the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Carnival of the Mundane 5!


"The Mundies"

(more specifically, the IHOP on Wilshire Blvd. with free wireless!) 

Announcer:  And now, straight from Hollywood, it’s the Fifth Carnival of the Mundane.   And here are our hosts:  you know him from the website, Citizen of the Month, and you know her as the star of "The Bionic Woman" and numerous commercials — Neil Kramer and Lindsay Wagner!

The ORCHESTRA plays “Hotel California” as Neil and Lindsay enter from behind the curtain.

Neil:  Hello.  Hello.  It’s so exciting to be here with you.  I see so many familiar faces in the audience.  Hey, how are you doing, Jack!   Jack Nicholson, everybody!

Lindsay:  That’s not Jack Nicholson.

Neil:  Yes, it is.  Jack Nicholson, the tax attorney from Sherman Oaks.   Dean Abbott, who runs this carnival, only gives us a very limited budget.  Why do you think we’re stuck with a C-list celebrity like you?  How much are you getting paid anyway?

Lindsay:  Paid?  He promised me that you’d help me set up a Blogger account if I do this.

Neil:  Oh, sure, sure, I will… yeah, right…

Neil winks at the audience.  HUGE LAUGHS.

Lindsay:  The excitement is mounting here in Hollywood.  Who will win the coveted "Most Mundane Post of the Year" award?   Or as we call the award — the Mundy.   And the winner is right here in this envelope.

Lindsay holds up a golden envelope.  Neil grabs it. 

Neil:  I’ll take that.  I don’t want you to accidentally rip it open with your … bionic strength…


Lindsay:  Who writes this crap?

Neil smiles at the audience.

Neil:  I see a lot of familiar faces out there.

Lindsay:  Yes indeed, Neil.   And everyone looks so beautiful.    Like Modigli.   Mo, your hair looks great.   Was this another one of your $50 haircuts?!

Neil:  Hey, Cherchez La Femme, did you buy those great shoes at Nordstrom?  You just love going shoe shopping!

Lindsay:  And what would a ceremony be without the always fabulous Maria of Naked Knitgirl?  Unfortunately, today she’s only wearing one mitten.  Did you lose the other one?

Maria:  You know it! 

The audience LAUGHS.

Neil:  Hey, I’m doing the jokes here.  I don’t know about you, Lindsay, but I’ve never seen Liz of Everyday Goddess looking so happy.   Is she in love or did she finally get a decent sized bathtub in her apartment?

The audience LAUGHS louder than before.

Lindsay:  While Liz is a local girl, some have come from great distances.  Daisy Mae drove in using the same car she did for her mini-road trip in Indianapolis.

Neil:  La Diabla and her daughter flew in from Israel.  Isn’t her daughter cute?  All day long, she’s been taking photos of the sights.  She’s becoming a real photographer!  Have you taken any photos of the exciting ceremony yet, young lady?

La Diabla’s Daughter:  Yes.  Here’s one I just took a second ago.


Neil:  Get that photo off there.  Uh… now back to our glamorous ceremony.   Damn kids.
Lindsay:  Look, even Lorie from Colla Voce is here.  That’s surprising, especially since she gets too emotional even to watch the Olympics.

Neil:  Kevin Kaygar is here with his wife.  She is so funny when she intentionally mispronounces Spanish words just to bug Kevin.  C’mon, say something for us…

Kevin’s Wife:  Amiogo!

The audience APPLAUDS.

Lindsay:  Of course, this broadcast is being translated into Spanish, as well as 200 other languages around the world.  There is also an official podcast created by Maribeth of Smart Bohemian, which is ironic —  since she insists that she isn’t a podcast person.

Neil:  As you know, this is the Fifth Version of the Carnival of the Mundane, which was started by Dean Abbott of Inspired by a True Story.  Dean now serves as the President of the Mundane Academy.   Ladies and Gentleman, may I introduce you to — Mr. Dean Abbott,

Dean enters to a polite response, but few claps.  No one ever really trusts the "guy" in charge.

Dean:  Thank you, Neil and Lindsay, for that wonderful introduction.  The past few weeks have been a great time for mundane blog posts.    In a short period of time, we have gone through the full range of human emotions.   

We have laughed at human foibles, such as Miriam’s trip to Staples with her husband.  What really happens when a man and woman go to buy a chair from Staples?   Can the marriage survive?

We have pondered love, commitment, and family.  Kim even showed us how much it actually costs to raise her seven — soon to be eight — children.  

We have been inspired, as when Tracy takes her first ever ride on the electric go-cart at Walmart.

At times, a blogger finds the dark side of life.  Backyards across the country were never the same after Nelumbo‘s husband battled a hornet’s nest

We were at the edge of our seats when Fitena had a real-life "fight club" with the ferocious town bully.

Some readers won’t even go near a tuna fish sandwich after reading about Nance‘s son and his fear of the dentist’s aquarium

Bill asks us the probing question, “What is a shit hat?” 

And who is making that mysterious call to  Blundering American

Even the usually fearless Retropolitan faces the heart of darkness when he tries wearing a sleep mask to bed.

And perhaps the most frightening tale of them all — Serena of Radical Flower vsher filing system.

Of course, mundane blog posts can also make us believe in a better future.  Who among us will ever forget Jack‘s heartfelt tribute to San Francisco’s idea of harnessing power from dog doo?

Mundane bloggers, I salute you all!

Dean Abbott exits.  Polite applause.  A few yawns.  Neil and Lindsay Wagner return to the podium.  The crowd goes wild with enthusiasm.

Lindsay:  Tonight’s award… tonight’s… next card, please, thank you.  Tonight’s award ceremony tops off a week of celebration and excitement.  

Neil:  Last night, there was a special dinner for all the Mundane Blogging participants at my messy Hollywood apartment, catered by none other than Wolfgang Puck — well, at least his frozen pizzas (on sale this week at Ralphs Supermarket) and his awful sodium-saddled canned soups.  A good time was had by all.  Let’s watch some of the highlights.

The lights dim as a  large screen comes down.  We see scenes from the party.  There is a lot of drunken behavior.  In the background, Lindsay Wagner and some others are playing a game of Texas Hold-em Strip Poker.

Lindsay:  A who’s who of mundane blogging was there.  My god, was I that drunk?

Neil:  Yes.


Lindsay: During the fun-filled evening,  Mata entertained us all with her rousing stories of mushroom hunting with her family.

Neil:  Josh, everyone’s favorite tech-geek brought some of his new fangled electronic toys with him.   We all listened in disbelief when he told us that he actually got some good customer service from his ISP.

Lindsay:  Nicole got very drunk and started telling stories of the stars — not Hollywood stars, but stars in the sky.

Neil:  Stephanie, frustrated with online dating, was flirting with everyone.  And I mean everybody.

Lindsay:  Momentary Academic had just attended the premiere of a new play, but she had trouble answering the question, "How was it?"

Neil:  Tatyana, always a wonderful guest, brought along some of her famed orchids.

Lindsay:  Cheryl came in late with a bunch of wild lesbians,  having just experienced L-Word night at a Hollywood nightclub.  

Neil:  Not all the guests were as pleasant.  After she learned that I buy my coffee from Starbucks, Marie seemed a little bitter, constantly comparing Starbucks to the Evil Empire in Star Wars.  

Random Yak was upset that I didn’t serve pancakes in honor of International Pancake Day

Marisa of Apartment 2024 stood in my kitchen all night, obsessed over the cutting board, saying it reminded her of her mother’s.  

Pia of Courting Destiny spent way too much time cleaning the computer monitor

Jen of Run Jen Run never could figure out whether or not she was supposed to hug anybody.  Jen – that’s why they invented therapy!  

Muse just left early, saying she "just can’t miss her walking group." 

And Postmodern Sass was the worst.  God help anyone who has to make Sass a simple piece of toast.  She must have it sliced just the right way! 

Luckily, the partying regained its energy when the wild TMW showed up, exciting us all with a behind-the-scenes look at his early morning blogging ritual.

Let’s just say – my place was rockin’!

The screen rolls up.  The audience APPLAUDS.

Lindsay:  And now, the big moment has arrived.    The nominees for "Most Mundane Post of the Year" award are:

The audience goes silent.  The tension is mounting —

Neil:  Claire’s “Question Mark, Jerk.”  —   A daughter ponders whether her straight-laced father actually just said something pornographic.

Lindsay:  Heather’s “Arch Nemesis” – A tear-jerker about how a young woman must say good-bye to an unlikely friend.

Neil:  Chickybabe’s “Mundane Kind of Day” —   The seductive tale of how the look of a handsome stranger can change a mundane day.

Lindsay:  Cruisin’ Mom’sThere Once was a Boy” – A nostalgic tale of first love in the 6th Grade.

Neil:  And Hyperion’s “Flowers in My Attic”  — A man must fight for the right to send flowers to his Valentine.

Lindsay:  And the Mundy goes to –

Neil opens the envelope –

Neil:  Dean Abbott!

Lindsay:  Dean Abbott?  Doesn’t he run this carnival?

Neil:  So?

Lindsay:  This is bull****.  He didn’t even submit anything this week.

Neil:  Keep quiet, bionic mouth.  He told me if I did this, he’d introduce me to some cute female blogger he knows in Santa Monica.

The audience boos.

Lindsay:  Jeez, this award ceremony is a farce.  You give out a phony award, just so you can meet some woman?!

Neil:  Can you think of a better reason?    Pretty mundane, huh?  Which happens to be very appropriate for this carnival.

Lindsay walks off the stage in disgust.

Lindsay:  You just wait until I write about this in my blog!

Neil:  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!  Hope you enjoyed the Fifth Carnival of the Mudane.   The next installment of the carnival will be on March 17 — hosted by Cheryl at Bread and Bread.   Dean, I’ll call you later to discuss our deal!


  1. Tracy Lynn

    Well done you! AND you wore the tux! SWANKY!

  2. The Retropolitan

    Excellent as always, Neil.

  3. Daisy Mae

    You rock! What an awesome Carnival.

    What sucks though is that there is no way I will be able to fill your shoes when it is my turn to host the carnival. Thanks alot Neil…yeah…thanks alot…

  4. Blundering American

    Fantastic Carnival! Jon Stewart, eat your heart out…

    Thanks again for hosting!

  5. lizriz

    WOW, that is one impressive post!

    You rock!


    Now, I’m off to read. And read. And read. 🙂

  6. pia

    I tried to be pleasant; I tried so hard; but the some of the pizza fell onto my non wedding dress Vera Wang gown, and then I looked at my computer monitor….

    But you were an incredible host even if I wasn’t a great guest;-) Will try to reedem myself, really, really!

  7. Kevin

    Very cool! So this is what this whole thing is about. Me likey.

    My wife’ll hate me, though.

  8. jenny

    Wow, Neil. You definitely went above and beyond the call of duty on this one. Truly a gala affair. Nicely done!

    But Lyndsay is right – the whole system is corrupt if Dean won the Mundy. I mean, he’s a great guy and all, and sure he came up with the idea for the Carnival, but to not even show up for the awards? Who does he think he is – Russell Crowe?

  9. mariemm3

    Excellent. Conversation brilliant. Food great. Entertainment beyond compare. Wonderful evening.

    FYI: I know you only drink bitter coffee to balance out your sweetness.

  10. Dave2

    Passed by for a nomination again!

    Any advice to those of us with extraordinary blogs on how we can make them more mundane? I’ve tried everything I can think of and nothing seems to work. I even wrote about brushing my teeth and scraping ice off my windshield for heaven’s sake!

  11. Bill

    So many stars! I just about shit.

    By the way, are any famous directors going to do an American Express sponsored post? I heard M. Night Shyamalan might be doing one.

  12. Neil

    My god, I woke up this morning and… I spelled Carnival wrong in the title. I fixed it. Did anyone else notice it or were you just being polite? This is what happens when I publish something without Sophia looking at it first.

  13. akaky

    Of course, the thing I am obsessing about now is this: does the fact that I am not mentioned mean that I am not mundane, or does it mean that no one noticed my showing up at this awards show with the Philly Phanatic’s sister on my arm and wearing a lime green polyester leisure suit with lemon yellow pants and those great platform shoes with the goldfish in them? Dammit all, what will I have to do for attention next year?! Great bit, though, Neil; I laughed my ass off.

  14. Cheryl

    Wow, what a round-up! You and Lindsay kick Joan and Melissa’s bony asses any day. And thanks for reminding me that it’s my turn next time. Gosh that’s soon.

  15. Heather B.

    I love that you did this. It’s a great way to see other awesome blogs.

    Thanks Neil!

  16. lorie rees

    Nicely done! Bravo!

    Next time, I’d go for Linda Carter.

  17. claire

    It’s such an honor just to be nominated. Where’s the bar?

  18. better safe than sorry

    wow, how long did it take you to do all of those links. you must have been working on this forever. great job hosting, maybe you’ll be nominated next year!

  19. AWE

    I wonder what was the cost to host an event of this caliber?

  20. Pauly D

    Now if only we could actually have you REPLACE Joan Rivers.

  21. Nance

    Bravo! I’m sure there were more people there, but they were in the bathroom and Dean was too cheap to hire seatfillers.

  22. ms. sizzle

    that was hilarious. great work neil. i am impressed!

  23. cherchezlafemme

    The Mundies? Is your subconscious still stuck on undies or are the similarities purely coincidental?

    Great post. After reading some of the entries though I can’t tell if I am just incredibly normal or just habitually blasé when it comes to the everyday little things through years of desensitization . Pretty cool posts!

  24. LisaBinDaCity

    Gosh I’m feeling quite left out…

  25. Jacynth

    Love that you chose Lindsay Wagner as your cohost. There’s a girl in my office who was named after her. I don’t quite get it, as Lindsay is such a common name. I think they should of named her Bionic. That would of made more sense.

  26. modigli

    What a creative way to present your carnivale! And wow, I was FIRST on your list! That was so cool. 🙂

    I have to come back and read through all these great links. For now, I’m off to make half caf grande triple sugarfree vanilla nonfat lattes for really snooty women who’ve had a lot of plastic surgery or just like to shop at expensive shops a lot.

  27. Kevin

    Who’s the real winner?!?!?

    I guess we’ll never know…

  28. TWM

    Thanks for the inclusion with all these winners.

  29. ChickyBabe

    Wow! You’ve done a stellar job! Thanks for including me in it.

  30. miriam

    Thanks–I nominate you for the next award.

  31. anne arkham

    I liked the shit hat.

  32. MA

    Thank you, Neil for finding something to post for me. You’re the best. MA

  33. i ended up here... how?

    neil baby,

    you’re fabulous… as is this carnivale!

    thanks so much for including me 🙂

    now, off to read.

  34. havril

    Some carnivale. Where’s the bonhomme?

  35. pia

    Will be to more blogs tomorrow. The Koufax awards are opened.

  36. cruisin-mom

    Wow, impressive job Neil…Thanks, you’re swell.

  37. helen

    MUAHARHARHARHAR…i really thought u were there! lol

    This is a gem! lol

  38. muse

    Truly fantastic!!

  39. Fitèna

    OH! This is great! Am afraid I’ve been absent, missed the flight to the US and thus couldn’t attend the ceremony!

    Neil, tu es le meilleur!
    PS: off to read. read. and. read!

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