Minnesota Vikings – The Comeback Kids

Football isn’t necessarily my favorite sport to watch. I’m personally more of a baseball fan with my devotion to the Minnesota Twins. To be fair, I have never been to an NFL Football game at any major stadium. One of my coworkers was selling her tickets to the Saturday, December 17th Vikings game versus The Colts. I jumped at the chance to see The Vikings live because I haven’t seen the new US Bank Stadium. Watching this game in person was incredible especially because The Minnesota Vikings broke an NFL record.

As the game started, The Vikings were having a rough time. At halftime, the score was 33-0 with The Vikings not being able to score anything. Fans were pissed! Our seats were in the season ticket holders section and there was a lot of swearing and frustration that could be heard. Being in this section was pretty entertaining. There was someone doing commentary in the back row of our section and his comments made us all laugh.

As the second half progressed, the same commentator would say “4 touchdowns to win” or “3 touchdowns to win”. Throughout the game, The Vikings kept scoring. The game started with “there’s no way The Vikings can come back from this” to “The Vikings have a chance.” The energy in the stadium increased as The Vikings kept scoring. Eventually, it got to the point where The Vikings scored a touchdown and the score was 36-34. The Vikings needed the two-point conversion to tie the game. There was silence in the stadium as we all watched what would happen. The Vikings did it and everyone cheered. It was time to move the game into overtime.

At this point, I’m sweaty and my heart is beating out of my chest. My Fit Bit recorded this as a workout for the day; that’s how energized I was. Overtime began and The Vikings won the coin toss. Winning the coin toss in overtime is crucial because if you score first, you win. However, The Vikings didn’t score when they had the ball. This meant The Colts had a chance to score. The Vikings stopped them and we got the ball back. At this point, fans are absolutely jumping up from their seats and standing to watch the game.

The Vikings kept moving the ball down the field which put them in field goal range. This was it. If The Vikings kicker made this field goal, we would win the game. If the kicker missed, The Colts would have another chance and that could cost us the game. It was maddening watching this play out, but then we saw the ball soar through the yellow goalposts. It was on the big screen at US Bank Stadium that we won! I was cheering and screaming in excitement. Fans in our row came over to high-five us. I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that I was at a game where The Vikings came back from 0 to win the game in overtime. I didn’t realize it was an NFL record until the announcers stated this in their commentary. On top of that, The Vikings won the NFC North Championship which meant that The Vikings were at the top of their division. This hasn’t happened since 2017.

As a side note, I wanted to know what record we surpassed. In 1993, The Houston Oilers came back to win the game in a 32-point comeback.

I’m in awe. I can’t believe I was at this game. This is something I will never forget.

The Guardians of the Galaxy – Holiday Special

Watch The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Full movie | Disney+

My go-to Holiday movies are The Polar Express, Love Actually, and Die Hard. This post is not to debate whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie because it absolutely is. I saw The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special pop up on Disney+ which was perfect timing since I was figuring out what holiday movies I wanted to watch this year. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was so fun and filled with holiday cheer along with Drax’s awesome one-liners.

Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) has been sad for a while coinciding with the loss of Gamora. Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff) and Drax (played by Dave Bautista) come up with an outrageous idea to make Peter feel better. They will fly to Earth and kidnap Kevin Bacon (played by Kevin Bacon!), so Peter can meet one of his heroes in person. As you can imagine, Mantis and Drax have loads of fun in LA while trying to figure out where Kevin Bacon lives.

First of all, the fact that Kevin Bacon agreed to be in this was cool. I could see as an actor when you’re mentioned in another media property, you might want to steer clear from being a guest star in that franchise. For those who are unaware, Kevin Bacon was mentioned in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film where Peter has a dance battle with Ronan (played by Lee Pace). It was so sweet to see that come full circle especially when Kraglin (played by Sean Gunn) tells Kevin that dancing really in fact saved the galaxy.

I need more Mantis and Drax adventures on Disney+. These two have such great chaotic energy together. There’s a part where they are taking photos on Hollywood Boulevard that’s so funny to watch. I haven’t watched a holiday movie that has made me laugh this much in a while.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special was such a heartwarming superhero holiday film and is definitely worth the watch.

My Best Friend is Married!!!! – 3rd Wedding of the Year

November was such a busy month for me! For me, that’s pretty unusual since I’m normally busy during the peak Fall season i.e. September – October. Last month, one of my best friends got married and I was so happy to be included in all of the festivities. I had this post in my draft for a while because I was waiting for the photos to come back and they are such beautiful pictures.

The photos were taken at a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, so we had the skyline in the background. When we took this photo, it was 32 degrees out, so we all were shivering next to each other. Photos always manage to tell a story and bring back lovely memories.

Throughout my blog posts, I tend to repeat myself every now and then. One of the things that I will continue to say is that I’m so fortunate to have my friends. My friendships have carried through my teenage years, through college, and now as we continue on into our adult lives. New friends have been added to the mix and some friends I have grown apart from. With all of that being said, I have a good group of friends and I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

Doctor Who 101 – Terminology Behind Doctor Who

Before I publish my first official Doctor Who rewatching post, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about some of the terminologies within Doctor Who. I remember attending my first convention in 2013 and not knowing what a Dalek was. I saw it zooming around the convention having no idea what it was from. Doctor Who references are everywhere at conventions and I figured this guide might be interesting for those who may have heard these terms mentioned, but not know exactly what they are.

The Doctor

The Doctor is the main character in Doctor Who. The Doctor is a timelord from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor travels through space and time-solving problems or stopping an evil alien species. I think what’s interesting about The Doctor is that The Doctor doesn’t have a gender. The Doctor exists and it’s not illustrated whether The Doctor is a man or a woman. This might be an incorrect statement since I haven’t watched the old Doctor Who series, but I have always thought of The Doctor as someone who exists rather than being a certain gender.

The Doctor travels on a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) which I will explain a little bit more in a bit. Biologically speaking, The Doctor has two hearts versus one and has superhuman stamina which allows The Doctor to explore different planets with a variety of different atmospheres.

Tardis

The TARDIS is the spaceship that The Doctor travels on. TARDIS is disguised as a blue telephone booth, so when it enters Earth’s atmosphere, it doesn’t look like a spaceship. The joke within the show is that it’s “bigger on the inside” meaning when companions see the TARDIS, they think it’s the size of the telephone booth when really there is a lot more room to move around. In Doctor Who merchandise, the TARDIS is featured quite a bit and I think is one of the main characteristics of the show.

Gallifrey

Gallifrey is The Doctor’s home planet. It’s hinted that there was a war and Gallifrey may have been destroyed. This war is known as the Time War. When Gallifrey is brought up on the show, it often gives a glimpse into The Doctor as having survived something that’s violent and the trauma that comes with that. The Time War is a war that’s between the Time Lords and the Daleks, one of The Doctor’s most fearsome foes.

Dalek

The Dalek is one of the most feared enemies in Doctor Who. It’s basically a robot with a toilet plunger as its eye. As a fun fact, the original Daleks were made of egg cartons and sink plungers. The Daleks come up a lot as each Doctor has had to confront the Dalek. While the Daleks seem a bit dorky, they are incredibly powerful. Their signature line is “Exterminate” as they say this every time they go to kill anything.

Companion

Companions are incredibly important in Doctor Who. The companions are humans, aliens, robots, or any other living being that travels with The Doctor. Each actor who has played The Doctor is often brought up based on the companions that they travel with. There’s Rose Tyler (played by Billie Piper) who traveled with the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). There’s Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Wiliams (Arthur Darvill) who traveled primarily with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). Companions help keep The Doctor company by bringing their natural intelligence to help save the day.

Regeneration

Whenever The Doctor is wounded or old, The Doctor regenerates. This is how it’s explained when new actors or actresses play the role of The Doctor. Out of all the franchises that exist, Doctor Who may be the only one that has a way to explain new people playing the role that’s canon in the fandom. I think it’s rather creative. It shows how The Doctor has existed in many lifetimes and how each lifetime has certain companions or memories associated.

When The Doctor regenerates, The Doctor usually glows as a yellow beam explodes out of their body and they take on a new appearance with the new actor.

History Behind Doctor Who

Doctor Who is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world. The original Doctor Who show aired in 1963 and continued until 1989. The show was relaunched in 2005 and has been airing new episodes along with the announcement of Ncuti Gatwa as the new Doctor. With a show running as long as Doctor Who has, there’s so much history to explore.

One of the scandals or mishaps in Doctor Who are the mystery of the missing episodes. It’s assumed these episodes were deleted, but the reasons aren’t confirmed. It could have been because of a lack of storage or a lack of broadcasting rights. No one knows where these episodes are and it leaves some series of Doctor Who as being incomplete. I remember hearing about the missing episodes at Convergence when I attended a Doctor Who-themed panel. It’s something that’s worth referencing in this “Doctor Who 101″ post as you might hear someone bring it up.

I hope this helps! You may hear these being brought up with Doctor Who fans and now you know where they come from or at least a little bit more about Doctor Who in general. I hope to have my first post up with the first series of Doctor Who before the end of the year.

Splitting the Heist Money – GoodCritters

My brother always brings the most interesting games that I have never heard of to our family board game nights. Some of the games he brings may not be my cup of tea, but I still like them because it exposes me to board games I wouldn’t have thought to play. One of the games that he brought was GoodCritters. GoodCritters is a game that I could see myself bringing to a friend’s board game night. It’s easy to learn and it can be played with up to 8 people, which is the exact size of our group.

The premise of GoodCritters is pretty simple. The object of the game is to collect the most money from the heist compared to other players. The characters are a variety of different animals hence the name of the game being GoodCritters. One person plays the mob boss who decides how they want to split the money in the heist. After the boss splits the money, the crew places a card that represents an action after the round. They can either approve of the boss, meaning they like how they split the money. They can reject the boss, meaning they don’t agree with how the money is split. There’s an action to skim, where a player can pull the next money card off the deck and add it to their pile. However, if one player skims before the other player, the player who was second to reveal their skim card gets no money. Players can rob each other or be on guard to prevent being robbed. Once a certain card is revealed, the round ends, and players add up their money.

I think the fun of GoodCritters was to figure out what the strategy is. When I was the boss, I tried to split the money evenly while giving myself $100 or so more than everyone else. Additionally, I tried to skim when it was closer to my turn to reveal my card to increase the likelihood of a payout. I ended up guarding myself anytime someone tried to rob me to protect my money stash. In the end, I ended up winning by only a $100 difference.

I like that GoodCritters is an easy game to learn. As my brother explained the premise to us, I found it easy to pick up. I liked the bluffing aspect of the game. Whenever a player wants to rob another player, they take their animal token and place it near the player they want to rob. However, that doesn’t mean that the player has to rob. They can place it there to force the player to guard their stash while the player ends up doing another action instead. I also liked how the rounds don’t take a long time. I don’t mind games that take several hours to complete, but sometimes that’s exhausting.

GoodCritters was a fun game that I would definitely play again. I’m not sure if I would purchase my own copy since my brother has his. I do think if you’re looking for a game to play with friends or a game to bring to a brewery, GoodCritters is a good option.

Planning My 2023 Convention Schedule

With 2022 coming to a close, I’m already prepping my end-of-year blog posts. One thing I noticed right away was I was only able to attend one convention which is pretty low for me. I wanted to make conventions more of a priority this year, so I have started planning out 2023 and which conventions I could more than likely attend. I wanted to share a portion of my convention schedule along with conventions that I have on my radar, but I haven’t confirmed just yet.

The two conventions I know that I will for sure be attending are C2E2 and Plant Comic Con. C2E2 is a convention that I attend every year as one of my friends from college lives outside of Chicago. Luckily she lets me stay with her, so I don’t need to pay for a hotel. I end up taking transportation to downtown Chicago and it’s so slick! C2E2 has so much going on and there’s something for everyone with this convention. Planet Comic Con is more of an every-other-year convention. The last time I went to Planet Comic Con was last year as it was my first convention since the Covid-19 pandemic. I love Kansas City, it’s one of my favorite cities in the US to visit. My cousin still lives outside of the city and I’m able to stay with him. I’m fortunate to have family and friends outside of Minnesota to stay with which makes traveling for a convention much cheaper.

Besides C2E2 and Planet Comic Con, I want to get back to attending Convergence. Convergence will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the first convention I have ever attended. The last time I went was in 2019 before the pandemic. If I were to attend Convergence this year, it will probably look a little different. Some of my convention friends who I would meet up with have moved away or are planning to attend another convention on the same weekend. It probably won’t make a difference to me whatsoever because I always manage to have fun at Convergence.

Finally, I wanted to share a few conventions that are on my radar to attend, but they may not happen in 2023 due to other travel plans. The first convention is Gen Con. My first Gen Con was in 2019 and I was completely mesmerized. There were so many booths in the vendor area and there was so much going on in downtown Indianapolis. Attending Gen Con was easily one of my favorite memories of 2019. I hope to get back to Gen Con soon! Besides Gen Con, I have Siouxpercon as a potential convention to attend. Sioux Falls, South Dakota isn’t too far of a drive, so I don’t suspect this to be an expensive trip. I know a few people who tabled at Siouxpercon and they said it was a good convention.

Attending conventions will always be a blast. I love sharing my interests with other people, cosplaying, and going to panels. Let me know in the comments section if you are going to any conventions in 2023!

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.