the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: May 2006 (Page 1 of 3)

Old People Who Do It


After yesterday’s post about being honest with my readers, I’ve decided to come clean about another subject: my growing reputation as a Don Juan. The truth is that, unlike my online persona, I’m exceedingly dull and unadventurous. I inherit this from my father. Although he was a loving and caring man, his attitudes towards women and sex were straight out of “Leave it to Beaver.” (not an intentional joke) About the only “birds and bees” advice he ever gave me was to “never hurt a woman.” He actually sat me down and said:

“Neil, you should never hurt a woman.”

If I could bring my father back to life, my first question would be:

“Dad, what the hell are you talking about? What do you mean? Do you mean hurt physically? Or emotionally? Can you be any more vague?”

My grandmother considered herself prim and proper. And my father was a bit of a mama’s boy, so he grew up with her attitudes.

My grandfather was not like my father, or anyone else in my family. He went dancing every weekend at “Roseland” in Manhattan — without my grandmother. We think he had affairs. Even when he was seventy years old, he was incredibly built and had beautiful curly hair. I’m convinced that after my grandmother passed away, he had sex with every widowed Jewish woman over sixty-five in the tri-state area. When he was done, he moved to Miami to begin again. Half of my family refused to speak to him when he married some flashy woman from Miami Beach.

I always liked him. He wasn’t very smart, like my grandmother, but he was way more interesting. He would take me to Jewish delis for pastrami sandwiches, and he would always bring over jelly donuts. He would sneak into Broadway shows during intermission, so he saw every top musical’s second act. He flirted with every waitress.

After my father died, I met many of his co-workers from Queens General Hospital. I was surprised to hear all these stories about my father flirting with all the nurses. Was he just prim and proper at home, and completely different at work? Maybe he was influenced by his father more than he let on.

I think my grandfather would love blogging, especially with all the hot women online.

My memories of my grandfather came up after I read this on a post at Alexandra’s blog:

I woke up this morning to a news story that sexually transmitted diseases are on a rapid rise among the elderly, and for some reason that made me happy! I mean, not that they are catching STDs, but that they are still out there hugging, squeezing, well, a lot more than that, if they are getting STD’s! I hate that we live in a society that so isolates them from the rest of society, treats them as if they still don’t have needs, longings physical and otherwise, and so very much to pass on.

This was my comment:

I don’t know why it is so surprising to hear this news. Our vision of a senior is very outdated. Mick Jagger is a senior. Soon, all of the kids dancing around at Woodstock will be seniors. And since we are living longer, (and with drugs like Viagra to help), why shouldn’t there be activity? The fact that we are “shocked” just shows how we still stereotype senior citizens as sitting around playing gin rummy.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how the FAT are stereotyped as the OTHER. Many of us fear getting fat. But if there’s one thing we fear even more, it is getting OLD. Just like we see the FAT as the OTHER — and that’s why we don’t women over size 4 in magazines — we consider the elderly the OTHER as well, especially in a youth-oriented society.  We see OTHERS as a group, rather than individuals.  And this group frequently becomes a metaphor for something we fear:

Fat = lazy.

Old = decay.

Many of want to separate the elderly into being an OTHER. That’s why it is shocking to some that seniors are doing “it” with other seniors. What’s the big deal? I hope to be doing it when I’m eighty.

Most of the comments on Alexandra’s post were very supportive of older people finding love and comfort. But, even there, it felt that some were uncomfortable talking about the elderly and sex. Why do think of young people as f**king, but the elderly “finding comfort in each others’ arms?”  Do people immediately lose their mojo when they get Social Security?  And why do we still think of seniors as “nice old ladies” or “wise old men?” It almost seems condescending.  In my family, the relatives who were assholes at 30 are now assholes at 80. Only nice young ladies become nice old ladies. Are we so afraid of getting old that we push the elderly into some sort of one-dimensional world? While someone who’s lived many years has more life experience and deserves respect for that, I would think that a senior wants to be thought of a living, complex being with urges and desires.

In fact, I would be glad to hear that my mother, who is currently touring Spain and Portugal, found some hunky retired matador, and is f**king him every night.

Of course, Mom, assuming he is Jewish.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Night Without a Phone Call

Bloggers with Biceps – Week One


One of my favorite TV programs, 24, had its season finale last week. In this year’s storyline, the President of the United States got involved in all these illegal activities, and was trying to excuse himself, being that he was the President and his actions were “for the good of the country.” This arrogance is seen in the real world, in everyone from politicians to CEOs. Power corrupts. Those in power frequently abuse their position because they hold themselves to a different standard than the “common people.”

“If you were in the same position of responsibility as I am,” the egomaniacal leader might say, “you would do the EXACT SAME THING.”

Now I understand the allure of power and corruption.

Last week, I invited others to join me in a “Bloggers with Biceps” program. I agreed to exercise twice a week, or pay the penalty of twenty dollars to charity and face my humiliation online. Today finally arrived, but I had only gone to the gym once last week.

What should I do?

I thought of changing the rules. After all, today is Memorial Day. I could use the excuse that the gyms were closed for the Holiday. Who’s going to argue with that?

Of course, someone might just ask, “Why didn’t you just exercise at home?”

Or, “Why didn’t you exercise earlier in the week?”

My answer would be, “Hey, I’m not doing it for me. I’m doing it for you. I’m sure there’s someone else who procrastinated until the last day. Why not give them a break?”

Of course, the “contract” clearly says we begin on Monday. Today is already the start of Week 2.

My sense of morality was starting to nag me, like my mother. But I rebelled.

“The rules are for everybody ELSE. Not for me! This is my idea. I’m ABOVE THE LAW.”

“That doesn’t seem very fair,” my irritating moral goody-two-shoes-self said.

“Screw you,” I told my wimpy side. “Haven’t you ever read Nietzsche? Machiavelli? Ayn Rand? A leader is in a special category. If I admit that I only went once to the gym, the entire exercise program will crumble. I’m the inspirational one, the titan of exercise, the one who is helping thousands of others leave their computers to do physical activity. I don’t care about myself. I don’t want to destroy THEIR DREAMS. Their dreams of getting into shape. Dreams of wearing that bikini. Dreams of lifting a spouse off the ground using just one muscled arm. For the good of everyone, I will lie and say that I went to the gym twice this week. For the good of all.”

But then, as I left Starbucks today, I saw a shiny new penny sitting in the parking lot next to my car. I picked it up, as I always do with a penny, for good luck. And there he was, staring at me, another great leader of men — Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe.

“Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.” – Abraham Lincoln.

As he spoke these words to me, on Memorial Day, no less, I realized that I could not tell a lie to my fellow bloggers.

I only went to the gym once this week.

I deserve to be humiliated in public. I procrastinated. I was lazy. I don’t deserve to be thought of as a hunky sex object anymore until I prove my worth again.

But for now, I donate twenty dollars to the Wellness Community of the South Bay.

How did everyone else do? Where are your donations to a cancer charity of my choice? Roll call!

Bloggers With Biceps (as of 5/29)

Dating Dummy
Edgy Mama
The Yearning Heart
Anonymous City Girl
Plain Jane

New Participants


Movin’ On Up

Yesterday, Chac commented on an old post about relationships and astrology:

Aquarius woman here…  OK – I think you may want to look at the ascendant signs (your outward masks) and your moon signs (emotional behaviors) before totally giving up. Your sun sign is how you see yourself – your ego, if you will. So, here is my point: My ego is Aquarius. My outward appearance is Libra. My moon is Scorpio. Lots of sex, inner-conflict and intellectual sparring. Basically, a female version of Bronte’s Heathcliff. My poor, poor boyfriend… I’ll bet you are just a bit more curious about Sophia’s other signs now – you should be 🙂

Do I understand what she wrote?  Not at all.  But maybe the stars are the best explanation for the tiff I had yesterday with… uh, Sandy.  (I promised… uh, Sandy, that I wouldn’t talk about her without her permission, so for now, I will be using the name… uh, Sandy, as a stand-in for… uh, Sandy).

Please point me to a book or blog where a writer does a good job in capturing in words a marital tiff.   I’ve mentioned this before.  I am hopeless.  I have no skill in describing those irritating little marital tiffs.  Just writing the dialogue wouldn’t make any sense.  It wasn’t an all out fight.  In fact, we had a nice day at a friend’s “Memorial Weekend” BBQ.  When we got home, Sandy asked me to pick up some saucepan that I had washed earlier (and put it on the floor to air-dry).  I got upset, raised my voice, said something sarcastic and it all went downhill from that.

So, the fun ended and back I went to my “bachelor” apartment. 

I don’t particularly like my apartment.  It’s one of those separated man’s limbo-land apartments. All the really nice stuff is back at Sandy’s.   My couch has crumbs under the pillows.  My computer table is a bridge table.   After living in a home with a “woman’s touch,” this apartment just seems drab.  So… utilitarian.  Women seem to know where to put everything so it looks nice.  Like flowers.

Sometimes Sandy and I joke about starting an online “home-shopping” website for separated men.  With one click of the button, they can order everything they need for their new “bachelor pad” — a couch, a bed, a TV, a lamp, a vacuum, and a toaster — and they’ll be all ready to live their new miserable lives.

But I don’t sit and wallow, especially on a holiday weekend.  If my apartment looks bad, it’s my own fault.  I’m creative.  I can change things.  So, today, I undertook the process of Bachelor Pad Home Makeover.  Today, in a few hours, I’ve already turned my apartment from a depressing dump into a place where I can bring a classy one night stand who says to me, “What a nice apartment.  Which way to the bedroom?”

I took some architectural photographs to show the process of my one day home re-design:


The first step was to kick out my roommates.  While they can be a fun bunch who like to party, I’m getting too old for this “dorm living.”


I’m also noticing that many of the more “high maintenance” Los Angeles women (you know the type)  refuse to f**k when there are other men, women, and children looking on in the bedroom.   Talk about prudes!   So, adios, roomies!  Remember to take your stuff from the fridge!


Once my roommates were kicked out, it was time to paint.


I’m a firm believer that the exterior of a home says as much about you as the interior.


Always have a plan… whether it is in home renovation or life itself!

The results:




Who’s living it up now… uh, Sandy?

The Poetry Reading


I had just taken a shower tonight and was toweling off when I heard his voice.

Neil’s Penis: “Where are you going tonight?”

Neil: “I’m going to a poetry reading.”

Neil’s Penis: “Aha! So that’s why you bought that beret at Macy’s yesterday! Hot babe?”

Neil: “No. Just going for the poetry.”

Neil’s Penis: “You’re really into this poetry crap.”

Neil: “It’s interesting. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything literary.”

Neil’s Penis: “Hey, I’m a poet too —

A girl might like a guy with wit,
But she likes it better
When he can find her clit.”

Neil: “Penis, that’s very immature.”

Neil’s Penis: “Ooh, big poet with the beret thinks I’m immature.”

Neil: “Penis, we need to talk. I think this might be the last time we talk on this blog.”

Neil’s Penis: “What?!”

Neil: “I think it might be time to start making this blog a little more sophisticated. We have some poet-bloggers coming over here now, and they’re way classier than the perverts and crazy people who used to come to this blog.”

Neil’s Penis: “Those are your readers!”

Neil: “Eh.”

Neil’s Penis: “What about me? You need me. I’m your bread and butter!”

Neil: “I can handle this blog on my own.”

Neil’s Penis: “Yeah, you’ll be as good as Garfunkel after Paul Simon left.”

Neil: “Well, I’d like to try. I’m serious. This joke is getting old and a lot of people think this whole “talking penis” thing is very childish.”

Neil’s Penis: “They do not!”

Neil: “Listen, on Tuesday, I had coffee with Communicatrix at the Farmers’ Market.”

Neil’s Penis: “She’s really cool.”

Neil: “Yeah, but even she said she skips over all the dumb sex stuff here.”

Neil’s Penis: “Maybe she doesn’t want to fall under our sensual spell.”

Neil: “Penis, not every woman in the world is going to want us. You have to accept that.”

Neil’s Penis: “Yeah, right.”

Neil: “Just focus on the blog. Think of my religious readers. I’m making them sin just by reading this stuff.”

Neil’s Penis: “Ha, where have you been? Those religious babes are the kinkiest ones around! Remember that rabbi’s daughter.”

Neil: “Let me try this another way. Maybe it’s just time to be practical. Maybe it’s time for this blog to go mainstream…”

Neil’s Penis: “I see. So, you’re selling out. To the Man. The emasculating Man. Soon, there’s going to be ads all over the page. And no more “dirty” words. And you’re going to be using fancy words all the time instead, like onomatopoeia. And the only people on your blogroll will be NPR, the New York Times, and Dooce. Well, cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock cock…”

Neil: “Stop it! Stop it!

Neil’s Penis: “OK, OK, I stopped.”

Neil: “If you thought about it for a second, you’d see that I’m right. What’s so wrong with wanting to better yourself? To climb the ladder of success. To wear a nice cotton turtleneck and brown tailored jacket. My hair trimmed and neat. A copy of David Sedaris under my arm. My beret on my head, tilted just so. Laughing heartily when my poet friend makes some inside joke about Baudelaire. Ah, yes, I read that in Harper’s last week! American Idol? What is that? — a euphemism for the Bush Administration’s idolization of Halliburton’s profits? Sophisticated humor.”

Neil’s Penis: “Neilochka, do what you want. If you want me out of the blog, I’ll do it.”

Neil: “That’s it? You’re giving in just like that? No more arguments?”

Neil’s Penis: “You’re the boss. The brains of the organization. The CEO of Neilochka. If you think you can “make it” out there alone, more power to you. ”

Neil: “That’s very gentlemanly of you, Penis.”

Neil’s Penis: “I care about you, Neilochka. I can see your point. You don’t want to go around the rest of your life known as “The Guy with the Talking Penis Blog.”

Neil: “Exactly. I went to college. Even grad school, for god’s sake.”

Neil’s Penis: “OK, fine. So, from now on, I guess the world will know this guy as “The Guy with the Talking Penis Blog.”

Neil: “Holy crap! Is it possible? This guy has a talking Penis, too?!”

Neil’s Penis: “What’s the big deal. If you don’t care…”

Neil: “How dare he! The son of a…”

My Penis chuckles.

Neil’s Penis: “Still going to that poetry reading?”

Neil: “Hell no!”

I tossed my beret onto the floor.

Neil: “We’re going back to the gym and lifting some weights. Both of us. We need to get into shape!”

Neil’s Penis: “I hear you, Neilochka! Cock fight! Cock fight!”

My Penis turns to the audience.

Neil’s Penis:

“Said Keats to Shelly on a warm summer’s eve
A truly great poet must always believe
As sure as a leaf will change in September
A man shalt always be a slave to his member.”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: What I Had for Breakfast Today

Driving in LA – In Two Parts


Part One — Car Poetry

This week’s Poetry Thursday assignment was to be inspired by a single line from another blogger’s poem. I picked “A Morning By the Sea” by Susannah of Ink on My Fingers.

The line that inspired me was:

The computer hums,
the kettle rumbles.

Why this line? Her poem is wonderful, filled with wonderful images. This is probably — content-wise — one of the least important lines. But that’s exactly what inspired me about it. Its importance is more than just the content, or the onomatopoeia of “hum” and “rumble.” I like the way the line rolls off your tongue, like a good song lyric.

The computer hums,
the kettle rumbles.

I think one reason I find it poetry difficult is because I’m always focusing on the “meaning” of the words. Poetry, more than fiction, is about the music of the words themselves.

I have a comedian friend who is always rewriting his material to make it funnier by using “funnier” words. These are words that start with a “hard” letter. So, a “Crazy Cat” is theoretically funnier than a “Weird Worm.” It’s his own way of using the “poetry” of words to enhance his routine. In a way, Susannah’s poem helped me to remember my love of words — words for their own sake.

In my ideal world, Elliot Yamin would have won “American Idol,” not because he has the best voice, or a doting Jewish mother, but because he has the coolest sounding name.

Elliot Yamin.

Taylor Hicks? Not poetry.

As I was driving on the 10 Freeway today, I thought about how much the big auto companies must spend to come up with their “poetic” sounding names for their cars.

I wonder if they hire poets.

Chevrolet Cabriolet
Toyota Corolla
Ford Focus
Hyundai Santa Fe
Rolls Royce

I like the way all of these car names “sound.”

I’m driving on the freeway
In my Hyundai Santa Fe
Zooming past a Corolla
and a Chevy Cabriolet

I know my car ain’t a Mercedes
Or a beautiful Rolls Royce
But it’s better than that Ford Focus
Now that was one BAD choice.

I know, I know. A fourth grade poem. But it was fun.


Part Two — Overheard in LA

As most people know, Los Angeles is a driving town.  What you drive matters.  Since I first met Sophia, she’s had four completely different types of cars — each one evoking a wildly different negative response from some other driver. 

1) 1996 —

As we entered the parking lot of Campanile Restaurant, an upscale restaurant, a friend told Sophia, who was driving a five year old Honda Accord:

“I’d be embarrassed to give this piece of junk into the valet.”

2) 1999 —

After a motorcycle cut us off in Beverly Hills, Sophia blinked her lights at him.  The motorcyclist turned to Sophia, who was now leasing a Infiniti i30, and yelled:

“Screw you, you rich bitch!”

3) 2001 —

As we left a coffee shop in Redondo Beach, an environmental activist was putting a flyer on a windshield of Sophia’s new Hyundai Santa Fe SUV:

“Do you morons know what you’re doing to the environment with this monstrosity?”

4) 2006 —

As (Republican) Sophia pulled away from an IHOP, after having breakfast with me, in her new Toyota Prius Hybrid, I heard two men talking about the special DMV stickers that allow some hybrid owners to drive alone in the carpool lane:

“What gives these liberal treehugging assholes the right to use the carpool lane when we can’t?!”

Moral of the story:  You can’t win driving in LA.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: 90 Million Women Wear Wrong Size Bra

We Will, We Will Treadmill


“Parking is upstairs,” shouted the parking attendant at the 24 Hour Fitness on Pico Blvd.

I drove up this tight, curving ramp to the second floor.

“Where ya goin’?” asked a second attendant.

“24 Hour Fitness.”

“Parking is downstairs.”

“He told me to come upstairs.”

“Did you tell him ’24 Hour Fitness?'”

“Uh, I don’t remember. Maybe.”

“Parking for 24 Hour Fitness is downstairs.”

I looked behind me. The ramp only went one-way and I was blocking traffic.

“Well, how do I get down there now?”

“You’ll need to exit and come back in.”

I drove down the a ramp marked “Exit.” I was stopped at the booth by a third attendant. I handed him the card that came out of the machine when I first entered a few minutes ago.

“I went upstairs by mistake, so I’m going to go out and come back in again.”

“That’ll be three dollars.”

“Huh? I haven’t left my car yet. I just went the wrong way. I’m going to go to 24 Hour Fitness. It’s my first time.”

“You’re supposed to validate this at 24 Hour Fitness, otherwise I have to charge you.”

“I haven’t gone to 24 Hour Fitness yet! I haven’t left my car! I just came in a minute ago.”

The attendant took another bite of his Big Mac and sighed.

“OK, I’ll let you through, but just this time. Next time, make sure you get validated first.”

I was already regretting this whole exercise idea.

I finally made it inside 24 Hour Fitness. It looked nothing like the shiny gym they show on TV. It was an older location, with no TVs and (is it possible?) no air-conditioning. The place was hot and smelly. My first stop was the locker room, where I took locker ’69’ — so I’ll remember where it was. Ok, I also thought it was funny.

Now, I know in the men’s locker room, we’re a bunch of men undressing next to each other, and the situation is a bit vulnerable, but doesn’t ANYONE ever say a word to each other in the men’s locker room? Not one guy gave another guy a nod, a hello, or even a “how ya doin?” Is it different in the women’s locker room?

By the way, I purposely wore my boxer-briefs rather than my usual white briefs, so as to not embarrass any of my readers. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, search for it in the archives, because I’m not linking to that stupid post again.

The gym was as unfriendly as the locker room. I understand that people are here to exercise and get the hell out, but no one seemed to acknowledge anyone’s existence. It felt like I was back in my apartment building elevator, with everyone glancing up at the clicking floor numbers, afraid of looking at each other. I’ve always heard rumors of the gym being a good “pick-up” spot?  Urban legend.  No one talks to anyone!  If you’ve ever been self-conscious about going to the gym, forget about it. No one gives a damn if you’re there or not!

I decided to take things slow for my first time there. I would just use the treadmill for an hour. There was also some type of Nordic Tracker-looking thing available, but I couldn’t figure out how to use it. So, I stuck with the treadmill. I took the only empty treadmill, at the end of the “treadmill row,” right next to some cute Asian woman in a red “Dell Computer 2001 Softball Team” t-shirt. She never looked my way.

Once on the treadmill, I played with the nifty buttons, and decided to go for the Manual settings. There was some contraption connected to the machine which supposedly measured your heart beat, but frankly, it looked like something used to torture Jack Bauer on “24.”

My hour began. The air was rancid (it seemed to be recycled air, like in an airplane) and there were two large fans blowing in the faces of everyone on “Treadmill Row.” I know that exercising is good for my cardiovascular system, but I was beginning to wonder if I could die from a respiratory infection from exercising in THIS gym. Next time, I’ll go to the nicer “Sport” gym in West Hollywood.

I don’t have an iPod to listen to, so I just spaced out. After what seemed like an hour of walking, I looked down and saw that I had only been on the treadmill for fifteen minutes. So, this is what they meant on Star Trek about a break in the space/time continuum. I was bored. I decided to sing something to myself. Something inspirational to keep me going, like:

We will we will
Rock you!
We will we will
Rock you!

And then, just as I got to the main lyrics of this Queen song, I couldn’t remember them. It was as if the exercise was affecting my brain. I remembered the catchy melody from countless Laker games, but what were the words? So, I spend the next few minutes coming up with alternative lyrics:

Buddy, gotta tread, gotta keep on
Movin’ in the gym cause ya promised them on your blog
This is boring as hell
I almost just fell
Smiling at the girl who once worked at Dell

We will we will
Rock you!
We will we will
Rock you!

And singing this over and over again amused me enough to make it through my first hour of exercise.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Drug for Premature Ejaculation

He Wasn’t a Tiger-Cat!


Look, it’s one thing if, while IM-ing with a female blogger, I tell her that “if we hook up, I’ll make love to you like no man has ever made love to you before.”  She’ll understand that I’m blowing some smoke in her face, being a typical man who just wants a piece of ass.

It’s another thing when you’re Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, currently running for State Attorney General, and telling voters that you won a football scholarship to Harvard University, and also received an Academic All-American award there.

But now that the local media investigated his background, it appears that he never received an athletic scholarship from Harvard.  He got financial aid. 

“The Ivy League does not permit” athletic scholarships, said Robert Mitchell, a Harvard spokesman.

As for the All-American honor, Delgadillo actually got only an honorable mention for the award.

City attorney spokesman Jonathan Diamond said the words “honorable mention” inadvertently were left off Delgadillo’s city Web site.

Delgadilllo also has claimed a brief stint as a professional football player with a Candadian team, but even this is cloudy.

Delgadillo signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League and reported to training camp but was cut before he could play, Brad Blank, a sports agent who represented Delgadillo, told the Times.

“He never played for the team, never claimed to. That was the extent of his stint as a professional football player, and he has never claimed otherwise,” said Roger Salazar, Delgadillo’s campaign spokesman.

Team spokesman Rom Halverson said he could find no record of Delgadillo being signed to play for the team and added, “if he didn’t play, he wasn’t a Tiger-Cat.”

Did I already mention that this man is running for State Attorney General?

I just sent him off this angry email:

Dear Mr. Delgadillo,

What kind of message do all these “white lies” send to our youth?  What message does this send me, a tax-paying citizen rewriting my resume for the fifth time before I mail it to someone at Warner Brothers?


Neil Kramer
2006 – Editor-in-Chief of Internationally-Read Online Publication

Responsibilities include — content management, web design and template development, customer service, marketing, search engine optimization, social networking, photography, research, editing, audio production, visual conception, statistical interpretation, and scheduling. 

Hey, I’m not lying, am I?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Bikini Girl Sells Body on Ebay

Diplomatic Mission


Today, eight months after the passing of my father, my mother takes on the important diplomatic mission of improving American relations with the European Union by taking a two-week bus tour of Spain and Portugal with another woman from Queens.

I bet you didn’t expect that, Dad?

And Mom, it’s a Tapas Bar, not a Topless Bar.

A mi madre, have fun!   I’m off to the gym!  (bloggers, there’s still time to sign the contract below)

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month:  Handy Guide for Man Shopping

I Vow to Move My Ass


Hear Ye, Hear Ye:

This royal decree binds all who sign below.

I, your name here, am one of those “creative types” who would rather sit all day in a hip cafe than workout in a smelly gym. As a wordsmith, I woo others with the brilliance of my words, but have neglected the importance of my calf muscles, forgetting that they are essential for reaching up to the top bookshelf at Barnes and Noble.

As outlined in the previous post, I agree to exercise twice a week for one hour each visit, for one month, starting Monday, May 22nd. If I am not a member of a gym, I agree to do a full exercise routine in or near my home. For each week where my responsibilities are neglected, I will donate twenty dollars to a health-related charity and will humiliate myself on my own blog or in the comment section of this post.

This contract is binding through the power of Google.

As is it written, as it is said.

Bloggers With Biceps (as of 5/22)

Dating Dummy
Edgy Mama
The Yearning Heart
Anonymous City Girl
Plain Jane

The Buddy System


Back in my single days, I liked to entertain a woman on a first date with this little trick. After dinner, as we walked hand-in-hand in the crisp night air, I would take off my shirt and ask her to bounce a quarter off of my chest. Women would be amazed as the quarter would spring off the tautness of my muscles and fly 150 feet away.

This afternoon, I was in Staples buying an ink-jet refill, when I found a quarter on the floor. For old-times sake, I asked this cheerful mother of two (buying colored construction paper for her adorable little girl — hello, Rachel!) if she would bounce the quarter off of my bare chest. She happily agreed, and as her two daughters looked on, she threw the quarter against my body. While the mother was very impressed with the result — the quarter flew smack into the middle of faraway aisle 12 (“Digital Media”), I was very disappointed that the quarter only went 75 feet. This meant only one thing — it was time for me to go back to the gym.

The only problem is that I don’t like going to the gym. It is BORING! I’m also a major procrastinator. When I try to do something I really don’t want to do it, I find a million reasons to put it off. For instance:

Neil 1: “I thought about going to the gym tonight.”

Neil 2: “But whoops, I just ate”

Neil 1: “Maybe later. ”

Neil 2: “Oh, I’m sorry. I have to wash some towels later.”

Neil 1: “How about after that? ”

Neil 2: “Hey, isn’t playing with yourself considered exercise? I’ll do that instead!”

Remember, I live in Los Angeles. Being in the best shape is very important here, especially in the summer. Showing off your body is actually SO important to Angelenos that law firms in Century City now allow their partners to come in wearing bathing suits and bikinis during the summer months.

I need help with this gym thing. And here’s where YOU come in.

A week ago, I was reading a post by the charming Caitlin at Caitlinator. She was writing about how she was avoiding writing some resumes. I instantly related, because I just happen to procrastinate on writing resumes as much as I do about going to the gym. I wrote a comment to her, joking that we should make sure the other wrote ten resumes this week. If one of us didn’t, we’d have to pay the other ten bucks. I completely forgot about this “deal” until today. And you know what? — it’s not a bad idea!

Think about how much easier it is to write your blog posts than any of your “regular” writing. That’s because you know that someone — even if it is a crazy stranger living thousands of miles away — is reading your blog. We’re always motivated by others!.

So, I’m looking for a virtual exercise buddy for the next week. Just one week to see if it works — and get us both started. This person should be someone as lazy as me. He/she should hate going to the gym.

This is the deal: We each go to our gym, or exercise in some other way — let’s say twice this week — nothing too over-the-top. By the end of the week, if one of us fails to accomplish the mission, the loser has to:

1) Write a post humiliating yourself in front of the world.
2) Buy your buddy a CD of his/her choice.
3) Donate twenty bucks to some cancer research charity.

I think the fear of humiliation alone will make us exercise.

Anyone want to be my buddy?

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month:  My Date with Rob and Kai.

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