the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: August 2008 (Page 2 of 2)

Neilochka’s Return: I Am a Blogging Rockstar

Today was the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av.  It isn’t a holiday that most American Jews celebrate, probably because it is the saddest holiday of the Jewish calendar, and it occurs in the middle of the summer when the sun is shining and the beaches are open.   Jews have never been good at scheduling.

It is a day of fasting, one of mourning for the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem, as well as all the awful things that have befallen the Jewish people.  And there are a lot of them.  The Book of Lamentations is read in temple.   In Sephardic communities, it is customary to read the Book of Job.

At first, I forgot it was Tisha B’Av.  That is, until I took a walk to Main Street to get a bagel, and discovered that the kosher bagel store closed.  This section of Main Street has a sizeable Orthodox population.  I immediately noticed a group of Orthodox men, looking somber in their black coats, walking to temple.  They passed the public library.  In front of the library were laughing kids playing “tag.”  They were shouting and chasing after each other, the energy of childhood in the air.

“You’re it!  You’re it.” one kid screamed and laughed.

It was quite a contrast — the somber men in black hats on the saddest day of the Jewish calendar and the joyous, wild children playing their game.

Online, my virtual life occurs at breakneck speeds, much faster than the ones I notice on Main Street.  It is impossible for me to see contrasts that rush by on my monitor.  My brain cannot work that fast.  On Twitter, I follow “friends,” each reporting on their fast-paced lives in a chaotic mess of the sublime and the repetitive. 

Last week, a blogger “twittered” that his sister had just died.  A few responded with condolences, but within seconds, a new thread was growing on the subject of “Do You Think You Can Dance?”  In a nanosecond, we all switched gears, onto the new topic, and the death of this woman was knocked off the page, into the unseen digital archives.

Unlike the visual contrast of the mourning Orthodox Jews and the playing kids, both human beings expressing the flip sides of  daily life — sad and happy — there is little to grab onto in a virtual world.  There are just bits of information, equally important and equally irrelevant.

When I see the rate of data flow online, it occurs to me that one day, my final moments will be announced on Twitter, and it will last about ten seconds before the subject matter is changed.  That’s a depressing thought.  Am I so inconsequential, another minor subject equal in value to someone’s lunch or the latest category on Alltop?

Megan of the Velveteen Mind wrote an interesting post last week about “blogging rockstars.”  She suggests that this is a silly concept — we are all regular folk, writing in our underwear, from Dooce to the newbie.  I’d like to approach this subject in another way.  Rather than dragging the Dooces of the world to the level of the guy in his underwear eating Cheerios from the box, why not say everyone has potential rockstar talent just like Dooce?   I know, it sounds like bullshit, but isn’t that the point of the whole bloggers’ interview experiment?   If you end up being a blip on Twitter as your final moments scroll off the page — and it will happen that way — why not make believe that you are a rockstar while you are here? 

I am a rockstar.  I don’t need anyone to tell me that I am.  I write.  Perfect.  I wouldn’t be able to write a word if I didn’t think — deep in my heart — that I had something special to say.  Why bother writing then?  I could be jumping rope or watching porn!  So, instead, I write this blog, making believe that I am a blogging rockstar.   And if you tell me that you’re a rockstar, I will think of you as one, too.

My First Day as the Chicago Cubs New Mascot to Attract More Gay Men to the Park – the Chicago Red Hot

I just noticed that two of the volunteers to be this week’s guest posters are gay women.  Does this give me any insight into the demographics of my readers?  Is Citizen of the Month popular in the gay community?  I hope so.  I love readers of all sexual orientations — as long as they click on the ads.  My last guest poster of the week is Fort Knocks of Impatiens.  He is not gay.  Or at least I don’t think so.  He is a twenty-something humorist who seems to love the Chicago Cubs.  And since I don’t care about the Chicago Cubs, I figured I would spice up his favorite topic (and please my gay readers at the same time)  by assigning him this rather ridiculous storyline —

My First Day as the Chicago Cubs New Mascot to Attract More Gay Men to the Park – the Chicago Red Hot by Fort Knocks

It was one of those times in a young, impetuous man’s life when he mortgages the love of his family for the pursuit of an ignoble passion.

Philosophically, technically, I believe in the dominion of the intellect over the will and the will over the passions.  If you ask me the order, that’s how I’ll answer: intellect over will, will over passions – that is, your passions impel you, but your will controls your submission to those passions; and your intellect determines the resolution of the will.

I’ve learned that from an early age, from 18 years of Catholic School.  Yes, that’s right, eighteen years.  But also, I believe in that pecking order of the personality (intellect, will, passions – repeat it like a mantra).  It makes sense to me – that it should be true.

As a matter of course, as a matter of empirical reality, I know that sometimes things don’t work that way.  I know this because I have an intensely addictive personality.  I am addicted to drinking, smoking, sex and gambling.  The only reason I’m not hooked on more serious drugs is because, thank God, I’ve never tried them.  But don’t worry – addiction to drinking, smoking, sex and gambling is quite enough.

People have told me that a lesser man would have broken by now.  I know that being a lesser man is the only thing that’s kept me sane.  The reason I haven’t broken is because I bend.  And it feels so good when I bend, stretch like a sapling under strong weight, and it hurts so bad when I snap back upright.  The weight of addiction has bent me like an old man’s years bend him.

When I was younger, I wondered why old men didn’t just stand up!  I wanted to straighten them out myself, flatten them on a table – lay them on their backs and push against pelvis and clavicle until they unfolded under my hands like a road map.  I imagined that then they would breathe, freely, deeply, for the first time since their first Social Security check slipped through the mail slot in 1981.

Now I know it doesn’t work that way.  Which is why I don’t try to unkink my own hunched back, just manage it; just make sure my shoulders aren’t banging on my knees, my forehead between my calves.  Manage the bend, that’s my motto.  Control my handicap.

It was gambling that got me into this mess, smoking and drinking that had made it worse.  God knows where the sex would take me.


“Do you think you could make it onto the field during a Cubs game – for more than a full minute?” my friend Eddie had asked me five weeks before, while we were – wait for it – drinking.  Of course I could.  I knew I could.  In the warm friendly haze of a dozen beers, I was certain.

I loved that haze; it made anything possible.  It meant she loved you, your life was on track, your friends were the best in the world and you were strong, smart, good-looking.  I’d written a poem a few years before

When the sun has gone down and the moon takes its place
And the revelers rise to give darkness new grace,
When the harshness of daylight has dwindled to night
And all beauty increases, by softness of sight,
Then the friends are more friendly, and enemies too,
Which is more than the unreserved drinking can do,
For there’s magic about, and it’s all through the air,
And as long as you’re with me, I long to be there.

That feeling.  That fucking feeling was what made me take the bet – a thousand dollar bet, which was about nine hundred and fifty dollars more than I could afford to lose.  That made me take the bet.  That, and my certified addiction to gambling.

Every day I would think about calling Eddie, calling it off – knowing he wouldn’t mind that much.  I’d pay him twenty bucks, he’d make fun of me, we’d be done with it.

And then every night, I’d drink until that feeling got to me again, until I was past the point of talking myself into it.  “I played baseball in college for four years,” I’d say.  “Of course I can do it.  I’m an athlete.  Hell, I could do five minutes, let alone one.”

That was how my first attempt happened: July 8th, 2008 – the first month of the second half of the year: new beginnings.  And I was celebrating by hefting my ass over the low fence to the left of the Cubs home dugout in the middle of the fourth inning.  New beginnings.  If you were watching the game, that’s why the commercial break took an extra thirty seconds or so.

It all started off well enough: a quick sprint and I was across the foul line, moving into shallow left field.  Edwin Encarnacion, the Cincinnati Reds third baseman, made a half-hearted grab for me, but I was past him.

And then I ran out of gas.  The two years of steady smoking since I’d last run regularly had an unbelievable effect.  I swear I hadn’t gone more than fifty yards when I was sucking wind, slowing down, looking over my shoulder for the inevitable security.  I dodged once, turned to my right and was immediately tackled and smothered.  And I was so gassed I was almost relieved.  Total time on the field: forty seconds.

Needless to say, the blue-coated security and ubiquitous ushers were on the lookout for my face the next few home series.  Three times in the next two weeks, I was nabbed before even setting foot on the playing surface and then, once last week, I was denied entrance to the stadium.  Denied entrance to the Friendly Confines that I know and love so well.  I needed a new plan.


When I saw the flyer advertising for “specialty mascots,” I had a glimmer of hope.  When I called in and heard that there was still one position unfilled, that hope swelled inside me.  And when I arrived to interview to find that somehow, no one there recognized me as the would-be trespasser, that hope filled my heart and overflowed.  I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get the spot.  I barely listened as they described the job, the position, my duties.  I signed the waivers, the contract with a smile on my face.  And last Sunday, July 27th, I reported for duty.

The game was at 6:00; I was there by three, knocking on the “Personnel Admitted” door right next to Gate 14.  A girl about my age with a clipboard and headphones swung the door open.  “Are you the red hot?” she said.

I was confused.  The red hot?  Was she coming on to me?  What?

“No, you’re the red hot,” I said, and then added, reading from her nametag, “Amy.”

She shook her head but I could see the smile at the corners of her mouth.  She grabbed my wrist and pulled me inside, spinning me in front of her down the hallway.  I was smiling to myself in congratulations of my smoothness halfway down the walk when I remembered, “Red Hot!  Fuck!  That’s my job!  Ohhh yeahhh.”  I turned to say something, but she was talking on the headset, “I left it right there…  Ok, I’ll be up in a second.  Yeah, he’s here.”  She turned to me, swinging me by my wrist to a door in the right wall, and with a hand over her mouthpiece, whispered, “I’ll help you with your costume.  Strip.”

And then she walked away down the hall.  I watched her go, her white sneakers susurrating on the cement.  Not a bad-looking girl.  Strip, huh?  Ok, Amy, you got it.

I pushed my way into the cement room, decorated with green lockers on walls to the left and right.  An old, and by the looks of it, unused vending machine stood at the far end of the room, some thirty feet from me, and on the floor in the middle of the room lay what looked like a red kayak with rounded bottom and edges, so rounded that it was basically cylindrical.

I took my shoes off, and my shirt, and then I stopped.  Couldn’t mascots wear clothes under the costumes?  Didn’t they all?  Was it just too hot this time of year?  I was paused with my belt halfway undone when I heard the door rasp open behind me.  Amy walked into the room, closed the door carefully behind her and took off the headset, setting it on top of the first locker.

She shook out her hair with her fingers as she walked past me, blowing out a sigh.  I turned, my fingers still on my belt, to see her hefting the kayak-thing and turning back to me.  “Pants off,” she said, and then smiled, a full, not-just-corners-of-her-mouth smile.  “Part of the job.”

I had no idea where this was going, not a clue in hell, but I was liking it so far.  I kicked out of my socks and then slid out of my jeans.

“Whoah, does the smell in the locker room turn you on or what?” she said.  I glanced down.  “Must be something,” I said.  She dragged the red thing over to where I stood, flipped it over to I could see another hole like the one on the top, except instead of being in the middle, like a kayak, this one was at one end.

“Hold this,” she said, handing me the end.  It was round, and wide, about two and a half feet wide, no narrower at the end than the middle, with a little clip on the very tip, a small steel loop.  I took this in quickly in the half-second before she reached over and pulled my boxers down to my ankles.

I passed off the “mmm” sound that escaped me as an “mmm-hmmm!” clearing my throat.  This was weird.  Amy looked up at me, a confused expression on her face.  There was much to be confused about.  “Aren’t you gay?” she said.

I looked down, narrowed my eyes, and tried to shrug, which was difficult with the giant red thing in my hands.  “No,” I finally said, “I’m not.”

Amy stood up and looked at me.  Then at her watch.  Then she reached over my shoulder and flicked the power switch on her headset to ‘off.’

She was very energetic.


I was sure we were going to be late.  I really didn’t want to be late.  It must have been getting close to time when she told me to climb inside the red thing.  “Are you nuts?” I said, but she was busy tucking in her shirt.  “Hurry up!” she said.  Ok, the dominatrix thing.  Fine.  I wasn’t into it, but I owed her, I figured.  I started to climb headfirst into the top hole hear the end.  It was slow going, my legs waggling in empty air.  And then she smacked me, hard, right on my bare ass.  I jerked and banged my head on the inside of the red plastic, then crawled out.

She was giggling, but obviously still in a hurry.  “Oh, shit,” she was saying, “I left a huge welt on your ass.”  Why would she worry about that?  Ten minutes ago, she was scratching up my back like a damn leopard.  I turned once and a half around, craning to try to see the welt, like a dog chasing its tail.  She giggled again and pushed me back to the red thing.  “Go!” she said, “feet first.”


“Feet first!” she said.

“…” I said.

Amy shook her head.  “Did you even read the job description?” she said.  She lifted my feet in the end hole and scooched me down farther.  Soon my ass was in the tube.  She kept pushing, telling me to “scoot!” until I was completely inside the red thing, staring out the opening at the cement ceiling where a bare light-bulb hung.  I could feel the cool of the cement floor against my ass through the other hole, and slowly, gradually, the words from my job meeting started coming back to me.

Amy was at the door, opening it, and I could hear more people coming in.  Three or four, maybe.  There was a shuffle of feet and a clink of steel at the clip on each end of my red sarcophagus, and then I was hefted into the air.  I could feel the rush of air across my backside.

As I was hefted out of the tunnel, squinting in the bright sunlight and hearing someone reminding me to “smile!” I remembered everything, and I realized why Amy had been so nervous about the bright hand-print she left on my ass.

I was the Chicago Red Hot.  My job?  To attract gay men to the park.  My MO?  To be trussed up like a giant sausage on a rotisserie next to the visitors bullpen, and rotate for nine long innings, cooking evenly in the sun and offering the crowd alternating views of my smiling face and my bare white ass.  With Amy’s handprint gleaming on it.

I won the bet.  Damn right I did.  And I also boosted gay attendance in a big way.  Already the section just up the line from the bullpen is known as “Queer Corner.”

But when my family found out, my conservative, traditional Catholic family, it wasn’t an easy thing for them to swallow.  It was one of those times in a young, impetuous man’s life when he mortgages the love of his family for the pursuit of an ignoble passion.

Intellect, will, passions – I can say it like a mantra.  But sometimes, when you live in a world as addictive as this one, an experience can turn everything on its head… or in my case, on its ass.

What I Can Teach Neil About Making a Women Really Really Happy!

Today’s guest poster is Linsey from Uncouth Heathen.  I knew she was special from the minute I read her About page:  “I began with a major in Biochemistry, switched to History, then Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology, English and finally settled on Humanities, graduating after eleven (11) years of haphazard learning. I now possess a degree that qualifies me to do exactly nothing at all.”  Now that’s my kind of blogger.  When I noticed that she was gay, I decided to get personal — and make her write an entire post for my benefit:  “What I Can Teach Neil abut Making a Women Really Really Happy! ” After all,  most of my male blogging comrades seem to be clueless.  “If you want to impress a woman online, send her a photo of dick!” said one guy.   “The way to make a woman happy is to jump on her the first thing in the morning and three minutes later ask “What’s for breakfast?”  Oh, and driving her around in a sports car.” said some male blogger who went to BlogHer this year to pick up women.  Linsey ended up writing a wonderful post that completely gets to the point.  It also taught me something important.  Linsey, why aren’t you a therapist?

What I Can Teach Neil abut Making a Women Really Really Happy! (or “For The Record, Asking If She’d Have Sex With A Mannequin Will Only Make Her Really, Really Uncomfortable”) by Linsey

Before I started to write this on Sunday night, I asked my wife, Janie, if she was happy. I didn’t tell her why I was asking because I wanted an honest answer. Perhaps I wanted to feel like I had something to say here and her happiness was some sort of special credential I needed to carry on. I was certain she’d tell me she has never been happier in all her life; that she would go on about how every day with me is like nothing else in the world that matters and nothing can dampen her joy, not even the asshole who keeps cooking hamburgers in the bathroom at her work. As it turns out, my wife is not happy, generally speaking. Ain’t love a bitch. Thank you, Mr. Citizen of the Month!

After a long discussion into the wee hours of Monday morning about how Janie can be happier, I decided to attack it at another angle. I thought I’d get better feedback (feedback that didn’t involve my crying wife asking me how she could have wasted her best years) from my sister and her husband who have been married for over ten years. On our ride into work Monday morning, I asked them what they thought it took to make a woman really, really happy. My brother-in-law said that asking a question like that was akin to asking who God was. My sister shot him a look the likes of which I hope never to see again, there was some cursing, a few hurtful things were said at high volumes and then they stopped talking for the last 15 minutes of the ride.

On Tuesday night, I asked my dad how he has managed to keep my mom happy for the 41 years they’ve been married. He couldn’t hear me. His eardrums are damaged from 41 years of my mother’s screaming and I suspect that his refusal to get a hearing aid has something to do with that, too. I can’t ask my brother because we don’t talk anymore. Besides, his current girlfriend has broken up with him no less than 30 times in the last year and, well, that doesn’t sound like happiness, to me.

If you’re looking for an answer from me or anyone in my family, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I’m with comedian Wanda Sykes on this one: “You can’t make a woman happy. That’s like trying to cure a fatal disease. The goal is to treat the symptoms so you can comfortably live with the illness.”

What I think she means is that I am not responsible for the happiness of any woman other than myself. That’s the same thing my therapist has been telling me for five solid years. What I guess I’m trying to say to you, Neil, is that you can’t be responsible for the happiness of any other woman than yourself, either.

In the absence of any personal or familial wisdom on the matter, I did some serious Internet research and found this article dating back to the summer of 2006. If you don’t want to bother reading it, let me just skip to the part I think you may want to know. The article quotes a gentleman who heads up something called the Happiness Project wherein he states that “the major cause of unhappiness for women in the 21st century is a lack of meaning: What’s the point?” Maybe if you want to make a woman really, really happy you have to help her find meaning. But you know what? You can’t always help someone find meaning in their life. Like my wife, for example. She’s a librarian. She has a degree in motherfucking Information Science and she hates that god damn library. That doesn’t have anything to do with this, I just wanted to say that because what the hell is that about? I want my $20,000 in graduate school payments back, with that attitude.

Next, I came across this BBC article from 2002, wherein so-called scientists “discovered” that semen makes women happy because “the mood-altering hormones in semen absorbed through the vagina help to boost women’s mood.” What this looks like to me is that some guy got tired of wearing a rubber and wanted to prove to his girlfriend that really, in the end, it was going to benefit her. Sure, there’s the off-chance there might be unwanted children or a burning itch in her genitalia, but she’ll be so happy on account of that semen that nothing else will matter! Well, let me just tell you something to prove this bullshit wrong, and it isn’t about me and how happy I am without semen in my life because, you know, if I had some of that I’d impregnate my wife and save us a few thousand dollars in fertility treatments. I’d be able to spend that fertility money on better things like booze and Ikea furniture. Let me share a story about my friend. We’ll call her Karen. You see, Karen and her husband are trying to have a baby. Trying really hard. They’ve each had fertility tests, she’s had surgeries and, apparently, a lot of the sexual relations, but she’s not happy. A neighbor recently offered her husband a “#1 Dad” Mariners t-shirt and she started to cry because she thought he was mocking their misfortune, their inability to have the child they so desperately want. A child they’ve been having so much sex in an attempt to conceive that she should be shitting rainbows and unicorns and mountains of whatever mythical creature signifies happiness to you, on account of all that sperm being showered into her vagina. But she’s not. In fact, she’s now refusing to allow semen into her body more than once per week because, in her words, “please, who needs that much spunk in their hoo-ha?” It doesn’t seem like semen is the answer to me, or to Karen.

The search for meaning seems like a good starting point to finding happiness. I know that I’m constantly searching for meaning. Why am I here? What is this life all about? Why is Living Lohan still on the air? There are so many questions and, I believe, we are all asking them, conscious or not. If you want to make a woman happy, you need to work on two separate things: First, search for your own answers, and then help her along, supporting her as you travel that path together. The reward of relationships is the journey, in discovering together what it means to be alive, to have a purpose. It’s like they always say in those episodes of (NERD ALERT!) Janie’s favorite show, Xena: Warrior Princess, especially the ones where I’m certain that during the commercial breaks Xena and Gabrielle are enjoying relating to one another, if you know what I mean. And what I mean is that they’re sweaty and naked and having dirty homosexual lesbian lady gay sex. I’m sorry, I got distracted. Lucy Lawless has the nicest teeth. Anyhow, relationships are about what you can learn from one another, how each can make the other a better person. It’s like how Xena is less murdery because Gabrielle is such a pussy and how Gabrielle finally learned how to kick a guy in the balls because Xena told her where they were. Lesbians don’t always know that sort of thing.

The truth is that I don’t know how you or anyone else can make a woman really, really happy. I know that I’m happiest when I find a purpose to my existence, however small it may be. Tonight I brought my beautiful wife some M&Ms because she was having a bad day. When I gave them to her, she looked at me with joy in her eyes and said that I always knew just what she needed at any given time. For that brief moment I knew my purpose was to bring bags of candy-coated chocolate pellets to the woman I love. Then she took her shirt off to reward me and I had a whole new purpose that I can’t talk about here.

If I Could Only Bring One Carry-On Luggage to Heaven – What Will Be Inside?

The motto of the “Great Interview Experiment” is “everyone is interesting.”  But let’s be honest.  Half of my readership lives in the suburbs and works in online marketing.  How often do I get to meet a female blogger who drives an OTR truck!  Charming Bitch writes an honest and emotional blog about her life.  She will also chew your ear off in e-mail messages explaining how an OTR truck is different than other trucks.  Did you know truck stops now have wireless?   Since Shannon of Charming Bitch likes to travel, and travel lightly, I was curious about what she would bring to her final destination.    Talk about a difficult question.   But I knew she could handle  it– she’s tough enough to drive a freaking truck!

If I Could Only Bring One Carry-On Luggage to Heaven — What Will Be Inside?  by Charming Bitch

Man, I had exactly no idea what putting myself in Neil’s (capable, firm yet caressing) hands would entail. I initially thought, yes, how exciting! I only recently guest posted for the first time at someone else’s blog and it was a thrill to be asked. This though, this I signed up and volunteered for, nay begged for the opportunity and here I sit trying to post about what would be in my one carry-on to the alleged Heaven. Heavy stuff, for a not-quite-convinced-yet-not-unconvinced believer of anything but the reality of luck and the heavier weight that it is given over good, solid decisions in this life.

So many things to consider, so many things to look over in making a decision as final as packing for this place called Heaven. I am, by nature, a light traveler and I am far too neurotic to ever check a bag so a single carry-on for this last ascent (…or descent) seems appropriate yet still too much somehow. Heaven, it seems to be implied, is like Sandals Resorts and more all-inclusive than ala-carte. What from this world could I bring that would somehow add to the ambiance?  Fart jokes and porn are ruled out just on principle.

Furniture obviously wouldn’t fit in a carry on, even that annoying Swedish build-it-yourself non-sense. Clothes too seem frivolous as from what every movie has ever told me, all in attendance in Heaven adhere to a strict dress code of wings and things much like Star Trek but with less form fitting attire. Make-up too would be unseemly as again, the movies have given me the green light to believe that a rosy glow is included in the package. Electronics wouldn’t be welcome. Somehow I think God would take umbrage at the very idea of me showing up all, ”I am so totally blogging the after-life!”. I mean, I would think that with the Bible being a frillion years old they would welcome some new reading material but even I am not so emboldened as to make that call. I mean, it’s Heaven not the waiting room at Urgent Care, for Christ’s sake. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. Oh, I kill me. I kill me dead until I die from it and go right to Heaven, it seems.

Having eliminated material possessions, I am forced to evaluate the non-tangibles. But how to pack that which you cannot see or fold into neat stacks or cram into little plastic bags. Where would I pack the love I have been fortunate enough to receive in this life? What is the proper compartment to store the lessons learned at the feet of my parents? How will I ever measure for eternal travel the feel of my husband’s hands cupping my face to kiss my forehead? How difficult, exactly, is security to get through the illustrious Pearly Gates?  Will there be a cavity search  for pocket knives and nail-clippers?  Are those Gates  manned by the same TSA  personnel as on this Earth? Will there be additional charges for bringing a surplus of joy or satisfaction? And hope! What of hope? For a good life, for security, for a safer, kinder society? May I bring that with or shall I expect it to be supplied upon registration? So many questions unanswered for a trip that must not be put off any longer.

Finally a decision is made to leave with the bag all the things people forget to put in their pockets daily. Love, passion, compassion, joy, kindness, satisfaction and hope I will abandon in the terminal with wishes that those who need it will find it, like a soul buffing kiosk right in the airport. I won’t need to bring those things where I am going because if you believe the hype and right now I really need to, I will soon be reunited with Jackson and I will have all those things in excess. Plus a really, really cool costume.

Catcha on the flip-side. Maybe.

I Woke Up Today with a Penis! Can My Marriage Survive?

Today’s guest post is written by blogger/mother Marinka of Motherhood in NYC.   Marinka and I are fairly new to each other online., but she’s funny — and I adore funny women.   But her name brought up some red flags.   “Are you Russian?” I asked Marinka.   Yes.   She and her parents has come from the Soviet Union when she was very young.  A-ha!  A Russian-born woman!  I know her type VERY WELL.  She will get you drunk on vodka, have her way with you, break your heart, and then toss you into the Black Sea.  So, here you go, Sophia — I mean Marinka — I’m giving you a ridiculous topic just because I’m passive-aggressive!

Who’s Afraid of Dick Woolf (With Not-Very-Sincere Apologies to Virginia and Mr. Wolf)
by Marinka of Motherhood in NYC

Ladies, ever wonder if your marriage would survive if you suddenly woke up with a penis?  Why not ask  your partner?  It will bring you closer and make for lighthearted conversation. 

I ask my husband if he would still love me if I were to sprout a penis, and he says “yes” so quickly that I become instantly suspicious.  I mean, who can agree to something like that without mulling it over, maybe running a few Google searches and having a heart to heart with friends or maybe a mental health expert or a dozen.  At the very least, shouldn’t he be asking me why I was asking?  Or how this penis would happen to appear?  Or if I’ve had my meds adjusted recently?

The more I think about it, the more obnoxious his “yes” becomes.  As far as I can tell, there were only two possible reasons for it.  First is that he wasn’t really listening to what I was asking, and even if he were, he just wanted to get the conversation over with as quickly as possible and this was the best way to get me to shut the hell up.  Second is  that in my sudden penis growth he sees an opportunity for an early retirement as he parades me around the talk show freak circus circuit and cashes in.  I am uncertain which option is more offensive, but I do know that my evening plans of watching “Gossip Girl” are on hold.  Indefinitely.

“What do you mean ‘yes’?” I ask him.

“What?” he says, leading me towards Theory Number One of Not Listening To Me.

“You would still love me and stay married to me if I had a penis?  Isn’t that weird?  Wouldn’t you be alarmed and maybe concerned and skeeved out?”

“I guess.”  He shrugs.  I sometimes think that shrugging by adults is a defense to most crimes committed against them.

“So, why do you say ‘yes’ if I asked you if you’d still love me?”

He looks at me as though I were asking a completely ridiculous question.

“I said ‘yes’ because I thought that your getting a penis was an unlikely event, like something that we won’t be facing in the near future—along the lines of ‘will you love me forever, no matter what?’”


“What ‘what’?”

“You mean when you’ve said that you’ll love me forever, no matter what, you meant it the same way you mean ‘I’ll love you if you have a huge penis’?!”

“How do you know that you’d have a huge one?”

“Oh please.  I wouldn’t have a fun-sized one.”


“What do you mean ‘Ok’? You think that I’d have a tiny dick?  You have some fucking nerve.  You don’t really appreciate me, do you?  You’re constantly emasculating me.”

“Are you PMSing?”

“Fuck you.”

“Let me grab my ankles, now that you have a penis.”

“Well, if you had a mangina, it would totally be over between us.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“A mangina.  A male vagina.”

“Look, if you are not PMSing, you’re insane.  What is a male vagina?”

“You don’t understand anything.”

“Thank god for that.”

So yes, apparently,  my marriage would survive my growing a penis.  As long as we never discussed it.

How I Would Explain the Internet to John Adams

Today’s guest post is written by the Boston-based Rhea of The Boomer Chronicles.  I like her blog because even though it is more informational than most of the other blogs I read, she writes it with humor (and I agree with most of her politics).  I think you’ll see how her style works well with this piece of writing. Rhea and I have a lot in common.  We are both Jewish screenwriters who are attracted to women.   Thank you, Rhea, for cleverly tackling this impossible assignment (even if you did leave out the part about what you would make him for dinner — but maybe that will be in the sequel!)

“How I Would Explain the Internet to John Adams
by Rhea


EXT. Carpenters’ Hall, a stately brick building in the city of Philadelphia, August 1775

INT. Grown men in white wigs, about 30 in number, are gathered in a room furnished with wooden chairs, long tables, and a lectern. There is a DIN in the hall as the men heartily greet each other.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Hear ye, hear ye! 

A gavel POUNDS the lectern.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: The Second Continental Congress is now called to order!

The men slowly shuffle to their seats. Soon, one man rises. It is Mr. John Adams.

JOHN ADAMS: Esteemed members of Congress, you are probably wondering why I’ve asked you all here today. (RIMSHOT!) Besides the necessity of determining the future status of our fledgling government, we have a guest speaker.

GROANS all around.

JOHN ADAMS: Gentlemen, please. Our visitor has traveled a long distance to be with us. In fact, he has traveled from two and a half centuries hence.

An agitated MURMUR ripples through the crowd.

JOHN RUTLEDGE: Two and a half centuries? What were you smoking at Harvard, Mr. Adams?

JOHN ADAMS: Mr. Rutledge, I assure you, I am in full possession of my faculties, and all of my senses, to boot. (RIMSHOT!)

EDWARD BIDDLE: But Mr. Adams, it is imperative we resolve the Tobacco Act and the Stamp Act today, as well as the Class Act and the Third Act.

JOHN ADAMS: I implore you, gentlemen. Lend your ear to our speaker, for he brings news that I am certain will cheer you.


A deafening clap of THUNDER sounds outside the windows. Inside, a blinding SPOTLIGHT illuminates the double-doored entrance to the hall. The doors swing open. A man enters wearing a pale blue leisure suit and Woody Allen-type glasses. He is lugging a rolling cart upon which some objects are concealed by a cloth. He guides the cart to the center of the room. Behind him enter a three-piece BAND whose members all sport yarmulkes, a CATERER pushing a refreshment table featuring a whiskey sour fountain and bubbling pot of Brunswick stew, and a PHOTOGRAPHER with a camera bag and two cameras. The band explodes in a lively rendition of “Winchester Cathedral.” The Congressmen rise to fill their plates at the buffet table and then take their seats.

The lights DIM. The VISITOR whips the cloth off a machine. A screen silently descends from the ceiling and a PowerPoint show commences. The Congressmen GASP and SHOUT in astonishment.

The gavel POUNDS.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Order! Order! Come to order!

The Visitor begins his show.

VISITOR: When we became aware of the troubles you were having hammering out the foundation of our country, we decided to time-travel back to offer you three indispensable tools. First–

The slide reveals an image of a prescription bottle.

VISITOR: Viagra. Mr. Adams, you have traditionally provided saltpeter to men of the Continental Army, but believe me, an erection lasting longer than four hours can pretty much have the same effect.

The next PowerPoint slide reveals a patriot in a running suit.

The Congressman MURMUR.

VISITOR: Second, we have Lycra. Have your wives add stretchy waistbands to your britches. You won’t have to replace them as often.


The third slide shows a desktop computer.

VISITOR: Finally, we have a little something called the Internet. If you take Ben Franklin’s electricity, combine it with Pascal’s Principles and Heisenberg’s Hypothesis, you get the modern-day Internet.

The Congressmen look puzzled.

VISITOR: Oh, trust me, you don’t really need to know how it works. You just need to know about this: Wikipedia. You see, it’s an encyclopedia. But the beauty of it is that — unlike other encyclopedias — the facts it contains can be altered at any time. Don’t like your biography? Change it! Have you been a traitor? A heavy drinker? A slave owner? It doesn’t matter! You can rewrite history any way you’d like, and at any time you choose.

RUTLEDGE: Mr. Samuel Adams could most certainly take advantage of that. His imbibing is legendary!

Sam blushes. Hearty LAUGHTER all around.

VISITOR: Sooooo, guys. Whaddya think?

JOHN ADAMS: I move to nominate this man a delegate to Congress.

The assembled Congressmen rise in unison with their whiskey sours aloft.

ALL: Hear! Hear!

EXT. Carpenters’ Hall. Its bells CHIME and CHIME.


Next Week’s Guest Posts

Good morning,  guest posters.   Here are your topics for next week.   Do us proud!   Email your work to me when it is done.   Like hell I trust you with my blog’s password.


“How I Would Explain the Internet to John Adams (And What I Would Cook Him For Dinner)”
by Rhea of The Boomer Chronicles


“I Woke Up Today with a Penis!  Can my Marriage Survive?”  
by Marinka of Motherhood in NYC


“If I Could Only Bring One Carry-On Luggage to Heaven — What Will Be Inside?” 
by CharmingDriver of Charming Bitch


“What I Can Teach Neil abut Making a Women Really Really Happy” 
by Linsey of Uncouth Heathen


“My First Day as the Chicago Cubs New Mascot To Attract More Gay Men to the Park– the Chicago Red Hot”  
by Fort Knocks of Impatiens

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