FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Happy Canada Day! (And July 4th Too!)

Hello sparklers, and welcome! This Friday Open Thread, we’re here to celebrate Canada Day! The Fourth of July can come too.

image by Rory Midhani

image by Rory Midhani

This is my first Canada Day living outside of Canada and it’s a weird one. My Canada Day celebrations usually take place in a sort of peaceful, semi-apologetic ambiance, with a soft red and white back drop, maybe some fireworks in the distance, and the secure knowledge that Canada is probably the best country. But today I’m having some people over and we might order the closest thing Los Angeles has to poutine and if anyone writes anything down I will politely ask them to use Canadian spellings. (Sounds like a hot party, am I right?) (It will actually be very hot, my air conditioning is not great.)

Not sure how to celebrate Canada Day? Here are the top ten ways to do it for non-Canadians, 9 queer Canadian poets and 24 kickass queer Canadians to check out, 50 pictures of Ellen Page, and some traditional Canadian cuisine to sample at home (spoiler it’s fries, but with gravy and cheese). Or just hang out and watch Heritage Minutes. Sunburn is also a time-honoured (spelled with a “u,” you’re welcome) Canada Day tradition.

This weekend is also my first fourth of July as a (permanent!) resident in America, so I wanna hear all about how you celebrate (or don’t). Do you do fireworks? Fairs? Day drinking? Eating hot dogs or definitely not eating hotdogs? Flag-based outfits? Ray Charles singing “America the Beautiful”? Is the fourth of July ironic or sincere? How do you tell?


such a dirtbag

Another thing, not about nationalism: last Saturday night after watching some roller derby I brought a tiny filthy stinky kitten that had been meowing under a car home with me, named him Dirtbag and then Dirtbag Henry when he just looked like a Henry, and fell in love despite also having a puppy and a partner whose allergies are beyond even Cee’s cat allergy advice post. Then someone from the internet came to visit him and she fell in love, so hopefully she’ll get approved by the small animal rescue that patched him up in the next few days and he’ll go home with her forever. I’m not crying you’re crying. (In the meantime, all I want in the world is a photo of him playing with my puppy.)

Let’s talk about anything and everything! How are you? How was your week? How’s your dog/cat/lizard/fish? How did you keep it weird? What are you reading? What’d you make to snack on just now and can we see a photo? Has anything new happened with that one girl you were talking about? Where’d you go hiking? How was/is your Pride? Have you figured out Snapchat yet? Did you know your hair looks really good today? LET’S CHILL.

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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. Happy Canada Day! I’m American and don’t really care about July 4th, so I’ll celebrate Canada Day with you!

    Next week, I’m going to meet with a potential writing partner/collaborator to develop/write a new musical. I’m excited!

    I just read (in 2 days) “Highly Illogical Behavior” – it’s a YA novel about a gay 16 year-old agoraphobe. I’m accepting book recommendations, if you’ve got any.

    My dog is doing well. She needs a teeth cleaning, which is super expensive. She hates when I brush her teeth, and I don’t want her to get bad teeth problems. Any suggestions on canine dental hygiene?

    • Dental gel, dental stuff added to water, dental food (not really convinced this one works), and finger toothbrush. The gel, if used daily, can remove mild tartar, particularly if you also rub teeth with a washcloth (or toothbrush) every few days. Serious stuff though…

      Training very slowly to toothbrushing rather than efficient toothbrushing. Like, spend a month on getting the toothbrush near her to moving in her mouth, one tiny increment per day with food and toys involved. Then just do the front, and gradually shift to the sides, one side per night. I’d start with a new piece of equipment instead of one she already avoid.

      • Here for these doggy dental hygiene tips! My puppy is teething and starting to have adult teeth so I am taking literal notes on your comment.

        • Seconded on Saints Astray! (The rest of Jacqueline Carey’s work is also pretty queer and also awesome, though her subject/style/target audience varies wildly so let reviews direct you.)

  2. Hi!

    Last week my Uber driver inexplicably didn’t charge me for an 80 mile drive (I missed my train out of Montréal NO BIG DEAL)!! He also wouldn’t let me tip him. Canada is weird.

    I’m in Trois-Rivières, QC for Canada Day~~

    Which, if the complete lack of Canada Day merch at the local Provigo is any indication, means I will be celebrating it at the FestiVoix in Centre-Ville drunkenly and with great ambivalence!

    If they don’t follow up this Canada Who? Day celebration with a giant ass Bastille Day party I will be, quite frankly, disappointed in the residents of this town.

    Also apparently my debit card was canceled the day I came here!! My dad is mailing me a replacement. It should get here on Tuesday.

    I have $10 left in cash.

    This should be fun!!

    • Also I’m very excited to be outside of The States this fourth of July, because it means I am almost 100% certain to avoid all the earnestly pro-freedom country music

    • CANADA. (Most drivers like tips though.)

      Quebec has a complicated relationship with Canada so the lack of merch makes sense! July 1 is also moving day there (at least in Montreal); in my experience this makes parties less and more fun simultaneously

      • Moving day??

        Also here as an abbreviated account of every conversation I’ve had with a Québécois guy (who doesn’t work for the school) :

        “d’où tu viens?”

        “les états unis”

        “Oh, très cool, très cool. So, you have a husband there?”

        They say that last part while walking closer to me

        “ahahahah J’suis lesbiennnnnneeee”

        :) :) :) :) :) :)

  3. Ah, I didn’t know it was Canada Day. Maybe I will drink some Canada Dry to celebrate? I am not looking forward to the 4th though. My family wants to go out to Justin, Tx where there are no fireworks ban. I wouldn’t mind normally but all the rain has brought out all the damn bugs here. Plus there are a lot of people that fire their guns into the night air and that is no bueno! On the other hand, Justin is far out enough that you can see more stars out and my fiancee has never really seen any. She pretty much got jealous when I told her I was able to see the milky way once in mexico and she has wanted to see more stars ever since. Maybe I will go just so I can see her smile. I would do anything just to see her happy. :)

    There is not much happening here on my end for now. Well, I got really upset at my apartment complex because they got this tree trimming service to do some work. I don’t mind some trimming but there is a tree right next to my apartment and it cools down my place significantly. They pretty much made the tree look like a twig. This big ass tree survived a lightning strike and was still majestic as fuck but man with a damn chainsaw ruined it! Now my place is like 95 degrees inside when I get home when it used to be 80! I felt bad for the damn tree. I chilled with damn tree. I hugged the damn tree. Damn tree.

      • Yup! It’s normal to do it, especially when alcohol is involved. I worry about where the bullet will eventually land and if the man (majority of the time it is a guy shooting) has a good grip on the handle. If not, you risk shooting someone near you. I’m just glad no one shoots automatic weapons.

  4. Happy Canada Day!

    Instead of looking for/applying to law jobs, which is mind-numbing, soul-deadening, and hope-crushing, I’ve spent the last two days kind of writing a tv series loosely based on the experiences my friends and I have had entering the legal profession. It’s a nice way to get rid of all the angst and anxiety in my life caused by this gruesome year of tv and also the never-ending job hunt. I don’t have a title yet, but the logline, as it currently stands, is this:

    “Four queer social justice-minded law school grads lean on each other as they discover that fighting the good fight is a lot harder than they thought.”

    It’s going to be Scrubs meets Happy Endings meets Suits, except that everyone is queer and no one dies. If that sounds like something you’d want to read/watch, let me know. I’ve never really done this before (other than one Media class assignment in high school) so who knows what’ll actually come of this. But in the meantime, it’s pretty fun, and it’s cheaper than therapy.

    • I don’t work in anything related to law and I’ve never watched any of those shows but I’m pretty sure I know those four law grads and it sounds great!

    • Love love love this idea! I would be so into reading it if you were so inclined to share :) And I so know the struggle with applying for law jobs because… I’m a lawyer, too! Hang in there. The best you can do is never give up. Breaks are good and encouraged, but throw caution to the wind and get your (paper) self out there as much as you can. You never know what will stick or who will see something in you and cling on. I still scratch my head over how I got my job but it happened and if it can happen for me, I’m sure it can for you! Best of luck! Happy to be of help if I can.

    • I’d watch it. Will there be scenes where it looks like they spend every night at the same bar or coffee shop together? Cause that never happens to me or my sister.

    • I think “mind-numbing, soul-deadening, and hope-crushing” describes looking for/applying to all jobs.

  5. Roller derby + dirtbag kitten, sounds like a real good Saturday. Not that I’m biased or anything, I definitely don’t love roller derby and cats more than most everything in this world. Nope.

    I’m so non-patriotic most days of the year, but I have this weird, powerful love for the 4th of July. I love hot dogs on the grill and sparklers and obnoxious neighbors setting off illegal-in-Massachusetts fireworks and chilling in the grass in my grandparents’ yard at night watching state-sponsored fireworks in the harbor and red-white-and-blue bunting and red-white-and-blue popsicles and red-white-and-blue everything and flags everywhere and beer and parades and just about everything else.

    Of course, this year, half of my nuclear family is going to go climb a mountain somewhere, and the other half just wants to sit indoors and enjoy the air conditioning. So I’m going to the beach with my fiancee’s family on Sunday. This is the first year they’re really doing anything for the fourth and they’re mostly just excited because it’s a long weekend. I’ll probably have fun but beaches are always hit or miss, given that I’ve probably hit my lifetime sunburn limit and should really stay under an umbrella with a book the whole time. I don’t mind the chance to get some reading but I dislike the potential for awkward in-law socializing. We’ll see how it goes!

    • Honestly staying under an umbrella with a book the whole time seems like a PERFECT way to go the beach.

  6. As the child of American immigrants in the uk my relationship with the 4th of July has always been a little wiered. Most years we’d put up the Statue of Liberty lawn sprinkler that my aunt found for us and take picture of the cat standing on it. I did get to take 4th of July cupcakes into school When I was little to make up for my birthday being over the summer.
    Not doing much this weekend. My flatmate’s away so probably just going to Lou Gehrig around and maybe tidy. Trying to psych myself up to go to a Free Pride preparation thingy on Monday. Trying to meet more Queer folks in Glasgow. Only lived here two years it’s probably time.

    • It’s definitely time! (I am personally trash at leaving the house meeting people talking to humans making eye contact though so.) The best thing about those kind of events is that you can arrive and leave whenever you want, don’t be afraid to live your interactive dreams.

  7. hey up. I don’t know if I can bring myself to celebrate the 4th of July while living in the UK right now… very tempted to throw a bunch of tea away and remind them how much of the world celebrates their independence day FROM THE UK. But then again I feel like it’s just call attention to the mood of nationalism. I should get a little sticker for all the times I held my tongue this week.

    That said though, I haven’t been home in almost 8 months and I am pretty homesick. Really missing a proper summer, and I even miss shitty hotdogs and watery beer. Enjoy it for me.

    • Hello. Sorry to hear you’re feeling homesick- hope you (and the sun) feel a little brighter soon. For what it’s worth there are a fair few Brits who’d probably be up for joining your ‘tea=party’and certainly don’t see recent events as a cause to celebrate. Please don’t let the bigots get you down.
      Happy Independence Day for next week and Happy Canada Day to everyone who’s busy celebrating.

  8. Happy Canada Day!

    This is my first Canada Day in Canada. I don’t have any plans except enjoying the sound of rain and being thankful I have the chance to be in this amazing country! I hope to stay here for many more years, Canada is treating me extremely well :)

  9. I went into the dark, quiet echo room, early in the morning, this week, to ask them to schedule a patient of mine in and to visit my very cool co-worker, when he suddenly said, “Did you hear about Istanbul?”.
    And I hadn’t heard a lot about it, I went to bed really early the night before and it was very sketchy and unclear what had happened and how many people had been injured.
    Then he sat me down and he showed me a surveillance video of a guy shooting people, and after being shot down himself, activating a suicide vest, taking 32 people with him.
    So, my co-worker, he said, “Can you believe this? People just going about their lives, just taken away like that? What an asshole move, with the detonation, after being shot down. See? That guy went to help him…I guess Turkey’s now fallen flat as a vacationing spot, too.You know “…”? He’s on vacation there right now, to visit his family. This is going to be really, really hard on him.”

    I walked in on this co-worker, one evening, praying on an empty pillow case in a secluded corner as the sun set, (which, wow, awkward) so I figured after all the rethoric and hate mongering, and lines being blurred, and what not, I’d ask,
    “So, this is not Islam?”
    And he said, “Oh no,no,no this is not Islam. Islam treasures all life. These psychopaths have no idea what Islam is.”
    The reason I’m writing this here, is, because my friend is one of the most decent people I have ever met.
    And he was so much more decent than I, too, to be genuienly shaken by something that I couldn’t even manage to muster much interest in.
    So, I don’t know, I just wanted to take you guys into that Echo room with me, because I hurt for him in that moment.
    I hurt for him, because he is black in a country where hardly anyone is, and a muslim, who believes in humility and kindness, in a world where it is that belief that makes him the target and victim, of so.much.hate.

    Well, I wish you guys a Happy Canada Day, the US a Happy Fourth of July, the muslims a Happy End of Ramadan (quite the feat in Northern European Summertime conditions) and Germany a win against Italy tomorrow.

  10. Hi, Caroyln! Happy Canada Day and happy 4th of July to you a well.
    Dirtbag Henry (Dirty Harry?) is adorable! I’m glad it looks like you found him a good home too.

    For 4th of July, I will, once again, be running in the Peachtree Road Race (a 10k run they have here every 4th of July). In the late afternoon, I’m going to a friend’s place for a party/cook-out. I imagine some of his neighbors will shoot off fireworks, so I should get to see some! I’ll probably eat a hot dog (my friend is making chili for the cook-out, so I can put chili on it, yum). I actually have a US flag swimsuit (Christmas present one year from my sister), but I won’t be wearing it. I don’t really know if the 4th of July is ironic or sincere, so I guess I can’t really tell, lol.

    My week was okay, thanks! I haven’t really kept it weird, so things haven’t been weird, relatively speaking, lol.

    And thanks about my hair! I washed it and brushed it and everything! Your hair looks really good as well.

  11. I really dont understand that people are still into celebrating a day that commemorates the ongoing violence and destruction of First Nations people, blacks, and migrants in Canada.

    Anyone celebrating an anticolonial 1st of July?

    • Well that’s because no one cares about them. People like giving the illusion that they care. If not, they would have to accept that they are related to the problem and no one wants that. Everyone wants to be accepted by their peers and that includes country men and women. Plus you have the whole influx of immigrants that came after the fact and they feel it is not their problem since they shed no blood or raped any women. However it is better to look forward so we can change the future and repair relationships instead of looking at past transgressions all the time. Fight for rights and better representation of those before us. Don’t spread hate and let patriotism create an illusion of superiority over your fellow human. What good is it to celebrate a day that stands for something you are against, if you do not put work into changing the problem?

  12. Happy Canada Day! Today is also my girlfriend’s 21st birthday and we’re celebrating by spending the night at the naturist campground where she works (which is a sentence that 15-year-old me never thought she’d say). There’s a big volleyball tournament happening and also fireworks which are super important. But mostly we’re going to get drunk and naked in a tent & I can’t wait.
    Unfortunately she’s also working all through the weekend so we can’t go to Pride at ALL this year which is GARBAGE, but frankly we really can’t afford it anyway so maybe that’s for the best? I’ll have to have like, a virtual pride. So just, me, retweeting everything in the Toronto Pride hashtag and crying a lot.

    Also I’ve been reading Ivan Coyote’s “Missing Her” and GOD, I adore their writing so much. I just want to wrap myself up in it and live in their stories forever.

    And yeah that’s what’s hip and happenin’. Also wow that is a beautiful Dirtbag. What a handsome dude.

  13. Happy Canada Day from the country’s capital! I feel like a bad Canadian avoiding all the festivities, but I got one look at the crowds in front of Parliament and noped right back into my cozy, isolated bed-cave. Not even Coeur de Pirate performing is enough to get me into a crowd of ~100,000 people. I’ll eat extra poutine tomorrow to compensate.

    Also, Dirtbag Henry is adorable.

    • That was me every year I lived in Ottawa! “Oh maybe I will g- THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA.” Enjoy the cave and the poutine! (Also if you’re one of the ones who had the power go out right now I hope it comes back on soon!)

  14. Canada, woo!

    Canada Post, booooooo. I haven’t received my scissoring shirt yet and they’re probably going on strike tomorrow which means I won’t get it before I leave for the summer, damn it.

  15. Curled up with books, and a delightful lack of work today….

    …wishing you all a wonderful end to Mars Retrograde (oh thank goodness thank goodness), and also a happy Eid this week!

    And a big thank you to whoever had recommended A S King <3 <3

  16. Since humans have existed, there have been “wars”…..always. I often wonder, after Orlando, Istanbul,…….,and all the other versions of “warring”…..what should I think about the nature of being a human, and how to perceive my journey and goals through this life.

    But, one thing I know……I want some of those fries with gravy and cheese, and ice cold watermelon in a galvanized wash tub…….for m 4th of July!!!

    And, btw, my herd of backyard squirrels are happy, and full of sunflower seeds!

  17. Hi everyone! Did you miss me? :p Lately, I’ve been spending less time on the forums because I’ve been spending more time with actual camp friends. Which is a positive thing, I think.

    This past week has been crammed full of packing + outdoors adventures with said friends. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m moving from Washington state to Florida for grad school in a few days. I’m squeezing everything into my little car and driving there, so it’ll definitely be an adventure. Fingers crossed for no road disasters. By this time next week, I’ll be just pulling into my new apartment (hopefully).

    I didn’t do anything for Pride in Seattle last week, but I did meet up with a lot of autostraddle friends. On Friday last week, I ran into a camp friend who lives all the way on the east coast of canada! It was the most random thing in the world. And the funny thing is, this person is moving to the west coast shortly, and I’m moving to the east coast, and we just happened to cross paths! Then on Saturday, I visited a friend from my camp cabin in Portland, and it was really lovely. She showed me around the waterfront, and then we went on some hiking trails. And then on Monday I met with a couple more autostraddllers along alki beach in Seattle. So it was a good week, though a bit bittersweet since I’m going to be leaving all these new friends!

    Right now, I’m downloading lots of audiobooks for the road and stocking up on 5 days worth of food that’s cheap, healthy, non-perashible, and doesn’t require cooking. I’m so nervous and excited at the same time, but I’m trying not to think about it too much or else it’ll just make me more nervous.

    A few photos of my remaining time in the PNW-

    • Well on the plus side you there is hope for meeting more new camp/Autostraddle friends in Florida.

      • Hopefully! I didn’t meet anyone at camp who was from Florida, unfortunately, but I’m sure there are some out there! Plus, it’s so easy to make new friends in general on a college campus (compared to non-school adult life).

    • A great cross country ROAD TRIP! Yay! And grad school in the Sunshine State! Wow!
      We all want to see *lots* of your great photos along the way, ok? I am so excited for you, Patricia!?

      • Yes, it will be an adventure! I’ve driven through parts of the midwest and rocky mountain area before (Indiana to Colorado, then Colorado to Washington), but never through the south, so that part will be new to me. I’ll definitely take plenty of photos! Thankfully my cat travel well.

    • Yay for friends! I totally get that feeling, but it’s helped me to remember that having fun interactions with people (even if I never see them again) is valuable in an of itself, even if you can’t hang out again for a while/ever.

      Also I came across these road trip guides recently while doing emergency prep and they might be useful: the wirecutter on road trip gear and roadside emergencies

      Also YES welcome back please always keep commenting on the website as well as hanging with lots of awesome people in real life, it helps us so much.

      • Oh definitely! I agree that friendships and human interactions – even short term ones – are valuable. Especially for an introverted person like me who tends to revert to being a loner unless I make an effort otherwise. Thanks for the links. The first link isn’t working, but the second is very informative (though I feel woefully unprepared after reading it). Fortunately, I have zero risk of snow. My car doesn’t handle snow well, and I have very little experience in it. I’ll take downpours or summer heat over driving in the snow any day.

    • Everything is crammed into the Prius. Ready to go tomorrow morning. This feels surreal.

  18. I love this kitten!
    My cat is great! He had a bunch of teeth removed last week and now he’s starting to feel better and is way happier not having tooth pain, except it’s also a million degrees and we’re just lying around grunting about the heat together.

    My friend and I had a clothing swap and I took almost nothing because my wardrobe has started to feel way too girly and so did most people’s old clothes, and I hate pants but skirts feel too femmey right now so I don’t know what I will do when shorts season ends? But I’m kind of excited about the possibilities.

    I’m going to barbeque watermelon and veggie burgers at a friend’s and then we will watch fireworks, or not, I suppose. Nothing has happened with that girl yet, or the other one! But now it is July so something’s going to happen.

    • “now it is July so something’s going to happen” <---- same Also I'm excited your kitten is feeling better! (pics?)

      • I can’t get him to sit still! I’d have to post a pre-surgery photo, which would be cheating, although none of my cat photos are actually dental records so nobody would know. I will try to get him in next week though!

  19. I have had a really crafty domestic type week. I’ve finally started the Great British Bake Off and felt really motivated to bake a lot of cookies for feminist circle game night. While I watch, I’ve been knitting this big blue thing which might eventually be a blanket. And I’m wearing a lot more crop tops and lazy femme type clothes which is not my usually style but I’m really digging it. I turned a weird shakespeare shirt I never wore into a slightly weird(in a better way) crop top; its now just a portrait of him in sunglasses. I don’t particularly care for Shakespeare but I didn’t want to cut any of my other shirts so…

    • On the subject of the Great British Bake Off: have you discovered cookie-decorating Instagram? (#cookies will do the trick). Weirdly compelling, would recommend.

  20. Happy Canada Day! Maybe I’ll use it as an excuse to listed to more Tegan and Sara tonight while watching Justin Trudeau’s snapchat story (his snapchat is great, y’all).

    I work at a university in Texas, so I get July 4th off! The school puts on a firework show every summer if we don’t have a burn ban, so I’ll probably attend that. I’d have to hear all the big booming noises from my apartment anyway, so I might as well.

    • Justin Trudeau has snapchat? You have changed my life. Or at least next ten minutes.

  21. Happy CanaDay!! I’m celebrating with bourbon, not rye, because chilled bourbon is so freakin satisfying in this humidity. Also shoutout to my fellow bisexual, pansexual and queer-identified Canadian ladies trying to be visible on this holiday!!

  22. I don’t have a usual way of celebrating it as I am a little over fireworks(specially since the best show I saw was on the 5th of July on the Queen Mary in Long Beach). Though day drinking and dogs(say sun dried or other assorted fancy vegan ones) does sound like a good idea. Kind of trying to get some friends to join me in doing something along those lines by the miles and miles of fabulous coast we have, maybe somewhere with a fire pits.

    That cat looks cute, and I always wanted to take in stray pets home, but my parents were never fan of dogs and cats; birds, fish, and those tiny frogs that always say in the water were a yes. Hopefully, the cat has all their shots.

    How’s everyone’s week going? I spent the weekend out of town at a friends house. It was nice for the most part. However, I also saw an example of when u-hailing goes wrong. Not the prettiest sight or aftermath. I am also still having to tell my father not to gender me, but it’s not working, but one day.

    Question for everyone, I chose not to be seen by straight people on OKC, but I keep getting straight people(mostly cis women, one or two cis men) looking at my profile. Has this happened to you? Is it happening to me, because I was forced to choose under which gender I want to be grouped with or is their system broken?

    Kind of sums up how I feel.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend, and Happy 4th and Canadian Day for those who celebrate it!

    • Hey Al, just so you know, my preferences are set to show me no men and no straight people on OKC, but profiles still get in there. It seems to be something weird with OKC, it’s always happened to me over the years.

      • Well that’s good to know. Sadly I don’t have the option(at least on mobile) to just show me queer women and nb folks, just women who are into women, straight women, or bi women. Ugh.

  23. Happy Friday, all of you gorgeous pieces of cinnamon toast! You look lovely today!

    The bad news is that my GF and I broke up last night, but the good news is that thanks to a very caring cabin groupchat that kept me company through the night, I did NOT drunk-text her. A-camp magic keeps on keepin on!

    • I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s great you had a group to chat with. I’ve seen how weird, bad, and just awkward break-ups can be in person.

    • You will get through this. It’s great that your friends are there for you. What’s even better is having a lot of self control and not drunk texting. You are an example for us all. ☺

      Toast to the amazing Queer Girl! ?

    • I’m so sorry about your breakup. But there is no better feeling in the world than when you wake up in the morning, check your phone, and realize that you didn’t drunk text anyone that your weren’t supposed to. Major accomplishment!

  24. How I engage the Fourth of July is usually the same way I engage with New Years minus the hot drink in a thermos.
    Hangout on the roof/top level of a parking lot and hope security doesn’t kick me off or come at all before the best of fireworks happen.

    But this 4th July I will be panicking about my profile essay.
    Anyone want to help me not panic?
    Like give suggestions on how the fuck does one compose questions for an interview.
    Interview, how conduct? Know I do not.
    My textbook is of no help.

    Some of the I DON”T KNOW HOW is some ingrained “don’t ask people question it’s rude” thing so like asking personalish kinda feely questions is a pile NOTHISISWRONG.
    I don’t want to make my interview subject like a freak show exhibit.
    I’ve been treated like a freak show exhibit before, it was never fun any of the times.

    Oh but y’all look at these pieces of literature paraphernalia, aren’t they cute?

      • Yass so cute, but one of kind it seems.
        Harry Potters, A Wrinkle In Time, Charlotte’s Web…
        I think the Great Gatsby one is the best strumpet that I am for art deco.

  25. It’s also national sausage sizzle day here in Australia where just about every school in the country turns out to sizzle some sausages and sell cakes. Oh and there is some sort of election thing going on as well.

    • That sounds lovely.
      In my area schools have fish frys during Lent to raise money.
      A federal election right?

    • Missed out on the Democracy sausage.Our polling station is at a community hall in my electorate and no one seemed to be keen enough to sizzle for a cause.

      The Federal Election count is now firmly under way with the Liberal National Coalition (boo suck) now on 73 seats and Labor (somewhat less boo suck) on 67 seats. The count looks as though it will depend on preference votes from the minor parties before we know who has won.

      With any luck we’ll get Labor over the line and shame them into closing the offshore Refugee processing centres. The good bit will be a Parlimentary vote on Marriage Equality if Labor win rather than the devisive and costly Plebescite that the LibNats want.The Greens look to be making some gains in the Senate too. So if it does go against Labor in the House of Representatives the Senate may still be in a position to block unfair legislation. Thats the current state of play with the Oz elections.

      Pity the Greens aren’t big enough to really take on the major parties yet.
      Anyway enough from me. Happy Canada Day and Happy Fourth of July too you all to. Penny Wong looks very hot tonight too.

      • Too many to’s. Hope you got the general drift though. I’m getting very dispirited watching the vote count coming in on the ABC. Come on Labor.

      • Penny Wong looked sooo hot on the ABC desk! Her take downs of ScoMo were also quite satisfying.

        Hopefully we have a result soon

      • Yeah well at least Adam Bandt won Melbourne!! But it’s a shame the Greens didn’t get more seats :(
        I didn’t get a sausage because I had to vote early. Hopefully next time I’ll get to vote on the day.

  26. Hi everyone! I hope you all had an awesome week.

    This weeks been alright but kinda rough (I feel like this is how I start every open thread) any way I’ve had two awesome friends to get me through the not great stuff. well I start a new job as a pet groomer next week so that’s cool and I got swim wear that I’m almost conformable wearing(almost) which I cool I guess. I also just got an awesome opportunity as far as my comedy career that’s I’m excited about. I also just found out I have a chronic illness( I already knew this but I have a diagnosis after years of question marks and I’ve been sore and tired and frustrated all week. like I said this weeks been pretty cool all things considered.
    that’s it I guess
    how are you?

    • It sucks your week’s been so rough but I’m glad there’s a diagnosis at least! They can still feel awful but sometimes it’s nice to know? (or at least have an idea)

      Also <3

  27. I have been living for watching women’s soccer at the Olympics and I just realized I will be working at a summer camp for the entirety of the Olympics.

    Aaaand that still won’t make me enough money to pay my bills. (Cue Destiny’s Child song here)

    At least after September, I should have a live-able 12mo/year income. Things could be a lot worse. But gotdammit the next few months are going to be difficult. My campers better be little ANGELS.

    Dirtbag Henry is adorable.


    :D It looks so cool aaaaaaa!!! (I didn’t get paid for it, except in ad space, but!!)

    I was Very Productive yesterday; i really adulted. It was a good day for me; today im back to feeling very very tired and kind of “eh”. I’m feeling really ashamed: of having never lived on my own/with a roommate(s), of not having a job, of having so few jobs, of not having “real”/”serious” jobs, of not being able to even get job interviews, of not having a driver’s license (much less a learner’s), of always having to ask people to donate money or buy things from me, of feeling like im still 14 even though I’m actually just months shy of being 28. It’s really heavy, the feelings, and i don’t know how to deal with them. I feel like i’ve been trying so hard, but it’s never enough. I try so hard to move forward, to get things done, but i’m still stuck in place. My own life makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed. I feel trapped, and it…. sucks haha

    I also still need to find a therapist. :/ i’ve been so close to impulsively texting someone to confront them about the fact that they’ve been ignoring me, like “So you want to tell me why the fuck you’ve been ignoring me for months on end? :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)” And it’s, haha, soooooo fucking tempting. Like, i’m really hurt. I thought this was a close friend. I thought she cared. Buuuuuut it’s been months : ))))) And she’s never replied to my texts. Soooooooooooo yeah, tbpdfw… haha. :/

    But at least i had a good day yesterday? I got stuff done and i read a fair amount; i was actually able to focus and be okay for hours. I also saw lots of dogs, which is always a Good Thing.

  29. Oh god, I’m having a nightmare of a day and just looking for a place to vent.

    My abusive mom, who I cut out of my life not for the first time in November, is apparently sending old childhood family friends who I haven’t seen since I was 10 or younger (I’m 23 now) to contact me and ask me a series of questions about my personal life. I got a call today from a girl I played with when she was about 2 years old and I was 7, and it freaked me out so bad. I know my mom is behind it and I’m scared of reaching out to her directly to tell her to stop, but I don’t think I could handle getting more calls like this from near-strangers asking invasive questions about my life. I’m panicking right now. What a terrible fucking day.

    • I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. I have several friends who have had to cut toxic parents out of their life, so I’ve seen some of the hell they’ve had to go through. I don’t know your exact situation of course, but for them a lot of the time it seems like “reaching out to tell them to stop” is exactly what the toxic people are aiming for, so maybe best not to? Do you have the option to screen your calls for a while and only answer numbers you know?

    • I’m so sorry you have to deal with that. That’s so scary. I’ve cut an abusive older sister out of my life, myself. I agree with Chandra – don’t engage. You can’t reason with people like that, because they’re not mentally well. You’ll only frustrate and stress yourself out. Don’t give your mom any bait to chomp down on.

  30. I’m incredibly relieved because I just submitted a major research proposal for one of my social work grad classes and I am COMPLETELY FREE all weekend!! I’ll be leaving work soon to drive 4 hours to visit my folks. Do families ever get easier? I came out to them this spring as bisexual and then started dating a trans man (prompting many awkward conversations). I know my parents are utterly confused about gender/sexuality/et al. And I feel for them, but I’ve spent at least a decade trying to educate them and I am exhausted. I wish they could just look at me and see a sensitive, intelligent woman who loves people. Maybe someday that can be enough. Just know that if you are struggling or disappointed in your family, you’re not alone. But this weekend I’ll stick to cornhole and hikes with the dogs and all the Shiner Ruby Redbird beer I can drink!

    • Congrats on your research proposal! Idk about families getting easier… I came out to my parents almost a year ago and it’s definitely a relief to have finally done that, but I can tell they’re still not totally comfortable with it. I wish you the best of luck with your family, and enjoy the hiking and beer!

    • Paso a paso is how it seems to go with families, and not everyone in the family is coming from the same place. My idealistic sister who went to a women’s college and thinks a lot about race and gender certainly wasn’t in the same place as my parents when I came out a couple of years ago as someone who likes women (still unsure of whether I like men, probably not? or nonbinary people, maybe?). They were supportive but disappointed, and seemed to be trying to hold out hope that I would ultimately live the white picket fence dream with a man, even though I’d never expressed interest in that and had planned (vocally!) to be a spinster aunt since age 13 or so. Since then (and after being more frank in letters, a brief relationship with a woman, and a position on the board of the Queer Graduate Caucus at school), I think they’ve gotten the hint and are getting used to the idea. Also, my mom texted me a couple of days after the Pulse shooting to report that she’s seen a lot of shows of support for LGBT safe spaces on Facebook (I’m not on Facebook), which was really sweet.

      However, it seems to be slower going with gender. I’ve been doing some gentle correcting of pronouns (a childhood friend now uses they/them, which my parents have not picked up on, seeming to think that it doesn’t matter whether they use the correct pronouns when my friend isn’t around). My own short (and currently shorter) haircut disappointed them.

  31. Hi corndogs and caterpillars,

    I’m pretty good! I saw Neko Case + kd lang + Laura Veirs last night and it was so great! kd lang is a ham and cheese with dad dance moves and Neko Case is so salty and they were GREAT.

    I rode my bike a long ways to go to therapy and run errands and now my tired patootie is showered and on the couch.

    My friend is having a Canada Day barbeque, which will probably be adorable.

    I went camping last weekend and went to these saltwater hot tubs and forgot to worry about anything and it was excellent.

    I don’t really care about the 4th of July, but I’m tagging along with my girlfriend’s family thing because a) they go clamming and whatever b) it’s a big family tradition and she’s all like “we’re married now” which is fine and c) her sister is bringing her boyfriend and their family is hella awkward white people who will be like ‘uh your boyfriend is black uh I don’t know how to act’ and they want me to be there to run some kind of interference, and be like “hey boyfriend so how’s that work thing” and be a person to maintain at least a modicum of chill. Maybe there will be crab, that would be nice.

    But I have an otherwise unscheduled weekend and that sounds awesome. I’m gonna sleep in late and handle all my life shit that I miss out on like I dunno vacuuming.

    Also my girlfriend is obsessed with the hummingbirds that hang out in our front yard, and lately has been trying to figure out strategies because apparently hummingbirds are super territorial and this one bully hummingbird has been chasing off everybody else! We even got an extra one for them to be too much for him to manage, but he’s still doing it! What a butthead.

    Hope everyone is safe and happy! Be safe with fireworks! Don’t drink and drive! Tip your waitress! xo.

  32. I’ve spent most of today preparing for a naming ceremony tomorrow, where my fiancée and I are going to be (secular) godparents. In Swedish there’s a word for this which doesn’t include “god” and is also gender neutral, is there one in English? Anyway, it’s been kind of sentimental since I’ve been writing letters to the baby for when she’s fifteen years old and I just tear up when I think about this tiny baby who’s going to be around for so long and her parents picked us to officially be a part of her life and to get to see her grow up (we were going to do that anyway, but still…). They didn’t have to, but they did, and that means so much. We’re going to read Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman on request from the parents, and I really really love it (you should check it out if you don’t know it), and we’ve also figured out a sort of godparent promise to the baby. So it should be fine (and I’ll probably cry).

    I’m also being really confused about being on paid summer vacation for the first time ever. Especially since life has been really complicated and tough these last few years, and still is, it just feels weird that I will actually have time off in the summer. Real vacation. I started medication a few days ago so that’s still unbalancing me, but I’m hoping for improvement soon.

    Anyway, I just walked out with the recycling at about midnight (yeah Friday night excitement!) and I was reminded just how much I love the smell of Swedish summer nights. It’s surprisingly warm out, and surprisingly dark (meaning it’s a quite dark twilight), and aaaaaah that smell… I love it. I hope you are having wonderful Fridays, all of you :)

    • That’s so cute that you wrote letters to your god daughter! I think if I’m ever a godparent I’ll have to try that too :)

  33. Guys it’s my dog’s 10th birthday! She celebrated with cuddles, and chicken and peas. She’s a happy little button. Also up this coming week are mine, my mother’s, and my wife’s birthdays because of course. Our family has all the cancarians. I’m waving goodbye to my pay cheque… What can you do. Hope everyone celebrating national holidays has a good time. Here in England I’m just watching the flaming runaway train that is our government keep on rolling toward the next inevitable cliff, and the ever growing divide between the people, whilst wishing I’d emigrated years ago. Have great weekends lovely Straddlers. :)

  34. Happy Canada day. Happy 4th July. Happy sausage sizzle day. Um don’t judge me but I went to see absolutely fabulous the movie. N I fackin loved it lol. Lots of lgbt in it N all women characters. N Kate moss stars in in it. N I remember it bein on TV as a kid so it was nice if a lil corney homour possibly but hey y not lol. :0)

  35. Today is ELECTION DAY in Australia!!!

    I can’t wait to get to Old Parliament House in Canberra and vote in this federal election and get my democracy sausage. It has been an extremely long election campaign…..8 weeks. No, that is not sarcasm, in Australia our election campaigns only go for a month or less sometimes. Although voting is compulsory here I have never taken my ability to vote for granted. I will be celebrating by going to an Election Party tonight with friends where there will be buzzword bingo, drinking games and coloured alcoholic beverages.

    For all the Canadians….Happy Canada Day, I love your country and can’t wait to visit in January.

    For all the Americans…Happy Fourth of July, I remember celebrating in Washington DC in 2011 for 7/4 and I loved it. I can’t wait to also visit your country in January next year!

    For every other beautiful human being in the Straddleverse, Happy Friday and have a grand weekend!!


  36. Just made fried okra and peach cobbler because summer!!! Actually idk why, I apparently felt like spending quality time in my 90 degree kitchen for whatever reason. Living in Tennessee in a house with no central A/C is no joke, let me tell you.

    What I would really like to do this 4th of July is set off a lot of fireworks and make out with a cute girl. What I’m actually probably gonna do is get sunburned and drink a lot of beer.

    • I read this as fried-orka-and-peach cobbler at first and got SO intrigued. Now that you’re done does the rest of the house feel cooler? Now that you’re done, can you lie in a bathtub of ice?

      • Haha that sounds like something I would actually eat!

        I would LOVE to be laying in a bathtub of ice right now. If only my roommates would refill the ice tray instead of just leaving it sitting on the counter…

      • I’m not sure where my tiny puppy went but this is the dog I think ate her:

        (Her name is Sage. So far she’s less sage and more silly but we’re working on it.)

        • Oh, what a cutie pup!! She looks very *SMART* to me. And she is going to be your “good girl” and give you so much happy love! You are a lucky duckyl?
          And thank you for posting her photo!

  37. Celebrating July 4th with taking myself out for veggie burger. Sitting at bar doing homework. I live in a red state; most the time I’m in a liberal area and while people certainly notice I’m gender non-conforming, it’s not an issue. But today I went to a bar, and instead of having people look at me, they were pointedly looking AT me. And that unfamiliar coldness got me thinking about the holiday, and being queer.

    I do feel patriotic about the USA. I have the right to vote, and publicly protest for gay rights, and dress how I want, drive a car, receive federal student loans. I have the right to take someone to court if I am the victim of a hate crime. There are many countries in the world where I would not be allowed to do any of those things. No one asked me how much money my parents make before I got those things; no one asked me to show my religious devotion to have those things.

    I’m proud we (eventually) helped fight the Nazis. I’m proud that for certain groups in some countries, we’re still a land of opportunity and freedom from oppression. We have a lot to learn and a lot to apologize for and a lot to be embarrassed about and a lot of things we’re hypocritical about (human rights violations and immigration and gun control jump to mind on this occasion), and it’s crucial to be aware of and address those things. But I think it’s good to take a moment to celebrate some of the things we can be proud of too.

    I noticed the other day that Obama made a deal with Putin I think? to protect rebel-supporting allies in Syria from themselves being attacked. I get patriotic for people that fight for independence. Liberia and Eritrea come to mind; hopefully soon Syria and Tibet and West Papua. Happy 4th everybody.

  38. Guys, Happy Canada Day, guys!!

    Lots of moving and shaking in my life. Some highlights/lowlights:

    -I have like 95% recovered from the major depressive episode I was living for 4 months, and my life is very much on track to move forward

    -My girlfriend dumped me a little over a month ago, and I’m OK.

    -I sang this sad Bonnie Raitt cover:

    -I got under someone to get over someone, and it’s pretty great

    -I’m eating Pizza Pizza with my friend for Canada Day here on unceded Algonquin Territory, AKA Ottawa, and thinking about how these acknowledgements are a move towards reconciliation, but not really.


  39. Happy Canada Day, Carolyn! I was actually thinking about you today and wondering about your thoughts and feels re: being in LA today. I’m in Toronto for Pride and also Fringe and wow I might never leave? Just got back from a tiny free show, and I had to get on here to say, for the record, that Chantel Marostica /might/ be the funniest person to have ever talked. I thought I had seen some funny people, but I guess I was mistaken.

    Anyone else around for TO Pride?

    And yes, I do know my hair looks really good today, thank you for noticing.

  40. Hi! I’m late in commenting because yesterday I was heading from Sevilla (where I’d managed to buy eleven books in the month I was there) to Madrid. No sooner had I unpacked my bags than I went to the Sala Cervantes of the Biblioteca Nacional, but on my way back to my apartment I took a slight detour through Chueca, where there was a giant water fight in one of the streets. Is anybody around for the parade or concerts today? Avísame.

    • I wish I was in Spain, too! It is a place I want to visit so much!! And I don’t know why exactly…….perhaps it is because I think I would like the local culture of Spain, if that makes any sense. Are you originally from Spain?

  41. Barring any unforeseen tragedies, I’m attending T.O. Pride for the first time tomorrow! I’m excited! I’ve always been vocal about being an ally to the LGBTQ community, yet I’ve never attended Pride. I figure that especially in light of recent events, I gotta haul my ass down there and show some love! If anyone here is attending, I’d love to get to know some new people!

  42. I am totally a

    “Happy Colonial Violence Day” person on July 1 every year

    With abandoned northern communities and missing and murdered indigenous women–I don’t see many indigenous families at the firework displays.

  43. Happy Canada Day! (a little late but…) Last night I went downtown and saw Mother Mother in concert (for free), hung out with a cute guy AND cute girl, gave said cute girl a back rub, and watched fireworks.
    Also my bus got searched by police and I was nervous but everything was fine. Don’t bring your backpack downtown on a national holiday folks!

    • So…..they were fighting over who gets the tiny hedgehog? Well, it is very cute…..and look, it’s waving its teeny little paw!

      I sure hope Mel Gibson doesn’t pop it in his mouth and eat it, in the next scene. Course, boys will be…uh, ……gross.

  44. I haven’t commented, or even read anything in a long time because I’ve been SO BUSY, but I want you all to know I have a consecutive SEVEN DAYS OFF WORK for the first time in my life. This might be the first time anyone in my family has had an ENTIRE WEEK off work. I don’t even know what to do with myself.

  45. Hello World,
    I came back yesterday from my Seattle road trip and survived it! It was my girlfriend and I’s first trip together and it went extremely well. We might move to Seattle

  46. This has been a bad week, y’all. I came down with a cold and sprained my ankle on a business trip, then woke up with pinkeye Saturday. I am on all the pills and not leaving my apartment until Tuesday morning. Did I mention that I have another business trip next week? At least it’s 17 days until I fly to England for 10 days of singing. CANNOT. WAIT.

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