the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Thank Your First Commenter Day, Year Four

Of all my silly gimmicky blog holiday posts, my very first was for Thanksgiving.  It was called “Thank Your First Commenter Day.”

It was a one-shot idea, because a blogger only has one first commenter, so after the first year, there isn’t anything left to write.   But then, the second Thanksgiving Day showed up, as readily as the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.   And the third.  So I cheated and improvised, going back into my archives and thanking my second and third commenters.  I certainly didn’t expect to be blogging for so long.  It is now time for the Fourth Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day.”

My fourth commenter was Jack, who writes the blog Random Thoughts.  My post on that day, May 24, 2005, was completely lame.  It was titled “Britney Spears at Kabbalah Center.”  It consisted of a photo of Britney Spears walking out of the LA Kabbalah Center.

Here is the full text of the post —

“The paparazzi were out in force as Britney Spears went to the Kabbalah Center on Robertson.  I’m much more interested in whatever is in the bag.   I didn’t know they have a bookstore.   Do they have Judaica?  Do they serve coffee and muffins in the bookstore (kosher, of course) or just Kabbalah water?”

Have any of my LA readers ever been to the Kabbalah Center?”

That’s it.  That was my post.  Can you believe it?  It was almost as bad as some of your stuff!  But I was young and naive at the time. I didn’t realize back then that I needed to LIVE a little before I became a writer.  I needed to face death and heartbreak and nights of debauchery and sleeping in my car overnight and fistfights in Irish pubs and waking up in the beds of Hollywood strippers in cheap motels on La Cienega Boulevard until one day, like so many other artists in search of their muse, I found “my voice.”  And my “Talking Penis” character was born.  And since then, there has been nothing standing in my way.

After I wrote that post back in 2005, I waited for a response.  Any response.  I checked my stats every five minutes.  I prayed to God that someone would care.  And someone did!  A blogger named Jack wrote a comment.  It was the only comment on the post.

They have a bunch of different things for sell at the center. They give Jews a bad name. I am not a fan of theirs at all.

The Kabbalah center is just not cool.

Madonna — you are right!  Who says the Kabbalah is nonsense?  The Kabbalah brought Jack to my blog.

Jack is still blogging.  He comes to my blog every once in a while and writes a comment.  I read his posts in my Google Reader.  We have a lot in common — we’re both Jewish men who like stories about pop culture and relationships between the sexes.  For some reason, we never really became close friends.  He is more religious than I am, and hangs out with those the Jewish blogosphere, while I tend to flirt mostly with the black and Latino women.

Once, when I was in his area, I emailed him.  “Would you like to meet for a cup of coffee?” I asked.  It was a big step for me.  It was the first time that I had asked another blogger to meet.  He said, no.  He wanted to keep his personal life separate from his blogging life.  He was worried about his job and his family.  He even told me that his name wasn’t “Jack.”  At the time, I remember this pissing me off.  “What chutzpah!” I thought.

But I forgive him.  And I respect his way of thinking.  Just imagine you are someone responsible, like a married mother, going to a conference like BlogHer and getting really drunk, and then having someone take a photo of you, and a few months later, some guy adds that photo to his Flickr “favorites,” so now the whole world can see what you look like drunk, your blouse half open, making out with a hunky waiter at a Chicago bistro, a college student fifteen years younger than you.

Maybe Jack is smart for watching his privacy.

You should check out Jack’s blog.  He is very intelligent and interesting writer.

“Jack” — thank you for being my fourth commenter.  It was so exciting to get those early comments.  Because of you, I knew that blogging was going to be something special.  I hope we will continue to keep in touch and read each other.

Note:  I am only writing about my fourth commenter because it is my fourth year.   If you feel like stealing this concept, write about your first commenter.  If anyone cares to mention their first commenter here in my comments, feel free…


  1. People in the Sun

    Is that Jack in that bottom picture? No wonder he doesn’t want the publicity. Stuff like that nearly killed Rob Lowe’s career.

    And I didn’t have a chance to say thanks for that blog crush yesterday, so consider this my first Thanksgiving thanks giving.

    Now that I think about it, I hope Honey’s family doesn’t make us go around and say what we’re thankful for again. I hate this stuff.

  2. Suzanne

    That’s an interesting concept. I think I was blogging for months before I even got a comment. Mainly because the readership was only friends and family for ages. They’d comment on the phone. More likely, they’d complain that I hadn’t written anything in a few days.

    Off to check the archives. I may just borrow this idea…

  3. Jack

    Actually I come to your blog more than every once in a while, I just don’t comment much anymore. After almost five years of blogging I am slowing down a bit.

    These days it comes and goes. Thanks for the post and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. abigailroad

    I’m going to have to check who my fourth commentor was. It was probably Schmutzie. She was the only one who commented, at first, and I love her for it. I’m copying this, tomorrow, even though my thanksgiving is over already.

  5. sassy

    Wohoo, did I just see Jack in the flesh commenting up there? Fun !

  6. balou

    This is a good idea! I’ll have to go back into the archives and check it out. I remember that excited feeling though of the first comment. Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Finn

    Was this today or tomorrow? Ugh.

  8. Neil

    Finn — does it really matter? In the blog world, a day can stretch to a week. We make up our own rules.

    Feel free to steal the idea. I decided not to “promote” another holiday idea, figuring people will start to find me annoying.

  9. AnnieH(the other Annie)

    As always, Neilochka, you get to the essence of Thanksgiving–half naked Native American women and S&M…Well played, sir. Happiness to you and yours on TurkeyDay and may you get the larger half of the wishbone. Now go help your mother:>)

  10. Neil

    Annie — c’mon, the Puritans re-wrote history. You really think they were that grateful for some turkey?

  11. gathering dust

    good idea. i’m fairly sure my first comment was a family member, which makes it less interesting, but i still think i’ll steal this 🙂

  12. goodfather

    ‘It was almost as bad as some of your stuff!’


  13. sarah g

    I hope you have a good Thanksgiving and remember every single thing that you have to be thankful for this season!

  14. gorillabuns

    I have no clue who my 4th commenter was as I deleted a lot of the first posts I wrote. When researching to see if I could place anyone with this honor, I decided I should really delete the first year instead.

  15. Annie

    My first commenter was my ex-boyfriend, so he does not really count, then Maryam
    and then you! You have always been special to me :-).

  16. anna

    This post cracked me up. Jack is not a big fan of the Kabbalah center, eh? Well, that’s getting to the meat of the issue, then.

  17. vodkamom

    hey- happy Thanksgiving Neil! And, thanks for keeping us laughing. (I love your idea…) And thanks for sticking that pic of me in your last picture. It’s nice to know I still have a great ass.

  18. Distractions

    Wow, you guys get comments?

  19. Marney

    I think I’ve only had about five commenters in all but you were my first Neil! Thanks!

  20. Sunny

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. Mr Lady

    I found Jack through your blog. I’m supposed to interview him…ever try to interview someone with 6K+ posts? It’s hard to do that justice. Anywho, I couldn’t agree more. Jack totally rocks.

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