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It’s been a few months since I wrote a post about The Campfire Sessions that are held once a month at The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. I’ve attended a few other Campfire Sessions since March but I basically just attended the shows without taking photos or shooting videos. And there were a couple of sessions that I either skipped entirely or I only showed up briefly towards the end because I had a scheduling conflict.

Last month’s Campfire Session promised to be Halloween-themed so I decided to show up and start shooting photos and videos.

The first performer featured was a performing act known as Mystr Treefrog. I shot a few photos of the duo.

I also shot a short video of Mystr Treefrog.

If you like Mystr Treefrog’s music, you can check out the rest of the songs right here.

The next act was a woman known as Sad Veiled Bride. She played an electric ukulele, which made her unique. She also performed in front of a screen where video footage of various images play behind her while she played. Here are a few photos of her set.

I also shot video footage of her set. I basically shot more footage of Sad Veiled Bride than anyone else who performed that night mainly because of the videos that were playing behind her while she performed.

If you like Sad Veiled Bride’s music, you can check out some more stuff from her right here.

Sam Cooper performed the third and final set of the evening. He stood out from the performers for his Halloween-themed suit that he wore on stage, which was black with a pattern of jack o’lanterns.

I also shot a short video of Sam Cooper performing onstage.

If you like Sam Cooper’s music, you can check out some more songs from him right here.

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A fundraiser event for Ben Jealous took place at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland nearly a month ago. I only held off on writing about this because I was waiting for this video to be made then uploaded. I was also distracted by taking part in Inktober and a side project that I’m still currently involved in. Since tomorrow is the midterms elections, I finally decided that it’s time for me to write a post about this since no one will care after the polls close tomorrow.

Here’s the gist: A day-long fundraising concert was being held at the New Deal as a benefit for Ben Jealous’ campaign to become the next governor of Maryland. It started out with being a typical concert with local acts performing.

In the middle of the concert a music video touting Ben Jealous was shot. Here’s some background, a couple of years ago a musical duo known as The Bachelor and the Bad Actress made a music video at the same venue called “Be a Believer” and it was about Bernie Sanders and his ill-fated candidacy for president of the U.S. I took part in making that video and I had a blast making it, even though my own appearance in that video was no more than two or three seconds (and you’d have to strain hard to see me wearing a flying pig hat that I purchased when I was a vendor at the Pigtown Festival in Baltimore back in 2010).

A few days before the Ben Jealous event I saw a notice on Facebook from The Bachelor and The Bad Actress saying that another music video was going to be shot in the middle of that concert and they needed people. Apparently they were going to use that same song “Be a Believer” and they were going to alter some of the lyrics so it’ll be about Ben Jealous instead of Bernie Sanders. I showed up wearing the same flying pig hat but I wore a different shirt because it was a relatively warm day that day. Here’s a selfie of me in the bathroom wearing that hat.

So I waited patiently until it was time for the music video to start filming. While I was there I shot this short video of a drumming jam session featuring this little girl who was dancing to the rhythm.

Eventually those of us who were participated in the video were instructed to walk outside to the front of the cafe where we did a brief rehearsal of that song then we walked back inside. At one point the candidate himself, Ben Jealous, showed up where he gave a brief speech.

His running mate, Susie Turnbull also showed up and she jointed Ben Jealous on stage.

Susie Turnbull gave her own speech.

Ben Jealous had another engagement so he left. But Susie Turnbull stuck around and she even joined in when it came time to shooting that video, which was pretty cool. The video was eventually uploaded only to Facebook but I somehow missed that notice. For whatever reason, no one had gotten around to uploading it on to YouTube and Facebook doesn’t have a way that anyone can embed its videos into this blog. Just click here to view the music video for “Be a Believer” featuring Susie Turnbull. (If you look hard enough, you could see me wearing that flying pig hat in the background but, like the earlier video, I’m hard to spot.)

I left the New Deal Cafe after the video shoot ended. As I walked outside, I saw Susie Turnbull meeting with a few locals where they expressed their concerns to her.

The next day I saw these signs and masks in the New Deal Cafe window.

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This year I attended the Oktoberfest celebration that’s held at the St. Hugh of Grenoble Catholic Church in Greenbelt, Maryland. I generally like the food and it’s a festive atmosphere. I took a few photos but I didn’t take many this year mainly because I took photos for this blog in 2014 and 2017 and, to be honest, there haven’t been any major differences in the decorations as previous years.

The food is as good as always. There was an incident where I went to the table so I could order a drink. I decided to purchase a soda because I wasn’t into drinking beer that night. (I know it sounds sacrilegious to not drink beer at an Oktoberfest celebration but I’ve been consuming far less alcohol ever since my husband left me, especially if I’m driving because I just don’t want to get into any kind of drunk driving-related drama with the authorities.) So I ordered a Diet Coke and the guy who was working the table began to grouse over the fact that he had to get up and walk just a few feet further in the back to get a soda instead of pouring beer from a keg that was located next to his chair. If he had been smiling and laughing when he said this, I would have assumed that he was kidding. But he seemed grouchy and I decided that this Diet Coke would be the only beverage I would order that night because I just didn’t want to deal with this guy.

So I ate the food and enjoyed it. (I ordered the Cardinal Wuerl’s Platter, which had two Nurnberger sausages, a side order of sauerkraut, and a slice of rye bread.) Once again they had an accordion player provide the music. He played a lot of ABBA songs. Last year I shot this video where he played his ABBA repertoire.

For this year I focused on photographing the dancers in their traditional German outfits. The guy in the next two photos was the emcee for that evening. I really liked his fancy outfit he wore.

I took a few photos of the dancers before they began their performance.

I also shot a short video of the German dancers in action.

Once the German dancers finished their performance, there was a section where the general audience was invited to dance along with the German dancers. I was alone and I wasn’t interested in dancing with a total stranger so I was satisfied with just watching. But then the emcee said that people should be paired as man and woman because, as he said, “that’s the way God intended.” Okay, I know that I was in the basement of a Catholic church and the church isn’t exactly tolerant of LGBTQ people. But I still was taken aback by what he said because it just seemed inappropriate to mention what God may or may not intended when it’s supposed to be a fun occasion.

That emcee would freak out if he had ever attended any of the dances and parties at my Unitarian Universalist church where men dance with women, men dance with men, and women dance with women and no one bats an eye at the same-sex couple dancing.

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Today’s prompt word for Inktober is “muddy.” It was yet another prompt word that I struggled with mainly because the only thing I could initially think of was a pig wading through the mud. Unfortunately, I had already done such a drawing for last year’s Inktober and I drew that one in response to that day’s prompt word, “filthy.” So I was undecided on what to do about that “muddy” prompt until I hit upon the idea of drawing famed blues guitarist and singer Muddy Waters.

Only eight more days to go until I am through with Inktober 2018.

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One Saturday I went to two different festivals on the same day. First, I went to the Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland where I took these photos. Here is the schedule of events that happened during the festival.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

There were plenty of souvenir t-shirts on sale.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

There was a raffle where a lucky person could win this electric guitar. I already have this exact same black and white Fender Stratocaster Squier so I didn’t bother with this raffle.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

There were a few vendor tables where local people offered their services and/or their handmade arts and crafts for sale.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

The festival offered compost bins where people can dump food scraps instead of throwing them in the regular trash.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

This man was playing his recorder at the festival.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

This band was one of the many blues bands who performed that day.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

Inside the nearby New Deal Cafe there were a few workshops. I shot this photo while I was waiting for the harmonica workshop to end.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

I sat in on the workshop I was interested in, which was how to play the blues guitar. I brought my acoustic guitar with me to the workshop since it was geared towards acoustic guitars.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

The Greenbelt Makerspace had a bunch of musical instruments that people could borrow and play.

Greenbelt Blues Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 22, 2018.

After spending time at that festival, I went on to another festival in another town, which I’ll write about in a future post.

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I did a digital art piece that’s now hanging in my church as part of the Seven UU Principals art show. Here’s the art.

I did the piece entirely in Adobe Photoshop. It’s the image of the flaming chalice being surrounded by a circle, which is a symbol of the Unitarian Universalist faith. I decided to try using words to create a picture instead of just doing a regular drawing. The flame is the only part where I did a regular digital drawing instead of using words (although I drew a red heart in the center of the flame).

As for the color scheme I used the traditional yellow and red for the flame. For everywhere else I used a rainbow color scheme to symbolize both the UU and Poor People’s Campaign acceptance of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity), class, age, physical health, mental health, and other categories that people in power like to categorize people in.

As for the words I used lyrics from two songs that are among the official songs of the Poor People’s Campaign. The circle uses lyrics from this song, “Everybody’s Got a Right to Live.”

The chalice itself has the words from “A New Unsettling Force.”

With this art I attempted to do a Unitarian Universalist variation on the Poor People’s Campaign and I think I succeeded.

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Yesterday I saw the entire Internet explode in grief because Aretha Franklin died. She was an amazing talent and she will be missed. I’m not going to write too extensively about her since so much has already been posted online. Instead I’m just going to post this clip from the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers where Aretha made this memorable appearance as the sassy diner owner who also sang her song “Think.”

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Last month I shot this photo of Emma G performing at The Campfire Sessions that was held at The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. I found her to be such a phenomenal performer on stage. Here’s a photo I shot of her on stage.

Here’s a video I shot of her, where you can get an idea of how she is a fierce performer on stage.

If you like that video I shot, you can check Emma G out right here.

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