the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Guest Bloggers


It was inevitable. Our beautiful patio that I have been writing about for weeks, the beautiful locale that produced the lovely flowers and tasty tomatoes, had became a place that required “work” and produced “conflict.” All of a sudden, there were issues to be resolved:

Who is responsible for watering the plants?

Who should take care of the minutia of problems that crop up with live plants and flowers?

Who should get rid of the pigeons that have set up a permanent nest on our roof and no matter what we do, come back and crap on everything?

Who should rid the patio of the two wasp hives that have suddenly developed outside?

Who should spray the patio with scary pesticides after a quarter of of our plants have been eaten by pests? (I did — wearing a mask, goggles and winter hat to protect myself from the fumes!)

And who’s at fault for a broken pot — the one who tripped over it or the one who put it in the “wrong” place?

When I told Finn and Charming with Single about this, they suggested that the garden is a metaphor for marriage. What starts out all fun and romantic, falls apart if taken for granted. Like everything else, it NEEDS WORK to thrive.

All this drama has affected my blog writing. Have you ever been in a really bad mood or so upset at your wife that you couldn’t focus on writing a post, so you decided to ask someone to write a “guest post” for you?

Unfortunately, I had trouble deciding on who to ask to “substitute” for me at my blog. After all, who amongst you could maintain the usual high quality of “Citizen of the Month.” I certainly don’t want you plastering photos of your snot-filled babies or your LOLcats all over the place. (to my detractors — posting photos of Sophia holding out tomatoes is a completely different thing. Great writers and poets have been writing about gardens and the symbolism of vegetation since the beginning of time).

I walked to my local Starbucks, hoping to be inspired by all the conversation around me, but all I could think about was the same thing that had been on mind all day — why would Sophia (expurgated) when I told her that (expurgated), since — tell me if I’m wrong — isn’t marriage supposed to be (expurgated)?

“Screw it, ” I told myself. I don’t want to write anything today. If I had my druthers, I would just throw in another photo of Sophia in a dress, but then those literary NY bloggers will stop reading me, thinking me too superficial and “LA.”

So, I still needed a post, but I was dry. I had no one to turn to. So, I had an idea. Why not just pass my laptop to the Asian guy sitting next to me in Starbucks? I’m sure he can write a decent post for “Citizen of the Month.” It certainly couldn’t be worse than letting ONE OF YOU do a guest post!

Neil:   “Hey, what’s your name?”

Matt:   “Matt.”

Neil:   “What do you do, Matt?”

Matt:   “I’m a graduate student in economics at UCLA.”

Neil:   “Great. Here’s the laptop. Write about anything you want. My readers are curious to hear your views.”

The Love of a Woman by Matt (guest-blogging for Citizen of the Month)

Love sucks. Love is like a virus that first attacks the brain, then the heart. It destroy everything inside of you, until you are left dead and decaying on the hot pavement, the only sound that you can hear coming from your old apartment, as your ex-girlfriend screws that new guy she met, screaming his name like a wild coyote.

Matt suddenly started to sob.

Matt:   “I hate her… and love her.”

Neil:   “Uh, very interesting, Matt, but not really what I was looking for. I usually try for more “upbeat” posts. Your post is too depressing. But thanks for trying…. (under my breath)… nutcase.”

I grabbed my laptop and searched for another guest poster. On the opposite side of Starbucks, I saw another guy — a blond, beach boy type — sitting with his friend and laughing. He seemed to be in a great mood. I immediately ran over to him.

Neil:   “Hi, there. Would you like to guest post on my blog today?”

Pete:   “Sure.”

Neil:   “What’s your name?”

Pete:   “Pete.”

Neil:   “Go for it, Pete. Write for “Citizen of the Month.”

My Weekend by Pete (guest blogging for Citizen of the Month)

I had a great weekend. I love my life. On Saturday, I played some beach volleyball, then met this new girl on the beach. She looked great in her bikini. At night we went to see Transformers, and then she came back to my place. We must have f***ed all night. She was amazing in bed. She was insatiable. On Sunday, I went to church, as usual. When I came back, this chick was waiting for me with a homemade breakfast. She’s a great cook. We f***ed some more and then went out for some fish tacos. I was so hungry after all that glorious f***ing. At the Mexican joint, she told me how great I was in bed and that I was the best f*** in Redondo Beach…

Neil:   “Wait… wait… hold on… this post is way too upbeat for my taste. Your weekend sounds 1000x better than mine. And I really don’t like that last line about you in bed, because I’ve been trying to give my readers a different impression of what’s best in Redondo Beach.”

Pete:   “Hey, I’m sorry, dude. I’m just telling the facts.”

Neil:   “Well, like I said, the post is too happy. Just like the other guy’s post was too depressing. I’m looking for a post that’s JUST RIGHT.

The first guest poster, Matt came over, tears still in his eyes.

Matt:   “Hey, did I hear you say that this girl told you that you were the best f*** in Redondo Beach?”

Pete:   “That’s right.”

Matt:   “That’s bullshit. That’s what my girlfriend use to say to me.”

Pete:   “Well, sorry, dude.”

Matt:   “Wait a minute… is this girl’s name Meg?”

Pete:   “That’s right. Meg.”

Matt:   “That’s my girlfriend. You were doing my ex-girlfriend. You son of a…”

Matt grabbed Pete and wrestled with him in the middle of Starbucks.

The barista, a burly guy with a goatee, ran out from behind the counter.

Barista:   “Hey, stop it, you asses! Neither of you know what you are talking about. Meg told me that I was the best f*** in Redondo Beach!”

Matt:   “You too? You bastard.”

Matt threw a punch at the barista. Pete threw a punch at Matt, who went flying against the the glass of the pastry display. CRASH! The espresso machines became unhinged and blasted hot water upwards, blowing holes in the ceiling.

Neil:   “Yes!!!! I finally have a post to write. This is not too depressing. This is not too happy. This is JUST RIGHT!”


Update later:  I apologize for letting you read this crazy post, which really makes no sense at all.    Substitute this instead:


A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:   Her Real Name   (I asked bloggers to tell me their REAL names, not their phony blog names. Feel free to add to the list)


  1. MammaLoves

    And here I thought you loved to flirt with all of us snotty-nosed kid owning “mommybloggers.”

    Guess the affair is over…

  2. deezee

    forget writing. give Meg a call…

  3. sizzle

    you should really talk to dariush over at american twentysomething 2.0 because he’s a ninja warrior when it comes to getting rid of wasps. (see his video blog about it.)

  4. Postmodern Sass

    I can only help on the wasp front, being one myself, bwah, haha ha. But seriously, folks. Go to HD or similar retailer. Buy a can of wasp spray. It comes with a little white plastic tube attached, the way WD40 does. (You put the tube into the nozzle, to direct the spray right into a crevice.) Wait until dark, when it gets cooler; as late and cool and dark as possible. Then spray the wasp nest — liberally. I mean, empty the can on it. You need to kill them in their sleep, and make sure they’re dead. If you gas them and they don’t die, they’re going to be seriously pissed, and I can’t be responsible for their actions.

  5. tiff

    Or just move and leave the wasps to their own devices.

    Or get your self a secret blog so that the bad moods can be vented and you can get back to flirting with mommybloggers. They work like a charm (the secret blogs, that is. I’m not sure about the Mbloggers, though they prolly do, and I’ll just shut up now before I get in really big bad trouble)

  6. melanie

    Rumble at the Starbucks…

    sounds like a bad alternative song, huh?

    Meg of Redondo, you let me down
    by fucking all the men in sad town
    You told me I was a king among men
    I hear you say that to all of them.


  7. sputnik

    Uh-oh! Trouble In The Garden of Eden. I agree with PMSass about the wasps. I’ve had them lots of times (enormous paper-wasp nests, I mean as big as a baby’s head) and the spray will shrivel it to oblivion in no time. You have to keep watching for them, though, because they seem to have ancestral memory and will keep trying to occupy the same spots year after year. Also, they love to nest around and inside porch lights. P.S. Steer clear of Meg, she sounds like a ho.

  8. Elisabeth

    the garden is a metaphor for marriage. What starts out all fun and romantic, falls apart if taken for granted. Like everything else, it NEEDS WORK to thrive.

    This throws a new light onto the famous phrase from Voltaire’s Candide, “Il faut cultiver son jardin” (“we must cultivate our garden.”)

  9. Neil

    I solved the wasp problem the old-fashioned way: I called a professional.

  10. Bre

    That meg is trouble!

  11. Neil

    By the way, to my blogging friend named Meg — this has nothing to do with you. I have no idea why the name Meg came to my mind. It could have just as easily been Bre or Sarah or Sputnik. Meg — I’m sure you are very nice and would never string along three men at one time.

  12. princess extraordinaire

    Neil are you daydreaming about sex again?

  13. Moviequill

    Random Guest Blogging… you just hit the cyber generation’s new meth my friend

  14. Dagny

    You do not have an NC-17 rating; it’s an R. And yeah, I’m jealous because I’m only a PG.

  15. Amy K

    This isnt NC-17 because you failed to write about food/drink porn. Where is the description of the nice, cool orange mocha? Did you get the lemon glazed pound cake? If you are going to write about Starbucks, Neil, you have to do it right. This is all wrong! You didnt even describe which sell-out of a singer’s cd was playing there! Geez.

  16. ajooja

    Oh, Neil. I loved this post.

    You have no idea what it’s like to love fish tacos and live in the Midwest. (The ones we make at home aren’t the same either.)

    Sex *and* fish tacos?!?

  17. molly

    Neil thinks I am literary! Do not let him know that just wrote about Harry Potter! Or that fish tacos are more intersting to me that anything other than, well, Harry Potter!

  18. Neil

    OK, Miss Literary, did you get the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” framework in this story or was it too obscure?

  19. plain jane

    Patio gardens like marriages should follow the “keep it simple” philosophy.

    I knew the story was another of your “lies” once you mentioned fish tacos.

    Duh. Even I got the Goldilocks framework.

  20. Two Roads

    You must have Melanie guest post for you. Fabulous rhyme! You had me going all the way to the cat picture. Good job!

  21. charming, but single

    You looked for creative inspiration at a Starbucks? Geez, no wonder you had to resort to a guest post … 😉

  22. Lara

    i wants it! i wants to guest blog for you! wants it! wants it! WANTS IT!

    i will stomp my foot and thrash on the ground. i am not above such things.

  23. You can call me, 'Sir'

    That was a great post right up until you threw in the LOLCAT. It’s like you lifted me up just so you could drop me onto something sharp.

    Real nice.

  24. Dave G

    Thank you, I needed a laugh today. I’m going to put this in your top five list of best posts.

  25. CJ

    Meg sounds like a tramp…

    do you know of a way I can get her phone number?


  26. Karla

    In your last paragraph you refer to your one-year-ago-today post in which you asked us to tell our real names, not our phony blog names. That’s such a cute idea! I’d like to participate. My real name is Meg. People tell me I’m the best f*** in Redondo Beach.

  27. steppingoverthejunk

    “and then went for fish tacos”.

    That is so great. I had flashbacks of the younger years in southern cal.


  28. stacy elaine

    This is my real name . . . and fortunately, i am not the best f*** in Redondo. Is Redondo eveb a real place? I am under the impression that Redondo be considered a state of mind, much like The New York State of Mind.

  29. Neil

    Stacy Elaine — I’ve always liked women with two names, like Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.

  30. kanani

    Ha! Loved where this went, Neilochka.

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