the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Ten Minutes On IM #1: With Kizz


This afternoon:

I used to have all these blog gimmick ideas, and then I stopped. I’m not sure this is a good one, but you never know until you test it out. I’ve always been fascinated by interviews and conversations — the rhythm and dialogue — I also think any dialogue could potentially be interesting. I had this blog gimmick idea that will probably fail, but I’d like to try it. It involves the cross-pollination of the public and private. I want to IM someone or maybe a few people, one a week – it doesn’t matter who – for 5 minutes ONLY — with a timer — alone and then I post the entire conversation on my blog. We can ask each other anything and both have the right to refuse. But everything goes down, except I might fix some typos and punctuation. Is that too weird?

Tonight, on Facebook messenger with Kizz of 117 Hudson:

Neil:  you see me?

Kizz:  I do now!

Neil: yay!

Kizz:  OK, so now what?

Neil: OK, this is an experiment….thanks for being guinea pig. In a second I will turn on a timer and then we will just chat, but I will post it on my blog….honestly I have no idea what the experiment is about.

Kizz:  OK, sounds good to me. Anything else you want me to know before you hit go?

Neil: if five minutes is too short will go to seven. nope. just talk normal.

Kizz:  Cool. I’m ready when you are. Heh, it’s nice you think normal is in my repertoire

Neil: ok ready?

Kizz:  Ready!

Neil: hi Elizabeth

Kizz:  Hey Neil

Neil: is that how you like to be called? I usually call you Kizz. What do friends call you? Liz?

Kizz:  Honestly I’m Kizz to most people in my life. It’s not my given name but it’s who I feel I am.

Neil: nickname in school?

Kizz:  Chronologically I was Elizabeth, Beth, Elizabeth, Liz, Lizzie, Kizzie, Kizz.

Neil: schizo then?

Kizz:  Yes!

Neil: i promised i was going to ask you as first question something i said on facebook. when I asked for volunteers you said you would do it, but then you said, maybe I would want someone more interesting. you know that is bad to say.

Kizz:  And yet isn’t that what you would have said if you were in my place?

Neil: no.

Kizz:  Really?!

Neil: i have a million insecurities but I would assume I would be interesting.  Man, looking at ticker.   time is going fast…..might have to extend this conversation…

Kizz:  Heh. OK, if I’d looked at it that way I wouldn’t have qualified.

Neil: and you are actually more interesting than I am…. a singer, into animals….

Kizz:  You know a lot of really interesting people.

Neil: are you feeling the after the “listen to your mother” show blues….i spoke to two people in other cities who are rather depressed after all the activity about their shows.

Kizz:  I guess I think of myself as more weird than interesting — so interesting in a way people find uncomfortable.  I am definitely feeling the loss after the show.

Neil: hmmm…. I suppose i don’t know you that way of being weird. You seem pretty normal.

Kizz:  I’m also not done working with LTYM though. Thanks for reminding me, I have to bring some stuff to Amy tomorrow!

Neil: Did you do your dog training class today?  What work is there still to do? The show is over.

Kizz:  Since we don’t know each other well, it’s kind of a neat checkpoint to hear that you see me as normal!

Neil: Wait a minute…. I am on your facebook page…. you are single? I could have sworn you were married.

Kizz:  My academic dog training classes are over (they were Wed nights) now I’ve got 5 more practical sessions on Sundays. So much to learn!

Neil: Five minutes are up. Let’s go for ten. Are you going to get a certificate or degree?

Kizz:  Re: LTYM, we just have paperwork and mop up stuff to do but it needs to be done so records are complete for next year.

Neil: Did you enjoy doing LTYM?

Kizz:  Ten minutes is good. Single. Never married. Two long relationships. I have a BFA and a 1 year post grad certificate in acting.

Neil: Any gossip about LTYM? Like that you hated Amy or someone and want to say it publicly.  And have you done any online dating? Ha Ha, now this conversation is becoming about me and my dating life…

Kizz:  I love LTYM. I think the movement is incredible. Not being a mother nor wanting to be one that love is not without conflict but I love LTYM.

Neil: Great. I was going to say we should meet for coffee soon, and now we have this whole both being single thing to deal with.  Does not being a mother get you down in this mother obsessed mom blogging world?

Kizz:  Hah! I signed an LTYM non-disclosure agreement so I can’t say much but I hope you believe me when I say that I’d like to be Amy when (if) grow up.

Neil: Sometimes it bugs the hell out of me…. makes me feel alienated…. everything is mom blogger or dad blogger…

Kizz:  I have filled out many an online dating profile but never let them go live. I am terrible at starting relationships, great at sustaining them…which is….problematic.

Neil: you notice that this idea of mine made us chat on IM…. something we never do? It is like we talk to each other on facebook but afraid of one on one….

Kizz:  OK, let’s go on photo walk so we can say that’s our focus and forget about the whole dating aspect..unless it comes up naturally.

Neil: the fact that this is going public…. makes it safer…. I think that might be the core of this blog post experiment….ha ha…. You’re the first I’ve done this with…. and I already have a date….

Kizz:  Yes, totally feel alienated in a world of mommy bloggers but, I assume like you, I really like a lot of bloggers who are moms so…just have to live with uncertainty.

Neil: but from experience…. dating people online is trouble….

Kizz:  OK, repeat that slower. What is the core of the experiment?

Neil: And if it doesn’t work out when dating…

Kizz:  Dating people is trouble. Period. If we’re lucky the trouble is worth it.

Neil: ok, ten minutes is up. no answer to that… thank you for this experiement. This was the dumbest idea ever…

Kizz:  NO answer to the core of the experiment!?!?!?!

Neil: Ten minutes is up


  1. Neil

    I think ten minutes is too short too.

  2. Jules

    I found this to be very interesting – like eavesdropping at a coffee shop. I read Kizz’s blog to it helped that I kind of knew the players. I also found it intriguing that there were timing issues with it. You would ask a question and Kizz would answer a previous question and it got a little mashed up. That kept my interest in a weird way. Reminds me of a play I performed in, in which I was talking to my husband who was somewhere far away and our conversation was on a five second delay. It was a challenging play because we were constantly counting to five in our heads, waiting to respond to what the other one had just said. I like this experiment and hope you do it again.

  3. Jen

    Hey good idea. I think everyone’s got a story to tell and I’ve got a post in drafts to that very effect. I should publish it, but I had the idea of doing something similar to this but making it more of a short biography about someone – well having a series of them really. Have yet to work out the finer details. If you need more guinea pigs I’ll volunteer.

  4. Natalie

    Oh my…I love this idea. And I honestly think you are the only one who can pull it off! We IMed once back when I lived in Turkey. So that was like 2008. I can’t even imagine what we talked about way back then! Man though…my life is strangely and amazingly different now! And my blog posts are much less mommy oriented for sure!

  5. Jana A (@jana0926)

    I told you it’d be a great idea! I love it! Sounds like Kizz is kinda cool, too (must go check out her site).

  6. Kizz

    It’s just as bizarre and hilarious this morning as it was last night. Fun to hear what other people think of the experiment. I still think it’s a great idea, that’s why I was so quick to volunteer. Thanks for chatting!

  7. Kizz

    One more thought, 10 minutes is short BUT if it were longer you might be tempted to cut stuff out of the conversation and it might suck the power out of the raw experiment.

  8. Linda Kuriloff

    I found this fascinating! Maybe it’s because I’ve got a little downtime at work, but I was riveted! So many questions yet unanswered:

    What work is there still to do?
    Are you going to get a certificate or degree?
    What is the core of the experiment?

    Hmmm, both single. Interesting. 😉

  9. Logan fisher

    Neil!! I want to be next! Please! I don’t even have to talk about mommy stuff! Can you see my hand raised? I am volunteering!

  10. Leigh

    Entertaining as expected. You’re right, 10 minutes seems too short. You know what else would be fun – ya know those deck of cards that are questions….Table Topics or something – that would fun to pick random questions. OH! Or like Inside the Actors Studio 10 Questions with James Lipton. It could be Inside the Blogger’s Studio and like every 10th person you IM gets that list of questions so that people can’t be too scripted and prepared. Never mind….this is your gig. I love it and can’t wait to read the next interview!

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