I finally saw my design hero, Stefan Sagmeister, in person, at last weekend’s Semi-Permanent design conference in Auckland. Stefan did not disappoint. He started out by giving this long, involved story about watching a manatee at an aquarium on Coney Island… and everyone was like, “Where is he going with this…” and then in the story, the manatee started giving himself a blowjob, to which everyone was like, “???”, and finally Sagmeister was just yelling, “Blowjob! Blowjob! Blowjob!” and THEN everyone realized that the whole point of the story was to make the sign-language interpreter (on the edge of the stage) do the sign-language sign for blowjob over and over. It was obscene and surreal.

Marian Bantjes was incredible too. (Who will buy me this?)

More high points: Rolling in Auckland on Icebreaker’s dime. Holy F*** it is amazing having your company pick up the tab for things. Tired? Then take a cab, friend. Hungry? Eat at sweet Japanese restaurants until your stomach is in physical pain. Um, more tired? Might I suggest staying at this thing called a Serviced Apartment that beats the pants off of a hotel room!!

Not that Icebreaker didn’t get its money worth. This glorious weekend has given me inspiration a go-go, plus a feeling that I would for-real FIGHT anyone who says that Icebreaker isn’t the coolest company in the world.

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