Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How to rebuke.

I love that "first world problems" thing going around. It's perfect. It's a genuine rebuke when you are getting the irrits about something trivial, like a $5 rent increase,* cos you remember that some people don't have houses. and it's also funny. I told it to a slight friend of might on the weekend, when she said she was having a knee operation soon, which is not nice at all, but the injury is from an international ski trip. Probably insensitive of me. Pain isn't nice. But, skiing in Europe. How first world can you get. Still shouldn't have said it. Whats more funny is to apply it to random things. Anna and I saw an Ibis that had been run over on the road. I said "first world problems" without thinking. Heh. Being dead isn't a FWP. I just like to mock Ibises.

I hope my overuse of this meme will make me more like Michael Scott.

*Ross Gittins wrote recently that when people are complaining about cost of living, they don't have real problems. Losing your job is a real problem, expensive cinema food is not a real problem.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


My parents are first generation Chinese migrants, so growing up, I learnt to use chopsticks. I wonder how hard it would have been for me to learn how to use chopsticks, had I grown up not-Asian. I didn't hold them "properly" until I was in Year 6.

So my non-Asian friends, how did you learn to use chopsticks, was it hard to get a hang of, and do you hold them the proper way?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I brought out the inner nanna and inner feminist in this exchange:

To whom it may concern,

I recently received the September 2011 [DVD Rental Company] brochure in my mailbox. I was disappointed to see an image of a woman with very obvious cleavage on the front of it. It is distasteful, gratuitous, inappropriate and unnecessary. I feel it does not promote a good image of [DVD Rental Company]. I hope you will not be using that image again in any of your promotions in the future.

I look forward to hearing your response.

Kind regards,

To their credit, I received this response:

Hi Elsie

Thank you for your feedback regarding the advertising material you recieved.

This partucular image has been used for over 24 months Australia wide (I knew I should have complained the first time I saw it!). Prior to your email we had never recieved any negative feedback directly or through our market research.

We will take your feedback onboard when relooking at our marketing campaigns in the future. At this stage this image has been confirmed for our next few campaigns so please do not feel we are not listening.


[DVD Rental Company Marketing Team]

Should I say, "hey, thanks for listening!"?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

KESC review: The Regent.

This is a bit old, and I have no photos, but it's not Kingsford Eat Street Challenge if there isn't some kind of review.

The Sunday before last we had the Sunday pub lunch challenge. We realised a little too late that there was a world cup game on, so I feared the pub would be noisy, but Australia didn't play till 2pm so we were OK, and there weren't heaps of fans either. Elsie kindly and spontaneously invited an older single man from her church, and he said yes, so he was new and there were 4 others of us.

The cheapest meals are just above the $10 mark, going up to around $20. We picked from the lower end of the menu, I had a burger and chips, others had steak and mash, and A had a chicken caesar that looked nice. The meals were huge, of course, so good value if you want a big feed (I did, because I did the Jillian DVD in the morning so my muscles were hungry!) They came out really fast, and they have a nice range of condiments, including chicken salt. The burger had beetroot on it, and onion relish I think, the bread wasn't very special but it at least wasn't dry, I hate those stale sesame buns you sometimes get. The meat looked a bit fatty, and indeed I did feel a little queasy later in the afternoon, but that might have been from playing on the swings with a full stomach. So I'd rate it a satisfying 3.7 stars out of 5.

The reason for the playing on the swings, other than for fun, was to fill in time until Passionflower opened at 3pm, because they were giving out free scoops of ice-cream! Elsie, F and I swung at Kenso park, by the way the bowling club there has new mini soccer courts, although F didn't agree swinging was as fun as I claimed. Then we loitered around the shops waiting for 3pm, but after the time passed we realised they were still building suspense and getting into the party spirit for the DJs and ice-sculpture. We didn't want any of that, and it seemed unlikely that they would let us march in for our free ice-cream without the party bit. But luckily we noticed that the vouches expired on Tuesday! So we gave up, said happy farewells, and E and I walked to Mbra, cos I had music practise for church already.

I think Sunday lunch works really well. We should try it again, although unfortunately the next place is not open then.

And PS, I ate my scoop of ice-cream on Tuesday walking home from work. I had cookies and cream flavour, which was not impressive. But the standard for C&C ice-cream is Connoisseur brand. I enjoyed it a lot anyway.

Thoughts on living alone

I love it! I can't afford to at the moment, but because my current flatmate and my previous flatmate were away for extended periods of time, I had the flat to myself and I loved it. I love doing things my way without having to consider another person (as inconsiderate as it sounds). For example, I can leave a mess in the kitchen after dinner for a little while instead of tidying it up immediately so that my flatmate can use it after me. Or I can put the washing on at odd hours of the night.

I love being able to use the flat perfectly for me e.g. creating as much space as possible in the living area so I can do an exercise DVD.

I love being able to entertain without worrying about inconveniencing my flatmate, and being able to leave the after-party mess till the next day to clean up.

However, it means doing twice as much housework and not being able to fill the dishwasher within a reasonable enough timeframe for it to get washed without becoming crusty.

Yeah, if I can afford to, I think I would like to live alone one day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Backpack irritations

Two things irritate me about wearing a backpack. Otherwise, I like them. The irritations are:

1. The back of my shirt rides up, so I have to constantly pull it down.

2. Hot day or lots of exercise with backpack on = sweaty back. Now, I once saw a backpack with a frame on it so there was room for ventilation between your back and the pack. I believe it was a Deuter one.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Here is a bit of The Course Of Your Life which I am laying out at work.
Graphic of young woman’s checklist (handwriting sort of font maybe):
1.    Find a job
2.    Save enough to travel
3.    Find a boyfriend
4.    Have memorable experiences
We are so transparent...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Single lady randomness.

Being a bridesmaid has been an insight into marriage preparation. Not much of it seems to be very fun, but I'm not a fan of organising stuff, it's people like me who create the market for wedding planners. Or people like me with heaps of spare money. And a fiance, obviously.

While I've been avoiding buying a pair of black high heel shoes and other boring shop tasks, I've been enjoying digging through my parent's counselling resources. I'm not a maths person, but this book and other stuff by John Gottman are actually rather comforting. Marriage is a bit less scary when it's reduced to a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative interactions. It's also a bit less romantic. Check out Romeo and Juliet on page 112.

On a related note, I had a good cackle at the rewritten Beyonce lyric I saw on Facebook, "All the single ladies, all the single ladies, PUT YOUR CATS UP", and when I was stuffing envelopes at work I was following an interesting trail of covers and found THE COOLEST cover.

On an unrelated note I was watching the down escalator at Eastgardens last night and I saw a lady catch the toe of her sandal in the bottom of the escalator, she tripped out of her shoe and then her shoe was sucked right under the escalator and the escalator stopped!! I knew escalators could eat people.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Why is it that I am happy to eat the same breakfast (cereal with milk) for days on end, but I go crazy if I eat the same lunch or dinner for more than two days in a row?

Music behind prayer.

I don't find soft music behind prayer particularly evil, but I do find it distracting. I always have to listen to music when it's there, so there is no such thing as background music for me. Not good when trying to listen to someone pray. I know some people don't like it because it's sentimental or even manipulative. Well, a lot of things are manipulative, that's why we have 2 upbeat songs at the start of church and a quiet song just before the sermon—we're manipulating the energy of the meeting. Everyone does it.

A lot of churches who never have music behind prayer DO do background music during communion. To me, it's the same thing. If you want me to have a quiet moment reflecting and praying, music at the same time is distracting. Praying up the front, praying in my head, same problem with the background music. "What's that song… oh, it's How Deep… Hmm hmmmm hm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmmmmm… she just made a mistake! haha... and now she's playing it up an octave...". When I play during communion I play something nobody knows, and go as bland as possible. But last week I finished the song early and there were a few minutes of quiet while stuff was still being handed out, which I thought was actually rather powerful. So that's what made me think of this post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been trying to find ways to relieve tension. I had a persistent headache in my face all yesterday afternoon, starting from the forehead. I've noticed since last week that when I try and relax my forehead, that it's like a reverse spring: as soon as I stop consciously relaxing it my forehead clenches up again.

I tried some of these little exercises, deep breathing (I should sigh more!), drawing an 8 around my eyes. I think singing along to itunes would be as effective as "om". I still had to take ibuprofen but it was worth trying. Coincidentally I had really relaxing sleep last night for the first time in ages, and woke up feeling all floppy and relaxed. I even swung my arms as I walked to work, which is very unusual. But I felt tense again when I sat down at my desk. So anyway I'm trying to be more aware of where I'm carrying stress and practicing releasing those muscles.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Possibly THE secret.

Is the secret to contentment giving up? Or at least, being pragmatic, think and act as though you've given up? If you are frustrated that you can't afford real estate or you are unmarried or your church music is uncool, and there is nothing within your power that you can practically do about it, maybe the secret to contentment is just to give up on it? Stop thinking, stop hoping, stop checking the websites and reading the blogs, call an end to all aspiration and count your blessings. Or, is it possible to be content with one thing and still deeply and actively hope for something else? Possibly. Maybe it's the type of hope. Maybe it's what you do with the hope. Maybe you can still hope but still give up at the same time, so the hope doesn't make you miserable.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Nothing profound happen'n here, but...

Cathy is blogging a bit again, she has good thoughts.

Actually, here is a trend worth sharing: food baked in jars. Seeing lots of it on Pinterest. I think it's so nifty! Microwave safe, too. Obviously portable because you can put the lid on. And if you are making something like lasagne or shepherds pie, you could see the layers.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Massage circle

If we could get a few people together, each with an octopus massager (pictured below) or a three-pronged one (not sure what they're called), or some sort of hand-held massaging instrument, we could sit in a circle and simulataneously massage each other's backs with a massager.

How good would that be?! Back massages for all!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If I were a blonde

Whaddya reckon? Karen thinks this looks like a blonde me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

All the fizz, without the sweeteners

I'm cutting down on my consumption of sugar and artificial sweeteners where I can. Jillian Michaels is NOT a fan of the latter. She calls it poison and toxic (I call that using hyperboles).

Sometimes, you just want a fizzy drink. My solution: natural mineral water and a squirt of lemon juice. Refreshing! All the fizz, without the artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Though the lemon juice might be a bit acidic.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First fine spring weekend!

I feel life returning! This is a good time of year. I walked down to Coogee with Caroline, and it was warm enough to sit around without a jumper. Warm enough for babies to play on the sand. And not warm enough for people to sunbake topless. The east at its best.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Food frugality is catching!

It seems that my living example is finally becoming influential. First evidence this week was Em's post of a comic strip. It perfectly captures the sort of dilemma I face in my quest to never throw out food.

Second, George ate corn-cobs for breakfast today, and tagged me in it on Facebook. She needed to empty the fridge before her holiday, the cereal will last but the corn won't, so she ate corn cobs for breakfast. And when you think about it, it's just unprocessed cornflakes. One commenter recommended the carrot as a breakfast food. Why not, I say! Actually I have never considered eating vegetables for breakfast except when accompanying bacon, and now my mind has been opened to amazing possibilities. But mainly, that is the sort of unconventional food efficiency I love.

I feel challenged to push the boundaries even further! The shared experience of food frugality has made me realise anything is possible! Throw off the conventions of food marketing, people of jelssie!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Posture paradox.

It takes more effort to remember to sit up straight. But hunching makes your back more tired.