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 

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

October Goals; Podcast Watching, Phone Detox & Billie Piper’s amazing signature

I’m a goal oriented person. I find goals are an organized way to improve myself or improve my life in some way. Normally, my goals that I set are often personal, but I decided to change that philosophy and share my goals on my blog. Some will definitely be geek oriented, but others are more particular to my daily life. Here are my goals for the wonderful month of October.

  1. Pass my American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer Certification Test 

This is probably the goal I’m most nervous about. The test itself is $300 and retakes are $150. I have been studying every day since the end of August and I feel like I’m understanding the information, but I still have no idea how this will go. If I pass that would be a huge weight lifted off my back. In 2013 when I switched my major to Exercise Science, I was unsure about what my career path would be. Flash forward to now I have found my passion in personal training. Passing this test would bring me a step closer to achieving my dream career.

2. Listen to 3 episodes of 3 different podcasts. 

I have never really gotten into podcasts. I haven’t found any that I really enjoy so if you have recommendations, let me know. I feel like I’m missing out though by not keeping up with podcasts, so that’s going to change next month.

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New podcast to watch! *image taken from Podcast for Pizza Facebook Page*

3. Turn off my phone while I’m at school/work and only scroll for 5 minutes at one time. 

At first I was going to type “Use my phone less” but what does that mean? That’s a goal that can’t be measured, so how would I know if I could cross this off my list? So I changed it by making sure my phone is off most of the day and adding a time limit. I waste so much time being bored and scrolling through instagram when instead I could watch an episode of Grimm or read a chapter in my book. I love instagram, but I need a phone detox. Starting in October I’m going to consistently try to use my phone less.

4. Hang My Convergence Art plus Billie Piper’s signature 

I bought amazing pieces from James Powell’s art at Convergence this summer. Have I hung it in my room somewhere? Nope. I see my art laying perfectly on my end table, but I haven’t done anything with it. I also have a poster of Billie Piper with her signature on it that my boyfriend bought for me as a gift. It’s still sitting up right against my book shelf. Rose is one of my favorite companions and the one who got me into Doctor Who in the first place, so her character means a lot to me.

5. Read Two Complete Books *graphic novels included* 

6. Binge Watch the Luke Cage Series on Netflix. 

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Feel free to post podcast recommendations in the comments below, but I’m excited to track my progress with my goals in October.

Amazing Time Traveling Toy Rescue *go fund me*

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I adore small comic strips. One of my most profound memories from my childhood was stealing my dad’s comic section from the Star Tribune and reading each strip daily. Most comic strips are found in the local paper, and that’s about it. Comic strips aren’t as popular as they used to be. Comic books and graphic novels aren’t something I would consider a strip because it’s a full story on multiple pages. I am promoting a go fund me project about a lovable comic strip with plenty of general geekiness in each panel. Best in Show is the strip and the launch can be found here: Best in Show Campaign

I met the author, Phil Juliano at May Comic Con this year in St. Paul. He approached me and was gracious as he learned about Twin Cities Geek, another site I write for. He gave me a free sampling of Best and Show and I wrote a spotlight interview about him.*link will be posted at the end*. Through all of our encounters, I had kept a watchful eye on his work. So when I spotted his campaign, I wanted to promote and support his new book.

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Best in Show is a strip about a geeky guy named Peej who figures out how to time travel. So where does he go? Back to his childhood because who else misses being a kid? Peej in actuality wants his old Star Wars toys which is why he picked his childhood to revisit.This comic strip frequently exhibits nostalgia about childhood while also examining how entertaining children can be. It’s hilarious, heart warming and emotional as I think back to my favorite toys as a child.

Spending money on multiple go fund me projects can be expensive. Phil’s go fund me though is rather cheap. $12 dollars for the book, $15 if you want it signed and $25 for a print with the book. As a Minnesota native, I like bringing awareness to talent that started here. Even if you’re not from the Midwest, you’re supporting someone who is trying to launch their career which is incredibly crucial.

Being a consumer is necessary for backing a project that you want to see. I want to see this book launched so I will be promoting this campaign. Even if you don’t have the funds for this project, sharing my post is equally important. Kids will love this story and adults will fantasize about their most missed beloved childhood toys.

*all photos taken from the go fund me page*

Spot Light Phil Juliano

Grimm; dabbling into the classic fairy tales

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Fun fact, I’m not a huge fairy tale person. Sure, I loved the Lion King and The Little Mermaid when I was younger, but I wouldn’t consider Disney a huge fandom of mine. As I finish Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on netflix, I had some extra time to devote to watching more TV. My friend couldn’t stop obsessing over Grimm and she wanted someone to chat with. I figured, why not? Though if fairy tales aren’t exactly my thing, would I even like this show to begin with? After finishing season #1 yesterday, I wish that I had given Grimm a viewing earlier.

Grimm is set in the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon. I have never been to Portland or Oregon, but this show makes it seem like this would be a fun place to live. Being able to camp constantly in the serene forest or having a hot cup of coffee at a quirky coffee shop is very appealing to me. Portland is on my bucket list of travel destinations all thanks to Grimm. 

I digress. Grimm starts with introducing Nick Burkhardt and his girlfriend Juliette. Mary, Nick’s aunt, arrives in town randomly and describes to Nick that his ancestors were Grimms who fought various monsters. Nick can see monsters phase from humans into their other species which is incredibly freaky. When this ability arises, Nick meets Monroe, a vegetarian blutbad/werewolf. Throughout Nick’s experiences, Nick and Monroe grow closer as Monroe helps Nick understand his heritage. The show’s drama comes from Nick’s split duties as a cop and a Grimm while also hiding this secret from the force and Juliette. Maintaining a friendship with a werewolf is also dramatic.

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What I truly love about Grimm is the realistic aspect of story telling. Fairy Tales are actually very dark stories and I like that Grimm doesn’t skip the gruesome elements. These creatures that exist in Nick’s world are beings that deserve to be feared. In season #1 I came across: gargoyles, dragon related fire beings and sadistic spiders. Also just wait until you watch the Cinderella themed episode. . .

Finally, Nick and Monroe’s bromance is adorable. I love their friendship so much! Monroe is intelligent, patient and the caring person that Nick needs to guide him through all of this lore. Nick also compliments Monroe because he utilizes his help, but also uses his knowledge to protect Monroe from the blutbad’s enemies.

As far as spoilers go, I have only seen season #1 so please do not give me spoilers! :) Give me two weeks though and I should have most of the seasons viewed. This show is addicting so if I neglect this blog, it’s because I’m fantasizing about living in Portland and being a Grimm.

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Treasuring My Friendships

As I walked 5.2 miles around both lakes in my town, I spent that time calling my friends from home. All of my friends mean the world to me. Every phone conversation I have just reaffirms my belief that the cities is where I belong. I miss them all deeply, but I’m happy that they exist to brighten my days. Life is a funny thing, it can be extremely tough, but I realize that life is rather beautiful too.

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One of my friends goes to art school in Minneapolis. I am inspired by how she is chasing her dream of improving her artistic talent. I chatted with her briefly on the phone and she has started developing her portfolio and applying for internships. It makes me so happy that she’s succeeding in something she loves to do. The beauty in life is seeing how this friend has grown as a person and how I’m so proud of her. She’s an amazing soul and she’s still young at heart which is how I want to be.

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My other friend is living in Minneapolis and already has a job out of college. I love her determination and her wit. She’s the person I called when I had a horrible O-Chem lab and I was bawling my eyes out because of the stress. She’s always down for an adventure and being the introvert that I am, I need someone to get me out of the house. She’s my traveling companion and I hope we travel more this summer when I’m out of college.

Finally, my neighbor is leaving for New Zealand in a month! I get to see her in October before she leaves, but it’s crazy to me that she will be half way around the world by Halloween. I’m proud of her that she’s putting herself in a new situation and not crumbling under the pressure of homesickness *believe me I would!*. I will be so sad to see her go, but that means a trip to New Zealand in the future. . . right?

During my college experience, I have made and lost friends which has given new experiences for me. I recognize my mistakes and learn how to be more respectful, more tolerable and less judgmental. I’m thankful for the friends who have been by my side all of these years. I love you all.

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Barbara Gordon; my favorite superhero.

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Barbara Gordon is one of my all time favorite comic book characters. She’s young at heart, she’s extremely intelligent and I admire that she’s a computer hacker. She cares immensely for Bruce and she was a great role model for disabled characters in comics. I’m enraged at how Barbara’s story is being told in multiple movies and games. I’m writing this post as a disappointed fan who knows Barbara deserves better.

I consciously thought about writing this post after I finished playing Arkham Knight on a Saturday night. As I play the game, I watch vividly as Barbara is kidnapped. I cruise through Gotham trying to find her because I’m sad she was kidnapped in the first place. After punching, kicking and running Scarecrow’s men over in the Batmobile, I find Barbara. She seemingly “kills herself” after being exposed to Scarecrow’s gas, but she ends up being alive. Too bad she is only in the game for maybe an hour. I will say though that there is a fun part where Barbara will hack certain objects to help Batman in the finale, which was really epic!!

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The Killing Joke is another story that really throws Barbara’s character in the trash. I understand it’s based off the Alan Moore comic and Barbara is paralyzed and stripped nude by the joker. It wasn’t necessary however, to add more footage of Barbara and Batman having sex. Like what? Batman has always been a guardian to Barbara and it was way too weird to throw this random sex scene in. Barbara is sexualized for no reason at all.

I would love to see Barbara written still disabled, but with a back story that doesn’t involve violence by a man. Maybe Barbara has an illness, maybe it’s an injury, but eliminating that back story and still keeping her in a wheelchair is fantastic. Birds of Prey is one of my favorite volumes and gives Barbara the story she needs. I also like Bab’s Tarr’s artwork with the new Batgirl, but she isn’t in the wheel chair. Hopefully, that story is told later, because we need to see more disabled characters in comics.

The Killing Joke is an abysmal portrayal of Barbara. I will say Arkham Knight did get better with how Barbara ends up helping out the Batman. Hopefully DC comics can see the hatred they have caused in the community and are willing to give me a decent Barbara Gordon story. It will be worth every penny.

 

 

Documenting Sexism in Miss Representation

Miss Representation

Film making is a powerful tool to send a message. Oddly enough Netflix has a vast selection of documentaries to choose from. I had a couple hours of down time while I was sitting on campus when I scrolled to Miss Representation. As I watched, I interpreted how there is so much sexism in the way in which women are portrayed in the media. I wanted to discuss what I learned and why this is so important to me.

Most importantly, Miss Representation highlights the sexuality of women in the media. As I’m bombarded by advertisements, I see women are dressed scantily and are wearing a crap ton of makeup. Victoria’s Secret is a prime example of highlighting women’s sexuality. What bothers me about this is that it demonstrates to women that we are successful if we are “beautiful” (according to the media). I can be successful by being intelligent, or working hard in my classes. My success is not determined by beauty. Another toxic idea is that women can’t be sexual unless it’s for advertising. Kim Kardashian posts semi nude selfies all the time. She takes ownership of her body, and she’s slammed for it. It’s okay to sexualize a woman’s body by selling a product, but no way in hell can a woman take control of her body. How aggravating.

Miss Representation also highlights the annoyance of “mansplaining” For those who aren’t familiar, mansplaining is the idea where men will condescend women or patronize women on a topic. This is especially important when I turn on the news to Fox. Each female news reporter is interrupted by a man when discussing a topic. That’s incredibly insulting. Yes, I’m a woman and yes I have an opinion. It’s a well thought out opinion and no, I don’t need a man to interrupt me.

This documentary reaffirms sexism in the media and the way women are treated. It’s important to me that I find awesome role models who defy these standards or who stand up against them. It’s also why when I read comic books, I like reading books that don’t sexualize female characters. Anyway, if you’re a feminist, I highly recommend this. It will anger you, but make you reaffirm why you’re a feminist in the first place. I’m a feminist and I want to change how the media views women. We are intelligent, we are equal to men and I’m more than just my looks.

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Sailor Moon in Comic Book Form; Zodiac Starforce

My beautiful wood bookshelf is being filled with various comic books. I went through a shopping spree in the summer when I bought four titles at a time. Now I have major catching up to do and I’m not complaining about it. Comics are still so fascinating to me because the artwork on each page is something I admire, since I’m not artistic whatsoever. Recently, I finished Zodiac Starforce which I have obnoxiously mentioned in multiple blog posts. Finally, I am writing my review and let me tell you, it’s probably my favorite graphic novel I have read this year.

Zodiac Starforce

*Moderate spoilers*

Zodiac Starforce stars four girls who are united to stop evil, defend the earth and complete high school without angering the mean clique. They’re given magical powers by Astra and they use these powers for good. Emma the leader, is infected by a monster from another dimension. Molly, Kim and Savannah unite together to help the befallen Emma and to cure her infection. While also saving the world of course.

The amount of similarity to Sailor Moon is unquestionable. I started getting into the Sailor Moon fandom after I cos-played Sailor Saturn. What makes Sailor Moon and Zodiac Starforce so appealing is that all of the characters are female and they’re kicking ass and saving the planet. The cast of the Starforce go into battle in realistic outfits that are also surprisingly cute. Molly is probably my favorite out of the bunch because I’m envious of her high pony tail. Unfortunately though, Zodiac Starforce doesn’t contain talking cats.

My favorite part about this story is that there is a healthy lesbian relationship. How cool is that!? Representation is crucial because not every comic book character has to be white, cis and straight. So seeing those two just made my heart skip a beat; they’re adorable together.

Besides being completely entranced with this story, there’s a sneak peek at the end. It introduces potential new members one representing Leo which is my sign. I’m hoping that the next issue will also discuss in detail of Astra and how the girls were given the powers in the first place.

 

Zodiac Star Force is a great story filled with plenty of bright pink pages and kick ass battles. I wish I had Savannah’s bright blue spear, but alas I was not granted with magical powers. Darn. I guess I’ll have to settle with reading about it and impatiently waiting for the next issue to come out.