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17 May 2020 @ 01:04 pm
Hi Friends, LJ Users, Nigerian Scammers, Russian Bots and sundry others!
Thanks for taking a moment to read my sticky post on friending.

On the whole, there's no need to friend me if you just want to read my fics, since they are posted unlocked. In fact, most of my locked posts are me ranting about the state of the world (usually from a politics or media slant) or some such.

Generally, I am a ready friender. If you friend me and you have entries in your livejournal or have commented on some of my posts, you can usually expect to be friended back, unless:
* There are no entries in your LJ.
* I do not recall us ever having 'spoken' online (given how selective my memory is, you should probably assume this.)
* Your LJ is written wholly in a language I do not speak (pretty much anything that is not English, or French or Italian (both of which I speak poorly), or German, Spanish, Latin, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Welsh or Irish (all of which I have a smattering of and enough reference books to get the gist.) (Though if your journal is in actual Latin as opposed to Lorem Ipsum, I will probably immediately friend you on principle.)
* Your journal consists of several entries a day concerning My Little Pony, school and whether your hair looks better in plaits, pigtails, or with a fringe pouf. You are probably adorable, but should not be subjected to my occasional flocked rants.

SO, if you've friended me (thanks!) and I've not friended you back, just drop a brief line saying 'Excuse me, oh vague and neglectful one, could you friend me back please?'

I can't guarantee that I will ever have time to be a good lj friend, but I will try and provide you with amusing content and I always try to read my whole flist. Well, the stuff before the cut at any rate.
01 January 2020 @ 04:42 pm
For me to keep track of!Collapse )
26 June 2017 @ 11:53 pm
Back in 1997, Bloomsbury took a punt on a book they thought might do rather well.

I'm so tremendously thrilled they did!

Thank you, Jo, thank you, Harry, thank you fandom. SO much joy from one good publishing decision!
14 May 2017 @ 06:01 pm
We open with a montage of beautiful Ukrainian beads and then the finalists all parade down the Eurocatwalk. They all seem very happy to be there, bless. The Aussie commentators have finally decided that Kristian from Bulgaria is in Slytherin house, and I must say that he's certainly styled that way tonight, the dear wee thing! Though at least he's in sixth year unlike that sweet lamb from Ireland, who I hope is tucked up safe tonight.

Hosts are back. Timo, Timu or Timur (people pronounce it differently and I suspect the last might be right) is still wearing black, while Alex and Vova (no idea on the spelling, I have a guest and an important deadline to hit today, so no looking things up!) are wearing sequins, because they are less committed to a look than Timur. Bless their sweet little hearts, they are trying their very best and at least they aren't going on at length!

26 acts, three hours of my life …Collapse )
13 May 2017 @ 10:50 pm
And we're back! Timu is still looking gothic and grim, the other two hosts are wearing beautifully embroidered suits and now they are playing a local pipe and a piano accordian and it's actually quite good as they swing into 'Ukranianised' Eurovision hits. The Ukranian version of Euphoria works surprisingly well! There is folk dancing, but everyone looks so good I'm willing to forgive it all. He's not as cute as Norway's Aleksandr or however that sweet lad spells his name, though. Apparently Ukranian style also means massed voices sounding as though they are manning the barricades, which I am afraid is probably the case. I really enjoyed it! Huge leap forwards over last night.

Mr B is killing himself laughing at the idea Australians can vote in Eurovision. He is not wrong to laugh. Though you might need us for the numbers next year if Brexit keeps on making all the dumb arse decisions.

So many songs. Why, Europe, Why???Collapse )
12 May 2017 @ 11:24 pm
Eurovision Semi Final 1

Kyiv! Hello! Sorry about the last few years, you were trying to warn us the whole time and we didn;t pay enough attention.

Very pressed for time, so this year, it's Eurovision short snark!

We open with people singing more or less and there's some dance, and look I am sure it was fine, but I confess I spent it trying to get the Bluetooth working on my iPad keyboard.

THREE hosts this year! They're all very nice young men and I feel certain I will have forgotten them to the point they surprise me when they reappear. The Australian hosts, Myf and Joel, are a welcome relief for me, as they're funnier than last year's, and their sound equipment is very very patchy, which is amusing in and of itself.

For starters, Sweden, Robin Bengtsson with I Can't Go On. And yet he does. At great, great length. Dull song, good hair. He's made a fundamental error here as he meant to be on Europe's Next Top Male Model.

seventeen more benighted countriesCollapse )
24 January 2017 @ 08:09 pm
Good news: Mr B and I are BOTH working for the first time since July last year (admittedly, I was coasting along on a mix of redundancy pay and freelance income until he lost his job in October, but then it was back to me being a sole breadwinner. Did I come home to a nice clean house and a hot dinner? NOT ONCE! He is a rubbish housewife. Good thing he's a lovely bloke.)

Bad news: Sydney is freaking ridiculous this summer. The best thing I can say for it is that we haven't had any 46°C days yet, but we have had weeks of scorching days and sweltering nights and the whole city just wants a good night's sleep.

Other news: I wrote a pinch hit for hd_erised. The mods gave me the wonderful oldenuf2nb as my pinchee and I was so pleased, as it all came together with some things that were pooling around in my head. There are politics, there are jokes, and there are Ron and Hermione, because I love them. I hasten to add that at no point is Harry actually dead, despite rumours to the contrary.

I want to talk about the writing process for this, but I wanted to do that last year, too, and haven't had time, so who knows? It was written, at any rate, and it wasn't the latest fic sumbitted!

Title: And, On The Other Side, A Welcoming Voice
Author: blamebrampton
Recipient: oldenuf2nb
Pairing(s): H/D, then canon pairings
Rating: PG
Word Count: 38,500
Warnings: Discussion of canon and post-canon deaths
Summary: For twenty years, the official history has told readers that Harry Potter died at the Battle of Hogwarts. The next edition is going to require some significant revisions.
Author's Notes: oldenuf2nb, you have been one of the most consistently wise and generous voices of fandom over the years and I have benefitted so much from knowing you, as well as loving your art and fic. I confess this story shook hands with your prompts and then went gallivanting off in its own direction, but, since it stayed in touch with the themes you said were important to you, I hope you will enjoy it regardless.

Thank you to the mods for your encouragement and hard work. You make our world a better place!

Many, many thanks to the team of brilliant betas whose eagle eyes and good sense have all added greatly to the final version. bk7brokemybrain, divertazsc illereyn and mamapyjama, I owe you all! You lifted my spirits and made me look far more competent at both writing and typing at a time of year when you would have been perfectly entitled to be selfish! I value your friendship as much as your fine brains!

And for those who don't know the phrase, 'bottled it' means roughly the same as 'chickened out'.
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters herein are the property of J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury/Scholastic. No copyright infringement is intended.

Catch it here: And, On The Other Side, A Welcoming VoiceCollapse )

And if you have any unwanted cool weather, please send it our way! More rain would be lovely, too.
20 January 2017 @ 11:49 pm
Eight years ago, I remember going to bed thinking that tomorrow would be better. This time, I know it will be worse.

I do not think that I will ever be able to forget that so-called Christian Americans chose to vote for a serial adulterer whose campaign was driven by racism and sexism and whose business record is littered with profits made at the excuse of the average worker, rather than a woman.

Goodbye, Obamas. You remain people to admire and I am happy I saw you in the White House. I will remember you constantly over the coming up-to-four years.

The only good news today is that they have found survivors in that hotel in Abruzzo. That is cheering!
02 January 2017 @ 07:50 pm
I did crack and sign up as a pinch hitter, which was actually loads of fun. But of course, given I had zero time, that's meant I have read only the fic I wrote and the fic I beta-ed. What else should I have read? Recs? Tips? I'm mostly up to date on the art, I think.

I'd offer a prize for anyone who guesses the fic I wrote, but given my current life, you'd get it in about 2032. Unless you want cheers and points. Cheers and points I can deliver!

In the midst of all the chaos, I have taken time out to go and see two films: Fantastic Beasts was in its last weeks and I wanted to catch it at the cinema. I'm glad I did! It was so beautiful! Lots of oddnesses that other people have gone into better than me already (and please, link me to your posts on it if you were one of those people as I skipped almost all spoilery bits and would now love to read them!), but the world inside Newt's suitcase just spoke so much of his love for these creatures and his commitment to them, and that warmed my heart. And Creedence's love for his adoptive sister (and hers for him) was also a lovely thing.

I also saw La La Land. If you haven't, do. I get the whole Ryan Gosling love now. And the music is glorious! If anyone wants to talk about it, wave your hands!
Frankly, it's been a shit of a year overall, with a few glorious moments of joy mixed in to try and pretend that it wasn't that bad, really.

Not fooling anyone, 2016.

And let's not pretend that 2017 looks rosier, with the US presidency going to a moron, Brexit still being Brexit (not that that means anything, but not that that's stopping them) and Australia still torturing refugees.

New Zealand and Canada, you are pretty much holding up the Anglosphere's reputation, and that with governments that in any sane period would be called tepidly conservative, but since they're traditionally so and not complete neoliberal morons, you're looking good!

At least we're all coming out of this with renewed resolve to fight against the rubbish. Here is to a year of standing up for decency, being kind where we can but not being quiet when people are dicks, helping where we can, doing what we can and getting each other through where we can.

And cats, dogs and David Bowie. Always and forever. Have the silliest, happiest song in hopes we'll be able to keep on smiling. Here's to a 2017 that makes up for the worst of 2016 for each and every one of us.

25 December 2016 @ 01:24 am
And since it is Christmas here now, I give you the song that I've been listening to for what must be nearly 40 years:

More than ever, let's hope for peace on Earth in 2017. And by 'hope', I mean agitate, vote, hassle politicians, stand up against racists and bigots, and be the awesome we want to see in the world.
01 December 2016 @ 01:21 am
My mother rang me early this morning.

This is a thing she does occasionally, usually when I am working regular hours, or when she has turned up unexpectedly in the same city as me and thinks we should eat together. But sometimes, as today, because someone has died. This time it was her brother, my uncle. A difficult man, who neither of us was close to and who we both ended up on speaking terms with only after a lot of patience on our parts and effort on his.

So it is that strange sort of thing where you are sad that someone has died, and that they did not seem to be able to make happy choices much of the time, but know that you can't in fairness take a week out to be miserable about the whole thing, because you don't have a week's worth of decent memories to sustain it.

But I do recall a thing he said the last time we saw each other: that he wouldn't want to see Donald Trump as president of the USA. I feel that – not for the first time, though almost certainly for the last – he's taken a perfectly understandable position to an illogical extreme.
20 November 2016 @ 06:24 pm
The lovely lokifan has a love meme going on and I am having so much fun saying nice things to people and trying to make it not sound like me! (Failed miserably at least once…)

Get on board here and spread some love!

In other news, my Tumblr friend Drarrytrash* and I have invented a webcomic in which Hillary Clinton uses her superpowers to roam the streets avenging sexually harassed women, providing healthcare and good education to all, delivering a decent minimum wage and explaining to to men why most examples of their oppression are bullshit and the remainder are the fault of the patriarchy. Now all we need is time to write it and art skills!

*I KNOW, RIGHT? I have a Tumblr friend! I am not 100% inept at the medium, just 95%!
13 November 2016 @ 12:23 am
I want to talk about Leonard Cohen, whose Democracy has been my song of the week, but I just can't yet, so listen to him singing it instead.

But I do have a time-sensitive-ish favour to ask. Is there anyone free who can beta a story in the next two weeks? Its currently sitting on 4K and will probably end up 20-30K, most likely at the lower end of that. It will be PG and there will be appalling typos, because this is me. I can offer you a lovely ukulele-accompanied rendition of Hallelujah or Sisters of Mercy as thanks. Or, if you prefer, I can promise NOT to sing to my ukulele for you!

In a perfect world I'll have it wrapped up by next weekend, more likely the one after, but on Friday, so you'd have the whole weekend to play with things and tell me my typing is awful. It's a fair cop!

ETA Sorted for editorial help (bless you all!) but seriously, listen to the music. Or feel free to laugh at me writing things I swore were a terrible idea, that too.
09 November 2016 @ 06:02 pm
1. Just when I think I have a handle on how much sexism outweighs every other rational consideration in some parts, I am shown to have underestimated the situation yet again.

2. The people who are massive twunts are already being massive twunts. The rest of us need to not become massive twunts in response, but to look out for each other and just keep believing that decency will one day be a political value again. It remains the one thing that will keep us all going.

3. If necessary, I have a spare room, and we could fit tents on both the back deck and the front lawn. Hot in summer, but at least the winter is mild!
20 October 2016 @ 02:49 pm
And here we all are again. For the purposes of completion, and in the same sense of 'How bad can this get?' that saw me sit through the first Sex and the City movie (on video, with friends who could mock it with me, but still ...), I have once again readied the iPad, prepared beverages and cleared my early afternoon schedule to take in the horror that is the US Presidential election.

While we wait, I want to mention how much I love Michelle Obama. She is so wonderful that I have actually had to stop talking to people who badmouth her as I cannot find a rational way of talking with them. It's not just that they are talking abject nonsense, it's that all I can think of to say is 'ARE YOU INSANE? THE WOMAN IS A GODDESS AND BRILLIANT AND KIND AND WHAT THE EVER-LOVING FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM???!' which is not conducive to good conversation.

I also love Kate McKinnon. She had me in tears of laughter in Ghostbusters, and her SNL Hillary almost makes me wish I watched more TV. But happily there are people on the internet who cut and post snippets. Bless you all.

OK. Another debate. I doubt the moderator will have the steely eyed FFS that Martha Raddatz and, to a lesser extent, Anderson Cooper brought. I will never call you Megan again, Martha. Now that I know you. I will probably grow to love you, too. Yes, I am bringing the Lady Love, I feel we both deserve and need it.

For my part, having spent the first debate mostly reporting and the second almost wholly reporting, I plan to mostly commentate here because in terms of policy, we have already had nearly three hours of Hillary outlining real and practical policy and Donald blathering about God knows what because would it kill you to get to the verb, man?? So there's clearly no point trying to compare them on that ground: one side has policies, one has ... I just don't know anymore. Are you drunk, America? I wouldn't blame you.

I have powered myself up with a banana and mulberry smoothie, there is fizzy water on the table and chocolate in the fridge. It can't go wrong!

BTW, Obama's half-brother, who is apparently there as a guest of Trump, has long said that he thinks the State of Israel should not exist. But hey, since The Donald's thinly veiled Anti-Semitic slurs have been de-veiling of late, maybe he's good with that.

The moderator looks like he is from 1956 and suggests the audience will remain silent. I laugh and laugh.
The short version is, he's a maniacCollapse )

Seriously, America, if you do not vote for President Clinton, we are through. It's not even because she's a hugely competent, qualified woman, it's because she's not a blathering rage monster. You would not like to have a beer with Trump. He is not Bush. He is a man who would order the most expensive craft beer on the menu, grope you or your female friend, steal your phone and stiff you with the bill.

I know how this has happened. It's because things are a bit horrible and there's no Jimmy Stewart around to remind you what happens when you let bad times erode fundamental human decency and basic common sense. We've been here before, we know how it goes. But the answer is not Trump. The answer is to grab the first Frank Capra film you can find on Netflix, give it a good old watch, then see what you can do to make things a bit better. And maybe that's join a union and encourage them to be decent upholders of workers' rights. Or maybe it's join a really conservative church and introduce people there to your gay and Muslim friends, so they're a bit less weirded out by gays and Muslims. Maybe it's to donate $20 to Planned Parenthood the next time you have it spare, or maybe it's just to smile more at strangers and let people in from the side street on your commute. Whatever it is, it will be to address the difficulties of our times with hard work and generosity, and to say no to sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and that godawful lie that shouting loudly that you hate change will make the change stop.

As the recent Nobel Laureate tells us, the times are changing. They always will. And all we can do is make sure they change in ways that ultimately benefit all of us, not just the privileged few.

Good luck, America. I'm not going to pretend I will ever understand you, but I have faith that you have our back on this one. And on November 9, let's all be as kind as we can be to the shouty people, and offer them a path back to rationality and reality.
10 October 2016 @ 03:11 pm
Roll up, roll up, the circus is back in town!

Not enough time has passed from the frst debate for me to consider voluntarily watching it anything other than deliberate self-harm, but I'm going to give it a go. I have a banana and a bottle of soda water, I am READY.

I watched the VP debate, but couldn't stay awake long enough to blog it. Is Pence the guy who wants women to hold funerals for their miscarried foetuses? That's some perverse woman-hating crap right there.

In terms of this week, and indeed, today's developments, a few brief points. Firstly, those women in that press conference looked as though they were in a hostage situation and I want to rescue them. We need to know they are OK and that their families are OK and I am not kidding about this.

Secondly, there is a thing called psychological projection. In future years, the Republican candidate in this election will be used on the cover of books discussing the phenomenon. I look forward to his future failings as his irredeemably tarnished brand sees investors flee him.

And finally, no lawyer wants to defend a rapist, especially a child rapist. But the entirety of our legal system relies on every lawyer doing the very best job they can for every client, especially when they are court-appointed for random clients who could easily be failed by the system. I can fully see how that would not matter in the slightest to the victim, and have nothing but contempt for anyone who would exploit her like this.

OK, five minutes to kick-off. Time for a few stretches!

The woman introducing the moderators is dressed like a beatnik and I love her stylings. Anderson Coper and a woman whose name I don't catch are the hosts, they outline the town-hall procedures and ask people to abide by them. Shots of the families, who all look poised and well-groomed, despite probably planning death, death and more death. And now, with a bald eagle crest that looks as though it's doing yoga, we stare at the set for a minute or two.

In a perfect world, Trump has just gone Hillary off set and she's shanked him.

Still waiting. Its starting to look a bit awkward.

Who is the blonde host? My local newsreader fluffed her name and I've got a low US journo reognition for people I don't follow on Twitter. And then we cut to the sound feed JUST AFTER she introduces herself. Dammit! Martha someone. She looks clever and firm. I learn later it's Raddatz, but I've left as Martha below. She seems as though she is holding back a massive eye roll.

Here they are. Trump looks as though he would rather be anywhere else and as though his suit doesn't fit him properly. Clinton looks a little bit like a penguin.

The blow by blowCollapse )

And there we are. In summation, we have learned the following:

* If you do something awful, point out that it was less bad than ISIS. Unless you're Bill Clinton, in which case, you're the worst.

* When they go low, we go high, but then we pause and get a few subtle kicks in because god forbid we have more than two minutes straight of focussing on the issues.

* Iran is the biggest threat in the world, except when it's the only thing standing between us and ISIS, then thank goodness for Iran, Russia and Syria.

* Trump totally paid taxes. Except for the ones he didn't pay. Also, Hillary earns 8 times more than her tax returns say, honest.

* Clinton would dearly love a time machine to go back and change her email choices, despite her actions being the same as Powell and Rice and her server more secure than a government one to all appearances.

* The questioners at this debate are really sick of the bullshit.

* The audience at this debate have watched MUCH TOO MUCH Hunger Games!

* The moderators of this and every other debate (especially the VP one) deserve a lifetime of free cake and gin.

* One banana and a litre of soda water is not sufficient brunch when you have to type for two hours.

See you for more in a week.

ETA: I FORGOT! Trump repeatedly said that Clinton 'acid washed her emails'. I was bamboozled by this reference to bad 90s fashion until I read that the program the FBI said the Clinton team used to delete some emails was called BleachBit. Donald, they don't actually bleach the internet.
27 September 2016 @ 01:43 pm
Because I am not completely immune to self-harm, I thought this would be a good idea. I'm going to lay my cards on the table at the start: I'm With Her. Trump is so divorced from reality that he is a danger to the international economy and I will have to send cards of sympathy to every American diplomat. As for the other candidates, the Libertarian's a bit evil and the Green's a bit mad, so Im ignoring them.

Moderator Lester Holt, you have my sympathy. America, you have more than my sympathy. We had an election debate that lasted about three months in Australia this year and we were OUTRAGED at the tedium. How you manage this circus every four years is a mystery.

And here we go. Lester, you look like a lovely man. May God be merciful towards you. Bwahahaha! Two minutes to respond! Yeah, that's going to work.

Read more...Collapse )

I now understand why everyone says 'God Bless America', you have never needed divine help more. My thoughts are with you, and my prayers that you all have access to good gin!
25 September 2016 @ 11:37 pm
My theory about being here more often remains theoretical. But popping in from chaos land to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sassy_cissa! You are the loveliest!
02 August 2016 @ 10:19 pm
I had just been congratulating myself on my bloom and evident good health since the return of a stress-free existence, when I succumbed to one of the many Sydney Winter Plagues that are being shared among my fellow citizens.

Suffice to say that if there was a way to weaponise snot, I would not only have the ADF covered, I could probably help out NATO.

The new normal, which involves actual communication, will return in a day or two when I climb out from under a mound of tissues and self pity.

On a topical sidenote, The Cursed Child is marvellous and I KNEW DRACO AND SCORPIUS WOULD BE LIKE THAT!!! (I mean, so did all my favourite writers, because der, but it was lovely.)

And now, to bed before 10.30. What am I, eight*?

*Yes, I was raised by delightfully irresponsible people.