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It’s been two years since I last attended the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival that’s held in downtown Washington, DC as part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival. I thought about going down early in the morning so I could check out the Cherry Blossom Parade that precedes the Sakura Matsuri by starting at 10 a.m. But I was too lazy to get my act together so I could arrive that early so I basically ate breakfast and lunch at home then headed out to the Sakura Matsuri in the afternoon. (I was glad I ate my meals at home because nearly all of the food vendors had very long lines.)
I even dug out this Japanese imported Stitch hat that I purchased at one of the Otakon anime conventions that were held in Baltimore. I know it was before my marriage broke up because I bought it with my then-husband in mind because he was such a huge fan of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and Stitch was his favorite Disney character. I also remember when I modeled the hat for him and he was thrilled with it. That hat had been sitting in a drawer since my husband left but I decided that I could continue to use it because I think it’s a cute hat. Besides, it enabled me to blend in a little bit with the other people who were cosplaying. I even had several people at the festival notice my hat and telling me that they loved it. When I arrived in downtown DC, the one of the first things I did was to take a rare selfie of me wearing that hat.
Like most other years, the festival was very crowded. I still enjoyed myself as I looked around at the sights and sounds of the festival. I even took a few silly pictures while I was there. I recently started to follow the official Sonic the Hedgehog accounts on Facebook and Instagram and it was through social media I learned that there is something called Travel Tuesday where people can submit photos of a Sonic doll or stuffed animal either at an event or some famous landmark (like the Eiffel Tower). I decided to pack my articulated Sonic vinyl doll so I could take his photo for Travel Tuesday. Here are the photos that I submitted but, as of this writing, none of them have been selected for Travel Tuesday.
I also played around a little bit with the Hatsune Miku photo app on my smartphone. I thought it was appropriate since that character originated in Japan. (Although now that I look at the pictures, I realized that I should’ve varied the girl’s pose just a little bit since she had the same facial expression and pose. Oh well.)
I basically walked around shooting pictures of cosplayers and the various items I saw on sale. I noticed a lot of ram and sheep plushies on sale this year, which makes sense since 2015 is the year that’s known alternatively as the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Ram, or the Year of the Goat.
I only purchased one thing at this year’s festival.
Yes, it’s chocolate gelato made by Dolci Gelati and it was very delicious!
While I heard musicians perform on the various stages throughout the festival, I only managed to capture one of the acts with my smartphone because it was one of the few times that I was even able to get close to a stage because everything was so crowded. As for the act that I captured, according to the program book, she is a pop singer from Kyoto named Jonetsu Mariko. I thought I recognized the name for some reason and the program book said that she was making a return appearance to the Sakura Matsuri. After I got home, I searched through this blog and I found out that I previously saw her at the 2010 Sakura Matsuri and I had also videotaped her that time. (She appeared under the name Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School.) In any case I took a still photo of her.
I even shot a short video of her performing on stage.
That video was the only one I shot at this year’s Sakura Matsuri.
I also saw that NASCAR driver Akinori Ogata was there with his race car, just like the last time I attended the Sakura Matsuri two years ago. Once again he appeared with Eneos, which makes motor oil. Eneos also had a bean bag toss game called “Cornhole.”
Getting on the Metro so I could go home was a bit of a hassle. The last photo shows the long line that I had to stand in just so I could enter the Federal Triangle Metro Station. I’m only lucky that I had the foresight to put enough money on my Metro SmartTrip card for a round trip so I wouldn’t have to stand in another line at the farecard machines.
Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all of my blog readers.
The above picture shows my Volks Dollfie Dream doll modeling an outfit that I made myself called “Easter Bunny Lover.” You can read more about how I created this outfit in this blog post I wrote five years ago. In any case, yesterday I came across this interesting link on Facebook that I think is appropriate for today. It describes how the Christian holiday of Easter was originally derived from a pagan holiday that was centered around honoring an ancient Teutonic goddess known alternatively as Eostre, Eastre, Eostra, or Ostara. The title of this page says it all:
What a difference a year makes! Last year I was greeted with this.
I was literally snowed in my home and the entire Washington, DC metropolitan area literally closed down because we got a whopping seven inches of snow.
This year it’s different.
That’s right, it’s a crocus that’s currently blooming in my front yard.
Last year the only outdoor activity I did was where I dressed my Volks Dollfie Dream doll in an appropriate outfit for the occasion, stepped outside my front door, and took a few brief snapshots in the snow.
And here is the same doll in the same wig, shoes, and outfit just one year later.
By the way, I made that St. Patrick’s Day outfit she wears in the photographs. For more information about how I made it, see my blog post on Irish Lass that I wrote five years ago.
Today is just a warm, gorgeous day outside with temperatures reaching the high 60’s. Here’s a photo of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center that I took just a few hours ago.
I managed to cook up the usual Guinness Beef Stew with Guinness Bread and a side order of carrots glazed in honey. I had to do the prep work the night before because I’m currently taking a class that meets Tuesday nights (I’ll write more on that later) and St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. I did the advance preparation so I would have something Irish to eat on the actual day itself.
I don’t really mind going to a class on St. Patrick’s Day because this time last year I couldn’t get out of my house even if I wanted to. All around it’s a great day today! :-)
Originally profiled on February 28, 2011.
Merry Christmas, everyone! As the Sagittarius Dolly blog inches closer to its fifth anniversary on January 6, 2015, I thought I’d provide a look back at some of my creations that I’ve previously featured in this blog.
Originally profiled on December 20, 2010.
As the Sagittarius Dolly blog inches closer to its fifth anniversary on January 6, 2015, I thought I’d provide a look back at some of my creations that I’ve previously featured in this blog.
Originally profiled on December 31, 2010.
Previous entries in the Occupy the Dollhouse series can be found right here.
The dolls and their allies continue their fight for equal justice for all by staging a die-in at American Girl Place.
A few American Girl dolls currently on sale decide to raise their hands in solidarity with the protesters.
This protest was one of many that have been taking place all over the United States as a protest against police killing unarmed African Americans. The largest one to date took place at the Mall of America (a.k.a. the biggest shopping mall in the United States) on the last Saturday before Christmas.
Originally profiled on January 3, 2011.
Even though today is Thanksgiving Day, there has been a trend among the big box retailers to open their doors on the actual holiday itself. This is definitely a change from the old days when most businesses were closed and even the few that were opened on the holiday (such as supermarkets) would close their doors by 4 p.m. so their employees can spend the holiday with their families.
Now the big box retailers are not only forcing their employees to either spend less time at home or skip Thanksgiving entirely but they are also trying to entice their customers to give up more and more of their holiday time by having hot doorbuster deals on certain consumer items.
You can spend less time with your loved ones or eat Thanksgiving dinner unusually early so you can put on your coats and step out in the usual cold November weather while fighting other like-minded shoppers to grab some consumer items.
Or you can do the alternative. You can stay in your warm home surfing the Internet and go holiday shopping in my online Etsy shop. You don’t have to worry getting into the car and the online shopping experience is so quick and convenient that you can just order something quickly then go back to preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s a sample item that I’m currently selling online now that you can buy while you’re wearing your pajamas or casual clothes.
This is a customized one-of-a-kind tote bag that I painted by hand. To learn more about how I created this bag, you can read the post I originally wrote on February 14, 2013. If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts, you can order right here.
The U.S. team made it to the Second Stage Round of 16 only to get defeated by Belgium. It was literally a repeat of the American team’s defeat four years ago where it was finally defeated during overtime when Belgium scored two goals. The U.S. team scored one goal during overtime but Belgium won 2-1. Damn, it does sound nearly identical to what I wrote four years ago. The big difference is that I was watching that match from my own home and not during an Ocean City vacation.
I remember writing about how I had lost interest in the World Cup and the only silver lining is that I would no longer have to hear those horrible vuvuzelas that people brought inside the stadiums in South Africa. I remember when my then-husband read that entry online after I had posted it and he laughed and suddenly blurted out “That’s what YOU think!” When I wrote that other entry, I forgot that my husband was so soccer-mad that he would watch games when the U.S. teams weren’t playing (while frequently chiding me by saying “You have no appreciation for the beautiful game!”). Sure enough, I heard more of those vuvuzelas as my husband watched the 2010 World Cup to the bitter end. I had thought about writing another entry where I said that I was wrong when I said that I would be spared those vuvuzelas but I never got around to it because I was too lazy. (Yeah, I can be lame at times. LOL!) In any case, until the day I die, I will always associate the first World Cup ever played on the African continent with this.
This year there are no vuvuzelas (it’s merciful that Brazilian culture don’t have anything as obnoxious sounding as those South African vuvuzelas) and I also no longer have a soccer-mad husband. So this year, when I’m writing that I’ve lost interest in the World Cup and I won’t be watching it anymore, I really mean it. I wish the best to whoever wins the World Cup but I don’t care who wins now that the U.S. is no longer in the tournament.
Ironically I was doing something novel during the U.S. team’s World Cup swan song. There’s a person on Flickr known as Wolfheinrich who was taking a series of photos of Volks Dollfie Dream dolls next to a TV screen showing World Cup matches, such as this one.
I decided to do something similar. Since the American team was playing, I decided to use American Girl dolls (get it?).
It was fitting that Julie Albright and Ivy Ling were chosen for that photo since, having read the Julie books, these two characters are sports-oriented. (Julie plays basketball while Ivy is into gymnastics.) At least I had the chance to take a photo like this while the U.S. team was still in the tournament.
I may be finished with watching the World Cup for this year but I’ll always have these Google Doodles to remember the U.S. team’s time in the tournament by.
U.S. vs. Ghana (June 16, 2014)
U.S. vs. Germany (June 26, 2014)
U.S. vs. Belgium (July 1, 2014)