the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Third Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day”


Much like the Pilgrims thanked the Indians after they had their first decent meal in the New World, I like to use Thanksgiving, not only as an excuse to stuff myself with turkey, but as an opportunity to thank the first blogger who ever commented on this blog.  This individual is the one who transformed Citizen of the Month from a dopey journal where I write about nonsense to a… uh, dopey “blog” where I write about nonsense and others read it!

I can’t believe that I’ve been blogging for three years already, and I’m up to thanking my THIRD commenter. THREE YEARS?! Three years without getting a penny from blogging! Three years without feeling up one female blogger! What the hell am I doing this for?! But like those hardy Pilgrims, I continue on and face my demons, doing the hard work to build something worthwhile, never asking for thanks, just knowing that one day my ancestors will be in the Social Register, discriminating against YOU at the country clubs in Connecticut.

Oh, right. And for the comments. I love my commenters!

My first commenter with Terry Finley. It was a short relationship. After his one comment, we lost touch, and he abandoned his blog. Still, we always remember our first, don’t we?… unless it was really, really bad. But Terry was pretty nice. Here was his comment:

Nice blog. Thank you.

Our health is really important.

Check out my blog.

Terry Finley

My blogging career was underway.

My SECOND commenter was The Reluctant Optimist (well, actually he was called something else at the time, but then he changed his name, worrying that his frequent posts about big-breasted women might sabatoge his work with the United States Military. He is very special to me, especially since he is a MALE reader who still reads this blog.

This is what I wrote about him last year:

At first glance, TRO and I have little in common. He is a Southerner, a former Air Force Officer who served with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. But blogging can make strange bedfellows, and despite our differences in political views at times, we immediately bonded over our love for buxom brunettes. Now, THAT is what the true meaning of the blogosphere is all about. So, thank you TRO!

(TRO — Loved that recent photo of Selma Hayek (you’re never gonna get a date if you spell her name as Hyack. What an actress!)

Surprisingly, his first comment shows no evidence of our future friendship (or does it?):

Two problems with your post.

One, this was not hard news. It wasn’t news at all. Evidently it was fiction.

Secondly, an inflammatory story like this can cause violence — especially in the middle-east where violence is inflamed quite easily. Comparing it to the questionable effects of a video game is faulty logic at best and disingenuous at worst.

And the Arab “street” believes it because they keep hearing it from the liberal anti-American media as well as their own anti-American outlets.

That’s why blogging is so great. It always surprises you!

This year, I will thank my THIRD COMMENTER – Richard Heft.  This is a unique situation, because Richard is actually a “real life” person, someone who knew me B.B. –“before blogging.”   He was good friends with Sophia before she met me, and then we became friends.  I only  have a few real-life friends who ever come to my blog.   Although Richard doesn’t have a blog himself, he comes by every once in a while, showing off his brains and wit. Naturally, his first comment was about some esoteric foreign movies.

One of the problems with concepts like the YMDB is that you really need two lists: my list of “Favorite” films (which always starts with ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN) bears no resemblance to my list of “Best” films ever made (which starts with TOKYO STORY, SUNRISE, OR CHILDREN OF PARADISE, depending on the phases of the moon).

I’ve never seen THE GREEN RAY (I assume it’s a French adaptation of the Green Lantern comic book; what else COULD it be?), but I’ve always filed LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP under “mammoth but minor.” It’s basically a long (long!) propaganda film, with memorable performances by Livesey and Walbrook, but I’ve never felt the urge to watch it a second time. For WWII-era Michael Powell movies, I much prefer A CANTERBURY TALE and THE 49TH PARALLEL.

And for you and Dinah to hook up, Neal, you’re going to have to brush up your Mizoguchi and hone your Ozu.

Thank you, Richard, for being my third commenter and a good friend, even if no one understood what we were talking about during that post! And “Dinah” ended up being Communicatrix, but that’s another story.

Who was your first commenter? Or second? If you want to thank your first commenter for Thanksgiving, it’s easy. Just go all the way back into your archives and there he or she is — waiting for you!

Other thankful bloggers:  Kapgar, Danny, Ascender, Elisabeth, Otir (thankful in French, which is sexy), 180/360, Nance, and Not Fainthearted.

P.S. —

My father loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the end, he would call me over, yelling all excitedly, “It’s Santa Claus!” I don’t understand why this middle-aged Jewish man loved Santa Claus so much. At the hospital he worked in, he dressed up as Santa Claus during every Christmas and went to the children’s ward to give gifts. He was the scrawniest Santa Claus ever, in his thick Woody Allen-type glasses.

Thanksgiving means the start of the Holiday Season, not only because Macy’s wants to sells me stuff, but because that’s how I remember it. I remember the enthusiasm of my father… and we didn’t even celebrate Christmas!

So, coming up LATER THIS WEEK — two announcements about upcoming events:

1) The First Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Sale (bloggers — sell your artwork, doo-dads, and knitted hats AS GIFTS — at the biggest promotional blog post ever! Right here on Citizen of the Month!)


And, of course… The 2007 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert (can we make it even more fabulous than last year?!) I’ll try to improve on last year’s lame Hanukkah “Latkes song.” Take out those instruments and get ready to sing!

(Sign up will begin shortly. Kyran is already practicing her Jingle Bells)

Jamelah, 2006 Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert Poster Girl

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: A Charlie Brown Blog Post (for Ninja Poodles)


  1. Otir

    Because I remembered that the Thank Your First Commenter Day was on the way, I had recently launched the Thank your first Troll ever, that was nice too, wasn’t it?

  2. 180/360

    Salma Hayek’s breasts are just too good for words! I am quite happy to participate in the “Thank my first commenter” post. And, I’m still trying to decide if I have the guts to audition for your infamous holiday concert! But the arts and crafts show sounds interesting…

  3. Angella

    I have been meaning to do a post to thank the first commenter on each post.

    Because until a post gets that first comment?

    I feel like I’m standing there with my hand in the air, waiting for someone to high five me.

  4. Dagny

    Ummm. I just did a post for my 501st post. The person who I thanked for inspiring me to start blogging was my first commenter.

  5. Ari (Baking and Books)

    I tell ya, posts like this make me realize what an amazing place the blogosphere is!

  6. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    What a great idea! I will add it to my Thanksgiving post!

  7. Lisa

    I love this idea!

  8. aka_monty

    Aw, stupid blogger! I switched to haloscan after about a month of blogspot blogging, and now I can see how MANY comments I got on the blogger comments (when I go into the Edit post), but I can’t get into them.

    The only thing I DO remember is that it was my third blogspot post, it was somewhat controversial, and the first comment was a troll.

    Hooboy. Good times.

  9. abigail road

    Arts and Crafts Sale? Really? I’m in!

  10. sassy

    I love you Neil.

  11. Velvet Verbosity

    My first commenter ended up being a bit of a stalker so I’m a little hesitant to open up THAT relationship again. Meh. But I’ll thank you Neil, for being my most RECENT commenter. Or maybe for being a Thanksgiving commenter. Or something.

  12. jamelah

    Hey, it’s my face again!

  13. churlita

    I may do “my first commenter who wasn’t a friend of mine” appreciation day this year. You know, just to mix it up.

  14. Jennifer

    My first commenter was also my only commenter for, oh, about a year. Now she’s held near and dear, a forever kind of friend.

    What a lovely idea.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Neil and Sophia.

  15. Melissavina

    My first comment was from my BB friend Leslie who said:

    “Your purpose is to be fantabulous.”

    I love Leslie.
    I’m thankful for Leslie!!!

  16. Richard

    You’re entering a very tricky legal area here, Neil: namely, what authority gives you REPRINT RIGHTS to my comments? I’d advise you to consult your attorney — and the fact that you apparently regard SUNRISE (shot in Malibu) as a foreign movie proves that while you may have brushed your Mizoguchi and honed your Ozu, you haven’t yet polished your Murnau.

  17. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    What a GREAT Post Neil….And what a terrific idea to Thank your first Commenter……! I know my first commenter was either Danny M or his wonderful wife, Kendall….They were the ones that got me started blogging, in the first place….And now, two years + later….Here I am!

    Thanks for coming by to wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, my dear. I return the compliment and say to you:
    I don’t visit often, but when I do, I am so happy I came by….! Here’s to at least 30 more years of blogging!

  18. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    I just realized Neil, that you were NOT on my Blogroll…! Well, you are now! (lol)
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. Smiler

    I feel so left out of all the festivities. I’m Canadian and Thanksgiving is already long gone for us and besides, it’s really not a big deal here.

    It’s kind of like every time I go to a Catholic church and everybody gets up to eat the chip from the priest up front. I mean… I don’t like other people touching my food but it seems like a really special moment and I can’t participate. Boo Hoo. Now if only that was my biggest problem in life, I’d be set.

    I see you have Naomi over here HEY NAOMI (waves). It’s nice over here. I may come back to visit sometime. You’re always welcome in my neck of the woods.

  20. Neil

    Smiler — Don’t feel left out. This place is swarming with Canadians.

  21. kapgar

    Okay, I’m going to do this. Just two days late. Hope that’s cool.

  22. Jody

    Happy Thanksgiving Neil!

  23. Los Angelista

    My first commenter was anonymous. And then I got spam commenters. And then, months later, another anonymous commenter who suggested I should write erotica and wear lingerie.

    But it’s a nice thought anyway. And hope you have a lovely day tomorrow.

  24. CP

    Happy Thanksgiving, Neil!


  25. plain jane

    Scarlet Hip is wonderful! Thank you for sharing her with us.

  26. AscenderRisesAbove

    I posted to this too; a lot of fun.

    Also; Colour me interested in your artsy craftsy blogger sale!!

  27. Danny

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Sophia! I look forward to all of your holiday (and other) posts. You have more Christmas spirit than any Jew I know!

    P.S. You are never going to get a date with Salma Hayek either if you spell her name Selma!

  28. wendy

    Oh Neil, I think Danny just gave you an “in your face!!!” Use your words fighting on Thankgiving…

    Happy Thankgiving Neil and Sophia.

    My second commentor was Tara from Paris Parfait… I ran with the A listers..even way back then… Impressed..yep, you should be…

  29. Neil

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

  30. TRO

    Every time you post that comment of mine I always feel embarrassed and ashamed because of its nasty tone. If nothing else it has taught me that I should be more careful commenting on a blog because later on I might just learn that I like and respect the blogger.

    And I actually did notice I spelled her name wrong when I wrote it, but for some reason I forgot to go back and edit it. Not that I am ever going to get to date her, but better safe than sorry.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Sophia, my friend.

  31. Denise

    Happy Thanksgiving, Neil (and Sophia)! Your story about your father dressing up as Santa made me cry and that’s a very good thing, so thanks for sharing it.

  32. Not Fainthearted

    Hey Neil, Thanks for all the laughs and the thoughtful posts this year. It’s been great hanging with you even though I’m clearly not cool enough to do so. 😉

    I hope you and Sophia had a marvelous Thanksgiving.

  33. jennyonthespot

    Good timing, I just came by to thank you for taking the time to comment om my blog 🙂

  34. Nerevised

    It’s a wonderful idea to be thankful for commenters. I remember the delightful thrill I got when I realised that someone I DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW read my blog.

  35. knittymuggins

    Thank you so very much for a wonderful idea! I’m grateful every day for each and every one of my commenters and it’s about time I thanked them! Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful 🙂

Leave a Reply

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

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial