Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge and GISHWHES

Yesterday my good friend Chelsea Hagen, who I met at Kenyon, challenged me to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

So I did it.

Sorry about the fuzzy quality. I filmed it on my iPad.

Due to the way my iPad case/stand works, I couldn't tell if the camera was pointed in exactly the right direction. So I just went for it and hoped for the best.

And accidentally made it so that I was off-camera when I dumped the water on my head.


A word to the wiser than me: don't do it if you live in California. There's a drought going on. But I did it with recycled water over a plant that needed to be watered, so hopefully I didn't do too much damage.

If you want to donate--which would be awesome--go here:

or here:

I thought I'd also take this time to write about GISHWHES, which is another crazy thing that Chelsea talked me into. Apparently she's good at getting me to do crazy things.

GISHWHES stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen. It's this big world-wide scavenger hunt where you find or make the items on the list and submit videos or photos. It's put together by Misha Collins, who plays Castiel on Supernatural (I don't watch it, but I have a lot of friends who do). It lasts a week and it was really fun!

Participants are assembled into teams of fifteen. Not all team members are in the same area. The team I was on was spread out between California, Illinois, Texas, and Canada. We found a website to chat on so that we'd know who was doing what.

The first thing I called was an item asking for "Jump the shark." Now, jumping the shark refers to the moment when something has declined in quality to the point where it's just trying to get attention by doing something ridiculous. It first came from a TV show where, in an attempt to get viewers, one of the actors jumped over a shark while waterskiing. But the GISHWHES item specifically said "Be creative. Points will be taken off for missing limbs and shark bites," so no actual sharks were involved.

As soon as I saw the item, my mind flew to a classmate who had worn a shark costume during Spirit Week. I called her and she was kind enough to let me borrow it, so I picked up the costume that afternoon.

Two days later I was in my friend's backyard, jumping rope in a shark costume with my legs sticking out.

I can't post this one here, because it's on my friend's channel and it's an unlisted video so I can't access it. But I wrote a jumprope rhyme to go with the video. It went:

I had a baby shark and his name was Toothy Tim
I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim
He swam around the water, he ate my rubber duck
He chewed it and he swallowed it and then it got stuck.

The next thing I did was modify my bike. The challenge: "We think your bike has been disappointing you with its current performance. Turn it into a warp-speed capable space ship. Film yourself riding it."

So I bought some silver spray paint and silver duct tape and went to work. 

Here's what it looked like: 

I was going for a Starship Enterprise effect, but let me tell you, that thing was hard to ride. The attachment on the back kept hitting me in the legs and the hood over the basket conveniently blocked my view of the gearshift. 

But I did it. Woo!

The next item tacked was the public service announcement about how to best serve our new jellyfish overlords, since the jellyfish will be big winners in global warming. This was so much fun to write. My friend and I wrote it, our other friend read it for the camera, and I edited it. I had a heck of a time with the editing, since it could only be fifteen seconds long. I wound up speeding up the clip slightly, so my friend's voice was a tad squeaky. The whole thing had a very Night Valelian aura. 

Then I went after the family of four enjoying a formal dinner where everything above the tablecloth is made of Legos. That one was a photo. I got some extra Legos and brought them to my friend Merula, who a) is an expert at Legos and b) has a family of four. Unfortunately I can't post this one, as Merula doesn't like having her photo on the internet. 

After that, Merula came back to my house and our other friend came over and we made pasta with jam sauce! We used this recipe, as was required: 
 The challenge was to make it and then have a certified, published food critic review it. Good thing my mom is friends with a certified, published food critic.

The stuff was actually surprisingly tasty. Merula in particular loved it and took most of it home with her. 

Then, on a whim, we did the challenge of "Have an elderly person teach you an obsolete skill." Many thanks to my dad for agreeing to impersonate an elderly person. 

The next challenge was quite scary...

The challenge: "Get everyone in a subway, bus or train car to sing "Over the River and Through the Woods." There must be at least eight passengers and it must not be staged."

So that's how my friend Sally and I wound up taking the Metro to Pasadena so that we could get a video on the way back. 

It was a really fun trip. But on the way there, we saw someone get arrested. The train was pretty much deserted when it pulled into the Memorial Park station, and this guy got on. And then these two police officers got on the train, pulled him off it, and as the train pulled away Sally and I saw them frisking him and leading him away. Which was like, holy crap. That was kind of scary!

It turned out that there was a farmer's market going on in South Pasadena, so Sally and I got off the train, walked around a bit, and shared a crepe. It was super fun. Then we got back onto the train and attempted the challenge. 

Before I show you this, I have a question: Do you know the lyrics to Over the River and Through the Woods?

Yeah, no one else does either. 

Thanks, Misha Collins.

When we got off the train on the way home, the police were there checking peoples' Tap cards to make sure that they had paid for their rides. Just in case we needed to be any more nervous than we were.

The last item planned was a gingerbread neighborhood full of vice. My friend and I had gotten the gingerbread and made the dough with mixed results on the day of the jellyfish PSA. See, what happened was we got some gingerbread mix and decorations at the store. The box had three sets of instructions on it: on the back were the directions for ginger cake and soft gingerbread cookies, and on the side were the directions for the kind of gingerbread cookies that you use a cookie cutter on.

We accidentally made the soft cookie mix. Which required about eight times as much water as the normal mix.


So we kept adding flour until it thickened up and then stuck it in the fridge to harden. I baked the pieces a few days later, and the day after the train ride Sally came over to help me frost and assemble.

It was a precarious undertaking. The walls were misshapen and lumpy, there were a LOT of people, and one of the two buildings only had half a roof (we made the other half out of graham crackers). It was the kind of thing where you didn't want to sneeze too near to it in case it fell over. But eventually we got it done.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: A Shootout Outside of The Elopus Strip Club and Bobby's Tattoo Parlor.

In case you can't tell what's going on: the guys in green (a.k.a. the Peter Pan Evil Girl Scouts) are having a shootout with the guys in black (a.k.a. the Ninjas) outside of a strip club and a foreclosed tattoo parlor. One cop is down, while his buddy his chatting up the hooker in the ally. 

We got candy lips just for the hooker.

The Elopus, by the way, was this year's GISHWHES mascot.

This was enormous fun to make and I am proud of it. The gingerbread was horribly bland and the icing was plasticky, but it looked amazing! 

The Elopus Strip Club was finished on the last day of GISHWHES. We'd done all we had signed up for and I thought that was it until about nine o'clock that night...when suddenly, one of my California teammates realized that she wouldn't be able to complete the sci-fi movie poster starring Misha Collins and the Queen of England (no photoshop allowed). So I pulled out my pencils, pens, and a couple of markers and got to work!

 I am SO PROUD of this poster. I went for a 50's monster-movie look and I am SO. PROUD.

It was submitted half an hour before the deadline and then I was well and truly done. GISHWHES was over. And I am SO doing it again next year. :D

No comments:

Post a Comment