Three Scary Mom Films (Happy Mother’s Day Edition)

Yes, I am one day late. I missed the deadline, but the world hasn’t end yet, has it? Happy belated Mother’s day! Actually, last year the holiday was celebrated on May 10th so technically I am not really late, and I learned the holiday is celebrated on Sunday for religious reasons that is why Mother’s Day was on the 9th of this year. That’s a fun fact I never paid attention to until now.

I am back with my three list of recommendations. For those who are new to my blog, I like to make a list of recommendations on films, video games, or books. Because I enjoy horror genre, I purposely decided to go with the scary mom theme. I learned from the following films that sadly not everyone was fortunate enough to know what a good mom is. Hopefully, your relationship with your mother is in good terms.

So grab a bowl of popcorns and get ready! In no particular order from bad to worst mom. I make my three list:

A bowl of popcorns

#1 Mommie Dearest (1981)

Director: Frank Perry

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Diana Scarwid, Steve Forrest

Why did I pick this one? Well the mother is a perfectionist to an extreme. You have to be if you are a top Hollywood star, but at the expense of motherhood. She is constantly unaware that she is not fit to be a mom and yet she insists of being a mom to a child. It’s really a sad story actually. She had a successful career but unsuccessful relationships with her love ones including herself. We all know she can’t remain on top forever. Youth and beauty eventually fade and soon she is no longer wanted. Like a product, Hollywood throws away the old for something new and fresh. It’s no surprise, for decades, the film industry has been largely dominated by men. So I sympathize with the protagonist and want to see her rise to the top even though I know she was clearly mad. Great career woman, but terrible mom. Seems like the film was arguing that you can’t be good at both.

Next up…

#2 Flowers in the Attic (1987)

Director: Jeffrey Bloom

Starring: Kristy Swanson, Victoria Tennant, Louise Fletcher

I kept wondering in the beginning of the film why the children are so blond then it occurred to me that they are the making of incest. Out of disgust and shame, the strict religious grandma locked them up in the attic and punished the daughter who is the mother of the children for her past wicked deed. Not only did she seduced her uncle and had children with him, but she also seduced her own father for his inheritance. Like a cat, she kept seducing people to get what she wants. Bad mom indeed, and purely one dimensional. She is so dehumanized that the story becomes an unconvincing horror tale, but more like a sexual fetish. Don’t know what I am taking about? Then I encourage you to watch it.

Lastly…

#3 White Lies (2013)

Director: Dana Rotberg

Starring: Whirimako Black, Antonia Prebble, and Rachel House

I mentioned this film before on my blog but never elaborate into details about the plot. The mother in this film is the worst. Living a lie and living in shame due to inferior complex is teaching children to hate their heritage. Mothers should teach self-respect, compassion and confidence to their children. Skin and culture has nothing to do with superiority but why do people still believe otherwise? Bad parenting, I assume. What irked me about the mother is not only does she tries to alter one’s appearance but she tries to eliminate her mother tongue completely. Hence the title White Lies. But if you want to look at the film a bit more deeply–it is more than just eliminating one’s root. It brought up the question: is the western’s way always better? I chose this film because like many international films I’ve seen in the past, it creates a dialogue that’s worthy of discussion on top of the fact the mom is scary.

Yep, those are my 3 list of scary mom films. I guess it’s not the end of the world if you were raised by a bad mom. Most of the children in these films actually turned out fine. Well some might experience permanent phycological issues, but overcoming it–will make the individual a stronger person and thus an interesting story. No one glorifies weakness as a desired trait. Well I have not met one person who does but let me know if you have.

Halsdoll’s News: My Blog Reach 100 followers! Thank you!

The constant environmental stimulation coming from downtown Seattle area is hard to avoid. I’ve been in Seattle for some time now and it seems like it’s getting worse. In the beginning of 2020, there was a gunfire shooting on 3rd Ave that killed civilians. And with current national news in the U.S, it doesn’t seem to get any brighter. Asian-American hate crime is on the rise. Even more scarier is targeting against Asian-American women. It’s very tiring and mentally exhausting that I feel it’s okay to withdraw from the society and shut myself in and watch martial arts films and play games to save my sanity. No news is ever good news it seems.

The view of Wine and Tapas Bar (a.k.a co-worker’s apartment). My co-workers kindly took me in after I visited a Tarot Reader, ranting to them on how I felt so lost in life. And then the pandemic hit a few months later (photo taken on 06/07/2019)

Okay that’s just an excuse for my introversion. Even if there’s no crime–I would still withdraw from the society to enrich my soul with activities that bring me a lot of joy. But I hope you enjoyed reading my dire news introduction for this blog post.😜

On the bright side, this blog has become a very good friend. And now I finally reach 100 followers. Wow that’s pretty awesome. 100 people actually thought my blog is cool enough to follow. Hello, thanks! Nice to meet you!

I am also proud to have published a total of 91 posts (92 if I included this post) which were thought out carefully. Not so bad, considering the fact I was suffering from mental fatigue. I’m in better health now ever since I started cooking and eating properly; and learning to accept that there are some things in life we simply just have no control of.

I know blog would grow faster if I collaborate with other bloggers and follow SEO rules, but I prefer to work alone and figure what works and what doesn’t for myself. Plus producing high quality reviews is more important to me than growing blog massively. But with the right person, I might consider. If you are like me, you have a taste for fine things. You search for real connection and authenticity in the entertainment world or in life generally. I’m also assuming, you’re looking for meaningful content as well as creating it. There’s more to life than just a name; I mean fame.

So what to expect for the future of this blog?

  • Will continue to write insightful reviews
  • More creative posts to come
  • Will continue to post once a week since I think it’s manageable for my schedule (consistency is key to successful blogging)
  • In depth analyses on books and games (More quality content would be produced though if this was a full time job)

Pretty much, I am here for the long haul and so far, I’m very proud of this blog. As they say, when you take ownership of your craft, it adds more value to you than going to work for a paycheck and in return, I hope my content can offer something of valuable to you as well.

Well that’s it for now. Stay tuned for my honest, awesome insightful reviews. Until next time, see you ~

CODE VEIN_Action-RPG
Halsdoll playing a tune in Code Vein, an action adventure anime-like RPG game

Halsdoll’s Diner Menu Update: Food for Movie Time & No–Popcorn Is Not on the List

Oh the power of setting goals. I have many goals (creative, personal, and financial) and then I wonder how I wore myself out easily and ended up feel lazy from time to time. I realized I am only human. Not a machine. I achieved one of my goals. That I can boast.

If you are new to my blog, awhile ago, I set a goal for myself to become a better cook (you can click on the link to my blog post here: Halsdoll’s Diner: It’s Breakfast Time). It’s a good goal. Who can say no to food? The only problem with this goal is the outcome is food baby (a.k.a. potbelly). Now it just won’t go away. It keeps growing. Nooooo!!! Maybe my next goal is to find a good belly exercise so I can have a flat tummy again? Life’s woe never ends…

On the positive side, I have more energy than four years ago when I was underweight. Food is supposed to give us the energy to power throughout the day. So a little potbelly is okay. So what’s on the menu?

Halsdoll’s side dish (snacks)

I love eating French Fries like how I like eating chips. They are so good and addictive. Paired fries with a good film, it becomes a recipe for potbelly. Not a lot of movement going on when you are busy watching the screen and stuffing fries in your mouth. Sometimes when a film is so good you get suck into its world. It’s like holding your breath for 30 seconds driving through a tunnel. You get the picture, it can get intense and not eating mindfully will make anyone gain weight fast. I don’t know if I can ever eliminate fries though. They are just addictively good. Now that I know how to make my very own fries, I don’t need to go to the restaurants for fries.

Next up…Halsdoll’s Half Sandwich. No literally, the piece of bread is missing on purpose. That’s why it falls under snack. I like to eat this like I eat pizza. It has cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, turkey meat and buttered wheat bread. Yummy snack! I just can’t get enough!

Halsdoll’s Lunch Menu

I love sandwiches and have yet to make more different kinds. For now, I present my tuna fish sandwich, side with vinegar chips. Provolone cheese goes well with tuna. I like to switch it up with Swiss cheese from time to time.

Next up, who can say no to salad. I love vegetables. I present my salad! Still not as good at some of the places I go to–but I am getting there! At least have mastered boiling eggs! What a big achievement for me!

Lastly, fried rice. My mom made good fried rice. Mine is decent compared to hers but better than some restaurants. The good thing about cooking for yourself–you cook with love and so food tastes better.

Well that’s it for now. I hope you enjoy this little blog post. I did not realize how fun cooking can be but also time consuming. It takes a lot of patience, skills, planning, and gathering ingredients. Quality foods take time. Now I understood why my mother was so diligent about fresh ingredients and quality foods. It brings happiness and the family together around the table.

Hope you found a good meal to go with your movie time. Until next time, see you~

The Argument Against Books as a Form of Superior Medium to Video Games

I have been meaning to make more time to read, but sometimes I get discouraged from reading one bad book after the next which are supposedly bestsellers (keep in mind, it’s a matter of taste). Hence it’s why the book department in my blog is rather bleak and lonely. I have only reviewed one book so far: Handmaid’s Tale and quite frankly, I didn’t enjoy it all that much. I am not completely ruling out books for this blog because I am the poetry huntress. My passion is very particular in that essence. But I struggle to find a good book to read or maybe it’s just that I struggle to find a genuine book to read. So I’m in a bit of a dilemma.

I used to read a lot as a kid. In fact, I fell in love with books before I even started playing games. There’s something about the written word that makes it an intimate experience between the author and the reader. So it’s hard not to fall in love with books. But games consume most of my time nowadays so I started wondering why I play more than I read, knowing that books are great ways to formulate new ideas and open more dialogues.

And so I begin to ponder…

There are several films adaptation inspired by books. So it’s not hard to pay tribute to books as the superior medium. And many video games are inspired by films. You noticed a pattern here? Video game is a baby learning to walk on its legs, wanting to be recognized by its older siblings. Part of my maternal instinct is I want to see the baby grow. This brings me to conclude why I don’t read as much as I should nowadays: If people read purely for entertainment and for the artistic aesthetic, then I want to argue that video games are just as good as books. And perhaps even better than some books in terms of delivering meaningful content that adds value to our lives. Partially this is why I still hunt down to play a good game and why I rather invest playing games than reading. Out of love for the medium, I want to see it grow into something that’s respectable in the creative community.

Every time, I think about why I created my original blog back in 2016, I kept circling to the same idea: I’m writing to advocate and educate to the creative community. I write as a creative outlet because my soul depends on it and I want to share it with the rest of the world on what I enjoy. Video games can be great companions for those of us who are on the shy side. And on a personal level, video games gave me the inspiration to write most of my songs as mentioned in one of my posts. It’s like we are all connected. Books inspired films. Films inspired video games, and video games inspired me to write songs.

With this whole pandemic thing–isolation is not normal behavior even for an introvert myself. Some alone time is good, but too much is detrimental. I think video games have comforted some of us in some ways to help cope with mental stress. So let’s give some respect to video games because self-help books aren’t for everyone. Sometimes the bottled up emotions just have to go somewhere and for me it’s shooting virtual scary dogs. Well I guess it’s time to go shoot some skags in Borderlands 3 now!

P.S

If you are just stopping by this blog and if haven’t already, please check out some of my blog posts on games that I think are better than books in some ways. Until next time, see you later!

Tips on How I Deal With Social Distancing (for Introverts)

I’m back with my three list of recommendations, but I’ll be honest, I haven’t sat down and watch anything worthwhile for me to share. So instead of giving you a list of films I watched, I provide three list of things I do to cope with social distancing. Like the guy from Cast Away, instead of being stranded on an island with Wilson (the volleyball), I’ve been stranded in the city for years with my teddy bear. Talking to oneself is a very handy survival skill during this period of social isolation. The longer you spend time by yourself, the more you become your own best friend. After all, as Petrarch, the father of Renaissance said, life is about discovering oneself. So take this opportunity to get to know yourself during this pandemic.

So here are 3 things that have helped me cope with isolation:

1. Travel Alone

I remember in my teen years, I suffer from traveling anxiety. I have to plan my destination from point A to point B because I fear I would get lost, especially traveling to unfamiliar places alone. Let’s just say I am not the greatest with direction. But thank goodness for Google Map, I don’t fear traveling alone anymore. Whether it is commuting in a train, car, plane, or bus I have came to enjoy spending time alone, reflecting on things surrounding me. The world is bigger than what is inside of me surely. When you spend enough time alone, you learn to appreciate others ironically. You would realize how interdependent we are not only for human connection but for our overall survival. As they say no man is an island to himself. So learn how to be thankful. Too often, many of us are too occupied with what we don’t have that we forget to appreciate what is right in front of our eyes.

2. Play Horror Games

As crazy as it sounds, playing horror games triggered great laughter within me. It might be the fact I’m so scared that I laugh. Those games always make me stay alert. For awhile I was addicted to horror games for that reason. Try it, you might find yourself laughing as well. Laugh at Death is the only way to conquer it. That is what I’ve learned. Life can be like a rollercoaster, so enjoy the ride and laugh. The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you will begin to enjoy life.

3. Do Something Creative

I begin writing a lot of songs in the past few years as a way to release stress. It helps a lot. Going out for a walk helps with mental health and creativity. When you use all of your senses, you become alive and that is when creativity starts flowing from your veins! No kidding, I am not being dramatic. Most of my songs are inspired by my environment and the media I consume. When I sing, I release all of the emotional tension built up inside me. Humans are meant to create. Creativity is part of human survival.

Well I hope you enjoy my list. I am pretty sure you have your own unique ways of dealing with this pandemic stress. Be safe and be strong. Most importantly, be your own best friend and take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Until next time, bye bye.

Halsdoll’s Diner: How about Some Live Music and Merry Christmas

My diner is a little shabby and there aren’t many customers so I thought I put some music so I will bring some more customers to my diner (a.k.a blog). If you are new to my blog, please check out my old blog post why I created it in the first place. If you are just stopping by, I am so happy you are here! Please come in and enjoy your stay!

On the menu, I am putting in hamburger. I used whole-wheat buns and they come in small size as I can never finish a big full size hamburger. But if this is too small for you, then I can make you two with the price of 1. Does that sound like a deal? 🙂

Halsdoll’s Hamburger

Please also enjoy this original song I wrote about three years ago inspired by the game Armored Core: Last Raven. There will more be live music to come as I enjoy writing songs as a hobby apart from gaming and all the other hobbies I have. Please enjoy and come again to Halsdoll’s Diner.

P.S

I know I post this on Christmas Eve because I am just too excited to post on Christmas Day. I want to unplug from the internet on that day. 🙂

My Top 3 Best Video Game Soundtracks

If I don’t put “My” in the title, people will get upset, not realizing my opinion is not a fact. What is the irony in that? Unfortunately, many people are quick to speak than think. You can argue with me all you want on what is the best video game soundtrack because it will go from one ear to the next and then into thin air. My top 3, how subjective can that be? Yep, I am back with my list of three.

[By the way, I hope you enjoy the introduction. I feel like rhyming :)]

I love music generally, so it’s no surprise I love listening to video game music even after I am done with a game. It makes me feel hopelessly in love. There is a romantic side to me. After all, I’m only human.

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/56/Ni...

In the summer of 2010, I had one of the most memorable summer playing a game called Nier Gestalt; it blew my mind away in terms of storytelling. Back then, I was a penniless student. I couldn’t afford to go on a vacation. So there wasn’t much to do for summer break. It is one of those games where it will stick with you long after you complete because the music is so hauntingly good that I was under its spell for a long time. In my opinion, Nier Automata failed to capture that very same magic. The only thing it has going is a smooth gameplay. If you didn’t get a chance to the play the first installment, you will! There is a new version in the making. I just hope the sound effects and music don’t deviate much from the original! I don’t think anyone can argue that it doesn’t have one of the best video game soundtrack ever!

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d1/Trinity_...

Next up. It may not seem like it since I don’t cover much western media, but I actually love western literature, especially Greek drama. Oedipus Rex is one of my favorite plays. I can tell Trinity Souls of Zill O’ll was inspired by the play. But what made me love this game is how immersive and artistic the game is. It is like looking at a painting! And good music composition only alleviates the player’s experience. If you are a fan of JRPG, this is a hidden gem and a must play. I have two copies of the game. I love it that much if it weren’t for the music.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron - Wikipedia

Final but not least, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. Another artsy game that looks pretty good on the Xbox 360. It is also available for the PS3. Gameplay is clean and highly addictive. The stages are unique from one another so monotone is not in its vocabulary. However, the only weak point is the story: it’s difficult to follow. Like Nier OST, I listened to the soundtrack long after I beat it. It’s good music for studying, working or just for plain background noise. It has a heavenly sound to it. If you feel the need to escape somewhere peaceful, I recommend this soundtrack.

Honorable mention: Shenmue. No surprise there as it is my favorite game.

I hope you enjoy my list and found something you like. Let me know what your favorite soundtracks are. I am always looking for new music. Until next time, bye bye.

Belated Thanksgiving Dinner: Halsdoll’s Style

People already have their Christmas tree up whereas I’m just getting to Thanksgiving. If this was a real job I might have gotten fired by now. I’m from the West Coast. People here are pretty laid back, a little tardiness is okay. I’m only a few days late. I’m here. I’m present! The stock market is not to going to crash. I’m not in a rush to get a heart attack!

Yes I failed to keep my promise:

New post twice a week or maybe three if I am feeling inspired.

What kind of business woman am I? Maybe I should learn how not to make commitment because I am not very good at it. I am most productive when I am feeling free. Just envision a wild horse running and roaming free in the wild. After all, I was born in the USA, the land of the free. I like to be my own boss and set my own rules.

For those who are new to my blog, I am on a quest to become a better cook. Since I am a life long student, I thought I mind as well pick up a beneficial hobby that would make me feel good mentally and physically. For Thanksgiving dinner, I made mashed potatoes using red potatoes. As for the gravy, I found a recipe on YouTube using chicken broth. It was therapeutic just making it. I felt so calm and relaxed. Don’t feel sad for me if you think my Thanksgiving dinner is petty. Because this mashed potatoes was so rich, I didn’t need any side dishes to go with it. It filled me up the whole day. I’m in lockdown mode so I didn’t need a big dinner. It would have been nice if I had some corn on the cob with it. Isn’t Thanksgiving originally a Native American holiday?

I must say I was proud of my small achievement and the greatest part eating alone is I don’t have to impress anyone. It was a very stress free holiday so I enjoyed it: Halsdoll’s style.

That’s it for now. Hope you had a nice holiday and always remember to be thankful that we are here for another day! Happy belated Thanksgiving. 😀

My Video Games Shopping List (Part III): Bright Colored Games for Mental Health

If you are worried about talking into the void and it makes you feel invisible, unworthy, neglected, unlovable, it’s okay. I am used to talking to myself and I am quite proud of it. I don’t care how introverted you are but humans are made to talk! So talk to the void if you need to release mental stress! There is no shame to it. I promise it will make you feel better. Isn’t that why people confess to the preacher? Well I hope your sins are not too big.

I need to talk and I must talk! If you are new to my blog, I like to make a list of three recommendations. This time it’s video games instead of movies. I did this shopping list a few years ago on my old blog when I was still a bit timid about online exposure. You can check them out here:

My Shopping List–Casual Games are Great!

My Video Games Shopping List (Part II)

In the upcoming winter days, I prefer playing bright colored games. It’s good for mental health if you are feeling a little down from all the gloomy weather and the Dark Cloud (do you like the pun? I still have yet to beat the game, hehe).

  1. Sakuna of Rice of Ruin

I live in the city and city life has its pros and cons, but these days it’s more cons ever since the pandemic hit. If you can work remotely, there is no point in living in the city. Transportation was the main factor why there are city dwellers like me. But on the plus size, things have been quiet in the city except during certain nights I can hear homeless people shouting. It’s really sad because some are suffering from mental illness. It really is a societal issue. Even before the pandemic, I often dreamed of going into the mountains or somewhere far from civilization so I can breathe nature. I think I found the perfect game: I can play as a farm girl. Yeah, I want to be a country girl for a change! It looks fun and its popping bright colors will sure lift anyone’s mood in the upcoming winter days.

2) Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of An Elusive Age – Definitive Edition

I need to escape from reality ASAP, did I mention I am stranded in the city? I played the demo and really like how immersive the game is. I feel transported into a different world that is less chaotic. I think this is the game I am going to play on my birthday! Some people hate being born close to Christmas, but not me, I am sure the only present I need for Christmas and birthday combined is a good game. Bright colored games= instant happiness.

3) Cuphead

Cuphead [Online Game Code]

I normally purchased pc games that are story-driven and that is where I play most of the indie titles. They can be quite relaxing to play before bedtime. For Cuphead, I am still debating whether I should purchase this on Steam or on PlayStation store. The illustration looks great and I am always up for an adventure so Cuphead made it to my list for the winter days!

I hope you enjoy my recommendations even though I haven’t played them yet! I guess I am just so excited I have to make a list. Hopefully you found something you like on the list as well and it will add a little sunshine to your life. Well that is it for now, bye bye.

Ranting about the Demon’s Souls Remake Trailer

Woke up to the sound of idiots racing down the streets. Normally after a few minutes, it follows a blasting sound coming from the cop siren, but not this time. I hope no homeless person camping out on the side of the street got hit. We live in a strange time and I know I’m overdue for a post. I hope my introduction didn’t leave you perplexed. It’s kind of hard not to feel on the edge when chaos is slowly taking control over the world. But I feel like I have prepared myself for this insanity a few years ago. What better way to prepare it by sharpening your mental agility by playing Demon’s Souls, a game praised for its difficulty, released in 2009 for the PlayStation 3? It’s good for brain exercise and will make you feel alive if you are the type who like a fair challenge.

Quite frankly, I am not too hasty about playing the remake as I’m not in the rush to purchase PS5 and it may be a year down the road that I might pick it up. But what really turns me off is how bright the game is. I originally played the game for its dark dreamy, fairytale-like atmosphere but the remake just looks too sharp and polished. There’s also too much noise coming from the character’s footsteps and his clunky armor. It’s too loud. In the original Demon’s Souls it’s more quiet and subtle and the more you die, it becomes more quiet as quiet as the sound of a feather falling down.

The only reason why I would only consider picking up the remake it’s because it’s one of the few co-op games that I actually enjoyed. Unless the remake has the ability to use mic–then that will surely destroy the atmosphere. From what I remember, the game is immersive and fun. It feels as if I was transported into a different world–thanks to the soundtrack and it’s beautiful world creation. If I can recall, players can rate people as well on their gameplay’s performance. Some people are nice and will give you a good score, some are just plain assholes. Nonetheless, there aren’t many games that made me feel so attached to a world. It’s one hellish adventure, but a strange one that I can’t pinpoint. I guess that’s the power of immersion.

This is one of the games I am proud to say I own the Deluxe Edition. It comes with the original soundtrack, artbook and official guide. It’s my treasure and I am not going to sell it unless I’m desperate for money or I am on my deathbed and I need to pass it on to a passionate gamer so my soul will depart the earth peacefully without care. Okay I am dramatic. I know. That’s how much I love the game and that’s why I am wary of the remake.

Amazon.com: Demon's Souls Deluxe Edition: Demon's Souls, Game: Video Games