Our new cat continued to be ill, with a progression to some kind of feline flu or respiratory infection. She started sneezing quite a bit, so we took her to a vet who found her temperature a little high and her lymph nodes a little swollen. Add that to the existing stomach upset from last week and it’s all been quite a handful.

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We had some guests from Korea visit the workplace this week, and communicating was a novel challenge. They had been informed that chilli crab was the thing to eat in town, so we took them to Long Beach Seafood one night.

If you’ve never been to a seafood/zichar restaurant as part of a big group, you need to know that ordering appropriately is an art form, best left to the most local, most food-obsessed person at the table. That ain’t me, but there was no one else in our group who could either, so I did my best. When in doubt, hit the top charts: black pepper and chilli crabs, fried mantous, salted fish fried rice, broccoli in oyster sauce, kailan, stir fried beef and peppers, cereal prawns (the most surprising and impressive dish for our guests), roast chicken/duck. I should have done a salted egg something but really it was more than enough.

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After I mentioned Jesse Malin’s new Christmas single a week or two ago, I’ve been listening to his first three albums and loving them all over again. While looking him up on social media to see what’s been happening, I then learnt that the 20th (!) anniversary of his debut album The Fine Art of Self Destruction is coming up next year AND he’s re-recorded the whole thing for a February release! So the two tracks on the new single are first looks at what the sessions sound like. Incredibly, his voice has barely changed in all this time but the new takes have a more introspective forlorn feel.

There’s going to be a live performance of the whole album in New York next year on March 25, with special guests like Lucinda Williams, and for a brief moment I considered booking flights down just for that one event. If you never heard this album back in the day, I highly recommend it.

I’ve been listening to Stormzy’s new album, This Is What I Mean, and loving it. Also the new Metro Boomin album, which I wasn’t really expecting to like.

While dealing with my troubles over the past few weeks, I found myself humming the Charlie Chaplin song Smile, which I hadn’t thought about in years. And then one day at the office Jose was playing music out loud and it was unmistakably a new recording of Smile. I asked him what it was, and it’s a new record from the Ezra Collective called Where I’m Meant To Be.

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We finished The Peripheral on Amazon Prime Video and it’s uneven and frustrating in places, but I’ll take it. They nailed the casting of Lowbeer to my mind, and Chloe Grace Moretz is a fine fit for the role (does her peripheral need such bright red lipstick though?).

Then we got onto Netflix’s new J-drama based on and named after Utada Hikaru’s classic song, First Love. And hey it doesn’t suck! It’s been very nice to get back into watching TV series again, after spending the last few weeks just on YouTube and a British daytime tv show called Four In A Bed, which is a very chill reality tv competition between bed and breakfast establishments. It follows the Come Dine With Me format where the contestants all visit and stay at each others’ establishments before passing judgment. There are 20 official full episodes on YouTube if you’d like.

Got some game time in with Robotics;Note Elite on the Switch for a couple of evenings. I’m intending to pick up GameDec on sale too — it looks like a cyberpunk Disco Elysium (although I’m not expecting that level of brilliance to ever be repeated), also from an Eastern European developer. It’s about being a detective hired to solve mysteries in virtual worlds, in a future where I suppose many important life events take place in them. You know the word for this thing. Don’t say it.


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