by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Life, the Universe, and Everything”

Proof That The Possum Is Not Dead

Posted 31 January 2009 in by Catriona

I came back from grocery shopping this afternoon, and noticed that the possum was sleeping under the floorboards again, but in a different position.

Now, I’m not one to waste the opportunity to demonstrate that the wildlife under my floorboards isn’t actually dead:

Then the chair I was standing on to take the photograph exploded.

This chair:

That wasn’t the most pleasant thing that’s happened to me all day, I must say. Nick took this picture, because the chair and I are no longer on speaking terms.

Then I noticed I could take an equally cute picture of the possum from another angle, an angle in which you can see that they’ve pulled some of the insulation up to use as a pillow:

Nobody can excuse me of being unable to see the silver lining.

Brief, Surreal, and Pointless Update

Posted 28 January 2009 in by Catriona

I’m still working on the corrections (but I think I’ve managed to make the weakest section work with the whole argument now, so I’m happy), but I do want to mention something odd.

I have a fabulous pair of tweezers. That’s not odd in and of itself, of course. Everyone needs a good pair of tweezers.

I also have an inadequate pair of tweezers, which I’ve never bothered throwing out.

I noticed this morning that my fabulous tweezers have disappeared from their accustomed place on the bathroom shelf. That’s also not that odd: tweezers have a tendency to wander around the house and bathroom.

But in their place is a pair of tweezers I’ve never seen before in my life.

Now, that is odd. Nick, surely, is not the type to buy a new pair of tweezers. So where did this new pair come from? Why do I now have two pairs of inadequate tweezers instead of one inadequate and one fabulous pair?

Why is life so frequently surreal?

Or do I simply need to sleep more, get out in the fresh air occasionally, and stop drinking so much coffee?

(And find my tweezers.)

Shameless Cross Promotion

Posted 21 January 2009 in by Catriona

I have no real update this evening, since I am entertaining my father-in-law to dinner, but I feel the need to share, from Wondering Willow’s blog, this absolutely hilarious photograph of my younger nephew.

His mother claims that there’s no caffeine in what he’s drinking, but who would actually believe that, given this photograph?

(Secretly, I believe. But only a little and through force of habit.)

Advertising: My Nemesis

Posted 3 January 2009 in by Catriona

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone who has ever read this blog before that I find advertising always confusing and frequently grotesquely offensive.

But I’m seeing more and more ads at the moment, due to thoroughly enjoying watching Australia lose the cricket to South Africa: I normally mute or ignore ads where I can, but it’s never seemed worth it for a one-advertisement break between overs.

So I’ve been watching the smug prat in the Mitsubishi 4WD splattering inoffensive people going about their everyday business with water, mud, and dust, and then grinning about it.

And I’ve been watching the Johnny Walker ads, which always astonish me, because it seems as though their tagline is “It’s amazing what you’ll find yourself doing when you’re ratted.” (My favourite was the one they did a few years ago with Christopher Walken—I think it was Walken, anyway—where the subtext was, essentially, “I always need to get totally off my nut before I can bring myself to step on stage.”)

But the ones that are really driving me nuts at the moment are the Solo ads.

I know that Solo ads are dependent on a particular form of machismo: a selling position that relies on recognisable codes of homosociality and male physical strength, also seen in flavoured-milk and beer ads.

Fine: well and good. I have no problem with that, though it won’t make me buy low-fizz, lemon-flavoured soft drink.

But this new two-part one with the man making the $1000 bet with his mates? I can’t figure this one out. I simply can’t comprehend how it seems ideal to construct an ad around Andrew Symonds—who, let’s face it, is not the most advertising-friendly figure in Australian cricket at the moment—viciously body-checking a complete stranger and then smirking at him.

Add the fact that the complete stranger is cross-dressing, and you add a new, highly unpleasant subtext to the ad.

It seems to me at best thoroughly mean spirited and at worst open to accusations of something far more invidious and dangerous. It strikes me as doubly odd, since Solo ads used to be banal, rather than out-and-out awful.

Perhaps it’s the consequence of adding a cricketer to the mix? We can call it the Max Walker blood-diamond syndrome.

Happy New Year!

Posted 1 January 2009 in by Catriona

Of course, the blog itself isn’t a year old until February, but thank you all for your reading and assiduous commenting in 2008.

I don’t have any exciting plans for 2009 yet, but I will be live-blogging the most recent Doctor Who Christmas special when the ABC airs it in a month, and I’m thinking of live-blogging the previous three seasons of Doctor Who after that. Or at least starting on it before teaching starts.

What say you all? Fancy talking about the first three seasons of Doctor Who?

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