Day 9

Usually Saturday is soccer clinic day for the child, but this week The Virus made them shut their doors. The clinic helpfully put up a training video last week, and this week posted a second one. This week they have also turned toward keeping their staff employed and sent out information about private lessons over video. Good idea for them, but not necessarily what the child needs or would do well with. On the other hand, the video was, as they say, 🔥. Turns out it was a video they made for their elite (USA-style pay-to-play, $5K) teams, and it was a killer for the child. Made them work their legs in a way they don’t usually do. We could spend the next 6 weeks doing this for their PE class since they won’t be in school.

The new stereo receiver arrived today! As I mentioned before, I don’t think I would survive the next 6 weeks at home without a proper working stereo. Many people could, since it’s not that we can’t play music at all, just that we’d have no real speakers, just a Bluetooth job. So I unpacked it and installed it and it’s a beaut. I’m not audiophile and I am reasonably frugal, so of course this is a mid-price at best and it was roughly 30% off list. And yet it sounds great to me. Somewhere along the line I acquired a vinyl copy of the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack; naturally the first thing I played when I had everything hooked up and tested for operationality was Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra.

The one thing we (sort-of) panic bought at the start of it all was a Nintendo Switch for the child so they could game online with friends if it became the only way to interact. It’s great, for someone who didn’t have videogames other than Pong before 7th(?) grade and even then got an Atari because mom’s best friend bought one for her family, to see the way current videogames can be played at a distance. It’s also very problematic, but more expert and experienced minds than mine have written on that, I’m sure. We haven’t tried online play yet (of course, you have to pay extra for it), but I’m looking forward to seeing how it works.

Another movie on Day 9, this one Akeelah and the Bee. I’ve been meaning to have it be my choice for a while, but I kept nudging it below others in head-to-head choices. It was very well done. Definitely a children’s movie, given the way some plot points were obvious to anyone with much life experience, and almost a throwback to 70s-era simple children’s movies. Problematic as well in that way, since it valorized a respectability politics even as it simultaneously valorized the local (and implicitly not ‘respectable’) community of the main character in South Los Angeles. (TIL that this is the official name of what used to be called South Central Los Angeles; the city government changed it in 2003 and the movie was made in 2005. The change was a move to try to dissociate the area from pop culture stereotypes and depictions.)

Neighbors rang bells again at 8p-ish, as they have for the past 3 or 4 nights. I get it, and feel it a little, but the contrarian in me resists wanting to join in.