Susan’s Salon: December 5/6

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Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early on Monday (Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is still Sunday in most other countries). It’s fine to be sad, worried, vaccinated, unvaccinated-yet, angry or maybe even 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! 😇


40 responses to “Susan’s Salon: December 5/6”

  1. I’d be bummed out about the Supreme Court imminently killing Roe if I hadn’t expected it (I’ve never understood the people who insist the Republicans didn’t have that as their endgame).
    Watched Die Hard as part of my dive into Christmas movies. It’s a good film if very copaganda in spots, but not that shocking as a Christmas film — there’s a long history of both mystery stories and dark gritty Christmas stories preceding it.
    Got a short story back with enthusiastic feedback and no explanation why they didn’t want it. With Alien Visitors done, I’m back writing fiction again, which is nice.
    The tree is up.
    Snowdrop sat on the couch for a few minutes last week but still won’t let us pet him.

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    • Maybe I’m just looking for a silver lining, but I’m ready to see a proper political fight over abortion rights. I think this will end up hurting the Republicans, since their position is broadly unpopular.

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      • Unfortunately, when Roe goes (in June, probably, at the end of the Court’s term when the consequential decisions are handed down) there are 20-ish states with previously unenforceable trigger laws (including my own) ready to snap into place to ban abortion altogether.

        The possible saving grace is this will happen right before the midterm elections and enrage all the suburban white women enough to vote in numbers sufficient to overcome Republican gerrymandering. (Seeing as so many of them don’t consider these things until it directly affects them.) 🤬

        Liked by 2 people

    • I’m also furious at and disappointed in the German supreme court that they signed off blatantly unconstitutional and ineffective anti-covid measures. The law in question was only in effect for a limited period, which ran out this summer, so the court could have saved the Merkel government’s face by declaring the measures unconstitutional, since they were no longer in force anyway.

      Emboldened by the court’s decision, the upcoming government which isn’t even in power yet promptly passed yet more covid restrictions, which won’t help but will just harrass people even more. For example, fireworks on New Year’s Eve are forbidden yet again, even though people standing outside in small groups to watch or launch fireworks is not exactly a huge risk of infection. And if legal fireworks are unavailable, the people who desperately want them will get illegal fireworks, which are a lot more dangerous.

      It’s all very frustrating and I’m dreading four years of this terrible government.

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      • In my quarters the reaction is different. Many people I know would love to have harsher rules against unvacinated people exspecially to let the schools stay open. (What at last here won’t work, I predict a complete lockdown for all here, probably shortly before or after christmas)
        To forbidd fireworks makes sense here, not because of a risk in infections but because our healthsystem is near collaps or is allready collapsed.
        My mother had her booster succesfully today, there is presure to get one from here towards me also, but I even with 5 months wait before it (not sure what is the rule here at the moment) this is a problem that can wait for the next year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Somethink I forgot to mention there is no logical reason to ban fireworks where Cora lives there the numbers are way lower than in my part of Germany

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          • Yes, in Bavaria stricter rules make sense, because your cases are much higher and you also have fewer vaccinations. But they always have blanket rules for all of Germany, even though our case numbers are much lower and we also have more vaccinations. Bremen is at over 80%, Lower Saxony at 75%.

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  2. Record highs here in Arkansas — yesterday was nearly 80 degrees. Reading Stephenson’s book about how to defeat climate change, Termination Shock.

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  3. Made an attempt to get everything out of the storage unit into NewFlat. Managed about 22 boxes of books, and about 12 -14 larger boxes, plus almost all of the bookshelf bits (sides and the actual shelves, the pins that hold the shelves in the sides are still in TempFlat). That took about 4-5 hours all told (there may have been a lunch break in there too). And maybe a quarter was shifted. I will be engaging professional help getting things out of the storage.

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  4. Still planning to go to Worldcon, though getting a trifle anxious (I am triple-jabbed)

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  5. Our little guy is continuing to enjoy each new episode of Wheel of Time. Today, when we walked to the store to buy him new shoes, he kept trying to use the One Power to make the traffic lights change faster.

    He never owned a nice pair of shoes before, and all the way back from the store he kept showing me how the shoes gave him superpowers. Like the ability to walk on his heels. Or to run faster. Or to do “parkour” on the concrete planters by the sidewalks. And he was very careful to avoid stepping in a puddle or anything that might “damage” them.

    We thought about taking him to see Emerald City Comicon, since it’s just a short walk from where we live, but it didn’t work for us during the week, Saturday was sold out, and today it cannot compete with the new Fortnite Season/Chapter. Maybe next year.

    He also gets his second COVID shot today, and with that we’ll feel safe taking him to Tennessee over Christmas to meet my relatives. It took a letter from his doctor and a court order just to get permission for him to get the shot, and it took another court order to let us take him out of state for ten days, but everything came through. Hat tip to his new social worker, who really went the extra mile to get all this paperwork done for us.

    Now, while he’s upstairs using up his two hours of screentime, I think I’ll be able to finish reading the last Wheel of Time book. In sharp contrast to the rest of the series, this last book is non-stop action and excitement. Here’s hoping Sanderson stuck the landing.

    Liked by 5 people

      • Yeah, I was really impressed with the way he managed to pull in all the loose plot threads from previous novels and tie them up nicely in a bow. Until I read it, I wouldn’t have believed it could be done.

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    • Your little guy is exactly the target audience for Wheel of Time, so I’m glad he’s enjoying it. Also fingers crossed that his covid shot will have little to no side effects.

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      • He complains that the injection site is sore to the touch, but otherwise he’s good. He tends to exaggerate any health issue, probably because he wants reassurance that we actually care about him. For example, after the last shot, he told us he couldn’t move the arm at all, but when we said, “Oh! So you won’t be able to play video games,” the arm miraculously improved. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • When I worked in a bookstore, one of the younger customers informed me and my manager that she didn’t believe in Santa. Manager: “Oh, that means he won’t bring you presents.” Customer: ” … I really do believe!”

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  6. Our Christmas plans were thrown into turmoil over the weekend by the Queensland government imposing restrictions on visitors from SA. We can’t meet the quarantine requirements, so our only hope at the moment of activity being able to go is the Qld government maybe relaxing restrictions when they reach 80% vaccinated. That is supposed to happen on the 17th. We’re supposed to go on the 23rd. We’re making contingency plans for having Christmas here.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Also, since we’ve noted such here before, the jacarandas have been flowering here for about a week now. I had thought they might be late because we’ve had such a cold, wet Spring, but this is pretty much the usual time for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. On Friday, New Zeeland switched to its new COVID Protection Framework a.k.a. the Traffic Light System which is its version of “living with COVID”. In Auckland where I am, we are at traffic light red, which means that life for the fully vaccinated (double dose Pfizer) is much closer to normal. We are now allowed to dine-in in restaurants & cafes, businesses offering close services like hair salons or barbers (I got a haircut after 4 months!) can now operate. This happened as ~90% of Auckland’s eligible population got vaccinated, which should (fingers crossed) keep infection & hospitalisation rates low. The next few weeks will be key.

    My reading pace is still snail-like, but I have been watching “Cowboy Bebop” and mostly enjoying it, though my approach is unconventional. I started watching the animated version (which I’d not seen before) in anticipation of the life action version’s release. But my viewing pace isn’t tat speedy so I was only about a half dozen episodes in (and enjoying them) when the life action was released. Since then, I have been watching both at the same time I have to say, it provides an interesting sense of parallax. The life action certainly captures the vibe, but what is also interesting are when its decisions differ from the original animated version. Though not originally my intent, I am enjoying watching both together this way.

    Pōhutukawa are now getting into full bloom. Their red flowers bloom from around the end of November which they are also informally called the New Zealand Christmas tree. There are a number of Pōhutukawa trees alongside city & suburban streets so it’s beginning to feel festive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, those grow here, along with the Aussie bottle brush trees. Sort of related, I guess. I used to spend a lot of time getting bottle brush flower bits off my windshield and hood when our parking space was flush with a whole row of them. At least, being red, they show up.

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  9. I’m immensely enjoying listening to Tanya Huff’s Keeper’s Chronicles with their ancient speaking feline. I’m also reading Kristine Rusch’s Ten Little Fen which is also delightful.

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  10. Not much to report here. We had the first snow of the winter this weekend, which was nice, thhough it didn’t last long.

    My Dad got a covid booster shot booked. They’re currently not easy to get, because our idiotic government first closed the vaccination centers and then pressured the vaccination commission into recommending the covid boosters not just for risk groups, but for everybody, so now low-risk 30-year-olds who were vaccinated five or six months ago are taking up the booster shot slots that elderly high risk people who were vaccinated seven or eight months ago desperately need.

    I also finally got back into writing fiction again, after spending too much time writing only non-fiction.

    Today is also St. Nicholas Day in Germany, which means that there will be kids singing carols in exchange for candy at my door tonight. I stocked up on candy, so I’m ready.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I spent most of the week dead for tax purposes, except for tending to EGG. He’s much better with catching treats now that he’s back to Greenies, as I predicted. He’s at 80%, with only 5% total loss when bouncing off his face or paw and they go flying across the room. Treats are given on the king-size hooman bed in the master bedroom, so there’s a lot of area to cover both on and off the bed.

    But Sunday I went out and saw people! Two of whom I hadn’t seen for the duration! It was 5 of us ladies having tea, with our own pots, and fancy teacups and cucumber sandwiches and scones and nibblies of both savory and sweet kinds that our hostess had bought or made. Just sitting around (indoors) talking about stuff all afternoon. All of us Of A Certain Age, and triple-vaccinated. There were hugs! It was really, really nice. Followed by an episode of Great British Baking Show, because duh. Then we got gourmet Chinese food takeout on the way home, of which I have enough leftovers for tonight.

    It was all shockingly normal like we used to do in the Before Times.

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  12. Sunday was a hunker down and watch lots of tv day:

    Including: The Power of the Dog – slow but beautiful with a (spoiler alert!) twist

    Also the final episode of Paris Police 1900 – dark and brutal, set at the time of the Dreyfus case

    And the final two episodes of the last season of Lucifer – sentimental to the point of gagging but for me at least it retained its silliness and charm

    And I finished reading Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – beautifully written but somewhat insubstantial

    And just to blow my own trumpet if I may: yesterday a flash fiction piece of mine was finally accepted (at Literally Stories). Gave the start of the week a nice little boost!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Just wanted to say the other night in a discussion of military robots, Stephen Colbert said he knew that was a bad idea because of his reading… illustrated with a copy of Laumer’s BOLO on-screen for quite a while.

    The Baenites won’t have seen it since they think he’s an ebul commie. Of course earlier in the show, he’d called their orange messiah “Dolt 45”.

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  14. I’ve always liked short-form SF. Currently I’m dipping into Gardner Dozois’ “Year’s Best” collections; also Cthulhu: The New Weird. Never fails to surprise me how a decades-old story can still stand up beautifully today, whilst more recent offerings can get trodden on by the Suck Fairy in no time flat.

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  15. Last night EGG had a 90% catch rate on his treats, and none of them went completely missing to parts unknown. Bigger, more aerodynamic treats and a better placement of both of us helps a lot.

    Now that I’ve said this, tonight he’ll probably have most of them bounce off his face and disappear where neither of us will be able to find them.

    I have been in the house WAAAAYYY too long.

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