Welcome to the first Music Obsessions of this year. First of all, a little wrap-up of 2022 as look at the Spotify Wrapped.
流沙 Everything’s Gone – 陶喆 David Tao
Man, this song brings me back. David Tao is probably Top 5 favorite music artists in my book. Everything’s Gone is a song that is probably my absolute as it was my go-to song at karaoke every single time. I sang it so much that I actually had the courage to perform it on a little event one time. I have no idea when I added to it my Spotify list but so suitable that its my most played song in 2022 as I was puffing up my list this year and getting really nostalgic in the process. David Tao is such a fantastic R&B artist and probably will take a Music Obsessions post to share a bunch of my faves of his. Hmm…thinking about that, maybe it might be a fun segment to add to the blog.
緋聞男友 Rumored Boyfriend- 劉浩龍Wilfred Lau
I actually own the album for this artist which is the few songs that were really popular that I remember of (maybe there’s more that I don’t know about). There’s actually another song back then from Wilfred Lau that I listened to a lot more but somehow after I added this song to my list, its one that has been popping up a lot and has really won me over in the past year. I don’t think its anything really special but somehow the lyrics are pretty catchy. On that note, its odd but one of this past month’s discovery is also with him.
I’ve shared the other songs from the Top 5 of Spotify Wrapped in one way or another before, I believe so I’m going to move onto regular programming.
行者Walker – 劉浩龍Wilfred Lau & 側田Justin Lo (“Line Walker” TV series Main Theme)
I’m super late to the Line Walker party since they aired Season 3 in 2020 and I only caught up the first season in December. Its a really great series though. Its been a while since I’ve watched TVB series which used to be my main thing growing up and some of the best memories when I was younger. Coming back to it in probably a decade, it had to be a series that was worth it and not something that I would just sit down and feel like it was all done before and Line Walker definitely did that. Theme songs for TVB series used to mean the big times for Hong Kong artists because they were usually big hits and while I’m not sure how it is in the current decade, this song has Justin Lo and Wilfred Lau and is pretty great. I chose the opening theme sequence for this video over some of the other lyric videos but I think its worth it to showcase the series a little, in case you can find one with English subtitles.
2nd Favourite 第二最愛 – 古巨基 Tyson Yoshi
Honestly one of my favorite song in the recent weeks and I haven’t really found a lot of new music lately. This song has such a great vibe and the collaboration is pretty good as well. Some of the lyrics is a bit hilarious much like parts of the video with Leo Ku hanging out under the bed which is fairly silly but the song has a nice rhythm and fun.
Why Why Why – 王嘉尔Jackson Wang
Jackson Wang is probably one of the most diverse music producers in the current landscape. I’ve shared a ton of his music on Music Obsessions already and every single one has a different vibe from pop song 100 Ways to Electronic Dance song Pretty Please to Alternative/Indie song Blow and Cruel. Why Why Why is considered a pop song but this one differs from 100 Ways mostly in its more comedic take. Jackson Wang in a tree suit is just awesome. There are no words to explain how silly the video is but he also rarely sings in Mandarin and the lyrics are actually pretty good paraphrasing basically that there’s no reason why you love someone but for who they are.
That’s it for this Music Obsessions! What have you been listening to?
2023 is here. Honestly 2022 went by way too fast even if its probably the year that I slept the least, got my first hospital operation ( since wisdom teeth extraction is also considered an operation), birthed a little baby boy Triple V and my life milestones are celebrating his developmental milestones. In the midst of that, I managed to cover a couple of film festivals and took a few review opportunities as well.
For a general overview of 2022, you can find it HERE!
As we look forward to 2023, we’re looking at mostly the same but perhaps a little more goal-oriented (or an attempt to be). Maybe it will help with my indecisiveness when there’s just too many choices!
Let’s get right to it!
Goodreads Reading Challenge 2023: 15 books
Setting a rather ambitious goal of 15 books this year but above is all the books I do want to get through this year. I still have a ton of unread books that I physically own but I’m going to start with that. It will also have some children’s books in the mix since I’m reading a lot to the little one. Not that he understands anything as I write this up but hoping to get him used to the sounds and such to hopefully help his development.
Also, I’ve been thinking about reading all the Hercule Poirot books by Agatha Christie so I’m planning on trying to get that kicked off. I’m going to read them in order of release.
Not too many changes to movies this year. Much like previous years you can expect Double Features and single reviews on new releases, mostly those that I am more enthused about. My main source of entertainment remains Netflix and Shudder and sometimes Amazon Prime so I’m working mostly off those avenues. Not too sure whether I will getting on for the bigger festival coverages but I’m going to guess it will be a year or two more before I get back into it (if I’m still doing this by then). Marathons should remain the same with February Romance, October Horror and December Holidays. These suffered quite a bit this year but I’m hoping to shorten the length but get some decent reviews out. Still working on getting some themed months but hopefully this year will be it.
Also, seeing as my co-host for Ultimate Decades Blogathon announced last year his hiatus or possible permanent departure from blogging, this will not be happening.
My main focus has shifted a lot on Movies and Tea Podcast. Its a great time to record and Elwood and I have a lot of fun as we move through more directors and have some pretty good ideas for upcoming seasons.
TV & Tranquil Dreams Podcast
If you were here last year (and amazingly have stayed after my hiatus and slow content), I already talked about this. Only difference is that I actually put a lot of set up work on this in the past 2 months so its almost ready to get going. I just need some small polish to get things ready to relaunch.
For those who weren’t here, TV binge will focus on everything other than Chinese Language Series. I’ve already started doing that in 2022 and even changed a little bit how I approached the TV binges in general. All the Chinese Language Series will be moved to the podcast when it launches. I’m actually working on some series from the past few years that I haven’t had a chance to write about but I really love. Chinese Language Series means anything from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China. Maybe the random Singapore ones if it catches my eye. The main focus will be on the bigger North American streaming platforms like what is acquired by Netflix but will also look at notable ones from Chinese International streaming apps.
Last year I did also talk about the Sunday Lists being moved to the podcast also. Its still in my plans but I’m going to get it relaunched first before going further with this. I love the segment a ton so I do hope that I get around to working it back into the blog one way or another.
Monthly Segments remain the same with Music Obsessions happening the first weekend of the month and Adventures & What’s Up as a month-end wrap-up.
Retiring Photography Segment, Housekeeping and Where It Goes
I mentioned on the Adventures post for December 2022 that I had retired all the photography posts on the blog. With that said, I do still want to get back to photography. I’m mostly using my phone lately but still, it should be fun. I’ve always wanted to do the 365 challenge so I’m going to attempt to do it this year over on Avenue of Daydreams which was constructed for all things creative so photography is moving over there and honestly just continuing since I did weekly photo posts before I took a hiatus.
WORK OUT REGULARLY: I’ve given myself a good deal of time to recover from the operation and while taking care and amusing my 6 month old is a lot of exercise, I do want to start doing some actual working out. I’m looking at getting in some yoga, bodyweights and light weights just to see how it goes. It will be a slow progression but I’m rather heavy right now and I’m starting to worry that its not doing any favors for my knees. Plus, we plan to get back to hiking in the summer carrying the little one on our backs so I do want to start training a bit more endurance in preparation for it.
STREAMING: Last year I set this goal and did not do it at all. Its still on my mind to get this launched. I have a lot of games to play on back catalogue and why not try to build something in the process. This will probably happen after I get into a rhythm after the podcast launch.
Last year I talked about slowing down and to be honest, its pretty clear that I’m not picking up blogging any time soon. My baby is taking a lot of my time during the day and in the evenings, between making sure the house isn’t a complete mess and trying to move up my sleeping schedule, its been really hard to focus on writing a lot. I basically write posts for the things that inspire me the most at the moment. Anything that lands in the average doesn’t get prioritized. You can always follow me on Letterboxd to see what I’ve watched and the ratings, if you like. I only use it for my diary to track the movies I’ve watched throughout the year.
To be fair, I’m shifting more towards my co-host projects so while I’ve mentioned Movies and Tea Podcast. I am going to also put more effort into Game Warp to try to get more reviews out and gaming done. It will go hand in hand with the streaming plans.
2023 has some ambitious plans but I’m hoping to get through it! Wishing you all a fantastic 2023!
Hello everyone! As we enter the last day of 2022, its time for the adventures post which is honestly more of a general update. We will get through that quickly, jump into the What’s Up which is a little more and wrap things up with the 2022 Wrap-Up! A quick rundown just in case you are here for only the Wrap-Up for 2022. If you are, just scroll all the way down and skip all of my other nonsense. Let’s go!
ADVENTURES& Wrap-Up (More Like Updates)
Retiring of Photo Challenge Posts
For those joining now, this blog started out as a photography blog. I started most of my blogging doing daily prompts and weekly photo challenges. However, the years have gone by and my blog is running very low on storage space and trying to not buy more space, I have decided to retire the photo challenge posts. If you want to follow my photography (and other creative outlet), its on Avenue of Daydreams.
If you go there now, I haven’t posted since October 2021 but it will be back in 2023. I will talk more about that in the 2023 Upcoming Plans post.
Triple V entered his 6 months in December. As he goes through some funky times with what we think might be the beginning stages of teething and some random babble, he’s definitely starting to recognize people more and realizing when he sees strangers aka family that we haven’t seen frequently and feeling either shy or scared. He’s starting to be stronger with more tummy time and baby gym activity time, a pretty routine sleep schedule even if he doesn’t sleep throughout the night very often. He even started with eating starter cereals and beginner purees.
Time sure flies by as we watch him grow up day by day and becoming curious with everything around him. It sure feels like those baby safety gates are going to be put up soon as well as getting on with babyproofing the house.
Christmas, Gifts &Boxing Day Haul
Christmas celebrations happened before the main event this year as we couldn’t go for the evening festivities due to the early bedtime for Triple V so only dropped by for the afternoon at my in-laws. We celebrated with my mom on Christmas day for lunch as well. Still, it was pretty neat to see family since we’ve been keeping to ourselves since the pandemic started then my pregnancy in pandemic times so this year, while we were cautious, we still wanted to keep in our family bubble since Triple V isn’t vaccinated yet.
There’s no surprise that Triple V was the main winner in this department with new clothes from the grandparents and a generous collective gift of a jumperoo. On our front, we got the reasonable gift of some French storybooks since we have an abundance of English ones handed down from me. He also got a new walker from his grand aunt. On my front, I truly felt like a mom as all my gifts are very grown-up from my mom gifting me noodles (it was a joke so that we could fluff up the Christmas tree to look like it had more gifts to have better pictures) and a Christmas tablecloth (which I actually don’t have one considering all the Christmas decorations we have) and a white wine (which is currently in storage because I’m not really drinking yet since I’m still breastfeeding).
Boxing Day this year, much like Black Friday, was a huge disappointment. There wasn’t any incredibly good deals. We basically only picked up things that we needed and had some type of discount. As for other things, we kept those expenses at a minimum. We didn’t actually do any day off shopping since we only went to the grocery store to restock.
Michael’s: Picture Collage Frames *3 (for the new family/baby photos)
Roots: Baby Clothes (for Triple V and gifts)
Yves Rocher: Skincare products
Steam: Cris Tales, Emily is Away <3, Far From Noise, Oure
Playstation: Just Shapes & Beats
Amazon (caught the tail end of the Boxing Day sale): Sippy Cup, Bodyweight Scale, Cat Water Fountain, Diapers
Google Play Pass (super sweet deal for first month free and 3 months after that at 69 cents/month)
The Very Best Christmas Present
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Merry Christmas Mr. Caroll!
A Grouch’s Christmas
Currently reading: City of Ember
Surprising that its all children’s books, right? Of course not! That’s all my reading time is nowadays. As you can see that I’m trying to get back into some normal reading as I did start City of Ember.
An absolutely fantastic movie viewing month. Not so much a great writing month as writing reviews seem to be getting harder and harder or its just I’m picking the wrong movies. A lot of rewatches this month as well. I’ve been trying to keep on top of the Netflix new releases so those reviews will go out even if its in 2023. However, I was so excited after watching Glass Onion that you can already check out my thoughts on that.
Snack vs. Chef
Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields (Limited series)
Wednesday (Season 1, 2022 rewatch)
Too Hot To Handle (Season 4)
Cook At All Costs (Season 1)
Dance Monsters (Season 1)
Emily in Paris (Season 3)
Line Walker (使徒行者, 2014)
Currently watching: Meteor Garden (rewatch), The Circle S5
Trash TV, cooking and reality shows seems to be the highlight of December. However, Dance Monsters is a super fun show that just got its finale right at the end of December. Snack vs. Chef is pretty fun as cooks replicate popular snacks and candy bars while Cook At All Costs was pretty fun as well. On the contrary, Emily in Paris felt like a lot of the same which is still fun but its getting a little repetitive. If they get a Season 4, maybe the finale of the 3rd will change the dynamic. We continued with watching the latest Crime Scene which looked at The Texas Killing Fields were was a pretty good documentary. These limited series always uses a case to cast light on a bigger societal problem. Finally, as of today, I finished Line Walker which is Hong Kong series from 2014 which I of course missed since I haven’t watched HK series in many many years. This one is seriously really awesome ( you will see how awesome in the recap before).
I’m taking a little break from Chinese variety shows right now as I started too many and need to sort out which I want to continue watching.
Tricky Towers (Single Player Trials) – in progress
I’m slowly getting back to some gaming here and there. While my PC died, I was into playing Tricky Towers (Single Players Trials) and I’m still working on that but its fairly sporadic so there’s not really an end to that one, much like Pinball FX which doesn’t have an end either.
Putting the Google Play Pass to work, I finished playing Doors: Awakening and working through all the Doors games on mobile which I had played before but they were only partially free and charged money for the second half of the levels. I don’t like that mobile game business model so I never entertain it. So now, the situation is a little different with the Play Pass. Its a fun puzzle game
Finally, I played Lake which is something of a postal worker simulator with story and narrative choices. Its honestly a hidden gem since it blends in a lot of relaxing moments and dives into a pretty fun small town story. I did start The Gunk and is probably about halfway through (based on my playtime and the How Long To Beat average) but its a really good one. There’s some exploration and resources and crafting and adventure. I’ll talk more about it after I’ve finished, possibly in a review.
Much like last year, we are foregoing the blog site statistics. Let’s face it, its not going to look pretty with things going back to normal, the numbers so a great drop before steadying again and I never really did it for the numbers. Plus, life changes with a newborn in mid-June did throw off the rhythm even more than when I was going through my pregnancy and choosing sleeping earlier over stressing out over blogging at unreasonable hours. The posting rhythm is coming back slowly but I’m pretty sure it will never be where it used to be a few years ago.
With that said, lets look at some other numbers:
TOTAL FILMS WATCHED: 213 films (2 less than last year only!)
41 short films
TOTAL BOOKS READ: 17 books (majority of it are children’s books)
TOTAL TV SERIES BINGED: 92 seasons binged (3 rewatches)
Overall, it was surprisingly steady in terms of numbers. Last year I didn’t do the specific breakdowns so not sure whether short film to full length ration was similar. Books increased a lot mostly because I read tiny short children’s books but then I did read a Dr. Seuss compilation books and that’s 13 stories as 1 book entry. I’m not here to get all picky with the numbers. I didn’t expect anything to be even close to these numbers so that’s already shocking enough for me.
A quick look at last year’s plans/goals:
Goodreads Reading Challenge: 15 books surpassed at 17 (even if I did cheat a little with children’s books)
Podcast launch: Did not happen (will address that soon)
Partial Revival of Disney and Studio Ghibli project: Mostly did not happen, only one post for Porco Rosso went up
Personal Goals: Eat healthier is slowly getting there, Did not stream at all, 98% done for nursery and 90% done for office (just some filing left to do)
In the foreseeable future, streaming services will be my best friend and I will be focusing on new releases on Netflix, Shudder and Amazon Prime with Netflix being the main priority. However, these are considered upcoming plans and I will talk about more of that tomorrow!
Remember to head back for the Upcoming Plans 2023 tomorrow! Happy New Year’s Eve!!
A little late for this month’s Music Obsessions! Hard to imagine we are at the last one of this year. While I already got my Spotify Wrapped, I decided to do that with my final year round-up at the end of this month and do a little runthrough for January. Either way, there are still some good music that I’ve discovered or re-discovered.
恐懼蠶食心靈 Fear Eats The Soul – 鄭欣宜 Joyce Cheng
Joyce Cheng has really improved in her singing. While I’m not exactly a fan of all her music, I’ve been following her music more and more. Not only are her music videos done really well but the music itself from her voice and the emotions are all there. It really helps carry the song. This song and the way she sings it is quite a good match. Its nice to see that she’s able to embrace a lot of different music styles since I’ve shared probably three of her songs in Music Obsessions and each one has been different from the other.
比莉卡厲害 Billie is Incredible – Billie
A rough idea of what the song probably would be in English. I’m not quite sure the exact translation. This song is the main theme from Netflix Taiwanese series Mom Don’t Do That that aired a few months ago. The series itself is fantastic and I will be talking more about in an upcoming project that I will launch at the beginning of 2023. I’m in preparation mode as of the beginning of November and working hard to get things ready for January launch. Either way, this song is simply a lot of fun. The series is a ton of fun as well. Its happy and upbeat and that’s why its here.
烏梅子醬 The Dark Plum Sauce – 李榮浩 Ronghao Li
I honestly don’t listen to enough of Ronghao Li’s music. He writes some pretty great songs and none of that I’ve ever discovered have been bad. Its all pretty great ballads. This one actually feels a little bit of early Jay Chou from the music video to the rhythm itself. Its something that I’m rather nostalgic about since that was part of my teen years when music was the main emotional support. This song’s lyrics are also super sweet much like its title.
好想約你 – Gigi 炎明熹
This year’s new addition to my list of new artists that I think are pretty good is Gigi who was Hong Kong TVB’s Star Academy Season 1 winner. Its pretty nice to see there’s still some talent since most of the time when I listen to any new artists from Hong Kong shows, its all very disappointing. This song is pretty fun and cute and matches her age. Her voice reminds me really good female singers in the 90s which seems like its lost nowadays. Either way, the youthfulness of the song makes it so feel good.
藍奕邦 Pong Nan – Happy Prince 快樂王子
I wish that there was a better video for this song but I don’t talk about Pong Nan enough since from the beginning when he was making music, I loved a lot of his work. Most of his song’s lyrics are meaningful and thoughtful. It has this nice touch of intricacy that I’m a big fan of since it feels like its a rarity. As I was researching for this post, I learned that this song was actually the main theme song for a play.
Bonus: 我比从前更寂寞 I’m Lonelier Than Before – 陈慧娴 Priscilla Chan & 杨坤Yang Kun (Singing With Legends S4 Performance)
I’ve shared this song in a previous Music Obsessions (probably a few years ago) which is a pretty popular song of Yang Kun’s which he wrote during his depression and talks about the feeling of depression. Its a song that paired up with his distinctive voice is amazing. Truly heartfelt and deep. This time for the Singing With Legends show, he pairs up with Priscilla Chan to sing it together and it speaks volumes in a different way. Thinking about it, it sure is time to do a post for Priscilla Chan’s music (if I remember to do it next year).
That’s it for this Music Obsessions! What have you been listening to?
November brings in Triple V’s postponed 4 months followup with ended up being at 4.5 months. Everything seems to be doing good. He’s definitely developed a lot this past month especially in learning things on his own. He’s figured out rolling over on both sides which helps since he likes to sleep on his side and tummy and we are at a stage that I no longer can correct it to his back. He is learning how to sit with little support and for the most part its ok. He also recently figured out how to self-soothe. What we are working on now is getting him to nap a little more efficiently without all the resistance.
2nd Booster Shot
After last month’s scare with the husband catching COVID and the whole quarantine, once things settled down on my front, I set up the appointment for the 2nd booster shot to make sure I have the necessary protection for Triple V’s sake. Surprisingly, this booster shot was the most smooth as other than massive muscle pains the night of the shot, that was the extent of my discomfort.
Visit From My Cousin
In these post-pandemic days, due to our newborn, we still live mostly cautiously as much as possible. My cousin who happened to have a baby the exact same day as Triple V also is super cautious but had something important to come into town so dropped by to see the family and it was nice. Fun times to catch up and talk about our babies.
NaNoWriMo and Podcast
Its been years since I’ve done NaNoWriMo but this year I decided about 10 days into the month to use it as a kick in the behind to get some scripting and outline done for the podcast project which I had wanted to launch this year and decided that 2023 would be a good start. I might not have gotten anywhere near 50K but I did get a full 2 episodes drafted out and after a change in strategy have the beginning of a bunch of other episodes as well. The start is the hardest for most of my stuff so getting that out of the way is already a big deal. It doesn’t really matter how many words, the goal was to have something done since this project now the same as before and even the finished stuff still has some additions to add to it. Its all part of a big plan to hopefully minimize the final editting and be more time efficient. The necessary editing work will probably still need to be done but I can at least try.
Blood in the Snow Film Festival
The final film festival of the year always goes to Blood In The Snow Film Festival. While the festival is done, I am still working on getting the reviews done as nearing the end of the festival, a technical snag happened…which I will talk about in the next part (which is also why this post is coming out late). All the reviews can be found in the Movies tab above under the subsection of BITS under Festivals.
PC Blue Screen Of Death
Yeah…My PC got the Blue Screen of Death and actually died. Its just an endless loop of bsod and restart. I am waiting for my friend to have time to help me take a look to see whether we can save it somehow. You will notice that my writing has dropped and is less fancy and such but between an outdated slow Chromebook and my phone WordPress app, its really slowing down the efficiency. I am slowly getting used to it so hopefully will get a bunch of stuff done soon.
Holidays Marathon Soon
Theres no argument that Christmas and holiday films are getting a tad thin. I am working through some of the Netflix stuff as I wait for more Christmas releases. With that said, it probably won’t get going until maybe next week or 10 days before Christmas. Its still going to happen but like last year (I believe), just a tad later.
The Magic Is In You
Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker’s Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss
Starry Starry Night
The Fragrant Garden
Good Night Moon
Calvin and Hobbes
Plus a bunch of kids books: Little Critters, Berenstain Bears, etc.
Its not hard to see where things are going in terms of reading. Although with the PC not working, it might be on the rise again. Its either books or games that I plan to give more time after I get all the writing stuff done (if the PC isn’t fixed yet) or simply a mix of both since there’s one more month and super behind with the Goodreads Challenge.
On the reading front, its been awesome rereading books and also reading new kids books that I have never read before so Triple V and I are discovering things together even if he doesn’t know it yet.
Due to the festival, its been a pretty busy movie month. My feeling about Blood in the Snow Festival was that the shorts were mostly a ton of fun and creativity where as a lot of the films were pretty slow burn bar a few that were just wild. There was a nice progression in the programming since I started with The Protector which was rather slow and ended on Cult Hero which was just a downright wild ride. There are a lot of really good premise for the films.
As for the non-festival films, its no surprise that I caught Enola Holmes 2 the first few days it landed since I probably have rewatched the first one 10 times at this point. I started watching some Christmas stuff to make some headway for the holiday marathon right around the corner and it has to do with us decorating for Christmas in mid-November usually. Finally watching Tokyo Godfathers as it was going to leave Netflix in December so took care of that the moment I realized and it was such an odd and awesome film.
Call Me By Fire 披荊斬棘 S2
Love In Time 我的秘密室友 (2022)
Heart Signal 心動的信號 S4
Unsolved Mysteries: Volume 3 (2022)
Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2022)
Hello Summer – Relationship 相遇的夏天S4 (2022)
Dating in the Kitchen 我 喜歡你 (2020)
Rock & Roast 脫口秀大會S5
Wednesday (Season 1, 2022)
Currently binging: Our Fiery Life 我們的滾燙人生 S2, See You Again 再見愛人S2, Singing With Legends我們的歌S4, Snack Vs Chef (Season 1)
I’m kind of surprised how many shows ended the past month but it does make sense since I am now not watching as much TV either. Skipping past the Chinese variety shows, Love in Time is pretty good and its adapted from a Taiwanese series. I did start that series but my iQiyi sub ended and I am taking a break from that since its a tad pricey to have all these subs. Waiting for a deal before resubbing. My main feeling is that the Taiwanese one has better acting Love In Time has a good premise and adaptation but the main leads really leave something to desire. On the other hand, Dating in the Kitchen adapted from film This Is Not What I Expected is pretty fun and it has lots of cooking so I’m there for it.
On the Netflix front, Cabinet of Curiosities is coming up on Movies and Tea but I thought it was overall really good and highlighted some great directors. Wednesday is also a great series. I haven’t watched Addams Family since my age was in the single digits so I honestly remember nothing but I love the humor and the script.
Reigns: 3 Kingdoms
All currently playing games. I had started Subnautica as it left Game Pass middle of November but really liked it a bunch so caught it on the Steam Autumn Sale on half price bundled with the Below Zero amd decided to pick it up before the PC died. Once the PC is better, I should get back to it. I have to start over since I played on different platforms but at least I know what I am doing this time around.
As for the other two games, they are both Netflix games. I had started Mahjong Solitaire probably last month but forgot to talk about it since its just my relaxing sporadic game. I am excited to play more of Reigns 3 Kingdoms since I have played most of the Reigns game and really do love the concept. This one is set in China during 3 Kingdoms time and work up to Emperor so should be fun. Literally just started so probably have a good many deaths before creating any type of tracting and impact.
Welcome this month’s music obsessions! I can’t believe that we only have one more music obsessions next month and then we’re moving onto a new year! Where did this year go? I actually know the answer to that…a lot of sleepless nights, first with the tail end of the pregnancy then its all about the newborn life. Either way, we’re not in the adventures post. The staying at home more has given me the opportunity to dig through some music.
诀爱 Love – Faye 詹雯婷
I know that I already shared Love Between Fairy and Devil OST song in a previous Music Obsessions but I came upon this song during a singing variety show and realized that the singer is actually the vocalist in FIR. I did fall out of the Taiwanese artist scene for a few years. I had thought the singer’s voice for this voice sounded familiar but just couldn’t pinpoint who. Let’s just say, FIR was a really great trio and while they were most famous for their songs that were featured in the TV series The Outsiders (which unfortunately recently got taken off Netflix), she had an amazing voice. I’m actually starting to dig through her solo music so probably will be sharing some of that in the coming months.
Be My Warrior – Zheyuan Chen 陈哲远 & Shen Yue 沈月
I was destined to love the TV series Mr. Bad since I really love the vibe of the two main leads not to mention the whole pulling a character out of a story into real life sounds so fun as a fish out of water story. That is besides the point since the song is a duet between the two leads Shen Yue and Chen Zheyuan which is a lot of fun. They don’t have perfect singing voices but its such a happy and lively song that its so catchy and sends so many positive vibes.
紅顏如霜 Cold Hearted – 周杰倫 JAY CHOU ft. JABBAWOCKEEZ
While I am starting to feeling like Jay Chou has hits every once in a while, there are a lot of songs that feel similar to other songs. This one does have that vibe of a song that he did maybe a decade or 15 years ago or something. I can’t remember when it was exactly but Jay Chou is Jay Chou and the music video is really cool and the song, despite feeling similar in style to another one of his songs, still has a nice rhythm to it.
妄想 Delusion- VRF
I don’t know what I was looking up but somehow I landed on realizing that singer and actress Miriam Yeung’s husband originally debuted in VRF which is this boy band that didn’t really make much of themselves except for this song, which I remember discovering and thought at the time that it was pretty good. I mean, I’m not a fan of Boy’z, a much more famous boy duo at the time which was constantly paired with Twins but I can’t help loving that this one has one of them, Kenny ugly crying in the music video. Its more nostalgia that this song is here.
我難過 I’m Sad – 5566
Talking about nostalgia, I was watching Call Me By Fire and at one point someone mentioned the success of 5566 and I was a tad surprised because 5566 was famous for a little bit of time in my memory and then didn’t really make it that far. They did star in a few dramas but in my memory, they got really famous because of My MVP Valentine, which this song is part of the OST and the series is actually on Netflix (at least it is in Canada) and I remember it being really a big deal at one point. I do plan on revisiting it. Seeing as Netflix is picking up a bunch of these older Taiwanese series, maybe I will do some type of segment with it. Who knows. Either way, 5566 was pretty cool and fun fact, I actually own one of their albums.
浮夸 Exaggerated – 陈小春 Jordan Chan & 张智霖Chilam Cheung Call Me By Fire S2 Performance
With all the singing variety shows I have been watching, I had to share as usual as an extra. In the last battle for the team, Jordan Chan and Chilam Cheung joined forces in this rendition of Eason Chan’s Exaggerated. Its one of the most engaging performances of this season. To be honest, there were some really awesome performances in general this season because of the talent they found to join.
That’s it for this Music Obsessions! What have you been listening to?
Hiking: Parc National du Mont Saint Bruno – Seigneurial Trail
Triple V is moving along quite nicely. He likes to remind us in his own ways that he will always keep us on our toes when he gives us false belief that he is falling into a routine and then changes it up right when we think we got it down. As I’m typing up this post, his favorite activity at night is rolling over from his back to sleep on his tummy and doesn’t realize that he got it all backwards and apparently most babies learn how to roll from tummy to back first but he haven’t quite mastered this 100%, more like 10%. 1 out of 10 times during tummy time, he will do it once and then forget how he did it or maybe it was all a coincidence of the right motions. Who knows, right? I’d wager that he probably doesn’t even know.
4 months vaccinations also came around and while he reacted much more this time, he was a pretty decent champ about it and settled down fairly quickly. No side effects and was overall pretty good afterwards other than some sporadic fussiness.
Our 4 months checkup got postponed for some unknown reason the morning we were supposed to go after confirming the day before. Very bizarre. We have some questions for the doc this time as we’re starting to wonder whether he’s ready for solids soon among other things.
We did a fun little Halloween photoshoot at home with a little fluffy pumpkin outfit. I’m not going to share it here but it turned out pretty nice.
Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2022
Toronto After Dark Film Festival was an extremely last minute decision that I signed up to give it a go as my first film festival coverage after having the baby. Its only a few days long and it offers the remote coverage option which I do love. They had some great feature films and short films this year. All my coverage is already up other than one that was requested for the review to go up a little later so you should see it soon. You can head over to my Toronto After Dark Archives to find it if you missed it.
As we are typing this up, my husband finally got COVID positive. I’m negative so I can still take care of Triple V. However, we have him quarantined in his so-called man cave so at least among all the sickness, other than having a crappy sofa to sleep on, he has all the entertainment he needs. Its been kind of a one woman show at our house. Luckily, its at the tail end of it now and we’re almost out of the self-quarantine for him and self-isolation for us.
Halloween Marathon Wrap-Up
Finally, October ends with the Halloween Marathon wrap-up! The very very sad turnout of this year really came down to just lacking motivation to write up some of the reviews because of fatigue and dealing with an inconsistent baby. I figured it wouldn’t look too huge of a catalogue even if I started early. While the marathon has ended, I will be getting those last few horror films reviewed and finish up those TV shows I had planned to watch. You will see which ones in the What’s Up section below!
I’m not going to lie, the only books I’m reading are board books and children’s books right now. I’ve gone through this Little Critters Collection that my husband’s coworker gifted to Triple V. We’re reading some early readers board books from Dr. Seuss and also my Dr. Seuss Favorites: Baker’s Dozen. That’s the general name of the collection and we’ve gone through quite a few stories since we have a little reading slot in the afternoon usually. Also, The Monster At The End of the Book and this French one that I got from some Easter thing when I was young called L’ami de Pan-Pan, I think. Triple V understands none of it but he does like to look at the pictures, some more than others.
Man, it was a busy month in movies. I actually spent a lot of time catching up on Disney Plus. The mad dash until the monthly subscription ended. I managed to catch up on the Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe with only Spider-Man: Far From Home left which is miraculously still on Netflix so will get around to wrap that up ASAP. However, surprisingly enjoyed Avengers: Endgame. Nightmare Alley was a little unexpected in a not so good way while Night House was a fantastic horror film that I’m halfway through the review. Live-action Mulan was also better than I expected much The Good Dinosaur which is a pretty underrated Pixar film in my opinion. I already talked about the Toronto After Dark stuff in the Adventures section above.
The Floor Is Lava (Season 3, 2022)
Nailed It! Halloween (Season 7, 2022)
Great Escape 密室大逃脫 (Season 4, 2022)
Beautiful Youth (2019 rewatch)
Easy-Bake Battle: The Home Cooking Competition (Season 1, 2022)
Mr. Bad 我的反派男友
Dahmer (Incomplete, 2022)
Drink Masters (Season 1, 2022)
Currently binging: 101 Scariest Movie Moments of All Time, Singing With Legends我們的歌 S5, Heart Signal 心動的信號S4, Rock & Roast 脫口秀大會S5, Hello Summer Relationship 相遇的夏天S4, Love Between Fairy and Devil 蒼蘭決, Unsolved Mysteries Volume 3, The Watcher, Call Me By Fire 披荊斬棘的哥哥 S2
Suffice to say that it sure looks like I’m knee deep in TV but to be honest, a lot of these are heading into their final episode this or next week. The main highlights worth talking about is probably the new Netflix shows. I always love watching Nailed It and their latest season is kind of a cross platform promotion using Halloween as their basis for some more Halloween outfit worthy shows like The Witcher and Cobra Kai. Its a pretty short season but still very enjoyable. The Floor is Lava is always fun to watch. Its kind of the next best thing since they stopped doing Ultimate Beastmaster. Next is the latest competition show around mixology Drink Masters which was a super fun competition. I mean, the creativity and the technique was not just competitive but learned a lot about the mixology terms and spirits, etc. I’m a big fan of Antoni on Queer Eye so it was enough for me to love Easy-Bake Battle which I think was a pretty creative one since it focused around cooking hacks and was all about homecooking. Finally a cooking show which is useful in my everyday life!
After all that, I guess I should address two shows on the list. The first being Dahmer which I watched about 2 episodes and decided that I’m not going to finish it. Its a rare choice for myself but call me sensitive after having a baby but it disturbed me quite a bit plus I also find the whole concept of making a show based on these events rather distasteful. I can watch these things as documentaries but making a show about it just seems wrong. You can tell me I’m wrong but hey, my husband finished watching it and also found it unnecessary and wasn’t quite as spectacular as everyone that recommended us to watch it says it is.
On a happier note, I binge watched Mr. Bad on iQiYi. Its the perfect formula of what I love in TV dramas since the main leads are two of my favorite actors and actresses in the Chinese drama world plus the show has a nice premise and a decent twist. A pretty positive show and a positive look at relationships. I’m always about those and not the lack of communication and creating drama where there normally isn’t. This one is just sweet romance with their own hurdles because of their situation.
Currently playing: Life is Strange: True Colors, Madison
I’m not exactly gaming as much as I should but I’m slowly playing a little when I get the chance. My main thing right now is finishing Life is Strange: True Colors which I finished the first episode. So far, there’s some nice ideas to it but you can still see how the developer change comes into play. Its just one chapter so I’m waiting for the next few episodes to see how it goes before making any opinions on it.
As for Madison, I am currently streaming this with my friend BrandelSavage on his Twitch channel. I’m really there to just hangout and help out and give some moral support when he gets scared. We already did 2 streams and due to the above situations that happened in adventures, the Halloween weekend stream got postponed. It should be coming up soon. So far, its an interesting horror game, we’re at a plot point that is a bit of a headscratcher so hopefully the game justifies it by the end.
That’s it for this Adventures and What’s Up for October 2022! What have you been up to?
Another month has gone by and we’re in October. With the Halloween Marathon kicked off this week and feeling like things are relatively on track, its time to take a little moment and share some of the music I’ve been listening to in the past month as well as a few songs that’s been gradually added to the baby lullaby repertoire because my baby apparently listened to Chinese pop music in my belly and now thoroughly enjoys being put to sleep to that.
143 – Nana Ouyang 歐陽娜娜
As I’ve been watching a variety show with Nana Ouyang, I’ve been deep diving into her music lately. Its been a while since The Best Of You was released that I liked and shared previously, her latest release is one that I’ve really enjoyed. While its nothing too spectacular in terms of lyrics, I think what works really well as I listened to a lot of her music that her voice is very soothing and relaxing to listen to. I have a few other of her songs in rotation but this one does stand out to me.
舊日回憶的山丘 – 容祖兒 Joey Yung
Nothing like a jump back into time as I’ve recently been thinking about this song. Not quite sure why but its one of the earlier Joey Yung songs that I’ve always loved a lot both for its lyrics and its rhythm. Its also one of the songs that I’ve loved singing the most.
分手快樂(獨唱版) Break Up Happily – 梁靜茹 Fish Leong
The newest addition to this month’s lullaby session for our newborn has been this one. Fish Leong is one of my favorite singers ever so its not a surprise that a lot of her songs have entered into this month as I’ve been just following the songs I like to sing to my little one.
勇氣 Courage – 梁靜茹 Fish Leong
Can you see the theme that my brain thinks in terms of artist so of course, this month also had another Fish Leong song in the line-up! A little fun fact that I actually performed this one on stage for Chinese School performance back in mid-2000s (can’t remember the exact year anymore).
And of course, we have one more which is my absolute faves from Fish Leong below…
Fly Away – 梁靜茹Fish Leong
无与伦比的美丽 Incomparable Beautiful – Call Me By Fire S2 Performance
I usually don’t like sharing performance versions but Call Me By Fire S2 is back and I’m loving this year’s line-up even more than last year’s. I’ve never heard the original of this song before but this rendition is so touching mostly because its so romantic and the fact that I’ve been a big fan of the two people in this relationship since my youth days. It meant a lot to me even if it had nothing to do with me personally. Either way, the song title says it all and the performance was so beautiful.
That’s it for this Music Obsessions! What have you been listening to?
Its the time of year again, even if I think its a bit hard to believe we’re already here. I’m going to admit right now that this may go very bad with very little output as mostly my sporadic lack of sleep does affect my writing efficiency. However, Halloween Marathon is something that I truly enjoy and with some changes in circumstances, via a one-month sub of a streaming service that I will talk about in the Movies section, I have some great choices to add to the line-up plus Netflix and Shudder has some nice stuff to watch as well. If you follow me on Letterboxd, you know what I’ve been watching and what reviews will be coming up. With that said, the first post for the marathon starts tomorrow. Expect TV binges and Double Features in the line-up.
Triple V has been quite a bundle this week as he passes his 3 months. For Chinese people, we like to celebrate 100 days so my mom got him some little gifts. On top of that, his 100 days also signified a change because he’s a whopping 15lbs now which means he can’t sleep in his bassinet anymore and had to be moved to the crib. The transition was the biggest highlight since we had just mastered some great sleeping habits in the bassinet to find that the transition to the crib felt almost like it was starting all over again, which was a little deflating on our already lack of sleep and slowly gaining back sleep stage. However, as I write this post, it was really only the first few nights with the first where Triple V decided he wanted to explore the ENTIRE space and started going in circles and then getting himself stuck and woke up and cried. A few days later, he is still doing it but all the trying to flip over and the getting stuck and waking up is done. He now wakes up mostly in desperate hunger and some weird need for attention in the early mornings but mostly he can go back to sleep fairly well or get himself out of the corner on his own. Slowly we will get there…
Its been over 3 months so I’ve been taking longer walks now. I’m not jumping into intense exercising (not that I’ve done that in a long while) so its mostly morning and evening strolls with Triple V and they are gradually getting a bit longer. While I can’t remember to track everything, I still try to get one to two strolls a day nearby.
Broadwalk “Hiking” – Marais de la Rivieres aux Cerises
With the whole exercise chat, we decided that we would go for a little fall foliage since we seem to always miss it when we go during Thanksgiving. However, this year it seems everything is a little delayed so we were a tad early. There were some areas with a lot of trees that had changed colors but a lot of places that didn’t really have it yet. It was nice to take a little easy hike even we had already been here before (probably about a decade ago) but this time it was a little first road trip adventure with Triple V.
Currently reading: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3), Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle
Look at me and reading. I can’t really recommend The Summer I Turned Pretty and you can read all about it in the review. In terms of YA novel content, The Lunar Chronicles does a better job as Cinder is a stellar book and its sequel is passable so I decided to start that one up but then got attracted to my new purchases of Kiki’s Delivery Service (which I never read the source material before) and Howl’s Moving Castle (which I have but wanted to re-read). I should finish a part of that list during October, let’s hope.
As I mentioned before, I got a one month subscription to Disney Plus for the Disney Day deal for $1.99. Last year I got it, I forgot that it existed and didn’t really make use of it too much so we’re making back for it this year. There’s quite the catalogue even outside of the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars content so it was pretty good. There’s still a little less than half a month left so you will probably still see some more of this service’s titles pop up in the next month.
With that said, its been a very low amount of reviews written mostly because a lot of this is prep work for the Halloween Marathon or for Movies and Tea podcast. If its not, you should see those soon, probably after October’s marathon month. I do have an ambitious goal of catching up with Marvel’s films since I stopped at Infinity War so I buckled down to do it. You can see that I’m already slowly catching up.
My recommendations this month goes to Turning Red, Do Revenge, Underwater and the Maze Runner trilogy.
I Just Killed My Dad (Limited Series, 2022)
The Rap Of China中國説唱巔峰對決
The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist (Limited Series, 2022)
Currently binging: Great Escape Season 4 密室大逃脫第四季, Love Between Fairy and Devil 蒼蘭訣, Call Me By Fire 2 披荊斬棘的哥哥, Heart Signal Season 5心動的信號, Hello Summer Relationship相遇的夏天, Rock & Roast Season 5脫口秀大會,
Oh boy, TV series will be hard to talk about unless you have a massive interest in Chinese Variety shows or dramas. Its honestly just the time of year where all the shows I like have gathered together to be released at the same time. Most of them are currently playing in the currently binging one. The standout is always Great Escape where Season 4 has truly notched up the fun element and they expanded and blended the Escape Room with other game elements.
I actually was planning on finishing Love Between Fairy and Devil before Netflix added it but got lured to watch other stuff and never got around to resuming it however, its a pretty great show and if you have Netflix, it makes it so much easier to watch.
I’ve been taking a little more time on gaming when I have the time to spare. I mean, I have a fixed amount of time where I can do my own stuff when the little one naps or goes to bed at night so its not really a ton of time. However, with a lot of the Game Pass catalogue leaving during September, I tried to get through the ones that I wanted to play hence the unfinished two games. A Plague Tale: Innocence is actually pretty good but I saved myself the rush mostly because I didn’t realize that my husband bought it on Steam so I will get back to that eventually. AI : The Somnium Files is a pretty good game and super expensive to buy in general but its a visual novel with investigative elements and you can’t really rush those so I unfortunately didn’t get to finish it. I was pretty much a third into the game at that point looking at some of the game chapter breakdown. This one’s a little quirky and odd but there are some pretty graphic murder scenes in this one.
Now, lets talk about something that I did finish: Coffee Talk which is also a visual novel and once where you brew coffee while listening to what goes on with the customers. Its a relaxing game to say the least plus there are some fun drink blends that they include which were fun to discover as well.
Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! I honestly can’t believe its already September and I’ve actually managed to keep up with this segment with actual content. Its a little wild overall. Either way, here we are so let’s go right into it!
Cruel – Jackson Wang
At this point, Jackson Wang really has proven that his variety in his music with his resources has truly grown quite a bit including the music video themselves are really creative. While I can’t say that I love all his music the same level, there’s a certain catchiness to them that jives well. Cruel is pretty good and the video is pretty impressive. I wonder whether Jackson Wang will one day jump into being a director at this point seeing as all his music videos now have a certain fantastical story background.
眼淚落下之前 Before Tears Fall Down – Silence Wang 汪蘇瀧
This summer’s youth romance film, since it seems like there’s always one highlight film of that regard in China is My Blue Summer. The source material for My Blue Summer has already been adapted into 2 separate Chinese TV series before called Unrequited Love both times with the only difference being its network and the cast. While I think that’s kind of pointless, they’ve gone and adapted it into a film as well. Which brings us to Silence Wang’s song which I really liked when he performed it in Wonderland Season 2, a Chinese lifestyle variety show so found the original MV.
寻一个你 Searching You- Yuning Liu刘宇宁 (“Love Between Fairy and Devil” Theme)
One of the hit Chinese fantasy dramas this summer has to be Love Between Fairy and Devil so of course, I’m also watching it right now. Not binging quite the way that I normally would but everything fits so well for me from the cast to the soundtrack. Its theme is by Yuning Liu which I have shared him music quite a bit over the time this segment has been around. Probably one of the newer singers that I like nowadays since the last time I followed someone so intently has be at least a decade ago. Regardless, I’m always happy to watch series and find his song part of the OST. Its a really nice one that matches this series pretty well.
臟藝術家 Dirty Artist – MC HotDog熱狗
Its crazy how time does fly by but MC HotDog was the original first generation Chinese rapper back in my teenage days and its great to see the status that he’s achieved as a hip hop artist. In the last few years popping on music related variety show, there’s a humble side of him that makes him so respectable. In the latest season of Rap of China: All Stars Season, not only did he take all the new generation rappers under his wing in his team, there’s no doubt that during the performances that all these years experience with his writing and the messages he wants in his songs now. There’s a versatility that can’t be duplicated. Either way, he tried to not outshine his other team members most of the time but this song he did himself is probably the best of the show.
粉色海洋 Pink Ocean – 周杰倫 Jay Chou
I’d like to say that Jay Chou’s latest album seems to be all songs paired up with Taiwanese lyricist Vincent Fang who found his popularity writing up the majority of the hit songs from Jay Chou’s beginning albums, so there’s a real taste of nostalgia as this album’s songs remind me a lot of the earlier albums of Jay Chou back in 2000. This music video also is one filmed with Jay Chou’s son so its pretty fun overall. While most of the songs in the recent music videos are pretty good, this one is so light-hearted and positive.
That’s it for this Music Obsessions! What have you been listening to lately?