Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (2023)

[Image is a movie poster for Dungeons & Dragons Honor Among Thieves. It shows a group of 6 people gathered around in a circle. One is holding a guitar, the other is holding a sword. Someone is holding a staff. Someone is holding a slingshot. One person is holding an axe]

Initially when it was announced that there would be a Dungeons & Dragons movie, fans including myself were skeptical. Movies based on board games or video games aren’t well received or don’t seem to do the source material justice. As trailers and clips were released, I felt much more at ease toward Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. There’s a clip of the group trying to cast “Speak With Dead” and it’s hilarious. I watched the clip on repeat leading to the movie’s release. One of my coworkers bought matinee tickets to see this film as we talk about DnD a lot at work. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was so funny, and captured the joy and chaos of a DnD campaign.

Edgin Darvis (played by Chris Pine) is a bard who tragically loses his wife when she’s murdered by the disciples of a Red Wizard. Edgin wants to bring his wife back and begin a new life with his daughter, Kira. Edgin teams up with a Barbarian named Holga (played by Michelle Rodriguez), Sorcerer Simon Aumar (played by Justice Smith), and Rogue Forge Fitzwilliam (played by Hugh Grant) to steal the “Tablet of Reawakening” a magical item that can bring someone back to life. Unfortunately, Edgin and Holga are captured while the rest of their group escapes. Once Edgin and Holga escape prison, they return to find Kira being manipulated by Forge who has betrayed them. Edgin and Holga recruit an army to go after Forge and convince Kira that Edgin had good intentions all along.

The cast of this film was an A+ for sure. They all seemed to have great chemistry together, especially Edgin and Holga. They were lifelong friends as Holga helped raise Kira when her mom was killed. Edgin and Holga are such a good pair as they both have their expertise in different things which is very fitting to DnD characters. Simon’s backstory reminds me of Vex’halia from Critical Role as they both have difficulties with their families. Doric (played by Sophia Lillis) has elements that remind me of Keyleth from Critical Role as Doric’s goal is to prevent Forge from destroying the forest. Each character has their own fleshed-out back story which is so important in character creation in Dungeons & Dragons.

This movie is so chaotic which makes it even funnier. I mentioned the “Speak With Dead” clip, but there are so many other moments that are hilarious. One other scene that pops into my head is when Xenk Yendar (played by Regé-Jean Page) is explaining a complex puzzle and Simon steps on the bridge before Xenk explains how to cross the bridge and the bridge collapses. The whole group is looking at him and Simon is at a loss for words. There have been times when in my campaign, we don’t listen to what the NPC (non-playable character) is telling us and completely mess up a puzzle and cause a trap to go off. Oops. I’m not sure who the writers were on this film, but they must have some roleplaying experience because this film truly feels like a DnD campaign brought to life.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was such a great film. I found myself laughing along the way and becoming attached to the characters. I’d love to see a sequel featuring the cast in another mystical adventure.

Marvel’s Villainous – Gaming for my Brother’s Birthday

It was my brother’s birthday last weekend. I sent him a Happy Birthday text and asked him if he wanted to do anything to celebrate. My brother mentioned how it would be fun to have a chill board game night at home. I ended up driving over to my mom’s house and I brought a few games with me. My mom has been playing more board games with us, but depending on how complicated they are, she will either try them out or watch us play to pick up the rules. One of the games I brought was Marvel Villainous which I received as a Christmas present last year, but I haven’t had a chance to open it yet. Marvel Villainous was fun and felt true to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.

[Image features a game board. It's a green game board with four locations. There's a deck at the right and a character description on the left. It features Hela. Hela has a green outfit that glows on the left.]

In the base game, there are five villains to choose from: Hela, Killmonger, Taskmaster, Thanos, and Ultron. I was a little surprised that Taskmaster was in the base game. While Taskmaster appears in the Black Widow film, I felt the villain wasn’t as prominent of a choice. If I had to pick, I think Loki should have been included before Taskmaster, but that’s just me. As a side note, Loki is in an expansion of the game. I knew immediately that I wanted to play as Hela first. My brother started with Ultron. Hela’s win condition was to have eight allies or Soul Marks in Odin’s vault. Reading through the win condition, that seemed doable to me, so I figured she would be a good villain to start playing as.

One thing I liked about Marvel’s Villainous is how the fate deck is a shared deck. The fate deck has events and heroes which can be played on an opponent’s board to slow them down on their win condition. In Star Wars Villainous, the fate decks were separate per character whereas, in Marvel’s Villainous, there was one deck. It felt accurate to Marvel being a shared universe where all these heroes and villains interact together. I liked how there were heroes such as Mockingbird who may not have had a strong presence in the movies. It felt more like an ode to the comics versus the movies.

I ended up winning the first round we played! I had a strategy going which was to add Soul Marks to the heroes and then once the heroes were vanquished, I could add them to Odin’s Vault. My brother tried to play heroes on my side of the board to mess with me, but that ended up working well in my favor. It seemed my brother had a good time playing Ultron.

Marvel’s Villainous was exactly what I expected it to be; a comic book villain showdown in a board game. I do want to pick up some of the other expansions. One of the more recently released expansions features Venom who I think would be a chaotic villain to play as.

Nailbiter – Finally Finishing The Series

CW: Graphic violence, dark content, murder, etc. (This won’t be discussed in my review, but more for a content warning for this series in general)

[Image is a graphic novel cover. It's a red background and it says Nailbiter Volme One - There Will Be Blood. The series lists the creators at the bottom: Williamson, Henderson, Guzowski, Hill, and Levin]

Recently, I have been re-reading some of my favorite graphic novels or comic series that I own. One of those series is Nailbiter. Nailbiter is a horror graphic novel series set in a small town in Oregon. This series feels like a mix of Criminals Minds, Se7en, and Twin Peaks put together in a story. I first read Nailbiter in 2016 and I credit the series for helping me get more into reading comics. With that being said, I never fully finished the series. I wanted to change that, so I spent a few weeks reading all six books. This series did not disappoint and it remains one of my all-time favorite graphic novel series.

Nailbiter tells the story of NSA agent Nicholas Finch who is in a bad place mentally. He gets a call from a colleague, FBI Agent Charles Carroll, to come to Buckaroo, Oregon. Carroll is investigating why so many serial killers are from Buckaroo. As Finch arrives, Carroll has gone missing. Finch wants to find and rescue Carroll, but also figure out what Carroll recovered before he went missing. Finch partners with local Sheriff Crane, a local who grew up in Buckaroo, along with one of the Buckaroo serial killers, Edward “Nailbiter” Warren. The trio finds themselves in danger more often than not, although they do finally get the answers they were so desperately searching for.

I think what makes Nailbiter so good is how each volume truly builds off of the other. Minor characters introduced in the first two volumes end up playing a big role in the later volumes. The last volume ties in with the events of the first volume which I think helps make the series more cohesive. In addition to that, each volume ends on a big cliffhanger, so I found myself going through volume after volume without taking a reading break. I’m glad I ordered all the volumes in one sitting, so I didn’t have to wait to read the next one.

The art in Nailbiter complements the series. There are several panels where you will see a character exploring an area and then see someone sneaking up on that character. It feels like I’m reading a slasher film in that way. I also found myself once I finished the volume, paging through it for a second time to solely focus on the art. This isn’t something that I do all the time, but for Nailbiter, I think it’s so worth it.

I feel accomplished that I finally finished Nailbiter. The last volume wrapped everything up and it felt really satisfying to read. Finishing Nailbiter has encouraged me to take a look at my graphic novels shelf and find other series that I didn’t fully finish reading. As an avid collector, I want to have more completed comic series on my shelves.

May the 4th Be With You – 2023 Plan

This is the third year I plan to participate in my May the 4th / May Star Wars month challenge. Every May, I set aside Star Wars content whether it be books, comics, video games, and TV shows or movies to watch throughout the month. To keep myself on track, I write a preview post where I talk about my goals and then a recap post at the end of the month to see what I ended up completing. It’s become a tradition, and I look forward to it every year. I wanted to share what my 2023 May the 4th / Star Wars plan is for this year.

Books and Comics

[Image is a book cover for Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. It shows Qui-Gonn Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi standing nearby each other in a water color type art style. They are both holding lightsabers]

Last year, I ordered Star Wars books from Barnes & Noble and they were never delivered! How rude. This year, I ordered my Star Wars books weeks in advance and they arrived on time. The first book I want to read is Master & Apprentice by Claudia Gray. I will always be partial to the prequels as I grew up with them. Master & Apprentice takes place eight years before The Phantom Menace with Qui-Gonn and Obi-Wan being sent to help assist a planet in a political dispute. This book is highly rated on Goodreads, so I’m going to start by reading this book first.

The second book I plan on reading is Star Wars Leia: Princess of Alderaan also written by Claudia Gray. This book seems to focus on Leia’s early years and how she became interested in the Rebellion. The final book I want to read is Star Wars Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson. Captain Phasma is one of the coolest characters that came from the new Star Wars films. I wish she played a bigger role throughout the franchise. I’m interested in reading more about her character and how she came to be.

As far as comics, I don’t have any specific Star Wars comics that I plan on reading next month. However, Free Comic Book Day is in May, so I may find some Star Wars comics at my local comic book store to read.

Movies & TV

Let’s talk about Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I have been watching Clone Wars for four years now? I usually watch a few episodes or half a season in the month of May. Will I ever finish the show? I hope so. I can see why fans love the show because it is a well-made animated series. I have just had a hard time getting into it. I really want to finish the series by the end of the month. I left off on season #4 episode #2, so I would have to watch seasons 4 – 7 in 30 days. Will this be the year that I finally finish Clone Wars? Who knows.

Besides Clone Wars, I still have to watch the third season of The Mandalorian. I was thinking about doing a re-watch of the two seasons prior, but I decided against that to focus on Clone Wars.

Finally, I think I want to re-watch episodes seven, eight, and nine. I was planning on doing that last year, but I never got around to it.


[Image is a video game poster for Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order].

As far as Star Wars gaming, I want to fully finish Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. As a side note, I started playing Fallen Order back in 2020 when the pandemic was in full swing. I found myself wanting to go back and play Fallen Order in the months after, but every time I tried to, the game kept reminding me of the pandemic and it made me lose interest. Isn’t that weird how a certain game or book or song can be tied back to a period of your life? I feel that enough time has gone by and I’m in a much better place to revisit this game.

Another thing that I wasn’t prepared for when I played Jedi Fallen Order was the difficulty. At times, the game can be unforgiving. Now that I know what I’m getting into, I might play the game in a lower-difficulty setting to have a more relaxed experience playing the game.

I’m looking forward to tackling my Star Wars goals in May. As always, May the 4th Be With You!

Andor (2022)

Image is a poster for the series Star Wars Andor. Cassian is front and center with tie fighters and x-wings flying in the background. Below are the cast of the show.

I was so excited to watch Andor. Rogue One is one of the best Star Wars movies and I liked how the characters have their moments to shine. When Cassian was first introduced, he seems broken by the Rebellion. He’s been forced to do things for the greater good which had a personal cost for him. His character stood out to me. I was elated to hear he would star in his own show. After finishing Andor, this feels less like a Star Wars series and more of a heist/espionage slow-building show that just happens to exist in the Star Wars universe.

Five years before the Battle of Yavin, Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) is looking for his missing sister. He is gathering evidence of her whereabouts when he’s interrupted. He kills two officers in self-defense before fleeing the scene. The Empire starts to get involved thanks to Syril Karn (played by Kyle Soller) who wants to solve the murders and tracks Cassian. Cassian, in the meantime, is trying to sell Imperial Navigation technology for credits. Cassian’s ally, Bix (played by Adria Arjona) sets him up with Luthen Rael (played by Stellan Skarsgård) to make the deal. Luthen convinces Cassian to help his team with a heist which will help to devastate the Empire. Cassian throughout the show gets involved in various schemes which will help deal blows to the Empire from behind the scenes.

The cast for Andor is so good! It feels like no time has passed since Diego Luna played Cassian in Rogue One. Sometimes when there is a lot of time that passes between these releases, it can feel a little jarring. However, Diego clearly steps back in as Cassian. Andy Serkis has a small presence in the show which I don’t want to go into any more detail about because of spoilers. Stellan Skarsgård acts as a mentor of sorts to Cassian along with all the secrecy in planning all of his movements. He’s willing to make those hard choices which I can see is where Cassian learned this from. The cast is impeccable which makes the show that much better.

The episodes have a nice mix between the lore and the action. There is a lot of story-building in Andor which I personally enjoy because I think it establishes Andor’s place in the franchise. The heist episodes are a blast to watch because the plan that’s been built over time starts to come together. I think the prison break episode was a highlight of the series because of how Cassian always seems to be at the center of the spark that leads to a battle.

I was reading a critique online and someone had classified Andor as boring. I can kind of understand where this person is coming from. Star Wars is infamous for the light saber duels and intergalactic space battles. However, there’s so much more that happens in the shadows for those instances to occur. Andor is telling that story. For the rebellion to thrive, they need to bankrupt the Empire and steal their technology to even have a chance at taking The Empire head-on. The sacrifices that Cassian will eventually make set up the original trilogy. Andor might not be your cup of tea, but I think we can agree on the importance of telling that story.

Andor was well worth the wait, I can’t wait for season #2 which will link Cassian’s back story to the events leading into Rogue One.

Captain America: Winter Soldier – First Time Read

Image is a comic book cover. At the top, it has menancing eyes with the word Captain America. It shows a man with a red, white, blue shield with a star in the middle. Below him are two people, a woman holding a weapon and a man holding a pistol

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of my favorite Marvel films. It’s a pivotal film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of the way that the movie permanently changes S.H.I.E.L.D. While at C2E2 this year, I went to a panel about Mental Health in Comics. One of the series that was brought up was Ed Brubaker’s Captain America: Winter Soldier run as this series explored Captain America’s PTSD from the war. After the panel, I purchased the ultimate collection of Captain America: Winter Soldier after the panel ended. Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of the best comic books of all time and I would argue it’s one of the best Marvel graphic novel series to exist to date.

Captain America: Winter Soldier begins with Steve being called in to investigate the murder of Red Skull. Steve can hardly believe that Red Skull was killed and seems pretty suspicious about the timing of his death. As the issues progress, Steve feels that his memories are being manipulated as he is misremembering certain events from the war. Some of those memories involve Bucky Barnes, his partner, who was killed after he tried to disarm a bomb that went off. Steve feels that someone is personally out to get him for revenge or some other purpose. After a major bomb explodes, Steve investigates and sees Bucky from a distance. Steve can’t believe his eyes until Nick Fury concludes that Bucky is alive operating under the alias “The Winter Soldier”. Steve is at a loss, he knows he needs to stop Bucky, but he feels there are parts of him that still remain.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is a dark story. I liked how Ed Brubaker took Captain America and made him more nuanced. Captain America has always been a positive, upbeat, person who wants to do the right thing. In other comic runs, they gloss over all of Captain America’s experiences in the war. In this series, Steve talks to Sharon Carter in detail about the memories of WWII and what still haunts him. It makes Captain America more human in a lot of ways because he is a regular person at the end of the day and there were major casualties in WWII that won’t be forgotten.

Steve Epting does an amazing job with the art along with Michael Lark who focused on the flashback art panels. In black & white, it shows Steve’s memories from the war which are mixed with reality in which Steve is retelling these stories. The art is interesting to look at and fits with the overall aesthetic of the story.

I couldn’t help but compare this graphic novel to the movie adaptation. For the most part, the movie does a great job of taking the story that Ed Brubaker originally wrote. Some of the major differences include Sharon Carter’s involvement, Red Skull, and Steve being sent Bucky’s original report. The differences do make sense especially because Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) took the Sharon Carter role in the graphic novel.

Captain America: Winter Soldier is one of those Marvel classic stories. It’s a great example of how to re-examine the same characters in new ways.

The Night Agent (2023)

[Image is a poster for the TV series "The Night Agent" It shows a man holding a gun with The White House in the background]

My mom kept telling me about this new show that she started watching. She mentioned she was a few episodes into The Night Agent and how she thought that I would like it. I grew up watching 24, so any show that features politics, action, and some conspiracy being highlighted will probably be a show that I will like. After starting The Night Watch, I finished all ten episodes in less than two days and it was well worth the time spent. The Night Watch was action-packed, entertaining, and full of surprises.

Peter Sutherland (played by Gabriel Basso) is an FBI agent who’s in the shadow of his father. Peter’s father was accused of selling US secrets to foreign agents and once discovered, was killed in a car accident. Peter is constantly trying to fight off the stigma that he’s like his father. Peter takes a job as a man who answers the “Night Call” phone in which agents can call in if they are in danger. Peter receives a call from Rose Larkin (played by Luciane Buchanan) who’s trying to escape an assassin that killed her aunt and uncle. Peter helps save Rose and reunites with her a few hours later. They’re forced to go on the run when they figure out that Rose’s aunt and uncle were secret agents who discovered a mole within The White House who is planning an assassination attempt on a foreign leader. Without knowing who to trust, Peter and Rose can only rely on each other to stop this attack.

The cast of The Night Watch is stellar. It’s easy to focus on both Peter and Rose. Their chemistry together was believable and they had a good partnership together. Besides Peter and Rose, there’s Chelsea Arrington (played by Fola Evans-Akingbola) who is a Secret Service Agent guarding the Vice President’s Daughter, Maddie Redfield (played by Sarah Desjardins). Chelsea develops a personal bond with Maddie and when Maddie is kidnapped, Chelsea ends up bumping into Peter and Rose. They figure out their missions are aligned and they team up together. Chelsea plays a big role in stopping the attack in the last episode. Another standout is Chief of Staff Diane Farr (played by Hong Chau) who is Peter’s ally and who originally recruited him. Diane is navigating all the political turmoil with several key players in the President’s cabinet. The Night Watch has so many different side stories and plots that all end up coming together in the end. It’s so satisfying to watch.

I think what makes The Night Watch a standout is the reveals throughout the show as to who is responsible. Without including spoilers, there’s one episode in particular that had me in awe at who was revealed to be involved. When Peter realizes this, you can see in his facial features how shocked he is. In any show with this type of concept, if the show doesn’t have twists, it can be underwhelming, to say the least.

The last episode of The Night Watch was jam-packed. All the characters who have different motives are at Camp David when this attack is supposed to occur. The episode is incredibly fast-paced as these characters know different pieces of information about the attack, but aren’t able to coordinate with each other. It was so satisfying to see the conclusion of how everything plays out.

The Night Watch was so good! I almost want to start the season over and rewatch it. I’m curious to see if The Night Watch will get a second season. I would hope that if the show did get a second season, I hope it’s as good as season #1.

C2E2 2023 Recap

A few weeks ago, I drove to Chicago to visit one of my good friends along with attending C2E2. Attending C2E2 is always a highlight of my year. It’s one of my all-time favorite out-of-state conventions that I go to. I always go on Friday only, so I can spend Saturday with my friend and her husband before driving home on Sunday. I wanted to share a convention/weekend recap as this was definitely a highlight of my year.

[Image shows a sign that says C2E2. A woman in a red dress, blond wig with her hand on her hip is posing in front of  it]

On Friday, I woke up fairly early to work and get ready for the day. For Planet Comic Con, I cosplayed as Harley Quinn. For C2E2, I rented a cosplay from my usual go-to, Royal Fashions Costume Emporium. The cosplay that I picked to rent and ultimately wear was Buttercup from The Princess Bride. The cosplay was straightforward; the red long dress, the brown belt, and the long flowing blonde wig. This wig was much more comfortable to wear versus the Harley Quinn wig I wore a few weeks ago. The cosplay was easy to put on and was comfortable to wear all day.

[Image is in front of the entrance of a building. Hanging from the ceiling is a big sign that says "Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo C2E2"]

Since C2E2 is located in downtown Chicago, I never drive. I always take the Blue Line to get there. It does take an hour and a half to get there, but it’s so worth it. It makes for a stress-free commute as I typically bring a book with me to read while on the train. As I walked into the convention center, I felt at ease. There’s a certain energy that C2E2 has that other conventions do not. There’s a huge C2E2 banner that’s right at the entrance which feels welcoming. Towards the entrance to the show floor, there’s a DJ playing songs with nerdy soundtracks mixed in. It’s so high energy and I love it. It makes me excited to be there.

[Image is a selfie of a woman standing near a sign]

Another fun part about C2E2 is the photo opportunities. It’s a tradition for me to take a picture in front of the big C2E2 sign. I make a point to do it every year and it’s usually the first thing that I do when I get there. There are also various other signs, movie props, etc. that make for great photos. After wandering the show floor, going to a panel, and buying some comics, I was ready to head back home.

On Saturday, I had my cups of coffee to start the day. Me and my friend ended up spending hours talking which was honestly needed. I don’t get to see her that often meaning there’s so much to catch up on. Traveling for these weekend trips can be exhausting with all the driving, so it’s nice to have some time to relax. We ended up getting dinner and having a few drinks before heading back to her house.

I’m happy to be back home after a fun weekend away. C2E2 is always a fun convention to attend, and I’m already looking forward to C2E2 in 2024.

Tenet (2020)

[Image is a movie poster of Tenet. It features John David Washington on the top right and an inverted image of him at the bottom left]

Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors. His films are interesting to watch and often so complex that they require multiple rewatches. If I had to pick, I think Memento would be my top choice. I loved the concept of how the events of the film unfolded. I heard about Tenet, but Tenet was released before people felt comfortable going back to a theater in person. With Tenet being available to watch on HBO Max, I figured it was time to sit down and finally watch it. I thought Tenet overall was an interesting film, but I don’t think I fully followed everything that happened.

Tenet opens with a siege on an Opera House. The “Protagonist” (played by John David Washington) leads this mission and while the mission is a success, he’s captured and tortured. The Protagonist takes a suicide pill which ended up being faked. The Protagonist is recruited by an organization called “Tenet”. Part of his training is to learn about introverted bullets or bullets moving backward in time. The fear is if this is something that can be done with bullets, can other more dangerous weapons be manipulated in this way. The Protagonist starts to investigate where these bullets came from and learns about arms dealer Andrei Sator (played by Kenneth Branagh) who is linked to creating these bullets. To help get closer to him, The Protagonist meets his estranged wife, Kat Barton (played by Elizabeth Debicki). The Protagonist, Kat, and Neil (played by Robert Pattinson) team up to take down Andrei and ensure he isn’t able to keep up with this level of technology.

Christopher Nolan’s films have this ensemble cast that helps bring the story to life. John David Washington should be cast in all things. I think he truly leads this film and it’s clearly his story. The action scenes that he films are realistic and extremely detailed especially because there are moments where he’s inverted and fighting himself. Robert Pattinson has gotten a lot of criticism for his actions since he was in Twilight. It’s odd because if you watch him in any other film, you can clearly see that he’s a talented actor. It’s nice to see him getting more recognition. I don’t think I have seen Robert Pattinson in an action film, so I think this shows his range in what types of movies he’s cast in. Kenneth Branagh always plays a good villain. The cast is certainly a highlight of the film.

I think the thing that I struggled with the most with Tenet is keeping up with the story. There are certain moments where both The Protagonist and Neil are inverted in time. I don’t think I can explain how The Protagonist and Neil saved the day because I still didn’t quite follow who was at what time. There was a lot that was happening and I found it difficult to follow. While most of Christopher Nolan’s films have that quality, I found it tougher in Tenet to understand than his other films.

I liked Tenet and I’m glad I watched it. I don’t know if I would watch Tenet again. With that being said, I’m looking forward to Christopher Nolan’s next film, Oppenheimer, which is a biopic of J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the physicists on the Manhattan Project. Oppenheimer is scheduled to be released on July 21st, 2023.

Pushing Stones – My First Time Curling

Living in Minnesota, it helps to play a winter sport. I’m a figure skater primarily, my friend’s husband recently got into cross-country skiing. Winters in Minnesota can be brutal, so finding a way to enjoy them certainly helps. Occasionally, my team at work schedules team outings to help create a collaborative environment amongst our bigger team. The most recent outing was a trip to the Saint Paul Curling Club. I can’t say that I have been curling before, so I was intrigued as to how this was going to go. I was horrible at curling and I can confirm this isn’t a secret talent I have. Although, I would try curling again in the future as it was a fun way to pass the time.

[Image is a ring on ice. There's a red outer ring, a white inner ring, and a black circle. In the red ring, there's a gray stone with a yellow handle on it]

While I have seen Curling at the Olympics, I barely knew much about the sport. In Curling, there are four roles on a team. The first role is the lead. The lead is the one who sends the stone across the ice hoping that the stone will land in the ring. There are two sweepers. Once the stone is released, the sweepers will sweep in front of the stone. Sweeping will warm the ice and extend the path of the stone. Finally, there’s a person at the end of the ice near the ring. This person will try and sweep when the stone extends near a certain line. This can help keep the stone moving, so it moves out of the ring. Each team wants to score points by having their stone in the ring.

When we arrived, we had a twenty-minute instruction on how to curl. There was a video combined with an on-ice demonstration. With Curling, there are things added to the ice to aid in traction. It wasn’t like walking on a figure skating rink which is what I was afraid of as I didn’t want to fall. I was slightly nervous, to begin with. While we were taught what to do, it’s a whole different story to have your body do the motions for the first time. I think the toughest part for me was doing the curling portion. There are certain blocks that your feet align to and then you lunge into a position on the ice to release the stone. I think it took me five different false starts to finally figure it out.

Curling, in a lot of ways, reminded me of putting in Golf. It’s a delicate balance of releasing the stone with enough force, so it glides into the ring, but not too much because then it will slide too quickly and pass the ring altogether. I’m a terrible putter in Golf because I always misjudge the distance to the hole and Curling was no different. It was nice because most of my work team had never Curled before either, so we could all learn together. I didn’t feel intimidated that I was the only one who sucked at the sport.

I was a little shocked at how much Curling felt like exercise. There’s the lunging into position to slide the stone, along with the actual sweeping portion. My Fitbit recognized that I was exercising, but wasn’t quite sure what to log the exercise as. I found myself running after the stone on the ice which led me to breathe a little harder. It looks so easy watching Curling compared to trying to replicate the movements in person.

In the end, I didn’t score at all for my team. My team did win, but not because I helped at all. I would consider Curling again especially if it gives me something to do in Winter.