You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘People’ category.

This U Street bar in Washington, DC shuts down every August so its owner can build schools around the world.

Government costs rise when the local newspaper dies.

Meet the real-life woman behind many of Gustav Klimt’s paintings.

What happens when a bad-tempered, distractible doofus runs an empire?

Take a virtual tour of ancient Rome circa 320 C.E.

In 1912 this Georgia county drove out every black resident.

IKEA asked people to bully a plant for 30 days to see what happens. The results are eye-opening.

The “Real” America: 21.5% unemployment, 10% inflation, and negative economic growth.

How Donald Trump’s grandfather originally made his fortune.

This British gent lives life like it’s the 1940s.

A new study finds that IQ scores are falling and they have been for decades.

This political theorist predicted the rise of Trumpism. His name was Hunter S. Thompson.

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The American Revolution’s greatest leader was openly gay.

The hidden problem of homelessness on college campuses.

Ex-KKK member denounces hate groups one year after rallying in Charlottesville.

The violence Central American migrants are fleeing was stoked by the U.S.

Monica Lewinski says unexpected headlines trigger her trauma. Here is how she copes with them.

Who needs Barbie? These high-tech dolls teach girls how to code.

Japanese-Americans imprisoned in internment camps in the 1940s watch the crisis stemming from the current detention of immigrants in camps with heavy hearts.

How America treats its own children makes it an outlier.

The Muslim World War II heroine that time forgot.

So we’re gonna pretend these refugees aren’t a result of our actions in Central America?

Study finds that most manufacturing jobs are dead ends.

There’s an obscure Monopoly game rule that changes the whole game—and you probably had no clue it existed.

A Holocaust survivor says that America feels like Germany before the Nazis took over.

Sex robot can now refuse to have sex if she’s not in the mood.

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A Shot of a Ferris Wheel on the Day Before the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, August 30, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 1, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 2, 2018

That awful hazy, hot, and humid weather that had plagued most of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival decided to stick around for the last day. Despite the super-hot weather, I decided to see this year’s Greenbelt Labor Day Parade mainly because I wanted to see some of the marchers.

I decided to drive my car to the parade route instead of walking because it was just so hot outside. I managed to find a spot on a side street just a few feet away from the parade route so I carried my portable folding chair. I ran into a friend of mine from my church congregation so I sat near him in a shaded spot. When the parade began just a few minutes after I arrived (I was late getting out the door that morning compared to other years I attended the parade), I pulled out my smartphone and took a few photos.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The mayor and the entire city council of Greenbelt rode in an old-fashioned red fire truck.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Since 2018 is a mid-term election year, the politicians were out in full force. Ben Cardin is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The local chapter of the Moms Demand Action marched in the parade while calling for sensible gun reform.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Paul Pinsky is running for re-election to the Maryland State Senate.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Alonzo T. Washington is running for re-election to the Maryland House of Delegates.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, who’s running for governor of Maryland, marched in the parade. Seeing him march brought back memories of last year’s Greenbelt Labor Day Festival when I saw him in person mingling among the festival attendees. Earlier this year I saw him in person again at this fundraiser for his campaign and I had my picture taken alongside him. Here he is in the parade wearing a full suit despite the high heat and humidity.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Unlike the other two times I saw him in person, I wasn’t able to shake his hand. I later learned that he had to go to another campaign-related engagement after the parade so he couldn’t stick around. I still think it would be cool if he got elected governor and I could tell people that I actually met him in person before he was elected and I have the pictures to prove it. After Ben Jealous passed by me, I took some more photos of the parade.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

A robot participated in the parade. This one was with a local Boy Scout troop.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The Greenbelt Dog Training group brought their pooches with them to prove how well-behaved they were.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The Greenbelt Makerspace also participated in the parade as well.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Like I wrote earlier, the politicians were out in full force because this year is the mid-term elections. Neal Simon (no relation to the famous playwright Neil Simon who recently passed away) is running for the U.S. Senate.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Winnie Obike is running for the Maryland House of Delegates.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Aisha Braveboy is running for state’s attorney.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Last, but not least, Calvin Hawkins is running for an at-large position on the Prince George’s County Council.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

There were more floats and people marching but I didn’t take as many photos as last year because the heat was getting to me at times and I just wasn’t in the mood for doing an excessive amount of picture taking this year. If it weren’t for the fact that Ben Jealous was marching in the parade and I had some friends from the Greenbelt Makerspace who were also involved in the parade, I would’ve blown it off this year because of the extreme heat and humidity.

Once the parade was over I waited until the people dispersed and the police moved the barriers up the road (where the parade was still traveling) before I got in my car and took a back route to Roosevelt Center (where the festival was taking place). I managed to find convenient parking outside the Coop Supermarket. In fact the parking lot was half-empty because the parade was still winding its way past Roosevelt Center and many people were on the parade route. I had to go to the festival on the final day because I was being honored at an awards ceremony plus I had to pick up my art from the art show. I’ll write more about what it was like to go to the festival in extreme heat and humidity in my next post.

Next in this Series

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 3, 2018
The Day After the End of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 4, 2018

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A Shot of a Ferris Wheel on the Day Before the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, August 30, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 1, 2018

I decided to blow off church that morning because I wanted to enter some of my work to the Retro Town Fair, which was held at the Greenbelt Museum as part of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival. I decided to focus on my crochet amigurumi creatures. I submitted my Sagittarius Dolly amigurumi who is now serving as this blog’s mascot.

You can read more about the making of this amigurumi (including the materials I used) right here.

I originally decided to submit just the Sagittarius Dolly amigurumi but, at the last minute, I decided to enter this amigurumi bunny I had made a few months ago.

You can learn more about the making of this bunny rabbit right here.

The night before I had an acid reflux attack in the middle of the night stemming from the fact that I was walking around in horrible heat prior to yesterday’s rainstorm that produced this lovely rainbow and that large cheese crab pretzel I ate for dinner didn’t help. So I didn’t get a good night’s sleep but I forced myself to consume diet soda so I could get enough caffeine to function despite the lack of sleep.

The Retro Town Fair accepted entries between 10-11 a.m. with the show running from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. I found that the free shuttle service going to and from the festival wasn’t starting until noon, which would’ve been too late to submit anything so I took the car down to the festival area early in the morning, where I had no problem with finding parking. (Mainly because I arrived before the festival started.) The weather was humid but it was in the low 80’s so it was barely tolerable for walking to the Greenbelt Museum. I shot these two photos on my way to the museum.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

For lunch I ate this Lebanese Mountain Bread with cheese that was from the booth of a new Lebanese restaurant that will be opening in Greenbelt soon called Cedars of Lebanon. It tasted delicious. It also agreed with my digestion system better than that cheese crab pretzel I ate for dinner the day before. I ate it at one of the tables outside the Greenbelt Makerspace.

After lunch I walked around. That day was the first day of the craft show where local artisans sold their wares.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The weather had also gotten worse. It went up to the high 90’s with very high humidity. Walking around the craft show in high heat reminded me of what happened five years ago when I participated in the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival craft show and it was the same kind of weather. It was such as disaster for me on a financial level that I vowed that I would never work that show again. Here is what this year’s craft show was like. Note the lack of shoppers.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I can understand what these vendors went through because I once had a similar experience myself.

Walking around the carnival midway area was like walking through Hades. I took one photo of this ride in action because it was just too hot to take extensive outdoor photos.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I attempted to play a round of Bingo since all of the picnic tables were moved to either underneath a large tree or there were portable folding shade tents erected around the tables. But even in the shade I couldn’t stand to play more than one round because the heat really got to me.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I felt so overheated that I decided to sit in the Greenbelt Library, which is usually open on Sundays. Except I saw a sign on the door saying that the library was closed on Sunday and Monday. So I walked next door to the Greenbelt Community Center where I just sat on a bench surfing the Internet with my smartphone. At least it was air conditioned. I was also totally exhausted. Normally I can walk around the festival with no problem at all. Thanks to the lack of sleep, the high heat, and high humidity, I felt like I had ran an marathon and I was feeling stiff all over.

I decided to walk over to the Greenbelt Museum a bit early so I can check out the Retro Town Fair and take advantage of the fact that it was free admission day. (The admission is usually $5 but I couldn’t resist the temptation of free admission.) So I arrived at the Retro Town Fair, which was held outside of the museum.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I came upon my own entries in the Retro Town Fair.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I found that both of my amigurumi pieces won a third place ribbon in the Needlework category, which was pretty awesome.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

After I toured the Retro Town Fair, I had time to kill so I decided to tour the Greenbelt Museum. I last toured the Greenbelt Museum back in 2012. It turned out to be an awkward experience because my husband had walked out on me late in 2011 (three days after Christmas and three months after I underwent hip surgery). I decided to tour that museum because I had lived in this area for many years and I had never visited that museum even though I live close to it. Plus it was offering free admission so I decided to go for it. I saw the initial introductory movie and the volunteer who was going to serve as my tour guide was coordinating with other volunteers regarding giving me the tour. One of them told my tour guide that a previous couple were almost done with touring the museum and they were going to leave in a couple of minutes.

As I documented in this blog post, at the moment when the tour guide and I arrived at the entrance to the door where the tour would begin, the door opened and it was none other than my husband and the woman he left me for holding hands. They saw me, said “Hi,” and walked past me quickly. I was shaken to the core and I remained shaken as the volunteer guide gave me a tour of the house. I couldn’t focus on the tour at all because of seeing my husband and that woman just nine months after he left me for her.

Last year a water main broke inside of the museum, which caused flooding. The flooring had to be replaced and some of the furniture had to be repaired. The museum was reopened just a few months ago. I decided to tour the museum again in order to see what the renovations were like plus I wanted to duck inside of the air conditioning for a bit while I waited for the Retro Town Fair to end so I could pick up my amigurumi pieces and my new third place ribbon.

This time I had joined a small tour group. We went inside and the volunteer tour guide initially led us inside of the living room but then she herded us inside of the adjacent kitchen because another group had just finished its tour and they were about ready to leave and they needed enough space for them to exit through the living room.

While the tour guide was showing us around the kitchen, I heard a familiar voice. At first I thought, “There’s no way that my ex-husband could be on a tour right before mine for the second time at the same museum.” I looked out the kitchen door and I saw my ex-husband and that other woman (whom he married just two months after our divorce was final in 2013) walk out the door. This time they didn’t see me because I was in the adjacent kitchen and they were walking fast.

I couldn’t believe that both times I took advantage of the free admission during the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, I saw my ex-husband. I’m definitely going to re-think the idea of visiting during free admission, because I really don’t want to keep on encountering my ex-husband nor his wife. Saving on the $5 admission fee isn’t really worth it if I have to continue seeing the Backstabbing Couple From Hell every single time.

Well, anyway, I wasn’t quite as shaken to the core this time as I was back in 2012. I know it’s because I had to get used to the fact that I’m now divorced and I’ll never reconcile with my ex-husband. (To be honest, I wouldn’t want to reconcile with him now that he has a proven track record of sexually preying on mentally ill women like the the woman who is now his second wife. If we were to somehow reunite, it would only take another mentally ill woman to move into our area before my ex would leave me for her and the whole drama would start all over again.)

During the tour I took some photos with my smartphone since there was all kinds of vintage furniture, magazines, and other vintage stuff. (This home has been made up to reconstruct what a 1930s home was like at the time that Greenbelt was founded as a planned community providing housing for low-income families at the height of the Great Depression.)

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The museum had this Eleanor Roosevelt cloth doll on sale in its gift shop.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Once the tour ended I hung around in the adjacent townhouse that the museum had recently acquired and it is currently in the process of turning into a new place for the gift shop as well as a place where workshops could be held. I socialized with one of the volunteers for a bit while I waited for the 4 p.m. closing of the Retro Town Fair so I could pick up my crocheted creatures.

The time finally came for the event to end so I picked up my crocheted creatures along with the third place ribbon and made the hot trek back to my car. It was a totally miserable walk with the sun bearing down on me along with the high heat and high humidity. I left the festival as soon as I could because I was so overheated and I was also stiff and sore. The heat made walking way more difficult than usual.

I made only one non-food purchase the entire weekend I was at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival. I purchased a bar of soap at the craft show from a vendor known as Uncle Rick’s Natural Soap.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Next in This Series

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 3, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 3, 2018
The Day After the End of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 4, 2018

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A Shot of a Ferris Wheel on the Day Before the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, August 30, 2018

Last year I attended the opening night of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival for the first time in my life. While I’ve attended previous festivals, I generally tended to blow off opening night and show up on the first full day of the festival.

This year I wasn’t able to attend opening night, mainly because I was helping out with a special project in Takoma Park where we were aiding a man who was required to do a job interview via a smartphone app. (I wrote a post about it because it was the first time I had ever heard of a job interview being conducted in this way. I have a feeling that doing a job interview via smartphone app is a harbinger of things to come for job seekers in the future.) So I reverted to previous years where I didn’t attend the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival for the first time until Saturday.

This time last year the weather was not only cooler than usual but it rained as well. For the first time ever I wore a hooded sweatshirt and long pants to the festival. This year it was completely the opposite, especially in the morning and early afternoon. The weather was cloudy, in the high 80’s, and the humidity was very thick. Just walking around the festival was a miserable experience and I grew tired pretty quickly.

I took the free shuttle over to the festival grounds where I saw that the Greenbelt City Hall had lowered its flags to half-staff to honor the recent passing of Senator John McCain.

Greenbelt #LaborDay Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 1, 2018.

Greenbelt #LaborDay Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 1, 2018. The flags were at half-staff in honor of Senator John McCain.

One new thing I noticed this year was the concrete barriers that had chalk art on them.

Greenbelt #LaborDay Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 1, 2018.

Greenbelt #LaborDay Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland, September 1, 2018.

The Greenbelt Elementary School PTA had its used book sale, which was very popular as people shopped for bargains.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Saturday was Community Day where various local groups and businesses had their information booths where they gave out flyers, brochures, and sometimes free goodies like candy, pens, and pencils.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I shot the Chick-fil-A cow mascot.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The Old Greenbelt Theater had a poster for the movie that it was currently showing, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The Greenbelt Makerspace had its open house where it displayed its computers, robots, and various types of electronics and maker tools.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The carnival midway was lively as people ate food, went on the rides, and played some of the midway games.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

After a while the heat and humidity got to me so I ducked inside of the Greenbelt Community Center so I could cool off in the air conditioning. There is an art exhibition highlighting three local artists that’s currently going on until October. I really liked the art on display in that room so much that I took a few pictures. I especially liked the ones by Jim Doran because I found his skeleton and skull art so interesting and whimsical to look at.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

The main reason why I was at the festival on Saturday was because I had entered this mixed-media piece in the Greenbelt Labor Day Art show called Robot in the Park.

I wrote a blog post about this piece a few months ago so I suggest clicking on this link if you want to learn about the story and the creative process behind this piece.

I submitted my work to the Greenbelt Labor Day Art Show early on Thursday evening before the festival began. One of the conditions of participating in this show is that I had to sign up for a one-hour volunteer shift sometime during the weekend. I signed up to work on Saturday from 2-3 p.m. so I had plenty of time to eat an early lunch, take the free shuttle to the festival grounds, and walk around a bit. I was even able to view the Greenbelt Labor Day Photography Show and the art show itself before my shift began. I found out that my piece had won a second place ribbon in the mixed-media category, which thrilled me. That ribbon meant that I could attend the award ceremony that was scheduled on Labor Day itself where I would collect my prize and receive public recognition.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

So I served my one-hour shift then I decided to walk around the festival some more. I found that the weather had cooled off a little bit so it made walking a bit more pleasant even though the humidity still remained high. I decided to sit at one of the tables outside the Greenbelt Makerspace where I sorted through the photos I had taken so far. At one point an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a while stopped by and we chatted a bit. At that point the weather turned darker and I saw lightning flashes. It eventually started to rain. Fortunately I was underneath an awning so I could watch the rain while staying dry. At one point the sun came out so there was that unusual phenomenon of raining while it’s sunny at the same time. (When I was a kid, I used to be told that such weather meant that the devil was beating his wife.) When the rain started to taper off into a drizzle, a rainbow suddenly appeared.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

By the time the rainbow appeared I was hungry so I walked over to one of the food vendors where I ordered a large cheese crab pretzel. The weather had cooled off considerably and it was pleasant walking outside. The only downside was that it was wet everywhere from the rain so I walked back to the tables under the Greenbelt Makerspace awning and consumed my dinner there. I resumed sorting through the photos I had taken that day until night fell. I walked over to another food booth where I ordered a vanilla ice cream cone with a chocolate dip top and ate that. I also took a few night photos of the festival.

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

I didn’t stay long because my body had grown tired from walking around the festival in high humidity earlier and it was hard finding a dry place to sit due to the rain. I decided to pick up the next free shuttle bus and head home.

Next in This Series

2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 2, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Parade, September 3, 2018
2018 Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 3, 2018
The Day After the End of the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 4, 2018

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For someone who claims to be good at sales and marketing, Donald Trump is incredibly dumb. The list of his biggest business failures proves this. Back in late December Trump had his lawyer unsuccessfully attempt to stop the publication of Michael Wolff’s tell-all book Fire and Fury. This resulted in the book rising to the top of the major bestseller lists all over the world for several months. That book was literally hard to find because stores would sell out quickly and even the libraries had a difficult time keeping it on the shelf. It has only been within the last couple of weeks that the library in my area has been able to keep copies on its shelves. (On my last visit I found that four copies were available for patrons to check out.)

It’s not unusual for journalists to write tell-all books about the first year or two of a new administration. Normally such books reach the top of the bestseller lists for a few weeks then quickly sink while the president generally ignores the book completely. Since we are not living in normal times, the president’s public complaint about the book had resulted in Fire and Fury becoming a bigger cultural phenomenon than it would have been had Trump simply ignored it while making Michael Wolff very rich in the process.

More recently Trump’s former White House staffer, Omarosa Manigault Newman, wrote a tell-all book of her very own titled simply Unhinged. Once again, Trump decided against ignoring it and had launched an attack on her and the book. As of this writing, the book is now enjoying its second week on The New York Times bestsellers list.

So far Trump is 0-2 when it comes to denouncing books into becoming financial failures for their authors and publishers. But, with a new book coming out soon, Trump is trying to make it into a trifecta hat trick.

Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporter who uncovered the Watergate scandal along with Carl Bernstein, is about to release a new book about Donald Trump called Fear: Trump in the White House. Ever since the 1980s, Bob Woodward has written books about every single president in office. He has been doing this since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House. Usually the current White House occupant just ignores whatever book Bob Woodward has written about him and/or his administration.

All that has changed with Donald Trump. The president has publicly responded to the upcoming publication of Woodward’s book as a “con.” What’s more, check out what he has been spewing on his Twitter feed recently.

Way to go, President Dipshit! Thanks to your numerous public tweets denouncing the book, you have provided tons of free publicity to Bob Woodward and his book. Your denunciations will inspire people, especially those who would love to see you thrown into prison for the rest of your miserable life, to flood Amazon and/or their local bookstores pre-ordering copies of Woodward’s book, thus guaranteeing that it will reach number one on many bestseller lists all over the world. In addition, it’s very likely that many of the people who will buy Woodward’s book are people who have either never read any of Woodward’s previous books or who haven’t read any books that Woodward had previously written or co-written since the 1970’s book All the President’s Men. The new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, is destined to become just as big a cultural phenomenon as Michael Wolff’s earlier Fire and Fury book all because YOU couldn’t keep your mouth shut and stay off of Twitter.

For someone who claims to be a salesman and a marketing whiz, Trump is really screwing up his response to Woodward’s book big time. (Or maybe I should use the word “bigly,” one of the many words that Trump has made up since he started occupying the White House.) He could’ve followed the examples of his predecessors and ignored the book but, no, Trump had to openly tweet his disgust, thus drumming up more publicity for Bob Woodward.

Trump’s inadvertent marketing campaign is already having an effect. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for Woodward’s book and it’s already number eight on Amazon’s nonfiction bestseller list. If I were Bob Woodward, I would just sit back and let Donald Trump handle the bulk of the marketing via Twitter then publicly thank the president for all of his help in getting the word out when the book makes its inevitable reach to the top of the bestseller lists all over the world once it’s released.

UPDATE (September 16, 2018): Bob Woodward’s book was released on September 11 with one million copies already in print before they had even reached the stores nationwide. In fact that book is now one of Amazon’s best-selling books of the year.

Last Friday I was at the Takoma Park Library in Takoma Park, Maryland after hours in order to help out with a unique project that’s appropriate to write about now since this weekend is the Labor Day holiday weekend and Labor Day itself is tomorrow. I’m only blogging about this because I think it may be a harbinger of things to come regarding job hunting. There was a time when if you were selected for a job interview, you had to arrive at the potential workplace in person. You had to wear nice clothes and shoes (jeans, short, t-shirts, and sweatshirts were guaranteed ways of NOT getting the job) and made sure that you arrived on time, preferably early (because arriving late to a job interview was a guaranteed way of NOT getting the job). Then there were employers who preferred to do the initial job interview by phone and if your voice or how you answered certain questions didn’t impress them, you wouldn’t get the job.

I’ve gone through in-person interviews and phone interviews but I’ve had friends who had job interviews via Skype and they told me that it was an adventure itself because they had to worry about getting a reliable Internet connection, making sure that they looked presentable from the waist up, and worry about the background because they had to make sure they didn’t sit in front of a place that would turn the potential employer off (such as a trash dumpster or a poster with a raunchy saying).

Last Friday I was helping a friend of a friend with yet another way of doing a job interview and I’m afraid that it’s a harbinger of things to come. This man has a day job but he’s looking for a second part-time job because he has financial issues and he doesn’t make enough at his day job to deal with them all. With this potential second job the employer has required that he downloaded this smartphone app that’s especially made for job interviews. Instead of meeting or talking with someone, this man was required to turn on the app, read a question, and shoot a video of himself with the smartphone answering that question. Then he had to press the “Next” button in order to upload that video on to a server that will be viewed by the potential employer at a later date. Then he had to read the next question and shoot a video of himself with the smartphone answering that question then press the “Next” button. He had to keep on doing this until he hit the end of the questions. The man had to answer all the questions and upload the video clips by a deadline or else he would be disqualified from being considered for the job.

My friend, Phil Shapiro, is an expert on a variety of technical issues, including video (he has an active YouTube channel where he shows off his video knowledge) and he works at the Takoma Park library, which has a reliable WiFi connection and it is well-lit. He suggested that his friend use the library to shoot his job interview and he recruited a couple of people (including myself) to help out. We had to wait until after the library’s 8 p.m. closing time and the job seeker got off from his day job.

I basically took turns holding an overhead light (which is actually a desk lamp I originally purchased from IKEA over 10 years ago) while Phil and another friend coached the job hunter on how to present himself and what he could say that would wow the potential employer. It was a pretty fascinating process. Here are a few photos I took when Phil took over the overhead light holding duty.

Phil had this tripod that he brought from home. The tripod is meant to hold a real camera but Phil found this holder for the tripod that can hold a smartphone while fitting into the tripod screw. I should get one for myself sometime since I have a tripod at home.

The next photo shows the preparation for shooting a take of that job interview where the job seeker was instructed on how to compose himself and where he should look on the smartphone it won’t look like he’s looking down on the floor on up on the ceiling.

The last photo shows the job interview itself as the job seeker talks directly to the smartphone camera as he answers one of the job interview questions. Phil managed to get a clip-on microphone that plugs into the smartphone via the headphones jack and he clipped it on to the job seeker’s collar. It produced a sound that was far superior than just using the smartphone’s built-in microphone.

It was an interesting experience and I have a feeling that soon everyone who wants a job will have to do job interviews through smartphone apps instead of traveling to someone’s office or doing a phone interview or even a Skype interview.

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A few months ago I found that Five Below had these Talk Back Pets, which cost $5 each. I purchased one and I made a special greeting video for Easter and the Fourth of July.

This weekend is another holiday weekend so I made a special Labor Day greeting video. I was influenced by Donald Trump’s announcement this week that he’s seeking to freeze pay raises for federal employees. Here’s the video. Enjoy!

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Trump reportedly broke his promise to step away from his business.

The far right is at its strongest since the 1930s and the media is helping.

How a Democrat killed welfare.

Immigrant children are separated from parents in the UK just like in Trump’s America.

The end of capitalism is already starting—if you know where to look.

Vanity Fair backlash proves the left needs to divorce Hillary Clinton.

Pink Pistols: The American LGBTQ group fighting hate crime with guns.

25 hilarious kids’ test answers that are too brilliant to be wrong.

12 ways political parties are no different than cults.

Emma: A 15-second horror movie.

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I was born in Baltimore. I lived there for the first five years of my life until my family decided to move to Glen Burnie. It was there where the kids called me “retarded,” a label that started in elementary school and it literally stuck with me all through high school and even during my freshman year at Anne Arundel Community College. It was during my freshman year I realized that the students who went to other high schools treated me like I was a human being while the students who went to my high school continued to look down on me as if they wished my mother had sought an illegal abortion when she was pregnant with me. Those students were a major factor in my decision to transfer to the University of Maryland at College Park a year earlier than I originally planned. The students there treated me like I was a person and not some “ugly retarded” misfit.

After I finished my education in College Park I moved back in with my parents in Glen Burnie for 10 months until I got married. My new husband had purchased a townhouse closer to Washington, DC so I was only happy to move there. The people I’ve met since then tend to treat me like I was a human being because they had not grown up in Glen Burnie so they weren’t aware of my misfit reputation that other people had bestowed upon me. I managed to make some real friends over the years and I’m way happier where I am now than I would have been had I remained in Glen Burnie.

I was fortunate that I was given a chance to escape from Glen Burnie that others don’t have. As I’m typing this, I’m thinking about this transgender person known alternatively as Kesha Girl Dale, Britney Girl Dale, and Madonna Girl Dale, who lives in Brooklyn Park (located just north of Glen Burnie) and who frequently dresses in flashy outfits that are sometimes on the skimpy side as she frequently struts down Route 2 from Baltimore to Brooklyn Park to Glen Burnie and she sometimes goes as far south as Pasadena. Here are a few photos I shot of her in Baltimore at the May Day protest against the police killing of Freddie Gray back in 2015.

The Protesters March Along Gay Street

The Protesters March Along Gay Street

The Protesters March Along Gay Street

The Protesters March Along Gay Street

The Protesters March Along Gay Street

I’ve read a few interviews she’s done (like this one) and, like me she’s a white person who had to endure being mistreated by others but, unlike me, she hasn’t been able to escape from that area so she copes with her lot in life by dressing as Madonna and strutting down the streets with her boombox loaded with Madonna CDs in tow as she dances her way through the Baltimore/Brooklyn Park/Glen Burnie/Pasadena area. Some of the locals are outraged that she does this and there have been online petitions in the past in an effort to get the police to somehow crack down on her. I laugh whenever she ignores those haters and keeps on doing what she’s been doing because those haters are the same kind of people who used to treat me as if I was retarded and they looked down on me as if I should have never existed in the first place. Those people definitely deserve to have Madonna Girl Dale dance in their faces.

Every now and then I see stories that have only reminded me that I made the right decision when I moved away from Glen Burnie years ago. One example was this incident a few years ago where a former police officer thought it would be a good idea to have a fundraiser in Glen Burnie for the cops who were implicated in the death of Freddie Gray by having him perform as Al Jolson wearing blackface. The whole Baltimore Uprising in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death came about as a result of long-simmering racial issues and this white guy wanted to perform in blackface in nearby Glen Burnie. Fortunately the venue where this fundraiser was going to be held decided to cancel that event because the owner just didn’t want to deal with potential race riots erupting outside of his business while some white guy inside his place was performing in blackface. Besides if that concert had gone on as planned, his venue would’ve gained a reputation as a place that’s friendly to alt-right white nationalist groups, which would’ve led to boycotts and things like that.

Well there’s a more recent event where Glen Burnie is in the news and it’s not very flattering. Here’s some background: Twenty-five years ago Baltimore put up its light rail line that begins at Hunt Valley (located north of Baltimore) then it winds its way through Baltimore City before it comes out through the south end along Patapsco, Linthicum, and Glen Burnie before it finally ends at BWI Airport. I’ve ridden that light rail numerous times over the years because parking in the Inner Harbor is so expensive while a light rail pass costs around $3.60 and I can use it all day and I can take as many rides as I want. (The pass expires around 3 a.m. the next day.) I’ve grown to love the light rail because it’s cheap to ride.

Last year I tried riding the light rail to the German Festival that was held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Lutherville-Timonium instead of driving along the Baltimore Beltway and I liked it better. The driving along the major highways in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area have gotten horrendous in recent years with frequent speeding, tailgating, and all kinds of road rage garbage. I’ve had so many near-misses regarding accidents that it’s not even funny. In contrast, taking the light rail took the stress out of driving. I could even read a book on the light rail, which is something I can’t do when I’m driving.

Last month there was a huge amount of rain that fell in the Baltimore-Washington area. The rain was so bad that it damaged some of the tracks in northern Anne Arundel County, which includes Glen Burnie. The officials decided to temporarily close the affected light rail stations in that area while repairing the tracks.

So that sounds pretty uneventful. Until I started seeing stories where some of the residents in Anne Arundel County wanted to have the light rail shut down permanently. WHAT THE FUCK?!?

The argument is that ever since the light rail has been build 25 years ago, there have been an increase in criminals who use that light rail to commute from Baltimore to Patapsco, Linthicum, and Glen Burnie in order to commit murder, rape, and robbery then hop back on the light rail to their Baltimore homes.

Except if you look at the data, you’d see that it’s not even true. As this one story puts it:

County police Chief Tim Altomare recently told CBS Baltimore, “There’s a fear that crime comes down on the Light Rail. I don’t think if you look statistically, that there’s any great number of crimes that are generating off Light Rail stops, but there is a clear and convincing feeling of fear about it.”

The same story continues:

To recap: we have people lobbying their elected officials to fix a problem all evidence shows does not actually exist. Those elected officials are listening to them, even though they too know the problem does not exist.

Meanwhile, society continues to make movies, write songs, and play video games about all the ways we use cars to commit crimes. Yet for some reason, no one suggests tearing down highways for the crimes they might encourage.

The Baltimore Sun have also weighed in with this:

If the push by Anne Arundel County residents and elected officials to shut down several light rail stations north of BWI-Marshall Airport is really about crime, we ask this: Where’s the evidence? County Executive Steve Schuh’s office admits there is no crime wave associated with the light rail, even as he appeals to the Department of Transportation to curtail service. County police have been patrolling the trains in recent months, boarding more than 1,000 times since April to yield a whopping three arrests and 14 fare violations.

On the contrary, when we hear County Councilman John Grasso haul out the old suburban saw that “drug addicts, crooks, thieves” use the light rail to “go out there, rob the people, hop on the train back to Baltimore City,” it sounds a lot like President Donald Trump’s claim that Mexico is “sending” drug dealers and rapists across our southern border.

I’m shaking my head at this. I’m not denying that there’s crime in Baltimore. That city has long had a long host of social problems due to a bunch of reasons that would take another blog post to explain in full detail. I’m also not denying that some people may have had less-than-thrilling encounters while riding the light rail. But I find it interesting that it’s the people in the Glen Burnie area who are clamoring the most about the crime that the light rail has brought to their area while Hunt Valley and other places north of Baltimore who are also serviced by the same light rail system have been silent about how the light rail have affected crime in those areas. I mean, if the criminals are willing to hop on the south bound light rail to rob those suburban folks in Glen Burnie, it would be logical for them to hop on the same light rail system going northbound so they could conduct their heinous crimes in Owings Mills and Hunt Valley.

I’m not surprised that this kind of shit is going on in Glen Burnie. That town is full of small-minded people who just don’t hesitate to look down on you if you look or act slightly different. I’m a white female of northern European descent, the kind of person who would blend in easily in Glen Burnie except I got pegged as “retarded” by the other kids starting in elementary school and it didn’t let up until I finally moved away from that place.

But now I’m seeing that this story has reached the foreign media. I saw a story in the British newspaper The Guardian about that protest and I find it totally embarrassing as someone who grew up in that town. I have to congratulate Glen Burnie and the other towns in that area for now being recognized for what they really are: a collection of small-minded assholes. At least a would-be European tourist who is thinking about visiting America won’t be putting Glen Burnie on his/her itinerary.

These people are so steeped in their prejudices that they refuse to even look at the facts. Here is an excerpt from that Guardian story:

Chris and Kim Hahn knew something was wrong when their dog started growling at the back door after midnight in March 2017. Chris went to investigate and found a man crouching near the pool. He confronted the man, who Chris thought appeared to be on drugs, and a violent altercation ensued. The intruder was left bleeding.

“I don’t know what he was up to,” said Chris, recalling the event more than a year later with Kim in the kitchen of their neat Glen Burnie home.

The Hahns had moved to the working/middle-class suburb seeking a quiet, safe environment away from the crime and strife of Baltimore, 10 miles away. But, like many in the neighbourhood, they say the city’s woes have seeped into the area via public transport. Specifically, they believe criminals are coming into the suburbs by light rail.

Data does not bear that out, but that hasn’t stopped some residents from campaigning for the service, which started 25 years ago, to be reduced. The Hahns have just returned from a protest demanding the closure of a light rail stop around the corner from their home – a stop activists have linked to an increase in crime in the area.

“Looking at his rap sheet or whatever, he was from Baltimore city,” Kim said of the intruder. “He missed the light rail and had to find a place to stay, and he chose to climb our fence.”

The Anne Arundel county police confirmed the details of the Hahns’ report, but with two important discrepancies: there was nothing to link the suspect with the light rail and he wasn’t from Baltimore – he was local.

He hadn’t missed the light rail back to the city that night. He was from Anne Arundel county, just like the Hahns.

I don’t understand why the Hahns can’t get it into their heads that this guy was from the same area where they currently live. I had to accept the fact that there were people in Glen Burnie who are less-than-ethical and are even violent. I’ve written before about that middle school bully who wrote something nasty in my yearbook without my permission just a day or two before school ended for the year. That girl who did this didn’t live in Baltimore. In fact, she would have never been allowed to enroll in that middle school had she lived in Baltimore because that whole city would’ve been outside of that school’s jurisdiction. She was a Glen Burnie girl just like I was.

That same Guardian article mentioned that Anne Arundel County has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and Glen Burnie has been suffering numerous heroin fatalities. The Baltimore Sun has mentioned that most of the drug addicts in Anne Arundel County actually live in Anne Arundel County—not Baltimore.

I’m not surprised that there are drugs in Glen Burnie. There were drugs in Glen Burnie when I was growing up. I used to see kids smoking pot in homemade bongs whenever I took the wooded shortcut while I was walking to my high school. I knew a girl who used to drop LSD and she even took that drug once when we took a trip to King’s Dominon that was organized by my Catholic church’s CCD group. The adults who lived there just stuck their heads in the sand while thinking that they had rescued their kids from a life of becoming drug users in Baltimore City. (LOL!)

I still remember when the adults were shocked that three little girls were brutally murdered in Glen Burnie. There were people who said that this is the kind of thing that happens in Baltimore, not Glen Burnie. The teen who did this also grew up in Glen Burnie just like his victims.

Yes, there are drugs and crime in Glen Burnie and the drug addicts and criminals are also from Glen Burnie. The sooner people start to see the reality and start working on possible solutions to these two social issues, the better Glen Burnie could become. Otherwise, Glen Burnie is destined to remain a town whose biggest claim to fame that a couple of episodes of the 1970s TV show Movin’ On were filmed there. Closing down the light rail is the wrong solution to a real problem.

As for me, I’m still glad I got out of Glen Burnie. Thanks to this latest drama, I’m going to start telling people that I came from Baltimore instead of Glen Burnie. (It wouldn’t be a total lie since I was born there and I lived there until I was five years old.) I’ve been spending the bulk of my adult like putting Glen Burnie behind me so it’s no big deal to tell people that I’m from Baltimore. If you read some other blog posts I’ve previously written about the people in Glen Burnie, you’d see that I’ve been doing it all along.

Visiting My Mother and Seeing Donald Trump Signs in Glen Burnie, Maryland

Throwback Thursday: Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Me

I’ve Put My High School Days Behind Me and I Don’t Want to Go Back Again

My Old School, July 11, 2016

Another Reason Why I’m Glad I No Longer Have Any Connection With My Hometown

Two Bitches From Hell

My Brief Visit to My Hometown of Glen Burnie, July 1, 2017

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