New Zealand Doesn’t Have Humvees, I’m Pretty Sure

The New Zealand military doesn’t really see any intra-national combat – they’re sent out on UN peacekeeping missions, and for overseas tours instead. As such, they don’t require Humvees, as far as I’m aware.

 

This is unfortunate, because of this extremely difficulty GIsHWHeS task:

VIDEO. Let’s see a military cargo helicopter hoist a Humvee into the air. On the Humvee is a banner that reads, “GISHWHES does the heavy lifting.”

That’s right! Not only do you need the necessary connections for this task, you also need to somehow convince the military to use up a lot of fuel and money in order to do something for no apparent reason… except for the fact that GIsHWHeS overlord Misha has dictated it be so.

 

Does anyone out there happen to miraculously, a) know about this blog and b) have the ability to do this task? If so, I would REALLY appreciate it if you could contact me before the week is up!

– Let’s Call Me Lily

Let The Hunt Begin!

Imagine a pithy remark that lets you know that no, my brain is just as toast as it was last time I wrote an apology post (I think they might outnumber my regular posts by now), and makes you forgive me and prepares you for a pretty outrageous demand.

Thanks 🙂 I’m sure you came up with something great!

This year, I am participating in GIsHWHeS as an official team member!! (HOORAY BUT I MUST BE MAD)

What is GIsHWHeS? Well, it gets described in various ways, but the short and kale of it is:

The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt The World Has Ever Seen:

Gishwhes is a massive global scavenger Hunt that is part silliness, part art, part kindness and 100% fun.

It’s a 5-time Guinness World Record breaking scavenger hunt hosted by Misha Collins. Tens of thousands of participants from more than 100 countries join up to 15-person teams and for one week, through laughter, sweat and tears (of joy of course), they acquire Items on an insanely long and death2normalcy scavenger hunt list. The team that scavenges the most items with the highest quality of submissions joins Misha Collins on an all-expenses paid trip to an exotic locale (which sounds pretty abnosome, right? Right.)

The best thing about this hunt is that profits go towards RandomActs Charity – GIsHWHeS is it’s single largest donor – and many of the items are all about the community and being kind. They also require a lot of networking, making new friends, and having lots of courage to strut around in peanut buitter and feathers asking for hugs 🙂

So, I have an ENORMOUS favour to ask.

During the next week, I may post here, asking for help in some way for an item that requires it. It will be fun, and possibly weird and probably a bit crazy. I would really appreciate it if you could lend an arm, or a foot (as required) if you possibly can. I do not have a hamster to dress up as Ariel the little mermaid, but YOU might (for example). It would be AMAZING if anyone did manage to help out, as that’s the entire spirit of GIsHWHeS – spreading the kindness and crazy around 😀

THANK YOU!!!!!

-Let’s call me Lily

P.S. This is also a warning that you might see some random content from me in the next week. You have been warned 🙂

It’s for something abnosome, after all!

P.P.S. Unfortunately due to judging requirements etc, we can’t reveal any items while doing the Hunt, only after all teams have been judged. This takes a while. But you will eventually see the results of my crazy week.

Hello, How Are You?

A short longish foray into embedded social niceties and the consequences thereof

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now – it’s the type of pondering that pops up when I say hi to someone as I enter the dining room and then sit down to eat. Also because Facebook keeps putting up Upworthy posts about depression (notably, it seems to always be heteronormative white males that are doing the speaking out, which is a shame) and the recent Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki T-shirt campaign, and Jared’s absence from JIBCON, and just the general gist of things I’ve seen on the internet in the last couple of months (read: how not being fine sometimes is all right, but that by reaching out and getting help of some variety, amelioration is possible).

How many people genuinely want to know how you’re feeling when they ask you? It’s such a social nicety, to be breezed over with an “I’m good” or a half-hearted “fine”, and then all is dandy and the talking can begin. Or it’s a conversation in and of itself when, for example,  you’re waiting in line for lunch and you know the person behind you – the exchange of “hi”s and how are you today and then the inevitable fine – and then you turn back and keep waiting in line.

It doesn’t mean anything any more, that statement. We’re expected to say fine, because we’ve left the person feeling as though they’ve done their duty by asking. We’re expected to say fine, because the question is just a precursor. We’re expected to say fine, because how can we be otherwise? This response is so automatic and ingrained as a social convention that even a more positive one like “I’m great!” or “I’m having an awesome day so far” is met with suspicion.

Here’s where the rest of stuff, like stigma and social pressure and repression and awkwardness and self-exposure and doubt come in.

First of all, there’s the issue of not wanting to say that you’re not fine, which is interrelated with the issue of not wanting to hear that someone isn’t fine. Let’s imagine the typical scenario of meeting someone on the street. Would anyone actually go ahead and admit that they’re not fine? Sure, we’ve got the typical “Bit tired, but I’m good” or “Have a headache, but it’s all right” answers. Notice, however, that they inevitably end in platitudes, making sure that the issue can be put to rest simply with an offering such as “I’m sorry to hear that”. This is because in asking the question of how someone is feeling, we are now contractually obliged to listen to the response, even though in most cases, the query is not made in any serious sense. Thus, the person answering doesn’t want to actually burden anything onto the listener, since they are intimately aware they’re not really being asked how they are, but are rather enacting a social ritual that demands an expected and straightforward response.

Mostly, people don’t want to break conventions. Doing so can result in social awkwardness and unexpected conversation paths that are unlooked-for, especially between relative strangers (although perhaps this is even worse when you’re actively close with someone, because what if they decide this is the last straw and abandon you to self-misery?). By saying you’re not fine, you’re breaking a pattern that has been working (insofar as society believes) and causing an abrupt halt to the train of conversation. You risk self-exposure and vulnerability, as well as the necessity of having to bumble your way through to a conclusion. If you aren’t feeling fine, what can somebody actually do? Can they say anything that will solve things, or at least improve matters in any way? Mostly, the answer to this is no. Certainly not if you happen to bump into someone walking across the campus while you’re having a generally miserable day. So there is no point in answering anything but fine.

The actual question can act as a trick staircase as well. Notwithstanding the social pressure of giving the correct reply, the question may beget self-reflection and introspection that yields to doubts about one’s mental well-being. After all, are you genuinely fine for once, or are you just saying that? Being blindsided is never fun, and it can make interactions awkward if you have to pause and assess yourself after being asked such a seemingly cursory question. It may also lead to conclusions perhaps best made elsewhere.

Finally, the stigmas surrounding mental illness and failure can affect your response. You may not feel comfortable enough with a person, and thus shy away from the truth. You may feel as though you have no right to complain, because so many others have it so much worse. You may lie in order to protect loved ones, or because you think that the situation isn’t appropriate sharing material, or you don’t want them to feel helpless. Despite all the content out there, encouraging people that it’s okay to say you’re not all right, it is a pretty huge step to actually admitting it.

Personally, I think that there’s a difference between saying that you’re not feeling well, in any scenario, and responding to the question of “how are you”. The latter encourages a certain response, and may incite frustration if used in a more authentic situation wherein the questioner really, actually, properly wants to know how you are, because you may feel societal constraints and internal pressures barring you from giving a truthful answer. If looked at in a certain light, the question takes away your right of self-determination, since you have to provide an answer, whether you want to or not. It can therefore lead to avoidance of the issue or anger at the asker, because the ‘right’ question hasn’t been asked. Conversely, if given an open floor to talk about how you’re feeling as you wish and bring up the topic in they way you feel comfortable, I believe that you’re much more likely to have a fulfilling conversation that actually addresses the issue and potential solutions.

Especially if you don’t have to unnecessarily scrutinise your wellbeing every time someone says hi.

 

I’d absolutely love to hear your opinions about the way we interact, or if you take issue with any of my completely non-empirical-evidence backed thoughts here!

-Let’s Call Me Lily

May The Fourth Be With You

Abandoned readership, if you exist, I am sorry. I am still not having thoughts beyond ugh maths, and uni isn’t that great, and why am I not happy?

Creativity is something that I want to happen, but it isn’t really, as you can see by the utter scarcity of anything going on here for the past 6 months, at least. I apologise. I have drafts of posts that I wanted to do (ahaha, CA:TWS, let alone Sherlock) but honestly, I haven’t written in months.

If I do, you will see it. But please, don’t hold your breath unless breathing isn’t a requirement.

 

I hope the force is with you!

-Let’s call me Lily

It’s That Time Of Year Again

Birthdays suck when you are alone. That is the conclusion that I have come to today. (Facebook messages really don’t make much of an impression, especially when they’re as insubstantial as a Happy B Day. Although they’re better than nothing, I guess, and one friend did have a chat with me on skype which was lovely).

So I tried something new. I went out and bought some cough drops for myself, and, ignoring the mounting headache, walked around for a bit handing out cupcakes. I met a busker who would have loved a red velvet cupcake but couldn’t because he needed a high-protein diet, and he’d already eaten three ice-creams today (I was very impressed). I gave a cupcake to a dude spraypainting planets on tshirts and doing spray-painting canvases of the universe. His fingers were so rough and stained at their tips that I almost thought the paint was permanent, but it probably washes off after he scrubs real hard.

I met two travelers, going round New Zealand separately but busking together for the meantime – the younger one, the American one, told me it was his birthday today as well, which was an amazing bit of happenstance! I gave a cupcake to one of the ‘save the children’ people on the street trying to promote involvement in whatever humanitarian action it was, and to a man playing the most beautiful music on a sort of big metal upside-down bowl-looking thing.

I also bought some sandwiches, a muffin and a coffee for a homeless man I happened to pass by – which was kind of really awkward, because while I was in the shop buying the stuff for him (I asked him for preferences, but he just said a sandwich, so I was having a bit of trouble choosing), I heard him start yelling profanities at passersby. Which isn’t a such a considerate thing to do, no matter if you’re homeless or not. And then I walked out of the shop and gave him what I’d bought, and he said “God bless you”, which I’m sure he meant as a good thing, but really, I don’t want God to bless me, I’m not doing it for God; I don’t even know what God he was referring to. And I just said thanks and walked away.

I hope y’all had a great start to April, and that the month brings you happy tidings and even happier moments of laughter. -Let’s call me Lily

Running AMOK (okay, stumbling)

So… as part of AMOK, I thought that in the evening, I’d go out and buy some dinner for the homeless people around my area (ie very close to me, because I’d also be trying to break in my new shoes, which I got blisters from, ouch). I even had a plan!! I wandered around and counted how many were around, then thought for a bit and decided that if I were homeless I’d rather have something savoury, not a muffin, and considering my options, I’d get them some subways. Because I wasn’t buying McDonald or BK. So then I waited while they were being made, got some change to give to the Chinese busker – not racist! He said thank you to me in Chinese, that’s how I know – and went off to find them again.
I thought I was going crazy. They weren’t there!!! Instead, it was suddenly mostly empty, and there were only a couple left. This weirded me out for a bit, I kind of went back and forth trying to figure out if I was in the right place. Then I realised that it had probably been a shift change, because I’m pretty sure that people can only hang around busking or begging or sleeping etc, for an hour in a public place with no license? Correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, I approached a man, and this is the part I was really dreading.
Because how do you just go up to someone and ask them if they’d fancy a sandwich, when you don’t know if you got the right fillings, and you don’t want to make it seem like pity? Anyway, I did it, and he thanked me, and I thanked him, and then I kept going.
Then there was a weird thing – there was a dude loitering around a Westpac cashout machine. And he wasn’t doing anything, but he also wasn’t sitting with a cap or anything, so I thought I’d go check it out, see if he was lost or whatever. And I smile, and say hi, and I’m about to go into my line of questioning, when he asks me if I speak Spanish (in Spanish). So I say, no, sorry, because I don’t, and then he asks if I come from Europe. To which I replied no and said have a good evening and goodbye, and walked off, all the while thinking that I never should have watched that movie, Taken, with the kidnapping in Paris because I was probably being overly suspicious. I then came across a backpacking busker with a travel guitar and a big backpack, who hadn’t eaten because nobody had given him anything, though he’d been playing all day, so I gave him the other subway and some coins that I’d meant to save for washing day, since the machine only accepts $2 coins.
I’m thinking of maybe making it a more organised weekly thing, and maybe finding somewhere nice and healthy and cheap and just doing a round once a week to a couple of people. Since I know that all the students in my hall are spending at least $50 a week on food , not to mention the alcohol. (I personally don’t see why they keep ordering pizza and sushi and coffees etc, when there is an unlimited coffee machine [which does hot chocolate, too!] in the dining room, and we’re allowed as many seconds as we like in the last half hour of the meal period. ) I’ve spent $3.00 so far, and that was on some fruit because I was tired of apples, so I technically have a lot more money to spend on other things, and it’s all currently sitting in my bank account. Hence the deliberation of whether to make it a weekly thing.
And that is the story of my final AMOK task, as designated by me when planning this thing out 🙂
I’d love to hear your experiences of AMOK, either on the receiving or the giving end!! Or, in general, and acts of kindness that you’ve seen, done, or received 🙂
-Let’s call me Lily

Now with Photos!

I have found a way! Rather convoluted, but here we go! Some of my AMOK stuff (not very big, I’m afraid, but something is better than nothing)

You are amazing

That’s the view from the walkway of my window. Nicely visible, and hopefully some people look over!

The paper cranes I folded and have put into the letterboxes.

The paper cranes I folded and have put into the letterboxes.

A selection of some of the emails I sent - telling people how much I appreciate them and that they are treasured :) I think it's important to be kind to those around you all the time as well as those you find by happenstance.

A selection of some of the emails I sent – telling people how much I appreciate them and that they are treasured 🙂 I think it’s important to be kind to those around you all the time as well as those you find by happenstance.

 

Again, have an amazing weekend, and do something nice!!! I’m off to buy some cupcakes to hand around 🙂

-Let’s call me Lily