FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Like Stealing Puppies From A Baby

Feature image via shutterstock.

Hey there puppies, and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! This weekly thing we do is a time for thoughts and feelings and life updates and friendship and cool gifs and this one weird thing that happened and that other weird thing you can only talk about here. WELCOME.

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

This week I’ve been sick with a lingering, gross-sounding cold, so I’ve been cancelling plans left and right and am currently finally letting myself recuperate from two weeks of going to visit family and then having my mom stay in my living room, as well as from a very passionate 12-hour affair with having SimCity on my phone. (Okay it’s still on my phone it’s fine I’m totally fine does anyone have any nails???)

One upside of having my mom in my house for five days (besides alleviating the crushing homesickness for Canada and also family love) was getting to see Los Angeles in a pretty touristy way. I haven’t lived here all that long, but I’ve always been way more interested in the most exciting bars and sex shops and meat-centric restaurants the city has to offer and less interested in museums that are inconvenient to get to, and last weekend I was forced in the other direction and I liked it. (Though I think if I’d realized how many free museums there are here I would have come to this realization a lot sooner.)

panorama of los angeles from the getty

los angeles is pretty (sorry, people with winter right now)

Also lately I’ve been obsessed with puppies. You know how sometimes people who want babies talk about wanting them all the time and taking pictures of them in public and trying to steal them from their owners, and sometimes they do steal them from their owners, but it was an accident and they didn’t have a collar and how does something off its leash a block away from anyone obviously even HAVE an owner, and anyway it’s not like I didn’t give it back only a few minutes later? It’s like that with this ten-week-old terrier up the street, this great dane I see on walks sometimes and this stupid cutie on Instagram. Is a lot of this because my apartment has no outdoor space and my wife has insane allergies and thus it will be probably years before I actually get a dog? Maybe. Is being into getting a dog also a good way to obsess over a decision over which I have semi-control, instead of the many things over which I have no control, such as my conditional permanent residency and career and finances and other things presently related to the whim of the government and inability to digest cheese and how the kitchen plumbing keeps breaking and such? …Maybe. ANYWAY.

How are you? How’s is your week going? What are you doing/watching/reading/eating if you’re snowed in this weekend? How is your year going, for that matter? Are you in the middle of the snowstorm today? Are you okay? Did you try to go to work anyway? What is it like in your room tonight? What is your dog or kitten or iguana up to? What did you eat this week that you loved? Did you get a new haircut? Has anything new happened with that girl? Do you want to talk about Carol or Hamilton or I guess anything else in pop culture that might be happening? Are you here every week? Have you never been here before? I wanna hear from you yes you especially.


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Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1126 articles for us.

190 Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure Mia Michaels from SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance) played with my dog this morning. I’m pretty sure it was her. I’ve seen her before near my apartment. If it was her, and I really hope it was, she gets an A+ in my book for dog friendliness.

  2. Happy FOT! Thanks everyone for your hugs last week and today I am feeling much better! So today I have the lightest question in the universe:

    Do any busty plus people out there have a favorite source for flannel shirts that will button up (roomy chest area) but also have darts or whatever that is that makes it not a tent in the stomach area, but don’t have girly embellishments like glitter and lace (hello Maurices)? As Ellen Page’s instagram reminded us this week, PLAID IS LIFE, and I have never found the magic flannel shirt that really works for my body. (Yes, I know I can wear them open. It’s not always the same). So I’m outsourcing the search! If anyone shaped like me has found good flannels, it’s gotta be one of us, right??? :-D

  3. I’ve never participated in one of these open threads before… but here I go! So like, I’m this small-town kid from Florida and I raised money last year to sign up for this year’s A-Camp and I made my goal! So I’m really excited/nervous for registration and the actual camp which will follow. So I’ve got a question that I guess is appropriate for this thread? Anyone out there also going to A-Camp this year? If so, let’s get in contact because I want to know people maybe before actually going! I think that will calm my nerves at least a little bit.

  4. Here at the northern edge of Kentucky, we’re getting the first bits of snow dropped by the snowpocalypse. It’s not too bad here so far, but I really feel for the folks to the East of us who are going to get really slammed.

    In any case, we’re having pretty much a statewide snow day. I got out of the house for an hour so the Kid could do his weekly tutoring gig (which went ahead, snow be damned). But now we’re back home, and I’m not sure how the Kid, my parents, and I are going to while away the rest of the day. Except that later on we’re probably going to watch the 2005 BBC adaptation of Bleak House, which has Gillian Anderson in it, so there’s that to look forward to.

    This week and next my Kid is performing in a stage adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. He’s been going to this theatre program for like 10 years now, but this is the first time they’ve used his male name and pronouns in the playbill. My folks and I went to opening night last night, and I wasn’t sure how they’d react to seeing that, but they seem to mostly be taking it in stride. (Just don’t ask them to use the new name or pronouns themselves, either the Kid’s or mine.) The production itself was really well done, but the story left me with all kinds of feels, mostly of the upsetting kind. Very pleased with the Kid’s performance, though.

  5. I had a good day today! French translation class was fun, and since I’m a native English speaker, the teacher even asked me some questions, it was great. My Hamilton obsession is still going strong, thanks for asking. I’ve also recently finished watching Jessica Jones, Her Story, Master of None and Fargo season 2, and just last night I started watching Orphan Black, which has been on my To Watch List for aaaages. And it’s so good?? Felix is my absolute fave??

  6. hiiiiiiiiiii guuuuuuuuuuys,

    I’m okay! I had a yucky cold as well this week, and have downgraded from neti-potting 2x a day, but my sinuses still feel weird/ookie/sort of disoriented.

    yesterday was gf’s bday and I made her a lemon icebox pie. (https://refrigerator1957.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/the-best-lemon-ice-box-pie/)

    I’m have a lot of cooking this week, my friends bought a chest freezer and are having a baby and there is a world of protein-dense vegetarian meals in used yogurt tubs in my fridge right now that I need to take to their house, and then do a million dishes.

    Otherwise I am farting around working on writing projects and listening to Aretha Franklin and drinking tea.

    Puppies are super cute! Our dog is old and getting put down this week- we put it off by a week because we found a place to do it at our house, which will be better, but girlfriend is like I NEED A PUPPY FOR MY GRIEF and I’m like, no, no, I need to have a window of time where something doesn’t need my attention all the time.

    but an easygoing little booboo that was small and wanted to come with me to cafes and hang out with me on the couch and could tell me when it needed to go outside might be great.

    I wrote a blog! http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2016/01/22/on-not-being-over-your-ex/

    It’s been super rainy in Seattle, the independent weather guy Cliff Mass called it an ‘atmospheric river’ which mostly meant it dumped all day.

    But today it is sunny! I will leave the house! huzzah!

    • I’m sorry about your pup :( and agree about the needing time. My kitten biological clock is ticking hard but I should probably stick with the one who’s learned to sing me a song of her people when she poops.

    • @shmerdyberdy Have you tried ginger tea? I recommend ginger tea. (I recommend ginger tea for everything though. Dried if it’s what you’ve got, but otherwise coins of fresh ginger, with lemon possibly left over from your pie and also honey/agave.)

      I am also sad to hear about your dog but it must be a huge relief to have found somewhere that will do it at your house. Many hugs.

      • ginger tea is so good! Though once I had ginger lemon tea with big pieces of ginger in it and I was drinking it out of a mason jar, and this guy in my grad program thought I was drinking psychedelic mushroom tea! which I don’t even know if that’s a thing! but he told me that like 6 months later, and I was like sir, I am not a patchwork hippie, I am just a girl in a hoodie with a bad cold in my history of social work seminar.

        but yes, thanks. doing it at home will make a big difference.

  7. los angeles is finally heating back up as the rest of the world is eaten by snow, which, not gonna lie, is a moment i knew i was waiting for because now i’m like oh la la la is it snowing? whoops. i was too busy throwing a ball for eli in the park, what do you know!

    i am finally back in los angeles after being here for two weeks, gone for two to three weeks, every two weeks for two months. that was a disaster. i feel like i basically just moved in for real, except i’ve been here for months. so there’s that! what i’m saying is, i have just started my actual settling in process and it’s amazing.

    i am also here to serve up some resolution realness: i have been doing well at meeting deadlines (minus one big one that’s ok though we’re all human), have cooked out of cookbooks, but still cannot for the life of me establish a morning routine now that i work from home. i’m also struggling with how to stay focused and on task and not get distracted by a zest for cleaning when working from home. tips appreciated.

    also, hi everyone! i like you more than i like baskets of puppies and that is saying so much because i fucking love puppies.

    • @carmenrios I only learned it was snowing in the east because you told me, true story.

      The thing that works for me wr/r/t a morning routine is having a series of options to block in so if I don’t feel like doing the same thing in the same order every single morning, or if life happens, it’s okay. So instead of having an order (shower dress coffee finish one thing emails start another thing) I just try to do all that stuff before [time] and it works out a lot better (though it means I’m not wearing appropriate pants for the day yet right now so WHO KNOWS).

      • Yes to everything Carolyn said. A series of options and general time blocks has worked for me for nearly three weeks. Like, I should take the dog out for a walk by this time and I need to eat around this time and no more coffee past 10:30 or I will end up having to pee like a horse while I’m on the bus.

        Also having certain activities that go with other activities but in whatever order I feel like. I do a tarot reading and check my email while I am still working on my morning coffee. But I drink a lot of coffee so that gives me all morning really (and also I constantly check my email so that’s a bad example).

        I have nothing to offer re:zest for cleaning. I think just embrace it? The best way to know how many deadlines I am facing is to see how clean my apartment is. Have I recently scrubbed mildew off of the porch railings? That is a clear indication that I have many important deadlines coming up.

        It’s taken me close to three years to feel like I’ve started a settling process in my new city so well done on that front.

  8. Hello friends! Oakland is still rainy. It is illegal to complain about the rain (we need it so!), but if it were not, I might more words to say about this. My friends back in NC are preparing for the entire state to Shut Down as it receives a couple inches of snow. Oh, and I miss all of you. That is all.

  9. Last night I went on a double date to a hockey game, which feels representative of my life as a whole these days: extremely gay, occasionally screaming because I’m stressed, and ultimately successful (we won, go Stars!).

  10. Hello friends! Today I made up with a buddy who I fought with over something dumb, gave her a donation to SAGE as a belated wedding gift (she loved it, I volunteer with them, they’re awesome), and made a date with my sweetie for a Care and Bottle Feeding of Orphaned Kittens Class.

  11. Y’all, this year has been going so good so far. This week I found out on the same day that I got a $2000 grant and that I have an interview at one of the grad schools I applied to!! My very last semester of undergrad starts on Monday and I’m so pumped. I also am probs getting a promotion in the next few weeks. So many exciting things, I kind of can’t believe it.

    I’ve also been truly obsessed with having a kid/baby, thank you for validating those feelings. I’m also obsessed with tiny dogs in jackets and thanks to the snow here there are plenty to look at irl.

  12. Buenos Dias, how are y’all?
    I’ve been sick as a dog for the past few days, and it’s basically my very own fault for dragging myself to a pub quiz on Tuesday night, despite my better judgement.
    Adding insult to injury was the splitting coffeine withdrawal headache on day two. Does that ever happen to anyone else, btw?
    Well, we’re on day three now, I’ve installed a retro Game (Punch Club) on my ipad, gotten halfway through “The Man in the High Castle” and am now ready for reading some fanfiction.
    In case anyone would be interested:
    Here’s a very sweet Swanqueen Super Hero gig: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5744149/chapters/13236460
    And a cute Clexa celebrity thing:
    http://archiveofourown.org/works/5045992/chapters/11602759

    That said, please keep your fingers crossed, that I’ll make it onto my friends’ couch across town tomorrow.
    We’re having a long standing itunes date involving the returns of Arrow,Flash, The 100 and the premiere of Legends of Tomorrow.
    There will also be waffles involved.

      • Uh, a Pharyngitis/Sinusitis thing, with a side of the ears?
        I just really hope it wasn’t tonsillitis or strep throat, after all, because then I should have opted for the antibiotics.
        Did I mention I’m a doctor with a hatred for doctors?
        I really need to get a bossy girlfriend or wife at some point who will kick my ass all the way into a practice the next time I’m running a fever.
        Maybe I’ll just designate a friend.

        By the way, I totally get the dognapping vibe. I would so LOVE to have a dog, more than a girlfriend actually (ok, maybe I shouldn’t mention this on OKCupid) but while I’m deadly allergic to cats, I’m just allergic enough to dogs not to be able to live with them. Also, big city, long commute, not enough time at home.
        *sigh*
        I always thought being a grown up came with your own dog.

  13. Pretty much my entire life was made yesterday when the new season of The 100 premiered. I have been waiting so long. I love this show. People please come process with me. Actually maybe don’t so we don’t spoil people, but instead come generally process with me.

  14. Hello Friday people!!! Oh man I’m SO SO glad I’m not working this Friday for once. So how is your hair?? What about your furbabies?! =)

    My phone is now brand new and I somehow missed the post on that cat collecting game app and now that I have it I obsessively check to see which new ones have visited my yard.

    Also RECAMPS. They are here which means CAMP will be here soon!! So many feelings.

    This week has been great you guys. I mean SO GREAT. I feel like Christine and I are really moving forward with her fiance visa. OMG. She’s secured an interview date next month and I’m totally panicking!! Even if she still has until May at her current job I’m just so anxious and nervous and excited and excited. I was so excited I forgot to close the little pocket on my running shorts and I’m just LUCKY my car keys didn’t fall out??

    I feel great with training for the relay race my friends and I are doing in April. It’s 190miles!!! 12 people!! 2 vans!! MEMORIES!!

    IDK where to get an apartment in LA? I mean why do I always tell people to move here? There’s traffic and smog and pollution and rent is sky high for a one bedroom? And why don’t a lot of apartments allow pets..ANYWAY I’m sure everything will work out. AMIRITE.

    I got my car’s headlights done also which is SO GREAT because I’ve been wanting to do this for like a year now. Thank God for Ebay. You have a lot of stuff I want but don’t really need.

    Now back to the topic. Yep I love puppies too!! I know Christine and I have two cats but I was a dog person before I met Jessy and Andy. My little sons. (I can call them my sons right) Andy and Jessy say hello you guys. Christine says they are busy chasing mice around in the next door neighbor’s yard so….yeah.

    • Congrats on the visa interview!!! And on not losing your car keys. You already know all my visa interview thoughts from love & canada but I am HERE if you need any more of them, but I am sure things will go really well and if your paperwork is all accounted for there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. (Make sure you read on visajourney about the place her interview is so you feel like you know what’s happening, and also sign the statement of intent in pen that looks like pen and not something that looks like a copy, are my main pieces of advice.)

      • @carolyn I think I’m panicking more than Christine LOL. Thanks for the advice! The lawyer told us several times to make sure she signs her letter of intent in REAL INK. I think everything should be okay, she just needs to do a medical thing a week before her interview. OMG still panicking! HAHAHA! I’m celebrating and managing my panic by having a beer. CHEERS ALL.

    • Those are nice headlights, I take they are the newer model(cause it looks similar to my sisters A6 lights, but different than the 2017 models?).

      As for apartments it all depends where you want to live. Do you want to be close to coast, work, queers, or entertainment. Good luck~!

      • Nah, the headlights are aftermarket. I waited about a year because the sellers on Ebay kept running out. Germany does have a lot of aftermarket so if you’re willing to pay to play….LOL. I guess they’re more of a take on the Q5 headlights..like maybe 2013/2014-ish lights when they decided to use what they call light in tube technology. Unfortunately they NEVER fitted those onto the A3, they had those LED ones..Which I would’ve been fine with but not really.

  15. Hi guys, happy FOT!

    Big dilemma this week – I’ve been out of work since June, and I’m applying for what is kind of my dream job, and I’m very excited. EXCEPT – it’s in another city. Is it still a dram job if it’s in another city, and I have to leave all my family and friends and activities behind? Is it dumb to want to give up on a dream job just because I don’t want to leave my roller derby league or my acting company? Don’t I know that I moved to this city five years ago not knowing anyone and look at me now? Am I really in a position, after not working for 8 months, to turn down ANY job? Is worrying about how the hell I’m gonna meet queer people in a city of 200,000 people (since it’s been hard enough to do so in my current city of 1 million people) a legitimate concern? What about the fact that I’d have to move within the month, and that moving is hella expensive? What about this very new sort-of-relationship that I’ve just started, what will happen to that if I have to move?

    And is all this what-iffing putting the cart before the horse, since I only sent in my application an hour ago?

    heeeeeeeelp!?

    • Sometimes leaving everything behind is a mistake and sometimes it’s the greatest thing ever and it’s hard to know how it’s going to be before you do it, or even while you’re doing it, or even six months later, especially when it seems like the scary unknown, you know? (Sometimes new jobs will also help you relocate, which might be an option here.) (Also just because you leave doesn’t mean you can’t ever go back.)

    • I second Carolyn’s “leaving doesn’t mean you can’t go back”. With family and friends there, surely you will go back, to visit at least. And even if you decide against leaving, going through with the application is an important thing in itself. That takes work and guts, putting yourself out there.

      And maybe, just maybe, the fact that you did follow through with the application is a sign that, despite the possible downsides, you’re ready for something new and awesome? Just a thought.
      Good luck with it all!

    • Hi,
      I was in kind of a similar dilemma end of last year.
      In the end, I compromised and found something a 1 1/2 hour commute away. This way I can still go to my arabic class and meet my best friend at the gym twice a week and still get way better working conditions than in the city.
      I just wasn’t ready to give everything up,quite yet.
      Go with your gut would be my recommendation.

    • I can sort of relate to this too – I took a new job at the end of last summer, but only after moving to the new city and commuting to an existing job every day. It was a super scary decision, for true.

      BUT hey, if you want this stranger’s advice in the event you haven’t put the cart before the horse, I heartily endorse the coin flip. If you’re disappointed with the result of the coin flip, you’ll know what you really want! If the result makes you feel tingly, go for it! LIKE MAGIC, I tell you.

  16. This is a pretty celebratory time for me! In the past two weeks, I:
    Got accepted to my top choice graduate program
    Got a new job at a place where I used to be a volunteer
    Had an interview for a possible second job at my old school
    Found a possible lead for an East Bay rental spot for my girlfriend, who sorely needs one
    Finished writing/illustrating my first Twine game as part of a game jam
    Learned how to bake bread on my own/grind my own rice flour

    I am elated and excited for the future but also a little intimidated by how much I still have to do (taxes, financial aid paperwork, job training, driving lessons) in order to make good use of the time before I start my Masters program.

    Any tips from other folks on how to manage/enjoy this weird half-year of not being a student, a state of being that’s still very unfamiliar to me?

  17. I had my first classes of the semester this week. I’m taking a Feminist Rhetoric and Social Change class, which is kick ass. Otherwise, I am fighting off a cold as well, I’m hoping it doesn’t impede on my feminine energy full moon hike tomorrow. It’s been a rough few weeks, but I feel like I’m starting to come out the valley. Hope for the best. <3

    • That Feminist Rhetoric and Social Change class sounds amazing! I’m doing an independent study this semester with a friend that’s basically “feminist rhetoric we wanted to read but isn’t in our core classes” and it’s so much fun and bell hooks is restoring my faith in my life choices (aka why reading/writing/doing theory matters). Hope your cold clears up well!

  18. Blizzard coming tomorrow and early dismissal today have flooded my library with very very very hyper kids, and I do not have the energy right now. Luckily, I have the recamp post to read through as I try to block out the chaos.

  19. The weather is grim here in Yorkshire, and I’m way too short to scrape the ice off my van’s windscreen. My mother suggested I get a folding step stool so I can reach. It’s a bad time.
    I’m home alone this Friday night eating pie and watching anything with lesbians in it that I can find on Netflix because I’m drowning in heteronormativity at my dayjob and its making me a little nuts. Recommendations welcome.
    Have great weekends folks, solidarity to those who like me are working.

    • I checked High Art out of my public library (I cannot stress how bizarre it is that the library had this movie). It was depressing and cliched in all the worst ways but I’d probably watch it again, because for some reason Ally Sheedy (sp?) really worked for me as a character. Until the ending.

      Great pitch, huh? Clearly I don’t work in sales. :) Seriously, though, it isn’t much of a movie. I just mention it for no other reason than that it doesn’t get mentioned very often.

      • Oh wow High Art, that takes me back. I have that on VHS somewhere in storage, a buddy lent me it way back in ’01 and I’ve had it ever since, yes I’m THAT friend. And yes I agree Ally Sheedy worked for me too. So weird that a library had that!

    • uk netflix might be different than us netflix but pariah is ADORABLE SO SO CUTE that would not make you feel sad and uh, sometimes I watch girltrash because there’s singing but gf is always loudly like THIS IS TERRIBLE WHY ARE YOU WATCHING IT and I’m like QUIT HARSHING MY MELLOW BABE.

      reaching for the moon if you want to cry it out, but it’s an awesome movie.

      • Thanks for the recs. I will seek them out :) I watched girltrash, I actually liked it. Like “would watch again” liked it which I’m not sure how I feel about haha, should I worry about myself at this point? I’m not sure how my missus would feel about it, but may test it out on her.

  20. I just thought you all might be interested to know Natasha Lyonne was on last night’s season premiere of Portlandia hanging out with Carrie Brownstein.

    ALSO, can we get a The 100 season premiere recap up in here??? I am so excited!!

  21. Well I too am in Los Angeles so if I wanted to be in snow I could always drive 2 hour to Big Bear, or Mountain high. On the sad side it means I have to wear less layers, which as a trans person kind of sucks because the breast forms I was graciously donated(for various reason don’t wear them to work) are on the larger side. With layers I can flat it out more, fucking dysphoria. It also means no snow, which is a plus so I don’t have to walk in deep snow to the bank.

    Speaking of museums. Last week my cousin had one in Venice(I have mentioned this), where some of her videos and drawings were displayed. Then this week she had another opening, which showed off different material(& locale) than her one last week(this one was also a private for family before the public gets to see it in two weeks). It’s surprising to see how many homes have been turned into small private art galleries.

    How’s everyone’s week going? Mines is kind of rough. My insurance premium went up again, which is expected, but I still don’t get why they are required to increase my rates when the new year comes, when they already are doing it for birthday too. Maybe the answer is to start up our own queer & trans healthcare provider that doesn’t increase rates just cause it’s a new year. I dunno.

    On the plus note I got invited to a house part at friends house. It should be full of queers, greens, and vegan food so yay!

    Speaking of more art. I am not sure what the plan for this building is or who is doing this stuff, but I dig it.

    Thank you for viewing and reading have a positive weekend!

  22. Anybody in the States watching The Expanse? The show is too dudely for sure, but just when I get fed up enough to turn it off they’ll get Naomi Nagata back onscreen and all my willpower melts into a puddle of helpless devotion.

  23. So. I have an interview next week! Which is surprising because I thought I bombed the pre-employment testing. Now I just need to, well first nail the interview and get the job, but then also decide whether I want to keep my current part-time job too. Hm. But I guess that’s a pretty good problem to be contemplating!

  24. I think my life is slowly being consumed by my GSWS class. We are creating an alternative Vagina Monologues, called The Bodylogues, a collection of raw and unpublished monologues about people’s lived experiences with their bodies. We are doing this because open inclusive conversations about bodies are limited, bodies and their functions are considered taboo topics of conversation, and certain bodies are privileged by our society while others lack access to this privilege. Our hope is that we can help to end these stigmas and oppressions by telling and celebrating stories about all kinds of bodies.
    It’s really fantastic, but… between writing, editing, coordinating, auditioning, I have little time for our class readings/writings, as well as my other classes!
    Thankfully one of my friends I havent seen in a while wants to go see Carol with me tomorrow night! It will be a very welcome break!

  25. I’m putting the finishing touches on my syllabus for the first undergraduate class I’ve ever taught. I’ve done a ton of public speaking and workshop facilitation and working with college students, so I’m not nervous about that part of it. However, I’ve never taught a class for a whole semester by myself. I’m pretty stoked!

    I really want my students to have a good experience and use their brains a lot and, honestly, I hope they like me and enjoy the class! I’d love to crowd-source some feedback and tips from ya’ll about what made your favorite professors the best. Or if you teach, what advice you’d give to a new professor!

    • This is so exciting! Yay!

      As a new TA teaching freshman comp, small group discussion is my saving grace. Facilitating giant discussions doesn’t work well for me, but when I put them in small groups they seem more comfortable talking with each other, and then we can pull back after and have a larger conversation where I know everyone has at least something they can add confidently from their discussion partners.

      My program requires us to cancel class one week and hold conferences on their papers instead, which I find helpful but maybe there are other methods to get them to come to office hours? Chatting with them one-on-one seems to help some of them speak up more and participate more, which makes me so happy.

      • I love small group discussions, too! I use them a lot in workshops. I’ll definitely think about how to bring them into the classroom. Thanks for the tip!

        I love that you get scheduled 1:1 time with your students! What a great way to engage them and build rapport!

    • Hope it goes well and that they like you and work hard for you. The profs I liked best were the ones who drove me to reasses my ideas from new perspectives. As a teacher I say – embrace caffeine and get waaaaay ahead of yourself so you can do like I did this week and surprise yourself with work already done that you thought you were going to have to do. It’s like past me did future me a solid. I love past me this week.

    • On a sad note, I found out that one of my favorite teachers passed away(he also taught Monica Lewinsky) this week. He was an 8th grade English teacher; but, what made him so great was how topical and relatable he was(did help that Monica was in the news when I was taking his class). He even let us watch the Romeo and Juliet movie with DiCaprio after reading the book. I like his honest and how in his grammar tests he’d dish out facts about other teachers in an entertaining manner. My other favorite teacher was in Uni(had him for 4 class) and what made him great was also his honesty about his politics(government professor) and listening to others views, or learning something from a student.

      Just know you are a baddass queer and you can do this! Good luck!

    • My favorite teachers/profs relied a lot on student participation–asking students to explain things (by asking the general class to answer things, not calling on specific students unless literally nobody was answering) instead of just lecturing at us for lecture-heavy classes.

      The other thing that’s memorable about my favorite profs/teachers is some of the corny jokes/catchphrases professors had. I can’t hear an infomercial without being reminded about organic chemistry and hear my professor’s voice say “but WAIT there’s MORE” instead of the infomercial person’s voice.

    • The prof. I respected and learned the most from were not necessarily the ones I would want to have over for dinner. In other words, don’t worry about being liked, perhaps. Set expectations about class participation/assignments and then make it clear to students that you are thrilled to be there to help them learn, to be a resource, to provide thoughtful feedback, etc. But all you have to do is respect them and their learning process, and all they have to do is respect you/classmates.

      I don’t know how big your class is, but one undergrad class I took required a carefully constructed paragraph every week in response to a question about the reading and the professor scored and gave brief comments. I think the word limit was 150/200. It was a small class but participation was excellent. I wish the classes I TA’d allowed that level of involvement.

      Maybe there’s someone whose arm could be twisted into funding tea and cookies for the first couple of weeks of office hours?

      • Haha! I don’t know why I want them to like me. I think it’s because I’m filling in for a popular teacher and I want them to feel like they’re getting the same value out of the class with me. I know it will be fine. I’m fun. And good at facilitation. But some middle-school-girl part of me wants them to like me, too! You’re right, though, it’s more about whether they learn in the class, feel challenged, and hopefully enjoy the time we spend together.

        I like the idea of some kind of brief reflection assignment. I am planning to have them do mini-reflections on the class and readings every two weeks, but maybe I should have them do smaller assignments every week. Hmm…

        Cookies are a good idea. Maybe I’ll just bring cookies to the first day of class.

        • Yeah, I had to take a counseling class at one point and we had to assess and discuss our “needs” when it came to social interactions. Turns out many people have a need to be liked which can seriously affect the dynamic (teacher/class or counselor/client or supervisor/employees). I don’t! This can be a weakness (“unapproachable”) but there are advantages.

  26. I am struggling to settle into a structured reading/homeworking routine for the new semester, especially since all of the huge scary work has deadlines months away. Cleaning and cooking are just so much more enjoyable.

    BUT! Have just confirmed we are dating and not getting-dinner-as-friends, and hopefully we can now move from Plans to hanging out and studying next to each other as part of this.

  27. I am thoroughly grateful for this FOT. Just got back from an interview in near Sacramento. It’s really frustrating to hear “We would like to hire you, but we’re concerned about your ‘wheels,'” when you just told the interviewer that you would like to live near work and walk or ride a bike. …Which I can still do in the area, but that would put me in a really expensive neighborhood. So I’m tired from the long drive(s) and having to be “on” continuously for an interview. Just glad to be home, so I can nap. And, as I said, really grateful for this FOT.

  28. It’s only just started snowing a short while ago here. It looks kinda nice, i guess.

    I’ve been so busy, & stressed. Ever since new year’s things have been tense on & off between my parents, & yesterday was especially bad. I was anxious about it all day, & it only got progressively worse, to the point that i was shaking. I took an ativan & it didn’t seem to kick in as fast as it used to, which was also concerning. And then, a few hours later, i felt jittery again, so idk what that’s about.

    My still-new therapist said she doesn’t know what to do to help me, which is pretty much what my old one said at some point, & that makes me feel pretty badly. I feel like she must be frustrated with me, like i’m wasting her time, that i’m a hopeless case. I definitely don’t have hope. I can’t see how anything’s supposed to get better when nothing helps. And i’ve gone through programs & been taught all this stuff, & i still feel powerless & hopeless.

    But at least i got to see lots of friends in the past week, which was nice. I also got sniffed nose to nose by kittens. I also have an obnoxiously easy volunteer job, & i desperately need to find a paying job. Even though my therapist keeps bringing up “a higher level of care.”

    I have candles lit in my room, even though we’ve yet to lose power. A Pier 1 was going out of business, so i bought a few big ones, so they’ll last a while. I’ve also been smoking a little, & i’m hoping my incense will mask that. Today’s also been stressful, between my parents, & my dog getting sassy. And the thing is, i know what’s going on between my parents because i pushed my dad to tell me, & the therapist frowned upon that. I still haven’t told my parents that she’s suggested bringing them in for a session, much less that she wants me to come 2, if not 3, days a week. Even though she asked me yesterday “Is this [therapy] helping?”

    Bleh.

  29. In between everything else that I’m doing, I finally watched The Holy Mountain. I’m probably late to the party, but I just wanted to say that if you are still not sure where to find your perfect “slutty power lesbian” outfit, then please remember that dressing as Ilsa Whose Planet Is Mars is always, always an option. I can’t find a full picture of her, but this is such a great shot of her. If nothing else, watch the movie for her introductory sequence

  30. Hey guise I took my first actual shower today since my Urticaria Saga began and it was gud. Still not as warm as I’d like but I needs to be gentle with my battered dermis. No reddishness or itching just kinda dry.
    The organic super sooth and moisturise lotion I’m using is oatmeal based and because it’s winter I have cinnamon spice oatmeal in stock. So when I hunger for oatmeal after using said lotion I can have some.

  31. So today I went to my hospital appointment for my liver biopsy results and I NO LONGER HAVE CIRRHOSIS!!!!!!!

    I am so fucking pumped. I have autoimmune hepatitis and take immunosuppressants daily for the last six years. I get along fine but I was told that the scarring to my liver was irreversible. IRREVERSIBLE MY ARSE. Anyways my liver scarring has been downgraded to ‘mild fibrosis’. You guys can see the word mild in there right? Not cirrhosis, not severe, not even moderate, MILD FIBROSIS. I honestly never thought, or even hoped, this was possible.

    It’s funny because it won’t make much difference to my life. Still take same meds, still avoid alcohol. But the idea that my body has been getting slowly a little bit better instead of just not getting worse feels incredible right now.

  32. Ohh boy this week has been a right rollercoaster.
    I wish people in this neighbourhood would stop setting off new years fireworks already, it’s illegal by now but since you can’t exactly pin each firework on anyone, there are no repercussions, so people do it anyway.
    Snow’s thawing, but tomorrow is supposed to be cold, so we might see more snow tomorrow night.

    Tuesday I shaved off all my hair, needed a drastic change in my life and so far it feels like it’s working, and my kid sister didn’t recognize me/thought I’d gotten a boyfriend for a bit, I think that’s a plus in the way of genderfluidity…

    Wednesday I told my therapist a horrible secret I’ve kept quiet for close to 3 years, and next week we’re going to tell my mum together. Here’s hoping it goes well.

    Yesterday I got Netflix, which is finally legal in my country, so hooray for a free month of tv.

    Today I slept in, watched cute cat videos, played Minecraft with the kid sister, got a parcel -favourite band’s new live concert dvd/bluray release-, and have the place to myself for the night. So far so good (at least today).
    Happy Friday!
    Did you watch any cat videos?

  33. It’s snowed a bit and of course everyone is acting like the end is nigh. I just REALLY don’t want the power to go out. I haven’t been able to focus on a book in a year.

    I feel like my resolution to get out more is coming along okay! It’s usually just dinner and/or the mall and/or chilling at someone else’s house but at least it’s not sitting on my computer, in the dark, alone, in my basement. These last couple months I have just not wanted to be alone. Not in a scared way but in a need to be social way. My therapist thinks it’s great.

    I’m very slowly getting more and more anxious about what I’m gonna do after I get this degree. Right now I’m working on an AA in theatre production which never stops feeling stupid no matter how much I say it or like what I’m doing. I’m pretty sure the plan when I started this was to transfer to a “real” college and get a “real” degree but I don’t think I want that anymore.

    OH! A fun thing! My best friend/soulmate bought me a bath bomb from Lush and it smells super nice and amazing and I’m way too excited.

  34. Carolyn, I’m so happy that I get the opportunity to do some mad repping on behalf of Great Danes (in particular mine). When you do get a puppy (because this is a dream that should come true for us all), get a Great Dane. I have one in my life by way of my dearest GF and he’s a perfect prince named Bowser. He was my Valentine last year and lemme tell you, what a gentleman.

    Umm…that’s about all I have to say about that. It’s my birthday tomorrow and I’m spending it hopefully in bed until about half an hour before it’s time to go to dinner with GF.

    Happy Friday, Autostraddlers!

  35. I’m been feeling a lot better the past couple days, so that’s nice. I’m still not doing great, but I feel more like “human with depression” than “ball of depression and emptiness”, so I’m counting that as progress.

    I’m really getting bummed about the lack of snow at home, though. I got stuck and had to crash with a friend (and it was super nice to see him which was a bonus) because of lake effect earlier this week on my way home from the mountains and then had to drive through terrible conditions the next morning too, and then I got home to a paltry 1/2 inch.

    I also just wish that I wasn’t so anxious about calling doctors’ offices because I waited too long until they were closed and now I have to wait until Monday to call again. Phone calls are probably the bane of my existence.

    • Yay for feeling more human!!

      Calling doctors (or really anyone on the phone) is the worst. Can you pretend there more afraid of you then you are of them? (I like to take this to extremes and pretend whatever faceless entity I have to call either a. is my property or b. at the end of a 60s sci fi style death ray, depending on mood.)

    • Glad you are feeling a bit better this week, friend! Progress is progress and human feelings are good!

      I hate calling places that have limited hours like dr’s offices. I always end up calling at the wrong time. It seems like it’s always the wrong time, no matter what time of day it is.

      • This has been part of my problem! I get really nervous and then I call and it’s the wrong time/lunch time/the office is having a fire drill or actually on fire (which happened at my mom’s office last week actually, when I tried to call her about whether the dog needed eye drops–everyone/thing is fine, except for the autoclave that combusted). And then I wait and then I’ve waiting too long and then they’re closed.

    • Dude I saw this on Amazon, whilst in a Mass Effect based haze over the holidays, and stuck it on my wishlist and one day I will buy and make it. Obvs my first thought was to wonder if you’d made it. It looks super cool.

      • @gloriousobscurity The Mass Effect ones are in my opinion easy to make. I think all 4 of them are just a sheet each. I don’t remember a lot of bending or shaping into something round either. Most of them just involve straight lines and bends. Nothing very complicated. Of course, you’d still need to be patient in making them. Remember they are tiny. LOL. Well small in size and somewhat fragile. When I first made a Mass Effect one my first thought was that a beginner could do it.

        Of course my choice for a first timer would be the Golden Gate bridge. I think it’s only 15 or 20 pieces.

  36. You guys, something is going on with me and I don’t know what. I’ve been getting the weirdest satisfaction out of having enough linens and changing my sheets and bath and kitchen towels super regularly without having to immediately wash them. I also got a new bookshelf and organized my closet and got rid of all the clothing I never wear and no longer feels like me and then bought two new items that do feel like me and made a wish list of other things. I started saving receipts from my groceries so I can figure out where it’s best to buy which items. I’ve been regularly eating at least two meals a day. I’ve been menu planning and even prepping my ingredients before the week starts. PREPPING! I DID MY TAXES EARLY that is how serious this has gotten.

    I honestly think maybe I’ve been possessed by some domestic demon because I’m jut getting the strangest satisfaction out of very domestic things. Is that a thing? Domestic demon possession?

    It’s like I’m nesting but it’s an actual biological impossibility for me to be pregnant right now. Is this a normal response to not being in grad school / life crises mode? Is this because for the first time in 5 years I’m not moving? Is this because I am about to turn 30?!

    This is a very new feeling please help?

  37. had a pretty exhausting week thus far.
    today wasn’t the worst of fridays, but i’m feeling a little burnt out.
    i try to remind myself daily that i can’t solve everyone else’s problems, but i get so bent out of shape when I cannot.

    my new girl “friend?”, who has a freakishly high body temperature and radiates heat, is sleeping over tonight. i’m cramping, so it would be really nice if she could just lay over my abdomen. but idk if she’ll agree to sleep sideways in bed. can’t hurt to ask, though. :-)

  38. I’ve had a really great week. On Sunday I went to the midsumma carnival for the first time which was super fun. Then on Tuesday I went to an underage dance party for young lgbtq kids which was great. I’ve been down at the beach for the part few days although the weather hasn’t been great. I walked into a conversation today that my family was having about Caitlyn Jenner and they were saying some misinformed things. I tried to correct them but then I got kind of annoyed with them and started shouting statistics at them. I think I need to get better at teaching people not to be transphobic because my current methods don’t seem to be working :/ my sister and cousin told me to stop “lecturing” and “forcing my opinions on other people”. That wasn’t so great. But I’m hanging out with one of my best friends tomorrow and I haven’t seen her in almost 2 months :)

  39. I am suddenly exhausted today after a very long week (which isn’t over yet… it’s a full workday tomorrow) and have convinced myself that if I *truly believe* that it won’t snow, the clouds will hear me and grant my wish. That’s how weather works, right?

  40. Oh, my weekend was full of laughter and semi-flirting and watching Crimson Peak for the third time with close friends, then realizing that it was not brilliant to leave most of my packing until the day before I move.

    Oops.

    I’m picking up the keys in half an hour, I’m so excited/worried/tired, but staying upright because I absolutely have to and I have Earl Grey and new X-Files to watch this evening after the moving is done and I’ve ordered Chinese takeout to devour with my friend who’s kindly lifting the heavier boxes.

  41. My friends from college came down to visit all weekend, so I’ve been having fun showing them around my city! :D
    It’s always great to have people visit because you get to act a little tourist-y again. (I’ve only lived here since September, but sometimes I still feel a little too much like “a local” to act ridiculous haha. That needs to change!)

    Also, last week I asked for interview advice and got some really great tips, so an update is I feel pretty good about my interview and thank you all so much!!
    I won’t find out if I’ve got a placement until April, but I think I did my best, so whatever the result is, I hopefully won’t beat myself up about it.

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