the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Eureka! I Understand My Blog!

I’ve given a lot of thought to that post I wrote earlier this week about the incident in the car, as well as read several of the very personal posts by other bloggers on related themes. This week was the weirdest blogging week EVAH for me! All sorts of people came to my blog, including strangers and drive-by commenters who will never return. If I didn’t get back to you, it is because I was overwhelmed. Thanks for all the emails, etc. — even the crazy ones.

In a good way, this is what blogging is all about (or at least what it used to be about before it became about giveaways, self-promotion, and social media) — sharing personal stories. All the other stuff – at least in my heart – doesn’t even deserve to be called blogging. Whenever I see a list of blogs that “I need to read,” I immediately know that I don’t need to read them.

Now back to ME, because that is what this blog is about, right?

Someone sent me an email, forgiving me for this event, writing that “You am clearly not the same person as you were back then.”

This gave me a slight chuckle. Despite the attempts at literary semiotic brain-washing that were attempted in my Contemporary Civilizations college seminar at Columbia, I AM THE SAME PERSON — in more ways than you know — as I was in high school. I’m just not in high school anymore.

And frankly, I wasn’t a trouble-maker in high school who was later reformed. I was the most polite, overly-sensitive, liberal-oriented person imaginable, who used to send letters to the Prime Minister of Japan to stop killing whales!

After I read this email, I had a “Eureka” moment, less about my days in high school, than about my own blog — in the present. For five years, I have been complaining about my blog, saying that it was formless, and without a theme. I have been jealous of your niche blogs, particularly those that revolved around parenting. Bu sometimes, things are so obvious that you don’t see them until the hammer falls on your head. I HAVE had a theme… right from the first day…

I don’t exactly remember why I named this blog “Citizen of the Month.” Something about my self-image. In elementary school, I was nominated as Citizen of the Month more times than the Yankees won the World Series. Even the icon I chose in the header is a boy scout-ish boy. This is how I see myself. My political-oriented posts tend to be about gay rights and women’s issues. I run community-oriented events like the interview experiment and the holiday concert. I write a lot about my MOTHER! Yes, I even love my mother!

But if you really look through my archives, what do you also see? Exactly. A whole lot of posts about f**king women! Aggressive conversations with my testy, demanding, over-educated cock! Fantasies about waitresses in Colombian diners. Sex thoughts about Jewish women, black women, Asian women — my liberal ideology spills over into my crazy imaginary sex life — I am a multi-ethnic, uni-faith sex machine!

Why didn’t I see this before? This HAS BEEN MY THEME. I am a Citizen of the Month, but about a do-good boy who wants to help a woman carry her packages across the street, and then politely ask to see her naked!

You realize that I am joking. And not joking.

I’m not sure I’ll continue on with this theme forever — it is getting old — but it feels good to be able to sit back and finally get when is going inside my head. You are mommybloggers. Or you write about social media. Or you write about depression. For five years, I have been writing to a mostly female audience about my internal conflict between my boy scout-ish, respectful Citizen of the Month world view, and my love of p*ssy.

Welcome to my world. Now I can finally write the book!


  1. Nancy

    Well, I’m glad you finally figured out what most of us already knew.

    It’s always about the p*ssy, Neil. Always.

  2. Marie

    Like all people who think too much, Neil, you think too much.

    And why didn’t you ask me what your blog was about, ’cause I would have told you. Of course, I would have told you that it was about and your literary overly sensitive liberal sex-obssessed self, so maybe it’s better that you made that Journey of Discovery yourself.

    More importantly, do not envy the Mommy Bloggers. Sure, it’s nice to have a niche, an easy source of material, but I enjoy reading about your mother and your neuroses and your crazy no-underwear experiments (well, that last one not as *much*). Frankly, especially now that my children are older, I’m a little tired of all the cuteness and complaining of the Mommy Bloggers. Been there, done that and tired of even hearing myself talk about it.

    So, carry on, Citizen of the Month. Carry on.

  3. Heather

    Well, duh. πŸ˜‰ Onward!

  4. MIMI

    I came in from my reader to say exactly what Marie has already said so well.

    I find your blog much more fascinating than most famous mommybloggers (and I’m the mom of a 7 yr old) and have stopped following many of them during the two years I’ve been reading you.

    I think it is very brave of you to let us see many facets of yourself. I think you have a distinct although not easily definable voice. Keep doing what you’ve been doing, writing what is on your mind.

  5. Jenny

    This *SO* supports my thinking behind my comment on that car incident post.

    YOU ARE A MAN. Wake up and smell the Sanka brewing. I’m NOT just being sexist or stereotypical when I say that – I think men all “struggle” (or don’t struggle) with this bipolarism.
    That’s what makes them human…or at least men. πŸ™‚
    Glad you’ve had a break-through moment in your own personal blogiverse.
    But enough about you…let’s talk about me. πŸ™‚ hee hee!

  6. Unfinished Rambler

    I’ll be the first in line to get your book signed by you when it comes out. I can’t wait. No, really. If nothing else, you’re honest with who you are…of course, you could be lying. What do I know? You could be a Christian conservative fundie posing as a Jewish liberal. If you are, keep up the good work. πŸ™‚

  7. Kelly

    “It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better… while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.” – Woody Allen

    From the silent minority: one of your male, boyscout (*eagle-scout actually), mother loving, p$ssy loving, tortured, not depressed, not a mommyblogger, get beat up in junior high, ‘fans’, – ‘thank you’ for that.

  8. middle-aged-woman

    Neil Revealed.

  9. iamthediva

    Well done, you!
    i wish i knew what mine was about… maybe i need to write more about pussy?

  10. iamthediva

    ..wait, should i have bleeped out the U is Pussy??

  11. iamthediva

    AH! i did it again!! :O

  12. V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios

    So what’s the book title going to be:

    “Nice, Nasty, and Neurotic: The story of how I dominated the blogosphere, friended hundreds of women, and still failed to get laid.”

  13. Alesia

    My son, who turns nine tomorrow, also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Japan begging him to stop killing the whales. I’ve seen the future. Oh, god…

  14. furiousball

    wait a damn minute… if i’m a mommyblogger… where the hell are my boobs? if i’m a mommmy of any sort (blog or not), i demand boobs. now. damn it.

  15. always home and uncool

    This means that in August that right after the BlogHer sessions on finding our mommyblogging tribes that you and me are hitting the strip clubs, right?

    Carry on, Neil.

  16. Vicki

    It really surprises me that you think that you don’t have a theme. I always worry about not having a niche for my blog, as well. I was just thinking about bloggers I admire the other night and you came up as one of them because of the consistency of your tone of voice and the topics that you blog about all revolve around a central core: yourself, your world, the “characters” that populate it: your mom, Sophia, old high school friends, the inner workings of your head, and you tie it all together with a bow. But maybe it doesn’t come across to you like that because you are in the middle of all of it.

  17. Otir

    This “Incident in the Car” saga has surely been an interesting and inspiring one.

    I have been fascinated by it, wanting to not jump in the reactions to it because I enjoyed watching it from the “outside”, as it was such a good example of what the blogosphere can be, can do and bring to individuals and groups.

    I have always envied bloggers who are able to bring their talent to serve their self, the very same way any good actor would be able to use their art to not only bring emotions to the public viewing their act, but also grow from their art and passion.

    I feel like I am keeping myself really far from that, as if it was dangerous because it implies you have to expose yourself, your vulnerabilities, your wounds, and you have to take risks, tremendous risks.

    After all, I think that there are much more similarities between blogging and acting than between blogging and writing (a book). Maybe I am wrong, I have never read any book from a blogger so I can’t really sustain this intuition, and maybe I am just talking about what I am doing with my own way of being in the blogosphere, putting an act, accepting roles and interpreting them the best I can to please a certain known public, etc.

  18. mckay

    ditto on the Duh.

    nancy: LOL
    vgrrrl: LOL

    neil, your theme has been apparent to us all, and that’s why you’ve collected such a wonderful following of savvy non-uptight women who all know that if there IS a Gspot, it’s our brain.

  19. abbersnail

    This made me laugh. Good for you! I always love those moments when I can say to myself, “No shit, Sherlock.”

  20. Juli Ryan

    Vgrrrl: LOL

    Neil, I’m happy you found your sense of humour. Over the last year, I have been thinking about this theme a lot. So much so that I have these two quotes on my Facebook profile:

    “I never change, I simply become more myself.” Ò€” Joyce Carol Oates

    “We are always the same age inside.” Ò€”Gertrude Stein

  21. schmutzie

    You finally figured it out! Excellent.

  22. Neil

    V-grrrl – but now you know how the book ends. 600 pages later.

  23. Danny

    I’m glad that you finally found your niche! And I’m especially glad that you seem to be back to your old blogging self after the craziness of Cargate. I’ve always wondered how you became the darling of the mommybloggers. How did that happen? How did they all find your site? (I guess I shouldn’t be grouping them together like that as one entity–especially since even though I’m a 50-year-old male I feel just like a mommyblogger these days!)

  24. Deidre

    I am so glad you figured it out, Neil. A well deserved Eureka Moment.

  25. Michele

    Fly that freak flag, friend. Plus, I wasn’t kidding about leopard. For the record.

  26. mamatulip

    Two thumbs up.

  27. caron

    Eureka = “green flash”?

  28. Evan

    Yay again Neal. I like your emphasizing that you haven’t changed that much and not apologizing for revealing that sex is disruptive, unfathomable and upsetting and thereby disrupting and upsetting some readers. It reminds me of an analyst I know who said he got very uncomfortable when he was being idealized – he didn’t want to lose the reality of feeling that in some ways he always felt like a damaged person. But he likes to say, damaged people can do a lot of good anyway.

  29. Jack

    V-grrrl Γ’β‚¬β€œ but now you know how the book ends. 600 pages later.

    Sounds like you have a great pick up line in the wings. Something about them helping to change history.

    Ok, maybe not so good, but words are what you make of them.

  30. headbang8

    You’re Alexander Portnoy. With a nicer mother.

  31. Heather

    I’m with FuriousGirl

  32. Heather

    I mean FuriousBall—my apologies for messing up your name. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. Dang it.

  33. slouchy

    This is getting very Philip Roth.

  34. The Breeders' Digest

    It seems Woody Allen made millions off of similar themes, so fame and fortune should be *right* around the corner πŸ˜‰
    Just don’t have an affair with/marry your wife’s adopted, foreign-born daughter and your neuroses are cool with this reader.

  35. Emily

    Nothin’ like a little self-awareness.

  36. kris

    Wait. What’s this “Incident in the Car” post you’re talking about? Hadn’t heard anything about it.

  37. flutter

    blogging about blogging is STRICTLY verboten.

  38. EarnestGirl

    You have confused/vexed this earnest reader for these very reasons. But then, so has Woody Allen and I am still, warily, watching his movies.

  39. apathy lounge

    Neil, it is I who am jealous of your blog. Sure, I have kids…but I don’t blog about their exploits the way I could. You’re so freaking honest and I admire that. I used to think that I was pretty open and up front in my writing, but I see now that I’m not. I hold back a lot. And now that my parents know about my blog? I hold back even more. You are loved and respected…even by those (like me) who only drive by occasionally. You make me laugh and you make me think.

  40. Elizabeth (@claritychaos)

    Still chuckling at V-Grrrl’s book title.

    (p.s. niches are overrated anyway.)

  41. kelly

    Did you feel a little *ping* in your soul when you realized this? I’m jealous, I’ll never figure out what the hell my blog is about. It gives me a freaking headache half the time.

  42. slynnro

    Um, this post bothers me even more than the first one which REALLY BOTHERED ME. I don’t know you, but I don’t think you are an evil guy. But I still don’t think you get how you made that girl feel, and that that may well be something that she still remembers and still feels violated by. You making it blog fodder just confirms that. And the fact that you are making light of the whole ordeal here also illustrates that.

  43. Neil

    Slynnro – I understand where you are coming from, and if I was on the other side of the screen, I might feel the exact same way as you, but what am I supposed to do? I have to move on at some point. This girl is now a successful woman and mother. I understand how I made that girl feel. It’s also about #344 on my list of things I am worrying about right now. You might have read it two days ago, but to me it happened — over twenty years ago.

    Humor is healing. Feel free to read some of my other five years of posts. I think you might enjoy some of them! That way, you could “know me” better, if you choose. It is difficult to get to know someone on Twitter.

    My name is Neil. I have been blogging since 2005. I think we have some common friends. I’ve read a couple of your posts. Have you ever read any of my posts before or is this your first time here? Not exactly a great introduction with that post!

  44. Supa Dupa Fresh

    Amen. A man!



  45. Sarcastica

    It all makes sense now πŸ˜‰ actually, I’ve always known this, and wasn’t in uproar over that thing that happened. (In fact, I’m KINDA catching up now, what with moving and not having the internet etc). But I’m glad you understand your blog now! If only I could understand mine πŸ˜›

  46. MQ

    Your ambivalence about women (intense attraction mixed with insecurity and fear…the insecurity is in part fed by the intensity of the attraction) has always been evident all over this blog. E.g. your marriage — I think one of the things that keeps you in it is insecurity about whether you can find another woman should you divorce. Plus the way you’ve sort of specialized in building up a female readership through the whole BlogHer community.

    I think a lot of men have that kind of ambivalence, especially when we’re young, but by middle age one should be getting over it.

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