by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Strange Conversations: Part Fifty

Posted 27 September 2008 in by Catriona

I take a brief break from my current occupation of slowly moving a pile of papers from my left-hand side to my right-hand side (i.e., marking) to note the following conversation:

ME: I keep forgetting how young my students are. I suppose it’s because I’m getting so old.
NICK: You’re only 31. It’s not old.
ME: I’m pretty damn close to 32.
NICK: You’re not 32 until you’re 32.
ME: No, you’re not allowed to do that when I advance my own age, only when I advance yours.
NICK: That’s because you’re aging me prematurely.

(It drives Nick nuts when I advance his age to his next birthday. He has on occasion shouted, “Stop sucking my youth away!”)

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Nine

Posted 25 September 2008 in by Catriona

NICK: Russell T. Davies apparently turned down a gig writing for George Lucas’s new live-action Star Wars TV show.
ME: I’m not surprised.
(Pause)
ME: There’s a LIVE-ACTION STARS WARS TV SHOW?!
NICK: Apparently.

Man. Some people can’t leave a good franchise alone.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Eight

Posted 22 September 2008 in by Catriona

When geeks are too obsessed with their games . . .

NICK: So, if I got another copy of Diablo 2, would you play it with me?
ME: I don’t know; I’d probably just die all the time.
NICK: No, I have lots of powerful characters.
ME: But then I’d be a minion. I don’t like being a minion.
NICK: No, we’d be a raiding party.
ME (as light dawns): You just want me to be a mule, so you can carry more loot!
NICK: No! That’s . . . just a pleasant side effect.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Seven

Posted 19 September 2008 in by Catriona

ME: I am not sweet!
NICK: You are; you’re a marshmallow, really. (Note: Nick cribs all his lines from Veronica Mars.)
ME: I am not; I’m tough.
NICK: That’s just your tough exterior.
ME: Marshmallows don’t have a tough exterior.
NICK: Roasted ones do.
ME: No, they don’t.
NICK: Look, I’m just working through an idea that I don’t fully understand!

Interesting Things That Nick and I Discussed in the Shopping Centre Tonight

Posted 18 September 2008 in by Catriona

1. Why chocolate coins aren’t available in the shops until Christmas, even though it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day tomorrow and, also, chocolate coins are brilliant.

2. Whether memes can be de-memed or memed out. The example we were debating was pirates vs ninjas, which I think has been memed out. Nick suggested it had been de-memed, but I maintain that that construction suggests active demotion, which a brief scan of the Internet suggests is definitely not the case.

3. Whether Nick would be better buying a plain black pirate skullcap, a brown one in artificial leather, or a black one with a curiously smiley skull and crossbones on the front.

4. Whether I could justify buying a long, black, female pirate wig with an inbuilt head scarf. Sadly, we decided that September in Brisbane is probably too warm for a fake pirate wig. Plus, I already have a bright green, ’60s-style bob that I never wear.

It was a pretty awesome wig, though.

5. While Nick was wistfully eying Fallout 3, which hasn’t been released for the Wii, whether people who buy games for consoles they don’t own are engaging in a cargo cult or whether it’s an example of sympathetic magic.

I argued that it’s a cargo cult, since they seem to believe that if they simply build up a critical mass of games, the relevant console will appear.

Nick suggested it was sympathetic magic, but I maintain that sympathetic magic more accurately describes inert protective magics, like teddy bears (which I think is an idea I drew from Diana Wynne Jones, originally).

We got some odd looks during that conversation.

6. Whether Nick was better off buying a (plastic) flintlock that was awesome but inert or a cutlass that lit up and had sound effects.

I argued for both, but was overruled.

The conversations were a little pirate themed, admittedly, but that’s hardly surprising under the circumstances.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Six

Posted 17 September 2008 in by Catriona

NICK: I’ve determined that I don’t like tarragon.
ME: Well, he could be an annoying character . . .
NICK: Tarragon, son of Arathorn.
ME: Have I mentioned that it’s time we watched those again? With the new big television?
NICK: I knew I shouldn’t have mentioned the herb.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Five

Posted 14 September 2008 in by Catriona

While I futilely try to get Nick to make me a cup of coffee so I can finish my marking, while he instead fusses around with his new battery charger (and doesn’t that just sum up our lives):

NICK (eventually): I am here to cater to your every whim.
ME: Well, I’m sure that’s what the manual said.
NICK: Now, now, what have we said about you treating me as though I were a robot?
ME: That I should do it all the time?
NICK: Because that would be cool! Yeah, I think I did say that.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Four

Posted 11 September 2008 in by Catriona

Geek conversations are much funnier when they’re uncontextualised:

NICK: I’ve figured out Defamer’s “Shirley Manson as a urinal” reference.
ME: Right.
NICK: She’s a terminator.
ME: Okay.
NICK: Who finds a creative way of getting rid of a suspicious underling.
ME: So at some point someone urinates on Shirley Manson?
NICK: Or intends to, anyway.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Three

Posted 7 September 2008 in by Catriona

Nick and I discussing the things that scare us:

ME: Bloody J-Horror.
NICK: It could be worse. It could be J.Lo. horror: the story of Jennifer Lopez’s career!
ME: Where’d you get that joke from, honey?
NICK: I made it up.
ME: Just now?
NICK: Yep. That’s just the way I roll.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-Two

Posted 5 September 2008 in by Catriona

A couple of days ago, I had to do a brisk clean-out of the pantry in the search for a squeezy container of honey that both Nick and I are sure we bought recently. (We didn’t find it.)

I threw a number of things out but I was simultaneously holding a phone conversation with my Mam about books she’d bought on my advice for my brother’s birthday—Glen Cook and Steven Brust—so I wasn’t paying attention when I handed Nick a packet of lavash crisps we’d opened two months ago.

He dropped them.

These things happen.

He then swept them out the back door onto the grass.

I wasn’t so impressed by this.

But I’ve just been sitting on the back steps in the rain having a cigarette:

ME: One good thing: all that rain has completely dissolved those lavash crisps.
NICK: That’s good.
ME: That can’t have been your intention when you swept them out there.
NICK: Waiting for rain is one of my standard contingency plans.
ME: You couldn’t have forseen the rain we had yesterday.
NICK: Forseen? No. Hoped? Yes.

Mind, this is the man who dealt with a forgotten (long forgotten—oh, the horror!) container of silken tofu that we found at the back of the fridge by, surprisingly, throwing it onto the back lawn—and we didn’t even have rain that time.

Strange Conversations: Part Forty-One

Posted 4 September 2008 in by Catriona

Disinterested commentary:

ME: I don’t know why people complain that there are too many blogs on the Internet. It doesn’t really hurt anyone if every man and his dog wants to keep one.
NICK: It’s like complaining about animation generally because of Japanese tentacle porn.
ME: Yes . . . except Japanese tentacle porn is wrong.

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