Monday, August 18, 2014

Gishwhes 2014

Gishwhes 2014




we had to create an angel from feminine hygiene products. my weeping angel is completely made from maxi-pads, panty liners, and tampons (with hot glue) (her insides are made from the inside of a maxi-pad). I left her sitting on a table in front of an open window on a humid night and the next morning she had plumped up. Hmmmmm.



have a wedding or vow renewal in a stunning location. bride/groom must be wearing items from the kitchen and the officiant is a ship's captain.
Bride is wearing: pie tins, cupcake papers, rubber gloves, forks and spoons, colander with cheesecloth veil, oven mitts with coffee cup heels, steel wool, with slip made from shelf liner. Bouquet made from cheese grater with mixer utensils, sponges, and measuring cups
Groom is wearing: Aluminum foil suit with drawer pull buttons, sponge bow tie and boutonniere, dish towel cummerbund, rubber glove cuffs, shelf liner vest, oven mitt shoes, and colander hat



This was our second year competing in GISHWHES, we were slightly more prepared than last year but it was still a crazy, chaotic, creative week.

After all of the brainstorming on names for our team, we all just kept coming back to "monkey brigade", just seemed to fit us best. (I now realize that is the name of Indira Gandhi's child "army" created to help end British rule in India - although she created this in 2004 and Gab and Chimp Jones have used the name since the mid 90's). It's evidently also a Spanish rapper?

Unfortunately, Gab's dad passed away right before the hunt. His family held their reunion/memorial on the same weekend that the hunt kicked off. I prepared HQ (our house) as best as I could and gave the key to Chimp Jones. I tried to do what I could from St. Louis but felt like the first full day/night was wasted (for my part), thankfully - the team was really rallying and got off to a banging start (especially cindy/pete, and colin). Gab's cousins did help me out with the candy bathing suit so I got one challenge done on the road (but with very minimal supplies, it was definitely not my best work).

Reading through the list, I came to item #75 and realized they used my suggestion for having a magnificent Elopus related art piece in a real gallery show. That was a fun surprise and obviously I "claimed" that one.

Stopping in Springfield on the drive home ate up more time but was necessary because Gab's Grandmother had fallen and was in the hospital. We were glad to see her and she was more clear and alert than we expected. She recognized the whole family!

Back on the road and another stop in Bloomington at Best Buy. My laptop charger had crapped out the night before (GREAT timing, ugh). Grabbed a charger and some dinner and finally on the road for home. 4pm and I enter HQ and see what everyone has been up to.

The kale throne was being assembled in the front room (it was amazing), costumes, laptops, legos, and wine were spread across the dining room. Action. I got my bearings and jumped in.


The Judester and Rick the Cat posing regally. It wasn't hard to get him to be serious as he was angry about the number of mosquito bites he had endured while we finished setting up the shot.

A lot of lining up of props and costumes, creating a wedding dress from kitchenware, making an angel from maxi-pads, texting team members, updating lists, finishing the elopus costume, photo shoots, filling water balloons (thanks to gab for this), helping create a Rube Goldberg machine...

Gab got a tattoo of the pope.

What I learned and what was helpful and what was not:

The fewer people getting drunk during the hunt, the better.

I appreciated all of the extra help but I have a pretty high level of expectation and if you're just going to fuck a tweed purse on video, I will not be happy about it.

Don't get on a horse if you aren't experienced. Seeing Donnie get bucked off of a horse was a terrifying experience, very thankful he was not seriously injured. Think things through!

The dry-erase board was helpful for me to keep track each morning.
We definitely need a team member in Vancouver/Seattle area!!
Line up a military pilot before the event (yeah right)
Team members need to be able to take some time off of work during the week
Pay attention to hints ahead of time (acorns, batman costume/bingo...)



All of the tips from last year were helpful, the submission process went much better having just Cindy in charge. (not sure how she felt about it). I would try to go through the spreadsheet daily and update and make sure people who signed up for things were on track, etc. We did have a few challenges where we doubled up and that is fine, nothing that was too time consuming and was good to have the backup in case.

One thing I didn't do that I promised I would was to attempt the impossible tasks, and i'm kicking myself a bit. I didn't even attempt to tweet NASA or the government. I didn't even attempt to get an interview with Larry King. I'm not sure how many teams accomplished those but I should have at least tried. I was super impressed with my team's ability to get some of the really difficult challenges like getting a NYT best selling author to read the California DMV book and scoring some IMDB celebrities to wear MB shirts, also Duffy's connection to Ed Westwick for the paper "machete" head (although it wasn't completed as directed, it was a great effort).

Will I do this again next year? Well of course, there is always some "down" time right after the hunt where we doubt we will do it again but ultimately I know that I thrive on the challenges and love the creative burst it gives me.  I did feel this year's list wasn't as "fun" overall as last year. A lot of pandering to (and stalking of) celebrities, a lot of negativity online surrounding the hunt (not blaming Shatner but he did create negativity whether he was joking or not and after a while it got old), and I really disliked the addition of the time and location specific challenges vs. last year's "bonus" item which was a creative one. I know next year will be a totally different list with a totally different set of experiences.


Troy Baker IMDB challenge


four people, formal dinner off of lego dishes

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