FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: No Rules, Just Right (for Oversharing)

Hello, kittens, and welcome to the very first Friday Open Thread of 2016! This is our weekly space to plan our movement for world domination and share our utopian visions for the new order. JK! It’s actually a space where people post a lot of pictures of their pets and then I explode and leave only a slight trace of warm fuzzies in my stead.

puppy1

After much hubbub, hullabaloo, and other words that I think Pooh Bear used a lot, the holigay season has come to an end. There are (hopefully!) no more gifts to give or buy, no more cards to write, no more opportunities to wear that red dress to a string of parties or drink excessive champagne. (Okay, you can still do those last two things, but you get my drift.)

I’ve spent the first week of the new year thinking very much about how to put my resolutions into action, although admittedly I gave myself a pass to get into gear about a lot of them until today, when I got back to Los Angeles from a three-week trip in which I was living my mother’s house, running to and from NYC and DC in a last-ditch effort to reunite myself with all the people I miss on a daily basis, and allowing my grandma to feed me copious amounts of Italian food.

So, now it begins! Sticking to deadlines. Cooking better stuff for myself. Being a little more badass, every day. You know, the usual. That, and driving around aimlessly a lot in order to best express my angst. You know what they say, after all: New year, new you! Or, same old you with her shit a little more together than before. Either works.

I’ve been easing into my new year, and I think we should all take a moment today in this very thread to do the same. Let’s just chat. No specific prompts, no theme, no GIF requests. Just love. I just wanna hear about all of the different parts of your life. I just wanna get to know you. Does this sound like a solid plan yet? I could go on.

I want you — yes, you! — to get in on this open thread action and tell me about your life. For example, you could tell me about your current girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, or even your BFF’s ex-girlfriend who is about to become your girlfriend. You could post pictures of your pets! (Please do.) You could spill a secret you just can’t hold in anymore, ask us to help you plan a dinner party, or even just complain about your job and it’d be music to my ears. Or, well, I guess I’d really be experiencing it with my eyeballs. But like. You could even talk to me more about your resolutions from last week or the loose ends of your holigay season! If you dream it, you can post it.

No rules, just right. Because that’s how a new year should be, y’know.


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Carmen

Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 1 article for us.

241 Comments

  1. So, here’s what I think my evening is going to look like. The gc2b binder that I got my kid should arrive in today’s mail. It’s his first binder, and he’s pretty excited to be getting it. His girlfriend is going to be coming over for dinner and a movie or two, so that will be fun. What’ll be extra fun will be seeing how well — considering everything — my parents, who are staying with us, are handling having a trans adult child, a trans grandchild, and a trans grandchild’s-girlfriend all at once. (We’ve done dinner-and-movie like this a couple of times before, and it’s gone very well, aside from pronoun confusion on my parents’ part.)

    In the slightly longer term, I’m trying not to be too anxious about a number of things. I’ll be doing my annual review at work next week, which is a little scary because I really haven’t been very productive this past year. But they don’t seem to be as worried about that as I do. I’m also not out at work, and have an ongoing low level of worry about when and how that’s going to change, but I suppose I don’t expect it to come up in my annual review.

    My bigger, and longer-term, worry is my kid’s completing high school in May, and our trying to help him find his way into whatever it is that’s going to come next (probably community college, it looks like). I’m much more optimistic about getting through this gracefully than I was, say, six months ago. But, still, a source of worry.

    But just for today, I’m looking forward to my kid’s reaction to trying on a binder for the first time. I hope it’s as gratifying as I’m imagining it will be.

  2. Yesterday while walking the dog I had an epiphany, and I’ve felt somehow lighter ever since:

    What if I am not for other people? What if I am only for myself? What if I lived my life that way?

    Not in a selfish or lonely way. But in that way that some other people have where they don’t exist **in reference to** whatever feedback everyone around them is giving, whatever needs everyone around them has. Those people who start from a place of sturdiness within themselves. You know?

    It had something to do with my reading Carrie Brownstein’s new book and then I was listening to Sleater Kinney for the first time and I don’t really do the punk rock thing so I had never gotten into it before and I still wasn’t really able to get into the music, but I was having this feeling based on what Carrie wrote about the band, like the music wasn’t really even for me to get into, it was their self-expression, it wasn’t accomodating, it wasn’t meant to provide a bridge from me to them, it was them existing and expressing and not making it more palatable.

    Like how radical is it/would it be for me, as a woman, to not exist for other people, to be for me? And I know that’s probably an idea that has been around forever but it is taking a LOT of tectonic shifting in my brain to get anywhere near it.

    I don’t think I’m expressing any of this right, but…it was a good walk.

  3. I’ve started dating for the first time while my (straight) best friend and gossip pal is working on (and finishing) wedding preparations, which is very strange. We’re both super happy for each other and there to listen to anything and advise where requested, but it’s still kinda weird.
    …I need more queer friends, I think, I am realizing.

    BUT DATING GIRLS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN I IMAGINED IT COULD BE

    You’re all beautiful people.

  4. Happy new year everyone.

    A-CAMP IS GOING TO HAPPEN. The doubting part of my brain thought of all the excuses why I shouldn’t do it (like wanting to save up as much as I can before grad school). But the truth is that I can afford it if I want to badly enough – I’m frugal in most other aspects of life, and I’ll be getting some “free” money from my tax refund this spring (at least it feels that way when I get it, since I don’t factor it into my budget throughout the rest of the year). And right now I’m entirely not tied down: I haven’t started school yet, I have vacation time accrued from my job, I’m young and in good health, I have no family obligations, and I’ll be moving soon. I consider myself very lucky. I feel entirely untethered, and it sounds like an amazing time!

    So I requested the time off work at the end of May. This is going to happen!!!

    I tried to visit one of the grad schools I applied to in Oregon, but it got closed due to freezing rain! But I rescheduled for later this month, and I ended up hanging out with my brother on that day instead, who was home from college over winter break. We visited the Mima Mounds natural area, which is a prairie full of uniform circular mounds, and nobody is quite sure how they formed (erosion? Tectonics? Gophers?). Snowy(ish) photos are below.

    And then we hung out at goodwill, the kind with the big bulk bins (like in the Macklemore video). I normally can’t stand clothes shopping, but that goodwill is the best! No dressing rooms or mirrors or expensive clothing tags – only bins full of treasures to find! The woman in line in front of me had a HEAPING cart full of items, and I thought that it would take forever for her to check out, until I remembered everything was sold by weight. She just moved her whole cart onto the scale! I got two pairs of $3 sneakers and they’re really comfy. Here’s a photo of me standing in front of some cheap skis.

  5. I’ve watched “Jenny’s Wedding” twice this week (only the parts I liked from my first viewing) and I am LIVID! The movie as a whole was a hard Meh but it had some good bones. And instead of making a nice stock with those bones, the creators threw them out after they finished eating. It could have been such a good movie.

      • I’m gonna elaborate because I feel like I need to defend myself here.

        ****SPOILERS****

        1) I like the part where Jenny’s mom goes off on the last in the supermarket who was talking shit about Jenny and Kitty.

        2) I liked the part where Jenny explains to her sister that being closeted meant she had to hold the family at arms-length (especially her sister). That hit home for me because its the reason I refuse to be as close to my mother and siblings as I want to be. I hate having a part of me that they can’t know yet. So that talk chocked me up.

        3) I loved how her sister was all “lol BYEEEE” to her husband. It was funny.

        4) I Enjoyed parts of the wedding. I mostly imagined myself in Jenny’s place and my mother reluctantly showing up, wanting to be there for me.

        5) Kitty’s face pleases me. (I watched/skimmed “Trainwreck” just to see Brie Larson)

        6) I liked the talk Jenny and her father had about how/why you decide to marry someone.

        The fact that I liked those parts makes me angry that the while movie wasn’t better.

  6. I marathoned Wentworth this past weekend and it made me realize two things: one, I definitely don’t want to go to prison and two, how have I not watched this show sooner. I put it on as back ground noise while doing other things around the house, by the end of season one I was sucked in.

    Has any one watch Making of a Murderer yet? I’m not 100% sold on it and not sure I want to watch it yet.

    • i saw episode one of wentworth this week and it haunted me for a really long time, i mean all things considering, since it’s only friday. but still. but also, it did make me want to watch more. i’m just worried it’s too real for me! IS IT TOO REAL FOR ME.

    • I started watching Wentworth a little while ago! I just meant to watch one episode but accidentally watched 3 in one sitting. It was so gripping, Jacs is so much more terrifying than Vee from OITNB! I really do want to catch up with it but I’m wary of how dark and intense it’s going to get.

    • Yeah, I dunno. Maybe don’t watch Making of a Murderer? At least that is the advice I would give to my past self. I don’t want to give anything away (has it already been given away? I hadn’t actually read anything about it pre-viewing), but I guess I wish I had given in and googled the case earlier on. But, ya know, maybe that is an experience you have to live for yourself. It was informative, I guess.

  7. One of my closest friends finally came out to her parents, after much preparation, and it didn’t go very well. Her whole life is wonky right now because of that upset in the foundation of her life, and I wish I wasn’t in California, almost 2000 miles away from being able to support her more directly.

    So that’s been weighing on my mind lately, but on the other hand, I found that writing my novella idea into a screenplay has been really, really helpful! The format forces me to focus my thoughts and ideas into concise action and dialogue. I have a huge chunk of it done so far, and I’m excited with where its going. Once that’s done, I’ll use it as a fancy outline to write the full narrative. I’m pumped! I’ll hold my hand up for awhile, so take your free high-five as you pass by!

    • I feel bad for your friend, but she is lucky to have a great friend like you. Good luck on that narrative. I have so many ideas for sci-fi stories but I can never stay focused enough to finish. Now I think I will try the screen play idea thanks to you. I am curious to know what your story is about.

      • What a challenge! I haven’t really tried to write an “elevator pitch” for this novella yet. I would call it “light sci-fi,” wherein sci-fi elements are only used as a vehicle to allow for the real meat of the plot to take place within a reasonable page count. The story is, at its core, about two trans women, set in a near future world much like ours. One woman went through almost “all” of the available surgical options for trans women, while the other accidentally created a biological mechanism that altered her body into being nearly identical in form and function to a cisgender woman. Both have come to the “end” of their transitions and found their lives empty, for a variety of reasons. Circumstances bring them together and the story focuses on their interactions and conversations–both positive and negative.

  8. I am currently in the process of looking for a new job and a new place to live, but instead I am still sitting in my pajamas and listening to music while reading autostraddle articles, so i’m not making too much progress.

  9. Today has been a really stressful and straining day at work. Basically this entails chasing after 9 two yr olds, saying “sit down” over 400 times, changes 20 diapers, 3 poppy ones, and trying to get them all to sleep. (All this with the help of my 2 co-workers). I’m on break right now and I decided to go sit outside at the playground for a bit before I go to the staff lounge. I’m sitting in the sun and it feels so nice. I could curl up in a ball and fall asleep on this turf. I love my new job, but some days I want to just scream. But I cant. So I sit in the sun and read autostraddle instead :)

  10. Hey straddlers,

    I have a third date tomorrow, and I’m unsure how much she gets into Autostraddle as a website so I will leave out any potentially embarrassing details, but I do want to mention we’re going to the Natural History museum and she decided not to Google the exhibits because she wants to be surprised. Because she is the cinnamonest of cinnamon rolls.

  11. I found a bag of ground beef my roomate and I had left over from a cooking thing. So I decided to make leftover stuff with it(I call it a name, I know that’s the wrong name, but it’s basically beef with anything left over in the fridge that wouldn’t be terrible with it, and some brown sugar)I was telling Cody about this thing, which my mom made at the end of the week sometimes, but since we’re grown children, this is probably the first time we’ve had actual left overs around long enough to make it. So he’s never seen me do it, or heard me talk about it. Which he decides to phrase “This is the first I’ve heard of it, and we’ve been living together for a quarter of our lives”

    Which. We have.

  12. One day I will have a profile pic…

    So I decided to be sane and instead of tackling drynuary, getting my finances in order, dealing with medical appointments, and going back to the pool all at once, I am doing these one month at a time. (That sentence ran on a bit…) Thank you, Habitica.

    Also, I am in mourning because the absolutely drop-dead-swoon-level-gorgeous butch barista at my favorite coffee place seems to no longer work there and how am I supposed to smile in the morning now? I have to keep hoping she’s just on a long winter break.

  13. Today I finally bought Julia Nunes album Some Feelings (thanks AS for making me do that :p ). I put my phone on shuffle and Tegan and Sara’s “Closer” came up right before “Make Out”. It was a beautiful moment I thought I would share with you all.

  14. I feel like you kinda know me already tho.

    My new year so far can be summed up with one word: Urticaria

    AKA hives and oh boy is that an colloquialism because they stung and still are stinging a bit.

    Long Version:

    Sunday morning there’s this rash on my hip and think maybe it’s my new Wonder Woman jammies that I didn’t wash before putting on because I was so cold Saturday night. So I take a bath and put benadryl on said rash. By dinner it had lessened and I think everything’s gone be fine.

    Haha nope.

    Monday morning had got swelling in my hands and feet with angry lumps on my forearms and wrists. Lumps worthy of Lumpy Princess y’all. From the swelling I could only walk on my toes and couldn’t zip my sweater up. Luckily my mom was available and we made it to urgent care before parts of my face began to swell and possibly my airway.

    Unluckily the meds they gave me were too short a course and Wednesday shit started up again but real small like with a weird patch on one of my palms.
    By Thursday night hives started reaching the bikini zone, my forehead looked more klingon than human and my arms looked like someone poured boiling water on them

    This morning holy shit my legs looked and felt like I’d been standing in a fire ant pile, things were starting up in the bikini zone (top of the triangle) and both armpits were engulfed with some side boob.
    So I went to the ER got fast tracked, got a shot of epinephrine, another steroid shot and longer stronger course of pills to take.

    Oh and my dad made it just in time for me to be holding my robes up with my drawers down. Like the second the nurse was reaching back for the needle was the second he opened the door.
    Other interesting moments with this little incident include; asking my mother to do something she hasn’t done since I was potty trained zip and button my pants up.

    Not being able to sit on my own butt and having to arrange my self “side-saddle”

    Wearing the zip up bathrobe that makes me look like a “cultist” in public
    or like the Virgin Mary because it’s hooded (which is funny for multiple reasons)

    One hip got engulfed and the other got rashing just exactly where the waistband of my undies rest

    Learning my natural lip colour is basically calamine pink

    Confirming one of factors that gets my face read androgynous is my slender lips

    Out pacing both my parents even though I was limping on swollen painfully tender feet

    Holding my boobs while standing in my underpants in front of my mother

    Not being able to tell whether or not the calamine lotion got where it was suppose to because the affected areas were the same colour

    But there’s just something about being topless and holding ones boobs in front of a parental unit that outclasses not being able to sit on one’s own butt.

    Hopefully the rest of my year isn’t this new or interesting. I’m just glad didn’t need a tracheotomy and nothing cut off blood flow anywhere.

  15. To be honest? I’m spending this friday and coming weekend sick as a bloody dog. I’ve been dealing with these weird symptoms at the start of every month that I can pretty much set my calendar to… gf calls them a period, mostly because they really mirror a lot of the symptoms… like to an uncanny degree. But honestly that should be pretty much impossible given I’m a trans girl. My endocrinologist has no clue what causes them easier… so I guess my new years resolution is to find out what the heck is up with my body that could do this, and then second, figure out what I can do about it…

    Until then I’m just going to dose myself with midol and curl up in my bed until the pain stops. FML.

    • Well um just so you know midol has caffeine in it to act as a diuretic so if one of your symptoms is water retention that should help. But if it’s just inflammationish muscle pain (cramps) focus more on NSAIDS and heating pads or a hot bath.
      Acetaminophen is fine too.

      • …annnnnd I just looked at the pill bottle (gf got me the pills), it’s pamprin, not midol… *shrugs* at least they work. But yeah, in the past hot baths, bath bombs, and lots of ginger ale have seen me through. I’m hoping this month won’t be as bad as last, they seem a little variable in how awful they can get.

        Through a given one of these episodes I tend to get nausea (i’m dealing with that one today a lot), really horrible fatigue, cramps, tenderness of the breasts, irritability, loss of appetite… all around, I feel pretty nasty x_x

        @everyone: Thank you so much for the well wishes~<3

        • Pamprin has a diuretic in it as well, but I dun what it is.

          Try to eat some saltine crackers with the ginger ale.
          Nausea is my life long adversary, stomach migraines yo.

          Sea salt and vinegar chips can work too but they might be too salty and if they’re oily oy no.

          Minus the irritability it’s like your describing my Russian Roulette PMS when I get the bullet so to speak.

          Obtain a heating pad or hot water bottle, but if you’re really desperate boil a rock and wrap it in towels. Can’t hide in the bath forever and hot water doesn’t last forever.

          Also Cameron’s Warrior Suit

          Saturday Morning Cartoons: Period

          Wish you much luck in the figuring this out.

          • Thanks for the tips, I’ll definitely keep them in mind. Right now I’ve got a stockpile of LUSH products to keep me for baths, I’ve also got the benefit of it being my weekend, so I’m hoping the worst of it blows over before monday.

            This time I was pretty smart, gf and I got out the slow cooker and made a massive pot of black bean soup ahead of time, so between that and the leftovers we’ve got in there, hopefully we won’t have to cook until this thing is done with.

            I just want to know why this is happening… at least I’ve earned a respect for anybody else who has to deal with this on a regular basis x_x

  16. I made butterscotch pudding yesterday and am having a hard time not eating it all at once. Work is a little overwhelming, we’re in busy season right now (seed wholesalers). And I have anxiety about weirdness/hostility with my ex-metamours.

  17. End of the first week of classes and I just feel so overwhelmed, and overwhelmingly lonely.
    Of my little friend group, one friend said they need space and is not talking to me starting at the beginning of winter break. I thought by the end of break they would talk to me, NOPE. Our other two friends have talked to me and briefly hung out with me but not a lot. At least three or four nights this week I’ve seen snapchats from all of them, of all of them hanging out together. I feel like I’ve been cut out of the group. and just cause this one friend doesn’t want to talk to me. and the reasons they’ve given for not wanting to talk to me really have nothing to do with me. Its all about their perceived thoughts that aren’t really anything that I’ve thought or done. Like its all a misunderstanding but since she won’t talk to me I have no way of explaining that. So then all of my friends hang out together without me. When about three months ago none of them knew each other at all!!!!!! like these were my separately 3 best friends and they became friends and now don’t need me. I’m really hurt and upset. I don’t know what to do. It took so long to make really good friends in college and I feel like now I have to start over.

    • oh my god. you know, something like this happened to me in college and i waited it out – okay, untrue, i actually publicly broke down and moved off-campus and years later my friends (who, spoiler alert, i reunite with at the end of this story) referred to the period as my “sabbatical” – and ultimately people just needed time to cool and then recognize that everything wasn’t worth it. you’ll find new people, it’s bound to happen! and in the meantime, just keep putting positive energy out toward those people. it’s gonna be okay! also, you’re not alone – we’re all here loving you! especially me.

  18. My biggest fear is that I am genderqueer trans and that it’s getting harder to find someone to queer pal with. I am also starting to think more and more that while I maybe demi-sexual and a bit of a hermit, that maybe it’s not just society, but my own needs to queer pal it up for life with someone. Which goes back to my first part. There is always pet ownership, which I plan to do once I move out.

    How’s everyone’s week going? It has been windy and rainy for most of week. It’s nice that we are getting rain, but not that nice if one is walking in such weather a few city blocks with an umbrella that broke half way. On a positive side, I had vegan sushi and then a quick drink with a lovely queer. Night ended a bit earlier than I preferred, but still nice to hang with a fellow queer vegan. I am also hoping to go hiking this Sunday somewhere in nature. So, if any SoCal Straddler is interested feel free to message me here.

    The rain stopped enough the other day that I was able to take this.

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

  19. I feel like most of my comments in these open threads just turn into me waxing lyrical about how I’m in my early 20s and still not over the fact that I have an awesome group of friends whom I see pretty regularly – like, we all returned to the city we live in post-holidays for NYE and drank gin and ate nice cheese and then met up again the next morning for a hangover brunch and a new year wander down by the river.

    Even though we’ve been close for years now, it still feels a bit like something that happens in TV shows about your 20s or in instagram highlight reels of people’s lives, and not something that should be an actual feature of my life. It seems a bit too close to the ideal to be true.

    It’s odd thinking about my friends because somehow for a queer girl, most of my friends are guys, and most of my colleagues are guys, and I keep looking for ways to meet more women in general. This is kind of a new year’s resolution of mine, to be less shy and to start going to things so I can try to actually have a network of female or queer friends, but it’s really scary! Part of me feels like at 23 I should be over this, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

    I’m probably spending most of this weekend by myself and that’s probably a good thing because I work quite an intense job where I spend most of my time in a small room with only 2 or 3 other people, so getting some space from human contact will probably do me some good.

    Truthfully I still find commenting tough because I’m pretty self-conscious and can never really think of what to say!

    • please never stop being so in love with your friends. the folks i spent my earlier twenties with are some of the most amazing people i ever met, and some of the most treasured people in my life. but also, good luck meeting new queer chicks! i recommend waxing lyrical here more often in order to achieve that goal.

  20. One of my resolutions has been to be more active in the Straddleverse, so here goes! I’ll have to pick out an avatar photo for my future comments.

    I decided that I’m going to only read things by LGBTQ women this month, and went to the bookstore to pick up a bunch of books this week. My work life is running a research center devoted to promoting the works & legacy of a super-sexist & extremely homophobic dude, and it’s SO refreshing to immerse myself in lesbian culture. I also decided to listen to music by LGBQ women and so have downloaded lots of Sleater-Kinney, Tegan & Sara, and Julia Nunes. Oh, and I started The L Word.

    Basically, I’m having a very queer new year because I’m FINALLY starting to feel comfortable with my sexuality. I’ve also developed massive crushes on Carrie Brownstein, Sara Quin, and Kate Moennig.

  21. I applied for an apartment today that I really love and I’m hoping and praying I get approved because I need to find a place to live and move by the 24th…which is very soon.

    I also have a crush on someone who I drunk texted on new years eve, but I haven’t texted since, so…hoping she texts me first?

  22. Happy new year!

    I just finished an online flash workshop for queer writers and loved it! It got me writing again and I’m working on submitting to places in the next couple of weeks, have applied for writers’ retreats and positions in litmags, and I’m just glad that I’ve done something after so long of feeling/being stuck.

    I’ve finally decided to take driving classes and get my license. My dad usually takes us places but he’s been out of town and I’ve been using Lyft, and even though the people I’ve had are pretty okay (one guy put on Scarface for me to watch!), I hate the car being in control of someone I’m not sure I can trust and that’s been sending my anxiety through the roof. But after I decided it, a lot of my worries and stuff around it kind of melted away, which was nice, cause after an accident when I was little, I was sure I’d never get over it.

    I’ve seen not immediate family and that was not fun at all (some are homophobic, some are transphobic, some don’t believe that abuse and stuff didn’t happen/just don’t respect anyone’s feelings) and it was really tough, but I handled it okay, on the outside anyways. I’ve had a relapse self-harm wise, and just a lot of anger is coming up, but I feel like I have better ways of handling it and even though I’m having a lot of flashbacks, anxiety, and other PTSD-esque things, it doesn’t feel as all-consuming right at this moment and that’s like 1000x better than what I could ever hope for.

    And I had therapy for the first time in nearly a month and it’s still awkward to me cause like whenever there’s such a big chunk of time between seeing people, I’m sure they’ve figured out that I’m not a good person and are gonna dip, so I’m kind of tiptoeing around them for the first couple times I see them. Except this time I was also super angry which translates into super sarcastic cause I don’t want people to know I’m hurt. It’s a smorgasbord of ridiculous really.

    But it went well! We talked about tough shit but I think that’s why I’m there, and my art counselor told me in the middle of sketching: “It’s so good to see you making art again.” and she said something about my piece that shocked the shit out of me and in turn just makes my everything full, so it’s good I think.

    I finally finished The Leftovers! which has left me super messed up but in like a good way. AND STEVEN UNIVERSE HAS BEEN NEW AND WONDERFUL and my sister and mom have made me laugh even though I’ve been in a really not so good place so it’s getting better I think.

    And I’m reading good shit and like getting out of my bed more often than not and trying to work more and it’s not perfect or anything but it’s okay.

    I hope you’re all doing well and have a great weekend/week next week!

  23. I just wanna say again, as always, that I am still amazed by the level of self-care or community care or whatever it would be called that the AS verse gives themselves AND each other in FOT and everywhere else. Even on really rough days, the warm and fuzzies I get from reading FOT manage to reach me at least a little.

    And today is not a rough day! So I want to send you all sunshine! (Yes, there is basically a Seattle in my head, and on sunny days I want to leave work and celebrate like a holiday because I don’t know exactly when the next one will be).

    Anyway just wanted to say love to you all, this is all important, we are amazing.

  24. My main new year’s resolution was to be kind to myself, because I am not doing very much at the moment (i.e. I’m not working or studying), and often find myself thinking that I am a failure, useless etc because of this.

    I am trying to tell myself that it’s okay, I have things planned that will happen this year, in a few months, and it’s okay to have a period of time where I do very little, and that my productivity does not determine my worth, and that I am spending this time working on myself, and reading, and learning and growing etc.

    As soon as this time is over I’m sure I’m going to wish to have it back, but right now it seems I spend too much time thinking and not enough time doing anything!

    But yes, I am trying to be kind to myself. And keep getting out of the house!

  25. hello beebs,

    how are you/I am fine/ I woke up late today and left all my boring work for today BAD PLAN STANLEY. so like, calling insurance companies to be like “I can take these clients now? yes?”and them being like “eh, wait another couple months” ugh. so so boring.

    girlfriend is doing ALL THE WORK these days, so we hang out a lot on the couch and battleship, but I finished her beauteous birthday present, and I’m seeing friends over the weekend, and it is January and we don’t have to see anybody.

  26. Today I changed mine and missus’ Christmas money to Canadian dollars to save it for our trip out to Toronto in May. If we kept it in Pounds we’d waste it on luxury items like bread, milk, and tea… Far too excited/nervous already…so much to do before then. Eeep.
    Also way too much over sharing at work this week. E.G. Quote without context; “guys I think I’ve seen everyone in this rooms boobs at least once”
    My job just gets weirder.

  27. Well, I got my wisdom teeth out earlier this morning! So that’s exciting… It doesn’t hurt too bad because they prescribed me some pain pills but it’s freaking me out a little bit to have 4 giant bloody holes in my mouth. This is not going to help me at all with my resolution to exercise more :( But I have ice packs and Jell-O and ice cream and applesauce and my girlfriend is taking really good care of me, so I think I’ll be alright.

    If you are in high school or college and you haven’t had your wisdom teeth out yet, go ahead and do it if you need to!!! It sucks having to get them out when you’re in your 20s with a full time job.

    In other news, I’m about to get hired as full-time staff at my job (I’ve been “temporary”) so that means I’ll get benefits and vacation days and 401k and all that exciting stuff!!

    • yeah full time! I got my wisdom teeth out when I was 19 and got weird on painkillers at my mom’s house and she made me flan, and I watched, like, the director’s commentary on the incredibly true story of two girls in love. It wasn’t bad, I hope yours gets easier.

      • That sounds like a pretty awesome experience as far as wisdom teeth surgery goes! So far the painkillers haven’t given me any weird effects, I’m kinda disappointed that I haven’t been totally loopy or saying a bunch of weird stuff, but I am very grateful that the painkillers are doing their actual job of taking the pain away!

  28. Well, the last leg of the year was a real roller-coaster down and this first week of the new year has been a climb up, or a corkscrew or something.

    My Dad had to go into the hospital and me and my younger brother (we’re both in our twenties but we’re pretty lousy at running a house) were kind of taking care of everything because our mother works nightshift and she’s sleeping most of the day. My Dad came home on New Year’s Day and he’s been kind of weak and low energy but better than he was before he had to go to the emergency room (throwing up and stuff )

    But the good news, both things happened right after another:

    -So I found out that my favorite band of the moment, Ninja Sex Party, was going to be a guest at Magfest. I had been planning on going to Magfest anyway but this was all the more reason to go and I more or less hinted I wanted to go by going on my Facebook and asked who was already going, assuming anybody who replied would be one of my friends who were already going and we fine with me tagging along. BUT one of my friends who recently agreed to let me be a contributor to his sort of nerd/geek website was like “Sure, I can get you a ticket and a press badge to cover it for the site.” I was elated and then panicky because I had all these fears that he’d expect me to be objective and cover the whole con when I only wanted to see NSP and maybe do a couple other things and that I wouldn’t be the right person because I’m not an actual journalist (I want to do it someday but I guess I thought I’d have more time and work my way up to things like this) and just freaking out. Eventually, I did calm down and messaged the guy, more or less saying “I do want to go but I’ve never done this kind of thing before and I’m afraid I’ll make an idiot of myself.” and he totally understood and talked me down, basically telling me its a lot more casual (to just go, have fun and write about my experience) and man, it was SUCH a relief. Otoh, I didn’t want to actually shout this news from the rooftops, considering he may not actually get the tickets (and boy will my face be red when I say I’m going to see NSP and maybe…gasp…TALK to them??? and then that doesn’t happen) but so far, given I haven’t actually written anything for the site yet, I want to actually earn the ticket and show I can actually cover it, which is a big part of something I want to change this year: saying I’m going to do something and then actually following through with it

    -Other good news: after waiting on a reply back, I found out a got accepted to ODU for the spring! :D

  29. I’m finishing up my senior year and I’m freaking out about all the colleges I applied to and how I’m even going to manage pay for it and get there. I’m also coming to the conclusion that I need a bigger purse because I have too much crap between all of the things i need to do compared to my bag size. Also more dresses considering that I’ve discovered that I have too much going on during my final year and finishing my senior thesis to wear pants. So if anyone could recommend a place to get some nice effortless dresses and potentially something between a messenger bag and a purse that’d be super neat.

    • hi sweet pea! modcloth has so many cute dresses, they run a teensy bit spendy sometimes, but if you a ‘straight’ size (not a plus size) you can get some adorable things on sale, and if you just get some easy jersey things that are a-line or fit-and-flare-ish, that’s easypeasy, that’s like all I wear + leggings. I don’t know what your budget is, but I love queen bee bags? Maybe check out buyolympia.com? They have cute bags but are bigger.

  30. I made a New Year’s resolution to comment on Autostraddle and it has taken me this long to do it. Does anyone else get more social anxiety online than in person? For some reason my “no one needs to hear from you” voice gets way louder when it comes to saying anything online. I think maybe it has something to do with not being able to rely on things like smiling and nodding, or being able to read anyone’s body language. So anyway I know I am way late to this (west coast + really long day) but wish me luck at getting over my fears because Autostraddle is awesome!

  31. So I spent this week in Sydney which was sufficiently awesome. We went to Darlinghurst and I had never seen so many rainbow flags in my life. We had dinner at two fancy restaurants, although I’ve decided I prefer cheaper places as the menus were confusing. Both times I ordered duck and the meat was nice but the strange food around it was not so great. I also went to Bondi and got yelled at twice for swimming outside the flags. I think I’ve learned my lesson.
    Now I’m back in Melbourne and I’m going to my friend’s house for dinner, we’re having gnocchi. Currently I’m working on my extended essay (while listening to Rachael Cantu) on the Nanjing Massacre which is very sad but also interesting.

  32. I wish I could comment on what everyone has said, but 1) wine and 2) things I still need to do. But you are all great!

    I burnt my old journals from high school and college when I was at my parents for the holdiays. I read through bits of them first (my old cat that still lives there helped me, she was abnormally sweat and affectionate) thinking I’d try to bring them home with me. But then I was just like, nope, way too much pain, why hold onto this? And the first friend I ever came out to happened to be in the same part of the country so she came over and helped me drink beer and burn them. It was great.

    Back to things 1) and 2).

  33. I’m feeling heartachy and sad, missing the first girl I’ve been with who I broke contact with a few weeks ago because something about us being together romantically doesn’t feel right to her. Ugh. Trying to not think and over analyze it because at the time when we broke up I felt like it was really from a place of love but now 2 weeks later my brain is scone guessing everything.

  34. My holigays were simultaneously awesome and awful, but I’m focusing on the awesome and trying to be positive about the coming year :) Its less than a month till my girlfriend and I go to New York and I’m SUPER EXCITED. And then I’m going to to Iron Maiden <3 and then my best friends weddings <3 <3 and also, its my last year of my degree <3 <3 <3.
    So, this year is going to be great :) Now I just need recommendations of the best queer places in NYC to go to :D

  35. You guy. Its midnight here in LA and you know what that means. I had a realization.

    I saw a post on FB about a girl and her parents and how they bought her a toy car and ‘toys for boys’ etc. and how they were non judgmental.

    Then I was like THAT WAS LITERALLY my parents before social media. I have so many memories of my dad picking me up after school everyday and we usually went to McDonalds. And we got a Happy Meal and they used to ask if you wanted a girl or boy toy. And when they had Hot Wheels my dad and I went to every damn McDonalds we could go to so I could collect them all to show in school. And one time the lady gave us a Barbie one he said no my daughter wants the car.

    And my mom..man I remember getting an award or something from school and we went to toys r us..and I saw this Humvee from Jurassic park the movie. Like one of those big scale model ones where the doors and the hood opens and the wheels turn. And she totally bought it for me..and i still have it.

    Like I never remember them or my sister ever buying me frilly things to wear..or telling me I couldnt pick from the boys shoe section.

    You guys. I think Im admitting that I have cool parents.

    • I relate so hard to this! I had ninja turtles, and other “boy” toys all bought by my parents, and my PJs came from the boys dept, and my Mum once bought me a Batman Varsity jacket. It was perfection. I wish I still had it. They were really chill about the stupidity of the kids section binary. Probably because my Dad does a job which is traditionally very female oriented. We were lucky huh?!

    • My mom let me wear a jacket and tie for my 6th grade class picture, and this was in 1986!!! My favorite toy was a He-Man action figure, and I would try to make clothes for him out of the scraps from my mom’s in-house sweatshop; she was a seamstress. There were cool and super accepting parents way before social media. You really should be posting pictures of your parents and owning their awesomeness!

  36. My fiancé got laid off before New Years and I really wish I could do more. She has a job interview tomorrow but she is sick. I am stressed to high heaven but I am still happy and know we can get through it like we always do.

    I start classes soon and I am taking five classes so that i can take accounting classes in the summer before transferring to university. UTA has a fast track program for accounting that I feel will let me go farther in my career when I graduate. I want to be CFO of a company one day or have my own company and that’s why I am also looking for a mentor to help me learn more about the business word. Anyone interested?

  37. I’ve spent the week doing new years resolution things and shopping the sales for next years xmas (after years of saying I should do it) – but I got a Ted Baker gift set really cheap so I’m happy! My new years res are to read 30 books (I’m already falling behind), exercise 3 times a week (which I’ve done this week yay!), call my family every week and go camping with my girlfriend who loves camping but I hate it. The things we do for love, eh? I’ve also been filling in long grant applications but hopefully they’ll get me to the career I want so that’s exciting too!

  38. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS YEAR. Last year was really hard, but looking back, I can see the seeds I planted and I’m proud of myself. And guys, that is the first time ever I’ve been able to say that. I’m so effing proud of me. I have a ton more work to do this year, and a lot of changes will be happening, and it’s scary as fuck, but it’s going to help grow my career. I can hold up my little bit of growth to everyone else who seems so ahead of me and say, “I’m on the right track.” #personalgrowth

  39. Hey friends! Sorry I’m late. I’m always early to everything, so I’m now feeling weird about writing in the FOT on Saturday. Last night, I was unavailable because I went to the LGBTQ synagogue for Shabbat services for the first time.

    Anyway, I’m writing to share a thing with you that may be relevant to your interests. I’m producing this concert in NYC on Monday at 7 pm at Joe’s Pub, which is at The Public Theater. It’s a benefit for my theatre company, LezCab, which is all about queer ladies. Please come? If you do come, please make sure to say hi! http://bit.ly/LezCabWinterBenefit

  40. So…I came out to my best friend from high school this week. Went great! Then finally worked up the guts to shop on the men’s side of a store for the first time because goshdurnit I want REAL POCKETS in my pants.
    Things are happening for real now, anyway.

    Also, I spent hours marveling at the metaphorical potential of glass. Seriously folks, between spin glass and quenched disorder, I have a wealth of new symbols and themes for my next novel.

  41. You guys, I have a job! It’s an hour and a half commute (by train!) but the rest seems so perfect, I’m still waiting for some shoe to drop or downside!
    Will do a practice day on Tuesday and see where it goes from there.

  42. When I turned 40 I decided that my pre-mid-life crisis (the women in my family live loooong) was going to be about me trying to resolve my life-long deficit of queer, female-identified friends. Which is odd, considering that I’ve live in a city with a large LGBT community, I have never been in the closet, and have always worked for companies where inclusion was kind of a big deal to them. So why have I always been the only lesbian in my bubble? I have a theory, or two, but instead of wondering about it, I decided that 40 would be the year that I would fix it for good. I attended parties that my straight friends promised would have a few lesbians; they didn’t. I took the gayest English courses in school last semester (Introduction to Shakespeare & Women in Literature), and became everyone’s favorite study guide, but everyone was way too young. I was even lucky enough to win an A-camp campership, which resulted in a surprisingly magical experience (surprising because I’m not even slightly outdoorsy, not because lesbians aren’t fun), however, it only gained me a few semi-local lesbians, and those friendships didn’t pan out in the end. Then I met an almost mythically brave and enchanting woman at a party who proceeded to pluck me out of a group of guys that I was talking to, and claimed me as her new BFF for the evening. We connected and laughed like old drinking buddies who hadn’t been to happy hour in years but picked up right where they left off, and then it was gone. She took my number, texted me the next day, and then the next, but just as soon as I asked if we could hang out, it appeared to end. She didn’t even acknowledge that I had asked, so I left it there and went about my life as before, spending my days with family and friends in places that will probably never lead to me running into an openly-queer lady who might be brave enough to flirt with me, if she were so inclined, or brave enough to allow me to flirt with her, if I felt I had a chance.

    I sometimes see groups of lesbians just hanging out together, the way I do with my friends, and wonder if it is different, and magical, the way it was at A-camp, or is it the same as what I have with my friends, only with far fewer possibilities for romantic shenanigans, since the gayest place we’ve been to lately was to watch Carol, and I was the only lesbian there. Apparently straight old white guys have found their new favorite move too.

    Anyway, since I am sure A-camp sign-up season is almost upon us, I have been wondering if I should give it another try. It is within my budget, and I appear to have free time that week in May, but…I’m 41 now, no closer to joining a wolf pack, and kind of unsure if that it is even possible. It has occurred to me that I am (and have always been) more confident in the probability of finding a romantic soul mate than I am in finding a Gal Pal, which is odd because how can one exist without the other?

    Update: While writing this confession, the girl from the party texted me a picture of last night’s sunset. She has texted me on and off for months, but every time I suggest hanging out the question goes unanswered. I get that she’s not that into me, and that is perfectly reasonable, but even friendships require a little bonding period. Maybe I will go back to camp.

  43. While 2016 had an eventful and awesome start, it’s been kinda crappy since then. It’s been a perfect storm of things–in between jobs, still recovering from appendicitis, having other physical health issues, and mental health issues.

    I just am sick of doctor’s appointments, but know I need more of them to resolve what’s going on with my junk/stop having debilitatingly painful periods that hurt worse than appendicitis. I know I need more doctor’s appointments if I want to get top surgery this winter. I know I need to keep going to doctor’s appointments to keep my mental illness in check.

    I’ve just been feeling down in the dumps. I know things will stop feeling so impossible and frustrating soon(ish), but also that sorting out some of the physical health stuff will take time and will keep being frustrating for a bit, but sorting it out will be worth it.

  44. Oh I forgot to share this in my earlier post, but: On the 15th of this month I’m hitting my 2 year anniversary of being on HRT! I’m kinda excited, last year gf took me out for a nice dinner to celebrate, and I finished the evening by getting a second set of piercings in my ears (I’ve been using piercings as mile stones, so the first piercings were my decision to come out and go on HRT at some point. Second piercings were celebrating being on HRT for 1 year).

    I kinda want to get piercings this year again, but I haven’t made my mind up to what I want yet. Originally I was contemplating getting a belly button piercing… but that’s not really feasible right now as I’m wearing a corset every day to shape my figure. On the other hand I’m not sure I want an eyebrow/lip/nose piercing… so I’m leaning towards either a third piercing in the lobe, or a piercing up along the upper rim. Idk yet… what do you guys think? Or do you have other suggestions~?

  45. Things may be mired on the personal front (it gets complicated when something like a work visa is amongst the simpler elements =:), but I could be nothing but ecstatic to learn I’m a finalist in Wanderlust’s Travel Photographer of the Year, wildlife category. So, “Momentary” will be on display at the Destinations show in London’s Olympia early next month. With any luck, some will look on, and realise the the lives of wild rabbits can indeed be quite a bit more interesting than they might have expected. ^_^

      • Thanks! I was using a Nikon D7100 and Nikkor 300mm f/4D AF-S, handheld. (I’ve added a TC14E to the lineup since, which sometimes comes in very handy, with the inevitable tradeoff in light)

        I’m very much a handheld photographer – I’ve rented a couple exotic lenses, including the Very Silly Sigmonster, but.. I love the spontaneity being completely handheld affords. More than a few times, I’ve encountered some random little moment while walking along my usual little circuit, where getting set up with something like that would’ve completely ruined the moment – not much wildlife will wait while you first get a tripod set up, then get a gimbal mount onto the lens, then attached to the tripod. =:)

        Sorry for the ramble. ^_^

  46. I cried so much today because I’m now 4.5 hours away from my cats and my mom and I’m not okay with it. Still a little surprised that I didn’t run off the road or hit anything as I was driving-while-crying.
    I also just watched proper grownups have a food fight with pastries and then be attacked by a t-rex on a panel show, which helped stop the latest crying jag.

  47. I know this is belated, but I didn’t get a chance to write on Friday even though I wanted to. Better late than never, right?

    I feel like a broken record, always talking about the same things and the same people, but here I am, repeating myself because I have to.

    I have to because I can’t stop thinking about how confusing it is to love someone even when they hurt you.

    My ex wasn’t a bad person. In fact, she is a pretty good person. She helped me make friends, find an apartment, buy a car, and she built all my IKEA furniture. But she was incapable of being there for me when I really and truly needed her. Not because she didn’t want to be there for me, but because the things that I needed from her were things that she didn’t consider important. Even when I would say “I understand that this isn’t important to you and that this is something that you do not need, but it is something that is important to me and that I need” she still couldn’t or wouldn’t give it to me.

    But she was my best friend. And the things she could give me, she did. So its confusing. Its confusing because the things she couldn’t give me I needed, so when she didn’t give them to me I felt hurt and unappreciated and unloved and I would tell her so. Hoping she could give me what I needed just because I needed it. But she couldn’t. But she loved me.

    And still we would fight. Until one day I said “I do not want to cry anymore. I don’t want to be hurt by someone I love anymore.” Which sounds brave and powerful and good. And maybe it was. But I miss her. I miss my best friend. And I wonder if that makes me weak? I wonder what exactly that makes me. I wonder what the right thing to do is. I wonder what anyone reading this is thinking about this?

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