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

The Prometheite kick starter.png

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.

 

Advertisements

Open World Games are Intimidating!

Horizon Zero Dawn.jpg

Horizon Zero Dawn… an amazing game, slightly intimidating. Image by Playstation 

Do you ever read a blog post and comment to yourself “this post is me.”? The last time I had this feeling was after reading The Dragon’s Tea Party’s post titled Open World Burnout. The post summarizes the author stating how they are “burned out” from these epic open world games to the point where they either restart their game or just put the game down in general. This is exactly how I feel. A couple weeks ago, the boyfriend picked up Horizon Zero Dawn for me. The gamestop employee ranted about how much I was going to absolutely LOVE this game. I played the first 30 minutes of it, and it certainly has potential for me to love it. However, I ended up putting it down due to the sheer intimidation of playing the game.

Last year, I played Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4. Is that game considered open world? I think so. It’s specifically exploring NYC. What I liked about Marvel’s Spider-Man is the organization of NYC. I knew exactly where I could explore and what was there. In a game such as Fallout though, I have no idea where I’m going because I haven’t discovered anything yet. That has always bothered me. I like knowing where I’m going in a video game and what cities exist instead of having to explore it myself.

When I think back about “open-world” games I have beat, I will mention Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4. I also liked the Batman Arkham City & Batman Arkham Knight which allowed me to explore downtown Gotham. I also really enjoy games like Far Cry or even the new Assassin’s Creed games look great, but I never beat them from start to finish. The boyfriend though, loves open world games. Every night after we are both off of work, he will play through more of an open-world game whereas I will blog or read a book.

As a gamer, I do tend to be a completionist. Meaning I prefer to unlock all the trophies or achievements in a game if I’m able to. This makes open-world games much more difficult. It often means helping out in EVERY SIDE QUEST I stumble on. It makes open world games more time consuming because of my gaming personality.

I have decided to give more open world games a shot. I still have full intention of returning to Horizon Zero Dawn after I beat Heavy Rain the remastered version on PS4. I think what will help prevent me from having open world burnout is to play another game along with my open world game. For example, returning to Horizon Zero Dawn while also playing through Uncharted #4. This way I’m still getting a break from the open world format, but also being able to return to it on my own time.

If you have also experienced open world burn out, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below

 

The relationship between Steve & Bucky Avengers Endgame SPOILERS!!!

SPOILERS

 

Marvel Studios Avengers Endgame.jpg

Avenger’s Endgame poster. Photo released by Marvel. 

Like many fans, I cried throughout the whole Avengers Endgame movie. It was an emotional experience to say the least. The original Avengers movie is what drew me to comics originally, and Avengers Endgame felt like an end of an era. I wanted to discuss openly about the relationship between Steve & Bucky. I read a fan article which of course I can’t find when I need to reference it. It stated how it was rather selfish Steve stayed in time to be with Peggy versus going to help Bucky as he was tortured to become the Winter Soldier. I wanted to address that in my post.

I don’t think it would have been a good idea for Steve to help Bucky. Hulk says “we cannot change the past, only the future.” This is also why they couldn’t kill baby Thanos because it wouldn’t change the future outcome for planet Earth. Let’s say Steve goes back in time to see Peggy, and free Bucky. If the past doesn’t change the future, something terribly awful would happen to Bucky, which could also impact Tony Stark. Stark’s parents were murdered by Bucky, what would happen to them? Bucky is one of my favorite characters in the MCU, but I don’t think any of his past could be changed without negative impact.

Personally, I felt Steve’s ending was heartwarming to his run of Captain America. In an alternative timeline he gets the dance he never had with Peggy. I knew watching Avengers Endgame that Robert Downy Jr. and Chris Evans would be done with their respective characters. I’m happy that the Russo brothers decided to give Steve Rogers a redeeming ending instead of easily letting Thanos kill him in a brutal way. I’m interested to see how Falcon will do as the newly promoted Captain America.

 

More Podcast Recommendations

For the Easter holiday, me and the boyfriend went to visit his family in Milwaukee, WI. From where we both live, that’s about a 5 1/2 hour drive there and back. In two days we drove 10 hours and there were times where the drive felt incredibly long. To help entertain myself, I listen to podcasts. I’m not blessed to be able to read in the car without vomiting my guts out from the motion sickness. Here are the podcasts I adore:

Good Luck High Five 

Hosted by Marie and Megan, these two Magic the Gathering players are located in Minneapolis / St. Paul. They travel for different Magic tournaments like right now they’re both in London which I’m super jealous about. They will talk about Magic pre-releases, card mechanics, how to use Magic the Gathering Arena and more. I have become much more into Magic since listening to this podcast.

This Podcast Will Kill You

I stumbled upon this podcast on accident after browsing through Stitcher’s podcast list. Hosted by Erin Welsh, PhD and Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD, these two discuss different infectious diseases. Erin Welsh, PhD is a disease ecologist who is studying tick borne disease transmission in wildlife. Erin Allmann Updyke, PhD, is an epidemiologist who is also attending medical school.

Each episode is split into covering the biology of the disease, the history of the disease and where the disease sits currently today. I look forward to each episode they release because they’re well researched. I’m almost caught up on their podcast and I’m sad because now I have to wait for the episodes to be released.

Babes at the Table

One of my coworkers at the coffee shop I work at recently started her own podcast. Babes at the Table is a feminist, pro-women podcast with episodes ranging from books the hosts are reading or “hot dish” episodes where they discuss a topic in detail. I appreciate how forward thinking this podcast is and how respectful it is to different gender identities.

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness 

I’m a big Queer Eye fan, so when I found out Jonathan Van Ness hosted a podcast, I was all in. Jonathan Van Ness is 100% himself all the time and I want to soak in all the extra energy he has.  He has recorded episodes about relationships, politics, representation and more. Even if the topic doesn’t sound appealing at first, I can gain a new perspective I didn’t know I needed.

Let me know if you listen to any of these podcasts. As always, I do love podcast recommendations. Feel free to post any in the comments section below.

 

Why Does Global Warming Cause Temperatures to Drop

Donald Trump tweeted about how global warming must “come back fast” because of the colder temperatures in the Midwest. By cold, I mean it’s -20 degrees with the windchill making the temperature feel like -50 degrees. Exposed skin can experience frost bite in minutes with hypothermia to follow. It’s dangerous leaving my apartment right now, which means I need to take necessary precaution in how I dress. Trump’s response shows how little our population knows the science behind global warming and I wanted to address this in a non-judgmental post. Global warming is happening even though temperatures are rapidly dropping in other areas.

Donald Trump Tweet.png

Image screenshot of Donald Trump’s twitter feed. I took this screenshot myself.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) defines global warming as warming effects caused by heat being trapped in Earth’s atmosphere instead of moving towards space. Normally, heat would escape into space, but instead certain chemicals cause heat to be trapped on Earth causing temperatures to rise. This is known as the “greenhouse effect.” Carbon Dioxide, Methane and Nitrous Oxide contribute to the “greenhouse” effect. These chemicals are released by burning fossil fuels, producing waste and using fertilizer.

At first, one may think who cares? Why does it matter that temperatures are rising on Earth? Let’s discuss the rising sea level. Rising sea level caused by glaciers melting into the water could potentially sink low sea level cities such as New Orleans or even Miami could be underwater within decades. Besides sea levels, certain areas on Earth can become dry making it more difficult to grow essential crops. Over time, less crops means less overall food supply. Global Warming should scare you, as it does me. Our Earth could be negatively impacted permanently if we don’t change our current path.

Going back to the beginning, why do temperatures get colder if Global Warming is occurring? Towards the North Pole is the Polar Vortex. The Polar Vortex consists of strong winds when spinning create high and low pressure systems which help give us the weather we have. However, when temperatures rise, the winds will start to meander instead of being isolated in the North Pole which means here in Minnesota, temperatures are way below 0 degrees.

This post isn’t meant to cause a debate because Global Warming is occurring. I’m here to provide education on what may be a confusing phenomenon. Reading Trump’s tweets further reminds me how our science education is lacking. Our Earth is going through a crisis and we need to do something before it’s too late. All of my sources come from NASA’s website 

 

 

 

Fuel Your Force – Star Wars Fitness

Happy New Year! 2019 has barely begun, but I have so many exciting plans coming up in the next couple of months. My gym has started to get busier as more people flock to achieve health goals set in the beginning of 2019. My editor at Twin Cities Geek sent me a link from the Star Wars website about their new plan titled Fuel Your Force.  This is a new feature to combine the Star Wars Fandom with healthy eating tips, workout guides and mindfulness articles to help keep fans on track with their goals.

Star Wars Fuel Your Fitness.png

Fuel Your Force – from the Star Wars website. 

I’m especially looking forward to the new Star Wars workout gear. Geek workout gear is hard to find. I know Her Universe has released workout gear in the past, but I find it’s sized smaller than I would like it to be. I also find her gear to be a little too see through for me. Exercise pants need to be thick, I don’t want someone to see my underwear or lack thereof because the pants are too thin.

Reading through the launch article, I like that Fuel Your Force will cover many aspects of health. It’s not just about eating vegetables and participating in planned exercise. If our mental health is not there, motivation will drop. This is something I see at the gym I exercise at when the gym quiets down in March.

Overall, I’m invested in this concept. I’m going to check the main Star Wars page more often now looking for new fitness advice or workout gear.

 

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.

Fit Bit Versa Medifast Holiday Party 2018.jpeg

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.

Medifast Holiday Party 2018.jpeg

🙂 🙂 🙂 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.