Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wine and Psychology

Woo! I bought some wine today, and because I ate oriental food, I opened the Gewurtztraminer (from Alsace) which is the sweetest white I've ever tasted. It can also be an aperitif. It is nearly as sweet as my orange muscat dessert wine.

I am three-quarters of the way through a small glass and I am feeling warm and fuzzy, so by the time I finish the glass and this post we might be having more fun.


Because I have decided I need more protein, I bought 3 servings of meat today - and of course the grocery bill increased by 20%.
I tried to pick up some beef but ended up compromising with veal (please don't yell at me for that). I also bought some strips of duck fillet, lamb steaks, and sausages, but I always get those. Waitrose does some nice organic pork and bramley apple ones.


Picked up the new Psychologies magazine today. Kept wondering why so many articles were numbered "2" until I realised I missed the launch last month, but I have just bought the November edition and we're only in the first week of October!

(Ironic that while I am blogging about Psychology, my BA, I have started ignoring The Culture Show, related my MA in Art History. OK I saw the gallery and the Reubens bits, but am skipping the drama bit.)

Some interesting thoughts I want to share with you:

  • Our inhibitory ability is affected by strain and fatigue, meaning we are more likely to say the wrong thing if we are tired or under pressure. Some are able to remain discreet at such times, but most people should avoid situations requiring tact, such as interviews or dates, unless we've had a good night's sleep.
[Sorry I couldn't make it to the interview this morning; I went to bed at 3am and didn't want to risk putting my foot in my mouth...]

  • French studies have shown that diners are more likely to stay longer and spend more money if they can smell lavender.
[Study sponsored by the l'Universite de Provence? (shush, I made it up ok?)]

  • Here's one that will blow your socks off: What is your comfort food? Researchers have found that men and women opt for different comfort foods. Guess who goes for snacks and who goes for steak or pasta? They think it is due to conditioning, but men equate lovingly prepared food with affection so are likely to cook up something labour-intensive such as casserole, while women see the kitchen as a chore and are probably going to go for the crisps and chocolates. (Didn't we all think men would pop off to McDonalds?)
  • Then there's a huge article on how men think (less communication, as if we didn't know).
  • Another on the best psychotherapy - the oldies are the best: Philosophers! Socrates, Seneca, Epicurus (oooh), Descartes, Sartre (NO!), Bertrand Russell...
  • Goal setting to achieve your cherished ambitions.
  • How fathers influence their daughters' relationships (repeating patterns)
  • Is there a life after death?
  • How we find new ways to relieve guilty consciences.
  • Do we care what other people think? Useful Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques:
1) Internally monitor your positive and negative self-thoughts.
2) If someone says something negative about you, think of three positive things they could have said instead.
3) As soon as a self-critical thought enters your mind, change your body posture to mirror the way you would if you were feeling proud or confident.
4) If you can't think of any positive opinions, focus on the pleasant nuances of the world around you, such as the sunshine outside or the bird on the grass.
5) When someone is putting you down, translate the situation into a caricature, give the person a squeaky voice.
We have to be good to ourselves and accept ourselves first of all, before we can change towards our own happiness.

  • Then there's a rather large dossier on women's lives. (What do you want to bet 90% of the people who buy this mag will be women?)
  • And the last quarter is taken with beauty and food. See? A woman's magazine, unmistakeably.
More tidbits tomorrow...


OK the wine wore off and we haven't had fun yet. Never mind. Should I pour another glass? Let's see what happens.

Oh golly, I hope I have enough milk for tea...If not Clogs will let me use some...

I poured a few swigs of Orange Muscat.
It's very different to the Gewurtztraminer...much sweeter. Very full-bodied. Quite delightful really.


Anonymous said...

I bow to the beauty of your blog. Complimenti! Now I need to read ALL the posts I've missed. So, be back later after I do this!


Jason said...

Hey, this was quite a post. I like the new look of the site.

It's good to see that you are keeping up with your psychology studies. BTW, I have never heard of either of those wines. Something I'll look out for in the future (although wines that are too sweet aren't my favorites).


PS - I hope you always think of Texas fondly. Remember the Alamo!

Olivia said...

Thanks A - I hope it doesn't take you too long to catch up ;)

Jason - Muscat is sweet indeed, but FAR better than Saki :P

Texas will always have a special place in my heart.

MattJ said...

I'm not going to shout about Veal, I'd only ask that you take a look to see if it is 'White' or 'Red' Veal next time you buy. Red Veal calves are allowed to mooch around fields and do Cow things, we all know what happens to White Veal calves.

Anyway, not going to preach - just a request. Still here, and not feeling any less manly so I guess I can cope! lol!

I do have a tendency to cook vast amounts of food when I'm down, or i order similar. I think one of my all time biggest was when I got home after a 10 hour shift at the crappy Part time job I had at Uni, after a terrible week. I spent 2 1/2 hours cooking a Lamb Curry, with a side dish of of Spicy Spinach and Potato, Tamarind potatoes, Bahjis and chapatti. That kept me fed for about 3 days!

Rebecca said...

Oh my Lord, that is so fascinating about comfort food. I thought that was only in Italy! But seriously, how interesting. Especially since supposedly when a woman is still a girl her parents cook for her but even young women turn to snacks for comfort food, so do we see the kitchen as a chorse through a mental association to our mother's gender because she does the cooking?

Of course my house was upside down: my father did (still does) all the cooking. And the gardening. Now they have a forest so a gardener does most of it now, but my father still does his part. Of course he's also a successful businessman and a member of at least 3 councils... my Mother is slacking!!

Ok, off the point. But still: veeery interesting

Anonymous said...

veal. Yum.

Never liked calves, much better to store them in small, confined places so they don't get all muscular and then slaughter them young to make scrummy veal.

Try pan fried veal with apples, white wine and cream, quite tasty.

Olivia said...

Matt - thanks for proving the comfort food study then.
Also, as the veal is Dutch and it comes from "farms dedicated to the animals' welfare" there's no telling...

Rebecca - yes I do think women see the kitchen as a gender-based harness.
Dads are supposed to do gardening: they take care of the green stuff while Mums tend the flowers, simple as that!

Anonymous - you really are the master of difficult. You are disagreeing with Matt, I see.
Veal is what's for dinner tonight (if I can claim the kitchen in time!), so thanks for the recipe as I was at a loss. I have a perishing apple but no cream.

I'm off to BBC food to check out recipes...