Friday Five: Young Thug’s Accidental Exercise in Postmodernism, Yay to Women’s Marches and Finishing My Epic January Re-Reading of Harry Potter

+ While I wasn’t able to march in one this weekend, my heart was with all the people who participated in the women’s demonstrations. It was a historic event, and also the first time in awhile I’ve felt some semblance of hope and vibrancy about the U.S., politics and the future in a long, long while. ALL RIGHT LADIES NOW LET’S GET IN FORMATION! (Even though lots of amazing non-famous ladies were there, I can’t resist putting this picture of Jessica Chastain at the march, mostly because she is one of my enduring lady crushes.)

+ Watching this funny, kinda NSFW Young Thug video for his song “Wyclef Jean” — in which Young Thug himself failed to show up for his own video shoot and the director had to “make do” with the little footage he had — made me remember a story I heard about the Wu-Tang Clan. A friend of mine had just landed her first post-college job doing publicity at their record label, and one of her first ‘assignments’ was to make sure Ol’ Dirty Bastard (RIP!) got on a specific flight to a concert. Wu-Tang were notorious in the industry for being really difficult to round up to do any shows or promotion — like herding cats, someone told me back in the day. (There were a lot of them, and they tended to wander off or just ignore you, apparently!) Anyway, my poor friend was told to get ODB on this plane by any means necessary. She had to go out to where he was at in Staten Island, sit with him in a car to the airport, escort him to the gate and GET HIM ON THE PLANE. Being responsible, personable and persistent, she managed to get ODB to the airport and thought all was going to be well…until ODB stopped right at the gate and announced he wasn’t “DOIN’ SHIT” unless my friend got on the now-sold-out flight with him. Oh dang! Well, let’s just say that after many panicked phone calls, a company credit card and a rearranged schedule, my friend found herself on a plane with only her purse sitting next to ODB in first class, only to have to turn right around after she landed and go back to work. The music industry! So very wacky!

+ New Spoon song! I once had an intense two-month crush on Britt Daniel. I got over it, but I still like Spoon a lot — they are such a consistent indie rock band that they’re easy to take for granted. I wasn’t into the last few records — the last one I remember really liking was Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga — but this song has me excited for their new material this year.

+ I also finished re-reading the entire 7-volume original Harry Potter series — I swooped through The Order of the Phoenix in two days, The Half-Prince in a day, and The Deathly Hallows in a day and a half. I was blowing off things left and right because I JUST WANTED TO KEEP READING, even though I already knew what happened from reading them and seeing the movies before! That’s such a mark of good storytelling. Reading them in one big go, I’m struck over and over again how amazingly well-plotted they were — how deftly Rowling controlled the information, tension and dynamic interest of the reader, how imaginative, inventive, enchanting and yet deeply familiar her whole universe was, and just how beautifully characterized the main characters were. I also loved how increasingly “layered” each volume became, evolving from the lighter children’s romps of the earlier books to the denser, more complex stories that wove in history, politics and even bits of philosophical debate, albeit in a very easy, palatable way. Re-reading Harry Potter derailed a few of my other reading plans, but I’m glad I did it — I needed something genuinely joyful to lift my spirits this dull winter.

(Sometimes I don’t know what to do about the picture with these Friday Five installments, so starting next week I’ll try to post my favorite outfit of the week. For now…here’s an outtake of me trying to get a selfie for #winter10x10 in a tiny H&M changing room with Budgie in a stroller!)

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