I almost wrote a thousand posts during Gishwhes, about how amazing my team was, but I never quite found the time, because whenever I thought I had half an hour to sit down and write, it turned out I was wrong, and I had to cover something in glitter or theater blood instead. But, here goes, at long last.
I was lucky enough to have a super engaged team this year, all of them amazingly creative and bold, which made it super inspiring to be their team captain. I got to meet 14 people, some of who I knew a little, some I didn’t know at all, (except for brief twitter encounters,) and a few I have known for a while. But even those I knew a little better than the others, showed me new sides of themselves.
Let me start with our group shot. We had to pretend to be abducted by aliens, and displayed in their zoo. So we had to take a zoo picture of ourselves, and write a word describing what made us special. I have to say, that was a tough one. Why would anyone want to display me in their zoo? For my brilliant mind? I think not. I even asked about it on face book, and found that people were very hesitant to answer. Only after I took the picture, did one of my friends (almost) call me a mutant. He was clearly afraid of offending me, but I was kicking myself for not putting that on the sign, the second he said that… Anyway, I felt my team wondering how to solve the task, and since I needed a picture from all of them before the week was over, I figured I’d do something wild and make them seem less crazy.
It worked like a charm. They all jumped on it and I got the best alien zoo group picture I could have dreamed off. Team Dandelions, everyone;
I was super happy to see my long-time-online friend, Jen, sign up for my team this year, and watching her and her kid(s) participate has made me smile more than she will ever know. They have never watched a single episode of Supernatural and they had no idea who Misha was, but they were super ready to be crazy with me.
Since this was the last Gishwhes (as-we-know-it,) I knew that we had to do the Kale headdress. It may sound silly, but kale has been a huge part of Gishwhes, and when no one signed up for doing it, I did. I could not imagine our team not doing the kale item this year.
It turned out to be very difficult to find kale in Denmark this time of year, though. Every shop I went to, had it chopped up and frozen, but I needed a whole leaf. In the end I asked, desperately, online if anyone could get their hands on a leaf of kale. Jen stepped up and promised to look. She lives in the US, so chances were that she might succeed, where I had failed.
(Side note. The things I ended up asking for, online… Anyone know what to use instead of huge quantities of lube? Anyone have a bee costume? Or a donkey I can borrow? How about a Chupacabra I can adopt? No? How about a Wonder Woman outfit?)
As luck would have it, one of my danish team mates found a glorious leaf of kale and I forced my cat to play a part in my Egyptian inspired headdress. Around the same time as I took the picture, Jen wrote and said that she had found some kale as well. I was jumping for joy, because that meant we could both do it.
I have known Jen for 7 years, and never met her. We have followed each other’s lives through our blogs for so long, she feels like one of my best buddies by now. So I am more than happy to start this years Gishwhes post with our kale art picture;
She even had a matching cat, so here we are, continents apart, but united through gishwhes and kale.
Another thing I adored about this years hunt was watching one of my more shy friends play with me. She was so ON this game, so brave, so ready to be crazy, her happiness alone has made me smile all week. We had her daughter dress up as a wood nymph and play flute in an elevator; (because Misha…)
She solved a ton of tasks on her own, and even wrote the description on some of them while uploading them herself, which is huge, because she always seem to think that she can’t write in English. So just watching her do that, had me silently firing my Pinkie Pie Party canon.
And when I asked for help to do the tree hugger item, she instantly volunteered her entire family.
One of the girls from the team I was on last year, who signed up again this year, drove a long way for this, so I figured that since she did that, we should do something more than just hug a tree. I mean, we have been gishing together for two years and she had a two hour drive to meet us, it felt a little anticlimactic to have her do that and be done in two seconds, so I asked if they were up for doing the Vampire vs Zombie World War II with nerf guns as well. They all said yes, and my shy friend managed to destroy clothes for her and her kids, and be the most awesome zombies, in the middle of a public forest.
My uncle joined us for this event, as well. I met him last year, having been estranged from my fathers side of the family all my life. I think he mostly signed up for Gishwhes to get to know me, but I was very impressed by how into it he actually was. He did a lot of great items on his own as well, and I gotta say, he made a good zombie, considering that my friends kids kept shooting him instead of the vamps. You know what they say… Friendly fire… Isn’t…
Anyway, here goes;
You will notice that we did not have any nerf guns and we will probably lose points over that, but I couldn’t care less. We had so much fun using soft guns, super soakers and even a plastic cross bow, and the whole point of Gishwhes is exactly this. Pushing the limits for what you are willing and able to do, and having tons of fun while doing it.
I just love how into it the kids were as well. The little girl in the dress is usually super shy and quiet, but she kept acting her part and she had such a great time. I loved seeing that. And she kept tripping over my uncle, forgetting that he wasn’t exactly buried, only covered in leaves…
And yes, the vamps were greatly outnumbered, so we lost in the end. I had actually convinced one more of my friends to play with us, but he couldn’t make it at the last second. I totally blame our loss on that… One more man and we would have so gotten those zombies…
I have to share the “Chucks Vamps” outtake, of Signe, Vivi and me. Having been gishing together two years in a row now, they feel like family, even if we only met Vivi this once.
Of course, Signe and I got married last year, so I guess she is family… 😛 Which made this our anniversary, and when the other team captains started talking about spamming Misha with pictures of us eating without utensils, (according to this years commandments,) Signe and I instantly knew we had to do a Lady and Tramp shot.
We had a lot of trouble finding the cover for the table, until I accidentally asked one of my Disney nerd friends if she would come by and be the photographer, because my boyfriend was conveniently stuck at work all week, and she had the perfect set up for the shoot. Noted. If I ever need anything Disney, I’ll just ask her. So, Lady and the Tramp, vegan style.
You may have noticed that my head is shaved by now. Yeah. That was another item. Shave Gishwhes into the back of your head or into thick chest hair. My shy friend instantly said she would do it, she even asked her husband if we could borrow his chest, but he was not playing, (buuuh) so, well… I kind of thought it could be fun.
It worked out pretty well and her daughter was kind enough to kill me afterwards… I will say, I have explained Gishwhes to so many people by now, I am getting a little sick of it. But is has been a fun experiment to see how people react. Some ask, some ignores it, some have to touch it, and some laugh.
Anyway, sticking to my uncle for a second, I was going over the item list at the end of the hunt, wondering what else I could pull off at the last minute, and I picked up on the “bond with your Chupacabra” item. As much as I relate to being called a mutant, I relate even more to being a monster, so I texted him and asked if I could eat him? He instantly said yes.
By then, my trusted Canon Eos had died a horrible death to glitter and blood, so we had to do the pictures on my phone. *Sob, my camera*
But my uncle and his wife and their youngest daughter came by. We had actually talked about feeding the child to the Chupacabra, as a bonding moment, but when she saw her strange new cousin, (remember we met last year,) covered in purple lipstick, she was so not playing. Clearly some kids are raised to be monsters and some aren’t… This one was not, so we decided that a nice bonding moment could be going on a road trip. Right?
This is hands down, the best family photo I have. Anyone willing to do this with me, and have this look on his face, is a superstar.
I feel like I have been photo shopping all week. I know I can do that easily, so when no one else picked up on those items, I did. Like, Stormtroopers for peace…
And the “My daughter saw a moon fairy last night. Take a picture of one, using long exposure time and movable lights,” item. I am a photographer, that was the kind of item I could do in two seconds. (No Photoshop involved.)
That’s a lie. I think I had the shutter speed at at least 35 seconds… Still…
And then I realized that one of the girls from my team had picked up on the item, and was having so much fun shooting pictures this way, that I instantly asked if she wanted to do it. Watching her, it felt like she was rediscovering what art and creation was, by doing this. She was so happy and so inspired. Exactly what Gishwhes is all about. Rediscovering your creative sides.
This was not being creative for me. This was work. I’ve been doing this for years. Her pictures was something new, something fragile and exploring. I loved seeing that.
When I posted my picture, after the hunt, she said that it was better than hers. I will say this again. NO, it is not. It is just different. Art depends on the eyes that see. And for me, my picture was technically good, because I understand my (RIP) camera, but hers were art, because they were pure creation.
I, of course, managed to get My Little Ponies into Gishwhes this year. Wup wup. I did an item that said that I should hand paint little rocks with optimistic messages on them and leave them places where people would need a “pick me up.” I loved the metal purple so much that I had to make a matching pony.
I know, spending a whole evening, putting hair on a pony, during Gishwhes, when it was not an item, was kind of a waste of time, but it felt right for me. I’ll have this pony with me for the rest of my life, reminding me of the last Gishwhes.
And then there was the “what do your toys get up to while you sleep” item. Well… My ponies sure don’t like the doll… And not my fault they cooked the kale…
The escape room drove me insane. First of all, I kept wasting time, clicking on the porn.. I mean, the fan art. *Cough* And I kept buying kale and the pokeball… Even when I realized that I had to NOT do that, and when I understood that I AM A WRASSE, I saw no way out. I am so happy they left the page up after Gishwhes closed, and I got to actually escape. It would have gnawed at me forever, having failed that.
There was an animal yoga item as well. One of my team members did a great job at that with a chicken and a pig, and I truly applaud her patience and commitment. I just had to try with Tardis. Again, this is not new for me, I have been training horses like this all my life. Touching them, making them trust me to crawl on them like this, so they would not kill their owners when I handed them back. I have done this with every single one of the horses I have ever worked with in my life, except… Except the 5 I have now. They are hardly broken in. Tardis was ridden a little, last year, before she was diagnosed with Cushings. Since then, I have not done much with any of them.
I had to try, though. This was what I was good at, once upon a time. This used to be who I am.
I love this pony, and her son. I can’t believe she let me do that. She is amazing. And you will notice how she looks at my shoes. She hates that they are white. That is actually why I don’t take them off. She would have spooked over that…
During Gishwhes, I quit playing Pokemon Go, even though this week was the week of my team’s legendary bird. I quit Dragon Mania Legends. It’s even been days since I opened the My Little Pony game. Something inside me changed. Maybe I got sick of seeing the world through the screen of my phone. I don’t know. I just know that even now, I don’t feel like going back. I have loved these games, but I really don’t care anymore. So what if I don’t get Zapdos, or activate my pony gem stores every 3 hours? Is that really what my life is about?
As much as I have loved watching my team break the boundaries for what they dared to do, and discover the arts of creation, or just simply have fun, I guess I learned a lot too.
I loved being the team captain. I loved not sleeping (much) for a week, always stepping in with positive comments and ideas. I loved everything about this years Gishwhes, and once again, my team was amazing.
If that makes me a mutant, or a monster, or simply a ring leader of crazy, then so be it. I will forever be grateful to Misha for letting us have Gishwhes. I would not have been without it. And I will keep my fingers crossed that he will create something else for us. This is the best week of the year. I am counting on you, Misha. Don’t let us down. We need you, to remember who we are, or who we want to be.
Thank you. Just, thank you.
Don’t let this be the last sunset on this amazing thing that is Gishwhes. Let it rise again, somehow. Please.