Susan’s Salon: 2020 December 27/28

May as well keep this party going until New Year’s Eve

Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Sydney time which is still Sunday in most countries) . It’s fine to be sad, worried, angry or happy (or all of those things at once).

Please feel free to post what you like (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! Whatever you like and be nice to one another 😇

45 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 December 27/28

  1. My wife got me a four-book omnibus of Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings novels, which were favorites of mine as a kid. His writing holds up well.
    And she also got me a Christmas ornament with a photo of Wisp our adopted stray (to go with the ornaments for our dogs). Guess she’s officially family now.

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    1. Jennings! There’s a name I haven’t thought about in quite a while.

      I’m pleased to hear they hold up. In a high-end British boarding school story, toxic politics are always a concern.

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      1. In contrast to many books of my past there was nothing in Jennings Goes to School that made me feel “oh, that hasn’t aged well.” I was startled to realize the book dates back to 1950—I read it mid-sixties and from a small boy’s perspective life didn’t seem that different.

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  2. I watched that timeless holiday classic, “The Three Musketeers” (the Tim Curry version).

    Silly and cheesy, with lots of action and some of cinema’s most beautiful actresses (Gabrielle Anwar and Julie Delpy especially), with a Tim Curry cherry on top. A good way to detox. You can see why Chris O’Donnell never really made it in the big time, though — he just didn’t quite have “it”, despite an appealingly fresh face.

    But now I have to go watch more Tim Curry movies. He really knows how to grab a scene.

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    1. I watched that recently – having never seen that particular version. It’s very sex obsessed without being bawdy, sexy or unsuited for Disney. I’m not sure what Paul McGann is trying to do either. Curry though gets whatever the film is supposed to be and acts like his many ambition is to actually have sex with the very concept of a Three Musketeers film.

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    2. Here’s an anecdote: I went to see that movie in the cinema. As a “trailer” for the upcoming The Lion King, Disney had opted to simply show the entirety of The Circle of Life. Three minutes later, I think that everyone in the cinema thought the same thing: whatever we were about to see couldn’t possibly live up to that.
      We were right, but T3M isn’t completely terrible. It’s just that in my memory it is forever overshadowed.

      As for other Tim Curry movies: Muppet Treasure Island is a stone-cold classic (“upstage, lads, this is my /only/ number”)

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  3. Holiday week meant I worked from home a half day on Thurs and had off Friday, so more free time for me! So of course I used it to watch WW1984 and to start a new playthrough of one of my favorite JRPGs, Trails in the Sky (SC), which has been fun.

    But well, it’s me, so I mainly used my extra time to read a lot, finishing 4 books (1 in audio) and 2 novellas, all but one of which aren’t even out yet (the one that’s out already, Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera, is a YA Latinx Orpheus and Eurydice adaptation that’s well worth your time if you’re looking for reading right now though).

    But the last two works I’ve finished have been really good, and I highly recommend them for upcoming purchases in March when they come out: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s novella One Day All This Will Be Yours – a hilarious time travel story of a man who is determined to kill all time travelers and then prevent them from ever inventing time travel so he can peacefully enjoy life at the end of time – and Nicole Glover’s The Conductors – a noir story set in a Black area of Philly post-Civil War, in which two former “Conductors” of the Underground Railroad who use their own form of magic investigate a series of murders.

    Not that the other works I’ve read this week (Aimee Ogden’s “Local Star” and M.A. Carrick’s “The Mask of Mirrors”) didn’t have reasons to recommend them, but these two are big highlights that I recommend pre-ordering for sure.

    And this week I get off New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so even more time to read! Awesome way to close out the year and start a new one 🙂

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  4. My partner was a team player and worked over Christmas. But he has Mon-Fri off this week — yay! We have big plans to do lots of not much at all. Mostly reading and we’ll probably start watching the new season of The Expanse. We always stay in for New Year’s Eve, just the two of us, so the fact that things are still locked down here makes no difference for that.

    Read several good stories this week, but nothing that really stood out. Probably the most fun was this novelette: “The Science and Artistry of Snake Oil Salesmanship” by Timothy Mudie, Beneath Ceaseless Skies 317 (19 Nov 2020). It’s about a literal snake oil salesman who has an arrangement with the giant serpent who is the source of his snake oil.

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  5. My birthday is today if you are in Cam’s time zone and tomorrow if you are in mine. I will be doing nothing special for the day, partly because of COVID-19 and mostly because I have never understood the modern conceit that working on your birthday is a horrible fate.

    Saturday morning I donated platelets at my local community blood bank. People, I beg you, if you are qualified to donate blood (red blood cells, platelets) please consider making an appointment ASAP. Blood banks in the US in desperate need, and I’m guessing that this is an international problem.

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    1. I used to donate platelets every month. I make lots of platelets, so I could always give 2 units at a time. But that was before I moved, when I lived close to a donation center.

      Nowadays the closest platelet donation center is an hours’ drive away. And IIRC I’d have to stop taking my NSAIDs for two days before donating — and that ain’t likely to happen. So I’m afraid my donating days are over!

      Also, I think you should celebrate your birthday twice, once for Cam’s timezone and again for yours!

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      1. *virtual platelets donor solidarity high-five!*

        Yeah, no one wants you to go off your medication. I am simply lucky that none of my current medications disqualify me from donating.

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        1. It’s kind of embarrassing, though. I have permanent scars from all the donations, so every time I get blood drawn for anything I feel like I have to explain that no, I’m really not a drug addict…. 😉

          But seriously, I should check again. I just now went a-Googling, and though I do see that 2-day rule for aspirin, I don’t see it for my specific drugs. I called long ago and asked about NSAIDs in general, and at that time the person I talked to said it would apply to all of them, but maybe if I called again they’d tell me something different now. It would still be an hours’ drive each way, but I could always use it as an excuse to spend a day in Nashville every month, which wouldn’t be all bad.

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      2. @Contrarius, when my local center calls to remind me about my appointment the spiel is always “no aspirin or drugs containing aspirin”, so I’d check again. It may be at one time they had all NSAIDs on the naughty liist, but with more research they narrowed it down to just aspirin.

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      3. I used to be too underweight to donate blood. Now that I’m an acceptable weight I live abroad most of the year and most places don’t allow me to donate because of the whole mad cow disease thing.

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      1. Understood; it’s definitely something that is a risk. I wouldn’t pressure myself in your shoes; they will still be needing donors when the pandemic has passed.

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      2. I have a lifetime ban on donating because, according to Canadian donation rules, I spent more than three months in the UK between 1980 and 1996, this exposure to Jakob-Creutzfeldt/ mad cow disease. I used to donate regularly, but I guess they changed the rules so I’m out.

        Happy birthday twice over, Nancy!

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    2. Happy birthday! I used to be in the same camp as you re work and birthdays, but then I took my birthday off one year, and decided that staying in bed while people bring you presents is actually pretty good :-).

      Another possible mad cow here, but even so I have a couple of medical conditions that preclude donation. Mr a is O negative and used to give blood all the time, then he had to stop because he was iron deficient. Iron deficiency is pretty unusual in blokes, so I made him go to the doctor, and that was how he discovered he was coeliac. So giving blood can be a useful indicator of health issues.

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      1. A few years ago my doctor discovered a problem with my body’s iron reserves: non-existent. Combination of blood donation and diet (vegetarian, and both tea and dairy may interfere with iron absorption). Seems to be back to normal now though.

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  6. So we went to the other half of our bubble for Christmas and it was almost like normal! Chunk of roast beef, too many starchy side dishes, token green beans, keeping their credentials away from the meat (they got one thin slice and begged mercilessly, to no avail even with the Puss in Boots face), dessert, too much good wine (so we opted not to watch WW84 because brain cells).

    Sitting less than 6 feet apart! Indoors! No masks! Hugs! Gift exchange! So exciting!

    Watched another streaming concert “with” friends and snacks. Not having to remember where you parked and waiting in a line to get out and go home is nice, I just went off to bed.

    We always do NYE with just us, so no change this year, and I laid in a bottle of bubbly a couple months ago so I might get away with not having to go out before then.

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