Wednesday, January 14, 2009

$526 for a limp rocket

Went to see the IMAX film Roving Mars. Me and five friends. Spent the night prior at Peter Pan's house.

"Don't stay up too late," I said. "We have to leave by 11:30 tomorrow."

"Don't worry about me," he said.

I went to bed knowing it would take a miracle to get us away on time. Pan's late for everything. Always.

At 11:00 AM, still in pyjamas, he asks, "What time do we have to leave?"

I cut him some slack and tell him the truth. "11:45." Now, this is not in accordance with standard Pan handling procedures. You're supposed to pad the departure time by an hour until the day of the event and then by a half-hour the day of. I`m giving him way too much credit.

At 11:30 he asks how much time he's got. I tell him, fifteen minutes, and he takes Zee, Prince of Canine Chaos, for a short walk.

He returns at 12:00. I remain calm. Life is circumstance and choices. My choices enabled this circumstance to arise. I know how he is.

We get a little bad weather on the way, and a little traffic, and arrive late in Little Italy where we are picking up the Worldly Sculptor, who's greatest phobia in life, it turns out, is the fear of being late.

As the organizer of this outing, I wish not to screw things up for the others who are meeting us at the Ontario Science Centre where I must be present to receive the tickets that I ordered on everyone`s behalf. But I'm perfectly calm. It's pointless to stress over it. Circumstances and choices. One choice at my disposal, is to take my lumps if we're late and to avoid such circumstance in the future by declining Pan`s participation in similar - time sensitive - outings.

"We're meeting the boys at 1:45," I say calmly and pleasantly. "You`ll get us there on time, Pan, or else you`ll be thrown into a pit of starving wolves."

We arrive roughly 1:58 and scramble into the theatre during the trailers. Being late, we`re seated at the perimeter.

Now - I`d never seen an IMAX film before. Or should I say - CMAX. Because the screen is dome shaped, looming over and around you, and when you`re seated at the perimeter, the perspective is altogether wonky. Things that should be straight up and down - like a rocket, or the letter 'I' for instance, are shaped instead, like the letter 'C'. The whole film was warped to shit. Didn`t enjoy that one bit. Luckily it was no great loss for me. Turns out I`d seen this film previously on my home screen sans CMAX effect.

Everyone else seemed to get a kick out of it though, and took the flaccid rockets in stride.

The Facing Mars exhibit also failed to impress. It was more for kids or for adults who don`t normally take a big interest in planetary science. Given my passion for the subject, it was silly perhaps to have expected to see something new here.

Although I did get a kick out of the martian meteorite sample and the video clips of various experts talking on the subject of sending people to Mars. I listened to a Planetary Scientist, an Aerospace Engineer and a Bioethicist. The last offering was from a Globe and Mail Writer. I walked away at that point.

The bill was $26 each for the total Mars experience - but wait - there`s more. Dinner at the Biermarket cost Pan another hundred. He insisted on it being a birthday present.

And then, on the way back to Hamilton, despite my assurance that the wolf threat had expired, he took the highway too swiftly given the snowy weather, and lost control; went into a spin. Oddly, I felt no panic at all. We bounced off a snowbank and came to rest, backwards on the shoulder.

The bumper was dented and cracked. A pricey affair but Pan is a champion at getting deals and swears it`ll only cost him $400.

Epilogue:

Back in Steeltown, on the heels of five beers, I trudged eight or ten blocks through heavy snowfall to see the I.S. A mickey of scotch seemed to evaporate and then the wine came out. I never noticed how drunk I was. The I.S. did though, upon driving me back to Pan`s at five in the morning and putting up with me when I cried like a baby and wouldn`t let go the embrace.

Late afternoon, my head still splitting, I`m awakened by the phone call. I apologize for my poor behavior and am told there is nothing to apologize for. I`m told we`re all allowed our moments. We all have to have them now and then, and that, hey, with my move to Hamilton soon, we`ll see plenty of each other. So cheer up.

I guess I'm spoiled. Every now and then I want too much. I have to remember how very thankful I am for what I've got.


3 comments:

Claudia said...

Uhm... happy birthday again?

poor FWG. You'll refuel that rocket with healthy stuff later.

O.o can't believe I typed that lol

Crushed said...

To be honest, I'm a bit like your mate.
My best mate has to handle me in the same way quite often- reminding me that we're are in fact going out and that I usually take ages to shower and get dressed up and everyone else is pretty much ready whilst I'm lounging on the sofa with a drink in one hand and a joint in the other.

Thing is, once I finally HAVE got ready, everyone else is kind of not ready any more. And then I start to get annoyed.

I'cve not seen these IMAX cinemas. It soundslike a good idea that needs working on.

Kathleen said...

They seem to have the dome IMAX theatres at science museum-y things, as the Detroit Science Center's IMAX is a dome. I think it's cooler than the regular boring IMAX.

I would have shot Pan. We've taken to telling my Mom 15-30 minutes earlier if we need to be somewhere. The woman is completely incapable of being on time which drives me up the wall because I'm like the Worldly Scupltor.