What’s Up & Adventures – September 2022

ADVENTURES

Halloween Marathon

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.

Baby Update

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…

Exercise Update

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,

Broadwalk “Hiking” – Marais de la Rivieres aux Cerises

Marais de la Rivieres des 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.

WHAT’S UP

Books

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Review)

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.

Movies

  • Spirited Away (2001 rewatch)
  • The Reef: Stalked (2022)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004 rewatch)
  • The Little Mermaid Live (2019)
  • Waitress (2007)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993 rewatch)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018 rewatch, review)
  • Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy (2022)
  • Death On The Nile (2022)
  • Turning Red (2022)
  • The Maze Runner (2014 rewatch, review)
  • Do Revenge (2022)
  • Monsters University (2013)
  • Incredibles 2 (2018)
  • Jennifer’s Body (2009)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015, Review)
  • Underwater (2020)
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018, Review)
  • Antlers (2021)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)

Currently watching: Nightmare Alley

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.

TV

  • I Just Killed My Dad (Limited Series, 2022)
  • The Oasis鄧錄圓魚洲
  • 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.

Games

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence (to be finished)
  • Coffee Talk (Review)
  • AI: The Somnium Files (not finished)

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.

Music Obsessions – September 2022

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?

What’s Up & Adventures – August 2022

ADVENTURES – AUGUST 2022

Welcome to the adventures for August 2022. Honestly, I should just change this coming year into baby adventures more than anything. Considering I’m on maternity leave right now, there’s really nothing else in my life more important than taking care of my newborn and making sure the house doesn’t slip gradually into chaos. With that said, there were some nice little baby updates which includes no pictures and we did have family visit which is quite the unusual since we really haven’t seen anyone out of town since before the pandemic.

Baby Updates

Triple V had a few little adventures of his own. For one, he had his 2 month vaccinations which went as well as could be expected with both of his thighs getting vaccines for various illnesses. Despite some crying, he did calm down fairly quickly and fell asleep so I consider him quite the champ. Considering that this month, we’ve also experienced some crazy evenings with some intense crying and a hard time pinpointing what was the issue.

With that said, he also had his first medical check-up. Yay to our healthcare system where you can’t find a family doctor anymore so the 2-4 weeks check-up turned into a 2 months old check-up. Luckily, all is well and he is growing up quickly. Apparently, we have a “big baby”, which I’m pretty sure I didn’t need the doctor to tell me since he was pretty big in my belly already and then he waited until the last day so he spent some quality time growing before he hit the outside world.

On that front, we are getting in some more exercising. More that I’m taking him out for strolls when its not raining or heat wave. August has been rather abundant in those two fronts. However, its quite relaxing to get out of the house every now and then and get some fresh air. At least for myself, it feels like I’m getting a part of my own active lifestyle back. Its going to take a while but I’ll eventually get back there to some form.

Podcast Update

With that said, I guess I should mention a little update on the podcast which probably is the only thing really goin on track in the case of these projects. Podcast recording is gradually back in production. Much like my post before I went on leave announcing a semi-hiatus, I had pretty much said that it wouldn’t affect it to much and it didn’t since we created quite a bit of backlog for both Movies and Tea and Game Warp so its just a matter of getting those out one by one. I will get back to reposting those. In the meantime, you can always check out both podcasts on most podcast platforms. Those places will have the most recent updates.

As things calm down gradually hopefully, I am starting to think about getting that revamped version of my solo podcast off the ground again. I’m still working out how to approach the content but I have a solid list of topics for the episodes already and it will be really relevant. If my plans go well, you might see something soon-ish. I’m not so worried about recording as it is finding time to edit. I’ve been thinking about it more and more so it should at some point happen.

WHAT’S UP – AUGUST 2022

Books

Currently reading: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

As I spend more time at home now, I am gradually wanting to expand during baby’s naptime to do something other than watching TV so I’ve literally just cracked open The Summer I Turned Pretty. There’s not too much to say. My expectations for it: An equally entertaining time as Jenny Han’s previous book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Might be a tall order but hey, who knows, right?

Movies

  • Purple Hearts (2022, Review)
  • The Lorax (2012 rewatch, Review)
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 rewatch)
  • Wedding Season (2022, Review)
  • Bewitched (2005)
  • Porco Rosso (1992 rewatch, Review)
  • Look Both Ways (2022, Review)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Inside The Mind of a Cat (2022)
  • Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968)

Packed with a few rewatches and some new films from Netflix for the most part, the movies I watched this month were relatively good. Netflix rom-coms are always about the same but then I did already write the reviews so you can check those out. Among that pack of films, Look Both Ways definitely stood out as its not exactly a rom-com. Other than that, I FINALLY watched Princess Mononoke which was a Studio Ghibli title that my friends have been hassling me about not having watched for years. You will hear my extended thoughts on that on Movies and Tea in a good while. For the most part, I really liked it for the scope of the film and compared it to Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind but didn’t quite resonate with the characters as much. Wrapping up the month is a new Netflix documentary about cats called Inside The Mind of a Cat which was super fun to watch and gave me some terms to attach to cats and some extra knowledge that explains some of my own cat’s behavior.

TV

  • Boo, Bitch (Limited Series, 2022)
  • Twinkle Love Season 2怦然心動20嵗第二季
  • The Most Hated Man On The Internet (Limited Series 2022)
  • Never Have I Ever (Season 3)
  • Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist (2022)
  • Wonderland Season 2五十公里桃花塢2
  • I Hear You 最動聽的事
  • Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives (2022)
  • The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman (2022)

Currently watching: I Just Killed My Dad, Great Escape Season 4 密室大逃脫第四季, The Oasis登錄圓魚洲, Love Between Fairy and Devil 蒼蘭訣, The Rap Of China中國説唱巔峰對決, Call Me By Fire 2 披荊斬棘的哥哥, Heart Signal Season 5心動的信號

I have to give myself a nice pat on the back for creating a decent mix between the Chinese drama and variety shows versus the English content, even if most of the English content are all limited series for Netflix crime documentaries. Its my latest thing that I’ve really liked seeing as Netflix has some pretty strong crime documentaries and are pretty consistent in quality. The four gave me an array of emotions: Most Hated Man was very upsetting and fit its title, Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist was truly well done and had a nice message about forgiveness, Bad Vegan made me question whether someone would truly believe something like that or its all excuses (still contemplating that one) and Puppet Master was just a wild ride since its unbelievable how someone can get away doing that stuff.

Onto more lighthearted stuff, I had a ton of fun with teen series Boo, Bitch and Season 3 of Never Have I Ever. They were so entertaining and still had some pretty good moments. Both of those TV binges are almost done so you should see them soon. I lack of TV series review writing inspiration currently happening. As for Chinese series, a lot of the currently watching TV shows are about to end but man, Wonderland Season 2 was a such a great one. I didn’t watch the Season 2 so currently debating if I should, hopefully it isn’t under VIP since I don’t want to subscribe to another streaming service, although I probably will at one point to WeTV since I have a lot of series that is locked in VIP that I missed before and I don’t really like watching them on YouTube.

A fun update is that I’m currently watching Love Between Fairy and Devil (yes, the title is stupid but the series honestly isn’t) which will land on Netflix in September some time (I can’t remember the date so if you want to check out Chinese fantasy dramas, this one is good and not too long. Netflix has been doing a good job at picking up some of this year’s heavy hitters. Now, maybe they can also get Love Like The Galaxy, which is another breakout series currently playing which is on my watchlist.

Games

  • Spiritfarer: Farewell Edition

After starting up Spiritfarer last summer, I finally went back to it to play through the rest of the main content plus all the updates in 2 weeks. The updates were really great since the last one did give it such a well-rounded ending to the whole experience which adds so much to the narrative element of the game itself which plays a big part. There’s so much to love about Spiritfarer. Even though I finished the game with probably the most amount of hours and the closest I’ve ever gotten to 100% of the game content, I still am considering picking up this game at one point and revisiting it just for the beautiful world and stories that it tells.

Music Obsessions – August 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! The last month was pretty fun as a lot of new music videos landed and others popped up on my list from various shows and whatnot. All Chinese music from different spaces and styles but all very fun stuff! Let’s check it out!

最偉大的作品 Greatest Works of Art – 周杰倫 Jay Chou

Jay Chou is basically my youth seeing as he got famous in the prime of my post-secondary days around 2003 and he became the center of a lot of conversations and his songs became the focus of karaoke days back then as well making him an musician that I’ve been following for a long time (with some gaps in the middle) and I’ve shared quite a few songs of his. I should really considering doing a focus post on him when we get a slower month. This month, he dropped this one which the song itself is nice but the video is one that is even better, especially for those who watched his J-Style Trip on Netflix where you see some of his best friends pop up in this music video as well as he travels through time, performs a few magic tricks while recreating the art masterpieces.

一格格 Frames – 衛蘭 Janice Vidal

There’s a chunk of Janice Vidal’s discography which is an empty space for me when I stopped listening to Cantopop for a while (or at least the new stuff over a decade as I lost a little faith in what was coming out) and now its a lot of catch-up. This popped up mostly because of the Chinese singing variety show and their really good rendition but the original very nice. The whole chill vibe really suits the song and is such a feel good song in general.

賽勒斯的愛 Cherlas – 張敬軒 Hins Cheung

Its been a long time since I have looked up Hins Cheung’s new music. Funny enough he is rather underrated since he went onto the music scene fairly quietly and had a few hits but no one really knows him that well (at least in my circle of friends). This one oddly popped up my recommended videos recently. Somehow I found it rather catchy. The story is well portrayed in the music video as well. The lyrics are decent as well.

隆里电丝 Lonely Dance – KEY.L刘聪/ICE杨长青/盛宇DamnShine/Ricky

My latest variety watch is the latest season of The Rap of China Season 4 or something. I’m not an avid watcher of this variety show but this season is a competition of the best of the best or something so some pretty cool competitors in competition show. While I don’t really share a ton of variety show stuff, this one did get released as a single by one of the performers here but I still prefer the performance version more, mostly because I really do like ICE as a rapper and the whole guitarist Ricky is a super nice addition. Its a fun funky rap song which is kind of how I like hip hop music or just the fact that rap itself can be incorporated into so many different styles of music. This is a great example of it.

最後一堂課 Graduation – Eric Chou 周興哲
(“Mom, Don’t Do That!” End Theme)

I’m not sure if people actually watch Taiwanese series, even if they are Netflix series but I’ve had my eyes on them for a while and slowly catching up with it. The recent release of Mom, Don’t Do That! Is where this song is from. I do like Eric Chou quite a bit as well and he is diving into acting as he takes a cameo role in the series. The song does match certain parts of the series pretty well.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!

Music Obsessions – July 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! Today is going to be quite a fun assortment of music from a bunch of different things: TV series, variety shows, Chinese, English, French, etc. Let’s check it out!

À Contresens – Raffy

I don’t listen to a lot of Quebec music but Raffy has been a staple in our home especially since they were a chance encounter probably a decade ago when I saw them perform at a bar in Old Montreal. They have gone a long way since then and have been a constant entertainment via Twitch during the pandemic. As they head back out to performing live, they released their latest single. Its very much in their fun vibe style which I love because their music always sends some positive vibes.

紅日 Red Sun – 聲生不息 “Infinity and Beyond” Singers with Audience

Red Sun is a super popular Cantopop classic by Hacken Lee. Luckily the Chinese variety show had invited Hacken Lee so it made it extra special when he and all the singers and audience joined together to do this song. Its a really fun song and rather challenging since its also fairly fast. This is a pretty good rendition and a good new take on it.

Portrait of You – James Lee
(“Love The Way You Are” Chinese Drama OST)

My latest series binge is Love The Way You Are on iQiYi streaming service. Is it anything super unique? Not really. So far, the first ten episodes have been fairly lighthearted but for once I actually they paced it a little quick that I’m not sure how its going to push another 20 episodes of the story forward. Either way, I’m not reviewing the show yet. Aside from my worrying, the soundtrack is pretty good. I really like this one which I later realized is by James Lee, who I wasn’t familiar with when he was popular in Korea before his unfortunate accident but he joined a Chinese variety show last year and I’m happy to see him making some music there.

現代戀愛安全手冊 Love 101 – 衛蘭 Janice Vidal

Janice Vidal’s latest single here! While I’m a pretty big fan of Janice Vidal’s recent music and even when she first started out in Hong Kong (but missing the whole middle chunk of maybe a decade or something), I only happen to find her music when it pops up in the recommended section on Youtube. I really should be making a better effort since her music is so good and has some meaningful lyrics whatever topic she talks about.

Teenage Dream – The Rescues

This last one is a discovery as part of the soundtrack on Season 3 of The Umbrella Academy. I’m a big fan of covers especially when they are done in a different vibe. I do like Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream however, this rendition actually adds a good change and feeling to the whole song. It definitely was a great find from watching TV series.

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

What’s Up & Adventures – June 2022

June 2022 Adventures

If you hadn’t caught my mid-June announcement/update, you can find that HERE.

The biggest event of June which has consumed most of the month is that: I had a BABY BOY!

I’ve been kind of a bit hush hush on the whole thing on the blog and just dropping little hints about the nursery and such in the adventures post since the beginning of the year. Obviously, if no one read it then they probably never quite realized it was a thing in my life. It also explained the lesser amounts of posts in the past 8 months or so since the first trimester was just a fatigue filled sleep fest. I wanted to sleep all the time. With that said, I couldn’t complain a lot since I had a pretty smooth pregnancy with no cravings, almost no nausea or food aversions except for fish and nothing came back bad in any of the tests and checkups.

Where things started to go wrong was the actual birthing process where things got a little scary for a moment and didn’t go as planned resulting in a C-section. However, everything is so far so good and as I sit here recovering and the husband and I are on our maternity/parental leave , its been quite a journey for the past 2 weeks or so with a newborn. The surgery meant that I basically can’t do a whole lot of stuff except for caring for the baby without having a lot of discomfort. Luckily things are getting better day by day.

If you take a look at the announcement/update post, basically things will remain fairly slow for at least the next month or two. However, my other projects with my fantastic co-host who is holding down the fort and our hard work in creating a huge backlog in our production means those projects are still going out. If you ever want to hear some podcasts, Movies and Tea is currently in its Quentin Tarantino season and Game Warp is also having scatters of reviews and non-E3 2022 coverage.

To be fair, I haven’t had a vacation from work in the past 3 years (partially pandemic- related) so I’m taking the leave to relax a little and enjoy my time with my newborn, we nicknamed him Triple V so if I mention him again, may be under that name from now on.

Basically June’s adventures was half the month waiting to birth the baby and the second half is taking care of the baby. Its crazy how fast time goes by.

What’s Up – June 2022

Books

Currently reading: The Woman in Cabin 10

Recently started up The Woman in Cabin 10. Literally one chapter in so I will talk about it more next month. Maybe by then, I will have finished it.

Movies

  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988 rewatch)
  • The Night Clerk (2020)
  • Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019)
  • Rogue (2007, Review)
  • Trust (2021, Review)
  • Bill Burr Presents: Friends Who Kill (2022)
  • Girl’s Revenge (2020, Review)
  • Cyber Hell: Exposing An Internet Horror (2022, Review)
  • Hellboy (2019)
  • Constantine (2005 rewatch)
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
  • Profile (2018)
  • Adrift (2018)

Sitting at home for maternity leave for the entire June gave time to catch on some movie watching (among many other things) especially before our baby arrived. I was able to catch up on some titles I hadn’t seen before. As usual, highlighted titles are the ones I personally recommend. Reviews are on the way for some of these. Special mention goes to 2007’s Rogue which was a ton of fun for a creature feature and Profile, a Screenlife title which I thought worked really well also. Much like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark which was a fun little kids horror adaptation.

TV

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3, Review)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4, Review)
  • The Floor is Lava (Season 2)
  • Riverdale (Season 2, Review)
  • Midnight Asia (Season 1)
  • Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend (Season 1)
  • Yes I Do (喜歡你我也是, Season 3)
  • Riverdale (Season 3)
  • The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)
  • The Umbrella Academy (Season 3)
  • Camping Life (一起露營吧)

Currently binging: Day Breakers 暗夜行者, Nightflyers, Infinity and Beyond聲生不息, Love The Way You Are 愛情應該有的樣子, The Great Canadian Baking Show (Season 5)

With a ton of TV binges in the works right now from the past month, here we are. We started Nightflyers which was good but I had to stop as we hit a part of the series which triggered the pregnant me a little so we took a pause on that. Chinese variety shows were my jam with Infinity and Beyond taking the lead bringing back a ton of Cantopop nostalgia. Finished up Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and got back into Riverdale and now Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa seems to be haunting me as I look around and its just shows that he is working or worked on. Having never seen even one episode of Iron Chef, the Netflix version was so much fun. Highly recommend if you like cooking competition shows. Finally we finally caught up with The Umbrella Academy with the third season recently being released, no better time than now, right?

Games

  • How To Say Goodbye (Demo)
  • Paper Trail (Demo)
  • The Last Stop (Review)

Currently playing: Backbone, Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Gaming finally picks up again! Beginning of June saw the non-E3 2022 happen as Game Warp covered some out of our highlights from various showcases that peaked our interest. It also brought along Steam Fest which meant a lot of demos for upcoming indie games to check out. The two I played were How To Say Goodbye and Paper Trail. Both were pretty decent concepts although Paper Trail has a bit of the Gorogoa vibe except with paper as the item of manipulation, which I absolutely adored.

I am mostly catching up with Game Pass titles at this point. Last Stop left Game Pass at the end of June so I played it through. My first game review in eons is on the Game Warp blog if you wanted to check it out. I am focusing on smaller games and less brain involving ones so its why I put Backbone aside and started up a simpler word-based platformer Lost Words, which I had tried the demo before. About halfway through the game as this post goes up.

That’s it for this Adventures and What’s Up for June 2022!
What have you been up to?

Update & Announcement: Welcoming a Baby!

For those who have been reading my actual weekly adventures this year, I have been inadvertently dropping updates about preparing for a baby to arrive since the beginning of this year.

This past week, he has arrived! Boy, do I have a story to tell…. in time (probably the next Weekly Adventures). As I draft this quickly at 5am as we are in the first week with a newborn and the sleep schedule is still all over the place, my priority is not really on the blog. It does feel weird to not be writing but my brain can’t seem to process a ton of good analysis…yet.

Fret not, it is a hiatus and isn’t at the same time. I had a bunch of work in progress in preparation while I was waiting for it to happen. While I didn’t actually create the impressive backlog that I had intended to as a bunch of posts are unfinished, its still on my mind to do it when I have more time to sit in front of the PC.

For now, I don’t want to put myself through too much as unexpected situations arose and I also need some time to recover. I do want to still aim for a relaxing 1 post a week. If that doesn’t happen, the monthly segments will still be happening for sure.

Thanks to my amazing Movies and Tea Podcast co-host Elwood Jones, things over there will be running as usual with new episodes going up. Keep your eyes peeled as we continue through the Quentin Tarantino season. If you haven’t been following us, there’s tons of episodes in our archive from the past seasons and the show is available on most podcast platforms or you can listen to it via the player on the blog HERE.

We also managed to cover the non-E3 2022 gaming showcases and gathered a bunch of our selected highlights in a few separate posts over on Game Warp blog. You can check that out HERE if you don’t follow us yet.

That’s it for now! Things will gradually get back on track in time. I am fairly confident about it. In the meantime, hope you all are going to have a wonderful upcoming summer!

Music Obsessions – June 2022

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions!

Much like last month, I can’t say that my music exploration has expanded much further than the performances from Chinese music variety show Infinity and Beyond and TV series OST. What can I say? I just have so much backlog that I’m trying to keep things a little bit more at the minimum and work on what needs to be done. With that said, there are some nice Cantopop songs chosen for the show to make into their own rendition and its been quite awesome overall to rediscover these songs.

Breath of Wind 风息 by Yanbin Hu 胡彦斌 & Xuanqing Ye 叶炫清

Who Rules The World really was quite the Chinese TV drama and such a great pick by Netflix to add to their library. I can see how it had such ratings in the recent releases from Chinese dramas and the talk that it had. I’ll be addressing all that in the upcoming TV binge (sooner than later hopefully). The soundtrack also did it lots of wonder and perhaps the one that grew on me a lot was this duet which truly did come at some great moments.

1984 – 周笔畅 Bibi Zhou

1984 was originally sang by Swing, a band duo who has now moved on to behind the scenes writing and producing music for other artists. One of them being Eric Kwok who has written some great contributions to Cantopop. I’m always pretty happy when anyone talks about Swing because they are such an underrated band that didn’t quite get the attention they deserved (probably because they weren’t active for that long). 1984 is one of their biggest hits and even then, they duo themselves according from the interview during Infinity and Beyond actually thought that the song was really difficult for them. In that sense, Bibi Zhou does do great with it in her own arrangement.

一生所爱 Love in a Life Time – 卢冠廷 Lowell Lo

Some of the best moments of the show is how they are able to truly bring forth fantastic music producers, lyricist and composers to highlight their work for Cantopop. Most people don’t know Lowell Lo as he only did some small supporting/cameo roles in popular Hong Kong films however, he is a fantastic composer much like his wife who pairs up with him as lyricist. Plus, he has some fantastic music back in the days. While he has mostly retired from the scene, there’s something so nostalgic about his own interpretation for this song which was a key song in A Chinese Odyssey. The scenes if I’m not mistaken are from Part 2 Cinderella (but I haven’t seen those movies in a long time so I could be wrong).

最佳损友 The Best Damn Friend – 李克勤 Hacken Lee & 毛不易 Buyi Mao

Originally a song of Eason Chan’s, this new rendition of The Best Damn Friend does capture another type of relationship as per the theme of the week and this time for them looking at friendships, some that might not have lasted despite how great it was before. A bit of a bittersweet sort of song. In the hands of two great singers like Hacken Lee and Buyi Ma in this new arrangement, its revives the song again.

我钟意 I Prefer- 炎明熹 Gigi Yim&魔动闪霸 SmellyD & Azi

The latest offering that I love was from last week’s episode as they dived into another theme challenge. This time, they arrange and add a fun rap twist because of the rap duo here to give it such a happy vibe. Seeing as Gigi Leung is one of my favorite singers of all time, and I used to listen to this song a bunch, this new rendition still managed to give me the same happy vibes and was probably one of the standout performances solely on the youthfulness of the whole performance, even the added part which manages to give the song a naivety. Hong Kong’s The Academy winner Gigi Yim is really starting to impress me though. I’m starting to see her talent more and more as the show goes on.

That’s it for this Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

What’s Up & Adventures – May 2022

Welcome everyone to the May 2022 recap for the What’s Up & Adventures! Honestly, there’s no adventures at this point. My life is very much just getting ready for the new arrival to our family. Of course, there was 2 little things that did happen which was rather fun but most of it was just trying to do a lot of restructure to our home (which I won’t be showing here) including a lot of deep cleaning throughout the weekends. So, as usual, we will start with some little “adventures” and then hop into the What’s Up portion which should be a lot more entertaining, I suppose.

Annual Garden Haul

While we struggled in our decision between whether to have a garden or not this year since we have no idea what to expect in the coming summer months, we eventually decided that we would do a little container garden! Its a step down from the normal which would be to raised garden patches but we figured this would at least be in our face and easy to maintain plus when things get hard, we can add self-watering systems to it. Plus, we chose pepper, patio cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce and leaf lettuce which are all fairly low maintenance from past experience. We did also pick up a rose that has yet to go into the garden. If we do have time though, we are shifting around the berries, notably the blueberries were are getting murdered by these rogue vines that we just can’t seem to get rid of.

Baby Shower

I’m not going to bore everyone with the details of the gifts since we had a little family gathering for the baby shower. The highlight of the day did go to my sister-in-law who made us this beautiful cake from scratch and it took her a whole 4 days to put it together from the cake to the fondant decorations. Its pretty impressive and a lot of appreciation for what she did for us.

WHAT’S UP – MAY 2022

*Highlighted titles are my recommendations*

Books

Currently reading: Nevernight

Not going to lie that reading isn’t on my top priority as I shift back to working from home a little bit more. Plus the wonderful fatigue is back to visit me so its been a little hard to focus. It doesn’t help that I was having a hard time getting into Nevernight so the game plan right now is to put it down and start something else since I wasn’t supposed to but still ended up picking up 2 books as a little treat for myself. I will probably start one of those shortly.

Movies

  • Uncharted (2022, Review)
  • Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979, rewatch)
  • Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020, Review)
  • Only (2019)
  • Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind (1984 rewatch)
  • SPF-18 (2017)
  • Last Moment of Clarity (2010)
  • The Outcasts (2017)
  • Basic Instinct (1992)
  • Kate (2021)
  • A Perfect Pairing (2022)
  • Agatha Christie’s Crooked House (2017)
  • Lie With Me (2005 rewatch, Review)
  • Deep Blue Sea 3 (2020)

May has been a decent movie watching month as I got through some of more unknown titles on the list as I continue trying to work through some non-Netflix films in case they happen to leave. Unfortunately, nothing too exciting for the most part although The Outcasts was a pretty fun discovery for a teen coming of age film whereas Last Moment of Clarity was a real disappointment. I did catch up with 2 films that I’ve been meaning to watch for a while: Basic Instinct and Kate and they were pretty good as well. Much like Deep Blue Sea 3 actually was a silly but still rather entertaining sequel compared to the second film (which isn’t that hard to beat since that one was pretty bad).

TV

  • Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes (2022)
  • Who’s The Murderer (Season 7)
  • Love Death + Robots (Season 3, Review)
  • Who Rules The World (2022)
  • The Circle (Season 4)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 1, Review)
  • Stranger Things (Season 4 Volume 1)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 2)

Currently binging: Yes I Do (Season 3), Infinity and Beyond, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3)

This past month’s TV adventures has been pretty decent. For the most part everything was very entertaining. With the release of Love Death + Robots Season 3, which was a fun ride and over at Movies and Tea, we’ve already released our latest After Hours episode for it HERE, and then the month ending with Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1 (2 more episodes to follow on July 1st), its been one heck of a trip. The Circle USA Season 4 was a real trip as well with some fun little twists added in much like Netflix acquiring a really good Chinese drama Who Rules The World that is very much worth the watch. As for a end of month little binge, I started up Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and working through all the seasons. Who knows, it might be a first step before going back to continuing Riverdale next…

Games

  • Unpacking

Gaming was fairly tame. While not listed here, I’ve been playing Crazy Diner on mobile which reminded me of the nostalgic days when I used to play Diner Dash on PC. At the same time, I’m working through the Xbox Game Pass catalogue and finally got around to playing Unpacking. I am trying to get a review up for that on Game Warp’s blog but I really just wanted to see how an unpacking game got all these nominations especially in terms of narrative. While I can see where a lot of it comes from and the deeper meaning to it and it is surprisingly easily to get sucked into it where I finished it in one sitting as its 3-4 hours long, the experience is really not for everyone and probably some people might find it rather pointless perhaps.

That’s it for this month’s Adventures & What’s Up!
What have you been up to?

Music Obsessions – May 2022

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! I think the big takeaway from April is that I survived yet another year of it! This year was especially challenging. Luckily, there was two newly added TV show on Netflix for a fun Chinese Drama with a decent soundtrack and a martial arts world newly released Tencent one and a new singing variety show that launched very recently which provided me lots of music to share plus bringing back a lot of nostalgia for Cantopop classics.

Facade 被人 – Joker Xue 薛之谦

For a modern series based on the esports world, Falling Into Your Smile isn’t exactly the best of its recent batch using this setting but the soundtrack for this one still is pretty fun. Of course, I’ve shared a bunch of Joker Xue songs in these Music Obsessions. Its rare to see him doing songs for a TV series OST but this song really blends well with the series. I love his voice and the song itself is pretty good.

Soulmate 第一默契 – Xu Kai 许凯 & Cheng Xiao 程潇
(“Falling Into Your Smile” Ending Theme)

Continuing on with the soundtrack for Falling Into Your Smile, it seems suitable to add in at least one of the theme songs especially since it includes a duet from the two main leads which had pretty good chemistry. It brings me back to when I was talking about Cheng Xiao earlier this year when I shared the duet for The World of Fantasy. This music video also captures the TV series pretty well especially the romantic chemistry element. This time, Xu Kai is a much more seasoned actor so probably in terms of singing its not quite as good but it still captures the vibe of the show.

无双 Wu Shuang – Liu Yuning

The latest Chinese series to land on Netflix is Who Rules The World which actually is getting some pretty impressive ratings as its airing in China right now. It probably has to do with the main leads Yang Yang and Lusi Zhao who are in a lot of TV series which has pretty high profile. However, its nice to see them in this sort of martial arts/fantasy world where they do fit so very well together. The script itself is done really well and the chemistry behind them including the world building is so far is good. Plus, the main theme here is by one of my fave up and coming singers, Yuning Liu. I mean, I share a ton of his music here already.

Infinity and Beyond 声生不息 – Performance Favorites

One of my favorite music variety shows to land this while is Infinity and Beyond. In commemoration of the 25 years of Hong Kong Handover, the show invites both Mainland China and Hong Kong singers to group together in men and women team in a competition format ranging from new to veteran singers to battle against each other. Every competition evening includes 2 top choices along with the winning team and audience performance which will eventually be compiled to a soundtrack for the show at the end. Its a pretty neat idea especially since it takes a lot of the Hong Kong classics and gives it a new life for the newer generation. Plus, most of the show doesn’t feel like a competition and just a bunch of good and great singers gathered together to share some good performances. It was pretty hard to narrow down what I liked since there’s quite a few but I didn’t want to overload everyone since a lot of this has to do with nostalgia.

初恋 First Love – Mike Tsang 曾比特

卡拉永远ok Forever Karaoke – 魔动闪霸

海阔天空 Boundless Oceans Vast Skies – Women Team With Audience

That’s it for this month’s Music Obsessions!
What have you been listening to lately?