2022 Upcoming Plans!

Its 2022! After spending an entire year in the pandemic last year, life has definitely changed from watching new releases to just real life in general. Routine and everything has definitely taken a shift. Its the new year and we can only hope that we will hopefully escape the pandemic in some form in the coming year.

With all that said, yesterday we wrapped up with a 2021 overview and today is to share what to expect in 2022. Not a whole lot of change in general but for those new to the blog, it will give a general guideline of what to expect. I will try my best to achieve the majority of it but some things may not actually pan out. Its just how life works in general. If 2021 has taught me anything, its to just let things flow.

Enough of that and let’s move on to the actual plans!

BOOKS

Goodreads Reading Challenge 2022: 15 books

Last year was a massive fail in terms of reading. So I’ve basically opted to half the goal from last year. This goal feels overall attainable. One book or so a month seems pretty doable in general. I recently did a clean-up of my books and the goal is to go through the physical TBR books sitting on my bookshelves.

MOVIES

Movies will be basically the same thing as this year. I truly don’t believe new theatrical releases are in the horizon in terms of actual theatre visits so I’m going to focus on Netflix, Shudder and Digital rentals for most new releases. At the same time, this year’s big change is to take a year off of festival coverage. I will talk briefly about some life changes below as we get into some personal plans.

  • Focus on Double Features format
  • New releases or screeners get single reviews
  • Marathons:
    • February- Valentine Romance
    • October – Horror
    • December – Holidays
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon: annual blogathon that I co-host is back and announcement post will be coming in a few weeks
  • Movies and Tea Podcast: podcast that I co-host will simultaneously be shared here as we dive into more director filmography and themed seasons

TV

All TV binges this year will focus on Netflix content for the greater part.

Where will the Chinese-language dramas that I consume go? That’s in the next section below!

TRANQUIL DREAMS PODCAST

After a few months of hiatus, the podcast will be making a return. This time, I’m going back to the original concept of what I had initially wanted to do with the podcast: Chinese-Language Dramas!

The podcast still needs some structural elements to be finalized but I will be covering Chinese-Language Dramas. What does that mean? Mainland Chinese, Taiwan and Hong Kong TV dramas. The main focus will be those accessible on streaming services since they are becoming more and more available on Netflix alone and I feel like it doesn’t get talked about enough since there are a few gems in general.

I am debating to have a Chinese and English version but that’s a whole other discussion which I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to quite yet in terms of time and editing alone. I do also have another idea for moving the once Sunday lists here as a monthly podcast segment but its a little more work so still under consideration.

MONTHLY SEGMENTS

Mostly the same:

  • Music Obsessions: first weekend of every month
  • Adventures & What’s Up: combined together at month-end

PARTIAL REVIVAL: BAKING THROUGH DISNEY & STUDIO GHIBLI

Look, Baking Through Disney is behind us. There’s no point in dwelling on something that probably won’t happen at this point. I bake desserts pretty much once a year. I’m not saying that it won’t happen again since I have been having the thought lately (due to some upcoming changes) but it won’t be happening in a good part of this year. However, I’m going through a bit of a burnout on horror films which makes the movie portion for horror marathon a big maybe whether I will do it by October or not. Maybe I will be out of it but other factors come into play (also something mentioned later in this post).

With all that said, I’ve been missing animated films and think its a great time to jump back into it so I do want to review Disney films preferably in the order of the ones I have access to or can rent (unless Disney+ has another cheap subscription month), very much like how the original project was structured minus the baking and creativity part. With that, I do also want to go through the Studio Ghibli films seeing as they are mostly available on Netflix right now. Perfect timing and all.

PERSONAL LIFE GOALS (AND A LITTLE UPDATE)

Most of the blog stuff is pretty much updated above so we will do some quick personal life goals. Last year’s workout goal in general worked at its best during the summer. This year is a little bit more different.

Let’s start with the update and real life news/update that may create the biggest change for my life and blog. I’m pregnant and due in a few months so anything in the second half of 2022 will be a big unknown at this point. With that said, the life goals will be very much oriented towards this new change.

  • Eat healthier: For obvious reasons, this is already underway. I am in the process of boosting calcium since lactose intolerance doesn’t exactly help in that department. Along with that, also boosting fruit consumption since I was very bad at that last year.
  • Streaming Once A Week: After that one stream last year in March, I’ve been thinking of streaming regularly for a while but never really had the right timing. So, I thought I’d take baby steps and set in one stream every weekend. I will probably do an official announcement once I finally take the step to start it up.
  • Set Up the Nursery & New Office: The news above basically means I’m working on clearing out my current office to transform into the nursery. I mean, this is a gradual to-do list. There’s a general plan right now so this kind of links to the above goal since I do want to transition to the new office area in the house before streaming. Less hassle that way.

FINAL GENERAL NOTE FOR THE BLOG

I’ve been slowing down on writing this past year. A lot contributed to it. With the new changes in life, I don’t foresee writing frequency increasing and I don’t want to stress over it. The goal is to get a post up every 2 to 3 days. Plus, after a decade of blogging, I do want to jump into some new projects hence the solo podcast with this new structure and also streaming. Maybe when those things happen, I will also want to write more. It will take time for a new routine to build in so some of the newer things will be lesser frequency. Either way, I am going to maintain the quality instead of quantity.

2022 will hopefully be a great year despite the craziness in reality!
Happy New Year and Wishing Everyone All the Best!

Do you all have some new projects? Feel free to share it in the comments!

2021 Upcoming Plans

It’s 2021!! Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone has found their own way to celebrate. The beginning of the new year means that its time to get back to some plans for this coming year and some changes in projects, etc. I needed an extra day to figure some little things out since I hadn’t quite decided on everything yet. This time around, I’ll share some projects for the blog and some more personal little goals to get back some good lifestyle habits. Let’s take this section by section!

BOOKS

  • 2021 Goodreads Challenge: 30 books

I’ve had a hard time reading the past few years and most of the time when I set the 30 books reading, I don’t get there but I really do want to read more, despite having some different types of projects this year and may result in less time. Either way, its a challenge that I’m up for. Plus, between blog tours (which I might participate a little less in this year depending on what I’m interested in), TBR of my own both in physical books and Kindle books.

MOVIES

Movies is more of a free flow sort of deal. I do want to dive into a focus on Chinese cinema whether from Mainland China or Hong Kong or Taiwan. However, I do know that that angle is for my own interest so I do have quite a bit to get through whether on Shudder or Netflix which is my main source of movie matching other than the random cheap rental that I pick up or the movie selections for Movies and Tea which is getting into Season 7 production soon with a director that definitely will bring on some interesting discussion for their retrospective. Seeing as we’re really ahead, I’m going to keep it a secret for now. However, last year I didn’t even reach 300 movies logged on Letterboxd so if I manage to get 300 or more movies watched this year, I would be quite pleased.

As for structure, I am keeping to the double feature format unless its a newly released Netflix film or even Shudder exclusive. I will try to get on top of that much more this coming year since I don’t foresee theatre releases or visits to happen anytime soon in Montreal.

Other than the normal themed months below:

  • February 1st – 14th : Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December 1st-25th: Holiday Films

I was unsuccessful at doing the themed months of other genres/subgenres during random months last year but that is a goal that I would like to do. As for what themes? I have a few in mind.

TV

As I watch much more TV (which is probably why movies had a drop last year), I’ve been giving this segment a lot of thought. I will still be doing TV binges however with a much more relaxed structure. I already started it at the end of the year. While I love the structure that I had for Chinese dramas for analysis of plot, pacing, characters and the overall view, it also became this long arduous post that took a long time to put together. Less division and more just free writing for future TV binges, much like the non Chinese drama TV binges that I do as some series really don’t have that much to write about.

However, what has been on my mind for TV is something will be a bigger change/addition to this post and that’s the next section…

TRANQUIL DREAMS PODCAST

Its a solo podcast! I don’t know how I’ll do talking to myself about anything but it has been something that I’ve been thinking about structure, title and content since the beginning of the pandemic last year (probably even longer). My thoughts years ago when this idea first started was a Youtube Channel but I just don’t have time to edit video and audio since it takes a ton of time so here we are. Podcasts do not limit the length because its audio and I’ll have it on a format that people can download. Its going to be another learning curve since right now, my fantastic co-host takes care of all the audio for the other 2 podcasts.

I know the name isn’t exactly inspirational but its connected to the blog originally wanted it to be about only Chinese dramas as an English review and introduction so that people can find the ones that are readily available on Youtube or Netflix (only those with English subtitles, of course). However, the reason for Tranquil Drams Podcast is that it opens up for a few little ideas I’ve had to move here also hopefully.

  • What’s Up segment will be moved completely over on a weekly basis. If it gets a little too heavy to produce, I might change it to biweekly frequency.
  • TV Binges will be moved here. Some less chat worthy will be in written formats (or maybe I’ll do both). Regardless, some series like big productions or Netflix gives me a lot to talk about and its hard to get it all down.
  • A segment that I wanted to revive since last year is Sunday Lists so maybe in podcast format will give me boost considering I have probably 2 or 3 already partially drafted.
  • A new segment as a new goal for the podcast which was how the Youtube idea started is an Adaptations versus Source Material comparison. This is kind of a maybe as I’m not sure how things will look in the coming year mostly on the real life side of things.

OTHER RANDOM SEGMENTS

Most segments have no change other than the ones mentioned above:

  • [changes] What’s Up: moved to podcast format (see above if you skipped it)
  • My Monthly Adventures: I will keep this in written format however with the pandemic still going on, its more of a place to put together what’s been released on my other projects and such.
  • [changes] Battle of Ingredients: in hiatus. We didn’t address it last year at all but with the pandemic, we have no choice but to put this project on hiatus for obvious reasons.
  • Music Obsessions: Still on monthly basis. Not a lot of views but I do love putting together this post.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon: Production meeting has already happened and confirmed to happen. Announcement post coming up once we iron out some little details.

PERSONAL GOALS

It sure feels like I’ve stopped sharing my personal goals over the last few years. Maybe that’s why I’ve grown lazy with some of it. Here we are again and it will be a complete balancing act. I made the decision that regardless of anything that when I set time aside from something, I will do it. Work is a huge factor to why a lot of things get postponed but I need remember that its not my entire life. With that said, main goal for next year is mostly exercise related:

  • Workout: 2-3 times a week and gradually increase to 3-4 times a week
    • Indoors during the winter (bodyweights, weights, yoga, cardio)
    • Outdoors running (hopefully by April)
    • Hiking more often
  • Eat healthier and more balanced meals: This year, we’ve lowered drinking alcohol in general to once or twice a month and its been a pretty good feeling. Its more to eat more fruits since I always forget to keep the fruits and vegetables daily intake as well as hydration on par.
  • Start Streaming: I’ve been thinking about streaming games for a good while. The hesitation is pretty much the same as for solo podcasts where I have to talk to myself. Its mostly for fun and not exactly to promote anything. I started teaming up on voice chat with one of my friends on a weekly basis during his stream to experience horror games together on Monday. You can check out his channel HERE as he streams about 5 – 7 times a week playing three to four different games. I’m having a lot of fun with it and its been something that I’ve been wanting to do more and more. I’m slowly fixing up the info and such on the channel to get it ready gradually. Hopefully a little later in January, it will be up and running. I’m not quite as ambitious as my friend so I’m going for once or twice a week playing mostly indie games which are more focused on narrative but no limits as I just want to get through all the games I’ve bought and haven’t played on Steam.
  • Buy a new sofa, office chair (and maybe bicycle): being first time homeowners, we were lucky to get a lot of second hand relatively decent quality furniture from family to help us get through the first few years of paying the mortgage but as much as I do like the sofa, it needs to be changed before it damages our backs. The same applies for a new office chair. Working from home more has worn it out more than it already has from my cat and its not great to have a squeaky office chair especially for podcast recording. As for a bicycle, considering everyone in Montreal swept the stores of them last year because of the pandemic, I’m hoping that I finally find one this year that isn’t going to break the bank.

Upcoming plans post are rather bland to read overall and I did try to keep this not so lengthy, but hey, look at this length. If there’s something you find is missing, well, its probably either cut or indefinitely in hiatus or its something that I’ve moved to Instagram content (which I need to do better also). If you have any suggestions for movie themed months or what topics for the podcast, etc, let me know in the comments as well.

This is it for the 2021 plans!
As usual, the goal is not procrastinate as much and stick to the tentative schedule!
Happy 2021 everyone and all the best in this coming year (hopefully things will get back to some form of normalcy gradually pandemic-wise)!
As always, stay safe!

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?