OK, so we have a wild and crazy idea. Our first one! We love our fans, and they love us (at least that’s what they tell us to our faces).
So for our upcoming Mississippi River Adventure, we’re going to do something a little bit different and a little bit wild in honor of you, dearest reader. As you know, 11 Visions is floating down the entire length of the Mississippi River where we’ll be video blogging and making arses of ourselves as usual.
BUT THERE IS A BIG OL’ CATCH THIS TIME. For this adventure, WE WILL BE TAKING ONE OF YOU WITH US!
One lucky winner will win a 2 day/1 night cruise down the greatest river in America.
“Oh me, oh my, how ever will I be chosen?”
Easy peasy, my little lemon squeezy. All you have to do is write us!
To be chosen as our honored guest on the Mississippi River for our Free Ride Challenge, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why we should give you a free ride down the Mississippi River.
“So like… what!!!???”
Yes. We are going to tow you down the Mississippi River in a 2 day/1 night river cruise. You will get a behind-the-scenes look at how 11 Visions makes its movie magic. You will be treated to 3 full-course meals of, I don’t know, porridge probably and maybe some beans. You will be treated to on-board entertainment (Phillip will do some hula hoop tricks and I’ll tell dirty jokes, maybe I can try hula-hooping while telling dirty jokes). You will see the greatest river in America for 2 ful days!!! If you haven’t already, WATCH THE VIDEO!
To enter the contest, send a brief, 50 to 100 word response to this question:
Why should we put up with you… er… Why should you be chosen to ride down the Mississippi River with us?
Phillip and I have been receiving hundreds, well, tens of letters from our fans congratulating us on the release of The Hitchhiking Movie. We thank you for your words and your dollars. We will continue to make this the best adventure blog there is. Some letters have been polite, some have been enthusiastic and some have have had (MY FAVORITE!) FOUL LANGUAGE!
As some of you know, I, Ryan Jeanes, love foul language. I lather myself up with it, I take it to bed with me at night and hug it till I fall asleep, I make foul-language jellies and jams out of it, preserving it in mason jars for the summer months.
Let us tell a tale: a tale of three emails from our fans. They will illustrate perfectly why foul language, properly placed, can be the most sincere form of communication.
Brent Weaver to me
show details 12:44 PM (13 hours ago) Reply
I just wanted to send you an email congratulating you on the release of your movie. I’m sure that must have taken a lot of work and it is good to see it released. When I get a chance in the next week or so I will watch it online and let you know what I think.
Amanda Eaton to me
show details Apr 16 (2 days ago) Reply
Hey you crazy mo fo! The trailer looks cool, will definitely check it out! I was wondering if you lived in Chicago anymore, I haven’t seen you forever, I guess you are just busy swimming to prisons and jumping out planes.
Great work my friend,
keep it up!
Okay, let’s break it down. The first email is extremely nice. I wasn’t expecting it to be so nice. It is articulate and well-formed, and it turns out that my little brother’s best friend from high school is not so little anymore. Bravo, Brent. If you ever need a website redesigned, Brent Weaver is your man.
The second email is brimming with enthusiasm. It is also nice. Mo fo is a foray into Bad Language Land but no coarseness orcs are slain. I love Amanda and think she’s great. If you ever need a dramatic actress in the Chicago area, Amanda Eaton is your woman.
The third email made me laugh out loud. I was touched. I laughed again. I’m reading it now and laughing. I think it’s sincere. It has a boy-like quality. It is endearing… and absolutely foul-mouthed. I love it.
It’s a one-liner. He doesn’t say “see you soon” or “blah blah blah, tell me more, we’ll keep in touch;” he sincerely expresses himelf the only way any self-respecting curse-oholic would: That… is so fucking awesome. LOL. Oh wait, don’t forget the !!!!!!!!!!, and he actually hit Cntrl + I to make it italicized. Oh, and he capitalized the last 3 words, not the first. It’s almost like there’s a build up: That’s (wait, 2, 3, 4) so fucking awesome!
Matt Griffo is a commedian and an improvizational actor. You can reach him here if you ever need a crowd entertained.
Which email is better?
None one of them. Each form of communication has its place, and each is sincere. Insincere communications get thrown by the wayside. Which is why I’ve pledged to express myself as sincerely as possible on this blog even if I have to throw a Fuck-bomb. Uhhhhh, waitaminute. Are you supposed to say F-bomb so you don’t say fuck? Shit, okay, ummmm, I love Fu… F-bombs. They pierce through the social cheesecloth. Cursing, used genuinely, can slice right to the meat of how you really feel. “Ryan, I am so proud of you” or “Ryan, this movie is fucking awesome!” Sincerity, enthusiasm, and disregard for social norms (also known as sincerity) all wrapped up into a nice F-burrito. Munch, munch. Mmmmmm, F-burritos.
We thank all of you
11 Visions would like to thank you all for purchasing the movie and forwarding it on to your friends. Thank you for your congratulations and we encourage you to use our comments section to say anything on your mind. We love comments! And as long as the words are sincere, cursing is cool with us.
Ryan Jeanes is a compulsive curser and is trying to honor his mom’s pleas to curse less. His efforts are yielding mixed results.
Nashville, TN — April 14, 2009 — Adventure documentary The Hitchhiking Movie was released today on DVD. The movie follows the journey of actor Ryan Jeanes and director Phillip Hullquist in their attempt to cross the entire continental United States in less than a week, using nothing more than their thumbs.
“Before we left for the trip, people told us we’d be stabbed or murdered,” Jeanes says. “Very heartening.” The 101-minute feature film chronicles the filmmaking duo’s experiences as 23 complete strangers stop to pick them up and take them from New York City towards Los Angeles. (You will have to watch the film to see if they actually make it.) “I had already bought two return tickets from L.A.” Jeanes continues. “We had to make it or we’d miss the flight back.”
The pair created the website11visions.com which not only sells their DVD but also highlights their current adventures which include a float down the entire length of the Mississippi River and a swim across the English Channel. Adventure travel seems to be their mainstay, but as Jeanes explains, “I think many people have desires to leave their current existence and go do something crazy. Where most people stop at that impulse, we actually go do it, and we get it on film.”
The Hitchhiking Movie is funny, insightful and full of unexpected surprises. Hullquist explains, “I was a one-man crew with no script, so it was challenging to set up the shots we needed to make the film. We wanted to capture the realism of being like any other hitchhiker on the road, so our camera gear was kept to a minimum.”
What about the danger? “That’s what we wanted to dispel,” Hullquist says. “This is a realistic portrayal of hitchhiking unlike what you see in your average horror movie.” “There’s no blood and guts,” Jeanes adds. “It’s nothing like that. The only real fear was whether we could make it before the deadline.”
Entertaining scenarios abound in this documentary: A hysterical yet attractive young woman offers to drive them from New Jersey to Los Angeles, a Seminole Indian entreats them to smoke his prayer pipe, a rowdy, one-eyed construction worker instructs on the basics of train hopping, and the pair finds themselves desperate in Denver with over 1000 miles to travel and less than 48 hours to do it. If real life adventure is your thing, this film is for you.
“A lot of people probably aren’t going to finish watching the movie and then go stick their thumbs out on the side of the road,” Jeanes points out. “The beauty is that The Hitchhiking Movie is for both the armchair and active adventurer. You can share in the fun without even leaving your house.”
To purchase The Hitchhiking Movie, go to www.hitchhikingmovie.com, or visit the parent website 11visions.com. The film is available in streaming video and DVD which includes bonus scenes, an audio commentary from the crew as well as a special “drunk commentary.”
The Isla de los Alcatraces has been conquered. Al Capone is dead (tax evasion, was it?), also Tataglia, Barzini, the heads of all the five families. That Clint Eastwood movie is true – you can build a rubber raft out of raincoats, and there are no sharks in the Bay (though for 3 minutes during the swim I was major, MAJOR! flipping out – What if there are! I mean what if they’re lying to me; I’m separated from the pack; a Great White could easily pick me off here and I’m only 300 meters from shore, shit! shiiiiiiiiiiit… ok calm down, buddy…
What I’m trying to say here is… I MADE IT!
In a shade under an hour.
Not bad for my first “real” open water swim.
The swim went extraordinarily well, and I want to thank my family, the SERC, the Dolphin Club, Suzie Dods, my mom, my dads, my brothers, Barzini (okay we did that joke), and especially…
Barry, Barrryyyy! from the SERC, for helping me with my prep swims in the Aquatic Park. Couldn’t have done it without you, mate.
And of course, Cy. Also from the SERC, Cy is the only Chinese American I’ve ever met who eats grits. Thank you, Cy, for letting me stay in your home and for being pretty much the most awesomest, coolest person ever invented. You are a true light in the world. By the way, my dear readers, if you ever need your home remodeled, Cy Lo is your man.
We did it.
Yes, I was out there alone, but the supporters along the way were instrumental.
Now I just need to swim in a straight line.
Future posts will break this all down, but for now, just know…
I SWAM FROM ALCATRAZ TO THE MAINLAND! THE SWIM IS DONE.
You can put your well-wishes and congratulations in the comment section below.
It’s here, y’all. Y’all read for dis, duh duh duh da duh duh, yeah! da da da duh duh duh, yeah! da duh duh duh duh, yeah! yeah! You know what song I’m talkin’ ’bout!
Answers to your questions:
Yes, I’m freaking out. It’s here!
No, I am not pissing in my pants. I’m gonna do that in the water. BTW, I finally found out, in one of my Channel Swimmer interviews, what you do when you’re in the water and have to take a dump. That’s go # 2 for all you sissies out there. You pull down your Speedo and let ’em rip. Dookieeeee!!!Cadyshack reference #1.
Here’s what I’d like you guys to do for me while I’m swimming. Pray for me! Hold positive thoughts. Surround this swim, which will take place Sunday morning at 8:45 Pacific, with positive, positive energy.
I already got one girl on board for this. She’s a former English Channel relay swimmer. Check out Karen Drucker’s website for some positive inspiration.
So, recap: I’ll be in the water around the island of Alcatraz at 8:45 am on Sunday. Your job is to surround me with positive energy.
But, Ryan, how do I do that? Any way you want! Some people imagine a band of positive white light surrounding someone, me, in this case. Some people think things like: Ryan swims efficiently, elegantly and with great ease and enjoyment. He finishes the “race” in under 45 minutes. Some people open up a bag of popcorn and munch the cosmic forces of the Universe into motion. Some people will be asleep, so say your prayers for me before you hit the sack.
In the Meantime and for Your Enjoyment…
I’d like you to take a look at a snippet from a future post. This is partial account of my experience with the South End Rowing Club, the oldest rowing/swimming club in San Francisco. A lot of this is entertaining and it’ll give you an idea of the kind of people I’ve been hanging out with since I got here. Enjoy.
It’s old, very old. The coverings on the walls are photos of long-dead men with mustached faces spying at the camera. They were the rowers of San Francisco’s South End Rowing Club (SERC). They must have had to have sat there for four hours, Abraham-Lincoln style, as a washed-up man with a comb over and a 70s (1870s) camera shot them as they flexed their muscles gripping antique oars and trying to seem that much more sexually attractive before the flashbulb popped. I’ll never be in this shape again, Mr. Twirled Walrus Mustache says as I stare into the black and white photo, for he is now worm food. But before I am worm food, I film him and the current members of San Francisco’s oldest swimming and rowing club. (Video to be posted when I get back from San Fran.)
Not to channel Dead Poets Society, but as I looked at these old black and whites, I did hear a faint “gaaaaather ye rosebuds while ye maaayyyyy” permeating from their lips. Spooky. Will my photo be on the wall one day for a 2100er? I moved on.
Today, the South End Rowing Club has more swimmers than rowers. They have a handball court, two of them, and the atmosphere is decidedly male. In the seventies (1970s), they and other clubs were forced to admit women, but the air of braggadocio remains. I sniff it in and love it.
Dan McLaughlin, Head of the Boat House, turns to me: “See that guy up there?” It’s a picture of a bald-headed insaneasoid. He looks like George “the Animal” Steele on crack. “They called him the Masked Marauder.” He is menacing. He looks like he could rip my head off. “He could rip your head off,” Dan says.
Former wrestlers, handball players with their shirts off posing for a 1950s camera, 80s mustached (maybe mustaches are an 80s thing in any century),
men in Speedos now with arms around welcomed women, more photos, and more history surround the boathouse. I walk it as 2000s men and women hack and saw away at an old rowboat they called “The Barge.”
The Barge, also known as The South Ender, is fat. Perfect craftsmanship wraps it in bolts and long shiny wood. “We’re gonna get in this thing and kick the Dolphin Club’s ass” Dan says as he and five others work to make it seaworthy for their upcoming race against their rival rowing club – The Dolphin Club. The two rowing and swimming clubs sit side by side not far from San Fran’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The Dolphin Club, bathed in Democrat blue paint, and the SERC in Republican red (don’t worry, everyone’s still a Democrat) don’t hate eachother; they just kinda… well, okay, they kinda hate eahother. “It’s all for bragging rights,” Dan continues. “There all so uptight over there,” another member chimes in. “I’d like to go talk to them,” I say. Dan’s face looks sour. “We eat dinner promptly at 8,” which I took to mean I can’t believe you’re going to talk to those assholes.
It is dinnertime. Sarah, a young woman with a limp I am too afraid to ask about, prepares the meal. “I want to swim the English Channel but I don’t think I have it in me,” she says. “Yes you do,” I say. A plaque on the wall lists all the members of the SERC who have swum the channel with their times. Like I said, bragging rights. “If you want to, you can.” I tell her. “Meatloaf! Who wants some!” she yells, and five men and one woman leave their work lights and buzz saws on top of the Barge and head into the mess hall.
“I’ve got vegetarian and turkey,” Sarah shouts. The meatloaf is good, the vegetableloaf is good too. I am filled with warmness. It felt good to eat after my first real swim in the bay in preparation for my Alcatraz Swim on Sunday. (Please feel free to comment on this post to cheer me on. I’d enjoy tremendously your support.)
The SERC and the Dolphin Club are right on the ocean overlooking San Francisco’s Aquatic Park a giant concrete circle with a small opening that’s supposed to break the bay’s more dangerous waves, but when I went out to swim it four hours earlier, some of those babies were capping.
“You don’t normally see it this choppy, Barry, a displaced Irishman tells me. “Well come on, I’ll take you out.” We swim .5 miles from bouy to bouy in the circular sea filled park. He kicks my ass. He might have 25 years over me but he’s also 25 yards over me in each 100 yard stretch. “You’re doing good,” he tells me. I hope he’s not lying. “You don’t even have a wetsuit on and I do,” I tell him.” “Pfft,” he scoffs, “don’t worry about that. You’ll do fine on your Sunday swim. Just fine.”
We come into shore and I almost run into the dock. “Oooooh, I was doing good there, tearin’ it up, and then I almost run into the dock. I have to remember to sight for Alcatraz.” Michael Phelps, though he be the fastest swimmer in the world, need not worry about where he’s going in the water. A thick black line fills the bottom of his goggle vision. In the open water, the black line… well, what black line…..
More to come when I get back from San Francisco. Take care and good luck.