Friday, October 17, 2008

Absolute Carnage at the American Swedish Historical Museum

4:42pm: Gretchen and I arrive exactly 42 minutes late to the competition, which is already in full, aggressive swing. Ameri-swedes usher us into the museum with helpful smiles, but we are already receiving mucho venomous glares and vibes from the other competing bands. Crackers, cheese, and lingenberry (sp?) juice is served on tables.


4:55: We peruse the Lego exhibit for "inspiration" on the advice of one of the Museum staff. Nathan Sawaya's sculptures in Lego are actually cool as all get-out, but this is a serious contest and we must hurry back to the table. Pictured below is one of his pieces.


5:01: There's nothing like looking at a crate full of Lego to drive a stake through your heart when you know you have less than three hours to make something out of it that's impressive enough to defeat the likes of The Sw!ms, The Brakes, and the Spinto Band, all of whom outnumber us and have a time-lead of a good half hour. We are determined to vanquish, however, and so we begin.


5:30: Things're looking grim. Some cheating heel has removed all of the army-fatigue-green pieces from our supply, nixing my idea for a bust of Fidel Castro. I have overconfidently left my "Hornik's Ultimate Lego Guide" at home, and we need ideas FAST. Gianmarco and Will are still AWOL.


5:39: Gretchen has hit upon the inspired idea of a dramatic 3-D depiction of The Voyage of the Vessel Vetrovka, based on Royko Fleming's famous epic poem. It's incredibly ambitious, but we didn't come here to play with toys. We came to win.


5:57: I run over on a recon mission to see what the Brakes and the Spintos have cooking. They are looking impressive, so I "accidentally" cut the power on their side of the building. For 12 minutes, they are literally building blind.


6:13: Brian from the Sw!ms suggests the lingenberry juice. Luckily, both Gretchen and I are on a strict no-juice cleansing regimen and decline his offer. It is later revealed the pitchers were spiked with dihydromorphinone hydrochloride. Several Spintos and one small child are now passed out in a wooden boat in the Viking exhibit.


6:55: Giamarco arrives. We put him directly to work on the optical illusion portion of the sculpture. He succeeds brilliantly: it looks exactly like what we wanted it to look like.


7:20: Judgment time draws near. Jon Eaton of the Spinto Band recommends a colonial era painting on display on the second floor, but is immediately escorted out of the building. My hull has just completely crumbled before my very eyes due to a poorly-constructed lego foundation. There apparently is video of me weeping over a plate of meatballs.


7:32: The Sw!ms have created a smorgasbord (Swedish!) of weird objects including a sword stabbing a burger and an elephant in a wheelchair. And an airplane, which is hard to do with legos unless you have directions. Spinto have created a gruesome and gory scene, with some kind of Revelation-style beast laying waste to a whole village of infidels. I always knew those guys were fanatics. Meanwhile, The Brakes have created a highly elaborate and fully-operational attack ship out of some deranged sci-fi nerd's worst nightmares. We have nearly fulfilled the promise of Gretchen's vision, but it takes Will's eleventh-hour arrival to complete the piece with touches of grace and beauty. Judges are already looming, taking pictures, jotting notes, being extremely pleasant. I have sweated through my fourth shirt.


8:00: The Awards Ceremony. Moment of truth. And the truth is... Everybody wins! The Sw!ms especially win but also everybody wins. I feel relief that the conclusion wasn't too vicious but then again this was always about getting people to visit the really great exhibit at the Swedish Historical Museum, not glory.


All in all, a lovely evening. I couldn't recommend the museum more, it's really nice and located in that lovely park down by all the stadiums on Pattison Ave. So don't go there during a game, but do go there.


Oh the things we do for music!

1 comment:

Katie L. Thompson said...

Best post yet. Wish I had been there.