Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pen Award-Winner!


Se Llama Cristina, a play by Octavio Solis which Kitchen Dog Theater produced last year (and I got to set design) has just won the prestigious Pen Literary Award for Drama!

Se Llama Cristina by Octavio Solis
This photo by Matt Mrozek shows actors Vanessa DeSilvio, Israel Lopez and the shadow of Jeremy Schwartz.  
Also my set... "mine" meaning many, many people's actually.  Christie Vela directed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Film Catch-Up

Still in a cheer-myself-up mode, here are a few movies I've enjoyed watching just lately:

Guardians of the Galaxy - huge fun!  Rocket and Groot are my new favorite film duo.  I like the bantering dialogue and the sense of humor - especially the hero / villain confrontation at the climax.  I'm already looking forward to the sequel.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - perhaps a little grandiose at the end, but enjoyable, with a nicely even-handed portrayal of both apes and humans.

Begin Again - feel-good music-centric story with not the romance you expect.  I probably need to own this one.

A Hard Days Night - the classic Beatles flick.  Music, obviously, and a kind of Marx Brothers vibe.  I'd never seen the movie, but I'm glad Netflix delivered it.

Thinking of watching movies at the cinema versus at home...

Am I the only one who hates having to buy movie tickets way ahead and pre-select seats in order to be sure you can even get in?  Here in Dallas at the art-house Magnolia Theater, at the Alamo Drafthouse, and often at Studio Movie Grill it's almost impossible to just spontaneously go to the movies and get a decent seat or get in at all... and not just for the just-released "hot" film either.

Photo courtesy of everystockphoto.com HERE

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


It's always when you're already busy that unexpected extra work lands on you.

Squidoo has been sold.  This is the on-line community where I've written a number of articles (including my Greatest-Hit "Theater Set Questions Answered," my Dear-Abby-ish answer to worried high school play designers everywhere). 

This means that I will have to reformat, rewrite, or abandon a lot of work.  Whatever I choose, the new owners, HubPages, can choose to drop any or all of it.


A polite sigh was not, mind you, my first reaction to this news. 

If this is having a rug pulled out from under me, it's a rug upon which I set a desk, a chair, bookcases (of course!) stuffed with books, assorted filing cabinets, a drafting board, a sofa, giant ornamental vases full of dried pampas grass, and maybe a stuffed grizzly bear. 

Grumpy as I feel... maybe the bear's not taxidermied just yet.

A collage from public domain sources, including Amedeo Simonetti's 
The Rug Merchant at Wikimedia Commons.  

In more cheerful news, among those books I'll have to virtually move (sigh? snarl?) is a recent read - Good Prose: The Art of Nonfictionby  Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, the author of House and his long-time editor and friend.  This is a book I'll need to return to the library... then buy my own copy of. 

Other books I've enjoyed lately?  I'm working my way through Greek Revival America by Roger G. Kennedy, a writer on architecture and related topics whom I've followed for years... since he first introduced me to my role-model, architect/pirate Barthelemy Lafon, in fact.  I enjoyed Lindsey Davis' Enemies at Home, the second novel in her new ancient-Roman-detective series.  Try her Silver Pigs as a starter.  I liked Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel Raising Steam.

I think I'll go read a nice calming book.