Thursday, October 3, 2013

An uncomfortable look in the mirror

No, I don't look in the mirror and see a North Dakota rancher who looks like either Kris Kristofferson or Peter Fonda, if that's what you're wondering.

It just happens that Wooly Boys is the movie I was watching (for a project on another blog) when I realized:

I don't like looking at myself in the mirror when I watch movies.

You see, I only just got an iPad for the first time. And when you watch movies on iPads, you get a second image of your own ugly mug (to borrow a phrase used a couple times in Wooly Boys) looking back up at you.

We acquired this iPad about a month ago. It's far from the newest model, and in fact, we only got it at all because my mother-in-law had upgraded to the newer one and didn't need this anymore. But whatever it can't do that the new one can, it definitely can play movies rented from iTunes.

However, it took me until the beginning of this week to watch my first movie on it. I've had this romanticized notion that isn't such a surprise for a green iPad user like me, that I could download a movie and watch it in a park or a coffee shop or somewhere else out in the world. I can do that with a laptop, of course, but we all know that a laptop is clunkier and less portable -- not to mention a lot more valuable if something should happen to it. But the weather has been windy and rainy, and coffees are expensive here, just like everything else. Coming up against some deadlines for this other blog project, I needed to watch a couple movies on the iPad this week, even though I wasn't lying idyllically on the well-manicured lawn of one of Melbourne's beautiful open spaces.

Probably just as well, because the sunnier it is, the more you can see your ugly mug staring back at you.

Seriously, is there any way around this? I want to watch the movie, not myself watching the movie. And it's like seeing a flaw in a paint job or some other imperfection you hadn't previously noticed: Once you notice it, you can't stop noticing it.

I see my face in the actual mirror quite enough, thank you very much.

I suppose it's a function of the angle at which you're holding the iPad. But if you start to hold it at a more extreme angle, your view of the movie becomes considerably less ideal. That becomes the distraction, rather than whether you're having a good hair day or whether you really squint like that while viewing.

But what's really uncomfortable about it is less of a joke. When I see myself watching a movie, and became hyper aware of the fact that I'm watching a movie by seeing it, I wonder if there isn't something else I should be doing. I am unemployed for the foreseeable future, which is something I can't control until I have a visa that will allow me to work here. The timing on that is anything but certain. However, there are things I could be doing in preparation for working, or just things around the house that make the three days of each week I have to myself more profitable to me and my family.

Instead, I'm watching movies, and my iPad is all too eager to let me know it.


Nick Prigge said...

No! You can't let the iPad win! You can't!!! Movies MUST be watched!

Derek Armstrong said...

And watched they will be, my friend. And watched they will be.