Shared posts

01 Nov 20:08

Enable the Classic Startup Chime on the New MacBook Pro with a Terminal Command

by Thorin Klosowski

Apple decided to kill off the startup chime from the new model of MacBook Pro, which aside from being a mainstay on Macs for years, has also always helped troubleshoot boot issues. Thankfully, you can get the sound back with a Terminal command.


14 Jul 17:38

Vegan Butter Substitute

by Cara

I’m a skeptic when it comes to vegan butter, I will admit. I’ve tried to get behind it but the truth is is that the flavor always leaves me disappointed and let down. Not only is it impossible to slather a slice of gluten free bread with a good butter substitute but baking with it only infuses it with a strange aftertaste at times, not to mention the ingredients kinda scare me. I, however, have never have stopped in my quest for a good vegan butter substitute and thank God that I haven’t because it made me open to this recipe from Miyoko Schinner’s new cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry. If anyone could redeem vegan butter, it’s Miyoko. (Have you tried her nut cheese line?)

You won't believe how creamy, melt-in-your-mouth smooth this vegan butter substitute is. It spreads on toast like buttah!  (recipe from The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schrinner)


Redemption happened, oh yes it did! This vegan butter. I just, I…can food leave you speechless? Yes it truly can and did for me this week. What I love about this recipe:

  • No weird aftertaste
  • Super easy to make
  • Spreads on toast like…well, butter!
  • You can bake with this stuff
  • Has all the great qualities of real butter: Creamy, salty (you can change this to your preference), and melt-in-your-mouth good…all without dairy. 

You won't believe how creamy, melt-in-your-mouth smooth this vegan butter substitute is. It spreads on toast like buttah! (recipe from The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schrinner)

You NEED this cookbook if you or a loved one are dairy and/or egg free, allergic to dairy and/or eggs, are vegan, or are human and love to make food at home. The options of recipes are incredible:

  • Ranch Dressing
  • Oil-Free Eggless Mayo
  • Flaxseed Meringue
  • Almond “Feta” 
  • Oil-Free Melty “Mozzarella”
  • Brilliant Bouillon 
  • Unfish Sticks
  • Peppy Unpepperoni
  • Lemon Curd
  • White Chocolate

I could go on and on about how incredible the recipe index is but you will just have to buy this darn thing and join me in glee. 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Butter Substitute
Prep time
Total time
Author: Miyoko Schinner (reprinted with permission from The Homemade Vegan Pantry)
Serves: 1 Pound of Butterless Butter
  • 1½ c. melted refined coconut oil (not extra virgin coconut oil)
  • ½ c. nondairy milk (unsweetened)
  • ¼ c. canola, grapeseed, or light olive oil
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons liquid lecithin (if using granules, you will need 2-4xs the amount)
  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and process at medium speed for about 1 minute.
  2. Pour into container of choice--something made of silicone is great, as it will pop out easily, but any storage container will do (line it with wax paper first for easy removal).
  3. Set it in the refrigerator for a few hours until hard or in the freezer to expedite hardening.
This glorious butter substitute will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks or many months in the freezer.

Reprinted from THE HOMEMADE VEGAN PANTRY Copyright © 2015 by Miyoko Schinner. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon Calories: 116 Fat: 13.4g Carbohydrates: 0.2g Sodium: 32mg Protein: 0.1g

Now before you start throwing your breakfast at me over the fact that this recipe calls for liquid lecithin, let me explain. It’s an inexpensive item (I ended up finding it at Whole Foods in the supplement section as well as online for about $7 for a bottle). A little goes a long way, so find some friends who are crazy for a butterless vegan butter substitute and pass the bottle around the neighborhood. It’s definitely not an ingredient that you will use often in other recipes but I GUARANTEE you that you will want to make this recipe over and over and over again that you will find that you use the bottle up in no time. Worth the $7, easy! Do note that if you have a soy allergy then beware! Lecithin is typically derived from soybeans but you can find a lecithin made from sunflowers so be on the lookout. 

You won't believe how creamy, melt-in-your-mouth smooth this vegan butter substitute is. It spreads on toast like buttah!

Look at that sexy vegan butter substitute melt! Toast is calling your name…

The post Vegan Butter Substitute appeared first on Fork and Beans.

11 Jul 14:06

Calling All Female Fiber Artists!!


If you’re woman and textiles (and the like) are your weapon of choice, don’t miss the chance to be a part of this ongoing exhibit with talented ladies hailing from all over the earth. Experience your own work in a new context as the show will morph from space to space traveling through Boston from August 14th to Dec 31st. Check out for the who, what, wheres.


06 Jul 15:17

On Veganism, Eating Disorder Recovery, and “No” Foods

by Gena


On Thursday of last week, I shared a wonderful Green Recovery post from fellow blogger Kimmy, who is the author of Rock My Vegan Socks. She wrote something that inspired today’s post, which I’ll share with you:

One of the toughest things for me was to not have “no” foods. To not look at food as good or bad, but food/fuel for my body and to eat. When I see foods as “bad” it triggers me to try and avoid them at all costs until I finally break and binge on them. Sure there are foods that are more healthful than others, but I’ve learned that it’s ok to enjoy a variety of things and if I eat a little more of the foods that aren’t quite as healthful, my body naturally starts to crave more healthful things. I’m still trying to figure out balance, it’s definitely a work in progress. 

Kimmy’s experience with “no” foods is not unique. In fact, I’d say that most people who deem certain foods as bad or forbidden end up struggling with the very same bingeing issues that Kimmy describes. When I start working with a new client, I’ll always say that our work is to be a judgment free space. We’re not going to label foods as “good,” “bad,” or—my least favorite expression of all—“clean.” Food is not “dirty.” If a client tells me that he or she was “bad” over the weekend, I’ll gently encourage him or her to rethink the statement. Perhaps it would be more productive, I’ll counter, to say something like “I didn’t choose foods that made me feel my best this weekend.” No moralizing, no confessional. Good/bad terminology only creates angst.

Anyone who has recovered from an ED has probably had to do some work with this issue of forbidden foods. Some people call them “no” foods. I used to call them “fear” foods. No matter what we call them, they present us with the same set of problems. The world will not be a less vast or overwhelming place if you place food into strict categories. Nevertheless, this habit gives us the illusion of control, the sense that we’re somehow in greater command of our lives.

The other problem with no/fear foods is that they serve to reinforce the ED sufferer’s sensation that everything to do with food is a BIG, HUGE deal. When you’re living with an ED, every single food choice is loaded with significance, to the point where even a small decision—avocado or nuts? Olive oil or coconut oil? Sweet potato or quinoa?—can feel crippling. My memories of anorexia and orthorexia involve so many moments spent in a paralysis of indecision over what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat. This tendency still sometimes bubbles up when I get caught choosing between two dinner options or ordering at restaurants. Fortunately, time, therapy, and lots of practice have taught me to snap out of the deadlock quickly, commit to something, and remind myself that no single food choice matters that much. It was one of the hardest parts of my recovery, and it would not have been possible had I not learned to let go of the idea that foods exist on a dramatic spectrum of good and bad, healthy and unhealthy.

For all of these reasons, I see the deconstructing of good/bad categories as a vital part of the recovery process. I don’t think it’s possible to embrace one’s appetite freely so long as one is busy assigning undue significance or false health claims to food. This opens up an interesting question: as a vegan, how do I reconcile my perspective on “no” foods with my choice to eliminate a significant number of foods from my diet?

I have been asked this question by readers who are in ED recovery countless times—so often, in fact, that I’m surprised it’s taken me so long to address it head on. In many ways, this question cuts right to the heart of the Green Recovery concept. My premise for the series, which grew out of my own recovery experience, was that it is possible for people who are recovered or in recovery to maintain discernment with food, all the while letting go of the fears and anxieties that characterize an ED.

When I posted my first Green Recovery submission I suspected that the idea might provoke some pushback, and indeed, in the years since I’ve been publishing Green Recovery stories, I’ve gotten some criticism along with plenty of positive support. One of the earliest pieces of critical feedback I received was from a therapist who asserted to me (respectfully, over email) that it’s really not possible to experience true freedom from the ED while also having a substantial number of off-limits foods. From her perspective, veganism could only serve to underscore a person’s attachment to the ED.

This echoes much of the thinking that surrounds ED treatment. There is an emphasis on breaking down good/bad dichotomies, lifting any limitations or rules that have been imprinted on eating, and letting go of unnecessary emotion surrounding food—specifically, fear, anxiety, self-loathing, judgment. When I was in therapy and working through my ED, my therapist continually pushed me to release my attachment to food. She believed that I wouldn’t be able to experience freedom from the disorder until I could let go of the idea that everything I ate was so meaningful and so important. The work I did with her was valuable, and I’m grateful for it. Today, when I gently counsel clients to let go of the guilt/anxiety that can surround food decisions, and remind them to keep the big picture in mind, I’m channeling that work.

Sometimes, though, the emphasis on breaking attachment to food and razing good/bad thinking can come across as an effort to divest food of meaning. One of the things that a school counselor said to me long ago was that I had to see food as “just food.” I clung to that idea as a defining feature of recovery for a long time—so much so that I even wrote a post with that title, “just food,” early in my blogging days. I was still under the influence of what I had been told about recovery, which was that I had to see food as “fuel.” I was also told that having any “no” foods at all—including those imposed by veganism or vegetarianism—was at odds with recovery, that it would only perpetuate my tendency to invest food with too much importance. From the perspective of someone who works with EDs every day, I understand this position. It’s what works for many people. A good friend once told me that she could never be vegan because she could never again deem any food as off limits or forbidden. Knowing what she’d been through, I empathized completely. But my own story has been very different.

I think that there are a few problems with the idea that recovery resides in never having an off-limits food again. The first is that it feels a little bullying, as if the penance for those of us who used to have EDs is that we surrender the right to ever again exert preferences or harbor strong feelings about what we eat. There is therapeutic importance in leaning into getting over “fear” foods, sure. But I think that people who have had EDs maintain the right to bring active choice to what they eat. In the context of today’s discussion, this may include choices that have an ethical or philosophical origin, like veganism.

I also dislike any suggestion that food should be without meaning or importance, even if it’s offered for the sake of overcoming the anxieties and fears of an ED. For one thing, food isn’t meaningless or without importance. It is profoundly important to all of mankind, because we are creatures with rich inner lives and complex feelings and a tapestry of culture in addition to the fact that we have bodies, and those bodies have nutritional demands. The fact that food is meaningful to us is evidenced in our rich culinary traditions, in the importance we place on gathering at a table and breaking bread, in our rich legacy of cookbooks and recipes. I went on a date once with a man who told me that if there were a fullness pill, he’d take it, because he had a busy life and considered eating to be a strain on his schedule. But such individuals really are few and far between. I challenge most anyone to say that food is just food, or just fuel. And it strikes me as especially unrealistic to think that anyone who has struggled with an ED would be able to make such a claim. For most of us, food is meaningful and important. The question is, can we channel that meaning into positive, healthful, and self-loving directions?

I think the final problem with making unilateral statements about “no” foods is that it fails to take into account the single most important feature (within the context of recovery) of how we eat: motivation. I’ve often said on this blog that one can engage in disordered eating no matter what the diet. It’s true that EDs often hide behind vegan diets, paleo diets, or other specialized diets; of course they do. But if you’re determined to create rules surrounding food, you certainly don’t need to select a special diet in order to accommodate them. I was an anorexic omnivore. The fact that I was ostensibly able to eat anything certainly didn’t stop me from bankrupting my diet. Encouraging a wide array of foods may offer some insurance against disordered habits, but the real issue is always the same: one’s mindset.

If we focus on motivation and mindset rather than labels, we can actually create a nuanced and authentic dialog about our food choices. Once again, I’ll refer to my own experience. There is a world of difference between my feelings about animal foods today and the fears that characterized my food choices in the past. The primary distinction is that I choose not to eat animals for ethical reasons, and not because I think that they’re “bad” for me, or because I think they’ll make me gain weight. Put differently, veganism feels like a moral imperative to me at this point.

I also do everything I can to resist letting fear guide my food choices. I often talk to my clients about fear-based nutrition versus evidence-based nutrition; the former encourages strict rules and guilt, while the latter tends to encourage common sense, balanced eating habits, and moderation. Fear-based thinking ruled my world for a long time, and for me, recovery means refusing to allow fear to guide my choices. I don’t avoid foods because they are too caloric, too high in fat, too rich in carbs, too sugary, etc. I also don’t forbid foods on the grounds that they are “unhealthy,” because a fundamental feature of my present-day health philosophy is an emphasis on the big picture. Of course certain food choices can cause health imbalances over time—I’m not suggesting that diet isn’t a contributor to health. But for the most part, no single food encounter is life-or-death.

Finally, I acknowledge that true nourishment is not just about the nutritional quality of what we eat. A slice of gooey vegan cake, a warm latte with sugar dusted on top, a plate of chickpea fries, hot from the fryer: these foods can nourish us in ways that go beyond the minutiae of micronutrients or protein. They can be comforting. They can constitute a complex sensory experience. They can be fun. They can be communal. The health benefits of food are firmly rooted in the experiences they afford us, as well as in their nutritional offerings.


 Image courtesy of Allyson Kramer

Of course, it’s possible to claim that one is avoiding a food on ethical or conscientious grounds (for example, choosing to boycott a particular food producer because one doesn’t believe in its business practices), when in fact one is appeasing the fear-based thinking. It’s also possible to mask ED tendencies behind the veil of being a “picky” eater. But I still don’t think that we should make all types of dietary discernment off limits for people in recovery. In so doing, I think we might actually block off approaches to food that, however unorthodox, could prove to be beneficial.

For one thing, it can be deeply healing for a person who has had an ED to be given permission to eat in alignment with his or her values. Allowing compassion for animals to guide my food choices has compelled me to embrace food so much more profoundly than I ever did before. Becoming more sensitively attuned to the ethical issues that surround food production has helped me to shift my focus away from the fear-based thinking; it actually exposes the irrationality and insignificance of calorie obsession and/or orthorexia. Additionally, eating a wide variety of nourishing foods that appeal to me (as opposed to animal flesh, which never did) has helped me to forge a more harmonious relationship with my food. It does not surprise me at all that my only lasting recovery has been as a vegan. And these are experiences that have been echoed again and again and again by the men and women who have submitted Green Recovery stories.

Earlier this year, I reflected in some detail on my own ED history. I mentioned that, in the very early days of my veganism, it’s hard for me to say whether or not my motivations had to do with preserving a sense of safety. At the time, it didn’t feel this way, because veganism encouraged me to eat so many foods that I’d have never allowed myself in the past, from rice to tofu to big, creamy slabs of avocado and gobs of nut butter. But I can’t say for sure whether or not the lifestyle did allow me to preserve some sense of control—the impulse we associate with disordered thinking. I remember feeling, as I transitioned to veganism, a very new and special sense that the food I was eating all had value. Part of this was a response to eating whole foods, things that I knew had grown from the earth. They felt more pleasurable to me than the conventional foods I’d tried so hard to force myself to enjoy in past recoveries, as a part of my effort to “prove” that I was better. Part of it was a sense that veganism—though I didn’t yet identify as an ethical vegan—was intertwined with broader issues of social justice and environmental awareness.

You could certainly look at this—the identification of plant foods as natural and wholesome, anyway—as an attempt to appease the ED quest for purity and superiority. Not long after this period, though, I did genuinely descend into a bout of orthorexia, and it was nothing like my early vegan days. I know this, because it was actually the memory of my first year as a vegan that pulled me back from my foray into the extremism of “detoxing.” I looked back on my early vegan days and remembered how positive and constructive the act of eating had felt. I remembered taking pride in the nutritional richness of the foods I ate. I remembered feeling as though I was using food to nourish myself, rather than allowing it to be an outlet for self-control.

Today, I don’t need to attach quite so much unilateral positivity to everything I eat. Foods don’t have to feel wholly beneficial in order for me to enjoy them, and in many ways this is a mark of my personal growth, my increased detachment from the ED. But back in the days when recovery felt so fragile and so new, veganism gave me a context in which to shift my thinking about food. What was previously frightening and guilty became beneficial and meaningful. I believe that this is what I needed in order to get better: I needed to reframe my understanding of what food was and how it could make me feel. Veganism allowed me to do that. And that’s why it’s impossible for me to believe that veganism is, ipso facto, at odds with recovery. I don’t think I would or could have recovered with out it.


Veganism isn’t a positive or a beneficial choice for everyone in recovery–especially those for whom the recovery process is very new. You’d be surprised at how often I find myself gently encouraging clients not to commit to vegan diets—not because I don’t want to see everyone go vegan, but because my first responsibility as a nutritionist is to protect clients’ health. If I strongly suspect that the impulse toward veganism is rooted in potentially harmful impulses toward self-control or denial, I think it’s my job to share that suspicion. I’ll respectfully remind my client that veganism isn’t going anywhere, and that he or she has a whole lifetime in which to embrace it heartily and healthily. But committing to veganism for questionable reasons during the tender phases of recovery isn’t likely to benefit the individual or the lifestyle.

And each week, I also encounter men and women who seem to feel—correctly, I think—that veganism is a positive, healing avenue. I don’t think it’s my job to discourage all of those individuals because there are some other individuals who won’t approach veganism that way, who will use it as a way to subvert the ED. This is something that I believe we all need to accept about recovery: different approaches reach different people. Attempting to manage or contain EDs by shutting down every treatment approach that isn’t unilaterally successful will leave us with no approaches at all.

Of course, advocating an approach like veganism puts a great deal of responsibility in the individual who is recovering. It means asking him or her to have open, honest, critical dialogs with the self and with treatment providers about motivations. It means challenging people who do want to maintain a vegan recovery to look deep within themselves, and ask what’s driving their intentions. I think it creates more necessity for therapy, treatment, and support, because it’s easier to analyze one’s motives with the help of an outsider. With the right kind of guidance, though, it’s work that can be done. It’s easy to say that everyone with an ED is so deluded and far gone that they cannot be trusted to ask these difficult questions and make these choices. But frankly, I don’t agree. Many ED sufferers do maintain enough awareness to self-examine, and I think we should work to create a conscious and supportive space in which they can do it.

I certainly didn’t intend to write a novel tonight, but this is a big, complex topic. If you’re still reading, you have my gratitude, and I certainly hope you’ll share your thoughts.


06 Jul 15:09

Release Day! DRGIII's Sacraments of Fire

by Dan Gunther
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III

Ever since the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine continuity was jumped forward around the time of Star Trek: Destiny, DS9 fans have been wondering what happened to the Ascendants storyline? Why is Kira now a Vedek, and how did Ro become captain? And whatever happened with the whole Iliana Ghemor situation?

If the cover of this month's release is any indication, we may be getting the answer to at least one of those questions, as well as a continuation of the story from The Fall: Revelation and Dust! Check out the cover and publisher's description for the all-new Sacraments of Fire by David R. George III, officially released today!

And look for the continuation of this story in Ascendance, coming at the end of the year!

Publisher's description:
Days after the assassination of Federation President Nan Bacco on Deep Space 9, the unexpected appearance of a stranger on the station raises serious concerns. He seems dazed and confused, providing—in a peculiar patois of the Bajoran language—unsatisfactory answers. He offers his identity as Altek, of which there is no apparent record, and he claims not to know where he is or how he got there. A quick scan confirms the visitor is armed with a projectile weapon—a firearm more antiquated than, but similar to, the one that took President Bacco’s life. But the Bajoran liaison to the station believes that Altek has been sent from the Prophets, out of a nearby wormhole. The last time such an event occurred, it was to reassure Benjamin Sisko of his place as the Emissary. For what purpose has Altek now been sent out of the Celestial Temple?

Purchase Deep Space Nine: Sacraments of Fire:

Mass-market paperback: | |
E-book (Kindle): | |

06 Jul 14:48

Downtown Boys – Full Communism

by Jero

Understand, I do not say this carelessly: DOWNTOWN BOYS are unequivocally the most exciting punk act to have surfaced on the east coast of the United States this decade.

This band is fun. This band is terrifying. This band is sincere. This band is edifying. Above all, though, Downtown Boys are attractively political in their nature. Their second album Full Communism is a step up from their eponymous debut released a few years back, primarily in that it offers a more forceful type of polemic against systemic issues that have only started to be actively redressed. In an article I read a few months ago by The Guardian, the author noted that without an “obvious enemy like Ronald Reagan for bands to focus on…politics isn’t something the bands are singing about.” Well, that may be. But in spite of this, Downtown Boys frontwoman/vocalist Victoria Ruiz implores her listeners to understand the pervasiveness of American oppression (especially for women, POC, members of the LGBT community) and the accompanying degree of ignorance it has bred.
In the song “Desde Arriba”, she highlights the productive elements of daily social discourse: “tell me what you know about [freedom] from above…from below” whilst voicing bilingual sentiments of inequity in both Spanish and English. During a remarkable interview between Ruiz and FAN CLUB last year, she outlined the music’s intent pretty fervidly:
“Our bands exist to inspire and motivate us all to confront issues of racism, classism, queer phobia, police brutality, capitalism, and masculinity in our community. All of our songs are in direct response to institutionalized injustices.” – Victoria Ruiz (21st March, 2014)
The songs are categorically “punk”, but beyond this they incorporate elements of 1970s No Wave (including some of the best tenor sax phrases since the Contortions), dance-music and protest folksong. There is even a cover of “Poder Elegir” by the ’80s Chilean synth-rock group, Los Prisioneros, featured as Full Communism‘s closing track. The band’s musical animosity channels a frustration felt by millions across the country, from Providence, RI  (home-base for Downtown Boys) to San Jose, CA. Ruiz moved from the Sunshine State for school in New York, and found herself working as a Public Defender in Rhode Island. But Downtown Boys are a true motley of social-political activists, with co-lyricist, vocalist and guitarist Joey L DeFrancesco fighting for increased unionization and against police brutality. It has been a long year, for both causes – but not long enough.  The opening song, “Wave of History” marks the Downtown Boys conquest for change: “I can’t hear maybes…on the wave of history you can’t look back”, speaks to the cyclical nature of immigration policy (often in the form of endless deportation following temporary work status). The most electrifying track though is “Monstro” – its blend of optimism regarding racial identity in America and lurid xenophobic imagery has become a hallmark for bands like Downtown Boys. Moreover, live performances of the song (which I have had the good fortune of witnessing) are unmatched in rousing a unique air of compassionate frustration amongst show-goers. These moments expose the band for what they really are. Revolutionary.

Fellow comrades of the Downtown Boys, you can find the album for sale at Don Giovanni Records. Alternatively you can listen to it on their bandcamp.

04 Jun 19:12

Paleo Chocolate Tortillas

by Cara

I’m throwing a party over at one of my first blogger friends waaaaay back in the day, Stacy of Paleo Parents. Though our eating styles vastly differed when we first met (I focused mainly on a plant-based, gluten free diet and Stacey being Paleo) I loved how we were able to see through our differences and find the common ground: The fact that we were two women seeking health for our individual bodies, able to appreciate a lifestyle different of our own.  So I thought how appropriate it would be to delight in some Otto’s Cassava flour and make some (egg and nut free!) paleo chocolate tortillas to celebrate!

Lightly sweetened with raw honey these Paleo Chocolate Tortillas make quite the dessert!


I am a bit tortilla-obsessed ever since I created these grain free tortillas with the most delightful flour, perfect for recreating gluten free tortillas that taste like the real thing. Since then I have have made Spinach Tortillas and even “Cool Ranch”-style Tortilla Chips so it was only a matter of time until I made a dessert tortilla. Duh. If you know me, you know I love using chocolate. 
Lightly sweetened with raw honey these Paleo Chocolate Tortillas make quite the dessert!


You can cruise on over to Stacy’s place and check out the recipe here

A useful note to keep in mind when making these tortillas: Use those fingers to blend the dough, making sure that it is neither wet nor dry. It should not stick to the surface (that means it is too wet and you will need to add a little more flour); it should not be brittle looking when you rolling it out either (that means it is too dry and you will need to add a little more water to the mix to get the right consistency). They should not be hard but perfectly pliable. If they aren’t bendable as you remember a gluten tortilla is, that is most likely because 1). You did not roll them out thin enough; or 2). You left them on the pan for too long. 





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The post Paleo Chocolate Tortillas appeared first on Fork and Beans.

05 Mar 13:43

Vegan Book of Permaculture launch at Housmans Bookshop, Kings Cross, London

by admin

VBP Front Cover Web

I’ll be launching The Vegan Book of Permaculture at Housmans Bookshop in Kings Cross on Weds April 22, all are welcome to come along!

‘The Vegan Book of Permaculture’ with Graham Burnett
Wednesday 22nd April, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase

In time for spring, Graham introduces his new book on permaculture, veganism and holistic environmentalism.

How we eat is such a fundamental part of what we are; yet in our present time-poor culture of pre-packed fast foods, food can become an expensive symptom of alienation and disempowerment. It doesn’t have to be this way!

The Vegan Book of Permaculture gives us the tools and confidence to take responsibility for our lives and actions. Creating a good meal, either for ourselves or to share, taking time to prepare fresh, wholesome home or locally grown ingredients with care and respect can be a deeply liberating experience. It is also a way of taking back some control from the advertising agencies and multinational corporations.

In this groundbreaking and original book, Graham demonstrates how understanding universal patterns and principles, and applying these to our own gardens and lives, can make a very real difference to both our personal lives and the health of our planet. This also isn’t so very different from the compassionate concern for ‘Animals, People and Environment’ of the vegan way.

Interspersed with an abundance of delicious, healthy and wholesome exploitation-free recipes, Graham provides solutions-based approaches to nurturing personal effectiveness and health, eco-friendly living, home and garden design, veganic food growing, reafforestation strategies, forest gardening, reconnection with wild nature and community regeneration with plenty of practical ways to be well fed with not an animal dead! This is vegan living at its best.

About The Author

Graham Burnett founded Spiralseed in 2001 and is the author of Permaculture A Beginners Guide and The Vegan Book of Permaculture. He teaches permaculture and works with projects and organisations including Comic Relief, Capital Growth, Bioregional, Naturewise, OrganicLea, Birmingham Decoy, Trust Links, Green Adventure, the Vegan Organic Network, Thrive, Ars Terra (Los Angeles), Ekosense EcoVillage (Croatia) as well as a number of Transition Town initiatives.

As well as cultivating his own garden and allotments, Graham contributes to publications as diverse as Positive News, The Sunday Times, Permaculture Magazine, Permaculture Activist, New Leaves, The Raven, Growing Green, Funky Raw, The Vegan and The Idler.

24 Oct 17:32

FLIER ALERT: 10/26 BLACK MARKET: a Boston area underground & punk & independent culture Flea Market/ Yard Sale/ Art Market / Record Fair/ Zine Fair/ Alternative Craft Fair/ Artisan Market!!!!! @ Cambridge Elks Lodge

by Boston Hassle


flier by Dan Shea


Ignore Rock’n’Roll Heroes & Boston Hassle present…

our FIRST ever Art/Record/Flea/Artisinal Market!!!

FEATURING: records, clothing, hand-made items, art, music, refreshments, live DJs, jewelry, crafts, knick-knacks, ephemera, new, used, vintage, rare, second-hand, unique, limited and hard to find + tons more!!!!!!!!!!

Over 60 local vendors on 2 floors in 3 rooms including:

Painkiller Records, Hubba Hubba, Papercut Zine Library, Boston Compass, Static Frame/ Phoebe BH, High Tension, Lisa Markham, Amy Plante, Holy Calamity Studios, Infinite Scroll, Dave Ortega, Cindy Veasey, FSI collaborations, Death/ Traitors (NYC), Distro 12, Lily Vandi, Twerp Records, PM Press, CK Metalsmith, Failure Recordings, Queen of Swords, Harsh Reality, Framework Label, Houseworking, Give Praise, Patac Records, Ignore Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes, The Satanic Temple, Never Leatherwork, I am Joolien, Disposable America // True Believers Fan Club, Amadeus Mag, The Henna Project, Gentlespersons Gently, Alisa Kharakozova, Bacteria Field, Dripping Dream Vintage, Great Success, Lightning Willow Farm, Creature Den, Santiago Cardenas, Boston Kendama & Anastasia Hard, Kitty Hemp, Skele-Tone Records. Excessive Mortifera, Stimulation Addict Records, Boston Hassle, Bodies of Water arts and crafts, Alison Gordon, Zoard Wells Tyeklar, Private Chronology, Individual Lines, Ayurvedic Tapes, YDLMIER, Pinebox, Hidden Temple Tapes

DJs all day long
$1 entry (gets you automatically entered into a raffle for tons of prizes + FREE STUFF offered up by local businesses/ record labels ETC).

@Cambridge Elks Lodge // 11am – 5pm // All Ages
BAR will be OPEN for 21+

The post FLIER ALERT: 10/26 BLACK MARKET: a Boston area underground & punk & independent culture Flea Market/ Yard Sale/ Art Market / Record Fair/ Zine Fair/ Alternative Craft Fair/ Artisan Market!!!!! @ Cambridge Elks Lodge appeared first on The Boston Hassle.

18 Oct 16:16

FLIER ALERT: 10/26 BLACK MARKET: a Boston area underground & punk & independent culture Flea Market/ Yard Sale/ Art Market / Record Fair/ Zine Fair/ Alternative Craft Fair/ Artisan Market!!!!! @ Cambridge Elks Lodge

by Dan Shea

flier by Jen McMahon


our FIRST ever Art/Record/Flea/Artisinal Market!!! BAR will be OPEN for 21+.

FEATURING: records, clothing, hand-made items, art, music, refreshments, live DJs, jewelry, crafts, knick-knacks, ephemera, new, used, vintage, rare, second-hand, unique, limited and hard to find + tons more!!!!!!!!!!

Over 60 local vendors on 2 floors in 3 rooms including:

Painkiller Records, Hubba Hubba, Papercut Zine Library, Boston Compass, Static Frame/ Phoebe BH, High Tension, Lisa Markham, Amy Plante, Holy Calamity Studios, Infinite Scroll, Dave Ortega, Cindy Veasey, FSI collaborations, Death/ Traitors (NYC), Distro 12, Lily Vandi, Twerp Records, PM Press, CK Metalsmith, Failure Recordings, Queen of Swords, Harsh Reality, Framework Label, Houseworking, Give Praise, Patac Records, Ignore Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes, The Satanic Temple, Never Leatherwork, I am Joolien, Disposable America // True Believers Fan Club, Amadeus Mag, The Henna Project, Gentlespersons Gently, Alisa Kharakozova, Bacteria Field, Dripping Dream Vintage, Great Success, Lightning Willow Farm, Creature Den, Santiago Cardenas, Boston Kendama & Anastasia Hard, Kitty Hemp, Skele-Tone Records. Excessive Mortifera, Stimulation Addict Records, Boston Hassle, Bodies of Water arts and crafts, Alison Gordon, Zoard Wells Tyeklar, Private Chronology, Individual Lines, Ayurvedic Tapes, YDLMIER

DJs all day long
$1 entry (gets you automatically entered into a raffle for tons of prizes + FREE STUFF offered up by local businesses/ record labels ETC).

@Cambridge Elks Lodge // 11am – 5pm // All Ages
BAR will be OPEN for 21+



The post FLIER ALERT: 10/26 BLACK MARKET: a Boston area underground & punk & independent culture Flea Market/ Yard Sale/ Art Market / Record Fair/ Zine Fair/ Alternative Craft Fair/ Artisan Market!!!!! @ Cambridge Elks Lodge appeared first on The Boston Hassle.

29 Sep 18:30

Join Us For Fall Colours Week!

by Jan Halvarson

The leaves are starting to change colour this week and we've noticed some beautiful colours also in some of our Eastern friend's instagrams (thanks to Margie of Resurrection Fern for letting us share the above); so we thought with the change of the season, it was a perfect time to host our 5th Annual Fall Colours Week (September 29th - October 03rd/14) and just like last year we're taking it all to instagram.  If you would like to join in, use the tag #poppytalkfallcolours and this year we'll be posting a few of our faves from the feed on our instagram ( alongside our blog.  Here's the colour line-up!

Sep. 29/14 - Monday - Golden
Sep. 30/14 - Tuesday - Red
Oct. 01/14 - Wednesday - Brown
Oct. 02/14 - Thursday  - Grey
Oct. 03/14 - Friday  - Blue 

Please note: Be sure to wait till 6pm Pacific time the night prior to start posting the next day's colour! (And please no product pictures).   Come join us, it'll be fun!!
Copyright 2005 - 2013 Poppytalk. All Rights Reserved
21 May 18:03

#TrekNJ Photos are up

by Orpheus
15 May 19:17


by Boston Hassle

Little is publicly available about Boston’s notorious gay bar, Ramrod. Being involved with organizing events there for the past two years I have done a fair amount of research via the internet and speaking with the more oldschool staff. Whether a result of the increasingly less affordable neighborhood, city officials dictating what are acceptable lifestyles for grown adults, or the changing gay bar scene in general, rest easy, it is no longer the “scary” bustling leather bar it once was. I was told in the beginning I was the only outside promoter that still referred to the club as “Ramrod”. Others opting for the more palatable, Machine, as “Ramrod” apparently scares off straight men, women and the more timid of the queer community. But I assure you, this space is open to all willing to shake off that stigma. Punk Night (Tuesdays) and other events bring out an eclectic crowd. Punks, Skins, Cross Dressers, Hardcores, Metalheads, Goths/etc of all ages(21+), cliques, and neighborhoods. Through Ramrod we have provided an after-party spot for bands ranging from Japan’s ZYANOSE to ALKALINE TRIO. We’ve hosted gigs for touring acts like Sweden’s INFERNOH and BOOM BOOM KID from Argentina, as well as from Boston’s diverse local scene. Whether it’s the LIFE IS POSERS release party, the IGNOREROCK’N’ROLLHEROES record fair, or your friend’s first time DJing as a guest at Boston’s only weekly Punk DJ night, there really is something for all facets of Punk culture and other fringe/outsider communities. If Punk and its related sub-genres isn’t your thing – come out on Thursdays for free Karaoke!

The post PLACES YOU COULD HANG: RAMROD/MACHINE BOSTON appeared first on The Boston Hassle.

09 May 13:23

Apple-"Bacon"-Maple English Muffin Grilled Cheese {vegan + gf}

by Kathy
Grab a plate and serve up these Vegan Apple-Bacon-Maple English Muffin Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. The silky-savory vegan provolone cheese melts over top crispy-sweet apple and smoky, savory tempeh bacon. Green sprouts or micro greens add some lovely freshness. A hint of maple too! All toasty warm on a gluten free English muffin. Oh happy day. Get the easy-peasy recipe + a food for thought chat on strengthening yourself from the inside out!..Read more »

This is a summary, images and full post available on HHL website!
06 May 14:06

Samus Sings: Talking to Maddy Myers about Peace in Space

by Samantha Allen
A blond woman standing in front of a microphone playing the keytar.

Maddy Myers, assistant editor of Paste Games and singer-songwriter for The Robot Knights

“Let’s Players” record themselves talking while they play games; Maddy Myers of Paste Games prefers to sing. Last month, she released her first solo project Peace in Space, a three-song EP written and sung from the perspective of Samus Aran in Super Metroid. As Myers puts it, the EP is “fan fiction set to music.”

I checked in with Myers shortly before the release of Peace in Space to learn more about the inspiration behind her “Metroid musical” and to ask her what it was like to write from the perspective of one of gaming’s most famous female protagonists.

Peace in Space, I learned, has had a long incubation period. Although Myers recorded the songs fairly recently, she first wrote them three years ago. Returning to them now, she says, is like “uncovering the artifacts of my old life.” The fact that Myers compares this process to Samus scanning artifacts in a Metroid game is indicative of Myers’ deep identification with the character.

The “old life,” for Myers, is a time defined by solitude. Three years ago, Myers was living alone for the first time: no family, friends, or roommates. It was during this time that she was first introduced to the Metroid series. She first played the Metroid Prime games before seeking out and completing every other game in the series.

In Super Metroid, Myers found a female hero who “lives alone and works alone.” Peace in Space, Myers says, is “what I felt while I was playing,” a direct translation of Myers’ experience of the game into song. But, because her experience of the Metroid series is inextricably bound up in her experience of striking out on her own, Peace in Space is also a deeply personal album.

“It’s theoretically about Metroid,” Myers says. “But it’s also egotistically about me, about my life, about reevaluating it. Samus is the metaphor that I held onto during that process.”

During this pensive time in Myers’ life, she filled in the space left by Samus’ silence with a combination of Metroid “head canon”and her own feelings about living alone.

“If you spend too much time by yourself, you start to lose your mind,” Myers observes. “You have to go through patterns to remind yourself that you’re still alive.”

The songs in the Peace in Space EP each repeat these patterns in different ways. The opening number, “Varia” slowly builds from a contemplative mood to a determined one as Samus discovers the tools that the Chozo have left behind to help her complete her mission.

“It’s like going back to your old bedroom,” she says, “and finding something that you’re really touched by.”

“Varia” follows Samus as she suits up and defeats her enemies. She sings: “I’m getting stronger every second / And I’m going to survive / I’m gonna wade into liquid fire and come out alive.” “Varia,” Myers summarizes, is about Samus’ mission but it’s also about “finding and rebuilding yourself.”

The cover art for Peace in Space.

The cover of Peace in Space.

The second song, “Ridley’s Theme,” finds Myers breaking from traditional conceptualizations of Samus as a wounded woman who will never be able to overcome her childhood trauma.

“I wanted to make her human without making her irreperably damaged,” Myers explains. “I’ve always had a problem with the idea that Samus is extremely psychologically damaged from this trauma and she’ll never get over it. There’s probably a good way to write her tragedy, but maybe a woman should write it.”

“Ridley’s Theme” presents a strong, confident Samus unfazed by her past. The defiant tone of the song, Myers notes, is an intentional counterpoint to the sexist way in which most narrative media depict psychological trauma as an insurmountable obstacle for women. Metroid: Other M controversially indulged in this bad habit, presenting the player with a weaker, more vulnerable Samus. But Myers’ Samus is ready for Ridley.

“I knew you would find me,” she sings. “And now I will waste you.”

“Meditation,” the third and final song on the EP, is the heart of Peace in Space. The song features the lyric, “Everything is gonna be okay,” sung over and over again.

“This is the sort of thing that Samus would have to tell herself all the time,” Myers explains.

But “Meditation,” like “Ridley’s Theme” respectfully toes the line between self-doubt and complete breakdown. Samus gives voice to her fears (“What if I’m caught off guard, and I’m not prepared after all?”) but ultimately overcomes them in a quiet moment of self-assured triumph (“I am always my own hero”).

For Myers, “Meditation” is about accepting your weaknesses without losing sight of your strengths. The Samus of “Meditation” expresses trepidation but knows that she “actually has to do something in her moment of truth.” Samus, like Myers, finds a hero in herself during a difficult moment.

“In Super Metroid,” Myers recalls, “Samus is just investigating the situation independently. It’s all about her own journey. She’s doing it because she wants to know what’s going to happen. It’s her own life. And that really intrigues me: people doing things for their own benefit and thinking, ‘I’m worth it.’”

As a whole, Peace in Space serves as a brief but ambitious exploration of loneliness, determination and self-worth told through the lens of Super Metroid. Over the course of three songs, Myers constructs a compelling version of Samus: a solitary woman who intimately knows both her limits and her capabilities.

But Myers is not content with the songs in the EP alone. In the future, she would like to expand the project to include songs performed by other characters: Mother Brain, Ridley, perhaps even a baby Metroid. Although her dream of a stage play might be impossible to license, Myers still envisions a Metroid musical concept album in her future. Like Samus, she has some work left to do.

Peace in Space is available for download for $3 USD on Maddy Myers’ Bandcamp.
06 May 14:05

I was on Literary Treks again! Mission Gamma, Book 1: Twilight

by Dan Gunther
Once again, invited me onto their Literary Treks podcast, this time to discuss Mission Gamma: Book One: Twilight by David R. George III. And this time, the audio on my end is much better!

Click below to check it out!

Click to be taken to the show page for episode 59 of Literary Treks!

Links to other formats:

Downcast and Instacast: Search for "Literary Treks"
RSS Feed

I previously reviewed this novel on Trek Lit Reviews. Click here to be taken to that review!
29 Apr 13:53

Curious about Support Boston?

by kimberly

Or just wanna hang out with some of the SB/Smash it Dead Collective and watch a movie/eat a bunch of food?

Sunday, April 27, Support Boston will host a potluck/movie/info-sesh at Trouble Ahead. 

Support Boston is a group that formed a couple years ago to address issues surrounding sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and other fucked up power dynamics present in the DIY/punk/hardcore scene in Boston.

We’d love to tell you all more about our group, what we’ve been doing and reading, and how we believe we can best support the survivors in our lives. Really, any questions you have (or ideas and insight you would like to share) is super encouraged! 

This is a vegan pot-luck, but everyone in the collective will be cooking, so no pressure if you just wanna bring some chips.

The movie we are showing is Josie and the Pussycats.

08 Apr 15:25

8 Million Petals Over Costa Rica

by Jan Halvarson

Watch what happens when you put 8 million flower petals into a volcano. The result is truly amazing! Although this is a marketing campaign for Sony’s new 4k TV, we couldn't resist sharing for inspirational purposes! Sony partnered with ad agency McCann and photographer Nick Meek to create this magnificent scene (no CGI used). Apparently it took their people two weeks to collect the these beautiful and vibrant-coloured flower petals and leaves. Check out the images below and video at the end! Via Design Boom and Lost at E Minor.

And check out the "behind-the-scenes" video:

Copyright 2005 - 2013 Poppytalk. All Rights Reserved
08 Apr 15:22

PDX Worldwide Vegan Bakesale Coming Soon

by (Kittee Bee Berns)

I'm happy to be involved again this year in one of PDX's Worldwide Vegan Bakesales. 

Our sale will be:
Sunday, May 4th 10AM-3PM
Mississippi Marketplace 
(near the Homegrown Smoker and Native Bowl carts at N. Mississippi and N. Skidmore).

More info on our fancy new website, and our Facebook event page. Signup sheet to help bake is here.

I'm really excited about our two beneficiaries this year: Chimpanzee Sanctuary NW, and Russia Freedom Fund

CSNW was founded in 2003 to provide sanctuary for chimpanzees discarded from the entertainment and biomedical testing industries. It has 26 acres and is one of the only US sanctuaries to care for chimps.

Russia Freedom Fund is a U.S. tax deductible vehicle for making financial contributions in support of the LGBT movement in Russia and efforts to combat discrimination and violence there based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This initiative responds to growing concerns about recent state-sponsored discrimination in Russia and expresses solidarity between the international LGBT community and allies, and the Russian LGBT movement.

We can use all sorts of help, but bakers are especially needed. If you can donate kitchen time, this link will direct you to a Google doc signup sheet for more info and specifics.

The last two years running we have brought in about $2400 dollars, and it would be so freakin' cool if we could break $2500 this year. This will only happen if we can get more folks to help us bake (click here for our signup sheet!!). We usually sell out of everything before 3PM. The more we have to sell the more we can donate.

Thanks! Please feel free to print out the PDF linked above (just click on the picture of the flyer) to share around town and with your friends.

05 Apr 15:04

New cover time! TNG: The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang

by Dan Gunther
We have another new cover to unveil today! This time, we take a look at this summer's new TNG book, The Light Fantastic by Jeffrey Lang. Check out the cover below! Then, read the "back-cover blurb" and click the links to pre-order the novel from Amazon. If you do, you'll be helping out Trek Lit Reviews, and we really appreciate it!

He was perhaps the ultimate human achievement: a sentient artificial life-form—self-aware, self-determining, possessing a mind and a body far surpassing that of his makers, and imbued with the potential to evolve beyond the scope of his programming. 
And then Data was destroyed. 
Four years later, Data’s creator, Noonien Soong, sacrificed his life and resurrected his android son, who in turn revived the positronic brain of his own artificial daughter, Lal. Having resigned his commission, the former Starfleet officer now works to make his way on an alien world, while also coming to grips with the very human notion of wanting versus having a child. 
But complicating Data’s new life is an unexpected nemesis from years ago on the U.S.S. Enterprise—the holographic master criminal Professor James Moriarty. Long believed to be imprisoned in a memory solid, Moriarty has created a siphon into the "real" world as a being of light and thought. Moriarty wants the solid form that he was once told he could never have, and seeks to manipulate Data into finding another android body for him to permanently inhabit . . . even if it means that is Data himself. 
Returning to the story begun in the novel Immortal Coil and continuing in the bestselling Cold Equations trilogy, this is the next fascinating chapter in the artificial life of one of Star Trek’s most enduring characters.

Pre-order The Light Fantastic from Amazon using the links below!

02 Apr 14:35

Cover Art and Blurb for DS9: The Missing

by Dan Gunther
Happy April! We have some interesting book news. First up is the artwork and back cover blurb for Deep Space Nine: The Missing by Una McCormack. The release date for this one is December 30th, so we have awhile to wait! However, Doug Drexler recently revealed the artwork that is going to be used on the cover on his Facebook page. Take a look!

Deep Space 9 is once again becoming an important way station in the Alpha Quadrant for many different people with many different agendas. Uniquely crewed by representatives of different species from both the Khitomer Powers and the Typhon Pact, the Federation science and exploration vessel Athene Donald stops at the station as its final port of call before heading into uncharted territories. The whole project is the brainchild of Dr. Katherine Pulaski, who hopes that science will do what diplomacy alone cannot, and help various powers put aside the tensions of recent years, returning to scientific research and the exploration of space On DS9, base commander Ro Laren has her hands full with the sudden arrival of a ragtag flotilla of small ships crewed by a group calling themselves the People of the Open Sky. Ro is not keen on handling this first-contact duty, but becomes increasingly intrigued by the People, who are made up of several hitherto unknown species. Describing themselves as explorers, they are interested in everything about the station. Ro begins to enjoy her assignment, particularly as she takes counsel from the logs of Jean-Luc Picard. Blackmer, however, is more suspicious about these apparently friendly arrivals and monitors their movements around DS9...
Sounds pretty interesting! You can pre-order The Missing from Amazon using the links below!

28 Mar 14:46

True Life: I Want to Be an Obscure Pageant Queen is now available to watch online!

by Adrienne

Adrienne Orpheus in True Life: I Want to be an Obscure Pageant Queen on MTV

If you missed it on MTV, my episode of True Life is now available to watch on the MTV True Life website here for your viewing pleasure!

love and light –

28 Mar 14:45

Readings and Potluck Saturday Morning~11am!

by kimberly

We are very excited to add a new type of performance to our yearly fest: two very special zine/book readings by Imogen Binnie and Christy Road! Please be sure to arrive early (with your vegan pancakes and tofu scramble in hand…) to check them out. :)

Christy is a Cuban-American writer, visual artist, and member of the band the Homewreckers (also playing SATURDAY afternoon!). Her zine, Greenzine began in 1997. Since then, she has also released Indestructible, Bad Habits, and Spit and Passion — all of which blend her artwork with personal stories of growing up “in the closet,” healing from an abusive relationship, and more. In addition to creating these works, Christy also leads discussions and zine workshops in various places. You can see more of her artwork on her website:

Imogen is a trans woman who plays in the band Correspondences (playing SUNDAY at the fest!) writes about her experiences and ideas in books, zines, and a monthly column in Maximum Rock n Roll. Her zines include The Fact That It’s Funny Doesn’t Make It A Joke and Stereotype Threat, and she has also had stories published in various anthologies. You can read more of her writing on her blog:

21 Mar 13:19

Spider Bomb (Alien Bug)

by Tim


Made for Flappy Jam, inspired by everyone’s favorite space hunter. – [Author's description]

[Play Online]

08 Mar 14:39

Mini Chocolate Cream Pies with Whipped Vanilla Cream Topping

by (Addicted to Veggies)
It’s a little odd, trying to break the ice after being absent for so long, but here goes...

Some of you might be wondering why I took such a long break from AtV, and because I've connected with many of you I feel a certain obligation to share.
The last two years have been full of many things. Most of them were just normal life lessons -- the kind of stuff that shakes you up and gives you new perspective. In the midst of the change taking place all around me I fell completely out of touch with myself, and fell very deeply into a depressed place. I stopped taking care of ME in just about every single way. Some of you might know that I had to say goodbye to my sweet little Elmer in September of last year – it was at that point when I reached the apex of my depression. It took a while for me to regain my footing from the enormous loss (I’m still healing), but one very important thing I experienced was the power of resilience. 
My husband told me recently that it’s important to put yourself in scary and uncomfortable situations that force you to grown and learn. I looked at him in awe (he’s really very wonderful), and realized how complacent I've let myself become. 
So here I am today, in this new place with lots of rebuilding to do -- and that's where the gift of resiliency comes in. I completely lost track of how much I needed AtV, for ME. When I started writing recipes in 2009 it was out of a desperate place to learn about my body, and what it truly needed to be well. I never imagined that I’d find myself right back where I started, five years later, re-learning it all over again.

I can’t tell you what to expect over the coming days/months/years with Addicted to Veggies, but I can assure you I’ll be making myself, Sarahfaé, a priority again.  And I'll most likely have some things to share during the process.

Now how about a new recipe?
This one literally came to me in a dream last week, and since I’m trying to listen to life’s subtle hints more these days, I took to the kitchen that very morning and went for it.

Mini Chocolate Cream Pies

Yields 12 cupcake sized mini pies, or one large 9’’ cream pie

Important Recipe Notes

I recommend making everything in order of the recipe because it streamlines the entire process. The Vanilla Cream is optional, and a little difficult to taste over the chocolate, but it adds a lovely look to the mini pies.

Beforehand Prep:
  •  Make 1 batch of AtV Sour Cream
  • Soak 2 cup of Cashews in warm water for 2 hours and then drained
Step 1.

Pie Crust

  • 3/4 c Almond Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Crystals
  • 1/2tsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 to 3 pinches Salt
  •  2 Tbsp Water

1.       Mix together all of your dry ingredients
2.       Mix 1 Tbsp water into your dry ingredients, adding in the second Tbsp slowly until your ingredients stick together but are still slightly crumbly
3.       Sandwich your crust in between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until crust is very thin – roughly 1/8’’
4.       Using a 2’’ round cookie cutter or a small glass (see photos), leave your crust sandwiched between the parchment paper and press down to cut out your mini pie crusts.
5.       Once all of your mini crusts have been cut choose from one of the following Raw Vegan Warming Methods and dry them for 1 hour.
6.       Move on to making your chocolate cream!

Step 2.

Chocolate Cream


  • 1 c Soaked Cashews
  • 1 c Dry Cashews
  • 1 C AtV Sour Cream
  • 3 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/3 c Grade B Maple Syrup //or// liquid sweetener of your choice, to taste
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 3 T Melted Cacao Butter

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor and puree together for 5 to 6 minutes, until you have a thick and super creamy texture.
High Speed Blender: Puree everything together on high for 1 to 2 minutes

Step 3.

Vanilla Whipped Cream


  • 1 c soaked Cashews
  • 1/2c dry Cashews
  • 1/2c AtV Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 Vanilla Bean pod – scraped
  • 1/4c Grade B Maple Syrup //or// liquid sweetener of your choice, to taste
  • 2 pinches Salt

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor and puree together for 5 to 6 minutes, until you have a thick and super creamy texture.
High Speed Blender: Puree everything together on high for 1 to 2 minutes

Final Step:

Note: I did not use cupcake liners for this but you can use them if you’d like to.

1.       Place your mini pie crusts into the bottom of a cupcake tin
2.       Using a small cookie scooper, portion 2 generous scoops into each cupcake tin
3.       Place Chocolate Cream pies into the freezer for 1 hour – they will firm slightly, and receive the vanilla whipped cream easier this way.
4.       After your cream pies have been in the freezer for 1 hour, remove them and pipe the Vanilla Whipped Cream on top of the pies however which way you prefer! I’m sure they’ll look better than mine – I’m horrible with a piping bag.
5.       After applying the Vanilla Whipped Cream, place pies back into the freezer for another 1 to 2 hours so than can finish setting.
6.       Remove pies from freezer. If you made them as I did (without a cupcake liner) let them sit out on the counter for 15 minutes before removing them from the cupcake tin.
7.       Using a butter knife, gently pop the mini cream pies out from the tin.
8.       Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve!
Into the freezer for an hour before adding the Vanilla Whipped Cream

These little pies are so decadent and intense, if you don’t have a natural sweet tooth like me I recommend cutting them in fourths and serving them as party treats. But you could also have one for breakfast like I did this morning.

Thank you so much for reading and eating! 

01 Mar 15:29

Sugar-Free Chocolate Ganache Strawberries

by Beth

chocolate ganache strawberriesI mentioned in my last post how inspired I was by Chef Fran, whose book Vegan Chocolate dazzled and delighted me once I got the chance to fully peruse its pages upon my return from New York. I was mesmerized, particularly, but the beautiful photo of chocolate ganache, which was just simply a big bowl of glorious, shiny, deep and rich chocolate. No need to get fancy, there. A bowl of chocolate sauce was enough to pique my curiosity and had me testing things in the kitchen very shortly after my return, as tired as I was feeling… Did I mention that I do not do well on less than 8 hours of sleep?

Anyways, I headed to Whole Foods to see if I could find an unsweetened Bakers Chocolate so that I could start testing recipes for a low-sugar ganache using alternative sweeteners. But once I got to Whole Foods, I found something better: vegan chocolate chips sweetened with…



That’s right, a sugar-free, vegan and certified gluten-free chocolate chip is now available commercially! Finally, someone picked up on the fact that there was a dire need for a product that fit these multiple dietary criteria. Lily’ Dark Chocolate Baking Chips do not disappoint. Big side note: keep reading labels, as most of the Lily’s bars — as opposed to chips — I found are not vegan and contain milk fat. 

Ironically, I fear that Chef Fran would not approve of these chips. She does not like stevia because it’s heavily processed and she can taste its bitterness. But if you have a less refined palate like mine — and are looking for lower-sugar alternative due to past struggles with candida after years of being on antibiotics for Lyme disease — then these chips should be a suitable alternative to sugar-filled sweets!

sugar-free chocolate ganache strawberries

Chef Fran also likes her chocolate to have a higher cocoa percentage, and I do, too, normally. But I kinda liked how these strawberries ended up being reminiscent of a milder milk chocolate, as it may help bridge the gap for chocolate lovers and non-lovers alike.

There are many wonderful things about these strawberries. First of all, they are simple to make, as there is no baking involved. Additionally, you’re getting a low-sugar and lower-calorie sweet that’s naturally portion controlled. One chocolate strawberry might satisfy a sweet tooth, while keeping the added carbs, sugar or fat to a minimum. Plus, strawberries are a naturally low-sugar fruit, keeping them within the confines of many anti-candida diets (including the one my doctor put me on several years ago…from which I’ve admittedly strayed).

I hope you enjoy these sweet little treats. Ideally, while the ganache holds up pretty well after it has set, I would recommend storing these in the refrigerator until ready to serve or eat. Because of the moisture content of the strawberries, chocolate is more prone to melting on these than, say, a cookie.

Thank you, Chef Fran, for your beautiful book, and for inspiring these sugar-free yummies (I’ll pretend I didn’t hear your expressed dislike for stevia…)

Chocolate Ganache Strawberries:

Chocolate sauce makes enough to cover a pint of strawberries, plus a little left over for fun


One pint (preferably organic) strawberries, washed and laid flat to dry completely; keep stems on

3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 cup Lily’s Dark Chocolate Baking Chips

7 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or other nuts (optional)


1. Heat soy milk over low to medium heat in a small saucepan for about 5 minutes, or until warm but NOT boiling.

2. Add chocolate chips to a medium-sized heat-proof bowl. Once soy milk is warmed, pour into bowl with chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted. Add stevia drops and continue to stir until combined. Do not whisk or stir too vigorously, but make sure that everything is smooth and combined.

3. Let sauce sit for about 15 minutes. Test with one strawberry by dipping. Sauce should stay on strawberry with minimal dripping. Keep dipping to cover each strawberry about 3/4 with some red flesh still showing at top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, or lightly roll strawberry over a shallow plate of chopped nuts. Lay flat on parchment paper. Continue with remaining strawberries.

4. Refrigerate Strawberries until chocolate has set, about 15-20 minutes. Can refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

26 Feb 19:45

Interrupting Play: Queer Games & Futurity

by merritt


I ran this workshop at the NYU Game Center in February 2014 as a part of their Personal Best series in Feminist Game Design. My goal was to build on work done by others outside of digital games (in analog play, art, queer studies, etc.) to indicate some possible directions for future-oriented queer digital play. I drew heavily on José Esteban Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia — though I think the connection between play and queer utopias is one that needs further elaborating. I am also indebted to Avery McDaldno and Joli St. Patrick, whose 2013 QGCon talk on moving beyond representation as the metric of queerness in games essentially sparked this entire workshop. Thank you so much to everyone who came out — the energy and ideas you generated were truly powerful. Many thanks also to Toni Pizza, Gwynna Forgham-Thrift, Winnie Song (who designed the most gorgeous event poster I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing my name on) and everyone else at the NYU Game Center who helped put this event together.


I saw the new Hunger Games movie the other day and, honestly, I was bored. For anyone who isn’t familiar with it, the series describes a utopia in which a decadent and urban capital exploits a number of outlying districts, forcing their children to participate in annual bloodsports as a means of keeping them demoralized. The books and movies participate in all kinds of well-trod ideas about dystopia and futurity. The oppressive capital is coded as feminine, urban, excessive, and queer. The hero of the story, Katniss Everdeen, represents a kind of masculine heterosexuality that inevitably triumphs, restoring rural authenticity and the rightful place of the family. That Katniss is a woman makes some difference, but not much – this is still a story I’ve heard a million times before.

And you know what? I’m bored of dystopia.

I recently heard someone describe dystopia as a genre where the contemporary daily, real experiences of oppression are finally visited on white people, and I think there’s a lot of truth to this. More broadly, dystopia as a genre often seems to lack any real future-oriented political imagination. Dystopias are reactionary projections that don’t do anything for us in the here and now. In many ways, imagining dystopia is a safer activity than imagining utopia – the latter involves projecting our hopes, desires, and fantasies, rather than simply our fears.

Maybe even moreso than film, games are lousy with dystopias. Maybe it’s because our design is still so focused around violent physical conflict, and these settings provide convenient backdrops. Maybe it’s because moreso than other media, the people making games are overwhelmingly white men. Regardless of the reason, I’m tired of it. I want to start thinking about play and utopias. But not just any kind: queer play and queer utopias.

Queer Escapes

So let’s talk about queer play. The phrase “queer games” was thrown around a lot in late 2012 and early 2013. Like most of these kinds of groupings, it’s an artificial and kind of shaky term, but the games most often named as part of it are well-known: dys4ia, Mainichi, Howling Dogs, and so forth. These and other works are what got me into making videogames – they convinced me that digital play could be used to tell distinctly queer stories.

But since then, I’ve noticed a pattern. Many of these works have received critical acclaim within games circles – even as they’ve been simultaneously vilified and discounted as non-games. But outside of these communities – outside of people already invested in videogames for one reason or another – there’s relatively little knowledge or interest in them.

How many times have I told another queer about a powerful game about oppression or struggle only to hear them reply “I don’t really play those kinds of games… I play games to escape” — if they play games at all. As someone working in the medium, this is obviously a tremendously frustrating thing to hear. At the same time, I’m interested in creating games for other queers and not as a kind of empathy tourism for straight people. So simply ignoring these comments is not an option for me. Instead, I think we have to theorize the notion of games as queer escapes.

Muñoz conceptualized queer escapes in his text Cruising Utopia. The book’s project is a reclamation of utopianism through art in the face of an academic queer context that seems relentlessly present-focused and critical. For Muñoz, contemporary queer studies and mainstream queer politics are both insufficient for queer political struggles because they are ultimately “antisocial” models which fail to imagine radically different futures. Mainstream queer political movements are too short-sighted, focused on assimilationist goals like marriage and military inclusion, a far cry from their more radical origins. And contemporary queer studies seems to be heavily invested in a “romance of negativity”, focusing on present and ceding the future as the privileged domain of heterosexual reproduction.

Of course, there are a number of reasons for these moves. At the most basic level, there is a kind of appeal to pragmatism that insists that we attend to the here and now without being distracted by dreams of what might be. But Muñoz argues that that in a context in which our lives are restrictively structured by systems of power, it is not enough for art to dwell on present pain. We need work that goes beyond representing struggle to imagining otherwise; painting pictures of what might be and in doing so, implicitly critiquing the here and now.

For Muñoz, the stark line we sometimes draw between escapism and radical politics is illusory. He argues that escape “need not be a surrender, but, instead, may be more like a refusal of the dominant order and its systemic violence,” adding that “queer fantasy is linked to utopian longing, and together the two can become contributing conditions of possibility for political transformation.” In order words, escapes can be important not just as temporary refuges, but as sites for exercising our hope and imagination.

Maybe it seems strange to think of hope as something that takes practice. But as people who are subjected by systems of power, it’s so easy to let go of the future. When we’re trying to survive on a daily basis, imagining radically different worlds can seem like a luxury. But Muñoz’s point is that it is precisely for that reason that we need to constantly rekindle our imaginations about what might be.

Tonight I want to think about these ideas specifically in relation to digital games. I want to think about the kinds of work we’ve been doing as marginalized people in and around games, and about how we might use games as a means of performing futurity and imagining otherwise. And most of all I want to rekindle our hopes, together, that we can build other worlds.

Moving Beyond Representation

I think a lot of us, especially those of us who are informed by media and literary studies, find it very easy to treat games as texts – we want to read them in the same way as a poem, or a film, or a TV show. A lot of queer and feminist readings of games are coming from this perspective, because queer and gender studies in US academia have been so closely tied to literary theory.

Representation matters, but a focus on what games look like risks missing what games do. Joli St Patrick and Avery McDaldno gave a talk on this subject at the Queerness & Games Conference last year, where they argued that “putting a veneer of queerness over games doesn’t create queer games, it creates pinkwashing.” As they describe it, the frame of representation and inclusion often elides deeper issues of mechanics. Game systems are inscribed with the politics of their designers, and if we fail to examine those systems in favor of focusing on surface imagery, then we will end up playing straight games. In this account, the inclusion of recognizably gay and trans characters is carried out through a male, colonial gaze and is useful insofar as it will help to sell those straight games to queer players. Similarly, Ed Chang’s work on queerness and games questions the inclusion of options like same-sex marriage in games like Fable as window-dressing that doesn’t actually change the way in which the game is played.

Furthermore, a focus on representation can end up favoring traditionally-structured games, big-budget affairs with voice acting and three-dimensionally rendered spaces and characters. We end up getting more excited about a queer or trans character in a mainstream roleplaying game than we do about the work of actual queer and trans people, who often do not have access to the tools, money, or skills required to create these kinds of experiences, or else are not interested in creating them in the first place.

For instance, I know a number of trans women making games whose work is clearly influenced by their experience. But their work isn’t necessarily representational and does not often feature recognizable avatar-characters. Indeed, for me part of the excitement around their work is the destabilization of assumptions around what videogames look like: the eschewing of unitary individual player-characters, clear representational narratives, and so forth. So while it can be exciting to see trans or queer characters in our favorite big budget games, there’s always the danger that that becomes our focus. We need to think about queer mechanics and forms of play.

St Patrick and McDaldno provide two frames for thinking about queer mechanics: creating queer utopias and validating current struggles. Both are important and can even appear in the same game. But as I’ve discussed, I think that most work towards queering digital games has focused on the latter. Arguably, “queer games” as constructed in late 2012 and early 2013 built this frame of struggle into the concept; most of the games that were positioned as emblematic of the category related painful and upsetting experiences such as dealing with gender dysphoria, navigating medical structures, and facing harassment and abuse. (The elision — through the somewhat sanitizing language of “queer games” — of the fact that the overwhelming majority of these games were made by trans women and deal with the specificity of trans women’s experiences is a development that has yet to be fully explored.)

So, in thinking about these possibilities, I want to focus on their potential for gesturing towards queer utopias – providing us glimpses of the then and there rather than lingering solely on the struggle of the here and now. Even so, by thinking about what might be, the construction of queer utopias implicitly works to critique the present.

Queer Mechanics

St Patrick and McDaldno work in analog story games and so their talk was focused on work in this format. Here I want to think through the ways we might translate some of their insights to work in digital games, and about some additional possibilities for specifically digital queer mechanics.

1. The Fruitful Void: the fruitful void refers to the idea that the game is about whatever is conspicuously absent from its mechanics. Queerness is often formulated as being about the uncategorizable, so it makes sense to think about ways that we can usefully write absences into a game. When we think about digital games, if we drill deep enough, the logic of binary computation rules all of our mechanics. So rather than attempt to code the full range of possible desires and object choices into our games, perhaps sometimes they could be left unstructured. McDaldno provides their game Monsterhearts as an example – it’s a game where players take on the roles of teenage monsters, and it’s fundamentally about attraction. However, there’s no real sexual orientation mechanic – this is left to the players.

2. Coding Fluidity/Uncertainty: McDaldno and St. Patrick describe stats as “straight mechanics” that enable a linear journey from more to less powerful. In contrast, they describe queer lives as multidirectional, indicating a need to disrupt clearness and linearity in rulesets.

It may seem that the notion of stats is much more fundamental to digital games, which by necessity track a number of variables and present this information to the player for them to review at any time. For some writers like David Golumbia, the vast majority of digital role-playing games are about acquiring power as represented through mechanics like stats and experience points. What would it mean for a contemporary RPG to reject some of these conventions of progression?

3. Character Nonmonogamy: character monogamy is a way of describing the convention, often unquestioned in tabletop roleplaying games, that each player takes on the role of a single character at a time. This convention was imported to many digital games, starting with RPGs. It’s easy to see this in huge contemporary roleplaying games where the player controls a single character throughout the game, building their power and telling a story centralized around this one avatar figure. This convention reflects a number of myths and narratives around individualism, progress, and class. McDaldno and St. Patrick suggest that unpacking character ownership in tabletop games might thus be a way of unpacking some of these narratives and building more collective stories.

Think about the roleplaying titles of Bioware, which have often been a site for discussion of queerness in games. What if we moved the conversation away from representation and towards the assumption of character monogamy? What would a Mass Effect series where the player shifts between viewpoints rather than occupying the avatar-role of Shepard throughout look like? Or more radically, what would a similar game designed to be played by multiple players telling a story collaboratively look like?

4. Explicit Power Dynamics: it’s often taboo to talk about and name power, much less to play with it. And digital games haven’t done a great job of exploring explicit power dynamics, though there are some examples. Most obviously, anna anthropy’s work has sought to code kink dynamics into digital play in a variety of ways. In her platformer game Mighty Jill-Off, the player takes on the role of a submissive attempting to prove her devotion to her domme via climbing an obstacle-laden tower. anna’s text-based work deals with power dynamics as well, often placing the player in fantastical scenarios exploring fictional sub/domme relationships and the power dynamics inherent in the player/designer relationship that so often go unremarked upon.

Some of my work has attempted to explore these ideas too – in particular, my text game Consensual Torture Simulator was an effort to conspicuously invest the player with a sense of negotiated power.

5. Enshrining the Prepostrous: games don’t need to be hyperrealistic physics engines! “Grimdark” games are an easy target here, but we might also look to the ways that many games ensconce themselves in a protective layer of irony. Games could use more camp and hyper-sincerity! Take a game like Dominique Pamplemousse, a musical claymation detective game all made by a single artist, Deirdre Kiai. It’s totally prepostrous and silly and endearing and unashamedly so, and centralizes the experience of a genderqueer protagonist.

These are all mechanics that McDaldno and St. Patrick identify with regards to analog games, and I think many of them are transferable to digital work. But we can also identify other possibilities that are unique to digital games, many of which are already implicit in analog story games:

7. Disrupting Time: according to Elizabeth Freeman in Time Binds, linear time is straight. The vast majority of videogames accept straight time — time as a constant, progressive, flowing structure; think about games that refuse this structure and introduce breaks, ruptures, that borrow well-established techniques from film to depict time queerly. Thirty Flights of Loving is a good example, as a first-person game that uses jump cuts to shake up and disrupt the player’s experience of time.

8. Nonrepresentational Spaces: what would it mean to reject the goal of photorealistic representations of places and bodies? Of course, many of us outside of the mainstream games industry already reject this goal to some extent – but we can go further in affirming the value of building digital spaces to explore aspects of the world that often go unnoticed or that create entirely new ones. For instance, Stephen Lavelle’s game Slave of God places the player in the space of a nightclub, but chooses to emphasize intensity of feeling in order to create an experience that is in a way “truer” than a photorealistic representation might be.

9. Unconventional Movement: conventions in FPSs and RPGs dictate that player movement is smooth and frictionless; players glide through the world with perfect ease and are free to go wherever they please within the confines of the space. For me, the fantasy of free movement is tied in open-world games to colonial masculinities – so many of these games place the player in a fantastical open space in which they have no ties to community or place and are free to explore a supposedly “empty” frontier. Games can experiment with other forms of movement that challenges these assumptions. However, unconventional movement need not always be introduced as a means of reproducing limitations or conveying struggle; some games use unrealistic or unusual moves of movement to convey exuberence or joy. (e.g. The Floor is Jelly)

10. Modeling Bodies: bodies in so many videogames are inexhaustible machines capable of traveling forever and exerting tremendous force; they rarely break down or fail; games could explore different forms of embodiment in ways that don’t necessarily involve more accurate simulations of processes but that evoke embodiment in different ways. Games like QWOP or Surgeon Simulator represent one means of approaching the topic. My game Consensual Torture Simulator is another, in which the player is tasked with topping a consenting partner while also managing the limitations of their own body. For anyone who hasn’t done it before, wielding a flogger eventually tires you out, and even slapping or spanking someone can take a toll on your hand. In that game I wanted to show this kind of interplay of limitations and exertion without reducing it to a simple gauge or number.

11. Shifting Play(er) Assumptions: the product model of videogames assumes a singular player using a game product on a console or personal computer; public play and local multiplayer games can be understood as discarded formats that can be adopted. Elizabeth Freeman describes queerness not as being on the cutting edge of newness, as it is commonly understood, but as basking in the fading glow of the past. And for all games’ uncritical obsession with so-called retro aesthetics, I think there’s something to that idea. Models like unconventional online play, distributed play, etc. that have been rejected by mainstream videogames can be reappropriated and put to use (e.g. Brace, Soundself, etc.)

Thinking about queer play might require us to step out of common sense thinking about videogames. Many recognizable genres of digital games come with so much mechanical baggage that we either need to be prepared to do a lot of unpacking or else to jettison genre and start from a more basic level of mechanics.

The rest of the workshop was spent in several activities: identifying mechanics that reproduce normative thinking in mainstream games; playing through several examples of games that invoke queer mechanics; and finally, considering ways that we might twist and queer existing games to make them more interesting and useful. The notes from these activities are reproduced below.

Recommended Playing

Games with an asterisk were examples played live at the workshop – all of these games do interesting and vital things and invoke the kinds of queer mechanics described above. Most of these games are free, though a few are commercial.

*Ultimate Flirt-Off – Diego Garcia

*SABBAT – ohnoproblems

*Slave of God – increpare

Pale Machine – Ben Esposito & bo-en

Queers in Love at the End of the World – anna anthropy

Thirty Flights of Loving – Brendon Chung

Reset – Lydia Neon

The Floor is Jelly – Ian Snyder

Soundself – Robin Arnott

Dream Fishing – Sophie Houlden

Workshop Notes

This first set of notes was generated by participants after having been asked to analyze existing mainstream games through the lens of their mechanics, thinking about the ways in which what the player was doing – rather than the representations being depicted – could be understood as reproducing normative ideas about topics like bodies, power, and control.


  • Focus on killing
  • Killing as a primary mechanic in “hardcore” games
  • Sports games as an exception
  • “No-kill runs are the gay sex of Dishonored” – Robert Yang

Civilization-esque games and RTS games and management games

  • Starting with nothing, building towards a goal
  • Inherent tiers, progress
  • Time constantly progressing
  • Class/culture-based, clear divisions between groups
  • Capitalist agenda, resource extraction, expansion, etc.
  • Fog of war

Big Buck Hunter

  • Pastoral scene in which animals appear within your sights
  • Quantification of body parts
  • First-person perspective moves the player through the forest space
  • No experience of using the weapon – kickback etc.
  • Repetitive shooting mechanic
  • No dealing with the aftereffects of violence

Mario games

  • Unobstructed movement – usually inaccessible to people who are not white men
  • Narrative development tied to difficulty and physical dexterity
  • Cultures built up around games – demanding of a particular kind of vocabulary and function as a kind of unpaid PR
  • Role of memorization and nerves
  • Sanitized “killing” of goombas/koopas etc.

Assassin’s Creed

  • Translation of hyperrealistic landscapes into playgrounds made to interface with the body – all surface are available to the player character
  • Erasure of consequence – frame story justifies ridiculous/alternative modes of play
  • “Playground logic” where supposedly realistic elements become playful
  • Joyfulness mapped onto serious elements, turning it into a kind of fun park
  • Forrest Gumpification

FPS games, e.g. Far Cry Blood Dragon

  • Genre popular enough to accept parody
  • But: some aspects still taken seriously
  • Linear progression, world behaves like a clockwork music box
  • E.g. Half-Life, player control not disrupted during cutscenes but unable to affect the situation


  • Replication of the world but within limitations, constrained unpredictability

Online FPS

  • Social interactions – role of voice chat as reasserting the importance of external social conditions like race, gender, language

The following notes were later generated after another activity in which participants were asked to take the game they had previously discussed – or another game – and think about ways they might twist and queer some of the mechanics of play to produce more interesting and useful results.


  • Timelines – introducing randomness, disrupting linearity
  • Seeing branching timelines, introducing multiplicity
  • Removal of stats/direct control
  • Decentralizing mechanics in the design process


  • Foreclosed outcomes of battles
  • Shifting perspectives/character nonmonogamy
  • Removal of implicit goals/reward structures
  • A “desertion simulator”
  • Multiple perspectives/interconnected storylines between characters e.g. Run Lola Run
  • Blackboxing in Nordic LARP

Assassin’s Creed

  • Shifting to deer POV
  • Some weird uses of time but always happens in predictable ways controlled by the storyline
  • Some gestures towards odd ways of looking at time, space, history, etc.
  • Pushing existing aspects a step further
  • Buck Hunter
  • Shifting to deer POV
  • Playing as the weather/environmental conditions
  • Disrupting the emphasis on vision as a means of knowing the world
  • Shifting the temporal focus to preconditions (e.g. licensing)
26 Feb 19:44

Kickstarter Update: Halfway there!

by Adrienne

Photo by Ted Bigsby
Kickstarter goal

We just passed the half way mark on kickstarter! If you’ve been thinking about backing this project or hesitating for any reason, NOW IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE!

With love, light, and faith-

18 Feb 17:39

How to Organize A Lot of Clothing in Very Little Closet Space

by Nathalie

How to Organize A Lot of Clothing in Very Little Closet Space

I have a lot of clothes, and in the dozen or so homes I've lived in, many have had very little closet space. Here is 12+ years worth of tips on how to cram your stuff into the minimal space you have. Women may benefit the most from these tips, but men might learn a thing or two!



11 Feb 13:58

giveaway // under the shade of a bonsai tree // CLOSED

by (kaylah doolan)
Today I have a giveaway from one of The Dainty Squid's long time pals, Under the Shade of A Bonsai Tree. (We go back to 2011!) Based out of Hobart, Tasmania, Jacquie makes jewelery and accessories. Some are laser cut from pretty colorful resin and Tasmanian wood, others are made from polymer clay and vibrant chiyogami paper.
Without further ado! The giveaway...
What? One lucky winner will receive one "oh my stars" brooch and one origami crane brooch.
When? You have until Monday, February 17th to enter.
How to enter - Visit Under the Shade of A Bonsai Tree then come back and leave a comment telling us your favorite item. Please make sure there is a way to contact you if you win.
Optional bonus entries...
(please leave a separate comment for each entry or they won't be counted!)
• Share the giveaway on facebook, tumblr or your own blog!
• Follow Under the Shade of A Bonsai Tree on twitter.
• Join the Under the Shade of A Bonsai Tree mailing list.
• Like Under the Shade of A Bonsai Tree on Facebook.
Jacquie has also been kind enough to offer a 20% off coupon with code "daintysquid", in case you can't wait to see if you've won! ;)

Good luck!

The winner is Jessica! Congrats!