so GISHWHES is finally over (okay, well, as of last weekend, but apparently my draft post got eaten by WordPress), so I can finally talk more about it and share pictures.
For the uninitiated, GISHWHES is the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, hosted by Misha Collins of Supernatural fame. It defines itself as “a massive global scavenger Hunt that is part silliness, part art, part kindness and 100% fun”, and its many mottoes include “that ‘normalcy’ is overrated and that true ‘living’ can be found hidden under the rocks of community artistic creation, acts of artistic sublime public performances, and random acts of kindness”.
It’s very, very good — aka horrifically painful — at getting you out of your comfort zone.
This is my second year doing it. Last year, the week-long Hunt fell one week before I was due to finish out my job in Milwaukee, get rid of all my shit and take off on my bicycle. I was thinking about doing GISH, but not the best time, right? But on the last day of registration, somebody I sort of knew from Tumblr posted that her team had one open spot, and I was like, y’know what? Fuck it.
(For perspective, this year, I spent nearly the entire GISHweek at aforementioned Tumblr-turned-actual friend’s apartment in Seattle. After meeting her in NYC last year. Where I also stayed with another teammate several times while traveling. And — well, you get my drift.)
Last year I couldn’t contribute very much at all, given the combination of my isolation in Wisconsin without access to a ton of people-resources, and the whole, y’know, oh yeah gonna be a homeless bike hippie imminently thing. But I did get a tattoo of Pope Francis, which I think cemented my status as not completely useless as a team member, at least.
This year, I — I’m probably forgetting some — registered to vote in Washington with a rainbow-lettered Richard Speight Jr. sign to prove it (and signed up as an organ donor to boot), helped create and spring a hipster trap, got fed bananas foster by my blindfolded friend in a nice restaurant (with a super cool waiter), went to fucking Canada with a former-stranger for a hopscotch game, celebrated the sky at a James Turrell art installation, gave basic supplies to someone in need, got friends-of-a-friend across the entire country to take amazingly ridiculous pictures in front of the South Carolina state capitol building, and made myself a dress made entirely of flowers, and a LOT of staples.
And with all that, I did not even approach some of the artistic contributions of my incredible team.
I still don’t have anywhere near all our team pictures, but here’s some!
I’m honestly kind of proud of this dress, since my skill in crafting is absofuckinglute zero, and also I think I look cute, so fuck off.
Speaking of cute:
I posted this picture already, and the skeletal story. We were on different teams (not next year if I have anything to say about it), but she’s friends with my teammate (aka CLIMBED a FKN GLaCIER TOGETHER) and one item involved, uh, a hopscotch game. In Vancouver. So we went. In weird tracksuits. On my birthday!
Hey, and here’s me “celebrating the sky” at a James Turrell installation at the UW art museum in Seattle, with another awesome teammate-turned-friend. The front-desk workers were like, *sigh* “are you doing that… scavenger hunt thing?” (They were very, VERY gracious and helpful and generally good sports. Just clearly a little bewildered, but resigned. Total champs.)
I think I should have taken my shoes off.
Oh yeah and look at these INCREDIBLE pix my friends-of-a-friend took at like fuck-o’clock in the morning after their work shift, for my random ass, oh my god:
Oh no biggie, just chillin’ on the edge of a fucking glacier in summer. With swim gear. Y’know, as one does.
I can’t even caption all these. I do not give the slightest fuck about winning; these unbelievable, beautiful, talented people are my friends, thanks to GISH.
I can’t even wrap my head around how lucky I am.