the writing and photography of Neil Kramer



Normally, Sophia thinks I spend too much time blogging, but lately,  she’s been curious about other bloggers. 

“After all, I’m going to meet some in Portland,” she said.  

This morning, she brought her laptop into my room.

“Tell me who each of these people is who said happy birthday to me.”

“Each person?!”

“Who’s Hilly?”

“She’s from Orange County.  She’ll be in Portland.”

“We’re going all the way to Oregon to meet someone from Orange County?”

“I guess so.  In a strange way, it’s easier that way.” 

“And what type of name is Lizardek?”

“I have no idea.  She lives in Sweden.  Maybe it has something to do with Sweden.”

“It doesn’t sound very Swedish.  Didn’t you ever ask her?”


“Aren’t you curious?”

“I guess so.  In the beginning.”

“Why don’t you ever ask her?  “Why are you called Lizardek?”  Or ask this Leahpeah “Why are you called Leahpeah?”  Does it have anything to do what onomatopoeia?”

“OK, I’ll ask them.  Better?

“It’s like you’re not even interested in your own readers.”

“I’m interested… up to a point.”

“How many Heathers are there out there?  There’s this Heather and that Heather and Heather B. and Heather C..  I’m getting all the Heathers mixed up.”

“Believe me.  Everyone does.”

“What the hell is a Jurgen Nation?    It sounds like some racist organization.”

“I think Jurgen is the dog.”

“Jurgen is the guy’s dog?”

“Jurgen is a woman.  I mean she is a woman, and the dog… I don’t know what the dog is.  She’s really a Stacy.”

“The dog?”

“No, Stacy is the blogger.”

“So, why doesn’t she just say she’s Stacy?”

“Am I my blogger’s keeper?  You’ll have to ask her some day.”

“But this Kapgar is a guy, right?  I remember sending him a photo from New York.”

“Right.  He’s in Chicago.  There is a whole bunch of bloggers in Chicago.  I don’t know why.  A lot of bloggers are in Chicago and Washington D.C.”

“And who is this V-Grrrl?  Is V for victory?

“Veronica.  She’s the one who sent me the statue of the Belgian pissing boy.”

“Is Whoorl the one who is married to the ex-priest?”

“What?!  I never said anything about any ex-priests.”

“Isn’t one of your readers married to someone who was a priest?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Who is she married to?”

“I don’t know.”

“Don’t you read her?”

“I don’t know every detail of these people’s lives!  I know Whoorl had a baby.  I don’t even remember her real name.”

“Of the baby?”

“No.  Of Whoorl.”

“Is the baby a girl or a boy?”

“Huh… jeez… Uh… uh… wait…. some other blogger had a girl.  I think she had a boy.”

“Do the other bloggers realize how little you KNOW about them?”

“You can’t get to know everyone that well through blogging.”

“Why not?

“It’s the wrong medium.”

“So, it’s the right medium to talk about your penis, but the wrong medium to ask a person’s name?”

“I think I actually did write a post once asking people their real names.”

“If I were blogging, I would know more about the other bloggers.  Who are they?  What do they do?  Who they are dating?”

“Why this sudden interest?  Are you thinking of starting a blog?!”

“No way.”

“Thank god.”

“But since I’m meeting some bloggers in Portland, why don’t you tell me who is coming?.”

“I don’t know all of them.”

“Isn’t Ms. Sizzle going to be there?”

“Yes.  She’s nice.”

“Is she the one who sent you a topless photo of herself?”

“No.  That was someone else.”

“Do you still have it?”

“It’s on my desktop somewhere.” 


“I don’t know.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Why is this Portland thing just one night?  Shouldn’t it be like three days?”

“Three days?  Who has three days?  We all have to get back to blogging.”

“It just seems so silly to travel thousands of miles to have a couple of drinks for one night.”

“I think there’s someone travelling in from England.”

“You people are crazy.”

“Well, most of them are pretty nice.” 

“Yes, it was very nice how they wished me a happy birthday.”

“Maybe I should email everyone back and thank them.”

“It’s not necessary, Neilochka.  You can do it on your blog.”

“But maybe it would be nicer if I did each person individually.”

“No. You don’t need to do that”

“Why not?”

“Because I already did it last night.”

“What do you mean?!”

“I sent everyone an email and thanked them.”

“You WENT on MY email and stole their addresses?!”

“No, silly.  Everyone’s address is on the blog administration page.   

“Wait… so you emailed them… FROM YOU?!  From your email address?!”

“Yes.  You are so odd.  Of course I emailed them FROM ME.  What are you getting all hysterical for?   I just wanted to thank them for their birthday wishes.”

“It’s going to confuse them.  They’re going to get all concerned!”

“Calm down…  Concerned?”

“Don’t you see?  You’re NOT REAL to them.  I’m the real one.”  

“And what am I?”

“You’re more… you’re sort of…  what are you doing?  Are you trying to steal my readers?”

“Why would I steal your readers?” 

“You’re trying to win them over to your side, aren’t you?”

“You’re PARANOID!”

“They can’t get to know you.”

“Why not, Neilochka?”

“Because… they need… they need…they…”

“Oh, I see.  …they need to only hear your side of every story?”


  1. Jay


    She’s cute.
    Well, I guess you already knew that.

  2. V-Grrrl

    The V is for Vivacious, Voluptuous, Valedictorian, and Va-va-va-voom!

    It is not for Vacuous, Vain, or Vengeful.

    It is for both Verbal and Verbose.

    And age, confidence and declining estrogen have put the Growl in the Girl.


    Now you you know my story.


  3. Killer

    I got an email, and was very pleased.
    Thank you Sofia.
    It would be scandalous if you started a “behind the scenes” of Citizen of the Month blog.

  4. better safe than sorry

    i got a lovely e-mail from your lovely sophia, it was a very pleasant surprise! (thank you sophia).
    and my real name is jane and i’m in ontario, canada, so if you decide to drive all the way here, stay two nights.

  5. tamarika

    Tamarika was the nickname my father gave me when I was a child. But if you *ever* read my blog you would already know that. Am not quite sure if I’m actually sulking, per se, about this Oregon trip when I was *supposed* to be a hot date and all that jazz … and what’s Philadelphia? Scotch Mist? … but I surely loved receiving an e-mail from Sophia. I just think she is grand! And, ooh, I would *love* to know her side of the story …

  6. Neil

    Tamarika, it must be freezing in Philly now? Why not a quick trip to LA? I have my scrabble set all ready?

  7. Bre

    Hmm, I’m thinking I need to get some more mystery in my life… mine’s pretty much out there!

    Sophia’s email though? A lovely thing to find in my inbox!

  8. janet

    too funny…thanks for my email, Sophia! And for the record, I have not sent topless photos to Neil or any other blogger for that matter. Just in case you thought it was me or something….

  9. Pearl

    I’m not sure what pleases me more: getting an email from you, Neil, or finding one from Sophia in my Inbox!

    Neil, do you tape all your conversations with Sophia, so you can record them on the blog verbatim?

    I’m not sure that it’s paranoia, Sophia, that might be getting to Neil, but rather, that green-eyed monster known as JEALOUSY. He’s a tad jealous that you’ve honed in on his territory, his “people,” so to speak. Don’t worry, Neil — we still love you just fine.

  10. kristen

    I was really touched to find an email from Sophia on Monday night. I love that you had no idea that she was emailing all of us Neil, that’s why women rule the earth.

  11. Caron

    Wait, wait, wait. I thought we were all just playing along with your imaginary wife game. It was fun to wish your imaginary wife Happy Birthday. When I got an e-mail from Sophia, I thought, hmm, maybe he’s taking this game a little too seriously, posing as his own imaginary wife. Now you tell me there really is a Sophia! She’s as real as the Tooth Fairy isn’t she?

  12. tamarika

    Be careful, Neilochka … you don’t know me … I just might take you up on it …

  13. Dagny

    Sophia won me over to her side long ago. And I enjoyed receiving her email a great deal.

  14. sarah

    I thought it was a sweet gesture to get an email from her! dont worry, we’ll continue to think she’s real only like the easter bunny : ) and i cant expect you to read my blog.. i cant get to it anymore..they blocked it at work! Now i have to work.. ! and read your blog! ha.

  15. V-Grrrl

    The best part of my e-mail from Sophia was the naked pictures of Neil that she attached. Those were a riot–especially the speech bubbles she added with Photoshop. Ha, ha, ha.

    Did y’all like those too? I e-mailed the photos to all my friends.


  16. sween

    Wait — I thought Neil was the imaginary one?

    (Sophia rocks!)

  17. margaret

    we all want to hear Sophia’s side of the story

  18. Karl

    Very nice to hear from Mrs. Citizen via e-mail. Totally unnecessary, but that made it all the better. Disappointing, though, that she forgot to send along her boudoir photos.

  19. Miss Syl

    Heh. “Worlds are colliding! You’re killing independent Neil!”

    I’ve been both out of town and in a car accident (not in that order), both of which were really distracting. So I am just catching up on reading…

    Happy belated birthday, Sophia! Hope it was a good one.

    Also, if you two are going to be in Portland for more than just the Tequilacon event, may I recommend two places to visit, in close proximity?

    1) Alexis Restauran. The best Greek restaurant I’ve found outside of the east coast. Their moussaka is to die for (and they have a vegetarian version, too!). And the saganaki is a favorite–who doesn’t like flaming cheese?

    2) Powell’s Books. Just down the block from Alexis (walkable if you want to). “The largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.” It takes up a full city block, and has every possible subject section you can possibly imagine, with both new and used books (often the same title) shelved together. So what I’m saying is, more than enough intellectual stimulation to satisfy Sophia’s awesome brain power AND loads of cheap bargain alternatives to satisfy Neil’s, shall we say, more frugal nature?

  20. Finn

    I was thirlled to hear from Sophia. I thought it was wonderful of her to respond. She must have been up all night!

    This might be a good thing, you know. I can’t figure out how, but it might.

  21. Jazz

    I wasn’t at all confused by Sophia’s thanks. And from this conversation you had,I think she should start her own blog.

    Today is Mr. Jazz’s birthday. I’d be thrilled if you wished him a good one.

  22. Not Faint Hearted

    It’s funny, but I was just thinking this morning if the email I got “from Sophia” was really from Neil.

    As for wanting to keep us only hearing his side…well, Neil, you have a disadvantage there as we all probably already know there are at least two sides to all your tales.

    Love you though and will stick with you…both.

    As for the name thing, I use a pseudonym to try try try from being “dooced.” It sort of represents all I’ve been through in my life. Which compared to some isn’t much, but seems like I would have given up long ago had I been faint hearted.

    You, Neil (and Sophia) have my “real” name and email. I guess I should be careful what I say here so you don’t out me. 😉

  23. lizardek

    Careful Sophia, you’re heading down the slippery slope to your own blog! :O

    I thought it was really sweet to get the email from Mrs. OftheMonth, personally.

    My blogname is from the nickname my dad gave me: Lizard (my real name is Elizabeth, and I’ve gone by Liz since Kindergarten) and my married last name which is Ek (which, incidentally, is Swedish for “oak”).

  24. ms. sizzle

    how much do i love that i was accused of sending you topless pictures? a lot! for a second though i had to really think, “hmm, did i send neil a topless photo?”

    i hope this gives me a rep, even though i didn’t do it. 😉

    can’t wait to meet you both in just a few short weeks!

  25. whoorl

    My name’s Sarah, I have a baby boy and I only dream of sex with ex-priests. I’m all about The Thorn Birds, baby.

    Maybe I’ll make the short jaunt up to LA and introduce myself in person. 🙂

  26. Dana

    Hooray! Sophia, you go girl. Needle away. So funny. And, Neil, I’m pretty sure Sophia is very “real” to all of us. More real than, say, that appendage you talk to. Happy Birthday, Sophia!

  27. Heather B.

    I am Heather B. I live in DC.

    Which puts me among the dozens named Heather and the dozens that live in DC. And I have yet to do anything interesting enough to make me stand out from the masses. Oh well.

  28. Non-Highlighted Heather

    I am Non-Highlighted Heather who lives in Orange County. I, unfortunately, was away from my computer for most of the week-end so I missed out on the opportunity to wish Sophia a happy birthday and thus missed out (even more unfortunate) on an email from her.

    С днем рождения, вы красивейшая вещь вы.

    If that didn’t translate correctly, it’s all Babelfish’s fault. xo

  29. sandra

    So jealous re: TequilaCon…!

  30. Mariana

    Thanks for the email, Sophia!
    By the way, Neil, my name is not Mariana, it is X234-BU and I am a trans-mutant JJX with an extra-GRo-pod from Mars. Thank God you don’t read my blog, you’d be scared.

  31. deannie

    I am really Deanna but when my sisters were little they called me deannie. I miss those tiny girls so I use that name online now to remind me of them.

    I totally loved the birthday post with that lovely picture of the young girl Sophia and getting an email from Sophia? Priceless.

    Yes, V-grrrl, I totally enjoyed those pics too! They pretty much encouraged me to reconcile with my husband now.

  32. EEK

    Holy cow. Sophia would put Emily Post to shame.

  33. Hilly

    Phew, I think I got off easy in that discussion. And you know, I keep saying we should meet in the middle!

    I loved getting my email from Sophia – it was awesome! And stop your worrying, mister.

    I have to agree – how much do I love that she thought Sizzle sent you boobie shots? So much!

  34. Dagny

    V-grrrl, would it be inappropriate to post the photos on my blog?

  35. psychomom

    I was thrilled to get a little thank you from Sofia. Her parents taught her some manners.

    I’m Clara and I am psycho and a mom. I did not send pictures of my breasts but did forward the huge woody.

  36. V-Grrrl


    I think the Naked Neil makes a nice screen saver.

  37. peefer

    a) Neil starts blog with talking penis and imaginary wife.

    b) Sophia starts blog with talking Neil and imaginary penis.

    c) Penis starts blog with talking Sophia and imaginary Neil.

    It’s inevitable. And I think I speak for us all when I say, “It will be a dark and terrifying day.”

  38. kapgar

    Hey! She remembers me! Woo hoo!!!!

    I’m special.

  39. Jurgen Nation

    AAAAHHHH! I fell out of my chair ROTFL and LMAO and any other fun acronym more fit for a teenager than me.


    A RACIST ORGANIZATION!! The hell? No! I…NO! I’m sputtering! Jurgen (pronounced “Yur-gen” with a hard “g”) is my dog and I don’t know where the nation part came from but he’s sassy and it’s his world so…fuck. I don’t know. At least I didn’t use “ramble” in the title.

    I’m really a 49 y/o bald man with a dirty wife beater stretched across his bulging midsection and stained with mustard. I’m really not a 29 year old girl, I just pretend. 😉

    If y’all come through the Bay area on your way to Portland, you’d better stop and let me buy you both a drink. And then Sophia can actually meet Jurgen. And me. And the nation.

    Or something.

    Still sputtering.

  40. Jurgen Nation

    P.S. Sophia, if you ever started a blog, I’d totally be a reader.


  41. Churlita

    Thanks for the e-mail Sophia. My computer is dead at home, so I can only get on the internet for a half hour for lunch and then 2 15 minute breaks at work. You know how hard it is for us poor people to participate in the blogosphere.

    I still think you two should have a he-said/she-said blog. I love the interaction between you two.

  42. alissa

    We love Sophia, we love you – it just works. It’s part of the package! I wish I was coming to TequilaCon to meet you both!

  43. PocketCT

    Sophia could start getting to know all of the people commenting here. That way Neil can just keep on posting prolifically. She can read their blogs, email them, and collect phone numbers so that wherever you travel, you can ring up people who will take you both out. Then she can also help Neil when he can’t remember which Heather is which.

    Thanks for the email Sophia, it was a nice treat.

  44. Serena

    Ah, Neil. Funny as usual. : )

  45. Heather

    I’m Heather from Montreal!

  46. Neil

    Surprising fact… top 10 names from 1980… Heather is only #7!

    1. Jennifer
    2. Jessica
    3. Amanda
    4. Melissa
    5. Sarah
    6. Nicole
    7. Heather
    8. Amy
    9. Michelle
    10. Elizabeth

    That’s like 4/5 of my blogroll right there! I think I found a new way to categorize my blogrolls. Heathers, Jennifers, Jessicas, all others. Like that song — a little bit of Monica in my life, a little bit of Jessica for my blog…

    Why did my parents name me Neil?

  47. Not Faint Hearted

    Wait a minute.

    You’re not trying to get us to believe you were born in 1980?

    We’ll believe a talking penis before that. Just saying.

    And why did I miss that the trip to Portland was Tequilacon? Wha???

    Is it too late to register and get a deal on a flight?

  48. Pearl

    I agree penis-talk is preferable to real names and life bios. We can get life bios anywhere. 😉

  49. Ariel

    Neil, why be paranoid? We’re all being friendly to you and Sophia because, let’s face it, you come across as really nice people. Nowt more sinister than that I assure you. Like attracts like you know… Enjoy Portland, it sounds very exciting! I’d be curious to know who might be travelling from England. It won’t be me as I am currently too busy going up and down a big blue ladder

  50. wendy

    Don’t get you boxers in a knot, Neil. Sophia is the class to your act. Without Sophia, you may come across a little…um…creepy…the talking member and all. She could never steal your following…but she could easily build one of her own.

  51. plain jane

    I am sooo easy. Sophia won me over with that one email. Her parents raised her properly, that much is clear. Very sweet Sophia.

  52. Leah

    Awesome!! I’m already a big fan of Sophia, but now I love her even more. And although I didn’t wish her a happy birthday the other day…I’m going to wish her one now. Sooooo here goes it.

    Happy belated Birthday Sophia!! Here’s to hearing more of your side of the story too. 🙂

    Whaddya say Neil? Is sophia going to guest-blog soon? Hehe

  53. Brooke

    I was thrilled to get my personal email from Sophia. She can email me anytime.

    By the way, this post reminded me of the first time you wrote about me when your parents were talking about me being in Florida.

  54. Karla

    I think she IS trying to steal your readers, and it’s totally working. I got her email thanking me for the birthday wishes. If you two break up (again), I’m going with her and shutting you out.

  55. Neil

    Brooke… those were the days. Remember when it was just the two of us, before we chatted and ruined everything.

  56. leahpeah

    i don’t think the name leah ever was in a top ten list. but i’ve met more leah’s in the blogosphere than i thought existed.
    happy belated b-day, sophia. i believe you are real. and tonight, i’m crossing my fingers for a dollar under my pillow. that tooth was a big one.

  57. Mariana

    Yeah yeah Heather… You have an obsession with dooce, admit it.

  58. Two Roads

    Ya’ll are all my imaginery friends according to my “live” friends – that’s why I’m Two Roads – hard to choose – real or not real….

    Happy Birthday Sophia! You go girl!

  59. diane

    I always thought the pseudonym nature of the blogosphere was to prevent would-be suitors and potential employers from finding one in a Google search.
    Of course, idiots like me are screwed.
    All that aside, I literally had to wipe tears (of laughter) from my eyes as I read this dialogue. 🙂 A little bummed that I won’t be making the trip to Portland. Oh, I should probably clue Jenny in on that…

  60. Blitz Krieg

    That was a great one Neil. Funny, your pictures remind me of Charlie McCarthy. Now I envision you sitting on Sophia’s lap with her hand up the back of your shirt.

    Just so you know, my name is actually Dan. Everyone calls me Blitz and it’s self explanatory I guess.

  61. plain jane

    You know. Sophia’s plot to take over your blog pals is working. Look. 60 comments!

  62. LisaBinDaCity

    Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they are not out to get you 😉

  63. Lux Lisbon

    I’m so upset. I thought I was your only Swedish reader!

  64. Jennifer

    Sophia offered me a bottle of fine Russian vodka if I would leave your site and come to hers; what are you offering me to stay?? I am not easy, but I can be bought!!!

  65. Lesley

    This reminds me of many conversations I’ve had with my husband over the past almost 8 years. LOL Good to know I’m not the only one out there that tries to take an interest in their husband’s online things.

  66. psychotoddler

    What the–!

    I thought I was the only one Sophia was secretly emailing!

    Sophia! How could you!

    BTW my name is also Heather. And I was also born in 1980.

  67. Lauren

    Love this post. You two are adorable.

  68. mckay

    woah! i’ve been so busy taking care of my new VP i haven’t been blogging or reading much. i completely missed sophia’s bday.

    i hope your birthday was very special, sophia, as i think you are a pretty cool chick..


  69. Spinning Girl

    Ahh yes, the magic of blogland. Who knows how far it may reach?

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