Month: January 2015

Help Wanted, Part V: The Fourth Interview

Except for that pestiferous equine, I’ve been quite pleased with the response to my help wanted ad. There are two more candidates coming today. In fact, the first is due any minute now. I honestly don’t know whom to expect. The voice on the telephone was rather indistinct and the caller gave only the name “X-53.” Must be some sort of code…

Idunn’s itty bitty apples! What the ….? I suppose I never specified that applicants had to be flesh and blood!



Loki: Hello. You, uh, you certainly look fearsome enough! What’s your name, friend?

Scary metal robot: I AM THE X-53.

Loki: Oh, yes, right. Well. You seem to be very well-armed.


Loki: I daresay. Why do you want to work with me? What part do you envision yourself playing?


Loki: Commendable. Can you be more specific?


Loki: Just so we’re clear, *I* specify the targets! I have to ask–do you think you could take orders from a “mere meat-entity”? Could you go along with my plans for world conquest?




Sigyn? Sigyn? You can come out now, love. The X-53 can’t hurt anyone anymore.


Gungnir and meat-entity reflexes trump circuits and “efficient” weaponry every time, Sparky, and don’t you forget it.

>|: [

Help Wanted, Part IV: The Third Interview

I am by myself this morning. Sigyn is out shopping.

Wait–I’m not expecting anyone about the job today. So who’s banging on the door?

Oh, no! It’s that fiend from hell who bit my hand off last year! Begone, foul nag! Flee, or we’ll be feasting on roast horse this eve!


Whew! I just managed to shove him out the door! What unmitigated gall! I know I advertised for heartless brutes, and truly, he is vile and vicious, but I am not THAT desperate!

>|: [

Help Wanted, Part III: The Second Interview

I’m trying not to be discouraged about how poorly the last interview went. They can’t all be as noxious as Bob, surely?

The next candidate didn’t send a resume, but when he phoned, he sounded pretty cool. Perhaps I am merely a sucker for an interesting foreign accent. Ah, here he is now.

What the…? Okay, now, given the consistent and sequential weirdness that is my life, which one of these am I to interview?

The man?


Or the monkey?


I think I had definitely better record this one!

Sigyn: Well, hello! Welcome. Loki, look at the monkey! Hi, there, monkey! What’s his name?

Interviewee: Guten Morgen! Das ist Remus, und I am Arnold. Doktor Arnold.

Loki: Good morning, Doktor Arnold.

Doktor Arnold: Herr Docktor Arnold, actually. Herr Doktor Arnold von Ohm. But you may call me Arnold.

Loki: Arnold, then. Thanks for coming. Now, tell me about your education.

Arnold: I attended the so prestigious Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften where I study both electrical engineering und the construction science. First I make the buildings und then I blow them up, ha ha ha!

Loki: Wonderful! It’s always useful to know how to make something go "boom." Would I be familiar with any of your work?

Arnold: Say, this room has unusual distribution of load-bearing pillars. Ein or zwei well-placed charges und… Ja, well, I was in industry for a number of years, but recently I am more focused on my own research und projects. Mainly I work for the international clients who prefer to remain anonymous, do you see? Fame is good, ja, but the satisfaction is in the job well done. You may not have heard of me, but my work–ho! You recall a power outage that darkened Munich for ten hours so all the Oktoberfest beer went warm und flat?

Loki: I do. That was a wonderful bit of mischief.

Arnold: Me! A four-train collision in Rota, Spain? Also me! The collapse of a semi-completed overpass outside of Spokane? Ha! Me again! Und recently half of the Kyle Field here fell down, yes?

Loki: That was most assuredly NOT you.

Arnold: Nein, nein! Not I, but last year I do something similar in Brazil, except I take down the northwest corner und then the southeast corner, pfft! leaving the other two corners standing, so.

Loki: Impressive. Sigyn–do be careful. Monkeys can bite.


Arnold: Nein, nein, nein! The Fraulein is quite safe. Remus, he does not bite. He is a good monkey. You are a good monkey, are you not, Remus? Yes, und very useful for the running of cables and fuses in the small spaces! Und Remus, he works for the peanuts, ha ha ha!

Loki: Indeed. Now, have you any other skills that could be useful?

Arnold: I am very good, as they say, at persuading the stubborn people to talk.


Loki: Eliciting information…

Arnold. Ja. I like most the rubber hose, as you see, but I have also the truth serum.

Loki: Let me guess–it’s undetectable in lemonade…

Arnold: Ha ha ha ha! Just so.

Loki: Well, Herr Doktor Arnold von Ohm, I think that you could be a very useful part of my team. If you’ll make sure I have your contact information, I will be sure to contact you in the event I have projects that could use your particular expertise.

Arnold: Danke, Herr Loki. Und good day to you, Fraulein. Come Remus, it is time for lunch. You may live on the bananas but Arnold cannot! Auf wiedersehen, meine Freunde!

Loki and Sigyn: Goodbye!


I must say I am encouraged! Herr Arnold may be a loose cannon, but sometimes a bit of careening artillery is just what the Doktor ordered…

>|: [

Help Wanted, Part II: The First Interview

I hardly slept last night, I was so eager to begin the process of amassing a coterie of skilled associates. The first interviewee will arrive shortly. Here is her resume. Some problems with formatting, but over-all, it’s impressive, don’t you think?


Ah. She has arrived and is quite animatedly talking with Sigyn.


(I am recording the interviews so that I don’t forget anything.)


Sigyn: Hello, Roberta, and welcome!

Roberta: I hate “Roberta.” Too girly. Call me Bob, please.

Sigyn: Um. Okay. Well, thank you for coming.

Bob: Nice place you have here, though it’s a bit smaller than what I’m used to, of course

Sigyn: Rutgers, right? Loki has some questions about that—

Bob: Who’s Loki?

Sigyn: He’s actually the one who’s looking for colleagues—

Bob: The guy with the horns over there? You mean you’re not the head of this operation?

Sigyn: No–

Bob: Too bad. I work best with women. So, Lokes, What can I do for you?

Loki: Good morning. I’m particularly interested in your chemistry work. I do occasionally have need of someone capable of handling dangerous toxins. When do you think your Ph.D. will be complete?

Bob: Yeah. About that…

Loki: Oh?

Bob: The doctorate is on hold. My um… major professor has had to step away.

Loki: Because?

Bob: Because he, uh, disappeared. No one has seen him since before Christmas.

Sigyn: Oh, no!

Bob: Yeah, it’s all very mysterious. He was very brilliant. Really good with poisons and such. I learned so much from him. But a real jerk. He was always calling me “Honey” and “Babe” and trying to pinch me. Used to make me furious.

Loki: I … see. So, um, what’s in the Erlenmeyer flasks?


Bob: I brought samples of my work. This yellow one is a hemotoxin approximately fifty times more potent than rattlesnake venom. It’ll rot you from the inside out, slowly. No cure. And it’s untasteable in lemonade.

Loki: Impressive. What’s in the blue one?


Bob: Looks like window cleaner, doesn’t it? It’ll clean windows all right, but spray it on and after an hour it out-gasses a substance that will knock out anyone within a forty-foot radius.

Loki: Most impressive. Tell me, Bob, what do you think you can offer my organization?

Bob: Well, I enjoy a challenge, and solving problems with chemistry. If anything–or anyone–is bugging you, I can make it– or them– go away.

Loki: Sounds good. Do you have any questions for me?

Bob: Yeah. Would I be reporting to you directly, or working with Sigyn here? She seems pretty smart. You should let her run things.

Loki: I am in charge.

Bob: Pity.

Loki: Well, it’s been a ‘pleasure’ to meet you. I’ll be making some decisions very soon and I will let you know. Thanks for coming in.

Bob: Thanks for the interview. See you, Sigyn. We should do lunch sometime.

Sigyn: Um.


Aaaand she’s gone. Hmm. That was… interesting. She thinks I didn’t see that colossal eye-roll as she was leaving or hear her muttering something that sounded remarkably like “stupid horns…overcompensating…” Not since I tangled with the Black Widow have I felt so protective of my manhood. Sorry, Roberta, I don’t think you’ll be getting the job.

>|: [

Help Wanted, Part I: The Advertisement

I have come to the conclusion that even all-powerful Norse Gods can use a little help from time to time. Sigyn is a great comfort to me, of course, but she is too sweet to involve in my bloodier designs, and she doesn’t lie well enough to be useful in campaigns of subterfuge and deception. (Truly, I wouldn’t change her if I could. She is the one unsullied bright point in my life.)

I have begun the process, therefore, of recruiting some dastardly and able associates. I’ve drafted a position announcement. Sigyn suggested a few changes, pointing out, correctly, that “henchmen” is a somewhat out-of-date designation. Here is the copy I will send to the internet, paper, and trade journals (Oh, yes. Villains have their very own magazines! Did you doubt it? We’re a very well-informed and organized bunch.)


What do you think?

>|: [

Mathematical Shenanigans

Poor, silly female human.


You brought the balance forward from the previous month. You noted the ending balance on the statement. You added any deposits not shown on the statement. You added up the checks and withdrawals not shown on the statement. (The things you spent money on! Unbelievable. And you call yourself an adult?) You subtracted this subtotal from the previous figure…

And you’re off by $174.21.

You checked your math. All of it. You checked the bank’s math. You re-checked off all the posted transactions, using a different color of ink. You even copied the spoiled ledger over and tried it all again. Ehehehehehe. Still off! And by a different amount! Now what are you going to do?

Well, I suppose crying and eating carbs is one option.

>|: [

[tags Loki helps around the house, have you tried throwing the calculator, Loki, Lego Loki)

Remember when…

So, do you remember back when I did a thing and the human female’s order for one case of five apothecary bottles mysteriously turned into an order for five cases of ten?

She called and straightened all that out, and five bottles were supposed to arrive last October.

They showed up at the tail end of December. All forty of them. Yes, indeed, four cases of ten! The human female called the account representative with the vendor and straightened it out again. She has been waiting for a particular bit of paper that will let her ship the unwanted ones back at no charge.

Meanwhile, ANOTHER case of ten has shown up! Ehehehehehe! This is what fifty one-liter apothecary bottles looks like:


Except, you know, that they don’t all fit in the photo and there are TWO MORE CASES ON THE FLOOR!

Ehehehehehehe! The human female is NOT happy! The departmental accounts payable people are not happy because the vendor keeps demanding the payment for all of these. The University’s accounts payable personnel are not happy because they would really like to close the books on Fiscal Year 2014. The vendor is unhappy because they have not been paid and they are about to eat a whopping return-shipping bill. The vendor’s account representative is not happy because the human female (who I am certain was a yappy sort of terrier in a former life) pesters her daily to FIX this. The tech staffers in whose office the multitude of bottles reside are not happy because this small mountain of glassware is going nowhere fast.

I, on the other hand, am tickled pink.

>|: [

We’ve made our mark on campus!

Well, actually, we found that some accommodating soul had already made our marks–but we have claimed them!

Sigyn found this crisp and curvaceous "S." She is very pleased with herself.


I found an angry, gouged-in "L." I wish I’d been around to make it myself. Marring freshly-poured concrete is fun. Remind me to recount the story of the little message I left among the paving stones of the terrace outside Thor’s room back on Asgard…


>|: [

Lest Anyone Think…

…that all my time and all my mental processes have been directed toward seizing the governorship of Texas, let me assure them that I have not slackened my efforts to make the human female’s life as miserable as possible. In the last two or three weeks, I have arranged it so that:

–One of the automobiles (the old one) needed new spark plugs, struts, rear wiper, oil pan gasket, motor mounts, and an assortment of other very pricey bits and pieces.

–This same vehicle left a large and rainbowy oil slick in the driveway, necessitating a tow back to the dealership to tighten some widgets and review all the work.

–The other vehicle (the nearly brand-new one) required its first oil change and tire rotation.

–The washing machine (which I have become skilled at unbalancing) piddled on the garage floor and refused to cease filling or to drain. The humans had to bail out the machine, wring out all the sopping laundry, and beg the use of a friend’s machine. I saw to it that the washer needed not one but two expensive and lengthy repairman visits and the installation of several fiddly little parts. The human female missed an entire day of work, a day which saw several crises in the office that she was not there to handle, much to the annoyance of her boss and consternation of her coworkers.

–Just when the human female has time for some stitchery, she developed what the physician has diagnosed as “tennis elbow,” which is patently absurd, since she is nowise coordinated enough to play tennis. (Or any other sport requiring interaction with moving objects.) No needlework for her for quite awhile.

–On a recent trip to visit friends, the human female forgot to pack any socks at all, and somehow arrived without just part of one shoe.

–The automobile, washer repairman, automobile registration, and physician bills have all arrived at about the same time that the property taxes are due. (The timing of mischief is everything.)

–The shower has begun to drip, and I can guarantee that getting those old knobs off is going to involve swearing and at least two trips to the hardware store.

–Several light bulbs in the house have blown, and another one of them–and this is a piece of work of which I am justly proud!–is going on and off randomly. Thrice I’ve had it go out just as the human female is two paragraphs from finishing a chapter of the book she is reading.

–On the first day of the spring semester (was it only yesterday?), a partial power outage produced locked doors, darkened stairwells, and non-existent internet just as the instructors and students were attempting to meet the 8:00 a.m. classes.

Et cetera. Clearly I have not lost my touch.

Other misfortunes have occurred at work, such as one instructor’s hiring paperwork not clearing approval, so that substitutes have had to be found. The lost and found is already filling up. Other instructors have fallen sick just before or even during class. But I cannot take credit for these events. Do not attribute to my mischief what is easily explained by bureaucracy, absentmindedness, or the inevitable tendency for staff and students to go home over the yule holidays and return to campus harboring microbes of every description.

Am I having fun? Most assuredly! Am I out of ideas? Eheheheheheheh. Oh, no. Not even remotely. No photos–simply imagine the human female pulling her (rapidly graying) hair out.

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