Music Obsessions – February 2021

Welcome to this month’s Music Obsessions! The past month of crazy work phase was mostly music and TV that offered a lot of background company so suffice to say, there’s a lot that I want to share but then I’ve picked the highlights of my faves. Let’s check it out!

《无华》 No Extravagance- 张靓颖 Jane Zhang &摩登兄弟刘宇宁 Yuning Liu

While I haven’t gotten back to Legend of Fei (but will soon), this ending theme for the series is one of my absolutely favorites of this year so far. I love songs like this plus some of the lyrics and singing really is my cup of tea. Plus, I do like Yuning Liu quite a bit as a singer. Plus, the lyrics itself is fairly romantic and does match the series rather well.

哥本哈根的另一個我 My Doppelgänger in Copenhagen – Fiona Sit 薛凱琪

In recent years, Fiona Sit has definitely showed off the musical talent that she has. Its not saying that she didn’t have it before but when she first started, it was a very cute sweetheart sort of song singing about writing love letters to Keanu Reeves and all that cute stuff. The last few years, whether its the song she chooses to sing and the music videos that she puts together is much more mature (and it makes sense since she is older now) and it matches her so well.

Love Can Change Our Ways – Raffy

I don’t follow a lot of French-Canadian bands but I had caught Raffy at least a decade ago (if not more) and from then, I’ve been following them on and off. Recently, I’ve found them on Twitch live shows and its been a ton of fun which makes for some uplifting way to spend my Thursday and Saturday evenings. It also lead me to discover a song that had slipped through my radar called Love Can Change Our Ways which has such a positive vibe to it and its absolutely awesome.

玩家 Player -曹楊Young ft. 派偉俊 Patrick Brasca

Patrick Brasca seems to always be featured in someone else’s song. His own music is not too impressive in my opinion however, he does pair up with good singers and in some great songs like when he started off in Jay Chou’s Love Confession or in the Kung Fu Panda 3 song and now, his most recent is with Young Cao, a singer that I actually don’t listen to a lot of but he does have a decent voice. This song is pretty cool overall. I like the rhythm of the whole thing.

Blue – Justin 黄明昊

My latest fave is Justin Huang’s Blue. Its really odd because when Justin was in Idol Producer, I didn’t really think that he deserved as much popularity as he got. I think he ended the show ranked in 2nd but after that, he really shines through the variety shows he picks (and he is in a lot of them) and then still has time to make music and even in another variety show shared how he was accomplishing his dream of creating his own clothing brand. For someone that’s only 20 (or 21, I can’t remember), that’s pretty impressive. With that said, his songs are really hit and miss at times. The last few definitely more hits though. This one is super chill in rhythm, almost like in a relaxing lounge and then the lyrics are really good (and some of it fairly young love sort of cute).

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

My January Adventures

Welcome friends! January is behind us now! It was so busy that it almost felt like a blink of an eye and it was gone. Montreal is in lockdown and ongoing curfew but the whole being busy actually made this whole thing not very bothersome either except for some appointments that needed to be swapped around. This January was probably the least post that I’ve ever posted for the month despite all the craziness at work. This month’s adventures isn’t exactly anything exciting, just a few little updates!

Tranquil Dreams Podcast

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements for here is the launching of the podcast for this blog called Tranquil Dreams Podcast. I know, creative, right? Either way, at the current time, there’s three episodes uploaded for the What’s Up 2021 segment. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you can listen it to it on various platforms. I will be doing more diverse content once things slow down a little bit more at work (probably in mid-February or beginning of March).

With that said, I do invite you to go check it out. Its available on these platforms:

Anchor
Google Podcasts
Spotify
Breaker
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic

You can also access the podcasts posts on the right side of the blog.

Letterboxd Year in Review

Letterboxed Year in Review came in after the New Year and I thought that it would be fun to share it here as I usually do it with the year-end wrap-up post. Most of it is pretty expected except for the most watched actor who I actually had to look up.

  • 267 Films Logged
  • 423 Hours Watched
  • Most Watched Director: David Fincher (I have watched 100% of David Fincher films)
  • Most Watched Actor: Richmond Arquette
  • Highly Rated 2020 Films: The Haunting of Bly Manor, Red Post on Escher Street, The Oak Room

Announcement: Ultimate Decades Blogathon

Drew over at Drew’s Movie Reviews and myself announced the 6th Ultimate Decades Blogathon! We’ve love to get as many people to participate as possible! Plus, we changed the structure so it’ll be a fun time. If you haven’t seen the announcement post, head over and check it out HERE!

Valentine’s Marathon

We’re a bit behind with the Valentine’s Marathon but its still happening this year! The current rundown is to get some TV binges and some romance films lined up. I might not go the typical romantic comedy film path so may wander into more romantic drama depending on what I find on Netflix. However, the highlight will probably be getting in a review of To All The Boys 3 when it is released on Netflix. At the same time, I might do something special for the marathon, maybe some baking or a podcast special.

Workout Update

From now on, I’m going to start tracking a very general list of workout for each week as a nod to the workout goal that I set at the beginning of the year. Its a tad slow and work got in the way in the last week. At least its some progress.

  • Week 1: 2 Workouts (cardio and arm workout)
  • Week 2: Cycling (on machine, 5km)
  • Week 3: Shovelling & Walking
  • Week 4: Nothing (working a lot so only exercise..walking and chores)

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for the January Adventures!
Nothing too exciting but a bunch of new things and announcements!

Music Obsessions – January 2021

The first Music Obsessions of 2021! I do say that I had a few hard choices to make between what I was listening to more since there was some fun music this past month. Let’s check it out!

Ready Now – Lil Ghost

Out of ex-boy group Nine Percent, I do say that Lil Ghost was the one that has grown a lot in how I view his talent over the years after he left boy group competition Idol Producer. Lil Ghost Linkai Wang does have some good skills and some great producing skills and lyricist. His songs in the past while has really shown off a variety of styles and for him, Ready Now was one that I had dismissed when it first came out but lately, its one that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit especially with the ending bit where there’s a contrast of him whispering the lyrics.

Should’ve Let Go過 – Jackson Wang 王嘉爾 & 林俊傑 JJ Lin

Who doesn’t want to collaborate with JJ Lin, right? Being a similar type of artist, Jackson Wang’s voice blends really well with JJ Lin’s voice. Its actually quite rare to see two men in a duet but somehow there is a different feeling of two men reflecting on their past love life that seems to work. This one is very relaxing to listen to.

仲夏满天心 Midsummer Full of Love – Yisa Yu 郁可唯
(“Midsummer Full of Love” Main Theme)

Midsummer Full of Love is a series that took me by surprise. It ended up being a lot better than I had expected and the soundtrack was also pretty good. The main theme here is sang by Yisa Yu who I personally love. She has this fantastic voice that works with so many genres plus some songs really show that control she has over how she sings. Sure, she’s had better songs than this one but seeing as I just finished binging this one over the holidays, this song has been one that I’ve been listening to a lot.

Di Da Di – Coco Lee

Coco Lee and Lil Ghost ends up on the list for their duet on Our Song 2. These two pair-up with some great end-results. Coco Lee’s blend of this song and Lil Ghost’s Ready Now is one of my faves and I’ll add that at the bottom as a bonus however, this did lead me to listen to Di Da Di which is a fantastic song. Coco Lee is definitely a wonderful singer that I sometimes forget about but nothing like a singing show to remind us of how great she is.

U – Jasper Liu

Compared to a lot of people, Jasper Liu is fairly new to me. I’ve only seen him in Twogether (review) before and haven’t gotten around to watching the 2 series available on Netflix of his. Its mostly because he showed up on the Taiwan series scene after I stopped watching it. Lately, he’s been popping on my radar especially since he used this song as his intro for this new Chinese variety show, When We Write Love Story. He does have a good voice and the song is pretty lighthearted and fun.

BONUS:
Di Da Di + Ready Now Medley (Our Song S2 performance) – Coco Lee & Lil Ghost

This is the song that I’ve been listening to the most. Top 5 song of this year’s Our Song for sure. The blend of the two songs brings out the essence of both. Its so much fun to listen to and the “chemistry” between the two is best shown in this performance.

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

2021 Upcoming Plans

It’s 2021!! Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone has found their own way to celebrate. The beginning of the new year means that its time to get back to some plans for this coming year and some changes in projects, etc. I needed an extra day to figure some little things out since I hadn’t quite decided on everything yet. This time around, I’ll share some projects for the blog and some more personal little goals to get back some good lifestyle habits. Let’s take this section by section!

BOOKS

  • 2021 Goodreads Challenge: 30 books

I’ve had a hard time reading the past few years and most of the time when I set the 30 books reading, I don’t get there but I really do want to read more, despite having some different types of projects this year and may result in less time. Either way, its a challenge that I’m up for. Plus, between blog tours (which I might participate a little less in this year depending on what I’m interested in), TBR of my own both in physical books and Kindle books.

MOVIES

Movies is more of a free flow sort of deal. I do want to dive into a focus on Chinese cinema whether from Mainland China or Hong Kong or Taiwan. However, I do know that that angle is for my own interest so I do have quite a bit to get through whether on Shudder or Netflix which is my main source of movie matching other than the random cheap rental that I pick up or the movie selections for Movies and Tea which is getting into Season 7 production soon with a director that definitely will bring on some interesting discussion for their retrospective. Seeing as we’re really ahead, I’m going to keep it a secret for now. However, last year I didn’t even reach 300 movies logged on Letterboxd so if I manage to get 300 or more movies watched this year, I would be quite pleased.

As for structure, I am keeping to the double feature format unless its a newly released Netflix film or even Shudder exclusive. I will try to get on top of that much more this coming year since I don’t foresee theatre releases or visits to happen anytime soon in Montreal.

Other than the normal themed months below:

  • February 1st – 14th : Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December 1st-25th: Holiday Films

I was unsuccessful at doing the themed months of other genres/subgenres during random months last year but that is a goal that I would like to do. As for what themes? I have a few in mind.

TV

As I watch much more TV (which is probably why movies had a drop last year), I’ve been giving this segment a lot of thought. I will still be doing TV binges however with a much more relaxed structure. I already started it at the end of the year. While I love the structure that I had for Chinese dramas for analysis of plot, pacing, characters and the overall view, it also became this long arduous post that took a long time to put together. Less division and more just free writing for future TV binges, much like the non Chinese drama TV binges that I do as some series really don’t have that much to write about.

However, what has been on my mind for TV is something will be a bigger change/addition to this post and that’s the next section…

TRANQUIL DREAMS PODCAST

Its a solo podcast! I don’t know how I’ll do talking to myself about anything but it has been something that I’ve been thinking about structure, title and content since the beginning of the pandemic last year (probably even longer). My thoughts years ago when this idea first started was a Youtube Channel but I just don’t have time to edit video and audio since it takes a ton of time so here we are. Podcasts do not limit the length because its audio and I’ll have it on a format that people can download. Its going to be another learning curve since right now, my fantastic co-host takes care of all the audio for the other 2 podcasts.

I know the name isn’t exactly inspirational but its connected to the blog originally wanted it to be about only Chinese dramas as an English review and introduction so that people can find the ones that are readily available on Youtube or Netflix (only those with English subtitles, of course). However, the reason for Tranquil Drams Podcast is that it opens up for a few little ideas I’ve had to move here also hopefully.

  • What’s Up segment will be moved completely over on a weekly basis. If it gets a little too heavy to produce, I might change it to biweekly frequency.
  • TV Binges will be moved here. Some less chat worthy will be in written formats (or maybe I’ll do both). Regardless, some series like big productions or Netflix gives me a lot to talk about and its hard to get it all down.
  • A segment that I wanted to revive since last year is Sunday Lists so maybe in podcast format will give me boost considering I have probably 2 or 3 already partially drafted.
  • A new segment as a new goal for the podcast which was how the Youtube idea started is an Adaptations versus Source Material comparison. This is kind of a maybe as I’m not sure how things will look in the coming year mostly on the real life side of things.

OTHER RANDOM SEGMENTS

Most segments have no change other than the ones mentioned above:

  • [changes] What’s Up: moved to podcast format (see above if you skipped it)
  • My Monthly Adventures: I will keep this in written format however with the pandemic still going on, its more of a place to put together what’s been released on my other projects and such.
  • [changes] Battle of Ingredients: in hiatus. We didn’t address it last year at all but with the pandemic, we have no choice but to put this project on hiatus for obvious reasons.
  • Music Obsessions: Still on monthly basis. Not a lot of views but I do love putting together this post.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon: Production meeting has already happened and confirmed to happen. Announcement post coming up once we iron out some little details.

PERSONAL GOALS

It sure feels like I’ve stopped sharing my personal goals over the last few years. Maybe that’s why I’ve grown lazy with some of it. Here we are again and it will be a complete balancing act. I made the decision that regardless of anything that when I set time aside from something, I will do it. Work is a huge factor to why a lot of things get postponed but I need remember that its not my entire life. With that said, main goal for next year is mostly exercise related:

  • Workout: 2-3 times a week and gradually increase to 3-4 times a week
    • Indoors during the winter (bodyweights, weights, yoga, cardio)
    • Outdoors running (hopefully by April)
    • Hiking more often
  • Eat healthier and more balanced meals: This year, we’ve lowered drinking alcohol in general to once or twice a month and its been a pretty good feeling. Its more to eat more fruits since I always forget to keep the fruits and vegetables daily intake as well as hydration on par.
  • Start Streaming: I’ve been thinking about streaming games for a good while. The hesitation is pretty much the same as for solo podcasts where I have to talk to myself. Its mostly for fun and not exactly to promote anything. I started teaming up on voice chat with one of my friends on a weekly basis during his stream to experience horror games together on Monday. You can check out his channel HERE as he streams about 5 – 7 times a week playing three to four different games. I’m having a lot of fun with it and its been something that I’ve been wanting to do more and more. I’m slowly fixing up the info and such on the channel to get it ready gradually. Hopefully a little later in January, it will be up and running. I’m not quite as ambitious as my friend so I’m going for once or twice a week playing mostly indie games which are more focused on narrative but no limits as I just want to get through all the games I’ve bought and haven’t played on Steam.
  • Buy a new sofa, office chair (and maybe bicycle): being first time homeowners, we were lucky to get a lot of second hand relatively decent quality furniture from family to help us get through the first few years of paying the mortgage but as much as I do like the sofa, it needs to be changed before it damages our backs. The same applies for a new office chair. Working from home more has worn it out more than it already has from my cat and its not great to have a squeaky office chair especially for podcast recording. As for a bicycle, considering everyone in Montreal swept the stores of them last year because of the pandemic, I’m hoping that I finally find one this year that isn’t going to break the bank.

Upcoming plans post are rather bland to read overall and I did try to keep this not so lengthy, but hey, look at this length. If there’s something you find is missing, well, its probably either cut or indefinitely in hiatus or its something that I’ve moved to Instagram content (which I need to do better also). If you have any suggestions for movie themed months or what topics for the podcast, etc, let me know in the comments as well.

This is it for the 2021 plans!
As usual, the goal is not procrastinate as much and stick to the tentative schedule!
Happy 2021 everyone and all the best in this coming year (hopefully things will get back to some form of normalcy gradually pandemic-wise)!
As always, stay safe!

My December Adventures: Best Films, Movies, Books of 2020 Watched Recap

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends!

As our holiday lockdown continues, we’re keeping very much to ourselves and waiting for our virtual game night with the normal NYE crew, I’m taking a little time to relax and put together the last post of 2020! Suffice to say that My December Adventures is less adventures and much more a recap of the year to the current highlights of the blog. Let’s go!

Holidays Marathon

The only thing to highlight for December is that the Holidays Marathon happened. It was fairly well planned but not as well executed! However, it still happened and its all updated on the page HERE.

2020 Recap

Its time for the recap of this year and where we’re at now. I want to skip through stats in general this year as its something that I’ve looked at fairly little although I am happy that in 2020 in terms of views did go up compared to the past year or two (at least from a quick glance).

Top 5 post published in 2020

  1. TV Binge: Eternal Love (三生三世十里桃花, 2017)
  2. Announcement: Ultimate 2010s Blogathon! Sign Up Now!
  3. TV Binge: Ashes of Love (香蜜沉沉烬如霜, 2018)
  4. TV Binge: Unrequited Love (橘生淮南·暗恋, 2019)
  5. Hiking: La Boucle du Mont des Trois-Lacs (Brompton, QC)

Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the TV Binges for the Chinese dramas are ranking top posts for what I released this year. Some posts that I put a lot of heart into so I’m glad that they did top the list. I did 3 of these thinking that it was just for my own liking and not thinking anyone would be too interested. The Top 10 all time is not anything from this year but some older posts.

Books: I had set a goal of 25 books for the Goodreads Challenge and ended up reading 26 books.

According to My Year in Books on Goodreads, I read 5,129 pages with an average rating of 4.1 stars (which is fairly high).

While the ratings might change if I were to go back to look, the books that have made an impression:

  • Buried In My Past by Eva McKenzie
  • Blackthorn by Terry Tyler
  • Undead Ultra by Camille Picott
  • Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz
  • The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Movies: According to Letterboxd, I watched 267 movies this year. I know that I did watch a whole bunch of short films that weren’t on the list and some festival films as well. So its definitely a little more than that number.

My top movies watched in 2020 (doesn’t have to be released in 2020):

  • The Farewell
  • One Cut of the Dead
  • Sheep Without a Shepherd
  • The Crossing
  • The Oak Room

TV: With over 15 TV binges sitting in backlog from this year alone, I have some work ahead of me. However, here is the list of 8 TV series that I saw this year (not all aired in 2020):

I’ve been focusing on Chinese dramas lately and because of that, it will bring in some changes for 2021. However, as we wrap up 2020 , I just couldn’t choose 5 so that’s how we’re at 8. And that isn’t even mentioning some of the variety shows that I watch which is a huge amount as well.

I’m sure all of you have better things than to sit around reading my recap on the year (despite the pandemic situation) so a much shorter post than previous years. By the way, this post published marks the 300th post published this year. The only little stats that I want to share. Its definitely not the best years in terms of posts but in terms of views, I think its been very good. Plus, I can’t remember the number of followers last year but I’ve past the 3000 followers mark so its pretty awesome!

With that said, that’s it for the December Adventures and 2020 recap!
I have some small changes for 2021 that I’ll announce tomorrow!

Music Obsessions – December 2020

Its the last music obsessions of 2020! There’s a lot of songs to get through so I added a little bonus at the bottom just for fun. Its the last one of the year and I wanted to those out. Let’s get straight to business!

暗夜蔷薇 Dark Night Rose – Joseph Zeng
(“The Journey Across The Night” Theme Song)

The Journey Across The Night was a really good series this year. It took forever to be released and then it didn’t really get a lot of views but one that I really loved for its direction. There were some issues with it but I’ll talk about it in a TV binge hopefully soon (I’m working through backlog to prioritize what to write up first for TV binge posts). The theme song is sang by the lead actor Joseph Zeng who really has popped in a lot of places including Netflix Chinese series Take My Brother Away (which I have yet to watch) but he also plays in recently released Hong Kong series Line Breaker 3 (which I honestly need to catch up on the previous 2 season). Either way, this song is really great. I love the mysterious style.

Really Want to Love This World 好想愛這個世界啊 – 華晨宇 Chen Yu Hua

I’m pretty selective about Chen Yu Hua’s music. He has very unique music and this one shows off his very great skills as he does the music but its the lyrics that truly are great. Plus, the melody is a little abnormal so its a rather challenging song in general. The song essentially is one that he said in The Singer 2020 that the wrote during the lockdown in China and its about depression and the inner world of someone who has depression and the message that people should reach out of those they care about with this disorder. Its a really meaning song.

Who Am I 我是谁 – Jolin Tsai feat Jony J
(“The Wolf” Main Theme)

I’ve fallen rather behind with The Wolf since I can see the frustrations that it will get down the road. Call me a pessimist if you would like but my predictions of Chinese dramas are really on point and about 5% of the TV series released nowadays truly surprise me.Still, I will hold my thoughts until I finish the series (which will run into 2021 so still lots of time to see where this all goes). All that aside, The Wolf has a fantastic soundtrack. The main theme is by Jolin Tsai, a singer that I listened to a lot in my college days. Not to mention, she’s paired with Jony J, a rapper that I recently knew about through Youth With You 2 that is truly rather impressive.

亞亞亞 Ya Ya Ya – Joey Yung

Its been a while since I’ve listened to Joey Yung’s stuff. I used to be a huge fan in her early days as a singer until she just started singing similar songs but really technical that I stopped. Thanks to Chinese variety show Our Song (Season 2), her participation resulted in a really great rendition of this song. Its a really fun one. Upbeat and fun..plus, we had a good laugh over her dance in the song. You have watch it for that. Joey Yung does have a great voice though and I do need to get back to catching up on some of her music.

Write A Poem For You 為你寫詩 – 吳克羣 Kenji Wu

This isn’t exactly a new song and the oldest of this list but I used to love this song. Kenji Wu is a king at writing songs to confess love. This song is fantastic and I’ve been relistening to it and its still so great. The lyrics are super romantic as its about a guy learning piano and writing lyrics for a girl he likes. Its a little dreamy and such but still, its a sweet little song. Still as great as when I first heard it.

BONUS: Our Song Season 2 Fave Performances

Young and Dangerous franchise is probably one of the longest running film franchises in Hong Kong and for that, its been accompanying a lot of people with some iconic songs in its soundtrack through its many films. In the team battles, this crew with Jordan Chan (known most for his role in Young and Dangerous films) leads the other guys GAI, Roy Wang and Shilei Chang, calling themselves the Hotpot Heroes as he does this new cover of one of the songs called Super Star in Trouble Times.

Hotpot Heroes does the most recent performance which earns them the final win for their group and pushing two of them directly through to the finals. This one is a great one that does a medley going through popular songs from the different decades using the backdrop of a radio program and the emotions. Its a fun one. Probably means more to me since I liked almost all the songs that they chose and a lot of them were playing on repeat when they were released and songs that I go back to frequently starting from the first song Stupid Child by Andy Lau and ending perfectly for the quattro for Meteor Shower from the original Meteor Garden series by F4. Memories…nostalgia…I just can’t believe that I was supporting Jordan Chan when people argued over this singing and now look at him, still doing so well in the business. This medley is so awesome! I could put so many more of these performances since Our Song Season 2 had a Hong Kong singer in every group so it was quite the treat to see so many familiar songs pop up.

I kind of cheated this Music Obsessions but here it is!
What have you been listening to?

My November Adventures

November was a bit of a mess of a month. I was close to a burn-out after back to back film festival coverages and its why it took a while to wrap up the remaining films for those festivals. Luckily, that’s all done. With work also being an explosion of work, its been quite the crazy ride. I don’t foresee December being a lot better but at least, the slowed down posting schedule got my focus back on writing posts. With that said, not a really exciting month overall but still a few things to talk about plus at the end, there’s some December plans.

Not talking about any new projects until December’s wrap-up or January’s beginning of the year post as I have some final decisions to make on some possible changes or a new project/segment.

Blood in the Snow Festival

The ranking for the feature films (with the except of one Parallel Minds that I didn’t see):

  1. Come True (Review)
  2. For The Sake of Vicious (Review)
  3. Anything For Jackson (Review)
  4. The Return (Review)
  5. Hall (Review)
  6. Bloodthirsty (Review)
  7. Bleed With Me (Review)
  8. Shall We Play? (Review)

Overall, Blood in the Snow Festival was a good one. There were some really fun discoveries and some good direction on the stories that were being told. All the reviews for the feature films are up. I usually do something for short films but it already took so long to get this batch done that I haven’t had time to do that. I might still go back and highlight a few that I thought were rather unique and entertaining.

New Restaurant

New restaurant opened up yet and its a Hong Kong style noodle shop who has both curries but even more for the fish soup base that they have for their noodle soup. The noodle soup is ordered similar to what you’d do for Japanese ramen where you get to pick the base, the type of noodle and then 2 toppings. The soup itself actually has quite a bit of extra ingredients added in. I had the combo which included a drink and mine was the lemon ribena which is something very much part of the Hong Kong landscape. Can’t go back to visit in this current landscape but at least there’s food to make me feel more connected, right?

New Spices & Masks

The husband had some company coupon codes sort of deal so we went ahead and took a look at the catalogue. I have some fun candles on the way that didn’t make it on this post but we ordered the spices kit from Gourmet Inspirations. So far, we’ve only tried the Veggie Fusion which adds a nice kick to the veggies.

As for the masks, the Instagram posts says it all. I’ve tried a few companies that make masks and Hop La Gogosses is by far my favorite so I’ve returned a few times. Not to mention, they are close so when I have time, I usually try to do a pick-up instead of getting it delivered. They have these custom ones so you get to choose the front and back from a range of choices.

Black Friday Haul

  • Best Buy: Chromecast
  • Google Play: The Almost Gone, Very Little Nightmares
  • Cineplex: Rental: Guns Akimbo
  • Steam: Gnog, Jenny LeClue Detectivu, Celeste, Transference, Sea of Solitude, The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories
  • Xbox Ultimate Game Pass

Black Friday has pretty much mostly been an online deal even before the whole pandemic landscape so seeing as I did overall spend less this year, I ended up picking up on some of the sweet deals online for games and such. The only physical item I got was a new Chromecast. Our old Chromecast was starting really casting some things really well and was starting to get a little tempermental so we changed it and it seems to work better.

Everything else was mostly gaming related. Xbox Ultimate Game Pass for PC was dropped to $1/month and that’s great since I had a few games to catch up on so my next month of gaming is pretty much sort out since when I cut my subscription 2 months ago, I still had a few games that I hadn’t tried out yet.

As for Cineplex, there was some good rentals but the one that I’ve been meaning to watch is Guns Akimbo so that’s going to be done soon.

Christmas Marathon & Upcoming Plans

End of November means that its time to welcome in the Christmas Marathon! Christmas movies have been fairly slim pickings but thanks to Netflix releasing an immense amount of Christmas movies (whether good or bad), there’s a little more selection. Hopefully enough to fill out these few weeks leading to Christmas. It should start tomorrow December 1st if all things go well.

A quick mention on December plans while we’re at it. I’m trying to work out all the backlog and releasing some more current release stuff, mostly TV (Netflix and Chinese Drama TV binges). I’m going to blend it all in this month while catching up with some 2020 TV series that I’ve missed or didn’t finish. Fingers crossed that I can work on as much as possible.

That’s it November Adventures!
Nothing too exciting and just a lot of spending overall.
What have you been up to?

Music Obsessions – November 2020

A little bit late for this music obsessions this month and debated putting it out on the weekend but some fun batch of music for today feels like a good time.

帶走你的垃圾 Take Your Trash With You – 衛蘭 Janice Vidal

The first song is a random stumble of music that was recommended to me on Youtube. I haven’t heard Janice in a while. I used to listen to her when she first started off in Hong Kong with her sister Jill. She does have quite a good voice and this song reminds me a little of another song but only in lyrics and not how its performed.

一生何求 Life Expectation – 李健 Li Jian & 谭咏麟 Alan Tam

The season 2 of Our Song is amazing. I’m totally hooked on it. They have a lot of Hong Kong singers and some big names like Alan Tam and Coco Lee. The first performance is my favorite with a cover from Alan Tam and Li Jian for Life Expectation, one of my mom’s favorite songs. Its a really great song with fantastic lyrics. Its the days to remember when lyrics actually had meaning. I don’t know Li Jian a lot but he has a great voice so paired up with Alan Tam, its a great performance.

像暗殺似的繞到背後擁抱你 Hug You From Behind Like An Assassin – 太一 Tai Yi

A song that I discovered because of Our Song: Season 2 from Tai Yi, a singer-songwriter who is most known for shutting himself one year (or something) and ended up writing a lot of songs (can’t remember the exact amount). He’s a little odd and very introvert so not quite the usual star appeal but I saw him in The Singer in the last season and he is incredibly talented. This one is very cool mostly because the song title is so whacky and playful.

Flying On Paper – Yuning Liu 刘宇宁 & CORSAK

Corsak’s really been on fire with his latest music. I’ve been liking every single one. This one pairs up with one of the rising singers in China called Yuning Liu that I’ve shared a few songs in these music obsessions. He has a very unique voice. This one is a lot of fun.

孤獨 Loneliness – G.E.M.鄧紫棋

G.E.M. is a great singer. There is no doubt about it. I’m a little lukewarm about her song style since it changes a lot. While this genre of music for her usually isn’t her forte in my opinion, Loneliness is her latest release and its one heck of a song. The lyrics are good and the pairing with Moonlight Sonata is really good. One of my favorite songs right now and one that I’m trying to learn and sing.

That’s it for this music obsessions!
What have you been listening to?

My October Adventures

In a blink of eye between 31 Days of Halloween and festival coverage, October wrapped up. Our partial lockdown has been extended for another potentially 28 days as Montreal hopes for the new cases/deaths number to decrease in the next month instead of the current constant. I’ve reverted in the middle of October to a partial work at home status which is kind of the best scenario that I could hope for. With that said, its been a fairly calm month as we kept to regional protocol and stayed home other than to pick-up the occasional food pick-up or grocery runs and mostly for work purposes. After a little glimpse at what’s going on personally, let’s see what I managed to muster up for this month’s adventures…its mostly recaps at this point. Let’s check it out!

Festival Du Nouveau Cinema 2020

Festival du Nouveau Cinema ran for the majority of the month. It was a wild ride as this festival always has deeper movies and takes a little more time to process which makes the writing process in a tad of a delay since I’m not going to lie that the movie choices started a little rocky. Still, I wanted to do a little something for it and here’s the rankings from best to worst (obviously in my opinion) of the 19 films that I watched based on my current feelings and memories of them:

  1. Topside
  2. My Salinger Year
  3. Red Post on Escher Street
  4. Caught in the Net
  5. Moving On
  6. La Hija de un Ladron
  7. Violation
  8. Undine
  9. Poissonsexe
  10. Wisdom Tooth
  11. Mum, Mum, Mum
  12. Cocoon
  13. The Book of Vision
  14. Drowsy City
  15. The Tremor
  16. The Cloud In Her Room
  17. Sin La Habana
  18. Kill It and Leave This Town
  19. Siberia

That’s the rankings. Half of the movies have been reviewed at this point and there will be the rest of the reviews going up in the coming week.

Halloween Marathon

This year was a little different as I aimed to do 31 Days of Halloween/Horror which overall worked out as I did mostly double features and then wrapped up the last few days with Blood in the Snow Festival coverage. There were some off days and I had fallen behind by one day with a week left and pulled it together to wrap up on October 31st. I consider that a win even though I didn’t count the TV Binge of The Haunting of Bly Manor as one of the days, which I probably should have. Out of all the movies, here’s the top picks that I saw in no specific order:

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
  • Raw
  • Unfriended: Dark Web
  • #Alive
  • Trick ‘r Treat
  • Happy Death Day
  • For The Sake Of Vicious

You can find all the reviews and full list of this year’s and previous year’s Halloween marathon HERE!

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020

Blood in the Snow Festival 2020 started up at the end of October and is going on until November 7th. Different from Fantasia Festival and Festival du Nouveau Cinema, its showing on Super Channel and has a specific schedule for the different features and programs airing. You can find all the info for how to sign up for Super Channel and schedule on the festival’s site.

I’ll be covering everything here: shorts programs, features, pre-feature shorts and perhaps the Web Bites if I figure out a good way to do it.

Trying New Restaurants

1930 Shanghai

1930 Shanghai is a restaurant that specializes in Xiao Long Bao which is the Shanghai soup-filled dumplings. They are one of my favorite foods. This place makes decent ones. While they look the same here, I had one order of the normal pork -filled flavor and then had one where it was chicken and mushroom. Both were really good.

Comon Restaurant

I’m usually not a huge fan of Fried Chicken nor do I tend to eat it a lot but my friend told me about this place and picked up some chicken. . Their take-out boxes for the chicken are in pizza boxes which is pretty creative. I ordered a Bibimbap which was pretty good but felt was a little overpriced for the size and the taste wasn’t anything too different from other places. The fried chicken is also pricier but it does taste really good. I ordered the Fried Chicken with Green Onions (pretty obvious) but unlike some other restaurants in Montreal, their chickens are all bone-in, which isn’t a huge problem since I like bone-in meats but definitely something that others might want to keep in mind if you want to try it out.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this weekly adventures!
What have you been up to? Any Halloween celebrations – simple or not?

Music Obsessions – October 2020

Welcome to the next Music Obsessions! Its been quite a good month with some nice music that popped up on my radar. Maybe slightly less selection than previous months but there’s some decent choices here.

Enjoy!

You Are My Hero (“Chasing Dream 我的拳王男友” Main Theme) 你是我的英雄 – 刘艾立 Erika

Johnnie To is a director of a wide range of movie genres although probably he is most known for his action films. Chasing Dream (review) was something of a hidden gem for this year’s Fantasia Festival and I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected. The main theme is pretty awesome.

Pretty Please – Jackson Wang & Galantis

Jackson Wang’s music this year has been fantastic. Starting with a killer hit with “100 Ways” and then using the same actress to create this video with some great vibes and rhythm of chasing a girl down the street. Its giving some strong vibes of Ne-yo’s video “One in a Million”, right? Either way, its super feel good. I do like this new direction that he’s been choosing for his music instead of the pure rap music. I like this style of Jackson Wang more than the bad-ass Jackson Wang a little more. Granted, I do think Papillon is a pretty cool song in general.

I Really Like You – Jerry Yan & Shen Yue
(‘Count Your Lucky Stars’ Ending Theme)

Easily one of my favorite series this year, the main theme for the series is pretty good for Count Your Lucky Stars but I love both Jerry Yan and Shen Yue even if this was a huge gimmick for the Meteor Garden fans (old and new version) but they really do have chemistry even if everyone moaning about the age gap. Back to the music, the ending theme is so cute. Paired up with this video, its just a perfect match and wraps up the really cute vibes from the series.

My Little Night Light 小夜燈 – 鄭欣宜 Joyce Cheng

The latest find for the month has to go to Joyce Cheng’s latest music release. I don’t know if its the fact that I still have a night light or the lyrics itself that seems to really connect with me but this song just tugged at my emotions quite a bit. Its a nice song whether its the melody or the lyrics, its actually quite beautiful.

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