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I went back to Baltimore earlier this month so I could check out the latest session of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School at The Windup Space. Once I arrived at the Station North Arts District, I still had some time to kill so I decided to play around with my Canon camera (which I purchased used off of eBay for only half the price of the same brand-new camera in a store). These days the days are shorter while the nights are longer, which means that the sun starts to set around 5 p.m. or so. I decided to put my camera on the low-light setting and I took a few night photos of the area near The Windup Space.

I eventually went inside The Windup Space where I continued to take pictures inside the place using the same low light settings on my camera. This is also the section of my post where some of the images are definitely NSFW. The next photo shows the stage where the model poses while we all draw.

Here’s a photo of my drink, which I only shot because I liked that line drawing of the ram that was on my drinking glass.

Here is a photo of some of the really cool looking beer taps at the bar. (And, yes, they are really functioning beer taps.)

I took a few photos of the current exhibit that’s on display at The Windup Space (as of this writing). Many of the photos on display are definitely NSFW.

This box is another indication that Christmas is coming next month. (No, I didn’t take up the offer of snagging myself a free Xmas hat. I already have an old Santa Claus hat with Mickey Mouse ears that I purchased at a Disney Store years ago and that’s good enough for me.)

Here is some graffiti I found inside of one of the stalls in the women’s restroom.

The last two photos are two different promotional flyers advertising the latest Dr. Sketchy’s event.

The rest of this post features only my drawings because there’s generally a ban on photographing the model. The model for this Dr. Sketchy’s session was a burlesque performer named Ruby Spruce and some of these drawings are definitely NSFW.

At one point Ruby Spruce did this performance that totally flipped me out for reasons that had nothing to do with Ruby or Dr. Sketchy’s or even Baltimore. Two weeks earlier I ran into a friend at my church’s annual Halloween/Samhain service (which also included a Trunk or Treat event and a party) who was dressed in this costume as Carol Burnett doing her Gone With the Wind parody. I recognized the reference because my family used to watch Carol Burnett’s TV show when I was growing up. (If you want to see Carol Burnett in that costume, you can watch a poor quality video of a short excerpt from that comedy sketch right here and/or you can watch a better quality video of Carol Burnett reflecting on that comedy sketch.) Very few people in my congregation recognized that reference. I think it’s because my congregation is a mix of older people who rarely watched television—even when they were younger in the 1970s (which was The Carol Burnett Show‘s heyday) they didn’t watch TV very much—and people who were either too young to remember that show or weren’t even born then.

So here I was at Dr. Sketchy’s and Ruby Spruce decided to do her burlesque performance midway through that evening and she appeared in that same curtain rod dress that my friend wore two weeks earlier while the theme song from The Carol Burnett Show was playing while she gradually stripped down to pasties and g-string. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to photograph the model so I couldn’t show my friend any pictures of Ruby wearing that same costume she wore at church.

Instead, I’ll just post the photo of my friend wearing that curtain rod costume at church two weeks before Dr. Sketchy’s chatting with another church member.

Halloween/Samhain Service, October 29, 2017

After Ruby’s performance, I drew her with that hoop structure she wore underneath her curtain rod costume.

The one contest I took part in that evening was about the then-upcoming Black Friday. The owner of The Windup Space, Russell, was working behind the bar that night so the emcees had this idea of somehow incorporating Russell and Ruby Spruce with a Black Friday sale. I came up with the idea of Russell grabbing Ruby and taking her away from the store before Donald Trump could. I had an orange-skinned Donald Trump shake his tiny hands and yelling “You Son of a Bitch! I had first dibs on her! I’m the President! COME BACK!” Then I had Russell say “President Trump still has Melania and Ivanka. He doesn’t need Ruby as well.” I’ll admit that this drawing was the culmination of my pent-up frustration with Trump and his crazy antics both in the White House and on Twitter. (Of course I also derived inspiration from The Daily Show‘s classic two-part series Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter.)

My drawing made it among the finalists but I didn’t win. After that contest, I did one more drawing of Ruby Spruce before the event ended for the evening.

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Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

I went to the historic Savage Mill because I’ve always loved how that place is decorated for the holidays.

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When I was there that night there was a live performance of Christmas music by the Murray Hill Middle School Jazz Band.

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The big highpoint was seeing the Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge all decked out in lights. I last crossed that bridge over a year ago when it was a warm spring day. It was bitter cold outside the night I shot these pictures but it was really worth it.

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St. Patrick's Day

Here are some appropriate photos for the occasion, starting with this bag of Guinness potato chips that I found at a local Wegmans a few weeks ago.

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day: #Guinness Potato Chips.

I recently purchased a bag and I tried a few chips yesterday. I found that they have a nice earthy flavor that’s a nice contrast from the other potato chips that are out there. Despite that, I probably won’t be buying this too often because these chips were imported from the U.K. and Wegmans sold them for a whopping $3.99 per bag. (I can get a bag of Utz or Lay’s chips of the same size for around $1-2 per bag.) I recommend them for anyone who wants to try something different.

There is this house in Greenbelt, Maryland that likes to go all out for each holiday. I took pictures of this house around Halloween and Valentine’s Day. That same house decided to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day.

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What’s more, there are two windsocks that were hung near the light display.

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And, for the last photo of the day, here’s a picture I took at Wegman’s a few days ago. It’s more about March 14 than St. Patrick’s Day but these pies for Pi Day are cute nonetheless.

Pi Day at Wegmans Supermarket

As for me, I’m going to observe St. Patrick’s Day in the way that I’ve been doing for years. Tonight for dinner I’m going to eat some beef stew made from Guinness beer. Last night I purchased this Irish Soda Bread mix from Aldi (all I need to do is just add milk) so I’m going to whip it up, bake it, and serve it with the beef stew. I also recently purchased some Kerrygold brand garlic and herb butter on sale at Safeway so I’m going to eat the Guinness chips as an appetizer then spread the butter on slices of the newly-baked Irish soda bread and eat them with the beef stew.

I happened to be walking in Greenbelt, Maryland one night last week when I noticed this house with Valentine’s Day decorations still up. Even though Valentine’s Day came and went a few days ago, the people at this house decided to leave their decorations up a little bit longer. This isn’t the first time I saw this home decorated for a holiday. Back in October that same house had an elaborate Halloween display including gravestones with hilarious writings on them.

The Valentine’s Day display wasn’t quite as elaborate as the Halloween display but the lights made that home stand out at night.

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This year I not only attended the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival in Greenbelt, Maryland but I also submitted one of my recent watercolors to the Art Show. The one big condition for submitting a work to the Art Show is that all submitters must work a volunteer shift at that show. I signed up for the 1-2 p.m. shift on Saturday (September 5) so I arrived to the festival a little bit early so I can eat lunch (I ended up eating a bratwurst in a thick roll with sauerkraut) and do some browsing before it was time for my shift. Here are a few initial photos I took when I first arrived.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

I eventually made it to the Greenbelt Community Center, where the Art Show was located. I found this interesting holiday-themed display as well.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015For the first time ever, the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival strived to become something called a “Zero Waste” event where people were encouraged to bring their own water bottles instead of buying bottled water from a store as well as throwing anything that can be composted or recycled into the appropriate bins. This next photo shows one of the free places where people can refill their water bottles.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

I arrived just in time to begin serving my one-hour volunteer shift where I basically kept count of the number of people who attended the Art Show and make sure there were no commotions or anything like that. The next photo shows the Butterfly watercolor that I submitted. It didn’t win any ribbons this time around but I don’t mind. (To learn more about the creation of this piece, read my August 23, 2015 post.)

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

Once I finished my shift, I did some more walking around at the festival while taking some pictures.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

I browsed the annual Used Book Sale that’s sponsored by the Greenbelt Elementary School PTA. I found this item that belongs in a museum: a vintage Nintendo Game Boy in its original box. It’s the gaming system that had the yucky yellow back screen and 8-bit graphics in only one color—black.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

The Used Book Sale also had this cool cardboard cutout.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

This particular day was known as “Community Day” where various local organizations and businesses had tables set up where they provided free literature and other types of information to the general public.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

Community Day at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

Community Day at the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

A preview of the new Makerspace 125 float that would appear in the Greenbelt Labor Day Parade two days later.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 25, 2015

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

I brought my laptop with me so I spent some downtime alternating between doing some miscellaneous web surfing and uploading the photos I took with my smartphone on to the various social media sites. At one point I looked up from the table I was sitting at on the patio outside Makerspace 125 and I saw my ex-husband lumbering around the festival area at a distance from where I was sitting. I wasn’t that inclined to walk over to him and say “Hi.” He wasn’t in the area very long before he left so it was no big deal. The only downer was that the weather was in the high 80’s with high humidity but I found that as long as I stayed in the shade, I was fine for sitting outside.

At one point I had to use the bathroom inside of Makerspace 125 and when I went in, there was a woman who took one look at me and said “Hey, I remember you.” It took me several minutes before I realizes who she was. She was someone whom I haven’t seen in at least 15 years. I was amazed that she recognized me because I didn’t initially recognize her. We didn’t chat long because she said that she had to get going. She asked for my email address and I gave it to her. She said that she would email me but, as of this writing, she has yet done so. I foolishly didn’t think of asking for her email so I’m not able to send a message saying “Hey, it was great seeing you once again.” (At least meeting that person was way more pleasant than the time when I unexpectedly met some people from my childhood whom I would prefer not to have anything to do with at Artscape in Baltimore last summer.)

I ate a crab pretzel for dinner (which was sinfully delicious) then I killed some more time doing some web surfing on my laptop and uploading some recent pictures on to various social media sites. I decided to hang around until past sunset so I could take some night photos.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015.

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015/At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

At the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival, September 5, 2015

I have to admit that I’m now glad my old Droid smartphone died on me so I had to upgrade to a new phone because I’m really loving not only the improved graphics but the phone capabilities are really phenomenal compared to before.

Today I took some more pictures with my new Droid Ultra smartphone at Homestead Gardens while I was searching for Advent candles because I remembered that tonight is the first Sunday of Advent. Homestead Gardens is a family-owned nursery that puts up a giant Christmas display every year and many of the ornaments and decorations on display are for sale. There are lots of poinsettias and Christmas cacti on display, Santa Claus visits on the weekends, and there are goats and chickens on the grounds. Here are some of the photos I took.

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I also made an amazing discovery about my smartphone camera. Months ago I saw TV ads for the latest iPhone that had a panoramic option for taking panorama shots. I used to think that’s the one thing the iPhone had that my Droid smartphone didn’t have. All that changed when I got the new Droid Ultra. Here is my attempt at taking a panoramic shot of the giant toy train layout that is on display at Homestead Gardens during the holiday season.photo9

That is so cool that I can now take panoramic shots so easily. Even with my seven-year-old Canon Digital Rebel DSLR camera, I would have to mount it on a tripod, manually take shots as I pivot the tripod, then assemble all the shots together in Adobe Photoshop if I wanted to achieve the same effect with it. Or shell out hundreds of dollars to buy a wide angle lens, which would be tough to do given my current financial situation.

I’m going to end this entry with some photos of the lit trees outside the nursery at sunset.

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