the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

No Place Like Home


Sophia sometimes works with a interpreting and translation agency in Carmel, and she really likes the people who work there, but has never met any of them in person. So, today, after leaving San Francisco, we made a special detour just to visit the staff of Richard Schneider Enterprises in Carmel. Apparently, the bunch is as nice in person as they are on the phone. Have you ever seen a happier group of people? This is what you look like when you work in beautiful Carmel.

We were supposed to stay in Carmel for the night, but we decided we were homesick, even for ugly Los Angeles, so off we went… back home, fighting the traffic along the way.

So, we’re home! Home at last. It’s so wonderful to be looking out the window again, seeing the beautiful scenery and listening to the running water in the lovely creek outside our living room.


Wait. That’s not a creek I hear. That’s the broken toilet upstairs. And that photo is not from Los Angeles. That’s a photo I took at Applegate Lake near Ashland, Oregon, right before we stopped at that little cafe and drank some hot apple cider. Over here, we look into the living room of the five surfer dudes who live next to us, the ones who blast Nirvana at 2AM in the morning and leave bottles of Corona on the street.

But it’s good to be home… no more sharing a laptop with Sophia, which means MORE blogging!

All in all, we had a great time on our West Coast Bloggers Tour 2007.


It was a pleasure to meet so many of you. Now, it’s time to go to Danny’s and see the rest of my birthday cards and gifts! By the time I finish celebrating my birthday this year, it will be my NEXT birthday.

I apologize for not reading many blogs in the last two weeks. Now, it’s time for me to catch up with YOU. Once, when I went on vacation, I complained about finding it difficult to keep up with your blogs, and I asked you to help me keep connected by writing a quick summary of your lives in my comments.

Have you noticed that I didn’t ask you to do it for me during this trip?

The reason is that by now, I know you so well, I KNOW what you are writing about without having to actually read anything —

  • 4 of you are depressed.
  • 2 of you are having problems with your husband.
  • 3 of you are having trouble with your teenage daughter.
  • 2 of you are worried that your newborn baby is making you a boring person.
  • 2 of you are worried about drinking too much chardonnay with other mothers during playtime.
  • 4 of you need to get laid NOW!
  • 1 of you did get laid, and it wasn’t very good.
  • 3 of you are reading David Sedaris again.
  • 2 of you think “Gilmore Girls” has jumped the shark.
  • 2 of you are impressed with how the Google Reader is helping with your blog reading.
  • 3 of you got drunk for the third time this week.
  • 4 of you really hate George Bush.
  • 2 of you are writing poems about your depression.
  • 3 of you have been lazy and are just posting “funny” videos from YouTube.
  • 2 of you went on bad dates with men who falsely described themselves as taller and richer on
  • 3 of you are badmouthing the “bitch” you ex-boyfriend is sleeping with.
  • 5 of you are writing about the new shoes you just bought.
  • 4 of you are describing your bikini wax.
  • 5 of you are saying that you met Sophia and me, and liked Sophia better.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: LA is So Laid Back


  1. Francesca (Stuntmother)

    I liked tagging along on your tour. Man, the west coast certainly looks more fun that the ice-locked not-quite-east-coast I’m currently living on but I will compensate by drinking too much Chardonnay with depressed mothers writing poetry about how their babies are making them boring and their teenage daughters are driving them looooopy and how they need to get laid (except the one who did and confessed it was nothin’ to write home about). Then I’m going to avoid watching Gilmore Girls by fishing David Sedaris off the shelf but really I’ll be thinking about how much I loathe and despise George Bush.

    But you? You’re all right. Of course, that’s just until I meet Sophia at which point I’ll probably prefer her.

  2. Rabbit

    Welcome home, Neil!

    (I was going to say something much more witty, but I think Francesca has it covered.)

  3. Jazz

    Like Rabbit says, Francesca has posted the comment to end all comments. I am humbled and will now have to add vodka to my OJ to get through the day.

  4. Dagny

    I knew I forgot something. I mentioned meeting y’all but forgot to say that I like Sophia better. Argh!

  5. Rhea

    Home, sweet home. I know what you mean. Even if it’s not beautiful like Oregon, it’s still home.

  6. psychomom

    There’s no place like home. So glad that Sophia made it home safe.

  7. Alison

    Yep, Francesca nailed it.

  8. Sizzle

    can i fall into more than one category? i’m glad you are finally home. enjoy!

  9. Karl

    Welcome back, dude. Hopefully, I’ll be part of your next driveathon.

  10. Finn

    Gawd, how did you know?!

    Welcome home. Come visit; I missed you.

  11. Lux Lisbon

    Welcome home!

  12. Bre

    I’m not sure if I should be impressed with your knowledge of the inner workings of my mind, or frightened… welcome back all the same!

  13. Hilly

    Yay, you are home! I still do not understand why I did not meet you before Portland but it makes me happy that you are 30 miles away again….except I am in Sacramento right now technically…..

    Is it odd that I fit about 4 of those categories???

  14. Ash

    So what about the crafters? Or do we fall in with the bikini waxers and the depressed? Or maybe the Gilmore Girls. Me, I’m watching Sex and the City … still.

  15. plain jane

    “5 of you are saying that you met Sophia and me, and liked Sophia better.”

    Neil. Sigh. You have a lot of catching up to do. Blogs all over the west coast are reporting on Neilochka, “the man who accompanied Sophia to TequilaCon.” 😉

  16. Otir

    Welcome back home!

    Well, sorry to see that I am not among any of the above. Maybe that’s because I am so busy attempting to clean up on time for Passover.

  17. Felicity

    Hi Neil? AM I one of the ones you included having trouble with their teen daughter? Cause things are really effing difficult right now and i’m distracting myself with way too much meaningless sex (because if i just got drunk every night, which would be so much easier, said daughter could call me a drunk) and i’m really highly in need of…something. I don’t know what. At this point, as she is on the verge of being remanded, I cannot even identify my feelings? But I thought maybe you could hook me up with the other bloggers with miscreant daughters and we could commiserate? Please?

  18. V-Grrrl

    I’m not on your list. Now you have to read my blog and see where I am.

  19. Pearl

    And your next blogging tour will take you and Sophia to….?

    I haven’t even been inspired to write depressing poetry — I have to find another category to fall into. Oh ya, pre-Passover madness has taken hold of me. Does that count for something?

  20. Churlita

    I’m glad you had a nice trip.

    Reading parts of the end of your blog, is just like reading my own blog. Weird.

  21. gorillabuns

    i fit into about 5 of your categories therefore, you are off the hook in having to catch up.

    welcome back home!

  22. Ellen Bloom

    “we were homesick, even for ugly Los Angeles…”

    Hey! Come on, Neil! Parts of EVERY city are ugly. Please don’t refer to L.A. as ugly. I’m hurt.
    Now, you must post a good photo of L.A. to counteract that negative statement!

  23. Caitlinator

    Ha. You post conversations with your penis? I posted a letter from my colon yesterday. And I don’t think that really fits into your categories above.

    Welcome back to L.A., Neil. Sorry I’ve been absent lately.

  24. Danny

    Welcome back, you two! What an epic journey. You’ve been gone so long I’ve taken the liberty of selling most of your remaining birthday gifts on eBay.

  25. buzzgirl

    I’m glad you made it home safely. It’s so nice to sleep in your own bed.

  26. better safe than sorry

    welcome back!!!
    i don’t think i fit into any of those categories, maybe a blend of a few instead.
    that pic is beautiful, don’t know if i would have wanted to leave it behind.

  27. Jenn

    What an uncanny ability to see into our lives! Wow! I’m one of those, but since you know everything, I won’t tell you which one. Welcome home. I hope you toilet problems don’t become too serious. But you DO know where to buy a new one now…

  28. Not Faint Hearted

    You remembered the email! I’m touched. Well, it’s touching you remembered. Whether I’m touched is a totally different topic that could be taken far too many different directions, depending on the depravity of your mood….

    Glad Sophia let you come all the way home. Gotta say, a woman who can go on a 2 week vacation with the man she is separated-from-but-still-living-with is one damn amazing woman.

  29. question girl

    you forgot me – i am so depressed right now that getting laid isn’t even on my radar anymore

  30. Erin

    you are SO wrong. I mostly blogged about my frustration with work and my adorable cats. it’s like you don’t even know me!

    p.s. I heard from a reliable source that Sophia was more likable then you. This source may have been drunk and getting laid at the same time though….

  31. Edgy Mama

    Damn, you’re good! I actually fall into several of these categories.

  32. Roberta

    I checked all the blogs on your blogroll, and tallied up.
    Not bad, but it’s 12 that hate George Bush.
    Welcome home.

Leave a Reply

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

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial