the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Blog Appreciation Day: Behind the Scenes


Boy, yesterday was fun!  I’m overwhelmed with how special you all are. 

And now a special treat.  Grab your backstage pass and see what REALLY happened during my preparations for the festivities. 

Wednesday, 8PM – I decide it is time to take my Blog Appreciation Day photos.

8:15PM — My digital camera doesn’t work.  I go to Rite-Aid to buy some new batteries.

9:00PM — The digital camera does not NEED new batteries.  The digital camera is broken.

9:30PM — I decide to use my camera phone, but all I can see in the viewfinder are scan lines on the monitor.

10:20PM — I move Sophia’s computer system downstairs where there is less “interference” on the monitor and fewer scan lines.  Why?  I have no idea!

11:00PM — I set up my “photography studio” in the dining room.  The area is dark, so I move a halogen lamp in, tilting it to the side so that it becomes the “scene’s” main light source.

11:20PM — The halogen lamp gives off a weird yellow glow.

11:30PM — I place an LA Times in front of the monitor,  but the camera can’t make it out.  It just looks like a white piece of glare.  I decide on a stronger visual gimmick — a pair of “California” undies hanging over the monitor.  

Midnight –  I go to Rite-Aid to buy string and some clothes pins.

Thursday, 1:00AM –I spent an hour hanging the string from the lighting fixture and pinning the underwear so it falls directly over the monitor.  I almost pull the lighting fixture off the ceiling.  I promise to never tell Sophia about that.

1:30 AM — Even though the underwear is now hanging over the moniter, it is still difficult to read the “California” written on the underwear because the fabric creases up. 

2:00AM — I come up with a brilliant solution.  I place the camera batteries in the crotch area, giving the underwear some weight, pulling the underwear down, and making the “California” easier to read.

2:40AM — I take some photos.  Things are going great until I realize that the batteries in the crotch area make the “California” underwear look like they have a hard-on.  I take the batteries out of the crotch, delete the photos,  and start all over again.

3:00AM — Sophia calls up.  She yells at me for using her underwear, saying they are old and everyone will think she has a big ass.  I promise not to use the underwear in the shoot, but I am lying.

4:00AM – Sophia also explains to me why my photos are coming out so dark.  The “brightness level” of the camera phone is on -15.  I start all over again.

5:00AM — I finish taking my blog appreciation day photos.  But I still need a cable to transfer the photos to the computer – and it is back at my other apartment.  Doh!  And the clock is ticking.  Soon, everyone on the East Coast will be up and going online!

5:30AM — I rush over to my apartment on the other side of town.  I transfer the photos.  All the photos have an ugly green tint.  I open each photo in Photoshop to work my mediocre filter magic.

7:00AM — I quickly email the photos, praying that I’m not sending the wrong photo to the wrong person.

8:00AM – I return to Redondo Beach. I take the monitor off the kitchen table and fall asleep right at the table.

9:00AM — I am startled awake.  The “California” underwear has fallen off the clothes pins and right onto my head.

But it was all worth it!  Every second of it.

Thanks for a great Blog Appreciation Day!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  I Married a Republican!



  1. elle

    Oh, my, I did all that too… well actually I just ripped them off and threw them up there.

    Yesterday was a blast. Thanks.

  2. justrun

    Thanks for all your work yesterday (and before). It was a great idea and, I hope, totally worth it!

  3. Roberta

    It truly was (wiping a small tear) the best Blog Appreciation Day ever!
    (thanks for all your insane hard work! I love a man who follows through to the point of obsession.)

  4. Rhea

    Wow, I wondered how you got my pic to me so early (for East Coast Time. So efficient. This moment-to-moment rundown also answers the one burning question I had: Did everyone receive a photo with California underpants in it?

  5. paperback writer

    I was quite surprised to see that my picture did have a pair of underwear in it.

    I’m now quite jealous and wonder if there is a store here in Pittsburgh that will emblazon a Pittsburgh slogon on a pair of underwear for me.

  6. ms. sizzle

    talk about taking one for the team! i sincerely appreciated my photo and YOU and your blog. 🙂

  7. Neil

    Paperback — Unlike the usual set of party girls and floozies that make up much of my readership, I consider you a sophisticated “literary” type, and didn’t think a pair of undies was appropriate for a woman of your stature. It would be like sending a pair of undies to Joyce Carol Oates.

  8. fringes

    This floozy loved the undies and proudly displayed them on my site.

    Thanks for all of your hard work. Next year, recruit a few party girls to volunteer as your work crew. We, I mean, they should be happy to help.

  9. Tara

    It’s a good thing Sophia will never ever know about the light fixture debacle. You know how secret everything stays once it’s posted on the internets.

    I appreciate every second of what you did for us. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the same time and commitment. I blame my needy children. They’re always expecting me to do things like work and bring home a paycheck and cook and go to back to school nights…I’m just glad you hung the California panties for those of us who couldn’t.

  10. V-Grrrl

    Trying to type while pausing to catch breath and stop laughing.

    Neil, I wish I were there to give you a #2 (as referenced in your post a few days ago, not #2 as in what a baby does in a diaper when it’s not doing #1)

    This post rocks–Blogger Appreciation Day was a blast, and after all your effort, I’m so glad I posted the photo to my page for everyone to check out and admire.

    Must go now and see if my underwear photo has a hard-on.

  11. the psycho therapist

    /standing and applauding monitor despite waiting room filled with patients

    Thank you for a wonderful ride.
    …and you don’t have to tell me twice. I’ll never mention my breasts here again.

  12. Alexandra

    Your efforts are extraordinary. I feel like you deserve to have some kind of royal blogger crown of sorts bestowed upon you, but how about a piddly, peasly comment instead saying thanks, you’re appreciated?!

  13. The Cynical Girl

    I think we have a good foundation for Blog Appreciation Day 2007. Maybe we can get a D-List hollywood sponsor? You’re Mr. California – you’ve got to know some people who know some people!

  14. paperback writer

    …whispering to self…I’ve fooled him!! Ha ha ha!

  15. Alethea

    Sorry I missed the BAD festivities! You’re quite right: we *all* need a laugh and your posts have hit the spot. Thanks!

  16. painter beach girl

    This is hilarious…very cool. i had to mention, I am taking chef to Berskshires in September for his 50th bday…staying in Lenox at a gorgeous inn…he’ll get a game of golf…etc etc. thanks for the inspiration…he he he…I am no longer blogging…havent been around recently…more later though…

  17. Neil

    Alethea — when I was a child and asked my mother why there was a “Mother’s Day” and not a “Kid’s Day” — she would say that “every day is Kid’s Day.” So, even if you missed the festivities, there’s no reason you can’t acknowledge another blogger by sending him a photo of you in just your underwear any day, and not just on August 24th. This other blogger will appreciate it no matter what the calendar date. Share the love.

  18. Jocelyn

    Thank you thank you for all your insane efforts Neil. I’m continuing BAD today on my site because, well Neil…you know. 🙂

  19. Bre

    I’m actually quite sad that I didn’t get a hard-on picture… :-p

    all in all – quite fabulous – a great idea!

  20. bookfraud

    the blogging world salutes your extraordinary efforts to make blog appreciation day the great success that it was. i hope you took some speed to keep going, neil.

    great job.

  21. littlepurplecow

    Despite the fact that Scobleizer didn’t acknowledge my blogger appreciation day photo (sniff), I do appreciate your effort. Come see my thanks to you, Neil.

  22. Neil

    Purple — Scobleizer didn’t acknowledge your blog appreciation day photo? And he says he is ALL ABOUT the internet!

    Hey, ROBERT SCOBLE, didn’t your Mama raise you right?  Send a thank you for the photo!  

    Whew! — I’m glad I didn’t send a photo to Dooce…

  23. tamarika

    Ooh – I’m so excited that you considered me enough of a “party girl” to send me the picture with the undies, Neil. Because yesterday, when I saw the caption under my picture to you stating my early childhood educator stuff so formally I thought you thought I was a nerd or something. Hurrah!

    I love this post. I enjoyed the whole week in preparation. Am now totally exhausted.

    But thank you so much for all of it – especially e-mailing the photo to me promptly so early in the morning!

  24. *lynne*

    Hi there! I burst out laughing at the thought of those undies falling on your head 🙂 BAD was a great idea, and if it’s se for anothr round in 2007, I will certianly be participating. In the meantime, I will continue my usual show of appreciation: leaving comments 🙂 cheers! *lynne*

  25. Michael

    Shoot. I missed the photo op. So now it’s too late to shoot.

  26. Neil

    Michael — it is never too late to spead the love around, especially now that you can get your photo props cheap at the After-Blog Appreciation Day Sales all the stores are having this weekend…

  27. Paris Parfait

    Sorry I missed it, especially after all your hard work! Hilarious tale detailing your efforts.

  28. Brooke

    You are never going to get laid.

  29. Hilly

    Neil -I did not officially play but did send back pics to my friends who were playing and even that little bit was fun! Thanks so much.

    I just now put two and two together that YOU are the Neil who lived in Flushing and posted on my site a few weeks back….der huh. I used to live off of Kissena Blvd. for about a year…like CA much better and came home, LOL.

    Thanks for the fun!

  30. Wendy

    Neil, your efforts on our behalf are inspired! you are my blog hero! Yesterday was really fun and it was great to see all the pics here!

  31. ChickyBabe

    And the beauty of it for me in Australia, is that I’m one day ahead so my Blog Appreciation Day lasted for 2 days!

  32. better safe than sorry

    you must be exhausted. i had camera issues as well, but have yet to resolve mine. sounds like you made a great day for all participating.

  33. plain jane

    You and the underwear–AGAIN!!!!

  34. Nance

    Is that Eric Clapton behind the camera!?!?

  35. CrankMama

    Love your site! And YOU DO LOOK LIKE ERIC CLAPTON!

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