the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Hail the Returning Hero

Neilochka returning to Redondo Beach with all his worldly possessions.

I’ve played Texas Hold-em a few times now, and I’m surprisingly good at it.  I used to play a lot of cards with my grandmother so I feel comfortable with card games.  I also think I have a good instinct for when to bluff and when to go all in.

It’s a good instinct to have in real life as well.

Today was a good time to make a play.  I decided to move back to Redondo Beach (for now), which is a few miles south of Los Angeles proper, not far from LAX.

I never really liked the “bachelor pad” I’ve been living in since I separated from Sophia.  It’s a sublet with a dirty carpet, tiny kitchen, and unfriendly neighbors.  So, today I’m starting to move out — back to Sophia’s place. 

Don’t get too excited. 

I’m only staying here for the two months that she is gone.  We decided it is a waste of money to pay two rents (and besides, Sophia wants me to water her plants and tape “All My Children” for her).

For the future — let’s see what the cards have to say in a few weeks. 

But for now, as they like to say in my part of the town, surf’s up!

Now, here’s a gratuitous shot of women in bikinis who, if they wanted to, can easily beat the shit out of me.  (As if you really believe that I would sit out in the hot sun to watch a volleyball game on a crowded beach, even if they do include women in bikinis.  That’s why they invented TV).



A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  Full of Emoticons


  1. Charming, but single

    You can move in with me anytime. ;P

  2. Alison

    *makes comment about Neilochka being pragmatic*

  3. Sandra

    Good strategy! If this was a movie, you’d pretend to be sick and in need of assistance when Sophia returned. I’m just sayin’…

  4. Nance

    Neil, the only way I knew it wasn’t you in that pic was because you have hair.

  5. Michele

    Hope is a beautiful thing.

    Enjoy the plants. I recommend dressing them up in costumes and giving them names.

  6. modigli

    One good thing about being at Sophia’s while she’s out of town – you’ll be closer to her underwear drawer now! OH, and the Dyson, too!

  7. bookfraud

    neil, if those volleyball chicks don’t beat you up, will you let them beat the shit out of me instead? please?

  8. Jules

    I think you’re playing your cards right, plus absence makes the heart grow fonder. This is a very good move – besides if you really do get lonely you can watch the girls in bikinis.

  9. Caryn

    Excellent plan, Neil. I loved Redondo Beach when I lived in LA for a short time. Enjoy!

  10. Tara

    Yeah, but what will Sophia say when you bring the babes home from art galleries. And does Sophia have HBO?

  11. Mr. Fabulous

    So when you win the big pot in one of those big televised Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments, you can face the camera and exclaim “Thank you, Grandma!”

  12. momentary academic

    *trying not to get too excited*

    Yeah, moving into Sophia’s to housesit is cool, Neil.

    *squeal with delight*

  13. Neil

    Tara — who needs babes from art galleries anymore. Sophia has a big-screen TV! (HBO + Showtime)

  14. Rebecca

    What about Cinemax? They have all those softcore porn movies on at 2 AM. Or so I’ve heard.

  15. Alex

    I totally hate moving-good luck…As I was posting my most recent post about meatball cupcakes the thought crossed my mind that your silliness has become contagious!

  16. kristen

    I’m partial to Redondo Beach, say hi to my dad if you see him.

  17. Pearl

    If Redondo Beach is a surfing hot spot, does that mean you’ll be dropping terms like “dude”/”gnarly”/”hodad”/”smerfect”?

  18. marcail

    You tape AMC and you don’t live in NYC? Priceless. Love your minimalism.

  19. serena

    I love the beach. Not sure if I could ever live near it but now there’s a surfer girl in my somewhere. Mmmhmmm.

  20. idighootchandcootch

    That pic serves as a metaphor for separation. The net dividing or separating the opposing players (husband and wife) as Sophia tries to crush your ball(s) with an overhand spike that will render you unconscious.

    Hardly gratuitous at all. Please, sir, more naked chicks.

  21. V-Grrrl

    Have a donut. Eat it on the beach.

    Don’t rearrange stuff in the kitchen or the medicine cabinet….and don’t forget to take your cholesterol medicine.

    Now that you’re her houseboy, Sophia won’t be able to stop thinking about you. You know women have a thing about houseboys….

  22. Dagny

    Proof that we would not have hung out when I was in SoCal for undergrad. Because I hung out with surfers. It’s all about being in the sun at the beach.

  23. Melissa

    I will personally kick your candy ass at Texas Hold ‘Em.

  24. berrie

    oh yooohooo Neil is that REALLY you??? I Love to play hold em! oh my gosh, that gals booty looks like it’s as hard as a ROCK! better be careful Neil, stay inside with the naughty channels where it’s safer!

  25. justrun

    Yay! The beach!
    And I’m sure the plants are very happy, too.


    Are you all in, or are you bluffing?

  27. Kevin

    But wouldn’t volleyball-playing women in bikinis be that much, er, “nicer” to see live and in person as opposed to on TV?

  28. Thérèse

    I can’t help it! I’m excited!

    Nice distracting tactic, by the way, the man on surfboard, ladies in bikinis… Hee.

  29. Scarlet

    Well, one rent for awhile is a DEFINITE plus.

  30. paperback writer

    I’m very bad at Texas Hold ‘Em. So, I will never play poker with you.

    But rent free for two months is very good.

  31. peefer

    I’m a little disturbed that you tape all your children for Sophia. First because I didn’t know you had any. But mostly because she’s allegedly the one who normally tapes them. That’s just wrong. One should always tape one’s own children.

  32. Tina M

    Welcome back to the beach!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial