bobcatmoran: (Default)
Dear Yuletide Author,

Hi! I am terrifically late with this! In my defense, I was expecting the Ye Olde Yuletide delay of a few days between signups closing and assignments going out, and I’ve been out of town for two out of the last three weeks and have been actually *gasp* being social out in brickspace a lot recently — this is my first evening home after work this week.


In all seriousness, I would be pleased as punch with pretty much anything written for any of the characters I asked for. I know that if you poke around my Ao3 or Tumblr, you’ll see that I’m a Les Mis fangirl, but please don’t let that lead you down the path of, “Oh no, she won’t like it if I matched her on one of the other fandoms.” I mean, I asked for them for a reason.

So, if you already have been struck by the inspiration fairy and have an idea/WIP, by all means, go for it! But if you need a little more help, below the cut is a bit more…er…guidance? Sure. Let’s call it that.
I am making up for my tardiness in sheer volume of text )

Man, are you still here after all that? I mean, this letter is longer than most of my fics. Anyway, thank you again, Yuletide Author! Happy writings, and remember that optional details are optional!
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Those of you who have met me IRL know that I look “ethnic” in the sort of way where I have been asked if I’m from everywhere from Latin America to Southern Europe to pretty much the entire continent of Asia from Palestine to Japan. Also Finland, for Reasons.

That’s the only reason I can come up with for why I had some random white dude yell out to me in the parking lot of the supermarket, “Happy Cinco de Mayo!”


I mean, I think the Battle of Puebla was kind of awesome and all, but I am a) not Mexican, and b) even if I was, it's not really a major holiday in Mexico to the degree some gringos seem to think it is.

Maybe there was some reasoning behind that guy's thought process besides "She is Mexican and therefore is celebrating Mexican Independence Day," but I doubt it.
bobcatmoran: (feuilly)
Hi, wow, it's been forever and a day since I posted here.

But I've been getting the journaling itch, mostly because my life has become actually semi-interesting again.

I seem to have been traveling a completely inordinate amount for my new position, mostly for training, but I'll be going up to International Falls, MN ("Icebox of the Nation," which they actually trademarked in order to keep Fraser, CO from claiming the title) for actual on-the-job duties next week.

This week, I'm in Chicago to shadow an employee who actually knows what she's doing rather than the blindly half-trained flailing I've been doing. The reason I'm here now is because there's a big supervisor/admin meeting here, and thus I was able to carpool with my supervisor and the office manager so the office doesn't have to pay extra transport fees to get me here. The side effect is that I'm meeting a lot of people who are State Plant Health Directors (i.e. heads of one or more state's programs for this branch of the USDA) or above.

So…guess who got stuck at a table for the hotel's "evening mixer" alone with her boss's boss's boss's boss and the freaking head of the entire taxonomy section when a few people had to suddenly take off for some admin nonsense about the conference room?

It me.

And lemme tell ya, the behind-the-scenes work that happens when there's a looming government shutdown is wild. Like, our agency has a bunch of people on travel right now, either for meetings like this, or to fill in for necessary positions that have been left vacant due to attrition + hiring freeze/budget shortcomings. And when the government shuts down, they will be stranded, with their stipend to pay for food and lodging cut off completely. So what do you do with them? And at what point do you make the call, "Okay, you need to come back to your home port NOW" when oftentimes these things go right up to midnight on the deadline? Stuff like that.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Just noticed that I haven't posted here since January. Oops.

In my defense, I've spent a lot of that time — like a completely appalling amount — dealing with some major brain weasels, exacerbated by my grandpa passing away just as I was starting to claw myself out of the pit I'd fallen into. cut for personal stuff )

In fannish news, I'm still translating Takahiro Arai's Les Mis manga because I am a crazy woman, and my translated scripts have even been turned into an actual scanlation for the first chapter, which I'm still flabbergasted at. I do encourage any Les Mis fans to check out the manga if they haven't yet, though, as it's an astonishingly good adaptation of The Brick, including a lot of things that usually get left out. For instance, the section I just finished translating has the bit with The Orion, which understandably usually gets cut but didn't here, and is presented in a dramatic enough fashion that I think Hugo would be proud. [/shameless self-promotion]

ETA: And while I was off DW, the 10th anniversary of my LJ occurred. (This started out as a mirror of, and now my LJ is a mirror of my DW. Uh…if that makes any sense). You can eyeroll at my first-ever entry here if you want.
bobcatmoran: (ed asleep)
Whelp, it's a snow day. I don't know that the office has ever been closed in all the years I've been here. Quite a few late start/early release days (including yesterday — two hours early for the feds as per joint consultations between the Long Island, JFK, and Jamaica Queens offices, one hour early for the state as per Gov. Cuomo's declaration), but no "the office is closed today."

And while the storm might've been not quite as epic as predicted, we've still got a lot of snow here. 18" according to the National Weather Service as of 9 am, and it's still snowing a little bit.

Fortunately, I got my grocery shopping done on Sunday. It was bad enough then, but a couple of my coworkers went to the supermarket next door during lunch yesterday to do a bit of stocking up, and returned, ten minutes after lunch was technically over, with tales of epic lines and no bananas or bread unless you like garlic bagels. Also, rampant speculation about what exactly one can do with four gallons of milk, because seriously, people, unless you have a huge family, you're not going to drink that all before it goes bad.

So I'm kicking around today, doing some housework, a bit of baking, some poking around on tumblr, a bit of reading, and, since the wind and snow seem to have died down a good bit, I may go out and clear off my car so that I'm not trying to dig it out of an entire storm's worth of snow in the dark tomorrow morning. I suspect the office will be open for business as usual by then.
bobcatmoran: (fics)
Hello, 2015! I am quite disappointed that this year has not come with Back to the Future style hoverboards so far, but knock wood, there won't be any Angel attacks. :D

And with the New Year comes Yuletide reveals!

First of all, I'm going to re-link to my gift from moonlight69, Un Regard Volé, un Coeur au Désespoir, a lovely little slice of life from the Les Mis Dallas AU, with Jean Valjean trying to deal with Cosette growing up. It gave me warm fuzzies inside, and y'all should read it if you're familiar with Les Mis.

And then there's my gift for Oanja, entitled Jumbo &!. As you might guess from the title, it's a Yotsuba&! fic, centered around Jumbo and Koiwai, with little scenes from when they first met, how Jumbo got his nickname, and Jumbo's first meeting with Yotsuba. It's pretty much G-rated gen, although I suppose it could be taken as shippy if you turn your head and squint.

Also, unrelated to Yuletide, I wrote a canon-era Les Mis fic, A Very Feuilly Christmas, which is just a bit of (again, G-rated and gen) Christmas fluff that has nothing whatsoever to do with me being slightly melancholy in the days leading up to Christmas about how I wouldn't be spending it with most of my friends and family.
bobcatmoran: (Default)
Hope everyone had a delightful 25th of December, regardless of whether or not you were celebrating a holiday that day. This was my first year having it away from the bulk of my family, which I worried about a bit leading up to it, but as it turned out, it was much less stressful than the endless socializing with people who I largely don't know that tends to happen when I go home to spend the holiday with my parents — my stepmom loves to entertain, and feels that us kids need to be CELEBRATING ALL THE TIME for our entire visit, otherwise Christmas Is Ruined. Basically, she's a huge extrovert, and my dad and all his kids are huge introverts, and the clash always seems to result in major tension. I missed seeing my youngest brother and grandparents, but I think I made the right decision staying home, especially after the breakdown I had after travelling back home for Thanksgiving.

I had a delightfully low-key Christmas here with my younger-but-not-youngest brother. Our original plan — me going into Brooklyn to celebrate with him and a couple of his friends who also didn't have family in town — was derailed with the gal who was hosting it had a family emergency and had to fly down to Georgia.

So after a bit of texting back and forth, we decided to hold Christmas at my place, just the two of us, and have a sort of mini version of our family's Japanese New Year's feast (more based on family tradition than actual Japanese New Year's food as the years have gone by) Then we planned to go and see Into the Woods. And so we did. He made the scarlet shrimp, I made the sesame green beans and namasu, and we made inari sushi together, going off of Baachan's notes for sushi rice seasoning. She was known as one of the best sushi makers in the Twin Cities back in the day, and did her best to pass down her knowledge to the grandkids before she passed away.

So we did that, cooking the meal together and then sitting down for deliciousness accompanied by green tea and decidedly un-Japanese Smoking Bishop because I was intrigued by the idea of Victorian-era alcoholic beverages. Then hanging out a bit before the movie, while I tried to explain how fandom worked to my brother and he vented a bit about his new job as a sort of all-purpose assistant at one of the major NYC performance spaces (apparently the latest artist they've worked with is an alcoholic, entitled asshole).

Into the Woods was very, very good, by the way. Yes, there are some cuts, but they're done so smoothly that you don't even notice they're there until you stop and think, "Wait, didn't Cinderella have more songs?" And much of the darker themes and scenes made it through, much to the surprise of both me and my brother, and because Red Riding Hood and Jack are played by actual children, some scenes get extra resonance that they don't have in the stage show. Meryl Streep as the Witch hams it up delightfully, and most of the rest of the cast is excellent. The Narrator isn't a character, but much of the narration in the first act makes it through intact, and the tie-in at the end to it is a very nice way of tying everything together. The Baker's Father is also largely cut as a character, but again, the rejiggering of everything means that you don't really notice his absence.

And also! I got a fabulous Les Mis Dallas fic for Yuletide! As [ profile] pilferingapples noted, you can totally tell which of the Les Mis Dallas fics (four of them! Such luxury!) is meant for me, because this one really did hit all my buttons of warm, fuzzy, found family feelings.
bobcatmoran: (shizuo)
Hey, guess what time it is? It's "Will the Congress Pass A Budget Time," yay!


So, once again, if a budget doesn't pass by midnight tonight, the government turns into a pumpkin. And by "turn into a pumpkin" I mean "will shut down," because asking them to pass a budget for the ENTIRE year all at once was too much for them last time, and they just funded to government until the end of December 11, i.e. today.

It looks like they've got a bill of some sort put together, bristling with pet projects and put together with all the care and thought of that finals project you didn't start until two in the morning the night before it was due. But it's a budget, more-or-less. And knock wood, it will pass. And maybe, just maybe, if we're really, REALLY lucky, they'll actually manage to fund the entire government for an entire year next time, so that we don't have to play this fun game where none of the agencies can plan for anything because they never know how much money they have to work with.

DHS, sorry, you're still SOL, since the bill that's being passed around only funds that agency until February, since the Republicans wanted to be able to write that department's budget all by themselves.
bobcatmoran: (sneaky ed)
We had an office day today due to rain. Since there's a safety inspection coming up, our office's two safety officers took it upon themselves to clean out the lab fridge. This led to a slightly surreal scene early this afternoon where one of them walked out of the lab, cradling a duck in her rubber-gloved hands. Like, an actual, real duck, fully intact, feathers and all. She'd found it in the freezer.

Several phone calls later, it was determined that the program head had gone duck hunting and, rather than take what he shot home, he decided for whatever reason to swing by the office and stash the duck in the freezer.

The general consensus was that if it was anyone else, there would have been an office meeting about What We Do Not Keep In The Office Fridge Even If It Isn't The Fridge We Use For Food. As it was, Program Head said to put it back, as he was going to have it stuffed really, really soon, no really. Oookay then.
bobcatmoran: (fics)
Dear Yuletide Author,

This year I wanna erector set and a new dolly and a real live pony and…

Just kidding.

So, obviously you are a person of discerning taste, since you like at least one of these fandoms enough to have signed up to write it. Rest assured that I will totally love anything you write for any of these fandoms. If you read my requests and went, "Oooh! Oooh! I know exactly what I am going to write!" go for it! I'd far rather you write what you want to write than have you tie yourself in knots trying to please me on every little detail. But if you need or want a little extra help, read on.

I swear these get longer every year… )
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
*pokes head in*


I'm not entirely sure how I managed a combination of overtime (manning a booth for the work program at the Long Island Fair) and class (a Scanning Electron Microscope course through Nassau Community College's "lifelong learning" program) so that I won't get a chance to sleep in and actually take a day off until mid-October, but that seems to be what's going on. Granted, work never offers overtime — the last time was, I think, back in 2010 — so I'm eager to take advantage of the opportunity. And the first time that course was offered, last semester, it was cancelled, probably due to lack of interest. And, well, being me, I've wanted to learn how to use a scanning electron microscope ever since I was a little kid looking at pictures in World magazine that were taken with one.

On top of that, I'm submitting a loaf of my multigrain bread for judging at the Long Island Fair, which means I have to get up at 7:15 tomorrow morning in order to drop it off. I fully realize this is sleeping in compared to my normal weekday schedule, but my mind rebels at the idea of being vertical before 8:00 on a Saturday. I just pulled it out of the oven, and it looks good. Hope it's all right on the inside, since I had to make an unusually small loaf in order to satisfy the submission requirements (wrapped in tinfoil, put on a disposable plate, and the whole shebang has to fit into a ziploc bag which, wow, good thing this recipe's merits don't lie in a nice crackly crust because that would not survive being stored like that).

Oh! And last weekend I partially deconstructed my computer in order to replace my super-dead optical drive with a hard drive. Specifically, I moved the pre-existing hard drive into a case that can fit in the old optical drive slot, and put a brand-new solid state drive in the old hard drive slot. It's been a week and so far nothing's gone "fzzzt" on me, so I think I done good.

Wow, this makes me sound so busy.
bobcatmoran: (tea time)

Cut text is banter, it's not even funny )
bobcatmoran: (tea time)
Thoughts typed up during the commercial breaks/credits:

cut is wearing a shirt COVERED IN EYES )
bobcatmoran: (tea time)
That was overall a pretty enjoyable episode. Here's hoping that's a good omen for the rest of the season.

spoilers got eaten by a dinosaur )
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
Plan for the evening: Doctor's appointment, followed by dinner, then swinging by the nearby Lego store to see if they had the new Female Scientist minifig set.

Slight derailment as my credit card was declined at dinner (got home, checked my card activity online, and oh, look, fraudulent charges — guess who's getting a new card? *facepalm*). Then there was a complete derailment as they were having some sort of Lego event that involved an actual line to get in the door. I'm excited about lady scientist Lego minifigs, but not excited enough to wait in a line that's long enough that they had to split it in two so that it wouldn't block traffic. I'll ask for it for my birthday instead. :D

Shhh, yes, I realize that I am a fully grown adult, childless woman asking for legos for her birthday. One is never too old for legos.
bobcatmoran: The twins from Ouran, talking about robots and flowers (robot flowers)
Work these last couple of weeks has been an adventure, of sorts. The server that houses our database was moved, and although most of the functionality came along with it, the ability to upload data from our field PDAs into it has not. Or, rather, it has, but only with odd, irregular delays in the process. Normally, once a file is put in the upload queue, the data will show up in about ten minutes. Lately, the upload time has ranged from ten minutes to two days to never. And because the database was held together by the computational equivalent of baling wire and string to begin with, files that have actually failed look the same in queue as files that might upload sometime later that day (or week).

So we've been doing everything the old-fashioned way, recording data on paper in the field, then hand-entering it, which is time-consuming and a horrendous waste of paper.

On the plus side of things, I made pitas on Sunday, and nearly all of them actually puffed up to have pockets (usually my success rate is around 30%). And Landlady made her first round of cherry tomato harvesting, so I have a bowlful of them to munch on and put in salads and whatever else I may care to do with them. Nothing like fresh summer tomatoes.

And I found an online source for the magazine that serializes the Les Miserablés manga (yes, that's a thing, and it's astonishingly well-done). Unfortunately, it's, but given that Kinokuniya no longer seems to carry it (I'm loath to ask them to special-order it since my trips into the city are highly irregular) and a good hour of searching didn't turn up any other options, Amazon it is, I suppose.

In the spirit of shameless advertising, I feel I should mention that I am translating said manga, if anyone's interested (link here). It's a slow process, because my Japanese skills are only so-so and I have to look up a lot of stuff. But no one else seemed to be doing it, and it's good language practice for me.
bobcatmoran: (al/toaster)
Just got back from seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey in a real movie theater, projected in 70 mm, and good gravy, that is a movie that benefits from being seen on the big screen. I mean, the format doesn't make the last 20 minutes make any more sense (seriously, Stanley Kubrick, what the heck is with the TEN SOLID MINUTES of psychedelic imagery in unrelentingly eye-searing colors), but the visuals are spectacular, and the theater experience really immerses you in the whole thing. Also, it's fun to listen to the reaction of a packed theater to HAL, especially at intermission from people who haven't seen it before and have somehow managed to avoid finding out via cultural osmosis how the whole thing with HAL plays out (yes, this movie has an intermission, despite not having a running time too terribly longer than some recent flicks, and yes, they actually take it).

For those of you in the NYC area, it's playing at the Museum of the Moving Image, with just two showings left, both tomorrow. Would've signal boosted earlier, but I just found out about it today.
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
I aten't dead! Just…mostly migrated to Tumblr, I suppose. In the spirit of shameless advertising, my username's the same there as here, in case you want to follow me.

Anyway! I had a lovely Fourth of July, and hope everyone who's reading this did, too, American or not, as one can certainly have a very good day without it being a federal holiday. I didn't see any fireworks, but since I had gone to the Nassau County fireworks the previous Saturday, I had already gotten my sparkly-explody-things fix.

What does kind of blow my mind is that I basically spend the latter half of my day hanging out with various people that I've met through the internet, both via DW and Tumblr. A year ago, I had never met anyone in person that I knew online. Some of the reverse, sure, because Facebook, but since I had "everyone you meet on the internet is probably a child molester" drilled into me at an early age, and also since I hadn't lived near any online friends in brickspace until fairly recently, that wasn't something I did.

And now it's something I do on a fairly regular basis. I mean, for goodness sake, I actually travelled to Texas not too long ago just to meet up with some online peeps (who were all lovely, wonderful people, by the way, and I am now cursing that we all live scattered across the country for the most part — that was seriously a weekend I will treasure forever). And, yeah, it's kind of scary every time I meet someone in person for the first time, but so far everyone I've met have been stellar human beings, and it's wonderful to have people that I can comfortably geek out with — I mean, we wound up missing being able to see the Jersey City fireworks last night because we were all talking about Magneto, and I don't regret it at all.

Because of the online community, I feel less isolated than I would otherwise, and I will never stop being thankful that I've found a place here.
bobcatmoran: (shocked al)
What even was this weekend. Seriously.

It started out well — went out for birthday celebration drinks with a bunch of coworkers, since two of them had birthdays this past week (Great South Bay's blood orange ale is delicious but surprising, as it tastes very strongly of grapefruit). And my coworkers are by and large a lovely group of people, so that was fun.

And then I got home, ate some actual food that wasn't just hot wings, and while I was doing the dishes, I heard this loud THUMP. I didn't think too much of it, since I know that Landlady just got a bunch of new furniture delivered, and I figured she was just moving a couch or something. And then I heard sirens. They sounded awfully close. I peeked out my window, and could see the flashing lights reflected in the neighbor's windows. Uh-oh. I put on some shoes, went outside, and holy crap, there were two fire trucks and a couple more police cars taking up the street, lingering smoke in the air, and firemen hosing down the van in the neighbor's driveway, which had apparently caught fire or something.

Everyone was okay, thank goodness, but the car is a total loss. There's a hole hacked in the windshield which the firemen used to spray down the interior, and the whole front is a charred mess.

Then I went into the city yesterday to hang out with some of the NYC Les Mis folks, which is always good times.

And then I got a reminder of how really awesome and fun (not) the LIRR can be on a Saturday night. I had hoped that I'd somehow manage to have the only open seat in the car next to me, but then a guy sort of steered his friend over to there, reminded said friend of the stop he had to get off at (first clue that this was not going to go well), and informed me, "Don't worry, he's good," which did nothing to reassure me. Watching my new seatmate's uncoordinated attempts to get his ticket and, for some reason, his debit card out of his wallet confirmed for me that this guy was really drunk. Then, once he had his ticket and debit card out, he sort of slowly fell over and fell asleep on me.

After a couple stops and some other seats opening up (and him thankfully shifting positions), I tried to nudge him awake (I was also trying to get him to pick up his debit card, which he had dropped on the floor between his feet). A couple bleary blinks, and he went back to unconsciousness. I wound up standing up on my seat, stepping over him, and using the armrest to vault myself up and over him and went to a seat where I had less of a chance of getting vomited on by an inebriated stranger (I have definitely seen that happen before on Saturday night LIRR). Hopefully he got home all right — I informed the conductor that he was on until the end of the line, and sort of tucked his debit card in his lap. So awkward.

Oh, and then today, the firemen were BACK, this time at the house across the street from where the car fire was. I don't think it was anything too big (saw a fireman carry in a fire extinguisher, but no hoses), but still, twice in 48 hours? On the same block? Cripes.
bobcatmoran: (mikado "huh?")
I went to see Captain America 2, and dang, Marvel is really continuing to do a good job with their movie franchise.

More spoilery thoughts below the cut, but just thought I'd throw it out there that there are two credit bonus scenes. One mid-credits, and one allll the way at the end. Not that this should come as a surprise at this point, but it was just me and three other people out of the near-full movie theater who didn't leave after the first easter egg.

spoilers on your left )
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