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Mar. 29th, 2011

It's funny how, when you buy something like a coat rack from Amazon, their recommendation algorithm decides that you just love coat racks in general, and begins recommending a wide variety of them to you. I mean, how many coat racks can one person need? Or if I buy headphones for my iPod ... you know, that doesn't mean that I want to buy lots and lots of headphones. Or when I buy a night light ... that doesn't mean I plan to start a collection of nocturnal illumination devices. I find their recommendations often useful when I'm looking for books that are in some way similar to others I have liked, but pretty much everything else is useless, because the shopping logic is not the same. Someday, someone will refine that algorithm.

In more significant news, Cobweb is still mostly not eating, still very lethargic. I spoke to the vet today, and she suggested that we bring the baby into the office to have a vet tech draw some blood and urine so they can run some tests. After the procedures, the vet tech came out and was telling us what a great cat Cobweb was, that she hadn't struggled or put up a fight against the techs, etc. I admitted that this was only because she's not well -- normally, she would struggle like a demon against strangers picking her up. So, ironically, I was actually a bit disappointed to hear that she had behaved herself so well.

The current theory seems to be that Cobweb's kidneys are failing, but we should know more tomorrow when the lab results come back. At least today she hasn't seemed actually unhappy. She lay on my lap for quite a while this evening while we (Shannon and I, not Cobweb and I) watched "Stargate: Universe" (a fine show -- too bad it's been cancelled), just purring and purring and doing that cute upside-down-head thing that cats do sometimes. Awwww.

My coughing is down to about a hundred times a day now, which is muuuuuuch better than a couple days ago, and my congestion is such that I can sometimes even breathe through my nose! It's good to appreciate the simple things in life.

In less significant news, I watched some episodes of "Top Chef: Masters" the last couple days, and I found that I actually liked it more than the original "Top Chef." "Top Chef: Masters" involves established, well-known chefs competing against each other, whereas the original "Top Chef" is peopled by up-and-comers. The established chefs were much more fun to watch (especially as they struggled their way through difficult challenges with self-deprecating laughter), and I loved how they treated each other with utmost respect and courtesy. They helped each other often and never took advantage of situations that would have allowed them to make things more difficult for a competitor. It was a much more ethical and dignified competition, even if these prominent chefs were occasionally running around the kitchen in a panic. I fell totally in love with these two chefs: Hubert Keller (who makes primarily French food) and Rick Bayless (who makes primarily Mexican food). I liked them mostly for their personalities, rather than their food, though they did create some amazingly beautiful plates. Bayless's Mexican food, in particular, sounded delicious. Oaxacan black mole tamales! Now I want tamales!

Heading into this season's "Top Chef" finale (which airs tomorrow!), I am decidedly favoring Richard Blais. I don't like his competitor (Mike) very much, and I'm strangely charmed by Blais's constant anxiety problems. I can identify with a guy who worries a lot, since I'm like that, too. Mike's just an arrogant, misogynistic prick who feels a need to constantly put other people down. I have no use for people like that in my life, even on the tv shows I watch.

Shannon has been pretty stressed lately. He's spent most of his free time in the past couple weeks incorporating reviewers' edits into his book (a history of the role-playing industry), and plans to send off a complete revision to his editor this week. Plus, he's very worried about Cobweb. He's gotten a bit snippy with me a couple times, but he usually apologizes soon afterward and explains that his mood has nothing to do with me personally. I tend to just try to give him a wide berth when he's wound this tight. But the book should be done (again) in the next couple days, and I'm hoping Cobweb will start feeling better, and then we can all relax a little.

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