Freezin’ for an awesome reason

by Tessa

So this past Saturday was the Polar Bear Plunge fundraising event for the Special Olympics of Ohio.

Pics and some video here.

The event raised a little shy of $60,000 actually, three times as much as last year according to someone I was in line with for dive registration.  It was so much fun, I’d really love to do it again next year. Like I’ve been saying, the chance to do a Polar Bear Club-esque dive during the winter has been a dream of mine.

The event, which started off a few months ago, was meant to culminate with a public dive by teams and individuals at a pool near the polar bear exhibit at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.  I was initially disappointed that we weren’t going to dive INTO the bear tank itself (albeit without the bears around), but I got over that pretty quickly.  The zoo itself is pretty awesome, albeit a bit out of the way from the city.  Our GPS sort of got us lost going there, we were technically directed to the service entrance of the zoo.  The security guard at the gate was kind of amused at us, which was a little embarrassing.

Tess’s brother Anthony and some of her aunts and grandma came to Columbus, to be part of my little cheering posse.  It was a semi-blustery day, alternating between being almost spring-like and actually quite cold. We got to the zoo around 12:30 for check-in, and there were so many people we still hadn’t started by the 1 pm scheduled by the organizers.  Seriously, there were a lot of people there, not to mention a flurry of last-minute donations by people.

My turn finally came, and I was up on the stage overlooking the pool by myself with the MC (only individuals or groups of 4 or less went at a time to avoid injury).  In hindsight, I really should have put more thought into just how cold it was going to be, and just how shallow the body of water would be.

It’s kind of hard to describe just how shocking it was. You think that “Hey, it’ll be warm after all those people diving in before me!” or “You know, if the air is colder than the water, it’ll feel like a hot tub!” or even “I’ve had the hot water cut out for a second while in the shower once, it’ll sort of the same thing!”  No.  No no no no no.  It is ice cold, freezing as shit, and an utter kick to the face, like I got smashed with a giant cold pack.

That being said…an amazing experience.

Anyway, like I said, it was seriously a lot of fun.  I can’t wait to try and do it again next year, hopefully I’ll be able to put a team together.


busy days, guest speakers, coffee, and pork chops

Yesterday ended up being quite the whirlwind of a day, with errands,  the dog driving me bonkers, the pest control guy coming by (there’s a mouse somewhere in the kitchen), AND a last-minute save by the water/plumbing dude having to replace our water heater. Our landlord really came through with getting the exterminator here as soon as he could (we let him know on Sunday morning about the mouse) as well as the hot water guy (literally hours after we told him the guy got here), it’s a welcome change from the insanity of trying to get ANYTHING fixed in our old apartment in New York.

The pleasant highlight of the day however came when Tess came with me to one of my classes as a guest speaker, talking about her writing and media studies work. It was really awesome, we had a lot of fun, and my students really enjoyed it. I wanted them to have a chance to hear from someone else who writes regularly and applies being web-savvy and media-savvy to their writing. She talked about her grad studies at The New School, long-distance web-learning, film writing, web journalism, and more.  I always like trying to get interesting and somewhat off-topic stuff going on in my classes, it definitely gets students more relaxed and willing to listen and engage.

As I sit here sipping black coffee, slowly going cold, on a day off (a day off from work, not from errands and writing/drawing), I’m reminded that my Polar Bear Plunge for the Special Olympics in Ohio is this weekend! I’m stoked to have gotten to raise money for this cause, not to mention fulfill a personal to-do of getting to participate in a Polar Bear Club dive.  I don’t know why, I’ve just always wanted to dive into a body of water to swim in the middle of winter, though the surprisingly and unseasonably-warm central Ohio weather means it’ll actually be above freezing. Boo-hoo. Thanks to everyone who donated and spread the word, pictures and hopefully video will be coming next week after the dive.

Anyway, stay tuned for photographic proof of that, as well as more CD and comic reviews, essays, and me complaining about hanging art and having to package up art to mail through the devilishly devious USPS.

Stay posi!

some Indieposit & more

If you’re interested, a variety of my work is getting spotlighted over at Indieposit, a blogging collective, along with a bunch of other really awesome blogs talking about comics, pop culture, Internet weirdness, and stuff like that. There are several other great sites that get highlighted there as well, so it’s not just me.

Head over there, click stuff, read things, whatever it is you hip young kids do on the Internet.

I’m trying to churn out more and more work these days as well as keep up being an epic pet owner, the best fiance I can be, and an OK teacher who the students like because I use swear words in class sometimes. The cold doesn’t exactly help much either.

And hey, I know I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but don’t forget that you can still donate to my cause, raising money for the Special Olympics in Ohio! I’ll be celebrating the fundraising in February with a Polar Bear dive at the Columbus Zoo as well, fulfilling a lifelong dream of doing something Polar Bear Club-related.

Stay tuned!

Polar Bear Plunge/Ohio Special Olympics fundraising!

I’ve always wanted to be part of a Polar Bear Club plunge, a quick swim by a club of weirdos in the middle of wintertime to raise money for a good cause. I don’t know why, it’s just been a weird dream of mine, something that’s always seemed so cool.

And now, I’m raising money for the Special Olympics here in Ohio with Polar Plunge 2011!

Click on the image below to get to my donation page.

You can donate as little as a dollar if you want, I’m hoping to raise at least $75 by myself.  It’s a worthwhile cause, and you might even get some pictures of me in my bathing suit jumping into ice-cold water and screaming like a baby in the name of charity!

Even if you can’t donate anything, if you can spread the word, that’d be awesome.  I promise to keep everyone updated, so stay tuned.