the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: marriage (Page 2 of 8)

The Best Blog of All Time

My site was nominated for Best Blog of All Time!

I am lucky to have Sophia in my life. She helps me “grow.” She teaches me confidence. By nature, I back away from distinguishing myself, about grabbing the most out of life. I have a therapy-sized sense of modesty, insecurity, and need to be liked. But I am 100x stronger than when I first got married.

Today is the anniversary of our marriage. Not surprisingly, I had been depressed all day, lying on the couch, 3000 miles away from my separated wife, looking out the window, watching the cars pull in and out of the Pathmark supermarket parking lot.

I mentioned my blahs on Twitter, and got some heartfelt advice: Anymommy told me to eat something with chocolate and peanut butter. Several other women suggested ice cream (surprise!) TwentyFour and Antonia told me to start drinking. Mir was the most practical with her suggestion to rent some porn. (Rent porn?! Who rents porn anymore?)

The comment that most caught my eye was from Ricewenchie:

Do something nice for yourself today. Like create a new anniversary for this day…

At first, I thought that was a dumb idea, and somewhat delusional. If Sophia and I ever divorce, am I supposed to re-write history and forever think of October 13 as the day I bought a Hamilton Beach blender at the discount store for my mother in order to show her how to make a smoothie (that was the one big event of the day)?

But after thinking about it, I embraced the idea, with a little tweak. To celebrate our wedding anniversary in any traditional way makes me sad, while ignoring it is impossible. So, instead, I will combine the two — like chocolate and peanut butter — and focus on the positive — something good that marriage has brought to my life, and how it has changed me, despite the current status.

That’s why I put that badge on top. I can’t think of anything more arrogant than putting up a badge that announces your blog as “The Best Blog Of All Time.” Do I believe this? Sophia believes it. She was the one who nominated me. And I think that she will appreciate this unusual gesture of me posting it on my blog, knowing that she is the one who has always has been my strongest ally in anything I pursued. I would have never had the guts to put that up there if I had never met Sophia. Being married to her has given me strength in many areas of my life. Some cojones. And being a little arrogant every once in a while is good for a man. Even sexy. Why should I be afraid of saying that this is the best blog of all time?! Or that I you should hire me above all others because I am more talented. Or that you should date me because my singing will make you swoon?

Now I need to deal with some other issues in my life with the same confidence.

Happy Anniversary, Sophia, and thank you for helping to make me fearless. Well, maybe I shouldn’t get too arrogant. Let’s just say that I’m working on it.

Note: Just to show you how hard it is to change, Return to Rural called me out with the truth — I didn’t actually link to the award site because… well, that would be too arrogant. I wimped out. But I just changed that and added the link.

How We Are Doing

Many of you have emailed lately asking, “How are you and Sophia doing being apart?”   I am so glad that you asked.   Although being apart is difficult, it also gives us the opportunity for change — so both of us jumped on the express train to personal transformation.

Sophia has decided to go “LA” blond.

I have decided to become a “NY” raving lunatic who drools all over himself in the subway.

Sophia Says “Hi”

I do miss her.  Even if being apart is the best route.  I enjoy my “freedom,” but it can get lonely.  I enjoy looking at everyone’s BlogHer cleavage on Flickr, but it isn’t the same as touching the warmth and softness of the woman you love.  Only when there is love, does the energy flow into your hands from the female  bosom, making your blood dance wildly and your soul as bright as the sun.

Sophia sends regards, and photos.  She’s lost 15 pounds, a combination of wii-fit and a lack of stress.

One Month in NY?

This week, my posts will be piss poor.   I may just skip days.  Hey, it’s just a blog. 

Why am I being such a downer about the quality of Citizen of the Month?  I’m always so good with my blog — I hardly missed a beat in three years.

The answer is — I’m currently in the process of running away from my life. 

Just for a while. Nothing dramatic.  No drugs or alcohol.  Maybe a little Manishevitz now and then, since I will be staying with my mother.   Actually, she likes Kahlua, because it is as sweet as Manishevitz.  Maybe I’ll learn to make some cocktails for us!

I just bought a one-way ticket to New York.  It’s for next Monday.  Oh, sure — I’m coming back.  Don’t worry, dear Californians.   I’m hoping to make money on this screenplay I’m working on.  Besides, New Yorkers are a bunch of snooty jerks.  But it’s my childhood home.   What can I do? I was born there.

I probably will stay for a month.  I figure I’ll buy another one-way ticket back to Los Angeles when I’m ready to return to the real world and start my new life.  This may screw up my BlogHer plans.

There are several reasons for going.  I will avoid having to move to another apartment in Los Angeles… just yet.  With Sophia’s rent going up next month, we need to figure out the best way of paying for everything.  Sophia and I agree that we can both “think” better if we’re apart for a month — 3000 miles apart.  I will be able to finish the first draft of this award-winning sex comedy screenplay.  I will celebrate my late father’s birthday on June 19th.  I will see friends.  And most importantly, I will eat pizza that doesn’t contain pineapple.

I don’t make rash decisions, but I saw the ticket to NY online, and whoosh — I bought it.  It was difficult to find an inexpensive one-way ticket, so I have to switch planes in Salt Lake City.  I’ll be there for at least an hour, so this would be a great opportunity for Heather and I to  grab a cup of coffee together at the airport. 

Darn it, I promised that I wouldn’t make anymore Dooce jokes.   Sophia is right.  I don’t keep to my promises.

Earlier today, Sophia presented me with a list of “must-dos” before I leave next week.  She is nervous about me leaving.  When she started showed me the list, it was like one of those documents that unravel and roll down the steps, a royal declaration of chores. 

Who is going to set up the wii fit?  What if I get a computer virus?  Where is the fan in the garage?  Who is going to massage my leg when it cramps?

I understand all these needs.  I have plenty of them myself.  One of our main problems is that we are at the point in our relationship where we “need” each other more than we “give.”  I’m saying that about BOTH of us.

We’re so different than when we married over ten years ago.  I think I’ve changed even more than her, because I was a total nudnik back then, someone lucky enough to catch such a hottie.  What did she see in me?  I have no idea. 

Years later, we are both stronger.  I feel more competent and manly than I did before meeting Sophia.  But we’re also become weaker in many ways.  We depend on each other too much — even for our own happiness.  It doesn’t make things easier.  If you think meeting Mr. and Mrs. Right is a pain in the ass, it is absolutely FUN compared to the confusion of the same couple separating, something we have been doing… forever…

I’m curious what Brenda, my therapist, will say about me skipping town for a month.  Is it irresponsible?  What will I do for money?  Am I avoiding life?    I’m wondering if I should still have therapy with her via phone once a week?  It probably isn’t as effective.  Or fun — I wouldn’t be able to look at her shapely legs in those cute summer dresses that she wears!   I could ask her — over the phone — if she’s wearing a dress that day, and what type of shoes. but I think that may be inappropiate.  Don’t you think?

The Ram

When unconditional love fades, it doesn’t melt away like the Wicked Witch after she is splashed with a bucket of water.  It happens slower, in a more painful way.  Like the drip drip drip of Chinese water torture.

I was in the laundromat.  It was Saturday night.  It was quiet except for the sound of the the dryers.  There was one other customer.  He was about 60.  Joe introduced himself.  He said he played the mandolin, and gave me his card.  He lived in some trailer park. 

“You mind if I change the channel?” he asked. 

I shrugged.  In the right corner of the laundromat was a small TV that was playing the Dodger game.  The Dodgers were losing.  Joe turned the channel to one of those “America’s Funniest Home Video” rip-offs.  I hate these shows.  I don’t find kids falling into mud or dogs biting their own tails funny.  Ever.  And I consider myself to have a sense of humor.  Since when is pain, shown out of context, funny?

On the TV, a ram was butting his head into a children’s swing set. The bench swung in an arc and then hit the ram back in the head.  The ram showed no fear.  He pushed to the other side of the swing set, and then rammed his way from the opposite side.  He banged his head a second time.  He was relentless.  He attacked the swing set over and over again, each time with the same result.  I know rams do this naturally, but I was worrying about the animal’s health.  Was he damaging his brain?  Was he trying to forget about something?  About someone?  Was he in and out of love?

The onscreen audience was laughing and cheering.  Joe was cracking up.

“Are you watching this?  Man oh man, this is hilarious!”

I went to fold my laundry.  This stubborn ram doing stupid things to himself was not funny, even if he was deceiving himself into thinking he was being productive.  He was in pain.  Emotional pain.

Saturday, May 24th


In the morning, I went to see an apartment that is being rented.  This is a big step for me.  I’ve been telling you that I’m moving out for… about six months now.   To make the whole situation more pathetic, Sophia (my separated wife, for newcomers) came with me to check out the place!  Before you make the comparison of mommy accompanying her child on her first day of school, I will do it FOR you. I was nervous about seeing this rental.  I found it on Craig’s List.

“Why is it so… inexpensive?” I asked myself.  “Is the economy this bad?” 

The reason…? Let’s just say that the neighborhood was so-so, and the apartment manager seemed to have a side job running a meth lab.  New theory:  It is OK to use a coupon at Olive Garden, but not in apartment hunting.   Even Sophia hated the place.

New vague plan:  Go to NY and visit my real MOMMY for a few weeks and finish this screenplay, then come back and find an apartment.   I know… procrastination.  Brenda, my therapist, is going to give me one of her “looks” this week.


As I’ve mentioned to some of you, I’ve started to work on this screenplay project with another writer.  It was a long process of pitching and coming up with ideas.  While nothing is certain,  there is some interest, and I’m hoping to make some real money this year, not just the fake dollars that you can use on Second Life.  Then again… Hollywood is a risky place until the money is paid.

It is not easy working with another writer.  It is like a marriage.  It takes some time.  The other writer and I split up the work load.  I’m writing some of the scenes involving the major female characters.  I opened my mouth and said that “I understand women,” when in reality, this is an obvious lie.  Belinda from Ninja Poodles told me to read Stephen King. 

“He writes excellent female characters!” she said. 

Wht do you think?  Do you think most male writers do a poor job in creating female characters?  I don’t know about you, but I found it completely believable that the Sharon Stone character wore no underwear during that police interrogation in “Basic Instinct.”

Speaking of sex-starved screenwriters, I tried to write a scene on Saturday afternoon while shopping at Target.  Target is my new pharmacist, mostly because they give you the pills in these hip red plastic containers.  I went to Target to pick up my cholesterol medicine (and some paper towels).  This time, I travelled without Sophia holding my hand.  After walking the aisles of products of artists and architects who sold out to the Target Man, and drooling over this cool red Michael Graves toaster, I decided to have a cup of coffee in “the cafe.” 

Our new Target is a rather fancy one.  The parking and the “courtyard” are on the first floor.  The “cafe” is on the second floor and looks out over the courtyard.  I use the term “cafe” loosely.  They sell hot dogs, popcorn, and Pizza Hut slices.  However, a tiny Starbucks franchise is attached to the side, and the atmosphere is light and friendly.  I ordered my “tall” coffee, sat down with my Target bag, and decided to write a scene in the trusty black-and-white-covered composition notebook that I always lug around in case inspiration hits.

Being a New Yorker, noise and chaos is usually calming.  I have no problem writing when there is activity going on.  I just couldn’t focus in Target.  Some bratty kids were playing with the ice machine and the open mustard package sitting on the plastic chair adjacent to me was bugging me.

I decided to take a breather.  I walked over to the railing and looked down into the courtyard.  Customers were flooding in and out, some wheeled shopping cars, others with children in tow.  The majority were women… mothers.  Not surprisingly, my second floor position gave me a pretty good view of the finest cleavage that Redondo Beach had to offer.  I could look right down the tops of women’s blouses.  Hello, mothers!  Some thin, some buxom, some size 2, some size 16, some in tight dresses, some in low cut blouses.  I completely forgot about my screenplay and just enjoyed the view.  This was better than looking down at the Grand Canyon.  So many women!  I glanced up and noticed that there was a video camera.  Big Brother was watching.  This changed everything. 

“Is anyone watching me?” I wondered.   “I must look like a total pervert!”

I certainly felt like a total pervert, especially when I realized that my Target shopping experience had aroused me to the point where I had to sit and wait another twenty minutes until I could leave.

What would my mother think if she saw me on the nightly news, arrested and dragged from the Redondo Beach Target “cafe,” still aroused from looking down the blouses of mothers shopping for Pampers for their children! 

Tonight on America’s Most Wanted

“Redondo Beach is a sleepy town on the coast near Los Angeles.  It is a family-oriented town where children go to church and everyone is polite.  But every community has their bad apples, the underbelly and perverts who walk the street.  One of the favorite Saturday activities in this pleasant beach community’s is for mothers and their children to go to the local Target for some fun, relaxation, and shopping.  Little do the unsuspecting mothers know, that in the cafe, is Neilochka Kramer, the lowest form of pervert, ogling women like  one-dimensional sex objects when he is supposed to be writing realistic female characters. “


Sophia got her Wii fit delivered.  I said I would connect it and figure out how to use it, but I did the laundry instead.  I was feeling passive-aggressive.  Why are we getting a Wii JUST as I’m about to move out?

At 2AM, I turned on Showtime.  There was some soft-core movie.  I have no idea what it was about, but I watched a scene where  a sexy woman in high heels (male screenwriters again!) comes into a bar/restaurant, asks the bartender to show her to the women’s room, and then the two have sex in the cleanest and well-organized restaurant kitchen in existence.  

The minute the situation became “hot” and the woman stripped down to her bra, some annoying jazz music started to play on the soundtrack.  It made me wonder what would happen if sex really caused this John Tesh-like music to play in our minds.  Would I become impotent?  I think I would rather BE impotent than have to endure this same music every time my pants came off.  I certainly would want the sex to be over VERY QUICKLY just to stop the music.  On the positive side, women would want it over fast, too. 

“Come on.  Stick it in and get it over with already!  Just make this third-rate jazz music stop!”

This was my Saturday, May 24th.

Two Years Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Driving in LA – In Two Parts


I’ve been sleeping in the living room for the last few weeks.  On Saturday, I woke up a 3AM and I couldn’t handle it anymore.  I’m a man, with manly needs.  I climbed the stairs to the bedroom.  I was naked.  I pushed open the door, my body tense with want.  I slid into the bed.   Sophia woke up.

“What are you doing here?”  she asked.

I didn’t care if she protested.  I was getting what I came for, even if I had to take it with force.

“No one’s hugged me in a month.” I said.  “Do you know how unhealthy it is for a man not to get hugged?  I read that male babies — if they don’t get hugged after they are born — just die.”

“You were supposed to have moved out already.”

“I am moving out.  But do you really want me to die?”

“You’re not a baby who needs to be hugged.  Well… maybe you are.”

“If you don’t want to hug, I can just go back downstairs.  I know plenty of hot women who will give me a hug on Facebook.”

“OK, shut up and I’ll hug you.”

We hugged.

“But will you set up Dance Dance Revolution on the wii tomorrow?” she asked.


(in retrospect, the hugging may have not been a good idea, considering the argument the next day, after neither of us could figure out how to use Dance Dance Revolution)

A Five Minute Long Wild Sex Comedy

— starring Neil, Sophia, Neil’s Mom, several half-naked girls from Queens, and introducing Moondog, as Neil’s surfer dude buddy.



Neil and Moondog have just finished hanging ten at Redondo and are now chilling at Don Carlos’, the sweetest joint in town for fish tacos. Hot girls in bikinis are constantly walking by. All the girls seem to know Neilochka (his surfer name) and Moondog.

Neil: “I think it is time, Moondog. I’m gonna find me my own place and move out.”

Moondog: “About time, dude. My ear was burning like the hot sand hearing this every week after week… for three years…”

Neil: “Maybe I’ll first go to New York for a few weeks cause I still don’t have any digs. Just feeling as down as GeekDude without his Red Bull. I’m feeling major wipeout over my babe.”

Moondog: “Sure, man. We’re all bummed about you and Sophia. But maybe it’s time to move on. Time to ride the next big wave. Definitely go to New York for a trip.”

Neil: “Yeah, I can go see some of that, what do you call it, art. At that museum from that movie. That museum rocks. They got the stuff from the posters… but they’re real!”

Moondog: “Hell no, forget the old dead white dudes. You need to get over Sophia. You got to start schtupping everything is sight. There’s some pretty hot skirt over there in New York.”

Neil: “Sweet. But can’t I do the same here in LA?”

Neil looks over at a buxom beauty in a tight bikini as she rollerblades by, her breasts a bouncin’!

Moondog: “Dude, surfer dudes like us are a dime a dozen at the SoCal surf and turf. In Gotham City, we’re exotic. They hear your LA accent and your Hollywood style, and they’re already getting wet from the tide. It’s time for you to get on that plane, and shine off your own Big Apple hidden away down there…”

Neil: “And where do I meet this chicks? I don’t have the Benjamins for those Samanthas and Mirandas.”

Moondog: “LOL, dude. NYC is P***y Grand Central. They’re everywhere. East side, west side, all around town! Just look at a map of Manhattan. It’s shaped like a giant breast with the nipple pointing out to Brooklyn.”

Neil: “That’s no nipple. That’s the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Moondog: “I’ve felt up two girls from Brooklyn and there must be something in the water there because Brooklyn nipples could slice a pizza pie. No wonder the Dodgers had to move to LA. They couldn’t concentrate on the game. All those Brooklyn nipples.”

Neil: “Well, I won’t be in Brooklyn. I’ll be in Queens. And I’ll be staying with my mother. That’s not a very good spot for a little romance.”

Moondog: “Hey, I met your mother. She’s cool. The babes won’t even know she’s there. But be strong. This is for you… to live it up… don’t call Sophia… for anything…”



Neil is making passionate love to Freya Aaronson, the once Orthodox, now Reform, Jewish girl he loved in high school but never looked his way, but is now a an assistant editor at Random House and currently submitting her fiction to the New Yorker Magazine.

Freya: “F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me harder, Neilochka! Nothing could feel as good as you f**king me, Neilochka… maybe except getting published in the New Yorker! F**k me, Neilochka!”

Neil: “Could you just be a little quieter? My mother is sleeping next door. She has to go to work tomorrow early.”

Freya: “F**k me, Neilochka! F**k me, Neilochka! Wasn’t your mother written about in the New Yorker because she’s been working forever at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux? Would she mind if I left behind a few of my stories, Neilochka? They’re perfect for the New Yorker. F**k me, Neilochka! Your mother is amazing. F**k me, Neilochka!”


Neil is in bed, being ridden by Yvonne, the flirtatious black girl from the local stationary store, a brainy grad student at Fordham. The bed is pounding against the wall.

Yvonne: (as she rides him) “Oh my god, dinner was amazing, Neilochka. So good. And my friends consider me a foodie! I can’t believe your mother’s secret ingredient for her brisket is… ketchup. I never would have guessed. How long does she cook the brisket for? It was so tender. So soft.”

Neil: “Can we talk about this later? A conversation about soft, tender meat is not something a man wants to hear when…”

Yvonne: “Do you think she would mind if we went for seconds of the brisket? I can’t stop thinking about it! That brisket was so good. I need to get the recipe. Will she be serving this brisket for Passover?”

Neil: “Passover was last week.”

Yvonne: “Too bad. Try to come fast so we can go have some more brisket.”


Neil is in bed with the petite Emily Ning, a divorced mommyblogger. She lives on the third floor of the same building as Neil’s mother. She works in PR for a Hong Kong-based bank downtown. She is an ardent blogger and loves reading Citizen of the Month. She is giving oral sex to Neil.

Emily: “Do you like how that feels? Do you like that? Am I making you dizzy? You didn’t expect me to know how to do that, did you? How about if I use BOTH hands on your?”


to show that Emily not only giving oral sex, but is also throwing punches in the boxing ring on Neil’s Wii-connected TV, and talking to her opponent, another mommyblogger, via cell phone.

Emily: (into phone) “You didn’t expect to go right, left, did you? You’re going down!”

Emily continues on with her oral sex, looking bored, then leans over to her laptop and sends a quick message to her opponent via Twitter.

Emily: “Knockout, sucker!!”


Neil’s head is between the thighs of Anna Castro, his long-time friend from elementary school, who he has liked ever since they danced the Tarantella together at the fourth grade dance festival. Anna is lying in the bed, her legs apart, waiting impatiently for Neil to take some action. Now, Neil is on the phone, looking frantic:

Neil: (into phone) “I know what I said, Sophia. I said I wouldn’t call you. But I’m telling you… it’s not in the right place with her. I can’t find the spot. Yes, I have my glasses on. Isn’t it in the same place on every woman?… You don’t have to be sarcastic! I didn’t complain when you called me with that stupid computer problem about Photoshop Elements… Yes, she’s nice… It’s none of your business… OK, her name is Anna. .. Yes, the one from the fourth grade dance festival. .. No, I didn’t step on her feet… Yes… yes… Yes, I’m taking the damn cholesterol medicine… Listen, I didn’t call you to chat…”

Neil’s mother opens then door to Neil’s room, carrying a tray of Oreo cookies and low-fat milk.

Neil’s Mother: “Would anyone like a snack?”

Anna quickly jumps out of bed.

Anna: “Thank God. Yes!”

Neil’s Mother: “I’m watching “Dancing with the Stars” on Tivo, Anna. Would you like to join me?”

Anna: “Absolutely!”

Anna exits with Neil’s mother.



Neil and Moondog are chilling at Don Carlos’, chowing on fish tacos and drinking Coronas. Moondog is shaking his head in disbelief.

Moondog: “Dude… never tell this story to… anyone.”

The End

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