Tuesday, June 28, 2016

There's a new about trans* people and bathroom access at the Slacktiverse

So, I was the editor for an anonymous post that I spent years not actually getting posted.  It's obviously become extremely relevant given current legislation though the real reason that I actually, finally, got the damned thing up is actually that the topic came up at my grandfather's burrial and made me think that it was about time I finally posted the thing.

I think it's well worth reading, and thus advise you to go there and look at it.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Narnia: Susan, Lucy, and the Wolf (LWW)

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[In canonical Narnia Aslan stopped everyone else from helping because Peter needed to "win his spurs" as Susan and Lucy proved incapable of defending themselves.  Susan and Lucy face death, but somehow it manages to all be a about Peter.]

Susan managed to nock an arrow, but was forced to dodge the Wolf before she could even point the bow. "He's too close!" Susan shouted with the force of a curse.

She hadn't expected anyone to respond, but Lucy did:

A flash by the side of the Wolf, the a howl of pain, "I'm a smaller target," Lucy said, beside Susan for a moment, then running off to the left, "let it follow me."

The Wolf surged forward again, it snapped her arrow with its claw, but she didn't have to dodge: it followed Lucy to the left. As it went Susan vaguely noted a wet feeling. She touched it with her fingers as she dropped the ruined arrow. When she looked down there was blood on her hand.

Lucy slipped through two trees too close together for the Wolf to follow, but the it didn't gain Lucy that much time. Most of the trees were too far apart for Lucy to make much use of her smaller size.

Susan would have told Lucy that if she'd had the chance, but now she needed to deal with what was in front of her. Her sister was in danger. She dropped the bow, pulled an arrow from her quiver with her right hand, and took the horn from her belt with her left. The bow had scarcely hit the ground when she started crouching down to pick back up while she blew the horn.

Lucy was circling back towards her, which should give her a good shot. Susan didn't even think as she dropped the horn and picked up the bow, she nocked the arrow with a strange focused calm that seemed utterly divorced from the danger Lucy was in. She drew the string back, her index finger brushed her lip. She looked down the arrow, saw Lucy and the Wolf, and adjusted her aim with ease.

Lucy stumbled.

The entire world came crashing in on Susan. The smells of the wood, the blood on her fingers, the sound of the Wolf, the way Lucy hit the ground, the way the Wolf seemed to have a look of triumph as it made one last bound toward Lucy.

Susan loosed the arrow even though she knew her aim was off. She just hoped it would be close enough.

Lucy rolled out of the way --just barely-- as the Wolf hit the ground. Maybe--

Deadly claws reached toward Lucy. For a fleeting moment Susan thought her sister was going to die. Then only Lucy's right arm was bloodied, she was already to her knees and prepared to strike back. The dagger might have missed the Wolf's heart, it was hard to tell, but it did its job.

* * *

The warriors stopped running ahead of him. Why did they stop? Were they too late?

When Peter caught up to the group they were standing in a sort of half circle. At it's center Lucy was having her arm bandaged, Susan was visibly shaken, and a large Wolf lay dead --a dagger and an arrow still in it.

Susan put her hand on Lucy's shoulder and said, "Maybe it wasn't--"

"It was like the Beavers." Lucy said, her eyes never leaving the Wolf.

"I never could lie to you," Susan said. She walked to the Wolf, placed her right foot upon it, and pulled out the dagger with her left hand. As she turned back to Lucy, she twisted the dagger in her hand so that the handle faced Lucy. "Battles are ugly things?" Susan said as she offered the dagger to to Lucy.

Lucy took the dagger, but said nothing.

"Battles are always ugly things," a Naiad said. Many nodded.

A centaur added, "Battles are ugly things, but Life is a beautiful thing. Focus not on what has been killed . . ."

"But on what has been saved," a Dryad finished. "You have saved each other. Whether that was worth killing for, only you can determine; but do not forget that there is more than one dead Wolf here. There are also two live humans."

Peter stepped out of the crowd, closer to his sisters. "Su, Lu, I . . ." Lucy hit him so hard he felt like the force of the hug might knock him over, Susan joined a moment later. "I"m sorry I wasn't . . . I should have been there to . . ."

"Later," Susan said, and Peter obeyed. They stood there, in a three way hug, in silence. For a time the world, and with it matters of life and death, fell away and they were simply three siblings who happened to be hugging each other.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Have I mentioned that the financial system is evil?

The thing was supposed to, by it's very nature, just say, "No," if I didn't have the money.  Hidden pages deep in the electronic maze of financial esotericism that was the online documentation was a little tiny setting that said if I didn't have the money it would reach across banking systems and ask my credit union to cover the difference.  It's not related to my credit union.  It's not in the same system as my credit union.  It's not on the same fucking plane of existence as my credit union.

So here's the deal:

Every month I don't have enough money.  If I'm lucky I can work something out somehow, I seem to have a lot of luck, which is nice.  If I'm not I slip deeper and deeper into debt.  (Social Security is still dragging its heels on the fucking review that has the potential to get me out of this fucked up situation.)

My accounts at my credit union (linked savings and checking) are thus empty almost all of the time.  No balance in checking, minimum balance in savings.  I would never, ever, authorize something to try to draw money from either without me manually checking that there was such money first because I know that having money in them is exception instead of rule.

But the little tiny setting was apparently ticked automatically.

So here I am paying for my medication because without it I become a hopeless helpless mass.  I've got good insurance, only a 6 dollar co-pay for two meds being filled for the next month.

Turns out I only had four dollars and four cents in the debit account.  It's supposed to say, "No."  Debit isn't credit.  Debit is only supposed to use money you actually have.

If it had done that I would have used a credit card to pay the six bucks.

No, this debit card with no connection to my credit union whatsover decided to make the payment and make up the missing $1.96 via a wire transfer from my credit union.  My credit union that doesn't have money in it.

Thus $1.96 overdraft, thus a fee of $30.

For those who can't do percents in their heads:
  1. Don't worry about it, I can't either.
  2. The fee was 1,530.61% of the overdraft.
When things go beyond one thousand percent, I tend to find them excessive.

The financial system is evil.

A poem about Limbo (Four Realms)

[I envision this as being, in world, a poem written by an anonymous author generally agreed to be a female human child.]

The world is curved; your mind is flat
You try to think-- Oh God, what's that!?
Where we walk the demons tread
And even angels quake with dread
But they to not the demons fear
Something from Outside draws near
This place changes 'neath our feet
As we beat our brave retreat
In the shadow of our world
Are Limbo's secret truths unfurled.

-

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Grandfather interred (lots of venting)

Sometimes I may understate how dysfunctional my family is, I very much doubt I've ever overstated it.

My grandfather had a viewing and a service already.  All that was left was to put him in the ground.  He'd always said he wanted to be buried in the military cemetery in Augusta.  There are two, and apparently there're space issues in one so there was a change from one Veteran's Memorial Cemetery to another Veteran's Memorial Cemetery, but given that it takes all of six minutes to get from one to the other . . . you wouldn't think we could fuck that up, right?

Furthermore, it takes over a damn hour to get from where people live to fucking Augusta.  This means that both ends of the journey are pretty well covered.  If someone goes to the wrong end point that can be solved in six minutes or less.  If someone has trouble getting started they can call ahead to let everyone else know when they do get started which will give everyone round about an hour's heads up that they'll be late.

There is absolutely no reason that it should be within the bounds of human conception that we could fuck this up in a way that would be unexpected or take longer than a few minutes to fix.

Two Marines were standing stock still at either end of the casket while another stood a respectable distance away with, I'm guessing, a bugle or trumpet for some 15 minutes because a couple people were at the wrong cemetery, found out well ahead of time, and somehow managed to go through a black hole that deposited them in a construction area (God only fucking knows where that was because it wasn't between the two cemeteries) and then forward in time some twenty minutes because it simply isn't possible for it take that long to get from point A to point B without a timeskip.  (If you tried to drive that slowly you've be stopped by a snail riding a tortoise and ticketed for going dangerously under speed limit.)

During the ceremony, which isn't much (foreground Marines lift the flag, background Marine plays taps, foreground Marines fold the flag, one of the foreground Marines delivers the flag to family appointed "No, we don't think next of kin is necessarily the best measure" person and that Marine says a nice few words), the drama still didn't end as my grandfather's wife who he was planning on divorcing but he didn't live long enough and don't even get me fucking started on the fact that she was responsible for the injuries that killed him via complications . . . where was I?

Right, the would have been ex-wife and her children (who have been stealing his shit) found a way to add drama to one of the most basic ceremonies in existence.  Remember, this is just putting him in the ground.  Th service has already been held.  How can you possibly make this all about you?

Well by arriving fashionably late and driving your car up onto the grass right next to the place where people are supposed to be sitting so you can watch without getting out of the car while everyone who is in their proper place has no way to avoid noticing that there's a fucking car next to them where there's supposed to be empty space and silence only broken by the bullfrogs.  (There were a lot of bullfrogs, judging by the sound.)

I suppose it's somewhat better than how she acted at the last funerary function we had the misfortune of sharing with her.

My grandfather, mercifully, is in a box the entire time and so doesn't have to deal with this shit.

Though he might have noticed when I pissed off the entire already buried population of the cemetery when I accidentally set off a car alarm by casually taking out of the car something I accidentally left in it.  To all of the dead veterans of Maine, sorry about that.  I never wanted to be that guy*, and I was.  Deepest apologies.

After the ceremony is over and people start heading home. . .  Wait.  Back up.

So one person did call when it became apparent she was going to be late.  That was my mother.  She was supposed to meet up with my sister but there were problems and my sister stressed her out and they ended up coming up separately and she was late in heading out and called, basically, to apologize for the fact that she'd miss it (this was my father's father, but he and my mom were close and she just divorced my dad, not my dad's entire family) and say that even though she was going to miss it she was coming anyway so that we could possibly meet afterward.

My sister never contacted anyone.

My mother arrived at the same time as most of the people (all of them well after my uncle who apologized for being late) and thus didn't miss anything except three Marines standing perfectly still while they waited for the family of one of their own, none of us a Marine, to get our shit together so they could do what they came there to do and were supposed to have done more than 15 minutes prior.

Ceremony happens, people break up, we're back to where I was before I said, "Wait.  Back up."

Now I forgot to take my medication in the morning and there's really nothing for that but taking my medication.  I did what little can be done, which is to drink a lot of water and to take any headache meds that might be on hand.

So I need the quick ride home.  I don't know if that's going to be my mother or my father.

But hey, the ceremony is over and people have started to head home and the drama must be over now, right?

Well, no.

There was still the matter of my sister.

Nobody had heard a damned thing from her.  My mother was going to wait around to see if she showed up (while trying to contact her) but my dad was intent on doing that himself.  I pointed out that I, the unmedicated one, needed the quick trip home so if I could just get my stuff out of my dad's car if he was staying, or if we could go if we were going then --

No dice.  No dice, no knucklebones, no random number generators, no teetotuma, no dreidela, none of those stick things that serve the same function as dice.

The perturbation of the car alarm I accidentally set off was nothing when compared to my dad's angry accusational rant about, to, and about my sister before, during, and after the time my dad got her on the phone.

My grandfather was in the ground, the accouterments packed up onto a truck, the fresh dirt and accompanying backhoe arrived, and some people with various duties come and gone by the time my dad finally stopped going off.

Thankfully this wasn't done at the grave site itself.  It was done around this thing:


That's a sculpture in, I believe, bronze of what's known as "a battlefield cross".  One might quickly note that it doesn't look like it's a cross.  It's called that because it's an American custom and most American soldiers at the time of the Civil War were Christians.  It could as easily be called a "Battlefield [anything a soldier might want on his or her headstone]".

What it is is something that happens on or near the battlefield (hence the name.)  Before the body is buried, before the earth is moved, perhaps even before the battle is over, the boots, weapon, and helmet of the fallen are arranged into a memorial.

The sculpture is thus as much a symbol of soldiers who used battlefield crosses because they didn't know if they'd be alive for a formal memorial as it is for soldiers who were honored by them.

Perfect place to have a family spat.

Now some parts of what my sister said don't really make sense, but in the end what it came down to is this:

My nephew, he'll be three years and two months old to the day tomorrow, puked epically.  This made my sister decide not to make the drive to Augusta and she didn't call for reasons that may or may not make sense.  Since she was on the phone with him anyway, my sister asked if my dad had a car seat she could borrow.  He said no, but he'd buy one.  She said not to, the one she had just needed to be cleaned.  It was worth borrowing one if he had a spare because that would make things easier, but it wasn't worth buying a new one.  She'd just asked because it would have made things easier if there were another one to use until the cleaning was done.

I get hazy on order of events here.  For no apparent reason, but because he thought my sister had asked him the same question twice (maybe he misinterpreted the explanation of why she asked as a repetition of asking) my dad said that he didn't have one, repeatedly and in increasing volume in word for word identical sentences for a while.

Then he started an interrogation on why she asked if she could borrow a car seat if she apparently didn't need it which completely ignored the fact that she'd already answered (it would make things easier to have a clean seat to use in the interim, but not so much of a difference as to be worth buying a new one) in a display of what courts in Hell probably sound like when it's time for cross examination.

Remember now that we're not just in a cemetery, hallowed ground and all that, we're at a monument in the cemetery.

While we were at some distance from the people doing the actual burring of my grandfather, I have a feeling the sound could carry.

Complete strangers are showing my grandfather respect and such, my family is waking the dead and likely pissing them off because I very much doubt there are many people who are exactly the right kind of masochist as to want to be called back to their embalmed interred bodies just to listen to that shit for an amount of time that makes eternity seem brief by comparison.

If you want to know what kind of family my immediate family is . . . we're those people.  We're the people in a sacred space at a fucking monument to the sacredness of the sacred space who are causing enough disturbance to piss off people seven time zones away with an argument that doesn't need to be had about a minor discrepancy that isn't actually discrepant involving one person who isn't there, one person who thinks that it's appropriate to call a child a liar, and go off on her for "lying", if she wants vanilla ice cream when you head to the ice cream place but changes her mind to chocolate by the time she gets to the counter, and two people who don't even want to be there but can't leave until they get car keys from the "You meet a definition of liar, which I made up myself, that you'll find in no dictionary and I'm going to scream at you for an interminable period because of it" guy.

We're those people.

My mother and I didn't try to reign my dad in.  It never works anyway.  We just waited for the storm to pass.

My mother, to her lack of credit, encouraged my dad before contact was made with my sister.  She wasn't trying to, but she doesn't let consequences stop her from venting, and damned be anyone who gets caught in the exhaust.  It's bad enough when I get caught in the exhaust, but if my dad gets caught in the exhaust it sets off a chain reaction of DO NOT WANT and she never, ever, thinks to, or tries to, avoid that.  Sometimes, presumably, the only one who has to suffer for that is herself, as she winds him up and she's the only one the spring can recoil at, other times I suffer too because having been present is how I know that sort of thing happens, in this case it ended up aimed at my sister.

Did I have stuff that I might have liked to rant about to get it off my fucking chest/mind/thing?  Of course.  I just wasn't going to throw that gasoline soaked black powder laced kindling on the fire.  I wish others would show the same restraint.

We are not going to fix my dad.  Maybe once upon a time it could have been done, but no one is still close enough to nudge him into therapy and any attempted nudge would result in the nudger getting figuratively body checked anyway.

Some fights can't be won, and it's not like we could have not invited him to his own father's burial.  He's the firstborn for fuck's sake.

So we just have to minimize and contain.  It isn't fair, but it's the way things are.  That doesn't fucking happen.

And thus we're those people.

If any of you should, in the afterlife, meet a bunch of veterans from Maine, it would be in you best interest not to mention that you know the family who were at the monument in Section A of the Mt. Vernon Rd Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery today.  Because I have a feeling that we've pissed all of the dead soldiers there off.

Semper Fi, grampy; tacete the rest of my family.

And sorry to the living as well.  The people who did the actual burial and clean up didn't deserve to be in range of that shitstorm either.  Though they were far enough that maybe they could tune it out.  Even so, they deserved better.  As did everyone.

And, no, spellcheck, shitstorm is not a misspelling of hailstorm.  I think I would have preferred hail.

-

* "Guy" here not referring to gender because then I'd be ... um ... that gal.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lonespark and Chris the Cynic watch Jane Got A Gun (Spoilers)

[Added] Chronologically the last quote in the post.  "Uh, you warned them it was spoilertastic, right?" - Lonespark

Ok, so, this is spoilertastic.[/added]

Some of this is Lonespark, some of this is chris, some of this is when we merge into a hive mind.  A hive mind of two.  Very small hive, but more bodies than you'd expect a single mind to have.  You have been warned.

Jane Got A Gun, a 2016 movie that was in theaters for such a short time that we missed it upon blinking, is available in redboxes now.

-

Coffins and whores - this town has everything!

Nobody here but me and chickens...

“I give you my word... I prob'ly ain't gonna kill him...”

Dan puts the rapey asshole's corpse against the fence...and puts his hat on...but you can still obviously see part of his head was blown off... What was the point of that, Dan?

“You know the war isn't gonna last very long...” -Flashback!Dan re: that war that lasted a really long time.

Chris: You haven't made it there yet [Jane]. There's no Pacific Ocean in New Mexico
Lonespark: You're thinking in a temporally confined sense...A few hundred million years ago...

Ewan MacGregor is super good at being evil...

“Hammond's not fit to get on a horse, Dan.” - Jane
“He's mostly dead, Jane!” - Lonespark
“But mostly dead...is slightly alive!” - Chris

Lonespark: How is [Dan's] hat so clean? Did he just buy it?
Chris: Maybe so. He put the other one on the dead guy...to cover up the fact that part of his head was missing...
Lonespark: ...which it DID NOT DO, so that was a waste...

Lonespark: That's a dissected alluvial fan!

This movie would be more fun if it were steampunk. Jane Got a Clockwork Gun? There is even a Significant Balloon!

Woooo! Nassty dreadful fortifications for trench warfare! We loves to hates it, Preciousss...

“You might wanna see a day where the sun don't just shine on your story! ...there is a whole world of tales out there...” - Jane, and a good general principle for Hollywood.

Love the math!
How many men does Bishop have? Any number...minus five... 
“Maybe ten...maybe a hundred...”
[Dan kills the dude.]
“Minus one.”

“I knew you weren't mine no more...” - Dan
“She wasn't in the first place!!!” - Chris

Lonespark is always disappointed when threesomes or at least polyamory can't solve anything...in fiction...

“The problem is that 'that' is not your property.” - Bishop, that horrible fucker
“Are you telling me she's your property?” - Hammond, displaying his considerably less horrible outlaw nature and underlining the point of this film

- - -

We know Mary died by drowning because there was a floating shoe. No further search is necessary.

“That day I came to your house, I wanted to tell you...” - Jane
“But I shouldn't have to” - Lonespark

Lonespark: “I sense a heroic sacrifice because they can't all sort things out afterward. Also the title. It's not called 'Some dudes got some guns'. Because we've seen that move a thousand times already.”
Chris: (movie trailer voice) “He was a simple farmer, they were a random marauding band of marauders...”

Dan: “You've got to go Jane”
Lonespark: Hell no, this is my land!
Jane: “This is my house”
Lonespark: Fuck yeah! We're in a western. Shut up!

Lonespeark: Wooo, time for a siege! It's like a castle and siege warfare movie...ok, it basically is, but with different scenery...

Lonespark: Good thing I [Dan] learned all that siege stuff in the war.

Lonespark: “Flame broiled horrible bastards. Hooray! . . . Well don't shoot the ones who are on fire, that's a waste of ammo.”

After wounded person shoots bad guy:
Lonespark:“Yeah! I think he gave up on compressing the wound, but it was for a good reason.”

After the lantern falls:
Lonespark: That could be bad. I mean, I know they wanted the light, but I hope it doesn't burn the wooden house down.

[break to get kids]

Bishop, high king of terrible assholes, shoots a dead person
“This is a man who knows how to double check.” - Chris
“Well so did [Dan] when he wasted all the bullets...” - Lonespark

Lonespark: “That is a less than terrible ending I didn't really see coming!”

“Why don't they tell the other women forced into prostitution, 'You can stay here under your own management, or come with us and learn to shoot things?'” (or something) -Chris

“I wanted to see this but I didn't know it was going to be so satisfying in the end, but it's just crying out for a series of sequels, and I would have liked to have seen it in the theaters, the bastards.” - Lonespark

Lonespark is torn between “That is too easy and why does Dan the Jerk Who Doesn't Trust Women get to live, anyway?” and “YAY HAPPY ENDING WE NEED MORE OF THOSE!!!”

Chris having brilliant fanfic ideas:
Dr. Jane Foster meets someone in Asgard or elsewhere who asks if she's any relation to the great hero from the Earth province of New Mexico, Jane the Gunslinger.

This is totally a Thor AU. Dan Frost(!) was separated from Jane a long time when the Rainbow Bridge was broken... Possibly something something memory loss... Also this raises the possibility that Mary is part God...That will be helpful in her future career kicking ass with her posse of liberated sex slaves.

Other movies we should watch:
True Grit
Lonesome Dove
Lone Star (not a spinoff of Spaceballs, although that would be awesome)
Silverado

And the post-apocalypse sequel: Mad Max:Fury Road

Jane is cool since she's kind of in between Furiosa and The Wives...
She can totally be a badass in the future, with Mary or Mary and Upside-Down Tree Story Girl*... Dan Frost can be their Max, reliable behind the scenes and not quite as good with a rifle...

“I almost feel like that movie could benefit from an opening like Harold and Kumar had. . . Dan gets out of prison camp, and rides across the country, and finds his true love, and . . . then, by the magic of moving making, 'Guess what white dude, the movie is not about you.'”

-

* Further research says her name is Katie.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trying to understand the Nine Realms

[First note that I am not a Norse pagan.  This isn't an attempt to find religious truth.  It's just the sort of problem solving I do when presented with a mystery.]

There are nine realms, sometimes called nine homeworlds, but there isn't a single surviving list of what they are.  Instead it's left up to us to sort them out.

There is a list of six groups each of which have a homeworld (Humans, Aesir, Vanir, Jotuns, Elves, Corpses) to this we can add the Black Elves, also known as Dwarves, and get seven.  Add in the two primordial realms and we get nine.

And that is the traditional listing, using the order from above we get

  • Midgard - Home to humans
  • Asgard - Home to the Aesir gods
  • Vanaheim - Home to the Vanir gods
  • Jotunheim - Home to (many of) the Jotuns
  • Álfheim - Home to the (Light) Elves
  • Helheim - Home to dead people, the ones not in Valhalla.
  • Svartálfaheim - Home to the Black Elves also known as Dwarves.
  • Niflheim - Primordial realm of ice and snow and mist and stuff
  • Muspellsheim - Primordial realm of fire and lava and such.

The major problem here is that Hel, who created Helheim, wasn't sent into the mists of "never been a realm here" when Odin killed banished her to the land of the dead never to return to the realms of the living again until the day of Resurrection of the dead.

She was sent somewhere that already existed and set up shop there.  Now it's possible that she created a world that broke off from the previous one and became a realm unto itself (where do you think most of the nine came from?) but it doesn't just say she was cast into an existing realm, Niflheim, it says that here kingdom is there.  Implying that Helheim is not a ream unto itself but just a location within greater Niflheim.

So there's one problem, our list of nine might actually only be a list of eight.  Another problem is the question of how they relate to each other.

* * *

There's not a lot of information to sort them out.

Niflheim and Múspellsheim are opposite each other.  That helps.  All we need to do is locate one of them and we automatically know where the other one is.

Midgard is in the middle.  That's useful.

The home of the Dwarves/Black Elves is below Midgard.

The (Light) Elves are up.  They're also south of Asgard but that doesn't really help because I don't think we have north/south east/west directions on Asgard itself.

The world tree has three roots and ... oh my gods do they not make sense.

One goes to a well in Jotunheim.  At least that much is clear.  Before it touches down and meets the well, it goes over Jotunheim.  Makes sense.

Helheim is under another of the roots.  Midgard under the last.  Would be nice if the roots had names.

We also know that the roots each go to a well.  Already covered the well in Jotunheim.  The other two are in Niflheim and Asgard.

Given the placement of Helheim inside of Niflheim we can probably assume that one over Helheim goes to the well in Niflheim.

So, then, the one that goes over Midgard would be, process of elimination, the one that goes to the well in Asgard which we are to interpret . . . how?

Roots often go down, so we could interpret the fact that Asgard is at the end as meaning that it is below Midgard.  On the other hand, if it is a more horizontal root then it being ground level in Asgard but above Midgard, then Asgard would be higher.

And then there's this.  While Gylfaginning clearly places the well the root taps as residing among the gods, they have to cross the Bifrost (rainbow bridge) daily to reach it.  The Bifrost is the bridge connecting Midgard and Asgard.  So, if the gods live in Asgard, and the well is with them, why do they have to cross the bridge?

Maybe the bridge has multiple stops?

And then there's a question of what it means to go "up" a rainbow.  Rainbows go in circles.  Go up for long enough and you'll be going level, longer still and you'll be going down.  The fact that Asgard is up the rainbow bridge from Midgard doesn't mean it's above Midgard.  In fact it sort of makes more sense for it to be below.

You can, after all, see the full arc of a rainbow under the right conditions, but earthbound humans can never see the full circle.  If going up one side is how you get to asgard, and you can't see asgard from here, then you must have to go over the arch or the rainbow, down the other side, and below the horizon.

The whole thing is a mess to interpret.

Let this be a call to action.  What do you believe?  Whatever it is, write it down in great detail, make many copies, seal most of them against the elements, and bury the sealed ones in deserts and/or peat bogs, and try to circulate the rest widely.  Future historians and mythographers will be grateful.


* * *


Recap of what we know: Midgard is in the middle.  Helheim is in Niflheim.

At the roots are Asgard, Jotunheim, and Helheim/Niflheim

Svartálfaheim is down, Álfheim is up.

Muspellsheim is opposite Niflheim.

* * *

Trying to synthesis and also making shit up:

The simple directions of the two Elf homworlds suggests to me that Svartálfaheim--Midgard--Álfheim  represents an axis along the trunk.

Svartálfaheim is underground, it can't be too far underground because tree roots tend to stay close to the surface, additionally Yggdrasil's main roots are not some extension of a young taproot that was somehow encouraged to continue as a straight down trunk extension.  Still, we're talking Yggdrasil here; not too far underground for Yggdrasil is probably enough space to fit a really nice realm or two.

So I'm saying that Svartálfaheim is under Yggdrasil's trunk,

Midgard is at "ground" level of the trunk.  That's pretty much accepted.  Mind you what "Ground means for a tree connecting worlds is ... unclear at best.

Álfheim is straight up the trunk.

Three along the trunk and three in the roots leaves us with three left to determine.

Muspellsheim is easy.  It's opposite Midgard from Niflheim, which is in the roots, so it would be in the branches on the side non-Niflheim side of the tree.  (How can the realm of lava be elevated?  I don't think it's a problem for Yggdrasil.  Yggdrasil can probably have a realm of endless empty space at the bottom most portion of its deepest root.)

We're left to determine the location of Vanaheim and ????.  Putting together Helheim and Niflheim has left us a realm short.  At this point I abandon all pretense of logical reasoning (and openly so, unlike before when I didn't point it out) and draw on aesthetics and analogy.

The fire giants live somewhere.  But Muspelleheim doesn't seem like a place to live.  The frost giants don't live in Niflheim.  Primordial realms are not good places to live.  Note that the inhabitants of Helheim, located within Niflheim, are all dead.

If the frost giants don't dwell in the realm of primordial realm of frost but instead somewhere off a different root over to the side somewhere, then by analogy the fire giants shouldn't dwell in the primordial realm of fire but instead in a different realm off a different branch off to the side somewhere.

So I posit their world as the ninth realm they are the Eldjötnar, so their world would be Eldjotenheim.  I place it opposite Jotunheim.  (Note that there is president for [something]heim and prefix[something]heim both existing, see Álfheim and Svartálfaheim.)

The only realm not yet placed is Vanaheim, and the only asthetically pleasing place to put it is in the branches opposite Asgard.

This leaves us with three realms in the branches (Muspelleheim,  Eldjotenheim, and Vanaheim), three along the trunk (Svartálfaheim, Midgard, and Álfheim) and three at the roots (Asgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim which contains Helheim.)

It also leaves us with the following oppositions:
Álfheim is opposite Svartálfaheim
Jotunheim is opposite Eldjotunheim
Asgard is opposite Vanaheim
Niflheim is opposite Muspelleheim
Midgard is in the middle.

And that's the model of the Nine Realms I come up with.  Given that I had to make up a name "Eldjotunheim" to get there, I'm, pretty sure no one actually follows or believes in this model.  But it makes sense to me.