On the Road to Gen Con 2019

This August I will be attending Gen Con for the first time with a press badge! Instead of attending under Bizarre Brunette, I will be attending on behalf of Twin Cities Geek. As a board game and DnD player, I cannot wait to see what Gen Con has to offer. I have already started putting money aside to spend at the con because I want to purchase all the board games. This will be the first road trip me and my brother take together because I invited him to attend Gen Con this year. I’m already counting down the days until Gen Con begins.

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My Gen Con Profile! Screenshot taken by me. 

The road to attending Gen Con began in January 2019. I have a friend from college who used to own a game store. He has been attending every Gen Con for years. I had always wanted to go, but being in college made that extremely difficult to afford. He reached out to me inquiring about whether I would want to go this year. For shits and giggles, I decided to fill out a press badge with full intention of paying full price for a badge in case it didn’t work. In February, I received confirmation from Gen Con that I would be receiving a press badge. I was elated and immediately began to research where me and my brother would lodge for the convention.

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It’s the final countdown. Image screenshot taken by me. 

Speaking of hotels, I started looking way too late for a hotel room. Hotel rooms usually sell out when Gen Con badges go on sale in January. Virtually every hotel I had checked was full. This is where I decided to look for air BnB’s. I found an affordable air BnB northeast of downtown Indianapolis. I’m slightly worried that it’s a little too far from the convention center, but that’s what uber is for. My lesson was learned if I want to attend Gen Con and have a hotel downtown, I need to book it in January.

Last month, the event lists were released. These include various DnD campaigns, MTG 2020 Core Drafts and even a group fitness class titled Buff Barbarian. You better believe I signed up for the Buff Barbarian because that’s the best name for a group fitness class I have ever seen. Besides the Buff Barbarian, I also put down a couple DnD campaigns I wanted to be apart of. However, when I clicked register for events, I was in 6,119 in the queue line. 6119!!!!! It was safe to say I didn’t get many of the events I pre-registered for, however, I am playing in a Harry Potter themed board game, so that’s a win for me. I also didn’t realize events were paid. Each event costs anywhere between $2-$12 dollars. I wonder if that’s to pay for the DM hosting the event? I’m not quite sure. This certainly limited the events I wanted to do because of a cost per each event.

As far as cosplays, I haven’t quite established which cosplays I will bring. I’m thinking for sure my viking Wonder Woman inspired cosplay along with a Harry Potter Gryffindor student cosplay. I’m not sure how many people cosplay at Gen Con or if it’s more of a gaming convention meaning less people cosplay. No matter what I will wear a cosplay because cosplaying is fun.

I cannot believe I’m attending Gen Con as press this year. This is an amazing achievement for me and I hope to spread word about Bizarre Brunette while I’m there as well. If you’re going to Gen Con as well, I’d love to meet up! Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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Demons Meet Law & Order in Lucifer

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Me and my brother loved watching Law & Order SVU when we were in middle school. Law & Order SVU is the show I watch when doing chores or I want to have a distraction from a tough day. Lucifer is a Law & Order inspired show with demons thrown into the mix.

Lucifer is the literal king of hell played wonderfully by Tom Ellis. He’s the owner of a nightclub and finds amusement having sex with beautiful women and drinking copious amounts of booze. After one of Lucifer’s friends is shot and killed, he meets Chloe Decker, a LA homicide detective who’s assigned to this case. Chloe, played by Lauren German, is unique because she’s immune to Lucifer’s gifts. His “gifts” includes being able to persuade people to reveal their deepest darkest secrets. Chloe uses this to her advantage to solve crimes throughout Los Angeles.

Each season of Lucifer has a larger subplot intertwined throughout the season. The first season involves Lucifer getting shot by Chloe and he starts to bleed. Lucifer is immortal, so why is he bleeding from a simple gunshot wound?. Meanwhile Chloe is trying to build a case surrounding a supposed corrupt cop. The plot twists in the first season were shocking.

Lucifer is a favorite show of mine because of the characters. Lucifer can be an asshole, but he also has good intentions despite being the retired ruler of hell. Chloe is sassy to Lucifer while also using her cunning investigative techniques to seek the truth. I cannot forget to mention Trixie, Chloe’s cute daughter. Trixie adores Lucifer which is hilarious since Lucifer hates kids. His apparent hate for children doesn’t stop Trixie from giving him hugs throughout the season.

I wanted to give a special shout out to the fans who utilized the internet to save the show. Lucifer originally premiered on Fox until it was cancelled. Fans were irritated and created a petition to save the show. Netflix realizing they could make money off of Lucifer fans, swooped into renew the show at the last minute. I wish I was apart of this legion of fans, but I only discovered Lucifer a week ago.

Lucifer is a fabulous show featuring demon drama in downtown LA. I finished season one a couple days ago and I plan on watching season two either today or tomorrow. I’m trying to slowly get through the show as I don’t want to wait for new episodes.

If you’re a fan of Lucifer, let’s talk about the show in the comments!

 

Modern Horizons Pre-Release MTG + Tips for Drafting.

On Sunday, I drove to Rochester, MN to participate in the Magic the Gathering: Modern Horizons Pre-Release. This will be my third pre-release I have attended since rejuvenating my interest in Magic the Gathering. I’m still an amateur player, however playing in these events has given me confidence to keep playing the game. I had a blast playing with the new cards, but I also wanted to share some general tips for drafting in Magic that one of my friends sent me.

Modern is a format in Magic where decks are built with at least sixty cards versus standard Magic where decks have forty cards. Me and two other friends participated in this pre-release except it wasn’t like a typical pre-release I attended, it was a draft. Drafting in Magic can be extremely difficult. Drafting is where everyone opens a booster pack and picks only one card from that pack. Then the pack gets passed to the next player and they pick one card from the pack. This means I need to pick cards from what’s passed to me without knowing what cards were picked by other players. I chose to make a blue / white deck with a bunch of flying creatures.

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This is one flying creature I used. 

My deck wasn’t that great. I found the other players in our group had more “aggressive” decks meaning their decks worked faster than mine. I only won one game out of twelve games (as I said, I’m still an amateur). After this experience, my friend sent me an article about what to look for when drafting. It’s titled BREAD which stands for:

B – Bombs. This is the super powerful cards. This could mean creatures that can’t be removed from the game easily or instants which can remove many creatures at once. It’s a card that you can’t pass up, so pick this card first in a draft.

R – Removal. These are cards that remove creatures or artifacts. If a deck doesn’t have removal, it’s useless. Creatures make up a deck, but the deck needs to be defensive as well. 

E – Evasion! Choosing creatures that are difficult to block. This includes finding abilities such as flying, deathtouch, unblockable or I find menace to be an ability that’s kind of obnoxious. My deck was based around flying creatures, but the deck failed. That’s because of . .  . 

A – Aggro. This is why my deck failed. Aggro refers to filling up a mana curve. Meaning you want to cast a creature card every turn if able. This means choosing creatures that are cheap to cast. My flyers were great creatures, but often they required at least 3 sometimes even 5 mana to cast. This means by the time I was able to cast a creature, my opponent had at least three or four creatures out at once time. This cost me almost all of my games. 

D- Duds! These are the cards no one wants. I was playing a blue / white flying deck, but I still found cards that were green or black which didn’t work with my color scheme. This happens to everyone at a draft where you’re forced to take cards no one wants. These cards can be sorted out when the deck building begins. 

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The Oneirophage – every time I draw a card, I put a counter on it. 

Even though my deck sucked, I liked the cards I drafted. I pulled a couple “Phantom Ninja’s” which cost three mana. Their special ability is they can’t be blocked. This is useful because anytime I attack with them, my opponent can’t do anything about them. I also liked my “Wall of One Thousand Cuts.” It’s a wall which provides a blocking creature for my deck. I also like the art work on “Oneirophage.” This is a squid illusion which every time I draw a card, I put a +1 / +1 counter on Oneirophage. This squid could become powerful as my turns progressed.

As I reflect on the pre-release, I learned valuable deck building skillsDeck building is the hardest thing for me to grasp in Magic the Gathering. Once I have a successful deck, I’m good to go. I’m trying to play more Magic because in August I’m going to Gen Con. If I can win at least one game in Gen Con, I would be thrilled.

 

 

Supporting LGBTQIA+ for Pride Month

June is one of my favorite months out of the whole year. It’s the start of summer, but it’s also Pride month. I’m technically not a part of the “LGBTQIA+” community, but I also don’t consider myself 100% straight. I feel attraction to women, but I’m not sure if I’m bisexual? I fully support the LGBTQIA+ community and the endless fight for rights for all. I wanted to share a couple ways I support the LGBTQIA+ community excluding buying rainbow sequin outfits.

Not Spending Money on Rainbow Stuff

It’s not that buying rainbow themed stuff is bad, but buying rainbow clothes doesn’t necessarily go back to the LGBTQIA+ community. Some retailers are donating certain proceeds to various organizations. I did a quick google search and found this article on Mic which lists various companies who are giving back to the LGBTQIA+ community. Please spend money on this type of merchandise versus random rainbow stuff corporations are selling to capitalize on Pride month.

Supporting through charities or through purchasing art or books from LGBTQIA+ authors

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To start this off, I wanted to share a kickstarter I recently backed by an LGBTQIA+ artist. Ari Mulch is a Minneapolis based artist who is on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. I’m unsure of their identity, but I know they use they / them pronouns as their Twitter bio says. The Prometheite is a lesbian retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in a graphic novel format. Frankenstein is one of my all time favorite books in Gothic Literature, so when I stumbled upon this kickstarter, I knew immediately I had to back it. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, here’s the link to their campaign. Ari can be found on twitter or through their website. Please help me get this funded! Showing support for LGBTQIA+ art, books and media allows their stories to be told. It’s how we can grow to understand different identities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella.

As far as charities go, I personally like the Trevor Project. The Trevor Project focuses on helping LBTQIA+ youth under the age of 25. It provides access to suicide prevention hotlines and community resources for those who need it.

Encouraging Corporations to Support LGBTQIA+ All Year Round Instead of in June Only.

Victoria’s Secret is in hot water because of recent comments made about supporting the LGBTQIA+ community. It’s great to pledge support, but this is also the same company who who said they wouldn’t hire trans or plus-size models because it wouldn’t “fit their fantasy.” This is what a lot of corporations will do. They will mean well when they say “Happy Pride.”, but it’s often filled with hypocrisy since that same company probably said something transphobic earlier in the year. I personally won’t shop at Victoria’s Secret because of their views and I encourage others to do the same.

Finally, I want to wish you all a safe and happy Pride.

 

Hot Date Realistically Chronicles Sex, Dating and Marriage.

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I have been stuck in a TV watching rut. I tried watching both Castle Rock and Homeland this year and I couldn’t get into these shows. Whenever I watch a show I can’t get into, it puts me in a funk. Thanks to Hot Date, I found an amusing show filled with sketches that realistically depict sex, dating and marriage.

Originally, I discovered Emily and Brian after listening to Not Another DnD Podcast. I don’t normally listen to DnD podcasts because I find if I “zone out” a little bit, I’m lost in the DnD story. However, Not Another DnD Podcast, is hilarious and I have no trouble listening to the voice actors for a two hour episode. At the end of each episode, the hosts usually plug their current books or other projects they have been working on. This is where I discovered Hot Date. 

Hot Date centers around Emily and Brian’s relationship and how it evolves through social interaction and taking on responsibilities. Each episode is roughly twenty minutes long with numerous sketches occurring in between Emily and Brian’s bits. One of my favorite sketches is where Emily and Brian feel they need to “spice up their relationship”. They visit a sex store where they purchase a sex swing. Things go awry when they don’t read the instructions and get stuck in the sex swing. This sketch sticks with me because I feel there is a stereotype for couples in long term relationships to try and “spice up their relationship.” I am perfectly content with my relationship, but I feel this insecurity every now and then.

Regardless if you’re single, in a relationship or married, I think anyone could find this show entertaining. I like that it’s not a huge commitment to watch the show as there are only ten episodes in season #1. Before watching Hot Date, I would recommend listening to Not Another DnD podcast because then you can get an idea on Emily and Brian’s humor to see if Hot Date would be for you. As far as what to watch next. . . I’m thinking about re-watching Doctor Who or I heard Good Omens was good. I’m glad to be out of my TV watching rut.

 

Pre-Engagement Photos

It’s been more than a month since my fiance popped the question on May the 4th 2019. We really haven’t been doing any wedding planning, but instead basking in the fact that we are engaged. Our intended goal is to have our wedding sometime in Fall of 2020 and to hopefully budget our wedding, so we aren’t spending thousands of dollars. I have already been thinking a maroon, burgundy and orange color scheme though that’s subject to change. When me and my fiance visited his parents over Memorial Day, his aunt brought her camera and took some amazing pictures of us. I’m going to share a couple of them because it’s rare that we are both this photogenic all the time.

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I was never the girl who had her dream wedding planned with a Pinterest board. Now that I’m actively planning this wedding, I’m discovering I’m more opinionated than I realize. I’m really excited to get married, so that me and my fiance will truly be united together.

2019 Video Game Releases I’m Excited For

Playing video games will always be a hobby of mine, but the time I have to play them has drastically decreased. At my full time job, I often have to stay late past the hours I’m supposed to. I drive home from work where I cook dinner, potentially go work out and then once I get an ounce of free time, I want to go to bed to get the sleep my body needs. Weekends have become busier with me and my fiance attempting to plan a wedding. I won’t ever abandon gaming as a hobby, but I have accepted that I don’t have as much time for it as I used to. I still keep up with latest releases and I wanted to share with you about which 2019 video game releases I’m highly anticipating: 

Jedi Fallen Order – November 15th 2019

The trailer dropped at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. I remember playing Star Wars Battlefront in 2003 with one of my childhood friends. I have avoided the new Star Wars Battlefront games thanks to EA’s policies of having to pay to unlock items. Since Jedi: Fallen Order is a single player based game, I’m thinking I will enjoy this a lot more.

Jedi: Fallen Order is set after Episode III when Order 66 was initiated. Not all the Jedi’s were ruthlessly murdered, but many of them were forced to go into hiding. Cal was in Jedi training, but now works as a scrapper on the planet, Bracca. After an unfortunate incident where one of his fellow workers falls off a ledge, Cal uses some of “the force” to save him. This exposes Cal further and he’s forced to flee from the army of Stormtroopers sent to finish him.

This game has a lot of potential because of it’s departure from Star Wars Battlefront which ultimately pissed off a lot of gaming fans. Jedi: Fallen Order is released on November 15th on Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. It’s also being released three days after the Mandalorian premieres on Disney+

Man of Medan – August 30th 2019

During the Polar Vortex in February [where the temperatures dropped to -30], I was playing Until Dawn. Until Dawn was an addicting horror game which is hilarious to me since I’m not a huge fan of horror games to begin with. This had the perfect level of jump scares combined with a great setting and fun characters to play as. Immediately after completing Until Dawn, I went to follow their developer, Supermassive Games, on Twitter. This is where I discovered Man of Medan, the latest game Supermassive Games had been working on.

Man of Medan is based partially on true events. The Ourange Medan was a ship in the 1940’s where the entire crew perished under suspicious circumstances. The main story is centered on five characters who are investigating an old 1940’s ship wreck. The characters are: Julie, Conrad, Alex, Brad and Fliss. Man of Medan will be similar to Until Dawn as certain decisions made within the game will impact the final ending. After making a crucial decision in the game, you can’t reload saves. Meaning you are stuck with the decision you made.

Man of Medan releases on August 30th 2019. I highly recommend playing Until Dawn before the release of Man of Medan 

Harry Potter Wizard’s Unite – Sometime in 2019

I was probably the only person who wasn’t invested in Pokemon Go. I thought it was a cute concept, but I got bored after a while. Now take the concept of Pokemon Go and combine it with Harry Potter and now I’m intrigued. Harry Potter Wizards Unite is an augmented reality based game where fans can play as certain characters and capture creatures or find artifacts in the real world. The goal is to keep the Wizarding World safe and secretive against muggles. When Pokemon Go first released, the game was really buggy. I’m hoping this doesn’t happen with Harry Potter Wizards Unite. 

So far, that’s all the games I’m anticipating. It helps when my fiance is subscribed to Game Informer because then I can keep up to date with video games every month. I’m trying to use my off days from work to catch up on my video game back log, so that when these games release, I’m ready to devote all my time to them.