Thursday, March 31, 2011

White not-chocolate.

I'm trying to think of a better name for "white chocolate". It bites like chocolate but it isn't chocolate. I would almost say it has no right to exist at all, except that white chocolate raspberry cheesecake is one of the best desserts in the history of the universe and the future also, so really all of time and space. So it does have some good uses.

Name ideas:

White not-chocolate
White compound
White chompound
Foux white (chocolate)
White notolate

They are all lame. I'm going with the first one, until something better comes up, because at least it speaks of my protest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


 Wear a vest.
  1. Vests look smart and slightly old-fashioned. Like stockings or tweed.
  2. Perfect for light layering weather: warm torso, cool arms—when a shirt is not quite enough but long sleeves are too sweaty or constricting.
  3. Makes a nice change from a cardigan.
  4. A vest extends the life of an old shirt, as long as the collar* is still nice.
  5. Also conceals a multitude of shirt sins: un-ironed, stained, thin, lost button.
Also applies to waistcoats. Patrick Jane The Mentalist wears waistcoats. I think waistcoats are a bit too fancy for everyday wear myself, but I do think they should be more widely worn.

*Vest over a t-shirt is also a look I'm quite fond of at the moment. More soft and comfy than a collared shirt, and it's more urban than old-fashioned. I'd like to see it being worn. I'm trying to start the trend.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sydney: an anti-rant.

Apart from the fact that the last NSW gov was a ship of fools, I think there is a lot of unwarranted negativity about Sydney which no government will be able to fix. Transport plans and so on will not materially change the stuff people don't like. Sydney is a city. Cities are congested, crowded, and expensive. What you want is the rest of Australia!

Sydneysiders do a lot of wishful thinking. If you are choosing to stay, shut up and enjoy it. As someone who can't afford to buy but is fortunate to rent close to work, I can highly recommend not having a mortgage or a commute: it does save quite a lot of worry, once you click with a landlord and a flatmate. I have a long list of likes about Sydney (cities are convenient, social and have cheap asian food), but when I am finally fed up with living here I won't moan and wish, I'll LEAVE.

Friday, March 25, 2011


As many of you know (since I may have blogged this already), I believe in the healthful powers of raw garlic (and cooked garlic—although is is not as potent it is very much more delicious). The best way to eat raw garlic is to chop it up fine and drink it with mouthfuls of water so that it doesn't burn your tongue or create garlic breath. It goes straight down and kills the baddies. Just yesterday I heard a news story about garlic even preventing arthritis!

I've remembered a snippet from my childhood: robot shaped chewable garlic tablets for kids. They were delicious, like lollies. I was a sickly child (God blessed me with large and germ-receptive tonsils) so I got one to take to school each day. While other 7-year-olds had packets of twisties and meuslie bars, I had 2 westons oatmeal biscuits and a garlic tablet. Doesn't this explain a lot.

Good things about voting (other than democracy):

Cake stalls.
Sausage sizzles.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Underrated: Old TV.

The set top box has led to the rediscovery of some quality TV, at least for nostalgia's sake. And I'm not talking about Gilligan's Island. That show is for stupids. I keep discovering BBC treasures like Pie in the Sky, Jonathan Creek, and especially The Good Life. I AM Tom and Barbara! I love the way they dress in gumboots, old jeans, green jumpers, and how they cut their own hair, and they have such a fun repartee it's sometimes hard to remember that they must have a script, and Penelope Keith and the guy from Yes Minister are so droll. It's like a friendly hug in TV form.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today I was a slob.

That's all. I blame the damp: the weather and the chaos of my slowly flooding kitchen. I am wearing my oldest sneakers, cos they might get wet in the rain. I tried to make my hair last another day before washing it and that never works on humid days, NEVER DO IT AGAIN, and I have a slight toothpaste stain on my black top, which I have tried twice to wash out with cold water and hand soap and only succeeded in feeling even more damp. Then I was photographed, just to test the camera for a photo of my boss (who looked glamorous), and I got to see myself all wacky-haired and shadowy eye-bags.

Tomorrow I will be so smart, clean and fluffy dry.

Monday, March 21, 2011

KESC 26: Ratu Sari Review

This is a very popular Indo restaurant, a little bit upmarket from the rest of Anzac Pde, and famously spicy. It was very quiet at first because we were so early.

5 challengers eventually found the right restaurant and eventually got the right number of seats for our group. We ordered their specialty beef rendang, very yummy, and the one with the lettuce and egg and satay, some chicken with Bali sauce which was hot hot hot, an eggplant dish and some salad and crackers. It was all nice. I was surprisingly full after it, it didn't look like a lot but I guess big chunks of meat fill you up more than cunningly sliced stir fry meat.

It was $18 each, so that's more expensive than average, but I guess the food and service is more consistently good than the el cheapos around it. It's a safer option than Indo Rasa, which is a little cheaper but they ran out of Rendang when I was last there, which is disappointing. The place was full by the time we left (at 7.30pm) and it was less of a student crowd and more of a "night out" crowd than the cheapos.

We were all happy with the food, service and atmosphere, and I'd give it a 3.5 our of 5, it was a bit on the hot side and a bit on the pricy side and the air-con was a bit strong so I was worrying about the food getting cold. Kevin took photos on his phone, if he sends them we'll post them.

Bus roulette.

It being a wet day, I opted for the bus. I tucked a book under my arm as I left the house. The 400 timetable is always an emotional roller-coaster, because it is such a long route. This morning, the 8.09 didn't come. The 8.13 didn't come. The 8.17 came, but it was an old bus, and I don't like old buses, they are leaky and steamy and also it was standing room only, so I let it go. This was a bit silly under the circumstances, but I wanted to sit and read my book on the bus, and I was prepared to sit at the rainy bus stop for as long as it took. The 8.23 didn't come. The 8.31 came with the 8.23, and they were both new, and I got the seat at the front and read my book for 10 minutes! In the end, I got to work no quicker and only slightly dryer than if I had walked.

Yes, I know there is a thing for texting I could have used.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

KESC: Change of venue!!

Eep! My mistake. I said Red Hat was the next restaurant but it's actually Ratu Sari Indonesian Restaurant. 470 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032. See you there tomorrow 6:15pm.

Giant lightbulb.

I found a giant lightbulb on Belambi beach on the weekend, took it home and accidentally dropped it on my driveway. It made a nice tinkly smash. Lightbulbs are amazing, I was told they have a slight vacuum in them to stop them oxidising. I don't know what that means, but I'm sure it's amazing, and they look amazing. It'll be sad to lose the classic incandescent bulb to the energy saver ones. They are not amazing that I know of.

The main amazing giant lightbulb, however, is the metaphor for realising something. Last night at singing I learned that men and women can sing the same note, ie C, and it sounds deeper for the man but is NOT ACTUALLY AN OCTAVE DEEPER, as I had always (in my own simple logic) thought. It's the same C! The lower pitch is an illusion. WOW! I had to do some googling today to make sure, because it sounded so amazing.

Now, I've done sound mixing, I know you can turn the lower and higher frequency up and down to make people sound like Barry White, but you aren't retuning their voice lower… the frequency strength is different to the pitch, so it's like men have a boost in the lower frequencies in their voices. It's all so obvious, and I've never ever got it before in my 20 years of music. This is mind-blowing for me! And at the same time, I don't know how I didn't know it.

Wonderful, there is already a label here for 'lightbulb moments'.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dental Value.

Back when I was getting my jaw splinted and x-rayed and quoted for orthodontics one of the biggest stresses was making decisions about money. Decisions are hard anyway, but I hate spending big amounts and there is no way to know if one treatment will be better than another. $8000 for this or $7000 for that? What do I know?! When I got the quote for the oral surgeon to remove 3 wisdom teeth for $1600, + more $ if I wanted a general anesthetic, I literally sat down and cried on the street behind Coles. Actually having the teeth pulled was less traumatic than the financial decision. Wisdom came much later, when I was reflecting on it to Elsie. Who didn't have the same struggle as I did, so it was one of those times when you preach to yourself via a listening friend.

"In the end, dentistry is one of those areas you can't ever be satisfied about the price, it is always expensive. You just have to be satisfied with some peace of mind about your dental work. You will forget about spending the money in 12 months time, but if something goes wrong you could be in for long term problems and more money as well, so don't worry about the money as long as you are comfortable about the dentistry."

Probably also applies to expenses relating to cars and tradesmen.

Monday, March 14, 2011

KESC this Friday night at Red Hat Noodle

This is the restaurant Georgina has eaten at either 60+ or 110+ times (I couldn't remember the exact figure). I ate there quite a bit in my undergrad days too. I suspect we will order shan dong chicken and salt & pepper squid/calamari, judging by our previous orders at the past Chinese restaurants. And probably sweet & sour pork...haw haw haw!

6:15pm <- Note the earlier start time!
Friday 18 March
Red Hat Noodle Restaurant (Chinese)
466 Anzac Parade
Kingsford 2032

We are doing the earlier start time so we can go to UNSW Astronomy Outreach Public Viewing Night afterwards :) Something a little different from super fudge brownie ice-cream ABCafe.

Come see the stars with UNSW Astronomy Outreach at our FREE public telescope night!

Date: Friday 18th March, 2011
Venue: Physics Lawn [map]
Time: 7:45 pm - 9 pm
Objects of interest: the full Moon, Orion Nebula, Jewel Box open cluster

Please note, in the event of heavy cloud and/or rain the viewing activity will unfortunately be cancelled.

This event is suitable for all ages.

Wild TV.

When I watched The man from Snowy River I lamented the lack of any gritty outback dramas today. The farmers are all wooing their harems (hateful FWAwife) when they should be galloping and shooting and solving crime and stuff.

Have I heard right? That woman who died on Rafters told Adam Hills she is going to be in a show LIKE THAT! The name isn't promising, Wild Boys or something. But at least it's not a suburban/police/doctor show. Hallelujah!

"Wild Boys will combine horses, gold, bushrangers, power and corruption - all set against the backdrop of an 1850s penal system."

Unfortunately Daniel MacPherson is in it. I don't hate the guy, but he is just so… suburban/police/doctor. He hosts talent shows. Why don't they just cast the Bondi Vet as well to be really sure.

I shall certainly be watching with interest.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I had a FANTASTIC IDEA YESTERDAY. I am going to make a pair of shoes. Possibly using this pattern, but it would be fun to design my own and problem solve through it, like with my thong-and-tshirt-lined gumboots. Sticking jeans to thong bases, for example. Great minds think alike and I found this knitting pattern for thong slippers.  Or this would be an interesting craft, so I'll keep an eye out in op shops for old woolly jumpers.

In terms of usability, they are just to wear at work really. I walk to work in expensive joggers and I don't want to waste the jog value by wearing them under my desk. Also not professional to look at. Whereas home made thong slippers would be just so cool.

There are some pretty cool homemade shoes out there on the internet. Using old car tyres as soles and stuff. Some of them look really well made and frankly a lot of shop footware is not all that supportive or hard wearing for the money you spend. If anyone else wants to have a go too I'd be interested in the results! I'm not going to buy a last or do a course, I'm just going to glue junk together and experiment.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

KESC 25: Ying Something Review.

Pork ribs in Beijing Sauce

Yong Jing + 10 people: 2 new people and 1 brave man with 9 ladies. We ordered 7 dishes between 10 of us, plus spring rolls. We had the favourites Shan Tong chicken, Salt and pepper squid, Beef with black pepper, Pork ribs (in Beijing Sauce) and also a few different things, mushrooms with greens, shredded pancake stir-fry and combination noodle.

Shredded Pancake

The Shan Tong was generous, but ungarnished, and while the sauce was quite interesting it wasn't the tasty garlicy sour soy I like the best, and there wasn't much sauce. The sauce on the ribs was very nice we agreed, and the plum sauce with the spring rolls was also a little bit different and very nice. The squid, both in the combination and the salt and pepper, was probably the softest squid we have had so far. Not rubbery at all. The shredded pancake dish was savoury and very yummy too. Just about everything asians do with pancakes is delicious, I've noticed. So the food was all in all very good, and the place was full and noisy with students.

The service was super quick, they brought water too. But they didn't clear away plates as we finished. The interior was pretty nice, I don't remember but it wasn't gross like the cheap places usually are, and the menus were full colour pictures and laminated.

Shan Tong

Speaking of cheap, the meal came to $9.60 each, which is tremendously affordable, obviously partly because we ordered 7 for 10 which is on the tight end of the dish to diner ratio. But we ate enough. And had room for ice-cream.

4.25/5, or 5/5 if you are just going for the S&P squid.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Breakfast serves are not big enough.

Single sachets of porridge are a handy breakfast to keep at work so that if I go straight to work from a swim or something I can eat brekky at my desk. Convenient and a bit fancy. But my normal breakfast is a bowl 2/3 or more full of oats and other dense low GI things, and these fancy porridge sachets are only about a quarter of a cup of quick oats with some dried apple and powdered flavouring.  THAT IS NOT A MEAL! It's like having a small fries for dinner. Not a meal! Even worse at breakfast because it's the most omportant meal of the day. I just made up that word Omportant. It means all important. And cereal sellers KNOW they are mocking me, because in the ads they have big full bowls of hearty steaming porridge and similar big amounts of Just Right and multiple Weet Bix. But when they sell me a single serve it is like starvation rations. Arrgh. rage.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sample twitter.

I'm not giving jelssie as much love these days. I need to lower the bar a bit to get back in the swing. So I'm posting today's experiment in twitter. I do actually have a twitter, jess_is_ but have never tweeted anything. Seems pointless, since my only internet access is at work, and I all do at work is work and eat and think of jelssie posts (which take up more than 140 characters). To prove it, this is an offline day of tweeting.

8.50 - I see icing sugar crumbs from friday on my desk. I want turkish delight. [this prompted a facebook status]
9.25 - I wonder where I can find chord chart for For All The Saints by Indelible Grace.
9.30 - Just as well I'm checking this FA. Centre column lines too tall in places.
9.50 - Morning tea! Water and a nice bit of cracker barrel sharp cheddar cheese.
10.02 - Don't really need chords, do I. It sounds easy.
10.36 - Eating 8 almonds. Have finished all the work that was on desk, tidied desk.
12.49 - Most disappointing tin of tuna ever. Watery puree thai green curry, with khaki peas in it.
2.29 - I think it would be awesome for Matthias Media to have a tea lady with a trolley to bring me snacks. [this I facebooked]
3.34 - Hope: finding a forum thread on my exact same InDesign problem. Despair: nobody has a solution.
3.36 - I am unusually hungry today. Must be stomach missing all the good food from the weekend. Or my slightly faster walk to work.
5.12 - I read today that pumpkin is high GI. Next time I make soup I'm adding in ground chickpeas. Will put chickpeas in to soak tonight.

The best one is probably Tin Of Tuna Review.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fortuitous error

Is there a phrase or word that describes a good discovery when you make a mistake?

Case in point: I was after genmaicha (green tea with roasted brown rice), but I bought sencha (green tea) by mistake. Boo hiss :( But I drank some sencha and discovered it was quite nice. I probably wouldn't have bought it otherwise. Fortuitous error.

I still want my genmaicha though!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Making life easier.

Ring pull tins. Best packaging invention ever, although I'm always nervous about using them without breaking them. Second is the pop-lid Moccona jar. Third is the the 2 litre cordial bottle with a handle you can fit your fingers in placed low down for comfortable centre of gravity. Cottees were amply rewarded by sales growth when they developed that, while the competition still had ouchy little handles up near the lid. Why don't they do that with milk bottles, I wonder.