Sunday, June 28, 2009

There is nothing lost...

Further to the Wrong Era posts, and just to show that I can be realistic, here is a quickly-thought-of list of things I would not enjoy, if I could have been born in a golden age of balls, carriages and manners:

No chocolate
No dentistry
No modern 'feminine hygiene'
No underwear (lots of petticoats but nothing underneath)
No shampoo (I think that was why the bonnets!)
Drowning kittens (because no RSPCA)
Horse poo

Worst of all is the likelihood of being born a lowly servant, or poor working class, instead of upper or middle class, and putting up with all the bad stuff without any of the fun stuff. Fun stuff probably deserves a post all to itself.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I was born in the wrong era!

I have not learned to sew, draw, paint or play the pianoforte.

I can cook, bake and occasionally I have improved my mind by extensive reading.

If only I lived in the era of Jane Austen: I would have learned the above skills and become an accomplished and elegant young lady!

Downside: it would have been the era of bad teeth, primitive dental care and my bad bite would remain unfixed.

(Read Jess' thoughts on this topic)

More fun than Googling your own name!

A while ago, when Wolfram Alpha came out in a buzz, I discovered the fun of searching names in it. Annoyingly it seems to be USA based, but it is fascinating to see popularity graphed over the last century. I was born almost at the peak of ‘Jessica’, which explains why I have always had to compete against other Jessicas in my peer groups. Diana peaks around the year my mum was born, and then has a secondary peak in the early 80’s, due to the royal wedding.

Related interesting name searches are the Regency Encyclopedia (via Austenblog for the password) and the recent NSW statistics.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jessenomics 5: Romance

Girls speculate. Don't know what guys do, but I suspect it is a little more single-minded, and involves measuring suitability and indications of interest. This is followed by negotiations. If the negotiations are successful, proposals follow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The cinema's candy bar is full of braces-unfriendly food

As I lined up at the Hoyts candy bar tonight to buy my movie ticket, I studied its offerings and realised that theoretically, I couldn't eat or drink anything they had on offer.

Soft drinks, chewy lollies, hard lollies, Maltesers, Peanut M&Ms, popcorn, choc-top...all no.

Actually, I did have some popcorn. You're not supposed to have it when you have braces in case you chomp on something hard, like a kernel. Which I did, twice.

Cinema food is a rort anyway :P

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bible headings are spoilers

Warning! Spoiler alert! The ending to the book of Ruth will be revealed if you read on!

I was reading the book of Ruth last night. I got up to chapter three, and thought, "Ooh, there's some tension and suspense here!" Ruth and Boaz have just spent the night on the threshing floor (sounds saucy doesn't it), and Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, is convinced he will redeem her. Chapter 3 ends with,

Then Naomi said, "Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today." (NIV)

I felt the tension! I felt the suspense! Will he? Won't he? Will he? Won't he?

And then the Bible heading ruined it all for me:

Boaz marries Ruth.

Okay, fair enough, I've read this a few times before, but just say this was your first time reading it. I'd be darn annoyed that the heading ruined all the excitement for me.

I was born in the wrong era.

I have learned to sew, draw, paint, play the pianoforte, cook, and have also improved my mind by extensive reading (of Jane Austen). That makes me an accomplished and elegant young lady!

(This is of zero use in getting a husband in the 21st century.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Coffee is over-rated (by coffee snobs).

Coffee is just a drink. Coffee snobbery is annoying, and only proves that you have been taken in by some good branding and marketing. We're not saying that all coffee is equal, but people who can't enjoy a hot beverage without boasting about their addiction are silly.

What's it like being single?

I have heard that sometimes married people forget what its like to be a single person desiring marriage. I wonder if this is a helpful analogy: its like being a married person wanting kids (yet not being able to have kids).

Think about it.

Jelssie Photo

Here's a photo of us at CMS Summer School 2009. Pre-braces!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jessenomics 4: Offset Dieting

The well-known, simple law by which healthy food cancels out unhealthy food. Eat a Snickers and an apple on the same day, zero fat. Fruit flavouring in lollies has a similar effect. I call it Offset Dieting.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chocolate is breaking my heart.

It doesn't affect me at the moment, in my month of no treats at home, because I am no longer buying 250g blocks of chocolate. However, I could not let current developments pass by without ranting.

Cadbury have a new range of packaging. Their chocolate now comes with cardboard boxing to make it feel bulky. They charge the same for it, but you are getting less chocolate. What was wrong with paper and foil and value for money? Nestle are just as sneaky, their blocks of chocolate come with a piece of cardboard on the back, so there is 1mm less chocolate.

It's not just that there is less chocolate, it's the lying and cheating which is ruining this relationship.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jessenomics 3: Shopenomics 1b

It is well known that if you save more than you spend, you are financially in front. Therefore, if the amount you save is greater than the sale price, ie more than 50% off, the amount of difference is counted as profit.

eg: Elsie bought a $130 pair of jeans for $60. A saving of $70. $70 minus $60 (or, $saving minus $spending) leaves a final profit of $10.

Elsie comes out $10 in front, PLUS a pair of jeans!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jessenomics 3: Shopenomics 1a

When shopping, deduct the sale price from the original price. The remaining dollar figure is the amount you saved.

eg: I bought a pair of jeans for $65, originally $120. I saved $55.

If you make multiple purchases of this nature, your savings can grow and grow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jessenomics 2: Diet Backburning

I am turning over a new leaf for the month of June: no treat food at home. I'm finding it is a good rule, because it doesn't exclude treats at work or cafes etc, but it does restrict my intake at the point I feel weakest - at home in front of the TV on a wintery night.

Anyway, the following rule came out of an office conversation on the topic:

If you want to start eating healthy, the first thing you should do is stop temptation coming your way by eating all the unhealthy delicious food around you. It is not sensible to leave treats lying around to test your willpower.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to dispose of your expired credit card securely

Firstly, grab a pair of scissors and cut up your credit card into thin strips. Cut along the shorter edge. Or shred it.

Secondly, randomly distribute these shreds/strips across bins all over Sydney (at various times as well).

This only works assuming there is no-one stalking you as you dispose of your credit card strips, going through the bins and picking them up and sticking them back in together again.

How Sydney could be better (Jane Austen ideas)

Fewer cars, more carriages.
More hats and bonnets.
Advertising consisting only of type and illustration.

Especially the last. Everywhere you look a windblown, under-dressed, over-airbrushed model is selling stuff right at you. I want to shut my eyes! Whereas I would be pleased to look at an elegant piece of typography, or an illustration of somebody wearing a bonnet.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Windy days.

Windy days leave me with a terrible dilemma. Shall I go dry lips? or lip gloss with a mouthful of hair?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How Sydney could be better (Melbourne ideas)

Longer 'walk' phases on traffic lights.
More jumpers. Especially on men, over collared shirts.
Koko Black. I have an idea of renovating every 3rd pub in Sydney into a chocolate cafe.

Monday, June 8, 2009


John Piper (via Twitter):

Better is one DAY? "Cursed be he that prefers all the world to one hour's communion with God." (Thomas Brooks)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to flirt:

(In my understanding, from a variety of reliable sources including ABC 702)

The basic operation consists of 3 steps:
1. Get 4 seconds of eye contact
2. Eyebrows up
3. Smile

Friday, June 5, 2009

Law & Order

Law & Order is one of the more clever, and better written tv shows out there. They are really good at capturing current issues and weaving in lots of psychological concepts throughout the plot. I can see so much of my psychology studies in each series.

Jessenomics 1: Noodle Theory

Because it is Friday Thaiday, I have decided to impart my wisdom on ordering lunchtime specials:

Noodles are better value than rice when ordering takeaway Thai. Noodles have sauce stirred through, whereas rice is plain; therefore, more flavour per meal.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Frugality. Frugalness. whatever.

There are certain things I hate to waste.

Stickers have to be stuck on something, out of date food has to be tested for eatability and usually eaten, and worst of all I have started to reuse glad wrap from my sandwiches. I've got some in my pocket right now, ready for a third go.

Actually, reusing dental floss is the worst of all.

Being a Christian... like being a dentist. Would you trust your dentist if s/he didn't floss and brush twice daily, or look after the health of her/his teeth, gums and mouth? You've gotta practice what you preach.


There have been various milestones/seasons you and your peers go through:

- getting your drivers license (usually in your late teens)
- 21st birthday parties
- engagements
- weddings
- babies
- buying property

And now, I have recognised a new milestone/season: teeth pulling season. Just reflecting over Facebook over the past couple of months, I can think of at least seven people getting teeth pulled out or serious dental work.

I guess I'm reaching the age where teeth are starting to fail us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cooking shows: Jess says NO!

Because I am watching people make food I can't eat. I can't even smell it. I can only ever feel frustrated.

Masterchef in particular annoys me: the whole point of TV competitions is the viewer taking the role of judge. How can you judge what you can't smell or taste? I feel even more left out!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

You know you're getting older when... care about quality more than price. And I have learnt that not all socks were created equal. I am now searching for Australia's best sock.

Cupcakes are over-rated.

They're all about the icing, about how pretty you can get with some coloured sugar. But if you want coloured sugar, there are tastier options: lemon sherberts and sour worms to name just 2. The cake itself is disappointing, very plain, and serves only as a support for the icing.

If you ask me the popularity of cupcakes is due to 2 factors:
1. Cute name.
2. People like cute tiny things.

But I'm OK with muffins.

Monday, June 1, 2009

How to cook like me:

Add spices and sauces until dish is the right colour. If you serve it up, taste it and it isn't very nice, add either tomato sauce or sweet chilli sauce.