Welcome to the swamp! Here, lurking in the muck, where creativity spawns, you'll find Mrs Crocodile, aka Colleen Dunkel, a costumer and teacher based in Basel, Switzerland.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

King Tut, the cardinal and a transvestite walk into a bar...

King Tut, the cardinal and a transvestite walk into a bar.  It's no joke.  They might be in the cafeteria, taking a break from the Theater Basel's performance of Aida.  The transvestite is worried about her mom coming for the performance, the cardinal is playing on his nintendo game-boy while waiting in the wings and King-Tut rushes by because he has to help clean up the stage, which is really a football stadium left in shambles by the 100 or so performers who started out dressed as nice guys and gals going to the opera but then turn into a pack of wild hooligans who have to be caged in.  This production's last performance is December 28.  I'll miss working as a dresser with the likes of Stephan Widmer and Fabian Degen, but will look forward to their next incarnation in another production.  And isn't that just the nicest thing about theater?   You can be killed even entombed alive and come back to life without actually having to go through the trouble of death or birth, not to mention childhood and puberty.
Yours, shedding my skin,
Mrs Crocodile



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Friday, December 10, 2010

Sick Horses and Doubts...

I'm in bed with a sick horse next to me.  And life is rapidly changing all around me, going from one day knowing what the hell I'm doing to the next day, having no clue.  First, our dear friend Lassamp has come down with something, so when the children left the house for school, they put me in charge of her to take care of and give her medicine, so I crawled back into bed with the horse, since it said on my list (see my post from yesterday) that drinking coffee in bed while slowly waking up was feel-good.  It didn't say drinking coffee in bed with a sick horse was feel-good however, so I'm questioning the list and the symbolism of lying in bed with a sick horse has got my mind racing.  What does it all mean?  The horse is not dead and I'm not beating it, but you can't really say it was alive ever either since she's only a little white stuffed horse, so does that mean she's dead anyway?  Oh well.  There are too many uncertainties and it's better just to pretend to give the stuffed horse her medicine, get up, go to work and hope that she gets better soon and we won't really have to take her to the vet.

Speaking of doubts and uncertainties, you can watch this space for updates on   Upstart Entertainment's Spring production of Doubt by John Patrick Shanley.  I'm working with director Andy Tobler as the costume designer.  And the following quote particularly hit me while I was reading the play again, next to Lassamp: "I have been longing for the return of my peace of mind. "  It is spoken by Sister James, a young nun, who incidentally is a warm teacher and full of educational bravado as only a young teacher can be, about her teaching style, but also something else.  I think I was like that once, but not anymore, since the doubts crept in and made me ask if I should really be teaching anymore at all.  And now I've said it, what I've been trying to put into words for the better part of a year now.  The cat's out of the bag and the horse is still sick.  Stay with me readers and watch how the blog unfolds to reveal the real Mrs Crocodile.

Yours, doctoring sick and recently released animals,
Mrs Crocodile


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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Making a list, checking it twice...

Two of my readers complained that this blog had changed from its beginnings.  They wanted to read more of my philosophical ramblings, or so they said, and they wanted to pin me down for a sure-fire direction that the blog should take, I think it's called a niche.  So I respond two ways: numero uno is, if I feel trapped, I'm going to run, and two, although I like the sound of the word niche, the definition is rather constraining and claustrophobic and makes me feel a bit helpless, such as an animal which has fallen into a pit, that is, when I really think about it.

Ah...now that's settled I can get on with the business of life and writing blogs.  This week my son dressed up as Santa Claus for St Nicholas Day and went to a friend's house to really play Santa and bring that family some presents.  It was completely his idea which involved me sewing a red coat with this awful fake fur that made such a mess when I cut it up I felt that my room had turned into a construction site.  I would put a picture up but I think he might kill me if he caught wind of it, so you're just going to have to imagine the cutest and skinniest Santa in the world with a burlap bag over his shoulder, walking off down the street, making every single person he crosses, smile a really big, broad smile.  He even rehearsed his Santa voice in the kitchen before he left, but I should mention, he refused to let me and his sister stuff a pillow in his pants.

There is just something about this time of year and lists that go together.  Maybe it's because everyone is so stressed, they have no time to write longer utterances so they have to reduce their writings to New Year's Resolutions and wish lists, but here is a another idea from my very dear friend of koo-ki fame.  She said she was writing a list of what makes her feel good.  It sounds incredibly simple and you know what?  It's really nice, one of the things was eating cookies and drinking milk.  So I ate cookies, drank milk and felt good.  Where is this going?  Well, I'm pretending to do some philosophical rambling as my readers wanted, but really, I'm encouraging you to rather than writing a list to Santa, be Santa yourself, since even a 9 year old will tell you, playing Santa is really fun and makes you feel good.
Yours, still thinking about the pillow
Mrs Crocodile




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Monday, December 6, 2010

Blogging it off

Blogging, like sewing and cutting things up into little pieces is good for my soul.  I read blogs that my friends write and blogs that they read, too.  It's a great way of keeping up with each other as long as when you actually meet in person you can still talk about something you haven't written about already and you keep saying to each other: "Oh yeah, I read about that on your blog".   This won't happen with Lady Mac Beth.  Her blog is a lovely new find! Bitter Sweet and Salty she's also an American in Basel.  She's really blogging it off and using it for her soul.  Bitter Sweet and Salty is so good I find myself clicking back more than I want to admit to check if she's posted again.  Well it's just yummy, like chewing on the fat, then funny and tasty, and serious and then funny again and about life in Switzerland and just life in situations.  I hope you enjoy it, too.
Chomp, chomp, swallow, gulp!
Mrs Crocodile


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