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I arrived at church with a friend (we were carpooling together) when we saw that it was once again Tye-Dye Sunday. This is an event that’s usually held once a year during the summer. It runs in place of regular Sunday school for the kids while adults have a chance to dye their own shirts once Sunday service ends. Here are a few photos I took at that event.

I had somehow missed the memo about Tye-Dye Sunday so I didn’t bring any blank t-shirts from home. There were a few blank t-shirts lying around but the bulk were too small for me. But then I discovered this one t-shirt that was very stretchy so it could fit me. What’s more, it’s a Michael Kors designer t-shirt. I don’t know who donated that t-shirt. It was a basic blank white shirt that would have been indistinguishable from other white shirts if I hadn’t seen that label.

I took that shirt for myself, tied rubber bands around it, then put it in this vat of purple dye.

I put the shirt in a zip-lock bag then took it home with me. The following day I washed it and it looked okay. While my t-shirt was drying I decided to take a trip to the local mall and I was walking around Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts. I saw this unicorn iron-on appliqué with a color scheme that would definitely match my newly-dyed Michael Kors t-shirt. I also have the Jo-Ann’s app on my smartphone so I was able to use a coupon and pay just $2.50 for that appliqué. Sweet!

So I ironed that appliqué patch on the t-shirt once it fully dried. Here is the front of the shirt.

The next photo show the back of the t-shirt.

And, last but not least, here’s a selfie of me modeling that t-shirt.

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I’ve just read the news about First Daughter Ivanka Trump closing down her fashion line. While I feel bad for the employees who will be losing their jobs, I have zero sympathy for Ivanka Trump.

Actually she was someone whom—under entirely different circumstances—I would have felt sorry for because she didn’t have it easy despite growing up in wealth and privilege. Try to imagine being a kid who’s old enough to learn about the media coverage of her parents’ divorce along with her father’s open affair with Marla Maples (who later became his second wife for a brief spell). Try to imagine growing up with a father publicly saying all kinds of sexually inappropriate things about his own daughter, which The Daily Show has archived in this two-part series: Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter.

While I would love to feel sorry for her, I just can’t do it. Ivanka chose to work for her father after she finished college—the same father who said those sexually inappropriate things about her. She has spent the bulk of her professional career working for her father. When her father was elected president, Ivanka moved with her family to Washington, DC in order to serve as an advisor to her father.

I still remember when Donald Trump first arrived at the White House I read about some people expressing hopes that Ivanka Trump would serve as some kind of a moderating force for her father in the White House—a kind of a softer version of a social justice warrior. That was definitely wishful thinking on their part because, to date, I have yet to see Ivanka take any kind of a major stand on an issue while urging her father to support that issue. It’s like this Daily Beast headline says: How Ivanka Trump’s Loyalty to Her Father Killed Her Fashion Label.

The rationale for people hoping for Ivanka to be a social justice champion in the Trump Administration was the fact that she claimed to be a “feminist” while also publishing the book Women Who Work. If these people had read closer about Ivanka Trump, they would have realized that she was never going to be a white wealthy female version of Martin Luther King. There were the women who work in those factories in Third World countries making her clothes and shoes for her fashion line who were paid very little while working in poor conditions with little occupational safety and they were frequently separated from their own children. There was also the fact that she was very reluctant to give maternity leave to her own female employees working in her U.S. offices.

Her fashion label won’t be missed. Her clothes didn’t impress me at all. In fact, I’ve seen better designed clothes at Target. Then there were the accusations that her fashion line has plagiarized the designs of some of the shoes from Aquazurra. Even if I was a major supporter of her father, I would not be interested in wearing anything from her fashion line because her clothes, shoes, and jewelry were mediocre at best and possibly plagiarized from others at worst.

I’ll end this post with this Saturday Night Live fake ad from last year which skewered Ivanka Trump (played by Scarlett Johannson) and it still remains among my favorite parodies of Donald Trump and family.

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The release of the movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has unleashed a plethora of dinosaur-related stuff in the stores. Some of them are movie tie-ins while others are just generic dinosaurs that are released to take advantage of the film. For the past few years I’ve posted the occasional dinosaur photo on social media while tagging a friend of mine who’s a total dinosaur freak. Generally I’ve sent those photos once in a while. However, thanks to that movie, I found myself constantly taking new photos, uploading them, and tagging my friend more frequently. Here are photos of just a few of the dinosaur stuff I’ve seen in the stores this summer.

Dinosaurs at Five Below

Dinosaurs at Five Below

Dinosaurs at Five Below

Dinosaurs at Five Below

Dinosaurs at Five Below

Dinosaurs on Sale at Target

Dinosaurs on Sale at Target

Dinosaur Patch

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

Dinosaur Stuff on Sale at Giant

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Goodbye nursing homes! The new trend is co-housing with friends.

An explanation on why poverty is rising faster in U.S. suburbs than in cities.

This 75-year Harvard study shows how to have lifetime joy.

Bill Clinton and Donald Trump: The sultans of self-pity.

Flooding and rising seas threaten America’s oldest farmland.

High-paying trade jobs sit empty while high school grads line up for university.

UN expert says that America’s poor are becoming more destitute under Trump.

One artist fights an uphill copyright infringement battle against Old Navy.

The most powerful conservative couple you’ve never heard of.

Why rich kids are so good at the marshmallow test.

A denim brand is selling “extreme cut out” jeans for $168 and people are seriously confused.

Everyone is missing a key reason why the U.S. birth rate is declining.

Meet the last surviving witness to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

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There’s a Greek Festival that’s held at a local Greek Orthodox Church in my area about twice a year. I’ve been going to that one for a number of years but I haven’t blogged about it until a couple of years ago. Since that 2016 post, I’ve gone back to that Greek Festival a few times but I haven’t taken any new pictures until earlier this month. So, without further ado, here are some new photos I shot at the Greek Festival that was held at St. Theodore Greek Orthodox Church in Lanham, Maryland earlier this month.

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I’m old enough to remember a time when if you wanted to purchase anything that was LGBTQ-related in the Washington, DC area, you had to go to the stores located in the heavily LGBTQ areas like Dupont Circle. You could easily forget about going to any store in the suburbs because such things just simply were not put on sale. This definitely includes Pride Month.

My how times have changed! Not only have corporations embraced Pride Month by putting out rainbow stuff but one can easily find rainbow-themed stuff on sale in the stores in the suburbs. What’s even more amazing is that this open observance of Pride Month has continued despite the fact that the Trump Administration is less-than-warm towards LGBTQ people. I kept on seeing rainbow stuff on sale in the suburbs, which is very convenient for those who want to buy rainbow items without having to take the Metro into downtown Washington, DC. I took a few photos but it wasn’t until the last day of Pride Month that I finally got around to uploading them. (I know I can be lame at times. LOL!) So, without further ado, here are some colorful stuff I saw in the suburban stores.

I saw slices of rainbow cake on sale at a local Giant supermarket earlier this month.

Rainbow Cake

But I saw the majority of rainbow-themed stuff on sale at Target.

Rainbow Clothes at Target

Rainbow Clothes on Sale at Target

Rainbow Stuff on Sale at Target

Stuff I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

What I Saw on Sale at Target During Pride Month

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Earlier this month I went to this event at the Artist & Craftsman Supply store in Hyattsville where there was a special free workshop on creating your own rainbow clothes especially for Pride Month. All you needed to do was to supply your t-shirts, bags, or hats. If you forgot to bring one, you could buy one from the store itself. I ended up paying around $3 for a blank white t-shirt so I could participate.

Basically we used a variety of different fabric paint spray along with stencils and fabric markers to create our unique rainbow clothes and accessories. I took a few photos during the workshop itself.

The last photos in this post are about my own t-shirt that I designed myself. The next photo shows the t-shirt as a work in progress.

The next photo shows me using the blow dryer in order to make the t-shirt dry faster. (The fact that it was raining outside that day made it imperative that I try to dry the t-shirt as much as possible before I could even walk back to my car.)

Here is my completed t-shirt just a few weeks after that workshop.

Here’s the back of the t-shirt, which isn’t that interesting mainly because I used fabric paint spray instead of the tye-dye that I usually do with these kinds of projects. Plus it would’ve made the t-shirt drying that much longer and difficult since I had to carry it back to my car in the rain.

Last, but not least, is a selfie of me modeling that t-shirt, which reads “Pride Not Prejudice.”

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I usually don’t attack current First Ladies but Melania Trump is something else entirely. Just when you think that the Trump Administration had sunk to a new low with its policy of separating immigrant children from their parents and putting them into detention facilities, Melania Trump had to add fuel to that fire. A few days ago she decided to visit immigrant children at the Texas-Mexican border. When she left the DC area, she wore this hooded jacket that said “I really don’t care, do u?” Granted it was raining outside but the weather was the typical warm and humid day that the Mid-Atlantic region is famous for this time of the year. She could have just as easily not worn a hooded jacket and carried an umbrella instead.

To make things worse, this jacket was made by Zara, a fashion chain who had long made provocative and controversial fashion statements such as a handbag with swastikas and a shirt that looked similar to what Jewish concentration camp inmates wore during World War II.

The reaction has been swift and mostly negative. Jill Vedder, the wife of Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder, was photographed wearing a jacket that said “Yes, we all care. Y don’t U?” Teen actress Jenna Ortega appeared at the Radio Disney Music Awards wearing a jacket that said “I do care and u should too.”

All four former living First Ladies had condemned Donald Trump’s policies of separating immigrant children from their parents. But then Melania Trump had to go on a trip visiting immigrant children while wearing that Zara jacket on the way to and from Texas.

I had long heard from people saying that we need to cut Melania Trump some slack because she has zero influence over her husband’s politics and she was probably forced to go along with her husband’s decision to even run for president in the first place. I get this to some extent. Melania Trump has always struck me as the kind of woman who simply wanted to get out of the small town of Sevnica (which was then located in Yugoslavia but is now in Slovenia) by any means necessary. When she participated in local fashion shows as a child, she discovered that modeling was her meal ticket out of town and into a new glamorous life. She was smart enough to realize that her modeling career wasn’t going to last forever (especially since it tends to favor the young) so she was willing to start a relationship with Donald Trump, a man who’s several years older and far wealthier than her own family.

In a way it wasn’t unlike my own desire to get the hell out of Glen Burnie, Maryland except I used my natural writing talent to study journalism at the University of Maryland instead of my body. During my time there I met an older part-time graduate student who worked at NASA full-time. He wasn’t wealthy but he had more money than the usual broke college students my age. I was flattered that he was interested enough in me to want to marry me and I’m sure that Melania felt the same way about Donald Trump.

Melania had also struck me as the kind of person who was happy just living in her husband’s shadow while raising their son in New York City. She probably lived a life where she focused on just being Barron’s mother while going on shopping and spa trips and she probably had the occasional lunch date with her friends at some expensive upscale restaurant. She probably had to put out for her husband at times but I’m sure she made peace with that and she probably considers it to be part of the price to pay in exchange for her to maintain her privileged lifestyle. I heard that she only went along with it when her husband decided to run for office but there have been reports that she isn’t exactly thrilled with her current gig as First Lady.

I initially fell into the trap of giving her some slack. I know that being married to someone like Trump isn’t easy. She had to endure allegations that he has sexually assaulted and raped numerous women. I know it’s probably not easy hearing that her husband may have had an affair with a porn star around the same time that she gave birth to their son. And that’s not to mention the numerous times that Trump has publicly said about how he would have dated Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter, which The Daily Show has helpfully compiled into the two-part series Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter. I’m sure that Melania had probably decided that enduring these incidents were also part of the price that she has to pay in exchange for her privileged lifestyle that’s a far cry from her childhood in Sevnica.

After this week, I’m through with cutting her any kind of slack. She chose to wear that jacket on her way to and from visiting the immigrant children who were suddenly separated from their parents. Of all the clothes available to her that she could’ve worn, she had to choose that jacket that basically exposes her as someone who really is THAT unfeeling towards others who aren’t part of her immediate family.

Melania Trump reminds me of another woman who had a relationship with the leader of a country—Eva Braun. Like Melania Trump, Eva Braun was into the more fun aspects of being the significant other of a nation’s leader (Adolf Hitler). By all accounts she was an avid athlete who was also into photography who could have cared less about her sweetheart’s interest in invading other nations or sending innocent people to their deaths in concentration camps. It was said that there was only one time when she ever expressed herself on a political issue—she protested a potential ban on women’s cosmetics and luxuries as part of converting Germany into a total war economy. (Of course this was around the time that World War II was ramping up.) Adolf Hitler quietly instructed Albert Speer, who was the armaments minister at the time, to halt production of women’s cosmetics and luxuries rather than institute an outright ban.

We need to stop cutting Melania Trump some slack or feel sorry for her. She’s not some helpless innocent victim who’s caught in circumstances beyond her control. As her recent fashion statement shows, she is no victim. She chose her life path freely and she should suffer the consequences of that choice. She’s made her bed so she should now lie in it.

The current First Lady is little more than a Slovenian Eva Braun. History has been unkind to Eva Braun and I predict the same for Melania Trump. After this week I feel that Melania and Donald Trump deserve each other.

For the past couple of years I’ve been taking the Gateway Arts Open Studio Tour and I’ve been blogging about these tours in May, 2016; December, 2016; and May, 2017. For this year’s tour there was some Facebook drama. From what I was told, the people who organized the previous Open Studio Tours had been dragging its feet about organizing a new tour for 2018 so some of the artists who had participated in the previous tours decided to take it upon themselves to organize their own art tour that was scheduled for the day before Mother’s Day. The organizers of the Open Studio Tours realized that they were lax about organizing a tour for this year so they decided to organize an official tour that would coincide with Mount Rainier Day (which is an annual neighborhood celebration) on the following Saturday while putting out promo materials claiming that this year’s walk would be a two consecutive Saturday walk beginning with the one that the artists themselves had organized on the day before Mother’s Day.

So naturally there were accusations of cooption. On top of it some artists questioned the wisdom of scheduling the second Open Studio Tour on the same weekend as Mount Rainier Day because it might draw crowds away from the artist studios who happened to be located in towns north of Mount Rainier (such as Hyattsville and Brentwood). Some artists decided not to participate in the second Saturday’s Open Studio Tour while others decided to participate on both Saturdays.

As for me, I wasn’t able to make it to the first Saturday’s Open Studio Tour because I had opted to attend the Greenbelt Green Man Festival, which was scheduled the same weekend. I was amazed at reading all of the Facebook drama but I ended up going to the Open Studio Tour on the second Saturday mainly because I’ve enjoyed the previous ones. The silver lining to all of this controversy is that, thanks to the artist boycott of the second Saturday tour, it made my decision as to which studios to actually visit much easier.

The only downside is that it had been raining that day. Fortunately it wasn’t raining too heavily so I was able to carry my umbrella, which I used at times. There were also times when there was no rain at all. At least you know why all of the outdoor photos I took that day featured clouds and wet ground.

I also must warn you that there are some images in this post that are definitely NSFW.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

I first stopped at the Renaissance Gallery in Hyattsville.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

The Renaissance Gallery is located on the lower level of the Renaissance Square Artists Housing, which provides affordable housing for working artists.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

Renaissance Gallery features the art of Pepe Piedra, who is a painter.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

 

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

Pepe Piedra can be seen painting at his easel in the next photograph.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

Afterwards I drove south to Brentwood, where I visited the art that was on display at the Brentwood Arts Exchange.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

Located on the upper level of the Brentwood Arts Exchange Building is the 39th Street Gallery and Studios, which is a separate gallery/studio that featured even more art, including paintings of the famous artist Frida Kahlo.

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Hyattsville and Mount Rainier, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

What I saw at the Gateway Open Studio Tour in Brentwood, Maryland on May 19, 2018. #OST2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Next I drove less than a mile north of the Brentwood Arts Exchange where I went to ezStorage.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

ezStorage is a nationwide chain of storage facilities. What makes the Brentwood, Maryland location of ezStorage unique is that it has allowed artists to operate studios on the lower level of the building. Some of the studios were closed that day because some of the artists had opted to boycott the second Saturday of the Open Studio Tour.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

There was one studio that closed early due to a family emergency.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

There were a couple of available spaces where one can set up his/her own art studio.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

There were a couple of ezStorage studios that were opened that day and I was fortunate to be able to see some of the art that was created in that location.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I drove on south until I reached Mount Rainier, where the traffic was clogged because it was also Mount Rainier Day. I managed to find parking a few blocks away from the main action on Route 1 so it was okay.

I was initially surprised to find that ReCreative Spaces was on the list of participants in the Open Studio Tour because I was told that the place had to close down earlier this year because operating it wasn’t sustainable.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I went inside to find two people associated with ReCreative Spaces who told me that the person who was in charge of the place has since moved on but there are new people who are thinking of ways to somehow revive the place. ReCreative Spaces had some art on display but it was all on the lower level. The place was empty of most furniture and there was nothing on the upper level. Only time will tell whether ReCreative Spaces will be revived to its former glory or not. At least the art that was on display that day looked nice.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I went on to the Gateway Media Arts Lab, which had a variety of art on display by local artists.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I saw portraits of famous people like Prince, Tupac Shakur, and Redd Foxx.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I also saw more art based on Frida Kahlo.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

I also saw this mixed-media art piece featuring a Barbie doll and the Minions from the Despicable Me movies.

Gateway Open Studios Tour, May 19, 2018

The last place I visited on the Open Studio Tour was at Joe’s Movement Emporium, which has this gorgeous butterfly mural outside its doors.

Gateway Open Studio Tour, May 19, 2018

I didn’t stay long in Joe’s Movement Emporium because it was towards the end of the day and I really needed to use the bathroom. I managed to view the art that was on display in the hallway.

Gateway Open Studio Tour, May 19, 2018

While I was in Mount Rainier I checked out Mount Rainier Day, which is an annual neighborhood celebration. There were activities for children, live performances, and people walking around dressed up as Mickey Mouse and Spider-Man.

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

One of the lanes that comprise Route 1 was temporarily shut down in order to make room for vendor booths which sold a variety of handcrafted goods and services. That turned into a traffic snarl as the cars had to share one of the lanes for the duration of the festival. But there were a variety of nice stuff available for sale.

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

Mount Rainier Day

The Mount Rainier Public Library was actually giving away free books to anyone who was passing by.

Mount Rainier Day

I browsed the tables until I found a copy of Marguerite Henry’s classic book Misty of Chincoteague. I read that book as a child (along with its sequels Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague and Stormy, Misty’s Foal) and I loved it. I had also made numerous visits to what the books says is the birthplace of Misty, Assateague Island. (Although the official Misty of Chincoteague site said that the real-life Misty was born in captivity in Chincoteague.) In any case, you can see the Misty of Chincoteague book among the pile of books waiting to be taken away to new homes.

Mount Rainier Day

I had a good day walking the Open Studio Tour despite the Facebook drama. Hopefully there will be another Open Studio Tour next year with less online drama than this year.

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Mother’s Day Weekend 2018 was a big deal for me. First, there was the annual Greenbelt Green Man Festival but it wasn’t the reason why it was a big deal for me. Just a few days before the festival I decided to ditch both my Droid Ultra smartphone and Verizon. My five-year-old smartphone was literally on its last legs. The camera feature had died first (which was why I ended up using the Canon PowerShot camera for photography and videography) but the last few months I had to deal with a phone that constantly kept on crashing and rebooting. This even happened when I was on the phone with someone.

And then there was Verizon, who was increasingly price-gouging me. It got to the point where it started to charge me $125 per month for just the cell phone. I asked someone at Verizon what can I do to lower my cell phone bill and I was told to just get one of those pay-as-you-go phones. The downside is that I wouldn’t be able to transfer my current phone number to that pay-as-you-go phone so I would’ve had to deal with the hassle of telling all of my friends, family, and various business associates that I have a new phone number.

I settled on Consumer Cellular, with monthly plans starting at $25 per month. So far I’ve been very pleased with that company. As for my new phone, it’s actually a used phone that I got from a friend of mine but it’s new to me. (LOL!) It’s a Samsung Galaxy J3. It’s not exactly the top-of-the-line phone but it’s good enough for my purposes.

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival was the first place where I tried the camera part of my new smartphone. This selfie I took is officially the first photo I’ve ever taken with my new smartphone camera.

My Selfie at the Greenbelt Green Man Festival

This video, featuring the band Kiva and a bunch of people dancing is officially the first video I shot with my new smartphone.

On the first day of the Greenbelt Green Man Festival I took a bunch of shots of the festival itself. There were a couple of people playing with hand puppets shaped like a cricket and a praying mantis.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

The theme for this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival was soil, which was reflected in the official t-shirts that were for sale.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

There was a local beekeeper who showed off his beehive.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

There was a hands-on activity where people of all ages were encouraged to build their own fairy garden.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

There was a community art event where people were encouraged to paint on a canvas that was shaped like a peace sign.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

There was a small pool with rubber ducks that kids could play with.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

There were plenty of handcrafted items made by local artisans on sale at that festival throughout the weekend.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Some people offered their services, such as Gwen Vaccaro, who runs her own spa known as Pleasant Touch.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

Some people staffed information booths that promoted local environmental organizations and local environmental issues.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

There were musical acts who performed throughout the entire two-day festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

A local Girl Scout Troop did a food and toiletry drive for a local homeless shelter on the first day of the festival.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

People basically hung out with each other and had a good time.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

May 12 was also Scratch Day. The Greenbelt Makerspace had put out a bunch of laptops in anticipation of people coming in and try their hand at coding in Scratch. However, the festival was simultaneously being held right outside its doors so very few people took advantage of this opportunity.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 12, 2018

The second day of the festival was not only Mother’s Day but it was also the first day of the new season of the Greenbelt Farmers Market (which had been on its usual winter hiatus). A new Lebanese restaurant was in the process of opening its doors but there was still more work to be done in the restaurant before it could be properly opened to the general pubic. The restaurant decided to offer Lebanese Zaatar bread on a carryout basis, which I found to be very tasty.)

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The biggest downer about the second day of the festival was the rain, which resulted in fewer people at the festival.

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Many people opted to go indoors instead. Some of them went to the Greenbelt Makerspace.

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Many of the performing acts moved indoors to the New Deal Cafe where they were still able to perform despite the rain.

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The band Global Warming performed its indoor set.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Here’s a short video I shot of this band in action.

I shot some more footage of the band Tower Green, whose set officially closed the Greenbelt Green Man Festival.

The one thing about getting a new phone with a working camera is that I was able to play with an app for the first time in 2018. I took a photo of Hatsune Miku at the very end of the festival when a truck had arrived to take down the stage.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Here is what I purchased at this year’s Greenbelt Green Man Festival. I purchased this nice vegan cupcake that I ate soon after I took these photos.

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

The Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

I purchased this bar of jasmine soap from Acorn & Clover.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

I was also given a free soap sample by Acorn & Clover.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

Last, but not least, I purchased another bar of soap from Mystic Water Soap.

Greenbelt Green Man Festival, May 13, 2018

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