This is my blog about my arts, crafts, and photography along with the occasional rant. If you prefer to view a portfolio of my work, check out this blog’s sister site on NeoCities. (Link will open in a new window.) And while you’re there, try your hand at playing a video game that I originally designed. 😉

You can also purchase my first book, The Cash-Strapped Person’s Guide to Thriving in the Digital Age in the following formats and places:

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Every day this guy sinks lower and lower. It’s so obvious that he’s not fit to be president. This past weekend he attacked four members of Congress on Twitter who are all women and people of color while accusing them of being un-American. He not only refuses to apologize for his vile tweets but he has called press conferences where he has doubled down on what he said in his tweets. This video has excerpts from his most recent vile press conference while putting up easily verifiable facts that refutes what Trump has said.

It’s so obvious that he is stirring up white heterosexual male hatred towards those who are different, especially among his most enthusiastic supporters. The longer he stays in the White House, the more damaged the United States of America will become as a country for years to come.

Look at what happened to Germany after Adolf Hitler. The country was forcibly divided into two separate nations—known as East Germany and West Germany—for 41 years while families were kept apart due to the different politics of the two nations and the fact that one of the nations had a shoot to kill order of anyone who tried to illegally leave that nation.

The longer Donald Trump stays in office, the more likely this country will be just as damaged as Germany was after Hitler. Congress needs to either invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution or impeach him and it needs to do it starting right now. The future of this country is at stake.

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Each year the Capital Pride Festival is held in Washington, DC on the first weekend of Pride Month. This year I finally made an effort to attend the Capital Pride Festival for the first time in my life. This was after many years of knowing that this festival existed. I had opportunities in the past to represent the Unitarian Universalist faith at a booth by volunteering but I never did. I especially had opportunities to volunteer when a longtime member of my UU congregation came out as gay and he devoted much of his retirement time to organizing on behalf of LGBTQ people both within the UU faith and in interfaith groups. (He and his partner has since moved to Florida where they continue to be active in both the UU faith and LGBTQ rights.)

I never did. In fact it would be years before I would even consider attending a Pride festival of any kind. The last couple of years I got reminders of the Capital Pride Festival because the DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School would hold an event on the same Sunday as the festival. I went to Dr. Sketchy’s in 2017 but I basically took photos of all the rainbow stuff in Dupont Circle, which was a few miles away from where the festival was held. The following year I went to Dr. Sketchy’s again but instead of going to the festival first, I attended Sunday service at the National City Christian Church because Rev. William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign was giving a speech in the pulpit. Because of the timing of both when Sunday service ended and when Dr. Sketchy’s was going to begin, I couldn’t swing getting back on the Metro to go to the festival because the timing would’ve been too close to Dr. Sketchy’s.

This year I finally decided that I would make an effort to show up to the Capital Pride Festival in person just to see what it was like. Since the DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s haven’t held an event since last October and no Pride tie-in event was scheduled for the same day, I could spend as much time at the festival as I wanted. I even wasn’t going to let the rain forecast deter me from not going—I simply took an umbrella with me.

Since the festival was held on a Sunday, I went to my church’s special all-ages Sunday service on playing followed by a picnic (most of which ended up being held indoors because it started to rain off and on). Once I ate my fill of food, I drove over to the Metro station and went directly to the Capital Pride Festival. Here is a short video I shot of the festivities from that day.

Here are the photos I took of the festival that day. I knew I was close to the festival grounds on Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest when I saw more rainbow flags and related LGBTQ buttons on sale.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Of course there was anti-Trump stuff on sale. I can’t blame LGBTQ people for being less-than-thrilled with the current president, especially since his administration has been increasing hostile towards the LGBTQ in general.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Despite the cloudy wet weather the festival was well-attended.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

I saw a variety of corporate sponsors at this festival, which shows how mainstream LGBTQ rights have become in recent years (especially with increasing acceptance of legalized same-sex marriage). I’m amazed at this change, especially since I still have memories of when my UU congregation accepted that longtime member when he came out of the closet (this was back in the 1980s when there was a backlash against the gay rights movement due mainly to the AIDS virus striking that community) and made the then-bold move of formally being recognized as a Welcoming Congregation by the UUA. I still remember having to keep my mouth shut when I used to hear the occasional anti-gay joke when I worked for the corporate offices of a now-defunct computer reseller because there was a strong corporate culture against making any kind of waves for any reason. I never felt comfortable enough to even tell a co-worker there about how my church was trying to be more accommodating to LGBTQ people and standing up for their rights. Now there are corporations who are taking part in LGBTQ festivals like this one.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Someone at the Amazon booth volunteered to take a photo of me with my smartphone. I’m wearing the same t-shirt that I designed at a Pride Month event that took place in a local art supply store last year.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Even the U.S. State Department had a table where it was recruiting potential employees.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

There was also the reminder that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which gave rise to the modern LGBTQ movement.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

Despite LGBTQ people becoming more accepted, there have still been some backlash, especially among transgender people. I saw this booth promoting an upcoming march for transgender people that will happen in DC this fall.

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

There was also a promo for the upcoming BronyCon in Baltimore. (I went in 2013, 2014, and 2015 but I haven’t gone since because of tight finances. I might go this year since things are starting to improve for me but I haven’t yet made a final decision as of this writing.)

Capital Pride Festival, June 9, 2019

At one point it started to rain so I ended up spending the rest of the festival under my umbrella. I walked around until I grew tired and I left to go back to the nearest Metro station. (The only bad thing about going to a festival in rainy weather is that everything was too wet to sit on so taking any sitting break was out of the question unless I wanted to put up with wet pants.) I’m glad that I finally went to an official Pride festival and I enjoyed myself.

The only downside was that the next day I began to felt something in my lungs and I realized that I was working on a chest cold. I have no idea if this chest cold came as a result of walking in the rain during Capital Pride Festival or if I may have caught someone else’s germs a day or two before that festival but I ended up developing it. It took at least three weeks before I got rid of it mainly because it lingered when this awful heat and humidity weather came to the area and the National Weather Service issued a Code Orange alert warning people with lung problems that they will have more difficulty breathing if they spend any amount of time outdoors. Getting this cold sucked but I still don’t regret going to this year’s Capital Pride Festival because at last I got a chance to see for myself what it is like.

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Last month my church had a special all-ages Sunday service where we gathered together and sang hymns then the service was interrupted so we could engage in a variety of activities ranging from board games to Play Doh. After about 20 minutes or so, we went back into service and finished the service. The idea is that people of all ages, especially adults, can get in touch with their spirituality through playing and having fun. It was one of the more memorable services I’ve been to in recent years so I took a few photographs.

Some people played Jenga.

Special Sunday Service on Playing

There were people who opted to draw on the outside deck using chalk.

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

There was a Frisbee Disc Golf set for anyone who wanted to try throwing a frisbee.

Special Sunday Service on Playing

There was a serious game of cornhole bean bag toss going on.

Special Sunday Service on Playing

I have to say that Play Doh was probably the most popular activity that Sunday.

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

Special Sunday Service on Playing

After Sunday service we had our annual spring picnic, which was pretty fun, even though the weather started to rain by then. (Many of us ended up eating out meal indoors.)

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Recently a couple got married. Okay, that’s not so bad. That’s what couples do when they are deeply in love.

They are politically conservative. Okay, I probably won’t agree with them on too many issues but at least it’s great that they found each other and they share most of the same values. Conservatives should have the right to marry as much as anyone else.

The couple decided to get married on the Fourth of July. That’s reminiscent of when my late mother-in-law married her late second husband in Arizona on July 3. (Of course it was hot as hell on that day but that’s another story. I remember the following evening when the entire family gathered at a Tempe area park to see the fireworks.)

The groom, who served two combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan while he was in the Marine Corp, opted to wear his Marine dress uniform. That’s not so bad. My ex-husband’s oldest nephew wore his Navy dress uniform when he got married back in 2010. (The wedding was held in Connecticut near where he was stationed at the time.)

But then there’s the bride. Apparently she was married in a traditional bridal gown but after the ceremony, she switched to another white gown—a fishtail-cut halter party gown with a “Make America Great Again” slogan and the name “Trump” emblazoned in big letters.

But, wait, that’s not all. The groomsmen were given “Don’t Tread on Me” cufflinks while the bridesmaids got red, white, and blue manicures. The groom carried his rifle. And each reception table had a petition in support of a “fetal heartbeat bill” for guests to sign.

Here is what the wedding looked like:

Apparently not everyone was thrilled with the pro-Donald Trump theme of the wedding. The groom’s father decided not to attend the wedding and the bride’s brother has become estranged from her due to her right-wing views.

If Donald Trump was a typical bland elected official, I would’ve laughed at how tacky and over-the-top that wedding was. But Trump isn’t a typical president or even a typical elected official—he’s someone who has been constantly stirring up so much drama ever since he was sworn into office in 2016 that it would take several additional entries to document them all. He makes George W. Bush seem bland by comparison (and Dubya was the president who ordered an invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and oversaw the 2008 economic collapse).

Considering the fact that the couple decided to invoke Trump’s name and “Make America Great Again” slogan despite those recent reports about concentration camps surfaced says it all about how much they really care about their fellow human beings. The fact that they wanted their guests to sign that fetal-heartbeat petition during their reception while ignoring the plight of children who are currently serving in concentration camps—with many of them separated from their parents—says it all about how “pro-life” they really are. By the standards of people like them, Adolf Hitler would be considered “pro-life” because he banned abortion (especially for Aryan women) during his rule.

Heck, if they were the stereotypical Aryans living in Germany at the time, they probably would’ve had a Hitler-themed wedding with Hitler’s name emblazoned on the bridal gown and a swastika on the wedding cake while ignoring the fact that Hitler had his own concentration camps while he also ordered the invasion of other countries.

The issue isn’t that they opted for a patriotic red, white, and blue wedding. After all, it would’ve been fitting since they got married on the Fourth of July. Heck, it would’ve been kind of cool in a kitschy sort of way had they just stuck with a general patriotic theme where the decorations and wedding cake were done in red, white, and blue and the bride carried a bouquet of red, white, and blue flowers with a small American flag stuck in the middle.

The issue is that they have invoked Donald Trump by suggesting that Trump equals patriotism towards the United States and the two of them are inseparable. They chose to bring partisan politics into an event that is usually supposed to be apolitical. It’s also signals a pro-authoritarian mindset not unlike what goes on in North Korea where not showing enough enthusiastic support for Kim Jong Un is considered to be the same as being a traitor.

What’s most ludicrous about the whole thing is that they devoted their wedding to a man who is on his third marriage. That’s right, they devoted their wedding to the same man who famously cheated on his first wife with the woman who later became his second wife only to later dump her soon after their wedding then went on to cheat on his third wife with porn star Stormy Daniels around the same time while the third wife gave birth to their son. That’s not to mention all those allegations of rape and sexual assault against him (with his most recent accuser coming forward just a last month). What a great purveyor of those traditional marriage and family values—NOT!!!

Don’t get me wrong. I would’ve been equally critical if the couple had invoked Barack Obama’s name or the name of any other politician at their wedding because bringing politics into a wedding is incredibly tacky. It frequently makes guests (including family members) who don’t share the same politics uncomfortable and it even results in people boycotting that wedding just like the groom’s father did.

As a palate cleanser, here’s my own wedding photo of me in my full bridal gown.

Neither my wedding gown nor my honeymoon outfit that I changed into late at our reception had anyone’s name on it—especially a politician’s. I’m proud of the fact that my husband and I didn’t invoke any kind of partisan politics at our wedding because we wanted our guests to enjoy our special day with us and not make them feel uncomfortable. That’s because many of our guests have taken time from their lives to go to our wedding. In many cases these guests have traveled many miles to see us get married. (There were even people who flew in from as far away as California.) Making them comfortable enough to enjoy our wedding is the least we could do as a way of thanking them for sharing in our special day with us and we went out of our way to achieve that by not involving partisan politics at all. If the guests wanted to talk politics amongst themselves voluntarily during the reception, that was fine as long as they didn’t get into heated arguments about it. But we didn’t encourage it out of deference to the majority of our guests—especially the ones who didn’t share our political views. Our reception was pretty calm and drama-free so we were successful on that one.

As for that other couple, I shared a few links to news stories about that wedding on Facebook. One of my Facebook friends said that he gives their marriage about three months tops. Another Facebook friend mentioned that formal portrait of the bride in her Trump gown and she said that she wouldn’t be surprised if that bride becomes embarrassed by her own wedding photos years later, especially with Trump’s name displayed so prominently on her gown.

Even though my own marriage later ended in divorce, at least I don’t have to be embarrassed about my own wedding photos because I kept everything apolitical with no politician’s name emblazoned anywhere.

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That day would’ve been my wedding anniversary if my husband hadn’t left back in 2011 and it was on a Saturday, which was also when my wedding was held. Anyway there was a local free festival that was scheduled for that day so I went over late in the day instead of spending my time sitting alone at home and fretting over the anniversary that could’ve been.

I arrived just in time to catch Honey, an all-female indie rock band from out of Washington, DC. They’ve been making local press lately and they performed a solid set at the Crazy Quilt Festival. I only managed to film just a small portion of their show. If you like alternative rock or grunge rock from the 1990s and/or were a fan of Riot Grrrl bands like Hole or L7, you might want to check out this video that I shot.

If you want to learn more about Honey, I suggest checking out their music on Bandcamp and their Facebook page.

I also caught my friends, The Bachelor and the Bad Actress performing on stage as well. I shot a still photo of them in action.

I also shot a photo of them using the Hatsune Miku photo app, which was pretty silly but I guess I was in a silly mood. (LOL!)

Here’s a short video I shot of The Bachelor and the Bad Actress performing live on stage.

If you like their music, you can check them out on Bandcamp and Facebook.

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Today Donald Trump made a series of tweets that targeted congresswomen who all happened to be 1) women and 2) have non-white skin, which has not only exploded Twitter but has also been reported in the mainstream news.

Cynthia Conlin made this tweet comparing Donald Trump’s latest garbage spew with 1930’s Germany:

Back in 1995 I did an animation in my The Unicorn With An Attitude series where I skewered the right wing at the time. I did this animation in soon after Timothy McVeigh bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Unfortunately this animation is even more relevant today than when I originally made it.

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Pastor Martin Niemöller was a German clergyman who initially supported Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party until the Nazis attempted to have the state control the churches and he spoke out against the regime. He was sent to the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps, where he remained until 1945 when the Allied troops defeated the Nazis.

After the war he became a devout pacifist and he spent the rest of his life frequently speaking out about what he went through under the Nazis. He was most famous for writing these words, which are still quoted to this day:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

Last night I found this New York Times article on Twitter about the plight of a white American citizen named Tracy Nuetzi, a supporter of Donald Trump who almost got deported from the United States due to a major bureaucratic error. Her problems began when her driver’s license expired and she tried to get a new one. She went to the motor vehicles agency with her birth certificate in tow only to be told that it wasn’t valid. She had a passport but it had long since expired.

When she tried to get her passport renewed so she could use it to get her driver’s license, she somehow managed to get the attention of ICE, who attempted to deport her on the grounds that she was born in Canada to U.S. citizens who were in that country because they worked for an American company who sent them there. For nearly a year she endured hell as ICE tried to get her to leave the country even though she was previously considered to be a U.S. citizen due to her being born to two U.S. citizens. Eventually she managed to get everything sorted out so she got her passport renewed and ICE gave up its efforts to deport her to Canada.

You’d think that her experiences would open her eyes as to what kind of government Donald Trump is really running and she would become disillusioned from the Trump Administration just like Pastor Niemöller ultimately became disillusioned with Adolf Hitler and his Nazis regime. You’d also think that she would turn against Trump just as Pastor Niemöller turned against Hitler. In her case, you would think wrong.

She ended up doing it all on her own, but she said she continues to believe Mr. Trump will “make America great again.” She intends to vote for him in 2020.

That’s right, she intends to vote for the same guy whose administration made her life a living hell for a year as she had to constantly live in fear that she would be thrown out of the United States. What. The. FUCK?!?!?!?

If her own experience with ICE isn’t enough to convince her that Donald Trump and his cronies are fascists, then there is no hope for her at all. She shouldn’t come crying to The New York Times and other media outlets if she encounters more problems with the Trump Administration, especially if Trump gets re-elected in 2020.

Last October I wrote about how you can’t argue with a Trump supporter. I provided more evidence of how fanatically devoted some Trump supporters are to Donald Trump on the day before the Fourth of July holiday.

Tracy Nuetzi is another example of how you can’t even reason with a Trump supporter because she is so loyal to the man that she refuses to even slightly make the connection of his horrendous immigration policy to the hell she went through at the hands of ICE and how close she became to losing nearly everything, including her own country.

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How neoliberal and social conservatives have found common ground.

Watch every episode of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting for free online.

5,000+ photographs by Minor White, one of the 20th century’s most important photographers, now digitized and available online.

White supremacist converts to Islam then kills neo-Nazi roommates for blasphemy.

The forgotten Swiss diplomat who rescued thousands from the Holocaust.

Ashton Kutcher quietly saved 6,000 children from human sex trafficking.

A photographer spent two years photographing animals that may soon become extinct.

In the 1920s a community conspired to kill Native Americans for their oil money.

Blacks were slaughtered by whites in an episode forgotten by history books.

These siblings bought the house where their ancestors used to pick cotton.

Cute miniature models of fauns, jackanapes, dragons, and unicorns.

A look at the trend of companies using techniques that “mask” the gender of the candidates they interview.

Nestlé is sucking the world’s aquifers dry.

The amazing comic book art of François Schuiten.

Russia wants Bulgarians to stop painting Soviet monuments to look like American superheroes.

This is what it’s like to be a mom at 10 and married at 11 in Florida.

“American soil” is increasingly foreign owned.

A look at rare vinyl picture disks from Russ Meyer, Blondie, Divine, and more.

What ancient Latin sounded like and how we know it.

A Holocaust survivor who knows Trump personally says that Trump’s America feels like Berlin in 1929.

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Benjamin Franklin

God heals and the doctor takes the fee.

Yesterday I learned that Ross Perot, the billionaire business man who ran for president twice as an Independent and later went on to form the ill-fated Reform Party, passed away at the age of 89.

Back in the 1990s I created this animation as part of my The Unicorn With an Attitude series where I skewered Ross Perot. You can learn more about the original creation of this video in this post I wrote back in 2014.

So, without further ado, here is my animation. Enjoy!

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