Month: December 2016

What I Did On My Yule Vacation, by Loki, God of…FIRE!

It is finally happening! The stars have aligned!  Calendars have been beaten into submission, the weather has cooperated, and snotty colds have been banished–or at least ignored.  And we are GOING TO GET TO PLAY WITH FIRE!!!! 

I am the god of fire! What are we waiting for?!  Come on, mortal!  Get up off your meaty haunches and get your gear in the car.  We have an outcrop to burn!

The human female and her plant-nerd compatriots have been talking about burning the outcrop for several years now. They haven’t done it because conditions and timing have to be just right–or so they say.  Personally, I think they are just lazy.  But today they are actually going to DO it.  It is a cool day, not too windy, and it has been a bit damp over the last week or so.  It should be fairly simple to keep the flames confined to the bit of rocky prairie they want to clear.

The human female is lecturing me.  Don’t back the wind around.  Don’t let the threatening rain fall until AFTER the burn.  Don’t chase the humans with flaming branches.  Don’t blow sparks onto adjoining property. Don’t encourage a canopy fire.  Do keep an eye on Sigyn.  Do remember that the house at the top of the outcrop, as well as all associated structures, is off limits.  Nag, nag, nag.  Shut UP, woman.  I get it.  Look–Sigyn is here.  Do you really think I am going to take any chances?

The first thing to do is to establish the firebreak boundaries.  The road at the bottom of the outcrop will serve well as one edge.  We are now lighting a string of little fires along the top edge of the outcrop, between it and the house’s lawn.

firebreak

Oh ho!  Last season’s dry grasses burn quite nicely, and past-prime yucca leaves go up in moments.

fireline.jpg

The two experienced fire-setters are handling things on the face of the outcrop.  The human female, Sigyn, and I are to remain up top, to make sure the fire does not advance across the lawn or stray to far to the side.

Cough, cough!  It is very smoky up here now!

smoke.jpg

Rather like the time Thor and I accidentally set the stables on fire when we were lads, only with more juniper and less horse manure.  The black thing in the image above is a heavy, rubbery, flappy thing on a pole that can be used to swat and smother any little tongues that try to stray.

Ehehehehe!  Here comes the fire department.  Someone was supposed to tell them we were doing this today.  Wouldn’t it be funny if the human female got arrested for ARSON?    Aw, shucks.  They’re leaving, because the mortals apparently DO have it under control.

fire

To be honest, they’re having to work to keep it all alight, dragging flames to individual bunches of grass.  Still, the popping, snapping, roaring noise is tremendous, and it smells like all the campfires of my life, rolled into one.

I had some notion of breaking out the marshmallows and making s’mores, but Sigyn thinks we are far too close already and is beating a strategic retreat.

running away.jpg

(A bit later.) The flames are gone now, more’s the pity.  The fun part is over.  Now the grunt-work begins, as the mortals plan to spend several hours cutting, clearing, and stacking weedy woody brush and small saplings.  There certainly is a lot of yaupon holly on this rock!  It’s quite a job, to weasel one’s way into the juniper thickets, find and cut the little trunks, and then haul all the waste over tricky terrain to the top of the outcrop where it will sit until it’s hauled away.

By my little horny helmet, what a lot of work!  I’m exhausted just sitting here on top of the pile and watching.

brushpile

I could, of course, snap my talented fingers and have it done in a trice, but physical labor is so improving to the human character.  Tomorrow, the female will be stiff and sore, with a smoke-stuffed head and a load of laundry that reeks of ash.

Tonight she will lie in bed and wonder if they really did find and extinguish all the slow-smoldering embers…

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Our Annual Christmas Treat, Part II: Weighty Matters

Sigyn adores glass paperweights. It’s one of the first things I learned about her.

It always makes me happy to see her so happy to look at a bunch of them.

paperweights1

She has a special fondness for the floral ones.

paperweights2

That blue one seems to have really caught her eye.

paperweights3

The one with the tiny orchid is also pretty.

paperweights4

Someone should take her sweet face and immortalize it.

Happy Yule, dearest!

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Our Annual Christmas Treat, Part I: Fancy Do-dads

You may have been wondering what my gift to Sigyn was.  As has become our custom, we plan to gift one another with an experience rather than a physical token.  We are once again taking in the glass exhibits at one of the galleries on campus.

It’s nearly 80F today, and the winter plantings around the Memorial Student Center building are at their finest.

flowers on the way.jpg

Ah, here we are.  What’s on exhibit today?

The first room has a great number of these pink…things.  I think they might be lamp parts, but I’m not sure.

weird-pink-thing

This is more recognizable. A cameo glass lamp.

brownlamp

But brown isn’t really my color.

greenlamp

Green.  Green is always better.

What have you got over there, Sigyn?

urndisplay

Here an urn, there an urn.  Everywhere an urn, urn!  These generally tend to run toward half-naked ladies, flying people (mostly babies), and flowing drapery.

closeup-chariot

Take, for example this brown one.  Half-naked people?  Check.  Flowing draperies?  Check.

This one has the flowing draperies, but not so much nudity.

redurn

The dog’s a nice touch, though.

Ah! THIS ONE, now.  This one ticks all the boxes.

cameourn1

Let’s examine it a bit more closely.  VERY naked people, lots of flowing drapery, and the gal’s got wings, so I guess flying is going to happen soon.

cameourn2

Sigyn?  What?  What’s so funny–why are you laughing?  Laughing and pointing?

What?

dont-touch

Some days I just don’t understand her…

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More Stocking “Fun”

stocking18.jpg

Munch, munch, munch.  There’s nothing like a good doughnut for breakfast.  And certainly, since I saw to it that the dough never did rise properly, this doughnut is a better bet than the human female’s most recent batch of bacon rolls bricks.  So I ruined Christmas morning breakfast, so what?  She had it coming.

What’s this?

stocking19

It’s another stocking.  The human female says this is for me. Apparently all the cute animals–and the trucks!–that Sigyn and I played with yesterday were just for Sigyn.

stocking20

O000kay.  Let’s see what’s in here…

stocking21

By Vostagg’s sixth and seventh sweet teeth!  What is this rubbish?

stocking22

This is my Yule “gift”?   Low, blow, mortal, even for you.

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I did have plans to let up a little in the New Year, but that flappy sound you hear now is pigeons coming home to roost.

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That Stocking Post With A Ton of Pictures

What an orgy of unwrapping yesterday morning was!  Ribbons and paper and tags everywhereThe human male received some shirts, a book, some games, a bottle of fountain pen ink (green–must remember to appropriate that), and some ginger candy.  The human female received a necklace, some of the pens she likes, some books, a box of chocolate candy (which she can’t eat–oh, darn, more for me), and the human male’s nasty cold.  The rest of the day was spent puttering, reading, and sleeping.  Between the greedy frenzy and the laziness, the humans forgot to mention that Sigyn and I had a stocking of our own.

Today, they FINALLY remembered to tell us!  And now that it is quiet (more sleeping), Sign and I are going to open it.  I hope it is not socks.  I have enough socks.

Here we go, Sigyn!  Are you ready?

stocking1

Fisi, NO!  Get out of there!

stocking2

Bad hyena!  Drop it!  Wait–I see numbers in the corner.   Maybe it’s cash!

stocking3

Oh. It’s just an envelope.  Here, Sigyn.  I shall open it with my dagger.

stocking4

Well, look at that!  I was not expecting a small, rubbery human-relative.

stocking5

There’s another envelope–are we getting a barrel of monkeys one by one?

stocking6

Ponies!  Oh, Sigyn is going to love those.  She’s more than a bit horse-crazy.

stocking7

I opened a third envelope, only to discover two tiny gray creatures.

stocking8

We are now surrounded by odd-toed ungulates.

Sigyn–do you see something else in there?

stocking9

A rubbery neon dinosaur!  We can add it to our growing herd.

stocking10

Odin’s eyepatch–there’s another one!

stocking11

And two more, as well as some trucks for me!

stocking12

Vroom, vroom!  Beep, beep!  Crash!  Augh!

stocking13

Fisi! What has that fleabitten menace got now?  Drop it!  Drop the bunny, Fisi!

stocking14

Bad hyena!  Got get in your crate!  Crate, Fisi!  Don’t worry, Sigyn, the bunny is unharmed.

stocking15

Though you may want to keep an eye on that fox…  I can practically see the thought-bubble that says, “Yule dinner” hovering over its head as it gazes at that rabbit…

Sigyn is quite happy, playing with all the new members of her menagerie.

stocking16

Me, I’m off to see if a) the humans have gobbled up all the cookies already,

stocking17

b)  the human female’s mother sent cash again this year…

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Last Minute Insanity

Because the human female has a brain like a leaky flea-size sieve, she is always forgetting things.  Sometimes I bring something up and say, “But you must remember! I told you that yesterday,” when I actually never did, just to make her think the problem’s worse than it really is.

But because she forgot to put certain things on her shopping list, and because the human male is under the weather and it would be good to have soup on hand, she is venturing out to the market, mere minutes before Yule, in what has to be the most ill-advised undertaking since Thor, copying his girlfriend Jane,  tried the Midgardian trick of “conditioning” his hair with mayonnaise, forgetting that Volstagg is quite fond of the glop.  Sif, Fandral, and I had bets going as to whether Thor could outrun Volstagg, whether Volstagg would actually lick Thor’s head if he caught him, and whether Thor would remember that you’re meant to wash the goop out…  But I digress.

Here we go. Sigyn, are you buckled up securely?  Aieeee!  The parking lot is a lot like the Midgardian fun-park amusement called “bumper cars.”  We were lucky to make into the market with our hides intact!

Folks are shoving their carts madly about, eyes glazed, muttering under their breath.  The shelves have been picked clean of the staples, and increasingly desperate shoppers are now snatching at whatever is left.

Because this is Texas, this is actually a holiday item.

heb-christmas1

Ehehehe!  No white Christmas for the humans!  Nope, cloudy, warm, and humid,  with a chance of mosquitoes.

But it’s good to know that three-legged salsa bowls are obtainable in the appropriate, festive colors.

heb-christmas2

What do you have there, my sweet?

heb-christmas3

Hmmm.  It is displayed with holiday baking supplies and candy, but there are no ingredients listed.  Is it even edible?  Is it toxic?  Is it gluten free?  No one knows!  Looks to me like colored pencil shavings.  Or perhaps someone has simply vacuumed up the crumbs from under the human female’s sofa.  I bet that’s it.

Well, we now have our purchases and can go home to wrap, bake, decorate, and listen to the human male cough. Yippee.

In closing, I’d like to point out that the mortals are all wrong about those flying reindeer.  The truth is closer to this.

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Deck The Fa-la-Jingle Holly

Mortals, the sillies, believe that there are only seven deadly sins.  Oh, I can think of waaaay more than that.  Still, if I had to limit myself when outlining the human female’s pecadillos, I would have to go with sloth, every time.

She is very late in decorating for Yule this year, but today she’s actually going to do it.  She has dragged the monstrous tubs o’cheer down from the attic.

tub

This is just one of them. That woman can cram more tat on a defunct evergreen than anyone I know.

First, the lights.

lights

Tsk, tsk!  Tangles!  I don’t know, Sigyn, this looks pretty hopeless–and I haven’t even started to “help” yet.

Well, rats.  Those are the old lights.  Apparently, there are new lights. Brighter, energy-efficient, and considerably less Gordian.  Sigyn likes the red ones, of course.

redlight

But I think the green ones cast more dramatic shadows.

greenlight

DUN dun dunnn!

So, the colored ones are up all right.  Let me see what I can do with the white ones, though.  Hmm.  If I smash just one… a whole bunch of them won’t light.  Eh he he he!  Rather than one of the paired strands not lighting, how about just the first three feet going dark?  let’s see how long it takes her to figure it out.

Still waiting.

Waaiting.  She’s found the defective bulb but can’t seem to get it out of the socket.

Waaaiting.  She’s pried the bulb out of the socket and is struggling to get a replacement in.

Waaaaiting.   Having finally consulted the directions about “What to do if you can’t get a replacement bulb in,” she is struggling to do as they say and dismantle the dead bulb and the good bulb and thread the little metal wires from the top of the good bulb into the old base and try THAT in the socket.  That might just work!

Or it would have, if I hadn’t smashed the old one so completely that there’s nothing to grab onto to commence the dismantling.

And there we are!  The light (so to speak) has dawned at last, and she has at last figured out that it’s a twinkle bulb that’s out and not a steady one, and that even though the twinkle bulbs are bigger, their bases are just a bit smaller.  Problem solved!  Time saved over untangling and trouble-shooting the OLD lights?  None!  Ehehehehehe!

nekkidtree.jpg

Sleipnir’s fetlocks!  Those purple ones are really bright.  And I’ve tweaked a few things so that the new white ones, rather than fading slowly in and out like serene fireflies in a dusky forest, are flashing off and on like spastic pixies.

All this mischief has made me thirsty.  Sigyn, bring your new friends,

nutcracker

and let’s go get some eggnog.  We can come back later to see how the actual decorating goes…

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finished