Month: October 2019

The Big Reveal

Ugh.  I hate this particular part of the All Hallows festivities in particular.  Every year, it’s the same thing.  “Let’s dress up!” Sigyn says.  “It’ll be fun!” Sigyn says.  And it’s always the same.  She looks amazing and adorable in whatever she picks—and I just end up in something dorky.

And it usually itches.

So why do I do it?  Simple.  I do it to make this precious flower happy:

sigynflower1

Sigyn originally thought she wanted to be a ballerina this year, so she made herself a yellow tutu.  But when she put it on, she looked so much like a flower that she decided that’s what she is.

See?  Helenium:

Image result for helenium

Sigyn:

sigynflower2

It’s uncanny.

“Loki!  Come out and show everyone your costume!”

wheres loki

No!  I’m not coming out.  I look stupid.  And itchy.”

“Don’t be silly!  You look great!

“I don’t want to.”

im not coming out

“When you told me you’d found me a wizard costume, I thought it would be something awe-inspiring and slightly terrifying, not something that looks like glorified pajamas.”

this is stupid

“Don’t be so grumpy, Loki!  I think you look magnificent.”

no you look great

The things I do for love.

ill go but i wont like it

“Where are you going, Sigyn?”

“I’m off to get something to collect our candy in.  We used a pillowcase last year, but this year I have a better idea.”

better than pillow case

“See?”

sigyn has a barrow

>|: [

: )

The Earbone’s Connected to the Snoutbone

Sigyn and I have tagged along on one of the humans’ market runs.  Sigyn has heard that there is one supremely spooky aisle there right now.  Muffy mentioned it, and Sigyn wants to go see if it’s a scary as it’s reported to be.  Never fear, my love!  I shall be beside you!

Oh, this isn’t too bad!  It’s just a little frog.   What do you think, Sigyn?  Does he need to follow us home?  Look at the price tag. It’s not even like he’s expensive!  We could buy him and put him somewhere for the human female to find.

Sigyn says there’s something “off” about him, though…  What do you mean?  I see a skull and leg bones and toe bones and ribs, and—-  Oh.

frog skeleton

I see what you mean.  There IS something creepy going on here.   Let’s not bring this critter home.

What about the pig?  He seems pretty tame, Sigyn.  But let’s see–how scientifically accurate is he?

pig skeleton

Good grief!  Ear bones and snout bones?  Clearly, someone slept through Biology class!

Oh, now they’re not even trying.

unicorn skeleton

A spider skeleton?!  Enough!  I can’t look!

spider skeleton

None of these are scary at all; they’re just pathetic!  No, Sigyn, not even if you pretend it’s trying to eat you.

scorpion skeleton

This is all so grossly inaccurate that I have trouble taking any of it seriously.

Nope, still not scary.  Yes, it has big teeth, but it also has ears, so it’s just ridiculous.

wolf skeleton

Besides, I can hear you giggling.

No.  Not a bit of this display is frightening.  The fact that somewhere, there are sad individuals sitting in factories making these abominations, now THAT is scary.  And that people are spending good money on them—that is going to keep me up at night.  I plan to take over this realm, and it terrifies me to think that so many of my subjects are so stupid!  I can see that I will have some serious culling to do once I ascend the throne.

Oh, this all gets me so riled up!  Come on, Sigyn, let’s go over one aisle and soothe ourselves by reminding ourselves about the true meaning of this upcoming holiday.

sigyn candyloki candy

>|: [

Strange Fruit

We had a nice cold front come through last night, so now it really does feel like fall.  All commercial over-hype aside, I will admit to being a *little* ready for All Hallows.  It’s always fun to see if the human female is going to dress up and try to be uglier than she already is.  I mean, there’s only so much makeup can do!  And if she chooses a costume that hides her physiognomy, so much the better.

Yes, I feel I can welcome the festivities with equanimity.  See, it’s another pumpkin and I don’t even feel stabby, and–

wool-pumpkin1

Sleipnir’s Fetlocks!  What in all the Nine Realms is that!?

wool-pumpikin2

It’s too small to be the human female trying on her costume!  But did you ever see such an unlovely face?!

Don’t worry Sigyn–I’m ready and the instant it does more than stare, I will blast it into pie filling!

wool-pumpkin3

Faugh!  Foul Fiend of the Field.   Begone!  Return to your accursed pumpkin patch or I will carve you an even uglier face!

wool-pumpkin4

Um.  Or I guess you and Sigyn could make friends.

wool-pumpkin5

That…  That works too.

I end up with more weird acquaintances this way…

>|: [

Odin’s Eyepatch! Is It That Time Again Already?!

Time flies when you’re making mischief and causing havoc.  It seems as if it were only yesterday that Sigyn and I were dressing up and shaking down the local populace for confectionery in a socially accepted manner.

There’s a tremendous amount of build-up to this Midgardian holiday.  Each year, the decorations seem to pop up earlier and earlier, like creepy, black and orange toadstools after a rain. Case in point:  Sigyn and I are at the local Red Bullseye Market today and All Hallows seems to have vomited all over the place.  Just look at all of this pseudo-spooky tat!

Some of the offerings are simply autumnal.  Behold this smug vulpine smirk!

Target-fox

How can you tell it’s a fall decoration?  Easy.  His bow tie is gold.  If it were pink, it would be Valentine’s Day, and if it were Yule, it would be red and green.

I don’t trust him.

Sigyn has found a whole sackful of cucurbitaceous erasers.  What are you going to do with them all, my love?

Target-bag-o-pumpkins

I don’t suppose I could convince you to make a most rubbery pumpkin tart for the human female…?

Truly, the seasonal gourdage is getting out of hand.  Of the ones displayed, only the butternut squash Sigyn’s standing next to looks even remotely real.

Target-ceramic-pumpkins

The blue woolly ones look as if they’ve been sitting on the porch since last All Hallows.

This one is hollow and large enough that Sigyn can play, “Peter, Peter” with it.

Target-pumpkin-nom

Very well, my love, if you are picking out a little hidey-hole, I will do so also!

Target-witch-nom

It’s largely green, a color of which I approve, but it’s too determinedly cheerful to really suit me.  I’m also sure that if I stayed in here I’d have a nightmare that this grinning harridan would close her mouth and swallow.  No thank you!

Ah.  Here’s a little cabana Sigyn and I could share.  Sigyn says the inscription is meant to encourage small tots who traipse about suggesting that a handout of sweets will save the populace from mayhem.

Target-another-pumpkin-nom

Lest the message up there be misinterpreted, I’m keeping a sharp lookout, just in case any passing storks start getting ideas about potential progeny… I would not make a good parental figure.

These, now!  These would look right at home in the yard.  The human female has one just like this, only it’s forty feet tall and looms over the dining room.

Target-tree

The price is most reasonable.  Let us purchase a few, my dearest, and distribute them around the inside of the house, so that there is a harmonious continuity between inside and out and the human female feels bad-botanist’s remorse every time her eyes fall upon one!  Now that would be an enjoyable way to spend the holiday!

>|: [

Oh, No! I Didn’t Study For This Test!

One of the classes is studying vision and the way various vision defects are inherited.  They’ve left a book of color-blindness test plates on the lab desk.  Sigyn, let’s have a look.  I can already tell you that I have superior, godly vision.  Don’t feel bad if I get a better score than you.

What do you see in this one?

colorblind1

People with normal vision will see a seven.  People with defective vision may see a four.  I can see both.  What does that mean?

Ooh. This one is a little harder…  Sigyn isn’t quite sure what the pattern is, but I can see a square-ish green figure eight. 

colorblind2

Sigyn, do you really not see it?  Yes, that’s right.  On the right hand side there.  It’s got square corners, but it’s still an eight.  (She can see it; she just thinks round eights are prettier.)

Let’s let the human female try this one.  I can see it clearly, and so can Sigyn.  Hint–it’s a blue and purple thing.

colorblind3

It’s right there, mortal!  They’ve hidden your IQ in the dots!

How well would you do?

>|: [

Goofing Up The Goop

A am bored.  I think I shall look around and see what mischief I can get up to in the human female’s workplace.  I wonder what is going on in the prep rooms?

Oho!  It looks as if the Prep Staff is going to be pouring little plates of agar and punching holes in them for the students to use for practicing their pipetting skills, in preparation for learning how to load and run a gel. The dishes are here, waiting to be poured, and the agar is simmering on the hotplate.

practice plates 2

I’m in luck!  Some have already been poured but not yet punched.  Here, let me help with that!

Punch!  Punch!  Punch!  Punch!  Ehehehehehe!

practice plates 3

There!  All punched!  And no, my glorious boots aren’t sterile, either, so there!

practice plates 4

One down, seven hundred and ninety-nine to go!

>|: [

 

Nuptial Frivolities

The human male’s coworker and his sweetheart are being married today.  Sigyn, you remember them.  He is the one who makes that delicious dish with the shellfish, and she is the one who has paid tribute to my signature look with her hairstyle.

For reasons passing my understanding, I have not been invited to the church for the actual wedding. Sigyn has, though. The human female said that the bride and groom are worried that my glorious presence would upstage their ceremony, but she was making That Face when she said it, the one that means she might be serious or she might be having a snark at my expense.  (Laugh all you want mortal.  I know where you sleep.)

(later)

I was not disinvited from the reception, so here I am, ready for a good meal and a slice of the traditional cake.  (Apparently they have decided that I cannot sully cake.)

The hall, Sigyn insists, has been decorated very prettily, but I have no eye for flowers or ribbons or other such folderols.  No, my attention has been caught by the photography booth in the corner.  Some of the props with which attendees may pose are more than a little disturbing.

I have no fond memories of my various encounters with the bearer of this disk…

shield-prop

Captain Spanglepants may occasionally assist me in keeping Sigyn safe, but he is overly friendly with Sigyn and his priggishness is bound to ruin my appetite and sour the champagne.  This reminds me… I never did finish working through my to-do list

Thor’s Bitty Ballpeen!  Don’t tell me my brother is going to show up too!

vikinghelmet

That’s all I need.  I had better hurry back to Sigyn to make sure none of the Avengers are pestering her with either attentions or boastful war stories.

Behold:  Is not my beloved beautiful by candlelight?

sigyn-tealight

Let us sit here together, my petal, and pretend that all of the celebration is just for us.

standinaheart

The master of ceremonies is announcing dinner.  No one has to call me twice.   Sigyn is starting with the salad.

salad

I, however, have moved ahead to the roast beast and delicious fowl portion of the repast.  If I am to rule this realm, I shall need all my strength.

dinner

What would a feast be without music and dancing and laughter and the shrill pipings of younglings as they run about among the tables?  Quieter, I assure you!  But perhaps less festive.  I believe it must be the same in all the realms, for truly, I remember Volstagg’s brood yelling and darting about under the feet of the servers at many a feast back on Asgard.  (I myself, as a young prince, was never allowed to run about, shrieking, at feasts, though I wish I had a gold piece for every time I slid under the table to play with the knives or read my spell books.  Thus, I have no prizes for deportment, either.)

And now, while all the revelers cluster about the happy couple to wish them well, I can get on with the serious business of sampling the cake.

caaaake

Mmmm. Almond.  And jam.  And buttercream.  Sigyn approves, and so do I!   Would that some of the humans’ friends might wed every week, that we might feast in this manner always!

>|: 9

 

A Fall Scramble, Part II: Thar She Blows (Whatever The Heck That Means)

The human female is becoming a bit concerned because she hasn’t seen any of her rare flowers  yet.  I think it is one of those things, though, that you have to see the first one, and then, once your eye is trained, you start to see them everywhere.

Augh!  Now she’s squealing abominably.  I suppose that means she’s spotted some.  Yes, there they are, hiding in the tall grass.

agalinis-grass

Sigyn says she has learned how to tell the rare ones from the common ones.  The flowers can be the same color on both, but the common ones have wider leaves, and the flowers have almost no stalk at all.  It’s an over-all thickish sort of plant.

agalinis-het

The rare ones have very narrow leaves and long flower stalks, so that the whole plant is open and airy, sort of tricky to spot if it’s not in flower.

Agalinis-nav

There are some differences in the flowers, too, but you have to be as big a plant nerd as the human female to understand.  I don’t pretend to, nor do I listen when she rattles on and on about “anther placement” and “calyx sinuses” and “stigma color.”  As  Future Ruler of Midgard, such details are beneath my notice.  I’ll have minions for that.

Odin’s eyepatch! Now that she’s spotted them, the human female now proposes to walk over every inch of the outcrop and count the rare plants.  I don’t know whether to hope that there aren’t very many this year so that this will all be over quickly, or to hope that the rare plant is having a good year, even knowing that it will mean listening to the idiot woman try to remember what comes after “threety-eleven.”

This is, unfortunately, going to involve some clambering.  Sigyn insists on doing it all herself.

need-a-hand

But my love, would you not appreciate a magical boost?  Maybe just a little one?

(a bit later)

We have reached the top and completed our survey, having counted about one hundred plants, which makes this a good-ish year, though not a great one.  Now we are free to look about at other members of the flora.

This wafer-ash is also known as hop tree, presumably because of the flat fruits.  (Apparently someone thought it looked like beer-brewing hops and the name stuck.  I don’t see it myself.)

ptelea

It is very good for dangling, though the foliage is looking rather tattered.  The human female says this tree is a relative of oranges and lemons and, as such, is considered  yummy by the giant swallowtail caterpillar.  Sigyn says she would like to see one of those caterpillars.  However, they are camouflaged to look like bird droppings, and I’ve no real desire to go poking piles of bird poop to see which ones are wiggly and have legs.

But here is a good one for you, love!  (No poop-poking required!)

swallowtail-thelesperma

I actually learned this one because it has such marvelous horns.  It is the larval stage of the pipevine swallowtail.  It ought to be munching on pipevine; I’ve no idea what it thinks it is doing with this greenthread.

There really is a splendid view from up here.  I can see a good portion of the county, though the removal of a few junipers would improve the vista even more.

topview

Sigyn and the human female are still oohing and aahing and speaking in slanty names, enthusing over fall favorites such as this blue sage.

salvia azurea

I, on the other hand, propose to divest myself of my hot and heavy (though noble!) helmet and relax on this pat of moss while they fossick about.

sleepnumbermoss

Who knows?  I might even doze.  Being magnificent and knowledgeable about caterpillars is hard work. Wake me when it is time to go home.

>|: [

A Fall Scramble, Part I: Here We Are Again

It is Autumn here in the northern part of Midgard–or at least, that’s what the calendar says.  I’ve been tinkering with the weather, alternating hot and cold days so that everyone has the sniffles and no one knows what to wear or what to serve for dinner.  Woolly hat or shorts and flip-flops?  Cool salad or hearty stew!  Ehehehehe!  The mortals are all cOnFUseD and there’s no end to the see-sawing in sight.

But, by the calendar, the rare plant that the human female discovered, and which she keeps an eye on, ought to be blooming.  She’s grabbed her boots and sunscreen and insect repellent and is heading for the outcrop in the next county over where the plant is to be found— if it’s up.  It is one of my warm days, and I could certainly do without being cooped up in the car with the human female for twenty minutes each way, but Sigyn really, really likes “botanizing,” so she is going.  And if Sigyn is going, I am going, because I don’t trust the human female in the field one tiny little bit.  With me along, there’s a much better chance that my sweetie comes home in one smiling piece.

(laterish)

And here we are at what the human female calls, “an outcropping of calcareous Oligocene sandstone of the Oakville formation” and what I call, “a tilty chunk of inconvenient climbiness.”

The first plant to greet us is the very conspicuous, electric blue dayflower.  It’s fairly common in this part of Midgard.  There are even some back at the house.

dayflower

They look better out here than coming up around the compost heap, though.

The human female is checking to see if the “usual suspect” plants are up where they normally are.  The redwhisker clammy-weed is right where it is every year.  The bright sun is washing out the pale pink of the petals and the bright red of the stamens.

cleome

It really is very sticky to the touch.  Sigyn, be careful as you go—I don’t know how well the sticky comes out of red velvet.

Ugh.  It really is uncomfortably warm and bright today.

hotouthere

Here is a plant I don’t recall seeing out here before.  Look at the fat, funny leaves!  The human female says it’s a cousin of the moss roses that people grow in pots.

portulaca-2

Step into the voluminous shade the human female is casting, and let us see if we can get a better photo.

portulaca

Those really are tiny flowers!  Sadly, too small for Sigyn to try on as a hat.

Great Frigga’s hairpins!  If you thought that was a tiny flower, dearest, come look at this one!

heliotropium-tenellum

Heliotropium tenellum.”  It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

This one’s not much bigger.  It’s one of the broomweeds, the human female says, either Gutierrezia texana or Amphichyris dracunculoides.

broomweed

I’m of the opinion that if she’s going to call herself a botanist, she should KNOW which one it is.  She’s making noises about tiny “pappus” this and “receptacle” that and saying that she needs to look at various bits under a microscope.  Flimsy excuses, woman, and if you need a microscope, you bring it on your various traipse-alongs, because I am not going to tote it for you.  Nor will I waste my magic summoning something you should have thought of in the first place.  Besides, I think you make up all those slanty, sciency names anyhow.

Time for some climbing!  Autumn is definitely the season for yellow daisy-family things, and here is another.  If you can believe the human female, it is part of the whole golden aster mish-mash, and it goes by the improbable name of Heterotheca subaxillaris.   The common name, camphorweed, is much less of a mouthful.

heterotheca

Sigyn, after sniffing its gland-dotted foliage, confirms that it does, in fact, smell a little granny’s-closety.

Stand over there next to that pale purple one, my love.

ruellia

Look at that!  The flowers are more than a Sigyn long!  If it didn’t have just the one blossom, I would pick it for you and make you the pointiest hat ever!

Norns’ nighties!  Are we really only halfway up?  This hill goes on forever.

>|: [

Les Tubas, Ils Sont Arrivés

The human female was finally able to order her snorkels.   I made it a little hard for her, because she finally found some affordable ones at Rampartmart.  She had to order them online, because the local bricks-and-mortar store didn’t have as many as she wanted to buy.  I mean, who buys THIRTY snorkels all at once?

Now the human female and her Prep Staff have a tax-free card to use when they shop at the local Rampartmart, but of course they could not be allowed to use that number online.  Oh, no, no!  The human female had to set up an account and choose a password and send them a copy of the Department’s State of Taxes tax-free status before they’d even let her buy them.

They just arrived.  Sigyn, let’s see what we’ve got.

snorkelbox1

They’re green!  I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t green.  I approve.

snorkelbox2

There are a lot of them— a whole mountain for Sigyn to climb, but I don’t think there are thirty here.

snorkelbox3

Eleven, twelve, thirteen…. Nope. Not thirty!  Looks like the internet is no better than bricks and mortar.  The human female is hoping that when she finds the packing slip it says that more are coming from somewhere else.

Sigyn has never used a snorkel.  It’s easy, my love.  One end goes in your mouth and the other sticks up above the water into the air.

snorkelbox4

This is not how I imagined this would go…

snorkelbox5

(later)  A lot of huffing and puffing and a little dab of Vaseline and some steady traction, and I finally have my sweetie back.

Oh, now you want to try on the included goggles?  Didn’t I just rescue you?  Be careful with these! They’re not like lab goggles.  These are for diving and the nose bit is covered. They’re kiddie sized, and if they fit tightly, you’re not going to be able to breathe.

snorkelbox6

Yeah, somehow I don’t think that’s going to be a problem…

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