GISHWHES 2014

gishbannerTwo weeks ago I (as well as Nerd-Base member Chris) participated in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, also known as GISHWHES. Although I’ve been a fan of Misha Collins for some time now, this was my first year participating in this worldwide record breaking scavenger hunt.

I was actually put in a group without my knowledge. Not to say I didn’t want to participate, but every year I seemed to have made up excuses to get out of joining in the fun. Perhaps I was a bit nervous about breaking out of my shell and doing weird things in public? Last year I was on a road trip with Chris. We probably could have participated but it would likely be a lot harder to tackle most of the items. This year I’m unemployed and broke, but I’m glad I was pushed into doing it.

A couple of our friends that live in North Carolina started the group and invited us to join their team, Mischief Mismanaged. We were short four people, so the folks who help run GISHWHES placed another small team with our group – some lovely young ladies from Canada. Any time teams are combined, the team names are combined with the word ‘loves’. So, our official team name ended up being Mischief-MismanagedlovesWinging-it.
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The list went up on Saturday, August 2nd. Which also happened to be the last day I was pet/house sitting for a friend and planning Chris’ surprise birthday party. Although we had a week to do everything, we also only had a week to do everything. I was able to pull up the list (which went up at 2pm EST time and 11am PT) and see nearly 200 items. I quickly scanned through the list making mental notes on what I could easily tackle and what I could maybe tackle.

The items were crazy, weird, touching, and some seemed near impossible, as expected. I know the folks at GISHWHES aren’t big on items being photoshopped, but some of the items on the list had to be photoshopped, which I enjoy doing, and frankly, I’m good with photoshop. The first item that I decided to do was:

‘If Jensen Ackles, Jared Padelecki, Misha Collins, or Mark Sheppard were part man/part animal, what would it look like and what would its name be? Example: “Jensen Catkles” would be ½ cat, ½ Jensen. Tweet the image with the twitter handle of the actor your hybridizing and the hashtag: #GISHWHESspecieshybridization. You only have to amalgamate one of the aforementioned men. Edit the tweet and photo into one image.’

This was a fun one. Although, being that we could only do one hybridization it was tough picking which item I would officially submit. The very first one I did was ‘Mark Sheeppard’…it was funny, but it wasn’t very creative and anything that would make someone laugh out loud. The second and third ones that I did were ‘Jensen Alpacales’ and ‘Misha Cockatoolins’. Although the Jensen one was hilarious, and I do love it, Jensen doesn’t have a twitter account, or any social media accounts public for that matter, so I decided to submit the Misha one. Hopefully Misha was able to see both masterpieces.
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Another item I had a lot of fun with was:

‘The NSA staff has been outed as sharing inappropriate photos discovered during Internet surveillance. Submit the photo you think is most likely to have come from Misha’s computer.’

This seemed to be my team’s favorite image to come out of GISHWHES, and also got a lot of likes and reblogs on tumblr. Anything was game for this item. I could essentially put together whatever I wanted. I knew I wanted to involve Misha, kale, Queen Elizabeth, and William Shatner somehow. I started googling ‘rated R’ images to manipulate. Nothing that was too explicit, but something that you wouldn’t want to show your parents or a child. After searching and pulling some images, I finally found the perfect one. It was an obviously staged photoshoot of a dominatrix woman about to whip a man that was tied up to a bedpost. The man was implied naked (under the covers) and the woman was wearing a sexy outfit that wasn’t showing off too much. It was perfect. I had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to use Queen Elizabeth as herself now (older) or a young Queen Elizabeth. I decided to go with the latter to make it look more…realistic, let’s say. I also had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted a framed picture of William Shatner or a framed picture of a shirtless Jared Padalecki. The banter between Shatner & Misha has been so funny and so frequent this year, that it was clear I needed to go with Shatner. I lucked out because while searching for images of Misha to use, I found a photo op of him laying his head on something a fan had brought into a picture. I should thank that fan for having Misha pose that way!
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Although photoshopping is fun for me, my most fond memories from GISHWHES were the items I did with friends. Even just thinking back to the challenges I did, I can’t help but smile, or even laugh.

Thankfully our friend Rachel helped us out with one of the items. Well, her sister helped us out with the location, but Rachel did the challenge with us…even though she never signed up to begin with (we love you Rachel!). It was:

‘GISHWHES has taken its toll this year. You deserve a break. Hit the hot tub with a couple of friends… wearing hats made of ice cream.’

Originally, we were going to think outside of the box by simply using our small bath tub and paste pictures of flames around the tub, or light candles so that it would technically be a ‘hot tub’. However, the item says “with a couple of friends” and we can barely fit one person in the tub so we decided against it. Our other idea was to just find a cheap hotel with a hot tub and do it there, but that would mean throwing away money on a hotel room just for a quick picture. Thankfully, our friend Rachel’s sister was pet and house sitting for a very wealthy family in Bergen County and allowed us to use their decent size jacuzzi tub. On the way over, we bought a very large bucket of (Neapolitan) ice cream, whipped cream, cherries, and kale. The kale wasn’t necessary, but since it’s GISHWHES and Misha, I decided to incorporate kale into my bikini. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in such a long time. It felt silly scooping ice cream out in a tub and not putting it in my mouth, but instead ON my head. We all somehow managed to smile normally for a picture, but for a majority of the shots we were uncontrollably laughing.
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Here’s one of the outtakes:

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Also: no, Chris is not naked!

Another item cost me a little bit of money in gas and tolls, but was worth it. I was able to see a friend that I haven’t seen in over a year (actually, since the Supernatural convention that I went to last year). We were able to complete two of the items in one day. The first one was:

‘“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.’

This one was both sweet and funny. Thankfully, Shawna’s (one of our teammates) daughter knew she wanted to be a veterinarian when she grows up, and the local vet allowed us to use their waiting room to stage our photo. We had her wearing scrubs and a stethoscope while holding a manilla folder. To add some funny and possible extra points, we put together an elopus (the mascot of GISHWHES this year.. part elephant part octopus) sticking out of a cat carrier. Again, it took a bunch of pictures to get a normal looking one because both Troi (Shawna’s daughter) and I were laughing so hard.
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One of the outtakes:

IMG_20140808_174821_341I had to calm myself down in order to stop laughing so hard.

Our second project that day was:

‘Well done! You’ve just managed to catch a rare “Popcorn Child Monster” on camera.’

Troi wasn’t 100% on board with it, but I think she had fun as well. Although, it took me a day to get all of the spray adhesive off of my hands.

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The last item that I was able to squeeze in before GISHWHES submissions closed (at 3am on Saturday, August 9th) was another photoshopped image. I was bummed I wasn’t able to do some of the more hands on items (Chris was working a lot that week, the other teammates lived far, and I had a few job interviews). I had fun with this one though:

‘GISHWHES rock band album cover including one, some or all of your teammates.’

For this, I was going to just completely make up a weird cover, but since it said ‘rock album’, I wanted to take on a more iconic cover, but put GISHWHES elements into it, especially with the song titles. I had a hard time deciding who to put on the cover, but the Geisha mowing the lawn just seemed to fit in so well. It was so random and went along with the weirdness of the album. Even though the original Dark Side of the Moon album didn’t have anyone on it, it managed to look right.

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I’m very proud of my team, both state side and Canadian. We all put in effort to do as much as we could, communicated very well, and also all very supportive of each other. Now that I know how much time, creativity, and teamwork goes into this hunt, I feel a lot more confident for next year, which I definitely will be doing. I’m hoping next year I’m not in the same situation I am currently (jobless), and I will be able to tackle some of the more rewarding and hands on items. I hope you all consider joining GISHWHES as well! I have memories to last me a lifetime.

Also, here’s a link to other images that my team did: MISCHIEF-MISMANAGEDLOVESWINGING-IT!

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