A Mini-Break, Part VI: The Aftermath

The ice cream mochi, bless their chilly little hearts, did not make it as far as the parking lot.  They would not have survived the trip home in a hot car anyway–that’s our story and we’re sticking with it.  They proved to be quite delicious, though the feel of the outside plus the cold of the inside takes a bit of getting used to.

The human female bought some of her favorite sour gummy heptopi, and they did weather the trip home, but they were sadly rendered extinct before the night was out.

no more octopi

Let’s hope these fellows fare a little better.

dino gummies

Somehow, I’m not too hopeful.

It looks like the dinos and these are the only treats left.  The human male picked these out.  Apple Pie Almonds, eh?


What are they covered in?  It looks like sawdust, but I bet that’s not it.  Is there an ingredient list?

Uh, oh.  The label says “chocolate.”  The humans can’t have that.  More for me!  Oh, sorry, I mean, “too bad for you.”  (Sorry, not sorry.)


I figured as much.  They’re “white chocolate,” which is a fancy way of saying “cocoa butter and sugar.”  The humans can eat that, so looks like Sigyn and I will have to share.



That is, if I can figure out how to open this teasing little box…


It has mocked all my efforts!  Time for a blast of magic!

That’s more like it.


I still say that coating looks like sawdust.  From the color, possibly held on with guacamole—or wasabi.

(munch, munch, munch)

Hmm.  The almonds are nice and CruNchY, but the coating leaves a great deal to be desired.  There’s the merest hint of apple maybe, but there is nothing pie-like or pie-adjacent.  I detect no cinnamon and no nutmeg.  Nothing but a rather waxy texture and whatever that covering is (pencil shavings?) falling all over everywhere.

Ten points for intent, but minus fifty for poor follow-through.

I bet the human female shovels them into her maw anyway.

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Mini-Break, Part V: The Requisite Visit to the Large Market

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Big City to the South without a visit to the Large Market.  I will admit it—Midgardian food is much more diverse than Asgardian fare.  It’s meat, ale, bread, ale, fruit, mead, cheese, and ale back home, but I never know what we’re going to find here.

Oh!  These, mortals!  Purchase some of these!

blood orange

I don’t know what they look like inside, but with a name like that, it’s bound to be spectacular!

What do you have there, Sigyn?


Ah.  the sign says, “pepino melons,” but the human female says they’re more closely related to tomatoes and potatoes than cantaloupe or watermelon.  Regardless, Sigyn is hugging the stripey one.  She says she thinks it’s probably sad because it’s not like the others.  Leave it to my beloved to feel sorry for fruit.

One of the best parts is the opportunity to sample all the things the helpers are offering as samples.

fruit spread.jpg

It’s sweet, it’s fruit, and it’s red!   It’s the Sigyn trifecta!

The Large Market has apparently started stocking Fine but Overpriced cookware in Sigyn’s favorite color.


And this is new as well!  If  I understand correctly, these are glutinous rice balls filled with ice cream.   We’ve had the plain ones before with the red bean paste inside—but ice cream!  That’s different!


The human male wants to try the vanilla, Sigyn wants strawberry, and I’m stumping for Double Chocolate.  Give me all the chocolate…

As always, Sigyn likes to round out her visit to the Large Market with a stroll through the extensive floral department.  Sometimes she finds exotic blossoms, but today’s she’s quite taken with the roses in her two favorite colors:

Sunny yellow,


and cheerful red.

flame rosess

They are no more beautiful than you, my love.

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Mini-Break, Part IV: In Which We Run Into A Spot (or two) Of Bother in the Gift Shop

We are here in the museum’s Gift Shop, which is always a risky prospect.  How so?  There is the very real danger that:

–The human male is going to find an expensive book that he wants

–The human female is going to embarrass us all by squeeing over scientifically accurate stuffed animals.

–Sigyn is going to find something motion-related and become– like this.

It. Happens. Every. Time.  Pendulums, marble machines, factory equipment–doesn’t matter.  Sigyn is absolutely mesmerized by moving things.  In this case, it’s colored oil drops rolling down little ramps in some sort of desk doo-dad.

Oh, sweetie.  Can you…?  It’s all right… Just look away…  Come on.  Lets go look at…something else.  Something not moving.

Here!  Come see this!


Who doesn’t love a good novelty cutting board?

Or maybe you’d like to check out the rubbery prehistoric beasties?


Jormungandr’s jodhpurs!   Unhand my beloved, you toothy behemoth or I shall render you extinct a second time!  Hang on, Sweetie!  Loki’s coming!

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Mini-Break, Part III: Wondrous and Translucent Lapidaceous Beasties

Sometimes the unexpected is the most interesting.  The humans did not know this exhibit of carved gemstone animals was here.  Magpie-like, the human female has been drawn in by their glitter.  Sigyn has followed and, as I am not in the slightest averse to gemstones, I have come along as well.

I must say, the luster of the agate used has captured the look of a real snail very well.

carved snail1

The card says, “Brazil,” but they were all carved by one man in a little town in Germany.

There’s a purple one as well.


Agate is apparently good for toads as well.


Careful, Sigyn! That amphibious blivet looks as if it could explode at any moment.

This toad-on-a-mushroom is giving me the stink-eye.


Sigyn likes this golden fellow.


Great Frigga’s corset!  There’s a pink one!  This Dreher chap must really have fancied toads.


Toads which, apparently, come in stripes.


Is there *anything* here which isn’t a toad or a snail?

That’ll do, Pig.

carved piglet

That’ll do.

I must admit, this pelican is quite well done.

carved pelican

The human female has decided that it—or perhaps this little rosy mouse–are her favorites.

carved mouse

Sigyn is hard pressed to choose between this ermine…

carved ermine

…and these cavorting otters.

carved otters

Which one do I prefer?  I think I will have to go with this lovely green chap.

carved chameleon

Green, shifty-eyed, and with handsome curly bits.  Yes, this is the one I want.  Give me a moment to disengage the case alarms, and it’s souvenir time!

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Loki Takes New York, Day 13: Home Again, Home Again

Wake up, my love, it’s time to get ready to go home.  I know, I know, there are at least three botanic gardens we haven’t been to, but the humans need to get back to Texas and back to work so that they can afford to take us somewhere nice next year.

Blast it!   I had another very good prank lined up, but it has fallen through.  The humans, knowing now that the Air Train involves an inordinate amount of luggage hauling and walking, were easily persuaded that it was a good idea to use one of their last Pass Package options to summon a shuttle to the airport.  The female asked the inn’s concierge how to schedule this.  The concierge, curse her, told the female that such shuttles make stops all over the city and can take HOURS to reach the airport and that they would be better served summoning a taxi.

Which they have done.  (That is eight methods of transportation on this trip!)  I am having to console myself with the fact that the human female, through a combination of stop-and-go traffic and road fumes, is contemplating ending this sojourn by puking here in the back seat.  Um, Sigyn, let’s you and I go sit up front with the driver.

Now we’re at the airport. Very, very early.  Which is good, because I’ve had a little fun with the gate assignments.  Once the human female finally succeeded last night in printing out the boarding passes (a task made insufferable by the inn’s woefully inadequate wifi), the mortals were fairly certain that they were leaving from a C gate.  However, the helpful TSA man scribbled B-something on his pass.

They’re hoping it’s C, because it looks like one reaches the B shuttle via Pet Poop Lane.


They’ve checked the departures board.  There is good news and bad news.

The good news?  It’s C for sure.  And here we are!

day13-gate 60

The bad news?  According to the text the female has just received…


We’re leaving an hour late.

There is definitely time for some lunch then.  What to eat? What to eat?

The human female has quickly chosen a sandwich and some fizzy water.


The sandwich is good, she says, but the cherry water tastes like “melted cough drop.”

The human male has gone to a little shop that will custom make you a sandwich and is patiently waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

“Oh, sorry.  Did you order something, sir?  I’ll get right on that.”   Eh he he he!  That cook will be getting a big tip from me.

(much later)

We took off at 67 degrees F and foggy.  We have arrived to find 99 degrees and blazing sun.  Now, how do we get to the long-term parking lot?

And how much will that bill be?

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Loki Takes New York, Day 12: Last Chance for Anything

Well, even though it is our very LAST day in the city, and thus our last chance to try to get to any of the sights or shops or events that the humans have on their long, long list of unfinished business, they are most definitely slow off the mark this morning.  AT my nudging, the weather has deteriorated to cold and rainy, the male’s knee is bothering him, and the female is twitchy because she feels certain that whatever they don’t get to see will have been the best thing ever.  They’ve made one false start, going back to the hotel for jackets, so now the day is half gone and tempers are fraying.

Breakfast or lunch?  Breakfast or lunch?  Lunch it is.  We are trying one last international meal.  Sigyn, I’m not sure we’ve sampled any of these things before.


“Soft bean curd?” “Ox-knee jelly bone?!”  Um…  Let’s say I have… reservations.

And, um, please tell me that “Bat” is the name of the proprietor, and not something else that’s on the menu.


I do not think this is what we ordered.  I think this is just the previews.


(nibble, nibble)  Wah!   By Volstagg’s straining belt notch!  Sigyn, I know  you like red, but be advised that the color in the red cabbage and the red potatoes is not due to tomato but instead owes more than a little to our friends of the genus Capsicum.

Ah.  The entrees are here.  The human female has ordered something I didn’t quite catch the name of–it sounded like “beep beep boop,” but I don’t suppose that’s right .


Looks just like egg and vegetables and meat over rice.  Harmless enough, I suppose.  Unless the meat used to like to hang upside down in a cave

I have just learned that our prime destination today is another museum.  Auuuugh!  Shoot me now.

And here we are, dripping and ready resigned to look at more stuff.  Hmm.  The humans say this used to be someone’s house and that most of the contents belonged to him.  That’s a little different.

Now this is what I call a study!


Plushy furniture, silk damask wallpaper, huge display of private opulence.  The sheer excess of it all makes my greedy little heart go pitter-pat.  The tourguide/guard is kind of sour and cranky and is giving the human male and his fancy camera the stink-eye, which is a nice bonus for me!

Off the study is a room-sized steel vault, where Mister Moneybags used to keep the cream of his book crop.


No, I’m not drooling; you’re drooling.

The next room is a vast library full of thousands of volumes, each one worth more than the humans, their felines, and the pitiful entirety of their worldly possessions all rolled together.

Sigyn and I especially like this book, which is open for display.


Why?  If you look closely, you can see that the people in the illumination are having pretzels for supper.


(a bit later)  That was a lot of books!  Most of them old and very rare.  I approve of books, though I wish that they weren’t all locked up.  I’d have liked to page through them.

Now we are in part of the house that is more museum-y.   There’s an exhibit of works by a modern sketch/paint artist.  I can’t say I think much of most of it…


… but this one is making me hungry.

There is one whole room full of engraved cylinder seals from ancient Assyria.  I must admit, these are frankly amazing.  They look like shiny pieces of stone, but when rolled into wet clay, they create very intricate impressions.  When I take over Midgard, I will have to re-institute these as a means of authenticating documents.


Look at that detail!  That lion is so very fierce and lifelike.  Truly fit for a king!  Although, for some reason, I find that I identify with that antelope…

If the seals were astonishing, the collection of autographs in the next room is even moreso.

This one was signed by a man who would become a famous, if doomed, medieval English King.


Hmm.  Perhaps I should practice my flourishy penmanship.  When I come to rule this corner of the cosmos, my scribblings will be worth millions.

That was a pleasant way to while away a few hours.  The humans are hoping the weather has improved while we were indoors.

Not so much.


The skyscrapers have all been cut off about fifteen stories up.  So sad!   If it’s this foggy in the afternoon, there’s no chance at all that there will be clear viewing tonight.  Four tries and four misses!  I have succeeded in doing the humans out of their much-awaited trip to the top of that very tall building.

Faced with that sad reality, they have decided to trek to the human female’s favorite building.  Here it is in all its glory:


In the photograph of it that hangs in its lobby.

And, oh, look!  A photo of it lit up at night!


Eh he he he!  And that’s as close as you’re ever going to get, mortals!

The human male has had enough walking.  The female, despite blisters forming under her blisters, has decided there are a few more things she simply has to see, so now we are striding off in search of a pair of famous statues.

Found them.


She wanted to explore the inside of this building–I take it it’s another library–because a) books! and b) there’s an art exhibit inside she wishes to see, but I can’t pass up an opportunity for some mischief, so they have announced closing time about four minutes after we entered.

Nothing for it now but to go back to the inn and try to decide on a place to eat our last dinner in this city.

(later)  With a predictable lack of imagination, the humans have ended up back at one of the first places they ate at!  More shawarma,  but this time accompanied by these strange dark balls.


The human male says they’re called fall-awful.  And you really propose to eat them?!

Well, Sigyn, that’s pretty much the end of this trip.  We’ve seen a lot of art (possibly too much, but I’m glad you liked it all), and I have some fine ideas for my eventual palace and a few notions of how to make correspondence less dull.  We’ve had some interesting food, looked at some flowers, and tried at least seven methods of transportation that I can think of (plane, foot, train, ferry, sailboat, bus, private car.)

Now there’s nothing left to do except sit back, think over our adventure, and watch the humans try to wedge all the accumulated clobber into their very-overstuffed suitcases…

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Loki Takes New York, Day 10: Hel is an Endless Succession of Art

The tickets from the Cloisters yesterday are good at the main 5th Avenue Met Museum today, so that is where we are headed, after a very late start.  This trip involves the C train to the same station we stopped at for the Natural History Museum (Sigyn is waving hello to all the mosaic animals) and then a short bus ride the width of the Centrally Located Park.

This is one enormous museum.  It is so big that it might almost do for my palace, when I take over Midgard.  Except that it’s on a very busy street and I could certainly do without all the taxis honking.  Not to mention the sticky hordes of plaid-wearing schoolchildren.  Those have got to go.

We are beginning our tour in the Egyptian wing.  Sigyn likes antiquities, though she is a little frightened of mummies.  We can skip the mummies, dearest.  There are plenty of other things to see.

Such as this model of an ancient tomb.


That’s nothing.  The next gallery houses an entire ACTUAL tomb.


The signage says that it was going to be submerged when a dam was built, so they just merrily cut it out of the hillside and brought it here.  I am impressed–I did not think mortals were so willing to do hard work.

Here we are having the obligatory photo taken next to statue of someone important, carved as a sphinx.


If the human female ever stops plucking her stray chin hairs, she’ll have a beard just like this.

Sigyn has made friends with this Greek-era funerary lion.  She says he looks like he needs a friend.


Yes, Sigyn, it does sort of remind me of Snuffy, the lion in the British Museum.  You have a keen eye.

We have left ancient Egypt behind and are now looking at art, art, and more art.  Between yesterday and today, I have reached my MAMAmaximum allowable monthly dose of art.  I believe I am suffering from a surfeit of Medieval altarpieces.

This exhibit of garden-themed paintings is therefore somewhat refreshing.  Sigyn has fallen in love with this colorful rendering of chrysanthemums by someone called Caillebotte.


Where have I heard that name before?  Ah, yes.  Last year.  We saw his painting of people on a bridge.    I did not know he also painted flowers.  I have learned something.  May I go home now?

Vase, vase, statue.  Painting, altarpiece, painting, etching.  Painting, painting, figurine.  Suit of armor, snuffbox, painting, painting, carving.

All of this looking at art from bygone eras and not caring much is making me hungry.  Surely it is time for a late lunch before we all perish?

Luckily, there is a cafeteria with more than pre-packaged sandwiches.  The human female has chosen a healthy salad.


The human male, on the other hand, has chosen something tasty.


I wouldn’t pat the female on the back for her self-discipline too hard, though.  While the male was briefly out of the room the female ate one of his chicken pieces and the rest of his fries…

Moooooore aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart.  This has become my life.  I live in a museum now.  When I die (I no longer wish to be immortal; someone end this misery) just slap an accession number on me and add me to the collection.

Oh, glorious day!  We are concluding the day’s perambulations, in the gift shop.  Yes, please!  Purchase some over-priced tchotchkes and let us be done.

Sigyn thinks this colored pencil set would suit her admirably.  I have to agree.


They look like they would be easy to handle.

We have finished the day tired and footsore.  The male’s knee is quite painful, and the human female says she feels as if she is coming down with something.  (No doubt yesterday’s wandering about in the rain has contributed to that, and it is supposed to rain tomorrow as well.)  We have therefore opted for an international version of chicken soup.


Where are the noodles?!  There were supposed to be noodles!


Oh.  Under the chicken and vegetables.  Very well.  Carry on.

When we return to the inn, let us have a serious discussion about how we will spend the remaining days of our visit to this city.  I advise you mortals to consider your options carefully.  If there is more art involved, there may be Consequences.  

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