Friday Open Thread: Is It Fall Where You Are?

Hey orange and read (get it?) falling leaves, welcome to the Friday Open Thread! How was your week? Did anything fun or weird or horrifying happen? Did you talk to a cutie? Did you find yourself re-reading (and highlighting and doodling about) your favorite page of your favorite book? What’s your favorite book?

That’s a lot of questions, but let’s skip ahead to the most important one: Is it fall where you are? It is particularly not-fall in Dallas. Last night I wore a flannel to dinner in defiance and was way too warm all evening. And it’s not that North Texas ever has what anyone would call fall — the leaves only ~change~ on very particular trees in very particular years. But usually by this time one at least might need a jacket. I remember making childhood Halloween costumes with options for layers because it could be warm enough for a tee shirt or cold enough for a coat. But this year it’s just been hot and stayed hot.

However I hear rumors of far off lands with cool breezes and hints of snow and leaf-covered paths. Are you there? Do you have pictures?

I probably glamorize transitional seasons because I have never lived anywhere with a real fall or spring, we just have a sort of tepid few weeks in between mild winters and a deathly hot summers. But I still look for transformation in these months, in my surroundings and in myself.


So tell me, what is it like where you are? Are there changes in the air as we inch our way toward the end of this hellfire election season and the close of this bizarro world year? What are you hoping for? Are you making anything new?

I can’t wait to hear about it! Of course, please also lay upon me all your gossip, your pet pics, your work troubles and victories, or that weird noise you keep hearing from the apartment above you. See you in the comments!

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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a Presbyterian pastor. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @adrianwhitetx.

Adrian has written 153 articles for us.


  1. Today is fall. Yesterday was 70 degrees. New York is weird. I saw a single leaf on the ground today, and it made me really happy.

    Did you talk to a cutie? YES I DID. We’re hanging out tomorrow. I don’t know if it’s a date or friends, but hopefully I’ll find out eventually?

    I’m currently at work, and it’s super slow today, so I’m listening to Mary Lambert. Actually, right now I’m listening to Cynthia Erivo, who is the stunningly talented actress currently starring in The Color Purple.

    I also wrote a gorgeous lyric this week – not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s a pretty lyric.

    I ordered CAROL on dvd. What took me so long? Ah, what it would be like to be Therese Belivet…

  2. It’s Autumn where I am, and it’s BEAUTIFUL! This is my favourite season of the year, colour wise and temperature wise. I’m not yet too cold (though it is coming) and I’m thankfully not too hot.

    Lots of people declutter in New Year, I tend to do it now just before it gets too cold and I lose the will or power (through illness) to do so.

    I have not favourite book, neither did I talk to a cutie (unless you can include dog in another context).

    Good luck on your election!

  3. It is indeed fall here and my cat is having temperature tantrums (where he gallops around the house in outraged circles because it’s too cold to go outside and he believes that’s somehow my fault).

    In other cute news, do you guys know about the most adorable/ridiculous/piteous account on all of Instagram, a.k.a Rhea the Naked Birdie?
    Rhea is a mini living rubber-chicken-lookalike with a feather-wasting disease. Scrawny legs. Itty bitty winglets with one remaining feather each. Ear holes. Eraser butt. Little round breathy belly. Wearing TINY KNITTED SWEATERS. Go forth, my friends, and distract yourself from election distress.

  4. Phoenix is being pretty warm this year, too, luckily I’ve worked in both a bakery that burned the shit out my hands, and stocked a freezer on the regular, the field upon which I grow my fucks about extreme temperatures, it is now barren. (ALSO THE WEBSITE USED ME AS A COVER FOR THE INSPIRING BOOKS ARTICLE, BUT IT’S A SERIOUS ARTICLE AND THE BOOK I’M READING IS EROTICA,I’VE BEEN DYING ALL DAY)

    • Wait so Phoenix isn’t a hellscape where it is always 90-105 degrees?

      Am I thinking of Tuscon?

      Also, erotica is very serious and I am very fond of you.

      • In the “winter” it cools down to 70-80 and it’s the best place in the world to be for three or four short months. Tucson is the same, but generally 10 degrees cooler year-round.

        I’ve been cracking jokes to my friends about how inspired I must have looked about humping. Studious. Dedicated even.

    • I am also in Phoenix, and I celebrated this morning’s 63 degrees by wearing a beanie AND a hoodie on my bike commute!


  6. It’s only fall in Northern California in the sense that the leaves are falling off the trees. The leaves on the trees in my backyard stay green, then get a little dry and fall off. Only one tree currently has orange leaves, but I don’t have a picture, so here is a picture of my cat on Halloween instead.

      • Or: “I really want this, but I don’t have thumbs.” She kept trying (unsuccessfully) to pick up the Tootsie Rolls with her paw.

    • I will trade you a bag of candy for your cat. If not the cat, one of you remotes will do. I keep losing mine :O

      • Gah, I need the cat and the remotes! I hate needing two remotes – one is for the cable and one is for the Netflix app.

      • I find it hard to understand how you lose your remotes. Unless you carry them around, like i do sometimes.

        • I lose my remotes because I try to juggle and then get bored. I never remember where I put them and my wife never tells me where to find them. She hates it when I try to juggle.

          • Hate to say your wife is right to hide them. I lose my shit if someone else misplaces the remotes.

  7. It’s so fall here in Oregon! I don’t have pics cause I’ve been busy taking weird like 20sec videos of the fall-ness to put in this “neighborhood highlights” video that is a requirement for my grad school app (its weird and i have no video editing skills yet but will have to learn).
    My week has been kinda boring honestly, except I’m so excited that it is finally November the best month of the whole year. Even my halloween was a little blah, I was in class most of the night.

      • Its called Art and Social Practice, basically creative activism. We have to make three videos, one of neighborhood sights, one demonstrating a talent, and one asking a stranger(AHHH) what meaning the clothes they are wearing have to them (thats the one that scares me most). How any of this applies to activism I don’t know, I think they just want to see applicants interacting in the community and like personality >:(

        • ohhhh interesting. Sounds intense but I hope you’re able to have fun with it or at least get through it painlessly.

          • Once I found a program to edit all my tiny clips it got funner. I spent hours fighting different programs. I movie may be simple but that is what I need. My favorite clip out of all the ones I took for the neighborhood was four pigeons jumping and chasing each other.

  8. It’s definitely fall in DC, which I love, but also I don’t get to see the sun anymore because I work until 6. Tradeoffs!

    I am still having lots of trouble actually submitting law school applications. It terrifies me so much I can’t even work on it. But I’m gonna get stuff done this weekend! And also tell my social anxiety to go stuff it and make calls for Democratic turn-out.

    One afternoon is set aside for fun instead of self-improvement…so far I can’t decide between a long bike ride in the fall weather or going to the new Uniqlo. Exercise is good, but Uniqlo’s flannels and work wear are fantastic and this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to actually go to a store. What a dilemma, eh folks?

    • I completely forgot about uniqlo opening but happened to go to the mall last weekend looking for Halloween costume related stuff, and was like whoooaaa what is this line. so many people waiting to get in the store.

    • I’ve never done the law school thing–but as a veteran of the “grad school application process” I want to cheer you on. You are totally going to ace those applications. Take a deep breath, break each one into pieces (writing the things if you haven’t, uploading them if you have), and send them off with a drink or a treat of your choice.

      Applications are awful, waiting for responses is maddening: but you totally got this.

    • Ahh, good luck on the law school apps! Soon it will be over and you’ll never have to think about them again.

      Good luck with phonebanking. I have never done that, but it seems like a good way to support causes and candidates you care about! I hope everyone on the phone is nice <3

      • My past experience running a voter fraud hotline during the 2014 election is that most people are terrible or horrifying, but fingers crossed!

        • Phone banking was actually fine! Most people weren’t home, 1 lady rather crossly asked me to take her off the list, and the people I reached were happy to talk and lots had already voted.

  9. Hehehehehe I saw what you did there! Funny!…… I will steal that joke.

    Dallas does suck at the moment for fall weather. I’m just waiting for it to get randomly cold in December. Don’t even get me started on the rain here. At least we won’t go into a panic over an inch of snow at the rate we are going!

    My week? Crappy. My boss didn’t put in my vacation time for missing a day last week like I requested. t-_-t I held a door open for an old lady and she told me to go back to mexico. t-_-t My car broke down when I was trying to go to work.Luckily I was still in my apartment complex. My dad helped me fix it and my friend gave me a ride to class. However, my dad also kept telling me how lucky I am that he was off work, that I need to stop relying on him (I don’t), and that I need to repair the whole car (which isn’t mine and was given to me in a very crappy state). After that he pretty much told me that I irresponsible, selfish and that I was scapegoating? The car thing actually really bugged me. I only borrowed the car for school and it wasn’t even in good condition. I cleaned it up and made sure it was running better. When it broke down, the only thing I thought about was the car getting towed by the city and my brother incurring the cost when he has children to feed. But I’m selfish. *sigh* Maybe I should just make that into a t-shit “I’m selfish”. Then again…This is the same man who said if I went out at 3 am for some milk and eggs and I got raped, I basically deserved it because I should know better…….

    So yeah, tough week. Keeping my head above water. The only good day was Halloween when I got married. That day was perfect. My wife is happy and she has been making sure I am okay from all the stress. My chest has been bothering me and she is all worried about it because I don’t have health insurance. So now she makes me take a 30 min break where we just cuddle and relax when I come home at night from school. It helps. She also insists on me smoking weed to relax and calm down from all the stress, but I am not sure if that would help my depression.

    Anyways, I hope everyone else’s week was better than mine. I would love to see some pictures of actual fall weather.

  10. Yes it’s Fall here in The Netherlands (which we call “Herfst”). I have lots of great pictures but I have no idea how to upload them here so just close your eyes and imagine the most beautiful forrest with trees turning every shade of yellow and red. That’s what it’s like outside right now.

    And inside it’s lots of candles, blankets & wine. :)

    • That sounds lovely! But you should try to post a picture because some of us live in Los Angeles, and the only thing we know about changing seasons is that right now it’s 58 degrees farenheit, so I’m freezing and needed a sweater to go get coffee. However, our landscape is a mix of blue skies in the morning, hazy and unhealthy all day, with a beautiful smog-infused sunset in the evening—all year round. Seasons are things I only get to see in pictures of other places. Share!

  11. We kinda didn’t really have fall, except this week. Last week it snowed in some parts of the city, and this week it’s been reasonably cold. Also, the leaves are finally falling. My walk to work is very pleasant!

    I’m supposed to be have a “good news” metting with my manager and our boss. No idea what it is, but wish me luck!

    • I hope the good news is more money or maybe them delegating an annoying task away from you. Or snacks! Snack news is my favorite job news.

      I am trying to imagine walking to work in an area with snow and it makes me shudder. I’m glad you enjoy it :)

      • it is good news! They are planning on getting me on a new (hopefully less stressful) project, which is what I’ve been hoping for for months! Also, getting me to learn new programming languages, which I love! So yay good news!

  12. Did anything fun or weird or horrifying happen?

    So, my work exploded and I have to travel like 50% of this month. I literally left my apartment Wednesday and won’t be back except for one day after thanksgiving. Its super weird and I’m already tired.

    But you know whats actually weird? This week I apparently woke up on Monday with like 150% of my decade allocation of fuck everything, I’m going to submit writing places!. And so, I am. At bigger name places than I’d ever normally dare. I am anticipating all rejections but…really, I will take that if it means I get this sort of random bit of daring every so often. After all, rejections hurt but they aren’t that bad in the grand scheme.

    Did you talk to a cutie?

    I also did this! After realizing last week “ehhh not really feeling the cis guy dating scene” I swapped my few accounts to “girls only” and have actually been talking to people. Its terrifying…but at least its bound to be a little better than my past non-attempts at dating

    Did you find yourself re-reading (and highlighting and doodling about) your favorite page of your favorite book?

    I’ve been adoring Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie and other stories and was surprised and pleased by Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers by Alyssa Wong. If you don’t mind a little horror you should check it out.

    Is it Fall?

    Its more Fall where i am now than at home–but I am looking for a bite in the air and not finding it. I will, however, be in Dallas at the end of the month–anything I should look into for the brief week I’m there?

      • I fricken love that story and then I started reading the collection and one of them had a story involve Edna St. Vincent Millay and I might have screamed, its a blur. But her candle burns at both ends.

    • Oh wow you are having quite a week!! Sounds exciting and weird and interesting and cute.

      Hmmm Dallas recommendations. The Dallas Museum of Art is excellent, as is the 6th floor museum if you’re into history (it’s about JFK and the assassination). I’m not good at Dallas tourism but I think there really is a lot of cool stuff to do here. We also have numerous shopping malls.

      • My life style this past decade could probably be called “quiet, strangely mild yet expansive / frenetic activity that confuses everyone”–so maybe I just leveled up to more purposeful daring? /eyebrow wiggle

        Really who knows, I’ll probably be a puddle by Christmas.

        Yeahhh I suspect my friend is going to make me see those shopping malls. The mild trepidation is real. But I’ll see if i can swap one for the Museum of Art once the work meetings are over. Thanks for the recs!


    It was also the first time I have had a gynecological exam ever. I am honestly SO HAPPY about it and kind of want to do it all the time. I was even considering posting to FB about it (“hey female-bodied people who mostly have sex with other female-bodies people, STDs are sometimes still a thing for you as well!”)

    Highlights of the session include me getting my period right as she opened me up with the pussy tongs (or, as grown-ups call them, “the speculum”); her accidentally spilling my pube juice (“cervical swab liquid”(??)) all over herself; and her telling me that my labia are lovely and my cervix is beautiful. (I feel like this was more in reference to the fact that my genitals do not have any diseased flesh, rather than an actual subjective aesthetic judgement, but I’m going to take all the compliments I can get in this department.)

    En fin. It was a very happy experience, as summed up here in my text to a close friend shortly afterwards:

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed going to the gyno so much! I’ve only been once, and it was very painful. I hope you have many more positive gyno visits!

    • Oh my gosh! I’ve never had an exam while on my period, that sounds SO NOT DELIGHTFUL. Congratulations on getting through it!

      Just a quick aside – using the term ‘female-bodied,’ while I’m sure you are well-intentioned, can be problematic from what I understand – if you mean people with vaginas, I’d probably say that!

    • This is so beautiful and lovely. Yay for happy vaginalcologist times!

      Also my first gynecologist told me my cervix looked like a donut that had been stepped on. My latest one told me it was beautiful. So eeee <3 cervical growth (but not like precancerous growths, woo)

      Also also I once went to the gynecologist, and just as she put the speculum in me (which is very AHHH because I have vaginismus and my vagina hates human contact), the fire alarm went off. So she went to go check that out while I hung out speculized in the stirrups wondering if I was gonna catch fire.

  14. I have been consumed with election-related anxiety this week and am trying as best I can to reduce my exposure to Facebook and 538. On the bright side, it’s been foggy the past couple mornings, so I can blame my terror on Dementors.

    Apart from the fog, it hasn’t felt particularly autumnal here in Wisconsin – the air lacks the bite that I associate with fall. Still, I’ve dug out all my flannels and have taken to putting canned pumpkin in my morning oatmeal (a delicious way to eat more fiber and sneak some A vitamins in! Bonus: adding cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar on top makes it taste like you’re eating pumpkin pie for breakfast.)

    As a former assistant in the conservation dept. of my university library, I DO NOT DOODLE IN MY BOOKS. I am, however, really engrossed in All the Light You Cannot See right now, and I’m being extra careful with this copy because it a) belongs to my BFF and b) is signed by the author.

    This weekend, I’m flying to Philadelphia for ~30 hours to take my girlfriend on a date because I miss her and have poor impulse control.

    • I’ve been having election nightmares, and it’s really hard to stay away from news sites. Normally I don’t condone self-medication, but I took a Benadryl before going to sleep last night and that really helped.

    • I even have election anxiety and I’m not even American. I’m subscribed to three election podcasts (Slate Gabfest, Politico’s Nerdcast and 538 Elections) and even those people are getting utterly exasperated with the election. Let’s hope we can all go back to our lives and enjoy the prospect of a woman president come January.

  15. After a few weird 78 degree days, MD is finally staying cool in the low 60s B) The leaves are deliciously crunchy and I think I’ve developed allergies to them but that won’t stop our love story. I was sad to see October leave but I’m starting to love November and the cozy, comfortable feeling it brings to my life. Things are also a little more magical since Thanksgiving and Christmas are in the near future!

    That is also stressful but no shh magic

  16. The love of my life just broke up with me. She said some really hurtful things and I’m hoping it’s because she still loves me and she’s angry. And I know that sounds pathetic but I love her beyond any force in the world. I wanted to marry this girl and now maybe I’ll never kiss her again or hold her in my arms

    • Breaking up is the worst. There are no good breakups, even if you are the person who decided to leave, it ALWAYS sucks. That, of course, is of no comfort, I know. But I hope you know that you deserve to have someone not say hurtful things when they are angry, even if they still love you. You do not sound pathetic, you sound hurt, and that is truly generous of you to share. Feel what you feel, miss them, love them, and be as sad as you are for as long as you need to. I hope things get better, I hope they come back after having apologized sincerely for having hurt you, but if they don’t, I hope you know that it is only because you deserve better. You will have the love that you want; be sure of that even when it feels impossible. It happens, I promise. You should believe me because I am old and I have seen a lot of shit. Things get easier; life gets better, and people learn to be less shitty as they grow. I am a better version of me today than I was even six months ago! I’m amazing, actually! And so are you. Even when you don’t feel it, you are heroic. Your person will either recognize and appreciate it, or they will allow you to make room for someone who will. You are not now, nor have you ever been pathetic. You are love. Embrace it.

    • Everything will be alright. Just take it one day at a time. Cry it out. Do what what it takes to get better. Except drugs and alcohol.

    • Ugh I’m so sorry. What kinds of things help when life feels impossibly bad? I hope you can find some ways to be gentle to yourself.

  17. It’s full-on winter where I am! We already have snow and everything, and I hope that it’s gonna stick for at least a while cause I don’t want to deal with the depression that comes from no light and a black ground…

    My life’s become super hectic all of the sudden, there’s just a bit too much to do all the time. Although stressful and not sustainable, at the moment this provides a very welcome break from thinking of my clusterfuck of a non-relationship-situation. Because, what the hell am I doing! I’ve got a mega-crush on a friend, aka the wrongest person ever. First, he’s a he, a straight white cis guy with all them privileges, and though I identify as bi, I’ve been leaning very heavily towards anything but that in the last years. It feels so weird to have these stupid, stupid feeling for a GUY when I can’t really picture myself in a committed relationship with one. Second, my crush is so, so one-sided. Usually these go away with time but this has only gotten worse in the past six months. I feel like a teenager.

    And now, because I’m a great decision maker and I’ve been lonely and miserable, I’ve gone and fooled around with two of his friends. Who I’m not all that interested in but, you know, another human body and so on and fuck! I need to stop fooling around with people from the same circle of friends! I have a moral hangover, even though I haven’t really done anything wrong per se. Just, ugh.

    So. Thesis, work, other work, course work, keep ’em coming, all good!

    • If you don’t see youself in a committed relationship with him, could it be that you just want to do have fun between the sheets with him? Maybe you admire something about him that you wish to emulate? Crushes are difficult. It took me forever to get over my first one. It wasn’t until I realized she was very pretentious, and didn’t respect me because I was low income, that I got over her very qyickly. I hope everything works out for you ?

      • Thanks for your words! I guess it could be also a case of “this person is unavailable and thus desirable”, and safe in a sense that I’m not sure I’d be ready to receive love and good things from anyone right now anyway. In (an excruciating) way it’s also kinda fun, being so madly obsessed about someone. I was afraid that might not happen anymore when you’re in your thirties. Oh well. Time and patience, maybe some supercool girl will come along, and at some point I’ll forget all about my feelings and hopefully be able to stay friends with him! Meanwhile, burying myself in work seems like a reasonable coping mechanism…

        • Yo, crushes are so fun and sometimes they happen in ways that seem really stupid, but they are always a manifestation of some energy that we need to express in the world. I hope you have really good sex soon, with him or someone else, and channel your excess energy into things that make you feel good.

        • No problem. I can see the whole being unavailable to you as one of the factors in why you developed a crush on this guy. Wanting someone you can’t have is a pretty intense feeling. Kind of fun too if I say so myself. I hate how obsessive it can get though. Good thing you have distractions! ☺ Also I think it is perfectly normal to have crushes at any age. You are in your 30s and that is still young in my book. Enjoy it! ????

  18. It’s like fall with mood swings here in Kentucky. We’ll have a week of perfect fall weather, crisp winds with sunshine, golden leaves falling, and then boom! a week of nearly 90 degree weather. I think November will bring a more authentic autumn and I am so in. I was talking to a cutie who I went out with last weekend but I don’t know what is up with that. Most girls I go out with seem really great and then we go out once and then I get ghosted. Is it ever going to get any better?

    This week as been pretty normal. I have spent my work time working on this project that doesn’t involve much thinking so I’ve been listening to LOTS of podcasts. I really like true crime stuff but I feel like I’ve listened to everything that is good. If you have any suggestions on things I should listen to, please let me know! I just started Limetown–which isn’t true crime but it seems pretty good so far.

    By this time next week, we’ll have a new president named in the US and I know in my heart it will be Hillary but I keep experiencing waves of nausea where I think what if that loud orange thing wins? Please don’t let the loud orange thing win.

    Have a great weekend y’all! Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.

    • Aw, if it was last weekend you’re definitely not ghosted yet. A lot of people just take dating reeeeeally slow in the beginning of getting to know a new person…which seems counterintuitive.

      Either way, it will definitely get better because you are cool and awesome all on your own and someday somebody will turn up who compliments your radness.

  19. It is pretty fall-like here in Michigan. It’s warmer than it usually is, but I think that’s why there are still so many leaves still on the trees and so many that are just starting to change. Usually by this time of year, the leaves have all fallen off the trees. So it is very beautiful.

    I’ve been in training for my new job which is starting in a couple weeks and all my co-workers seem really nice. I’m sick today (for the third time in a month), so I’m at home. Despite being sick, I think my mental health is a lot better than it’s been in a while.

    • Sick again? Change toothbrushes, clean the pillows, get some goooooooood sleep and arm yourself with chicken soup (mexican style). Yummy in your tummy soup. Or get some vapor rub and use it. My mom swears by it.

    • Also i kept getting sick every month until I finally got this tooth pulled and moved from my apartment…. but that is drastic. Feel better

    • Ahh good luck with new job and your bod!! And congrats on taking care of your mental health. That can be so hard when the days get short.

  20. I am in the same boat as you living in Southern California. Though I guess if I want winter I can drive to the local mountains to go skiing, snowboarding, and snow ball fights. I know people who have in the morning gone surfing, then drove 2 hours to go snowboarding in the local mountains. But, like you folks in Texas we really don’t get a proper fall, just a fall-spring mix in the winter and a summer the rest of the year.

    On to the horrifying modern day news, I lost my phone. I was in the restroom and forgot to put my phone back in my pocket. I check the buildings camera to see who may have seen it but no one is speaking. The horrifying part is I recently purchased the phone and I don’t really have money to get a new phone. Then add on top of that we scammed at work. A customer paid with their credit card, which matched the id, then called their card company to say they didn’t use their card(we think). So, we lost a large sum of money there on top of getting charged $75(twice for two different transactions). Bank(who handles are credit cards) said nothing we can really do. They can dispute it with customers card company, but that’s about it. Then the same customer had the galls to try to pay with their card again. We said cash only this time and they left. Customers are queer men of color(unless my queerdar is off, and straight men are starting to dress like they are going to a pride event). I kind of get why they did it, but still.

    It’s been kind of a rough week, and that’s before getting in the week long cold I’ve had. I just want to go home and have a good cry and

    I don’t have anything Autostraddle related to share image wise, but will suggest taking a look at my tumblr page.

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

    • I’m so sorry about your phone!! That’s such a terrible feeling and I hope you’re able to find it <3.

      Also, I have never heard of that scam but I’m actually surprised it doesn’t happen more? I’m going to ask my partner who used to work at a bank because I’m really curious if that’s a common thing.

      • Thank you. I’d be curious to know how common it is, because the bank(who processes our credit transactions) said they can’t do anything. We can send it a dispute claim with all the info, and they can try to talk to the customers credit card company, but that’s about it. There is no other explanation, because the transaction went like normal, and we even have the person’s signature. Also, what stinks is I had an image of the person who came to my store on my phone, but I hadn’t backed it up. I think I know who took my phone, but it’s all hearsay and minimal evidence.

  21. Alas, it is not particularly fall-like here in Phoenix, either. Though this week it’s finally started to drop down to the low ’80s, so that’s nice.

    Also, totally, utterly terrified by this election. Like, contemplating fleeing the country terrified. And it’s really annoying, because none of my heteronormative friends seem to be able to wrap their heads around just how scared I am. We’re in a swing state this year, and I found out one of my labmates proudly voted for her fucking cat for president. And she can’t seem to wrap her head around why I’m so upset about that (it’s doubly weird, because she’s bi and genderfluid, but hey, she’s married to a dude and passes for cis, so I guess it never dawned on her what it’s like for the rest of us). I’ve basically ended the friendship over it, and my wife was so hurt by it that she’s probably lost 6 months of progress dealing with her trauma and has gone back to not trusting anyone (except for me) again (betrayal of any kind is really triggering to her).

    On a happier note, I now have a wife!

    (I’m the one on the left, in the blue).

    We got married this past week and it was everything I hoped and dreamed for. We’re still in the stage where one of us will casually mention, Hey, guess what? We’re married, and we’ll both giggle profusely. I’m so happy that I get to spend the rest of my life with someone so amazing :-D

  22. I’m so glad you asked what we’re reading, because I really want to tell you. I read this lovely lesbian romance last weekend – The Butch and the Beautiful by Kris Ripper, and it was so much fun! I ended up buying the whole series so far as a birthday present to myself. It’s a queer romance series set in the fictional town of LaVista on the East Bay – so far the pairings are m/m (both cis), f/f (both cis) and m/f (trans and cis). And the characters feel like actual 20 and 30 something queer people. It’s not perfect – it’s a little uneven so far, but it’s fun and as a long time romance reader, I’m really glad this series exists.

    In other news, I celebrated my wedding anniversary last weekend and my birthday this week. The Cubs won the World Series on my birthday and it’s a beautiful fall day in Chicago. It’s been a good week.

    • Thank you for the book recommendation! I’m always on the lookout for new books to read especially in the lesbian romance genre :)

      Congratulations on your anniversary/birthday/World Series win! I know nothing about baseball, but a couple of my coworkers are big Cubs fans, and they were absolutely ecstatic yesterday.

  23. It turned into fall overnight in NYC…past few days have been HOT and now it’s a bit chilly! Not chilly enough to officially say it’s fall, but it’s getting there.

    Definitely a bit of a bad week… two jobs have slipped through my fingers (again) for reasons out of my control. Girl I really liked couldn’t see me anymore to focus on her career. I’m a career girl, so I understand; it’s just upsetting since I haven’t had that much fun on a date in a long time. Found out my long-time crush at work has a boyfriend. Been reading a lot of Clexa fanfictions to try to lift my spirits.

    On the bright side, I’m planning on finally upgrading my phone today! Realized I have WAY too much cash from my second job, so I’m going to make moves to diversify it all.

  24. You want seasonal transformations? We’ve got ’em in abundance. 2 weeks ago it snowed twice, then it was really spring-y (read: cool and rainy) for a while, and it’s relatively warm and sunny ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I’m also dealing with a major personal transformation. I signed the lease on a loft in QC yesterday (!!!) and am starting to deal with the whole “moving” thing. Turns out I have a LOT of Stuff, and trying to figure out what to do with it all is very stressful. Any advice, dear Straddlers?

    Also, after a relatively slow period, I received not one, but 4(!) projects today. 2 were due ASAP (as in, one was basically real-time translation/transcription, and I had half an hour to do another), one’s due first thing Monday and the last is due Tuesday AM. Tbh, I’m just hoping this post is completely in English at this point.

    So yeah. As usual, Oscar sums up my feelings:

    • Some advice:
      1. Read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up if you want to get rid of a lot of stuff. I didn’t follow the whole method so my house still gets messy (just the way I like it) but there’s a lot of helpful stuff in there.
      2. Make to-do lists for everything. I love making lists. I hardly ever follow them but just the practise of making a list always calms me down instantly.
      3. Keep calm and enjoy this transformational time in your life.

  25. How do I find motivation to do online dating? Why is my awesome and gorgeous friend straight? Why, in my panic about the election, did I commit to three shifts of phone banking in willful ignorance of how badly I deal with phones and strangers? Am I struggling with life because life is hard, or because life is hard and I’m also autistic?

    The big questions.

    My cat is cute, though, and there is Grand Prix figure skating!

    • Loneliness is great motivation to start….. start with finding friends that share your orientation or views and go from there. I met my wife through afterellen became facebook friends and somehow ended up dating???? I wasn’t looking for a relationship either. Actually i was in a fake one with my straight friend Diana…. never broke up with her actually….. we are still friends

    • Does Tinder count for online dating? We don’t really have anything good queer-specific in my country and Tinder seems to work ok-ish. I found my Tinder-motivation from being incredibly bored and in desperate need of distraction. So, um, my awesome advice is to be really, really bored?

      And life IS hard. And all the awesome and gorgeous friends are always straight, and/or in other ways unavailable, because LIFE IS HARD. Thank god for soft and fluffy animals!

      • “is life hard because life is hard or is life hard bc life is hard and I’m also autistic?” I ask myself the same with the variation of “and I’m also dyspraxic”. It’s been particularly challenging lately to live in this ableist society but I also sometimes feel like that’s my “excuse” to behave childish in front of “normal” everyday life challenges??

  26. I love walking over the gorgeous, crunch leaves. It’s such a lovely sound. My days are filled with homework, but I’ve been going to the gym with a friend lately. So I do have some semblance of a social life.

  27. So, it’s been…yeah. Cycle of life came out in force this week, and I’m sitting here in my living room, nursing a beer, pondering it all. Will probably bury my face in floofy cat in a second, as I love her, and there’s really no reason not to be obnoxious to her when she’s sleeping, because she does that to me.

    I got back from a fantastic trip to my favorite place in the country, VT and NH. First I hung out with some wonderful Boston friends, including one I hadn’t seen in seven years. Then, I went up to Dartmouth and participated in Homecoming, including getting my face scorched by our awesome bonfire. It’s the tenth Homecoming since I graduated. I did miss the rugby game, unfortunately, because I had surprise contract work and because it was 40 and raining and windy (fall in New England, indeed), but I hear we beat the tar out of Brown, so, in your face Brown. Generally had a nice trip and met some current undergrads who were very nice to a crusty old alum such as myself.

    Then, I went up to my buddy’s VT homestead. Even though, right now, we can’t be a part of each other’s lives as we once were, and perhaps, if I’m honest, I wish we could be again, I still had a lovely time with her. I got to chase after her 18 month old and give her some much-needed adult conversation. I told her little one “I love you,” to which she replied, “Uh oh!” (her favorite words) and her mom chuckled. Smart kid. As I left, I told her mom I loved her too, which I like her to know, since she doesn’t see too much of me these days…years…whatever.

    As I was making ready to leave Boston, I got a call from my mom. I lost an elderly family member, not blood family, but perhaps even more important. This wonderful lady raised me, and now she’s gone. Talk about a downer at the end of a trip. I knew she was in rough shape, and I’m glad she’s not in pain (physical and spiritual) anymore. It’s my loss, not hers. So yeah, got all these thoughts swimming around in my head about my friend’s kid and losing my almost-parent and my future and the passage of time and…boy, am I glad there’s five more beers in the fridge where this came from.

  28. Longing for Fall like weather to hit us here in Southern California. The only reason I wear sweaters/jackets/any kind of layering is because my boss likes to blast the AC all day at the office.

    On a related note – not sure if I’m seeking advice but an interesting thing happened that I’m feeling guilty/conflicted about and I don’t think I should be?

    I was seeking a higher wage at work – and as those things goes “we’ll talk about it later…” is the typical answer one gets. Then, out of the blue, one of my clients offered me a full time, very well paying job. I wondered if I should inform my boss. So, I brought up the question again and was informed that I’d be getting a 3% raise in February but still not being offered my desired wage.
    I decided to tell him that I was offered another job and what it was offering in pay. Long story short, my current employer didn’t want to lose me and matched the yearly salary my client was offering.

    Why do I feel so shitty about it?

    • It’s frustrating that they wouldn’t just pay you the wage you asked for, but I guess within capitalism ‘someone else is willing to pay me more for the services I provide’ is a pretty fool proof argument. You did the right thing, you were honest with your boss and stood up for yourself. Well done, and congrats on the raise!

    • No reason to feel shitty. You are being valued by your employer but I can imagine it didn’t feel that way when they initially didn’t want to pay you what you asked for. As women we’re not used to ask for what we deserve and it often make us feel a little uncomfortable, whether we get what we want or not. You did a good job. You should be proud of yourself.

      • <"As women we’re not used to ask for what we deserve and it often make us feel a little uncomfortable" – I think this is probably part of the reason, but thanks all the same. :)

    • I don’t know why you feel shitty about it, but you shouldn’t. You should feel proud that someone else saw your value, and good for standing up for your own value, which is hard for everyone and doubly hard for women.

  29. There are many acorns on the ground, so yes it is fall.
    It may be 80 degrees out but it’s totally fall.
    Because acorns.

    • Exactly!!! I keep having to duck and cover my head as acorns fall from the sky towards my face…while I walk down the sidewalk wearing a tank top and shorts. Definitely an odd combination.

      • I don’t have ta duck because the trees are too far away from my path to hit me directly, but man do they bounce and end up in my path where I get distracted by making them going crunchity snap.
        Gods I love crushing things that make sounds when crushed.

        80 degrees is too cold for shorts, but I wear pants in the 90s so…

        However it is perfect feather to me for body hugging skirts or dresses with long socks. My Monday was spent in half of a Pink Lady outfit but with with tac boots, also an odd combination.

  30. It is not fall in Northern New Mexico. I am sad. I am here for six months for an internship and feel cheated out of my favorite season.

    On the plus side, I am leaving for a business trip out of the country on Sunday so I have an out if the apocalypse begins this week.

  31. Just finished teaching dance class for 14 adorable kids, and the sky is full of fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night. Now I’m off for drinks with my best friend – the night is young and so are we!

  32. I’m going on-site for two software engineering jobs in the next month. I am both terrified and excited. I’m still looking for other positions because I really, really want to get out of North Carolina and the only places that have both LGBT-friendly laws and cultures are all super-expensive, so I need a job to do it.

    My job hunt and my mom’s struggle with chemotherapy have been consuming my life lately. Here’s hoping things get better.

    • Good Luck with both your job hunting and for your Mums’ treatment.

      I hope that all turns out as you hope.

    • I moved to Atlanta from Charlotte. There’s still kinda affordable housing here, and an awesome queer gal culture. You should look for a job here!

  33. Dude, it’s like eighty here in Atlanta. Not complaining, though. The longer I get to hold out on buying a winter wardrobe, the happier my wallet will be.

    In other news, I just got back from “The Handmaiden” and have ALL THE FEELS and why haven’t you guys reviewed it already? I need to talk to people who’ve read the book/seen the BBC miniseries!

  34. I replied to one post, but maybe more people need to hear things like this, because it’s Friday, and sometimes those are the worst days when they should be the best. So here you go everyone. If you’ve been hurt, or feeling not altogether wonderful about relationships, this is for you:

    Breaking up is the worst. There are no good breakups, even if you are the person who decided to leave, it ALWAYS sucks. That, of course, is of no comfort, I know. But I hope you know that you deserve to have someone not say hurtful things when they are angry, even if they still love you. You do not sound pathetic, you sound hurt, and that is truly generous of you to share. Feel what you feel, miss them, love them, and be as sad as you are for as long as you need to. I hope things get better, I hope they come back after having apologized sincerely for having hurt you, but if they don’t, I hope you know that it is only because you deserve better. You will have the love that you want; be sure of that even when it feels impossible. It happens, I promise. You should believe me because I am old and I have seen a lot of shit. Things get easier; life gets better, and people learn to be less shitty as they grow. I am a better version of me today than I was even six months ago! I’m amazing, actually! And so are you. Even when you don’t feel it, you are heroic. Your person will either recognize and appreciate it, or they will allow you to make room for someone who will. You are not now, nor have you ever been pathetic. You are love. Embrace it.

  35. Here in Melbourne it’s spring by the weather changes nearly everyday so it’s hard to tell.
    But I seem to have lost my flannel so I am kind of sad. I haven’t launched an all out investigation for it yet so there is still hope.
    I was excited when I got up this morning though because Deanne smith put up a new podcast :)
    This week has been quite tumultuous as I’ve had my first four final exams. I’ve been a bit disappointed with how they went but I just need to move on and do better on the next ones.
    I did have a really nice night last night though – I ate burgers in the park with my best friend and my sister :)

  36. It’s just hit Summer in Australia so it’s going to be 38 degrees celcius today. Super Hot! I don’t want a blanket near me !

  37. It is definitely autumn here in London. The cold is slowly coming in, the sun is setting about 4pm now, and the morning’s this week have been foggy as fuck [see picture]. But it’s Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night tomorrow, and with Diwali last week too the past week has been full of fireworks. And I got engaged two week ago! eeee!!

    • Congratulations on your Engagement.
      I’m also envious of your encroaching Autumn and even Winter.
      Next week in Sydney most of the temperatures will be in the high 30’s and I’m just not ready to melt yet.

  38. I am so with you on the season envy train, I recently moved from Seattle, the land of (fairly wet and grey, but still) mild seasons, to Arizona, the land of three seasons: sunny, sunny and hot, & sunny and satan’s butthole. This week it’s consistently hit below 90, so that’s nice. Early this morning I was juuust able to manage a flannel for a few minutes on my way to work, which was heavenly. Maybe in december I’ll be able to wear a flannel all day! *sigh*

  39. It’s almost no hoodie weather, yay Spring! I went outside at lunch time yesterday and basically got sunburnt. Temperatures are at about 22c (71F) and probably only going to get hotter.

    The best part about transitioning from cold (well…the Australian version of cold) into Spring is the smell of wattle and general freshness, the worst part is definitely hay fever, thankfully only very mild at the moment.

    Although I live half a world away, I am still really nervous about the US election. I am over the election coverage and we only get a few minutes a day. I can’t even imagine how exhausting it would be to live in the States, living and breathing the toxic media and political environment right now. Despite its toxicity, please go and vote. Change requires participation.

    All this weekend will be spent writing an essay due Monday, my last uni assignment for the semester. Bring on the end of the academic year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. So this Halloween I dressed up as Carmilla Jane Grace (black eye makeup, drawn-on mandala tattoo, neck bite marks, cat stockings) and nobody got it but my queer BFF. I mostly just told people I was a punk vampire. It was so worth it, though!

  41. As someone who grew up in SoCal and then has spent one winter in an actual winter-y climate, you’re not glamorizing actual seasons, they are fucking fantastic. Hate to break it to you!

    Also, I got a 96 on my most recent midterm! :)

    • Congrats on your midterm!!

      I always wanted to live in California where it would be warm all year round, but I think I really would miss the seasons. As horrible as winter can be, it just makes spring that much better when it finally gets here.

  42. I live in Central Florida, where it has finally become cool enough to justify wearing long-sleeved shirts. I half-joked to my Dad that cleaning up hurricane debris is the closest we can get to raking fall leaves.

  43. All the leaves are turning pretty colors and falling off the trees here in TN, and it’s getting darker by the day…but it’s still been like 80 degrees like all week so not sure what’s going on with that! This weekend it’s supposed to get cooler though. Speaking of flannels…I not only have enough flannels, I may actually have too many. Not sure if that’s really possible but if it is, I’m definitely in that category.

    I’m planning to have a nice relaxing weekend. All day at work, I was looking forward to going for a run when I got home, making dinner, and then drinking some wine while reading Autostraddle (especially excited for Things I Read That I Loved this week). And now this moment is finally here and I’m so happy <3

    • I don’t think there is such thing as too many flannel. If there is just donate it to your local queer in need. lol

  44. Fall is upon us in Chicago, but I go to a Catholic school so no cute fall clothes, just uniforms. My gf and I won my schools costume contest though! The nuns posted about it on their blog and I am loving it

  45. Y’all I’m trying to put a playlist together, but I’m stuck at 3 songs. The theme is Root:Badass Babe.
    It’s like a tribute those badass babes who made us realise our queerness and/or that babe who’s such a badass we don’t know quite if we want to be BFFs, straight up be them, or date/fuck them but first how to we even talk to the person.

    So far it’s:

    L7-Fast and Frightening
    Peaches-Boys Wanna Be Her
    Bikini Kill- Rebel

    MIA-Bad Girls

    Any suggestions?
    Like loud, hard or at least fast suggestions. Ani Difranco type stuff puts me to sleep.

      • Oh wow is that song perfect. Thank youuu.
        Matches the theme 100% and it rhymes its references/name drops.

        I kinda wanna learn it and see the karaoke place that’s mostly rock fans has it.

  46. Fall is in full swing here in Ohio and it’s beautiful. My favorite season and I’m so happy for a chance to wear actual clothes. Specifically I just bought this fleece lined flannel shirt situation that is so warm and soft and cuddly I don’t think I’ll ever take it off again. I need like ten more of these (especially since I only have one other flannel which is kind of a disgrace).
    Also I’m kind of considering a plan to go back to college soon(ish) and it’s terrifying but also a goal to work towards and I want to do it really bad but again, I’m terrified. I’m not good at planning for the future. Or thinking about the future. Or the present. Or anything.
    For now the biggest news in my life right now is that I’m almost done crocheting my mom a fall-themed wreath and I’m looking forward to giving it to her. I don’t have any pictures because I’ve been working on it in secret but the little turkey on it is adorable (and also named Jonathan).

  47. I wish it was Autumn here! We only have a wet and a dry season in the outback. It’s been around 37-38 degrees recently (around 100 Fahrenheit) and it’s only going to get hotter.

    I just bought a PlayStation 4, so I’m going to stay inside in the AC and cause havoc on GTA V all weekend.

    • I feel for you. I know it’s beautiful outback but I just couldn’t cope, enjoy your AC. It’s the only thing that gets me through Spring and Summer.

  48. Here in Poland we’re fully in fall mode. In fact, it’s just about winter! Almost all the leaves are off the trees and any minute this rain is going to turn to snow. We changed time last week (I dunno why we’re earlier then ya’ll) and it’s dark by like 4 and I am STRUGGLING! I don’t know where I’d be without my SAD lamp.

    I moved to a new flat this week! It’s cute and bright and I’m into it.

    I talked to someone cute, too! My town is small and super Catholic and queer visibility is non-existent so thank you, Tinder. She lives in a city a little ways away but I went to visit her on Halloween and we watched scary movies and then we cuddled and it was nice. :)

    Also I’m probably getting a kitten soon! One of my student’s cats just had some. Yay!!

  49. It’s 100% autumn in Beijing, everyone back home is getting ready for summer and I’m trying to not let homesickness swallow me whole in the buildup to mid-terms and these months of pollution, no Christmas and no plans post-January (I don’t think I can go home and I can’t stay here! V. semi sonic – closing time tbh).

    I’m hoping next year I can go home and start again, or finally move on! And for some reason loving throwback faberry fics (nostalgia for glee is surprising and yet here we are…)

  50. I’m late…but I’m here! Firstly does anyone ever have “enough” flannel? I mean I have maybe 8 shirts but I feel I could go a couple more. It is indeed Autumn here in the U.K. we’ve had those amazing crisp cold mornings with plenty of gorgeous colours in the leaves as they change. Stunning truly.
    So weird occurrences this week; I was driving to the DIY store, playing a women of the 90s compilation on the stereo, and “I touch myself” by the Divinyls came on. Now ordinarily this would be funny DIY store and that track, right….right!…Except I was in the van with my mother…and I didn’t realise what track it was until it hit the chorus, by which point I feel like I couldn’t change it. I’m 33 and I swear at that moment i had flashbacks to when I was 15 and she’d caught me watching a lesbian sex scene on tv…so after freezing for a couple of minutes as the track blared on the stereo I attempted to talk over it, about anything…anything…my level of awkward has hit new heights folks. Ah well, at least it wasn’t Afternoon delight.
    Have great weekends whatever you are doing. -If you’re British and taking part in the Effigy burning -stay safe tonight! I’ll be protecting my wife and dog from the fireworks by cranking the TV allll the way up.

    • Ha this made me laugh. I’m about your age and I still get embarrassed with anything to do with sex around my parents. I don’t think that will ever change.

  51. It has been a whirlwind of varying weather. This week has felt like early fall, with some gross late fall cold rains mixed in. Yesterday felt like winter because it was sleeting, all of the leaves were gone in VT, and it was below freezing (though was just ABOVE freezing when we put on the water so I didn’t break my “no boating if it’s below freezing rule”). It felt like actual fall once I got to Boston yesterday though. Several friends were complaining about the cold and I just kept marveling at HOW FUCKING WARM IT WAS. I am maybe too adjusted to the Adirondacks perhaps (where the first snow was a week or so later than usual but has happened already).

    My biggest thing rn is that I am a big bundle of nerves about my ankle surgery on Tuesday, but less so about the surgery and more about the recovery aka mandatory 2 weeks (at least) not using one of my feet and then 4 weeks of not really using that foot.

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