FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Hello, It’s Me, I’ve Been on a Mountain and I Want to Know Your Life

Hello, stuffed animals I’ll treasure long into my adulthood! Welcome to another Friday Open Thread, in which I’ll probably get weird and quote Drake too much. JK! You can never quote Drake enough.


I’m extremely happy to be hosting this week because first of all, I love you deeply, and second of all, I have only just returned from a mountain full of dreams known as A-Camp and it’s gonna be nice to have your warm virtual presence soothe me back into the cold, harsh world of the Internet. It’s a rough adjustment after all the unplugging and utopia-building, y’know.


Plus, I’ve missed you! Due to scheduling mix-ups, I haven’t hosted one of these in a hot minute and boy oh boy have I missed your life updates, intense feelings, cat photos, and witty quips about town. Y’all are seriously a light in this life, and I’m here because I am more than ready to let it shine on me.

I have a lot of updates for y’all, too, like how I started a new dream job and now I get to drive to Beverly Hills and back every day like a famous person. Oh, and how my friend was in town and I kept getting accidentally roped into hiking situations while wearing wedge heel open-toe sandals! That was badass and fun. And also, the time I spent a week on a mountain with my BFFs and we filmed a reality show about it because we are parodies of ourselves and deserve to be your faves. But most importantly, I am here to assure you that my dog is still the softest of them all.

That’s it on my end. Now it’s your turn.

So come at me, bro. Tell me everything. I wanna hear about the good, the bad, the fugly, and everything in-between. Give me your tears and your joy. Send me your pics and your vids. Allow me to envelope you in my love and whisper affirmations in your ear. Or, y’know, just tell me how your week went. That’s okay, too.

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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. Commenting from the shuttle to LAX


    C A M P

    I made oracle cards, I forced you and all your friends to take ridiculous pics in the woods with Camp Dad Abby, I shared a poem at ghouls on ghouls, listened to AMAZING music, laughed and danced and danced and danced and sang about it

    Now I’m gonna pass out cuz I’m hungover as fucckkk

    • (as always, I can’t post pics because I’m on my phone and also I don’t have / will never have an imgur or Flickr account or whatever, but if you’d like pictoral representations of my Shenanigans, I’m @patatepatate on Instagram ~~~)

    • did you drink a lot of water because i think you need to drink some water and also CAMP

      • I drank so much water but really what I needed most of all was Vaseline for my super chapped lips

        Normal Chapstick will just fuck u up on Mt Feelingz,y’all

        I literally bled from my face it was so dry up there

  2. Efforts at trying to unplug while living in Da Big Citay this week for me have included trying to do that running thing that everybody is always doing. I have a pair of running shoes that look like they came from an Aqua Man movie set and make me appear like somebody who is training for a half marathon when in reality I am more the Run a Block/Walk a Block type.

    But baby steps. Maybe. I might just never do it again.

  3. Today is my dog’s and my 5th anniversary. I brought her home 5 years ago on this day, and I’m still madly in canine love with her.

    Me and Bernie on June 3, 2011.

    Bernie a few weeks ago.


  4. Bad life updates: I have been so busy and stressed at work. Granted, this is partly my fault, as I am a procrastinator extraordinaire. I’ve been trying to test a finicky old unit and I’ve been getting funky data for days and every time I think I’ve fixed it, it decides to do something else wrong. Plus my head is screwed on backwards so I keep making ridiculous mistakes. For instance, I am writing this comment instead of addressing the fact that I am going to have to redo some soldering because I forgot to put a cover on the unit. However…

    Good life updates: I’m busy at work! This almost never happens. But the truth is is THRIVE when I’m busy, so as much as I’ve been whining about being stressed, I’m actually so happy.

    GREAT life updates: I GOT TO SKATE AGAIN!!! It has been 6 months, but I finally got to put skates on my feet. I got chills. I’m going to have to take it easy for a bit, but… whatever! I can skate again!

      • That’s okay. Back when I assembled tank wires, I made 10 cables and was almost done crimping the connector pins until i realized i had been reading the schematics wrong the entire time. I had to recut and assemble all of them.

      • Honestly for as smart as us engineers are I think something gets left out lol, everytime I solder I somehow manage to burn my hair (keep in mind I have a pixie cut)
        Good luck figuring everything out! I believe in you :) Also congrats on the skating, I’ve had a pair of skates for about 4 years now and am still attempting to learn how to use them.

    • very excited about your good and great life updates and as a procrastinator as well i am standing in solidarity with your bad ones!

  5. A Camp sounds so fun! I signed up for A+ while you guys were up on a mountain because I was missing out. This website is the best and I’m glad it exists.

    This week I have the place to myself because my parents are on a road trip up north. It’s just me and some kittens and a whole lot of feel-good movies. On Monday I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and attend the grand opening of my friend’s coffee roastery. I’m so proud of her and I also can’t wait to do some volunteering and get out of my own headspace.

    Speaking of which, earlier this week I had an intake with a counsellor. I’ve been meaning to see someone for awhile now, so although difficult this was really good for me.

    Hope you all have a good weekend. (:

  6. I promise I have a super interesting life, but I really just need to talk about POI!
    P.S.: I want to have “4 Alarm Fire” inscribed into my wedding ring, you know, in case I ever manage to actually make it beyond date number two.

      • I can’t decide whether to be upset, because Root’s character came so full circle this episode and I think (they’ve always said so) that they had planned this for her since season 2?
        Her and Elias were the adversaries of the early seasons and willingly and knowingly laid down their lives for Harry in this episode.
        Also, I’m still not over how much more intense handholding was between Shaw and Root than that steamy sex scene.
        It probably just hasn’t hit me yet, I’m torn in between grief and being wowed, but there isn’t that feeling of personal hurt and betrayal as it was with Lexa.

        • It’s not as bad as Lexa for sure, because we didn’t have showrunners being so disgustingly cavalier about it, but I’m still really hurt that they would build up Shoot so much only to kill her off before they could actually have more than 5 minutes of a non-sim reunion. I am so angry that they had her die without Shaw or anyone else there, and to have FUSCO of all people be there to ID her body. I don’t like that they’re trying to push the idea that she’s now “one with the machine” because she ISN’T! The machine is just using her voice. Root is dead and the machine is only doing an impersonation.

          Man there’s so much that I am still hurting so much over it’s still hard to talk about.

          Probably the worst part of all is trying to find solace in the tags on tumblr like with Lexa when everyone was all on the same page and grieving together, only to find at least a third of all posts saying that we shouldn’t be mad about it/shouldn’t be allowed to feel sad/angry/hurt etc. if you’re “only watching for the lesbians.” It makes me so mad! As though my feelings are invalid because I watched every episode for a slightly different reason than someone else.

          There’s still a very small part of me hoping against all logic and reason that they’ll bring her back somehow or we find out she faked her own death or something but I think I’ll just end up being more disappointed.

          • Well, I really don’t know what to think, I’ve just been glad for the first time ever, that the show got cancelled and I won’t have to watch a Rootless season.
            She made the show a thousand times better.

          • Just a little bit more time with Root and Shaw, right? I knew it was unlikely the entirety of Team Machine would survive to the end, but Shoot didn’t even have one whole episode between real reunion and death. And three episodes without Root?

            Going from the (brief) beautiful reunion at the end of 9 (of the entire team, not just Root and Shaw), to 10 hurt. Which I suppose was the point, but my God did I want one episode where everyone was back and things were okay before blowing it all to all to hell.

    • Me too! I have no one to talk about it with IRL, and I just keep checking AS 10x a day, waiting impatiently for the post about it. I specifically started watching that show (and caught up on all seasons!) after the whole The 100 mess because I wanted something to cleanse my palate. Ugh.

  7. Tonight is the last of my 7-night-in-a-row closing streak at work, and I am so tired and I dream of going to bed before 2:30am. However, tomorrow I get to get up really early and drive to see my partner for the first time in over a month and it’s going to be great! I get to see their face for like, two and a half days. Oh my god.
    Thanks to all the second temp. jobs I’ve been applying for, I can basically recite my resume from memory. Is anyone hiring who needs that skill set?

  8. I am moving from Charlotte to LA tomorrow and the stress is killing me softly.

    I still have so much packing to do omgomgomgomgomgomgomg

    And tonight I say goodbye to my partner and I may never see him again. So much crying!!!!

    • Just prepare for traffic. My good friend, now works near Raleigh, after spending all his life here in LA. He was back the other week & said he forgot how bad traffic is. On the plus side you just maybe stuck in traffic with a beautiful view of the pacific. Also, no real winters here(or Fall for that matter).

      Good luck you can do it!

  9. Well I would say lucky you, but I my family(who happen to be my current roommates) live in Beverly Hills. I’ve been a resident since I started 6th grade. It can get too familiar and boring. On the plus side you may run into a celeb while at Rite Aid, and the Concours D’Elegance on Rodeo Drive is great. BTW sweet office setup!

    Speaking of Beverly Hills again, I was in a tux for a wedding on Sunday. I think I was the only one to find it amusing they were playing George Michael’s Lady In Red, right across the street the park in Beverly Hills where he go arrested for soliciting a cop for sex. Almost was inebriated enough, that I introduce myself as Al and I use they/them pronouns to one person, but it confused the person. So, I went back and just pretended hearing gendered words referring to me are acceptable. Maybe in the next few years we can have Mx. become a thing here in the states(or at least in California). Ugh, who wants to join my sad queers club?

    How’s everyone’s week going? I need a bit assistance. I am not sure how to hold conversations with people I am interested in. Like I know how to make friends and such, but people I like, I start drawing blanks. Thankfully, right now it’s over text, but that’s another problem within itself. Mostly how do you tell what the other’s person tone is. I’ve thought about talking about dinosaurs, but not sure if the person is into it, or how I can randomly text a person dino facts. Any ideas, suggestions, or general comments?

    Clear skies are coming.

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

    • No suggestions, but I can definitely commiserate. My usual strategy for talking to people I’m interested in is to laugh too much, ask really dumb questions, and drunk text. I don’t recommend it…But I wish you luck! I, personally, would love it if someone texted me random dino facts.

      • I googled Autostraddle Dino facts, and then texted the one about the Hogwarts Dinosaur. It was hard to gauge the tone of the reply, but it’s good to know dino facts do get replies.

  10. Welcome back from caaaamp! I QUIT MY JOB! From August on, no more getting up at four in the morning and being tortured by a very, very, very bad boss. plus I just got a new job as a cleaning lady today (3 hours a week rather than my old job’s 10-15 hours.. OOF. goodbye, money)

    I also got a volunteering position at the Netherlands’ only autism-LGBT group!!! I am so scared I’ll mess this up. I really wanna do well! I’ve never been a volunteer for ANYTHING before! But I think it’ll go okay. I’m excited.

    Monday is my birthday and on the 30th me and my friend are boarding a plane and visiting our friends in Denmark, my girlfriend is sleeping in an old convent in Belgium tonight, in September university starts, I’ve got tickets for a Welcome to Night Vale liveshow, I’ve got tickets for a huge gay party !?!?? and also basically wtf is life, a lot is happening. The script for my comic is done!!!!!!!???????!!!!! This message is a mess but HEY I love y’all, happy friday, happy weekend!

    • So much YES to ALL of this GREAT STUFF!!! Happy early birthday! Enjoy your huge gay party, your volunteering, and enjoy cleaning the fuck out of everything in sight!!!!!!!!!!! I am way curious about your comic btw. It feels good when you accomplish stuff so I am happy for you!

      Happy friday back to yah!

    • Wow it sounds like a lot of exciting stuff is happening in your life!! I have been to a WtNV show and it was fantastic! Lots of people dressed up – you don’t have to but have a heads up in case you wanted to :)

  11. But also as far as not fictional character related life events, I’m planning a trip for August! It’s the reason I decided to turn down A Camp (cry), because of time off work and money etc. etc. but it’s SO STRESSFUL.

    I booked an AirBNB already, but I’m nervous because it’s a room in some guy’s house and there’s the ubiquitous underlying worry about staying with a random dude as a young female but mostly it’s fear of only having a private room and having to INTERACT WITH A STRANGER as I’m coming and going. Do I say hi when I get in/say bye when I leave?? Will he ask me about my life and make me die a little introverted death by making small talk? What is the AirBNB etiquette?? But it’s literally half the price of staying at even the least expensive hotels in the area and it’s in walking distance of where I need to be so that really trumps everything else.

    Also, do I rent a car?? I’m going to be there for 5 days and I forgot how expensive it is to rent one. I’m thinking no because it would cost almost as much as my 5 day stay at the AirBNB place so like that’s not an insignificant cost. I’m going to be in Indianapolis so like I’m hoping I can get around what I need on foot/uber/public transport/whatever. (I was also considering buying a penny board because they’re so portable and I’m learning how to skate, but knowing myself I probably would be too embarrassed to use it and it would just be expensive dead weight.)

    And can we talk about airfare for a moment? WHY IS IT LIKE THIS. I hate having to try and divine the cost of tickets by the direction of the winds and the alignment of the planets. Why does it fluctuate so much? I checked on Memorial day and then the day after that it was $100 more expensive across the board! HOW?!

    Don’t even get me started on the tickets to the actual event. The best ones are reserved by this membership program that you have to donate a few hundred dollars to to even be able to then purchase the tickets that cost another several hundred dollars. But I’m the type of person to spend more for a better seat/experience so I’m v torn.

    The one good thing about this is I made the trip last year very spur of the moment with very little money, got a terrible seat for the thing and had to fly out like 24 hours after I got there which was TERRIBLE, so this time I’ve actually been saving up and have enough money to make it a very comfortable trip and not be emptying my entire bank account. Now I’ve just got to make the damn thing a reality haha.

    • @dittybop My past airbnb experience has been one of barely ever seeing the host. /But/ the airbnb host I’m staying with at the end of this month (for Toronto pride!) seems to be more engaged. Plus this one rents out two different rooms, so there will likely be other guests there during my visit. I would check the reviews of your host and room for hints at the level of involvement/friendliness. But either way, I think it’s generally very acceptable for you to treat the place like a hotel if you prefer not to chat with your host.

      As for renting a car, I would research public transportation in that city. Combine that with ridesharing and you probably shouldn’t need one.

      Lastly! Be safe! If you’ve picked a place with good reviews everything should be a-okay, but if you get there and you feel something is wrong, you can contact airbnb to file a travel claim (my sister had to do this with a place that was very different from the listing).

      Have a great trip! And good on ya for planning in advance!

      • That’s good to hear! Ideally I wouldn’t want to interact with him at all haha. He has good reviews though so I’m not super worried.

        I was looking up public transportation and it looks like they actually have an electric car sharing program, like where you pick up a car in one location and then you drop it off at any other designated locations, plus it looks like there’s one right by my airbnb so that’s a score!

        I’m so grateful that I’m in a place to save money and splurge on myself for the first time really in my life (I actually found out I got my job when I was at this event last time!) so even though I’m grumbling a little bit about how much it’s going to cost, it’s so nice to know that I don’t have to count every single dollar and wonder if I’ll have any money to buy food/pay for gas etc. while I’m there.

  12. lol i’m still waiting for you guys to stop talking about Camp so i can re-follow people on Facebook B)b Soooo i’m gonna pretend nothing was mentioned about Camp at all, haha.

    I’ve actually been really badly depressed lately, with a lot of crappy symptoms, including sleeping a lot, & my BPD has also been acting up. I’ve been really paranoid, really irritable & angry, really anxious, having bad thoughts– you know, the works. I don’t see the med doctor until the 14th (not looking forward to it), & i don’t have a new therapist yet bc of how i’ve been feeling & also feeling like “what’s the point?”

    And i still don’t have a job, so that’s added stress. Yaay :)

    Also, today i made a big post on FB asking for any storytelling help, & i tagged someone i know writes, & her reply was really rude. I was going to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she was probably having a bad day, but then i checked Tumblr– not looking for anything, just scrolling along my dash– & found her bitching about me there (no name mentioned, but it’s very obvious, given the situation). Where she knows i would see it, bc i follow her. And bitching with other people & them being all, “Oh, we’re just bitchy ~Slytherins~!!!!”

    Like, sorry i asked for advice because i knew you had knowledge? Sorry i tried to have a conversation with you about something? Sorry i took maybe two writing classes in college & so i don’t know the resources that might exist, or ways to do things? Like, thanks for biting off my head & then bitching about me. It really helps my current frame of mind. :|

    I’m sick of people, tbh. In the past week, i made a paranoia-driven status, admittedly, & the comments i got were people making it about themselves (“why do you say X, that makes us feel…”), “You need to choose to be happy”, & people saying guilt trippy things about how “I invite you to things, but you never come!”

    I don’t know. Everything is difficult & i don’t know how to handle any of it. I have two people i feel comfortable talking to & who i feel like i can trust. I really don’t trust anyone else. I’m sure that sounds overly dramatic, but. Whatever. If i’m not feeling invalidated, i’m being outright ignored, so, i’m honestly feeling really shitty.

    • Oh nooooes… When it rains it pours :( Sending you all the positive vibes!! <3 It's such crap that people were turning everything on you. Yes, sometimes we just need to be brutally honest and get the things we're feeling off our chests in a raw and real way. And that is valid! It's not an open invitation to cut you down for how you're feeling :/ I hope things look up soon! Take care <3

    • “Choose to be happy” well I feel kinda punchy but here’s some cute things because I’m not a part of your life and able give them people a piece of my mind or some blunt force trauma. I can plank on my knuckles so it’s not like I’d need a 2×4 to make a decent impact.

      Um right CUTE THINGS that are like supportive hug

      look at those cute squishy pika cheeks

  13. Congratulations on the dream job! How cool is that? I think it’s pretty cool that you even know what that dream looks like for you, and then to be able to realize it?? Pretty freakin cool. Maybe someday for me too!

    This week I have been enviously watching all y’all’s insta feeds, catching up on some soccer (any thoughts on last night’s USA vs Japan? All them yellow cards, I mean…), and working. Off today, so eating all the cereal and listening to LY2D on repeat in preparation for a working weekend.

    Any favorite remedies for sore shoulder muscles? An ex of mine always used all these goopy ointments and torture-chamber-esque massage devices, but I think I’m looking for something simpler (and cheaper!).

    Have a lovely weekend!

    • No comments on USA v Japan, but I’m about to start a solid month of working on interview transcripts/subtitling for the EURO Cup, so. My life is going to be nothing but soccer for the next little while. I’m sure I will have plenty of opinions to share with you all :D

    • Oh, and sore shoulder advice: start with simple warm-up arm stretches (shoulder/neck rolls, pulling your arm across your body, child’s pose [stretched to the left, then middle, then right], etc.) and hold for 30 sec-1 min each. If you can feel a particular knot, take a tennis/golf/rubber band ball and place it between the sore spot and the wall. Then roll your shoulders and generally move around, keeping the ball between yourself and the wall, until you feel the knot release. Hurts like nobody’s business but it really works.

      • Thank you! I’m going to do all of that. Had to lift from a slightly awkward position yesterday and feeling it a bit today.

        And that’s pretty cool about the soccer stuff! Have you done that in previous years? Is it a gig with the euro cup itself or a third-party transcription service? Either way, sounds like a sweet setup!

        • You’ll definitely want to stretch if you’re sore from lifting something, but don’t overdo it. Stick to 2 or 3 30-second reps and take it from there – the muscles will already be torn/damaged, so you don’t want to damage them further.

          As for the EURO Cup, I freelance for a third-party translation/transcription service that focuses on soccer stuff. I’ve never done the EURO Cup, but I did do the Women’s World Cup last year and the men’s World Cup the year before that. It’s a wild ride – the company is based in the UK and I’m Canadian, so there are lots of all-nighters and weird hours involved. But I always have a lot of fun and it’s a great networking opportunity. Plus I get to put “FIFA” on my résumé, so there are bragging rights :D

    • A warm compress.
      Warning tho if you have high blood pressure, poor blood circulation or have diabetes it might not help your soreness or even cause problems.

      Cheap reusable DIY compress:
      Get a mateless tube sock or recycled long shirt sleeve, just has to be a fabric that can survive the heat of the dryer with no metal parts or parts that could burn you.
      Filled it with uncooked rice and sealed off on both end to keep the rice in.
      Heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds. If it’s not warm enough for you after the 30 seconds heat it in 10 second increments. Just remember to keep a barrier between your bare skin and the compress.

      Depending on where the soreness is focused something draped across your shoulders might do best. If the soreness is more shoulderblade back area of shoulders then a hot water bottle or heating would do fine while you lay on your stomach.
      But I suspect your soreness is likely in the feather boa area of the shoulders so a long flexible tubey thing would be best for that. You won’t have to hold it in place, just arrange it and sit still for a bit.

    • aw thank you! honestly, i have a lucky habit of falling into things and then realizing they are the right things, so in that regard i feel #blessed

  14. I’m dealing with some disappointment today :( I was all pumped to go to Pride but someone at my job is quitting literally the day before so I’m probably gonna have to fill their hours + my roommates aren’t really wanting to go, meaning I’d have to go it alone. And everyone knows Pride just isn’t the same all on your lonesome. Wehhhhhh

    On the bright side, I found out that my parents got the house that they’ve been trying to get approved on for the better part of a year!! YAY!

  15. Ooh ooh my lemon curd I made last weekend is beautiful and waiting for me to defrost puff pastry dough. Guava and lemon pastelitos bout to happen.
    Other good news I had the first day for my compositional english class yesterday and did not blank out or curl up into a little ball of all the not positive feelings when I was required to cold write an essay for diagnostic purposes. Probably bungled the conclusion but I wrote things, and there was a identifiable thesis statement.

    Bad news I lost a thing someone let me borrow and now I’m afraid to face them until I can buy a replacement for it. At this point I’m afraid they’d maybe throw it at me rather accept it provided I can even find a replacement.

    I should probably get an instagram, a tumblr or both cause photofuckit is too frustrating and I have thoughts on Things all of the time and no one IRL to share them with. I mean technically I can share but I’d have to give lecture on the topic first and then what I wanted to share will get lost or I will have tired the person out of coherence.
    But tumblr is scary and not just in oversized tank fish getting released into the ocean and is now littul fishie kind of way.

      • It is what dreams are made of and you can do it in the microwave


        ½ cup unsalted butter cut in pieces
        3 large eggs
        1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
        ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
        1 cup sugar

        In a microwave safe bowl melt butter in microwave on 50 percent power. In a separate bowl lightly beat eggs, whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar then slowly whisk into bowl of hot melted butter until well combined. Cook in the microwave on high for 1 minute intervals only, stirring well after each minute until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon about 3 or 4 minutes. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Pour into small glass jars or larger bowl to refrigerate, will be good for 2 weeks and curd can survive being frozen.

    • thank you! sorry for answering you on a TUESDAY isn’t life crazy i know life post-camp is an absolute disaster so

  16. Happy Friday all!
    I’m going to see Brandi Carlile tonight in Shelburne, VT. I have an extra ticket (friend couldn’t make it) so I’m going all by my lonesome. Show starts at 7PM- I’ll probably get there early because that is what I do. Anyone here going or want to go (worth a shot, right?).

    It has been a really roller coaster week here. For the good: I signed a KILLER visiting assistant professor position for next year which I am so sO SO excited about. Immediately after I signed I was contacted by 2 universities asking me to interview for jobs there– which I had to turn down because I just signed said contract. Hopefully the good employment vibes follow me for the next big round of job apps in the fall.

    All that was cast with a grey cloud when I found out two days ago that a former student (from when I used to teach high school) passed away this week. She was kind, smart, funny, and generally wonderful. As my student she was singularly focused on getting me to wear jeans with heels– and every time I have done so for the past 10 years I have thought of Katherine. I won’t be we wearing jeans with heels to the concert tonight (it is outside, I don’t do outside heels), but maybe I will to the party I am going to tomorrow night–for Katherine.

    • Oh wow I’m sorry to hear about your student.

      But that’s great about the good employment vibes. :)

      • So so so so so so so sooooooooooooo good. I didn’t think I could love her any more than I did before the concert. I was wrong.

  17. Bonjour mes amis! Joyeux vendredi!

    This week has been good. Like really good. I finished my world literature class with an A! Well, I did try to slack off and got a 65 on one of my papers. Man did I feel disappointed in myself. After doing that once, I didn’t take a chance and I finished on top! Also I finished working on some character sketches! Oh, I saved a bunch of money couponing and finding some great deals on meat! Nothing I love more than saving a few bucks. I have a good stock pile of shampoos and deodorant and I was thinking of donating a majority of what I don’t really need.

    I hope every one has a great weekend! Let’s enjoy our lives and the little moments that bring a smile to faces :)

  18. I was stoked for my birthday last Saturday, and while it exceeded my expectations on awesomeness, wow have things fallen off a cliff since then. My mystery chronic pain condition flared up out of nowhere on Wednesday and after many hours of debate, I ended up in the ER in hopes that they would give me a script of something for the pain (they didn’t, so I have leftover meds that minimally help with the pain but knock me the fuck out so hey at least I can sleep???? positive lining????). Plus my ankle is still pretty fucked and I’m supposed to be going to biweekly physical therapy which awesome, I can’t do that right now because I’m in so much pain. (Also I have a follow up in 6 weeks to determine if I’ll need an MRI/potentially surgery in case things are torn and not just badly sprained; given how past bad sprains have gone, I’m very much afraid that it’s more severe than a sprain right now).

    So frustration levels are at maximum right now (not being able to work; not having doctors that want to sort out what’s wrong with me; not having pain meds that actually do anything for the pain; not being able to do needed PT for my ankle; not being able to do ANYTHING) and it just seems weird/really unfair that a week ago things were absolutely fantastic and they’re the opposite of that now.

    BUT here’s a long-exposure picture of me+my friends last friday night doing a night lap WITH GLOWSTICKS (0/10 do not recommend without moonlight it is a HORRIBLE IDEA; with moonlight it’s p dang cool and I would recommend tho)

    Also here’s one of the best pictures I took from last weekend of my friend who is fucking STYLING the last drop of the last rapid

    • Those pictures are super cool! And I’m glad you had a great birthday.

      Ugh but I’m sorry about the pain. Pain management is complicated and also regulated in a weird manner that doesn’t seem super helpful, in my healthcare experience. I hope you find someone who will really take an interest in finding the right treatment for you.

    • Love long exposure photography, and that one is a very good one. I agree, without the darkness it is harder. Unless you have a like a 7 stop ND filter as it’s getting dark.

  19. You guys I hear that Carmen is single, pass it on.

    Camp is over and I am in such a weird liminal space! I’m halfway back into the real world because I’ve been driving since ten, but not really feeling real because I’m sitting in a steakhouse in Bakersfield decompressing and waiting to check in to my hotel where I will take a bath and then SLEEP FOREVER. (Oh my gosh, that’s not what I meant, I just meant until tomorrow morning.)

    I don’t even know how to talk about camp yet. I feel very skinless, but in maybe an important way?

    Brb gonna go sleep for a century ??

  20. TV talk soon? Because I valiantly made my way through the first four and a half seasons of Person of Interest over the past month and a half or so and finally caught up to real time at Episode 10. BUT REALLY THOUGH?!?

    • Me too! Even just a short post, like “Oops, we were fooled again!” would be great so that we could have a place to discuss in the comments.

  21. It’s cold and rainy here in dear Melbourne as I make my way to work this miserable Saturday morning.

    I have an exam on Monday, which I have not studied for and I don’t really have any idea what the exam is even about. Then another exam on Wednesday. That one I at least understand what we’re being tested on. It’s gonna be a couple busy days cramming marketing and business theory.

    In other news I’ve been playing the new Drake, Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Flume and Tegan & Sara albums on repeat. So my ears are very happy.

  22. Congrats on the dream job, Carmen! That’s so exciting!

    On the good side, tomorrow is beach day with the girlfriend and some friends. Swimming! Sunshine! I packed nice snacks!

    On the minuses, I think the girlfriend is WAY more into this relationship than I am and it’s stressing me out because I don’t want her to get hurt if I never reach that same level. I’m happy with us right now but am struggling to imagine the future.

    Buuut in unrelated news (but kind of related because it’s the future), I finally started looking at job ads in my field, and realized that despite feeling like the worst grad student, I am actually currently super qualified for many things in my desired locale? And I don’t care if they’re not the kind of jobs my current program would probably push for; I’d be able to live and be near people who matter to me, and it’s so comforting to know that if I walked away right now I’d be okay.

  23. Congrats on the new job!

    I don’t have much to say today – had my wisdom teeth out this morning and I. Am. Miserable. I mean, I’m glad to have them out because there’s now an end in sight for the pain, but atm my face is impressively swollen and I can’t even close my mouth.

    On the upside, everyone (including my dogs) is taking very good care of me. My sister set up a station on the couch for me, my mom’s making me puréed KD and scrambled eggs (yum?) and I’ve had 2 people buy me Slurpees. So that’s nice.

    Sorry I’m not up to sharing dog pics today – I’m still pretty out of it from the anesthesia. Maybe tomorrow.

    • Oh! I’m sorry you’re so miserable! I need to have that done, they’ve been telling me so for a couple years but now I’m getting some pain and shifting so it’s definitely time…

      How many days are you giving yourself to recover? That’s my biggest hangup with scheduling it. I know people who have healed very slowly. But others who went back to work the next day!

      Glad you’re being well taken care of! Enjoy your scrambled (and pureed?) eggs!

      • Yeah, for me it wasn’t really a choice. All of my teeth were impacted and one was infected, so I was in enough pain that it needed to be done ASAP.

        I’m giving myself the weekend to recover before starting work on Monday, but I work from home (I’m a freelance translator) so it’s not as big of a deal. I just made sure to get well ahead of my deadlines and I’m having a colleague proof my work until I’m off the T3s and/or relatively sure of my mental stability. Really though, the timeline I’m giving myself seems pretty average. Most people I’ve talked to have told me that their recovery was pretty quick; they could get it done on a Friday and be back to work by the following Tuesday. You probably won’t be looking your prettiest (bruising takes 5-10 days to subside), but you should be functional.

        Hope that helps :)

        • Ugh impacted wisdom teeth are the worst! I hope your recovery goes smoothly! I had mine out 6 months ago and I was terrified of getting dry socket but I was fine. I actually had mine out on a Friday and was back at work on Monday because I didn’t have sick days at the time…it’s nice that you work from home! Scrambled eggs are the best, also applesauce. Also cold compresses on your face for the first 48 hours and then a heating pad!

  24. Today I learned about two people in my workplace getting engaged, one just got married and two are soon to be married (there are not even that many people left now). I never felt more single. Besides that it’s been a pretty good week, can’t wait till holiday season officially kicks off with nice weather and long lunches in the park – not doing any work and still getting paid basically.

    • Alllll my coworkers are married/engaged/living with their boyfriends or girlfriends. Also most of my friends. UGH. Sometimes I think there are literally no single people in my city!!!

  25. Camp was amazing. The Bluebird Lounge was amazing. The food was not amazing but who cares when you can see the A-Camp Family band play?!

  26. I’ve only been home for 4 hours but I’m already wallowing in post-camp grief. I saw a straight couple as I was driving back and for a second I was surprised, and then I remembered that I’m not normal here. And now I’m just crying.

    Somebody at Autostraddle should write an article about managing the post-camp grief spiral, because I have to believe I’m not the only one.

    • I’ve never been to camp, but did go to Dinah, and the day after had similar feelings. Like why can’t everything be catered to just queer ladies and non-binary folks?

  27. DUDE WE WERE AT IN N OUT LIKE A FEW HOURS AGO. I MISS YOU AND THE MOUNTAIN OMG. Then you had to listen to those two cis dudes at in n out talk about their divorces and fishing?! damn you patriarchy @carmenrios

    • I wish I could have gone to In N Out, but at least I’m at LAX eating a big damn bacon cheeseburger

  28. Hi Carmen!!! Welcome back! And congrats on your job! Dream job! Beverly Hills! Yay! I finally got hired at my real person grown-up job a month or so ago and it’s awesome but also extremely busy! So after work I went for a run and now I’m drinking PBR while putting up my clean laundry and listening to Tegan and Sara…clearly a very exciting Friday night.

    I would post a picture of my coworker’s cat that I took care of the other weekend but it’s too hot and I’m too lazy to figure out how to post photos.

    ALSO it’s been two months since my ex-girlfriend and I broke up and it’s finally time to stop listening to my breakup CD in the car.

  29. I just watched “Wynonna Earp”, and I’m a donut.
    PS – Sapphire and Ruby are so cute.

  30. I’m really hoping to finally be able to go to a-camp either this next year or the year after! gotta love having the funds of a college kid :/
    I recently decided to officially move back in with my parents after almost 2 years of living on my own at university due to finances, which will be nice because I’ll have my own space and not have to worry about starving, however my relationship with my parents is really rocky so we’ll see how things go.
    It’s been around a month since I started working at my new part time job and well I’ve fully realized that I truly hate retail! I’ll most likely stay with this store because I get lots of hours which is nice but I can feel my depression starting back up along with a whole other slew of mental illness junk.
    I’m doing two 5k runs this weekend, one tomorrow at 8am and then another on sunday at 10am! I’m also going to one of my local prides after the first 5k and am super excited because I’ve never been to one in the lower peninsula (I live in Michigan).
    Wish me luck!

  31. Y’all I ate too many pastelitos.
    Night baking is bad, no one to share with and save me from myself by co-eating the baked goods.

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