the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


I’ve been feeling anxious this week.  Shaky.  Overly-emotional.  Pissed at Sophia.  Unable to work.  Frustrated at everyone on Twitter. Insulting people.

Tonight, I went on YouTube to watch some meditation videos.  I tried my best, but let’s be honest, meditation is just not me. I also found the teacher in the video rather attractive, which was distracting me.

During one of the videos, my mother walked in.  She told me about this winter hat that she saw a vendor selling on the street for five dollars.  I was not interested.

“I’m meditating!” I yelled.

She looked over my shoulder as the meditation video turned red to match the “color of the pelvic chakra.”  An Indian sitar played on the soundtrack.

“What’s going on?” she asked about the video.

“I’m not sure.  I’m trying to meditate!”

“How can you meditate if you don’t know what you’re doing?” she asked, rather logically, but still annoying

“Just leave me alone, please.  I’m trying to be peaceful.”

“Do you want me to buy you that winter hat I saw that guy selling on the street? I noticed that you don’t have a winter hat”

“Don’t buy me a winter hat. Please.”

“It’s only five dollars.  If you don’t like it, don’t wear it.”

“Can I meditate please?!”

“Go look at the hat yourself.  He has all different colors.  Scarves, too.”

After she left the room, I decided to research “meditation” on Google, to learn more about the methods of the ancient art before I watched any more useless videos.   I typed in the word, and pressed enter, and the results were all about pharmaceuticals, which is more of a modern art than ancient art.

I had accidentally typed “medication” instead of “meditation.”

I found that so amusing, that I laughed and laughed, and immediately stopped feeling anxious.


  1. slouchy

    I’ve been feeling similarly dislocated this week. But I don’t have a terrorist living across the street for an excuse.


  2. schmutzie

    Laughter? The best meditation I’ve found.
    Murder by fire? Yikes.
    Keep laughing.

  3. pgoodness

    Laughter is often the best meditation….er, medication. 🙂

  4. marsha epstein

    You are a strong writer. Like your voice and honesty. Will read more of your posts. love to hear more about your mom. dialogue was great.

  5. Vicki

    Meditation is pretty much bullshit. Best way to relax? Go for a brisk walk, preferrably with a friend, in the fall weather. My husband, in college, had a friend live at home with him for three weeks while the friend commuted to NYC. Every day, the friend would come home and take 2 Tyelonl, depending on how severe his migraine was. My mother-in-law told him to cut it out and, every time he took medicine, made him go for a 10-minute run. After a week and a half, the friend didn’t have headaches anymore. Anyway, go get some oxygen. 🙂

  6. Chris

    I’m a pajama person, so I noticed the Chakra girl’s pajamas. I like them. I’m too ancy for the video, but I hope it helped you.

    I Googled “procrastination” today and am convinced I’m very unwell. I didn’t laugh, but Chris [the other one] did.

    Damn terrorist.

  7. Trish/Astrogirl426

    I hear you, hon – Ive been feeling similarly…disjointed. Unsettled. Not comfortable in my skin. Maybe it’s the change in seasons, I don’t know. All I know is it makes for great blog postings, eh? 🙂

    As for the rest, well, it wouldn’t be Queens without someone getting knocked off. Ten bucks they were dead before the fire.

  8. Kim @ Beautiful Wreck

    Laughter is the best medicine.

    I am not good at meditation. I try and try and I just don’t get into it.

  9. Lynnster

    Neil, Neil, Neil. Twitter should be FUN and funny. There’s too much angst and un-fun stuff in everything else, Tweeting should be a way to blow off steam and have some fun – not frustrate you so.

    Hang in there.

  10. Neil

    Kim – I don’t think you can really meditate with a video. If anything, it is relaxing me because it is it putting me to sleep. But I do know a few bloggers who are into yoga who swear by this stuff.

  11. hubert

    I always feel a sense of balance and rejuvenation after few minutes of meditation.

  12. 3boys1mommy

    YOGA Neil! I had to stop because of a recent surgery and I feel as antsy as you describe.
    Look into it you may like it, if nothing else you can go look at the girls AND you’ll get to show off your feet. I know how much you like that.(weirdo)

  13. MammaLoves

    I love the Queens neighborhood news. It’s like Prairie Home Companion in the city.

  14. All Adither

    You’ve hijacked my life.

  15. sweetsalty kate

    God, I adore you. giggling.

  16. leah

    i don’t think i’ve ever met a person who knew how to meditate. i think it’s a personal thing kind of like how we have sex. no one teaches us how to have sex, we learn as we go. that’s kind of how i view meditation.

  17. Velvet Verbosity

    I can’t imagine trying to meditate with a video. You could start with a great beginner book though. Buddhism Without Beliefs was a great intro to meditation as I recall.

    If you do it regularly it really does work. As in it actually changes the architecture of your brain. True story. Look it up. Richard Davidson is a good start for google.

  18. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    I think you found the ultimate Truth when you *mistakenly* typed medication.

  19. headbang8

    Ah, so you have one of those I-have-to-talk-to-you-about-it-the-moment-it-pops-into-my-head mothers. Mine was like that, too.

    These mothers have an effect on your personality. You become anxious, shaky, overly-emotional, co-dependent, unable to concentrate and unintentionally insulting.

    Just joking. Though not entirely.

  20. Heather

    I used to go to Yoga. I couldn’t do it. I laughed the whole session. It was therapeutic for me to laugh, but evidently, I was distracting so they kicked me out.
    Did you get the hat?

  21. Finn

    Laughing is good. So is putting on your iPod and lying down for 20 minutes and just concentrating on the music and nothing else.

    And yoga’s great too.

  22. Jennifer H

    Meditation. Medication. Mediation. The list grows. 🙂

  23. Mad Madge

    medication is my meditation

  24. Annie

    Laughter is the best relaxer. Next time rent a funny DVD(if you can find one)instead. xoxo

  25. SuburbanOblivion

    A bottle of wine and a google comedy are the best medicine life has to offer 🙂

  26. SuburbanOblivion

    Good, not google. Clearly the wine should not be overdone.

  27. Mighty Hunter

    And in a flash, he was enlightened.

  28. Aunt Becky

    I don’t think I’ve ever meditated. I smash things. No seriously, I do. Buy some cheap dishes and smash the shit out of them. It works better than anything else.

  29. churlita

    Laughter has always been my favorite meditation/medication…Besides running, that is.

  30. p-huong

    oh moms….

  31. Bruce

    There is definitely a lot of questionable information on the web about meditation. I’ve been a member of a Shambhala Buddhist Group since 1992 and my life is better for it. You can check out their style of meditation at:

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