FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: I Wanna Guard Your Dreams And Visions

Hi hello and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, where no matter what else is happening in your life or in the world I can promise that you’re doing great. Here, have some hummus!

image by Rory Midhani

I know it’s technically still summer and also over 100 degrees outside my apartment in Los Angeles right now but the September long weekend to me always feels like the start of fall. Maybe it’s forever back-to-school energy or maybe it’s Virgo season or maybe it’s all the hope of a new month and also an upcoming long weekend. No one really ever sees summer as the darkest season but, for me at least, summers are always limbo and fall is where things really get moving. Summers are for sleeping and fall is for forward movement.

Certain seasons carry memories, they carry weight, they carry more than the sum of their calendar pages. What do you think of when you think of fall? What do you think of when you think of falling?

Some months the calendar is a page you turn past and others it’s a series of days to trip over. I trip over a lot between August and October, and in the coming week especially. Is this the darkest timeline? Was that one? What dreams are real? More than anything, I want to stop asking “what now?” and start answering it.

(For anyone keeping tabs, I did not answer it with a $100 shower curtain but I did take myself to IKEA last Saturday night after an afternoon of poolside day-drinking and I have no regrets.)

griffith park

I definitely did not accidentally hike seven miles due to getting lost I don’t know what you’re talking about

Anyway what’s new, what’s up, did you get a haircut? What are you doing this weekend? Who are you doing this weekend doing it with? Are you ever too old or too long out of school to back to school shop? Is it ridiculous to want pineapple sticky notes as a fully grown adult human who also never really uses physical paper except in situations where post-its would be unnecessary? Actually can we talk about how pineapples seem to be everywhere right now and while I’m not opposed to the aesthetic I don’t understand where it came from? How was that work thing? How was Tuesday night? How’s your cat? How’s your garden? What did you finally let go of this week? What did you finally decide to hold on to? What are your goals, your dreams, your visions? When you fall, where do you land? When you land, where do you jump next?


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

Carolyn has written 1047 articles for us.

127 Comments

  1. So I was thinking about this person.

    And I remembered that she played this person.

    When playing that person, she bit part of Gabrielle’s ear off, and she probably swallowed some of her blood. After that she played this person.

    And this person.

    So I’ve now developed a theory. The gay powers that be really are putting something in the water: Gabrielle’s blood.

      • I may or may not be in trouble at work again for dancing around/on my desk. I am absolutely powerless when Born to Run starts to play.

        There may or may not be a crazy popular YouTube video of me head banging and kicking walls while singing Karaoke to this song…

        Every time I think, “God I hate my male sounding voice”, I remember: I can sing like no one’s business baby!

  2. I wrote a post for Beth’s site Little Red Tarot–whom you may know from her Fool’s Journey column here on Autostraddle. It’s on being grounded in creativity, and it’s here if anyone’s interested in reading: http://littleredtarot.com/getting-grounded-weaving-non-linear-creative-process/

    So thankful for the long weekend, which will allow me enough time to write an abstract for a journal I want to submit to, and start preparing for the Jewish high holidays.

  3. I’m going on a second date with a girl who asked me out to a drag show, and who’s offered to help me build my drag king personal and even help me get into a performance, something I’ve been wanting to do for years. Super excited for all of the above.

  4. Hello, Honey Nut Cheerios and Raisin Bran flakes! I’m sooo excited for fall! It’s my favorite season :D I love when the days are just starting to get cool, but you can still make do in jeans and a tshirt. And I love sweaters and the way the air smells, crisp and sweet, and the crackling of fallen leaves under your feet and apples and thick socks and tea and cuddling with your favorite human under all the blankets. It’s actually getting cooler here in NY and we’re pumped! My health is still not great. I was on some heavy doses of steroids for a while, but I tapered off, so now everything hurts so much again and it was a loooong week. BUT! The library where I work (I’m serving as an Americorps Vista member) has been working to expand its home delivery project for home bound seniors and it’s been my baby since I started here in Feb. and this upcoming Tuesday we launch at one of the branches and ahhhhhh I’m so excited! It’s been so much work and it will continue to be so much work but ahhh we’re getting there!!! I love libraries and all they do and I’ve started looking at grad schools to get my degree in library science. Any librarians out there with advice?! Also it’s labor day weekend and I’m house/dog/cat sitting for my mom (who just bought her first ever house all on her own! go mom!) and my pup is turning 12 so we’re spending the weekend spoiling her. Tomorrow we’re going hiking and Sunday we’re going to the petstore for treats and a new toy and Monday is my cat’s 1 year gotcha day so we’re baking salmon for all of us and also dog friendly cake, for the pupper and us humans, and it’s gonna be a day of celebrating the awesomeness pets bring to our lives. I hope you all have a great weekend! And I hope our Houston pals are hanging in there. I send my love <3 Gentle hugs if you want them. Stay safe. Stay smart. Stay strong.

  5. Hello you beautiful rays of sunshine! I hope you all have fun weekend plans and don’t have to work on Labor Day.
    Finishing up my first week of training for T-Mobile today. Luckily I get to go home for the long weekend and my girlfriend has off today tomorrow and Monday! I’ll see if she’s up for hiking or something fun that doesn’t cost a lot since money is tight right now. A week ago I was at the lake with her and her family and we woke up early to go kayaking to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful and misty and a tad cold but I know it’s one of those comforting memories to look back to.

  6. I love fall, I feel like I fall back into myself and my most honest comfortable being. After being a weird tracing paper version of me all summer I can not wait to find my fall habits again. I love routines and I have to form some new ones but once I figure it out it’ll be great!
    This weekend I have like 100+ pages to read and 14 mosquito bites to *not* itch!

        • Right? Summer SAD is a very specifically awful feeling! Most people I’ve known who experience it too tend to describe it almost identical to what I feel and have heard from others. It seems like it really has a narrow way of expressing itself, far more than winter SAD which I have heard to be a little more varied.

      • Mostly for school, some New Critisism critical theory, some critical pedagogy stuff, and some Adrian Piper and some things I’ve forgotten. For fun a book about Little Richard but soon some Sarah Schulman cause she’s coming to speak at my school in December and I haven’t read Conflict is Not Abuse yet but I want to have it done by then.

  7. Autumn is really my favorite season, at least where I’m living now. It isn’t hot and muggy like summer, or cold and clammy like winter; and it seems (at least to my perception) to stretch out longer than Spring. I just like it. (More practically, it is a season when I can clean up the horrific jungle that my yard always becomes during the summer.)

    I have an emotional memory I associate with Fall — a memory of shuffling through fallen sweetgum leaves in mid-November, talking feelings with the woman I’d just gotten involved with, when I was a freshman in college. It was a long time ago, but the memory of the dry, crunchy leaves getting gently wet in a sustained November rain hit me with an emotional force that I didn’t understand at the time, and can’t put into words even today. We’re having what I would call our first Fall rain today, and that memory popped back up in my head/heart like it always does this time of year. (It saddened me to learn, a year or two ago, that her memories don’t include that walk, or another walk in the rain a couple of months later. It hadn’t occurred to me before that two people could have a set of really significant experiences together but remember them completely differently or not at all. Slow learner, me.)

    The work thing is pretty anxiety-producing. We think that we’re going to hear an official announcement on Tuesday about the sale/acquisition of the company — the deal that everybody has known about for at least 6 months, but hasn’t “officially” been talked about. It’s totally up in the air what is going to happen with the project I’ve been dedicated to for 6 years. We could be disbanded, or embraced and expanded. I could be out of a job on Tuesday, or by the end of September, or the end of the year, or have the job but with exciting new possibilities. I’ve said before, and will say again today — I don’t handle this kind/level of uncertainty well.

    My only big deal activity for this three-day weekend will be to get my arms waxed tomorrow. (I know — why? WHY? Because arm hair => dysphoria for me, that’s why. If I could get my voice waxed, I’d do that, too ;-) ) But the real prize will be being able to hang out with my Kid (whom I get to keep calling Kid until he turns 21 in December, I decided — don’t know what I’ll call him after that), probably watching some classic screen stuff, maybe even some Season 3 Buffy if he’ll go along with that. Hanging out with the Kid, and trying really, really hard not to be too anxious about work. Sounds about right.

  8. To support your hypothesis that summer is a dark and unproductive time, I submit the information that the end of July through the end of August is known as “rötmånaden” in Swedish. This literally means “the month of decay”. It’s basically the farmer’s almanac version of Mercury retrograde. But it’s also a very practical concept, because that’s the time of the year everything goes bad and makes you sick if you turn your back for too long.

  9. Hey there all!

    I’m currently having an “Oh, odd” sort of sinking in of reality as this is my first September since graduating from Uni at the start of this summer, and since I went straight from school- well, it’s the first end-of-summer ever where I haven’t been getting ready to go back to education. I thought I would miss it, but I’m actually feeling a huge sense of relief / contentment??? (Surely these are not real things, I must be stressed out and focused on deadlines at all times or something is wrong.)

    Last week I went to the Edinburgh festival with some friends, which was lovely. It was sunny, but not /too/ sunny for easily burnable Scots, and tasty things and an anti-Trump satire show happened.

    Tomorrow I’m going to corral my sister’s cat into a basket so it can be kit-napped to be babysat for a week while she’s away, and Sunday is going to be board games / booze / besties, which I cannot wait for. We can talk about how much we are not Grown Ups™ yet, despite rapidly approaching round up to 30 numbers and for the most part being out of uni and in full time work.

    Does anyone have any recs for queer things to watch that they think get overlooked?

    Have a good weekend, guys! <3

    • My first autumn/winter out of education was a revelation. I wasnt ill at all all winter! Even though i was working fulltime, not having the stress of january exams made christmas so relaxing.

      What did you see at Edinburgh? I went for a day this year for the first time and it was so much fun. But also so much fomo, so many things are happening all at once. I could have spent so much money on show tickets and had to hold myself back for my bank balance.

      • We saw Escaping Trump’s America – multiple stand up comedians, it was pretty decent. (Also, I am the worst of the worst for late replying D: my apologies!)

        First Fringe!!! I hope you return for many more <3

        The show we saw was a free one, in the basement of Frankenstein's pub, but I'm with you in almost tipping out my wallet on the nearest ticket desk. Self control is tricky.

    • Being an Adult (notice I am not copyright violation) is overrated anyway. Tomorrow is Dungeons and Dragons day, then some girlfriends and I are getting together tomorrow evening to continue doing much of the same stuff we did in high school.

  10. Well, *cue shameless promotion* tonight I’m hosting a Meetup for queer folks in tech. If you’re in the California Bay Area….

    I recently founded a nonprofit which will be tabling at this music festival on Sunday:

    However, It is supposed to be around or over 100 degrees here, so really I’m just trying this:

  11. Well I think I made the right choice and organizing an LBTQ beach day this Sunday, because as you said it’s 100 right now and yesterday it was 93 when it started raining lightly as I left work. The last one I hosted earlier in the summer was real fun and super queer/gay. You(or anyone else in the SoCal area) should come if you can make it since you are in the area, & away from the 95+ degree weather(unless you live by the coast). https://www.autostraddle.com/los-angelessouthern-california-2017-09-03-lbtq-beach-day-labor-day-edition/

    Right now is 90 inside my store with the air on, it’s kind of brutal and not the most positive for my merchandise(perfumes). I’ve also decided that I want to either get on some level of HRT, maybe t blockers with low dose of e, or get partial orchiectomy and go on E. I’m researching to see what will give me my desired goal of looking more andro. However, at the same time my father’s transphobia came up again when two twoc walked into the store and after they left called them a man. I told him not to be racist, because they could be native North/Central Americans, and Two Spirit. He gave a nonsense response.

    Last Sunday I hiked about 4 miles as it was really nice as the flowers and plants are still in bloom and the views were really nice. People also didn’t seem to wierd to me when I was hiking in a fab shade of green lipstick that worked out well hiking. That was topped of with a nice swim in the ocean, with some relaxing waves. The water housing for my camera is cracked so no in water ocean shots. :-(

    More flowers in bloom(color was a little lighter in person)

    View from my decent down.

    Finally this art work came up a block away from my work this week.

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

  12. I dont know when autumn will stop feeling like a time of change for me. Maybe when I get used to never going back to school in the autumn. All (4) of my friends are going back to uni, either to do to undergraduate or master’s degrees, and by mid september, once my internship’s done, I’ll be able to start my job search in earnest.

    On that note I’ll be doing a bunch of networking the week after: a publishing conference, a networking event, and a meeting with my new mentor. Kind of nervous because she’s the CEO of the childrens division of a big publishing company. *cue bout of impostor syndrome*

    Also I’ve got to work on my submission for the open submissions a publishing company is having. *cries in writing synopsis*

    • I think it’s okay that fall is forever a time for change you know? But maybe that’s also a lie I tell myself in order to live.

      Also good luck with all your career stuff, it’s totally okay to be nervous but also I bet you’re gonna be great!

  13. Whoa, you put it perfectly “Summers are for sleeping and fall is for forward movement.”
    This is quite the open thread query list! This weekend we are apparently stripping wallpaper in my gf’s new house, re-wallpapering the same wall and painting the others. Oh, also I have a meeting with my co-directors at my not-for-profit so, weekend? What’s a weekend?
    My Tuesday was good, went to play beach volleyball in the park with my team (and so many of them are queer which is not surprising, we play roller derby). My cats are jerks and want to meow their fool heads off and open all of my closets and cupboards but they’re alright. FB memories let me know it’s been 5 years since I got my orange tabby tom cat :D
    I think I have finally let go of the 100% incredible need/drive to identify as either feminine or masculine. Whew. As someone who has been struggling with genderqueer-ness, this has been a pretty big weight, and I’m sure it’ll always get heavier/lighter depending on the day, but I no longer feel like I have to wear or cannot wear mascara depending on how I am feeling, and have found myself looking at mascara as just “this gives me eyelashes when I want them” and not tying it to gender identity. It’s been a struggle and is really exhausting to start your every day with these HUGE weighted thoughts about something that seems so small to others. Also my gf gave me a little genderqueer flag and it’s beautiful and she is wonderful and I love her and heart eyes for days.
    I hope everyone has a safe, fun weekend (whatever that entails!) and that you pet many dogs or cats depending on your preference.

    • I can definitely relate to the drive to identify/present as either masculine or feminine. I don’t identify as genderqueer but there are days when I feel more comfortable dressing very masculine-of-center and other days when I just want to wear some lipstick and a cute skirt, dang it. And finding a way to balance that and not feel like I have to 100% justify myself to everyone when I dress one way or the other is a real struggle, so I feel you.

    • @ruby19 Your post made me smile. I have come to a similar realization lately with my gender. For so long, I tried to find the perfect label or box that would fit how I feel. Trans woman? Nope. Non-binary? Kinda? So if I want to wear a skirt some morning, but also want my camo jacket and Chacos, am I masculine or feminine? Why does it matter so much to me? Why can’t I just ignore this pressure to choose?

  14. Well this week-end I’m moving country…

    I’ve lived the last 21 years old at the same city. Never left my parent’s home even for college. And now… Tomorrow morning I’m leaving Toulouse to spend one year in Co.Roscommon, Ireland.
    It’s hard because it’s the end of summer and it’s always been hard for me. I loved the sun, having nice dress, nothing to do all day except hanging out with my friends and spending the night on the computer. So the end of summer is often hard for me, but the end of summer and leaving my parents and moving country… So words can’t describe how anxious I am that I’ll say goodbye to everything I know in… less than 10 hours ??? I’ll say – I hate fall because there’s change and I hate change. I love routine. I haven’t pray in two month but you bet I’m gonna say a full rosary tonight !!

    This week is already kind of blurry. I packed. Spend a good day with a friend. Said good bye to another. I’m going to miss them. Also, my fish. I bought her when I began the university, and now I’m leaving her alone :( Poor thing.

    Anyway, in another note, I watched The Bold Type and oh god ! It’s totally the kind of show I watch. I struggled to find a show like this – lighthearted but with serious subjects, and now I’ve got TBT and new season of The Fosters. Amen.

    • How exciting! I remember the first time I moved country – I’d just finished the bac and I didn’t know how to say goodbye to anyone so… I guess I kind of just didn’t? I was kind of a stressed out mess because there’s so much to do, and I’d never lived on my own before and my parents were zero help, not really speaking the language or anything. Plus there wasn’t as much info out there online in the early 2000s. It was huge, and scary, and isolating and one of the best and most important things I ever did.

      Not always the happiest thing I ever did, mind you, but hugely important. Bon courage !

    • Summer always feels like everything is on hold. At work you are always chasing yourself covering people who are on holiday, and in education everything shuts down forever. Community stuff often goes by the school holidays. It feels like i spend weeks waiting for everything to get back to being fully operational.

    • After this summer ( I got sick some of it heat related some of it food allergies) I’ve come to appreciate all seasons. I make mad money in the summer, also beach y’all and long beautiful days. But after getting heat rash and my skin broke out so bad sweating literally burned I am ready for fall amd winter. I love walking into my room from a cold day and heating up with my space heater. That’s life! Hot chocolate, everything is crisp! Yay!

  15. I also just moved country! Only for a month but in a way that’s more disorienting than moving for longer?

    I have to do an extended visit to another university as part of my PhD so I’m in Uppsala in Sweden, and I really struggled to find housing so I’m sharing a 2 bed flat with a guy I’d never even had a full conversation with before today, and the flat is like 45mins walk from the city which feels very far now, and I don’t click with the guy very easily and everything feels strange and different, and a stranger is also living in my house with my cat and my girlfriend is on holiday in Portugal with her other girlfriend and I feel very alone.

    I think I will start to enjoy being here but right now I just really miss my flat, where I live by myself with my cat. And my city. And speaking the language (well I at least sort of speak the language back home). It is pretty here though?

    • Välkommen till Sverige! A proper-ish move for just a month must be crazy hectic. I’ve done a month or two in a foreign country for work, but living out of a suitcase dormitory style, and in that time you just barely have time to get your bearings. I imagine it’s even more of a mind trip to have your own “this is where I live” kind of space, and be in charge of your own time.

      I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble with not speaking the language for just a month in Sweden. Though, if you’re from the Netherlands, it might be disorienting to hear all that Swedish spoken and feel like you SHOULD understand it. That’s the most (only) annoying part for me when I visit the Netherlands. It sounds exactly like they’re speaking the southern Swedish dialect I’m used to, but none of the words are right. ?

  16. I need to get a haircut.

    Fall is always associated with sadness for me, wistfulness, longing. Summer is my favorite season and winter is my least-favorite, so the transition between the two always brings with it a sense of loss.
    I do love the aesthetic of fall, the cooler weather, the colors, the apple cider doughnuts, the spooky Halloween aesthetic, the urge to reread all my favorite Ray Bradbury books (Something Wicked This Way Comes, October Country, Farewell Summer), but the longing for warmer weather, for ripe tomatoes and fresh strawberries, for running around barefoot and splashing around in lakes, that too exists.

    Anyway, that’s where my head is. I am trying to get comfortable with being aromantic when a lot of my friends are getting into romantic relationships. I know there was a time when I thought that was desirable, but I don’t remember what it feels like. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy with writing and drawing and biking a lot, but it’s difficult when so many parts of culture and society are obsessed with having a significant other, and my complete lack of desire for one is constantly shoved in my face as being weird and wrong.

    But otherwise I’ve successfully moved and am loving living in a town with bike paths and cool restaurants. I am going to watch a bike polo tournament tomorrow and am psyched. And I sprouted some ivy cuttings that are doing well so I think I may even get myself a mint plant soon too.

    • I second the Ray Bradbury book club idea. I’m a huge fan! I’m sorry you’re having a hard time. I think I struggle with something similar with trying to understand my sexuality. I know I want someone in my life, but my body/brain just can’t decide who, and if it does, then it changes the next day. The whole thing is just SO frustrating and makes long-term relationships seem hopeless :(

  17. What’s new is my ow. :(
    The phlebotomist was not gentle and the medical tape is taking the place of 10th grade’s fishnets in The Fast Shave Fuck Up.

    Also the area feels bruised like a very pokey iron finger poked the crook of my elbow. Maybe more of a jab than a poke…

    Ooh dream, safe dream not a real important goal or major thrist of my soul.
    Choreographing a complete dance to Kesha’s Rainbow and a feasible design draft of the costume I see in my head that goes with it.
    I’m internally preening about how gender neutral of a design it is because the focal point is limbs, not the torso.

    • I’m sorry about your phlebotomist being pokey :( [CW for needles/hospital stuff] My veins are impossible to find, so they often end up blowing/rolling over them a bunch and yeah that bruised feeling is awful. You end up feeling like you have T-Rex arms for a few days :/ Also fuck medical tape in all its incarnations. I’ve had the residue from that shit last longer than the bruises from the draw sites it covered.

      • Mine are super easy to find tho,always have been. Just was more forceful entry than necessary, the band wasn’t tied well,and she was not smooth or gentle switching out the vials from “vial garage” Thank the Norns it was only two samples needed and I did free weights yesterday.

        I’ve had many kinds of stickiness related to medical testing and yeah you bout medical tape, but here’s a secret: ACETONE.

        Warm soapy soak followed by gentle acetone rub down hasn’t failed me yet.

  18. Hey friends! This week i went on holiday on a narrow boat on a canal with my family. Turns out we can (very badly) drive a boat if we work together!

    We had typical family card games.

    And blew bubbles off the end of a boat with a teenager. Because you are never too old for bubbles.

  19. I have successfully started my first week of school. I have worked on defeating procrastination for awhile and now I am actually doing well. I’ve completed a few scholarships which is boss. My goal is creating a portfolio website. I NEED ONE.
    Also signed up for Time Out Youth.

    Almost everyday I am in awe that I am a lesbian. Like it took a long time to come to that realization…. Learning to love myself everyday!

  20. Today a guy I work with asked if my hair was naturally that color or if I dyed it–which is a fine normal question I get asked sometimes–but when I told him it is my natural hair color he just said “Good”

    I just, how!? I never look gayer than I do at work, I am wearing Carhartts and flannel and steel toed boots AND WORKING! Why am I getting clumsy verbal male approval I didn’t ask for!?!?

  21. Baby this town rips the bones from your back.
    I’m starting what should be my last year of grad school, if everything goes well. I finally wised up and got a three subject notebook, rather than the cheaper one subject ones. They were fine until I kept bringing the wrong one to class. I might buy some more pens for class. I still like writing things down, even if I end up doing most of my coursework online.
    I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow, and after that I’m free to lounge around and read before class starts on Tuesday.

  22. Warning: ramble-y post ahead, because I haven’t been around for a few weeks. Oscar picture at the end to compensate.

    First off, I officially landed my first (and, uh, only) freelance client since I started working in-house in January. We’re actually encouraged to get freelance clients on the side because of the unpredictable nature of our jobs, but I’ve been slacking on that because a) I’m lazy and b) it means I have to deal with a whole bunch of business/taxation stuff. Having a bit of extra income will be really nice, though.

    Secondly: Mystery Illness stuff. I saw a specialist last week, and while little was accomplished practically (still no official diagnosis, no new treatment options, and I didn’t even get my MMJ card like I hoped) this guy actually *listened* to me and treated me like a human who knew their body. And holy shit, it made such a huge difference. Just having someone explain their thought processes, tell me which symptoms were the most relevant/concerning, and actually believe me was such a huge relief. Unfortunately, I’m being referred to someone new in my city, but just that one appointment was more helpful and reassuring than the past 4 years of appointments with some 6 doctors combined.

    Thirdly: it’s Pride Weekend in my new city, and I find myself suddenly nervous about going. I’m already an outsider because I’m Anglophone, and I guess I’m afraid I won’t fit in? I don’t have anyone to go with, and I don’t really want to feel more isolated than I already am. Realistically, I know that probably won’t happen, and it will be good to at least learn more about the LGBT groups/services in the area. But I could use some reassurance, I guess.

    If you got through that wall of text, congrats. Here’s your Super Oscar, as promised.

    • So sorry you are dealing with this Kay @laseule
      It’s not the same, but I’m going through a similar situation with my doctor for some bizarre physical symptoms I’ve been having. I did my own research on them, and have been meticulously recording them for months in my notebook, thinking that maybe I was experiencing some sort of trans woman’s version of a monthly cycle?

      My doctor thought I was crazy, and insisted there was nothing wrong. Been to four other doctors and all with similar treatment. Not sure why they can’t admit how little we actually know about transition. Hormones are powerful and have induced similar symptoms to mine in whole communities of women all over the web.

      The only thing I can do is to try and advocate for myself and do my own research to figure out what I need…

      • After I had a total hysterectomy in my early forties I was put on HRT. For several years afterward, I’d have the same godawful “period” like pain and other similar symptoms. The gynaecologist who did the surgery was a really decent type and told me that others of his patients as well as those of his colleagues had been told about the same thing. None of them had any real explanation about why this happens but once I gave the HRT up, it all disappeared. Soooo, maybe what you’re experiencing is purely hormone related but it seems that you might be stuck with it. Good Luck, though.

  23. I did get a haircut, actually. Refreshing the undercut always feels nice.

    I’m just working on my dissertation, numbly, for the rest of forever. I have to defend in December. I don’t really want to write this thing. Kind of feel like a slow motion car wreck.

  24. HELLO HI.

    I have similarly romantic feelings about this time of year, it feels languid and still and reflective in a way I don’t totally understand but really like.

    I wrote a thing!
    http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2017/09/01/eat-late-summer-produce-listen-podcast/

    I’m getting a haircut this weekend and continuing with the moving of piles until eventually our house will be ready for a baby! Maybe!

    Also I met my new doctor ( and had a meeting with our midwife today) and it is really a relief to have kind health care providers that are actually invested in us/me!

    It was our two year wedding anniversary this week, which is not as remarkable as our dating anniversary, but we’re going to dinner and a movie about it regardless. I think our wedding was harder than I acknowledge to most folks and also I feel like most relationship magic happens in private for us anyway, so I feel sort of like, we had a party, but it doesn’t mean the same thing as the initial or the steady forward yes of a long-term relationship. But regardless, let’s get a nice dinner and talk about things that are easy and pleasant.

    I’ve been super busy but am trying to weave in small hangouts with friends to get ice cream and coffee and short things like that, and that’s been super sweet. Sometimes friend hangouts can stretch on for hours, and I love to do that, but I can’t really show up for that right now, but am really loving being able to reconnect with folks for a couple of hours and then circling back to all of my busy, because that’s just life right now.

    I haven’t been reading tons, but I think that’s mostly because I have things like Sherman Alexie’s latest memoir on my hands and I have been able to blaze through queer romance novels and heavy stuff has been harder to motivate for.

    Happy reflecting and weekend! xoxoxo.

    • As a parent of a young child, I want to say that these brief and sweet dates with friends can be so important in postpartum life. It’s been a good thing (for me) to develop and continue after the baby comes earth side. I haven’t always been good at it but when I am, my mental health seems to be much better. I’m glad you have good providers too!

  25. The beginning of September will always and forever feel like going back to school and I will always buy a lot of supplies at Target even though I’m not in school anymore.

    I love Autumn with a passion because of layers and sweaters and jean jackets and pretty pretty colors in the leaves and fewer bugs and not snow yet. I love drinking coffee and not sweating my ass off and leaving the windows open all the time. I’m pretty pissed that loving fall has become something that people mock because of the Demon Lizard Patriarchy when it is in fact totally full of awesome.

  26. I definitely prefer Autumn. Everything looks so pretty with the leaves changing colour. Except I’m stuck in Spring here and hayfever is not fun at all.

    My week has been super hectic. I’ve been working heaps and had a pretty bad day yesterday with work stuff not going well. So I gave up and bought heaps of books and I went to a Cat Lounge where I hung out on a couch and had a cat curled up in my lap. That actually made me feel a lot better.

    I had a phone interview for a job I really want but I feel like I did really badly and haven’t heard anything about it. Fingers crossed I get asked back on Monday.

    I also did do lots of rainbow postering with a friend and we went to this yarn shop that had a dog at the door and we were chatting with the owner and hanging out with the dog for about 10 minutes. That was great. It was also good to make new friends. Marriage equality campaigning is fun for the most part. Now I’m just chilling in bed before I go out to a panel on feminism in pop culture and maybe the women’s AFL game this evening. Fun times. :)

  27. Y’all I need help.

    My exasperated with compositional english ass is about to use a story about parking(car sex) being paused for the what was a very romantic evening by a possible drug sting(the cops thought it was hilarious didn’t even give a warning/lecture just told us to move it between guffgaws) then ending the evening by getting dressed and combed in the parking lot of 24-hour purveyor of breakfast foods place before entering said food place for food as topic for a narrative paper.

    Is this a terrible idea or should I run with it?
    Because everything else I got as potential topics requires so much fucking exposition they become chapters of my life story.

  28. I’ve just returned from a week in Belo Horizonte, Brazil where I watched my BABY BROTHER GET MARRIED. Look at him, he’s such a baby, how is he old enough to do things like drive cars and marry girls?! It was a beautiful ceremony in a garden and then a seven hour reception full of food and so much booze.

    After the wedding on Saturday, we all spent the next few days touring the town and going to a football match. I saw some capybaras and met a bunch of cool dogs and now I’m finally not on a bus with 40 other people all the time. I loved the experience, but I’m not great at big group activities and require a lot more personal time.

    Now that I’m back home, I spent today doing meal planning and grocery shopping so I can do a round of Whole 30. Everything we ate on the trip was either carbs, cheese, or carbs and cheese so I feel like I could really use the reset.

    I hope everyone has a tremendous weekend, enjoys whatever plans they’ve made, and maybe gets to kiss a cutie or touch a booty (if those are things that you’re into).

  29. Pineapples are everywhere now–cookie jars, ornaments, planters. Glad I’m not the only one who finds it delightfully odd.

    I’m feeling pretty good right now. Summer is when I’m most inspired and active, so I’m trying to keep my momentum up as September arrives.

    I got tickets to my first Babetown event here in NYC. As an extreme introvert, I’m cautiously excited. Has anyone ever been before?

  30. This is probably brought on by the hellacious tunes I’m listening to and a recent-ish post coital conversation about the weirdness in many things of the early 00’s but especially Little Nicky where a shit ton of bizarre stuff was happening. So much neither of us could recall it all but both recalled Adolf Hitler’s 4pm pineapple punishment.

    Now I’m not saying the current intense pineapple trend has anything to do with countering the white nationalists crawling out from under their logs as it if were kinda some apotropaic magic but.

    But I all I can think of is Hitler getting punish for all eternity with a pineapple when ever I see a pineapple image themed product.

  31. Hi Carolyn,
    here’s “The pineapple song” from Cabaret:

    I hope it’ll make you smile whenever you’re now faced with the pineapple asthetic.
    As for me, I’ve had a week off and used it for a weeklong Spanish course, to get back into the swing of things and…have you ever noticed how studying a foreign language is an act of poetry?
    You discover and taste and weigh the words, carefully plan and place them.
    There’s also, a different person hidden in the parts of your brain that houses your different languages, different memories,different tastes and different music, a different voice, intonation, even a different smile and laugh and sometimes even, a different pain.
    I hope everyone’s having a stellar week and weekend!
    xoxo

  32. I’m late to this FOT but damn it I keep telling myself I’m going to post my life updates and every week I remember too late.

    So my friend knows a couple who are moving out of a little backhouse into the main house of the same property, which means they’re trying to find someone to rent the little backhouse (which has it’s own little yard!) and that person might be me! It would mean living alone which is The Dream™, and I’m finally making enough-ish money to make it work. I don’t know all the details, or if I could even actually do it but I went through so many phases of excitement and planning it all out, to absolute terror and fear about living alone in a downtown area that has a higher crime rate etc. etc. and now I feel like I’ve lived about a year’s worth of emotions in the last three days.

    Also I gave myself an undercut in the middle of the night and now I’m digging it but I have a question for undercut-havers/short hair queers: Do you go to a barber to get your hair cut? Is there weirdness about how you’re treated as a queer person at a typically cis-hetero dude establishment? What fun designs should I get shaved into my head??

    Additionally: Fuck summer. Sincerely, me forever and always amen.

    • what a dream! and super gutsy on the undercut, I’ve always gone to the regular haircut place but I’d love to learn to cut it myself. I did just discover a sort of weird hybrid barber shop here that does a lot of ladies’ cuts and colors, and the person who cut my hair was so chill and did exactly what I asked for without suggesting a whole lot of ways to soften it up and make the shave less dramatic.

    • I imagine the way you feel about going into a barber shop is the way I feel about going into a salon as a trans woman >__< It's amazing how many different ways you can describe "cute" before someone understands that's exactly what you want.

  33. Hi, Stef! That’s a beautiful picture you took. I gotta say, I personally prefer summer because it’s warmer. I hate cold weather.

    “What are your goals, your dreams, your visions?” I remember being asked this by both my high school counselor and my academic advisor in college, giving them both the same answer (“I dunno. I’m not really good at anything other than playing video games and watching anime.”), and getting nearly the same disapproving look, lol.

  34. How was that work thing? I got the job! It’s part time through the state and includes health insurance! Now I’ll have more time for that other part time job that’s in my field, more time for those long term investments, and more time for the kid(s).

    How was Tuesday night? I got the call that I had always wanted that there was a baby. He was with us for 10 hours, very smiley and cuddly, and then a relative came in to town and I was happy to pass him along to his grandmom.

    How’s your cat? No cat but I do enjoy the four year old’s pet cricket and my wife’s snake is pretty but a bit hissy.

    How’s your garden? The raspberries are ripe again. I need to remember to pick them.

    What did you finally let go of this week? I’m working on letting go of stressing over if my wife works or not. We’re making it okay financially.

    What did you finally decide to hold on to? I’m working on being good to myself and balancing doing enough work with having enough down time.

    What are your goals, your dreams, your visions? I had a vision of having two little girls. We had two foster girls and one went back with her bio mama, which is a good thing. Also I’ve always wanted someone to say there was a baby who needed me, and that happened. The 4 year old said she wants a baby sister who can stay forever (but hopefully the 4 year old with be back with her bio family sooner rather than later).

    I still want to increase the love and kindness in the world. My dad was telling me that he’s happy I have my wife- that I have someone to love who loves me. Even if I get frustrated by the imbalances in our relationship, we do have love and being with her does increase the love and kindness in the world. I’m just working on making sure I’m kind to myself as well.

    When you fall, where do you land? I try to land at home, with family.

    When you land, where do you jump next? We shall see. Once I get settled into the new job thing I hope to be able to say yes to more little ones in our family.

  35. See, you warm climate living folks have an under appreciation of summer. In Alaska, where I spent much of my adult life, summer is the BEST time of the year. All night sun, river-side midnight barbeques and volleyball all night long.

    Still, fall can’t come soon enough! I am so about the leggings and tights. Plus, denim jackets or tying a flannel shirt round my waist like Jesse Bannon are like my go-to comfortable look. Fuck pumpkin spice though. Just no.

    I’m glad you asked what was up, because I did actually get a hair cut ^___^ For my birthday, I got a facial and full-body aromatic massage. I was incredibly scared when I found out the massage entailed me getting naked and having a strange touch my body. The night before I was a wreck – I couldn’t sleep, and was shivering and crying. I know it may be hard for other people to understand, but I really don’t do touch well at all. Hell, I don’t even want to be intimate with my OWN body, let alone someone else give me pleasure. It’s why I’ve ruined all of my relationships, and why I sometimes wonder if I’ll be alone forever. I’m definitely not asexual, but every time I try to be intimate, I don’t know how.

    Still, I am one to work through fear, and half-way through the massage, I think I was able to enjoy it a bit? Hell, maybe I’ll even try another one sometime… Getting hair done is always frustrating – especially at salons.

    Last November I finally stopped shaving my head and let it grow, but until recently, some spots were still hit hard by the testosterone. This was the first time I could ask for a proper pixie, and was so excited until the hairdressers mis-gendered me a bunch. I dunno, I thought the purse, 34DDs, short-shorts and piercings would be a clear no brainer… but some people are apparently just that dense…

    I get so tired of my life revolving around other people. Mornings lately have been a constant battle of asking what I want, vs. guessing what the world will see with how I choose to express my gender that day.

    Work is OVER! YAY! (and oh no?!) I put in my two-weeks after some more transphobic bullshit, and will soon officially be in panic mode, because I have no other plans. I’m going to continue doing my 2nd job at the preschool for now and just try to find something new that is low-stress and allows me to have a better social life. I am trying to navigate the beginnings of bankruptcy, so it didn’t make sense to work a crazy 72 hours a week if they are going to take all my money anyway… so I’ve resigned to the fact, and am trying to make more room for what really matters: my health, friends, relationships, and my passions.

    Future dreams, goals, and visions? I try to live one day at a time. But I’d like to think one day I won’t be so lonely. I need to believe there is some greater purpose waiting for me. Feeling aimless right now, but keeping an open heart, ready to receive that vision when it comes.

    The world needs all your amazing smiles ^__^ Hope this weekend is relaxing, because we all deserve it!

    • I live in a sup-tropical place and visited what I call Frozen Postcard Hell once.

      Never really been a complainer about 90 decree weather and the logical science lover in me has always observed the cold and snow as dangerous in ways my birth climate is not.

      Feet of rain? Get to higher ground or a boat.
      Feet of snow? There’s no escape and the roof could cave in.
      Not dressed for the weather? In heat just sweat through and stay hydrated or strip down and get under shade. In cold suffer and die, that’s it.

      Logically understanding the dangers of snow and the cold is one thing but being in it and surrounded by it fuck no.
      Can’t escape cold at all, not when sleep or using the bathroom.
      Sure fleece-y bedsheets and cozy blankets help but can’t stay under them until the cold is gone, will have to breathe or use the toilet at some point.
      The icy cold toilet.

      So like I am SUPER with you on summer being great.
      Much rather perspire then shiver and expire.

      Enjoy your weekend and lack of nasty co-workers.
      Wish you much luck in finding better ones in the future.

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