the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Best Blog of All Time

My site was nominated for Best Blog of All Time!

I am lucky to have Sophia in my life. She helps me “grow.” She teaches me confidence. By nature, I back away from distinguishing myself, about grabbing the most out of life. I have a therapy-sized sense of modesty, insecurity, and need to be liked. But I am 100x stronger than when I first got married.

Today is the anniversary of our marriage. Not surprisingly, I had been depressed all day, lying on the couch, 3000 miles away from my separated wife, looking out the window, watching the cars pull in and out of the Pathmark supermarket parking lot.

I mentioned my blahs on Twitter, and got some heartfelt advice: Anymommy told me to eat something with chocolate and peanut butter. Several other women suggested ice cream (surprise!) TwentyFour and Antonia told me to start drinking. Mir was the most practical with her suggestion to rent some porn. (Rent porn?! Who rents porn anymore?)

The comment that most caught my eye was from Ricewenchie:

Do something nice for yourself today. Like create a new anniversary for this day…

At first, I thought that was a dumb idea, and somewhat delusional. If Sophia and I ever divorce, am I supposed to re-write history and forever think of October 13 as the day I bought a Hamilton Beach blender at the discount store for my mother in order to show her how to make a smoothie (that was the one big event of the day)?

But after thinking about it, I embraced the idea, with a little tweak. To celebrate our wedding anniversary in any traditional way makes me sad, while ignoring it is impossible. So, instead, I will combine the two — like chocolate and peanut butter — and focus on the positive — something good that marriage has brought to my life, and how it has changed me, despite the current status.

That’s why I put that badge on top. I can’t think of anything more arrogant than putting up a badge that announces your blog as “The Best Blog Of All Time.” Do I believe this? Sophia believes it. She was the one who nominated me. And I think that she will appreciate this unusual gesture of me posting it on my blog, knowing that she is the one who has always has been my strongest ally in anything I pursued. I would have never had the guts to put that up there if I had never met Sophia. Being married to her has given me strength in many areas of my life. Some cojones. And being a little arrogant every once in a while is good for a man. Even sexy. Why should I be afraid of saying that this is the best blog of all time?! Or that I you should hire me above all others because I am more talented. Or that you should date me because my singing will make you swoon?

Now I need to deal with some other issues in my life with the same confidence.

Happy Anniversary, Sophia, and thank you for helping to make me fearless. Well, maybe I shouldn’t get too arrogant. Let’s just say that I’m working on it.

Note: Just to show you how hard it is to change, Return to Rural called me out with the truth — I didn’t actually link to the award site because… well, that would be too arrogant. I wimped out. But I just changed that and added the link.


  1. Mattie

    It’s a great blog. I read every time you write and I’m sure there are thousands out there like myself.

    Your blog is honest, funny, sad, thought-provoking, entertaining, informative, and sometimes downright hot.

    Don’t stop. Every day is a new chance to learn something you didn’t know yesterday and that you can teach someone else tomorrow.

  2. Neil

    Thank you, Mattie. But I don’t think you understand quite what I am saying here. This isn’t just a good blog. It is the BEST BLOG of all time. Saying that requires real Balls. I am risking people disliking me for saying that.

  3. Marinka

    Eh,I’ve had better.


    Happy best blog to you!

  4. V-Grrrl

    Being an intellectual nerd, I’m stuck on the concept of “ALL time.” Best blog of ALL time. Hmmmmm. Whatever. It’s good enough for a dork like me most days.

  5. Neil

    V-grrl — I know the concept is upsetting to you, with me distinguishing myself like that. This does not mean that I don’t see you as an equal person or as a good friend. You might make a better chicken sandwich than I do. Or be a better juggler. But in terms of blogging, my blog is simply the best of all time. And that shouldn’t make you feel insecure. I don’t need you to like me. I need you to respect me.

    And besides, you always have your good looks.

  6. Astrogirl

    Well sweetie, you know how I feel about your blog. I have told you countless times; you also know how I feel about how YOU feel about your blog.

    I totally get this. It doesn’t really matter if anyone else agrees with you; it’s much like me saying that I think my kid is the best kid of all time (not being high, I wouldn’t say that, but you get my point).

    So march forward. Blow your own horn, cause let me tell you, ain’t no one gonna do it for you.

    Your dick, yes. Your horn, not so much. BEST. BLOG. OF. ALL. TIME.

  7. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    If you want to tell people you have the best blog of all time and your wife agrees, more power to you. A bit of arrogence just adds to the mystery…

    Happy Anniversary, even if you are apart from each other.

  8. Ish


  9. chris

    I think reframing this anniversary is a very good idea. My husband and I were separated for several months about 10 years ago. He asked if he could take me to dinner on our anniversary (while we were living apart). I didn’t understand. While we were eating, he said he didn’t know what the future held for us, but he wanted to celebrate the time we’d shared together and the lessons learned.

    You have “real Balls” to say you have the BEST BLOG of all time. I can validate that for you.

    Happy Anniversary.

  10. Brenda - SeriouslyMama

    Umm, I mean arrogance… 🙂

  11. ballerinatoes

    Wow, today is the anniversary of my marriage also. Would have been 17 years, had we not divorced 5 years ago. He passed away a few months ago, so I’m kind of double meloncholy today. I’m quite a buzzkill, huh. Anyway, thanks to the “Best Blog of All Time” I remembered some of the things I wouldn’t have known or wouldn’t have experienced were it not for him and it brightened me up a little. I mean, dude, I can drive a bulldozer! Thank you. And congratulations.

  12. followthatdog

    I love your blog. I think you deserve the award, in fact, I really think someone should give you a book deal so I can sit on the sofa, reading your words with a glass of wine and no fear of spilling it into my keyboard because I’m laughing too hard to keep control of my beverage.

    Can someone make that happen for me?

    At any rate, I can see why the Best Blog of ALL Time might make you self conscious. But it does sound a hell of a lot better than “The pretty good blog for most day, but there will probably be more later that make this look pretty lame by comparison”

  13. Neil

    Ballerinatoes — I so sorry to hear about that double whammy. If we lived closer to each other, we could have celebrated our day together, any place other than the Olive Garden.

  14. Poppy

    My old wedding anniversary date is now the date that my mom met Dawg. My mom totally did that on purpose to help create a positive memory for me.

  15. Neil

    Poppy — that was very clever of her.

  16. TMC

    You’re a bar-setter, Mr. K. You’ve got my vote. 🙂

  17. Caitlin

    Neil, I consider you a friend, and I just want you to know that I’m just a subway stop away. And you STILL owe me a drink. 😉 Cash it in anytime.

  18. Neil

    TMC — thanks for telling me to actually put a real link on top. That was pretty lame of me.

    Caitlin — Today would have been a perfect day. This week.

  19. Finn

    She nominated you? You see, this… this is why I hope you can work things out. There is no lack of love there. At all.

    And I’m glad you have the balls to put that up. Say it loud, say it proud!

  20. Jane

    You are being the bull and not the cape. I am so proud!

  21. teahouseblossom

    Neil, your blog IS the best of all time. Shouting out from the Upper West Side.

    I wish I’d known..we could have gone out for a drink to celebrate. My husband is in Atlantic City tonight for a trade show, and I was just thinking about how lonely and depressing it is to be in this big city all by myself.

  22. Neil

    Teahouse — We definitely need to meet in the city one day soon. I’m also curious on meeting this hot husband of yours.

  23. Mattie


    Great wasn’t good enough for you?

  24. psychomom

    I agree with Marinka, Eh.

    But I nominate you for “Citizen of the Century”.

  25. Crys

    i know you.
    i know this.

  26. JanePoet ~ JP/deb

    What a lovely tribute to Sophia and the gifts of your relationship … you are fearless. Peace, JP/deb

  27. Kristin T.

    I love this part: “To celebrate our wedding anniversary in any traditional way makes me sad, while ignoring it is impossible. So, instead, I will combine the two…”

    Somehow that process seems to sum up the real work of living an honest life. And when you can capture it all on your blog, it pretty much sums up what a great (er, I mean The Best) blog is all about.

  28. Dagny

    Say what? You know that you appropriated this from my people. You know I get tired of this crap. 😉

    But this is about Sophia. And Sophia totally rocks in my book.

    And in case things don’t work out with Sophia, just remember that having balls like this will go a long way in the dating world.

  29. Twenty Four At Heart

    I think you made the most of a difficult day. And don’t forget you got new shoes too! I am a little bummed though because since you have THE BEST BLOG OF ALL TIME, I have nothing to aspire too except THE SECOND BEST BLOG OF ALL TIME. I guess I’m willing to settle for that. Hugs! I hope tomorrow is an easier day.

  30. anymommy

    To the author of the best blog of all time: Way to put it out there! This is a perfect tribute to your marriage and to Sophia. I loved it. But, I stand by my chocolate peanut butter recommendation. It may be trite, but it’s a healing addition to any rough day!

  31. Sophia

    Happy Anniversary, Neilochka!

  32. ingrid

    happy anniversary. happy healing. happy strength. happy blog. happy smoothies.

    wishing you all good things.

  33. better safe than sorry

    happy anniversary to both of you. it wasn’t all bad times, so go ahead and remember your day.
    and congrats on best blog of all time!

  34. Avitable

    We share the same anniversary. I, however, don’t have the best blog in the universe like you do.

  35. Mir

    Okay, I confess that I have never either rented or purchased porn, hence my perhaps-outdated suggestion. But I’m glad you found a way to make the day into something more positive. 🙂

  36. sarah g

    hi neil,
    its true, that you need to re-establish ‘new’ for each big event so that its something different to remember on that day. It sounds like Sophia definitley is/was in your life for a reason. Before you can reframe, you have to mourn and appreciate. Cheers to you and Sophia and the influences you’ve brought to each other. As always, you’re prayed for!

  37. churlita

    Happy anniversary. Remember the good times and work on the relationship (whatever the hell it might be) you two have right now.

  38. kenju

    I agree with Mattie! You are smart and you never fail to make me laugh.

  39. anymommy

    Okay, I thought about being called out as typical in the shower this morning, and, while I don’t mind being typical, because if the shoe fits and all, and I’m confidant and secure in my mommyblogger typicalness, I have to say that I feel a bit baited.

    Because, Neil, Your Tweet said you felt sad and thought you’d get ice cream. For the record, I was merely suggesting a particularly good flavor for relieving depression.

    What I want to know is whether you’d already drafted this post and you were twitter fishing (technical term) for typical mommy blogger responses. Cause that was a pretty good trap. Takes balls. Just saying.

  40. Neil

    AnyMommy — a confident man admits his mistakes. You are anything but typical. I am taking that out. But fishing for responses? I wish I was that organized!

  41. anymommy

    Confident and a gentleman. The perfect combination.

  42. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    I’m sad thinking about you and Sophia so far away from each other, esp today. Look, I’m older, I see a lot of tragedies in my daily worklife–what I believe is to celebrate love when it finds you and not clutter your time and life with crap. Life is just too short and unpredictable. Wish you could celebrate the day with Sophia(or a bouquet of flowers to Calif.), but having the best damn blog EVER in the universe runs a very close second. Maybe even a second and 7/8ths.

  43. Ava

    That is a great way to look at the anniversary. I have had a close friendship with someone for several years now, and it bothered him that we were so close because we are both married, lead different lives and he thinks his friends, family and wife wouldn’t understand our friendship, and it ate him up inside. He has always hidden it from them, where I haven’t. My husband is very comfortable with it. So now, my friend and I don’t talk anymore and I guess for the best but what I tried to encourage him to do was to look at our friendship in a positive light instead of something that makes him feel guilty and that ate him up inside (he thinks that way because not only is it distracting but because whenever things go bad in his real life, he automatically turns to me for comfort, someone he trusts completely, etc.)

    That he should use the memories of our friendship as a safe place for him to go whenever he needs it. He so guarded and private and never shares anything with anybody. He’s always doing for others without asking or allowing it to be in return. So he needs that safe place to fall. So why not allow his memories be that, instead of allowing them to be poison and full of guilt. Perhaps then he will stop beating himself up over feeling like he’s cheating his family from his true self, the one he’s only shared with me.

    Truly is all about changing the perspective, the lens.

  44. muriel

    I agree with all the people, This is a great blog and I enjoy reading it!

  45. All Adither

    Are you saying you’re better than Dooce????

  46. Neil

    All Dither — Isn’t that obvious? She might write better, but this is a far superior blog.

  47. leah

    you may want to add “husband trainer” to your resume, b/c if what you write is anything close to the type of husband you are, you’ve got the right idea and you should share your knowledge.

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