Susan’s Salon: 4/5 December 2022

Susan’s Salon is posted early on Monday Australian Eastern Standard Time (which is still Sunday in most places).

Topics can run from troubling news to pleasant distractions. Links, videos, cat pictures 🐈 etc are fine! [but please, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments.]

It’s fine to be sad, concerned, worried about wars, angry or maybe even happy (or all of those things at once).


24 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 4/5 December 2022”

  1. Back home after a mixed bag of a trip to see the relatives-in-law. Mixed temps too – from -10c in Denver to 27c in Austin after one short plane trip. Wiled away the boring bits by reading three in a row of Mick Herron’s ‘slow horses’ series & I’ve perhaps had a surfeit of sarky exchanges & somewhat formulaic but well-constructed plot structure (secret service losers get thrown into the bear pit; some make it back, others don’t …). There’s one more – much praised – to go but I have a dystopian alt hist novel to review.

    This will be a week of getting-back-home chores & prep for a PhD exam. And somewhere in there I hope to tweak a story that’s been knocked back so many times, it’s starting to feel like one of Herron’s punch drunk agents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I started the second book in the Poppy Wartrilogy, I remembered how numb the ending of book 1 left me, not how good a writer R.F.Kuang is. I am just nervous how dark the ending of book 2 will be.
    In other news I have sent emails to Chengdu and Glasgow, interesting if paying per PayPal will work with both Worldcons.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Started Wednesday. Enjoyed it enough to keep watching, though not as blown away as my friends. Interested to see how it follows an urban fantasy/supernatural academy template where werewolves and vampires are routine, when the old TV show made the Addams the one weird spot in an otherwise normal world.
    And I will always prefer the TV show’s Thing because a detached hand isn’t as creepy as a hand that’s attached to Something we never see.
    TYG took me to a Friends of the Library book sale yesterday. Came home with a dozen books, several of them food histories. Also a social history of 1950s England because being born in 1958, I’m always curious about the era.
    Currently reading Nevala-Lee’s Astounding and it lives up to its reputation.
    Watched the Albert Finney Scrooge this morning. While I occasionally think about skipping all my old favorites for one year, the level of new Christmas movies (I do sample a few) talks me out of it.
    Sold some copies of my steampunk book last week, which is cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Le sameness here. Sitting around, mostly. Tired.

    Except it rained, heavily, for 2 days! No one quite knew how to react. EGG was puzzled but decided not to care since the noms were coming on schedule and my lap is warm. He’s still in single-digit treat-catching mode; apparently his increased ability to find them on the floor has encouraged his natural laziness (because cat, also because 16), so he’s not trying much.

    I think the most exercise I get is wrestling him nightly to get a pill down his throat. This kitty can go quite a long time without swallowing.


    • I was very happy about the rain! I also have an aged cat (15) to pill, and at first I was using a pill gun, which she hated but was mostly…well, frequently…successful. Then while I was out of town my mom started hiding the pill in some Very Good tuna, which was much more successful. Nowadays the procedure is: wrap pills (half a prednisolone and a quarter of famotidine) individually in pill paste, then put a little canned tuna over them, making sure that some of it is a bit chunky. Moonstone needs to bite to get the chunks, and ends up getting the pills into her mouth too. (If it’s not chunky she licks it up instead of biting and the pills just get left in the dish.) It sometimes takes a few rounds for her to actually get the pills, so I only put down about a teaspoon at a time.

      I find myself rereading Harrow the Ninth yet again. Every time I read any bit of this series I figure something new out and then have to reread the other books for corroboration and/or to see what else comes into focus. It’s almost enough to make me seek out people to talk about it with.

      Rereading that last sentence I realize that it could be read as a vague insult to the folks here and/or at F770, without which I surely would not have read the first book. It isn’t intended to be. I’m thinking of my community dedicated to a rather old videogame series and posts delving into details and implications, and that kind of fannishness is just not something I think I have the bandwidth to indulge in in more than one instance, and it wouldn’t be appropriate for anything but a place where everyone is assumed to have read everything and have no fear of spoilers. Especially with the most recent book only being a few months old.

      Hello to everyone. Wish I were around more often to actually interact rather than read discussions long after they’ve ended, but I apparently can either read books or read boards but not both.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Is the kitty to be pilled the one in your avatar?

        Because my tortie lived a little past 20, so you may be doing paste and tuna for a good while longer. 🙂


        • I would be delighted if any of my cats make it to 20, but no, the tortie, Licoris, is a youngster of 12. She does have occasional medical issues, primarily UTIs, but fortunately we’ve been able to treat her by mixing her liquid medication into her food.

          Moonstone is in pretty good health aside from her IBD (IBS? I always forget which), but unfortunately, that one condition resulted in food going through her so quickly that she was losing weight and got down to four and a half pounds. Fortunately, the prednisolone seems to have calmed it down enough for a little meat to start clinging to her bones.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Spent most of last week on a work trip (my first in nearly three years), which I was very stressed about due to all the horror stories around at the moment about cancelled flights and so on. In the end it all went relatively smoothly with just a few minor delays. I read “The Curious Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter” on the plane and mostly liked it


  6. I came in to work to discover the front of the theatre safety taped. To make it better, the way the tape was deployed did not prevent people from entering the area of concern, it trapped them in it. Anyway, it got sorted and it let me practice not getting wound up about stuff that’s not my fault.

    (the theatre was almost entirely sold out, and that is the only way in)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Where to begin. Let’s do the weird:

    Two-and-a-half weeks ago my mother was in a car accident and called me from the emergency room to tell me about it. The conversation that followed would be comedic if it wasn’t real life and all the details weren’t so f-ed.

    She first explained that she was in the accident while driving her older sister to a medical appointment. She insisted it was just a fender bender, and that the only injury that she (my mom) had sustained was because of the airbag. Also the police officer who was following them to the appointment had witnessed the whole thing, agreed it was a low-speed collision, and had ticketed the other driver for running a red light. And also, she was only still at the ER because the doctors were still checking over my aunt…

    I had tried to ask why the officer was following them, but she had kept going. Then I asked why things were taking longer for my aunt, Mom explained: “I assume it’s because of the rape kit.”


    In other words, my mom really buried the lead. My 82-year-old aunt had been assaulted and raped by one of her stepsons that morning. And after the police officers had taken her statement and collected evidence at the scene, they asked if she wanted them to take her to the hospital for the rape kit, or if she wanted to call someone. So she had called her sister (my mom).

    My aunt’s youngest son has been a cop in that local smallish town police force for at least 20 years, which may have been part of the reason one of the officers decided to follow Mom and my aunt to the hospital and was therefore handy as a witness to the car accident.

    The examinations at the ER uncovered previously unknown health issues in both Mom and Aunt. There are more tests and procedures for both in the near future.

    The first time I talked to my aunt after all this, she seemed to be more worried that one of her biological sons would literally try to kill the stepson and wind up in jail than about her own safety. On the other hand, she now has a panic button she can wear on a chain around her neck to call for help.

    The step-cousin has since been arrested.

    After all of that, when this last week my husband and I got snowed in and were without power for almost three days, I felt a bit like a whiner for being irritated at our situation.


  8. I had a clusterfuck on eBay with an alocasia order. I’ve ordered over a hundred plants collectively off eBay and Esty without a single problem except a very few not being in great shape when they arrived and I expected that given where they came from in some cases as shipping can be difficult

    This time I had excuse after excuse why my order for a black velvet variant didn’t arrive from a seller in Kansas including, i kid you not, that they had a hurricane there lately. Huh?

    After they missed the absolute final shipping date of December first, I filed a claim with eBay so I’ll get my money back in a total of ten days. And no, they sell still didn’t didn’t ship it despite eBay giving them that option.

    So I ordered another off an Esty seller for around the same price and it’ll be here shortly. Lest you ask I have fifteen variants here now and there’s at least a half dozen more I’ve got my eye on.


    • Hurricane in Kansas? Possibly in dinosaur days, but not now. Did the dog also eat their homework? I bet they live in some place with hurricanes and not the US at all.


      • No, they’re shipping out of Kansas, that’s true enough. The folks at eBay always verify where the seller is.

        I did leave a very harsh review excusing them of fraud and being an outright crook.


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