Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Resolutions.

Not one, but five! I'm a big fan of resolving to do good things, cos even if you fail you probably get some good out of it in the short term. And a few years ago on Jan 1st I started one of those read the Bible in a year plans, and I did it. A resolved resolution! It can be done. So this is what I need discipline for this year.

1 Not think about food unless it is really exciting food
2 Read the Bible EVERY DAY
3 Pray also
4 Read one edifying book every month
5 Practise hospitality

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009.

Thanks for reading! We've had a lot of fun with Jelssie this year. Have a lovely Christmas and remember God incarnate.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Looking forward to seeing you next year!

Love Jess and Elsie

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why saving is bad.

I'm a good saver. I hoard a bit. Sometimes I buy or I'm given things that I perceive as "too good to use". So they become junk and clutter. Which is such a waste! Instead of wearing a nice pair of earrings I keep them safe in their box until they are out of fashion, a total waste of fashion and space. Much better to use them for their purpose and let them really live, until they are lost or broken when I can get rid of them with a sense of satisfaction.

Freeze to prevent spillage

I'm not a great fruit eater. My flatmate left me a mango and two kiwi fruit before she went overseas (I love mango!). I had a couple of nectarines that came all the way from Woolies, Port Macquarie. To help me eat them all, I decided to turn them into a salad. I diced everything up and it looked delicious and juicy.

"I'll take some to work," I thought. "But what am I going to do about the inevitable fruit-juice-spillage-while-carrying-salad-on-the-way-to-work?"

Ding!

"I knows!" I thoughts. "I'll freeze it! That way it can't spill at all, and I can leave it to defrost at work. And if it's a particularly hot day, I can have a nice slushy treat!"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to throw things out.

Elsie is on holiday at the moment so I'm not sure if she'll be posting, but in the spirit of Elsie I am posting on de-cluttering, one of her favourite things. As I get ready to (hopefully) move house, I am doing a lot of it.

My new rule for de-cluttering is: if you only ever see an object when you do a clean out, chuck it away. My normal pattern is to find it, admire it, relive the memories, and then put it back away until next time I do a clean out. Now the hard rule is chuck it.

There is a book at my parents house which is just below the Bible in importance. It is full of wisdom and revelation. It is The Messies Manual. It is a book about cleaning, for messy people! Because messy people think about mess very differently to cleany people. For example, 'Frugal Messies' keep junk they don't need just in case one day they do need it. For slightly 'Sentimental Messies' like me, junk isn't just junk, every piece of junk has a lot of associated memories, and when you find the junk, all the memories come back, and you can't throw out the junk because you are throwing out the memories.

So having realised that all I want is the memory, not the junk, I am now taking photographs of my junk as I throw it out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rental Conspiracy.

Sometime in the mid-late 90s, apartment block builders of the Eastern Suburbs all put their heads together and decided that every block of flats I ever inspect should be built to face west.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The limit of the internet.

Don't know where I will live after 10 January 2010 due to lease ending and housemates leaving.

Faced with this dreadful uncertainty and feeling a burning desire to know, I find myself going to Google, and then realising Google can't tell me that. Stupid internet, doesn't know the future.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big dates in history

Today, checking through my 2008 diary for useful information I need to save before I throw it out, I noticed the following significant entry on Tuesday 27 May:

I haven't seen a grey since then, but I wish I had marked the first anniversary this year.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scuffy heels

I've noticed I have identical scuff marks on the heels of my high heels (grr). See how there's an exposed white bit?















I wonder how it is that I'm causing them. Is it because when I walk on soft grass, the heel sinks into the ground and when I pull it out, it gets scuffed? Or am I scraping my heels against concrete steps or something? Anyone know?

I'm kind of annoyed, but I'm sure not that many people are looking at the heels of my heels ('cept you now will, dear reader).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue da ba dee da ba die

I reached into my handbag and realised...















...it's not just red that I dig.

How to get a longer weekend!

I'm not a huge sleeper-inner. On weekends I sleep till 9.30 or so. But, there is no real need for me to sleep in, because I get good hours of sleep all week— so I don't need a catch-up, it's just the luxury of waking up in my own time.

But, if I get up at a normal weekday time on the weekend, I get an extra 2 hours each day! The weekend is effectively 4 hours longer! 4 hours of precious weekend daylight. It's amazing, having that extra time.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Summertime clothing

Given our high rates of skin cancer and our nation's high exposure to UV rays, Australians should adopt ways of dressing similar to Arab men. Think Lawrence of Arabia and long, flowing white garments.

I like how in that kind of dressing, the vast majority of their skin is covered including the neck, the arms and the legs.

I would like to cover my arms, legs and neck more during summer, but I can't help but associate long sleeved clothing and pants with winter. I don't think I have summer-appropriate long sleeved clothing. Someone should design a range. In the meantime, I'll do my best to remember to put SPF 30+ broad spectrum on my skin each day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Scientists should:

Invent an elastic that lasts forever and never loses its stretchiness. And then make certain small items of clothing out of it. And then women won't have to do their least favourite sort of shopping as often.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Challenge 3: Spice Neon Chicken.

Four challengers met last Friday at Sydney Spice Chicken Pot. The exterior is promising, as Elsie pointed out, there is a neon chicken which is a rooster.

Inside, it turns out to be a hot pot place. The tables have 2 levels, you have bowls and the hotplate on the top of course, and on the shelf below (where we mistakenly put our handbags with great excitement at the convenience) you put the little bowls of raw ingredients for when you need to add them to the pot.

Anyway, the menu was a little confusing at first. It has some english, thankfully, but it comes in the form of a checklist which you tick boxes and hand in to the waitress. The waitresses were very helpful explaining it all.

We ordered a Chicken Hot Pot for $33 which was plenty for the 4 of us. It was surprisingly spicy, only just bearable for some of us, so we asked for more water to be added. The chicken is a lot of bones and knobbles. Not much that you can just put straight in your mouth. But lots of it and definitely tasty.

As they top up the water you then add the other little things you ordered by the bowlfull. Like, rice noodles, cabbage, tofu, skinny white mushrooms, dumplings and I forget what else. We ended up eating too much (well I ate too much), but that is normal for hot pot.

It cost about $15 each. Pretty good value. Obvious why it is so popular with the students during semester.

We decided that we wouldn't come rushing back, but probably in the winter it is a really good place to go when you want some spicy hot pot.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christian office dress codes.

Monday weekly meeting with boss.

First item on the agenda was my dress.

Well, the aircon is fierce, and I have no jumper with me.

Apparently this sort of footwear reinforces negative Christian stereotypes.


Friday, December 4, 2009

So how am I supposed to wash 'em?

Laundry. I sort them into warm wash and cold wash.

Hence this label on my new $15 Target jeans is confusing.























Can you read it? In green it says THINK CLIMATE COLD WASH & LINE DRY. Then further on it says WARM MACHINE WASH SEPARATELY.

So how am I supposed to wash you jeans? Does it matter either way?

Using every last bit

So you think you've reached the end of your product. You can't squeeze anymore lotion or cream out.



















That's when I get my "holy" knife for some action. I have set apart a knife to be my "cut-through-plastic" only knife.



















And voila! You can now use the product that was trapped and could not be squeezed out :) See, there's quite a bit left, even though I couldn't squeeze it out.















Don't expose your product to air continuously if possible - that will dry it out.

Target sets new standard for bargain jeans

Jeans are a staple in my wardrobe. I could wear them to work all the time and I usually wear them in winter.

If you look at one of the lists to the left, you will see that Jess and I have Esprit jeans in common. Meaning we love them. The most flattering cut of jeans I have ever owned are Esprit jeans. Sadly they have started to wear and I am not sure I can patch them up.

I have paid $50-$80 each for my last three pairs of jeans (Saba, cK, Esprit) and then another $10 to get them hemmed up.

But tonight, I picked up two pairs of jeans (one straight leg, one bootcut) for $15 each at Target!

Good points:
  • The cuts are reasonably flattering (I think, but if I'm wrong, do tell me. That's what a true friend would do [in a loving manner mind you :P]),
  • they seem to be the right length (meaning I save $10 per pair in not having to get them altered),
  • very cheap,
  • and I like the colour of the denim.
I'm not sure about the quality. Time will tell.

So Target, if your jeans turn out to be good quality over time, you have set my new standard for bargain jeans.

Bonus tip! I have also learned that if you look bad in one brand's bootcut, it doesn't mean you look bad in every brand's bootcut. Frustrating because it means you can't stick to one cut if you want to keep jeans shopping simple. Liberating because it means you have more to choose from.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dogs in costumes.

Dogs in jackets and shoes are pretty dumb, but this costume I saw in the Courier is AWESOME.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ETS.

I'm not sad for the death of the Emissions Trading Scheme. Trading pollution is moving the pollution around, and mostly moving the money around, hoping that somewhere along the way the pollution is reduced. That's my limited understanding of the matter, anyway.

Not that I have a better plan, except to live frugally and wait for the new earth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The honeycomb divide.

Violet Crumble used to be my favourite chocolate bar. Maybe because it was the biggest. Value is important. Then somehow, Crunchie took the place of favourite honeycomb based chocolate bar.

You know how a Crunchie has a hard dense side and a light bubbly side? I always bite the hard side first so I can save up the bubbly side. Violet Crumble is light and dense with no bubbly bit.

I was thinking of switching back to Violet Crumble, to relive the good times. I had a Violet Crumble this week, and it wasn't that good. The only thing that impressed me was that I ate half and then left it for a few days and the honeycomb didn't dissolve from exposure to humidity the way I expected. But I'll never go back.

Kingsford Challenge 3!

This Friday, 4 December at 6:30. Probably the last challenge this year! Awww.

We are going to Sydney Spice Chicken Pot, it is a very asian place without much english in the signage, bright red signage, trendy seating.

Sorry I don't have as many email addresses as I used to so you will all have to find out from this blog.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Advice (about girls) for my brother.

This is a sort of follow-up post to my How to get a boyfriend series. It isn't a method, however, because women are a lot more complicated than men, and for every rule there is an equal and opposite unrule. It's strange that I have so much to say on the topic, since I have no idea how people ever get married—the whole process seems so complicated and stressful. But here are my thoughts on How to get a lady.

In general, your odds at marrying will decrease in your 30s. That is an interesting issue for another post, maybe in five years time. So, if you want to get married, don't muck around.

I totally understand that women are intimidating. Be prepared to be rejected. Women feel bad about this, and we really do appreciate being asked, but I suspect there are a lot of "no"s out there. Do yourself a favour and maximise your chances of success.
  • Be sure of what you are doing with your life. Have a plan. Demonstrate that you are responsible and proactive.
  • Do some grooming. Maybe get a haircut that isn't described with a number or makes a buzzing sound.
  • Let your sister take you shopping.
So far, these things will create a normal first impression of normalness. To step it up:
  • Be thoughtful and kind to others. To everyone.
  • Demonstrate gentlemanly manners. It is amazing how far "ladies first" will get you. Also if you have a car, offer lifts. And so on. Treat women with respect as the weaker vessel. (You don't want to marry a feminist anyway.)
  • Be on a gender-integrated ministry team. Music team, or a mission, or even just a bible study.
Women notice a lot. Do not underestimate how much women notice.

Now, most importantly, look out for indications of interest. Girls who are keen to be in your company, who laugh in your conversations. Or are excited to have something in common with you ("oh, I love Dune too!"). If you pursue a girl who hasn't been speculating about you, she might say "no" out of surprise and caution. So try and read the signs.

I think that's all I have. Take it from there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Why photobooth (webcam thingy) portraits are cool.

  • The camera is at the top of the screen, so you get that flattering from above angle.
  • The lens is lightly curved, so this slightly alters the dimensions of your face: Bigger forehead, smaller chin. My natural dimensions are skewed the other way, so for me this is a pleasing correction. In general, it creates a cuter face shape, because babies have bigger foreheads and smaller chins.
  • Black and white, and filters which exaggerate colour, are great for smoothing out uneven skin tone, hiding blemishes, and drawing attention to your eyes and mouth, minimizing your nose.
  • Also, they are a mirror image, and I find that when I flip them I often look weird, because I normally see myself in a mirror. My mirror face is the normal me to me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Share the love, share the calories

There are lots of yummy foods that not so health-ful for you, especially when consumed in more than moderate amounts e.g. hot chips, desserts, anything containing pig fat etc.

This is where my philosophy in eating unhealthy food comes in: share the love, share the calories.

When you want to dig into a bowl of ice-cream, munch your way through a packet of chips, or gorge yourself on chocolate, the best way to eat it is to share the food with as many people as you can. You still get to eat the food, but by now sharing it, you are now eating a modest portion (hopefully!), you are spreading the love by engaging others in the eating and you are also sharing the calories!

(I have to admit, I feel a wee bit less Australian using the term "calories" as opposed to "kilojoules")

Phone fear.

Why don't some people (i.e. me) like talking on the phone? I hate to make a phone call. I will do anything to avoid it. Hooray for email and text messages. I am quite confident in real life when I need to talk to someone, even a stranger. I am happy enough to answer the phone. Where does phone call fear come from? (I don't think there is an answer.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chinese Vampires and Chinese Twilight

Having watched Twilight, and with all the recent hype that went with the release of New Moon, it's got me thinking about the differences between Western vampires and Chinese vampires (here's a hilarious introduction to Chinese vampires).

In Western culture, vampires have become objects of sexual desire. To think of Chinese vampires that way is so wrong and gross, and nobody would portray them in that light. Wiki points out that Chinese vampires are really more like zombies.

However, if I were a Chinese filmmaker, I'd make a Chinese version of Twilight, adopt their interpretation of a vampire, release it, have thousands of Asian girls fall in love with the Chinese Edward Cullen and then rake in the moolah.

In fact, I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet (or has it?). Chinese people love covering hit songs from other cultures and languages. Why not a movie?

Bye bye Bublé :'(

Whatever you think of Michael Bublé (he's too charming, no wonder Emily Blunt dumped him for Jim Halpert), he's certainly a hard worker. It's been hard to turn on the TV without seeing him; he's covering all the channels and all the time slots. The wonderful thing about this is that you can't even notice that Britney Spears is in the country, it's all Bublé Bublé Bublé.

How to dance Austen-style

Elsie opened the door, now there is no stopping the Austen. I can't restrain myself.
Henry Tilney: " ...I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours."

Catherine: "But they are such very different things!"

" — That you think they cannot be compared together."

"To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour."

"And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?"

Catherine:
"Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them."

"In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison."

"No, indeed, I never thought of that."

"Then I am quite at a loss… "
Chapter 10, Northangar Abbey

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to fall in love Austen-style

To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love
Chapter 3, Pride and Prejudice.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Productive procrastination

At work, I had a task to get done. But I put it off by decluttering the office instead. This is called productive procrastination.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Celebrity crush

Do you think you reach an age or stage in maturity where you shouldn't be having celebrity crushes anymore?


I found out recently that Mary (Guan's wife) and I had the same celebrity crush in high school :P

So, who's your celebrity crush (past or present)?

More on mirrors.

Bathrooms with mirrors around the all the walls are really fun, I love to see the back of my head, and see myself a thousand times over going off to eternity.

Self examination.

When I was a teenager I had several discomforting experiences when I saw someone and made a quick negative judgement about their appearance (who is that tall slouchy sallow slack-jawed daggy girl?) and then realised there was an mirror in the room. When I know there is a mirror, I put on my 'mirror face' and straighten up. The surprise mirror, and my reaction at my other self, is the closest I've got to seeing what I really look like, what first impression I create.

I would love be outside myself and watch myself for a day. I could pinpoint annoying traits, and whether I have a silly walk or ugly voice, things like that. How useful.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Singing in tones?

Chinese is a tonal language. That means the tone you use to pronounce a word will affect its meaning (e.g. using a rising tone vs a sharp falling tone).

I listen to Chinese pop music and I've often wondered, how do tones affect singing? I can't work out if Chinese singers sing tones in their songs. When I listen, their words (the ones I can understand) make sense, but is this because context tells me what the words mean or because they actually sing the tone of the words in the song?

(Does anyone get my question?)

Lesson 1 from 2009.

I made a mistake this year, which has been a long running annoyance. I bought a day to a page diary, instead of a week to a spread one. Maybe there are people out there who like a whole page for each day, but I'm not that busy. I do need help thinking ahead, however; I need to see this week, or next week, at a glance. I like to know if a day of the week is going to be on the left or the right. I like to count ahead the weeks by turning pages.

Buying a diary for the year is one of those special personal decisions. If you use ical, you might be organised. But you don't get to carry around a little book in your chosen brand, size, thickness, colour, surface texture, fonts. Even though my 2009 diary is a stupid day to a page diary, it is small, thick, red vinyl cover, with rounded corners, yellowy pages and an elastic closure, and it has stickers on it. It's a sort of statement.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Visiting for Fellowship.

This is my newly invented euphemism for when girls visit other churches to scope out the husband prospects. Fellowship. Get it?

I'm not that brazen. I go to KCC working bees.

(90% kidding)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Haircuts.

Pro: Really needed a haircut for a long time, the split ends were causing my hair to curl.

Con: I don't like making appointments; also fancy salons make me feel daggy.

So last night I walked into the asian one on the corner of the 9ways and got it over with.

Pro: The cheap impulse haircut basically works: split ends are gone, hair is shorter.

Con: But it is too short and heavy at the front to sit off my face. My whole head is also uncontrollably wavy. This is the worst haircut I have had in 3 years.

Now I face the dilemma of the next haircut.

Pro: When my hair grows out I can get a better cut. Hurry up hair.

Con: I have to go through the whole saga all over again.

Elsie's jelssie book o' inspiration

Where do the wonderful ideas for this blog come from? I mean, we know they come from my brain and Jess' brain, but how do they go from brain to here?

I introduce to you my jelssie book o' inspiration, beautifully handcrafted by Karen.



My ideas are often written down somewhere before they are published here.


For those of you who prefer flow charts:

Bing! Idea in Elsie's brain -> Furiously scribbled down in book o' inspiration -> shared on jelssie.blogspot.com

I also have some ideas written down in an Engage 09 notebook. Hope to share them all with you soon!



Thursday, November 12, 2009

The way things was.

I sometimes think about scarves. I wear my scarf most days during cooler months. Most girls do. Some men (man-scarves are a contentious issue). Now I am considering getting a floaty girly summer scarf. But I remember a time when nobody wore a scarf. When people started wearing scarves, I thought they were over-dressing—scarves are for people in Melbourne or Alaska.

Now I can't imagine life without scarves! Before scarves we all wore skivvys. Can you still get a skivvy with a neck? I don't think so. The scarf killed the turtle neck.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toothbrush dieting.

I have previously found that cleaning my teeth after lunch is a disincentive to eat. A combination of wanting to keep the minty freshness, and food tastes gross after toothpaste. Apples are the yuckiest, really foul.

Even more now that I have braces and the brushing is more difficult and more important. After lunch, I clean my teeth and then I can't eat until really late in the afternoon.

Wendy said that when she eats something savoury and gets the sweet craving, chewing gum or brushing teeth cuts that off, because it provides the flavour bust and distracts you. Chewing gum is bad for your jaw though, so don't chew. Brush.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Skin Hunger

aka touch deprivation. I can go for months without touching another human being or animal. I get hugs when I visit my family, and sometimes I shake hands with people when I meet them, but girls don't handshake much (it's a contentious issue, the female handshake). I was surprised yesterday, when I was helping with creche, how much I wanted to grab the children and cuddle them. I'm not a weirdo. But it was a strange urge, not based on how much I love babies because I'm not baby-crazy. So I googled it, and found out that it is Skin Hunger.

Different cultures have different levels of touchy feely. Our culture has no middle ground, I think. It's sexual, or nothing. There are no accepted friendly intimacies. We don't kiss on the cheek for hello or good bye, we don't link arms when we walk with someone. Modern dancing is now a bunch of individuals in pairs and groups, not pairs embracing or groups of people holding hands.

Maybe we shouldn't mock the 'hug hello', or the side hug? Maybe I should become a hug lady? Or should I just grab babies and pat strange dogs? Or, because Jane Austen has the answer for everything, maybe we should bring back regency manners. All that lovely formalised hand-holding in and out of carriages, proper dance steps, walking along arm in arm...

Friday, November 6, 2009

KESC #2

The second challenge was held last night, at Pinocchios.




Elsie: Rice cake and dumpuling ramyun (spicy noodle soup)
Denise: Hot stone bowl biben bob & miso $13
Denise and Elsie shared a $10 sushimi plate
Jess G: Tray with rolls, tempura, salad, teriyaki chicken and miso $15
Jess K: Similar tray but with sushi instead of rolls for $16

According to Jess
Decor is good, booths are pretty small though! The wait staff have very good hairstyles. The Extras were excellent: tea, water, and pickled sweet things. Value was also good, we each spent between $15 and $20. I loved my tray for $15, I would order that again. I like food with lots of different things and you can pick from one to the other and mix flavours. We finished everything and felt elegantly full. I would give it 4/5.

According to Elsie
I'm not really a fan of Japanese-Korean restaurants (i.e. the two cuisines combined). I can't really explain why, I just like my cuisines separate.

I really liked the free entree stuff they served us: slightly sweet gravy over boiled potatoes and kimchi.

The sashimi I shared with Denise was good value.

I decided to try something new and ordered a Korean "spicy noodle soup" called ramyun, which to my great disappointment, was Korean ramen. There's no way I would have ordered it if I had known ramyun was ramen :(. The "dumpulings" I got were ok. I was very very disappointed, but only because I didn't know it was actually ramen and didn't want ramen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Look what's popped up

Hmm...did someone read my post Quiz for music lovers? Cos this quiz Guess the band minus the frontman! has popped up.

(I'm sure other people have had this idea before, but humour me.)

Car parks and supermarks

Shopping centres should put up diagrams/maps of their car parks, clearly marking car park entry and exits, as well as pedestrian entry and exit from the car park to the shopping centre. It would make parking and shopping a lot more easier and less stressful. World Square Shopping Centre has a car park diagram (scroll down and click on link to map).

Similarly, supermarkets should have copies of store layouts online and at each store, so you can plan your shop instead wandering around everywhere looking for items on your list. I remember one supermarket used to do this. The other alternative is to take photos of aisle headings, but they don't let you take photos. Oh well, pen and paper it is.

The elderly are confronting...

...because they remind us that:
  • we won't be young forever (if we reach old age God willing)
  • our health and bodies will fail us and we will be frail
  • death is coming because they are closer to it that we are (notwithstanding other causes of death)
I saw a couple of elderly people today, both out with their son or daughter, who too, are getting old. If I never get married, never have kids, who'll look after me if I reach old age? Even if I got married, there's no guarantee that you'll have kids. Even if you had kids, there's no guarantee they'll be dutiful and care for you or even outlive you (this very sad account comes to mind).

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you truly have to rely on God.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The voice advertisers love

And that voice belongs to Angus Sampson. You may seen him on Thank God You're Here. He's also the voice for the following ads: Kettle Chips, Nissan Patrol, NRMA Unworry and I think maybe for Stihl power tools as well.

What is it about his voice that advertisers love? I think he's a funny guy.

Obsessions.

Internet is not letting me upload pics so the report from KESC #2 will have to wait.

In the meantime, I shall share a few words on Obsessions. Not the same as Addictions, because they are temporary. They become my favourite thing to think about. They give me a satisfied buzz, a sense of accomplishment, when I indulge them. Currently, mine are all self improvement related:
  • Decluttering in prep for move
  • Eating raw garlic*
  • My food planner
* How to eat raw garlic: chop it up and wash it down with a drink of water so that it doesn't touch your mouth. It is really strong so it burns if you eat it straight, but it water it is fine and I have never had a complaint about garlic breath.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Wouldn't have picked you as a lead singer

There are some lead singers whom I have thought, "Woah, you have a very unconventional voice. Wouldn't have picked you as a lead singer." Mostly because they are somewhat whiny.
  • Billy Corgan (lead sing of Smashing Pumpkins)
  • Brett Anderson (solo artist and lead singer of Suede)
  • Jarvis Cocker (solo artist and lead singer of Pulp)
  • Brian Molko (lead singer of Placebo)
I don't think Jarvis Cocker is whiny, but the rest have some degree of whininess. Each give a very distinctive lead voice to his band and I do appreciate each of them.

Guilt me!

Facebook thinks I'm not a good enough friend to enough people:
Sue Tibbs
You haven't talked on Facebook lately.
Send Her a Message
I object. I can't express how strongly I feel. I do not need Facebook to tell me how to be a friend. This is like upselling fries but a lot worse.

PS I don't object to Sue. She is very nice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A true friend...

...will think of you and invite you along when they have a 2-for-1 voucher for seafood buffet at a nice hotel.

Eft to the Left

If you like Jelssie, and you are looking for a similar thing in talk radio format, you can't go past James Valentine on 702 ABC, between 1-3pm weekdays. His popular segments include Rant, The Forgotten Sports Report and last year he devoted half an hour on Fridays to a segment called Nothing. Nothing was quite divisive, some people could not stand nothing, but I loved it.

This week on Rant (a segment where listeners get to vent their disproportionatly angry spleen about a tiny but annoying issue) a lady started a campaign to make checkout eftpos machines universal in card swipe direction. We can all identify with the irritation of not being able to figure out which way the magnetic stripe goes. Imagine if there wasn't a universal direction for unscrewing jars, or driving on one side of the road, or hot tap cold tap direction? We need some law and order. Eft to the Left is a stroke of GENIUS.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Meals Men Like

We received a very amusing fax in the office today. It said,

New Book! Meals Men Love. How to Catch a Man in 3 Courses



















They even have a website and they're on twitter and Facebook.

I clicked onto the website and they sell the most gorgeous aprons. I wouldn't mind one myself. But the feminist in me can't help but cringe to read "Impress him in the kitchen with this stunning designer apron." I'll take it with a grain of salt.

I think I can safely speak for jelssie that we could be similarly woo-ed by a home-cooked 3 course meal. After all, food is currently the most popular label for our posts ;P

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

KESC #1

Four bold challengers met last Friday for the first Kingsford Eat Street Challenge. Jess, Elsie, Caroline and Georgina.

We met at Pinocchio's, but quickly noticed that we had chosen the wrong place. It was the second restaurant on the street. This would ruin all our plans. So we convened a meeting and changed the Challenge to the first restaurant, Tropicana Singapore Laksa House. I took notes but can't find them atm, so here are my recalled observations:

The Decor:
Nice comfy booths, cool art on one wall.

The Staff:
The lady who owns the place took our orders and she is very nice.

The Food:
Between us I think we had a Seafood Laksa, which was my first laksa so can't compare to other laksas, Hainan Chicken, Curry Chicken and Hokien Noodles. The general consensus was good portion sizes, but not massive (I can't stretch it to 2 meals), a lot of noodles and good taste.

The Value:

Good Kingsford Value. All our meals were $8-10.

The Extras:
Air con wasn't up enough, there was help-yourself tea.

All in all, about a 3 out of 5. Good, but we wouldn't rush back.

We think we want Challenge bibs with a logo on them!

Stretching your meal

There's a new kid on the blog block. Well, not a new kid per se, but a new blog! It's Jess K's Budget Ministry Meals. I like I like I like.

While we're on the topic of budget meals, here's one of my tips for stretching your meal, especially when you get take-away.

Take-away meals can be wonderfully convenient but not great for the hip-pockets or your health if done too often. If I get take-away, I often find that it's big enough for two serves, especially if they're a carb-based meal e.g. something with rice or stir-fried noodles. So I will dish out 1/2 and immediately put the other 1/2 in the fridge (so you're less tempted to pick at it).

To bulk up the vegie content or the meal itself, I might add a diced cucumber or some steamed vegies e.g. beans, carrot.

That means you get two meals out of one, and you've made it healthier by adding vegies :) It comes to about $4-$5.50 a serve, depending on what you get etc etc

Monday, October 26, 2009

Choosing a housemate - to friend or not to friend?

Guest post from Anna!

Some people say you shouldn't move in with a friend because it could ruin your relationship. Let me add my 2 cents worth about living with friends.
Obviously this is just my experience, but I have had it work both ways:

Housemate #1: When I first moved out of home I moved in with my long-time best friend, which some would say is home-making suicide. I was a bit nervous about the prospect to begin with. But we got on great because we think very similarly, are both open communicators and like to relax and spend time together in the same way. In the end it strengthened our relationship and we are still best friends even though we don't live together anymore (because a boy took her away!).

Housemate #2: This was a person I wasn't as close to to begin with, but she was still a friend. I think living together jeopardised our relationship because our expectations of living clashed and communication was weird. We didn't fight, but we rarely crossed paths. All communication on her part was by email. Not every email was passive-aggressive, but communication was by email ALONE. I'm not saying never give each other space, or never communicate by email. But if there's not an open line of face to face communication or spending time together then it causes weird tension. And there's no opportunity to strengthen the relationship. We did experience a period of horrible tension over a particular issue, which I don't think was ever really resolved properly. We tried, but seemed to be communicating at cross purposes and I don't know that either of us felt like the other person understood our own point of view. As a result I think we've lost something in the relationship.

I think potential housemates have to be up-front with each other at the beginning/before you move in together in order to establish your expectations of different aspects of house-sharing. If these expectations clash, that will probably be an indicator that it’s going to be more work if you end up living together. You can never know EVERYTHING about how it's going to work with the other person, even if you have the advantage of being able to weigh up your different personalities. But if you know the other person well enough beforehand, it is worth weighing up whether there’s anything in the relationship that annoys you. Because whatever there is will be intensified if you live together.

In the end I think it's probably less about whether a potential housemate is a friend to begin with and more about your respective "living styles". Here is a list of things to consider when choosing a flatmate. Think about what expectations you and any potential housemate have regarding:

- Cleanliness/tidiness in common areas
- How/when the common areas are used
- How you like to relax (ie do you expect to spend time together or do you always like to spend down-time in your room with the door shut?)
- Having people over (you need to put your flatmate first in this, and give them the opportunity to say "no" to you having friends over if they want a quiet night in and there is limited living space)
- Sharing/not sharing food
- How the bills are split/paid

Monday Funny.

Last night Phillip Jensen was talking about what separates humans from other animals, and I learned that Poo Jokes are a defining characteristic of being human. That's not exactly what he said, but that's what I learned.

I have been waiting for an opportunity to post this! If you're looking for the poo joke, it's there.
We shall return now to our normal dignified and edifying tone.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Announcing...

Jelssie have a plan:

The Kingsford Eat Street Challenge!


We plan to eat at and review every "restaurant" on Anzac Parade, from Mcdonalds to Sinma Laksa House and every Shan Dong Chicken in between. Down one side and up the other!

We are starting tomorrow, Friday 23rd October, 6pm, at Pinocchios (corner of Barker Street).

Come along to every one, or just drop in and join us when you can. An official indication of interest would be useful if you would like notification of Challenge Events, or check back here.

My grandma's logic

My grandma tells me that men are liars and untrustworthy. Yet she still wants me married. To a man. You'd think by her logic that she'd tell me either to stay single or start batting for the other team.

Explaining food

(A food post during lunchtime. How appropriate.)

Ravioli: It's an Italian wonton.

Hainan Chicken Rice: Say it like you're greeting your grandma. "Hi Nan!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Banana Guards, do-doo do-do-dooh!

I had planned to post the epic story of how the crow flew into my head, but this afternoon Karen delivered my order of Banana Guards!!!


This is one of the best pieces of design ever! They make me laugh, AND they protect my bananas from being squashed in my bag!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mirrormorphia

There might be a better word. But this post is about when there are 2 things you always thought were the one and the same. Then you suddenly put them next to each other and realise they are 2 separate and different things. eg:

Star Trek and Star Wars
Orson Welles and George Orwell
Maxine McKew and Jennifer Byrne
Marulan and Merriwa
Bowral and Bega
Cumberland and Carlingford
Rugby Union and Rugby League

Monday, October 19, 2009

Thoughts on food post agcamp.

Man, there is so much food on this blog.

Not having to think about cooking meals for a week was so good! I got back to an empty fridge though. My food routine is lost. On an aside, I know eating is a great fellowship thing, but I think overall I prefer eating on my lap on the lounge with some TV, to eating at a table full of girls, awaiting the dreaded 'table rattle' asking me in rhyme to tell a funny story.

Here is my rhyme, which is pretty cool. Thanks Melly.
Because she's an artistic machine, lets hear a funny story from Jess Green.
The girls pick on the cool noisy leaders at the start of the week, and work down to the uncool quiet leaders. So being the uncoolest—I had forgotten how uncool I am outside the world of jelssie—I had a few days to dread the rhyme and to perfect my story, which is a very short one: a crow flew into the back of my head. (In broad daylight. It was a planned attack.)

But back to the original subject: my fridge is empty and I have forgotten how to plan meals and shop for groceries. I think I'll pick up some SHAN DONG! and buy myself another day to delay.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

When a disyllabic word sums up how you feel

In high school, we studied the musical West Side Story. One of the songs in it goes, "I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and gay and I pity, any girl who isn't me today ba da da da da da da da" (I may have miscounted the number of das).

When ever a disyllabic word (i.e. a word with two syllables) has been able to express how I feel, I have often substituted it into the song.

At the moment, I have a cold and well, as unladylike as it is to say it, I am snotty. So throughout today, this tune has been going through my head, "I feel snotty, oh so snotty. I feel snotty and grotty and gay, and I pity, any girl who isn't me today ba da da da da da da da da".

Try it next time a disyllabic word sums up how you feel.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quiz for music lovers

Bands are usually recognisable by their lead singer (which in the pic below is not the tall guy).
















A fun quiz for music junkies would be to name pictures of bands without their lead singer. Of course I'd be able to pick my favourite bands. I'd recognise Powderfinger without Bernard Fanning, but not Muse without Matt Bellamy. Should be on Spicks and Specks I reckon!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I see red

I opened up my bag the other day and it dawned on me:



















Think I must like the colour red or something.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The ETTR Rule.

I don't think He's just not that into you was a great movie. But one of the main ideas has come back to me. "You are not the exception, you are the rule." There are people out there who have amazing love stories, but they are the exception, so don't pin all your hopes on the exception. Be realistic.

In particular, I want my church to be a vibrant cool growing church like ****. But the number of VCG churches is quite small compared to all the regular churches... the VCG churches are the Exception, my church is the Rule. The Exception churches are unique, and you can't imitate them directly. But it's not so bad to be in the Rule group. I found this article helpful.
"mega-whatevers are the exception, not the rule; and that the church has survived throughout the ages not just - or even primarily - because of the high profile firework displays of the great and the good, but because of the day to day faithfulness of the mundane, anonymous, non-descript people who constitute most of the church, and who do the grunt work and the tedious jobs that need to be done."

Remember The Exception To The Rule Rule.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are brunettes funnier than everyone else?

Here's a list of some of the Aussie comedians and tv personalities around:

- Andrew Denton
- Tony Martin
- Merrick & Rosso
- Hamish & Andy
- Rove
- Hughsey
- Adam Hill
- Will Anderson
- Judith Lucy

What do you notice? Most of them are brunettes. Is it because brunettes are funnier than everyone else?



(By the way, don't you think "tv personality" is a funny description?)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Boring main? Tasty side!

In my attempt to make Mediterranean tuna and rice pie healthier, I substituted:
  • tuna in oil for tuna in brine
  • semi-dried tomatoes for the nearly fat-free semi-dried tomatoes
  • bocconcini for low-fat ricotta
In the end, it turns out I also sacrificed flavour. It just tasted bland and I momentarily lost my appetite for tinned tuna. I froze half the dish, ate 1/4 and chucked out a 1/4 because it sat in the fridge for so long.

However, today I gave it another chance. I defrosted and heated a piece and served it with following diced:
  • 1/2 egg tomato
  • 1/2 lebanese cucumber
  • 1 boiled egg
  • 1/2 ripe avocado.
I seasoned the above with salt & pepper, and served it with a little bit of Kewpie mayo (i.e. heart attack mayo because it's 80% fat. I kid you not. Check the label!).

It made the bland dish taste so much better!

So if you have a boring main, make sure you have a tasty side :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walking in the Rain.

Next time, be prepared.

Downsides
Getting damp
Hair getting caught in umbrella spokes

Upsides
Nobody can hear you sing
Umbrella twirling

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Braces are Torture.

Not the screaming sort, but a small amount of pressure over a long period of time is quite painful. I want to get them OFF!

It's like when you have a ponytail and the hairband is pulling a little bit of hair; it doesn't really hurt at first, but by mid morning you have to tear it out. Or like tight shoes. Starts off a little uncomfortable, gradually becomes crippling.

Two days down, two years to go!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Late bloomer

Some people find getting braces as an adult quite a traumatic experience. I've read peoples' comments on online forums how they cried when they first saw themselves with braces and hated showing them to people.

I felt quite bemused when I found out I had to get braces. I still do find it bemusing that I have braces. You see, I associate braces with high school and kids, and it just makes me feel like a late bloomer. There are things which people do in their teens (e.g. braces, get ears pierced, get learners driver licence) which I didn't do until my 20s. So having braces now just adds to that.

I cracked up big time when I saw Jess with her braces for the first time. (Thankfully she wasn't offended and understood it's just an Elsie quirkiness.) It's just funny that we both need them and both got them around the same time. But it's so nice to be able to share the experience with someone else :)

New News.

I have braces! Now jelssie is fully orthodonted.

And jelssie is on twitter, thanks to Karen. Some people prefer twitter, like Ben, who used to "heart jelssie" but now "don't read it very much". So we want Ben to heart us again.

It is at https://twitter.com/jelssie ... But because I am a tech fraud I have been unable to log in yet, so i'm not sure what it actually does.

I'm going home to chop up a chocolate bar.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sweet dreams.

It's always been a dream of mine to have a four-poster bed. Hang curtains up around it and be just like a princess. I recently found an old picture of one I had clipped out of a catalogue. When I was little I took the bottom bunk and made curtains out of yellow flannelette and wide lace, which was was pretty cool.

But now I am a grown up, the cons of the 4 poster bed are quite oppressive. They are big, and heavy, so moving house and finding high ceilinged bedrooms becomes more of a chore. Still, I hope that the day will come...

Another dream of mine is to own a piano. I have a sensible keyboard, but it feels nothing a piano. But, again, pianos are large and heavy to move, require good doorways to get them into the house, and take up a lot of space in common living areas. Maybe when I don't share a 3 bedroom unit on the 4th floor.

But... if I had a piano and a four poster bed, I wouldn't want to go to heaven. So it's probably a good thing to delay collecting such idolatrous worldly possessions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Girls vs Boys.

Worst things about being a girl (not a man). Not a comprehensive list, obviously. I have heard that childbirth is pretty awful, but that's beyond my experience and kind of heavy for this blog anyway.
1) Feeling perioidal
2) Make-up and hair maintenance
3) Have to pack more when traveling, but have weaker arms
4) Shopping for swimwear or underwear
5) Comparing self with other girls

Best things about being a girl (not a man)
1) Skirts
2) Not being really hairy
3) Sometimes acting silly
4) Using the 'i'm a girl, can you do it for me' excuse
5) More interesting shoes
I think I will write one from the other perspective. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Using stuff up.

There are two main emotional responses to using stuff up:
Glass half full: "Yay, I've been using the same bottle of soap forever, now I can go and buy a different smelling one! New soap flavour!!!"

Glass half empty: "Sigh, now I have to remember to get another bottle of detergent."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Boredom is a luxury

Those who have to struggle to survive or who are going through suffering don't get bored. Boredom is a luxury.

Self service checkouts.

Pros:
  • You don't get asked for flybuys
  • You can bag your own stuff at your own speed in your own way
  • Early on there was novelty
  • Early on there was no queue because most people were afraid or objected to them

Cons:
  • The bagging area always rejects my backpack, so I have to stack then pack.
  • Now the novelty has caught on with a whole lot of people who have no idea how to navigate the system, so they take 4 times longer than if they let a professional do it for them at a regular checkout. They clog up the whole show.

Beauty sleep

Further to my previous post on the benefits of going to bed early:

Beauty
Hopefully, going to bed early means you will be more rested, which means less bags and dark shadows under the eye area and a bigger smile on your face in the morning :)

Ready Steak Cook as a promotional vehicle

If you need a bit of self-promotion to do, whether you are an aspiring designer, musician, actor, model, author or simply self-employed, consider appearing on Ready Steady Cook. That's free air-time for you and your product!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to buy clothes - an extra detail

I've been thinking a bit more about my previous post, and I've realised there's a bit more to the thought process. When I think about price, I also think:

1. How many in my size are left?
If there's heaps, can I wait for it to go on sale (and risk not finding my size during sale time) or do I really need it now? If there's only one or two left, should I just pay the current price?

2. Is this item from a major retail chain?
If so, I'm usually willing to risk buying this during sale time as I can hopefully find my size in a few different stores.

Of course, the best situation is seeing something you love, waiting for it to go on sale and snapping up a bargain.

Other times, you try on something you love, and you realise it's the only one left in your size, time is not on your side for shopping around, and it's somewhat discounted (though not heavily or it's at full retail price). That's still a good purchase, although not as sweet as the former.

How to buy clothes

When I examine my washing basket, it's clear to me that I need to re-examine my criteria when it comes to buying clothes.

Currently, the criteria stands at this:

1. Does this suit my body shape according to Trinny & Susannah's "The Rules"?
2. How much is it?
3. Do I already have a similar item?
3. Do I already have a similar item in a similar colour?
4. What can I wear it with?
5. How often can I wear it?
6. Will it be hard to clean?
7. Do I need it?

And it usually stops there. But since I've realised I'm not a fan or ironing or hand washing, and that clothes that pill really quickly drive me nuts, I've had to add:

8. What is it made out of?
9. Do I need to handwash it?
10. Do I need to iron it?
11. Do I LOVE it?

If I'm willing to run the risk of pilling, and put in the effort of handwashing and/or ironing, then it must be a pretty amazing item of clothing!

UAI, where are they now?

In high school, the subliminal message was that the higher your UAI, the better your life will be, or at least a high UAI is your key to a successful life.

They should do a documentary on people who get 100 UAI (or >99.5) and record their life at different stages: the day they found out their results, then five years down the track, ten and twenty years. A bit like the 7-Up documentary series. It would be interesting.

Because we love food...

and we love you,

Jelssie are issuing an open invitation to join us at the Chinatown Night Markets tomorrow night.

We figure that among the possible dozens of readers of this blog, others might share our interest in (as Elsie says) "food, more food and fake Tiffany jewellery". We very much hope that none of you are weirdo stalkers who want to meet us in real life so that you can follow us around and stuff. But just in case some of you are, get in contact* and if we trust you we will let you know where and when we will be meeting.

* jess84th(at)hotmail.com is my least valuable email address. If you are a creepy random I will shut it down :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dust storms and the end of the world

Today's dust storm has certainly made life more interesting. There are some beautiful pictures out there.

It's made me realise that an unusual "natural" occurrence can lead people to think about the end of the world - even by non-Christians.

Use the dust storm as a topic of conversation: What do you think about "the end of the world"? Do you think it will happen one day?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A lack of grief observed.

A lot of celebrities have been dying. I have now perfected my emotional response. Here it is, for future reference.
When a celebrity dies I feel a bit surprised,
and I try and appreciate the moment
if it is a really historic death.
There you go! Maybe the media could use this as a template.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Confession.

I am a fraud. In one area, at least.

I work as a graphic designer, which sounds like I know about technology and love macs. But I don't. I do not want an iphone. I'd like to change my ringtone to a TV theme song but I don't know how to load a new sound onto my nokia. Or get photos off it, for that matter (I took some photos on the weekend of a yellow VW beetle run into a pole). I can barely run this blog: it feels like a huge achievement to link something. I'm not very good at using word or powerpoint, but I think that's because they are not very good programs.

All I can really do is sync my ipod, upload from my camera, and use 3.5 design programs. I can blow you away on InDesign and iTunes, the rest is a sham!

That feels better.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We're all individuals.

Things I kind of like, but other people don't.
  • Wind, rain and hail.
  • Giving blood.
  • Garlic breath. Mine.
Things I don't care much about, but other people love.
  • Phones, mobile phones, iphones, they are all boring.
  • Lipstick.
  • Butter.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A true friend will...

...discreetly point out to you your faux pas e.g.
- chocolate smeared on lips/face
- food and greenery stuck in your teeth/braces
- tell you your fly is undone
- tell you your eye make-up is reaching the emo part of the day/night.

...save you a piece of cake at work if its your day off

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Comedians are the new Comic Sans. Part 2.

Comedians sell more stuff than cricketers. They sell gym memberships and high fiber breakfast cereals and financial services. Are funny people THAT trustworthy, that we choose ING because we like Billy Connolly?

My flatmates and I get Illawarra television—no idea why we don't get Sydney TV in the Eastern Suburbs. Or why we bother watching the local news. But we were totally amazed to see Jerry Seinfeld promoting the Greater Building Society. This is a regional building society that lures home loan customers with free holidays. Jerry Seinfeld, for real.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simply Resistible.

There is food which is nice, but not irresistible. I don't have to eat it. Irresistible foods, I have to eat. Resistible foods, I don't have to eat.

Examples of Resistible foods:
Plain chips, even fancy deli brand sea salt ones
Crinkle cut chips in general
Soft drinks
Salsa dip
Fruit and nut chocolate
Cream.

Examples of Irresistible foods:
Cheesecake
Sweet chilli chips, or honey soy
Fresh bread in many forms.

Those are my lists, everyone has their own. It is important to remember the distinction, so that you don't waste stomach space or calories.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lightbulb moments

When you are brought up by migrant parents, you will have moments in life when you realise things can be done differently. I share with you two lightbulb moments. "Stuff that never occurred to me before" moments:

- "What?! You add milk AND sugar to your tea? That's outrageous!" (my only experience of tea was black tea - think yum cha). The irony (?) is of course, pearl milk tea, which contains milk and sugar, is an Asian drink.

- "What?! You can cook rice in a saucepan on the stovetop? That's crazy talk!" (this is coming from someone who has only ever seen rice cooked in a rice cooker).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Soft standards.

There was a time, when I was young, that I wore trousers made of fleece. Tracksuit pants. Then I wore 'stirrups', a fitted trackpant style of trousers with an elastic strap under the feet. Then I became fashion concious, and for many years refused to own any stretchy soft trousers.

Then I decided they were OK for sleeping in.

Then I allowed myself a pair for exercise purposes.

Then I started wearing them around the house.

Then I started not getting changed to pop quickly to the shops.

I let myself wear track pants this whole week while recovering from my wisdom tooth extractions. This included sitting in a cafe, riding on public transport from Gosford to Kingsford, and now I am wearing them at work. I don't think I can promise to never wear tracksuit pants to work again.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Comedians are the new Comic Sans.* Part 1.

They are fun to listen to and don't have many opinions, so comedians have filled almost every niche in media. The career path of a comedian in Australia is now:
  1. Stand up gigs
  2. Stand up gig on Rove
  3. Contestant on Spicks and Specks
  4. Contestant on Thank God You're Here
  5. Regular segment in something on channel ten
  6. Radio host
  7. TV host
So as you can see there is no point doing a B. Communications (Journalism) if you want to be on television, you just have to get to know Rove!

*Ban Comic Sans.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Baking powder update!

Helen just informed me that baking powder does expire and lose its power!

Google supports me too. Why didn't I google it in the first place?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gourmet work lunches.

With only a microwave and a sandwich press, I can cook nearly anything. My greatest success: a frozen meat pie (3 min in microwave, then crisp on hot sandwich press, top then bottom).

While we are on the subject of meat pies, the best frozen pies are Sergeants because they have the little tasty shortcrust logo on the lid.

I would also argue that pies are best enjoyed upside down. If eaten with a knife and fork 'dissection style', eat the base, sides and contents first, then spread sauce on the lid and eat it with your fingers, first around the edge then finishing with the tasty shortcrust logo.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Weird "fact" for the day.

While checking the American preferred spelling of percent/per cent on Wikipedia, I found out that:
Percent signs can also be used to make something seem more official and trustworthy. Example, the rapper 50 Cent originally was going to be 50%, but due to the nature of hip-hop, decided to go with a more gangster name.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Soup and oranges

A longer post than usual, but since it involves both parties of jelssie AND food, I decided it was okay.

When you have dinner in a Chinese restaurant, especially Cantonese ones, it's customary for you to be served complimentary soup before your main meal and some kind of complimentary dessert (e.g. sliced fruit, red bean dessert soup, biscuits) afterwards. Some places don't have it, so the trick is to work out which places do and which places don't. General rule of thumb: if they do yum cha during the day, they should do soup at night OR if they're trying to be a "proper" Chinese (Cantonese) restaurant, they should do soup as well.

Tonight, Jess and I decided to go to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. I wasn't sure how good the restaurant was: the decor was very understated and there were no tablecloths, but all the customers were Asian, which we took as a good sign.

We were seated and it felt like we were in a country Chinese restaurant, except reversed, in that Jess was the only Caucasian person in it (whereas if we really were in the country, I'd be the only Chinese face in a sea of Caucasian faces).

They played Chinese restaurant music - you know, covers of famous Chinese songs without any vocals. I even saw one of the staff bring a whole uncooked fish for a diner to inspect before it was cooked. I should have taken these to be signs of a "proper" restaurant, but at the time, I did not. The decor threw me off.

We ummed and ahhed over the menu and finally settled on two dishes. Jess, naturally, ordered in English, and I decided to order in English as well (I kinda have this small fear of ordering in Chinese, that I won't understand what they'll say).

Now, I did not expect this place to be a free-soup-at-dinner kind of place, so my brain was not alerted to expect it. In truth, I usually forget about the free soup until it arrives.

However my powers of observation led me to realise that everyone else around me was drinking soup! Pre-dinner soup! At first I thought, "Oh, maybe it's because this isn't a proper restaurant and they ordered it. Or maybe because everyone else ordered a lot of dishes and we've only ordered two".

But I saw two young men with soup and only two dishes! And a lone diner with his soup! Then I realised we had been jipped of our soup!

I explained the soup and dessert custom to Jess and asked her to look at tables behind me and spy whether they too had pre-dinner soup. We debated over whether I should ask for soup or not. Jess didn't really care, but I did! It was the principle of the matter!

It's possible they forgot to bring us our pre-dinner soup. It's also possible they thought we wouldn't know about the pre-dinner soup custom given Jess isn't Chinese and I spoke to them in an Aussie accent, so they held it back.

So when our food arrived, I asked the waiter with a smile and very sweetly, "Can we have some soup please?". I thought he looked a bit sheepish, but the soup arrived and Jess declared it yum. So very well worth asking.

Our two pieces of orange arrived after our meal as well.

Moral of the story: order in Chinese whenever you can, and see if everyone else around you is having pre-dinner soup. If they are, so should you :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"No coffee coffee, no teachee teachee"

Jess and I aren't coffee drinkers. So I assume she feels the same way I do: that is, I don't really understand people when they say they can't function without coffee in the morning. Is it the ritual? Is it the drink? Or is it sitting down and allowing your body to wake up?

I tried to think of an equivalent for me, something that would make me understand. I can't function in the morning without drinking water (I wake up super thirsty, at least I do nowadays). I can't function without a 30 minute sleep in (or a 30 minute struggle to awaken, if you will). I love love love listening to the radio in the morning. I can function without breakfast for an hour or so (I have to be distracted though!).

So what is it about coffee that enables addicts to function in the morning? What might be a non-coffee example to help me understand?

Bonus points to anyone who knows where my title comes from!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Check Your Theory theory.

I was telling Emma about my banana bread this morning. She voiced her desperation about being unable to find a recipe for really thick, moist, cafe-style banana bread, and I sympathised because mine had turned out too light and fluffy, and also I overbaked it because I forgot to turn on the timer.

Also I mentioned that my baking powder was out of date, so I had doubled the amount to compensate for a decrease in effectiveness. Emma informed me that No, you don't have to. Baking powder is one of those things that is like salt, and doesn't really expire or lose it's magic power.

I remember forming the idea that expired baking powder lost it's magic power two years ago, when I baked something and it failed. It made sense to blame the expired ingredient. And yeast expires, so it was logical that other raising agents must also expire. I've repeated the explanation to people. But apparently it's not true.

So it was a reminder to me that not every clever theory is true. Just like when you're a kid and you figure out how TV works, but it's not how it really works, but your little brothers and sisters believe you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bread v. cake.

I bought some delicious Pear and Raspberry bread from the bakery at Rosebery. I like this bakery because they are good bakers, and they are nice people. I was waiting at the bus stop one day after a visit to the dentist and it poured with rain, and the old man came out of his shop with a big piece of plastic for me to use as a rain coat. So I like to buy something there.

Back to the topic - the Pear and Raspberry bread was so delicious, that I wondered why it wasn't called a cake. It's just cake in a bread shape, really. That's the only difference I can spot between Banana bread and Banana cake or any other fancy bread.

But then I realised! You call it bread so that you can butter it. Cake—toasted, buttered, and totally legitimate.

Going home to cook Banana bread.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Benefits of going to bed early

This is to motivate those of you out there who struggle with going to bed early, or at a reasonable hour.

Save money
Going to bed earlier means you will save money in electricity bills because you're not watching tv, not using the computer and not using the lights.

Weight-gain prevention
The longer you stay up, the more likely you will get hungry (usually about four or more hours since you had dinner) and eat a snack. If you were in bed, would would sleep through the hunger and not need the snack. You'd wake up and then it would be breakfast :)

Monday Motivation




I have stuck it on my wall at work to brainwash myself out of mess and lolly-cravings.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Not where, but who?

A colleague shared with me:

A friend of mine wanted to be a missionary. She asked me, "Where should I go? Where should I go?" I said, "You've got it all wrong! It doesn't matter where you go. But it matters who you work with. Go find someone you can work with."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Newspaper subscriptions in red-brick blocks of flats; the joys and sorrows.

I live at the top of a 3 story block of flats, and took up a weekend SMH subscription on special. I sometimes found that it was missing when I went down to get it, but would reappear later in the day neatly placed on the table just inside the building door. Which was kind of considerate, but kind of annoying to have made the trip down 6 flights of stairs for nothing. I wrote a note one Friday asking politely if people would please not 'borrow' my newspapers, and happily the borrowing stopped and there is now another weekend newspaper being delivered to the building.

However, now I always have to open my own newspapers—they have that pink glad-wrap around them and you can't find the end and then you can't unpeel it cleanly because it is stretchy and shredded. It was almost worth the inconvenience of having the newspaper borrowed just to have someone else unwrap it for me.

A bitter-sweet victory.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fruit/Smoothie Theory.

On Saturday I had a most enlightening conversation with Jess K. She observed that banana smoothies taste nicer than mango smoothies. I think this is mostly true. Conversely, it is a truth almost* universally acknowledged that mangos taste nicer than bananas.

So I conclude that smoothies make bananas better, but ruin mangos.

* There is a type of person who doesn't like mango, and while I despise their taste, I wish there were more of them so that there would be less competition for the mangos.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Offset Dieting Update:

The fundraiser chocolate is a special case of Offset Dieting. A normal Freddo is Bad, but a fundraiser Freddo is offset by the Moral Good of buying it for mission.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bearing the Heart of a Woman

Jelssie has kindly allowed me to write a guest post for their blog. What a privilege!

Recently, a couple close to me have announced that they're expecting a little bundle of joy. As I move from one age bracket to another, I've noticed that I also move from attending 18th birthday parties, to weddings & then baby showers.

This has brought up a few questions for me on motherhood. As single women, how are we to think of motherhood as a good gift from God? If we don't get to personally experience what motherhood is like, do we somehow miss out on God's plan for us as women? How do we fit into God's plan as single women?

I wrote a post on my own blog about this earlier on this year. Would love to hear your thoughts.

"Wow! I can't believe I'm on Jelssie!" -- Jess Jo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Rant.

We're all starting to get a bit tired of cynicism, I think. Cynicism is an excuse for laziness. Criticism is annoying and conspiracy theories are a waste of time. Show some appreciation for the efforts of others! Making fun of things isn't funny any more. Maybe we should all be more mature.

Except for TV Burp.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buttons push my buttons.

I bought some new buttons for an old brown cardigan that lost one. They are a lot nicer than the old ones, they give the cardigan a lift.

Then yesterday I noticed that my blazer has 2 buttons and they are faded and boring... I want to replace them, too. I could change the whole look of the jacket by replacing cheap beige plastic buttons with nice wooden buttons or shiny red buttons. I think I'm getting obsessed! I shant rest until I have taken every button-up piece of clothing to Lincraft.

Anyway, buttons are a nifty wardrobe updating technique, perfect because it is cheap, you feel crafty—actually I feel like Mrs Proverbs 31—and it is easy to sew on buttons (but it's annoying enough to put off indefinitely when you need to repair something).