My Ranking for 2016 Movies Caught out of Theatres

3 movies+tvshows - wednesday

So this is my second annual movie post – the movies I’ve caught outside of the theatres. The junk movies that I dare not pay full ticket prices for, the ones I just missed, the ones that I just found myself watching one crazy afternoon, evening, late night … on a flight to Melbourne, on a random channel on TV, on my new Netflix subscription (currently on my second month of Netflix). This year I have an assortment of really terrible movies on my list, and some decent ones. More terrible. Unlike last year where I caught some amazing Studio Ghibli gems.

And my rating for them … well, apart from the top three … the rest were just awful:

  1. The Good Dinosaur
  2. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi
  3. Love Actually
  4. The 5th Wave
  5. Love & Other Drugs
  6. Goosebumps
  7. Knocked Up
  8. Zapped
  9. The Peanuts Movie
  10. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
  11. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  12. A 2nd Chance

I know some people may be questioning why I put The Peanuts Movie so low – but picture a really long flight and me watching it somewhere in the middle of it. I don’t have much sentiment towards Peanuts, so although I know it’s supposed to be really endearing, it bored me to death. Again, these lists are very subjective.

To better movies out of theatres next year!

Till next time!

cumuloq❤

(Not So) Christmas Baking: Creamy Salmon Pie

The most important part of Christmas baking is the Christmas songs! – Rheyza, 2016

So I’m not a baking or cooking person. Mostly ’cause I’ve never had the opportunity to bake or cook. But I was determined to get started after I got an oven as a wedding present. So, adapting from Jamie Oliver’s recipe on Creamy Fish Pie, one of my bestest friends, Rheyza, and I set out to bake a creamy salmon pie:

Serving – Four people12-ready-to-eat

Ingredients

  • 900 grams of potatoes (we used Hertha)
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 500ml warm milk
  • 25 grams of butter (for the mashed potatoes) + 75 grams of butter (for the cream sauce)
  • 110 grams of cheddar cheese
  • 75 grams of flour
  • 350 grams of salmon, skinned, boned and cut into chunks (possible to use up to 600 grams)
  • Salt (can be sea salt)
  • Pepper (black or white)

Steps/method

Basically there are three separate parts you are working with with this recipe: the potatoes, the vegetables and the cream sauce. It helped having an extra pair of hands around because Rheyza and I were a tag team pair when it came to getting both the vegetables and cream sauce ready at the same time.

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Peel potatoes (optional to chop them) and place them into a large saucepan with cold water and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Bring to boil over high heat then simmer and cook for 12-15 minutes, i.e. until potatoes are tender enough to be pierced with fork.
  4. Drain, then mash potatoes with butter then add the chopped spring onions and stir.
  5. Heat oil (we used a canola/olive oil mix) in frying pan.
  6. Add the garlic, carrot and celery then saute until tender.
  7. Remove vegetables and place them in a large high-sided baking dish. (We used two aluminium pans.) Add the salmon to the baking dish.
  8. Melt butter into another saucepan and stir in the flour quickly till you have a smooth paste.
  9. Gradually whisk in warm milk and bring sauce to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and simmer for 2 minutes till sauce becomes thick.
  11. Remove pan from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  12.  Pour sauce over fish and vegetables and mix.
  13. Gently spread mashed potato over the top, season with salt and pepper.
  14. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese.
  15. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden on top.

Obviously no plagiarism intended when putting in mostly the original recipe here. This is for me to be able to go back and recreate the steps in future.

If you do try it, let me know! It’s delicious! Enjoy!

Till next time,

cumuloq❤

Favourite New Youtuber Finds of 2016

Hey everyone!

Oh my goodness, I just got my Macbook back from repairs. It is working! Finally! And I bought a new keyboard protector, and it feels so amazing to type. And I thought it would be a waste not to just post more things on my blog after being so deprived from it.

I thought one good thing I could make a list of, a new one, is one of my favourite new youtubers. These youtubers are not meant to surpass the ones I’ve always been following, and because they are new to me, doesn’t mean they are new at all, but just to put the new ones I’m following this year, and have fallen in love with, into the spotlight. (Not that they need it.) Oh, and I also wonder if I did start following some this year – a year is both long and incredibly short – but they are definitely youtubers I fell more and more in love with.

I feel like for a lot of these youtubers I’ve jumped on the bandwagon so so late. But I’ve just absolutely fallen in love with them. So, in no particular order:

1. Dodie Clarke, i.e. doddleoddle

Dodie just might be my spirit animal. Her voice is sooo beautiful, and when she is off on her little chats, I feel like grabbing a warm tea and just cozying up on the couch. She is just so relatable as a person to me and I can only wish her so much success on her path to pursuit more music and more happiness.

2. Carrie Hope Fletcher, i.e. ItsWayPastMyBedTime

Okay, I feel so behind the bandwagon for this one. But Carrie is sooo amazing! She’s so articulate and insightful and at the same time so so talented and cheery. She’s another British youtuber who I just fell in love with this year.

3. Alex Rainbird Playlists

And this last one is less of “youtuber” and more of an entire music channel that I’ve just loved. I’ve been collecting songs to create a playlist for my wedding dinner, and a lot of my songs came from Alex Rainbird’s monthly indie playlists. I would just play them while I have a shower, and just note down whenever I fell in love with one – which was honestly extremely difficult because I would love an entire string of them and I’d be like “CRAP I NEED TO LIST THEM ALL DOWN!” But it’s a happy problem.

Anywho, those are the three channels! They also feel like ones that will be staples on my subscribe list. (I usually recycle some yearly so I don’t go overboard with Youtube videos – if you’ve read my blog you’ll know how much Youtube I watch … it’s a proper addiction.)

Well, till next time!

cumuloq❤

My Ranking for 2016 Movies Caught in Theatres

3 movies+tvshows - wednesday

Yup! Surprise! I think I’ve posted a total of four blog posts this year, and all of them have been so whiny (personally judging my past self’s emotional turmoil). But, it has been a busy year. There were a lot of first and lasts. But I knew, if anything, I had to continue with some of the wrap-ups of the year. If not for readers (if there are any still out there) then for myself.

One that I’ve been particularly consistent in is my list and ranking of the movies I’ve watched in and outside cinemas. So, here are the ones I’ve caught this year (starting from the last place I stopped last year, so technically Dec 2015 onwards) in the order I’ve watched them:

Surprisingly, I’ve watched around the same amount of movies this year as last year. As usual, I usually choose the ones to watch in cinemas either according to their Rotten Tomato ratings, personal preference and, sometimes, I’m roped in to watch a few.

And here are my ratings for them:

  1. Train to Busan
  2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  3. 10 Cloverfield Lane
  4. Zootopia
  5. Deadpool
  6. Moana
  7. Finding Dory
  8. Kung Fu Panda 3
  9. X-Men: Apocalypse
  10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  11. Doctor Strange
  12. Captain America: Civil War
  13. Star Trek Beyond
  14. Apprentice
  15. Ghostbusters
  16. Me Before You
  17. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

To be honest, all the ones around no. 4 to 13 have about the same ranking to me. And honestly, none of them are that terrible – except for no. 15 and no. 16 (both of which I personally hate with a passion due to very different reasons – and which I know have very polarising audience opinions). Be reminded that the way I rank movies is entirely subjective. Some things I factor in include: the experience, whether I’d watch it again, whether it moves away from cliches.

I also didn’t expect that the no. 1 movie I would love so much would be a Korean zombie movie. But hey, the best movies don’t follow the most obvious tropes!

Stay tuned for my ranking of movies outside the cinema next week! (Hopefully next week!)  As well as some other yearly round-ups.

Till next time!

cumuloq❤

Edited: Added Deadpool because I completely missed out on it.

A Different Me

Hey there,

Well, I guess I’m back to gripe again? Not sure. I feel like I need to write to get some of my irritation – ennui – out of my system. And I suppose this is the only place I know where to go to gripe. I have a lot of different, small parcels, of rants to get out – but all of it seems to be wrapped up in this large brown package of … my identity – I guess. Less of who am i?  and more of why does it matter who i am? 

I have a lot of little pet peeves, and one of them, for certain, is someone telling me what I like, or dislike, or what I am good at or bad at, and I think this is made all the more pronounced when I watch television shows like Girl Meets World and Riley is telling Maya “I know exactly who you are – you’re the girl who stands on tables and breaks the rules!” and Corey telling Shaun “You are reckless spontaneity!” and watching Faking It and Karma telling Amy “I know who you are and what you like and this isn’t you!” I hate people like Riley and Corey and Karma – who believe that they have their best friend figured out; I hate it when it is obvious that when they say that to their best friend, in reality, they do. not. grow. from. that. 

I watched a video on identity on Crash Course recently which I believe was so absolutely necessary for me to argue that a friend can or should never necessarily say that they know who their friend is – all the time. Because a person is never the same. They change. They are not the same person in the morning, they are not the same person in the afternoon – and you can never assume that they are the same person the next time you meet them. That is why it is so necessary for you to catch up with them from the last time you saw them – not just about their lives, but also about their interests and beliefs. Because so many things can happen, so many thoughts, actions and habits, that can change a person bit by bit.

Corey has not seen Shaun in ages – what right does he have to say that Shaun’s reckless spontaneity has not changed? Yes, friends can remind us of the essentially good things about ourselves that led them to be close to you – but they have no right to assume that you have not grown out of some habits. And it is never right to force someone back to a habit that they honestly do not feel strongly about anymore. And … I guess that is the root of a lot of my pet peeves: disingenuousness.

But – wrapped up in this gripe about how I don’t like people who assume people never change is also the fact that there is an assumption that you will eventually find yourself – or a personality trait that you can just fit well with. Like, I am defined by my love of cats and the colour pink. But … then if there are millions of people out there who fit within that venn diagram intersection of ‘loves cats’ and ‘loves the colour pink’ – what makes you different from them? Surely, there is something that just cannot be described about yourself in adjectives that makes you ‘you’. And … when I was younger I’d spend ages on personality quizzes, and just quizzes in general. There’s just something addictive about being told, or affirming who you are.

But … then there is the disillusion. That it is all fixed. You can choose the answers that you want. And if they are not the answers you want, you can just try again. Or you can just shrug it off and say the quiz doesn’t get me – which is absolutely true. Because there is no way a quiz on “Which Disney Princess Are You?” is going to be able to identify you. All the adjectives are generic. Everyone could seek adventure, love books, be shy, want to be compassionate, want to find their soulmate – yet be independent.

One thing I’ve learnt to realise is that I will never find myself. There are days I am far more insecure that I know I deserve to be. There are days I feel incredibly intelligent and capable. There are days when I want to be out there, learning something from some new experiences. And other days where I just want to hide away in my bed and sleep the day off.

I don’t think I’ll ever be – someone. A someone. I’ll be me. But that me will never necessarily be me in the next few seconds – if that makes sense. Not that I’ll be schizophrenic, or bipolar – not in the slightest. But I’ve come to accept the fact that one unique trait – that is not so unique – about myself is that I am comfortable to never really be myself ever. I don’t want anyone to be able to label me as someone – because that is terrifying. It is terrifying to decide on small insignificant details about myself and not be open to wanting to find out more about myself …

I used to say my favourite movie was “Pan’s Labyrinth” – and yes, in the moments I watch it, it surely is. But I don’t want to be fixed to it. Because I also love “About Time” – so so much – and I love “Howl’s Moving Castle”. There are some years I can call myself a book lover – and other years I really couldn’t care less about books when there are so many other things occupying my life at that point in time – but I guess it doesn’t mean that I can’t go back to those points in my life. But it also does not mean that I have to love all of those things for that point in time. Because it is exhausting to fake enthusiasm for things you used to be enthusiastic for during that one part of your life, but not feel much for in the next part.

So, I don’t want people to tell what my interests are or what I am good at essentially. I just want them to know how I am doing, how I am feeling for that particular moment. And if they want to know me again, come sit down and let me share with you my favourite movies, books and shows. And let me tell you about my latest stories while drinking and eating my current obsessions. But, be comfortable with the fact that I change. All the time.

I guess, to wrap this post up, I just want to really really be comfortable with the fact that I will never know who I am. But that is what keeps me going. To find new identities of myself. And to remember the people I used to be.

We all change, when you think about it, we’re all different people; all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear. I will always remember when The Doctor was me.” – The Eleventh Doctor

Till next time … when I am someone else,

cumuloq❤

I Feel Like Amy Pond

7 the rest - sunday

Hey guys,

So, it’s been a couple of eons since I’ve last blogged anything. If anything, it’s safe to say from a visitor’s perspective of my blog that I’ve been completely obliterated from the year 2016 … but I haven’t been. In all honesty, if there was any time for me to be recording the happenings of any year – it would be 2016. But, 2016 has honestly been a year of many uncertain ups and downs – when really it shouldn’t have any downs at all.

I don’t know … I’m honestly coming into this post not knowing my current objective – which, as anyone in any job scope or understanding of game play knows, is really a bad idea.

I feel like I’m on a precipice. I feel like there are many things that I’m seeing this year that are going very wrong … and a few small things that are turning right, and I’m still trying very hard to figure out where I fit into things – when I have absolutely no time to breath and think.

And I think that’s been happening a lot lately. So many important things are happening and I should be in the present and I feel like I should have certain emotions – but I’m being pulled in so many different ways. And I know nothing is going to change once big milestones are crossed … and yet everything will be different.

I feel like Amy Pond.

amy-amy-pond-16913008-1280-720

That’s it.

I feel like Amy Pond and I need the Doctor to come over and provide me some perspective on the eve of my very big day; let me float in space in my nightie and stare down at the earth, and remind me that everything is so very very small and yet so very very big at the same time. And that I am so insignificant and yet so very important as well. And that everything can be going so very wrong and that can be alright, and everything can seem all well and good and also be so incredibly wrong – but so long as I am brave and strong and patient, so very patient, and wait and hope – I can be saved from it all.

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I wish I was somehow wiser, that I could spend a year or so drifting off in the space-time continuum – as the cracks in my bedroom wall – in time – grow wider and wider as I neglect my responsibilities.

So …

I came here to write about how I felt about this day, before the big day. But all I can write about is how time seems to have moved far too fast and slow at the same time. And my mind has been so cluttered and empty with so many unimportantly important things.

And I wish I was instead eating fish finger custards at a small table in the middle of the night with the Doctor, just worrying about a crack in my wall.

doctor-and-amelia

And it’s not that I don’t love my Rory. But because sometimes you feel robbed of the time you could have spent contemplating about what is missing in your life … that something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue … could have happened. But in reality never will.

I feel like some fairytales need to end for some to begin.

And currently my Amelia Pond mind is in denial. But it’ll be okay, Amy. You have the Last Centurion. And some times time travel doesn’t have to be grand to exist in real life.

Till next time,

(an honestly far too cryptic) cumuloq

Favourite Games of 2015

5 tgfyv - friday

Hey guys!

Happy New Year! It’s finally 2016, and I have a really good feeling about this year. I have yet to make any concrete plans or resolutions, but I have a nervous excited energy about this year. But, before we go on and prepare for all our plans, let me take a quick look back at all the games I’ve loved last year.

Now, personally, I’m not the type to play many games on my own. Mostly cause I suffer from Player 2 syndrome – which I personally classify as a co-op, safer, perfectionist kind of attitude when it comes to gaming. I’m also kind of a backseat driver kind of player. I like to watch other people do things before I give it a go myself so I can assess what can probably be done better. So, a lot of the games I do end up playing on my own have the tendency to be low-risk, creative games. So this list has nothing to do with games I play on my own, and more to do with games that I loved to watch and fell in love with watching.

So here goes:

10. Town of Salem 

Party, strategy | BlankMediaGames, LLC | Browser Steam (software)

Yup, Town of Salem is still a favourite from 2014 – which seems apparent from my most recent, previous post. But it definitely has slipped a couple of notches in my favourite list. Mostly because the servers nowadays are overrun by either people who understand the game enough for each game to be too straightforward, or trolls who are completely trying to ruin the gameplay, or flakes that leave immediately when the game starts leaving either the town or mafia vulnerable.

Favourite Youtubers for this: ChilledChaos, ZeRoyalViking

9. Mario Kart 8

Racing | Nintendo EAD Group No. 1 | Nintendo 

It is the fact that it went up to 200cc and that there are amazing new courses and characters that were added into the gameplay that keeps Mario Kart 8 on my list of favourites. 200cc definitely added to the salt that was already accumulating in the videos of the Derp Crew. Plus, I just love the Big Blue course (final course of Bell Cup). It is a thing of beauty.

Favourite Youtubers for this: TomFawkes, GaLm, ChilledChaos, YOGCAST Kim

8. Depth 

FPS action | Digital Confectioners | Microsoft Windows

Humans vs. Sharks! Depth is another one that was created in 2014, but became a lot more complex and interesting in 2015 with new maps and new game modes and new sharks.

Favourite Youtubers for this: Ohmwrecker, H2ODelirious, GassyMexican 

7. Life is Strange

Episodic graphic adventure | Dontnod Entertainment | Square Enix

A girl who discovers she can turn back time. I kind of expected Life is Strange to be my new To the Moon – but it didn’t really have the same oof to it. There were parts of it that seemed like a generic teen narrative – and then there were some really strong episodes like ‘Out of Time’ (Chapter 2) and ‘Dark Room’ (Chapter 4). So it still makes it in my list because of those unforgettable moments that really took up chunks of my 2015. Plus, spending quality time watching an LP I loved from YOGCAST Kim made it so much more rewarding. I honestly hated all other LPs of it. Kim made choices I would have made.

Favourite Youtubers for this: YOGCAST Kim 

6. Until Dawn 

Interactive drama, survival horror | Supermassive Games | Sony Computer Entertainment

Eight teenagers in a cabin – with something after them. Try to help them survive with the help of the butterfly effect totems. I remember the first time seeing this game I stumbled halfway into a livestream of it on Chilled’s channel. I thought the “Don’t Move” feature of the game, using the motion controls of the PS4 to be amazing – and also I knew that if I ever ended up trying to play this game I would fail miserably because of my naturally shaky hands. So I proceeded to watch every other youtuber do well – or really really horribly – through this game. And honestly the reactions were some of the best parts of my 2015 youtube gaming experience. And I have this game to thank for it.

Favourite Youtubers for this: ChilledChaos, Markiplier, Achievement Hunters

5. Don’t Starve Together / Don’t Starve Shipwrecked

Action-adventure | Klei entertainment

I kind of cheated and put the two together, but they are all under the same game, i.e. Don’t Starve. While I have been watching Don’t Starve for a while now, it is only most recently that I’ve found the right Youtubers and that the new updates make for much more challenging and engaging gameplay. I love the artwork of this game so much and all the small quirks. I so want a beefalo plushie or a chester plushie. Everything in this game just screams out to me.

Favourite Youtubers for this: MathasGames, GassyMexican, OhmWrecker

4. Rocket League

Sports | Psyonix

Okay, it may seem really crazy, but this game is incredibly addictive to watch and, having watched too much of this, I get way too into it. On the surface it seems like just a game of cars playing soccer, but it is so incredibly well-made with slow-mo goals and speed boosters. I think the two friends I suggested this game to immediately became hooked on it for how great it is. Just for the sheer pleasure it brings, it definitely deserves to be high up on my list.

Favourite Youtubers for this: Ohmwrecker, Chilledchaos

3. Undertale

Role-playing | toby fox

What first appealed to me for this game is that you can choose to either fight or talk your way out of a fight – and that all choices you make, the game remembers. At first, I thought that was all the game had going for it, but it really surprised me how much I loved it. It sort of breaks the fourth wall at many points within the game and really pulls the finger of the RPG genre. Because of how original and unique it is, it definitely will be remember as one of my favourites this year.

Favourite Youtubers of this: Game Grumps (Barry and Ross) 

2. Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes 

Puzzle | Steel Crate Games

When I first saw this game being played by Ross, Arin and Barry on Steam Train, I absolutely fell in love with the concept immediately. Basically one of the players will be playing the game (you can even use the oculus rift) and the other friends all have a bomb defusal manual to help that person defuse the bomb. Neither can look at what the other one is doing and they need to rely on one another to get the bomb defused. There are different levels and they get progressively harder, either by increasing the manuals you need to do, the types of manuals or simply just by reducing the timer. Because of how creative the concept is and how impressive it is to watch a person defuse a bomb, I absolutely count it as a really high favourite in 2015. I’m also impartial to puzzle games. It also means I have to be incredibly subjective as to who I watch play this game – because sheer stupidity can be a huge wet blanket. But then again, some people watch it just to see people be stupid.

Favourite Youtubers for this: LtHummus, Game Grumps, Ohmwrecker

1. Splatoon

Third-person shooter, platformer | Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 | Nintendo

And my favourite this year is Splatoon! You’re a kid/squid in a post-apocalyptic world where you’ve entered the Squid Wars, teams battling each other for ink territory. I fell in love with music of this game, the entire game play of it, the lovely art. I also thought it was a wonderful idea for a third-person shooter. Incredibly dynamic – except when there was incredible amounts of lag. So I salute Splatoon as no. 1 in my heart for 2015!

Favourite Youtubers for this: GaLm

So those are my favourites for 2015! It was a good year of Let’s Plays and gaming, especially since I made a concerted and conscious effort to record all of my favourites down. One of my plans this year is definitely to continue doing this. 2015 was definitely a year of progress in my love for video games. I personally managed to complete Portal 2, three chapters of The Walking Dead, Game Dev Tycoon and, as usual, play way too much Sims 3 (I refuse to play the newest version). I hope 2016 I can continued this investment into a nerdy part of me I just refuse to give up – but at the same time I want to be able to negotiate it with my love for books, movies and tv shows as well. So I’m still trying to find a middling ground.

Once again, happy new year! Hope you are all healthy and loved.

Till next time,

cumuloq❤