High def brings QB’s zit to life
I used to be a fairly avid reader. That all changed last month when my parents gave me a new TV. While it was a birthday gift for me, the TV has become a dream come true for my husband Rick. We have a TV downstairs in the living room and for a while we had debated, and resisted, getting a second TV to put in our bedroom. But when my parents offered to buy a brand new, 32-inch, high-definition model, it was too good to pass up. Before it arrived, I did some measurements in our room and consulted Rick, wondering if 32 inches would be too large. “Honey, in the eyes of your husband, a TV can never be too big,” he said.Nevertheless, we ended up getting a 27-inch, flat-panel LCD HDTV. Initially we opted to forgo a second cable box, deciding instead to just hook it up to a DVD player. However, four days after we got the TV, we (he) changed our (my) minds and Rick – the man who has not been able to find the time to install dimmers on the light switches in the kitchen and living room, or replace a roll of paper towels – ever – managed within minutes to figure out how much the cable box would cost, which channels it would include, that it would be quicker to drive over to the cable office and pick it up rather than wait for an installation appointment, and how to hook it up and use it.I’m fairly certain being obsessed with TV is a guy thing. My mom would be fine if she just had one to watch the occasional Jane Austen miniseries on PBS and if it were big enough only for her to get a good look at the offerings on Antiques Roadshow. My dad, on the other hand, has over time managed to get a TV in every possible shape and size in nearly every room in their house. His baby, his trophy, his pièce de résistance, is the big TV in the playroom. Only he knows how to operate it. It’s something like a six-step process just to turn it on, never mind figuring out how to change the channels, which pretty much requires a Ph.D. in TV. I think he likes it that way. It means he and his TV get left alone.Still, to be fair, I have been finding that watching TV in high definition makes even the most painful programs more bearable, even enjoyable. Like last weekend’s NFL draft extravaganza-thon. (The Oscars and its red carpet specials are to me what the draft and its pre-show commentary are to Rick.) Because without HD, there’s simply no way I could have spent the 17-hour first round of the draft determining whether the zit on Brady Quinn’s left cheek was bigger than JaMarcus Russell’s diamond earrings. (It was close for a while, but in the end, the zit won by nearly a carat.)Then there’s the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth series. If not for HD, I know I wouldn’t have been spellbound for the better part of an hour by millions of bats creating a 300-foot mound of guano (otherwise known to the uninitiated as poop) in a cave teeming with hundreds of thousands of cockroaches and 6-inch long centipedes. This from the woman who called it a day last Saturday when she mistook a piece of ginger in her stir fry at lunch for an earwig.It’s not as though I’ve stopped reading as much as I used to because I’m watching more TV in bed, or that I’m distracted by what Rick watches. It’s that since we got the TV, he talks about it constantly. Not what’s on TV, but the actual TV. Lately he’s taken to flipping back and forth between the same baseball game on ESPN’s regular and HD channels, repeatedly insisting I validate his joy when the shape of the raindrops falling on the dugout are distinguishable on the latter, while the precipitation makes the picture on the former just plain blurry.Really, not a day, or even 12 hours, has gone by since we got the TV when he hasn’t enthusiastically asked me to reaffirm my amorous feelings for it (“Have you ever seen a picture quite so crisp?” he gushes) or excitedly pointed out a new feature he’s discovered (“Did you know you have the option of zooming or stretching the picture?”). I don’t think I ever imagined something so innately inanimate could generate so much excitement.Even so, I’m not too worried. I’m sure the novelty will wear off within a few months. Just pray my parents don’t get me a PlayStation 3 for my birthday next year.E-mail questions or comments to email@example.com.
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