Four years ago I wrote “Trump: The Poem” when Donald Trump was flirting with the idea of running for president. I performed it at a few local poetry slam events to great laughter and acclaim. I later made this video where I recited the poem while I showed off this talking Donald Trump doll that I purchased as a gag gift for my then-husband for Christmas.

Who could’ve predicted that this poem is now more relevant than ever? Donald Trump has not only decided to enter the political race for real but, in the process, he had alienated the Latino vote with his comment that Mexican immigrants are rapists, criminals, and drug dealers.

So far he had not only had a giant Mexican piñata made in his image but he had lost deals with both NBC and Macy’s in the same week because neither company were thrilled to be associated with that buffoon.

As a result of all this, I didn’t have to alter my poem in any way at all.

So, once again, here is “Trump: The Poem.”

For a while I’ve been trying to figure out ways of getting word of this blog’s existence to more and more readers, with my rationale being that maybe I can 1) get someone interested enough in what I’ve done for this blog that I would be offered a regular job that taps directly into my writing and other creative skills or 2) I would get some people who liked my stuff enough that they would consider buying something from one of my online stores (such as Spoonflower).

One of the sites I decided to check out was BlogHer.com. While I signed up for an account on that site about two weeks ago, I found that the site was in the midst of a month-long daily blogging experience. NaBloPoMo is similar to NaNoWriMo (which takes place each November), except one is expected to write blog posts on a daily basis for one month instead of writing a whole novel.

BlogHer was in the midst of NaBloPoMo for the month of June. I checked the posts I had uploaded to date and I found that I was already uploading at least one new post every single day that month (I had a lot of material) so I figured that I might as well make it official. So I signed up for that event. As part of the event, I had to provide this link at the bottom of each post then go over to this page where I provided updates on what I wrote and uploaded that day. My first post was pretty long (since I had gotten involved in the middle of the month) but, otherwise, I was pretty diligent about reporting what I wrote every day.

I thought that NaBloPoMo was something that was held only in the month of June (like NaNoWriMo is held only in November). But after participating in this a few weeks, I noticed that there was a Related Posts section where I found NaBloPoMo: Add All Your May 2015 Posts Here, NaBloPoMo: Add All Your February 2015 Posts Here, and NaBloPoMo: Add All Your December 2014 Posts Here. What’s more, NaBloPoMo for July 2015 is now underway.

Basically BlogHer runs NaBloPoMo every single month. My only beef with it is that I honestly thought that NaBloPoMo was an annual event like NaNoWriMo. If they’re running NaBloPoMo every month, it just makes the whole concept of a NaBloPoMo to be less special than it could’ve been had they simply decided to run it either annually or even twice a year. Having it every month is simply overkill in my opinion. The people at BlogHer responsible for NoBloPoMo should really read William Dean Howell’s short story “Christmas Every Day” since it accurately shows the consequences of having something special scheduled way more frequently than once or twice a year.

There’s actually a technical term for this. It’s called The Law of Diminishing Returns. The best example of this is, let’s say, you eat a candy bar. You really loved that candy bar so much that you decide to have a second candy bar. You find that you still love that candy bar but the taste sensation isn’t quite as intense as the first candy bar. You eat a third, fourth, or fifth candy bar in a row and the taste sensation diminishes further and further with each subsequent taste. (That’s not to mention that eating a lot of candy bars in one sitting could lead to side effects like an upset stomach, diarrhea, and increased weight gain.)

Running NaBloPoMo every single month is the same thing because after doing this for one month, I’m personally not inclined to do this again for a long while (or at least for the rest of 2015). I only took part in the June one because I thought it was a cool unique event that was held once a year. My opinion of this new July NaBloPoMo is a big “Meh!” for me since I’ve been there, done that. (I suspect that other bloggers probably feel the same way as I do on this.)

As for myself, it wasn’t too bad writing at least one post every day for a month. Adding the www.nablopomo.com link at the bottom of each entry was pretty easy. Even going to that special page to report on which posts I wrote that day wasn’t too hard at first. It did get a bit arduous towards the end of the month because I grew tired of always logging in what I wrote but I put up with it knowing that it was simply a temporary thing that would end soon.

But since BlogHer runs NaBloPoMo every month, I’m not sure if I’m going to bother with it again because I really can’t plan when I’m going to have enough time or material to write new posts every single day for a month.

Here are a couple of random photos I took with my smartphone recently. The first one is of these really pretty blooming flowers that were planted in a garden outside my therapist’s office.

Blooming Flowers

The second one is this oddity I found at a local Target.

Grumpy Cat Coloring Book

That’s right, folks, Grumpy Cat has her own coloring book. That comes on the heels of the Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever movie and numerous stuffed toys and t-shirts. I wonder what they’ll think of next for this feline. LOL!

Dear Famous People,

Please, for the love of God, STOP using Twitter for your Feedback and/or Q & A. This kind of public campaign rarely ends well. Nearly a year ago Robin Thicke attempted an #AskThicke event on Twitter only to have people grill him about the misogyny in his song lyrics.

But have any of you learned from this? Hell, no! Just a few months later the Twitter-based #CosbyMeme publicity campaign blew up in Bill Cosby’s face when that campaign came at the same time as more women starting coming forward with their claims that Cosby had raped them.

Were the ignoble fates of #AskThicke and #CosbyMeme enough for you to get the message that Twitter is not a great tool for you? Nope. You seem to have this Pollyanna view that what happened to Bill Cosby and Robin Thicke won’t happen to you. That’s the only explanation I can come up with because yesterday writer E.L. James attempted something similar with #AskELJames and the carnage from that disastrous idea is still continuing as of this writing.

Today Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, who has recently announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2016, decided to have something similar called #AskBobby. It’s obvious that no one in his campaign had bothered with reading the news because they would’ve learned about what happened to E.L. James yesterday and decide to call the whole thing off. Instead the campaign have gone through with it and, as of this writing, #AskBobby is trending on Twitter for all the wrong reasons.

I’ll admit that I’m getting a good laugh out of all of these Twitter campaigns blowing up in famous people’s faces but, really, you guys need to learn not to use Twitter for any kind of pr event because you and your handlers won’t be able to control the outcome.

Famous People, STOP using Twitter for your public relations/media outreach because you’re doing it all wrong!

http://www.nablopomo.com

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had another design in a Spoonflower sponsored contest, which this one focusing on hedgehogs.

robohedgy-instagramversion

My RoboHedgy failed to make it among the Top 10 but I got enough good feedback from my design that I decided to make it available for sale. You can now buy it as fabric, wallpaper, or gift wrap.

I also have another design on sale as well. You may recognize this one from a watercolor workshop that I attended a few weeks ago.

Watercolor Workshop at Makerspace 125, May 31, 2015

I liked the results of my attempt at watercolor painting that I decided to try selling that design on Spoonflower as well. Like RoboHedgy, Blue Crab is also available in three different product lines: fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap.

http://www.nablopomo.com

There was this massive raging thunderstorm that struck our area on June 20 complete with thunder and lightning and loud heavy pounding rain. That thunderstorm capped a day where the temperature rose to the low 90’s with very high humidity.

The following morning it was relatively cool until the afternoon when the high heat and high humidity came back with a vengeance. I quickly took a couple of nature photos outside then retreated to my air conditioned home. It was basically a laid back alternative to taking part in observing Father’s Day (especially since my own father had passed away in 2000).

Here’s a view of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, which looks pretty bucolic despite the very hot weather.

photo6-June21

I also came across some mushrooms that suddenly sprung up among the grass. These mushrooms seemed to form a line formation all the way to the outer edges of the sidewalk.

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These mushrooms were big and plump. I’m not surprised that they appeared given the recent weather where nearly every day there would be high heat and high humidity throughout the day that would lead to this violent thunderstorm by the evening. I took a couple closeup shots of one of the mushroom clusters to give you an idea as to how big they were in real life.

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http://www.nablopomo.com

Yesterday there was this horrible rainstorm that lasted all day and all night. I still went ahead with a few daytime activities that I had originally planned on attending with others despite the mess but I stayed indoors last night because the rain had really gotten very heavy. I was still reading all the Internet responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states on Friday as well as all the rainbow-graphics I’ve seen. Even major corporations were getting in on the act with the rainbows.

I decided to visit OpenClipArt.org to see if anyone had done a rainbow version of the Linux mascot, Tux the Penguin. When I saw that no one had done so, I decided to do it myself. It was basically a quick and dirty project where I imported the graphics into Photoshop, combined them, exported them as .png files, imported those files into Inkscape, exported as .svg files, then uploaded the .svg files on to OpenClipArt.org.

I came up with four different versions of a rainbow-altered Tux. I couldn’t decide which version to use so I decided to upload them all online. Here are the graphics along with the links where you can get them for free.

tuxflyingrainbowflag
Download this graphic here.

tuxonrainbowflag

Download this graphic here.

tuxwithrainbowbodyandwhitebelly

Download this graphic here.

tuxwithrainbowchest

Download this graphic here.

http://www.nablopomo.com

I could’ve added this entry to the end of my previous one on the Maryland Faerie Festival because I found this store just a few miles from the festival fairgrounds in the town of Darlington. But I decided to make it as a separate post instead because seeing this particular store has brought back a bunch of childhood memories for me.

I was born in Baltimore and I lived there until I was five years old because my parents decided that they would rather live in the suburbs. My mother even confessed to me years later that she and my father deliberately picked an area where mass transit was non-existent because she was so desperate to put all forms of city life behind her. So we moved to Glen Burnie where her wish came true because you literally had to get into a car if you wanted to do even something simple like buying a gallon of milk because the stores were at least three miles away from our development.

While I was in elementary school some developer decided to build a small commercial building at the entrance to our development and a local High’s Dairy Store opened there. That High’s was the only store within a safe walking distance from where I lived. (There were some other stores located further away but it involved walking along the very busy Crain Highway and there were times—mainly rush hour—when you did not dare walk along that road.) Throughout my childhood and teen years (prior to getting a driver’s license) I would walk at least 15 minutes whenever I was in the mood for some candy. Sometimes I would walk with a friend or two.

High’s was your typical convenience store which sold mostly candy and sodas. It also sold some household items as well (such as toilet paper or aspirin) but they tended to be sold in smaller packages and they were higher priced than buying similar items in a grocery store. But the best feature about Highs was its ice cream, which especially came in handy during the blistering hot summer months. I bought many ice cream cones, popsicles, and ice cream sandwiches from that store.

High’s wasn’t the kind of store where you could spend a long time leisurely browsing (in fact the store clerks would start getting surly with you if you spent too long browsing the store aisles). It was the kind of store where you went in, grabbed what you needed, paid for it, then leave as soon as possible.

The High’s in my neighborhood closed for good after I went to the University of Maryland at College Park. Since then a variety of small businesses (ranging from a beauty salon to a tiny CD music store) have come and gone in High’s former location.

In the DC area I knew of two remaining High’s Dairy Stores and they were both located in Laurel. One was in the Historic Main Street District and the other was near the intersection of Routes 197 and 198. I would go to one or the other from time to time but not very often. Both of them have since left. One became a 7-Eleven and the other became a family-owned convenience store that isn’t affiliated with any major franchise.

So when I decided to leave the Maryland Faerie Festival, I foolishly followed a driver in front of me instead of programming the GPS navigation system in my smartphone so I ended up taking a different route from when I arrived to Camp Ramblewood (where the festival was held). I ultimately ended up on Route 1 so I decided to drive on that street for a while. I was also tired and overheated because the temperature that day was in the low 90’s with high humidity to match. I wanted to buy a diet soda so I could have enough caffeine that would keep me awake for the long trip home.

My wishes were answered when I was in the main area of Darlington and I found a High’s Dairy Store. I was surprised to find one because all the other High’s I was familiar with had either closed or been converted to other convenience stores unaffiliated with High’s. (In fact, according to the Wikipedia, High’s once had locations in DC and Virginia as well as Maryland and it had expanded to 350 stores. Since the 1980’s, it has shrunk down to just 50 locations in Maryland and Delaware.) I felt like I had encountered something from my childhood. I decided to take a couple of photos of that store for posterity since I don’t know when I’ll encounter another High’s Dairy Store. The next photo shows the front of the store, which was typical for a High’s Dairy Store.

photo1

This particular High’s location happened to sell gasoline, which made this one different from the other High’s I was familiar with (which were just convenience stores only).

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I took just a couple of indoor shots. Basically the High’s was just as I remembered it where it was a small store that had mostly candy, snacks, ice cream, sodas, and small household items. This High’s was slightly bigger than the High’s I grew up with in Glen Burnie but it’s still not the kind of store that’s made for long leisurely browsing.

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After I took that last shot, the store clerk yelled “Are you taking pictures?” at me. I put the smartphone back in my shorts pocket while the store clerk was busy with another customer.

photo4

I basically picked up a Diet Pepsi for myself, paid for it, then left. The clerk didn’t ask me any questions about my picture taking and I didn’t offer any information. I decided to just get out of there quickly then make the long drive back to my home near Washington, DC.

http://www.nablopomo.com

I’ll admit that I initially felt numb when I heard about the landmark Supreme Court ruling yesterday. I think it’s because of the fact that ever since my own marriage suddenly imploded in late 2011, I’ve become pretty jaded about the whole institution of marriage altogether. While I’m happy that my LGBTQ friends can now have the opportunity to marry whomever they want, please forgive me for not being as enthusiastic as I would’ve been had that same ruling been made prior to December, 2011.

I saw that social media have erupted with all kinds of rainbow graphics and many of my friends have plastered rainbow-themed photos on Facebook. Late last night before I went to bed, I did my own rainbow themed picture. I did it in Tux Paint because I was pretty tired (I went to a farewell party that was thrown for a longtime member of my support group for people who are separated or divorced because she’ll be moving to Florida soon then, on the way home, I made a brief stop at a local coffeehouse where I ran into some more of my friends who were decked out in rainbow-themed shirts and other accessories while celebrating the Supreme Court decision) and I didn’t have the energy to work on some involved art project late on a Friday night.

So I turned to Tux Paint where I used a few simple features (like the Stamp and Magic tools) and came up with this picture.

20150626225726

http://www.nablopomo.com

Here are some photos of vintage German dollhouses that were based on a typical home in the German Democratic Republic (a.k.a. GDR and East Germany) prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Here’s a fascinating page on The Fairy Faith: An Ancient Indigenous European Religion, including some lovely art.

Lego is moving away from using plastic to make its bricks in favor of making them from more sustainable materials.

http://www.nablopomo.com

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