the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: October 2005 (Page 2 of 3)

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. 

A New Hobby


A few weeks ago, Jenny wrote this on her blog;

So what do you do with yourself when you stop looking for love? I realized recently that I have spent so much time as a single person looking for love, that I’ll need to take a up a new hobby when I finally do find it.

Jenny, Jenny, Jenny, I laughed for ten minutes after reading that.  Don’t you realize the trouble hasn’t begun UNTIL you meet someone to love?   Your relationship will be your "hobby."

Most of us learn about love from books and movies.

In a movie, the story usually ends when the couple kisses at the altar.

In the real world, we each walk around with our own personal movie projecting in our head.  In each movie, we are our own star.  Most of the hard work in any relationship revolves around this problem.  How do you make sure that you are both in the same movie?  Are you equal co-stars?  Do you both have the same size trailer?

Like most bloggers and writers, I enjoy sitting down by myself and making things up.  I am usually my own main character.  In the movie in my mind, I am the hero — a little bit of James Stewart, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Viggo Mortensen.   I make jokes, I flirt with women, I hang out with the guys, I save the day from the bad guys.

I thought I reached my final goal when I married Sophia.  Like Jenny, I figured there was nothing more to worry about.  I was the luckiest guy in the world.  I met Sophia —  someone so beautiful and fun.  Someone who actually agreed to marry a klutz like me!

But it took a while for me to realize that Sophia had her own movie in her head.  And she was the heroine in her movie — a little bit of Lucille Ball, Sophia Loren, Lauren Bacall, and Angelina Jolie. 

There is always trouble brewing when a couple is not in the same movie. 

At the top, is a photo from our wedding.  Can you tell who is the star of this movie?   The photographer surely did.  Every other photo has Sophia front and center, and all you see of me is my back and yarmulke.    Sophia and I always joked that if she ever remarried, she could just keep the same pictures and say this is her new husband.  And I won’t even mention the fact that I was propped up in front of a piano I can’t play at all.   Can you see some of the issues that we ended up having to deal with?

Here’s another photo from our wedding.  A beautiful, sexy woman.  A generic guy with a nice yarmulke.


So, Jenny, don’t worry about needing a new hobby after you fall in love.  Trust me — you’ll be busy enough.

How Much is that Dildo in the Window?


Tonight I had dinner with Dan, a USC film-school friend, who I never see because his wife never let’s him out of the house.

"So, Dan, how were you able to go out on a Wednesday night on your own?"

"Janet is having a Pure Romance party in the house."

"What’s that?"

"It’s like a modern-day Tupperware party.  A group of women get together and they sell women’s things."

"Women’s things?  You mean like, uh… (saying it softly so the rest of the Cheesecake Factory didn’t hear)… dildos?"

"That and sex toys, I think."

"Can we stop by?"

We came up with a devilish plan.  We knew Janet and the women would be in the living room.  So, we decided to enter the house from the back and listen in from the kitchen."

I was all excited pondering what secrets I was going to hear.  A group of sexy woman talking about sex toys.  Maybe they’re talking openly about their boyfriends and husbands.  What they like.  Kinky stuff.  I was already planning writing a blog post all about it.  This would surely shoot me up to the B-List. 

We sneaked in from the back.  We tiptoed through the foyer and into the kitchen.  We could hear the throaty voice of a woman speaking.  Someone neither of us knew.  Her voice had an air of authority, as if she was the organizer. 

And was the talk about sex?  Kinky stuff?

No, she was talking about money.  How much it cost to buy the kit.  How much profit you could make by selling parts of your kit to other saleswomen under you.  This Pure Romance was a pyramid scheme!

Janet, Dan’s wife, walked into the kitchen.  She quickly shut the door on seeing us. 

"What the hell are you guys doing here?"

"Janet, do you realize that this whole thing is a pyramid scheme?"

"Of course I do, Dan.  I went to Wellesley.  I’m not stupid.  I just think this is a good time to get in and run the Brentwood dildo-market before anyone else comes in.  I’m gonna make a fortune"

Dan nodded, agreeing with his wife’s street smarts.   I excused myself and went into their backyard.  I called up Sophia on my cellphone.

"Sophia, hi, it’s me.  Let me ask you something.  What do you know about the Redondo Beach dildo market?"

Second Base With Sophia

(AP photos from

"Neilochka, would you come over tonight?" Sophia asked.

"Sure.  What for?" I thought.  "Hmm… maybe she’s missing the ol’ Neilochka.  I put on some Brut and headed off to Redondo Beach."

I arrived with thoughts of scoring with Sophia.   But no.  Well, to be honest, there was some scoring.  In fact, there was a whole lot of talk about getting to second and third base. 

"I want to watch the baseball game tonight with you.  Everyone at work was talking about the Angels, and I still don’t understand how this stupid game works."

"You’ve lived in this country for so long.   Why don’t you know baseball?"

"It’s soooo boring.  But today I want to finally learn." 

Tonight  I would teach the Russian/Israeli Sophia all about baseball.

Now I’m not a big baseball fan, but I played and still follow the Mets… sometimes.  I played in Little League… poorly.   And I certainly know the rules of baseball, from the ball to the balk, from the RBI to the ERA.

How hard could this be to teach Sophia all about baseball?



"That’s a ball."

"Why not a strike?"

"Because it didn’t hit the right zone.  You see that area around the catcher’s glove?"

"The catcher?  What team is he on?"

"The Angels."

"I thought the thrower was on the Angels?"

"The pitcher.  Yes, he is."

"So, why is the catcher trying to take away his own team’s ball?"



"Sophia, now there is one out."

"I thought there were two outs."

"No.  There are two balls and two strikes.  But there is only one out."

"OK, he just missed the zone.  So that was a ball.  So, it’s now three balls and two strikes."

"Great, you’re getting it.  It’s a full count."

"A full account of what?"



"Why did the pitcher throw it to the guy at first base rather than to the hitter?"

"Oy, this is a little complicated.  You remember the White Sox guy… the good-looking guy who got the hit before."

"Right.  Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy."

"OK, Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy is now on first, and he’s taking a lead because, uh, because, uh, I don’t know how else to say this… he’s thinking of stealing."

"Stealing what?"

"This is a little advanced, but sometimes when a runner is on the base, such as Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy, he can start to run when the pitcher throws the ball — and he can steal the base."

"And what does he do when he steals it?  Does he run off the field with it?"



"He caught it! Yay!  He’s out!  That’s good for us, right?"

"Sort of.  But because he hit is so far, the guy on third is tagging up.  He’s running home to score."

"I thought you can’t run when there is an out."

"Usually, you can’t.   Unless you hit it really far away, then the runner can… he just can tag up.  Forget it about it.  It doesn’t happen that much."

"It just happened now."

That’s because he hit it into the outfield."

"The outfield?"

"The outfield is out there!  The infield is in here!"

"You don’t have to yell.  I hear you."

"It’s just some weird rule."

"Weird rule?  This whole game is nothing but weird rules.  In soccer, they kick the ball, everyone knows what’s going on.  Here, I’m thinking they just made up the rules as they went along."

"Forget it.  It’s not that important.  But you understand the difference between the outfield and infield?"

"Yes.  If you hit it to the outfield, you’re out.  If you hit it in the infield, you’re in."



"Strike three!  He’s out."

"Not really.  Remember what I told you.  As long as he makes contact on that last strike, he still gets another chance."

"For how long?"

"As long as he makes contact."

"What if he keeps on making contact for three more hours?"

"Then he’s up for three more hours."

"I see.  And what happens if in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels catch up?"

"Then they keep on playing into extra innings."

"Let me guess.  Even if it’s for three more hours…  This thing is never over."

"Baseball is like chess.  It is a very intellectual game."

"Oh, yeah.  That Angel spitting some brown stuff onto the grass looks like a real Einstein."

"Once you get into it… there’s nothing like a good baseball game."

"Booooring! I’m beginning to think they made up the game just to sell hot dogs and beer to the people in the stands."

"Finally!  You understand the real meaning of baseball!"

Hell is…

Hell is…


Actually being put on the Blogebrity C-List after mocking it. (or was it all a very cleverly designed marketing plan arranged by Sophia?)  

Sophia, did you contact them?  Knowing you…

Well, thank you.  Let’s see how many dull posts I can write about death and Heaven and Hell before I’m kicked off. 

And who wants to be on a C-List?  That makes me like the Andy Dick of bloggers.  What woman wants to go to bed with a C-Lister?

Heaven or Hell

(artwork by Rob Stinogle)

I’m sitting in my local coffee shop and I see that they have some Halloween decorations up already, including a paper cut-out ghost.   

It makes me think of my father, who passed away a few weeks ago.

Not in a scary or eerie way.  If he were to become a ghost, he wouldn’t be a scary one.  He might be a nagging ghost, but not a scary one.   


The paper ghost makes me think about the spirit world and whether it really exists.

I should start out by saying that I don’t really believe in ghosts or spirits or even souls.  I have a pretty scientific outlook on life.  It’s very nice when people say to me that "your father is looking down on you."  I smile and appreciate their kind words.  But I don’t buy it.  To me, believing that is akin to teaching Creationism in school.


One thing I realize is that most of my images of heaven and hell are colored by Christian thought.  You know, Angels with Wings vs. Dante’s Inferno.  

I think Judaism cleverly plays it dumb by not offering a very clear picture of the afterlife.   Maybe that’s why it’s traditional to rush the body into burial:  so nobody asks the rabbi any tough questions.  
Are there any knowledgeable Jews out there who can paint a clear picture of the Jewish afterlife?  What is a Jewish heaven?  Is there a Jewish hell?  Or is the Jewish hell being stuck in heaven for eternity with all of your relatives?

The traditional heaven/hell split is completely unappealing to me.  In Hell, there is suffering and pain — so there must be some sort of sensory feeling.  So, why not some sensory feeling in heaven?   Angels just seem to fly back and forth like Jet Blue flights between JFK and Long Beach.  Without the body, there’s no food, dancing, or sex — all the good stuff.


Who the hell wants to go to heaven?  It sounds more dull than a vacation in Albuquerque.

Sure, your soul is still there.  You can think and ponder great thoughts.   Oh great, it sounds just like being in fucking grad school again.  Who wants that?  And do you at least  get weekends off to go to some keg parties in Hell?  That’s probably where all the hot girls end up anyway.


OK, back to my father.  I guess I’m just like other Jews throughout history — avoiding the afterlife issue by talking about all sorts of other things.  How do you think Jews became such good lawyers?

Hi, Dad.  (that is, if they let you read blogs up there.  But wait a minute, you don’t know how to use a computer.  Mom always printed it out for you at work.   And I’m assuming they all have Macs in heaven, right?)  

C’mon, God.  Loosen up a bit.  Don’t make heaven such a drag.  Give the deceased some fun.  I know I’m going to be depressed when I go  — no more pizza, naked women, or reruns of "The Jeffersons." 

And those heavenly robes — I do not look good in white.

The Information Superhighway of Broken Dreams


Every day, it’s the same story.  A starry-eyed young man leaves his 9-5 job at the steel mill.   A eager young woman in pigtails takes off from her boring job on the farm.  Both want a better life.  Both leave their small Ohio or Kansas towns.  Both get on buses, heading off to achieve their dreams.  That’s right — they’re heading back home… to turn on their computers and start a blog.

This is not only happening Ohio or Kansas.  It’s happening in Brooklyn.  In Kyoto.  In Buenos Aires.   All with the same ultimate goal of any blogger — to make it as a Blogebrity

Let me tell you, my young friends.  It is a path strewn with peril and broken dreams.  Even those who reach the pinnacle of Blogebrity, like myself, can quickly fall from the public’s favor.  One moment, you can be the darling of the blogosphere, with hundreds of admirers, and the next you can be trolling the comments of, with the hope of stealing away just one reader.

Let me tell you a little of my sad story:

I started out like many of you — a naive blogger who assumed a "technorati" was someone who worked behind the service desk at "Best Buy." 

Those were the innocent days.  I lived with three of my fraternity brothers (and our pet monkey) in a small apartment in Northern California.  My bedroom looked out on Google HQ’s vast parking lot.  At night, I would see the familiar Google sign as it lit up the night sky and I would talk to it as if it were a god.

"One day, people will search for ‘Citizen of the Month’ on Google, and I will be first on the list."

After months of designing my blog template, using all of the latest javascript techniques at my disposal, I published my first post.  I went out to celebrate at Pizza Hut with my roommates and the pet monkey.  However, my post only received lukewarm reviews from the critics.  My roommates told me to quit.  They said that blogging was a "folly."  But I wouldn’t quit.  I persisted.  My mother became my first consistent reader.  This was a big ego boost, because usually my mother didn’t read anything that wasn’t written by Harold Robbins.  I faked some positive comments on my own blog from sophisticated-sounding readers and wrote a phony comment on Boing Boing saying that ‘Citizen of the Month is the new kid in town."

Soon, I was on Blogebrity’s C-List.


But that little taste of success just made me hungry for more.  I wanted to be part of the upper echelons of blogging life.  Sure, I now got invited to all the fancy parties, but I was always stuck going home with the plain-jane librarian-blogger and not the really hot female bloggers who wrote about women’s shoes.  These nights were terrible.  I remember one time — right in the middle of fucking one of these librarian-bloggers, we got into a big fight over the pros and cons of the Dewey Decimal System.  After that night, I knew I wanted something MORE.

Luckily, my post about Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie became the "toast of the town."  Bloggers around the world began to know me as the "Lindsay Lohan is skinny"-guy.  

Soon, I was on the B-List.


Oh, how I enjoyed it.  I said good-bye to my roommates and that annoying pet monkey and moved to Hollywood.  There were parties every night.  There was cocaine and fucking galore.  But there was a dark side.  My marriage with Sophia broke up after she caught me having IM sex with a blogger from LA Blogs

I started falling apart emotionally.  I started writing posts about my fondness for Sophia, even though we weren’t together anymore.   But just like no one wants a serious Ben Stiller, my audience abandoned me.  They grew tired of my weepy posts about my life gone sour. 

Before long, I had slid back to the C-list.


After months of shock therapy, Scientology, and Kabbalah classes, I put myself back on track.  I stopped writing about Sophia.  I began to flirt with other female bloggers again.  I even flirted with gay men to win them over, too.  My female fans, always suckers for a ‘comeback story’ returned to the fold.  Like John Travolta after ‘Pulp Fiction," I had returned.  

I wrote a series about my penis, always insinuating that "I wasn’t ashamed of what I had."  It may have been a crass media campaign, but it worked.  I sent out a phony press release naming myself "the Colin Farrell of Bloggers (if you get what I mean)."

My fans went crazy.  I shot to the top of the A-list.


This should have been the happiest time of my life.  But it wasn’t.  Old relationships died.   My love affairs with my female bloggers went sour.   They said that I changed.  That I wasn’t "nice" anymore.  And they were right.  I stopped caring about my old blogging buddies, both male and female.  At first, I hired a blog-reader to read other blogs and hand in a one-page synopsis for me to glance at.  Then I hired a blogging-double to even write my comments, so everyone would still think I cared.  But I didn’t.  I hit bottom.

Envy got the most of me.  On the outside, it may have looked as if I were at the top of my game, but inside, I was soul-less.  All I could think about was making sure that I was always at the top of the list.  I officially changed my name to AAANeilKramer, but it failed to increase my readership. 

I began to develop an insane hatred for a fellow blogger — Heather Armstrong of Dooce.  Although I had no idea who she was, every single person seemed to have her on their blogroll.  Everyone seemed to love her beautiful writing about her beautiful life with her beautiful baby.  Her popularity drove me to near insanity. 

I needed to bring her down.

I hired some unemployed web designers and doctored some nude photos of her in bed with Charlie Sheen.  I then published them on sites like Gawker and Defamer.   The uproar was immediate.  I was called the "Evil Blogger."  I was forced to write an apology.

After this incident, I was shunned by all my peers.  I began to heavily drink mojitos, as it was one of the few drinks that didn’t give me heartburn.    The lowest point of my life occurred during a drunken rampage in Brentwood, when a young woman in a "I love Dooce" t-shirt threw a latte in my face.

My name was erased from Blogebrity.  That’s why you don’t see it there today.

After months of more shock therapy, Scientology, and Kabbalah classes, I have learned to accept my status as a humble blogger with a loyal, but mundane readership.  I love all my friends for coming to my blog.  I love their wonderful blogs, too.  In fact, my reader still gives a one-page synopsis of their stuff every morning.

That, my young friends, is the story of one blogger’s sad and dangerous journey.   Be careful what you wish for.

A Very Special Reba


I’m a big fan of sitcoms touching on real issues.  The 1970’s were famous for combining comedy and social issues such as rape, cancer, and race on shows like "All in the Family" and "Maude."

This noble tradition continues.  Tonight, on a very special Reba (9 pm on the WB) Reba and Jake take in a family displaced by Hurricane Katrina. (no joke)

excerpt from Reba script

Door bell rings.  Reba answers the door.  It is a large group of cold, wet, ragged, displaced mostly-African-American hurricane survivors — men, women, and children.  Jake looks furious.

Jake:  Reba, how many more refugees can we take in?

Reba:  They’re not refugees.  They’re displaced persons.

Jake:  Whatever.  We are already putting up 25 people in our guest bedroom.  When is the government gonna do their job?  It’s not our responsibility.  We’re already FLOODED with people in here.


Reba:  Shh… don’t say that word!


Displaced person #1:  (shivering) Can we come in now, Reba?

Reba:  Sure thing, black folks, come on it.  Mi casa es su casa.

Jake:  Hold on, hold on.  Enough of all this liberal JAZZ, Reba.

Reba.  Don’t say "jazz," Jake.  You know…. New Orleans and such…


Jake:  OK, enough of this "country music," Reba…


Reba:  Country music!  Did I hear country music? 


Reba:  Here’s a song I wrote in honor of all the lovely people touched  by Hurricane Katrina.


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