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 strikeout through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also, feel free to comment with various board games that I can add to the list.
I took a little bit of a writing break which was quite refreshing. During this time, I went with my husband’s family on a short trip to Door County, Wisconsin. Door County is a county in Wisconsin that consists of several towns that are right along the water. Green Bay is on the left side of Door County and Lake Michigan is on the right. If you look at a Wisconsin state map, there’s a portion of Wisconsin that sticks out and that’s where Door County is. I have never been to Door County before and I was stunned by how beautiful this portion of Wisconsin is.
Everyone who has been to Door County would easily say it’s the most beautiful portion of the state. We would walk through all of these bay towns and it felt like I was on the East Coast. There were all these restaurants, coffee shops, and small businesses that bordered the water. I found myself enjoying walking and taking in all the scenery. Walking and hiking in general are one of my favorite forms of exercise and Door County has plenty to offer.
Door County is one of the best places to visit in the Fall. As my husband and I drove up to Door County, we saw several billboards for a winery that made Halloween wines. Door County Peninsula Winery has three specialty wines that they make every Halloween. When we went to their indoor space, they had it all decked out in Halloween decorations. It made the experience more fun. Everywhere we went in Door County seemed to have some sort of Halloween decoration hung up. Besides visiting various distilleries and wineries, there are also plenty of apple orchards and barns to visit that sold local homemade goods. No matter where we went, each place was so lively.
Visiting Door County was a perfect, local trip and I’m glad I could take a mini break to unwind and come back feeling recharged. As far as vacations, this is my last big trip of the year. I have a friend getting married next month and with the holidays coming up quickly, I probably won’t have the time to commit to traveling anywhere else. Door County was exactly what I needed and now I’m even more excited for Halloween.
I love reading comics which shouldn’t be a surprise considering what I write on BizarreBrunette. I wrote about She-Hulk last weekend and when I mention the negative reviews, another theme that I’m seeing is people who feel that there’s too much superhero content specifically Marvel releasing their shows on Disney+ I wanted to dive into this as I think it’s an interesting topic to address.
Personally, I’m all for the Marvel, DC, or comics-related movies or TV series. I like living in an era where we are seeing beloved characters and their stories being adapted. As a DC Comics fan, I never thought I would see Doctor Fate in a live-action movie especially when Doctor Fate is being played by Pierce Brosnan. I’m also excited for Captain America New World Order coming out in 2024, The Marvels coming out in 2023, and Thunderbolts coming out in 2024. I want to see more Bucky Barnes (played by Sebastian Stan) appearances throughout the Marvel universe. I’m also curious if Joaquin Torres (played by Danny Ramirez) will have a bigger role in Captain America New World Order.
I can understand if someone isn’t a big comics or superhero fan, I can see where this is a lot of content to keep up with. It seems like there is always something new coming out and it’s easy to get behind on watching every movie or TV series. I think it’s normal to feel some sort of fatigue. While I am a big fan of superhero content, I do sometimes have to take a break and watch a completely unrelated movie or TV series, so I can dive back in when I’m ready.
As mentioned, I’m all for the superhero content. It’s been awesome to see comics so heavily represented and I enjoy hearing about people who are getting into comics for the first time. I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments; do you feel that there is too much? just enough? or what would you like to see be adapted if it’s not already?
I last went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 2019 or pre-pandemic. I was planning to attend in 2021, but wedding plans quickly booked my weekends. I wanted to make it a priority to attend this year. I’m so glad I was able to go.
Normally, we always drive to Ren Fest, but this year we decided to take the bus. There’s a bus that will do drop-offs at the entrance. It’s well known that Ren Festhas extremely long wait times to get into the fairgrounds. By long, I mean you could easily be waiting 2+ hours in order to park a car. Once I found out the bus was an option, I kick myself as to why I didn’t do this years ago. It was so slick. There were times that the bus had to wait, but once we got closer, there was a bus line that was created, so we could bypass a lot of the car lines. I think it took 20-30 minutes to get there versus hours waiting in a car.
In previous years, we try to go towards the middle of September as it’s supposed to be cooler. However, the weekend we went, it was 80 degrees! It was nice to not be cold, but it messed with the tradition. I used to always order soup in a bread bowl, but it was too hot. I opted for potato skins, chicken fajita, and a chicken wrap for dinner. I did stick with the apple cider float which I still love. It’s the perfect Fall beverage.
This year, I decided to wear a full costume! I decided to go with a pirate look. I rented my costume from Royal Fashions Costume Emporium which I have been doing since 2018 except I would always rent for a convention and not for Ren Fest. Renting a costume is great because it’s cheap and I don’t have to store it anywhere. It was a little bit hot, so I ended up not wearing my red pirate jacket as I really didn’t want to overheat. Wearing a costume for Ren Fest is so fun and I plan on doing this every year going forward.
We spent six full hours at Ren Fest which included seeing two live shows, shopping, and walking around. I missed going to Ren Fest, so I’m happy that I was able to go this year.
She–Hulk: Attorney at Law has been getting a lot of hate online. Currently, the show is listed with an average 2.2-star rating on Google. I don’t know much about She-Hulk as a character, so I’m not exactly sure how comic book accurate the TV series is. After watching all episodes on Disney+, I think She-Hulk isn’t as bad as everyone says it is. It’s not my all-time favorite Marvel series, but I think it’s a fun show to watch as long as you don’t go into it trying to nitpick every scene.
She-Hulk stars Jennifer Walters (played by Tatiana Maslany) as she navigates her stressful job as an attorney. In an unfortunate accident, she is exposed to Bruce Banner’s (played by Mark Ruffalo) blood. As such, she transforms into She-Hulk. Unlike the Hulk, She-Hulk retains her identity and controls her transformation at will. She tries to return to her regular life, but it’s quickly revealed that she has powers. Now that her powers are known, Jennifer is struggling to find anonymity and protect her privacy.
As mentioned, I don’t think She-Hulk is a bad show. I like all the guest appearances from Wong (played by Benedict Wong), Bruce, and Abomination (played by Tim Roth) who was in Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk movie back in 2008. I watched the latest episode which features Madisynn King (played by Patty Guggenheim) and she’s a funny addition to the series.
When I read about She-Hulk and hate online, I usually see two types of arguments. The first is the idea that the series hates men. There’s a scene from episode #1 when Bruce and Jennifer are talking about anger and being in control. Jennifer makes a comment somewhere along the lines of how being a woman in the world always prompts anger and fear. When I watched this episode, it didn’t pull me out of the watching experience as I didn’t think this comment was out of line. I think this was added because Jennifer is a lawyer and one of her co-workers is sexist which is why Jennifer would think this. To me, it didn’t feel out of place.
The second argument I see online is bashing Megan Thee Stallion’s guest appearance. If you watch the episode, everything makes sense. Jennifer’s co-worker, Dennis Bukowski (played by Drew Matthews) is fooled into thinking he’s dating Megan The Stallion when really it was a shape-shifting elf from New Asgard. In one of the after-credits scenes, Megan Thee Stallion is showing Jennifer how to twerk. I’m not following the backlash, I think the after-credits scene is entertaining. It’s supposed to be fun and lighthearted. If I had to guess, I think viewers were looking for a more serious She-Hulk series whereas this series is more about Jennifer having fun with her powers and how they mix with her life as a lawyer along with being single and dating.
Honestly, I like She-Hulk. I’m curious to see how the show will play out especially with a potential cameo from Daredevil.
Back in 2005-2006, I used to play an online game called VMK. VMK, also known as Virtual Magic Kingdom, was an online multiplayer game that I used to play all the time growing up. I loved being able to explore Disney park, customize my character and go on quests in various areas of the game. When I heard about Disney’s Dreamlight Valley, it reminded me of VMK. I decided to try it out because it’s available on Xbox Game Pass.
Dreamlight Valley opens with the player being dropped into Dreamlight Valley. Dreamlight Valley looks a bit creepy with these magical thorns overgrowing everywhere. As explained by Merlin, an event called the Forgetting had Disney and Pixar characters forgetting who they were. They retreated into the castle leaving the rest of the land to be desolate and lonely. Merlin tasks the player to help save the land and clean it up a bit.
Dreamlight Valley relies a lot on quests. There are several quests that are tasked by several of the big players. As you complete tasks, you can level up. I love games where I can level up my character, it feels so rewarding for all the time devoted to playing. As a big Animal Crossing fan, I like being able to customize my character and my house. One of the first tasks I completed was helping Scrooge McDuck open his shop. From there, I purchased a rainbow gaming PC and a dress for my character to wear because why not.
To get into the mood for Fall, I had a few books on my TBR that I specifically picked out for the months of September and October. I have had The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling on my TBR since last year. I originally planned on reading this book last year, but with getting married and going on our mini-moon, I ran out of time. The Ex Hex was right up my alley, it’s the perfect book to read leading up to Halloween.
Vivienne Jones is heartbroken. As such, she drinks vodka in a bubble bath contemplating her former relationship with Rhys Penhallow. As a joke, Vivienne’s cousin Gwyn helps Vivienne cast a curse on Rhys. They both laugh it off as they clearly didn’t intend for a curse to actually be placed. Nine years later, Rhys returns to Graves Glen, Georgia, and finds that he’s fallen under a bit of bad luck. Vivienne slowly comes to terms with the fact that Rhys is still as charming as ever, but also that her curse actually worked.
Vivienne and Rhys had great chemistry together. I liked Vivienne as a character, she’s intelligent and I love that she teaches courses at the local college in town. Rhys is written as a bad boy type, but there is a lot more to his character including how he doesn’t agree with his father and the way he does things.
Besides the characters, I liked the way the curse was described. I think it would have been way too easy to let the curse fall to the wayside to support the main romance. There was a lot of thought into what type of curse it was, how to break it, and why Vivienne was able to cast it in the first place. It also ended up revealing some backstory into Graves Glen which I really enjoyed.
I’m a little shocked that The Ex Hex has an average rating of 3.55 stars on Goodreads. That feels too low. The Ex Hex was such a fun read and I’m already looking forward to re-reading this again. I rated The Ex Hex five stars on Goodreads.
My best friend is getting married in November! She’s one of my closest friends. I have called her in moments of crisis throughout my life and she has always made herself available at any time. I consider her “the glue” of our friend group as she’s always the one to organize group events for us all to get together. I was tasked to help plan her bachelorette party along with her maid of honor. I’m not an event planner by any means, but the whole weekend really came together.
We stayed in an Airbnb in Saint Paul, Minnesota’s capital city. The Airbnb was neat because it actually used to be an old church. There was room for all seven of us to stay. We were supposed to have a group of eight, but one of our friends had Covid. This weekend was jam-packed with a group walk, a fancy dinner, and a comedy show on Saturday night. As per a Bachelorette party, there were plenty of drinks consumed. I felt I had to take a day or two to fully recover.
As I reflect on the weekend, I am truly fortunate to have my best friend in my life. She is caring, and honest, and has always had my back. I’m so happy to celebrate her wedding in a month or two. I love her to pieces and I know she will be in my life forever.
CW: HIV diagnosis, suicide (I won’t go into this by any means, but this is more content warnings for the book itself)
Would you want to know the date you die? That’s the premise behind The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. The thought of having the option to find out the date you die is terrifying to me. I think it would cause me way too much anxiety and I would constantly stress over whether I was doing enough in my life before my date approaches. This anxiety can be seen throughout the characters in The Immortalists. While I liked the book, I’m not sure if I would ever re-read it.
Four siblings: Varya, Daniel, Klara, and Simon find out that there’s a woman nearby them who can predict the date in which they die. They’re fascinated, and decide to visit her. Once the siblings hear their dates, they find that it does sway their lives. Varya and Daniel stay in New York to continue their studies with Varya specifically studying longevity. Klara and Simon flee to San Francisco to follow their dreams no matter how unrealistic they are. The siblings all share the fear of whether the woman was right all along.
I thought The Immortalists had an interesting premise. I will say that what I was expecting going into this book was not what the book turned out to be. As a fair warning, this is an emotionally heavy book. I did find myself crying throughout portions of the book. I wasn’t fully anticipating this, so I did put up content warnings for those who feel they need an idea as to what The Immortalists dives into.
Out of all the siblings, I found myself mostly drawn to Klara. I admired Klara because she went against her family traditions and was ambitious in trying to be a successful performer. She received a lot of critique from Daniel and Varya. Klara is in a lot of emotional pain and I just wanted to reach out to her and give her a hug. Out of all the siblings, I found myself the most annoyed with Daniel and Varya. They seemed to constantly judge others, yet they couldn’t reflect and find the hypocrisy in their lives.
I don’t have any regrets about reading The Immortalists as I think there was some interesting discussions throughout the book. I think my expectations as to what I wanted from the book versus how The Immortalists was written is why I didn’t love this book as much as I wanted to. I rated The Immortalists three stars on Goodreads.
I’m notorious for starting video games and then starting another new game and not finishing the first one I originally set out to finish. I bought three new video games even though I have a short pile of games I still need to play. I wanted to share what I have been playing and what’s next on my gaming backlog.
One of the new games I bought was Lego DC Super-Villains on my Nintendo Switch. I love playing this game during the week. I try to play one level or so right before I go to bed. I have always been a fan of LEGO games as I don’t have to focus all my effort on playing the game. I tend to save some of my more intensive games on weekends.
The other two games I bought were Vampyr and Resident Evil 2. Vampyr is about a doctor who was turned into a vampire and now has to balance saving and taking lives. Resident Evil 2 was remastered. I missed out on playing through the Resident Evil franchise, so I’m happy to see the games revitalized.
I also purchased The Quarry a month ago. It’s good so far, but I felt it was more fitting to play during October since it’s a horror survival game.
Hidden Through Time released three DLC that I have been playing through. The three DLC are Road to Rome, Aztec Rituals, and Pirate Treasures. My favorite so far is Pirate Treasures. Hidden Through Time is one of my all-time favorite hidden puzzle games. I adore the music, and I like the hint system. The hints don’t give it away, so it’s more rewarding if I find the object I’m looking for. Rogueside, the makers of Hidden Through Time, do have a few other games up on Steam that I might check out.
There are two other games on my list that would be fitting to play in Fall. The first is Pumpkin Jack where you play as Jack, the mythical Pumpkin lord. The other game is Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York. This is a visualnovel game based on the Vampire: The Masquerade roleplaying game. I have a good selection of games to pick from and play through in the next month or two.
The only new game I played recently was Doomlings which I wrote a review about a few weeks ago. I recently cleaned out and organized my own board game collection. I had a few games collecting dust and I figured if I wasn’t going to play them, I’d at least donate them to someone who might. I have now opened a free shelf that’s sitting empty since I did some reorganizing.
I’m still playing through Curse of Strahd every other Thursday. Our characters recently leveled up, so Levenia (half-elf Blood Hunter) is a level #7. Our group is slowly getting stronger and progressing through the city of Barovia. We still have a few side quests to complete before we even think about going after Strahd directly.
For a Critical Role update, I’m on episode 91 of Campaign #1. My goal is to finish Vox Machina / Campaign #1 by the end of the year, so I can start listening to Mighty Nein / Campaign #2. I have 22 episodes left and with each episode averaging 4 hours, I still have quite a bit of content to get through.
In other gaming news, Overwatch 2 has a release date of October 4th. If I were to play, I think I would play on my husband’s Xbox since I play for Xbox Live already and I don’t have a PS5 yet.
I think I’m going to start writing these posts towards the end of the month since I tend to change my gaming interests throughout the month. I’m looking forward to getting back into gaming and playing more horror leading into Fall.
Rogue One is easily in my top three favorite Star Wars movies. When it was announced that Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) was getting his own series, I was ecstatic! Cassian was a character that I wanted to learn more about as it’s clear that his character was pulled into this war at a young age. I wanted to talk about the series especially since the first episode is airing next month.
Andor was co-written by Tony Gilroy who wrote the screenplays for The Bourne Franchise. I think this was an excellent choice as Cassian is a spy. In Rogue One, he helps Jyn infiltrate Scarif to steal the Deathstar plans. Cassian’s character is about being unseen and fitting in to achieve a goal. I’m curious as to whether this series will feel like a Star Wars series or if this will feel like a spy series set in the Star Wars lore. I’m hoping it’s the latter as I think it will be more fitting for Cassian.
Diego Luna is set to star as Cassian along with Forest Whitaker returning as the infamous Saw Gerrera. The cast of Andor also includes Fiona Shaw, Stellan Skarsgård, and Genevieve O’Reilly who’s returning as Mon Mothma. I’m a big fan of Fiona Shaw as I think she’s talented in any project she’s a part of.
Before writing this post, I watched the trailer. The trailer does an excellent job at revealing portions of the series without the plot. I have an idea as to the aesthetic the show is going for, but no idea as to what will happen. I do feel that some trailers reveal too much at times, and Andor is an example of how to create a trailer without spoiling major plot details.
I’m so excited for this series to air! I wouldn’t be surprised if I stayed up late watching the first episode because I’m not going to let the internet spoil this for me.