FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: It’s Almost My Birthday And I’ll Watch History Get Made If I Want To

Hey, perfectly coordinating salt and pepper shakers! It’s been so long since we hung out and I am really jazzed to be commandeering the Friday Open Thread ship once again, a weekly space we carve out for you queers in order to offer up discount yoga to the community at-large. JK! Learning yoga was at the way top of my list when I moved to Los Angeles but I’ve stopped keeping lists and instead err now on the side of “doing whatever the fuck feels right” so I forgot to sign up for classes. How about instead we love on one another, share pictures of our pets / loved ones / recent projects / fly outfits slash killer hairstyles, and elaborate about our lives? Okay, cool.


I’ve got a lot going on in the week coming up, and prepping for it has been, um, terrible. I’ve got a flight tomorrow at 6 AM to Philly, where I’m gonna watch Hillary Clinton become the Democratic nominee for real. I’m extremely excited, obviously, both about witnessing history and also the amount of tears I will likely shed in that moment related not to extreme exhaustion, feeling overworked, or not understanding where I’m supposed to be or what happened to my credentials but instead related to the unabashed joy I am experiencing just knowing that this is all about to happen. It’s all about to happen! I don’t really mind if you’re not as excited as me but I AM FUCKING EXCITED OKAY LET ME HAVE THIS FOR A SECOND.

Meanwhile, the day after that whole shebang goes down I am no longer 25, instead I am 26 on the 27. And then 7 8 9, or whatever. (I will be accepting birthday comments below and am open to unsolicited fan mail to mark this occasion. JSYK.) I’m getting older and it’s weird and I still don’t feel like an adult and la la la I can’t believe the universe trusts me to be one year closer to 30 when this week I slept for like 20 hours over five days and did laundry at midnight surrounded by strange men also doing laundry at midnight because I dunno if you knew but apparently all men do their laundry after 10:30 PM rolls around. Fun times! Good memories!

Stuff I would like for my birthday this year, in case you were wondering: Any form of currency that can be applied to purchases of Perrier, a Nespresso machine, muscle tee crop tops, baby pink lighters, this beach towel I’ll probaby buy myself soon, an autographed copy of Living History and/or Hard Choices, and this cake.


Simple stuff, really!

Okay, there you have it! I’m about to be real busy and also real angsty about the fact that I’m friends with a bunch of people who born after 1990. I’m also about to be real happy to see your faces, so get into it and talk to me already! Time is of the essence, y’all. I’ve still got a trillion things to do before that flight, obviously, because that’s how I roll: Incredibly prepared and incredibly sleep-deprived.

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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. Happy friggin’ birthday! As a January baby I was always slightly jealous of summer birthdays ;)

    I bought myself a jean jacket recently and because I’m on my way to becoming the early 90s lesbian of my own dreams, I’m in the market for lapel pins and buttons – suggestions welcome.

    • make some! pinbacks are reasonably priced! get some sculpey, or those crystals for plants/fish plus some paper, get crafty!!! also check your local record stores

    • Etsy has a good selection. Also stopping by to say a lot of big retailers have been ripping off patch and pin designs from independent creators, and that sucks, so buy independent and support these artists! I’ve seen so much on Instagram and Twitter this week and it makes me mad. Happy pin hunting. :)

    • oh my god please put so many activist pins on your denim jacket

      also having a summer birthday was fun as a kid because no vaca but also people would literally melt if i ever had an outdoor party so there was that. life works out! we all win some!

  2. Happy birthday!

    I had a great week that turned terrible, y’all. Started on Sunday when I saw Ghostbusters and got my first tattoo. It’s amazing and it’s healing really well (no scabbing so far???) and I’m in love with it.

    Then my parents, who have been in the process of going through divorce court and hating each other for 12 years, went above and beyond their normal level of legal shit and, long story short, got my dad sent to jail. My dad raised me and is the only person I can count on to look out for me. My mother is an abuser and a horrible human being.

    I’m feeling really lost, y’all, and desperately sad for myself and my father and I’m just not sure what to do.

    • This absolutely sucks. I’m so sorry. My parents split after I was an adult and out of the house, and since then my dad, who I adored, has revealed that he is in fact a spineless narcissist who will sell out his girls. On the positive side, my mom, who I always loved but had a lot of friction and harshness with, is a pretty decent adult friend.

      Abusers just seem to shit all over everything, anyone who ever crosses their paths in this life. Hang in there.

      • Interesting how that works, eh? As a senior in high school and through my first 2 years of college, I got along better with my dad, though I was doing some not-so-great things in my life at the time, and to this day, I still feel guilty about constantly lying to him (“Everything’s fine, Dad, really!”) and regret that I didn’t try to get closer to him earlier. My mom, on the other hand, I’ve always had issues dealing with, so she and I rarely talk.

    • I’m sorry about your situation, M. That’s terrible. Happy thoughts for you and your dad!

      My parents also had a very nasty separation and divorce, though that happened when I was 12. In my case, I came to realize that my mom saw me more as a poker chip to use against my dad and less as her daughter.

      • Yeah, my situation was really similar. My parents divorced when I was 10 and have been fighting in court ever since. I lived with my mom for a while, but she was abusive to me and I wound up moving in with my dad. He saw me through college and was the only real “parent” figure I had.

        Even in court yesterday, my mom tried to use me as an example of a “victim” of how my dad treats people, as if he hasn’t been the only kind adult role model in my life for the past 20 years.

    • First things first: Ghostbusters is amazing & your tattoo sounds awesome! What is it of?

      And second things second: I am so sorry. I don’t have personal experience with that, but it must be incredibly hard to watch that happen and I hope that you have people in your life who can offer some level of support.

    • Hi, M. I’m so sorry this is happening! I hope the truth comes out and that you are able to heal. And I want to hear more about your tattoo!

    • oh man this is terrible and i am really really sorry <3

      the good news is your tattoo is awesome and badass i already know it also i didn’t say it in the post because #sorrymom but i am getting my first tattoo when i come home from the convention so! you’re my inspiration.

  3. Happy birthday, almost-twin! Today is my birthday, except that I’m truly old, at 27. Nooo! I don’t want to get older.

    Hello everyone!! Did you miss me? :) Life has been crazy busy with cross-country moving and starting grad school, hence my lack of activity on autostraddle lately. But things are also awesome!

    Two weeks ago, I arrived at my new home in Florida, after spending 5 days driving across the country from Washington state in my little Prius crammed full of all my belongings and cat. She traveled very well, I actually think she had a better attitude than I did. While I was cursing at the Nashville rush hour after driving 13 hours from Kansas City, she was loudly purring beside me. I need to be more patient like my cat. The drive went as smoothly as could be expected, though it was very long and tiring. I listened to many hours of audiobooks.

    Butte, MT (first overnight stop. It was really beautiful here)

    St. Louis Gateway Arch in the downpour

    Sunset in Chattanooga

    Florida has been amazing so far! I am so relieved that things are actually working out. My new apartment is comfortable, St. Petersburg is a beautiful city to explore with plenty of beaches and unbelievably WARM water (a big change from the Puget Sound!). And most importantly, my lab seems to be a good fit. Everyone there is really supportive and laid-back and excited about the research. It feels so refreshing to be back in academic research again, even if I’m just beginning. I know that things will get more hectic once classes start, but so far, I’m really enjoying it here. I was kind of lacking in confidence coming in, nervous because of some prior failures, but life really seems to be working out right now.

    And in the next couple weeks, I’ll go out on a boat to collect samples, which I am really excited about!

    Photo: View from the lab

    I’ve been cycling to work, which is about 30 minutes by bike, and the ride is very pleasant in the morning, running adjacent to the waterfront. The ride back home always has a risk of thunderstorms, which I’ve noticed can arrive with barely any notice. I thought I knew downpours in Washington, but those were nothing compared to the suddenness and intensity of Florida storms. I’ve been really enjoying watching the lightening these past two weeks.



    Rainbow after a storm:

    On the weekends, I’ve been able to spend some time exploring some of the local beaches and parks around here, including Fort De Soto Park (which is actually 5 connected keys) and Weedon Island Wildlife Reserve, which has boardwalks through mangrove forests. I’m loving all the cool waterfowl around here: herons, egrets, pelicans, ibises, and many others I can’t name. And lizards, snakes, turtles… and I even saw an armadillo! I feel like a kid visiting a zoo for the first time. Look! Nature! Cool!


    Shameless beach selfie

    On an unrelated note: did you know that you can get free starbucks on your birthday? I am looking forward to ordering the most elaborate frappucino after work today.

    • I love all of these pictures, and I’m SO HAPPY FOR YOU<3 For the successful move! For your birthday! For your research job! :)

      I'm hoping the rainbow after the storm is… a sign, or something. The world is in such an awful state, maybe if we just hold on long enough and work hard enough we'll live to see the rainbow at the end. :)

      • Thank you! I’m really excited for classes to start too! I know it’ll make everything more hectic, but I’m ready to get back to school. Yeah, Florida has really beautiful storms and rainbows and sunsets. The meteorology here is very … vivid. When it rains, it pours, but there’s always warm sunshine right after it. I like it.

    • I am a huge nerd please tell me about your research please please please… Also, good luck with new grad school. MS or PhD? I’m a grad school refugee myself…dropped out of a PhD program last year (fortunately got the masters in passing) and am now halfway through a MLIS.

      • Not to derail this thread but I also dropped out of a PhD program (chemistry) and went for an MLIS and have been a librarian for some years now

        • Not derailing at all! So cool. I dropped out of a PhD program in anthropology, but it was really bio (field primatology/evolution of social behavior). What kind of a librarian are you? I have some librarians in my family, but they are K-12, which is an entirely different animal from what I’m going for. Public librarianship also seems a different ballgame. I don’t suppose you’re an academic librarian at a college or university? If you are, I am dying to know what it’s like. I have one friend who is a social sciences librarian, but I’d love to hear more experiences. I want to be a science and/or data librarian (maybe both) at a small lib arts college.

      • Oh I love talking about anything science! The research is centered on trace metals in the ocean, specifically iron, and the how the different forms the metal takes can alter its bioavailability to phytoplankton. This past week I’ve been mainly spending troubleshooting with a stubborn piece of lab equipment though! MS for now, but PhD is always an option if I change my mind. The program makes it easy to make this change. Good luck with your MLIS!

        • Oooooh that stuff is cool. I don’t have the patience for the environmental chem stuff, but it sure is important. My favorite part of marine biology was always the giant trophic webs and interdependencies. Phytoplankton can be eaten by zooplankton while both can be eaten by a hundred other things until eventually they end up in some whale’s belly… Good luck with your research and your program!

          • Thanks! One thing that really interests me is the role that viruses play in ocean ecology (eg phages that consume bacteria). They’re incredibly abundant in the ocean, but they’re something I never really learned much about. My lab group doesn’t study viruses, but there’s another lab group in the same building that does, and sometimes they collaborate.

    • so fucking jealous of your road trip. i have promised myself that i will go on a multi-day that’s more interesting than the five which puts me to sleep soon so. also, thank you re: starbucks i am gonna drink the biggest iced americano starbucks will serve me on my birthday AND IT’S ALL THANKS 2 U so

      • There were some parts that were very long and tiring, but it was certainly an adventure, and I’m glad I did it. I definitely took advantage of rest stops because I am like a caffeinated 3-year-old when I have to sit still for too long. I could’ve taken a few different routes, but I chose the quickest and the one that avoided areas I had already covered (I’ve driven from Colorado to Washington before, and I wanted to see new scenery). I-90 was really scenic through Idaho and western Montana. The western part of South Dakota was cool, but the eastern part was flat and seemed to stretch on forever. Nebraska was my least favorite because I got pulled over for going 7 mph over the speed limit, which was stressful, but I just got a warning. Missouri through Tennessee had thunderstorms and heavy rain. The south was rural and very green, and everyone spoke with a charming accent which disappeared when I got to Florida.

    • You look so great and happy in that photo. Wind blown hair and smiling face and eyes. Very cute!

  4. I’m sure I’ve noticed being entire months older than you before,but I ‘m doing it again now, tell Hills we said hi. I am busy not getting into Roller Derby(my body is my job, if I so much as sprain an ankle they’ll make me fold clothes for six weeks)but befriending girls that are, the coming months will probs see me pulling up a lot of post-bout tape

    • Heh, isn’t derby fun? I’ve become something of a reliable derby fan this past year or so. They keep trying to get me to join up because they see that I am beefy and badass, but it is not happening. I do love hanging out with everyone though, watching the bouts, going to the afterparties and rocking the karaoke there.

      Surprisingly, the most enjoyable matches for me are often the juniors (the middle and high schoolers). I just love their spunk and spirit. I need to coach something at some point, I think.

      • so much, last one I saw one of the jammers literally slid on their front wheels against the rope past the pack, it was masterful

    • “befriending”

      “pulling up a lot of post-bout tape”

      sorry was this too far wouldn’t wanna disrespect my elder


  5. Happy birthday! I hope people are doing better this week than last week, it was effing bleak.

    I started a new job a month ago and went through the training process with about twenty other people. It was good, and I was starting to make friends, and then half the people got fired on the last day of training with no explanation. I’m freaked out, but happy I didn’t get fired at least?

    I’m also going home to visit my parents and sister this weekend, which I’m really looking forward too even though my sister will only be there because my family had two funerals this week.

    The world is really scary right now! Last night I woke up at 2am crying because I’m so scared of a Trump presidency, I’m so worried that more bad things are going to happen to my family, and I’m worried I’ll get fired or I my job won’t help me get into law school like I’m hoping. Just bad times.

    In lighter news, I finally got Dykes to Watch Out For from the library last night, I’m making queer friends in my new city and I stumbled through the awkward let people at work know you’re gay without bringing up sex too much process. Also, I accidentally gave myself an undercut? I’ve been shaving my neck to make summer easier to bear and didn’t realize until last night that I’ve slowly crept up and now I’m more than an inch into my hair proper. Anyone know a gay friendly hair place in DC that won’t make fun of me and will turn this into something cool yet work appropriate?

    • I’ve heard the Hair Cuttery in Dupont Circle is good for that. Also, the assistant manager at the Hair Cuttery in Bethesda (Cee Cee) is a fabulous trans woman who was in “Paris is Burning” when she was very young :)

      I don’t know any fancier places than that, unfortunately…

      • No, not fancy is perfect. I don’t want to have to pay a premium to be unconventional! Thanks, I’m gonna check out the one in Bethesda

    • inspired book choice! i really ought to read that already. i, like the huge nerd that i am, am really excited to explore my library options in the area.

    • i’m gonna wish that your anxieties are quelled if/when i blow out candles on my birthday

      oh my god just had the terrifying thought that it’s possible nobody will make me a cake and now i’m like maybe i’ll join you in crying actually

      also, your undercut sounds cute KEEP IT

  6. Happy Birthday @carmenrios!!! Here’s a birthday song for you:

    I’m excited that you’re excited about being a part of history… I hope that the future can start to feel a little bit brighter.

    I’ve been mostly off grid for a couple of weeks and in the rare moments when I get back on, its been pretty overwhelming lately. What is happening world? I’m just trying to stay excited and optimistic and focused on the things in my immediate future, like directing a camp for young queers, and that is awesome.

    Also, last weekend I ran my big race, and I finished!! I raised over $1000 for a local organization here that provides adaptive access to a variety of sports for folks who wouldn’t otherwise be able to run, bike, ski, kayak, sail, ride horses…the list goes on. It’s pretty rad. My big toes got pretty well destroyed, but it was all worth it. Now I have a sweet belt buckle and plans to go back next year and run it even faster. I did manage to take a few pictures, although I was mostly focused on running 100miles and not missing any of the time cut-offs. I’m hoping to finish writing/typing my full race report by the end of this weekend. We’ll see. For now, here are some pics. (And a huge thanks, again, to the AS ‘stranger’ who donated to my fundraising!! you rock!)

    • thank you for the song! and thanks for @ -ing me, i’m always elated when someone knows how to @ me. @ me more.

      • @emma2711 Yup, it was such a blast. Plus, since I ran as a solo division runner (no crew) I got the sweet mug in the bottom photo with the most hilariously gay quote ever…I mean, Tom Hanks from A League of Their Own? It doesn’t get much better than that. That’s cool that your roomie runs, a lot of the people in my life out here don’t really get it&just think its nuts.
        Hope you have a great weekend!

    • Wow, congrats! Those are beautiful photos, especially the one with the moon over the hills.

      • Thanks!! Yes, I wanted to take soooo many more photos, but there are time limits in these races, so I had to keep taking mental pictures, which is also fun, but a bit harder to share with others.
        I’m glad you liked the moon pic, that was def one of my favorites.

  7. Happy upcoming B-Day!
    Me, I’m just tired.
    I got home on Wednesday evening, past ten and wanted to eat some cereal for dinner(classy, I know) but left the milk outside and then realized that I hadn’t walked into my kitchen since Sunday.
    It’s been super busy at work this week, so busy, in fact, that I slept there one night, and I don’t have the best cell reception there, so whenever I pop up my head, something else horrible has happened.
    Like an Afghan teenager walking through a German train with an axe.
    I’m just feeling so,so defeated.
    And endlessly sad.
    And while I’m writing this, someone is gunning people down in Munich.
    It’s Dyke March today and I’m invited to a friend’s Birthday Party and have a gym date, but I’m just going to be taking a time out,for right now, to recalibrate.
    What to make of all of this?

    • the world is a dumpster fire and i hope you get some good rest soon! i have slept hmmm let’s see 21 hours on six days i think? SO I FEEL YOU AND YOU DESERVE THAT CEREAL JSYK

  8. Happy b-day, but don’t you dare whine about being old and not understanding how this adult thing works. You just wait until you’re north of 30 like I am, youngun. Why, I’m almost…32!!!…and I still have no idea how this grown-up business is supposed to go. I’m starting to think it’s all a lie.

    Good news this week – I am nerding out to learning HTML and building a website, and it’s really enjoyable. I have no real experience with such things prior to now, but I’ve always been into symbolic logic and building stuff, so really, it’s a blast. I’d post the URL here but the site is not ready for prime time and I’d be embarrassed to show it off with the “this is where I will put the thing” text still all over it. I do hope, however, that this is the kick in the ass I’ll need to finally start creating content reliably. Hell, maybe I’ll even get something together to submit to AS!

    Bad news this week – life at home still kind of boring/crap. Still watching my spouse be tired and beat up by life. Still knowing every second that it’s my fault for not having a real job yet. Still dealing with a PITA parent-in-law. My gym has re-opened, but I haven’t gotten there much yet because weird hours and such. Also, my best friend from China was visiting a couple weeks ago and we had the most amazing time. She finally left the US entirely a couple days ago and even though she hadn’t been at my house for some time, I felt the loss of saying goodbye to her all over again when I read her texts that she was taking off for Beijing. Hell, I’m feeling it now just typing this. If she doesn’t hurry up and come back next year I will just uuuuuuuuugh I can’t even.

  9. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a fucking awesome day! :)

    I’m excited to be moving in with my gal pal next week and for us to be starting this new chapter in our relationship… eek.

    Also currently training for my new job and I love it already, learning so much information which I really like.

    Other than that this summer has been pretty crappy especially with everything going on in this world.
    All we can do is continue to be there for one another.

    Love you all

  10. Happy birthday!!

    I am feeling an odd mix of buoyed by Ghostbusters and dragged down by all of the horrible things in the news. Also, my dad said this morning that he doesn’t think a Trump presidency would be “that bad” so I’m also a little shaken by that.

    On the bright side, my girlfriend comes to visit in less than two weeks!

    • Ugh, my dad will defend Trump to the death, than say he doesn’t like any of the candidates, but that he definitely won’t vote for “Crooked Hillary,” and then say that he probably just won’t vote, to which I reply, “GOOD!”

      • I’d say tell him to vote for Gary Johnson, but if he affirmatively defends Trump (as opposed to just disliking Clinton), he’s not really a Johnson potential voter either. Not enough bluster and hate towards “those people” (for any value of “those people” you choose).

  11. Happy Birthday, Carmen! I hope you have fun in Philadelphia! I’m going to spend the weekend playing “I am Setsuna,” which just came out.

    I like that cake. Myself, I’m holding out for this cake:

  12. Happy birthday! I also turned 26 recently (about two weeks ago) and, wow, 26 feels a lot more real than 25 ever felt? I don’t know what it is about that but it definitely wasn’t easy for me! I hope you have a good birthday though!

  13. Happy birthday Carmen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope your next years will be ever-improving. :)

    I’ve been SO BUSY!!!! There’s friends, there’s work, there’s other work, there’s volunteer work, there’s comic work, there’s illustration work!!!!! It’s wild but I love it! I’ve been studying Hungarian on Duolingo since the beta came out a couple of weeks ago (it is very beta-y, meaning I constantly have to file error reports, but it’s all good, I’m learning!). If you wanna be Duolingo buddies, anyone, my username there is theQM. (as in: the quartermaster. Because deep down, I am meant to be a pirate.)

    And if anyone wants to see my drawings for once, rather than just constantly hearing me speak about the work of making them: I just made a guest page for my friend and creative partner Eszter NT’s comic!!!! It’s over here at PLEASE READ HER COMIC. It is so good. It’s about gay nuns. That’s right. Gay. Nuns. It’s also one of the very few gay comics out there that’s not about fantasy and magic and sci-fi and all that jazz. It is historical and well-researched! There’s sass in sign language! There’s a butch picking apples! Basically I just love this comic and my friend a lot.

    For my volunteering job I went to a lovely pride celebration with the whole team and a friend I hadn’t seen in AAAAGES and we walked around with a huge flag and almost all the lesbians wore my cap, which looked good on everybody. I had a rainbow flag in my hair. It was joyous and perfect. I love being a volunteer!!!!!!!!

    Love you all guys!! Enjoy whatever is happening in your lives. And if nothing is enjoyable, hang on until there is good again <3

    • Hooray for comics and illustration. Also for pride volunteering goodness. Awesome drawing, hope to see more. Looking forward to reading the nun comic, the art for that looks amazing too. How does the friends thing on Duolingo work? Do you have to be learning the same language because I’m attempting French and I’m poor at staying on top of it, and my mother is (once again) insisting I learn Italian. So I should get on that too.

  14. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s 97 degrees today in NYC. I am not a happy camper. Neither is my dog. I’m stuck at work all weekend in a barely air conditioned box. And my roommate had the oven on last night. But I have a tentative OKC date with a cute girl on Sunday night, so it’s okay, I think?

    • I have no idea how hot 97 degrees is but this past week I have been in a practically unventilated and tiny room in 30 degrees celsius weather (in humidity which makes it feel like more like 40) and I KNOW YOUR PAIN <3 But soon autumn will bring us many a breeze. I hope. Summers have been starting later and ending later here in the Netherlands, climate change is so real and happening so quickly!?

      ANYWAY I'm happy you had a date with a cute girl! Will there be a follow-up date? :D

  15. Well it sounds like you are having an exciting week coming up. Happy birthday, hopefully it’s full of love & positivity. I don’t think it would be too hard to find the cake.

    I am right now just a pool of sweat as I am sitting here in a poorly air conditioned store(that and just walked to and from the bank). I rather be in swimwear looking fab with red lipstick. On the plus side I have been wearing a lipstick that goes on nude all week at work. It adds a bit of gloss, but so far no one has said a word. :-/ On the other hand last Sunday I spent time with a friend. It was nice, but all we did was watch Netflix and eat food. Not a problem, but I can’t seem to find lipstick that will stay on(I had Revlon matte waterproof) while I eat and/or smoke/vape.

    How does one know they’ve made pen-pals/friends with someone via the internet? Like I’ve been talking to a person almost daily, but not sure if they want to be friends or I’m just passing time. Ugh.

    Drive back on Sunday.

    Relaxing by palm trees……while waiting for the light to turn green.

    • I always love seeing your photos here. Sunsets over the waterfront are the best. Hopefully you can cool off soon with a pleasant beach and/or a cold treat and/or AC that actually works. After moving to Florida, I have come to love eating frozen fruit, especially bananas and mango slices.

  16. Happy Birthday!!
    I’m going to go see Ghostbusters today! I had been waiting to go see it with a friend, but they kept pushing back the time/canceling. So i’m going alone. Afterward I’m probably going to get a lot of comfort food and cry about a lot of things while watching other great movies. Its been a rough week, and one big thing I was counting on working out fell through. Cause everything is always too good to be true and I should know better, yet always get me hopes up anyway….

    • Hi jay,

      I’m really sorry it’s been a rough week, but I highly recommend going to see Ghostbusters by yourself. It’s something Holtzmann would do! <3

    • Hey Jay once you’ve seen it, share all your thoghts and feelings here if you like. I am so up for hearing what you think.

      • It was soooooooooo good! Like everyone I’m so gay for Holtzmann!!! I knew there would be lots of gay subtext but like there was LOTS of gay subtext! And sure it would have been great if they could be more explicit and say they are all gay. But what they did without ever saying it, is the most beautiful work of subtext! It was the best distraction I could have hoped for <3 <3 <3

        • I just saw it last night as well!! (Also solo) it was so great! Glad you enjoyed the escape. Hope the next week ahead is a little better for ya.

        • This sounds sooo good! And I´m glad it was a nice distraction for you! After reading so much and watching many interviews (mostly) of Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones I´m so much looking forward to finally seeing it myself! Unfortunately its not yet in theaters here in Germany. But it´ll be soon! :) One question: Did you find the movie quite thrilling/gruesome (I don´t no which word is the best one here)? Because I´m a real “scaredy-cat” (also hoping, this is the right word) and haven´t seen any movie of that kind ever (not even those aimed at children ;) …). In this case I still really want to see it, because I really like Kate McKinnon (and Leslie Jones) a lot. So… if you could tell me, that its not that bad (in regards of all the ghosts and slime…etc) I would go in a bit more relaxed! ;) Thank you a lot in advance! Also: Since your week was a rough one, I wish you a really good next week! :)

          • I’m also a big scaredy cat! I don’t like horror or scary movies. There were a few moments of suspense that made me jump a little at the beginning. But then the rest of the movie I felt pretty comfortable. At the big fight scenes with lots of ghosts could be potentially scary for someone, but I was so focused on Holtzmann at that point that it was fine.

          • Oh, a fellow scaredy cat! :) That sounds very much, as if it won´t be to much scary stuff for me… Because I´m pretty sure that I´ll also be very much focused on Holtzmann… ;) I just hope I don´t lose track of the plot because of it. :) Thank you so much for your answer!

          • I can’t watch horror movies because I am also a scaredy-cat… There are a couple of jump scares but it’s set up in a way that you know they’re coming (they’re still startling, but it’s pretty clear from the narrative and the suspense that something’s up), so you can take a page out of my book and start people-watching your fellow theater-goers until everyone else screams :)

            I was too distracted by Holtzmann to even notice scary ghosts in the final fight scene. There are a couple ghosts and they’re a little creepy but (spoilers?) nobody gets seriously hurt, and the slime is more gross and amusing than anything else – it doesn’t do any damage or anything like that.

            I was fine, though, ultimately, and most of my other scaredy-cat friends were also okay. So I think you probably will be too! If it’ll help you to feel more prepared to go in to have someone explain the scary parts ahead of time, you can feel free to PM me or just comment and I can tell you everything I remember :)

      • Yay! Honestly seeing movies alone is great. And this movie needs to be seen. It is so beautiful and queer. I wish I had this movie around when I was a kid

  17. Happy almost birthday! 1990 was a pretty great year to be born, not that I’m biased or anything. But I’ve always liked it because it makes figuring out my age real easy. Though when I was younger I always wished I was born in a leap year, just so I could take my age and divide by four and check the remainder to see if any given year was a leap year.

    Sometimes I feel like an adult (I have retirement accounts with low expense ratios and strong performance, and a high investing risk tolerance) and sometimes I feel like a large child (when I eat box mac and cheese straight out of the saucepan with the mixing spoon because dishes are overrated). But my fiancee and I both got our wedding rings in the mail and having them in hand made me feel like a really real grown adult.

    Other good things: my fiancee also snagged an interview that she did not expect to get, with a place she would love to work, in a city that would move us at least half an hour closer to our derby league. I’ve got my fingers crossed for her.

    • With retirement investments and wedding rings (congrats!), you’re more of an adult than I am… and I was born in the 80s! I used to take pride in my ’89 birth year because it meant I had experienced 4 different decades, but now it just makes me feel old. Good luck to your fiancee on the interview!

  18. Happy upcoming birthday and enjoy the convention!

    I played Life is Strange upon the recommendation of Autostraddle! It filled the void from when I used to play those Purple Moon choice-based games about how to get through middle school, only with way more life-ruining in the best possible way. Watching Max and Chloe grow and change throughout the game kept ripping my heart out of my chest and putting it back over and over again.

    And I’m starting to date again.

  19. Happy birthday!!!

    Like a lot of people I’ve been having a really hard time dealing with the past few weeks, both general bad news/political climate-wise and weird internal struggle with family-wise, and also both mixed together. Honestly, everything is kind of weird and bad recently. Also the end of summer is in sight and I’m a little scared because I still have to plan my senior thesis before classes start. But I’m excited about tonight, because I’m going to SF to see my favorite comic writer (Mariko Tamaki) talk. I’m gonna get two of my books signed and ask all of my burning questions about writing that I still need to think of before I get there.

  20. Happy Birthday, Carmen! Happy Friday, loves!

    I am in search of fiction to read this weekend that will transport and inspire me. Any ideas?

    • Transport and inspire, hmm….

      So Far from God (by Ana Castillo) is a xicana novel with a really strong sense of place (set in northern New Mexico), which centers on a mother and her daughters getting stuff done. It’s also funny, beautiful, influenced by magical realism, and a bit activist, plus one of the daughters has a girlfriend.

      Another I’d recommend is Carla Trujillo’s What Night Brings, about a young Mexican-American girl called Marci who deals with girl-crushes, the Church, and her abusive father in California in the 1960’s. Nevertheless, Marci has a humorous voice, and the novel ends on a hopeful note.

  21. Happy Birthday, Carmen! I feel so old. You’re gonna be 26 & you’ve done so much more stuff than me & i’m going to be 28. You’re like, a superstar. (Will Eli be wearing a hat for the occasion?)

    Oh speaking of dogs, allow a shameless plug, pls: i put two new designs on my Redbubble:

    You can get them as shirts, or leggings, or mugs, or even dresses. It’s ridiculous & silly & pretty gr8.

    The cloud puppers will keep ur Secrets & Feelings very very safe. What Good Dogs.

    This week has been kind of whatever. I dunno. I got a lot done on Wednesday, & it took a long while because the one bus was running only once every hour, i think, so i did a lot of walking & caught some Pokemon & stuff. I met with the job coach/help guy, went to the credit union, went to mail stuff at the post office, & then over to Walgreens to get new meds done up (to see if they work). It made me feel accomplished, but when i met with the job guy, he seemed at a loss as to where else to apply/what other jobs to check out. He said we’d exhausted all the listings on his company’s job board. And i just keep getting rejection emails, one after the other. I’ve only been to one interview this year, & obviously, i didn’t get the job. It’s beyond discouraging. Even though i don’t have a job i want to work at or anything, i just need money.

    Thursday was blah & today’s been pretty much the same. My mom cried a lot yesterday, & being a coward, i stayed in the basement for most of it. I just. Don’t know what to do.

    And i’ve been feeling shitty, myself, as per usual. Yesterday especially i just kept feeling like, what’s the point? There is no point. Nothing matters. Everything feels empty. Even when i feel upset in any way, underneath all that, i still feel numb & empty. I feel like that’s my default, almost as if there’s a barrier between me & anything else? I can’t remember the last time i cried. Even when i want to cry, i can’t do it, i can’t even force myself to.

    Just like. I wish i was pretty, likeable, neurotypical, & making a ton of money, but instead i’m ugly, unwanted, mentally ill af & hating it, & making no income. I’m miserable but i’m empty & numb. I hate that my mental stuff has stolen years away from me & continues to, but i don’t know how to make it stop, even though i’ve been in & out of various forms of hospitalization & taken a DBT class. I don’t even know how to fully want to make it stop, because who am i without the mental shit? Do i even exist? Why am i even telling you all of this?

    And my poor dog is so, so itchy, to the point of drawing blood, & i don’t know why & i don’t have a surefire way to get him to the vet. I got him anti-itch spray, but i think it freaks him out, & i can’t exactly spray it on his face. I’ve got to spray him, though, to at least help him a bit. Hopefully.

    Tomorrow is Baltimore Pride & i guess i’ll go for a little bit. I dunno. I mostly figure i’ll wander for half an hour & maybe look for Pokemon before heading back home & getting ready for my friend’s party tomorrow night. Pride kind of depresses me for selfish reasons (i’m gross & i’ll always be alone), which happened pretty heavily for me last year, so if i go it probably won’t be for super long. Or maybe i won’t go at all. I mean, there’s really no point in the end, tbh.

    i’m a ray of sunshine~~~~~~~~~~~ haha.

    • hi ray of sunshine friend, your puppers are cute and you should try to be nicer to yourself. <3 hope pride and your friend's party are fun and that you catch all the good pokemon.

      • @carules haha thanks ♡ I actually didn’t go to pride bc I didn’t see any point in it tbh haha. I’m at the party rn but im pretty sure my friends actually don’t like me haha :) i….. can’t really blame them tbh haha

    • hi Caitlyn!

      +Your drawings are adorable!

      +Applying for jobs is truly a numbers game, I think. It’s stressful and demoralizing, but the more you can keep getting out there, hopefully something will come your way. I’m crossing my fingers for you!

      +Mixing in a little olive oil into your doggo’s dry food may help his itching…or, if he’s anything like my dog, he may have allergies! I hesitate to recommend anything specifically, but some allergy medicines are dog safe – you can call your vet and they should be able to recommend one over the phone.

      • @queergirl aww thank you :)

        I think he might have allergies :( Not food-related, but maybe time of year related? He was itchy last year after i got him in August, but it wasn’t an issue at the shelter, because they didn’t mention it to me. But this year he’s been scratching even worse than last year. I need to find some way of getting him to the vet, which is yet another huge stressor. Because he’s been taking benadryl for a while now & i really don’t think it’s helping. :(

  22. i still do not have a job, so that’s not great, but i’ve actually had a really nice week? i had dinner with a new okcupid friend on monday; i bought a basketball because the park that’s nearly literally in my backyard has a basketball court and doing a bad job shooting baskets sounds fun; i had a beer and chatted at an open mic night with another new okcupid friend last night, and i had a donut (friend) date with my roommate’s sister-in-law who is very cool this morning. also gonna hang out with yet another okcupid potential friend tomorrow afternoon. i’m a very social introvert, but i think i might be testing my limits here, haha. may need to hide out with a book for a while after that.

    hope you all have lovely weekends. <3

  23. y’all all i want is to be able to stop procrastinating on doing things i want to do (like sewing) and also to find the sapphire to my ruby

  24. Yay for birthdays!

    I’ve been whining about other things in place of whining about actual things. (Seriously. Like my CSA. They keep being late, and then I’m iffy about catching my bus… but these are not actually the things I want to whine about.)

    I made zaatar coated pan fried grouper for dinner and it was delicious. Like this, without the relish (which also looks good, but I have none of those things):

    Also boiled new potatoes, carrots, and zucchini cakes with barberries. This is what happens when I don’t have lunch.

    • I was livid with my mum on the phone the other day and I wanted to shout at her but all I could in all conscience think to say was ‘this is 80% because I am too tired and too hot but I’m really mad at you for this. And I’m sorry because actually it was a reasonable thing to do. So while this isn’t your fault I just wanna tell you how fucking annoyed I am with you. Goodnight!’
      Directing your feelings at appropriate sources is overrated.

  25. Zum Geburtstag viel Glueck!
    I’m ignoring ages atm because who says you shouldn’t start uni, again, in your mid twenties?!? Not me, I say.

    This week I have started trainig with a new rugby team after over a year off. They are absolutely lovely. I can’t tell what’s better about them over other teams I’ve tried but they just make me feel welcome and part of the team already, which is awesome.

    Also I’m at home because my family got a puppy called Ralph and I needed to meet him asap. I’m gonna take so many pictures with his beautiful face tomorrow.

    For me going home and seeing my mum specifically is filled with worries about how I dress and how my hair is and is it feminine enough and if they see I haven’t shaved my underarms is that a step too far and many other ridiculous things that aren’t a problem except inside my brain. I’m gonna have to sort this out at some point but for now I’m just happy knowing that even though I’m worrying about it, I’m not letting it stop me wearing what I want to wear.
    Ah well. Hugging Ralphie is totally worth it.

    Also, UK people, heatwave wtf? I’m sweating buckets over here!

    • It is ridiculously hot here at the mo right? Other nationalities don’t get how our summer is usually 18 degrees C and we like it that way hahaha. I was stuck in a room with no airflow, despite all windows and doors being open, all day on Tuesday when it was 30… I was a puddle not a person. Yuck. So I started Uni again when I was 23, and did my MA at 30. Eh, imho age is a number, especially wrt education. Hooray for puppies, boo to having to worry about stuff, but damn I feel that. At my family wedding party thing my aunt asked r.e. my hair- why I had to “do that” to my “crowning glory” I shrugged it off, but it’s the microaggressions that really get you isn’t it? I’ve finally got my my Mum to understand that being Butch is not a bad thing, or a bad word, everyone else is just too much effort right now. Hope it all goes well for you and there are many puppy snuggles. Also I miss my rugby girls, glad you have a great team :)

    • IDK I tried to embed from my insta, so I guess it only half worked.

      but haaaaaaaay :-*

  26. Happy birthday!!!

    My feelings atm can be summed up with the following picture:

    I’ve been chaotically busy all week and am just feeling… done. I need to nap for like a week straight.

    On the upside, I get to volunteer at a wiener dog picnic thing tomorrow. There will be costume contests and races. So there will be much cute and I’ll be able to get my dog fix. (Ottawa-area people: It’s at Carlington Park tomorrow 11-3. You should come.)

    • Wiener dog picnic! Oh my god, that sounds like the most joyous occasion! Hope it’s as amazing as it sounds! (I’m not normally one for exclamation points but this is just too exciting and magical a concept.)

      • Possible trigger! Talking silly about wieners!

        Is it ok to be a translesbian who has a teeny wiener have a hot dog (wiener) at a Wlener Dog Parade while cuddling wiener dogs? ?

        Sorry, I just had to !?

      • Update: it was pretty amazing. So many cute wiener dogs – including an 11wk old dapple puppy that was riding around in a little girl’s overalls. I just about exploded from the cuteness.

        Also, it was +40something and I was sitting outside all day, but somehow managed to actually tan instead of turning into a crispy critter. So that was nice.

        (And @bae4 , no need to apologize. I’ve had hour-long conversations filled with nothing but wiener puns, because I have the maturity of an 8-year-old boy sometimes. Plus we did actually serve hot dogs, which struck me as a little macabre…)

  27. So I hope this is ok to ask here but I’m in a bit of a pickle. My former job was filled with people who were various levels of homophobic and I never felt comfortable coming out there. When I switched companies I decided I was going to be out right from the start and so far everyone has been cool.

    One of my coworkers is so accepting it’s starting to feel invasive. “Why are some lesbians attracted to butch women but not men?” “What’s the deal with strap-ons?” “How do you figure out who is going to be the dominant one?” “If you aren’t butch why don’t you act more feminine?”
    She found out I’m not dating anyone so she’s been looking up lesbian dating sites and wants to set up a profile for me. When I try to explain that she’s making me uncomfortable she asks me if I’m sure I”m really gay since I “have a problem talking about this stuff”. She’s my superior so I don’t want to burn any bridges but I also need her to respect my boundaries. Any advice?

    • Oh my goodness! Do you report to her, is she your supervisor, or just a superior? (By the way, that is sexual harassment. She is sexually harassing you.)

      I think if I were in that situation, each time she went too far, I would say, “I’m not comfortable talking about that here in the office,” and then change the subject to be friendly (“anyway…did you have a good weekend?”) When she replies, “are you sure you’re really gay?” (good lord how effing rude), I would say something like “with all due respect, that is an inappropriate thing to say to me.” I would say things along those lines like a broken record for about a week (keeping a log with the time and date of each conversation, and what was said, in Excel or wherever), and at the end of the week, if she was still saying things like that, I would report it to my supervisor (or if she is your supervisor, to HER supervisor).

      • Like I know you don’t want to burn any bridges but sometimes when people don’t get things that should be blatantly obvious (like don’t talk about strap-ons in the office), you have to tell them baldly what you want them to know, over and over again, until they either get it or you have to go over (or around) them.

        • She’s my immediate supervisor and we work very closely together unfortunately. I know she has a family and needs the money so I don’t want to get her into any trouble that could cost her her job, but this is really not the office environment I signed up for. I’m pretty non-confrontational so most of the time I just let it go which has obviously just made things worst in this case. Hopefully if I’m consistent about telling her how inappropriate she’s being every single time she’ll get the picture. I really don’t want to have to go over her head on this.

          Thanks for the advice. It sounds silly now but there was a part of me that was worried I was being prudish or blowing things out of proportion.

          • “Look, this makes me super uncomfortable, wouldn’t you be if a co-worker asked you about what you were doing in the bedroom?”
            This is beyond inappropiate and she really needs to see and accept your boundaries.
            If she doesn’t get it, it’s her business to worry about the consequences, not yours.

    • Just wanted to add another voice of support here, and also say that even if you were being prudish (you’re not) that’s not important. What is important is that she is making you uncomfortable. That’s enough to warrant asking her to stop.
      Given that she seems totally unaware that her behaviour is astoundingly unprofessional and downright rude she might come out with some defensive crap when you challenge her,like making it YOUR fault because you are too sensitive/not really gay enough/not accepting the ‘help’ she is just trying to give you. She certainly sounds rude/weird enough to try that one. So, whatever she says, just stand your ground. Polite but firm. You don’t have to justify anything. I don’t like confrontation either, but if you keep repeating that you feel uncomfortable and changing the subject then she doesn’t really have anywhere to go, even if she doesn’t get it.

      Your boundaries are your boundaries, whatever anyone else thinks of them, and you have every right to assert them and have them respected. In any case, she is being incredibly inappropriate and her behaviour is appalling.

  28. Hello there!

    Been feeling kind of crappy lately. Dealing with a lot of bad thoughts and feelings about myself. Dysphoria as well. But I was writing out a bit of list of things that I can do that will make a nice bit of self care and make me feel more like myself.* Nothing earth shattering, but things like: sitting with a cup of coffee, taking a nice long walk near the creek where I live, playing with my niece, petting my cats, taking photographs, exploring my town with my new bus pass. Just sort of simple stuff like that I can do while I have the weekends off now, since my work lowered my hours due to cut backs.

    If anyone else has simple suggestions, I would gladly take them. Thank you!

    Hope you are all doing well.

    *I’m a trans woman who is pre HRT.

    • How about long indulgent baths with nice smellys, followed by scented body oils or cream rubs.

      If it’s hellishly hot where you live, perhaps a warmish bath with air drying on a pile of towels after.

      A tasty meal you cook for yourself alone with a special table setting and wine or your choise of beverage.

      • This whole weekend is going to be a hell fire. Mid 90s today and over 100 tomorrow.

        But I really like your soothing bath idea. I think I might make it a cool one though. I have this nice smelling candle (melon something). So that sounds nice.

        And yes to eating food I like! I love food!!

        • Hi Again, Sarah Marie,

          I know about the heat, our summers regularly get over the century mark. Do you have AC or a fan? If you only have a fan try wetting down a sheet, draping it over a chair or a clothes airier and putting your electric fan behind it, at a safe distance, then drape your lovely self comfortably in front and let the cool air flow. Repeat as liked.
          Hope you feel better and happier soon.
          Food is a favourite of mine too.

          • We have AC where I currently live, so the house is cool.

            I ended up taking a cool shower, putting on music, and lighting the candle I mentioned. Very nice and soothing.

            After that, I ate some dark chocolate, and colored a picture in my adult coloring book that my best friend bought me. It was a good soothing night.

    • Hello!
      This whole topic of self care is very much my topic, too, at the moment… :) One thing that has helped me a bit with regards to thinking more positive thoughts about myself, is writing down one (or two) things everyday, that were good about me during that day. That could be for example something simple like “I looked after myself by taking a little sun bath on the balcony, when I felt like it.” or: “I didn´t criticize myself for feeling like spending most of the day reading and relaxing and just did it and enjoyed it.” etc… It helps me being more kind towards myself and focusing on the things I´m good at and able to do. Something thats also very relaxing to me is doodling/painting. And writing some things down in a diary, so that I don´t have to think about them that much anymore. :) Oh, and ASMR-Videos on Youtube. I only ever listen to/watch the videos of “WhispersRed”. She is British and very calm and lovely. It helps me so so much to relax! :) I highly recommend trying it out, if you don´t know it yet(I´ve shown her videos to some people and some liked it, some didn´t like it – so… its definitely a matter of taste)
      I wish you, that you are feeling better soon! :)

      • Thanks so much for this!

        Like I mentioned above, I was coloring last night. Very soothing.

        I do write as well. I have a journal and I write little poems down when I feel like it.

        And British people are very calming. :)

        • You´re very welcome! I´m happy to read, that you made sure it was a very nice evening for yourself! I like talking about the ways we can take care of ourselves. :-) I still have to get better at it myself – its been weeks since I doodled/used my coloring book… even though I like it so much. (Instead I often get lost in Youtube/TV Series/ the internet in general…)

          I also used to write tiny little poems but kind of stopped a few years ago… maybe I should give it a shot again.

          For a long time I really didn´t like the way British sounds (I prefered American English, because I was used to it from movies/TV series etc.). But now i love it so much and so its great for me, that this ASMR artist is British… :)

          Have a nice week! :)

    • Exploring town is a great idea! When I’m getting antsy or depressed, I like to take a nice long walk with a podcast. I know a lot of them are very political and that can be stressful, so if it’s your thing I recommend trying out You Must Remember This. It’s stories about 20th century Hollywood, which acknowledge social context really well, but are also just gossipy and fun as well. Any time Marlene Dietrich is mentioned it makes me more of a fangirl of hers, too! And the host is a woman with a very wonderful radio voice, which is a good break from your standard Ira Glasses and Jad Abumrads in the podcast world.

      • I listen to “You Must Remember This” too!! I’m an old Hollywood junkie!!

        Yay for meeting another fan! :)

        • I became obsessed this spring and I cannot WAIT for the new season. It also really enhanced my “Hail Caesar” viewing experience.

  29. Carmen! I am happy you are doing open thread the week I finally make time to write something in forever! And on your leo-spectacular-birthday no less! Happy bday cutie.

    As for my current state, I am going through soooo many changes right now! I’m pretty calm about it all but it’s gonna catch up to me at some point I’m sure. Also, important note: literally ALL of these changes are a direct result of A-Camp inspiring me to make my life what I want. So thanks again AS :)

    Major life changes:
    1. Finally dealt with impending feelings of wanting to be poly
    2. Broke up with gf (this was a hard one but in the end a positive decision)
    3. Realized I’m SOLO poly 100%. Like this identity speaks to me in a way that I never thought anything ever could. Everything I’ve ever felt but shoved down and thought was ‘wrong’ is included in being solo poly. It feels like coming out again (to myself and now you all)
    4. I’m quitting my job at the begining of September
    5. And lastly, I’m moving out of my parents house and childhood home in Seattle and to Berkeley or Oakland in september!!!!! Like I’ve got U-haul plans and everything.

    I’m pretty sure my horoscope warned me about this year being one of big changes. Yay!

  30. Happy birthday! I’ve had kind of a roller coaster of a week…one of my dearest friends is moving across the country and I’m really really going to miss them so that’s been sad, but today I hung out with an old friend from high school and we went to the aquarium to see an exhibit of octopodes/cuttlefish/other tentacle monsters, and then got yummy ramen and hung out in a bookstore that, the whole time we were there, was just blasting the new Tegan & Sara album over the speakers, and that was really nice.
    Also I opened up to her about my mental health shit for the first time in a really long time and she didn’t freak out or run away or diminish my feelings or anything like that (yes I know I set the bar painfully low but that’s kind of…what happens in my life) and she was actually super helpful and kind and understanding and for the first time ever I don’t have an “emotional vulnerability hangover” where I feel stressed and sick and shitty for being so honest so!!! that’s good!

    Also I got really into the HBO show Silicon Valley mostly because there’s one character ho has a very traumatic shitty past and is an inspiration to me in the way he deals with it (and also a precious cinnamon roll)

  31. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I just turned 25 on the 26 of May and I feel the same way! Next year you’ll be 27 on the 27th!!!! SO celebrate your golden birthday, this great excuse to buy extra party stuff at new years and decorate in gold, I’ll be doing the same haha. Well I guess you don’t need the excuse to decorate in gold but oh well! As for this year- Enjoy your day! and I seriously hope someone makes you the Bitch Day cake ^__^

  32. YOU GUYS!! OMG I haven’t been on here IN SOOOOOO LONG. LIFE LIFE LIFE. Life is pretty much situated. Did you guys know Christine is now here? She’s been here for a good month and a half which was why I was sort of MIA because I was getting life situated. Also life is hard. But rewarding. I missed everyone!!

    @carmenrios Happy birthday!!! Mahalo motherfuckers!! haha. Miss you! Hope all your bitch day is the bitchiest =p xoxo

    So how has everyone been? I’ve been good. Very busy. Like dyingggg to get up everyday tired. LOL. Anyone have any good stories to share? How has life been off the mountain? I miss camp everyday and especially the people. *LE SIGH

    Anyway!! We’re getting married on Wednesday at the courthouse. I’m super nervous because there’s still so much stuff to do like the giveaways. I can’t say yet but Christine did stuff!! For the wedding. We only have about 20 people going. We’re eating at Fogo de chao which is a Brazilian resto and they do buffet style with all the meats. It’s great. everything is fine right?

    And how about the other Pokemon people on here!! OMG Did you guys see the news on buzzfeed that some dude in NY has caught all the available Pokemon here in the US?! DAMN

    This was when we took over Hollywood. So touristy

    Dinner with my parents. They love her more than me? LOL

    We did Knott’s Berry farm and she conquered GHOST RIDER!! SWEEEEEET

    Finally got my quad tip exhaust done! And my license plate definitely #thelittleaudithatcould

    • Hooray for your situated situation! Hope the wedding is amazing. There are so few pokestops near my house it’s depressing. Went on a pokewalk with wife’s bestie on Thursday which was fun. Especially spotting all the roving bands of older teens clearly playing. Honestly there is nothing for kids to do round here so I think Pokemon go is giving them real purpose for their summer break. Audi is looking awesome. Are you going to any euro shows with it?

      • @gloriousobscurity Im happy that the church near our apartment has 3 landmarks that are pokestops. It’s also a gym. LOL We went to Santa Monica Pier yesterday and just about every other person would go ‘gotcha!’ or ‘wait wait stay in the pokeball!’ or ‘another magikarp!!!’ I was so happy to get water pokemon and being there for an hour helped me level up LOL

  33. Happy birthday!

    Yoga is cool, but I’m taking a break because I’ve been doing steady yoga the last 6 months and it is now boring. I’m going to physical therapy for my cranky feet so I can start running again tho I might start weightlifting idk.

    I’m good! I’m fine! It was a busy week, and I am leaving on a week long road trip around ca state parks with my friend and her kid, it should be fun!

    Otherwise my friend and I are having a book group of two to read aziz ansari’s book, I’ve been grilling stone fruit this week, and my gf painted my toenails red bc I have to wear dorky sandals a bunch with the hiking through streams and whatever this week, so at least they’ll be kinda cute.

    That’s all I can think of, happy birthday! Getting old isn’t so bad, I just wish I started moisturizing when I was younger than 30. I got my hair cut in this very gay barbershop today and she was like “how the fuck old are you to be a therapist” and I said “32” and she was like “oh ok you look younger than that” and for the first time in my life I was like “I’ll take it.”

    But eh, mostly who cares. Happy weekend!

    • Someone also told me I am a young-looking 31 this weekend. I was like, well all you have to do is moisturize, drink lots of water and stay a little chubby :P

  34. Many Happy Returns Carmen!
    You guys, I still haven’t seen ghostbusters, because I was at a wedding last weekend, (which resulted in much chill catching up with old chums, getting my van stuck in the mud 3 times, and an invite to San Fransisco from a friend I haven’t seen in 22 years!), AND, I can’t see it this weekend because I’m being peer pressured into day drinking by my friends for one of their birthdays. I honestly find it so frustrating because I hate to drink and they don’t respect that at all. And they would make my life hell if I didn’t go. Which sucks, we’re adults for the love of Ellen, I thought I left this behind at high school. Also many subtly homophobic microaggressions which make me want to scream, I’m so sick of calling them out on it. I’m trying to look on the bright side as best I can and figuring I can hit plenty of pokestops on the trip, plus I get to see my old housemate and her wife. Also it is hotter than Satan’s Armpit here right now…or at least it is to us Northern Britishers, our summer is usually around 18 Centigrade (we wear shorts and struggle to cope)- it hit 30 on Tuesday, so I’m working in a building with no aircon and very few windows…I am become sweat.
    To soothe my bitter heart I have ordered the Holtzman Funko because obviously. Also I can’t wait to home her on my new desk in my new office in October, it’s a way off but she’s going to be the centre piece. Just FYI, she is the most expensive, and the only out of stock Funko Ghostbuster on uk Amazon. The McKinnon awakening has begun. Have great weekends folks wherever you are, and whatever you do. I wish you the weather of your choice, and the Pokemon of your dreams.

    • To clarify by drink I mean publicly get absolutely hammered and pass out. Me drinking normally is 1 beer maybe once a week max and I Instagram that shit when it happens…mostly because I only drink beer with cool labels.

  35. Happy Birthday @carmenrios!!

    I hope you have an amazing time at the Convention!! I am jealous you will get to see Hillary with your own eyeballs.

    I will be ticking off a major bucket list item in January….being in DC for the inauguration! I AM SO EXCITED. BUT I am really scared I will fly half way around the world, from Australia, to see Donald fucking Trump being sworn in. I will be pissed and forced to find the gayest bar in DC to drown my sorrows. Please vote for Hillary so I can celebrate instead of being depressed on holidays.

  36. Hi Bay Area Autostraddlers! I am usually in New Zealand but currently I am in Oakland/San Fransisco. Tell me your favourite spots? I’m here until Tuesday, when I fly to London to live for two years (!!!)

  37. Happy Birthday !!!

    An article in ELLE magazine had comets from women about aging and it made me feel better to see women in their early thirties like me to in her 40s, not worried about having a baby ASAP and getting married. They are planning for it and it but it’s not a huge deal. I want to settle down and have kids but I refuse to lower my standards which are not even high or unrealistic. The media and other people after each birthday act like I don’t want those things because I’m not willing to date someone I wouldn’t even be friends with. This weekend is all about self-care because seeing Trump everyday everywhere this week has been mentally exhausting.

  38. Hi everyone,

    because of the femme roundtable this week which was so important and good to read, I was thinking about something that didn’t come up much in the roundtable. While femme nurturing is a huge topic obviously, I think the main reason I am intrigued by femme identity as I step more into my queerness in general is: FEMME SELF-CARE.

    Just think of the stereotypes of feminine folks being too obsessed with our appearances, inward-directed, etc. And yet femininity has been key to how I relax, center myself and build strength to deal with the world, for a couple of years now. I’m growing out my (coarse, wavy, inconsistent-textured) hair and learning how to care for it and do heat free styling by braiding it and making my own hair butter* has been really important to me. As someone who has always struggled with making time to care for myself, I can now shrug and proudly say “My hair is basically my hobby” with no shame.

    This and my other small, minimal beauty routines are things that sustain me even in the worst times. My current motto when I start to despair is, the world might be shit but at least I look cute. Buffing my nails and putting on lacy underwear is not distracting me from my activism, it’s not proof that I am frivolous or egotistical. This is the armor I put on to do battle. It’s proof that I exist and my needs and wants are valid, that fighting is even worth it. I’ve been this way since I started putting on giant earrings for every college and work presentation that made me nervous.

    How do other femmes feel about this? Am I missing something here? What is your self-care?

    *side note: It really annoys me to see white women acting like we invented these techniques, so I just want to explicitly add that if it weren’t for Black women friends who shared their knowledge and pointed me to their favorite bloggers, I wouldn’t know how to handle my hair at all!

    • I am intrigued by the idea of femme self-care too. Part of what makes me uneasy about traditional femininity is the idea (whether true or false) that it is partly for men, since I would rather they stay away from me, but re-framing it as something we can do for ourselves gives me some hope, I suppose.

      “This is the armor I put on to do battle. It’s proof that I exist and my needs and wants are valid, that fighting is even worth it.” Yes. Claiming the space for our existence is so important.

      My own armor is usually more along the lines of ties and a touch of red lip gloss or earrings (but seldom both at once), or boots that make me feel like I could kick butt, yet I too have somehow, to my surprise, been taking more time, not less, to care for my appearance and go out to face the world.

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