FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: A Ghost Won’t Leave Me Alone But It’s Fine

feature image via shutterstock

Welcome to Friday Open Thread, the internet’s gay water cooler! Is the weather cooperating where you are? It’s being a real pill where I am. It’s been raining nonstop for what feels like 187 weeks and I’m in desperate need of vitamin D. My skin’s on the edge of glory here. Not only that, it’s seven days into April and we’ve got a real feel of 17 damn degrees.

What have you been up to? I’ve been staving off daily dread by having a little fun with my temporary roommate, Riese, who some of you may know as the creator of this website and our reason for being. Nothing that’ll blow your hair back – although we did have a good time at an escape room where I got to see her very impressive brain direct her movements like a top of the line robot – just some house goofs. She has portraits around her house that I just so happen to have miniature versions of, and so I placed these miniature versions next to her portraits and waited to see how long it took her to notice.

It took her about a week. When she eventually noticed she was… underwhelmed. Understandable on her end, but for me, what a delight every hour that passed without them catching her attention turned out to be.

Oh, also? A ghost won’t leave me alone. To be fair, I did technically ask for this when in a conversation about ghosts I recently said, “I’m a little offended a ghost has never haunted me,” so this isn’t me complaining. It’s a downstairs ghost, which is where I stay, and one day I returned from a trip to the store to find two distinct handprints on the blanket I’d made a point of smoothing out before I left:

Before you ask: yes, I am sure this is not my hand print. Also yes, that is a hand print where the fingers are coming out of the blanket. This has been the most blatant sign from her aside from a window knocking the other night when I was trying to watch the NCAA basketball championship, but usually it’s just some footsteps and a turning on of the lights. I’ve asked her if she wants something me specifically, or if like me with the miniature portraits she’s just having some fun. So far, no clear answer.

Have you ever had ghosts? Have you recently pranked your friend to little or no response? What else is going on with you? Did you see Big Little Lies? Who’s got a picture of a dog or cat for me? Even better, do you have a picture of yourself in the sun? Help me.

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. Hello, dear FOT family.

    I work at a Jewish organization, so we’re getting all prepped for Passover. We have to clean the whole office, but it’s fine. I entered a bunch of lotteries for Broadway shows for tonight, and I lost Hamilton, which is not unexpected.

    Last week, I saw 4 musicals in 3 days, including Groundhog Day (based on the movie) and War Paint (with Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole, who are 2 Broadway divas). Last night, I saw Dear Evan Hansen, which I have very mixed feelings about, mostly due to the fact that it doesn’t give me the feels. With shows like DEH, many people (myself included) are prone to getting very emotional and crying through the whole show. I barely cried. I could use a good cry. Do you ever feel that, like you need a good cry? I love crying. It’s weird because I think I’m one of the view who 100% love feeling sad/like shit/crying. I love being miserable. Maybe it’s because I have a history of depression, so it’s a familiar feeling? Maybe it’s the chemicals released while crying? It’s not even a post-crying thing. I love to cry! I cried yesterday in therapy, and I was really hoping to cry last night at the show, but I didn’t.

    Next week, Passover starts, and I have off work on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday, I’m getting an endoscopy, and then that night I’m seeing Amelie (the musical, based on the movie). ALL THE THEATRE!

    I have a lot of feelings. And I love it. I’m a weirdo, but that’s okay because I’m a special snowflake. You too!

  2. I’ve had a song stuck in my head for five days, but haven’t had any home-alone time for singing it, and the stress of this is beginning to manifest itself physically, so if I suddenly die tonight tell my mother it’s because I had a song in my heart, didn’t share it.

    Her name is Margaret, and you can find her on Facebook.

    • once i had a song stuck in my head for two years, but not one i made up, that plagued my every quiet moment. i imagine your scenario is more difficult

  3. Happy FOT!

    Everything in the news is scary and awful but there are baby chicks at work today, participants are giving them a cuddle and they keep dozing off on their feet. <3 There's a little yellow one and a little dark brown one and it's probably time I became a vegetarian!

    Big hugs

      • *whispers* I wanted to take pictures but the nurse who brought them in made their nest out of an EMPTY KFC BUCKET and it’s all a little much

        • That’s so weird. Not trying to sound like a pretentiousness vegan, but does it register how horrible factory farms are to certain people. Like damn.

  4. omg do you live in the nautical room? it’s cold af down there. and omg i’m terrified now about this fucking ghost

    • i am in the captian’s quarters yes! and she’s nice all you have to do is ask her to leave you alone when you go to sleep so you don’t wake up at 3:31 am every night

      • ah ok, i hope she’s nice when we visit! does she have a name? maybe if we were on a first name basis she would warm up right away!

        • i think she’d love that you’re even considering her name and i see great things in your future friendship!

      • I wrote a short story once about a lonely girl living in a house with a ghost who ended up falling in love with it, so just so you know I’m now shipping you and the captain’s quarters lady.

  5. So my city is basically on lockdown after some kind of attack in the city center this afternoon. So shit is weird. A lot of people are panicking, but I have basically no emotional energy left over for this. Also people are sharing unconfirmed stuff which drives me nuts, and I’m just waiting for all the racists to come out of the woodwork. Fortunately it seems most of my friends and family are safe, but we’ll see when things calm down a bit. Now I’m mostly sorry for all the people with pets and/or small children who can’t get home or to their children.

    In unrelated news, I’m rewatching the third season of Elementary, and it is glorious!

  6. In exactly one hour I’ll be heading to Heathrow airport to pick up my girlfriend! We’re currently long distance because of visa issues :( but after 10 long long weeks being stuck in her home country (Lebanon) she’s finally coming back to me! Just for a couple of weeks but I’m so happy! I’ve been hyper energetic all week and my little brother (who btw is the best 18yo baby gay) is also really excited for us has been calling me all day. I believe he is also tracking her flight!
    It’s been miserable being so far apart and it sucks she’ll have to leave again, but I love her so much and I am so grateful to my brother for being there for us – he is truly my best friend.

    Now I have to get back to putting an obscene amount of glitter and rainbow stickers on this sign I’m taking to the airport!

    • So glad you all get to be together, even if it’s for a short amount of time. Wishing you two the best visit ever!!!

    • Glitter makes EVERYTHING better ^__^ Sending positive energy your way. I left my girlfriend behind in Tokyo three years ago. But when we finally see each other again, the sign is gonna have so much fucking glitter.

  7. That ghost situation is kind of horrifying. My oldest sister sees ghosts on the reg, and I often ask her not to talk to me about it because is scares me SO BAD. It’s kind of a shitty friend move on my part, because she needs to talk about it, but ghosts are like the thing that scares me the most! Also, I’m about to move to New Orleans, a town that LOVES ghosts and spirits and stuff, and I’m a little apprehensive! I am imagining myself late at night unable to sleep or move for fear of ghosts because I will be living alone for the first time in a city where I know literally no one! Gahh!!! I hope your ghost continues to be nice and harmless.

    • I’m deathly afraid of ghosts too … seewhatididthere


      Even casper the friendly ghost terrified me as a kid. My grandparents had this casper stuffed toy that i used to try to throw in the garbage all the time because it would always show up when I least expected it and strike mortal fear into my 6 year old child self D:

  8. I have never had any ghost encounters, but I am also A Skeptic, so I think if ghosts are real, I’m probably a boring/frustrating person to ghost at.

    My wife wants to watch Big Little Lies now that we can binge-watch it, we just haven’t sat down to do it yet.

    Life’s treating me fine right now; I have a second job interview in a few weeks for a company that’s a bit closer to where I live and where a former classmate of mine works. I have to reach out to her and ask her how she likes it, but assuming it’s not a hellhole, I really hope I get the job because the work sounds really interesting!

    Today I found out that Mallory Ortberg is writing a story for a Star Wars anthology and that’s a great convergence of Things I Like, so I’m looking forward to it.

    Here are two cats:

    They love those two boxes, stacked precisely so. Sitting on top of the stack while the other cat is inside is a call for WAR, however. They smacked each other a few times after I took this picture.

  9. I spent this whole week struggling with insomnia and anxiety spirals, so that has been awful! I had a decent sleep last night though and am hoping that’s the end of that. (Please don’t give me any sleep advice, I guarantee I already know whatever you’re going to tell me and have tried it ten times.)

    In other news, I have the Tabby Cat extension on Chrome with goodies set to random, and my favourite one so far came up the other day.

    • Why is it SO HARD not to give people sleep advice? I am practically sitting on my hands.

      • Well if it’s something other than any of the following, go for it:

        Prescription meds, melatonin, inositol, 5-htp, L-theanine, valerian, passionflower, chamomile, warm milk with honey, B-12 supplements, magnesium (balanced with the right amount of calcium), marijuana, earplugs, sleep mask, white noise machine, regular bedtime, no computers/work/other non-sleep related things in the bedroom, no lit screens after 7 pm., warm bath, meditation, yoga, writing out my feelings, exercise, fresh air, sunshine, clean room and/or house, etc. etc. etc…

        • Whiskey? Just a small amount. My stepdad used to give me a bit of it before I went to sleep as a kid. I just had it on the lips but you’re an adult so could probably have a small glass without getting drunk.

        • Aw, jeez, not being able to sleep is the wooooooorst. I’m sorry.

          Hmm. Things that are not on the list… Vitamin D supplements? My normally chaotic sleep schedule has evened out pretty nicely since I started taking these A-D-K pills my doctor put me on. I have to take them at night, though. If I take them in the morning, I’m sleepy during the day.

          Also — and even if this doesn’t help you sleep, it will make you happy — Amazon has these lavender-and-flaxseed-filled stuffed animals that you can put in the microwave (!!!) until they’re all warm and lavender-smelling. I have a sheep and an elephant, and they are very relaxation-inducing, and also very cute. I think they’re called Warmies.

          (For what it’s worth, if someone told me I had to clean my apartment in order to earn a good night’s sleep, I would straight-up murder them.)

          Princess Nightmare is fabulous, btw. ?

  10. Funny thing you mention ghost stories, because I was planning on sharing my ghost story for this weeks open thread!

    I was is Chicago for a weekly work training (which was my first time in the US since I was denied a work visa in 2015.) Things were mostly going ok with the training, except the projector in the room keep randomly flashing. During the last two days of the training, it got pretty bad, specially when the female instructor was talking. This might be sound totally irrelevant, until I mention the training was held in the Civic Opera House. So we were being haunted by the Phantom of the Opera, and he’s as creepy as always. I made it out of the training (and out of the US) without any big issues, so besides the technical interruptions, he was mostly well behaved.

  11. hello! i am drinking a tiny carton of milk and reveling in nutrients. i’m good– i’ve been working a lot and meeting a lot of dogs! i went to the zoo today and saw some tiger cubs who have a DOG as their companion! we saw reptiles and birds and insects, too, and my whole heart is very happy.

  12. Happy Friday everyone!

    I woke up to snow. I hate snow. I hoped we’d be done with that stuff for the season but apparently not.

    I once saw a well-dressed headless ghost pushing an empty shopping cart in broad daylight on a busy street. My dad saw it too.

    I was visiting family last weekend, and I had a very triggering and upsetting conversation with my gay cisdude cousin. I was berated for not doing things that my mental illness makes it very difficult to do. Then, he tried to justify abuse I’ve gone through and said some things you are really not supposed to say to assault survivors. Afterwards, he proceeded to avoid me for the rest of the trip, even though I was staying with him. I felt so fucking betrayed. (And I’m clearly not over it.) My therapist called him a dick. That was nice.

    • wow not to pile on your cousin or anything but whaaaaat an asshole! compassion’s free yall, sorry you went through that with family of all people.

      headless and well-dressed, now that’s a concept

      • Thanks. That particular cousin used to be a republican, and obviously hasn’t completely gotten rid of those attitudes.

        The ghost was wearing what could be described as grandpa’s church outfit, complete with orthopedic shoes. He had a reflection on the windows he was walking past. The reflection was also headless.

  13. I WOULD post a picture of myself in the sun if the WEATHER HERE DECIDED TO COOPERATE! *huffs passive aggressively at the 30-degree weather.)

  14. Did anyone else pull an all-nighter to binge watch The Get Down? I have so many feels and no one else seems to have finished the season

    • I forgot that the new season came out until tonight when I turned on netflix so the kid I babysit could watch peppa pig! I’m going to try to get my final school projects done before I binge it though. Let’s see if I can restrain myself :’)

  15. I finished Wynonna Earp yesterday and now I’m pissed off cause I don’t want to watch anything but like, the biggest supercut of the not-awful gay bits of TV in the last decade, and who has that kind of time?? (Also someone needs to call Brooklyn99 cause WE cast Kate Drummond to be the same char architype Kyra Sedgwick played over there and thought I wouldn’t notice)

  16. Oh hey let’s try this thing I’ve never done before. Apologies in advance for slight heaviness :-#

    So Monday I decided to read Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey not really knowing what it was about. It broke me. I was sobbing about it. So that was a little rough.

    And then Monday AND Tuesday my 2 employees both called out for most of the day (for good reasons) so I was in the office by myself doing the work of 3 people. Again, rough.

    And Wednesday I kind of realized that I moved to this small town about 9 months ago and I haven’t really made friends. Mainly because I work all the time because I bought a business here. And that’s not doing so great and I’m scared that maybe I made a mistake and I’m not cut out for this.
    And the queer scene in this town is small and I’m about to be 30 in a couple months with zero prospects of meeting someone who lives within 100 miles of here and that’s just really freaking scary. And I worry that I’m too stubborn and stuck in my ways to appreciate an amazing person anyway and yadda yadda yadda. Enough of that.

    Thursday we had a super successful day in the office so that was awesome! And at lunch I talked to this random guy sitting at the bar I was having lunch at and I’m trying to convince myself that he knows I’m queer and was just making friendly conversation and totally not flirting (Do we ask new people we’ve just met what they do in their spare time/for fun?). And then like two hours later we dropped bombs on Syria because there clearly aren’t enough of those there.

    But now it’s Friday and @queergirl showed me chick pics in a KFC bucket and my team is here and everyone is helping people and I’m sitting here typing this. So I’m feeling good! Despite 125 unread emails and a 100% chance of needing to work tomorrow to catch up. This week has just been a damn roller coaster. But I am determined to feel good today lol.

    So I’m about to start a to-do list and power through this shit. Anyway thanks for letting me get this all off my chest. Back to work *bicep flexing emoji*

    • That *is* heavy, I get the feel with the random guy, though. I wish I had more Bi friends so I could tell them the secret is to get motorcycles if they wanted to have entire conversations with like, every guy in his 20s and/or 60s about the bike he wants to have/had for years, which they did not tell me was gonna happen in my Motorcycle Operator Manual

    • no apologies, this is a free feelings zone! and woof, that’s a lot on your plate, especially without an irl support group. making friends as an adult is hard enough without proximity being an issue! but we’re glad your here soniyeaaahhhhhhh

    • Yay! @soniyeaaah in FOT! I’m so glad you’re here. In FOT and in town.

      You’ll find your community here, I promise. And then you’ll move off to the big city and forget all about us ;)

      In the meantime…there’s Autostraddle! And road trips!

      Cheers ?

  17. Today is my mums birthday, we had been joking about how grandparents always get given pictures of their grandchildren for birthdays and Christmas like it’s some sort of go to gift idea when their children can’t think of anything else (my brother does this all the time). So I made a picture of me, using my passport picture and some cardboard then decorated it and left it with her cards, like as a joke. I got up the morning and found it had been put out in pride of place on the mantelpiece, like a proper picture, and she seemed super pleased with it, like I felt my actual present for her was a total let down in comparison. It’s not even a good picture.

    I work shifts and have been on rest days for the last 4 days, I’ve been doing some super adulting like never before. I have put in an application for a job I really want. For this job I have to be fitter so I have joined an actual gym! And at the tender age of 31 it’s my first ever direct debit (an ex told me I had commitment issues and used my avoidance of financial commitments as an example. I kind of want to contact her with this momentous news, however she also said I was childish and don’t take things seriously enough and I feel like it would just be playing into that). Today I went to a garden centre with all my favourite pensioners then out for a pub lunch. I went to said gym for my second ever time at a gym since school, turns out I’m pretty out of shape. Also people said I would need a sports bra and I got one, however after 15 minutes on a treadmill my bum really aches and I knew it would because I could feel it jiggling, no one warned me I would need some sort of bum sling to prevent this.

    I have been talking to someone on a dating site, however I think it’s over, we were talking sandwiches, I said my favourite was cheese and onion, she said raw onion, we can’t be friends, I tried to win her round by suggesting it as a toastie however it’s been 3 days and no further word.

    Inspired by all my other adulting I even booked my long overdue smear test which they keep writing to me about, it’s in a while but I’m glad I booked it.

    My potatoes are growing! And I have work tomorrow, sorry this is really long as it turned out. No ghosts either, only the ghosts of my past.

  18. Hi, Erin!

    The weather’s been all over the place here. In the last few weeks, we’ve had temperatures in 80s, temperatures in the upper 30s, storms, heavy winds, flooding, tornadoes, you name it. I sympathize on the Vitamin D. I take multivitamin supplements to make sure I’m not missing anything, something I started back when I ran cross-country in school. That’s interesting, about your ghost. I’ve never seen one personally. I need to call my mom, maybe if I had a ghost, it would call her for me. But, since I’m ghost-free, I’m stuck with my usual strategy of having a drink (or five) before initiating the phone call, lol.

  19. Hello hi hey FOT! Super long-time AS reader here who finally decided to buck up and actually make an account last week. Eep!

    No ghosts or sun here, but Boston is finally WARM. As we defrost…my masters thesis is due next week, so this is probably my way of finding absolutely anything else to do instead of editing for the hundredth time. To that end, I also started spring cleaning and re-watching Orphan Black and listening to the Wicked soundtrack on loop. Can I just say how embarrassing it is that I only just picked up on the whole metaphor for LGBT/disabled/other marginalized minorities?? No wonder I related so hard.

    Hope you all are having a great week! <3

    • nina welcome! between a masters due and spring cleaning you deserve an award or a drink of some sort

    • I watch Orphan Black and listen to Wicked for my female empowerment fixes all the damn time!!!

  20. I don’t think I’ve ever had a ghost haunt me, but a few years back a new tinder friend invited me to their birthday(first time I was meeting this person). There were many queer people and one of the things we did was get inebriated and then use a home made Ouija board to talk to the spirits in the apartment and nearby. Turns out the place may also be inhabited by male in the 16-27 year range who died in the late 80’s as is a big Smiths and Bowie fan(I think someone suggested he maybe queer). I forget what else he said, but by the end of the night no one was sure how to properly throw away the Ouija board without offending the spirits. It was interesting to say the least.

    Okay so as I finished that paragraph a woc shouted North Korean ghosts are illegally crossing the border through Mexico to start shit in South East LA. Then went on to admit the ghost didn’t want to take her chill drugs. She also peed on my fathers car(second person in two days). I suggested she go to the women’s shelter across the street, but said it’s not safe there either.

    How’s everyone’s week? Mines has been average. It’s my birthday Sunday so I plan to drive to San Diego for the weekend for a gaycation of sorts. I may go hiking, and/or snorkeling. But, I also want to go lbtq bar for a little dancing, singing, and drinks. Also, everything has been so green so hiking with mary will be great.

    Speaking of which I went hiking last Sunday and soo beautiful and flowers and plants are very lush and green due to all the rain.

    Saw a rainbow

    Flowers in bloom

    and shade to relax under.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

  21. The owners of the company I work for are huge historical preservationists and a main tenet of our company is restoring old, forgotten buildings and turning them into cultural hubs. Today, since it was the last day of spring break and basically all the partners have been away spring breaking with their families, us young folk decided to go out and have an extended lunch. During lunch we were discussing one of our upcoming projects and the fact that this building is super haunted. Then we looked it up on Wikipedia and it is a popular place for ghost sightings and since the people who are now ghosts died in unfortunate circumstances (suicide, murder, etc.) these ghosts probably have a lot of unresolved issues. (I know, I know, ghosts are basically the epitome of unresolved issues.) Needless to say, I feel really good about this project.

    Because I can only deal with real world issues with inappropriate humor, I’ve been coming up with stories for where Kellyanne Conway has been because, really, WHERE IS KELLYANNE? It is possible that the cat buttons on her inaugural coat have come to life and are holding her hostage.

    Hope everyone has a peaceful weekend, I’m going to spend some time thanking pine trees for existing.

  22. I have a cute ghost story!

    One day (in October?) we got a kitten (Söze) who was to die for (foreshadowing)… and if I can properly post this photo (big unknown), you’ll see just how early on we had become 1 being. Anyway, I must have had bad karma built up (from all of the times I’d stolen from Old Navy in high school) or something because Söze had a terminal illness and had to be put down apparently asap (??!!) (also during finals week).


    The short and sweet of it is that a day after he passed, our other cat started doing freaky/typical cat things (like breaking out into a full sprint and then stopping abruptly to look at nothing), but this time would be obviously looking at something kitten-level that wasn’t visible to us mere plebs. He was risen! And now I never want to leave this apartment, a feeling that conflicts with my burning desire to get the fug out of Oregon after graduation and before my skin also deteriorates into thin (dreary, wet, gray) air.

    I do want to contribute something positive to this community post! So I’ll say that if anyone out there hasn’t yet rubbed coconut oil on every inch of themselves from the neck up before bed, you know what to do. Just a mini self care shout out as I back flip into the puddle that was my front yard.


    • COCONUT OIL APPRECIATION POST i’ll get buried with my coconut oil. do you mean to tell me you have a kitten ghost? i’m that white guy blinking meme rn. also lol @ old navy karma

    • Okay so your kitten photo is ADORABLE

      but I also have to give a shout out to “well, shit” karma/whatever and kittens.

      The first time I adopted a kitten I was in South Korea and doing my masters degree. A little isolated and very frenetic, I wanted some company. So I adopted a fluffball from the local humane society (more or less). Her name was Grimilka because she was grey and it meant “grey witches cat” perfect. adorable. Within 24 hours she was vomiting hourly.

      The day after that I took her back to get looked at by the vet. Same sort of thing–terminal illness.

      Worse for me? The day after I gave the kitten back for terminal care…was April 1st. And South Korea (or at least my school) did celebrate. Everyone thought I was playing a morbid joke.

      (If people need a funny story after all the dead kittens–feel free to ask for “women are like christmas cake” or “cult experience when trying to buy cat supplies”)

  23. I made a twitter account for my sorority house ghost back in the day.
    Charlotte and I had a mutual understanding of mischief

    This last week I became caretaker for 2 newborn kittens that were found in the locomotive shop attached to my office. My boss gave me the ok to bring them into work with me/feed them every few hours. And I’m not sure yet if I’ll be able to keep them… but I’ve started calling them Beau and Aero and I’m falling ya’ll. I’m on edge waiting for their eyes to open.

    • Oh do I know that “falling” feeling! Miss Kitty Fantastico was much older (about 6 weeks) when she suddenly moved into one of our outbuildings, but how quickly the rational “I just want you to thrive” feeling turns to “please don’t have an owner” and “please, life, stop giving me reasons why I shouldn’t have a cat”.

  24. I’ve never had a ghost experience, although I have seen Death in a dream that has been verified by real life events taking place while I was sleeping.

    Life gave us lemons this week. That is to say, we harvested our first homegrown lemons and I made lemon cake.

    I also struggled with various attempts at “super easy fauxhawk” alternatives only to end up with something ridiculously flat on top and frizzy on the sides or something very Gwen Stefani 1997. Again, “visibly something” but not necessarily a good look? Dear Straddlers, how do you do a fauxhawk with long fine flat hair?

      • I’m more psychotic than psychic most of the time. :) But, I did see Death come for my father in a dream. Just as she reached out to touch him, I screamed and threw a rock at her, and she turned around and left without acknowledging me. I couldn’t sleep for several days, I was so shook up, which was unfortunate since I was just in the middle of exam week. The afternoon after my last exam, my mother called to tell me that my father was in the hospital. They hadn’t told me he was ill, so that I wouldn’t worry during my exams, but apparently he’d gotten surgery the afternoon before my dream, and in the middle of the night during my dream something burst, he had to be pulled back into emergency surgery and almost bled out. Serious stuff, he lost memories and cognitive function for months, but he survived and eventually made a full recovery.

        I soooo had a crush on Gwen Stefani in 1997, but coy girly Gwen Stefani, not the crazy hair knobs problematic bindi appropriation 1997 Gwen Stefani I looked like today. But, hey, my partner thought it was hot and 1997 is totally back in right now so I went for it even though I felt ridiculous.

      • I’ve tried so many versions of braid hawks and topsy tail hawks, but my hair just won’t do volume. When I start loosening up the braid, I don’t get a bigger braid, I get a braid with air holes, and my hair teased just looks like a bird’s nest built by a particularly untalented bird no matter how much I try to smooth out the visible parts.

        I’ve never tried dry shampoo, though. What’s its role here? Does it add volume or friction or something else?

  25. After my wife’s previous kitty died in the night, the light switched on in the hallway where he’d died exactly one week later, at just the same time. It felt like a lovely reaching out.

    I have a friend who would have many experiences – I particularly like the ghost who had different music tastes to her and would switch the radio off during certain shows. She ended up telling it “we need to share this space – I get to listen to what I want to for an hour, then it’s your turn.” After exactly an hour each time the radio would either switch stations or turn off”

  26. How do you guys cope with being brown and queer? Especially being mixed brown and queer.

    Other than trying to answer that question life is slow and non sucky. I’m just working on zine content (Brown Girls Garden Too, Urban Foraging, & (maybe) a science zine on avocados(???)), a script that is almost finished, and collaborations with other people. Annnnd trying to find a job.

  27. I’ve also spoken with a non-usual- human presence on the phone. I confused it immensely, it wasn’t expecting to actually get through to anyone. My friend was always having issues with electricity and presences, I think electricity was their easiest way to try and communicate, so the phone was a new experience for them.

  28. This week I came out as nonbinary! I’ve kind of known for a long time but just never had the right language to describe how I felt. It’s such a relief.

    • Welcome to club nonbinary, we have cookies(in gluten free and vegan varieties) and cute humans ready to listen.

    • Wow congrats. How did you do it and who to I’d you don’t mind me asking? And did you have to explain the whole nb thing?
      I love that there’s words for being nb (even though I’m closeted except on here).

      • Thank you all! So far I’ve just told my best friend and you lovely folks, but I’m going to try and tell my mom this weekend. .___. I will probably just show her the video that finally made it click for me, one by feminist vlogger Riley Dennis about identifying as nonbinary AND a woman. I always assumed I’d have to pick, but neither alone quite felt right.

  29. When I was growing up I basically lived at the local community theater which was this amazing 100+ year old building that was haunted – as the best old theaters are. They were all old performer ghosties who would do things like flush all the toilets in the dressing room at the same time when no one was in there, and strum the prop guitar on the table very softly (but never during a show, they were quite respectful like that). There was one show I was in and the week of Halloween every time I set down my pencil at a rehearsal it would disappear. Gone. Could not find it again even if I literally set it right next to me. I went through an entire box of Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils that week and I as annoyed AF. Those ghosts never bothered me, I always felt kind of comforted by them, but any kind of scary movie and I will have nightmares for weeks and weeks.

    I have a cold and so I’m cranky but the sun is finally out today and I’m getting a lot of writing done so that makes me slightly less cranky.

    I’m also kind of annoyed at my therapist because at my session this week he referenced something that we were “working towards” and I was like ‘I’m already there with that, I just haven’t had a chance to tell you about it because I only see you for one hour a week and I’ve been busy having a meltdown about my mother instead, but like, yeah we can talk about what I think god is because I’m not actually being reactionary and conflicted about it’ but then we were out of time and I think he thought I was just being defensive and I really don’t like not getting credit for work I’ve already done because I am Hermione forever and always.

    • damn, ticonderogas, too! i think if you say to your therapist “i’m already there with that” YOU become the therapist

      • Right? Ticonderogas forever.
        I mean, I honestly haven’t had a chance to talk about that, and he can’t magically know what’s in my head, I just feel like I didn’t have a chance to properly defend my statement and that is annoying to me.

    • Oh, I feel you. I’d give you a gold star with rainbow glitter for your work done if I could. “When I’m having an episode and you focus on that, I get the impression that you don’t give me credit for great progress I’ve made with regard to my mental health” has periodically practically been my mantra.

      It’s a bit of a mouthful to chant.

      • Haha that is an amazing chant.
        He’s generally really good about acknowledging work that I have done. And I have definitely been the one driving my sessions toward dealing with my mother because that is where I am conflicted and shit, and this other stuff I’m not feeling conflicted about so I haven’t brought it up because like 60 minutes isn’t a lot you know? And I know he can’t know what’s in my head and I’ll go in next week and be like “here’s the thing though” but yes. Gold stars and rainbow glitter accepted thank yooouuuuuuuuuu!!

  30. Ok, I wasn’t going to share this because I thought it might be too morbid, but then you all started talking about the ghosts of your dead kittens, so.

    After I flew to my parents’ house a few days after my brother died, whenever all three of us were together somewhere on the main floor their microwave would start randomly beeping and changing display screens on its own. It settled down after a couple of days and I thought I should reset the clock back to the right time, and as I was walking towards it it beeped and changed the display to the screen I needed for resetting the clock.

  31. The weather here has been blah, too. So today (with the sun out) I made sure to go out and enjoy it.

    This is pretty good considering how very avoidant of outside I can be. My skin glows with the unique pastiness of the primarily-computer-based life.

    As for ghosts… well, I adore a good ghost story but my life has been ever dull in that regard. I did just write a semi ghost story the other day, though. I’ve been subbing to magazines but, tbh, I think its probably too dull to get far.

  32. I’m so grateful to the ghosts in my life. After all, those really cheap apartments in Tokyo were a steal! So, the previous tenant may have mysteriously vanished/passed away/killed themselves. When you are splurging on Cat Café outings and green tea ice cream with all that extra cash – those few haunted nights seem so trivial…

    Oh! And don’t forget the “ZashikiWarashi”. What is this you ask? Literally “house child spirit”, a ZashikiWarashi is a lucky ghost that resides in rooms – and loves nesting, so the messier the better! Finally an excuse for the pigsty that is my room ^__^ And with one in the house, drinking your tea, or reading your manga and whatnot, you are never really alone.

    Speaking of being alone… I started on Progesterone, a new HRT drug last week. Then, an amazing thing happened! Although I was bisexual before the transition, for these last 6 months, estrogen had basically robbed me of any attraction to other women. I missed it. I was a bit scared. After living my whole life one way, suddenly NOT being bi was too strange. I felt somehow empty. Plus, going to Victoria Secret for bra fittings wasn’t as fun when I didn’t blush from head to toe when ladies groped my chest.

    Then, BOOM! Enter Progesterone and the Bi is back! I’m SOOOO happy to be attracted to women again. And amazed at how a simple hormone has the power to fuck up my sexuality so hard… Dating scene – here I come!

    • the bi is back, baby! this sounds like a great new sitcom i’d watch the hell out of. glad you’re feeling you again! also love: “with one in the house you are never really alone.”

      • Ok Erin, if we make this, can we cast an alpaca? Not for plotlines or anything, just every so often pan to her munching on some veggies. I think every good sitcom needs this cuteness <3

  33. Hello people I don’t talk to but recognize all too well.

    I am hungry. Tried to nap. Was very unsuccessful so here I am. We have a meet up tomorrow and I’m nervous about it. I get nervous when it comes to meeting people mostly because I think I am too weird for the general public. Maybe I have a social anxiety? Idk. I normally don’t feel this nervous. Maybe it’s because I don’t feel like I will be accepted??? Hmmm….. It could be I am just burned out from socializing due to school. Straight men wear me out ?

    I fed some squrriels yesterday after class. One of them came running after I opened a bag of pecans. I fed him. He eyed me suspiciously the whole time. We have an understanding. Great way to unwind after a business law exam.

    As for ghosts…. I think my last apartment was haunted. Stuff moved on their own. I mean there is only so much I could explain with physics. My wife always told me the opening of trash lid would just start swinging on it’s own. I didn’t believe it until I was home alone and witnessed the lid just moving as if someone was throwing away some trash. Sometime we would hear weird noises in the living room at night and I would grab my knife from under the pillow to go investigate and I would find nothing. There was a lot of negative energy at that place though. I don’t know if it was a ghost but that apartment just felt off. I much prefer my small little townhome. No strange activities that I can’t explain so far…….

    Anyways, happy Friday peeps. Have a safe weekend.

    • socializing fatigue is real! sometimes a longer phone call with my parents will put me out for the day.

      cleanly ghosts!

  34. I have had personal experience with one ghost, although I’ve lived with more than one. I was living on the Eastern Shore, with my sister, and I had the basement room. One night I came out of my room and turned to go up the stairs and she was at the top of them. She was a middle aged woman, dressed in late Edwardian dress. She looked at me and then walked into the wall (of my room). And I, not exactly smoothly, said ‘Oh, hello. So we live together, cool.’ with the idea being that if I expressed that I was cool with her presence, she would be cool with mine. Which I reckon worked, cause I never had any negative feelings/etc, just sometimes a sense of not being alone. Now, a year later, my parents were staying in the same room, and they would find stuff moved, the tv would come on randomly or the volume would be turned up all the way randomly when they weren’t touching the remote, etc. Not going to lie, they can really really suck and I have taken comfort in the fact that she liked me but she didn’t like them.

    In the same house, my sister’s boyfriend (frat boy asshole/alcoholic) woke up one night to see a 6 foot (ish) tall man in a top hat. He described him as straight darkness, like, it was the middle of the night and this shape was darker than the rest of the room, and an extremely threatening presence. I never saw or experienced anything like that in that house.

      • I’m sorry! I was not frightened, cause clearly whatever entity it was just didn’t like frat boy douche bros. We’re safe, it had no issue with newly out extra queer me.

  35. Hey folks!

    I moved to a new city for work and am really missing my people back home. I went to one queer meetup and it was cool, but I’m looking for more ways to meet people that feel more organic, maybe? It’s hard to make adult friends. Trying to fill the hole in my social life with exercise, books, and banana pancakes. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!

    • i can confirm that yes this is true! it is hard! i like the idea of volunteering with something i would actually get excited about, because there’s something to be said for signing up for something, being counted on, and HAVING to go in to this place at this time on a regular basis. plus the thing you like doing is bound to attract like minded people, and you can force them to be your friend

  36. I just got home and my cat immediately was like OPEN YOUR BEDROOM CLOSET DOOR. I am really hoping that wasn’t the highlight of her day.

    But last night, I had an experience with this cat. I have been a cat mom since I was like four, so it’s rare that cats do things I don’t expect.

    And I’m going to share it with y’all because Autostraddle is the web site that has made me forever associate crepe streamers with fingernails, so I have certain expectations about your web content.


    I’m Skyping with my GF, right? And I get off the video chat with her and my laptop battery is low. I walk over to my desk and then check my podcast pageview stats because I am only mortal and I care about those things.

    Suddenly, I hear this scuttling noise. And it doesn’t stop. And I am like, “I have never heard scuttling like that before what the hell is Yoyo doing.”

    So I turn around.

    And I stare.

    It is not a ghost. Not a ghost at all.

    My first thought is, “I walk on these hardwood floors.”

    My second thought is, “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Yoyo is 12, so she has really dense back claws, and she’s between clippings on her front claws. She’s scuttling forward like a dog with parasites, and her toes are clacking mercilessly on the floor. She’s just outside of the closet where her box is located.

    And she goes like two feet before I have the presence of mind to overcome the shock I am feeling and my panic about the vet to realize that she’s trying to clean herself up after a mishap. Also, she’s successfully accomplished her goal.




    She looks at me, and her face. Her FACE. She knows that she is in a compromising position. She looks in both directions, bolts up, and just runs. And I’m trying to get a good view to make sure she’s not going to repeat this in my living room. Then, while still thinking that I walk on these floors, I go into the kitchen and get some disinfectant spray and spray down the part of my floor that she used as toilet paper. So. Bizarre. WTF, Yoyo?

    That is how my Thursday night went.

    Today, this is my gift to you.

    • I’ve heard of dogs doing this but it’s a first for a cat.

      I used to have a cat who would fall into such a deep sleep on my lap that sometimes she’d wet herself in her sleep and of course my lap at the same time. By voiding like that, she’d wake herself up and look sooo mortified, she’d then start to desperately try to bury her mistake through my jeans.
      We’d then both go and have a mutual wash, then go an sit down again and she’d go back to sleep.

      She was such a good friend and I still miss both her and her brother, the loveliest of lads. I still smile about them too, whenever I remember them.

  37. Helloooo Straddlers! Happy Friday!!

    I’m….well….not exactly on top form but it’s okay. I-ve had a really emotionally taxing week dealing with mainly other people’s dramas.
    One of my best friends moved countries on Tuesday so Monday night was spent being the good supportive friend wiping away her tears and reminding her it will be fabulous and it-s what she really wants, even though I really just wanted to be like “doooont goooooo!!!”
    Tuesday another friend ended up crying to me because of new girlfriend issues (gf is poly, she isn’t).
    Wednesday I had to endure the most horrible dinner with a friend’s parents, who had come over from the other side of the world to visit her. She came out over the summer which went badly. This trip she introduced her parents to her new girlfriend, which went even worse. Her mum only would refer to her as “that woman” and refused to speak to her. The mum shouted at my friend in the middle of a clothes shop about how she is an embarassment and she doesn’t understand “this lesbian thing” and how she isn’t her daughter etc etc. My friend ended up storming out of a dinner with them after calling them homophobic and saying to her step-dad that she couldn’t understand how he is fine with having a brother who is gay but not her. So Wednesday was their last night here and she didn’t want to go for dinner with them alone so I went with her. WOW they were COLD, it was like she was a total stranger. The goodbye they gave her was like she was nothing, not like she was their daughter who they won’t see for like 4 months. It made me so so sad :(
    Last night I went out with my ex for a bit which was actually great, but seriously the fact that seeing my ex gf (who I totally still live A LOT) was the least emotionally taxing part of my week really sums up my week!

    ANYWAY now it’s Friday and usually I would be out partying but the friend I was going out with is sick so now I’m home which feels SO WEIRD and a little depressing, especially for a hyper-extrovert. So instead I’m here to hang out with all you wonderful people!!!

    I have no picture of me enjoying the sunshine, but I can offer you a photo from Wednesday which I took when I went for a stroll in the park next to my office :)

    As for your ghost Erin, well if she doesn’t seem threatening you’re probably ok! From my experience you can generally feel if there is something “bad” (be it spirits, vibes, energy, whatever) so if not it’s okay. If you don’t want her haning around, you can ask her nicely to leave and then I’d use white sage to smudge the rooms. You can also put salt at the windows and doorways but again, if it doesn’t feel dark I think you’ll be okay :)

    • good lord that was a week! and the idea of salting her out of my room just got me a bit sad. friendship!

      • Yeah the salt is more of a serious thing, if she seems ok I’d just hang out with her for a while and see how you guys get on ;)

  38. Eh my whole state is probably haunted, but that’s pretty normal for a former plantation state. There’s layers of human suffering and bloodshed where plantations were and stuff they paid for. Would be weird if it didn’t feel haunty.
    Also I’ve visited very unhaunty places and they feel weird to me. Like someone went over things with a pressure washer or something, scrubbed the past out.

    Blame the rambling on drugs because my body is being a jerk and I’m full of Benadryl.

    Fuck angioedema.
    It’s awful and no one thought my Rocky jokes were funny.
    If my face is going to be swollen and awful I’m going to quote Rocky and that’s hilarious damn it.

    • I would probably laugh at your Rocky jokes. Maybe even act out a Lipton Brisk commercial. I kind of want to watch a few movies now. Chase some chickens.Try to beat Apollo Creed. Hope you feel better. ?

  39. I went to my first autostraddle meetup last week, and it was great, and everyone was so nice!! <3
    I'm a nervous wreck, and they were so nice to me!!! <3 <3

    I haven't personally seen any ghosts, but I was a very spooky child and to my mother's dismay I would always go ghost hunting and really wanted a house ghost. (I had ghost hunting books!)

    I do have a story though. One time when I was 11 or 12, I was home alone eating these mini oatmeal square things at the table and just thinking about life. Then I hear this bizarre skritching noise coming from the kitchen counter. I look up to see what it was and there is a large pair of scissors SPINNING WILDLY on the counter.

    And now I'm grown up and I'm a "logical adult," but I still don't know how that happened?? It was far away from me on a separate counter! I had been sitting at the table for like 20 min, so it wasn't like I brushed them accidentally somehow and then sat down! And I'm pretty sure those scissors were in the cup they were supposed to be, and NOT on the counter when I started to eat my snack because they had conspicuously orange handles.. I felt like I would've seen them! I don't know.

    In other news, my health is bad and my brain is slow and disconnected. I'm working all the time because I need money, but I don't have the energy for it. I have to have dental surgery, and damn I'm just worn out from everything. My mother had some strange episode last year (possibly a paranoid delusional disorder) where she started believing in things that obviously aren't real (and hallucinating!) and dove headfirst into religious fanaticism. And I've been living like a recluse for the past several years because of my health, and my mother is the person who knows me best. She's gone to all my appointments and my surgeries and seen me struggle and breakdown when I've lost the ability to do things I used to be able to do.

    And now she's different? She voted for trump. She's posting transphobic and homophobic stuff on instagram. She's madly invested in all sorts of conspiracy theories.

    So I'm trying to branch out because I felt like she knew me better than anyone, and I feel like I knew HER better than anyone, and now we don't understand each other.

    BUT I'M GOING TO CAMP!!! And I couldn't be more excited, and I'm just so thankful to you guys for creating this place for us because it's crucial to my survival, and I know that's true for many others besides me.

    So thank you thank you and see you soon.

    • You sound like you’re having a really hard time. I hope you really enjoy camp and have the kind of break that you need soon. In the meantime be as kind to yourself as you’re able to be.

    • first of all…. #veryspookychildsociety

      I hope you have a blast at camp and that it gives you a little rest from your work and worries!

    • “I was home alone eating these mini oatmeal square things at the table and just thinking about life” as you do!! and yes confirmed that was a scissoring ghost. ain’t family something? here’s to some lighter weeks before a break. can’t wait to meet you at camp MKH!

  40. I’m really enjoying everyone’s ghost cats sending messages from beyond. I lived in an apartment with ghost cats once, where we’d hear them in another room and assume they were our cats and then look up and realize the cats had been sitting right in front of us the whole time. Also I used to imagine my childhood home was haunted by a woman named Sarah but I don’t really have anything to back that up besides a sense and creaky attic sounds.

    My partner and I have been working to revise a downloadable murder mystery into a queer murder mystery and spent last night deheteronomativing it and changing the setting from a yuppie dinner party to vegan potluck and adding in some 50ish lesbian exes and their adult child. We’re going to try to write some on our own eventually but this is sort of a test run.

  41. I live in an 1880’s building that spent some time as a high class whore house. While it was a more traditional hotel for a while after that, I was the first tenant after it was renovated in to moderately overpriced lofts. When I first moved in to my studio I had a lot of weird ghost-y activity: pots and pans falling off their shelves, A tv that wouldn’t work in that apartment but worked perfectly fine plugged in anywhere else, weird feeling of some one else in the apartment when it was pretty obvious no one else was in the apartment, ect. I started referring to the activity as my hooker ghost and ever sense then she’s stoped messing with the electronics so I guess she likes it? Still knocks stuff off the shelves some times, but I think that entrains the cat so it’s really a win/win situation.

  42. spending my friday evening taking glamour photos of this beauty, the best-shaped dog on the internet (/planet?)

    picture of a very good dog with the ribcage of a small boat

  43. My granddads house is haunted. I’ve already shared one ghost tale on here but here’s another esp since everyone’s sharing ghost cat stories so for once I get to be team dog. My granddad’s only dog died. A week later, I was staying at his house which is far from the street & neither of his neighbours have dogs. I was woken by barking. Acted logical at first and came downstairs to tell them to turn radio down only to find the room empty & radio off & everyone else was asleep as it was only about 6.

    Had a great football day on Sunday hence my new username. I’ll change back when I’m in a mood w sport. Or late summer.

    We bought a house. It’s technically my parents’ for holidays for now but I have plans to live there full time eventually. It’s 100 years old and at least four lgbt ppl have already lived there. At three separate times, two were a couple. Anyone else lived in a house w that gay history in it? Are there perks beyond the smile of having a ‘gay house’?

    I spent my first week on my own/with my cats which my internalised ableism is telling me is something that ought to happen before someone’s 28 but my realism is proud of me :)

    My course ends tomorrow :( at least it means I have more shot at nano which I’m falling behind w. and my nano turned dark cos of a dare. And my tutor said shed keep in touch post course :)

    • honestly being on your own at any age feels like a feat every day. congratulations on the new house!

      • Thanks :) I’m quite introvert and their dogs barky so the main thing was keeping on top of washing/tidying/meals/cats while busy. I think I’d miss ppl more if text didn’t exist cos we were constantly chatting.
        And yeah perfect house :) they wanted to get one here which was just smaller for me to live in when I was old. I convinced them I’d rather live somewhere walkable to a town I have good memories of and that I can prob move out before I’m properly middle aged with enough practice.

  44. I’ll preface this by saying that I’m very much a skeptic, but I’ve found it’s wise to behave as if you believe just to be safe. That said… I’m actually pretty sure I have a ghost. I live in an old converted warehouse across from the city’s oldest church, so it’s not surprising. His name is Georges and he’s generally pretty chill – he mostly likes to move the strings on my window shades, just to let me know he’s here. Although he did go through a phase where he was messing with my electricity and electronics – he shorted out 2 of my lamps, made my computer screen stop working randomly and fucked with the router for a solid month. Not cool, Georges, not cool.

    Mercifully, he only started making appearances after my first month or so here. Otherwise I probably would’ve noped the fuck out of here because I’m living completely on my own for the first time and already have a bad habit of watching too much Criminal Minds before I go to sleep.

  45. Hello everyone! Happy Friday!

    I’m sorry to say I have no sunshine photos, or even any sunshine at all. Instead, I have 60 mph winds, gallons of rain, and the sneaking suspicion the sun no longer exists. Oh, joy.

    Other than the weather I’m having a pretty good day. I came out to three of my co-workers during lunch today. It was completely unplanned- one of them brought up the recent news about Barry Manilow, and next thing I know I’m smoothly announcing my bisexuality, no big deal. Surprisingly, the news got zero reaction, and we were onto the next subject within minutes. I’m halfway worried they didn’t hear me, except I’m pretty sure they did. I guess they just didn’t know what to say, which I’m fine with. Mostly I’m glad to be making progress on coming out, though there’s still my family and my pretty conservative best friend to go. Still, telling more people feels really good!

    • “sneaking suspicion the sun no longer exists” honestly same. yeesss to getting some momentum on the family/friend coming out process <3

  46. guys, found out what you get when you fill up your rejection card w/ punches- more rejection!

    srsly universe I get it: be desired but desire nothing. #harderthanitsounds

  47. This week I’ve been on uni break and I’ve been visiting my family for the first time since leaving home in February. Right now we’re having a weekend away at the beach which has been nice.
    Coming home has made me realize how much my family argues all the time and how tranquil my life at uni is in comparison though.
    But I have enjoyed getting to see my family and friends. On Wednesday night we went out to the comedy festival and we saw Demi Lardner perform and she was hilarious. The best part was when my very reluctant sister got dragged into audience participation. My friend and I nearly died of laughter. Also on that night I ran into DeAnne Smith in the bathroom and I talked to her but I think I made a fool of myself. I didn’t act very cool. Oh well. It’s been great though bc all the comedians I’ve seen/ am seeing at the melb and cbr festivals are queer women.
    Also I’ve been getting to hang out with my dog which has been great because I’ve missed her a lot.

  48. It’s surprising how often I talk about this, but Kesha had sex with a ghost once and talks about it in a couple interviews as a real fun and cool experience so i dunno maybe this ghost is cool and also gay? I dunno if I actually believe in ghosts but I do believe whatever Kesha says

  49. This week has not been a good week. Remember how I posted last week that my doggo was very sick and at the vet’s? Well on Saturday we (and the vets) were hopeful that she’d turn around because she snarled at the tech who was cleaning her eye gunk out of her eyes (she always HATED the vets office and was by turns aggressive and peeing-herself-terrified, so a move away from apathy was a good sign, right?). But…no, she wasn’t bouncing back, and more of her organs were having Issues. We made the call on Monday and the vets were willing to do a home visit for her euthanization which was good, but it’s been very hard. And it’s been harder due to chronic pain that is made a fuckton worse by crying, and uh yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of crying, so I’ve been in a lot of pain; I think I’m finally done with the full body sobbing and hyperventilating so I can stop worrying about hospitalizing myself, though, which is good.

    But like since Monday there have also been noises that initially I don’t make anything of bc they’re Dog Noises and there have been 15 years of Dog Noises so like it’s normal…except there is no dog to make Dog Noises. The cats don’t weigh enough to cause the steps to creak, my parents are asleep or out of the house, I’m not going up them, so what is making the stair creak? The ghost of Xena? I don’t want to say definitely yes but like she also was very good and interested in looking after us (once she got over her shithead puppy stage) so maybe she’s still looking in on us and looking after us.

    Here’s a tribute to Xena: she loved rocks and water and her best friend Win and her only fears were small dogs and plastic bags (yes, really). She was a very good dog and the best hiking partner I could imagine and I will miss her very much.

    Here’s a frickin adorable picture of Win who is like 70% majestic floof

    And here’s a cat-shaming photo of Paw, who refused to eat dry food long enough that he was having health issues from not eating enough, and now will yowl for hours at random points throughout the day in addition to his “mealtimes” where he gets soft food. Also, if he notices you looking at him while he eats the hard food, he’ll pretend like he’s not eating it and he thinks it the grossest thing ever and also see if he can convince you to give him another can of soft food. (I surprised him here.) Yeah, okay, buddy, you “won’t eat soft food” my ass, you spoiled, spoiled cat. <";

      • So sorry to hear about your dog :( its always really awful to lose a pet. Dogs and cats are family members :(
        I love that you’re bipetual like we are. Your cat was being a brat but dry food is better for them so it’s better to have that issue than the reverse. (my cats very rarely get wet food and when they’re indulged they become unhealthily obsessed by it and we vow never to buy them it again)

        • Well, dry food is probably better for the old man so he doesn’t have dental problems, but because dry food has quite a bit more plant matter in it than wet food, dry food does not sit well with Win, and she’s a puke machine between the GI issues and hairballs, and because it was getting so bad, our vet suggested switching her to wet food. She won’t eat wet food, to the point where she lost a couple pounds (which we couldn’t tell because she’s 70% floof) and was on the cusp of Serious Health Problems from her refusing to eat the food in front of her aka any form of meat or fish or eggs. So she won that battle and every other picky food battle since then (bc she also won’t eat dry food that would potentially help limit her GI issues because it has too much meat in it or something). She fucking loves bread with hard crusts though, which we found out after she stole some bread off my plate when I wasn’t paying attention bc like what cat steals bread off of your plate???? That’s a Dog Thing not a Cat Thing. She’ll also eat popcorn if you drop it on the floor. I call her the world’s only wannabe vegan cat because evidence suggests she doesn’t know she’s an obligate carnivore and need to eat meat to survive.

          This is also the cat who thinks she wants to be outside at all times like honey, you’d starve to death, also you can’t jump for shit and fall off the sofa and window ledges; outside is Not For You and this is for your own good because you are not great at being a cat, beyond having the cat attitude of superiority which will not do anything for you out of doors.

          Basically both my cats are shits and picky eaters and I love them very much.

    • I’m sorry to hear about the pain you’re going through. Losing a friend like that is really tough. I still dream about my childhood Cocker Spaniel some times, who passed away 15 years ago. My mother didn’t even particularly like the dog, and it still took her years to stop waking up in the middle of the night from “the dog waking her up to be let outside”.

  50. So, my girlfriend broke up with me a few days, and her mother doesn’t know because she told her family we’re best friends (they’re religious) and I helped her keep up the charade for a few years… but her mother rather likes me, and I do like her mother, and last night her mother called to ask how I’ve been and to wish me well on the trip I’ll be taking in a week (pretty sure my ex lied about when I’m leaving to avoid having to come up with another story about my absence, because her mother thought I’m leaving tomorrow), and invited me for dinner when I’m back in a couple of months, so that was pretty overwhelming because her mother is such a nice person and I really like her, but also my ex has been lying or at least telling only part-truths to everyone and the pieces are only coming together now that people are talking openly to me (because no one talks crap to someone about their girlfriend, I guess), and I really do not want to be in the same space as my ex again, but I miss her mother and want to let her know in some way that I care but also that I cannot be in the same space with my ex, all without outing my ex! So. Pretty complicated day.

    • Sometimes straight women have friendship breakups. You could say it was that? Although she might want to know details/try to get you to make up and then it could get tricky.

  51. A lot is going on in my life right now.
    So last night I sat down to finally catch up on the Flash and… how is it possible that one show is making sentient Gorillas work and another can’t sell me on their lead couple (looking at you Once Upon a Time and Supergirl).

  52. Oh! I belatedly remembered a “ghost” experience.

    One day while walking through my house, I saw a large dog sitting on the stairs. It didn’t register at first that none of my dogs look remotely like it, so I stopped and did a double take and of course there was nothing there. It stuck with me because I never just “see” things (I have a condition that means I can’t visualise on my own).

    Of all the places I’ve lived, this is the place that “should” be haunted. The house is from the 1700s. People have been born, struggled to survive, and died here. But it’s also the place I’ve lived that has felt the least spooky. Maybe exposed granite walls don’t hold bad energy as well as drywall/plasterboards.

  53. I’d be so embarrassed if I thought a ghost was watching me all the time. Like, what if they think it’s dorky that I’ve put so much effort into crafting the Enya mix CD I’m making for my sister? She ASKED me for this mix. It’s not like I’m forcing her to listen to 80 minutes of my favorite soft, new-age, folky pop. Look, I know it might not be a totally popular choice amongst those in the spirit world to end the playlist with “The River Sings” but I think it’s an underrated track, personally. I CAN’T JUST PUT “ANYWHERE IS” ON THE SAME CD 20 TIMES, OK? Honestly, unless critiquing my taste in music made by Irish songstresses in an actual castle is the EXACT unfinished business keeping you tied to this physical world after your passing then stop breathing down my neck, ghosts. I bet they only know the Enya song from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Whatever.

  54. I’m exhausted from job and housing searches. My white boy roommates are currently playing music loudly at 1am and I have an orientation early tomorrow. That being said, I got and accepted an opportunity I really wanted recently and my partner was supportive :))

  55. Big Little Lies though…it’s so damn good!! I have to watch the final episode yet, but I think it’s Reese Witherspoon’s best performance of her career. Although I will admit that Cruel Intentions was a pivotal part of becoming a teenager and learning about sex, drugs, and manipulative bitches. I guess Big Little Lies is kind of the grown up version of Cruel Intentions now that I think about it…minus the weird hiding someone in a drawer under your bed bit.

  56. Is it ok if I don’t always comment on here with my week? I rarely get likes or responses and that’s really bad for my social anxiety when I compare it to everyone else’s likes and responses?
    Not attention seeking just feel crappy about it.

  57. Reading this instead of studying for final exams. The more thats on the line with exams the more I procrastinate. Vicious circle.

  58. Hello!
    The handprints sound a bit scary, but could be because everything seems a bit scary. I think we may have had a ghost when I lived at my parents place, not much about lights or things ending up at weird places but once when I was home alone and just about to sleep I heard knocking on my door for a couple minutes. May have someone here too but probably just the pipes being noisy.
    Yesterday (actually friday) wasn’t the best, it started ok but I live like 40 minutes from Stockholm and things like what happened make me terrified. Luckily I got friends nearby and I watched wrestling for the first time. It was a nice evening, I got to cuddle with his cat, have my head scratched and eat good food! Then today going home again I saw a couple corgis in the park which was neat!

  59. well, gang, remember when i said i was going to come out to my parents over spring break? well. about that. i completely chickened out and didn’t do it! ugh.
    i’m justifying what is in my own head increasingly starting to feel like cowardice and prolonging the inevitable by blaming it on my sister being out of town the entire week i was home and not wanting to make any Big Family Announcements without her there. i really, really, really don’t want it to be a huge deal and i feel like having a normal routine of everyone coming and going from work and school all day with new things to talk about at the dinner table every night will insulate against it being The Only Thing Anyone Talks About For A Week.
    i was also hit with a wave of what-if-i’m-not-really-gay anxiety almost as soon as i thought i was going to come out. i think the prospect of naming it out loud makes it feel very permanent and i immediately started thinking no, this is silly, you’ve never even dated a girl, this is just college feminist feelings taken to the extreme, if you were gay you’d REALLY know it. even though i know in my heart of hearts that i am absolutely 100% no-two-ways-about-it lez. is this normal? is it just compulsory heterosexuality talking? YIKES! am i going to have to tell the little compulsory het voice to please be quiet for the rest of my life? DOUBLE YIKES!
    in better news, my bestest friend in the world and i spent every night of spring break on her parents’ couch, drinking their beer and watching rachel maddow. we’re both so in love with her it’s kind of ridiculous. (albeit she loves her as a liberal folk hero and i love her as the woman of my dreams, but same difference.)
    i don’t have any ghosts or spirits that i know of but i do have a maintenance man who walks around on the roof at all hours of the day and night and the weird noises always freak me out for a moment before i remember what it is.

    happy weekend y’all if you have coming-out anxiety advice please tell me i really need to get it together and do this.

    • @e-margaret

      OMG NO! I looked for your picture, because I REALLY wanted to know if you came out. But I forgot your name. lol. I think you might be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. You can come out in a letter or email. It is not necessary to come out in person. IT IS NOT NECESSARY TO COME OUT TO SOMEONE FACE TO FACE. You are valid either way.
      But great job for attempting and being aware of your goal to come out. Sometimes it takes awhile to really care what someone thinks about you. Including family.

      When I had to tell my Mom about the sexual abuse I was going through I texted her. Because I couldn’t talk about it, but I couldn’t keep it in anymore. Then I turned my phone off and slept in my car for the rest of the evening until I was ready to face her.

      Dan Savage wrote this awesome thing after I emailed him.

    • I had A LOT of coming out anxiety re: being trans and it wasn’t even that I was expecting terrible things to happen (I was expecting things to be awkward and moderately uncomfortable and my parents to the “we support you!” [does extremely unsupportive actions, gets mad when those things are called unsupportive], and like boom I was spot on the money), I just didn’t want to go through the actions of coming out and just wanted to continue doing my thing and just have everyone magically know (unfortunately i am not a telepath capable of projecting that into everyone’s mind so…i had to tell people the old fashion way, with words).

      If you’re having a lot of anxiety about WORDS and this BEING A BIG DEAL when you just want it to be normal, how does writing a letter or email or text message sound? I’ve found it’s a decent way to write things, look them over, and then send it out without having to worry about the immediate feelings of the person I’m coming out to and them saying some ridiculous shit or making it A Big Deal. I also found that Waiting For A Response to said coming out correspondence was pretty anxiety-inducing, but also not because like boom it’s done, out of my hands, how someone reacts isn’t my fault.

      And a lot of my anxiety was dreading doing the same song and dance of coming out like 500 million times to ever person ever to their face and answer the same like 5 invasive questions over and over and over again, and like. Yo. Brain, ya didn’t need to freak out on me like that because I could just write a little note on FB and then boom like 95% of people that know me would know and the Uncomfortable Conversations would be to like 3 people which is a thoroughly manageable number.

      And yeah, I built this up to be A Big Thing and it just wasn’t, really, but I know saying that doesn’t make you feel better (because like before I KNEW it wasn’t A Big Thing and then being so freaked out about it made me feel bad because like shit it’s not this big thing and I’m still being a wimpy nambypamby about it, like come on). So just be kind to yourself and give yourself some leeway about it because like, even if it’s not gonna be stressful, part of your brain has decided It Is Stressful anyway, so yeah, it’s now a stressful thing so just be kind and don’t beat yourself up about it.

    • Re: the compulsory het voice
      I’ve been out for 10 years (holy shit!!) and I still occasionally hear that voice. Especially when I’m not actively in a relationship (which is most of the time tbh.) It’s there telling me that maybe I really am [insert fucked up bullshit homophobes say here] and someday I’ll meet a good guy.
      Generally my solution to this is to watch Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters– because my immediate and visceral reaction is NOPE SO GAY SO 1000000% GAY I’M THE GAYEST GAY THAT EVER GAYED AND ALSO WILL YOU MARRY ME KATE?
      So maybe it would be helpful if you also found a touchstone to remind yourself why you know you’re queer? Feel free to use mine :)
      Hopefully someday the voice will shut up. I’ll drink to that.

      Also, the coming out anxiety is fucking real and it fucking sucks and you absolutely do not have to tell anyone until you want to. It doesn’t reflect on you as a person or a queer if you don’t tell someone right now or tomorrow. You are in control. You are driving the car and/or other sportsball related metaphors. I dunno, I don’t really sportsball.

      I believe in you!! I support you!! You can do the thing– When you want to!!

      • When the het voice comes in I always remember who I want to have a family with. I can’t picture myself with children and a happy household with a man. I still find men attractive though, but I see life with a woman. Things can change, but this is me now.

    • My compulsory het voice is actually lesbian.

      It has been with me since I was 14, and it definitely didn’t fully disappear when I finally accepted my bisexuality. The night after I came out for the first time, I dreamed about being at a school reunion and casually telling someone that I’m gay. Not bi, gay. The next morning, I obviously overreacted about it.

      I wish I had some great advice about coming out to your parents, but I really don’t. I’m leaving it until it’s relevant for the conversation, and since my mother told me explicitly yesterday that she doesn’t want to hear anything about anyone’s sexual identity, I doubt that conversation is coming in her lifetime.

    • oof you’re all so wonderful and kind and i love you. i think it’s going to have to be face-to-face just because my parents are old-fashioned in the way that they would find a text/email flippant or insincere, like i didn’t value them enough to look them in the eye. and i feel like i’m a face-to-face person too.
      number 8 on the dan savage list is kinda what i’ve been doing. i’m hoping that when i come out to my parents they’ll be like “yeah, no shit.” but straight people can be oblivious to even the most overt displays of lesbiosity.
      AHHHHSDFKJLADSG i guess it’s going to have to happen over summer. i turn 20 on july 26 and i will do it before then. hold me to it, y’all. do not let me find more excuses to put it off. really. i really want to be out.

      • Good luck on Mission: Coming Out ! Sending them a text saying you have something really important to tell them before you go over to pop the news could help. That way you hold yourself semi accountable.
        But you’re only 20, you have time.
        Just Remember: You’re supported. You’re valid. It’s going to be okay.

  60. Unrelated to FOT I was wondering, if the March Photo Gallery has been updated and if April’s gallery theme has been announced somewhere?
    My browser shows neither.
    Oh well, maybe that is after all a ghost story for this FOT? ;)

    • HI SORRY that’s my fault! I’m updating the gallery tonight and will announce April’s theme tomorrow! Last week got away from me and I apologize and am properly embarrassed for this.

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