FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Continue To Play It Crazy Sexy Cool

Good afternoon, you magnificent weirdos. Welcome to the Friday Open Thread! This is my first time ever hosting an open thread but I heard if you ask nicely, you guys will post pictures of your pets and I am 100% here for that.

image by Rory Midhani

image by Rory Midhani

This week has been super crazy for me because of Record Store Day. When I’m not stalking Kristen Stewart all across the internet, I spend my days/nights working at a concert venue attached to a record store. It’s about as close as I’ll ever come to living inside the movie Empire Records and I love it with all my heart, but we’re super slammed all weekend long. I’m really excited about a bunch of the new releases and the bands playing (particularly Nothing and WALL, two of my favorite bands out there right now), but I’m also sleeping here overnight so I can be ready to go right when we open at 9. It’s sort of fun in a Night at the Museum kind of way, but I also know I’m in for an intense weekend.

It can be really hard to eat properly, get enough sleep and take care of myself when we’re busy like this, and I heard exercise is good for you (I’m still suspicious), so I started biking to work and I HATE IT. I know it’s something I have to do and I can tell it’s getting easier the more I do it, but I’m never going to enjoy being almost-murdered by absent-minded drivers and dragging my wheezing ass up a giant hill every single night. I’ve never been all that athletic, and my friends think my sudden penchant for biking is hilarious (mostly because I’m so grumpy about it). Does this ever get better?

The other major thing about this week is that I think I broke my cat:

I think she's OK now but it was really touch and go for a while there.

I think she’s OK now but it was really touch and go for a while there.

We spent a lot of time this week talking about records we’ve loved, records we’ve kept and records we hope to pick up this weekend, but I wanted to ask you guys: What’s the first record you ever bought? For me, it was TLC’s Crazysexycool, which I stand by as a solid choice. This was back in the glory days of “Waterfalls,” when I didn’t really understand what they meant by waterfalls or why I shouldn’t chase them, but I knew that middle school politics were fucked up and “Case of the Fake People” really spoke to me. Crazysexycool was a monster hit in the 90s, but it really stands the test of time; “Kick Your Game” is still a banger, “Red Hot Special” is still a classic and even though she was taken from us too soon, Left Eye is still an immortal superhero. She’s one of the few rock stars (and yes, she was an absolute rock star) whose death actually brought me to tears.

Also, there’s the “Creep” video, which like… come on. As soon as I hear those opening horns and T-Boz’s sultry “Yes… it’s me again… and I’m back,” I mentally put on my own pair of silk pajamas and take my place next to Chilli.

What about you, what’s the first record you ever bought with your own money and held in your own hands? Do you still miss Left Eye as much as I do? What are you doing this weekend? Does exercise ever become fun or is that all a giant lie? What does your pet think about your favorite band? Please talk to me, I’m so lonely.

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Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 464 articles for us.


  1. Oh Spice Girls was probably my first! And then the movie came out and I remember 6 year old me dancing in my underwear. Ahh the memories.

    Also, I can’t seem to get the The Ketchup (Asereje) song out of my head? Does that song ring a bell to anyone?

    Anyways! Happy Friday and hope you all enjoy your weekend :)

    • Spice Girls was my first too! There is video of me aged three singing along to Two Become One on my dad’s lap. In hindsight, incredibly inappropriate but I LOVED it.

    • Oh my gosh yes.
      I still have that CD in it’s cardboard sleeve with the lyrics on the back.
      It evacuated for Katrina with me and did not get lost in all the boxes that came after.
      There was a bunch of stuff I wanted to take with me, but they were too big. CDs were not and I had a giant CD book thing to gather them up in. The Ketchup song is the only single I own and the only CD that still has it’s case.
      Lucky little thing, if something didn’t get too wet it got lost in plethora of boxes we crammed our lives in.

    • Oh my, was I totally into the Spice Girls. Even though the first album I bought with my own money was No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom”. My mother bought me Bush’s “Razorblade Suitcase” and Alanis’ “Jagged Little Pill” during that same period of the Fall of ’96. I also got into Fiona Apple during this time, and I have to say she has been one artist that has truly followed me in the soundtrack that is my life for almost 20 years.

      Despite being a rock kid, playing guitar in shitty little bands at the age of 9 I was TOTALLY INTO the Spice Girls. They played a massive role in my sexuality. I knew I was a queer kid from the womb, but they really were a huge part in my sexual awakening. Specifically Emma and Geri. Ugh, I crushed so hard on both of them. Something about the good girl and the saucy cheeky girl. Almost two decades later, I still look for that kind of combo in a potential partner. HAHA.

  2. The first record I ever bought with my own money was Queen Latifah’s Black Reign.
    I was 12 years old, it was the mid-90s, and U.N.I.T.Y. was my favorite song.
    I have been madly in love with Queen Latifah for 20 years, you guys.

    Also, I would like to use this opportunity to express my belief that Last Holiday is a highly underrated movie, and I wish it was on tv every day.

    Happy Weekend!

    • I remember the video to U.N.I.T.Y. and of course the song. I really wished that it was played more on tv at the time.

  3. I’ve been waiting for this all day/week! I’ve had quite a week. I learned some really terrible things about myself this week and I’m really struggling with integrating that into my already confused sense of self. What do you do if you *are* the toxic person? Or maybe the toxicity isn’t just in a single person, but in the relationship itself? I’d like to believe that, but I’m not sure.

    My puppy has saved me several times this week. So, here he is.

    Also. Re: my first record. I’m not sure, but it was quite possibly the Dixie Chicks Wide Open Spaces. I was really into country in middle school. Also once I sang the entire album at the top of my lungs during a camping trip and everyone hated me.

    • If you are the toxic person, learn the root of why you are that way. I was VERY VERY toxic. I had to do a lot of soul searching and then I was able to effectively change my thinking and behavior. Just focus on working on yourself. You are the only person you truly can change and control.

      • I think the thing that’s confusing for me is that certain relationships do seem to bring out the toxic behavior in me. I’d like to be more consistently non-toxic. Like Crayola. I’d like to be the Crayola version of myself.

        • This is achievable! I think it’s important to forgive and be compassionate with yourself, and keep the horizon in mind.

        • OMG. Crayola version of yourself! You don’t mind if I started using that to describe myself do you?

          I say start evaluating the toxic relationships. I got rid of A LOT of people that just did not bring out the best in me. Its part of the process. But in all honesty, you have to account for your own behavior and emotions. Think of it Kind of like alcoholism. If I was an alcoholic and decided that I wanted to be sober, I will do what it takes to stop drinking. Then I will take the steps to make sure I stay sober. If by chance I end up hanging out with friends that like drinking, I can’t blame them if I relapse even if they pressure me to drink. I can’t blame others for my behavior.

    • I am trying to do this too. Trying to mediate between what I’m being told and my friends saying I’m (mostly) okay and she is wrong and whether I even believe that any of my feelings are valid. There is a lot out there on how toxic people are human garbage and can never change and if you are in a relationship with someone who exhibits any bit of this behaviour any time, leave now, and there are also a lot of people replying to these articles who are in so much pain and want to change themselves so badly but don’t know what to do or where to start. And I don’t want to believe they are all worthless and incapable of change.

  4. I don’t remember the first I bought with my own money, because generally I’d wait ’til a birthday or Christmas rolled around and get someone else to pay for it, haha.

    The first one I remember specifically asking for was B*Witched, on tape, when I was a kid. Maybe around 5 or so?
    After that, I only really remember my 13th birthday, when I got P!ATD’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, and AFI’s Decemberunderground.
    As you can imagine, I thought I was the Coolest Human on Earth.
    Actually, my mum recently got Prime and all the CDs she’d bought in the past went onto her music playlist and it’s filled with all these nostalgic gems she bought me, like basically all of Aiden’s discography. The memories!!!!

    • B*Witched were my first concert! Wembley, December 1999. Me and my sister wore matching sleeveless puffer jackets.

        I can remember those so vividly, oh my god.

        My first concert was Avril Lavigne when I was, like… 10 or 11? I wore a homemade tutu like the one she wears in the She Wasn’t music video. Not sure if I should be ashamed to admit that, or the fact that she was definitely my first crush, hahaha.

        But no, definitely the puffer jackets win for concert attire, hands down!

        • OMg Avril Lavigne, such a crush. And such a style icon, I wore stripey fingerless gloves all summer in 2004.

          • Right?! I used to haunt Claire’s Accessories back when they still sold things like that (I specifically remember a plectrum charm that said “Rock Chick” or something equally hilarious on it, as well as one of those bracelets that had a ring attached to it with a chain…? And they had HANDCUFFS on them. I literally don’t even know…)
            I went in recently and they were just selling a lot of Minions stuff. Changed days!

  5. Happy FOT, all you pancakes and scones! I think the first CD I ever bought with my own money was The Wedding Singer soundtrack, lol.

    So I work at a nonprofit and this morning we had a Board fundraising meeting where our Most Important Donor (heretofore referenced as MID) would be speaking. Slightly intimidating, but nothing too out of the ordinary — I had planned ahead, worn a dress and heels, set two alarms this morning, all of the stuff that might make me look “professional…”

    I was there right on time, but when I walked into the meeting, everyone else was already seated and we were missing a chair for me. I loudly go, “hi everyone! I’ll grab a couple of chairs. Where are you gonna want [MID] to sit?”

    When everyone looks at me, totally nonplussed, I look around. [MID] is already there, looking at me like, who is this chick?

    So then I’m so flustered I’m like “oh, hi! You’re here!” (note that I’ve never met him before and he is, as I said, Very Important). I go, “oh well, I don’t need a chair, I’ll just sit on this piano bench!” And I drag over the bench from the piano in the corner of our conference/activity room. The entire time I’m dragging it, it makes this huge noise. Then I am perched next to this guy, on my piano bench, cheeks blazing, for the remainder of the meeting with the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN OUR CITY IN OUR INDUSTRY.

    So that was my Friday morning! I’ve been re-reading Bridget Jones, so it seems appropriate that I have a Professionally Embarrassing Moment today. How is everyone else doing? :-D

    • This is hilarious and like the plot of a really good sitcom episode <3. You should sell the rights to your story and become super rich.

    • oh my goodness so much sympathy but also thank you for sharing b/c comedy gold. the piano bench ahaaaaah Tig Notaro literally has a routine about chair dragging sounds, I hope you watch it online in solidarity. Send the link to the MID, lol.

    • I think you should have finished the meeting pulling the stool behind you like in Pitch Perfect.
      Love your story.

    • Oh my gosh that sounds like my worst nightmare! I am always suuuuper early at places and then I wait somewhere out of the way until a few more people show up before I go in to anything because I don’t want to be the over-eager first person there, but I also don’t want to be the last person there and have everyone looking at me! Ah! Just thinking about it is kicking my social anxiety into gear!

      You are a far braver soul than I.


    My first record that I ever bought to myself was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication ! I was 10 !

    My week was good ! I just got a day long meeting with an industry partner, and I organised the whole meeting all by myself, I feel SOOO grown up in my job! The project I’m gonna study is going to be sooo exciting, I’m so happy that after being slow and boring for the past 6 months the Post Doc is finally going in the right direction :D.

    Also I’m talking to some babes on OkCupid / Her / Tinder again.

    Also Mark Lanegan is touring again ! Maybe I’ll manage to go see him in Birmingham !

    Also my sourdough bread is going GREAT. So Wednesday I hoped on my bike and went to the farmer’s market to buy some local organic flour to make it even better. AM I GAY ENOUGH YET MA?

    • Chloe! You sound much more professionally successful than me this week. ;-) I’m glad you’re finally enjoying your post-doc!

      Can I have some of your sourdough please? Toasted with butter? I’m trying not to eat simple carbs right now (like white flour) and I am literally dreaming of home-baked bread.

      • But sourdough bread is amazing for you because of the fermentation process! That’s the magic of it, the bacteria does aaaall the job for you. It’s actually got a super low glycemic index. Also I make mine with a mix of white / whole meal / rye. I’m addicted to this bread seriously.

        • omg chloe did you just give me the gift of letting sourdough back into my life? from half a world away?

  7. Hai Frands!

    I just wanted to say that I had 200 business cards printed with the city-state-zip info accidentally listing AS instead of AZ, because obviously I would rather live in the state of Autostraddle.

    Have a great weekend; I look forward to reading your Open Thread updates.

    • Also, although I am not a Music Person (that place in my life is filled by stand-up comedy), I very much enjoy reading what Music People listen to and think about music, so it’s a special treat to have Stef hosting and all you music heads writing about your favorite bands etc. this week.

    • Wouldn’t want those cards to go to waste… you should probably go found the state of Autostraddle now.


    (I can watch it legally now!!!)

    I’m freaking oouuuuuuut it’s amazing.

    • hello a, i am almost done building my time machine so i can go back to 1994 and tell the members of tlc not to name their album that! i will let you know when it’s finished.

    • I’m not sure if this is a serious request from someone who didn’t actually read the article or a sarcastic dig at people who do call out problematic language. Either way, I am side-eyeing this comment.

  9. Biking gets easier! Honest. I had a really hard time moving back to biking on the road with cars when moving back to North America, especially since before moving away I’d had a major accident and hadn’t really biked much in the months after. I’ll never be as confident biking as I was at 23, but at some point you start just co-existing with the evil, murderous cars.

    My week has been pretty much a write-off as my relationship and mood continue to disintegrate. I think I will have some answers next week though. I’m trying to make some plans with new people and eat every day. Here is my best friend, who has been doing a lot to get me through this:

  10. Exercise does not automatically become fun (at least, it hasn’t for me)—the trick is to make it fun by listening to music you really like and/or podcasts. When I started biking regularly I downloaded a ton of stuff, figured out what I liked, and kept listening to that. If you have something to take your mind off how much you hate biking, you won’t be as miserable!

    • Exactly! I was the same way with running – I just couldn’t get into it until I started listening to Zombies, Run! Also, 8tracks has a bunch of good workout playlists if you have data. Disney tunes make for suprisingly good motivators.

    • See, now, I would be afraid to listen to anything while biking, because I would be too worried about listening for traffic.

      Although, mid-way through writing that, it occurred to me that you could also be talking about biking somewhere for recreation rather than for your daily commute, in which case there would be no traffic. In which case, yes, I totally agree with listening to music or podcasts while exercising!

  11. Umm, I got an 84 on my economics exam this week. That damn guy that swears I am trying to out do him sat right next to me in the testing center. He had a smug look. I ended up laughing out loud and almost got kicked out. Thank god I didn’t. I think I seem like I am crazy to him. At least I hope I seem like it. I just want him to leave me alone.

    This woman started hitting on me when I was at the store too. She wanted my number. I admit I did some flirting back, but I didn’t give my number. When she asked why, I told her I am engaged. She accused me of lying because I don’t have a ring. Made a whole scene about no one being honest these days. I wasn’t lying though and I told her we are too poor to afford rings, not that it was her business. Lucky for me the cashier saved me and pretended to be my fiancee. Now that is Great customer service! That is the last time I am ever going to flirt with someone at a Krogers. :D

    Oh and I got bored and made some designs for friend-zoned buttons for the few that got involved with the comments about friendship in another article. Never posted an image before. hope this works.

    I know we agreed on penguins, but I couldn’t find any that I wanted to draw. I chose a panda instead.

  12. TLC was, and still is my jam. I remember their video for What About Your Friends on VH1 and MTV(remember when they both played music videos, lol) and thinking who is this Left Eye with an egg eye patch*. She’s cool, but weird(in a good way) at the same time. I know it’s before Crazy Sexy, Cool, but it was the first time I really heard of them.

    *(after just re-watching the video I noticed it’s a condom and not an egg eye patch)

    How’s everyone’s week going? Mines was pretty good if I ignore the negative. I spent Saturday home cause a bad food combo. But, I did get to eat a lot of really tasty vegan chocolate birthday cake my lovely sister made. Then saw a movie with my mother at the theater, while I was having a beer and she a tea.

    Sunday, was pretty amazing. I went to LA Times book fair to see Carrie Brownstein get interviewed. I so excited I left the house without any make on. It was great nonetheless, as she read excerpts from her book. Then afterwards I got a copy of her book and had it signed by her. Eeeepp! I don’t remember what I exactly said, but I did say something to the effect we your fan over at Autostraddle want to thank you for being so awesome. I was fan girling so much that I fumbled words that I may have came off weird to her. Maybe next time we will get invited to her coven.

    Afterwards I went to the beach and spent time with a queer friend and the lady she likes. We had a bonfire, beers, smokes, and a lovely sunset over the pacific. Oh and felt good in my bikini top. Yay for body positivity!

    Carrie autographing books!

    Weather repots kept saying rain, but luckily it went east of us.

    Relaxing sunset at the bech

    And before it went totally dark

    Thank you for reading and viewing my post. Apologizes if I went a little long this week. Have a positive weekend!

  13. Happy Friday, steamboats showboats and dream boats!

    My first album was….jewel? I’m sorry.
    Though I was really confounded at the time what was freeing about moving into her can but as an adult I can kind of understand about life without rent.

    My first CD was Bjork’s debut album tho, maybe cool points there.

    I have no pets! Every five years or so I’m like “hm, maybe I should get a betta fish” and then I get one and it turns out they’re super duper boring.

    I think it’s cute when people are like “we have birds and dogs and cats and a hedgehog and a bearded dragon” and I am so elbow deep in life maintenance shit that I barely want to take care of the plants, and those are succulents.

    Otherwise, my shit is fine, I have been in a little bit of a back-and-forth with insurance companies who need to pay me, but otherwise, things are bubbling up nicely client and money wise, annnnnd my gf is working normal people work hours so I see her now and she’s not angry and working all the time so we get to hang out and I’m like right, I like you, I remember liking you, that’s great.

    Otherwise things are fine! Have ducks in a row to go camping in a few weeks, though apparently there are hardly any camping spots in Yellowstone open in early May. Oops. Dunno what we’re gonna do about that, but it’s not my job to figure it out.

    its an awkward time of year because seasonally we’re not ready for a full transition to salad and cold food all the time and I bring a cardigan everywhere and wind up leaving them random places (or just on every surface in my house) and I have a hard time knowing what shoes to wear.

    I’m nannying a kiddo who is teething, and whatever complaints I have about flats vs boots it is nothing compared to growing teeth, that is the truth.

    I am continuing my search for the perfect sweatshirt turned dress but have not found it yet. Any suggestions are welcome. I am short and round, for reference.

      • Mostly at Asos and mod cloth! You?
        I’m also getting back into thrifting, which is fairly decent in Seattle, mostly bc cheap.

        • I just made my first order to Asos! I was a little disappointed, tbh, the sizing seemed to be kind of all over the place. And some of the cuts were just…odd for my body? And I so wanted to like them because they’re so affordable! But I DID get adorable dinosaur pj’s for camp.

          Yeah I tend to stick with Modcloth and Torrid, but I’m always trying to branch out because when you’re round and looking for places that actually sell stuff you can wear and be happy in, and there’s only a few, and you’re trying to find all of the stuff at those two specific stores that make you look like neither a goth princess (Torrid) or a plucky teenage librarian (Modcloth), it kind of limits the selection! So I’m always looking for new options :-D

          • Asos def has some weird shapes- and I used to be all mod cloth all the time but lately I have been wearing jersey pencil skirts and whatever on top plus cardigan for 80% of my comings and goings. Less capsule wardrobe more uniform. I used to look more twee librarian but I’m so bored of the fit and flare silhouette. Dino Jammie’s sound adorable tho.

            I mostly hit old navy for basics, but city chic is also fine, but super femmey, which may not be your style. It has been mine but I have been trying to simplify because I can get dressed but making an ‘outfit’ is beyond my capacity most days.

    I’m really happy atm because I had a day off and tomorrow I’m going to a dinner dance for the gaelic fotball team and I have to dress formal so I bought clothes. But I bought clothes I like! Literally the first time I’ve dressed formally in three years (except for job interviews bleurgh) because I was avoiding the whole ‘dress’ issue. So fuck it, I’m going to wear trousers and a shirt! And I feel great and I think I look pretty good. And I was feeling so good I didn’t even feel awkward using the changing rooms in Topman. I just walked in thinking I WANT TO BUY YOUR CLOTHES SO I WILL TRY THEM ON HERE.

    In other news I accidentally washed my binder so found breathing a little more difficult for a few hours. Woops!

    Love you all.

  15. I think that saying something about how you’re pretty sensitive about your hips should be enough to get a professional to stop talking about them–because yo, we all have body parts we feel sensitive and insecure about, even if they’re not causing dysphoria.

    But I’m sorry you’re getting dysphoria triggered, especially in at atmosphere that’s all about making you function better because dysphoria is the worst.

  16. The first CD I ever bought was the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack. ? It’s still an old favorite! I must have been around 11.

    I’ve had a pretty eventful week, so I’m looking forward to resting this weekend. I finished my second egg donation yesterday and it was successful! I also received a letter from the intended parent of my first donation letting me know that their pregnancy just hit the three month mark, so that was some exciting news!

  17. 1) wear gloves if it’s gonna bother you that much? Or maybe you need a scrubby brush or some scented soap
    2) if you don’t wanna get deep into it, it might help to say something like “I feel really self conscious about my hips and it feels weird to hear you talk about them like that” which she will probably respond to. The specificity of why you feel that way important, but if you don’t want to get into a lot of explaining, that might work? Good luck

  18. Just tell her the comments make you uncomfortable! I don’t think it’s necessary to bring up anything about your gender identity if you don’t want to, and plenty of people happily identifying as women don’t want anything about them referred to as “girly” anyway for so many reasons.

  19. Hi, Stef! I’m glad your cat is doing better. And I hope your intense weekend is still lots of fun!

    I can understand being scared of drivers when biking. I live close enough to my work to walk, and I have to be careful of crazy drivers too, because many people think street signs like “Stop for Pedestrians in Crosswalk” are just suggestions. As for exercise, I’ve found it to be “good” in that it’s a good stress reliever for me (I do some cardio and strength training each day, it’s a huge help). I think it can get better, and it sounds like it’s getting for you! I hope that continues. =)

    I can’t really remember an album that I’ve bought, other than OSTs that have come with some video games I’ve played (I got the Dark Souls 3 soundtrack with the game this week, since it came with the Day 1 edition) and some anime OSTs that have come with DVDs I’ve bought. To be honest, I usually don’t listen to music much, unless I’m driving, and then it’s just the radio, since my car is pretty old (a 2001) and doesn’t have a CD player or blue tooth connection or anything.

    I don’t have any pet pictures immediately available, but I do have a picture of some deer that I took when visiting a friend’s house a few weeks ago. Sorry it’s not too great, but if I got closer, they would have run away:

    • That is pretty cool you got to see a deer. If you walks quiet enough, you could get potentially pretty close to the deer, which sometimes exposes even more deers.

  20. Waazzuup?
    I spent last night at work, too!
    A co-worker had a bout of Arthritis and asked me to cover his 24 hour shift, so I simply stayed at the Hospital until this morning.
    Working nights is always a bit magical.
    It’s crazy and foreign and intimate, and sometimes things happen, and sometimes they don’t.
    Sometimes, I’m scared to death when I have to meander outside the main buildings, because there simply is such an eery quiet outside hospitals in the night, no matter whether you’re in the city or in the Country.
    At other times, I simply enjoy the quietness of long hallways and empty corridors.
    Of night nurses nodding or smiling as I pass.
    Of whispered conversations.
    Of quiet words and soft treads.
    Of the way the air whooshes into a quiet room full of sleeping people, when the door opens.
    Everything is heightened, put into focus.
    As is the leaden tiredness that comes in waves.
    I really, really like working nights, obviously, because, and I think that’s true for most places,it’s the same place and even the same people, but minus the rush and chaos of things, minus the daylight, and despite it being entirely the same, it is wholly not.
    Still, there is an undeniable sense of relief every time the sun comes up, because not everything is available and possible in the night and nights are always, always…touchy.
    There’s no one to look over your shoulder either, and that is a good part about the day and its masses of people.
    Every time I walk out of a night,and we all made it through, I feel like I want a pat on the back and a “Well, done.”, like a kid who built a sand fort all by themselves for the very first time, you know,like a night fort.

      • Yes!
        Personally, I restrain from nightshifts or on-call duty at nights (I’m a volunteer), because it has felt too damn lonely on the way home and coming home when there is nobody to pat me.
        Sending a virtual little box with pats to take out if needed :)

    • I always loved the quiet of nights at work in hospitals too, for the same reasons. Now I’m retired and often awake reading in the small hours I frequently notice the time and think of what would be happening around that time on a routine or not so routine shift. Yes sometimes I miss it but I can live without the rush of adrenaline when something “stimulating” is going off.

      Your description is beautiful.

  21. I have good news re: my medical mystery! The drugs my doc prescribed last week are doing a number on the pain!! Being pain-free (or mostly-pain-free) is so fucking liberating. I can do stuff (not like, a lot of stuff, but some stuff which is more than before). I have my appetite back! And after fiddling a little bit with the dosages, I’m not getting super dizzy so I can drive myself places!! For the first time in over a month!! Plus it’s been sunny and warm outside so I’ve been able to be outside!! This is so great y’all.

    Downside: the drug is treating nerve pain and is an antidepressant and I’m not entirely sure if I’m energized and have a great mood because no pain or because it’s sending me hypomanic, which would not be ideal and probably concerning…

    • That is so fucking great! Even if your meds will change later at least you are on your way down the recovery path now instead of waiting at the start line pleading for someone to shout go.

      Probs just me that thinks of healthcare as this metaphorical life race. But then I also think of my immune system as a keen but inept ninja who just couldn’t differentiate between enemies and my liver. ‘Look Caitlin, I killed a thing!’ That’s great work, but we needed that one.

  22. Hi everybody! I am SO PUMPED for record store day! I need to get my hands on Brandi Carlile’s Live at KCRW record, but I will likely pick up more albums than I should. Blackbyrd Myoozik and Listen Records here in Edmonton are awesome independent record stores, so I will happily tell them to take my money, as I do all too often throughout the year anyway!

    The first album I ever bought with my own money was Aqua’s Aquarium! Oddly enough, I actually bought it at a Blockbuster. I then promptly listened to it over and over again on my dad’s first generation Sony Discman that you had to keep super still so your CD wouldn’t skip. My 90’s kid self felt so cool when I bought it. I still own it and therefore I am still so cool.

    Also, this week I’m learning how to swim! I’ve always been pretty panicky in the water and I never made it past the first level when I took swimming lessons as a kid; I couldn’t even doggie paddle. My partner and I live in a building that has a pool and we’ve never utilized it. The catalyst to actually start taking advantage of it was that she hurt her back and I decided to encourage her to go to the pool with me to just float around and relax in order to help her back pain. Soooo…we went last Sunday and have gone nearly every day since! She used to be a lifeguard and is a wonderful and patient teacher, so I’m super excited with the progress and confidence I’ve gained in the water already! Once I got comfortable with dunking my head in the water and learning to breathe out properly I then learned to push off the pool wall and glide across the width of the pool. It feels like flying! Now I’m starting to learn to add kicking and arm strokes into that glide, so it really feels like I’m almost swimming. Anyway, this is so huge for me and I’m taking every opportunity to tell everyone I know how about how exciting this is! Oh, and her back pain is much better! :)

    I hope every single one of you has a wonderful weekend and upcoming week!

    • I’ve been swearing to myself every summer for years now that I would learn how to swim (better than my current doggie paddle, at least). Sounds like you have the perfect set up!

  23. I would probably just say “I’ve been meaning to bring it up, but comments about my hips, like when you say they are big or girly, make me uncomfortable.”

    Like, sure you guys are friendly, but it’s none of her business why, unless you want to tell her — and you shouldn’t have to apologize for it, either. :-)

  24. I am so ashamed to admit that the first CD I bought was Aqua. gahh.

    ALSO! Biking does get easier! It is so tough when you first do it, and for a couple months your whole body and muscles are confused and angry. To make it better, I recommend music-not on headphones though, as I find that really dangerous! I also suggest finding a rad outfit/helmet and having someone take a photo of you on/next to your bike to remind yourself of how badass you look while riding!

  25. Not sure about the first two but for #3 maybe try writing her a note/sending her an email if you’re not comfortable saying it in person? Something like, “Hey, just wanted to let you know, I don’t like my hips [and any other parts of your body that may apply] referred to as ‘girly’—it’s just not how I think about my body. Please stop referring to them as such. Thanks.” Hope that helps! <3

  26. Heyyyy friends I am a genderqueer human who is now one week and one day post- top surgery!

    A year ago, I was so worried that I wouldn’t have a strong enough support system to help me through this but I have been so overwhelmed with love and support. But my best friend who just moved across the country came out to take care of me and my new friends close by have been the best in checking up on me, bringing food, all the things.

    I also wasn’t sure if I would be super happy right away until I was healed a bit more, but I am so so happy with the results and never knew it was possible to actively love my body this much, it’s such a good feeling <3

  27. MJ’s Thriller on cassette from a store called Strawberries in 1982. I played it over and over through my tape recorder. I miss those innocent days…

  28. I feel like just simply requesting she not refer to your hips as girly should be enough.

    Physical therapy involves physical contact, emotional and physical struggle for the recipient. A PT should be sensitive to this and have the manners to follow such a request without you have to stress yourself through an explanation.

  29. I don’t know if it was the very first, but the first album I remember buying (on tape) was World on Edge. Anybody else remember them? That was actually a pretty good album. I should try to find it again.

    Today I’m spring cleaning. Both my home and my mind. This winter was horrible and I am grateful that it is over.

  30. This is the point where I realise that I’ve gotten this far in life without ever buying myself a record. I never had an allowance as a kid and have pesky ideas about indulgent spending. By pesky I mean a shrink would want to probably talk about it and be concerned about my feelings of self worth maybe.

    The first record I was ever given was probably the OST of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. The last record someone gave was Best of Rammstein.
    The last time I was in a place that sold music I was really not tempted by their selection at all.
    Now my music tastes are spread way to far to ever be satisfied by my meagre coin and knowledge of language to buy physical copies.
    Some part of me feels that it is correct not to own the music I like. It keeps things ephemeral and belonging to those who made it.

    I’m the right age to have experienced the music of the 90’s and remember it, but not beyond a parent’s control so I cannot miss an artist I never got to know of in their prime.
    I can be saddened a young talented person’s life was cut short and wonder what things their creativity would have blossomed had they lived.

    Exercise can be fun, but that depends on what you consider fun and what you use as exercise. I grew up dancing so I can use that for exercise and many people find that a fun activity. But also I’m a weirdo who craves vegetables at time and craves connection with my body via physical activity.
    Right now I’m just doing free weights twice a week and once a week at least stuff that could maybe pass as yoga. Just find something you find fun if the endorphins aren’t kicking in.

    Before depression and life weighted me down I use to dance for hours listening to the classic rock station. I use to do this thing to The Guess Who’s American Woman that looked like my hips were spring loaded.
    Move like some sort of serpent to Led Zepplin and Santana.
    Also would hold 3 pound weights in my hands as I moved with the music, but that can be dangerous. I’m not saying you should try that Stef, maybe wrist weights tho.
    Like 2 pound or so.

    My pet gives zero fucks about my music, it is beneath her dignity to care unless the music has wolf noises and then she becomes concerned.
    Or if I’m suddenly really loud like when I attempted to sing Dream On this week.
    What the fuck syllables is Steven Tyler getting so high noted with? Or is he just going “aaaaahhhhh” I can’t tell and understand like Tarja Turunen’s vocals just fine.
    I’ve decided when I do it’s an extension of “on”.
    But my Ravenclaw nature is not satisfied.

  31. A woman at work felt uncomfortable about something and it worked really well because she turned the conversation around to me and gave me an opportunity to be understanding and put her at ease. She said ‘I know you didn’t know but BLANK made me really uncomfortable. It’s just a thing, I mean we all have them, I’m sure there’s something you are really specific about…’

    By this point I was interrupting her apologising, saying ‘of course, everyone has their thing, I mean I get really uncomfortable about train lines blah bla whatever’ and we had a chat about how people just feel strongly about things.

    As someone at work I think it’s pretty much impossible for them to disagree to this statement.

  32. It has been such a long week!!!! I’ve done so much!
    Pretty sure my exercise for the week was helping a friend move all of her stuff (A LOT) from her bedroom to the living room because the carpet in her room was being replaced. She has a lot of stuff, it took a couple hours.
    But the best part of the week was talking with another friend, who is a lot older than me, and one of her kids came out to her recently as a trans woman. So my friend just wanted some advice and reassurance. I told her all about Autostraddle and our community, and she told her daughter, who was excited about it. The whole conversation just warmed my heart.

  33. Hello all you lovelies!

    Ahhhh Stef….thank you for beginning your hosting by giving us all dreams of a magical sleepover in a record store with you. Maybe this can be David Levithan’s next book. And the next Instagram pictures will all be… “your girlfriend, Stef…” …and AS’s teenage music-fuelled dreams would come true.

    First music bought…either Neneh Cherry’s “Raw like sushi”, or the soundtrack from “Cinema paradiso”, I don’t recall which!

    Also thanks for the TLC video….is it just me, or does it seem super-gay? Do I just read everything as gay?

  34. I don’t even remember the first album i bought on my own. :\ I remember my mom giving two to me that she thought would be “appropriate” for my smol self; i’m only remembering that one was “Goodbye” by the Spice Girls. I do remember buying Shakira’s “Laundry Service” in either 6th or 7th grade… but i listened more to the Myra CD i got.


    I’M BACK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL oh shit uh wELL IM TRANSPORTED BACK TO MEMORIES. ER. OF HAVING NO FRIENDS. YEAH. UH. I MEAN. WHAT?????? Unless you count the elementary school kids i hung out with, because they accepted me & i didn’t feel like they would talk about me behind my back lmaooo

    (No friends, no significant other [a boyfriend, back in those days– i used to be straight which is hilarious], wishing i was Popular = applying songs solely to the interests in my head. I had a big old crossover, mostly in my head, when i was in middle school. Digimon + Lord of the Rings [i read it the 1st time in 6th & 7th grades] + two of my My Little Ponies [in human form most of the time], in the modern world [this equaled “hobbits being forced to go to school because middle school me was about as bright as a dim bulb, apparently”]. I KNOW, IT SOUNDS HORRIBLE, BUT IT WAS MY LIFE)

    Oh, & S Club 7.


    This song made me wish i had friends lmAO oh man.

    Unrelated (no, really), but 8th grade was also my first bout of depression, but nothing like how it would become. I was still slightly innocent. And Spirited Away helped me get through it, for some reason; i had one of the “animanga” (who came up with that term) for the movie & i took it to school with me a lot. I dunno, it helped somehow even though i was so lonely.

    I’ve been making lots of stuff to vend next month– literally about a month away– & i’m just feeling really down with it. I have 75 items so far, & i’ve spent almost $1000 on supplies & the vending cost (& the person who claims she wants to vend with me still hasn’t sent me her part of the vending fee), & i feel like i’m not going to sell a thing, & then i’ll post the crap on Etsy, where it still won’t sell, & i’ll end up losing a ton of money, especially since i still don’t have a job. I’m taking this huge risk, this huge gamble, & i guess i’m kind of regretting it. But i can’t back out, not after spending so much on it & with the festival date so close.

    Plus, some days my mind wanders to what my life has become & it threatens to really fuck me up.

    I’ve been really irritable, too. :\ It sucks. I can’t even just pick something on YouTube to play while i work on things, because i get irritated & fed up with it, sometime immediately, & so i have to change it.

    TL;DR: life is hard & it sucks & i don’t like it, whine whine cry more, whatever. :P

    This is the music i’m listening to now:


  35. The first CD I ever owned was Hanson’s “Middle of Nowhere” which I requested for my ninth birthday, but the first one I ever bought with my very own money (and I worked my little nine-year-old butt off doing chores to earn the cash) was Spice Girls “Spice World”

    These two albums pretty much defined my childhood and even though it’s not the genre I prefer now, I still listen to both Hanson and Spice Girls some nearly two decades later.

    Also, on the exercise front, I have never stuck with it long enough to see if it becomes enjoyable. Baking relieves far more stress for me and tastes much better. Also, I hate sweating, but I love eating, so.

      • I’m a cake decorator at heart, so I mostly like making ridiculously extravagant cakes. But they’re very time consuming so I tend to stick towards cupcakes, which are also fun but not as showy as the cakes I used to do.

        • I’ve never been as successful at cakes/cake decorating as I’d like to be, but I keep trying anyway, particularly for my nephews’ birthdays. Fortunately 3 year olds are relatively easy to impress.
          Biscuits/cookies are more my area of expertise.

          • I’m a big fan of cookies and I guess I’m pretty good at making them. I don’t know what I do special, I just follow the recipe that’s on the back of the bag of chocolate chips lol! But everyone always asks me to make them cookies.

            I learned pretty much everything I know about cake decorating from taking Wilton classes at Michael’s craft stores and watching YouTube videos. It really is just a matter of practice.

  36. It’s my birthday!

    …that’s my contribution for the day.

    Also for some reason suddenly all the targeted ads following me around are for rehab. I am very curious what I searched/looked at to prompt this. ????

  37. For #2 I would say try perfume, even the cheap versions one could get for $5-10 might work. Get a smell that you like and spray it on both your hands. If that doesn’t work try a scented body oil(they even come in cookie smells).

    For the doctor I will just tell the dr. that it makes you uncomfortable.

  38. I honestly can’t remember what my first record was. Maybe Shania Twain? I used to love country music, which is odd because now I can’t stand it.

    And I feel like I’m failing you, but I don’t have the time/energy to dig up pictures of the Wieners today. I’m packing to go home tomorrow and deep-cleaning my apartment and working on 2 major translation projects and holy shit it’s 4:00 already. I will compensate with lots of pictures and tales of Penny greeting me (she basically loses control of herself when she sees me after I’ve been away for a while) tomorrow, though.

    Speaking of translation projects, though: the agency I’m working for just confirmed a year-long project, and yours truly will be doing most – if not all – of it. Which is exciting on a bunch of different levels. There’s even been some talk of moving me to Quebec City to work in-house for this agency (which would mean benefits! Like actual insurance!), and while I don’t think it’ll happen it’s still very exciting. I’m feeling like I might actually be Making It as a Successful Adult(TM).

    In unrelated news, I’m going to Paris in a week and a half. !!!!!!!!!! I will be sending you all virtual croissants.

  39. Hi Stef! Happy Friday, even though it sounds like yours is just the precursor to a whole lot of hard work. You will survive! Also, cycling does get better! Not the traffic part, but the hill won’t be so hard and you’ll start feeling the flow a little more, which is (I’m pretty sure) what everyone likes best about biking… those moments when you’re cruising along and the bike feels like an extension of you and you’re just totally in it.

    I don’t actually remember the first record I bought anymore :/ The first concert I went to, though, was Vanessa Carlton. So that’s cool and totally not cheesy or embarrassing.

    Aaaaand I’m not really supposed to be on Autostraddle at all because I’m attempting to plow through two different resumes today, from scratch. I really want both jobs, so that’s some good motivation, but it’s not quite making up for the fact that it’s a fucking glorious day outside and I really just want to be sitting on the beach. Ugh.

    • Good luck with your resumes!! Perhaps you could give yourself a beach day as a reward tomorrow?

      • Thank you! I made good progress today. And I already have a beach day planned for tomorrow!

  40. 1. Those undies sound perfect and if you find them let me know, because I am still searching for the holy grail of underwear that don’t either leave half of me exposed or come up to my belly button (I hate the high-rise trend; it is so uncomfortable).

    2. A scented soap would probably work. Lemon juice is a pretty good odor neutralizer, so maybe try something lemon scented. Or even just use straight lemon juice on your hands after (DEFINITELY AFTER WITH NO POSSIBILITY OF CONTINUING) sexy-times and then wash them. I’d also like to second m. teerexington’s suggestion of using gloves. No smell and less risk of spreading germs that end up under fingernails and such.

    3. Broken record-ing everyone else and advising you to just tell her, “Hey, I’m uncomfortable with you referring to my hips this way.” If she asks why just say it’s personal, but it really bothers you. If she’s a professional, she’ll stop. If she’s not a professional, you’d probably want to find a new physical therapist anyway. Medical professionals should behave, you know, professionally.

  41. If we’re talking first LP, I think mine was the Easy Rider Soundtrack for reasons that escape me.

    But if we’re talking about first music bought, mine was a cassette of 90s Mexican pop singer, Fey. (Which knowing what I know now, makes PERFECT sense.) I just youtubed one of her music videos and it’s both magic and tragic.


    I mean it’s raining AND the stairs are on fire.

    • Escape is the reason maybe?

      You weren’t kidding.
      The METAL stairs are on fire.
      There’s an art studio, magic amulet and oh dear I owned that nail polish,
      Crop tops are magical on their own.

  42. First album I ever purchased was Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill. I played the fuck out of that album. Pretty sure I annoyed the hell out of my family with it. Ooh and when I discovered that hidden track? <3 "All I Really Want" is still the jam, though.

    Looking forward to Record Store Day myself! Can't wait to get a hold of PJ Harvey's new album that was released today. So not putting it off because I'm currently working from home and don't want to change out of my pajamas or brush my hair or leave my apartment……

  43. STEF i l u. the first CD i bought with my own money was NIN The Downward Spiral and it scared the living shit out of me. i remember ripping the headphones off in my bedroom floor and being convinced i’d just been brainwashed into murdering someone and eating their still-warm heart.

    but look at me now!

      • …………….I don’t know if I want to attempt ballet to that or run screaming into the…evening. Because it feels WRONG as that time I had a 102 fever, but like ballet would partner well with it.

        O_o so confused

    • I remember feeling the same way when I heard “The Mariner’s Revenge Song,” by The Decemberists, for the first time. The idea of someone buried alive, trying to claw their way out of the grave with broken fingers, was truly horrifying to sixteen-year-old me.

      Roughly a year later, I was scarring small children for life by singing that song at campfires. Less than a year after that, I was playing in a (terrible) Decemberists cover band. We never did do Mariner’s Revenge, though, because there were only three of us and we couldn’t manage all the parts.

  44. I don’t remember my first tape. Probably The Care Bears or something like that. But, my first vinyl was Whitney Houston’s “Whitney”. My sister purchased Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” the same day. Ah what a pair :) I remember by Dad letting me pick out whatever I wanted at The Record Bar in the mall. Little kid allowance. Best day ever.

    The first CD I ever purchased was R.E.M.’s “Out Of Time”. We were a little late on the CD Player-for-the-household bandwagon. Funny enough, I had “Automatic For The People” on cassette. Probably for those long high school band trips and I had yet to buy my own portable CD player.

  45. Speaking of singers who died too young – I have been on a big Selena kick this last week. I blame MAC for releasing that Selena inspired lipstick. I’m definitely buying the hell out of all those products when they finally hit the stores! (That sounds like a promo, I swear I don’t work for MAC, it’s just all my friends and I have been talking about this week!)

    I think my first record was either Shania Twain or ABBA…my taste in music was very diverse as a child haha

  46. The first album I ever bought with my own money, in 1990, was Ramones. One year later it was also my first show and I call that a transcendental experience, after that I went to every freaking show that followed. To this day, I have 23 versions of that album (international editions, vinyl, cassette, CD and even an 8-track version).

  47. The very first album I bought (with my very own money) was Evanescence’s “Fallen”, followed by “Hotel Paper” by Michelle Branch and finished with “Singles Collection” by No Doubt. I was 12. Also, I just turned 25 today :D

  48. Today has just been a roller coaster for me. I work as a wedding planner and met with one of my brides and her family today in the chapel where she is getting married – that is named for her family (where I also happen to work). So her dad used his laser vision to notice any burnt out lights, carpet stains, or other bits of ickiness that haven’t been tidied this week. Ugh.

    In BETTER news, my most darling baby brother got engaged to his lovely girlfriend today which I’m not sure is possible because in my heart of hearts he is still twelve years old with floppy bangs, baggy pants, and huge airwalk sneakers. But that’s not true and he’s a grown man and I am a thousand years old. I’m over the moon happy for them, and glad I don’t have to plan their wedding because it’s going to be a destination wedding in Brazil.

    To stick to the topic for the week, the first record I paid my own real money for was Green Day’s “Dookie” because it was 1994 so OF COURSE that’s what I bought.

      • The bride is just the sweetest angel doll, and her mom is very sweet also. I spend so much time with mom-zillas that this is a nice change. The father is just overzealous re: maintenance of the chapel his family had built for the facility a hundred years ago.

        • Also I feel like the vast majority of my brides are lovely, and it’s usually the parents that are frustrating for whatever reason?

          • That is what I always say, too! I tell new people I meet what I do, they inevitably ask about bridezillas. I end up saying that I’ve never really had one, it’s more often crazy mothers.

      • Also, I’ve desperately been trying to thumbs up your post but my phone WILL NOT LET ME.

  49. Alright, I always mean to participate in these but the last few weeks of the semester are always hectic and I keep forgetting until Monday.

    I don’t know that I’ve ever bought an album, but I did fall in love with my parents’ Go-Gos records as a kid. The first CD I bought was one by the Dixie Chicks – I’m still kinda sad they’ve stopped putting out albums as a group, but they’re on a world tour right now and I’ve convinced a friend to go with me this fall so that should be awesome, if for nothing but the nostalgia.

    Next week I’ll try to participate more (yay for the end of the semester & teaching undergrads!), but for now here are (hopefully) pictures of my puppy that has been keeping the joy alive for me this past week. She’s got an ear infection so she’s been sad but the vet says she’s responding well to treatment, which is awesome.

  50. Nope, image fail. I’m going to try once more, apologies if it is more broken links:

  51. Hey Everyone! This week I at least started to do some of the stuff I’ve been putting off for so long but really need to do, so that’s good. I’ve been using A-Camp as motivation to actually get stuff done.

    I don’t know what the first album I bought with my own money was since I usually got them as gifts, but some of the first albums I owned were definitely Britney Spears “Oops I did it again” and the Spice Girls first album.

    Hope everyone has a good weekend!

  52. The first album I purchased with my very own money was a compilation of Jim Croce hits. I was fifteen, I think, but clearly recall that I bought it at the Reno Barnes & Noble. (My dad’s a music professor, so I wasn’t exactly lacking for other listening material until then.)

    I feel kind of weird asking y’all to pay attention to my life, because I only stopped being a lurker on AS a couple of weeks ago and don’t really know how this thread works yet. But you don’t seem like you bite, so here’s how things are going:

    I turned in my honors thesis (I’m a senior English major at a small liberal-arts school) last night, so now the department is going to have to grapple with “”The other kinds of men, the other lives”: Linearity, Circularity, and Gender in Ursula K. Le Guin’s ‘The Left Hand of Darkness.'” Fortunately, my thesis director has been really fantastic, and one of my other favorite professors/humans in general has offered to be the second reader and ask the questions at my defense.

    On Monday, I found out that I made honors on the comprehensive exam, so I WILL graduate in May, come hell or high water.

    I’ve also been trying to plan how I’m going to come out to my parents. I know they’ll be all kinds of supportive, but I want to do it in person, and it’s still hard to shut down the voice in my head that says that, because the relationship I’m in now has been my only relationship and because it’s with a man, I might conceivably be wrong about my being bisexual. And that coming out would be appropriating an identity that might not end up being accurate, and that that would be hurtful to the queer people in my life/the universe in general. And that it’s maybe a bad idea to label myself to my family, because what if I end up not being mistaken about being queer but mistaken about the KIND of queer I am?

    GAH. Sorry for the word-vomit, thanks for reading.

    TL;DR I am pleased with the direction my professional life is taking, still trying to get a handle on my sexuality though.

      • Thank you! I’ve been blathering about it to anyone who will listen since January, and actually kind of can’t wait to defend it. :)

    • Good luck with defending the thesis! And yay for locking in graduating! Always a good feeling.

      As to your queer identity, well, I feel like with much of self-discovery, it’s continuously evolving. I think change will always be a head-scratcher for people especially when it comes to matters of sexuality, but for someone to question or respond to that change in a way that indicates offense or hurt is reason for you to scratch your head because that kind of response is, frankly, disrespectful. As far as I can tell, the ebb and flow of how we change in our numerous identities is rarely malicious. Rather, they’re a natural part of getting to know ourselves better and more intimately. I don’t believe it’s something to which people should have much offense to take because it’s such a deeply personal matter. I first identified as bisexual when I first came out and firmly identified that way for a good five years after coming out. Then, I began to question that identity and realized I felt closer to and comfortable with identifying as a lesbian. I was met with some concern and some open arms when I let my friends and family know that I was now identifying as a lesbian, but as time went on, the concerns faded and the people who cared the most about me kept rooting for me. It was a long process and I can’t say how I got there without writing too much, but the bottomline being, sexuality is like any other part of us that we use to identify ourselves and those identities can change with time, experience, and more progress in our self-realization. Take your time, work through the tough questions and thoughts at your own pace, float the idea to a very close confidant, and own your identity how you choose to describe it and whatever it ends up being. Best wishes and good luck!
      PS: I apologize if this isn’t the most articulate; I got hit with the sleepy club toward the end but I didn’t want to just delete this response.

      • Thank you. This is what I needed to hear tonight, and you’re definitely articulate despite the attack of the sleepy club!

    • You don’t have to have a definitive, permanent answer. You could come out as questioning, as probably bisexual, as probably queer, as not-straight, as a work in progress, as the book of life you are constantly writing and rewriting even better than your thesis…

      • Thank you, as well. I guess everyone is a work-in-progress, and I ought to tame my categorizing, label-happy brain so that it lets me sit with that reality in a way that is productive rather than frightening and stressful.

  53. @discospider Okay, Stef, I think it’s kind of perfect that you are hosting FOT this week bc I went to see the Savages play last night & I couldn’t help but think that their badass guitarist Gemma is kind of a doppelganger for you? Hard to say, but it was a thought that crossed my mind last night.
    My first record was Songs from the Big Chair by Tears for Fears. I was seven and I begged and pleaded and negotiated ways to earn the money for it because it had the song Shout on it and I was a tiny human obsessed.
    Otherwise, I’ve been missing the autostraddle universe as I’ve mostly been off the grid which also included my truck breaking down and being abandoned in the middle of the country. Huge bummer.
    But, super stoked for next weekend when I’ll be running a 50mile trail race through the Arizona pines…so yeah, I think if you want exercise not to suck, it can.
    Hope everyone has an incredible weekend!!
    AND Left Eye, for real. I had friends tell me they were going to see TLC on a recent tour and I lost the argument that it wasn’t TLC without Left Eye, but I stand by that assertion.

  54. Joining Friday Open Thread on a Saturday morning because time zones only feels slightly weird.
    Pretty sure my first album was by Hunters and Collectors, which is very Australian but definitely didn’t make me cool.
    I spent my Friday night at a work trivia night and I feel slightly concerned that my overly competitive streak made me look like a bit of an asshole. I was also disappointed by lack of comprehension of my pun name for our team – didn’t realise so many people wouldn’t know what a gryphon is…
    I’ve also been thinking about finding more queer friends since I moved to a new city in January. Last week I joined a meetup group, but haven’t participated as yet.

      • So it’s quite locally specific, but I am in Canberra, which was designed by Walter Burley Griffin (and his under-credited wife Marion Mahony Griffin), and Canberra was also the theme for the evening, so the name I came up with was The Burly Gryphons.
        I thought it was a stroke of genius, but apparently I misjudged.

        • Sounds like a stroke of genius to me too, but I’m also from Oz and a bit of a history tragic. Thanks for the laughs.

  55. Also, I am very keen to watch season 2 of Kimmy Schmidt, but waiting until Tuesday night when my girlfriend is here. In the meantime Netflix already sent me a taunting email to say it’s now available.

  56. First CD I ever bought was The Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits. SUPER COOL. Still love ’em, not gonna lie.

    This week was pretty okay! I got my hair cut! Two different people told me I needed to play something other than Boyfriend and U-turn on repeat when there’re other people around! GF Holly gets to move back to swing shift from graveyard soon! I got a shitton of small work things done! I am tired like all the time and also I woke up with what I think was a pinched nerve a couple nights ago and my back has felt not great all week! I need to get my car worked on! I need to pay my bills! I need to call covered california about a tax form they still haven’t sent me after I’ve called them three times! Some super dumb family drama happened! (which I typed out in detail but then deleted. I leave you with this remnant of my venting: BUY SOMETHING OFF ETSY, AMY. MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN GARLAND.)


    Rocked a wedding last weekend–here’s the 11 boutonnieres I made for it!

    Really been into orange and white flower arrangements lately

    Some lovely variegated mini carnations!

    Adorable towel-guarding rainbow hand-biter, Jim!


    Like super into these clouds

    It was Holly’s birthday last week! We took her roommate’s dogs to the brewery in celebration!!

    Roommate + roommate’s dogs! It was obvs a very good time.

    Flower explosion

    I did this altar at the church I have a regular flower gig with for easter! I loved how it turned out, even though I totally spilled an entire vase of flowers + water all over the bible! That bible! The big fancy one in the picture! It was terrifying. But I dried the bible out in the sun and sopped up most of the water on the altar/carpet with the towel I keep in my car and EVERYTHING WAS FINE IT WAS FINE FINE EVERYINTHG fINE F I N E and then I finished putting everything out and ran the fuck away.
    So later when I admitted what happened to my churchlady contact, she just laughed and said “oh everyone’s done that! Just turn the pages to cover up the wrinkly paper next time!” so all was well???????

    So pink!

    Sleepy Musa accompanying me to the flower mart one morning. She is so old but she still likes to hang out!

    Magnolia tree lit by streetlights outside of GF Holly’s apartment one night

    I loved this arrangement but no one watered it and so it looked half dead the next day. But I got a picture of it, so whatever!

    Post haircut + boredom braid selfie!

    Messy pastels

    Dressed up!

    So the house across the street from mine is preally nice and has a beautiful cutting garden, but it’s currently being sold so no one lives in it right now. So consequently I constantly steal shit from the garden, because who else is going to appreciate it? No one, that’s who. So yeah anyway it was going to rain so I got a bit grabbyhands with the garden roses.

    One day I will post so many pictures that someone will be like JANE, YOU NEED TO STOP. But until that day comes, I will continue to post a huge pile of them. You’re welcome! Maybe!

    • There is nothing wrong with appreciating it, if no one else is. Also, doubt anyone would say stop posting adorable pics of birds, flowers, people.

    • This is a totally appropriate number of pictures. Jim is adorable, and the flowers all look fantastic :)
      I am in very serious need of a haircut.

    • I want all your flower arrangements all the time to surround me every where I go. #squadgoals But really, those arrangements are beautiful! Keep the pictures coming : ) Also, the roses from the house across the street are stunning.

    • These are gorgeous! Yes – thank you to the your welcome. I don’t know if you mean deleted on purpose to focus your comment on the positive or deleted accidentally and didn’t have time to retype. This evening I had to retype after accidentally deleting everything I’d written for the annual graduate school reenrollment self-evaluation of my academic/research progress, plans for the summer, and goals for the coming year. It was due today, of course.

    • Ok so A-100% agree with your Beach Boys choices. B. Whoever told you to stop playing Boyfriend and U-Turn is just plain wrong. Sounds like a good week, especially all Pup related things. Flowers gorgeous as ever. At least you only split water in church, I knew a guy that dropped the wine in holy communion and the church said they would have to burn the carpet.

    • Those boutonnières are to die for. I keep trying to talk one of my brides into ranunculus (at least SOME) for her centrepieces but she’s stuck on lilies. She does not believe me that no one wants to eat when they have to smell those, and to me they smell like funeral. Please come to my office and help me with her.

      Also, your pets are precious.

    • that is a very good picture of jim, A+. also happy late birthday to holly! also i really like her shirt in that pic of the two of you together. also also hooray for haircuts! i’m getting mine cut on wednesday and i CANNOT WAIT.

    • Orange and white = CREAMSICLE in my brain.
      I do not like the color orange and white flowers make me think of dead kids, but the idea of accidental creamsicle bouquets make me so happy. OvO

    • Your photos are lush and lovely and brightened up my Monday morning, especially with the flowers.

  57. Off topic (but still important): Last week I came out to the majority of people I know (minus coworkers and family) as non-binary trans and it went super well! I’m so happy with the support I received!

    AND my zine of feminist puzzles is selling well at my local comic store! I can’t wait to make even more zines. :)


    You guys I’m so tired from trying to move everything to my new apartment then the toilet clogged this morning here at home because the unit above me flushed a shit ton of baby wipes (they will not dissolve like toilet paper) down the toilet so imagine my surprise to flush my toilet at 6am to have the water almost overflow OMG talk about an alarm clock!! Also the tub was filled with GROSS WATER. I have been pretty much trying to run around looking for a decent dining set. Speaking of, if you are in the LA area and know someone who wants to get rid of furniture…like dining set..I might consider the couch if it’s a sectional..maybe some night stands or side tables HMU =)

    • Congrats on the new place! Did you talk to the upstairs neighbor about their big error, so it won’t happen again?
      Have you tried Home Goods for the dining set? My mother and aunts all love that place and always say the find great stuff there at good prices. Worth a look.

      • I had the landlord talk to them, I didn’t feel like it was my place to do so..anyway THANKS!!! I went to home goods today but I didn’t find anything. I feel like it’s a bit pricey and I feel way to compelled to buy all the things to match. I think I will splurge a bit on a sofa though. It’s the one piece of furniture that will be used more than the bed (PUN INTENDED. YES PUN INTENDED) and I’m bringing my bed from home. I also have a hand in one other piece of furniture and I can’t wait to post pictures of it!!

        • I agree about the sofa. It’s what guest are also more likely to see(that and maybe wine glasses).

  59. My new goal is to participate more in the Straddleverse. I love reading and liking the posts in Friday Open Threads so much that I forget to be part of the conversation (oops).

    I believe the first CD I ever bought was M2M. I played that CD for what probably felt like forever to my family. And I’m pretty sure I was motivated to buy it after watching the Pokemon movie. I was such a pre-teen.

    As for weekend plans, I AM FLYING SOLO. For real. My fiancee is away at a roller derby tournament being a really cool non-skating official. I have to stay home because I’m picking up my sister and her husband at the JFK airport. I’m trying to keep my good sister record pristine. So it’s our first full weekend apart from each other while we’ve been living together. We were long distance until this past summer and we got used to being together all the time real fast. But, alas we are independent adults and can handle our emotions. While she’s been away, I’ve been catching up with law school friends. Then I Netflix partied with my best friend and made progress in season 2 of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Now my abs hurt from laughing and I intensely miss my best friend (who lives in Georgia). My additional goal next to participating more is building up my one-liner skills and be on Kimmy’s level. Oh, and yell “Run Lillian!” to escape any all situations in which there is impending panic.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  60. Hey AS!

    Well. A week has been had. Just trying to get through these last few of the semester. I don’t remember the first album *I* bought, but my friend gave me a Sara Bareilles album, which was awesome! Funnily enough I’ve been listening to a lot of Sara lately.

    Question: I’m looking to get a new sports bra. I work out frequently and have a B cup. I really want NO jiggle and preferably a flattening look. How are the Nike Pro bras for this? They seem like they wouldn’t be supportive/tight enough. But I have heard great things, so I want Straddlers’ opinions! :)

  61. I went on a date (with a girl!!) for the first time this week. Although I’d never been on a date with anyone for that matter but yeah. And we’re going on another date in like 45 mins so that should be fun :)
    Anyway my week was pretty good but also kind of tiring.
    Last Saturday night I had the same sex gender diverse formal which was so awesome. I got ready with all my friends at my place, and then we were greeted at the venue by old gays dressed at angels. They were adorable, although I did initially think they were silent protestors from the Australian Christian Lobby or something – luckily I was wrong. The night was so much fun and I spent a lot of time with the girl I’m now seeing. Although I kind of wish I had asked her to be my date (though that may have made the night more stressful).

  62. So…I’m late to FOT, it’s Record Store day! Stef I wish I lived Empire Records like you do, that film, and soundtrack, are one of my all time favourites -the grammar mess of that sentence is giving me nausea but I’m too tired to fix it.
    The first album I bought with my own money was Spiders by Space on cassette – super niche and British. I did a lot of recording stuff off the radio, listening to my parents record collections, or CDs that came free with Select and Uncut and mix tapes my best friends made me. My second was probably international velvet by Catatonia or Stoosh by Skunk Anansie.
    Today I drove past a huge queue outside my local independent record store on my way to work, I have no opportunity to go and get in on that action sadly. But I was super glad folks were queuing at 8:45 a.m.
    I’ve had a weird old week at work, which I can’t quite parse out yet, all I know is I can’t wait for my day off tomorrow.
    I’m going to Toronto on vacation in exactly one month’s time, and frankly I fear I’m going to become insufferable if I mention it again to anyone so I’m trying to not, but missus and I are so damn excited! We’ve never been further than Europe before so it’s huge for us.
    Have a great weekend folks. Happy record store day!

    • Hurrah for holidays!!! Squeeze every last drop of excitement you can, and then some!

      Also…I LOVE Skin’s voice… Skunk Anansie tracks were on so many of my mixes then. Her singing always gives me the chills…crawls up my spine and spreads ferny tendrils unfurling in synaptic glory through my brain.

      • I saw a Skunk Anansie acoustic/orchestral concert on Sky Arts and oh my god it was stunning! Tracy’s Flaw was just…there are no words. Gooebumps on my shivers on my tingly spine.

  63. The first album I remember buying is Third Eye Blind’s debut on cassette.

    I’m going to a JD Samson DJ night/queer dance party tonight and it’s my gf and I’s one year anniversary on Monday. We’re both impatient and gave each other our gifts early. I got her some Vans she loves because she hasn’t had some since her beat up old ones fell apart soon after we met and she got me my second pair of TomboyX underwear. I highly recommend them if you can get your hands on some.

    I’ve also started wearing a binder out and about recently that I got from gc2b so I’m a happy little non binary genderqueer person lately with that extra boost of confidence.

    My gf has a bike and I’ve been looking for an affordable used one in my area so we can bike together. I miss riding around.

    Hope you all have a great week.

  64. Wow I’m so late to this but I had to quickly say: I am one of those youth who now has a record player and so the first record I bought was pretty recently (unless you’re counting CDs in which case it was the Mamma Mia soundtrack in 2008 and I have no shame) and it was 23 Live Sex Acts by AgainstMe! and when it arrived I tweeted that it was like being at their gig but in my bedroom and Laura Jane Grace replied ‘all the fun and half the spilled beer’ and it was the best day.

  65. The first Cd i can remember buying is Avril Levine.
    But the first one i had ever was jagged little pill on cassette…i got it for Easter when i was 9 and then they took it away probably 2 hours later HA!

  66. The first CD I was ever given was either Kids Hits For 6 (which was like a compilation of the most popular songs of 2006, lol), or Mistaken Identity by Delta Goodrem. The first one I ever bought was Untouched by The Veronicas, with a Sanity gift voucher.

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