the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Be My Editor


I’d like to thank Sophia for all the help she gives me with this blog.  Besides being my ex, Sophia also is my editor, spell-checker, and grammar-checker (and watches over those posts where I mention her like a hawk — uh, Sophia, I mean a caring, beautiful woman).   This week, she’s taken on the role of my public relations manager. 

It all started a few days ago.  I had just written a post where I tried to hypnotize fellow blogger Brooke into sending me compromising photos of herself.  Very few of you saw this post because after I published it, I immediately received a phone call from Sophia.

"What kind of idiotic post is that?"

"I see.  A little jealous of my "special relationship" with Brooke?"

"Yeah, right."

"So, what’s the problem?"

"Neilochka, you’re not an eighteen year old keeping a blog to impress four friends.  You already have a couple of gray hairs coming out of your ears.  You need to think of it as a "calling card" for your writing.  You need to be a little more professional."

"And what does that mean?"

"Don’t be too in-groupie.   What if some big-shot editor comes by today?  He’s not going to know who Brooke is.  He’s just going to leave your site."

"I thought everyone knew Brooke."

"Sorry.  I know she’s popular, but…"

"OK, I see your point."

"And a few other things…"


"I know you love it… but stop flirting so much.   And don’t write every week about your penis."

"Not write about my penis?  That’s like asking me to never mention my best friend again!"

"In the real world, if you wanted to write for a magazine —  you can’t just write about anything you want.  You’d have to pitch a whole bunch of ideas and the EDITOR would decide what you should write.  Sometimes, they might assign you a stupid topic that you have absolutely NO INTEREST in."


"That’s right.   It could be an article on the history of paper clips and you would have to write it to get paid."

"You want me to write about things I have NO INTEREST in?"

"Of course not.  Though, come to think of it, maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all.  For practice."

As usual, Sophia is right.  Did you know that "Sophia" means wisdom in Greek?  I spent the next few days thinking about what Sophia said.  Maybe it is time to think of myself as more of a professional.  Maybe I should use this blog NOT for writing nonsense, but as a "calling card."

But, how can I prove to the BIG SHOT editors of New York that I can pitch story ideas and listen to the decision of my superiors?

Hey, I got it!  Why not EXPLOIT my readers again?  They have nothing better to do.

OK, here’s the deal.  YOU ARE MY EDITORS.  I will now pitch you SIX story ideas.  You will pick one (the most votes win).  Sometime next week, I will write this story.  You can pick it apart.  After I re-write it, you can hire me or fire me.   Sort of like "The Apprentice."

Sophia will then be proud of me and make me dinner.


1)   I will go to the Scientology Center HQ in Hollywood and go on a "tour" of their L. Ron Hubbard museum.

2)  I will visit a psychic and palm reader for the first time in my life and see what she has to say.

3)  I will eat in Burger King all three meals for one day and report back.

4)  I will go to the racetrack and bet $20 on the #3 horse in the  third race.

5)  I will try some ointment on myself that I see advertised in Maxim magazine that says makes your penis  feel "fuller." (had to throw this one in)

6)  I will write about the history of paper clips.



  1. jenny

    of course i initially vote for #5, but then i also like #2. i think you should do both. that’s my vote.

  2. shane

    Because I am cruel, I’d like to see the paper clip one.

  3. jamy

    I vote for #1. It’s actually on my list of ideas for stories to write for when I have a job as a big time feature writer. My story idea: why are all those Hollywood types sucked into that crazy Scientology shit? It would be completely unbiased, of course.

  4. Bill

    As entertaining as #5 may be, and as informative as #2 promises to be, I think I’ve got to go with #1. I’m curious to see how much Tom Cruise memorabilia they have there.

  5. akaky

    Go with number 1. While you’re there you can secretly gloat about how much better a writer you are than L. Ron and maybe, just maybe, you will come away with enough evidence to prove that Tom Cruise is really a dwarf CPA from Syosset named Marvin Feldstein.

  6. alleyrat

    we have to pick one? so far it looks like #1 is going to win, so i’m gonna go with the underdog #2. but you really do need to go to the Scientology museum and mock those people.
    f* me, i can’t decide. i suck as an editor!

  7. Anne

    #4. If you can make a horse race interesting reading, surely an editor will recognise your merits and hire you on the spot, for bucketloads of money. Not that you’d be willing to sell out, but it’s worth considering.

  8. bella

    I say go for #2, then you’ll know wether or not you should be writing for the big magazines in the first place, then if the psychic says “You will be a writer.” then you know you’ve got a start.
    And if the psychic says “you will perfect the art of underwater basket weaving”, you can then write the article bashing how “out-there” and ridiculous it all was.

    And then prove her wrong.

    Course #5 sounds interesting, too. But only from the objective standpoint. Of course.

  9. danielle

    My vote is for #1. I passed it so many times when I live in LA, and wondered what it felt like within those blue walls. I’m so glad one of the options is not to go rip apart the Kabbalah center!

  10. kris

    Scientology wins hands down. And should you run into Tom Cruise and get him to jump on your couch, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll all send you as many compromising photos (of our cats) as you want.

  11. Josia

    Please feel free to rip apart the Kabbalah Center – everyone else is these days …

  12. miss marisol

    #1 — Topical but, two minute ago, so, no.
    #2 — Shows promise as far as the execution, but it would need to have some sort of pertinent thrust (not that kind of thrust). For instance, “Neil is having an existential crisis because he is worried about the size of his penis.” Or something like that.
    #3 — Also, potentially funny, but it would have to have some unique spin to it since “Supersize Me” pretty much knocked that out of the park.
    #4 — Eh.
    #5 — This story would be evergreen. There will always be penis ointments for sale in the back of Maxim. Men will always wonder about them. This shows the most potential, and I would enjoy your narrative of this experience.
    #6 — Ha.

    Ergo, my vote goes to #5. I politely disagree with Sophia. You should always write what you know.

  13. Pauly D

    I’m all about #1.

  14. Kelly

    I like numbers 1 and 2. I can’t decide between those.

  15. Megarita

    Bet on the ponies. That way you won’t need a job and won’t have to feel bad about the presentability of your site!

  16. Miriam

    In my opinion, the most reality-based choice of all is the psychic, #2.

    The rest is even more fraudulent, except for the history of paper clips. That has been done, by a chap named Henry Petroski, and is more interesting than Scientology. I mean, you can do something useful with paper clips.

    How about the history of the staple gun? That’s a story that urgently needs to be told.

  17. cookiebitch

    As an editor, I say write what you know. That means the penis gets the vote.

    Besides, if the ointment works, I can buy some for my husband 🙂

  18. Colleen

    As someone who has already done an infiltration—but not, alas, a write-up—I’m 100% behind #1. It so deserves an incisive-yet-hilarious article. (By the way, I think that could be your niche: Incisive, Yet Hilarious.)

    If you decide to go for it, feel free to e me for heads-up tips that may make your trip more fruitful and/or enjoyable.

  19. Neil

    Miriam — you’re right about Henry Petroski and paper clips, but I’ll try to approach it from a the angle of someone who dislikes paper clips.

    Miss Marisol — jeez, that movie was about McDonald’s not Burger King. Don’t you see the difference? My post will not be about the unhealthy food, but about how unpleasant it is to actually go there 3X a day.

    Colleen — Will I be able to quote you as a source?

    Tally so far:

    7 for Scientology
    3 for Psychic
    2 for Racetrack
    2 for Ointment on Penis
    1 for Paper Clip (cruel Shane)

  20. M.A.

    I had a student write about Scientology this summer. Her work was solid, but I know that yours will be loads better. However, I too feel like scientology might be a bit passe.

    Go for the betting. I’m sure that you’d run into some really interesting characters–who knows? You could end up penning a show for FX. They like quirky stuff.

  21. Sandra

    In order of preference, I’ll say:


  22. Brooke

    First of all, I was wondering when you were going to write about this!!! You crack me up.

    I am not going to vote as I’m thinking that whatever I vote for will be immediately nixed by the all-powerful Sophia. I am convinced she could kick my ass with one hand tied behind her back and I am not looking to get my face rearranged.

    BUT, at the risk of getting the crap beat out of me – I’m telling you now to keep writing about what You want to write about!!! You are gaining popularity by the day, and clearly your readers love your stuff.

    That being said, I seriously doubt that anyone would want to read about you trying to get me to send you naughty photos. Even if I had any, do you really think I would send them to a man with a wife who can pound me into next week? I may be gullible, but I ain’t stupid!

    By the way, the editors WOULD know who I am if you linked my name on your posts like you are supposed to. Then they could come check out who I am and offer me a book deal. After which I would dedicated my first novel to you. (and Sophia of course…please don’t hurt me)

  23. Brooke

    Damn you work fast.

  24. Modigli

    #2. NUMBER TWO! … Pick 2. 2. 2. 2. 2!!!

    Can we vote more than once?

  25. Pearl

    Do NOT — I repeat — do NOT write about paper clips; doing so will get you bent out of shape.

    Don’t write about penis ointment because…there you go again, giving your little friend an honorable mention.

    The racetrack might be a lot of hype for a great loss of a piece — ie. why wait till the 3rd race to lose your $20; do it on the first race!

    The Burger King bit sounds fun, but I don’t want to endorse anything that’s not too Kosher.

    The visit with the psychic/palm reader sounds like fun, but is not anything extraordinary.

    I vote for that museum — just don’t let them convert you. And if you run into John Travolta or Tom Cruise, say hi, and start telling them about your blog. Who knows — maybe you’ll get yourself a couple new readers!

  26. cruisin-mom

    Definitely #1…and while you’re there, maybe you could grab Kirstie Alley to come do #3 with you. But for Godsake, don’t let her join in on #5.

  27. MQ

    All right, I like #1, but #5 has the advantage that it might make your penis feel fuller! Which none of the others would do!

    My favorite, though, would be that you and Sophia would live together for a week as man and wife again and you would provide us with an extensive diary of the proceedings. That would be killer. It might not be as interesting to editors. But it has excellent potential to get picked up as a sitcom.

  28. maribeth

    Paper clips, hands down. You could easily be more amusing than Henry Petroski.

    At one point I did some fascinating research on how honey came to be sold in bear-shaped containers. I had intended to blog about it but I forgot and can’t find my notes, so you can use that if you want.

  29. Nicole

    Definitely #1. Then #2.

  30. Bill

    I realize you really can’t vote twice. (Well, you can, but I’m not sure it would be counted.) And I’m really not all that committed to the Scientology thing – ya wanna go with something else, fine. But …

    The passe business? You should go with it if only to say screw the world that says anything older than five minutes is passe. For the love of Mike people … How drilled into the marketing machine are you? Are you really comfortable with letting Entertainment Tonight rule your life? What? We should be looking at doing an expose on Britney’s c-section?

    Arrggggg!!!!! Passe? I just wanna know what’s in the damn Scientology Center HQ!

    (I’m sorry … I’m only venting like this because the neighbours are listening to bad music, it’s thud-thudding through the floor, and I’m trying to watch Ben-Hur. Yes, it’s a seriously empty life.

    And I am sorry about ranting on the passe business. But these idiots downstairs are really bugging my ass.)

  31. anonymous city girl

    1) I will go to the Scientology Center HQ in Hollywood and go on a “tour” of their L. Ron Hubbard museum.
    Scientology is bullshit

    2) I will visit a psychic and palm reader for the first time in my life and see what she has to say.
    Psychics and palm reading is bullshit… only good if your busting them on their bullshit

    3) I will eat in Burger King all three meals for one day and report back.
    You’ll died before you write the article… your cholesteral!!!!

    4) I will go to the racetrack and bet $20 on the #3 horse in the third race.
    A day at the track is always a good thing… then again it just reminds me of my bookie uncle who use to take me when I was little and told my aunt he was taking me to the petting zoo

    5) I will try some ointment on myself that I see advertised in Maxim magazine that says makes your penis feel “fuller.” (had to throw this one in)
    Only if accompanied with before and after shots… did I mention I’m a photographer? Don’t worry, they’ll be tasteful

    6) I will write about the history of paper clips.
    I’m a big office supplies geek, but even I know the a snoozer

  32. Pants

    Definitely the penis ointment. It has solid blog gold rubbed, I mean written, all over it.

  33. Edgy Mama

    Hmmmmm, probably #1. But I’ll happily edit anything you write. And I’m tough. But, for you, I’ll waive my fee.

    How many hot NY editors actually read your blog? Can you share?

  34. porchwise

    Depends on whether the ed. is a male or female. #5 for the male ed. because all males are intrigued, interested and intent on ‘making it bigger’ unless you’re John Holmes (or were). #6 for the female ed: Bend the paperclip into some kind of kinky jewelry (say a penis) and submit, ‘how you design sexy jewelry’ to Cosmo or Redbook, depending on your target reader.

  35. Neil

    Voting ends at midnight. It looks like I better start buying that fake “Geraldo” mustache for my investigative reporting.

    Tally so far:

    13 for Scientology
    4 for Psychic
    0 for Burger King
    3 for Racetrack
    5 for Ointment on Penis
    2 for Paper Clip

  36. cruisin-mom

    wait a minute Neil, I think #3 gets one vote since I encouraged you to take Kirstie Alley with you…doesn’t that count?

  37. Jack

    How about the history of paper clips and their impact on your penis. It shouldn’t be that hard to come up with something solid there.

  38. Neil

    Good point, Cruisin’. I think my mother is already worried that I’ll come out of the L. Ron Hubbard museum a little brainwashed. I don’t know why you say that, Mom? But I’m sure you will want to come to my “graduation” ceremony?

  39. mysterygirl!

    I choose #2, the psychic. Maybe because I’ve always wanted to go to one. But don’t go to one where they are yelling at you from their window to have your palm read. Are there classy psychics to be had?

  40. cruisin-mom

    Don’t worry Mom Kramer…we’ll all be there to support Neil at his graduation. Maybe it’s just the thing you and Sophia have been looking for to bring you two back together…look what it did for Tom and Katie.

  41. The Moviequill

    compromising pics of our Brooke?…where’s the Paypal button baby!

  42. anne arkham

    I’m all for penis posts.

  43. Neil

    I guess I dug my own hole here. THE MUSEUM WINS. Thank you, editors. I will start working on my assignment tomorrow. If you don’t hear from me by Saturday, call Tom Cruise.

    Speaking of Tom Cruise and his former co-stars — I just read that Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger and country singer Kenny Chesney are seeking an annulment after five months of marriage. What exactly is an annulment? Other than British monarches getting these, what’s the point? Does that mean on paper it never really existed… sort of like getting your virginity back?

    Maybe, my next assignment…

  44. ashbloem

    Damn it. I am too late. I was going to go for #2, but #1 is pretty good too.

  45. Megan

    Damnit, I’m too late? But I was busy doing something good for the world, can’t I get special privileges? I would like to vote for either the psychic (and have you take me with you to find out if I will hear your demon love child), or the penis ointment, just to see if it gives you a bad rash.

    Can’t my vote count, too? 🙁

  46. Neil

    Sorry, Megan. But everyone should thank you for participating in the Avon Run for Breast Cancer. good job!

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