Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

I've always loved Christmas Eve, almost more than Christmas Day itself. The anticipation that builds as the days get closer to Christmas reaches it's peak on December 24th. I remember our Christmas Eves when we were growing up as some of the best. School was closed for the holidays so my sister and I usually wandered around the house, eager for the time to pass quicker. My mom often had to work (she's a nurse) but most times my dad had the day off and he was in charge of keeping us occupied. He would build a fire and the Christmas lights would be on for the entire day. My best friend Megan would usually come over or I would spend a few hours at her house, the two of us dancing around to the John Denver and The Muppets Christmas album or chattering away about what Santa might leave for us under the tree. Sometime during the afternoon dad would start to bring down the presents and place them under the tree. My parents would always bring a modest amount of packages down and spread them out under the tree convincing my me and my sister that that was all the presents. Once we were in bed they would bring down the rest of the gifts so that Christmas morning the presents seemed to be bursting out from under the tree. Once my mom came home from work our excitement really began to build as we realized that the day would soon be coming to an end. Mom usually made something special for dinner and then we dressed up in our Christmas dresses to go to Christmas Eve service, possibly the only time of year that I looked forward to going to church. The entire day built up to our Christmas Eve gift. When we were home from church and in our pajamas my sister and I were each given one present to open before bedtime. It was just a small taste of what the next morning would bring. Once our greedy little appetites were whetted we were off to bed where we were told to stay until at least 7am and no earlier (in later years the rule was no waking the parents until we had the coffee brewing). Since sleep was nearly impossible I spent some time lying in bed, eyes wide open, looking at the Christmas decorations I had strewn across my room and listening for Santa on the roof. Megan and I had a Christmas Eve tradition of signaling to each other from our bedroom windows which both faced the alley behind our houses. We both had electric candles in the window and we would turn the light bulb on and off to "talk" to each other. There was never any meaning behind our signals just two little girls having a secret best friend moment that was our very own Christmas tradition and no one elses.

Now that I'm a little less young, sadly, some of the anticipation and magic of Christmas Eve has waned. This morning, in honor of it being Christmas Eve and not just another Wednesday morning, I awoke early with Arbor Boy, who had to work today, to make a special Christmas Eve breakfast of eggs and bacon. The radio played Christmas tunes as I went about my daily routine but the little girl inside of me was still feeling the anticipation. Tonight we'll pack up gifts for the family and start the "Krissy and Alex Winter Tour '08". We'll arrive late out on Long Island but that won't stop us from poking around under the tree for the gifts that bear our names. Happily, our Christmas will be extended through the weekend as we make our way to Pennsylvania to celebrate Christmas with my family. And maybe that's the trade off we get when we grow up, a little less Christmas Eve excitement but a lot more Christmas Day celebration.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ode to The Muppets



You can't get much better than this. Two of my favorite things - Beethoven and Beaker from The Muppets.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For Mom

As a stubborn teenager, I adamantly stated that I would never grow up to be like my mom. Well, here I am all grown up and I must begrudgingly admitting that, without even being aware of it, I've become quite a bit like my mom...and it's not a bad thing at all.

From your perpetually hardheaded, eternally outspoken, forever-a-teenager-in-her-own-mind daughter...


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Dirty Laundry

Our laundromat around the corner recently gave their awning a facelift. I never knew the name of the place until now...I kind of wish I still didn't.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Best Christmas album. Ever.

John Denver and The Muppets' A Christmas Together is the best Christmas Album. Period. I'm sorry but there is no arguing this fact. My sister and I listened to this album every year from Thanksgiving through New Year's when we were growing up. It's surprising that we didn't wear out the album. It was also a Christmas special shown on TV for a number of years. Still don't believe me when I say it's the best? Here's John Denver and Rolf singing my favorite Christmas carol - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Money Talks

I was brought up with the understanding that the discussion of money has no place in polite conversation. You don't ask how much something costs, you don't leave the price tag on a gift and you don't ask how much someone makes. Of course, nowadays where nothing is private and casual is the new formal I've allowed myself to fall into some of these monetary discussions that were once verboten. I suffered through the "starving artist" comments after getting my bachelor's degree in theater, mostly because I was neither starving nor an artist for the most part. I spent the bulk of my artistic years in the city working as a bartender and server making good money so I usually let the ramen noodle jokes roll off my back. As well, I became accustomed to the tourists sitting at my bar asking questions regarding what I paid in rent, how much it cost to ride the subway everyday and if groceries were more expensive here. I answered because I knew they weren't being rude (usually), just curious, and they typically prefaced all their queries with "if you don't mind my asking".

But asking a few innocent questions is not exactly where my issue lies. What I would like to know is when did it become appropriate to make judgment calls on a person's career choice based on the salary it provided, especially when two people are mere acquaintances? Allow me to elaborate. As I said before, I went along with all the starving artist jokes that were thrown my way, mainly because there is quite a bit of truth behind it. Most people who are performers know that they may never make a living in their art and many are proud to be "starving artists". The same cannot be said for other career choices - veterinary nursing, for one. I recently found myself in a conversation (with someone in the very same veterinary career choice as me, no less**) who, after hearing that my first degree was in theater and my second was veterinary nursing, made the comment, "Wow, you picked two careers where you won't make any money." Now, first of all, I had known this person for maybe a full three hours up to this point. Second, while I'll concede that the theater career was bound to leave me destitute, the veterinary nursing pays a decent living wage. No, I will never buy a winter home in Aspen or a Mercedes with my salary but I'm not likely to be living in a cardboard box on Houston Street, either. Later, I mistakenly added that I may one day get my masters so that I can teach, a remark that was again greeted with an observation about my hypothetical salary. At this point I realized that I was talking to someone who valued money above an interesting, challenging career and I left it at that.


But the conversation stuck with me and the more I thought about it the more annoyed I became. Why must this country place so much emphasis on money? Why am I laughed at because I want to work in a field that will probably never pay me six figures? I did not choose my career based on the amount of money I could make. If that was my plan I would have majored in international business or chemical engineering. I chose my career because I was interested in it, because it was a growing field with a lot of opportunities and, most of all, because it made me happy to go to work. After shaking margaritas for so many years and being miserable, that means a lot. So I will happily take my modest salary, I will drive my Ford and maybe one day have a cozy three bedroom house, I will take vacations to places where I can stay with friends and shop at the Gap instead of Gucci. But I will be happy.


**Incidentally, the person I was conversing with is headed off to veterinary medical school, leaving us veterinary nurses with our so-called meager paychecks. Said person believes he will be making six figures in no time although the average median salary for a veterinarian is roughly $80,000. Good luck with those student loans!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Top Five Most Irritating Christmas Songs


In no particular order...

1. Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses
2. Feliz Navidad (any version)
3. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (again, any version)
4. Santa Baby (the Madonna version)
5. Any Christmas song sung by Mariah Carey

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baking, baking, baking...

For the first time in eight years I am not racing to catch a bus, packing up the car or heading off to work on Thanksgiving Eve. What's more, I will not be doing any racing around tomorrow. Arbor Boy and I have a lazy Thanksgiving in front of us that will find us sitting on the couch with giant mugs of coffee watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then feasting on a breakfast of buckwheat pancakes and sausage. A little later we'll pop open our bottle of champagne, maybe check in on the football games and then head off to one of the delicious Greek restaurants in our neighborhood for our own little Thanksgiving feast, Astoria-style.

There is something so very relaxing about not having to be any when most everyone else is hitting the road or lining up in airports. We'll be heading to the south fork for a traditional Thanksgiving meal this weekend but right now it's just the two of us, the three cats, and a Thanksgiving Eve session. Freshly baked pumpkin bread is cooling on the stove and there is Brooklyn Oktoberfest in the fridge.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Spend a lot, get a little


This must be the new motto of the New York City Mass Transit Authority because they released their planned proposal for next year and it is, in a word, craptastic. Facing yet another year of major budget deficits they decided to do what they do best - increase the fares and tolls. If the plan is approved the cost of a subway ride will most likely increase to $2.50 and a monthly card will now cost $100. If these fare hikes happen, subway riders will be paying over 80% of operating costs for the New York City subway. But wait, there's more. Not only will we be paying more but we'll be paying more for less (which equals worse) service. The MTA plans on cutting the W and J lines entirely, decreasing the G and M routes, and cutting back on all trains. That means that for $100 a month we'll be standing on platforms longer, squeezing into more tightly packed trains (didn't think that was possible, did you), and creeping along at a slower pace. Oh yes, and they also plan on cutting more than 2,000 jobs.

The fare hikes may make more money for the MTA but the ramifications of their plan will be staggering. With gas prices dropping, many people are already planning to do more driving and less mass transiting. That means more single car drivers, more congestion in the city, and more carbon emissions in the environment. It will basically unravel any environmental work being done by green groups in the city.

This makes me angry and it should make you angry. Every year the MTA comes up short and every year the only option they claim to have is to raise fares on us. The subway system is the transportation for most people in this city, sometimes the only transportation for people, and the MTA takes advantage of this fact. They half-heartedly claim that the plan won't go through if they get money from the state but we all know that the state has it's own billion dollar deficit to deal with. So that means the fare hikes will be their goldmine.

But if we are going to be paying for the majority of the operating costs then we should demand transparency of the MTA finances. Most people know that the MTA seems to work off of two different sets of books, making money magically appear after they claim to have none. Subway riders need to demand that we see exactly what the MTA is working with and where our hard earned money is going. This city is quickly becoming a playground for the wealthy while leaving the rest of us digging deeper and deeper into our already empty pockets.

Get angry, New York. After all, isn't that what we're known for?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Menagerie

On Friday, I officially adopted Melvin from the ASPCA (and got his kitty bits snipped, sorry buddy) and, as you can see, he's fitting into his niche as "feline #3" quite nicely.

Although Pandora still seems to have her doubts about her new adopted sibling....

Puck has taken his role as big brother in stride.

Welcome to the family, Melvin.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I, I am a dancer...**




Ballet at Carol's Academy of Dance. I'm the left-handed one.


Broadway Dance Center Student Showcase



(**a reference I expect dancers and theater geeks to get.
)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Vote or Die

After what seems like years of primaries and campaign trails the time has come to finally get out there and vote, which is what I hope all of you plan to do on Tuesday if you haven't already. This election has been covered from front to back and top to bottom. We've watched the presidential and vice presidential candidates debate. We've heard the words reform, economy, taxes, and health care tossed around ad nauseum. We've heard sound bites like "fundamentally sound", "small town Americans", "mavericks", and "going rogue". We've heard the names Joe Six-Pack, Joe the Plumber, and Joe Obiden. We've heard everything we're going to hear from the candidates and now it's time to make our decision. In the spirit of what appears to be an historic election, I would like to add some of my own personal talking points to keep in mind when going to the polls:

~ Barack Obama is not Muslim. Remember the whole Reverend Wright uproar? If he has a reverend then he's not Muslim. Sorry conservatives, you can't have it both ways.

~ John McCain doesn't know whether he should sit down and talk to President Zapatero of Spain (or any other Latin American leaders).

~ Barack Obama is half black and half white.

~ John McCain has never been an astronaut.

~ Sarah Palin's view of Russia from a tiny Alaskan island gives her foreign policy experience.

~ John McCain plans on giving everyone a $5000 credit for health care, even though your current plan most likely costs close to $12,000.

~ Sarah Palin was stumped by Charles Gibson, Katie Couric, and two comedians from Canada (now those two are a couple of mavericks.)

~ Barack Obama is not Marxist, Socialist, or Satanic.

~ Sarah Palin can't name any newspapers she reads or any Supreme Court cases other than Roe vs. Wade (c'mon Sarah, Brown vs. Board of Education, Dred Scott vs. Sanford, Miranda vs. Arizona, Curly vs. The Three Stooges...oh, wait, ignore that last one.)

~ John McCain knows how to catch Bin Laden...but he'll only tell us once he's President.

~ The fact that Obama rhymes with Osama means absolutely nothing.

~ There is nothing wrong with having hope and supporting change.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat, Bushwick Style

Happily, Halloween fell on a Friday so we were off to Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick to hear some good bands, watch some funny hipsters and get decked out in our homemade superhero costumes.

(pictured above Emergency Party's Miss Frosty on bass, Noel on drums, and Gian Carlo on guitar)

Emergency Party rocked out at midnight, along with Killer Whale and Barghest.


Miss Frosty as Slash's long-lost sister.


Caution Boy and Danger Girl
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There's an old saying...

...in show business that says you should never perform with children or animals, they will almost always upstage you.


I think that sentiment can be applied to this picture. Ladies and gentlemen, Inara and Melvin.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lyric of the Day



"And if I hear one more time about a fool's right to his tools of rage, I'm gonna take all my friends and I'm gonna move to Canada, and we're gonna die of old age." ~ Ani Difranco To The Teeth

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Korean mums

The Korean Chrysanthemums are in bloom at the Central Park Conservancy at 105th and 5th and they are a breathtaking sight. Go quickly if you want to catch them in all their glory, the cold weather will chase them away soon. It also just happens to be the spot where Arbor Boy spends his days. We should all be so lucky.

Click on photos for larger image.






All photographs are the property of Krissy Dunkle and should not be used without permission. Contact felisfemina@gmail.com if you would like to use an image.

Thanks,
The management

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Boy's Night

Arbor Boy and Melvin getting to know each other.


You seem like a good guy.


Yeah, I think we'll get along just fine.

Saturday afternoon

It's time for me to get away from the political insanity swirling around us and post something a little more mellow, something more apropos of a lazy saturday afternoon. I revisited itunes after placing a self-imposed moratorium on music buying for the past couple of months. Needless to say, I did a little damage but it was money well spent. As I type this, John Mayer's Continuum is grooving in the background, it's a perfect soundtrack for the day.


I also went searching for some old school hip-hop/rap and came away with A Tribe Called Quest's The Low End Theory. This is a great album from start to finish.


I rounded out my shopping spree with few random single purchases and now I've reinstated the music buying moratorium before I go broke.

______________________________________________



Arbor Boy started his new job in Central Park recently so I made my way to 103rd and 5th a few weeks ago to see where he's been spending his days. Three gorgeous gardens tucked away in the north east corner of Central Park along museum mile. I brought my new camera with me.


I highly recommend a visit to the Central Park Conservancy for those of you in NYC. The mums will be blooming soon, they're sure to be beautiful.


Tomorrow we're driving north of the city to check out some fall color, meet up with friends for some hiking or apple picking and just get away from the concrete jungle. I'm sure I'll have more pictures to post.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Super Troopergate


This is probably not what McCain's campaign had in mind when they told Sarah Palin to go out and get them some press. I can't wait to see the pseudofeminists and deluded women of America defend their precious hockey mom in lipstick.

Alaska panel finds Palin abused power in firing

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What's in a name?


Bill Platt, the GOP chairman for Lehigh County, PA made sure to use Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein, twice at a rally for John McCain and Sarah Palin. This is really getting old, folks. The people playing the name game with Barack Obama really need to stop and listen to themselves and hear how truly ignorant they sound. Obama rhymes with Osama. Obama's middle name is Hussein. Well then, he must be an anti-American Muslim terrorist who will sneak into your home at night and eat your children, right? For the love of god, people, stop it already. Remember, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Saddam Hussein by any other name would still be an evil son of a bitch. Are we to fear anyone and everyone who shares a name with (or has a name that rhymes with) a dictator, terrorist, serial killer, etc.? The sheer stupidity of this "logic" is astounding. So, to the people who want to equate Barack Obama with Muslim faith and terrorism solely because of his name, stop it. Now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The difference

Actual debate aside, the differences between the two candidates was astounding. Barack Obama perched comfortably on his chair watching McCain intently. When he spoke he looked directly into the audience his words full of charisma and self-assuredness. McCain, in contrast, scribbled madly on his notepad, at times stumbled in his speaking and shuffled aimlessly around the forum like an old man in his bedroom slippers.

As far as the debate itself, both sides had moments and missteps. But while Barack Obama spoke clearly and plainly about energy, tax policy and the economy, John McCain tended to wander in his thinking until he found a foothold and then burst into a diatribe about one of his campaign's topics. It even seemed as though he was attempting to prove his political know-how by referencing vague and obscure policies, bills, and so on.

If tonight wasn't a clear demonstration of why John McCain is not capable of running the country then I don't know what is.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Debate


There are two things that are very wrong with last night's Vice Presidential debates. The first is the performance that Sarah Palin gave where, for all the words that came out of her mouth, she said very little. The second is the fact that there are people who will buy that performance. She stood up there with all the pageantry poise she could muster and recited those talking points that she crammed into her head in the days leading up to the debate. Ask her the same questions next week (you know, the ones she didn't answer last night) and she won't be able to pull the names Kim Jong-il and Ahmadinejad out of her brain if her life depended on it. She was as rehearsed and robotic as a grade school play and I just can't see how anyone would want that in a leader.

On the other hand, Joe Biden was poised and knowledgeable on all the topics. He spoke naturally and looked comfortable. He answered the questions that were given him and defended the Obama/Biden campaign with facts that were not drilled into his head 72 hours before the debate. It clearly showed just how out of her league Governor Palin really is. And while she claims to empathize with Joe Six-Pack (a term I despise due to it's sheer ridiculousness) she barely batted an eye when Joe Biden spoke of his wife and daughter. And by the way, to all those Joe Six-Packs out there, Sarah Palin and her husband are worth about $1.2 million. See, she's just like you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, CoverGod?


On my way home from work today on the subway, I was reading over a woman's shoulder (yes, I do that. Annoying, isn't it?). She was reading Glamour magazine so I could mostly see the pictures and a few headlines. She flipped to a topic that read, "7 Things In God's Makeup Bag". Now, let me pause to say that, although I went to church religiously (no pun intended) as a kid, I would probably call myself an agnostic. I believe that there quite possibly could be a god, but I tend to believe more scientific explanations for life and creation, etc, etc.

But I digress.

Why does God need makeup? God doesn't seem to show his (or her) face in public much and, if he...she... did, wouldn't she..er, he...be able to have perfectly clear, beautiful skin. After all, he's God. I couldn't read the the details so I don't know everything God keeps in his makeup bag but thank God (hee hee) there were pictures because I can tell you that God likes pink metallic nail polish. Are the fashion magazines so hard up for consumers that they're targeting the God-fearing Christians in hopes of finding a new demographic to sell their beauty tips and fashion musts-haves to? Who knows? Maybe the May issue will feature a swimsuit spread with a very different look.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pleading the First


I realize that, as a blogger, what I write is out there on the internet for anyone and everyone to read. I have no qualms with that, I want people to read what I have to say. I also want people to have an opinion on what I say. I welcome comments, criticism, outright disagreement. It comes with the territory.

I was recently confronted with face-to-face criticism about one of my blog posts. It was an older post so I honestly did not remember what exactly I had written but the criticism was fair and I accepted it as the confronter's opinion, although I disagreed with it. However, the conversation ended with my confronter telling me, in all seriousness, "don't do it again." The blog entry in question, I would like to clarify, had no reference to the plaintiff.


Well, sorry but, no. This is
my blog. My web log. So basically, my journal that just happens to be available for all to see. Anyone is free to dislike, disagree with, or argue any of my opinions. But there really is no one in the position to tell me what I may and may not write on my blog.

This is my blog. I write what I want. If you don't like it, go away.


Thank you and goodnight.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tall Tales

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory to start your Sunday off right. I haven't heard this type of alarmist doomsday garbage since 9/11. It starts with the predicted (and government planned) economy crash in September 2008 *gasp* followed by our joining with Canada and Mexico to form The North American Union (kinda like the European Union) and before you know it we are headed for FEMA camps and martial law. Check out the following links:

September 2008: Planned Economic Crash

Stop The North American Union

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America