At the beginning of the year I published a post outlining what some of my goals for the year were. In the spirit of being transparent, here is the progress I made on them over the course of September –
I heard about the album on the music websites I frequent. I read the rave reviews, the glowing words of praise. Of course I decided to give it a listen. And, I disliked it. A lot. I was aghast. “How is this music? This is noise! I can’t understand what the singer is saying. Where is the melody?”
Fast forward to October 4th 2015.
I live in SF now. I’ve lost weight since 2013, and gained ear piercings. In fact, I like to think I’ve changed quite a bit since I graduated college.
Two days ago Deafheaven released New Bermuda.
Once more the amazing reviews come flooding in. Praise for their new album is sky high.
“So you didn’t like them in 2013. But your musical tastes have expanded now! You’d be hurting yourself if you don’t check out Sunbather and then New Bermuda.” These are the thoughts wandering about in my head as I open up Spotify and start listening to Sunbather.
And I finally get it. I finally understand what those reviews were talking about two years ago. In the noise there is beauty. The guitars, the vocals, the furious drumming; they all work together to paint a picture that has to be experienced. I look up the lyrics and like everything else about this band I’m amazed by how tragically beautiful they are; amazed by how much emotion is buried in them.
After listening to Sunbather a couple of times I move on to New Bermuda with high expectations. I was not disappointed in the slightest. It is definitely an aural masterpiece.
I think this transition of musical appreciation is one of the most clear examples I’ve seen of my non-physical personal evolution.
At the beginning of September I accepted a challenge of writing one blog post a day for the rest of the month. With the month coming to an end I thought it would be interesting to see how I did, and also do a quick analysis on my posts.
September has 30 days. I wrote 28 posts. Try as much as you want, 28 does not equal 30. The math simply does not work out. So I did fail in my attempt at doing a post a day. But on the bright side I did get pretty close. And this is also the most I’ve ever posted in a month. So yay.
I took my small sample set (you’ve heard of big data? This is small, artisanal, and organic data) of the blog posts I wrote and ran it through a simple script in order to get some statistics. The input command line argument is a folder containing all the posts, where the title of the file is the title of the post and the content of the file is the content of the post.
Yes, I know the regular expression used to split a post into words is very primitive and doesn’t handle all the cases. It doesn’t really matter for such a simple analysis. This script is probably not the most elegant or efficient. But I’m pretty tired and should really be sleeping instead of writing this post right now.
Onto the statistics.
My shortest posts (in ascending order) were:
- M2 with 11 words.
- What I’m Currently Listening To: Scale the Summit with 26 words.
- What I’m Currently Listening To: Foals with 29 words.
I’m not surprised by #2 and #3; these posts are typically very short. #1 is short because I was exhausted from MHacks.
My longest posts (in descending order) were:
I’m surprised that my longest posts aren’t that long.
Which brings me to my average post length, which is 138.96 words. A friend of mine said that I should write longer posts. I think I agree.
The total number of words I wrote is 3891. The number of unique words is 1107. In other words (pun intended), 28.4%. I wonder what the average value for this ratio is.
The list of the 100 words I used the most is dominated by commonly used words in the English language. This makes sense because I did not do any pre-processing on the data to remove/ignore them. Other words that I used a lot are:
- time. 24 occurrences.
- think. 15 occurrences.
- Portland. 9 occurrences (I was in Portland for the long weekend in September).
- climbing. 7 occurrences (I discovered climbing very recently).
- MHacks. 6 occurrences (I was at MHacks in September).
Overall, this blogging challenge turned out to be harder than I expected. But it was also super fun! I will use the momentum built over the course of the month in order to (hopefully) maintain a more frequent posting schedule.
The lower e string on my new guitar snapped on Saturday. I was pretty surprised that it happened so quickly (around one week since the day I purchased it) as I hadn’t even played it that much. Oh well. I bought a set of D’Addario replacement strings on Sunday and I intend to restring it very soon. I think this is the first time I will have to do this myself; I’ve always had my friends do it for me in the past.
In other news I’ve started maintaining a physical journal of my workouts. It makes it easy to see improvements and regressions over time. Yes, I know there is probably an app that lets me to this, but I like the old fashioned (also my favorite drink) way.
Since Polaris came out I’ve probably listened to it about 42 billion times and counting. My favorite song on the record is definitely Cages. While it might not be the heaviest or most riff heavy song on the album, all the pieces it is composed of fit together perfectly into what I think is an aural masterpiece. Dan’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful on this song. And I love the lyrics as well. I’m fairly certain I understand the meaning behind them.
Side note — I’m not the best at understanding song lyrics. I think it’s related to how I sometimes fail at reading humans as well. Hmm. On the plus side, I seem to be getting much better at both. I think.
The SF Symphony opening gala was beyond incredible. This was my first symphony experience and I can definitely see myself going many more times.
Before the symphony started playing Michael Tilson Thomas gave a quick overview of Roman Festivals. This was useful because I had done almost zero “homework” for the event (Apart from renting a tuxedo. Which I think I look excellent in). Once they started playing I was captivated. It was, simply put, beautiful. I was amazed by how the music makes you feel, experience, and in some ways, be a part of the four celebrations that Roman Festivals encompasses. The musical talent of the San Francisco Symphony is simply staggering. The second half of the event featured vocal performances. Here too I was blown away by how fantastic each of the vocalists were. The interplay between the vocalists and the symphony was delightful to watch.
If you enjoy music I would highly recommend going to the symphony.
(work and social engagements made it hard to post the past two days.)
I finished Immortality this afternoon on the bus ride back from work. I’m still trying to decide what I think of it. I will say that it is one of the most unique books I’ve read — the writing and narrative structure is very different, and honestly, not what I was expecting. Overall though, I still enjoyed it.
Next book — An Anthropologist on Mars.
V is gorgeous. It makes for some fantastic coding music. While it’s not as heavy as The Migration I still love the new album.
I saw St. Lucia and Empire of the Sun on Saturday, 9/19 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. I’d completely forgotten I had agreed to see them (as this post should indicate) until my roommate reminded me a day before the event.
I’d seen St. Lucia at Coachella this year and once again they put on a great show. Their music is incredibly upbeat and cheerful (at least that’s how it sounds to me; I haven’t delved into the meaning behind the lyrics of their songs) and it’s pretty much impossible to be sad/unhappy while listening to their songs. Especially live.
This was my first time seeing Empire of the Sun. I’d heard that their concerts are an audio-visual extravaganza but I was not prepared for how good of a show they put on. The music, the lights, the visuals, the dancing, the theatrics — they all combined together for a pretty awesome performance.
My friends and I went to Trick Dog today where they had invited people to bring their dogs to the bar. It was a charity event, with proceeds going to the Family Dog Rescue and Muttville senior dog rescue. These two organizations had also brought dogs (who were up for adoption) to the event.
I had a great time. Dogs and good cocktails, how can it not be amazing?
The event did made me realize that I miss my dog back home in India. Even though we haven’t spent much time together I like to think that we have a special bond. I really enjoy spending time with him. He’s a great companion. And full of energy.
We went to Mission Cliffs after Trick Dog. Even though I went climbing on Friday I was surprisingly able to do most of the climbs I attempted today. I did fail at some of the new (I think) V0s that they’ve installed. It’s a challenge for another day.
I got introduced to a climbing game today: you play it in a group and each person attempts the course. After they finish it they deem one hold as “off limits” and then the next person has to do the climb without using that hold. This process then repeats, with the number of holds you’re not allowed to use monotonically increasing (because if you fail you’re not allowed to remove a hold). This game is hard. Very hard. Especially the later stages when there’s almost nothing left. But, it’s also super fun and challenging. Maybe I think it’s fun because it’s challenging.
The next time I go climbing in a group I’ll definitely try to get the others to play it.
One downside of climbing today is that my fingers are so bruised/hurt/sore that I can’t play my new guitar.