Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest.

**Edit: 12/10/2017 I found out River Quest was closing!  Sad Day 😦 **

My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Star Wars Destiny
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Monsters & Other Childish Things
  6. Red Dragon Inn
  7. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  8. Star Wars X-Wing
  9. Red Dragon Inn 4
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Takenoko
  23. Code Names
  24. Shadow Hunters 
  25. Dixit
  26. Doctor Who Time of the Daleks
  27. Fury of Dracula
  28. Dead of Winter
  29. Hogwarts Deck Building Game

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

The Avengers – Ten Years Later

Do you ever have those moments where you think to yourself “has it really been that long”? One of those moments happened to me a week ago. I was watching a Youtube video where someone was saying that The Avengers came out 10 years ago. I almost didn’t believe it. Sure enough, I looked it up and The Avengers was released on May 4th, 2012. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since The Avengers was released in theaters.

Four years ago, I wrote a post on Bizarre Brunette about why The Avengers film means so much to me. I won’t repeat myself too much except to say that The Avengers was a major factor in why I started reading comics. It makes me think that I have been reading comics full-time for almost a decade which is something I am fond to look back on.

When I reminisce about my love for The Avengers, I think back to my freshman year of college. In my dorm room, I had two Hawkeye posters. I remember very clearly hanging them on my wall. This leads me into the line of thinking where it’s been 10 years since my freshman year of college and my high school graduation. There’s been so much change in my life from 2012-2022.

Without getting too off-topic, I was thrown off by The Avengers being released 10 years ago. Let me know in the comments if you have felt something similar where you’re thrown by how long it’s been since either a movie or TV show or something happened in your life that was rather significant.

“Camping” at the North Shore

Minnesota is the US state known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” Minnesota has such beautiful areas of the state and one of those places is The North Shore. The North Shore is about 2 1/2 – 3 hours away from the Twin Cities and it’s right along Lake Superior, one of The Great Lakes. For reference, The North Shore is the northeast tip of the state. Our friends like to visit The North Shore once a year and this time I decided to come along.

You might be wondering why I’m putting quotations around “camping”. The reason is me and a friend ended up getting a hotel room because we aren’t big campers. I have been camping a few times before, but it’s simply not for me. I like hiking, canoeing, and kayaking, but I prefer indoor plumbing. It worked out perfectly! My husband camped outside which he loves, it’s simply not my preferred way to enjoy the outdoors.

Throughout the weekend, we drove through various small towns along Lake Superior. One town is called Grand Marais and it’s about 30-40 miles from the Canadian border. My husband is a big fan of a brewery up there called Voyageur. Voyageur had an upstairs patio and it was heavenly to sit, have a pint, and goof off with friends in the sun. The day before we also stopped at another brewery that was on my list called Castle Danger. I have always drank Castle Danger beer, but I never had been to the brewery.

It was such a fun weekend! It goes to show that you can do so much exploring in the state or area you’re from. Our friends were talking about making this an annual trip and I’m all for it. The North Shore is calling me to come back.

Creating DnD Campaign Sheets – DnD Podcasts

I love listening to Dungeons & Dragons or roleplaying podcasts. The frustrating part about them, however, is getting lost within the story. Each podcast has so much world-building that I find if I’m not paying attention to every second, I might miss something. Some podcasts may use recaps which are super helpful while others have opted out of that altogether. I wanted to share what’s been working for me to keep everything straight in the roleplaying podcasts I have been listening to.

I started this with Critical Role specifically. I started keeping a google doc per campaign where I write down my favorite moments, key NPCs (non-playable characters created by the Dungeon Master), and memorable bits from each episode. I started this google doc last year and kept up with it even when Critical Role began airing campaign #3. It’s been fun keeping a record of moments I don’t want to forget and it’s helped me get into the world that’s being created. This document is now 11 pages long! This is including moments from campaigns #1 and #3, so I may end up breaking them apart into two separate documents.

If anyone else is a fan of roleplaying podcasts, I currently have a google doc created for both campaigns #2 and #3 from NADDPOD and campaign #1 and campaign #3 of Critical Role. I’m happy to share them if anyone is interested.

Bizarre Brunette’s Past – Topics I Used to Write About

One of the mini-projects that I’m working on is reviewing all my past posts on Bizarre Brunette. Now that I use Grammarly, I have been editing previous posts along with making sure the images I used are covered under Fair Use. When I re-read some of my older posts, I realized that there were certain topics I wrote in the past that I got away from. I wanted to share what I used to write about and whether I plan on bringing this up in future posts.

Health & Fitness

Fit Bit Versa Medifast Holiday Party 2018.jpeg

I started writing Bizarre Brunette back in 2014. I was still in college at the time, so a lot of my posts were centered around Health & Fitness. I talked about my personal journey into Exercise, why I chose this major, and any personal health goals I had for myself.

Once I found my niche with Bizarre Brunette, I got away from writing about exercise. At this time, I don’t have any plans to write about health & fitness. My health goals are personal to me and something I don’t want to share. Additionally, I think the health & wellness industry is over-saturated and I don’t want to contribute to that. There’s still a lot of misinformation and toxicity being promoted and I’m not a fan of that. This is a topic that I do intend to leave in the past.

Fashion

I used to write “OOTD” or “Outfit of the Day” posts centered around geek fashion. One of my favorite posts I wrote was centered around my Batman leggings that I had. Unfortunately, I had to throw them away because they had holes in them.

This is a topic I do want to write more about. The one barrier I have is trying to take pictures of the outfits I’m wearing. I don’t want to force my husband into being my photographer. This might be something I do every now and then versus on a regular basis. I’m passionate about fashion, especially incorporating my geeky interests into my sense of style.

Doctor Who

I started watching Doctor Who in 2015 and quickly became a full-time Whovian. I was surprised at how many Doctor Who-centered posts I wrote. I haven’t watched Doctor Who in years due to developing other interests. I’m all for a Doctor Who re-watch. I would love to come up with an associated blog prompt to help keep me on track. This is something I need to think about as it’s been on my radar to do a Doctor Who re-watch and write about it.

Going through my old blog posts has been an eye-opening experience. My writing has gotten a lot better over time and it’s intriguing to see how much I have accomplished. I’m looking forward to what the future holds for Bizarre Brunette.

Free Comic Book Day – 2022

Last weekend was Free Comic Book Day. Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday in May when comic book stores have free comics to pick from. I try to participate in Free Comic Book Day every year with the exception of the Covid pandemic or if I’m out of town for the weekend. I wanted to share my comic book stop along with my massive comic haul.

The weather on Free Comic Book day was gorgeous! It was sunny, 70 degrees, and a blowing breeze which was a nice balance with the sun. I visited my local store, Hot Comics, and Collectibles at their Minneapolis location. Since it was nice out, the free comics were on tables outside to peruse. I took a few titles that caught my eye before wandering inside.

I won’t share every single comic I bought because it was a huge stack. Instead, I wanted to share the most exciting purchase of the day. After browsing through the recent comics selection, I meandered through the back issues. In most comic book stores, there are long white boxes of comics from storylines that are a couple of years old. Since I’m in my Star Wars May plan, I was only looking for Star Wars comics. As I picked through the Star Wars comics, I found a complete series of Star Wars: Poe Dameron in single issues! I was so happy! I am missing a few issues, but for the most part, it’s the complete series. I’m looking forward to reading this series this month.

Free Comic Book Day was a success! I have a huge stack of Star Wars comics to dig into and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Let me know what you picked up at Free Comic Book Day in the comments section below.

Moon Knight (2022)

I miss the days of watching the Netflix Marvel TV series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Iron Fist wasn’t my favorite, but it still set up The Defenders team-up show. I liked that this series tackled adult themes and how it felt like a departure from the Marvel franchise. With Moon Knight being released on Disney+, I was looking forward to seeing a darker show. Moon Knight is entertaining and I hope that there will be a second season.

Moon Knight is as close as Marvel got to re-creating Batman. Marc Specter is a mercenary who teams up with Raoul Bushman to work together on various jobs. Bushman gets greedy and kills a famed archeologist. Specter tries to stop him, but Bushman leaves him to die. As Specter dies, he’s left on the Khonshu statue where Khonshu gives him a second chance. This leaves Marc with incredible powers, a god manipulating his every move, and balancing his multiple personalities with his DID diagnosis (dissociative identity disorder).

The show picks up with Steven Grant (played by Oscar Isaac) who is fascinated by Egyptian culture and works in a museum in London. Steven is one of Marc’s alters and is perceived as being the naive alter. Steven wakes up in another country holding a scarab with no memory as to how he got there. As Steven flees, he runs into a ceremony being performed by Arthur Harrow (played by Ethan Hawke) Arthur worships the god, Ammit. Arthur’s goal is to summon Ammit and punish people before crimes are committed while Khonshu is all about delivering justice after the fact. Khonshu warns Marc that if Ammit is summoned, this could lead to the deaths of a lot of people who may or may not deserve it. Marc teams up with his wife, Layla El-Faouly (played by May Calamawy) to stop Arthur before it’s too late.

Oscar does an excellent job of portraying Marc and Steven. Oscar is able to create two different personas which make it feel believable. Oscar mentions how he developed a separate accent for Steven, so it would feel different. I’m not sure if Oscar’s performance plays on the harmful stereotypes of DID. That’s not my lived experience, so I can’t speak to that. From my experience watching Moon Knight, I do feel that Oscar truly becomes Marc and Moon Knight.

Besides Marc, I love Layla. In the comics, Marc marries Marlene, and Marlene’s father is the archeologist murdered by Bushman. I read that Layla was created to be a live-action version of Marlene from the comics. The show changed Marlene, to Layla to add diversity to the show. If that’s true, I’m all for it. May Calamawy is a great choice and I feel she truly embodies this woman who will protect Marc because she loves him, but also has the trauma of losing her father in a violent way. May and Oscar have this slow-burn romance together and I’m here for it.

I was a little worried about how Moon Knight would wrap up. It seemed the final episode had a lot of ground to cover. The final episode was well worth the wait and it doesn’t feel rushed. Unfortunately, Marvel posted on Facebook the day the episode aired and spoiled part of this episode before I could watch it. Shame on me for not avoiding social media. I would highly recommend watching this show in one sitting to prevent being spoiled.

Moon Knight is probably one of my favorite Marvel TV series released to date besides WandaVision. Moon Knight can be streamed on Disney+ with new episodes airing on Wednesdays.

Blue Milk Beer – May the 4th

May 4th is always a fun day. I love scrolling through social media and seeing everyone express their love for Star Wars. I knew I wanted to spend the day celebrating Star Wars but wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do. I discovered that Dangerous Man Brewing Company brews a special Star Wars beer called “Blue Milk (Blue Razz Milkshake Ale)” along with playing the Star Wars films throughout the night. I convinced my husband to come with me, so I didn’t have to go by myself.

Dangerous Man Brewing Company is a brewery in Northeast Minneapolis. I have been to Dangerous Man once before, but it had been a while. As we arrived, I noticed that there were several Star Wars banners hanging on the ceiling. I wasn’t surprised to see that the taproom was packed. The line fortunately was pretty short when we got there. I knew right away that I had to try the Blue Milk beer while my husband opted for a lager.

I’m open when it comes to beer. I don’t mind trying pilsners, lagers, fruity beers, and sour beers. I will admit that I was apprehensive as to whether I would like Blue Milk. I’m not a big fan of Blue Raspberry-flavored things, however, this had a mild flavor. It was smooth, fruity, and light. I let my husband try a sip and even he thought it was pretty good. My husband hates fruity beer, so for him to say it’s not that bad is a big compliment.

Besides Blue Milk, Dangerous Man had special Star Wars-themed stickers to pass out. I took one as a souvenir. It lists Blue Milk with a few Storm Trooper helmets on some of the letters. Unfortunately with the taproom being packed, we only stayed for one beer before leaving to go to another favorite brewery of ours nearby.

This was a relaxed way to celebrate May 4th. It sounds like Dangerous Man does this every year and I would be open to making this a ritual. Let me know in the comments how you celebrated May the 4th!

May the 4th Be With You – 2022 Plan

May the 4th be with you! May the 4th has a special place in my heart because I’m a big Star Wars fan and I look forward to this month every year. Every May, I dedicate the whole month to Star Wars. I wanted to share my official plan for this year as far as the books I want to read, the shows I want to watch, and the video games I want to play.

Books and Comics

I have three books on my list to read for the month of May. The first book is Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. This book highlights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan before the events of The Phantom Menace. I have a soft spot for the prequels, so I like that more of the Canon Star Wars books are taking place during this era. The second book on my list is Leia, Princess of Alderaan (Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi) by Claudia Gray. This book focuses on Leia as a sixteen-year-old girl who starts to begin her dive into the fight against the Empire. The final book on my list is Resistance Reborn: Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker by Rebecca Roanhorse. This book focuses on Rey, Finn, and Poe before the events of the final movie in the trilogy. This book has mixed reviews, so I’m going into reading this book with a mindset of wanting a fun adventure between the trio versus this being the best book I have ever read.

As far as comics, I have three graphic novels on my list: Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol #1, Star Wars: The High Republic Volume #1, and Princess Leia Volume #1. I have a few comic book store trips planned this month, so I may pick up Star Wars comics as I see fit.

Movies & TV

My number one priority is to finish Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I typically only watch the show during May, but we shall see if this is the year where I finally finish it! Besides The Clone Wars, I do want to do a re-watch of The Mandalorian. There’s also The Book of Boba Fett and Bad Batch. My focus this month will be on the Star Wars TV side of things, however, I would consider doing a re-watch of Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. I did a move re-watch a few years ago, and I don’t think I made it through those three. I know for a fact that I haven’t watched The Rise of Skywalker since I saw it in theaters, so I may add that to my list. There’s so much content and such limited time to watch it all.

Gaming

This should come as no surprise since I wrote about this recently, but I’m still going through LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. I’m at the end of episode III right now. My goal would be to complete all episodes by the end of the month, but that seems like a huge task. I do have Jedi Fallen Order on my list to play as well, however, I don’t think I will have time to complete both games.

May the 4th be with you and don’t forget that May 5th is “Revenge of the Fifth”!

Batman, Manhattan Projects, Plume – Graphic Novel Review Roundup

I have been in a reading slump when it comes to books, however, I have been reading a lot of comics and graphic novels. I’m not sure why that is. April is one of the months where I don’t designate what I plan on reading, so I find I tend to slip when it comes to reading regularly. Comics and graphic novels are easy because it has become a Saturday morning routine where I drink my coffee and read comics. I wanted to do a graphic novel roundup and write short reviews on the most recent graphic novels I finished reading: Plume, Batman: Year One, and Manhattan Projects Vol. #3

Plume Volume #1 by K. Lynn Smith

Plume originally started as a webcomic series by K. Lynn Smith. With the success of Plume, K. Lynn turned the series into published physical graphic novels. Plume follows Vesper Grey, an ambitious woman who looks up to her archeologist father. Vesper has a life-threatening accident and is saved by a golden man who popped out of the necklace Vesper wears around her neck. Corrick is imprisoned in the necklace bound to protect anyone who wears it. Vesper’s father invites Vesper and Corrick on an adventure where things go awry. Vesper and Corrick have to learn to work together to survive out in the Wild West.

I like the friendship between Vesper and Corrick. I hope Vesper finds a way to free Corrick from the necklace. The first volume has a lot of buildups which can be a bit lackluster to read. However, I think there’s enough story where I’m intrigued to keep reading the series. This series combines Fantasy with the Wild West. I rated Plume four stars on Goodreads.

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli, Richmond Lewis, Todd Klein, and Dennis O’Neil

Matt Reeves, the director of The Batman, cited Batman: Year One as inspiration for the film. I had Batman: Year One on my graphic novel TBR for way too long, so this was the perfect excuse to finally read it.

Bruce Wayne comes back to Gotham after a twelve-year hiatus. Bruce knows he’s going to avenge Gotham as it’s grown into a grittier city. Harvey Dent is still an attorney, Jim Gordon just got a job at the GCPD, and corruption is at an all-time high. This feels like an origin story for Batman, but also for other notable figures in Gotham.

I liked how this isn’t an origin story, but more of a story showing Bruce Wayne/Batman’s inexperience. In this novel, Bruce is seen injured and close to being caught while he’s Batman. Besides Batman, Jim Gordon is shown how he stood up to corrupt cops and how Jim is a flawed human being even though he doesn’t take money from mobsters. Selina is just starting out and has her first run-in with Batman. Reading through this graphic novel was like re-watching The Batman. I rated Batman: Year One 4.5 stars on Goodreads.

Manhattan Projects Volume #3 by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra

Manhattan Projects is a series by Hickman and Pitarra which serve as a re-telling of the Manhattan Projects. Instead of being 100% historically accurate, there are science fiction elements thrown throughout each volume. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was an A.I, Harry S Truman led up a cult, and Werner Von Braun has a rocket gun as an arm.

I like how Manhattan Projects are based on real events. For example, Harry Daghlian was a scientist who worked on the Manhattan Projects and was unfortunately killed in an accident. In this series, he’s reimagined as someone who is still alive except his brain is enclosed in a spacesuit full of radioactivity.

The only downside to the Manhattan Projects is how convoluted the story gets. It seems like there are so many side plots to keep track of. It probably doesn’t help that I go two years in between I read each volume. I rated Manhattan Projects volume #3 three stars on Goodreads.

Let me know what comics or graphic novels you have read lately in the comments section down below!

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga – First Thoughts

I had my eye on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga since the game was announced. I’m a fan of LEGO games as I think they are a relaxing game to play in between something more intense. I wish I would have pre-ordered this game. As it turns out, it was difficult to find a copy. I lucked out because I was able to find a last-minute copy at Best Buy on the PS4. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is an extravagant rendition of a nostalgic game.

The first thing that jumped out at me was how open-world this game is! I’m on episode #2, Attack of the Clones, and I like that I can explore Coruscant in great detail. There are bricks to collect, side missions, and characters to unlock. It seems every Star Wars planet will get this same overhaul. This goes beyond being a LEGO game. My husband walked in while I was playing through this game and laughed when he realized I was simply walking around collecting bricks and not advancing through the story. I love that there is so much to do.

Speaking of collectibles, there are at least 1,000+ blue bricks to collect throughout the game. I’m a completionist which means I like collecting everything and unlocking every single trophy. It’s going to take me forever to unlock everything, but it’s a challenge that I have accepted.

I wanted to keep this post short and sweet. Once I complete the game, I will write a more in-depth review. My first impression of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is that it’s a game well worth the money and perfect for any Star Wars fan of any age.