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!

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.