Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Rave retract

I may have to retract my footlet rave. After a week, they feel as if they are falling apart -_-

Hat shopping: a review.

Elsie and I went to Strand Hatters. It is a very nice little shop, although the music was Whitney Housten and not in keeping with the image of a classy hatter AT ALL. It must have been the personal selection of the shop assistant, because he knew all the words — I do like to hear people singing happily and unselfconsciously in public.

The problem with this shop is, half the hats are too high up to see them. Let alone reach them yourself and try them on. If you are shy about hassling shop assistants when you don't know what you want, it's awkward. If they had a look book to browse, like in bridal shops, that would be handy. Or even better, if they let customers climb rolling ladders like in the old private libraries in movies. However, there were many Panama hats within reach, which I tried on. My size is a large. It's technically a men's hat shop, hats that women can also wear but not special pretty hats for women, so their sizes go up two XXL quite happily.

Anyway, the panama hats are lovely. High grade, apparently the higher the grade number the finer the weave and they sell fine weave hats. Different variations of cream colour, ribbon, and brim. I like one where the brim tilts up at the back, down at the front, and has a black ribbon. It was over $250, so I didn't buy it. Some where cheaper, but not in the ball park of a hat that I could buy without going away and justifying it to myself.

Then we went to DJs to look at their hats. We only found ladies hats, it didn't occur to me that they might have men's hats somewhere, which is a shame, because they might have had panama hats to compare. As it was, not one single ladies hat fit me. Thanks for nothing, department store. Way to make women feel depressed about ANOTHER part of their body being too big. Bar me from the world of cloches.

So I will buy a hat from Strand, if I have to. I have a couple of options to chase up first, but if that much money has to be spent to get a hat that fits, so be it.

On an aside, Elsie started pointing out hats wherever we went after that. There are a few around and I never noticed them.

KESC 37 Fajar Review || FINAL KESC!!!!

I admired the golden tiles out the front while I waited.

This place is run by old people, and they seem to know their regular customers. This makes for a nice atmosphere. The menu doesn't have pictures, but it doesn't matter because everything we ordered was delicious and had a good size portion for the price. The bill for 6 meals among 7 was $70. I loved the deep fried tofu with peanut sauce, but it wasn't everyone's cup of tea. We ordered a combo dish with quails eggs, and a crispy noodle dish (which was awesome) and a crispy chicken dish (which was the most Chinese of all the food.

This is an interesting plastic covered flower arrangement on the ceiling.

This is a badge someone pulled out which I think has a cute font.

We then went to Passionflower for the last time, and I'm not really sorry it is the last time. It is too expensive (huge desserts for the price, but just not enough small cheap things, dessert just should not cost more than dinner) and they are very inflexible, they even have a "minimum spend per person" policy. It brought back memories of the city Passionflower when my group was asked to leave our table because they didn't seat people at that table in the evening, and go and sit outside with the smokers. I never went back. Not as bad this time, but same inflexibility: I asked to change waffles with vanilla ice-cream to chocolate ice-cream, and their policy is to stick exactly to the menu, so I had to order a whole different dessert. It was fair enough of the waitress to follow the rules, but the rules are still ridiculous. AB Cafe was the good old days.

The desserts are pretty amazing-looking though. So big. I didn't finish my double waffle 2 scoop dessert and I finish EVERYTHING.

And that is the end of that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thowing away is hard to do.

I've got a porcelain doll from Grandma, she gave one each to us girls when we were young. I like it, but it's not hand made by Grandma or anything, it's just from copperart. And I'm not a doll and bear person any more. I don't want to display it, I'm not into knick-knacks. So there is no point keeping it. Nice things in boxes are a waste of everything: the nice thing AND the box space. I've given up the idea that I should keep things for when I have a place of my own, or when I have children. Use it or lose it. So I want to give it to the op shop near MM because I know then some old lady will buy it and be very happy. The doll will be better off there than in my storage. But I still don't want to give it away! I've just taken photos in preparation of letting go and the doll has cute little shoes and stockings and a pretty face. I don't want to donate it, even though it's the right thing to do. That's all.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Footlet rave

Footlets are very low-cut, lower-than-ankle socks made out of pantyhose-type material. Women usually wear them with flats or heels. The point is to be able to wear certain shoes with something sock-like, while having the appearance of wearing none.

I have to rave about Razzamatazz's Smooth Footlet.

Initially, I baulked at the $7/$7.50 price tag, when there were $3 ones hanging right next to them. Laser cut edges, heel grip, low-cut, it claimed. After a week of wearing a $3 pair and being thoroughly disappointed with them, I must say that the Razz is far more superior to the cheaper brand. The cheaper brand is not that discreet when you wear them and they move around a lot. The Razz is a lot less visible when worn and tend to stay put.

So if you're in the market for footlets, you're better off getting a pair of these. I found mine at Coles.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Elsie Elise

When people meet me for the first time and get my name right, they often call me Elise the second time round. It makes me wonder: do people named Elise ever get called Elsie? Know an Elise you could ask for me?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Purposeful name forgetting

Sometimes, I "forget" people's names on purpose.

Say, I met someone at a function and I see them again at some point in the future. Usually, people don't remember my name (or if they do, they call me Elise) and it's just awkward for both of us if I'm the one who remembered their name (and it's so unusual to remember people's name, it makes me feel like a freak), so it's just easier to say, "Oh hey, aren't you Jess' friend from blah? Didn't I meet you at yada yada? My name's Elsie." Usually reminding them of your name prompts them to re-introduce themselves.

I never expect people to remember my name, so when I decide to use their name, I go, "Hey, it's Jess, right? I met you at xyz. I'm Elsie." It's helpful to give your name without people having to ask for it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

A new, extreme sport

Riding a Sydney bus during peak hour should be an Olympic sport. Or an extreme sport. Usually you're standing, crammed in with a thousand other commuters, holding onto a pole for dear life with one hand, because you've got your handbag/lunch/jacket/iPod in the other.

What makes it an extreme sport? It's the unexpected jerkiness of slowing down and then speeding up; it's the sudden slamming on of brakes when cars decide to cut in front of buses (why, oh why, do cars cut in front of buses?) and the subsequent falling into a pile with the rest of the passengers; it's the twists and turns as you navigate Sydney roads.

I kid you not: I got off the bus the other morning with the biggest cramp/pain in my right bicep. Don't think I've ever held onto something so tightly.

They could make it an even more difficult sport by blindfolding competitors, or maybe even not allowing them to hold onto anything for balance.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Westerners at yum cha

Had yum cha recently with a group that were majority Westerners. As we sat down to the table, waiter says to head honcho waitress in Cantonese, "Hey, what kind of tea do these guys want?"

She replies, "Don't be silly! They're Westerners!" Can't remember what she said, it might have been, "Offer them drinks [ie alcohol and soft drinks]."

I've even seen drinks trolleys at yum cha now - something I never saw in my childhood.

So that's the difference between Westerners and Chinese people at yum cha: Westerners drink drinks, the Chinese drink tea.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Alain de Botton recently tweeted,

The most romantic gesture is to spend an hour listening closely and sympathetically to someone else's anxieties & hopes.

and the only people who liked that comment on my Facebook wall were women. It's telling, isn't it?

(By the way, I can't seem to link to specific tweets anymore? Can anyone help?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I've got pigmentation on my face. I know, TMI. But this is a blog. Maybe you already noticed it, given that it's on my face, or maybe you were distracted by my braces. I think I might even be forced to start wearing make-up, I hate it so much. Enough oversharing, back to the point.

Sun damage. My enemy. I now wear 30+ sunscreen every day. I am even going to try and overcome hat-aversion, or should I say hat-hair aversion, and wear a hat regularly. To this end, I'm going to try and buy a hat that is awesome. Although the cancer council one does an OK job, it's uncool and I don't enjoy wearing it, so I'm going to take the "special fitness brand clothes because I value exercise" approach and buy an awesome hat so that I am more likely to wear it.

So I've found 2 hat shops, one in the city which is probably expensive, and one at Regents Park, which is practically a road trip although they sell online. But I have a big head, so it's risky to buy untested. On THAT note, from what I can tell, 65% of people have a big head. So you know what, hat-sellers? My head is NORMAL, not big.

But I am all excited about the range of hats out there! I was just going to get an akubra or straw hat or something, but what about a Panama hat! That sounds very Agatha Christie. You can even buy bowler hats. I can totally see myself scootering to work in a bowler hat. And there are hats that convert into visors by unzipping the crown! Hat hair optional! At the moment I am a fan of this green wool felt trilby, although it's a little bit too cute. I can't wait to try some awesome hats on.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Flatmate reality/TV.

Elsie came over recently and we watched the episodes of New Girl that I taped. Elsie made a very apt comment: "Why do TV people always socialise with their flatmates? Who actually does that?". Good question. It looks so normal on TV, and I did aspire to it myself, in my naivety, but I can't say I've experienced it. I share a flat with flatmates, I share friendships with friends, and there is very little overlap. I think because all my flatmates have been temporary relationships of convenience. But friendships don't have those clauses.

The appeal of living with a flatmate...

Someone is there to acknowledge your existence, and provide back-up when needed.

KESC 37 Fajar Indonesian and Asian Food. FINAL KESC!!!!

Yes, here we are at last, the end of our journey is nigh, the climax of months, nay, years of gruelling eating and blogging up and down Anzac Parade Kingsford. This Friday, people! 6.30pm. And stay tuned bloggers for our next exciting challenge.

The appeal of living alone... the ability to control your environment. Of course, you can't completely control your environment (e.g. neighbours), but you can determine where things go and how your household is organised.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I've taken the plunge an purchased an eReader.

These points won me over:
- being able to carry what would usually be really big books (such as the Bible) or several books in a thin, portable device
- my books having anonymity when I'm reading them in public spaces (the public does not need to know what books I'm reading!)
- something constructive or enjoyable to do during the daily commute
- freeing up space on my bookshelf by getting rid of books

I really don't like owning too much stuff, so the last point weighed in heavily for me.

I've already started selling books I own which are available as eBooks, however, I won't repurchase them as eBooks immediately to replace them. Instead, if I really want to read it, I will purchase it at that point in time. That way, I get rid of a lot of my books that I haven't touched in years and only buy the books I really want or miss.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Plastic container storage.

Ok, this is going to ROCK YOUR WORLD.

Obviously, you fit more in the plastics cupboard if you stack the containers into each other and pile the lids up separately. Many people have been taught by their mothers to stack like that. Or in my case, periodically tidy it up and stack it like that.

HOWEVER. This means it is a lot more annoying to unstack the container you want and find its lid.

Therefore, I suggest it is not the most effective way, other than space saving. Laziness has recently led me to put the lid on each container and throw it in the cupboard. It's a large jumble in there, true, and looks terribly inefficient, but I think it is more useable. Once I see what I want I've got it in one grab, and don't have to hunt around for the separated lid.

And this is a picture of my plastic cupboard.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old-school tough.

702 ABC had a talk segment today about the lost art of handwriting, and put this prison record sample up. Notice the criminals alias. "Moonlight". I think it's this guy:

Imagine if criminals today used romantic aliases like that. How cool. I might even watch Underbelly.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How I organised my work handbag

I put a bit of thought into organising my day-to-day handbag for work and I'm pretty chuffed with the results.

Firstly, here is my beautiful blue handbag, which my generous sister bought for me, second-hand from Tokyo. Thank you, Ali!

On the side of the handbag, there is a pocket and a tag with a hole in it. To this hole, I attached a short, black leather strap with a key ring at one end, and a hook-keyring (which you push down to open and close) at the other end. At this end, I have attached a ticket holder. Here, I'll put my travel pass and tuck into the side pocket of the handbag, which means I can easily fish it out when I get on public transport, and I won't lose it because it's attached securely to my handbag.

[In an ideal world, Sydney's public transport ticketing system would be more technologically advanced and we'd be able to just tap our transport passes against the ticket machine, rather than fish out our tickets and insert them into the machines.]

Inside my handbag, there is a D ring, so I've attached a bright yellow, retractable key ring. The bright colour means it will be easy to find in my bag (a lovely contrast to the blue as well), and the retractable cord means I'll be able to open my mailbox and front door more easily, knowing it's still securely attached to my handbag, meaning I have less chance of losing my keys.

Finally, the contents of my bag. I've organised most of the contents into four bags. This is so that "like" is stored with "like" and things will be easier to fish out of my bag. The bags are also transparent (or transparent enough), so that I can see the contents at a glance.

Bag 1: Frequently used items
- hand cream
- lip balm
- lip stick
- pocket mirror
- tissues
- mints
I considered including sunscreen, but for the moment, I have decided against it.

Bag 2: Fun
- iPod touch
- headphones

Bag 3: Less frequently used items
- female stuff (you know what I mean)
- band aids
- face oil blotting paper
- paper soap
- travel hairbrush
- Panadol (which have probably expired)

Bag 4: Writing
- thin, monthly calendar/diary
- thin notebook
- pacer and two pens

Other stuff, such as my wallet, mobile, glasses, sunnies and fan, I'm just chucking in as is. There is enough room for a thin paperback, otherwise I will have to carry a book separately (or get a Kindle!). I've decided not to carry water because I should be able to last my commute without a drink.

Hopefully, you can see that the aim of all this is to make it easier to find stuff in a bag without compartments.

I do have a bag organiser (another bag with lots of compartments which you put inside your handbag to organise its contents), but I'll see how I go with this.

How do you organise your bag?

Friday, February 3, 2012

I emailed the PM again.

Last time I asked if she could do something about Indian Mynah birds. I hate them. Today decided she deserves a break, so I emailed her a short but encouraging thankyou note. But I also mentioned that if she had any spare time she might like to give WA, SA and NT proper actual names. That would be a fun side-job for her.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

KESC 36 Taiwanese Express.

8 challengers, and it was not a challenge to fit into this eatery, there were only a couple of other people eating there. Which may be because the students aren't around, because the food was fine.

So it's sort of a Macdonalds format. You read a menu and order at the counter, then sit down and wait for it to be delivered. The cook hands it to the waitress through a small hole like in prison, and the food comes on a plastic tray with compartments, TV dinner style. I wouldn't say bento box, it wasn't really like that. Anyway all the meals are the same, you just get to choose a different main meat, which goes in the top right corner. The other sections have rice, pickled bean shoots, pickled ginger or something, and corn soup. They were all OK, but the meats were quite tasty. I had a spicy sour pork thing, it was delicious. Like a deep-fried pork version of shan dong chicken! So yummy. The other highlight was A ordered a snack before starting, which was some sweet potato chips, delicious. Those chips and small thing like that were about $5, the TV tray meals were about $10. They do free table water, and sell cold tea drinks.