Sunday, October 19, 2008

wacky races in the bay area this month!

The Bay Area never disappoints me with its randomness. San Francisco, in particular, has more opportunities to dress up than any other city I have known. There's Halloween, of course, which in my neighborhood lasts at least a week. There is at least one formal opportunity a month to dress up around here, and that doesn't stop people inbetween... yesterday, I was walking to Walgreens, and this woman was covered entirely in blue face paint (head to foot), just standing there smoking a cigarette and chatting casually with her (regularly dressed) companions.


Last week, Escape from Berkeley race began on October 11th. Contestants had 3 days to reach Las Vegas in "a kind of mini Cannonball Run to Las Vegas for drivers of vehicles that run on anything but petroleum." According to the news reports, "mechanical difficulties delayed the three-day journey. Of the 10 teams that signed up, only seven made it to Berkeley able to actually race, and just five got off the starting line." One guy's car ran on wood chips. A few ran on vegetable oil. One ran on alcohol; another on steam. The youngest driver was just 16!

Next, and my favorite, was the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, held yesterday at Dolores Park. (One of my favorite places in SF.) The website has team bios and sketches of all the entries. Soon, the winners of this year's race will be posted as well.

My two favorite videos posted on YouTube so far:

Video #1 is the best so far. It includes interviews with the drivers, and great footage of the race. Also includes what I thought was the most spectacular crash of the craziest car (see 2:18).

Video #2 shows some of the 30 second skits up near the starting line. Some were weak, but others were side-splitting hilarious. (I'm still waiting to find video of the guys who danced to "Who let the dogs out?" and the Thick and Thin pizza skit...) Plus, this user captured most of the teams I missed.

Video #3 has some great still shots. My favorite, the mutant hamster one, is at 2:14! (As an interesting side note, this user has video embedding "disabled by request." I didn't even know you could do that!)

And of course, my video... I am working on a Garageband soundtrack. I'm trying to break the habit of using other people's music. :)

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