Monthly Archives: December 2008

last blog before holidays.

ah, at last. i’ve had a great 2 month re-baptism back into King James, but end of year fever has hit me hard and truth be told i cannot get out into the sunshine fast enough. just want to pick up a good book and secure a spot for myself next to a pool and not.move.for.17.days.straight.

it’s been a good year for accomplishing things. i was thinking about new year’s resolutions and all that last night, and i see my usual list is substantially shorter. i mean, who actually achieves new year’s resolutions? apparently i do. here’s what i did this year:

i got to know and love Joburg. it’s been one of my goals to live there since i started red and yellow, where i met a bunch of cool people who are all from Joburg.in fact, almost everyone whom i like immediately is from joburg. figures.

i quit smoking. yes, i really did. and that’s no mean feat. 6 months ago i was ploughing my wheezy way through just under a box of Marlboro Lights a day. today, i’ve been smoke-free since August. i won’t lie – it wasn’t easy. but i had an amazingly supportive boyfriend to hold me while i cried (there was a lot of crying, because smokers use smoking to stop themselves feeling uncomfortable emotions). he also quit smoking while i was quitting, to make it that little bit easier. so thank you, Rei. you really did help.

i started running. along with quitting smoking, this must be my proudest achievement. 6 months ago, i used to walk around saying things like ‘No running unless it’s absolutely necessary”. I called myself a ‘swimmer’ and said ‘my body is not built for running‘ and ‘it hurts my knees’. These were all just excuses. Slowly, little by little,  i went from running for 2 minutes at a time and 10 minutes in total to running 15 minutes at a time and 40 minutes in total. i bought running shoes and i tossed my iPod, because running is a form of meditation that deserves your full concentration. these days, i feel like half a person if i do not run in the morning. i get up at 5.30 and i go to bed at midnight, and i am never short of energy or optimism, purely – purely – because of running. sport of the gods, i bow down to you, and look forward to growing as a runner.

i did a triathlon. okay, so it was at the Virgin Active, and it didn’t take me longer than 24 mins, but it still feels good to be able to say, “I did a triathlon”. And i really enjoyed it, too. Thanks must go to Paige for roping me in and inspiring me to do it.

I lost 12 kgs. yes, 12 kgs. that’s 27 pounds to you, America. of course, this was a by-product of the running. but it’s given me a whole new lease on life. a lease that includes bikinis, dresses and skinny jeans. the beach is more real to me now than it ever was. i quite enjoy standing in front of the mirror, analysing my (new) tan. and it makes shopping the ultimate form of entertainment.

I left a job that made me depressed, and i found a job that brought me joy. I was then offered an even better job, so i took that, and here i am. It’s been a year of career discovery, and of facing up to my own strengths and weaknesses, and overcoming or working with the latter. There have been ups and downs, but when i look at the knowledge, experience and sense of satisfaction that i’m walking away with, I can’t complain for a second.

i went .com – yay. http://www.mybrandedlife.com brings me joy. it helps me take my job a little less seriously. it helps me take life less seriously. it gives me a tongue-in-cheek outlet with which to process life, and most importantly, i amuse myself with it.i might not have the volume perezhilton has, or his pink hair, but i have my fun. and that’s awesome.

i fell in love with someone very special. arguably one of the most important accomplishments. meeting special people is difficult. you should value the ones in your life highly.

More awesome than a turquoise tiger wearing glasses.

2008: More awesome than a turquoise tiger wearing Ray-Bans.

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What a year. I think all this achieving deserves a little celebration. A little song and dance. I’ll keep you posted.

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Happy holidays everyone.

May 2009 bring you lots of strategically aligned brand sponsorships.

May you be blessed by branded freebies at each one of your personal consumer touchpoints.

May you discover your signature scent, and combine your clothing labels in such a way that you are distinct, unique, and remarkable enough to be listed in the Sunday Times Top Brands Survey.

May you be blessed with coupons, cash-back vouchers and an array of Discovery Health partnership discounts on household appliances.

May you sing along to Vodacom’s Summer Nights like nobody’s watching.

And don’t forget to leave a Steri Stumpie out for Santa.

Peace, love and allusions to meaningful Coldplay lyrics that double up as a life-anthem,

Alex

May it be rad like a flaming skull dude who is powerful.

Here's to 2009: May it be rad like a flaming skull dude who is rad.

PS. I’m going to be offline until 5th January. Even living breathing brands need holidays too. But i will be sustaining the microblog by tweeting here. Because tweeting isn’t cheating. xxxx

beating down the pop-ups

love this article on PSFK about how much of a non-event pop-up stores are. i’ve always thought pop-up stores were a pretty lame idea to begin with. unless you’re reinventing the whole shopping experience (which very few pop-up stores are doing) why would making a smaller version of your existing store convince consumers to buy product? unless you think your consumers are thtoopid? um…

A cheap imitation of the original experience.

Pop Up Stores: A cheap imitation of the original experience.

End of year poem. Time to reflect. Remembering this time last year.

Happy holidays everyone. May all your online xmas pre-orders ship on time.

moving house. again.

2007 was a record moving year for me. i moved 17 million times. half the time i was moving across the country between my wine farm in Cape Town and the gold mine I inherited in Joburg. the rest of the time i was micro-moving within Joburg and Cape Town, on an eternal quest for A Place to Call Home. now, i am looking to move again. and since i have done this so many times, i feel qualified to write a generalised but fairly accurate guide to moving house in the 2 cities i call home.

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How to Move House in Joburg:

1. Get hold of paper, decide what you’re looking for, peruse paper, find endless affordable and beautifully renovated options, select one you like most, rent. Live happily ever after. The End.

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How to Move House in Cape Town:

1. Get into fistfight with bergies on way to find CapeAds vendor. Buy CapeAds, fork out half your salary for cup of coffee at pricey yet trendy coffee shop in Gardens while you go through paper holding thumbs.

2. Find options that are kind of right, but never exactly what you’re looking for. You pick your battles: BICs vs. security vs. fitted stove vs. view of a vacant parking lot. Decide which ‘feature’ is going to be least soul-destroying.

3. Settle for option that sounds least crap. Call estate agent, maintain smile while she treats you like a bergie and judges your shoes (these are 9 West, i’ll have you know. f-off. you’re an estate agent, not The Queen Mother. though you kind of look like Jabba the Hut.)

4. Make appointment to see flat. Lovingly run your hand over the nicotine-stained walls and stop and smell the faeces in the corner. Tell estate agent this wasn’t really what you had in mind. You were thinking maybe a view. Maybe freshly painted walls. Maybe less cockcroaches. Definitely less starving mothers breast-feeding wide-eyed babies in the hallways.

5. Courageously maintain smile while estate agent kicks you in the shins, insults your mother and calls you an ungrateful wretch. Wince (you have now learnt) while estate agent asks you what you expect, since this is Cape Town, and actually Nigerian Drug Lords are fantastic neighbours because criminals are too scared to break in.

6. Consider her point for a second before politely thanking her and speeding home so you can cry into your 300 thread count percale pillow while rocking back and forth, staring at your view of garden’s centre, wondering why it has to be this way. Why, oh why. Drink a bottle of meths because whisky won’t make you forget fast enough. Repeat entire process the next day for 6 months. Decide to move back to Joburg. The End.

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Just looking for a clean, quiet place I can love into a home. Buffalo roaming optional. Security and off-street parking a must.

Just looking for a clean, quiet place I can love into a home. Buffalo roaming optional. Security and off-street parking a must.

PS. as you may have gathered, i’m looking for a new home. Either a bachelor / one-bedroomed place, fully or semi-furnished. Must be clean and secure. Preferably close to Gardens. I am not averse to sharing a place with someone chilled who works full time. Sharing prevents hermiting, which is a good thing. If you hear about anything special, mail me: alex@mybrandedlife.com

thinking of showing my boobs. trying to make my porti unique.

it’s tough being in advertising today. once upon a time, nobody even knew it was a career. nobody believed that you could get paid to think up funny / smart / relevant / enagaging / viral / cool / prestigious / down-to-earth / honest / housewifey / working daddish / [insert name of target market and or their values here] ideas and call it a job.

things have changed. these days everyone is in advertising. everyone is zany. everyone is cool. warhol said everyone would be famous, but he didn’t say everyone was going to be awesome.

Everyone is zany and creative and pushing deadlines and consumer promises.

Everyone is zany and creative and pushing deadlines and consumer promises. It's called Being The Brand. You are the brand. You are the trend. You are the future. You are now. Be with me. Here. With my brand. Now. Together we will collaborate and appeal to more people than we would appeal to if we were apart.

these days  even the beggar who sits outside my gate at home has his own corporate colours for the chalk board he holds up. i know this because i offered him some spare chalk the other day and he only took the blue and the orange chalk because ‘these are my colours’.

struggling to come to terms with what the world is coming to.

been feeling something like this:

new year! / new porti!

so been looking over other peoples’ portfolios to get some inspiration as to how i can differentiate myself from the masses of creatives out there and their personal creative copywriter / art director brands. and then further differentiate myself as a professional who can create brands that i’m not personally involved with.

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“Talent is no longer about original ideas. Talent is about being able to come up with original ideas that are not based on or created for / by you or your experiences, but look like they were created by the person they were created for.” – Alex van Tonder, in an interview with Bill Bernbacklett

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i’m not sure how not to get personally involved with the brands i work on. just like i’m not sure how to not hook up with all the men at my office. wish i’d saved one of them for a rainy day. maybe i can create controversy within the agency by pulling a Lindsay Lohan and kissing a client service chick and then refusing to answer any questions. although when i kissed Jenny that one night at Diaz Tavern no one even asked any questions.

you see what i mean when i say that it’s hard to differentiate yourself these days?

Another agency party at some obscure pub in Gardens Industria. Ive got sooooo many of these pics its almost not even worth uploading it. Ever feel like all truly great ideas have already been done? Paris Hilton did blowjobs and penetration. Lindsay and Britney did their crotch-flashings. Sharon Stone did that leg-cross thing in Basic Instinct. The world is so competitive yulle. Really hard for me to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to showing what makes me special as a copywriter, what makes me different to all the other copywriters out there.

Another agency party at some obscure pub in Gardens Industria. I've got sooooo many of these pics it's almost not even worth uploading it. Ever feel like all truly great ideas have already been done? Paris Hilton did blowjobs and penetration. Lindsay and Britney did their crotch-flashings. Sharon Stone did that leg-cross thing in Basic Instinct. The world is so competitive y'ulle. Really hard for me to keep ahead of the curve when it comes to showing what makes me special as a copywriter, what makes me different to all the other copywriters out there.

NEwayz… back to the porti. should it be digital? should i invent a program that allows you to download my porti in a nanosecond? maybe i can make it so small that you have to view it with nanoglasses on nano chips? will nano still be big in 2010 or am i running with a fad here?

Should I pressurise my own blood and spray out my headlines under water so that Creative Directors see that I understand new media?

Should I pressurise my own blood and spray out my headlines under water so that Creative Directors see that I understand new media?

or should i keep my porti old school? big red leatherbound book with my name embossed in Cooper Bold in White letters? feel like there is a certain amount of gravitas when i whack down a beast of a porti like that on a Creative Director’s desk. although i haven’t actually used it since i graduated way back in 2004. since then, a well-written email that conveys my ability to stay calm in the face of chaos has gotten me every job i’ve ever had.

An example of the well-written, to-the-point letter that got me my job at King James.

An example of the well-written, to-the-point letter that got me my job at King James.

i’ve heard that some legendary creatives don’t even have portfolios, they just email a list of awards annuals and corresponding page numbers when they’re looking for a job. that feels a little wanky to me. i feel like if someone made me wade through crusty awards annuals that gather like dust in the corners of agency toilets, i wouldn’t want to offer them a job. unless it was dusting the awards annuals gathering weevils in the agency toilets.

Does NE one out there still care about awards? If i have a list of awards longer than my hair will you want to hire me? Or would you be more inclined to hire me if i just sent you a link to my blog with pictures of myself taking photos of myself on it? Wish someone had answers for me. Im feeling the photo vibe more. Just coz I know my good side.

Does NE one out there still care about awards? If i have a list of awards longer than my hair will you want to hire me? Or would you be more inclined to hire me if i just sent you a link to my blog with pictures of myself taking photos of myself on it? Wish someone had answers for me. I'm feeling the photo vibe more. Just coz I know my good side.

maybe i should record my porti into an album and take off my clothes to promote it. i’d go around the country doing signings which double up as interviews. being Gen Y, it is all about me interviewing the agency and not the other way round. i’d listen as they tell me how they want to help me ‘grow my craft’ and ‘collaborate and cross pollinate‘ my tech-savvy skills with their experienced eye for Letraset.

Collaboration across the generation gap is key to moving forward in the future.

Collaboration across the generation gap is key to moving forward in the future.

i’m going to make this porti quest my holiday project. gonna come back with some fresh material. gonna come back with a come back.

“I see you. And I just wanna dance with you. LOLOLOLOL.” – Brutney Spears

the strange gift collection.

who doesn’t know (and love) a bona fide weirdo? here’s a great list of stocking-fillers for your favourite freaky friends.

Just what i wanted! Some freeze-dried squirrel-foot earrings!

Just what i wanted! Some freeze-dried squirrel-foot earrings!

Ah man! Ive been looking for a feotus cookie cutter everywhere!

Ah man! I've been looking for a feotus cookie cutter everywhere!

Oh how awesome! Now we can both wear the same underwear.

Oh how awesome! Now we can both wear the same underwear.

via neatorama.

first idea bounty winner

i wrote about idea bounty a while back. i think i gave it an extravagant write up. best thing since sliced bread etc. well it seems they walk the talk, and have just paid up $2 500 to a planner at BBDO Paris. which makes me feel a little jealous. half of me – the half that’s been exploited for my ideas by market research companies for the past 4 years – didn’t believe they would actually pay up. but now that i see they do, i’m on top of their next brief quicker than you can say “Mow The Lawn!”

also, here’s a super cool interview with the dude who won.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

See? Your good ideas can make you rich.

weekly roundup: stuff and things

if i was still doing tv ads i would probably be obsessing about how i can get wes anderson to direct one of my commercials. good thing i am now focusing on design and more through-the-line, experiental / real-life/ meaningful concepts, because i can imagine i would do a lot of lame things like get dressed up like Angelica Houston in Life Aquatic / Royal Tennenbaums and re-enact classic scenes from those movies just so i could fit getting all celebrity-director feverish into my 9-5. i would post lots of movies on youtube which no one but my colleagues and stalker ex boyfriend would view, while they cringed for me. anyway here is an ad starring brad pitt that wes directed.

Hello I am Wes Anderson. I directed classics you might have heard of such as A Life Aquatic, which was inspired by me drinking this glass of water. I also directed The Royal Tennenbaums. Plus I directed that quirky movie about 3 brothers who find themselves on a train in India. I forgot the name because I dont define myself by what i do but rather by who I am. I am confidant and down-to-earth. I am sorry but i cant direct your fragrance commercial because it doesnt align with my personal brand, even though you wrote it for me. I guess Ive changed. Youve changed. Change is part of life. Sorry.

Hello I am Wes Anderson. I directed classics you might have heard of such as A Life Aquatic, which was inspired by me drinking this glass of water. I also directed The Royal Tennenbaums. Plus I directed that quirky movie about 3 brothers who find themselves on a train in India. I forgot the name because I don't define myself by what i do but rather by who I am. I am confident and down-to-earth. I am sorry but i can't direct your fragrance commercial because it doesn't align with my personal brand, even though you wrote it for me. I guess I've changed. You've changed. Change is part of life. Sorry.

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in other news, i spent an amazing day at the South African History Museum on Saturday. went and investigated all the fossils. learnt about where we come from. learnt about how we evolved from small 1-bit file sizes to full on 500 GB living breathing human hard drives. remembered how small we are in the greater scheme of things. i even met a really nice shark with whom i hit it off immediately. we might get lunch next week.

Its good to make friends with people who are different to you, so that you can learn about yourself through your differences.

It's good to make friends with people who are different to you, so that you can learn about yourself through your differences.

this followed a most intense full-body massage i had at the Paris Spa right here below our offices at Wembley Square. a girl called Abigail took me for an Aromatherapy treatment, and managed to coax out via sheer force all the tension that’s been building in my shoulders for the past year or so. i came out feeling like i’d found god in the form of a plump and smiley masseuse with hair extensions. big thanks must go to my mum, who got me the massage as a christmas present.

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I bumped into Kanye West on a blog this morning, and he told me he’s giving up rapping for fashion. says he just wants to do something normal, now that he is at the apex of his career / everybody’s career.

Kanye with this summers new menswear pattern. Swirly vibes are the new pinstripe.

Kanye with this summer's new menswear pattern. Swirly vibes are the new pinstripe.

So i asked him what of that great idea i had where he could come be President of South Africanland. I pointed out that it would be pretty similar to being a rapper but he said he wasn’t sure if a seat in parliament would ‘bring it’ enough for him to feel motivated every day. sad news. got my hopes up. at least kanye has enough $ with which to bribe central st. martin’s. ask anyone who has any real talent and they’ll tell you they didn’t get accepted into central st. martin’s because their father doesn’t belong to the Old Boys Oxford St Martin’s Old English Money Lord Alumni. life’s tough when you’re just a nobody from southafricanland who didn’t make a ‘high art’ rap album to get you a foot in the fashion door.

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one more week til holidays. i go off on friday and come back on monday 5 jan. i know if i was *really* committed to being a real blogger i would blog all the way through but i’ve already committed to a tan and a book and a swimming pool. plus the screen on my new Macbook pro-Pod Steve Jobs Worx is too glossy for the outdoors. and i’ll be damned if i sacrifice reasonable exchange rates on Horlicks in Africa and then not make use of the sunshine.

Only 4 more days, horsey. Just put one hoof in front of the other. Think of all the carrots and sugarlumps waiting for you at the end of this week.

Only 4 more days, horsey. Just put one hoof in front of the other. Think of all the carrots and sugarlumps waiting for you at the end of this week.

happarently: pop-up rumours

word is there’s a sneaker / skate pop- up store stocking cr8tive recreation goods on the corner of loop and bloem streets in cape town CBD. i’ve long been a fan of CR but i haven’t seen any stock in SA that I’m thrilled with. maybe these guys have better luck. the store’s only gonna be there for 60 days so don’t dilly dally too la la long.

Mmm CR goodness.

Mmm CR goodness.

new Loerie Awards location

the agency xmas party sucked a lot of my attention up this past week. didn’t even find time to comment on the Loerie Awards announcing its new venue, namely The Good Hope Centre in Cape Town. love the GHC. it’s this big, bulbous tuber of a building in the middle of the inner city Cape Town ganglands. i know it well, because i attended the Red & Yellow School of Advertising, which was right across the road. this one time, an art director’s VW Beetle got petrol-bombed, for realz. the area has that kind of eccentric charm.

Still looking for a stage gimmick for Loeries. Been thinking hard about learning a Silly Walk. Worried now that the awards are in Woodstock, a gangster might mistake my Silly Walk for a Nokia 3310 and shoot me.

Still looking for a stage gimmick for Loeries. Been thinking hard about learning a Silly Walk. Worried now that the awards are in Woodstock, a gangster might drive past and mistake my Silly Walk for a Nokia 3310 and shoot me.

bizcommunity calls the area the East City Precinct. gotta love marketers. they know how to make you feel like you’re living in New York, even though you didn’t win the Green Card Lottery because you’re a pragmatic person who doesn’t believe in luck and didn’t even enter. i also like how they acknowledge that the GHC isn’t in the best of states by stating that “The Good Hope Centre has been somewhat forgotten in Cape Town and we feel this is a perfect challenge for the Loeries.”

I like an awards show that likes a challenge.

I also like an awards show that starts an industry comment war just to get more publicity. Go Bizcommunity. Some memorable moments from the 2008 Loeries Comment War (prob gonna be in a cinema any day now with Andrew Human played by Matt Damon):

“The venue is a gravel-clad apartheid silo in the midst of one of the City’s bleakest precincts, with a comfort factor of zero and acoustics to match.” – anon

( I never noticed the gravel-cladding but now that they mention it… silly archis. you know how those archis like to ‘play and experiment with different textures and materials’ on their buildings. gotta let them make mistakes, you know. )

“Good move. Cape Town’s the place. Just make sure to lose the Margate skankiness and create some sexy, glamour. At least now I can wear some killer heels and not worry about walking up all those stairs in Margate!!” – Adbabe

(Yes. Killer heels are very important. Not so much for me to wear, but for me to contrast my Converse + Ballgown outfit against. Am glad Adbabe is sticking up for sexy, glamour. There is not enough sexy, glamour in advertising. Sometimes wish i worked in the Sexy,Glamour industry..*sigh*)

“ad babe is a fatty! true story.” ifeltadbabesfatboob

(A very meaningful comment. Makes me consider whether I’ve left the world a better place than i came into it. Makes me wonder whether I filled the world with love or not. makes me wonder what Adbabe’s boobs feel like. soft.)

Just down the road from Ogilvy…yay. From a 2 hour plane ride – to a 2 minute walk from Ogilvy. Thanks for killing the adventure.” – Boo

(A very, very legitimate point. At least the GHC is a 5 minute drive from my place of work and residence. At least I will be able to listen to a full Britney Spears track on the way there and get myself into dancey-dancey-PR-slut mode. I feel for the guys at Ogilvy. Hey anyone wanna have pre-drinks at Peddlar’s on the Bend in Constantia? That way it will take 30 minutes to get The Loeries and we can pretend we’re driving across the Eastern Cape / KZN border. Just a thought.)

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Better start thinking about some clever tactical medium executions. Pressures on for all the Cape Town agencies. Wonder if you can draw parallels between how many bullet holes you get in ur rental car and how many Grand Prixes you win in one night. Must be meaningful and disruptive. Must catch the consumer when they least expect it.

Better start thinking about some 'clever tactical medium executions'. Pressure's on for all the Cape Town agencies. Wonder if you can draw parallels between how many bullet holes you get in ur rental car and how many Grand Prixes you win in one night. Must be meaningful and disruptive. Must catch the cynical advertising consumer when they least expect it.

agency xmas party report: a few mornings after, to get perspective

wow. so much pressure to be zany and conceptual. it paid off though, because you could walk around the party and not know anyone and spend all night guessing what rock/pop stars people were dressed as and it could pass as genuine and meaningful conversation. some snapshots:

Black Sabbath, A Dead Kennedy and Simple Red.

Black Sabbath, A Dead Kennedy and Simple Red.

Michael Jackson and Gwen Stefani. A collision of extreme personal brands.

Michael Jackson and Gwen Stefani. A collision of extreme personal brands.

The Dirty Skirts and a Sister of Mercy.

The Dirty Skirts and a Sister of Mercy.

Dolly Parton, post breast-reduction. Or, were her breasts actually that big? Feel like the pasts version of big breasts distorts things somewhat.

Dolly Parton, post breast-reduction. Or, were her breasts actually that big? Feel like the past's version of big breasts distorts things somewhat.

The Village People. 2 of them. the other 2 passed out at the pool earlier.

The Village People. 2 of them. the other 2 passed out at the pool earlier.

The Cure (to AIDS).

The Cure (to AIDS).

Mark normally wears a gimp mask to every single party. This year it was Devin Kennedys face blown up huge, x quite a few, as The Dead Kennedies. Creepy? Ya thank?

Mark normally wears a gimp mask to every single party. This year it was Devin Kennedy's face blown up huge, x quite a few, as The Dead Kennedies. Creepy? Ya thank? PLus he didn't take it off all night and the mouth got all soft and pithy.

Sister of Mercy and Ozzy Osbourne.

Sister of Mercy and Ozzy Osbourne.

Pete Doherty and Kate Moss.

Pete Doherty and Kate Moss.

Crowded House.

"Crowded House".

all in all it was a good party. lots of fun happy times. lots of hugs. lots more drinks than Jupiter had. word is that Jupiter handed out 5 drinks vouchers to staff, who had to buy their own drinks once they were done. word is also that they served bread and soup at their party. issokay. sometimes bread and soup can be… wholesome.

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I didn’t drink most of the night because after we left the pool they stopped making cocktails and forced me to choose what i wanted to drink. And we all know why that’s very hard for me to do.

Goldilocks and the Grand Daddy

went to go see Mark and Jo Stead’s caravan the other night. walked into the beautifully redone foyer of the old Metropole hotel (now the Grand Daddy as in Daddy Long Legs Art Hotel) and asked where i could find the caravans.

“You mean the Gulf Streams?” said the receptionist. Aren’t Gulf Streams jets? Turns out they are called “Airstreams”.  NEways, ascended the staircase and landed on the roof of the metropole. Mark and co were sitting around with ciders and wine. The only 2 caravans i saw worth documenting were Mark’s and another artist who did a polkadot dorothy theme. some pics:

Lotsa dotses.

Lotsa dotses.

Dot dot dot.

Dot dot dot.

Theres no place like home.

There's no place like home.

We were joking that it would be funny if the south easter picked up this caravan and dumped it in the middle of Bree Street.

We were joking that it would be funny if the south easter picked up this caravan and dumped it in the middle of Bree Street.

Me in a dot mirror.

Me in a dot mirror.

And onto Mark and Jo’s Gulf Stream Jet:

Momma bears chair. Note the embroidery in the cushion.

Momma bear's chair. Note the embroidery in the cushion.

Wait, this is more like Momma bears chair.

Wait, this is more like Momma bear's chair.

Bear family heritage. A proud mantelpiece.

Bear family heritage. A proud mantelpiece.

A solid bear face. The kind of bear youd like to sit down at a fireside with and talk berries and salmon.

A solid bear face. The kind of bear you'd like to sit down at a fireside with and talk berries and salmon.

Special bear porridge bowls.

Special bear porridge bowls.

Kinky post-its from Goldilocks.

Kinky post-its from Goldilocks.

Goldilocks wig. Her dress hangs up in the cupboard.

Goldilocks wig. Her dress hangs up in the cupboard.

The bear head is also in the cupboard. Things start looking very kinky round about now.

The bear head is also in the cupboard. Things start looking very kinky round about now.

Mark in his bear mask. Far more charming than the Dead Kennedys mask he wore to the christmas party.

Mark in his bear mask. Far more charming than the Dead Kennedy's mask he wore to the christmas party.

And there you have it. If you’d like to stay there, get ready to pay 4 star prices. Book by popping into 38 Long Street or by calling +27 21 424 7247 or by emailing info@granddaddy.co.za .

how does my interpretation of the Amy Winehouse archetype measure up?

every once in a while something chugs over in the great universal consciousness machine’s XX meta-chromosomes and a new female archetype is born. “Archetype” is just a fancy way of describing an idea so distinctive you can copy it whenever you run out of ideas, or you can just copy bits and pieces of it, which is what most ppl do. amy winehouse is one of those amazing phenomenons, and probably the most recent female archetype to be accepted by mainstream collective consciousness.

anyway i think my interpretation of the winehouse was very convincing on friday. let us compare my costume with other winehouse interpretations:

A traditional take on winehouse. Note the R55 tattoo and even the lilting bra strap.

My rather traditional take on winehouse. Note the R55 tattoo and even the lilting bra strap.

A less traditional interpretation of the archetype. It says, even though i am nothing but a hound dog, dogs also have demons. We also make bad choices in our relationships. Addiction can happen to anyone.

A less traditional interpretation of the archetype. It says, even though i am nothing but a hound dog, dogs also have demons. We also make bad choices in our relationships. Addiction can happen to anyone.

This very dignified interpretation is very meaningful and accurate of the winehouse archetype. Behind the channeller is someone who could be described as a Blake force, which is a bad vibe thats trying to bring you down. This tells us to be strong and rock the beehive even though we got drunk one night and married a man who wears pastels. Divorce is not ideal, but it is a way out.

This very dignified interpretation is very meaningful and accurate of the winehouse archetype. Behind the channeller is someone who could be described as a 'Blake force', which is a bad vibe that's trying to bring you down. This tells us to be strong and rock the beehive even though we got drunk one night and married a man who wears pastels. Divorce is not ideal, but it is a way out.

Here is my interpretation, with Jabu, who plays the role of my psychiatrist / rehab physician. Here we can see how the Winehouse can represent positivity and hope, healing and freedom from judgement. Everyone deserves a second chance, and anything is possible with a good tan.

Here is my interpretation, with Jabu, who plays the role of my psychiatrist / rehab physician. Here we can see how the Winehouse can represent positivity and hope, healing and freedom from judgement. Everyone deserves a second chance, and anything is possible with a good tan.

This version of the Winehouse archetype makes us come face to face with our own possible weaknesses. The smear of cocaine across the nostril stands for that warm feeling we all get from sitting on the couch doing nothing, rather than striving for our goals. The blood signifies attempts to change that have gone awry. And the earrings alert us to the fact that there is a 50% sale at Claires. Everything must go.

This version of the Winehouse archetype makes us come face to face with our own possible weaknesses. The smear of cocaine across the nostril stands for that warm feeling we all get from sitting on the couch doing nothing, rather than striving for our goals. The blood signifies attempts to change that have gone awry. And the earrings alert us to the fact that there is a 50% sale at Claire's. Everything must go.

All in all, I feel like my interpretation helped me connect with my inner strong yet vulnerable woman who would rather date a drug-addled nobody than date no one at all. It also got me to brush out the knots in my hair so that i could make more knots. Thanks must go to my fabulous boss and stylist Jenny Ehlers, who plugged no less than 250 pins into my beehive.

Last archetype interpretation for bonus points:

This interpretation of the winehouse archetype says a) im white trash and amy is the class i aspire to b) my mom wont let me cut myself so i cut my Mr Price tank top (2 for the price of 1 so no biggie) or c) when i finish Matric im gonna wear this every day to tech and i dont care what my friends think because they just judge me anyway.

This interpretation of the winehouse archetype says a) i'm white trash and amy is the class i aspire to b) my mom won't let me cut myself so i cut my Mr Price tank top (2 for the price of 1 so no biggie) or c) when i finish Matric i'm gonna wear this every day to tech and i don't care what my 'friends' think because they just judge me anyway.

judgement day

it’s here. the day of the xmas party is finally here. leaving in an hour. petrified.

The party committee can smell fear.

The party committee can smell fear.

trying to channel my inner PR chick. want to be the ‘life of the party’.

it’s the final countdown. we’re leaving the agency at 11am tomorrow to head to the xmas party. they haven’t told us where it is because they want what happens there to stay there. apparently there is no cellphone reception and the staff don’t have teeth. scared of people who don’t have teeth after i read an article about them hanging out at the seattle coffee company in kloof street. let that be a lesson to the vida defectors.

went to the mall today and dropped half my salary on high-res fake tattoos. very ironic because they look low-res because they are designed to mimic ‘the bleed’ of a real tattoo. also bought ballet shoes, lots of hairpieces, 4 hair nets (in case one broke), 2 combs, a hair rose, liquid eyeliner and 5 billion hair clips.

i’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to get the beehive right. problem is this involves brushing out the knots i’ve already got in my hair. i don’t know how i got them but it prob has something to do with the fact that i don’t brush my hair 100 times before i go to sleep every night.

Unfortunately I have a very time-consuming recorder hobby that eats into my hair-brushing time.

Unfortunately I have a very time-consuming recorder hobby that eats into my hair-brushing time.

also feeling nervous about experiencing an agency christmas party as a non-smoker. i’m not worried about starting smoking again, i’m just worried i don’t have enough of a reason to stay up late and that i end up going to sleep at 9 and shouting at anyone who has fun near my Luxury Safari Tent (sic).

wish i had a ‘fun bouncy party slag’ button i could flip in order to be the fun party slag. it just seems like getting drunk and having fun is a lot of hard work. what if i burn more calories than i take in? it’s a very real risk. heaven forbid i end up emaciated and looking like the real amy winehouse. wish i was one of those people who had to work hard to keep the weight off. wish i wasn’t naturally skinny. wish i didn’t have naturally white teeth, eyes and nails. wish i didn’t have exotic asian looks while having the benefit of being classified of caucasian. wish i wasn’t born with a photographic memory that makes functioning in a world of mediocrity dissatisfyingly easy. wish my parents weren’t oil billionaires so i’d know what it felt like to actually achieve something.

When life makes you a pig, make bacon out of yourself. - Alex van Tonder

"When life makes you a pig, make bacon out of yourself." - Alex van Tonder

one thing i have learnt through my adversity is that even though things may be tough and the fates may be against you by always being on your side, it’s no excuse not to smile. smiling brings you one step closer to being the PR slag at the party, and by golly, what more could you aspire to, apart fro maybe being sexually harrassed by the PR slag of the party.