This Giant Teddy Drinks Way Too Much

Nothing like a drunk bear passed out in front of the toilet
Nothing like a drunk bear passed out in front of the toilet

I picked up this giant teddy bear about a week before Christmas for some recently engaged friends. Over the course of living together for that one week I was introduced to one of the wildest and most substance abusive stuffed animals that I’ve ever met.

This was from the night I found him in an ally. I made him have the beard soon as we got to my house.
This was from the night I found him in an ally. I made him have the beard soon as we got to my house.

I always though that just about anything and anyone could be easy to live with at least for a short time so long as you kept an understanding mind and open to new ideas. I now know that this is not the case.

The first couple of days went fine. We did normal friend things. I knew he wasn’t going to be hanging out for too long so I figured we should bond while we had the chance. Right on the bat we found that we liked to watch similar things on the television! Although for slightly different reasons.

We both love watching documentaries on the "Bear Food Network" (Animal Planet)
We both love watching documentaries on the “Bear Food Network” (Animal Planet)

Maybe it should have set off some alarms that something was amiss when I noticed how much Bear would drool as we watched this documentaries. I gave him the benefit of the doubt though. I just figured that he was hungry, and it’s only natural that watching animals would tug at his more primal urges.

The third night in Bear suggested that we do away with that television, and just have a fire in the backyard. It’s close to the middle of winter, but a Christmas bonding fire sounded like a fun idea. Nothing like being in the freezing cold and huddling near something warm(The fire, NOT bear).

Passing the bottle of Yukon
Passing the bottle of Yukon

This was the first time that I drank with Bear. This was also the last time that I drank with Bear. It was not however, the last time that I saw Bear drunk. It started off with good fun. We shared stories, found that we had been at some of the same parties, and we’re really having a great time. He had offered interesting commentary and had a funny introspective view on the stories that I told. The ones that he told we’re both funny and managed to be touching at the same time. I really felt like we we’re bonding. For a short while I was doubting the decision to give Bear away at Christmas.

Then things started to wind down for the night. For me.

Bear on the other hand, was just getting started.
Bear on the other hand, was just getting started.

Once the clock chimed 12 I figured it was about time to head to bed. (I had work in the morning) Soon as I proposed this to Bear, he told me to point the camera at him and started chugging liquor. At which point I, for the first time, met a different Bear then the one that I had gotten to know over the past couple of days. Suddenly he had wild eyes and was drinking like it was his lifeline. At this point I was trying to talk him down. I should have known better.

The neighbors security lights came on when he was peeing on their truck.
The neighbors security lights came on when he was peeing on their truck.

I was able to make apologies to the neighbors and drag Bear back to our house. Once I got him home, he was yammering about how he knew  a guy who could get some stuff. Not wanting to be a part of it and needing to sleep before work, I set him down on the couch and went to bed. About twenty minutes later I heard the front door slam. Figuring that Bear could make his own bad decisions, I rolled over and went to sleep.

About 3AM I woke up to this picture text from an unknown number.

I still don't know if Bear and his friend were messing around, or if he actually got arrested.
I still don’t know if Bear and his friend were messing around, or if he actually got arrested.

When I woke up, Bear was nowhere to be found. By the time I was off work, I was a little worried. I hadn’t heard anything from Bear. All I had heard since setting him on the couch was the picture of him maybe getting arrested. When I got home my worry instantly evaporated.

He was drunk and passed out on the couch like nothing ever happened.
He was drunk and passed out on the couch like nothing ever happened.

I tried to talk to Bear about what had happened the night before, but he just brushed me off and asked me to get him another beer from the fridge. This pretty much defined the rest of our relationship.

The holidays were rather hectic at work for me as I was having almost daily review cycles on a fully animated commercial, so I was working a lot of late nights. The next night I didn’t get home until about 10pm. Things would have gone so much better if I had worked an extra 15 minutes. It would have made all the difference. But, I got home at 10 and was greeted by this lovely sight.

My computer is forever unclean.
My computer is forever unclean.

The following night when I got home, Bear wasn’t anywhere to be seen. As much as I was growing to appreciate the peace and quiet, this also made me nervous. I didn’t know if I should be worried if Bear was okay, or for myself, that this was the quiet before the storm. As it turned out, you should never worry about Bear. Bear is always fine.

That takes us to the top photo. After getting off work, I went over to my parents for dinner. Then when I got home that’s what I came home to. It was quiet when I get there. Too Quiet. As messy as the bathroom was, what Bear had done in the kitchen was several times worse. Lord only knows what he was eating to make those colors come out.

The next day I thankfully handed Bear off to my dear and loving friends, and never before have I felt such a strong combination of guilt and relief over giving a gift. With my hands washed clean, I went home to begin cleaning and burning things in my home.

 

Click HERE to see this from Bear’s point of view and to see the few pictures that were just to bad to put up here!

 

(Yes Bear is based on a roommate I had a couple of years ago.)

The Abandoned Barn

Finally found motivation and time to edit some of these pictures! So here goes. I had another rainy day off so I went to shoot photos at an old barn that I had made note of a couple weeks ago. There were a lot of neat details laying around, but the whole place was grown over very thick with blackberry stickers.

This was in the center of the barn
This was in the center of the barn

Since I shot the photos I’ve been able to ask around and find out why the old barn still stands. Up until about ten years ago it was part of a large buffalo farm. I don’t know if the farm was faltering or if there was just enough money offered, but WallMart bought all of the land with the intention of building a new store there.

And then? Nothing.

Experimenting with adding cool to a weak establishing shot.
Experimenting with adding cool to a weak establishing shot.

No one seemed to know why a WallMart was never built here. But it seemed most everyone was happy it hadn’t been. So now ten years later all that is left is the overgrown farm and the memories it holds.

And clearly some memories have been made and lost here
And clearly some memories have been made and lost here

While by no means covered in beer cans and bottles, many of the larger bushes would show off troves of hoarded glass and tin if you peaked beneath their leafy exteriors.

The skeletons of mattresses rose from sections of ground like coiled plants in places
The skeletons of mattresses rose from sections of ground like coiled plants in places

The small sticker bush tunnel to the barn proper once had a soft floor of mattresses. Now barely remaining are their coils, almost invisible until you step on the rusty springs.

This was a room at one point
This was a room at one point

You can still see all of the tin roofing on the ground. One of two small rooms off the back of the barn that looked like they had once been canning rooms. The only evidence this being some left over shelves and some broken mason jars. This room still most of three walls even long after a tree broke though the roof on its trek for sunlight.

The garage was dark and dirty. A mix of red cups, tires, dirt, and paint cans.
The garage was dark and dirty. A mix of red cups, tires, dirt, and paint cans.
Near the garage a section of  tow chair and an ice scraper found their new home
Near the garage a section of tow chair and an ice scraper found their new home
A long since broken window faced the way I had come from and was heading back too.
A long since broken window faced the way I had come from and was heading back too.

I really enjoy these old places. I feel like they often have more life and stories than the places where people still reside.  You just need to look for them. Like a detective, but without the snub nose revolver and the goons on your tail.

I’m already sitting on photos from a couple other houses. I have more marked out to shoot too. I occasionally just drive around looking for places, but more often then not, I hear about them through the grapevine. More soon! Thanks for reading all the hubbub or at least quickly scrolling to the bottom!