by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Strange Conversations”

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Three

Posted 30 September 2009 in by Catriona

Discussing the Sci-Fi Channel (or, apparently, “SyFy”) rebooting of The Phantom:

ME: Worse than the Billy Zane version?
NICK: Well, I didn’t have the sound on when I watched it, but it makes the Billy Zane version look like Citizen Kane.
ME: I often wonder why people say that. Because if the Billy Zane version of The Phantom had been like Citizen Kane, it would have widely missed its mark and its demographic.
NICK: Fine. It makes the Billy Zane version look like the original Superman movie.
(Pause)
NICK: Which is widely considered to be a benchmark film.
ME: Why can’t you just say that it makes the Billy Zane version look good?
NICK: That’s not suitably hyperbolic.

UPDATE: Here, watch it for yourself. And if you don’t spend half of it saying, “No! That’s . . . No!”, I’ll be surprised.

A Monologue Over Instant Messaging

Posted 24 September 2009 in by Catriona

ME: I have consumed things. I have been a consumer. I thought you would wish to know that.
(Pause)
I can tell you’re really excited. Too excited to type, even!
(Pause)
I find that exceedingly gratifying.
(Pause)
Gratification is rare, in modern society. Such gratification as I am receiving from your complete silence is, anyway.
(Pause)
You know, there’s an “away” setting on this thing. You could try using the “away” setting.
(Pause)
I wonder if Hamlet had trouble getting Ophelia to respond via instant messaging. Maybe that where he picked up the habit of soliloquising.
(Pause)
Because no-one would ever talk to him.
(Pause)
Because, you see, once you’ve started a conversation, it’s extremely difficult to actually stop.
(Pause)
Even if the other person is, apparently, dead.
(Pause)
Sod it: I’m going to get ready for work.

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and Two

Posted 23 September 2009 in by Catriona

Nick returns triumphantly, bearing takeaway.

NICK: Dinner shall rise again!
ME: Shall it? When did it rise the last time?
NICK: Oh, the Civil War. It was defeated by the North. But it shall rise again!
ME: My dinner last rose during the Civil War?
NICK: Yes.
ME: I don’t think that’s healthy. Not with prawns.
NICK: I see your point.

Strange Conversations: The Twitter Edition

Posted 22 September 2009 in by Catriona

Sometimes, Nick and I think, “What’s the point of talking face to face, when we’re socially networked, as well as actually living in the same house?” That’s why so many of these strange conversations take place via instant messaging.

Though, to be fair, Nick was on his way to work when we had this conversation via a series of tweets. And isn’t there something lovely about being able to chat to your partner while he’s on a long, boring bus journey across the city?

ME: I’m thinking I should probably ring to check that my parents aren’t buried under dust. But it would be only polite to wait until 9 am, yes?

ME: And if they are buried under dust, there’s probably not a great deal I can do about it from 1000 km away, so I may as well enjoy my coffee.

NICK: All a bit of a worry. Doesn’t bode well for the coming summer.

ME: You say that whatever happens! “I dropped the remote! Doesn’t bode well for the coming summer! Going to be a long hot summer!”

NICK: Hah! But I’m always right, aren’t I?

ME: Which suggests that it has nothing to do with your superstitious methods of prediction, but is just always a long, hot summer.

NICK: Hmm. I’m not so sure about that. I think I’m precognitive.

ME: And your precognition takes the form of being able to link the smallest event to the (inevitable) heat of summer, does it?

ME: I’ll just repeat that: you think you’re precognitive because you somehow manage to predict that summer—SUMMER—will be hot?

NICK: I knew before I posted that you wouldn’t find it all that convincing. #ESP_win

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred and One

Posted 19 September 2009 in by Catriona

And who says you can’t discuss Star Trek on International Talk Like a Pirate Day?

ME: Well, you can’t use transporters through shields, can you?
NICK: They don’t make much use of them when the shields are down. They really missed an opportunity to commit some atrocities, there.
ME: Yeah. They could just beam everyone out into space.
NICK: That’s right. “Shields down, Captain!” “Well, we’re [redacted]. Take your suicide pill, Number One.”

Strange Conversations: Part Two Hundred

Posted 19 September 2009 in by Catriona

The obligatory strange International Talk Like a Pirate Day conversation. (And, yes, I think that compound adjective should be hyphenated, but I’m too lazy.)

ME: I should have bought two skull rings. One for each thumb.
NICK: You don’t want to over-brand.
ME: Over-brand! Pirate queens can’t over-brand!
NICK: True.
ME: Over-brand! That’s why you’re still a cabin boy.
NICK: I think about that every night, as I’m polishing your . . . top-sail.
ME: Don’t worry—I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Nine

Posted 18 September 2009 in by Catriona

The confusion of reading Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog early in the morning:

ME: The problem is that every time he says “Dustin Nguyen,” I think he means the guy from 21 Jump Street.
NICK: What guy from 21 Jump Street?
ME: The guy whose name was Nguyen, and whose first name I’m pretty sure was Dustin.
NICK: I don’t know anyone from 21 Jump Street.
ME: You know Johnny Depp.
NICK: Well, yes.
ME: And you can’t say you don’t know Richard Grieco, because everyone knows Richard Grieco.
NICK: True.
ME: And you know Peter DeLuise.
NICK: Okay, I know a large number of people from 21 Jump Street. But I don’t know that guy.

(For the record, he didn’t mean this Dustin Nguyen at all: he meant this Dustin Nguyen.)

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Eight

Posted 18 September 2009 in by Catriona

In which I respond poorly to young-adult fantasy fiction generally and vampire school stories in particular:

ME: Also? I think the hero and heroine are about to be torn asunder again. And it’s irritating me.
NICK: But that’s the purpose of this kind of fiction. It’s designed to freak you out.
ME: I know.
NICK: No, I don’t mean generally. I mean it’s specifically designed to freak you out.
ME: Really? That seems oddly specific.
NICK: It’s true. I checked it out online and everything.
ME: Well, that’s just mean.
NICK: They’re bastards, Treena. You should read fiction that’s specifically designed to make you feel happy and content. By Steven Brust.
ME: Go away.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Seven

Posted 14 September 2009 in by Catriona

Responding to this brilliant tweet that Nick sent me through IM:

ME: Yes, yes, yes. We’ve all been there.
NICK: Seemed like a particularly funny evocation.
ME: Yes. I once made a ukelele out of a watermelon.
NICK: That’s totally awesome.
ME: Well, sure. Until you forget to refrigerate it the night before a big show.
NICK: And then, it’s just performance art.
ME: That’s not what the audience said. Thankfully, we had enough rotten tomatoes thrown at us to build our own drum kit. The show must go on.
NICK: Well, yes.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Six

Posted 14 September 2009 in by Catriona

This strange conversation brought to you by a paper bag that I asked Nick (hoarder extraordinaire) to throw in the bin as he went through to put the pirate shirt it contained in the bedroom:

ME (storming into kitchen waving the paper bag): Were you planning on wearing this on your head?
NICK: No.
ME: Is it part of a burgeoning art installation project?
NICK: No.
ME: Is it, perchance, designed purely to be a catalyst for your girlfriend’s sarcasm?
NICK: Yeah.
ME: Really?
NICK: Yeah. I thought you’d like it!

Well, you’ve got to give him credit for resisting the hen-pecking.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Five

Posted 13 September 2009 in by Catriona

Trying to get out of the house to go and buy toner from OfficeWorks (the height of excitement for a Sunday morning), while Nick faffs around instead of getting ready:

NICK: (beatboxing)
ME: Sweetie, no.
NICK: (beatboxing more loudly, and dancing around the study instead of putting his shoes on)
ME: Sweetie, seriously? No.
NICK: You don’t let me have any fun!
ME: I let you have fun all the time.
NICK: Nothing that I would recognise as fun!

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Four

Posted 5 September 2009 in by Catriona

Oh, just one of those mornings:

NICK: That was your fault, and you know it!
ME: How? How?
NICK: Don’t ask me. I don’t know it. You know it.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Three

Posted 5 September 2009 in by Catriona

ME: What are you doing?
NICK: I’m trying to get Windows to work properly.
ME: Oh, right. Because that’s much more important than doing the washing up.
(Pause)
NICK: And you say I’m passive-aggressive!
ME: You are passive-aggressive! Doesn’t mean I can’t be passive-aggressive, too. It’s not as though there’s a finite quantity of it.
NICK: That’s true.

Strange Conversations: Part One Hundred and Ninety-Two

Posted 5 September 2009 in by Catriona

Imagine, if you will, that this conversation was preceded first by a lengthy attempt (on my part) to explain the game mechanics of Bejeweled Twist to Nick, complete with elaborate hand gestures, and then by a slightly frosty pause.

ME: Has it occurred to you, yet, that saying you don’t actually need to face your girlfriend during a conversation because you can see her reflected in your giant computer monitor was perhaps not the most . . . diplomatic of statements?

NICK: See, I knew you were going to take that the wrong way!

Strange Conversations: The Marking Edition

Posted 3 September 2009 in by Catriona

That’s the reason for the paucity of updates, you see: marking.

But I haven’t been marking without a break: oh no.

There’s also this (via instant messaging):

ME: Okay, see the thing is . . .
NICK: Jah?
ME: I totally defeated the boss zombie.
NICK: Woo!
ME: I know! And he was in a giant, mechanised suit.
NICK: Excellent.
ME: Like, GIANT.
NICK: Ooooh. Wow.
ME: He kept throwing caravans at me. And squishing my plants. And breathing fireballs. And ice balls.
NICK: Good god.
ME: But I kicked his zombie butt. And then there was a music video. Also, some other zombies were involved in the fight. Was truly epic. But I won.
NICK: Wow. So that’s the end of the game?
ME: Yeah. But there are minigames. And Puzzle Mode. And Survival Mode.
NICK: Cool, though. I’m pleased you defeated the boss!
ME: Yeah! I kicked his zombie butt.
NICK: You rock.

And that (as well as chronicling for the ages my defeat of the giant, mechanised boss zombie) is why Nick is the greatest boyfriend ever.

You’ve just got to love a man who will, for ten minutes, listen to you rant about your defeat of an imaginary, pixellated monster, and interject excited exclamations every time you pause.

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