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 😦 **

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
  27. Fury of Dracula
  28. Dead of Winter

Link to my Board Game Reviews:

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Attending the Aquaman Pre-Screening

Writing for Twin Cities Geek gives me the occasional perks such as seeing Taron Egerton in Robin Hood for free on Monday night. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to score Aquaman seats from Twin Cities Geek as another reviewer snagged them before I could. However, through the Warner Brothers website, I was able to score two tickets to the advanced screening show which made the boyfriend happy.

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The day of the advanced screening, me and the boyfriend left about 3 hours early because it was a 40 minute drive in rush hour traffic. When we got there, we were surprised at how many people were camped out already. We thought we were getting there early, but not early enough. The line wrapped around the theater towards the back entrance where me and the boyfriend found the end of the line. I was a little nervous we weren’t going to make into the theater.

Aqua Man 2.jpg

For those who have never attended a pre-screening event, the tickets we had didn’t guarantee us seats. It was a first come, first serve basis. This was a huge lesson learned for me if I ever attend another screening like this. The earlier you show up, the better. However, after waiting in line, I was elated to see us entering the theater and we were able to get seats right in the front row.

Since Aquaman hasn’t been released yet, I won’t say too much about the movie until others have had the chance to see it. I will say this movie is visually stunning and Jason Momoa does a great job at portraying Aquaman on the big screen. I will never forget when I met Jason Momoa and he told me this movie was going to be great and he wasn’t wrong.

My Health & Fitness Update

I haven’t written a fitness update in a while. The last post I wrote was an update on my personal training sessions I had been doing at Anytime Fitness. However, I don’t have a personal trainer anymore. The boyfriend got a job working at Lifetime Fitness which comes with fantastic benefits including a free membership for me. I couldn’t justify paying for a gym membership when I was given one courtesy of my wonderful partner. Since Lifetime offers a variety of different group fitness classes, I have been leaning towards mixing it up between cycle, barbell strength classes and occasionally yoga or barre. I enjoy the variety in my workout routine because it’s engaging, different and motivating.

Additionally, I have my new Fit Bit Versa which I’m in love with. My company puts on one heck of a holiday party complete with prizes given out for hard working employees. The grand prizes of the night were a Fit Bit Versa, Vikings vs. Bears tickets at the new Vikings Stadium, Blake Shelton tickets and Jingle Ball Concert Tickets. None of the prizes stood out to me besides the Fit Bit Versa. I put my name in for the Versa and I had talked to my coworkers all night about how awesome it would be if I won. When they were pulling names for the prizes, my coworkers were crossing their fingers hoping I would win. When they called my name, I almost cried tears of happiness. I don’t think I ever ran so fast up to the stage to accept my prize. I was hugging my Versa and my heart was racing because I didn’t think I would win because I never win anything.

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AHHH I still can’t believe I won 🙂

Initially, I have never owned a fitness device, but I had been considering purchasing one for a while. The day after my company’s party, I was experimenting with the Versa. My current home screen for my Versa features a kitty who when you walk, you feed it. If you don’t walk enough the prior day, the kitty disappears, which at the moment the kitty has disappeared because I played too much Batman Arkham Knight yesterday. If you don’t have a fitness device, I do highly recommend purchasing one.

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🙂 🙂 🙂 I do love the people I work with. 

Another update into my health, nutrition routine is eating more vegetables. This is a HUGE struggle for me. When I was young, my family would honestly eat vegetables once or twice a week. Living on my own, I have more control over how many vegetables I eat, but because I didn’t grow up eating them, I’m picky with what I like. I have been roasting vegetables such as asparagus, sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. This has been a game changer for me! I’m really proud of myself for accomplishing the task of eating more vegetables.

Overall, I’m super thrilled with my health achievements this year. Notice how I never mentioned my weight in any of the above paragraphs. Weight is a number, but it isn’t the best indicator of health in general. My gynecologist talked about how I apparently “gained a lb.” from last year and I shrugged it off. I have never felt better in my 24 years of life and I’m making better food choices now. I would love to hear any health, nutrition, mental health etc. changes you made this year in the comments below.

Titans is Surprisingly Decent

This past summer, I wrote a post regarding the new Titans trailer being released on DC Universe. Most of my thoughts were incredibly harsh as I thought this show would be a steaming pile of trash. The boyfriend ended up purchasing a membership to DC Universe, which means we have been watching Titans every Friday. I cannot believe I’m saying this, but this show is actually enjoyable, entertaining and I’m intrigued by the darker nature with the show.

Titans places emphasis on Raven’s back story and how her powers developed. In the pilot, Raven recognizes how destructive her powers can be and the fear toward her family when she displays these mystical abilities. Raven is played wonderfully by Teagan Croft who is a relatively unknown Australian actress. As the episodes air, Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Star Fire (Anna Diop) are introduced to help protect Raven while also allowing her the freedom to explore her nature.

Robin

My biggest complaint initially was the “Fuck Batman” line from the trailer. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this portrayal of Dick Greyson. Dick Greyson in Titans is lost in his identity. He was raised by Bruce to fight crime, but he feels his Robin persona is consuming him. As a result, there seems to be blame on Bruce for introducing him to this world which allows the”Fuck Batman” line to fit with his persona. Brenton Thwaites brings Dick to life on the TV screen and gives a convincing performance of a confused, guilt-ridden early age Nightwing.

DC is known for it’s grittier comic book adaptations which is fine, but sometimes back fires. I’m happy to say Titans has blown me away from my initial expectations. I was wrong about this show earlier in the year. I highly recommend any DC comics fan to watch this and let’s have a discussion in the comments below.

 

 

 

Spider-Man Fights the Maggia in Turf Wars

I apologize for my prior Spider-Man reviews because I kept forgetting the hyphen in Spider-Man. I believe The Modern Gafa pointed it out to me a bit ago, so when it came time to review Turf Wars, the newest DLC from Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PS4, I made sure not to forget it. It’s such a silly mistake, but I’m a human being and I’m capable of error. These new Spider-Man DLC’s are intriguing and add more elements to the story and Turf Wars is no exception.

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Yuri Takes on the Maggia [Image by Marvel, found on the Marvel’s Spider-Man website.]

The focus for this DLC is on Spider-Man’s relationship with Yuriko (Yuri) Watanabe. I practically know nothing about characters in the Spider-Man universe, however after looking at the Marvel wiki, I realized the game is accurate in it’s portrayal of her. Both Yuri’s father and grandfather served on the police force with her father being arrested for accepting bribes from the mafia. Yuri wanting to distance herself from the toxicity her father created, became a police officer dedicated to doing things the right way. I adore her relationship with Spider-Man as he’s the goofy one and she’s the serious kick-ass character in their partnership.

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New Spider-Man Suits! I personally like the one in the middle. [Photo by Marvel found on Marvel’s Spider-Man website.]

Turf Wars, picks up with Spider-Man investigating stolen Sable International tech led by infamous criminal mastermind, Hammerhead. Yuri leads this investigation and unsurprisingly a shootout erupts. Many of Yuri’s men are killed ruthlessly which almost changes Yuri in a way. Spider-Man is left to pick up the pieces of locating Hammerhead and preventing Yuri from performing an act that cannot be undone.

As always, there’s side quests to do in this DLC like the Heist before it. I prefer completing these before going through the story. The bases are surprisingly difficult with the new appearance of different enemies for Spider-Man to fight. There’s more of Screwball’s social media challenges which are annoying, but easy to complete.

I’ll be sad when the last DLC titled Silver Lining drops in December. I have gotten used to new content being added for this game. Eventually, I plan on playing New Game Plus which will keep me invested after I complete Silver Lining. I can’t recommend Marvel’s Spider-Man enough as it certainly is my game of 2018.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; One of My All Time Favorite Novels

TRIGGER WARNING: This novel contains violent depictions of rape and sexual violence. If this is triggering, please do not read this blog post.

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Jessica Jones meets Lisbeth Salander on my book shelf. 

To unwind after an eleven hour day, I like to curl up on my sectional sofa with a fuzzy blanket and read a book. I try to end my night reading, however I end up crashing at 8:30 with my boyfriend removing the book from my hands. I’m a self proclaimed bibliophile as they’re certain books on my shelf I treasure more than others. One of these books is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

When I was a junior in high school, I enrolled in a Gothic & Detective Literature course. It was one of my favorite high school classes where I read Frankenstein, Dracula and A Study in Scarlet. One assignment was a book report to present to the class. As you can predict, I chose The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I was engrossed with the characters, the setting and the real life implications of the violence women face at the hands of entitled men.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo begins with Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist who lost a case of libel against a powerful industrialist. Immediately after the sentencing, he’s summoned to Henrik Vanger’s mansion. Vanger is a retired CEO of a successful company who originally heard of Blomkvist from following his trial. Vanger says he will give Blomkvist evidence of this industrialist’s illegal activities in exchange for helping Vanger solve the murder of his niece, Harriet Vanger which occurred over 30 years ago.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been approved by the cat as the #1 spot to rest her paws. 

Meanwhile, we have anti-social, goth Lisbeth Salander. She’s an intelligent computer hacker who has been assigned to conduct research on Blomkvist specifically for Vanger before Blomkvist meets with him. Salander and Blomkvist become entwined when she helps Blomkvist unravel the mystery behind Harriet’s disappearance along with reveal a horrific family secret.

As I first read this book, I was disgusted by the sexual violence Salander was subjected to. It was uncomfortable to read this book while comparing how society handles victims of sexual assault. I will never forget reading the section where Salander gets revenge on her rapist. It made me really like Salander as a character because even though hypothetically, this was not the way to seek justice, it was a relief to see her rapist got what I felt like he deserved.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Graphic Novel Volume #1.

I was feeling inspired to write this post since I finished reading the first volume in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo graphic novel released in 2013. I’m preparing to read the second volume shortly as it’s a nice recap to the story while also showing some gritty artwork in each panel.

Before I end this post, I wanted to share a story Stieg Larsson told. When Larsson was fifteen, he witnessed three men raping a friend of his while he stood by and didn’t intervene. This moment altered him as he pled for forgiveness to his friend and they never forgave him. Let’s stop sexual violence by believing surivors when they come forward and intervening if there might be unwanted sexual activity occurring. We can all be allies to prevent sexual violence.

C2E2 Press Badge + Other Life Updates

It’s been a week since I published a new post due to traveling for Thanksgiving. I had a wonderful time with the boyfriend’s family and visiting my friend in Chicago. Since driving back to MN, I was reviewing all of the exciting moments happening in my life right now and I wanted to share them below. so

C2E2 Press Badge Application Accepted

This is probably my most exciting news I have received, but yes I will be attending C2E2 for the first time in 2019 along with getting accepted for a press badge. As I was browsing C2E2’s website, I was curious if my experience writing at Twin Cities Geek along with this blog would be enough to procure a press badge and with nudging from the boyfriend, I decided to apply to see what would happen. I certainly didn’t think I would get it because this blog isn’t famous or anything. However, I turned out to be wrong and this press badge is mine.

Chicago for Thanksgiving

When I was in college, I met one of my friends through my major classes. We lived together for a full year before she moved back to Chicago area. Anytime I’m near the boyfriend’s family in Milwaukee, I try to visit her plus it gives me an excuse to roam around Chicago.

We settled on going to the Adler Planetarium because it’s the only museum downtown I haven’t seen yet. It was a smaller museum easily doable in an hour or so. For ten dollars, it was worth it to learn more about astronomy.

Adler Planetarium.jpg

Chicago is fun this time of year because of all the Macy’s Christmas decorations. Each individual window has a holiday themed decoration set along with wreaths lining the buildings. It’s fun to walk around and get more into the holiday spirit.

Macys Window

This window was my favorite ❤

Before we left downtown, I walked to Graham Cracker Comics which is located approximately right across the street from Millennium Park. They had a buy one get one 50% off on trade paperbacks which led me to purchasing Paper Girls Volume #4 and the famous Hush Batman graphic novel. I have a lot of new reading material now!

Orlando Feb. 2019 for Harry Potter World

Every year me and my family go on one big family vacation. This past year, it was a road trip to Boston. We decided to visit Orlando primarily to see Harry Potter World. I have never been to Florida in general let alone a huge theme park. I’m super excited to be able to experience Hogwarts, drink butter beer and walk down Diagon Alley. Along with Harry Potter world, we want to explore Universal Studios along with Disney World. Any guidance to exploring these areas would be greatly appreciated in the comments below 🙂

Starting My Harry Potter Re-Read

Since I’m visiting Harry Potter World next year, I want to be fully caught up on all of the lore again. The Harry Potter universe made me the geek I am today, so it’s fitting I would read the series again before I fly to Orlando.

I’m incredibly thankful for all of the experiences I’m able to be apart of. 2019 is going to be a busy year filled with more traveling and geek adventures. I wanted to wish anyone who reads my blog a Happy Holiday season and I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with friends or family.

 

 

 

 

The Sexiest Political Thriller on Netflix; Bodyguard.

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Richard Madden is dreamy *Image from BBC*

I spend more time than I would like to admit on Twitter. Usually, I never have anything clever to say, but I follow quite a few entertainment sites, bloggers and creative minds. Entertainment Weekly is a magazine I used to read, but now I follow them on Twitter. They tweeted about how riveting Bodyguard is which recently dropped on Netflix. The first season is only six episodes long so I figured, what the hell, I need something new to watch.

Starring former Game of Thrones star Richard Madden as David Budd, a war veteran dealing with crippling PTSD from his experiences in Afghanistan. As a police officer, he’s assigned to a protection detail for Julia Montague (played by Keeley Hawes) who is controversial with her political opinions with a reputation for being unfriendly. Their relationship developed as they worked together and as the episodes continue, there’s an underlying conspiracy regarding why Montague is being targeted.

This show was exactly what I needed; it was captivating from the minute I started the first episode. The first twenty minutes shows Budd trying to stop a suicide bomber on a train with his kids a couple carts away. I attempted to predict where the show was going, but I was pleasantly surprised by how wrong I was. I can’t give more details without revealing spoilers, so I will choose to refrain from further details.

While Bodyguard aired on BBC, it drew in 10 million views which is incredible, although season #2 hasn’t been confirmed. Richard Madden is talking with producers to be involved with another season. The earliest it would be released would be 2020 which seems far from now. This is one of the most enticing political thrillers on Netflix currently and it’s a nice break from the other shows I watch. Plus Richard Madden is the perfect eye candy to watch on the small screen.