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Monthly Archives: September 2008
yes, my life is amazing, it could even be compared to that of an international glamour model – one who likes to hide her hot body from everyone in case her friends got jealous and stabbbed her with their cuticle sticks. last friday the Jupiter drinks were themed Never Gonna Give Quirky Mexi Up (actually was something like Cinco Amigas) and we had a Pinata named Jason (after the highly respected Jason Yankelowitz):
great for releasing Friday frustrations built up by being in a recording studio for the whole of thursday. I generally love recording but this must be the longest project i’ve worked on – a good 5 minutes long, whereas i’m more used to 30 second radio ads. anyhow i hooked up with Herman from Milestone who is an absolute dream to work with, so it wasn’t too bad. plus the new Milestone studios are looking so super cool.
then renee had a drinks thing at her iPod flat ( it really does look like an iPod, it’s so white it’s impossible to get a photo that isn’t blurred – what follows is one of the few). We drank JWBL and climbed into the SingStar, until the boys monopolised it and the girls had to sit around chatting in the kitchen.
spent the rest of the weekend relaxing, taking it eeeeeeeaaaaaaassssssaaaaaayyy. did a fair bit of running and we even attempted a spring clean. Rei moved his whole room around, I unpacked 2 boxes, which isn’t really springcleaning. but i tried. saturday was the most amazing sunny weather so i attempted to sit by the pool and even dived in but got a severe ice-cream-headache. here is a pic of Rei being King of the Kitchen <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Sunday marked my ONE MONTH SMOKE FREE anniversary ********bigachievement*********. That means i don’t smell like ash the whole time and I won’t end up looking like the Chupacabra —> NY Times described ‘pox on humanity’ (such a great article, worth reading).
yes, yes, YES. shall i compare these to an interior design orgasm? introducing tetris tiles. need.i.say.more.
when i look at these, something warm comes over me. it spreads through my body and makes me think about settling down and building a home of my own. moving swiftly along.
Occasionally my readers write in with some seriously existential questions that make me look long and hard at myself in the mirror that is my blog. Such an exchange occurred today when I received an email from Jabu, who wanted to know what the trendwatching company I used to work for measured its scouts against in order for them to be “cool enough”. The following exchange ensued, and I feel its educational worth transcends my inbox:
On 9/16/08 11:46 AM, “Jabulani” wrote:
Hey, how’s it going Alexandra? I trust life is going alright that side of the world and stuff. Just a quick question I wanted to ask you… What was the mechanism and criteria you used when recruiting trendscouts? I mean, how did you decide who was cooler then whom?
From: Alex [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 16 September 2008 12:08 PM
Subject: Re: Heita hola
Because it’s market research, it’s a question of covering all demographic / genre bases. Often we’d meet amazing people but we’d already know similar people, and it would be a question of – we have so MANY young interesting black peeps who dig Manga from Langa, we need more Black peeps who drink whisky from Soweto – or – we have tons of Tiger Tiger chicks and we need more Melrose Arch preppies. That’s all. Eventually everyone gets their turn, you know? Just a question of timing and keeping a fairly balanced spread of different types of young people from around the country.
When it comes to the individual, ‘cool’ was largely determined by who our clients are at the time, and whether that person would feed in relevant info on a regular proactive schedule.
Lastly, apart from the word ‘liberal’, ‘cool’ is the most misunderstood and misused descriptor out there – ESPECIALLY by trendwatching companies and their clients.
What they mean is something more like ‘early adopters’.
There is no such thing as ‘cool’, nor criteria for such.
‘Cool’ kids look the same in every part of the world.
It’s just another life phase, to be remembered by most as ‘That time I convinced myself that skinny jeans are actually “cool”. Shame.’
Hope it answers your question,
On 9/16/08 12:47 PM, “Jabulani” wrote:
Thanks, that helps quite a bit.
So… how is the word “liberal” misunderstood and misused? What is a liberal exactly? Would you consider yourself a liberal? Am I a liberal – or am I counter-revolutionary?
From: Alex [email@example.com]
Sent: 16 September 2008 12:08 PM
Subject: Re: Heita hola
Ways people misinterpret and misuse the word ‘liberal’:
1. Describe yourself as having a ‘liberal nature’ when the truth is that you just have a drinking problem
2. Put your ‘liberal nature’ down to your parents being ‘liberals’, who were really only people with drinking problems
3. Describe yourself as a ‘liberal’ to excuse your sexually promiscuous behaviour with most of your friends (and pretty much anyone, since you have a drinking problem)
4. Describing your political point of view as being ‘liberal’ because you believe in equality (reality check: being liberal means believing in communism, in not having to work for what you get, in endless government handouts and in being okay with other people taking your stuff).
If I were to pick a side I’d probably say that I am conservative, that I am educated and believe in educated leaders, that I value intellect over popularity, that I will support someone DOING good as opposed to someone who’s DONE good, that I will fucking kill you if you touch my Merc, that if you want a Merc, you should work as hard as me to get it and not expect it to fall into your lap. Okay, I drive a Yaris, but it will be a Merc one day, since I believe in work. Do you think it’s some sort of a coincidence that Merc rhymes with work?
You, however, strike me as being a bit of a fence-sitter, which is probably a smart place for a young emerging market Dark Carbon Allotrope (c) (BlAcK DiAmOnD) like yourself.
Aligning your personal brand with the ANC at this point isn’t very sexy, since they keep kicking each other in the bum like battery chickens.
You could be described as a “Revolutionary Counter”, because it’s a smart twist on your question without being too blatant a dodge of the issue.
I hope this answers your question, young D.C.A.
P.S. I’m blogging this, FYI
P.P.S. Props for the K.D. reference, though I know you think I missed it. Peace.
This is all very deep for a Tuesday.
even though the weather was nothing like Paradise Island Saturday, we got up at 9 and munched down some oats with apple and syrup and almonds, and got ourselves off to the Gardens Lawn Tennis Club. we go there because they have a general attitude best embodied by this sign:
of course, Rei and I are not actually members. this is not on purpose – every time we arrive someone official-looking just buzzes us in and never asks us for money. who are we to make conversation with someone we don’t know, let alone make conversation about tennis club payments?
after a few games and some rallies and a lot of chilly cloudy air blowing on our sweaty hocks, we thought we’d better go home and get changed so we could go shopping. this was to be a big shop since our cupboards have been bare for quite some time. this is due to the fact that there’s a recession so the money we’d normally spend on food has been cut out of our budget, which now looks something like this:
Wallpaper Magazine ********** R5 000
Monocle Magazine************R4 000
iPhone 3G x 2****************R10 000 (we have both broken the ones we got free from Apple – hey who knew touch-screen Mario could be so addictive)
Medium broadband connection****R15 000 (South African internet prices tsk tsk)
3rd World Ambient Trauma Counselling (it’s the latest thing, helps you stop worrying about crime and getting hijacked or diseased or when Horlicks will finally become affordable here)************R20 000
Parking Retainer outside The Waiting Room on Long Street (a new thing, so we don’t have to drive around the Long Street block over and over on a Saturday night) *******R2 000
Flickr Pro Accounts*********$50 (don’t know how much that is in Rands)
So that pretty much uses up our disposable income, which is why this shop had to be good and last us at least a week or so until we can sell some art on Etsy or sell our friends taste in fashion and music out to some market research company in order to earn some extra monies.
Shopping took a lot out of us, so we napped a large part of the afternoon away. Then Rei got down to making dinner while I took photos of him, and then me and him.
are you ready? now that American Apparel’s gone Authentic African (they should change their name) on America, you can bet there’s going to be a backlash. when i look at this i wonder what kind of person will buy and wear these clothes. maybe The Cobra Snake since he has been on a mission to print T-shirts for kids in Africa so they can be cool, too. maybe Paris Hilton would buy the boob tube for her trip down here when her Madden brother played in Africa, except that has already happened. Maybe all the rich Nigerian kids will buy their own patterns in another country when they do their yearly shop overseas and bring back stuff for their friends to buy (see how i slipped in that free nugget of market research info in there? i do that a lot, if you’re observant you should see loads of free ‘research’, like free love, on my site).
i was just thinking it would be really cool to bring out a Jacob Zuma range which is the same as what you see here except they throw in a really short skirt that shows your knees (American Apparel fans will be pleased to know that in AfriCa, if you show your knees, it means you’re a dirty slut who’ll have sex in exchange for money – which is a LOT easier than the American equivalent where you actually have to flash your hoo-hoo when you’re getting out of your limo).
i was also thinking they should make a print of the AIDS virus because that is very much in fashion in AfriCa (seriously, almost every 3rd person has it. How far will you really go to be cool, American Apparel fans? only those who have REAL COOL AMBITION will make it to this level. you have to really WANT it.).
Anyway, it’s actually awesome to have some of our indigenous stuff getting respect in mainstream retail outlets world wide. big up to AA.
“Felix Laband is a smack-head who gets little innocent girls addicted to smack then fucks off onto the next innocent little girl.”
everyone’s a buzzing about this right now – Vogue’s shoot in India where they used really poor (and by poor I mean impoverished) normal people to model ridiculously overpriced pieces of couture. i guess they’ve been doing this for years by using real life crackheads like Kate Moss to convey a sense of irony via heroine chic – let’s face it, when you look like that you generally spend all your money on drugs, not clothes. um, what money, for starters.
i’m not sure how i would feel if they did that here. in one way, i think it would be great for some of the street kids to be exposed to some of the finer things in life (following that theory of giving your kids a taste of the good life so they covet and aspire to it and work harder at school to get it and do hugs not drugs etc etc) but on the other hand i think it might make some really pretty clothes very smelly and covered in sticky glue residue. ew.
Kathi, Paige and I did the Virgin Active Indoor Triathlon last weekend. This is the first triathlon I have ever done, which is why I am impressed by my 25 min 41 second timing for 2km running, 5km cycling and 125m swimming. The event was really well put together and loads of fun – I’ll definitely be doing the next one.
Last Friday’s drinks at the agency was themed ‘Cool as Ice’ and featured Vanilla Ice being blared over the loudspeaker, as well as the carving of a giant penis. The penis was carved live in front of everyone in about 30 minutes, and a clear hole runs through the middle of it so you can pour tequila down the top and put your mouth at the bottom. It kind of made everyone look like hamsters licking at their water bottle. I stress ‘kind of’.
childhood friend of mine, Sam King, stopped over to spend the weekend with me before she headed back to Korea where she is teaching English. she brought me this Polaroid One600 and 2 packs of film to get me going – which made me so excited I basically couldn’t blog for a week. she also got me some other cool things, namely:
then we bade a sad farewell to longtime designer here and dear friend of mine, Carla Kreuser, who heads off to Coley Porter Bell (the S. African branch, still very new). we went to Col’Caccio and ate pizza and drank tequila in the sunshine.