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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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It’s been two years since I last attended the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival that’s held in downtown Washington, DC as part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival. I thought about going down early in the morning so I could check out the Cherry Blossom Parade that precedes the Sakura Matsuri by starting at 10 a.m. But I was too lazy to get my act together so I could arrive that early so I basically ate breakfast and lunch at home then headed out to the Sakura Matsuri in the afternoon. (I was glad I ate my meals at home because nearly all of the food vendors had very long lines.)

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I even dug out this Japanese imported Stitch hat that I purchased at one of the Otakon anime conventions that were held in Baltimore. I know it was before my marriage broke up because I bought it with my then-husband in mind because he was such a huge fan of the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch and Stitch was his favorite Disney character. I also remember when I modeled the hat for him and he was thrilled with it. That hat had been sitting in a drawer since my husband left but I decided that I could continue to use it because I think it’s a cute hat. Besides, it enabled me to blend in a little bit with the other people who were cosplaying. I even had several people at the festival notice my hat and telling me that they loved it. When I arrived in downtown DC, the one of the first things I did was to take a rare selfie of me wearing that hat.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Like most other years, the festival was very crowded. I still enjoyed myself as I looked around at the sights and sounds of the festival. I even took a few silly pictures while I was there. I recently started to follow the official Sonic the Hedgehog accounts on Facebook and Instagram and it was through social media I learned that there is something called Travel Tuesday where people can submit photos of a Sonic doll or stuffed animal either at an event or some famous landmark (like the Eiffel Tower). I decided to pack my articulated Sonic vinyl doll so I could take his photo for Travel Tuesday. Here are the photos that I submitted but, as of this writing, none of them have been selected for Travel Tuesday.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I also played around a little bit with the Hatsune Miku photo app on my smartphone. I thought it was appropriate since that character originated in Japan. (Although now that I look at the pictures, I realized that I should’ve varied the girl’s pose just a little bit since she had the same facial expression and pose. Oh well.)

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

Hatsune Miku at the Sakura Matsuri

I basically walked around shooting pictures of cosplayers and the various items I saw on sale. I noticed a lot of ram and sheep plushies on sale this year, which makes sense since 2015 is the year that’s known alternatively as the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Ram, or the Year of the Goat.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I only purchased one thing at this year’s festival.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Yes, it’s chocolate gelato made by Dolci Gelati and it was very delicious!

While I heard musicians perform on the various stages throughout the festival, I only managed to capture one of the acts with my smartphone because it was one of the few times that I was even able to get close to a stage because everything was so crowded. As for the act that I captured, according to the program book, she is a pop singer from Kyoto named Jonetsu Mariko. I thought I recognized the name for some reason and the program book said that she was making a return appearance to the Sakura Matsuri. After I got home, I searched through this blog and I found out that I previously saw her at the 2010 Sakura Matsuri and I had also videotaped her that time. (She appeared under the name Jonetsu Marie and Shabondama High School.) In any case I took a still photo of her.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

I even shot a short video of her performing on stage.

That video was the only one I shot at this year’s Sakura Matsuri.

I also saw that NASCAR driver Akinori Ogata was there with his race car, just like the last time I attended the Sakura Matsuri two years ago. Once again he appeared with Eneos, which makes motor oil. Eneos also had a bean bag toss game called “Cornhole.”

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Getting on the Metro so I could go home was a bit of a hassle. The last photo shows the long line that I had to stand in just so I could enter the Federal Triangle Metro Station. I’m only lucky that I had the foresight to put enough money on my Metro SmartTrip card for a round trip so I wouldn’t have to stand in another line at the farecard machines.

Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, April 11, 2015

Asian Lunar New Year

Most years Lunar New Year has one animal designated as its year. This year it’s not quite as certain. I’ve gone on some sites saying that it’s the Year of the Sheep. Other sites say that it’s the Year of the Goat. Then there’s today’s Google Doodle where, to me, the animal looks like a ram.

Apparently there’s a reason, according to this article in The New York Times.

“Few ordinary Chinese are troubled by the sheep-goat distinction,” Xinhua, China’s main state-run news agency, said in its report on the debate. “However, the ambiguity has whipped up discussion in the West.”

The reason is that the word for the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac’s 12-year cycle of creatures, yang in Mandarin, does not make the distinction found in English between goats and sheep and other members of the Caprinae subfamily. Without further qualifiers, yang might mean any such hoofed animal that eats grass and bleats. And so Chinese news outlets have butted heads for days on what to call this year in English, recruiting experts to pass judgment.

I think I’ll make things easier by just saying Happy Lunar New Year to everyone regardless of whether they are celebrating 2015 as the Year of the Sheep, the Year of the Goat, or the Year of the Ram.

Previous entries in the Occupy the Dollhouse series can be found right here.

The dolls and their allies continue their fight for equal justice for all by staging a die-in at American Girl Place.

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A few American Girl dolls currently on sale decide to raise their hands in solidarity with the protesters.

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This protest was one of many that have been taking place all over the United States as a protest against police killing unarmed African Americans. The largest one to date took place at the Mall of America (a.k.a. the biggest shopping mall in the United States) on the last Saturday before Christmas.

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