Bet You Thought We Forgot, Part I: Sparklies!

It has been a Yule tradition for Sigyn and me to take a break from all the chaos of cleaning and cooking and gifting and sneak away to look at pretty things in a museum.  It’s our Yule gift to each other.  Usually, the pretty things are glass.  Sigyn loves glass.

We’re sticking with our tradition this year—We’ve just both been a little busy.  But today we are going!

We’re here.

Sigyn, come look at this big bowl!  It is very, very sparkly!


More sparklies over this way.  I’m sensing a theme here.  Instead of all the colored glass usually on display, this time it’s all cut glass and crystal.


Sigyn likes the scallopy edge on that big footed bowl up there.

More scallops:


I’ve been reading the cards and the wall posters.  Apparently every little cut is made individually by a craftsman with a grinding wheel and a steady hand and no hiccups.

The cards tell a little about what the patterns are called.


“Hobstar…”  Hobstar…  Sounds like a heavenly body and not a motif in glass.  “All aboard the rocket!  All aboard!  Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, I’m Captain Scorpio Betelgeuse and this is my pilot, the lovely Cassiopeia Jones.  This flight to the Hobstar is going to take about fifty Terran years, so I hope you brought snacks.”


What a lot of work!  This all looks like ice.  Bet with my Frost Giant magic, I could make pieces as beautiful as this.


Though what I’d do with this taco-shaped basket I have no clue.


And I think I would soon grow tired of all this colorless vitreosity.  I’m sure the pieces would be just as nice in color.  Let me magic up a sample.


Of course it’s green, Sweetie.  What did you expect??

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Whirlwind Getaway, Day 1, Part Two: Mostly Art

Suitably fortified with spring rolls and bobba tea (I’m still not sure I trust those little black chewy things at the bottom) we are all ready for adventures.  But ugh!  Is it ever HOT.  I think I might like to adventure in an ice rink—the human female once went ice skating in this city, someplace downtown.  Of course, she’s too feeble-minded to remember WHERE, so we will all just have to roast.

Oh.  Well.  At least we are going to do indoor things today.  But Odin’s Eyepatch, people, does it have to be art?  I am not in an “art” mood.  I don’t want to be edified or uplifted, I am on vacation.  I want adventure.  I want thrills.  I want excitement!  I want—


—never to meet this gentleman in a dark alley.  He is properly fierce!  Well, as fierce as one can be with bows on their shoes and pumpkin pants

Perhaps he is merely giving art patrons what the humans refer to as “the stink-eye” because many of them are pausing for quite a while to ogle admire this young woman


who, though separated from him by several hundred years and the Bay of Biscay, would appear to be his sartorial relative.  (Or Sartoris relative.  Ehehehehe.  Art joke.)

The human female quite likes this next one, though I have no idea why.  She says it reminds her of the bridges in London (despite the fact that it was painted by a Frenchman) and that it “neatly captures one brief moment on a foggy morning and a little slice of city life; how the three figures, though occupying the same space, are separated from one another by class and preoccupation with their concerns.”


Snort.  What a lot of pretentious twaddle.  Probably she likes it because it is mostly blue.

Up close, this next one is a mish-mash of quickly-slapped on brushstrokes in varying shades of gray.


From a moderate distance, it does an astounding job of capturing the light on a quiet winter morning.  I can practically smell the wood smoke on the frosty air and hear the snow crunch under the old woman’s feet.  Looking at it more closely again, I see that I was right the first time.  It’s little slaps of gray paint.  Hmmm.

This next one is all slappy as well, and presents a street scene in colors not found in nature.


Supposedly, it is very valuable and shows “mastery in its use of yellow, an uncommon color for landscapes.”  Probably uncommon because if you were to put this thing in your living room, you would need to redecorate so as not to clash with it.

We have now wandered into the section of the gallery devoted to art from the Eastern portions of this realm.

Sigyn thinks these gibbons are funny.


I think that if a human mother dangled her offspring like this simian is doing, there would be authorities involved.  Still, it rather makes me wish that there were a tame and willing gibbon in our household, because those long-reaching arms would be perfect for getting things out of the tops of the kitchen cupboards.

The human female and Sigyn are in raptures over this gold and floral folding screen.  There is some serious plant-squealing going on!


The human female is peering at the flowers and making squeaky noises because, apparently, they are painted with such skill that they can be identified by genus.  She is particularly excited about what she says are little blue dayflowers:


Sigyn is quite familiar with dayflowers.

Ehehehehehe!   By Sleipnirs eightfold fetlocks!  This is splendid!  The human female has become so enthusiastic, peering closely and pointing and squealing that she has been asked by the guard to step back or, preferably, leave the gallery entirely.

I always said that too much botany would get her into trouble someday.


Having left the art museum, we are in search of one of those large markets that the humans are so fond of.  Their intent is to buy something interesting for dinner.  But first, a visit to a store that specializes in things to hold…other things.  The human female is enthusiastically telling the male (who has never been to a store of this chain) that it is a wondrous, yet dangerous place.

She’s not wrong.


Hang  in there, sweetie, Loki’s coming.

Now we are a the large market.  Sigyn approves their horticultural offerings.


She is also entranced by these heirloom tomatoes.


Beloved, you may not want to hug these weird things.  I am fairly certain that a good few of those do not conform to the usual spectral specifications for berries of the genus Solanum.

Moreover, I am reasonably certain that this is not a tomato.


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Sigyn Loves Glassware

We all know that my sweetie has an affinity for glass, though her enthusiasm has been known to get her into trouble.  Remember this?  And this?

Well, she especially likes the glassware that the human female keeps in her office window.

You can probably guess why she likes this Erlenmeyer flask.

It came out of that horribly junky room the human female excavated last year, and it is brightly, obnoxiously RED.

I view it with suspicion, because even though Sigyn has yet to fall into it…

…she appears to be trying.  Dearest, please come down from there!

 The human female and Sigyn share a love of miniature labware.  The teenier it is, the more loudly they “squee.”  This itsy-bitsy beaker is one of their favorites.  

If I had to choose, I’d say it’s my favorite as well.  Not for cuteness, but because, as far as I can tell…

There is no way in Hel for her to get trapped inside.

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Mischief Update

While Sigyn and the human female dither about what color to make the eggs, I will note progress on my campaign to turn the human female into a babbling idiot. Mischief level: 5 out of 10.

1. Glassware. I tried. I really did, but the glassware vendor finally came through with the refund for the apothecary bottles. I was hoping I could stretch that prank out for a whole year, but I only managed 315 days. Note to self: Try harder.

2. Plumbing. No new leaks to report, but my work with the lab and office temperature controls is bearing a lot of fruit. The humans have caught wise to the fact that the thermostats on the wall are essentially decoys and that the displayed temperature is only an approximation, but I keep arranging little surprises. One week there was no hot water and the growth room dipped to just above 60F, which the plants and animals did not care for. This week two of the water pumps that supply chilled water went out at the same time, so the inside temperature went from bearable to “shuck-all-clothing” over the space of about two hours. The humans opened some windows and got to enjoy the record pollen count and some construction noise.

3. Pollen! Pollen everywhere! I have encouraged the trees that overhand the humans’ various parking spaces at work and at home to be extra prolific this spring, so their blue vehicles are now green. Birds have added some white dots, and the whole effect is very avant garde. (That is a Midgardian term meaning “disturbing and unpleasant to view.”)

4. The cat and I have figured out that 2:40 a.m. is the perfect time for a howl-and-prowl, especially if it is followed by hairball-harfing at 4:45 a.m. At that point, it pretty much does not pay to go back to sleep.

5. I also have a little project under development having to do with medical bills and insurance claims. I’m hoping to add hypertension and stress migraines to the human female’s other physical ailments.

Piddling stuff, I know, but it all adds up.

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Mischief update

Fog-shrouded trees and fungal excrescences are all very well, but don’t imagine for a moment I’m not keeping up with my campaign to make the human female crack before her next birthday.

So. Glassware. Remember the Beakers? Well, the vendor replaced the suspicious one, so she now has the one that came first, three more good ones, and one that can’t be trusted. (That one’s my favorite.) A refund was issued, even though there was really no need. That may seem like good news, until you realize that it wasn’t in an amount that corresponds to any number of single or multiple beakers, which is going to drive the accountants mad, and they will scream at the human female. And I will laugh.

Meanwhile, The Great Apothecary Bottle Snafu, which the human female thought might be resolved…isn’t. The Head Beancounters tried to tell her that the aforementioned refund took care of the four cases she succeeded in returning, but the amount is much less than the price of the returned goods. So that’s still hanging, and if I can keep this up through May, it will have been a year exactly!

I have suborned some of the maintenance employees, and now the temperature in the plant and animal room is seesawing nicely between 65 and 80F in no discernible pattern. We spin a dial to determine which component of the heating and cooling system will malfunction next. (If you have a preference, I can be bribed.)

Oh, and I’ve created a fine, is-it-a-dead-mouse-or-just-damp smell in one of the classrooms…

I did tinker with the weather last weekend, and when my spell weakened enough for them to TRY to go do something fun, I arranged for one of them to fall just ill enough that leaving the house was not an option. They then tried to do some home improvement, but I thwarted that too. That deserves a diary entry of its own!

The front yard is full of weeds, the grass isn’t green yet, I have taught the feline to on eat the houseplants and harf them up, and I arranged for the carbon monoxide detector to go off in the middle of the night. No dangerous gas, of course, just a malfunctioning unit. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

I like to keep busy.

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