Friday, January 25, 2013

Alternative storage solution

My mushrooms came in a plastic container.

You're supposed to store mushrooms in brown paper bags on the lowest shelf in the fridge. I didn't have said paper bag, so I made an origami paper box and a lid to go with it (lid not pictured).

That's practically the same as a brown paper bag, right?

Form fear.

I kind of like filling out forms, if I get to pronounce my opinions on something. But I find those important government forms with a box for each letter slightly stressful. First, find an approved pen. Then, when I go to fill my name in, I start merrily writing "JESSICA" in the approved capital letters, but then realise I should be writing my family name first, and my other names on the next line. That's the first peril. Then my address. I have a slashy address, ie, 1/2. Do I put a slash in a box? What if it looks like a crooked 1? Then, if I survive that dilemma, I still have many other opportunities to make a mistake and waste precious boxes. This week I was helping a friend with a passport application and I wrote my work phone number wrong, twice. Even after I noticed it was wrong on one line, I wrote it wrong differently in another part of the form. It was the stress.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mopping by foot.

Mopping the floor after the steam mop broke and all I have are the cleaning pads. Damp the pads, and place on the floor, stand with one foot on each pad and shimmy systematically around the room.

It was very easy, and a lot of grunge came off. However the end result was a bit streaky, if you look in good light. Steam mopping is cleaner. But I'm going to make do.

It occurs to me that this is a new level of mundanity for my blogging, probably.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Cute, but lies. Damned lies. Image:
I'm listening to Unstuff your Life. The first 2 chapters are a simple philosophy of why stuff is so clingy. I've done a bit of thinking about this. I'm a fairly tidy person, but it causes me emotional pain sometimes to get rid of things. I feel things like guilt, that I bought something I never wore or used, or sadness, that I am losing something from my childhood… My solution lately has been to cut back on the amount of stuff I bring into the house and collect around my life, because it's easier to resist adopting it than it is to let go of it later. So the author goes into that side of things a little bit, how we relate to stuff. And then there is a bit of visualising, imagining a perfect and efficient life. So that by making more space in your house you are making more space to live your life, rather than just losing all your special stuff. Nothing ground-breaking, this is a holding-your-hand help book for disorganised hoarders.

There are chapters on different areas of the house. First chapter is basically 'Keys, wallet, phone' about putting your housekeys in the same place always. His 2 big rules, which he now applies in every chapter, are: 1. Everything has a home, and 2. Like with like.

Last night I listened to the chapter on the kitchen, which was really good timing because I bought a set of 6 bowls. There was absolutely no room for them in the kitchen. We have approx 2 dozen wine glasses. And 20 odd glass tumblers. Almost that many coffee cups. It's funny how you don't notice that stuff for two and a half years, even though it's really annoying and inefficient and space is precious. But when some friends came over last week, I really did need bowls, not wine glasses. And trying to fit them into the kitchen made me actually SEE what we had. So I emptied out the cupboards (this is the worst, most terrifying thing to do), filled a box with unwanted glassware to donate (with my flatmate's permission), put back an adequate selection of glasses, swapped saucepans and plastic stuff around, and managed to fit a food processor and a fondue set in as well as the 6 new bowls. Really, if I was going to completely obey the book, I would be donating the fondue set, but small steps. FYI, I have an awesome fondue set, you are all welcome to borrow it. Also, help yourself any of the glassware.

I'm so productive with this new TV diet. Speaking of which, Kevin McCloud was on TV later last night talking about how all bench-tops look like vomit. Now I can't see anything else, and I haven't even seen that much vomit in real life.

*edit: Em told me how to spell fondue.

Price per wear.

I bought a dress after my no-clothes-shopping-for-6-months challenge ended, I am keeping a tally of how many days I wear it. So I'll have an accurate price per wear. So far, 3 days. $23.33 per wear.

Next Eat Street.

Friday 1st Feb. 6.30pm. Meet in Dixon St outside Silk Road Uighur restaurant (possibly No 2 Dixon St). We choose the next restaurant.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


If you know me, you know I'm anti-clutter and anti-hoarding. I fear my collection of little pouches are bordering on hoarding.

I really like them because they are really good for organising a handbag and other things. Even so, I'm pretty sure I don't need this many.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Braces. It's been a long time.

A very exciting piece of paper... final appointments!

I now have appointments to get my braces off! Hurrah! Rejoicing is foretold, and many apples. One month to enjoy this epic chapter of my life. One last braces post on this blog, originally dedicated to the ranting of two friends with braces.

After a while, you really forget about them. You eat what the heck you like, with a few exceptions, like really chewy lollies. You don't worry about them in photos, I found that if I was self conscious and tried to smile discreetly I looked awkward and the braces were more obvious than if I did an open toothy grin.

But every so often I get frustrated, usually when they aren't coming off in the near future and I've made up some arbitrary deadline like my birthday. When I think about 3 long years of braces. The braces themselves don't bother me much. Like lots of things, really. Being single for example, 29 years of it is frustrating to think about, it feels unfair, but it doesn't annoy me from day to day.

I have super bones, apparently, really resistant to moving teeth around. Rare bone metabolism. The gap that took almost 2 years to close, bounced halfway back open in about 2 months. I hope I'll reap some sort of reward in my old age and never break a hip.

Finally a lot of people in my life at the moment haven't known me before braces. My church, and half the office. I wonder if they notice my braces as much, and how quickly they'll notice them gone, and if I'll look weird, like when someone shaves of a beard.

I am SOOOOOOOOOOOO happy whenever I think about it. It won't even make much difference to my day to day life, it's just awesome to close the chapter.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Another self-service checkout rant.

I have been VERY ambivalent about self service checkouts. I have ranted about how much slower they are when you are waiting for other people to use them and move on, and I have complained about how annoying it is to use a backpack instead of a plastic bag, and I have done a comparison race between an express lane and a self service lane in the rush hour of the city Coles, and I am getting very cross about a trend to close more checkouts (especially express lanes) and put in more self-service so that I don't even have the option to get a real checkout. I used to notice some of the regular faces at Coles Randwick, and now they are gone.

Well, go with the flow I figured. Until something happened, which has turned me back against self service.

I got cash out with my groceries, and left it in the machine. I have never left an ATM without my cash, it only happened because at the self-service I was grabbing my food and docket and it was too much to multi-task with the vague holiday brain I had last week and remember money as well. You don't get distracted at an ATM, because you are only there for money, and you get the money. But when you are there for food, you can easily forget the money. On the other hand, when you use a checkout chick for food and money, they put the money into your hand.

That was an expensive lesson, which I had to share with all of you to get better value out of.

Monday, January 14, 2013

No can opener?

So the drama today was that I had a tin of tuna with no ring pull, and the office has no can-opener. I had a salami sandwich instead. But I was surprised to learn that there is more than one way to open a can. More than 2 ways. All my life I had just assumed that the can and the can-opener were made for each other and there was no other way around it. Thankyou, friends.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


I really love the idea of having a vanity (or dressing table); an area in the bedroom where I can sit down and do my makeup in the morning. Currently, my makeup sits on my study table and I run back and forth from my  mirror (attached to my bedroom door) to my study table as I do my face.

I love the idea of a vanity because it means an opportunity to indulge in my love of vintage furniture. My friend from the States has the most beautiful retro vanity and I love it! It also adds a bit of glamour to your daily routine.

I like the look of these, but they don't quite compare to my aforementioned friend's vanity:

Image source:

 Image source:

Image source:

I have a large bedroom, which could definitely fit a vanity, but I'm hesitant to buy one because I'm a renter. Such is the life of the renter: you never know if your next bedroom will have a built-in wardrobe or what size the room will be. If I weren't in the midst of getting my professional qualification, I'd probably get rid of my study table and replace it with a vanity.

One option would be to get a small table and attach a lovely vintage mirror that I already have, to the wall above the table - a modest, makeshift vanity that would suit the unpredictability of renting.

But there are relatively smaller vanities available too:

Image source:

I shall keep my eyes out at second-hand furniture stores and on Gumtree.

Friday, January 4, 2013

When it breaks.

I hate it when something breaks and I have to replace it. I desperately want to fix everything, but it's not always worth it, but I hate throwing out a whole thing just because one tiny part of it is broken. I had to chuck my steam mop last year when a little hose inside it ripped so it leaked (cheap mop), and now my bathroom scales have rusted where the battery connects. I just don't have that skill set, I don't know if any shops sell tiny hose parts or battery connecting bits, seeing as how they all come made from China.

It's not like these are expensive things to buy, it's just the principle of waste and annoyance. They aren't fun things to upgrade and you don't get more exciting features. You just have to mop the floor eventually. I liked the old mop, I didn't want it to break, but I was unlucky, I didn't get $35 worth of mopping before it died. Now I resent throwing good money after bad just to do housework.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Things I like about Japan

  • The train seats are heated, so your backside is nice and toasty in winter, if you can get a seat on the train.
  • People queue up to get on the train, but they step aside and let passengers off first before getting on themselves. AMAZING! This could never happen in Sydney.
  • People generally respect the rule of not speaking on your mobile phone on the train.
  • I like seeing Indians and Middle-Eastern people speak Japanese. Turns my brain upside-down.
  • I like receiving little freebies or gifts with my purchases. Doesn't happen all the time, but I like it when it does!
  • I like Japanese drugstore cosmetics and skin care products. So accessible, affordable and such good quality.
  • Transport is clean, efficient and on time.
  • They have an excellent transport card system: put money in the card, use it at the ticket gates and at the shops.
  • They have awesome convenience stores everywhere. I like them much better than the Sydney ones.
  • Japan embraces cute. Hence, lots of cute mascots around. You will see men with cute soft toys dangling off their bag (okay, I only saw one, but you would NEVER see that in Sydney!).
 Other thoughts about Japan:
  • It's interesting being in a monocultural society. It's so much easier to pick out the foreigner. It's so different to being in a multicultural society, where you're used to everyone being different.
  • There's a lot of Chinese tourists in Japan. Saw what I thought were Japanese women in kimonos in Kyoto - WRONG. Just Chinese tourists dressing up. Don't be fooled!
  • I really love the culture of cute in Japan, but it's not something I can bring back to Sydney. By cute, I mean Sanrio characters printed on everything, the fashion, the makeup, everything!) I can't do cute during business hours - that's not the image I want to convey at work. And I can't do cute in personal hours - just doesn't work in a Sydney context. I'm too old for cute. I love cute nonetheless!