Now that I’ve written for Blogebrity for a full three days, I think I’ve earned the right to call myself a “blogging expert.”  (media outlets – please contact my agent, Sophia Lansky, for more information). 

As a blogging expert, let me share with you one of my astute professional observations about the blogosphere:

Most bloggers are just plain weird.  Social outcasts.  Losers.  Anti-social nutcases.  I mean, who else sits all day in front of a computer at work, then comes home to sit at their computer all night to blog?   What other morons reveal the intimate details of their lives to strangers who are crazier than they are?  What other perverts post semi-naked photos of themselves on a weekly basis for HNT?  On the last survey of my readership, I counted 1/3 as alcoholics, 1/3 on anti-depressants, and 1/3 as having bi-polar disorder. 

Listen, I’m not that normal myself.  Despite my friendly personality online, I’m actually pretty shy.   I’m much more comfortable making virtual friends than real ones.   In fact, I’ve lived in my apartment building for a year and a half, and haven’t made one friend here.

One possible reason is that I’m subletting from my friend, Phil.   After I separated from Sophia, he let me use his apartment after he moved into his mother’s old place.  The management here was not very happy with the arrangement.  To “punish me,” they told Phil that I can never use the gym, the patio, or the swimming pool.   Several times, I’ve wanted to march into the manager’s office and say that this is unfair, but you guessed it – I’m too shy to do it. 

Last Saturday, there was a big party down the hall.  It seemed as everyone on my floor was invited, except for me.  I didn’t get angry at them.  I scolded myself:

“Enough of these unreal blogging friends.  It’s time for you to make some REAL friends.  Right here in the apartment building!”

But how?  Where would be the best place to meet the other tenants and show them how charming Neilochka can be? 

Of course.  The elevator.

I decided that on Tuesday, I would keep on taking the elevator up all day, meeting and befriending my neighbors.  I would take the elevator up with one neighbor, then walk down the stairs, wait for new tenants to show up, and take the elevator up again.

Here is a log of my day’s activities:

7 AM – 8 AM

No tenants come into the elevator.  The newspaper boy shows up, but he doesn’t really count.  Besides, he didn’t talk to me because he is still pissed that I canceled my Los Angeles Times subscription two months ago.

8 AM – 10AM

Return to the apartment, and take a little nap. 

10 AM – 10:30 AM

Do a little blogging.  IM with Pauly D, who promptly cuts me off when he gets a call from someone more important person than me.

11: 08 AM– 11:12 AM

My first tenant enters the elevator with me.  He is a Korean-American in a nice suit, around 40.

Neil:  “Hi.”


Neil:  “Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?”

Korean Man:  “Yes.”

I look up at the fluorescent lighting.  One of the grilles has been missing for over a year.

Neil:  “When are they ever going to fix that?  What would it cost them – five bucks?”

Silence.  The Korean man moves slightly farther away from me.  The elevator opens and he exits.

11:27 AM – 11:30 AM

I’m on the elevator with an elderly man.

Neil:  “Hello.”

Elderly Man:  “What?!”

He’s clearly hard of hearing.

Neil:  “Hello!”

Elderly Man:  “What?!”

I give up trying.

11:47 AM – 11:53 AM

I’m in the elevator with an attractive, yuppyish married couple in their mid-thirties.

Neil:  (pointing at the lighting grille)  When are they ever going to fix that?

Yuppie Guy:  You’re right.  It shouldn’t cost them more than five dollars.

Neil:  Right!  Right!  Five dollars!  Hey, I’m Neil Kramer, apartment 314!

Yuppie Guy:  Jack and Susan Neveroff.  Apartment 322..

Neil:  Nice to meet you.  How long have you been living here? 

Yuppie Guy:  A while.  But we’re moving next week.

Neil:  (disappointed)   Moving?

Yuppie Guy:  It’s like that grille up there.  This apartment building is a mess.   We bought our own house.  We’re tired of living like losers.

Yuppie Wife:  (elbowing her husband)   Jack…shh…

Yuppie Guy:  Oh, I’m sorry, pal.  I mean it is fine living here if you’re a student…

Neil:  I’m not a student.

Yuppie Guy:  Well, it’s different when you get married…

Neil:  I am married.  I’m separated.

Yuppie Guy:  Oh…

Uncomfortable silence.  The elevator opens and they quickly exit.

NOON – 1:00 PM

Lunch break.  Leftover Chinese food for lunch while watching “All My Children.”  I try to IM Pauly D again, but he makes believe he’s not there.

1:46 PM – 1:53 PM

A perky redhead enters the elevator carrying an “E! Entertainment” shoulder bag.

Neil:  “Do you work for E!?”

Redhead:  “Yes, I do!”

Neil:  “That’s great.  You can walk to work.”

Redhead:  “That’s why I moved in here.   I miss walking everywhere, like in New York.”

Neil:  “I’m from Queens!”

Redhead:  “Me too!”

Neil:  “He, do you know Jay at “E!”?

Redhead:  “Jay… hmmm…no…”

Neil:  “You know, maybe that’s not his real name.  I only know him from blogging.  He’s a blogger.  Sometimes bloggers don’t use their real names.”

Redhead:  “I know.  I have a blog.”

Neil:  “Yeah?  Me too!  Mine’s called “Citizen of the Month.”  It’s just nonsense and stuff.”

Redhead:  “Mine is a knitting blog.”

Neil:  “What’s it called?”

Redhead:  “I’d rather not.”

Neil:  “Why not?  I’ll check it out.

Redhead:  “I really like to stay anonymous.”

Neil:  “What am I going to do?  I just want to look at it?”

Redhead:  “I said no!”

Neil:  “You don’t have to go all crazy over it.”

Redhead:  “Look, I don’t want to talk about my blog with you anymore, OK?”

Neil:  “You know, I write for Blogebrity now.   I’m sure you’ve heard of it.”

Redhead:  “No.”

Neil:  “Well, I single-handedly could have made your blog the top knitting blog in the country… just like that!  But because you’re so stubborn and won’t tell me the stupid name of your blog…

Redhead:  “Fuck you, you stalker!”

The elevator opens.  As she exits:

Neil:  “You’re never gonna work in this blogosphere again!”

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

I order a mojito at Nick’s Bar.  I’ve never had a drink in a bar during the afternoon in my life, but I decided to try one today.  Two drunks sit next to me.

5:03 PM – 5: 08 PM

I enter the elevator with a fiftyish, gruff-faced woman in a business suit.

Neil:  (a little tipsy)  “Hello.”

Gruff Face:  “Hello.  I don’t recall meeting you.”

Neil:  “Neil Kramer.”

Gruff Face:  “Neil Kramer…. Neil Kramer… what apartment are you in?”

Neil:  “Apartment 314”

Gruff Face:  "In Phil’s old place?"

Neil:  "Yes."

Gruff Face:  "So, you’re the one who’s in Phil’s place?!  I’m the manager here.  I think you know that I’m totally against you being here." 

Neil:  "Well…"

Gruff Face:  "Let me speak.  I don’t know who you are.  I don’t know if you are going to disturb the other tenants."

Neil:  "I’ve already been here a while."

Gruff Face:  "Then let me repeat the rules.  Since you are not a tenant, you cannot use the tenants’ patio, the tenants’ gym, or the tenants’ pool…"

Neil:  "I understand, but I wanted to talk…"

Gruff Face:   "There’s nothing to talk about."

The elevator opens.  I point to the grille on top.

Neil:  "You know, a lot of the tenants are complaining about this grille not being fixed."

Gruff Face:  "Who?  You?"

Neil:  "No…no…"

Gruff Face:  "Then who?  The married couple who’s moving?"

Neil:   "Uh, yes…"

Gruff Face:  "Well, they’re moving.  So, they can go to hell."

The manager exits the elevator.

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

I return home and go back to blogging.  I make a vow never to leave my apartment again.

Today on Blogebrity:  ‘Tis the Season to Feel Anxious Over Your Blog (Brooke, Schuey, Dan, SAC)