FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Dreaming of Spring is Getting Me Through Winter’s Bullsh*t

Hello hamsters, guinea pigs, and gerbils! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, wherein we brew some craft beer and then talk about it condescendingly for hours on end. JK! It’s where we commiserate, share our blessings, and fall in love with one another. That being said, please feel free to drink a craft beer while reading this or tell me about the craft beers you love in the comments. I know it doesn’t count, but I drank a Cinnamon Horchata Ale from Blue Moon the other day and it kicked some serious ass. Also, have you ever toured the Coors factory in Golden, Colorado where they make Blue Moon and also Killian’s and also APPLE BEER? It’s kind of a life-altering experience.

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I’ve got a bad case of the winter doldrums, y’all. Like, I want so badly to not be impacted by the seasons but every winter feels like it drags on for so long and I forget what it’s like to feel the warm sun on my shoulders or think of going outside with great excitement and not great trepidation and wear clothing that doesn’t make me look like a potato in a sack, and it’s hard. The more I lose my ability to vividly remember those things, the more blue I become.

But you know what? Then, this magical, beautiful thing happens. Spring. And being a native east-coaster, I’m not really 100% sure on how it feels to do spring anywhere else, but hopefully the magic of flowers blooming all around and people suddenly being super happy is a thing elsewhere, because it’s truly a gift.

Kai / A-Camp is also a gift

Kai / A-Camp is also a gift

Spring doesn’t technically begin until the end of March, but in my relative location in this world March is when it gets sunny and warm and when spring has sprung and when everyone feels joy once again. And that proximity to March – seeing as February has started – has me dreaming more than ever about what I’m gonna do when the terror of winter finally subsides.

My dreams for spring include: beginning a garden with my live-in BFF Soph, taking Eli on extremely long walks out of guilt because of his forced winter dormancy (ahem, because of me), walking to get iced coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts somewhere and eating those motherfucking hashbrowns, and also singing songs to myself when nobody’s looking on my way to work. Typical. What are yours?

Basically springtime me in one picture

Basically springtime me in one picture

I’m curious to know also how you’ve been making it through winter, and even though I’ll begrudge it am also open to you telling me you love winter so much because you’re made of sugar and spice and snowpeople. Or, really, we can just not talk about winter. You can tell me about your girlfriend instead, or the challenges of finding the perfect Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day gifts, or the new jeans you bought, or how much you love your new coffee maker. I’m open to you telling me absolutely anything, as long as you’re okay with me reading it from under a blanket possibly while wishing I really was the heatmiser.

Okay, y’all. Warm my heart, damn it!


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Carmen is the Digital Editor at Ms. , Managing Editor at Argot, a Contributor at Everyday Feminism, and Co-Host of The Bossy Show. She previously served as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor, and Social Media Co-Director at Autostraddle. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 926 articles for us.

219 Comments

  1. I’ve been getting through winter by pretty much *clinging* to the stove (which I actually do love doing but it’s not very compatible with work and having a love life), but as of TODAY!!!! I moved into a studio! I am beyond excited. This is life changing. It has heating that comes on when you turn it on. It has WIFI. It even has a desk and a chair! All of these things were previously missing in my life.

    Look here it is before and after I cleared it out!!

    Tomorrow I get to move my stuff in and decorate. So yeah, this is a really good day 🙂

  2. I moved to Arizona. It was 85 yesterday. After my entire childhood of darkness and cold water, I hope never to experience a whole winter again.

    They opened a wee brewery down the street from my house, where I’ve had a cocoa/oatmeal/milk stout that blew all the other cocoa advertizing beers I’ve had out of the water. And an uncannily peanut-brittle inspired situation that was not bad as well 😀

  3. helloooooooooo babes,

    ugh yes winter. I bought two pairs of sandals a couple of weeks ago and they came and fit and I figured out that the huaraches I bought are basically grown up flip flops. Into it.

    But yeah. The incessant gray is wearing on me. I am going on a road trip to CA next week, so hoping to warm up a little that way. But yeah, our CSA starts up again in a couple months, and I am working my way toward getting my sundresses in rotation, and I miss it for sure. Still deep in the land of hoodies though.

    On the upside, today for work I am making a handout with tools for shame resilience, and today this means I am listening to Brene Brown talk to Oprah and I’m SO HAPPY.

  4. it’s like 80 degrees in the valley today and the sun is shining like the biggest star in the universe. i wish i could bring you here carmen because you would be so happy! here this is for you:

    we bought a bunch of succulents and ferns to use for wedding decorations because we want them to have enough time to multiply and get bigger, but also i’m really good at killing plants. so last night i rearranged my entire living room so these baby plants could have full use of the only window, and was the best decision. now i’m working from the other side of the room and it’s like being in a new house.

      • wait which one??

        one time i had a brand new kitten and i went to the music store to buy my guitar and the guy saw my arms and was like “it looks like you have a new kitten at home” and he was right, i did.

        • The one with the short, fat leaves? fronds? IDK, anyways, if you kill them we have SO MANY SUCCULENTS at costco this month,then at least you won’t have to say you got them from a nursery, like little green babies.

          I learned the new kitten look was a thing the first few weeks after my primary job equipment became a box cutter xP

    • I absolutely love that you’re growing your own wedding decorations! Such a cool metaphor for love plus it looks really rad.
      Except an 18 year-old in my class told me today that only old people say ‘rad’ so actually it looks ‘on fleek.’

      (not sure if I used on fleek correctly but hashtag yolo)

      • I mean, I am a 21 year old who unironically says “rad” and has no idea what “on fleek” means, so either I am ridiculously unhip and spend too much time with my older friends, or this person was mistaken.

        (I mean, I am ridiculously unhip. But both things could still be true.)

      • I am sick. Again. With what might be the flu. This is a new record for “awful illnesses contracted in short periods of each other”, even for me. It hasn’t been two weeks since I recovered from the flu.

        This winter has been rough, in so many ways. It’s just also been the first winter in my entire life where I’ve just been done with it (beyond like, when it’s the end of March and we’re still getting piles of snow and it’s officially spring but the weather is ignoring that fact). I’m done with the cold. Done with the snow, even though there’ll still be at least a month of winter, so yeah. I’ll keep on keeping on, I guess.

        The way I’ve been dealing with weather is by looking at the Facebooks of my friends who work winters in Ecuador and Chile on the rivers. This is coupled by copious swearing because fuck you for being on the river 6/7 days a week while it was -24F when I woke up on Tuesday this week and everything’s going to be frozen solid for another month or two and my boats are gathering cobwebs. I’m also a bit bitter that some of my friends are boating down the Grand Canyon in a little under a month, which yes it will be cold and miserable, but it’s also the Grand Canyon and getting the permits and stuff takes YEARS and I was offered a spot but I have these silly classes that I can’t skip like 2 weeks of. So it’s partially living vicariously, but also angry/jealous/envious that I can’t be doing that stuff right now.

        But hey, I’m ignoring that I’m sick and that it’s cold and will be going to this dance tonight that’s celebrating the mind-boggling and terrifying fact that it’s <100 days until I graduate.

        Also, this has been a pervasive issue with my life but I just can't tell if people are flirting with me???? Like currently there's a friend/acquaintance that I study with who laughs at all of my sarcastic comments and while I'd like to think that this is because my wit is on point 100% of the time, I don't think this is the case? Are there other reasons beyond "hey I think this human is cute" to laugh at all of their bad jokes? (Admittedly I'm fine with either scenario bc hey, either a cute human thinks I'm also cute, or someone appreciates my sense of humor, which a lot of people don't, so esteem boost!)

  5. Today I evaluated a whole bunch of kids at a super religious group home…kinda felt like an undercover spy, seeing as how they probably wouldn’t have let me in if they’d known I was gay. To and from I ranted about racism and homophobia and religion and stupid white people with a former Georgia Bulldog player and my boss, and it was SO refreshing. Back to the grind, I suppose, with my very ignorant white coworker…

  6. I am sooooo burnt out of boots and jackets and hats and gloves and BLAH!! This definitely adds to my winter blues.

    I am trying to be extra creative in outfits and dress and genderqueer presentation, despite the cold. It makes me excited for warm summer dance nights.

  7. I live in Virginia where Tuesday was 60, yesterday and today I got frostbite getting my mail, but tomorrow it’ll be 60 again and I’ll wash my truck by hand in my driveway barefoot. Winter is weird here, I don’t mind the cold as much as I mind the dark, it pisses me right off that in January it’s dark at 4:30. 4:30! How am I supposed to get anything done when all I wanna do is nap?!

    Listen if you wanna talk beer I’m going to need more space than this little box can provide. However, my favorite summer beer is 21st Amendment’s Hell of High Watermellon. If you ever wished you could get drunk on watermelon jolly-ranchers, this. The beer for you my friend. Plus it comes in a can so you can take Em almost anywhere. Yesterday I went by my Wholefoods and picked up a saison from Firestone walker that I intend on drinking all by myself tonight while my child sleeps…my wife can get her own drinks

  8. I’ve been wearing spring clothes hoping that the universe will treat me well an it won’t be cold that day. Unfortunately all this has resulted in is my being very cute but very cold and grumpy every day.

  9. Well not to gloat, but I’m near the costal part of Southern California where our winters are what many in the rest of the country consider as Spring. So, I have been getting a long reasonable well seeing as it’s been nice all week. But, the nice weather also means that at least one of the days this week I wasn’t wearing a bra, or wearing layers that allows me to wear my breast forms without people really noticing it(not officially out to my parents or at work).

    In other news the phone company called at work to try to get us to upgrade to different phone package. On the phone I have been recently using a more soft spoken voice, and the guy on the line said at least twice, “ma’am I can assure you we won’t mess anything up.” He also ended the convo with, “have nice day ma’am.” It kind of felt nice to hear that as an amab genderqueer person. But, at the same time while I like ma’am better than sir, neither really sit right with me.

    No nature this week, or yelling, “this angry queer will get you.” So, I leave you with two shot I took at work.
    Took this one while walking to the bank, so I was technically doing work related stuff.

    It was too nice outside and work was too slow to be inside.

    Also, that female couple ad campaign really gave me some ideas(again. The images in those pictures look a bit too forced, like they were focused on getting the images vs having fun and being natural. It has me thinking of for fun take pics of queer, trans*, & genderqueer/non-binary people and couples having fun. I know there are people doing this in the queer community and it doesn’t hurt to give community more options no? Maybe pictures of the person and/or couple in nature? It’s just a thought now, but who knows.

  10. I’m getting through the coldness and misery of right now by watching the six nations…my neighbours get really confused at this time of year as I can be heard screaming “get in there you big bastard” or similar expletive and masculine related statements, which could be misconstrued, through the wall. Oh how I love rugby. I miss playing so much.
    Also to get through this never ending winter I’m planning ahead- I’m going to a VW show on March 1st and getting tattooed a week later so I’m looking to next month and pretending that I’m not drowning in MA work which I’m currently sucking at and underachieving due to working full time. *sob* I long to not spend my remaining February days mired in paperwork and planning and stressing about my exhibition, which is in August but needs organising right now, and wishing I had more time to make practical work. I need that watch (blatantly Bernard’s watch…back me up Britishers) Mona was talking about on PLL….or maybe a Mad Woman in a box…or a Time Turner…my geek is showing this evening.
    Hope everyone’s week was super and you have great winter avoidance solutions 🙂

  11. Hello everyone, I wish the whole world could be as lovely as the (majority of) commenters and writers here. Most people tend to really suck. I am unhappy about this.
    Today was mostly obnoxious, but I got 100% on my first quiz in one of my classes, and the art-furniture business that I’m trying to start got its first commission last night! So that’s cool.
    Also I’m in this class that’s supposed to be about writing but it’s actually about the teacher being a conservative white lady with a very limited perspective who makes her students debate controversial issues and then tries to get her students to agree with her perspective. She and I do not get along. HOWEVER. There’s a very attractive girl who sits near me, and today when I muttered sarcastic comments and rolled me eyes she laughed and smiled at me!

    Carmen, I want to try the motherfucking hashbrowns. I have yet to experience them but you have inspired me to go forth and make it happen. If they suck I am holding you accountable.

      • Thank you! On Monday I’m going to bring up something gay and see how she reacts. The cute girl, not the teacher. I’m sure the teacher will have something gross to say about it but I’m not trying to take her to the cheesecake factory so I don’t give a fuck

    • Wow, good grades and good business, that’s an awesome week! 🙂 Also, I’d like to point out that your class *is* about writing; you’re already writing about your conservative white lady teacher who tries to harang you into her pigeon hole.

      • True! This lady makes me absolutely crazy though, yesterday in class she was talking about how there’s no gender wage gap and the justice system is not at all biased and two years of free community college would be totalitarianism?? And no one in the class challenges her! Everyone seems to agree except for me, cutegirl, and the guy who doesn’t speak much English. But I’m going to write a badass essay and my grammar will be on point and she won’t be able to fail me.

          • I made a comment about Ayn Rand in her class and she didn’t seem to have any idea what I was talking about! I do not understand this woman. And I’m afraid that my opinions are going to affect my grade, but I can’t just sit and say nothing while she spews such utter bullshittery! I want to recruit the other people in the class and get them to speak up, but I think most of them are 18 year-olds who just got out of high school and still think that teachers are always right. If this were five years ago I’d just get really stoned before class and all would be dandy, but I’m trying not to do things like that any more.

  12. CampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampcampCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAMPCAAAAAAMPCAAAAMPCAAAAAMPCAAAAAAMPCAAAAAAAMPCAAAAAAAAAMPCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMP.

    That’s…pretty much how I got through my winter. Also- cat stole all the blankets. Humorous, but not fun.

  13. So over winter’s bullshit – potentially another foot coming this weekend and I literally don’t know where it’s going to go because my entire front yard is a huge pile of snow and the roads are already super narrow.

    Dreaming of summer though, I JUST BOUGHT TICKETS TO THE WWC FINAL IN VANCOUVER IN JULY. It was kinda an impulse buy so I have no idea what I’m going to do for flights/lodging/&etc yet but if there are any other Straddlers going you should definitely hit me up!

    • I have fun by pretending that actively falling snow is not falling at all – the snow is stagnant, and it is us, and the earth, that moves up to the snowflake. Think of movie credits where it’s the background that movies, not the words. It hurts my brain and then I stop giving a shit that it’s snowing. 😀

  14. I usually like winter and get sad in the summer (I’m weird, yeah yeah). So I’m pretty content with winter right now. We’re buds. Until it fucks up and ruins the roads and causes car crashes. Then we’re not on good terms.

    In other news I’m looking for ways to fill my time/occupy my mind from reality. Any tv show and/or movie suggestions? (Already conquered Breaking Bad, Orphan Black, Transparent, OITNB).

    Hope you all had a beautiful and peaceful week <3

    • I’m down to rewatching The X-Files (i.e., preparing myself for The Second Coming).

      If you at all like dry and sardonic humor, Parks and Rec and Portlandia are funny– but not for everyone.

      I also rewatched (autocorrect just made that very gross) Twin Peaks.

      I did like the first three seasons of AHS, someone told me The Killing was good (but I haven’t tried it yet), see previous remark re: Scandal, mixed feelings about Lost Girl, someone else tells me to watch Sherlock. Need actual thinking time to watch Cosmos, Ida was good, went on an 80s marathon recently, The Punk singer (doc), Violette. That’s some of what’s hanging around in my needs-to-be cleaned Netflix queue, which clearly needs maintenance.

  15. Its super stormy today, lots and lots of rain and wind. There is water all over the roads. It is very enjoyable for me. I love storms. Today is such a great day. Lots of exciting new things are happening.

  16. CINNAMON HORCHATA BLUE MOON. So good, right?

    Winter’s hitting me real hard. Today in (dance) rehearsal we had this running section and somehow the dry cold air set off a wheezing/coughing attack that lasted for, um, the rest of rehearsal. Which was four hours. Nothing like practicing embodiment while you feel like your lungs have turned into cold little stone sacks…

    On the upside though, after rehearsal I bought myself hot chocolate and went to Bluestockings, which is basically the best bookstore ever it felt like coming home and all the Feelings made me cry ugly homecoming tears somewhere between Leslie Feinberg and the zine section.

    Love you too, Autostraddle.

  17. Went to have coffee with a friend today and we were googling tattoos on her phone.
    She’s thinking about getting a ripped skin/bodytech one to cover some scars on her torso.
    Very badass.
    Anyways, so in one of the pics of the google picture search overview(we’re talking rather small on a phone screen) there was one a bit too lifelike of, well, a Tarantula.
    I saw it first and ducked away with a squeak,while she slammed the phone upside down onto the table a second later.
    Now we had this issue of her not being able to access her browser anymore to navigate away from the page, and I wasn’t much help either.
    I considered asking the people at the table next to us to navigate away from the page and asked my friend whether her cool gf wouldn’t be coming over later.
    Nope.
    So, she, with a lot of sweating and shielding the screen with a piece of paper finally navigated away from the page.
    We started our tattoo convo off by snorting at the idea of girlish motifs like fairies and butterflies and stuff like that by the way.
    So, since I have nothing to contribute in the way of breweries and winter (We just have grey and no sun and no light and no hope left. I’m counting the increasing sunrise and sunset minutes via app every day) I figured I’d ask you guys about cool tats, or if any of you know any or are a, or know of a picture (or ten) of cool Trans guys with double mastectomies and cool tats, or breast cancer survivors who got tats to cover up the scars, I’d be like, SO grateful.
    You know as long as there are no eight legs anywhere.
    Actually, what I should probably be telling you instead,is, how my friend told me today, that her fingers are beginning to get numb from the chemo, and how I’m on edge every single minute of every single day still, a week after getting out of work.
    But the days *are* getting longer and even though we never know how to fear it right when we’re sliding into it, Winter is passing, the days are getting longer and we heal.
    Two more minutes of daylight, every day, I have an app.

    • You always write so beautifully, and so powerfully. Hats off. 🙂 My someday-tattoo is one of a lamb eating a lion. Because, well, I’m surviving my mental health crisis that way. Mastectomy tattoos are so personal…. if my fingers were numb from the chemo, and that was the thing that stuck with me, I’d have my fingerprints tattooed onto my chest above their former place. Is that emo of me??

    • Google is not helping much re: the tattoos question.

      I did find some stuff:

      http://theartoftransliness.com/post/10086919480/chest-tattoos-testosterone-and-top-surgery (not the first part, the stuff under the second heading– some links to YouTube videos there also)

      http://www.susans.org/forums/index.php?topic=144638.0 random message board thread (this convo has some links in it that don’t show up as hyperlinked, so they’re easy to miss; also, if you go to the bottom, you can see that it’s an entire subforum on the site, and there’s more– and of course you or your friend could ask something specific, too)

      There’s more stuff, but it’s hard to separate medical tattoos (nipples, etc.) from the type of tattoo you mean. If you haven’t tried this already, I did: I did a Google image search, and there was sort of iffy stuff mixed up in that, some stuff that people might not want to see and some stuff that really didn’t belong (as always with image search). Might not be the best bet. There was also a regular web search that brought up the Instagram photos with the relevant tag, and that was pretty odd, too– there is clearly weird tagging going on. I have no idea about triggers, etc., but that might be another one to think twice about. I can’t vouch for presence of spiders, but I didn’t see any 🙂

      Mastectomy tattoos turned up a lot more. Pinterest (surprise, surprise) came up first: https://www.pinterest.com/personalink/mastectomy-tattoo-ideas/ (I’m 100% sure you could find more there– you wouldn’t need an account).

      25-image gallery: http://www.babble.com/mom/in-celebration-of-a-scar-25-amazing-mastectomy-tattoos/ (tends toward the girly, but you can sort of see, like it said in the first article, how people go for major-coverage stuff, which is why I put this one in– also, I did check– no spiders)

      There’s tons and tons if you search “double mastectomy tattoo.” There’s probably a keyword you could tack on the end to maybe focus the results a bit away from flowers and more flowers (if your friend has some specific ideas already).

      The only other thing: Tattoo artists can tell you a LOT. Even over the phone (if you’re not comfortable face-to-face), they can be pretty informative (just not specific to one person’s situation if they’re not taking a direct look). The ones I’ve known of would generally rather have an idea of what you have in mind and how they can make suggestions to make the idea really work instead of someone just showing up with an idea that they can’t work with. Some places (like people in your area) also have pictures of their work on their sites, which might give an idea of what they can do (and artist bios, which might also give an idea of who your friend might be comfortable getting tattooed by).

      Just some thoughts.

  18. I’m getting through the dreary winter by planning ahead. As of today, I’ve got a few awesome things on my docket in the next six months. I’m going to a queer dance party in Seattle tomorrow night. Heading to Austin in March. Seeing Laverne Cox in May. Aaaand this morning I got tickets to the Women’s World Cup championship game in Vancouver in July. I’ve got something to look forward to and fuel for positive energy. The soul-sucking nature of winter can’t win this time!

  19. I’ve been barely getting through this winter, and I usually really like winter, but all I want is spring this year. I’m just trying to hang in there until it gets warm again and I can go sit outside.

    This week was so so so bad. My therapist, I think, basically told me i’m not trying hard enough and that on top of all the other shitty stuff made me cry a lot. But I finally drew something early this morning after not being able to for weeks, really, and that was actually nice. I felt more like myself than I can remember recently. And I drew it while listening to music from the new Cosmos, so if there’s anything that helps get through things, it’s music. Lots of music. Oh, and hot drinks. And incense.

    But the weekend’s supposed to be mild, right? Right? Like almost 50F? That’s like, sweltering; I will go out and lie in the sun like a lizard

    • Sorry to hear that things are a struggle right now, but that’s great that you took up art again! It can be such a wonderful, therapeutic outlet. And I agree with the music part too. Hang in there!

    • Caitlin, honey, are you Canadian? Cause 50° is 10° Celsius, and that actually IS sweltering hahaha

      You’re doing great to hang in there. My experience with being told I didn’t do enough just made me dig in my heals, as though proving that where I was would be far enough (as my world fell apart around me) would be good. I followed two thoughts on this, and I hope it helps:

      “Your thoughts are just your thoughts. They are not your life. They are your thoughts.” You said you thought that’s what she was telling you. Ask, and then ask why?

      “Nothing changes if nothing changes.”. Your therapist is there to help you help yourself. If you search yourself and find that you are really doing everything you can, remind her gently that you need her help within your means, not hers. If you search and find that you could help yourself, in small ways (on my bad stints I don’t brush my teeth or wear clean socks, for weeks – I brush my teeth every night before bed now, and this deed was the first thubg I did for myself, before anything else… Its small and maybe seems silly, but if I don’t remember my teeth, I know I’m on a slippery slope – literally and metaphorically).

      I hope this helps. You’re keeping your chin above water, and that is what really matters. You are alive. You can make it another 24 hours, I know you can. Something I heard in a meeting this week really helped: when you’re having a bad day, remember that a day is just 24 hours. You can decide when to end a day. If you had a bad thing happen, give yourself space from it, and decide that it is a new 24 hour clock. Suddenly, your bad day was yesterday, and youve added days to your life :D. Cheesy, but it worked for me when I needed it. Keep swimming, and remember that by going to therapy in the first place you are doing an amazing thing for yourself!!! I’m proud of you!

    • Did you ask (or do you already know) what your therapist meant by “not trying hard enough”? (no need to spell it out– I’m not asking you to spill your guts!) Could you ask what s/he thinks “trying” looks like and what a concrete first step would be? Versus what your idea of trying looks like? Because it *sounds* like you’ve done some pretty positive things this week, and trying isn’t always earth-shattering stuff.

      I know what your therapist told you hurt. Been there. But I hope you can reread your own post and see all the VERY positive things in there.

  20. Getting through the glum London winter just how I get through everything else… eating and cooking CONSTANTLY!!!Loads of amazing warming soups after the hail, nachos with guacamole in spite of the sleet (had to go though about 50 rockish avocados) etc etc

    I’m also doing what a lot of people have mentioned; planning for the summer to feel positive. Hopefully there will be lots of lazy dog walking picnics in Primrose Hill and exploring the nature reserves here in South East London (: They do exist. I was also shocked.

    And, I’m super excited that House of Cards Series 3 is out on Netflix in about 20 days. I have marked two days in my diary for the purpose of binge watching it the second its on.

  21. I’m always ready for the Summer :)! As of late, Colorado has been getting really nice weather so I can survive a bit more i guess. I kinda do miss wearing shorts and being able to run outside.

    P.s
    I don’t mind getting a little darker too

  22. Texas is another one of those places where we don’t really have winter. It’s cold(ish) today, but two days ago: squinting into a pure blue sky, wearing shorts and lying on the campus lawn.

    (Oh, not me, of course. My legs are as fluorescent as the only sort light they ever see… Which makes it especially funny when my partner looks at them and jokingly says “Are they hotdogs or legs???”)

  23. I lived for quite a time and also kind of left my heart behind on the east coast, so I’m fairly nostalgic for proper winter and also dunkin donuts every other block. I now live in a place that is supposed to have winter, but global warming is hitting hard and we have gotten nary a snowflake. Despite the weather, I’m still having a glum winter as lots of my coworkers show their true colors, and those colors are the colors of shit. And school from now till summer is an escalating stress spiral.

    In entirely unrelated news, I just learned that I do not share a medical condition/propensity with a large section of my family. while I am not a moron and I know that health is a thing to be thankful for, I also have a lot of feelings relating to losing this presumed connection to so many relatives. Also I have a historically complicated relationship with illness and the isolation of being an outsider to that genre of shared experiences. So while the rational parts of my brain get that lower risk = good, the emotional part is wishing they could change the results, or at least take them back and restore the uncertainty. So apparently I’ve decided to do my processing with my favorite strangers on the internet.

    • Shit coloured coworkers and crippled relatives have never sounded so funny!

      I was the odd man out in my family for a long time because I was the only one with “good” mental health. Everyone resented me for being able to be happy. Actually, I have an anxiety disorder and they have chronic depression. I’m shaken, not stirred, but it’s a cock-up regardless. Please don’t go do massive amounts of anal to get colitis-like symptoms, or eat crap tons of candy to join the diabetic club. Your not-broken broken self is lovely as it is 🙂

      What makes your coworkers so charming?

  24. Please save me, I am also on the east coast and I’ve recently been pondering whether or not I’ll actually make it through winter. (I know I’ll make it through winter, I’m just dramatic and also slightly concerned that I’ll freeze to death? We’ll see.) Regardless, what’s getting me through is lots of reading and writing and LOTS AND LOTS of warm beverages. Basically, coffee shops. Coffee shops are saving me. But I have to walk to coffee shops which sort of ruins things because that involves… going outside. Gahhhhh.

  25. I got home from work last night and the snow plow had literally dumped all the snow from my street directly in front of my driveway. It was a beautiful way to end a long day, standing in the road shoveling 3′ of grey ice-dirt-snow in the dark while my melancholy car idled. I mostly don’t mind the cold, but I was really not feeling it in the moment.

    On the other hand, the snow in my backyard is really pretty. And on the trees. And warm beverages are the best. And I have cute scarves.

    Is it A-Camp yet?

  26. It’s funny…I’ve been focusing on the fact that this is my last winter in Michigan. Like, “It’s okay, Mari, this is the last winter you’ll be spending in Michigan. You can do this!”

    The funny part, of course, is that (barring any sudden life developments) I’m trading Michigan winters for Vermont winters. So, it’s not like I’m heading to SoCal and ever seeing summer again. At least I’ll be able to have regular cuddles from my partner to keep warm.

    Oh, and the wedding. My wedding is like…crazy soon (3 months and 24 days). So obsessing over wedding stuff helps me keep focused on the spring! YAY SPRING. PLEASE BE SPRING SOON.

  27. You guys I live in southern california so every little bit of shitty weather is my FAVORITE. But it’s easy for me to like all the gray because there’s a lot of sun to balance it out, I guess?
    The last few days have been cool and so foggy that you can’t see anything more than 100 yards away; thick thick fog rolling in off the ocean and just hanging out all day. It’s heaven, I love it. It looks like when you’re in a video game and the next bit of landscape hasn’t loaded? But real life. SO GOOD.

    Work is going really well all of a sudden? September is going to be rough–3 weddings, two on the same day. I am going to want to murder everyone and also fall asleep forever, but I am so excited because business is picking up and if I get off the waiting list for camp I’m not even going to worry about paying for it because I have a job!! That is working out!! And camp is something I really want to do and I will not worry about it!! This is a good thing to spend money on!! Anywaaaay, I am excited!!

    Holly just called about making reservations for valentine’s, so we’re going to have happy romantic dinner and then meet up with the OC Straddlers Singles-Awareness-Day Bowling that is happening, because friends! So yeah, I’m looking forward to that–especially dinner, because Holly was going to have to work, but now she doesn’t have to! Yaaay schedule change 🙂

    AND here’s a bouquet I made today to hopefully stave off those winter SAD times; I’m looking forward most to spring flowers!!

    I love you all–more tomorrow! <3

  28. I instagrammed a picture of moss on the parking garage step because the brilliant green reminded me that it won’t always be rainy. And listening to Taylor Swift because it makes me want to dance in red lipstick and a bathing suit in my backyard.

  29. I am also dealing with winter by thinking about spring!!! Winter is definitely the worst but I live for those days in February/March when it gets a little warm and you can maybe wear shorts and those orange flowers sprout up in everyone’s yards.

    My spring dreams are: feeling the sun on my skin, eating dinner outside in my backyard, seeing leaves on trees again when I walk to work, and being happy for no other reason besides springtime.

    One day last February, I burst into tears because I was afraid that winter would never end and it would just be cold for the entire year forever. So thank you to everyone for reminding me that spring definitely exists!

  30. Another week has gone by and another job rejection also, and OH I’M STILL SICK. My brother apparently has pneumonia, so let’s cross our fingers that I don’t have that! I applied to five jobs yesterday, but it all seems pretty pointless, since this month I will be bankrupt after paying off this month’s loans. Yayyyyyyyy. Life is so much fun.

  31. Guys, I joined the 21st century. I finally got a smartphone. It’s my first one!! I’m so excited! I had a bit of extra money from my tax refund, so I decided to actually treat myself to something fun (and useful!) rather than just having it go directly into my bank account. I got an iPhone (5c) – I’ve waited so long to get one, that I wanted to get a good quality phone, not the cheapest kind around.

    Baby phone’s first photo! (my cat, obv.)

    I haven’t taken any pictures on hikes with my new phone because it’s been raining and I didn’t want to take a chance of getting it wet! I’m planning on buying a waterproof case this weekend.

    Spring dreams: basically, continue spending time outside. But be less cold.
    1- Barefoot beach walks. Not bundle-in-goretex-and-fleece beach walks. My feet and legs got so tan last summer, but they’re all white again now.
    2- On a similar note, kayaking. I rented a kayak a few times last summer, and it was so much fun!
    3- See some of the over-brimming waterfalls from springtime snowmelt in the foothills by Mt. Rainier.

    Also – does anybody else love the smell of cottonwood leaf buds? They always fall to the ground in early spring and they make an amber-colored sticky substance that smells floral and sweet and always reminds me of spring.

    On a different note (and I hope this isn’t over-sharing), I started a new med a few weeks ago (an SSRI, after trying a different one unsuccessfully a while back). And I think it might actually be working. I don’t know. I’ve just been feeling overall less anxious, more at peace. My attitude is to just keep moving forward and keep trying new stuff until something works. And if something doesn’t work, just try something new – the important thing is to keep open and keep trying.

    I’ve also been trying to push my unsocial, introverted self to initiate more social interactions (with co-workers, etc.) – even if I’m feeling stressed or if it feels awkward or unnatural. And it has actually been a very positive experience, even if it’s simply asking a co-worker “how are you today?”

    Anyway, not too much new. Didn’t take many photos this week because of the rain, but I managed to catch a glimmer of sun on Tuesday evening.

    • Congratulations on the smartphone! (I’m happy for you but secretly I feel betrayed whenever someone gets a smartphone for the first time because I’m still clinging onto my flip phone for dear life and I can get very defensive/obstinate about it).

      Kayaking sounds like an awesome spring/summer activity. I went once and I loved it and if I ever have a lot of money someday I’m buying a kayak.

      Also congratulations on your new med! Keeping on trying and trying new things is always a great approach. I’m happy that you’re feeling better 🙂

      I totally have to force myself to initiate conversations with my coworkers, and usually I feel better after having that interaction, even though my instinct is definitely to stare straight at my computer and do my work without talking to everybody else.

      • Thanks for the encouragement! Hey, nothing wrong with having a flip phone. 🙂
        I think the more you practice initiating conversations, the more natural it becomes. At least, it has seemed that way for me over the past few weeks when I started this goal. It isn’t as awkward or scary as it seems at first – and usually I feel happier afterwards. Everyone needs human interaction, even introverts.

    • Kayaking. Yes. I hope you have the opportunity to do more of it this spring/summer. I wish I had more opportunities to do it here in the midwest. I took a trip down to New Zealand back in December, and I went kayaking through Milford Sound. It was one of the most enjoyable vacation experiences I’ve ever had. You just feel so small but in a very powerful way, if that makes any sense.

      • It definitely makes sense. Feeling small can be a good thing, especially when you’re surrounded by natural beauty. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand – that sounds like an amazing experience.

    • Funny– I only got a smartphone a bit over a year ago, and my first picture was . . . my cat. What else?

      Crossed fingers on med. When one works, it’s like magic.

      Beautiful picture, as always.

  32. I’ve been getting through this winter with incredible self love that is only possible through the peace that Buddhism has brought to my life. AKA I have been working my ass off.

    In reverse order of frequency:
    I see my psychologist every two weeks.

    I meditate in a group once a week/every two weeks if something comes up.

    I see my sponsor once a week.

    I go to the gym once or twice a week.

    I go to three meetings a week.

    I go for an hour walk every day.

    I journal every morning, and every night.

    I meditate often through the day.

    This keeps me very busy. I have no time for drinking or whoring, and in fact am quitting smoking (woohoo!).

    In the news this week, I decided I am stable enough to ask out my crush of ummmmmmmmmm 7 months? and she said yes! And then gave it thought and turned me down. So that happened.

    My dad is leaving my mom after 35 years of marriage for a woman who is at LEAST 6 months older than I am (she’s 29 – like I will be in June! :D). He’s having a Thing, and that’s cool, I get it, but he’s being a massive douche about it. There is no vagina big enough for the amount of douche he is being. We’re talking fucking-pails-of-water-sized vaginas would be virgin-anus tight compared to his douchebaggery. I’m not angry. Why, do I sound angry? -.- Balls part of this is that I look just like him, and I used to text him and be like, “hey hey, just saw our handsome face, reminded me of you,” and now I can’t even look at myself without wanting to spit at the mirror.

    What else? Oh! I got a job! A third one! Woohoo!!!! I will be doing all kinds of Adulting! Bills! Rent! Utilities! Happy food times! 🙂 And I did gi on that date with the Cute Girl who asked me out, and it was really… Wholesome. The second date was less wholesome, but I went home alone.

    2 months celibate, 4 months sober.

    Despite the shit that happens, I am incredibly grateful to be alive. Those things I said at the beginning that get me through the winter will get me through my entire life. I’ve said before that every day is a death match between me and depression. To that, I say now, “Witness the power of this fully armed and operational battle station.”

    • Well that 4 months is excellent, specially since you got the news of your parents. I know how it is to quit smoking, I picked up the habit of smoking cigarillos in college, like the flavors & exhaling smoke. It can be tough, and e-cigs don’t really help as they can be fun to use. You can do it as your lungs will thank you.

      • Okay, I know this sounds like a downer, but it’s really helping me – I get a craving and remind myself, “a cigarette will not make you feel less empty.”. Because really, it’s a way to control the moment, soothe the question that anxiety brings, the question of “when will I be okay?” And usually, anxiety passes in the amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette. So I give myself a minute, and move on.

    • Oh man, so sorry to hear about the crush situation! That’s a bummer.

      I can relate a little bit to your looking-like-your-dad feelings. I’m named after my dad, and have never had a good relationship with him. I’ve thought about changing my name many times.

      I’m impressed by your determination to win the daily battle with depression! That takes incredible courage. I salute you.

      • Yeah, the crush thing sucks. I’m working hard at believing that I am loveable, and that I don’t need validation from others to believe in myself, but, well, I keep getting dumped for one reason or another. I just have to remember that if I’m not loved by some people, I need to love myself that much more. Let the hurt go. Pema Chodron, the Shambhala warrior, says that courage is letting yourself – your ego – die every day. Let go of what you think of yourself and you will find truth. It’s honestly a salve for my hurt feelings, but at least I have direction on how to handle it. 🙂

    • Whoop!
      Time flies.
      First it’s an accumulation of hard won battle days, and now it’s months already!
      I’m very proud of you, in a “I don’t know you face to face but anyway” way.
      Take care!

  33. I get through the winter pretty easily. I mean, I grew up in the midwest (ugh…Ohio), then decided to go to college in Wisconsin because Ohio didn’t/doesn’t get enough snow. But I also enjoy the other seasons. But I will say that I do have my issues with winter on occasion. I typically address those by making jokes about it, like I did with this snapchat earlier today.

    In better news, I was extremely anti-social at work over the past week. So much so that my boss, who I see once a week and he makes it a point to avoid/not talk to me, even asked me if everything was ok. Since I’d rather eat my shoe than talk to my boss, I avoided the question. Then I got news this week of a possible job opportunity. That turned my mood around pretty quickly. I would love to leave my current job to take a position working for someone who actually utilizes my skill set. Or to work for someone who realizes I’m an actual person. That would be nice, too.

  34. My middle finger is what has been getting me through this winter.

    Something gets me down I give it the finger, either figuratively or literally.
    It’s less weird to “normals” than hissing.

    Also because I like y’all here’s a wonderful gif of Eliza Duskhu that wrenched small animal sounds and maybe the word mommy from my vocal cords:

    Oh fingers such wonderful things, tongues too.
    Reminds me I need to get a DVD copy of Bound.

  35. My girlfriend is a abroad at the moment, and she won’t be back until spring. So spring this year is doubly exciting for me (and already it’s exciting because I live in Chicago, with the brutal winters that last until June sometimes). For the majority of our relationship we’ve been long-distance, but she’ll be moving in with me in May. I’ve been coping with the winter by walking around the city taking pictures of everything I find beautiful–even in the winter! With the harsh downtown skyscrapers and the bleak neighborhoods up north! I’m collecting them all together and I’m going to make them into a little story with the Steller app (like Instagram, but in storybook form).

    And I’m going to call it “Things to Look Forward to”. So I’m making it through the winter by remembering the promise of spring, and trying to look at things through the lens of a future with her as the city becomes green again around us.

  36. Oooh man, I’m so absolutely over winter. Ohio just needs to stop this whole back and forth of snow and freezing rain so I can stop fearing for my life every time I walk to class… In other news I am totally exhausted because I got my work hours bumped up to around 32 or 33 hours a week. Which granted, isn’t REALLY that much, it’s not even full time. but I went from never working a day in my life to working two jobs where I’m up at 7am working every day except Sunday, but sometimes I even work Sunday’s too. with also being a full time student taking the most credit hours possible, I have to keep up with all THAT work… so I’ve been secretly wondering how I haven’t died or gone insane yet because I literally do nothing but work, go to class, do homework, and sleep.
    Luckily the kids I work with make this insanity all worthwhile. And yeah, I just hope I don’t crash and burn…

  37. I’ve always lived in the Northeast, so there are things I like about winter. Like the fact that it’ll be over soon. The other day I was telling my friend how I love this climate so much because of all the seasons and the “narrative of emergence into spring” and she was like “yeah…right.” But it’s true, guys! Winter/spring is perfect for my sentimental little ass. Other than playing philosopher, I’ve been activisting and trying to keep up with homework and loving my essential oil diffuser. And trying not to freak out about summer internships (necessity of, difficulty acquiring, etc.).

  38. Things have been great so far this week. I finally was able to hit port out here in the Middle East which was fantastic! I rode a camel! I smoked waaaaay too much shisha. I had too much coffee and yes I got a bit tanner. It was “cold” and by “cold” I mean it dipped below 60 so I had to wear a sweater when we went out. Also also also my amazing girlfriend found out she got accepted to a Master’s program at Boston Collage and she interviewed for a PhD program in Colorado. Either way I’m totally stoked because I love both Boston and Colorado. Things are looking up here. If only deployment would go by faster so I can return to my beloved San Diego….

  39. This part of the world does not know winter, muahaha suckers! Actually, I’m in Malaysia for a year-ish and I’m craving the cold so bad right now. I turn my A/C on full blast, cuddle with my blankets, drink hot tea and cry.

  40. I found out this week that I’m going to be teaching an Anthropology of Religion class this fall at my university back in the US – I’m pretty excited about it, as this is a class I’ve wanted to teach for a long time! I’m not really excited about leaving Nepal to move back to the US at the end of this summer, but now I have the class to look forward to, so that’s nice. This will be my first time teaching a university course all by myself! I’m soliciting any and all suggestions for good/weird/interesting books, articles, blogs, and movies about religious stuff. There’s a ton of great stuff out there to assign, but I want to do my best to pick stuff that will really make people think and stick with them.

    As for getting through the winter, I swear by my hot water bottle. It is the best thing ever. Also, I go to the gym as often as I can. Endorphins ftw!

  41. Where I live we don’t get to have much of a winter. Regardless, I am so NOT looking forward to spring cause time really needs to slow the fuck down! Tegan and Sara will be performing at the Oscars and I have mixed feelings about it (because, ya know, Oscars). But once they hit the stage I bet all I will be left with will be excitement (and crying, lots of it) because I love them so much (especially Tegan)! Maybe someone will mention then on national TV and I will pass out, who knows? Last but not least, 2nd semester begins on Monday. #notintoit

  42. Carmen, please don’t take this the wrong way, BUT you need some sun! Get some color, girl! That having been said, I couldn’t handle weather that dipped under 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which means I’m limited to living anywhere as long as it’s within 26 degrees of the equator.

  43. Hey all! Popped in to say hello to everyone! Things have been exceptionally well. My wife and I spend our mornings watching a movie post breakfast and making weird jokes and in the afternoon I’ll kick back with some beer while we make dinner. Life is amazing at this point. And take turns on playing Candy crush and Feeding Frenzy.

    We’ve been going around Baguio as of late. If you’re wondering where that is, it’s in the mountains in the Philippines. Weather here isn’t as tropical as the rest of the country. In fact it’s gotten pretty cold, about 9C. My whole family is from here. Did I ever tell you guys that I lived here for 8 years while going to high school and college? Yep, talk about cultural immersion. It was great though, I really loved it and still come back home.

    Yesterday, I had a lot to drink. We did karaoke songs on the computer with my cousin. I’m almost sure there are videos but none have surfaced. My wife says hello. If you guys are wondering about the cats, they are at my wife’s house with her parents. Andy has grown half an inch and is getting along with Jessy. Her parents bought Andy a bed but their other cat sleeps in it. Aww.

    Meanwhile, this is where I basically live. Not here here but around here LOL.

    Us with all the monkey babies

    When we had our lunchdate.

  44. I love your jacket!!

    Obligatory Phoebe pic, activate!

    Now that that us it if the way, I’ve been making it through winter by staying active. I started marathon training and taking yoga with friends. It’s been pretty great. I hate the cold, especially when it is icy, it makes it more difficult to take Phoebe out, and we don’t get our walks in like we should. (I’ve been training for the marathon at the gym.)

    In transition news, I had my third facial clearing through large volume electrolysis. It went more smoothly than last time, with the morning being almost pain free. The afternoon was a different matter. The doctor who administers the lidocaine goes to town and doesn’t mess around. His nurses don’t do it as well for me. Apparently I’m unique. Maybe it’s my runner’s metabolism. Who knows? The meds don’t really spread, and I process them quickly.

    But, it’s finished. That’s the last treatment of that nature I can afford. From here on, I’m being treated locally. The doctor did prescribe some heavy pain meds to help me get through the treatments. (This was at the request of my electrologist, who is also trans.) Hopefully that helps.

    Definitely keeping busy. A friend introduced me to another trans woman from my hometown recently. She seems cool, but hadn’t engaged much in the last few days in online conversation. Ces’t la vie, I suppose.

    Oh, random! I rewatched the Matrix. (Actually the whole trilogy, which I liked..) That movie really resonated for my younger self. I hated high school so much. I had plenty of friends and all of that. But I didn’t feel in control of my life. Probably wanting to be a woman but not knowing about the existence of transgender as a concept didn’t help with any of it. Anyway, the Matrix. Feeling trapped by a system, not in control. Yeah, that’s how I felt.

    Bring on spring!

  45. Happy weekend all! I am definitely ready for winter to finish up with its on-and-off ‘actual’ winter behavior with flurries and wind chills one day, 15C the other (Virginia weather as people here like to call it). Tired of layering upon layers just to be able to step outside the door.

    The only type of snow that I’ll welcome at this point is when everything slows down just enough to be able to take a breath and enjoy the moment.

    But yes, bundles of layers and coffee with heated seats is what’s getting me through this winter! I am excited for when everything starts to slowly come to life and bloom.

    And I’m sure the puppy wouldn’t mind some warmer weather either 🙂

  46. It seems to be Saturday. Hmm. I’ve spent the majority of the past two days in bed, but not because of depression or anything like that; I think my body was just actually that kaput (again, not in a bad or sick way– just a real signal that it really, really needed rest). I’m frustrated that I haven’t gotten anything accomplished and am off-track in some ways, so I think I’m going to have to dig my heels in about accountability starting tomorrow.

    I’m very tired of winter, even though I know it’s mild here. I just plain don’t like being cold. When I was young and spent a large amount of time with my grandparents, I was in a house with no central heat or AC. The AC wasn’t a huge deal, because I’m a lizard, but the heat was terrible. It was a very small house, but there was only one oil heater for the whole thing. I would actually lie across the top of it (there’s probably some safety issue there?) when it fired on to warm up. That’s exactly what I feel like doing now. (and it makes me miss my grandparents)

    (excuse the glare– the photo was either weird to begin with or has aged oddly)

    So I’m having coffee instead. And wearing fuzzy socks (and a “Team Edvard” Scream t-shirt, charity bin men’s plaid shirt, and yoga pants that I just realized are inside out = sexxxy).

    I am longing for spring weather. This will make zero sense, but there’s a certain feeling when you can feel like the cold suddenly has warm undertones with it– and then you know it’s being undermined (reverse in fall). I love it when the green is fresh and new and looks electric and unreal. Even the air looks clean (yes, I know you can’t see air).

    I feel like I missed “my” spring last year. I was in Denver, and it was so different there than it is in the South. The weather there is so weird (snow in April? I went crazy), and spring just doesn’t explode with greenness and warmth. It was the virtual nonpresence of new vegetation that bothered me the most; I’m used to azaleas and butterfly bushes and daffodils. Even the trees didn’t noticeably change. Until then, I was unaware of how much the non-temperature related aspects of seasonal change mattered to me. I didn’t get depressed, exactly; I just felt cheated. I feel like I should be moving toward renewal right now, and April 4 and 8 are kind of anniversaries for me. I feel like something major should happen before then, but nothing seems to be headed that way yet. Kind of (very) frustrating.

    Oh, well. In the meantime:

    Seriously. Denver snow in APRIL. NOT ALLOWED.

    I went to Goodwill in search of a carpet sweeper or similar (no luck). I did find this sign.

    This was about 7 AM a few mornings ago. Even though it was freezing (as in actually really below freezing), I went outside (slippers and bathrobe, could have thought that through better) and took a picture.

    Someone sent me this picture of our semi-famous town water tower (“the big fuzzy butt”), which is being repainted. She said: “THE PEACH IS WEARING A CONDOM!” Well . . . yes.

    • I know exactly what you mean about the feeling of warm “undertones” in the air. I got that today; it was cool and rainy, but sometimes I would walk into a random pocket of air that had been warmed by the sun earlier that day, and it felt like spring. It’s hard to explain, but I think I know what you mean by warm undertones. And the clean air – always so clean after the rain.

      I can relate to the need for warmth! I hate being cold, even though I feel like a wimp bundling in layers when it’s in the 40’s or 50’s and the people in the east are getting buried in snow.

      Beautiful sunrise photo! And the water tower made me smile. Every town has its quirks. Tacoma has the narrows bridge (“galloping Gertie”) that collapsed when it was first built. (Thankfully it is much sturdier now than it was 75 years ago). And Seattle has the giant Fremont Troll statue. And infamous Bertha, the tunnel-digging machine that got stuck.

  47. Autostraddle and living vicariously through all your lives will be getting me through my *final* couple months of working and living in rural East Africa. It is 12:30am and like 100F and a stray cat just jumped in my window, waking me up and terrifying the living shit out of me. I would kill for some cold weather right now. I leave at Easter though so I’m focusing on thoughts of spring sunshine and lambs and daffodils

  48. Moving to Massachusetts from Florida in the middle of the winter has not been kind to me. I spend most of my time under blankets. My poor dog never gets to go out and there is SO MUCH SNOW. I dream of the day when the icicles blocking my window melt and the ground is no longer white. The only thing getting me through this winter is my new pixie cut and my huge down coat that I never take off (even when I’m inside).

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