FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Blame It On The Eclipse

Hi hello and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! You know when you show up somewhere that feels familiar even if you’ve never been there before and you immediately run into three people you really wanted to talk to and someone hands you the thing to drink or eat that you were in exactly the right mood for and then your favorite song comes on? This is like that. What’s new with you?

I moved to Los Angeles exactly two years ago today, and today I’m suddenly moving again, with wild and fragile hopes and dreams deep in my heart and soothing grey surfaces under foot and large, low-to-the-floor windows I am convinced my dog (or, if I’m being honest, I) will fall out of while chasing a toy dinosaur or something.

A dog in front of moving boxes looking sad (I'm projecting). Still-full bookshelves behind the boxes.

old apartment. same.

Mostly I’ve been dealing with this move by asking myself the deep, important questions about who I am and what I want out of life and what the future looks like and do I really want this $100 iridescent shower curtain (answer: kinda? but aspiring to be able to throw money away does not mean I actually can throw money away, sorry people in my life to whom I keep talking about this one shower curtain) and which particle board bookcase really speaks to me and will also fit in that space between the windows and will I hate my life if I put my workspace inside the only closet or is that secretly genius?, because it’s easier to think about logistics than feelings, always.

My new apartment could also more or less fit neatly into the living room of my old apartment, which should be… interesting. The last time I moved I had three boxes and a duffel bag, and even though I’m no longer the ruthless proponent of minimalism-as-a-way-to-avoid-feelings that I used to be, I’m also staring at my boxes like where did all this stuff come from? And also, where am I going to put it? I hate the idea of getting new things to neatly store old things (except for bookshelves obviously), but I haven’t moved from somewhere so big to somewhere so small and actually cared about how everything would fit and is this why “storage furniture” is a thing and do you see what I did there? Feelings, what? Let me know if you have any small-space solutions! Or advice about how to keep my dog from peeing everywhere or barking constantly until she realizes this is where she lives now?

Anywayyyyyy what’s new with you? Are you okay? We can do this. I mean we can probably do this. I mean this is happening regardless so we might as well do this and see.

Look, [redacted feelings about ceiling plants]!

How are you this month, this week, this moment? Got any weekend plans? What snack are you obsessed with right now? Have you moved recently, and how did it go? Have you lived in the same place for ages, and how do you feel about that? How’s your cat? How’s your lizard? How’s your job? How are your partners? What are you here to escape from? How’s your eclipse season going? How are your dreams?

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Use the space under your bed for storage. That’s prime real estate that hardly ever get used. Get bed risers if you need them.
    Best of luck to you and your lovely dog with the move

  2. I watched Garbo’s Queen Christina and am reading a book on the history of Wonder Woman, so AS-recommended Powerful Queer Women In Fantastic Boots are keeping me afloat

  3. As an adult, I haven’t moved much. I did move to another country after college, but I only took clothes and a bag full of stuff it turns out I didn’t need. When I moved back to the US after 8 years I found that this minimalist had accumulated A LOT. I had to fit my life into a few suitcases and I left quite a few things behind, which I sometimes regret. But, it’s just stuff, and as long as I don’t think about that book or dvd or autographed Rasputina poster, I’m okay. Last winter I bought and moved into my house, which is way too big for just me and my cat. I’m very slowly filling my house with furniture and pictures. It’s a slow process and the exact opposite of downsizing. Here is my cat hiding behind my most recent purchase, which I still need to put on the wall. I guess that’s what I will be doing this weekend!

    • I so relate. I’ve been slowly “upsizing” for five years now. On the one hand I love how deliberate all my purchases are and how I know exactly what I need or want, because I had nothing and not suffIcIent money to just mindlessly “plug the holes” asap. On the other hand, life would often have been so much easier with STUFF.

      • It’s such a bizarre and slightly difficult process! I had nothing, because I was living with my parents, so all of the “basics” were large and expensive items – sofa, bed, refrigerator, washer/dryer, TV stand (since I already had a TV). Looking back at photos from a year and a half ago my house looked SO empty. It’s still not full by any means, but I feel like I at least have the necessary furniture in every room :) Also, multiple cat trees helps make the house feel more furnished!

    • Sounds pretty similar to my experience @iskout Caitlin. Moved to Japan after college with nothing. 8 years later, I shipped almost 4 grand worth of stuff home, 90% of which was books. Strange how we fall into the minimalist/consumption pattern over and over again…

  4. Okay, I stayed up until 430AM watching “The Defenders”. And now I need to continue binging.

    • Okay, I’m just going to say it. That moment in episode 7 or 8, where Trish and Karen are talking, Trish describes Jessica in a way that goes beyond platonic or familial love.

      • I’m glad you said it cause this determined me marathoning this this weekend, thanks!

  5. hey who can tell me what a good entry point into Wonder Woman comics is? Like if I were to buy a comic and take it up to the lake with my on my camping trip this weekend?

    sending good wishes for your move, Carolyn. Downsizing is hard <3

  6. I have moved one million times, and every time I give half of my stuff away (or something close to it). But some things end up in boxes/storage even though I haven’t used it in 8 years. So weird. I store things behind my books on shelves so they’re out of sight but still accessible. Don’t forget about the spaces above your kitchen cupboards, they’re perfect for colorful items that you don’t mind having to dust every once in awhile (or neat looking stuff you can’t bear to part with. Why did I keep a giant glass leopard print plant pot .. that is shaped like a purse? who knows!).
    This weekend we are going camping, and I cannot wait.

  7. I need to move, my roommates are is my parents and my sibling as it’s hampering my trans+queerness in some ways. Then again if I move I may have to find a new job as business has been really slow lately(new admin isn’t letting Europeans get work visas so that’s affected business a lot). My friend was suggested I move in with his acquaintance, which isn’t a bad idea, as she’s a straight woman and Jewish(and has a sister who’s not straight so ally too). She didn’t mind the idea as it would allow her to get a better place if rent is being split. I guess I’ll see what happens.

    I went to a wedding on Sunday and it was kind of what I needed, because it was a Jewish ceremony and I was around other diaspora Jews. Plus, the Rabbi was a woman, and super nice. Sometimes being around community can really make it better, even for a night. Plus, it was in Malibu so after the wedding I drove my favorite road listening to Sleater-Kinney’s One Beat.

    The rest of the week had me just wanting barf, cry, break things, and wrap barbwire around a metal pipe(walking stick). I’ve seriously thought about moving to either Canada or Mexico and start a new life, but I dunno if that’s a good idea or not. I am also getting tired of dating sites as I match like 11 people this week but all of them either unmatched me or haven’t replied. Like has anyone else experienced this?

    The stars on a warm Malibu night.

    I think I shared these before, but here are some flowers for those who need to see something colorful and outdoors in all this mess.

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

    • I love your starry night photo! I hope you get a good photo of the eclipse on Monday. I’m going to try, but I’ll be at work and have to time my break just right, I guess.

      I go through phases with the dating sites/apps. Right now I’m feeling over it. I rarely get responses, even from the people who liked my profile in the first place. I don’t really take it personally, but it can still be annoying. Whatever, they don’t know what they’re missing :D

      • I too am work, so I doubt I will get anything special. Most sites I’ve seen suggest a lens in the 300mm or longer(in 35mm equiv terms) lens, the one I have is from the 70’s lens & could double as a compact weapon.

        Yes that is true, the people don’t know what they are missing out on; awesome Californian’s who read autostraddle and good at _your_answer_here__.

        • I can’t remember what the long lens for my camera is, but I don’t think it will be powerful enough for the eclipse. It would take a decent photo probably, but not the detail you would get from the really long lenses.

          Maybe I should add “If you read Autostraddle, we already have something in common!” to my bio.

          • I wish the eclipse was happening on a weekend. My dad has a tripod and a longer camera lens than mine, so hopefully he can get some good photos while he’s at work. I just hope I have a good view from here. The building I work in shouldn’t be in the way, but I’m not sure about the trees.

          • I think tree could add to the natural atmosphere. If you can get on the roof that maybe your best way to get a clear shot. But, then again maybe it’s just a good time to enjoy and relax and let someone else take the picture?

          • I have a feeling HR would not condone me getting on the roof! As long as the sun isn’t directly over the building I should have a decent view. But yes, I’m going to just enjoy the eclipse as much as I can since I can’t watch the entire show.

          • I’d say try to take lunch during it? That’s what I plan to do… I’m technically building manager so I can go on the roof, but I work in DTLA so getting on the roof on a two story building isn’t useful when there are a few 40+ stories tall buildings.

        • I was about to say the same :) love your photos & graffiti too. (is it called graffiti or is that just a judgey word for it? Street art I guess)

          • I tag it as graffiti on tumblr, but I guess street art is anther word for, as is lgbtq/queer positive vandalism.

    • @needlesandpin I’m right there with ya Al on the dating apps/dates. But, at least in your neighborhood, you have 11 people! In my conservative backwards town, I’m lucky if I find one match every few months. And it’s not my look – I’m fucking adorable. Some people just are scare off by me being trans, and that’s their loss.

      • Of course you are adorable, let’s not forget cool also. Come to a larger city, it’s a little more than 11 people and not all are going to accidentally swipe right.

  8. I’ve lived in my house for 12 years now. I have things from each of my grandparents- a comfy chair, end table, etc, and from other family and friends. My wife hasn’t been working for a few months now and sometimes her depression was making it hard for her to look for work. My line was that if need be we could move in with my parents (which I don’t think it will come to) but downsizing would be tricky.

    On Wednesday I took kids to the first day of school for the first time, and then with 6 hours notice, took our first foster kid back to her birth parent. The other foster kid is taking it impressively well. So lots of changes. That morning I also scheduled a job interview. I like my jobs but want to figure out a way to work less hours. So we’ll see. My wife has had several interviews for jobs lately so fingers crossed she’ll be working again soon, which will take off some of the stress.

    Oh, and the eclipse is coming right through our area. School was going to stay in session but then last Monday they announced they will be closed due to the eclipse. Goodness. My plan is go to work, but maybe take off a little time to watch the eclipse. We’ll see.

    As for my dreams, I feel a bit directionless. On Autostraddle’s recommendation I just gave to the Passion Planner kickstarter. I had passions and goals; now I just feel tired. Still, on we go.

  9. That shower curtain is gorgeous!

    I came here to this city 3 years ago with virtually nothing so I clung to a lot of my things that I did have. I felt small and useless any time I had to borrow items from housemates because I didn’t have [insert kitchen utensil, cleaning equipment, electronics, etc] so I started to cling to any items I did get as some sense of security that I was a real “adult” with things and everything that I needed.

    Now I’m feeling a lot more settled, and I’m slowly getting rid of things that I was only holding onto out of fear. I’m getting a little bit nervous about (potentially) having to move again, because I really don’t want to have to move a lot of “fear” items that I don’t actually need, so I’m trying to pare down. Right now my primary method is keeping bags in my closet where I throw any goodwill items that I don’t feel I need anymore. When the bags are full, I take them to my car, where they stay in my trunk for weeks on end until I remember to actually take them to the goodwill dropoff spot lol.

    I read the KonMari book last spring and, while I didn’t totally finish the process (stopped after clothes and wasn’t super strict with myself), it definitely helped me take a different approach to getting rid of items. I find myself much less attached to items that don’t provide me with joy and much more appreciative of items that do. The process of transitioning my wardrobe to only include items that I love has made me feel much better about getting dressed in the morning. I used to feel guilty about “never wearing” certain items but once I released them from my closet, I felt freer to wear the items that I actually loved.

    • My favorite Kon Mari advice was about gifts… that once a gift has been given it has done its job and doesn’t have to be kept out of obligation. It helped me get rid of a lot of stuff that had been gifts but I didn’t really want.

  10. I’m focusing on the good things. This past week we painted the living room ceiling. That sounds so minor put like that, but we’ve been working on this room every time we had a euro to spare for the past four years. We’ve torn down walls, we’ve renovated the chimney, we’ve scraped paint for hundreds of hours, we put in that ceiling and reinforced those beams and made the reinforcement an invisible part of the crooked old beams, so it was a huge deal. Just having changes that are visible is huge. Now that it’s painted we’re so close to putting light fixtures in! And then it’s just painting the walls, hanging stuff, and putting down a floor and getting some furniture…

    … and then I might actually feel like I can make local friends, because I can invite someone into my home and let them sit down, and not have to apologise for my life.

    Also, I got a birthday card from my in-laws and it had my actual legal name on it, instead of my given name.

    Aaand I’ve got an appointment for Monday morning to cut my hair at a salon for the first time in 14 years. I’m getting an undercut in the back. I kind of want a side shave, but I’ve never grown hair out so I thought I’d start with the kind of undercut you can just hide if it’s hideous and itchy or whatever hair is when it grows out.

    • I feel like I spent much of my pre-teen years helping scrape paint in my parents house! Taking down hideous wallpaper, too. So many layers…

      I hope you post a picture of your new haircut, I bet it will look great :)

      • Yes! Our house is 300 years old, so SOO many layers, not just pink, turquoise, yellow and brown paint all in one room, but sandy cracking concrete thrown onto stone walls, etc. We found crinkled up newspaper used as insulation in our door frame, and it was from 1945. Like, the Germans left (my village had a nazi headquarter), the talk turned to who should govern the country after the war, and the people living in my house thought: “well, that was that, now let’s do something about this draught.”

        Fingers crossed! If it turns out a disaster, I might post it anyway. ?

  11. I am so ready to move. I don’t consider it moving on, I consider it moving forward. My family moved a lot when I was a kid, and moving forward is one of the things I may have learned a little to well. I’m now in the process of learning to take the best with me instead of picking up and leaving everything behind.
    However, I am so ready to sell almost everything I currently own and start all over again. As far as furniture goes, the one thing that’s a must for me is my grandmothers kitchen table, which is ironic because I am yet to actually sit at it. But it has great childhood memories of family and friends, and amazing Mexican food. Pictures, an antique steamer trunk full of blankets and the greatest turtle wall paper, and my kitchen appliances because chefing. My cat is a must too, can’t forget my double J.

  12. I have one quick question. Have any of y’all been having trouble with dating websites lately. As much as I want to love HER, and not hate OKCupid, and LGBTQutie, I have been having a problem with every person I speak to asking me for an iTunes card lately. EVERY SINGLE PERSON! I’m not yelling, I’m just super frustrated.

    • I’ve heard of that happening, but it hasn’t happened to me personally. I’ve seen a lot of comments on the HER forum about catfishing, though.

      • I honestly love how HER is set up, but I’m just so done with internet dating sites. I keep saying this, and yet I keep re-downloading all these apps.

        • I can’t even remember the number of times I have joined and unjoined OKCupid. HER is ok, I guess, but I suppose what I really need is an app for LGBTQ+ people who just wants friends for now, but maybe it will turns to more, but if not that’s fine too. Someone needs to make that ASAP.

    • I can’t speak for her as I’ve been banned for being trans woman aligned and not passing. I’ve yet to get that on OKCupid but for some reason despite my setting it keeps showing me straight women(usually religious Catholics). I am not familiar with the other app, so I can’t speak for that.

      • I didn’t know that about HER. I tried it for making friends, since it was marketed for socialising too, but every other forum post was people bitching about unavailable people like me, so I deleted it. I’ve thought about reinstalling it, but if they exclude people for not “passing” I won’t bother.

        • Oh I know! Although I am open to dating, I would much rather make friends but so many people complain about. I mean, if there were a friends only app for LGBTQ+ I would have downloaded it by now.

        • I think it’s more like people report you for passing. The really odd and kind of mess up part is, one of the reasons you can report someone is for being a man(which some awful people use to report trans women), but last I head they let trans men now use the app(it was originally marketed as LBTQ women aligned folk). I was mainly trying to use it to make more friends and socialize. So, the only spam I got was for people asking me to vote for them or follow them on twitter(two people asked me that).

      • I did not realize HER banned trans people. This makes me a lot sad! I am not a big LGBTQutie fan with the exception of one feature. It has a feature that you can see members from any region you want, for example I recently went to Casper Wyoming and I was able to see members in that specific area. I so want to say something about the overly religious type, but I don’t want to say anything that could be construed as overly negative, so I’m gonna keep my mouth shut.

        • I dunno if you use tinder or have a windows 10 computer, but there is an app for Windows 10 called 6tin, which is third party Tinder app. Normally on tinder you have to pay to change location(or use that app that tricks your android phone to think it’s in another location you chose), but with 6tin the app lets you choose your location without paying for the feature on tinder.

          • I have never used tinder, I honestly have never heard great things about it. I will give it a try, I can only hope it is better than some of the other options. It can’t be worse. I have never heard of 6tin, but I will def check it out.
            I say we screw every dating app out there and just build our own that defys every dating app rule there is. It’s probably the sanest option, although one that requires a little more work. But putting yourself out there requires a lot of work, so let’s just run with it.

          • That would be a great idea an autostraddle dating app/service. As others have said in the past, Straddlr – LBTQP dating app.

            I’ve had decent luck with tinder, made friends with two people that I am glad to know. Yeah 6tin is just a third party tinder app I found in the windows 10 app store looking to see if OKC had a windows app(yes I know I can use the browser, but why no try the app if there is one).

          • Tinder makes you pay to change location now? I haven’t used it since last year but that’s terrible

          • Yes, so if you are in a small town Texas but want to see people in Austin, you have to pay, unless one spoofs their location through rooting/jail-breaking their device.

      • It is if you are a trans woman or trans woman aligned and don’t pass for various reasons. It’s a mixture of transphobia, transmisogyny, and what’s in our pants. It’s why you see many women spaces so willing to accept trans men, but trans women are almost an after thought somehow.

  13. I had an interesting experience this morning.

    A relative is experiencing what is generally called paranoid delusions; we talked about it with our friends at the weekend, who are psychologists, but also practising Buddhists. We had a really in-depth conversation about paranoid delusions/schizophrenia/mental illness as it is experienced and perceived throughout the world. People are more likely to react violently in the US, or, if they hear voices, for those voices to be urging them to commit violence, than in other countries studied.

    I was thinking about this on the bus this morning, and how it seemed to me that this indicates a societal influence, whether an overall one, or perhaps that there is more of a sensitivity to emotions or thoughts of others ( even unexpressed – I’m thinking of our brainwaves, and how we still don’t know how they function/interact with our environment/others). And I felt like we really all have a collective responsability for everyone’s health/well-being, because something that we may perceive as unbalanced in another may really come from our collective influence.

    So, the interesting thing was, just as I was thinking that, a guy who I’ve seen for years on the bus came right up to me, asked my name, and told me to be careful of cars. He fairly evidently perceives the world differently to many of us ( he usually mutters to himsel etc.)
    It was so odd because my relatives paranoid delusions centre around cars following her, and I had not even been looking at the guy in question. It really felt like getting a response from the universe our something!

    Anyways, just wanted to share…sorry for the long winded comment!
    Have a safe nurturing weekend everyone.

    • There was a fascinating article in the Atlantic a few weeks ago about how different cultures perceive hearing voices. How it can be a supportive voice of ancestors or other loved ones or it can be one that incites more fear and thoughts of violence. And also some about people who feel they have some control over the voices versus no control.

  14. My wife and I bought our house three years ago and made an intentional community in it. It’s still one of the best things in my life… but now we’re divorcing, but we’re going to keep living here and raising the kids together, but I went from feeling like I owned a house to feeling like I only own this one tiny tiny little sunroom bedroom, but I adore this tiny bedroom, but my heart wants to move to the west coast, but my kids are here, and I just don’t even know any more. So I’m relating hard to all the heart parts of moving, even though my body isn’t actually going anywhere.

    Anyway I hope your move goes well. Both the body- and heart-parts of it. <3

    • Maybe get the whole family to move out west? Say you miss spring in the dead of winter time, could work. That sunroom does sound charming and lovely though.

    • That sounds like it would be a very difficult adjustment, in particular creating clear boundaries (I would imagine).
      I hope that you can find your own sacred space that feels nurturing to you!

  15. I never thought there would come a day when I would consider spending $100 on a shower curtain but here we are.

    I paid the final payment for my online course yesterday, which is pretty exciting. It’s for music supervision which is my dream job but I put off pursuing it for years because it didn’t seem like an actual possible thing I could do but now I’m just like fuck it, we’re all probably going to die in a nuclear explosion soon anyway. So I’ll maybe be moving at some point and this all may be a completely insane thing to do but it doesn’t feel like it.

    Also, I did end up having to put my cat down a few weeks ago and it has been really hard but I’m trying to focus on the happy times & not that actual traumatic experience (esp. the part where the vet yelled at me for trying to comfort my cat bc he was terrified). But everyone’s very sweet comments here were super helpful & I actually went back and read them all that day so thanks yall ?

    • Sweetheart, I’m sorry the vet made your cat’s moving on so much harder. I’m glad you found some comfort on AS after.

      Congratulations on going forward with music supervision. Yes, seize the moment!! Your course is going to be fantastic, you’re fantastic ?.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your cat but glad you’re trying to focus on the happy times ?

  16. Good luck with the move! I just moved with my parents to a house that seems much bigger but actually has far less storage, so it’s kind of like downsizing in a weird way? Also next week(!) I’m moving to study abroad in Spain for a semester (I know I know I said this last week but it’s kind of the only thing on my mind at the moment!) and I will have two suitcases and a smallish backpack. It’ll be quite the challenge to get everything I need (read: want) to take with me in just that!!

  17. Ahhh downsizing that difficult task! Best of luck to you!
    It’s almost fate that this week’s topic/focus is on moving as I’ll be heading off in a week for Boston and grad school.
    As much as being at home with my family for a couple months has been great I am so looking forward to having my own space again. I never realized how much of an introvert I had become until I had family members knocking on my door at all hours asking me to run errands/do chores/or if I wanted ice cream (which is always).
    Fortunately I don’t have too much downsizing of my own to do but I did have to figure out how to ship my bike across country >.<

    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend, I'll be hanging out with my best friends – Netflix and packaging tape!

  18. We can do this. I mean we can probably do this. I mean this is happening regardless so we might as well do this and see.

    ^^^ Thanks for my new life motto!

    I feel like I’m infinitely behind on every project I’ve gotta do/every person I gotta love but! I had a meeting w my coding mentor and it turns out the problem I was running into was more with the program I was using and not necessarily what I was putting in, which was a huge relief. I’ve got a book that I really wanted, I’m writing again, I started playing with drawing and shit which is relaxing since I’m trying this thing where I don’t expect myself to be good at everything or else I give up, I got to play in a rainstorm (which I lowkey regret cause I’m like 90% sure I got something), and like therapy works? Like, I was really up and then something v triggering happened and instead of doing really bad stuff, I just went back to the therapy place? and drew quotes on myself til I calmed down? then I was able to get home and just do something for a friend and sleep and…….be okay? I’m so confused but really thankful and uh yes, I got work tomorrow which I’m not looking forward to, and just it’s always a hard time when things like Charlottesville happen, but I’m finding a lot of comfort in black women, in black women I trust who refuse to keep showing up when no one else will show up for them, in music, in the receptionist who’s leaving but made sure to see me first, who sat and talked about girls’ trip and tiffany haddish and “you got mcdonalds money?” with me and made me feel really seen and black and still in a very white space, sometimes in myself cause even though I don’t feel all woman, I do feel all black and I’m read enough that I might as well be women to everyone else anyway, and even in my lyft driver who took me home during a panic attack yesterday and played this podcast where a black woman was talking about Charlottesville and then it switched to two women talking about Cardi B and Bodak Yellow, I’m finding a hell of a lot of solace in this.

    Good luck with your move!! Have a great weekend, everybody!

  19. I just moved back to portland and I can’t tell if the traffic is just this bad now or if it’s the eclipse. I am really hoping its the eclipse and all this traffic will leave by next week, but I have a feeling it is also just worst. I am pretty excited for it considering I’m not sure where to see it from yet. I need to check if I have a good view of the sun at that time from my place or if I should go somewhere else.
    Besides traffic, moving is going great! I am mostly done moving in and even unpacking. The major things left are getting my bed from my folks place cause I am tired of sleeping on the floor, and hanging up all my art (lots and lots of art). I have more space than stuff rn which is a nice change from tightly storing almost all of my belongings in a small bedroom.

  20. I’m currently in the i-don’t-know-where-home-is constant-move state of living in my apartment for most of the year but decamping to my parents’ home during the summer, so that’s fun. WHERE DO I LIVE, REALLY? anytime Something Official asks for my permanent home address, i have a smallish identity crisis.
    speaking of something official, i had my first appointment with my new ob/gyn yesterday and she has this totally insane stained-glass depiction of a fetus in utero hanging in the window of the waiting room. it’s the most ridiculous thing. look at this!!

    other than the medical cross-section stained glass she was totally lovely.
    also, unrelated, i found the greatest shirt in existence at a thrift store for $3:

    it’s peak douchey lezbro and i can’t stop cracking up about it.
    love y’all, have a great weekend!!

    • This is the weirdest thing, but I am so happy you are out. I feel like I followed your life through you comments and now when I see your name and picture I sqwee with happiness and joy.

    • My inner baby goth really loves how that stained glass piece included pelvic bones because art like that we have seen before were very “look at the lil baby in the cozy placental nest” which detracts from the freaksomeness that they hang out in someone’s body for months.

      Craft fairs are wild places, so is my mind apparently.¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      Great shirt in a great colour.

  21. Carolyn, I hope wherever you’re moving to has central heat and A/C, or it’s in a very mild and temperate location! I can’t WAIT to move out of my house, this is the 4th year of me living here and I’m getting tired of constantly either sweating buckets or wrapped in 5 blankets in my house. Currently looking through the Ikea catalog (speaking of small-space solutions), browsing Zillow, and counting down the days til my lease is up in May.

    I hope some of y’all are gonna get to go see the eclipse on Monday! I’m heading to my parents house tomorrow to watch it with them because they live in the path :)

    • No heat, no A/C, but it has huge bright beautiful windows so I don’t even care. Temperature regulation schmeperature regulation amiright

  22. Right now I’m living in an apartment for the first time (I just graduated), and I probably could have done a better job of looking for a place honestly, haha. It’s not really _bad_ by any means, but I definitely could have found a nicer place for a comparable price. But I don’t know if I’ll be living here beyond the next year-ish, so no matter what it’s very temporary.

    One of the biggest problems I have with being in charge of my own living situation is being indecisive to the point where I never end up buying furniture. I went through four years of college sitting on hard plastic chairs because I never actually went and bought a real desk chair. I’ve had “get a bedframe” on my to do list for a thousand years, and I’m still putting it off. I feel like I don’t take care of myself properly in terms of my own environment, and I’m always thinking about “what about when I need to move again, I’ll have to deal with all this stuff again.”

    Dream-wise, I feel so good this week. I got nominated for a well-known award in my industry, the kind of award that the people I look up to have been nominated for or received. It feels really unreal to be in their company. I’m extremely competitive and actually had a really stronng feeling about my submissions, so I’ve been holding my breath waiting for the announcement for weeks. It’s so validating to be recognized in what I’m building as a career.

    • Congratulations!! You sound like you must have done brilliant things just to be nominated.
      Don’t worry too much about the furniture, when the right place comes along you won’t be able to stop yourself from making it home.

      Again, good luck with the nomination.

  23. Currently living between new house & parents house which is stressy enough & will take years so I know I couldn’t cope w the speed of an ‘ordinary’ move. (it’s fine just the travel esp w rush hour commuters)

    I love Graze BBQ mix. Can only get them from near my new house so I’ll have to stack up when I’m there. Not tried any of the other Graze boxes since they became available in shops. I liked them through the post but it was too expensive/much pressure.

    I’m so glad to be back in a situation where my guiltiest thought is looking at a childhood celeb crush in an old video & getting turned on. (my first crush who was an adult but not my first celeb crush, id fancied an actor my own age before) just cos so much has changed since for me but I totally get why 10/11 yo William sat down to watch that every week a bit transfixed.

  24. My favorite small space solution in my tiny studio is that I stuck hooks on the sides of my fridge/freezer (it just sits on the floor, not in a space defined by cupboards and counters) to use it as a coat rack because there was all this dead space on the sides above my rubbish bins/by a wall and I have a coat problem. (Actually, I still have a few coats that don’t fit on the fridge…) I also keep a few things like my toaster and my fruit bowl on top of it, because my kitchen doesn’t have a lot of cupboard space either – I literally use my old fridge, which came with the flat but I have rejected as it is tiny and has no freezer, as my pantry.

    • Keeping stuff on top of the fridge! My “assorted dog-related things” now live in a basket on top of the fridge and it’s because of you and thank you and I’m into it.

  25. My small apartment advice is make use of as much vertical space as possible. I just recently put up shelves on the wall (I know this isn’t always possible in an apt situation) and it’s a total game changer. I moved at least 1x a year for most of my adult life but now I’m in a very stable place where I can stay until I move in with a lady I’m super serious about and/or buy my own place. It feels very adult and awesome but also strange because who let me be a grown up?

    Even though I always got rid of stuff whenever I moved there was still a bunch of stuff I’ve been holding onto bc of feelings. Or because in typical midwestern fashion I have a hard time getting rid of things I spent good money on but no longer need because then I’m not getting my money’s worth even though I’m not using it and it’s taking up space. But this past week I went through everything I own and got rid of tons of shit. Clothes from my baby gay phase that no longer fit how I present these days, things that were gifts that I don’t need/want, letters and photos and keepsakes from toxic relationships that I am finally ready to move on from. I have a few key items I’ll be burning at the New Moon to signal my intention to let it go and move on and the rest is in the dumpster. It feels good.

    Also tomorrow I’m going to this performance thing where the audience has to wear our “most comfortable lingerie” and I’m wearing a corset and a really short skirt and I’m like 90% terrified and 30% excited and I have a lot of feelings about it.

    • “It feels very adult and awesome but also strange because who let me be a grown up?” —> does this feeling ever go away though

  26. I am obsessed with dried cranberries this week. I crave them like a child craves candy and eat them like popcorn.
    My boobs really ache like they’ve never ached before,it feels like they got punched a bunch or replaced by rocks. I’m hoping this just too much sodium/PMS thing because I don’t have the patience or what ever for more new health issues.

    I been dancing to Making of A Cyborg from uh the OST from Ghost in the Shell 1995 by Kenji Ka’swai. The movements have varied from something like a dance style I can’t remember the name and if I did probably wouldn’t be able to spell. It’s a very regimented style mostly sudden movements peppered with slow gradual ones that are kinda transitory.
    Anyway another variation looks like bastardised tai chi and ballet and I am not a fan of how it looks, the final one uses a ribbon and uh I need a better ribbon probably but it still looks cool.

    Because white nationalists are marching in very public places I decided fuck it and leroy jenkins myself into a class that I need to graduate but causes me “emotional distress” rather than give up completely and drop out of school.

    Media I am consuming is a Warhammer 40K parody “If the Emperor had a Text-to-Speech Device” which basically the Emperor roasting everything humorless people hold dear about Warhammer. I love it so much. Having gone to Catholic school and played with a Pre-Vatican II missal etc. as a kid.
    Also The Defenders, I have made fanperson noise twice in my life.

    When Agent Carter was renewed for season 2 and this series.

    Be warned tho Danny Rand has been made into the most fucking annoying rip off of CW’s grimdark version of Oliver Queen.
    He should be a cheerful dumbass b/c wealthy white boy privilege/raised by monks, but noooo he’s a scrawny whiny manpain voiced self imported idiot.

    • I can’t believe I’m saying this, and you may already know this but try using a blow dryer, it might help the aching. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will help me.

      • I never would of thought of that, only use blow dryer in the winter. Rest of the time it’s outta sight outta mind.
        It’s brilliant and makes perfect sense. Applied heat with no touching.
        Thank you.<3

        Don't feel embarrassed sharing stuff like this is important. Somethings our best resource is still each other and not the doctor.

      • I’ll second this and add soak some hand towels in very hot water and then wring them out so that they’re like steam packs. Then wrap them round or fold them over and under your bozzies. Always worked a treat for me when they got sore and hard too. Mind you the best cure for me was eventually finding a gynaecologist who did a total removal of my ovaries and uterus but I had to “kiss a lot of gynae frogs” before I could convince one to do it. It is still one of the top three things that has ever happened in my life though.

        • Haha I’m American under 30 with no offspring. It’s not about kissing frogs, I’d have to be nearly menopausal for any perfectly healthy reproductive parts to get removed.
          Even then I’ve heard stories of women past their 30’s rendered sterile by the severity of their endometriosis or fibroids being denied or just patronizingly told “if you do this surgery you won’t have any children, are you sure you want to do this” every step of the way to operating room.

          My cycle’s not been anything but kind of annoying since I discovered the worst of my cramping was from consuming certain foods tainted with a specific additive that made my guts very angry.

          Had tender booblets before but not aching and hard.

          So uh thanks for the further advice. It’ll be good for a hot day if I can figure how to wrap around or under IBTC boobs. :P

    • I too started having really horrible breast pain recently…i’d never had it this painful before. Went to Planned Parenthood and was recommended Primrose oil pills which have helped!
      They informed me that if the pain happens around your cycle it’s definitely the cause for the awful pain.

      • I did a wee bit of research and primrose oil pills are gamma linolenic acid. Which is a fatty acid with some sort of anti-inflammatory properties.

        And the reason non-preggo non-fibroid boobs hurt. I can’t unlearn that info or the anatomical images.
        Let’s just go with hormones act like a hot summer sun on exposed pipes.
        Expansion=inflammation(ouch ness)

        So like not only are there angry inflamed tired muscles in the basement there’s overheated pipes in the second floor suite.

        Pills with anti-inflammatory properties that aren’t going to damage the stomach lining are very welcome.
        Thank you and holy batman the human body what the fuck.

        But back to yay pills.

  27. Yesterday was the shitiest fucking day. On a good note I am making progress with completing scholarships. I am slowly beating procrastination.
    I really don’t want to think about my emotional and relationship trauma even though I probably should. My Mom is asking me to go to therapy. So right now I am going to write and touch plants and being a lesbian because those are three things I love to do.
    Happy Frickin Friday Everyone !

  28. If anyone wants to schedule a lgbtq writerly meeting up next month or even nanowrimo please dm!

  29. This is not on the topic of moving or storage or the eclipse, but: I did my physical therapy exercises today! I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out how to make them a routine that feels natural instead of super stressful, or if I’ll figure out how to manage my chronic illness symptoms more broadly, and things in general just feel overwhelming right now… But I’m trying to remember to take things one day at a time, and today I did my physical therapy exercises. So there’s that.

  30. I’m hopping a plane next Thursday to see my best friend!! She lives out in Colorado. I live in New Jersey. The last time we saw each other was this January. We are getting together for a concert and just because we haven’t seen each other in forever.

    I’m super duper excited to see her again!! This is my best friend since 7th grade. We are both 30 now, which is still a bit of shock to get used to. But I’m a bit anxious.

    Not about flying. Or taking the bus to the airport (I can’t drive because of my cerebral palsy). But because of stupid little things like “What if I forget this?” or “I have the wrong ID?” etc etc

    I don’t think anything will go wrong in reality. But I’m making to do lists and doing some packing (will be gone 5 days) this weekend to lessen everything and relieve stress before I go.

    I also started watching “The Defenders”. 4 episodes in. Slow start for me. Like some parts (Jessica & Luke). Dislike others (Danny & choppy fight stuff). But so far I am enjoying it. Hoping to have some time in between packing and prepping to finish.

    • Strong recommendation for making lists to reduce “what if I forget” feelings. Because then it’s written down so you can both not forget and also let your brain stop thinking about it, you know?

  31. I moved to Vancouver today! If anybody knows of good gluten free grocery stores and/or queer friendly spaces in and around downtown, PLEASE let me know.

    Fortunately, for the moment, I am too distracted by how lovely British Columbia is to mourn the absence of Target.

    • @fictionalportal
      Hey! I’m hoping all the likes means maybe someone has pm’d you some info?
      Welcome welcome welcome to Vancouver!! Where did you move from?
      The good news is generally speaking downtown Vancouver is very queer friendly. In a weird way though because of that there aren’t many specifically queer spaces because most spaces are mixed. Commercial Drive on the East side (my hood!)is definitely very full of queer ladies. Cafe Deux Soleils and Bandidas are two good places to hang out with many queer folx.
      Also, many/most restaurants cafes etc will show which options are gf. There are plenty of gf bakeriestoo! Here’s another good list including places to get gf donuts, beer and Salvadorean food!

  32. My partner and I are still slowly packing, sorting and fixing up small tail end type jobs before our place can go on the market. We’ve been here for 25years now and I think we’ve both finally got our “ready to move hats” on at the same time. So once Spring gives us a burst of energy, I’m looking forward to making it happen this time. We’ve had several false starts over the last couple of years, one or the other of us getting sick or getting cold feet about moving to another state and always the worry about fitting into a new community…. Anyway, here’s to making it happen this time.

  33. Y’all I moved today. By myself. I drove the uhaul, loaded and unloaded the truck, all of it by myself. I feel like a warrior princess. A tired, dirty, warrior princess.

    • You are a warrior princess. Huge congratulations are in order, when you’ve had a decent rest find your favourite beverage and good company and celebrate a major milestone. Well Done!!!!

  34. Omg I can’t believe how expensive that shower curtain is! You can maybe make a cheaper version of it if you can find the right shiny material? Idk.

    Last weekend I went to a party and hooked up with a few hot girls and I’ve been at home sick with the flu all week. Haha. I’ve just been binge watching the L Word and Orphan Black. I’m pretty sure Jenny is single handedly driving me crazy this week. But the ending of Orphan Black was so good!!

    One downside of being sick all week is that I’m stuck alone in my crazy head and feeling anxious and panicky. The world just seems so shit at the moment with what happened in Charlottesville and in Australia, where I live, there’s an awful postal plebiscite for marriage equality where everyone is being asked where or not we should have same sex marriage and it’s not even binding and the ‘No’ campaign started up this week and it’s all so shit and awful and I feel like I can’t do anything except bug people online to update their enrolment details. Two of my friends went back to our hometown this weekend and my housemates aren’t home so I’m also kinda lonely and my best friend is in Chile and I miss her heaps. TL;DR I have lots of crazy feelings.

    Anyway, today is when I get to go outside! I have a work meeting and I’m being interviewed for a podcast called Generation Anxiety about racism and anxiety. That should be fun.

    I’ve only moved out of my hometown to Melbourne at the beginning of this year so I brought a lot that I probably didn’t need. Under your bed is excellent storage space, as well as cupboards, wardrobes (including above the wardrobe), nooks and crannies. You’ll probably wind up throwing stuff out but it’s also good to keep stuff for sentimentality and it can help you feel more at home. Good luck with the move.

    • I hope you’re feeling better by now it’s no pleasure being stuck with the ‘flu when all you expected was some fun.
      As to the non plebiscite that’s now a non binding survey…..I feel sick and angry every time I see the ad on TV and see or hear the RWNJ’s start spewing their venom. Being used as a political football by a spineless bunch of users on the make and I’m so angry all of you young people have to be subjected to shit that was part of my youth but didn’t need to be part of yours too. Anyway I suppose “that this too will pass” in time.

      • Hey Deloraine,

        Thanks. Am feeling better and finally out of the house. I was helping with enrol to vote calls this evening. So good to be doing something productive

        This survey makes me so upset. I saw a bit of Q&A with some homophobic question and couldn’t keep watching. It’s so awful. Talked to my friend about it a bit and she was good and reminded me that it will get passed eventually but it’s such an awful road to get there. Yikes. Got any tips on how to get through it? I’m sorry that you’ve also had to deal with this shit. We’ll get through this.

        • Hi Again, I’m glad you’re out and about also helping with the enrolments notifications. My advice, for what it’s worth, would be to keep doing those things that contribute to us and our community and that help you affirm yourself within it.

          I agree with your friend, we will have marriage equality and in time other inequalities will gradually be eliminated too. It’s also inevitable that any of us who are marginalised, by being used by this government to detract and deflect attention from their own problems, will feel angry, demeaned and furious. What we can do is support each other and help each other to develop resilience to keep on going. A bit of resilience is always a useful quality for just basic life survival.

  35. Well I thought I was ok with moving but mum decided we’re going to def get it done over next two years & I’ll be living with them when we first move which means two moves. Now I’m just thinking all the stuff I’ll have to lose to make a single room work.

  36. Super late to the party but here’s hoping your move went well, Carolyn! I can empathetise with worrying about logistics to avoid feeling feelings — I make lists and plans and more plans, knowing I’m 90% going to have to scrap them anyway, but they’re a nice proxy for having to show up to my feelings.

    I read Susan David’s “Emotional Agility” and it was very moving but difficult to practise in daily life… Or maybe it’s an air sign thing to avoid dealing with feelings at all. *excuses!

    Here’s showering you with good wishes!

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