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Not too long ago I went to the annual Women’s Retreat at my church. I took a workshop on acrylic painting that was led by a woman who managed to get a bunch of small canvases, acrylic paint, and brushes we could use. The idea was to paint our feelings and we could even tap into the current #MeToo movement that has risen up around the world in the wake of the rape, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment that has risen up around Harvey Weinstein.

I took the whole #MeToo thing seriously because I painted something based on a thought that had long been in the back of my mind and it’s based on what happened when my marriage ended.

A Different Kind of #MeToo Story
Acrylic paint
9 inch x 12 inch
23 cm x 30 cm

I was inspired by the art I’ve seen at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore over the past few years where I’ve seen art done by people with little or not formal art training. I’ve seen paintings that had writing on them so I decided to experiment with doing something similar.

For the top of the painting I wrote: “A different kind of #MeToo story: When your significant other sexually preys on a severely mentally ill woman and the law can’t or won’t stop him.”

For the bottom of the painting, I paired it with a Donald Trump quote from 2004 that surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign and it triggered me. Here’s the quote: “[She] is probably deeply troubled and therefore great in bed.” While I’ve had so many friends tell me that they don’t understand why he left me for someone with so many problems, I have to admit that this crass quote from Donald Trump has provided some kind of insight. Although I can’t really say that it’s the main reason why he left me for her, it’s definitely a possible explanation.

I painted some cartoony versions of the three people in the middle of this love triangle. None of them bore any kind of resemblance to any real-life people, which is just as well because I wasn’t in the mood to spend tons of time trying to come up with realistic depictions of real-life people. I just wanted to paint the raw emotions in an impressionistic style. (Although I inadvertently made the man into someone who looked like a cross between John Lennon and Jerry Garcia. LOL!)

I had all of those pent-up emotions from the last few years and I really expressed them in that painting. For years I had gone to great lengths to avoid expressing too much about my feelings regarding my husband leaving me for a woman with severe mental health issues (with the exception of the sessions with my therapist and attending meetings of a support group for people who are separated or divorced) because many of my friends are still in contact with my ex-husband and I didn’t want to drive them away if I bashed my ex too much around them. I also feared that someone would go to my ex and say “Boy you should hear what your ex-wife have said about you!” and he would retaliate by withholding alimony or try some other kind of shenanigans against me. After seeing his ugly side throughout the entire separation and divorce process, I’m inclined to believe the worst about him these days.

It was so difficult when that horrible quote from Donald Trump about how he felt that troubled women were great in bed had surfaced and it unearthed memories of when my husband left me for a severely mentally ill woman and he even married her just two months after our divorce was final.

Now that my alimony has run out I feel a little bit freer to express my feelings about how my marriage ended. But I still can’t openly dwell too much on it because I don’t want to appear as a very angry and bitter woman who ends up alienating my friends.

I have anger issues towards my ex that still remain to this day. It was bad enough that my ex had never indicated that he was the least bit unhappy until he arrived home three days after Christmas, announced that he was moving out, then bolted out the door before I could even say anything. On top of it, he left three months after I underwent hip surgery so I couldn’t even run after him without grabbing my walker, unfolding it, then shuffling outside. By that time he would’ve been in his car and driving off.

I was shocked when he left. I thought that his mind had simply snapped because he had to deal with my health issues at the time, the stresses at his NASA job, undergoing stress each Sunday when he served as the Treasurer at our church and he had to constantly keep close track of the church’s finances, and the fact that he came down with bronchitis. That night I wrote this post where I expressed hope that he would soon return home.

Things grew worse when my friends told me that he left me for a friend of ours who has mental health issues so severe that she had told people that she has an experimental pacemaker in her brain. She had an incident just 10 months before he left me for her where she spent a few days at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore. Just a few weeks before my husband left she had announced that she qualified to start receiving SSDI disability payments.

The fact that he left me for a woman with severe mental health issues gave me a not-too-subtle message that he would have stayed with me only if I had developed my own serious mental health issues.

At one point I wrote this post about my husband running away from home because I learned that another blog was looking for stories about people overcoming adversity. I did everything that required from me regarding being featured in that other blog only to never hear back from the blogger in question. I found out later that the blog decided that it would no longer post other people’s stories about overcoming adversity, which was why I never heard back from that blog. (That blog is still online but it is now a lifestyle blog that’s heavily focused on interior design.) My blog post about my runaway husband has been ranked among my most viewed posts of all time.

I was also rankled back in late January when I went to church without checking what the topic of the service was beforehand. I arrived to find out that the Men’s Group was doing a lay-led service and my ex was among the speakers. He began his bit when he said  “My marriage fell apart…” That had me livid because that statement implied that either I had left him or our marriage had broken down over a long period of time because we were arguing and not getting along so we both made the mutual decision to separate. What he said was total bullshit because he didn’t even indicate that he was the least bit unhappy until he left.

I’ve had a few people ask me if I ever intend to stay friends with my ex. Here’s the thing: If a woman had her marriage end after she learned that her husband had sex with a 12-year-old girl, would you ask her if she ever intend to stay friends with her ex? Chances are you would answer “no” because not only is having sex with a 12-year-old girl is considered to be morally and ethically wrong but it’s also illegal in most states these days.

I know you’re probably asking why would I compare having sex with a mentally ill woman with sex with a 12-year-old girl. Well I’ve done some Internet searches on Google regarding having sex with a severely mentally ill person. This link on the Criminal Defense Lawyer website has this to say about the issue:

Lack of consent is the crucial component of sex crimes. Sexual conduct becomes criminal when sexual touch is not consented to, either because the offender forces another person to be sexual against his or her will, or because the other person is considered incapable of consent or to have a diminished mental capacity to give consent. Those who are deemed incapable of consent include minors under the age of fourteen or fifteen, regardless of their mental abilities to understand the nature of the act and their ability to refuse (but see “Sexual Conduct with a Minor,” below). In addition, sex with the following people is criminal if they do not have the capacity to knowingly consent:

  • a developmentally disabled person
  • someone who is mentally ill, and
  • a person who is incapacitated – drugged, drunk, or unconscious – or otherwise physically helpless.

There’s not much about any court trials related to the issue of having sex with a mentally ill person. There was a case in 1990 where a man in Wisconsin was put on trial for sexually assaulting a woman with multiple personality disorder by encouraging the woman to allow one of her more compliant personalities to surface so he would be more likely to score with her.

There was another case in Connecticut that is nearly identical to my situation. Like my situation, a married man entered into a sexual relationship with a mentally ill woman. (This particular case included BDSM, which I can’t even say whether my ex and the other woman engage in or not.) Unlike my situation, the mentally ill woman subsequently died (I wasn’t able to determine whether she committed suicide or if she died of something else). Her mother filed a lawsuit against the man and it resulted in a $630,000 judgement against the man.

Unfortunately I’ve come to a dead end because the law is pretty inconsistent regarding having sex with mentally ill people. On top of it, there are plenty of mentally ill people who have been able to lead normal lives thanks to various treatments and therapies so these high-functioning people are just as capable of consenting to sex as other adults.

At the end of the day, the only thing I could do was to warn anyone with female friends or relatives with mental illness to not let that woman be alone with my husband for even a minute. My warning is based on the fact that I had friends later tell me that while I was home recuperating from hip surgery, he was frequenting a non-profit cooperative cafe a few nights a week where she volunteered as a bartender and they saw him aggressively flirting with her. After he left home, those same friends saw him take her on dates to that same non-profit cooperative cafe where she volunteered so they soon learned why he left me.

All I know is that my ex-husband has a cousin who spent time in prison after he was convicted of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy he met while he volunteered in a mentoring program for children of single parents. (The cousin was partnered with the boy and they hit it off pretty well. He then invited the boy over to his apartment for an unsupervised sleepover and the boy accused him of sexual molestation. The cousin said he was innocent but there were no other witnesses at that sleepover that night. It was the cousin’s word against the boy’s word and the law sided with the boy.) To me what my ex-husband is doing makes him little better than his cousin. At least she’s an adult and not a child but she has severe mental health issues and I really think that if he was really concerned with her as a person, he would leave her alone and let her figure out how to live her life on her own terms. (By the way, my ex-husband and his cousin are both the grandsons of the famed diabetes researcher Michael Somogyi.)

The most frustrating thing about this is that had I learned that my husband was having sex with a 12-year-old girl, I could report him to the authorities. But since the person in question is an adult woman, I can’t do anything because the law is so vague and inconsistent regarding sex with the mentally ill.

As much as I would love for the law to take a strong look at the mentally ill and consensual sex, I have other pressing matters going on in my life that needs attention so I have no other choice but to let this go. I hope the law changes one day so that people like my ex-husband would have to be held accountable for their actions.

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I recently attended a new monthly event known as the Campfire Sessions that is held at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland. The idea is that local musicians play a 15-minute set then answer questions from the audience regarding their music.  This particular event was held on the last day in February, 2018.

The Bachelor from the Bachelor and the Bad Actress prepares his guitar for the upcoming show.

The evening began with a set from Christopher Bronholm and his percussion playing partner.

Here’s a video I shot of Christopher Bronholm and his partner performing the song “It Rains in Baltimore.”

You can learn more about Christopher Bronholm through another YouTube video that he appeared in (and was shot by someone else).

The next photo shows the second set the was performed by The Bachelor and The Bad Actress.

I shot this video of the duo performing “The Bicycle Song.” As part of this song The Bachelor and The Bad Actress handed out bicycle bells for the audience to ring at various parts during the song.

You can learn more about the music of The Bachelor and The Bad Actress through their Bandcamp page.

Last but not least Dar Stellabotta performed a set with her homemade guitar that she built using a cigar box.

After the show she had CDs on sale along with an extra cigar box guitar that she built. (I don’t know if anyone purchased that guitar or not. If I wasn’t so short on cash these days I would definitely seriously consider buying it. I managed to purchase one of her CDs for $10.)

Here’s a video I shot of Dar Stellabotta playing with her cigar box guitar.

You can learn more about Dar Stellabotta through her website.

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Early last month I went to Adams-Morgan in Washington, DC because I wanted to check out the special mass meeting of the Poor People’s Campaign. I arrived at the venue only to find out that it was cancelled at the last minute. Naturally I was disappointed even though I managed to enjoy myself as I walked around Adams-Morgan and took a bunch of pictures.

The Poor People’s Campaign mass meeting was rescheduled for Presidents’ Day at a different church (Shiloh Baptist Church). Even though, at the time, I still couldn’t drive my car due to the fact that I needed to raise some money for break repair, I had no problem with taking the Metrobus to the nearest Metrorail station when I attempted to go to the earlier event in Adams-Morgan. However, Presidents’ Day was one of those days where the Metro system tended to go on holiday mode, which meant reduced Metrobus and Metrorail service. While I would’ve had no problem with getting there, returning home would’ve been difficult because the buses run less frequently on a holiday night and I would’ve ended up not returning home until well after 11 p.m.

But then I learned that the event would be livestreamed, which would be better for me. However, I currently have one of those pay-as-you-go Internet plans where watching a livestream video would’ve used up my allowed data bits for the month. I decided to walk over to the Greenbelt Makerspace and try livestreaming there. The makerspace itself was closed but there were tables and chairs under the awning outside so I could take my laptop and login to the makerspace’s Wi-Fi.

There was one glitch where one of the streaming sites didn’t have the stream but I quickly learned that the Poor People’s Campaign Facebook page was streaming so I went there and I saw the event. I took a few screenshots of the livestream for posterity.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II gave a speech that was livestreamed to the church in DC which, in turn, was livestreamed on Facebook. (It was a livestream of a livestream.)

The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis was in Shiloh Baptist Church herself and she gave a pretty powerful speech on the plight of the poor in the U.S.

They had a section where average people testified about their struggles with poverty.

There was a pan of the audience where the people who stood up were members of the clergy of various faiths. As you can see, that church was full that night.

The event had a lovely choir singing gospel songs.

The livestream ended with a slide encouraging people to get on the Poor People’s Campaign list by texting MORAL to 90975.

I found the livestream to be very moving and I didn’t mind the fact that I was sitting outside in cold dank weather (it had been raining off and on for most of the day) wearing my winter coat watching it. Sure I wished I had been there in person but seeing it livestreamed was the next best thing to being there. (As I’m typing this, I’m reminded of the time eight years ago when my then-husband and I viewed the livestreaming of a wedding of two friends in Australia and how awed we were about watching it online.) At least with walking to the makerspace, I was able to arrive back at home by 10 p.m. instead of relying on the infrequent holiday Metro system while arriving much later at night.

Well, anyway, if you missed this livestream, you can view the archived video in its entirety right here.

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As I’m typing this my area has literally been shut down due to this massive wind storm. In fact I had my scheduled job interview get postponed until next Thursday, which is probably just as well since I’m hearing the wind howling outside of my home and the National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning urging people to stay home unless it’s an emergency. In fact the federal government has shut down today along with the public schools. I’m definitely not going to drive today since my car can be pretty difficult to handle in very windy weather but I might take a walk later on this afternoon.

As some of you may know, I have an Instagram account that I tend to update on a regular basis. This morning, while I was hearing the howling winds outside my home, I was leisurely checking my email when I came across this doozy:

Subject: project on Instagram for women photographers: Women’s Month Theme: Women’s Art


I hope you will consider participating in our women’s photography Instagram project.  As a women’s photography community we run an Instagram project for women photographers of all levels to encourage, inspire and promote women’s passion and accomplishments in photography. The project postings are at: @womeninphotography.

The projects are to increase awareness and we do these projects in our spare time voluntarily. There is no commercialization by us of your image. So If you would like to join and help promote women’s work and passion in photography it is easy to participate. If you do not want to receive project notices like this just let me know and I will take you off our list.

Any woman photographer can participate or you can help us spread the word to women photographers who may want to.

Our project theme for this month is: ‘Women’s Art’.

What do we mean by this theme?

It is open to your interpretation so just send us your best to show.  I will curate the submissions and I or my husband bill will post up to 12 a day on Instagram until we are done.
There is no rush as we will post images until we stop getting them for this theme. We will email you when yours is posted.

Email your image to me:

  1. Attach one or more of your photos.  It is easier if it is a .jpg
  2. Your full name and your Instagram id if you have one so we can post and tag your image
  3. One web site link that you want posted with your image: (your website, facebook, other if you have one)
  4. Your note about the image to be included with it on Instagram
  5. Any additional hashtags you want posted with your image


Gittel and Bill Price

In a nutshell, instead of me uploading my own photographs to my own Instagram account, they want me to send my own photographs to them, wait for them to decide whether they want to include it in their uploading just 12 pictures per day to their Instagram account, and, if they decide to choose whatever I send them, they will do this in exchange for no financial compensation but I will get credit.

So I can send my pictures to these people (whom I’ve never met nor communicated with before) for their Instagram account (which I had never heard of before I received that email) where I won’t get any kind of compensation other than credit (providing that they are actually honorable enough to give me credit). Or I can continue to upload my own photos to my own Instagram account where I won’t get financial compensation but I can at least ensure that I’m getting full credit for my own pictures that I shot and I can completely control such things as captions, hashtags, and tagging locations.

Well, that’s a no-brainer. Since I wouldn’t be getting paid either way, I’ll just keep my photos for my own Instagram account.

However I decided to play with these two freeloaders a little bit. I did a little bit of research on pricing and I decided that I would base my regular fee on the low-end of the amateur photographer scale per picture while cutting a further discount since they claim to be “non-commercial.” Here’s my reply email that I sent to them:

Dear Gittel and Bill Price,

Thank you for your interest in my work. Since I usually charge $25 per shot, I would be willing to cut you a discount of $10 per shot since you say that you’re a non-profit. I really can’t afford to give my work away for free since I’m financially struggling to pay my bills so I hope you would understand. You can pay me via PayPal at


Kimberly Keyes

I haven’t heard back from them and I seriously doubt that I ever will. LOL!

It’s annoying that these people are looking for free pictures for their Instagram account under the guise of “feminism” and “women photographers.” It’s just as annoying as Ivanka Trump claiming to be a “feminist” who wrote her book Women Who Work while the women who work in those factories in Third World countries making her clothes and shoes for her fashion line are being paid very little while working in poor conditions with little occupational safety and they are frequently separated from their own children. She was also very reluctant to give maternity leave to her own female employees working in her U.S. offices. And that’s not to mention her own father, whom she has continued to serve in his administration despite being recorded bragging about how he grabs women by their pussies. (It’s no wonder that Ivanka Trump’s recent tweet honoring the fact that this month is Women’s History Month went over as well as a lead balloon or a submarine with screen doors.)

By the way, if Gittel and Bill Price want photos of women accomplishing great things for their Instagram account, I suggest that they get a smartphone and start shooting their own pictures of women doing amazing things instead of begging other photographers for freebies.

I know it may sound tempting for others to submit photos to someone else’s Instagram account in exchange for exposure but take my advice. The best way of promoting yourself as a photographer is to take out your own social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and upload your own photos on to your social media accounts a minimum of one picture once a week. (Don’t forget to use hashtags in order to increase the chances of someone else discovering your work.) For added measure, start a blog or website and post your pictures there. Don’t rely on someone else to post your photos online for you because not everyone has your best interest at heart. There are plenty of free tutorials online that you can access by doing a simple Google search on “how to promote yourself as a photographer.”

UPDATE (March 4, 2018): I got an email response from Bill Price when I sent back a response asking for payment in exchange for them to use my photos on their Instagram account (which, as the previous paragraphs indicated, I would have to manually email each photo to them and hope that it makes the cut among their 12 posts per day limit). Here is what he wrote:

Hi Kimberly,

We understand. We do not own the images we only post them as part of a promotion of women’s photography.
We put in hundreds of hours on each project as volunteers with no pay. We do not monetize the effort in any way.

So the artists support each other and hopefully get more visibility from participating as well.

Best wishes


Yeah it sounds nice and stuff. But I’m still leery about participating, especially since they require that you manually email each photograph to them then hope that they choose your photo among their own 12 posts per day limit all for credit only. If they had asked me to tag them in the captions to my own Instagram photos on my account I might have considered doing it since it’s pretty easy. (I’ve done it for others in the past.) But I’m not about to give away my photos to them for free so they can upload it on to their own Instagram account, especially since it looks like they are relying on other photographers to supply them with content for free.

I said it before a few paragraphs ago and I’ll say it again: If Bill and Gittel Price need content for their Instagram account, they should grab a smartphone, take their own pictures of women doing extraordinary things, and upload it to their own account themselves instead of relying on other photographers to supply their content for them for no payment. Stop being freeloaders with other people’s photographs.

This February was probably the worst February for me in recent memory. It was like everything that could have gone wrong for me did.

First I learned that my ex-husband had stopped sending me alimony payments. I knew it was going to run out at some point but I always thought that it would be sometime in June (when it would’ve been the anniversary of the judge handing down the decision that the divorce was final) but my ex decided to stop sending further payments after late December. Of course he didn’t notify me of this. In fact he has pretty much avoided speaking to me as much as possible since the day he walked out on me back in late 2011, which has made the entire divorce process far worse than it was. (Ideally I would’ve loved for the two of us to meet together somewhere in person to hammer out a few things and communicate about such things as payment schedules and similar matters but, with him, everything can only be done via email or text—and that is only if he feels like responding.) As a result I only learned about this when the alimony check has stopped arriving. I sent a polite email asking about the payments while stating that I have had a run of bad luck (which I’ll get into in a bit). I didn’t resort to name calling or making accusations. It was basically a short polite email where I asked about the payments while explaining my current situation. I even expressed my sympathy for the death of his father back in October. He responded with this businesslike tone where he said that he had fulfilled his obligations and thanked me for my kind words regarding his father. The whole thing had the tone of a business transaction instead of two people who used to be married to each other.

Unfortunately consulting a lawyer was out of the question because I really can’t afford to launch any kind of lawsuits at the moment due to extremely tight finances. On top of it, my original divorce lawyer passed away back in 2016 so I would have to hire a brand new lawyer if I wanted to launch any kind of legal challenges regarding the original separation and divorce agreement.

Then there was that church service that I attended on the last Sunday in January, where I ended up experiencing raw emotions that carried through February. Here’s some background. When I was still married my husband and I used to attend that church together. When we separated, I tried attending Sunday service only to see my estranged husband there and I found it to be a major distraction and I couldn’t focus on any part of the Sunday service. I stopped attending church for a while because I just couldn’t stand attending with my ex. There were times when I arrived at church only to see his car parked there and I would immediately turn around and drive back home. I even contemplated quitting church altogether or switching to a different church, which wouldn’t be unusual because over the years I’ve seen other members’ marriages or longterm relationships end and one or both former partners would end up quitting. I had members of my support group for people who are separated or divorced tell me that they ended up either switching churches or stop attending in order to avoid seeing their ex on a weekly basis.

But then I had friends from my church tell me that my ex had eventually stopped going to Sunday service so I felt comfortable enough to attend on my own. I attended one service on the last Sunday in January where I didn’t even look up what the topic of the service was. It was also the same Sunday where I was scheduled to attend the 90th birthday party of a fellow church member that was held at a retirement community near my church so it made sense for me to go to church then go to the birthday party afterwards. It turned out that it was a lay-led service where it was being put on by members of the Men’s Group at our congregation. I found out that my ex was not only involved in the Men’s Group but he was among the speakers.

But then it got worse. My ex mentioned at the beginning of his speech “My marriage fell apart…” That had me livid because that statement implied that either I had left him or our marriage had broken down over a long period of time because we were arguing and not getting along so we both made the mutual decision to separate. In reality he didn’t even let on that he was the least bit unhappy until one night, three days after Christmas (and three months after I underwent hip surgery), he came home, announced that he was moving out, left behind two handwritten letters and the first alimony check, then bolted out the door. In fact, I wrote this post on the night he abruptly left indicating my hope that he would return soon. The following month I learned from friends that he had hooked up with a friend of ours who has long been suffering from severe mental health issues and he married her just two months after our divorce was final. For him to say “My marriage fell apart…” implying that it was something that happened to him is totally disingenuous and dishonest. If he had simply said “I got divorced” I probably would not have been as angry and upset.

I’m the one who had more right to say “My marriage fell apart…” than he did because he was the one who left me for a woman with severe mental health problems, insisted on a divorce, refused to consider marriage counseling, demanded that we separate all of our finances according to this schedule that he worked out in his head or else he would sue me, got engaged to the other woman eight months after he left me (while he was still legally married to me), sent divorce papers in a .pdf format that was attached to an email that was sent on Christmas Eve, and married the other woman just two months after our divorce was final.

As it turned out I ended up tuning out the rest of the service because I was fuming and I focused on perusing Facebook on my smartphone instead. I bolted out of the church as soon as I could, headed to a Starbucks that’s located inside of a Target that’s located near the venue where the birthday party was scheduled to be held, and just sat there drinking a soda I had purchased until it was time for the party to begin.

My biggest lesson is that from now on I’m going to look up the topic of a Sunday service before going to church. That way I can avoid hearing any future talks from my ex-husband.

On top of that there is my ongoing job search for a new day job. I’ve gone to various networking events and job search seminars and job fairs only to come up empty. I could write a separate post about how broken the job search process has become—complete with emailing resumes to various websites with no responses, people not returning phone calls when I did follow-up calls on job applications and left messages, and things like that. Even temp agencies have gotten completely dysfunctional where recruiters now tell you to go to their website, look at all of the jobs that are posted there and if you see a job that you like, you should send a resume and if the recruiters think you’re qualified, they will call you. Years ago I used to be able to easily find work through temp agencies simply by calling for an appointment and taking a series of tests (which measured typing speed, the ability to solve simple math problems, and knowledge of basic English grammar) but now most of them no longer give any kind of tests and they aren’t even into seeing you in person any more. I can’t even recommend temp agencies to anyone. And I’m not the only one. I have a friend who was let go from her job, which she had originally gotten after working there as a temp. She tried the temp agencies herself and she has gotten the same runaround as I did.

My car brakes started to make a grinding noise every time I used the brake pedal, which freaked me out. I initially decided not to drive the car to any place that was more than 10 miles away from home. Then the grinding noise got worse and I became too afraid to even drive my car because I was scared of not having any brakes at all. I couldn’t afford to get them repaired because of my money situation so I was left with no other alternative other than to leave my car parked while running the engine for a few minutes once a week so the car engine wouldn’t deteriorate from disuse. (I’ve know someone whose car stopped working after she didn’t use it at all for about a month or longer so she had to get it towed and repaired.) I started walking or using public transportation, which definitely put a crimp in my job search because I was limited to applying only to places that I could get to by Metrobus or Metrorail or some other form of public transportation.

I had to call my own mother telling her about my car situation while telling her that I didn’t know when I would ever be able to visit her in person again because she lives in a part of the state that has no public transportation whatsoever.

My Sagittarius Dolly channel was let go from the YouTube Partner program this month because I didn’t get enough subscribers or watch hours. I never earned any money from that program (that’s because of YouTube’s policy of not issuing payment until it reached the minimum $100 threshold and I never earned more than about $10 or $20 total) but I was still peeved because I was among the hundreds of less popular channels who were essentially paying the price for what Logan Paul did in Japan last month, which I already went into once, twice, and three times.

My PlayStation 2 console stopped working and today I found out that my Wii remote has stopped working even though I’ve been putting in new batteries with the same result. Those two console problems are nothing compared to what I’m going through but they seemed to be part of a continuum of how horrible February has gotten for me.

If all that weren’t enough, it had been raining most of February, which made me feel even more depressed. There was the occasional sunny day but it was mostly gloomy clouds and rain.

And I’m not even about to go into the constant news about President Donald Trump’s latest antics other than I find it so draining learning that we have a totally immature man-child in the White House. I’m also not even going to bother with the Parkland shooting in Florida on Valentine’s Day other than to say that I’m totally pissed that nothing has been done to enact gun safety over the past several years and this latest shooting would have never happened had some common sense gun laws been passed years ago. I’m glad that the kids who survived that shooting are starting to agitate for change and other students from around the country are also starting to launch their own protests as well.

So I was down and out. But then a few things happened that made me less down and out. I had one friend loan me the money to repair the brakes on my car (which came to a whopping $560). I made arrangements with my co-op regarding being able to pay my co-op fees. By the end of the month I got my car back. I also had friends who were very kind to me, especially when they learned about my situation. One friend gave me $100 out of the blue when she learned about my car situation. I will always remember that act of kindness. I have a friend who wants my help in making a documentary about someone who is going to celebrate her 100th birthday this year and she said she will pay me. I have another friend who needs my help regarding computers and there may be money in it as well.

Plus I’m expected to pay off that loan from my friend by helping him with putting various things for sale on eBay while giving him the proceeds from each sale. I told him I can’t guarantee that any of those eBay listings will lead to actual sales. I’ve had mixed results with eBay and Etsy over the years where I seemed to have more unsold stuff than stuff that actually sold. I’ve generally done better with selling things at street fairs and I think it’s because people are more likely to make an impulse buy if they see something in person than some picture that’s on a computer screen. Maybe I can do a big yard sale if the eBay thing doesn’t work out. But in any case I’m going to give the eBay thing a try first so I would have more time waiting for the weather to improve so I can put on a yard sale if I need to do so.

The biggest lesson about my story is that it always helps to have friends who are supportive because you’ll never know when you’ll need to rely on them. In any case I’m ready to put February behind me starting tomorrow.

Not too long ago I went to a fundraiser that was held at the New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland for Ben Jealous, the former leader of the NAACP who is running for governor of Maryland. He had previously worked on Bernie Sanders’ campaign back in 2016 and he was inspired by Sanders to run his own gubernatorial campaign where he is accepting micro-donations from average people instead of big corporate donations. In some ways that event was reminiscent of a similar fundraiser for Heather Mizeur’s ill-fated gubernatorial campaign that was also held at the New Deal Cafe back in 2014. Hopefully Ben Jealous’ campaign may have a better result this time around.

Anyway, I shot this footage of the band Kiva performing with a belly dancer.

Unfortunately I had less battery power in my camera than I thought so I basically used it up shooting Kiva. When Ben Jealous took to the stage at one point, I made these shots using the Photo Booth software on my MacBook.

I’ll end this post with a group photo that was taken by someone else and was later posted on Facebook. Ben Jealous is standing third from the left. I’m the woman who’s wearing the blue Eeyore sweatshirt in that photo.

One Saturday I had quite a day. My car was having break problems and I was trying to raise enough money so I could afford to have them fixed while job-hunting at the same time. The weather forecast was calling for snow but the original forecast said that the snowstorm wouldn’t begin in earnest until 6 p.m. So I decided to walk over to the Greenbelt Makerspace because there was a special event that was happening on both Saturday and Sunday.

Basically people were invited to bring their home movies that were shot on outdated formats (such as super 8 and VHS) in order to have them digitized. Here are a few photos I took of the process.

I learned that there was a time when one could buy Hollywood movies on super 8. Apparently they were either excerpts from feature-length movies or movie shorts. The next photo shows just three of these types of films that one could buy decades ago.

One guy was helping this couple with converting their old super 8 home movie to digital.

Here’s a shot of some of the equipment that were used in digitizing old super 8 movies.

The next shot shows an old vintage Polaroid camera in the foreground while this man prepares a super 8 movie for digitalization.

This particular super 8 reel had heart-shaped holes.

Here is what one super 8 movie looked like on the computer desktop after being digitized.

Here’s the equipment that is used for converting super 8 and VHS movies into a digital format.

When I left home it was starting to snow but it wasn’t laying because the temperature was above freezing. After I stopped by the Greenbelt Makerspace I walked on to the library because I needed to return a book that I had checked out. The snow still wasn’t laying and my Accuweather app was saying that the storm wasn’t set to begin until after 6 p.m. Since the library was opened until 5 p.m. on Saturdays, I decided to hang out for a while while I was surfing the web using the laptop I had brought with me.

When the library was starting to kick people out at around 4:45 p.m. I stepped outside and I saw that not only had the temperature dropped but the snow was laying on the ground. (So much for the weather forecast predictions.) As I walked back towards home I saw kids playing around in the snow.

I took these photos while I was walking back home.

The following day the temperature went up into the 40’s and the snow began to melt. By the late afternoon the majority of the snow was gone.

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