Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Day I GO ON VACATION?

Happy Wednesday! And happy vacation to me!!! I am SO EXCITED!!!! I have been looking forward to this vacation since I scheduled it last month. Only downside is, now I don’t have anything else to look forward to.

I’ll start!

Reading: Siva Purana! I am in the last bit now which is the funnest part, I think. All the magical sperm babies and stuff. I’m on vacation, but we are still doing DCIB book club this Sunday 🙂

Watching: As I said in my post yesterday, lots of Columbo with my parents! It’s just such a good show. Crazy 70s fashion/technology, brilliant Peter Falk performance, bonkers guest stars. It’s just the best show!

Thinking: I am going to replicate a vacation in my apartment! I’m gonna watch TV in bed just like I was at a hotel. I’m gonna give myself a home spa day just like I was doing my pedicure treat. I’m gonna get fancy coffee like I am on a vacation budget. And I’m gonna spend the day “site seeing” (driving to new areas of the city). I even got books on tape to listen to, just like I do on plane trips! No cooking my own meals, no spending time in my messy living room, no worrying about regular real life responsibilities (laundry, blogging, etc.). Oh, except for walking the dog. Still have to do that.

Listening: Vacation tunes!!!!

Now, question for you! What are your vacation rituals?

Do you spend a lot of time picking fun books for the plane? Do you have a special treat for when you are in the hotel room (I like to eat in bed because I don’t have to change the sheets)? Do you always eat a certain thing at the airport/train station? Do you pack a certain car snack? Do you have a song you listen to last thing as you leave home?

54 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking and Listening to the Day I GO ON VACATION?

  1. I always like loading up the Kindle before I go anywhere and the last few years I’ve always had something by Nevil Shute. He’s very soothing and I can remain absorbed in the book no matter what else is going on.

    Thinking: I’ll be on vacation too, as soon as I do a presentation tomorrow (at 9:30 at night, so not as soon as it could be). I hope you have a nice time.

    Listening: I’ve been cleaning, and Diljit is the best for that. I’ve become slightly obsessed with the Peed video, which has a plot in which his maid falls in love with him and, spoiler alert, he leaves his rich girlfriend for her. I think she’s his maid; she’s bringing him tea and picking up his trash, but she and the rich girlfriend look almost identical, both in glamorous dresses and false eyelashes. Anyway, it’s a good song to dust to.

    Watching: oh, you are going to be so disappointed. I broke down and watched Mission Mangal in the theater, because it is the last movie that will play in that theater before they move to a new location. And yes, it’s bad, but I kept thinking it would have been an ok female workplace drama except they stuck Akshay in it.

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    • I have not seen the Peed video! And now I want to.

      I am SO DISAPPOINTED! What is the point of me watching and suffering and reviewing Mission Mangal if y’all are just going to go out and watch it anyway? This must be how the surgeon general feels when he sees people smoking.

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      • At least I was forewarned! I didn’t spend a lot of money and go into the theater thinking “Taapsee, Vidya, what could go wrong?”

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    • OMG Peed, I saw this video once and it was so OTT. The poor girl always so sad and so dedicated to picking the trash. Punjabi videos are the worst. I felt like listening to Ammy Virk song recently and in one of his videos he is an alcoholic on a wheelchair. He has a nurse who was his grilfriend once and the reason he started drinking. In the end he writes a book about euthanasia and dies. So much sadness in such a short video. I don’t know who ideates those videos but he should calm down a little.

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      • All Punjabi videos should be like Yo Yo Honey Singh and Badshah videos. Big silly dancing butts.

        On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 11:42 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • Yes! All the “serious” songs are super depressing and hard to forget. I still remember the first Ammy Virk video I have seen – Quismat. Not as sad as the euthanasia one but still moving.

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          • Ooh, I need to see the Ammy Virk euthanasia video it sounds like. I will say this for Peed: it would have been easy to have the maid be a wholesome Punjabi maiden in a salwar kameez, but Diljit, or whoever directed the video, didn’t go for the Indian clothes good/western clothes bad thing. It just seems really impractical to scrub floors in a short skirt and false eyelashes.

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  2. Reading: So many things that I should be reading…but mostly research for my book.

    Watching: Documentaries made by Adam Curtis on YouTube. Basically, a good way to question everything and see things in a kind of narrative built by people. Very good, but depressing in the subject so probably not for you.

    Listening: DALIDA! The Italian pop singer born in Egypt and got SUPER FAMOUS in France and other countries. Her voice is so wonderful! Singing in so many languages like Arabic, French, Italian and German. A tragic Diva and a gay icon according to my research on her. I love her!
    Also, they took one of her songs and made an Indian version of it aka. copied it for a movie. Here’s the French version (there are Spanish and Arabic versions of it as well) and the Hindi version:

    My vacation rituals: A vacation book or two that I might or might not read. Packing efficiently either the day or night before. Something sweet for the plane ride and depending on the length of the journey something more as well. Listening to ‘Highway’ soundtrack on a car ride and ‘Dil se..’ if on a train or metro. I make the last one a rule.

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  3. I finished watching The Serpent, which I can recommend. It’s hacky in some ways, but also excellent in others. The period setting is very well done (except for the hair on the women), just like watching a 70s masala.

    They also did a great job of showing Sobhraj as superficially charming and attractive, but actually an entitled jerk, like any abusive man you might meet anywhere. Tahar Rahim is hot like fire but you can’t even enjoy it he’s so disgusting.

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    • Oh I want to watch The Serpant! I have wanted a Sobhraj series for YEARS. It’s such a crazy story, and has so many twists, it is just crying out for a miniseries.

      And of course, not on American Netflix yet. BOOO!!!! I may have to figure out VPNs again.

      On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 7:23 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • You’ll enjoy it, though it’s not easy to watch at times. It really spends a lot of time on the impact on victims and others, so for anyone who wants to watch it I’d really give a trigger warning for (domestic) abuse and tons of gaslighting and one scene bordering on sexual assault, aside from the murdering.

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          • Yes, absolutely. In my opinion, this is the strongest good quality of this series, because it depicts the totality of the abuse this man was guilty of, but that does also mean it’s more taxing emotionally.

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          • Slightly related, I am pleasantly surprised by how good even schlocky true crime is at that stuff. I’ve seen a few little one hour episodes now that deal with murders of sex workers, and they talk to their families, and their loved ones, and explain their hopes and dreams, and really treat them respectfully. Same with stuff like a “cheating wife” who is killed, they deal with the reasons she felt the need to cheat, and the fact that no matter WHAT she did (cheated, stole money, whatever) no one deserves to die.

            It helps me understand why true crime is so popular among women, it’s not a scary fear of what might happen to them, it’s someone treating respectfully the victimization they go through in a variety of ways (economic, intimate, everything).

            On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 8:30 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yes, I think it’s a way to process victimisation.

            I have to say, you have been lucky with the stuff you’ve consumed. In my experience some of it is excellent, some of it is not perfect but alright and some of it is terrible. Just look at that Bundy film from last year or The Haunting of Sharon Tate. A lot of tasteless podcasts speculating about cases like it’s a fun game, not someone’s life, too. As far as I could tell, the Bollywood movie about Sobhraj is also exploitative and glamourises his crimes. But then I find (Western) media extremely exploitative of women in general at the moment.

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          • Part of this is that if I get an icky vibe, I just turn it off and move on. And when I find a good one, I stick with it. I’ve been doing a lot of “series”, like “Fatal Vows” which is 30 episodes about different times spouses killed each other. There is a clear attitude in place by the producers of the show, the voice overs they write, all of that, and I like all those people involved with it. Different story every episode, but same gaze on the story. But I tried to watch a couple serieses about The Unabomber, for instance, and I just turned them off. He’s NOT that smart, He’s NOT admirable, he’s NOT special.

            I’ve found this wormhole of a TV channel in America called “Investigation Discovery” which just does a ton of true crime in a very cheesy way. BUT! It is clearly absolutely aimed at a female audience. So the female victims, mothers, sisters, etc. get lots of time to talk. And in general it is focused on relationships and how people hurt other people, not some abstract “puzzle”. Almost every show I watch there has a really good attitude, even if it has poor production values. And then I watch something on Netflix or HBO and it is all fancy, but also all morally repugnant.

            On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:08 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh yeah we have that channel. Not really what I want, but nothing wrong with it.

            I tried to watch a tiny bit of a Netflix true crime thing I can’t remember and it was HORRENDOUS. But then I find prestige anything is always really misogynist.

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  4. I’ve just started reading ‘Dear Theo’ by Vincent Van Gogh. It’s enthralling, but depressing; it’s rather difficult to read more than a few pages at a time. I’m listening to some good ol’ ‘Hotel California’ (Eagles), and I’m thinking that I shouldn’t have made my painting so dark :(((.

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  5. Siva Purana is so relaxing the way it just winds on and on. When I finally finish it (Today? Tomorrow?) I’m not putting it in the bookcase. I’ll keep it lying around to dip into whenever I’m tempted to take a Xanax or eat a KitKat.

    I always have NPR or WQXR playing in the background. I finally dragged out my old CDs and stacked them up for when I want to actually pay attention. James Ingram (Just Once) Coltrane, BeeGees, Pavarotti, Wailers. The list goes on.

    Finished A Suitable Boy. meh, altho Tabu and Ishaan Khatter were wonderful. Also finished Tandav. Dimple was amazing, Saif did his thing, story uneven. Loved Lupin; can’t wait for season 2. Occasionally, I zip thru Bhaagmathie. I’t’s not a favorie film. I just watch it to forget about global ugliness and fill my eyes with beautiful Anushka and Unni.

    As to vacations, after a few broiling summers and icy winters in New York City, my husband and I bought a vacation house and went there to play. We had both traveled a lot before marriage, and I do mean A LOT; I can’t think of a country one of us hadn’t been to. I recently sold it and it was a wrench. However, I do believe I’ll start traveling again as soon as it gets easy. India?

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    • Yes! Once you finish it, you should check out the Sitayana and Jaya by Devdutt Patianaik. That’s how these stories are meant to be, time has no meaning, things just happen in a big circle again and again.

      I don’t really listen to music any more. I used to while I was working in the office, it was a nice energy boost and I could stop it and pay attention when a co-worker came in. But now I am either actively interacting with my parents at their place, or alone at my place and I need the TV going.

      Glad to know I can continue NOT watching A Suitable Boy or Tandav. Just seems like a lot to watch while reading subtitles and paying attention (not something I can pause every ten minutes to take a work call).

      I do not like travel in general, I find it stressful and exhausting. But at age 30, I FINALLY figured out a way to enjoy travel for myself. I just go to a different pleasant place for a short period and am lazy. No international travel, no big plans, just go somewhere sunny and eat food and read books.

      On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 9:10 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Interesting reaction to Siva Purana, Genevieve. To me it’s like listening to rain or the ocean, very relaxing. The book is open, I’m reading it, but almost subliminally. There’s no plot or tension or character development so to speak; I don’t have to pay close attention. Do you know why it irritates you?

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  6. Watching – My husband and I just watched Namaste Wahala for Valentine’s Day. Don’t watch it!!! I am very very flexible when it comes to a rom com. But the acting was truly terrible, the plot was a mess, and the film just seemed low quality all around. But my husband and I had a great time making fun of it. We also just finished watching the Die Hard movies since my husband had never seen them and that was fun.

    Thinking – I need a vacation! An international vacation where I don’t have access to my phone and the time difference makes it impossible to work. But for now, I am thinking of how I am going to get to Chicago in April and attend my sister-in-law’s wedding dinner if I am not vaccinated. She is doing a court wedding (no guests) and then hosting a dinner just for the family. Almost everyone there will be vaccinated because the parents are all above 65 and most of the family members are teachers or healthcare workers. But that leaves me!!! I am not vaccinated and it is stressing me out! My options are to go there by myself and quarantine with my sister-in-law for two weeks and work from their house (my sister-in-law is lovely but has a lot of house rules!) or drive with my husband 11 plus hours the day before the wedding. Neither sounds very appealing! But my work is forcing me to put some vacation time on the calendar so I might take a few days after the wedding to stay at a hotel and do nothing!!!

    Reading – nothing right now. I am taking a small break before I pick a book this weekend when I have a bit more time. I am over romance for a bit so I might go back to mystery or young adult. If there are any young adult books you or anyone else would recommend, I would love it. Nothing sad!

    I don’t really have a good vacation ritual, but I always look up local foods and plan interesting places to eat where ever I am going. I will always have a list of places I want to go for meals and/or food I want to eat while I am there. And if possible, maybe get a massage while I am there. Oh and if I am flying, I like to check out the flight menu before hand if it is available and if not, then I pick dietary preferences from the pre-set choices so I am not stuck with a weird meal on the flight. I now realize all of my rituals involve food!

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    • Thank you for taking the Namaste Wahala bullet for us! We will all now ignore it. And when you say “all the Die Hards”, did you include the bad Russian one? Because I like to pretend that doesn’t exist.

      YES!!!!! Yes yes yes!!!! Come to Chicago!!!! My parents will be vaccinated by then, so who cares what happens to me, and we can totally get together!!! And I will still be heavily quarantining myself just because everyone I know is spooked so there is no one else for me to see and I won’t make you sick. Also, local FYI, there are LOADS of one hour testing places around the city. So fly in, go straight to get tested, be happy. Or fly in, go to a hotel, then get tested in 2 days, or whatever the current recommendation is. Anyway, no need for the 2 week thing any more is what I am saying.

      Or, best solution, attend the wedding in a Giant Bubble.

      Young Adult, I only like stuff from the 1960s or earlier, but I have recs from that era. Oh, and The Penderwicks. If you haven’t read those, they are lovely. Patricia Wrede is FAbulous. And I like Janet Lambert too.

      Food rituals are The Best Rituals. I don’t pick out places in advance, but I like scheduling 1-2 hours pre meal for “walking around and looking for an interesting place to eat”. That’s a great activity, you are really just walking around, but you feel like you have some vague goal in mind.

      On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 10:28 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, we did watch all the Die Hards, including A Good Day To Die Hard. Not only IMO is it the worst one, the trailer doesn’t match the movie at all!!! My husband has to watch the trailer before watching a movie and he kept point out all the scenes/dialogues that were in the trailer but not in the movie! Stupid!!

        YAY! I will figure out how I can get there and yes, I would love to see you! The two week rule is the rule SIL has set for everyone and since it is her wedding, I am trying to be respectful to it. Although, I just read the CDC recommendations for domestic travel and I am trying to see if she would be okay if I followed those. I have not left my house (besides taking Theo for a walk) in months! So the only issue is with air travel and with that I can get tested 3-5 days after travel to make sure I am negative. I also found some nice hotels like Hyatt that have rooms for $60 to $70 a night. So, while it will still ending up adding up, I can afford to stay there for a few days without breaking the bank. But the nice thing is that her wedding is on a Friday, so while I have to work the week leading up to her wedding, my goal is to take Monday off and spent a few days after her wedding relaxing, which of course will involve coordinating a visit to see you and Albie!

        Oooh I love the idea of allotting 1-2 hours pre-meal to walk around. That sounds wonderful!

        With that, I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing vacation!

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        • 3 and a half hours and I am officially on vacation! And now I am all excited about seeing you in April. I was just saying the only problem with having a vacation is now I have nothing to look forward to, and now I have something new to look forward to!!!!

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      • I KNOW!!!! SOOOO BAD!!! And I have a VERY high tolerance for rom coms! This is probably inappropriate, but my husband said he felt like at any point someone was going to start taking off their clothes and we would realize we are watching a bad porn! But sadly, it wasn’t even that exciting!

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        • I didn’t believe the couple at all; not a racial thing, I’m white, hubby was black, and I root for mixed race lovers. But for one thing, she outweighed him by about 50 pounds and was waaay taller. They shot them from odd angles. Same thing with a series I watched last nite, Behind Her Eyes. The black secretary was no bigger than a toddler, came up to the psychiatrist’s waist. Put me off. I didn’t finish either show. I think I watch too much television these days. I’m jaded.

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          • My husband and I are a mixed race couple as well, so we are always rooting for mixed race couples too and thought this would be a cute Valentine’s Day movie. I didn’t believe the couple either because there was no development in their romance!!! They met once, spoke once, there was one weird weird song, and they were getting married!!!!! Also, as a lawyer, I am offended that she was getting all this praise for being a good attorney!!! She found ONE TAPE that was clearly doctored in the first place!!! How does that make her a good lawyer?! Ugh. I also watch too much television, so it’s good to know I should stay away from Behind Her Eyes!

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          • The lawyer scenes were the worst! I kept thinking they were the kind of office scenes you get in soap operas, where the scriptwriters clearly have no idea what the actual job looks like. The whole who’s a better lawyer question turned on who had connections to either bury or get a copy of the tape. That’s like Perry Mason era TV lawyer without the courtroom bits.

            Liked by 1 person

    • This is funny, I came here just to say don’t watch Namaste Wahala. Your porn comment cracked me up. I was going to say telenovela but truly the writing was not as good. I feel a bit bad because it seems like the Indian boss lady produced and directed? Anyway it made me wonder if Nollywood fans consider this true Nollywood or Netflix fusion.

      I did like the meet cute at the beach, and the credits scene where Indian mom asks about dowry and Nigerian dad says he was wondering when they were going to pay the bride price.

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  7. I saw Neil Nithin Mukesh’s Bypass Road. I don’t know why but I really wanted to see it. Unfortunately it disappointed me. Not that I expected a masterpiece, but it could have a twist or 2 less. Basically it was like Game Over mixed with old Emraan Hashmi thriller. Not recommended. But what I’m asking myself now is: is Neil Nithin Mukesh a good actor?

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    • I thought he was a really good actor in Johnny Gaddar, and he was certainly entertaining in Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, but he was dull in Saaho. I think I would say he is a very hardworking actor.

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  8. I binge-watched The Big Day on Netflix – only 3 episodes so an afternoon’s viewing – about big Indian weddings. The first episode had a wedding in Chennai (US couple) – a bit of a Bollywood theme with some actor look-a-likes as part of the ambience but the third episode had a wedding in Goa with the real Katrina Kaif dancing with the couple and guests and generally mingling. I got the impression she was one of the guests rather than a paid performer – it was a more modest wedding than some of the others.

    Also Jeet Ki Zid on Zee5 – based on the life of a Special Forces officer and his tribulations, starring Amit Sadh. The real guy and his wife give a little talk during the credits of each episode.

    Reading – A Suitable Boy – slowly.

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  9. Glad to know you, filmikudhi.
    Many years ago, my husband and I went to a book signing in Harlem, NY for an author called Iceberg Slim, probably long dead by now. He had a kind of motto and gave us all bumper stickers that said, MORE INTERRACIAL INTERCOURSE. Mind was on my car until I sold it. Buyer was a bit of a prick and complainecd he’d have to replace the bumper to get it off. I’m glad I overcharged him.

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    • Glad to know you as well. I love that bumper sticker and now I want it! The buyer was definitely an idiot and I am glad you overcharged him. We have been on an interracial movie watching kick recently. Last night we watched The Color of Friendship on Disney+ and while predictable, it was surprisingly charming and heartfelt.

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  10. This is such a silly thing to share but I’ll do it anyway! Juhi posted this picture mentioning Aryan and Jahnavi being present at a KKR auction. I skimmed over it going ‘there’s SRK, that must be Jahnavi, where’s Aryan?’, before realising that’s not SRK, it’s Aryan!! I’d never felt that there’s a striking resemblance between SRK and Aryan beyond any normal parent-child resemblance, but with the lower half covered, the eyebrows and forehead are identical. It’s slightly disturbing to me (as I’ve been attracted to SRK most of my life!).

    Liked by 1 person

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