the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Sophia

Happy Birthday, Sophia!

One of the guilty pleasures of TV watching when I was with Sophia, besides All My Children, The Bachelor, and Professional Figure Skating, was “Poker After Dark,” a nightly show of high stakes No Limit Texas Hold ’em mini-tournaments, featuring a rotating cast of six top poker professionals.  While neither Sophia or I could name a single player on the Los Angeles Dodgers, we could easy chat about the playing styles of Gus Hansen or Phil “The Brat” Hellmuth at the breakfast table.  We didn’t actually play much poker, other than “Heads-Up” against each other, and I would usually win.   Sophia, always on the lookout for a new money-making scheme, had this idea that I would make a great professional poker player.

“You’re patient and you can keep a straight face.”

While this doesn’t make a good poker player, these qualities put me at an advantage over Sophia in our “Heads-Up” games.   She found it difficult to sit for long stretches of time, and her facial expressions and gestures were way too emotional.  When she would get a good hand, she could hardly contain herself.  When she was bluffing, I just KNEW IT.


Our splitting up, with she in LA and me currently in NY, has been good for us, but it has been lonely, too.  After so many years of having someone sleeping next you, being alone feels like driving a truck with only three wheels.

I have used the internet to connect with others, for better or for worse.  I tried to convince Sophia that she can get the same thrill from “social media.”

I remember the first day that Sophia joined Twitter.  I made a big joke about it, saying that my online life was “now ruined.”  Many online friends quickly “followed” her, thinking it would be fun to see us both chatting online together.    Sophia was on Twitter for about… two days.

“How come I never see you on Twitter?” I asked.

“What do you DO there?”

“You talk to people.”

“About what?”

“About anything.”

“Seems like a waste of time.”

“Because it takes a while.  You build up friendships.”

“Eh.  Boring.  I’d rather go out.”

Sophia and social media — bad match.  But she did find a new hobby — Texas Hold ‘Em.    Or rather she started playing what she used to only watch on TV.

She discovered some weekly game on, and started attending the beginners’ games in Los Angeles.  Gradually, she started winning the weekly games, and joined another group as well.  In the last couple of weeks she won $700.   Her secret weapon — she has balls.  She is not afraid to “go all in” with a pair of deuces.   One semi-professional player got angry at her for pushing him out of the tournament with such a “sh*tty hand.”

So far, Sophia’s playing is more for fun than “gambling.”   And she has met some new friends.

Today is Sophia’s birthday.  She is travelling to Las Vegas with two women she plays poker with, to have fun and play in some poker tournaments.  It is her birthday gift to herself. Good luck!

The last year has not been a good one for Sophia.  She lost both of her parents in 2010.  In poker terms, she was handed a very bad hand last year, and no amount of bluffing could change that.

As you enter this new year, I wish you only aces!

UPDATE SATURDAY:  Sophia took down a tournament at Caesars and won $1000!

Sophia: The Lyrics

billboard chart 

Yes, we all had fun last week, sitting around the campfire and singing such favorites as “Melissa,” “Michelle,” and “Allison.”   On Thursday, May 4th, as promised, will be the World Premiere of what is sure to be this summer’s hottest and most rockin’ song with a woman’s name as a title, “Sophia.”  The lyrics have been written and tomorrow I’m going into the studio with one of LA’ s hippest indie bands, “Citizen and the Months.”  So, come back Thursday and BE READY TO ROCK!  I will sing the song LIVE!


They say no man should be alone
That’s why I called you on the phone.
Cause no one loves you like I do.

I know I’ve gone and done you wrong
That’s why  I’m writing you this song
To tell you that my heart belongs to you.


Oh Sophia
I think of you all day
Oh Sophia
You rock me every way
Oh Sophia
Sweetest of them all
Oh baby
Why y’not answering my call?

Let’s put behind us all that stuff
Cause ‘without you’ is not enough
I’m waiting by the phone all night and day

I’m like a ship that’s lost at sea
So c’mon, baby, rescue me
You gotta listen to what I have to say


Oh Sophia
I think of you all day
Oh Sophia
You rock me every way
Oh Sophia
Sweetest of them all
Oh baby
Why y’not answering my call?

Cheap Thrills


When Sophia and I separated, we divvied things up the traditional way — she got most of the cool stuff we bought over the years and I got a new crappy "bachelor pad" in the city.   Luckily, we didn’t fight too much over the arrangement — except for one little matter — the constant battle over the ownership of our Dyson vacuum cleaner.  We bought it right before we separated.  And once I moved out, I refused to buy another vacuum cleaner after we had just spent 400 bucks on one. 

When Sophia first wanted to buy this fancy new Dyson machine, I was deadset against it.  I was brought up to always search for a bargain, not to spend tons of money on the top-of-the-line model.  Sophia always said I was too cheap and constantly repeated this Russian saying ( I think she just made it up herself):  "We are not rich enough to afford to buy crap."  But now that we bought it, I have to admit — this is the best vacuum cleaner ever.  It has tons of attachments, no "bag," and it is actually sort of fun to vacuum your floor with it. 

So for the last several months, the vacuum has been shuffled back and forth between our two homes. 

A few days ago, I wanted to vacuum my house after I spilled a box of Cheerios on my carpet.  I called Sophia, there was no answer, so I drove over to her place and took the vacuum without telling her.  Later that night, Sophia got mad at me, saying I should have asked her first or let her know that I was coming over. 

"What if I had a date in the house?"

This just got me mad.

"I paid for the vacuum.  Let your ‘date’ buy you a new vacuum."

She said I was a bean counter.  I countered with something nasty.  Before long, it turned into a heated fight.

The next day, I felt bad.  She was right.  I should have called first.  I shouldn’t have started the argument on the phone.  I called her up, apologized, and said I would bring over the vacuum.  I also said that I would take her out for dinner.

As I approached her home in Redondo Beach, I thought about getting Sophia some flowers.  If there was one lesson I learned in my marriage, it’s that flowers are the best way to apologize to a woman.   I pulled into the supermarket.  They didn’t seem to have much of a selection except for fall "harvest" bouquets consisting mostly of orange-dyed carnations.  I know Sophia hates carnations, especially painted ones.  I saw a bouquet of sunflowers.  Great!  Not only does Sophia love sunflowers, but the bouquet was on sale for 75% off.  The flowers did look a little tired, but $3.99 — what a deal!  I quickly bought the bouquet, and headed for Sophia’s. 

I rang Sophia’s doorbell.

"One second," she yelled.

Through the window, I could see that she was exercising in the living room. 

I looked down at the flowers, knowing she was going to love them. 

"Oops," I said to myself, as I saw that the 75% off sticker was still on the wrapper.

I quickly ripped off the sticker and stuck it on under my shirt as Sophia opened the door.

"Neilochka, flowers!"  Sophia said, beaming.  "Thank you." 

We kissed.  On the cheek.

"I’m starving.  Let me just take a quick shower and then we’ll go to dinner."

As she headed for the shower, I went to the upstairs computer to check my blog and see if I got any new comments.  Nothing, except for another pro-anorexia idiot saying something dumb on my "Too Skinny" post.

From next door, I could hear the water running in the shower.  I walked over to the bathroom and looked inside.  Sophia was behind the glass door, the water spraying down on her.  I could see the outline of her body, especially her sensual breasts as she soaped them up.  I watched as she ran her hand over her stomach and legs, then reached between her legs, the soapy water running down her thighs. 

Mesmerized, my animal instinct took over.  I ripped off my clothes, letting them fall to the floor.  I moved quickly to the glass door of the shower, and slid it open.  Sophia stood there, totally naked, one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen.   Her face showed surprise, but at the same time… I thought… anticipation. 

Every bit of sensation and feeling in my body quickly moved to my cock.  She looked down, her eyes widened and her face turned red.  For the first time in years I felt proud – she was looking at me like I was a real man again.  

But it wasn’t my growing erection that was making her so excited.  The sticker from the flowers somehow moved from my stomach and got stuck on the head of my penis.  And as my cock grew, the sticker spread out, making it easier for Sophia to read.

"75% off?  $3.99?!  Is that all your apology means to you?!  You never buy me flowers.  Now I get it.  $3.99 for a bouquet of flowers!  Could you be any cheaper?!"


But, alas… it was not to be.  My frugality bit me in the ass.  Well, actually you know where it bit me…

I left the Dyson vacuum cleaner in the garage and took my cock home, sticker intact. 

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