the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: organization

The Priests, the Merchants, the Fools

I’m beginning to think that in any social group or organization, every single person is necessary to paddle and steer the ship, even the ones who are the most despised.  Sure, things can get heated when various personalities get together, each with his own selfish agenda, but without the heat, there is no fire.  And without a fire for fuel, the ship just sinks.

You need the priests and professors and officials to set down rules and regulations, or else the result would be chaos and death.   These wise individuals are the ones who tend to officially speak for the others in interviews and get quoted at conferences.   They must be strong souls or run the danger of being corrupted by power.

There is the bourgeoisie class, sometimes mocked by the intellectuals as philistines who are only interested in materialism and baby product giveaways.  But, these individuals are the central core of every organization, the ones who build our homes, raise our families, and provide us with blog traffic.

And then there are the court jesters, the rabble-rousers, the anarchists, many of them bitter and destructive, committing mutiny, while others play an important role of changing the landscape, of sailing out into the sea when common wisdom says that the earth is flat.  These characters either become the most famous or die penniless.

The priests, the merchants, the fools.  Land ho!

Be the Felix to my Oscar


Is there anyone out there who is excellent at managing their life? Do you effectively juggle work, family, romance, blogging, hobbies, writing, friends, and keeping up with “Dancing with the Stars?”

I need to talk with you.

How do you do it? Do you use any tools to keep yourself organized? Do you keep all your tasks on an online manager? Do you actually FOLLOW it? Have you ever tried working at home — and were actually productive? Why is cleaning the house such a drag? Do people with cleaning women have happier lives? Have you ever missed appointments to your therapist? Should I just drop Facebook completely since it is a time-killer? Have you ever been forced to masturbate using a timer because it wasn’t “slotted” into your daily schedule on Outlook?

I’m serious. I’m somewhat of an organizational mess. I know it looks like I’m a “together” type of guy because I blog frequently, but it is all a facade. I’m embarrassed to show you what my desk looks like. (Sadly, Sophia is not much better as an organizer. We stare at mounds of laundry together for entertainment at night)

My therapist is terrific, but so far, she is only good for helping me “understand” myself. When I asked her how I’m supposed to “change” just through understanding, she said that therapy isn’t supposed to be quick. She said that if I really wanted a quick-fix, I should turn to the internet instead.

So, that’s what I am doing.

Can someone be the Felix Unger to my Oscar Madison, and tell me how you keep your life organized and productive?

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: I Sing, I Dance, But Dooce is Still Funnier

Mark Your Calendars


My father was super-organized — actually very anal. I wasn’t crazy about this part of his personality. I found it rigid. When September would arrive, he would arrange his “Fall-Winter Season” to a T, knowing exactly what he was doing every weekend until April hit, when he would start his new season. He subscribed to several theaters, so he knew he had show tickets ahead of time. If we went on a trip, he bought the tickets months ago.

I rebelled and became an unorganized mess. Now that I’m older, I can finally see some good in his organizational skills. By planning early, he avoided much of the hair-pulling later on. What he sacrificed in spontaneity, he gained in actually getting things done.

The upcoming Holiday season is an important one here on Citizen of the Month. There are some traditions that have become as important to me as making out with non-Jewish girls under the Christmas mistletoe. The holidays take planning, so I would like to conjure up the spirit of my father for help.

Neilochka’s Father (from heaven) : What do you need, Neil?

Neilochka: Hi, Dad. What’s up?

Neilochka’s Father: Not much. Working.

Neilochka: You’re working in heaven?

Neilochka’s Father: Someone has to organize God’s calendar. You’d think for God he would have a better planning system. No wonder why the world is so screwed up.

Neilochka: Good luck with that.

Neilochka’s Father: I hear you want to arrange your “Fall-Winter Blogging Season?”

Neilochka: Right.

Neilochka’s Father: Well, these events require your reader’s participation, so you should get their feedback first, just to make sure that you have enough people on board.

Neilochka: Good idea. I have no problem dropping a holiday tradition here on Citizen of the Month or starting another one.

Neilochka’s Father: Could you hold on a minute, please!

Neilochka: Sure.

Neilochka’s Father: No, not you, Neil. God. He is the most impatient God I’ve ever met.

This is what we came up with:

Tentative Fall-Winter Blogging Season on Citizen of the Month

(feel free to participate or not — or tell me if the idea sucks or if Facebook now does it better)

November 21, 2007The THIRD Annual “Thank Your First Commenter Day”

What is Thanksgiving? Turkey, stuffing, family, and saying thank you — to your FIRST commenter on your blog. This year, I’m going to be saying thank you to my third commenter.

Read more about Thank Your First Commenter Day here and here. Does it still sound good to you?

December 4th, 2007The FIRST Annual Blogger Arts and Crafts Show

I just had this idea today. I know a lot of you sell your artwork, photography, and crafts online at Etsy or Cafepress. What about an art show where you can each submit a sample of your work to me — and then we all can see how talented you are? I thought the first week of December would be a good time, because maybe someone will follow the link and buy a Holiday gift from your store. I require no commission for having this hip art show. Your only payment for entering the show is that you email with a note saying that the photo of me in that hat from yesterday’s post is “truly HOT.” Oh, and wear black. Virtual cheese and wine will be served.

December 20, 2007The SECOND Annual Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Holiday Concert

This was a major success last year. You can still hear some of the beautiful performances from last year online. Can we get new bloggers to perform this year? Will there be more videos this year? Can we top ourselves? Will we get a song for Kwanzaa this year?

Read more about the Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Holiday Concert here and here.

February 14, 2008The SECOND Annual Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline

This was a big disappointment, a sophomore slump, despite the good intentions. Some of us spent all day online, waiting to help the lovelorn, but few felt comfortable enough getting Valentine’s love from a stranger. I probably should drop this one from the schedule, but you know what — I’m a ROMANTIC — and this concept will be reworked and retooled by February. I believe everybody online should get a little lovin’ on Valentine’s Day even if you are unattached (and none of that bullshit about “I love myself.”)

Read more about The Valentine’s Day Emergency Hotline here.

March 7, 2008The SECOND Annual Blog Appreciation Day

I totally blew this one off this year. It was supposed to be back in August, but I just wasn’t in the mood. Instead, this will be the capper of the Fall/Winter season I don’t need anyone to participate in this event other than me, as I will take photos of your blogs on my computer from home — in appreciation, and to prove to you that I actually read your blog… well, at least that once. I chose my birthday for symbolic reasons — this year, I will celebrate you!

Read more about Blog Appreciation Day here and here.

Any suggestions on any of this? Should I drop something from the calendar? Should I actually start writing real posts again?

Oh, and yes, I am still commenting like I promised a few days ago. I will get there.

And, Sophia, I promise, this is the last blogging post of the week.

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