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?"

"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


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

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


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.


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.