Survival Tips For Living With An Audioholic Page 2

Our listening room is presently conveniently located off the major hallway, so the dogs and I can come and go, and occasionally wave, thereby maintaining a modicum of human contact even during periods of intense concentration.

The physical design of the listening room is also important. Remember to consider floor loading; in a custom home, you will want to specify structural reinforcing in the areas where heavy album storage may be anticipated. A concrete floor with plush carpet is ideal; closer joist spacing will reduce vibrations in wood floors.

The contractors may be able to provide wiring troughs in the baseboards, or in the floors, covered by carpet. Plan for additional electrical outlets for future audiophile equipment. Perhaps a supplemental generator.

For sound isolation, consider staggered-stud walls with insulating batts. Insulate adjacent rooms above and below with the same batt blankets. These can definitely be helpful to the longevity of a relationship. They might even add value to a house for resale---to another audioholic.

Space: Dedicated Listening Times
Recognize that this is no ordinary hobby. The Audioholic requires a music fix on a regular basis to maintain equilibrium. There is no known substitute, although sex is sometimes an acceptable, albeit temporary, diversion of attention.

We have Dedicated Listening Times on Tuesday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoon. Actually, the Listening Times coincide with my moonlighting job; however, I'm not sure which came first. But now I have A Place To Go, and Things To Do when he needs to listen to five hours of Pink Floyd, or 20 different versions of Mahler's Ninth...twice.

Not only does this arrangement allow Kevin to plan and look forward to his listening hours, but it preserves my sanity.

Negotiate a schedule that will work for you and any others in the household. This is a good time to go shopping---except that you will have to take along the rug rats. This is a good time to visit your family---I'm sure the resident Audioholic would agree. This is a good time to work in the yard---but do not use power tools. This is a good time to take a class, or dine with friends, or pursue countless other activities. The important concept is to make plans for Listening Time, and to think of it as an opportunity to do something for yourself.

Elective Listening Time is different from Dedicated (core) Listening Time. ELT may occur anytime that there are not other pressing concerns. It is advisable to avoid any trivial interruptions; make notes about things you need to discuss, stories you wish to tell, and cover them after the album is over. (By the way, I am now allowed in the listening room during ELT---and even welcomed, if I provide food-and-beverage service. However, Kevin dusts and vacuums.)

We still disagree over whether it is a hostile act to listen to the radio in another room during Elective Listening Time. Turning on the TV is considered a Declaration of War...except, of course, during Designated Watching Times.

The use of an answering machine is suggested during any Listening Times. Phone calls received during Listening Time are rather like phone calls at 3am: without an answering machine, there is little likelihood that the recipient will remember anything three hours later.

Be aware that your Audioholic is not likely to hear the doorbell, smoke detectors, or other distress signals in his stupefied state. Above all else, be careful not to lock yourself out! While conducting the New York Philharmonic, your Audioholic isn't apt to notice your absence, certainly will not hear the doorbell, and won't answer the phone.

Mrs. KC is still adjusting to marriage to an Audioholic. A recent fall---during ELT---left her stunned, slightly injured, and unaided. Although she was less than 20' from KC, she was behind the speakers, and the intensity of his concentration screened out extraneous noises. Must have been (yet) another Mahler symphony.