the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: favorites

My Favorite Citizen of the Month Blog Posts, 2009

I have a feeling my December is going to be chaotic, so I wanted to thank everyone who came by to read my writing during 2009 NOW.   I read through my archives today, and picked out a few of my favorites.   Do you read through your archives at the end of the year?  I strongly suggest you do it, because it gives you a good idea of where your head was for the last twelve months.

Most of my posts in 2009 were decent enough, but I looked for posts that still “spoke to me” or made me laugh.  I tried to write more for myself this year, and I enjoyed it.    Surprisingly, I feel good about my writing this year.  One troubling aspect of my blog in 2009 posts is how internal the themes became, as if my mind was collapsing onto itself.  My blog theme for 2009 could be titled “Avoiding Real Life.”   For the first time in years, most of my posts had nothing to do with Sophia, at least openly.   Most of my favorite posts were fictional, silly, poetic, or without any connection to my day to day life.  I’m not sure how healthy this is in the long run.  It is something I am thinking about right now.

I split my favorites into three categories, even with five posts.

1)  Stories with 0% Truth Quotient

2)  True (Or Mostly True) Stories


3)  Poetic (or Pretentious, Depending on Your Taste)


Stories with 0% Truth Quotient

Last, part 1 (part 2)

Written on New Year’s Day, it is the story of a man’s passion to stop always being “last.”

The Easy Chair
An unloved boy turns into an easy chair.

The Canasta Group of Boca Raton
A group of senior citizens in Boca Raton watch a naked man taking a shower.

The Wealthiest Man in Town

The wealthiest man in a small pre-war shtetl has a question for his rabbi.

A Master Class

My mother gives sex advice to a female blogger on IM.


True (Or Mostly True) Stories

Very Vague Dispatch from LA, #7

I brazenly share the armrest with a woman on a flight to New York.

48 Rolls

I am embarrassed to carry two giant packages of toilet paper back home from Walgreens.

Aligning the Planets

I am included in a Jewish prayer service during a shiva call in my apartment building.

The Shower Curtain

I frantically try to find a new shower curtain before my mother returns home from Florida.

Family History

I learn the truth about my grandparents.


Poetic (or Pretentious, Depending on Your Taste)

Words Cannot

Words cannot capture the energy I feel around me, all the time…


My life was forever changed when I met you…

Owning My Words

One day I would like to own my words…

The Sacrifice

I walked outside and it was pouring cold rain…

Wood-Grained Turntable

I was reading your writing, listening to the pain in your voices, and then, finally, I heard mine…

My First Meme


Hilary was kind enough to "tag" me with my first "meme."  Did I say that right – tag and meme? 

10 years ago:   I was reading scripts and manuscripts for HBO.  I would work at home.  My mind was turning to mush.  I felt so isolated that I would go to Ralph’s supermarket every day just to talk to the checkout girl.  On weekends, I went with my friend, Hiroshi, to bars in Hollywood.  We would stand around, not talking to anyone else.    We both were students at USC Film School, so we were movie-obsessed.  Since we weren’t meeting any women, we would argue about movies.  Afterwards, we would go to Canter’s Deli for coffee and cake.  We would argue about the movies some more.

5 years ago:   Sophia and I spent all July pitching a romantic comedy to Disney.  We pitched it to five different executives.  We kept on changing it slightly to make it more “outrageous,” as one development person suggested.   Finally, we had the opportunity to pitch it to a vice president.  I remember practicing in front of the mirror half the night.  The next day, we drove to Burbank and the pitch went very well.  “Terrific,” the executive said.  “But we already have something just like it.” 

1 year ago:   Last July, Sophia and I took a trip to Bakersfield, California.  Why?  Because we had never been there.   And you know what?  There’s really not much there.

Yesterday:   I wish I had a more interesting “yesterday,” but I don’t.  I worked on a Flash project at home.  I sent an IM to Hilary.   I checked my stats and saw that I had been linked by a Finnish website.  I used Babelfish to translate the site and it read like nonsense.  Sophia called, angry at my “Ménage a Trois” post

Sophia:   “All you got out of our marriage was that… you learned about women?!

I apologized.  I said I would change it if she wanted me to.  I then found out that she was also upset about the post about our walk.

Sophia:  “You said that I walk 2 1/2 hours one way and then 2 1/2 hours back?”

Me:  “OK, I exaggerated a bit.”

Sophia:  “Your exaggeration makes me sound like a crazy person!  Who walks so much?  And what type of ice cream place is at LAX”  

Me:  "We were in El Segundo.  I thought people might not know El Segundo, so I wrote LAX.

Sophia:  El Segundo is not LAX.  What… were we walking on the runway?

Don’t you love women?  I know I do.   (NOTE:  Just read this a few hours later and I think this post might put me in hot water with Sophia again.   Luckily, since we’re not living together, she can’t kick me out of the bedroom tonight and make me sleep on the couch.  Tonight, I’ll be in my own apartment — sleeping on my own couch!)

I made a salad for dinner.  I went to a meeting of LA Flash in Santa Monica.   I watched “Beauty and the Geek” on Tivo.   Before I went to sleep, I tried to fix my kitchen sink because it was dripping.

Today:   I woke up and put on the news.  I was upset about the bombings  in London.  My sink was still dripping.  I went to Starbucks, where I am writing this right now.   Tonight, I’m going to some play in Hollywood, but I don’t remember the name of it.

Tomorrow:  What am I – a psychic?

5 snacks I enjoy:   bananas, dates, bagels, green tea ice cream, dark chocolate

5 bands that I know the lyrics of MOST of their songs:   The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, The Talking Heads, Cake

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:  travel around the world, buy a house for me (and for Sophia, my parents, and Sophia’s parents), help out friends, buy a Mac, eat at the best sushi bars

5 locations I’d like to run away to:  Paris, London, Florence, Vermont, Central Park

5 bad habits I have:  I say “like” too much, I sometimes pick my nose in the car, I tap my foot while waiting, I find it hard to say “no” to other people, I worry

5 things I like doing:  Going to the theater, going to the movies, listening to music, reading, taking off my clothes when I get home.

5 things I would never wear:  a toupee, colored contact lenses, polyester socks, a thong, a t-shirt that reads “I’m with Stupid.”

5 TV shows I like:  The Simpsons, 24, Lost, American Idol, All My Children

5 Movies I like:  Best Years of Our Lives, Le Rayon Vert, Dog Day Afternoon, Tootsie, Babe

5 famous people I’d like to meet:   Charles Dickens, Woody Allen, Eleanor Roosevelt, Moses, Cole Porter

5 biggest joys at the moment:   The fact that Sophia and I still get along, my parents, interacting with others through “Citizen of the Month,” being friends with guys I met in kindergarten and hearing about their lives, still having my hair.

5 favorite toys:  Tivo, laptop, cellphone, “Citizen of the Month,” my hair.

According to the rules, I need to "tag" other people.  I have no idea if they are interested — especially since it is a bit like a homework assignment and there’s a lot of news coming from London — but here’s a try.  Maybe it’ll even give people a break from the news:    Leese, Joel, TWM, Todd, and Alley.

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