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.
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. 🙁 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 From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.
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’re 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 “Punched Cards”. 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, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.
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.
This was originally published on HubPages, for Christmas 2012.
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.
Do 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.
It’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 moresinister. Not every Santa is created like a jolly old elf in a red suit.
When 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.
Pincushions are functional, decorative and the best way to keep your sewing pins from winding up in various odd places around the house. If you don’t sew you could collect hat pins and use a fabulous pincushion to display them.
The first pincushion I remember using was my Grandmother’s standard tomato-strawberry pincushion. It was red with green embroidery, Made in China. Hers had two strawberries, hanging from the side.
That pincushion design started in the Victorian era. It probably came from the idea of having a tomato on the hearth for good luck in the home. When tomatoes were not available families would use a red ball stuffed with sawdust. At some point it became used to hold pins while the ladies were sewing. (There was a lot of hand sewing in those days).
I don’t know if my Grandmother’s pincushion was stuffed with sawdust. But the old way was to stuff the tomato with wool roving to prevent the pins from getting rusty. The attached strawberry was filled with abrasive to clean and sharpen the pins.
Pincushions are one of the pretty extras you can use when you sew. You can sew without using a pincushion. Just as you don’t really need a thimble, but the pincushion is tradition, adds history and elegance to the event. I don’t wear an apron when I cook, but I still like to look at patterns for sewing them and embellishing them. It’s not about what you need but more about what you want.
The pincushion needs to be the right size to not get in the way of your work, yet it has to hold a good load of pins as you work. It should have stuffing which is tightly packed so your pins don’t wobble around or sink right through up to their heads. I’ve seen very pretty pincushions which would be decorative but not very functional. If you buy a pincushion make sure it’s more than just a pretty face.
My Mother bought me a fancy bed doll when I was a young lady. I was somewhere between being a kid and being a teenager. She hoped having the doll to decorate my bed would get me into the habit of making my bed each morning so the doll could sit on it with her lovely dress, fancy hair and angelic little face. But, before we bought the doll my Mother explained that it was not a doll to play with. Instead she was just to be put on the bed or the shelf for display. She told me that once I took the doll’s hair down or took her dress off it would not be the same. She was right. I found out by doing it.
It would be nice if the bed doll gets another chance to be fashionable. For one thing, it’s a chance to repurpose some of the old dolls in thrift stores. I always see shelves of them, most half dressed or missing all their clothes. Someone needs to come along and take care of those girls.
Also, if you get into the design and creating of the dresses you can become a doll fashionista. Look at old fashioned dresses, gowns from TV and movies and bring in new modern themes to create custom gowns designed by you.
I’ve seen these dolls called boudoir dolls too, a more romantic name than bed dolls.
The best description I read for photobombing was “any photo where the main subject is unintentionally upstaged”. Of course, it’s not always unintentional and those photos can be funny too. But, the funniest are those where someone didn’t look behind them before taking a self photo. Or, the person taking the photo (of someone else) didn’t pay attention to the background or just chose to take the photo in spite of someone behind the main subject of the photo.
Is a photo spoiled by a photo bomb or is it just all the more sincere and silly? Of course, that’s in the eye of the beholder and depends on the pride of the main subject. Can they see the humour or do they feel upset? I wouldn’t like someone being intentionally rude in the background but something kind of clever or silly I would at least try to get over and laugh about. It’s not easy to give up the limelight if you are upstaged, but it can be done.
One of the first famous photobombers (if not the first) was Rollen Stewart, AKA “The Rainbow Man” who became a pop culture phenomenon in the late 70’s and early 80’s by wearing a rainbow-colored afro wig, while holding up signs reading “John 3:16” at sporting events nationwide.
Later in life Rollen Stewart ended up going a bit too mad over the photobombing sort of behaviour. He is in prison for attacking prominent places and people and then keeping a hotel maid held hostage. A bit overboard and beyond the realm of college prank sort of stuff.