the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: birthdays

The Sixth Year of Blogging Begins

Today is my birthday.  It is also the sixth anniversary of Citizen of the Month, which I began writing on March 7, 2005.

Even thought I have republished this before, I will do it again.  My first post from 2005–

What’s on my mind this evening — the night of my first post?   It’s the future.   My future.

I see it so clearly.

I’m a very spry 100 year old man, thanks to medical advances and the ability of the medical establishment to take chances with modern patient care.  Who knew that the diet supplement Trimspa would end up eradicating most illnesses from the world?

I’m in my home of the future.  My grandson, Bar Code #466408736664, sits at my side, browsing the internet in eye-scan mode  (using the latest upgraded Intel mini-chip in his brain — the PC having disappeared decades earlier)..  Suddenly, he tells me that he’s at the Coca-Cola digi-Archives site (formerly the Library of Congress) and viewing this very first post that you are currently reading.

At that moment, I will be an old man remembering the early days of the Internet.  The 56K modem.  Netscape.  Those AOL disks falling out of every magazine.  That first illegal MP3.  That first post on the blog.

“Grandpa,” #466 says with a twinkle in his eye.  “Man, grandpa, this post really sucks.”

And just then, I realize that it isn’t a twinkle in his eye, but a reaction to one of those synthetic drugs he’s been taking at school.   I laugh, remembering how I was drunk while writing that first post.

“He’d grown up just like me.
My boy was just like me.”

What a weird hobby — this blogging thing.   In some ways, my writing hasn’t changed much over the years; it is still a combination of honesty and bullshit.

The truth:  I was not drunk writing my first post.  I should delete that now.  Why did I write that for?  I must have thought it was funny at the time.

That is one way my writing has changed; I’m not as funny as I used to be in 2005.   Three family deaths and the ups and downs of marital life can do that to you. Maybe I was never that funny.  But luckily, I have had good friends, both online and offline keeping me in good spirits, a loving mother, and the continued friendship of Sophia, so I’m pretty optimistic about the future. And all this angst, rather than getting me down, has only made me more sexy in the eyes of women, because they seem to love the dark, brooding type of guy! So, there is that.

What will happen on this blog during this sixth year of production?  Rather than tell you in words, I made a little video trailer of an upcoming blog post that I will be writing in July.  So, please stick around for another year of laughter, pathos, and drama!  Enjoy.

Twitter Birthday Hell

I spent over an hour on Twitter this morning, wishing various bloggers a Happy Birthday.  I’m only writing about this minor life experience because I think by exploring it with you, I will give you some insights into how my brain works, and why I should return to therapy or at least quit Twitter.

Today is the birthday of Schmutzie, a blogger from SK, Canada.  I have known her online for five years.  I wrote a sentimental tweet to her today about how I cried from joy the first time I met her in person at BlogHer.  A little corny, but heart-felt.

Then I worried that it was a little too personal to be writing this in public.  But it was too late.

Today is the birthday of The Bloggess, a blogger from Texas.  She is one of the most popular humor bloggers online.  Hundreds of people were wishing her happy birthday on Twitter.  I didn’t want to get my message getting lost in the crowd, so I DM-ed her a “Happy Birthday, Jenny!”

Then I worried that sending her a DM rather than a public happy birthday was a little too personal.  But it was too late.

Today is the birthday of Magpie Musing, a blogger from New York.  I recently saw her at a party in New York and she is really cool.  I had already wished her a happy birthday on Facebook, so I didn’t think it was necessary to wish her a happy birthday again on Twitter.  But then I figured she would surely see my glowing birthday tweet of love for Schmutzie, and she would end up hating me for the rest of my life.  So I wrote a “Happy Birthday, Maggie” to her.

Then I worried that I was sending her too many Happy Birthday messages, and she might be wondering if I am hitting on her, or worse — stalking her.

Today is the birthday of Mimi Smartypants.  We are not friends and we don’t follow each other on Twitter.  But I have read her blog a few times, and she is a great writer, and always wanted for her to follow ME on Twitter.  So, I crassly sent her a birthday message on Twitter for the sole reason of her noticing me, and then hopefully saying to herself, “Who is this kind gentleman sending me this happy birthday message?  I must immediately go read his blog and comment on it, and then follow him on Twitter, because he is wonderful.”

Then I worried that I looked like a kiss-ass by sending her that Tweet.

After I send all these messages, I wanted to make sure that everyone felt the love equally, so I wrote another tweet wishing all of them a Happy Birthday by name, and then including a few celebrity birthdays as a humorous afternote (“also happy birthday to Mary Tyler Moore, Jon Voight, and Jude Law!”), which I found on some online “Who was born today?” site.

I immediately received a tweet from Magpie Musing, a woman of culture, that read “And don’t forget Pablo Casals!”

I was glad to see that my Happy Birthday tweet worked, and she didn’t hate me.  I decided it was safe to return to my sarcastic Twitter wit, and I replied —

“I think you just alienated half of Twitter with that reference.”

She returned with a rather serious reply, and a link to Pablo Casals on Wikipedia.

“Pablo Casals is a great cellist born in 1876.”

Now, I know who Pablo Casals was.  My tweet was a joke insinuating that most of the idiots on Twitter wouldn’t know Pablo Casals from Pablo Picasso.   The joke was mocking them and the highbrow reference.  And now everyone who followed Magpie Musing on Twitter was going to be under the impression that I was an ingnoramus who didn’t know Pablo Casals!  Hey, I watch PBS, too!

I quickly started typing a retraction —

“I do know who Pablo Casals is, maybe not as well as Mary Tyler Moore, but…”

Then I worried this tweet would make me look insecure.  Besides, nobody would believe that I knew who Pablo Casals was anyway.

I closed down my Twitter app and took a twenty minute nap.  I wasted my entire morning because of you.

F**k you, every single person who has a birthday today!

A Master Class

Today is my mother’s birthday. This is her birthday card.

It was a windy and lonely October evening. I was in my bedroom, the overhead lamp flickering, as I IM-ed with Allison, a New Hampshire woman who wrote a knitting blog.

“Do you really want to do this?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Go down on me. That really turns me on.”

“OK.”

I took a deep breathe. I was nervous. Although this wasn’t real sex, I felt the same sense of performance anxiety. I tried to visualize Allison in her bedroom. I wish I had bought a web-cam so I could at least see her face.

“Are you undressed already?” I inquired.

“Yes. I’m on my bed with my laptop next to me.”

I started typing, touching the keys gently, fearful of what my lustful emotion might bring forth, bursting from me like water from a broken dam.

“I’m kissing your thighs. I’m kissing you around. I’m uh…”

“Are you kissing my sweet spot?”

“Yes. I love your sweet spot. Can you feel me?”

“I can feel your tongue. It feels so good.”

Wow. Wow. Wow. This was more intense than I could ever imagine.

“I love doing this to you. I love feeling you move to my touch.” I quickly typed.

There was a long pause on the other side.

“I don’t know if I can type and take care of myself at the same time.”

“So don’t type,” I replied, always the gentleman. “Let me do all the work.”

“You’re amazing, Neil. Really.”

Just as I was about to dive back into this virtual reality, my mother knocked on my door.

“Neil, there’s a phone call for you in the kitchen.”

“Not now!” I shouted.

“It’s that producer from Los Angeles!”

“Oh, shit!”

I had been waiting all week for the call from this producer. Had he liked the first 30 pages? Is this a good sign that he is calling so late in the day? Or a bad one? I had to make a quick decision between business and pleasure. Art and commerce won out. I ran into the kitchen, where my mother was making dinner.

“Ed, how are you doing?” I said to the producer on the phone, trying to sound as confident and polished as possibly without letting on that I am in the middle of giving virtual oral sex to a blogger/knitter in New Hampshire. “Oh, you mean you DIDN’T like the first act?”

I could see frustration on the face of my eavesdropping mother.

“What didn’t he like about it?” she asked. “What does HE know?”

“SHHH…” I said to my mother. The last thing I needed was getting my mother involved in any drama. Besides, the producer didn’t know my mother was here. I had told him that I moved to New York to shack up with this hot Asian NY model I had met in a Santa Monica bar, not to live with my mother in Queens.

I continued to listen to the producer’s notes, most of them making very little sense.

“Well, I can rewrite that first act if you want?” I said, pasting on a fake smile. ” Uh, I don’t know. Do you really see Jake as a Ben Stiller-type? Oh, you do? I think it is a, uh, great idea. I love Ben Stiller!”

“I don’t like Ben Stiller at all,” said my mother, shaking her head. “Jerry Stiller, yes. But I saw Ben Stiller in that “museum” movie on HBO. That was terrible.”

“Ma!” I said, scolding my mother, before I realized I was still on the phone. “My God, Ed, I meant — that is a exceptionally good idea,” I continued on, stumbling with my tongue. “I’ll get to work on it right away. What? Notes? From Evelyn? Now?”

The producer wanted me to talk to his brainy development assistant for more notes. She was not very fond of me. Our relationship turned sour when she caught me looking down her blouse during a “story” meeting at the Polo Lounge. Now I had to endure her nasty, passive-aggressive notes. This could take another twenty minutes.

“OK, put her on. I’ll be back in a second.”

I rushed back into my bedroom. Allison was still online, texting furiously.

“Oh, Neil, I never felt like this before. You are F*CKING AMAZING! I feel so bad, so dirty, but so good. You know exactly how to reach me with your tongue, with your hands. I want to feel you inside of me.”

Apparently, I was quite a stud while I was away.

“Uh, I’m not sure I can type anymore either.” I wrote back. “I need to take care of something.”

“Yes, yes. Take care of yourself.” said Allison, the friendly knitting blogger from New Hampshire. “I know your big, hard man-thing needs care. Stop typing and take care of it. Make me feel like a woman. Oh yeah, that’s it. I feel it. Oh, I love it. I LOVE IT!!”

While this was doing wonders for my ego, I didn’t have the time. Hollywood was calling. My career was on the line, and Evelyn was on the phone. I made a mental note to myself have more virtual sex in the future, because, as evidenced by Allison’s reaction, I was much better at it than real sex.

I ran back into the kitchen. My mother was nearby, chopping up vegetables for a chicken soup.

“Do you know where I put the extra aluminum foil?” asked my mother.

I shrugged and my mother disappeared down the hallway. I picked up the phone.

“OK, Hi, Evelyn.” I said to the young Harvard grad, the type of woman who at college would walk right past me with her nose held high. “Sure, I want to hear you notes. Will it take long? I was busy uh, writing, and I don’t want to lose the momentum when the blood is flowing. Ten pages of notes? Oh, sure. Go ahead. Yes, yes, I heard. The main character. More Ben Stiller-like, right right….

I faked like I was jotting down notes.

Meanwhile, my mother discovered the aluminum foil on top of the drawer in my bedroom, where we stored various bulky and duplicate items, like the 24 rolls of toilet paper that I had recently bought at Walgreen’s.

As my mother was about to leave the room, the foil in her hand, she heard a beep from the laptop. Allison, the knitting blogger, was busy sending messages on IM. My mother walked over, as curious as Yenta the Matchmaker.

“I love the way you take me.” wrote Allison. “You are like an animal. You make me so wet and horny, Neil. I’m such a bad bad bad girl when I feel you inside me like this. Make me come like a wild beast. Do it, Neil. Do it!!!”

My mother wasn’t sure what to do. Her maternal instinct was to help her son. At least he was coming out of his shell and interacting with nice women other than Sophia.

“Perhaps I should take a message while he is out,” she thought.

She sat down and typed a message.

“Hi there, Allison. I just wanted to tell you that Neil had to take an important phone call from a movie producer in LA. He’ll be back with you in a few minutes. OK?”

After a brief pause, came her response.

“Who is this?” asked Allison.

“This is Neil’s mother. I was passing by when I saw your messages.”

“Jesus Christ! Neil’s mother! My god, this is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me. I promise, I never did this before. This is my first time ever. Oh my god!”

“Don’t worry about it? Are you and Neil going to date? Are you Jewish?”

“No, we’re not going to date. I’m married. I have a a year old baby.”

“So, why are you fooling around with Neil on the computer? What about your husband?”

“It’s a long story.”

“What’s the problem?”

“It’s just after the baby, things changed. With Russell”

“Yeah, that happens. That happened with me and Artie, too, after Neil was born. Neil was such a demanding baby!”

“Maybe it was my fault. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with sex. I don’t know, it’s hard for me to have an orgasm.”

“Is Neil really exciting you THAT much?”

“Not really. He’s OK. But I was faking it a bit cause he seems so insecure on Twitter. He does seem very nice and funny, but not really my type. A little too insecure. Why are nice guys always so insecure?”

“Have you tried exploring your own sexuality with a vibrator?”

“I bought one online, but I don’t know. Maybe I just don’t know what to do with it.”

“Which one do you have.”

“The RabbitX.”

“Oh, that is a good one. I hope you didn’t pay full price for it. I know where to get them on sale.”

“Oh yeah?”

“You have your vibrator nearby?

“It’s in the drawer.”

“Get it. I’ll give you some tips on how to use it! I think this will really help you with some of your problems. Then you can show your husband what to do.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Kramer. You’re really cool!”

A half hour later, back in the kitchen, I finished my conversation with Evelyn. I had a migraine and my head was spinning. Now I was going to change the sidekick into a black woman to make the screenplay “different.”

“Thanks for the notes…” I said, but Evelyn had hung up on me before I had the chance. I love Hollywood.

My mother had just returned to the kitchen, and was back working on her chicken soup. Living for a year, as an adult, with my mother, has been a difficult experience. I frequently feel ashamed when I tell people about it, and I wonder if they are laughing behind my back. But one positive outcome about living with your mother is — her chicken soup! She may not be hip or trendy or know anything about Twitter, but you can always depend on a mother to cook her son some soup! But I need to get out of here. Once I build my confidence again, off I go — back into the real world!

I returned to my bedroom. I immediately noticed that Allison was online, waiting for me. She was in a ecstatic mood, as if she had just seen the sun shining after years of darkness.

“You just gave me the best orgasm I ever had in my life” she wrote. “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“I did?” I asked, a little surprised.

“That was like a master class in having an orgasm. How did you get so good?”

I sat up a little taller in my chair. I felt like a King. Maybe I SHOULD feel more confident about myself.

“Well, I’ve always been good doing research, from school. I’ve read a lot of pornographic books. Online videos. I learned. But who knows? Maybe it just comes naturally. Maybe being a great lover is all about genetics.”

“That I believe. Genetics. From now on, every time I have an orgasm, I will thank God for the Kramer family. See you, Neil. Gotta go. My husband just got home and I want to show him something!”

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Birthday

Today is my birthday. If you asked me a year ago where I would be on my birthday, I certainly would never guess that I would be sitting in Boca Raton with my mother AND Sophia, who flew in all the way from Los Angeles just for my birthday. I’m not in a talkative mood lately, so I’ll tell you more about Century Village later in the week. Sometimes I feel pressured to write something here, thinking that if I don’t blog at least three times a week, you will abandon me, which is probably true, but it is also important to remind myself that I exist outside of this blog.

Today, Sophia, my mother, and I took a drive into West Palm Beach, once the home to the rich and famous, now a city taken in by Ponzi Schemes, and checked out two museums, The Flagler and the Norton. We also found an ice cream parlor where the chocolate ice cream was deemed by People Magazine as the “best in the country.”

March 7th is also the birthday of my blog. I started Citizen of the Month on my birthday in 2005. My template is exactly the same today as it was on that day four years ago, having spent the day before my birthday in 2005 “designing” my header in Illustrator. It amuses me that so little has changed with my blog in those four years. There is still no advertising, and the blog remains consistently uneven, ranging from the stupid to the emotionally distraught.

I’m not particularly proud of my last year as a blogger. I spent too much time on Twitter and ignored my blogging friends. Twitter is so focused on “followers,” that I began to perceive some bloggers as more worthy of my attention than others, as if networking and cliquishness was the ‘real’ point of being online, not the writing, or the community spirit. I believe the online world has given me the opportunity to become a better person, not a worse one, and I failed considerably. I might seriously dump Twitter when I return to New York, because I don’t like myself when I am Twittering.

I am inspired by those of you who blog honestly, comment freely, and show a sense of community. I look up to you. As I enter my fifth year of blogging, I want to thank you for another year as my blogging friends.

A Birthday Chick-Lit Tale: The Royal Bra

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Thanks for all the cool photos! I know that this is going to sound sappy, but I can’t think of a BETTER birthday present than having you come to this site and actually READ the nonsense I write. So, thanks.

I have no idea where this is going, or if I’ll ever finish it, but just knowing you’re reading it makes me laugh —

The Royal Bra by Neil Kramer

Chapter One

“I can’t believe I’m actually here,” Sarah said, pinching her own arm. “Me, lil’ Sarah Rothberg, here in Manhattan at the British Consulate at an exclusive party for the Royal Family.”

She closed her eyes thinking it all a dream, but when she reopened them, the amazing reality had not disappeared. The whole night had been a whirlwind for Sarah, from the moment she entered the British Consulate. What glamour and elegance! And so far from her typical dorky life of a Brooklyn-born working drone/editorial assistant for Science Interest Magazine.

Sarah knew she was out of her element from the moment she was announced at the door, and saw all the well-dressed guests and the lush 19th Century interior. She immediately ran to get a glass of champagne to calm her nerves. And then another. And then a third. Since when did she become such a lush? She knew she was getting a bit tipsy after that third glass of champagne.

“Sure,” she rationalized, “I was hoping to become a little more comfortable and social by having a few drinks — it is a party after all — but how in the world did I end up in the second floor “library” making out in the darkness with a virtual stranger? I’m a good girl. Sarah Rothberg doesn’t do one night stands.”

Although she couldn’t make out the books on the shelves, she was sure that Jane Austen was there, watching her.

“Would she scold me for being so brazen, or would she say “You go, girl!?”” Sarah wondered, giggling to herself.

Maybe tonight will be the night.

Sarah’s mind drifted back to the man on the sofa who was kissing her so passionately. And what a kisser he was! If this is wrong to do, let it be.

“No jury would ever convict me, ” she thought. “I would tell them about his lips, the way his hands tenderly feel my body. Oh, he’s good. Real good. Not guilty. By reason of insatiable.”

Sarah’s impure thoughts were just getting good when they were rudely interrupted by the alarm blasting from her iPhone.

“Oh no, I have to go,” screamed Sarah, gathering up her clothes and running out the library door.

“But wait…” said a deep male voice. “Don’t go. I don’t even know…”

But Sarah was already halfway down the stairs. She was feeling dizzy. The champagne. The man. The emotions. She had to stay focused. She had to leave the Consulate before the stroke of midnight, when her Guy Larouche sapphire-blue gown would dissolve back into a pair of Levis.

It’s what the fairy godmother told her.

Back in the library, His High Royal Highness Prince Robert of Cornwall flicked the light to the library, revealing a shirtless man with the toned chest of a sportsman. Rushing to the window, he hoped to still catch a glimpse of the woman he has just met, but he only saw her for a second, until she disappeared into the New York dark.

“Please come, back.” he whispered to the night air. “I don’t even know your name.”

In all his years, Prince Robert had met many women — specimens of the gender who were thought to be his “equal” — beauties with exquisite taste, proper upbringing, well-travelled, pencil-thin daughters of billionaires who knew how to place a baccarat bet in Monte Carlo or what wine to order at Alain Ducasse in Paris. But never has he met a woman like the women he just kissed. What passion. He could still taste her on his lips and feel her skin next to hers. Had she even known that he was the Prince? Did it matter? The more he thought about her, the more he could feel the Mountbatten of his loins saluting at full attention. Hail Brittania!

He must find her. But how? If only he had some sort of clue, some information that can lead him to the woman… the one who he must make the Princess!

And then he saw it. The clue. Hanging on the edge of the sofa, was… her bra. He remembered how he gently unclasped the back of the bra and it fell down, away from her, like falling leaves during Autumn in Hyde Park.

Prince Robert walked over to the hanging bra, savoring the feel of the material, remembering how her breasts responded to his caresses. It was a purple bra. He read the label. It was from a company that he had never heard of mentioned in his social circles, where bras are usually tailor-made in France.

“Playtex Cross Your Heart,” he read out loud to himself. He took it as a sign from God. “I DO cross my heart that I will find you.”

Prince Robert dressed and went downstairs. He saw his father, the King of England, deeply in conversation with his friend, the new President of the United States, President Obama.

The King waved Prince Robert over.

“President Obama, this is my son, Prince Robert.”

But Prince Robert was not in any mood for pleasantries or chit-chats. He had something more important on his mind.

“President Obama, I know we have just met. But I have something very important to ask you that will play a significant role in Anglo-American relations. I need your help.”

Then, in one strong, swift, upward gesture, Prince Robert lifted up the purple bra for all to see.

“We need to find the American woman who fits perfectly into this bra!”

Within hours, there was a frenzy in the media, both on TV and in the blogosphere. Twitters were being sent all across the world, spreading the news. New York was in an uproar. The New York Post was the first to announce an open call with their headline:

“Prince Robert to New York: BRA-VA!”

“An open call will be held tomorrow afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Women will be expected to try on a specifically-sized bra. Only one woman will fit perfectly in the bra.”

By morning, there was chaos. Women of all shapes and sizes lined up outside Macy’s on 34th Street and little by little, the line grew. And grew. The line snaked it’s way uptown, past Central Park, past the Upper West Side, past Harlem, and into the Bronx. Many of the women, knowing that they were going to try on a bra once they reached the Garden, made a point of just wearing a bra in the street — hopefully catching the attention of the Prince before they even got to the Garden. Some women dispensed with bras completely, going topless, thinking the Prince would appreciate their resourcefulness. And besides, it was a beautiful day.

It was a sight never seen before in New York, and probably never again. Thousands and thousands of women of every religion and color, shape and size, standing in line, the fresh air hitting their exposed bras and breasts. For once, women found themselves free to talk about their breasts in public. Some talked about breast-feeding. Buxom women were supportive of women with A-cups, saying how athletic they looked. Flat-chested women spoke of their envy of full-breasted women. Big-breasted women complained about back pain. Women started taking donations for breast cancer research, and gave each other bra-buying advice. Some women wore special, elaborately-decorated bras for the occasion, and New York’s artistic community came out in force, with female artists constructing their own bras out of unique materials, such as felt and tin cans.

For men, it was a major holiday — a day every male New Yorker will remember in happiness for the rest of his life, much like VJ Day, or the Mets winning the World Series. Throughout the city, women were walking around, taking the buses, eating hot dogs — just wearing their bras. By afternoon, men began to even see it as normal and just enjoyed the view, without making such a big deal over what God gave women.

Of course, for many men, it was overwhelming. Ronald Boxner, age 78, had a massive heart attack and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital. As he was being rushed by ambulance, he knew his time on this Earth was up. He asked the emergency worker if he help him lift his head, so he could just watch the women with bras walking in the city.

“Of course,” said the EMT.

Ronald Boxner died a few moments later. His final word were, “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Of course, this outpouring of women into midtown Manhattan was not all for noble reasons. For many women, this was all about MONEY and POWER. They were there to snag a rich husband. These golddiggers would never truly love Prince Robert.

Sadly, New York City is filled with these golddiggers. Like Shirley and Jackie.

Shirley and Jackie have always been on the prowl for men. They also have no respect for the male gender, thinking them as horny dumb creatures, who are only after sex. Shirley and Jackie use whatever it takes to nab a wealthy man. Both are owners of the latest in breast enhancements, created by — and they would be proud to tell you this — the older brother of the doctor who worked on Pamela Anderson’s boobs in Los Angeles. This is not the first time that they have had surgery on their breasts, or their lips, or the thighs.

“There’s no way I’m gonna be stuck with a loser guy from Brooklyn.” is Shirley’s motto. “If wealthy guys like big tits, that’s what I’m gonna give them.”

It was a typical evening at home, when Shirley and Jackie heard the news about the Prince. They were in the middle of their daily “Wheel of Fortune” showing, when Eyewitness News broke in with the news the purple bra and the big event at Madison Square Garden sponsored by the Royal Family.

The newscaster showed a photo of the bra.

“From all accounts, the “Royal” bra is a 34B.”

“Hell, I CAN fit my DDs in that, if I really squeeze them tight.” announced Jackie.

“Not if I get on line first,” said Shirley.

Jackie and Shirley adjusted their huge breasts and rushed to the door, each hoping to get on line first, passing their youngest sister, Sarah, on her hands and knees, scrubbing the kitchen floor with Ajax.

“You stay here and keep cleaning, pancake chest.” said Jackie to Sarah. “We have important business to attend to.”

As Jackie and Shirley slammed the door behind them, a tear fell from Sarah’s eye onto the already perfectly clean kitchen floor.

Sarah IS the owner of the purple bra.

(to be continued or not, depending on my mood)

Happiness Project, Day Four: Send in the Bras

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The Official “Bras for Happiness” badge

Neil: Hey, Penis, you want to come out and play?

Neil’s Penis: Nah, I’m depressed.

Neil: Wow, I never heard you say that before. I thought you NEVER got depressed.

Neil’s Penis: Well, you’ve finally done it, haven’t you? Proud? Now, I just want to sit around and watch American Idol.

Neil: I’m sorry. I guess I know how you feel. It’s because…

Neil’s Penis: Yes… and also…

Neil: …it’s our birthday on Friday…

Neil’s Penis: Woo-hoo, big deal.

Neil: You’re always so sarcastic, Penis. You don’t really mean that. We can still celebrate together.

Neil’s Penis: Celebrate what?! You have to admit this year’s birthday is gonna be a downer. Last year, Sophia arranged for our greatest birthday we ever had, thanks to all of those bloggers. This year, with Sophia and you…

Neil: Well, maybe other bloggers can come through again, cheering us up. They always do. Remember when we missed Fall, they emailed us photos of the foliage from the East Coast. And when we were lonely with Sophia away, they shared photos of their beds with us.

Neil’s Penis: Yeah, they are a special group. But now we’re at a low point. I can’t imagine anything they could give us that would be the pick-me-up we need.

Neil: I can. Remember when when we were teenagers, and we used to wait for the mail to come, so we could see the Macy’s circular, just so we can look at the bra ads.

Neil’s Penis: Of course, that’s one of my fondest memories.

Neil: Bras! The Magic of Bras can save the day.

Neil’s Penis: Bras? What do you mean?

Neil: Imagine if bloggers email us birthday photos of women in bras — retro Maindenform ads, Victoria Secret models — or even the most special gift of all — a photo of a female blogger’s OWN BRA. She doesn’t have to be wearing her bra. Her bra can be hanging in the shower or on the kitchen chair, or just sitting next to the dog on the bed. But it would be HER BRA — and I would know it!

Neil’s Penis: Brilliant, Neilochka. I think it might just work!

(I will be posting these photos, so if you actually email me a photo of YOUR BRA for my birthday and just want to keep it, uh, private… please tell me so. Otherwise, just send me a photo of a woman in a bra — any age, any race, any shape!)

(Why do I have the feeling like this post is going to get me booted out of BlogHer?)

(If I said this post was sponsored by Bali and was using this as a way to monetize my blog rather than just being a horny guy exploiting his birthday for selfish purposes, would that sound better?)

Send in those bras! My birthday is Friday. Neilochka at yahoo dot com.

Update: You can now email me photos of things other than bras.

Sunday Brunch

Sunday was Hilly’s birthday. We met Hilly and SJ for Sunday Brunch.

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Here Sophia is teaching Hilly how they drink mimosas in Europe, Bruderschaft style. (photo by SJ)

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SJ and I in a competitive smiling match. (photo by Sophia)

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Hilly and Sophia after two mimosas. (photo SJ)

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More mimosas. (photo by SJ)

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After one mimosa, I became a little dizzy as I fantasized about being with three women at once. (photo by Sophia)

It never happened the way I had hoped — but I did bring all three women back to the house. Most of the action came from SJ, who decided to take photos of our living room. Here are a couple of her photos. I figured I might as well show you where Sophia and I do it every day — and by “do it every day” I mean watch “All My Children.” (photos by SJ)

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Hilly, may this year be your best!

April 12th

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Ever since I moved back in with Sophia, she’s been trying to get me to move out of the house and into my own apartment.   I’m always telling her that I’m too depressed to go through all the trouble of looking through the classifieds, etc. 

Now I have something to admit to you.   Sophia cleverly found a way to break me out of my depression.  She threw this amazing virtual surprise birthday party for me, in which so many of you sent such lovely cards and gifts.  All your kindness and friendship worked better than Prozac!

But here is the actual surprising part, and it is a little embarrassing to reveal, but  — it wasn’t really my birthday!   The entire event was all set up by Sophia as a last-ditch effort to “make me feel good,” right before our trip to Portland,  so I wouldn’t have any excuses not to move out the house when we returned. 

Isn’t Sophia devious, but amazingly clever?  I’ve started visiting some vacancies today in Los Angeles with my mother, thanks to Sophia’s push (and with your generous help!)

Luckily, I have some other good news.  My REAL birthday is coming up on April 12th!  If you were unable to send a gift the first time, here is your opportunity to do so now!  I would also love it if everyone who sent me a card or gift for my fake birthday, does it again for my authentic birthday.  It would mean so much to me.  All of you are such good friends!

Since I’m not sure if I’m going to be living with Sophia or in my new apartment in two weeks, please send all packages to Danny.

Thank you in advance for making my upcoming birthday on April 12th the best one I’ve ever had!

Love, Neil

There’s More?

Thank you everyone who wrote something for my birthday.  I certainly didn’t expect THIS.  Your kindness is even better than getting any naked photos.  Special thanks to Colleen for setting up “my” carnival.  I’m blushing from all the attention. 

Sophia sends a message as well:  “When I started this Plan, one of you wrote me that I “could use some good PR…”  🙂
It’s been great getting to know you a little through this.  Thanks for being such good co-conspirators.” 

We’re in Eureka, CA and heading for Oregon today.  It is raining, but luckily we have our rain gear!

A Toast for Sophia’s Birthday, Russian-Style

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Today is Sophia’s birthday.  Most of my fellow blog-acquaintances know how much she means to me.  After all, this blog is 75% about her!  Clearly, she is one of my obsessions.  And why wouldn’t she be?  She’s a real babe.  Above is a childhood photo of Sophia.  She still has the playfulness of a child, only now combined with sexiness of a smart, exciting woman.  She’s taught me how to live it up, how to be assertive, and how to be a better partner.  Look at that smile.  Amazing, right?  And she’s funny, too.  You should read how boring my blog posts are until she gets her hands on them.  Today certainly is a special day for me and everyone who knows Sophia.  It is the day she was born!

I’m going to try to show Sophia a good time today, but it is difficult to compete with a culture that really knows how to party. 

I recently read this great post comparing the way Americans party to the way of Russians.

Americans are boring. They don’t know how to have a good time. Sophistication is often preferred to fun. A typical American wedding, for example, involves prim girls in conservative dresses, guys nursing the same glass of Merlot for several hours while talking to each other about the box score, and a bland choice between chicken or fish. Even a typical evening out is dull – a bar with bad music, or even worse, a lounge where you can “sit and talk.” Bah! If you want to have a good time, you have to hop on the train to Brighton Beach and party with Russians.

Since getting married to Sophia, I’ve gone to quite a few “Russian” celebrations, and I’m usually out of it by the second glass of vodka.  I’m the comic foil at these gatherings, as even the old women laugh at the way I sip the vodka like a glass of chardonnay.

The Russians are a “literary” people, and a birthday event is not JUST about drinking, eating, and dancing.  There is the tradition of “toasting.” 

In the English-speaking world, we might say something like “Cheers,” then drink our beer.   To Russians, only a certified moron would make a toast like that.  A toast is an opportunity to be as elaborate and poetic as possible. 

The first toast is devoted to the occasion, the second toast is usually in honor of the host or the primary person at the gathering (or, sometimes, to friendship), the third toast is typically in honor of women or love. After that, anything goes. You should be prepared to give at least one toast, and “to life, to life, le chaim” will get you only so far. The best topics for a toast include: to our parents’ great wisdom, to a woman’s beauty, to academic prowess, to financial prosperity, to health, and to world peace (especially if foreigners are present).  When you toast, it’s good to have a story. The actual toast doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with the story, as long as the story is sufficiently elaborate. Think along these lines: Once my 95 year old grandfather visited me in Odessa. I took him to the beach, and when he saw the water, he asked me, “what is that?” I told him, “that’s the Black Sea, grandfather.” To which he replied, “and what was there before the revolution?” So, let us raise our glasses so that we may live long enough to annoy our grandchildren with such stupid questions!

One important note:

Don’t drink without toasting, or you’ll be considered an alcoholic.

I’m usually too nervous to toast anyone during the beginning of the meal.  I wait until the serving of the 25th course, when I make the toast in English while Sophia translates.  Unfortunately, unlike on my blog, where I am considered “witty,” my jokes always fall flat.  I often get blank and bemused stares.  Luckily, I’m clever enough to throw it some Russian word at the end of the toast, giving everyone something to cheer about while they drink.

I’m going to make my toast to Sophia later, in person, but feel free to pour yourself a glass of virtual vodka and make a toast in honor of Sophia’s birthday in the comments.

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Drink up!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthHappy Birthday, Sophia

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