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.

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.

What’s Up & Adventures – July 2022

Adventures – July 2022

Motherhood and Recovery

If you were here for last month’s update, you know that I am now in the adventures of motherhood with my 1.5 months old newborn who as this post goes up is in his 6 weeks and the supposed peak of the fussy and crying phase and that’s a true adventure as we put on talent shows and silliness to try to keep him entertained as he refuses to sleep. However, we did get a few fun things especially since I am now basically feeling much better and mostly recovered. I did have a C-section so the wound feels mostly recovered but nothing too exciting to happen yet. However, we did start getting back to going out for little strolls and slowly lengthening them as my energy gets better.

Gardening Update

What’s our summer without a little gardening update. Our little container gardening isn’t really going too hot at the moment. The crazy swing in weather with the heat and the torrential rains aren’t exactly helping the situation. We did harvest 2 cucumbers and a little bucket of tomatoes and 4 strawberries. While the actual vegetable patch looks like an out of control nightmare which is going to be fun to fix up next year or even in the fall hopefully, the little bee garden is still surviving. The season of lavenders are here so its been lovely and I’ve been cutting some to put in the house.

That’s really it for adventures so let’s move on…

What’s Up – July 2022

Books – No time to do any reading this month…

Movies

  • It’s A Boy Girl Thing (2006)
  • Girl In The Picture (2022)
  • Banana Split (2018, Review)
  • Persuasion (2022)
  • Untraceable (2008)
  • Ma (2019)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey ( 2015)

Slowly picking up on some movie watching. Most of it were movies leaving Netflix in August. I do have to say that they were decent watches. Nothing spectacular but rather entertaining. Even Fifty Shades Of Grey was acceptable but in comparison to the novel, which I read quite a few years ago and my opinion has changed gradually over the years, it lacks some good bits of the novel but the film still highlights the essence of the story in general. Although my recommendation this month goes to Banana Split which was feel good and charming as a teen comedy. As for Persuasion, while its had a lot of grief from the general ratings, I felt it wasn’t all that bad. My review for it is coming out so I won’t dwell too much on it but its a rather lackluster adaptation mostly due to Captain Wentworth having a rather wooden performance and the chemistry just didn’t deliver. I mean, the movie did make me want to re-read Persuasion which is pretty much in the same level of love as Pride and Prejudice in terms of Jane Austen.

With that said, my fave watches of the months went to Netflix documentary Girl In The Picture which was a fascinating mystery and investigation to say that very least, which made me dig into the original exposure on Unsolved Mysteries. I also recommend teen comedy Banana Split which was my Friday Film Club pick. It looks at an unlikely friendship but still has some really fun feel-good vibes.

TV

  • Stranger Things (Season 4, Review)
  • Infinity and Beyond 聲生不息
  • Resident Evil (Season 1, Review)
  • Court Lady 驪歌行
  • Mom, Don’t Do That! 媽,別閙了!
  • The Chef Show (Volume 1)
  • Never Have I Ever (Season 2, rewatch)

Currently watching: Great Escape Season 4 密室大逃脫第四季, The Rap Of China中國説唱巔峰對決, Twinkle Love Season 2怦然心動20嵗第二季

TV has been an interesting month with a lot of new releases that I was able to catch up on while still trying to make my way through some new Chinese variety/reality shows and dramas. Stranger Things Season 4’s final episode came out and it was quite the season finale, unlike Resident Evil series that was fairly disappointing even if it had the right idea. The surprise series of the month had to go to Netflix Taiwanese series Mom, Don’t Do That, which I literally finished a few days before this post so the review is still in the works. That series was a ton of fun which takes a good look at mother-daughter relationships as they seek out out their own relationships.

Games

  • Lost Words: Beyond The Page (Review)

Currently playing: As Dusk Falls

Its been a decent month considering I still find some little moments to game. Lost Words: Beyond The Page is a fun little platformer which is mostly straightforward and linear. Its a word puzzle game and does a decent job at implementing it. The story itself is pretty good as it does a parallel of fantasy and reality. I’m currently playing As Dusk Falls which I literally just started for about 30 minutes. Its narrative heavy and choice-based so 30 minutes is basically just a set-up of the beginning right now. So far, its rather decent and I can’t wait to find more time to get back into it. This one is pretty good since it can have up to 7 players to join in via app on cellphone.

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

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?

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?

Tranquil Dreams Podcast #22: What’s Up 2021 Week 36 & 37

Welcome to Episode 22 of Tranquil Dreams Podcast as I dive into the next What’s Up 2021 doing a double week recap of Weeks 36 & 37. As reading gets set aside these weeks, I talk about the co-op game It Takes Two, a lackluster Netflix film, two Tarantino films and deep dive into a Russian horror thriller and a few variety shows both on Netflix and Chinese shows.

Thanks for listening and hope you enjoy!

Related Links

He’s All That – Film Review
She’s All That – Film Review
The Hateful Eight – Film Review
The Fatal Raid – Film Review

Music in the Episode:
There It Is by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/4519-there-it-is
License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Listen to the Show:
Anchor
Spotify
Google Podcasts
Breaker
RadioPublic