Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Make America Good Again

"Great"?  

"Great" has all kinds of echoes to it - especially in today's America - but even ignoring politics, there's a faint shrill of trumpets to the word, rumble of heroic charges, clash of battles, roar of victories!  "Great" cheers on competition.

But "Good"?

"Good" has a whole different vibe.  "Good" implies not competition, but values.  "Good" contrasts itself with "Bad."  "Good" whispers of morality, ethics, faith, and kindness.

So...


The Washington Post has a great, um, good Hat-Maker tool HERE.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Catch Up Photos

A few pics from shows earlier this year...

The Gazebo at Main Stage Irving Las Colinas:



The Royale at Kitchen Dog Theater:



Now onstage? 

Go see Bread at WaterTower Theatre in Addison - a wonderful new play by Regina Taylor set in Dallas' Oak Cliff.

(And while you're play-watching, check out Pompeii at Kitchen Dog.  I'm gettin' tickets!)




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tax Swamp

Tax Day is always fraught... but they are finally done and sent!

Meanwhile, our Dear Leader is getting an extension for his apparently.





I STILL WANT TO SEE TRUMP'S TAX RETURNS!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Net Neutral Burger

Confused about what "Net Neutrality" even means?  Or why it's important to You?

Burger King (brilliantly) explains:


This is important stuff people!  Go bug your government about it, huh?

Find your Representative HERE.
Find your Senator HERE.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Presidents' Day and The Royale

Presidents ain't Kings.

All I'm sayin'.


I think fair use of mostly public domain images (thanks Wikimedia!)


Meanwhile, at Kitchen Dog Theater, my set for The Royale is being built:


The newly stained floor - photo by Jeremy Escobar

Friday, February 2, 2018

Catching Up... and Getting Ahead

Well, it's been the usual nuts around here.  

At the moment I'm frantically trying to catch up on construction drawings for WaterTower Theater's production of Bread, a new play by Regina Taylor.  (Decisions got a little delayed, as they tend to on premiers, but we're cooking now.)

I've got a couple shows on the boards:  This Random World at Circle Theater and The Gazebo at Mainstage Irving Las Colinas.  Check 'em out!  Coming up soon is The Royale at Kitchen Dog Theater.  



Above and below: The Gazebo by Main Stage Irving Las Colinas
Sketch and photo by Clare Floyd DeVries



Outside of theater I've been doing a little reading:  dipping into the newest translation of Don Quixote (very lively) and a collection Famous Speeches (less so), and just finishing The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.  Fascinating!  Hard to describe... more or less a look at the philosophical basis for a moral and happy life merged with related recent science.  Sounds dull?  Not so!

TV and film? I've been enjoying the latest Star Wars and the shows The Crown and The Good Place.

But how about my latest and most terrible hobby you ask?  (No, if you have sense you run because that hobby is Politics.  Yeesh.)


TODAY'S PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

If you're not yet registered to vote... go sign up today!

Texas' primaries start March 6th.  And this year in Texas there are actual CHOICES!  So go pick someone you like, huh?  Primaries are important.

Look at the Dallas News' Voters' Guide for who all will be on your primary ballot.  Having actual choices means that you'll have to do a little homework in order to vote intelligently.

TODAY'S POLITICAL PLUG

Let me recommend one candidate for your consideration:


Beto O'Roarke

Here's why I like him enough to advocate for him:  

1)  He's running against Senator Ted Cruz.
2)  Beto refuses to accept PAC money.  Believes in term limits.
3)  He's eager, enthusiastic, and tireless.  He's been driving ALL over the state in his pickup, meeting with regular people, talking with them.  He's 45 but seems younger, partly because he's tech-savvy... and younger, tech-savvier opinions in the Senate can only be a plus.
4)  Beto has experience as US Representative for El Paso (so with real knowledge of border issues - did I mention he's fluent in Spanish?)
5)  He's pro-veterans in a practical get-them-help- kinda way.  I like the practicality.
6)  He believes in - and practises - bi-partisanship.  I don't care what party he belongs to, but he believes in the things I like about the Democratic party... like health care.
7)  Beto seems like a genuinely good guy.  Nice family.  Appealing.  All that electability stuff. 
8)  Plus he was once a punk rocker.  Not sure why that appeals to me... maybe because that's unstuffy? 

First bumper sticker I've ever put on my car.

Please vote.  Your country needs you.





Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Big Fish

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I've been CRAZY busy.  Between the holidays, visitors, and deadlines there's just been no time (or energy) to blog.  But here's a little of what I've been up to...

Big Fish for Junior Players.

A lovely, very successful, show.


Junior Players' Big Fish  A stylized Alabama river bank, which framed the show.
Schematic design sketch by Clare Floyd DeVries


Junior Players' Big Fish. Photo by DiAnn L'Roy

Among the time intensive parts of this show were creating the abstract "Spanish moss"... made from string and drinking straws and beads... and hours and hours of stringin'.  Thank goodness for volunteers!  Thank you, thank you!

Here's a closer look:



Very hard to capture them on film, but in the theater these lacy dingle-dangles caught the light and added a lot of atmosphere.  (They also helped lower the apparent height of the proscenium, which helped better scale it to the young performers.  This is a HUGE stage.  The proscenium is 30' high and, what, 60' wide?  Immense.  Very nice facility though - my first design at the Moody Performance Hall in Dallas' Arts District.)

So, a few more looks:

Big Fish - sketch for "The War" scene

Hard to catch on film is... well, really, any of the larger setting around the actors.  Photographers naturally concentrate on faces, but I assure you, there's some pretty spiffy bunting hanging there above those faces.  See what I mean?  

(The bunting you can't hardly see was painted at about 10:30 at night - past my bedtime -  so their style is, um, loose.  While other things were painted on the venue's loading dock on the coldest day Dallas has seen for a while.  My volunteers and I were blue... and that was before we spilled the bucket of blue paint.)

Big Fish - this photo and the following ones are  by DiAnn L'Roy

Photos are great, but they just don't - can't - give the whole experience. 





Of course, sketches can't really show the experience either... they just try.




Big Thanks due to the many volunteers (especially my beaders n' painters!), to the TD!, to the amazing directors and other designers (costumes! lights!  wow!), to the incredible Junior Players organization, and most of all to the talented and hard-working actors.  A wonderful show.





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Please Call Your Representatives (Again)

Well, they're trying to mess up the internet again.

The FCC plans to change the rules that keep the internet neutral, to let your internet provider or ISP:

1) Charge you more for faster service.  (Meaning poorer or thriftier people get crummier service.  

ADDENDUM: Oops! they do this already, when your service slows after you reach your phone's data cap.  I miss-typed.  But what may now happen is a sort of airline-ification of your internet service... Want streaming?  Extra.  Want access to the cloud?  Extra?  Want knees or oxygen with that?  You get the idea.  Oh, did you want You Tube with your internet?)

What's for sure is that ISPs will:

2)  Charge businesses, websites, and streaming services etc. more to reach you.  (Meaning poorer, newer, start-up, and niche guys can't compete with richer, more established, mainstream ones.  That favorite viral video not on Netflix?  That weird genre comic?  That unpopular opinion?  Sloooooow to loooooad.)

3)  "Fast" and "slow" lanes (AKA decent versus crummy service) add up to de facto censorship.  

Not political censorship necessarily, but, for instance, you might have a bad connection when ordering pizza from Dominos... and a strangely good connection to Pizza Hut.  So you'll start ordering more Pizza Hut.  If your internet provider just happens to get kickbacks from them...?  Pure coincidence!

That's the obviously profitable commercial censorship, that profit motives will determine what you can or cannot see online.  But with all these dark money PACs around it's only a matter of time (think seconds) before some ISP is paid to speed up one political party's ads or trash talk.  Heck, if a Koch Brother or a Soros own a big percent of an internet corp. they might even tilt that scale for free.  Your news and then your political and social views will be warped by what Big Internet Brother wants you to see.

Scary.

The internet is the conduit through which most of our lives now travel - do we want a filter to collect more money for our ISPs clogging it up?  

Polluting it?



So.

Call your representatives in Congress.  Explain this stupidity to them!  Because your protest is the only thing possibly stopping this.  You got less than two days.