by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Eleven

Posted 27 March 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Friend was complaining (Note: playfully complaining, I hope) that I hadn’t updated the blog today.
NICK: Fair enough.
ME: I updated four times yesterday!
NICK: Well, you have an audience now. That makes a difference.
ME: Oh, god. You mean I have to update more often?
NICK: Treena . . .
ME: ‘Cause it’s a personal blog, and I thought . . .
NICK: Treena, put the bunny down.
(Pause)
ME: Pardon?
NICK: Had a bit of a Con Air moment there.
ME: I wouldn’t hurt a bunny.
NICK: No.
ME: Do you think of me as John Malkovich?
NICK: Yes.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ten

Posted 27 March 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Why are you so wet?
NICK: Because it’s hot.
ME: No, but your hair. Why is your hair so wet?
NICK: Oh, that. Because I had a shave.
(Pause)
ME: Honey?
NICK (distracted by moving objects on the screen): Yep?
ME: Your beard’s on the front, you know.
NICK: Yep.
(Pause)
NICK: What?

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Nine

Posted 24 March 2009 in by Catriona

A direct sequel:

ME: Oh, you have nothing to complain about. I blog about how mean I am to you all the time!
NICK: Really?
ME: Yes! In fact, I just blogged about how mean I was to you!
NICK: Did you? I shall go read it. No, I won’t—we’re spending time together. I shall read it on my iPhone.
ME: No!
NICK: What?
ME: That is actually worse.
NICK: I don’t get you.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Eight

Posted 24 March 2009 in by Catriona

You see, I just don’t have much sympathy left after a seriously horrible day like today, especially when I’ve carved out some time for just relaxing . . .

NICK (bangs his knee on the desk while getting up to spend time with me): Oh, god—ow! Nick have hurty pain death!
ME: Well, it wasn’t really death, was it?
NICK: Well, no. Not really.
ME: And the pain was a bit deserved . . .
NICK: What?
ME: For cutting into my time.
NICK: What?!
ME: My leisure time.
NICK: Oh. Well, fair enough.

He’s far too nice for me, sometimes—bless him.

(And no comments along the lines of “Well, yes,” thank you!)

Very Brief Strange Conversation

Posted 23 March 2009 in by Catriona

A strange conversation that is more a strange monologue:

At half-past four this afternoon, Nick sent me the following message via instant messaging:

Just realised i had a clothes peg still stuck to my shorts

That man is a source of constant delight to me.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Seven

Posted 22 March 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Being irritated with people for no reason seems to be my default at the moment.
NICK: For you, you mean?
ME: Yes, darling, for me. Hence the possessive pronoun. That “my” tends to tell you who owns the default.
NICK: Yes, I see what you mean.

Nick’s default, on the other hand, seems to be “taking his life in his hands.”

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Six

Posted 21 March 2009 in by Catriona

NICK: Looks like there’s a Mac version of BioShock coming out.
ME: You should get that. (Pause) Is that the one with the things?
NICK: Pardon:
ME: The things. The . . you know (vague hand gestures, with a hint of sinuosity in the wrist). You go through the things from the place and you come out at the other place. You know. (Increasingly frantic vague hand gestures.)
NICK: Oh, no: that’s Portal.
ME: Ah, Portal. With the portals. Obviously.
NICK: Well, yes.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Five

Posted 21 March 2009 in by Catriona

ME: Honey, why is there a Chris Foss book under the armchair?
NICK: Well, I was looking for somewhere to put it.
ME: So you put it under the armchair?
NICK: Yes.
ME: I mean, you deliberately put it under the armchair?
NICK: Yes.
ME: Why didn’t you just put it back where you got it from?
(Pause)
NICK: Um . . .

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Four

Posted 20 March 2009 in by Catriona

ME: You’re not listening to me, are you?
NICK: The thing is, Treen, the voice you use for holding conversations with yourself and the one you use for talking to me—they’re identical! I can’t tell the difference!
ME: Has it ever occurred to you, honey, that maybe they’re not conversations with myself? That they’re conversations with you that you’re not listening to?
NICK (pause): No.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Three

Posted 18 March 2009 in by Catriona

Nick plays Bejeweled 2 on his iPhone:

NICK: You’d think, when you exploded more than one Power Gem, that it would set off a massive explosion.
ME: Sometimes it does.
NICK: But this was four, all together!
ME: And it didn’t?
NICK: No.
ME: Oh, well. These things happen.
NICK: True.
ME: But you should still feel bad.
NICK: Really?

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Two

Posted 14 March 2009 in by Catriona

When we use verbs in different ways:

ME: Oh! Where did I put my gum?
NICK: You didn’t swallow it, did you?
ME: I . . . what? No, I meant the packet.

I’m still baffled by this. But Nick can’t understand why I’m baffled. So far, the only responses to my bafflement I’ve received have been “I really don’t understand why you have a problem with this” and “Stranger things have happened at sea, and you know it.”

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and One

Posted 14 March 2009 in by Catriona

Scene: a quiet afternoon in the study, Nick playing Fallout Three and me lurking on a forum. Suddenly, the peace is rudely shattered.

NICK: AAAAAARGH!
COMPUTER: Boom!
ME: Screech!
NICK: What just happened?
ME: Yes, what the hell did just happen?
NICK: I heard this noise behind me, and then, with the stuff . . .
ME: I threw something in the waste-paper bin.
NICK: Oh.
ME: And then you screamed and I didn’t know what was happening so I screamed.
NICK: I thought a giant insect had landed on me, in addition to the goddamned death claw trying to kill me!
ME: Right.
NICK: I mean, they’re the toughest roaming creatures in the game, they can kill you with one swipe, and now they’re just spawning everywhere!
ME: Okay.
NICK: Everywhere in the game, I mean.
ME: Yes, I assumed that.
NICK: So I’m just . . . I’m just a little jumpy.
ME: I can see that. But it’s okay now?
NICK: Yeah. No. Yeah.
(Pause)
NICK: Ha! Got the bastard.

Ah, immersive gaming. It immerses everyone in earshot, whether you want to be immersed or not.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred

Posted 13 March 2009 in by Catriona

(Is this worthy of being number one hundred? Who knows?)

Has anyone seen the film clip for Toto’s “Africa”? If not, here it is.

We watched it, and almost immediately had an argument:

ME: See, isn’t that weird?
NICK: Yeah.
ME: See, I’ve seen worse film clips, but I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a stranger one. I mean, is the song pro-Africa or anti-Africa?
NICK: I don’t know.
ME: I know! And who was the man with the spear?
NICK: Well, his shield had the same pattern as in the picture the guy was looking for in the book.
ME: Did it?
NICK: Clearly, he was a supernatural entity who the white guy was hunting for, and he didn’t want to be found, so he took steps.
ME: You don’t know that.
NICK: It’s supported by the text.
ME: No, it’s not! It’s a semi-plausible reading based on an ambiguous and obscure originating text!
NICK: Treen, those are my specialities.

Seriously, watch the film clip. And listen out for my favourite line, in which, apparently, the lonely wild dog seeks some “solitary company.”

I don’t know what that means, and I still don’t know what the guy with the spear is doing.

Strange Conversations: Part Ninety-Nine

Posted 13 March 2009 in by Catriona

This is what happens when you live with a hardcore geek.

To make more sense of this, we were watching The West Wing (season three) during dinner, but it was one of those episodes where Aaron Sorkin “writes back” to his critics (in this instance, unconvincingly, about his sexism. I was left with the impression that, apparently, only ugly women—regardless of their intelligence—are frustrated by Sorkin’s particular brand of gender relations, which puts me in my place, I suppose) so I insisted on a break.

I’d not been in the study—which, remember, is some ten feet from the living room—two minutes when this popped up on the Gmail chat function:

NICK: They did have muffins but I did not have any.
ME: What? What? Where? Whem? When, even? Who is this? What the hell is happening? Ack!
NICK: Just responding to something you wrote yesterday.
ME: What? I wrote what where?
NICK: Treena? Are you ok?
ME: No! I don’t know what’s happening!
(Nick comes into the study with his iPhone)
NICK: See, I’ll show you what I’m talking about.
(Shows me some fairly banal chat we had yesterday about him not having a muffin with his coffee)
NICK: See, nothing worth panicking about.

Now, Nick has claimed for years that my mulling a conversation over in my head and then saying, some half an hour later, “And you know what else annoys me?” is the most irritating thing it is possible for one’s partner to do.

I maintain that saving chats on the iPhone and then picking them up thirty hours after they’ve ended is much, much worse.

Strange Conversations: Part Ninety-Eight

Posted 8 March 2009 in by Catriona

After looking at one of those “the BBC says most people have only read six of these books” lists that are circulating on Facebook:

ME: And they’re really problematic lists.
NICK: How so?
ME: Well, they have “the complete works of Shakespeare” as one entry and Hamlet as another. Why?
NICK: Weird.
ME: I mean, I’ve only read forty-five of the hundred books on the list, but some of them I’m never going to read. Five People You Meet In Heaven? And the bloody Da Vinci Code?
NICK: Yeah, no.
ME: I may not have read The Da Vinci Code, but I have no qualms about how I have chosen to exercise my literacy.
NICK: Me, neither. And I only read books with spaceships in them.

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