Month: March 2020

Pretty…Pretty…Also Pretty (But Sigyn is Prettiest)

This is the time of year when the yard yields many wonders.  It is also not too warm yet, so come, Sigyn, let us explore!  (Read:  Let us sneak out of the house before the human female asks us to do chores.  Her being home all day is getting to be quite annoying.)

Well, will you look at that!

sweet william

The sweet william that the human female planted last year has made a reappearance.  What a ghastly color!

Ah, this one is not quite so garish.  Lyre leaf sage can have flowers in any shade from white to true purple. There’s a lot of it about.  This is the nicest one.

yard sage

They do say that purple is the color for Midgardian royalty.  Pffft!  What’s wrong with green and gold and black, I ask you?

Ah.  The grape hyacinth is back, too.

yard-muscari

It may say it’s grape, Sigyn, but do not trust it!  I licked it one year, and it definitely does not taste grape.  Bleargh.

You might have better luck tasting these wild onions.

yard onions

The human female planted a few bulbs one year and now there are dozens.  It’s how you know it’s spring.

And here’s the other way you know…

yard pink

The pinkening of the lawn has begun…

>|: [

Marital Bliss is the Spice of Life (But Cumin Doesn’t Hurt)

Astute minions and those who, unlike the human female, can count past five may have noted two very important facts.

1. There are now over 1,900 entries in this journal of my route to conquest.

and

2. This past Saturday was our sixth anniversary.

On March 28th, six years ago, Sigyn and I were married (possibly) in what must have be one of the strangest ceremonies ever performed.  (If you would like to meander down memory lane, the wedding is here, while the story of our romance begins a little further back on about the 12th of February, 2014.

Although I could certainly have magicked my beloved and myself to some exotic and romantic location, I am married to someone who is very much a rule follower, and Sigyn was adamant we follow the shelter-in-place rules currently afflicting   this portion of Midgard.  It took us a couple of days to decide what we want to do, but eventually we settled upon preparing and enjoying a delicious meal at home.

We begin by caramelizing some onions.

indianfood1

Is there anything that smells better?  I think not!  Sigyn would like to stir, but I am doing it from a distance, safely and with magic.

I am all for jumping straight to the protein, but I know my sweetie is big on vegetables, so we are going to steam some potatoes and carrots.

indianfood2

I have always thought that those expandable steamer baskets are one of the cleverest Midgardian inventions. Very cunning.  Sigyn isn’t as enamored of the articulation as I am —I think its principles could very well be adapted for armor— but she does like to make it fold an unfold “like a flower.”  Over and over.  And over.  It was all I could do to convince her to let it serve its purpose and to carry on with our preparations.

Next, we want to add some cauliflower.

Ah, yes.  That most august brassicaceous capitulum.

indianfood3

Odd to think, is it not, that it belongs not only to the same genus, but to the same species as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi?  My idiot “brother” Thor used to tell everyone that it was also the source of the notion of a Vegetable Lamb but, as we all know, the herbaceous ovid is more likely a mistaken interpretation either of cotton or a very strange fern. 

With the cauliflower broken up and steaming away, it is time to examine the defining ingredient of this dish:

indianfood4

The human female bought this, on the strength of a taste she took of a dish that was being sampled out at the local market (back when such tastings occurred.)  I am sure she was saving it for a dinner for herself and the human male, but cum dormieris occasio deesset, as they say.

I will also make sure that the company that makes this sauce stops making it or goes out of business, because depriving the humans of something they’ve come to like is one of my chiefest pleasures.

The best part about being a mighty sorcerer is not having to to touch raw fowl.  I have magicked the chicken thighs into bite-size chunks, which are now making the acquaintance of the nicely-browned onions.

indianfood5

How are the vegetables doing, Sigyn?

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As you can see, I have poked a carrot, and that tells me they are done.

Simmering all the ingredients together in the sauce has yielded up a lovely Indian dish.

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Mmm.  Just the right amount of oregano.  (That is, none.)

Let us enjoy this feast, my darling.  Here’s to us and many more years of happiness!

Mini-Mischief Update

I have not been idle.

Some highlights from the days of preparing to move all University classes on line, getting staff to work from home, and generally settling into what is the new “normal.”

–One teaching assistant had a computer whose microphone didn’t work.  but only with the virtual meeting program she needed to teach.  It was fine otherwise.

–One teaching assistant is incommunicado and failed to “show up” to stream her lab section.  Cue scrambling to email all the students the link to enter another teacher’s lab section meeting at the same time.

–The human female’s Prep Staff and some of the Lab Instructors have been frantically videotaping experiments, dissections, living creatures, and microscope slides before they are banned banned from being up on campus and not just banned.  When they tried to upload two labs’ worth of material, they discovered the memory card in the camera was empty.

–The video meeting software on the human female’s laptop works, but it refuses to acknowledge the existence of her University email program.  She can schedule a meeting and send the invites with her home email program, but that’s Unprofessional, so she has to copy all of the info out of one email message, open the other program, and send it that way.

–She cannot also click a link in an email and join a meeting.  She’s got to get the video program running and then cut and paste the code in.

–Sometimes there’s a lag on receiving virtual meeting invitations.  The first day, the human female got one two hours after the meeting was over.  People are texting one another the meeting invite codes as insurance.

–But since text messages are also delayed, well…

–The human female’s building is without reverse osmosis water, critical for watering plants and animals.  Prep Staff had to haul two carboys from the second floor of a different building in order to have enough to last a while. Construction in the building (scarcely begun and now to languish for who knows how long) is suspected of causing the outage. (But we know who’s really to blame.)

–The final shipment of live material never arrived.  No explanation, no apology, just no Hydra, no Planaria, and no centipedes.  I’m thinking of having the invoice show up, though… Or maybe I’ll make it impossible to cancel the PO.  Ever.  I haven’t decided which yet…

–And then there’s the ice machine.  Ah, the long saga of the ice machine.  More on that anon…

>|: [

 

Mischief Outside for Hilarity Inside

Now both the human female AND the human male are working from home.  They’ve each staked out their territory and the place is covered with laptops and cords and monitors.

You might suspect that, with no computers to fix hands-on and no ordering for classes for the human female to do and no coworkers pestering them in person, I’d have fewer opportunities for mischief, but you’d be wrong.

Wrongety-wrong.

With a side of wrong sauce.

<Loud, clang-clattery noise!>

Eehehehe!  Look at the human female scramble!  She thinks it sounds like the metal blinds in the bedroom being mangled, but that would be weird, wouldn’t it?

Uh, oh, where are the felines?

The felines, dear minions, are in fact in the bedroom.   They are engaged in FLINGING themselves into and through the blinds in a frantic attempt to catch one or both of the green anole lizards whom I have invited to do their head-bobbing display just outside the window.

lizard1

The human female has now raised the blinds in an attempt to keep the Terror Twins from destroying them.

Which just lets the felines see the lizards better.

Great Frigga’s corset!

Look at Taffy Cat jump!  She has quite the vertical leap and has just caromed off the window pane in an attempt to catch lizard number two.

lizard2

Who is peering down from the top of the pane just above the latch.

Eehehehe!  I should have brought popcorn!  The human female has snatched up Taffy Cat and is endeavoring to wrestle her out of the room.  Taffy Cat is protesting this procedure, and just as she is being heaved out the door, Flannel Cat has tagged in and is headed for the windowsill!

Now the female has gone back to evict Flannel Cat and Taffy Cat has streaked back in!

It’s like watching a squirrel trying to fit  two walnuts into its mouth.  Put one in.  Put a second one in and the first pops out.  Shove the first one back in, the second one pops out.

Repeat ad infinitum et ad absurdum…

Awww.  She’s managed to get both cats out of the room and has cruelly shut the door to take away their fun.  The house is all quiet now.

Until tonight…

When I let a june bug in…

The humans have a very tall living room ceiling…

And a tall cat-tree…

And the Terror Twins forget cats can’t actually fly

>|: [

A Boxful of Color, Part II: 나는 정말이 세트와 놀고 싶어

Sigyn and I are revisiting the colorful box of mix-your-own inks.  I was finally able to extricate Sigyn from the color-mixing beaker.  I do not understand her compulsion to put things on her head or to climb inside them, not at all.

But let us now examine what else has come with this box of inks.

Ah.  An instruction booklet.  That could be useful for people who, unlike me, do not know everything already.

inkbox7

There is a sample color chart card.

inkbox8

Hmm.  I am not sure I follow this.  Some of it seems to work, and some of it does not.  If it works like a regular crossing chart, wouldn’t emerald plus emerald equal emerald?  Instead, it’s a much bluer green…  And since when does yellow plus yellow equal gold?

While Sigyn tries to figure it out, I shall examine the color-it-yourself postcards that are included.

This one features a bridge, which, if the box is to be believed, should be colored purple.

inkbox9

Sigyn is intrigued by this one.  The statue appears to be wearing glasses.

inkbox10

I wonder if the actual statue has glasses, or if it is just drawn this way?

Uncolored line drawings just beg to be colored, don’t you think?  If some color just happened to get on these the human male would have only himself to blame, for leaving the kit lying around, right?

Let me at those droppers and beakers!

>|: [

ed. note:  For more info, see this review.  Not my review, not my blog, not affiliated, yadda yadda…

In Which Sigyn and I Escape

Sigyn and I have realized that WE don’t need to be cooped up with the human female, so we are having a stroll around the yard to see if Spring has wrought any changes.

The toothache tree has shiny new leaves and some tiny flower buds.

springyard1

It’s very prickly, though, so one must dangle carefully.

The oxalis by the compost heap has been blooming for a while.

springyard2

Speaking of compost heap, it looks like the All Hallows pumpkin started caving in and has been relegated to a place of ignominy.

springyard3

You can look, Sigyn, but don’t touch.  It is six kinds of scary in there.

What Sigyn likes to call the “cupcake bush” is showing a few blossoms.

springyard4

If you stand there, though, my sweet, the hummingbirds may not come.

The mint is back with a vengeance.  As a botanist, the human female should have known better than to plant it.  It has quite taken over the side yard.

springyard7

Now the whole neighborhood smells like chewing gum every time she mows.

The tropical milkweed has started flowering in earnest.  It’s Sigyn’s favorite because of its coloring.

springyard5

It is drawing some monarch butterflies and—Great Frigga’s hairpins, Sigyn!  DON’T MOVE!!  There is something long-legged and beaky on the wall behind you and I don’t know what it is!

Phew!  That was close.  I rescued Sigyn and sent her back inside to make sure the human female is actually working.

I am checking out the irises.  They usually bloom the first week in April.

springyard6

Look, you stupid things, I know it’s been too warm recently, but try to stick with the program, all right?

>|: [

A Most Faithful Rendering

I bet you didn’t know that, in addition to being intelligent, cunning, and devastatingly handsome, I am also quite the artist.

I find daubing paint or pushing a pencil to be tedious in the extreme, but I do not mind using magic to make my visions appear on canvas or paper.

Thus…Behold!  I give you the human female as she continues to work from home.  Laptop, phone, ever-present drink tumbler, books, garish socks, and all.

It’s a little cramped, to be sure, but she’ll be all right.  There are air holes, and I’ve put in a stick and some leaves to make her feel more at home.

workfromhome

>|: [

 

It’s a Small, Strange World

The human female, who is recovering from being sick, has been banished from her workplace and has been working from home this week.

This is her “home office”:

homeoffice

It doesn’t look too bad, does it?  Two monitors, a little greenery, shiny table…

Let me annotate this for you:

annotated work from home

Until she’s fever-free for twenty-four hours, she’s also banished from the bedroom and has been relegated to the guest room with the luggage, some boxes, and a spare chair.  She gets up, she sits at the table for 8 or 9 hours, she goes to bed, she gets up and does it again.

She’s really beginning to show signs of stress and increasing instability.  Just to make her life even more surreal, I arrange for an inexplicable email to appear in her inbox every now and again.

Nasco

Bawk-bawk-bawk–BGAAAWK!!!

>|: [

A Boxful of Color, Part I: Because Apparently a Million Colors Are Not Enough

The human male and his friend, wanting a little bit of fun in case this area gets “locked down,” made a quick dash to the Big City to the South last weekend.

Three guesses where they went, and the first two don’t count.

The Purveyor of Pens.  You are correct.  The male came back with this intriguing box.  Come, Sigyn, let us check it out.  It is certainly a colorful package.

inkbox1

Hmm.  A make-your-own-ink kit.  This could be amusing.

inkbox2

“3 Oysters”?!  Let us hope that that is some ridiculous brand name and not the contents of the box!

Inside the cardboard sleeve is a shiny silver tin.  Sigyn if you take that side and I take this one…

inkbox3

…I think we can manage to get it open.

This looks promising indeed!  Although why would you want to go messing about and adulterate what is already the perfect shade?

inkbox4

Sigyn is so excited that there is red that she hasn’t noticed the other colors yet.

The kit includes a twisty-nibbed glass pen for doing Fancy Writing.

inkbox5

Careful, my sweet–don’t drop that.  When you are done admiring the craftsmanship, slide the point back in its little rubber sleeve.

There are also a tiny bottle of thinner/toner and two little mixing beakers.

Oh, for the love of Frigga’s petticoats!

inkbox6

I can’t look. Sigyn’s managed to trap herself, hasn’t she?

Some days I really wonder about her…

>|: [

 

This is the Best! (Sigyn Speaks)

The humans bought some new towels.  They’re a soft, sagey green.  Do you know what the funnest part of new towels is?

It’s what they leave in the dryer screen!

dryerlint1

It’s fluffy and warm and like the softest blanket EVER!

dryerlint2

I just want to snuggle up here forever!

Is it possible to make fluff angels?

dryerlint3

Let’s find out!

: )