the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: blogs

Thoughts on the Interviews


How do I feel about the response to the Great Interview Experiment? 

Overwhelmed!  I had no idea there would be so many people!  I think we’re up to 200 interviews going on already, and I’m sure there will be more.  Just add your name in the comments here.

It’s sort of ironic.  Here, I wrote a post about how everyone is all equal and interesting, and I get to win all the LINKS!   Suckers!

This morning, Sophia woke me up and said, “There are 200 comments.  Now is the best time for you to put up advertising!”

“Are you nuts?”  I asked.  “I’d look like a total asshole.  Like I’d set this whole up to profit from it.”

“That’s what you are SUPPOSED to do!”

She just doesn’t understand.  I’m an idealist.  Or a wimp that needs to bring this fear up in therapy.  So far, it has been cool meeting some new bloggers and getting to know old friends better, but in reality, it is more work on my part than fun.   It reminds me of the times you have a bunch of friends over for a dinner party, and everyone is having a great time, except you — because you’re serving the little hot dog appetizers on a platter and washing the dishes.   I’m trying my best to keep everything updated.

I’m also finally feeling sympathy for bigshot blogger like Dooce.   How the hell do you read so many blogs coming your way at one time?  And how many “Heather”s and “Kathy”s are there in this world?!    Please don’t think of me as rude if I don’t come to read your interview immediately.  Besides, most of you new people, particularly the mommybloggers, will abandon me soon anyway — after they read some of my NSFW posts.  That’s why you always have to be loyal to your real blog friends, the ones who don’t leave even when they you write about shtupping your female therapist.  They’re your real friends. 

And shtupping is Yiddish.  Look it up.

Back to the Great Interview Experiment.  I’m constantly updating the lists of those who want to be interviewed/interview AND the final interviews.   If I screw up in some way, just email me.  I’m not perfect.  Remember, I’m just a guy sitting at home in my underwear.  (by the way, it’s been two years since I’ve asked — are tighty-whiteys still “out?”)  I still have my blog posts to write.  And I still need time to flirt with some of my regular blog friends on Facebook and Twitter.  And to write this brilliant screenplay that is stalled.  And  to watch American Idol with Sophia.  I’m a busy man!

I know some of your interviewers/interviewees are going to wimp out and never ask your questions, etc.   If you have been stuck with one of these lazy-ass motherf***ers, I say, give him five days to redeem himself and respond to you email, and if he doesn’t, just send me an email, and I’ll move you between a prettier pair of bloggers.  I’m also thinking of deleting any blog from the list that has no other purpose other than to sell things.  Those blogs are so boring to me, I start to fall asleep just thinking about them.  If you are one of these bloggers, please do the entire community a service and intersperse some fun stuff in between selling those humidifiers!  A blog should be interesting!

Again, if anyone has any suggestions, please tell me.  I think it is important to give a message to the Old Media that personal bloggers have a role to play in society — and culture.  Elitists will always want to make “real” published writers sound superior (rather than different) to those online, as evidenced by this snarky attack on bloggers in this week’s New York Review of Books (via Time Goes By). 

Fight the power!

Next Week in Therapy


I’m sitting across from Brenda, my therapist. 

Therapist:  So, how did you feel about i?

Neil:  I was a little upset at her.

Therapist:  So what did you do?

Neil:  I withdrew.  I went into my room and wrote.  That made me feel better.  I think I do that too much.  I did that as a kid a lot.  I was an only child.  I always felt most comfortable just sitting around writing something.

Therapist:  What did you write last night?

Neil:  I wrote a silly blog post titled “If I Was Married to Hellga of American Gladiators.”

Therapist:  Hmm…

Neil:  Although no one reading it would know, I was probably venting about Sophia…

Therapist:  So, writing this blog is an important outlet for you.

Neil:  I suppose so.

Therapist:  Maybe it is a form of therapy for you.  A way for you to think about things.  What do you mostly write about?

Neil:  All different things.  Mostly funny things.  About Sophia.  I’ve even written about you. I mean not real stuff.  Well, sort of real.  I use different names for you, and your image has changed as time has gone on.  In the beginning, I made you into a hot babe therapist.  Once I wrote about being distracted because your legs were showing. 

Therapist:  Really?

Neil:  Yeah.  Silly stuff.  But you do have nice legs.  Jesus, I can’t believe I’m telling my therapist that she has nice legs.  Sorry.

Therapist:  It’s OK.

Neil:  But I’ve also written more serious stuff about therapy, like that I’m not an “adult” yet.

Therapist:  I’ve never done this with another client, but your blog seems a large part of your life.  Your fantasy life.  Do you think it would be a good idea if I read your blog?

Neil:  Oh, I was under the assumption that you had been reading it.  I even wrote about that.

Therapist:  No, I wouldn’t read it unless you asked me too.  Do you want me to?

Neil:  Sure.  Why not?

Therapist:  I don’t know too much about blogs?  How do people find you? 

Neil:  It’s sort of complicated.

Therapist:  Do a lot of people come to the blog?

Neil:  Well, it depends.  Right now I have a lot of people coming because I’m hosting this interview thing where people interview each other, but I have no idea how many of them are actually READING aything I write.

Therapist:  Let’s make next week a special one.  We’ll sit by the computer together and you’ll show me some of what you write on your blog.  I want you to show me things that can best help me understand you better.  Let’s make your blog part of therapy, since it seems to already be like that.  Or print out five posts that you want me to read.

Neil:  OK, but you DO realize I’m going to write about this on my blog tonight?

Therapist:  I have no doubt.

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!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  I Married a Republican!


Writing For Blogebrity


I know… I know… I’ve called them the spawn of Satan in the past, but the people at Blogebrity asked me if I wanted to write about the world of personal/storytelling blogs.   I wrote my first post today.  The guys there are pretty nice, so I’m trying it out to see if we’re a good fit — and we’ll see how it goes.  

Frankly, most "blogs" about "blogging" are extremely tedious.  They always write about the same blogs and subjects.  Most of the cool stuff that we do as personal bloggers is usually ignored.   It’s only my first post there, so I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to write about or how long I’m doing this for, but if you come across an interesting post or site that you think deserves some attention, tell me about it.   I’m also open to any suggestions or ideas that could help all of us be better recognized in the community of bloggers.

If you have a chance, go check out the first post about JordanBaker (her site).

And, of course, "Citizen of the Month" is still a major priority of my life, right under arguing with Sophia and talking to my penis.

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