Monday, February 26, 2007

Surround Sound and Cravings

Our surround sound home theater system has been giving itself a wedgie for some time now. For as long as the warranty has been expired, (of course) it's had tics and spasms that slow it down so that every time I/ we put in a CD or DVD, it became an exercise in patience. It had a 3 disc changer so it would load each tray every single time, whether or not there was anything in it. Sometimes 2 or 3 times. The infuriating flashing message that said LOADING would drive me to bad language.
The funny thing is, this was a gift from my husband back before he was my husband. So I never wanted to say anything. I would just sit and wait as he would load a CD and we'd sit there and sit there.... finally one day he nearly threw the remote across the room and I finally told him I felt the same way I just didn't want him to feel bad because he got it for me! haha. We had a good laugh about that and then felt freer after that to yell at it and call it names around each other.
Then Sam came along with his own personal Baby Einstein CD, and the poor little guy would have to sit there and wait for it. I'd forget about that part and say "HEY! Wanna watch your video!?!?" And then we'd wait and wait and wait. He has this thing he does with his hands when he gets excited and he would get those hands going and then the DVD wouldn't start and the player would tell me there was no DVD in the tray, so I'd open it and close it and watch the LOADING message Blink Blink Blink.... Sam would whimper and stare at the TV and wiggle his hands.

Anyway, we finally said screw it and got another one.

It's so great. It has four buttons on the front. Open/Close, On/Off, Stop, and Play. And only one tray for a DVD or CD. Last night I put a DVD in, it loaded for about 3 seconds, and went right to the menu! No waiting, no epileptic weirdness, just simply got on with business!
It was exactly what I entered the store intending to buy. I did my little bit of research, and found what I wanted and went there for it.
But it doesn't have surround. It has the stuff in back to hook it up but of course that's not compatible with the speakers we have so they're going in a box and I'm dragging out my old Henry Kloss mini PC speakers that, while they do indeed kick some serious butt for their size and cheapness, they are not surround sound. But I was OK with that going into the store. We decided that was OK for now. Later when things are different/if they're ever different, we'll go all out and get a really nice system again.
However, I stood there in the store and looked at surround sound systems. I drooled a little I think. I got that little buzz monster in my head deliriously yelling "Ah, just buy it! The money will be there, don't worry about it! Get what you WANT!!! Get it GET IT GET IT ALREADY!!!" But for all kinds of reasons that's not a good idea for us right now, not to mention that our TV is old and all the new cool stuff wouldn't work on it anyway. There's the new TV itch that hasn't been scratched in a while too, but that's another story.
The DVD player I went home with is very simple, and very compatible with our old TV, and it will be very capable of serving our entertainment needs (wants). Still, I have to say, stepping "down" from surround sound is not easy. In addition to my struggle, the place was so loud, confusing, crowded. It was full sensory overload - at least audio/visually.
I read once that stores and malls do that on purpose because it makes a person more susceptible to the urge to buy stuff. Especially the big malls. They purposely overload the senses and provide very few maps in order to induce a slightly off balance, sensory overloaded state that makes people more susceptible to making impulse purchases and/or running off to the food court and piling a tray high with comfort food. They had a name for it and I don't remember what it was.
As I was checking out, I realized I was craving chocolate, salty/fatty food and Coke. At the checkout line was potato chips, candy, chocolate, and - Coca Cola! I very nearly caved, but held out at least until the grocery store, where in addition to the groceries we needed I bought Easter Candy and Funyuns!!
I guess it worked on me!


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