the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


One of the reasons I feel relatively comfortable meeting other bloggers, is that I am under the assumption — and this theory requires a leap of faith which requires that I accept the innate goodness of man — that if an individual can tie words together and make a sentence that communicates a thought, image, or sensation, it means that he has adequate control over his mental faculties, and that he is not crazy, or at least not dangerous, or at least medicated enough to be acceptable to society, but not medicated too much where he just stares at the monitor like a drooling zombie from the Dawn of the Dead.

I make this announcement, presenting it to all you, my dear colleagues on the blogosphere — fellow writers, satirists, and raconteurs — in case you ever read anything I write, and loudly say to yourself, or to whoever is nearby in your office cubicle or home kitchen, “Holy shit, this guy is f**king nuts!” (editors note: Although if you have children doing their algebra homework at the kitchen table, you probably won’t be say “f**king nuts!” but “completely nuts!” out of respect for raising your children in a manner deemed appropriate to mannered society).

Whether you say “nuts” with or without the “f**king,” my response to you, virtual friend, is the same — please, for the love of goodness and sunny days, don’t worry about me. If I am writing, and the paragraphs align and the verbs and nouns seem happy together, sidling together like two canoes floating down the river, or like two young lovers reaching in anticipation for that moment of first pleasure, be assured that things are going well enough in my life that I can successfully accomplish that achievement.

Only worry about me when I am not writing. That means






  1. deidre

    I am going to tell you a secret, Neil. Don’t let it get back to my blog, k?

    I had a job interview today. And they asked me to do word association. What word is ‘gullible’ most associated with out of the following words “{can’t remember word but it was something ridiculous, like girlish but not], girlish, or beneficial” And the words suddenly made NO SENSE. The Opposite of Sense. Meaning was lost. gullible isn’t associated with girlish? is it!?
    This whole comment wasn’t really relevant. Apologies.

  2. better safe than sorry

    i love words, i wish i had majored in english.
    but my love of words has made me a reader, not a writer.

  3. Michele

    We’re all good people. Whether or not we’re nuts is irrelevant.

  4. Middle-Aged-Woman

    Once your kids get to be 17 and 19 you can go back to saying f*cking nuts. They do it, too.

  5. patty

    Writing and madness are often intertwined, no?

    Speaking for myself, of course.

  6. gorillabuns

    I thought you were going to say, please quit cussing so much.

  7. kenju

    I’ve always had great admiration for people who can string words together well. Sometimes they are nuts anyway.

  8. headbang8

    Neil, you are amongst the sanest people I know.

    You are deliberately, scrupulously,and punctilliously sane. You are practically OCD about your mental hygiene.

    If even the tiniest crumb of insanity drops on to your freshly-ironed cerebral napkin of analysis and introspection, I feel sure that you will shake it away to the floor, in an instant.

    You may talk a good line in craziness, but you lack the stomach for it.

    It must be hell. When are you going to let down your hair and go apeshit? It’ll do you good.

  9. Megan

    While I think you can tell a lot about a person from their writing, I have known a few people with autism spectrum disorders who seemed very odd in real life yet very witty and cool in writing. That’s worth a scientific study, I think.

  10. kat

    it’s funny, because i actually think that everyone on the internet is an axe murderer. ESPECIALLY the ones who write well.

  11. teahouseblossom

    Yes, your assumption is generally sound, and I also agree for the most part. But then I remember that the Unabomber was an excellent writer as well. So you never know about people!

  12. Crys

    you would be surprised, perhaps, at how many nut cases can actually string together a proper sentence.

    do NOT look at me like that.

  13. Twenty Four At Heart

    I feel so much better now that I know I have adequate control over my mental faculties.

  14. Finn

    I can vouch for the fact that you can at least hold it together for an afternoon. 😀

  15. Annie

    I think you are funny, not nuts :-).
    I do sometimes worry a bit about your love life, but I know you are fine in the long run.

  16. sarah g

    Gotta hate to burst your bubble. I work with the mentally disabled and unstable (although they are fantastically loving and interesting). The one thing that helps them through the day, statisically overall, is that they keep journals. They journal these beautiful, brillant thoughts, that they can not otherwise verbalize. They write on cereal boxes, napkins, walls, etc etc. Some make no coherent sense, while others seem as though they could be presented in an award winning novel.

    Thus, I must say, the ability to write does not prove sanity or ‘well -being’. Rather, your ability to still share and open up, marks healing and connectivness. When they run out of words, or words lose their meaning to you; thats the time that communication in the verbal realm can start?

    Or, perhaps I am the one who needs a cereal box.

  17. Rhea

    So when are you coming to visit??

  18. churlita

    So, how many days between posts should we wait to worry about your mental health?

  19. Neil

    Sarah G — I’m afraid to say I recently wrote an idea for a blog post on the side of a box of Cheerios because it was already sitting on the table. The writing on napkins I have done for years.

    So, you mean writing does not = sanity?

  20. sassy

    Nice, you’re seeming a bit poetic after yesterdays rant… am I mistaken?

  21. sassy

    (Sorry, I got to thinking and had to come back.)

    Funny, I get what your saying. I love words, and I generally need them. On the other hand, it’s often easier when they are written, than spoken. It’s just all too painfully clear when someone doesn’t understand by the look in their eyes. Blogging is nice, because you get to stay under the illusion that everyone who reads you, gets you. Then recently, what with all the painting and whatnot I couldn’t. And then I brought my guitar down from the attic. I guess sometimes we have words, and other times we have languages…

    Whatcha think? (Sorry for being a dork-ass cheezeball.)

  22. Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts

    You are too funny. lol

  23. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    “…if an individual can tie words together and make a sentence that communicates a thought, image, or sensation, it means that he has adequate control over his mental faculties, and that he is not crazy, or at least not dangerous, or at least medicated enough to be acceptable to society, but not medicated too much where he just stares at the monitor like a drooling zombie from the Dawn of the Dead.”
    Nice try Word Boy, but two words for you–Rush Limbaugh.
    Having said that , I will worry about you a little less. Still luvya, though:>)

  24. Ginger

    “Words” is one of my favorite Bee Gees songs.

  25. sarah g

    I guess when you’ve got thoughts tumbling around, that need to be formed, to be understood; one must write upon whatever is nearby.

    Maybe we only need to worry when these notes are written on your arms?

  26. Geoff

    There is no question about it, some of the best writers out there are nuts, just as some of the smoothest talkers are certifiable. Present company excepted.

  27. Astrogirl

    I hear you, my friend.

    You had the equation slightly backwards, but otherwise correct.

    Sanity does not result in good writing.

    For you, good writing results in sanity.

  28. Kristin T.

    Astrogirl said it just right in her comment above: good writing results in sanity, not the other way around.

    Which means that what you said is just right, too: if you are writing, we shouldn’t be worried about you.

    I’m a bit worried about myself, though. A couple of days ago I wrote a post about how much I love tag clouds, because they can accommodate a whole bunch of words without needing to really make sense. So much for your lovely idea of “verbs and nouns [that] seem happy together” being a measure of sanity (although it is a very lovely idea).

  29. TMC

    oooo… can I be a raconteur?

    I read, I IM, I tweet = I care. Can’t care and not worry just a little bit. Deal with it. 🙂

  30. vodkamom

    listen, we are having a necklace making station in Room 120 tomorrow morning. If you want, I’ll snag you a string of the elastic band stuff, and send it over. SURELY you can string some words together with that.

  31. vodkamom

    p.s. don’t say nuts if you come to our room. They will TOTALLY crack up. or crack yours. or something like that.

  32. Fancy

    You may have seriously misjudged me, my friend…

  33. chris

    I don’t like it when people worry about me unnecessarily. It feels patronizing. I wasn’t worried about you.

    My favorite part of this post and comment string… Headbang8’s comment. That was good.

  34. cog

    oh. great. thanks, Ginger.

    Now I have that song stuck in my head.

  35. Ginger

    COG…awesome! My work here is done. 😀

  36. Edgy Mama

    Sadly, I’m met a few bloggers, who, despite their ability to string words together into coherent sentences, are not sane. You, however, seem to be both a good friend and a good writer.

  37. Juli Ryan

    I usuallly don’t share my writing. But I am still writing.

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