the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

My First Meme


Hilary was kind enough to "tag" me with my first "meme."  Did I say that right – tag and meme? 

10 years ago:   I was reading scripts and manuscripts for HBO.  I would work at home.  My mind was turning to mush.  I felt so isolated that I would go to Ralph’s supermarket every day just to talk to the checkout girl.  On weekends, I went with my friend, Hiroshi, to bars in Hollywood.  We would stand around, not talking to anyone else.    We both were students at USC Film School, so we were movie-obsessed.  Since we weren’t meeting any women, we would argue about movies.  Afterwards, we would go to Canter’s Deli for coffee and cake.  We would argue about the movies some more.

5 years ago:   Sophia and I spent all July pitching a romantic comedy to Disney.  We pitched it to five different executives.  We kept on changing it slightly to make it more “outrageous,” as one development person suggested.   Finally, we had the opportunity to pitch it to a vice president.  I remember practicing in front of the mirror half the night.  The next day, we drove to Burbank and the pitch went very well.  “Terrific,” the executive said.  “But we already have something just like it.” 

1 year ago:   Last July, Sophia and I took a trip to Bakersfield, California.  Why?  Because we had never been there.   And you know what?  There’s really not much there.

Yesterday:   I wish I had a more interesting “yesterday,” but I don’t.  I worked on a Flash project at home.  I sent an IM to Hilary.   I checked my stats and saw that I had been linked by a Finnish website.  I used Babelfish to translate the site and it read like nonsense.  Sophia called, angry at my “Ménage a Trois” post

Sophia:   “All you got out of our marriage was that… you learned about women?!

I apologized.  I said I would change it if she wanted me to.  I then found out that she was also upset about the post about our walk.

Sophia:  “You said that I walk 2 1/2 hours one way and then 2 1/2 hours back?”

Me:  “OK, I exaggerated a bit.”

Sophia:  “Your exaggeration makes me sound like a crazy person!  Who walks so much?  And what type of ice cream place is at LAX”  

Me:  "We were in El Segundo.  I thought people might not know El Segundo, so I wrote LAX.

Sophia:  El Segundo is not LAX.  What… were we walking on the runway?

Don’t you love women?  I know I do.   (NOTE:  Just read this a few hours later and I think this post might put me in hot water with Sophia again.   Luckily, since we’re not living together, she can’t kick me out of the bedroom tonight and make me sleep on the couch.  Tonight, I’ll be in my own apartment — sleeping on my own couch!)

I made a salad for dinner.  I went to a meeting of LA Flash in Santa Monica.   I watched “Beauty and the Geek” on Tivo.   Before I went to sleep, I tried to fix my kitchen sink because it was dripping.

Today:   I woke up and put on the news.  I was upset about the bombings  in London.  My sink was still dripping.  I went to Starbucks, where I am writing this right now.   Tonight, I’m going to some play in Hollywood, but I don’t remember the name of it.

Tomorrow:  What am I – a psychic?

5 snacks I enjoy:   bananas, dates, bagels, green tea ice cream, dark chocolate

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:   The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Talking Heads, Cake

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:  travel around the world, buy a house for me (and for Sophia, my parents, and Sophia’s parents), help out friends, buy a Mac, eat at the best sushi bars

5 locations I’d like to run away to:  Paris, London, Florence, Vermont, Central Park

5 bad habits I have:  I say “like” too much, I sometimes pick my nose in the car, I tap my foot while waiting, I find it hard to say “no” to other people, I worry

5 things I like doing:  Going to the theater, going to the movies, listening to music, reading, taking off my clothes when I get home.

5 things I would never wear:  a toupee, colored contact lenses, polyester socks, a thong, a t-shirt that reads “I’m with Stupid.”

5 TV shows I like:  The Simpsons, 24, Lost, American Idol, All My Children

5 Movies I like:  Best Years of Our Lives, Le Rayon Vert, Dog Day Afternoon, Tootsie, Babe

5 famous people I’d like to meet:   Charles Dickens, Woody Allen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Moses, Cole Porter

5 biggest joys at the moment:   The fact that Sophia and I still get along, my parents, interacting with others through “Citizen of the Month,” being friends with guys I met in kindergarten and hearing about their lives, still having my hair.

5 favorite toys:  Tivo, laptop, cellphone, “Citizen of the Month,” my hair.

According to the rules, I need to "tag" other people.  I have no idea if they are interested — especially since it is a bit like a homework assignment and there’s a lot of news coming from London — but here’s a try.  Maybe it’ll even give people a break from the news:    Leese, Joel, TWM, Todd, and Alley.


  1. maribeth

    I work in El Segundo, and I knew that was what you meant by LAX.

  2. Neil

    Hah! Maribeth, you are officially my new best friend.

  3. M.A.

    I haven’t had a good argument about movies in a while. Let me know when you’d like to revive that hobby.

  4. TWM

    I started to this meme, but my answers were so boring I was falling asleep. Basically they consisted of “I was doing the same thing I am doing now, but with more kids and more debt.”

    However, if you REALLY want to get in trouble send me a picture of Sophie so I can make her a Brunette of the Week.

    Frankly, I need both the posting material and the laugh I will get when she calls you on the phone again to give you a piece of her mind.

  5. Neil

    TWM, if you don’t do it, it’s like I’m not answering a chain letter. Who knows what “others” online will do to me? Maribeth or M.A. — you’re both academic types and like doing homework, right? Take a stab at it.

  6. The Moviequill

    Thanks for the tag, I was always IT in school…I’ll do this ASAP. Kudos on knowing the Stones (you get seven whole points for that). Bonus nine points for admitting to watching AMC (my wife has watched it since 1970 or something, and I secretly have this thing for Kendall)

  7. M.A.

    Neil– I did this a little while ago, and here are my answers:

  8. Roger

    I enjoyed this, but admit some disappointment in finding no mention of a trundle bed in any of the categories. Can this be? Perhaps I don’t understand what a meme is.

  9. Neil

    For Roger: meme: A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

    For everyone else: trundle bed: A low bed on casters that can be rolled under another bed for storage.

  10. Edgy Mama

    Nice to learn a bit more about you, Neil. I’m still confused about the Sophie bit–you’re separated, but still friends?

    Wasn’t the Menage post a joke?

    I’m so happy that you still have your hair.

  11. Neil

    Yes, about Sophia.

    Menage a joke? In every joke, there is reality.

    Why am I in LA? Good Mexican food.

  12. alley rat

    ooooh, now i have to pretend to be interesting. dammit.

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