3 Books I Did Not Finish

As I was looking through my library of books, I realize I failed to finish some books despite my effort and so today I list three books I shamefully tried to enjoy. Luckily, this is a personal blog where I am not trying to sell anyone anything but my honest opinion. It drives me nuts when I fall into the marketing trap by purchasing books with Bestseller on the front cover! When it comes to a matter of taste, I believe that we should disagree to agree. It makes the world more colorful and interesting. But we all know that? Most of us here are grown adults, I assume. Then why do some of us grownups get upset when someone disagree with our taste?

If you have a book sitting next to your toilet for over a year and you still haven’t finish it, you know it is on the crappy side. Well then again, when reading books whether you enjoy it or not it is due to preference or the current mindset you are in. Well, I have been debating about this statement for some time now and I realized my mindset is not going to change any time soon because I had these books for years. These following books are just unbearable:

#1 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I really tried to like it

Beautiful words become unbearable when it gets nowhere. Is it supposed to be suspenseful or it’s just for show? The author is more focused with making sentences look pretty rather than giving it a worthwhile plot for readers to follow. I read more than halfway and decided to stop. It’s getting nowhere and I could care less what happen to the superficial characters. They really are just for show just like the purpose of any circus. It would have been more interesting if the Night Circus was on crack. But then it will no longer be a pretty book! Now, I really feel bad when people came up to me and asked if the book was any good during my lunch break. I told them I liked it. I like the pretty sentences but that just about it.

Inside the tent is dark, the ceiling covered with open black umbrellas, the curving handles hanging down like icicles.

From The Night Circus, p.376

#2 Ready Player One by Earnest Cline

Overrated Books
Entertaining but cliché

Heard the film was good? This book was given to me as a gift because I was open about my gaming “addiction” at work. The problem with being label as a gamer means you are automatically assumed to be the stereotypical gamer: male, single, peter-pan syndrome. You name it. Mind you, I am just a millennial. I simply like games for entertainment purposes. It’s easy to reach over the control than do other extracurricular activities that appear more productive and noble such as tutoring English to refugee kids from broken family so you’d look good on your resume; selling freshly handpicked blackberries found on the side road to some old poor lady who is desperate to make some blackberry jam; and joining the circus because sane people spend fortune to watch crazy people do flashy things and then applaud them with gifts and recognition. You see, video game can have a noble cause like in this book. The protagonist is on the hunt for the ultimate prize so that he could have the power to change the reality for him and everyone else. In this book, the world has become an ugly place. Ironically, you might think I’d enjoy this book but like The Night Circus, I read more than halfway and quit because I got tired of reading about an exceptionally skilled gamer who is going to save the world by racing to be #1 on the leaderboard. It’s just unbearably cliché.

#3 Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

educationally boring
Educationally boring

Okay I confess, I typically finish books and I couldn’t find a third one to complete my 3-list post. This book was part of the history class reading materials that was supposed to help students get a glimpse of how America was and still is resistant to progressive social changes by focusing on an imaginary small town in Minnesota called Gopher Prairie. I did finish the book, but I would have appreciated it more if I did not try to find hidden meanings or messages in the book. Perhaps, I should reread it now that I can put things into context now that I’m wiser in age and living in the Midwest. It was just an unbearable read back then because it’s part of U.S History and history lessons can be dry sometimes. Nonetheless, quite educational.

If you happen to enjoy this post, you have my sincere thanks. I might have wake up on the wrong side of the bed to make this list. Today, I just want to be human and say I just don’t like these books and that’s all there is to it.

What’s in a Name?

What was supposed to be a hobby and a side activity has now become a passionate pastime or it’s just I’m addicted to writing. I put so much effort into crafting my blog posts and have found so much joy in doing it. Fishing for metaphors is an art form in itself. And yet, it’s just not looking for metaphors, I also appreciate everything artistic about the making of films, TV shows, books, and video games. I like all forms of art and enjoy critiquing it. Have I ever thought of becoming a critic or a writer myself? Not really because attempting to consume what has already been produced may take a life time to discover and appreciate. Plus, I have the attention span of a child to even sit and write a book. On the other hand, writing lyrics, poems and reviews comes more naturally. Articulating my thoughts into a post is my ideal of fun. And why not do it with style? Did some readers actually thought I was attempting to write masterpiece reviews? That’s quite laughable. I’m flattered.

This bring to the question, why I choose to write as Halsdoll and not my real name after contemplating whether I should use my real name or not. After all, the hard work should go to its rightful owner. In addition, I feel like I owe an explanation whenever I introduced someone I know in person to my blog. They may be puzzled by the name but are too afraid to ask: Why Halsdoll?

“What is in a name?” I quote Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Plenty, it’s about branding. The name Halsdoll was inspired by Shakespeare’s characters from Henry IV Part II: Prince Hal and Doll Tearsheet. The name was created as a joke. You see, Prince Hal understood the world by visiting Mistress Quickly Inn and Doll is one of the working girls. It really is no place fit for a soon to be king, but what may seem like an unproductive pastime activity actually served him fruitful information on his subjects. Yes, of all the place, a brothel. If you want to be a respected leader, you learn from the bottom up. It’s humorous and humor is what keeps me sane. I could elaborate, but this is no academic blog for a lengthily research paper behind the meaning of my pen name (as if who cares?). Plus, I just like the sound of Halsdoll. It sounds like the name of powerful medication, a clothing brand, or the brand of a cosmetic product. It’s a nice staged name for all my nonsense stuff on this blog.

So after much thought about whether using my real name to sound professional and build credibility with my readers, I decided to stick with my pseudonym. Perhaps, one day I may reveal my name when my blog grow big. In the meantime, I just like being Halsdoll. The name reminds me to never let the inner child in me die because the grownup world is nothing but filled with heart-attack stress and the sad part is we don’t have to make it that way but we do it anyway.

P.S

This post was inspired by a Twitter email notification, hinting to me that I should use my real name because people feel more comfortable interacting with someone real. I do want this blog to grow. However, a hacker once said to me that my birth name doesn’t sound real, so what’s the irony in that?

I Am Back with A Poem (Blog Update)

I’m back. Still adjusting to new environment. But to keep my blog on schedule and because this is somewhat of a poetry/ gamer’s diary/unconventional review blog (its existence serves as a dialogue between two people to keep myself from talking to myself once upon a time in downtown Seattle), I wrote a poem for my re-entry to posting weekly, which was on a Monday 12:00 A.M Pacific Time (excluding this post) to be exact. Moving forward, changing it to Monday 12:00 A.M Central Time. I like to be on the dot. Please enjoy this poem I wrote on a whim.

Is There Fall in the Midwest? by Halsdoll

Like an arrow, I go.

Like moths flapping towards

A glow.

The sun pops;

It explodes.

Summer is almost gone

But still hot

And fall won’t come

gradually…

No.

Here, in the Midwest

the light

switch off or on

Cold.

***

The Midwest is now home because that is where my partner is. It’s different from where I grew up but it’s a nice change in pace and it’s not so bad minus the heat. Hence, why I wrote the poem. The good news though is that it’s a lot quieter than the city life surely. Noise pollution should be a crime. Now I wake up to hearing birds and not ambulance siren, which means I can write more! Peace and quiet is how I like it. I don’t know if this place will be my final destination. Never in my wildest dreams thought I’d end up here. One day…maybe I’ll return to the rain and the hills next to the sea or retire up in the mountains and become a mountain woman with working internet signal. I got to keep this blog rolling after all because I am here for the long haul.

At the moment, I am still playing Dark Souls 2 Scholar of the First Sin, reading Persuasion by Jane Austen and watching Twin Peaks with my partner for the first time. As I mentioned before, so many content to consume with so little time apart from having bazillion other hobbies such as cooking. That’s why my gaming backlog is small. Still have yet to complete Mass Effects, Dragon Age, Tales of Xilia for the PS3 and some indies games I bought on Steam, which I may never get around to. I like to take the time to appreciate a piece of work and play them thoroughly. It’s much more rewarding than just buying and never consuming it. Perhaps that’s why many of us create blog in the first place because we have an overwhelming amount of things to consume which takes us away from having a social life or many of us just want to be lost in our own thoughts and hope someone would listen to us? I mean this blog is conversational for a reason even though I don’t expect readers to engage with me in the comment section. My goal is to make the reader think. Thinking is what make people, people right? Part of the reason why I take the time to appreciate a piece of work is for thinking purposes. It benefits both the consumer and the creator. Making things to make money is death to both the creator and the consumer. That’s my personal take on creative works. Anyway…

I like to keep my promise. Coming up is my reflective review on Taxi Driver (2017) directed by Jang Hoon. Until next time, I leave you folks with a photograph of my moving trip. Yellowstone Park was beautiful minus the tourists like me. So I tried to take pictures with no people in it.

More than a nice stroll in the park

Ranting about Dark Souls II Videoclip & Blog Updates

I should have been writing, but I got distracted with this game and did video editing for fun. I plan to platinum this game since I did it for Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. The shiny platinum might look pretty amazing and it gives me something to look forward to during this upcoming fall–cooler weather means more gaming time. However, partly the main reason why I have not been writing is due to moving. I have been busy packing, getting ready for the big move, which means less time to write or schedule posts in advance.

There are few worthy shows I watched this past few days and are the process of writing. One of them in particular is A Taxi Driver (2017), a historical Korean drama. Out of all the streaming sites, Prime Video is winning because they know me pretty well enough to recommend films I like.

In the meantime, for my weekly post, I put this amateur treasure guide together for fun as I have been obsessed with treasure hunting more than obtaining the object itself in Dark Souls II. It’s quite addictive as I mentioned briefly on one of my souls’ posts. I am sure I have a lot to extract from this game and have much to say about it once I complete it entirely.

Will resume to normalcy once I get things situated. Most likely late September or early October.

P.S

I have successfully moved out of the city as of Aug. 31st. Wrote this post awhile ago. Now need time to adjust to new environment.

Reflecting on Interview with the Vampire (Book): Passivity Is Death

I’m sort of done writing reviews. Writing impression, journaling or reflective posts might be the politically correct term for this type of blog.

When it comes to reading, there’s no way I can ever read all the classics that I have set myself out to apart from discovering new stories from modern day authors. Reading is meditative and truly addicting. I feel as if I have to be immortal to experience the many lives ebbed into a meaningful story which people packaged them into a book and sell them off for profit. Strange concept if you were to ask me, but a writer has to make a living somehow. As a reader, I could play the god and judge the world for myself whenever I open a book. That’s what modernization turned human civilization into, a passive observer. As the bible goes: “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (Revised Standard Version, 1:18).” Am I doom to be melancholic?

Reading as a pastime is a double edge sword. For one, reading offers an escape but at the same time causes fatigue eyes, and limping body. You see, there is a thing called the clock in which governs our lives. Called it Mother Nature’s clock. We are forced to sleep against our own will and forced to do mundane things to sustain life such as working, eating, cleaning etc. And we can only wish we had more days to live so we can experience life fully to feed our godly curiosity until there’s nothing else to uncover the mystery of our existence. Reading the Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice, made me think do I really want to be immortal? Vampiric immortality is far from living but more like a damnation. Louis, the protagonist is doomed to search the “truth” which he may never find: the origin of his kind. Do they exist just to kill? Are they truly the devil’s servants?

Since I am pressing for time, I won’t go into details about this book. I will just mention briefly that this book argues passivity is the real death. Just watching things slip from your hands when you could have done something about it make you the murderer of time. Things don’t have to stand still. Get up and make some action. That’s the lesson I got from the book.

Finally, I will leave you folks with my favorite quote from the book:

I went though mortal life like a blind man groping from solid object to solid object. It was only when I became a vampire that I respected for the first time all of life.

Through Louis, we see one sad truth about the nature of vampires: they are eternally dead. Therefore, it’s hard not to see life as a gift even if it’s for a brief moment.

P. S

Thank you Nairdalex for reccomending this book!

Why I Chose to Blog and Not Vlog as A Female Gamer and What I’ve Learned Along the Way

I finally reached my 100th post a couple weeks ago and it had me thinking where I want to do with my future content or whether I would move to a different platform. That has been on my mind as I do enjoy creating content. But if I want to eventually generate revenue, vlog might be the better option for me to support my craft full-time. I did purchase a SEO handbook but it didn’t apply to what I want to accomplish for this blog. In fact, it left me feeling even more depleted and let’s not even talk about the marketing side, I already feel overwhelmed.

According to the SEO book, which I will not advertise, the success of a blog is measured based on making money. Well, I am far from that. I came into blogging like many people because I enjoy writing as a creative outlet. So the likeliness of making money is pretty darn slim since I’m not writing to a particular audience. As mentioned before, this blog has been a very good friend. Even if it’s just talking into the void as many amateur bloggers would often fear, sometimes it’s nice to get things off the chest as if you are talking to someone. I still have yet a lot to learn how to balance creativity with business if I eventually want to make passive income from what I naturally enjoy doing.

When I started writing for my old blog back in 2016, which actually titled Halsdoll.com, (It really is my pen name inspired by Shakespeare’s play Henry IV: Part II) I just wanted to share poems and connect with like-minded folks or just have someone to talk to. Fellow female bloggers I followed at the time were either students or lonely first-time moms. They enjoyed reading about games but preferred posts about self-care, beauty products haul and books. Those things are enjoyable to read but it is not the content I want to create. All I wanted to do was discuss games and write poems to fill up the quietness of the lonely evenings I had to endure after work. But those days have passed. Now I write with a purpose. Meaningful conversation is hard to come by especially for those who do a lot of solo activities.

I realized there are two types of female gamers: one who plays to past time (no wonder there are so many beautiful women who stream on Twitch) and one who are enthusiast about the medium. I fall into the second group. Finding a group of passionate gamers, especially female players who appreciate game for its creativity and aesthetic is hard. And what made it more alienating is that I am not at all a competitive gamer despite the fact I like fighting and challenging video games. Speed run and rank never meant anything to me in video games, unless I’m working on a trophy just to complete it for completion’s sake. If anything, I’m competitive against myself. I prefer teamwork than competitive play if I have to play with people.

Then I started to cater my writing towards the gaming enthusiasts. Writing for an audience that I am not familiar with was difficult. I had to be mindful of my thoughts but soon begin to feel weary and tired. I did not want to engage in battle of the sexes debate such as objectification of women in video games and neither did I want to make false accusation and assumption about the opposite sex. Labeling people is something I dislike, so I tried to avoid it because it causes prejudice and discrimination, which unfortunately everyone has experienced some form of discrimination in their lifetime. It’s just how the world is. Humans are visual creatures. For instance, I have been referred to being a damsel in distress by many people. I often wonder why that is the case. Then I realize representations in media do matter very much. In fact, if I could pick a video game character I resemble most is Elena from Pandora Tower. She has some form of disability but she makes it up with emotional strength and intelligence. But to the average person, many would assume she is just a silent object or just a support role for the heterosexual male. I personally never thought of her as a silent object. I never thought of myself as one. I thought she was pretty strong. Maybe it’s time for people to reevaluate what strength means, especially in video games.

pandora-tower-weak strong female character

When playing multiplayer games, I noticed the discrimination. As a gamer, I like to play as an offense player. I noticed the authority I get from players when they assumed I’m a guy. It felt nice when they asked for tips and they looked up to me. Rarely do I get a pushback. But if they know I’m female, then the tone becomes a bit different. What I have learned through this experience is that online interaction is just a miniature world of the real world and I don’t know how I feel about it. I think that’s part of the reason why I prefer gaming alone, figuring things out myself. It’s a sense of achievement. However, the downfall of playing alone is that it’s hard to make gaming friends. In the online world, rarely do I see female players discuss games for the sake of games which is why I don’t mind doing my Video Game Shopping List posts. They tend to be more casual and popular among readers. I think the last thing people want to do is read academic papers on video games. As much I love to study, even I get turned off by such content unless it’s insightful and full of humor. Video game is a form of entertainment not some scholarly text.

Playing games by myself made me realize that I once fell into the misconception that being female meant being the weaker sex based on how people treat me in person (well, I can’t blame them because I do travel alone a lot for someone as small as I am). But I learned that my gender has nothing to do how good or bad I am with games. It made me realize that I am as capable as anyone if I set my mind to do something. Discrimination happens when we create a mental shortcut to process information, so it’s natural to think our female kind is the weaker sex, but “weaker sex” has nothing to do with intelligence. Intelligence is just another form of strength. And liking a certain type of game doesn’t reflect superiority. One is more relationship based than strategy based. That’s all there is to it.

“Women love romance-related content. It’s nothing new.”- from √Letter.

√Letter Visual Novel for PS4
There’s some truth to this statement, but overall, it’s a sexist statement. Guys like romance too. That’s what I have learned from reading people’s blog and I think it’s pretty cool.

I guess what I am trying to get at with this whole discrimination talk is that my blog has been a sanctuary for me to express myself, and as a result I am happy. As the saying goes, “Do what you love, and love what you do.” I have been enjoying myself so far, fishing for metaphors (okay that sounds pretty cheesy but I just love to rhyme!) As mentioned earlier, I have considered other platforms so that I could reach the right audience but I like blogging so far because writing helps people become better thinkers. I also learn more through reading anyway when it comes to exchanging information, which is why I chose blogging over vlogging.

I will continue to write about films, T.V shows and books, but niche video games have always been my biggest interest. It’s the game design and the thought process behind the making of games is what intrigued me, but more importantly, it asks tough questions and sees the world from an outsider perspective. For that reason, I always have a lot to say. What I’m really searching for is meaning in the media and that’s what this blog is all about.

I probably won’t publish many gaming content as it requires a decent amount of time gaming and the fact I only play a few games per a year and I play it thoroughly to give it an accurate rating. I mentioned about games because it’s my main hobby and it is just something to be expected in the future for this blog because my backlog is going no where. I could do streaming like most gamers but I don’t see myself as an entertainer. When I play games, I like to take my time. I play to think as oddly as it sounds.

If you are new to my blog, please check out some of my favorite posts I wrote in no particular order:

Thanks for reading. It feels nice to get some stuff off of my chest.

-Halsdoll

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!