the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Blog Appreciation Day

Blog Appreciation Day: Behind the Scenes


Boy, yesterday was fun!  I’m overwhelmed with how special you all are. 

And now a special treat.  Grab your backstage pass and see what REALLY happened during my preparations for the festivities. 

Wednesday, 8PM – I decide it is time to take my Blog Appreciation Day photos.

8:15PM — My digital camera doesn’t work.  I go to Rite-Aid to buy some new batteries.

9:00PM — The digital camera does not NEED new batteries.  The digital camera is broken.

9:30PM — I decide to use my camera phone, but all I can see in the viewfinder are scan lines on the monitor.

10:20PM — I move Sophia’s computer system downstairs where there is less “interference” on the monitor and fewer scan lines.  Why?  I have no idea!

11:00PM — I set up my “photography studio” in the dining room.  The area is dark, so I move a halogen lamp in, tilting it to the side so that it becomes the “scene’s” main light source.

11:20PM — The halogen lamp gives off a weird yellow glow.

11:30PM — I place an LA Times in front of the monitor,  but the camera can’t make it out.  It just looks like a white piece of glare.  I decide on a stronger visual gimmick — a pair of “California” undies hanging over the monitor.  

Midnight –  I go to Rite-Aid to buy string and some clothes pins.

Thursday, 1:00AM –I spent an hour hanging the string from the lighting fixture and pinning the underwear so it falls directly over the monitor.  I almost pull the lighting fixture off the ceiling.  I promise to never tell Sophia about that.

1:30 AM — Even though the underwear is now hanging over the moniter, it is still difficult to read the “California” written on the underwear because the fabric creases up. 

2:00AM — I come up with a brilliant solution.  I place the camera batteries in the crotch area, giving the underwear some weight, pulling the underwear down, and making the “California” easier to read.

2:40AM — I take some photos.  Things are going great until I realize that the batteries in the crotch area make the “California” underwear look like they have a hard-on.  I take the batteries out of the crotch, delete the photos,  and start all over again.

3:00AM — Sophia calls up.  She yells at me for using her underwear, saying they are old and everyone will think she has a big ass.  I promise not to use the underwear in the shoot, but I am lying.

4:00AM – Sophia also explains to me why my photos are coming out so dark.  The “brightness level” of the camera phone is on -15.  I start all over again.

5:00AM — I finish taking my blog appreciation day photos.  But I still need a cable to transfer the photos to the computer – and it is back at my other apartment.  Doh!  And the clock is ticking.  Soon, everyone on the East Coast will be up and going online!

5:30AM — I rush over to my apartment on the other side of town.  I transfer the photos.  All the photos have an ugly green tint.  I open each photo in Photoshop to work my mediocre filter magic.

7:00AM — I quickly email the photos, praying that I’m not sending the wrong photo to the wrong person.

8:00AM – I return to Redondo Beach. I take the monitor off the kitchen table and fall asleep right at the table.

9:00AM — I am startled awake.  The “California” underwear has fallen off the clothes pins and right onto my head.

But it was all worth it!  Every second of it.

Thanks for a great Blog Appreciation Day!

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Should I Hug You?


One of the bloggers I met during my trip to San Diego was Modigli.  Meeting her was particularly exciting because I’ve been interacting with her as a blogger for more than a year.  I’ve “been with her” when she lived in Cleveland, when she took a trip to Florida, when she fell in love with another blogger in San Diego, when she moved to San Diego, when she couldn’t find a job, when she took a crappy job at Starbucks, when she finally got a teaching job, etc. 

I know more about her than some of my real friends.

So, I see her for the first time as I’m getting out of my car in front of her apartment complex.  But do I feel joy?  No!   Being a neurotic person, I feel only anxiety.  Why?  Because all I could think about was, “How do I greet her?”

“Do I hug her?  And do I hug her in that fake way or give her a real hug?  Should I give her a kiss on the cheek?  Will she think I’m too forward?  Will her boyfriend get mad?  Should I just shake her hand?  Should I kiss her “French” style on both cheeks?  Will she think me unfriendly if I don’t kiss her at all?” 

Luckily she came and gave me a big hug so I didn’t have to worry anymore (until it was time to go home when the thoughts came up again).

I enjoy meeting other bloggers, but I don’t like feeling anxious.  So, please help me and tell me now AHEAD OF TIME how you would like to be greeted – in case I ever meet you in person.

Would you like me to:

1)  Hug you weakly?
2)  Hug you strongly?
3)  Kiss you once on the cheek?
4)  Kiss you on both cheeks?
5)  Kiss you on the lips?
6)  Kiss you on the lips with tongue action?
7)  Kiss you while feeling you up?
8)  Kiss you while squeezing your ass?
9)  Kiss you while grinding against you?
10) Shake your hand?

Thanks for your help. 

And remember, tomorrow is Blog Appreciation Day.   Show your love to another blogger!  If you are sending a photo to someone, and you’re not afraid of revealing your location, show the daily newspaper or something specific so the person can feel proud that his blog is being read in Memphis or London, or wherever else you might live.


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Thursday is Blog Appreciation Day

local newspaper on Mount Everest

Summer is coming to an end, and fall brings in new emotions.  I just had a wonderful weekend meeting some bloggers in San Diego.  So, I’m feeling all sentimental about blogging – 

Isn’t it amazing that you can interact with others — and in such an intimate way — even when that other person lives half the country away in Pittsburgh?  Or half the world away in Mauritus?

That’s why Thursday is Blog Appreciation Day!

What is Blog Appreciation Day?

The idea formed as I drove home from San Diego.  As I was on the 5 Freeway, I started getting sleepy.  Maybe it was all that champagne at brunch!  I got off the freeway to grab a cup of coffee.  I ended up in some small beach town between San Diego and Orange County.  

As I drank my coffee in a small coffee shop, I perused through the local “free” newspaper.  In it, was a feature titled “Around the World.”  The column was all about local residents who submitted pictures of themselves while travelling.  In the photos, they were holding up their rinky-dink local paper in some faraway location, whether it be Chicago or China.   I started laughing, not because I was making fun of the concept, but because they do the EXACT SAME THING in the Redondo Beach local paper.   And I thought this was just a Redondo Beach gimmick!   How naive of me.  Do they do this in all small town newspapers? 

local newspaper in Morocco

This small town gesture is easy to make fun of.  After all, you don’t see people showing off their copies of The New York Times in exotic places:

 “Look at me!  The New York Times actually went to China!”

But, in reality, I found the gesture rather heartwarming.  By taking a photo of yourself holding the HOMETOWN paper in front of the Eiffel Tower, you’re sending a strong message to those back at home:  “Hey look, we are part of the world community.  You can actually read this rinky-dink Redondo Beach newspaper in Paris!”

I’ll admit it –  I get a real kick knowing that someone actually reads my stupid blog in places like Fort Lauderdale, Florida  and Sydney, Australia!  How cool is that?  And I’m sure you feel the same way about your blog. 

Wouldn’t it be nice to actually SEE you home page in one of these places, just like you enjoy seeing someone holding up your local newspaper in Bombay?

That is where Blog Appreciation Day comes in.  Anyone who asks for it in today’s comments, will get a digital photograph emailed to them on Thursday.  The photo will be of HIS or HER blog taken from my actual MONITOR in LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA.   Show your friends and family!  Amaze your children!  Feel good about what you do.   Look how you’ve made an impact thousands of miles away.

That is what Blog Appreciation Day is all about.  You can finally say, “Hey, someone actually reads my dumb blog all the way in California.  And, look — I have photographic PROOF!”

The only thing I ask in return is that if you ask for a digital photo, you pass the gesture on to the next blogger.  You need to make a photograph of another blogger’s blog and email it to them — perhaps some blogger who has done something meaningful for you, even if you have never met. 

Show a friendly blogger how their blog is appreciated, even in a faraway land.

Remember, Blog Appreciation Day is this Thursday, August 24th. 

Would you like a photo of your blog?

Fitena’s blog (written in Mauritius) on my monitor in Los Angeles

Another example:  Sophia sent me this for Kapgar in Chicago.  Notice Sophia ultra-chic New York highlights in her hair.


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