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. 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. Ticket To Ride
  4. Dungeons & Dragons Role Playing
  5. Red Dragon Inn
  6. Arkham Horror/Eldrich Horror
  7. Star Wars X-Wing
  8. Red Dragon Inn 4
  9. Force of Will *card game*
  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. Ticket to Ride
  23. Takenoko
  24. Code Names
  25. Shadow Hunters 
  26. Dixit

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

This is Our Story aka. Best Book of 2017

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My bibliophile confession of the day is I am a leisurely reader. I prefer to read two or three chapters before bed versus finishing the book in one day. However, there are a couple books that I spent hours finishing because I simply cannot stop reading. Last weekend I power read through This is Our Story by Ashley Elston and without a doubt this book is my favorite book of 2017.

Five Boys Went Hunting . . . Four Came Back. 

Four privileged high school students surround the body of their dear, dead friend Grant. Henry, Logan, Shep and John Michael made a vow that day to not reveal the name of the boy who pulled the trigger. Kate Marino is the intern at the smaller district attorney’s office and gets assigned to the case. The River Point boys as they are called all tested positive for either drugs or alcohol in their system at the time of the shooting. This begs the question if Grant’s death is the result of a drunk kid accidentally firing a rifle or is there an ulterior motive behind the shooting?

Curiously, Ashley Elston gives each of the four boys a motive behind wanting Grant dead. I unfortunately cannot talk about these motives without spoiling the story. I never really knew who committed the crime until I skimmed the last twenty pages. I became too impatient so I read until I found out the truth.

Before I get into the spoilers I just want to make a note of the cover because the cover attracted me to the book in the first place. The white deer head is frightning especially because I’m not a hunger by any means. The shadows on the cover suggest secrecy which is a definite theme in this book.

I included spoilers at the bottom of this post so there can be a book discussion in the comments, but I highly recommend reading the book first. This is Our Story is daring, thought-provoking and riveting and should be bumped to the top of your book pile.

*SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT*

*Seriously spoilers. . .*

I’m not saying Grant deserved to die, but he did some really messed up shit in this book. Taking pictures of naked women who were drugged and sharing it on social media? The more I found out about Grant the more I truly despised him. Some of his contacts were even labeled “booty call #1” and “booty call #3”. He is not a good person and I find it challenging to feel sorry that he’s dead.

As I said above each of the four boys in the group had motive for wanting to kill Grant. Henry wanted to kill Grant for taking that awful picture, Shep wanted to kill Grant because of how he messed with Kate, Logan was involved with gambling with Grant and didn’t have the money to pay off the debt and John Michael wanted Grant dead for blackmailing his father. This was good character development and story telling on Elston’s part.

Also I 100% ship Kate and Shep together! They’re adorable together and it’s great to see that Shep is the exact opposite of Grant. He’s caring, intelligent and adorkable with the way he draws pictures and gives them to Kate. As of right now they are probably my favorite book couple of 2017.

*End of Spoilers*

 

Depression Quest *game discussion*

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I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness. I have no idea what it’s like to feel a lack of motivation to get out of bed due to depression or to get a crippling panic attack over something minuscule. Therefore, I don’t often talk about mental illness on this blog. Last weekend while randomly surfing through Wikipedia pages did I come across the game designer; Zoe Quinn. They created a simple point and click game about what it’s like living with depression titled Depression QuestCompleting Depression Quest helped me gain insight on what it’s like battling with this illness.

The game has an opening page detailing a trigger warning because the content in the game is heavy. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline URL is also located towards the top of the page. As you may infer, Depression Quest is not a happy game. The unnamed main character begins with a feeling of being “inwardly angry towards feeling lazy”. Additionally the character has a job, a partner named Alex and a loving family. As you click through the game, different experiences will shape the character and how they react to changes in their life.

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Again, I have never been diagnosed with depression, so I usually become informed about mental illnesses through the stories of others. This game didn’t teach me anything new about what it’s like to have depression, but I feel more empathy towards mental illnesses. I used to be ignorant when it came to mental illnesses because when I was growing up and going to school, depression wasn’t talked about. I think our society has become more open with mental illnesses, but I think that we could reduce the stigma that exists surrounding mental illnesses.

This game goes by quick and I recommend checking it out if you haven’t. Mental illnesses can be debilitating, but the more we understand them, the better we can act as a support system to those who have been diagnosed. Video games can be a teaching medium for important issues and thanks to Zoe Quinn for their strength in telling a shorter version of their daily battles with the disease.

Cartoons from my Childhood

I miss the Saturday mornings as a kid where I could watch cartoons. Me and my brother would sit on the couch with our bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and watch multiple shows. Cartoons have a soft spot in my heart because of how much joy one cartoon could give me. I just wanted to briefly share a few cartoons that made Saturday mornings worth getting up for.

Rugrats 

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There are days where I truly miss this show. I loved Chucky and his relationship with his dad, Tommy and his ultimate dinosaur toy; Reptar and Angelica’s truly epic schemes with the babies. Plus the spin off movies were actually pretty decent. I think I have the VHS tape of the Rugrats going to Paris somewhere in my house.

The Peanuts Specials 

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I’m very biased when it comes for my love of the Peanuts because Charles Schultz is a native Minnesotan. I love all of the Peanuts holiday specials and I watch them live whenever they air on TV. Charlie Brown is such a lovable guy and you just want him to succeed and be happy with his friends.

Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy 

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Cartoon Network had some pretty twisted cartoons back in the day including the Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. Me and my brother loved this show despite what my parents thought. There’s aloof Billy who is the comedic relief, realistic and pessimistic Mandy and of course the Grim who barely puts up with the two kids. Endless laughs came from each episode of this show.

Scooby Doo 

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Finally, I can’t forget to mention Scooby Doo. Me and my neighbor would have sleepovers and watch all of the older episodes. I also would get up at 10:00 AM before my dad had to work to watch the daily episode that aired. I can’t pick a favorite character because I truly love them all. I also remember going to the library and picking up these Scooby Doo chapter books to read. Scooby Doo provided me with a lot of good memories.

What cartoons do you still watch? I would love to hear your cartoon memories in the comments!

Geeky Cinderella Re-Telling; Geekerella

 

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Last October I was chilling with friends while crafting thanks to this book that was sent to me. After writing my post, I emailed the link off to the woman responsible for marketing the feminism crafting book. Exactly one month later she emailed me about the probability of reviewing a geek centered retelling of Cinderella and wondered if I would like an advance reading copy. I gleefully typed my response saying that I was looking forward to receiving this book. As I returned to my cozy college house I noticed the purple package on my bed and tore it open to find Geekerella within the purple paper. This morning while sipping on coffee, I finished the book. Disappointment flooded my thoughts as I didn’t want the book to end. Easily this book is as relatable as Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Elle is the Starfield fangirl. She blogs, writes fanfiction, cosplays and her dad started a convention surrounding Starfield. It wouldn’t be a Cinderella-esque re-telling without Catherine the fake step-mom and Chloe the beauty vlogger stepsister. Darien fits as the prince charming who so happens to be the prince in the movie reboot of Starfield. Sage is the fairy godmother in the form of jarring green hair and multiple facial piercings. I don’t want to say much more than that since the book hasn’t been released yet.

This book captures what being a fangirl means and why I put so much of my heart and soul into a fictional series. I relate to Elle in the way she speaks of her relationship with her father and her passions for Starfield. Darien is a great character because he presents a new side of what it means to be in the public eye. He often feels alone and distrustful of those in his inner circle. Elle and Darien have this healthy geek relationship that often mirrors how I look at my own relationship.

Without a moment of hesitation I clicked the 5 stars on good reads. I wish I could erase my memory of this book so I could re-read it and be entranced with the story. Expect this book to appear on Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Quirk books by April 2017.

Athletic Abilities; Exhibit at the Science Museum

Science is the subject in school I struggle with, but enjoy the most. My major is heavily focused on biology, anatomy and physiology which are the branches of biology that comprehend how the body works. The Science Museum of Minnesota is a place filled with childhood memories of IMAX movies and featured exhibits. I was personally invited to interact with the newest exhibit Sportsology; the science behind sports medicine and biology.

A couple weeks ago, a fellow geek who reads my fit geek articles for Twin Cities Geek contacted me. She also is the coordinator for programs held at the Science Museum. She thought I would love to write an article on Sportsology since I write for the Fit Geek section of the site. I also got in for free and could bring the boyfriend who has never been to the museum before. Saturday January 7th was filled with vertical jumping, balance activities and racing against a T-REX… 😀

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Sportsology at the MN Science Museum

Wait racing against a T-REX? Yep! There was one sprinting activity where you could select your favorite athlete and sprint alongside them to see how fast you are. Instead of choosing an athlete, I chose a T-Rex. A T-Rex by the way runs at 20 mph. So I attempted my sprint, but failed miserably against a virtual dinosaur.

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Balance Activity

A less exciting, but still entertaining activity was on balance. Interestingly enough this picture was an activity to show how your ears help you balance. My boyfriend walked to that circle shown above. He then spun around in circles for five rotations. Once he’s all dizzy, he will attempt to walk in a straight line following the left orange line. At this point your body isn’t helping you balance because your brain is trying to send nerve signals to your muscles. Your vision isn’t helping you balance because you’re dizzy. The fluid in your ears is what will help you walk in a straight line. Cool huh?

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Vertical Jump test 

This activity is a vertical jump test. Different basketballs were hung from different heights and you could jump to touch them. I was only able to jump to 8.5 inches while the boyfriend could jump to the 9 inch basketball.

This exhibit made for a fun Saturday. If you’re from Minnesota, I recommend taking a visit to the museum. If you’re located in the other 49 states. . . you’re missing out.

 

Testing your Sanity in the Call of Cthulhu Game Trailer

Arkham Horror is the game that brought me into the table top atmosphere. Based off of H.P Lovecraft’s early 1900 horror stories, the game itself has it’s own world of shops and characters to learn from. Lovecraft thought the scariest story to be written is to focus on the fear of the unknown which often included weird entities that once seen took away your sanity. Cthulhu is one such creature that is the most popular from his stories possibly because of his gigantic size and fearsome appearance. Focus Home Interactive is creating a game based on Lovecraft’s New England world with a probable appearance of Cthulhu. I watched the new trailer yesterday and I’m pumped. You can watch the trailer yourself down below.

“Mr. Pierce have you questioned your own sanity? Maybe you should!”

I’m not usually into horror games, but this one appeals to me. I think what makes H.P. Lovecraft’s stories stand the test of time is how he appeals to the quest for knowledge that humans naturally have. Mr. Pierce is only trying to find out what is happening to these people and why they’re having dreams from under the sea.

There is no release date as of yet, but I’m anxiously awaiting to play it and to be scared of the all mighty Cthulhu.

 

Saving Money; My Hidden Superpower

Money is a sensitive topic to discuss among friendships and relationships. I have never been shy about discussing money because it’s an extremely important conversation to have. I like to call myself a super saver with money because I’m consciously moving money into my savings for every pay check. Any time I have to move money out of my savings to my checking gives me mild anxiety. Even if I know I have more than enough to cover whatever I need, I still get nervous and my palms get sweaty. With this post, I wanted to give out tips on how to save for a big trip, that nice shopping spree or how to pay off that car payment.

Coin Jars are your BFF 

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Isn’t she cute!? 

True story. At my coffee shop I get tips that often are coins. I have been able to turn those in for $100 or at the most $120. Saving your coins is a great way to over time turn that into extra cash. You can also get a fun coin jar or decorate a mason jar. I have a Hello Kitty bank my friend gave me and it’s super cute.

Figure out a percent of your paycheck that will go to savings. 

After each paycheck, figure out what you can afford to put in your savings. I usually aim for 10% of my paycheck in savings which ultimately is around $20. That adds up over time too. Plus the more you make per paycheck, the more can be moved into savings.

Organize Your Debt + Come Up with a Payment Plan

This is probably the most stressful tip, but it will help you in the long run. Right now I owe on my credit card for a doctor’s trip and car payments are starting next month. Organizing what I owe allows me to come up with a payment plan. The debt will seem a lot less scary if you get yourself on a plan of action. Like Batman for example, does he ever not have a plan? Nope. So you need one too.

Find Your Downfall & Compromise 

My last tip is find your vice when it comes to spending. I love clothes shopping, but I also love buying comics and books. SO MANY BOOKS 🙂 I compromise with myself though. I’m trying to do more thrift shopping and I have been using my local library for something new to read. Analyze your spending happens and come to an agreement so you won’t let spending get out of control.

Saving money will always be beneficial and it’s a good technique to learn early on. These tips helped me become organized and get my shit together. Let me know in the comments other ideas to help save money!