The Uncanny Valley of Fake Food…

DVDOMPSsmallIn switching from carnist to vegan, the easiest option to us seemed to just swap out the animal ingredient with a fake food equivalent. An easy way to transition, right? Eh. Not so much for us. Skimming through forums and blogs, we found plenty of vegans enthusing about certain alternative foods. I don’t know how long they were vegan, but it must have been quite a while for them to think that some of these foods are replacements for meat and dairy. Milk was fine, but meat and cheese would seem to be a greater challenge. It’s only when we tried something that claimed to be like a certain food, we appreciated how much goes into the identity of food–look, texture, smell, taste–and that just any one of these being amiss makes for an uneasy experience. It’s the food equivalent of the dead eyes of one of those robots made to look as close to a human as possible–and not quite succeeding.

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Here are some of our experiences, starting with the bad, the ugly, but thankfully ending on the few examples we’ve tried of the good stuff. Now, these are just our opinions, and you might LOVE some or all of these, so it’s always worth trying them yourselves. A lot of these are recommended and successful brands, so they’re certainly doing something right for their customers. We’re just sharing our experience of them because we found this process a little disheartening, and wanted to show that while it can be a trial, we found some things we liked for us, and it helped us to some conclusions around what type of vegan food we want to be eating…

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (SPOILER FREE)…

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I will keep this simple. I loved this film. Within the first 20 minutes I was swept up by the continuation of Star Wars. I had fallen in love with a droid, found the First Order menacing, was on board with the fun, enjoying the action and rooting for the heroes who had been introduced to us.

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Fluxx The Card Game…

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Fluxx is a card game far removed from the heavy theme board games I normally get excited over, but after seeing it played on the tabletop show I thought I’d give it a go as it would be nice to have something to play which didn’t involve any setting up and tear down. I also thought it might be something my board game wary husband might actually like–and a gateway game to some other card games I want to play like Coup and Love Letter. Sneaky.

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Arrow Dark Archer / League of Assassins Cosplay Costume

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Did you know Jawas are in the League of Assassins?

Another comic con is behind us. Our second in costume. Again, with little in the way of props or dressed areas laid on by the convention, and talks being rammed, I still say the geek merch and the attendees in costume are the best part of going.

We did our bit. This time, I had been able to buy a costume to go along with my other half as the DC TV series’ ‘Arrow’. It would’ve been cool to go in the cosplaysky ‘Arsenal’ costume, but it was a bit more than I wanted to pay out for. Saw a few at comic con and have costume regret–it looks awesome. Plus, I’m not sure I can pull off Abercrombie youth Colton Haynes (phrasing), but can be a passable mature gay as a villain. When I saw they had a more affordable ‘Dark Archer’ or ‘League of Assassins’ I had been a bit unsure about my costume, but when it arrived (from China in a little under a week!) I quickly chucked it on and instantly felt assassiny. So, what could a grown 3# year old do, but wait for his husband to come home so I can fake assassinate him…

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Gurren Lagann

‘Gurren Lagann’ is set on an earth where humans live underground where the surface is a myth to many. The young boy, Simon, is a digger committed to his drilling after his parents were killed in a rock fall. He works mindlessly in his grief, expanding his subterranean village, thought of as an oddball by the others–except by the older boy, Kamina, who sweeps him up with his quest for the surface to follow in his father’s footsteps on the land above. When Simon finds a mechsuit gunman in the rock shaped like a head–Gurren–Simon and Kamina find the key to escaping their underground life. However, the surface is not what they expected, and they find themselves amidst oppressed humans resisting constant attacks from beastmen in their gunmen…

Many ‘Gurren Lagann’ episodes are formulaic, the artwork is the most caricature anime I’ve come across yet, and it can all be a bit silly… So why is it so awesome?!

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It Follows (2014)…

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Unfortunately, horror movies tend to miss the mark more than they tend to hit it, making for Russian roulette chance-taking. Okay, maybe lucky dip would be a less dramatic analogy, but every now and then in between the found footage threat of the moment, the latest gross out torture porn and the by the number haunted house movies, something different will come at you from left field. ‘It Follows’ is one such movie.

‘It Follows’ offer the premise of a curse-like evil presence that can only be escaped through having sex with someone and making them the next target, but if–or more like it when that person dies the previous partner becomes the target again. It would seem to be a movie offering an opportunistic platform for gratuitous nudity and some hot sex. After all, movies like ‘Saw’ and ‘Hostel’ were a great excuse to push gore to the limit (beyond my limits!), but to judge ‘It Follows’ as a 10s exploitation movie would be inaccurate and a gross injustice. For ‘It Follows’ is restrained in its use of nudity, doesn’t glamorize bodies or sex, or even romantacise the act, and it offers up something fresh while surprisingly walking a path quite familiar in horror.

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