Trying to find activities allowing for social distancing can be challenging. My fiance decided we should go to an apple orchard because at least it’s outside. We settled on visiting the Luce Line Apple Orchard located in Watertown, MN. It was a 35-minute drive away from where we live which is the perfect amount of driving.
This apple orchard was huge! Their apple fields span for at least a couple of miles. At the center of the activities was a white barn to buy fall-themed merchandise. Pumpkins were scattered around the premises and various animals were sniffing children’s hands looking for food. Since the property was so big, we didn’t feel we were on top of anyone and it was fairly easy to socially distance. We went on a walk around the fenced-in animals and found a couple of quiet moments to take pictures.
As far as food, we each ordered a corn dog. I haven’t eaten a corn dog in a while since our state fair was canceled back in August. Additionally, we went to the cocktail stand and ordered a tangy apple sangria. IT WAS SO YUMMY. It was worth the $9 purchase. As we sat and drank our tangy sangrias, we saw Bigfoot walking around. Someone dresses as Bigfoot and walks around the Orchard. There are Bigfoot signs throughout the Orchard. Me and my fiance couldn’t stop laughing when Bigfoot would scare little kids.
Finally, we stopped at the white barn. I picked up more candle wax for my Owl wax burner (I don’t remember what it’s called, but it burns wax). We picked up some homemade maple syrup and a couple of smaller decorative pumpkins that are currently sitting on our TV stand.
Trying to come up with activities during a Pandemic is tough. Me and my fiance take social distancing and mask-wearing seriously. Luceline Apple Orchard was perfectly spacious allowing for a cute date day while being safe.
2020 has been a chaotic year. On the bright side, two weeks ago, me and the fiance took our engagement photos. We are getting married October of 2021 and wanted our photos to have the beautiful colors. We drove to Duluth, MN which is a gorgeous town along Lake Superior. The colors were at their peak. Our photographer sent us a couple of the many photos taken. I wanted to share them because I’m pleased with how they turned out.
Our photgrapher is Mitchell Ringness and he was professional and personal throughout our entire session. If you’re based in Minnesota and are looking for a photographer, check him out. I linked his website in case you wanted to check out his portfolio.
With the Pandemic, I find it can be difficult to stay positive. These engagement photos were a nice emotional boost. I never thought about spending the rest of my life with someone until I met my fiance. I didn’t know then what I know now, but there’s no one I would rather spend my life with than him.
**Trigger Warning: Transphobia / mentioning of the original author of the Harry Potter series**
It’s funny how much changes in a year. This September marks the one year anniversary of getting my Harry Potter themed tattoo. J.K. Rowling has been making comments about the trans community that are hateful in nature and completely inaccurate. With all of this, I have been thinking about my tattoo, and knowing what I know now, would I have gotten a Harry Potter tattoo in the first place.
My stance on all of this is to love the fandom and put distance to the creator. Harry Potter has gotten me through many tough moments in my life. The movies were there for me when I needed them. The last movie came out in 2012 when I graduated from high school. It felt like an end of an era both in the films and for my life. I can’t abandon Harry Potter because it’s so important to me. If this means you have to unfollow my blog or from my various forms of social media, that’s perfectly fine and I wish you well.
I have seen some individuals remove their Harry Potter tattoos because of Rowling’s views. I won’t be doing this. As mentioned above, Harry Potter has so much meaning to me. With my tattoo, I like how it references the Harry Potter stories without directly mentioning Rowling. Plus tattoo removal can be more painful than the tattoo and lead to scarring. It’s not worth it for me to do this.
Twitter started a firestorm when the trailer for the new Hogwarts Legacy game was released. I have made the decision that I won’t purchase this game brand new because I don’t want to support anything leading back to Rowling. However, some gamers plan on buying this game and are being called transphobic for doing so. I don’t think calling others out for being “less of an ally” is going to help battle against hatred. It’s going to create further division. If you’re planning on buying the Hogwarts Legacy game brand new, I hope you enjoy the game. I encourage you to put the same amount of money into a trans charity right after. I’m not going to sit here and call someone transphobic for doing purchasing a game that we have all been waiting for.
Moving past this, I’m going to write about Harry Potter less. I’m ending my Harry Potter WYR blog series as well. There will be one final post with the remaining prompts I have. I’m still going to remain a Harry Potter fan and belong in the community. My Harry Potter tattoo will remain on my body forever although I may not add on to it like I originally planned. If you’re looking for a trans charity to donate to, I will always recommend The Trevor Project. I would love to know your feedback and how you’re getting through this as a Harry Potter fan. Let’s keep the comments peaceful as well. I hope you’re all doing well during this difficult time.
As a result of Covid-19, my summer plans have been modified. Both Convergence and Gen Con were cancelled. I’m super bummed about Gen Con as attending Gen Con last year was one of my 2019 highlights. Despite the pandemic, we still got together at my friends cabin for our girls weekend. I tried to remember how long we had been doing this cabin trip. My memory goes as far back as 2012 before we all went off to college. I’m thankful for the girlfriends I have in my life. They have helped me survive this pandemic and subsequent Quarantine.
Cabin weekend is always one of my favorite memories, I can’t wait for next year!
Last Friday, I was a couple of hard water seltzers in, (Vizzy is my favorite and I love the Blue Pomegranate) and I was debating what I wanted to do with my blog. I have been blogging since 2015 and there are still goals I have about how to make this blog better. With that being said, I decided to purchase my blog name! I’m officially bizarrebrunette.com versus bizarrebrunette.wordpress.com I’m excited to see how my site can improve.
As far as goals, I do want to change the layout of my blog. It’s a plain purple color, but I would like a patterned layout. I do want a blog image that’s mine. Whether it’s a cartoon version of me, but an actual blog logo. Lots to accomplish and so little time. I figure purchasing my blog name is the first step to get there.
I thought about what I want out of this blog. Many bloggers want to monetize their site and I’m not sure if I’m there yet. I blog because I genuinely enjoy writing and I want something to reflect on. However, making side money isn’t something to complain about either.
Anyway, to wrap up this post, I’m looking forward to my blog and the future ahead. Thanks to everyone who reads my post, I wouldn’t be here without all of you.
For the entire month of May, I devoted myself to reading, watching, playing anything Star Wars related. In May, I always do my yearly re-watching of the Star Wars movies, but I wanted to do a little bit more for this year.
I re-watched episodes I-VI including Solo and Rogue One in chronological order. My top three favorite Star Wars movies are:
Revenge of the Sith
Return of the Jedi
How dare I not include Empire Strikes Back?? My top Star Wars movie is one of the prequels?? Why yes, Revenge of the Sith is my number one pick. I grew up with the prequel movies, so there is a special spot in my heart for Revenge of the Sith. The last hour of this movie always messes me up emotionally. The song played while Anakin and Obi-Wan fight on Mustafar always makes me cry. It’s full of emotion. Hayden Christiansen and Ewan McGregor sell this scene.
I listed Return of the Jedi as my second favorite which shouldn’t be a surprise considering Revenge is my #1 movie. Return of the Jedi shows the redemption Vader has as he throws Palpatine down the shaft. He does this for his son. Ever since Luke entered his life, there was confusion within Vader, and Luke made him confront this. It doesn’t eliminate all the evil Vader has done, but we see a villain come back. I’m glad Hayden was digitally added to this movie after Revenge came out.
Finally, Rogue One is my third Star Wars movie I picked. Rogue One introduces these characters who all have different agendas and backgrounds. With the little screen time these characters have, I start to care about them, and yet they all give their lives to retrieve the Death Star plans. Every time I watch Rogue One, my heart beats so fast as their plan is deteriorating and they’re running out of time to retrieve the plans.
In June, I do plan on watching episodes VII-XI.
Besides watching the movies, I read Aftermath by Chuck Wendig. I wasn’t a big fan of this book. It takes place right after Return of the Jedi and follows Wedge Antilles as he’s near the planet, Akiva. Throughout the book, it brings together Wedge along with four other supporting characters. I felt the writing and sentence structure wasn’t great, while some characters had more back story than others. I do intend on continuing with the series because I want to read all the Star Wars canon novels.
Currently, I’m reading Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed. I have high hopes for this book because Alexander wrote the Rogue One novelization which I enjoyed a lot.
I’m going to keep this short and simple. I watched the Mandalorian and it fucking rocked. End of story.
My fiance bought me a copy of Jedi Fallen Order. I’m on Kashyyyk now after taking over the AT-AT with help from BB1. Overall, I’m having a blast being a beginner Jedi. This game presents its challenges with spreading out the save points. Too often, I would die and have to repeat sections of the game. Now I’m more familiar with the game mode, I’m cautious when I enter the game battles. I hope to finish the story mode in June.
Accompanying my Jedi Fallen Order playthrough, I have been playing Star Wars Battlefront II. My fiance received this for his birthday this year and after watching him play, I decided to give this a try for myself. I’m having a blast. Last night, I played as Finn on one of the New Order maps and I was in first place for our team! We didn’t win the match, but being in the first place was an achievement. If you’re playing Battlefront II and want to play a game together, I’m iceskater101 on Xbox.
I’m carrying over the Star Wars love into June as I haven’t finished Fallen Order or read Alphabet Squadron yet. Star Wars will always hold a special place in my heart. It’s the perfect fandom to dive into with the world we are living in now.
Gaming has been the perfect distraction from the current environment. Video games, board games, card games, it doesn’t matter. All forms of gaming have provided me a way to distance myself from all things Covid-19. Therefore, I wanted to share a couple of updates as to how gaming is providing me happiness throughout this time.
Winning the Game Knights Contest
Shortly before entering Quarantine, I found out through Twitter I had won the Game Knights contest in February 2020. It was exciting! I received a signed Forest playmat, bright yellow sleeves, a green deck box, and a couple of booster packs. I used the green deck box to put my new deck in, but the sleeves and playmat have remained untouched. I have touched on recently how I’m back into playing Magic,and this added to my excitement. A special thanks to the Command Zone cast who sent me these items.
Partying in Sims #3 University Life
Sims 3 is iconic. During a blizzard or in quarantine, Sims #3 passes the time. I purchased the University expansion pack from Steam. I’m in awe at how improved the University expansion is versus the Sims #2 version. It’s more realistic and my sims get invited to social outings. I created the cast of New Girl which includes Nick Miller, Jessica Day, Schmidt, and Winston. It’s been a blast.
Playing Fortnite Online
I never thought I would be saying this, but I have been playing Fortnite. Fortnite is a game I had written off as a game I would never play. A couple of friends from work invited me to play Fortnite and it was actually fun. To be clear, I wouldn’t play this game alone. Fortnite is meant to be played with friends and it’s one of the few games that’s cross-platform.
Next, I hope to complete KH3 (Kingdom Hearts III) along with getting further along in Jedi Fallen Order. I’m playing Monster Prom on Steam and I want to unlock all the bonus endings. Finally, I’m trying out Xbox game pass and I downloaded a couple of games on Xbox. I’m trying to make mini gaming goals, so I can be more productive as a gamer, wish me luck!
Blog Tags / Awards make me smile. It’s rewarding to have developed a readership base where I get tagged in these. Being stuck in Quarantine, I need all the happiness I can get. A Geek Girl’s Guide nominated me for this award, so make sure to check out her blog before reading on.
Thank the person who tagged you (Michelle, rock on!) Make sure to link back to the blog. ^^^^^^^ Use Super Happy Love as a tag.
Display the logo on the post. Share the rules
Choose a minimum of 2 out of the 6 prompts, more is allowed.
The 6 prompts are as follows:
Tell about a person you love (friend, partner, celebrity, Youtuber, pet, someone who meant a lot to you).
Write about a franchise or fandom you love
Write about a character you love
Tell us about a piece of music you love
Show us a piece of media you love so much
Write something you love about yourself
Don’t forget to tag 6 bloggers!!
Here we go:
A Person I Love
This is a hard choice because there are so many people in my life who mean so much to me. After deliberating, I decided to pick my brother. My brother means the world to me. The older I am, the more close I am to my brother. We have had many experiences together with just us. We went to a comic book store / bar in Orlando and we drove to Gen Con together. It would sadden me if Gen Con was cancelled this year, because it’s a great way for me and my brother to bond.
A Fandom I Love *Challenging Myself to Not Say Harry Potter*
As mentioned in the title, I wanted to challenge myself to not pick Harry Potter. I decided to go with Life is Strange. Life is Strange is one of my favorite video games of all time. This is a video game I recommend to people who hate playing video games. Told in various episodes, our main character Max reunites with Chloe to uncover the disapparance of Rachel along with figuring out why these weird events are happening in this town. If you haven’t played this game, you absolutely have to.
A Character I Love
I absolutely love Carmen Sandiego. Remember when General Mills used to put demo computer CD’s in cereal boxes?? I played the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and this is how I learned vocabulary, geography and improved my basic math knowledge. Educational computer games can be fun and who doesn’t want to catch a thief, or maybe…. not.
What I Love About Myself
I love how much I have grown as a person. I have become more confident in myself and accepting of who I am. My body image has sky rocketed. I have learned to cut toxic people out of my life and to stick up for myself. I’m really content with where my life i at and I’m thankful at my experiences.
I and the fiance were hell-bent on going to Seattle despite Emerald City Comic Con being canceled. After further consideration, we decided to cancel everything. I thought of my mom who’s retired and I would hate to be responsible for bringing her the Coronavirus. In all honesty, I was disappointed. I recognized later on that with the virus, I have to be considerate of the people around me. My fiance last minute suggested taking a road trip through Michigan and it was the vacation I needed.
We left Wednesday for Traverse City, Michigan. From the Twin Cities, we drove through Wisconsin, up the Upper Peninsula, across the Mackinaw bridge to Traverse City. I live for road trips and I liked being able to catch up on my podcast backlog.
Traverse City is a bay town with a cute downtown shopping area. I kid you not, Traverse City has at least five bookstores. My heart practically exploded. I spent $90 on books, graphic novels, and comics. It was fun to walk to all the shops Traverse City had to offer. Traverse City has so many breweries downtown and driving access to at least 13 nearby wineries. This was a weekend where I ate good food and drank adult beverages.
There’s nothing worse (in my opinion) than being so busy on a vacation that you need a vacation from your vacation. This weekend, I was able to read a whole book start to finish along with listening to podcasts and unwind. I feel rejuvenated in starting my work week. There were times where my and the fiance laid down and relaxed throughout our activities and it was needed. Plus we both got to spend some much needed time together without the daily life distractions.
I’m fortunate that I was able to take a trip with the Coronavirus spreading. My work just sent a mass email permitting all of us to work from home. I’m personally looking forward to laying around in comfy pants, a geek t-shirt with a mug of copy on my desk. I’m happy to be back in my normal routine and I will be posting blog posts on a much more regular basis. Thanks for sticking around.
One of my best friends messaged me asking if I was still going to Emerald City Comic Con. Many creators have cancelled their appearances due to the outbreak. Me and my fiance had a long conversation about this and whether we wanted to put ourselves at risk by traveling. After much deliberation, we agreed to still fly to Seattle, but I would limit my four day press badge to one single day. Should Emerald City Comic Con cancel the convention entirely?
Earning the press badge for Emerald City was going to be a major highlight in 2020. Seattle is a city I have always wanted to visit. I was happy my fiance wanted to come along, so I didn’t have to travel by myself. Major disappointment hit me when I talked with my fiance about cancelling the trip.
Emerald City Comic Con is responsible for the safety of their guests. On Emerald City’s main page, it lists how they’re going to prepare for the virus by upping sanitation efforts. While this is sort of comforting, it doesn’t eliminate the mini panic I had about getting sick. The artists who cancelled had loved ones, small children or older folks who they didn’t want to put at risk. Is my trip going to endanger people I love?
Ultimately, I don’t know what the right decision is for Emerald City. Some say cancel, others say no worries. I believe in doing what’s best for you. I have stopped reading random internet articles about Corona Virus because there’s so much panic and inaccurate information spreading. I’m monitoring the Seattle State Health Department along with the CDC for updates and that’s about it.
Feel free to weigh your thoughts in the comments, should Emerald City Comic Con cancel their show?