Friday, August 15, 2014

GISHWHES Day 6: Run this town tonight

Thursday, August 7, 2014

If I thought Tuesday was busy, I certainly wasn't prepared for Thursday.

Thursday is the day I was to sing:
Have the proprietor of a crowded sports bar turn off all the televisions. Then, you must serenade the patrons with a song accompanied by an acoustic guitar. The video must show the proprietor turning off the TVs, and the patrons’ reactions as you (and a friend if you wish) sing the song. (30 sec edited)
Although I still needed an acoustic accompaniment...

But first! Jenny had gotten me artwork for the finished adoption posters for Bear and it was time to hang them.

Here's to hoping he gets a home soon!

Today was also the day to record this:
Let's hear "Carry on My Wayward Son" on a giant pipe organ (antique preferred) in a cathedral or church, played by someone wearing a sock monkey hat. (30 sec)
My new friend Ryan of Burien School of Music would be handling that one for me. Here's how that went.

With that done, I needed a cat...

Food trucks are all the rage, but I think they tend to be a bit speciesist. Get a food truck to sell cat food. It must be on the menu and we must see a cat placing the order.
Well, I'd managed (quite easily, actually) to get a food truck to agree to add cat food to the menu, I just needed a cat that could leave that didn't have agoraphobia or any other crazy social issues... Damn those GISHWHES creators!! Finally, I had a willing cat. Then this happened:

Thanks Amy for playing along!

Next up! To the art gallery where the good folks over at Burien Arts Association agreed to let Jenny's masterpiece be a part of the opening reception of their August show.

The result? One patron who was kind enough to let me record him gave a serious discourse about the piece.

I then hightailed it over to 913 The Place Next Door, where I had a date with a table and a bar crowd. (Huge thank you to Tristan, for accompanying me on short notice and to Ryan for suggesting him)

(If enough people express a desire to see the whole thing, I'll clean up that video and post it).

And just in case that wasn't enough, the most epic event of the evening was yet to come...

Find an object that you’re holding onto for all the wrong reasons. Destroy it mightily.
Jenny, you are my hero.
Is that a Phantom of the Opera mask?
Why yes, it is.
Did I say epic?

I think that's all this day could handle!

Stay tuned for Day 7... the Final Day!

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Thursday, August 14, 2014

GISHWHES Day 5: An epic climb

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The thing about GISHWHES is that some of the tasks, just aren't possible for every team. Case in point:
Table Mountain, South Africa; Mount Snowdon Wales; Mount Sinai, Egypt; Mt. Fuji, Japan; and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania are epic peaks. Climb one of them. You must submit two images side by side, one of you in front of the mountain, and the second, with you at the summit, wearing the same clothes, holding up a sign that says: "Everything is easy when you GISHWHES!" (2 img side by side)
Granted, not all of the HaveSaltWillTravel team lives in the state of Washington, but we do all live in the United States - and none of us were currently visiting any of the countries with these epic peaks. One teammate had a friend who was vacationing in Fuji... but who knew whether that friend could - let alone would - climb the mountain for us. What I did know is I hike mountain trails. And I have a Mt. Si nearby (in case you didn't know, the Northwest has it all). :)

So at 8am, I was at the base of my own epic peak. (Perhaps the judges won't notice...)

At the base of Mt. Si(nai)
At the peak, 3 hours later

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

On my way up the mountain, a friend I'd left a message with returned my call and gave me permission to borrow his sasquatch. More on that later...

Stay tuned for day 6...

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GISHWHES Day 4: Art Day

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This one was going to be my "busy" day.

I had been trying like crazy to gather 10 people for this:
Set to opera music, stage a water balloon fight between 10 or more participants all wearing business suits.(slow motion)
But alas, folks just didn't seem to be available in the middle of the day on a weekday. (I even had the perfect opera music picked out). Disappoint. :(

Teammates Stuart & Jenny stopped by and our first stop was over the Burien Cares for this awesome task:
Go to your local animal shelter/rescue and hold a photo shoot for one of its residents. Make an adoption flyer promoting the animal using the photos you’ve taken and post them on telephone poles. Prove that your campaign was successful. (It can be multiple images photoshopped into one submission).
Jenny had been looking particularly forward to this one from the beginning. We walked into the shelter, explained what we were doing and asked if they could direct us to the animal that needed the most help. Before the sentence was complete, we were hearing the name "Bear". 

This is Bear.

He was found on the side of the freeway by an investigator on his way to an arrest. Because of Bear's severe limp, they'd first thought he had been hit by a car. A vet later told them it was a degenerative muscle disease in his back legs (along with several other diseases). Bear is a male pug thought to be 10-12 years old.

Jenny almost died.
Before the poster was complete we were posting his image online everywhere we could think. (Story to be continued...)

After the shelter photo shoot, we took a stab at this one:
Sing a harmonized duet rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" with someone standing 30 yards away from you. The camera should be centered between the two singers and we should be able to see both in the frame.
It wasn't until the last day of submission that we realized we'd misread the directions as 30 feet instead of 30 yards. Not only was 30 feet hard enough, but once learned, that song does not easily leave your head! Hopefully we get some points for that. 

The next one was easy because Jenny is just that awesome.
Create a magnificent piece of GISHWHES or Elopus-related art and have it displayed in a gallery art show. The video should show the gallery space, patrons attending the show and viewing the piece. It must be a real art gallery - not your living room attended by friends.
Remember the random, creepy painting we picked up from the thrift store on Day 1? Take a look at its magnificent makeover!

Much better, right?
My friends at the Burien Arts Association said they were willing to hang it at the opening reception of their next show, which happened to be this week. Yesss!!!

That's quite enough for today. Stay tuned for day 5...

Read the first post of the series, GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

GISHWHES Day 3: Learning new tricks

Monday, August 4, 2014

Once again (and despite staying up until nearly 2am), I could not stay asleep and was out of bed, ready to tackle my scavenger hunt items.

Mind you, it's a weekday and even though I work for myself, there was work that needed to be done. I managed to focus on completing that and then quickly moved on to the more exciting things.

To start with, more emails, phone calls & facebook requests were sent. I needed to acquire:
  • Access to an art gallery
  • A cat (friendly and willing to travel)
  • An acoustic guitarist
  • 10 people dressed in business suits willing to engage in a water balloon war
Shouldn't be too hard, right...?

I was able to connect with a friend who could help me with #15:
Have an elderly person (no offense Laurie!) teach you an "old-school" skill now considered obsolete. For example, how to operate a telegraph or a mechanical typewriter (those examples are now off-limits).
She said she could teach me the nose flute, but she only had 5 minutes and we had to meet right now. Well alrighty! Here's how that worked out.

Wow! Thank you Laurie!!

Next up, I was tasked with turning that denim bed sheet from the thrift store into a giant t-shirt for this one:
You and your four friends are a five-headed monster with all of your heads poking out of one collar of a giant shirt. Now do yard work.
Here's how the shirt turned out.
[Unfortunately, we were never able to gather 5 people together to complete the task. :( But wouldn't you agree that's a fine 5-person t-shirt?]

Like with the puzzling challenge, this next challenge called out to me right away:
On a pool or billiards table, sink at least 4 balls with one shot. So we know it's you doing it, wear a t-shirt displaying your GISHWHES team name. The more balls that go in, the more points.
It's not that I'm particularly good at shooting pool, I've just enjoyed it for a long time and will take any excuse I can get to play. I had five days and I planned to put in an hour everyday until I figured out how to do a 4-ball trickshot. So off to Black Zia Cantina I went (with my laptop & webcam, just in case).

I got there around 4pm and claimed my table. Shortly after, another patron (who I learned was Joe) took the 2nd table beside me. Not having a clue where to start, I asked Joe if he knew of a setup that would sink 4 balls in one shot. He thought about it and showed me a setup he remembered from a while ago, but hadn't actually done himself. After a few minutes of practice, he sunk all 4, proving that it could be done. An hour later, I did this:

O.M.G.! And huge thank you to Joe!!
So, one of the rules of GISHWHES is that unless specified, all videos must be no longer than 15.7 seconds. :( At any rate, you get the point.

Last contribution of the day was a task that all team members had to partake in:
An image of each of the members of your team in Brady-Bunch style grid format. Photos should be mug-shot style with each team member holding a black and white sign stating their city and country of residence.(one image with 15 images edited into it)
Here was mine.

Oh and one more picture to be a part of this:
GISHWHES rock band album cover including one, some or all of your teammates.

Y'all didn't know I had so many faces, did you? :D

Are you tired after all that? Well so was I.

Next up: Day 4...

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Monday, August 11, 2014

GISHWHES Day 2 Pt II: Speed puzzling

Sunday, August 3, 2014 part II

When the local members of team HaveSaltWillTravel got together to divvy up the GISHWHES list, my goal was to claim the items that I would enjoy and could accomplish relatively easily. So when I read #9, I knew it needed to be mine:
Assemble a puzzle with a minimum of 50 pieces in one sitting. The video must show the box with more than 50 pieces and then you putting the puzzle together. For ease of assembly you must be wearing wool mittens or gloves throughout the assembly of the puzzle.(timelapse 20 sec)

I love puzzles and any excuse to put them together. Since the puzzles I own are all 500+ pieces, I decided to make it easy on myself and had picked up a smaller one during our trip to the thrift store the day before. A fantastic investment, if you ask me. :)

And since I know you're wondering, assembling a puzzle while wearing mittens was only slightly more challenging than not. I'm guessing that's because I'm used to working with smaller pieces and the larger size somewhat compensated for the mittens...

The results

After that, I spend the rest of the night sending out random requests. I needed, among other things:

  • a food truck, willing to add cat food to their menu 
  • a sock monkey hat
  • a 3D printed quill
That night I also scheduled out my week for planning, preparation and completion of challenges.

So far, this was pretty exciting.

Next up: Day 3...

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Sunday, August 10, 2014

GISHWHES Day 2 Pt I: The Seattle event

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I seriously couldn't keep myself in bed and finally got up at 7:30am. I had to prep for this very serious item:
On Sunday, August 3rd, at 12:00 PST, someone from your team or a representative of your team, go to Miller Community Center ( 330 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112. You must follow the directions for this event posted on our UPDATES page. Submit an image here for your team that Misha directs you to at the event.

French Maid outfit w/ headpiece
Still life hat

Information on the Updates page has been removed, but the directions called for a very specific French maid dress code, a still life hat, a couple signs and willingness to hold hands. Here's what I gathered.

Though 4 other members of the HaveSaltWillTravel team live in the area, the rest were all busy with work or previous commitments. So I would be attending alone. Well... sort of.

I arrived early at in Capitol Hill because... parking. :( Fortunately, I didn't have too much trouble finding a spot, so I headed to Safeway to grab some food.

Immediately after walking in, I noticed two other GISHERS (the term for GISHWHES participants), as evidenced by their french maid costumes and the still life elements on the table in front of them. I smiled and headed over to say hi, but as I got closer, I noticed the mess of pieces, the glue gun and the slight look of panic on one of the lady's faces. I quickly asked how I could help and began adhering fake birds, fruits and flowers to a paper bowl. These gals had driven from Idaho that very morning to be a part of the Seattle event, but had overlooked their still life hats. Now, 1 hour before the start time, they were scrambling to complete them, for fear of not been admitted in (this was clearly specified on the Updates page). 

By the way, we finished. And it just so happened that I was able to complete another item on the list:
As GISHWHES certainly isn't all about dog-eat-dog competition, find someone on another GISHWHES team and surprise them with an act of thoughtful generosity. Make us tear up. We must see the team name or Username of the individual you are helping.

Fast forward lots of waiting in line in the Seattle sun, cramming into a packed gymnasium and patiently waiting for Misha Collins (Lord of the GISHWHES) to arrive and don a french maid outfit for himself. 

Lo and behold, we've broken a world record! The most people gathered, dressed as french maids. Wait, two world records? Also the most people wearing themed hats (still life). How many people were there? The number I heard was 830-something. Many more than that gym's capacity, that's for sure.

The 3rd and final record we broke that day was the longest, unbroken human chain to pass a hula hoop. This think this:

So much time in the sun. I'm ready for shade and some much-needed hydration after that.

Next up: Speed Puzzling

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

Saturday, August 9, 2014

GISHWHES Day 1: The Beginning

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The official GISHWHES item list was posted at 11:00am PST. Out of 15 members on the HaveSaltWillTravel team, 5 of us live in the greater Seattle area. So we gathered at my house for brunch and to comb through the list.

185 items, 3 hours and a whole bunch of pancakes, sausages and melons later, we had a plan of action. 

Some of the items we'd  be attempting included:

  • You and your four friends are a five-headed monster with all of your heads poking out of one collar of a giant shirt. Now do yard work.
  • Forgive someone with whom you have been holding a grudge against.

That last one was easy and we knocked it out by way of a text conversation.

Now on to the thrift store, where our loot included:

  • 1 Creepy painting
  • 1 Denim bed sheet
  • 1 Tweed Jacket
  • 1 Wicker hat
  • 1 plastic fruit light string
  • 1 Smurfs puzzle
Next stop, Starbucks:
You know how at Starbucks they ask your name and write it on the cup so that when your latte is done, they can say, “Misha, skinny decaf grande latte - extra foam, extra hot, lightly sweet!” When they ask for your name, give the most ridiculous name you can think of when you order your Starbucks beverage. The video is of the barrista announcing your drink and your absurd name.

Then to Dairy Queen for banana splits, because...
You’ve heard of Ronald Reagan’s "Trickle-down Economics"? The idea is that when rich people get richer, they spend more money doing things like getting their nails done and having their Porches waxed, and that in turn creates more jobs for pedicurist and car washers and other lower income families. Show us what trickle-down ice-cream-onomics looks like: One person on top, messily eating an enormous, melting Sunday, with two people on the floor below, trying to catch the drippings in their mouths as they fall. This needs to be a real mess.

The proof!

That's quite enough for one day!

Stay tuned for day two...

Read the first post of the series GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

GISHWHES: The craziest week of my life

On July 18th, a friend of mine ask me to join her team for the Greatest Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES).

With that, I joined the challenge - with the team HaveSaltWillTravel - for what I now know as the craziest week of my life.