Making Do in a Comparably-Sized City to the South

The humans’ favorite international market closed down recently. The human male was saddened, because that’s where he purchased his favorite ginger beer. The human female was saddened because that’s where she liked to get the German candy for her family for Yule. The schadenfreudy part of me was happy at their sadness, but Sigyn was saddened because she likes to go and poke about and try on jewelry and meet new friends, so I was a little disappointed as well. I don’t like it when Sigyn isn’t happy!

However! As luck would have it, it was only the local branch that closed. There are others alive and well, so today we have all jumped into the car to visit the Comparably-Sized City to the South, a place we have not greatly explored before, where there is one we can all enjoy. (We have other errands, but this is the only one I care about…)

And here we are! Sigyn, predictably, has made a bee-line for the first individuals she doesn’t know, because Making New Friends is the best thing ever.

Sigyn really likes their colorful skirts! Shall I buy you one, dearest? Only don’t ask me for a one of those huge pom-pom hats. I think it would overbalance you right onto your sweet little face.

I don’t know who this orange fellow is, but I bet he and Sigyn will get along swimmingly.

Now we’re looking at comestibles. The human male has found his ginger beer, and some of the cookies the human female likes have mysteriously leapt into the cart as well.

Sigyn thinks we should get these because they remind her of her friend Muffy.

Ugh. Friends don’t let friends eat rice cakes.

Let’s buy these!

The human female despises licorice, and I once heard her say that salted licorice was one of the worst things she ever put in her mouth. So, yes, let’s buy some! I want to see her loathing of stuff at war with her pathological hatred of wasting food.

The human male says these must be for me.

Bah! Very funny, mortal. Very funny.

I know where you sleep.

Sigyn has wandered into the housewares section of the store.

I agree–that is a very pretty plate. It doesn’t “go” with a thing in the house, but if you like it, I will buy it for you and it can have pride of place on whatever wall you choose. (We could do with fewer of the human female’s knick-knacks about the place, anyway!)

Oh, now what’s caught my beloved’s eye? Colored pencils? Those are always a draw (pun intended) and–

Sigh. I thought we were past the whole glassware thing? Hang on, sweetie. Loki’s coming.

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The Aftermath of the Walk, Part II: Of Itches and Annoyances

Ehehehe! Did I mention how awful the mosquitoes are this year? Usually, the human female can go out for a walk with just sunscreen and not insect repellent or the bug veil on her hat, since a good walking pace is faster than mosquitoes are willing to fly to get a nibble, but the other day she stopped to look at plants with Sigyn. That slowed her down just enough to make her easy prey, and now she has three ENORMOUS and itchy bites–one on her check, one on the right side of her jaw, and a third under her left ear. She looks even more lumpy and monstrous than usual, and the more she tries not to scratch, the more they itch.

Good job, little dipteran minons!

She’s so uncomfortable that today she’s decided to fold down the long-neglected treadmill and do her hiking indoors.

Fenrir’s fleacollar! Have you ever seen such dust! I wonder if it still works? (Actually, I don’t wonder. I know. But she’s about to find out…)

The on/off key is still attached. That’s good.

Start it up and have a go!

Ah. I see you’ve found my little surprise! It turns on, and it runs, and you can adjust the speed and the incline, but when it comes to telling you how long or far you’ve gone, or how many scoops of ice cream you’ve burned off, it’s keeping perfectly mum. Blank, blank, blank.

Oh, quit your whining. Just get out your tape measure, measure the length of of the tread belt, count the number of times the seam goes around while you walk, multiply it up, then divide by the number of meters or feet or furlongs or cubits (or whatever units your tape measure has) in a mile, and you’ll know how far you went! Easy-peasy!

Ah. Right. Forgot you can’t count that high.

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The Aftermath of the Walk, Part I: Entanglements

Ugh! Going for a walk this time of year really is a torture. The sun glare is awful, the heat and humidity are brutal, and the mosquitoes are nearly Sigyn-sized this year.

The human female, as off-putting as she is on walks, while she’s spouting botanical trivia and other things I have to tune out, is even MORE repulsive once she gets back home. Red-faced, sweaty, and apt to just drop clothing wherever. Norns’ nighties! Cover up, woman! There are some things no one wants to see!

She is particularly sweaty today. Her hair is nearly dripping. If she were smart, she’d be very careful about ripping the elastic out of it and not just—

Ehehehehe! Snort! Ehehehehehe! What a moron! She didn’t count on the special tangling spell I put on it, and now that elastic is stuck, stuck, STUCK! Plop that ponytail down on the table and let’s have a look.

Gasp–Ehehehe! I volunteered to cut it out for her, but for some reason she elected to have the human male do it.

It’s like she doesn’t trust me with a pair or scissors…

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Too Hot For a Walk, But Apparently We Are Going Anyway

Newsflash, mortals. It’s summer, and it’s hot outside. Oh, the calendar says it’s still “spring,” but when the Heat Index is 106 F, it’s summer, no matter what equinoxes and solstices and tropics of whatnot say.

Still, Sigyn and the human female are keen to go walking whenever the female can drag her bloated carcass out of bed early enough to get going before the day changes from “balmy” to “humid inferno.” Believe me, as a Frost Giant, I’d prefer to do anything else, but I can never be sure Sigyn will make it home safely without my protection, so I usually tag along. Here, then, is a random assortment of images from walks around the neighborhood.

Sigyn makes new friends wherever she goes. She’s about to make a new one right outside the front door.

Look up, Sweetie! It’s one of those rolly-uppy isopods with the many strange Midgardian names.

And here is a very juicy slug!

Hmmm. Has the human female already had breakfast? ‘Cause I bet it’d go down easy…

Some of the slugs are black and velvety-looking. This one’s out for a stroll slime.

Black-velvet Leatherleaf Slug photo - lejun photos at

I made a video! Great Frigga’s hairpins! I just looked that one up and it’s an exotic invasive! You go, funky little foreign slug! Come to our house and eat up all the human female’s flowers!

This red-eared slider turtle is a little shyer.

It says it is perfectly happy sitting in the pond by the Large Ugly Apartments all day and has no interest coming out on the bank to get acquainted.

Ugh! It really is annoyingly hot out here today! Sigyn, why don’t you greet your little floral friends and then we can go home and get out of the heat. Maybe have ice cream for lunch…

The lilac chaste tree in the front yard is looking pretty good.

Especially when you recall that I keep inviting the neighbors to butcher it periodically!

The leaves smell very good and it’s not a bad place for a dangle.

The crape myrtles are in full bloom as well. Whenever there’s wind or a good rain, the flowers fall off and make for what Sigyn says is a “very festive sidewalk.”

Many of the wildflowers are done for the year. This cut-leaved evening primrose is still prettifying the roadsides, though.

Looks like there’s some horseweed in there too.

Keen-eyed Sigyn has found the buttonweed in someone’s lawn. It looks like bluets, but the flowers are a LOT bigger. And furrier.

On the other hand, this purslane has flowers like its cousins, the cultivated, showy moss-roses, but the flowers are a lot smaller.

The human female says you can eat it. No, human female. YOU can eat it. I’m not in the habit of snacking on lawn weeds.

You can eat this one, too. Make yourself a nice salad of the leaves and add in some of the fruit when they show up.

You’ll like them—they look like tiny yellow tomatoes and are only a little bit poisonous.

And your noshing on them will eventually leave more ice cream for the rest of us.

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Gonna Be Monday All Week, Part V: Good News and Bad News

The human female likes puzzles and games.

Good News: She is very fast at solving online jigsaw puzzles.

That little white ribbon on the weird-looking-yet-somehow-very-regal women uploaded by someone calling themselves “galleonslap” means that the human female was the fastest to solve it out of everyone who tried.

Good News: Recently she was Rather Clever at solving an acrostic.

Bad News: I might have uploaded an unwinnable game into her Single Rail solitaire…

That’s as far as she’s going to get, because this one has her positively stumped.

I… I think she’s in mourning.

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Gonna Be Monday All Week, Part IV: Bunches Upon Tons of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Look, Sigyn! Another parcel has arrived. This is something the human male ordered eons ago, an upgrade to one of the games we once explored during a Gaming Weekend. The game has small cubes that represent the “currency” of the game. The original cubes are plastic, painted to look like various metals, but the upgrades are supposed to be real metal, much shinier and heftier, if not actually made of gold, silver, and copper.

No problems with the external packaging, and the contents seem to be nice and secure in one big bag. I made sure to work with the shipper to make sure no accidents or errors occurred. There has been entirely too much of that around here lately!

Zip-lock plastic bags are so useful! They’re one thing Midgard has going for it, I’ll grant you that.

Let’s open it up and have a look.

It looks like there is a smaller zip-lock bag for each color of cube.

This really is very well packaged.

Some might say a bit too well…

Behold! Two hundred little cubes, each in its own tiny zip-lock…

<wipes away tear of pride and joy> It’s…it’s magnificent

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Gonna Be Monday All Week, Part III: Your Order Has Arrived!

The humans order quite a few things online. Admittedly, they like to shop locally when they can, but sometimes it is not an option. Take, for instance, their favorite green cleaner. Not only is it green-as-in-slightly-less-bad-for-the-environment, it’s also green-as-in-green-colored. (A fact of which I approve!) Since it is highly effective at removing cat barf from laminate flooring, it’s a staple in this household, but none of the local stores carry it!

And take, for instance, the short-notice invitation to a celebration for the Knittery Friend’s middle son, who is the humans’ godson. (No relation to the blue-haired goddaughter.) The human female knew just the book she wants to gift him, but it wasn’t available in the local bookshop, not even for order-online-and-pick-up-in-store.

Hence an order placed with the Large South American River, consisting of two necessary but quite disparate items.

Shipping via Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly has been very quick. Look, Sigyn, the box is here already!

The Large South American River is well-known for sending orders in multiple packages. This one is quite heavy, so it could be the cleaner, with the book to arrive separately.

By Thor’s bitty ball-peen! They did it!

Someone at LSAR just pitched both items into one box with a minimum of padding. Finally! I’ve been talking to the workers there about trying to make fewer parcels and about using less plastic and/or styrofoam padding. To be more environmentally friendly, you understand. Let’s take a look at the book.

I’ve not read this one, but Sigyn has, and she says it’s very good. It has an award seal on the cover and everything.

Great Frigga’s Corset! This copy appears to have been damaged in transit.

It isn’t really nice enough to be presented as a gift. Look at those warped, wavy pages. It’s almost as if it got wet in transit somehow.

I wonder how THAT happened… Eehehehe! Not only is the neck smashed in and the lid cracked, the lid’s not even fully screwed on! And the enclosing plastic bag LEAKS! Well done, O River Minions and Parcel Smashers, well done!

Now the human male gets to navigate the Large South American River’s online return and replacement request system, which should provide even more fun.

This is shaping up to be a very productive week.

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Gonna Be Monday All Week, Part II: That Looks Expensive

The human male is just arriving home from running some errands. I can hear the garage door now!

Rr-rrr-rrr-r…r….r… Thud.

Fenrir’s fleacollar! That is not what the garage door is supposed to sound like. It should sound more like a pterodactyl disemboweling a donkey. I do believe my mischief-laden maintenance is paying off today!

While the human female hunts for the information for the garage door repair folks, let’s go take a look.


Hmmm. I’m no expert, but shouldn’t things be symmetrical? Closer inspection is warranted.

That is one big spring! Or, rather, one sort-of-big spring and one smaller spring. I’m simultaneously pleased and disappointed. Pleased, because my plan of never reminding the humans to oil things and of filing a little nick in the coil has paid off. Disappointed, because when these ginormous springs break, they usually make an ear-splitting BANG! that sounds like Ragnarok commencing, and I didn’t get one this time.

Also disappointed that the human male was outside when it malfunctioned and that neither car is trapped inside.

That red-tagged handle is supposedly the emergency opener-thingy.

It’s supposed to disengage the motor drive and allow one to manually open the door, but I’ll let you in an little secret:

The human female is afraid of it. She’s afraid that she’ll somehow make the door worse by pulling it. She’s afraid of the big spring when it’s in one piece, too. She’s also afraid the repairman is going to frown at her when he notices the lack of preventive maintenance.

Ehehehe! Who knew garage doors were so scary?

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Gonna Be Monday All Week, Part I: 有些笑话永远不会停止有趣

I think the humans have it far too easy. I’ve been lenient lately. Time to remedy that. How much mischief can I wedge into a single week? We are men and women of science–let’s find out!

It’s hot. It’s late. The humans don’t feel like cooking, it’s not a good idea for anyone without the constitution of a Norse god to just eat ice cream for dinner, and I certainly don’t feel like eating what the human female might cobble together out of what’s lurking in the pantry (tuna graham cracker casserole with cactus lime jelly, anyone?). It is, therefore, a good opportunity to “patronize a local small business.” That’s right–Takeout Time!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–the humans don’t have a lot of imagination. When their deciders are broken, the fallback is usually Chinese. The male mixes his order up, but the human female usually gets one of two things every. single.time. Let’s see what they’ve brought home today…

Broccoli chicken with brown rice. Orange beef, not very spicy, sub carrots and snow peas for the broccoli, also with brown rice. That doesn’t sound too bad, and there are at least vegetables in the names. And I see the request for no plastic silverware and no soy sauce. No one wants the yucky take out soy sauce!

So how did the restaurant do? I’ve been working with their staff, and I’m curious as to whether my training is paying off.

Silverware and soy sauce, check!

Chicken and broccoli, check!

Broccoli beef, hold the broccoli, add carrots and snowpeas in an extra-leaky, non-recyclable box, check!

Two orders of brown rice, ch—

Ehehehehehe! I mean, uh oh! They only put in one. Now, the human female is unpacking the bag and has placed the carton on her own plate. Does this mean she has her rice and the male has none? Or has she filched his rice and she is without? Or is it communal rice, a little bit for each? Will they share or will they squabble?


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P.S. If anyone is keeping track of items missing from takeout meals, this is chicken missing off three salads, missing salad dressing, a missing egg roll, and a missing carton of rice. If we could get all the missing items at once, we could put out a pretty good spread!