Archive for May, 2010

Man in a Box

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Kit Kat have recently taken a very interesting leap with their marketing concepts by creating the Desk Jockey. Basically, they have employed a guy to sit in a fake office and to fulfil the requests of bored and lonely Australians who sit at their computers making the Desk Jockey paint on his face or look up flight times to Europe. The idea behind it is this guy ‘works like a machine so you don’t have to’ and you can take a break with Kit Kat. From 12 noon to 4pm AEST, he runs around the office on his own, making a complete fool of himself. At times it is entertaining, and at other times it is just plain stupid, but my question is – How is Kit Kat benefitting from this?

I haven’t seen any external advertising for this (although I rarely watch tv so maybe I am just ignorant) so I’m not sure how many people are watching. Considering he has been ‘working like  a machine’ for 3 days and has only received 320 tasks, I’m thinking it hasn’t been that successful. I’m not sure how long this is going to last but I can see it dying out fairly soon. Very few of the tasks have any reference to Kit Kats and apart from the logo at the top of the webpage, you’re not bombarded with advertising for the product. I guess I am now writing a blog entry about it and I do think about it a lot and will most likely look at Kit Kats next time I am in the lolly aisle at the supermarket, but even so, it was a brave and intriguing move from the marketing staff. I wonder how their managers are feeling about the success of this project at the moment.

Perhaps I am just jealous that no one asks me to come up with something as wacky and potentially fatal as this. While companies across the globe say they want to be innovative and surprising and exciting and they hope to push their brands to the entire world, most are too scared to make bold statements in their marketing material. Some put their little toe across the line on occasion, but very few are willing to completely step over the threshold. Nike has recently taken the leap of faith and has pulled it off with amazing results. Their latest advertisement running in conjunction with the approaching World Cup is a spectacular advertisement that must have cost thousands (if not millions) of dollars to make.

This advertisement has had over 9 million views on YouTube. That’s a lot of shoes sold.

Thingths I Thay

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

AAAYYYEEEEEE!!!! I am currently having deep emotional connections to Peter Combe’s song “Thingth I Thay”. There isn’t a YouTube video or appropriate website to link to so I will just type out the chorus lyrics so you can see where I am going with this.

Thingth I thay don’t thound the thame.
It’s even hard to thay my name.
I’d like to thing, to thing a thong,
But every time it thounds tho wrong.
The thingth I thay don’t thound the thame.

I have just returned from a trip to the dentist where I knew I would be having work done on a back tooth but before I knew what was happening there was a needle in my mouth and there was PAIN! EXCRUCIATING PAIN! Ok, well it wasn’t actually THAT bad but I have never had a needle at the dentist before. Usually when I go for my annual check up, I receive a pat on the back and a “Keep up the good work, and remember to floss!” Not this time. Who ever designed me had a bit of fun when it came to my mouth – they forgot three molars and gave me some very large, ‘groovy’ wisdom teeth. Unfortunately these teeth aren’t groovy as in ‘cool’ but groovy as in ‘food gets stuck in there, starts to decay and then creates a giant pile o’ rot  inside my tooth. Fabulous.

So an hour of drilling and filling later, I now have no decay and a beautifully smooth tooth. Sadly, there are two more teeth chomping at the bit (ha ha) to follow in the same direction so it is back to the dentist next week for more needles, drills and this really cool plastic sheet thing that the dentist put in my mouth to isolate my tooth. Gosh those dental technicians are clever folk. Weirdly, the worst part I found was the smell of my tooth as it was being drilled away. YUCK! I guess years worth of rot is going to stink a bit.

Tooth

Pointing at the numb bits.

It’s the (official) Final Countdown… der ni ner ner… de de de der… der ni ner ner…

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Last year, I was working at Curtin University and I sat  next to a giant window that I could watch the world through. Of course, everyone could watch me, too and so I started to communicate with the outside world. I would stick messages to the window, just to see the reaction from the passerby (now THERE is an interesting word… It is singular yet plural. Whoa.). In February of last year, I put up a count down calendar to my 9 week holiday in Europe, and started the count from 32 days. It was a long count down but people became ridiculously excited for me and wished me well on my voyage. My calendar to my last day at work even resulted in some tears from people I barely knew… sweet, but odd!

Anyway, my point is that I no longer have a window that hundreds of people walk past every day. I am no longer a fish in a giant bowl and I can no longer make lots of people jealous that they’re not going to Europe. Or can I??

250 days until I leave to live in Paris for a year!!!

WOOOO HOOOO!!! The date is official – 31 January 2011 I am leaving Perth. Mind you, the plane leaves at 10.30pm so really I should be saying 251 days but it will still be the 31st when my plane takes off from the ground and flies (safely) through the air towards Dubai and then onwards to Paris. So much to do between then and now but it still seems so far away. I’m not going to count down each day because then it will take forever to arrive so, as marketing people like to say, I will think “holistically” about the whole thing. I really don’t like that word. Anyway, things I need to do before I leave:

  • Find somewhere to live in Paris (YAY!!)
  • Learn more French
  • Purchase some warmer clothes (considering I’m leaving in the middle of summer, I should probably consider doing this now!)
  • Get a Visa (bah.)
  • Make everyone really jealous
  • Work out what my award winning book that I am writing while living in Paris is going to be about
  • Continue working in the meantime so that I can actually afford to go.

Sounds simple enough… who’s coming to visit?

Chocolate tart and Paris

My favourite view, my favourite chocolate tart, my favourite city. Let's do it all again, folks!

The Un-Joys of Blogging

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Every morning I turn on my computer and check my email. Every time someone writes a comment on my blog, an email is sent to my Zaum account to notify me of the reader’s wonderful contribution. However, recently, I have logged on to discover I have 24 or 13 new messages, meaning I am either VERY popular, or there’s something not quite right. SPAM.

Spam

Spam, spam. Meat in a can.

If there’s anything I hate about the internet, it’s spam and I have discovered it infiltrates my blog just as much as my gmail account. Since starting this website, I have had 265 comments – 146 of them have been spam, compared to the 119 approved comments. For awhile there we were running on even but a recent gust of spammers has over taken all you good folk who have real things to say, rather than just sending me to random websites selling low cost medicines, viagra or breast enhancements. As much as these things may be helpful, I don’t wish to advertise them. Instead I prefer to link to wonderful websites like this New Zealand designer product website I found this morning – Endemic World.

What Fun!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m so excited I can’t go to sleep. I have recently been toying with the idea of creating canvas prints but have discovered that it isn’t an economical option. But, my clever-head brother just demonstrated the ability to print onto material using our home printer! This is GREAT news! A whole world of possibilities has just opened up and I now have a goat printed on a piece of material! What more could a girl want?

Goat on material

He's too cute.

Hairy Memories

Monday, May 24th, 2010

A sad result of the Ultimate Storm of Perth, 2010, was my boyfriend’s parents lost a lot of books as water seeped into their storage room. Some of these were priceless memories such as photo albums and plane tickets they had saved from their trips when they were younger. They also had a lot of children’s books from when my boyfriend and his siblings were little that were being saved for the grandkids. My boyfriend’s mum was therefore drawn to purchase a second hand copy of a Hairy Maclary collection.

Hairy Maclary

It's Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy!

At the weekly Sunday night dinner, the book was brought out and the entire family sat around and read stories to one another. It was more entertaining than television and everyone participated. It felt like we were in the 1950s and all sitting around a piano singing Christmas carols. It is amazing how one dog can touch so many hearts. We all knew the words, we all knew the characters and we all wanted to read aloud.

Reading aloud has always been something I’ve enjoyed. At primary school, I would grab any opportunity to sit in front of the class and read a book. One of my first jobs when I was finishing university was for the Constitutional Centre, teaching year ones and twos the joys of the Constitution via a giant picture book. I have always wanted to be a primary school teacher for this reason and I have a secret desire to appear on Playschool so that after we look at the rocket clock I can read a story to the boys and girls. One of my life ambitions is to become a mother, mostly so I can read children’s books again without looking silly. They’re so cleverly written, the pictures are wonderful and the stories are simple yet meaningful. Perhaps one day I will attempt to write a children’s book, but so many people try, thinking it is easy, and soon discover it is very difficult. Plus all of the best stories have already been written – There’s an Hippopotomus on the Roof Eating Cake, Where the Wild Things Are,  and Moo Baa La La La.

Muu Beee Ast Fue!

Now available in Spanish!

When It’s Good It’s Very Very Good, When It’s Bad It’s Horrid.

Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Cottesloe beach

Ahh... glorious. Couldn't you just write a song about it?

I am very lucky to live so close to one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. I have taken to braving the cold waters most weekday mornings, going for a dip with my parents and aunt at 7am. The rest of the family think we’re nuts but I understand why my mum has been doing this for years. It certainly wakes you up and prepares you for the day ahead. As winter approaches, I have taken to running into the water because:
a. The sand is colder than the water and it hurts your feet so it’s best to get off it as soon as possible
b. waiting for the inevitable never works – you have to get it over and done with and the sooner your head is wet, the sooner you can get used to the arctic temperatures.

Over the past few days, however, I have been witness to the wonders and not-so-wonderfuls of the beach. On Sunday I went for coffee in North Cottesloe and witnessed an impressive sunset.

Sunset

So long, sunshine!

Then this morning the water was ridiculously clear – crisp and cool (although not too freezing) and bobbing about in the water just made you feel alive. Unfortunately the water wasn’t clear enough for me to spot the rather large stinger (well, they are basically invisible creatures anyway) that decided to attack me. I have a tendency to over-react to stingers (as in my skin puffs up and becomes ridiculous itchy for about a week) so if you see me scratching at a rash-like thing on my arm, no I’m not diseased.

Stinger

Sexy! Have I grossed you out yet?

New York, I’m Not So Sure It’s Going To Work…

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Last night I went and saw New York, I Love You at the Luna cinemas. I had my new Luna Privilege Card to use which was very exciting because no one likes paying full price for films! And I’m very glad I got a discount for this film because it was very disappointing. I had seen previews for it when I had gone to watch some other movies and I had built up my expectations about how brilliant it was going to be. I had imagined a New York-ian version of Love Actually (one of the only decent romantic comedies in existence) and how wrong I was. I read a review of the film on Six Thousand which I should have actually listened to.

New York, I Love You

The poster is ok... movie not so great.

Basically the film is a collaborative work from ten directors who each capture an aspect of “Love in New York” in 8 minutes. These are all then interwoven into one film where characters cross paths, sometimes directly, sometimes simply through passing each other in the street. The stories include a funny old couple who yell and scream at each other yet ultimately can’t live apart; two teenagers on their Prom night; a young guy and an older woman who meet in at a bar and who have a night of forbidden fun; and a random story of a retired songstress who goes to a hotel to commit suicide. The short films themselves all have something interesting about them (except for the strangest tale of a jewish woman who is about to get married but is in love with a Muslim man. It’s just plain awful.) but they are then ‘tied together’ by a poorly acted film maker who is apparently walking around New York and ‘capturing’ these moments on film. As Mel Campbell on Six Thousand says, “The most pretentious storyline is the one meant to cement everything together. An awful video artist (Emilie Ohana) endlessly films people because, y’know, we’re all, like, human, and shit. I think we’re meant to take that warm, fuzzy notion out of the cinema. You might. I didn’t.” Neither did I.

I’m disappointed it wasn’t better. The concept was an interesting one and it could have been exceptionally good. But the problem lies when you try and join together a range of films made by different people and some are good and some are bad. The bad films just look terrible, and the good films lose all credit because you’re too focused on complaining about the bad bits. Instead, I recommend seeing How To Tame Your Dragon which I refused to see until my boyfriend begged me so much that I felt like an evil woman crushing his hopes and dreams. I made him go and see New York, I Love You as a consequence but really he won this film battle.

I See!

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I had a moment of ‘Ohhhh!’ yesterday while trying to find synonyms of the word “Business” in order to come up with a FANTASTIC title for a research brochure I am putting together for UWA. Some of you may remember an entry I wrote on 29 March (I can hear you all saying “Ahh… yes. I remember it well!”) where I complained about business not being spelt how it sounds. Well yesterday I discovered thanks to my good friend Wiktionary that the word business is derived from the Old English word ‘bisigness’, which is where we get ‘busy’ from. Where that damn ‘u’ fits in, I’m not sure, but at least we can now all see where the ‘i’ sound comes into it. Of course it also raises more questions such as “Where did that U comes from?” and “What sort of odd word is bisigness?” but no one has filled in those pages on Wiktionary so the answer remains unknown.

I’m Not Stealing Your Jobs!

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dear France,

I am writing to inform you that despite your assumptions I do not wish to steal your citizens’ jobs. I do not plan on burdening your medical services. I am not going to create a nuisance or disturbance. All I want to do is live in your beautiful country, eat your delicious food, drink your cheap wine and visit your impressive art galleries. I will, in fact, be bringing money INTO your country rather than taking it away. I can speak French, I’m not an annoying tourist and I eat a lot of  bread.

Why are you then making it so hard for me to do this? Fine – say I can only stay for a year! I can deal with that. But please, could you at least tell more than one person the details involved in applying for a visa? Why does it have to be a secret that you will only uncover once I arrive in Sydney to apply for a visa 3 months before I plan on leaving Australia? Are you then going to tell me that I have it all wrong that I can’t go? Because I will cry. And I will yell. And I will punch something. As much as you like to say that your embassy website provides me with all of information I need to apply, THAT IS NOT TRUE! As much as you don’t think I need to call your visa section to ask more questions, THAT IS NOT TRUE. I, in fact, do have more questions and do need more answers and do want to speak to someone. And I don’t want to speak to the secretary who answers my questions with a long silence and then “Umm… I think so.”

If you could please work on this so that I can book a plane ticket knowing that I’m not wasting my money, I would be very happy. So happy that I’d probably return to thinking that France is the greatest country on earth and remember why I want to live there. At the moment, the Czech Republic is looking very attractive.

Looking forward to your response. Have a good weekend.

Kind regards,

Jess

Here's Paris

Please?