FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I’d Like to Teach the World to Knit (Or Just Hang Out)

Hello, peaches, plums, and pears! Do you listen to Joanna Newsom, or. Well. That’s okay. Welcome to the Friday Open Thread, our weekly knitting circle. JK! This is our weekend-long chatroom/coffee lounge/hipster bar where we pass time together, share stories and feelings, and otherwise live vicariously through each other. Also, sometimes people share pictures of their pets and I really like it. AND ALSO, feel free to both be here and be knitting, that’s fine, I hope I didn’t make those things seem mutually exclusive — y’know I tried to learn to knit for so long and it never worked out but I was still an active member in my church knitting club growing up, so really I’m very similar to you.

via CatHub

via CatHub

This week has been all sorts of a whirlwind for me. I’m crazy busy, but I am also battling a near-constant desire to procrastinate. I’m too into politics not to devote my entire life right now to the presidential primary, but I’m also tired of the negative energy and antagonism that the election created in my Facebook feed. (Also, I can’t decide if I want Hillary Clinton sweats, a Hillary Clinton tee, or a different Hillary Clinton tee, or a Hillary Clinton throw pillow, and I’m lost in the world about it.) And, like most weeks, I’ve been fantasizing about driving far, far away and riding solo on the highway for a long time and rolling the windows down and buying iced coffee at small-town gas stations and yet I can’t figure out where the hell I actually wanna go.

And yet, here I am. I made it! You made it! We all made it through this bear (or, maybe in your eyes, a sheep or platypus) of a week and now we can take a second to mix up some mocktails or roll our joints, and shoot the shit. So let’s get down to it, shall we?

I wanna hear all about your lives, queermos. Your newly discovered desires, the amazing ice cream shop you walked to when it finally got warm out this week, the ways in which traffic impeded your commute, the amount of hours you spent watching The Office in your room today (is that just me?), how adorable your cat/dog/parrot is being right now, where your next trip is taking you, how excited you are to see me next weekend in DC, what you got your girlfriend for her birthday, and so on and so forth until the Earth spins off of its axis. Really, you could say anything right here and right now and I would love you for it. That’s what friends are for, after all!

And if you happen to have any advice related to task management, wanderlust management, or the management of my ongoing election cycle feelings, feel free to throw those in, too. I’d just fall madly in love with you if you did, I think. And before you send me knitting videos, just take note: I am a lefty.

(Oh, also, we’ve had this pumpkin outside since October and it’s still going. But it’s totally rotten inside and it just doesn’t look it, right? Like, that’s the only thing that could possibly be true, correct? Confirm / Deny below.)

Okay, queermos. Let’s go! You know how they say it’s five-o-clock somewhere? Well, it’s definitely open thread-o-clock right now. Just saying.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Carmen ! I still haven’t figured out the cure to procrastination, but i promise I’m still looking (or I will I swear. Like, tomorrow).

    I recently took up BREAD BAKING. Yes I’m raising my own sourdough starter! the first one died at day 5 (r.i.p.), I still tried to make bread with it. It was super dense but still sort of okay ! Now sourdough starter the 2nd is bubbling like crazy after 2 days only, I have high hope for this one !

    The week has been going fine for me ! I’ve gotten back into dating apps and websites since yesterday, so I’m chatting with a few super cute girls. I’ve also booked a spot to a hiking weekend for Easter, suuuuper excited about that.

    The weekend will be spent watching House of Cards, working on some articles, and going to see a comedy show with other members of the LGBT staff group from work. Yay.

    ALso I want you to know that as a lefty I totally here you BUT my grandma taught me to knit like a righty and there’s no way I can unlearn that, sorry. But this is funny because knitting will probably (I’m like 99% sure) be my next hobby once I’ve mastered the bread thing.

    • I’m a bit of a baker, too! I’ve discovered my love of buckwheat and multigrain sourdoughs by making my own bread, so it’s been cool. The weirdest thing for me was realizing that time and temperature should be treated like ingredients – like how if my apartment is warmer than usual then the bread rises a lot faster, so i have to modify the “official” recipe instructions. I love smelling bread that I baked cooling on the counter, though.

      Good luck with your starter!

      • I know all the websites say to put it on top of the fridge but my top of the fridge is under the kitchen counter so. Instead it’s just somewhere in the kitchen. I do wrap up my starter in a wool blanky so it doesnt’ get cold though !

    • I so admire you for braving bread baking!! I’ve gotten more and more into baking the last few months because my degree is super stressful and procrastinating isn’t bad if there’s food at the end, right? RIGHT?!
      I used to work at a bakery so the smell of baking bread is so comforting to me but I’m also a HUGE CHICKEN who has yet to try it out at home. I did brave yeast for the first time recently with a batch of cinnamon buns that turned out delicious, so maybe I can ride that wave of confidence to actually trying bread. Any advice for someone with lots of enthusiasm and no useful skills?

    • Sourdough baking is at the top of my “Things I will do once I have my own kitchen again” list. So this is (hopefully!) very timely. Couple questions: You made the starter yourself? Is there a certain website or recipe or other reference you’ve been using? Do keep me posted!

      Also, LGBT staff group?? Do you work in Narnia? Totes jealous.

      • this is the website I use both for the starter recipe, how to care for it + the sourdough bread recipe :

        I love that they encourage you to try your own starter BUT if you keep failing you can buy theirs. (in the UK though).

        and yeah Universities are pretty good at allowing LGBT staff groups even though ours is a bit ridiculous (small and zero budget), but maybe it’ll grow!

  2. Y’all… I’m not even caught up on “The 100” and I’m extremely saddened and upset by last night’s episode! WHY CAN’T WE HAVE NICE THINGS?!? I am glad I have real life to remind me that not all of us die tragically after entering into relationships… isn’t this the opposite of how TV is supposed to feel. Or maybe that is their goal? Instilling a sense of gratitude for our reality. I’m just trying to put a positive spin on my feelings.

    In other news, went kayaking last Sunday with my friend and our dogs. Great times were had by all… until my pup decided he wanted to take a nose dive.

    Everything is fine. Spring is in the air.

    “Hey, mom! This is kinda fun!”

    Oh… nevermind….

  3. My uni group project’s deadline is next week, so this week has been a whirlwind of, “Let’s meet up after class, it’ll only take a second!” turning into 3/4 hours later, I’m finally home and have missed lunch and am too tired to work on my other deadlines.
    So. That is a thing that’s happening, but I’m surprisingly very unstressed, which is not like me at all?!

    Oh, another good thing is that the cheesecake cafe down the road did a deal where every slice was £1, so obviously I bought two and have been making them last all week.

    But yeah. I am very tired and can’t wait until next Friday Open Thread because then my deadlines will have passed and I can relax for a week until I get to go home!!! :D

  4. For task management I use an app called “Todoist”. Its available for Mac and for iPhone, I know. I use it for all my grad school stuff and all my life stuff. You can even set it to do repeating tasks for things you only do weekly or monthly. I’m quite confident I would have failed out of grad school without it by now. Or at the very least I would have had my car taken from me from forgetting to pay my car insurance bill.

    Also, I would buy the Hillary “Herstory” tee, I think.

    • kaley that’s one of the tees i was thinking of! i bought the marc jacobs tee because i love marc jacobs and a pair of sweats because i work from home now and i deserve them, damn it.

      also!!! i am so very excited to try out todoist right now.

  5. I’ve been looking forward to Open Thread all week (as usual, now) – I check and check for it to show up all morning, like I’m camped out in the midnight release party line. So I’m either totally hip and awesome or a wee bit over-enthusiastic.

    Just wanted to say that I’ll be scrounging some dollars together to donate to Autostraddle this week, because after the Label Post especially, I’ve come to appreciate just how much this site matters as a digital space. Seriously, if the articles and links and COMMENTS(!) do even a quarter for someone else of what they’ve done for me in the last months, that makes Autostraddle one of the most valuable websites out there. Thanks to everyone who works on all of it and thanks to the incredible readers who comment – you all make me laugh, cry, think harder, and act better. I owe you all, and I’m going to try to pay it up a bit.

  6. Okay so basically yesterday my girlfriend Emma made *her first ever cake during our relationship* which was big news. She’s a carpenter, not a baker, let’s just say. I coaxed her through ‘creaming the butter’ which was quite an ordeal.

    It looked good though! 10/10 A++!

    Left to cool overnight.

    Woke in night to find cats had a) been in litter tray which was full of shit because we are terrible people and then b) with shitty paws had attacked the cake and knocked pieces off. So, ‘adorable’ isn’t really the word right now.

    The icing on the cake (HA) is, here is a pic of the cake (which is for Emma’s colleagues cos its her last day) with icing over the shitty broken part!!!!

    They will never know.

  7. You know that feeling when you have a talent-crush on a girl, then you find out she has a boyfriend, and you get this sinking feeling and realize maybe it’s not just about talent? Asking for a friend…

    I saw The Color Purple again because I have a problem. It’s just sooooooo good. I’m obsessed. This is probably not a good thing because I have a history of becoming obsessed with theatre, and it rarely ends well. WHOOPS.

  8. The title of this open thread reminded me that I bought yarn to make mittens for my girlfriend a WHOLE YEAR AGO and have yet to do so… Which wouldn’t be a problem if I hadn’t made the mistake of telling her I intended to make her mittens the minute I bought the yarn. You think I’d know better by now, oops.

    I’ve been living in denial of the weather all week because it’s MARCH and that means SPRING so clearly it isn’t actually -20 degrees celsius and snowing outside because that’s not very springlike at alllll. Every day I check the weather hoping for spring and every day I’m disappointed. Canada is terrible you guys, if Trump wins and you all move here I highly recommend the West coast and literally nowhere else. Don’t come to this frozen hell. To beat the funk, my girlfriend and I are going to Montreal for the weekend to visit my girlfriend’s sister + girlfriend’s sister’s girlfriend though, which will be super fun! In my imagination it’s spring in Montreal and the grass will be green and not covered in snow. I will stay in this pit of denial until spring comes or so help me.

  9. I’ve continued to stress about moving this whole week. After 10 months of living at home after grad school, it’s time to leave this hometown coil permanently. I spent the time helping my Dad rebuild his contracting business, marketing, branding, and such, but it was still far too maddening to be back home, at my age, after years of independence and self-sufficiency.

    Anyway, weather forecast for most of NorCal, and for Portland, shows rain, so it’s gonna be soggy moving next week. Not that I dislike rain–I actually enjoy it–but moving in it? Not so much. The actual packing and moving has been a breeze, so most of my anxiety has come from the new job. Worries about performance, getting terminated randomly after signing a lease, and lots of impostor syndrome.

    So, yeah. As far as time management goes, I’m a fan of apps that use a “pomodoro” format. While I’m working on anything that will require dozens of years, across multiple days (e.g. writing), I use a pomodoro app to keep me focused, but not burn out my brain. I wish I had a permanent solution for wanderlust. Sorry!

    • It rains like every day here so far. Just carry around a raincaot with u at all times is my advice.

      My other advice is to get that raincoat from a thrift store, because everything at REI is like two hundred bucks.

      My other other Portland advice, after being here for one week, is to not determine what clothes are weather appropriate by looking out your window at the Natives.

      Because the natives are all total whimps who walk around in 55 degrees in long pants, raincoats and sometimes SCARVES like it’s cold or something even though it’s actually kinda sweaty out, save for the rain.

      Every Day I Regret Not Having Lighter Weight Jeans, basically.

      • After spending almost six years in Michigan to get my M.Arch, I have become impervious to rain, snow, wind, and other elements. I haven’t checked yet, but I might be a superheroine. So, since I have clothes from those years, I have assumed I’ll survive Portland’s best. Hopefully that works out!

    • i bet everything with the move and your job is gonna work out and you’ll be happy and free and nothing will get soggy. i am willing to bet at least five bucks on this.

      excited to check out pomodoro!

    • I feel you with the new job/moving stress. Mine is only just on the horizon, not even official yet, and still I’m getting nervous. I have to tell myself that this is what I’ve been gearing up for all this time (I’m also back at home for a few months), so any nerves should really be taking a seat waaay in the back to make room for all the pure joy I should be experiencing.

      Your job and move (Portland! So jealous) sound super fantastic and I’m sure you yourself are super fantastic and more than deserving of everything that’s coming to you. It’ll be great!


    The other day at Powell’s City Of Books I overheard two left handed women discuss the struggles of how-to knitting videos.

    I do not knit and thus could not contribute, but I lurked by them and thought

    “three left handed people just HAPPENED upon each other”

    And felt very giddy.

    I was already feeling giddy though, because Because BeCAUSE

    I’d gone to Powell’s in hunt of Tipping The Velvet, hoping to rectify the fact that the one and only Sarah Waters book I’ve read was the The Little Stranger, which is an excellent little horror novel mais alas! No Lesbian Sex

    And in front of the Sarah Waters books I ran into two not one but TWO certifiably probably queer women who were talking about the exact same thing and were there for the exact same purpose.

    (No Tipping The Velvet; I got Fingersmith instead. Have to finish Cloud Atlas before I can read it though.)


    Then I immediately got beyond lost in Powell’s City Of Books. I thought the location I was walking to was one of the smaller branches. I find Powell’s Very Overwhelming, like in a sensory way, and I emerged two and a half hours later totally drained.

    I ended up staggering into Whole Foods, where I was charged an excessive amount for chinese from the hot food bar.

    It Was A Weird Day. ANYWAY…

    I’ve lived in Portland for one week now.

    I still don’t have a job, and I’m starting to panic about that. (PLEASE HIRE ME, PORTLAND. PLEASE.) Online job applications are sucking out my soul, but the idea of walking into a random coffee shop and asking their very talented baristas if they’d like to hire a stranger fills me with dread and not good feelings.

    So I’m gonna look into dog walking companies (even though I don’t have a car, WHATEVER, maybe they’ll take me anyway??) and then, Sweet Baby Jesus, temp agencies.

    I sure as shit hope a dog walking company wants me, though, because walking around in nature (even rainy / cold nature!!) and not talking to humans is the only thing that keeps me sane.


    Yesterday I walked with The Dog I Walk to Forest Park. The walk just to the park entrance (the leif erikson entrance) was a little over two miles, the hike I took was maybe three, and then the walk home was another two, and I’m very out of shape and tired. I gave The Dog a bath immediately upon returning to her apartment building. I didn’t even let her walk inside. I took my muddy boots off in the hallway and horse-carried her across the threshold and straight to the bathtub.

    It was so lovely though. I got so many lovely pictures of The Very Photogenic Dog I Walk.

    I’d post them, but I don’t feel like having another online passord / username combo to remember re: imgur, so if yall want in on these sweet nature vibes I’m Michael_Moira on instagram.

    I’ll even take my account off private just for this friday so y’all don’t have to follow me!


  11. I can be a procrastinator – big time. It helps me to schedule my day, and space out the really important things – I don’t do anything super important back to back. Then I schedule less important things in between. That way I don’t feel bad if I skip over the not so important stuff, but I’d feel too bad if I skipped over what I had planned next (which is the important stuff). This method only worked once I had finally tricked myself into not noticing I was doing it – it’ll eventually happen if you keep at it! :) But the election has seriously derailed me many times, so I feel your pain!

  12. I hope all The 100 fans are going okay this morning. I never got into the show, but I’m still furious about last night’s events and the creator’s ongoing indifference toward the critiques.

    In happier news, I had breakfast with a cute girl this morning and signed up to do clinic defense with a local abortion access organization! So life is going pretty okay.

  13. Today I am leaving work early so I can go to a weekend-long training and learn to be a facilitator for Our Whole Lives (OWL) comprehensive sex ed classes at my UU church. I’m really psyched because OWL was important to me as a wee queer. It helped to meet adult lesbians who had dogs and kids and passions and jobs and healthy relationships. Now I’m an adult queer person who gets to teach kids – scary but also so cool!
    As for knitting, I wish I was at home so I could take pictures of my latest project and share them with you all. Maybe on Sunday. It’s like Autostraddle and Ravelry merged and I could not be happier with this development.

  14. Heyy, I’m totally with you on the wanderlust. Especially right now. I have a second interview tonight at a place I’m not /sure/ about, but I know I should take it anyway because I need to be able to move, like, yesterday. But at the same time I’m having some anxiety about finding a place and moving, even though yes, of course, that is what I both need and want to do. But maybe I could just drive away instead?

    Rawr. Week was pretty good, but super long and a little sad.

    I really wish I could get outside this weekend! But between work and the returning cold I just don’t think it’s in the cards. I hope everyone else has all the fun outdoor times for me!

  15. For some reason this week has been cold and gross in Boston (compensating for our mild winter? probably) so I’ve been keeping cozy with knitting so this thread is perfectly timed.
    I knit a T-Rex plushie (this T-Rex plushie, actually: for one of my friends and gave it to them Tuesday night and have basically been living off the memory of their happy excited face all week (they’re absolutely adorable and also I live for positive reactions to my knitting)
    I also saw a really really beautiful and emotionally wrenching production of Chekhov’s Three Sisters last night.
    Tonight I’m flying to London for the first half of my spring break and one of the things I’m going to do there is visit the cemetery where my partner’s ashes were scattered almost a year ago. I thought I’d be ready for this but the more I think about it the more I realize I’m scared. I didn’t go to his funeral or see his body or anything, so there’s still a tiny bit of me, almost a year later, convinced that it was all a bad dream and that he’s still alive and okay and that he’s going to come back, and I know that once I go to the cemetery and face the reality of his death that part of me is going to have to stop, and I’m not as ready as I thought I was. I’m scared. I’m scared. I’m so scared and I’ve finally admitted it to myself but that doesn’t make it any less scary.
    So yeah, that’s where I am right now.

  16. Have decided never to watch The 100, not that this is of great import to anyone or of concern to TV producers since I watch approximately 1 TV show a year (this year’s is Steven Universe!).

    When are the next Steven Universe episodes coming out?

    In life news, I am making decent use of my great gym and doing some weightlifting! I am determined to be lifting my own bodyweight sometime this year. (My numbers are not quite half that right now, but I’m only starting.) Anyone else lift? I do miss the exercise series that ran here for a while.

      • I want to get stronnng and then I can go back to aerial! Flying is fun but I got tired of it being such a challenge to manage a climb or a pullup. Need much more strength. Hopefully it will help to have that as a goal. I also play roller derby, but it takes up enough of my life that I feel this weird resentment of crosstraining for it, so I’m thinking about the other cool things the muscle growth will be useful for. Like handstands.

    • i’ve never watched the 100! i don’t even know, entirely, what it is, although i think it is on tv, although i don’t know how tv works anymore because i haven’t owned one in years. so i think i’ve been spared a lot of emotional turmoil today, it seems.

      • The draw for me was pretty much “queer women and it’s good!” I’m pretty glad I procrastinated so much on watching it. There’s a weirdly out of the loop feeling that goes with not owning a tv, but it doesn’t make me regret not having one either.

    • I do weight lift frequently(3 times a week is my goal); but, in what sense do you want to lift your body weight? Like doing squats? Chest press machine, or….. One of my favorite machines is the rope climbing machine. It’s a mixture of weight lifting and cardio. I am also in that odd position of not 100% sure if I want to start T blockers. So for me some machines I am lifting my weight, while other I’m only close to half or less.

      • Free weights, so I specifically want to squat, deadlift and row as much as my body weighs. I’ve heard negative things about machines in terms of practical strength and my gym is really well equipped for free weights (like, there are 11 power racks and all the bumper plates you could want). A rope climbing machine sounds fun though! If I had to name things my gym is missing, it’s stuff to climb. Ropes or a climbing wall or, I don’t know, some kind of adult jungle gym would be amazing.

      • Very literally! I’d love to have a friend to lift with, though with my schedule it’d nearly have to be someone else from my derby team and no one’s a member of my gym yet. (Yet. If I keep posting picture, maybe they will be tempted!) How is lifting going for you both?

    • I want to be lifting! I had started a little bit at the end of the year, with my gf’s coaching, and was really liking it. But then I moved across the country for work and am currently too broke and rural to be joining a gym :/

      • That is such a shame. I know the feeling of being in the back of beyond with no money and no amenities, and it sucks. There’s really cool strength-building you can do with calisthenics if you’ve any interest? There’s a Reddit /r/bodyweightfitness with good info.

  17. Whoa, lots of fellow lefties here. That’s pretty cool.

    I’m sure there’s politics stuff on my Facebook feed, but I pretty much ignore all that,as I do in real life (when someone talks at me about it in real life, I usually mentally tune them out. I’m pretty good at it). Honestly, I just don’t like politics; is politics over yet? Ha ha.

    If this week is an animal, I think it’s been cheetah for me, as it’s gone by so quickly. Traffic has, thankfully, not impeded my work commute much. Maybe I could ride a cheetah to work.

    I don’t know how to knit, though I’ve never really tried (Eh, I’m generally not great at creative arts things). I have Lalaloopsy on my DS though. Maybe that counts?

    I’d love to visit Washington DC, but, well, there’s always work. I hope you have a good time there, however! =)

  18. I used to be really big into knitting, one winter I knitted 3 scarves and 2 and a half pairs of mittens(I still haven’t finished the other mitten).

    It finally hit me the other day that next weekend I will be closer to 30 then I am to 20 and have started to think about what I have been doing with my life. I think the 25 year old freak out has decided to hit me as I approach 26 hahaha.

    In other news I took a walk in a bird sanctuary that I have never been too, I saw some birds that I have never seen before which was really cool and I took some great foggy photos.

    Here are some Greater Yellowlegs….

    and my favorite picture of the day.

  19. Task management: I’ve been using Habitica, which is sort of an RPG/task manager. Check things off your list(s), get gold and pets, conquer the world. While riding a golden flying pig.

    Wanderlust management: I’m of absolutely no use there, because I’ve been looking at cruises all week.

    Funny story about that, actually. Long story short, my grandparents gave me an IOU on a trip because they had to cancel on one we were going to take. My first thought? Tickets to get to A-Camp. Unfortunately, “Hey Grandma, can I skip your honorary doctorate ceremony to go spend a week with 300 lesbians on a mountain?” didn’t go over all that well, despite my grandma explaining it to my grandpa as a “women’s retreat, sort of like the Bible retreats [aunts] go to all the time.” (His response? “Oh, should Grandma go with you??”) So now I’m looking at cruises and daydreaming.

    So is Oscar, from the look of things:

  20. also I’m really glad yall spoiled last nights “The 100” for me because I almost watched it last night as a way to cleanse my brain after finally watching

    “going clear: scientology and the prison of belief” and it was The Scariest Most Upsetting Shit

    Not that I expected it to be a documentary about all the happy feel good vibes we get from religion, but I didn’t expect it be as unsettling as it was.

    and what happened on last night’s The 100 would not have made me feel better AT ALL.

  21. I’m on time! It’s actually Friday. Hi folks!
    I just want Ghostbusters to be out right GD now. I think Kate McKinnon licking that gun broke me. So seeing Ghostbusters ASAP is my main desire at the mo. That and not having this gnarly virus which has had me laid up since Wednesday. It’s totally not like me. I never take sick days. I suck it up and get through but this time yikes. Bronchial mucous plus asthma equals staggering from room to room hacking and wheezing while the dog looks on in horror and confusion. I think she thinks I’m barking? Idk. She isn’t handling it. Poor pup.
    I watched freeheld on Sunday guys, oh how I sobbed, like I started and couldn’t stop. I just want to make everyone I know watch it.
    I also watched Maxine Peake as Hamlet this week and highly recommend. Brilliantly acted, Maxine Peake is amazing and the staging is brilliant. They mess about with the gender of a few characters, not including Hamlet who is played as male by a woman, which creates some queer moments which then aren’t because women are playing men or at least one of them is. It’s like when is a lesbian kiss not a lesbian kiss, when one of the actresses is playing a man…I mean Shakespeare is pretty fast and loose with gender as it is so yeah. Anyone seen it?
    Have great weekends folks :)


    1. I paid for A-camp yesterday! That makes it real(er)! Now I really, really really need to bring peanut butter sandwiches to work instead of going to the cafe for the next few months because yikes! But vacations are worth it and my responsible adult existence where I reject debt and don’t have a credit card is worth it too! Right?

    2. This week I downswung after a solid month of upswing, mood-wise, and I really, really hope it’s temporary, because I just got out of a solid eight-month funk and I can’t go back, I can’t. Work is busy and I saw my ex on Saturday and my eye is twitching and I am eating too many Samoas. Yikes.

    3. But look at everything I achieved in the last month! I got a major handle on work. I cleaned my desk and sorted approximately 14 million pieces of paper! Helped with a major fundraiser and prepared for another!

    4. I need a little cheerleading this week. I can keep adulting if someone just cheers me on a little. Cause I feel a little like that depressed robot in Hitchhiker’s Guide.

    Anyway yay Friday!

  23. It’s defs after 5 on this side of the ocean and I’ve got a nice Sicilian Pinot and can’t complain! I might take up the phrase ‘platypus of a week’. Like ‘idk if it was a duck or a beaver week, but I need a drink. Mostly because of Trump.’

  24. Knitters! I have been feeling the need to get back into the social of knitting lately, so I tried to find an Autostraddle group on Ravelry & failed. Did I miss it? Does anyone else want one?

  25. I listen to Joanna Newsom! And apparently tear up when I meet her. (To be fair, I tear up easy.)

    This week has been a bear and I’m ready for it to be over. Too many meetings, too many cranky people, not enough fun.

  26. I have been a wreck this week! OMG IT’S FRIDAY THANK THE GODS. Work is so slow and it’s driving my already bad anxiety and emotions so I’m not sure where I am at any given minute.

    I’m having a queer feels movie night today which I am SO excited for. I need feels and movies and snacks. Well 24/7 but a night will do.

    I’m dealing with a BREAK-UP and it is so not fun, but still a super good thing. It’s making me realizing I’m 100% better at helping other people vs myself and now that I have to care for myself, I’ve forgotten how.

    BUT the people coming over tonight will help me do my dishes before they arrive. Now trying to find motivation to do my laundry this weekend will be a challenge…

    I once went to a lesbian knitting group in Minneapolis at a coffee shop. I only showed up for this cute girl. Then the cute girl dated another friend from lesbian knitting. Then we all sort of stopped going because no one was actually knitting anymore… I borrowed some knitting needles from a co-worker and I’m pretty sure I still have them. this was like 8 years ago now and I’ve still never finished the scarf that is poorly made and probably still attached to those needles. This story confirms that I still have a lot of work to do on myself.

    • I’m sorry but the lesbian knitting story is the queerest drama I can think of right and it’s cracking me up.

      BUT. I’m really sorry about the breakup! Sounds like you have good friends and maybe they’ll help you with the laundry as well?
      What movies are you watching ?

      • YES super rad friends I have! We’re going to watch Now and Then because DUH.

        I am hoping I can get a friend to sit and watch TV with me all day Saturday and make me switch laundry loads in-between episodes of whatever.

        OMG that knitting group was NUTS with drama. It was so good, I really miss it because of that, but also don’t! Eventually one or two of us would show and just catch up and MAYBE someone would knit, but I certainly gave up. Oh, memories. Now we’re all older and don’t really hang out that much but every once in awhile one of us is like “Hey! Remember lesbian knitting?” And then we giggle.

    • Breakups are the worst!

      I went to a queer knitting thing once and it was all ladies 10-20 years older than me and they were great but deep in a community that I was not part of, it didn’t really happen. I did run into my moms old coworker who had knitted the socks I was wearing at the time, that was silly.

      Where was your breakup on the Richter scale? Are you gonna have to totally rebuild or is it more of a patching the cracks situation ?

    • wait, so a bunch of you totally pretended it was about the knitting but it was about the babes instead, right. is that what i’m hearing. if i learn to knit, will i meet chicks?! WHY DID I GET RID OF MY KNITTING NEEDLES

      also, i say you finish the scarf and then post a photo of it right here. that’s my plan for your future.

      • YEP EXACTLY. I was only there for the chicks. I know some folks wanted to make things. I wanted to make other things. I was newly out and like “OMG lesbians do crafts okay that’s what I should do!”

        When I get home I’ll pull it out and take a pic of what is started and you can confirm that I in fact should not continue and then I will look up my old co-worker and give her needles back.

  27. Hey all. I have have a question. (I also asked this at the toast, but u feel like my fellow queer ladies might have more insight maybe?)

    Hello, toasts. I have a question. For the sake of your scrollbars, I’ll thread it. (Bear with me, this is gonna be long and I’m on my phone.)

    So, Wednesday evening I had sex with a person. I was crazy excited and had been heart-poundingly anticipating it for like a month, flirting via text, taking a bunch of initiative to make this happen, etc. They were super sweet and clearly loved my body and making me feel good, but the second we Started touching, it was just…confusing.

    I’ve sort of always known I have sensitive skin. I can’t wear certain fabrics and I tend to hate clingy clothing, and I’ve never been much of a cuddler. But every point of contact, however gentle, was too much. Too hot, to sharp, too firm, to slippery. Kissing felt gross, just because of how close we were. I had fun, but it was seriously dampened by how smothering it felt.

    Then at 2 in the morning I woke up feeling like I had a fever (I didn’t actually have one.) Now my whole body is sore and achy and hot, and I’m realizing this happens every time I do something like this- not just sex, this also happened when I got a back massage. This is just the first time I’ve been woken up by it.

    This was never going to be anything but casual sex, so I’m not worried about ruining any relationships. In fact, I’m not really upset about the prospect of never having sex again at all. I’m attracted to this person- or at least I was until we started touching. (This isn’t the first time *that* has happened, either.)

    So my question is, does this sound like about symptom of something I should be worried about? (Deep down my biggest fear isn’t that I won’t be able to be physically intimate in the future, but that I’ll appear broken/immature for not wanting to do so in the first place.)

    • Also whatever you find out about your skin or whatnot, I don’t think it will mean you can’t be intimate (IF YOU WANT TO — see below). If you are (for the lack of a better term) hyper-sensitive on the sensation front, you can definitely work with that in fun ways — just off the top of my head, feathers come to mind? Like a huge part of being intimate with someone can be playing with sensation.

      And if you end up deciding you are not so much into being intimate, that is DEFINITELY not a sign of being either immature or broken — it’s a totally legit identity that a lot of people own proudly and happily.

      Anyway, good luck on your journey! And yeah I still would suggest seeing a doctor :-)

          • that’d be fun @owlsandoxfords !

            ALSO @syrenav i want to emphasize that maybe what’s happening could be medical but also maybe mental? That if a doctor doesn’t have answers (chemical sensitivity maybe?), maybe your body/heart/mind is trying to tell you that actual physical touch isn’t something you want right now. And that *doesn’t* mean you’re immature or broken or anything! You don’t want to have intimate relationships if they leave you feeling uncomfortable or hurt.

            The fact that you were flirty and excited and kinda turned-on before this interaction makes me think that for the meantime a possibility could be have exciting fun flirty connections/interactions with people online/in different states via messages/sexting/chatting-it-up without there ever having to be actual physical touching involved. That way you’re in control of the touching (via yourself) while still having sexy-moments, without the oppressive smothering feel. You also don’t ever have to have sexual moments ever if you don’t want to and that is still 100% okay!

          • I’m going to second Anna here. I too have sensitive skin, and experience something similar (especially in crowds – people who brush up against me are in danger of losing the offending limb), but for me it’s an anxiety thing. Sometimes my system just goes “NOPE NOPE NOPE” for seemingly no reason, although it does tend to happen more when I’m stressed/upset/depressed. It might be helpful for you to sit down and really examine your feelings not only towards this other person, but towards physical intimacy in general. And if you figure out that physical intimacy’s not for you? That’s fine. You’re not broken or immature.


    • That sounds really uncomfortable! And also like something a doctor might know about, though I wonder if it’s a chemical sensitivity thing to other people’s products, or a sensory processing thing? Dunno, just some things to google and freak yourself out with.

    • Hmm, has it always been like this?
      Dermal sensations are like cars speeding along the highway of your spinal cord to the different parts of the brain.
      There are toll stations, intersections,traffic lights and exits.
      There is a thing in premature babies, where the afferent neuronal pathways have not been adequately equipped with inhibition by the time of birth and touch goes through unfiltered.So, no traffic lights, no toll stations, no exits on the highway by the time of birth, or rather a lot less than usual.
      All the cars go through and can’t be properly identified/regulated.
      That way caresses and touches may actually be physically painful, since they’re identified as pain.
      The way to pass that by is to use the palm or flat of the hand since that kind of touch is different and differently translated to the brain, than say, a touch of the tip of a digit, no matter how gentle.
      So, if that’s the case, maybe try experimenting with different kinds of “”touch” to see which one works and which one produces which sensation.
      You might simply be “wired” a bit differently, no worries.
      The afferent pathways through the spinal cord are a bit of a mess anyways.
      Afferent pathways from your organs cross and mingle with the ones from your skin, that’s why gallbladder trouble projects into the skin of your shoulder, btw.
      There’s a whole atlas of where which organ projects, so maybe see if your skin is just sensitive in one part and maybe you have a visceral irritation somewhere.
      Of course, oversensitivity or different sensations might also be a byproduct of PTSD or or other psychological conditions.
      Or it might also be the product of medication or metabolic disbalance, so do go and actually see a doctor, especially if it’s a recent or intermittent thing, get a full blood work up and maybe even see a neurologist (you can actually measure the conduction speed of your afferent neurons) but if all of that comes up a blank, don’t sweat it.
      There’s no rule how much touch and closeness you have to like, and if you’re very sensitive that actually might not be a bad thing.
      Maybe think of it as learning a secret language: The language of touch.
      Now, that’s as much science as I could muster up on a Friday night,and I’m neither a Dermatologist nor a Neurologist.
      If you were looking for some friendly advice from someone who has similar issues, instead:
      1.Keep your clothes on.
      It really helps control the sensory input.
      Of course this isn’t like a iron rule, just make sure you’re comfortable with every piece you lose and make sure to expose smaller areas first,like socks go before shirts and don’t expect to loose all articles of clothing by the end of the night.
      It really helps to not feel literally smothered and also giving is easier than taking because you’re not busy constantly logging and filing sensations away and have the liberty of experimenting with kisses to the side of the mouth, neck, temple, etc. for example, when full on feels too close and personal.
      This isn’t an iron rule either, of course, I just find it personally more comfortable with new lovers, especially if it’s somewhat casual.

      Physical intimacy and expectations, those you have of yourself and those you perceive others having of you, are all very, very complex subjects.
      I know a lot of people who go out and about fucking everything under the sun in all the ways all of the time, who have no clue what physical intimacy even is.
      Actually, I once heard someone from Aven, an organisation for Asexuals speak on intimacy, and that was the most sensual thing I ever heard.
      There’s nothing wrong with you,however you are, for whatever reason.
      You’re just in an ice cream store and you’re about to find out what flavor you are.
      Best part even:You don’t haveto settle on just one, actually you don’t even have to settle at all.

  28. Hi! Knitting is one of the things I could have become good at, if only I had continued learning…of course I got lazy really soon. Maybe it is time to start again! Since I’ve returned home in the countryside, I’ve felt the need to have a relaxing hobby… the kids at school can be really exhausting. But usually when I have some free time I use it to escape and go visit my favourite friend from uni.

    Also, I just came out to my mom this week and the atmosphere in the house is really cold. I’m almost glad I get to go on a 5-day school trip with forty screaming teenagers next week.

  29. This has been a week where just participating in this community has really helped push me to Friday! I’m very thankful for that.

    I’m also kind of soliciting advice from anyone willing to give it. My girlfriend and I have been invited to a mutual friend’s wedding. This friend has made multiple comments, particularly to me, that she’s excited to have me and my girlfriend there to “shock” her homophobic family and to “bother” them. I’m the type of person who needs to usually process stuff before I can understand how I want to respond, so I haven’t confronted her about this and I generally didn’t want to until recently. Recently, we were out with some friends and I asked her what “semi-formal” meant to her (the expected attire listed on the invite — also WHAT IS SEMI-FORMAL?) and she was hemming and hawing and didn’t really give me an answer. So another friend jumped in with her perspective that it generally means “some form of a dress for women and a sports coat and maybe a tie for guys”. My friend (the bride) agreed and when I viscerally reacted (obvious facial expressions be damned) my girlfriend jumped in to try to find common ground and mentioned she was getting a bow-tie she couldn’t wait to wear with a new button down. My friend (the bride) enthusiastically agreed she should wear that and when I mentioned I would do something similar, my friend jumped in to correct me and said I could wear “one of my many dresses.” (I don’t wear dresses.)

    So I don’t know what advice I’m actually soliciting, maybe how some of you would handle this? This friend is someone who always wants to wax poetic about queer theory and gender identities, but I feel like she’s failing miserably at actually embracing the reality of them. I also don’t really feel like I should have to justify my icky feelings toward my gender uncertainty, when somehow my girlfriend is more entitled to wear what makes her comfortable than I am (in the eye of my friend).

    Also, thanks a million for everyone’s perspectives on the label thread. That has been really formative to how I’ve been processing my own identity lately!!

    • “This friend has made multiple comments, particularly to me, that she’s excited to have me and my girlfriend there to “shock” her homophobic family and to “bother” them.”

      No. No. Fuck that.

      I would politely decline that invitation :-)

    • It sounds grossly exploitative tbh. She wants to show her family how “radical” she is, how tolerant she is but she’s 1) using you without considering that maybe you don’t want to be forced into a potentially homophobic situation and 2) boxing you in gender presentation.

      I get that it’s her wedding and she wants things her way but I think you should tell her. If she truly wants to be an ally she’ll listen.

    • ? your friend is being weird and not cool, and you should be entitled to wear what you want in the scope of semi- formal. If you want to go to the wedding (going to weddings as a couple can be really fun! Though now gf and I have gone to like 20 and are like yeah, okay, your love is very special) and plus supporting your friend, I hope you can do that in away where you’re not like, the thing she’s doing to be weird at her wedding.(like everybody has a few “fuck what the relatives think, I’m wearing blue shoes” or whatever) anyway, I hope you and your girlfriend get to go and have it not be weird and look adorable in your bow ties.

    • i think you need to just tell her what you told us – all the ways you feel and why, and maybe some actionable steps you’d like to see her take that would make it more comfy for y’all to be in / at this wedding. she’s your friend and she obvi likes you enough to invite you to her wedding, which by the way nobody i know does for me when they get married and yes i am keeping a list of their names, and she’ll probably be glad to hear from you if she’s into theory and activism around these issues. open her mind!

    • ugh. dude talk to this friend, preferably when you’re just hanging the two of you. or call her, or send her a text (my preferred method which is not recommended for real grownups). you don’t have to justify your icky gender feelings, but you also don’t have to put up with being paraded in front of family.

      i do give her the benefit of the doubt though, like maybe she’s super nervous about their reaction (second-hand homophobia) and maybe she’s trying not to show that; if this is the case, then maybe she needs someone to talk to honestly about how she feels. because afterall, growing up with family who thinks that being gay is something that happens “over there”, and reconciling that with younger social circles that embrace openness and acceptance, is not easy either. soooo yeah.

      • There is little room for doubt here from the information that you have set out and I believe that you already realise this. For whatever reasons of her own your “friend” is exploiting you and your partner.
        I too recommend that you formally decline this invitation. This person is not your friend.

  30. It’s been a rollercoaster of week. It was nice this week so I went Hiking with a friend and my two dogs and somehow didn’t get pulled down a hill by my puppy.I then had what was going to be a week of performing derailed by being sick with out a voice for three day but I was able to do a lot of reading that I haven’t had time for. i also watched fuller house because what else was i going to do. I’m continuing the search for more regular work than dog walking and the occasional stand up gig and I have interviews all week. other than being sick this week had been alright till last night when someone outed me at an open mic which made finally being able to speak getting on stage and doing what I love this week into an ordeal. I was already planning on coming out but it doesn’t suck less. I have a date tonight that I’m excited about but I still feel exhausted after this week. oh I got an awesome leather jacket from a friend that they were getting rid of too.
    that’s me I hope everyone else is well.

  31. Hi chickens and dumplings!

    I like that Joanna Newsom song! I also really like the Owen pallett cover of it.

    It’s been a busy week, I worked a bunch the last couple of days, today and having a random nanny gig for some gays with a toddler, and right now baby is sleeping and their goofy little dog is keeping my feet warm.

    I was just kicking around at a little island cabin and walked to the yarn farm, and got some really awesomely soft alpaca yarn, I’m so excited to knit stuff with it. It was an honor system fiber and meat shop and the sheep baa’d at me. I almost got some frozen lamb sausage but didn’t have a cooler to take it home in.

    Otherwise, girlfriend is back from longish work trip, and I’m excited for day to end so we can hang out, since she’s been away for about 3 weeks.

    Does anybody have any book suggestions? My reading list has gotten awfully short lately.

      • You are a brave soul to be on the screening committee! I work box office, but I keep thinking about the screening committee because then I’d be done volunteering before the actual festival.

    • I don’t know what kinds of books you like (other than Juliet Takes a Breath), so here’s a broad assortment of books I’ve enjoyed (not all queer-themed, though many are):

      Lesbians in Early Modern Spain (Velasco)
      Don Quixote (Cervantes)
      Volatile Bodies (Grosz)
      The Library at Night (Manguel)
      So Far From God (Castillo)
      This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (eds. Moraga and Anzaldúa)
      What Night Brings (Trujillo)
      Zoot Suit
      Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (Anzaldúa)
      Undersong (Lorde)
      Ceremony (Silko)
      Words Like Love (Winder)
      Ex Libris (Fadiman)
      If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (trans. Anne Carson)
      Ficciones (Borges)
      Why I Wake Early (Oliver)
      The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait (Kahlo)
      The Answer/La Respuesta (Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz)
      Girl Meets Boy (Smith)

      Hopefully one of those will be something you haven’t read that might interest you! I love talking about books…

    • I’ve been on a reading binge latwly, have zero dates to speak of, but plenty of interesting ideas stashed away in my brain for maybe-one-day-dates, that is, if my date likes non-fiction, poetry, and cultural critiques/ feminist literature.

      Patti smith’s “Just Kids” ( really, everyone and their dog has been telling me to read Patti Smith’s work for years but I finally did and now I’m sad I didn’t earlier. It made me think about passion, drive, community, independence, rock and roll and love, in its myriad of forms.)

      bell hook’s ” communion: the female search for love” ( talks about how love is a gendered subject, primarily a female one. What hooked me was the preface in which hooks writes about how in our patriarchal society, we learn in early girlhood that femaleness is not enough, but rather, is despised. Women must always prove they ” are good enough” but good is always defined by someone else.)

      Nayyirah Waheed’s “salt.” ( waheed’s powtry says so much in only a few words. They speak to our assumptions, the biases and privilege we pick up or have and take for granted, the consequential truths and effects of colonialism, beauty marketing and false ideals, all consuming love, and so much more that.)

      Let me know if you do get a chance to read any and what you thought!

      • ohhhhhhhhh I liked that Patti Smith book and bell hooks book, sometimes I reread the one by bell hooks when I’m sad about something.

        Nayyirah Waheed! I have seen shots from her instagram floating around, it’s always really lovely stuff, I should’ve guessed she was a poet! thanks for the suggestions, gonna go check out NW!

        • why did I say solid bet twice. what I meant was, I have done that with great success a bunch of times! the best dates/shortie relationships I have ever had were babes that were like “we like the same books” plus I like it because you can talk about books even if you had a shitty week or a boring day at work and no funny stories about the time you met a famous person.

  32. I got my aunt’s old flatscreen TV last night!
    So, I just literally, rushed into and through the media store to get an Apple TV, got Vietnamese Take Out in a rush, set up my TV in a convoluted hurry, struggled, typed my wifi password in three times over because I got something wrong, put in laudry while the thing connected, skipped and skeedaddled and rushed to FINALLY wach this latest episode completely unspoiled, settled into the couch, blanket drawn over my knees, chopsticks on the armrest, soda opened, sitting precariously, next to them, and suddenly I realize why there is an article on alternative storylines here on autostraddle.
    And now I’m sitting here, in the dark (I already turned off the lights), watching the Apple TV screen saver because I just can’t watch Lexa die.
    Lexa is the girl that my fifteen year old self fell in love with at thirtyfive.
    And my thirtyfive year old self fell in love with the normalcy of her and Clarke’s storyline.
    Like, on TV, like the heroine falling in Love with the dark and brooding and smart and wonderful and beautiful and strong warrior.
    I really don’t know if I can do this again.
    My heart is so,so heavy right now.

    • You know what? I happen to feel like this is incredibly depressing for you personally amidola because I was just reading in the comment award article ten seconds ago that you (and a few others) specifically didn’t have a TV (gasp)–so the irony of thinking about you finally getting a tv and settling down only to have to watch that fucking episode is THE ABSOLUTE WORST & I FEEL AS IF YOU SHOULD GIVE THAT TV BACK AND START OVER SOME OTHER TIME!

  33. My week has been pretty mild. The other night I went to a Mexican restaurant and realized I need more smoked salsa in my life. Then last night I had TJ brand Sriracha chips, also something I didn’t realize I was missing.
    My weekend is looking to up as the new season of House of Cards is out, and I plan to just waist most of it binge watching it in bra and sweats while I eat popcorn, and sample different concentrates I purchased.

    On another note I had someone ask me over the phone at work to speak to the dude that works there. I said which dude? They said my name, and I replied well you are speaking to said person. They replied, “oh, I thought you were a different person.” Kind of made me feel better to know my voice is adjusting.

    More street art.

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

  34. Hi, I hope everyone’s having a great Friday and will have an even better weekend!

    I got an acceptance for the LAMBDA writing retreat in LA this summer! And though I’m really excited, I’m also a ball of anxiety and not good things because my parents are really excited, I’ve got to raise the money and I have tons and tons of anxiety around money (not being worthy of help, asking for help, etc.), and a lot of people are saying how I have to go (which I want to! but also I don’t feel like I’m good enough to/deserve a place there/etc.) which is just a lot of feelings that I’m not used to.

    I finally finished the work for my class this week! I’m taking an online Psych class and every week I try to look at it like, HEY LEARNING YAY but it turns more into this is just like high school no no no, and so I’m thinking once again college may not be for me but if it’s not than…..what the hell am I gonna do? Seriously, if you have any answers I am taking all into consideration. You could say clown school and I’d still be like, let me go look at the requirements for that, jsyk. Which means I have more time to finish Dirty River and Juliet Takes a Breath (both of which I bought cause you all told me how great they are and I trust you much)!

    Mm, now that I’ve said that, I’ve like convinced myself I have to go cause if I can’t do school, I’ve got to do something, right? Maybe. Right.

    I saw a production of In the Heights with my sister last weekend and also didn’t have to go to work since we visited family for a birthday (they were born on Leap Day), and I had a lot more fun than I expected but I’m also 98% sure I’ve gotten sick, but that’s okay!

    So it’s been a pretty okay couple of weeks? Hallucinations and stuff have been coming up more, but since I’ve been dealing with it since I was a kid, it’s more scary that people know and like…..believe me? So that’s more like worrisome to me than anything else. But like I’ve been reading a lot and watching stuff and writing and drawing and talking and idk, it helps a lot and I didn’t think it would.

    Guys, I’m sorry this got like more down feeling than I expected, so it’s totally fine if you guys don’t respond or anything, but thank you all for letting me have this space every week. It helps so much, and for little kid me, is tons tons more than I ever thought I’d be able to have.

    • I myself, am a big fan of school. In a PhD program, addicted to free on-line classes, wish I could go back and do another degree and then another one. I say that only so that people don’t think I am hating on higher ed when I say:

      If you don’t think college is right for you, DON’T DO IT! The idea that everyone should go to college puts a lot of students in debt for a degree they don’t finish or finish and hate, and not going to college now doesn’t mean there is nothing else you can do or that you can’t go later if you want or need to.

      College is a big investment of time and energy and it can be wonderful and enriching, but it isn’t something you should feel you have to do. And there are other ways of learning, depending on your goals.

      Congrats on the retreat! That is fantastic news. Don’t doubt that you are deserving and don’t be afraid to ask for help from anyone you think could maybe give it. It’s hard to do, I know! Worrying about money is the worst. But everyone needs help sometimes to make great things happen and people feel good about being able to helping others make good things happen. Good luck and have a great weekend!

    • wait, congratufuckinglations on that lambda retreat! YOU BELONG THERE, that’s why you got in! it’s gonna be amazing, and you’re gonna figure out how to make it work, and one day you will write a thing that changes not only everyone else’s life but also your own. pinky promise.

      • Gonna second Carmen on this one. You absolutely deserve to be there; they already want you! There’s nothing more to probe, just to go and learn!

        I get you on the asking for money front; it makes me uncomfortable too. Perhaps a gofundme campaign could be a way for you to show off your writing skills, as well as to tell people how much this means to you, and also how to support you? You’d write it once, but could share it with many people. Good luck!!

  35. I know everyone on Autostraddle recommends going to LGBT groups, but I only worked up the courage to go to one last week (a lesbian-bi-trans*-friends-group) and it is like the world has opened up! It’s such a good feeling to be around other queer ladies! And they’re all super friendly and super funny and nice and omg why didn’t I do this earlier?!
    Besides that, I went to a demonstration in Stuttgart (very depressing, many homophobes), my internship is going well, work is crazy, and I’m training for two races (despite despising running)! And the new exchange students arrived at my university so I’m helping out with that too. I’ve been procrastinating on my portfolio for my internship and my term paper but slowly, slowly I’m making progressing.
    In south-west Germany we’ve been fluctuating between spring and winter. The daffodils are out but it snowed last week and has been raining on and off since.

  36. So hopefully this isn’t too late for open thread? Are there unspoken time rules? It’s pretty obvious that it’s my first time posting in this thread haha.

    I’m back home on my first day of spring break and it’s a bit strange because my family got a dog while I was at college. I’d post a picture of him if I wasn’t on my phone; he’s v cute and sweet. On the flip side, I’m having all sorts of confusion over this girl who I won’t see for over a week. I just can’t get a good read on if her behavior is friendly or romantic and ahhh it’s so confusing

    • Puppies are the best! But confusing relationship-y stuff is the worst! IN my experience though, when somebody is acting like they might sorta kinda like me, but I can’t tell… they usually don’t like me as much as I like them. BUT some people are just shy. So. I don’t know. Good luck getting used to being at home and figuring her out! Have fun in the meantime.

  37. This week was my 30th birthday and I got my nose pierced and my haircut and it was a lovely day. But then I got a little depressed because I don’t really have anyone to hang out with. But! I’m also going to Florida on Sunday and I’m pretty excited to see my friends there. So all in all things are pretty balanced.

    • Happy birthday! I totally know how you feel – my 30th was start of feb, and I got a little depressed and sad too because I didn’t have anyone to hang out with. I had friends who had partners taking them out and spoiling them for their 30ths, and I wasn’t going to organise a party because ha no way, no thanks! but it would’ve been nice to have someone to make it a bit more special. I still did some things for my birthday but it just lacked having people to hang out with.

      I did pre-empt my lack of friends on my birthday and booked in an appt with my tattoo artist and got a botanical posey of flowers started on my forearm. and I also just ordered a passion planner too – I’m waiting impatiently for it to fly from the US to Aus.

  38. I’m just saying, anyone can have a Hillary t-shirt, but a Hillary throw pillow is a next level conversation starter. Jussayin.

    Nothing has been more reaffirming this week that I am A.) Definitely not straight and B.) Not making it all up, than Kate McKinnon winking (at me, I think??) in the Ghostbusters trailer. If a man did that, I would roll my eyes and grunt. Kate McKinnon does it, and I explode in a cloud of cartoon hearts. During my down days, I need to remember what this feels like, and how warm and fuzzy it makes me. You like warm and fuzzies, don’t you, Depressed Future Carrie? Don’t you?

    She does. She’s just too sad to say so.

    Anyway. Having a better week than last in the mental health department, so that’s been nice. I was complemented by multiple workplace people for having a great phone voice, which is very exciting and flattering if you’re a receptionist/admin. Doodling in public later with friends, probably making questionable food choices, and then spending the rest of the weekend sleeping in and getting a commission finished. Shouldn’t be terrible!:)

  39. This week, man. I have a pinched nerve in my shoulder from last week’s debacle, it feels like I’m coming down with the flu (& I’ve been exposed to someone who has the flu so it’s more likely to be that than a cold), and my mental health is not what it seems. On one hand, it’s nice to have my suspicions that I’m likely dealing with bipolar II instead of just depression confirmed by my therapist. On the other hand, I’m really not thrilled with needing to see YET ANOTHER DOCTOR about my health (since my therapist is a therapist and not a psychiatrist so she can’t prescribe). I’m also really nervous about the idea and potential side effects of mood stabilizers, but not being horribly depressed every few months would be nice, though hypomania can both feel good and get me in a productive state and I’d be a little sad to see that go away.

    • I get you. I was diagnosed with bipolar II this November and finally decided to go on a very mild mood stabilizer. It’s made a world of difference, but I was sad to lose the incredible energy, sex drive, optimism and productivity of hypomania. On the other hand, the depression was debilitating, but I was used to it, and had coping strategies for the most part despite how depression always felt inevitable. It’s freeing now, to feel like it might not be. Having the diagnosis opens up a whole other can of worms but if you ever want to talk to someone about the experience, I’m here. Good luck with the new doctors; I hope they can give you some peace!

  40. Welll I’m boring today because since last night I’ve just been stuck in the denial-anger-depression down slope of the stages of grief due to a fucking stupid tv show that I shouldn’t have trusted in the first place.

    So anyway instead of that here’s a bunch of flower pictures!!!

    I’m really into big dramatic tropical leaves right now! So fun to mix them in with non-tropical flowers.

    These all smelled amazing

    These were the longest living most amazing poppies I’ve ever seen/ The ones in front started out solid pink and faded to this!!

    ingredients for…

    …a bunch of these bouquets!

    A bunch of different varieties of daffodils! I love the orange and white ones.

    Hellebore, the coolest, witchiest flower

    Favorite part of this bouquet is the kumquats–current favorite thing to work with!

    Always a sucker for tulips

    This one was so fun! Such bright happy colors

    blushing bride protea, a favorite of mine

    This one is my heart exploding #wallowing #ohwell

    Also I love to fucking knit, knitting would make me feel better right now. I taught myself to knit in college, and proceeded to knit a hat a week whenever it was cold. I’d knit in the round, so you don’t ever have to turn rows. It’s suuuper relaxing! I got to the point where I could knit without really looking at it, so I’d knit during lectures. I haven’t been knitting so much lately. The weather here is warmer and I can’t stand knitting in any sort of heat, but I got some really fantastic yarn in japan so obviously this post’s a sign to start up again! <3

  41. In other news, forcing myself out of my comfort zone is really cool and creates so much opportunity to learn and grow, but also learning and growing can be hard :(
    I spent so much time this week aware of deficiencies and ways in which I can/should improve in my work and generally as a human being and it’s been kind of a blow to my self-esteem right now. I’m really thankful lately for everyone I know who is open about their failures and struggles, because it’s reminding me that we all have challenges, instead of just feeling like a total loser.

  42. So today I got matched up “92%” with a nationalist/libertarian (who likes to hunt) on a dating website.
    I was very confused until I remember how little information you type in on that page, and the fact that it mostly matches you up according to criteria like age, location, gender and some other things. There’s only like one box for politics, and there’s no “this and this is okay but not any of these” type of alternative there…

    This was a thought process that probably took one minute, and it’s in no way significant or a big part of my day.
    I just felt like sharing it. :P

  43. I think I’ve taught myself how to knit a total of 6 times in my life so far. I also forget if I don’t knit for a long time. I mostly make scarves cause they are easy. Right now (well over the last few months) I’ve been trying to knit this large fuzzy thing that may turn into a blanket. Its very soft! I’ll probably have to knit multiple panels of whatever it is I’m making now to make it a blanket. Its going pretty slowly cause I haven’t had any free time this term. Hopefully I can get back to it soon, only two more weeks in this term.
    But yeah… school is kinda ruining my life. I’m doing my gsws minor capstone and its so much work. I want to cry and fall apart but I don’t have time to, I also don’t have anything to comfort me back into being productive. I wish I had something to get me through this easier.

  44. Today is a great day because I’m about to go to the store and support my local girl scouts by buying tons of cookies AND because my awesome cousin who is a year older than me just came out to me today!! I’m so happy for her and of course I immediately told her about Autostraddle.

  45. My first Friday open thread comment!

    It’s been a not so great week. I had a ruptured ovarian cyst earlier this week and the pain meds I have at home (this has happened before) just didn’t cut it so my friend ended up driving me to the ER where I got much stronger drugs. Was feeling a bit better, even considering going to work tonight, but I had an ultrasound this afternoon and the poking seemed to make everything real made again. I have no intention of having kids and am in no way attached to my ovaries. This is annoying and I would love for them to stop. BUT it was also a great reminder of what a lovely community I have with friends driving me to appointments, getting me groceries, sitting with me for hours at the hospital while rubbing my back and distracting me with funny stories, covering my shifts at work.

    I also had an appointment with my counsellor this morning and I made a commitment to her I would eat breakfast every morning for the next 30 days. She has this cool concept called the 10% rule where basically you decide what your ultimate dream would be (waking up in time to prepare a wholesome breakfast then leisurely enjoying it before calmly heading to work) and then setting something that’s about 10% of that (I will put food in my mouth before starting work, even if it is a store bought granola bar as I’m running out the door) and that becomes your baseline. Anything beyond that is bonus points and comes with time! It makes it less likely you’ll give up and then feel shitty about yourself. Anyways, feeling pretty great about this commitment and she also gave me a sheet of space stickers and I get to put one on the calendar every day I eat breakfast. Fuck yeah, space stickers. Maybe you can incorporate space stickers into some kind of procrastination reduction routine?

  46. Hey Carmen,

    Not task management per say, but I use RescueTime to keep me accountable about where I’ve spent my time. It’s a plugin the tracks where and how long you spend in different applications and sites then sends you an email at the end of the week with the data.

    I also use StayFocusd, a Chrome Extension; I give myself a maximum amount of time I’m allowed on certain distracting sites, before it locks me out of those sites for the day. it refreshes the next day. :)

  47. Hey all. Life still sucks on my end, haha. This past week, i’ve had the added bonus of two people, one of them my psychiatrist, invalidating my feelings about this whole mess & telling me what i did was wrong. That i need to be “more forgiving” towards my father– like, no??? I’m angry & hurt, & my feelings are valid, & i’m not going to fucking play at being Jesus or Buddha or something. And then, no matter how many times i told the one person that WALKING OUT ON YOUR FAMILY IS NOT SELF CARE, it didn’t seem to get through her thick, holier-than-thou skull. Both times i was treated like an irrational two-year-old, both times the other person gave off an air of “I know better than you.” And it’s like, bitch, you barely know me, much less my family & our circumstances, MUCH less my father! And yet they are so ready & willing to take my father’s side, & lecture me about me pushing him not being “civilized,” that i should be “forgiving,” that “anger is a poison”, blah blah fucking blah. They know NOTHING, but they’re PERFECTLY COMFORTABLE with playing pretend that they do, while looking down their noses at me for my feelings & reactions. I shut down on the doctor & when i left, i said nothing & didn’t bother making another appointment. I just wanted to get out. And the other person got all, “Well, I tried. Good luck.” And i didn’t respond but i so want her to fuck right on off with her “i know better than thou” bullshit &, frankly, shove it up her ass. I’m sick of being treated like i know nothing about my own life, i’m sick of being treated like my feelings are invalid, i’m sick of people always acting like they’re better than me, & know better than me.

    And i also know that my friends are getting sick of me & my problems, & it makes me feel really lonely & isolated.

    I still don’t have a job, much less any prospects. I called Barnes & Noble back, & while i didn’t get a “no thank you” email, the store manager said “Your name isn’t popping out at me,” which i figure is as good as dead in the water. And i don’t have the energy or motivation to go job searching, even though the panicky feeling of “i need to get a job NOW” keeps building. Especially since mom said she was told to see if i (& my brother) qualify as “adult destitute children.” I had to look that up. I found the explanation on the blog of a divorce lawyer, & the definition itself makes me feel even more miserable & worthless. I’m 27 & i have no job, can’t drive, can’t support my family at all. But i have friends my age or younger who live on their own (including with other friends) & own their own cars & pay their own bills. I’m basically a pathetic failure by anyone’s standards. I feel beyond ashamed.

    I actually posted in a support FB group, & practically everyone who commented thinks i need to be hospitalized? Which is confusing to me?? Because despite everything & all the thoughts & feelings i’ve been having, i don’t feel like i’m in crisis. I mean, granted, i always, always wait until things are up to 10+ on the “bad” scale before taking action (it just makes sense to me???), & yeah, i’ve been having Not Good Thoughts that would Concern People, but… i don’t think i’m in crisis. And i really, really am certain that an inpatient stay would do more harm than good, especially right now.

    I finally get to see my therapist Monday afternoon. Hopefully she won’t also invalidate me hahaHA. Or put me inpatient. I really want to walk to Burger King afterwards & buy like, 20 or 30 chicken nuggets. I have a huge craving, & i’ve lost all ability to give a fuck about not eating typical fast food. I mean, i’ve lost all my fucks, really, so bring me all the junk food. I need chicken nuggets. And, like, pizza. Donuts. There’s a place right by where my therapist is that sells pretty out there donuts, & i wonder if they’d judge me if i bought two or three & ate them all in one sitting. They also sell cupcakes, which i’ve never tried.

    I would buy stuff to bring back to my mom & brother, but i don’t want to be too encumbered on the buses, especially the 48, because it was so crowded. And because i get so anxious about missing my stop, & the more things to grab a hold of before moving, the more anxious i will be. I was ridiculously anxious this past Tuesday, taking the buses. I was convinced i was going to fuck up & miss my stops & be late & all manner of things. And i forgot to bring my ativan with me, but that’s okay because i also didn’t bother bringing a water bottle. I had also had to get stuff at Trader Joe’s, which is why i know the more things i have to carry, the more anxious i’ll be. Especially if i’m on a very crowded bus; i’ll feel like i’m taking up too much room, & then squeezing by people will make me feel even more self-conscious & embarrassed.

    The future is still so uncertain. I don’t make plans anymore, because i just don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s things i want to go to– my long-long-time friend (like, my first friend) is having a show opening next week, i got invited to Gabby’s book reading/signing up in NYC, & there’s some kind of open-house artsy thing downtown at The Wind-Up Space on the 29th (which they’ve been having the past few months, & i’ve never managed to go & i want to). But i feel like i can’t say with certainty that i’ll be there (though i REALLY want to make it to my friend’s opening), because i don’t know what’s going to happen, or if i’ll be up for it. If i feel like shit, i’m not going to inflict that on others. And if i feel like shit, the last thing i’m going to want to do is be around mostly strangers, along with navigating the buses. Honestly, if i could exist out of time for a bit– & thus, not exist for a time– that would be awesome.

    And i slept all day today, which is the new norm. I slept all day Wednesday, too. My mom & brother have been sleeping all day. We’re all miserable. Which is another thing– we’re all miserable, so what right do i have to go inpatient? Or, really, even to day hospital? It makes me feel more ashamed & weak & pathetic.

    • hey. i’m really sorry things are still rough – and that they will be for a while. i just wanted to come here and let you know that you can eat all the motherfucking chicken nuggets you want, and you don’t owe any to anyone. and also, that you’re not pathetic or worthless – that where you are in your life isn’t something you can compare side-by-side to someone else’s life, and that you can’t hold yourself to the standards of folks who might seem further ahead than you in the journey. it’s okay not to know how to drive (i JUST learned!), or own a car, or live on your own, or feel equipped to deal with this right now without asking for help.

      you’re okay. everything you are is amazing and perfect. you will make it. and you’re gonna be okay, and then a little better, and then a little better, and then a little better. things will look up eventually, and your mom will figure out how to make do, and it will all pan out – somehow. somehow.

      and in the meantime, never feel bad for coming here and asking for someone to lean on. that’s why we’re here! like, all of us. we’re here to lean on and be leaned on.


    • sorry things are still so rough. i am here to put in a serious vote for Yes to Doughnuts, tho. what’s even the point if you don’t have at least two and you probably need a third let’s be serious. that is what doughnut shops are *there* for and i cannot imagine that they’d judge it.

    • Hi Caitlin,

      That is one of my favorite names.

      I too am really sorry to hear that life is so hard right now. That’s the kind of life situation I tend to refer to as a “shitfuck” and MAN DO THOSE SUCK! I’ve been through a few really bad ones and a less bad one myself and some days are really just about taking deep breaths. I am five years past from that moment of “rock bottom” and I still have moments where my anxiety is so high and my loneliness is so deeply felt that I have to spend a lot, a lot of time in bed eating chicken nuggets (or my personal favorite is chocolate ice cream but sometimes cnugs really do hit the spot). Point being, you’re going to be okay and you are not alone even if it feels like it right now. I am lonely too and each day sometimes does feel like THE WORST but also somedays are really effin great finally now too! Try and find a reason to feel good and take care of yourself–even if the only thing that may help is chickie-nugs go eat those bastards and be merry!
      I am thinking about you and all the “you’s”, we’re okay, we’re okay and we are gonna be okay. <3

  48. OMG lefty friend! The only knitting I ever mastered was finger knitting.

    The best way to quell wanderlust feels is to be planning a trip. It doesn’t have to be big, it could just be a weekend away. But to have an actual “tangible” away to focus on. At least that’s what works best for me. For example my next trip is to fly 14 hours to LA and come to A Camp, so that makes me feel very happy and I have lots of cool stuff to visualise and dream about.

    In other news I went back to uni this week and I hate it. It’s my final year and it’s very different to my precious two. I’m having major culture shock, coupled with the fact that I don’t like any of my subjects (they’re all mandatory, no electives in my course). So that’s been fun!

  49. I have discovered that knitting for my cat is the best answer to my not-super-excellent knitting skills. She doesn’t mind the weird bumps.

    Also I like the phrase “knitting for my cat” because sometimes you just gotta dive headfirst into the stereotypes

  50. HI everyone, hopefully I’m not posting this too late to get any responses, but I am looking for advice!

    My much younger half sibling, who’s in 8th grade, came out to me and his primary caretaker as trans (ftm) a few months ago. My other sister, who is only a year younger than me, just found out via facebook after clicking on my brother’s new facebook profile after he liked something on my page, since she recognized our family last name, but attached to a first name she didn’t recognize.

    She asked me about it, so I just talked to her and explained what was going on (my brother said it was okay, they just aren’t very close so it made more sense for me to tell her). She is pretty open minded but has zero frame of reference in her personal life for basically anything trans related or LGBT issues in general – she lives in a rural area and has a super conservative/religious social group. Her stance was “i didn’t see that coming, I’m not judging, but I think *she’s* too young to know or make this decision, but I don’t really know anything about this.”

    I told her I could send her some materials that explain more about the trans experience and she was very open to that idea. My question for you is: what are some resources I can share with her? Specifically about trans teens and their experience, what to know to be a good ally, etc.? I’m kind of lost because though I’ve been involved in the community and try to stay informed personally, I live my life in a queer bubble and don’t really have a lot of experience talking to someone who’s not in tune with LGBT issues. I want to make sure I get her the best info possible for the sake of my brother, so he can have another family member there for support.

    Any suggestions are so welcome! Thank you in advance for any help!

  51. Knitting seems less scary than all the stuff I know to be a part of sewing. Pattern cutting makes me shaky and sweaty because anxiety adrenaline rush followed by crash.
    Hand stitching repair type stuff easy as cake for me, I’d like to try cross stitch or embroidery someday. Knitting tho might be more like some of the wire work I’ve done, might like more.

    My week was awkward because Monday I was suppose to give a presentation worth a lot of my final grade but the teacher was not there. Nor was she present for the next class.
    Also after the presentation, that is suppose to last for a specific amount of time, there will be a critique of a related artwork that is too look like at least 3-4 hours worth of work went into it.
    But the thing that makes things stressful awkward is the fact we have no rubric or anything to guide us at all. Being that our stuff with guidelines so far has been black ink on white paper that is the medium I went with. My design is kinda mimimalist with delicate lines so uh my lack of skill with ink is on full display.
    So I kinda had this feeling of protracted doom all week.

    The amount of songs stuck in my head this week are too many. It’s like my head was a radio, but most dominant was Rura Barnid which is in Faorese and I’ve not just started singing it. I’ve written out the lyrics and breaking down the few parts my tongue stumbles over. I’m studying the damn thing wtf is my liiiife. Picking up spanish again, learning the Elder Futhark, studying creepy a Faorese lullaby and a song in Trigedasleng which is a made up American English Creole-type language


    Rura Barnið- Eivor Palsdottir

    Don’t look up the translation of this song if you’re easily upset by morbid someone is violently dead lullaby-bye-bye stuff.

      • Yes, it’s like an external constipation.

        With the extra time I wrote up my talking points on every slide in case I blank out and forget them. Can’t make myself better with ink, but it’s something.
        Thank you for the hope.

  52. Happy friday!

    I am feeling oh, i dunno… hopeless? I had a wonderful weekend with my parents, went to an all-women’s gym for the first time with my mom which was awesome, went on a hike, solved a rubiks cube, voted in the primary. It was wonderful being with the people who love me the most, exchanging thoughts and ideas, and realizing i am exactly like them.

    But then i got back to my regular life and I feel like depression is getting the better of me. I’m definitely not ready to date again yet and patience BLOWS. But hopefully I’m submitting a manuscript by the end of next week, so once that’s off my plate I’ll feel better. hooray for professional accomplishments!

    • Not sure if you’d like a long distance hug but I’ve sent one in your direction if you’d like to catch.

      I really hope you begin to feel better soon. If things still suck, get some professional support. Life doesn’t have to be this bleak.

  53. Still on a high from seeing Sleater-Kinney live Wednesday night. Can’t get over how talented they are and Carrie Brownstein smiled at me (well in my direction). I had to go by myself but the vibe was so friendly and queer I talked to strangers, and ended up making friends with this really nice trans woman and a gay guy – we went out for vegan milkshakes after the show.

    My view during the show:

  54. So I started semester 1 for my cancer nursing post grad, feeling overwhelmed by that, and had a sad week at work, (which I thought I’d escape by watching the 100….I cried all the tears last night. and this morning. i