company of three, black peppermint tea

Tag: reading

by cloudier

recently i’ve borrowed this book of short stories by f. scott fitzgerald (author of the great gatsby). the offshore pirate is one of the most adorable romances i have ever read and there’s plenty of stuff to think too deeply about too!

razorblade – the strokes: catchy chorus and guitar riff but the lyrics of the majority of the song suck

shark magnets

You shut your goddamn carbon-taxin’ mouth (via, also) Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s the best way to tell a kid they need to lose weight?

by bezzle

I just finished reading Big Girl by Danielle Steel.  It’s this book (not sure what genre it falls into, though) about a woman who has been emotionally starved and abused by her family because she had a problem with overeating and her weight.  Maybe it was due to the skill of the author (I haven’t read any other books by her, so nothing to measure up against), but I found it really moving.

So it got me thinking about body image again.  I haven’t ranted for a long time, mainly because I never finish my drafts and post them, so I end up deleting them because I couldn’t continue my train of thought.  I did a post on my own opinion about a healthy body image a while ago, but this coincidentally links in with random things I was thinking about before.

Once while I was perusing the newspaper, I saw an article written by those child psychologists or some other professional, and it was about how to tell your children to lose weight.  I skimmed it.  It talked about how parents shouldn’t bring weight up as an issue with children, unless it really is beginning to be a problem.  And if so, how to do it respectfully and with the child’s self-esteem and motivation in mind, such as by encouraging the whole family to go for a walk after dinner, etc. 

That sounds wonderful in theory, but I don’t think that sort of positive mindset occurs all the time.  I don’t think the sort of situation in Big Girl is common at all (it’s pretty extreme), but I’m sure at least some of you reading this have heard some comments on your body shape or weight from parents or relatives.  Especially because most people are chubby as kids.  Thinking about this now, it could be the other end of the spectrum – you’re too skinny and need to put on weight – but I’ve heard more than occasional comments from my mum about certain aspects of my appearance, needing to lose weight and decreasing the amount I eat.

I realise that sounds like I’m whining about my mum (and my dad occasionally does it too) but it’s not to such a degree that it’s reinforced and beginning to feel like the truth.  I like to think of it as an exaggeration of *minor* flaws I may have.

Another factor is the Chinese relatives.  I despise it when people classify certain behaviours, people or objects as Chinese mindlessly, even though I am definitely guilty of it myself.  But there’s a grain of truth behind this pigeonholing, and this is not going to turn into a hypocritical rant about passive racism and and ethnicity versus nationality.  I may save that for some other time.  And don’t get me started on the ‘labelling Chinese’ versus ‘labelling Asian’ thing.

Once again I’m going to presume most, if not all our readers out there go to our school and are probably in our grade.  Going to our school, we know that 80%+ of our student body has Chinese or Asian descent, etc.  So I’m going to presume again that you’ve been in that awkward situation at yum cha/in a restaurant/at somebody’s house where you’ve had your appearance, height, academic results and familial obedience prodded at, while you remain obliged to nod and make noncommittal noises by some relative or family friend at least thirty years older than you.  I’ve had plenty of that, so I apologise if I’ve presumed wrongly and you can just treat this as an anecdote.

I never got told I was fat or anything similar (not that I can remember, at least) at these sort of meetings, but after I hit puberty and into my teenage years, I got told at least several times the Double-Edged Compliment that I’ve already ranted about to Syd and Claudia, but I’m going to mention it here again (sorry!) because I want to make sure no one reading this ever grows up and says it to a child…or even an adult.

I’m talking about the ‘You Look More Beautiful Than You Did As A Child’.  I don’t care how butt-ugly I was as a kid, I don’t want to hear about how I now miraculously look better.  I’m sure each one of the people who said it to me meant in the most complimentary manner (I’m going to assume the best) but it stings somewhat.  I think what my brain is trying to say by being so touchy about it is that if you were honestly trying to praise someone’s beauty or whatever variation of the above, you wouldn’t compare it to the person’s own.  Because doing so is actually insulting to the person when they were younger and it’s a comparative that doesn’t really mean much.

Now that I’ve recovered from my personal tangent about a pet peeve of mine, back to what I was saying about Chinese relatives.  Maybe it’s the ingrained belief that elders have a right to speak their minds and to pick up their chopsticks first at the dinner table, but I’ve notice that senior family friends and relatives feel it is perfectly fine to verbalise anything they find negative about the poor children forced to endure the gathering.  I didn’t get much criticism, but when I went with my cousin, they found no issue with telling her that she needed a haircut and weight loss.  It got worse when she wasn’t around – they really don’t hold back.

I’m glad that she is sensible enough not to take all their not-so-subtle-hinting to heart. 

I think the whole purpose of me writing this post was that my aforementioned reading of Big Girl and my own musings about how to approach weight issues in children lead to me feeling like I needed to discuss my own opinions about how thoughtless and ‘well-meaning’ comments can be hurtful and negative.

Those days of innocence?

by bezzle

My sister just told me a story:

“An older girl went up to a kindy kid, who had a $2 coin, and offered to swap a 50c coin for it, saying “Look how shiny it is!”  The kindy kid went along with the change.  The older girl ended up spending the money on iceblocks and chips at the canteen.”

I think the girl in the story is someone she knows. 

Anyway, the story has made me feel extremely angry towards her.  Especially because I can totally imagine a kid who doesn’t know the value of currency and different coins being proud of getting a shinier, larger coin.  And that just kinda broke my heart, because I can also imagine my brother being cluelessly scammed like that, actually, any little kid, and someone laughing off with the profits and showing off to their friends.

This is why it is not such a good idea to have smaller coins being worth more.

On another much more positive note, I have found a copy of The burning wire in Carlingford library and borrowed it!  Ok, intro:

The burning wire is the latest sequel in the Lincoln Rhyme series, which is in the forensic murder/thriller genre.  I love it!  It has hairpin plot twists, a lot of science and corpses full of clues.  Will be bingeing for the next day.

chocolate fudge self-saucing pudding

by bezzle

Here’s some more random detritus from my jumbled life at the moment – like a snapshot? 

What I’m making:

I used a slightly different recipe from a puddings cookbook, but there’s a copyright on it, so here’s a substitute.

 

BAKED CUSTARD

Ingredients:

1 litre milk (full cream will give a richer taste)

4cm piece of vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

6 eggs (at room temperature)

2 egg yolks (at room temperature)

1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Grease a 1.5L dish with a height of at least 5cm.  Also, a roasting dish or larger oven dish should be lined with a tea towel.  Place the 1.5L into the roasting dish (it should fit quite easily).

Pour the milk in a saucepan and add vanilla seeds (inside bean) then place on medium heat uncovered for 5 minutes.  Cool milk for 5 minutes after heating, so as to not cook the eggs when they are added.  If using vanilla essence, after the 5 minutes cooling, add.

Using a fork, mix all the eggs, egg yolks and sugar.  Gradually pour in the milk, while whisking.  Then strain the mixture to remove any large particles (such as vanilla seeds).  Pour into the 1.5L dish.  Sprinkle the nutmeg on top of the custard mixture.

After putting roasting dish (with the smaller dish in it) on the middle shelf of the oven, fill the roasting dish with boiling water till it reaches halfway up the smaller dish.  This method of using two dishes, with the outer one holding water, is called bain-marie, or water-bath.

Reduce the oven temperature to 140 degrees.  Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the custard comes out clean or with some soft set custard clinging on.  Cool for 5 minutes.

from taste.com.au

 

What I’m reading:

-A puddings cookbook.  Half the fun is just looking at the pictures in a cookbook, and especially with a desserts one.  I just wish Mum wasn’t so paranoid about ‘fatty’ foods, and that I could use a full tub of cream without it going to waste.  *siiiigh…  It all looks so TASTY.  And nostalgic.  LIKE RICE PUDDING.  I LOVED THAT STUFF WHEN I ATE IN PRESCHOOL.

-Various manga.  I’ve ‘finished’:

Shiawase kissa sanchoume – Uru’s smile is SO CUTE.  AND THAT LOCK OF HAIR THAT STANDS UP.  They all fall in love with her; it’s a love square ==”

Akuma to love song – Hana reminds me of Annie, from the movie Annie.  Just more evil.

1/2 Prince – I like this one especially.  It’s so random, especially in the latest chapter, where Prince asks her childhood friend how to pee as a guy.  To explain that would be too long, just read it.  Very funny :D

Vampire knight – I ended up rereading the last 10 chapters or so, because I thought I hadn’t finished reading it but it turned out I did.  Musing: why don’t vampires ever crack jokes or laugh?

Kaichou wa maid sama! – this is another really good one.  Gosh, I need to learn more adjectives.  But I especially love the three idiots.  They’re so….idiotic :D  And Usui+Misaki is just pure awesome :) :) :) 

Ouran high school host club – I remember watching the first ep in Japanese in class once, and ended up watching the rest of the anime, then read the manga.  Another awesome one for laughs.

Perfect girl evolution – I love chibi-Sunako.  The setting is a lot like Ouran; Sunako is forced to live with four HOT guys and they attempt to transform her into a lady, etc. And she and the main guy (the hottest guy out of the four – he can’t even hold down a job because he gets sexually harrassed by his bosses of both sexes!) form a superhuman team whenever working with each other, a LOT like Usui+Misaki…

Hana ni arashi – out of all the others I’ve read, the only complete one.  9 chapters, it wasn’t that interesting, but of course you can’t have major plot in such a short span…

Yes I realise all are shoujo manga, I did read a bit of Fairy Tail, but I think my attention got diverted, and sometimes the art is hard to read and ‘messy’ to me.  Also the popular ones like Naruto, Bleach and One Piece are just too long.  I’m kinda pedantic about starting a manga from the first chapter and not reading any other till I finish the one I’m on, so reading those would be quite problematic.

– 206 bones.  I wonder how long Kathy Reichs is gonna continue the Temperance Brennan series – I like it though.

– random fanfics, when I can tear myself away from manga xD

What I’m listening to:

Lady GaGa fan stuff!  I love it when I find songs that aren’t released as singles that are really good!  And this one is no exception – it’s like all of her other well-known songs; electro pop.  Like the other songs on her second album, it’s a bit darker.  Just listen to the chorus!

He ate my heart;

he a-a-ate my heart;

he ate my heart.

Off to go back up my netbook and do that ag speech I’ve been procrastinating~

And we musn’t forget the controversial Victor’s quote corner!  I give up on typing ‘shameless plug’ each time, so SP from now on :D

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.”
Horace Walpole (1717 – 1797)

bye for now, not forever

by bezzle

it’s been very quiet this holidays on the blogging front, especially since carmen and cloud are both overseas (and ben posting is quite a rare occurence), and tomorrow i’m off to the gold coast, so i might as well post one more time.  wait, does the hotel apartment have wi-fi?  i can’t remember. 

trying to find a work placement has been a dismal failure.  mum wants me to think big and have something to do with my future career, such as doctor, lawyer, etc.  you know, the usual cliches we always use.  i want to do something nice and easy and fun, like working at a cafe.  i’m thinking short-term, part-time student jobs.  and i always get tongue tied on the phone.

when you hear someone’s voice over a piece of technology, i.e. phone, video camera, etc. it always sounds like them to me.  but when i hear my voice on tape, etc.  it sounds nothing like it.  but my voice alters too much, i guess, and maybe it sounds different echoeing in your skull?  i don’t know.

also, i was binge reading books (the mortal instruments series, by cassandra clare.  it’s really good) and when the characters were talking to each other, sometimes they talked in very large paragraphs.  granted, the font size was a bit big in one of the books, but i could never manage to talk that long without pausing to think about my next sentence or messing up my words.  like my tongue’s to big for my mouth.  well, they are book characters, bezzle.  okay never mind.

i am really looking forward to year ten (except for work experience, but if i sort that out i’d look forward to that too) but i’m scared too.  i liked year nine.  it’s a safe year level to be.  year seven and eight, older students look down on you.  year ten and senior years are very important.  year nine was just right.

i was just going to type something, but i forgot almost instantaneously.  i like that word.

and reading max’s post made me laugh, and it made me think.  i totally agree with him on most of the points (i’ve never played cluedo in my life) but especially point four. 

“when other people bust a move, i bust a hip”

i think i read a joke along those lines somewhere.  or maybe i made it up.  i have no idea.  i wouldn’t bust a hip yet, but i’d probably pull a hamstring or twist an ankle or something.

it’s a gloomy day, it’s dark and i’m alone typing on my laptop. 

bezzle’s tip for life #563:

never sit in the third row of seats in a four -wheel drive if you can help it.