the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: November 2005 (Page 2 of 2)

Dear Chinese People,


Dear Chinese People,

For most of my life, your fine Chinese cuisine has been there for me.   No matter where I went, I always found the comfort of your Kung Pao chicken and Hunan Beef.   I’ve feasted in some of your fancier establishments.  I’ve slurped down your food in your cheaper ones.  I’ve enjoyed your $4.99 lunch specials that come with wonton soup and eggroll.   I’ve frequently answered my door to find your smiling delivery man standing there with outstretched arms.

I love you, Chinese food.   You have been my favorite for as long as I remember.  I used to dream about you and your lo mein.

But lately, I feel as if we’ve grown apart.   Although I still enjoy our dates, I feel unfulfilled with your sauces.   Your old standards seem a bit boring.  I’ve tried every dish on your menu.  Every combination platter.   And my eyes have begun to wander.  

Last night, I was hungry, so I drove to my local restaurant, "Hunan Cafe."  But as I was about to pull into the parking lot, I could smell something sensual drawing me elsewhere — to "Chili Thai House" across the street.

I know this is hard to hear, but over the past year,  I’ve found myself thinking more and more about your two beautiful cousins — Japanese food and Thai food.   While I love your  Chinese "earthiness," there is a certain elegance to these other cuisines that you seem to lack.  I ‘m not sure I even think of you as my "favorite" anymore.  At night, rather than dream about lo mein, I dream about the slender curves of the sashimi at "Tokyo Fish."

I’ve tried to keep our relationship going.   My Jewish family is much more comfortable with me going out to be with you than with these more "exotic" Asians.    I’ve tried to add spice to our relationship by doing it in different ways — Cantonese, Hunan, and Szechuan.  I’ve even gone to Chinatown to eat in restaurants that cater to real Chinese customers, but some of those weird-looking dishes were just too kinky for me.

Sometimes, we need to —

"Let go of the past and be grateful for what we had." 

I read that on a fortune cookie from a Chinese Restaurant in Sacramento.    And the cookie is very wise.   We both need to learn from our experiences and move on.

You will never be lonely.  Everyone loves you.   And so do I — just not the same way as I used to.    I wish you all the happiness in the world.  In fact, Double Happiness.   Although I am currently very attracted to the gentle allure of sushi and the complexity of Tum Kha Gai,  I will always remember you as my first love.

Forever yours,


This is NOT a Blog Anymore


Over the weekend, I purposely avoided reading blogs written by women in order to explore the world of male blogging.

Here are a few of my insights:

1) Too many men write about too many boring subjects — like computer technology, politics, gadgets, business news, and management styles.   Ironically, these are the most popular sites on the web and  make up most of the Technorati 100.

2) Blogs are getting BIG in the business world.  Companies from Microsoft to Tivo all want to market their products with a “human” face by having a “blog.”   Some even suggest that Walmart should start blogging.

IBM is getting into blogging in a big way.  According to CNN:

IBM thinks blogging is the next wave in marketing, and it’s preparing its employees to ride that wave, according to a published report.

With an eye on blogging’s potential to influence future employees and business partners, the technology bellwether began offering blogging tools to its workers six months ago, according to

“Other companies have fired people for blogging, but IBM is encouraging it,” Christopher Barger, IBM’s unofficial “blogger in chief,” said in the report.

According to, IBM employees who blog are advised to follow the company’s business  code of conduct, respect copyright laws and to not reveal proprietary information.

The report said IBM now has 15,000 registered internal bloggers, and more than 2,200 of those workers publish external blogs.

My childhood friend, Tuck, works for IBM in New York.  I asked him today what his IBM blog was going to be about.

“I have no idea.  LAN administration?”

“Can you show pictures of your cute son on your IBM blog?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Do you know if any hot IBM women will be blogging?”

“There’s a really good-looking redhead who works in financial services, but her blog is mostly about accounting software.”

“Any photos of her on her blog?”


“Well, thanks for the info.  My readers will appreciate it.  I’m looking forward to your first post.”

3) Some bloggers are making money.   Did you know that if you have some specific skill or expertise you can pitch your blog idea to one of the blog networks?  This will get you a lot more exposure — and maybe some money down the road.

Unfortunately, you have to have some expertise in something.  And you have to write about the same subject every day.  And if your blog is supposed to be about “Sports Equipment,” you can’t decide to write about, say — your wife.

4)  Because of the growth of blogging, the concept of a “blog” is changing.  Readers are expecting a blog to be about “something.”  IBM employees will write about IBM products.  Defamer and Gawker will write about celebrities and the media.  Engadget will write about gadgets.

So, where does this leave bloggers like most of us who write mostly nonsense?  You know, those of us who write about what we had for breakfast today?

When I started blogging several months ago, this is what I thought a blog was.  Now, I see that blogging is being usurped by those who want to say something, market something, or sell something.

Soon, a BLOG will have a whole new meaning, one associated with real-life issues.

That’s why, from now on, I don’t consider “Citizen of the Month” a blog anymore.

From now on, I will think of “Citizen of the Month” as a “Shpritz.”

shpritz:  a short spray of seltzer from a seltzer bottle

Every day, I will write a daily Shpritz.

And like a shpritz from a bottle, a literary shpritz will spray you in the face to get your attention, but it will never, ever stain your clothes.

Good-bye, blog.  Hello, Shpritz.

Neilochka Girls


While I ignore my female readers for another day, here’s just a little something to remind them that I still care:

Neilochka Girls (mostly stolen from the Beach Boys)

Well, east coast blogging babes
I really dig their writing styles
And the southern gals with their flirty posts
I love to ‘Save’ their HTML files
The mid-west farmer’s daughter’s blogs — they never let me down
And the northern girls with their Flickr sites
Of the parties in their towns.

I wish they all could be neilochka
I wish they all could be neilochka
I wish they all could be neilochka girls

The west coast has the fancy blogs
They’re always so well-designed
And the girls they write so openly
About the time they sixty-nined.

I’ve read a lot of women bloggers
Some think they are "great wits"
But I always rush back to my site
Because my readers have the best tits.

I wish they all could be neilochka
I wish they all could be neilochka
I wish they all could be neilochka girls

A Few Good Men


I’ve created my own Frankenstein monster here.   Because I’ve spent so much time flirting with female bloggers, my male readers are abandoning me faster than the Israelites left Egypt.  At 9PM tonight, my last post, which was addressed mostly to my female readers, had 49 comments.  I love getting comments, and I appreciate it.  But that was 42 comments from women and only 7 comments from my own gender.

This had got to stop. 

We all know the type.  He comes to the bar with a buddy.  Then he meets a cute bunch of girls.  They want to go out with him — just him.  So, he goes to his friend and says:

"You don’t mind going home by yourself, do you?  I think I just might get lucky!"

I hate those guys.  And I am turning into him.

This is as old a problem as Adam and Eve.  Women are beautiful, seductive, and smell good.  But who is really there for you when a woman drops you like a hot potato so she can screw around with that Beverly Hills attorney she met in her yoga class? 

It’s your male friends.  Your male buddies. 


I love you guys.  I love my male readers.   I love blogs written by males.   Sure, I don’t visit you as often as the women.   That’s because I know you will always be there for me.  You won’t ever take me off your blogroll because I made a joke about "your tits" in an email!  You have a healthy sense of humor.

My female readers are overly demanding and high maintenance.  They always want posts that are "funny."  If they don’t like your post one day, off they go to another male blogger like Brando or Pauly D.

Female commenters require a lot of work on my part.   I don’t just read your comments.  I also visualize you naked.  Sometimes, the two of us are in compromising positions based on the Kama Sutra book that I bought, but never used. 

Now imagine having to do this 42 times a day!  That’s 42 voracious female bloggers I have to satisfy every day, even if it is just in my mind!

By the end of the day, my eyes are blurry from looking at the monitor all day — and I can hardly walk.  God help me if this blog ever gets really popular and I have to work my way through 100 female comments. 

I can just imagine it:  "Tonight on Eyewitness News — LA Blogger Dies in Chair After Reading too Many Comments from Attractive Women Bloggers."

No, the madness must stop now.


In order to wean myself off of my addiction to women bloggers, I must go cold turkey.

So — from now through Saturday Night, I will not read ANY BLOG written by a  female blogger.  This will give me time to bond with my fellow male bloggers. 

I will read only blogs written by MEN.  I will learn more about their manly dreams and aspirations.  I will learn what makes other men tick.  I will comment about things such as work, sports, politics, women, fatherhood, and other things that MEN are interested in. 

I will IGNORE all comments written by WOMEN.  I will answer only those comments written by MEN.

I love you guy bloggers, all of you.  Really.  Come on, let’s all have a manly group hug.  Let’s yell MANLY things together!  Let’s show the women that "personal" blogging isn’t just for women and wimpy "artistes."  Blogging is as MANLY as football and NASCAR!

I’m sorry, women.  I know I am disappointing you. 

But it’s NOT YOU.  It’s ME. 

Thank you for all your wonderful comments today.  I can honestly say I fantasized about having sex with each and every one of you today — sometimes more than once.  You were all amazing.  And I think I gave you a pretty good time as well.   

But now, you are DEAD TO ME.

At least until Sunday, when I’ll come back to your blogs.  I’m not worried too much about you still being upset at me.   I know women are suckers for us men:

You always take the guy back. 


Truth in Advertising


Last week, I bought a toaster.  On the box, it sold itself as "ideal" for toasting bagels.  But then when I tried to used it, I had to literally stuff my bagel halves into the slots because they wouldn’t fit. 

I hate false advertising.

I bring this up because a few nights ago, I was IM-ing with a female blogger about WordPress when she started flirting with me.  I found this a little strange because I didn’t do anything to instigate this flirting.  But then I realized what was going on — she had read my archives and got the impression of me as a flirtatious playboy, and a kinky one to boot. 

It got me thinking — am I involved in false advertising myself?

OK, let me be honest.  I haven’t been shy about flirting with my female readers.  I have at one time or another visualized most of you, both married and single, as being naked in my bed.  But before you call me a sicko — at least give me credit for being one of the few male bloggers who will actually admit this publicly.

Ladies — you have to understand how exciting it is for a man to have dozens of sexy, beautiful, and witty women coming to HIS blog because they are interested in something HE has to say!  This never happens to most of us men in REAL LIFE!

In fact, this is as close as it gets to that fantastical heaven that those crazy male Muslim fanatics believe in — where dozens of virginal women surround them wearing nothing but lingerie.  Except in my case, I press "Publish" rather than blow things up, my female readers probably wear torn sweatpants rather than lingerie while they read my blog, and considering my readers’ lascivious interests,  my female blogging buddies haven’t been virgins for a very LONG time. 

Now, so far, most of my flirting hasn’t gone beyond the written word.  But who knows?  Maybe one day, I’ll be meeting up with a female blogger, we’ll get a little drunk on Chianti, and before you know it — we’re naked in the bedroom. 

Not only would that be an amazing sexual experience — imagine the great post I would have for the next day!  I already can visualize the 100 comments!

But, like I said, I do not believe in false advertising.  I would hate to disappoint anyone in bed.  So, let me dispel three myths about me that you might have gotten from reading my blog.   Let me help you better know the real Neilochka, not the blog Neilochka.  This way, if we ever really do end up in the bed together, you won’t accuse me of sex under "false pretenses."







MYTH 1)   Neil is an exciting guy.

The truth is — Neil is boring.  Think about it.  I love to blog.  And what is blogging?    Blogging is sitting around your apartment and typing on the computer.  Is there anything more boring than that? 

Every once in a while, Sophia will drag me out, and while I’m there, I’ll say, "This will make a great blog story."  I’ll start writing the blog post on the back of a napkin.  This drives Sophia up a wall.  She has told me that I have become infinitely MORE BORING since I’ve started to blog.  And she thought I was boring before blogging.

Sometimes, while driving in the car, I’ll turn to Sophia:

"I have this great idea for a blog post tonight."

"Will you shut up about your stupid blog.  Enough already!  I don’t want to hear anymore about your blog!"

"Anyway, here’s my blog idea…"

So, ladies,  write this down.  Neilochka =  boring.

MYTH 2)   Neil talks dirty in the bedroom and  is kinky.

OK, Sophia, stop laughing. 

Now, it is true that I frequently use words like "cock," "pussy," and "fuck" in my posts.  But I am the complete opposite of the shy girl who turns into an wild animal in the bedroom, screaming "Fuck me!   Fuck me with your big cock!"  

The truth is I never curse in real life.  Not even when driving in traffic.  I never put up my middle finger.  I never use any dirty words, including the ones mentioned above.  Why do you think my mother can read those posts and find them amusing?  She knows how she raised me.  She knows that in real life, the word  "cock" has never ONCE been part of my vocabulary.

Sophia has a dirty mouth.  She can curse like a sailor.  For years, she has tried to get me to curse, or at least not to be offended by her cursing, but I just can’t.  I am totally pathetic.  I am totally vanilla, which happens to be my favorite ice cream flavor.

Many of you would be bored with me in the bedroom.  I only know a few "positions."  I recently saw a book of Kama Sutra sex positions — and I didn’t know 3/4 of them even existed.   Who can do all that stuff, with the woman hanging upside down?  I have never had sex in an airplane, a car, an elevator, a library, the kitchen, the garage, my parents’ home, the state of New Mexico, and countless other interesting places. 

If, for some reason, we are making out in some hotel, and we are about to make love, I strongly advise you to call Sophia on her cellphone beforehand — just to learn more about what I can and cannot do.  Please be advised that just because I am an amazing stud in a post doesn’t guarantee a repeat performance in the REAL WORLD.

Also, remember this important piece of information:

Objects in the Blog may appear bigger than their actual size.

MYTH 3)  Neil has a great smile.

So far, the only photo of myself that I have published is this one. 


After I published it, someone emailed me and wrote, "What a nice smile you have."

In reality, I am self-conscious about how I look.  When I was about to publish the photo, I thought my teeth looked too dark.  So, if you zoom in, you can see that I used my expert Photoshop skills to whiten my teeth.  Months later, Sophia still makes fun of me about that.

Now I can sleep better, knowing you know the truth.

Stolen Photos, Stolen Lives


What better time than election day to write about stealing and illegal activitiy:  more specifically, stealing photos from websites.

I’ve been noticing on my stats that there is a tremendous amount of hotlinking of "celebrity" photos that are on my server — most notably the popular-for-some-unknown-reason Nicole Richie.  I don’t really care that "ana" sites use these photos  — after all, I stole them myself from other places.   But when I steal, I outrightly steal.  I right-click and press SAVE.  I don’t steal the person’s bandwidth.  Those who don’t steal the photos outright are just plain wimps.

To be honest, I’m not proud of my stealing.  I do try to give credit to the photographer, but sometimes I forget in my race to get the post over to Sophia for checking.  I guess I’m such a small fry that nobody really cares yet about my stealing, but I have a feeling it will bite me in the ass at some point.  

In real life, I’m a very law-abiding citizen — a real goody-two-shoes.  Why do you think it is called "Citizen of the Month?"  I do not litter.  I have never shoplifted anything — even a piece of bubble gum.  So, my stealing of photos is very special to me.   It is probably one of the most "wild and dangerous" acts of my life.   It makes me feel like I’m on a Harley zooming down Route 66, sneering at the domesticated locals.   

Talk about being a rebel with a photographic cause!

Today, I happened to read David Simmer’s blog, Blogography.  He had a post about some "web thieves" that blew me away — and made me feel like an amateur:

Back in February, I got an email from my friend Dave++ telling me how somebody had taken photos and content from his web site and created a new fictional person based on his life (you can read the fascinating story here). Something similar had happened to me the previous summer, so I could relate… a reader had sent me an email telling me that somebody had stolen most of my travel photos (like these) and then blogged about the trips as if they were the one who had taken them. I was curious more than upset, and fired off an email telling them that they should either give me credit for my photos or remove them. Instead, they removed the entire blog, which was okay too.

But that was not the end of it. I still get emails from Blogography readers pointing me to other sites that have stolen my stuff. Sometimes it’s just a photo or two, which is no big deal (though I do wish they would give me credit, as specified by my Creative Commons license)… but other times it’s much worse. They steal entire entries. They steal cartoons and erase the copyright. The steal photos and claim to have taken them. They steal my site layout. They steal my web feed. They steal EVERYTHING.

What really burns my ass is that many times these thieves have money-generating ads on their blogs, meaning that they are PROFITING off of my work. Do you see any ads on MY site? No? That’s because THERE AREN’T ANY! If I am not making any money off of Blogography, why should anybody else get to??

I felt conflicting emotions after reading one.  First. I felt anger at those who were stealing from a fellow blogger, especially such a talented one.  But more importantly, I felt my image as the rebel photo-stealer quickly crumbling.  My Harley turned into a Schwinn bicycle and the locals on Route 66 were yelling at me to get off the road. 

These web thieves were way more devious than I was.  They didn’t just steal the photos.  They actually stole someone else’s travel experiences.  They stole other people’s lives!  How many times have I had nothing to blog about?  Think how easy it would be — I could steal some photos of the Eiffel Tower from someone else’s blog and write about "my trip" to Paris! 

Why didn’t I think of that first?

It’s an eye-opening experience to realize that there are those who are more committed to blog-stealing than yourself.  But I don’t give up easily.  I depend on my "bad-boy" image to keep many of my female readers returning. 

I had an idea.

Last week, I was jealous of many of you as you displayed your Halloween photos.  Some of you went trick or treating with your families, your cute costumed kids in tow.  Others went to wild Halloween parties. 

I sat home and did nothing.  I bought a package of "Hershey’s Assorted," but not one kid even rang my bell.  It was tedious and frankly, embarrassing. 

But do I really have to tell you the truth about my boring Halloween?  Not anymore!   Why — it’s just as easy to go onto Ashbloem’s site and steal her Halloween photos — and say that they are mine!  Who would ever find out?

So, here is my latest post on:

My Rockin’ Halloween


I got to the private Halloween party in Hollywood around 10PM.  It was wild.  Mucho celebrity action.  Drinking.  Drugs.  You name it. 


Here I am in my "Fidel Castro" costume with my pals Diego and Sara Lee.


The fun really began when the "Sushi Sisters" showed up.  They were totally wasted.  I flirted with them and asked them if they were "dunked" in soy sauce.  One of them said that I would need to "taste" them to find out.  All five of us went into the "private" back room for a little "private" sushi feast.


Tensions rose when Sophia showed up, without a costume, still wearing the business suit she wears as a Russian dialect coach.  She wanted to know if I was there.   My friends tried to cover for me, but Sophia heard the laughter in the "private" room.


All hell broke out at the party after Sophia entered the room.  The cops had to come to break it up. 

What a night!

(all photos stolen from Ashbloem, except the last one, which I don’t remember where I stole it from)

Dating for Liberals


As with many inter-politically-married couples, the week before election day is the the tensest time of the year for Sophia and me.  It is a time of name-calling and dirty political tricks.  Is it any coincidence that when I forgot to fix Sophia’s laptop like I promised her three times, those all too-familiar ugly words slipped out of her mouth, "You LIBERALS and your empty promises!"?  Or that Sophia almost got into a car accident on the 405 when her car radio was "accidentally" programmed to loudly play a progressive talk show on KPFK, our local Pacifica Radio Station?

Today, I decided that "enough is enough."  Our relationship was doomed.  Despite the fact that Republican women are amazing in the bedroom, I was done with them.  It was time for me to settle down with a nice liberal girl, someone educated at a good liberal college, a progressive-thinking girl who enjoys both bowling and pro-union protests. 

Luckily, I discovered Democratic Singles Network — Dating for Democrats and Progressive Thinkers.

Your politics say much about you! At Democratic Singles Network you’ll meet progressive people with visionary world views – Democrats, Greens, Activists – Left-Thinkers of all flavors are what you’ll find at this dating site. It’s Free to join and initiate contact with thousands of liberal singles!

Not only was this a great place to meet sexy progressive women, but by joining up, I would be playing a role in saving our planet!


The primary "mission" of this dating site is to be your progressive love connection of course! We will strive very hard to make this dating site the best place on the Internet for you to meet and date Democrats, and other progressive singles. We’d like to let you in on a little secret though .. we have another mission as well ~ to help save our planet! We donate half our profits to environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, NRDC, and other heroic groups who are fighting on the front lines of what is no less than a battle for our planet’s survival. When election time rolls around again, we’ll be donating to candidates that see a world of sustainable green possibilities waiting to be explored, instead of a world waiting to be exploited for greenbacks. Let’s make this happen together!


The testimonials from happy customers were equally impressive.

actual testimonials from the site:

SOOOO happy to find a dating site for Democrats. I have been doing eHarmony (don’t get me started on how much I hate eHarmony) and and I just can’t date another conservative K*

I don’t care to date narrow-minded, judgmental, religiously fanatical, etc., etc., Republican women. J*

 I really found yor (sic) concept directed more cool people towards me and visa versa than any yet. M*

You DO have a great singles site. I figure– the worst case senario (sic) is, if we can’t vote the Republicans out- we can hook up Democratic couples and breed them out. Hee hee– well, we could have fun trying. Anyway– thanks for all your hard work to create the site—its a brilliant idea. Regards, C*

Your site is GREAT! I’m having a ball! Hopefully we’ll rescue the world from the moronic bush administration before it’s too late! Thanks. Peace. F*


"What a great service," I said to myself.  "I can get laid and vote Bush out of office all in one swoop!"

I couldn’t wait to meet my progressive soulmate.  Not only are liberal women usually better educated and more socially-conscious, they tend to have a more liberal stance on sex and marriage issues — so I might even score on the first date!

I quickly signed up for the service.

After perusing through all the photos and profiles, I settled on Judy, a vivacious dolphin trainer in San Diego.  She was pretty, a union advocate, and she believed that sexual matters should not be dictated by the Supreme Court.



I contacted her via IM, and we started having a terrific conversation.  We talked about some of her favorites in the arts:  "The West Wing," Sarah McLachlan, Bono, Michael Moore, Frida Kahlo, and "The Vagina Monologues." 

I told her that those were all my favorites, too, and things started to heat up.

"So, Judy, what are you wearing?" I asked.

"I’m sitting here in my "PETA:  NO FUR"  t-shirt — with NOTHING else on…"


"Wow.  You sound like a very sexy woman."

"I am.  I’m multi-orgasmic.  I teach a class in Women’s Sexuality at Women’s Center after our union meetings."

"I’d like to sit in on that class."

"It sounds like you might be threatened by a woman with a strong sexuality."

"No, no, no, of course not.  I believe the more orgasms in this world, the better for everyone."

Judy laughed.  I was beginning to really like her.

"You know, Judy, maybe this weekend I can drive down to San Diego and we can go out for some hamburgers."

"Hamburgers — meat?!  Yuch, yuch, yuch.  You eat meat?  Do you know how they torture those innocent animals… I could never date anyone who ate…"

"I meant Tofu-burgers.   I just call them hamburgers, but I meant Tofu-burgers.  That’s just what they call them here — Hymn-burgers…  yeah, Hymn-burgers:  their tagline is "It’s so good you’ll want to say a hymn to God!"

"Never heard of them."

"They’re new.  Only in LA."


"You’re interesting.  You know you sound sexy, too.  What are you wearing?"

Well, I just got out of the shower, so all I’m wearing is a towel."

"Hmmm… I’d like to know what’s under that towel"

"Oh, would you?"

"So, what type of towel is it?  Large or small?

"Hmm… well, actually it’s just a simple burgundy-colored terry cloth towel from Walmart."

"Walmart?!  You buy things at the anti-union Walmart?  I could never date anyone who shops…"


"No, no, no… I made a mistake.  It’s K-mart.  It’s K-mart."

"They’re not much better."

"Yeah, but I’m looking at the label.  It was made in Sweden, by Swedish union workers who were grossly overpaid."

"Are you trying to fool me?"

"Of course not.  I’m a strong advocate against injustice.  Look at my recent post against the Target Corporation’s stance on the "morning after’ pill."

Judy clicked on my website and started to read my post.

"Excellent," she said.  "Really nice.  I think this post is actually making me horny for you."


"Let me just finish reading the comments." 

After a moment —

"Who is this jerk who keeps on disagreeing with you?  Some jackass Republican.  Sophia?… do you actually know her?"

"Uh, well, yes, I do know her.  She’s really not a jackass.  She’s actually, well, she’s my wife…"

"Your wife!"

"But I’m separated!  We’re separated a year and a half!" 

"I don’t care about that.  I sleep with married men all the time.  But, she’s a Republican!  What kind of person are you?  Did you actually sleep in the same bed with a war-monger!?"

"Not every night.  Some nights, she threw me out and I slept on the living room couch."

"I could never date anyone who would have such low moral fiber and date, let alone marry, a Republican."

"But I never switched sides!  Not once!  Don’t I get any brownie points for that?"

"You never once voted Republican?"

"Never.  She tried.  Oh, she tried.  She was like a Reaganite femme fatale.  At night, she would prance around the living room wearing her undies that read, "If You Want This Bush, You Better Vote For That Bush!"  Can you imagine how torturous that was!  But I never caved in!"

"I see.  I guess that is pretty impressive.  And there is something sexy about  a "bad boy" — especially one who’s seen the dark side of the Republican party, like you have.  Do you have a cam?  I’d like to see what you look like."

We both set up our video-cams.  An image of Judy came onto my monitor. She was a hottie.

"Jeez, Judy, you’re beautiful."

"Not so bad yourself, Neilochka.   Hmm, I see you’re still wearing that towel.  What if it just happened to fall down?"

"You mean like this?"

I let the towel fall, exposing myself.

"Exactly.  Uh-huh.   You know, I don’t usually ask this on a first conversation, but how would you like to have some phone/cam sex?"

"This is working out great," I thought to myself.  "Usually, when my penis makes an appearance in one of these stories, it’s a signal that something is going to go wrong.  But not this time!"

Just then, Billy Ray Cyrus’ song "Achy Breaky Heart" started to play.

"You can tell the world you never was my girl,
You can burn my clothes up when I’m gone,
You can tell your friends just what a fool I’ve been,
And laugh and joke about me on the phone."

"What’s that?" asked Judy.

"Oh, it’s just my Big Mouth Billy Bass."

I turned to my novelty rubber bass that was hanging on my wall, singing the song.


"Is that a dead fish hanging there like a trophy?" she asked.

"It’s a joke.  It’s not a real fish."

"That is disgusting.  I am a dolphin trainer, and do you know how many bass and dolphins are actually killed every year by poachers looking for cheap tuna?"

"I didn’t mean to insult fish.  It’s paying tribute to fish.  It’s a funny little novelty."

Big Mouth Billy kept on singing.

"You can tell my arms go back to the farm,
You can tell my feet to hit the floor,
Or you can tell my lips to tell my fingertips,
They won’t be reaching out for you no more."

Judy shook her head, disgusted.

"And do you find it funny that as the fish of the world are depleted, so is the rainforest?"

"It’s just a mechanical rubber fish.  It’s not a real fish.   When you step near it, it starts singing a Country Western song?"

"You listen to country western music?! — Yuch, red state music!  Goodbye!"

As she disconnected from me…

"And don’t you come on the Democratic Singles Network ever again!"


"But don’t tell my heart,
My achy breaky heart,
I just don’t think he’d understand.
And if you tell my heart,
My achy breaky heart,
He might blow up and kill this man.

Modern Politics


While I was over at Sophia’s place today, she played me all the political messages that were on her answering machine relating to Election Day.  California always has hundreds of confusing initiatives on the ballot, and frankly I’m not sure how most people even understand what they are all about. 

Sophia is a registered Republican and got several messages from her party, including one "directly" from Governor Schwarzenegger himself.  I received messages from the Democratic Party since I’m still registered here in Redondo Beach.

All of the messages contained no clear reason to vote one way or another other than party identification.

As we sat down to catch up on a week’s worth of "All My Children" episodes, Sophia had a sudden urge for watermelon.  We took a walk to the supermarket.  As we left the supermarket with our overpriced watermelon, we were stopped by a scraggly-looking guy who asked us if we wanted to sign a petition against redistricting.  You show me a petition – I think it must be for a good cause.  I agreed to sign it.

Sophia wasn’t as easy a customer.  She asked the Scraggly Petition Guy all sorts of questions.  Even after the guy gave some semi-reasonable answers, Sophia didn’t buy it.  She said she didn’t believe in the petition, so she couldn’t honestly sign it. 

"No problem," said the guy.

He pulled out another petition and handed it to her.

"Then maybe you’ll sign this.  It’s for the opposite side."

Sophia and I glanced at each other.

"What’s going on?" I asked the petition guy.  "You’re petitioning for opposite points of views at the same time?  I’ve never seen this before."

"I’m not petitioning for anything," he answered.  "I get paid a buck a signature by both sides.   He-he-he.  Sweet deal.  You’re sure you don’t wanna sign?"

Stars of David (or My Mother Will Find This Funny)


On Wednesday, November 15, 2005, the 92nd St. Y, one of the premier cultural institutions of New York, presents a special program titled "Stars of David" — Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick:  Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.

Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick:  Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.  The "Stars of David," some of America’s most prominent Jews talk about their Jewish identity (or lack of one) and reveal how they became who they are today. Jason Alexander played George Costanza in Seinfeld. Leonard Nimoy, most famous as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, directed Three Men and a Baby and The Good Mother. Kyra Sedgwick is known for her film roles in Born on the Fourth of July and Something to Talk About and stars in TNT’s Closer. Celebrity guests subject to change.

As one of the premier Jewish bloggers in the Blogosphere,  Citizen of the Month was invited to sit down and have a pre-program discussion with the three prominent Jewish celebrities.

Neil:  Hello, all.

Leonard, Jason, and Kyra:  Hello, Neilochka.


Neil:  Let me start with you, Leonard.  What was it like playing Spock, the only Jew on the Starship Enterprise?

Leonard:  Spock was a Vulcan, not Jewish.

Neil:  I always heard that the Vulcan hand sign was a Jewish thing?

Leonard:  It’s actually based on a special priestly blessing gesture I once say in temple with my father…

Neil:  Interesting.  So, what was it like being the only Jewish actor on the set?

Leonard:  Actually, William Shatner is Jewish.  Every year on Passover, I throw this celebrity seder and…

Neil:  Is Chekhov Jewish?

Leonard:  Yes, Walter Koening is…

Neil:  Thank God he wasn’t a Russian Russian.  They’re a bunch of anti-Semites. 

Leonard:  Walter is not really…

Neil:  I was wondering about this recently — do you think there will be anti-Semitism in space?  Wherever we go, there always seems to be.  With our luck, the Jews will be blamed for every meteor shower.

Leonard:  I don’t know, but like I was saying, every Passover at my celebrity seder, Bill and I…

Neil:  Bill doesn’t really use Priceline, does he?  Because it just feeds into that "Jews are cheap" thing.

Jason:  Excuse me, Neil, if I can step in for a sec.   I really think we should focus more on the positive issues of Jewish identity.


Neil:  Yes, yes, thank you, Jason.  Actually, I was always wondering, was George Costanza Jewish?

Jason:  Well, Larry and Jerry never really specified…

Neil:  But they’re both Jewish, right?

Jason:  Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld are both Jewish, yes.

Neil:  So, why didn’t they specify that George was Jewish?

Jason:  I think NBC was too worried that the show was too Jewish.

Neil:  I see.  I guess Jerry was Jewish.  And Elaine was Jewish.

Jason:  No, Elaine was Catholic.

Neil:  Yeah, right.  Elaine was like totally Jewish.

Jason:  In the show, she was supposed to be Catholic.

Neil:  Sure.  But you know and I know that she was really Jewish.   (to Leonard)  Just like we all know that Sulu was always gay.  Right, Leonard?  You could see it in the way he held his phaser.

Leonard:  Actually, I didn’t know about him.  But I have this very funny story where one Passover, George Takei came over to my celebrity seder and he never had gefilte fish before and…

Jason:  I throw a celebrity seder, too.  A lot of Jerry’s friends come over.  Comedians.  You should hear Bob Saget read the Four Questions!  Kyra, you were once at my celebrity seder, right?

Kyra:  Yes, I was, Jason.  It was a wonderful celebrity seder.


Neil:  Kyra, I had no idea you were Jewish.

Kyra:  I am.

Neil:  You have one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood.  But remind me again, what have you been in?

Kyra:  I’ve been in many films, including…

Neil:  But basically, you’ve most famous for being Kevin Bacon’s wife?

Kyra:  Well, maybe is some circles, but I’ve also…

Neil:  Don’t you find it ironic that someone Jewish marries someone named Bacon?

Kyra:  I think that comment is a little rude.  Kevin deeply respects the Jewish people.

Jason:  Kevin attended my celebrity seder, also.

Leonard:  Your little shindig sounds very nice, Jason, but my celebrity seder recently got a write-up in Los Angeles magazine where they called it the A-list celebrity seder.

Jason starts laughing.

Leonard:  What’s so funny?

Jason:  I’m sorry, Leonard, but George Hamilton is just not A-list any more.

Leonard:  Listen, shmendrick, how kosher are those KFC drumsticks you hawk?

Jason:  At least I’m not a pervert.  I’ve seen those sick photos you call art of naked Jewish women wearing prayer shawls.

Leonard:  My photos have been displayed in museums, you shlemazel! 

Jason:  Do you know who you’re talking to?  I’m friends with Jerry Seinfeld!  Jerry Seinfeld!

Leonard:  Like I’m scared of your scrawny nebbish friend.  And, by the way, how many failed sitcoms are you going to be in before you realize that you’ll always be George Costanza.  And he wasn’t even Jewish!

Jason and Leonard stand, ready for a fight.  Kyra runs in between them.

Kyra:  Men!  Men!  Please!  We’re all mishpocha here!

Jason:  How would you like a Vulcan hand sign in your eyes, Nimoy?

Leonard:  Your last sitcom was awful, you little pisher!  Awful!

Jason:  I spit on you, you alter kakher.  I spit on your celebrity seder!

Leonard picks up a chair, threatening Jason.

Leonard:  I’m going to break your head in half, like the afikomen!

Jason:  (in Galican Yiddish)  Sie haut gevain a courva in de momma’ s bouch.

Leonard: (in Lithuanian Yiddish)  Shainera menchen haut me gelicht in drert.

Jason wrestles Leonard to the ground and they start fighting.  Kyra runs away screaming.

Kyra:  Kevin, Kevin, help me.  A farbisener and a kvetch.  Get me away from these crazy Jews! 

Neil:  (to you, my dear readers)  Remember  —  Wednesday, November 15, 2005, the 92nd St. Y — "Stars of David" — Jason Alexander, Leonard Nimoy and Kyra Sedgwick:  Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish.

My Mother is a Giving Person


Nick Douglas of Blogebrity’s kind mention of my mother made me think about how wonderful my mother is as a person.  She is probably the most giving person I know.

Maybe too giving. 

Mom, this is for you.


My Mother is a Giving Person
A Post in Three Chapters
by Neil Kramer

Chapter 1

My Mother Gives Away a Sweater

My mother owns an ugly plaid sweater.   When Sophia and I were in New York last month, Sophia politely told my mother that the sweater was nice.  When we returned back to Los Angeles, we discovered the god-awful sweater sitting in Sophia’s suitcase.  Sophia called my mother and asked why.

My mother answered, “Because you liked it so much.”

Chapter 2

My Mother Gives Away a Noodle Kugel

When we were sitting shiva for my father, people were supposed to follow the tradition of bringing food to the mourners.  Instead, we had constant guests and my mother was serving them.

The very sweet Adele Horowiz from Apartment 4D brought down some cookies for the guests and a “special” noodle kugel for us.   Sophia and I each had a piece and it was the best thing we ever ate.  We went downstairs to pick up some more soda for the visitors.  We then returned, eager for another piece of the kugel.  But when we walked in, we saw five new visitors, and my mother was serving them all OUR KUGEL.

Sophia and I surrounded my mother in the kitchen.  .

“What are you doing?” asked Sophia.  “That noodle kugel was for us, not them!”

“It was so good,” answered my mother.   “I wanted them to try it.”

I pointed to a huge pile of cakes, cookies, and candy sitting on the kitchen counter.

“Give them some of this crap!” I said.  “Not Adele Horowitz’s homemade noodle kugel!”

“That’s right,” added Sophia.  “We’re the mourners.  We deserve the kugel!”

I sniffed the air.  It smelled like kugel.

“I can still smell how good it is.”

Sophia peeked into the living room.

“You better keep on smelling.  Because I think your guests are finishing the last piece.”

Chapter 3

My Mother Gives Away My House in Malibu

A funeral, like a wedding, is a place to you see relatives you never see otherwise.  When we were sitting shiva, my cousin, Brian, came to visit.  He is twelve years younger than me.  He lives in upstate New York and I’ve seen him twice in my life.

While my mother talked with some visitors, Brian and I went into my room to talk and get to know each other better.  I  was flattered when I learned that I was a major influence on his life. 

“When I was little, you and your parents took me to my first Star Wars movie.  Remember?  You had these little R2D2 wind-up toys.  And your mother gave me one.”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.” I said, not really remembering these toys at all.  “That’s great, just great.”

He told me that after the movie, Star Wars became the center of his life.  He saw every movie and became a major collector of Star Wars memorabilia.  He said he made a good amount of money buying and selling these collectibles on Ebay. 

“I’m glad I got you started!” I said, laughing.

“Oh, I’ve had even better luck with your comic books and baseball cards,” he said.

“What do you mean?” I asked, suddenly confused.

“Didn’t you know?  I once came visiting when you were in college.  Your mother gave me all of your comic books and baseball cards.”

“She did?”

I always wondered what happened to my comics and baseball cards.  Unlike my father, who kept every receipt since 1950, my mother threw out everything.  I always assumed my mother tossed out my childhood stuff when she cleaned out my closet.

“You had this one Archie comic…” Brian said, taking out an imaginary comic book and lovingly opening a page, “…that was in such excellent condition — I was able to sell it for $75!”


“Oh, yeah, I’ve sold quite a few of the comic books and some of the baseball cards.  But I’m definitely holding on to that Roberto Clemente.”

“I had a Roberto Clemente?!”

“Oh, yeah.  Mint condition.”

“What else did my mother give you?”

“Well, I’ve added a lot to my Matchbox car collection…”

“I thought they were still in the closet.”

“No, I combined our collections and won some contest for ‘America’s Best Matchbox Car Collection.’  I got $5000 from the Mattel Company.”

“I loved my Matchbox collection.”

“They’re fun.  But they’re not worth as much as that Lionel train set you had.”

“My train set?”

“Your mother said you only used it once.  It wasn’t easy getting it into my Honda Civic”

“I completely forgot I had a train set.”

“That’s what your mother said.  She said you called it “boring'”

“It was boring.  Who wants to watch a train go round and round?”

“I think it’s boring also, but trust me, there are A LOT of collectors out there who don’t.  It did really well on Ebay when I sold it for… well, let’s just say it did VERY VERY well…”

“What do you do for a living?  I mean, besides selling my old stuff on Ebay?”

“I used to do sales for a lighting company, but I quit because I was making so much money with…”


I yelled it like I did when I was ten years old and wanted to rat on someone.


“What?”  she called out from the kitchen.

“Mom, come here!”

I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to my my grieving mother.   All I could think about was the house in Malibu I could have bought with the money from my old baseball cards.

My mother entered.

“Did you call?”

She was carrying a plate of food, wrapped in aluminum foil.

“Oh,  hi, Brian.   There you are.  I was just saving you a piece of this delicious noodle kugel to take home.”

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