Thursday, December 22, 2005

Could the strike be over?

The Transport Workers Union Local 100 has, indeed, gone on strike. After postponing the deadline for several days, the workers walked off the job early Tuesday morning which meant that most of us in Queens have not bothered to go to work since then. To get to work, we would have to either a) walk; b) take a cab that has at least 4 people in it (per NYC strike guidelines) and wait in tons of traffic, or; c) Take a cab to one of the non-MTA-run train systems and wait in long lines. You can see why we decided to not work. Tom and I, instead, have spent hours watching movies, drinking and napping. I feel like I am getting away with something having time off on the weekdays. It’s like when you were a kid and snow kept you from going to school... Ok, so that never happened to me because I grew up in San Diego County, but you get the point. Unexpected vacations are fun!

But, alas, our time for fun and games is coming to an end. A mediator has gone between the two sides and has gotten the union leaders to agree to go back to work while negotiations continue. The proposal still has to be approved by the union’s executive board, but NYC can expect the transit workers to be back on the job as soon as tonight. Thank Dog- I still have holiday shopping to do.

In the meantime, I luckily have found a job to keep me occupied this afternoon. I am doing background work on a little HBO series called “The Sopranos.” The studio is in Queens, so I can easily take a cab there.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Thought for the day

"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death.“ -- Betty Bender

Think about it: Love, Career, Dreams, Goals, Friendship ... the list goes on and on. Anytime you are up to something big, it is bound to scare the crap out of you. So, whenever you feel scared, just give yourself a big hug and an congratulatory smile... on the other side of that fear is a huge reward.

(The above quote is courtesy of, which I highly recommend as a chaser to every day news...)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

7 hours before the MTA workers strike

For those of you who do not live in New York City, you may not be aware that at 12:01am tomorrow morning, the contract between the state and the New York transit workers expires, and unless negotiations yield an agreement between the two parties, the Transport Workers Union, Local 100, will strike. That probably doesn’t seem to be a big deal for most people outside the city. But I sold my car before I moved out to New York, and so I rely on public transportation to get everywhere except my immediate neighborhood (for which I rely on my legs). If a strike occurs, the city’s vast subway and bus system will come to a grinding halt and the more than 7 million people who use the MTA everyday will be stranded or, worse, will not be able to get to work.

All of this compounded by the fact that in the state of New York, it is illegal for public workers to strike (Taylor’s Law) and anyone striking will be personally be subjected to massive fines.

Now, I am a member of 2 labor unions (SAG & Actors’ Equity) so I support my fellow brothers and sisters in their fight to win fair wages and decent benefits. Yet I am torn between that and my belief in state legislation to protect the masses, namely the fact that it is ILLEGAL to strike. Upon further research, I became haunted by the burning question- “How can a union fight to protect its members when it is not allowed to pull their workers from a job under any circumstances (including an expired contract)?”

I understand that Taylor’s Law is there to protect the citizens of New York and local commerce by trying to avoid loss due to public workers striking. But the fact that Taylor’s Law is in effect gives a strong upper hand to the bureaucrats and it is entirely upon the union leadership to accept terms or face punishment. Who will protect the workers if the unions are not allowed to stand up for them? What muscle does a union have if they are never allowed to stop working? I feel for the workers- most of them probably do not want to strike and would be more than willing to make deep concessions in order to keep working. But this is the reason unions were created in the first place. Alone, man does not have the bargaining power to ask for what is fair and equitable for a huge corporation. But as a union, the collective can make objective decisions that we subjectively may not be able to make and, as a group, stand up to the corporation. Taylor's Law has taken bargaining power away from the unions by making it illegal to strike- who's going to slap some restrictions on big business?

But with all of that, I feel for the everyday New Yorker’s who will suffer if the workers strike. I feel for the economy which will plummet at the rate of $400 million per day. These are two equally compelling and important sides to one big problem, and both cannot win. The injustice of it all makes me crazy!

To top it all off, MTA recently gave all riders a “holiday fare bonus” by which people either get 1/2 price fares on the weekends, or those who buy monthly cards get 35 days for the price of 31. So why did MTA give money to the riders when they could have used some of that “surplus” for employee benefits and raises????

I tell you, I ought to run for office and fix things...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thought for the day

Courtesy of my good friend, Joey:

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-- H.L. Mencken, July 26, 1920, in The Evening Sun

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Today's Happiness List...

Happiness is...

• Walking my dog in the snow
• A Saturday clear of appointments so I can adequately nurse a hangover
• Being in New York and seeing merriment around me
• My roommates- they are pretty kick-ass cool
• Having friends back home who write to see how I am doing
• Friends calling me when they visit New York so we can have lunch together
• A warm radiator
• Doing my monthly grocery shopping and having lots of yummy food to eat any time of the day
• Being in love
• Knowing that I conquered the dream of moving to a brand new city on my own
• Pizza by the slice
• My sister and I talking several times a week
• My dog in her nesting phase (time of the year when she pretends her stuffed animals are her babies and no longer wants to kill them- instead she cleans them and cuddles with them. It’s really the cutest thing I have ever seen.)
• Going to dance class and knowing that not only am I preparing to be a better performer, but I am also exercising
• Part time work that allows me the freedom to audition or pursue auditions
• Having people read my blog and challenge me to share my life with others

Friday, December 2, 2005

Award Nominee?

Well, kind of. I just did an ego search online and found my name on a theatre awards ballot, eligible to be voted “Outstanding Actress” for the role of Cindy in “Suds.” I spent 2 months during the Spring/Summer 2005 in West Palm Beach, Florida doing this show and was surprised to see it listed on the ballot. I don’t imagine that I would win- not because we weren’t good but because “Suds” is not usually the type of show that garners awards. The show was extended 3 times and we all worked really hard (and had a blast while doing so.) Voting is already done, so don’t even think about trying to bribe the critics on my behalf. Just keep your fingers crossed for me...

You can see photos and reviews from the show here.

The link to the ballot (with my name) is here (note, they may not keep this ballot up indefinitely...)

The link to info about the awards is here.

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