Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEARS! Now get back to work!

I am always happy when it is time for New Year's eve. I am always sick and tired of
the one that is just about to pass. Ready to move on. Start over. A clean slate. Every year I make all kinds of ambitious promises. I am going to run a marathon. This is the year that I finally lose some weight. I want to finally make my first million dollars this year. This year my career will finally take off like a rocket ship and I am finally going to get somewhere.This is the year that I will finally fulfill my life long dreams...
You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now and not put so much pressure on myself to accomplish anything new just because the date has changed on the calender.
Well...I guess I am a very slow learner because I right now am finding myself heading down the same old path again. 2009 will be mine!

Hey, the way I see it, what would be the point of just setting realistic and obtainable goals anyway, when I am just going to wind up disappointed if that is all that I m going to end up getting. Here is to setting the bar unbelievably high, and accomplishing something or another!

Have a great New Year.
I think that for most of us we're not really going to hate seeing this past year finally come to an end.

Love Daivd

Sunday, December 28, 2008

FACEBOOK rules

Facebook is a really strange thing. Or is that place? I can't figure that out either.
There are some things that I just love about it, like looking up people like Bianca Jagger and trying to hook up with her friends. I mean, I haven't had that kind of a chance at social advancement since they closed down Studio 54.
But then the other day I managed to invite everyone who is on my email list to join and become a member with me which was a completely embarrassing mistake. I felt totally stupid and humiliated when that message went out. But here is something strange that happened to me just a day or so later. I got invited to be a Facebook pal by some guy who never responds to my emails and invitations for things like studio visits, ever. So what should I have thought? That he was as stupid as I am and just sent me an invite by mistake? Or he was sending me an invite to see if I would respond and maybe find out what kind of a jerk that I am? Maybe I was over thinking this whole thing, so I responded that I was happy to be his friend. I don't think he is suddenly going to start behaving like a real human being anytime soon just because I was being polite. But I thought I would at least try to act civilized anyway, even if it won't get me anywhere except for now being associated with this clown when someone starts checking in to see who I am really friends with.
DK

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chrismas Break DOwn

Today Christmas went from normal and routine to strange and funny.
As usual on Christmas Eve/ Day, we spent the night at my in-laws. We all woke up this morning and were driven downstairs by my son. He tore though his gifts and was busily playing with them. We had some breakfast but were waiting around from my wife's cousins to show up with their kids to have Christmas dinner and spend the afternoon together. That is when the day took a turn. We got a call that they had had some sort of car trouble with there van and were sitting in an Applebee's parking lot on Sunrise Highway. They had a flat and couldn't get the spare off the back of the van. So me and my father-in-law got into his truck and drove out there. I suggested we bring a whole bunch of tools, but my father-in-law trumped me as he really does know something about cars and took just One socket wrench with One fitting and One pry bar and a can of WD-40. He was an expert even though we had no idea what the trouble was going to be...
Anyway we got out there almost immediately someone broke one of the bolts and we all knew what the solution was. We had to just break off the other bolt that held the tire on there. And so my wife's cousin and my father-in-law and me all started taking turns smashing the bolt with hammers and pry-bars trying to get the rusty bolt
to snap.
Then my cousin's kid got out of the van and he took his turn suggesting how to get this done and had his turn swinging the hammer.
My father-in-law took off with his niece and brought back more tools and all the men kept standing in each others' way, each one of us wanting to be THE ONE to get the damn bolt to snap. Never mind if there was a better solution...It seemed to become more important that each of us get to be the hero of the moment than any of us working together.
We finally figured out how to get the entire tire rack off the back of the van and drove it back to my in-laws' house. Another cousin had shown up by then and more arguments and pushing out of the way occurred until I finally found a grinder and started trying to cut the bolts. My wife and my mother-in-law both came out and started telling me to use safety goggles and I just ignored them as I saw my chance at being the one to get this finished. Anyway- I lost control of the project and it all went round and round a few more times and finally I can not remember who finally cut through the bolt and freed the tire but that is purely because of selective memory
as I learned just how important it is for a bunch of men to be the leader and savior on a project. It doesn't even matter if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing, what is important is being the one to fix the problem.Meanwhile all of the women in the family all went upstairs to my in-laws bed and lay there relaxing and talking and taking naps and I began to realize that it really is kind of tragic here in our family that none of this generation that I am part of could see to it to bring any grand daughters into this family. Sooner or later it becomes more and more obvious that that is what we are going to be missing.

DK

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

January2/2009



I am having an exhibition at
Pierogi 2000

177 N9th Street, Brooklyn (just off the Bedford L stop)
that will open on Friday January 2, 2009
7-9 pm.

SNAKE OIL
recent
Drawings and Sculptures
by David Kramer


Link: http://pierogi2000.com/flatfile/kramerd.html

I hope that you all can make it!
It will be a fun way to start off the new year...
DK

Monday, December 22, 2008

installation shot





installed for eyewash@artwalking
LIQUOR STORE window Tarnjanowski Liquors,
Bedford Ave, Brooklyn. 2008

NYTimes.com

Hi.
I have another installment in the NYTimes.com opinion section in a series that they
are calling Proof.
here's a link:
http://proof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/buybacks/

I hope you will take a look. Thanks and I hope you have a great holiday!

All the best,
David

Sunday, December 21, 2008

YuleLOG


I am not going to bore anyone with the shopworn talk of what Jews do on Christmas. We've all heard the stories of us going out for Chinese food. Or of us as high school kids doing doughnuts
around the empty parking lots of shopping malls, and how sad and lonely it was for us as we have to suffer through horrible TV programing that included choruses and Yule Logs instead of shows that could make the evening pass more quickly. I will not go down that path here.And even though I have been invited in to share in the Christmas miracle with my wife and her family, I still feel like an outsider. But I will say that as much as I have become an adjunct member of a Christmas celebration at my in-laws home and have gotten to witness the shear joy in my son's and my nephew's faces as they tear through the gift wrap, I have managed to carve out a new Christmas tradition in the role of spoil sport. My identity crisis has not prevented me from fully embracing the Christmas spirit. I may have been jaded and ruined by my upbringing as far as Christmas goes but I am proud and happy about that part of my heritage.
SO
In our family we have adopted a tradition that I have pioneered and feel has provided me with a fantastic cheap laugh that has made the holiday totally bearable. NO it is not starting to drink as soon as I wake up...although that would not have been a bad idea.
Sometime along the way I started to tell my son the true tradition of Santa Claus was that he, the Jolly One, is always on the lookout for the good kids, so that he can give them their proper Xmas gifts: Sharp Pencils, New Socks, Paper for their note books for school...Things that good kids would love to find under the Ole Christmas Tree. My son finds this to be total bull. He's not stupid... Then I tell him that the really terrible kids gets Santa's underpants.

I know it is stupid but like I said, I was raised to feel alienated by Christmas.
And all the Christmas Carols and yuletide in the world doesn't seem to have the right kind of effect on me to change things.
DK


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAunpaO6XE0
Check this out for more Giant Underpants Jokes...DK

Saturday, December 20, 2008




MACY'S The Past 3 years...still looking for 2004 -5

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something to Believe In.

Here is another funny story about my kid...then I promise that I will stop.
My son is about 8 years old and he still believes in Santa Claus. I do not know where he gets this from as we are Jews and really do spend too much time celebrating Christmas. Sure, there is a tree out at his grandmother's house, that much is true. But once when my son asked me where people came from, as in the origin of life, I tried to give him the whole creation spin because I thought it would make an easier story to tell, and he literally shot me down. "What about the monkeys dad?" Obviously we had spent way too much time over at the Museum of Natural History here in NYC, and not enough going to synagogue.

Anyway, my son totally believes in Santa and every year he writes him letters and goes up to Macy's and gives it to him. One time he asked Santa for a robot. A robot! I didn't really take this stuff too seriously, but then one day after that I picked him up from school and he was walking ahead of me with a friend. His friend told my son that "That wasn't the real Santa over at Macy's!" The real one was up at the North Pole or something like that. My son was frozen in disbelief and then he started crying.
It was heart breaking. So I got my son home and dropped him off with his mom, and I ran out and looked all over town for a robot until I luckily stuck my head into a Radio Shack and bought one. It was like a hundred bucks but it was totally worth it.

Hey, I don't really give a shit about Santa Claus. But the way I see it, my son has a whole life time of disappointment to look forward to. Unfortunately that comes with the territory. But I still had it within my power to put all that pain off, at least for a Christmas or two.
DK

OFFintoTHEsunset



Here is a painting...
Untitled (Off Into The Sunset...)2008 OIL ON CANVAS + Light Fixture approx 65" x 50"
Full of optimism and satire all at the same moment...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

SpecialLoveFeelings

I had this totally funny conversation with my son today.
Let me preface the story by saying that my son is not always very good at accepting change. If we so much as throw away a pillow case, because it is threadbare, he can at times cry and beg for it to come back...That said, when I got sick over the summer and my liver was giving me trouble, my son was pretty freaked out. He was afraid that I might die. He had reason to be worried as I had never been so sick in either of our lifetimes. Obviously he never complained when I had to give up lots of things for the health of my liver. I quit smoking once and for all, and drinking coffee. I stopped eating meat and of course all the alcohol. My son never objected to this of course, but he also barely acknowledged this too.

Today I bought my kid a hot dog on the street. He told me that he loved meat so much and if it weren't for all the animals that had to get killed, he would eat meat all the time. Meat, he said, was one of his favorite things in the world. Then he said he wished that I would start eating meat again. And drinking coffee. He said he really missed the old me that used to be so much fun and funny when I was drinking coffee.
He said I was always good to be around when I had some coffee.
So I asked him if he missed anything else. Beer, he said. He actually said he missed my beer drinking and missed when I used to drink beer all the time and be really fat...Apparently I was a lot of fun for him back then, too.

Well listen. I know better than all that and I am taking my son's comments for exactly what they are worth. I am not running out to get a pack a cigarettes anytime soon to see if there is any magic left there too. But it did give me a remarkable moment of satisfaction and solace. I mean since I've stopped drinking I keep on telling myself that I was a pretty good drunk. It helps me to romanticize these things as I try to move on. I was just really happy to hear that my son can romanticize this part of my old life too. It really means a lot to me to not to have to look back all the time and regret. I keep on telling myself that even my bad ideas and actions seemed like good ones, at least at the time that I thought of them. Now I get to move forward pretty gracefully, at least as far as he is concerned.
DK

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DRINKINGdownTHEmedicine

I don't mean to look a gift house in the mouth,but I have had some serious issues since I was lucky enough to get to contribute to the NYTimes.com.
I mean, sure it has been really great to go from having an average of like 40 people read my blog to something like 8 or 9 hundred for a couple of days, but I still wonder if this was all worth it. First of all, I am used to blogging by now, and that is what I was told that I would be doing over there. You know, you write something down and keep going until the idea bares fruit and then you push the PUBLISH BUTTON, and boom! You are done. At NYTimes, they actually edit what I wrote. They have people who come back and ask questions. They want facts, or for me to elaborate. The sad truth is I hardly even proof read once before I click...
I tend to think that what I do as a writer is supposed to be fun or spontaneous. But OK. It is a newspaper. There is a certain amount of news that they expect. So I can live with that.
But then there were the comments. Boy I thought I had much thicker skin than I obviously do because I was really taken a back by what I got. I mean from the cabal of AA memebers who either wanted me to join a meeting or just assumed that I go, to the people who actually belittle my efforts as an artist and my stupidity for writing that there is no difference between a shrink and a psychic (DUH! That was Fun-ny you moron) to the positive folks who thanked me for saving their lives that day...Whoa. I am not really ready for all of this. And look, I know that I send out my blog and push the little button and it feels good. I already admitted that. But I don't rip people up and then push SEND. Have a little self editing and empathy for christ's sake. I mean the Times demands that I use an editor, why not ask others to do a little homework, too.

ANyway- I am done complaining here. I just needed to vent and I am sorry for taking advantage of anyone who has actually read all of this. It was cathartic. And I am really trying to be humorous and entertaining. Whether I write about alcohol or anything, that is what I am trying to do. I am just trying to find something to hang onto, to find that glimmer of hope or joy; to keep life feeling a little bit romantic. That is all. I wish people didn't take stuff so seriously.
Just wait until they see the next installment for the NYTimes...If I don't watch out, there is going to a candlelight vigil outside my window held by the AA local. I mean, I really liked drinking. It was fun. I guess I was lucky enough not to cause any real harm before I moved on. That's just the way I feel.
DK

Sunday, December 14, 2008

HolidaySpirits

I was invited to a couple of holiday parties this weekend, and managed to go to them without getting completely fucked up, which had been normal operating procedure for holiday parties every year before. I don't really miss the drinking but all I can say is that I seem to nervously down seltzer a these things like I am filling a swimming pool. I can say now, that in the old days I would probably drink just as much beer and Scotch, at least. And now that I am aware of how much quantity that I am putting away, I am kind of surprised that the Beer Industry isn't looking for a bailout package from Washington, too.
My wife got invited to a party thrown by a gay couple who where both men named Mitch, and I went along for the ride, so to speak...It was a fun party that slowly built up into a regular tea-dance that became so crowded by the time that we left that I almost got sweated on by the two shirtless guys wearing leather storm trouper outfits topped off with Santa hats. I was thinking about the shirtless storm trouper guys and how there always seems to be at least someone dressed in this attire, walking around my neighborhood, Chelsea, every night of the week. We live in Chelsea, and this had been the standard outfit since probably before I was even born 40 some-odd years ago.

I was reminded of a story...We moved into Chelsea back in the early 1990's and the neighborhood was certainly different back then as my wife and I felt like we stood out in a heavily gay neighborhood. This was long before the Buy Buy Baby moved in and Breeders like us felt safe to walk the streets. I used to joke with my wife back then that I was going to slip on my spandex shorts and go roller-blading shirtless with a Walkman strapped to my ass, and the image gave both of us a side splitting laugh at this image of me.
Anyway- my wife had this friend of hers from high school who is a Union Electrician. He grew up on Long Island and still, to this day, lives in the town were he grew up. He used to have to come to my neighborhood every so often, as for some reason the Electrican's Union held there monthly meetings in the Fashion High School across the street. I was talking to him one day out on Long Island and describing to him how my neighborhood was great, and by-the-way, overwhelmingly gay.
He said he had never noticed. But then this light bulb went off...
"Ohhhh. I just used to think that it was strange how some many of the men walking around seemed unusually fit!" He kept on trying to figure out were the really good gym was.
DK

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Addicted to love

I love drinking beer. It makes me smarter, funnier, sexier, and I think I am actually even better in bed.
Well, I think that the very first part of the last sentence is true. At least it used to be. These days, not so much.
I haven't even tried to drink in quite some time, and I don't miss it. I also gave up on coffee, which made me a better writer and more awake. And I am not eating meat anymore. Which used to make me really strong. And I think, also better in bed.
Drugs...Those are gone too.
But the thing that I gave up that I miss the most is smoking. God! How I loved to smoke. Smoking really was the gift
from the gods that once made me feel whole. I was never lonely or long on any kind of writer's block or depression when a half full pack of cigarettes was within reach. I loved the smell of cigarettes and the way that they made me fell warm when it was freezing outside. I loved the way that they put the finishing touches on a great meal or were the perfect length to pause and look and wait before going back to business on whatever thing I was doing, thus making that whatever thing that I was doing seem important. Sometimes, these days, I find myself looking up and staring at that space near the ceiling and thinking a sigh, and then I notice, my fingers... The two fingers are pointing out there with the thumb close behind, grasping for the missing cigarette like a phantom limb.
I was talking to a friend about cigarettes the other day. He had quit for over a month recently, but found that he just felt sad all the time and had to go back to his first love. I couldn't blame him and in fact I was jealous. I would have, in the past, almost automatically , upon hanging up the phone, put on my shoes and a jacket and gone out into the cold night for a pack of cigarettes in another part of my life, and joined him in spirit. But no. I can't do that anymore. To me, cigarettes at the thing that will bring down this house of cards that I have built. I mean, I am not a weak person, I am just someone who likes to finish what I started. Once I open that can of worms, well it won't be long before I am adding on the coffee. Then the chocolates. Steak won't be far behind, followed by anything made of pork that I can get down in Chinatown. And sure, bourbon goes great with cigarettes as I remember....and then finally beer and drugs and I will be back were I started killing myself with all the things that I love.
Not a bad way to go, I would argue. But I am not ready for the early exit. At least if I can help it.
DK

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

http://proof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/self-inflicted-prophecy/

http://proof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/self-inflicted-prophecy/

Please check it out.
Thanks.
DK

Everyman Detective


Years ago I was flying to LA. It was an early morning flight and I was traveling with my wife and young son.
It was the first week of September 2001 and I remember going out to Newark Airport to get the first flight of the day and cruising through security because all of the guards there seemed half asleep. I remember joking with my wife that if you ever wanted to try to smuggle drugs, all you needed was a baby. We walked through the metal detectors, pushing our sleeping son in his stroller. They waved us right through, waving the magic wand over the stroller..."Keep Moving." Anyway, I am not saying that I was ahead of the curve by any standards. I handled any of these insights with about as much attention to detail as the Bush Administration was doing at that exact same moment.
Ignoring the possible dangers, who cares....we were off for a vacation. But one week to the day on the same exact flight, we all know what happened.
This week when I was dealing with all of this crap with my identity theft, a bunch of really strange things happened that make me wonder about this too. I was "lucky" enough to be aware that someone was trying to use my account at the exact moment that it was happening.I happened to stumble upon the messages from Paypal of transactions, before they were deleted by whom ever it was that was making them.
I phoned Paypal and eventually got someone to listen to me. But what ever they said they did, the next day I had more problems... I finally got through again and after yelling and screaming they finally, finally spoke to someone who was a supervisor and he "froze " my account.
I had the same problem with my bank. I called them immediately and thought everything was cool. I went to the branch the next morning and closed my account and the branch manager also made a call to make sure that the calls against my account weren't paid. I went back yesterday-Tuesday- and the manager and I looked at the computer, and the bank was about to pay the demands for money. They were about to pay those clowns in Saudi Arabia who were ripping me off and had I showed up just a bit later (after 10am), they would have paid them. Well, let's just say it wouldn't have been MY money at this point, but luckily we put a stop to that too. Once again I sense that people whose job it is to be protecting the assets of this great nation are asleep at the wheel. While some crackpots in the Middle East are doing something awful.
I called the Federal Trade Commission about this and was on hold until I sincerely thought about giving up. When I finally spoke to someone and got a familiar lazy response. They did nothing.

My point is this...I had caught this stuff going on right while it was happening and if it weren't for my own vigilance, forget it. Those clowns would have been counting my money before anyone here was even awake enough to do anything. Luckily for me I have way too much time on my hands to be poking around in my own business. I did get certain amount of satisfaction for helping to uncover a crime while it was happening. I felt a certain rush as I was playing detective doing the end-arounds to save my pathetic savings. I was so pleased with myself as I was humming the James Bond theme while I was creating brand new secret PIN numbers for all of my my accounts- using the names old cats that I have owned over the years so I wouldn't forget... Do-do-DO-DO Do.Do.. While typing Whitey or Freckles onto my key board. I'm a regular Inspector Clouseau over here, fighting terror in my own special way. DK

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NEWS BULLETIN!!... Well,for tomorrow's news...

I have never been very good at waiting. i remember once when I was a kid, my dad told me he was going to buy my mom a handbag for Hannukka. I got up and left the room and walked right into the kitchen and told my mom. I was so excited I could not wait to share the news.
So much for surprises. I remember after just a couple of weeks of dating my wife I asked her to marry me. She was living in Hawaii at the time , working there, and we had been writing letters to one another. (THis was before Al Gore invented the internet) We knew each other for maybe four months' worth of letters, but we had been in the same place at the same time for two weeks.
Enough to know enough about someone that you're going to spend the rest of your life with? I wrote her this letter that said, "I would like to Marry you." She called me up and asked me what this was all about! Was I serious? I told her I was "curious" as to what that would be like. Anyway, she said yes...
So I have a terrible time keeping secrets or holding onto information until it is fully ripened and ready for consumption. But I can now report with a certain amount of certainty that I will in fact be blogging for the NYTimes.com starting tomorrow in the opinion section. They have invited a bunch of so-called experts on drinking to mull over the topic during the holiday season.
And there is already a little picture of me there with a bio.
So, Please have a look and if you are so inclined and near a pint, raise it up and have a drink for me. Now. Fast.
David K

I Can Live With The Choices That I have Made , Because I Don't Have Any CHoice About It.

Monday, December 8, 2008

OutOfTheWoods

I am exhausted. I have spent the last 24 hours straight, trying to salvage my identity.
Some clowns from Saudi Arabia have been trying to clean out my Paypal account. And if I didn't know any better, I swear Paypal was trying to help them. Last night I was checking my email and when I opened the in-box there were like 4-5 transaction notifications from them. I was shocked. I had not used that account in months! Anyway, I called them up and it takes some real vigilance to speak to a real fucking human being over there. In the time that I waited to talk to some guy another 2-3 notifications of transactions came on the screen. Then, suddenly all of them just disappeared from my inbox. Poof! When I finally spoke to some guy he told me there were records of these transactions but we talked about changing my password and taking my credit card off of my account. I went to sleep finally after dialing a half a dozen other 1-800 numbers and listening to more than any one's fair share of Muzak, I thought I had finally gotten things resolved...
But in the middle of the night I get up and I couldn't even believe it, there are like 8-9 notifications of new transactions and Paypal is closed for the evening. It turns out they have customer service people that need to sleep. Their customer service is CLOSED after 8 pm CST.
I was going crazy. SO in the morning I get up and I can't even open my account. Someone has changed all the personal info and my PIN number. When I finally get through to Paypal I find out that these people have accessed my personal bank account and I am up Shits Creek.

I have spent the last 14 hours running around canceling credit cards and bank account and calling the FTC and finally getting together with the NYPD. Although the cop I first talked to told me that it was my fault for banking on line..I did get to speak with the detectives. They seemed very interested with the whole Saudi connection. We found them by Googling. And this guy named Bilbiie Razvan who was to receive my money was of some concern of them too. I also got some excellent advice on SPywear blocker from a guy sitting in a jail cell next to the Detective's desk...I was told he wasn't in for anything serious.
Anyway- the best part was that I went back home and got to spend more hours on the phone with Paypal trying to figure out how my security continued to be breached even after I had issued a complaint. And when I asked for a number for the detectives to call to speak to someone in security, I was put on hold twice and finally sent along to a supervisor who promised me that I would not be paying for any of these withdrawals. We will see but I am totally fried.
I am still hoping all the Saudi's don't see a dime of my money. Particularly after my wife said that she fully expected that my stolen money would eventually be the funds needed to blow her up personally on the subway.I think this was said more out of outrage than trying to make me feel guilty, but I already have enough trouble with my self-esteem.
But one thing I did find out about myself- I may have issues with my self -esteem, but you fuck with my identity and watch out. I am one persistent motherfucker. I think I have got this thing finally under control.
DK

Friday, December 5, 2008

UNTITLED



From the drawing...
Years ago I remember a friend of mine called me up, he had a business proposition for me. He said there was a building available in his neighborhood, and he thought it would
be a totally excellent location for a bar. It had been a swimming pool supply place and we both agreed that you wouldn't have to do a thing to it. Just get some beer and liquor and some ice, and open the doors and have a ready made bar, all set to go. Anyway, I said "No thanks." I couldn't do it. I knew that I wanted to be an artist and that I already tended to spend too much time in bars. I didn't need a job that would insure that I was out every night drinking, I already had one. So someone else took over the place and almost immediately it became a wildly successful fixture of the neighborhood, filled with good looking people spending lots of money every night of the week. Meanwhile, I continued to struggle with my career and kept on drinking on my own terms, which has lead to mediocre results and troubles with alcohol anyway....But I want to know one thing,; How come I continue to make decisions that I know are in my own best interest, and I still don't get rewarded and wind up in trouble. Sure you can't buy happiness and having your health is a pretty cool thing, but I sure could use some money every once in a while, just to spend on things that will help me to forget all that nonsense..

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

MinorAccomplishments

Tonight I decided to go out to buy a couple of gifts. It is the holiday season, after all, and I was too tired and lazy to go to my studio. I went to Macy's which, other than Old Navy, where I tend to shop. It is only a few blocks from my house. Anyway, for those keeping score, the place was empty. Even one of the sales people said
"it's been dead" when I asked if it seemed a little quiet.

Every year I think I ought to get a job at Macy's or some place like that, when these places start to hire for the holiday season. I don't have a job usually and I am always in need of money.
But then I always end up talking myself out of it. I am always afraid that I might run into someone I know while working at the register and then they will know that I don't have anything that good going on. It is, of course, totally true, but I don't want anyone to think that.

Which reminds me of an old roommate I once had while I was in school. We were both getting degrees in the arts and even while we were in the middle of our programs and totally engaged in what we were studying, both of us would talk openly about what a total waste of time and money Art School was. Anyway, I remember my friend saying that after school was over, he was going to go right back to his old home town and go and get a job at the local A&P bagging groceries. He was really looking forward, he said , to running into his parents friends. And when they asked what he was doing with his life, he would tell them, "What do you mean?...This is my life..." I remember laughing with him at the irony of all of this and thinking this was hysterical. We both thought we were so funny and above this. Looking back I must say that I don't think that this is all that funny at all. And I am not so sure what I thought was so funny in the first place.

You know, sometimes I wish I had maybe moved out of my old home town and tried to live in some place that I didn't know and nobody knew me. Not that it would have mattered much, I am sure. But at least I could look back at my old school days and
they might actually start to look more like they are distant memories.

Monday, December 1, 2008

NewLocation


It's funny. For years I have made art work complaining about how people with connections always seem to get what they don't deserve and how under-served I've been while having to watch insiders rake in the attention and money. I have pointed my finger at the elitists and insiders and hurled my obnoxious comments in their direction knowing full well that they couldn't hear me and even if they did, they could not give a shit about what I was bitching about.

Well, all of that seems to be changing. For this month I will be blogging as a guest of the New York Times.And let me be the first to say that I can't think of anyone who deserves this more than me for I have devoted weeks of my hard earned time to the craft and all of that hard work is finally paying off.

So keep your eyes peeled for my entries at
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/opinion/guestcolumnists.html
starting tomorrow.

Thanks. DK

PS Ummm-it is going to take a little more time. They actually have this process called "editing" which I've never used before. It's great but adds a couple of steps to getting in-line.

Monday, November 24, 2008

STUDIO

GOING/POSTAL

To any of you readers out there who are in retail, I am warning you, don't read any further because you probably are going to just get mad at me. For the rest, here goes my rant:

I hate the Christmas shopping season, it is the worst thing of all about this time of year. I hate how stores start putting up Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving, and I hate even more how Thanksgiving is to most retailers, a chance to get folks to carbo-load so they can have the energy up to shop like made on the Friday after. Today I heard on the radio spot for Kohl's Department Store saying that they will be opening their doors at 4:30 am on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
4:30 AM IN THE MORNING! Who the fuck is going to show up to the store on that day at that time? What? You want to avoid the crowds???. NO, if you show up at 4:30 in the morning to shop, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

Maybe it is because I am Jewish and grew up n a Ghettoized Jewish town, but I never paid much attention to Christmas. To me it was mostly annoying. Particularly the commercials and the music that gets piped into the stores. I am in general a generous person. But force me to buy gifts because of some "holiday" and I turn into a total prick Mr. Scrooge. I will do whatever it takes to avoid acknowledging the holiday. One time I even got a job working on Christmas eve. I got hired to build a set for a TV commercial, and the shoot was right after Christmas. We had to work right through the night to get the job done on time to the shoot. We had the radios blasting away playing classic rock and the commercials were all for Christmas sales and specials right through the evening. Then, as midnight rolled around and Christmas eve turned to Christmas day, like clockwork, the radio commercials immediately change from Xmas to
POST-holiday sales at the stroke of midnight. If I already wasn't completely jaded about the real meaning of Christmas, this would have converted me for good.

Anyway- I am just ranting over here. Preparing myself for the worse. I know I will get through this season as I have done every year prior, without going postal.
Before all that stuff has to start, let me just wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We'll worry about the shopping later.
DK

Saturday, November 22, 2008

ITS HILLARY


I was very pleased to see that Hillary Clinton will be our next Sec. of State. I look forward to hearing her called Madame Secretary. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment.
I don't really care so much that she will have this job or title; that will hardly have any affect on my personal life. What I am proud of is that I thought of it first. It was MY idea. I was lobbying for this since back in the primaries, when she and the President-Elect were still duking it out. I said back then that Mr. Obama should make her an offer that she couldn't refuse. He was clearly in the position of position, and she still would not get out of his way.
And then, back in August, when Sarah Palin appeared on the scene, and fooled everyone into thinking that she might be the next Ronald Reagen, I wrote a personal note to Barak Obama, on Facebook, and pleaded with him to get Hillary on board his team. I told Barak, 'Offer her the Secretary of State' and get her to do all the dirty work of dismissing Palin as the phoney version of a woman in waiting that she was.

I knew that if Biden played the role of attack-dog, as VP Candidates are often asked to do, he would have planted his foot so firmly in his mouth that the McCain/Palen?Rove ticket would have somehow grabbed victory out of defeat.

I am happy that Mr. Obama listened to my Facebook please. I am proud of myself for my strategical insight. I think things will be alright with this country, just you wait and see. Mr. Obama... Barak. You don't have to give me any credit. It's fine. I don't need any of that. Just keep checking in on my notes on Facebook.Keep up the good work.

DK

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Art


-

HOMEWORK SUCKS

Here's a quiz....
How many conceptual artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Answer: It is the idea of the light bulb that is what is important.

Not very funny I admit. But here is the real trick question...
How many people does it take in my house to get an eight year old to do all of his homework.
Answer: A team of three yelling and screaming people who are ready to kill each other by the time the assignment is finished.

I know that this is not funny either but it does make the bad joke about conceptual art seem more interesting, at least to me.

When I was a kid, I never did my homework. Both my parents had busy careers and lives, I never saw them. I would sit on the floor and watch TV and when I heard the keys turning in the lock of the front door, I would quickly turn off the TV and grab a book. This was pretty much a nightly activity. It was all fun and games back then although I used to put on a pretty good show about how the teacher was out to get me every time the report cards came home.
So I should be sympathetic or at least uncaring about my son's horrible work ethic and study habits. I should leave him alone and let him figure out for himself how important or not school is. Yea right. And have him turn out like me? I am going to make that kid work his ass off so he gets into Harvard.
I am embarrassed to admit that I have completely grown up into being just like my father. Only minus the lucrative career. Sure my father didn't give a shit about whether or not I did my homework on a nightly basis. He still thought I shuold go to an Ivy League School.
Here is another joke: How many Harvard educated lawyers does it take to get his kid to do his homework. The answer is NONE. You just hire people to try to do that.
I did learn something from my dad. I just don't have the money right now to apply what I learned.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT

Attitude Adjustment.
One really tough thing about not drinking or smoking, and giving up on all of my other vises all at once, is that all of the tools that were in my tool box that helped me fend off bouts of depression have been taken away from me. And what really makes matters even worse is that without all of these chemicals and stimulants floating around in my blood stream, my body is going nuts trying to figure out who turned off the juice.
In the past I was always very lucky. I was so good at medicating myself that I never felt much depression. And if I did get depressed, I had no tolerance for it. I would just head on over to the local bar and adjust my attitude accordingly.
And let's just say it would work like a charm every time.

Tonight I tried the G-rated version of adjusting my attitude. I went to Blockbuster and picked out a movie with my kid. We watched Elf. It was OK. I don't particularly like Will Ferrell. Christmas movies tend to make my eyes glaze over. But watching my son, who still completely buys into the Santa Claus thing, laugh and giggle and practically wet his pants has completely thawed my black heart. And I began to realize just how deep into the emotional vortex I had traveled. Well, I've always found that once you recognize the emotional state that you are in, you are immeadiatley starting to make your move out of it. And now that I know full well how depressed I was for the past couple of days, I am starting to feel better already.
So Elf wasn't so bad. And the way I feel now, I would even call it a classic. I mean it's no Christmas Carol, but I don't think anything that Dickens ever wrote was going to get me out of my past mental state. So, God Bless you Will Ferrell. And God bless us-everyone. I am feeling much better now.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Can Live With The Choices That I have Made , Because I Don't Have Any CHoice About It.

I remember years ago my friend called me up. There was a building in his neighborhood that was
available. It was an old store front and my friend thought it was the perfect spot for a bar. An old swimming pool supplier with a great Aqua Blue exterior and even better inside. I knew the place and I totally beleived him. The place was perfect and would have made a fantastic bar and a money maker for sure. But I told my friend that I didn't think that the bar was for me. I knew that I loved to drink and I would have a terrible time going to work every night and not drinking and keeping myself under control while running a business and keeping the place from getting out of control too. I also was an artist and wanted to concentrait on my career and I knew that if i were to run this kind of business, I would be lucky to get anything else accomplished with my life.
Well, anyway, someone else opened up a bar in the same place... the place was and still is a huge success and the folks that own the place are just rolling in money.
The crowd is always full of cool and attractive people who can't get enough of the old store front that had hardly been altered at all by the people who took it over. And as for me, it didn't matter. I didn't have to own a bar to get into trouble with alcohol. And my art career is still an up hill battle as I am still always wondering when we are ever going to get ahead.
I am proud and happy with the career that I have chosen for myself. I really am. I just keep on wondering how it is that I can keep on making all of my decisions with the best intentions in mind, and why it doesn't ever really seem to make anything in my life seem to come any easier.

Friday, November 14, 2008

UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS

I will never forget where I was when I found out that John Lennon was killed.
I will never forget how I learned this. I was in high school at the time and I was in my bedroom in
New Rochelle, sleeping. For some reason, that I have always wondered about, I woke up and turned on my digital clock radio. The dial was set to WNEW FM and I heard the DJ say that there were rumors around that John Lennon had been shot outside of his home. Soon this was confirmed. I remember Scott Muni, the DJ known as "Scottso" and "The Professor" (for his encyclopedic knowledge of the Beatles) reporting that 'a terrible calamity' had hit the world of Rock and Roll....
I always wondered why I happen to wake up at that time. And why did I immediately turn on my clock radio. Why did I need to know this at the moment in time that it was happening. Was there some message being sent to me. I didn't even like the Beatles very much. And after they broke up I tended to Blame John Lennon for marrying Yoko Ono, and sided with Paul and became a bigger fan of Wings. Why did I need to be part of history while it unfolded; I would ponder this for years...

Anyway, I read the news yesterday, Oh-boy.... Actually it was Post. I saw this tragic story, which the NY Post put the following way: An "American Idol" reject who was obsessed with Paula Abdul - and who was mercilessly ripped by judges after trying out for the show - died in an apparent suicide outside the star’s LA mansion.
The NY Post went on to link every celebrity killing or attack from John Lennon to Monica Seles.

I was truly sorry to read about this details of this story, and felt for this crazy obsessed fan. And I was so obsessed by the details in the paper that I practically missed my stop on the subway. This all stated to conjure up all of my memories of John Lennon's unfortunate death. And brought to mind the unanswered questions as to WHY? Why did I wake up that night back in 1980. Why did I need to know this bit of history as it was unfolding, and why do I continue to attach so much significance to minor details and minutia and miss the larger point of the much bigger stories that are unfolding all around me. This is really THE question for the ages. The last part. (About the minutia vs. the larger big picture...).
One day I hope to answer this, when I can finally figure out how I can be so easily and totally distracted by things and events that happen in the world that in truth have no effect on me. News items that in truth I do not even really care about.
I hope not to forget the sad events of November 13, 2008,sure. But mostly because hopefully it will serve as some kind of a reminder of how distracted by the irrelevant that I can truly be.
DK

Thursday, November 13, 2008

GOOD DAY

GOOD DAY
You have been chosen as a grant beneficiary for the sum of 500,000.00 USD
from the board of United Nations Organization. You are required to
contact the Executive Secretary of UN (UK branch) for more informations
on how to claim your grant.

I am one of those people who does not believe anything that I read on the Internet. I don't believe that I can have a bigger cock,
I don't believe that I can work from home and make lots of money with no inventory to speak of, and I doubt very much that I can make my wife happier just by ordering Viagra from India. And I seriously doubt the E-Mail that I received this morning which I have posted above....
This disbelief is probably my biggest source of trouble that I keep walking into. I am so full of doubt that I believe that I too can say anything that I want, and get away with it. That no one takes seriously anything that they read on the World Wide Web. This can be true for my personal E-Mails, and most certainly true for this Blog. I write it because it sounds good. Because I think that things are funny and the combination of words will make people laugh out loud, and entertain them. It's hard news as satire.
It's sort of like FOX News over here. (lol)

Yesterday I complained about being "fucking broke". (See posting : A SUPPORTIVE AND CARING SPoUSE IS HARD TO FIND). This is a relative statement and is completely true in its general way, as it embellishes a story or riff that I am working on. Someone anonymously complained that I was being disingenuous, in the comments page. All I can say is that they are correct. I am totally disingenuous. That's show business. IF you want some hard facts and journalism with proper vetting, I suggest you go elsewhere. (not FOX News...). But if you want to be entertained, that is what I am going to try my best to do. Please keep coming back for more. I appreciate all visits. And comment all you like... but leave your name.

Now you will have to excuse me as I have a 500,000 USD to claim from the board of United Nations Organization.
I just have to send my bank account and social security number, and then wait for the money to roll in. The Internet has made me rich!
Today really is a GOOD DAY
DK

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LIFE IMITATES ART over and over again.


Here is an example of the way that I think....
Once, when things were gong really badly for me in my young career as an artist, I decided to give it all up
and do something else with my life that seemed more practical. So I enrolled in an architecture class. And almost immediately I got into a feud with the professor who challenged me on my aesthetics. So that didn't last long and I found myself back in the studio, making art with renewed energy.

More recently, when I hit a big bump in the road and swerved off into a ditch, I got up and dusted myself off and decided that I should take a more pragmatic approach to my life, I decided that I should write a novel. This is what I should do. This would the way out of my struggles and into the "Good Life" that I'd been looking for. So anyway, I started to write a novel and got myself fully invested in the process. I worked like mad; waking up in the middle of the night and spending my afternoons at home pounding away at the computer. Writing and revising, going forward and backwards, never looking up to see how things were going. When I finally did take a deep breath and look up, it seems that what I had come up with with about three pages of incredibly insightful character development, about a guy who seemed remarkably just like me.
The only problem was that I had come to the point in the story where the protagonist actually has to "DO" something. The story has to have some action. Well, I couldn't think of anything. I did not have a clue...
So I did what I always do and got back to work in the studio.
This may not be the most practical way to spend my time nor will it do anything to get me out of my current position, but at least over there,
I always seem to know what I am supposed to be doing.

Pinch Hitter

Monday, November 10, 2008

A SUPPORTIVE AND CARING SPoUSE IS HARD TO FIND

For years now I have been using my writing as a form of cathartic release from what ever it was that was bothering me. Somebody did me wrong, well I would just go and pound out a paragraph or two on the old typewriter and I would feel much better almost immediately. In fact, by the time that I got to the end of the paragraph that I was writing, I tended to find the whole thing funny.
Sure I often blamed myself for why I was angry, but even that became humorous and these rantings turned into drawings that I have been able to exhibit in art galleries all over North America and Europe. I am not tooting my horn over here, I am just saying that I somehow found a way to displace my anger and make something positive out of it, and that is about the most constructive thing that I have been able to do with my life with any consistency. A funny thing started to happen though, and as I got to show my work and it became more and more public, friends and total strangers would come up to me and tell me that they hoped that things would not necessarily workout for me the way I wanted because it would only ruin everything. If I got happy, well then what would I have to write about.... My career would be finished. I would laugh along with whom ever said such things, but somewhere in the back of my mind I would cringe and pray that they were wrong. I wanted to be happy. Pain is not fun. I could figure out something better to do with my time once I was happy.
Recently I have had a terrible run of bad luck. I mean things just could not be going any worse for me. One thing after another and this had been going on for months. I felt like shit and even embarrassed to come home at night to have to tell my wife of yet another failure (even though she has been remarkably supportive). Anyway last week, finally, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Multiple projects that I have been working on and doors that I have been pounding on all seemed to be opening up at the same time and I feel like my life is turning the corner. Everything is going my way. All the hard work and heart ache may actually have been worth it... So, anyway, I had nothing to write all weekend. I let things really good for like 4-5 days. No art. Nothing. And it was getting scary. Was it that I couldn't work at all because I was finally happy?
Was this the self -fulfilling prophecy that I had been warned about? And now I am rambling on with no end in sight. I told my wife about my problems with writing and the first thing she said to me was..."New outlook on life, whole new set of problems!" "And besides, we're still fucking broke!!"
And just like that the gears started to move again and I was able to find
some terrible way to look at my current situation and then start writing.
See, I told you my wife was supportive.

MOTEL SIGN

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weekend Gallery



I have decided to start posting images of my recent art works here on thee weekends.
I hope that visitors will find it as compelling and interesting to look at as I do.
DK

No.One in the Rankings

Thursday, November 6, 2008

PASS THE KOOL AIDE


My wife called me this afternoon and said, "Can we play that game that you play?"
She was at work having a tough day and needed to capture a big blast of enthusiasm to take
care of one last job to finish out her day. This was the first time that she ever put it this way; calling
it "The Game" that I play. Apparently, it goes something like this:
She says that she is having a totally shitty day at work and I say "No you're not...it's a good day." I say things like, "You should be happy that you have a job and are working... This is a good thing." "Some people would love to have any kind of a job right now,
and you HAVE one."
I give myself a similar pep-talk all the time. Sure it runs against the grain of every emotion that one is feeling at the time, but somehow it breaks up the downward spiral and gets thing moving again. Me, I find it kind of funny and even refreshing in a way. My wife, I always thought, found it to be one of those things, if not the thing about me that she once might have found charming only to later make her want to kill me. Well, things seem have come full circle. I am not sure when this happened but but maybe it is a fallout form the economic disaster going on. Anyway- I am happy that she now finally finds this way of thinking to be charming.

Is funny, there was a period of my life when my wife would tell people that I was maybe the funniest person that she had ever met. Maybe it was all the responsibility that goes along with that title, but when I would hear this I would often cringe.. Anyway, I have not heard this in years I am sorry to say. But I am more than happy to have moved on to be credited with being the inventor of some game that apparently has some remarkable effect on her, even though I can't figure out where she got this idea from either.
DK

FRUITS OF VICTORY

I was so excited by the election and results this past Tuesday.
It seemed like my entire life had been put on hold and then swept up into a giant wave of emotion.
But like most waves, ultimately it has to crash onto the shore and sometime
in the middle of yesterday afternoon my metaphorical hangover began to take hold and
I started to wonder what I was going to do now.
I am happy and excited for Mr. Obama, but I was deeply disappointed that he has already started to assemble his
cabinet, and I did not even got a phone call, much less an interview.
I would have made an excellent Chief of Staff. So now I am back to where I started
a few weeks ago before I became so absorbed in finding HIM a job. Now is the time for me to start thinking about getting my own self back to working.... I am going to start trying to accomplish my goals.
I am going to finally start the business that I have been thinking about. Its time to finish that novel. It is time
to train for that Marathon that I keep promising myself that I will run before my knees need to be replaced.
I want to learn Spanish. I intend to be a better father. I want to figure out what kind of art to make
now that I can no longer try to make a living complaining about how some people
never seem to get what they deserve no matter how hard they try.
Now that I fianally saw that hard work and preceverance can actually get
the things that you want,
I am going to start setting resonable goals.
I am going to have to start working on the things
that will make my own life better.
Or I am going to have to, at the very least,
come up with a new list of viable excuses.
DK

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

AMERICA GETS IT RIGHT

LAST NIGHT the Untied States of America made me proud. Not only did we elect the right guy for the job,
we did it loud and clear, with a resounding and lopsided victory. It was an undeniable message sent to ourselves and to the world that we were sick and tired of electing people who looked the part, or used privilege to get the part and then delivered nothing but their selfish vision of the country and the world to the exclusion of both the country and the world. America took a huge step in growing up yesterday. And I am proud to have been able to witness it and be part of it. We elected a president whose motives are not to divide, but to bring people together. And this was not easy. This was not easy. This is a country that hasn't been whole since Monica Lewinsky, when we started to use politics to divide and to trash anything that could possibly be good. Karl Rove cynicism was buried last night, at least for now, and we have a chance for change. Last night this country put its baggage away and put its best foot forward. I am really proud of of America right now. We are on our way to somewhere better.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Praise for Me

Liz Phillips has written some kind words about me and my blog...please have a look at her blog.
Thanks.
blizzypea.blogspot.com/

BLUE ELECTION DAY


My father and I had a difficult relationship. He had been a lawyer, and desperately wanted his only son to follow in his footsteps, and eventually take over his firm. Well, I had very different ideas about what I wanted out of life, and I obviously was too young and naive to take advantage of an offer to live on Easy Street, so I told him "No thanks..." I was going to be an artist.
My dad and I didn't speak for about two years of my life as I turned my back on his dreams and pursued my own. After college I moved back to New York City and began my career and my father slowly began to appreciate my efforts and our relationship began to thaw. I remember that I had this job working for this artist back then, and she had an opening of a show on Halloween night. I had worked hard to help her get her show together, and I had told my father of my efforts, and to my surprise he showed up at the opening and was cornered by this woman who I had been working for who told him that I was a talented guy and a hard worker and deserved so much, his support. My father told me that he was really proud of me, and left the opening, and I spent the rest of the night celebrating Halloween and my boss' accomplishments and my own.

The following Tuesday was Election Day and I remember I was working diligently at school in my studio when my roommate came in looking for me and told me I had to go home. That my mother had called and that my father was sick. I phoned my mother who told me to come home but she didn't tell me that my father had already died. He had an aneurysm on the train on his way to work. I went home and spent the night there, my entire family was in shock. That night we had all kinds of visitors and got all kinds of phone calls. My dad had been an active guy in local county politics and he was missed at the Democratic Headquarters that night for vote counting and celebrating, as he was normally there.

Anyway-Election Day always carries with it some strange significance for me. I look forward to the day every year as the day of remembrance dedicated to my father. I don't have any idea of what day he actually died. To me it is always Election Day.
It is usually bittersweet. Sometimes my melancholy is relieved if the Democrats actually win. I hope that this year will somehow be a joyous one.
DK

Thursday, October 30, 2008

SELF-IMAGE PROBLEM


Over the summer, when I got really sick, I didn't want to eat any food. My liver was fucked up and I was having trouble digesting. I had trouble going to the bathroom; it seemed like when I was in there I was more like excreting shit and piss, than I was taking one. I was horrified by my body functions and pretty much lost my appetite.This went on for weeks, and I joked with my wife that finally I was dieting the way that I wanted to; pushing plates away after only half eating my small portions. I still didn't loose any weight.
I remember at the height of my sickness I went to see the doctor, and he gave me a physical and asked me to step up onto the scale. "Don't bother taking your shoes or cloths off..." he said. I told him my shoes must have weighed at least 5-10 pounds. And my wallet! He said not to worry about it and I got on the scale and tipped it well over 200 pounds. I was like, 'hey that's not possible...'

Recently I have been feeling really great. My health seems like it is normal and finally I have the energy and optimism that had been missing for months. I have had my appetite back, but I am not eating meat nor drinking gallons of beer every night like I used to. I am not eating big plates of savory, greasy foods to compensate for my hangover. I've been watching my weight still. I've been taking power walks with my wife 4-5 times a week and we are even talking about carrying along full liter bottles of Evian to add onto the exercise routine. People keep telling me I look so healthy. Which is nice. But, people keep asking me if I lost weight... Well, the answer is 'No.' Not only haven't I lost any weight, I weigh just about exactly what I weighed before all of this. I mean pretty much exactly the same. So I am wondering just how fat I must have looked in people's selective memory since everyone things I look so much thinner now even though I haven't lost a pound. I keep wondering, when people are thinking of me in their homes or cars, and wondering about me, do they say to themselves, "Oh yea, Kramer...I wonder how that Fat David Kramer is doing..." or do they say, "He's a good guy...too bad about his weight problem..." I mean if people keep on asking me if I lost weight and I haven't lost a pound, does that just mean that I have seared an image of me as a giant tub-o-lard in their mental photo album. It is distressing. I am wondering what I can do to change this perception. I mentioned this to my wife recently. She said, "No honey... You're not fat..." Later she'll say something like " you should start wearing vertical stripes. That always seems to look good on you."

I just wish that I could be a quick with the positive responses than she is when she asks me such difficult questions.

But from here on out, vertical stripes are the 'New Black' at least in my repertoire.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

PROUD MOMENTS


Proud Moments...
Today marks one week until the election. I am optimistic. That said, it seems like every
election that I can remember, I assumed that the Democrat was going to win. It didn't matter what the pols looked like. I believed that people would come to their senses and do the right thing. Maybe this is because I was born in New York City. Or maybe its because I grew up in a house full of Democrats. I always just assumed that the entire nation would see things logically, and that America was a good country and the people were smart.
Anyway, obviously not everyone on the other side of the Hudson River agrees with my logic.

I will never forget when Bill Clinton won as president for the first time back in 1992. It seemed like for my entire life (with the exception of Carter) every presidential election was a brutal loss me. But then came Clinton, and I remember sitting in the old Ship's Mast in Brooklyn, sucking down beers and watching the victory. It was so sweet and I thought that this was the beginning of something new and great for this country...Little did I know it would only last 8 years. But I was proud and beamed with excitement. I really thought that maybe this country had finally grown up.
I remember walking out of the bar and smelling the November air, looking up at the dark sky and thinking, "Yes!" This is what it feels like when the good guys finally win. This is what I had been hoping for....
I hope I get to feel this way again sometime soon.
DK

Monday, October 27, 2008

VIRAL MARKETING Step 3:

STEP 3:Turn that frown upside down....:)

My plans for my successful Viral Marketing Plan to obtain World Domination hit a bump in the road
this weekend as I found myself getting into more trouble than I needed at this particular time, with people whom I actually do business with. This is never a good thing to happen, and when it happens at a time when I am trying to expand my world markets, well let's just say it took some wind out of my sails. Not to go into heavy detail but this was a bad case of HE SAID-SHE SAID were things can get heated and people are likely to say things they were thinking but never expected to say out loud. And the next thing you know, we've got problems.
Anyway, today is monday. And I like Mondays for the most part. I am the kind of guys who looks forward to Mondays. New beginnings A fresh start. A blank slate and a chance to start over.
I am not going to look back or appologize for anything I said over the weekend. That is history. I am looking forward. That's right, this is a new day. I woke up this morning, had a big steamy bowl of oatmeal and called my broker and bought a hundred shares of Apple. It is a new day, that's for sure. Hey I may be stupid and immature and not the best businessman in the world...But the thing I am good at is changing the subject. And that is a skill that I should be very proud of.

VIRAL MARKETING STARTS WITH ME Step 3:
What to do when things get out of hand.
Change the subject quickly.
Set lofty if not unobtainable goals.
Focus on the new goals and forget about what just happened as quickly as possible.
Repeat when necessary.
DK

The Color of Night


I remember when I was a kid, I really admired Van Gogh. He was the artist who I most loved and whose life I most studied. His story was the classic redemption story of a guy who did this incredible work that obviously he fully believed in, while struggling through a life of chronic rejection. He was a failure who never got anywhere in the art world, despite the fact that his very own brother was an art dealer, and he tragically ended his own life, only to be finally, posthumously appreciated for all of his hard work. His story gave me hope and fueled me and made it possible for me to shrug off rejection and failure, to move modestly forward.
I would never sellout, I thought, because look, look at Van Gogh who stuck to his guns and drove himself to finally kill himself, look at how worth it it all was. Just go up to MoMA and see that great little show, Van Gogh and the Color of Night, and see those remarkable paintings, and the insane crowds of people trying to get in there. Van Gogh was fascinated by the color of night and compelled to capture those colors through paint. Never mind that color is generated by light, and needs light in order to exist, Van Gogh was intent on capture the color that he "saw." The show is a jaw dropper, and worth the fight with the crowds to see this collection of works about this one peculiar obsession of an artist who had so many.
I strongly recommend going to see this show, despite the sea of people that you will have to fight to see it. To me, it reminded me of all of the reasons that I got involved with being an artist in the first place. Quixotic ideals that I rallied around and once really believed in. DK

Friday, October 24, 2008

THINGS YOU SHOULD N't DO

THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T DO.

I went out to an opening tonight. My friend Beth Campbel has a great show up
at Nicole Klagsbrun. Then I went to another opening. Meredeth Allen...
Good show too. Edward Thorp Gallery.Then I went to this opening at Front Room which I am in, called
The Ballot SHow. Lots of good stuff in there.


Then I went to this birthday party and that was great too...
got stoned

And now THIS,
and at this fucking hour....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quick Questionnaire....

Questionnaire:
Yes No Questions:


1 Would you say that the top 2% of the country should get a tax break. and
get to hang on to their money, like a reward, because they obviously know what they are doing?

2 Do you believe that the people who have all the money are the ones who are
creating all the jobs that makes the economy work for the rest of us?

3 Are you willing to have a government that gets out of the way of the free market, and
take a total Darwinian approach to economics, and lets the people who know about these things
regulate themselves?

4 If you answered Yes to question 3, are you willing to allow the government to step in
when it deems necessary to fix the problems of the free market, when things get really bad?

5 Would you say that you have benefited from the economic
policies of this Administration?

6 Would you be willing to vote for a black man if it meant changing the way things are going?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My kid has a blog

http://martin-central.blogspot.com/

VIRAL MARKETING IS HARDER THAN I THOUGHT

MASTER PLAN day 2:
OK. So I admit that I am a little bit disappointed by the response and turn out to my last post. I had sent out into the ether my best swing for the fences with all of the home spun research and ground up optimism that I could muster. But as the old me would have said, "Why is it every time I try to put some extra mustard on anything, I just wind up getting it all over my shirt!"
But the new, improved me will not go there. I am thinking positive. :)

Last night I trotted out my master plan to rule the Internet through my new viral marketing strategy to think positive thoughts, and tried it out on my wife.... She was not impressed.  Our conversation went something like this.

Me: How was your day?
Her: Good.
Me: What'd you do today?
Her: Go to my office. What do you think?
Me: Guess what? Today I came up with a strategy to rule the Internet through a viral marketing campaign designed to channel my positive thoughts into world domination and ultimately millions, if not billions of dollars.
Her: What does "viral marketing" mean?
Me: Ummm, you know. It's like when everybody starts thinking the same thoughts all at once somehow....like it is in the air. Sort of a grass roots type of thing , only much bigger.

So you see, interference right here at home.
My strategy has hit it's first bump in the road.
:) My response. Ha! I will remain focused. I have a game plan.

Day 2
Note to myself:
Find a dictionary written in the last five years.
DK



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

VIRAL MARKETING STARTS WITH ME


VIRAL MARKETING STARTS WITH ME.
For years now I have been trying to reinvent the wheel or come up with that million dollar idea that every body's got to have so that I can, at least for a moment, sit on top of the wave of public support and ride it for as long as possible, and hopefully off into the sunset.
I have coined phrases (Plan B -yes, that was me....) and tried to rejigger old ones (I Am Living Vicariously Through My Credit Cards...) and mixed them together on canvas and in drawings. This process has, I admit, only small returns on my investment as I have not become rich or mythologized as I had originally thought. It occurred to me recently that maybe part of my problem was shooting at the wrong audience, as I tended to point my attention towards the rarefied  art market. Hey, it worked for Andy Warhol, I thought why not me. But now I set my sites on the mob. Anyone owning a computer who looked at blogs, this would be my domain and I would one day rule the cyber universe, even though I barely know how to download a photograph. I am a new man now, living my clean life existence with all of the extra money and time from not buying alcohol or cigarettes  or even coffee, what possibly could stop me from generating some brilliant new material that would take off like a rocket ship and cause all the planets to Aline? What could possibly get in my way of Global Viral Marketing my way to the center of the universe, I ask, rhetorically.. . Well, the answer is chemical depression. Recently I have been feeling really shitty and full of gloom. I don't know if it was from the chemicals, the ones that I have been depriving myself of, or if it from having to look at the world in its unvarnished form (if you will allow the metaphor of drugs as varnish). So I have come to the realization that I am not going to go back and find out if what is missing is what I am missing. I have been down that road many times and recognize that all my vices were lots of fun, but alas, not a means to the ends that I was looking for. No. What this global viral marketing campaign needs is a very simple central premise. A simple smiley face to remind me that I can do it. A cheerful and catchy positive phase, that keeps on coming (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...).
What I need is just some positive juice. In these grim economic times, I have decided to become a ray of sunshine. Oh- sure, maybe a cynical or satirical ray of sunshine, but I am only going to "go positive" from here on out. I am going to think "big" and not let the realities get in my ways. I have decided to fore go my drugs and replace them with delusion.
Yes, viral marketing begins with me. If I am going to get what I originally set out for, I am going to have to lie and cheat that smile onto my face and make it stick. Because everyone knows that a smile can be an infectious thing, and everybody loves a winner...And the Toothless Alcoholic is going to be the biggest winner of them all! You'll see.

David Kramer

Monday, October 20, 2008

NOBLE WARRIOR

I was very impressed to learn that former Secretary of State Colin Powell came out over the weekend and endorsed Barak Obama in his run for President. I have always been impressed by that man. I heard the tapes of his moment on Meet The Press on Sunday where he made his endorsement, and boy was I impressed again. His take down of the subversive Republican Party strategy of calling out Obama as secretly being a Muslim was amazing. He stood up for Obama, who happens to be a Christian, and then went onto to say (and I paraphrase here),
'And what's wrong with anyone being a Muslim anyway?' 'What, a kid who is a Muslim American can't be allowed to dream of one day being President of the United States just 'cause they're a Muslim?' 
Powell took to task this point and other pointed and divisive strategies of his own party and slammed them for taking down American values by trying to paint America as a monolithic country of conservative white values. He said so many things that I have said; but who cares if I feel this way....I am just some liberal New York Jew. But to hear this from Powell was so damn meaningful. Powell is the man.
I have always been impressed by Powell. I admit I have let him slide for his bullshitting the UN about the weapons of mass destruction before the war in Iraq, mostly because I felt he was put up to it and also because he left the Administration afterwards in self imposed exile.
But I am glad that he is back and I am glad to hear his views.
DK


Friday, October 17, 2008

MINOR CELEBRITY

....One nice thing about being an artist is that you can be world famous and have your work in museums and the most important collections in the world, and your next door neighbor still has no fucking clue what you do for a living. Which is a good thing when you are taking the trash out in your underwear and you happen to run into them. 
One bad thing about being an artist is that you can be totally anonymous, even when you are out in the middle of the Art World because the Art World is actually a large and rambling place with many hallways and Cul-de-Sacs that have nothing to do with each other. Last night I went out to an opening. I wanted to see some paintings by a guy I knew. I went to the opening, but I really didn't know a sole and the the longer I spent there not talking to anyone, the more self-conscious  I felt that I was a weirdo actually looking at the art work on the walls.
Tonight was totally more like it. I remembered that this guy I know was opening a new gallery and I ran out of the house to see his first show, as this might actually be the last time I get to see someone act ambitiously and over-reach at least until after the Great Depression.
Anyway, the gallery is on a block with lots of other galleries who also happen to be having openings, and I couldn't even make it into any of the galleries without running into familiar faces and warm conversations. I felt like a minor celebrity as I waved hello to critics and gallery owners and I hardly had a chance to look at the art work. This is the way it is supposed to be. I've lived in this town for all my life and have been hanging around parties and openings in this neighborhood for almost twenty years. I think it is good when I can loose myself in these kind of social gatherings and feel like I have a lot of friends. God knows it can be fleeting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

UNTITLED (Self-Help)

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

My wife has this cousin. He wanted to write a novel. He didn't really care all that much about being a writer, he just wanted to write a novel. So everyday he would make himself write between 500-1000 words and before he knew it, he had written this whole book. It was this cold-war-era-spy-thriller, and it wasn't to bad.  I told him it was at least as good as half the shit out there. I asked him if he planned on trying to get an agent or if there was somebody he was going to approach to get it published. He said that he was really happy that me and a few other people had read it, and that he had accomplished everything that he had set out to do. Now he wanted to get back to his wife and his family and back to his job at the bank; there were a bunch of things that he had let slide over the year or so that it took to write the book.  He told me that apparently my own life as an artist had had a profound effect on him as he had watched me and my career as an artist. He was inspired by this and this is what got him interested in writing his novel in the first place. He was happy that I read it and thrilled that I liked it and now he was totally ready to move on. Well, I was very satisfied and moved to hear that I had such an effect on him and his life. My only problem is that I am still looking for something so satisfying and constructive to take away from my own fucking existence.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

PHILADELPHIA STORY


My Friends. Many of you may have noticed that I have not made a new entry onto my blog in quite some time. I had, in fact, suspended all blogging activities over the past few days in an effort to turn all of my attention to the current global financial crisis that has affected so many of us.
And now that the ship seems to have been righted, and the Dow has only lost like a hundred points today, I feel confident that I can return to my duties here. 
In truth, I was in Philadelphia. With renewed confidence in the economy we decided t to go away. My kid had a long weekend off from school, and we decided to take a little overnight-day-trip. There were so many interesting  things to do there, and with renewed confidence in the shaky economy, we decided to roll the dice and have a little get-away. One of the first things that we did was to go to the Liberty Bell. We had to wait on a line to get in and the anticipation was ripe. My son asked those historically relevant burning questions like, "Why do we have to wait on line to see a stupid bell!" and "What's the big deal about a broken bell?!" and Can we go now....Where's the hotel... 
While waiting on line, I had my  own thoughts. I was thinking about my son's questions about "what's the big deal about a broken bell..." I started to think about the guy who made the bell and how lucky he must have felt when he found out that his defective piece of shit product had turned into a national treasure. I was thinking about him sitting there, shaking in his boots waiting to be sued by the Constitutional Congress for his piece of shit bell, only to be showered with praise when someone figured out that the broken bell was a good thing. A symbol of FREEDOM.
I started to laugh at the inside joke of all of this and how America always seems to have been a country of positive thinkers who where able to turn lemons into lemonade. Americans always want to see the cup as half full. And then, that is when  I started to worry. I started to worry that  the stock market jitters were over. And that the  price of gas was going down, to give all Americans a certain strident step that we've been missing. I started to think that maybe things are going to start getting a little bit better and that people were going to start adopting that stupid "If-it-works-don't-fix-it" attitude that Americans are so good at adopting.
I hate to say it but I started to think that I hope things get a little bit more fucked up around here for just a couple more weeks, or we are going to end up electing McSame over here.
DK