You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Donald Trump’ tag.

Microsoft Paint avoids brush with death.

Tutorials—some free—on how to make doll clothes for any size or shape of your doll.

Why the death of malls is about more than shopping.

How to get your Instagram marketing off the ground.

After a century of dispute, the German alphabet just got a new character.

In her first act as a Disney Legend, Whoopi Goldberg tells Disney to stop hiding its history.

Artist Leticia Santos finds geometric inspiration in D.C.’s row houses.

Black Southern Baptist minister renounces church over its Trump support in a scathing open letter.

An open letter to Rev. Franklin Graham from a “small church” pastor.

Download 200+ Belle Époque art posters from 1880-1918 for free.

A new low: “Photo community” asks for (and gets) free commercial license to photos.

Growing paper clothes in rural Japan.

The extraordinary reason exceptional people avoid mediocre friends. (They rewire your brain.)

Colorizing an early 1900s photo of New York brings it to life.

12 tips to being a better photo blogger.

A history of why the U.S. is the only rich country without universal health care.

The best worst reactions to the news that the next Doctor Who will be a woman.

Honda debuts a one-of-a-kind “Minnie Van.”

This untouched 70s home is the grooviest thing you’ll see all year.

An attempt at a world record for the most Frida Kahlo lookalikes in one place.

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

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

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

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

I took a few more pictures of some local businesses.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

These days I can’t go on a news site or social media without hearing about the latest crazy drama that’s coming from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. in Washington, DC. Since last week the following has happened:

President Trump hires New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as the new White House Communications director, which results in the resignation of Sean Spicer from his White House press secretary job.

White House press aide Michael Short resigned after Scaramucci threatened to fire him over alleged leaks.

Anthony Scaramucci deletes his old Twitter tweets while saying that he did this in order to be “fully transparent.” Other sites have managed to archive his deleted tweets (which proves the adage that once you post something online, it never completely goes away).

Not long afterwards Anthony Scaramucci contacts The New Yorker magazine where he accused White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus of plotting against him and said that Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, sucks his own cock.

Meanwhile Scaramucci’s wife files for divorce because she became fed up with his attempts to suck up to President Trump. (He even blew off the birth of his own son in favor of attending President Trump’s infamous speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree.)

President Trump fires White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Today President Trump fires Anthony Scaramucci after spending just 10 days at his new job.

Man, you really can’t make this shit up if you’ve tried!

It looks like Donald Trump is running his administration the way that he used to run his reality show The Apprentice. Granted firing people right and left made for great reality TV, such as this compilation of Trump frequently saying “You’re fired!” on his old reality show.

Hell, I used to watch The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice as my guilty pleasure until 2011 (when I became totally turned off of Trump’s show after Trump talked about running for president while questioning President Obama’s birth certificate and blatantly catering to the racist birthers who couldn’t stand the fact that an African-American man was actually elected to the White House). I’m willing to admit that frequently firing people makes very compelling TV but, to be blunt, that is no way to run to run a White House administration or even an entire country.

Trying to keep abreast on what’s going on at the White House is a really major challenge for journalists. Here’s a video of a presenter on BBC News trying to explain to the viewers of what’s going on while seeming confused himself at the same time.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I thought he really hit a new low with that messed-up Boy Scouts speech. But it seems like he’s determined to show the world how much of a hateful bastard he really is while encouraging people to still love him despite the fact that he’s exhibiting malignant narcissism tendencies.

Today President Trump issued a ban on transgender people from serving in the military. He claimed that the medical costs associated with a transgender person would be huge yet this one analysis says that what the military currently shells out for Viagra is more than it would on providing medical care for a transgender person.

Right now I’m just going to say this. For years there have been transgender people active in my Unitarian Universalist congregation. All of them have made my congregation a better place to go to and worship in. My UU faith was very helpful when I learned that a man who caught my garter at my wedding is now living as a transgender woman. Donald Trump’s hateful ban on trans people from serving this country in the military will NOT deter my own congregation—or the UU denomination in general—from continuing to be a safe haven for transgender people. Anyone who supports what President Trump has done and/or supports the bathroom bills that have made their way through various state legislatures is on the wrong side of history.

I’m sure that many of you have heard about President Trump’s bizarre speech at a Boy Scout Jamboree. In case you’ve missed it, The Toronto Star has a list of the 17 most jaw-dropping moments from that speech while you can view the speech in its entirety right here.

I am a former Girl Scout. I was once married to an Eagle Scout. My late mother-in-law once served as a Den Mother to my ex-husband’s Boy Scout troop. I am totally outraged over President Trump’s inappropriately partisan speech to a large group of minors who are members of what is supposed to be a non-partisan organization. He railed against the Affordable Health Care Act while making disparaging remarks about former President Obama and Hillary Clinton—topics that should NOT belong in a speech to the Boy Scouts.

Naturally the parents of these boys are outraged and some have even threatened to withdraw their sons from the Boy Scouts of America. I don’t blame them one bit. If I had a son who was at that Jamboree, I would be so angry that I would be going to West Virginia right now and withdrawing him early from that event.

The fact that Donald Trump is using innocent children for his own propaganda purposes without the consent from either the kids or their parents says a lot about his character—none of it very good.

It’s too bad that Donald Trump himself was never a Boy Scout. Had he belonged to a troop while he was growing up, he would’ve been exposed to the idea of doing service for others and how to have reverence for this country and all that it stands for. He missed out on a golden opportunity to improve himself while possibly being exposed to kids from a different background than what he was raised in. He also would’ve learned that partisan politics has no place in the Boy Scouts.

But he wasn’t a member and he grew up with this huge narcissistic ego with a giant sense of entitlement. He probably views the Boy Scouts as his own version of the Hitler Youth (or is it Trump Youth?) and the Girl Scouts as his own League of German Girls (which would be renamed the League of American Girls). If the Boy Scouts have any common sense, they would ban him from ever speaking at any further Boy Scout events. I hope the Girl Scouts would not ever think about having him speak at any of their events. Given the allegations involving sexual assault against minors, having him speak to a group of underaged girls would be like letting a dog loose in a candy shop.

Six months ago today Donald Trump was formally sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. At the time I wrote this post predicting that President Trump would not survive past his first term. I personally felt that the drama surrounding President Trump would really get out of hand starting next year. But I didn’t expect the out-of-hand drama to really get going during the first six months. In a lot of ways, Donald Trump’s bizarre tweet that had the word “covfefe,” makes the perfect metaphor for his administration (as well as providing the title for this post).

In the interest of fairness, I will mention the one good thing that President Trump has done. He killed that awful Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which deserved to be killed because it would’ve not only hampered worker rights but it would’ve given corporations more rights than national sovereignty. The fact that President Obama, a Democrat, really worked hard on making this a reality, says a lot about who the Democratic Party is really aligned with these days (and it’s not the workers).

Unfortunately the things President Trump has said and done since he killed the TPP has completely obliterated the one good thing he did from my immediate memory.

I originally intended to write a rant analyzing Donald Trump’s first six months in office only to realize that it’s not really possible. So much has happened that I would literally have to spend at least two weeks doing the researching, writing, and re-writes necessary to come up with something that would be so long that it would read more like a multi-page report that I used to be required to write for a college class than a blog post. And I did plenty of these reports when I was a college student and I no longer have the patience or inclination to do anything like that (especially for no pay or college credit or any other kind of incentive). On top of it there are new news coming out nearly every day (sometimes two or more major stories will break on the same day) so trying to keep up with everything is such a major challenge that I’m very glad that I had never started a news blog of my very own.

Instead I’m just going to provide links to articles that I have collected over the past six months. These link titles provide a litany of the sheer fuckery that is the Trump Administration and some of Trump’s hardcore supporters who continue to side with him despite what is currently going on with his administration.

Comparing Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s inaugural crowd sizes

Inauguration and Women’s March, By The Numbers

Donald Trump got behind the wheel of a truck and everyone is making the same joke

The Real Targets of Trump’s Strike [on Syria] Were His Domestic Critics

The Inside Story of the Kushner-Bannon Civil War

Media Ignores Trump’s Conflicts Of Interest To Promote War in Syria

The Problem With Trump’s Attempt to Scare North Korea

As Trump plays the global strongman, what happened to ‘America first’?

We Now Have the Perfect 20-Second Metaphor for How Trump Has Treated His Supporters

Trumpism: It’s Coming From the Suburbs

Comey Affair Sign of a Fractured American State

Five Reasons Why the Comey Affair is Worse Than Watergate

I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal’ with Trump. His self-sabotage is rooted in his past.

Trump Has Meltdown on Twitter, But Offline Sources Say He’s Emotionally Withdrawing and Gaining Weight

Right to bear arms? Trump accused of plagiarising family crest

‘Covfefe’: Trump invents new word and melts internet

The Great Betrayal of Middle America

Can we finally kill off the zombie lie? Trump’s voters weren’t the “white working class”

The Trump Organization Is Launching a Chain of Americana-Themed Hotels Called ‘American Idea’

Eric Trump Reportedly Bragged About Access to $100 Million in Russian Money

How Donald Trump Shifted Kids-Cancer Charity Money Into His Business

Donald Trump’s new FBI director pick has Russian ties of his own

Meet the community tracking every time Trump contradicts himself on Twitter

Trump to Mayor of ‘Drowning’ Island: Don’t Worry About Sea Level Rise

America Doesn’t Feel Real Anymore

Trump’s Obama Obsession

America has a corruption problem. And it’s not just Trump.

The White House banned cameras from press briefings, so CNN sent in a courtroom sketch artist

GOP senators: Trump attack on MSNBC hosts ‘beneath the dignity of his office’

Jesus, Donald Trump, What The Fuck Is Wrong With You?

Morning Joe co-hosts accuse White House of blackmail over tabloid story

The Guy That’s In the White House Is Definitely the Guy Joe Scarborough Knew Two Years Ago

Donald Trump posts video clip of him ‘beating’ CNN in wrestling

‘South Park’ Will Ignore Donald Trump, Says Trey Parker

Historian Timothy Snyder: “It’s pretty much inevitable” that Trump will try to stage a coup and overthrow democracy

Trump Used to Make Sense When He Talked. So What Happened?

28-Year-Old Woman With No Political Experience Now Among Top Paid Trump Staffers

The music video that connects President Trump to his son’s meeting with a Kremlin-backed lawyer

Trump returned to Twitter to defend his meeting with Putin. It didn’t go well.

Ivanka Trump under fire after taking seat among world leaders at G20

Ivanka Trump’s qualification for sitting in at the G20? She’s part of the 1%

Trump Continues Tirade Against Press At Event Honoring Veterans

Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump

Trump’s Legal Team Argues That Sexual Harassment Is Protected By The 1st Amendment

Trump’s son met Russian who promised material on Clinton

Why Putin Loves Trump: He’s Making America Weak Again

Trump Supporters Go into Meltdown Over Moby’s Latest Music Video

The White House Isn’t Denying Any Key Facts About Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia Fiasco

Keith Olbermann digs up old Trump tweet that may confirm he knew Don Jr. met with Russian lawyer

Mike Pence distances himself from Trump campaign as Don Jr.’s emails threaten several insiders

What Do the Russians Have on the Trump Family? Fear.

Donald Trump Jr. is just staggeringly incompetent

Four explosive lines in Trump Jr emails

How Much More Absurdity Can You Handle?

New York Post: ‘Donald Trump Jr. is an Idiot’

US intel caught Trump team talking with Russians in 2015, before presidential campaign begins

Ordered by court to disclose his Russia contacts, [US Attorney General Jeff] Sessions releases blank piece of paper

Trump’s Russian Laundromat

George Takei: And We Thought Eric Trump Was the Stupid One

Eric Trump Just Attacked Keith Olbermann. Olbermann’s Response Is EPIC

Donald Trump Jr. paid attorney with funds from his father’s re-election campaign: report

Trump Cut $213 Million in Funds to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Trump’s Favorite Pastime: Not Paying for Stuff

Trump’s Air War Has Already Killed More Than 2,000 Civilians

Given Trump’s Golf Habits, The Coast Guard Plans To Cut Off Potomac River Access

Die-hard Trump supporter struggles to name a single Trump accomplishment

Trump Team Forced To Spend Re-Election Campaign Money on Lawyers

Trump Lawyer Says Don Jr.’s Russia Meeting Was Secret Service’s Fault

OUCH: Texas paper destroys Trump’s six months in office by documenting every one of his failures

President Trump Just Broke a Startling Record in Iraq and Syria

Here’s Everything You Missed From Trump’s Inane Weekend Tweeting

Ivanka Trump Fancies Herself a Champion of ‘Women Who Work’—Tell That to Her Brand’s Factory Workers

Watch Donald Trump’s Weird Cameo in Video By Russian Pop Star at Center of Scandal

Is Trump Simply the Worst Human Being We Can Imagine? 14 Experts Weigh In

Jittery Donald Trump begs Theresa May to fix a ‘warm welcome’ for his state visit—and says he won’t set a date until he knows he’s going to get a ‘better reception’

Be wary: Trump and Putin could yet bring democracy to a halt

Fire trucks, golf clubs and double standards: Trump touts America

I’m a Lefty and I Joined a Trump Supporters Facebook Group: Here’s What I Learned

It Was Always About the Money—Russia and the Trumps: A Grift Story.

Donald Jr. Finally Relatable: Can’t Wait For His Dad’s Presidency to be Over

Trump Administration Considering Closing Office Of Cyber Security

Trump’s First Year in Office is Shaping Up to Be a Miserable Failure

Report: Russian mob money helped build Trump business empire

Trump tweets that not passing a healthcare bill was his plan all along

Could Trump Jr., Kushner, or Manafort Be Charged Under the Espionage Act?

‘Horrified’ former ethics boss reveals Trump didn’t want to verify that his own financial disclosure was true

Donald Trump Is Falling Apart

These links are current and up-to-date as of 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on July 20, 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised if new Trump Administration drama hits social media starting at 10 a.m.—one hour after this post goes live for the first time

The root cause of all this is simply the fact that President Trump has no prior experience yet he was elected and sworn in as president despite having zero experience. Every other U.S. president had either served in the military or had previously been elected to a lower office. Donald Trump is the first president who had done neither prior to being elected. This inexperience definitely shows at times, especially when President Trump takes to his Twitter account and tweets all kinds of crazy stuff (especially on the weekends).

What compounds this even further is that prior to his current White House gig, the only jobs he has ever held were in his family-run company. As a young employee he was immune from such things as dealing with a difficult boss or worrying about getting laid off because his father was head of the company. When he eventually succeeded his father as the company head, he really had it made because he could stay in his job as long as he wanted. He never had to be accountable to anyone who isn’t a member of his family before he moved to the White House.

Donald Trump only got as far as he did because he was born into wealth that was successively earned by his grandfather and father. If it weren’t for being born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, he probably would’ve ended up being one of those sleazy used car salesman who has no hesitation about illegally changing the odometer of a used car with a 200,000 mileage and trying to pass it off to an unsuspecting buyer as a “gently used car” with only 1,000 mileage. This guy has been a classic con artist for several years.  And he continued his con during the campaign last year as he toured the Rust Belt areas telling voters what they wanted to hear while managing to convince them that he’s a Working Class Hero who’s on their side. (Never mind the fact that Trump has never lived anything that even remotely resembled a working class lifestyle.)

As for any opposition to the Trump Administration, sadly you won’t find it in the Democratic Party. The party keeps on favoring centrist Democrats (meaning they have ties to Wall Street and won’t do much to help the average American) for special elections held since last November only to get totally trounced. The most recent example happened in Montana where voters preferred a Republican who was charged with assaulting a reporter from The Guardian newspaper over a centrist Democrat. Hillary Clinton emerged from hiding for the first time since her defeat last November to claim that she was the “victim” of the assumption that she would win while throwing her erstwhile supporter and former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz under the bus by blaming the DNC structure on her loss. Basically Hillary Clinton blamed everyone else but the fact that she ran an incredibly crappy campaign where she kept on saying that she wasn’t Donald Trump and her policy positions can be found on her website. (I saw that first debate where she basically said this and I was appalled by both her and Trump that night.)

The Democrat Party should’ve been spending the past six months articulating policy positions such as the need to repair the aging infrastructure of the nation’s bridges and tunnels (which will not only make traveling safer but can also provided much needed jobs to the unemployed and underemployed). Instead they have been mostly silent with a few exceptions (such as Elizabeth Warren) while sticking with the same centrist Republican-lite policies that led to Donald Trump’s election last November.

Here’s the reason why being a centrist Republican-lite Democrat have been a disaster for the last several years. It alienates devoted party members so much that many of them end up staying home on Election Day. Plus most Republicans are not going to spring for a Republican-lite Democrat when they can simply vote for the real thing. This is why the Democrats have lost control of the House and Senate and why they were defeated for control of the Executive Branch last November.

How bad is the current Democratic Party at being a coherent voice of the opposition to the Trump Administration? Check out what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) have up with as a potential slogan for next year’s mid-term elections: “Democrats 2018. I mean, have you seen the other guys?” This cutesy self-deprecating ad slogan is more appropriate for advertising a movie or a TV show than a major political campaign. This is too reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s disastrous “I am not Donald Trump” message in her ill-fated campaign. If the DCCC actually go through with that ad campaign, they will definitely ensure the re-election of Republicans to not only the House and Senate but also to the state and local governments as well. Talk about self-sabotage!

Despite the Democrat Party’s self-sabotaging itself there are some from the progressive wing of the the party who are planning to run against centrist Democrats like Senator Joe Manchin in the primaries of next year’s mid-term elections. I wish them well in their efforts even though they face an uphill battle from the entrenched centrist Democrats who, naturally, are reluctant to cede any inch of power they have accumulated themselves over the past few decades. They will also have to overcome people like the writer of this essay who are naturally skeptical that any kind of real opposition to Donald Trump can rise up from the Democrat Party.

Right now the average American person is on his/her own until a real opposition movement rises up to challenge President Trump. So far I found three things that average Americans can do until President Trump is somehow removed from office.

Amid “Constitutional Crisis,” Bernie Sanders Urges Workers to Seize the Means of Production

The Long Road to Surviving Trump Begins With…Rejecting Neoliberalism

Push President Trump off of a cliff again and again

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, a national U.S. holiday that was originally created to honor the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence. NPR decided to issue a series of tweets on Twitter using text that was directly taken from that document. Sounds pretty innocuous and very appropriate for the occasion, no?

Except plenty of Trump supporters actually protested this on Twitter. These links show just a fraction of the angry tweets from Trump supporters protesting the Declaration of Independence being posted on Twitter.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/07/calling-for-a-revolution-trump-fans-triggered-after-npr-tweets-out-the-declaration-of-independence/

https://gizmodo.com/trump-supporters-cry-bias-after-npr-tweets-the-declarat-1796633566

http://www.newsweek.com/anti-trump-resistance-ready-rise-after-reading-declaration-independence-tweets-631942

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/npr-declaration-of-independence_us_595c6525e4b0da2c7325bd50?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003

https://www.buzzfeed.com/juliareinstein/we-hold-these-alternative-truths-to-be-self-evident?bffbmain&ref=bffbmain&utm_term=.loaR8Em7a#.vdxgLXlNG

http://www.salon.com/2017/07/05/nprs-declaration-of-independence-tweetstorm-angered-some-trump-supporters/

I’m just going to say that if you are against the Declaration of Independence and the ideas that are in that document (such as “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”) then you are anti-American.

I’m old enough to remember when those who were against the anti-Vietnam War protesters used to say “America—Love It or Leave It.” I would say the same thing to those Trump supporters who have protested against the Declaration of Independence on Twitter. Protesting that document is the same as hating America. Protesting that document is just like burning the American flag and they’re the same as hating America. If you hate America that much, then maybe it’s time for you to move to a country that’s more to your liking in terms of having less freedom and more dictatorship. You could move to Russia, where Trump’s buddy Vladimir Putin rules that nation. You could move to Saudi Arabia where you can lose a limb or even your head if you toe the line way too often. You could even move to North Korea where the people there worship Kim Jong Eun just as much as you worship Donald Trump.

But you Declaration of Independence-hating Trump supporters need to decide just one thing: America—Love It or Leave It.

Late last week I finished my latest animation, which is based on the song “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog)” by The Bachelor and the Bad Actress. Here is the video. I’ll write more about how I made it below.

I’m pretty friendly with a few local musicians. (None of them are major stars and all of them have day jobs since they don’t make enough money from being musicians to pay the bills.) A few months ago I did a short animation to Phil Shapiro’s song “Open Source is Yours and Mine.

Among my musician friends are a husband and wife duo known as The Bachelor and the Bad Actress. (I even went to their wedding that was held during the Crazy Quilt Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland a couple of years ago.) At one point I was communicating with Joe the Bachelor on Facebook (yes, he’s married now but he’s still known as The Bachelor because, well, old habits die hard [LOL!]) and I linked to the “Open Source is Yours and Mine” and I joked about offering to trash one of his songs the way I “trashed” the “Open Source” song. He really liked the video and was open to the idea of an animated music video to one of The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ songs.

Meanwhile I’ve been going to the weekly animation meetup at Makerspace 125 and there is talk about all of us collaborating together on one animation but nothing has happened yet along those lines (as of this writing). When I mentioned this to Joe the Bachelor, he offered to let those of us in that meetup to each take one of their songs and animate it.

I brought it up with the meetup group but it was met with indifference. I decided to do one of their songs on my own and show it to the other meetup attendees just to show that it’s possible. I picked “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog)” because the lyrics were straightforward and I figured that I could do a comedic animation that’s reminiscent of the old Warner Brothers Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts from the 1940’s and 1950’s.

I used Moho Anime Studio Debut for the bulk of the animation. There were a few times when I had to use Adobe Photoshop for some scenes where using Anime Studio would’ve been frustrating. (Like most graphics programs, Anime Studio Debut uses layers. Unlike the other graphics programs, you literally cannot control the opacity in those layers. So I switched to Photoshop for those times when I needed to control the opacity of certain layers, exported the graphics as a .jpeg, then imported it into Anime Studio Debut. I’m going to stop here on the technical stuff since not everyone is interested in such details.)

This animation was my first foray into actual lip-synching. Anime Studio Debut recommended this free open source software called Papagayo, which churns out lip movements based on both audio recordings and what you type into the application. If you want to know more about this, I suggest getting it yourself, since it is free to download.

I originally planned on doing the entire thing in Anime Studio Debut while I would use iMovie only to put in the opening title and closing credits. There was a snag when I discovered that Anime Studio Debut can’t go any further than 3,000 frames and the song lasts longer than that. I was basically using the app’s default at 24 frames per second. If you do the math, you’d know that the maximum run time that the software can handle is 125 seconds or two minutes and five seconds. The song runs for two minutes and 31 seconds.

I found a workaround when I brought the song into Audacity and broke it up in two. Then I created two separate animation files, exported them separately, then brought them into iMovie where I managed to patch everything together into one file.

While I was working on this, I found out that Moby had been releasing animated music videos. The first one is a statement about people being addicted to their smartphones. The second one has become controversial because it makes an unflattering statement about President Donald Trump but that’s another story altogether. I was influenced by the end titles in both videos and they were my inspiration for how I created the end title in my own animation where I showed people where they can download or stream The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ music.

Speaking of President Trump, I added some imagery of my own about The Donald along with a quote from George Orwell’s book Animal Farm. See if you can spot them while you’re watching my video.

I have to admit that this was my most ambitious animation to date and there were times when I was on the verge of burnout. And that’s because I was also doing some major job hunting using tips from a book that I had recently gotten a hold of.

I finally decided that doing two big things at once wasn’t good for my health. With the Fourth of July holiday coming up, I decided that I would finish the animation first then resume reading the job hunting book after the holiday. (If this book works for me and I end up getting a new day job to pay the bills, I will write another post praising this book and urging all my readers of this blog to buy it.) With another finished animation under my belt, I now have something recent I can show to any potential employer interested in my animation skills.

I’m also toying with starting a Patreon page where I would make short animations (meaning less than five minutes) for anyone willing to give me some money. Working on this animation has shown me what I can realistically do for a potential patron while setting a price that’s reasonable for the patron while not pricing myself so low that I end up making $1 or $2 per hour (which is impossible to live on anywhere in the United States of America).

By the way, if you like the song, “Jack Sprat (aka Butcher the Hog),”  you can purchase it or stream it through The Bachelor and the Bad Actress’ Bandcamp page.

Ramadan

For all the times I’ve been to Dupont Circle, I’ve never went there during DC Pride Weekend, even though I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for years. The only reason why I went this year was because Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School was held at the Bier Baron that day. I originally planned on writing one post until I looked through the pictures and realized that I had taken so many that it really warranted writing two separate blog posts about my one day in Dupont Circle during DC Pride Weekend. This post will focus on the photographs I took that day while the Dr. Sketchy’s post will have to wait until the next one.

DC Pride Weekend had a big parade and party that took place in Dupont Circle the previous day. I wasn’t able to make it because of tight finances (the Metro system is not only getting more expensive but yet another fare increase is set to take place by the end of this month) and this heatwave has settled in the area so the temperature reached a high of around 95 degrees F.

The following day it was still very hot and humid with highs reaching 95 once again. At least the Metro trains are air conditioned and I spent as much time in the various air conditioned stores as possible. While Saturday was the big party and parade in Dupont Circle, Sunday was slated as a day of protest on the Mall. I wasn’t able to make it to that protest mainly because I attended church in the morning and Dr. Sketchy’s started at 3 p.m. so there was literally no way I could squeeze going to the National Mall in between (especially given Metro’s flaky weekend schedule where you could wait anywhere from 15 minutes to a half-an-hour or even longer depending on which stop you’re at and if Metro is doing any kind of maintenance work on a certain line at a certain station). I saw this couple who were clearly on their way to the Mall march.

I arrived at the Dupont Circle Metro station, which was definitely decorative for the occasion by having its list of scheduled trains arranged like the rainbow flag.

It was also fitting that the same station had this banner ad for Cher’s upcoming concert at the MGM casino in nearby National Harbor.

I didn’t mind missing the big march on the Mall, especially when I stepped outside and felt the high heat and high humidity smack me in the face. There were people milling around in Dupont Circle but I suspect that there were far more people protesting at the Mall. The first thing I did was head over to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe where I saw these LGBTQ-friendly signs.

There was also this excellent sign that made fun of Donald Trump’s notorious “covfefe” tweet by announcing a new Covfefe cocktail featuring White Russian while providing quotes from former FBI director James Comey’s recent testimony that introduced the phrase “honest loyalty” into the English language.

I browsed among the books at Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe while noticing this prominent shelf towards the front of the store featuring LGBTQ books.

I also saw rainbow flags and store patrons who were all decked out in rainbow and/or LGBTQ-themed attire .

After Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe I walked along the streets of Dupont Circle where I noticed rainbow flags everywhere and people dressed in rainbows. I took the bulk of these pictures before and after Dr. Sketchy’s. (Hooray for longer daylight hours!)

I eventually made my way to the Bier Baron, where Dr. Sketchy’s took place. Even that place was decked out in rainbows.

I even got into the rainbow festivities by taking pictures of my colored pencils all lined up in a loose Roy G Biv rainbow pattern (which also included colors one usually don’t see in a rainbow like brown and white) before Dr. Sketchy’s began.

Like I wrote earlier, I’ll devote my next post to what I drew at Dr. Sketchy’s.

While there were rainbow colored palettes everywhere in Dupont Circle, I found this one interesting non-rainbow thing that I photographed. This is a tiny statue (which reaches no higher than my calf) of a baby sleeping on top of a baby elephant. How cute!

I ended my time at the fountain that’s located right in the middle of Dupont Circle. There were a few people chilling out even though it was dinnertime and the temperature was very hot and humid. Strangely the fountain was turned off that day plus the basin had no water in it. (I honestly don’t know what is going on with that fountain.)

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for my next post on attending Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at the Bier Baron during DC Pride Weekend. 🙂

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