Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 116 - Video Chats & Family Secrets

My dad purchased a laptop computer last month with a pre-installed web cam. Over the holidays, my sister (Auntie Anne, pretzel maven) and I showed my dad how to use it so he could video chat and see the babies. I know what you're thinking: You Japanese people don't instinctively know how to operate a web cam? Sorry to burst your stereotypical bubble, but we don't automatically know how to use every single electronic equipment. We instinctively know how to make them, but use them? Not quite there yet.

Over the past few weeks, Lisa and I have probably video chatted at least half a dozen times with my parents with pretty good success. Being the geek I am, I'm always aware of how I frame the kids. Should I do a wide shot because Andrew is kicking his feet? Or maybe I should move in because he's smiling? Oh crap! Emma's back in frame. Wide shot! And I must say it's pretty awkward trying to maneuver a laptop around like a video camera. It's similar to being a waiter and walking around with a serving tray. But instead of carrying glasses of $2.95 soda, you're dashing around with $1400 worth of circuitry. Mmm...circuitry.

As for the other side of the camera, my dad's laptop is propped on his desk like a stationary tripod. Granted I don't really need to see my dad's over sized glasses or my mom's hair in curlers, but 95% of the time I don't see anyone. If you think about it it's quite the accomplishment to be in front of a web cam yet not ever be in the shot. Maybe my parents are secretly Indians and are afraid their souls are going to be stolen.

And when I do see my mom, it's usually just a quick glimpse. Perhaps the top of her newly permed hair. Or a futile wave of a hand that will be unanswered. Even a blurred view of her running in the background like Bigfoot. You know what I'm talking about, right? This picture:

I swear that's what my mom looks like in the background. She's this gigantic swirl of freshly permed hair racing through the living room. The famous Patterson picture of Bigfoot fascinated me so much that I actually zoomed into the picture and had the computer interpolate the pixels around the face and lo and behold...

Call me crazy but my mom was alive in 1967 when the original Bigfoot photo came out. And while I'm at it I'll divulge an Ichikawa family secret: my mom gets her back waxed twice a week. You make the call.

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