percy jackson: the sea of monsters

I’ve been rereading the Percy Jackson series as an easy, breezy adventure story. It’s not very good, but it’s paced quickly and the world is vaguely interesting.

I’m going to finish the series to see where it ends up. I remember the series quite well from when I was a kid, but I’ve forgotten a lot about tertiary characters like Nico. I’ve forgotten a lot about the politics of the world.

It’s good escapism.

the duff

I just rewatched The Duff (2015) for the first time since release. I originally saw it semi-ironically, going to a midnight show on a weeknight, not expecting to absolutely fall in love with Mae Whitman & Robbie Amell.

I have no idea how they have some of the best chemistry I’ve ever seen in a romcom — teen or not. I’ve seen them both in countless other movies & TV shows, but in this movie, they just are their characters.

It’s a bit odd because the rest of the cast is painfully mediocre. When the movie came out, I was 17, and I knew Bella Thorne was 17 at the time, so it was definitely disappointing to have someone my age be so much prettier than me.

The Duff clocks in as my third favorite teen movie of all time, behind Heathers and Mean Girls. It’s just a wonderful little romp through a likable duo’s time together and how they’re so casually complementary.

wfh, now from home

My biggest goal with the 2-4 weeks here is to be less of a …workaholic really isn’t the right word because my work isn’t pressuring me to do any of this, but careeraholic, I guess. My career choice has pressured me into feeling this way all the time.

I want to be on the computer as little as humanly possible outside of 9-5 now. I am writing this, on a Saturday night, from a computer. My commitments are going way down now.

I hope this is a good reset that allows me to really re-evaluate what I want to focus on… hyperfocus on to reach my goals.

wfh

It’s possible that we have to work from home for well over a month due to COVID19.

I used to work from home when I was freelancing in my late teens. I couldn’t find the separation between work and play.

I get really restless when I have to sit at a desk for 8+ hours Not even moving around to talk to people or go to meetings is basically my hell. With video calling being more prevalent, you can’t really walk and take a phone call anymore.

The hardest thing for me is that I have to set working hours for myself. I have to stick to this. No breaks except for lunch. If I don’t do that, I will never stop half-working, half-playing.

This also cuts into my study schedule. It is basically impossible to look at a code editor after working remotely for 8 hours. I think I can still continue reading books (but I had a very ambitious schedule that I may cut in half now), but all studying relating to direct coding (ie Java) is called off until further notice. I need distance.

Let’s hope this is over quickly, for more reasons than this whining. It’s been a really dour 2 weeks.

favorite song of 2012

2012 was the first full year where I watched films knowing Hindi. I no longer needed subtitles, although I really struggled with Hindi still. The first time I watched Ishaqzaade, I really didn’t understand it very well. I rewatched it a few months later, and really liked it.

The most important part of Ishaqzaade is the soundtrack.

This was the first film where I had solidified who two of my favorites of the decade were — Amit Trivedi as the best composer of the 2010s and Vishal Dadlani as my favorite male singer of the 2010s.

I’d been familiar with other Amit soundtracks before, but you only notice who a composer is when they make a song that really gets to you. For the first time in my life, if I listened to a song enough, I understood the lyrics of a song. This led to a few of my absolute favorite songs of all time coming out this year.

Understanding the exchange in the song really set a new precedent in my life. I always loved duets, but oh man, I love back & forths in songs.

It’s worth noting that Habib Faisal, the director of Ishaqzaade, penned the brilliant lyrics. He’s also, most important to me, the writer of Band Baaja Baarat which I think has the most brilliant dialogue/screenplay of any movie from this decade.

Mere munna, baat sun na (My boy, listen to this)
Ye jawaani nahi koi khilona (This youth is not some toy)

Pehle jao, seekh ke aao (First go and learn)
Pyaase naino ki pyaas ko bhujaana (To quench the thirst of thirsty eyes)

Chokra Jawaan (Female part, as sung by Sunidhi Chauhan)

Oh Chand baby, jo chance degi (Oh Chand baby, if you give me a chance)
Pyaas kya hai, main bhookh bhi mita doon (What’s thirst? I’ll even conquer hunger)

Oh hum hai seekhe, aur sikhaye (I’ve learned, and taught)
Nain kya hai, poori tann main bhiga doon (What’s eyes? I’ll drench your whole body)

Chokra Jawaan (Male part, as sung by Vishal Dadlani)

This is my favorite part of the song and I think my relationship to music has changed drastically since I learned Hindi.

I’d also like to take a moment to note a song that isn’t my favorite song of 2012 but is one of the most beautiful songs of all time. It’s hard to put beautiful songs as one’s favorite though. It’s not necessarily the most loopable song.

Raabta is an interesting song because there’s 3 different versions that are all very different. I remember that I downloaded all 3 versions to my iPod Nano and spent hours trying to figure out which version I liked best.

I finally decided that I absolutely adore the Kehte Hain Khuda Ne version best, which features a pre-Aashiqui 2 Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal, two of the best romantic singers of all time.

cloudy

It’s a perfect, cloudy day today. You can see the rolling layers of the clouds, there’s no risk of rain, the air is crisp, there’s a slight breeze, and there’s no sign of that menacing sun. It’s my favorite kind of weather.

It’s the kind of weather you can drown your emotions in. Without the sun, the world feels empty and quiet. No input, no output, everything just is.

I used to love going to Disneyland on days like this. Since we weren’t allowed to bring our phones after my dad once lost my sister’s somewhere in the Rivers of America, the long lines with the same 2-3 people I can only talk to so much before I lose my mind became a bit more bearable.

That bleachy smell and the gray skies are always thinking time. I don’t know what I was necessarily thinking about, but somehow the clouds made all the petty stuff disappear.

Who cares about school drama and work problems when the world is so clear?

Let the obsessions rest, let the pressure melt, let the drama slow. The world is quiet here… at least as long as the clouds shield us from the noise.

favorite song of 2011

During these early years of the decade, TV was starting to lose its prevalence in our introduction to new songs, but we didn’t really have a lot of streaming services yet. I think I still worked off of downloading songs to my iPod Nano. Since that was so offline, my concept of new songs generally came from YouTube and the new movies I actually saw.

I was seeing Mere Brother Ki Dulhan in the theater — so excited & so happy. They don’t make romcoms like that anymore, folks. Simultaneously happy and modern and fantastical. The cast was a treat — Imran Khan was my favorite actor at the time, Ali Zafar might be the most charming man on the planet, I love Katrina Kaif, and Tara D’Souza blew me away.

So when these 4 unveiled themselves in the big screen in this fantastic song, I was hooked. The entire way home, I kept my earbuds in and looped this song. It still gives me those fuzzy feelings. I remember being so in love with this song.

favorite song of 2010

I don’t remember 2010. I’m looking at the list of movies that came out that year and this was right before I learned Hindi, so I wasn’t too interested.

I know that in hindsight, Ainvayi Ainvayi is my favorite song of 2010. I definitely only watched Band Baaja Baarat in 2011, though.

There’s a lot of close calls.

I love Sheila Ki Jawaani, obviously.

I have a very soft spot in my heart for Akela Dil from Dulha Mil Gaya, but I didn’t love that song unreasonably.

The closest thing I can think of is the I Hate Luv Storys soundtrack. If I have to remember from …10 years ago, I definitely liked songs I could sing along to, which often means songs that featured a lot of English in them.

So, I think my favorite song in 2010 was the I Hate Luv Storys title song. I guess.

favorite song of 2019

Every year, there’s one song I become unreasonable obsessed with. It’s somehow so perfect that its imperfections are perfect.

That song was Jatt Ludhiyane Da in 2019. I love the composition, I love Vishal Dadlani’s voice, Payal Dev is great, and then there’s the rap.

The rap is one of the most stupid things I have ever heard in my life, and it just becomes something to laugh along to while the rest of the song makes me feel exactly the way the song is intended to portray the characters as feeling.

I’m going to try and remember my unreasonable favorite song for the past decade. Let’s see.