Allons-Y! – Rewatching all Doctor Who

I have been brainstorming an idea for a new blog prompt for Bizarre Brunette. I did write a James Bond blog prompt where I would rewatch all the Bond movies. The prompt fell apart when I got stuck watching the Sean Connery era. I thought about this and that’s when the idea came to me. I wanted to do a full rewatch of Doctor Who starting all the way back with Christopher Eccleston’s series which originally aired in 2005. Me and my husband are planning a trip to Europe next year and I recently found out that there’s a museum in London devoted to Doctor Who. It would be fun to do a full rewatch, so by the time that I go, I will have all of the Doctor Who lore fresh in my mind.

How will this prompt work? I decided that I think I will write a post anytime I finish a full series. Originally, I was thinking of a post per episode, but that seems exhausting. Once I finish a series, I’ll do a post recap of the series, the Doctor, a favorite companion or episode, and potentially even a favorite enemy. I’m still figuring out what I will recap or write about. My end goal is to get fully caught up, so I can start watching new episodes of Doctor Who when they air. I would love to rewatch old Who aka. the Doctor Who episodes before 2005, but that’s a huge goal and I may need a Doctor Who break once I’m done with my rewatch.

To help get into the mindset of rewatching Doctor Who, I wanted to share my Doctor Who origin story or how I became a Whovian. In 2014, I was looking for a new show to watch. I saw Doctor Who on Netflix and remembered seeing Doctor Who cosplays and content at Convergence. I started watching the show and my first thought was “this is kind of weird”. It didn’t stop me from finishing the episode and I ended up continuing throughout the series. I met my husband shortly after watching Doctor Who and I introduced him to the series. He started watching and since he finishes shows way faster than I do, he quickly got ahead of me.

While me and my husband watched Doctor Who, he bought a Tardis mug and in the mug, we came up with “date” ideas for when we wanted to do something but didn’t know what. Me and my husband stumbled upon this recently and saw a prompt, “go out for a drink (when legal)”. This was created before we were both 21 and me and my husband thought this was too cute. Doctor Who in a lot of ways reminds me of the beginning of my relationship with my husband. Our wedding dinner entrance was the Doctor Who theme song. Doctor Who in a lot of ways is so much more than a TV show. It’s a show that’s been with me through various portions of my life.

I’m excited to do a full rewatch. It’s about time since it’s been at least five years since I have watched an episode. Doctor Who will always have a special place in my heart. Allons-Y!

Disney Villainous – Star Wars Edition

I feel that the Ravensburger Disney Villainous board games are top-rated. I have seen multiple people I follow on social media rave about the game. Several editions and add-ons released since the original game came out. One of those editions is a Star Wars Disney Villainous which I received as a present from a friend after moving into our new home. I recently brought it to a game night to test it out. Star Wars Villainous was a lot of fun and I hope to see more Star Wars expansions in the future.

For those unfamiliar with Disney’s Villainous games, each game has several villains to pick from. Each villain has a goal and if that goal is accomplished first, they win the game. Each goal relates to each villain depending on what the villain’s ultimate endgame goal was. For Star Wars, there were five villains to choose from: Darth Vader, Moff Gideon, General Grievous, Kylo Ren, and Asajj Ventress. There is an option to mess with other players by drawing out of their “hero” deck. This helps to throw a wrench in a plan to win the game.

As we opened the game, I immediately took Moff Gideon. Nothing is more evil to me than stealing a child. How rude. Moff’s end goal was to have an ally out, laboratory materials, and Grogu on the villain side of the board. I was so close to winning, but then my brother drew a card out of my hero deck which moved Grogu and kill my Death Troopers. I’m not going to lie, it set me back quite a bit. However, I was able to draw another set of Death Troopers from my villain’s deck which helped me win the game in a few turns.

In the second game, I played Darth Vader. Darth Vader’s goal was to have Luke in the “conflicted” stage meaning he is debating the Dark Side. Vader also has to have Emperor Palpatine out on the board as well. As I was playing through the game, I realized I wasn’t drawing Palpatine. I basically had to maneuver throughout the planets to draw cards. I ended up losing the game and as I looked through the deck, Palpatine was at the bottom. Sometimes that’s how it goes. Both Moff and Darth Vader rely on drawing the correct cards and if the cards are towards the bottom, that can slow down getting the win conditions together.

I would definitely replay Star Wars Villainous. There are still three characters I haven’t played yet. In my gaming group of four, it helped to see how the other characters were being played. I hope that there would be more expansions for Star Wars Villainous. I could see adding Count Dooku, Boba, or Jango Fett, or even a political opponent like General Hux or Snoke could be an interesting addition to the game.

Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross

I’m finally out of my reading slump! I have been slowly finishing the multiple books I have started. As my reading habits have changed, I realized I can’t read numerous books at once. It ends up slowing me down. If I end up not liking a book or not getting into the book right away, I need to be better at putting it away and reading something else. With that being said, I credit Wolf Gone Wild as one of the books that helped me move out of my slump. Wolf Gone Wild is a fantasy romance centered on a witch trying to break a hex placed on a stubborn werewolf.

Evie Savoie is a hex breaker. Evie is one of the older sisters in her witch’s coven. Based in New Orleans, Evie and her family run a variety of businesses including a storefront and a bar. During a shift, she’s sought out by Mateo Cruz, a werewolf who’s been unable to change into his wolf and it’s causing him stress. Mateo has to constantly fight off his wolf persona on a daily basis which is interfering with his art commissions. Evie agrees to help Mateo which leads to them getting closer along with uncovering the mystery of who placed the hex on Mateo.

While Wolf Gone Wild is technically a romance, I felt that there were enough fantasy world-building elements within the story. Wolf Gone Wild introduces Evie’s family, along with how each of Evie’s sisters has a different specialty in their magical abilities. I liked that while the romance takes the center of the story, there were so many other interesting aspects that kept my attention throughout the book.

As far as the characters themselves, I liked Evie. She’s independent, she doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone and she has her own hobbies that keep her busy. She’s a comic fan and it’s shown through several scenes that she’s trying to make her own comic. I thought Mateo was an interesting character too, but I felt I didn’t know as much about him as I did with Evie.

While I liked reading Wolf Gone Wild, there were two things that I wasn’t a huge fan of personally. First, I felt this book was too long. I found myself reading a chapter and then not picking the book back up for another week. I’m not sure why because I love spooky books and stories featuring witches and witchcraft. Eventually, I set aside part of my weekend to fully finish Wolf Gone Wild which I’m glad I did, otherwise, I think I would still be reading through this slowly, but surely. Finally, there was a scene or two that had non-consent / pushing boundaries of consent. For some, they may find this to be hot, but that’s not for me. I ended up skimming this portion and I didn’t let it ruin the book for me.

I liked Wolf Gone Wild. It wasn’t my favorite book this year, but I’m glad I read it. I think Wolf Gone Wild sets up the series as the future romance books star Evie’s siblings. I want to read Jules’s story as she is the oldest sister and it’s hinted that she has a fling with a vampire. I rated Wolf Gone Wild four stars on Goodreads.

Jessica Jones at Twin Cities Con

I finally made it to my first convention of the year! I try to make it to a few conventions every year, but I quickly realized that my schedule was packed. I had Twin Cities Con on my radar for this year and I was happy to have been able to attend on Friday. I tabled at the Twin Cities Geek booth which is the online magazine I occasionally write for. Twin Cities Con was one of the most organized conventions I have ever been to especially since this is only the second year for the convention.

Prior to Twin Cities Con, there were several bigger conventions that tried to move into the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. However, these conventions were focused on profit and driving away the local community. Each convention never stayed longer than two years. With Twin Cities Con, there was more partnership with the community. One of the runners of Twin Cities Con talked to the local cosplay community to get a gauge for what weekends Twin Cities Con would work for everyone. With Twin Cities Con happening every November, it doesn’t run into some of the local conventions in the summer. It’s neat that there was a lot of thought put into this convention.

As far as cosplay, I always wait till the last minute. I went through all of my previous Halloween costumes and ended up settling on a Jessica Jones cosplay. I already had the leather jacket, the light jeans, and the combat boots. All I needed was the black gloves and the white t-shirt which I found at Target the night before. It was such a quick cosplay and I did get recognized which is always fun. I do wish I would have thought more about what I wanted to cosplay as. I have an orange wig sitting in my closet that I haven’t been able to wear yet.

Twin Cities Con was a blast to attend. I’m excited to see this convention grow. Minneapolis and Saint Paul need a bigger convention that’s similar to a C2E2 in Chicago and I think Twin Cities Con can get there.

Why Unlocking all Achievements and Trophies is No Longer for Me

Playing video games will always be a hobby of mine. With that being said, I have been contemplating how I play video games today and where my priorities are with choosing the games I like to play. One of the bigger realizations that I have come to recently is how I’m trying to be less of a completionist and more focused on the games that I play. I wanted to share a little bit of what that means to me and how I got here.

For those unfamiliar, a completionist is a gamer who strives to collect every achievement or trophy in a video game. This can relate to PC gamers who may unlock achievements in Steam games as well. When I first started playing video games, I found myself motivated to unlock achievements. I liked seeing my gamerscore increase and I felt a surge of energy if I unlocked as many of the achievements as I could in a particular game. In high school, I had the time to devote that many hours of my time to a video game.

When I went off to college, I didn’t bring my Xbox with me. Therefore, if I wanted to play video games, it was playing with others on their consoles. I would come home from breaks and play Xbox every now and then. When I would play Xbox, it would be games that I felt a lot of nostalgia for such as Gears of War, Bioshock, or the Batman Rocksteady games. After college and moving into my own space, I started developing a pattern where I wouldn’t move on from a game unless I collected all the achievements and trophies in that game.

The problem I quickly realized is that I don’t have time for that level of commitment. It ended up being more of a chore to play a game through multiple times versus feeling satisfied that I finished the game and was ready to move on to something else. I found myself feeling frustrated especially if an achievement was taking more time than I realized it would. It made me go back to the basics of why I like playing video games in the first place. I don’t want to spend hours collecting every item in a game. Part of the fun of leaving achievements or trophies unlocked is now I have something to look forward to if I replay that game again in the future.

Since I have set aside my completionist ways, I have noticed that I’m motivated to play video games on the weekends. I have started playing through Resident Evil 2 and I don’t feel pressure to pull up a walkthrough and find items. I can play through the game on my time and feel fully immersed in the story. I’m able to better balance my video game backlog because I don’t spend as much time on one game. I feel a lot more relaxed than I have been in a few years.

There’s still a part of me that finds joy in collecting achievements or trophies. I think that will always be fun for me, but now I’m able to play more video games since I’m not as strict about collecting everything right away. I’m looking forward to playing Resident Evil 2 in between playing rounds in Overwatch 2. I have had my eye on some new games coming out including Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and Bayonetta 3. The way I play video games have changed, but my love for the hobby remains the same.

Bettie Page and Captain Carter – Comics I’m Loving

I have been in a little bit of a reading slump. I tried to read too many things at once which dragged me down. I’m getting through it slowly, but surely. While my reading has been a hit or a miss, I have been reading a lot of single-issue comics lately. I wanted to talk through a few series that I have loved reading this year.

Captain Carter – McKelvie, Cresta, and Arciniega

Captain Carter exists in a world where Peggy wakes up after being frozen instead of Steve. As she reenters the world, she works with S.T.R.I.K.E in Westminister, London. Peggy has been working on preventing potential terrorist attacks plotted by Hydra. As Peggy gets more involved, she realizes that there might be a double agent working amongst her team.

The best way to describe this Captain Carter comic series is if Captain America: The Winter Soldier starred Peggy instead of Steve. This feels like a James Bond or Bourne Identity comic series and I love it. Each issue is action-packed and there are several guest appearances by other Marvel heroes. Captain Carter is a limited five-issue series which I hope could be a full series later on because I loved it.

She-Hulk – Rowell, Maresca, and Renzi

She-Hulk left the Avengers and is starting over as an attorney in New York. She reunites with Jack of Hearts who she believed to be killed in a previous Avengers mission. Jack of Hearts doesn’t remember much and She-Hulk is committed to helping him figure out what happened to him along with getting his life back on track.

Reading the She-Hulk series, it feels like a continuation of the show. Rainbow Rowell does a great job at making Jen relatable to any young working professional. The covers of each issue are done by Jen Bartel and they are beautifully done. This series alone is worth buying to collect the covers. I would say if you weren’t a fan of the show, you may not like this series.

Bettie Page – Ani-Mia, Celor, Nurmalia, Mangual, and Idelson. Covers by Linsner, Burns, Roux, and Ani-Mia Cosplay.

Bettie Page is a pinup model who stars in her own comic series. Bettie is an academic and archeologist of sorts and she teams up with Sofia and Young-Ja to travel the world and find clues as to the locations of hidden artifacts.

This series is so fun to read about. I liked reading about Bettie and all the locations she travels to. She can hold her own when things get a little dicey. The story is simple and easy to understand. I don’t read a lot of comics from Dynamite, but now Bettie Page is a series I am keeping tabs on.

I always read a lot of comics throughout the year and it helps that I try to visit my local comic book store every other week. Let me know what comics you’re reading in the comments down below.

My Aunt Got Married – 2nd Wedding in 2022

I love weddings. With all the despair going on in the world, weddings are positive and light. My aunt got married last weekend and I couldn’t be happier. This ceremony was smaller which honestly, I think smaller weddings are more enjoyable. I felt that I could actually congratulate the bride and talk to people on a smaller scale. After the wedding, we went out to an intimate dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. It was so fun to be able to celebrate their marriage.

Summer Camp Horror – The Quarry

I have been a big fan of Supermassive Games since I played Until Dawn in 2019. Supermassive Games is known for creating interactive, immersive, horror games that rely on significant decisions within each chapter. I like how the games are scary without it being unplayable. There are certain horror games that I cannot play because there are too many jump scares and I find that any game Supermassive Games creates, it’s the perfect line of scary without needing to cover my eyes all the time. The Quarry was a blast to play the week before Halloween.

The Quarry begins at Hackett’s Quarry, a summer camp in the woods. As the seven counselors are preparing to leave camp for the summer, Jacob (played by Zach Tinker) sabotages the truck, so he can have another shot with Emma (played by Halston Sage). The counselors are warned by Chris Hackett (played by David Arquette) to stay indoors for the night. Of course, the teens ignore Chris’s advice and throw a bonfire to celebrate the end of the summer. Besides Jacob and Emma, there’s Abigail (played by Ariel Winter) and Nick (played by Evan Evagora) who have this “will they” or “won’t they” attraction to each other. The other three counselors: Dylan Lenivy (played by Miles Robbins), Kaitlyn Ka (played by Brenda Song), and Ryan Erzahler (Justice Smith) initiate a group of truth or dare which helps progress the story by separating several of the camp counselors from each other. As the chapters progress, it’s clear that there’s something hunting the group of counselors and something sinister is happening at Hackett’s Quarry.

I loved the setting of The Quarry. Nothing feels more like a slasher film than having it take place at a summer camp. The campgrounds were huge and there were so many areas that were explored throughout the game. There’s a portion of the game where Emma is separated from the group and she’s running on top of this water tower overlooking the island with the camp. There are several scenes where Abigail was in the woods by herself and there were noises that could be heard no matter where she wandered to. Horror video games rely on the setting to create the ultimate gaming experience and The Quarry did just that.

As far as the characters, Abigail was my favorite. She was the artsy one of the group and I liked her and Nick’s romance. Out of all the characters, they were the two that I was trying my best not to kill. I also enjoyed playing Ryan as he becomes incredibly important in the later chapters. He’s one of the characters that get to the final showdown between the survivors and the killers. While I found a few favorite characters in The Quarry, it doesn’t really matter if the characters are likable or not. In any Supermassive game, if you like the characters, you’re more likely to want them to survive, but if you end up hating everyone, you end up having a fun time trying to find ways to kill them off. There’s something for everyone in this genre of games.

Another highlight of The Quarry is the amount of replayability. There are several trophies or achievements that are unlocked based on character choices or how many characters survive in the end. There’s one trophy where all the characters are killed and another where all the characters live. There’s a secret achievement where one female character survives and the rest do not. In my first playthrough, I ended up having four of the counselors who survived and killed three of them which is actually pretty good for me. In Until Dawn, I killed everyone in my first playthrough. Oops. I could see myself replaying The Quarry next year for Halloween and trying to unlock a new trophy and see a few cutscenes that I didn’t get to witness my first time through.

The Quarry was the perfect game to play leading into Halloween. I ended up turning off all the lights in the downstairs living room and turned up the volume while playing through the game. I am still a big fan of Supermassive Games and if anything, I feel more inspired to go back and buy their other games and play through those as well. The Quarry may be the best game I played in 2022.

Ms. Marvel (2022)

My friend reached out to me and asked me if I watched Ms. Marvel yet. I told her I haven’t as I’m a bit behind in my Marvel Disney+ TV series. She encouraged me to watch it because she felt it was her all-time favorite Marvel show. I had this on my list to watch down the road, but since she set such high expectations, I started watching the show right away. I adored Ms. Marvel and honestly, it might be up there with WandaVision as being the top Marvel TV show that I have watched.

Ms. Marvel is centered around Kamala Khan (played by Iman Vellani) who is an average teenager growing up in Jersey City. She’s a big Avengers fangirl and she tries to convince her parents to let her go to AvengerCon, a comic book convention for fans of the Avengers. She brings along her friend Bruno (played by Matt Lintz) to AvengerCon, so she doesn’t have to go by herself. As Kamala enters the Captain Marvel Cosplay Contest, she slips on a family heirloom that grants her powers. She accidentally destroys portions of the convention and flees. With Bruno’s help, she starts to get a handle on her powers while also understanding her family’s history.

I loved Kamala! I’m biased because I did read Ms. Marvel comics before watching the show. Kamala’s fandom is front and center which is a big part of her backstory. It’s not often that I watch a show and see a character on TV going to a comic book convention without it being a thing to make fun of. Ms. Marvel also highlights Kamala finding out about her family and why she has the powers that she does. I thought this story developed in a really interesting way. I also like Kamala’s friends. Ms. Marvel wouldn’t have come to be without Bruno. He’s the science best friend who helps Kamala. There’s Nakia (played by Yasmeen Fletcher) who Kamala encourages to run for a position on the mosque board. The three of them each have different qualities to them that work well together.

Similar to She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel received online hate when it was released on Disney+. I genuinely do not understand the hatred for this series. I think if I had to guess, it would come down to the target audience. Ms. Marvel is aimed at a younger audience, it’s not gritty like Moon Knight was. Some of the hate could come from those who didn’t like Captain Marvel which is silly because Ms. Marvel is a different story entirely. While I understand that not everyone will like the same things, I do find it obnoxious whenever I see positive comments about Ms. Marvel and there are Facebook reactions with the laughing face.

Ms. Marvel was so good! I’m contemplating rewatching the series again because that’s how much I liked the show. Ms. Marvel is available to stream on Disney+ and The Marvels is set to air in 2023.

8-Year-Old Defeats Elder God – Betrayal at House on the Hill

Halloween is over and done with. There’s so much build-up into Halloween that once it’s over, I feel a little sad afterward. While I didn’t have the biggest of Halloween plans, I still felt I had a decent spooky season. Two weeks ago, I went to visit my family for a family board game day. This was the same weekend where I played Hunt A Killer which I wrote about a few posts ago. One other game I brought to play was Betrayal at House on the Hill. Betrayal is one of my favorite board games because it’s supposed to be a scary game, it has elements of Dungeons & Dragons in it, and every time you play, there’s always a new scenario to experience. Speaking of which, I wanted to recap our game of Betrayal because it was unexpected, to say the least.

For those unfamiliar with Betrayal’s mechanics, Betrayal is a game where players start cooperative as they explore this house. Tiles are laid down as players explore new rooms. Throughout the game, players gather items and omens. For every omen gathered, there’s a “haunt” roll. If players roll less than the number of omen cards out in play, the haunt begins. This is where the name Betrayal comes into play. Eventually, once the haunt happens, one or two players end up betraying everyone else quickly turning it into a player-versus-player game.

In this game, my uncle was the betrayer, so it became three versus one. My uncle’s goal was to summon an Elder God and our goal was to either kill my uncle’s character or take his summoning book to the chasm or fireplace to burn it. If our characters died, or the ritual was completed, we lost the game. I thought we were going to lose for sure. My uncle’s stats were all increased and when the haunt started, I didn’t have any items which are valuable during the haunt. As we played through the game, it was clear that the Elder God was going to get summoned. At that point, my uncle’s character died and he got to control the Elder God.

As we were moving through the house, my brother ended up going in front of the Elder God to give me space to carry the book to the furnace. After the Elder God killed my brother’s character, this is when I knew there was one shot at winning. In Betrayal, there’s a mystic elevator that will take you to the upper floor, the ground floor, or the basement. A dice is rolled and depending on what I would roll, it would depend on where I got to go in the house. I needed to roll to allow my character to go to the basement because that’s where the chasm was. Thankfully, I rolled successfully, so the mystic elevator took me to the basement and I tossed the book down the chasm to win the game. If I didn’t roll for the basement, I easily would have been killed by the Elder God. I should add that my character was an 8-year-old girl and the imagery of an 8-year-old defeating an Elder God is awesome.

My uncle clearly had a blast playing Betrayal as it was his first time playing. For reference, the base game of Betrayal has 50 possible haunts. I think I have played Betrayal three or four times, so I know that I have so many haunts to experience. If I play Betrayal again in the future, I may write about the other haunt that I revealed. I might start making tabs of which haunts I haven’t played through so eventually, I can reveal them all.