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Santa Claus

 

 

 

 

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Continuing with this series on having a tabletop Christmas, here are some more ornaments that I currently have on my small tabletop tree.

I’ve been into animation since I was a child so it’s quite logical that I would have a lot of Christmas ornaments to reflect my interest in animation. Some of these ornaments were ones that I purchased while others were given as gifts from various relatives over the years. I used to have a lot of animation-themed ornaments back when my husband and I used to put up a six-foot tree. Since my husband left I’ve done some serious downsizing. While I still have a few animation-themed ornaments left, my collection of Christmas animation ornaments is a far cry from what I had five years ago (when my husband left just three days after Christmas with no indication that he was the slightest bit unhappy).

The ornaments shaped like Disney characters tend to predominate my collection the most. Okay, so I like Disney animation, especially Mickey Mouse. Here’s a caroling Mickey Mouse next to a ceramic ornament featuring a pink mouse in a stocking that I was given as a child by my parents and I still have it.

photo1

Here’s a wooden Mickey Mouse clock. (No, it’s not a real functioning clock.)

photo2

This was an ornament that I purchased during one of my many trips to Walt Disney World over the years. My husband and I arrived shortly after the 1st Disneyana Convention was held so the resort was selling these ornaments at a clearance sale for half-price.

photo3

I also have a Mickey Mouse stocking hanger. I still have the same stocking that my parents originally purchased for me when I was an infant. It hasn’t been filled with anything since my husband left. These days I just hang my stocking as a decoration since it’s really not worth the effort for me to fill my own stocking. (Filling one’s own stocking kills the element of surprise right there.)

photo4

I have a small Santa Mickey snow globe decoration that I received when I attended the annual post-Christmas white elephant gift exchange that my support group for people who are separated or divorced puts on each year. The snow globe has the year 2013 written on it.

photo5

I also have other Disney characters besides Mickey Mouse in my Christmas tree, such as Winnie the Pooh.

photo6

Flit is a hummingbird from the animated Disney movie Pocahontas.

photo7

The next photo has two Disney ornaments. The raccoon is Meeko from the Pocahontas movie. The other figure is Stitch from Lilo in Stitch and he’s dressed like Elvis Presley.

photo8

I have another Stitch ornament. This one is a small plush ornament and he’s wearing ear muffs, mittens, and a red sweater that says “NAUGHTY” on it. Next to Stitch is Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh and he’s sliding downhill on a sled.

photo9

These next two photographs show a double-sided ornament. On one side is Belle and the Beast from the film Beauty and the Beast.

photo10

The other side shows the Beast after he’s been transformed back into his original human self.

photo11

Rounding out the Disney decorations are two dolls resembling the two princesses Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen. I originally bought the dolls thinking that I would display them at Christmas then put them away in the attic after the holidays. Except when it came time to take down everything, I couldn’t bear to put these dolls away. These days I keep them with my doll collection upstairs and I bring them downstairs to join the other Christmas decorations.

photo12

I have other animated-themed ornaments that are based on non-Disney characters as well, such as this one featuring Sylvester and Tweety from the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon shorts.

photo13

My parents gave me this ornament based on Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas book How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which was later turned into a made-for-television animation special then it was remade into a live action theatrical feature film starring Jim Carrey). This one features the scene after the Grinch had finished making a Santa outfit for himself and placed reindeer antlers on his dog Max and they are both standing in front of a mirror (which is actually a real mirror).

photo14

I know that technically the ornament in the next picture is really based on a video game but Sonic the Hedgehog was turned into a cartoon series in the 1990’s so I’m going to include it here on a technicality. I bought this ornament back in the days when I owned a Sega Game Gear and I was really into playing Sonic the Hedgehog. Basically the ornament is shaped like a Game Gear (including a Christmas scene featuring Sonic) while Sonic is running on top of the Game Gear bearing Christmas presents. I’ve long since sold my Game Gear but I still have the ornament nonetheless.

photo15

Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12

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A few weeks ago I took part in the fall yard sale which benefitted Changing Focus, whose support group meetings I have been attending since my husband suddenly walked out on me in late 2011. This yard sale was held in conjunction with the larger Festival on the Green that’s held in Crofton, Maryland. I didn’t have as much to donate as previous yard sales because I’m finally starting to make a dent in my own pile of excess clutter (much of which was stuff that my ex-husband had left behind and didn’t show any interest in picking it up). I volunteered to help with the sorting the day before the yard sale and to also help out with the yard sale itself.

The big challenge for me was that I caught a really bad cold right before that yard sale. For both days I took some Emergen-C just so I could get through everything without wanting to fall asleep. It was cloudy both days but fortunately the rain held off and it attracted a lot of frugal shoppers.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Like the previous yard sales I was involved in, this one had a bunch of interesting items. There is this old overhead projector I remember used to be used frequently in classrooms from elementary school all the way to college. This is the really old-fashioned kind that doesn’t hook up to a computer and it uses sheets of plastic that were either printed on with a printer or written on with a marker prior to use. This one brought back a whole lot of memories for me while I also began to think that maybe this one is ready to be donated to a museum of some sort.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

And then there’s this JVC micro cassette recorder that uses actual micro cassette tapes.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

And a few blank 5.25-inch computer floppy disks.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

You also learn something new at yard sales. For example, I never knew that there was a jigsaw puzzle based on marshmallow Peeps.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Then there were the dolls, such as these creepy looking ones in the next few photos. The boxes said that they were “Swinging Hobo” dolls but they looked more like clowns to me.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015I found Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. I once had both rag dolls as a child. These dolls still sport the embroidery heart underneath their clothes that says “I Love You”.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015
Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

I saw this very cute porcelain tea set that’s doll-sized and would be perfect for a tea party. (I was briefly tempted to buy it but I ended not doing so because I’m kind of adverse to add new clutter to the household these days.)

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Then there were some items that I didn’t even know what the hell they were.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

There were all kinds of stuff available for sale.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015     Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

Changing Focus Yard Sale, September 26, 2015

I was one of the volunteers to was in charge of taking money from people who wanted to buy something from the yard sale. I bought my lunch from one of the food vendors at the Festival on the Green. During one of my breaks, I walked over to the Festival on the Green’s craft show that was held at the country club that was located next to the church where the yard sale took place.

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

Crofton Festival on the Green, September 26, 2015

On August 7 and 8 I had two straight days of pure <squee!>. August 7 was BronyCon and some general walking in Baltimore, which I have already written about. The following day I went to another cute event that was located closer to my home. There was a Doll and Teddy Bear Show that was held at the historic Marietta House Museum in Glenn Dale, Maryland.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

I have lived in the area for many years and I have driven past the signs pointing the way to the Marietta House Museum numerous times and I have never visited the place until recently. The Marietta House Museum is the former residence of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Gabriel Duvall that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. When I first arrived, I felt like I had stepped back in time.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show Seeing the grounds reminded me of my recent visit to Sotterley Plantation in Southern Maryland. The grounds of the Marietta House are smaller in acreage than Sotterley but the entire area still looked very impressive.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Gabriel Duvall not only lived there with his family but he also maintained his law practice in one of the smaller buildings on the property.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

The grounds themselves are full of wooded areas, nice landscaping, and smaller buildings that were probably used for things like storage.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

There is a family burial plot right on the property located in the backyard.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

The main house itself is quite grand.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

A glimpse of the window from outside only provides a subtle hint of what was going on indoors.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Inside the house it looks like there is an upper level and a basement. However, for the Doll and Teddy Bear Show, only the ground floor was opened to the public. In fact, these three dolls seemed to greet visitors while blocking all access to the upstairs level.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Admission was free and some of the items were available for sale. However, there were also other items on display that weren’t for sale. There was a mix of older dolls with modern dolls. I saw plenty of Barbies. I saw a few American Girl dolls (with handmade clothes for 18-inch dolls on sale). I saw plenty of porcelain dolls. I saw art dolls, ethnic dolls, small dolls, and large dolls. I also saw plenty of teddy bears as well. Some of the bears were vintage (such as Teddy Ruxpin) while others were perennial favorites (like Winnie the Pooh). All in all there were lots of things to see in such a lovely historical setting.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

The boy doll in the next photo reminded me of a childhood photo of my father-in-law that I used to see displayed in the condo that he shared with his second wife. (I last visited that place in 2011 just six months before my husband left me for another woman. I haven’t been back since.) I found the resemblance to my own memories of that photograph to be quite eery.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

There was a nice display of art dolls that were made by a group of tweens (between the ages of 9-11) who were taking a summer workshop in doll making. The woman who runs that workshop was selling some of those dolls for prices ranging from $130-150. I was talking for a bit with that woman and I mentioned that the nearby Makerspace 125 was running a series of monthly workshops in making art dolls and, so far, two of them were held—one in May and one in June. When I started to explain how we were making our dolls (as taught in the workshop), the woman immediately said “That’s crafting. What I’m selling is fine art dolls.” I felt put off because that woman had made a snap judgement. In addition, I had left the two art dolls I created in those workshops at home so I didn’t have anything to show. Plus she raised that whole ugly “Art vs. Craft” controversy that frequently permeates both the art world and craft world and I felt it was uncalled for.

All I know is that the next time I see the woman who runs the art doll workshops at Makerspace 125, I’ll tell her what happened at that show. It’ll be interesting to get her reaction to the judgement that her art dolls are really just “crafts.”

My encounter with that woman was the only sour part of the whole show. I quickly walked away from her after she made that comment. I have to admit that the art dolls that her tween students made in her workshop are quite nice looking.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show I viewed the rest of the show without incident. I just enjoyed all of the eye candy.

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

Doll and Teddy Bear Show

All in all I had a pretty good day viewing all kinds of cute dolls and teddy bears in such a lovely historic setting like the Marietta House Museum.

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

I originally moved into the townhouse where I currently live just weeks before I married my fiancee. We lived together in that place as a married couple until my husband abruptly decided to run away from home just three days after Christmas in 2011. I got the townhouse in the divorce settlement. Right now I’m happy that I’m living there. I love the neighborhood and I get along great with my neighbors. I really appreciated not having to move while dealing with the horrible and brutal aftermath of my husband’s abrupt walkout along with his refusal to consider marriage counseling or to even speak with me in person while sending numerous e-mails and texts demanding that I conform to his personal schedule of separating our finances ASAP or else he would sue me. (Yes, it got that ugly mainly because he made it ugly. He barked orders at me from afar like I was a servant instead of a wife whom he claimed he loved me up until the night before he ran away from home.)

From time to time I (along with my husband before he left) would occasionally get flyers from local realtors. They were along the lines of “If you’re ever ready to sell your home, call Joe Blow of Blow Realtors at (301) 555-1234, ext. 567.” I never minded those flyers because I know that realtors have to do a certain amount of marketing in order to grow their businesses and make money. For someone who is ready to sell, getting such a flyer at the right time could mean a new opportunity for that realtor.

But a few days ago I got this note from a realtor that totally unnerved me. Part of the reason was because it arrived on the heels of a stressful week where I simultaneously worked on my taxes and my vending booth at the Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire. Plus I’m still dealing with the emotional fallout from the hell that my so-called “sweet” husband put me through when he pretended that he still loved me until the day he left me for a friend of ours whom he married just two months after our divorce was final. This is way more nervy than the usual realtor flyer I get in my mailbox.

censoredwebversion

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Here’s a point-by-point rebuttal from me.

I have a Buyer that is looking, very specifically, for an end unit that backs to the “100 Acre Wood.”

100 Acre Wood, eh? That’s nice. So your Buyer wants something that’s straight out of Winnie the Pooh. Maybe you should direct her across the pond to an area in the United Kingdom called Ashdown Forest, which was the original inspiration for the 100 Acre Wood. Or, if she wanted to stay in the U.S., you could direct her to an area near Walt Disney World in Florida so she could have the chance to visit the Magic Kingdom and go on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride as much as her heart desires. What does that have to do with me?

You are presently living in a home that fits that very specific, but otherwise loose, requirement of hers.

That’s nice. Over the years I’ve seen homes throughout the Baltimore-Washington, DC area that I would love to live in but haven’t purchased because they were out of my price range but I don’t dwell on it. Besides, I like my current home.

I was wondering if you have any thoughts of selling your home?

Here’s the thing. It’s obvious you looked at my home from the front yard before you dropped that letter in my mailbox. Did you see a “For Sale” sign anywhere on my front lawn? I’m sure that your answer is “No.” There’s a reason why you didn’t see a “For Sale” sign because I’M NOT CURRENTLY SELLING MY HOME!!! If I was going to sell my home, I would have a “For Sale” sign posted on the front lawn. Since I don’t have such a sign on my front lawn it’s obvious that I’M NOT CURRENTLY SELLING MY HOME!!! Well, DUH!!!

If so, she is highly qualified to purchase and would be very much interested in the possibility.

And where the hell am I supposed to go if I decide to step aside and let her purchase my home? Do you know how hard it is to find affordable housing in a decent neighborhood in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area? Do you know how ill-prepared I am to consider moving right now? If I was ready to move I WOULD HAVE A “FOR SALE” SIGN POSTED ON MY FRONT LAWN!!!

If you are interested, please call or email me and we can pick up the conversation.

If I was interested in moving, I WOULD HAVE POSTED A “FOR SALE” SIGN ON MY FRONT LAWN!!! Usually a house that does not have a “For Sale” sign on the front lawn means that it’s currently not for sale.

If you are not interested in selling, please disregard this letter.

I intend to do just that after I finish snarking about it in this post.

It’s our unique attempt at finding her a home and not meant to be invasive!

Oh, it’s unique alright. It’s uniquely full of chutzpah! I don’t go around to other people’s homes putting letters in their mailboxes asking them to sell me their home because I really like it so much that I want to live in it, especially if the home in question is not even for sale and the current owner has no intentions of moving in the near future.

Thanks for your consideration!

Fuck off!

Look, I’m not saying that I will never sell my current home. If, for some reason, my health declines so much that I could no longer handle living in my current home, I would definitely sell it and move to a small apartment or condominium. Or if I decide to marry someone else who happens to live in another state and I decide to move to that state (like what my late mother-in-law did when she decided to marry her second husband and move from Yonkers, New York to his home in Phoenix). But I would only sell my home and move because I want to, not because my home happens to meet the standards of the client of a realtor and this realtor wants me to sell it in order to please her client.

I just want to be left alone so I can get my personal life back together in peace.

I’m going to dedicate this Throwback Thursday post to the first stuffed animal I ever got and I still own. It’s the oldest toy that I still have in my possession. It’s a pink teddy bear with flocked fleece fur that I’ve had since I was an infant. I don’t know if my parents bought the bear themselves or if someone gave it to them as a present. The bear has no tags attached so I don’t know who the manufacturer is. For all I know this bear could’ve been a handmade bear that someone made for me.

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I definitely know that I probably got this bear after I was born because I was born a girl and the bear is pink. My mother became pregnant with me back in the days when there were no such things as prenatal DNA tests or ultrasounds. Expectant parents of that era wouldn’t know the baby’s sex until after the birth and people giving baby shower presents tended to pick out clothes and toys in gender-neutral colors other than blue and pink. (Recently I came across an interesting article on Smithsonian.com on how pink didn’t always mean female and blue didn’t always mean male. That categorization came into being with the birth of the Baby Boom Generation after World War II and it has stuck to this day.)

I remember having this bear with me. My most vivid memory came sometime when I was somewhere between 3-5. I had other stuffed animals and I watched Winnie the Pooh specials on TV and I noticed that my pink bear didn’t have a mouth. I thought that it should have a mouth so I went into my parents’ bedroom, took out my mother’s lipstick, and tried to draw a mouth on the bear. It turned out to be a messy disaster. I remember that the lipstick was hard to draw on flocked fleece material and the mouth ended up looking lopsided with a red glob on one end and a faded mouth line on the other end. I don’t remember how my mother or any other adult reacted to my attempt to draw a mouth on the bear but it probably was something less than positive. I think someone tried to wash the lipstick off the bear but I remember that a faded red glob remained on the bear for years afterward.

As I got older my parents gave away the bulk of my toys to Goodwill or the Salvation Army with the exception of the pink teddy bear. My mother had a sentimental attachment to the bear because it was the first stuffed animal I had after I was born so she put it away in a cedar chest that my parents kept in the basement. Every now and then my parents would open the cedar chest and go through it and I would see my old pink bear but I didn’t think anything of it.

In time I graduated from high school and got married less than a year after I graduated from college while my pink bear remained in that cedar chest. When my widowed mother’s health had declined to the point where she could no longer lived in the house that I grew up in, she invited people in the family to come by the house to pick up whatever items we wanted because she couldn’t take everything with her. My husband and I came by the house and packed a lot of stuff in plastic garbage bags. I ended up taking the pink teddy bear even though it was a bit of a wreck by that time.

The stuff remained in garbage bags because I started having hip problems that same year (2008) so I was focused on other things. By the time I fully recovered from my hip replacement, my mother-in-law passed away in 2010 followed by re-injuring my hip replacement and hip revision surgery in 2011 followed by my husband’s sudden walkout in late 2011 (three months after my surgery).

I finally took a look at those garbage bags in October, 2012 when I was looking for items to donate to a yard sale that was put on by my support group for people who are separated or divorced. I found the pink bear but I felt that it was too dirty and battered for the yard sale and I didn’t think anyone would even want to buy it. So I kept it with me.

I’m trying to simplify my life by donating or even throwing away anything that I haven’t used in a long time. I took a look at the old pink bear and I saw that it had gotten so dirty over the years. On top of it, it’s missing an eye. (I probably tore it off at one point while I still actively played with it as a young child.) It was in such bad condition that no thrift store would even take it. It just looked so dirty and sad with its best days behind it.

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I began to debate in my mind whether I should just throw it in the trash. But I felt reluctant to throw it away. Part of the reason is because of the fact that I’ve had this bear since I was a baby. Another part of the reason is because I’m surrounded by people who are totally committed to reducing waste and disposable things as much as possible. I belong to a Unitarian Universalist congregation that has gone through great lengths to become a certified Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalist Association. In addition, the UUA has long taken a stand on Environmental Justice and many congregations have done actions in their communities on this issue.

On a more secular level I live in a neighborhood that is actively engaged in trying to reduce waste and encourage recycling as much as possible. One of the most active local groups in that area is the Chesapeake Education, Arts, and Research Society (CHEARS) and they have gone through great lengths to educate the general public on how to reduce waste and encouraging recycling and repairing, such as sponsoring last November’s Blade Sharpening event that I took pictures of.

So I’ve got the the message through both my church and my neighborhood to not throw anything away without trying to see if it can be rehabilitated first. So I did a Google search to see if a stuffed animal can be washed and I found that, yes, it can not only be washed but it can also be washed through the washing machine.

So I started with this product—Safeway’s store brand version of OxiClean. (The only major difference between Safeway’s brand, called Oxygen Pro, and OxiClean is the price.)

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I filled up the washing machine tub with two scoops of the store brand OxiClean substitute and enough cold water that should cover the teddy bear. I placed the bear in the water and found that the bear tended to float on the surface of the water. I tried submerging the stuffed animal underwater several times and it floated back to the top. Because my teddy bear was so floatable, I decided to soak each side of the bear in the cold water/OxiClean mix for one hour on each side.

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After soaking the teddy bear in the solution for a total of two hours (or one hour floating on each side), I drained the dirty water. I filled the washing machine with cold water again. This time I added a scoop of the generic OxiClean.

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I also added a scoop of Woolite, which many “how to wash a stuffed animal” tutorials I found online highly recommended. (This time I actually used the original name brand. I must have bought it during a special sale because that’s the only time I purchase name brands items at the grocery store these days.)

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This time, I decided to run the washing machine. The teddy bear was completely submerged under the whooshing water and the bubbles from the cleaners I added to the cold water.

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For the rinse cycle I used cold water and I added liquid fabric softener. I waited with anticipation on how the bear would fare. The bear is pretty old and there was the possibility that the bear could fall apart with all that washing. I felt that, with the worst case scenario, I would simply throw away the bear if it disintegrated. When I finished with the wash, I pulled the bear out and took this photo.

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I found that the bear’s remaining eye fell off in the wash but, otherwise, it was in amazingly good shape. The fur looked much brighter than before. The bear was totally waterlogged and heavy as a result of all that washing. So I decided to try to get rid of the excess water by putting it in the spin cycle for one minute (just long enough to get rid of some of the excess water without risking further damage to the teddy bear).

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One minute was just the right amount of time in the spin cycle. When I took the bear out, I found that most of the excess water was gone. The bear only felt damp while its fur looked fluffier than before.

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So I went upstairs to the bathroom and set up the drying rack in the bathtub. Then I left the bear hanging upside down on the drying rack for the next 24 hours.

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After hanging around for 24 hours, I found the bear to be dry, at least on the outside. In order to make sure that the bear’s stuffing gets just as dry as the outside, I waited another 24 hours. In the meantime I decided to look for a replacement for the bear eye that I lost a long time ago. I took the remaining eye that fell off in the wash with me to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts.  The original eye was a small flat black button that had a stem in the back. I figured that it would be easy to find a similar looking small flat black button with a stem in the back. Well, I was wrong. Jo-Ann’s had a variety of flat buttons with things etched in them. I felt that I should start with a clean slate and replace both eyes. I found a set of buttons that was less decorated than the others but they had a stem in the back. Basically there’s a pattern that’s etched on the surface but you wouldn’t notice unless you put the buttons in direct sunlight.

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When it came time to attaching the eyes, I noticed that there were two holes where the buttons were placed. It looked like eye holes were cut into the head then somehow attached using a method other than sewing.

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So I felt that it was time to grab some E-6000 glue.

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I applied the glue in the bear’s eye holes.

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Making sure that I placed the button stem in the eye hole, I pressed the buttons into each hole.

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My bear now has two eyes for the first time in many years.

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While the bear still has most of its fleece, I noticed that some parts of the snout area is completely bare. I don’t know if the fleece was removed when my mother tried to wash that lipstick mouth I drew all those years ago or if it simply worn away from me simply playing with it as a young child. I noticed that the fabric around the snout is stiffer than the rest of the bear so trying to do any kind of repairs by hand sewing would be difficult at best.

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So I had an idea to disguise the fact that the snout was worn out. I purchased a set of small flat buttons from Jo-Anne’s Fabrics & Crafts.

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Using one of the new flat buttons and some E-6000 glue, I attached a button nose to the bear’s snout.

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Here’s my improved pink teddy bear from my childhood.

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And here’s a before and after comparison of my pink teddy bear.

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What an improvement! 🙂

Last night, while I was looking up information about the Russian animated film “Hedgehog in the Fog” after seeing a reference to it during the Opening Ceremonies to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, I found a YouTube clip of that animation. On the side of the page, there was a list of similar videos that I may be interested in and I found several clips that were marked as “Russian Winnie the Pooh.” These videos aren’t simply Russian dubs of the Disney Winnie the Pooh cartoons, they are original Russian animations based on the same source material (British author A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books) as the Disney cartoons.

According to the Wikipedia, the Soviet animation company Soyuzmultifilm created and distributed the Russian Winnie the Pooh in 1969. For those who are used to the Disney animations or the illustrations of E.H. Shepard (which accompanied Milne’s books), these renderings of Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, and Eeyore may seem jarring at first. And there are some notable absences from Tigger, Kanga, Roo,  and Christopher Robin. (Gopher is also absent but he was an original Disney creation who wasn’t in the original Milne books) These animations definitely have a Russian flair about them from the exteriors of Pooh’s home to the insides of Rabbit’s home to the stylized trees in the forest.

All the clips I have posted here are in Russian with English subtitles. It’s really a fascinating treat to compare these animations with the Disney version.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3.1

Part 3.2

Here is some additional background about the Russian Winnie the Pooh.

American Pooh vs Russian Pooh

15 Reasons Why The Russian Adaptation of “Winnie The Pooh” Is Undeniably Better Than The American Version

One Saturday I went to two events in one day. I just wanted to have some light-hearted fun in the wake of my recent appearance in divorce court just three days earlier so I packed my Canon Digital Rebel DSLR camera and rode on the Metro. There are a few photos I posted that are definitely not safe for work but they are placed towards the end of this entry. (The rest of the photos are all-ages friendly.)

First, I attended the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival in Washington, DC. Sakura Matsuri is the event that formally closes the weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. You know that you are at a Metro stop that’s closest to the festival because you’ll see people in costume like the ones in the next two photos.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 13, 2013
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The Sakura Matsuri is usually very crowded and 2013 was no exception. I arrived late in the afternoon (just a couple of hours before it closed) and there were still plenty of people around. The weather was a warm sunny day as people walked around the festival just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol.

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The next photo show the official art for this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, which was available for sale on posters and t-shirts.

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The cherry blossom trees in the Baltimore-Washington region were past their blooming peak on the day of the Sakura Matsuri but the street festival had plenty of cherry blossom flowers made from glass, paper, and other artificial materials.

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There were some special guests at the Sakura Matsuri, such as NASCAR driver Akinori Ogata and his racing car.

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There was plenty of live entertainment provided by performers from Japan.

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There was a variety of things to do or experience, such as live entertainment and hands-on demonstrations of video games like Dance Dance Revolution.

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The crowdest booths were the ones serving food and drink. (Naturally.) The next two photos are of the non-food booths that were the most crowded. One was devoted to providing free hair styling for men while the other was a McDonald’s booth that was giving away free tote bags.

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There were all kinds of Japanese imported products that one could purchase including candy, snacks, plushies, kitchen gadgets, dolls, action figures, and clothes. Some products were based on traditional crafts and images while others were based on characters in anime, manga, video games, and even Disney movies. In short, there was a little something for everyone.

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Like previous years, the highlight of the Sakura Matsuri are the numerous cosplayers at the event. Many of them created their own costumes from scratch. The hard work and creativity involved in making these costumes are astounding.

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When the festival began to show signs of closing down, I hopped back on the Metro to the Rosslyn Metro station. I decided to check out another special event that was being held. The Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia was the venue for a special party to celebrate Yuri’s Night. When I first learned about it, I thought about my ex-husband because he works at NASA and it was through him that I first learned about the existence of Yuri’s Night

I also had to make a difficult decision for the evening of April 13. Someone from my support group for people who are separated or divorced was throwing a party at her home complete with a bonfire and I got this notice about the Yuri’s Night event. I ultimately decided to go to the Yuri’s Night event because the e-mail I received sounded really promising. There would be a bunch of people dressed as robots. There would be a burlesque performance. There would be a couple of dances. There would be a robot-themed art exhibit. There would be a special sale of smaller science fiction-themed works of art done by local artists that one can buy that night and carry home. There would be continuous showings of cheesy science fiction movies from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I got seduced by the promised glitz and I decided to go there instead of the other party.

In retrospect I have to admit that there are times when I wished I had gone to the other party instead. That’s because I didn’t know anyone at the Yuri’s Night event while many of the other attendees went with their friends and socialized at times. While the shows and bands were pretty awesome, I felt lonely in a crowd. So my big lesson in my still relatively new foray into the single life is that it’s better to go to a less-splashy event where I knew people than to go to a splashy event like Yuri’s Night where I didn’t know anyone. From now on, if there are any scheduling conflicts between a splashy event and a less-splashy event where I know my friends would be there, I’ll pick the latter. (The only exception to that rule will be if I know in advance that my ex-husband and his girlfriend are going to the same party where I know my friends would be there.)

At least the Yuri’s Night event at the Artisphere wasn’t a total bust for me. There were plenty of interesting stuff for me to photograph, starting with the skyline of late afternoon Arlington.

Yuri's Night, The Artisphere, Arlington, Virginia, April 13, 2013

There were plenty of signs pointing to the venue of Yuri’s Night.

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There were also plenty of tulips and other spring flowers already in bloom.

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But then I came across other flower patches that surrounded tree trunks that were covered in colorful crocheted pieces.

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I began to notice that there were tree trunks covered in these crocheted pieces.

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As I walked around the area, I found crocheted pieces hung and strung everywhere.

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I walked around until I came to this giant metal sculpture that’s in the middle of a median strip where I found the culprits responsible for hanging the crocheted pieces everywhere. A group of people were busy trying to cover both the sculpture and the surrounding garden with as many crocheted pieces as possible before sunset.

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I walked around the streets of Arlington to kill some time before the start of Yuri’s Night at the Artisphere. I arrived at the event just in time for the start. The Atomic Mosquitos played a set while scenes from cheesy 1950’s era science fiction movies played in the background.

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Once the performance ended we were ushered out into a general area where we had a choice of either socializing or checking out the activities that were going on.

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There was this trivia contest that used Rock Em Sock Em Robots. Basically someone would ask prospective contests a single trivia question related to science, space, science fiction, Yuri Gagarin, or similar topics. The first two people to get the right answer would then battle each other using Rock Em Sock Em Robots. It was a delightfully silly contest that was also broadcast on a wall so people wouldn’t have to crowd around the Rock Em Sock Em Robots to see the entire action.

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In the Artisphere’s WIP Gallery there was a show featuring robot art called Voltron’s Corpse that will be on display through May 4. This particular exhibit has gotten the attention of Wired magazine.

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There were vendor tables set up that sold smaller space-themed arts and crafts that people could purchase and carry home with them.

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There was an I Dream of Jeannie-themed kissing booth.

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Even though the event was opened only to adults over 21, there was a Moon Bounce House that anyone could use. (I saw people go in and out of it.)

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There were all kinds of eye candy at the Artisphere that night, which included not only funky decorations but also people who arrived in robot costumes.

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At one point there was another live performance by the band Dance for the Dying.

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There was also a burlesque show called "The Search for Drinkbot." That show was the most packed with standing room only crowds (which was exacerbated by the fact that there weren’t any chairs in the room where the show was held). It was a challenge to take pictures over people’s shoulders at times. There was a thin science-fiction plot but one didn’t need to follow that story to enjoy the entertainment. Some of the photos I took at that show are definitely NSFW.

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There was more to Yuri’s Night including another set by Dance for the Dying, the second part of "The Search for Drinkbot" burlesque show, continuous showings of various science fiction movies, a Celestial Costume Contest, another round of the Rock Em Sock Em Trivial Tournament, and a Lunar Dance Party. I ended up leaving at the relatively early time of 10 p.m. mainly because I was tired from going to the earlier Sakura Matsuri street festival and standing on my feet for the first part of the burlesque show. I also grew frustrated at seeing people socializing with each other and I felt left out because I didn’t know anyone at that event. (Which really made me regret not going to the other party with my friends from my weekly support group for people who are separated or divorced.) At least Yuri’s Night provided lots of eye candy and I got some pretty decent photos from that event.

Last Saturday, while I was in the middle of preparing my home for yesterday’s Open Studio Tour, I decided to take a few hours off from the intense cleaning up and decluttering to head to downtown Washington, DC for the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival, which was held as part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival (which is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first cherry blossom trees from Japan). I just needed the break from the stress of preparing for that art event as well as the recent stresses in my personal life stemming from my health problems and marital serparation. I took my camera and took a boatload of pictures which I whittled down to the ones I posted in this entry.

A group of sailors wait to go inside the Naval Heritage Center near the location of the Sakura Matsuri festival grounds.

Sailors Outside Naval Heritage Center, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Here are some banners with some inspirational message at the Sakura Matsuri festival.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 15, 2012

One tent included some people getting seriously involved in the Japanese board game Go.

Go Game, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 15, 2012

One tent offered an opportunity to learn some Japanese.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

This cherry blossom tree had leaves made from green paper (which were also inscribed with messages) and flowers made from pink marshmallows.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

This booth had banners where people could write messages for the people who are living near the beleagured Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

This booth featured some lovely Japanese art.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Here’s the sign announcing the Beer Garden featuring the Japanese beer Kirin. Last Saturday there was a similar beer garden at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival but that one was way bigger than the one at the Sakura Matsuri. In addition, the smaller Beer Garden was very packed with people so I didn’t bother drinking any beer this week.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Here are some nice looking bonsai.

Bonsai, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Unlike previous years that I attended the Sakura Matsuri, I arrived at the festival later in the afternoon this year. The big advantage is that I was able to eat lunch at home without having to wait in long food lines at the festival. The only food I purchased at the festival was a couple of sweet treats from one booth. The wrapping was so gorgeous that it was almost a shame to rip it all apart. But I opened both wrappers when I got back home. The treat on the left side of the photo below was a cherry that was coated with a Jello-like substance. That treat tasted okay but I preferred the treat on the right. It was known as a Fuku Watashi but it was basically a wafer sandwich that had cream in the middle. That one was very delicious.

Japanese Snacks, Sakura Matsuri, April 14, 2012

One tent had a demonstration of the latest video games from Japan.

Video Game Demonstration, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Video Game Demonstration, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

There was plenty of live entertainment from Japan at this festival.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Here are the Japanese dolls and action figures that were for sale.

Dolls, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Dolls, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Dolls, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Dolls, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Dolls, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

There was a wide variety of jewelry and ornaments for sale.

Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

One could buy a kimono or yukata at this festival.

Kimonos, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

There was a wide variety of masks and hats that one could buy that were shaped like various cartoon/video game characters.

Masks, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Hats, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 15, 2012

There were all kinds of plushies available for sale.

Plushies, Sakrua Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Plushies, Sakrua Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Plushies, Sakrua Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

The most unique plushies were sold by this booth that specialized in sushi plushies. Seriously!

Plushies, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Like previous years, there were plenty of people engaged in cosplaying at this year’s Sakura Matsuri.

Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012
Cosplayers, Sakura Matsuri, Washington, DC, April 14, 2012

Pooh Kimono
Pooh Kimono
Pooh Kimono
Pooh Kimono

My Fantasy Doll Tobias is modeling a Winnie the Pooh kimono-style outfit. The pattern came from the February, 2008 issue of Haute Doll magazine and it was originally titled "Asian-Inspired Pajamas for SD10-Sized Dolls". I got the Winnie the Pooh fabric from the remnant table in Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts.

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