Caroline: I had a little bit of an off week this week and wasn't feeling motivated to do much of anything on my days off. Yesterday, I spent the whole day on my roof reading and napping and doing one of my favorite easy crafts: tie dye!! Except I didn't have the necessary supplies, so I tore up an old bed sheet and dyed it with turmeric from my spice cabinet. I'll probably make braided strips out of it to sew into a scrap basket. It was a really fun and short craft that made me feel very industrious and productive with minimal effort.
Julianne: This week happened to be Stevie Wonder's 70th birthday and to celebrate, a handful of world-class DJs organized a 24-hour party in his honor over Instagram Live. If I had to listen to just one artist for the rest of my life, that whole impossible desert island scenario, Stevie Wonder is the musician I'd choose. So a whole day dedicated to the man, with sets from Questlove, Gilles Peterson, Natasha Diggs, and DJ Spinna--whose annual Wonderfull parties have been the most fun I've had on a dance floor ever--was an absolute treat.
I haven't been able to get into the whole DJ sets from home during quarantine thing but this was something different. I had a ball. The ephemerality of it made it all the more magical. (The Instagram account has since been deleted!) I knew it was exactly as good as I hoped as soon as DJ Spinna came on and opened his set with this classic clip of a young Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross singing the most magical duet version of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me." Please, listen! And maybe even have your own living room dance party?
Alyx: I have started on a new plant parenthood project! Inspired by a friend, I ordered Venus fly trap seeds on the Internet. Did you know that fly trap seeds are TINY? I'm hoping that this project will be a good balance of involved, but not too difficult. There's so much to learn about growing medium (no fertilized soil for these guys! A lot of houseplant fertilizers will "burn" fly trap roots), amount of sunlight, moisture management, mold prevention, etc. I ordered a bag of growing medium (fancy term for dirt) and a grow light as well. In the past, I've had very mixed success growing plants from seeds to adulthood, so we'll see!
The album cover for 苏州弹词《珍珠塔·后哭塔》(Suzhou Story "Pearl Tower · Crying Tower) by 魏钰卿 (Wei Yuqing); I used Google Translate so I hope the translation is fairly accurate.
Esther:Recently, my sister introduced me to an app called Radiooooo (that's five o's) where you can explore music by country and decade– granted, only as far back as the 1900s. I'm going to come off as a spokesperson for the app here... because I think it's very cool. It's a fun way to come across music you might never have come across otherwise, and I'm finding that it's encouraging me to learn more about the music as I listen.
The song described above, which you can listen to below, is the first I heard on the app. I chose China in the 1920s, and after hearing this, did a little bit of research. According to Wikipedia, it is a tanci, or, "a narrative form of song in China that alternates between verse and prose." The Wiki page is short and worth a read, especially the bit about Chinese women's relationship to tanci.