Forever a WSU Warrior

Hello geek friends and blog followers! As you can probably tell.. my posts have been somewhat irregular. I actually really dislike when I go more than a week without blogging, but life happens. I am thrilled to announce that I officially graduated from college at Winona State University! My B.S. is in Exercise Science with a minor in nutrition and I am currently in the process of relocating with the boyfriend to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. I wanted to reflect on my years at school and post plenty of pictures.

Freshman Year; Naive, Insecure and Excited (2012 – 2013)

August 21st 2012Freshman Year 2012September 15th 2012

First of all, I look like a baby in all three of these pictures. The first picture was right before my family left me at school. I remember seeing them leaving and crying my eyes out for a good hour. I was scared and I didn’t know what to expect. Eventually I grouped with my floor mates and I figured everything out.

The one thing I will miss about freshman year is how exciting everything is. I’m in a fresh town to explore, new people to meet and I took a lot of pictures. The last picture was with one of my very first friends I met in college. Unfortunately we don’t keep up anymore, but in this picture I was still incredibly happy that I met her. College just forces you to meet so many new people at once and it’s overwhelming in that way.

Sophomore Year; Lonely, Confused and Insecure (2013 – 2014) 

Astronomy Club August 2013October 2013Spring 2014

The first photo is confusing, but my sophomore year I felt alone. A lot of friends I made freshman year were nonexistent sophomore year. Some say that you find your “tribe” in college, but it wasn’t until junior year of college where I felt happy with my friend group. That’s okay. College is a different experience for everyone and I happened to have my own journey in meeting friends who had my back.

I did join Astronomy Club my sophomore year of college which I really enjoyed along with volunteering at the local humane society. These experiences helped get me through the toughest year of college.

Junior Year; Independent, Delighted and Spectacular (2014 – 2015) 

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Junior Year Party Year 2

This was my absolute favorite year in college. I found my friend group, I started a new healthy relationship (the boyfriend & I have been together for 3 years in October!!!) and I started my new major. My favorite memories this year include: meeting my boyfriend, “welcome week 2014”, visits to the St. Paul science museum, homecoming parade, hiking in White Water National Park with a friend, Free Comic Book Day, Living in Winona for the summer and so much more. Thanks Junior Year for lifting my spirits.

Senior Year; BROKE (2015 -2016) 

It’s common for most college students to have that one year in school where you struggle to pay for food. That was my senior year. I took trips in the summer of 2015 that left me without much money. I really have nothing else more to say about this year so let’s move on.

Super Senior Year; (2016 – 2017) Bored, Impatient and Proud. 

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I was impatient because I was taking a 5th year to complete my degree and bored with the college experience. I just wanted my degree and to move on with the next chapter of my life. I am so proud of earning my degree by myself! It didn’t feel like I was graduating until I walked into the gymnasium filled with loved ones. I waved to my mom as I found my seat and that’s when I had the epiphany of being done with college. I almost started to cry because I am sure in a couple months I will look back on these years and really miss each year. Eventually, I want to write a post about the life lessons I learned from college because I am a changed person in these 5 years compared to my shy 18 year old self.

That’s the basic summary of my college experience. I am so proud and am slightly tearing up writing this post. I am now an alumni and not a student. I am now a confident woman ready to take charge in the work force and change the world.

March for Science!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of marching in downtown St. Paul, MN for the March for Science. The march for science is protesting the neglected scientific research for global warming exhibited in the Trump presidency. Science is extremely important for the success of our planet and I’m not agreeing with how Trump is handling the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). This post isn’t to necessarily start a political debate, but I am proud to say that I protested for something I believe in. I’m a biologist at heart and I’m a firm believer in funding NASA and traveling through space. Therefore, attending this march was crucial for me. I wanted to share my pictures with you and feel free to comment about your science background in the comment section below.

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My friend’s sign she held up

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“Stand Up for Science” sign

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“We’re gonna hafta Science the SH*T outta this. . . ” sign

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St. Paul Capitol Building. We were within a couple feet.

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I’m second from the left 🙂 

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Notice my Hufflepuff cardigan! 

 

Easter + College Graduation!

I’m starting to think Easter is April’s version of Thanksgiving. I ate my cookies and cream flavored Easter bunny and decided to talk about my awesome weekend. I traveled near the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area to see the boyfriend’s side of the family. Also a lot of other life stuff happened so I’m going to throw that into this blog post too.

First off, this past week I finished my internship hours for college! I am all set to walk in the next three weeks. I am anxiously awaiting graduation and a little afraid of the unknown. I have been applying for jobs because I need to make money, but I’m also going on a road trip with my family in June. My positive self is looking forward to the road trip while also enjoying moving back to the Twin Cities area.

I am a Minnesota girl by heart, but the boyfriend took me to Racine, Wisconsin. This is a beautiful area of Wisconsin and I was impressed. The town is right by Lake Michigan and the downtown area had a bunch of cool art galleries, boutiques and smaller cafes. We also went to this restaurant that’s right on Lake Michigan for beer and food. The great lakes in the mid western U.S are stunning because they have that ocean feel to them since you can’t see the other side of the lake. I basically could ramble all day about how Racine is the only place in Wisconsin I would want to live, but I digress. Instead I’ll post these pictures at the bottom of this post.

I hope you all ate as much chocolate as I did and you spent time with the people who love you the most. The countdown to my college graduation has begun.

Brew House Beer April 15th 2017

Beer!!

Gelato in Downtown Racine April 15th 2017

Cookies & Cream + Espresso flavored Gelato! 

Lake Michigan Downtown Racine April 15th 2017

Take a trip to the Great Lakes sometime, you won’t regret it. 

Lighthouse April 15th 2017

Oldest lighthouse on the Great Lakes

Racine Wisconsin

Lesson Learned after 22 years: Always wear sunglasses. 

 

 

Blizzard World Comic Con 2017

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*photo from Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page* 

Welcome back to Bizarre Brunette after an unplanned 11 day writing hiatus. My work schedule was chaotic and all I have been doing after work was finishing the Following on Netflix while reading books and various comics. After a relaxing weekend home I come prepared to write about a smaller local convention I attended on Saturday the 25th: Blizzard World Comic Con 2017. 

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*photo by Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page*

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*photo taken by Blizzard World Comic Con Facebook Page*

Look at all the Legos! These are two pictures of the Lego Hall of Justice set up. Almost every Justice League/DC Superhero is in Lego form on this display. I can’t help but notice the cute Lego Tardis making an appearance as well.

Blizzard World Comic Con is a convention that offers up tables for super cheap. Artists can display their newly minted comics, art prints and cute toys without breaking the bank. Unlike other conventions that have panels and activities, Blizzard World is a con where you spend money. I had my budget as to how much I could spend and I was determined to spread that money across as many artists as I possibly could. I only ended up spending about $30 and I went home with a couple of comics and a cool sticker which I will show you further down this post.

As for my first time being at this con, I really liked it. It was small so I felt that I could actually talk with each artist at the booths. I could learn what inspires them to create art or detailed stories. This helped make purchases that I felt really proud about. I will say that I only stayed for about 45 minutes because I blew through my money very quickly so I wish Blizzard World offered more activities besides walking around the booths. Otherwise I can definitely say that I will be back again next year.

The last part of this post is to detail what I bought because that’s always the fun part about every convention you attend.

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Phil Juliano’s book and Velma print.

This book I ended up purchasing not at Blizzard World, but through a go fund me page initiated by Phil. He ended up saving me this Velma print and isn’t it so cute?!

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Book Written by Christopher D Schmitz. 

I don’t need new books to read, but this urban fantasy book caught my eye. Apparently there are references to Cthulhu and Lovecraft stories which swayed me into purchasing this book for my shelf.

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The book on the far left is Breakwater, a comic about undersea demented tales. Dave Branch wrote a tale for this comic with more Cthulhu references which I can’t get enough of. The middle comic is produced by Mindwave Comics in Minneapolis. I have been eyeing Totem for a while because the character is a Native American superhero.  Finally, this comic on the far left has Gothic undertones about a mother rescuing her baby.

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This Avocados at Law sticker caught my eye because the Netflix Marvel shows are addicting. This sticker will immediately be stuck onto the front of my planner.

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Finally, I swiped a bunch of business cards from each table. I like eyeing local art talent in case there are kick starters to support and new books hitting the shelves.

Hopefully I will keep a regular blogging routine as I really don’t like to go almost two weeks without writing. I can’t make any promises, but I do have some ideas about posts in the coming days. I wish everyone a good start to the week!

 

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.

 

Bye Bertha; Preview of my New Car

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My Mini Van Bertha!

Way back in 2012, I passed my driving test at age 17. The car that I took the driving test in was a 2000 Ford Windstar Mini Van. When I drove to college, a couple friends thought the name Bertha fit the car. She was big, bodacious and blue with a big back side. Bertha became my car and I drove her everywhere. Including Electric Forest in 2015 where my Bertha overheated. On the 28th, I traded in Bertha for my 2016 Subaru Forester.

As I drive my new car, I realize that this is the right decision for me. Two weeks ago, I drove Bertha home for winter break. I heard a strange rattling noise coming from the hood of my car. I was at the point where I knew I needed a new car, but wasn’t planning on upgrading my car until May 2017 after I graduate college. However, I decided that I wasn’t willing to put hundreds of dollars into a car that would be replaced soon.

Friday December 23rd, me and my mom drove to the dealership to pursue new cars. The car I ended up test driving was the 2016 Jasmine Green Subaru Forester. Driving the Forester was incredibly easy and pressing the gas didn’t require so much effort. I have never been a car person really, but this car was amazing. Me and my mom ended up purchasing that vehicle that I drove.

Before I went back to school, I picked up my new car while also dropping off Bertha for a trade in. The Forester has heated seats so my butt is cozy in the cold winter. There’s also heated seats in the passenger seat so my partner in crime can have a cozy butt too. Also this car has way better gas mileage than my other car. All I can think about now is when I can go on a road trip with my new car.

I’m grateful to have been able to drive Bertha. I now have experience in driving a bigger vehicle so moving to a smaller car makes it easier to drive. It’s going to be sucky to have a car payment, but my car needed so many repairs that I just couldn’t afford anymore. I cannot wait for all the new memories to be had in my car. So it’s time to welcome Ripley Rey, into my life. She’s a beauty.

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Recommending My Source for Comics & Games

My winter break has been lively so far. Sadly, I haven’t been soaking up the sun on a beach in a warm vacation, but I have been in touch with the Twin Cities geek community. Last Saturday I visited the Source Comics & Games for the first time and I was blown away. The Source is gigantic, organized with a welcoming atmosphere.

 

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As a thrifty shopper, I drove to The Source for their holiday jubilee sale. Sales are one thing, but having local creators and illustrators table at the event is an additional incentive to stop by. Twin Cities Geek *TCG* whom I also write for was tabling at the sale too. After the half hour snowy drive to get there, I pulled up to the parking lot and found it was full. Near the parking lot, a police officer was directing traffic which I wasn’t expecting. I was impressed that so many people showed up to support a smaller business. As I noted earlier, the Source is a big place to browse because of the endless rows of comic books. Funko figures and action figures were appropriately placed above the shelves while underneath were racks of hardcover D&D books.

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image by Chance Wyatt Oberlander. 

In between mingling with other geeks, I was approached by Chance Wyatt Oberlander. Chance creates his own unique graphic novels and luckily I was able to review one for TCG. He approached me and handed me two copies of his books. He said that he really appreciated the article I wrote and this was a thank you. I was astounded, but quickly elated because I can re-read Census and read his other novel, Moving Bodies. Chance is an upbeat and friendly person and you really should check out his work at the link above.

Once I get paid in a week, the Source will be my new place for pursuing comics. The huge selection is promising as I’m behind on many issues. The only bummer about the Source is the commute. Obviously that’s not their fault, but it’s about a half hour drive or more in traffic. I left early because it started to snow and I’m glad I did considering I was stuck in traffic. Despite traffic, The Source is worth the drive and I’m looking forward to my next visit.