1. Right before Christmas a quasi-friend of ours (which is what I call the position between warm acquaintance and close friend) had a heart attack and spent the holiday in the hospital getting fixed up. The weirdness is that this guy is barely 40; he has a fairly standard list of vices but many people I know, me included, have the same list or a far more egregious one and toddle along just fine. I ran into him and his wife tonight and while he's on the mend he's not out of the woods yet, and is eschewing the caffeinated/nicotined vices while embracing the fruited/vegetable virtues.
2. There's a gigantic tree on my block that I pass on my way home every night. The trunk is so large that it's difficult to see around it, perched as it is on the grass verge between the sidewalk and the curb. I call it the Drunk Mexican tree. Why, you ask? Not so much during January but so many times beginning in late summer and even as recently as early December I would walk down the street on my way home and be surprised to find at least two or three Mexican laborers behind the tree drinking their cans of beer wrapped in paper bags. I'm sure this is an urban phenomenon but you gotta admit it is, on the Scale of Odd, very much a 7.5 out of 10. Why do they pick this tree to crouch behind? Are they hiding? If so, who are they hiding from? And why are innocent passersby like myself always surprised to see them?
3. I still have my Christmas tree and decorations up - this weekend I'll take everything down. We get a live tree every year, and the exercise of removing it from our second floor apartment is an annual chore that I quite dislike, especially if the tree is large. After many years in this apartment I have the process down to a science, but I'll never forget the dismantling of our first Christmas. We had a quite tall tree that year, and as I fussed about trying to figure out how to wrap it up and maneuver it down the stairs Mr. Fresh Hell took matters into his own hands. He calmly opened up the guest bedroom window and heaved the tree out onto the sidewalk, serenely deaf to my cries of "Wait!". Our apartment faces the street; I rushed to the window in time to see the tree bounce once on the sidewalk and fall onto its side, mercifully missing either random pedestrian or parked car. Needless to say I ran outside immediately and dragged it to the curb. Also perhaps needless to say Mr. FH is no longer a part of the de-Christmasing process.
4. I really hate that KIA car commercial that uses the "so long, farewell" song from The Sound of Music. Having knowledge of the inside workings of the advertising industry can be alarming on many occasions; this is one. That commercial doesn't exist in a vacuum and isn't created on a whim.
Some creative team thought up the idea and the execution, which was then pitched to the client. The client agreed to
the execution of the concept and signed off on it
, which leads to an actual TV shoot involving a director, actors, and actual money being paid to all. But it doesn't end there - post production editing, for of course more money, turns a rough cut into a finished product - this process shepherded all the way from beginning to end by beleagured agency account executives and again, the client
, who at all points agrees
that this spot should be made. There are also media decisions made about the frequency of airtime, particular network and/or time slot for the commercial, and I'm quite content to know next to nothing about that particular process.
Automotive advertising is a terribly complex beast of its own, however, and it's entirely possible that this process as I've described it happened within the space of two weeks, maybe less. That's a criminal lack of time in which to do great work, and it entails a huge number of man hours for the result. But if the result is this commercial?
High hopes for 2007, indeed. At the very least we should get some decent commercials out of it.