the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: November 2008 (Page 2 of 3)

Holiday Concert Sign-Up Sheet

photo by Kirida

David the Jewish Reindeer
Had a very Jewish nose
All of the other reindeer
Used to think of themselves as foes

David the Jewish Reindeer
Kvetched about his daily woes
He couldn’t get no p***y
Even from the reindeer hoes

Then one icy Christmas Eve
Santa screwed it up
Forgot about the holiday
Too much bourbon in his cup

David the Jewish Reindeer
Scratched and scratched his Jewish ‘fro
“Hey, I have the perfect idea.
Let’s put on a blogger show.”

Let’s make it for Jew and Gentile
Black and white, all one voice
So, when it’s time for lovin’
We’ll have a multi-cultural choice

Santa clapped and said, “That’s brilliant.”
Giving him a big wet kiss
If we can elect a black President
Why not have a reindeer with a bris?

All of the reindeer laughed now
Everywhere the bells did ring
Cause it was getting time now for
The Christmahanukwanzaakah Blogger Online Holiday Sing!


The 2006  Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

The 2007  Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

The 2008  Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert will be on December 23, 2008.

It is simple.  You record a song or video and email it to me before the concert day.  Your kids can sing along with you, BUT you — the blogger — must sing along or play an instrument.      We want to be impressed by YOU, not by the daughter you are forcing to take piano lessons against her will.

Poetry, story readings, and interpretative dance performances are also permitted.

Just so everyone doesn’t do the same Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa song, please sign up on the list below, stating your song, if you have decided on one.  Of course, there will be duplicates, but let’s try not to have ten “Silent Nights.”

For those too wimpy to sing, please send me a favorite holiday photo so we can decorate the blog post that day.

Be of Good Cheer!

OK, enough promotional stuff for one weekend.   Sorry about that.   It’s part of the job.

Back to blogging tomorrow.

Buy Handmade This Holiday Season!

Long-Time Blogger Friend/ Sexy Poster Girl Saucy Britches, Photo by Peek Photo

The Second Annual Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

I love that so many of you are creative and talented people who can MAKE THINGS.  I suck at it.  One day, if I can ever find it in my closet, I will show the wooden “duck” note-holder that I made in woodshop in the seventh grade.  One afternoon in class, while sanding it down, I accidentally shaved off the duck’s head, leaving only the clothespin as “the beak” attached to a misshapen body.  After it was shellacked (poorly), it should have won an award as the ugliest object ever produced by a human being.  I think I gave it to my mother as a mother’s day gift.  Going to woodshop was like a prison sentence to me.

But you — you have talent!

Last year, right before the annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert, I took the Homemade Pledge and decided to honor those of you who make cool stuff with a special First Annual Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair.  It was a lot of fun.

The Second Annual Blogger Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

Any blogger who wants to sell his wares on that day’s is welcome to submit.  It can be your painting, jewelry, knitting, or photography, or whatever.  All you have to do is email me a JPG of ONE SAMPLE OF YOUR WORK, and a LINK to your Etsy account or webpage where you sell your work.  It is up to you to set up your own prices and sales.  I am just the showman, who dazzles the customers with lights and music, like a 21st Century Pink Floyd, while you convince them to buy the over-priced concert t-shirt.

Buy Handmade this Holiday Season.

(coming next week — information about the Third Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert)

Real People

As I revealed yesterday, I had started to gather up photos of many of you.  I am still searching for those missing from the list.  A few of you don’t have Flickr accounts, so I’ll just have to imagine what you look like, unless I figure out another way to steal your photo.   I didn’t hear any complaints about this little project of mine, so I am proceeding with it.  Tonight, I added a few more faces to this prestigious collection of blogger mugs shots.

I just made a Flickr slideshow of all the faces.  How cool.  All these bloggers, passing before me, one after another, right on my monitor.  These are the smiles and eyes of individuals who I know mostly through words.

But do I know the real you?  If I didn’t have these photographs, I would walk right past you on the street.  You might seem familiar for a second, but I wouldn’t assume that I knew you from blogging.  I would more likely think that I remember you from an episode of “All My Children” last year, where I would wrongly peg you as the actor playing Erica Kane’s new cook.

Perhaps it is better that I don’t know the “real” you.  This gives me the freedom to write whatever I want on this blog.  I never have to see your reaction to anything I say.  I don’t have to see you rolling your eyes in dismay or shaking your head in disappointment.

All these faces.  Men and women with families, with significant others.  People at work.  At home.  At school.  At conferences.  Dressed up.  Dressed down.  In New York.  In Canada.  In Arizona.  You are actually REAL PEOPLE.


Oh my God, and I sit here sometimes writing about things like… my penis.  You are REAL PEOPLE reading this.  You are sitting in your living room, reading this!

This photo idea was a bad one.  It is better not to know that you are real.   Writing is easier when you are figments of my imagination, a loyal gathering of glamorous sex goddesses who sit by their laptops, wearing the latest in French lingerie, caressing their bodies as they read my latest post.  That’s who I see as my demographic.  Not real people.

Stealing Your Photo

Is it wrong that, a few months ago, I started to gather people’s portraits on Flickr, like a thirteen year old boy collecting baseball cards?

The goal was a lofty one — to have at least one photo from everyone on my Google Reader list, so I could match the faces to the blogs. This is very different from those big-shot bloggers who ASK you for your photos, just so they can prove their popularity to the world. This was all for me — I never asked for permission.  It was all my own private set of playing cards, stolen from Flickr in the deep darkness of the night, while you were sleeping, carefully picking and choosing only those portraits that gave me amusement or titillation.

I started my new hobby after I didn’t go to BlogHer.  I saw all the fun photos of everyone eating cheeseburgers and having pajama parties.  I felt lonely and left out.  I saw some faces for the first time, and decided to “favorite” them.  It was then that the plan was hatched.  I would CONTROL ALL OF YOU! Not just those at BlogHer, but every person I had ever met online, no matter what country!  But after a few days of people collecting, I immediately stopped, worried that someone would catch on, and I would seem like a mad scientist, an evil Flickr puppetmaster, and just plain stalkerish.

But I think it came from a good place.

Do I have permission to continue on with my quest of favoriting a photo of you, or is this just wrong?   Should I ask for permission first?

Now seriously — how many other blogs that you read write about stuff like this?!

Another Argument for Gay Marriage

Before the election, I read several moving blog posts explaining why Californians should vote No on Prop 8, which bans gay marriage in the state.

These posts usually showcased a friend or relative who had a same sex partner.  We are shown how this couple went through struggles to have children, and are now happily raising a child.  How could you not admire this couple?  Are they not loving parents?  Aren’t they raising their children with as much care and affection as any straight couple? This is a FAMILY!  Why shouldn’t they have the right to be married and express this special love?

Something bothered me about the tone of these posts.  They were buying into the same Biblical view of marriage as the opponents of gay marriage:  that marriage exists for procreation.  The main argument presented was that “Gays can Be as Good Parents as Straights.”  Not surprisingly, most of these posts were written by parents.

Yesterday, I saw quite a few links to Keith Olbermann’s take on the subject.  In the six minute special commentary, he makes a plea for “love and the spread of happiness.”  The issue is all “about the human heart.”

“The world is barren enough… with so much hate in the world, so much meaningless division… this is what your religion tells you to do?… this is what your heart tells you to do?… You are asked to stand now on a question of love.”

While I was touched by the power of the commentary, something bothered me about this argument as well.  If parents were pushing the Biblical/procreation angle of marriage, Keith Olbermann was using the lingo of the Renaissance courtly lovers, as if he were standing outside the balcony of the fair maiden, whispering words like “heart” and “love.”

Why does marriage need to be about heart and love?  Marriage has had different meanings throughout history.  For most history, it was more of a business arrangement.  It is not my role to decide why people get married.  Straight couples can get married for all sorts of reasons.  There are arranged marriages.  People marry for money.  Out of loneliness.  Out of fear.  For me, the best argument for gay marriage is that — gays should be able to do what straights do, even if it for a dowry.  Even if the marriage is a terrible mistake.

This weekend, I went out for sushi with two friends, who happen to be two guys in a relationship.  Being the only straight man of the group, I was the only one who couldn’t hold my liquor, and I got drunk on two glasses of sake. They invited me to sleep on their couch, which I did.  I wish I could tell you some exciting “gay-oriented” stories about the night, but nothing very unusual occurred, not even any dancing to “It’s Raining Men.”  As stereotypes, my friends are very poor gay characters.  Nothing like the guys on “Will and Grace.”  When I tried to tell them about seeing Stephen Sondheim’s new musical “Road Show” at the Public Theater, and how I am seeing a revival of “Pal Joey” next week at Studio 54, they just looked bored.

“How gay!” they muttered to themselves, laughing at me.

Even when I undressed, I was hoping that one of them would at least mention my new striped boxer briefs, but I didn’t even get any glances.  My friend seemed more interested in me showing him how to use Facebook.

Later that night, my two friends had a little “couple’s fight.”  From what I gather, one of them was supposed to have deposited a check in the bank, but he forgot, and the other accused him of being irresponsible.  It was an argument not dissimilar to hundreds that I have had with Sophia.

Would I recommend this gay couple to get married?  Probably not.  Although they love each other, and probably would make great parents, there are still some unresolved “issues” between the two.

But if they want to get married, go for it.  Why should the law stop them from doing the same crazy things that straight people do?

That’s my argument.

Brown Sugar

Asking you for your perception of me was a powerful exercise.  It has enabled me to look at myself from an outsider’s perspective.  And you know what —

Screw you!  What the hell was I thinking?!  Who wants to face the real person inside?  I have been nagging myself all night.

Nagging Neil: “You thought you were writing all day, but in reality, you only worked for an hour and a half today.”

Me: “No, I worked all day.”

Nagging Neil: “No, if you were honest with yourself, you would see that you did a tiny bit of work, then went on Facebook, then ate lunch, then you did a little more work, and then you took a walk to buy a new toothbrush that you didn’t really need.”

Me: “You know, I don’t like knowing myself.”

Nagging Neil: “And then in your last post, you told everyone how much you loved to “hang out and bullshit with the guys.”

Me: “I do.”

Nagging Neil: “So, when Rob called last night and asked if you wanted to go for a cup of coffee, why did you say you were busy.”

Me: “I WAS busy.”

Nagging Neil: “Hmmm… busy doing something important?

Me: “I was doing “research.”

Nagging Neil: “Why don’t we both take a look at what you were doing on Twitter?”


“Watching videos on YouTube.”

“Any guys have this hair in the 1970’s? — from ELO video, Sweet Talking Woman.  I love long hair!”

“80’s hair wasn’t as interesting. Even the mohawks.”

“If my hairline wasn’t receding, I would so wear my hair long like a 70’s rock band member.”

“Uh, only joking.  I still have my hair.”

“And that’s not why I’m wearing that hat in the profile pic.  I just saw that in a Seinfeld episode where George was wearing a hat and people thought it was cause he was bald.  Really, I have hair.”

“I am totally nostalgic today on You Tube. Like some old guy reminiscing about Frank Sinatra.”

“Tears in my eyes remembering how “meaningful” Pink Floyd was. WTF.”

“I really liked that girl when I was 13 and we were listening to Pink Floyd.”

“Everyone was smoking pot.  I didn’t inhale.”

“Bruce was really sexy when he pulled Courtney Cox from the audience.”

“I once spoke to Bruce Springsteen in an LA Gym. We were alone. Neil: “Using these dumbbells?” Bruce: “No, go ahead.””

“@VGrrrl — I also had bad taste also. I used to dance in my room to Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing

“@VGrrrl — I was probably a little young for the lyrics of “You Sexy Thing” at the time… a very bad influence…”

“Hot Chocolate also did this video called “Girl Crazy.”  Very interesting.   Lyrics about meeting hot chicks.   But the video seems completely gay-oriented.”

“Hot Chocolate also did Brother Louie.  But like this version better by The Stories.”

“She was black as the night
Louie was whiter than white
Danger, danger when you taste brown sugar
Louie fell in love overnight”

“A question for black women: is it still appropriate nowadays for me to use the term “taste brown sugar?””

“@culturefx – Never called anyone brown sugar before, but I think it is 1 of those 1,000 things you’re supposed to do before u die.”

“Trying to come up with a cool sexy metaphor for white women like “brown sugar.” Cool Whip? Snow? Mayonnaise? Kosher Salt?”

“@Notsoblonde say “White Chocolate.””

“Best answer from @metalia — “Rice Krispy treat!””

Nagging Neil: “So, you were doing something important, huh?”

Notes on My Last Post

According to my last post, my view of myself is slightly different than your view of Neilochka.   I would probably pick these three as my main “characteristics” —

1) Imaginative, head-in-the-clouds guy who can never find his own keys or his own underwear.

2) Bullshitting male who enjoys nothing better than chatting with “the guys” in a coffee shop.

3) Nervous, overly apologetic person, needing affirmation from others.

But am I right?  Or am I deluding myself?  I had trouble sleeping last night, tossing and turning, wondering if I truly knew myself. Your comments didn’t bother me at all, but my own opinion of the real Neilochka was torturing me!  Eventually, at around 3AM, I calmed myself down.

“Does anyone really “know” himself?” I asked myself.

Probably not.  This was quite a relief.

There was something else that was bugging me ALL day —

Did you know that when you write 8 ) in WordPress, it automatically turns into a smilie face with sunglasses. It drove me crazy, especially since 8 ) on my list was “Flirt who dreams of f**king most of the women he has met on their kitchen tables.”  It was like WordPress was making a meta-comment, winking at me, the application insisting that it knew me better than I know myself.   Blogger or Typepad would never do that, or be so arrogant.

Eventually, I had to use 8 ) with a space after the number just to avoid 8)    Annoying.

Are you surprised that number 8 is NOT one of my three top characteristics?   This means that female bloggers can feel safe chatting with me again on IM, even if you are sitting in your kitchen, wearing your apron, typing on your laptop on the kitchen table while you are preparing dinner.


Your Perception of Me

This post is more for me than you. I’m still playing around with that idea of my “brand.”   Here is a list of seventeen descriptions of Neilochka, this blog’s writer.  Could you do me a favor and pick the three that best describes this person?   I am curious if your perception matches my own sense of reality.   Don’t be shy about saying that I seem like a neurotic mess, if I come across that way.  You can always email me rather than commenting if that makes you more comfortable.

1)    Super-confident storyteller who knows exactly how to manipulate you with words.

2)     Anti-social grouch who finds most of you hypocritical and annoying.

3)     Idealistic sentimentalist who cries at blog posts and loves to unite others in “holiday concerts.”

4)     Gay friendly dude who likes old musicals and talking to platonic girlfriends about their shoes.

5)     Bullshitting male who enjoys nothing better than chatting with “the guys” in a coffee shop.

6)     Polite momma’s boy who is “respectful” of women.

7)     Flirt who dreams of f**king most of the women he has met on their kitchen tables.

8 )    Artsy bohemian who walks around wearing a fedora.

9)     Bookish, pretentious twit.

10)    Imaginative, head-in-the-clouds guy who can never find his own keys or his own underwear.

11)    Screwed-up neurotic, afraid of his own shadow.

12)    Star Trek-loving dork

13)    Ambitious take-no-prisoners go-getter.

14)    Social-climber, constantly on the look-out for the “cooler” people.

15)    Class clown.

16)    Confused and aimless.

17)    Loving ever minute of life!

What the Hell

I’m always finding other writers online who say that they started their blog to “help others.” I wish I had a more noble reason for being here with you today. It would be cool to inspire you or show you how to knit something. I know this is a personal blog, and being inspirational is not a requirement. It is supposed to be about me. But what impression am I giving of myself? Is it an accurate one? On Halloween, I wrote a story about some woman giving me oral sex, and then I rewarded her by decapitating her with a Samurai sword. What does that say about me? Does it say anything about my character? Would Obama write this story? In real life, would I even be able to lift up a heavy Samurai sword?

On Twitter yesterday, I made mention that we should give George Bush some credit for picking Powell and Rice as two of his closest advisers. Because of his actions, America became familiar with African-Americans in powerful positions, which paved the way for an African-American as President. Someone asked why I was even bringing this up? Why was I being an apologist for the evil Bush administration? The answer is… I don’t know. To annoy you? To win Sophia’s favor? I don’t even like George Bush. It was just something that popped into my head, so I wrote it down.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should have more control over what I write. I don’t approach my blog like I am writing an op-ed piece for the New York Times. I find myself contradicting myself all the time, sometimes even trying out ideas that I’m not even sure I believe. I sometimes forget that there are other people out there reading this. I would hate to have to think too much about you — the reader. Where else am I going to try out stuff?

This is all just a long introduction to show you this painting by Leon Kroll (American Painter, 1884-1974).

I accidentally stumbled upon this yesterday on some art website, and I thought it was really sexy, so I decided to share it with you. There’s no real point in sharing it with you, other than what the hell. For some reason, I find most pornography unsexy. What’s the fun of watching some guy with a bigger dick than yours having sex? It is like watching someone else eating an ice cream sundae and then saying to yourself, “Woo-hoo, that was good, even though I’m never going to get a chance to eat that” as the other guy finishes the last spoonful.

But look carefully at this painting — all three women are thinking about ME, and ME alone. They SOOOOO want me! And that is sexy.

Does this post communicate anything about me? Again, not really. But what the hell.

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