Friday, April 18, 2003

More About Me Than You Care to Know

Last night was a good night, even if it did get off to a shaky start. K. and I rented Casablanca, bought several Westmalles, a bag of paprika potato chips, and completely vegged out for the evening -- half watching the movie and half marvelling at how bright a full moon could be. Well, that's what the evening became anyway. It all got started with me cursing a blue streak -- this is becoming a theme -- when I couldn't get the DVD player on the laptop to switch to Pan 2 from Pan 1. We'd changed it by accident a week or so ago when we rented Feardotcom (note (1): it is as horrible as the title sounds // note (2): renting it wasn't my idea), but figured it would be smooth sailing to switch back. Ah, but we were wrong. If anybody needs any evidence of my failings as the 'classical' 1950s über-male, they need only watch me in action when (a) rowing a canoe [a long digression: A couple of days ago I'm in the park with Katrien, we see some row boats, and K. talks me into forking over the money for thirty minutes out on the little lake. K. is not one to make or expect me to do all the hard labour, so we split the rowing duties -- she on the right, I on the left. The first ten minutes were easy enough, with the wind and current pushing us to our desired destination much quicker than anticipated. Obviously, though, this same wind and current was not so kind when we attempted to venture back to shore. We rowed... and rowed... we rowed... we argued... we rowed... we argued... we argued... and still, we hardly moved. She finally suggested an alternative that I was fearing: "Why don't you try to get us there alone." The results, as anybody who knows me and my lack of coordination may expect, were not pretty -- mainly, a lot of cursing and a nearly lost oar. Needless to say, we did eventually make it back to shore, but it certainly wasn't because of my nautical abilities: the wind died down long enough for us, and our lame-duck-looking attempts at cooperative rowing, to sputter to the dock. The Aussies who were awaiting our boat were not impressed] and (b) my interactions with technology. Not that Katrien is much better, really, at least in regard to (b) -- her solution to most such problems is to be found in either doing the same thing repeatedly, so that we might break the inanimate object's will, or unplugging & then replugging the machine. Between my threats to hurl it against a wall and her scrambling for the cord, it was a wonder we got it to work at all. Happy ending.