FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Hello Internet, I’m Back! I Missed You So Much!

feature image via Shutterstock

Hello, string beans! Or do you call them green beans? What’s a “french cut” for a bean, anyway? Canned or frozen or fresh? Oh, and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, in which I share my culinary inexpertise with you openly and you try not to judge me. JK! It’s our weekly space to fall in love, post pictures of our cats/selves, and generally feel less alone in the cruel, frozen world. And you guys, I am so excited to be here, because I didn’t have the Internet at my house for an entire week. A week! And now I’m back and there’s so much to do, see, read, feel, experience, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


Do you realize how much work I’ve been unable to do because of this? Do you know how many of your lovely comments I had to wait to respond to until I had found a reliable Internet connection? Do you know that there’s a cute coffee shop down the street from my house in either direction and that the wi-fi in both is strong enough for streaming Justin Bieber videos in secret? Do you realize I’ve spent an entire week wishing I could watch Frasier or listen to Spotify or like, reblog a picture of a girl in a sailboat on Tumblr?

This is my moment, y’all. I feel reborn.

Since I’ve been away, I need you to help me catch up on everything I’ve missed. Remember that time you helped Brittani reorient to the world after a month with no Internet? You all were so helpful and oh my gosh, how the fuck did she survive that week! Help me! Please! I’m seriously begging you. I NEED YOU NOW LIKE I’VE NEVER NEEDED YOU BEFORE.

Tell me what I missed in the news, what happened in your life, who you’re in love with, whether your pets cuddled on the couch during the snowstorm, whether you were even impacted by a snowstorm, what I should make for dinner, what you’re making for dinner, y’all, I basically just need human interaction more today than I have in a really long time and by human interaction I 100% mean I need you to comment on this post and remind me that the Internet is where I live and I can come home again.

Let’s do this thing. Tell me your life. I’m so excited to talk to you.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. This week I had two interviews, which I was simultaneously really excited about and really stressed about. Like, I get so stressed about interviews that my stomach gets all upset and it’s awful. So I was supposed to have this phone interview at 9:30, which, being the unemployed girl living with her parents, is usually when I get up. I woke up at 7:30 to “study” and eat breakfast and then basically freak out until I got called. I never got called, never even got an email explaining why or scheduling another time. I am still completely confused because this guy seemed so professional and interested and I just don’t understand.

    My second interview was the next day, Tuesday, and it was a completely different kind of interview, for a camp counselor position at a nature center, which I thought I’d like to do since I’ve done that kind of thing before and I’m trying to get a job in a museum. REMEMBER LAST WEEK WHEN I ASKED ABOUT ACTIVITY IDEAS. It was a group interview, and everyone was super nice, but they had us do so many activities to get to know each other etc, which I honestly didn’t expect, and it was basically all about presenting ideas for activities in front of people (half the people didn’t even bother making the activities nature-related, even though they explicitly told us to do that, and they still seemed to like them, which infuriated me), and roleplaying situations (which I HATED), and then playing out the five-minute game ideas people had. It was so stressful, and so not for an introvert at ALL, and afterwards I didn’t want to talk to or see anyone for the rest of the day. If they liked me I’ll have to do ANOTHER interview, so yay. Also they all had stupid “camp names” like Meadowlark and Mother Nature and I’m sorry, but that is NOT ME.

    The rest of the week was spent playing Dragon Age: Origins and trying to avoid responsibility. I still had to apply to postpone my loans, but overall I was successful.

    • Hey Samantha! I’m a recruiter, and I’ve missed interviews before, whether it was because I got pulled into another meeting or I had written it on my calendar wrong. Definitely follow up! The recruiting process is exhausting not only for those looking for jobs, but for those of us who are sifting through the stack of resumes (I say stack like it’s the 90’s and they are all on my desk or something, but you know what I mean) we get for the positions we have open. Give him a call, express your interest, and if you still don’t hear back, you tried your best! Good luck!

    • just think of all the introvert campers that also don’t want camp names that will be SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU AS THEIR CAMP COUNSELOR. You will be so important and awesome for them to relate to instead of feeling left out of the kumbaya-meadowlark-extroverts loop. Good luck!

    • Hey! I’m sorry your camp counselor interview didn’t go the way you wanted. I’m a camp director during the summers and I just interviewed 2 people today for counselor positions- they probably made you do all those things so they could see how flexible/enthusiastic you can be. Getting the right counselors is 100% the most important part of running a summer camp, because they are the #1 thing that kids remember from their experience at camp, more than field trips or arts and crafts or swimming or anything else. Also, being an introvert can be a challenge for working at camp for sure (I’m an introvert) but it’s also great for those kids who are introverts/shy/scared to have someone that’s willing to sit quietly with them sometimes, as well as encourage them to participate in activities. I’m sure you did great!

      • Thanks Emma! And yeah, I feel like if I was a kid, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with a lot of the more extroverted counselors, so hopefully I offer something different and useful. :)

    • these interviews sound really awful so i am crossing my fingers that they end soon! in a good way.

    • Congrats on surviving the interviews – hope they went well! As a fellow introvert, I can sympathize with how stressful that group interview must’ve been. But the position as a camp counselor at a nature center sounds awesome! Hope it works out for you.

    • The interview which actually happened sounds like a nightmare! Best wishes and luck on the job hunt!

  2. Today I passed my driving test on the 4th attempt. I had my first driving lesson in 1996. I’m not very good at it but I’m now legally allowed to do it alone!
    When I called my girlfriend to tell her I passed she was so happy for me she accidentally started dancing at work. With people watching.

    • Don’t tell anyone, but I’m 27 and still don’t have my driver’s license and I don’t know when/if I ever will because I DON’T WANT TO DRIVE.

    • I forgot the best part — the guy before me for the test was super homophobic and also turned off the car radio when Conchita Wurst came on (am in Austria so she is our national hero) in case the music turned him gay. He also said that he was going to do fine in the test as God was going to help him. Well, God must have been busy cause he got enough faults to fail the test three times over, including driving through a red light.

      • Or, as I like to believe, God found him incredibly annoying and self-righteous and decided he needed to be taken down a few pegs. :P

  3. Tuesday I put four eggs on the stove to hard boiled and forgot them there when I went to Costco. When I got home two hours later, my house was FULL of smoke, and stank worse than I can explain…so then remember how Wednesday it was a whopping 46* in DC, well I had all of my windows open for over four hours airing out.

    all I need now is to knock one of my dozens of cups of vinegar into one of my dozens of cups of baking soda that are all over the place soaking up the stink.

    • wait, i am keeping your kitchen in my prayers

      also i live in dc, which you of course know, and i am so sorry you had the windows open on wednesday. but at least you didn’t have them open on thursday! because THAT would have been a #truebummer

    • Oh my gosh, I’ve done that before! The eggs exploded everywhere and I still cringe when I smell a hard boiled egg.

  4. Yesterday was the saddest snow day I’ve ever had. Since I work from home, I was not excused from work like most of my friends were, and while they all went sledding and did some fun day drinking, I worked and pouted. Yes…pouted. Don’t judge me! But then I watched Life Partner and laughed my ass off, so I was in a much better mood by the end of the evening.

    • i had to work from home, too! like, they prepared us for the snow day so it was a day of NO HIJINKS. but at least we got to stay indoors!

    • I think that is totally pout-worthy! Especially with social media, you probably knew exactly what you were missing! <3

      But, things got better!

  5. Well hello Roger Rabbits!

    I wasn’t going to write a long blurb because I’m thinking, do you really want to know my life story, like do you? Then I thought, well, when else am I able to openly display all my feelings and have everyone go, aww.. or like it or whatever.

    Okay so last May I decided I was going to leave Wisconsin and move to Seattle. My first leg of my trip was going to A-Camp and then I took the train up to Seattle. I spent 6 months living in a hostel right in the Belltown area of Seattle. I was only a 10 min. walk from the Space Needle. I would walk out of the hostel doors and look up and there was the Space Needle. Like, I was in awe every morning and it pretty much doesn’t get better than that. I would walk down by the waterfront and see Mt. Rainer, nothing is better than mountains with a body of water. I loved the scenery.

    Then, dear readers, something changed. I am what I think would be an introvert but I fight my introversion. I can be an extrovert and be really outgoing but when it comes down to it I really need alone time to recharge. Well, living in a hostel where my job was greeting visitors and checking them in made for a fun job but I noticed people knew my face and I could never really be alone. I was giving it my all, working another part-time job and also freelancing. I got one day off a week where I basically was too exhausted to even do anything. I wasn’t going on walks to my favorite area, I wasn’t feeling at all like I wanted to be there anymore.

    I decided to throw in the towel in the beginning of December and move back to Wisconsin. I was homesick and I really wanted to go home for Christmas to see my family. I ask myself did I just give up? Did I really try my hardest? I loved every moment of being in Seattle. It was such a great experience for me. It gave me the opportunity to do what I always wanted which was to leave the Midwest.

    So, I’m back in Wisconsin for the time being. I realized after all my travels that I did miss home. I did miss it but when I returned I realized, oh wait, this is why I left. I think this is giving me the fuel to get through it. I’m back but maybe this is my chance to tie up loose ends. Go to your favorite park in Central Wisconsin, visit the capitol one last time, do all the things before you leave again.

    I have a temporary job that is going to last me until the end of May. I’m currently a data collector. This job sends me around the Midwest to give surveys to High School Students. This job really does fit what I need right now. I have off this week before I go for a 4-day travel to a different state. I don’t think I’m allowed to say what schools I’m going to, so I’m not going to.

    I’m not quite sure where I want to go next. I just don’t want to be here. Maybe Portland? San Diego? Or maybe I”m just a nomad and I don’t really have a home. I just go around the U.S. trying to find a place where I fit in. Where I can finally be. I’m in search for that feeling. The feeling you get when you finally feel like you’re home. Or does that feeling not exist?

    Sidenote: I am currently watching Treehouse Masters because I have off this week. First off, I want a tree house. 2. Can the future Autostraddle Offices be tree houses? Like is anyone else imagining how cool that would be? No, is it just me.

    Look, I wrote you a book.

    TL:DR Uhh. I just expressed all my feelings to you.

    • Also. Should I buy this tie?

      I have a new navy vest that I just bought that was on sale. Will it go? I normally do this on my own but I feel like I need more feelings on this tie.

      • I totally feel you on the need relocate – I moved from Michigan to Tennessee 7 years ago. At first I wanted to move back so badly, I think I lived in TN for about 2 years before I finally didn’t want to go back to Michigan. And I’m a total extrovert, so I figured it was because I really missed it. But now every time I go back, I miss it less and less; it’s wonderful to visit and then go back home – to Tennessee. Even though Michigan holds a special place in my heart and will always be a place I talk about with pride, I love where I live now! Best of luck to you!

      • Hey, Nikki. Please buy this tie. It would look so great on your personage and you could absolutely pull it off. (is that a pun? whatever. INTENDED)

        Also, re: introvert/extrovert struggle, that’s the worst. My life has been a lesson in, “why am I so outwardly loud and exuberant around large groups but then become such a singular person in a cave very often?”

        It’s sounding like you have intense life FOMO right now. But it’s the existential “wtf am I doing am I missing EVERYTHING” FOMO, and I’ve been there. Just remember: you can do so many things, and you are so young, and you can do all these things. You probably need this downtime to figure yourself out before you shoot into the next phase of your life, which could be crazysocialbusy.

        • Thank you Lindsey and Cecelia for your life advice! Oh and Cecelia thank you for using the word FOMO.

          • Yes to the tie!

            idk about advice about life/relocating stuff, but I can relate to having super complicated feelings about the places one has lived.

      • I would really like a treehouse office. And you would look really great in that tie.

    • I’m at once extremely jealous of your ability to move about and survive and extremely Terrified of such a lifestyle. I just don’t think that’s in my ability range.

      I don’t think you have to be completely an extrovert or introvert. I’m super social for a while, then at other times I hide away and, as you said, regenerate. Too much of the social lifestyle, and I get stressed, too much time alone and I get restless. You’ve just got to find your balance.

      And of course your job can interfere, if you have to be social for it. Good luck picking your next place to live, my only input would be to find somewhere warm, but I’m just ready to be finished with winter! : )

  6. I’m staying with my boyfriend for a staycation. We got over 5 inches of snow after it snowed all day yesterday. We went for a hike with his family dog in the evening. It was so perfect running through fields almost knee deep in snow. falling in the snow. having a dog rip my hat off and run away with it. It’s nice to escape reality for a couple of days and just watch tv, play in the snow, work on puzzles, and eat food.

    • i am so impressed you went in the snow i basically avoid it at all costs and have certainly not fallen into piles of it in quite some time. i crown you #snowqueen.

      • Thank you! I think your plan is the smartest though, because I have a serious sore throat and aches. #nyquilqueen

  7. Not much has been going on in my life lately. I recently requested pretty much a week off of work to visit my LDR partner, which I’m super nervous about since it falls under both Easter and Spring Break. Wish me luck! Also my mom gave me this flannel shirt which I think can only be described as a “soft grunge cotton candy nightmare”.

    It’s beautiful.

  8. When I moved into my first big kid apartment I went AN ENTIRE YEAR without Internet. I also had no cable TV, but I did have a DVD player with a box set of Gilmore Girls. Anytime I was home, Gilmore Girls was playing in the background FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.

    I like to think that experience has made me more witty, but I don’t recommend living alone without wifi to anyone.

    • Oh my goodness….that is wow. To be honest though, Gilmore Girls is not a bad choice to be left with for a year. I mean, I will watch Gilmore Girls anytime, anywhere.

    • That is SUCH a long time.

      Do you talk really fast now? Are you constantly making quippy references to old movies?

        • When Gilmore Girls first came on Netflix, I got really defensive about it. Like, NO ONE HAS SEEN IT AS MANY TIMES AS ME BITCHES. I actually lost the remote at one point, so I would be forced to “play all” everytime.

          And a year without internet is a lot. the first week I had Internet was the week of the polar vortex nonsense last winter, and I was off work for a zillion days in a row. It was the greatest week of my life.

    • oh my god, bless your heart and bless those dvds. just bless all of this. i am so glad you have internet now and are right here <3

  9. Travelling A-Campers and/or LA-area Straddlers! Because of the way my flights work out, I have to stay overnight in LA on May 29th, and I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions for where to stay/shared accommodation/rides to the airport/help of any kind? Thanks :)

  10. This week has been good–extending back to the previous Wednesday. I’ve had a huge crush on a really cool girl. We have many of the same friends, have hung out and hung all over each other all of the end of last year. Then she went home for Winter Break/field research for a solid 2 months. She finally came back last month, and last Wednesday she cornered me in the bathroom of a local burger joint and kissed me. Even though she’s not looking for anything serious, I’m still pretty happy about the situation. Historically, nothing good happens in my (non-existent)love life!

  11. I’ve been waiting for this!! yesterday I WAS CONVINCED THAT IT WAS ALREADY FRIDAY and I kept saying ‘where is the open thread???’

    I’ve been back at work, things have been okay. Jet lagged no more. I miss my wife dearly. Tomorrow I have plans to hike to the Hollywood sign because weather here in SoCal is looking pretty perfect. But how is everyone?? Did your hair survive the week?!

    My wife and I are barely starting on the road to being together (THANK LESBIAN JESUS AFTER 6 YEARS) and I’m excited and nervous. I think she wants to spend the holidays with her fam though…but that’s fine with me. We’ve already waited 6 years, what’s the difference?

    The cats are HAPPY she’s back home because now they can be spoiled with lots of milk and love and cuddles and Lord of the Rings movies. Andy has gotten pretty big, his ears are getting pointy and he keeps running around the house thinking he can jump on the big one, Jessy -.-

    A throwback to our anniversary when we were in the sun!

    Look at my pointy ears! LOOK! I still don’t know how to selfie properly. I’m a furbaby

    • PS I AM WITHOUT A COMPUTER. Going on 2 weeks now, the comp has officially died and I’m working on looking up the parts so I can have someone put a new system together. Can you say bye bye tax refund?

      • Fry’s right now has some good specials going on(in a similar boat myself). Meg is also building a new system you can ask her for some advice too. Or you can always get a mini desktop PC for under $250 and it’s using hardware good enough to do almost anything(something like a Steam Mini desktop is a good example).

        You and your wife look super adorable btw.

    • Scrolling your wife and da kitteh some how looked like your wife with ginger Colonel Sanders facial hair.
      As I type this y’alls kitten seems to be judging me and the laughter-like what ever is going on with my face and noise making organs is making my face hurt and eyes burn.

      Meaning you have a kitten who is so cute it hurts. :P

    • this is all so cute but i also came here literally to let you know I HAVE BEEN THINKING ‘WOW I’M GLAD IT’S FRIDAY’ SINCE MONDAY. which means this has been the longest week in the world.

      so happy for you and the wife! yay!

    • You two are so cute, and for some reason the look on your kitty’s face makes me think of Simba. In a good way!

      Also, what is going on with computers? I just took mine to a shop for repairs. I didn’t have the money pretty much all winter, but things are looking a little better, and I NEED a computer. My tablet is so old and slow at this point, and I can’t do what I need to on my phone. Keep it together, computers!

  12. I managed to write a whole load of poetry this week and submit it (I will hear back from one place tomorrow so fingers-crossed). Today I ended up making a deal to write one about a close friend which I think was possibly a mistake since all the poems I write tend to come out with a fair overtone of romantic longing, but I’m going for it.

    Also I think the key story you’ve missed this week is obviously “‘Fairy control’ to halt tiny doors in Somerset woods” which features the greatest opening line: “Fairy control” has had to be brought in at a woods in Somerset to curb the “profusion of elfin construction” (

    • fingers crossed for you!

      thank you for the fairy article i really needed someone to alert me to this, bless you.

  13. For me whe the internet is down, I just get on phone. But, unless you have unlimited data I’ve noticed tumblr can be a real data hog. Is mobile an option for you? You did miss a few good recopies posted here(and tumblr if you are following food blogs).

    I found a tumblr this week called Nonbinaryjewishfaces, that really made me feel good. I even got up and did a happy dance. I really need it as earlier in the week my dysphoria was pretty strong.
    Also, a houseless person called me, “a f**gy white boy” because I told him he can’t be trespassing on a private business property. It’s property I’m part owner of and he was there taking gloves, hammers, and scrap metal from there. I told him, “I don’t identify as either of those.” He said, “I don’t care this is bigger than you.” Maybe he said it cause LAPD shot a person down the street on Sunday. He left in a fit throwing nails all over the place. I was dressed in unisex skiny jeans and a unisex jacket, but still hurts to be called male.

    Sunday I took a hike near the busiest freeway interchange in America. It’s a beautiful nature preserve.

    Ospreys are common here as are rabbits, ducks and fish.

    I saw this yesterday and immediately thought Autostraddle.

    Thank you for viewing and reading you adorable humans!

      • ……quick the queers are coming let’s distract them with rainbow accessories, they can’t resist rainbow accessories, run for your heteronormative cis lives?

        I mean it could be an attempt to bank in on the queer dollar, but it looks like desperate attempt of some kind.

        • I thought that at first too, but then thought maybe the store owner is queer. There was a woman working there, but my gaydar only can detect queer subtext in film/tv.

          • It is a thing to consider, humans are an awkward bunch.
            I’ve got the opposite problem my gaydar is too strong and has yet to be wrong. But the “YET” part makes me nervous because it’s gunna happen and makes me doubt myself to an irrational degree. >_<

          • I will be honest a part of me wanted to buy some of that stuff, but something stopped me. Not sure what it was, but part of it was due to it not offer trans, genderqueer, or agender colors(I know less common), as that’s more me than anything.

    • thank you for the photos! also, fuck that dude. and yes, i’ve been using my phone, but i am so bad at focusing on it! like, it’s so different than being on a computer and being able to switch between things but still do them all. on a phone, i forget about the things i am doing because i can’t do a little bit of them all at once and then i just put my phone down and there goes the whole operation. y’know?

    • Amazing shots!

      What was wrong with that guy!? When I have to be in guy mode, I really try and go as androgynous as I can, but it doesn’t stop people from saying “sir” most of the time. And this weekend is electrolysis, so I haven’t shaven in five days and I HATE it. I know, eyes on the prize, someday the facial hair will be long gone.

      All that to say:”I get it, stay strong. You define you.”

      • I am not sure, maybe it’s because he is a POC of and houseless in a large city like LA.
        If I don’t shave 5 days I would have pretty decent amount of hair on my face, but that’s partially due to my Iranian genes(we are a hair group of humans). Thankfully, I have a shaver that works in the shower to do my face. But, right now I plan to get my body lasered first, as those home kits are pretty bad. Thing for me is I am genderqueer and most of the genderqueer/agender people I see are afab, so I don’t see enough genderqueer/agender people, beside trans women who identify as such(and some of them lean more on the femme spectrum). Good luck friend, and thank you!

    • I give up, I copied and pasted obviously I don’t know how to internet. I believe in everyone’s google skills. Go forth and find it.

    • I’m obsessed with this album. I think I’ve listened to it at least 50 times since Tuesday.

    • really loving this concept of leaving virtual notes to your future spouse on this website

  14. I am sooo sick y’all. On day 4 of flu meds and tea…I am beginning to forget what feeling NORMAL felt like…I can’t even drink coffee (or smoke pot!) Boo.

    Also I seem to be feeling really sad today. maybe it’s because I started my period (being sick on your period is the WORST), but I am also out of nowhere being reminded of how much I miss having my parents around…I guess being sick really takes you back to that “I WANT MY MOMMY” thing, but it’s been years since we’ve talked largely related to coming out issues and it makes me so sad and lonely sometimes when I least expect it to…Any of you guys not talking to your folks? The holidays are hard, but sometimes just regular old winter is even harder.
    <3 <3 <3

    • Oh hon,
      *hands warm cup of tea.* Just give it some more time and more rest.
      It’s frustrating, but getting better seems to take longer the older we get.
      I’m still talking to my mom, but she emigrated to the US over a decade back and expects me to come and visit or move there because she is so lonely, but she’s also an alcoholic and very out of touch with me and my life, and I simply can’t bear being there for more than a couple of days.
      I hardly call her, because I sometimes can’t bear that either.
      I constantly dream of my family and I so wish things wouldn’t be the way they are. I miss the person she was, and every winter I wish I could just fly over there for a couple of weeks and be fed and pampered and watch cheesy Lifetime movies, like we used to.
      And maybe that’s even a possibility, but I’m too scared and too angry, still.
      Why don’t you write your folks a letter? People and views change sometimes, and even if they don’t at least you told them that you loved them and are sorry that things are the way they are?
      I promise to call my mom if you do;-)

      • “I miss the person she was, and every winter I wish I could just fly over there for a couple of weeks and be fed and pampered and watch cheesy Lifetime movies, like we used to. And maybe that’s even a possibility, but I’m too scared and too angry, still.” **sob** **sniffle** ***grabs you and hugs*** Really thanks, so good.

    • first of all, FEEL BETTER. second of all, i am officially here to mom you by bringing you this soup.

    • I hope you feel better!

      I talk with my mother often, but not my father. He’s not very open to my transition. I thought that email would be a safe way for us to communicate, and he did reply one time very earnestly. But after I replied to that, nothing. I tried again, nothing. So, I rarely see my parents because they are connected at the hip and I cannot take not talking honestly about my life now for much more than a day.

      At least this shouldn’t happen nearly as much to the next generation, right?

      • I think about this a lot..How people will eventually, not have to deal with this kind of thing in the future, how already it’s getting better and I just happen to have been born in the South in this specific time!

        I am so sorry about your Dad, I resonate w the whole parents choosing to live in denial thing. If it’s in one of their minds its in the others too. I get really dumbfounded sometimes at how “old fashioned” they are about thinking for themselves…It’s CRAZY.

        It will get better for us in time I hope. Growing up is seeming really hard right now but damn- it should all get better, thats what I hear anyway :)

        You’re so brave! and pretty!!!

  15. my moc bff is getting married and i want to get her a little pre-wedding care package b/c weddings are stressful. what should i put in it? so far i have a pair of crying shades and maybe a mood-altering substance. there will be a funny custom card personalized with pics of her and I. This is separate from the wedding gift.

    if you were getting married, what would you want in a care package for day before / day of?

    • OKAY. So. I’ve been wanting to get together something like this that we can give to clients, so I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing on and off for a while.
      Here’s a rather long list, so just pick and choose I guess:

      -SNACKS like a granola bar/some dried fruit and almonds/whatever dry food things that aren’t too messy/greasy. Eating is important, and brides/grooms have a tendency to get busy or nervous and forget!
      -chocolate bar or candy of choice because yum
      -breath mints??
      -fancy water bottle! (totes tastes better when fancy)
      -needle and thread
      -those face wipe cleanser things in case of nervous pre-ceremony sweating
      -oil blotting tissues for the same reason (these are extra good for anyone who doesn’t like makeup but wants their face to not look oily!)
      -little cute note about how proud you are of them
      -something like magnets or a stress ball to play with, in case of nervous fidgeting
      -a couple of bobby pins, safety pins, and maybe a little fabric tape, just in case anything goes wrong wardrobe-wise.
      -mini deodorant, mini hand sanitizer, a couple of tablets advil and tums.
      -package of tissues
      -other things??????

      • Oooh add some beef jerky, the good kind, to that snack list!
        Cause jane’s list is pretty much what I would want if I were getting such a care package.

        Good beef jerky should not be greasy and chewing on stuff is form of coping with stress. Chewing gum works too but it is not a food.

          • Needs to Orbitz gum in the standard wrapping cause they’re sugar free and the chewiest longest lasting sugar free gum I have ever chewed.
            And I come from a sibling set where one of us chewed a gum until it destablised and became a liquid.

      • Jane, you amazing genius. I have nothing to add.

        Okay, well I guess one thing, maybe the pictures will take care of this, but something super goofy to make them laugh out loud when they see it. That’s the perfect custom addition.

    • definitely some sweets / comfort snacks, right? and a stuffed animal! nobody can not love a stuffed animal, right? nobody prove me wrong on this it will shake all i know of this earth.

      • thank you all so much! jane this is a ninja-level list, awesome. t-rex i might put in some supplies related to delegating / napping / waking up from nap. lex now i want to put in jerky *and* orbitz gum. and a micro-squishable
        because carmen is 100% right about stuffed animalz.

        • A couple of great quality handkerchiefs, makes a cute reusable memento, and can totally be something new/ blue etc. Also, every MOC needs classy hankies.

  16. Hi friend faces,

    My week was okay! Still training at my hospital job, which is hard, but there are like three older lesbians in my department that are like “we’ll talk more soon” when I was like “Hello I am a gaywad as you can see this is all very new maybe we can be friends or at least you can show me how to send a long distance fax.” And tonight I’m going with a friend to a queer comedy show and my gf gets back from her epic work trip. I’m okay! It’s going to be okay! I tried really hard to take good care of myself this week and mostly this meant snacks water and going to bed but I’m so ready for a break and some funnin around this weekend.

  17. I actually am considering to switch my wifi off!
    Through some harrowing adventures last week (think cramming a fifteen year old laptop into a bag and racing through traffic on a bike, only to realize once it was running again, that your brother who fixed it, also probably read your steamy Wicked fanfiction) I managed to find and access my PhD data, only to realize I can’t read any of it because I forgot everything about statistics.(We’re not friends,statistics and I)
    So, I resolved to hunker down and drill it back into my head for the next two weeks!
    Because I’m a grown up, because I have my life under control, because if I manage to do this,this project, the title will stand for getting rid of all of my doubts, my chaotic ways, my fears of inadequacy, yo.
    So, drilling statistics into my head is very vital, is important, is saving me from the emptiness of life stretching its wide maw open in the endless hours of day upon day.
    However,sometime last week, someone tweeted this picture:

    (It’s “The 100’s” Clark and Lexa, not sitting in a tree, but you know, in case the picture doesn’t work)
    And all of the above flew out of the window.
    Mix a postapocalyptic sci fi show, female lead, swoonworthy, distant but caring warrior leader, lots of conflict,chemistry and life saving, make them kiss and you get yourself: Lesbian Nerd Crack.
    I plowed through the entire show in four days, spent two more on finding just the right background picture (tumblr is funny,y’all!) for my ipad and am now stuck reading bad fanfiction.
    After resolving not to read bad fanfiction anymore years ago.
    So,what I’m saying is, that I’m happily watching my life and resolve wash down the drain, because as grown up as I try to be, I obviously got stuck at 17.
    Guys, I need your help!
    And also some fanfiction recommendations.

      • *coughs* I kind of drifted out of the SQ fandom after being very in it. After “The Secret’s in the Telling” very little compares. And I feel like I’ve read it all, “Of Love And Loathing” covers the affair/sex turns to love and tenderness angle, that about 300 fics try to crudely explore, the divorced mommies have been expertly covered by Maleficiently’s “Somewhere, Someone must know the ending”, Sgt.Mac sent them to a Beachhouse to process, like really process, and that can’t be done any better, “Good Citizen” albeit short and unfinished ruined “To Serve And Protect” and the entire Noir Detective genre for me, just as Ravenbear’s unfinished , epic soldier piece did to “Letters from War”, and “The Story of it All” did to every single romantic comedy AU out there.And I feel like I’ve been to as many fairyland balls as I can take. SQ is really not trash, it has some of the best ff out there! It just raised my standard for that fandom impossibly high. I mean, Downeast Decisions,for example isn’t bad by any standards, but it doesn’t sweep me off my feet and make me gulp and laugh and cry and believe in Literature again.
        If you know of such a fic, I’m so in!

    • “So,what I’m saying is, that I’m happily watching my life and resolve wash down the drain, because as grown up as I try to be, I obviously got stuck at 17.”

      can i make this the opening quote to my memoir plz

    • I hope you are able to balance the viewing/reading and work/school(?) stuff, but I’m now thoroughly convinced that I must watch The 100. Yay?

      • Be warned that the show needs a little time to find its footing, but it gets a lot better by the second season and about 800% better when Lexa shows up (swoon).
        World building and character and theme development is important (and enjoyable) so, I really do recommend to start at the beginning.
        It’s really great watching Clarke grow into the lead and leader in the show, ahaand her character has been officially confirmed as being bisexual!
        I’d probably even be watching “The 100” just for the female lead and out of solidarity with our bi brethren.
        So, yay!

  18. Welcome home, Carmen! I’m so glad that you made it through these trying times without losing your mind/sense of purpose/self.

    I have been remiss in my commenting lately, so here’s a long post full of pictures of flowers to make up for it maybe.

    that dahlia is just like too much for my brain to handle and look underneath at that japanese ranuncula like holy shit are these even real??? Answer: yes they are and I have the best job.

    Glorious poppies! Went to the flower mart up in LA and it was amazing–spring is truly here in the flower world. Like I just couldn’t even believe how beautiful everything was!!

    So for the past couple weeks work has been SUPER CRAZY BUSY, which is awesome! But also like, damn. We have one client who pushed pushed pushed for us to get a proper contract together, and now that we’ve finally finished it and sent it to her, she doesn’t want to sign it, so she wrote her own contract? Is that as ridiculous as it feels like to me? UGH. PEOPLE. WHY. But also we did a really cool birthday party at this incredible modern house, and they want us to do some more stuff for them so that’s rad.

    excuse me can I steal your table when we clean these flowers up later

    Got this mercury glass container for a thing in april, so I’ve been using it to practice, and I love it I love it I love it so much it’s amazing. Also these COLORS!!??? !!! !! ? !!!! Too lovely. I felt like a magical witch when I was arranging these.

    Also we’re currently in the middle of doing a run of 900 invitations, all hand made, that need to be finished by the end of next week. Also the post office keeps losing our shit, or things arrive weeks late, and it’s REALLY NOT GOOD because invites are time sensitive! The post office needs to get it together.
    Relatedly, anyone who was supposed to get a letter from me and hasn’t should tell me! I finally got everything that wasn’t international done, so if you haven’t gotten one I’ll try to send something in the next few months, haha! So much for christmas packages I guess. For you lovely international people, I apparently need first/last names for customs. I think first names + usernames are probably fine, unless you think the mail in your country is difficult.

    We did a bridal shower, too! I spent some serious time on the big bouquet for this one, and I think it turned out to be one of my favorite I’ve ever done! Even after the shower, I just would come and look at it in our living room, just soaking up all those impossibly pretty flowers.

    can you tell I’m exhausted in the corner there?

    courtesy of my sister in law’s instagram, haha! That one in the lower right corner is THE ONE. I’ve got better pictures of it but none on the internet yet!

    Last weekish Holly and I stayed overnight in San Diego at a friend’s apartment and we all went to Gossip Grill, which I can’t stop calling ‘gossip girl’ or ‘girl talk’ in my head. It was SO fun and now we’re going to try to stay down there for a week in the summer! This week we went to this delicious ramen place (again), and then afterwards to this adorable whiskey bar that’s kinda prohibition styled, with fancy cocktails and craft-everything and it was amazing? We split a few different drinks–a whiskey sour (classic), a Hot Toddy (spiced and warm and heavenly with a slice of apple in it. AMAZING), and a Tea Time (had egg white in it so it was smooth and frothy, and tasted like Constant Comment but better, so basically it was magical).


    Holly’s got some big work-fam-life stuff going on, so she’s been pretty stressed out. It’s been kinda difficult lately, with lots of heavy stuff, but I feel like it’s getting better. And I feel like we’ve been doing a lot of fun things to make up for crappy times, you know? So that is good! Also she still manages to be the sexiest silliest creature alive even when life is hard. She had the brilliant idea to be each other’s workout buddies from afar-I swim in the morning and then call her to wake up and go to the gym afterwards; once we’ve gone 5 days workin’ out each week for 5 weeks, we’re going to get our hair cut together as a reward :) Undercut here I finally come! I feel like I’ll be less nervous to get it once I’ve earned it a bit.

    Here’s H doing a majestic dance with the gayest foam hand ever. $5 has never been so worth it. And just look at that gorgeous face! I love her. #sappyandhappy

    We did a photo shoot to get some images for a bit of a website/fb/blog/social media overhaul for work. We’ve decided to split off our flowers a bit from the main company, so when I do a purely flower job it’ll be under Wishbone Florals instead of Four Leaf Clover Studio Flowers, which was just way too long! So Wishbone’ll be part of FLCS but a little more independent. I like the name because it is both a nod to both our overarching good luck symbol theme, and it also reminds me of Wishbone the dog, who looks so much like Musa! ;)

    Sooo yeah! Life is pretty good right now, you know?

    I want last week’s weather back–it was rainy rainy foggy gloomy but every so often the sun would come out, and it was like the perfect rain:sun ratio and it was amazing and we need more rain and I want it to be like that all time!!

    how are these even real like fuck fucking tulips holy shit

    look it’s some amazing ranunculas and also my face

    YAY <3 <3 <3

    • OH I forgot to complain about being back on birth control pills to regulate my hormones. I don’t like bcp, having to take them sucks, but I’ve got PCOS and I want to try to have kids with my own bits someday, so I’m doing what I’m supposed to again. I’ve got a gyno appointment soon, which is good because I’m going to ask if there’re any alternatives to one-a-day bc, but is also not good because my gyno doesn’t take my insurance. I’m probs going to have to finally suck it up and switch doctors, but I don’t want to! I’ve been with her since I was a little baby in high school, and she was actually the first non-family/friend adult I came out to, and she’s always been so supportive and amazing and smart and waaaah I don’t want a different doctor! It’s bad enough to have to go to the gyno when you like your doctor, you know? I can’t imagine going to someone I don’t know. But money. Money is hard. Money says get a new doctor, and sadly I really need to listen. SIGH.

    • Ooh those beverages look delicious.

      You’re going to rock that undercut so hard!

    • You ARE a magical witch!

      Money, right? They are changing up our insurance at work. My plan had been to get back on the PPO because, well, I do want to get “the surgery” and the rest of transiting is expensive enough, even with Veterans Benefits covering HRT and blood tests. But now they are doing away with the PPO, so I have to stick with a re-branded high deductible plan. And, I found out that my therapist is probably out of network. I love her, and new therapists are so difficult. (okay so I’ve only had two therapists and both were amazing… But still, when my first one moved away, it was like losing a father who listened and could accept me as a woman…) Stupid networks.

      Distracting self with beautiful flower pictures…

    • SO MUCH COLOR! Those flowers are beautiful! I especially love the one with all the different kinds laid out side by side: the tulips and dahlias and roses and hyacinths. So much variety. And the blue sky and palm trees make me want summer!

      Also, you have a beautiful smile. :)

      It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful couple of weeks, even if they’ve been hectic! The haircut sounds exciting, please post photos! I’m sure it’ll turn out fantastic!

    • Your flower arrangements are always so gorgeous and I look forward to them brightening my day on these Friday threads because they always do that.

  19. Welcome back to the Internet, Carmen!

    This week, I started my teaching diploma certificate thingamajig (?!? I never really know what to call it outside of TEFL contexts – has anyone on here done the Cambridge DELTA?), which I am doing via distance learning and trying to combine with full-time teaching commitments, and there is lots of really interesting stuff to learn about but I now have a shedload of extra studying to do on top of my regular job. It’s also my first time doing a distance course and it feels kind of weird. Maybe it will get less weird.

  20. I’ve come to the open thread for advice! I’m graduating college in May, and am looking to be a teacher, so I’ll probably have the summer to myself, and am looking to travel for the month of July (I’ve been working like crazy and saving for the last year so I can do just that). I’m definitely in the beginning of the planning stages, but am looking for someone to travel with otherwise MY PARENTS WILL INSIST ON GOING WITH ME. And I love them, but don’t think I can handle it. So I’m looking for 2 things.
    1. Where should I go? I want to go see Glacier national park, Seattle (WA), and yellowstone at the very least. But I’ve never been west of Ohio. SO WHERE SHOULD I PLAN ON GOING?!?
    2. Does anyone know where I could look for a tripping buddy? All of my friends either start internships or full time positions in June, so I’m kinda at a loss.

    • I cannot help you with any of your questions, but wanted to say that I’ll (somewhat hopefully) be in a similar boat, where I’ll hopefully have September to roadtrip around the US (and maybe also Canada?) and I want to see ALL THE THINGS, but other than “this relative’s house”, “this friend’s house”, “this other friend’s house”, and “some rivers” I have no plans/ideas about destinations of where to go out west.

      But good luck to you figuring things out!!

    • i am so jealous of this journey! you should take a ‘straddler with you i bet they’d be the coolest travel buddy ever.

    • Congrats on your upcoming graduation! Very exciting. I don’t really have any advice about finding a travel buddy. But I can tell you that Glacier, Yellowstone, and Seattle (near my home city) are all awesome places to visit! If you do come up to Washington, I’d also recommend seeing Rainier and Olympic National Parks. But the Pacific NW has a TON of beautiful places to visit, so you have lots of options to explore. I feel lucky to live here! :)

    • your school might have an outdoor club. those ppl go on camping road trips all the time; maybe you can find a travel buddy with your same schedule / home town / food preferences? have an amazing trip!

  21. Carmen, I haven’t had internet at my new apartment for almost a month now and it’s been bad and good. I do feel more isolated from my social network, but I have a lot more time to read and work out and I am actually using the phone to call the ones I love (I’m one of those people who recoils at the very thought of phone conversations). I work in a library and am online pretty much 8-4:30 Monday-Friday and I come in on the weekends to do homework for my online classes. Everything’s going OK so far but I’m not sure I can continue to be without the Internet long-term. I love the idea of myself as an out-of-touch woodsperson, but I also love Netflix and Autostraddle.

    • i definitely learned that there are moments better spent offline – like early morning with my interview magazine versus working and getting stressed out – but! i still missed the internet so fucking much. i, too, love the idea of being a woodsperson. just so you know.

  22. My week has been filled with lots of hgtv, writing and recovering from surgery last week. At least it is getting better!

    On the other hand, I’m having a crisis deciding whether to attend this phd program or wait another year to try to go for a potentially better one. Cue in my quarter life crisis a year early…

    • best wishes for you recovery! i vote whatever makes that quarter life crisis GO FAR AWAY.

  23. This week I matched with someone on Tinder who I always point out to my friends and say “that is solidly the most attractive person on this campus, I love them so much.” AND THEN TO MAKE IT EVEN BETTER, I messaged them saying basically that AND THEN THEY RESPONDED THE NEXT MORNING saying that they had read my message right before they went to sleep so they had a dream about me cooking for them.

    basically, i’ve been living blissfully all week and my life is awesome. (Except for getting a 30% on my psych exam, but at least my other two exams felt like they went pretty well)

    • I vote we make this the official fairytale of Tinder stories. Like in 100 years, instead of Cinderella, when our grandchildren live in a gender and sexuality fluid wonderland, we will tell this Tinder fairytale to them at night.

    • hello your week seems like it was very great but you know what’s better? YOUR NAME.

        • also update on the tinder person: they deleted their tinder soon after i originally commented on this post and we have yet to match again. we have made however awkward eye contact while dancing and then proceeded to completely ignore each other

  24. Yay, welcome to the back to the unreal world!

    I’ve toggled between being super productive/hyperactive/happy and apathic/bored/sad and I suspect the state of mind is related to: (irregular) coffee intake, report writing week at work, finding cool queer girls in my town, being broke, LDR, and having a lovesick pre-sterilization cat trapped in my apartment. Mix, stir well, fry, and you get !bipolar week!

    Remedies have included “Face the fire” by Michelle Chamuel and that The Toast text about periods ( One day I drew all the stuff I ate for 24 hours. Another day I wrote down a detailed plan on selling all my stuff in order to live permanently in my car (I don’t have a car. Nor a license). In retrospect those two things stand out as more productive than the 5 reports I wrote. Hm.

    • the coffee intake thing is killing me, it’s like the more i contemplate my coffee intake the more off-kilter and emotional coffee makes me? we used to be friends, coffee. why you gotta do me like that.

  25. I basically feel like the biggest douche bag ever guys. I totally threw a stupid tantrum fit because I got my wife a brand spanking new playstation 4… I went all in with all the fancy stuff.. Anyway I found out my wife got me a Nitendo ds to surprise me with.. so here is the douche part: I seriously pouted for an hr because she told me she got me the oldest ds model out there… the kind that still play game boy games! In my mind all I wanted to play was the latest adventure time game whilst waiting at the dmv or long post office lines not gameboy games! how dare thee.
    so now I need to not be a douche and be the best wife ever and make up for unnecessary pouting.

    • i think making a concerted effort “not to be a douche” means you’re not a douche, shenae. jsyk.

  26. Today I wrote a giant paper that is worth 70% of my final grade and I’m trying not to dwell on that last part too much. Currently I am rewatchng Carmilla because I am a baby gay and trying to decompress. Also, gin.

    I’m trying to find an internship for the summer and it’s not going well. The only thing I hate more than cover letters are Chicago style citations.

    • Ugh cover letters are the worst!!! Maybe the gin will help you express your true feeling on why you would be the best intern ever.

  27. I’ve been having bad dreams lately. Lots of heartbreak and bad feelings in my dreams. It makes waking up/facing the day really hard because I’m starting the day in a sad mood. :( And I can’t exactly control my dreams…

  28. Today I’m cleaning up my apartment to make room for the shelter RABBIT THAT I’M ABOUT TO START FOSTERING.

    I’ve wanted a rabbit since I was 10 years old, so this is a big deal for me.

  29. Green beans, string beans and snap beans are the same thing. I don’t know what the eff “french cut” is but I know what haricots verts are and that is the most delicious green beans. They’re thinner, longer, crisper and just 10000% better than other cultivars of phaseolus vulgaris.
    He he he, vularis.

      • No, I am but a humble nerdit who lives in fort of blankets, not thin bare blankets nor scratchy blankets but warm cozy blankets.

        I coulda gone with my standard I’m an INTP I seek the truth sorta line but I’m really unfamiliar with quote-able Legend of the Seeker bits. And I feel cozy.

        Oh, lawd beanspert? That’d be funny because I’m known for my pickiness/dislike/whatever ect. of beans. I like sautéed haricots verts, Blue Runner red beans, and dry as as kinsey 6 lesbian at a Chippendale’s show frijoles negro, and arroz congrí that is itttt.

        It’s almost as legendary as my rejection of pork. Yes even bacon, especially bacon.
        Because I’m satan.
        Sorry to let you down.

        Gemini Bisexual Extraordinaire could that happen?

  30. Hello Everyone :)
    I have been doing pretty well as of late. This week has been pretty stressful at school but i survived.
    I do have a girlfriend <3! She is my boothang

    Ps. I miss taking selfies to show you all

  31. Welcome back to the Internet! The answer to your green bean question is that canned green beans are delicious if you add a beef bouillon cube and cook them for a really long time. Also fresh green beans are great too!

    My plan for tonight is to do laundry and clean the house. And my rule is gonna be, for each thing I accomplish, I can have one beer. Otherwise these chores are never gonna get done and I’ll end up having to wear my pajamas out in public all next week…

    I didn’t get to hang out on the couch during the snowstorm, I had to go to work and today it was all melty and slushy and soggy and my socks get wet even though I was wearing boots. I’m ready for springtime now please!!! This is the South, it’s not supposed to be 20 degrees in March!

    • I’m imagining myself trying to follow this complete-one-task-get-one-beer plan and doubting my fortitude.

    • i made fresh green beans the other week and it was p amazing, gotta be real. i’ve tried all three varieties and it by far took many of the cakes.

      • Green beans is one of the veggies that if not fresh is terriblaaay.
        Especially if you’re a picky eater with texture and trouble with the taste of veggies.
        But if you grew up with canned veggies all fresh veggies have a chance of tasting wrong.

      • There’s so many ways you can cook fresh green beans and they’re all so good! I think of canned green beans as more of a survival thing, like, the weather is disgusting and there’s no way I’m going to the grocery store but I still want to feed myself something vegetable-like and comforting.

    • Come visit the west coast, spring has come here! :) Laundry is my least favorite chore, mainly because it involves several trips next door in the cold and trying to find quarters, which are sometimes difficult to obtain. Sounds like you have a good motivational strategy though!

  32. I feel like all I’ve been doing in these Friday threads is complaining how busy I am and how little sleep I’m getting, but yeah. That’s still my life right now. I spent >12 hours on a take-home portion of my pchem exam (we had 60 hours to work on it total) and it was four questions and I’m didn’t even have answers that made sense for like half of it, and I’m just so frustrated because that’s been the theme for this class–I have no idea what the fuck is happening, and I don’t have enough time to properly learn the material because between class and what I’m already spending on it, it’s almost 30 hours a week. And I have 3 other classes, research, and a part-time job, not to mention life-things like eating and sleeping and it’s all too much. And the worst part is that I really honestly think the material is interesting (even if quantum makes me want to throw desks at walls sometimes because it is COMPLETELY ABSURD and breaks my brain) and I like the professor, but I just want to not feel like a complete dumb failure some of the time and not have to have “I’ll probably need to drop the class because I’m pretty sure I’m failing” hanging over my head.

    • This is actually my life. I’m a PChem grad student and I think I probably spent 40 hours this week alone studying for my quantum midterm. Good luck with pchem! It gets better and more interesting and easier to understand the more you do it! I believe in you!

    • P-chem… I can remember the whole “this is interesting material, but my brain is going to explode” part of it. Good luck with everything! You have my vote of confidence!

  33. Guess what?! I finally found my lost & beloved Autostraddle ‘Read a F*cking Book’ bookmark, wedged between some book group books. SO HAPPY. :D

  34. My life has been a bit full this past week. I finally started a new part-time job, and I have a good chance at another one (that pays pretty well, too) on Wednesday (second interview!).

    One of my classes had an exam this past Thursday, and while I don’t KNOW how I did, I am fairly sure I passed it. More exams coming next week, too, so plenty of studying and homework is my lot for the “weekend” (people keep telling me they exist and are generally fun, but I have my doubts).

    I also ran around my college’s campus like mad trying to get a memorial to the transwomen who have been murdered so far this year up (meetings over how long the memorial can be in place are ongoing; here’s hoping it’s up all year!). It will also include some information about anti-trans* violence, the increased violence faced by transwomen of color, and how problematic misgendering in the media is.

    That’s my life: an eternal, but mostly enjoyable, madhouse.

    • you’re doing such productive things with that madhouse life, though! go you! crossing my fingers for you w/r/t all things.

  35. I definitely are an entire pizza by myself.

    And it was definitely the highlight of my entire week.
    Feeling #blessed

  36. Hello everyone! And welcome back to the wonderful internet, Carmen!

    This week has been pretty normal. It’s odd hearing my east-coast friends talk about how cold and snowy it is. Spring has come to the Pacific NW (not that we had much of a winter), and it’s beautiful: daffodils, pink cherry trees, and purple violets in the shade of the evergreen forests. I hope to go to the tulip festival in northern Washington sometime this spring – it’s really spectacular when they’re in full bloom (see photo below). I recently finished reading “botany of desire” by Michael Pollan, which talked about the cultural history surrounding the tulip (as well as the apple, cannabis, and the potato).

    TULIP FIELDS! (From a couple years ago – they’re not blooming quite yet) (Fun fact: the random striped petals that you sometimes see in fields are caused by a virus)

    Also, a violet that I saw on a hike last week:

    I took an 11(ish)-mile hike with my mother around Tiger Mountain last week (photo below). It was wonderful: sunny, happy, just enjoying each other’s company in the outdoors. She’s so youthful for her age – you can’t tell she’s in her 50’s by looking at her, and she’s really fit too and goes hiking all the time. I really look up to her, and I feel like we’ve also grown a lot closer these past couple years, but there’s always this gnawing fear that we’d grow farther apart if I ever came out to her.

    • I can already feel the beauty of that tulip photo starting to melt all the snow around me! Botany of Desire is such an interesting book…I love it when other people get as obsessed with plants/the weird history of things as I do.

      That sounds like a great hike with your mom! Mountains, trees, and sunshine are some of the greatest things in life :) I completely sympathize with your coming out feelings; every time I come close to coming out to my parents, I’m stopped by the fear that it will either drive us apart because they won’t understand, or destroy the trust between us because it took me this long to tell them.

      • Yes, the fields are beautiful! I love random science-related books… I prefer nonfiction to fiction. I wish you the best with your own parents too.

  37. I’m glad you have your internet back, Carmen!

    Spring break starts this afternoon and I bought myself a celebratory bottle of cheap moscato. And some face cleanser, the expense of which I can now justify with my student refund making itself cozy at the bank. AND now I can get an oil change. It’s all very exciting.

    I plan on spending next week studying (the second semester of ochem is killing my ass and I really have got to get it under control), finishing my transfer application, and working on the assignment my calculus teacher so kindly bestowed upon the class this morning. Also: fingers crossed I get accepted for a summer lab internship! I’ll know by mid-month.

    The weather this week has ranged from the 80s to the 20s. No snow, of course; I live in south Mississippi. Frankly it’s outrageous. Every time I step outside, it’s a gamble. What’s behind door number 1? Damp cold! Door number 2? Windy cold! Door number 3? Why aren’t you wearing shorts?

  38. Well, my last two weeks were pretty crazy.

    We didn’t really get a snowstorm, but we did get about seven inches.

    Of course Phoebe and I snuggled!

    Um, also…   I was interviewed on our local news about my marathon training and, um, y’know my transition. I had submitted for their promotion called the Face of the Race at least a month ago, and had thought they weren’t interested.  Then I get the email and I was setting up interviews and getting so nervous. (The Illinois Marathon is kind of a big deal in Champaign – Urbana.)

    My goal was much less self-promotion and much more about trans visibility and positivity. I really feel like the interviewer had a similar goal. Her questions were really great and when I told her that I didn’t want to discuss surgery, she was very respectful about it. They actually assembled a little suite of trans positive pieces:

    I put them in touch with my friend Cameron, who is a trans man I often collaborate with on trans positive projects.

    They also interviewed my friend Christine, who is a therapist here in town who works with a lot of lgbt people.

    Doing interviews is stressful, gang! It’s definitely not my strong suit. I think I did pretty well for a nervous first timer. It’s actually helped out some in my own life, I think it made things more real for coworkers and others who saw me, and I think that is good. Someone apologized for calling me sir. There have been a few folks reaching out to Cameron and I, and the UP Center!

    I also met up with some coworkers last Friday night, and I was in lady mode. (I still work in guy mode, yuck.) This was before the interviews aired, everyone was really great and I reconnected with a really sweet lady from my old department.
    So, lots of things!

    Electrolysis Sunday. :( / :)

    Love you all!

    • Devlin I loved your interview; it’s so good! At first I thought it was for the newspaper but HOLY SMOKES YOU WERE ON TV. May I just say I think you were very graceful under that kind of pressure and I just felt really happy watching the clips, maybe partly because I “know” you from AS open threads. Huge congratulations!

      Could I post it to this group? they have a fb group too, run by a Straddler. It’s a great group; a lot of real convos with all levels of athletes including some pretty big names (Fallon Fox, Chris Mosier) and I think they’d love to see your interview too.

      Anyway, thanks for all you do and congratulations again!
      (Also, hi Phoebe! Does Phoebe run too?)

      • Aww, thank you! It’s honestly good to hear positive reactions because I just feel awkward watching myself!!

        Please do share, and um, I’m going to look into joining that group!

        Phoebe says “Hi, do you have treats? I was so good at the vets office earlier!” She doesn’t run with me, sadly. We tried one time because she is always energetic and ready to play fetch (I’ll see if I can post a video, corgis are faster than people think!) We made it about half a block. We started, and she was like, “oh, were running? Cool!” Then after a bit she kind of slowed and had a kind of “we’re still doing this?” look. Then after a bit longer she pulled off into the grass. Ces’t la vie, we do take plenty of long walks when it is above freezing outside.

      • Okay, let’s see if this works:

        That may not work, in which case, sorry, take a look <a hreon instagram.

    • awesome and courageous of you to go on a tv interview! eek, i couldn’t do that. and congrats on training for a marathon. i am training for a 10 miler in 2 weeks (well i suppose that training is almost over), and that has been a lot for me!

      • I certainly never begrudge any sister runner doing any run! It’s work, no matter what you do!

        For YEARS I was determined not to run more than a Five K or around there. Why run more than a half hour(ish)? Something changed and a few years ago, I did a ten K. Then last year, the half. Now, I want to complete a full. I’m not super competitive, but this guy at work was talking about running a marathon, and I thought “if he can do it, I can too!” Can’t let some GUY show me up!

        Thank you, I hope it helps someone who is where I was a year, two years, or heck, 20 years ago. Just the knowledge of transgender people changed my life SO much. One mother did already reach out to us to learn more to help her child. <3

  39. Hi Beauties!!!! Ok so I’ve been off work for the past two weeks, which most ppl would like, right? But if I don’t work I don’t get paid and so therefore I’m not really sure how I’m gonna pay any of my bills this month and next? I should probably be more stressed out than I am, but I have also started going to the gym 3x a week (shoutout to Groupon gifts) and that’s really awesome so maybe that’s why I’m not FREAKINGTHEFUGGOUT. I miss my students. A lot. I guess I didn’t realize how important they’d become to me until I’ve had to be away from them for this long. But hopefully we should get all the issues with the program ironed out by the middle of next week. Money issues are the actual worst.

    In better news: my brother comes home later tonight and we have all kinds of plans for the week he’s here. Also also, one of my cousins bought us plane tickets to come hang with her in Bermuda for our spring break, which is awesome. I’ve never been and it should be nice to be not here for a while. Also too, my favorite cousin ever in the whole wide world is coming to Miami to hang with us the weekend before we go to Bermuda, so I have some stuff to look forward to, yay!

  40. It could be the sleep deprivation, the candy, or the adrenaline from flailing/dancing to ridiculous music that’s making me giddy and wanting to tell strangers about my underwear.

    My secret accidental bi pride flag sports bra and boyshorts combo. It’s so funny I can’t
    stop snickering about it. I’d been pairing them for about 6 months before realising their colours made me a walking bi pride flag under my clothes.

    And my Catwoman hat where she’s in 90’s purple costume like the purple stripe in the bi flag with my kind of hair.
    And AC/DC has always been my power up music.
    And I’m a gemini.

    This is ridiculous, I’m ridiculous.
    I woke the dogs, who are trying to ascertain if I’m okay because the ridiculous sounds I’m making.
    Everything is ridiculous.

    I’m so proud of myself! School has never been a thing I am good at and I have a learning disability but I DID IT! I graduated with super high marks even! Someone high five me, it’s awesome!

    Also, why do no online forms have s trade school option? 2-year college is kinda close but not actually the same thing :/

    • that is really awesome and if i could live my life over i would probs choose trade school. what trade did you pick? what was school like? how does the job search work; do you have to go through unions or ? tell us more if you like; i’m interested!

      • I’m a bicycle mechanic – I graduated from both ShimanoTech online, and United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR. ShimanoTech is easy but UBI is like a year of classes condensed into a month-long course with optional seminars after.

        I could join a general trades union, but that would probably hurt my job search unfortunately. Basically I just handed my resume out to all the local shops in the first week of march and picked the one that will pay the most – I’ve been wrenching for 6 years, 3 of those professionally, so I *could* get hired before, but now everyone is begging to hire me and I’m being offered $3-4/hr more than usual. So, booyah!

        I’m really glad I decided to drop out of uni and go full-time into the trades. Itr suits me much better and lets me work out my hyperactivity during the day. I’m planning on doing a welding certificate and start doing fabrication and frame building on the side during the off season, but I gotta get better at TIG welding first.

        • Doing the UBI certs was tough – it was an 8hr day in the classroom (forutnately lots of hands on demos) and then there was an exam about once a week, so I spent a lot of time studying after class. The last week had 3 exams, one practical and 2 written. It’s a challenge for me to sit still and focus for that long, especially since a lot of the material was stuff I already knew how to do but in my own way. They really want you to do it the “correct” way, even though I know my methods will work better and give as good a result. But the instructors are pretty patient and I actually learned more than I was expecting to.

        • That’s really cool! The welding sounds excellent too. I have one of the last Bridgestone bikes ever made; bought it new in Portland in 1993 (an XO-3) which I still use every day to commute. I love the hand-finished lugs, and reading the user manual was like hanging out with a cool uncle who was a black smith that also made his own craft beers. It wasn’t just the technical appreciation though that was very interesting; it was an invitation to artisinal DIY punk community. Glad to see it live on in Sheldon Brown and other companies. I hope you share more about your welding and bike life on future open threads!

  42. I ran into a friend of mine this past week at a coffeeshop who I hadn’t seen in a while. She told me she’d been fired from her nannying job for being queer. :( It was under the table so she has no legal recourse or access to unemployment. Friends of the family she worked for saw her with he partner, and after questioning her (she refused to answer questions about her private life) they fired her abruptly. She had worked for them for 2.5 years, and had known their youngest since he was four months old. She was near tears about how much she misses the kids. She’s scrambling to find a replacement job and get by. She set up an indiegogo hoping for some help and support. Please help if you can! Please spread the word!

  43. I know it’s not Friday any more, but I just now had a Proud Parent Moment: my Kid just registered as an Autostraddle member! (Although I guess that means that I’m going to have to watch what I say in future Quirky Parenting Anecdotes :-) )

  44. I just came back from Kuala Selangor in Malaysia, so much good seafood. In other news I’m going to help with my school library committee’s bake sale to raise money for an upcoming Battle of the Books.

  45. It’s so not Friday anymore, but, uh, Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli are in my city! And I find that exciting and keep hoping I run into them. And Laverne Cox is going to be here at the end of the month. *swoon*

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