I like to think that though I’m a bit older than my comedy peers, I get along with everyone, regardless of age – younger, older – doesn’t matter. I am aware that I shouldn’t wear short skirts and toe rings anymore, but like to think that I’m not overly middle-aged. I like the ‘80’s music, but I also like the new stuff. Halo’s a blast, but I totally remember Pong. I’m current on pop culture and current affairs; I’m actually in a pretty cool place, age-wise… I’ve honestly never considered myself part of a particular generation until recently, yesterday, in fact…more on that later.
Now that I think about it, the age-group I belong to is a pretty weird slice of society. For example, when Canada went metric, we were old enough to have learned a fair bit about imperial, but not so much that metric was un-learnable. As a result, I’m a jumble. I do weight in pounds and ounces, but distance and speed in kilometres; cooking in tablespoons and cups, but wine in litres. Temperatures are really f*cked up – I do hot in Fahrenheit and cold in Celsius…as in, “boy it was so hot yesterday, like 85 degrees!” (ya, right, not this summer!) Or “better wear a hat it’s going down to -10 today”.
But the one thing that’s making me feel like I’m stuck in some sort of “angry-fist-waving, you-kids-have-it-so-easy” place is the bloody computer. I know Andrew is super-computer savvy. As are many people my age and older. But most of my peers can only use a computer, yet are a far cry from mastering it. Yell at me if you like, but this is what I see. And it’s not entirely my fault, it’s my age. Sure, we had computer classes in high school, but (I kid not) – had to pencil in endless holes on pieces of cardboard, in some magical way that now entirely escapes me, these would then get sent away to a university lab, and a week later we’d get endless sheets of computer print out that would tell us (somehow) if we’d done the work correctly. That’s really all I remember, except that the language was FORTRAN and I took exactly zero away from those two years.
So now, although my life seems to centre around the bleedin’ thing, I really don’t understand it. Frankly, computers scare me. I’m terrified of pressing a button and losing everything. I’m not even sure if I can close my laptop when it’s still on. Yet I’m constantly amazed by the web, the stuff that’s on YouTube, I’m addicted to Facebook and can’t remember life before email.
Though lately, I’ve had to learn how to edit video on the thing. Shane went and bought me “a really easy” editing program (ha!) but it continues to flummox me. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I used to be a TV producer and could edit news spot, promos, whatever! But that was analog…and I know, I know, digital is easier (ostensibly) – but don’t try to tell me that as I sit in my kitchen screaming at the thing. I have so far managed to put together a 7 min stand up clip, then a 14 minute clip – but you have NO idea how many hours that took. Yesterday, however, I had to put together a 10 minute clip – piece of cake, I think! I’ll just lob off around 4 minutes of the previous, longer item and voila! But God help me, I sat in front of my “really easy” program for the better part of an afternoon, totally unable to do it. Finally, I called my 8 year old (8!!!) and asked him if he had any idea what to do…seriously, two clicks of the mouse and a nanosecond later, it was done. I felt like both hugging him and punching him (I went for the hug, punched the fridge later). But never have I felt older and more of a different generation. Seriously, don’t even get me started on how long it took me to upload the fecker onto a website for submission. I may cry.
Space Invaders, anyone?