Loki doesn't get it

Hobby Hijinks, Part II: About a Billion Beads

I’m continuing to devote my efforts this week to thwarting the human female’s attempts to enjoy her hobbies.  It’s going well so far:  Her mangled thumb is still rather useless, and it is still far too wet outside for enjoyable gardening.  The weeds are happy, of course, but all of her purpose-planted vegetation is looking distinctly underwhelmed.  (Just because we received an extra 13″ of rain last year and nothing has dried out since September…)

Today I am turning my attention to her love of beads.  She has a real passion for the “tiny shinies.”

Looks like a recent order or two arrived today.  Small, plump, rattly envelopes are always exciting.  (I think they’re funniest when they contain baby rattlesnakes, but I can work with beads.)

newbeads1

I’m sensing a theme here.  Blue, blue, and more blue.

newbeads2

I must examine them carefully and see if my magic worked.

newbeads3

Just as I planned! The human female ordered them online, only to find upon their arrival that she already has two of these.

Oh–it appears she ordered some “findings” as well.  It tickles me no end that they call them that.  It is certainly wishful thinking on the human female’s part, as I will see to it that the first thing all these tiny bits of metal will do is lose themselves in her bead box.

Augh!  She’s got churchy bits in there!   Have a look through them if you like, Sigyn, but you know I don’t “do” that sort of thing.

newbeads4

I’m out of here.

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Corncorncorncorncorncorn…corn

The humans, bereft of magic that can make anything be anything, spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out why things are the way they are and how they get that way.  Hence, next week’s biology lab will address the subjects of genetics and heredity.

I confess I do not know much about this subject, just that if you cross a mortal with another mortal, sadly, you will probably get another mortal.  There seems to be no way around it, which is why Midgard is so backward.

Since there are laws regarding the obtaining, studying, and disposing of humans, the students will be examining an even less intelligent organism — corn.   Apparently if you cross corn having some big letters with corn having some other, smaller letters, you get a crop of corn that has mixed big and little letters.   This excites the mortals for some reason, as does the fact that if you take those mixed-letter corn plants and let them make plant whoopie, you get some specific ratio of big to little letters.

I know. I don’t get it either.

Thus, the students are to be presented with several dry ears of corn that supposedly illustrate some of these phenomena.  The corn is useless for anything else, including eating.  Why?  Well, first, because it is not “eating” corn.  Also, it is very dry, and very old.

And also bug-ridden.  You see, there is a small, reddish-brown beetle that has made its life’s work, its noble contribution, the eradication of all this boring, alphabetic corn.   It is quite persistent and completely tireless.  It seeks out dry corn wherever it may be found and gobbles it right up like Volstagg at a feast.  It leaves behind quite a lot of powdered corn starch mixed with beetle poop.  This makes the ears unpleasant and messy to work with.

I may or may not have shown it where all the corn is stored…

At any rate, I have arranged that last week and this, the human female has had the task of cleaning all of the corn ears, brushing away all the fecal fallout, dusting out the display boxes, and re-shrink-wrapping all the ears.

Let’s drop on on her progress, shall we?

Here’s a really messy display box.

dirtycorn1

Those little beetles have been very thorough.    This one’s even worse!  Look at all that frass!

dirtycorn01

After some vigorous thumping and brushing, the box now looks like this:

dirtycorn02

I suppose it’s an improvement, but now the poor students will actually have to study.

The bagged and/or shrink-wrapped ears are just as infested.

dirtycorn2

Look at all those sad little corpses of beetles who gave their lives for the cause.   I bet the human female doesn’t even stop to mourn.

dirtycorn2b

She’s dusting off the ears, putting them in this plastic tubing,

dirtycorn4

and using this tool to shrink the tubing to fit the corn.

dirtycorn3

It is currently off, which is why I can bear to be near it.  Heat guns and Frost Giants are non-mixy things.

Here’s an ear all ready to have its diaphanous cocoon shrunk to fit.

dirtycorn5

The close-fitting plastic sleeves will keep the kernels from falling off the cob and keep the beetles from re-attacking the ears.

dirtycorn6

Right up until the point I poke holes in all the plastic…

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A New and Unusual Marketing Experience, Part II: Wait… What?

I am well-known for hating to admit that there is anything I do not know, but this emporium stocks many items that have me utterly baffled.

stripdanish

Strip…Danish?  I have heard of the Midgardian game “strip poker.”  Am I to assume that this baked good is to be used in a similar fashion?  Each player is given one, and if they cannot consume it in a specified period of time they have to take off an article of clothing?  That could become very…sticky, quickly.   Still, at $3.29 per player, it’s a cheap evening’s entertainment.

I am at a loss to divine what the items in this bag might be.  Are they made of onion?  Quinoa?  Chia?  What is chia?  Does anyone actually know?

quinowhat

Regardless, those have the look of wizened sausages or something that was…excreted.

I have dwelt on this miserable rock for going on four years, and there are still some things I cannot fathom.   I don’t understand this at all:

jumboshrimp

What is in this frozen package?  Are they butterflies or shrimp?  If shrimp, how can they be both jumbo and shrimp?  The sign says butterfly OR coconut shrimp, but the label says “Coconut breaded jumbo butterfly shrimp,” which would seem to indicate that they are both coconut AND butterfly.  Is such a thing even possible?  In any case, there are too many words here.  When I become ruler of Midgard, I’m going to institute an adjective tax and makers of products like this will be heavily fined.

By Volstagg’s ever-increasing girth!  Here is something I’ve never even heard of:

wyngz

Mama Frigga always used to say, when I was just learning to read, “When in doubt, sound it out.”  W-ing-zuh.  Wingzuh.  Wiiings.  Wings?!  As in chicken wings?  I imagine that, were I stoop so low as to eat a wyng or even a wing, a boneless experience might be more enjoyable.   But that raises the question–are these wyngz/wings from which the naturally-occurring bones have been somehow removed,  or are these wyngz/wings from boneless chickens?

If chicken nuggets are made of chopped and formed chicken, then what is in this package?  And do the paleontologists know that priceless, irreplaceable specimens are being destroyed in this manner?

dinonuggets

My head is starting to hurt.

No. Wait.  NOW it hurts.

friedtwinkie

Someone, somewhere, thought it would be a good idea to take a state fair food and dunk another barely-edible junk foodstuff therein.  And then fry it.  What the heck –let’s just get cotton candy involved too.

The inexplicableness of this whole operation extends beyond the dubious comestibles.  Sigyn, I hate to have to tell you that those “adorable” little pears are meant to be merely decorative.

fakepears

Yes, I know you have hugged teeny pears before, and those were perfectly edible, but trust me, you do not want to make a tart with these.

And what are those green, grassy balls?  I have been around livestock at various points in my life, and these look an awful lot like what one encounters when one is behind the mounted cavalry units in a parade.  Why would anyone want fake horse turds in their home?

Hmmm.  On second thought, perhaps I can use all these items to my own advantage.  I shall secret myself away somewhere where I may clandestinely observe the shoppers as they make their selections.  Anyone who chooses any of this bewildering junk will be summarily executed.  When I come to power, I want as few idiots among the populace as possible.

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She’s Eating *What*?

The human female would like everyone to think she eats healthfully.  Hah!  Last night, while she thought no one was looking, I saw her finish off a quart of pumpkin spice ice cream.  It wasn’t a full pint, true, but still.

Today she’s eating some fancy-shmancy yogurt cup.

yogurt1

I think the yogurt maker has a dartboard with different ingredients and just throws darts to come up with the flavors.  Honey lavender?  Bleargh.  What, were they out of persimmon-toejam and ginger-nasturtium?

On top of that, it isn’t even actually lavender.  Dammit, I wanted to watch her struggle to eat something purple.

yogurt2

Urrr.  Look at the ingredients!  I don’t know about you, but log protein is not something I want in my yogurt…

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Stand Back! I Think I Can Fix This

The Midgardians with whom I lodge do things sometimes which are completely inexplicable.  Take, for instance, this new candleholder-wreath combination.

wreath1.jpg

Three purple candles and one pink one–and no two the same height!  What a mess.

purplecandle

I mean LOOK at this.  Ignore the fake greenery and the weird ribbon.  They’re bad enough, but it’s the candles themselves that are giving me hives.  This one hasn’t even been lit yet.

Now, I can think of three possible reasons for this hideousness.  All seem to me to be equally likely:

  1. the human female is using up scrap candles, willy-nilly
  2. she is too cheap to light her candles all at once
  3. she really does think those colors go together

Not since Sif tried her hand at crochet have I seen such a monstrosity.

Sigyn likes the pink candle well enough.

wreath-sigyn

But purple?  No.  Just….no.

wreath-loki

Ugly little nubbin.

After careful consideration, I think I can improve this fiasco.

Green.  We need GREEN candles.  Green is always better

greenisbetter

There!  Now we just need three more…

therewego.jpg

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Now Baking Will Probably Happen

I will grudgingly admit that one of the benefits of living in a part of Midgard that can be easily mistaken for Muspelheim during  the summer is that it never does get too cold during what passes for fall and winter here.   Thus, certain plants that might otherwise be ungrowable manage to survive.

The human male’s mother has a fruit tree in her yard.

lemons2

Look!  Lemons in December!  The branches are quite thorny, but the foliage is fragrant and the fruits are prodigious.

I wasn’t really paying attention to the females, but I think I heard one of them say that this is an Oscar Mayer Lemon. That is a name I associate not with fruit but with processed meatstuffs, but perhaps this lemon makes a particularly nice garnish for bolgona…

Sigyn is enchanted.

sigynlemon1

Apparently, we are to take some home with us.  There are multiple opportunities for Holiday Baking coming up, and she and the human female are now nattering away about lemon-lavender pound cakes, lemon curd, and whatnot.  I predict stickiness, spilled flour, and a Saturday devoted to batters of various sorts.

As long as they save me one plump, juicy, hesperidium to force-feed to the whiney feline, I will be content.

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Are We Home Yet?

We seem to have been away from home forever.  While I do not begrudge Sigyn one moment of azalea-based merriment, I am more than ready to go home, take a nap, and get out of the company of these tedious mortals.

Arrgh!  Why are we stopping?  Ah, yes.  The humans, with their inferior internal plumbing and frail bodies, have to stop every so often to “Fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches,” as the female so delicately puts it.

While the humans enter this sprawling roadside caravanserai and waste another quarter hour of my valuable time debating the merits of one brand of bottled beverage over another, Sigyn and I will examine a strange sculpture that stands in the parking lot.

buckee3

It is a little cramped in here.  Sigyn, can you fathom what this is meant to be?

buckee4

I am still not sure, but I admit to being more than a little apprehensive.

buckee5

In a dozen thousand  years, when I have long since squeezed what I can out of this miserable realm and it hangs, a sucked-dry fruit on the lowest branch of Yggdrasil, archaeologists from distant realms will visit and try to make sense of what remains.  I suspect this bronze monstrosity and others like it will perplex them.  Eventually, they will put two and two together and realize that is a three-dimensional representation of the Beaver God Buc-ee, a pseudo-deity associated with clean toilets and dubious snack foods. (He and I have met before.)  Their scholars will debate for hundreds of years why an oversize rodent would peddle jerky, fudge, and motor fuel.

Do you know what?  I have no idea.

More perplexing is the Great Beaver’s dedication to public restrooms.  It is a scientific fact that beavers can’t abide the sound of running water.  The sound of continuous flushing should be enough to drive him utterly mad and trigger a building spate of epic proportions.  One would think the cleaning staff would be mucking mud and sticks out of the stalls around the clock.

Perhaps the Great Buc-ee, thoroughly stuffed and sated on his own superabundant snack foods, has grown too corpulent to effect construction.  It’s a theory.

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None of This Makes Sense, Part I:And all the Sides Besides

While the beef is simmering away, the human female is trying to make some sort of breadthing.  The recipe calls for a liquid called “buttermilk.”  Sigyn, do you know what that is?  Is it milk or is it butter?  Midgardian food is confusing.

And it appears that I will not this day be learning what buttermilk is because the human female doesn’t have any.  She’s using this…this… powder instead.

buttermilk

 

“Cultured” buttermilk?  What, does this stuff sing opera when you open the tin?  And look at those shifty eyes.  I don’t trust it.

Now the human is mixing white flour and whole wheat flour with the buttermilk powder in the bowl.

breadmix

Careful, dearest!  Don’t fall in.

(This is where a bit of sugar should go in, except that I pinched the human female and made her lose track of the recipe.  Payback for mr missing spear tip has begun…)

Now the human female is fossicking about in the cupboard for the leavening.  More alchemical-looking powders.

bakingsoda

“Clabber Girl.”  That sounds revolting.  But can we please use it rather than this other, orange-box stuff?  The logo on that one is much too reminiscent of certain thick-headed, muscle-bound, hardware-toting ersatz relative of mine. (“Standard of Purity” my pointy golden helmet–you’d be appalled at how many maidens my bro– Thor meddled with…)

Uh oh. This next bit could be dangerous.  Cutting cold butter into a recipe is how the human female chopped part of her finger off month before last.

butter

That is a lot of butter.  Are we sure the human female isn’t making shortbread?

Well, poke me in the eye and call me Fury!  She has managed to do it without compromising her digital dexterity.

cut-butter-in

Now the wet ingredients–egg and water for reconstituting that snooty french buttermilk powder.

wetingredients

Sigyn, do you hear any singing?   Me neither. Perhaps it dabbles in painting…

Now then.  The bread– which looks like nothing so much as a huge biscuit– is in the oven and the human female has turned her attention to vegetable matter.   Potatoes first, and some cabbage later on.

taters

And here is the finished dinner:

finished dinner

Pink meat?!  It cooked all day–should it BE that color?  Brownish biscuit bread.  Potatoes. Cabbage.  Peasant food!  I heard someone invoke someone named “Saint Paddy,” but given the way the humans are shoveling it in, they should be calling on Saint Padding.

But I still don’t get it.  I see beef. I see the cabbage.  But where’s the bloody CORN?

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None of This Makes Sense, Part I:The Beef

Apparently tomorrow is a special day for some Midgardians, those whose ancestors hail from a very green and damp bit of the planet’s northern hemisphere.  On this day, they are supposed to eat a certain traditional meal, except that that the natives of that particular bit of Midgard  don’t actually eat it.  The whole assemblage of comestibles is apocryphal, something made up in this country, more or less.  The human female, not being of a very discerning or discriminating nature, has bought into the hoodwinkery and has plunged with gusto into the whole rigamarole of corn, beef, and cabbage.

Here is the beef for the feast.  I am highly suspicious of meat that comes in a bag.

bag

Poke, poke, poke.  Look at that–it broke the tip off Gungnir!  If no one can manage to cut this, we are ALL going to be hungry and need charity.

Time to trim.  Even Volstagg wouldn’t want all that fat.  Here’s hoping my dagger can get through this.  (Sigyn doesn’t need to see this part of the process.)

timetocut

And now Mister Beef gets to simmer all day.

simmer

The human female has wandered off to do whatever it is when she’s not doing anything useful.  This is my opportunity to do a little mischief.   Turn up the heat a little and ploof!  FOOOAAAAAAAM!

splat

The human female will have fun cleaning that up, but it serves her right for tossing out my dagger with the scraps.  I made her comb through the whole garbage with her very own hands, but we didn’t find it.  She will pay for this, you can be sure, and for a very long time.

Sigyn is really interested now because it involves this “cute” little packet of spices.

spices

As I said, the beef will simmer all day long.  I get that. But what about the rest of the meal?

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A Well-earned Vacation, Part III: The Turn of a Friendly Card (Not)

Well, that ended badly.  So craps is not my game.  Perhaps I will have better luck in a new casino, playing with cards.  This looks easy enough–try to draw cards that add up to twenty-one.  How hard can it be?

We seem to have a female dealer this time.  Same suit.  Less smarm.  She’s asked Sigyn to cut the deck.

blackjack1

Come on, Yelp.  It’s more fun if I’m not the only one playing.  I’ll stake you on this hand.

धन्यवाद। कि तपाईं को धेरै प्रकारको छ।

blackjack2

So far, so good.  What is it I’m supposed to say to acquire another card?  “Hit me”?

blackjack3

Yelp has 13, I have 18, and the dealer has 12.  I know that I should “hold,” but I believe I can subtly use my magic to influence the next card…

blackjack4

Augh!  Twenty three!  By Fenrir’s pointy eyeteeth, that was supposed to work!  There must be a magic-dampening field generator hidden in the walls somewhere.  Or else there’s a magic user on staff.  That is not fair!

I shall explain things to the dealer.  I am Loki.  I am a god.  I do not lose at trifling little card games, do you understand?

blackjack5

I think if you consult the rules again, you will find I am allowed to take your top card and subtract it from my hand, which means I have twenty-one and I win.

No, Sigyn, I will not calm d–   Oh, very well.  This is a stupid game and I no longer wish to play.  Let us depart.  Also, Benno is running away and someone needs to stop him before he gets into trouble

blackjack6

blackjack7

म दु: खी छु। मेरो मित्र छोटो-टेम्पर्ड मुर्ख ब्यक्ति छ। आफ्नो खराब बेहोरा लागि, लागि यो उज्ज्वल सिक्का स्वीकार गर्नुहोस्।

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