Susan’s Salon: 2020 May 3/4

A new month and another open thread for people to just chat. Posted every Monday (Sydney time). It’s OK to be sad and it’s OK to be happy. Please feel free to post troubling news or pleasant distractions in the comments for this open thread. However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments. Links, videos, cat pictures etc are fine. Whatever you like 🙂

Wash your hands before posting a comment.

39 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 May 3/4

  1. My mom was rushed to the emergency room last Tuesday and admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and a bladder infection. (Thankfully, the pneumonia was not COVID related.) She got out Thursday, but she goes back Monday to start treatment for the latest round of leukemia. This is the fourth time she’s had a form of leukemia and the second time in the last two years — she has an underlying condition that means we’ll be playing whack-a-mole with leukemia until she dies.

    Given there’s some studies out of Wuhan that show people with blood cancers really take it on the chin with COVID, as well as that underlying condition that’s going to keep the leukemia coming back, I’m really afraid I’m going to lose my mom at the end of the year.

    It’s messing with me. Every time somebody says something roughly along the lines of ‘what’s a few lives for the economy’, I hear ‘I don’t care if your mom dies.’ It’s really messing with my head.

    Sorry to dump all over y’all, but I guess it’s better to get it out. Shared pain is lessened, isn’t that how Callahan’s says?


    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about what your mom is going through, katster, and about how it’s affecting you, too.

      Every life is precious, every person has people who love and need them, and the people who have such disregard for lives are contemptible exemplars of the human race.

      I will be sending good thoughts your way for the best possible outcome for your mom. ❤

      Liked by 5 people

    2. I am sorry to hear about your mother. My mother had a rough time with cancer her last few years, and she didn’t have to deal with all of this pandemic bullshit on top of that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This afternoon I watched MST3K re-riff their original riff of “Moon Zero Two”. Now with added jokes 30 years later, some via social media. Shout-outs to health care workers. Nothing groundbreaking, but pleasant.

    Earlier I watched both versions of “Frankenstein” by the National Theatre. IMO you should watch the one with Miller as the Creature. Cummerbund is much more suited to the mad scientist, and his Creature was way, way the hell over-mannered and twitchy. I never could see anything but a guy Acting!!! for all he’s worth. Bah. Feh.

    My foraging expedition finally yielded flour, so I can get in on the whole quarantine baking thing. Still no TP. Fruit, veg, and meat still available.

    The credentials are fine, spring is very aggressive. As are all the birds, there must be babies around.

    There’s not much difference between PJ’s and drawstring pants with a t-shirt, but I faithfully change into them at the appropriate times. I do wish I could get a haircut, but not enough to endanger people like katster’s mom or myself. Or even the credentials.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Flour has been available in my part of Germany again for a while now, which is good because I was about to run out. I also saw yeast at the supermarket, but not the regular kind in the classic golden foil packaging, but what appeared to be a large block of yeast, probably wholesale yeast for bakeries, chopped up into pieces and wrapped in cellophane.

      I’m more into cooking than baking, though I did make banana bread like seemingly everybody else these days. It’s easy enough to make and the family (and the neighbour who also got a slice) like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Toilet paper is fully stocked at the shops now and no issues with flour. Yeast was similar to how you describe but we’ve got a reasonable amount in anyway. The rules changed on Friday so you can have two visitor per house – which is nice.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What you have there is live yeast. You can’t just mix it in, like you would do with the modern dried active yeast.

        Dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in 200 ml of warm water. Mix in 1/2 Oz (15 grams) of yeast and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. It’s ready to use when there’s a nice head on the mixture.

        It’s been 25 years since I last used live yeast for baking. The Morrison’s supermarket in Newcastle used to sell it when I lived there, unemployed and broke and learning how to save money by cooking from scratch.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I don’t use yeast for baking very often. Mainly for one recipe, an advent wreath cake, which is time consuming to make, but is an awesome centrepiece for any holiday party. But whenever I make that, I always use live yeast. I know dry yeast exists, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it, at least not for baking. When I was a teenager, eating a bit of dry yeast (or live yeast) was a home remedy for acne.


    2. About half the stores in my area are still rationing toilet paper and hand soap and a few other things at “1 per customer.”

      One store reliably has flour, but it’s one of the things they limit to “1 per customer.”

      On my shopping excursion this week, I found a bar of soap that my husband is particularly fond of for the first time since all this began. I could only buy one bar, but, hey! I came home feeling like the conquering hero!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I was, for my sins, just reading Hoyt again and noticed this bit: “Btw, Germany opened up and no signs of a third wave. As in at all.”
        Am I right in thinking that’s basically wrong in all directions. Germany didn’t ‘open up’ but rather just relaxed some severe restrictions and in fact there was a bit of an uptick cases?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Germany didn’t open up, only some smaller shops are allowed to open again that were closed before and some kids are allowed to go to school again. And at least in some places, church services were allowed to take place with lots of restrictions (no singing, only two worshippers per pew). However, restaurants, bars and hotels are still closed, cinemas and theatres are still closed, kindergartens are still closed, non-gorvery shops larger than 800 m² are still closed. There will probably be more loosening of restrictions next week.

        And new cases always go up at the beginning of the week, because some of the local health authorities don’t report new infections over the weekend. Also, the bloody Robert Koch Insitute still gets reports by fax and sometimes even snail mail, so there’s always a reporting lag. You also get infections going up in some regions. For example, infections went up in Bremen, but only because there was an outbreak in a home for newly arrived refugees with cramped conditions (which should never have operated in such cramped conditions anyway). Elsewhere, it was an outbreak among immigrant workers at a meat processing plant that drove up infection numbers.

        However, overall cases and new infections went down and there is no sign of a second wave so far, no matter how much certain people seem to want one.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. I just skimmed Hoyt’s post. Not much about Germany except a throwaway comment about there being no third wave. Of course, there is no third wave, since we thankfully haven’t had a second wave yet.

        Though I found it amusing that she first accuses people of being in favour of lockdowns, because they are afraid of dying (which is all the Marxists’ fault, naturally) and then she starts lamenting the impending downfall of western civilisation and how she is afraid she will die of diabetes, when there is the famine she fully expects to arrive.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. TP, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, rubbing alcohol, etc. are “1 per customer” at all the stores in my area, but it doesn’t matter as they’re all out by the time I get there. I suspect I’d have to show up at 6 or 7 AM and I’m not that desperate yet.

        I did find my husband’s favorite toothpaste so I was a conquering hero too. And flour besides!

        I don’t have any baking powder, so it’s yeast and/or sourdough starter for me. Luckily I live near-ish San Francisco, so I know the wild sourdough yeasts are good.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Thankfully, I still had a packet with several envelopes of baking powder, though the stuff had gone lumpy, so I had to hit the envelope with a hammer to get rid of the lumps.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. And, I love that the photo has changed with the month. It looks more scientific this month.

    I expect to still be sheltering in place come June 1, so I’ll be looking for the next salon redecoration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Finished reading Creeping Jenny over the weekend – this novel is what you’d get if Noon wrote an episode of Midsomer Murders. Quintessential English village life, horrific murder and weirdness/magic/folklore abound, all tied to the “saints’ days” which control the actions of the villagers (and Nyquist) in different ways each day.

    Began When the Earth Had Two Moons as well – I’m somehow 40% through it already even with the frequent breaks for having my mind blown and letting it all sink in. Excellent recommendation, Lurkertype!

    I’m excited to read more and I’m also excited to start on Xia Jia’s short story collection once I finish it. Her stories are among my favourite of the recent wave of Chinese fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad you liked it too, KasaObake! It’s a rip-roaring read, even when you have to stop and think, as you say. I found myself madly Googling things while reading. Moons are amazing!


  5. I should share an update, since I shared my anxieties last week. My husband’s fever went away, along with the other symptoms.

    My cough has waxed and waned with the pollen count, and no fever. So I’m assuming that it’s just hay fever weirdness.

    Even so, I washed my hands with both soap and water and again with alcohol-based sanitizer before I went out to do the weekly shopping, and I’m wearing double-masks just in case. I don’t want to be the vector for other people, right?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Glad to hear it. I gave a massive sneeze today and had a sore throat last week, both of which made me briefly paranoid till I remembered it’s spring and everything’s in bloom and the sinuses are either impacted or draining. And sometimes I feel warm and then I remember it’s May in California.

      But good for you double-masking. You never know, you or your husband might have had a mild case. When I go out, it’s a fairly-good mask with elastic under a bandanna, lightweight nitrile gloves, hair tied back, cleaning off the outside of all the packages and washing the fruit/veg, while the clothes are in the washer on “hot” and I then take a very thorough shower. It’s quite the process.

      Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, and over the past few trips, I got tortillas, taco shells, beef, refried beans, cheese, hot sauce, lettuce, and most importantly tequila (on sale). So I can throw together something vaguely Mexican-ish, and it won’t matter how it tastes because margaritas.

      I found a party-sized bottle of sour mix in the cupboard at the start of this, and Lauowolf for some reason had an extra bottle of triple sec that I took months ago, so I have decreed the margarita to be House LT’s official cocktail of quarantine. Bar and restaurant drinks are going to seem tame by comparison whenever we huddled masses can go out again and someone else is pouring.


  6. The National Theatre at Home channel on YouTube is broadcasting plays from recent seasons of the (English) National Theatre. We watched Frankenstein (with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller) over the weekend and it was really excellent. It’s available until Friday, Aus time, then a production of Anthony and Cleopatra will become available.

    I finally got my conditioner today – yay! Also my newest toy – a spinning wheel. It is second hand and needs a little TLC before I can use it, but I got it for 1/7ths the price of a new one – it was a major bargain.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Which version of “Frankenstein” did you watch? (See my review above) I tried reading the book again and good heavens, is it padded. I skimmed madly past the first ~30-40% before getting into what we think of as the core of the story.

      You mentioning a spinning wheel, your waist-length hair, and being in isolation brought a certain fairy tale to mind!


      1. I watched the version with Miller as the Monster as I thought Cumberbatch would be better as Dr Frankenstein, and it sounds like I was right. I wasn’t tempted to watch the other version. That’s a pretty common experience with 19th century novels. I tried reading Les Miserables after seeing the musical and oh boy (a large chunk of the middle of the book is an immensely detailed description of the Battle of Waterloo, with the only connection to the story being that one of the secondary characters was there).

        Heh! I didn’t even think of that. Or maybe you have uncovered my secret identity as a fairytale creature ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Also, I found out MST3K has a 24/7 Twitch channel, running old episodes. They re-riffed their original riff of “Moon Zero Two” yesterday, with additional commentary by the current cast and also Joel. There was a Trump joke that proved prescient 30 years later!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, FINALLY, Atlanta! Cons are petri dishes at the best of times, and this isn’t. Hopefully this means DC can get out of this year’s contract without penalties.

      Liked by 2 people

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