the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Five Questions

It’s so hard keeping up with everyone’s blogs!

Isn’t it?

I get so emotional over the lives of people I don’t know.

Don’t you!

It gets worse when I actually meet people, like everyone in Portland.

Why’s that?

Once you meet the person behind a blog, it gets difficult writing superficial little comments.  You want MORE.

Forget about everyone else.  Just concentrate on writing.  Look at Dooce.  She’s popular and she never comments anywhere.

Well, she’s a better writer.  I need to work harder or everyone will abandon me as fast as MSNBC did Don Imus.

More penis posts!

Eh…  how much stroking can it take?

You don’t want to look elitist.  Try to be part of the crowd.  Do what all the other kids are doing.

Do you mean…?

Yes, do one of those dumb memes.

This is for you, Whoorl.  

Five questions asked by Whoorl, according to some meme going around like the Hong Kong flu —

1.  What are two things about LA that you couldn’t live without?

a)  My favorite place in Los Angeles is the Farmer’s Market.  It’s one of the few places in town where I feel at home.  It’s touristy AND local.  I love the fact that it has been there since 1934.  I appreciate establishments with a bit of history.  There are much better “markets” in other cities, such as New York, San Francisco, and Seattle, but this corny market just feels so outdated here, that I like it even more.  I was afraid the Farmer’s Market would go downhill after they opened a massive mall next door, but the market seems to have survived, and Starbucks and the Coffee Bean haven’t killed the donut shop just yet.  Since moving to Redondo Beach, I go to the Farmer’s Market less than I used to, but I try to go there whenever I’m in the area for a cup of coffee.  It’s a great meeting place, too.  It’s where I first met Communicatrix in person.  One day, I want to go see Ellen and Laurie at their West Hollywood Stich n’ Bitch meeting on the second floor of the Farmer’s Market.  I haven’t done it yet because I’ve been too afraid of getting sucked into learning how to crochet.

b)  A car.

2.  Do you have a secret talent (not relating to your penis)?


3.  Have you ever visited a State Fair? What is your favorite fair/amusement park food? (I prefer funnel cakes, just in case you are interested.)

I had never gone to a State Fair until I’ve moved to California, but now I love them.  I’ve been to the Los Angeles County Fair, the Orange County Fair, and the Ventura County Fair.   I never go on any of the rides or play any of the games of chance.  I like eating corn on the cob.  It tastes better when eaten outside.  I get a kick out of seeing the farm animals.  I’m a big fan of goat cheese, so I like to say hello to the goats.  Goats are ugly, but make beautiful cheese.   The highlight of any country fair may be surprising to you — the tablesetting competition.  I had never heard of this until my first fair, and I was immediately hooked.  What a weird concept!  Some competitors go all out, serving their Mexican-style dinners in bowls shaped like sombreros.  I especially enjoy the theme settings — the Oscar parties with movie reel centerpieces or the children’s birthday table “decorated” like Mars.  I enjoy the theatrics of it all.  Of course, it isn’t all just style.  Each competitor has to follow the correct table setting rules, with the silverware and glasses all in the right positions.   It’s way cool.   Hopefully, one day when I am asked again, “Do you have a secret talent?” I will answer, “I’m a competitive table setter.”

4. Red or black licorice?

Definitely red licorice.  I grew up on Twizzlers, but have grown to like the Red Vines they sell in Los Angeles.  I don’t eat them much anymore, because I want my teeth.

Al Sharpton:  “And what do you have against “black” licorice?”

Neil:  “Uh, I change my mind.  I like black licorice, too.”

5. You must move to either Tokyo or Helsinki.  Which one and why?

From Miss Universe Pageant

Evening Gown Competition

Miss Japan

Miss Finland

Tokyo +1

Swimsuit Competition

Miss Japan

Miss Finland

Helsinki +1

National Costume Competition

Miss Japan

Miss Finland

Helsinki +1

National Food

Sushi in Japan

Grilled Reindeer in Finland

Tokyo +12

I would move to Tokyo.

(the first person who asks will get my five questions)

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Passive-Aggressive


  1. Ash

    Ok, I’ll have your five questions 🙂 That is – if no-one else is willing!

  2. whoorl

    Well played, well played.

  3. sizzle

    i am the same way about commenting. and it gets harder the more you meet people. but i still adore you!

  4. Postmodern Sass

    Um… were you referring to me?

  5. Bre

    Dude, we won’t abandon you until the sponsors pull out, that’s how these things go!

  6. Roberta

    I can’t even read stuff anymore. I’m so ADD and dyslexic… I have a very hard time reading. Writing is different. So I have been a suck-ass blog reader and commenter, of late.
    That’s right, I can admit it. Suck-ass.
    Damnit. Now I have a craving for funnel cake. No good can come from that…
    Be grateful for your coast. Here in NJ, a friend of mine is waiting with her family for a BOAT to get them out of their house!

  7. Finn

    Only questions for the first commenter? 🙁

    Helsinki had me until grilled reindeer.

    Competitive tablesetting? Why am I only hearing about this now?

  8. kapgar

    Nice choice on Tokyo!

    By the way, you’ll be receiving a call from lawyers representing the Black Licorice Anti-Defamation Association (BLADA). They didn’t take too kindly to what you said. Even if you did attempt a retraction.

  9. Churlita

    I love memes. They are so much easier than thinking up something to blog about on your own.

  10. Mist 1

    I can’t believe that Al Sharpton reads your blog. I’ve been trying to get him to comment on mine for months.

  11. V-Grrrl

    Sorry Neil, you are so, so wrong here. The Finnish chick tramples the Japanese dominatrix. And grilled reindeer is better than raw fish–just ask my husband, who was served reindeer at a Christmas party (I am NOT making that up). He’s in Norway as I write this, probably eating Rudolph.

    Me, I’m here by myself, free to park the car off center in the garage without receiving a stern lecture. I feel so fulfilled.

  12. mrsatroxi

    I’d pick Tokyo too.

    Big beautiful blondes scare the hell outta me.

    So do Reindeer.

  13. plain jane

    The question was, “Have you ever visited a state fair” which is different from a county fair. A state fair is held in the capital city and it is where the county tablesetting winners go to compete. Kind of like 4-H playoffs.

  14. Two Roads

    Just for grins – what would you ask me? (Be careful because I might just answer honestly.) As for the sushi – yummy! I think you made a wise choice for Tokyo. Personally I’m a black licorice girl – much more intense flavor just like black jelly beans!

  15. Neil

    Plain Jane — Oh, really? Then, I guess I haven’t been to a state fair. But now I have something to do this summer.

  16. Dagny

    In August you must go to Sacramento so that you can attend the State Fair. County Fairs are fine and dandy but not quite the same as the State Fair.

  17. Caron

    If you really want to get serious about a state fair, then you and Sophia are cordially invited to Minnesota for one of the biggest and best state fairs in the country. All the food is on a stick! Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, cappucino on a stick, corn on the cob on a stick, you get the idea.

  18. wendy


    I’d be careful with this meme… Itried it on my blog..and I can her crickets coming from my computer….

    I’m just saying I know how you COVET readers…

  19. patry

    I don’t know about Helsinki vs. Japan, but in the Neil vs. Dooce rivalry, it’s no contest. You’re a much better writer.

  20. plain jane

    I also suggest you go to a small county fair. It is a completely different and quaint experience.

    Here is the link to the California State Fair. We expect a full blog report this summer.

  21. gorillabuns

    i’m thinking you conducted way too much research on the swimsuit portion of miss universe…

  22. Laini

    Hi Neil! I know — it’s so hard to keep up with everyone’s blogs; it would be like a full time job to really do it! I get jealous of bloggers who get a zillion comments without leaving any, too. No fair! Also love LA Farmer’s Market — Alexandra used to live right by it and we’d go there when I visited. No grilled reindeer meat that I recall!

  23. lux

    My boyfriend’s dad lives up in the North of Sweden and he helps the Reindeer herders every year. To pay him they give him a whole Reindeer. It is the best fu*king meat you will ever taste. Last year he gave us half of it. I was Heaven.

  24. Jack

    Grilled reindeer? No thank you.

  25. better safe than sorry

    oh no, you can’t eat rudolph, that’s just not right!!! and on the grill, gah.

  26. Mine is a Gin

    Tokyo would win me on those food stakes every time!
    Your County Fair sounds very much like our County (or even Country) Shows. We don’t have competitive table setting though. Anyone for ferret racing?

  27. Ellen Bloom

    Oh Neil! Do come to the Farmers Market (3rd & Fairfax) sometime soon! Laurie and I would LOVE to meet you in person!!! We’ll buy an extra apple fritter at Bob’s Donuts just for you!

    Now, if we could only get Bandini from the Great Taco Hunt blog to visit too!

  28. Martin

    How is empathy NOT related to you PENIS?

  29. Jurgen Nation

    Damn, I wanted your questions.

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