Friday Open Thread: Not At A-Camp (but I’m Getting Married Tomorrow)

Hello Sparkle Partiers! As you’re no doubt all aware, most of the Autostraddle team is off getting ready to start A-Camp tomorrow, and that’s pretty awesome for them. As you can tell by the fact that I’m hosting the Open Thread today, I’m not at A-Camp. But that’s okay because I get to hang out with all of you today, and that gives me almost the same warm fuzzy feels, because ‘Straddlers bring the love no matter where they’re at.

Me, To All Of You (via  giphy

Me, To All Of You (via giphy)

Oh, you want to know why I’m not at Camp? Well, in the most spectacular alignment of the queer stars and rainbow chakras, I managed to set my big gay wedding day for the exact same day that A-Camp starts. Seriously… just after we had put down all our expensive deposits, I found out the dates for Camp and proceeded to cry for about three days because I’ve been dreaming of Camp since I started with Autostraddle last summer. My totally amazing partner actually offered to change our wedding date so I could go, but marrying her is pretty much the only thing in the world that I would rather be doing than camp. I mean, yes, we could have had an awesome wedding on the mountain like Carrie and Bren, but decided we wanted to like, our families to be there I guess. I wish I could invite all of you not-at-camp folks to the wedding, because I feel like nothing would make my mother more uncomfortable than hundreds of awesome queer people suddenly bursting through the doors of our reception.

If you could organize a routine, it would even better. (via  giphy)

If you could organize a routine, it would even better. (via giphy)

So, my lovely sugar pops, I want to hear all about how you’re coping with not being at camp. Are you having a meet-up? Do you have some fabulous brunch plans? Did you decide to just run off and go camping and commune with nature and dance naked in the woods somewhere else instead. (I’m not saying there’s definitely named dancing at A-Camp, but I’d like to think there is.). Alternatively, tell me your awesome queer wedding stories (whether it was your wedding or someone else’s), so I can read them during my rehearsal dinner tonight and excuse it as “work”. Or just tell me about your week, your triumphs, your disappointments, your ridiculous moments, or what very silly thing your cat did. The more you talk to me, the less I have to talk to my mother!

Oh, and if you ask nicely (and I stay sober enough to operate my phone), I’ll try to post a few wedding photos on this thread on Saturday.

How To Post A Photo In The Comments:

1. Find a photo! This is the easy part. Find a photo on the web, right click (on a Mac, control+click), hit “Copy Image URL” and then…

2. Code it in to your comment! Use the following code, and use a DIRECT LINK to the image. Your image link should end in .JPG or .GIF or .PNG or .CallMeWhateverYouWant even. I don’t care, but it should be an image suffix! KINDA LIKE THIS:

If you need to upload the photo you love from your computer, try using imgur. To learn more about posting photos, check out Ali’s step-by-step guide.

How To Post A Video In The Comments, Too:

1. Find a video on YouTube or Vimeo or WHATEVER and click “embed.” Copy that code, but first make sure it’s for 640 px wide or less. If your player is too large, it will not display properly.

2. Copy the code and paste it directly into your comment.

3. Go forth and jam.

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Mari Brighe

Mari is a queer lady scientist and educator from Detroit, who skillfully avoids working on her genetics dissertation by writing about queer and trans life, nerd culture, feminism, and science. You can frequently find her running around at science-fiction conventions giving panels on consent culture and LGBT topics or DJing at fantastically strange parties. She is a contributing writer for TransAdvocate, maintains a personal blog at TransNerdFeminist, and can frequently be found stirring up trouble (and posting selfies) on Twitter.

Mari has written 36 articles for us.


  1. Congrates on your wedding tomorrow! I have no exciting plans this weekend, just going to scrubbing down my tiny apartment and taking the bottles to recycling.

    In other news, last weekend I ended up chopping all of my hair off which was over 10 inchs and it feels amazing!

    • Yes to the hair!! Live life on the edge, follow your dreams! Haha, but seriously your hair sounds amazing show us :) xxx

  2. Gays of my heart and this FOT!

    I’m not at a-camp either! Last year I was in Mexico, this year my honey and I are going on a couples + retreat with our friend who’s officiating our wedding to talk about how we are gonna do this thing. And then going to Vermont for a big gay wedding.

    I’d definitely like to go to camp, but haven’t made it yet. :/

    Otherwise I have been catching up with a lot of piddly expensive life things, like registrations and insurance things and other whatevers and meanwhile ending most of my evenings in rocking chairs on the porch. So, pretty good! xo!

    • Prewedding retreat sounds wonderful! Expensive life things NOT so fun, but inevitable and unavoidable. Sigh.
      Do you have a lovely porch view? I’m not sure what it is about sitting on porches that is so so relaxing, but there’s definitely some sort of porch magic. Is it the sitting? Is it the porch?

      • hello darling it’s you! you haven’t been FOT ing in awhile I wondered how you were!

        oh I should really figure out the imgur situation, because the PORCH SITTING IS FANTASTIC. It’s right off the Puget Sound, and I went kayaking this afternoon and saw kingfishers and jellyfish, and the beach is right out front. it’s great!

        Some day I want another porch hammock. Those were some good old days, with a porch hammock.

        And for sure, expensive life things are not my favorite, but at least, remembering to pay them and having the funds?

  3. Yet another Camp I’m missing. :(

    I’m working tonight and tomorrow, and then Sunday I’m seeing Fun Home on Broadway with my mom and sister. I have an epic coming out planned, so we’ll see if it actually happens…

    Meanwhile, the first rehearsal for my play, Present Tense, was this morning. It was amazing, and I’m obsessed with the actors and director. Here’s the FB event, if you’re interested in checking it out:

    I’m currently eating a $13+ salad and regretting it, even though it’s delicious…it’s just too expensive. I could go to a sit-down restaurant and get a full meal for cheaper. Ugh.


    I am at Phoenix Comicon this weekend! Oh how I wish I could be at camp, but this will do, too. :)

  5. Oh my goodness congratulations on your wedding! Love is the best thing ever (after bagels and puppies) and I’m so happy for you! My brother is getting married tomorrow too, I’ll drink a very large glass of champagne in your honor.

    I’m really sad that I can’t go to camp but I’m also super thrilled that it is a thing that exists and I’m so happy for everyone who is there. Autostraddle is the best, y’all.

    You guys, I enrolled in community college last semester after a long time out of school, and I was so overwhelmed and nervous and stressed but yesterday I got my final grades for the semester and I got As in everything, even fucking calculus!
    I want to thank you all for the encouraging words you left for me on previous open threads when I was stressing my dumb little ass out about studying and piecewise functions and things.

    Also if anyone wants to commune with nature/dance naked in the woods with me I am so down. Although I might wear a few articles of clothing because of body confidence issues and also mosquitoes.

  6. Have an amazing wedding! Mount feelings can so wait.
    I wore my never-been-can’t-go-but-wanted-to-support-autostraddle-so-I-bought-this A-Camp hoody today with a sort of sad face. But I managed to get Sera to date me on Dragon Age Inquisition so frankly I feel like a winner.
    Mostly this weekend I will be at my day job (it’s 9-22:00 tmrw so not so much day job as OMFG why job) or doing MA work. 3 months left and I’ll be a Master….if I get my work done.
    Tonight me and missus are off out to hang with some friends who’s wedding, whilst between opposite sex humans, is featuring a lesbian Maid of Honour (Me eeeep I need clothing advice) and a lesbian Best Person and a lesbian DJ – plus all our partners/wives. So that’s going to be a pretty gay not gay wedding.
    Have a great weekend everyone whether A-Camping or not. :)

    • do you have a couple outfits you’re choosing between? most folks I know either choose dress or pants + button up+ tie, and then it becomes about colors and fabrics. the inbetweensie land of pencil skirt + skinny tie is less known to me. what direction were you thinking?

      • I’m soft butch/tomboy so I am going trouser and something combo…but has to be cream and orange. No tie, but was offered today to not have a corsage and have a button hole instead. So that’s good. I’m really aware that colour wise I’m going to have to shop in summer for an autumn wedding. Eep.

        • What shade of orange? I’ve definitely seen a lot of burnt orange things in, like, forever 21, so it should be a color that isn’t TOO hard to find? Hopefully? Maybe?
          Anyway I know you;’re going to look


          • Amazing and totally appropriate after all Orange is the new black :)

            God I hope I do look fierce and couture!

  7. Congratulations and infinite warm wishes to you on your marriage! What a wonderful, expanding world we live in these days, eh?

    So instead of having Camp to go to, I’m getting ready to leave (Sunday! Less than 48 hours!) for three and a half weeks on the road in parts of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. With my parents (late 70s) and kid (18). I’m still pretty anxious about all kinds of stuff, but not like last weekend when I was almost paralyzed with the anxiety. But I’ve calmed down (for now), and taking things step by step: finish work day, go home, pack, sleep, pack more …

    Not as much fun as going to camp – or, rather, a different kind of fun.

    • Oh wow wow!! Do you guys have a specific travel plan or are you just adventuring? I remember there was a FANTASTIC museum in Vienna if you’re into that sort of thing! Good luck, and don’t forget to bring lots of

      • Yeah, we’ve got the route planned out. Budapest is our first stop. Loop down through Serbia, stop at Sarajevo, then up the Croatian coast. And we’re now at the point of seeing how much room we have in our bags for SNACKS!

    • How exciting! Best wishes on your travels! Be sure to take lots of photos to post in a future FOT! :D

  8. Congratulations on your wedding day!

    I wish I could go to camp, but alas, I am in Spain and can’t get away from work to go hang out with you all. One day I’ll manage it! Also, I have an important-ish exam next week and am teetering on the line between “not wanting to overdo the studying or burn out before the day” fears and “omg I am never going to be prepared I should be studying all the time” semi-constant sense of guilt (y’know, the “but you could be doing a productive thing at this very moment!” feeling)… urrrgh. But it will be over in a few days and then I can get back to normal :)

    Hope everyone going to camp has an amazing time!

    • Hang in there and try to remember that self-care is the most important thing, and you shouldn’t have to feel guilty about keeping up your health and wellness! Best of luck on your exam :)

  9. Omg HAPPY WEDDING TO YOU!!! That’s so exciting!!

    I’m really missing Camp this year, I feel so ridiculously sad. :( next year, next year.

    So I went to the going away party last weekend and it went okay. We went to a state park! It was so gorgeous. Then the next day I had gotten pink eye! Not gorgeous. Then my mood went super bad and yeah. Mental/emotional on top of physical stuff is about as fun as I’d imagine being gnawed on by a dinosaur would be.

    But ive got eyeball meds, and hopefully I’ll still get to go to a festival tomorrow. :) I’m worried bc my eyes are still red; one of my friends said not to worry, that people would just think I was “partaking”. Haha ;) I wish.

    • oh nooo! Hopefully going to fun thing tomorrow will distract you from your eye situation??

      • Hopefullyyyy. They’re looking a little better. But now my inner ear is hurting, so it hurts to swallow and it’s keeping me from sleeping. I don’t know if it’s from earlier; I had a bad bad day and ground my jaw even more than usual, and I’m not sure if that’s the cause or what. I just wish my body would work with me here :(

    • I love exploring state parks. Sorry to hear about the mood stuff and eye stuff though. :( Being eaten by a dinosaur is an apt metaphor. Feel better!

      • It was really cool c: I wanna do it more often!

        My eyeballs are feeling so much better, and yesterday turned out to be a really good day :) so thank you <3 now im just terribly lazy today haha! I'm a slug.

  10. I’m definitely bummed about not being able to go to A Camp this year, but next week is my last week of classes and so there was no way I could make it this year. :/
    But there are lots of other exciting queer things happening in my life!!!!! and its making me feel better about missing camp! Someone has a crush on me and we’ve been hanging out a lot and they are the cutest and I just want to talk to them and like spend a lot of time with them ALL THE TIME!! cause they are sooo cool!!!! >.<

  11. Congrats, Mari! I’m so excited for you! :A

    I’m sad I’m not going to camp, but maybe next year. I had an awesome week though!

    After a long 88-h work week, I finally had a week of freedom! I took the Amtrak Cascade train to Vancouver BC with my mother, an overnight trip that I planned a few months ago, and we explored the city on foot and hiked around the trails and beaches at Stanley park. There’s the sea wall around the park’s perimeter, which is apparently the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path (according to the city of Vancouver website). There’s also this really cool rock outcropping in the water called Siwash Rock, which has a little tree growing on top!

    Siwash Rock

    Trains are so much more spacious and comfortable than planes!

    me on a train!

    In the morning, we explored the downtown area and drank some delicious overpriced coffee. Sadly, I got my fruit confiscated at customs, but I bought some delicious Canadian apples. (It was even sadder than when I got my toothpaste confiscated at the airport. They went into a biohazard-like red trash can designated “International Waste.” If I ever smuggle anything illegally, my crime will be smuggling apples.)

    The city:

    Then later in the week, I visited with my brother who is home from his first year at college. I admire my little brother so much, and I think we’ve grown a lot closer since becoming adults (there’s a 6 year age gap, so it makes sense that we’d relate more as we got older). We hiked up to a place by Snoqualmie Pass called Rattlesnake Ledge to take pictures of the sunset. There aren’t any rattlesnakes in the area, so I don’t know how it got its name, but we someone did warn us about a bear. Fortunately, we got back with our flashlights without getting lost in the dark or eaten by a bear.

    Sunset photos!

    • Vancouver is the best! The sea wall there is one of my favorite places in the whole world.

      • Yes! I love almost anything with the the word “sea” in it. (Being landlocked n Indiana for 2 years was enough to make me go bonkers.) It was a beautiful city. I REALLY want to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge the next time I visit.

    • Beautiful! In my head you are constantly out in the wild, so it only makes sense that even in a picture of you inside a train, it seems like you’re totally getting lost in the view outside!

      • I believe that was somewhere around Bellingham Bay near the border. We went into the food car to drink some coffee and cocoa on a tiny table near a big window.

    • Your photos are always so gorgeous and inspiring.
      I hope you had a wonderful visit here in Vancouver and that we treated you well!

      • Thank you! I had a very positive experience visiting your city – everyone I interacted with was so welcoming and thoughtful.

  12. Congratulations, Mari!

    I’m seeing Fun Home this weekend for the 5th time, so I’m being happily queer even though I’m not at camp.

  13. Félicitations on your marriage! May your marriage be filled with joy and understanding.

    Returning home tomorrow after a week with my parents, and today I’m working on two wall hangings with my mom! One is my sister’s graduation gift–a four-block elephant-themed quilted wall-hanging. The other is a variation-on-a-star traditional wall hanging quilt for a very influential professor. I’ll post pictures when I have more than cut triangles and squares.

    My gf is returning from her wildlife adventures this week, so we’ll finally be back together! Work starts Monday, grad school starts in 10 days, life is back to normal.

    • Here is the finished top! The border is not actually puce–it’s a light green with multi-colored polkadots. I’m going to add embroidered tails when I tie the quilt and add the backing in a few weeks.

  14. Headcanon: Riley O’Neil (Meghan Ory) from “Intelligence”

    is Adelaide from “Warehouse 13” after having been raised by Myka and HG.

    • My problem with this is that Adelaide and that walking lump of bland nothingness in the picture behind her don’t exist in any reality or canon I want to think about.

  15. Have a glorious wedding, filled with love and laughter – may it be a prelude to years that are shaped by the wondrous transformative power of shared love.

    Also,I am fairly certain that hosting FOT the day before your wedding WHILST EVERYONE IS GOING OFF TO A-CAMP gives you 5-zillion extra bonus good karma points, so really, it should be only good times ahead.

  16. I’m hosting a “I Just Want to be a Kid Hangout” for the Twin Cities Autostraddlers on Sunday! Those of us that couldn’t make it to camp will enjoy throwbacks such as kick the can, tag, ice breakers, coloring cooks, bubbles, Fruit by the Foot and Goldfish snacks, and a Minnesota fav… Obo Shin Otten Totten! It’s encouraged to be a cell phone free event (ya know, like back in the day when kids didn’t have cell phones..) and I’m PUMPED! I’m pretty much a kid at heart every damn day so I’ll be having a blast with people joining me in some nerf gun wars and maybe even friendship bracelet making :)

    • this sounds AMAZING! But I have to ask, what on earth is obo shin otten totten? It’s got such a great name I’m excited about it even without knowing what it is.

    • YAAAY!!!! I WILL BE THERE(at the kid hangout, not camp :-( )!

      Otherwise working, reading, suffering from major Homo-FOMO.

      I was going to go but then an opportunity came up for me to go to Alaska this summer and I’ve never been there so I had to jump on that!

    • This makes me sad that 1. I don’t live in Minneapolis (or even Minnesota), and 2. that I’m not visiting my friend who lives in Minneapolis so I could try to crash the party. :)

  17. Happy wedding eve! Congratulations and all the joy
    for you tomorrow. I’m excited to see photo updates whenever they come.

    I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing a lot more parenting than queering with half a dozen kids at my house over the weekend. If we can complete the sidecar project, we’ll have enough bike seats for everyone. Otherwise we’ll hook a sprinkler to the trampoline and call it a day.

    • So many kids!! But I’m pretty sure sprinkler+trampoline has to bne a hit with everyone, right? Would be with me!! But still:

  18. Have a wonderful wedding! Remember to enjoy it, despite the stress events that size with multiple family members are sometimes apt to produce.

    In my world, I’m glad not to be at A Camp, I was away at a con for four days, only to get back Sunday night and then go on a bike tour all day Monday.Glad to be home, is what I’m saying.I’m almost done with the laundry,too!
    At that con, I talked to the only other person with a Person of Interest shirt, and it was really cool. We met in the middle of the foyer, started talking and didn’t stop for three hours straight. All the while Darth Vader was doing some show light saber fighting all around us and taking pictures with people.
    It’s such a relief and joy to nerd out with people in real time. I was really surprised I was able to nerd out over Root and Shoot with a six foot, straight guy, too!
    Today I spent half an hour talking about coffee with a guy from the local roastery down the street, which was nerdy in an entirely different vein.
    I’m so happy about these little instances because I’m feeling like I’m finally beginning to crawl out of my burn out “Thou Shalt Not Talk To Me nor Address Me Directly” shell, that I wasn’t even aware I was in.
    And both guys were so passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their jobs (writing about TV shows and producing coffee) that I’m hoping to get back to be as nerdily in love and passionate about my own.
    How to not get eaten up alive while doing so, is another question entirely.
    No clue yet, how that is going to work.
    But hey, did I mention I got some really outstandingly awesome espresso today?

    Have a beautiful day tomorrow Mari!

    • The mental image I get from that third paragraph is glorious–intense nerd discussion surrounded by swirling darth vader fight! Yay nerding out!!

  19. Congratulations, Mari! I have new motivation for doing squats. Someday, when we are both at A-Camp, I will do that routine for you. Scouts honour.

    My week has been pretty excellent, in that I’ve been horrifyingly depressed, but life is getting better anyway, because I’ve been able to haul my cookies to meetings. LAST week, right up until my Friday meltdown, was actually pretty amazing, and I will tell you why!

    I’M GOING BACK TO SCHOOL! And! They’re only making me take one semester, not two! AND! I will therefore only have to work one job, not two!

    Speaking of two, I had two not-dates last week (unless it was a date? Is this a date?), with two very smart, pretty, interesting, compassionate and kind women. Okay, so one was with my ex for hangouts, but I was making us dinner at her house and there was a lot of leftover… erm, tension. Other beautiful human was someone I met at a gala. Definitely not a date, but we talked for a very long time and proceeded to talk for even longer once in her apartment. All this to say, it looks like I’m healing nicely from my codependent habits, cause I am very happy with the time that was spent, and the end. :D Yay! *does the happy single dance*

    I will leave you with this (admittedly rather long) excerpt from, “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chödron:

    “Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It’s restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.” <3

    • Loooo!!! Happy to hear that your ?date?s went well! What are you studying at school? Congrats congrats!!

      And on the depression side of things:

  20. Congratulations Mari! Wishing you a very joyous wedding and marriage!

    Last night I went to a trivia event and my friends and I won and got gift certificates to the restaurant where the event was. There was at least one question, maybe two, that we got right b/c of things I learned from reading Autostraddle, so thank y’all so much for making me somewhat aware of televised lesbians and putting a free burrito somewhere in my future!

  21. Congrats on the wedding!

    And I wish A-camp wasn’t on the other side of the world/ ocean/ just far away. The good news is though, that today I finally renewed my passport so I can actually travel again (btw, the embassy is the most depressing place on earth, the poorest people in the most expensive building basically). And it will stay valid for 10 years, that should be enough time to save up some money for a trip to the US/ A-camp!

  22. Congrats on getting married! I’m coping with not being able to go to A-Camp (it’ll happen someday, I swear) by working and applying for jobs. Because, you know, I live an exciting life.

  23. First of all congrats, I hope you have an amazing wedding with an even better honeymoon.

    I am not really into weddings. I am genderqueer trans woman and not a fan of suites(haven’t found a good gender neutral one yet). Nor am I fan of the idea of that I need to sign a legal document in order to show my love to someone. That may change if I meet the right queer, not sure yet. Sadly, I can’t say I’ve been to a queer wedding yet. But, that may change as my friend plans to do a proper wedding, as the first one he and his husband had was right before the prop 8 vote out here in California. It should be very good as the know their wines and how to be dapper.
    Speaking of clothing anyone have suggestions on good neutral/unisex jeans? I want something a bit more feminine than what I usually wear, yet still neutral/andro.

    For those who had Monday off how was it? I had a nice day with a cool friend as we cannaqueered it up while hiking. I like to go off the main trail as does she and we got lucky and found some interesting sites, like a hidden campground(we didn’t go any further this path as not to intrude).

    This week I saw a non-A-list celeb sighting at the bank. He kept referring to himself in the third person, except he was using the name of the character he played. He was dressed in the same clothes he’s normally seen in movies. The convo ended with him telling another teller bring over a copy of his movie to their co-workers home, as she didn’t know who he was.

    On a positive note, I’ve been pretty good about speaking up when people call me misgender me and call me sir. I just reply in a calm manner, “pardon, but name is Al, not sir.” Fellow straddlers on here have really helped me with this and I thank them kindly.

    I saw this on my walk during work this week. I am really digging how people are putting art(that changes every so often) all over the electrical boxes on the street, it really makes things more interesting.

    • that’s pretty! I feel like I saw something like that on a tarot card once.

  24. Ahh, Mari have such a WONDERFUL day tomorrow! And tonight! And the day after tomorrow!! I know it will all be wonderful because YOU are wonderful, and love is wonderful, and all that cheesy shit. YAY! Can’t wait for picturesss!! :)))

    the last of the cheap ranunculas from a month ago, along with my traditional flower making outfit: dirty skinny jeans and boots.

    I have been like crazy busy and exhausted lately the past few weeks/months, so so much work and school and everything. Just, like, too exhausted both physically and mentally and creatively and JEEZE now I’m finally getting a break but from work and stuff but I’m still working on other shit and doing a ton of stuff that got put aside for more immediate work and good lord I am holding it together but like damn. DAMN. So many things. Like too many things. And I’m definitely in the sad-I’m-not-at-A-Camp Club. BUT I am happy to be back in the FOT! I’ve missed you guys and this lovely digital place!

    Here’s where we did the flowers for this big wedding a couple weeks ago. It was a huge amount of work!! My mum and a friend and I all worked on the flowers, but I got to do the actual bridal party’s bouquets all by myyyyseeeelf and it was AWESOME, so this was the lovely little work space I arranged to do that in. heaven!

    wrapping them just before the pictures start, on site.

    There’re some of them finished!

    I started typing out my week but it was just too whiny and rambling and just bluh. Anyway my house should hopefully not have water leaking from the basement ceiling when I get back tonight, but also I have to clean a bunch of shit and build a shelf and make an invoice and I just want to take 20 baths and then go see mad max a bunch more times. Why is this so difficult.

    some sort of crazy chrysanthemum! The big ones often come in little nets like that to protect their petals.

    Holly and I went to LACMA a while ago and it was lovely! We took cute selfies while they were closing until the security guy told us we had to leave. Sorry, security guy.

    ANYway, did I tell you guys I gave myself tendinitis in my right wrist? From making too many paper flowers? Because I did. And that is a thing you can do. So then I got a brace and took a break even though I had more work to do so then I stopped taking a break and worked through these two really big jobs we had. But in the past couple weeks it was finally getting better/not horribly painful all the time!! Then I caught a falling box and fucked it up again. But now it’s mostly better, so I started making more paper flowers, this time they are tiny and it is for fun, because I have A Problem. A Crafting Problem. A Crafting Problem so bad that I give myself Crafting Injuries, like for real what is this. I can’t stop it is like a sickness. BUTTTTT I made a really pretty paper flower crown for my friend for her birthday, and I’m making a few more–one for my friend who is graduating/getting a real adult teaching job and I am so proud, and one for my mom for a late mother’s day present! We were busy cleaning up a wedding on actual mother’s day.

    paper flower crowwwn! Please ignore slightly greasy hair?

    Straw flower, which I’ve really liked lately, even though it’s sort of cheap and awful? When it isn’t dyed terrible colors it’s white to yellow to brick red to warm dark purple and often a combination of these, with a strong yellow center. It looks like autumn in spring.

    I’ve simultaneously had a lovely time lately (because I’m probably unhealthily good at compartmentalizing?). Last night I made a really amazing dinner–green curry and roasted veggies!–at Holly’s new place, and we lounged around and ate food and watched all of Robyn’s music videos. Robyn has been elected Holly’s Fantasy Girlfriend, which is great because I think she’ll get along with my Fantasy Co-Girlfriends Samira Wiley and Kristen Stewart when we all finally move into an enchanted castle together. You are all welcome to move into your own wings of of the Castle too, there’s enough room for everyone. We’re going to have sustainable farms and our own art gallery and at least a few pools and really fast internet, so.

    Flower selfie!

    Jim and I take more pictures together than Holly and I do

    Garden roses! From my mom’s friend’s actual garden! They smelled like heaven.

    AND I’ve been able to play with a bunch of glorious flowers lately, of COURSE. It is peony season and I am so glad! I have bought an obscene number of peonies from Trader Joe’s in the past few weeks. Also bearded irises from the wholesaler. FLOWER HEAVEN. Mari you are getting married at possibly the best flower time!!

    a closeup of an arrangement I did with a few different kinds of peonies in it! There are so many different kinds of peonies!

    this one is like christmas?

    no TOO PRETTY fluffy yellow middles aH!

    Jim flew off holly’s shoulder and landed in my peonies and it was basically the greatest thing ever? #importantbird

    Peachy and soft and beauuuutiiifuuuul and also $75 a bunch a few weeks ago which was crazy

    whaaaaaat??? how. how


    Peony season is a good time.

    And to finish off, here I am simultaneously smug, annoyed, and exhausted after finishing setup at big wedding! But hey I’m wearing my fancy jumpsuit so it’s all good.

      • Never apologize for being a hot mess.

        This is basically my new motto, along with “Seals don’t bring you happy things when it smells like death”. Okay, that one came about after too much fantasy where characters ignore obvious signs of hidden evil, foremost of which is the smell of death and decay….”Ooooooh something smells really rotten, but this old lady seems so sweet…”
        We have turned this motto into a song that can be sung as needed.

        Also hot mess is basically how you create anything delicious, so.

    • Jaaaane I just remembered a flash game about “breeding” flowers and need to share it with you before I forget it exists, again.
      It’s got boxing dahlias, dahilas, sakuras, sunsflowers, sponkoo, mastermee, alpinelily, and two flowers that are maybe entirely fictional as options.

    • Jane!!! welcome back to FOT. : D Your flower photos are always so beautiful! I love peonies. And bearded irises. This is the perfect time of year for them. There’s a big public garden at point defiance park near my apartment with irises and lots of roses in full bloom. It’s wonderful.

      and the bird! He looks so happy.

      Sorry to hear about your injuries. Feel better soon!

      • That garden sounds like heaven!! I have been gone too long; happy to be back.
        Jim’s a tiny adorable little asshole of a bird–so cute but he likes to bite (me, at least).

    • Amazing pictures. You capture flowers so beautifully. Have you tried kinesiology tape on your wrist after the brace/support comes off? I used it on my knees, tendinitis sucks, had an extra bad time with them and my job involves climbing a billion stairs a day. The tape was really great, I could even run, plus allows you full range of movement. Hope it’s better soon :)

      • Ah, thank you!! I’ve been wondering if it would help! I used it on my back a few times when I used to sail–it was awesome. I’ll look into it more!

    • Oh my word, what gorgeous flowers! I love peonies. Thank you for posting so many gorgeous photos, these have brightened up a grey Manchester day :)

  25. Huge congrats on the wedding! Holy shit!

    I’m ugly-crying about missing camp, but the family rented a PARTY BOAT so we can go PARTY FISHING on SUNDAY. Never mind that the last time I fished, I was seven and my only catch of the day stole away into the night with hook-line-and-sinker stuck in its face. Farewell, sunfish, I hardly knew ye.

    Hope everyone has an awesome weekend…. away from camp. Alone. By yourselves. Like, maybe with your SO, but alone on the inside.

  26. Good luck with the wedding, Mari! I hope all goes smoothly and that it is a day full of happiness and love and whatnot.

    I had a bit of a rough week. I’ve got some family drama going on, which means a lot of passive aggressive texts and facebook messages get sent. I also had a crazy stressful week at work, even with a short week. My team is already stretched a bit thin, and we had a contractor walk out this afternoon. He set it up so that his resignation email got sent to my boss after he had already left for good. It was really shady, and totally ruined my afternoon.

    Luckily, this face greets me when I get home from work.

    And then he falls asleep on me, like this.

    Here’s the past week with Watson, in snapchat form.

      • He really is. The only problem is, he seems to be a straight person magnet when we are out on our walks…

    • If I wasn’t having dry eye problems I would probably be in tears from the cute.

      Did your dear Watson give you the black eye with a doggie dolphin attack of rambunctiousness? Cause that snout looks like snout of a doggie that dolphin attacks. xD

      • Ha! He got excited as I was carrying him down the steps to go outside (he’s still too small to go down them). I leaned down to snuggle, he was overtaken by a fit of energy and bam! Back of his head met my eye socket.

        • That was my second thought, back of doggy skull impact. I lost lense frome such an impact once upon a time and it hurt worse than when I broke three toes simultaneously. Doggy skulls are almost weapons yo.
          Cute fuzzy little almost weapons.

  27. I am not at A-Camp, but I am at what is essentially astronomy grad student nerd camp so… I guess that is the next best thing? 8 hrs of learning about astrophysics all day, all night to do whatever we want, and we happen to be a six minute drive from the beach.

    • Oh, that sounds sweet. I got to do a similar thing a few times many years ago, except it was quantum chemistry and the Rocky Mountains. Fun times! Enjoy!

    • That sounds amazing. Science and the beach are two of my favorite things in the world.

  28. Wish you the very best wedding and a happy stable communicative ever after, Mari. And maybe a some good silly dress standing up by itself pictures to share with us fun people.
    I’m dealin pretty well with not being at A-Camp considering I did not bother applying , because I thought my summer would be taken up by school but fall and spring semester combined with trying to deal with all the bottled up things burnt me the fuck out and so my summer is “free”. My life and near death(s) story is interesting/pathetic enough that maybe I could have gotten a sponsored campership, I think…

    So I’m kinda feeling a bit yuck because I maybe could have made it to Camp , but eh time moves in one direction and something cannot be assured.

    What’s really nibbling on me though is something having to do with my first almost death
    So um I had a teensy tinsy little meltdown almost cried at work today because the Arkansas River flooding put drowning on my brain which knocked loose a memory of saving what was my lil brother from being drowned by a bully. My lil bro who grew up to use me as a whipping boy and tried to strangle me to death when I was 14 because he got very angry when I talked back to him and so I had the fucking awful thought I should have let him drown those many years ago as little kid in that pool where there was no life guard and the adults not supervising properly.
    Adding to the fucked upness of all this is the memory detail of how just how small and afraid he was. How he shivered and clung tightly me after I took down that bully, I can still feel how skinny his arms and legs were wrapped around me. The worst part is audio details of this memory compared/combined to the audio detail memory of my near death at his hands. I can hear his sputtering, choking and then rushed deep breathes of relief. I can deal with comparison of his wide scared blues eyes looking into mine in assurance to his hate filled blue eyes glaring down at mine in his effort to kill me.
    But not the audio memories of the breathing and struggling to breathe sounds. Not dealing so well with those, for multiple reasons.

    I’m not as shaken up with the fucking awful thought as I am mourning for that little kid who grew into such a hateful person. I never mourned losing my little brother to the patriarchy before, I have realized for a long ass time that’s what I lost him to but never mourned. Now he’s just my sibling and the one everybody wants to hear about at family gathering because he’s doing so “well” and only the rudest of nosy ass biddies ask about me or try to pry details from me. When he’s at a family gathering there’s so much fondness, hope and contentment on their faces talking about his life.
    Now rather than feel shit about myself and aggravation at people during family gatherings I will probably get emotional about the long gone little brother who made art and liked getting his nails painted.
    I fucking hate the guy who replaced him, probably will forever. I’m not capable of forgiving his sins against me and don’t want the forgiveness of a holy patriarch for myself thank you.

    For the lazy people and my self-deprecative sense of humour:

    I can practically hear Crawley’s voice saying “self deprecative sens of humour”

  29. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Congratulations on your wedding! That’s really amazing.

    I got out with some friends last night, which was nice. There is a new gal who I kind of like, but it’s so hard to tell if there is anything there or not. But either way, she seems like a cool friend of comparable nerdy-ness to me. So yay!

    I was supposed to be taking Phoebe over to a friend’s house today to see if she and the friend’s dog would get along so I could do some dog-sitting to earn extra money. But it is storming like crazy today. So we’ll see.

    Also, sleepy Phoebe:

    A group of gals might go hiking or play disc golf on Sunday, so we’re getting our lesbian-communing-with-nature ON! It should be fun!

    I’ve been wearing tank tops, y’all! It’s summer and it’s hot and muggy and darn it, I want to show of my tattoo! I feel like the color is probably off in this pic, but I’m colorblind and it’s hard to tell for sure!

    Good luck with the wedding, Mari! I do hope you get time to share some pics with us!!!

  30. I have lots of feelings about the fact that this was the one year when camp would have worked perfectly for me, but then somebody close to me went and scheduled her wedding right when I wanted to be on a mountain. So I am supporting her instead, even though we do not have the sort of relationship where I will tell her about how I am giving up being on Mt feelings for her

    To add insult to injury, I’m super bored and lonely and don’t even have any fun stuff to distract me. We have some time off from school all my classmates off traveling with their boyfriends and I don’t really have any out-of-school friends around here.

    So instead I’m just reading lots. And lots and lots. I just read Fun Home for the first time, so I feel all in-the-know with you broadway-going folks!

  31. Not at A Camp, but I went to a Brandi Carlile concert last night with my girlfriend! Brandi was amazing. I’m a huge fan, so of course I got a tour shirt. And this morning we got brunch down the street from my house. :)
    About to work five nights in a row though starting tonight so I’m glad I had a perfect start to my weekend.

  32. Not at A Camp although following the fun on instagram which looks AMAZING. I am lucky enough to have one of my besties visiting – he is Kenyan and at university at Yale (he is a genius) and he has come to visit me in Manchester which is the actual best. So, cue afternoon tea, art galleries, and country houses – I am trying to give him a taste of England. Also dragged the poor boy to Canal Street briefly. My girlfriend is currently in Kenya filming with the BBC and both me and my bestie are jealous and feeling homesick with her sending us photos of the fun she is having. Congrats, Mari, on the wedding. I hope you have a super special day today and all the days after. Now I need to drag the bestie out of bed (he is jet lagged) and brave the rain to do country house things!!

  33. Congratulations!! We need pics!!!

    I’m very sad I couldn’t go to camp. BUT I am living vicariously through the #autostraddlecamp hashtag, so.

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