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!

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?

What’s Up & Adventures – April 2022

Welcome to this month’s wrap up for What’s Up & Adventures for April 2022.

April is always a crazy month work-wise and adding in a lot of the current situation, its been a lot more bonkers as well. Hence the later than usual recap post. While adventures is a little lacking, we have been getting things together in general. Lets take a quick look at some fast updates before we jump into the much more interesting Wha’ts Up portion.

New Season – Movies and Tea Podcast

While I am still working through the reblogs for the previous season, Movies and Tea blog and our podcast platform everywhere is already updating the new season of the podcast as we go through our Quentin Tarantino season. For myself, its a whole new adventure since its almost three quarters first time watches.

You can check it out over at the blog HERE or on most podcast platforms.

Baby Things and Preparation

I have really held off on talking a whole lot about the pregnancy since my little not so hidden announcement at the beginning of the year or last month’s office move/nursery setup. As the nursery starts shaping up and my due date is a little over a month away and the last stretch of preparation shows up, its fine time to talk about something probably not so important but something I always thought was a somewhat memorable moment if and when I had a baby and its buying the first pair of shoes.

Not to mention, one of April’s highlights was going for the second ultrasound as the first one had a minor little abnormality which was all normal in this one. All around good news so far plus seeing the much bigger baby then was a pretty touching moment.

What’s Up – April 2022

Books

  • The Girl On The Train (Review)

Currently reading: Nevernight

Still relatively on track with reading as I try to use the commute to the office to read as much as I can. The Girl on the Train is a pretty decent read. I do hope to watch the adaptations at some point.

As for the currently reading selection, Nevernight has a world building which is pretty extensive but there are some elements that I am finding a little annoying. I am still fairly early in the book so I don’t want to make any judgments quite yet especially since beginning of books are my usual hurdle.

Movies

  • Virus (1999)
  • You vs. Wild: Out Cold (2021)
  • Ronny Chieng: Speakeasy (2022)
  • The Mitchells vs. The Machines (2021, Review)
  • Desperado (1995)
  • Knives Out (2019, Review)
  • Rebecca (2020)
  • The Invisible Man (2020, Review)
  • The Sadness (2021, Review)
  • The Crazies (2010, Review)

Movies are still going relatively strong this month. Even the writing is pretty on track as well. The movie reviewing writing slump is slowly going away. With that said, this month was full of fun film discoveries from all genres. Nothing really disappointed too much except one or two. The interactive film You Vs The Wild: Out Cold was kind of a snoozefest but these things are never too long so it helps fill up some time when I couldn’t decide what to watch next. As for recommendations for this month, Knives Out, The Mitchells vs. The Machines and The Invisible. If you don’t mind a massive trigger warning and gut-wrenching gorefest, The Sadness is a decent choice as well.

TV

  • Another Me (2019)
  • Archive 81 (2022, Review)
  • Falling Into Your Smile (2021)
  • Bullsh*t The Game Show (2022)

Currently watching: Yes I Do (Season 3), Who’s The Murderer (Season 7), Gypsy, Falling in Love With a Scientist, Infinity and Beyond

Looking at the TV list, it sure feels like eons ago that I finished Another Me at the first half of the month. Probably because the TV series had a lot of issues for the most part and hit a whole new level of melodrama that started bothering me. The ending did kind of redeem itself a little though. The film version which I have yet to see did get lots of praise so I will hopefully watch it at some point.

With that said, Archive 81 is a cliffhanger ending and cancelled Netflix series which is somewhat of a pity since it is pretty good. Netflix did add Falling Into Your Smile which is a Chinese drama that I had my eye on last year but its from a channel which geo-locked the series when I wanted to watch it. Highly recommend. This might just be the series for me to get back into some form of TV binge for the Chinese dramas since I am so behind on it.

Games

  • Erica
  • Football Game

A light gaming month to say the least. Both of these games were fairly short in content. Erica is an FMV game which is basically an interactive film with 4 endings running at around 2 hours per run. Considering that I didn’t do the run again and did some research and think the ending I got was the good one, I just left it at that. The second game, Football Game is a short point and click game which is a little bit laborous with little favors and tasks which all comes down to a deeper story for the thriller as it came to a rather vague but depressing ending. I will try to get a review up for these two over at Game Warp but its a daunting since game reviews have fallen into the abyss for myself.

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures and What’s Up for April 2022.
Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you’ve been up to some exciting stuff.

My Adventures & What’s Up – March 2022

Weekly Adventures – March 2022

Nothing much happened in March. March basically included a lot of cleaning and tidying. I did work on some of those “2022 Upcoming Plans”, one of which is I’d say 80% done at this point. Since I haven’t been super vocal about being pregnant or sharing my experiences despite the blog slowing down a whole lot. The goal I’m talking about for this year to move the office and set up the nursery is the only thing that is happening as the due date gets closer. However, that’s personal stuff and other than acknowledging it quickly, I don’t want to post up any photos of it since its still a work in progress. My adventures basically has to do with being pregnant which is not exactly exciting to talk about other than my own experience of it. The other part is mostly job and then my constant contemplation on eating healthier and really starting to miss some of the stuff that I’ve cut out of my diet to be healthier. That’s basically it in that department. Oh right, and I also just turned 36! Isn’t that exciting, right?

Now moving on to more fun things like the next part, What’s Up for the past month!

What’s Up – March 2022

Books

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Review)
  • Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) (Review)

Currently reading: The Magician’s Nephew (re-read), The Girl On The Train

Finally some progress in the Goodreads Reading Challenge this year! It was a slow start but now I’ve been motivated to move from one book to the next and get those reviews up as soon as I finish to keep things rolling. Scarlet was a really fun read. I guess taking a break from YA novels was a great move since I did appreciate the easier reads. The basic system now is alternating between YA books and older books. I should start adding classics to it but it will probably happen later this year.

Movies

  • Time (2021, Review)
  • Ms. Pat: Y’All Wanna Hear Something Crazy (2022)
  • Piranha 3D (2010)
  • American Girl (2021, Review)
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022, Review)
  • Great White (2021)
  • The Bay (2012)
  • Catherine Cohen: The Twist?… She’s Gorgeous (2022)
  • Crawl (2019, rewatch Review)
  • Jaws (1975, rewatch)
  • Secretary (2002)
  • Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City (2021)
  • In The Cut (2003)

As Movies and Tea focuses on the next season of production, a lot of these movies are a part of that. In a perfect world, I did want to get at least one more double feature out before this recap post went up but oh well, what can we do? Movies was a decent month. Other than my not so happy outing with Piranha 3D, everything was pretty decent overall. Some was a little disappointing like Great White, a few surprises like The Bay, some exceeded expectations like Time and then some lived up to expectations (in a good way) like Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City. It did feel great to catch up with some older films that I have heard great things about like Secretary and finally returned to watch a Meg Ryan film. If you have been here in the earlier days, I really love Meg Ryan and have been wanting to go through all her films but Netflix is usually a bit thin on that front.

TV

  • Love Under The Full Moon (2021)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 7, 2015)
  • The King’s Avatar (2019 rewatch)
  • Is It Cake? (Season 1, 2022)
  • Light The Night (Part 3, 2022)
  • Bridgerton (Season 2, 2022 Review)
  • Fresh Fried & Crispy (Season 1, 2021)

Currently watching: Who’s The Murderer (Season 7), Another Me

Looking at the list, I didn’t even realize how much TV I have watched. To be fair, I had 4 episodes left of Love Under The Full Moon when I started the month so not exactly hard to complete. The King’s Avatar was a rewatch basically because I think its a great choice as background content but also a great choice as a kickoff for my podcast concept which I promise is going into production soon. A little tired of my own procrastination. Just overthinking the whole thing at this point. Highlight of this month goes to Light The Night Part 3, the anticipation and wait was pretty worth it. Netflix will never see this but if they do, please don’t split a complete series into 3 parts. Its really pointless. Bridgerton Season 2 was also a bingeworthy watch considering I watched it over a weekend.

Games

  • Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master!
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
  • A Memoir Blue

Currently playing: Bloodroots

Even gaming had a lot of progress. I did play The Drum Master for the longest time but finally stopped when I hit a bug that kept shutting off the game on its own. A Memoir Blue is a one sitting simplistic narrative game that was pretty heartfelt and fits the Game Pass really well. The highlight is definitely House Of Ashes which I streamed shared story mode with my friend BrandelSavage. We do plan to play it again since there seems to be a few other paths to explore. I will also replay it on my own. Maybe on stream, who knows. I do want to start streaming which was also on my goals for this year especially since my office is moved, the only issue is that its now in open space so need to reconsider when to stream.

I guess this whole recap explains why I haven’t had adventures considering how abundant everything is. Its been pretty fun overall. April will be crazy work phase so expect a big drop in the next month although I also have some planning to do for this next month to get things ready in advance as much as I can.

Cute Kitty Pic

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

What’s Up & Adventures – February 2022

Welcome to the February 2022 What’s Up and Adventures! To be honest, February 2022 wasn’t all that eventful. I spent A LOT of time doing overtime for work like every year and it had a few winter storms in Montreal so freezing rain and snow and all the fun winter stuff that we get. Aside from that, its just been the basic February month as I slowly get back into the groove of things. Next month might have some fun stuff in the planning and some of the those goals to cross of my list from the beginning of the year so I’ll have updates on those then.

With that said, two little things to talk about for February 2022 Adventures (feel free to add air quotes to Adventures) since it wasn’t exactly anything super crazy but still, its something…

Chinese New Year – Year of the Tiger

February 1st was Chinese New Year. This year is the Year of the Tiger which means its also my Chinese zodiac year (which isn’t exactly a good thing if you are superstitious). I had the usual decorations and got a lovely bouquet of flowers. However, Chinese New Year wasn’t exactly a great time as well since we got some bad news right before the New Year with news of my grandmother’s passing (non-pandemic related, just age).

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2022

Ultimate Decades Blogathon is going on right now as it enters its second week. This year its featuring selections of films from myself and my fantastic co-host Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews and a wonderful line-up of guest entries with their choices of releases in a year ending in 2. The entries are rather expansive with one of them over a century old.

If you missed the entries, you can check out the list updated daily HERE.

That wraps up the Adventures portion of this post. Let’s move on to the What’s Up February 2022!

What’s Up – February 2022

Books

Currently reading: The Handmaiden’s Tale, The Hate U Give

Finally started up my reading of 2022 as I started off with the first book on my TBR pile of physical books sitting on my bookshelf, in an effort to finish up all those books this year or at least make some good progress with it. I haven’t seen the TV series for The Handmaiden’s Tale but I did pick up this book when the show was pretty popular. Its just never filtered through any of the streaming services so I haven’t caught up with it. I’m still fairly early in the book but its pretty decent so far.

As for The Hate U Give, I honestly just started it up because it was what I had on Google Play Books while I was waiting for an appointment. Its pretty decent as well. I have watched the film but never got around to reviewing it although I did like it quite a bit.

Films

  • Wild Beasts (1984)
  • The Girl Next Door (2004, Review)
  • The Tinder Swindler (2022, Review)
  • The Hustle (2019, Review)
  • Falling For Figaro (2021, Review)
  • Arachnophobia (1990)
  • Letters to Juliet (2010, rewatch, Review)
  • Tall Girl 2 (2022)
  • Love and Leashes (2022, Review)
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
  • Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)
  • Ali Wong: Don Wong (2022)
  • Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)
  • Into The Beat (2020)
  • Step Sisters (2018)
  • Porco Rosso (1992, Review)
  • Deep Rising (1998)
  • Drug War (2012)

I’m actually quite impressed with how I’ve moved forward with movie watching this month. A good portion of it is for an upcoming of Movies and Tea which is very early in production right now. However, I did start back up my double features originally starting them off in alphabetical order with a focus on teen and comedies since last month (although I think I forgot to mention it) but this month, its fallen away from it as movie watching intentions have changed a little.

With that said, my biggest recommendations would be Korean rom-com Love and Leashes and the creature feature Deep Rising. Both films are two that I’ve immensely enjoyed this past month.

For March, I’m actually thinking of working through some of the Netflix Asian film selections so I’m compiling a list to catch up on some of the titles before they eventually disappear from Netflix.

TV

  • Shining For One Thing (2022)
  • All Of Us Are Dead (Season 1, 2022) Review
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 4, 2012)
  • Catching Killers (Season 2, 2022)
  • Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021 rewatch, Review)
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 5, 2013)
  • Fishbowl Wives (Season 1, 2022)
  • Luke Cage (Season 1, 2016)
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 6, 2014)
  • Iron Fist (Season 1, 2017)
  • The Defenders (Season 1, 2017)

Currently binging: The Wolf

Oh boy, has TV been great! This month started off strong for a good half of the month with Chinese drama Shining For One Thing which was such a wonderful series that was not exactly what the trailer was but at the same time, added so many cool elements to it and some points to ponder. Much like Korean zombie series All of Us Are Dead which had some flaws but was a pretty fun one as well. Season 2 of Catching Killers is also a great one if you like the Netflix crime docuseries. The other part of the month went to sporadic watching of jumping back into Rupaul’s Drag Race for a few seasons and then with the Netflix Marvel series leaving Netflix in March, I tried to at least get “phase 1” (as I call it, not sure if that’s how its separated) ending with The Defenders watched in the final week of February. I’m leaving out Fishbowl Wives because that TV binge is coming up very soon so you can just read it then.

Games

  • Code Vein (unfinished)
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (Shared Story mode)

Currently playing: Bloodroots

In terms of games, I tried out Code Vein before it left Xbox Game Pass. I do admit that it is a lot easier to get into as a souls game however, still the learning curve is quite high since there’s a lot to ponder. Much deeper than the normal games that I play. I have been streaming co-op with my friend BrandelSavage on Twitch and trying out the Shared Story mode for The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope. We played through it once with a rather unsuccessful result of killing almost everyone so we are currently doing the second run of it. There’s probably one more stream of it left this coming Friday. You can see both our perspectives since I do stream my perspective over on my own channel. The Dark Pictures Anthology is pretty great if you like horror stories and it’ll be nice to see what other horror genres they plan to do in the planned 8 episode run that they have especially since Episode 4 is supposed to be released sometime this year.

That’s it for this February 2022 Adventures and What’s Up!
What have you been up to?
What are you reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up & Adventures – January 2022

Welcome to 2022’s first adventures post and its all new and shiny. If you missed the 2022 Upcoming Plans post, this year I’m trying out combining the What’s Up and Adventures. With the current state this month of Montreal, Adventures are rather thin although I’m going on a completely new journey internally and physically so that’s something. With that said, Adventures to begin and then we’ll wrap up with the What’s Up at the end for a monthly round-up of the books, films, games and TV that I checked out.

Letterboxd Year in Review

Films Logged: 219
Hours Watched: 472
Most Watched Actor: Samuel L. Jackson
Most Watched Director: Quentin Tarantino

Letterboxd Year in Review always arrives later than the year-end recap so here’s a quick overview of some of the stats there.

Booster Shot

Booster shot is done! It went much smoother than the second dose to my surprise. I was pretty happy about it though since it meant that I could still do some stuff during the weekend as I recuperated. Not much to say there. I just had a little pain in my upper arm and that’s about it.

11th Blogiversary

Its been 11 years of blogging with this blog! There’s been lots of ups and down in life and also a lot of changes in content and more projects coming and going. I had some plans for the blogiversary that kind of fell apart. There’s just a whole lot to be thankful for and really happy with how I’ve built this space even if sometimes it feels like blogging is a lot less popular and the familiar bloggers are slowly less and less everyday. Either way, I’m excited for this new year. Lots of fun stuff coming up that I’m just having a hard time getting off the ground mostly because of work deadlines and lots of overtime but that’s slightly better now so hopefully you will be seeing more frequency on the posting front!

What’s Up- January 2022

Welcome to the new style for the What’s Up as it pairs with the Adventures post! This time around I will leave most of the actual opinions to the reviews themselves which will be released within a month of completion for the most part. Might be a slow start yet again due to work schedule for this month however everything’s partially written. I usually do highlights as well for this section to share what I think stood out to me. In this new one, the titles will be in bold for those that I particularly feel is worth your time.

Books: Nothing yet. Books in transition to a new shelf.

Films:

  • The Birds (1963)
  • 6 Years (2015, Review)
  • All The Bright Places (2020, Review)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (rewatch, 2004)
  • Booksmart (2019, Review)
  • Carrie Pilby (2016, Review)
  • Kingdom of the Spiders (1977)
  • Poupelle of Chimney Town (2021, Review)
  • Alligator (1980)
  • Dude (2018, Review)
  • Every Day (2018, Review)
  • The F*ck-It List (2020)
  • Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian (2022)

TV:

  • Light The Night (華燈初上, Part 1&2)
  • Voir (Season 1, 2021)
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (Season 1, 2021) Review
  • Love At Night (夜色暗涌時, 2021)
  • The Silent Sea (Season 1, 2021)
  • Deadly Class (Season 1, 2018)
  • Too Hot To Handle (Season 3, 2022)
  • The Wheel of Time (Season 1, 2021)
  • The World of Fantasy (靈域, 2021)
  • Hellbound (Season 1, 2021)

Currently binging: Shining For One Thing (一閃一閃亮星星, 2022)

Games: Currently playing: Genesis Noir

Cute Kitty Pic

That’s it for this Adventures and What’s Up recap!
Hope you enjoyed it!
What have you been up to?

2022 Upcoming Plans!

Its 2022! After spending an entire year in the pandemic last year, life has definitely changed from watching new releases to just real life in general. Routine and everything has definitely taken a shift. Its the new year and we can only hope that we will hopefully escape the pandemic in some form in the coming year.

With all that said, yesterday we wrapped up with a 2021 overview and today is to share what to expect in 2022. Not a whole lot of change in general but for those new to the blog, it will give a general guideline of what to expect. I will try my best to achieve the majority of it but some things may not actually pan out. Its just how life works in general. If 2021 has taught me anything, its to just let things flow.

Enough of that and let’s move on to the actual plans!

BOOKS

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2022: 15 books

Last year was a massive fail in terms of reading. So I’ve basically opted to half the goal from last year. This goal feels overall attainable. One book or so a month seems pretty doable in general. I recently did a clean-up of my books and the goal is to go through the physical TBR books sitting on my bookshelves.

MOVIES

Movies will be basically the same thing as this year. I truly don’t believe new theatrical releases are in the horizon in terms of actual theatre visits so I’m going to focus on Netflix, Shudder and Digital rentals for most new releases. At the same time, this year’s big change is to take a year off of festival coverage. I will talk briefly about some life changes below as we get into some personal plans.

  • Focus on Double Features format
  • New releases or screeners get single reviews
  • Marathons:
    • February- Valentine Romance
    • October – Horror
    • December – Holidays
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon: annual blogathon that I co-host is back and announcement post will be coming in a few weeks
  • Movies and Tea Podcast: podcast that I co-host will simultaneously be shared here as we dive into more director filmography and themed seasons

TV

All TV binges this year will focus on Netflix content for the greater part.

Where will the Chinese-language dramas that I consume go? That’s in the next section below!

TRANQUIL DREAMS PODCAST

After a few months of hiatus, the podcast will be making a return. This time, I’m going back to the original concept of what I had initially wanted to do with the podcast: Chinese-Language Dramas!

The podcast still needs some structural elements to be finalized but I will be covering Chinese-Language Dramas. What does that mean? Mainland Chinese, Taiwan and Hong Kong TV dramas. The main focus will be those accessible on streaming services since they are becoming more and more available on Netflix alone and I feel like it doesn’t get talked about enough since there are a few gems in general.

I am debating to have a Chinese and English version but that’s a whole other discussion which I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to quite yet in terms of time and editing alone. I do also have another idea for moving the once Sunday lists here as a monthly podcast segment but its a little more work so still under consideration.

MONTHLY SEGMENTS

Mostly the same:

  • Music Obsessions: first weekend of every month
  • Adventures & What’s Up: combined together at month-end

PARTIAL REVIVAL: BAKING THROUGH DISNEY & STUDIO GHIBLI

Look, Baking Through Disney is behind us. There’s no point in dwelling on something that probably won’t happen at this point. I bake desserts pretty much once a year. I’m not saying that it won’t happen again since I have been having the thought lately (due to some upcoming changes) but it won’t be happening in a good part of this year. However, I’m going through a bit of a burnout on horror films which makes the movie portion for horror marathon a big maybe whether I will do it by October or not. Maybe I will be out of it but other factors come into play (also something mentioned later in this post).

With all that said, I’ve been missing animated films and think its a great time to jump back into it so I do want to review Disney films preferably in the order of the ones I have access to or can rent (unless Disney+ has another cheap subscription month), very much like how the original project was structured minus the baking and creativity part. With that, I do also want to go through the Studio Ghibli films seeing as they are mostly available on Netflix right now. Perfect timing and all.

PERSONAL LIFE GOALS (AND A LITTLE UPDATE)

Most of the blog stuff is pretty much updated above so we will do some quick personal life goals. Last year’s workout goal in general worked at its best during the summer. This year is a little bit more different.

Let’s start with the update and real life news/update that may create the biggest change for my life and blog. I’m pregnant and due in a few months so anything in the second half of 2022 will be a big unknown at this point. With that said, the life goals will be very much oriented towards this new change.

  • Eat healthier: For obvious reasons, this is already underway. I am in the process of boosting calcium since lactose intolerance doesn’t exactly help in that department. Along with that, also boosting fruit consumption since I was very bad at that last year.
  • Streaming Once A Week: After that one stream last year in March, I’ve been thinking of streaming regularly for a while but never really had the right timing. So, I thought I’d take baby steps and set in one stream every weekend. I will probably do an official announcement once I finally take the step to start it up.
  • Set Up the Nursery & New Office: The news above basically means I’m working on clearing out my current office to transform into the nursery. I mean, this is a gradual to-do list. There’s a general plan right now so this kind of links to the above goal since I do want to transition to the new office area in the house before streaming. Less hassle that way.

FINAL GENERAL NOTE FOR THE BLOG

I’ve been slowing down on writing this past year. A lot contributed to it. With the new changes in life, I don’t foresee writing frequency increasing and I don’t want to stress over it. The goal is to get a post up every 2 to 3 days. Plus, after a decade of blogging, I do want to jump into some new projects hence the solo podcast with this new structure and also streaming. Maybe when those things happen, I will also want to write more. It will take time for a new routine to build in so some of the newer things will be lesser frequency. Either way, I am going to maintain the quality instead of quantity.

2022 will hopefully be a great year despite the craziness in reality!
Happy New Year and Wishing Everyone All the Best!

Do you all have some new projects? Feel free to share it in the comments!

My December 2021 Adventures + Overview of the Year

After an entire year of pandemic (and ongoing from the previous year), we’ve finally reached the end of 2021. Its a tad wild and yet 2021 went by incredibly fast despite all the sitting at home, watching TV, playing games, and finding other ways from our own homes to connect with friends. Of course, the blog is not about that and while here took a little slowdown in the last few months mostly for personal IRL reasons, I still think it was very much needed. With that said, a little look at some simple activities in December. We will end with an overview of 2021: some simple numbers, and top 10 lists. You know, this is the normal deal on the last day of the year.

Christmas Decorations

Beyond Monet

Before things started getting worse in Montreal, we managed to make it to the Beyond Monet exhibit. Monet art is something that means a lot to me as art is something is what reminds me of my childhood with my father. With that said, this exhibit was quite the show as its a 360 wall of Monet art that flips through the details of each collection while pairing it with classical music (in majority, there was some opera as well).

OVERVIEW OF 2021

Its the end of 2021 and with that, its time for some quick numbers! First of all, we are dropping blogging statistics this year because its really not something that was top on my list this year. However, let’s focus back on the content that was consumed.

  • Total films watched: 215 movies
  • Total books read: 9 books
  • Total TV series binged: 69 seasons

Top 10 First Time Watches

  1. Hand Rolled Cigarette
  2. Vicious Fun
  3. Dreams On Fire
  4. The Final Girls
  5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  6. Inglourious Basterds
  7. Better Days
  8. The Dressmaker
  9. Hello! Tapir
  10. Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes

Top 10 TV series

  1. Flourish in Time
  2. Baking Impossible
  3. Our Secret
  4. Squid Game
  5. Moonlight
  6. Lost In Space (Season 1-3)
  7. Love Crossed
  8. A Murderous Affair in Horizon Tower
  9. Use For Our Talent
  10. Sweet Home

Overall, 2021 was a decrease in content in general for film watching in general. The actually movie watching for 2021 releases was all focused on what was accessible on streaming services or online. Some of which is still waiting to be written up. Less posts written, less movies watched, a new podcast (which is currently in hiatus for rebuild), more TV watching (I believe since I didn’t track it last year), an unbelievable backlog of movies and TV series to write up reviews and a whole lot less books read is where I’m at as we approach this year-end. However, its been a crazy year in real life so I think all things aside, its amazing that things are still running the way it is.

Drop by tomorrow to see the 2022 upcoming plans post!
There’s some little changes and announcements!

My November Adventures 2021!

Wow! November is already done! Some things wrapped up and the final film festival coverage wrapped up for this year already. A lot of little preparations went up and some more thinking started for next year’s plans. Basically a month with a few things that are too early to talk about but still a few overviews to work on.

Halloween Marathon Extended Done!

Last month, I made the executive decision to extend the Halloween marathon. Suffice to say that the big part of it was a fail however, it did give it a chance to align with the final film festival coverage of the year which had a few horror titles to add in. With that said, the next marathon is just around the corner so let’s hope that it goes better than this one.

Still, for those interested in the Halloween horror marathon list, its been updated on the menu already right HERE.

Blood In The Snow Film Festival

Blood in the Snow Film Festival was the final film festival coverage for us. There’s nothing else after this for the rest of the year as we head into the holidays and a lot of other housekeeping and year-end round-ups start up. The remote coverage for their on location film festival portion was pretty nice. I covered all the full-length features and due to time constraints didn’t get around to any of the short films. If you checked out the Halloween marathon link above than its essentially the same in part. However here are the films covered from my favorite to the least enjoyable:

Restaurant: 1930 Shanghai

After craving some soup-filled dumplings aka Xiao Long Bao for an entire month, I finally got to go try out this restaurant on location. I’ve only had them last year takeout. It was still great but the travel time does take away from the fresh hot element. I forgot to take pictures of the pan-fried dumplings but they were all pretty good. I do think that the pan-fried combination of chicken and cabbage wasn’t too great and the juicy sweet pork dumplings were a tad on the too sweet side and preferred the classic soup-filled dumplings and the pan-fried leek, pork and shrimp ones. These two were very delicious.

Announcement: Holidays Marathon

December is here and with that the holidays marathon. A little change this year due to the simple lack of material tp cover at the current moment that I am interested in and some other year end stuff to deal with so will probably start the 10th which gives it two weeks and possibly run further into before new year’s if there is suddenly more films to cover.

The Coming Plans Update (follow-up from last month…)

Last month, I had mentioned the possibility of talking more about my current predicament that is causing the whole lower frequency in posting, etc. However, after some thought, I wanted to talk about for the new year with my new plans. Give it another month to settle down and have some better routine before I talk about it. However, with that said, this so-called new routine is breaking in fairly well. It doesn’t reflect too much in the posting as I am still getting back into the groove but its definitely looking up. Either way, we will see in the coming month. But boy do I have some news for the New Year. Since let’s face it, December round-up is mostly year-end overview things and holiday stuff.

That’s it for the November adventures!
Not exactly any adventures to talk about but its kind of nice to get some stuff out of the way.
How has your November been?

My October Adventures!

Welcome to October Adventures! I’m going to say this right now…October was an adventure in some ways but nothing that I can really talk about here yet. Its some real life stuff that I’m working through right now which did cause some hiccups in the original blogging plans and well, the many festivals that happened to pop up with their last minute accreditation approvals so it was a little wild in general. Call this an update on the original commitments as a lot of stuff didn’t go as planned, but here we go!

Halloween/Horror Marathon – Extended

First things first, the main focus of October was the Halloween Marathon. Suffice to say, I stopped about halfway through the month and then switched gears into other commitments. Some did match the theme more than others but overall, I will talk about some little things happening potentially next month. Right now, I’m still working through it. However, because Halloween Marathon aka Horror Marathon is a big part of my year and I don’t want to cheat my way out of it as I haven’t even completed the main feature franchise film reviews, I’m going to be extending it for another 2 weeks or so to make up for the second half of the month. I still have some other reviews to wrap up which I will talk about in other sections of this update but it will be potentially going on simultaneously as I get rid of all the backlog in terms of movie reviews and festival coverage.

50th edition – Festival du Nouveau Cinema Overview

The first festival coverage to give me accreditation the day that it started was FNC 2021. Now, I’ve covered Festival du Nouveau Cinema a few years already and they have some great movies most of the time. Very arthouse and different from my normal wheelhouse including some Oscar nominated films even, however, the last minute thing threw me for a loop. Its not exactly anyone’s fault but my own since I lost track of what festivals I had applied for so didn’t realize that everything was clashing together. With that said, I truly did want to get more done for this festival however, due to work and life reasons, this festival was the one that suffered the most. It also occurred to me that this festival might truly be above my capabilities anymore as a lot of films while intriguing, its a sea of so many unknowns that in the process of decision-making, its a fear of choosing something that I didn’t like that worried me the most, causing less films being chosen as well.

However, I am still sitting on a few films that I haven’t reviewed yet. You can check out the films I have reviewed to this point. I did pick some pretty fun ones.

Compartment No.6
Bound
The Noise of Engines
Wood and Water
Days

I still have a short films compilation as well as two reviews coming up soon.

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2021

Toronto After Dark ran for a swift 5 days event. This is the first year that I got the full media accreditation and not only short films (which is what I got in 2019). In all my festival coverage time, I do feel that TADFF has the best press support team. I had issues with the virtual platform and they helped me out immediately that evening. Plus, the press coordinator was pretty cool and did check on likes and dislikes from the festival which I hadn’t got in other festivals before. A really lovely experience overall. The technical issues did set my coverage plans a little behind but I did end up catching everything that I intended on watching. With this being horror film focus during October, it did have priority during those few days and there were some fantastic discoveries.

You can check out the reviews below:

Canadian Shorts After Dark
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It
Post Mortem
Nightshooters
Ditched
The Free Fall

Blood in the Snow Film Festival

The final film festival to come in is Blood in the Snow Film Festival! Now, this one is a little unique as it has its virtual platform at as a three day event at the end of October. Suffice to say, no reviews have been posted considering the delay on my reviews over this weekend however, they will be coming up soon. There are a few films that I’ve reviewed previously so there’s only a few movies for this part.

However, this festival does have its on location festival (of course, I’m covering remotely as I’m not in Toronto) during November 18 to 23 which I will have reviews up for that line-up probably around mid-November. It might be the final wrap-up for the extended Halloween marathon as it seems to fit. If you are in Toronto, you can see if you want to go check it out. The line-up is on the website: bloodinthesnow.ca

Tranquil Dreams Podcast – Hiatus

As a final update, due to just everything going on, I’ve decided to put the Tranquil Dreams podcast on hiatus for now. I have other projects going on and coverage and its just too much at the moment. Plus, I’m not too happy with the What’s Up structure that I’ve been doing. I want to really focus on creating some shows that highlight my initial idea of why I wanted to start the podcast in the first place. Its going on hiatus so that I can get it back on the drawing board. Get some ideas and structure set and bring it back with content that I think will be more fun to record and more interesting in general.

ON THE SIDE NOTE: If you are looking for podcasts, I’m still co-hosting Movies and Tea and Game Warp with Elwood so you can still find them on most platforms where you can listen to podcasts. Movies and Tea is in its female directors season so you can check out which directors and their respective films made it on our list for this season.

A Little Life Update
(one of the reasons for the slowdown this month)

So…the last two updates I’ve talked about not feeling too good overall and its been truly taking a toll on me. As much as I want to keep the blog running as it did, I’m slowing down to focus on myself a little bit. Most of it is restructuring my lifestyle a little and getting back to some form of routine. Its working for the most part as you can see that I’ve been posting a little more frequently lately. However, I have decided to change my sleeping routine (aka sleep earlier) and get back to some healthy lifestyle with more workouts and healthier eating. This stuff all takes more prep time and dedication so more time there means less time for the blog. I am finding my routine over this month so its been going rather on track. That’s all I’m going to say for now but that is one of the main reasons.

I’m hoping that November will have some more normalcy in posting. The goal is to get a post up every other day. I’m definitely not lacking in content to write, but I just need to find time to do it.

That’s it for this October “Adventures”!
Hope you all had a Happy Halloween!
I sure hope everyone’s month has been much more exciting and healthier and feel good!