bobcatmoran: Alphonse needs a kitten (need a kitten)
PSA: My home internet is down, so I'm gonna be largely offline until whenever that gets fixed (hopefully soon, but the router is in Landlady's half of the house, and she's out of town for the weekend). I'll still be able to read comments and such via email, but responses might be even slower than usual in coming.
bobcatmoran: (fics)
I've been really neglecting my DW account, haven't I? Like, badly enough that I never even posted links to my Yuletide fic. Oops. Fixing that now, with bonus other stuff what I wrote recently (all Les Mis because that absolutely is The Fandom That Ate My Brain for the foreseeable future). All of it's gen, and all of it's extraordinarily safe for work.

First of all, my Yuletide fic for [personal profile] melannen, an excellent writer in their own right. "Five Times Enjorlas Dropped a Barricade on Someone." No, that is not a typo, as this is an Arm Joe fic. Yes, Arm Joe, the cracktastic Les Mis fighting game, where Marius summons armies of undead revolutionaries, there's a robotic version of Jean Valjean, and Enjorlas (as the game calls him) can drop barricades from the sky on his foes. AO3 link here or you can read it behind the cutsnip! )

Secondly, my fic for Miserable Holidays, the Les Mis holiday fanwork exchange. I received a spectacular moon colony AU from [personal profile] genarti, which you can read here on AO3. They've also written more in this 'verse on Tumblr.

As for what I wrote as a gift for [archiveofourown.org profile] downtheroadandupthehill, it's "Saturn, Astronomy and All That Jazz," a modern AU fic centered around Combeferre and Grantaire. Genfic, because I am pants at writing anything else (although there's mention of one-sided Enjolras/Grantaire), mostly just banter. On the AO3 here or hiding behind the cut. snip! )

And lastly, a short, quick one, wherein Joly and Bossuet go to the Jardin de Plantes, visit the camel, and wind up laughing so hard that they disturb the other zoo-goers. "Still Life With Camel," based off a prompt by [tumblr.com profile] pilferingapples, at the AO3, or under the cut. snip! )

Whew!
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
I finally saw Catching Fire today. The theater was surprisingly crowded for a movie that's going to be out on DVD in just a couple weeks, with probably 2/3–3/4 of the seats filled.

Long story short, it was incredibly good, everything the internets have promised (I haven't exactly been avoiding spoilers since I've already read the books). Pretty much none of the characters looked like how I had imagined while reading the books, but they all fit their roles so well that I didn't mind in the least.

I wasn't really prepared, though, for the emotional reaction I had to it. Maybe it's just because of where it ends, or maybe it's just because this movie never lets up on shoveling the emotional trauma on Katniss' head. Regardless, I came out of that theater just completely overwhelmed and sort of wanting to just curl into ball. Got in the car and couldn't handle the music that was on (granted, my CD player had decided that "Turning" from the Les Mis soundtrack was a great selection which…um…no. Just, no. "Children of the barricade who didn't last the night" is a little too on the nose). Turned it off, the silence was too oppressive. Couldn't handle pop music, too upbeat and shallow. Couldn't handle lyrical stuff, too sad. Spent the entire drive home changing stations every ten seconds and being angry at my radio because it wasn't helping.

I'm a good deal more together now, but it took me a couple hours. Dang, that was intense.
bobcatmoran: (sneaky ed)
Today wins the most-abbreviated-workday-due-to-snow award for the year, so far. And, boy, have there been a lot of those this winter. Two late starts, and I think this might make three early releases due to winter weather. It had hardly started to snow when work started today, but by 9 am there was enough snow that some of my more bored coworkers opted to build a 5-foot tall snowman once they finished (futilely) cleaning off the government cars. I should remember to bring my camera and take a picture tomorrow. He's all decked out in a survey vest and old uniform cap like he's ready to go out into the field.

We probably should've been let out much earlier, given that I had to help push four of my coworkers out of the unplowed parking lot — I was the last to leave since I have 4-wheel drive and live close enough that I can walk home. Unfortunately, the folks who make that call are up in Albany, and they apparently took a look outside their windows and went, "Well we don't have a snowstorm here. No idea what they're whining about."
bobcatmoran: (Default)
PSA: If you’re one of the lucky 70 million to have been affected by the Target data breach (basically, if you shopped at any US Target store between November 27 and December 15 and paid with a credit or debit card, hackers have your card number and some personal info now), Target’s offering free credit monitoring for a year through Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus.

More about the program here, or you can sign up for the credit monitoring here.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
I'm watching the most recent episode of Sherlock (last Sunday's because I am not a time traveler and therefore don't have 3.3 yet), and it's a horrifically slow process because I have to keep stopping it because of the horrific levels of secondhand embarrassment I'm getting off of this whole thing. (also, so far, this is proving to be much more cartoony than the usual episode of this show, almost a parody of itself.)

OTOH, without being too spoilery drunk!Sherlock-o-vision is hilarious.
bobcatmoran: (sneaky ed)
Got both of my holiday exchange fics posted to AO3 last night. I might poke a bit at the Yuletide fic sometime over the next couple of days — if nothing else, my summary as it stands is kind of crap — but the fact that I had them fully written a few days ago and only needed some small edits to polish them really helped with the holiday stress this year. Nice not to have to worry about BEARS on top of the usual pre-travel flurry of activity and trying to fortify myself for living in the same house as the parental units for a week.

Speaking of pre-travel flurry of activity, I need to run and do laundry and a zillion other little errands that need to be finished before I go.
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
PSA/shameless self-promotion: I know there's a few Les Misérables fans who subscribe to this blog, so I figured I'd share the Tumblr post I made tonight. Basically, there's a new Les Mis manga out. The art is amazing, and aside from a rather extended visual metaphor that involves lions(?) that I haven't been able to fully puzzle out — I think I need to sit down with a Japanese-English dictionary for that — it follows the novel astonishingly well. I got a copy of the first chapter, and posted a bunch of pics + summary. Be warned, though, it only runs up to Valjean's release from prison, and is therefore depressing like a really depressing thing.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
I'm reading an astronomy book from 1942 — I checked it out mostly because it gives the mythological background of constellations, not for anything science related, but I paged through the bit on the planets just for grins.

I grew up after the Pioneer and Voyager probes had passed most of the outer planets, and I have vivid memories of going to the University with my dad and watching a movie screen with the incoming images from Voyager 2's flyby of Neptune. And NASA and other space agencies have sent numerous probes to the other planets as well, so my mental image of what those planets look like is highly informed by those photos taken in the '70s and '80s.

But in 1942, all there were were Earth-based telescopes. No Hubble. No space programs anywhere. So the photos used in this book — and they use photos, not drawings, for the most part, at least as far as our solar system goes — are very small and blurry compared to what I'm used to. If you know what you're looking for, you can make out Mars' polar ice caps, and tell that there are other continent-sized swaths of light and dark, but that's all. Jupiter and Saturn are similarly blurry, the former's Great Red Spot not the swirling morass I've seen in so many pictures, but a fuzzy grey bulge on one of the blurry bands of clouds.

And then there's Pluto, which had only been discovered twelve years earlier and was still almost a complete cipher. "In size it is estimated to be not much larger than Mars," and in a chart showing the characteristics of the planets, most of the boxes have either a "?" or a figure with a "?" after it.

Strange to think how far we have advanced in such a relatively short time, now knowing as much about planets around other stars as we knew about Pluto then. And we know so much more about our own solar system and are still learning more every day — witness the new discovery of an ancient lake on Mars. What a time to be alive.
bobcatmoran: The twins from Ouran, talking about robots and flowers (robot flowers)
My Brooklyn brother had moved again just this week, and Thanksgiving was at his new place, held with him, me, his roommates, and one of their friends. Good times all around. The new apartment is in a really cool building. It was apparently a former union hall back in the early 1900s, and it's in the process of being renovated to be fit for human habitation, so when I walked in the building, I was like, am I in the right place? as it was all half-plastered walls and an iron staircase that looked rather as though it hadn't received a coat of paint since the Truman administration. Once I got up to their floor, though, it was all newly fixed up and quite lovely. Also, they have access to a fabulous rooftop view of the Manhattan skyline.

Anyhoo, I tried out a couple new recipes this year, and thought I'd share them/archive them for next year, because they have a great ratio of effort:deliciousness.

Basic Cranberry Sauce

How to make pie crust without tearing your hair out
bobcatmoran: (tea time)
That was far better than I had expected! I'd watched the re-airing of "The Name of the Doctor," and still found it to be a pacing disaster, with half a season's worth of plot crammed into one episode, and was really worried that the 50th anniversary special would suffer from a similar problem of too much story in too little time. Nope.

Spoilers have been half a century in the making )
bobcatmoran: The twins from Ouran, talking about robots and flowers (robot flowers)
Whoa, it's been quite awhile since I posted here, hasn't it? I'm afraid I'm mostly on Tumblr these days. Not my first choice of blogging tools when it comes to interacting with people, but that does seem to be where the arm of the Les Mis fandom that I hang around is. I'm crap at actual interaction anyway.

Anyhoo, I weathered the government shutdown with minimal panic attacks/going stircrazy, and Congress approved backpay for the furlough. It's been mostly back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program at work, although the Big Boss from the state side of our joint fed/state program tried to implement some procedural changes "because it worked fine when we did it this way when the feds weren't here." Which … um … okay, those temporary changes were made because nearly all the data management folks are on the fed side, and now that the feds are back, we can go back to working off of current maps/property information in the field, yes? Fortunately, after two weeks, most of the changes have been nixed, because they were, quite frankly, stupid and inefficient and were resulting in angry calls from homeowners because, "You idiots have been here twice already, what sort of incompetence are my tax dollars paying for?!"

And I went to my first-ever fandom meetup a couple weeks ago, which was a bit nervewracking at first — I've kept my fannish and real-life identities VERY separate — but a lot of fun. I'm pretty sure the waiter at the diner we went to thought we were nuts, though, especially when we wound up ordering an entire cake. I mean, we had enough people to eat it all, but it was obviously not a request they got very often. Or ever.

And I've also gotten hooked on Sleepy Hollow. Watching the show helped motivate me to pay a visit to the actual town of Sleepy Hollow during the shutdown. I took tours of Washington Irving's house and a nearby mansion that had been owned by the Rockefellers. Quite worth it, both of them (the tour guide for the Rockefeller mansion had grown up on the grounds, and she had some great stories), and there's certainly enough to see up there that I could easily take another day trip. Alas, I was too late to get tickets to the crazy huge jack o' lantern display they have during the Halloween season. Maybe next year, as I hear it's spectacular.

Also, a meme: This one's going around: Post a line from each of your active WIPs. No fandom, no context, nothing. Then people can ask you about them. No spoilers for holiday exchanges because I haven't even started on them yet. Self, what are you doing working on these instead?

Cut because of memeishness. What do you mean that's not a word? )
bobcatmoran: (fics)
This will probably take some explanation, because I don't think battle pillows are a "thing" outside of a fairly small segment of the Les Mis fandom on Tumblr. Basically, [tumblr.com profile] pilferingapples somehow managed to get a black eye from a pillow. [tumblr.com profile] needsmoreresearch came up with the idea of battle pillows from this — basically, a somewhat vicious, animate breed of pillows. It sort of spiraled from there. Collective canon(?) holds that Bahorel raises some and they have a taste for hats, particuarly Jehan's. There's at least one fake scientific paper. There's a tag on Tumblr. And heaven help me, I wrote fic for it. My inspiration came from this thing.

Also posted at AO3.

In which coats are nibbled upon, a hat is eaten, and Combeferre tries to make sense of this whole mess. )
bobcatmoran: (fics)
Dear Yuletide Author,

Oh crap, I am SO LATE on this. I am SO SORRY, omigosh. Like, I think I wasn't this late last year, and I had a hurricane to deal with. Cripes, I am so, so sorry.

In Which I Attempt To Make Up For It By Rambling On Forever )
bobcatmoran: (sneaky ed)
*pinches self* Nope, still furloughed, not a bad dream. Dangit.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for a good primer on the government shutdown, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog has a great article here.

ProPublica also has some links to a marvelous collection of articles, including the aforementioned Wonkblog entry, some background on the laws that let such a thing even happen, some articles from the last government shutdown in 1995-96, and an article about the time Australia had a government shutdown and the entire Parliament was fired. Read them here.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Argh, I missed the Yuletide nominations. *facepalm* Oh, well. Given the enormous number of fandoms there are every year, I'm sure I'll find something. Or, rather, several somethings, as the Annual Winnowing Of The Fandoms for signups is always so difficult. I mean, it's a fabulous problem to have, but I do have to remember to set aside time to go through the list, because it always takes awhile.

I'm just sort of killing time right now, waiting for Sleepy Hollow to come on. I watched the pilot over the weekend (as of right now, it's still free to download from the iTunes store). The big plotline seems kind of ridiculous, but I like the two main characters so far, and I have a thing for futureshock as a trope.

Also, it inspired me to re-read Washington Irving's story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," and although I didn't finish it (I had a shortened lunch break today for various reasons, and that's when I get in most of my reading nowadays), I was kind of amused to see that Irving!Ichabod is not from England, but Connecticut.

Also also, I finished cross-posting my old fics to AO3, and apparently I was prolific enough to write so many fics that they take up nearly half of both the Mega Man Classic and Mega Man X sections. Granted, the Mega Man fandom is almost entirely absent from AO3, so it's not quite as big an achievment as it may seem.
bobcatmoran: (fics)
PSA: I’m cross-posting my stuff from fanfiction.net to my AO3 account, so if anyone’s following that and is getting spammed by notifications, sorry. Um … have some old Mega Man fanfic as an apology?
bobcatmoran: (shizuo)
Okay, who introduced my stepmom to that fox music video that's been going around? I'm going to have to take away your internet. Nothing is as funny as she thinks that is, and nothing squared is as funny as she thinks she is when she references it constantly. I mean, I liked the video, but I'm starting not to now. It's not quite as awkward as the time she tried to set me up with the waiter at the restaurant we were eating at, but it's getting there. I swear, she sets me right back to being a teenager. "Omigawd, you're so totally embarassing me, stoppit." (ironic, since she didn't become my stepmom until I was well into my 20s)
bobcatmoran: (al/toaster)
*side-eyes Yuletide*

*decides not to bother about it for another week or so as nominations don't open until the 16th and people are being crazy right now*

*remembers that the crazy won't stop until sometime in mid-January*

*sighs and tries to find TextEdit doc with nomination ideas*

*gets distracted, winds up spending the evening reading Night Vale fanfic on AO3*
bobcatmoran: (Default)
I feel like it's a good thing that this is a four-day weekend for me (scheduled Friday off + normal weekend + Labor Day), as I am doing All The Socializing and, as queen of the introverts, will need that extra time to recharge before returning to work, which has suddenly become very exciting.

Last night was girls' night out with coworkers at SoCo in Brooklyn, a "southern fusion" restaurant — amazing food, and I highly recommend it. If chicken and waffles are your thing, they have chicken and red velvet waffles which are a real treat.

Then I got home, and received a text that a couple of my Californian relatives are in town, and I'm meeting up in The City with them and my brother tonight for dinner.

And my brother and I are, as far as I know, still going out to Riverhead to check out the aquarium there this weekend, too. Whew!

And as for work, I work for an invasive species eradication program that was supposed to be winding down, as we hadn't found any of the beetle in nearly five years, and were on the verge of declaring it eradicated in New York. Well, it turns out, just a couple miles north of the current quarantine area, there's a sizable outbreak. Something like five dozen infested trees found so far, three actual beetles (and clearly many more out there to do that sort of damage), several eggs and larvae, and more being found every day. I'm sort of torn, because from an ecological standpoint, this is awful. But on the other hand, it's job security for probably at least another four-five years than I would've had.
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