A Fun Trip To The Maxx
Saturday, September 04, 2010
There are many of my friends who believe that Rosemary and I have too tight and a much too active involvement with our daughters and especially with our granddaughters. They believe we should be more detached and not as involved in their affairs.
I look at myself in the mirror when I think of these observations and cite to myself my lucky, early, long, wonderful and fun relationship with my maternal grandmother Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena. I have written about her at length in this blog and I do not believe I can add anything new except to stress that my present makeup, for better or for worse is due to her.
As my editorial photographic work has just about petered out and those who take photographic classes opt only for one basic digital camera course ( sort of: I will learn punctuation and sentence structure and then I can teach myself to write!) I find that I have much more time in my hands. So does my wife Rosemary who is unemployed and, like me, de facto retired.
This means that we spend time planning meals when we know the grandkids are going to visit and we put special care in planning the Saturday night and Monday night meals when their mother Hilary also shows up. We spend time figuring out what to do with the girls on Saturday during the day. Rosemary just renewed our VAG membership so we can take the girls to shows there. All in all our live is centred on Rebecca and Lauren.
Rosemary even spoke of taking Rebecca to Staples today to shop for last minute school supplies.
With all the above in mind I told Rosemary, “After I see the podiatrist ( I know suffer from plantar fasciitis) why don’t we drive to Mount Vernon, Washington and have a look at that 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx?” I had already spoken with a salesman, Sean Rome and he was expecting us in the coming weeks.
So we drove to Mount Vernon, without the kids, all by ourselves and it was fun to do so.
Sean Rome was the perfect salesman. He was low key and we were instantly given keys to drive the Maxx and another candy red Malibu on our own. We were even able to drive the Maxx on the freeway were I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Maxx’s steering felt as tight as our Audi’s and its 200HP V-6 engine felt quite powerful but smooth. I liked the Maxx and the price at $7500 is really good. But Rosemary was bothered by nicks and scratches, particularly on the top part of the rear bumper. These scratches and nicks are caused by former owners unloading stuff from the car which happens to be a hatchback.
I left with a little pang of longing for a car that I really liked and that in some strange reason made me smile when I looked at it, exactly as I feel when I happen to look at Rosemary’s great big cat, Casa.
Who knows Rosemary might just change her mind and realize that the folks at Blade Chevrolet have yet to detail the car and those nicks and scratches will be gone pronto.
Meanwhile I will try to heed the warnings of my friends and find more things that Rosemary and I can do together without the involvement of our granddaughters and daughters. That could be as tough as deciding on a car.
The Vancouver Art Gallery & Its Future
Friday, September 03, 2010
Thomas Zimmerman -Architect
The Vancouver Art Gallery and its Future
Much has been made, of late, of the necessity of the Vancouver Art Gallery to move from its present location and into a new modern gallery by a ‘Star Architect’. As a young architectural student in the 1970’s, I worked with Arthur Erickson building study models of the three block project which included the present Vancouver Art Gallery. Also, as a member of the VAG for the past 30 years, I find it behooves me to question many of the unconvincing claims and arguments for abandoning its present outstanding facilities and moving to a less prominent location. I would like to advance a series of solutions, many of which have been discussed and debated for several years.
Simply, the alternative to moving is to expand the existing Vancouver Art Gallery in phases and add a smaller, yet significant, new Contemporary Art Gallery on its present site.
The VAG should continue to take advantage of the finest, most accessible publicly owned property in the geographic and social ‘heart of downtown Vancouver. It would be foolish not to do so. This incomparable, high profile site is in proximity to the major downtown Vancouver hotels and transit systems. As well, its existing facilities are housed in a building already internationally acknowledged to be an architectural ‘work of art’.
The VAG can save significant development and construction costs by phased expansion in excess of 30,000 square meters without relocating to a less prominent site and into a massive and expensive new building.
This can be achieved by:
1. Retaining the existing purpose built gallery and refurbishing the existing underutilized annex adjacent Hornby Street.
2. Create a major expansion doubling or tripling the size of the existing gallery by utilizing the space below the open plaza adjacent Georgia Street. Design the “Plaza Gallery” as an iconic new element in the Vancouver cityscape which refurbishes and enhances a great urban public open space.
3. Refurbish the existing spaces under Robson Square Plaza and adjacent the sunken courtyard which were originally conceived to be ultimately connected to the present gallery.
4. Finally and perhaps most importantly: create a new, world class, iconic, purpose built Contemporary Art Gallery above grade adjacent Robson Square Plaza. This provides an opportunity to create a major new entrance court off Robson Street. This grand space would be connected to the existing lobby and link all existing and new galleries.
This realizes the full potential of the existing site and holds many other potential benefits for the VAG including, but not limited to:
a. Allows for the economies of phased construction funded over time as necessary.
b. Maintains the functioning of the present gallery during construction.
c. Ensures retention of all heritage facades.
d. Allows for the full realization of Robson Square Plaza and access to the Robson Street pedestrian corridor.
e. Allows for the upgrading and modernization of the Public Plaza off Georgia, Hornby and Howe Streets.
By the full, creative and visionary utilization of the present site, the Vancouver Art Gallery can achieve its goals of expansion and development of a significant, world class, iconic art gallery. All its space, operational and image requirements can be met while maintaining its present premier location . As well, this can be achieved at considerable cost savings to the Art Gallery, the City of Vancouver, and the Province.
To read more about my analysis, views and images on this subject, please read Thomas Zimmerman - Architect
I first met architect Thomas Zimmerman about 20 years ago during the pool hall craze in Vancouver. I was assigned by one of the city magazines to photograph people who were pool aficionados. Here you see a much younger Zimmerman with his custom pool cue case. I insisted in using this picture over the one that he sent me, a much more current one, simply because I like this photograph!Abraham Rogatnick's ManifestoSmoke & Mirrors at the VAG
Black Is Black
Thursday, September 02, 2010
In our decision to buy a new, but used, car before September 15, when we finally give up our Audi lease, Rosemary finds the colour an important feature. One of the cars we saw today (and has been in consideration for at least two weeks) was a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu Maxx. This car which I think is quite a neat and handsome car (built on a Saab platform) is black and to make it “worse” it has dark tinted rear and back windows. “It looks like a hearse,” Rosemary told me. Another car that was in our possibility list was a 2005 Mailibu LS that was dark gray. “This car is a dowdy,” Rosemary complained. I tried to explain to our Korean salesman, Sam what the word meant. “It is sort of old maidish.” Luckily, this car, certainly within our budget and the more practical choice had been sold.
A third car was a 2005 Chevrolet Epica (Huh? What’s that? ) which had made Rosemary smile because it had many features that her soon-to-be-history Audi has. This car was a strange dark metallic blue/violet. Rosemary loved its light gray, soft leather interior. That car had been sold, too.
This left the hearse-like Maxx and another car that had been mentioned to us last week. It was a 2006 Chevrolet Epica that had just arrived but was not available for viewing as another salesman had taken it home for testing. We finally convinced Sam to show it to us. It was being detailed in the shop but Sam managed to have it driven out and it was parked where we could see it.
It is a beautiful car but it is black. So now there are two cars in contention. One is the black Maxx which is a neat hatchback that happens to have a DVD player in the back seat (“Great for Rebecca and Lauren, Rosemary said.) and, not one, but two sun roofs. Rosemary does not like the fact that the hatchback has no independent and lockable trunk. The Epica is looking good and we know that most of our friends will say that buying a Korean made GM car would be a mistake. But I would counter that the car at 52,000 Km has only 2,000 more than our Audi.
It was today that I told Rosemary that so many of us have forgotten the original reason for things. The purpose of car paint is to protect a car’s metal body from rusting. I told her about John DLorean’s 1981-82 car with the gull wing doors which flopped and that one of the reasons may have been that its body was made of unpainted brushed stainless steel. I a brand new car would in a few shorts month develop a dull finish. Paint has become more than a protector of the metal beneath it so we must wax it, undercoat it, polish it, etc. We become obsessed with the very thin coat that at one time came only in one colour, black in Ford’s Model Ts.
Another example of a loss of our memory of things has been the lowly and, erstwhile, useful car bumper. The purpose of a bumper was to protect a car’s body from dents and minor collisions. In the early 70s one of the fastest accessories in Mexico, for the ubiquitous Volkswagen beetle, was the super-sized rubber bumper attachment sported by contemporary Porsches. The VW’s bumpers were notoriously flimsy.
The bumper no longer protects a car’s body. In fact all you need to do to prove the point is to gently back up our Audi onto a Honda Civic’s bumper (the Civic’s), with its centre mounted license plate to cause a $300 bumper repair on the Audi. Bumpers are now designed to crumple and protect not your car’s beauty but your own personal rear end.
For many years the difference between a professional photographer (in the days of the silver halide) and a rank amateur was the colour of his (there were next to none female professionals so I will not apologize for being gender specific) camera. The amateur camera was brushed chrome or silver. The professional’s was professional black.
And those with real class (uppity to say the least like me!) were extremely proud when the black paint would wear off or chip to show handsome brass underneath. I would tell people who would comment, “That Mamiya of yours looks like it has been around the block,” “I use my camera. I don’t keep it as a collector’s item behind glass. This is a photographer’s camera.”
Now I know of people who specialize in giving old black Leicas a new coat of paint to make them look pristine. Collectors pay large amounts of money (after complete mechanical overhauls) and then place these treasure items in shelves or glassed-in cases and will never ever use them (what a tragedy!).
I own three Mamiya RB-67s with many film backs, four 35mm black cameras ( a Widelux Panoramic, a Pentax S-3 and MX, the latter two seen in photo here). They are all chipped and worn and I could not trade them in for anything if I tried. Should I have taken care of them and kept them looking like new?
Digital cameras are now all made of black composite plastic with bits of metal here and there. What’s the difference between a rank amateur and a professional? Would you believe that is an all white, telephoto Canon lens?
Now in the years that I have had these three Mamiyas I have dropped one of them into a hot tub and all three, at one time have fallen to the floor while still attached to the tripod. In fact last week as I was taking portraits of Dean Paul Gibson as Falstaff and of Alessandro Juliani as Henry V with my IPhone, my backup Mamiya (with Ektachrome) went crashing to the floor when one of the legs of my tripod slipped and collapsed. The camera went flying. The heavy pentaprism separated from the camera as did the fragile focusing screen. I calmly kept taking my iPhone portraits to the horror of Gibson and Juliani. After that re-assembled the Mamiya (nothing was broken) and took my pictures.
A glitch in the Apple syncing procedure between my IPhone and my computer erased the Gibson and Juliani portraits. But if the folks reading this blog will look back to a few days you might note that I did manage to get relatively decent portraits of the Shakespearean actors.
Here is my theory. Had my camera been a Swedish-bodied Hasselblad (lots of titanium) there would have been severe damage to the camera. The Mamiya has an extremely heavy pentaprism (which allows for eyelevel viewing). The securing mechanism to the camera body is flimsy. When this camera falls to the ground (and I have had this happen to me countless times) the pentaprism goes flying. This prevents damage to the camera.
My Mamiya and other black cameras look terrible. But they work , they last and never let me down. Could the Mamiya’s pentaprism design be something similar to the modern or the old-style bumper? Whatever it might be, I look forward to pulling back the curtains of our bedroom windows soon to look at a shiny black car.
From A Beer Hall To Agincourt
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Because I am playing the same human being at different stages of life, there is no confusion regarding whose shoes I am filling on a given night. But I have discovered that my pre-show routine has evolved to be somewhat different for both shows. On Falstaff nights, I have found I can afford to be a little looser in my preparation. I arrive an hour before. Run thru my epic sword-fight with Bob Frazer, who plays Hotspur- a mandatory rehearsal, lest someone inadvertently lose a limb. Then usually play some hacky sack or tekraw (a recently discovered kind of hackysack/badminton/volleyball hybrid originating in Thailand) with some other members in the company. Because the young Hal begins as such a loose and wayward lad at the beginning of his arc, I allow myself to in a sense warm up during the first few scenes of the show, and find focus and intensity as the show progresses, and Hal is thrust into responsibility and manhood.
With Henry V, I find I have to be a little more focused and isolated beforehand. I always take nap in the afternoon...(my ninety year old grandmother would approve that we are on the same schedule!). I 'drive the bus' the whole night long, so I have to make sure I am energized from the first word. Funnily enough, I have found that I get into costume at the very last moment. I like stepping into the clothes and armor and literally walking onto the stage moments or minutes after. Not sure why. Maybe it helps me feel a sense of momentum and informs Henry's restless state at the beginning of the play as he decides whether or not to wage war. Either way, whether playing the boy or the man, I am always ready for a hearty meal by the final bow...
Alessandro JulianiFalstaffAntony & CleopatraRichard III at Safeway
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I have finally caught up and here I am writing in real time for today’s blog. The events of Saturday are mostly in my mind. Because we had planned a surprise belated birthday party for Rebecca (August 17), a surprise that we had also kept from hre parents I called up Hilary and told her, “Please ask Rebecca to wear a dress and tell her she will be amply rewarded. Tell Lauren to wear a dress, too.” Rebecca dislikes to wear dresses and when she arrived on Saturday afternoon she told me quite clearly that she expected to find out soon what “amply rewarded” meant.
I took the pair of them outside and set up my big light but shot them with my iPhone. I also took some big camera pictures in b+w and with Ektachrome. The four or five pictures with the iPhone were delightful.
Alas, on Sunday a quirk/bug (one that I had no yet read about) erased every picture I had ever taken with my iPhone from its memory. Fortunately I had periodically downloaded them on to my computer’s hard drive. But those four or five pictures were gone. I know how to prevent this problem from happening again. We all need something like this to alert us to a confidence in electronic equipment which may be much too optimistic. The event, in any case, has made me reflect on the loss of a wonderful moment as I pointed my camera at two little girls (one not so little anymore) on a beautiful summer day (could it be the last one as I see the rain falling outside my window?)
In the picture I was attempting to show the sadness inherent to children growing up in the waning days of summer. The events that unfolded after were all pleasant. Our dinner was a good one and the surprise birthday cake was a smash hit. Only the subsequent failure of the refurbished iTouch dampened our spirits.
Yesterday Rosemary came to me and with a serious face said, “Come here.” I prepared for the worst. What she was showing me was this scene of Lauren with Rosemary’s cat Casi (Casi-Casi, Casanova, Casa, etc). It was the kind of scene that can make even the hardest heart soften like lime Jell-O. Mine did and I took the iPhone snap you see here.
The picture has made me reflect that it is not all that bad to compare one granddaughter to another. There will be differences. But there are certainties about them that are not certainties. Rebecca says she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Yet, here is this little girl who had bonded with Casi since he arrived to our house some months ago. Rebecca does not seem to have much interest in petting the animal. Lauren spends hours in the garden and Casi follows.
For some years I have asserted that I can always reason with Rebecca because she has a fine reasoning mind. Yet her constant lapses into berrinches (temper tantrums) indicate that she might be ruled more by her emotions than by her mind. And here we have a relatively more quiet (I like when Rebecca has sleepover away from home, it so quiet here,” Lauren says often.) Lauren who looks at me straight in the eye and I can feel some sort of intellectual understanding. She is almost Spockian!
We watched a terrible film on Monday night, Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst and Lauren stayed awake until the end of this slow film. She kept asking us what had happened to Marie Antoinette, over and over until Rebecca lost her temper and told her to shut up. It was at this point that I went to bat for Lauren and told Rebecca that she has the obligation of being more patient with her younger sister. If her younger sister shows a curiosity to learn and to know about things she must satisfy it with good spirits and a smile.
It was yesterday and Saturday in the garden that I understood exactly what it is that Casi the cat sees in Lauren. I see it, too.
Falstaff - The Long & The Short Of It
Monday, August 30, 2010
Guest blog by Errol Durbach
Adaptation: The Long and the Short of it
Why adapt the two parts of Henry IV into a single play called Falstaff? One reason is the need for accessibility — to make these plays readily available to modern audiences, who seldom have the opportunity to see the second part of Henry IV, a play with some extraordinary scenes stuck in a rather stodgy and repetitive text. But adaptation comes with penalties, the most obvious of which is to cut and condense the texts without radical damage to their themes and characters. Shortening 7 hours of playing time to 2.5 hours entails a certain amount of violence; and the best an adaptor can hope for is that the shape of the play — its “through-line” and major themes — remain distinct and undamaged.
But, of course, there are other restraints imposed upon the adaptor. One of these is budgetary. At Bard-on-the-Beach, each production must work with a company of no more than 15 actors (doubling and tripling the roles, as need be). So of the 50 characters in the two parts of Henry IV (not to mention the attendant lords and the spear carriers), an adaptor has to make drastic cuts to the cast-list and select only those whom he can accommodate to the action. In other words, its not only the dialogue that has to be cut to the bone, but those who speak it.
Another consideration is that Henry IV belongs in the middle of a sequence of History Plays, preceded by Richard II and followed by Henry V. This means that continuity becomes a crucial factor — complicated by the fact that Richard II was staged in the previous season, and that the vital plot elements of that earlier staging need to be incorporated into the current production as a form of exposition. So space needs to be made, somewhere, for a restaging of the central incidents of Richard II — King Henry’s usurpation of the throne, and his murder of Richard. And, of course, the adaptor has to ensure a consistency of character-treatment, especially in the case of Prince Hal, who needs to evolve from a delinquent into the heroic Henry V. This was a difficulty for me. I loathed the Machiavellian politics of Hal, and I thought that his war-mongering in Henry V was politically indecent. But my version of the Henry IV plays had to be in keeping with the vision of the directors, and it was necessary to keep within the constraints of character that they wished to develop. All art — especially theatrical art — is collaboration. And compromise is an essential aspect of adaptation.
Adaptation also produces huge gaps that need to be filled. In Falstaff I was obliged to fill them with some decidedly un-Shakespearean material: my own (slightly irreverent) scripting of a Chorus who took the audience from place to place, and time to time, with occasional commentary on the situation. Another compromise, one I was happy to follow, was to allow the actors to restore some of the lines — but not too many — that I felt obliged to cut. So we were able to observe a 2.5 hour performance time, while accommodating some of the actors’ needs to retain what they thought were vital lines.
But adaptation is not all compromise and restraint. Sculpting Falstaff out of the mass of material I had to work with, also gave me the opportunity to shape the play in a personal way, deconstruct two major histories and reconstruct them as I wished, even to the extent of rearranging the climax and giving Falstaff the last word. At the end of my adaptation, there is a very modern “violation” of traditional Shakespearean reality. With the director’s consent, I arranged for Falstaff to die onstage (using the reportage from Henry V) — only to have him rise again from his deathbed and deliver his famous eulogy to good sherry sack. So my adaptation ends with a rousing toast “To life!”, which I hoped might counteract the horrible world of political scheming and the inevitable drift towards the death-dealing invasion of France to follow.
Seen here, above, Dean Paul Gibson in the Bard on the Beach play Falstaff adapted by Errol Durbach, second picture. The third picture is of director Glynis Leyshon.
Not Losing That iTouch
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The verb educar
in Spanish has an encompassing meaning that surpasses the simpler educate
in English. To be educado
in Spanish goes beyond having knowledge. There is an emphasis in manners and upbringing. Thus a mal educado
is a rude and insensitive person. With that in mind I would like to assert that the person that is writing this on his birthday (the blog may be Saturday’s but I am writing it today, August 31st) was brought up and is who he is probably because of the active intercession of his grandmother.
I have written often here on how my abuelita and I shared a passion for westerns, war movies and swashbucklers. I have written about our common sweet tooth and perhaps not mentioned too often that she considered me to be of an artistic temperament, “Los dos somos artistas,” “We are both artists,” she would stress to my mother when I had done something that was not quite right. My abuelita had the idea that an artist was above some rules of behavior. She ate what she liked and when offered something she didn’t like it was bad for her “delicate” liver.
My grandmother never told me not to do something. She used a very modern approach (or so I have found out). If I didn’t want to eat she would say, “The donkey that got used to not eating died,” or, “He who dies by his own choice will have a choir at this funeral.” Through the years she introduced me to the wisdom of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.
Because she and I were of the like kind any criticism from my part she took most seriously. I remember that I may have been 7 or 8 years old and she and my mother and I were in the Argentine resort city of Mar Del Plata. I was not well as I had the whooping cough. We were sitting at the dinner table of hotel and both women would point at me and say, “No tosas,” which made it all worse and I would cough anyway. It was at that dinner table that my grandmother sported some large, hanging ear rings “de fantasia” (fake stones). “What do you thing of them Alex?” she asked. I looked at them and told her (I had recently been taken to see Pinocchio), “Parecen orejas de burro,” “They look like donkey’s ears.” She got up from the table, grabbed my hand and she rushed me to the edge of the nearby beach. She removed her earrings and cast them off into the waters of the Atlantic.
On this day of my birthday I miss these women (and too, my father) who made me who I am today. I am aware that like my grandmother I have found a kindred spirit in my granddaughter Rebecca and I have put an effort since she was born in giving her what I have come to define as a parallel education. Because she lives nearby, my effect on her might be a bit stronger than that of my grandmother’s who in my early years, before we all moved to Mexico, had her apartment in town in Buenos Aires while we lived in the near outskirts. It wasn’t until we lived in Mexico that we all lived together and because my mother was a school teacher that Abuelita became my surrogate mother and father.
In this effort to give Rebecca a parallel education (an endeavour in which my wife Rosemary actively concurs) I have come to realize that I must be careful in not stepping on the toes of my daughter, Rebecca’s mother and on Bruce Stewart, Rebecca’s father. I am most grateful that they allow us to take Rebecca gallivanting to Argentina, Uruguay, Washington DC, Mexico and most recently Texas with just her grandfather. I appreciate this level of trust so I try to be careful.
I have watched how Rebecca has competed with her father for the use of the home computer. Her mother has prohibited Rebecca from using our computer (or watching TV) when she visits us on Saturdays and Mondays. I am aware that a girl that is now 13 must have some sort of incentive to want to stay with her vejestorio (old fogies) grandparents and that such restrictions will hasten her soon and predictable, “I don’t want to visit them anymore.” This would be natural.
So when the girls come on Saturdays we try to organize walking visits to VanDusen, the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library and other events and activities that will prevent them from settling down with a computer. Rebecca and I explore the history of my garden roses. She looks at all my photography books and even the books on nude photography with no restriction. She poses, sometimes willingly, for me in the garden when I use big lights. I choose films that I think might give the girls some sort of education. It was many years ago that Rebecca and I sat to watch Gunga Din
and we had a very good time at it. She still refuses to watch Beau Geste
saying she is much too young to enjoy the predicted complexity of the film. I don’t think so. We will see it soon.
It was about three months ago that I hatched an idea. I was going to buy Rebecca an Apple-refurbished iTouch. All my friends advised me to the contrary. I never did consult Rebecca’s parents on this and Rosemary, not quite understanding what an iTouch was silent and unsupportive on my idea. When Rebecca and parents went to California on a vacation and her birthday was during the vacation I realized that she had not had a birthday party and that we had not given her anything.
I finally made the decision and ordered the iTouch. It came in a big box and when it arrived I was almost as excited as I was when my iPhone came one summer afternoon.
Last Saturday at the dinner table, after a surprise mango birthday cake I produced the iTouch. The excitement in Rebecca’s face was sheer pleasure to me. Alas the pleasure did not last. She and her father “fought” for the device. Her father believes that Apple products are shoddy and does not agree with their proprietary dealings in forcing the users of Apple equipment to use iTunes.
The factory refurbished iTouch failed. It began to intermittently flicker and turn itself off, all on its own. Rebecca lost her temper while her parents pointed out that the gift had been given to her with the best of intentions.
A long story made short (after hours of spending time synching and re-synching the iTouch to my computer, well into the early morning of Sunday) is that I obtained an appointment with the geniuses (that’s what they are called) at the Oakridge Apple Store for Sunday noon. The urbane English tech rep had told me on the phone, “If you are nice they might give you a brand new one.” That was the case. I might have helped the process along. I showed the genius a photo from my iPhone and I told him, “This is a picture of a smiling girl on the day of her birthday (“You lied!” Rebecca told me later.) and the day ended with her crying. You have the power to restore that smile.”
And so it was.
Because Rebecca will be going into the 8th grade in September and will have to ride a transit bus, her parents are doing what most parents are doing these days. They are giving her a cell phone so they can check on her whereabouts. But because they know that brand new teenagers (she is now 13) can be teenagers, they know that she could run up a huge bill in texting, etc. Her phone will have severe restrictions.
I thought that an iTouch with its internet Wi-Fi capabilities would give her the advantages of being able to do what she as a teenager would want to do without the dire financial consequences. I also thought that the odd restrictions of the iTouch (it does not have a camera, it is not a phone) would push Rebecca to find roundabout ways of superseding them and perhaps twisting them to her advantage. Only time will tell. And I can only thank her parents for being so supportive.