Tranquil Dreams Podcast: Episode 1: Intro & What’s Up 2021: Week 1

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.

With that said, links mentioned in podcast:
What’s Up 2020: Week 52
Game Warp Podcast: Life Is Strange
The Farewell Review

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

Thanks for listening! Hope you enjoy!

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

Happy New Year’s Eve, my friends!

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

Holidays Marathon

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

2020 Recap

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

Top 5 post published in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 52 Let’s  Wrap Up the Year!!

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!

READING

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.

PLAYING

  • 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.

WATCHING

  • Angela’s Christmas Wish (2020 rewatch, Review)
  • Elf (2003 rewatch, Review)
  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983 rewatch, Review)
  • Krampus (2015 rewatch, Review)

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.

BINGING

  • 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?

What’s Up 2020: Week 51

Time sure does fly as we jump into almost the last What’s Up 2020. Almost. This week was a little bit of this and that but still some thing were done. Writing posts are still a bigger challenge as I constantly just didn’t have time for it yet.

READING

  • The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel (Review)

Currently reading: Wayward Kindred

After last week’s update, I did manage to finish The Haunting of Gallagher Hotel which was a pretty good book overall. I already have the review up so you can check that out. As I have no more commitments in terms of reading until next year, the goal is to wrap up Wayward Kindred before the year ends. It shouldn’t be an issue.

PLAYING

Currently playing: A Way Out, Tell Me Why

Working on two games currently, much like last week. Tell Me Why is the next Game Warp review selection. I haven’t progressed this week from the last. However, the husband and I have made some progress in A Way Out. Its been pretty fun and has a good pacing for the story. Its more of a weekend gaming thing so we will see how long it takes to finish.

WATCHING

  • Guns Akimbo (2019)
  • Still the Water (2020 screener)

Movie watching was a bit scarce. I watched the rental that was going to expire, Guns Akimbo. To be fair, both of my movies scored about the same for me but Guns Akimbo has the advantage of being a more fun and fast-paced movie that it gets the highlight since the chances of me rewatching it is a little higher. There are some issues with it. I did also get a screener for Still the Water which is currently in the festival circuit. I should get a review for it in the coming week.

BINGING

  • Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 1, 2009)
  • Rupaul’s Drag Race (Season 2, 2010)

Currently binging: Our Song S2, Dance of the Phoenix, Meeting Mr. Right S3, Shine Super Brothers, Rupaul’s Drag Race S3

As a side entertainment, I went ahead to check out Rupaul’s Drag Race. There’s a lot of seasons to catch up on so I’m slowly working through it. I do have to say from where I’m standing, the first season was the most enjoyable so far and I’m halfway through the third season as I’m writing up this post. Because of that, I decided that I’m going with another series that I’ve preferred over this week and the only drama I’m currently watching. Although there’s a few series that just released that I’ve like to start but I’m sticking to catching up with previously released series that I missed. I won’t catch up with everything but at least I’m working through the more accessible Tencent dramas and working through those TV binges. With that said, highlight for this week is Dance of the Phoenix which I have to say, I was a bit reluctant about at the beginning and it still has some issues with it now that I’m nearing the end but there’s a balance between the comedy and drama that I can get behind, even if sometimes it does feel unbalanced. Either way, I will talk about it soon in a TV binge.

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 50

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!

READING

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.

PLAYING

  • Olija Demo
  • Selfloss Demo
  • 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.

WATCHING

  • Mank (2020)
  • Operation Christmas Drop (2020)
  • The Prom (2020)
  • Body (2015)
  • 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.

BINGING

  • 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?

What’s Up 2020: Week 49

Another week has gone by! This week was pretty good. Got a little bit of everything done!

READING

  • Egg by Ross Victory

Currently reading: Wayward Kindred

A little bit of reading this week as I prepared for the next blog tour commitment for Egg which is coming out tomorrow. I won’t say too much since its a short story as to keep a bit of freshness for the review. Its an interesting one to say the least. As for other things, I’m still slowly reading Wayward Kindred, which I do want to wrap up before starting up the next novel for another blog tour commitment. I really need to organize these blog tour commitments a little more sparsely.

PLAYING

  • Gnog

Currently playing: Hyperdot

The highlight for this week is Gnog that I completed 100% achievements on Steam. Its a rare situation so I like to mention it. With that said, its a fun little puzzle game with some great soundtrack. Its super feel good and just made me so happy to play it. I probably will do a quick little review for it.

I’m starting to work through the Xbox Game Pass. Its going to be the priority for this coming month as of end of November. I’m trying to at least get through some of The Game Awards nominated games available there while also playing some games that I’ve wanted to play in a while but didn’t get around to the last time I had the Game Pass. Maybe I’ll keep it for another month depending on how I feel and how much time I can commit to it in January. The first game is a very simple game called Hyperdot. I’ve played other games similar to this before so it doesn’t feel that unique but visually its done pretty good and there is a certain amount of variety. I’m halfway through at Level 50 and just wondering whether there’s anything else that will be new. Might stop and move on to something else if nothing new happens by Level 60.

Game Warp has finished up some production meeting so we’re going to be back on track which means, I need to get back onto the planned gaming and get some more content out. I’m planning on having some streaming plans that probably will start early next year but maybe earlier, if I figure out a schedule.

WATCHING

  • Angela’s Christmas Wish (2020)
  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

I’m focusing on the holiday films lately to get this Holidays marathon going on right now with more content. Fairly ahead with movie watching, just a little behind on writing. Honestly, these two new Christmas/Holidays films are pretty decent. I do like Jingle Jangle for that one thing that its a pretty fun musical and the whole set and music is rather good. Although that’s not saying Angela’s Christmas Wish isn’t good which hit me in the feels with their ending.

BINGING

  • Forget You Remember Love (忘记你记得爱情, 2020 Review)
  • Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas (Season 1, 2020)
  • The Holiday Movies That Made Us (Season 1, 2020)
  • Everybody Stand By 2 (Actors Take Your Place 2, 2020)

Currently binging: You Are So Sweet, Sing or Spin S2, Shine! Super Brothers, The Wolf, Our Song 2, Meeting Mr. Right S3, The Romance of Tiger and Rose

Would you look at that? I’m working on my TV binge stuff backwards as I mentioned last week (or in the Adventures post, I can’t remember). Anyways, it seems to be working out much better than the prior plan. Sadly, Forget You Remember Love wasn’t my highlight this week. It just was too long. You can check out the review linked above. It was pretty cute in parts but some parts was just a little too frustrating. For people who are big fans of the original series, they might still enjoy this one though.

My highlight this week goes to Everybody Stand By S2 which is an actor competition variety show. Its for different actors from various backgrounds and experiences to perform in a competition with renowned directors on different pieces to finally stand out in the end based on audience and industry votes as well as online popularity votes. I never saw the first season but this season did reveal a lot of really great actors and actresses as well as some familiar faces. Plus, the director crew are all rather well known with Vicki Zhao (best known for her directorial piece So Young and her actress career in Shaolin Soccer), Kaige Chen (director of Farewell My Concubine), Derek Yee (Director of Full Throttle, One Night in Mongkok, Shinjuku Incident) and Jingming Guo (Director of Tiny Times, Cry Me A Sad River). An outstanding crew of directors to say the least which makes it all the more fun to watch.

With that said, some new additions this week as I continue to work through the popular series that I skipped over this year with The Romance of Tiger and Rose as well as starting up a new variety show called Shine Super Brothers to create a group of more sophisticated performers/celebrities, etc. I’m watching it mostly for some of the celebrities that joined the show. Plus, I did finish 2 Netflix Original series. Holiday Home Makeover and Holiday Movies That Made Us both were pretty fun to watch as well and only 4 and 2 episodes respectively so very quick binges. I’ll be doing a post for it soon so I won’t talk too much about it right now.

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 48

Another week flew by! Only a few weeks until the end of 2020! Busy times, right? Things are doing alright the past week as everything was fairly balanced. Some new, some old! More details in each of the sections below!

READING

Currently reading: Wayward Kindred

Reading took a little bit of a back seat as I was getting back into some gaming, mostly because of the Xbox Game Pass acquisition. I did start up Wayward Kindred and its a graphic novel so should be done soon. Still the standards that I expect of it.

PLAYING

  • Wandersong

Currently playing: Gnog

Seeing as I already hinted on gaming in the section above, I might as well jump straight to the chase. Right after acquisition of the Xbox Game Pass, I realized that Wandersong was one of the games leaving on December 1st so scrambled to get it started. While I didn’t end up finishing the game, it was still a rather fun experience. I don’t think it had much more to offer from where I was but seeing as I didn’t finish the game, I won’t be reviewing it just to keep things fair. Still, its a fun musical platformer. Pretty basic overall with controls but a little getting used to for the music elements with the controller’s right stick especially in one of the later puzzles.

I also started up another incredibly fun and feel-good puzzle game called Gnog that I picked up during the Autumn Steam Sale. Its worth all the $2 (or something) that it cost me and so much more. The design is so colorful and the puzzles are pretty fun. I have one more level to go and some hidden achievements to hopefully unlock to 100% the game. Its so enjoyable that I actually do want to redo the levels.

WATCHING

  • To All The Boys P.S. I Still Love You (2020 rewatch, Review)
  • The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two (2020)
  • Halloween (2018)

Not super exciting on the movie front. The next week should be better as a lot more Christmas/holiday movies have been released. I did a quick rewatch of To All the Boys 2. The new watches go to newly released sequel The Christmas Chronicles: Part 2 which was pretty fun overall. That’s definitely the highlight for this week. Now, if someone could sell some of those elf plushes, I’d buy them.

The second movie is 2018’s Halloween which I’ve heard some good stuff. Honestly, I have some mixed feelings about it although its better than some of the sequels already made. I’ll talk about it later in a double feature or something in more details.

BINGING

  • Professional Single (2020)
  • Detective Chinatown (2020)
  • Sugar Rush Christmas (Season 2, 2020)

Currently binging: Our Song S2, Meeting Mr. Right S3, You Are So Sweet, Sing or Spin S2, Detective College S3, Everybody Stand By S2, The Wolf, Forget You Remember Love

I’ve been on a quest to catch up on some TV that I missed. I might have mentioned it in the Adventures post or last week’s What’s Up. I checked out Detective Chinatown which was 8 episodes long so very quick to binge on iQiYi site. Sugar Rush Christmas’s second season also came out and its more of the same but was pretty fun as always and of course, my highlight for last week is the highlight this week as that was a super fun series. With that said, I’m changing my TV binge strategy since there’s too much backlog so I’m going to work on these TV binge in priority and work my way backwards.

Nothing new in the variety shows department however in the quest for catching up on TV drama, I started up Forget You Remember Love which is a China remake of 2005 Taiwanese series Prince Turns To Frog. I can’t remember the original anymore but I believe its on Netflix. This year has been a whole lot of 2000s Taiwanese series remakes, it would seem. I just wonder how relevant 2000s storylines work today since for myself, its already a lot of “been there done that” just longer in length.

As a side note, I’m working on how to slot in a tentative schedule for all the TV binges that I’d like to post so hopefully see some more of those posts going up.

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

My November Adventures

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

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

Blood in the Snow Festival

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

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

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

New Restaurant

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

New Spices & Masks

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

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

Black Friday Haul

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

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

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

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

Christmas Marathon & Upcoming Plans

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

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

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 47

Welcome to another Weekly recap! Week 47 friends! Its almost the end of 2020 and winter is definitely arrived for us as we’re snowing outside as this posts goes up! Its been a decent week overall. Sorting out a few things and finding time to do some other bits and pieces of stuff. Work is still a bit wild so I’m taking it easy on the blogging front so its been fair and few for posting schedule (which let’s admit is close to non-routine at this point). Let’s check it out!

READING

Currently reading: Wayward Kindred

I haven’t actually started it but I figured I needed something to cleanse my palate from reading novels so I wanted to check out my latest graphic novel addition from TO Comics that I had backed for Kickstarter. They always publish really awesome content but they had mentioned that COVID-19 has caused some potential issues so hopefully, it won’t be the end. I haven’t gone back to check on the news regarding the TO Comics situation. Excited to start this one up.

PLAYING

  • Typoman: Revised

We finished an entire game in one sitting on Saturday night which was crazy. Its been a while since we’ve done that. Typoman: Revised is a pretty fun platformer. Short and sweet for the most part. Its fairly straight-forward and plays with the use of battling with words. The words do get a little more repetitive by the end as to which to make but the final battle is about quick reflexes so that was pretty fun. I’ll get a review on Game Warp soon. Game Warp activity should be getting back soon with written reviews as our main focus and the podcast being discussion content but we are organizing schedule to make it all work out right now. Too many projects, too little time..haha!

WATCHING

  • Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given (2020)
  • Dumplin’ (2018)
  • Work It (2020)
  • The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020)
  • The Crossing (2018)

This week has been pretty great on the watching front. A good pile of fun stuff. Kevin Hart’s latest Netflix Comedy special is very to the times as the audience is all wearing masks plus, its overall a fun time. Some bits worked a little less but that’s normal in any stand-up comedy show. I had a lot of laugh out loud moments so for me, that’s already pretty good.

On the movie front, there were some meh movies but I’ll talk about Princess Switch’s sequel for next month’s Christmas rundown. The movies that I’ve been watching on repeat a lot in the background or whatnot is Dumplin’ and The Crossing. Dumplin’ is a feel-good movie through and through and The Crossing is this indie Chinese film that is done so well. Every time I watch it, I see these subtle details that make it even better. Really awesome stuff! If anything, its made me really focus on hunting down some indie Chinese cinema. There seems to be a lot of hidden gems and some upcoming talent to discover.

BINGING

Currently binging: Meeting Mr. Right S3, You Are So Sweet, Professional Single, Walk Into Your Memory, Our Song S2, Sing or Spin S2, Detective College S3, Everybody Stand By S2, The Wolf, Nothing But Thirty

Everything I’m watching is fairly decent although I’m debating whether to finish Walk Into Your Memory right now as its starting to lose its appeal halfway through. Professional Single and You Are So Sweet are my faves as its really just sweet romances overall but Professional Single is ending soon so I figured I’d share that one since the pairing is really cute.

As for new series, I started up a ton of new things, the only two that will stay right now is The Wolf which was a surprise drop that came with a lot of news which is why it caught my attention. Plus, its the first series of Sean Xiao released after the dumb news stuff that happened in February 2020 which I believe might still be stirring up another wave of stupid, but hey, I support the guy since I don’t think the situation is his fault. This series has high potential to be those revenge and love stories which I might find frustrating. Right now, its still okay. We will see since Sean Xiao hasn’t even showed up yet. I’m hoping his existence will help since I’m really not enjoying the main actress’s acting style. Some issues but nothing detrimental just yet since its only 6 episodes in.

With that said, I decided to finally start Nothing But Thirty because that was the breakout series this year about three ladies in their 30s experiencing different things. It churned up a lot of talk and its been recommended to me so I figured that I’d check it out. I’ll report back when I get further whether I think its worth all the chat.

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

What’s Up 2020: Week 46

Its another week! And I finally remembered what day of the week it is! Improvements, right? Getting things back on track and trying to pull myself out of all this delayed posts that need to go up. Either way, this week was okay. I took things a little slower but its all moving forward gradually. Plus, its mid-November, which means I can start putting Christmas decorations in the house which making this gloomy autumn feel a little less gloomy.

Enough rambling, lets see what’s happening!

READING

  • Nothing Good Happens After Midnight (Review)

Currently reading: The Girl on the Train

After a huge reading frenzy for Nothing Good Happens After Midnight, I managed to get it up on time. Its a pretty decent book and definitely so because of the authors that was involved in all the stories compiled. I’ve only actually read one or two authors other works in this list but definitely going to look up some of their other books.

However, The Girl On The Train has been sitting around in the currently reading for a while so I’m going to work on finishing that. Once that’s done, 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge will be done and I can start surpassing it. I shouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch though, right?

PLAYING

  • Double Kick Heroes

Currently playing: Numberzilla

Technically speaking, Double Kick Heroes is still something that I’m playing. I did finish up the second difficulty, Hard Rock and will working on some of the achievements. However, I’m on the 3rd difficulty Metal and I might have plateaued at one of the levels so I’m going to put it aside and start something else on PC soon while having it in the background as something to go back to. Double Kick Heroes is still a fun game. There’s some hidden achievements that will open up new levels that I’m aiming to do. For rhythm game lovers like myself, its a fun one especially since it packs the beat ’em up concept and zombies and metal. For a non-metal music listener typically, I liked a lot of its music.

As for right now, I’m playing Numberzilla on mobile. Surprisingly zen experience. It plays with matching numbers and a little simple addition to play through the puzzle. A fairly challenging sort of game seeing as I’ve only been able to clear the board once (or it might be just my own issue).

Still thinking about the next PC game to check out, I’ll check in with that next week.

WATCHING

  • The Reef (2010 rewatch, Review)
  • Robin Hood (2018)
  • Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia (2020)

A quiet movie watching week as I spent more time reading over the weekend and watching some TV and such. Either way, I did a rewatch for upcoming Season 6 production for Shark Week for Movies and Tea for The Reef. It’ll be a while before that gets released. Finally went back to finish up Michelle Buteau’s Netflix Comedy Special, Welcome to Buteaupia which was pretty good overall.

That leads up to the only new watch of the week making it no choice but to highlight it and that’s Robin Hood. It’s an alright movie. Its pretty much what is expected for this one. I had rented it as a cheap rental and it was going to expire so had to watch it. I do like the Robin Hood story and they shuffled it around a little. I couldn’t help but compare it to the Robin Hood segment for Once Upon a Time though, which feels like I probably shouldn’t…

BINGING

  • Dash + Lily (Season 1, 2020)
  • Love Signal S3 (2020)
  • The Journey Across The Night (2020)

Currently binging: Meeting Mr. Right S3, You Are So Sweet, Professional Single, Walk Into Your Memory, Our Song S2, Sing or Spin S2, Everybody Stand By 2

This week saw a few shows wrapping up. Love Signal Season 3 had its final episode where it had people from all three seasons showing up for a final little talk. I’m sure its a last minute arrangement due to issues with one of the candidates for Season 3 making them have to edit out a lot of content. At the same time, I also started up Dash + Lily on Netflix in preparation for December content. Its a fun series especially in COVID times where we can’t go anywhere and it goes on a little New York adventure.

However, my highlight goes to The Journey Across the Night which ended. The series itself is pretty good. I just thought maybe they ended it at a point where it could have gone on to more interesting premise. I’m hoping its all a plan to have a Season 2 but I don’t know. It has a focus on mental illness and the ending hints at this misunderstanding of this mental illness that takes on nice little twist. Either way, I’m going to do a TV binge on it at some point. Maybe clear out a bunch of this before the end of the year (which seems like it’ll arrive faster than I can imagine).

The only new addition this week would have to be starting up a drama that was released earlier this year called Walk Into Your Memory also starring Eden Zhao in You Are So Sweet. I have to say that I still like it using his own voice instead of being dubbed. Either way, we will see how both pans out. I can’t say I’m really engaged in Walk Into Your Memory so its something of a filler series right now.

That’s it for Week 46 recap!
What have you been reading/watching/playing/binging?