uh, gay temple over here! What could be more wild?

Kennedy: Yeah, right. Now it is up to you — the audience. The Rosh Hashanah Challenge. Which story is more exotic and wild? Neil’s story of the “gay” temple where nothing “gay” happened or Sophia’s tale of dinner at the homes of strangers and her kissing Alexander Cambias from All My Children? You decide!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Ode to the Coffee Shop

Friday

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What a coincidence!  I live in Redondo Beach, too!

Other more important things:

Danny Miller of Jew Eat Yet has a terrific piece in the Huffington Post (or as Sophia calls it, “that vile Hollywood liberal rag”)

Jay Allen of the ultra-popular Zero Boss has a funny video complaining about his hosting company, Dreamhost, and mentions me.  (I’m with Dreamhost, too, and it is the reason this site has been down half the week) 

Ms. Sophia Lansky sends regards.  She is working very hard on the movie in New York — 16 hour days — but she is now getting paid more.  Sophia is a Russian dialect coach to an American actress (Natasha Gregson Wagner) and an American English dialect coach to a Russian actor (Semyon Strugachev).   But she still gets to see “The Producers” on Sunday.

I am getting the bulk of my traffic today from Pantiesetc.com, the Men in Panties Community (I am not joking!).  I’m not sure whether I should be happy or concerned about this interesting development with my blog.

And hear this, former “Bloggers With Biceps” members  — we have a success story way better than any other phony one from Jenny Craig — Alison joined a gym back then.  Not only is she now a sexy hardbody, but she’s going to WORK at her gym and inspire others!

And finally, since this post is really about nothing, I have a couple of real-life questions that might give you a hint of the excitement of my day tomorrow.   What do people use that is most effective in cleaning a kitchen floor and shower/bathtub?   And do men still iron their dress shirts or do they usually give them out to the cleaners?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthMy First Attempt at Looting

Sophia, Thinking of You at Dinner

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The Romantic Post

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

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

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

Thursday Morning, 8AM,  Los Angeles —

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Thursday Morning, 8AM, New York —

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Sophia:  “Uh, I don’t get it.”

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

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

Neil:  “No?’

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

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

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

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

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

Neil:  “A few years.”

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

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

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

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

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

Neil:  “No.”

Sophia:  “Now you’re shy?”

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

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

Neil:  “OK, here…”

I email the photo to Sophia.  She starts laughing.

Neil:  “What’s so funny?”

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

 

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthNeilochka vs. Nicole

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