Bought My Blog Domain Name!

Traverse City, MI March 2020.

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.

May Star Wars Month Recap

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.

Can you tell me which Star Wars movie I like the best??

Movies

I re-watched episodes I-VI including Solo and Rogue One in chronological order. My top three favorite Star Wars movies are:

  1. Revenge of the Sith
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Rogue One

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.

Books

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.

TV Shows

I’m going to keep this short and simple. I watched the Mandalorian and it fucking rocked. End of story.

Gaming

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.

Game Knights, University Sims & Fortnite.

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

Screenshot of the tweet saying I had won. I’m @bizzarebrunette

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

Jessica Day. The screenshot was taken by me.
Schmidt is in the fancy purple blazer. The screenshot taken by me.
Nick Miller. The screenshot taken by me.

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!

Super Happy Love Award

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.

Image created by Michelle over at A Geek Girl’s Guide

The Rules:

  • 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 Tag. . .

  • Anyone who wants to participate!

Traversing to Traverse City Michigan

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.

Jake the Dog! Photo taken by my fiance.

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.

Me with all my books. Photo taken by my fiance.

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.

Photo taken by the fiance.

Should Emerald City Cancel?

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?

Dabbling at the Beer Dabbler

Besides being an avid coffee drinker, I enjoy a good pint of beer. Breweries are one of my favorite places to hang out on a Friday night. Bring a couple of board games, meet up with friends and possibly play Pinball or Shuffleboard depending on the brewery. My friends invited me to the 11th Annual Winter Beer Dabbler that occurred this past Saturday, February 22nd. Outdoor events can be risky in Minnesota, but I couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous winter day.

So many Beer Tents. Photo taken by Me.

Walking into the Beer Dabbler, many brewery tents were lining the grounds. We were given these smaller glasses which we could bring to the brewery tents for unlimited beer. I tasted an oreo flavored stout which wasn’t half bad, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. I also tried the “Winona Rider” beer from Winona, MN. I was disappointed because I wasn’t a huge fan. My favorite breweries included Back Channel, Castle Danger, and Modist. There were also plenty of photo opportunities including in front of the Beer Dabbler Ice Sculpture.

Nothing screams Minnesota like having ice sculptures everywhere. Photo taken by Me.

I was slightly nervous with the event being outdoors and there being only porta-potties. I consider myself to be a bathroom snob, so if I can avoid porta-potties or bathroom lines, that would be most ideal. However, I was surprised by how many there were and there were indoor bathrooms in one of the other indoor buildings for the event. There is a special kind of hell in which you have to pee, but you cannot find a bathroom.

I genuinely felt I got my money’s worth in this event. I paid $57 with tax to be able to drink unlimited beer from my favorite breweries. I was able to keep my souvenir glass and there was live music playing the whole time. Next year, I want to come prepared in a special Beer Dabbler outfit with a food necklace. If you’re a beer drinker, I’d highly recommend doing an event like this. I’m all about supporting local breweries, and this is one way to do that. I was able to drink beer, take pictures with friends and have a fun night outside in the Minnesota winter.

My Loud Voice. . . An Insecurity

Astronomy Club in College approximately five years ago.

I was at a work sponsored happy hour, drinking beer and mingling with my coworkers. The conversation turned into this guessing game of “Which high school superlative would you be?” We went around the circle coming up with which superlative represented each person in the group. My turn came and within fifteen seconds, someone shouted “the loudest.” Everyone started laughing. I was nervously giggling. I recognize that I’m a loud person, but it’s a deep insecurity of mine.

When I was younger, I was soft spoken. My teachers were concerned because throughout elementary school, I had one close friend. In 3rd grade, I started meeting other friends, but I didn’t approach anyone I didn’t know. This behavior continued into middle school and high school. I stuck to my closest friends and didn’t socialize with anyone else. This all changed when I went off to college. My mom and brother came to visit me within my first month of attending school. My mom made a comment I will never forget. She said, “You’re a different person in the short month you left. You’re flourishing here.”

There was a shift in college. I became more open, less insecure and more apt to meet new people. My confidence increased and I found myself more passionate in wanting to suceed. This contributed to my so called “loud voice”. Since graduating from college, I have worked two different jobs. My first job, I was shushed at times when my voice increased in volume. When I say shushed, a manager put her finger to her mouth and shushed me in front of other co-workers. I felt disrespected and ashamed. This is the start of my insecurity of my loud voice.

Another reason I feel insecure about how my voice carries is because people can hear me. If I’m heard, it gives anyone the opportunity to judge me. If people can hear me, they may debate me on certain political discussions or gossip behind my back. I believe this is a huge reason to why I’m insecure in the volume of my voice.

I believe there are pros and cons to having a loud voice. I don’t want to change who I am, but I have to match the person I’m with. This is called mirroring. If I’m with someone who is quieter, I do attempt to lower the volume of my voice. I wouldn’t say I’m changing who I am, instead being respectful of the world I live in and who I’m socializing with.

2019 Pop Culture Year in Review

Happy 2020! This year marks the beginning of a new decade. The 2010’s was a decade of personal growth. I developed a sense of self and started becoming comfortable with who I am as a person. I’m excited to see what the next ten years will bring for me. I wanted to recap everything I did in 2019:

Movies I saw in Theaters:

Jaws Hello Kitty Shirt

Hello Kitty store at Universal Studios in Orlando

  • Bohemian Rhapsody (this movie released in 2018, but I didn’t see it until 2019)
  • Shazam 
  • Captain Marvel 
  • Avengers Endgame 
  • Spider-Man Far From Home 
  • It Chapter #2 
  • Joker 
  • Rise of Skywalker 

My favorite movie of 2019 was Shazam. This is a biased answer as I do lean more toward DC Comics. DC Comics is not known for making great movies and Shazam was funny, not too depressingly dark and worth re-watching.

TV Shows I Watched:

Lucifer

  • Ted Bundy Interview Tapes 
  • Queer Eye Season #2 
  • Shrill 
  • Hot Date 
  • Lucifer 
  • New Girl 

My favorite TV show in 2019 was a toss up between Shrill and Lucifer. Aidy Bryant is a lovely human being. She demonstrates her experience being constantly body shamed by everyone around her, but how she still succeeds professionally. I believe Shrill’s second season releases sometime this year. Lucifer is a fun show too because it’s a Los Angeles, Law & Order show with demons flying around wrecking havoc. Lucifer’s final season 😦 premeires sometime in 2020 on Netflix.

The two TV shows I watched in 2019 that I couldn’t get into were Castle Rock and Homeland. Castle Rock has potential, but I couldn’t follow the story or get invested in the characters. Homeland had a strong start, but I lost interest halfway through the first season. Life is too short to waste time watching shows you’re not interested in.

Video Games I Played:

Rami Malek

  • The Order 1886 < I didn’t even finish playing this because it was terrible
  • Until Dawn 
  • Heavy Rain 

This was a light gaming year for me. I’m looking forward to gaming more in 2020. I’m currently playing Kingdom Hearts III and I have plans on purchasing Jedi Fallen Order sometime in the future.

My favorite video game of 2019 was for sure Until Dawn. This game got me through our polar vortex in Minneapolis. By Polar Vortex, I mean the weather was -32 degrees. -32 degrees!?!?!?!?!? I stayed inside, so I wouldn’t freeze to death and played Until Dawn. 

Gaming in 2019

Selfie

  • War of the Spark Pre-Release in April of 2019 
  • Modern Horizons Pre-Release in June of 2019 
  • Cultists & Cthulhu 
  • Star Trek Ascension 
  • Throne of Eldraine Pre-Release 

My favorite game I played in 2019 was the War of the Spark pre-release. I did really well. I didn’t win a match (winning best of three games), but I won a total of three individual games. This set was wild. There were a bunch of planeswalkers wrecking havoc in everyone’s games. I’m looking forward to the next MtG sets in 2020.

Graphic Novels + Comics I Read this Year (probably not everything I read, I may be forgetting some)

Battlecats #1 Mad Cave

  • My Giant Nerd Boyfriend (web comic on webtoons) 
  • Hush Batman Graphic Novel 
  • Batman Knightfall series (series I received at Convergence in 2018)
  • Watchmen
  • Midnight Task Force (Mad Cave Comics)
  • Battlecats Vol #1 Hunt for the Direbeast
  • Runaways: Find Your Way Home
  • Knights of the Golden Sun Issues #1-#4
  • Hellboy Volume #1
  • Afterglow
  • Paper Girls Volume #4
  • Badass Girl 3 issues 
  • Prometheite 
  • Riri Williams #1 

My favorite graphic novel / comic I read in 2019 was. . . a toss up between Watchmen and Midnight Task Force. When I first started reading Watchmen, I thought that this series wasn’t going to be for me. When I finished the graphic novel, I was deeply surprised at how much I enjoyed the story. This novel could create a discussion on some of the political messages layered into the story. With Midnight Task Force, I fell into the environment of this futuristic Detroit and how crime is exponentially high. The series left on a cliffhanger and I’m hoping the second trade paperback will be released sometime in 2020.

2019 Pop Culture Moments

  • Rami Malek winning the Best Actor at the Oscars
  • Jussie Smollett’s “fake” hate crime

I truly believe Rami deserved the Oscar for his portrayal as Freddie Mercury. Many people were upset because they believed Bradley Cooper was snubbed for A Star is Born. Keep in mind, this is the 4th? remake of this movie. It’s not anything different, unlike a biopic of Freddie Mercury who meant so much to so many people. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I’m sticking with it.

Podcast I Couldn’t Stop Listening To:

  • This Podcast Will Kill You 
  • Babes at the Table 
  • Science Rules Bill Nye’s Podcast 
  • Not Another DnD Podcast 
  • Generation Bond 
  • The Love of Comics 

Last year, I picked Anna Faris’s Unqualified podcast as my favorite podcast of 2018. Sadly, I don’t listen to this podcast anymore. Apparently there was drama between Sim and Ana who were the co-hosts. Sim isn’t on Ana’s podcast anymore which destroyed the vibe I originally liked.

My favorite podcast of 2019 has to be Not Another DnD Podcast because it got me through the extremely long drive from Minneapolis to Indianapolis to go to Gen Con. My brother enjoyed this podcast too.

Catchiest Song in 2019:

This is a toss up between any song by Lizzo and Bad Guy by Billie Eilish.

Conventions I attended in 2019:

Thursday waiting to rush the vendor hall

Gen Con 2019

I attended six conventions: Con of the North, C2E2 in Chicago, MSP Spring Con, Convergence, Gen Con and Fallcon. This increased by two conventions from 2018.

Personal Memories

Top Three Memories from 2019:

Getting Engaged! 🙂

Me and Grant

ENGAGED! 😀 

He popped the question on May 4th which happened to be Free Comic Book Day and National Star Wars Day. This is something I will never let him forget.

Getting a New Job:

Working in downtown Minneapolis has been a blessing. I get to take the bus into work on most days which has saved me so much in gas money. I like my new coworkers. The job has better benefits and pay. This wasn’t something I was prediciting to happen in 2019, but I’m really glad it did.

Universal Studios Trip in Feb. 2019

Hogwarts Selfie.jpg

SO COOLLL!!!

My Resolution for 2020?

I have no specific resolution. I wish for a safe and happy 2020.

 

Friendsgiving & Being Sensitive Around the Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what we are all thankful for. I’m thankful for having a family who respects me and encourages me to be my best every day. However, it’s crucial to be sensitive of how we talk about this holiday. Family members can be abusive or judgemental and it’s okay to not want to spend time with them. Sometimes this holiday gives this forced impression how our family is by blood, but there’s also chosen family as well.

Friendsgiving November 23rd 2019 2.jpg

Friendsgiving 2019. 

Last weekend, I celebrated friendsgiving with a group of us. All of the ladies sipped on our glasses of wine, played party games and talked amongst the group. It puts into perspective how beneficial my friends are to my wellbeing. They allow me to vent while still giving me advice I need to hear. I’m fortunate to say my friends accept me for who I am and allow me to grow as a person.

Friendsgiving November 23rd 2019.jpg

Happy Friendsgiving!

Thanksgiving can be tough for many because of a loved one who has passed on. My dad has been dead for 13 years and I have noticed myself being more emotional this time of year. I know I would feel a sense of loneliness if most of my family members have passed on.

My purpose for writing this post is to promote being sensitive around the holidays. This includes not assuming everyone you meet has the best family / home life. Offer to host a friendsgiving for those friends who are struggling. There’s no reason we can’t make someone’s day by being kind and inclusive.