Sunday, August 17, 2014


Last week I participated in GISHWHES 2014.  GISHWHES stands for The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, and it was a doozy!
Two of my coworkers were on my team, along with twelve Americans from various parts of the country.  Team LeviathanLovesRhymesWithFezzik managed to do several of the nearly 200 items, sometimes accomplishing what we thought was nearly impossible.

Here are some of my favorite item submissions from our team:

#3 It's "me time." Spoil, pamper and be decadent to yourself like you never have before. Oh, and P.S., you’re dressed as a Stormtrooper.

Clearly your bicycle is underwhelming you with its current performance. Convert your bicycle into a warp-speed spacecraft. Ride it.

#16 A family of at least four enjoying a formal dinner. All of the place settings, serving utensils, dishes - basically every non-food item above the tablecloth - must be made from Legos.

#28 Stage a mini-newspaper boat regatta in a public fountain with at least four competing vessels. We must see intense competitiveness and gambling.

#33 Batman or another superhero playing bingo at a crowded recreation center.

#37 "When I grow up I want to be..." Have a child dress up as what they want to be when they grow up (lawyer, doctor, ballerina, dragon-slayer, etc.). Then stage the photo in the environment they would be working in.

#42 Some regions have legendary monsters like the Loch Ness Monster in Loch Ness, Scotland or the Abominable Snowman in... well, wherever that creature lurks. Catch the mystery monster on camera that haunts your hometown.

#46 VIDEO (up to 30 seconds). 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.

#47 Cavemen get a bad rap, but really, they're no different from you and me. They like to dine at fine restaurants just like us!
We had so much fun with this one, I made a video:

#48 Four people use their bodies to form a table. Enjoy an elegant dinner for two at this body table.

#74 Be the messiah you were always meant to be. Walk on water (must be a lake or pool). We must not see anything under your feet except for water. Not that we need to say this, but: no photoshopping!

#82 As you know, William Shatner loves horses and clocks. Modify a cuckoo clock so that when the hour strikes, instead of a bird appearing, a tiny Captain Kirk on a horse pops out.

# 88 Make a mosaic Elopus, 2 meters in diameter, made entirely of natural objects
(i.e. no plastic, human-made materials, only leaves, rocks, dirt, flowers, wood, etc).

#90 Gingerbread villages are always so cute and quaint. Make a gingerbread village that shows urban blight: needle exchanges, prostitution, heavy police presence, etc.
Note the dead prostitute and the cops eating donuts:

#106 Lets see a fully dressed, face-painted Geisha mowing the lawn.
Little known fact: Geisha's have been engaged in a long-standing battle against Flamingos!
#109 Obviously everyone's favorite captain of the USS Enterprise was Jean-Luc Picard. Create a heroic Captain Picard using condiments (mustard, relish, ketchup, etc.) for paint.

#117 (three edited side-by-side-by-side images). Collect fruit from a tree on from which the fruit hangs over a public sidewalk. Make jam from the fruit. Eat it. (Provide 3 photos edited into one image).
This was om-nom-nummy!

#134 You or your pet, in period costume, seated on a Game of Thrones-style kale throne. Make it so good that GOT producers would want it as a marketing poster.

#147 It’s summertime and everyone loves a lemonade stand. But then again, every Tom, Dick and Harry is setting up a lemonade stand in the summertime and the market is flooded. Respond to consumer demand and carve out your own niche. Let's see two children manning a “Hot Pasta With Jam Sauce” stand.
#154 Sculpt John Barrowman's head from duct tape.

Your friend is in bed, not feeling well. Feed them a big bowl of warm (not hot) chicken noodle soup. One caveat: instead of feeding them with a spoon, use a leaf-blower.

We also had members become certified in CPR, renew their vows, and join the Bone Marrow Registry! It was a fun but exhausting week.  I think that next year I will book the week of GISHWHES off of work so I can truly immerse myself in the craziness that it entails.  Thanks for the fun, team LeviathanLovesRhymesWithFezzik!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Lanterns & Folk Fest

As you may know by now, I volunteer on the Lantern Committee for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival each year.  Every year we have a theme (or themes) that the new lanterns are encouraged to fall into.  I say encouraged, because lets face it... there are some of us that will find a way to squeeze whatever it is we want to make into the theme... no matter how far a stretch it is.  Inevitably, every year there is at least one Doctor Who lantern, which took some tricky roundabout explanations last year when our theme was Under The Sea.  Our fearless leader Marya is very accepting though, and as long as you don't build a lantern that is too big (or when you break that rule, as some of us have been known to do, promise to store it yourself, and not in her storage space!) she's willing to accept just about any lantern so long as it is safely constructed.

This year we had an awesome theme: Monsters.  Or more specifically due to the height at which we carry the lanterns: Monsters Over The Bed.

There was tons of room for interpretation there, and I am proud to say that many of our committee members took rather geeky routes in their lantern choices.   

Before showing you some of this years awesome monster lanterns though, there are two lanterns that need special attention.  This past year we lost one of our own.  Andrew was a long-time member of our team, always at the ready with bizarre topics of conversation and jokes that were so bad they were funny.  Andrew loved bacon, toilet seats, glitter, and making people smile.  He often walked around wearing his purple top hat, and was also known for his Baby Cthulhu costume.  In tribute to him, two lanterns were made by committee members this year: The Hat, and Cthulhu.  

Todd is the longest running member of our team.  He was instrumental in keeping the lantern committee (and thus lantern procession) going when it was in danger of being dropped.  He started working on his squid lantern several years ago... exactly how many years ago is up for debate, but it is definitely more than four and less than ten. This year, life got in the way and he was too busy to be able to volunteer, but he did show up for Friday night procession with a wonderful surprise for all of us.  He finally finished his giant squid attacking a whale, and it is glorious!  A true work of art, every bend and curve carefully constructed and flawlessly papered.  I aspire to one day be able to build and paper with his level of skill.  Todd's attention to detail is out of this world, something that takes a great deal of talent, time, and patience.  It is no wonder it took so long to make this masterpiece.

I only have one clear picture of Lin's newest lantern, even though I could have sworn I took several. While I can almost pronounce the type of prehistoric sea creature it is, I cannot for the life of me spell it... I know this as I spent about half an hour trying to Google it in order to type it here.  Sorry Lin!  If someone can tell me the proper spelling I will edit this post accordingly. 



My lantern this year was the cute, but slightly obscure Adipose from Doctor Who.  Lin and I tend to have an unofficial contest between us to see how many people can correctly identify our lanterns.  This year I think she had 3, while I had 8.  In addition to those 8 correct Adipose identifications, there were several elephants, owls, R2D2, an igloo, and a woman who was very adamant that I had made a penguin. She actually stood there arguing with anyone who would listen and dare to say it was something else. I wonder if that last woman had spent the majority of her day in the Beer Garden?

Other lanterns with their names/descriptions captioned below.

Lantern Fish
Monster Wearing Bunny Slippers


Box Monster



Boo Costume

Pirate Monster



Three-Headed Dog