the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Dear Vivian

Dear Vivian,

I have never done this before — written to a blogger who I don’t know personally — but I must tell you how much your last few posts, your series on “Love and Happiness,” has meant to me.   Your words express ideas that have been in my heart for a long time, but have had no tunnel in which to escape and fly away, like a butterfly into the air.  You have shown me that path.  I have always been cynical, but now I realize that if I approach others with love, I will receive love back tenfold!

I loved what you wrote on Tuesday’s post, “Each Face is Beautiful,” — “Whenever I meet someone, hear someone, or read the writing of another individual, it is as if a piece of their wonderful, vibrant soul has surrounded me with a glowing light, and wrapped me warmly like a childhood blanket, and all I want to do is say “Thank You for being YOU and sharing YOU with ME.  I love.  I give love.  I receive love.”

Just beautiful.   As you are as a person.

Sincerely, Neil

Dear Vivian,

As usual, your latest post, “Seeing the World with the Third Eye,” has touched me beyond belief.  From this point on, I will also view the world “with my third eye.”  I will expunge all racism, sexism, and ageism from my life, and love everyone equally.  You are not only a writer, but a teacher.    In my tradition, we call that person a rabbi.

As you can tell from the link on the bottom of the email, I write a blog myself titled “Dispatch from Brooklyn.”   While the quality of my work is a far cry from your profundity, it would be a great honor if you would stop by just once and read my latest post, “Changing My Life.”  You were the muse for these brand-new insights.   I think you will get a big kick out of  reading it!

Sincerely, Neil

Dear Vivian,

Hello from New York City, also known as the Big Apple!   A few days ago, I mentioned that I wrote a post titled “Changing My Life,” which I completely based on the beautiful ideas expressed on your blog.  You are an inspiration.  You are the first blog I read in the morning, and as you must notice, I LOVE to comment on your blog every day.

I know you must be very busy, and I am sure you get emails like this every day from your many fans, but I was hoping that you might read that post I mentioned, or even comment on it.    Have you been trying, and facing some sort of  technical issue with my blog?   I hope there isn’t a problem with any of the new plug-ins.   I recently updated my WordPress template,  and you know how it goes when you update — sometimes it goes all crazy.   I apologize if that is the case.  I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world.   If you’re having any problems commenting, please email me and I will fix it immediately.   Thanks.

Sincerely, Neil

Dear Vivian,

Hi, there.  Remember me?   How are you doing?  I’m still working on adding some plug-ins to my blog.   Recently, I added a few stats programs.  Do you use one too?   I know looking at your stats too much can drive you crazy, but I figured if I installed Google Analytics, Woompra, Site Meter, Site Counter, WordPress Stats, and StatsForever, I could get a pretty good overview of my readership.  Not that I have a big readership, like YOU, but just for fun!

I’m just curious — you still live in North Carolina, right?  I hear it is beautiful there, in that part of the country.   Hopefully, one day, if I am ever in town, we can go have a cup of coffee and gossip about blogging!

Sincerely, Neil

P.S. – so far, I haven’t seen anyone from North Carolina show up in any of my six stats programs.  Don’t be shy!!

Dear Vivian,

By now, I am sure you have seen my latest post, titled “Vivian is a Hypocritical Bitch.” I hope you realize that this is not a personal attack on your character, but random thoughts on a subject that I find fascinating — blog personality vs. real-life personality.  I consider my blog a fairly accurate representation of who I am in real life.   I do not know you, so I don’t know if you are a nice person or not.  You certainly SEEM super-nice on your blog, where you talk about “the little guy,” “those in need,” and all about love and caring and community.   I was even one of the first to go on Amazon and order your new book “Love and Caring and Community,” but sometimes I wonder if all this “loving” stuff isn’t just… well, a cheap gimmick to sell a book.

Let me ask you a personal question.   Have you ever read my blog?

I DON’T think so.

Again, I know you are busy with the book and all, but you certainly have enough time to read Oprah’s blog.    How do I know this?   Because I’ve seen you on it.  And, surprise, surprise.  Your book is going to be featured on Oprah’s show?  Of course!   That’s why you read her blog, and not the guy who has read your blog every day for the last two years and sent you cookies and that YouTube video of him juggling five oranges on your birthday!   So, that is how it works.  If it helps to sell your book, then you are all OPEN ARMS and ready to french kiss the person.  But if someone is a regular JOE,  then you say, “FUCK YOU.”   OK, I accept that.   I just wish you had been honest with me, or wrote that on your blog header,  so I would have been aware of your narcissistic game plan.   Believe me, I am not the only one who thinks  of you in this way.  You’re a fraud.  A fucking fraud!   And a bitch!”

Sincerely, Neil

Dear Vivian,

Holy shit!  I just got off all six of my stats programs, and my stats are through the roof!  Thank you SOOOO much for mentioning me on Oprah as “that crazy lunatic from Brooklyn.”  Once my blog address was outed on Facebook, I have been swamped with attention.  I even got a call from your literary agent!  I can’t believe my blog is finally getting some attention.  Like they say, the cream does rise to the top if you focus on your writing and perfect it!

Sincerely, Neil

Dear Vivian,

I have not had so much fun in all my life as I did with you during that session at Blogher on “Blogging with Authenticity.”  You can see the recap on my blog!  Everyone loved us!   Did you see what Guy Kawasaki said about us on Twitter?  He called us the “Woodward and Bernstein of Personal Blogging!”  I can’t wait to see you again at the SXSW.

And thank you so much for writing that touching blurb for my book.  “That Crazy Lunatic From Brooklyn” is already selling like hotcakes on Amazon.

You are a true friend.  When I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing.  I was just writing little posts, navel-gazing self-therapy.  Never in a million years, did I ever expect to connect in such a powerful and intimate way with a peer as brilliant and awe-inspiring as you.    I love you, my dear friend.

Sincerely, Neil


  1. Suebob

    With a little work, this could be a feature-length screenplay.

  2. teahouseblossom

    I love how you’ve gone through the entire cycle of a relationship, from the first flush of a crush, to full infatuation, to disappointment, anger and then to acceptance.

  3. kimananda

    Hmmm…I think I have actually met this Vivian for coffee. Except on a much smaller scale (so, no book deal…yet). You do a very good mimicking of the super sweet, ‘all is beauty all around me, enveloping me in a spiritual glow’ type of blogging, by the way.

  4. sweetsalty kate

    My god, you are one handsome bugger. I’ve never said that to a blogger before, but I can’t help myself…

  5. Neil

    Kimananda – some of my favorite bloggers are like that. I just hope that they are not like that in their real life — for their own safety in society. I worry about them when they leave their homes at night.

  6. slouching mom


    Or maybe I’m just saying that?


  7. AnnieH

    You had me going there, Neilochka. Still laughing…
    “Dear Vivian, you ignorant slut. Who did you sleep with to get this blog?”(with apologies to Chevy Chase and Jane Curtain)

  8. Robin

    For a minute, I thought this really happened….genius!

  9. Backpacking Dad

    I thought this was going to end with you driving off a bridge, drunk on a fifth of vodka with your pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk.

  10. Neil

    Backpacking Dad — there are only happy endings online.

  11. V-Grrrl

    Clearly you’ve never left a comment somewhere and then had the blog writer track your IP address, location, visitation and comment frequency in a way that appears “innocent” but is manipulative and disturbing.

    It. Is. Not. Nice.

    I want to laugh about this but I can’t.

  12. ingrid

    love this. 🙂

  13. Twenty Four At Heart

    V-grrrl’s comment just freaked me out.

    You do know Neil that you are the ONLY blogger I read, don’t you? And therefore the ONLY blogger I comment on. And the hottest man in the blogosphere (as far as I know)!

    I guess I should try being nice if I want my blog to be BIG. Instead of, you know, calling out the whores on twitter.

  14. maggie, dammit

    You are so awesome.

  15. Neil

    Sorry, V-grrrl. I do remember you me telling me about that uncomfortable incident. There are a lot of crazy people out there. I can, in some ways, imagine doing it myself in some alternative universe, but I am mostly too lazy to keep on writing emails to someone.

  16. abdpbt

    Hey, I think I’ve heard that one before.

    HILARIOUS! I love it.

  17. Avitable

    You read my mind. I swear to Zod, I had a draft just like this in my drafts.


  18. Y

    That whole paragraph about blog stat programs made me go HA HA HA HA.

  19. better safe than sorry

    so dooce’s first name is vivian? hmmmmm.

  20. Vivian

    The restraining order specifically prohibits you from this type of harassment. You’ll hear from my lawyer, freak.

  21. churlita

    Very funny. I’m glad you’ve learned so much from blogging.

  22. Jane

    Very funny, Neil. If I couldn’t get bagels for my birthday, at least I got a good laugh.

  23. Michele

    You are adorable.

  24. Karen Sugarpants

    Hahahaha too funny Neil!

  25. sam {temptingmama}

    OMG LOL!!!

    And “Vivian” nearly made me spit coffee. Should have known Kevin was behind that! LOL

  26. Annie

    Neil, you are so clever :-).

  27. Chris

    Reading this makes me think I need therapy. I relate to “Neil”. I laughed…uncomfortably, like “shit”.

  28. ali

    i love this.
    you = rad

  29. Zoeyjane

    How the hell did you get to be so funny?

  30. Ashley

    Dear Neil,
    I’m a little upset that you don’t stalk my blog and send me delicious cupcakes or cookies. I tried really hard to not take it personally, but hey. What can I say? I just wanted you to know that I love the color pink and … cupcakes. I’m really jealous that you don’t write me lots of letters and threaten me, occasionally. I even told you you could use my photograph and stalk me. Sigh. I promise to try and post more weepy posts with sunsets..just for you. I might even write your name on them. Maybe. We’ll see. In the meantime, I plan to keep visiting your blog and writing you weird, inappropriate comments.


    I mean, bosssanders.

  31. Momo Fali

    Oh, for crying out loud…as in, I am laughing with genuine tears here. That was classic. Well done, Neil. Well done.

  32. chantel

    Is this your relationship with Dooce?

  33. SciFi Dad

    But the real question is, did you fuck her, because if you didn’t fuck her, then what’s the point?

  34. Venus

    Is Vivian a figment of your imagination?

    For a second there I thought there really was a Vivian out there. Then I thought it was euphemism for something or someone else. I have the “Every face is beautiful. Life is precious.” attitude though but I am nowhere near famous so I know it isn’t me. Whew.

    Is your point that people who come across as nice and positive are secretly just as duplicitous as anyone else? Or is there no point at all? I am just so confused. Clever writing as always, of course.

  35. CuriosityKiller

    I was getting jealous there over this awe-inspired “Vivian”… then laughed my ass off all the way. Brilliant writing, Neil!

  36. anymommy

    Perfect. Thanks for making me laugh. “Vivian’s” comment was priceless too. You are all too clever for me.

  37. 3boys1mommy

    You are my Vivian Neil.

  38. Christine

    I wish I had something witty to say. I’m not up to it today. I’m feeling down…so I thought I’d come here for a laugh. You never disappoint.

  39. jess

    That was awesome – prozac is good on you.

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