Category Archives: consumption tours

In prison. These are my memoirs.

Hey y’ulle. Bet some of y’all are thinking I’ve been very quiet for someone who gets free stuff for writing a load of crap about brands on her blog. I have been quiet, but not by choice. I might be killed for saying this, but I’m being held captive by Vodacom’s 3G “service”.

See, I took out a contract thinking having Internet at home would mean 2 things: a) more time at work to focus on winning a Grand Black Lion Eagle Canned Loerie Award at work and b) more time to focus on bringing my 70 billion or so readers a better blog, filled with truth disguised as semi-illiterate irony within the context of my life as an attention-seeking copywriter with a god-complex (ie the ‘Everyman of Advertising’).

Alas, alack, my good intentions are half-way to hell by now, as is the soul of Vodacom, for selling me a service that doesn’t actually exist. Dear readers, you’ll notice a prominent lack of ‘funny pictures’, links and my trademark random pink, orange and green word-colouring in this post, and for that I apologize. They don’t allow a full-service WYSIWYG editing suite here in prison. It’s just me, my iPhone and the WordPress app. It’s cold, and there are rat apps gnawing at my feet apps. Where is my god now?

I’m going to try and blog once more tomorrow. I doubt Vodacom will let me. They’ve already confiscated the razor blades I was going to use to terminate our contract. Not really sure what the point of living without blogging is. Might have to think it through in another low-Fi blog post. MTN, Cell C – if you’re Reading this, please, send help. Destroy this blog post after Reading it. And tell my Mom I love her.

I wait with hope,
Alex

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weekly roundup: stuff’s going down

phwhoar. been away from the computer doing all sorts of things. spent the morning with a company called Kunye which is a company run by a lady by the name of Allison. it’s her personal mission to create jobs / recycle plastic bags. and by the looks of things Kunye’s doing pretty well.

Funky chicken. Southafricanlanders know these chickens well - theyre on many a street corner. Kunye sources the guys who make them and structure commissions and shiz. Apparently they get loads of overseas orders. Very cool.

Funky chicken. Southafricanlanders know these chickens well.

Cool little reindeer dude.

Cool little reindeer dude.

Cool shoe vibes. All this stuff made from recycled plastic.

Cool shoe vibes. All this stuff made from recycled plastic.

Close up of Chappies placemat.

Close up of Chappies placemat.

then i came across these HUMAN HAMSTER BALLS at the V&A Waterfront. sweet holy mother. if only they’d had these babies when i was little. and you ball around in a pool, no less. actually it’s for the best that we didn’t have these when i was little. i would have spent my whole childhood rolling around in one, and probably a large part of my adolescence too. in fact i’d probably still be in one. hmm. anyone know where you can buy these at cost price?

Hell yeah flipping rad and awesome.

Hell yeah flipping rad and awesome.

Bye mom! See you never!

Bye mom! See you never!

then my friend Jono – who DID spend his adolescence in a Human Hamster Ball – had his birthday on Friday night at Banana Jam Cafe. Banana Jam has a lot of good memories for me, mostly of the days when reggae was the original version of chilled indie/emo music and Cool Running was too ‘young’ for us mature 18 year olds. Going to Banana Jam said you were ‘with it’ enough to know Observatory was actually dirty not ‘arty’. Back then, 2nd Avenue Harfield was at its height of being the Lower Main Road of the Southern Suburbs High School Belt. Then Jack Johnson came on the pirate ships and reggae became what you played in your car at trance parties, if you still went to them, and pretended that hippie was a lifestyle choice and not just an easy way to disguise the fact that you never had any money, and Banana Jam became the home of the Observatory refugees who were cultivating their yuppie. today, Banana Jam is a thriving biome of post-trance-head-young-professionals-who-live-in-town-but-like-to-get-in-touch-with-their-roots(ie. get drunk where no one will recognise them)-from-time-to-time.

My friend Jono. He has outgrown his Hamster Ball as a character prop and has instead embraced the Jason mask. This tells the world that he has a ruthless side yet values the loyalty of his true friends, all of whom know what he looks like yet accept him no matter what kind of plastic appendage he chooses to embrace depending on his mood.

Exhibit A: My friend Jono. He has outgrown his Hamster Ball as a character prop and has instead embraced the Jason mask. This tells the world that he has a ruthless side yet values the loyalty of his 'true friends', all of whom know what he looks like yet accept him no matter what kind of plastic appendage he chooses to embrace depending on his mood.

Before the Banana Jam madness, the agency went to lunch at The Fat Cactus. The Fat Cactus vibe is somewhere in the middle between Cool Runnings in Obs and Banana Jam in Harfield. By that I mean Fat Cactus is like the awkward teenage years of regular drinking holes, frequented by the company I work for partly because they are close by, but also because if one of us (hypothetically say, Nicole) were to climb up the wall to steal a sign that makes a visual pun out of a pair of chillies and a girl’s bum, and in the process knocks a wrought iron light fitting off the wall, which in turn smashes a large neon bottle sign and causes all the lighting in the restaurant to go out, The Fat Cactus staff will simply ask us if we’re all okay, bring more frozen margaritas and give my boss a free T-shirt. You don’t get that kind of treatment at many establishments.

After frozen margarita jug round 4, Anth, Yollie and Jakkie said they were going to flash their boobs for us. Of course, only Anth had any kind of follow-through on this. Kids, please learn from this. One thing you must NEVER do if you work at an ad agency is tell your colleagues you will flash your boobs, and then go back on your word. Nothing will get you ostracised sooner. Why at this very moment, Yollie and Jakkie can be heard banging in the broom cupboard. But were not going to let them out. They need to be ignored, so they realise they have done something wrong.

After frozen margarita jug 4, Anth, Yollie and Jakkie said they were going to flash their boobs.

Of course, only Anth had any kind of follow-through on this. Kids, please learn from this. One thing you must NEVER do if you work at an ad agency is tell your colleagues you will flash your boobs, and then go back on your word. Nothing will get you ostracised sooner. Why at this very moment, Yollie and Jakkie can be heard banging in the broom cupboard. But we’re not going to let them out. They need to be ignored, so they realise they have done something wrong.

*****************************So anyway************************************

To top off a fine week, I noticed that I got a personal Thank You in the sleeve of the new New Academics album, The Apple. There is nothing quite like getting love from a band, especially a band that I like, and especially a band whose music has been described in critical reviews as ‘hard fucking’. I’m not making that up. You can read about it on their website. Love you too guys.

I 3 PDAs. Spesh from musicians.

I ❤ PDAs. Spesh from musicians.

consumption tour 1: ice sculpting

Dont worry - theyre way better with ice than they are with signwriting.

Don't worry - they're way better with ice than they are with signwriting.

we do this cool thing at our agency once a month, which we call Consumption Tours. it consists of going out into the world and finding out a little more about just about anything. this time we paid a visit to the HQ of Ice Art, a company that specialises in creating ice sculptures for corporate events. we knew it was going to be good while we were still in the car on the way there, since we were following these amusing instructions from owner of the company:

From: ICE ART [mailto:james@iceart.co.za]
Sent: 23 July 2008 03:27 PM
To:
Subject: RE: Directions to KiefnessOK, take the M5 to kiefness, get off at the Berkley road offramp about 1km before the N1, then turn right, back under the M5 – go to the first robots of kiefness, then turn left and head over the bridge down to voortrekker road kiefness. Go through these robots boytjie and go to the next set of robots – at this point of kiefness you would head over to Paarden Eiland should you continue… But you don’t… You turn left at these robots and then immediately left again ( double back on yourself ) and then you take your first right (  next to the HUGE silencer city of kiefness ) – this is Basson Street, the sign is bent over from a truck ramming it. Go right to the very very end of the cul-de-sac where you see the brick wall – don’t be scared, you are almost in the land of kiefness. We are the very very last unit on the right hand side against this brick wall – Unit number 7…

anyway. it was fascinating to observe the process. i will attempt to take you through it here:

James, the owner of Ice Art, meets us outside and instructs us to put on our coats while using the word kiff more than anyone ever should.

James, the owner of Ice Art, meets us outside and instructs us to put on our coats while using the word 'kief' more than anyone ever should.

These freezers are where the ice is made. Ice Art has 3 freezers, and it takes 4 days to make 1 block of ice. It takes 1 day to freeze half the ice, and then 3 more days to freeze the rest, since the already frozen ice acts as an insulator against the rest of the water.

These freezers are where the ice is made. Ice Art has 3 freezers, and it takes 4 days to make 1 block of ice. It takes 1 day to freeze half the ice, and then 3 more days to freeze the rest, since the already frozen ice acts as an insulator against the rest of the water.

The water used to make sculpted ice has to be treated so that it doesnt freeze milky. So these freezers keep the water moving and the addition of chemicals takes out trace elements. Here, Craig and Dave are in the middle of a competition to see who can hold their hands in the below-freezing water for the longest. Craig on the left won, with a 2.5 minute record.

The water used to make sculpted ice has to be treated so that it doesn't freeze milky. So these freezers keep the water moving and the addition of chemicals takes out trace elements. Here, Craig and Dave are in the middle of a competition to see who can hold their hands in the below-freezing water for the longest. Craig on the left won, with a 2.5 minute record.

A little chainsaw, and a spade. Not pictured is the planing tool, and the curved saw.

Some of the tools used for ice sculpting: A little chainsaw, and a spade. Not pictured is the planing tool, and the curved saw.

First things first, Ice Art have a whole bunch of reserve blocks lined up for carving in their freezer.

First things first, Ice Art have a whole bunch of reserve blocks lined up for carving in their freezer.

Next, the ice is trimmed to cut away rough edges. The by-product of this process is snow - fun waste.

Next, the ice is trimmed to cut away rough edges. The by-product of this process is snow - fun waste.

Then, the outline of the design is cut into the block. The Sculptor (pictured) works simply with picture reference. He tells us he used to be a diesel mechanic before he got into sculpting. He spends his whole day sculpting in this walk-in cold room, which is normally a happy -15 degrees celcius, but was at -5 when we were there.

Then, the outline of the design is cut into the block. The Sculptor (pictured) works simply with picture reference. He tells us he used to be a diesel mechanic before he got into sculpting. He spends his whole day sculpting in this walk-in cold room, which is normally a happy -15 degrees celcius, but was at -5 when we were there.

Then, a small axe thing is used to slice away the ice. Because of how the ice is frozen, it is really easy to chip away. In fact its actually pretty cathartic. This is Dave, getting some snow spray.

Then, a small axe thing is used to slice away the ice. Because of how the ice is frozen, it is really easy to chip away. In fact it's actually pretty cathartic. This is Dave, getting some snow spray.

This is me, chipping away like an arctic woodchuck. Its a lot of fun.

This is me, chipping away like an arctic woodchuck. It's a lot of fun.

Thing get rounded and smoothed with a curved saw. To make the ice as smooth as glass, you can literally smooth it with your fingers, until they get too cold to be a source of heat.

Thing get rounded and smoothed with a curved saw. To make the ice as smooth as glass, you can literally smooth it with your fingers, until they get too cold to be a source of heat.

15 minutes later, and this is what the former raw chunk of frozen water looks like. Very impressive.

15 minutes later, and this is what the former raw chunk of frozen water looks like. Very impressive.

All in all, it was a good outing. We scrunched in the snow in the freezer and even chewed on hacked off pieces of ice, which is a truly fine way to spend a lunch hour.

Mallix holds a piece of his heart up to the light. Such clarity. Such potential for inflicting pain.

Mallix holds a piece of his heart up to the light.