Friday Open Thread: Longing and Lusting for the Open Road

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Hello my perfectly steamed veggie dumplings! Welcome to Friday Open Thread, the fugue state you enter when you drink too much herbal tea and say “Sappho Sings to Sally by the Seashore” six times fast.

How is your life load lately?

I dunno what it’s like in your parts (geographic parts, not private parts), but from where I am in Western NY, the weather has been so bizarre so far this summer. Sunny and hot, hot, hot one day and blustery cold the next. Two days ago I was miserably melting in a tank dress with multiple fans pointed at my face. Now I’m drinking hot coffee while enveloped in fleece-lined leggings and a soft knit sweatshirt. I don’t even know what’s going on anymore.

And my days lately have been equally strange and rapidly fluctuating, filled to the brim with work, writing, caring for a sick pet, impromptu meetings, visiting family, and a seemingly neverending to-do list. You ever have a week like that? It’s a blessing to be busy and have so much life to live, but damn… I could use a break. I’m taking a short weekend trip with my booberry tomorrow and it’s all I can think about.

Sometimes when I’m feeling super overwhelmed like this, I close my eyes and imagine I’m on an epic road trip. It is the perfect stress-relieving visualization. Seriously. Try it. Close your peepers and imagine you are on the open road. Windows down. By yourself or with the perfect traveling companion of your choice.

The weather is absolutely perfect for driving. Clear blue skies with slow-roaming clouds. The road is stretching in front of you beyond and beyond and beyond until it disappears on the horizon.

Put one hand out the window and feel the resistance of the cool air, the wind threading through your outstretched fingers.

You have no destination or many destinations, no timeline, no urgency. Just a full tank and your comfiest travel clothes. There are no buildings, no houses, just peaceful stretches of wild terrain, the faint smell of unturned dirt. Just be there, the road disappearing behind you, all your worries emptying into the air and blowing away. Don’t look back.

It’s getting later now, a few houses come into view and a city beyond. The sun is starting to set and the sky warms into bronze-red streaks as you drive on, on, on towards the horizon.

Breathe deep.

Open your eyes.

Do you feel better now?

Oh, how I wish we could go on a road trip right now! Have you ever gone road trippin’? Tell me about your best road trip IRL or in your mind. Where did you go? Or where would you go? Alone or with a friend or lover? Describe it to me! What were/are the very best parts?

Or just tell me how your week is going, what your are juggling, what you are looking forward to, whether you need a vacation or are content where you are, what your cat did today. Spill, my darlings.


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KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 204 articles for us.

187 Comments

  1. Hey all!! How is everyone doing? hair still on? LOL. It’s Friday!!! Can’t believe the weekend is upon us again. Also CAMP is almost here! It’s my second one but I still feel very nervous and anxious and of course excited! Come and fist bump me and like I said on the FB page, if you are able bring your leather jackets so we can take a pic and look like a motorcycle gang. LOL

    I’ve been wanting to go into the mountains for the past weeks but I’ve been working and out here in SoCal we have this drought and everything is really dry. It’s rained for the past day and a half so far…I’m personally hoping for more. I don’t get weather here in SoCal as of late, it was really hot then it cooled down now it’s raining and it looks like it’ll be warm again? the seasons have somehow skipped Spring, went into summer then realized it forgot spring and it’s doing it now. LOL.

    Kaelyn, the pictures you posted look really good and make me want to road trip from another state to get to Camp lol.

    Look at my Metal Earth I made. the Tie fighter and the Imperial Destroyer. That Tie fighter was quite the build. I ended up having to use gloves to stop my fingerprints from ruining it. lol.

    Look at Jessy you guys. Look at those eyes awwww. And yes he likes to hold his bottle. omg.

    • OMG why is Jessy so cute in the face area?!

      Your metal earth stuff is always so cool! I can’t imagine the time and patience you put in to each piece.

      See you soon at CAMP! I have a pleather moto jacket. Can I still be in the gang? The vegan contingent of the gang?

    • Once again uncertain which thing exactly cause the squealing sound that woke the the doggies from their late afternoon nape.
      Awesome Stars Wars things or adorable kitty?
      Oh wait both is a option how could I forget ;D

      Thank you for sharing the your gud stuff with us Vinzz.

    • I love the Star Wars pieces!
      In related news, I got some new earrings!

      I like them, they’re a bit larger than I’d expected, but also more visible because of it. I figure they’re just kind of cute, and any Star Wars fans I come across will be pleased to see them.

      Keep up the positivity, Vinzzz

  2. I GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE TOMORROW!!!!!!!

    I’m equally excited/proud and confused that this is a thing that’s real because it doesn’t feel real (because no way it’s been 4 years. no way.)

    I have vague dreams of a road trip across the US this fall, provided I actually get a job for the winter.

    My summer will be a mix of vagrancy and driving a lot through various parts of New York State (mostly the Adirondacks), and my goal of 100 days in my boat this summer looks 100% possible so yay.

  3. this speaks so fucking deeply to me. i used to write about summer on my tumblr all the time, like just the experience of it, the hot shoulders and the sweat and the still air, and it was funny because no matter what the actual weather outside i would close my eyes and imagine that.

    i do road trip daydreams all the time. a lot of times it’s memories, like of my roadtrip from LA to vegas or my road trip from dc to ny with geneva (i mean, i know you know, but we’ve done so many road trips and i’ve loved them all, so), but a lot of times it’s also just me in a convertible. this is literally a guiding image of my life.

    idk what else to add here kaelyn except you are not alone and let’s swerve.

  4. My partner and I are planning a massive road trip this summer from Denton, TX to Portland, OR. On the way we will be driving through Taos, NM; Albuquerque, NM; Flagstaff, AZ; Las Vegas, Nevada; Ashland, OR; and Portland, OR. We’re still working out the details of the trip back, but it looks like Boise, ID; Denver, CO; Wichita, KA; Oklahoma City, OK before finally being back home.

    It’s at least 68 hours in the car thus far, and it’s my goal to see as many queer spaces as possible along the way. So if you know of a lesbian bar, drag show, queer art exhibit, etc. that looks like it is on our path please let me know!

    Or if you have any other suggestions too! (Especially good local food!)

    • Hi fellow Dentonite!! I suggest the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City……just kidding! But, though not a queer space…..driving through Goblin Valley in southern Utah, or camping in the Uintah Mts. north of Vernal. UT were emotional experiences…..while playing hooky from grad school at the U. of U!

    • I have no feeling for distance, so my question is:Why not dip a bit further South on your route plan a couple of extra days and hit up Tucson, San Diego and then take the very scenic coastal highway up to Portland?(Including San Fran and LA?) Or rather do that on your return trip and have the Ocean to your right along the way? I heard it’s very pretty with mountains and cliffs and whatnot.

    • Hello! This past fall a pal and I drove from Abq NM to Phx AZ and I highly recommend the scenic route through Holbrook (I think?) which doesn’t take that much longer but goes through the White Mountains.

      I grew up in Oregon and have seen some natural splendor but something about the White Mountains was really magical, to me anyway. The route we took also passed through I think White Mt Apache Indian Reservation, which had what looked like hand-made outdoor ovens from clay or stone in the neighborhoods. I’d never seen anything like it.

      We also stayed in the hostel in downtown Abq and the proprietor was v happy to tell us all about the filming locations for Breaking Bad and related trivia.

      Have an amazing time!

    • Yay, Boise! Last I checked, the only gay bar up there is the Balcony. Good, small-town mix of queer folks and general weirdoes. And Flying M coffee shop downtown is the unofficial queer hangout.

    • Yay, Boise! (Ex Boisean here) Last I checked, the only gay bar up there is the Balcony. Good, small-town mix of queer folks and general weirdoes. And Flying M coffee shop downtown is the unofficial queer hangout.

    • That sounds so exciting! I’ve driven the Denver to Boise stretch, but did it all in one go and largely at night, so I don’t have any suggestions of places to visit. It should be beautiful for you though! If you see an old pillow at a gas station in Boise, it’s probably mine…

    • About 45 minutes east of Portland is the Oneanta Gorge. If you’re into nature at all you should absolutely do the hike. My girlfriend and I were just there and it was unbelievable. It doesn’t take too long from the start to the waterfall but you do have to climb over logs and go through a brief section of freezing cold chest deep water. So worth it though! Also, you’re going to be super close to the Redwoods at the Oregon/California border. It might be worth looking into a brief detour to see the giants.

      Flagstaff isn’t too far from the Grand Canyon if that’s not already on the itinerary.

      Two of my favorite food spots in Portland are Waffle Window and Pine State Biscuits. Make sure to get some Stumptown Coffee too!

  5. As it happens, my parents, my kid and I are headed off two weeks from now for an adventure-of-a-lifetime road-trip through parts of Hungary and former-Yugoslavia, with a few days at the end (midsummer!) in Sweden. And my brain and heart are so, so ready for a trip.

    Upsides: I need a vacation BAD. I generally enjoy traveling. There will be some family-history discovery. We will spend a few days with the woman whose family I lived with, as an exchange student, when I was my daughter’s age.

    Potential challenges: uninterrupted contact for 25 days with three other people, three of whom (poor Pop!) are cranky lady-type people. 19 of those days spent in non-queer-friendly places, and all of them spent with parents who are still struggling with my gender and queerness.

    Still, I am so, so ready for a Change of Scene. I still love my day-job, but I can tell that without a short sabbatical I’d risk burn-out within a year or so. So this is well-timed. I know already that the scenery and the history are going to be fantastic. And I’m extra glad I get to share it with my family.

        • Idk if this is helpful to you, but I have found that when I am staying with other people or have other people staying with me, it is super important to me to find and appreciate brief bits of me time, whether that means getting up earlier or staying up later than others, just really savoring showering and getting dressed in privacy, etc.

          Enjoy your trip!

  6. I used to listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers “Road Trippin'” when I was stressed, sometimes and go on a mental surf tour in an old VW bus. I neither drive nor surf, but it’s the thought that counts,right?;-)
    And trains.
    When I was in Cadiz, Spain a few years back, I was very unhappy (actually severely depressed in retrospect) and I got on a train all the way to Germany visiting friends (everyone was on the same European University exchange program, fortunately) and stopping all over along the way.
    It’s amazing what you can find, when you get lost, for a little while.
    I found the Mezquita on a 12 hour stopover in Cordoba, there was a tiny train station with arabic scripture drawn from the walls in Tres Cabezas, a Mormon not talking about his faith but death on a train to Malaga, pink flamingoes in the South of France, a friend’s darkest secrets in a cavernous bar in Barcelona.
    A gay bar with a latched window in the door in Lyon.A church made entirely of white marble upon a hill..
    Then a couple years back, I felt I needed to decelerate and saw a Sumerian temple in the basement of the Louvre, the white cliffs of Dover on a Ferry to England and a ghostly windpark, painted black, strewn into the harbor of Rotterdam in the hour before dawn.
    I wasn’t happy or even remotely relaxed when I traveled, but I guess it’s good for the mind if the eyes get lost in the distance sometimes, and beneficial for the soul to find things that are bigger and older than oneself once in a while.
    Happy wanderings, Straddlers!

    • Your comment is like a travel memoir! I was right there with you. Sounds beautiful and full of small moments and a little lonely in a contemplative way. Thanks for sharing your journeys and wanderings of the body and mind.

    • I wonder if “finding things bigger and older than oneself” is some sort of God attraction. As in, we seek out monuments, of nature or man, to physically see how small we are, to feel comforted by the fact that things bigger and older than us still stand… much like God, should we choose to believe in one. So like a pseudo-God, via train travels. Maybe that’s the attraction? Or maybe I’m not making sense and should go get some coffee.

      • Well, or maybe our soul longs to connect with things greater than our current lives out of a loneliness?
        A longing that is bred from its kinship with things greater than mundanity?
        I don’t necessarily agree that our desire for a God is a glitch in our genetics, a trick of the gift of our consciousness.
        Maybe there is a light within all of us.
        Maybe there is a God.
        Just don’t ask me for a name or shape;-)

        • I think some search because they are lonely. Loneliness is as human as anything else I can think of. I believe that all journeys happen because we are chasing hope. Sometimes it is actually right behind us, and catches us by surprise. Sometimes we just keep chasing.

          There’s something I read recently about how everyone acknowledges that the drop merges with the ocean, but we don’t think about how the ocean merges into the drop. So maybe while our soul is longing to connect out of a need – chasing hope, or loneliness, or love, or any any other human experience – all of those experiences are also longing to connect with us? And we have learned to ignore this mutual connection. For me, that is my “power greater than myself”. I guess it’s like a light that I’ve found in myself and it’s attracting moths of fortitude and contentment. 😀

        • So, okay, now that I think of it, though, you’re sort of saying the same thing. That it is beneficial for the soul to find things bigger and older than oneself. That it fills the loneliness, or the search. I guess I just add in that I don’t think the search is as beneficial as working on your soul and waiting for the bigger and older things to come to you. 🙂 Buddhist twist, I suppose.

  7. ROAD TRIPS ARE MY JAM.
    My dad converted a Greyhound bus into an RV type thing when I was really small, and when I was five we took it from my hometown in inland Alaska all the way to central Florida. It was an incredible experience.
    When I was living in Ecuador, we had to take this absolutely horrible road from Quito to the town we were living in. The road wound around the side of the road, and there were no guardrails or a shoulder or anything like that–you looked out your window and saw nothing but air. And it was a narrow, two-way road. I thought I was going to die every single time. But it was gorgeous.
    The Great Ocean Road in southern Australia is one of my favorite roads in existence. It’s gorgeousness the whole way. And it has a lot of really cool, creepy towns, like Port Campbell, where a bunch of shipwrecks have happened and where people really like to go to commit suicide.
    A couple of weeks ago, I took my first solo road trip to Arkansas and it was amazing. I took the highways instead of the interstate, so I went through some adorable towns, including one built on a graveyard, and also, the capitol of the KKK. Lots of, uh, interesting billboards in that town.
    I’m planning a road trip for this fall, to go camping. I can’t decide, though, between going east (North Carolina, probs, Asheville or Boone or the Outer Banks, and then down to the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia) or going west (Arizona? Utah?). I’ve been both ways and loved them each for their own particular reasons. Anybody have any suggestions?

  8. Once upon a time, when I was 19, my GF at the time and I roadtripped across the north of the country from Ohio to SF over two months. We came back across the south a year later with a baby on the way. We broke down in Effingham, IL and when I called my mom, she asked, “there’s a town called Fuckingham?”

    Now I’m in an LDR and roadtrip from Ohio to Georgia and back again twice a month. It makes me happy to watch the sun come up over the mountains and see the seasons change as I drive south and north. Every time. The view amazes me every single time. I love it.

  9. I think road trips are one of my all time favorite things. My college is almost exactly 1,000 miles from home and I do that trip back and forth a couple times a year. It takes two days, but it’s really great alone time especially after a stressful semester. I like to listen to audio books and sing myself hoarse and sort out life stuff. I find that long drives are super soothing and I have made many big life decisions by thinking it out in the car.

    At the end of last semester, I did the trip with a new college friend who lived along my route and it was so great. We were friendly at the beginning of the trip and now we’re super close and it’s the best. Nothing like a 17-hour conversation to bond two people together. I usually prefer to do road trips solo, but if it’s the right person it makes the trip so much more fun!

    I’m not doing my semesterly road trip this year because I’m ~studying abroad~ but when I get back to the states I’m road tripping to DC where I’ll be working for the summer. Any DC people want to be my new friends?

    Also, since I am such an avid road tripper, I have this idea that after I graduate next year I’m going to drive around the country and write about gay stuff for Autostraddle. It’s obviously a very well-developed idea. It’s also my only post-graduation plan.

    • Seriously, though! Some of my best friend moments are on long car rides where you get to sing together at the top of your lungs or talk about your deepest insecurities or act sillier than you might if you weren’t speeding along a highway with the windows open.

      Your plan sounds fine to me. But what do I know? I’m 32 and still haven’t quite figured out my plan…

  10. Dang, Kaelyn that was like a guided meditation. Thank you for that.

    I had plans to drive right across Canada this summer but that fizzled. I could really use it though. I’m in this weird transient space between huge major life events ending and huge major life events beginning. It’s a period of nothingness, preparation, and longing. Shit’s tough to get through.

    • Oh man, I’ve been there. That’s a hard place to visit. Any way you could take a small nibble out of your previous plans, instead of a big bite? That way you still get a taste? Like, go on the via rail website, they have lots of deals for travel from one city to the next, and round trip deals. See as much of the country as you can, on the train 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it! I was really feeling full on stressed out this week and just needed to look at pictures of roads and trees and nothingness. I’m so glad it resonated with ya’ll, too!

      That’s such an odd and very familiar place to be in. I hope there is some joy to find in the major life events. Even if not, especially if not, I totally encourage you to take some time for self-care and reflection. Even if that’s just going to a patch of grass or concrete somewhere and closing your eyes and sitting in the sun for a bit with a favorite beverage and a book. Road tripping can be a state of mind! 🙂

  11. I head home from college in a bit over a week but that’s a long flight, not a road trip, and I’ll be happy to be home. I’m hoping to road trip up to Seattle, though, to visit some friends, and if I manage to get over to Tennessee at any point this summer to visit my cousin I’m hoping we’ll do a road trip visiting family in the South because I can never get over how pretty it is. I love long drives in the car, particularly when I’m driving because otherwise I get bored as hell. But I find driving takes just enough concentration for me to not be bored but not so much that I can’t relax. Kind of like doing the dishes.

    • Long flights are a different thing. Magical, up in the clouds thing, but engine white noise and sealed cabins don’t do it for me like speeding along at ground level does.

      I also love the long drive. Especially with good music or good company, stops for coffee and snacks. It is really soothing. I like the comparison to doing dishes! It is kind of a mindless task, but just enough to keep you focused.

      Safe travels!

      • Thank you for the well wishes! And I’m so glad you understood the dishes comparison – most of my friends hate doing the dishes and don’t get the favorable comparison at all!

  12. One of my favorite road trips was wit ex bff years ago. We rented bikes and road from Inverness in Scotland to the fabled Loch Ness. It was a semi-empty country road with sheep and lamb farms as scenery. At the end we got to the Loch(lake) and had a nice meal at the only restaurant there. It was peaceful and nice. Closer to home some of my favorite road(s) are in the Malibu/Ventura County line where there is miles of scenery and/or curves. Most of my pics are on my desktop at home; so I’ll share the image I have of one of my favorite roads.

    In other news when my parents asked if I was male I no, then asked if I am female I said no again. They said I was being silly and shrugged it of. :=\ I wish there was a fun but educational movie I could show them about an agender/genderqueer and/on non-binary trans person. Would really make things easier cause this is who I am, and I have to need to come out because as far as I am concerned I am out and have need to come out officially.

    I have no interesting new images to share this week. However, a friend, and all around amazing straddler had a new site go live this week. The goal is to get people to upload images with accompanying words to give a taste of a person, animal, place, or thing for those who are not able to(the site specifically say for those who are in the hospital). I have uploaded a few images there under the members section(under my full name Alex) if one wants to check them out, or the other lovely images posted there. http://www.shutterheartstories.org/

    Thank you for reading &/or viewing my post adorable gentle-beings!

    • Your adventure sounds restful, but your love of local roads is something I can really relate to. 🙂

      Again, your parents are… people to be appreciated for who they are. You have the capacity to do that, and it’s really beautiful to see. It’s also cool to watch you slowly, gently, become more insistent that they call you by name, so to speak. 🙂

      Also, that is a really great idea! I will be sharing!

  13. Hello everyone. I am working a long, long 88-hour work week this week and need coffee and enthusiasm. Two 11-hour days down, six to go. BUT afterwards I get a week-long break and I’m going to take the train to Canada, and also catch up on sleep because waking up at 3:55 is too early for any living creature.

    Road trips. I’ve driven in a moving van from Indiana to Colorado, but a friend drove because I don’t drive big things. Then later I drove solo (with cat) from Colorado to Washington with all my worldly stuff crammed into my tiny Prius, starting at 10 pm, during colorado’s record flooding of September 2013. It dumped all the way to Utah.
    And In Wyoming somewhere I slept at a rest stop completely upright in my seat, with barely any room, but I was exhausted! And somewhere in Montana I heard the red solo cup song for the first time (because the country station was the only thing I could find through the static) and I thought it was the most bizarre thing in the world. (“Is this a commercial? Does The cup company endorse this station??”) needless to say, I was pretty ignorant of popular country music.

    In other news, I saw a dolphin about a week or so ago! I think it was a harbor porpoise. First time I’ve seen one in the wild. I was walking along the beach and someone on a paddleboard rushed out to follow it.

    Since I’m tired and don’t feel like writing much, here are pretty pictures that I took last weekend and the weekend before (unfortunately, none of the dolphin).

    There are little purple flowers all over the forest floor.

    It’s ALMOST warm enough to go barefoot in the sand.

    Who says you can’t have the sandy beach AND snowy mountains??

    DUCKLINGS!!

    There are lots of irises and roses in bloom at a local park and a big rose trellis (which isn’t blooming yet but will be soon). These bring allergies and sweet smells. I think irises are my favorite flower.

    • Wow, your adventures sound so cathartic in their exhaustive movement – much like your work week. I just really want to nurse you. Can I please nurse you? Okay, continue reading only if you agree to being nursed: Please take Vitamins E, D, C, and B12 this week, as well as calcium (vitamin D with your calcium, at least an hour apart from your vitamin C). Also, drink a LOT of water. Like, really a lot. Aim for 3 litres (unless you’re super petite). Drink ginger and lemon water. Can I cradle you now? Cause seriously, 88 hours.

      • Thank you, thank you! I find that at my job, I am constantly thirsty, probably because it’s warm and I’m moving around a lot. So I drink often and pee a lot! The latter can get a bit annoying… I tend to have an overactive bladder, and the coffee probably doesn’t help.

        Thanks for the vitamin suggestions!

        The hardest part for me is getting enough sleep. I don’t think I’ll ever be a natural early bird, and at 9:00 pm, I want to go on a walk in the springtime twilight to unwind, NOT go to bed. Or stay up reading! And then at 4 am when the alarm goes off, I regret it… But I really have nobody to blame but myself.

        • I do know what you mean about the sleep thing. After working that long you need to defrag. That’s my least favourite part of 12 hour shifts. My favourite part is the pay cheque. So… I dunno what’s worse in terms of self loathing, but at least it’s not self loafing. BuddumpCHA! Okay, autocorrect inspired that joke, it was bad.

          If you were closer, I’d cathatarize you, and the peeing problem would go away. Then all you’d need to worry about are UTI’s, abd trust me, you’d have no trouble staying awake. 😀

  14. Last summer, my two best friends and I drove from Ohio to Minnesota, and I convinced them to make a lot of ridiculous stops along the way, including a place called Wizard Quest in the Wisconsin Dells (google it. Seriously. It’s awesome.)

    I’ve decided recently I would like to move from northeast, suburban Ohio to DC by August 2016. I’ve been unhappy up here for a long time because I just feel like there’s no opportunities, ya know? I’ve been working the same dead end job for years and the most exciting thing to happen to me recently was the new Denny’s opening up. If anyone has any advice, encouragement, discouragement, etc, throw it at me!

  15. I make staycations for myself. I pretend that I am on vacation, and stay in my city and find nearly-free things to do, and interesting experiences to have. I can’t afford to take time off, but I work with dementia clients, so they can come, too. By that, I mean that I tell them I am on vacation and so happy I could make time in my travels to visit them. They’re always so delighted that they made the list :). It honestly makes the whole thing even better, because their quality of care is increased by feeling extra-wanted when their dementia makes them apathetic and terribly, cripplingly lonely. I had a week-long staycation like this last year, and we had so much fun (making fancy meals every day, dressing up, etc) that I extended my staycation to two weeks!

    In that time, I visited Petrie Island (a local-ish beach and turtle preservation swamp), walked everywhere through Ottawa seeing the sights and enjoying the parks, shopped at open air markets, made sumptuous dishes for one and ate them on my rooftop deck, truly enjoying it. I lined up free outdoor movies, paddle boats, and museum visits, but they didn’t happen because I spent a lot of time in nature. And it was super fucking cool.

    I guess I’ve started treating my whole life like this. I do what I want to, as long as it is calm and beautiful, or makes me work to help others achieve calm beauty. :). HOWEVER, that’s because I continue to go to lots of AA meetings, and I’m working through some tough shit. Exceeeeept this week, when I needed a break from the work, and I got to hang out this week more with friends and actually spent a whole night with my sister instead of a meeting, so I feel like that counts, right? Right??

    In other news, I was having an existential crisis last night and still kind of am. I’m going to a thing called Glitterbomb, it’s a local charity fundraiser for an LGBT resource and community Centre. It’s a performance art spectacle, of beat poetry, stand up comedy, yogic acrobatics, and burlesque, among others. I sent out this SOS to a fellow straddler: “I don’t know what to wear! Help! How does one dress up andro??? I want to be feminine but strong. Not dapper. Like, womanly, but andro, and I don’t know what to doooooooo”

    Pics to follow. God Bless Autostraddle to connecting awesome people.

    • You really are one of the sweetest people I’ve (n)ever met.
      If you message me a postal adress (and a short note about them) I might send one or two of your dementia patients a postcard from very.far.away.
      I’m horrible at the fashion advice front, but the metrosexual hipsters here all wear V necked loose T-shirts.
      Or a button up/white T-Shirt with suspenders?
      So, pictures you say?

      • They love post cards, but addresses are sorta kinda super confidential. 🙂 That’s a sweet thought, though, while we’re on the subject 😉

        White button up and suspenders is such a classic, but I own neither. But tiger print and bolo tie expresses the same thing: I didn’t know what to wear. :0)))

    • One thing I have read on photography sites that has helped me is use a tourist eye when walking through your city. I’ve started to do that sometimes and found it works. But, I’ve also noticed more things I normally would have ignored.

    • GLITTERBOMB UPDATE:
      WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT a good time!

      So, Straddler of wardrobes consoling fame so suggested to me that I have an Autostraddle gathering in Ottawa. I went on the Ottostraddle Facebook page this morning and suggested it, and got some feedback, and when I sat down at my table tonight with my friends at the gala, who should be sitting next to me but one of these very same Ottostraddlers?! It was a really cool twist of fate. 🙂 also, I have been to quite a few burlesque shows in my time, but nothing close to this. Whoah. Followed by dancing at a club for the first time in 6 months (I’m also now 7 months sober). And it wasn’t stressful AT ALL! I was like “okay, self, pretend you’re dancing in your bathroom in your underwear…. but then why not go home and dance in my bathroom…. wait, there’s no way all these people would fit in my bathroom.”

      😀
      And now I am very happy, and going to bed with this guy, who made tonight possible. All things through practice. 🙂

      • FABULOUS on so many levels. What a perfect Ottostraddle night!

        You were rocking that outfit so hard.

        Thanks for being such an active and generous contributor and such a genuinely sweet human! You are just lovely.

  16. Kaelyn you’re perfect! this was lovely.

    I feel a bit dreary today, but am enjoying Emily Nagoski’s new book Come As You Are, which is about sexy lady neuroscience, and this weekend is anniversary with my honey (we will make out and go for a hike probably?) and then having an adventure to the islands with a friend this weekend.

    I love roadtripping along the Washington/Oregon/California coast. Also because I have intense feelings about the Redwoods. I’m going there in the fall, SUPER excited.

    I am a pretty good roadtripper, I love random farm stands and gas station ice cream and so many podcasts and the quiet companionship of not having your own space but giving each other space at the end of the day.

    I’m ready for summer, but I can’t find my favorite purple shorts! I can’t feminist hulk without my purple shorts!

    • Thank you darling! Perfectly imperfect, as they say.

      I WANT TO SEE THE REDWOODS. I have dreamed of this since I was a little kid who wanted to join Greenpeace. When I think about the redwoods and what they have seen and…I just get overwhelmed. Still. I need to make this happen in my lifetime. I hope you enjoy them so much!

      “…and the quiet companionship of not having your own space but giving each other space at the end of the day.”

      This is so true. I love chatting nonstop with my honey on a long drive, but I also sometimes enjoy the long stretches of silence and just being still together.

      DID YOU FIND YOUR SHORTS?!

  17. Poppin’ my open thread cherry here!

    Thought I hadn’t really done an automobile road trip (more of a train kinda gal) but on my second glass of Friday-Night Rosé I remembered that my wife and my third date 6 years ago was a mini road trip!. Have spent the last half hour cooking and reminiscing with sappy french jazz in the background while I wait for her to get home from work… so decided to share.

    In a very stereotypical lesbian fashion we had a whirlwind start to dating; dinner and drinks on the Wednesday, ducked out of work for a Friday picnic lunch in the park, and then had tentatively said we’d messge each other on Sunday, as we both already had plans for with friends on Saturday night.

    Fast forward to 5pm Saturday evening and my plans had fallen through, so I was happily entrenched on my couch re-watching The L Word and recounting my previous 2 dates to my queer-lady-housemates (literally, could I be any more gay?!?) when my phone rang. It was my future-wife telling me that she was blowing off her friends to drive 2-3 hours up the coast to where her sister was on holiday to hang out… did I want to come?
    An hour later I was showered, frocked up and jumping in her car. As we sped out of Sydney, she told me we were headed to a small beach town just north of Newcastle called Hervey Bay. It should take us a bit more than 2 hours but for some reason her NavMan kept saying it was going to take us 11 hours… we thought it was weird and made jokes about it and kept talking about Hervey Bay for an hour and a half, and then her sister rang to check in with how her trip was going and casually dropped ‘Nelson Bay’ into the conversation! Future-Wife had set her GPS for entirely the wrong town (and state!! ) and was leading me into the middle of nowhere!
    I don’t think retelling it quite captures how hilarious it was, especially at that new/nervous/keen to impress stage of dating. I certainly didn’t let her forget for a long time that she almost drove me to from Sydney to Queensland on a saturday night!

    It ended up being quite cool to spend all that time in the car together chatting and getting to know each other without any distractions or interruptions, and when we finally reached Nelson Bay, a really fun night out.

    We played pool at a small town pub and I was ridiculously over dressed in my city-girl frock and heels and then we shared an air mattress in her sisters hotel room where we drunkenly made out… and only found out the next morning that her sister, partner and their other friend sharing the room could totally hear everything!

    I don’t know what the moral of the story is… if a girl likes you enough you can drive her anywhere and she’ll still marry you???

    • That sounds like the beginning to a rom com!
      Maybe the moral of the story is:
      For years your wife’s horrible sense of orientation and memory of places caused her much chagrin, until fate switched the tables and the affliction became a blessing.

    • I’m so glad she ended up being your wife and not a serial killer. I mean that in the most loving way because that would be my first thought when I realized someone was driving me over state lines into the middle of nowhere. LOL.

      Seriously, though, that is such a hilarious and sweet story. How many lesbian love stories started with a road trip to nowhere? I mean, isn’t that the queer story of our lives, anyway: “Queer Existence: A Road Trip to Nowhere.”

  18. Hey!

    The topic kinda fits but not really but I need help, so…

    I’m going to BARCELONA next week, wohoo! I’ve wanted to go for years and now I just happended to have the time and the money all of a sudden. And I’m in deseprate need for a little adventure, cause working full time at an office is leaving me feeling like the most boring, uncreative person ever…

    So what does a gay girl do in Barcelona???
    I’ll figure all the usual touristy stuff out (magic fountain, I’m already in ove with you), but what cool bars and clubs do the cool kids go to?
    Google is no help at all, whatever comes up feels really 2000 and late.
    I whish there was a Queer Girl City guide for this one! Are they not happening anymore?

    So yeah, I’ll drink a shot of tequila on anyone with a recommendation!

    Besos!

    • You have 2 areas on Barcelona where I’m sure you would find what you’re looking for: Eixample and Sitges.

      I love Sitges because it is the coastal area of Barcelona and it was an old artistic colony. It is spectacular all year around, but amazing in the summer.

    • Sorry, I forgot about the clubs. You can go to Sala Diana (also known as Aire), that belongs to Grupo Arena.

      This group has 5 clubs (Sala Madre, Sala Vip, Sala Classic, Sala Dandy) and 1 bar (Punto) in Barcelona, Sala Diana is the mostly lesbian-exlusive. You can find different music in each of those places and the last time I was there, if you pay for one club you can go to the rest for free, and every club is at a walking-distance.

      • Thank you!

        I’ll definitely check that place out.
        I just can’t believe that there is only one lesbian centric place in all of Barcelona… Where are the indie parties hiding??
        I’ll keep my eyes open for flyers and stuff 😉

    • I have honestly no bad things to say about Barcelona, it has everything, it’s a bustling city with historical areas and a beach. Love it, would love to go back. Have an amazing time 🙂

    • Oh, Barcelona. It really does have it all. If you need a gay haircut, head to “La mano loca” in Raval – the last time I was there one of the girls casually told me all about how great her Norwegian gf was in bed while cutting my hair. I nodded politiely while not really, cause you kinda have to keep your head still.

  19. My favorite road trips so far have been taking the scenic route to San Francisco and also last years road trip to the Grand Canyon.
    I’ve always wanted to take a road trip across the country visiting haunted places though! Or generally just seeing as much of the world as humanly possible.

    As for things on the life front: not doing so well guys. I’ve been dumped. Apparently I’m amazing and wonderful but she can’t handle being in a healthy relationship, but pointed out that I did nothing wrong. So why does it feel like I did?

    It’s been over a week and I was doing better but Tuesday night after work, I found a bag with some of my belongings that I left at her place outside my door and now I can’t shake the sads.

    I don’t have many lesbian friends that I guess can relate. Talked it over with my best friend and she pointed out that I missed a lot of red flags because of my infatuation. Lesson learned, I guess. I dunno. This sucks.

    On a lighter note: any fellow straddles attending the L.A vegan beer fest or Long Beach Pride this weekend?

  20. I love road tripping. This week I’ve done a lot if it for work. Nothing like good tunes and the open road. I don’t mind doing it solo, but it’s great when you can have life’s most philosophical conversations with a road trip buddy while chugging truck stop coffee. I’d love to drive Route 1 from Key West all the way up to Canada. I’d like to think I could be a trucker if my entertainment career didn’t work out, but then I realize that I can barely backup my Subaru with a backup camera let alone a big 18-wheeler.

    • I think if you drive a trailer, though, you are just like, “I’m large! Make room for me!” So you’d probably be fine. Besides, back-up cameras are becoming a thing. I bet trailer trucks will have them soon if they don’t already.

      One of my high school friends drove haz-mat for a while after college. No surprise that she came out in college. Seriously the most lesbian thing ever.

  21. I’ve been dreaming of leaving the country again — literally. I dreamed last night about going back to Peru. There’s not a lot of travel in my near future, which is both kind of sad and a little relieving. I traveled so much in the last couple years that I was really starting to feel lost, unrooted, and one goal this year was to stay put in Austin and remedy that.

    Lately, I like to daydream about having an amazing camper/home on wheels set up someday, especially now that I have a dog. Something like this:

    • I grew up camping in a Volkswagen similar to the second photo. My parents would sleep in the van and me and my siblinga slept in a tent next to it. It was awesome. I highly recommend it.

    • I love those old FJ40 Cruisers and would love to get one for road trips,I kind of want to import the Canadian FJ70 and make that a road trip car.

      The real affordable option would be a Jeep Cherokee(before it was Chrysler’ed up)4×4 in either a 2dr or 4dr add a camper to the top and upgrade the suspension and call it a day. It can be done depending on the state for 3.5k and I’m told they are very cars for this duty

        • I do too, and they are great specially if you travel the world and parts are more easily accessible than Jeep(which is mostly centric to Canada and the States). Really, if I had the money I’d be saving up for a Land Rover Defender 90(or lesser extent the 4dr 110).

    • I cannot recommend owning an VW camper more. Its they best thing I have ever bought and I love driving it everyday and holidays in it wth the dog and missus are great fun. There’s a 4×4 version of the T25 called a syncro which is on my wish list for the future.

    • One of my facebook friends (OK, he’s a former ex from a long time ago that I’m just FB friends with now) was selling his burning-man-converted-school-bus-turned-functional-house-on-wheels. I wonder if he found a buyer, because I might know one…

      Hint: It’s you.

  22. Oh, I forgot to say in my first post that I am doing my first solo road trip (Cleveland-area to Philly-area) in a couple of weeks. I generally don’t care much about owning music (my phone only has like 10 songs on it) so I need recommendations on things to download. I’m driving out to visit the summer camp I worked at for six years. It’s being closed and sold and it’s awful, so I need cheerful things for the drive back.

    • lately I am kicking myself for not owning songs in the key of life, try that?

      and idk if it’s cheerful but whenever I hear shovels and rope on the radio I get stoked.

      also gui borrato?

      those are three very different things, see what suits you. I have been on a Jenny Lewis/Brandi Carlile/Gillian Welch bent lately, which is not happy, but is awesome.

  23. My favorite roadtrips have been to different parts of the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a stunning drive on Highway 101 with never-ending trees, lakes, and mountains. Some highlights include the Hoh Rainforest, the Lake Quinault Lodge, Ruby Beach, and so so much more. I think it is one of the most beautiful regions on the planet. But as a Washingtonian born and bred, I’m a little biased.

    I did just get back from a mini trip to Eastern Washington to visit family. It’s quite the opposite of Western Washington. The Eastside looks a lot like this. Sorry for the link spam. I’m just a nerd for my state.

    • What gorgeous scenery for a highway road trip! Thanks for sharing. No shame in taking pride in your state. 🙂 I love seeing what other parts of the U.S. look like, actually.

    • Yeah I used to love the buzz of big European Central stations…the noises of trains, high rounded ceilings, people rushing around… knowing if you jumped on a train you could be anywhere in Europe in a few short hours.

      Now I just feel nervous and uncomfortable as the media has convinced me a Mumbai style terrorist attack is likely to happen here in Europe. I know living in fear and changing my habits means the terrorists won… but especially since the arrested people this month on the outskirts of my city with a stockpile of weapons and bombs it seems very real. ..

      • Wow, I’m glad you weren’t affected by that! I’m pretty sure no one would ever bother staging a terror attack on any of the trains leaving from my home town though :-). That aside, I sometimes feel most people (myself included) don’t realize how dangerous living actually is, and how heavily odds are stacked on something going terribly wrong sometime. So I just like to think of myself as already dead- it’s surprisingly liberating :-).

  24. I’m actually leaving for an epic honeymoon roadtrip in 17 days! (Ya’ll did know I get married in 2 weeks, right?)

    We’re heading out from Detroit on June 1, streaking across the northern US to Vancouver, BC, then working our way down the Pacific coast to San Francisco, before heading home. We’ll be gone for 16 days in total!!

    Hopefully I’ll be able to put together a fun travel diary to share w/ everyone.

  25. I love going on road trips with my sister. We went to Cape May last summer, which was lots of fun. I don’t drive, so no solo road trips for me.

    My new play is being presented in 3 weeks (eek!), and we have auditions this weekend. Don’t worry, y’all, it’s a totally queer-lady play. I won’t let you down. 😛

  26. I took a mini train trip down to Brooklyn for the weekend,preceding the approaching madness of endless work for the next couple months.
    I have been lucky enough to have done more road/bike/train trips than i can count. Last year,while moving from place to place for work,i managed to drive a wonky heart shape around the U.S. which i thought was pretty cool.
    If anyone knows rad stuff i should do this weekend in Brooklyn,or wants to meet-up,lmk.

  27. I actually detest road trips, and dread driving long distances (which I define as anything over 90 minutes). I do, however, love long distance train travel (oh, Amtrak, we are so sad for you and those who suffered earlier this week in Philly). I wish it were easier/more frequent in the US.

    In other news, a #fail in love life (minor #fail), a fairly significant emotional decision that I think will be the correct decision (potential to participate in a memorial), garden is semi-planted, and the ticks aren’t too bad yet.

    • Maybe you need someone to be your “driver”? My boi hates distance driving, too, but he LOVES it when I drive us on long road trips. This works because 95% of the time, I love a long drive. “Have you tried being the passenger?” is what I’m saying. 🙂

      Sending you love and good vibes for everything coming your way, life wins and fails, and the inevitability of tick season.

  28. Last summer, my partner and I drove from Louisiana to the North Carolina mountains where I spent part of my childhood summers. Since she loves to drive and we both love exploring, it was an amazing trip. We hiked mountains, bought a dulcimer (and I’m figuring out how to play it), visited childhood favorite spots.

    In other news, I graduated with B.A in French (and education) today! My thesis on feminist nuns is completely done! I’m done! (for three weeks 🙂 )

  29. This week has been too quiet, and today i’m feeling extremely sad, lonely, and depressed. I’ve tried to handle it, but the old thoughts come back and i’m just tired. Every day i try hard, but the day goes flat.

    I just want to sleep and i know it’s the depression talking, but i don’t care.

    • I’m so glad you posted about it here. Your feelings are real and it’s OK to be sad and lonely and depressed. You’re definitely not alone. If you need to sleep, sleep. Just know that you are loved and loveable and if we were together in person instead of on the internet, I’d make you tea and offer a hug and we wouldn’t even have to talk if you didn’t want to and that would be OK.

      XOXO

    • You know, every day you try hard. The day maybe goes flat, but you try hard, and you are saving your own life. That is quite an achievement. Remind yourself often that saving a life is exhausting work, and that is why you are tired. Think of yourself as a one-person emergency crew. That is a lot of energy. Give yourself some slack, it’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to feel like it’s endless, and there is no point. Just know that our thoughts and feelings are not our lives. They are subjective, malleable, taking the form of our actions over time. You are saving your own life every day. Even now, without realizing it, you are strong in the broken places, because you know how to stabilize your injuries, so to speak, until they have had enough time to recover. Just keep doing that. You’re doing great.

  30. my girlfriend just headed out for the summer and it hurts something awful :p. speaking of long trips, though, I’m headed to Seattle for two weeks. two years ago I rode a series of buses from ny to there and it was the wildest, most exhilarating, exhausting trip I’ve ever taken. I’m flying this time but I’m pretty siked to be headed back to such a breathtaking place..might make my aching heart ache a little less 🙂

  31. I’ve had a lot of adventures and been a lot of places but I can’t say I’ve ever been on a legit road trip. Not sure what makes one legit but I think I’ll know it when I find it and everything else is just a long car ride. I’m waiting for my Mia to come home to me and then we’re talking about taking a vacation just to be together alone again. Then, definitely road trip. I think, ideally, id like to get some old camper and renno the hell out of it. Or maybe one of those old G20 vans. That could be cool. I think a diners, drive ins and dives style trip would suit us best, stopping at whatever suits us along the way. The end destination would definitely be somewhere in MA so I can show her where I’m from. But there’d be no real plan, just drifting, meeting new people and eating awesome food in the summer. Yeah, that’d be great and the total lack of planning would definitely ensure more awesome adventures.

    • That sounds like it would be an amazing trip. Just food and finding quaint little towns and cities and beautiful views and summer nights. Yum.

      I hope you have a beautiful vaca with your love soon!

  32. I did an amazing trip in the Spring of 2014. First, I took a train from Burlington, VT to Philadelphia, PA to hang out with a friend for about 5 days (and Philly was awesome). Then I flew out to St Louis to meet another friend, where we embarked on a road trip that consisted of about 4k miles in 9 days (68 hrs driving). Then me and a friend we picked up in Austin, TX did a bunch of hikes and stuff around Colorado.

    It would take a bit too long to list out everything, so I’ll just include the highlights of each day.

    Day 1: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky)
    Day 2: Poverty Point (Louisiana)
    Day 3: New Orleans (Louisiana)
    Day 4: tie between Big Thicket and Austin (Texas)
    Day 5: Enchanted Rock (Texas)
    Day 6: Big Bend (Texas)
    Day 7: Guadalupe Peak (Texas)
    Day 8: Santa Fe (New Mexico)
    Days 9-13: Garden of the Gods, Golden Gate Canyon, Bald Mountain, Greyrock Mountain, Rocky Mountain National Park

    This was the view from the Coyote Trail in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
    Lots of green trees spread over a large area of land with snow-capped mountains in the background

    • [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKIhhWoKafg&w=420&h=315%5D

      Picture needed some accompaniment and I must say thank you for visiting Poverty Point. “New World” neolithic sites just don’t get enough attention. Communal engineering feats and vast trade networks before the age of steam and gasoline are testament to ingenuity of human spirit and a refutation of the rabid nationalistic mythologies of the Imperial age that continue to try to twist and bend historical fact into neat little boxes of separation.
      Oh look at that I nerded all over ya, mo chagren.

    • Yay for Mammoth Cave! I live not far from the park itself. When I say not far, I mean that I could walk easily. Because of that, the cave has lost some of it’s charm but the park is one of my favorite places!

  33. Being from the Gulf South I’ve got a complicated relationship with roadtrips in addition to being from a family that yells. My CD player helped alot with channeling out the yelling and stuff. I don’t want to think of myself as a person who’s stuck on bad memories but I guess I am. Talking about roadtrips makes we want to get all prose-y about the most unsettling road trip of my young life.

    It was August 26th 2005 and a storm was coming, a storm that was gunna be bigger and badder than Besty the storm my mother survived alone with my heavily pregnant granmother. Her father, my PéPé, on the road trying to get home from several states away. It was an experience that made her decide as parent in an age where advanced detection was a possibility she wasn’t going to let her kids have if she could prevent it.
    All my life I’ve found cypress trees to be beautiful, not haunting, scary or threatening in anyway. That night in the dark, in the car quiet and full of fear the trees looked like the gothic horror props people and stories make them out to be from my window.
    There are bits and pieces of other evacuations mixed into my memory of that night, but some things like the scary trees ring clear. All the stress and adrenaline making things seem threatening that are not threatening wasn’t new experience per se but it was the start of deepening that experience.
    A good experience that happened on that particular “roadtrip” was at this gas station bathroom where the ladies’ had run out of toilet paper and this moment where all these woman across class, race, creed and orientation banded together fed up with the management’s bullshit raided the mens’ room of toilet paper. One woman said, “It’s not like they need toilet paper anyway”, and another said, “Not this much any how”, because it was a fucking treasure trove of toilet paper y’all. There was a lot of good natured chuckling, murmurs of agreement, a hell yeah and that’s fo damn sure.
    Road trips I think make the heart fonder for home with some people and I’m very much on of those people even if I love forests, mountains, hills and walking on a beach with sun rising.
    There’s song I’d play on my CD player when crossed the parish line or something that made me feel like I was almost home. Especially those weird months after Katrina, after we were allowed to come back, after my parents made the house at least partially habitable. They had just enough funds still in the bank and help from family to rent a place in Lafayette. I have a story about that place and the menace of cane fields and things that never seem to leave, but eh not right now. Anyway we’d spend our week in Lafayette and every weekend drive back home,with my badass goldfish who would one day try to kill himself and fail only to be accidentally killed by the wrong water temperature, to work on the house. Each trip back I’d listen to Paradise City once we’d be passed the twin spans.
    I know there are people out there who’d just love to tell me my city isn’t a Paradise it’s a shit hole that’ll surely die for good were one more” good storm” hit it.
    I’d tell them the grass is green, the girls are pretty and it’s home so ya can have a tabasco enema for all I care ya couyon.

    My life is okayish right now. I’ve made the decision to def not have lunch with my ex because it’s not a healthy thing to do. Confrontation isn’t the healthiest thing to do, I don’t know if I could get them to own up to the things they did and what my reaction would be. I don’t want to go to prison because I forked someone in the face repeatedly until the cops came because I doubt a bystander would have the courage to pull me off. I made scary sounds when I’m enraged and boy is there still a lot of pent up stuff.

    • It is healing (for me) to hear of your experience of “homecoming” after a disaster has forever changed your home. I can relate to this bigtime.
      You write beautifully. Thank you.

      Sometimes punch bags/pillows/screaming into space works instead of making a deliberate statement of hurting your ex. You have to let your rage and injustice out, but in a safe way (((())))
      Don’t let that bitch run you or ruin you.

      • Disaster changes a lot of things forever, sometimes it’s like the death card in the tarot a new beginning. Sometimes it puts one in vulnerable and potentially explosive situations that might never have come up, but time moves in one direction and there’s a limit to what you can learn reflecting on the past. Even a history nerd can admit. I noticed you live in a coastal region as well so I can imagine ways you relate, but I could be wrong. Either way glad you found my words mending.

        The rage and injustice isn’t all them, but heh I do have a punching bag and boxing gloves just no wraps at the moment. They didn’t ruin me and can’t straight up run me anymore. Not that I could ever completely be some one’s puppet after all I broke free of my own will and realisation of the toxicity between us.
        It’s fucking strange when you figure out someone was trying to have you as integral part of their identity, that they needed to lean on you and try to carve you in attempt to carve and make self. Being someone’s “hero” as they treat you as a damsel.

        When we broke up I was gaining more muscle and losing womanly squish, reclaiming my body ect. I think a big reason I even considered going to lunch beyond confrontation was an immature urge to show them up at how much more comfortable I am in my skin than I know they are. My life is not as “successful” as theirs and my body comfort is the most precious and awesome thing I’ve got compared to a multitude of more successful people. Very mean spirited and immature. >_>

        • It takes a lot of courage and self belief to act on what you know is true, and when you realise that someone is toxic for your life, it is an act of self preservation to continue your life and dreams as you. I admire your courage and ability to listen to yourself and define your identity on your own terms, despite whatever your relationship with your ex was. That means that you respect yourself, and good things happen when your decisions factor in self respect.

          Only time heals and helps with a sense of being able to move on.
          My disaster experience was/is earthquakes. It wrecked my city and I was helping nurse the injured. It is the most terrifying thing I have experienced. I am living in another city now, but there are still earthquakes where I am – just not as damaging. I am one of the lucky ones.

          • Well uh I’m kinda speechless cause I was just newly 19 year old baby when I broke it off. Surviving/self preservation is just this thing I do. It doesn’t feel like courage, just my nature.

            First responders and medical folks are brave awesome people that have my eternal respect. Earthquake ouch, glad you live somewhere better for your state of mind. Having that is indeed lucky.

  34. Oh my, this is making me long for a road trip! I used to go on them quite frequently as a kid. Lots of memories of traffic jams, endless (and fairly ridiculous) car games, roadside diners, and all-nighters. I hope this summer affords me some time for a trip, it has been far too long!

    This week has been a jumble of random adventures. I saw an all-female telling of Julius Caesar (J. Caesar – if you live in Vancouver I highly recommend seeing it!!), went to a yoga rave, made a mid-week brunch feast, and filled my apartment with so many flowers it’s verging on a jungle.

    Also – I wanted to say hello to all you lovely people! This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been a reader for a while. Nice to meet you all!

      • A yoga rave is… Kind of hard to explain. It’s like a mix between a kundalini yoga class and a dance party – at a club. There was glow-in-the-dark body paint, glow sticks, and we took over the bar and replaced it with a juice bar. Basically a night of singing, sweating, laughing, and dancing!

  35. Recently Have been thinking/plotting how I want to go on a cross-country roadtrip with one of my best friends because I have been on several shorter roadtrips with her and know she is the ideal roadtrip buddy, plus she has pretty much only traveled places on the East Coast, so I want to take her west, particularly to Austin (my hometown), and Oregon (where I regularly travel b/c my parents live there now). Idk when this road trip will happen, but eventually? We were discussing it a few days ago and envisioning starting in NC (where she lives/I used to live), down through Atlanta (where I live now) to Orlando, then across the South to New Orleans, Austin, Phoenix, to LA and then up to West Coast to Oregon.

    So, perfect timing to ask me about my hypothetical roadtrip plans.

  36. I absolutely love roadtrips, either with a person or alone. I’ve been going on them since I was a kid, since my parents had an RV and believed in taking summer adventures. Once we spent two weeks driving from Ohio to Yellowstone, and it remains one of my favorite vacations I’ve ever been on.

    Last December, I went on trip to New Zealand. While most of it was a guided trip, I made sure to leave a few days for solo exploring. One day I ended up roadtripping up to Cape Reinga. It was a beautiful day for it, blue skies, warm weather, and a choice playlist blasting with the windows down. I go back to that part of my trip when I need a quick mental break from whatever I’m doing.

    For the near future, this little furball will be my road trip buddy. I got him last weekend, and his name is Watson. Clearly, he hates being in the car/in his transportation tub.


  37. I’m going to Japan in October! I have no plans apart from Tokyo and Rabbit Island at this stage. If anyone has recommendations of cool places to visit (I plan on getting the JR Pass so I don’t mind where they are!) or wants to hang out, let me know! 🙂

  38. WHY IS EVERYONE TALKING ABOUT ROAD TRIPS OMFG ARE YOU ALL PSYCHIC OR IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE AIR

    I’m about to go on a short roadtrip as part of the StartupBus, a hackathon that takes place on a bus to Nashville. I was pretty open about being a queer artsy weirdo and they were cool with it, so.

    I miss roadtrips…

  39. I CANT DRIVE.

    But I make a really good buddy for road trips. I still enjoy them (probably because I am just chilling and relaxing in the passenger seat and not doing any work).

    Otherwise, I am organizing a local Queer Zine Fest, which is exciting! It’s on saturday so I am hoping for a big turn out. Also I am part of an art show called The Mermaid Clit Collective that does embroidery art and the art opening is on Thursday. AND THEN CAMP NEXT.

    So many exciting distractions, so many rad queer events, that I’ve been neglecting my teaching job and I think my student’s can tell, but we’re all antsy right now and just want the school year to end.

  40. Oh how nice it would be to get away. My girlie and I will graduate from high school tomorrow and the only thing on my mind is the gulf coast of good ol’ Florida. I can imagine the emerald bands that decorate the waters, the noise of swelled waves crashing on that white beach, and the beatiful sight of my hunny in a her pink bikini playing in the water. The sun glistening off the beads of water that drip down her legs.. UGH! I hope more than anything we can road trip down there this summer. It would be amazing!! She won’t travel anywhere unless it’s to a beach. She loves it and so do I c; waves take me away from this Wisconsin weather, this lez is beach borne!

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