Finn has been without her iPhone for a month or so now, on account of 9th grade being a degree of difficulty harder than 8th grade was. We’ve got an agreement that she needs to keep her grades above a certain level to have access to her phone, and currently that threshold has not been met. (It’s also much harder to get grades back up quickly in 9th grade than it was last year). Without entertainment, her life has been dull. She was given money for her birthday present this year and wisely picked out an inexpensive knockoff iPod Fun Time! Music MP3 All Day Player Box from Amazon. When it arrived I intercepted it and loaded a bunch of music on a sidecar MiniSD card, as it wouldn’t mount to any of our Macs. I’m giving it some grief because clearly it’s a very basic knockoff of an iPod, but for $40, it’s a color touchscreen music player/radio/video player with 64GB of space; this same thing would have been worth ten times this amount five years ago. Anyway, I stuffed it with music and gave it to her over breakfast the next morning.
I tried to find the sweet spot between loading music I know she likes and stuff I think she might like based on previous conversations. The biggest problem is that I haven’t bought new music in years. We used to get CD’s from the library down the street but they’ve been closed for renovations since January (opening Spring 2024!) so everything I have on the server is at least a year old or more. That being said, she’s now got the classics she enjoys with Mom: Erasure, Duran Duran, the Cure, George Michael, Prince, etc. From my side I put some assorted stuff on there: Silversun Pickups, M83, Beck, and The White Stripes, as well as classic albums from Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, the Clash, and others.
We drove out to the Lowe’s to pick up some wood this evening and I asked her what she listened to. She said she made a playlist with a couple of Silversun Pickups songs, a few Beach House tunes, and one from Cut Copy that she really liked. I did my best not to be Ken from the scene in Barbie where he starts lecturing about what made Pavement so important and stuck to asking her what she liked and didn’t like so I can find her more music. We had a good conversation about it, and she seems real happy. We were able to hook it up to the deck in the Scout and rock out, and it put a smile on her face, which is all I’m asking for these days.