Welcome to the next episode of Tranquil Dreams Podcast! This week’s What’s Up 2021 is covering Week 17. We are officially back to weekly format.
In this episode, I take a look at what I’ve been reading, watching, playing and binging on Week 17 of 2021. Reading is a little uneventful however among the many things talked about in the other sections, some of the highlights are talking about what makes Dumplin’ a worthy rewatch, a capsule review of Oscar-nominated Chinese film Better Days as well a dive into the wrap-up of Chinese idol survival competition Produce Camp 2021 and their new temporary boy group INTO1. I also share some upcoming plans on new discussion topics on my mind lately to add some variety.
Welcome to the next episode of Tranquil Dreams Podcast! Its time to go back to a weekly recap for the What’s Up segment as I discuss what I’ve been currently reading, playing, watching and binging. This past week had a few film rewatches and a discussion of my love for Netflix guilty pleasure TV as well as my thoughts on some Chinese TV series that I wrapped up: A Murderous Affair in Horizon Tower and The Sword and the Brocade. Some of the few things that I discussed in this episode along with a touch on the lesser categories this week in reading and playing.
In a blink of an eye, February is over! A tad late, much like everything else in February. Its really unbelievable probably because the first two months of every year is just a pile of deadlines overlapping each other for work so I don’t really know what’s going on in actual life. Work is just taking a real good hit on my energy accumulated from the past year, so I just gave up on forcing myself to get some crappy post up and taking longer to release better content but less frequent. Hopefully you all have been enjoying the little content that I have posted up.
With that said, Montreal is definitely looking much more like winter in February. Some lower temperatures and a few snow falls and one or two snowstorms. With curfew still in place and things gradually opening back up more, its been rather mixed feeling on the whole situation in Montreal about how its improving on the pandemic front. The numbers sure look better but…as this post goes up, spring break (aka what started up the pandemic last year) is also happening.
With that said, all the everyday life stuff caught up, here were some few highlights of February! There’s not a lot as you can probably imagine but still, here we go!
Valentine’s Marathon (kind of)
Like past years, I tried to get a Valentine’s Marathon going! Try being the key word here. It was probably the last amount of posts and the furthest from the actual tentative schedule that I had initially planned. Still, I tried to do the most I could. I still managed to get my highlight post to end the marathon done and less movies meant some better picks overall. You can check it out HERE.
Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021
We’re halfway through Ultimate Decades Blogathon currently (well, in the last week of it). The changed format is pretty cool and the selections by our guests have been very interesting for sure. If you haven’t caught up with it, you can check out the entries HERE.
Chinese New Year Celebrations
Chinese New Year came around on a super busy phase and with the pandemic, it was a very simple version. I did manage to pick up some beautiful flowers. The bouquet split into 2 vases: one just tulips and the other of the rest of the batch. My mom also gave me some forsythias. The flowers did give the house a nice burst of energy and aliveness.
International Packages Arrived
I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided ordering online was a good idea. BUT, everything arrived after the expected over 1.5 to 2 months time. The first from Hong Kong (ordered at end of November) as I had this weird rush while browsing through an online store in Hong Kong to find a film and ended up picking up three movies, 2 of them that still hasn’t popped up on any online streaming service over the span of the wait. I can’t wait to watch them.
Next is a bunch of T-shirts from QwerTee (ordered end of December) which I didn’t take a picture of when I got the package so here’s a few of them. I have a Digimon Agumon Digivolve that’s currently in the wash and I also got my husband a FF7 Continue screen. It might have taken a while to get here but the quality is pretty nice. They do have some pretty good designs.
Update: Tranquil Dreams Podcast
As some of you may have noticed, Tranquil Dreams Podcast has been far and sparse and that mostly has to do with the real life job that’s taken over my life. With that said, as much as I wanted to do the podcast, I just took into consideration that there was no way that I could do it. However, instead of going back to the old written format, which I did for 3 weeks, I’ve decided that podcasts will aim to be weekly but if they aren’t, then the podcast itself will cover the missing weeks, just for my own organization sake and not having to flip back and forth as its a bit crazy some times to track. However, it will not exceed every 2 weeks.
Its FINALLY time for the next Tranquil Dreams Podcast!
After a few weeks off from the podcast due to work reasons, its time to get back on track. While the past 3 weeks of What’s Up had reverted back to the written format, this episode will not only cover the Week 7 recap but also mention some highlights of the last few weeks!
With that said, Week 7 had some signs of getting back on track. I talk a little bit about some of the future plans coming up as things slow down for next month or in the near future at least in each of the categories. There is some new little things and ideas that I had talked about before but haven’t had time to work on.
One thing that I do apologize for mostly in the second half of the podcast is that I’m having some minor sinus issues so I had to clear my throat here and there and then take a little break in the second half as it was starting to really bother me.
So…work apparently has no sign of slowing down. While I wanted to shift things around and get out 2 podcasts next week, I decided its probably best to just clear out this week before it gets further behind. I’ll have a bigger show the week after as a quick recap over the missed weeks. I realize that a lot of this weekly recap is rather ambitious thinking on my end however, things will get back on track once work slows down. Anyways, I will talk about the hectic work schedule in the next adventures post but for now, let’s check out the What’s Up and what’s been going on (obviously not too much considering my time is all spent on work).
Currently reading: The Visitor
Its disappointing to say but I’m still working on The Visitor as I fall further behind on the reading commitments. I’m just hoping to really find some time to get in a few hours and finish up this one and get the review out at this point.
Currently playing: ReCore
As a way to relax a little, I started up ReCore on the Xbox Game Pass that I had downloaded a long time ago but kept skipping over it. I didn’t play a whole lot of it, probably about a chapter or so. Its a rather decent game to say the least. The world and the gears and all is fairly easy to control and work on. There is different enemies and such that make it pretty cool. Of course, I’m still at the beginning so lots of time for it to ramp up in difficulty and challenge my limited gaming abilities especially when it includes shooting although I do love games with lock-on targets.
With that said, Steam Game Festival also started up since February 5th and I’ve been checking out some of those games. They belong to the next week so I’m going to talk about them all in the next What’s Up, hopefully in podcast format since I have some some thoughts and a good bit of games to play which I’m hoping to get an impressions post up on Game Warp. Suffice to say that progress is very slow.
Valentine’s Marathon has started but its a rather rocky road as with the current state, only 2 movies have been watched so probably the remaining bits will be mostly TV binge backlogs at this point. However, I’m still working hard on it. Luckily, the start off point was pretty good as Isn’t It Romantic is a fantastic romantic comedy that mocks romantic comedies so very fun overall.
As for the other two films, I had to bump those up in the watch list as I realized fairly last minute that they were going to leave Netflix Canada. With that said, these two were alright overall. Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings is a few sequels in this franchise which I’ve only seen the first movie eons ago and haven’t seen anything in between so its a fresh watch however it feels pretty standalone so it was easy to follow and the whole monster designs and stuff in the fantasy elements are done super cool. As for Lila & Eve, its a revenge thriller sort of deal. The story itself is a pretty good and the twist is fairly decent although it feels like at one point, it has a few clue-ins on what the twist might be. However, Viola Davis is such a great actress that this movie is lifted up because of her and even for myself who isn’t such a big fan of Jennifer Lopez as an actress thought that she did a decent job.
Locke & Key (Season 1, 2020)
Currently binging: Who’s The Murderer S6, Shine! Super Brothers, Fourtry S2, The Treasured Voice S2, Share Life, Sweet Home S1, Beauty From Heart
As some of the shows start tapering out and some of slowly fallen off the radar for me, I’m actually clearing up some space for some upcoming shows that I have my eyes on and others that I want to finish from before once things calm down. However, I did decide to start up Locke and Key which is the definite highlight of this week since I did finish it fairly quickly. A great premise and well done show. I’m looking forward to Season 2 for sure. Plus, I’ve been looking through where to get the graphic novels to give it a read when I get the chance. This one is right up my alley.
As for currently watching shows, its really a lot of the same. Beauty From Heart has ended when this post goes up but these posts are generally a week in delay. I’m bumping it to talk about next week instead. Boy, do I have a lot to talk about for that show. Fourtry S2 and Shine! Super Brothers are also in the last few episodes as well. The husband and I decided to start up another Korean TV series so that’s the new addition as we started watching Sweet Home. I can’t say its as fun as Uncanny Counter and I’m super tired so reading subtitles is not something that I do for a long time so we’re about 2- 3 episodes in at this point.
That’s it for this What’s Up! A little disappointed to not get a What’s Up podcast done this week but instead of pushing it back a few days, going back to the written format keeps things a little more organized on my end. Some normalcy have mid February for sure. No guarantees on podcast next week but I’ll definitely try if things run smoother than anticipated at work (which is never the case as I’ve grown to realize).
What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?
As you can tell, I’m still working out the whole recording and editing schedule so its getting published a little later than I’m hoping for.
This episode of Tranquil Dreams Podcast, we take a look at Week 2 of 2021 for the next What’s Up weekly recap of what I’m currently reading, watching, playing and binging and the highlights of each segment along with a description of the new additions to the rundown and some impressions and thoughts.
Hey Everyone! As we approach the 10th blogiversary of Tranquil Dreams, its time to kick things into action with a new shift and that’s the official first episode of Tranquil Dreams Podcast! I’m a little uncertain about how it all sounds and stuff since I criticize myself a lot and I’m not a fan of listening to my voice. Bear with me as I find the whole pace of solo podcasting and hopefully become a mildly entertaining host for the show! Its a fairly personal project since its going to be talking about things that I like.
Regardless, first episode will give a quick intro on what’s in store for Tranquil Dreams Podcast and the things that I will discuss and followed with the official move of What’s Up 2021 to podcast format with a recap of the first week. Episodes for What’s Up should go up every Friday at no set time (until I find a rhythm) then the goal is to get it out in the morning. Eventually hopefully moving to Thursday (fingers crossed). I haven’t edited in a long time so its taking longer than I imagined.
You can find the podcast on Anchor and Spotify as well as listening it via the player above.
As our holiday lockdown continues, we’re keeping very much to ourselves and waiting for our virtual game night with the normal NYE crew, I’m taking a little time to relax and put together the last post of 2020! Suffice to say that My December Adventures is less adventures and much more a recap of the year to the current highlights of the blog. Let’s go!
The only thing to highlight for December is that the Holidays Marathon happened. It was fairly well planned but not as well executed! However, it still happened and its all updated on the page HERE.
Its time for the recap of this year and where we’re at now. I want to skip through stats in general this year as its something that I’ve looked at fairly little although I am happy that in 2020 in terms of views did go up compared to the past year or two (at least from a quick glance).
Honestly, I’m a little surprised that the TV Binges for the Chinese dramas are ranking top posts for what I released this year. Some posts that I put a lot of heart into so I’m glad that they did top the list. I did 3 of these thinking that it was just for my own liking and not thinking anyone would be too interested. The Top 10 all time is not anything from this year but some older posts.
Books: I had set a goal of 25 books for the Goodreads Challenge and ended up reading 26 books.
According to My Year in Books on Goodreads, I read 5,129 pages with an average rating of 4.1 stars (which is fairly high).
While the ratings might change if I were to go back to look, the books that have made an impression:
Buried In My Past by Eva McKenzie
Blackthorn by Terry Tyler
Undead Ultra by Camille Picott
Conscience by Jonathan Pongratz
The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Movies: According to Letterboxd, I watched 267 movies this year. I know that I did watch a whole bunch of short films that weren’t on the list and some festival films as well. So its definitely a little more than that number.
My top movies watched in 2020 (doesn’t have to be released in 2020):
One Cut of the Dead
Sheep Without a Shepherd
The Oak Room
TV: With over 15 TV binges sitting in backlog from this year alone, I have some work ahead of me. However, here is the list of 8 TV series that I saw this year (not all aired in 2020):
I’ve been focusing on Chinese dramas lately and because of that, it will bring in some changes for 2021. However, as we wrap up 2020 , I just couldn’t choose 5 so that’s how we’re at 8. And that isn’t even mentioning some of the variety shows that I watch which is a huge amount as well.
I’m sure all of you have better things than to sit around reading my recap on the year (despite the pandemic situation) so a much shorter post than previous years. By the way, this post published marks the 300th post published this year. The only little stats that I want to share. Its definitely not the best years in terms of posts but in terms of views, I think its been very good. Plus, I can’t remember the number of followers last year but I’ve past the 3000 followers mark so its pretty awesome!
With that said, that’s it for the December Adventures and 2020 recap! I have some small changes for 2021 that I’ll announce tomorrow!
The last full week of What’s Up 2020 is here! With some a days off for the holidays and the holiday lockdown, its been a lot of time at home to get things in order. I’ve been doing mostly catch-up on backlog and housekeeping for the blog. You will see that a lot of the indexes are mostly updated at this point except for the last few posts that need to go up that will be updated as they are published. With that bit out of the way, its time for the bigger announcement which I’ll leave for the end.
Whether you decide to skim through this post or go directly to the bottom, What’s Up 2021 is having a little change so be sure to check it out!
Currently reading: Wayward Kindred
The Christmas holidays are done and there’s no more immediate reading commitments so its back to reading Wayward Kindred. I am hoping to finish it before the end of the year. Only a few days left but the to-do list is shrinking a little everyday.
A Way Out
Currently playing: Tell Me Why
With the holiday lockdown in effect, the husband and I spent Boxing Day catching on our own projects (blog for me and stream/gaming videos for him) and of course, finishing A Way Out which is an awesome co-op game experience. The characters and the co-op elements down to the cinematics are great. I am trying to get a review out for it.
Its time to get back to Tell Me Why! My game pass was renewed so gaming hopefully will be focused on using that to the max.
Not a lot of new viewings but I rewatched Angela’s Christmas Wish to get the review out and that was pretty great. Everything for watching was on Christmas day. The only change was that we rotated in Krampus which I always forget how much fun the movie is.
Our Song (Season 2, 2020)
Dance of the Phoenix (2020)
Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 3, 2011)
Currently binging: Meeting Mr. Right S3, Shine Super Brothers, Midsummer Full of Love, Who’s The Murderer S6
TV is definitely calming down. The only new addition is Midsummer Full of Love which I am almost done with and the new season of Who’s The Murderer that I’ve been waiting for it to start and the first episode was really good.
Wrapped up Dance of the Phoenix and the binge so go up soon since I do have some thoughts on it. I am still working slowly through Rupaul’s Drag Race and finished up Season 3. My highlight for the week goes to Season 2 of Our Song (which apparently has a second title called Singing with Legends). Chinese TV and variety shows are a bit odd in that way. The best part of Season 2 is that a lot of the “legends” are singers that I’ve grown up listening to or even before that but still very popular and renowned grouping. I personally don’t think that the winners are exactly the best vocal pair-up however, they did deliver some really good performances throughout the show so I can see how they are favorites since I do like them a lot also.
With that said, I will highlight some of during the upcoming Music Obsessions however, here’s a video from Our Song Season 2 of a classic as the ending performance with all the teams in the finals.
What’s Up Changes in 2021
I had debated whether to leave this as an announcement for the New Year’s post. Seeing as there isn’t a whole lot of other changes, I figured that I’ll share it in advance! What’s Up is moving to a podcast format. Fingers crossed that I can keep up with the weekly recording and editing! With that said, its not just its own podcast but more like adding to a podcast network of little discussions for Tranquil Dreams Podcast. I’ve been pondering the idea for a long time as a Youtube but realized that I would never get around to editing that many videos so this is the best solution. I’m not too great at audio editing so bear with me as I get those things polished over time!
That’s it for this last What’s Up for 2020! What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?
Week 50, friends! Its almost the end of the year (not that you didn’t know that). I’m drowning in work so I have this really bad feeling that the next few weeks is going to be fairly lackluster. My only hope is to at least get the holiday films reviewed as for once, I’m ahead of watching but reviews are falling behind. Other than that, I’m taking a quick moment to do this post so let’s get straight to business!
Currently reading: The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel
Reading as usual is another read for blog tour happening this very week. I joined fairly last minute to this blog tour so I’m later on, leaving a few more days to catch up. By the time this post goes up, I should be near the ending of the book. So far, its decent and gives off some vibes from some other stories that I’ve read and watched in movies. I feel like, there’s still space for some twist so we will see.
Anno: Mutationem Demo
Currently playing: A Way Out
The Game Awards happened and as its virtual this year, it lead to a spiral of other things going on including The Game Awards Festival which had a list of demos to try out. I think they also had it on consoles and other platforms but I stuck with Steam and tried out 3 of them. Some other ones I had already looked at the demos before and decided to not try again to see whether it was an expanded demo or not. Like mentioned above, tight on time so needed to make choices. All three were pretty good with Selfloss more my type of game and Anno: Mutationem, one that I’d like to also check out.
However, nothing like highlighting some gaming time with my husband as we checked out the first chapter or two of A Way Out. Its a co-op game so it was a pretty decent time. We’re still super early in the story so we should dive back in when I find some more gaming time.
Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
The Prom (2020)
The Grinch (2018)
You know, a few decent watches this week overall. Its mostly for the holidays marathon. In technicality, Mank should be the highlight of this week. I can absolutely see the merit of it and we are releasing an episode of it for the David Fincher season for Movies and Tea and I’ll have a review for it later on. However, biopics just aren’t my thing especially when its on content that I don’t know anything about. Zippo about Citizen Kane or the screenwriter so to me, this was a normal film and a long one at that.
With that said, at my high stress phase right now, I just want to relax so The Grinch is actually my highlight for the week. Its the holidays and I do think its a fun one. Better than that horrible one from 2000 but still not as good as the original, however, it makes enough changes to still be fun and its super cute in some parts. I had a fun time with it and that’s what I ask for in animated films.
The Romance of Tiger and Rose (2020)
You Are So Sweet (2020)
Currently binging: Meeting Mr. Right S3, Our Song S2, Shine! Super Brothers, Dance of the Phoenix
We’re getting quite thin on the TV side of things. I’m actually surprised that I have officially nothing going on. I do have stuff that I started but didn’t go back to but that doesn’t really count. Both series that I was watching, one binged in a few days over the past week and the other wrapped up its final episode over the weekend so now my slate is clean. Even variety shows are rather thin and one of those is wrapping up in the coming week as well. I’m going back to watching series aired earlier this year with Dance of the Phoenix and I’m not too sure about how I feel one episode in. But its too early to judge although I’d like to know why its so popular.
However, the two series that I did finish are really equally good. The only reason that I want to highlight The Romance of Tiger and Rose is because its a little more unique. I like that they twist the premise a little plus both of the lead actor and actresses actually surprised me. I’ve seen the female lead in another series before and wasn’t a huge fan although I do like Ryan Ding, the male lead even though I’ve only seen him in another variety show and part of a series that I never finished (mostly because I forgot about it).
With that said, seeing as I’m all out of TV series, I’ll probably go back to The Wolf and start up a new series that I’ve been waiting for, Legend of Fei. There’s also one more that’s showing on iQiYi soon that I wanted to check out since I did pick up an annual VIP access during Black Friday. Probably see if I can start up another series but I do want to give more time to catch up on writing when I can.
That’s it for this recap! What have you been reading/watching/binging/playing?