Month: August 2018

This Is Why I Hate Her

The humans have been married for mumbledy-something years.  (Doesn’t matter.  Humans are like mayflies compared to the Jotnar and Aesir, so keeping count is laughable.)  For their wedding, all those years ago, they received a set of nice, dark green kitchen canisters.  If you ask me, they’re the nicest things in the whole house.

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Imagine, then, my dismay when the human female, with her usual ape-ish butter-handedness, dropped a heavy mug out of the cabinet right onto the sugar canister, which was my favorite.

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I’m so mad I can’t see straight.  I didn’t even have the fun of watching her die slowly and agonizingly of intestinal perforations, because she found all the micro-slivers of ceramic in the sugar and threw the whole sticky mess out.

They don’t make them anymore.  Now, unless the human male gets lucky on ebay or something, I’m going to have to look at a set of mismatched kitchenware, and it will annoy the daylights out of me.   Believe me, she deserves everything she suffers at my hands, and more.

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Does Anyone Know a Good Oneirologist? (Sigyn Speaks)

Sometimes it’s not hard to figure out where my dreams come from.  Dream about herding cats, and most likely I’m afraid of parts of my life being out of my control.  (Hello?  Maybe-married to the God of Mischief!)  Dream about all my teeth falling out and maybe I’m worrying about losing my youthful good looks.  But sometimes I really wonder what’s going on in my noggin.

Take last night.  I dreamed I was walking along and I saw Thor riding up on some sort of weird go-cart/cylcle thing.

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That wasn’t unusual.  Thor often comes to visit.  Loki frequently hides when he does, but nothing strange about it.

But this time Thor has the weirdest expression on his face…

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Before I can ask him about his vehicle or why he’s grinning like a maniac, here comes Loki, on a little go-cart thingy of his own.

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Well, it’s Loki, but not Loki, if you know what I mean.

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And he looks a little possessed too.  And he had this glowy blue crystal thingy instead of Gungnir.

So there’s the two of them, both somehow shorter than me and grinning like fiends, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or run…

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Except it was one of those dreams where you can’t run.  All I could do was watch them circling one another, like they’d driven up just to have some epic battle in front of me.

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But before it comes to actual blows, they just give one another a look…

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…and then zoom off again, each driving the other’s car.

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No goodbye.  No “see you later.”  No “want a ride on my cool new lightning-mobile?”

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While I’m trying to figure it all out, suddenly the scene changes, and somehow Loki and I are part of the circus and we’re practicing our trick riding…

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…and then I woke up.

What on earth do you suppose it all means?

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Behold, the Muffnut!

The human female doesn’t really need feeding, but the human male has brought her a little something that was on offer in his workgroup.

Look, Sigyn!  It’s a blueberry donut!

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Odin’s Eyepatch!  This is a most peculiar donut!  The flip-side of it looks like a muffin!

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What is it?  Donut or muffin?  Monut?  Doffin?  Duffin?  Muffnut?  This confounding baked good is neither one nor the other and is vexatious in the extreme.

Sigyn, however, finds it delightful.

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Sigh.  Stuck again, but this time, I don’t think she wants to be rescued.

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Safety First! (Time Well Spent)

Part of the human female’s job is Safety.  

Yes, that word is Capitalized—at least around here.  It is her job to make sure the fire codes are followed, hazardous waste is tagged and disposed of properly, broken glassware is put into a special container, sharps ditto, the hallways are kept clear, and the Prep Staff are primed and ready to deal with any emergency, from breakfast-shunning fainters to students making bad choices regarding forceps and electrical outlets.

One piece of equipment the workgroup has but hopes never to need to use is the AED.  I forget what that stands for.  Angst-inducing Electrical Doo-dad?

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It hangs on the wall in the hallway.  The human female is supposed to check every day that the pretty little status light is green.  Once per month, she’s supposed to make sure all of its various bits and contrivances are in good working order.  Sometimes I do this for her.

This red light will light up if the thing is actually being used to zap someone.

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As with so many things, it would look better if it were green.  All it would take is one little spell…

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Inside the box, there’s a hangy key.

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If one is just checking the device and doesn’t wish to alarm everyone in a hundred-foot radius, one puts the key in the lock on the outside of the box and turns it.

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Sometimes I “forget” this step.  The alarm is gratifyingly ear-piercing.

Next, I have to take the box out.  See?  Here’s that green light I was speaking of.   Hello, my lovely.

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Do you see the white “bloom” on the housing, next to the locator label?  When the unit was installed, it was all right, but I changed this bit into that weird plastic that gets sticky and greasy with age.  Whenever the human female has to handle it, she always tries to avoid touching that part.  If she misses, she makes faces like she’s been tasked with touching baboon butts.  (Makes her look worse than usual.  Someone with a face like hers shouldn’t be so judge-y about baboon butts, if you know what I mean.)

But I digress.  The next step is to open the box and then push the yellow arrow button to open the shocky-part.

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REMAIN CALM!!  MAKE SURE 911 IS CALLED NOW!!

Or, at least, that’s what it’s supposed to say.  When she does the checking, the human female usually puts her hands over the speaker so that what comes out is more like

REMAIN CALM!!  MAKE SURE 911 IS CALLED NOW!!

When I do the checking, I usually wait until the hallway is full of students studying for a quiz and then let it rip at full volume (and then some.)  All those exclamation points tend to have an effect on people that is just the opposite of calm.  I never get tired of seeing the more tightly-wound kiddos jump and startle.

After the shouty bit is over with, it’s a matter of simply initialing the check chart and reversing the steps to put the AED (Angry Exclaiming Device?) back into its locker.  I’ve left a little spell, and about half the time, the human female pinches herself on the snaps that hold the inner case shut.

The whole process takes under four minutes.   But since I can spend two and a half of those annoying the female whether she does it or I do it, it’s four minutes well spent.

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Prunus tripla, Part II: The Early Bird

Imagine my outrage when I discovered that my oafish “brother” and his pals had seized upon my triple cherry and had their way with it while Sigyn and I were searching for a third for cherry-pulling fun.  That is such a Thor thing to do!  Waltz in at the last minute, toss a little lightning around, and spoil everyone’s fun.

Well, the joke is on him.  The human female is working in the herbarium, and she has brought cherries for lunch— and he’s not getting any!

Great Frigga’s Hairpins!  Here is ANOTHER triple cherry!

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No, Fisi. The rule against hyena spit is still in force.

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Sigyn, let’s go find someone to pull it with us.  Fisi, you stand guard, and if Thor and his pals show up, feel free to bite them in the kneecaps.

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Grr.  Sigyn and I couldn’t find anyone to play with us.  As a last resort, I have summoned a magical clone.  He and I and Sigyn will make short work of this drupaceous triplet, and–

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Nope, no idea.

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Prunus tripla

It is still cherry season.  The human male did the grocery marketing and came home with a bag of the biggest, blackest cherries I have ever seen.

How big are they?

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They’re a little less than one Benno in height, about two Bennos around, and about three Bennos in weight.

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He’s terrified of them.

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Run, Benno, run!

There are a lot of twin cherries in the double handful the human female brought for lunch.

Idunn’s Pomes and Ponytails!  It’s a triple cherry!  I have never seen the like!

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How does one pull a triple cherry?  I guess we need someone else to participate.  No, Fisi, I’m not letting you do it. I don’t want hyena spit on my fruit!

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Let’s go see if we can find someone else to play with us…

(meanwhile)

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It Wasn’t Me. No, Really, It Wasn’t

Yes, Sigyn finds them “adorable.”

Yes, I’ve been known to contemplate “borrowing” animals from the zoo.

Yes, it’s exactly the sort of thing I would do.

But I didn’t.  I swear.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-45260978

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Something for Everyone

The other way I know that summer is drawing to a close is that, at the human female’s workplace, it is Teaching Assistant Workshop time.  All of the new graduate students who will be entrusted with broadening the minds of undergraduates are shaped, formed, taught, armed with tools and resources, and herded from one discussion or mock-teaching event to another.

And fed.  The graduate students must be fed. 

This year, the human female was tasked with purchasing the comestibles and drinkables for the ten-day event.  Sixty participants, six snack breaks. Three hundred sixty snack servings, three hundred and sixty drinks.  Rev up the SUV, drop the seats, grab the departmental charge card and off we go!

I love helping spend other people’s money.  And if Sigyn and I help choose, it  means we will like whatever we can snitch  whatever’s left over.

The human female was asked to provide healthier snacks than last year’s offerings, which leaned quite a bit toward the candy and cookie side of things.  So half the drinks are water.  I guess I can live with that.

By Idunn’s Golden Orchard, though!  Does she really think these young people are going to eat fruit?!

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Sorry, old woman.  No one wants your raisins.

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This!  This is better!  More of this!

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Now we’re talking.  Two thumbs waaaay up from Sigyn!

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Ah!  Chips!  There must be chips!

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Sigyn says it doesn’t matter about anything else as long as she can have orange fingers.

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We’re back and have unloaded.  The snacks are all being stored in one room.  The human female conceived the notion that this sign will stop pilferage.

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That’s cute.

(munch, munch, munch)

Just for fun, I haven’t told her about the two snack sessions that don’t show on the schedule and which she didn’t plan for.  Either she’s got to make things stretch, or she’ll have to make another run.  Oh, and I made sure to tump the apples over on the ride back to campus.  Those bruised beauties are going to be even less a-peel-ing than the raisins.

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Time For Dead Things Again Already?

I hadn’t realized the summer was nearly over, but Odin’s eyepatch!  It’s time for the Dead Cat Ballet again already!  The human female put in her usual multi-page, multi-ton, multi-thousand dollar order with the Purveyor of Dead Things back in May, and today’s the day they’re set to arrive!

She put in a work order with Slow, Silent, and Costly to have the post taken out of the double doors downstairs, so there will be room to get a pallet jack through.  It was supposed to have been done by 8:00 a.m., since the dead things are coming at 9:00.

Could I let things proceed as scripted?  No, I could not!

It’s 8:40. The human female is just coming onto campus and her techs have just this moment sent a text.  Great Frigga’s Corset!  The post is not out of the door, and is that…?  Yes it is!  The delivery truck is here!

Now she’s human female is on the phone to SSC, asking them not so nicely why the post is still in the doorway.  Ehehehee!   They DID take the post out of the doorway at 7:00, but I brought this gross breach of security to the remodeling crew on the first floor, who very helpfully put it back in.  SSC is on their way to remove it again.

Very well.  It’s out again.  But the techs are saying the borrowed pallet jack, which has to be in the basement to receive the goods from the elevator (because, you will recall, a loaded pallet jack will not fit the elevator, so the goods have to go down by themselves) will not fit in the elevator.  The human female has told them that, yes, it will fit, but they will have to be… creative.

At last!  The post is out, the spare pallet jack is in the basement, and help has arrived for the unloading.  The first pallet is on its way into the elevator and…

…it’s too wide!  It won’t go through the elevator doors!  This is priceless!  The delivery men have lowered the pallet and are picking it up again from the narrower side.  Oooh–the suspense is killing me!  Ah!   Now it just fits in the elevator.  Good show!

Snort! The human female has just realized that once the loaded pallet is in the elevator, there isn’t room to lean in and push the button for the basement.  She should have thought of that before.  She’s texting the basement crew to call the elevator.

(later)

I must admit, that was impressive.  The human female and her crew moved 4,240 pounds (or about 31 human-female-units) from tailgate to store room in 30 minutes.  It would be more impressive if they’d managed to get all the boxes on the shelves.  However, the Purveyor of Dead Things sent twenty or thirty unlabeled boxes, and no one knows if they’re hearts or frogs or kidneys or fish or eyeballs or what.  They’ve all got to be opened.

Some of them are suspiciously light.  The suspense is killing us all!

Ehehehehee!  This is beautiful!  I told the packing crew at PODT to let their imagination run wild with the packing, and they’ve outdone themselves this year.  Each of the mystery boxes is stuffed with yards and yards and yards of crumpled paper.  It’s like Yule! Anything could be in here! One box is less than half full of earthworms.  Another is less than half full of sheep eyes.  This one has–count them!—four measly clams.  This one has three little gray fish.  This one has just one pig heart.

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Another has only the packing slip and several copies of the “our preserving fluid is so safe you could almost drink it” card.

My favorite, though, is the long, skinny box that looks as if it might contain a poster.  The human female does not remember ordering a poster, but there it is.  The contents?  Three small jars of PTC test paper strips.  This is brilliant.

(later)

Well, all the boxes have been sorted and put on the shelves.  Now the techs have to count it all.  Given how the PODT has shorted us on at least one line item every year, it’s a safe bet that something will be off.

There’s a multi-page packing slip to corroborate, along with a copy of the original purchase order, because sometimes the PODT doesn’t send what was ordered, and sometimes what’s on the packing slip doesn’t agree with what was received.

Each box needs to be opened–because who knows what’s in them.

Crayfish?  Check.

Grasshoppers?  Check.

Fetal piggies?  Check.

Tiny, bony fishies?

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Dead cats?

Dead cats?

Stiff kitties?

(crickets chirping.)

We do not have dead cats today.  It would not be the Dead Cat Ballet unless there were a problem with the defunct felines.  The dire national Dead Cat Conundrum is still very much a “thing.”  The stiff kitties are, alas, on indefinite back order.  Also missing from the order are the sheep plucks.  A pluck is a nasty thing–trachea and lungs–and the human female is just as glad they didn’t show up.

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Thor’s bitty ballpeen! That is a lot of kidneys.  And a even lotter of hearts, because they sent us one extra.

And it had its own box.

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Uh oh.  Looks like there’s a discrepancy with the J2 (double injected) sharks.  We could almost call this yearly onslaught of formalinic fun the Dead Shark Tango, because it seems there is always a problem with the sharks as well.  And since the fancy, double-injected sharks are for the upper-level Chordate Anatomy classes taught by the Big Boss, a discrepancy is a Big Deal.  The human female ordered 14 males and 5 females.  What was in the boxes?  15 females and 5 males.  The PODT didn’t have what she wanted, so they sent what they had.

Thanks to my meddling, she’ll now have to spend a lot of time on the phone with the PODT.  She’ll probably find it easier (if more expensive) to just order 9 male sharks on a separate PO, one marked “NO SUBSTITUTIONS!!!” IN ABOUT SIX PLACES.

Now do something about that mess!

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It looks like Hurricane Mittens came through.

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