Board Game Bucket List

I used to believe that gaming meant only using a console, handheld or using a PC. This summer, when I stayed in Winona, I discovered a cute little gaming store called River Quest.

**Edit: 12/10/2017 I found out River Quest was closing!¬†¬†Sad Day ūüė¶ **

My roommate got a job working there, so I was in the store at least once a week or every other week. I got to know the owner, who is one of the coolest guys in the Winona area. I was opened up to a world of a different type of gaming.

I’m creating a Bucket List of Board Games that I haven’t played yet, but I intend to. I will sticky this to the front page of the Gaming Section and I plan to update it as I play new games. Also I hope to post a review on some of these board games especially the ones with the strike out through the name. In the meantime, enjoy my bucket list! Also feel free to comment with various board games that I can add on the list.

Here is my Board Game Bucket List:

  1. Exploding Kittens Card Game
  2. Munchkin *any version*
  3. Star Wars Destiny
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Monsters & Other Childish Things
  6. Red Dragon Inn
  7. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  8. Star Wars X-Wing
  9. Red Dragon Inn 4
  10. Pandemic
  11. Love Letter *card game*
  12. Smash Up
  13. Bang *card game*
  14. Red7
  15. Sentinels of the Multiverse
  16. Letters from White Chapel
  17. Here Kitty Kitty 
  18. Stone Age
  19. Agricola
  20. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  21. Seasons
  22. Takenoko
  23. Code Names
  24. Shadow Hunters 
  25. Dixit
  26. Doctor Who Time of the Daleks

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

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The Woman in the Window Review

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When I flew to NYC two weeks ago, I packed the boyfriend’s kindle because I wanted to pack light for the trip. I was debating which eBook I wanted to read before settling on ¬†The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.¬†I finished reading this book yesterday on my lunch hour and I liked the book, but I wasn’t blown away by the story.

The Woman in the Window¬†begins with introducing the reader to Dr. Anna Fox. She’s a psychologist who adores old black & white movies, drinks plenty of merlot and is an expert at playing chess. Additionally she’s agoraphobic meaning she has a huge fear of leaving her house. She’s trapped within the walls of her home due to PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) based on a horrific event in her life. This is kept secret from readers until the middle of the book. Being confined in her home, Anna develops an obsession with spying on her neighbors.

As she spies on the neighbors, she befriends Jane Russell who lives in the house next door with her husband Alistair and son Ethan. One night she looks into the Russell’s window and sees Jane Russell being stabbed. Anna calls the police, but they don’t take her seriously with her mental illness and drinking problem. Anna insists there was a crime taking place, but then Jane Russell walks into the room only it’s not the Jane Russell Anna met. Anna and the police start to question what is real. Is Anna hallucinating her version of events because of the medication she’s on? Did she actually meet Jane Russell or did she invent the whole thing? What happened to Anna causing her agoraphobia? I’m not going to provide spoilers in this post, but some of the answers to these questions will be surprising.

One point I wanted to make about this book is how annoying it is to read about Anna’s drinking. For every chapter, the author writes a paragraph about Anna pouring wine or she finished a bottle of merlot or she’s drunk walking around her house. I feel in a psychological thriller it’s a common theme for the female character to have a drinking problem. I’m pretty sure¬†Girl on a Train¬†had themes of this as well.

My final thought with this book is how some paragraphs aren’t necessary. For example, Anna sleeps with her tenant, David who lives in her basement. I don’t care who Anna sleeps with, but it’s odd because there’s no built up chemistry between the two characters. The publisher could have said¬†“there needs to be more sex in this book” so the author added a sex scene, that’s how random this scene was.

The Woman in the Window¬†is a quick read with a bit of a shocking twist at the end. However, I will say most of the other “reveals” in this book I did predict which is fine, but slightly unsatisfying. I would recommend this book especially if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn because this reads similar to how she writes. If you have read the book, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

I <3 NYC

Two weeks ago I visited New York City with my best friend. I have never been to NYC before and I didn’t know to expect. I try not to create expectations about a certain city or country because I find if I do, I’m going to be disappointed. Case in point when I visited Nashville last summer and being disheartened when I didn’t like Nashville as much as I perceived I would. Visiting NYC was an amazing experience and I cannot wait until my return trip.

We flew into JFK airport at 11:30 PM and we didn’t get to our Air B&B until 1:30 AM – 2:00 AM. JFK airport is past Brooklyn and Queens where as our Air B&B was in Harlem located in upper Manhattan. If you look at google maps, you can see that it’s a long trek from the airport to our Air B&B. Plus we took the wrong subway which was our more direct route to getting to Harlem and took the longer route which went all the way through Brooklyn and up through Manhattan. My biggest advice for visiting NYC is to download the NYC Metra Subway app. It can give you detailed directions on which subway to take to get to a tourist area. We tried to use google maps which doesn’t work since you’re underground with no cell service.

Central Park 3Central Park 5

On Friday, we explored Manhattan by walking around Central Park, visiting Times Square and walked through the 9/11 memorial. Central Park is massive! We probably only walked around a fourth of the park and it’s easy to get lost. It’s mesmerizing in a city filled with millions of people lies a park filled with trees and beautiful flowers. Times Square is probably one of my least favorite parts of New York because it’s a tourist trap. There’s hordes of people everywhere and it takes forever to walk around because of the groups of people that stop in the middle of the side walk as you’re trying to walk.

In MemoryLives lostTwin Towers 9.11 Memorial

My favorite attraction we did on Friday was the 9/11 memorial. I was in 2nd grade when the two planes hit the two towers. My 2nd grade teacher had the footage on our TV set and my parents had the news on in our living room.¬†If you’re ever in NYC, please visit the memorial. So many brave individuals lost their lives that day to help save anyone they could from the towers. I was looking at all the items on display and my eyes welled up with tears thinking about how many lives were changed on that day.

MET GalaMET Museum

On Saturday we visited the MET Art Museum. The MET Museum is also the site for the MET Gala where celebrities get together in fancy outfits and have dinner. My friend wanted a picture in front of the big steps of the MET because of the Gossip Girl TV Show. The pictures are neat because they show the big steps and the MET banner in the background.

Bridge up closeBrooklyn Bridge MeBrooklyn Bridge

Our last day in NYC we walked the Brooklyn Bridge and explored Dumbo a neighborhood in Brooklyn. It’s right along the water separating Manhattan and Brooklyn. It reminds me of Minneapolis in a way because of the brick streets and the brick buildings. It’s a different side of NYC than just seeing Manhattan.

NYC is such a vast city and there’s so much to see. It’s overwhelming trying to see everything in the short time we were there. I’m jealous to anyone who’s attending New York City Comic con this year as I would love to go. I’m thinking next year trying to purchase at least a day pass so I can explore this city one more time.

 

Theater meets Fantasy in Backstagers

BackStagers Volume #1

It’s been a while since I wrote a comic book review in my Reading / Book section on my blog. Most of my books / comics reviews are positive because what’s the point of writing a review about something I dislike. A month ago I finished¬†Backstagers Volume #1 published by Boom! Studios¬†which is a comic I purchased while on my¬†Boston Trip. This comic is charming, lighthearted and explores the positive feeling of fitting in.

Boom! Studios is based in California with the focus of creating unique comics for all ages. Lumberjanes was created by Boom! Studios which has been receiving great reviews. Boom! Studios has also written comics about WWE, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Cartoon Network.

The creative team behind¬†Backstagers¬†includes comics writer James Tynion IV and artist Rian Sygh. James Tynion is a mastermind in the comics industry because of his work on the Batman Detective Comics for DC Comics. Rian Sygh’s artwork is so heartwarming with the use of color and how each character is drawn. Both Tynion IV and Sygh also identify on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum which really adds to the story telling in this book.

Backstagers¬†starts with¬†Jory, the new kid at an elite school with all boys. Jory wants to meet new friends and decides to join¬†the club known as the “Backstagers” the individuals who help put on the school plays. The Backstagers consist of Sasha, Aziz, Hunter and Beckett. In between gathering supplies for the play, the Backstagers must go into the mythical back stage room where the crafting supplies exist along with strange creatures and entrances to other dimensions.¬†Can the boys put on the school play without getting killed by the creatures back stage?

I enjoyed reading this comic. This comic demonstrates healthy male friendships by showing that these characters laugh, cry and aren’t seen as overtly aggressive.¬†The artwork also provides the heartwarming feel for this comic and I have become a fan of Sygh’s artwork.

The Backstagers is a lighthearted comic that has elements of LGBTQIA+ pride. This would have been perfect to read this past June for Pride month. I highly recommend supporting a smaller indie comics studio. Check your local comic book store to see if they carry this comic.

The 90’s Tag

I saw this 90’s themed tag on¬†A Geeky Gal’s¬†blog the other day and I immediately wanted to write in my answers.¬†I was born in July 1994 so I’m very much a 90’s baby. Anyone who wants to participate in the 90’s tag absolutely can! Here are my answers:

Favorite TV Show

Rugrats.jpg

My immediate first thought in my head was¬†Rugrats.¬†This is the show my mom even started to watch and adored. I remember all the¬†Rugrats¬†movies including the one in Paris with a huge Reptar dinosaur. I also remember watching the episode where bugs crawl into Tommy’s grandfather’s mouth while he sleeps; I was disgusted.

Favorite 90’s Song

Bye Bye Bye – NSYNC.

NSYNC or Backstreet Boys

Should be obvious because of my answer above, but NSYNC!

Favorite Music Artist

Britney Spears reminds me a lot of the 90’s. I was feeling for her in 2007 when she was unraveling, but now she has picked up the pieces and has made a successful career since.

Did you Collect Anything?

McDonalds Happy Meal Toys. We would go to McDonalds probably once or twice a week and we would collect the toys in the set. My dad would drive us to all of these different McDonalds looking for the toys. My mom has the whole set of the Toy Story Happy Meal Toys in a shelf in our basement. I don’t go to McDonalds at all anymore, but if I’m on a road trip I will get a kids meal just for the toy.

Favorite Breakfast Cereal

Mini Swirlz Cinnamon Bun Breakfast Cereal.jpg

I love Breakfast cereal. I have to stop buying it as an adult because if I come home from work after a long day, I would pour myself a bowl of cereal instead of making dinner. I think my favorite cereal was Mini Swirlz Cinnamon Bun cereal. It was delicious.

Favorite Cereal Toy

Remember when cereal boxes would give out great prizes. In General Mills cereal you could get Carmen Sandiego CD games. How cool is that? Getting a new video game to play. I still have the games and they work on my older laptop, but I think they are too old now and probably won’t work if that laptop dies.

90’s Crush Growing Up

Honestly, I can’t think of anyone I had a huge crush on in the 90’s. I’m sure I had one, I just can’t recall who that is. My first crush ever was Sean Connery from the James Bond movies, but that’s not in the 90’s.

Favorite Disney Channel Movie

I didn’t watch Disney Channel movies in the 90’s.

Favorite Cartoon Show

Ozzy and Drix.jpg

I really liked Digimon, Rugrats, Blues Clues, Ozzie & Drix and more.

Weirdest Fashion Trend?

I always think of those slap bracelets. The ones where you hit yourself on the wrist really hard and the band wraps around your wrist. You would grab some and smack your friend with it on the playground; good times.

Favorite Toys

I’m going to list a couple of great toys in my closet growing up regardless if they came out in the 90’s or not.

  • Easy Bake Oven
  • Disneyland Play Set < I still have this because of how many memories were attached to it.
  • Build a Bear
  • Barbies
  • My Little Ponies
  • Teletubbies

There were probably more toys I loved, but these were my favorites.

Disney, Nicklodeon or Cartoon Network?

  1. Cartoon Network
  2. Nicklodeon
  3. Disney

What Early Morning Cartoon Would you Watch?

SO MANY. I used to wake up in the summers early and before my dad would take us to this day care place we used to go to, I would watch Scooby Doo. I also would watch Woody the Woodpecker, Digimon and more.

Favorite McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy?

I had this black puppy I got as a Happy Meal Toy that was my favorite thing to carry around growing up. It used to be this running joke with my mom and dad where if my mom didn’t know where Black Puppy was, she knew I wouldn’t go to sleep that night. She always had to make sure she knew where Black Puppy was so I would go to sleep.

Favorite Book Growing Up?

Harry Potter series of course. I also read Franklin the Turtle, Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, the young Nancy Drew book series and more.

The 90’s and even the early 2000’s was a fun time. I wouldn’t relieve the years 2005 – 2009 again, but I would for sure go back to the 90’s. This was fun relieving some of my early childhood memories. If you decide to do the 90’s tag, leave a comment below with your tag URL. I would love to read it.

 

Ranking the Three Uncharted Games

Since buying my PS4 last November, I have been trying to play the Playstation exclusives I missed out on. I purchased¬†the Last of Us¬†which I’m about a fourth of the way through along with the Uncharted remastered series.¬†Uncharted¬†was a series I dived into because I never get tired of shoot out sequences in video games. I haven’t played¬†Uncharted #4 A Thief’s End,¬†but I wanted to rank the three Uncharted games based on how much I enjoyed playing them.

Developed by Naughty Dog, the series stars Nathan Drake, an orphan recruited at a young age by his mentor Victor “Sully” Sullivan. Nathan believes he’s a descendant of Sir Francis Drake who was an English sea captain and explorer on the behalf of Queen Elizabeth. All of the games somehow have ties to Sir Francis Drake’s past explorations.

1. Uncharted #3 Drake’s Deception

My favorite game of the series was the third game:¬†Uncharted Drake’s Deception.¬†In¬†Drake’s Deception,¬†Nathan Drake is searching for a lost city in the Arabian Peninsula titled “Atlantis of the Sands”. Katherine Marlowe (who could be Helen Mirren’s identical twin) is also searching for this city, but has awful plans with the city once she reaches it. Drake and Sully must stop her and another British jerk named Talbot.

I liked this game the best for a couple different reasons. I liked how some in-game chapters feature young Drake as a child and how he came to meet Sully in the first place. It’s heartwarming to see how Sully saw his potential and gave him a better life than the one he had on the streets. It makes me enjoy the relationship between Sully and Drake more when I played through these chapters in the game.

I thought out of all the Uncharted games, this game was the most difficult. There is one shootout where Drake is in the water and enemies are shooting at you from all sides. I would hop out of the water for cover, but the crates would crumble as enemies shot at you. I had to replay this shootout quite a bit because of the level of difficult involved. It’s more satisfying beating this game with the challenge of the various shootouts.

The final positive feedback for this game is the hand-to-hand combat has improved. In the other Uncharted games, I wouldn’t have thought to run up to an enemy and punch them. In this game, the counters are more prominent which made hand-to-hand combat easier.

2. Uncharted #2 Among Thieves

In¬†Uncharted #2 Among Thieves,¬†once again Nathan Drake is searching for a lost city, this time in Nepal titled Shambhala. This game is the first game we are introduced to Chloe Frazer, a love interest for Drake. Unfortunately, Chloe is an obnoxious character¬†because she constantly needs saving and she doesn’t appreciate when Drake comes for her. She claims she can take care of herself, but without Drake she would have been dead a while ago.

In this game, Drake is battling with Harry Flynn, a former colleague who betrayed him resulting in Drake spending some time in a foreign prison. Flynn has tagged along with war criminal Zoran Lazarevic who’s a genuinely horrible person.

Overall, I thought Uncharted #2 Among Thieves is a great sequel, but the third game captivated me a lot more than the second one.

3. Uncharted #1 Drake’s Fortune

This game is probably the most important game in the franchise because without this game, we wouldn’t have the others. However,¬†Uncharted Drake’s Fortune¬†is my least favorite game I played. I found that this game is slower paced than the others and the locations don’t intrigue me as much.

However, this game is important because it’s how Drake meets Elena Fischer who ends up being his wife in the fourth game. Elena is a journalist who has made an appearance in almost all of the Uncharted games released. She’s always after the one story that can net her a Pulitzer Prize.

Uncharted was a great series I missed out on being an Xbox gamer throughout middle & high school. I’m glad it was remastered for the PS4 otherwise I probably wouldn’t have played it. I’m still new to PS4 so feel free to add me, my PSN is BizarreBrunette and recommend me some more PS4 exclusives I need to purchase. My comments section is always open.

 

 

Shazam + Aquaman trailers: DC is Killing It at SDCC

Besides the disappointing Titans trailer, DC Comics has been releasing footage from their upcoming films. From reading my blog you can probably tell I lean a bit more on the DC comics side than Marvel. I like the Marvel movies, but when it comes to the actual stories in comics, I prefer DC. Even though DC has weak decisions regarding their film choices, I had high hopes for Aquaman. However, I was surprised to see the SHAZAM! trailer was also released. After having seen both trailers I wanted to recap my reactions to both the SHAZAM! and Aquaman movies.

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SHAZAM!

Shazam is an interesting choice for a live action movie. The predictable choice would have been a rebooted Green Lantern, Green Arrow or I was holding out for a Nightwing movie. Shazam’s origin story begins with his alter ego; a young Billy Batson bouncing from various foster homes.¬†Billy saves another of his foster siblings from a ruthless bully which hints at Billy’s possible foreshadowed role of being a hero. Billy is chosen by a wizard who sees the good in Billy and grants him god like powers to become the hero; Shazam. All Billy has to say is Shazam and he’s turned into this super buff, red lightning, superhero.

I’m impressed with the¬†SHAZAM!¬†movie trailer because with Shazam’s cheesy back story, this movie could be awful as a result.¬†Zachary Levi was a great choice because he looks like¬†SHAZAM!¬†and I think he’s able to bring humor into the role. I thought the trailer had the perfect amount of humor which is good since DC’s movies are darker in tone. I also enjoyed the scene of Shazam walking around electrocuting everyone’s smart phones to charge them. I thought the scene was funny, yet relatable in today’s society with everyone being addicted to our phones. The trailer music was fitting especially in the sequences where Shazam is testing his limits to his newly earned powers. My final positive thought with the trailer is the special effects. One sequence features Billy turning into Shazam which I felt looked realistic instead of incredibly fake. I’m hopeful¬†SHAZAM!¬†will be an amazing film in DC’s lineup.

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Aquaman

I will never forget meeting Jason Momoa at Planet Comicon this year and telling him to his face how excited I am for Aquaman. He nodded, smiled and said “hellllll yeahhhhh.” Also he offered me a girl scout cookie which I happily ate as I blushed out of his autograph line.

After watching the¬†Aquaman¬†trailer, my first thought is how fake Mera’s hair looked. Is it just me? Her hair looks too bright red to look normal. I would have almost preferred a slight orange / blonde hair because it would have looked more natural. With trailers, the special effects aren’t perfect so maybe when the film is released Mera’s hair will be toned down a bit.

The moments featuring Black Manta were fantastic as the costume is exactly how it appears in the comics. Black Manta is one of the biggest and baddest Aquaman villains¬†and I’m curious how the fight sequences will play out between the two of them.

Ultimately¬†I’m more excited about¬†SHAZAM!¬†than I am about¬†Aquaman.¬†I will forever be a DC comics / movies fan no matter what movies DC rolls out. I think there is potential in both of these films to redeem the DC movie universe. Zachary Levi and Jason Momoa are going to kick ass in these roles and I cannot wait to watch both of these films at their midnight premieres. April 2019 cannot come fast enough.

Celebrating My Birthday with 24 Facts About Me!

Today is my birthday! I grow older every time July 23rd arrives. This year I’m turning 24 which is odd to me since I don’t feel 24.¬†My birthday wish for my readers is to support me by following my blog and following me on all my social media accounts. I’m going to link all of those wonderful links at the bottom of this post. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this blog because I’m passionate about every post I write for¬†Bizarre Brunette.¬†To celebrate my birthday I’m going to list 24 random facts about me in no particular order.

  1. I’m left handed! Every day after I work, I notice my left pinky finger is dark blue or black because I drag my hand as I write.
  2. Halloween is my all time favorite “holiday”.
  3. Smoking is the one trait I find completely unattractive in a romantic partner.
  4. My biggest insecurity growing up was tied between my uneven eyebrows and my big cheeks.
  5. I played the Alto Saxophone in high school and for a full year in college.
  6. I also used an Alto Saxophone in a D&D campaign as a weapon
  7. My first comic I remember reading was Calvin & Hobbes.
  8. I cannot resist Double Stuff Oreo’s, it’s a trigger food.
  9. My favorite recipe to make is garlic shrimp in the oven.
  10. My patronus would be a cat.
  11. Proud to be a Hufflepuff
  12. I wish I would have studied abroad in college
  13. I hate rollercoasters.
  14. I believe in ghosts, but I don’t have any ghost stories to share.
  15. I’m incredibly clumsy.
  16. For example: I ran into a tree while playing football with friends, sprained my ankle getting into my car and fell off a landing backwards while trick-or-treating with friends
  17. If I had any superpower, I would want to be made of ice and shoot ice beams.
  18. Fuck is my favorite swear word.
  19. My Subaru is named Ripley Rey.
  20. I cannot wait to see the Female Doctor in action
  21. My Favorite Doctor is Christopher Eccleston
  22. I also have a fitness instagram @benchingbrunette.
  23. Breakfast food is my favorite type of food.
  24. It took me an hour to come up with #24 fun facts about myself ūüėÄ

My social media links are listed below.¬†Thanks for reading my blog and I’m looking forward to another great year for blog posts.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bizarrebrunette/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bizzarebrunette

Instagram: @bizarrebrunette0117