Friday, January 29, 2010

Facebook frenemy.

I live at peace with every man, except one. I always have an enemy. When I was 9 and did gymnastics, it was Fabian. When I was in years 11 and 12 it was Irish Daniel, a creepy loner boy with an Irish accent that nobody believed. Current enemy can not be named even though he's not really as loathed as the others were; now that I am more mature, I just scowl at him a little through slitted eyes.

I have a friend request from this semi-enemy, which is nice of him. I'm glad the dislike isn't mutual. I am trying to accept, and build a little bridge, but facebook is stopping me:

This person cannot be added as a friend.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Skirt theory.

I love skirts! No shoe fetish for me (the universal female shoe fetish is a myth, I reckon). Skirts are wonderful. I have raved about dresses, but I tend to be conservative in my dress choice, whereas I can go a bit fancier with a skirt, cos it's less overwhelming. A floral dress is whoa! floral! whereas a floral skirt is just right. Any skirt is just right.

The ultimate in comfort, coolness, prettiness.

1. General lack of pockets. My new skirt with pockets is the first thing I want to wear now.
2. You need to be aware of the wind. Light fabrics can be annoying.
3. You need to hang them on skirt hangers in the wardrobe. I've never liked skirt hangers, they are the tongs of the wardrobe, catching on each other and falling off the rail and getting in the way.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I have been swimming in Anne of Green Gables nostalgia recently, as I often must. I grew up reading and re-reading Anne; her dreams were my dreams, Gilbert was such an ideal man, and frankly you can do a lot worse—I stand by Anne.

I think Anne and Gilbert are still lodged firmly in my subconscious, as an influence, for better or worse. This is pretty normal, lots of girls grow up with Anne. I guess it's better than a certain current obsession with the undead but probably just as unrealistic. Two people who are made for each other, who don't realise it at first, who become best friends, and who grow to love each other through suffering? That's a noble criteria in my dreams but a useless one in my real life.

Might as well bury my nose in Avonlea and live vicariously. Innocent love, pretty dresses, gloriously coloured countryside, buggy rides, lavish home decorating, swirling piano music...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Erica Restaurant this Friday!

I'm super excited about the first Kingsford Eat Street Challenge for 2010. We'll be dining at Erica Restaurant at 6:30PM this Friday. It's at 275 Anzac Parade, Kingsford. It's Indonesian cuisine.

To whet your appetite, check out the review from He Needs Food as well as the menu.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Naked salads

I am incorporating more vegetables into my diet. I did not grow up eating Western-style raw vegetable salads, so I can be a bit clueless when it comes to green salads and dressings.

The principles I've stuck to when creating a salad are:
  • Choose a variety of colours (pleasing to the eye),
  • Choose a variety of textures (pleasing to the mouth),
  • Choose vegies you like and will actually eat, even if it costs a bit more (pleasing to the mouth and mind),
  • Be game and try something new or different.
You can also get more salad ideas by visiting the food court and seeing what's on offer, or taking note next time someone kindly invites you over for a meal.

Here are two salads I've made recently and I've quite liked them.

Salad 1 (great name huh?)
Baby spinach leaves
Sliced Spanish onion
Sliced yellow capsicum
Orange grape tomatoes

Salad 2 (salsa style)
I had the following ingredients diced finely, and mixed it through my main meal or had it on the side:
Spanish Onion
Orange Capsicum
Egg tomato

My salads are usually naked (i.e. undressed) because I'm not used to eating salads and not used to dressing them. However, I do love my Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow Chilli Oil (a whiff of that stuff gets my tongue tingling, ready to salivate), so I will sometimes add a small teaspoon to my salad.

Would love to hear your salad/vegie ideas if you've got any.

Making a clean start.

LB and I both ended up with some accumulated communal shared house stuff from our previous places. In particular, we have a lot of cleaning supplies, including 3 bottles of sugar soap and about 5 bottles of dishwashing liquid. Strangely, the multiple windexes are all LBs and the multiple and soap pumps and refills are all mine.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Car: Freedom and burden.

Elsie has a car. Jess doesn't. This is a sort of combined thoughts post.

Cars are a source of freedom. You can go anywhere and take anything with you at any time of the day or night. That is quite wonderful.

But cars are also a burden. You have to carry around a lot of little burdensome thoughts in your head, like *how much petrol have I got left? *where/when can I get the cheapest petrol? *that's a new noise, can it wait till the next service? *should I park nearby and pay?

Without a car, the choices are a lot more limited, but that isn't always a bad thing. Life is simpler if you live within the bus routes. And public transport is slower etc etc, but on the other hand if you go to the CBD or the shops you just hop on a bus, trance out, and then get off and walk away without worrying where you park. So there's a strong argument for the freedom of not having a car as much as you can.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have been semi-jokingly referring to myself as a spinster for many years. I know it is unlikely, but I quite like the word. It has a Marilla Cuthbert quality to it. Quaint, moral, busy, witty, old ladyish. It makes a change from "single", which just means "unmarried". Try "spinster" instead, the vintage version. Learn to love it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pace of change: never been slower.

On the radio today I heard something surprising: we think we live in a super-fast changing world, but we don't really. 50 or 100 years ago, technological changes were happening which had huge effects on how people lived and the possibilities of their world. The telegraph enabled near instant international communication, which was previously restricted by physical transport speed. Radio technology. Also the car. Air travel. Production line manufacturing. Plastic. etc etc etc. This stuff really changed people's lives. We think the world is changing quickly because a new and improved ipod is released every 3 months. That's not life-changing. The personal computer, maybe digital technology, and definitely the internet, are the significant tech life-changers in my lifetime.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to swallow a big sticky pill

Earlier I groaned about not being able to swallow this multivitamin and mineral supplement.

I worked out that my problem was that it was:
  • big and
  • sticky (i.e. it would stay on my tongue and refuse to move)
I solved my problem by:
  1. Leaving the pill in its foil wrapper and smashing it with a mallet. It usually breaks into three smaller pieces
  2. Putting a small piece on my tongue.
  3. Taking a sip of water, without swallowing water or pill.
  4. Throwing my head back to get the pill floating in the water instead of sitting on my tongue
  5. Once it's floating, swallow and down zee vitamins and minerals go!
Of course, this method only works if it's not a liquid capsule or something that can't be smashed into smaller pieces.


This sums up my day:

Monday, January 18, 2010

The hanky.

I'm a hanky girl. I don't hate tissues, but I was brought up on hankies. Although tissues cost more over time and I am pretty stingy, so that's a big mark against tissues. Also, I don't like disposable culture. Also, hankies feel more solid and I blow my nose pretty hard. Also, hankies have more romantic potential - the waving of the hanky from the train window, the lending of the monogrammed hanky from the considerate and prepared gentleman*.

The trick with hankies, though, is not to use them and absentmindedly leave them around all used looking and disgusting ... on the couch, the coffee table, my desk at work, my inbox ...

*Speaking of gentlemen and ladies and hankies: my Dad is constantly asked "Do you have a hanky?" to which he replies "Do I have daughters?"; so now I just ask "Do you have daughters?" to save time.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garage sale vintage win!

Look what I got for $8!

- 1 x baking tray
- 1 x bar tin (not that easy to find!)
- 1 x heart shaped baking tin
- 1 x coin purse with sequins
- 1 x Glomesh handbag

I finally own a Glomesh handbag!

I also considered a coat and a small tv, but decided not to buy them. There were also vintage hats and glove.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Novel twist.

I just finished reading Cloud of Witnesses by Dorothy L Sayers. I found it in the cull of my parents bookshelves. It is a murder mystery novel, but in the end… it wasn't a murder. It was a suicide. Which was such a let-down. Crime books always resolve with catching the bad guy, and that's what gives you the sense of resolution and "all's well". A nasty minor character was hit by a bus, but that's not the same thing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My profound thought on music.

Heard someone on the radio compare U2 to Coldplay in that early U2 songs were about STUFF, they had agendas for the world, but Coldplay is all about navel gazing.

I wonder if all songs are overall more me-focused at the moment, compared even to other recent music eras? We've heard it about hillsong enough times, it's all "me me me". But it must be a wider phenomenon reflecting this age of individualism and over-sharing.


Friday 29 January, 6.30pm.

Erica Indonesion House, Anzac Parade. Mark it in the diary.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Advice on the logistics of rental-sharing.

RANT: For the last 3 years I have lived in a 3br unit. The original 2 housemates left and were replaced. There were 2 rent increases. The unit was sold. We all paid our rent separately, some weekly, some fortnightly, and some monthly. At the end of the 3 years, $339.13 is missing. And it is pretty much my job to sort it out, because I am the only original housemate and also because it has ALWAYS been my job to sort this stuff out. For some reason the agent always contacted me first, so house problems were always first of all MY problem.

So here is some advice for beginners in the rental-sharing game.
  • In a house of 2 people, things are clear. If there is a problem with money or jobs, it is either you or the other person. In a house of 3 or more, it is less clear, there is a lot more passing responsibility around and hoping someone else will fix it. Some people are deliberately evasive, some just make no effort to help and hope someone else fixes it, some are genuinely innocent bystanders. So 2 is logistically easier. If there are 3 or more, be extra especially clear and accountable.
  • If it turns out to be a house full of evasive types, be the first one to move out, because you don't want them all to move out and leave you with all the mess they made.
  • Try and make it so that your name is not the first one on the lease. Don't be the first in line for the agent to call. I don't know if this works or not, but I'm tired of agent calls and emails, so it's worth a try.
  • Everyone should pay their rent weekly. I did it monthly because it worked better for my personal budgeting, but weekly is the simplest way to track payments if everyone pays weekly.
  • Divide the rent up according to the size of rooms or whatever. If you can all pay slightly different amounts rent, you can quickly see who missed a weekly payment.
  • Start saving, so that you can buy your own place and be rid of the renting for good.
There is some more good advice in Anna's guest post.

The Engagement Photo Shoot: A Recent Phenomenon?

I wonder if the Engagement photo shoot is a recent phenomenon. I certainly don't recall friends getting photo shoots in the late 90s and early 2000s. But in these last few years, I have noticed most engaged couples do a photo shoot before they get married.

It could be that it's always been done, but with the advent of Facebook, these photos are more widely distributed, so it seems like every engaged couple is getting them done. I know photo studio shots are a big thing in Asian pop culture. Some of them can look very *gag*gag* cheesy, whereas others can look super-cute.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Radio rocks!

My Christmas list this year was basically just a digital radio. My parents went to great lengths to find one for me since they are only available in the areas which actually have digital radio signals. I took it back home and was instantly rewarded by being able to listen to Norman the Quiz on the ABC, even though the cricket was playing on the normal radio, because there is a separate signal for ABC Grandstand.

I enjoyed FAB4 for a little while. But I've also been giving the normal stations a go, and of all the music stations my new favourite is 2CH. My inner nanna loves easy listening. This is a sample of what I heard last night while I cooked dinner:

Three times a Lady
Catch a falling star
My girl


Monday, January 11, 2010

Thoughts on moving house.

I moved on Saturday, with help from Dad, Bro and Girl from church. It was dreadfully hot, but overall it went well. Here are three tips.

1. It is physically exhausting. Drink powerade.
2. Use your towels to pack your breakables.
3. Empty the crumbs out of your toaster before you pack it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jagged little pill

I've recently started taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement. It's quite a large pill. The first few days were fine - I could swallow it. Then I started choking and gagging on it just to get it down. And today has been the first day that I just cannot get it down. I don't understand how I lost my ability to swallow pills (although last year I had some trouble swallowing echinacea pills).

So I've done some research on the net and here are some tips on swallowing pills:

- have it with yoghurt
- tip your head forward not backward when swallowing
- cut it in half
- put it in jelly
- relax and distract yourself by watching tv while you swallow

The first three haven't worked for me. I hope at least one of the last two works.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The cost of similarly branded clothes between stores

The price differences for the same branded underwear between the stores (i.e. David Jones/Myer vs Kmart/Target/Big W) has got to be one of life's little mysteries.

I was shopping for sports top by a particular brand. For the purposes of this post, let's call the brand T. T has a range of sports tops.

I went to Myer and noticed that the RRP for T's sports tops was $56.95 - $59.95. I then went to KMart and noticed its RRP was $24.95. That's a significant difference! Admittedly, it was a different range, but it was the same brand. Did it warrant such a big price difference?

I think companies create different ranges for the different stores. DJs and Myer target "richer" shoppers. Target, KMart and Big W are more known for their discount prices. So many brands create a more expensive range for DJs and Myer and a budget range for Target/KMart/Big W. It's a bit like Peter Morrissey creating a range of sub-$100 dresses for Big W, when his dresses would normally retail for much more.

So where did I end up buying my sports top?

In an ideal situation, I would have bought them from Kmart on sale, as that would have been the cheapest price between the two stores. But they weren't on sale. So here was my decision-making process:

1. I wanted the sports tops now and it looked like I would have to pay at least $24.95 for them.

2. Myer's tops were reduced to $26.25, making it a difference of $1.30 per top compared to Kmart. I considered this difference to be negligible.

3. Since I already had one T's Kmart sports top at home, I could buy a Myer one to see what the difference was, and if Myer's T range was truly superior to KMart's T range.

4. Hence I bought Myer's T range.