All the Abandoned, Forgotten Pornography

How many scantily clad women have been abandoned this way? I found this photo via Flickr (the urban exploration group I moderate). Here are these women, posing in bikinis for their photo to appear on the cover of a publication. Is it something relevant to women in bikinis? Not so likely. But there it is… thrown out, discarded and forgotten about. Does it make you feel at least a bit sad?

Urban (and rural) explorers find old pornography magazines at abandoned houses (and not just houses). Most of it is deteriorated due to weathering, animals, time, etc. I don’t know if anyone saves any of it. Not so likely.
bikinijournal
Photo from Flickr: Julien Lefebvre

Thomas Muther, Jr. Explores in the Nude

Thomas Muther, Jr. is a frequent poster to the Flickr urban exploration group I moderate. He is pretty much the only nude male posing and – he is setting up the camera, posing and taking the photo on his own. His own model.

As a woman moderating the group I’m glad to see Thomas posting his photos. Without him the group would feel very sexually biased to me. But, I do wonder what other group members think. Likely most of them are male. Most urban explorers are still male and most of the people coming to look at nude people are coming to look at nude females. I’ve never asked him what kind of feedback, if any, he gets.

I could make this story quite lengthy, but to cut to the chase, after hitting me with a volley of questions–during which seven (7!!!!!!) other police cars pulled up–I was informed that a woman out walking her dog had seen me and reported the “incident” to the police. I was then belatedly informed of my rights, handcuffed, and taken to jail for “indecent exposure.” As they were putting the handcuffs on me, I was utterly dumbfounded. The only thing I managed to verbalize was, “why are you putting me in handcuffs?” which seems a reasonable question. Their reply? “Because that’s what we do to people who break the law!” If I’d had my wits about me, I might have rejoindered, “So, you put people in handcuffs who jaywalk?–or go 5 miles over the speed limit?”–but I was completely flummoxed. Thus, I ended up spending the night, and all the next day in jail. I finally managed to contact my sister who wired bail, and I got out late the next evening. With such a horrific charge hanging over my head, I hired an attorney (at $3500), as being a sexual predator registry for the rest of my life didn’t appeal. The charges were dropped after his intervention, so there were no long term consequences, but it was not a fun experience. The ridiculous over zealousness of these police cost me more than just the $3,500, obviously. Being in jail against your will when you’ve done nothing to deserve it really sucks (as opposed to being in jail for civil disobedience–which I’ve done three times . . . an entirely different feeling). Oh well. ūüôĀ Compared to the injustices committed by various trigger-happy police over the last months, I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they‚Äôre no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called ‚ÄúPunched Cards‚ÄĚ. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, ‚ÄúBINGO!‚ÄĚ, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.

Urgh…

Today’s title is a sound, not an actual word.

I am tired and I don’t know why. True I took a book to bed with me last night and read about 150 pages before I finally turned out the light. But, I also slept in. That should equal out, right?

But, I started taking medication for depression and OCD (which is short for obsession, really). I didn’t really think I had any abnormal hang ups until I started looking at the things I do a bit closer. I do have a lot of focus for details, especially once something catches my interest. I do get fussy about the smallest things, having them right. Not that I’m a tidy neat freak. Apparently though, being a neat freak is not actually required. Being a hoarder is the other side of the bucket.

Don’t get pictures of hoarders you see on TV. I’m not that extreme. I keep it to one room, mostly. I don’t bring food around here, other than coffee and the occasional snack which I am careful about. I don’t have mice and the only bugs are those attracted to my hoard of paper, not crumbs of food. So, I’m not a disaster of a hoarder. Just a hoarder light. I did get quite a bit of it cleaned up too but it seems to be creeping back. Anyway, that’s a story for another day.

I think the medicine I’m taking is making me tired. That is one of the side effects but I thought by now (over the first month of taking them) Id’ be past that. The tired comes over me all of a sudden. If you have ever taken an allergy pill (anti-histamine) you will know what that’s like. One minute you are fine the next you can’t possibly seem to keep your eyes open and your body wants to melt down and rest on the floor (or something softer if you can pull yourself together long enough). Maybe not everyone reacts to allergy pills that way. I find even the non-drowsy pills get me.

I’m mostly back to working on my sites again. Still getting sucked into little details rather than starting in on the bigger jobs like all those photographs for the exploration which need to be posted to Flickr (no posts since 2013!) and now my own urban exploration site, Wrecky Rat Bird. I also want to find a simple way to watermark my photos. This gets complicated because I don’t want to watermark my originals, just a web copy. Also, I have a lot of photos on Flickr but my originals from years past are burned on CDs and I’m not sure where they are in the clutter. Another thing, I found one of my saved CD’s but it was broken in half. Discouraging. So I guess that is all part of why I keep putting off the big job of posting my photos. Instead I’m fluffing around with plugins which I could really not bother with compared to the actual photo content which I do need.

There won’t be an image with this post. I’m mostly writing to keep myself awake and it seems to be working. So far. But, I need to get more done than this today. I should have gone out to the grocery store but I put that off for another day. I did the same thing yesterday. Urgh and bleh! There are days like that.

Merry Creepy Christmas 2012

This was originally published on HubPages, for Christmas 2012.

This makes me think it's something right out of a creepy Doctor Who Christmas special. It just needs a weeping angel tree topper. Source: Art Ware Editions
This makes me think it’s something right out of a creepy Doctor Who Christmas special. It just needs a weeping angel tree topper.
Source: Art Ware Editions

Not everyone celebrates Christmas. But, some people find the Christmas season frightening, creepy and spooky too. Some people don’t like Christmas because it’s scary.

Christmas can be overwhelming. Endlessly repeating Christmas carols, shopping mall Santas, hungry reindeers, cold-hearted snowmen, stunted looking elves and any other ghastly or terribly ugly Christmas related horrors.

This year we put up two Christmas wreaths, mostly decorated with Christmas lights and gingerbread men we made from felt, beads and other accessories. But, they didn’t look much like¬†the creepy one I found on Deviant Art¬†and we didn’t have¬†zombies on our wreaths. We don’t have¬†zombies on the Christmas tree¬†either. Of course, our tree doesn’t have quite the glow (sort of a manic glow) as this¬†tree all in red lights¬†with a spooky tree topper too. I like of like the¬†creepy dolls on the tree, though I may not rush out to get them this year.

weeping angelsDo you like a Christmas advent calendar? I do. I usually get one every year. There’s a little surprise behind every window. Ever since I was a kid and bought my first advent calendar at the German Christmas Bazaar I’ve made sure to have an advent calendar with little chocolates behind each window every holiday. But, I never thought to look for a¬†Creepy Advent Calendar. A bit late to start it now, but it will probably be around next year – lurking around your windows and doors no doubt.

gingerzombies1It’s not hard to find¬†creepy Christmas cards. Some of them don’t even intend to be creepy, spooky or¬†just plain weird, but they are. Sometimes the artist just draws Santa’s face with an odd leering, grumpy or wicked expression. Sometimes it’s more,¬†so much more¬†sinister. Not every Santa is created like a jolly old elf in a red suit.

gingerzombies2When you get your creepy Christmas cards all written, stamped and addresses, don’t forget to finish them off and give them that extra creepy polish with¬†creepy Christmas mail art.

I even found killer Christmas tree business cards available for the ordering.

Christmas can be Weird

ghastly stocking

tree