What’s Up & Adventures – September 2022

ADVENTURES

Halloween Marathon

Its the time of year again, even if I think its a bit hard to believe we’re already here. I’m going to admit right now that this may go very bad with very little output as mostly my sporadic lack of sleep does affect my writing efficiency. However, Halloween Marathon is something that I truly enjoy and with some changes in circumstances, via a one-month sub of a streaming service that I will talk about in the Movies section, I have some great choices to add to the line-up plus Netflix and Shudder has some nice stuff to watch as well. If you follow me on Letterboxd, you know what I’ve been watching and what reviews will be coming up. With that said, the first post for the marathon starts tomorrow. Expect TV binges and Double Features in the line-up.

Baby Update

Triple V has been quite a bundle this week as he passes his 3 months. For Chinese people, we like to celebrate 100 days so my mom got him some little gifts. On top of that, his 100 days also signified a change because he’s a whopping 15lbs now which means he can’t sleep in his bassinet anymore and had to be moved to the crib. The transition was the biggest highlight since we had just mastered some great sleeping habits in the bassinet to find that the transition to the crib felt almost like it was starting all over again, which was a little deflating on our already lack of sleep and slowly gaining back sleep stage. However, as I write this post, it was really only the first few nights with the first where Triple V decided he wanted to explore the ENTIRE space and started going in circles and then getting himself stuck and woke up and cried. A few days later, he is still doing it but all the trying to flip over and the getting stuck and waking up is done. He now wakes up mostly in desperate hunger and some weird need for attention in the early mornings but mostly he can go back to sleep fairly well or get himself out of the corner on his own. Slowly we will get there…

Exercise Update

Its been over 3 months so I’ve been taking longer walks now. I’m not jumping into intense exercising (not that I’ve done that in a long while) so its mostly morning and evening strolls with Triple V and they are gradually getting a bit longer. While I can’t remember to track everything,

Broadwalk “Hiking” – Marais de la Rivieres aux Cerises

Marais de la Rivieres des Cerises

With the whole exercise chat, we decided that we would go for a little fall foliage since we seem to always miss it when we go during Thanksgiving. However, this year it seems everything is a little delayed so we were a tad early. There were some areas with a lot of trees that had changed colors but a lot of places that didn’t really have it yet. It was nice to take a little easy hike even we had already been here before (probably about a decade ago) but this time it was a little first road trip adventure with Triple V.

WHAT’S UP

Books

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty (Review)

Currently reading: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3), Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle

Look at me and reading. I can’t really recommend The Summer I Turned Pretty and you can read all about it in the review. In terms of YA novel content, The Lunar Chronicles does a better job as Cinder is a stellar book and its sequel is passable so I decided to start that one up but then got attracted to my new purchases of Kiki’s Delivery Service (which I never read the source material before) and Howl’s Moving Castle (which I have but wanted to re-read). I should finish a part of that list during October, let’s hope.

Movies

  • Spirited Away (2001 rewatch)
  • The Reef: Stalked (2022)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004 rewatch)
  • The Little Mermaid Live (2019)
  • Waitress (2007)
  • Hocus Pocus (1993 rewatch)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (2018 rewatch, review)
  • Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy (2022)
  • Death On The Nile (2022)
  • Turning Red (2022)
  • The Maze Runner (2014 rewatch, review)
  • Do Revenge (2022)
  • Monsters University (2013)
  • Incredibles 2 (2018)
  • Jennifer’s Body (2009)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015, Review)
  • Underwater (2020)
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2018, Review)
  • Antlers (2021)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)

Currently watching: Nightmare Alley

As I mentioned before, I got a one month subscription to Disney Plus for the Disney Day deal for $1.99. Last year I got it, I forgot that it existed and didn’t really make use of it too much so we’re making back for it this year. There’s quite the catalogue even outside of the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars content so it was pretty good. There’s still a little less than half a month left so you will probably still see some more of this service’s titles pop up in the next month.

With that said, its been a very low amount of reviews written mostly because a lot of this is prep work for the Halloween Marathon or for Movies and Tea podcast. If its not, you should see those soon, probably after October’s marathon month. I do have an ambitious goal of catching up with Marvel’s films since I stopped at Infinity War so I buckled down to do it. You can see that I’m already slowly catching up.

My recommendations this month goes to Turning Red, Do Revenge, Underwater and the Maze Runner trilogy.

TV

  • I Just Killed My Dad (Limited Series, 2022)
  • The Oasis鄧錄圓魚洲
  • The Rap Of China中國説唱巔峰對決
  • The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist (Limited Series, 2022)

Currently binging: Great Escape Season 4 密室大逃脫第四季, Love Between Fairy and Devil 蒼蘭訣, Call Me By Fire 2 披荊斬棘的哥哥, Heart Signal Season 5心動的信號, Hello Summer Relationship相遇的夏天, Rock & Roast Season 5脫口秀大會,

Oh boy, TV series will be hard to talk about unless you have a massive interest in Chinese Variety shows or dramas. Its honestly just the time of year where all the shows I like have gathered together to be released at the same time. Most of them are currently playing in the currently binging one. The standout is always Great Escape where Season 4 has truly notched up the fun element and they expanded and blended the Escape Room with other game elements.

I actually was planning on finishing Love Between Fairy and Devil before Netflix added it but got lured to watch other stuff and never got around to resuming it however, its a pretty great show and if you have Netflix, it makes it so much easier to watch.

Games

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence (to be finished)
  • Coffee Talk (Review)
  • AI: The Somnium Files (not finished)

I’ve been taking a little more time on gaming when I have the time to spare. I mean, I have a fixed amount of time where I can do my own stuff when the little one naps or goes to bed at night so its not really a ton of time. However, with a lot of the Game Pass catalogue leaving during September, I tried to get through the ones that I wanted to play hence the unfinished two games. A Plague Tale: Innocence is actually pretty good but I saved myself the rush mostly because I didn’t realize that my husband bought it on Steam so I will get back to that eventually. AI : The Somnium Files is a pretty good game and super expensive to buy in general but its a visual novel with investigative elements and you can’t really rush those so I unfortunately didn’t get to finish it. I was pretty much a third into the game at that point looking at some of the game chapter breakdown. This one’s a little quirky and odd but there are some pretty graphic murder scenes in this one.

Now, lets talk about something that I did finish: Coffee Talk which is also a visual novel and once where you brew coffee while listening to what goes on with the customers. Its a relaxing game to say the least plus there are some fun drink blends that they include which were fun to discover as well.

What’s Up & Adventures – August 2022

ADVENTURES – AUGUST 2022

Welcome to the adventures for August 2022. Honestly, I should just change this coming year into baby adventures more than anything. Considering I’m on maternity leave right now, there’s really nothing else in my life more important than taking care of my newborn and making sure the house doesn’t slip gradually into chaos. With that said, there were some nice little baby updates which includes no pictures and we did have family visit which is quite the unusual since we really haven’t seen anyone out of town since before the pandemic.

Baby Updates

Triple V had a few little adventures of his own. For one, he had his 2 month vaccinations which went as well as could be expected with both of his thighs getting vaccines for various illnesses. Despite some crying, he did calm down fairly quickly and fell asleep so I consider him quite the champ. Considering that this month, we’ve also experienced some crazy evenings with some intense crying and a hard time pinpointing what was the issue.

With that said, he also had his first medical check-up. Yay to our healthcare system where you can’t find a family doctor anymore so the 2-4 weeks check-up turned into a 2 months old check-up. Luckily, all is well and he is growing up quickly. Apparently, we have a “big baby”, which I’m pretty sure I didn’t need the doctor to tell me since he was pretty big in my belly already and then he waited until the last day so he spent some quality time growing before he hit the outside world.

On that front, we are getting in some more exercising. More that I’m taking him out for strolls when its not raining or heat wave. August has been rather abundant in those two fronts. However, its quite relaxing to get out of the house every now and then and get some fresh air. At least for myself, it feels like I’m getting a part of my own active lifestyle back. Its going to take a while but I’ll eventually get back there to some form.

Podcast Update

With that said, I guess I should mention a little update on the podcast which probably is the only thing really goin on track in the case of these projects. Podcast recording is gradually back in production. Much like my post before I went on leave announcing a semi-hiatus, I had pretty much said that it wouldn’t affect it to much and it didn’t since we created quite a bit of backlog for both Movies and Tea and Game Warp so its just a matter of getting those out one by one. I will get back to reposting those. In the meantime, you can always check out both podcasts on most podcast platforms. Those places will have the most recent updates.

As things calm down gradually hopefully, I am starting to think about getting that revamped version of my solo podcast off the ground again. I’m still working out how to approach the content but I have a solid list of topics for the episodes already and it will be really relevant. If my plans go well, you might see something soon-ish. I’m not so worried about recording as it is finding time to edit. I’ve been thinking about it more and more so it should at some point happen.

WHAT’S UP – AUGUST 2022

Books

Currently reading: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

As I spend more time at home now, I am gradually wanting to expand during baby’s naptime to do something other than watching TV so I’ve literally just cracked open The Summer I Turned Pretty. There’s not too much to say. My expectations for it: An equally entertaining time as Jenny Han’s previous book To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Might be a tall order but hey, who knows, right?

Movies

  • Purple Hearts (2022, Review)
  • The Lorax (2012 rewatch, Review)
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989 rewatch)
  • Wedding Season (2022, Review)
  • Bewitched (2005)
  • Porco Rosso (1992 rewatch, Review)
  • Look Both Ways (2022, Review)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Inside The Mind of a Cat (2022)
  • Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare (1968)

Packed with a few rewatches and some new films from Netflix for the most part, the movies I watched this month were relatively good. Netflix rom-coms are always about the same but then I did already write the reviews so you can check those out. Among that pack of films, Look Both Ways definitely stood out as its not exactly a rom-com. Other than that, I FINALLY watched Princess Mononoke which was a Studio Ghibli title that my friends have been hassling me about not having watched for years. You will hear my extended thoughts on that on Movies and Tea in a good while. For the most part, I really liked it for the scope of the film and compared it to Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind but didn’t quite resonate with the characters as much. Wrapping up the month is a new Netflix documentary about cats called Inside The Mind of a Cat which was super fun to watch and gave me some terms to attach to cats and some extra knowledge that explains some of my own cat’s behavior.

TV

  • Boo, Bitch (Limited Series, 2022)
  • Twinkle Love Season 2怦然心動20嵗第二季
  • The Most Hated Man On The Internet (Limited Series 2022)
  • Never Have I Ever (Season 3)
  • Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist (2022)
  • Wonderland Season 2五十公里桃花塢2
  • I Hear You 最動聽的事
  • Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives (2022)
  • The Puppet Master: Hunting The Ultimate Conman (2022)

Currently watching: I Just Killed My Dad, Great Escape Season 4 密室大逃脫第四季, The Oasis登錄圓魚洲, Love Between Fairy and Devil 蒼蘭訣, The Rap Of China中國説唱巔峰對決, Call Me By Fire 2 披荊斬棘的哥哥, Heart Signal Season 5心動的信號

I have to give myself a nice pat on the back for creating a decent mix between the Chinese drama and variety shows versus the English content, even if most of the English content are all limited series for Netflix crime documentaries. Its my latest thing that I’ve really liked seeing as Netflix has some pretty strong crime documentaries and are pretty consistent in quality. The four gave me an array of emotions: Most Hated Man was very upsetting and fit its title, Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist was truly well done and had a nice message about forgiveness, Bad Vegan made me question whether someone would truly believe something like that or its all excuses (still contemplating that one) and Puppet Master was just a wild ride since its unbelievable how someone can get away doing that stuff.

Onto more lighthearted stuff, I had a ton of fun with teen series Boo, Bitch and Season 3 of Never Have I Ever. They were so entertaining and still had some pretty good moments. Both of those TV binges are almost done so you should see them soon. I lack of TV series review writing inspiration currently happening. As for Chinese series, a lot of the currently watching TV shows are about to end but man, Wonderland Season 2 was a such a great one. I didn’t watch the Season 2 so currently debating if I should, hopefully it isn’t under VIP since I don’t want to subscribe to another streaming service, although I probably will at one point to WeTV since I have a lot of series that is locked in VIP that I missed before and I don’t really like watching them on YouTube.

A fun update is that I’m currently watching Love Between Fairy and Devil (yes, the title is stupid but the series honestly isn’t) which will land on Netflix in September some time (I can’t remember the date so if you want to check out Chinese fantasy dramas, this one is good and not too long. Netflix has been doing a good job at picking up some of this year’s heavy hitters. Now, maybe they can also get Love Like The Galaxy, which is another breakout series currently playing which is on my watchlist.

Games

  • Spiritfarer: Farewell Edition

After starting up Spiritfarer last summer, I finally went back to it to play through the rest of the main content plus all the updates in 2 weeks. The updates were really great since the last one did give it such a well-rounded ending to the whole experience which adds so much to the narrative element of the game itself which plays a big part. There’s so much to love about Spiritfarer. Even though I finished the game with probably the most amount of hours and the closest I’ve ever gotten to 100% of the game content, I still am considering picking up this game at one point and revisiting it just for the beautiful world and stories that it tells.

What’s Up & Adventures – June 2022

June 2022 Adventures

If you hadn’t caught my mid-June announcement/update, you can find that HERE.

The biggest event of June which has consumed most of the month is that: I had a BABY BOY!

I’ve been kind of a bit hush hush on the whole thing on the blog and just dropping little hints about the nursery and such in the adventures post since the beginning of the year. Obviously, if no one read it then they probably never quite realized it was a thing in my life. It also explained the lesser amounts of posts in the past 8 months or so since the first trimester was just a fatigue filled sleep fest. I wanted to sleep all the time. With that said, I couldn’t complain a lot since I had a pretty smooth pregnancy with no cravings, almost no nausea or food aversions except for fish and nothing came back bad in any of the tests and checkups.

Where things started to go wrong was the actual birthing process where things got a little scary for a moment and didn’t go as planned resulting in a C-section. However, everything is so far so good and as I sit here recovering and the husband and I are on our maternity/parental leave , its been quite a journey for the past 2 weeks or so with a newborn. The surgery meant that I basically can’t do a whole lot of stuff except for caring for the baby without having a lot of discomfort. Luckily things are getting better day by day.

If you take a look at the announcement/update post, basically things will remain fairly slow for at least the next month or two. However, my other projects with my fantastic co-host who is holding down the fort and our hard work in creating a huge backlog in our production means those projects are still going out. If you ever want to hear some podcasts, Movies and Tea is currently in its Quentin Tarantino season and Game Warp is also having scatters of reviews and non-E3 2022 coverage.

To be fair, I haven’t had a vacation from work in the past 3 years (partially pandemic- related) so I’m taking the leave to relax a little and enjoy my time with my newborn, we nicknamed him Triple V so if I mention him again, may be under that name from now on.

Basically June’s adventures was half the month waiting to birth the baby and the second half is taking care of the baby. Its crazy how fast time goes by.

What’s Up – June 2022

Books

Currently reading: The Woman in Cabin 10

Recently started up The Woman in Cabin 10. Literally one chapter in so I will talk about it more next month. Maybe by then, I will have finished it.

Movies

  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988 rewatch)
  • The Night Clerk (2020)
  • Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019)
  • Rogue (2007, Review)
  • Trust (2021, Review)
  • Bill Burr Presents: Friends Who Kill (2022)
  • Girl’s Revenge (2020, Review)
  • Cyber Hell: Exposing An Internet Horror (2022, Review)
  • Hellboy (2019)
  • Constantine (2005 rewatch)
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya (2013)
  • Profile (2018)
  • Adrift (2018)

Sitting at home for maternity leave for the entire June gave time to catch on some movie watching (among many other things) especially before our baby arrived. I was able to catch up on some titles I hadn’t seen before. As usual, highlighted titles are the ones I personally recommend. Reviews are on the way for some of these. Special mention goes to 2007’s Rogue which was a ton of fun for a creature feature and Profile, a Screenlife title which I thought worked really well also. Much like Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark which was a fun little kids horror adaptation.

TV

  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3, Review)
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 4, Review)
  • The Floor is Lava (Season 2)
  • Riverdale (Season 2, Review)
  • Midnight Asia (Season 1)
  • Iron Chef: Quest For An Iron Legend (Season 1)
  • Yes I Do (喜歡你我也是, Season 3)
  • Riverdale (Season 3)
  • The Umbrella Academy (Season 2)
  • The Umbrella Academy (Season 3)
  • Camping Life (一起露營吧)

Currently binging: Day Breakers 暗夜行者, Nightflyers, Infinity and Beyond聲生不息, Love The Way You Are 愛情應該有的樣子, The Great Canadian Baking Show (Season 5)

With a ton of TV binges in the works right now from the past month, here we are. We started Nightflyers which was good but I had to stop as we hit a part of the series which triggered the pregnant me a little so we took a pause on that. Chinese variety shows were my jam with Infinity and Beyond taking the lead bringing back a ton of Cantopop nostalgia. Finished up Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and got back into Riverdale and now Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa seems to be haunting me as I look around and its just shows that he is working or worked on. Having never seen even one episode of Iron Chef, the Netflix version was so much fun. Highly recommend if you like cooking competition shows. Finally we finally caught up with The Umbrella Academy with the third season recently being released, no better time than now, right?

Games

  • How To Say Goodbye (Demo)
  • Paper Trail (Demo)
  • The Last Stop (Review)

Currently playing: Backbone, Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Gaming finally picks up again! Beginning of June saw the non-E3 2022 happen as Game Warp covered some out of our highlights from various showcases that peaked our interest. It also brought along Steam Fest which meant a lot of demos for upcoming indie games to check out. The two I played were How To Say Goodbye and Paper Trail. Both were pretty decent concepts although Paper Trail has a bit of the Gorogoa vibe except with paper as the item of manipulation, which I absolutely adored.

I am mostly catching up with Game Pass titles at this point. Last Stop left Game Pass at the end of June so I played it through. My first game review in eons is on the Game Warp blog if you wanted to check it out. I am focusing on smaller games and less brain involving ones so its why I put Backbone aside and started up a simpler word-based platformer Lost Words, which I had tried the demo before. About halfway through the game as this post goes up.

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

TV Binge: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3, 2020)

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Part 3, 2020)

Creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Gavin Leatherwood, Lucy Davis, Chance Perdomo, Miranda Otto, Michelle Gomez, Jaz Sinclair, Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, Lachlan Watson, Sam Corlett, Richard Coyle, Alessandro Juliani, Luke Cook, Jonathan Whitesell

As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Based on the Archie comic. – IMDB

Picking from the events from Part 2, Greendale has completely switched around. Sabrina’s boyfriend Nick has sacrificed himself and taken to Hell with Lilith who now rules there. Much like Aunt Zelda who now has taken over the Academy of Unseen Arts to hopefully rebuild it. While Ambrose and Prudence have gone off to travel around the world trying to track down Father Blackwood and get rid of him before he can exact anymore hazardous plans upon his probable return. However, Sabrina soon gets dragged into a much more serious role in exchange for saving Nick as she takes on the role of Queen of Hell and is challenged by Caliban, the Prince of Hell who also wants to win the throne through a series of quests to find the Unholy Regalia.

Part 3 of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina takes an interesting turn of events. The relationships are now pretty much set as much as the alliances. The shift in power as well as the new outline of who is running things starts having a bigger toll especially as a lot of the secrets were revealed by the end of the last season. This season, its about making up for those things with some rather dire consequences, notably the main one being Sabrina given the power of the Queen of Hell and having an inner tug of war between what she needs to do, what she should do and what is more important to her. This all comes crashing together in the big finale when there is a whole time manipulation sequence where things get warped and she has to find a way to fix it.

For Part 1 & 2 reviews, I haven’t really taken a lot of time to look at the other characters other than the character development of Sabrina. Part 3 seems like a good time since most of the main cast is now rather set and developed at this point. For the most part, the show does revolve primarily around Sabrina and her development and it ends up putting the others a little bit more in the background with little scenes that come and go which is mostly revolving around Ambrose and Prudence, the Aunts Zelda and Hilda, her mortal friends Harvey, Roz and Theo and her love interest at the moment. In this case, the season is mostly surrounding Nick and eventually also the possible interest in Caliban. In reality, the characters in Sabrina probably have a lot more space to develop and for the most part, they feel rather one dimensional despite some of their abilities being more fleshed out as the show moves forward, it could be one of the reasons that it feels a little less engaging.

The main engaging and fun element are mostly the events that they pop up that flips the situation. The gives the show a nice course of dilemmas and situations throughout that eventually lead to a big finale. In this case, it goes to a mysterious circus that comes to town and the escaped Father Blackwood messing things up in the background who all come into play as he now aligns with anyone who can exact the revenge he wants. The threat here being pretty much more engaging since this new crew of characters (the Pagans) pose their own threats. If the circus itself didn’t bring its own oddities, the people they bring also have their own influences to different characters and brings in yet another branch of belief and another force that wants to take over the realm. If the Hell issues weren’t enough, this definitely kept the plot points very busy.

Overall, Part 3 was a pretty decent one. It did step up a little from the second part. This time’s threats and dilemmas between the characters helped give it a lot of constant motion, propelling it forward so fast that it was actually rather fascinating. The twist at the end was a huge highlight especially since it gave it something of an adventure like Harrry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but the different realms giving some variation to the plot from its first 2 ways. The power struggle expands and pushes Sabrina to make some tough decisions, constantly developing her character further.

What’s Up & Adventures – April 2022

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

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

New Season – Movies and Tea Podcast

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

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

Baby Things and Preparation

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

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

What’s Up – April 2022

Books

  • The Girl On The Train (Review)

Currently reading: Nevernight

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

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

Movies

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

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

TV

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

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

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

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

Games

  • Erica
  • Football Game

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

Cute Kitty Pic

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

My Adventures & What’s Up – March 2022

Weekly Adventures – March 2022

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

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

What’s Up – March 2022

Books

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

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

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

Movies

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

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

TV

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

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

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

Games

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

Currently playing: Bloodroots

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

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

Cute Kitty Pic

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

What’s Up & Adventures – January 2022

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

Letterboxd Year in Review

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

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

Booster Shot

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

11th Blogiversary

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

What’s Up- January 2022

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

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

Films:

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

TV:

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

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

Games: Currently playing: Genesis Noir

Cute Kitty Pic

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

My December 2021 Adventures + Overview of the Year

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

Christmas Decorations

Beyond Monet

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

OVERVIEW OF 2021

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

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

Top 10 First Time Watches

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

Top 10 TV series

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

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

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

My November Adventures 2021!

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

Halloween Marathon Extended Done!

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

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

Blood In The Snow Film Festival

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

Restaurant: 1930 Shanghai

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

Announcement: Holidays Marathon

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

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

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

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

My October Adventures!

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

Halloween/Horror Marathon – Extended

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

50th edition – Festival du Nouveau Cinema Overview

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

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

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

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

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2021

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

You can check out the reviews below:

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

Blood in the Snow Film Festival

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

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

Tranquil Dreams Podcast – Hiatus

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

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

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

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

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

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