I am laying in bed,
experimenting with the new digital camera: adjusting the settings,
tweaking the controls, taking random pictures of my feet. In the
midst of all the adjusting/tweaking/feet shots, I
discover an incredibly groovy feature that I hadn't even noticed until
now: when you push the small red "Queue" button on the bottom of the
camera and look at the image display screen, you can watch
Not just any videos,
either ... but videos of YOUR
I'm not kidding!
The picture quality is
sort of fuzzy and indistinct, like the new Bay Area "NBC3" ...
especially the black and white videos shot prior to 1960 or so.
(Two-year-old Secra splashing around naked in her wading pool, for
It's like peering into one of those antique kinetoscope machines at The
Musee Mecanique. The sound is tinny. There is no re-wind or freeze
frame features. Plus you don't have any control over which videos you
watch, apparently: it bounces around randomly between
decades/generations/personal milestones. One minute you're watching
yourself at your Senior Prom, slow-dancing to "Love Is Alive" ... the
next minute, the scene shifts to you spoon-feeding Daughter #2 another
lump of Gerber Vegetable Medley. One minute you're watching yourself
typing warranty cards at Benchmade Knife Company ... the next minute,
the video flips back to Mrs. Lehman's first grade classroom, the day
the overhead lights exploded. ("Under
your desks! Under your desks!"
the teacher shrieks, as a roomful of terrified six-year-olds hit the
One minute you're
watching yourself say "I Do" ... the next minute, you're watching
yourself say "I Do" again, twenty years later.
It's pretty amazing
I'm thrilled to pieces,
of course ... even in spite of the rudimentary technology, the crappy
picture, the lack of programming control. (Although I do think it's
too bad that you can't pick which segments of your life you view.
Think of the family mysteries you could finally solve! We could find
out once and for all who stole that Christmas Eve bottle
of Canadian Club!) And here's something else: as excited as I am
possibility of watching scenes from my own childhood -- it will be nice
to see my grandparents again -- I'm even
more excited about being able to
watch my children grow up all over again. One of the biggest regrets of
my life is that we couldn't afford a movie camera -- or, as the
technology evolved without us, one of those new-fangled video camera
thingamabobs -- while the three of them were little. Now, though,
thanks to my wonderful new camera, I'll have a chance to view their
Early Tothood all over again: the lusty first cries ... the first 2
a.m. smiles ... the first little teeth ... the first wobbly steps ...
the first days of kindergarten ...
(The first chicken pox,
the first broken arm , the first bloody sibling battle, the first
emergency Parent/Teacher Conference, the first TOS violation, the first
shoplifting arrest ...)
to tell David about this!! He's not going to believe it!
Now he'll actually
be able to SEE
his wife be crowned Miss Fire Prevention 1970!
(Oh god. Will we be able
to watch HIS
life, too?? Will I be able to see a Young
pogo-dancing at a Sex Pistols concert?!?)
I try to sit up --
I want to
run right out to the kitchen, camera in hand, and share my wonderful
discovery with him -- but there is something wrong with my
body. When I
try to move, nothing happens: I am frozen solid. Pinned flat to the
mattress, like a Monarch butterfly to an eighth-grade science report.
And of course that's
when I wake up.
I lay there in darkness,
momentarily awash in disappointment as sharp and as acute as a
toothache. (Why can't this
be the dream that comes true? Why always The Overflowing Toilet
I was so happy during those brief, elusive dream moments when I thought
I had this fabulous magic camera ... and now it turns out that all I
have is a plain, ordinary digital camera, capable of nothing more or
less *magic* than uploading photos of my feet to a vast, enraptured
Internet audience four minutes after the picture was taken.
sorta groovy, right there.
throw a rock