films · gaming · inspiration · language learning · various life things

I watched another documentary.

The other night while going through Netflix, I found a new documentary by The Minimalists called Less Is Now. I think this is exactly what I needed to hear. I had already been cutting down on buying things just to buy them for a couple of months now (I swear something happened to my mindset on my last birthday), but this documentary was very enlightening and definitely gave me more hope and motivation to continue. It also was inspirational with the concept of just letting go. I talked about this in my last post, but this time it really hit different.

The Minimalists: Less Is Now promo poster from Netflix, via IMDB.

For a while, I have been wanting to get rid of old j-pop and k-pop CDs, photo books, photos, and so on. I think most of the stuff may just need to be recycled, although I’d love to even give stuff away for free for anyone who is interested so it doesn’t go to complete waste. Most of the CDs I have, I don’t even listen to the groups anymore. So I wonder, why do I still have them? They take up way too much space. And I finally realized: it’s because of the memory of the item. But, is the memory really tied to the item? Not really. I will always have the memory in my mind, so why keep unnecessary things? It took me far too long to realize this, but it’s a start! This weekend, I am starting at the beginning of my big cleanout, which I suspect will go for at least a few months or even into the summer. This was something I was going to do a year ago, but then COVID happened and is still happening although at least I feel like I can manage better. I will definitely document the process here even with photos!

I also started listening to The Minimalists podcast which has also been fairly enlightening so far, especially with finances! I’m glad I finally discovered these guys. Another podcast and documentary I’d love to get into is the Headspace one. When I did therapy at my university, my therapist recommended the app to me and it honestly helped. I think watching the new documentary and getting into the podcast would at least be a start.

Now for a language learning check-in!

I’ll start with Korean, since that’s my priority focus. The lessons are still going very well and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned since I started in November. I almost have no issues reading the language, although am still learning different words and grammar. I think my speaking is okay, but I really want to work on my listening skills so I plan to do that on my own time with k-dramas along with BTS and ENHYPEN contents!

Second is Japanese. This is going way better than anticipated because I have had experience with the language for years, I just never really sat down to properly learn it. I think my speaking and listening skills for this are okay, but I need to work on my reading skills for actual hiragana/katakana. It’s also interesting that Japanese and Korean sentence order share a lot of similarities so it’s super easy to remember!

Last is Chinese. This is going well for having zero experience. I’ve learned pinyin so far and I think next week we’re starting with the actual textbook (HSK1). This language relies a lot on tones/sounds which I didn’t realize before, so I definitely want to focus on listening and speaking skills to make sure that I’m saying the right tone for the word I mean or else it becomes something entirely different!

Besides having weekly lessons, self-study is very important for me to do. If I was able to, I would just self-study for all the languages, but having at least one actual lesson a week with a tutor holds me accountable, like I need to study and can’t just show up on Zoom without having gone over anything. I definitely think this way works better for me. I also finally ordered some study supplies and materials to put together over the weekend. I try not to schedule lessons on weekends now to give myself a bit of a break from Zoom, and I think that works out fine as well! Another thing I need to do is go through all my textbooks I have accumulated over the years, and either donate them or decide to actually use them.

Anyway, the only other thing going on is that I do have another career counseling meeting on the 25th which is exciting. I’m hoping there will be workshops in the spring I can go to, even if it’s digitally. And I’ve just been playing a lot of Uncharted. I’m making my way through 4 right now, and it’s so incredible. I don’t want it to end, even though I’ll be playing it at least another 3-4 times fully to get all the trophies, plus multiplayer! I’m really addicted to the survival mode. It’s so much fun!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe! Until next time. Take care everyone!

gaming · inspiration · various life things

2021 is the year of self-care.

Before I get started, I want to say a belated happy new year to you all! I hope this year treats you all well despite everything that is still happening in the world. I saw some countries are going on full lockdowns for a while. I hope everything can go back to some semblance of normal by the end of the year. Here’s hoping! Don’t forget to take care of yourselves, reward yourselves, and relax! Please also don’t forget to take care of your mental health. One thing I really learned the hard way last year during this was that you really need to take care of your mental health, and you need to know when to walk away from certain things in order to do so.

Since I’m no longer really posting on Twitter, I will most likely update here a bit more than usual. Meaning more than once every month! And will include some more topics as well, like what’s new with me and what’s going on!

Since it’s the start of a new year, I wanted to share some things I have been doing so far even though we’re only 4 days in. I also wanted to share some self care habits that I’ve picked up!

  • What’s new?

I’m currently working on a new about page, and I’d love to make a 2021 scrapbook page for here just to list the media I engage with this year (books, games, shows, and so on). I also finally changed the site icon away from the Halloween themed one I had for too long.

Since my last post, I did finish and platinum Assassin’s Creed II. It was such a great experience to be able to replay it again! It was my third time playing it, but the last time I played was a few years ago so everything was pretty fresh. The remastered version also played very smoothly and was very beautiful to look at with the scenery. I’m excited to start Brotherhood soon since that takes place in Rome and I remember the landscapes and backdrops were gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how it looks in the newer version! 

I have also completed Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception twice! I’m going to start my crushing playthrough tomorrow night. I forgot I played it on that difficulty back on the PS3 version. I think Uncharted 3 is the easiest of the first three games, so it shouldn’t be too difficult, especially after playing the first two on that mode so I have a lot of practice. I also forgot how amazing it is! The narrative is amazing, and I really love the locations and the soundtrack as well.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, published by Naughty Dog. Screenshot taken by me.

I’m debating whether or not to continue with Uncharted 4 after I get the platinum for 3, or go to Brotherhood instead. I actually never finished Uncharted 4 or Lost Legacy… I guess I was just too sad to see one of my favorite series end, but I guess it will happen soon enough! Hopefully I can decide by the weekend!

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Uncharted, Nathan Drake’s birthday was also on January 1st, so happy belated birthday to Nate! I believe he’s 44 now.

Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Published by Naughty Dog.
  • Mental health self-care things!
  1. Listening to video game soundtracks. Even if it’s a remix, extended version, or a medley of songs. I’ve been putting game soundtracks on while I study Korean and Japanese and it’s so relaxing and makes it less stressful! I’ve been mostly listening to the Uncharted soundtracks since I’ve been playing the games, along with Mass Effect since I never can get enough of those soundtracks. My current go to is this orchestral remix of Nate’s Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7Gz728d714 and this version of an emotional suite from the Mass Effect trilogy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxErfKLzfM. I also need to give a personal shoutout to the soundtrack for the game, Braid, one of my all time favorites.
  1. Knowing when too much is too much and be realistic with goals. This is another thing I learned last year. Originally, when I was planning out my language studies I wanted to do, I was going to do five lessons a week: 2 Korean (always), and either 1-2 Japanese/1-2 Chinese (alternating between the two each week). I ended up not going through with this, and instead, am just going 2 Korean lessons, 1 Japanese and 1 Chinese lesson a week. No lessons on weekends either if I can help it! I also have a cut off time for studying: 8pm every night with the exception of Tuesdays since my lesson will go until about 8:20pm. With this type of schedule, there is way less stress in me having to cram to study and ending up learning absolutely nothing.
  1. Not setting deadlines. I used to put a deadline for literally anything and everything. I know there are some things that do have a set deadline that can’t be avoided. But not everything has to have a deadline. You don’t have to post such and such a post by this date, or finish this book by Monday, or finish a game in a week. Take as much time as you need and don’t rush things. I feel like I accomplish way more this way, and again, less stress!
  1. Letting go. This is a huge one for me. I let go of a lot over the last couple of months in 2020. Letting go of social media was the biggest thing I think I’ve done in awhile. It’s hard, but I know it will be worth it in the long run. I already mentally feel 100 times better than I have in a long time. I’ve learned to get my news from other sources instead of doom scrolling through Twitter. I’m having tons of fun playing old favorite games without the stress of feeling that I need to screenshot and make edits for Instagram. While I will most likely never be free of my phone ever in this lifetime, I have it as far away as possible while I’m watching something or playing a game now so I don’t feel compelled to pick it up and look to see what’s happening online every 2 seconds. FOMO who?

I’ll save some more for another post! These are definitely the most important to me right now at least. As always, thank you for reading my blog and please take care! Until next time.

gaming · inspiration · various life things

Diving back into history.

First of all: I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and if you don’t celebrate, then I still hope you had a wonderful day!

While I may be on hiatus from social media, I’m still going to post here. Actually, I’ve been thinking about life before social media and that’s what prompted my break. Like, how I used to post updates on Livejournal almost 5 times a day. While most of it was fangirling, it still felt like those posts at least mattered and had some kind of feeling and substance behind them. Or maybe I’ve become disillusioned by social media and am just kind of over it? Will I finally quit Twitter in 2021? We’ll see… I have the next couple of weeks planned out with my work schedule and language studies, and it’s looking pretty intense. I’ll definitely still have free time, but the time I use for social media may need to go towards studying or some mental health self care. Maybe I’ll finally learn time management properly next year! I’m even using Google Calendar with color coding now! I never used to do that! I suppose this is what adulting is like, right?

Anyway, onto some other things that I’ve been spending my time with more now that I’m on a social media break!

I’ve already talked about the Uncharted video game series a bit before. I’d like to add another game series into the mix to go along with that one!

Assassin’s Creed.

Assassin’s Creed II promo image, published by Ubisoft.

After I got the platinum for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (still one of my top tier favorite games of all time!), I decided to move onto Assassin’s Creed II. Why? Well, at the beginning of this year, I did start Assassin’s Creed II, but of course, I didn’t even finish sequence one. I played through it years ago and got 100% completion for it on PS3. Now, I’m replaying it as part of the Ezio Collection on my PS4 Pro. With this replay, I am rediscovering my love of Assassin’s Creed and history. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d yet again go back to university and turn my history minor into a major but since I don’t, I guess the Italian Renaissance history and Leonardo da Vinci audiobooks will have to do for now. I used to be a diehard fan of the AC series a few years ago. After Syndicate, I feel like I was burnt out by it and only played a bit of Origins before moving onto something else.

Maybe it’s because I’m over games coming out broken with the promise of it being patched later (and I know Ubisoft is guilty of this as well), but I am just really into… “older” games these days? I think it could be this entire year, coupled with nostalgia and wanting to revisit old favorites and rediscovering why I loved them in the first place. I think this could be yet another answer to getting through my backlog: replaying old series that I didn’t finish every game in. 

I think over the next few months, I am going to bounce between Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed, and probably Tomb Raider as well. I am just really feeling these historical adventure type games lately. To make sure I don’t get totally bored, I have some random horror games to play in between: Daymare 1998, Little Hope, and Dawn of Fear to name a couple! Of course, there are a few releases in 2021 I will check out, namely Little Nightmares 2, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and the Nier remaster which are for sure games I am getting day one.

I know this was a short post this time. I am still working on getting the BTS and ENHYPEN posts going as well and will have some free time soon to be able to really dive into what I want to do with those! And I still need to rewrite my about section. I’m thinking tomorrow will be a great day for writing and studying.

As always, thanks for reading my ramblings on here. Until next time!

inspiration · various life things · writing

My personal 2020 year in review.

We still have a bit more of 2020 to go. It’s almost over and things will get better in 2021! With these last couple of weeks of 2020, I figured I would write a post going over my year and address my personal goals for 2021.

What didn’t I accomplish this year?

  • Getting my driver’s license: I was going to go for it way back in the Spring. Once the pandemic hit stateside and everything was uncertain… I just didn’t do anything about it. Until recently, that is! I am going for the written permit exam on Tuesday morning. I have been studying for it so I’m hoping to pass, but I will accept whatever the result is.
  • Getting a new job: I believe I mentioned in a previous post about doing career meetings with a career advisor (via Zoom of course). Unfortunately, the past two months haven’t worked out with that but we have reconnected for January! So hopefully I can get something new for next year.

What did I accomplish this year?

  • Getting help with my back issues: I started acupuncture in November for my back and it is helping a little bit more each time. I don’t go back until January due to the holiday, but am excited to continue with it for however long I need to! It’s also very relaxing so it helps with any of my anxiety and/or stress issues as well.
  • Graduating from university with a second BA: I honestly forget this happened because it just felt kind of… well, it didn’t seem to have a conclusive ending honestly. There really wasn’t any kind of final meeting between my two classes I was taking. I’m not sure if there will be anything for next year to celebrate it, but hoping there will be, even if it’s at the end of the summer or in the fall.
  • Selecting only 2-3 KPOP groups to purchase merch of: Now, don’t get me wrong at all, I still love a lot of KPOP groups, but buying merch for a bunch of different groups wasn’t very realistic for me to do. Now, I only buy BTS, Blackpink and ENHYPEN merch. I’m sure there will be special exceptions sometimes as well, like me trying to buy KAI’s mini album and failing because SM didn’t keep proper stock of it basically anywhere but that’s a whole other thing. Doing this has also allowed me to really appreciate these three groups and their music/concepts more as well which is always a huge plus!
  • Started taking Korean lessons: Probably my favorite thing I accomplished this year! I’ve done 11 lessons and have come a long way from when I started back at the beginning of November. I’m taking a break this week (but will keep studying and I have a lot of homework due for the next lesson), but am super excited to continue next week! I’m also super happy I found the tutor I did because she’s truly wonderful and a great teacher.
  • No longer buying games at launch: After the mess that was Fallout 76, and then buying a couple of broken games this year at full price (and no, Cyberpunk 2077 was not one of them actually!), I have finally made this decision to no longer buy games at launch. I do have a couple of exceptions, and that would only be: Nier remaster, Mass Effect trilogy remaster, and Resident Evil Village. I’d also include anything by FromSoftware on the list since they don’t seem to release broken games. Anyway, this is just me being frustrated at the fact that companies release broken games and just patch them within a few months.
  • Leaving instagram for good: I had a video game screenshot editing account on there that I opened back in February of this year. It picked up when the pandemic started and I was really into it for a few months. However, in recent months, especially since starting my Korean lessons and thinking about my future goals, there really is just no place for the account anymore. I kind of see it as this: it was something I had to help me get through that specific moment in time. I will miss it for sure, but I can’t even be bothered to take screenshots anymore. I just want to play the video game.
  • Opening this blog: Though I neglected this blog for a bit over the past couple of months, I am glad I opened this and got a personalized URL for it as well! It’s been a little all over the place while I figure out what I really want to do here, but I have ideas for 2021. Stay tuned!

What are my goals for 2021?

  • Maximize my language studying: I am continuing my Korean lessons, however, I am also adding not one other language, but two other languages to the mix as well. Tomorrow, I am meeting (over Zoom, don’t worry) a Japanese tutor, and Saturday, a Mandarin Chinese tutor to go over their course and a study plan. I’m really excited for it, and this is another reason why I gave up instagram as well to give me plenty of time to study three languages! I’ll post about my progress here as well!
  • Listen to 12 audiobooks: this is a minimum of one audiobook a month. That should be easily doable!
  • Only focus on my passions and not the excess noise: this was a huge problem I had this year. I was trying to incorporate just a little too much of everything, and ended up with absolutely nothing in the end. I’ve really learned to deal with this over the past couple of months. For me personally, even having 2-3 hobbies I am really into is good, instead of trying to have about 20 that I barely know anything about.
  • Get to 8500-9000 trophies and 75 platinum trophies on Playstation Network: I really fell back into the whole Playstation trophy hunting thing the last couple of months and am really going for it next year! I think this will also help with my backlog as well, weirdly enough. I’ve been using PSNProfiles to track my progress so it’s helpful to see which games I played for about 10 minutes 10 years ago that I can easily go back to and play to completion soon.
  • Watch at least one k-drama, one j-drama, and one regular show per month: I also don’t think should be too hard. I also think this will be helpful for my language studies as well.

I think that about wraps up my 2020 in review. I know it’s pretty basic, although it was interesting to look back over the year and stuff that happened for me personally. I feel like most of the good stuff has happened in the last couple of months, including getting that feeling of hope back. I’m excited for 2021. I know at least the first half of the year will still be difficult for many people. I am holding out hope that things will slowly start to go back to normal starting in the summertime, and maybe by this time next year we will almost be fully back to normal!

Until next time, friends. Take care and stay safe!

inspiration · various life things · writing

New name? Leaving Instagram? Fluent in Korean? – checking in with you all.

What’s up, everyone?!

It’s been awhile. What is my excuse? I was honestly just really Going Through It all of last month and wasn’t feeling motivated to do anything, so the blog just kind of sat here and collected dust for a bit. However, now, I am back! For real! 

I went back and read my last post and figured I would do the same type of thing and just keep this post as a sort of update post on what’s going on with me, what I’ve been doing, and what I have planned! So, here we go!

The first thing you may notice is that the domain name for the blog has changed. When I first made this site, my whole thing was writing about something for roughly 500 words every day. This then turned into more of, well I want to really sit down and write out proper posts and not rush through things just to hit a 500 word count. It’s quite something to look back even a couple of months ago, and see how much of a different headspace you were in as opposed to the present. I link back to this post where I talked about getting back into writing and how much Final Fantasy VII Remake/Aerith Gainsborough really inspired me. That won’t ever change, as it did have a huge impact on motivating me to get creative again. However, for the type of content I want to create here… I feel like having the name of Aerith’s Garden just didn’t quite… fit? 

Solitary Bells from the Demento/Haunting Ground soundtrack.

So, how does Solitary Bells fit? The name is inspired by and taken from a song off the video game soundtrack for Demento/Haunting Ground, a horror game from Capcom that came out back in 2005. It remains one of my favorite horror games of all time, and I figure it’s probably a bit safer to not have a character’s name as your website URL when the site isn’t really about them. With that being said, I’m currently going to be redoing the site a bit and have a better theme, so if things look weird if you visit, I apologise! It will all be worked out soon!

Now, onto my Korean studies. I have had 7 lessons over the last month and it’s been a really fun and rewarding process. My teacher is really incredible and so helpful in every single way. She gives me so much time to speak and get through sentences, and the homework she gives is also very helpful as well! It’s amazing how a month ago I could barely read the Korean alphabet and now I’m reading, speaking, writing and putting together sentences??? Who would have thought! My Korean lessons are definitely a main highlight of 2020 and will continue into 2021.

What’s that about Instagram? Ever since their update (if you’re on there, you know exactly what I’m talking about), I just haven’t really felt like posting. I still like taking screenshots, editing, and so on… but honestly? I think I may have a post here once a week showing some edits I have made. Also, it’s just too much to keep up with right now. Maybe in a few months I’ll get back to it (especially if Facebook really sells it), but until then, my focus is going to be over here. I could say more about this but I think it’s fairly obvious. Also I felt a bit hypocritical remaining on Instagram after watching The Social Dilemma

After all of that, what’s next?

Do you remember my post about the new K-POP group, ENHYPEN

ENHYPEN promotional photo via BE:LIFT.

Since then, they have debuted!! Their debut day was November 30th! There was a lot to unpack about their concept and believe me, I’m still thinking about it. I have a lot of stuff to talk about in regards to these guys so this may turn into a sort of ENHYPEN oasis for a bit, especially once my albums arrive. 

I also have something I’d like to do about BTS and going through their entire discography/videography and discussing it here properly! I’ve always wanted to do that as a huge project, especially being a media major, so it’s going to happen. It will take time, believe me, but I’d like to get it started by the end of the year/start of 2021! 

And of course, the games. I’ll be talking about video games still, don’t worry. I’d like to talk about more obscure games, maybe some retro horror games… stuff like that. Doing deep dives into games and taking them apart and putting them back together again. 

There will also be the occasional random/fun post as well! I’m not limiting myself with what to talk about, but honestly? Writing about ENHYPEN, BTS, and horror games? It’s all I ever wanted.

The frequency of how often I post here is my final thought for this post, as I have rambled on long enough. I’d like to post at least 1-2 times a week. It may possibly even be 3 times a week if I don’t get lazy and actually post some edits on here!

Until next time! And I promise I won’t disappear for a month again! Thank you to everyone who has followed, liked, and commented on my blog so far. It really means a lot to me! 💜

gaming · inspiration · various life things

long time, no see…

Oh hello there.

First off, I have been seeing a career advisor since July. We have basically just been talking about jobs (which might be obvious) and also discussing and working on my master resume which has been a lot more work than expected. She told me it’s like doing a research project/paper on yourself, and honestly? She’s 100% right with that statement! We have one final meeting in a few weeks in December, and in the meantime, I’m finalizing the master resume and putting together a couple different portfolios that cater towards different work (research writing + more project oriented stuff I did). I do feel better about it than when I first started meeting with her, but due to the current circumstances, it still feels impossible to find a job I really love. The struggle has been so real, especially lately.

With that said, I finally am taking Korean lessons. I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start learning a new language. I was going to do all self study, however, I found a website called Amazing Talker, and found a great tutor on there who is very nice, laid back, patient, and easy to talk to, so we will be meeting over Zoom about 1-2 times a week so that it keeps me on track with studying and learning the language. I did also finally get the Learn Korean with BTS set today so I’ll also be using that and the textbook my tutor sent me in between our sessions. I’m also considering doing Duolingo as well for when I’m on breaks at work or whatever! While job searching, I found there is a high demand for bilingual journalists, so I’m learning for future career purposes and also because I have wanted to learn the language for years and felt this was a great time to start. 

As for my goals for last month, I failed them all. I started about 3 different horror games and never finished them because I lost interest. I wonder if I just have lost interest in the horror genre altogether since I wasn’t even really into Halloween this year either. I have only felt like playing Genshin Impact which I am still completely obsessed with, season 2 of Fall Guys, and I started playing Martian Gothic: Unification since I have wanted to experience it for myself ever since seeing a let’s play on YouTube a few years ago. So far, I’m pretty into it. I’m using save states instead of the actual save system because uhhhh, yeah. If you know the game at all, you will understand. The Playstation 5 comes out in a few days, and like I mentioned before, I am sad that I can’t play the new Demon’s Souls game, but at the same time, I do want to play the original again and it seems many of the games releasing will be on PS4 still with the free upgrade to PS5, so I feel like I’m not missing out on too much. I’m excited to start the new Spider-Man: Miles Morales game on Thursday! I’m going to pre-order it tonight and get the preload started so it’s all set to go Thursday evening when I get home! I’m still working out my backlog, and I feel like it has grown even bigger now with PS1 and PS2 games I never played but now can.

So now, what are my goals for the rest of this year?

  • Keep up with my Korean studies.
  • Work on a backlog spreadsheet.
  • Get my portfolios done.
  • Don’t feel bad if I don’t complete a goal.

With that said, I do want to write here more, and I plan to. I have a lot of ideas I want to do for posts. Since there is a new Genshin Impact update coming tomorrow, I think that might be my first new post. I may also write about Martian Gothic as well since it has intrigued me for years. From there, we’ll see 🙂

Thanks for reading, following, and sticking around if you’re still here!

gaming · inspiration

Just an adventure with old friends…

I feel like this may be some sort of weird sequel to my post about video game backlogs, or maybe it isn’t. So, as I said a couple of weeks back, I was super excited to get back into Watch_Dogs. Well, I was excited for maybe a week, and then it wore off on me. My answer as to why I lost interest is really, I have no idea. But, I think I may have found an answer through an unlikely game series I haven’t played in quite some time…

Uncharted.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves remastered. Screenshot by me.

I love the Uncharted series. It’s still fresh after all these years since the original version of Drake’s Fortune came out back in 2007. I got the remastered version of the trilogy, The Nathan Drake Collection, when it came out and only ever played through the newer version of Drake’s Fortune once. Now, I’m 100% sucked back into this world. And I think it may possibly be due to nostalgia… but also? I think it’s because I just really needed a good adventure to go on with a bunch of characters I really love.

Watch_Dogs hits too close to home for what’s going on in the digital world, and it seems like a huge downer while playing it. I love the concept, but after watching a documentary like The Social Dilemma? Do I really want to be playing a game that, while it may seem ridiculous, actually parallels reality in some ways? My answer to that is: not right now.

I’ve already completed Drake’s Fortune a few times since getting back into the series and have moved onto one of my absolute favorite games of all time: Among Thieves. It’s been a blast so far. Everything is so familiar, yet it has been that long since I’ve played the games that it’s like discovering everything for the first time all over again. 

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune remastered. Screenshot by me.

I think I have also mentioned this multiple times on here already, but this year has been tough to get through with everything that’s going on. I’ve seen a lot of people talking about going back to comfort shows, books, movies, games, and so on, just because it helps them and their mental health. It made me think about if I had anything like that that I could turn to in times like this to try and de-stress. Well, I think I may have found it in Uncharted. Honestly, booting up the game and getting into the menu to hear a variation of Drake’s Theme really makes me feel good as weird as it may sound! It’s made me rediscover how incredible the soundtracks to these games are (which sadly are not streaming on Apple Music but at least there is YouTube!) and rediscovering the stories has also been amazing and heart warming for me. 


Maybe this is part of the answer to tackling a video game backlog: revisiting games that make you feel good and/or games that you absolutely cherish. While Uncharted is a series I played through, I think game replays also count as part of a backlog as well. I’ve had this series on my list of games to revisit for so long, that now of all times feels the most appropriate to revisit it, and I’m happy that I made the decision to do so. Not to mention, it also reginited my love for Playstation trophy hunting… so now there’s that… It’s funny, because my first ever trophy was from the original version of Drake’s Fortune after I bought a Playstation 3 back in 2009! How fitting.

inspiration · various life things

My goals for the rest of the year.

Since I’m still working on writing other posts that are not complete yet, I figured I would write out a post about what my goals are for the rest of the year, and also some plans I have despite everything that is going on in the world! We’re almost to October already, so I’m hoping to get a lot of stuff prepared so that I will be able to meet these goals by the time October 1st hits next week!

  • Learn a new language.

This is something I’ve been wanting to do for… a very long time. I always start but then end up not following through with it. However, I did order the Learn Korean w/ BTS set which I’m excited for! I don’t think it will be here until November, but in the meantime, I really want to get started with the Korean language with the basics, so I’ll be making a plan to start doing this by next week while I wait for my textbooks to arrive. It will be fun for sure!

  • Spend at least 30 minutes a day (or every other day) tidying up a space.

Admittedly, I got this idea from Instagram. On my explore page, there’s a lot of self care stuff that I see and this seems to be a running theme with it. I have a lot of things I need to sort through, get rid of, put in boxes, and other things I want to decorate and add to my space. I always overwhelm myself by trying to do everything at once, but today, I cleaned up one space and it felt really good! So, for the rest of the year, I’m hoping to get more done by doing this! My first thing I really want to do in terms of decorating? When I get paid Friday, I definitely want to get a frame and light decorations for my Jungkook poster to get up by the time the BTS online concert happens! 

  • Do a blog challenge!

I’d love to do some sort of blog challenge. Especially for October leading up to Halloween! I may try to find more challenges and pick and choose from a bunch of them to make the best and most interesting challenge possible for myself.

  • Play a lot of horror games.

There are a lot of horror games coming out next month, some of which I talk about in this post. I really want to embrace the spooky season and play as many horror games as I can. I think possibly the best way to do this is to make some sort of schedule for myself and the games I want to play. I also want to be able to play them and take screenshots and videos to edit for my Instagram as well. So, this weekend, I plan on trying to make a schedule. I may post it here on Monday if I’m successful!

  • Be better at time management.

Ah, yes. Something else I need to work on. I used to be semi decent at time management, but have honestly been awful with it since the pandemic started back in the Spring. I’m hoping to make a better schedule for myself with hobbies, work, and free time. Most importantly, I need to work on a better sleep schedule.

So, there it is! I’m hoping I can achieve these all by the years end! I will definitely be updating about this as time goes on.

gaming · inspiration

The beginnings of tackling a video game backlog.

I think it’s safe to say that I have had a never ending, always growing backlog of video games to be played over the years of having gaming as a hobby. I know I’m not alone in buying every game possible during one of Sony’s many flash sales that seem to happen too frequently. Yesterday, I took a look at my library, and I have over 300 digital games (including free Playstation Plus games), and that doesn’t include the physical games I used to buy (and still buy if I see something really good for super cheap).

With a new generation of console gaming upon us… how will I ever get through my backlog? I really don’t have an answer for it. Or maybe I have part of an answer?

A few “rules” I am making for myself for the next console generation may help solve some of my issues that I have with my backlog:

  • First and foremost!!! I’m done with the remasters. If a game came out on PS1, PS2 or even PS3 and is getting a full on remake, then yes, I am here for it. But if a PS3 game is just getting a visual upgrade or “remastered”, or even a PS4 game, then no thanks. I bought way too many remasters and I regret it. I’ll still play them since I have them. To me, it’s just not necessary to try to remaster a PS4 game on the PS5. Especially since I have a PS4 pro and the games look good enough already.
  • One thing that can possibly backfire with the above, is possibly the fact that developers will just add new content to a PS5 release of a PS4 game and stop supporting the PS4 version. Honestly? Trashy, but I get it from the business standpoint of wanting to make money. I’m curious to see how the first couple of years play out for this reason alone.
  • Something that I also did with the PS3 and PS4: I didn’t buy the new console right away. With PS3, it wasn’t until the end of 2009 when I finally got one thanks to Uncharted 2. With the PS4, since Watch_Dogs was delayed, I didn’t get the console at launch but I did get one that Christmas. And.. I didn’t really use it that much until Watch_Dogs came out in May of 2014. Sure, there were a couple of games that I played on it like Outlast, but I was still mostly using my PS3. This time, I’m waiting for a game to actually be out that I want before I buy the new console. I decided on Resident Evil 8 or Demon’s Souls remake, whichever comes first I suppose!

Speaking of Watch_Dogs

Aiden Pearce in Watch_Dogs, official promotional image from Ubisoft

I’ve decided since I’ve been kind of on a weird “wanting to learn and understand more about digital/social media” binge these days, I’m diving back into Watch_Dogs. My other excuse is that Aiden Pearce is coming back in Legion and I’m super excited to play as him again! I’ve only played both games one time only as they are rather lengthy and have a lot to do. I’ve already done the Alone digital trip to get my favorite costume for Aiden which took me almost 2 hours since I’m still relearning how to play the game again. 

Maybe I will get more inspiration or perspective on how to get through my backlog soon! If anyone else has a backlog and has any tips or wants to share how you get through it, please feel free to leave a comment on here!

films · inspiration · technology

My Social Dilemma

This morning, I was able to watch a documentary I have been interested in since I learned of its existence about a couple of weeks ago: The Social Dilemma. It’s available starting today on Netflix and I urge everyone to give it a watch. And when you do, put your phone on silent or even turn it off so you don’t get distracted because this throws a lot at you and will have you thinking about your social media usage and your relationship with your phone and technology by the time it’s over. It goes into great detail about how these social media apps actually work and the bubble that we are all in. It also discusses how we are products being sold. Some of the concepts were very obvious, but it felt that it needed to be addressed by people who worked with these systems and know how they work firsthand in order to really get it.

The Social Dilemma promotional image courtesy of Netflix

Honestly, this might be one of the scariest documentaries I have seen so far because it’s very real and it’s happening right now with no end in sight, or so it seems. Despite not wanting to, I saw myself too many times being described in this documentary. And it truly haunted me a little bit. I do have some hope with The Center for Humane Technology (https://www.humanetech.com/), which I definitely plan to learn more about in the near future! I already subscribed to their podcast!

As a result from watching this documentary, it really inspired me to look more at my phone usage and the apps I have on there. I deleted almost 50 apps today, as well as almost my entire photo gallery that was sadly, mostly full of memes I had saved while endlessly scrolling through the depths of Twitter.

So, which apps survived? Well, not a whole lot. I have what I would categorize as “essential apps”, like apps to pay my bills and an app for my bank account. I went down from about 14 photo editing apps to only one, PicsArt, which I use to edit my gaming screenshots for Instagram, which is the only social media app I have left on my phone. I debated keeping Twitter, but ultimately, it had to go. Apple Music and Play Music are also still on my phone, as well as Audible and the Google Podcast app for some nice, easy listening on breaks. I do have Ipsy, Amazon, Dunkin, and Starbucks apps on my phone as well… that can’t hurt, right?

Another thing that I did?

I turned off notifications for the apps that remain. I have text and phone notifications on, and that’s it. I don’t get a notification every single time I get an email, or someone “likes” something I posted. It’s been only 12 hours but let me tell you, it feels awesome. It’s sad to wonder what life was before all of this technology just… happened. You don’t need to always be online or be connected to live. I think it’s the opposite: you need to disconnect. Not even 100% or permanently, unless you want to, but just enough so that using these things becomes healthier.

This even rolled over to my Playstation 4. I cleared out the storage almost completely, deleting games I doubt I will ever play again or am completely done with. And it felt good! 

We’ll see how it goes. I’m wondering how much of an impact this has all had on my mental health. Time will tell.


PS: An interesting article popped up today about bringing back the old school “away message”, and seems relevant, check it out here!