by Catriona Mills

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Eight

Posted 2034 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Actually, he was pretty hot in that episode of Community.
NICK: You think?
ME: Yeah. I didn’t see the appeal of Sawyer, but I’m a sucker for a man in a ten-gallon hat.
NICK: Really?
ME: What can I say? I watched a lot of Westerns as a kid.
NICK: Now I’m wondering where I can get a ten-gallon hat.
ME: Honey, I’m also a sucker for men with long hair, because I discovered I was straight in the early ’80s. Doesn’t mean you have to grow your hair.
NICK: And you’re still straight in the early ’80s.
ME: Pardon?
NICK: Okay, that’s not fair. You have evolved. A bit.

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: Not All Is Hyperbole

Posted 2034 days ago in by Catriona

While documenting the epic study spring-cleaning ordeal of 2011, I’ve made mention, on occasion, of my spare room now looking as though a disreputable secondhand bookstore had exploded in it.

And I thought to myself, “Hmm. What if people think I’m being hyperbolic? If only there were some way to demonstrate that such a description is not merely hyperbole!”

It’s not hyperbole.

I cannot wait until this marking is finished and I have time to start moving these books back into their rightful home.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Seven

Posted 2035 days ago in by Catriona

An extension of a Twitter conversation about self-importance:

ME: But if I don’t keep that secret from my students, I’ll have to rule by fear. And that’s so tiring.
NICK: Simple solution? Get a Death Star.
ME: Honey, one of my classes is twenty-two students and me in a room that takes a maximum of twenty-four people. There’s no way I’m getting a Death Star in there.
NICK: Good point.
ME: And that’s how I choose to undercut that argument?
NICK: It made sense to me.
ME: Really? Because it sounded like the stupidest reason ever to me. “Oh, I can’t have a Death Star. The room’s too small.”

Strange Conversations: The Job-Satisfaction Edition

Posted 2035 days ago in by Catriona

Talking a class through a professional-editing exercise:

ME: So, how would you annotate that problem?
STUDENT: I’d say, “Don’t be a pompous douchebag.”
ME: As a general rule, it’s best to avoid any phrases that, for example, I wouldn’t write on a student’s assignment.
STUDENT: But if you wrote “Don’t be a pompous douchebag” on my assignment, I’d just think, “You’re right, I was being a pompous douchebag.”

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: The Slow Re-build

Posted 2037 days ago in by Catriona

So.

The carpet cleaner has come and done his best to remove the mould from carpets that should probably have just been stripped up and killed with fire. (And, incidentally, the carpet cleaner also loudly bemoaned modern morality, insulted the music I was playing while I was working, and said “Who cares?” when I explained what I did for a living. He also left me to move all the furniture myself after I corrected his assumption about my boss’s gender, which is fine, and called me a “brave girl” as he watched me drag a bookcase down the hallway, which is not fine.)

Leaving all that aside, though, the end result is that we can start moving stuff back into the study. Or we will be able to once my marking is out of the way, which means (practically speaking) we still won’t be able to get into the spare room for at least another week.

But we’ve moved the books out of the living room, so at least one room in the house isn’t littered with academic debris.

So now I can work at my desk again, loomed over by shelves of Victorian and Edwardian novels, just like a real nineteenth-century scholar:

Of course, until Nick has a chance to pop some picture hooks up for me, everything’s still in a state of “propped up wherever there’s a space”:

And the majority of the study looks like this, which is neat but not particularly useful:

Still, it’s better than a completely empty, mouldy room.

Slightly better, anyway.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Six

Posted 2045 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Those brown linen trousers of mine aren’t going to last much longer. I don’t know what will happen to my wardrobe when they’re gone.
NICK: They just don’t seem to be making trousers these days.
ME: Of course they’re making trousers. They’re just not making trousers for women who are short and fat.
NICK: You’re not short. You’re at the tall end of medium.
(Pause)
NICK: What? What are you looking at me like that for?

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Five

Posted 2045 days ago in by Catriona

ME: I’m not sure about this blanket.
NICK: I think it looks great.
ME: Yes, but you also think that knitting is witchcraft.
NICK: That’s true. I don’t think it’s relevant, but it’s true.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Four

Posted 2046 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: Yeah, she’s taking valuable shelf space away from the rest of us!
ME: And by “the the rest of us”, you mean me? Because you aren’t publishing anything soon.
NICK: I might produce a short monograph on my adventures.
ME: What, your adventures between the bathroom and the kitchen?
NICK: And on the bus! My … commute. And the grocery store, sometimes. And when I go to get takeaway …
ME: Honey, you’re killing me.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Three

Posted 2048 days ago in by Catriona

After listening to a radio advert in which Darth Vader tries to put his TIE fighter in for service:

NICK: The experimental TIE interceptor!
ME: I don’t think even Darth Vader knows that much about his TIE fighter.
NICK: Darth Vader doesn’t need to. (Darth Vader voice) “I like that TIE fighter. Give it to me.”
ME: Is Darth Vader played by Arnold Schwarzenegger now?
NICK: Oh my god!
ME: Seriously. That sounds exactly like Schwarzenegger would sound doing Darth Vader.
NICK (Darth Vader voice): I find your lack of faith in my Darth Vader voice disturbing.
ME: Seriously, can’t you hear that?
NICK: Force choke!
ME: It doesn’t seem to be working.
NICK (Darth Vader voice): Give me my light saber.
ME: You can’t hear that?
NICK: Actually, that did sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Light saber. Light saber. Damn, it’s all I can hear now.
ME: Honey, you have to stop this. I can’t laugh this hard and steer the car at the same time.

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: The Breathing Space

Posted 2048 days ago in by Catriona

So, obviously, finding new life in the study carpet put a bit of a crimp in our plans to have everything back on the shelves and a lovely, sweet-smelling new work space by the end of the weekend.

And I was so looking forward to it: I love my little house, and try hard to make it both comfortable and attractive, and I’m so sick of spending all my days and half my nights in the ugliest, least comfortable room in the house.

I had grand plans. New curtains. A few pictures. A hot-pink plastic cuckoo clock. You know: the usual.

And then the mould. And the waiting for the real-estate agent to get a plumber out to us. Then the news that the whole shower has to be ripped out (goodbye, late ’50s fiberglass shell), but that we have to wait a week before we can have the carpet cleaned and get back into the study.

So now we live in a labyrinth of Victorian novels, video games, and manuscript notes. The spare room looks as though a bookshop exploded in it.

But in the interim, at least I’ve stripped the study back to the bare essentials, waiting until I can actually get the new curtains, the pictures, the cuckoo clock up on the walls and start filling the shelves again:

At least this much is certain: when I spring clean, I do it thoroughly.

The Epic Study Spring-Cleaning Ordeal of 2011: The Prequel

Posted 2049 days ago in by Catriona

So, as anyone who is also connected to me in any of numerous forms of social networking already knows, we embarked on a thorough spring cleaning of the house a fortnight ago.

Since we can only clean on the weekends, we’re only two rooms through the process. (Luckily, this is a tiny house.)

This past weekend was dedicated to the study, a room that, as you can see, radically needed a thorough spring cleaning:

(Note that I have chosen to present the photographs in black-and-white form, to make them look “arty” rather than “squalid”.)

And all was progressing just beautifully, despite various complaints from Nick, until we discovered, after moving a bookcase, that the shower had apparently been leaking directly through the wall for some time, creating new life in the fertile ground of an ancient rental-house carpet.

It was at roughly that point that the spring cleaning passed from “annual chore” to “epic adventure” …

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-Two

Posted 2050 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: Treena is a specialist in happiness and joy.
ME: No, I’m a nineteenth-century scholar. You must have me confused with someone else.
NICK: Oh, I’m a specialist in happiness and joy!

Then he did a little dance.

Strange Conversations: The Spring-Cleaning Edition

Posted 2053 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Here, get rid of this.
NICK: Recycling?
ME: Well, it’s an empty cardboard tube, so I don’t know what else you’d do with it.
NICK: I’m just going to pretend it’s a light saber for two minutes first.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Eighty-One

Posted 2054 days ago in by Catriona

ME: Well, that’s me done. How am I ever going to catch a man now?
NICK: You’ve caught me hook, line, and sinker.
ME: But …
NICK: And I’m the closest to a man you can expect.
ME: But I had a witty riposte!
NICK: Yeah, I holed that one below the waterline.

Strange Conversations: Part Three Hundred and Seventy-Nine

Posted 2057 days ago in by Catriona

NICK: I’m seriously considering asking for two days off before the Ekka holiday.
ME: Oh, good! We can finish the spring cleaning in one go.
NICK: Right, gone off that idea fairly comprehensively. Dammit, woman!

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