Random Mischief

What They’ve All Been Up To, Part II: Some Work While Others Play

We can continue the update about what everyone has been doing by visiting the workshop of Iron Man (AKA Tony Stark, AKA rich snark-meister who flirts with Sigyn because he knows it pushes all my buttons.) What futuristic project is he working on now?

Ah. Not futuristic project, but restoration of an antique. Stark is fixing the Winter Soldier‘s Soviet-era-tech nightmare of a robotic arm.

“You should be good to go, now, Buck.”

“Thanks, Stark.”

“Let me know if it gives you any more trouble. Oh, and I gave you an upgrade. You now have a built-in remote. No more hunting in the couch cushions when you want to change the channel or turn off the stereo. It’s fully programmable. You can map different functions to different finger movements. I put in a few to get you started.”

“Like what? Stark, what did you do?

“Relax, Sputnik! Nothing much. Just, uh, maybe don’t snap your fingers unless you want to order a bunch of random crap from the Home Shopping Network…”

Uh, oh. I believe fisticuffs may be imminent. Moving on!

Here we are in the rec room. Looks like Cap has rounded up a few buddies to play a game of Animal Upon Animal/ Tier auf Tier.

It’s Peter Quill‘s turn, and I can tell you from experience that a) getting another kangaroo on there is going to be problematic and b) Rocket is probably cheating.

Of course, placing your pieces while dangling from the ceiling is hardly legit…

And they say I don’t play by the rules!

>|: [

What They’ve All Been Up To, Part I: Fisi, No!

Looking back over this journal, I realize that it has been quite some time since I have written about anyone other than the humans (ugh), the felines (furry minions), Sigyn, and myself. Nary a word about the other people beings in my circle of acquaintances. Blame that on 1) Social distancing, and 2) the fact that I don’t actually like any of them.

Be that as it may, I suppose it might be mildly amusing to fill you in on what they have all been doing. Let’s start here.

This is the beautiful wedding quilt the human female’s mother made about twenty-seven years ago. It has been treasured and well-loved, but it is now showing some wear and some popped seams.

Great Frigga’s hairpins! It’s as I suspected, that thrice-damned hyena has been contributing to the decay by using it as a chew toy. I thought I smelled a whiff of Hyaenidae.

Fisi! Bad hyena! Spit that out RIGHT NOW!

Unfortunately, this is not the only area of damage. Luckily, my beloved is quite handy with a needle and thread.

A few darns in a few holes, some tiny whipstitches to re-close the open seams, and everything will be snuggly cuddles once again.

Every job needs a Snoopervisor.

>|: [

Malus Sanguineus

The human female has a new apple! This one is called Lucy Rose.

That’s not a very descriptive name, is it? Of course, considering that the yuckiest apple ever spawned is called Red Delicious I suppose I shouldn’t rely on names to mean much.

Hmm. Medium sized. Yellow heavily striped with red. Let’s see what it looks like inside. I’ve heard rumors. I want to see if they were correct.

Great Frigga’s Corset!

This was billed as a red-fleshed apple! I think they exaggerated. Truly, it merely looks as if it is hemorrhaging.

(crunch, crunch). It’s juicy enough, and has a pleasant flavor, but for my money (ha! I never spend a dime on groceries in this house!), Pink Pearl is a better apple.

Recipe: Pink Pearl Apple Carpaccio |

The coloring inside tends to be better-dispersed and, since it’s more pink than red, it doesn’t look so much like it needs immediate transport to the Emergency Room.

>|: [

Oh, The Holly Bears a Berry… (Nearly Wordless Wednesday)

My beloved had so much fun dangling in the snowy holly last week that she wanted to do it some more. Sadly, the snow is all gone, but the bright berries remain, so please enjoy Sigyn in her natural habitat!

>|: [ & : )

It’s All About the Tiny Shinies, Part I: Discoveries

I’ve noted here before, multiple times, that the human female has an unnatural fondness for beads, the tinier and shinier, the better. Recently, she divested herself of some of her Yule gift money by purchasing some more beads online. (I did a few magical tweaks to her order before it went in, of course.) Today, a crinkly sort of package has arrived. Sigyn, let us go see if the beads are here.

It’s the right size for beads. I shall open it and deprive her of the pleasure.

Can you see anything?

“Yes, wonderful things!”

It’s quite the haul!

And apparently this Purveyor of Tiny Shinies (POTS) likes to include a little candy treat as well. I shall just… sequester that before the human female can spot it.

Oh, wait. Don’t eat that, Sigyn! I’ve had that candy before. Tastes like… red plastic. Let the human female have it.

I approve of these green beads.

Sigyn is intrigued by this blue spirally thing.

No, my love, I don’t think the POTS is including true fossils in with bead orders. What gives it away? I would say the neatly drilled holes—and the fact that the packing slip says, “laser-etched ammonite focal, included as a free gift.”

Sorry. I know you’re disappointed. But not half as disappointed as the human female’s going to be when she examines the rest of the order…

(to be continued…)

>|: [

Mischief Update, Retiree Version

I bet, mortals, that you all thought I would get *soft* after the human female retired, not having students and vendors and shippers and faculty to make mischief with, didn’t you?

It amuses me when I’m underestimated…

There is plenty to do to tarnish the humans’ “golden years.”

First of all, the humans still have to deal with Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly. In a bold move of compound inefficiency, a large Purveyor of Books in New York City, at the human female’s sister’s behest, mailed two books to the human male for Yule in early December. I convinced them to utilize a hybrid, two-carrier approach. Their shipper handed off to Usually Smashes in the middle of December, at which time they vanished from this plane of existence. The vendor doesn’t know where they are, and they wouldn’t tell the sister who the first shipper was, nor will they replace the volumes until they have been missing for a month. Usually Smashes has them listed as “in transit” and refuses to do anything more. Will the human male have his books before the month is out? Who knows?!

The human female mailed a box to the Floristy Friend in a different city and I promptly hid the tracking receipt. She mailed some yarn to the Knittery Friend in the Big City to the South before Yule and tried to check its tracking. Usually Smashes directed her to text the tracking number to a certain other number, which yielded no results other than a return message, hours later, that incurs fees to read. Over the weekend, the human female tried to mail a box to another friend in the northwestern part of the state, hauling the goods, a sharpie marker, the address, and some packing tape with her, only to find that a) on Saturdays the nearest post office is only open between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. and b) when she brought the goodies and a flat-rate shipping box home from the open lobby of the closed post office and packed things up to take to post office #2, I packed up the sharpie in the box. It will make a weird, if useful, addition to the contents of the box…

Nor are the humans now exempt from dealing with the University. Yes, the same University that sent out a widely-distributed email telling everyone who was tested for plague on campus in recent days that they may have received a false negative and that they all needed to go and have antibody tests done. This was followed shortly by an, “Oops! That was a mistake!” email, and now no one knows what’s going on. I’m not tampering with tests, you understand, just comminications.

And then there is the whole “insurance thing.” The humans were eligible to continue their University-provided coverage, with the billing handled by a third party. The first bill for each of them came at the end of the first month of retirement and was for two months, that one and the next, with another bill following each month. Then they each received a letter that the University was going to be taking over the billing in January (handoff orchestrated by me) and that retirees could have the premiums deducted from their pension checks, if they filled out the proper forms. Which was all well and good until the humans got muddled when each of them received a letter from the third party saying that they had missed a premium payment and Were In Danger of Losing Their Coverage. After spending the better part of two days on hold with the Third Party, the male was told, “Oh, we’re not handling that anymore; talk to the University.” The human female contacted the University and received a speedy response: “Oh, a bunch of letters got sent out in error, send me copies of what you have and we’ll sort it out.” That was several days ago now. The humans still don’t know what, if anything, they owe, who they might owe it to, or whether they’re actually covered.

The human female tidied up her windowsill plants (too lazy to repot them yet, but the defunct ones were jettisoned and the others relieved of their dead foliage) and left a space on the broad dining room sill serve as a feline vantage point. The furry beggars insist on sitting in the window anyway, but now they can do it without knocking stray Saintpaulia specimens to the floor. I have taken advantage of this avenue for kitty mischief, encouraging not one but both to get up in the window and shove the plants even further afield. Moreover, I have taught them to use this as a vantage point from which to bat at the bird silhouette that keeps avians from crashing into the window, swat at the nearby ficus, and play patty-cake with the palm tree in the corner. Taffy, especially, likes to work out her naughtiness on the plants and is quite immune to verbal reprimand, gentle “swats”, lobbed shoes which carefully miss, and being put in time out. The squirt bottle works, if you can catch her with it. All in all, it’s a good way to distract the human female from her writing. In all of the hubbub, last week the ficus went over completely, scattering soil and leaves all over the floor. That was fun.

I’ve been helping with craft projects also. The human female sewed soft cloth roll-up holders for fountain pens for the human male and two of their friends. Clever design and not to difficult to sew, but more entertaining for me since I saw to it that on roll #2, the dark green thread ran out completely with four inches left to sew and no more in her thread box. She had to remove the bobbin, wind some of it onto a second bobbin, and then use the second bobbin as the top thread. Of course, after she finished sewing the roll, she found not one but two spools of dark green thread. On roll #3, which was a different color, I arranged for the thread to break about every eight inches. Ehehehe! That spool is going in the trash! Or maybe I’ll distract her and she’ll forget to toss it and the next time she tries to use it it will all happen again…

Then there was the failure of the potatoes to bake satisfactorily in the pressure cooker, the leaky bedroom window, the jury summons, the property tax bill, and the leftovers that froze in the back of the fridge…

So, yeah, not bored.

>|: [

A Visit to the Greengrocer

I must admit to having consumed a surfeit of holiday goodies this year. Our kitschy cottage had a welcoming basket of gingerbread cookies, there was the beer-sausage-and-cheese fest, and I could not resist the bags of candy near the tills at the that last store we stopped at. I am languishing for something that resembles a vegetable!

Luckily, there is a Purveyor of Greenstuff on our way back to the motel. Come, Sigyn, let us see what is on offer.

Those are the handsomest, cleanest turnips I have ever seen! However, I must admit I am not really a turnip-lover.

Carrots! Yes, carrots are a much better choice! The one you’re standing on is possessed of some extra appendages. A magnificent specimen, indeed.

Great Frigga’s Corset–what is that over there?!

Oh. Rainbow carrots. We’ve seen those before. It’s just that I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye, and for a moment I thought they were selling bundled crayons. That would be silly. Who would want carrot-shaped crayons?

This, though. What even is this?

“Menti leaf”? Never heard of it. Must remember to look it up when we get home.

(A bit later) Well, now we have some apples and carrots and oranges. That ought to aid our recovery from too much indulgence. I might also buy a bottle of this.

Supposed to be good for whatever ails you.

Wait. “Sipping vinegar?” Pass. Although… Change the label and you could put this in the spice cupboard to masquerade as a big bottle of vanilla. Should make for some interesting cookies next time the human female gets the baking urge.

Now I’m actually eager to get home. There’s so much mischief to do in the year to come! 2021 has “Loki” written all over it!

>|: [

Getting Away From It All

Sigyn never did find something that she really, really wanted for a Yule gift. And the museums are still closed, and plague idiots are everywhere, and it has been SUCH a year, that we finally decided to just get away from it all. We went away for Yule last year, and enjoyed it, so we’re doing the same thing again, looking for a good place to stay. The fact that the human female, male, and the felines aren’t with us is icing on the cake  Bûche De Noël.

What sort of place do we want to stay in? Last year, we ended up in a cozy little airstream trailer, and it looks as if a similar option is available again this year.

Cute, I suppose, but don’t you want to try something different?

Something different with a door and which does not smell of bovines?

Here are some quaint little cottages.

Emphasis on “little.” There’s barely room for one of us in any of those, let alone the pair of us.

This is better. Certainly more spacious. It would do, but I can’t help feeling there’s something even more special that we haven’t seen yet.

Perhaps we should ask the locals if they know of a good spot.

You, sir, you look like a member of the gendarmery. Do you know of a good place to…

Great Frigga’s hairpins! Put my sweetie down this instant, you wretched percussionist, or face the wrath of Loki, god of making KINDLING out of people like you!

Rest assured your commanding officer shall be hearing from me. It’s a court martial for you for certain, my fine lad!

Perhaps this isn’t such a good neighborhood after all! But we’ll try once more. Let us ask this jolly fellow what he recommends.

“Ho, ho, ho–h-over there. There’s a new motel opened up. Just got back from a delivery there. Very kitschy, very mid-century feel. You might like it, if you’re into ‘retro.'”

That’s not actually a bad suggestion. Sigyn often gets nostalgic and sentimental around Yule, and she might like something that feels old-fashioned without being homespun and hokey.

The office looks right out of the 1950’s. This is promising…

It appears to be a regular old-fashioned motor court. That fat man was right when he called it “kitsch.”

Sigyn adores it.

I agree, Sigyn, this unit is cute too, even if Yule trees are not traditionally pink. However, I believe it is occupied–did you not see the 1957 Golden Hawk Studebaker in the drive? Not to mention the obnoxious, also pink, poodle.

This one is vacant:

Nothing says, “Happy Yule” like not one but TWO pink trees, a kitty cat, a canary, twinkle lights, and a cadre of antler-wearing, santa-hatted flamingoes.

Let’s get settled in, my love. We’ve found our refuge for the next few days, and I can’t wait to get started on the snuggling.

Happy Yule!

>|: [

This Is Sigyn’s Favorite Catalog

There are still a few days left before Yule. I’ve asked Sigyn what she wants for her present. As usual, she has opted for an experience rather than a gift. With the museums closed, though, doing that this year may be a bit difficult. I’ve suggested that she look through a few of the catalogs in the house to see if there’s anything she likes. With my magic, I can have a gift here almost instantaneously. No need to rely on Usually Smashes Parcels Significantly, Unrepentant Package Squashers, or Fed-up and Exhausted!

Sigyn likes animals, so this may be a good place to start:

“Kitty!”

What about a bear, my love? You like bears.

Although this one looks as if it might have some giraffe in its background. We should keep looking.

This one looks to be all bear:

Somehow, I can never look at one of these black and white ones without getting an Oreo craving…

What do they have besides bears?

“Spotty kitty!”

BIG spotty kitty!”

You don’t think we have enough Feline Felonies in the house already?

What on earth is this thing supposed to be?

Giant aquatic rodent? Suuuuuuure…. I think someone’s making things up over at WWF…

Sigyn thinks the sea lion looks like it is singing.

“Fish, fish, O beautiful fish! Come fill my belly, oh that’s what I wish.”

Or maybe it’s just yawning.

Anything you want, Sigyn. No matter how big.

“Loki! Look at the stripey stockings! Could we get one of these?”

Oh. Oh, no. This was a bad idea.

Sigyn was under the apprehension that this was a catalog we could use to order actual animals. She is heartbroken to learn that one orders a stuffed animal and the money goes to fund conservation efforts.

It really is the safest way to hug a snow leopard, sweetie.

Ah, don’t cry, my love. Look–over there! It’s a different catalog. Let’s go look at that….

>|: [ : (

P.S. Midgard makes NO sense. There’s another WWF, one that has nothing to do with animals. One of my favorite bits of foolery is this clever mashup between the two WWFs:

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