FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Magical Thinking

Hi there and welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! A place for friends, a place for family, a place for gratuitous GIFs. This is your open invitation to share your pet photos, food photos, stories and week. And this week, this is your place to pretend everything’s okay. Let’s talk about happy things because honestly I can’t take any more of this shitpile year.

image by Rory Midhani

image by Rory Midhani

I don’t want to talk about my feelings so here is an inspirational and illustrative gif.

Don’t talk to me about that asshole at work, that date who isn’t texting you back, that work thing that went horribly awry. Join me in some good ol’ fashioned emotional repression and pretend to be happy until you feel it. (But seriously it’s also okay to feel your feelings in a healthy and well-adjusted way. Well-adjusted approaches are also welcome here.)

Tell me about your bright spots. Tell me about your crush, some really good sex you’ve been having, your breakup that actually went really well, your new shoes, your great hair, your great breakfast, a thing that you’re excited to leave behind or a thing that you’re excited to pursue or just anything at all for which you’re hopeful. I hate suppressing the bad things and only talking about the good but let’s dive right in anyway. Because magical thinking is better with friends.

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  1. Hello, wonderful magical humans who populate the earth and this here Autostraddle FOH. I have some exciting news! I have written a musical memoir about my journey with mental illness, and I’m sharing it with the world. The piece will be performed on Monday, January 9th at 7 pm at The Duplex in NYC. It deals with mental illness, coming out, growing up, and choosing life. I’m excited and scared to be so vulnerable and open, and I would love some Straddle support. If you’re in New York City, please consider coming. Tickets are $10 (with a 2-drink minimum) and can be purchased here: If you’re feeling generous, I have an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the show (I kept ticket prices low, so there’s no way I’ll break even). The campaign lives here: A coworker at my new job (where I’ve been since September) just donated, and I’m on the verge of tears because I’m finally making a home at this job.

    I love you all. Thank you in advance for any support – financially, verbally, etc. I love this community and am so honored to be a part of it. <3

    • Congrats, that’s amazing and such a huge deal! I’ll try and make it out- thankfully I’ll have just finished up with tech for my show and this sounds like one I can’t miss. Also thank you for making it so accessible, I’ll be sure to spread the word among my friends.

    • Congrats! I’m sure it will go well and all the seats will be filled with happy people(who are probably lgbtq)!

    • Congratulations! Great topic for a musical; I would go see it (if I were in NY). All the success to you!

    • Rachel! I only know you through this website (and even so, only peripherally), but I’ve long admired you for the great work that you’ve done for queer women in theatre and musical theatre. As a young(er) queer woman coming up in theatre, know that the work you are doing is absolutely essential. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve done in carving out space for yourself and others. I know that your show is going to be wonderful. I was JUST in NYC last week (I’m about to go post about my trip in this thread, haha), so I don’t think I’ll be able to make it out from the Midwest, but you can certainly expect a donation from me when I get paid! I also have some friends working in intersectional theatre journalism who might be interested in covering something like this–I’ll pass this along to them! Break legs xoxo

  2. I like this idea. A lot. Thank you Carolyn.

    Uh…I have officially closed the distance with my girlfriend! We moved me to the Twin Cities on Wednesday and I’ve been slowly getting used to the fact that St. Paul is now my home since then. We’re going to her best friend’s place this weekend for Friendsgiving. But it’ll be really nice on Sunday when, instead of going back to my old state (weird), I get to snuggle my girl to sleep.:D

    I also start a new job in public media on Monday (preview tonight) and I am so so excited.

    I hope you all are having a good week. Treat yourself if you can – even with just an extra shot of peppermint in your favorite drink if that’s what you go for. You deserve it.

  3. Hi everyone! I’m definitely feeling this “talk about the good things”.

    So the best thing, I married my (now) wife on Tuesday! It was this little courthouse ceremony that both of our families came into town for and it went perfectly and I cried and it was wonderful.

    Another cool thing, actually! I was talking about the election with some family and explained to my wife’s parents (who are from WI) the sheer amount of voter suppression that took place in their state. It ended with my wife’s mom asking me for some tips of things she could do in the future if she noticed any voters getting harassed or erroneously sent away from the polls!

    I hope everyone has a great Friday, both in spite of and because of happenings in their lives :)

    • Yay congratulations! (Did you take photos? If you’re into sharing any I’m pretty sure everyone would be into seeing them.)

      Also I’m really excited her parents reacted well to that conversation!

  4. Woah. You sound like you need a hug more than I do. I was going to stay off the internet for a while but, eh.

    Let me cheer you up.

    I made a 109% (highest in my class :) ) on my economics quiz that was really hard. I also made an 87% on my exam in my business statistics class. I spent all night yesterday studying for my final on Saturday with my study group. By the end of the study session, we managed to make economics really perverted and sexual. Lots of T-Bonds were pregnant in our valuations and had maternity leave at maturity????? Idk how we made up these stories for the questions btw. The men were banned from mansplaining things on the white board too. Ohhhh, we stole a white board to use in the library. I kind of encouraged the group to do it. Actually… I also got them to take five tables too….. and more chairs…….. We were not supposed to move and take furniture. I have no idea why they listened to me all night. Cocaine was mentioned several times in front of a cop and nothing happened to us but the group of white guys next to us mentioned Adderall and the cop basically got on to them for talking about prescription drug abuse. It was a strange night.

    Anyways, have a good weekend Carolyn. Everyone else have a good weekend too.

      • They’re supposed to be “working” cats, living outside and keeping pests away. But, since they’re only babies, they need to stay inside for a while. I want them to stay inside forever!!!

        • This is an amazing idea and I intend to suggest having “working” pets at every future institution I work at.

          • I think it’s great idea. Working cats are specifically feral cats that are at the animal shelter. However, these cats seem far from feral! They’re so sweet and friendly and the tabby is super cuddly.

      • I know! Cats cats cats all the time! Pretty much the only time I’m not with a cat is when I’m in the car. It’s awesome.

    • I’m done school December 15 so I’ve been sending out resumes like it’s my job since mid October.

      Suddenly this week everyone is contacting me. I’ve had 4 job interviews in the past 2 days and now that that’s done I’m exhausted. I was aiming to get 4 out of 4 offers.

      I’ve already got one offer and it starts next week. It’s super (because it is temp A/R and it’s great to get that A/R experience also it’s for a beer company)

      On top of that, I have another job interview next Wednesday! LOL what is happening! I really hope I get next week’s job because it is in non-profit housing administration which is a field I’m really interested in. Whew! Time to lay down.

  5. I started writing daily. My partner and my therapist both seem to agree that I write well, which was always something I enjoyed but never really pursued. So maybe you’ll see me writing for Autostraddle some day?

    • Keep going. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. There’s room for lots and lots of voices in our community.

  6. The past week and a half has been really, REALLY rough. I broke up with my girlfriend of three years and shattered her heart, and 4 days later my parents told me my dad has stage IV cancer. And now that I’m in the last year of my doctoral program, the second I got back from Thanksgiving I’ve been running nonstop, without time to process any of this.

    But there are good things. My dad had an appointment w/ a specialist yesterday and the prognosis is looking good since he’s been diagnosed so early and is young and is otherwise very healthy. His surgery is in two weeks when the semester is over so I’ll be able to actually be there as a support for my dad, mom, and little sis. I’ve learned that I have friends that love and care about me so much and are constantly looking out for me and checking in. It’s one of these wonderful friends birthdays today too so I’ll be able to show her how much I care about and appreciate her!! I had an exam and two practicals this week and somehow they all went well! Last night’s Steven Universe was ridiculously cute! And I think my rats know that I’m not in the best place because they’ve been even cuter and giving more kisses than usual (I mean LOOK AT THEM) Somehow I have the feeling that everything will be okay.



      OMG <3

      Anyway. I am so, so sorry that you are going through all of this – and all at once! Sending the best good thoughts and hugs. <3

      • THEY ARE CUDDLING IN A RAT HAMMOCK. And it’s actually a flannel hammock so they coordinate nicely with their mom ;)

        Thank you so much for your kind words, it means a lot <3

    • Cute rats. It funny how pets always seem to know when something is wrong. Sending you some positive vibes. :)

      • It really is, pets are so perceptive! I was actually at my parents’ house when I broke up with my girlfriend and my dog wouldn’t stop cuddling and licking me while we talked, I felt so bad (she was the one that needed animal love, not me!!) Thanks for the good vibes, they’re needed <3

    • I’m so sorry you have to go through all of those things. I hope everything turns out. Sending comfort <3

    • I don’t know how helpful this may be, but the company iS Clinicals makes special cleansers for people who are going through medical procedures–especially following chemotherapy. They provide free full bottles (not just samples) to patients and since chemo tends to be really hard on the body, this might make things easier for your dad. Here’s a link to what I’m talking about:

      • Thank you so much! We’re not sure if he’ll need chemo yet (it all depends on what they find during surgery) but if he ultimately does I’ll definitely look more into this. Thank you so much for the info <3

    • I’ve had some similar things going on in my life, trying to find a job while my mom is going through chemotherapy for breast cancer. (She had surgery a couple of months ago.) You’re not alone! I hope your dad does well with treatment.

      Your rats are super-cute! I’m so glad I’m not the only queer woman who really likes pet rats. My rats were always especially cuddly/licky when I was feeling down. We have experiments now that have shown rats will help another rat in distress, so I like to think my rats did know.

      • Oh no, I’m so sorry you have to deal with something similar as well :( If I wasn’t so overwhelmed by life too, I’d be wondering how you were keeping yourself functional! Thank you so much, I hope your mom’s treatment is going well too <3

        And thanks, I think they're super cute too <3! Pet rats are so phenomenal and sweet, I honestly don't know what I'd be doing without my two girls right now. And I didn't know about studies like that, but I can't say I'm surprised!

  7. I’m at that point in my new relationship where I keep accidentally almost saying “I love you,” so there’s that. <3 Happy December, everyone!

  8. Good things!! Yay! This may sound like a bad thing, but after a truly terrible few months of being constantly berated by my boss, I’ve finally started thinking about just why I’m so terrible at it. After reading Cecelia’s “Trump Won, So I Finally Got Out of Bed” where she mentioned an ADHD diagnosis being behind her issues, all the pieces have just come falling into place for me… hard. It’s been a crazy few days, realising that that might be the case for me, but I’ve got an appointment with a super affirming therapist here in my city, that my university insurance can actually cover, and I’m so extremely excited to see if there might actually be a reason behind, and treatment for, issues I’ve been having all my life!

    • If you have ADHD, I recommend asking for medication that is tailored to your work load. I work full time and attend classes full time, including weekends. I need to focus a majority of the day so I take extended release medication and use different techniques to deal. But it’s all up to you and your therapist for that kind of stuff. I lucked out and had one that was lesbian and was willing to work with me. I also recommend just having someone to talk to so take advantage of free counseling services at your campus. I hope you get the answers you are looking for.

    • A LOT of people (myself included!) have ADHD, and yes, it is extremely satisfying to get a diagnosis. I got my diagnosis as a kid so I’ve lived with it for a very long time. As part of talking with your therapist, ask about what kind of special accommodations that you can request, particularly if you are taking classes. For example, I took all of my tests in a separate place from everyone else in the class. Not being in the class helped me concentrate much better. I was also allowed 1.5x time for test completion. Sometimes I needed all of it and didn’t do well. Sometimes I didn’t need all of it and did really well. But the point is that having the extra time was really important to my academic success. Whatever kind of tests you are taking whether it’s for classes or for a certificate, you are allowed to ask for accommodations. Keep working with your therapist (they sound extremely helpful) to make sure you have what you need to be successful.

      Best of luck!

  9. i had my last day at work this week, and i got so many cards from the students (i was the librarian for a pre-kindergarten to grade 11 school). one of the highlights was from the grade one class. i did regular storytimes with them, where one of their favourite rhymes was “be a banana / peel a banana / chop a banana / mash a banana / eat a banana… / GO BANANAS!” but they always made other suggestions for it, like be an apple, be a bear, etc. and eventually it evolved into be a poo, be a toilet, and–their favourite compromise–be a bear on a toilet. this was their card for me:

  10. I spend a good portion of my Sunday with my mother watching The Crown, the show about Queen Elizabeth II in her younger years. It’s a pretty good show, and it looks pretty luxurious, like it was filmed at the actual locations. I kind of have a crush on the actress who plays Princess Margaret, Vanessa Kirby(sadly straight I think). I also have a few friends/acquaintances crushes still, but that’s because these gentle beings are just awesome. Speaking of which, earlier in the week I was listing Star Talk podcast, which is generally hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Last weeks episode was about women in stem and it was instead hosted by Summer Ash and Emily Rice, two women in STEM. They coined the term WCW to equal Woman Crushing it Wednesday(cause women do crush it), which I now plan to use.

    How is everyone’s week going? All I want right now is to get it my bed with a bottle of hot herbal tea and relax. I guess that’s what Sundays are for. Huh, thanksgiving was last week. I at a lot of Trader Joes vegan Thanksgiving in the box. It for the most part was good. Also, went to a friends house for a gayme night, which was a bit more clean than usual.

    I didn’t go out Sunday so I have nothing to share. But, I’ve been submitting my images to EyeEM, which is a site that lets people sell their photos to other people and to big name companies. A few of my images(mostly from my nature hikes) were selected as premium, which made me feel good. I’m hoping I can get a few extra dollars so I can spend it either on more make up, or maybe get a pushup bra that is trans woman/feminine specific(and not also marketed towards the drag and fetish community). You can find my work here.

    Thank you for reading my post. Have

    • I started watching The Crown with my mom too! We watched a few episodes over Thanksgiving, I love historical shows like that. Totally agree w/you about the actress who plays Princess Margaret.

      • I had a English woman earlier in the week tell me they fabricated some stories to make it more dramatic than it really is. I haven’t looked into, but it’s plausible. She kind of looks like Princess Margaret.

  11. Good things that have happened lately? Hmm…

    Well, as a side effect of one of the main translators’ FB groups imploding spectacularly, I was introduced to a group for (lighthearted) job-related sarcasm and snark. Which is good enough on its own, but it turns out this group also runs an international chocolate exchange. So I’ll be receiving chocolates from Portugal sometime in the near future.

    I also got to educate someone about gender, and they took it really well. A lot better than expected. I ended up making a new friend because of that exchange, too.

    Also, I’m moving in almost exactly a month! That’s exciting, right? I also get to visit my parents in 2 weeks’ time, which will be nice. Time to decompress and cuddle my puppies.

    Sorry if this is scattered – I have a million things on my plate at the moment. Naturally, I’m ignoring most of them, but my mind is still going a thousand miles an hour.

  12. Well, I do actually have some good news. I’m going to be house-sitting for a family friend until May, and I can bring my dog. This means I get to live on my own for the first time ever, a thing I’ve been craving since high school band camp nearly ten years ago. Even though the winter is when my mental health is at its worst, I’m hoping the time away from my abusive family will have a positive impact on it. I’ve also decided that even if I don’t get into grad school this year, I’ll officially move out asap because I think I’ve saved enough money to try.

    I’ve been here two days and the thing making me the happiest has been television. Not only do I get to choose what I want to watch, but if I choose the likes of Rachel Maddow or SNL, I will not have to deal with background commentary about “liberal idiots.” I also do not have to hear fox news blaring at an obnoxious volume or potentially damage my hearing while listening to music in an attempt to drown it out. I can also hit the mute button every time trump speaks, which is terrific.

    • I can relate to this. The joy of having a space of your own!! Enjoy and start planning for your next home.

  13. FOT, how I live for you and everyone who comments here!

    This week has been an exercise in suppressing emotions. The beginning of the week I didn’t feel great, mind racing, etc. but I kept on going and pretending everything was fine. I did make it to the gym two times this week so not only do I feel somewhat accomplished but it helped with the overall feeling of anxiety. This week was also my first full week of work in a couple weeks due to taking some time away and the holiday. It has felt surreal—sometimes long and drawn out, other times like I just got here. Some weeks the best I can hope for is merely existing and this week has certainly felt as such.

    Bright spot of the week: I finally, after many weeks, got my eyebrows done. I no longer have obscene forehead hair and I got a new attitude.

    Another bright spot is that I am house sitting, which happens to be my favorite, passive way of making money which also involves a cat.

    Have a good weekend everyone! Do something for yourself even if that means doing nothing at all <3

  14. I bought myself a heavy-duty sewing machine so I can make banners for the Revolution. Crafty femmes of the world, unite!

    • Umm, sometimes the butches sew, too, particularly the ones with six machines of various vintages, including a treadle for when the power goes out…

  15. I just got a bunch of positive feedback at work and I am so pleased that I finally work someplace where I can feel successful every once in a while.

    I adopted a 12-year-old kitty a couple weeks ago and she is the sweetest. She likes to lick my chin in the mornings when my alarm goes off.

    Got sick over Thanksgiving and needed to take antibiotics, which I’m finally finished with just in time for an evening of brewpubs and pop-up queer bars and birthday partying.

    The dinosaur dress I ordered from Amazon a month ago finally arrived and I had a little breakthrough moment where I realized wearing dresses doesn’t make me less gay (I’m new to this, okay?)


      Dresses just aren’t my thing but that doesn’t meant I can’t love dresses on others. And really, what’s not to love about a dinosaur dress?

        • That is soo true!! Just today I talked to someone about the fact that I´m considering taking a sewing class and buying a sewing machine, just because I really want to wear dinosaur pajamas (and I can´t find any in my size…). :)

  16. My girlfriend made coffee and brought it to me in bed. It made me really happy today. That’s all! ❤️

  17. Hello people! How are you??
    So in Germany yesterday they passed a really, really scary ableist law but made it seem like they made (already shitty) things better, which they are not doing, so I’m feeling betrayed and agry and scared. But tomorrow I’m traveling to Berlin to visit some friends so that’s my bright spot, I’m really excited. also feeling really loved lately.
    Kisses, M.

    • so, the only good thing it provides is more money for people who need assistance (before the new law we could only get paid 600 euros a month and save 2600 in total. Now there is a possibility to get paid more. But essentially, the thing is, people now have to prove they get at least 5 out of 9 “traits” of disability so that they can actually get assistance. Also, if it costs the state too much to let you live in your own home, you can be essentially forced to live in a residential home. Also, to save money, people could be forced to share one assitance, which would heavily influence the person’s independence and privacy. It’s horrible and absurd and hurtful.

  18. Hey friendlings!

    This week I finished my first university work placement, I kissed the girl I wanted to kiss (and she kissed me back!) and now my mum is coming to visit for the weekend so I’m cleaning.

    I may have mopped myself into the corner of my living room. Oops!

    • No you are totally right! My name is Gilbert. And this week I casually mentioned to my uni friends that I’m gonna start using it soon and they took it really well. Been a stellar week all round.

  19. I got about 12 hours of sleep last night and it was BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I was soo tired from getting only 4 hours of sleep the night before (thanks to my ridiculous desire to be a nice person and help a friend with their paper till 3am). I’m feeling much better today but kinda lost as to what it is I should be doing today, yesterday was a waste cause I couldn’t really function, so I feel like I should being trying to get a lot done. But I also want to just have some fun and relax today, so?? Also why do crushes suck so much? and why do I always fall for people who have no interest in me??

    • I think that this is part of the story of your twenties, especially your early twenties. It does get better or at least, clearer as time and experience shuffle you along. Not much consolation, I know, still it all works out eventually.

  20. I had a 24hour shift last night and I was so,so tired because work had already been slaying me all day, so I was toast by 8pm,with 12 more hours to go and I was just praying that,for once, it would be quiet.
    I was so tired and outright done, I was actually begging the universe and God and whoever would listen, because I was genuinely scared for myself and afraid for everyone else in case I’d mess up and guess what?
    Someone did.
    Because, I kid thee not, the landlines of the two most major telecommunications companies in the area went down.
    Until this morning.
    No one was able to call in.
    This has never happened before.
    Now I’m off for over a week and I have no trips or plans outside of a maximum of self care.
    Have a good weekend everyone!

  21. hi bits and boodles!

    magical thinking! can do!

    I’m going to roast a bunch of vegetables this weekend (and my girlfriend has made me promise to open a window because I always make the house smell like cabbage, because roasted brussel sprouts are delicious but brassicaes are v aromatic!)

    I’m about to go for a walk in the woods before I wrap up my admin shit for this week!

    I’ve been making lots of money lately and buying myself nice treats like shirts from modcloth and some new statement pieces from this witchy babe who’s really sweet.

    uhhhhh girlfriend and I are getting along really well lately! We’re having a sweet friend over for brunch who is a delight to talk to and is a mushroom-hunter, she will come over and talk to us about mycology!

    My family drew names for who is buying what person a present for Christmas, so now I only have to get something for my mom, so cardigan city here we come. (and my girlfriend I guess? but we were supposed to not buy each other things and go on a trip? errrrr we should talk about that.)

    I’ve been doing some really sweet work with clients lately (re:being a therapist) and that’s been really lovely.

    ok! gonna eat lunch and go for a walk! feeling like an effective human today! happy weekend to all.

  22. Hi all!

    I’ve been feeling great lately! I moved in with my girlfriend, which cut our rent/living expenses in half, and I’ve actually been able to pay bills, put money in savings, AND have a little left over for holiday presents and even a few things for myself!

    I’m graduating from school in about two weeks and then I’m playing the waiting game to see if I get into social work school, but to help myself stay connected/curious/motivated, I’m assembling a social work/therapist-y reading list! Any and all suggestions are appreciated below :)

    Also also: my girlfriend and I got a litter genie for our apartment and it’s changed our whole life. Have you ever lived in a studio with a girl and her five trumpets and a cat and not had a place to put your litterbox without it stinking up the whole place? Have you ever solved that problem and been so happy you cried? BECAUSE ME TOO.

    • sweet jesus 5 cats in a studio! that’s so many! glad the litter genie is figuring things out for you, boy howdy.

      hi there, I’m a therapist with an MSW, sounds like you will as well soon!

      my top recommendations are:

      trauma stewardship by laura van dernoot lipsky (co-written by the ED of the queer DV org I used to work for)
      I thought we’d never speak again by laura davis (is abt estrangement, by a queer lady)
      Not the Price of Admission by Laura Brown (she was one of the folks that developed feminist therapy in the 80s, it’s about being an adult dealing with having had abusive parents in childhood)

      and right now I’m reading this book called Driven to Distraction, which is about ADHD, because my friend who has ADHD was like,”read this! it is one of my faves books on the subject!” which so far is fine but not earth-shattering.

      • only one cat, 5 instruments! my girlfriend is a classical brass musician. i just meant that they take up a considerable amount of space :)

        thank you for the recommendations!! i’m very interesting in exploring feminist cultural relational perspectives going into social work school, so the laura brown book sounds perfect.

  23. I will not use this space to tell you about being dumped or driving 2200kms to move back into my parents house this week but I WILL tell you about being in a store with my mom and her pointing out a flannel button up that she thought I would look really good in.

    Bye, 2016.

  24. Hello everyone,

    right now it´s really easy for me, to just write about happy things because I´ve had really, really positive last two weeks. (After a really long pretty difficult time.) So I´m just going to list all the happy things that happened to me and you guys can take all the happiness you need from them! :)

    I finally asked the girl, I´ve had a crush on, if she would like to meet outside of the professional situation we´re in (she is my physical therapist). She said yes and we´re meeting up next week. And of course I don´t know if this is a (kind of?) date… ;) But I´m so happy to have finally asked her!

    I met an amazing human being (non-binary and polyamorous, both like me), who I was soo attracted to and who flirted so clearly with me that I still get all giddy and happy and nervous when I only think about the way we looked at each other. I´m smiling so much and can´t concentrate on anything. :) We exchanged our email adresses and I wrote them and they wrote back very very friendly and they suggested we meet soon. I´m so excited and happy!

    This Monday I went to the first rehearsel of an international choir (refugees and germans) I was meaning to join. I know a transwomen, who already sings in that choir… I introduced myself with my new (“male”) name and it was so much fun to sing together.

    Since the day before yesterday I know that I will be able to continue my job from January on (we were waiting for an “okay” for the money…).

    On Monday I had my first psychotherapy appointment about being trans/non-binary. It was awesome!

    Last weekend I had a fun but a bit restless night of cuddles with the two cats of a friends I was sleeping at. :) (I slept in the room, they sleep in and they walked all over me, sniffed my hair and face and ear and finally joined me under my blanket…That was amazing and truly worth the lost sleep.) They were soo soo cute, and now I know for sure I want to have cats on my own. Even though I finally brought them into another room, which was okay, too, since they sleep in different spots in the appartment. That way I at least got 4 hours of sleep… ;)

    Also: Because of the really friedly and nice trans-group in my new town I already feel so much at home here.

    And I´m planing on taking singin lessons (every two weeks, to be able to afford it) and my parents may be giving me a (simple+used!)Keyboard (the musical instrument ;) ) for christmas. I´m so much looking forward to this, because I´ve had piano lessons when I was younger and I would really like to start again.

    I love you all very much and am very grateful for every picture of a pet or your beautiful faces! :) Have a wonderful weekend!

    • I remember you telling us about your PT crush. That is so awesome!!! I feel its a lot harder to work out crush feelings in a professional situation. Well done!!

      • Thank you so much! :) I was a bit surprised and proud, too, that I finally managed to do it. The professional situation is the reason why I hesitated so long – she is a really really good PT (and I find that difficult to find…) and I would like to continue going to her. Also, of course, I wasn´t sure, if she would like to meet me outside of that situation… ;) But regardless of what happens next – I always still have the option of changing where I go for physical therapy (if nessecary…). :)

    • Thank you for sharing all these positive things! I really needed to read about someone having a good week.

  25. Well, I’m feeling like a complete wreck to be honest.

    But to try for this positive-talking thing…. I just had some of the Christmas presents I’ve brought for family turn up, alongside something small I sort of cheakily brought for myself. It’s an educational poster from 1990 showing different views of bat skeletons. I feel guilty for buying something for myself, but I fucking love it and I’m trying to persuade myself that self care is also really important. Its also just one year older than me, which makes me even more attached to it.

    I’m also going to be moving at some point in the next few months. It’s out of necessity, and some complicated and emotionally heavy neccesity at that, but I’m trying to keep an eye on how much I’m looking forwards to having my own place for the first time. I’m really looking forwards to making it my own, even if thats just putting up all my weird stuff and finally being able to set up the fish tank I grabbed for super cheap a few years back. I’m planning to keep blind mexican cave tetras in it, because they’re amazing!

    Well, a lot of things are still really crap, but this is sort of helping a little. I mean, even if I’m just randomly babbling about bat skeletons and weird fish to the internet (though you guys don’t feel like ‘the interent’ – you’re way nicer than that, lets be honest). I hope the weekend goes good for all you guys X

  26. I dunno. Healing from surgery is boring. I’ve figured out that so long as it’s not snowey, I can take my dog for a walk in one of the parks by using the knee scooter thing I’m borrowing from a family member who had ankle surgery last year. Too bad my pup doesn’t get the whole “you REALLY REALLY can’t cut me off” thing because I’ve almost run her over several times.

    Also my one cat WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE. It’s mostly great but sometimes terrible and annoying because sometimes I need to pee, and he’s heavy enough to cut off circulation in my legs. He’s also looking a bit healthier and eating more again with the one antidepressant and weekly B12 shots, which is a good thing! He had lost a lot of weight recently. His name is Paw and here is a recent photo of him and me

  27. My happy thing starts out not so happy, but stick with it!!

    So this horrible woman whose son goes to my old high school submitted an official challenge to remove “Perks of Being a Wallflower” from the curriculum in the Contemporary Lit class. Now, this book was the very first book that baby/closeted Alex ever read with a gay character and it BLEW MY FREAKING MIND. Also I take censorship of any kind extremely seriously, let alone when it’s on my old turf. Since I am in Chicago and not Iowa (thank Maya Angelou) and unable to attend the hearing personally, I wrote an open letter to the superintendent and school board and encouraged everyone still there to attend the public hearing for the book which allowed anyone who wanted to speak in favor of keeping or removing the book.

    Here is the good part.

    After 5 whiney jack holes saying that descriptions of sexual abuse were “pornography” there was 3 HOURS of testimony by adults and students pleading with the review committee to keep the book in the curriculum. Many a story was told by baby queers and non-queers alike about how important this book was, and at the end of the hearing not only did the committee rule unanimously to keep the book, the woman who filed the complaint attempted to withdraw it and acted like a big baby sore loser and everyone was like “wtf why did you waste our time on this you giant lunatic?”

    So there’s some good in this world after all, mister frodo, and the people of my hometown prevented an act of censorship which makes me not hate them quite so much.

  28. Hi yesterday morning I had a job interview and thought it would be ridiculous to wear something else just in case while I made breakfast, and promptly shook a container of almond milk that wasn’t sealed all over my interview clothes.

    I am meeting people and am starting to have some work prospects in my new home and I definitely have no prospects for housing but maybe that’ll change if my employment situation does? My home is really not working for me. But each day is one day closer to the day I don’t live here any more!

    I met someone in person for the first time who I’d worked with online and we had instant friend chemistry and now I have a pal to go to book stuff with and that jacket I spilled almond milk on was a $150 blazer I got for $30 buried in a end-of-season sales rack and you will have to believe me that I look both hot AND employable in it. (Without the almond milk.)

  29. Good things, good things

    It appears I am not allergic to “normal” wheat that in the flour (yay)
    I still haz bread making skillz (my mom sagely nodded, you are the baker in this family)
    Pupperonies, is new thing I call the dogs
    They been cuddling the shit outta me, keeping me warm physically and emotionally
    Probs gonna cos as Sailor Pluto
    This tribute vid to her

    Um started listening to Queen Adreena again
    Specifically this song over and over:
    KatieJane Garside is magical she can go from whispery voiced little waif to kinda bluesy to a belting punk scream. She’s the only person who reminds me of Iggy Pop, but isn’t Iggy and goes someplace he can’t.

    Instagram is no longer suggesting me things with the N-word in them or that I wanna make babies (with white men), but it now labours under the assumption I’m Mexican-American. A nerdy queer Mexican-American. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Selena is a goddess I will never stop liking Selena content as long as that button responds to my fingers.
    Selena para siempre, y’all.

    • I’m listening to some Selena songs right now. Have you gone to Corpus Christi to see the Selena memorial statue? I still wanna go see it. I also wished there was a Selena album of never released songs too.

      • Nope, I’ve only been to Texas about 3 times, one of which was an evacuation, in my life despite the fact my state shares a border. There’s some old thing of white protestant anglo-saxon Texans and white non-anglo Catholics of my region where we just didn’t mix and wanted little to do with each other. They didn’t trust us or respect us and we certainly didn’t respect them. Be raging drunk all Saturday and act like we’re fallen from god for sipping wine with dinner Sunday? Excuze a moi >_>

        Ooh that would be nice.
        I’ve heard some of the ones that get little play when ever someone is tributing her music.

        I think I’d like to see her statue and museum too.

        • I cant tell if the Saturday night drinking and pious attitudes I’m Sunday was a description for the Anglo Saxons or the white non-Anglo Catholics. Both seem equally guilty to me. All I know is that most of the time they get along here until someone mentions the virgin Mary and idol worship. Race and religion are a cultural headache here. I ignore it. Sorry you had to deal with that kind of ignorance during your stay. Hopefully next time you can enjoy it and even go see that memorial and then hit up South Padre Island. ?

          • Anglo Saxons, it’s an old grudge thing of the Cajun/Creole descended peoples. Historically we saw ourselves as more cultured etc. and them as rude cultureless boors who mistakenly believed they had some moral high ground over us plus that time the British forcibly deported us from Acadia.
            The Louisiana constitution used to be in French and English until they had enough of a majority to protest the waste of having an American document of an American state in not-English and cease doing so.
            To my mother that was an attempt to eliminate us like “they” did back during the Le Grand Dérangement, the Great Deportation.
            I’ve told her that’s the politest attempt of elimination I’ve heard of and if the Expulsion of the Acadians and the Trail of Tears affect her so maybe she should be more empathetic to undocumented people trying to get to a safer place.
            But also god forbid I say something like “Well who did the Acadians deport when they took Acadia?” it ruins the narrative >_>

            The ignorance I’ve had to “deal” with goes both ways, the old grudge thing with my mom only flares up in places like Texas of the non Gulf Coast parts of Mississippi and Alabama that don’t cook like we do and have othered Catholicism.
            I don’t ascribe to her complex, but do I notice the food differences in places that are “Anglo”. Once I tasted something I can only describe as anti-taste, like the lack of flavour managed to go past 0 and enter the negatives.
            Hot sauce is now a part of my travel bag.

            South Padre Island looks beautiful, I really need to plan a trip out that way.
            Selena, tacos, and the beach is a dream vacation that’s achievable. :)

  30. I’m done school December 15 so I’ve been sending out resumes like it’s my job since mid October.

    Suddenly this week everyone is contacting me. I’ve had 4 job interviews in the past 2 days and now that that’s done I’m exhausted. I was aiming to get 4 out of 4 offers.

    I’ve already got one offer and it starts next week. It’s super (because it is temp A/R and it’s great to get that A/R experience also it’s for a beer company)

    On top of that, I have another job interview next Wednesday! LOL what is happening! I really hope I get next week’s job because it is in non-profit housing administration which is a field I’m really interested in. Whew! Time to lay down.

  31. Heheh the frisbee dog. <3

    Carolyn hi thanks for getting us set up with this pile of good news. A very happy Friday to you.

    My little positive events this week:

    My good friend made me a hand-drawn card of the two of us. We are wearing matching superhero capes and standing triumphantly on the surface of Mars, I think. I don't know why we're friends because I'm such an (introvert) and she's such an E!X!T!R!O!V!E!R!T! but I'm so grateful for her.

    Alsoooooo I sent in a CV for a tech start-up while feeling like someone like me from a working-class background would not fit in with the sort of expected affluence of start-up company culture. But then I decided that's some bs fed to us by main stream media; of course there are ppl thriving in start-ups that come from working-class backgrounds.

    So I had the phone interview yesterday and it was great! We hit it off well, communicated well, they were v complementary and interested in the work I've done and they said that even if the position goes to another person (they had someone with 10+ years more experience than anyone else apply), they still want to work with me and have more funding come in later this year. So, that was really encouraging and a great vote of confidence for the 'ol job search. I've come a long way since almost dropping out last year.

    Ok straddlers ilu stay warm and safe out there, I hope kindness and joy find their way to you this weekend.

  32. Oh man this has been…this has been a real week. One of the worst couple of weeks not involving a death in I don’t even know how long BUT this is a place to focus on the positives so let me think.

    I got a sort of promotion at work after feeling like I was moving backwards, and also my animals are happy and healthy and as bratty as usual.

    I also recently revived my sourdough starter, Waverly, after a long period of neglect. Oh, and I cleaned my living space after another long period of neglect which was a relief.

    This might seem like a short list but actually I feel better after having to find all the positives so thank you for this.

    • Omg sourdough starters are like my favourite pets! You get to name them, feed them, they make your room smell like a brewery. And then you get to eat them!

  33. I got pooped on my a crow (im pretty sure) tonight on my way home. The poop was mainly on my purse. And then it got on my hand. I am scarred for life. My hand still doesn’t feel clean. Hold me.

    In other news, I apparently now have a girlfriend, I have a DBT therapist, I have no health insurance, im kinda sorta stressed and need downtime but also need to clean, and people who call us at customer service are the worst (so fucking rude, stg). I also had the flu, which I don’t think I ever had before, and it’s weird bc I got the flu shot this year, so it must’ve been a sneaky strain. I was miserable in 5 million different ways.

    Tomorrow night im going to my 3rd play party (read: kink). Which is actually how I met this person; we were just going to be play partners, but she asked me if I wanted to be her gf and I was like, uhhhh sure?????? idk what to do?????????? I am bewildered but I guess I’ll see what happens.

    I also tried some DBT interpersonal skills this past week regarding her, so yeeeah. I’m trying to do things, despite the fact that this year has been a fucking piece of shit.

    I also just finished another magazine illustration, and im going to be vending at a local small comics show next Saturday. I’m hoping my comics get here before, like, the 8th hahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And that people buy them. My bank account is weeping.

    I just can’t believe I got pooped on. What. The. Heck.

  34. Alright, some good things.

    1. We finished a gigantic project at work that I had been doing for the past six months. Basically, we were trying to get an electronic data system for years and years off the ground, and we finally did it.

    2. I had a genuinely relaxing Thanksgiving which included a trip to the astral plane

    3. I’ve decided after this year to be more visible in my queerness and slowly start coming out of the closet. I don’t want to cut my hair, so I’ve decided that when cultivating my butch style, I want to draw from a combination of Esther Quek (thank you Style Thief) and the archetypal Beautiful Boy of anime. My husband will be buying me men’s accessories this year for Christmas, and I’m getting my first binder as a present to myself.

    4. Since I liked to switch between styles, I also found out that a very old black velvet dress I own still fits. I plan to fucking slay at my company’s holiday party.

    5. I bought an unrepentant amount of Pokemon merchandise for a charity drive at work. We pick children we want to shop for, and I saw one kid only listed Pokemon cards on his wishlist. I’m starting to do what my mom–we have no children (for now), so I buy a ton of gifts for children through charity. The stuff came in the mail today and I’m really excited for this kid even though I will never meet him or know if he actually what I got him (I ended up buying a bunch of Pokemon cards that were bundled with toys and other stuff. I also couldn’t stop myself from buying a big soft Charizard poncho and A LITTLE PLUSH PIKACHU WEARING THE SAME PONCHO CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW CUTE)

    6. As part of my Pokemon splurge, I got a bunch of pins for myself to decorate my very butch, very cool fringe leather jacket.

    7. I’m almost done with my graduate class, an environmental course which has already made it possible for me to revise my resume and possibly allow me to transfer from my current job (working in pharma) to doing environmental work. I’m so relieved.

    And finally, some pictures:

    (The perfect engagement photo. This can be any couple. Are they two girls? Is one polygender? Is the other aro/ace? Are they a trans couple? Yes. They’re all of these.)

    (From A Dinosaur A Day. Everything is better with dinosaurs, including weddings. I had dinosaurs at my wedding and it was fantastic)

    (Barnacle geese nest extremely high in rocky cliffs, so their young must jump 400ft to the bottom as soon as they are hatched. This little baby being on the ground means that it made the terrifying, death-defying leap from the nest to navigate the rocks and reunite with its parents. This baby is gonna be okay, and so will you)

      • BBC came out with a documentary called Life Story. It’s about the many stages of life and has all the glorious, beautiful cinematography you expect from a documentary series narrated by David Attenborough. The barnacle geese are in the first episode. Another great series that demonstrates the resilience and diversity of life.

  35. (long time reader, just made an account so first time comment!)

    life is shit at the moment. real shit.

    but i had my 3 year anniversary with my love on the 25th, which was amazing. and just as soon as i can find employment we’ll be moving in together, which is beyond exciting. i can’t stop looking at real estate websites already!

    i live in australia and the sun is starting to come out! i feel it in my boooones!!!! summer is here and she’s here to save us all!

    stay warm you northerners

    all the love


  36. Well this has been an especially sad day for me, and a pretty sad week, and a hard year. But on the bright side… I have some sweaters I like, and delicious lip balm, and my three-year-old just finished a course of antibiotics and her UTI has been vanquished. And I do not currently have a headache. And even though my whole romantic situation has just been upended, as well as my work situation, I will get through this just fine. What else could 2016 possibly throw at us, right? It’s almost over. And maybe 2017 will be the year I book myself a massage for my birthday.

  37. Good things!? Good things:
    I just signed up to be a restorative justice youth facilitator at my local YWCA. I’m also holding a gift drive at my work for homeless and highly mobile families. I’ve decided that the only thing that can make this season worth anything is to focus on helping people who have it harder than me. Because I’ve got so much privilege even though I feel like shit about the world.

    More good things: I put up my Christmas tree and had fun taking pictures of my cats investigating it. Diana likes to lick the rainbow heart ornament.

    She’s very cuddly right now:

  38. Some good things that happened this week? Let’s see, my semester of classes is finally over although I am now studying for exams. I finally came to terms with the fact that I’m bisexual, and I feel a lot better now. I haven’t told my family for a lot of reasons, but I did tell a few of my close friends and they’ve been really supportive. I finally asked out my best friend. Sadly, I was rejected, but she still wants to be friends and is legit the best friend of 2016.

    In other news, Autostraddle’s underwear week posts gave me the extra kick in the underthings I needed to buy men’s trunks, and I haven’t been so excited about a piece of clothing since I got my first bowtie. Technically, they’re boys, but that’s because I’m a stick. I also plucked up the courage to buy a men’s button down, and it’s on its way to me with my snazzy Christmas bowties.

    Really, I’m replacing my whole wardrobe this year and I’m so damn hyped over it. That, and my new iPhone just came in. Imma be technologically up-to-date and dapper as all hell. (After I pass exams!) I’m so excited to have clothes I actually want rather than the one’s I’m always pressured into getting. (I’ve been saving for this for a long time.)

    And my birthday is tomorrow! :D One of my super awesome school friends gave me a Starbucks gift card, and next week my bestie is stopping by to jointly celebrate our December birthdays with homemade curry and a Netflix movie marathon. And then, once I have conquered the gauntlet that is law school exams, I will go home and shove my face full of my grandmother’s red velvet cake, help my mommy decorate our ridiculous Christmas tree, and cuddle with my puppies. So excited.

  39. I get to have this adorable puppy for 15 more days while her real owner is on vacation! We have been co-parenting her since we got her but usually she’s with him more. Now she’s only with me! And she’s the best puppy!

    Also I had my first appointment with the trauma counsellor and it went really well. Also the semester is almost over and I am so excited. Also Christmas is happening so soon!! Things feel pretty good right now. Also I have officially been on anti-depressants for three weeks and things are looking up

  40. Let’s see, good stuff for the week! I had kind of a tough week and just felt out-of-sorts and unproductive. BUT, I am going back to therapy next week to deal with my anxiety, which I am very much looking forward to! I’m also counting down the days until I go home for Christmas-it’ll be my first Christmas home in two years as I was living abroad before, and I am so excited! I also am trying to be more proactive about dating, as that isn’t really a thing I have done a lot of but I decided it’s time! So I’m working on it :) Also, I finally feel as though I’m like not super crazy busy, at least for the time being, so last night I went out and had a really nice time with a friend and tomorrow I’m doing the same thing! I feel like that’s a rare thing for me to do, so it was really a wonderful evening.

    I hope you all appreciate the joys great and small in your upcoming weekend :)

  41. This is more of a last-week happiness than a this-week happiness, but last week I got out of the Midwest for Thanksgiving and spent it with my best friend and her family in the tri-state area (which was lovely). To put a bow on it, I was able to go into NYC on Black Friday and see the Broadway revival of Falsettos (a show that has meant a lot to me since I saw it done regionally at 17–it’s one of the things I credit with giving me the courage to come out to my friends for the first time a little over a month later). What an INCREDIBLE production it is with a first-rate cast giving sublime, utterly human performances. I’m still thinking about the show in vivid detail a week later.

    As someone getting degrees in Musical Theatre and Arts Administration, I’ve struggled a lot since the election about the role of the arts under a Trump presidency. I’ve wondered if this career path is worth it anymore, or if I should really be preparing to take the GRE and go to grad school for public policy or urban planning and try to something more active in that regard. I’ve always wanted to democratize theatre and make a change through community engagement, but lately that’s felt like a frivolous want…like the difference I could make elsewhere would be more significant.

    This show, though…It has sort of brought me out of my fog. This little show about the AIDS crisis and about family and about love…even though it was written in the 80s, even though it was last seen on Broadway in the 90s, it feels more relevant than ever. It showed me just how much there is at stake, and how necessary it is to have a mouthpiece to communicate where we are, where we’ve been, and what we stand to lose. At this uncertain time, we need a way to create a sense of place. That’s art. That’s what I’m studying. That’s what I’m making. And it matters.

    I got to stand on stage at the Walter Kerr Theatre (the Broadway house where the show is playing) after the show. It was the first time I’d gotten to stand on a Broadway stage, which was all at once thrilling, humbling, and made me feel strangely very capable. I thought about the fact that hearts and minds are being changed and opened 8 times a week from where I was standing. And I thought about the great privilege and responsibility it is to be able to do that in any number of communities, from any playing space, whether your audience is paying $150+ for a Broadway ticket (guilty) or whether it’s free public art. I stood there and I thought about Karl Paulnack’s address to freshman parents at the Boston Conservatory, the one I’ve read many times, but never really understood, not like this, not until now:

    “If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you’d take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at two AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you’re going to have to save their life. Well, my friends, someday at 8 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.”

    There’s a lot of scary stuff ahead, that’s for sure. But it is my job to devote myself to my practice and my praxis, to do my job as well as I can and arm myself with as many tools as I can so that we can ALL go forward.

    And for now, that’s enough.

    • What a great way to think about the world and the theatre. Thanks for sharing your inspiration. As someone who only gets to the theatre or for that matter, any arts space, once in a blue moon, this was very enlightening.

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