Susan’s Salon: 2020 May 30/June 1

Technically she doesn’t need a mask and also there are none that fit her…

Yet 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 either 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 – be nice to one another!] Whatever you like 🙂

Wear a mask while posting a comment.

42 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 May 30/June 1

  1. Today, I feel queer. Phoenix Extravagant from Yoon Ha Lee bled over a bit, and I’m in the afterglow of reading this great novel.
    Today, a also feel sobered, because the Nebula Award Winners turned out quite differently than what I felt. I hope, you have more hits than me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wait—it’s out? I thought I’d read that publication had been delayed! {rushes off to check}


  2. I think we may see repeat winners from the Nebulas at the Hugos in novella, dramatic presentation, and ya fiction. It’s kinda nice to see winners in other categories which aren’t on the Hugo ballot.

    And yaayy, Hugo Packet finally makes an appearance!! So I’ll be spending some time sorting through that. Now if we could vote…I’m ready in a few categories. Good to see we have until July 15. I was fearing July 1.


  3. Will be skipping everything Hugo this summer, too much work on the new cottage. Yesterday I was out buying fertilizers, flower soil, a new barbecue, placed an order on some plants and so on.

    I also bought collars for the cats and will bring them out to the cottage this week. Will let them stay inside for a week, then I will let them outside. They’ve never seen more than the balcony at home before, so this will be exciting for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd albums all day and thinking that Roger Waters is really, really good at being beautiful and angry at the same time.

    …. “the Fletcher memorial home for incurable tyrants and kings”…
    …..”Fletcher Memorial Home for colonial wasters of life and limb”

    …”Mother, should I run for president?
    Mother, should I trust the government?
    Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
    Is it just a waste of time?” …

    …”By the cold and religious we were taken in hand
    Shown how to feel good and told to feel bad
    Strung out behind us the banners and flags
    Of our possible pasts lie in tatters and rags”…

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Yesterday was one of those really dystopic days. I was following my twitter flow, seeing folk preparing their nice dresses for the Nebulas, happy and joyful, intermixed with riots on the streets and reporters attacked. It was like my first visit in Beirut when we walked from the beautiful rich quarters of Beirut directly into the refugee camp of Sabra-Shattila where some people lived in wooden huts with earthern floor.

    I really don’t want to live in a world with these kind of differences.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Perhaps this has been noted before, but does life seem to be turning into a Ken Macleod novel? Social breakdown, insurrection, reactionary violence, and sketchy captitalists running space programs.

    Not looking forward to the Fall Revolution.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reading updates: I finished The Wild Places and will be picking up more Macfarlane very soon!

    I started on Exhalation since I’ve had it on my Kindle since it was published – so thanks for your Hugo reading coverage for getting me to go and dig it out.

    Not a book but Xenoblade Chronicles was released on Switch on Friday so I treated myself to that for my birthday (Saturday) and am very much enjoying it, too. It’s in the vein of a traditional JRPG – linear story, a familiar cast of characters, weapons and its own magic system. The world you move through is actually two Titans, locked in battle. You start off on the foot of one of them and the first part of your journey is to the head. The vistas are absolutely stunning throughout, particularly in the wide open expanses where you can get a real sense of the scale of it, such as when you first step into Gaur Plain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes! As well as all the above, recently work has eased up, thanks to a project finally giving up the ghost due to the whole covid crisis (honestly this one thing out of the whole mess has been a small blessing for me; it was more than half my work but paid barely enough to make it worthwhile). Since I suddenly have a lot more spare time I’ve decided to reactivate my Japanese learning, and will be doing an intensive Japanese course in Japan once it’s safe to travel again. (And then also Korean after that; the goal is to be at a point where I can actually have a real, if simple, conversation since at the moment I only have enough of both languages to order off a menu and other simple tasks)


  8. While the world burns, I took advantage of the extended tax deadline in Canada to delay my stress until yesterday. I have just mailed the final tax form because goddamn TurboTax can’t handle adding lines to it.

    Oddly the woman in line in front of me and the woman behind the counter at Canada Post both did people’s taxes on the side.


    1. Oh! I am so glad you reminded me! I totally forgot to do mine. Thanks for the jolt. I couldn’t get the free software one to download over a period of an hour of trying, likely intentionally) but when paid for the $20 one it worked immediately. Funny, that.

      I seem to be able to complete just one concentration-based task each day, so that’s the one for today.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some of the Pandas went on a march today starting from the MLK Memorial Park that went through downtown. I’d guess several thousand people participated. It was peaceful and loud. It was good to feel solidarity with a large group.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. We didn’t go to the state capital today. They started earlier and that ended with tear gas and rubber bullets as the Gun Governor (it was an ad where he points a gun at his son) proves his Trumpian bonafides.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I hope all the pandas and othe protesters are safe. Sorry that your governor is an ammosexual Trump supporter. The sheer awfulness of many US politicians make ours look good by comparison. The only reason I’m angry at our state governor equivalent today is because he wants to throw yet more tax payer money at the cheating liars of Volkswagen and because he seems to have forgotten (or never realised in the first place) that he is no longer mayor of Hannover and that there is a whole lot of Lower Saxony to the west of Hannover. Okay, so no one here voted for him, but he could still remember that we exist on occasion.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I finally unpacked, imported, and tagged all of the non-excerpt book parts of the Hugo Packet into my Calibre, as well as everything else I’ve needed to re-import since my other hard drive failed two months ago. That, uh, was a lot. Now starting in on the back half of Planetfall, aka the half that my library didn’t have in ebook.

    Other than that, preparing for hiking season now that the parks are reopening and the snow is melting in the Sierras, and sending some money to bail funds.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. 1. Love the new photo.
    2. “Are you my mummy?”

    Nothing here in the past week, literally. We didn’t go out. Amazon delivered things, as did the produce and snack people. We ate frozen things, takeout pizza, and I cooked a couple times.

    It’s not bad for a dystopian future so far. Mr. LT has just filled in his permanent vote by mail application, so HA! We have a curfew now, thanks agents provocateurs. Ugh, TurboTax also awaits. We usually do the free low-income program, but naturally the city nixed the thing where you sit shoulder to shoulder with a few dozen people for hours in the waiting room.

    Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores were burned down 😦 and their insurance doesn’t cover riots 😦 But them there syfy and mystery books give people ideas about logic an’ science, can’t be havin’ that!

    But “Agents of SHIELD” is back for their final season, and so far it’s very good. It’s nice to see old friends again, and I will miss them after 12 more episodes. The cast all looks fiiiiine in 1931 formal wear.

    @RPF: good for you Pandas!
    @Martin Pyne: and good for you as well. Industrious!
    @Hampus: Sounds like good fun. The credentials will have their tiny furry minds blown.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. I have a sunburn. Stupid me. Otherwise I’m doing great, spent the weekend (which was extra long, whit monday is a public holiday here.) at a very idyllic summer house by the sea.

    Reading October Man, the Rivers of London novella set in Germany. Having a little trouble getting into it, but that may be because of too many distractions while reading and not the book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Pentecost Monday is a public holiday here as well. Which some idiots in Berlin used to hold a rave pretending to be a protest at and on the Landwehrkanal, completely ignoring any social distancing rules and recommendations.


    1. Here is what I have in my Calibre tagged “2020 Hugo packet”:

      Stuff that’s not on that list includes the complete InCryptid, Monstress, and Paper Girls (which I have from previous packets), all of the book excerpts, the art selections, and the audio/video parts (Fancast, Doctor Who: “Resolution”, and the “Cibola Burn” clip)

      These are in various formats, and yes it does include the NetGalley stuff.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Personal angst ahead, feel free to skip.

    Last week, I wrote a Facebook post limited to a small group of friends about a very frustrating interpersonal work situation that I thought had settled down last year, until last week the other party started it up again fresh (or rather, fresh as far as I knew, but it turns out he’d been making constant complaints about me all year which I never heard about). Anyway, I vented about it a bit, and got the expected “wow, that’s crappy, he sounds difficult” comments which I realize I can’t take too literally because they’ve only heard my side, but still, thanks friends.

    So, yesterday there was a big meeting about it and it went kind of well until suddenly it didn’t and we’re back where we started. And I felt pretty bad about it, especially since the management had threatened both of us with firing, and normally I would go back to those same friends and vent a little more, but… well, you know. It feels ridiculous and inappropriate to be talking about this shit at all on Facebook or wherever, even to a select few, when things in general are so awful. I hate that this crap about techies bumping heads is even taking up space in my head. And I can’t help wondering if feeling unable to vent in more detail might be a *good* thing – like, maybe doing so just winds me up more? I really don’t know.

    It’s like I have a whole Facebook in my head, with people arguing about what to post internally. And I have absolutely nothing to contribute to any external discussion about anything important— just the same helpless fear and anger that everyone’s going through. I could put up one of the same 10 or 20 news stories we’ve all been seeing, and say how bad it is, but while it reads to me as sincere and normal when anyone else does that, the idea of doing the same thing myself just feels performative and redundant. I’m sure I’m not the only one, but this seems so weird— I can’t abide complaints about “virtue signaling”, they almost always are obvious bad-faith bullshit, and yet if someone said it about me, I would feel they were totally right. I really would be doing it just because I felt obliged to demonstrate my agreement with things that literally everyone I know agrees with me about (I don’t have strangers as Facebook friends, and I don’t have fascists or fascist-apologists as friends), not telling anyone anything they don’t know, just making the crisis about me for a few seconds.

    I just thought I’d share this in case others either are dealing with something similar, or might just find it funny (which in a way it is).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Re work: I tend to bottle up stuff like that and that has never helped but I don’t know if the opposite is true. What I needed at times like that was somebody who could give authoritative advice – not a lawyer (because that escalates), union doesn’t work if it’s a colleague, and your own HR can’t be seen to take sides either. A good friend’s role is to support your feelings (and that is important) but somebody giving objective advice can help in situations like this.

      On not knowing what to say about current events: it is OK not to say anything if it doesn’t add anything. That doesn’t remove support, it gives other voices space to be heard.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. EB — I hear you. I’ve recently tried saying less at work too, because it feels like saying the same thing over and over. It’s hard and the perspective can get distorted, because we spend so much time at work and have so much of our identity tied to that space (“Hi, nice to meet you, what do you do for a living?”). I’ve consciously been trying to separate myself from that dynamic, but it’s still a work in progress. Ignore what you can, minimize what you can, remain true to yourself on the fundamentals, and rely on friends to laugh with you and let you be petty when you need to get it out.

      I haven’t been saying much about the riots and horror show on our border either. Partly because it feels like what is needed now is action not words — and certainly I have nothing new to add — and partly because I am sad and tired. So many words over so many decades and still the song remains the same.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. On the US, I’m mindful as well of how easy it is for non-USians to look at the chaos and take away the wrong message i.e. as our own country isn’t having riots that the underlying problems don’t exist here.


    3. First of all, sorry about the work situation.

      Today on Twitter, I saw someone apologising for complaining about a toothache, when the US was on fire. Just as someone else apologised for tweeting the link to an interview with them, because the US is burning. But teeth still ache, people still get ill or hurt, interviews, books and stories are still published, cats and kids still do cute things, even if the world is burning. And I think that people do have a right to be happy or sad about those things and to tweet or facebook about it, even if terrible things are happening.

      And because Americans are so dominant at least in English language social media for demographic reasons, it often seems as if everything grinds to a halt, if something awful happens in the US. Whereas when something awful happens elsewhere in the world, Twitter, Facebook, etc… go on as normal with people in countries not affected posting about birthdays, sports, cat pictures, TV shows, etc.. Which is perfectly okay..

      Liked by 3 people

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