10.03.2008

A Very Martini Toast: Citizen of the Month



For me to be offering a toast to Neil Kramer, writer in Los Angeles and, more importantly, author of Citizen of the Month is sort of like a little league coach encouraging Manny Ramirez by saying, "Way to watch the ball, son." It's sweet, but not really much of a compliment. Most of you already read Neil's blog. It isn't as if I'm pointing out an unknown treasure in the blog world. Still, I can't help myself.

When it comes to being a constituent of the blog world, Neil is role model. His successful idea, "The Great Interview Experiment," where bloggers interview other bloggers, began in January and, to this day, continues, having probably outlived some of the sites that participated. It is also how I first came to know Citizen of the Month. What keeps me coming back is Neil's crisp writing style and even crisper imagination. He's a master of schtick, making it difficult for me to separate his reality from fantasy.

Sometimes, readers can tell. But often, like Pinocchio's ever-expanding nose, Neil takes kernels of truth--elements of his own life--and exaggerates them into something else--skillful works of satire and farce. Whether it is his mother, therapy, politics, the blog world, the complicated relationship and separation from his wife Sophia, or himself, Neil turns heartfelt emotion into delightfully wicked tales. But despite his efforts to mask with humor, Neil can't help but reveal both his pain and happiness. After reading Citizen of the Month long enough, readers feel as though they personally know the man--another reason it enjoys success.

I never thought I'd frequent a site which sometimes features a talking penis and requests for female readers to mail their bras to the blogger, but I do. Neil's self-deprecating humor mostly endears me. Other times, I find him infuriating, maddening, silly, puzzling, touching, insightful, and just plain crazy. But then again, this is how I find most intriguing people.

Three cheers and A Very Martini Toast to Neil at Citizen of the Month. Good eye, son. Way to watch the ball!

7 comments:

ms chica said...

Very nice. Maybe I should learn to take penises more seriously.

kenju said...

I agree with your toast and I raise my glass. I read him every day, whether I leave a comment or not.

Sizzle said...

Neil's the best. And also very tall in real life. ;-)

Dan-E said...

neil is great. i read him all the time.

and give yourself a little more credit: you're more than a little league coach. at worst you're a utility infielder on a big league team.

amy turn sharp of doobleh-vay said...

I love that guy! I think he is fabulous! A real gem! good pick! xo

Ron said...

Hi Diane!

Hey...I've never visited this guys' blog, but from your review here...it sounds like something I would totally enjoy!

I'll be checking it out sometime this weekend.

Thanks a bunch.

And a very well written review, Diane!

Enjoy your weekend!

Neil said...

Thank you, Diane! You are too kind.