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There was massive hype about the solar eclipse that blanketed much of North America last week. Even though the Washington, DC area was included in the eclipse’s path, we were located too far north to achieve a total eclipse. According to this link, my area would see 81% coverage. I know people who scheduled special trips to places further south (such as South Carolina) in order to see the full eclipse. If it weren’t for the fact that I was too broke to travel, I might have done this myself. But I was still happy to see the 81% coverage.

Last month I attended a workshop on making a special solar eclipse viewer so I could safely see it. I also received a free pair of solar eclipse glasses so I could directly view the eclipse without burning my eyeballs. Here is what the glasses looked like.

Here’s a rare selfie of me wearing those glasses. Yeah, I’ll admit that they looked dorky on me but I was able to directly look at the sun safely (unlike President Donald Trump, who actually looked at the eclipse with his bare eyes while First Lady Melania and their young son Baron did the sensible thing and looked towards the ground). I remember those glasses were so dark that I had to remove them if I needed to walk even a step or two so I wouldn’t inadvertently trip over something.

I attempted to hold the glasses over my smartphone’s lens but this was the best photo I was able to get (when the eclipse was almost over).

Here’s a cropped closeup of that view, which is why this next photo looks a bit on the grainy side.

The biggest obstacle to the solar eclipse were some clouds that kept on covering the sun at various times. Luckily the sky was only partly cloudy so we could still see the eclipse.

I could’ve viewed the solar eclipse in my yard but I decided to travel for that event because I just felt a need to be around other people while I was viewing this extremely rare event. I ended up at Roosevelt Center in Greenbelt, Maryland where a few people gathered around.

The STEM center Makerspace 125 offered free refreshments (in the form of cookies and lemonade).

The next few photos show the various stages of the solar eclipse as seen through some of these homemade eclipse viewers.

Even though my area didn’t get full coverage, there was this really cool effect that one could see on the ground. If you look close enough, you can see these crescent-shaped shadows that were formed by the eclipse. They looked like scales on a fish.

I feel very fortunate that I got a chance to see that solar eclipse even if I only saw 81% coverage. The only downside was the very hot and humid weather (also known as a typical August day in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area). I was pretty overheated by the time the solar eclipse passed through our area.

When I got home I decided to find another way of remembering this occasion. Last year I made an ill-fated New Year’s resolution where I would do one new sketchbook drawing a day. I even purchased a small hardcover sketchbook for the occasion. Despite that effort, I found that I couldn’t always find time to make a new sketch. At first I modified it to once a week then a couple times a month. Then I misplaced the sketchbook for a few months. (I later learned that I had brought it with me to church when it was having one of its social events and I left that sketchbook behind. Then the person who found it kept on forgetting to give it back to me.) Now that my sketchbook was found, I decided to make my first new drawing since last September (when I did this drawing the day after I attended the third and final day of Intervention Con). Of course I had to incorporate that photo of President Donald Trump trying to view the solar eclipse with his bare eyes.

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I finally got around to attending a DC Drink and Draw event for the first time since I went to one previous event in 2015. It gave me a rare chance to go to Adams-Morgan, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in DC. I took the Metro to Dupont Circle and walked north where I took photos of some lovely sights.

The Embassy of Zimbabwe has a couple of interesting sculptures on its front lawn.

The next photo shows the embassy and flag of what is widely rumored to be President Trump’s favorite foreign country—Russia.

The Swann Condominiums, located at 1801-1803 Swann St., N.W., has an interesting false door with swan-themed art.

I took a few more pictures of some local businesses.

 

That small Eiffel Tower on top of the building led me to take a picture of L’Enfant Cafe and Bar. When I took a closer look at the place, I found out that it has recently gone out of business. It’s too bad I didn’t get a chance to check the place out sooner. (That’s what I get for not going to Adams-Morgan too often.) At least I got a chance to take a picture of the small Eiffel Tower since it’s probably very likely that it will be removed once a new business takes over the space.

The next photo show some political humor in the window featuring Donald Trump and Russia. (LOL!)

The next photo shows the restaurant Johnny Pistolas, where the DC Drink and Draw event was held. One of the main reasons why that event was held is because Johnny Pistolas has Taco Tuesday where all tacos costs $2 each while certain beers were also on sale for $2 and $3, depending on the brand. (As you can guess, this event took place on a Tuesday night.

Here is what I drew at the DC Drink and Draw event that night. While I was waiting for my own tacos to arrive, I did a drawing of a plate of tacos that two women sitting next to me received.

The only beer I purchased was a can of Tecate beer because it was on sale for $3. I made two drawings of the beer can from two different sides.

And, last but not least, I drew a glass of water that had a lime slice floating in it.

A few weeks ago I went to the latest Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School event in Baltimore, where I shot this promo that was posted in the window of The Wind-Up Space (where the event was held).


Burlesque performer GiGi Holliday was the model for this event so some of the drawings in this post are definitely NSFW.

At one point GiGi Holliday changed into this really colorful traffic light-themed costume, which I tried to faithfully sketch in the drawing below.

I took part in two of the contests that took place that night. GiGi Holliday was still wearing her traffic costume so the contest involved GiGi stopping traffic. I decided to have her sit on a traffic cone while blocking the presidential limo that is carrying the straw-haired and orange-skinned President Donald Trump as he shakes his tiny fisted hand and screams “I’m the President of the United States! Don’t make me grab your pussy! I’ll attack you on Twitter if you don’t leave! Sad!”

That drawing not only made it among the finals but I won after the other attendees clapped the loudest for my drawing! I was especially thrilled! As for the prizes, I received a drawing pad and a small pack of drawing pencils, which you can see in the next photo that I shot a day or two after Dr. Sketchy’s.

Coming on the heels of that victory, I decided to take part in another contest that happened immediately after the previous one. For this one we had to do a beach-themed drawing with GiGi in it. I began to draw on my memories of the time my then-husband and I went to Bermuda over 10 or so years ago and we spent time on the beach with the pink sand. I threw in a seagull, a jumping dolphin, a coconut tree, and a cruise ship.

Unlike the last contest, this one failed to make it among the finalists. I wasn’t too angry or bitter because I was still in that post-victory glow from winning the previous contest. Besides, it’s like what the old saying goes: You can’t win them all.

I drew one more picture of GiGi Holliday before the event ended and it was time for me to go home.

This weekend I came across a GoFundMe campaign on my Facebook feed on behalf of a burlesque performer known professionally as Sophia Sunday. She’s currently being sued for defamation by an acquaintance. For the details about that lawsuit, you can either see that GoFundMe page or, for a more even-handed version (meaning both sides of the story are depicted), this Baltimore Post-Examiner story.

I’ve drawn sketches of Sophia Sunday at the Baltimore Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School events in 2014 and 2015. (Both links are NSFW.) Here are just two of the more tame drawings I did of her.

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I wasn’t there that night the alleged sexual assault took place and I’ve never met the plaintiff in this case so I really can’t say who’s right or wrong. But if I had any money to spare, I would definitely throw a few dollars Sophia’s way because I know what it’s like to get sued while not being able to afford to fully pay your own legal fees (mainly in the form of my now-ex-husband sending divorce papers in a .PDF format attached to an email that was dated Christmas Eve and I had to go to my mother for money so I could afford to hire my own lawyer). The fact that it’s so expensive to get legal representation so you won’t get screwed is a total indictment on the current state of U.S. justice, but that is the topic of another rant (if not another series of rants).

One of the reasons I would like to have a steady day job is not only so I could support myself financially but also so I could do things like donate a few dollars to someone who’s in a tough bind like Sophia Sunday. I wish I could afford to help her but I can’t. So I’m doing the next best thing—writing this blog post in the hope that anyone reading this will help Sophia out financially.

I’m pretty sensitive about the fact that this alleged sexual assault happened within the confines of BDSM because of what happened to one of my friends, Julie, who decided to spend a weekend full of BDSM play with her new boyfriend only to have her boyfriend brutally murder her. (All I can say is that, compared to poor Julie, at least Sophia is still alive.)

If you can afford to send a few dollars Sophia’s way, you can do so right here.

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The far-out sci-fi costume parties of the Bauhaus school in the 1920s.

It’s the end of the shopping mall as we know it.

How to deal with a 4Chan troll. There is some information that’s useful for anyone who’s dealing with any kind of online troll regardless of whether it involves politics or not.

Low-income workers who live in RVs are being chased out of Silicon Valley streets.

Feminist publication makes history by appointing black trans woman as editor-in-chief.

The sketchbook of drawings done in ballpoint pen by Nicolas V. Sanchez.

A look at the female pioneers of the Bauhaus art movement.

The fight for health care is really all about civil rights.

23 ways to treat yourself without buying or eating anything.

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These bosses share the worst interviews they’ve ever seen and the results are stunning.

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She took on Tesla for discrimination. Now others are speaking up.

A new kind of tech job emphasizes skills, not a college degree.

Women in tech speak frankly on the culture of harassment.

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3 ways to be seen as a leader in your field.

Artist repaints mass-produced dolls to make them look realistic and the result is amazing.

Every Sega game ever made is coming to iOS and Android for free.

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Why entertainment public relations can be unprofitable despite having clients who hit the big time.

Art galleries are exhibiting the work of Grenfell Tower fire victim Khadija Saye.

A computer designed Stanley Black & Decker’s new tool, marking a big shift from relying on humans to do the job.

Permanent Japanese residency to be possible for foreigners with anime-related jobs after one year.

USA Today did an investigative report about how many truck drivers are forced into debt and frequently worked past exhaustion.

Someone purchased the first Apple computer that was released in 1976, the Apple-1, for $355,500 at an auction.

XOD: A new and open source visual programming language for Arduino, Raspberry Pi, etc.

How to choose standout fonts for your embroidery projects.

98-year-old Russ Gremel donated $2 million in stock to create a 395-acre wildlife refuge.

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Open source documentation is bad, but proprietary software is worse.

How these crochet octopuses are helping premature babies.

Home robot Kuri can now recognize pets, see and stream in HD.

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German breeders develop open source plant seeds.

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Download more than 2,500 images of vibrant Japanese woodblock prints and drawings from the Library of Congress for free.

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30 years, 30 great anime titles.

Ramadan

Like I wrote yesterday, I decided to devote a separate post to my attendance at the latest installment of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC because it would have made my last post extremely long otherwise.

This event was held during DC Pride Weekend and it was also held on the same day as a big demonstration on the Mall for LGBTQ rights. I wasn’t able to make it because I attended Sunday service at my church that morning, Dr. Sketchy’s was supposed to begin at 3 p.m., and there’s the issue of Metro’s unreliable weekend service where you typically have to wait between 15 minutes to a half-an-hour for the next train. I wasn’t too bitter about missing the march because it was very hot outside. (The temperature went as high as 95 degrees with high humidity.)

I saw rainbow flags everywhere in Dupont Circle as I was walking to the Bier Baron, where the event was held. Even the Bier Baron itself was decked out in rainbow colors.

Once I was inside I even got in on the act by laying out my pencils in a rainbow pattern.

Once again Reverend Valentine hosted the event. I gave her this toy dinosaur that I found outside Makerspace 125 in Greenbelt, which was among the items that the STEM center invited the general public to take for free. (Makerspace 125 is currently undergoing some major spring cleaning and reorganization of the space.) I knew she was into dinosaurs so I figured what the hell since it was free and everything. (Besides, it gives me the excuse to post this picture right here.)

She loved it when I gave it to her. She said that it will live with the other toy dinosaurs that she has on display in her kitchen.

The event was pretty well-attended despite the fact that it was scheduled during DC Pride Weekend and that big march was still going on at the Mall just a few miles away. The model for this event was a burlesque performer named Amira Jade and some of these drawings are definitely NSFW.

There was only one contest at that event. This one was a beach theme. She said that she would also give extra points for including a dinosaur. So I had Amira Jade with Dino the Dinosaur.

I also decided to ad Batman surfing on a surfboard in the ocean as my personal tribute to Adam West, the actor who played Batman in the 1960’s TV series who had died the day before. It was based on this incredibly campy clip from the TV show.

My drawing made it among the finalists but I didn’t win. Oh well. You win some and you lose some.

I did a couple of more drawings of Amira Jade before the event ended.

Ramadan

I happened to be in Roosevelt Center when I saw these interesting chalk drawings made by someone. I have no idea who did them or why they did them, all I know is that they were made in the area that’s located near Makerspace 125.

I headed to Dupont Circle to check out Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Bier Baron in Washington, DC. Usually I would get to Dupont Circle by taking the Green Line Metro from the Greenbelt station, transfer to the Red Line at the Fort Totten station then taking that train the rest of the way to the Dupont Circle station. This particular Sunday the Greenbelt station was closed because Metro was doing this month-long Safe Track work and it was offering shuttle buses as a substitute.

Rather than dealing with shuttle buses, I decided to go from Sunday service at my church and drive to the Silver Spring Metro station because it’s on the Red Line (plus I wouldn’t have to do any transfers). It also gave me an opportunity to take a few photographs of this charming penguin mural that was recently erected outside the station.

A homeless person’s belongings sit across from the penguins wall mural.

Once I arrived in downtown Washington, DC I saw this dog sticking its head outside the window of a car that was driving through Dupont Circle.

Here’s a welcoming sign that was posted in the window of Second Story Books.

The next few photos show the window display at 1 West Dupont Circle Wines & Liquors, including Absolute Vodka in a rainbow bottle and a few skull-shaped decanters.

I found this interesting relief outside one of the buildings in Dupont Circle.

I eventually made my way to the Bier Baron where Dr. Sketchy’s was held. The model for this event was a burlesque performer named Candy del Rio. Some of the drawings in this post are definitely NSFW.

There was only one contest during this event, which I took part in. The theme was science (in a nod to the March For Science, which was held in Washington, DC the day before.) I decided to go for science fiction and incorporate the movie Jurassic Park and dinosaurs.

I won that contest and my prize was a drink of my choice from the bar. I chose a hard cider that made me a bit loopy. (Fortunately I had taken the Metro so I was pretty much sober by the time I reached my car at the Silver Spring Metro station.)

I did a couple more drawings of Candy del Rio before the event ended.

I took a few more photographs after I left Dr. Sketchy’s and the Bier Baron starting with this window display.

I really love this building with the red brick. This one houses the Portuguese Embassy.

I’ll end this post with yet another dog sticking its head outside the window of a car.

I went up to Dr. Sketchy’s in Baltimore for the first time in a few months. The really good thing about the days being longer is that I’m able to do some walking around the neighborhood after I finish eating dinner at the local Popeye’s (which has its awesome $5 chicken meal bargain that it only offers on Mondays and Tuesdays). Here are a few pictures I took, starting with a few store window shots.

The window in the next photo has words and letters written in white right on the glass itself.

Late last year I noticed that a new mural was painted on the wall between Red Emma’s and The Wind-Up Space, which replaced this one. I wasn’t able to take a picture until recently mainly because the days have grown longer with the arrival of spring.

Here’s an alleyway located near The Wind-Up Space and The Centre (where the Impact Hub is located).

Back in January I took some pictures of The Centre, including the Impact Hub and other windows at night. This time I took photos of the same building while it was still daylight.

This window had a cool looking mosaic. If you look close enough, you can read the words “GO TO COLLEGE.”

One of the windows still had a poster promoting the Johns Hopkins Film Festival, which had recently passed. I liked the design of this poster (including the position of the cigarette. LOL!)

I eventually made my way to The Wind-Up Space. Here’s a shot of some interesting art that was displayed behind the bar.

The last time I was at The Wind-Up Space, that place had a Christmas tree that was filled with Krampus ornaments. The Christmas tree was still up when I was there (even though Easter was just a few days away) but the Krampus ornaments were removed. There was a lampshade treetop, which was pretty hilarious.

The next photo shows one of the promo flyers for that night’s Dr. Sketchy’s Anti=Art School.

The rest of this post consists of the drawings I did that night. The model for this event was a burlesque performer named Cherie Nuit. Some of the drawings are definitely NSFW.

I participated in two contests that evening. The first was where we had to somehow incorporate brunch. I drew Cherie lying on a pile of ice cubes at the bottom of a giant glass of mimosa. That drawing didn’t make it among the finalists.

The other contest I participated in was one where we had to somehow incorporate Peeps (in honor of the fact that Easter was just a few days away). My drawing made it among the finalists but it didn’t win.

I did one more drawing of Cherie Nuit before I decided to head back home.

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