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Hey there, pokey little seal pups! Welcome to Friday Open Thread, a underwater speakeasy for queer mermaids, femme sharks, and gender-fabulous octopuses or actually a place for you to put your pics and feelings and life updates so we can build this thing called community.

I just had my 33rd birthday on January 6th, which was 1616 (1/6/16) this year, which feels like it has to mean something, right? It’s also my Jesus year, a thing I didn’t know existed until people starting posting it on my Facebook timeline. Apparently, this is the year to get re-born. I don’t know anything about numerology or astrology, but I am feeling like 2016 might be an auspicious year.

I finally, finally have stopped biting my nails, a habit I picked up from my kindergarten teacher at the age of five (according to my mom). Because I’m trying to conceive right now, I’ve been taking prenatal vitamins and my nails have made a huge recovery. They’ve never been so strong! And long! And down to get the friction on! Wait, no, not that last one. Actually, I probably need to restock my glove supply with these new sharp tips. I’m still learning to type without stabbing the computer keys. I also almost took my eye out trying to remove a contact. Open to advice!

I know this is just a picture of my hand and my nails aren't even that long, but it's a huge deal. I haven't had any white tips to speak of for almost two decades!

I know this is just a picture of my hand and my nails aren’t even that long, but it’s a huge deal. I haven’t had any white tips to speak of for almost two decades!

You may remember that I finally finished grad school in December and within a couple weeks, I was asked if I might adjunct my first class. I’ll be teaching LGBT Culture in America in the Women and Gender Studies program at a nearby college in a few weeks. I’m in the process of putting together my syllabus, which is pretty wild! And hurried — as you may have guessed, I’m filling in for another professor who was planning to teach this class, but then wasn’t able to, so it’s a very last minute thing.

I recently took a trip for a super quick weekend getaway and was seated next to this dude, who was totally awake while doing this.



Seriously, WTF with manspreading?! I was super annoyed, but also didn’t want to speak to him or touch him, so I just squished my knees together like I was attending a abstinence-only sex education class and internally screamed.

And that’s about it for me! What’s up with you? We’re doing this thing right now where we’re using the Friday Open Thread to check in and connect with ya’ll, without any particular theme or agenda, so please stop by and share your life updates, best selfies, cute baby and furbaby pics, funny stories, amazing projects, and whatever else you feel like putting here! Come as you are and hang out with me!

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KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 230 articles for us.


  1. Happy birthday!! I turn 30 this year and fully expect to feel lost/directionless/some sort of ultimate challenge with identity/a crisis that I am fully not prepared for. Good to know that a couple years after this one I’ll be re-born as a magical being. THANK YOU.

    • Not gonna’ tell you how to feel, but 30 was my favorite birthday so far! But I also had my “quarter life crisis” in my mid-20’s, so by 30 I was like, “Whatever forever!” and really lived into my chill.

      I hope you have a magical year and a beautiful, grand entrance into your 30th!

    • ok but like 30’s are INFINITELY SUPERIOR to 20’s. Because unlike 20’s brain which is a wild and new creature but still inexperienced at being an adult, your 30’s brain knows what is up, having been around and seen some shiz. It’s exactly the feeling of going from bewildered underclassman to cool upperclassman in school. Enjoy.

      Happy Birthday!

    • I love reading the other replies to Anna’s thoughts! I have definitely been struggling with 30 (and its only three months til 31!), but I’m choosing to understand those struggles as an important period of appreciating where I’ve been and making plans for where I want and need to go.
      Not-so-helpfully, the women in my family have their hair go very white very earl, so I’m already rocking a crop of white hairs that are intensely noticeable with this side-shaved haircut. But that just makes it easier to dye it all fun colors, right?!

      • I have so many little white hairs. I’ve been getting them since I was 12 and especially in the last few years. I think they make me look cool and wise! I think young folks with all white/grey hair look so cool. I’m always envious when I see a 20-something or 30-something with all white or grey hair!


      am i wrong to interpret this as a happy birthday comment train for kaelyn because i did so WHOOPS

  2. kaelyn i have no advice but i do think fondly about badass long nails as someone who used to be really into getting tips and tapping my nails on things when i was feeling impatient. 5/5 do recommend.

  3. In the light of the completely pants weather we’ve had this week, I currently feel immensely pleased with both my new bobble hat (which I got on my recent trip to the US, and which stands out among hats here because of the sheer size of bobble) and my frumpy but apparently highly effective waterproof trousers. That is my news for the week.

      • Idk if they’re similar to EMT pants but I have a lot of friends who are EMTs/first responders and their uniform includes waterproof pants not because of water, but other fluids EMTs might come into contact with. The pants are a little weird and super expensive.

        • I can confirm that they are expensive, but not /really/ waterproof. They resist small/normal amounts of bodily fluids, but not large amounts, and also, sadly, not pouring rain!

      • They are trousers that go over my regular trousers and appear to be made of the same material as my raincoat. They only cost €10 so I was expecting them to be of limited use, but they came through for me when I needed them!

        • As a Brit this was the response I was expecting! Waterproof trousers for folks from a waterlogged country :) I bought sealskinz waterproof socks when I was at uni due to England’s propensity for downpours. Nowt worse than wet feet. Hope the trousers do good for you.

  4. I am trying to decide two things:
    1) If I could or should write a novel. (In the midst of this is: You don’t have anywhere you want to be or anyone you feel comfortable being around right now and that is why you don’t know where you would write your novel or how it would feel if you did that.)
    2) If I should email my ex girlfriend that I have sprinkled random feelings about all over this website (In the hopes that someone else could take on the burden of answering my questions about life and love and if you can love someone and still not be supposed to talk to them.)

    • 1) My opinion is yes. There is never a perfect time for writing, I say as someone who hasn’t done any creative writing in years even though I majored in it in college. You have to make time and prioritize it if you really, really want it. There are plenty of online communities now to get feedback and connect socially with other writer. You would’t have to do it alone!

      2) Maybe? I don’t know the answer to this one! It really depends how you left things and how interested your ex is in building a platonic friendship right now. :/ It’s hard to have those love feelings still when the loved person is no longer in your life. I promise it starts to fade into “having loved them” instead of “being in love with them” in time, not that that make the feelings you are having now any better.

  5. I can’t believe someone took up your leg space like that. That is messed up. If I would have been there, I probably would have given him the evilest eyes ever and then glared pointedly at the space/lack there of space between your bodies. Sometimes people have no respect.

    • I always silently seethe at manspreaders and visualize stabbing their thighs with a sharp fork and then hate myself for not saying anything. They are the worst.

    • I inevitably try to hold my ground and occupy as much space as possible in retaliation when this happens because at least then BOTH of us are uncomfortable instead of just me. Which is petty, but I kind of want them to know what it feels like? It’s so rude and awful and entitled!

  6. I applied for four jobs this week, with another four or five applications to finish up. All the jobs would involve moving across the country one direction or the other (yay!), and getting back into an industry that I’ve never been confident enough to pursue as a career. Here’s hoping applications lead at least to an interview or two.

    Also!!! A local movie theater is finally showing ‘Carol’! It’s taken all my self-control not to just drop work and go watch it right now.


      An good luck with the job search and getting back into the career you deserve! YAY!

  7. #endallmen is my new favorite hashtag and I will use it in all appropriate cases. Grow nails grow! But yes please be careful of the eyeballs. No advice, just be careful.

    • Thank goodness I only wear contacts a few times a year. I ended up cutting my nails that night because I really thought I was going to hurt myself.

      #endallmen is useful in so many situations.

  8. Happy birthday Kaelyn, and good luck with the teaching program, it sounds really interesting!

    Also I finally got around to watching PoI and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made for a while. I get excited now whenever a post appears here making reference to the future of the show. Although I will admit, I skipped a few episodes in S1 and S2 and only really started watching compulsively around Relevance (if there are any in S1-2 that I shouldn’t have missed, please let me know!).

    Also I went to speak to a personal trainer in the gym yesterday and I was really scared saying “I want to get in better shape but I REALLY don’t want to be weighed” but the personal trainer seemed SO HAPPY about this, so I feel a lot less daunted by the whole thing. I just really want to get back on top of my fitness but I don’t do well with quantifying success like that.

    I’m still feeling super shy about posting in these threads and have no idea what I should be saying but Autostraddle is quite possibly my favourite website so I’m really trying to get more involved in the community!

    • THANK YOU!

      And congrats on finding a personal trainer who will help you meet your goals. I applaud you for not getting weighed. Your weight has very little to do with being healthy. Have you ever checked out Health At Every Size? It’s a great resource for getting healthy without buying into self-hate, body stigma, and disordered eating. GOOD LUCK!

    • There was a recent article on Autostraddle that included POI and someone posted a link to a list of episodes to watch and which to skip.

      • Thank you both! I found the PoI episode list (for anyone interested, there’s a comment thread on this article : , it looks like I might’ve missed a few interesting ones in my rush to be introduced to Root.

        And Kaelyn, thanks for Health at Every Size – I’ve read lots of body positivity things over the last few years but this site pretty much expresses the way I’m trying to approach things, a “peace movement” is kind of what I need right now.

    • I definitely went the same route with POI and from what I’ve been told we didn’t miss much. If you haven’t gotten there already I am super excited for you to experience S4 and it’s epicness.

  9. Okay, I wanted to ask some people on their feelings about Cassandra on “The Librarians”. Does you feel like she is doing a gradual evolution/realization to being gay/bi, do you think that it’s accidental (The “And Fables of Doom” wasn’t accidental, but it also wasn’t strictly supposed to be a gay thing.), or do you feel that it’s queerbaiting? I ask because the show is specifically aimed to be family friendly, and after the “Once Upon a Time” article on AE, I’m remembering Jennifer Goodwin-Dallas’ statement about late night cable porn.

    • Oh I don’t know about “The Librarians.” Should I be watching it? I’m a masochist, so I’m usually in for a good queer-baiting…

      • It’s like a more silly “Warehouse 13”. I would definitely recommend it. Now if only they would get rid of Noah Wyle, permanently.

    • I definitely think they are moving in that direction. It’s not just Fables, I think, there have been some other things too. Like there’s a couple of scenes in 1×10 (Loom of Fate), and one in 2×10 (uh, The Drowned Book I think?), and then there’s 2×07 (Image of Image).

      This could just be me reading into things, of course, it happens, but – trying to see it from a non-biased pov, I’m pretty confident it’s leading somewhere. So basically, I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yes I think she’s gradually becoming aware that she finds women attractive. And it’s not just that they are attracted to her. If I’m wrong, I’ll gladly, uh, idk, eat my hat? (I have two; I guess I could spare one should I have to.)

      I don’t think they’re queerbaiting – not yet, anyway. It really depends on if there are more “women like Cassandra and she doesn’t mind; quite the opposite” moments and how they’re done, and if that /will/ lead to anything or if it’s just the same old, same old in s3. If that makes sense?
      One of my favorite things about this show, in addition to generally being awesome (my go-to show to cheer myself up .<' (<- which would be the queerbait-y kind :P)) I just – I can't imagine them /not/ having Cassandra be bi eventually. (however that's done – whether she's all "yeah, I only recently figured it out" or it's more "I'm bi; you didn't know?" (or if she's a lesbian maybe))

      …This was possibly a tad rambly and me babbling, pretty much. *ahem* ^_^'

      (I haven't heard of this statement JGD made though; I shall have to go look it up ^^)

    • Oooh I have been wondering about what their intentions are here, too. My most hopeful reading is that Cassandra (the fictional character) already knows and is super chill about it, and hopefully at some point it will also become an explicit thing for the audience’s sake. I also feel like it was fairly (subtly) clear that the season 1 finale alternate reality had her in a (past) relationship with another woman.

      I know at one point someone in the cast was tweeting about ship names for Cassandra/Eve, but who knows what will come. I’m hoping it’s mostly that they haven’t really gotten into relationships for the LITs, not that they’re not into her being explicitly lesbian/bi.

  10. Welp, this is it, this friday I am 2 years on HRT. Tomorrow I am going to make delicious mulled wine, and watch trashy anime with my girlfriend and my bestfriend :3

    As for what to do about your nails… eugh I don’t even. Every time I get long nails I break them doing something stupid, like trying to open a can of soda. I used to follow my best friend around at parties and make them open cans of soda for me because I couldn’t get them open otherwise.

    • Happy anniversary!!!

      I had a really good system for opening things with my stub nails. I think it’s actually harder with long nails! I always feel like they’re going to snap off.

    • As another soon-to-be two-year’er, I wish you sincere congratulations and wish you the best! High-fives for Team Shape-shifter!

  11. I have started thinking that it is time to move out of the basement suite I’m in but every time I start looking at Craigslist I get anxious cause the family I live under is super nice and I kind of feel terrible about leaving them. One of my down stairs neighbors has a child that likes to scream at midnight and I have to get up early to go to work and the fact that I can’t fully use my oven without setting the fire alarm off is kind of winning over the anxiety.

    Any Vancouver Straddlers looking for a roommate?

    • Aww, I’m sure the family will understand and will miss you, but find someone else to rent to eventually. Go get the above-ground apartment of your dreams!

    • Good luck- apartment finding is always exciting! Like kaelyn said, I’m sure the family will understand.

  12. I’m going to turn in my massage therapy school application today! I’ve unofficially been accepted into the program already, but having this monkey off my back so I can put it on someone else’s (massage joke? I recently learned about snake massage, I’m assuming there’s also monkey massages? I don’t know, I don’t know much about massage just yet, I haven’t started the program) will be so freeing!

  13. I’m afraid you guys have ruined me.
    I used to go through the world thinking to myself #allpeople in the best possible of ways (everyone ought to just be reduced to their humanity, outside of skin, age, income,faith, sexuality, sexual identity,etc.) and now I am just simmering with rage most of the time, because despite not really believing in gender and paying absolutely no heed towards expectations in that regard, I’m noticing all of a sudden how much I’m being made to feel like a woman, lately.
    It’s like I could just howl and rage at #yesallmen for the big things and the small things alike, and my anger is endless.
    It’s getting asked whether I mean to work full time at a job interview, due to “other obligations” I might have.
    It’s the effing “Clear Blue-Ovulation predictor” commercial playing mercilessly before each measly YT clip.
    It’s feeling like a weakened antilope surrounded by a pack of lions when I go to a straight club with only female friends and the night advances.
    It’s getting pawed at and hit on incessantly, and I am one of those people who absolutely hate anyone invading their mental and physical space.
    I hate,hate,hate being afraid at night.
    On Tuesday I went in for a practice day at the new job and,surprisingly, all my co-workers were male.
    Not a problem at all, but they treated me like the last little buxom blonde on the planet, and I have to say: My hair color is something I joke about when I run into things.
    I am short, but I usually forget.
    My curves are a reason for grief when I look for a button down.
    Those are definitely not the things that define me in any way.
    Adding insult to injury was the fact, that my new co-workers are tools.
    I mean, aside from the obvious.
    They felt super great about themselves, but absolutely weren’t.
    Now, my old job was so horrible, we were usually referring to it as a war zone and treated ourselves as brothers in arms, helping each other out, pitching in,where we could,etc.
    I really am a bit clueless as how to deal with this new situation.
    Especially, as I am in a bit of a senior position over them.
    Well, be that as it may, I hope you guys have a good weekend!

    • I don’t know what we do with that rage and outrage either. I’m scared of anger and I don’t really know how to turn it outward, so it eats me up from the inside.

      I also feel like some people get really socially conscious in college or when they’re pretty young and they have a chance to rail against things (commit civil disobedience etc) before they are old enough to worry properly about the consequences. But I’m 32 and While I’m much more articulate about this stuff than I would have been back then, I also feel much more stuck and bewildered re: what to do about any of it.

      • Therapy.
        Instead of eating it all up,and being super nice all.the.time,I am now someone with a temper.
        Who knew?
        But I have never really managed to throttle that very well, so I am just very restrained until I blow up like a volcano.
        Things, however, must not get to the volcano stage.
        So, yeah, still bewildered;-)
        I chose a gym with a giant boxing bag and that really helps sometimes.

    • UGH. That’s rough. If they are saying thing that are making you uncomfortable and you’re in a senior position, maybe you could just be like, “That’s not funny.” Though I don’t know what’s worse when dealing with toolbags, to be the “hot blonde” or the “stuck up bitch.” Personally, I pick the bitch, but that comes with it’s own set of challenges. I’m sorry you’re in this position. It really sucks to have a work environment like that. I hope you make time for plenty of self-care when you get home at the end of the day.

      • I’ll have one of the Bitch, please.
        And self care really is something I need to think about!
        I’m having a friend over, who is a total sweetheart, a die hard Swanqueen fan and just got through interviews as well.
        She channeled Regina Mills for her negotiations.
        I’m unsure,yet, if I’ll appoint Carol Aird or the Mayor of Storybrooke as my new work persona.
        My plan right now is to dress smart, study hard and exude an air of professionalism and competence.
        Which probably means I need to wean myself off of my tendency to fist bump and high five everyone in the immediate vicinity and that I can’t wear my ratty old jeans and endless collection of hoodies to work anymore.
        This really sucks. Work used to be my main social focus, but fortunately, I still have most of my old co-workers to have a drink with.
        This growing up thing keeps being full of challenges.

        • Yeah I’ll second that. Let them know right from the start that you’re not going to take any of that. That’s not always easy, especially when you don’t know these people and want to get along at work, but it’s much easier than having to correct it later, after you’ve already set the tolerance bar.

    • Sooo, I’ve been teaching a dog to back up and now have inappropriate but perhaps vaguely amusing suggestions to lighten the end of your day. Can you teach them to back up? Some sort of subtle conditioning? Follow it with a firm “Sit. Here.” and then perhaps a “Wait.” And severe infractions can be met with an “Off. Go to your desk.” Well-behaved puppies get a “Yes! Very nice.”

      Someone somewhere must have a cartoon of this…

      (Full disclosure: I use these with adults occasionally. Few notice the dog origins unless they know me very well.)

      I hope next week is better and you start to figure out some ways to manage all the feelings.

      • This is actually kind of brilliant, because who is going to send whom to do things will probably be an actual issue.
        I’ll be extra aware and make sure to try to switch that around as much as possible (or just segregate myself to do my own thing) and just think of everyone as dogs (setters, labradors, mastiffs, bulldogs..)
        Thank You!

  14. The new offices for Research Associates at school have finally been refurbished so I moved in last week. Yay new offices but also new coworkers I get to chat with throughout the day (I used to work from home and feel super lonely)
    I had a super productive week and my abstract which I rewrote twice got rewritten by my supervisor who turned it into this beautiful prose and I’m not even mad because damn, I see the kind of writing I want to be able to do one day…

    Also today was yoga day, first session of 2016 it was so good…

    Anyway it’s been a SUPER good week and I need to hang on to that feeling for rainy days <3.

  15. Hello lovelies,
    Does anyone have any good links/recommendations for someone who thinks they might be into girls but isn’t sure? My own coming out process was more a kick in the face than a gradual realization, but my best friend is currently thinking she could like girls but hasn’t specifically liked one before and is a big mess of confusion and curiousness, and unfortunately lives in a not queer friendly area. Any recommendations for reading or watching material would be appreciated!

      • That is perfect! Thank you! I’m trying to be really chill and supportive in a “whatever you figure out is great way!” when my natural inclination is “you had a gay thought? Oh my god welcome! Here’s a cookie, a sticker, a galpal tank, and a girlfriend!”

    • Queer TV shows with a romantic, building relationship, or movies or books.
      I talked to my friend like two hours ago, how Guiding Light and Otalia helped her realize she was gay.
      Maybe it’s time for that Buffy marathon? The Ellen Show? The nineties series, not the talk show.
      An Imagine Me&You evening.
      Or maybe save that last one for later.

  16. I recently reconnected with a really great friend of mine that basically showed me how to be spontaneous and enjoy life. The only reason we stopped talking was because I confessed, while very drunk, that I did like her while we were in college. I was so embarrassed that I figured I need space and time to grow up. Now after 2 years I made the effort to connect and she pretty much was ecstatic on facebook. Calling me by my nickname, using exclamation marks and a series of hearts. I actually felt like a million bucks. Had to reassure my girlfriend that it was nothing to worry about, but I am glad I still have a great friend. I can’t wait to invite her to my wedding and have two important people in my life meet!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Hi kittens and cats! Happy Friday.

    I need a hug today. Please send them?

    Lol, I don’t think this is the first time that’s been my main FOT request, which is a bummer. But we soldier on, right? The only way out is through!

    Also happy belated, Kaelyn! Congrats on your nails.

  18. Congrats on the teaching job! Not so congrats on sitting next to that person, but hopefully the trip was fine.

    How is everyone’s week going? My week has been kind of long and sad. But, on the plus side I went to my cousins(middle eastern woman) art opening in Venice Beach last night. I felt a tad out of place there, because the crowed was straight people with money(most the art gallery owners friends). I also came out to said relative earlier in the week as nonbinary. She and her fiancé said no big deal, so there is that. On the other hand my parents still think I’m weird for not accepting male gendered pronouns. :=/

    On Sunday I drove one of my favorite roads in the world. It’s something like 5 miles of twists, turns, and views of the pacific coast and valley. Found a kind of short hike by the road, which I decided to take.

    I also carved into a picnic table black trans lives matter. It wasn’t deep enough so it didn’t come out well on camera. But, it’s there.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post have a positive week.

    • Yay for cousins who get it!

      Yay for beautiful views and impromptu hikes!

      Yay for leaving an indelible mark on the world, quite literally!

      Thanks for sharing some of the good stuff from your week. I hope next week is slightly less sad, but equally rich with good stuff. <3

    • Oh that drive sounds so nice! Drives are the best. Maybe I’ll copy you and take my own scenic drive + short hike this weekend, even though it is freezing on the East coast!!

      • You should! If you are like me, make sure it’s fairly empty road(which it was) so if your legs need to stretch a little they can(which I did over and over again).

  19. Happy birthday, and I don’t know if it’s foolish’s new year’s optimism or what, but I also feel as if wonderful things are on the horizon for 2016!

    Tomorrow, I’m attempting a 119 bike ride. The farthest I’ve ever gone is 43 miles, and that was just a few days ago. I’m the least equipped of the crew, and this morning, just to make things even more interesting, I got my period.

    But you know what? I’m gonna suck it up, and I Google-Mapped every gas station and McDonald’s on the route, because these are the lengths I will go to to spend 10 hours with my crush, even if I’m an exhausted, gross mess.

    • Oh wow that sounds super impressive. Bicycling is hard. I’m sure it’s gonna be great and you two will have so much fun and much bonding will occur!

    • Mission accomplished! And it wasn’t nearly as hard as expected and not at all gross. The ride was so much fun, with a great crew, and the couple days extra in Tucson were lovely.

      This was at the century mark:

      Now I’m back and have the day off, so I’m gonna do art all day :)

  20. LezCab’s benefit concert was on Monday and was amazing! Our next concert is in May, and it’s 90s pop music! Queer women singing 90s pop! Make sure you spend Memorial Day Weekend in NYC – it’s Saturday, May 28th!

    I also have another benefit concert coming up- Broadway Sings for PKD, which raises money for the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation. My dad has PKD, so the cause is near and dear to my heart. That’s on Thrusday, February 25th at 7 pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre.

    SO MANY OF THE THINGS! I have sooooo many emails to send, and I’m slowly plowing through them. Happy Weekend!

  21. Happy belated birthday KaeLyn! You are rocking this year already – may all your surprises be good ones.

    This is my year to lose fear. I went to my first burlesque class last week, went in nervous, and came out super-excited and full of creative energy.

    I’m also going to improve my health – my wife had to take me to ER last week, and I really would like to avoid going back, so I’m going to be proactive and find a good TCM practitioner, and see if that helps. It will help – I’m calling it now!

    I want to be honest and fearless in how I approach life – I am going to be unapologetic about my enthusiasm. I am loving passionately; living through intuition; not second-guessing my expressiveness. Letting the beauty flow….

    …and keeping in mind something that Diana Wynne Jones spoke of – that if we do not reach the stars, the reaching for them is what took us further, it is not failure.

    • I am with you on the no fear. We will both enter 2017 super-confident! Congratulations on going to your class, even though you were nervous! That sounds like a super fun time.

    • I love this! I feel like 2016 is my year of being open, open to change, open to growth, open to taking chances, open to radically changing how I see and am in the world. MY BODY IS READY.

      Burlesque class sounds so fun!

      • Yeah!!! High Five!!

        I think you would love the class – I already feel as though it’s super empowering. Look, we have bodies of all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of expression…aren’t we beautiful, aren’t we gorgeous, aren’t we sexy? And it’s our own damn sexuality to express how we please!

    • Thank you for that. There were many winners in that article, but my favorite was probably “Gay people literally act like dogs when they see other dogs.” Also the fact that the first tweet was written by a “Helena.”

    • This is great! Ahaha!

      “A Subtle Lesbian Mating Call: cat hairs on your black shirt.”

      SO TRUE.

      • And black pants and black jacket. Coincidentally, I happen to be wearing those three things at this very moment. And I have a white cat.

  22. Folks – this week, this GD week, this MOFO of a week, and it’s not over…So yeah I don’t usually drink, and yesterday I had a beer, but today *raises a tequila at you all* to my weird dayjob that is making me very stressed and very sweary. Is it so wrong that I just want to read femmeslash and nap for a year?

    I love that you get to write a cool syllabus KaeLyn, I hope you enjoy your class and they are wonderful for you.

    I can’t help with the contacts thing I’m a short nails gal, but I remember my b-fri/surrogate sister-human had absolute talons in high school and managed it…I asked once and she said something about angling your finger and thumb so you use the pads…yikes! It’s like an extreme sport. Best of luck with that :)

    Have a great weekend folks, and if like me you’re working KOKO.

    • If you need to read femmeslash and nap forever, so be it! Can you take a “mental health day” aka call in sick so you can just lay in bed? Or would that get you in trouble? Sometimes when I feel too overwhelmed, I need to just take a break emotionally and mentally. I dunno if that’s how you work, though.

      I’m excited for the class! I am kind of working off the former professor’s syllabus, for better or worse, but I look forward to adding my own sense of intersectionality to the class and will be bringing in some diverse and contemporary perspectives. Hope the students like me!

      Thanks for the contact suggestions. I watched a Youtube tutorial that suggested using the pads of your fingers, but I could not figure it out! Having nails, in general, is just so foreign to me!

      Hope you have a great weekend, too, and get to take some time for yourself when you’re not working!

      • Thanks for the nap support :) I can’t take any time off at the mo, I’m down to a day off a week and I’m probably going to have to give that up due to impending deadlines and things which are compounding the stress. Ah well. It’ll be over mid Feb and then I’m seeing Allison Weiss and Jenny Owen Youngs in concert so I will focus on that light at the end of the tunnel. Have fun with your syllabus planning :)

  23. Yay birthday! Yay teaching!

    I am going out tonight! It’s my first real Friday night out since I moved here and I’m excited! (And nervous.) And I’m gonna look so pretty because I am finally going to wear the ridiculous high heels I bought about two months ago. Hopefully I make friends and also maybe make-out with someone?

  24. My brain has been doing Depression Things pretty hardcore for the past week. My energy has disappeared. My appetite has sailed off a cliff into the sea and promptly sunk and is currently unrecoverable but hopefully not lost forever. Plus I’ve been crying a lot at little things and crying is my least favorite activity ever and I hate doing it, but it’s been a fixture of the last three days and I want it to stop because it hasn’t even been the decency of being the useful sort of crying where you feel better afterwards.

    And then I got in a rather large fight with my mother this week about transitioning and money. Right now, as things stand: things related to me that my parents would conceivably spend thousands of dollars on: a.) conceivably anything b.) not transitioning. Which, fine, I have enough money in my savings account to pay for this, but the irony with the ease my mom can go from “come to Norway with us this summer; we’ll pay for everything” to “transition isn’t NECESSARY so we won’t pay for that sweetie :)” rankles.

    but here’s a cute picture of one of the cats i’ve been watching–her name is Vanna (White, get it because she’s a white cat) and she has one eye and she’s perfect (except for the “waking me up repeatedly in the middle of the night” thing, that could be improved upon)

    • Take two for the image!

      Also my kitty is hiding under the table growling and I really empathize because I too would like to be doing that right now.

      • Your kitty has sweet, sweet toe beans. I wish your parents’ financial priorities would line up with yours!

    • That cat is wonderful. I’m sorry about your week and your parents. I’m glad you have a plan, I know that makes me feel better.

    • Hugs, hugs, hugs. I’m sorry your parents are JUST. NOT. GETTING. IT. I’m glad you have a plan and you can feel good about the fact that you don’t owe anyone anything when you do this on your own terms. More hugs.

      I’m sorry you’re dealing with depression. I give you permission to hide under the table.

    • *Hands hot mug of tea and cuddly blanket*
      It’s perfectly alright to just curl up once in a while.
      I’m really bad at the self care thing, so when I’m in a bad place and know all of the basic things will fly out the window,(like eating, showering, drinking water) I make myself a list:”One healthy meal a day, drink two liters of water, go for a thirty minute walk,meet a friend twice a week, daylight for an hour every day, laundry, grocery shopping,etc. )
      It’s very low key, but helps me to keep functional on a very basic level, because with the not-eating, that’s wearing you down, too, after a little while.
      I bought myself a daylight lamp a couple of weeks back which has helped tremendously with the neurotransmitters.
      Feel embraced and don’t worry, this too, shall pass.

  25. Long time reader, first time poster, so hello!

    I am sitting at my laptop trying to write my first ever article for a local magazine. I haven’t written a word since university so it’s exciting but actually very daunting as well. Would love some writing advice if anyone has any? (I’m guessing that ‘get off the internet’ is high on the list…)

    Happy Friday everyone!

    • shitty first drafts, like anne lamott talks about! I find it much easier to throw shit out there and edit. gf can execute beautiful things at the last minute, but I am not that way. procrastination is a good way to lose sleep. any idea is better than no idea.

    • is my favorite way to manufacture fake deadlines/motivation and get words on the page.

    • Oh hi! I too have recently started participating after reading for, um, a long long time. So yay! For the writing, I also like the idea of writing a bad first draft. Get something on the paper! You’ll

    • Just start writing it, like others have said, even if it is horrible at first. I took a long break from writing between undergrad and writing for AS, too, and it is kind of like riding a bike. Shaky at first and then you remember how it works and it starts to feel natural.

      Sometimes if I’m feeling really uninspired, I need to create OPTIMUM WRITING CONDITIONS. For me, that means no TV, no social media, turning on some energizing music, and sometimes even going to a cafe or somewhere that is not my house so I’m less distracted.

      Good luck! And yay on getting published!

    • Yay, it’s lovely to hear from you!

      I don’t know what kind of article you’re writing, but when I’m feeling intimidated I like to do lots of research/related reading. Enough that a) I feel confident that I know what I’m talking about, and b) I’ve come across articles from people who clearly do *not* know what they’re talking about, but they write anyway. If there’s room for them in this great wide world to be heard, there’s certainly room for you, too.

  26. Happy Birthday! I was all about my Jesus year, too. I don’t know why, and I’m glad somebody else is kinda jazzed about the idea. Also, I am very frustrated about that man’s knee. Today I decided to try harder to remember my students’ names, and they didn’t even notice how nervous I was! I’m going to continue to try doing things I should have been doing all along without anybody noticing.

    • “I’m going to continue to try doing things I should have been doing all along without anybody noticing.”

      Good plan! I will take this advice as I go into teaching my first class!

  27. This week was a roller-coaster! I visited my local LGBT center and someone told me Medi-Cal users can get their name and gender marker change filing fee waived. I almost ate my jacket–and I really like my jacket! I immediately booked an appointment to sit down with someone at the center and go over the (copious and annoying) paperwork. Just gotta get an annoying doctor’s letter and I’m goooooooooolden!

    On the other hand, job hunt continues fruitlessly. I feel like I’m applying everywhere I perceive as a place I could live AND would be potentially trans-friendly, but going nowhere. There are plenty of architecture jobs out there, so I’m applying at like three or four places every week, but I usually don’t hear a peep back from any of them. Most firms aren’t even nice enough/have enough time (or resources) to tell me if they went with someone else.

    I basically have no money for bills that are due, and it’s really killing me, people. I am totally confident in my abilities to be a badass architectural designer, and an asset at any firm, but clearly other people don’t agree. I hate that other people are in control of my career and money-generating work right now. Working like mad on my writing and other marketable skills, though. Trying to multi-potentialite my way into creating my own opportunities and market niche. I just wish it wasn’t so stressful.

    • The people are nice there, aren’t they! I did a lot at/with our local place the first year I was out. The also hooked me up with amazing free/low-cost counseling, which was amazing. And I made some great friends through them!

      Sorry about the job hunt. That sounds really, really stressful. Sending you good opportunity vibes!

    • Hang in their friend! I am an architectural technologist and it took me a long time for me to get into the field and it took most of my school friends. You might want to look at manufactures, if you haven’t already, as a stepping stone. My first job was with a major grocery store chain in Canada designing store layouts and now almost 5 years later I have moved on to a smaller company but now I’m managing the design department. If you need another set of eyes I would be more than happy to look over your resume and/or cover letter or if there is something I can help out with just let me know.

      • That would be awesome! If you wouldn’t mind PM’ing your email, I would be happy to send you the current battery of documentation I send most firms.

  28. This is my first time posting in a FOT, but I’m too excited not to share. My new coworker is a queer lady who’s my age! Up till now I was the youngest person by at least 5 years, and the only other queer lady is in her 50s. The new person likes kids, music, and fancy tea, and I’ve already decided we’re going to be BFFs – but I’m trying to play it cool so I don’t scare her off with my enthusiasm. I’m semi new to town and it takes me a while to make friends, so fingers crossed! But we already have plans for her to go see Carol with my gf and me, so I think we’re off to a good start.

    • Oh man, she’s so lucky to work with you! I love when one person decides to BFF up and then makes it happen. :)

      I’m going to go see Carol this weekend, I think!

    • I hope it works out and y’all can have a queer lady tea party because what’s being 50+ if you can’t have a tea party or at least go to tea.

  29. Yesterday my boiler/ central heating stopped working properly (don’t worry, with some effort I can still warm my house up) and the guy that my landlord sent to fix it didn’t have the part required, so I have to hope and pray I make it through the weekend. Anyone ever met a handyman that actually had the part needed? I think it might be a conspiracy of some sort.

    • Yes– but then they can’t put it in because the blah-blah-blah froze in the sub-zero weather.

      Does your area have renter protection laws such that your landlord must provide alternate housing if your indoor temp drops below whatever set point (55F is pretty common where I’ve lived)? Or your lease?

      • You can’t get it fixed for the whole weekend?! That seems unacceptable. I hope you have lots of blankets.

    • Update: my handyman either reads Autostraddle or found out that you can buy everything in London. He stopped by this morning and my house is a nice 20°C (or something like 1000°F) again.

  30. Y’all, I’ve been having a lot of confusing feelings about some men lately (like maybe I am into them after all???) and so I added men to my tinder and hoooo boy has it been a week. Is it possible to find men who aren’t terrible on tinder? I feel like statistically they are so few un-terrible men in the world that I’m not sure what I’m getting myself into. But one of them messaged me saying “I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOUR DOG,” so maybe there’s hope.

    I have also been having a lot of feelings about gender and pronouns and why gender even exists in the first place. Do any of you have super strong positive feelings about the pronouns you use? I use she/her right now not because I really like it but just because it feels the least wrong compared to when I think about using other ones. I’ve started keeping a daily journal of what my gender feelings are and how wildly they fluctuate from day to day and I’m really excited to get to like June of this year when I will have enough data to see if any patterns or overarching feelings emerge.

    Basically everything is queer af and I feel very ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about the whole thing.

    • I feel like you can meet good dudes on the internet, but tinder is not a forum that necessarily encourages lengthy thoughtful engagement?

      my friend regularly posts out of the day things to social media and is like “today’s gender is polka dot femme daddy” and “today’s gender is cranky bow tie butch”- it’s fun, and gender as moving target is an enriching way to live.

    • I feel you on the trying to meet dudes on Tinder. I have had nothing but bad things with cis dudes on Tinder (but currently talking to a trans guy that seems pretty cute and decent), but I’ve had really awesome conversations with ladies (and zero really terrible or bad interactions), so idk.

      At least part of it is Tinder tho.

    • I think the idea that you have to pick one pronoun if that doesn’t feel authentic to you is sillyness. Some people, like me, are clearly binary in their gender, like I strongly identify as a woman and with she/her pronouns and that doesn’t fluctuate for me. But my partner vacillates between he/him and she/her in different contexts and on different days and is fine with that. It’s all up to yoooouuu! I think the gender feelings journal is an awesome idea! I hope it is fun and also helps you see if you can learn something new about yourself!

      Tinder sounds terrifying to me. Godspeed!

    • I have no positive feelings about any pronouns at all. I have immense blah-blehish feelings about all of the pronouns. Gender exists is because humans are dumb animals that need clear cut boxes for stuff because power structure. Maintaining a power structure. That is as coherent as I think I can get with that right now.

      No honey chil, I do not think it possible for non-terrible men to be on tindr or much anywhere there could be social interaction that could lead to snu-snu.
      It just brings the terrible out.

    • I have this strengthening Hypothesis that Tinder simply does not work for straight contexts.
      Maybe OK Cupid would be better?

  31. Happy Birthday KaeLyn! Your class sounds awesome and I wish I was taking it.

    My week was pretty crappy because (1) my laptop finally died it’s computer death so I’ve been without one and (2) we’ve been having a lot of “diversity” talks at my job and they’ve all been conducted as if there are no LGBTQ people in the room/convo, etc. I’m not out at my job, but still, things were so poorly done. Bleh. I’m also dealing with co-workers posting anti-gay articles to FB, which doesn’t make it feel like a safe environment.

    Thankfully this weekend I’m going to curl up with Sarah Waters’ *The Paying Guests* and Carrie Brownstein’s memoir and read all of my troubles away. Shout out to all of you who gave me awesome suggestions re: podcasts & music last week – you’re the best and have kept my ears happy after a shitty week.

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes! I am excited about the class, but a little intimidated because I’m taking over for a very beloved professor and I hope the students won’t be disappointed with me as their replacement teacher.

      OH NO HOW TO INTERNET WITHOUT A LAPTOP?! I would be so lost.

      Ugh. “Diversity.” I hate that shit. Let me guess. It’s just about how people should be slightly less racist. Or it’s about “deep diversity” and how every single human is unique and special. Yuck. I’m sorry about your shitty coworkers. At least you know who they really are!

      Hope you have a great weekend of reading and relaxing and mentally prepping for Monday!

    • I read both The Paying Guests and Carrie Brownststein’s memoir in the last couple of weeks, I think you’re in for a good weekend.

  32. Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

    I just found out that my new job (which I don’t even start for a week) is going to send me to a conference in Atlanta for 5 days in February during my birthday week and I’m super excited!!

    • That’s gonna’ be fun! I hope your coworkers take you out for a fun birthday dinner in Hotlanta!

  33. Little late to this, but I have a super important interview on Tuesday and have been gravitating between feeling excited and ready and capable, and then thinking “Argh, what am I doing, this is terrifying!!”

    Would definitely appreciate some advice if anyone has any, as this will be my first proper interview!

    Hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll let you know how I think the interview went next Friday. :P

    • I always find that it helps to do research on the company before you go into the interview and if you can muster up some confidence which can be hard when your super nervous. When I get really nervous before an interview I like to meditate for 10 mins, which usually helps clam my nerves. Most importantly just be your self, most good interviewers can tell if your are trying way to hard. Good luck on Tuesday!

    • Think of some general questions and answers.
      Like, why you applied there, what you want out of the position, etc.
      I’m sure there’s something on the interwebs about more questions like that.
      Preparing some key phrases and even clever questions, using Ashley’s advice on googling the company and your future boss included, really helps with being terrified.
      Oh, and try being honest as much as possible and don’t try to guess what they want to hear.

    • Woooooo! I weirdly love interviewing, well, most of the time. Not if I’m unemployed and desperate, but otherwise it’s always an interesting and usually productive experience.

      Remember you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you, by which I mean that you can use the interview to get a feel for whether the place is a good fit for you, if you like your potential boss and coworkers, etc.

      OVERPREPARE. Research the company and the people you will likely be interviewing with. Google common interview questions and tricky interview questions and actually write or speak aloud your answers to the questions to really work out how you want to answer. Make sure you have a couple good question to ask them, too, as there will probably be time for questions at the end. I like to ask people what they love most about working at [company] and what they are most proud of. I usually also ask about where the interviewer sees the company going in 5 years. You can google other ideas for questions to ask.

      My best advice is to fake confidence, even if you are super nervous.

      And memorize a filler phrase for if you get stuck on a question, like, “That’s a great question. Give me just a moment to think about my answer,” instead of staring and panicking like a deer in headlights.

      GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

  34. Oh hey there fellow January birthday person! Anytime you want to rant about how early January birthdays are the WORST, I am here for that.

    My birthday was this past Tuesday the 12th. I turned 32, got my period a week early, drove to Iowa for my grandfather’s wake and funeral, and thus spent the day around my passive aggressive extended family (most of whom forgot it was my birthday) and also a bunch of obnoxious people from the church I left 15 years ago who wanted to tell me all about my own grandfather and also how much they miss seeing my smiling face on Sundays. So, I figure 32 can only get better from here, right?

    However, tomorrow I get to get up on a stage and publicly tell the story of how I accidentally slept with my brother’s ex girlfriend… how in fact the first girl he ever slept with was also the first girl I ever slept with…. so that’s exciting and fun!

    • early january birthdays are totally the worst! mine was the 5th and so far being 32 has been just awful. i’m just holding out hope that this is a temporary, fucked-up-planetary-alignment thing and it will pass soon.

    • I hope 32 gets better! I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather. And that the whole thing was exasperated by passive-aggressive people from your past and family members. :/

      Early birthdays are weird, but not as bad as New Year’s Eve birthdays! One of my friends has a NYE birthday and she definitely always gets the short end of the straw on birthday celebrations. My birthday is also a minor biblical day, Three King’s Day, which was awkward when I used to go to Sunday School as a kid.

      Wait, you ACCIDENTALLY slept with your brother’s ex? How does such a thing happen?

  35. helloooooooooo chickens,

    It has been a week of highs and lows? We set a date to put the dog down, who has been suffering, which is simultaneously REAL sad but also there is a bookend to this experience we’re having.

    I got an influx of new potential clients, which is nice, and have been doing some blogging I feel good about, (this one is fun: and otherwise, it’s been rainy/I’ve read some goofy books/been doing my morning yoga class, otherwise things are pretty good.

    also I’ve been watching that adele car karaoke thing with Jimmy whoever, and now I’m watching Stevie Wonder in the car with him, and it’s terrific.

    also, I bought a copy of that ‘don’t bang the barista’ and it’s very silly, and I read it, but if anybody wanted to read it I would pass it along. we can do a gay/any book swap if you want, even!

    also I’ve been sick and totally lost my voice yesterday and have been making raspy improvement but I sure as fuck can’t do therapy if I can’t talk, so it’s been home times and writing times and other-work times for me.

    • Hope you are feeling better and get your voice back soon!

      Love your piece on lesbian enmeshment. Seriously important to cultivate personal interests and diverse support networks for long-term healthy relationships!

      • thanks sweetpea. yeah for real! have your own friends and stuff, even just on the internet, it’s important!

  36. I just turned 30 on the 8th! It’s like we’re twins, twice removed and 3 years apart. Hah. I’m trying to figure out a new person I went on two dates with who told me that my level of experience in dating, which she considers to be high, took her “aback.” When I asked what this means over the course of three attempts where she did not make any sense she ultimately said:

    “I just got a bad feeling when you said about your experience with a lot of people. I guess the amount of experience you’ve had as a whole excites me a lot but at the same time worries me if you know what I mean…I’ve just not dated someone with such a way about them.” Which I interpreted as her saying I’ve been around the block one too many times and that led me to send a very long winded “I am not a whore” text.

    I don’t think my interpretation of those words was a stretch but she apologized and then proceeded to tell me she’d text me back later in response to my response. Instead of getting back to me she’s posted on snap chat all day and I’m still waiting.

  37. How people (re: men) don’t realize when they’re blatantly invading someone’s space like that baffles me. My reaction to people like that is usually to go extra-spready myself. “What? I totally always sit with my knees 4 feet apart… does it bother you or something?” They generally get the message (tho not always and that can get real awkward real fast).

    Also, good luck on the baby-attempts! I’m also trying to conceive and it’s been a roller coaster and a half. First appointment they found a questionable cyst that led to surgery and a diagnosis of stage four endometriosis (who knew there were stages?). The doctor said if I’d waited much longer for the surgery I might’ve lost a kidney. So my baby-making window is fairly small, but I’m hopeful. Anyway, that was a tangent, my point is- Good Luck and I hope it works out for you!

    Good luck on the nail adventures too!

    • I always consider it, especially since I know I’ve been socially conditioned to make room for men and I HATE THAT. But I also don’t want to interact with strangers, ever, when traveling. WHAT TO DO.

      Good luck to YOU. I’m sorry it’s been a challenging process for you. TTC is way more stressful than I thought it was going to be. Hopefully it will work out for both of us!

  38. My mental health has actually been surprisingly okay for the past couple weeks (and I just jinxed it didn’t I) and I went to Israel and made some new friends and had a really good time (and I feel your pain about the manspreading, one of the guys in my group was next to me on the flight from Newark to Tel Aviv and let me tell you, 10 hours fighting for every inch of personal space and not sleeping leads to a very cranky Ari).

    I’m going back to college on Monday and starting my TA job on Wednesday and except for the fact that I’m going to have to cut off a lot of my friends because they’re still friends with my abuser, this semester looks promising! (Of course after I finish the cutting-off, 90% of my friends will be Nice Jewish Boys that I can actually introduce to my family without fearing for my life or theirs, so that will be a nice change).

    I’ve also got a bunch of hanging-out-type activities planned with my friends for the next couple of weeks in order to drag myself out of my room and not let the snow crush my spirit (because apparently after last year, snow brings up a lot of shitty memories and makes me cry a lot. I live in New England. This is really not sustainable.)

    • Why are airplane seats so small?! Even when I squish myself in as much as possible, I still feel like I’m fighting for personal space and/or hanging out in the aisle. Israel sounds awesome, though!

      Glad you’re doing what you need to do to be safe and happy at college. :) The cold and snow is a lot. I’ve always lived in snowy places and it’s prime time for seasonal depression.

  39. Things should hopefully be calming down for me shortly. This week I turned in my term papers and presented my dissertation prospectus to the professors of my department. I think that went reasonably well, but I probably should move some things around in the outline I had proposed for the project itself.

    Once I take my Latin exam (the academic calendar here is ridiculous and has finals after the winter break, ugh) and submit grades for the class I was teaching this fall, I’m heading to Chicago for the Creating Change conference. Are any of you going? It would be lovely to meet in person, if you are.

    • I wish I was going to Creating Change! Have so much fun!

      And good luck with your dissertation prospectus. And your dissertation, in general!

  40. Whoa, I’m so proud of your nail situation! New England winters eat my hands alive, then one thing leads to another and I have like, no fingernails and half my hand is covered in tiny cuts and sad, bloodied cracks and also they are always frozen, no matter what.

    God, what a terrible story! Anyway, I also made a great fire today, so there’s that.

    • Jealous of your fireplace!

      My hands are so dry all the time, too. My nails may only last so long at this length. I can’t believe how strong they are, but they are kind of getting in my way. My typing WMP and accuracy has definitely been impacted. Ha.

  41. This has been a shit week full of shit, but here is a satisfying manspreading story:

    I was on the greyhound to somewhere once for like five hours and for the first part of the trip this dude was manspreading big time and squishing me into the corner. Sitting like that without moving for a long time actually gives me some not fun knee pain. When we stopped somewhere for people to get off he switched to a now empty set of two seats and I used his vacated space to try and stretch out my achey knees. Because I was doing this no one sat next to me, but someone sat next to him and squashed him in! So I got my own seat for the rest of the trip. I didn’t speak up for myself but he got some karmic retribution. :D :D :D

    • I hope next week is better!! And that is a satisfying story.

      I see in your picture you are holding a copy of Tomboy? At least I think that’s what it is. What did you think about that? I read half of it and then got involved in too many books and then moved thrice so I took all the half-read books back to the library (which is where I work, so books are always finding their way home with me). The first half…I don’t really remember super well. But if you think it is great enough to be your profile picture I’ll get it out this weekend and read it fully! Have you read Exquisite Corpse? There were a lot of terrific graphic novels published last year, but that’s the one I read most recently. It isn’t super queer, but it has a very feminist feel.

  42. Hello! I am new to the posting of the comments thing, even though I’ve been reading this site for years. Why haven’t I commented in all that time? Debilitating social anxiety? Fear of rejection? Crumbs in my keyboard? Nope–I didn’t want to have to commit to a username. But this is a year of decisiveness! So here I am, with the terribly un-brandable name I’ve used for other social platforms. Anyway! These past few days I’ve actually felt, ok? Still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I have maybe a new job on the horizon, I’m going (indoor) rock-climbing for the first time tomorrow, and, maybe most important to my sense of well-being: I currently do not have to constantly worry about money because I made the (difficult) decision to move back home for a month while I find a new full-time job. I find it weird (and kind of scary) how one (me, I’m the one) can go from totally completely distraught to kind of ok and optimistic, fairly quickly and without a super concrete catalyst. I think this is a thing that happens to many (all?) people, but it never fails to weird me out. Going on four days of okayness–I might set a record!

    Hope everyone has a fun weekend and a productive week! I am also having a birthday this month, next Thursday. Feeling…eh, not super excited, but I’m not really focusing on it.

    Also, good job with your nails, KaeLyn. :) I have no advice, since having long nails makes me uncomfortable. I immediately cut off any white. Habit, I guess?

    • Welcome to commenting! Using the same name on multiple platforms is actually pretty good online branding, so you’re kind of doing it right! Yay to financial stability, even if it means living at home for a bit. It definitely takes some stress off. Fingers crossed for a new job soon!

      Happy early birthday!

      It’s kind of bizarre to me that I have white tips. I feel like I’m looking at someone else’s hands.

    • Yes! to indoor rock climbing!
      I have a crippling fear of heights, am short with short arms and a compact body build, and I legitimately suck at the indoor rock climbing thing, but it’s still super fun!
      Also, it’s one of the few places where you get to work out for two minutes, hang out for ten and in the meantime get to ogle all the ridiculously muscular women scaling walls with their literal fingertips.

  43. I’m turning 30 this year and I insist on embracing it.

    Also, I had an interview at Yale today and I am incredibly excited!

  44. Congrats on your nails Kaelyn though I have imagined you’ve likely figured this out by now but type with the pad not the tips of your fingers is how it’s done.

    And happy birthday

    It’s disney style mermaid doll maker with 2 body types. There’s a bunch of other little things too but you can make yourself mermaid.

    My week has been Urticaria: The Saga Continues.

    Long story short I been out my mind having to maintain as much immobility as physically possible while trying to also fight a cough and potential sinus infection.
    So anti-histamine making me woozy, mucinex and steroids making dehydration super easy plus cough medicine. I’m so glad I was logged out on my phone or I would have possibly ended up with getting my self banned or a Comment Award.
    I had vivid ass dreams about posting things and as well as stuff that is impossible according to our known laws of physics and shit.
    So I was worried when I woke up this morning if I had merely though or dreamed about commenting in poor dear Heather’s Things That Calm Her Down post about things that calm me down which are…um…things that are DISTINCTLY not calming her and probably lots of other unbent humans too.
    Or that the fact I find the film Carol very unrelatable (possibly because it is so beautiful) and would never pay to sit in movie ticket to watch it, but at the same time wouldn’t pay a for Leo film on principal even if I love the story of Hugh Glass. Also the ruining of a perfectly unsensible vengeance story by using Native American people as props is a factor.

    The hives that were still on me would flare up when I moved, especially when I stood and they also seemed to be very aggravated by my tepid “bath” that I Tuesday.
    Oh and I got the bullet of my Russian Roulette period this week too, but I got to use a small adorable dog as heating pad.
    Silver lining.
    Nother silver lining I did obtain a king cake last Friday and ate a piece of it everyday because I needed to eat food with one of the meds.

    Let’s hope all this Hamilton fever leads to some 18th century stays popping up in erotica shoots because there’s criminal lack of them and Regency stays as well.

    • Bam. That was way too fun!

      Hope you’re feeling better and more like a functional human being very soon!

      • Femme shark mermaid! Or is the killer whale?
        I knew you’d have fun with it. :D

        There’s drag and drop stuff too, little fish friends ect and you could have 7 different figures at once. Make a whole season collection of KaeLyn da la Mer or what.

        Me too gurl, me too.

    • I just looked up what a king cake is and I am delighted.

      I’m sorry to hear about your various difficulties! And I sincerely hope your wish is granted re: 18th century stays. I think that would probably benefit many humans.

      • D’aww you learned what a king cake is. They are delightful, be delighted.
        You could make a…jesus it’s some word I can’t seem to grasp at the moment but it’s like jerry-rigg but it uh has an affectionate homedown red-neck got none but make do ness. And it’s not something mean about Chalmette but probably lil affectionately mean about Kenna or Metry….ga dang it.

        What it is you could do is unravel a pre-made cinnamon roll package and then roll it up like a king cake. Shove a bean or nut up it, bake it, glaze it and sprinkle some coloured sugar.

        I think that’d cover anything really, but um if you ever find yourself in a place where you could buy a king cake the baby might not be in the cake for insurance purposes. It’s one of those things that changed with Katrina, having to put the baby in your store bought cake and still having a choking hazard warning on the side of the box too.

        Fuck yeah it would benefit and why stop at the 18th century, can I get some Regency love. Those stays were push up bras before the push bra was invented and are period for a certain Sapphic vampire.

      • Thanks, me too.

        Allergies are dumb, literally.

        They are your body having a dumb and attacking itself.
        I just hope this is a one time reaction to something,l I get learn what the thing is and not the beginning of an autoimmune disorder or something because then I’d need an “I’m With Stupid” shirt to wear everyday.

    • You guys everyone keeps talking about Hamilton where is this Hamilton and is it queer and do I need it in my life?

  45. My week was pretty good. I babysat twins on Thursday which was a lot of fun. Although they did give me a pretty shocking makeover. And yesterday I found out that I will be able to go to pride in two weeks, which is very exciting – my first one. I thought I would be at school camp but it turns out it starts later than I expected. But I’m going to another pride thing tomorrow probably so that will be fun :) I’m planning to wear my overalls and my everyone is gay pin.

  46. I MADE IT TO FOT!!! YOU GUYS MY PHONE IS ON THE FRITZ =( Which is why I couldn’t keep up with anything today. It pretty much DIES/has a black screen of death every time I sort of go into an app. I can’t do anything til Monday. OH WELL TIME TO UNPLUG YOU GUYS. I was off FB for like 12 hours and BOOM 21 notifications WTF.

    Anyway!! How was/is your Friday?! Are you kicking off a good weekend? I still have work all the way through Sunday BOO.

    @kaelynrich when I saw your fingernails I remembered the rhinestone story *SHIVERS* (also no offense!)

    I’ve been starting to train for…are you guys ready to hear this? A relay race with 11 other people…from Huntington Beach to San Diego..which is like 190miles O.O

    Yep, not sure how my co-worker talked me into this one but friends of friends of friends recommend it 100%. I mean I love team things. And I sort of love running? IDK. But it should be epic and very very fun =)

    Also I found this picture of Christine and I from like 2009. I think we had been dating 2 months and we went out of town on a date. LOL.


    YOU GUYS SHE’S GONNA BE HERE IN LIKE A FEW MONTHS AAAAHHHHHHHHH PANICKING. PANICKING. I saw the amount of stuff she and I have to do and I was like OMG THIS IS HAPPENING.YOU GUYS. It’s happening. OMGOMGOMGOMG This is the special you guys are waiting for and I get to post a picture of us and Andy together !!!!!!!!

    This is a very blurry (BOO) picture of me at the Broad museum in Downtown LA. My friend was really lucky to get reservations to the museum back in November and we were like 3rd in line for this infinity room. It was really something for the senses. I loved the museum itself, I found a lot of the art they had on display interesting.

    • All of that is lovely and interesting but I just gotta say please triple check that everything is backed up on your phone because I just lost a lot of pictures I thought were safe but weren’t! Actually not “just”–more like two months ago but I am still so sad. Your phone is giving you this grace period to triple check, so triple check, ok? Ok.

    • There you are! I was wondering where you were at. :) The infinity room looks incredible. I am so excited for your family to be all together!!!

    • Im gonna back up everything soon. I did sort clean it out about a week ago because no space for new pictures. Hopefully this thing can still get some $ if i trade it in.

      It probs couldnt handle the cute. She and I have reason to believe that viber has so many messages which is why it wont load LOL

  47. Happy burrrthday!! And congrats on stopping nail biting, I am both proud and envious.

    Right now, I’m using the free wifi in Kyoto!!! I’ve been in Japan for about a week; tomorrow we (my mum and I) head back to Tokyo for another 5 days. I am in absolute heaven!! Ah!!! Patchy internet here but I’ll try to post some photos later!

  48. Happy birthday, KaeLyn! I really hope 2016 will be a super awesome year for you! Sans the manspreading, seriously. DOWN WITH MANSPREADING.

    I’ve been all over the place this past week! I’ve got lots of things to do (a portfolio of my latest works for a possible freelance client, life plan outlining, a little video for my mom’s 50th birthday, etc.) and not enough time to work on them. I’m trying to be more focused on my goals, but at the same time I’m working on being more outgoing and ~out there~ because I was a complete recluse last year. How to do this???

    On another note, I finished Dietland by Sarai Walker today and it was… refreshing? I don’t know how else to say it, except that I needed to read it this weekend, even if it felt like pouring a bucket of cold water over my head. I haven’t had the chance to think deeply on it — there are so many points and issues to touch on! — but yeah, it merits a reread for sure.

    AND ALSO! I just did three back-to-back tarot readings this weekend, and I’m so proud of myself! I read for an officemate and two close friends over coffee (the first last night, the second earlier today), and it was so heartening to see how cooperative and appreciative they were. I stutter a lot and I don’t know how credible I sound, but I’m still really glad I managed to do it! Any fellow tarot readers here? How were your first readings?

    (And yay for my first Open Thread comment!!! Glad to be here :) )

  49. Well, I’m late to the party but here goes. My gf’s birthday is tomorrow, so we’re celebrating tonight, and I hope it’s everything she ever dreamed of. In other news she’s perfect and still adding fish to my aquarium as an anniversary gift.

    If anyone has a punny group name idea for a school of x-ray tetras, I’m all ears. Band references are A+.

  50. I know it’s not Friday anymore but, I must process… Last night I had group sex with 6 other vagina-having people. It was sweet, sexy, amazing, and we were like cheering each other on when we came. whoa. I feel like “well that was awesome. wait, that did really happen, right?” =p

  51. I just popped by to say that I share your pain with the manspreading thing. I started at a new (to me) ski school this winter, and my very first day featured an old dude (one of my coworkers) stripping down to his boxers and walking around like that for a solid 20 minutes. And there’s a guy who regularly tells me to smile, but only when we’re the only two people in the room. It’s not like he’s doing it maliciously, but I still want to flip him the bird every time he does it.

  52. Congrats on finishing grad school! (or should I say… RAD school???) I am really digging this under the sea thing going on right now. Being a mermaid has been my life-goal since I was like six.

    I’ve been reading this mystery book series by Laurie R. King about a woman named Mary Russell who becomes Sherlock Holmes’ apprentice (and later, his wife, despite something like a forty year age difference, which, wHY) but the mysteries are quite good, and she’s a very loud and proud Jewish feminist, and very clever. Once you get past the creepy age difference, they’re very good if you enjoy historical mysteries.

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