Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

Happy Wednesday! I am up at the lake house, but still working, which is not super fun. I have to be chained to my computer 9 hours a day, so no boating or swimming or big projects. On the flip side, as soon as I am freed, I am out of there. Do not expect a lot of blog activity after 5!

I’ll start!

Reading: My favorite thing to do at the lake house! I sit on the screen porch, I watch the water, I drink diet coke and read a book. Finished the new Pineapple Port, which was as light and dumb as all the rest of them (truly, the perfect series, you should all read them). And now I am moving on to the new Mercedes Lackey. Do you know her? Fun fantasy novelist who has been cranking out a new book every year for over 30 years. I started reading her when I was in middle-school, and I dip back every 5 years or so and go “hey look! She’s got 5 new books I haven’t read yet!” It’s nice having authors like that, the ones who just keep chugging along your whole life. Oh, and also, I do recommend her books if you are looking for fantasies. She’s inspired by Anne Maccaffrey but I find her a little bit lighter than Maccaffrey.

Watching: I had a Movie Party on Saturday, and we watched Chennai Express. Which is even better than I remembered. Fun, funny, and just makes me happy as soon as it starts. I tried a new thing with this movie party, we did Netflix Party to watch it together, and then after words we did a quick zoom call to say “hi” to everyone. I’ll keep tweaking it, but I think that is a pretty good system. It was really unbelievably great to see the faces of all my friends. And their dogs, cats, and babies.

Thinking: I’m working while up here, but I blocked this afternoon off. And it’s supposed to storm! The one activity I can do while working, watch a storm! Such a waste. Oh well, it will still be nice to not have to worry about work for an afternoon.

Listening: I put my music on shuffle on the drive up, I had no memory of what I had stored and there were so many delightful surprises! Like this:

Now, question for you! It’s Mika Singh’s birthday! What is your favorite Mika song?

Not gonna overthink it, “Singh is King”

33 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to This Week?

    • I have to admit, looking at his song list I did have a moment of “wait, these all sound THE SAME”. But Mauja Hi Mauja stands out. Should we do a Jab We Met Watchalong some Friday? That’s another super happy making movie.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 8:43 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  1. Watching: Call the Midwife, so comfy and yet so real.

    Reading: Prince of Shadows by Rachel Caine (basically Romeo and Juliet fanfiction from the perspective of Benvolio and this is my third reread of it) and Antigone and Creon: Guardians of Thebes by Victoria Grossack and Alice Underwood (their books are self-published, so if someone wants to support them then giving their Tapestry of Bronze-series a read is a good thing – greek mythology in the Bronze Age with a lot of good drama and writing in its favour – they have also done some mystery novels).

    I love Mercedes Lackey! I have only one of her books ‘The Black Swan’ which is a retelling of Swan Lake from Odile’s perspective. If you like her then I recommend you pick up Robin McKinley or Dianne Wynne Jones’ books next (especially Howl’s Moving Castle) they are on the same fairy tale/fantasy with a lot of great women with nice twists and turns in the plot.

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    • I just finished the new season of Call the Midwife! It’s good, but it’s nowhere near as good as the earlier seasons were. Although it’s also comfier than the earlier seasons, since I know the cast better. Were you watching the new season or one of the older ones?

      Robin Mckinley and Diana Wynne Jones are both too dark for me! I’ve tried them and enjoyed one or two books, but they have kind of a slight edge I don’t like. Lackey almost always does 100% happy endings, and her heroes are 100% good people, and the villains are 100% bad people, none of that shades of grey nonsense. If you feel like reading more I suggest starting with Arrows of the Queen. That’s how I started, very happy little trilogy about a shy outsider who finds a place and friends and so on. Or she’s got a one off book that has a desi heroine in Edwardian London! “The Serpent’s Shadow”.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 8:58 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Started from the first season onwards, haven’t seen any of the new ones, but I felt the need to rewatch the old ones since it has been such a long time

        And thank you for the book recommendations! I will jot them down for later.

        But Robin McKinley has her Beauty and the Beast retellings in both ‘Beauty’ and ‘Rose Daughter’ that are very much in the happy ending catagory with good people all around except those that are evil and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ is both hilarious and has plenty of happy endings as a good fairy tale should. Those are just the ones that I’ve read, I have no idea about the rest.

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        • I think I read Beauty and liked it. I read a non-Howl Wynne-Jones book, which was a mistake because it was a bit less pleasant and it soured me on her.

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          • My favorite Robin McKinley books are The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword. Those are both pretty straight fantasy with girl heroes. I also have a soft spot for Deerskin, which is much darker, a fantasy story of a woman overcoming abuse and trauma, though it does have great dogs! And an endearing hero/love interest.

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          • Ooo, everyone always says “Beauty”, I haven’t heard of those others.

            On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 3:49 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Third of fourth (I lost count) Marathi week for me . This time Triple Seat which unfortunately is not a sequel of Double Seat or at least as charming as the former. The idea wasn’t bad, but the director focused on wrong things and the movie is kinda stupid. I want a remake.
    SPOILERS
    A nice simple guy Krushna has a missed call from a girl he doesn’t know. He calls her back and they start talking. Weeks pass and they still talk a lot over phone. They like each other a lot but decide not to meet. In the meantime guy’s sister has a meeting with prospective groom. The groom has a beautiful sister. Krushna is enchanted and the families seeing this decide to marry both siblings. Everybody is happy. But during the engagement Krushna gets arrested, because his missed-call friend disappears from home and the police thinks he kidnaped her. She comes to the police station and says she wasn’t kidnaped but in the confusion everybody thinks they are in love and wanted to elope, her abusive father disowns her, and they are forced to marry. Krushna is mad because he really liked his fiancé. His sister is angry because she wanted to marry and now also her engagement is broken. Krushna finds out he can divorce after 6 months and promises his would-be father in law he will fix everything. His family doesn’t know his plans and is shocked when after 6 months they find out because they love the new bahu a lot now (many lovely scenes of her winning them over) The day before the divorce and new wedding Krushna discovers his wife loves him and is surprised. Still he proceeds with the divorce. Thankfully his fiancé sees him crying and decides to leave him. Happy ending.
    This movie could be so cute and romantic. There are entire scenes and songs of Krushna talking on the phone, and everybody saying: you are in love. But after the wedding he is like: I don’t know you and leave me alone. So many opportunities of hidden romantic gazes wasted! Instead we have a lot of useless scenes of a lawyer narrating the story.
    Unni Mukundan is the best when it comes to romantic gazes, but it’s not a Malayalam style story. So maybe Arjun Kapoor? And Illeana as his wife?

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    • Yes! I can totally see Arjun and Ileana in these roles. But I agree the story needs a slight rewrite.

      What about making the fiancee a long time sweetheart? So we can sympathize with him not wanting to marry the missed call person? Or maybe a long time crush? His sister and her boyfriend have been together for ages and he is always mooning around after the beautiful sister but they never actually dated. We can even have a cute love song to make us sympathize with him, showing him since he was a little boy trailing after her. Maybe she is older than him too? Oh! She and her brother are twins, and the age of his big sister, she is his sister’s best friend and the brother is his sister’s boyfriend, but he was always the younger one who was ignored. He works hard and gets a big impressive degree and a good job always dreaming of being good enough to “earn” the girl he likes. She is always planning an arranged marriage, is beautiful and has a good job and all so her family is constantly considering proposals and he knows he has to be really impressive to win her over. He finally does it, shows off his new job and so on, and she sees him in a new light, and the engagement is fixed. But meanwhile he has the missed call thing going on, maybe she even gives him advice on how to win over the girlfriend, they are strangers but friends. Until in the middle of the engagement he is called to the police station because her family thinks they are having an affair etc. etc. His father forces him to marry her because it is the right thing to do and his father is a good person. The girl is grateful to his family for taking her in, and so tries to please them and is nice. Meanwhile he is honest with her and the fiancee about the situation, maybe there is a reason for the 6 month thing, like she needs to get a Visa to study abroad and has to stay with his family and be “married” while she waits. They spend a lot of time together as buddies during the marriage, she wins over his whole family (even his sister who is angry about things falling apart), and then he runs away from the engagement ceremony with the other girl to stop her from leaving at the airport (along with his whole family) because they all love her nad want her to stay.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 10:06 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • In the movie the missed call girl was richer than the hero and had better house and stuff. But she had terrible father who always was telling her she is a burden and that he didn’t want her. Hero’s family was poorer but she found a father in his father and it was beautiful. She finally had a home. So divorce hurted her doubly. If only hero’s character was written better, so he could see heroine’s pain and feel the pressure between what he wants and what his friend/wife wants.

        I agree this movie needed stronger relationship between the hero and his fiancee to justify why he was so angry they couldn’t marry.

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    • Life is taking up too little of my time! I’ve got work-work, and blogging, but otherwise I have all kinds of time to kill every day.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 11:11 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • You should have moved in with your elderly parents like I did! Lockdown will never end for me, doesn’t matter what the rest of the world does. Okay, will never end for the household, thanks to me cracking the whip over us all. My parents chatted with a neighbor today! Without masks! I gave them such a talking to.

          On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 1:02 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  3. I started a job a month ago which is why I haven’t been here much lately 😭. It’s a great gig but the team is based on the east coast and I’m in LA so I have to start work early and it’s also issues/politics related so it’s…a lot. I recorded a YouTube episode with Melanie to discuss Kandukondain Kandukondain which was so much fun! The movie was exactly what I needed, fun, light, and romantic with great songs. Otherwise, my entire family is going stir crazy and we’re planning camping trips so we can go outside without getting too close to people.I’m also going to head to the beach with my son and fly kites early in the morning before the crowds show up.

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    • Hey, at least school’s out! You don’t have to teach any more.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 1:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I finished a truly terrible romance novel that was all poorly written sex, terrible relationship dynamics, and no plot. I don’t wanna talk about it.

    But on the bright side, I watched the Half of It on Netflix over the weekend! A Netflix original movie about a girl who runs a business writing essays for people. Her male classmate asks her to write a love letter to his crush, but she falls for her in the process. It’s very Cyrano de Bergerac, but the film is so warm and immersive and emotional and beautiful, I adored it. And there’s an Ek Villain shoutout, along with some significance to the actual plot! Who would have thought?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about getting my own place. I’ve wanted to for a while, but I don’t wanna live alone, most of my friends either already live on their own or are in long term relationships, and finding a random roommate on Craigslist who I don’t know terrifies me. But quarantine is getting to me and making me sick of my family. About a month ago, a friend from childhood randomly messaged me asking if I wanted to get a place with her because she was also sick of her family. It sounded like a joke, and she had a boyfriend for over a year, but I jumped on it. Turns out she sent me that when she was going through a rough patch with her boyfriend, and they broke up a few weeks ago, which I’m kind of happy about because I never liked him. Anyway, I’m looking at places and trying to do the adult things and it’s a lot. Trying to find a good location because our commutes would be in opposite directions, budgeting, furniture, the fact that we can’t even really go apartment hunting because of everything that’s going on, and the fact that I have to factor in not getting paid in the summer, and possibly not getting a pay increase next year like I was supposed to. It’s a lot to think about, and I don’t understand half of it.

    Anyway, I have two favorite Mika songs! “Aankh Marey” and “Hard Hard”

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    • I am so excited for you! Getting an apartment is super fun and wonderful and you should do it. Especially with someone to live with. I’ve been living alone since my senior year of college and it is mostly fine, but it truly was driving me insane during lockdown. You must tell us allllllllll about it, the DCIB community will be fascinated with all the ins and outs of finding a place and buying your furniture and so on and so forth. Plus I think a fair number of us have some vague connection with New Jersey, so you can even get our input in specifics of location and stuff.

      And now I am thinking maybe The Half of It would be a good movie to watch with my parents?

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 2:23 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Location I have very limited options for. Like I said, mine and my roommate’s commutes are in opposite directions, so we’d have to be somewhere in between. And I leave way before she does, which means waking up earlier, so if I have to be in my school building by 7am, I don’t wanna live too far that I have to wake up at some ungodly hour of the morning. That puts the radius even smaller. I think we’ve narrowed it down to two specific towns with a lot of promising options.

        Maybe. I wouldn’t consider The Half of It a romcom, and I don’t know if that’s what your family is into, especially now. My mom won’t watch anything that’s not light, and while I wouldn’t consider The Half of It heavy, it really did tug at my heartstrings and make me feel a lot of things, even if it does have some funny moments.

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        • So long as it has a happy ending, I think my family will enjoy it.

          This is so exciting, finding an apartment! And a town to live in and all the rest of it! I am a little jealous, what with not being able to do anything but sit around inside, I am getting very bored of the same old inside to my apartment.

          On Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 4:15 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • It’s still the same old here. I’ve been doing most of my looking online. NJ JUST lifted the stay at home order two days ago, but things are still slowly reopening, so I don’t know when I’m actually gonna get to go out and do any real looking.

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          • Still jealous! I’m looking online too, but I’m just window shopping, it’s not practical for me to actually be thinking about changes now. I just wish I was.

            On Thu, Jun 11, 2020 at 5:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Just got back from a backpacking trip where the 5-year-old beat me up the mountain pass (oh the shame and possible need for an inhaler), so I haven’t been watching anything other than sunrises and mating frogs. I’ve been reading Lady Chevy by John Woods, which has a protagonist named for her large rear-end… so far so good! I haven’t been listening to anything, it is probably time for music to return to my life. Thinking – it is hard to tell the difference between allergies and colds, but knowing the difference makes a difference when planning trips to see elderly relatives. I suppose, or know it is best to err on the side of caution, but it is a sorrowful caution.

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    • Oh, 5 year olds have infinite energy, they are like little puppies. I don’t feel bad that the puppy can beat me, totally the same thing.

      Your weekend sounds really nice though. I just saw an amazing sunset, and yesterday while I was “working”, my Dad had to come show me the frog he just found under the house. And we have indoor plumbing!

      Yes music! I haven’t been listening much either, but on the drive up when I had the music playing I enjoyed it so much.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 9:22 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. Also, I am THRILLED you are at “the Lake House”. I’m sorry you have to work, but hope those non-work hours are filled with lake-full fun.

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    • I am thrilled to be here too! And I hope you will all forgive my slow replies to comments and lack of posting.

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 9:26 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. Another busy week here for many reasons, so only watching The Good Fight, in about 15 minute increments before passing out every night. Modern Family and Community are two acclaimed sitcoms that I missed out on and are now on Japanese Netflix, so I’ll probably look at those next week also.

    I was so excited to find that Anushka’s new film (as a producer) is going to be on Netflix, and even more excited to find it has an ideal line-up for me: Rahul Bose, Paoli Dam, and Parambrata (and some people I don’t know–Anushka’s not in it). I thought I would 100% watch it unless it’s a horror movie. Yeah, it’s a horror movie and kind of sounds like a mixture of Pari and Stree. I’ll probably have to take a pass on it, although I’m waiting for the reviews. Very disappointing. (Also, wondering if it’s Bengali? The cast sure is).

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    • Watch out, Modern Family has a steep decline in quality around season 6. And Community got very weird, as I understand it, around season 3. But yaaaaaay for sitcoms! The perfect thing to watch all falling asleep at the end of a long day.

      I wonder if Anushka has a business partner who is Bengali? Or some other connection to that film industry?

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2020 at 10:37 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I meant to mention, I’ve been watching Ramy, a new Hulu original series. There are parts of it I love and it shows a character you almost never get to see on TV, just an average young American dude, son of immigrants, who’s Muslim. If it’s not set in Jersey City, it’s right next door. It also has episodes that go loopy in that we’re streaming, there are no rules way, and others that get disturbing. But. In S1:E10 he goes to visit family in Egypt, and there’s a whole thing with his cousin who’s trying to be cool and westernized and keeps calling him my n-word, until at one point Ramy calls him out on it and they have this real conversation. It reminded me of your post about what Alaya wrote and how hard it was to imagine young, educated people using that word flippantly. The show captured that moment really well.

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    • That’s so interesting! Thank you for sharing, because I would never watch that show (because that “streaming has no ruleS” loopiness bugs me, and mostly because the subject matter is Too Real).

      On Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 10:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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