What’s Up 2020: Week 20

Another week has passed and I’m going to say that Week 20 was a rather low point for myself. The week itself had a few issues that lingered on my mind and made the entire week rather unproductive. Perhaps its mildly the lockdown getting to me but then at least things did round out better on the weekend as the weather got better.

READING

double barrel horror vol. 3

  • Double Barrel Horror Vol.3 (Review)

Currently reading: To Wake The Dead (The Dead Dreamer #2)

Reading is definitely back on track as I have managed to get in more time for reading every day. At least its progress from no progress, right? I wrapped up Double Barrel Horror Volume 3 really quickly as I needed to get the blog tour done. I’ve moved onto the last book from the first batch of reading commitments of this year that I had wanted to get done earlier but didn’t end up doing but its better late than ever. To Wake The Dead is the sequel of To Dream is to Die (review) which I read earlier this year in March and was an incredibly enjoyable read.

PLAYING

need for speed no limits

Currently playing: Need For Speed: No Limits, Color Spots, Happy Color

Mostly mobile games in the progress right now as I haven’t quite been in the mood for starting anything more challenging. Our next Game Warp recording is just around the corner so I need to get cracking on the next game. Its going to be an interesting one to say the least and one that I’m looking forward to. New game that I tried this week is Need For Speed: No Limits which is quite similar to console games like Most Wanted and the newer titles where its campaign and cops chase and different races and moving up the racing world. I still think the thrill of playing on mobile is not quite as good as on console but why  not, right?

WATCHING

exists

  • Exists (2014)

Slim pickings when I only watched ONE movie last week, right? Exists is on Shudder currently and is directed by one of the directors of The Blair Witch Project (review). Its still a found footage project with what seems like a fairly low budget (although I haven’t done any research on that yet) but instead of supernatural lores in a forest, its also set in a forest with bigfoot roaming around. While my opinions are rather mixed, it had its charm and I’ll talk about it in an upcoming double feature.

BINGING

youth 2018

  • Youth (2018)

Currently binging: The Love Equations, Yes I Do 2, Me to Us, Welcome Back to Sound, Youth With You 2, Produce 2020

As variety shows are flooding my currently binging category, I had to start looking for something that was all released to have a proper binge among my rather subpar week and ended up starting (and finishing) Youth, a 2018 series about flat with 5 university roommates and their trials and tribulations through finding themselves, embracing their relationships as well as resolving their own “ghosts”. Its been one thats been on my list for a little while and it had a decent amount of episodes and I’m a big fan of watching stories about girls and their friendships/sisterhood that builds.

A few of the currently binging is in its final week or two and should wrap up soon. Its a good thing since there are some new series landing and playing right now that I’ve put aside due to the long currently binging list. Its hard to track all the days of new episodes landing sometimes. Two ending soon would be The Love Equations which has one more weekend to go and Youth With You 2 which has two more performances before their big reveal of who makes it into the final 9 girl group. Some optimal group choices has pretty much fallen apart at this point but luckily, some of my faves are still in the running. Its good also because its hard to track all these trainees between Youth With You 2 and Produce 2020 just starting.

That’s it for What’s Up Week 20!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

My April Adventures!

As we step into April, the world is in a surreal state with COVID-19 running out lives back to the safety of our homes for those who aren’t essential services and/or can’t work from home. I don’t want to talk too much about it on the other posts but as Adventures is more of a personal offering, its hard to not touch on it. I’ve been saying whenever I mention this that its important to stay positive and with that said, we look at the pros of the situation (despite all the bad) and that is we learn to appreciate and be grateful that we still have this blogging community to hide away from the surreal reality surrounding us.

Working From Home

There’s not much to say about working from home other than the fact that April was a crazy month. March was just adjusting to working at home and then April hit so hard because staff decrease and I had to work a 2 person workload. Luckily, I had some help as I slowly got the office set up with the printer and getting new cartridge and stuff that took longer than usual to arrive because of the current situation. I’m starting to realize how hard it is to work non-stop for such a long time. Luckily, April is over and my staff will go back up to almost normal so I can work through May, hopefully more peacefully!

Game Warp Podcast
(& Learning About Headliner)

Game Warp is slowly coming back to life as we settle through our direction and how the shows that we’d like to do in the coming while. Our latest podcast is a review discussion on Life Is Strange 2 which recently won the BAFTA Games Award for Best Performer in a Leading Role with its character of Sean Diaz. We did record this before the whole awards thing so its just a coincidence that we released it at the same time.

As I struggled through how to structure the audio podcasts to be more appealing, my wonderful co-host told me Headliner which is how I made this video. Learning about new things is one of the fun things about blogging and podcasting. Hopefully you like the podcast! Of course, you prefer the audio version, you can find us on Anchor and a ton of other platforms.

Right before this post went live, we released another episode for Game Warp as a list/discussion piece on Greatest Female Characters as well as listing our favorites.

Garden Coming Alive

I do have a bunch of pictures for another Instagram post but then I never go around to posting it up. The garden is indeed coming alive and much more vibrant than the beginning of April. Blueberry is starting to show signs of life along with raspberry and strawberry. The trees are coming back as well. Then we have the perennials especially the new ones last year in the bee garden are mostly all coming back! I promise to share pictures soon on Instagram!

Movies and Tea Podcast

Nothing like blogging more and recording more for podcasts during this time. Movies and Tea is releasing on a good schedule now as we are having a decent backlog! Its all thanks to my awesome co-host Elwood who gets all these shows edited and released, of course! Ang Lee season is almost over. Above is the penultimate episode of Ang Lee for Lust, Caution.

On other news, which I hoped to share with you all this time around, Movies and Tea Podcast will be on Youtube soon. Its a new avenue and will be done with Headliner in the audio format as well. The channel is set up but its mostly putting up all the archive episodes gradually. I’ll give an update in May for sure!

New Objectives

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Everyone is trying to make the best of staying at home as something that they are tackling. I’m sure when you flip through your feed that you see a ton of your own friends tackling baking, cooking, entertaining others through music, streaming, etc. For myself, I’m more of an introvert and while I did say that I would stream if I got to work at home during this ordeal, things didn’t quite turn out that way, as explained in my “Working at Home” section above. However, I did set myself a new goal and that’s to pick one song to play on the piano really well (maybe not perfectly since I’m far from that) but be able to play it and sing at the same time. I’m mostly doing separate practicing right now: piano and singing done separately but soon, I might be able to start putting it together. The song that I picked is Encounter by Stefanie Sun, which is one of my favorite songs and I used to sing it well enough but singing is a tad rusty nowadays. Call it practice or whatever but its been really fun doing this.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this April Adventures!
What adventures, right? Shameless self-promotion is what this mostly consists of!
I’ll try my best to get a better routine down in May once I have more time!

What’s Up 2020: Week 17

Another week has gone by! I’ve been swamped in work and will remain this way for the next weeks of recaps (or so). Who knows, right? Either way, I’m still trying my best to work hard on different things.

READING

Undead Ultra

Currently reading: Undead Ultra

Reading is still suffering the most out of this whole working from home and change in work situation where my workload has increased immensely. I haven’t been able to find time or energy to get around to reading. Hopefully it will change in the coming week as I set some reading into my actual schedule.

PLAYING

concrete genie

  • Concrete Genie
  • Bounce that Bird (mobile)

Currently playing: Happy Color, Faraway: Galactic Escape, Color Spots

Wrapped up Concrete Genie for Game Warp recording so you can look for that. Concrete Genie was an anticipated game for 2019 and snuck under the radar and honestly, it lived up to most of my expectations. It was something dark and colorful and hopeful all at the same time and was a ton of fun just making funky genies and painting walls.

I’m still working through mobile games that were part of the Google Play Indie Game Festival Finalists for some quick mobile game roundups.

As I renewed the Xbox Game Pass for PC for three more months, the next game to tackle will FINALLY be Ori and the Will of the Wisps once things settle down soon!

WATCHING

the willoughbys

  • Rambo: Last Blood (2019)
  • The Changeling (1980)
  • Deadly Detention (2017)
  • The Willoughbys (2020 Review)

A little bit more movie watching this week and surprisingly, we even managed to catch a new Netflix movie, which is honestly a rarity and I’m not sure why since I don’t even go to theatres anymore (even when they were open or when they reopen). The list here is one rental, one Shudder movie, one random choice for upcoming double feature setup and the new Netflix movie. It was honestly a battle between The Willoughbys and The Changeling for the recommended movie this week and the Willoughbys won out because it was what I needed and I just had a ton of fun watching it. You can check out the review, which I have already done (I know, I’m surprised also), linked above.

BINGING

theuntamed

  • The Untamed (2019)
  • The Singer 2020 (2020)

Currently binging: J-Style Trip, Love Equations, Me To Us, Youth With You 2, Welcome Back to Sound

Everything that I’m watching, I absolutely love. Last week, I finished up The Untamed. While I have to say that The Singer 2020 was pretty fun to watch, The Untamed was really great. Its been probably about a week as I type this up and man, I’m still thinking about it a lot. The little subtleties, the story, the character: so much thought and care has been put into the detail because of the source materials direction adapted for the strong censorship in China. I didn’t care too much about Yibo Wang before but I’m starting to see something with him but more than that, I absolutely love Sean Xiao even more. So amazingly talented.

As for currently watching, Love Equations reached its halfway point and its still very enjoyable and really nice to watch just like its sister series before. Me To Us and Youth With You 2 are two really great reality shows to create a band and girl group respectively and so far, its been pretty fun especially when it comes to discussing what each of these things mean and especially the former, talking about the challenges of finding a balance of bringing something new and still being accepted by the market. Very grounded in its concept when creating these bands and performances, in the making for its final band. The new addition here is Welcome Back to Sound on Mango TV. Its rehashing the radio broadcast concept onto an online live podcast where people can call in with their personal questions and send in traditional mail that will be replied by QR code message reply or read out loud. It has three hosts and two to three guests, so its pretty fun as well as some of the stories that are shared is pretty touching.

That’s it for Week 17!
Thinking back, I did manage to put some effort in catching up on certain things!
Now to schedule in reading time! Should be better in the next recap *fingers crossed*!
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?

What’s Up 2020: Week 16

Welcome to Week 16 of 2020! Self-isolation has been going on for a month or so. Its been quite an experience. I can’t say that I’ve been able to do a whole lot of things different from usual since work has been quite busy and its all about getting through April. Week 16 was a lot of wanting to do something but not being able to because of work overtime or home things.

READING

Undead Ultra

Currently reading: Undead Ultra

Still reading Undead Ultra and I can tell you that I’ve moved forward very very little. The time to read wasn’t quite as much as I’d like but I am aiming to finish the book soon. Its not a particularly long novel but I just need to sit down to do it.

PLAYING

doors awakening

  • Doors: Awakening

Currently playing: Concrete Genie, Happy Color, Bounce That Bird, Color Spots

I’ve been working on a lot of Game Warp stuff lately. Concrete Genie is our upcoming game of the month so its one that I’ve been playing through in preparation for the next recording. As for the other games, Doors: Awakening is a game very similar to other puzzle games published from Snapbreak and its part of the Google Play Indie Games Festival Finalists along with Bounce That Bird and Color Spots and a whole bunch of free games that I’ve been playing through for a little capsule reviews, something like a Mobile Game Roundup.

WATCHING

The Farewell

  • The Game (1997)
  • The Farewell (2019)
  • Black Mountain Side (2014)
  • Berlin Syndrome (2017)

I have a ton of movie reviews lined up to write so all of these are currently in line to be written. This week’s highlight goes to The Farewell which I finally got around to seeing thanks to a cheap rental. Its a great film. The story and characters and whatnot all make for a great watch. Other movies in here are for Movies and Tea recording (you can guess which one yourself). Black Mountain Side is a movie on Shudder which I personally don’t recommend but apparently some people on Letterboxd seem to like it more than I did. While on the other hand, Berlin Syndrome ended up being surprisingly decent and Teresa Palmer acts in her own Australian accent instead of playing an American so that was quite a surprise as well.

BINGING

breakfast lunch and dinner

  • Find Yourself (rewatch 2020)
  • Too Hot to Handle (Season 1, 2020) Review
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Season 1, 2019)

Currently binging: Me to Us, The Singer 2020, The Love Equations, J-Style Trip, Youth With You 2, The Untamed

As usual, with a lot of work, TV is the most abundant thing since I like binge-watching on my spare time the most. Plus, TV means a lot of times that I can multitask and that was exactly what I needed. After some though, I decided to watch Too Hot to Handle and it was something that fit into my current mindset so I even finished up a review so you can read my thoughts there. I did a rewatch for Find Yourself which I’m working on a review right now and then wrapped up Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner which was a decent structure as a documentary series. While I like the Ugly Delicious style of docuseries, I like this one a lot too.

Currently binging is really not that different. The Singer 2020 is about to end as they wrap up the semi-finals and head into the finals in the coming week. J-Style Trip is my filler show since it only has one episode a week and it blends well with Me To Us that updates one episode a week on the weekend. I’m enjoying everything that I’m binging right now actually and its just a matter of choosing which I want to watch and which to watch over the course of the following week although my weekend mornings are watching the premieres on Youtube for The Love Equations so I binge those 4 episodes released over the weekend a lot. That series is so fun. On the other hand, I finally started The Untamed which was a HUGE deal last year and I can see why as I binged 10 episodes in one day and if I kept this pace, it’ll be done in no time, even at 50 episodes total. Lots of great TV to watch and catch up with!

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?

What’s Up 2020: Week 13

Moving right along now into Week 13 of 2020! This week’s recap was the first official week of self-isolation. While life didn’t change much except for moving work to my home office and its been a whole more of deliberately staying at home, the good thing is that writing is definitely more on track and I’ve found more time to do other things in these different categories. On the positive side of things, we’re progressing!

READING

Blackthorn

Currently reading: Blackthorn

Blackthorn is moving forward FINALLY! I’m finding time to read again, although not quite as much as before. However, I’m definitely hitting the meat of the story as I hit almost halfway. I do plan on finishing it soon as I have another book to start reading very soon in preparation for the next blog tour.

PLAYING

where the water tastes like wine

Currently playing: Demon’s Tilt, I Love Hue, I Love Hue 2, Happy Color, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Definitely moving forward with a lot more games this week. Still mostly focused on mobile for relaxation and then checking out other games on Xbox Game Pass for PC. I’m debating to keep it a little longer than the three months since I have a few other games to check out that might take some time to finish like Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Guacamelee 2! As for this week, I started up Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an indie game that is really narrative and part choice-based to direct the story in a different way. I just realized that the game is fairly long (like 10 hours) and I’m only like an hour into it so I still have some gaming to give more thoughts on it. On another note, I’m trying to use this time to get more gaming posts up. First line of business is the revival of Mobile Games Roundup!

WATCHING

aliens

  • A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
  • The Guardian Brothers (2016)
  • Aliens (1986, rewatch)
  • Alien 3 (1992, rewatch)

A ton of rewatches this week and really only one new watch. I had postponed The Guardian Brothers so long that I felt like I wanted to rewatch it to get a review out. We’re really ahead for Movies and Tea recordings so you can kind of guess who we chose for Season 5 seeing as I went ahead to revisit some Alien movies. The husband actually did watch all the first 4 but I actually fell asleep (because of fatigue and not the movie’s problem) for Alien and then I’m not a fan of Alien Resurrection so, no surprise, I actually dozed off also. Either way, it helped to catch the little details. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t reviewed the Alien franchise yet. I had thought that I did so I might be doing a Sunday Lists posts to rank the movies thus far!

BINGING

The Circle Brazil

  • The Circle Brazil (Season 1, 2020)

Currently binging: Skate Into Love, Me To Us, Youth is You 2, The Singer 2020, J-Style Trip

Lots of TV back on the radar now. Three Week Event of The Circle Brazil wrapped up and its still such a great concept as a show. With different countries and different players, the game changes and its a refreshing way to see the outcome. Its great since The Circle France is around the corner and what’s even better is that now I can watch it with more ease as I understand French!

As for currently watching, J-Style Trip released its next episode with guest star JJ Lin exploring Singapore in a 2 part trip. The first part is whats available and pretty fun since I’ve liked JJ Lin as a musician as well and fits so well since he had just did a live online concert with friends for his birthday. I finally got started with Me to Us and I love it SO MUCH! Not hard to since I can’t help but fangirl over Nicholas Tse who in his late 30s is still AWESOME! So much style on stage! As for Skate Into Love, this series is one of my most anticipated this year since I like Janice Wu as an actress in TV series and she was pretty quiet in 2019 and so far, its been really fun! Its supposed to be the part 2 of a trilogy following Ashes of Love (review). Plus, its only 40 episodes, which is fairly modest for Chinese dramas.

That’s it for Week 13’s recap! 
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?

What’s Up 2020: Week 12

Week 12 everyone! I’m guessing everyone is starting to settle into having more time at home. Last week, aka this week that we’re covering right now, was my last week having to commute to work and under a lot of stress of how to make as many preventative measure as possible so that actually affected a lot of writing. However, I did try to stay on track with doing as much as I can. Next week will definitely bring some difference hopefully as work shifts home.

READING

Blackthorn

Currently reading: Blackthorn

As I’ve mentioned before, most of my reading is done via commute. Due to the preventative measures during commute, I actually stopped touching my devices on the bus so hence, no reading was done. Blackthorn is still on my mind and as this goes up, I’m back to reading. However, absolutely no reading progress last week. I’ll talk more about it in next week’s update!

PLAYING

Demon's Tilt

Currently playing: Demon’s Tilt, I Love Hue

Not too much of change in the gaming department either! I actually have been pretty obsessed with these two games. Pinball games just bring out the challenger in me apparently and I keep wanting to beat the game and beat my own high score. I’m actually improving in it which is pretty nice. Hopefully that I don’t peak at a certain point, but that tends to happen. We will see as I do also need to move on and play something else.

At the same time, I Love Hue is perfect for downtime. While I’m still loving this one, I realized that they recently released a sequel called I Love Hue Too and I can’t wait to try it out! I’ll report back next week to talk about it once I give it a go.

WATCHING

blair witch project

  • The Blair Witch Project (1999)
  • Blair Witch (2016)
  • Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel (2018)

Unknowingly, we ended up watching all horror movies this weekend. The one thing that was unexpected was finally catching up (for both myself and my husband) to the very talked about The Blair Witch Project when it was first released and probably put found footage films on the map back then. I still remember hearing all kinds of talk about it back then about the shaky camcorder style and such. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person who hasn’t caught up with this one. While I can’t say that I’m completely enthralled by it, there are quite a few things that I did like about this one.

Of course, this was all lead by my husband’s random choice to start 2016’s Blair Witch thinking it was 1999’s Blair Witch Project so we just decided to rent the first and check both of it out. Of course, we also decided to continue on with the Hell House LLC franchise onto the second movie, which isn’t as good as the first one.

BINGING

restaurants on the edge

  • Restaurants on the Edge (Season 1, 2020)

Currently binging: The Singer 2020, Youth is You 2, The Circle Brazil, Skate Into Love, J-Style Trip

TV binging is just all kinds of new things that updated daily or weekly with one to four episodes depending on the series. The Singer 2020, Youth is You 2 are both variety shows from Mango TV and iQiyi that I watch via their international apps. I’ve been watching those the past while so nothing new there. Still very fun. The Circle Brazil aired its 2nd week of its 3 week event (so it will all wrap up next time) and you can see the difference of the competitive vibe in this one compared to the US version. I’m going to talk about it once the whole thing ends. Its definitely a fun concept. J-Style Trip is also a new Taiwanese variety show with Jay Chou and his buddies exploring the world. Suitable for now as a lot of us are sitting at home. Its pretty fun especially since the first episode is was Jam Hsiao, a musician that I’ve really been loving the past few months, but its only updated one episode per week. Good things come in small doses, I guess, and makes us appreciate it more. Finally, a series I’ve been waiting for to start finally aired called Skate Into Love and its update daily and 5 episode in and I LOVE it!!

We switched things up a bit this time and talked about the currently binging before what I finished. Restaurants on the Edge is a Netflix series about making over restaurants. Its something of a Queer Eye concept but targeted at restaurants around the world as the three hosts help with making over the interior design, food as well as bringing in the culture for the owners and the vibe of the restaurant. Its really nice because it may be a makeover but its so much more than that, which is what I appreciate about the show and I’ll talk about it more in the TV binge. Working on that soon..but as usual, the TV binge is piling up right now.

That’s it for this What’s Up 2020 for Week 12!
What are you reading/playing/watching/binging?

 

What’s Up 2020: Week 8

Welcome to the continuous hectic weeks of February! We’re heading towards the end of February and this obviously recaps the week prior so its just still a bit nuts. I’m trying to keep up with everything as much as I can. Some things popped up as well while wrapping up other little things.

READING

to dream is to die

Currently reading: To Dream Is To Die

Reading is still pretty good. I’m managing to keep up with the whole reading on the bus in the morning routine. It gives me a good lead on a lot of the reading and with sufficient time and not too long books, which is mostly the ones I have coming up, most of it is on track. Plus, reading in the morning is always a great way to start the day. I’m still reading To Dream Is To Die. Its definitely picking up and the story is panning out better. I have some little issues right now with dialogue but I’m not even halfway so I wonder if its deliberate. We will see whether its a character thing or just something less to my liking.

PLAYING

reigns game of thrones

  • ClusterTruck

Currently playing: Reigns Game of Thrones

Like I said last week, I’m going to try this week to make the most of the Xbox Game Pass for PC that I have up until April. Before any big games, which I just don’t have time to commit to right now, I’m playing games in little doses. The first that I installed and then removed within less than half an hour was the desire to try out ClusterTruck which is a fairly simple control type of game but also a tad frustrating to get through levels at a certain point. I figured that I’d seen most of what it had to offer so uninstalled it. If I was in the right mindset, I would probably have played it longer but unfortunately, I’m just not. So, I moved onto something newly added which is Reigns: Game of Thrones.

I’ve reviewed the previous two Reigns games and go back to play them on my phone every once in a while. Playing Reigns on PC is a pretty neat experience as it feels more cinematic, which makes me wonder if its just the Game of Thrones angle that adds to it. I’m still unlocking characters and figuring out how to do it so probably will be working on this for the next week or so. It feels more objective oriented so its pretty fun.

WATCHING

FIRST-LOVE-Poster-1382x2048

  • Life of Pi (2012)
  • The Swan Princess (rewatch 1994)
  • Battle of Jangsari (2019, Review)
  • Bait (2012)
  • First Love (2019)

Between Movies and Tea which brought viewings, rewatching The Swan Princess as its great to pair as background viewing and the fantastic two screeners that I got over the past week, its been really good on the viewing front. Everything has been a nice surprise overall. I won’t talk too much about Life of Pi as that’s a Movies and Tea recording and then I got to catch up with Bait which has been on my watch list for a while and it didn’t disappoint. My movie of the week has to go to one of my screeners, although both are pretty good, First Love is awesome! Its full of a good balance of fast-paced action, crime fights between yakuza and triad, clueless pairing getting caught up and some incredibly funny and quirky characters. Its fun and exciting to watch.

BINGING

Find Yourself

  • Dad Where Are We Going (Season 5, 2017)
  • Find Yourself (2020)

Currently watching: The Singer 2020, Love Is Blind, Eternal Love of Dream

TV binge definitely is what I wanted to have accomplish.  I ended up wrapping Dad Where Are We Going 5 and Find Yourself, both were pretty decent watches. If anything, Find Yourself was overall just a fun little watch with a lot of pink hearts floating around a lot of the scenes. It was a bit frustrating in the middle but still managed to pull itself through in the end.

Due to the coronavirus in China, The Singer 2020 actually has changed its structure to an online format with its designated audience watching live as the singers perform in their respective cities and studios/homes. Its an interesting way to do it but still manages to keep it interesting. Other than that, Love is Blind should be wrapping up in the finale this week. I’m still uncertain how I feel about it as its more of something I’ve been watching in the background. While Eternal Love of Dream is at the phase where I’m saving up episodes so skipped a week to pile up more to watch in a binge when I have more time.

That’s it for What’s Up!
What have you been watching/reading/playing/binging?