Hi there and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! This is the part of the week where we all chat about our lives and hopes and dreams and that one stupid thing we did Tuesday and that one really cool thing that happened this morning. What’s new, what’s up? Look at my dog’s haircut:

mid-size red long-haired dog in a watermelon bandana

Getting her to sit for that photo took 45 minutes. Life is a journey.

This week I’ve felt energized and excited and alive and it’s not just because it’s getting nicer out, although that helps. I’m busier than ever and leaving the house more than ever, which helps, but I’m also getting really into embracing my own inner weirdness. For me this means “getting really into making plans three weeks out just like I’ve always wanted,” “getting really into carrying brown sugar packets around because I could give a crap about an artificial sweetener in my coffee,” and displaying a collection of novelty miniature sex toys proudly on my bookshelf (only one so far but I’m really excited about it). Your opening line this week is to talk about three or five weird things that you do that make you feel absolutely awesome.

I also want to hear all about your life. What have you been up to? What good thing happened? What interesting sandwich did you eat? How are your pets? How are your flowers? Did you know that if kombucha goes through an altitude change and then sits out a little and you don’t notice or think about it and then you open it in a crowded coffee shop, you will still get looks from the waitstaff three years later (and part of it will still be on the ceiling), definitely not that that’s ever happened to me? What tarot cards did you pull this morning? Did you decide whether to send that text? What are you up to right this second? Let’s hang out in the comments!

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Ryan Yates

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

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. lol kombucha still on the ceiling. what a shock that must’ve been!

    I’m still not over the thimble being axed from Monopoly but on a brighter note I spent most of PBS pledge week binge-watching all 6 seasons of A Different World–which is worth the time for the fashion alone y’all.

    Thoughts: Damn, Whitley was ripped! As a kid I wanted to be Dwayne Wayne but now I’m realizing it was more than those flip up glasses.

  2. Three weird things I do that make me feel awesome: I have a china cabinet for storing my toy dragon collection, I doodle diamondback plesiosaurs when I’m supposed to be taking notes in class, and I text people pictures of Honduran White Bats when I think that they need cheering up.
    Three things happening in my life this week: my little sister finally returned to school after missing three weeks due to a staph infection, I finally replaced the brick pavers in my backyard sidewalk, and I checked out an encyclopedia of squirrels of the world from the library.

  3. Yesterday was my last day in my current office, and the guys decided we should eat sandwiches to celebrate. We went to a pub in the middle of the day for some day beers and oh my goodness, the best sandwich I’ve had in months. Months!

    Pillowy ciabatta, brushed with honey, filled with an amazing stack of cream cheese, melted cheddar, bacon, and fresh jalapenos.


    Sadly, since it was my last day in the office and said office is an hour and a half away from home, I won’t be visiting this place again, most likely. But what a great sendoff.

  4. Hey there Autostraddle! Long time no talk! I missed last week’s FOT because I was in the Caribbean on vacation, lying on the beach. It was my first time on a plane in 7 years and my first time out of the country in 15 years, and I rocked it. I went to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) with my sister. I got super sunburnt, and it’s snowing in NYC right now, so irony?

    I wrote a musical memoir about my experience with mental illness, and it’s being performed in NYC on Monday, March 27th at 7 pm at The Duplex, and you should come if you’re free! Tickets:

    Other than that, things are pretty steady/not too weird.

  5. 1. I am recovering from a few years of stress-induced constipation IBS so I feel so proud and full of joy when I shit and I just shat in a loo on a train which used to be a total impossibility for me, I am so pleased and at rest
    2. The plants on my desk at work, or one of them in particular at least, is growing! Even though the light is shitty and I’m amazed any living thing can survive in that spiritually arid environment. My shy Venezuelan desk mate suggests that I have a green thumb and I do hope so, I will be planting bulbs on the balcony this spring which good gracious I should really have already started, I hope they survive because then there will be enough foliage / cover for birds to come to the feeder
    3. I really think life is funny and beautiful, even though all the terrible things happen, and the suffering and misery and weight, there is an essential ebullient humour to the world, and I’m sorry if I annoy serious people with this attitude, I respect their right to be serious and that vibe, but I don’t share it, I will wear red lipstick and scanty clothing and make jokes all the time, not in spite of but because of the profundity of the world

  6. It’s been really weird coming back to work and real life after Clexa Con.
    Why do I have to bitch about my co-workers or do meaningless small talk in the cafeteria, when I could discuss the finer points of Shoot instead?
    The dreary weather, the Jetlag and this abysmal cold are really not enhancing that experience.
    On the up side: The nurses got me flowers for International Women’s Day!

  7. I just bought a flower for my new place and it’s doing fine! I like that it brings a yellow note to the room.

    This has been the period I’ve become most aware of homophobia in my environment (I’m a half-closeted country queer working as a teacher). Our tiny town has been announced as the hoster of a Pride parade in June and the gays that no one talked about are now at least mentioned – but always as a joke, with much giggling and scorn. As I am not out in the workplace yet, I am expected to enjoy the jokes my coworkers make. I’ve resolved to stay quiet, but they’ll probably see me at the parade anyway, and I am dreading and looking forward to it at the same time.

    This week has been a nightmare on the emotional end, but the 8th March strike gave me an opportunity to take a day for reconnecting to myself and my friends, educating myself at open lectures and marching with other feminists. I’ve noticed that my colleagues (who mostly assume that feminism is just another word for hating men) have been oddly cold with me afterwards, not mentioning the strike in any way, which feels weird since we’re usually on friendly terms and comments about our personal lives abund. Maybe I’m becoming a bit paranoid!

    Another thing I wanted to add was that I’ve read somewhere in Autostraddle’s article about the strike that it was meant to make your employer notice that they’d miss you (someone said something like this, I don’t recall the exact phrasing) and therefore someone saw it as not very effective to strike in a workplace with a progressive woman boss. I respect everyone’s decision to strike or not to strike, but I just wanted to say that I didn’t see it as being meant for my boss – I like and respect her a lot too. I interpreted it as having a larger value, giving visibility to feminist issues. I think my striking “affected” more people, not only my boss, and maybe there’s a tiny chance that some student or colleague might have read up about its reasons and purposes? I’m being optimistic.

    Anyway, it’s been long since I last commented on this site, and I would like to thank you for this safe space, because today I really needed it.

  8. I am not sure what 3 weird things I can talk about. Does crying in the shower count as one? Not weird but eating cookies always makes me feel good. Also, not sure if weird, but I’ve recently been putting graffiti all over my neighborhood(which I’ve shared images of here), and then saying it was done by someone else cooler than me. I also like to replace words in songs with my father name and sing it to him just to mess with him. He’s not really amused, but I guess it’s my way of getting back at him for misgendering me. I am told being genderqueer is weird, but I think what the mean to say is, it’s totally queer and awesome!

    How is everyones week? I had a tinder date with someone on Saturday that ended with me being ghosted in the middle of it. Like after one drink she said she had to go to use the restroom and never came back. Only reason I found out was like after 20 minutes i checked my phone to see the person removed me from tinder. Ugh, thankfully she suggested Malibu, so instead I wasted gas and drove my favorite roads. It was a great choice, because tI had a blast(upgraded rear tires = better handling & fun); plus I got to this cute gray fox! I so wanted to pay with it, but I knew better.

    Then last night I met up with another queer from tinder and we went shooting photography in Hollywood, and nearby. I had a blast, cause she is really cool and trans positive! So, I am hoping to become friends with this person and go out shooting with them again.

    On Sunday I went on a easy walk to a wildlife basin, got to see some ducks, egrets, and a hawk. It was beautiful Spring day(vs the last two days which has been a beautiful summer day).
    Only the sky came out the wrong hue(it was a darker shade of blue).

    I also bought orange lipstick this week, but I am not happy with the shade as it’s neither bright & vibrant or a pastel enough shade. Maybe I will glitter it up or something to make it work. Any tips or ideas here?

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

    • I’m so sorry someone ghosted on you! That is AWFUL. Like, even if you’re not connecting with someone I still feel like they deserve the common decency of like a “see ya later, thanks, goodnight.” It sounds like that person is real shitty and you are better off without them! AND, I’m glad you were able to put that extra time to good use! Sometimes time spent with yourself is the best time. In fact, I think 9 times out of 10 the time I spend with myself is the best time…but maybe I’m weird!

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • I’m so sorry someone ghosted on you during a date! I am honestly not opposed to “ghosting” during the initial get-to-know-you chatting phase, if you even want to call it that, but walking out on someone in the middle of a date is rude as hell. I’m glad you had a good photography meet up with someone else that made you feel good!

      As far as the orange lipstick, would it maybe look good as an ombré in the center of a red lip? Like an orangey-red on the outer corners with a pop of the orange you just bought right in the center to give some definition!?

  9. Weird things:
    1) I collect toy dinosaurs, mostly sauropods, and I’m impatiently waiting for a new, 2ft long one to arrive from China.
    2) My newest favorite hairstyle is created by washing it, then sleeping on it, then brushing it. It’s wavy and messy and poofy, which it really doesn’t do otherwise.
    3) Get really excited when I’ve prepared something in advance to save time and it actually works. This happens rarely, so every time is exciting.

    This week the most interesting thing that happened was the dream I had where this universe was invaded by some conquering force and then collapsed, but a wizard pulled me into a different one using that universe’s version of child-me and then bragged about it to his boss.

  10. I got a completely unexpected promotion to start off my week! It’s exciting but also very scary because I have very little experience in that area and SO much to learn, but also it’s more money so…

    I bought a car for the very first time!

    I had been searching for the right car for a long time and suddenly I was emailing dealerships and was negotiating prices and it was 100% TERRIFYING and then I was applying for loans and then I ended up meeting with a dealership and buying a car BY MYSELF and I was very proud for sticking to my guns (and the price I had been promised over email) even after they tried to pull every trick in the book with me, saying they couldn’t see how they could make my price work and “going in the back to talk with their boss” and trying to get me to finance with them and every other sneaky lying car dealership trick. BUT I stood firm and I got my car for the price I wanted :)

    Also it was my birthday yesterday! I spent a lot of it finishing up the paperwork and payment and everything for my car, but I went and hung out with friends in the evening and it was as great as my current hangover is terrible.

    This week has been wild, y’all.

  11. My weird thing is that when I’m bored in meetings I tend to make a 12 tone row matrix because I am a giant nerd who minored in music theory in college, and since I had a very boring meeting the other day I have one to show you.

    In other news, I went out with the cutest girl on Wednesday. Like. The cutest. In the whole world. And we are going out again and I’m in total disbelief/constantly smiling.

    Also I’m doing this storytelling performance thing this weekend where I’m telling the story of me and my mom and growing up Mormon and how I don’t talk to my mom anymore… because she’s still Mormon and I’m hella gay and also not Mormon. It’s really emotional but also feels very freeing, like I’m putting this out there into the universe and then it isn’t my burden to bear anymore.

    (Did I mention the cutest girl in the world is going out with me a 2nd time? I did? Okay. Just checking.)

    Not coincidentally (re: family bullshit) I keep pulling the 5 of Cups and the 3 of Swords, but I also pulled the Mother(Queen) of Swords this morning so I feel like I’m going to be okay. I’ve been doing this #tarotnerdschallenge on Instagram and I am loving it so hard.
    Happy Fridaying fellow queermos :)

  12. I am trying to think of weird things for this week. I feel like I have just been an absurd ball of stress. I am so not a patient person but somehow everything in my life has like come together so that I have to be patient in THIS SINGLE MONTH. It is the worst. I am waiting to hear back from two grad schools, I am waiting to hear back about a position I applied to at work (although I feel like I’m not getting that but I would like to knoooow) so I just feel like I am running around counting days and waiting to see if everything in my life goes really well at once or really, really badly. It is kind-of the worst.

    Oh also this week I kissed a boy I haven’t seen since I was 14. So it has been a pretty odd week. It is nice to read everyone else’s random things. :)

  13. Oh man, if we’re talking weirdness and haircuts in one post … well. I cut my own hair. Or rather I have hair clippers and have figured out how to get 80% of my head nicely trimmed and tapered, and looking lovely and not-straight.

    So the back and sides are that lovely soft tactile stuff that you can get from clippers, but because I had no idea what to do with the top, I just let it grow … and grow … and grow. And then I tried to cut it with actual scissors. Wow, that did NOT go well.

    I’ve spent the last week gelling the top to stand straight up so that the bits I cut jaggedly too short are stuck to and camouflaged by the bits I didn’t cut short enough. I WILL NOT GIVE IN AND CALL A HAIRDRESSER. But damn I have no idea what to do next.

    In other news, I put an offer on a narrowboat! If an eyewatering number of things go right, I will own a place to live of my very own! (albeit one that floats and has mooring fees and a toilet you have to empty yourself). This is very very very exciting.

  14. Your dogggggg <3 <3 <3
    The kombucha lol.

    Weird thing: I home-brewed some wild-fermented sauer kraut as an experiment. That's not really weird but maybe i got a weird amount of enjoyment from it. I read and took notes on an entire 300-entry comment thread on an article researching and testing the spice blends of authentic 19th century Brooklyn rabbi kosher pickles online; it was liberating from the usual work drudgery.

    Jumping on piles of gravel maybe weird because i'm 42.

    Uhhhhmmmmmmm nothing I do is that weird. I'm pretty normal u guise.

    It's spring break; happy friday humans.

  15. Last week I taught Miss Kitty Fantastico to sit on command. This week she gives “high five” on command too. Training her to do tricks is the most effective way to distract her fro trying to kill us all (apparently this is a developmental phase?). Her new cute thing is jumping onto my shoulder and riding me like a scarf while I cook.

    Yesterday I fell down the stairs. I’m just sore and I didn’t hurt myself too badly, but it highlighted once again just how badly we need to replace the shoddy homemade stairs. The question is just whether we do it before or after reinforcing the beams that keep our upstairs bedroom out of our downstairs dining room.

    There’s a lot to do here, partly because it’s an 18th century house, partly because the former owners were incompetent (they lived here for 20 years and they not only failed to renovate the house to livable standard, they let parts deteriorate even more, and what little they did were huge no-nos for a house of this type—also, they spent 20 years here without bothering to learn enough of the language to exchange pleasantries with their neighbors, which, if I get to be judgey for a moment, I think is pretty shitty for privileged white middle class people and it just makes me even more judgey about their overall incompetence).

  16. How am I supposed to limit it to three weird things? I am a pro at Weird, you can ask my wife. I’m glad she finds the things I do cute and/or amusing, which they are not, instead of weird, which they definitely are.

    So anyway. Weird thing #1: putting my face in fabric because I like how it feels. Just various fabrics. Sheets. Towels. If there’s a towel hanging on the hook in the bathroom, I’ll stand in front of it and just lean slightly until my face is buried in it, and then I’ll stand there until my wife appears in the doorway and giggles.

    Weird thing #2: when I get food that comes in a paper or foil wrapper, I like to flatten and perfectly fold the wrapper. It’s soothing. I don’t know. It makes me happy.

    Weird thing #3: very occasionally when I’m stressed out I like to lie in the middle of the floor and try to get my cats to come near me because it makes them look huge and I find it so amusing.

    My week has been kind of terrible, I think because of hormonal stuff. I’m on birth control for acne again and it’s been a while and I’m having wacky symptoms I definitely didn’t have last time. I’m giving it one more month and then I’m going to tell my doctor I need something different if it doesn’t stop. However, it was my birthday and National Cereal Day (thanks for teaching me that, Autostraddle) this week, so this weekend I’m going go-karting and eating good food, and I’m excited.

  17. One weird thing that I do that makes me feel awesome is go over to your house every week to hang out with you and Sage (and also be tackled into the couch by Sage). Cannot wait to witness that new haircut in person.

  18. Weird things!!
    1) I feel like Autostraddle is a safe place to be NSFW and/or TMI so i’m going to share with y’all that i am really loving this newish trend of conditioner and fancy oils for your pubes. I love it! “Caring for” it has always had this overtone of “dealing with” it like it’s a problem and it’s very cool that people are starting to care for and love a long-neglected and maligned part of the body. 2017 is the year of radical bush love.
    2) I’m filling every vessel in my house– empty perfume bottles, liquor bottles, beer cans, literally anything that can hold water– with flowers and plants poached from the landscaping in my apartment complex. You cannot swing your fist in my house without hitting an empty can of PBR filled with rosemary. It’s the upcycling diy witchy aesthetic I’ve always dreamed of.
    3) I watch the rachel maddow show every night before bed. I can’t sleep unless the butch of my dreams tells me what’s going on in the gargage fire of global geopolitics today. I suspect i am not the only person on autostraddle who feels this way? let me know if you’re also non-functional without rachel in your life.
    4) speaking of butches, i’ve lately been getting more in touch with my butch side and it feels awesome! a year ago i wouldn’t even leave my dorm without a full face of makeup and a push-up bra, but now i can go to class in loose jeans and no makeup without feeling like i have to shrink down, hide my face, or pretend that i pulled an all-nighter to justify my makeup-less existence. or i go in very tight jeans and a loose men’s oxford shirt and i like that too. i find i’m not as hyper-aware of my body as i used to be; i don’t feel like everyone is constantly looking at me. it’s very freeing.
    5) i saw three dogs on my walk to the library today. the weather is improving so everyone’s walking their dogs again and it’s so good.

  19. I’m knitting on my new awesome needles and listning this amazing song on repeat. (First Aid Kit – You are the problem here) It’s about rape culture and perpetrators getting away with it. (TW: short description of sexual assault)

  20. Guys! I am pushing myself TOO HARD– you know that spring-cleaning feeling where you work really hard in every area of life from school to work to food to mental health to EVERYTHING and you swear that this time it will be The Time, this time it will work??? Yeah, that.

    I’m recognizing it and working on it, though. I have these Big Realizations while cleaning fishtanks at work and I’ve found that I need more tasks like that, more time out for myself.

    I’m loving my new job (at a pet store!!!!) and the routine it provides. I’m making art and trying things out, and I caught up with my sister yesterday to eat grilled cheese donuts and watch Regular Show.

  21. Hey AS, it’s been a while, or about two years to be more exact, while I’ve gone off and joined the peace corps and have been living in rural Senegal, west Africa. I’m done in five weeks, and so ready to be very very queer again.
    Weird things I do here to stay sane? 1. Go for bike rides in the bush when it’s 115 degrees listening to the bassiest of bass electronica. 2. Make amateur short films about life and work in Senegal
    3. Hang out with the gang of kids I live with, who are the only ones patient enough to indulge my laughable local language skills

    The most interesting thing that happened this week so far has been admiring the odd beauty of silhouettes standing in front of up a giant trash fire at night.

    • Hey!! Congratulations on finishing your service!! I’m an RPCV from South Africa! I also had some friends that served in South Africa. I can definitely say that it’s awesome to be back in America again. I hope your readjustment goes well! Any plans for a COS trip or are you heading straight home?

      • Awesome, a fellow RPCV (well, I’m soon to be)! I’m kind of doing both- heading home and taking a trip. I’m going to Greece, which is where I was born and still have family. So it’s kind of home, but definitely also a vacation with lots of island hopping, some PRIDE festivities, and meeting up with friends and my gf in the mix. I’ll also be job searching while I’m there (for positions back in the US or elsewhere in Europe, the job market’s still pretty terrible in Greece) and hopefully have some direction for the fall. Did you take a COS trip?

        • Ugh, in my above comment I meant to say I had friends that served in *Senegal*. I got too excited and typed too fast! No, I didn’t take a COS trip–I was sooooo done with Peace Corps at the point and just wanted to go HOME! But it sounds like your trip is perfect! I had friends who traveled from Cape Town to Cairo after COS, which sounds like an amazing adventure but something I was totally not up for after PC. But have a wonderful trip and good luck on your job search/readjustment! I’d love to hear about what you end up doing!

  22. This week, a couple of weeks from my 26th birthday and with a BA, I finally figured out what day job* I want – cross cultural/diversity and inclusion trainer/consultant (there are so many names for this!) – but I have very little idea how to get there. Any ideas, Straddlers?

    *I also work in theatre, but in my city it’s usually profit share at best.

    • In my experience folks make this happen for themselves by getting really good at the branding/marketing piece, being really specific about what they do that is different than other folks, and then making sure people know about you. It’s definitely doable, just takes a lot of self-starting. I also know folks that do that by working for anti-violence or anti-hate nonprofits within outreach, and what helps is being a strong public speaker, having innovative ways to present and teach information, and have the excellent analysis I’m sure you already have.

  23. hey kit kats,

    my motto/resolution for 2017 was STAY WEIRD but I haven’t totally deciphered what that means, but pretty sure it just means not curtailing my shit for the sake of not being weird.

    but what’s weird…I’m trying to get used to wear contacts instead of glasses, and the frequency with which I push my glasses up my nose to make a point or just distract from when I feel shy is way more than I thought it was.

    What else is weird is that my massage therapist plays Lorenna McKennitt during my massages and her whole aesthetic is very 70s magick shop (wizard shit, dark wood, Celtic-y and tapestries from all over the world and like, runes) and she is sweet and so weird.

    Otherwise, for some reason I’m short on weird stuff, I was at a feminist therapist conference last week, at which I found out Milwaukee is adorable and academics can produce things that are really incredible, and also shit that is circular and un-fucking-necessary. Also I was one of 6 not-academics, and I forget that there are certain social networks to whom I have to splain to why I would only ever get a PhD in cultural theory and I’m planning on getting one when I’m in my 80s. I guess it’s weird to hang out with academics, an feeling grateful that my home is with activists and witches and weirdos because I can’t fuck with all that bureaucracy.

    Also I wrote a thing!

    I hope yall have a fun weird weekend! My plans aren’t super weird, mostly seeing friends and eating pasta.

  24. I’m OCD,so I count things to relax. Seats and people mostly. I really hate it when there are uneven numbers of people and seats. I count by twos. Don’t worry, it’s being treated so it isn’t debilitating.
    I like to make technically challenging pastries such as croissants. It takes time and precision.
    A nice cleaning and organization project.
    I have perfectly normal ways of relaxing too.

    So in the past week I have created a vanilla bean shortage panic, ripped my jeans on the tailgate of a friends pickup truck, and I literally broke my vibrator in half. So, yeah, I’m killing it these days.

    Really cute pup. We plan on getting a couple of pups this year. We’ve (my sister and I) have fostered and adopted Springers for years. The loss of the last two was brutal so we have waited a couple of years. But we already know we are going to name them Biscuit and Grits because we are incredibly southern.

  25. I think I stopped recognising the weird things I do as weird. I’m in too deep!

    For sure one that makes me feel awesome is dancing while brushing my teeth – I’m totally not a morning person, I don’t know what comes over me when I get the toothbrush in my hand. Unfortunately the tune that keeps springing to mind for the last few days has been Hollaback Girl, morning and night.

    This week I have had a lot of excitement, I have been allocated a very small patch of the garden (back living with the family and we moved last year to a house with a garden) I’m going to use it to grow potatoes.

    I learned a new word – “chitting” which is apparently what you do to potatoes before you plant them. I have more chitting than I have space for so I’m going to have to come up with some sort of potato competition to find which are the best.

    I also learned that I do not have the patience for gardening or just growing things in general. I want it to be ready now you know? Like I put my potatoes for chitting and then kept checking on them after only a few hours. I don’t want to plant stuff and go that’ll be nice in 6 months, I want it to be nice now or at least to have noticeably grown by the next day.

    I’m already planning many potato based meals, perhaps even a potato party, I’m going to be planting like 4, so should feed me for several hours once I harvest the crop.

  26. Right now, if I could just breathe clearly through my nose and not have any sinus pressure that would be great. It feels like there are exactly five adult sized elephants in my sinuses, and yes that is a precise measurement of pressure.
    It’s been a dizzying week (and not just cause of my cold), everything is happening so fast. Last friday night, I found a grad program that is totally in my interests! and their application is still open! So I started the application, then kind of talked myself out of it thinking I should wait another year. But then the program chair emailed me and gave me some info and might meet with me. So now I am pretty serious about getting this application in like tomorrow and I’m excited but super nervous.

  27. I’m feeling weirdly stressed out today and i noticed that the Great British Bake something is on netflix, which I’ve never seen but obviously heard about frequently here on dear beloved AS. We all know what to do in this situation. Mmm, baking.

  28. Hey guys.

    I wish I had something positive/weird to contribute this week, but I just… don’t. I flew back to Ottawa to see a specialist on Wednesday, and got my hopes up that I’d maybe finally get a diagnosis or at least come closer to one. But nope, this specialist doesn’t know anything either, and she doesn’t even think I’m a candidate for exploratory surgery. But she wants a fourth ultrasound “just in case.” So I get to wait another 3 months, get my hopes up again then have them crushed. Again.

    Sorry this is so negative, but I’m just feeling so tired and sick and sad right now. I’ve been looking for a diagnosis – or hell, even just an effective treatment – for over 3 years now and haven’t gotten anywhere. Meanwhile, every time this issue flares up I find it harder and harder to not only deal with it (3+ months of pain, depression, utter exhaustion, etc. really takes a lot out of you), but to recover afterwards.

    *sigh* So, yeah. It’s not been a good week.

    • Oof. It’s been about a year since I’ve been dealing with my chronic pain and it was undiagnosed until about a month ago and my diagnosis is pretty vague and nebulous and finding effective treatment has been somewhere between hard and impossible. And I’m somewhere between “not sick enough” to be seen by specialist treatment centers and “have had too many diagnostic tests that give no results so they can’t do anything for me”, so I’m in a sorta similar position and it fucking sucks. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and I’m sorry you’re in this position. I hope you find an answer soon and an effective way to manage your symptoms sooner.

  29. I accidentally found out this week that if you leave chocolate brownie ice cream out of the freezer, it might be too messy for more than one meal but it still tastes really good. Not like ice cream obviously but like chocolate brownie w chocolate sauce. (long story. Stepdad decided to cram freezer full of stuff. I couldn’t get it back in as I’m dyspraxic, or just cos of ineptitude not sure/don’t care which, I told him. He said he’d do it but four hours later he still hadn’t)
    Other weird food I like is microwave s’mores. Crackers with marshmallow in between microwaved. It makes a mess but it’s really good. When I was little my first cooking experience was cooking chewits over a gas fire, it’s a similar taste (could fill a book w how I was weird when I was a kid. I’m aspie) and honey roasted potatoes which I was told is weird by some girl at a poetry thing.
    I have a poem to submit to class tomorrow which is weird as I don’t think it’s a poem… It’s about the nature of ‘gaze’ in a piece of art. We’re doing about art. It has a name I can’t remember: one art work referring to another but not ‘intertextual’ (which is my favourite thing/word). The poem has an upside down u in it.
    I have to read all the books on my shelf over and over til I don’t like them. I’m skimming an awful book by a privileged comedian who makes awful jokes. The book is outdated now in its topical references too but I can’t bring myself to just chuck it. So I’m skimming.
    Sometimes I want to put books in the bin even though I’m a writer… I give them to charity but I worry who’ll read it after me.
    Not weird but I hate homophobes and racists and people who think they’re naturally better than others. Been thinking about that this week.
    Sport makes me look afresh at the world and society and myself even though it’s a shallow pursuit. I think it’s because so much else was/is tied into it when I was a teen.
    It really annoys me how low brow and high brow are separated. I don’t think that’s weird at this point in time though.
    I spend half an hour on this bloody thread each week which I know must annoy ppl but I find social media stressful so I have a lot of build up.

  30. Hey dears! I hope you all are well and enjoying your Friday night! I’m kinda bummed out today, but I’m hoping my mood picks up tomorrow because I have a good weekend planned. I’ve been having a lot of conflicts at work with the higher-ups in regards to how we spend our money (I wanna spend our grant money on providing services for kids, like we were supposed to, and for some reason that’s a no-go?!), and that’s been really upsetting/stressful. Then, I was supposed to meet someone for dinner to talk about a project and they didn’t show up-they later apologized and were just dealing with some family stuff, which is totally understandable, but disappointing nonetheless. And, I’ve had some unexpected expenses this month so I’m trying to crunch numbers and count my change and figure out how I’m gonna make all my required payments and eat this month :-/

    BUT, in spite of all of that, I’m still generally feeling quite grateful for living in this beautiful community and having so many good friends and opportunities. Tomorrow will be one year since I’ve been back from my Peace Corps placement in South Africa, and I’m just totally overwhelmed and humbled by how good this year has been generally and how much I’ve grown and accomplished. I’m celebrating by having dinner with a dear friend and then going to see our local production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which I couldn’t be more excited about!

    Oh, and weird things I do that make me feel totally awesome: After I clip my toenails I love to curl my toes and drag the fresh skin through the carpet. I love plucking my nipple hairs. And I’m an obsessive cleaner but nothing makes me feel more competent and in control of my life than a clean house! <3

  31. Three weird things:
    1) I am an AMAZING burper!! I challenge anyone on this thread.
    2) I’ve moved 7 times in the past 27 months, most recently extended house-sitting in my girlfriend’s dad’s ex-girlfriend’s recently deceased mother’s mansion.
    3) I just made (box) brownies and added chocolate chips, raspberries, and walnuts! Will eat them while watching next episode of buffy via skype with my boo.

    I have had an insanely busy week!! This upcoming friday is the last day of the job I’ve been at for 2.5 years, then I’m hopping in my cars with my two rabbits and my good friend from college and we are driving from the east coast to my new home in northern california! (we are looking for recommendations/places to stay in northern texas, new mexico, arizona, and southern california!)

    I’m having a big conundrum though, I am not sure whether to move to cali and then fly back to the east coast to finish up my job (I work in a research lab and haven’t finished the project I’m working on, and coming back over the summer would let me finish it). The thing is, I’m in an LDR at the moment, and moving to Cali would mean living with my partner again after being 7 months apart. Obviously I never want to be apart from her again, but also I really want to keep working at my job/finish up my project!!

    I have until this upcoming friday to decide (which is my last day of work, so it’s coming up soon!). So, I’ve been working 10-12 hour days in the lab trying to get as much done as possible, and then I took today off of work to pack pack pack!

    Love and light!

  32. I’ve only got one weird thing coming to mind and it’s not a fun weird. I genuinely have NO FUCKING IDEA how I developed tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and bursitis in my right ankle (aka same ankle I had surgery on to repair torn ligaments in Nov.) bc I hadn’t been walking all that much and didn’t slip or fall or do anything but NOPE GOT TENDONITIS. So my recovery is going from “slightly behind schedule” to “worryingly behind schedule” and I get even moar follow ups with the surgery team (who are actually pretty great both the surgeon and the PA and I feel lucky that they take me seriously and take time with me) and more PT (but my physical therapist is also awesome to work with so I’m not complaining there but I just wanna be able to do stuff).

    I also got back a while ago from a fundraising dinner thing for a friend’s college thing and it was a pretty good time. There was also a very cute human there with a rad bowtie and shirt but they were part of the group the benefit was for and so was working and I didn’t want to make things Weird for someone at an event where they’re working and also I’m kind of a Useless Gay (seriously I’ve been at parties and had the thought “this really cute girl or nb person is just making out with me to be polite”…no that is not the case. this is also never the case with dudes. well I am still a Useless Gay but it’s like…”oh shit you’ve been flirting with me okay yeah why not” brand of Useless Gay) so I only complimented their bowtie and they told me they liked my scarf and now I’m wondering if I should have done something more and like going through the Missed Connections possibilities.

  33. Dance late at night or early morning in my underwear to non-classical modern music because I’m trying to build up stamina in my healing body, but don’t have a leo or shoes anymore. Even tho I’ve been out of training for yeaaaaars I still have some excellent timing with some songs.

    Write stuff in non-latin alphabet of a past civilization because I CAN. It’s like having a secret language, my inner child is very delighted by it.

    Wordless singing, but uh that could be put under witch stuff column.

    I been trying at not failing english comp, but uh I do not think I’m succeeding with that.
    Found my favourite sports bra, thought I lost it. That is my good thing that happened for the week. Other than having Lebanese food dinner and left overs.

    This could maybe spark some debate, but first off gyro and shawarma are better than sandwiches.
    Here is my question, what classifies as a sandwich? There any taxonomy to sandwiches? Can any finished edible starch product that is used surround foodstuff count as a sandwich?
    As child I really hated sandwiches, halved toast with jelly in the middle was as close as I’d get. Maybe have been told that I was consuming an abomination to sandwich decency by PBJ fanatics.
    So here I and adult wonder what is a sandwich?

    My pets are still extra snuggley, I think they sense how I feel about 45 following 14 points of fascism like a how to guide. I should probably make a bingo card of them for a protest sign.

    Heh tarot cards, that’s a weird thing that makes me feel awesome. The concepts of runes really click with me in a way tarot cards do not, like I was born to them. I’ve always been good with esoteric stuff to the point I’ve been wanted as an initiate.
    Astrology makes little sense to be as well, but I under stand in broad brushes of why certain signs are said to be the way they are because I know the mythos and archtypes of the planets said to be of influence.
    It’s totally useless knowledge set/skill but people find it plenty weird or cool, but being good at SOMETHING not matter how useless makes me feel awesome.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as “edible starch around foodstuff” because like…then we’d get to stuff like lasagne or other casserole that had potatoes on the outside as a sandwich. I think you’d also have to exclude things that you need utensils to eat (bc the ideal sandwich shouldn’t require utensils other than maybe a knife to cut it in half).

  34. I’ve had a pretty awesome week overall! On Sunday I marched in the March4Women in London for International Women’s Day and it was tipping it down with rain but I had a great time – we were loud and proud and I got to see some awesome people like Annie Lennox and Mel C and Natasha Bedingfield and Emeli Sandé in actual real life!

    Then on Wednesday I was in Sheffield for the NUS LGBT+ Conference and it was pretty good. We passed a lot of things into policy and talked about some interesting stuff and drank SO MUCH TEA and I got to wear a suit for the first time and now I am forever changed and I need another occasion to wear a suit because I just felt so *me* when I was wearing it, y’know? It was fab.

    And then yesterday was the Buffy anniversary and I cried because of lots of articles and mainly because of Jenny Owen Youngs’ new song so that is all fabulous.

    In sum, I am feeling empowered and shit. Not a bad week!

  35. Hello Straddlers!!

    OK technically it’s Saturday because time-zones….but I wanted to share my awesome patriarchy-smashing feelings with y’all.

    On Wednesday there was a march for Women’s Day and it was HUGE!!!!! According to the “official” numbers there were 40,000 people, according to the organisers there were 500,000 but I’d put it more at about 200,000 (also I understand why one of the protest chants is “luego diréis que somos cinco o seis” aka “later you’ll say we were only 5 or 6 people”). We stopped the centre of Madrid for over 4 hours…although we started super late because the police were supposed to stop the traffic on the main street and they didn’t (I’m blaming the patriarhy!) I had an awesome time surrounded by so many strong women protesting sexist violence, burning patriarchy, how many women have already been murdered this year by their partners, keeping religion away from controlling our bodies, how we can go to bed with whoever the hell we want, and other things! Considering I’d spent part of WOMEN’S DAY handing over my job to the MAN who is taking it from me (grrrrrr) I was definitely ready to protest!! I ended up in a photojournalism gallery as well haha. Here is me with my sign and an air shot of part of the march. (my sign says “I raise MY voice for those who can’t)

    Last night I went to a movie which was good but weird as hell, but had some gross moments which gave me the oppurtunity to hide in the shoulder of the girl I’m crushing on haha! No idea if it’s a mutual crush but let’s see! Anyway wishing you all a lovely weekend! :)

  36. I came out to an acquaintance-friend.
    I also “came out” on savage love.

    I’m happy, but kindof sad(ish) because I don’t fit it with the queer community where I live. I have acquaintances, but they hang around some FAKE posiounous people. Blergh. I got depressed hanging around a friend(ish) yesterday because she lets people use her and she’s depressed.

    Anywho, I feel liberated even if I only came out to like one person and Dan Savage. Admitting I never really liked guys was HARD.

    I submitted a personal essay a week ago. Should I email someone or take my essay elsewhere? I don’t want to pester anyone with my emails! Lol

    Everyone have a sexy sexy happy weekend!

    • Well done on coming out! It doesn’t matter who it’s too or how many people, it’s still a big deal and a big step!

      Yep it can be hard even admitting it to yourself…I feel you!

      You should be proud of yourself for taking the step, we’re all proud of you too!

      As for friends….I know it sounds cliche but you just have to give it time and keep attending random queer events whenever you can. You’ll end up meeting one awesome person, who will introduce you to another awesome person and so on! You’ve got this :)

  37. My week has just been a series of mildly bad days where in its-bad-but-not-your-world-is-ruined bad and included more than two points where my parents, who I’ve been out to since I was 17ish, pretended I was not actually queer and hadn’t told them I’m no longer considering dating cis dudes at all. I have come out to them literally at least once a year at this point. They acknowledge my gay cousins.

    I literally don’t know what else to do and this is the only mild ‘wtf’ pain point that hasn’t be reframed as “stop complaining at least you have a job” or other such things in the past 24 hours.

    • All I can say is I’m there with you. Because I don’t have a girlfriend my mum acts as if I’m not queer. She tells me ‘oh I have a friend who has a lesbian daughter’.I appreciate equality but it seems like there’s this pressure on us to get married and settle down too these days which used to just be something parents beat their straight kids up with.
      And if you do have someone then your parents are mean idiots for not acknowledging them.

      • I’m half people avoidant, half its-not-a-good-time to date up until very recently. (For a variety of reasons–only living places temporarily, grad school, just-not-meeting-someone-you-gel-with-at-the-right-time …or gelling at the wrong time with someone so that you both keep missing). So its not like there’s been ANYONE for them to point to “well you liked x” or “you dated y!”

        Luckily mine are pretty quiet about pushing me to get married or any sort of traditional set up… they just don’t seem to conceptualize that that has no impact on my sexuality. (Also…that my sexuality has impact on my writing which probably means the Georgia writing group is not necessarily going to jive with my queer stories…but acknowledging the content of my writing would probably require them to acknowledge I’m not straight? its weird, really)

        No phantom significant other, at least. Though I wouldn’t blame them if I had one and they didn’t want in on this southern comedy of manners.

        Urgh, growing up, right? Who wants it.

        • Yeah writing groups can suck. Mine was bad enough being a woman who isn’t femme let alone bringing up any lgbt stuff. And when it came to anything girl-girl they just fetishished it. I stopped going when they started promoting the loud mouthed men in the group at the expense of the quieter women despite both being at similar levels in writing career.
          It’s better to wait ’til there is someone. I think our parents are similar. My mum at least. My mum is perfectly ok with me being happy and whatever it takes but she doesn’t take my sexuality or gender questioning (not sure if I’m gender queer or just hugely tomboy) seriously. (I’ve been unsure in certain ways about my gender since I was about 7, before that I barely even considered gender). I published a book of poetry and mentioned it was about a relationship with a girl and she said ‘you don’t have to tell people that, it reads as straight’ due to it being written in 2nd person and not including direct reference to gender.
          My stepdad and dad know I’m bi and gender questioning but they basically talk to me as if I’m the straight, cis son they never had… They make homophobic and sexist comments and jokes about other women/queer people as if I won’t be affected by them but will think they’re funny. I pull my step-dad up on it but it’s really hard with my dad as he takes everything personally with his illness and it’s not worth losing a relationship with him over. He was raised in an environment which was many types of abusive and full of toxic masculinity so I’m not sure to what extent I can affect him this late on.

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