FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Once Again, We Have Made it to Friday

Hi chickadees! It’s Friday, and we have all (almost) made it through another week. I think I have a cold and I still haven’t adjusted to life outside of camp and have you seen this new commercial for Bush’s Beans where the dog has like, a goatee? It’s really freaking me out. That said, here we all are! Hello!

A dog wearing sunglasses and a spiked collar who also has a goatee, somehow, why??


What have you been up to? Is it hot where you are? Do you live in Australia and you’re already tired of hearing northern hemisphere summer? Have you also been glued to Lauren Jauregui’s instagram this week? Does anyone know where my chapstick is?

Have you watched any of the new Twin Peaks yet? Can anyone give me like a ballpark estimate of how to emotionally budget for watching it, especially with Handmaid’s Tale also airing? It’s a lot. How are you feeling about the Sense8 news? What length are we doing our cutoffs for this summer? I feel like maybe mid-thigh is the look but what if I’m wrong? Have you shown Nora your summer style yet? (Please do! I wanna see!)

I’m awaiting your answers to these questions and more! Also pictures of your pets and/or windowsill gardens and/or the really good brunch you made yourself this week!

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. hey rachel, i love this picture of you that you’ve used as the feature image! is this when you were at the dance doing accounting?

    • I feel like I’ve been robbed of a Sense8 Wedding episode with this cancellation and I’M VERY UPSET

    • I am very mad too, especially since season 2 just came out and they announced it the first day of pride month. Can they at least give us one movie where a huge wedding happens(Amita and Nomi marry and Lito and his bf marry) and closes all ends on the show?

      • I just finished the last episode (and literally CHEERED through the last 10 minutes which no TV show has made me do in decades) a couple of days before the announcement. So unfair. And yes, the timing with Pride month is especially terrible.

    • I’m fixating on the possibility that the Wachowski Sisters have dropped this project because they have something even more amazing in the works.

      • I read it was partially due to ratings not meeting the high budget of the show, the cost was around 8 million per episode(not cheap to film in multiple locations). And Sony and Netflix have a rocky relationship at the moment.

    • (S2 spoiler warnings ahoy!)

      Exactly. I’m really, *really* hoping that they’ll at least give us a finale episode – hell, even if they’re just captured by the BPO or something, we need that closure. Maybe they’ll do a Christmas-episode-style thing for Nomi and Nita’s wedding?

      I’m doubly mad because they were pretty clearly planning some awesome things for s3. Kala moving, the Berlin turf war, Van Damn’s election, the Archipelago, Jonas… my reaction to finishing the season was “Holy shit, s3’s going to be AMAZING.” And now it’s not happening :/

      Didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant. I just have a lot of feelings about the show.

  2. “What length are we doing our cutoffs for this summer?”

    I’m going to be teaching a class at the library next month about how to turn jeans into cutoffs so I guess I better figure out the answer to this question!

  3. This I my first week of summer hours (well, it was last week, but a-camp prevented me from doing it.) This means I’m off of work, and about to watch Wonder Woman, and then I’m playing board games with some LGBT peeps. So good day ?

  4. 6 years ago tomorrow, I brought my dog home. Her name is Bernie, and she’s a shih tzu, and she’s the canine love of my life. Happy Anniversary, Bernie!!! <3

    Me & B 6 years ago

    In other news, I went shopping last weekend and bought a crop top. I’ve made my own by cutting shirts, but I’ve never bought one. I wore it the other day, and I felt more confident in my body than ever before. Body positivity is awesome. If anyone has links to body positive (particularly fat positive) blogs or anything like that, please link me! My main source of inspiration has been Mary Lambert, who rocks a crop top like no other.

    • I’m not up to a crop top yet, but yesterday I wore rather-short shorts and a mesh/lace top, and I got a compliment! Big win.

    • You look beautiful in that picture :)

      Congrats on the anniversary to you and b :)

  5. The weather in Northern California is actually pretty pleasant right now! I’m sure others would disagree with me and say it’s hot, but I don’t think low 80’s is bad at all. June is usually a pretty mild month, July and August are the 100 degree day months. But next week I will be in England and so far the forecast looks like rain, rain, rain, rain….

    I don’t have Showtime so can’t watch Twin Peaks. I’m dying to know how it is, though. I used to watch it with my mom when I was little and I rewatched on Netflix a few months ago.

    I’m happy to report that the Jasmine plants I got last summer are still alive and have bloomed. This is a great success for me!

      • Thank you! My back patio is actually pretty big so only having two Jasmine plants looks a little sad, but one day the patio will be an outdoor oasis. Just need more plants and some lights!

    • NorCal! how nor in cal do you live?? i tried to get jasmine to grow and it was a total failure and i’m trying to blame it on my climate instead of me.

      • I live east of Sacramento (kind of between Sac and Tahoe.) Jasmine really thrives at my parents house and I was sure I would kill my plants, but they seem to be doing really well! Can’t wait for the plants to fill in a bit more.

  6. i do live in australia, thanks for asking! it is glorious winter (read: not summer thank fuck) and i love it, but i also feel bad about loving it because my nan’s arthritis/rheumatism gets bad in winter so it feels like i am celebrating her pain. all i am doing is living my young person chronic illness/disability life, which involves sleeping twenty hours a day and never leaving my bed, while simultaneously being incredibly intimidated by my peers becoming, if not functioning adults, at least employed and educated adults. i am trying to read a physical book but my hands get too tired to hold it up after about 12 pages. i’m working on it! my timeline is not their timeline, etc.
    it’s mostly frustrating because i was doing really well this year and then there was a small change in medication and it set me back by like two years. i was going to uni! i was calling my representatives! i was interacting irl with human beings not related to me by blood! i was thinking about getting a job next year! i was dating!!!
    i do have approximately six to seven friends now, which is an unprecedented amount of friends, and a wholly nice thing :)

    • Hmm, maybe you can use the time now, until you get better again, to pick up a crazy superhero skill.
      Like, learn a strange/cool/everyday language?
      With textbooks, you can’t read more than a page or two at a time, so your hands won’t get too stressed.
      Also there’s yt vids for about everything on the planet(like learning elvish) and there are free college online courses, too, for everything.
      I used to be rather shut away from the real world and had no friends as a teenager, so I picked up things I thought would come in handy once I’d grow up and be invited to dinner parties.
      Which…never happened?
      Or at least not the way I thought.
      What I’m trying to say, though, is that you do you in like the most positive and supportive way possible.

  7. I’m just super tired and heading to bed at seven, but I wanted to leave two things:

    The bean bag I got for my balcony after my male drunk neighbors kept spying on me to the point I couldn’t sit outside anymore. (I kept coming up with scenarios like inviting huge threatening looking men to my apartment to stare them down, or dis- and reassembling a large rifle repeatedly in their view,but I have neither scary looking friends nor am I friendly inclined towards firearms). So this is my stealthy ultra comfortable solution.

    And a poem, because somehow I fell into discussing poetry this week and realized that my life has been lacking lyricism as of late.
    I’ve been delving into German poetry, but in the spirit of pride month, Wonder Woman coming out ;-) and my failure to find an English translation of Rilke’s “The Nun”, here’s some James Baldwin, who’s biography and “Giovanni’s Room” you should read immediately if you haven’t:

    Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne)

    The lady is a tramp
    a camp
    a lamp

    The lady is a sight
    a might
    a light
    the lady devastated
    an alley or two
    reverberated through the valley
    which leads to me, and you

    the lady is the apple
    of God’s eye:
    He’s cool enough about it
    but He tends to strut a little
    when she passes by

    the lady is a wonder
    daughter of the thunder
    smashing cages
    legistlating rages
    with the voice of ages
    singing us through.

      • I doubt they’d get the message and just watch me.
        I really, really wish I could have (POI’s) Shaw over sometimes.

  8. hiiiiiiiiiii kitty woos,

    It’s Friday! I’m fine! I feel like, don’t people normally get Camp Crud? Was it not Crud this year, just cooties/cold? Did yall pound some Emergen-C and raw garlic and so things were not as bad?

    (I think actually neither of those things is evidence-based, but I’ve used both when I feel like I’m getting sick I BELIEVE IN MAGIC AND GARLIC AND GARLIC MAGIC)

    anyway, Seattle is medium-hot, it was in the 80s last week and I was pissed, and this week was mid-60s/mid-70s and I don’t like it but I can live with it.

    My summer look that I’m most attached to seems to be modified Stevie Nicks? I’m into black lacey drapey things that would not look out of touch with a shawl right now, which is diff than previous summer looks. I’m into cutoffs right now with a 6 inch inseam, though 5 inches is doable, but I am really having a moment where I need my thighs to not touch, but don’t want them to go the way of land’s end walking shorts. I can’t make that look cute, fam!

    I wrote a thing about cookies and sleep and how you deserve both:

    I went on a long walk in the woods this morning and emerged near the store and brought home almond milk to make swamp tea that my bestie makes:

    I haven’t watched I Love Dick or Sens8 yet (watched Master of None and Kimmy Schmidt these last couple weeks- also am screening shorts for local queer film festival and there’s looooooooots to wade through) and I’m absolutely not going to watch Handmaiden’s Tale or Twin Peaks, because I know they’re worthy, but I can’t handle it, I promise I can’t, but I’m glad y’all are enjoying it.

    Otherwise, I’m knitting a bunch (using up yarn stash= preparing for parenthood? making space in the house for baby things?) and have started telling more folks about gf being pregnant, which is nice, but also a slightly funny thing because folks are often like “……..are you excited?” and it’s funny, because I totally am, but when I tell folks I’m not usually like “GUESS WHAT YAY YAY” I’m like “……you are going to say something weird, or because you are somebody random in my life I don’t really know what to say to you about it, but seems like a relevant share.”

    Anyway, happy weekend! Get it while the gettin’ is good!

    • Wow, I really love the article you wrote. And, I just realized I have all the ingredients for swamp tea, and it sounds really good, I might have to try making some!

      • that’s so kind thank you!

        swamp tea is good, though I’m remembering that mate is not most favorite of teas- there’s a sourness to it, maybe? or just a grassiness? anyway, it’s not bad, just made for hot hot days.

    • I never get camp plague, yet I got it SO HARD this year.

      I appreciate your observation about cookies being more accessible than sleep due to capitalism!

      And I am going to make some swamp tea this summer. Sounds delicious.

  9. Happy Friday!

    I have a migraine with an aura AT WORK and they are redoing the roof so hammers are literally going overhead. It’s like a migraine commercial. I only just started getting these and I’ve no idea how to help it.

    Also hi, love you all, miss you loads after camp.

    • Aspirin or ibuprofen will definitely help.

      Caffeine might help – it works for me but YMMV. If you can get one of those Refreshers from Starbucks, they’re better than coffee cause they also have electrolytes and help with nausea.

      Alternately, coconut water.

    • If you’re getting aura, it’s probably serious enough to see a neurologist.

      • Thanks for the input! What makes you say that? Most of the info I have seen online thus far makes it sound minor, but I’m def new to this.

        I described them to my family doctor when I first started getting them and she said they sounded ok, but we’re checking my hormones (one of the things that affects ocular migraine/migraine with aura) in a couple of months for other reasons, so I guess we can start there.

    • When I first notice the aura setting in, I eat some food, drink something with caffeine, and take a bunch of Ibuprofen. It does not cure it, and the hammering will still be murder on your soft sad brain, but not as bad as it could be. And, since eating and smelling and tasting is often terrible during migraines, eating a snack quickly ensures you won’t starve. Usually I have to be in the dark to feel better, and only a full night of sleep gets rid of it.

    • Hey Queer Girl!

      I totes have migraines too! It’s very common among the ladies. Usually onsets in adulthood, which might explain the sudden pattern. Unless you’re very very old in which case I would double-check with the MRI scanner just incase it’s a crazy tumor.

      I’m still learning about how to actually medicate them properly…………..
      Lemme tell ya it is not as easy as it may seem. Try medicinal marijuana first. It’s the next thing I’m gonna try, but I wish I had tried it sooner. Might have more merit than I thought.

      • Hehehe well that depends, is 33 “very very old?” Because we WERE talking about joining the Olderstraddlers over in the Comment Awards…

        Thanks for the info! I can’t medicate that way at work, but I can afterwards! :D

    • Aw I love you & hate migraines & hate you getting them :(
      Um well it’s not very very old, it’s only four years older than me. But it isn’t very very young either. So puberty wouldn’t be its cause. I think anyway.

    • In case you need some more advice: Maybe get your eyes checked.
      Maybe you need glasses or new glasses.
      It’s a common cause for migraines.
      Even more common though, is caffeine withdrawal.
      Caffeine withdrawal is an actual withdrawal syndrome that’s been added to the DMSV in 2013, I believe, and I know this because I need to order vodka red bulls sometime in the middle of the night when I go out and it’s becoming clear that I won’t be anywhere near a cup of coffee (or able to stomach one) before noon the next day, or else I’ll be in migraine central AFTER the hangover.

  10. It’s pretty hot where I am but it wasn’t too bad (only not so great cause I had jean capris cause I gotta look like a person sometimes and I need to invest in shorts asap)

    Pretty anxious cause I just had a phone interview for a paid internship I really wanted and I just really feel like I fucked it up. I’m calmer now but overall not a good time, and I don’t really want people to be like “You were probably fine! It’s all good!” like no, let’s validate how I feel and then help me move on, you feel me?

    Good things! I AM NINETY PERCENT SURE I MET THE LOVE OF MY LIFE IN THE POETRY SECTION OF BARNES AND NOBLE YESTERDAY which is to say I need to send out a missed connection asap but also not cause laughing with a pretty girl is a good enough (best tbh) way to start Pride month.

    I’ve gotten submissions in and am working on writing/editing things and actually now that the interview (I find out tomorrow about where I stand) is over, I can focus more on what possible jobs and things I can do this summer.

    I also ran into an old teacher yesterday and she’s always been super lovely and she was even more so then, and I don’t know it was a really lovely time.

    I tried on my boxers from TomboyX which I had been putting off cause I didn’t want to be disappointed, but they fit! I’m sitting in them now and I’m looking for more tomboy/butch clothes to add to my summer look! I can’t believe I’m about to have a look!

    I’m trying to go to the Capturing Fire Slam events next week (all for LGBT!!!! artists) and meet some people and I’m really excited but also super nervous but I’m gonna buy the tickets today so I don’t back out and get people’s numbers tomorrow so I can ask people to cover for me next week! I worked it out and I only need someone to cover me for one day so I’m a lot less anxious about that.

    Still a little out of sorts cause I had terrible nightmares last week, that felt really real and my best friend was in a lot of them and I feel like I’m imagining something wrong between us but I don’t know what to do about it.

    More good things! I watched Hasan Minhaj’s comedy special it was amazing! I watched the Thanksgiving episode of Master of None and it was fantastic! I had an okay session! I hung out with friends and got home okay! The interview is over and I can focus on other things! People have sent me and shared good love with me! I’m really happy to be alive!

    Love to you all if you need it, and I hope you have a great weekend!!!

    • Ugh, interviews are terrible and phones are terrible and the two together just nooooo. Sorry it didn’t go as you had hoped :(

    • i’m sorry to hear that that interview left you feeling bad, alexis, but i am real excited to hear about your missed connection! interactions in the poetry section are always so special!

    • Love/envious of how you met the love of your life in the poetry section of a book shop. Might be a sign I need to go book shopping more often…

  11. w/r/t cutoffs: how the hell do y’all do avoid them digging into your thighs? this gal has thick thighs and I like my shorts pretty short. I once read a tutorial for the “proper” way to do cutoffs which involved attaching the bottom cuff of the pants to create a finished hem but i’m just not about that

    anyways, long and “off” week for me and my partner, feeling pretty sad and distracted today. ate two cheese pitas as my pity meal. advice for partner sad times which will be ok eventually but sucks right now?

    i also marathoned I love dick on amazon, which I loved, and then went straight into transparent which I somehow had never seen. endless heart eyes for jill soloway

  12. The new season of House of Cards has confirmed that I am still VERY gay for Robin Wright.
    Also I bought a whole bunch of gay and trans pride stuff for my law school apartment, and I’m making steady progress on my crocheted rainbow blanket (why does the rainbow have to include huge swathes of my least favorite colors right next to each other……………….I look forward to never making anything orange or yellow ever again in my life)

  13. It was hot over the weekend but right now we have June gloom and it’s below average temps, which this time of year usually means dry and warm to hot depending on location. I kind of hate it as it makes swimming in the ocean without a wetsuit less fun.

    I’m right now having depression due to a mixture of dysphoria, dysmorphia, and food. It’s not healthy, all I want to do cry. I wish there was a magic pill that would move the from my sandwich belly to my breasts to ease both dysphoria & dysmorphia. Any tips or suggestions here on how to handle dysmorphia?
    On the plus side it sounds like California may pass a law to give people an x option on their driver’s license and government id’s, which will be great news for many, including me! I’m also going to a queer bazaar and donut event Sunday and I think a friend I like will be there so Yay!

    I spent Sunday hiking and then went to Port Hueneme beach in Southern Ventura County. Really quiet beach. Then Monday went to small waterfall I’ve been to before so we can jump from it. I was a little to nervous to do it this time around. But it was fun just being among the earth.
    California is still in bloom and I’m really digging it. A small field of yellow flowers!

    My Sunday view

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

  14. I saw a foreign, non-English-speaking tourist walking around in a shirt that said: “Do You You”, formatted a lot like the AS “You Do You” shirts, and it made me really happy.

  15. I may or may not have done some irresponsible spending in my post a-camp sadness, but I’m choosing not to regret it.

    Also I’ve been on a journey to find a gr8 short sleeve button up (because summer) and I keep ordering womens size things that are actually too large for me? This is a thing that never happens and part of me is flattered but mostly I’m annoyed because this means more money I have to spend on shipping things back. I JUST WANT TO NAIL DOWN MY CUTE QUEER AESTHETIC OKAY.

    (Shopping is stupid and I hate it.)

    What I don’t hate though is going through all the A-Camp photos online and falling in love with everyone’s beautiful faces all over again. *heart eyes emoji*

  16. Today I’m tired and just resting at home. I think I’ll put off my trip to the grocery store until tomorrow. I was also considering doing some cleaning today, or working on art but now I’m not so sure I have the energy. Trip to the lcbo, on the other hand…. not postponed. (Because it’s right beside my house.) I’m thankful to have a day to relax since I was incredibly busy last weekend, and my summer course is pretty difficult. But I’m not happy about having very limited lunch and dinner options.

    On sunday I’m going to hang out with someone I met at the event I went to last weekend! I’m excited but also feel like maybe they’ll cancel on me since that seems to happen whenever I try to hang out with someone new :/ … it’s disappointing how I put so much effort into trying to create new friendships, staying in touch with people, etc. and how little effort they always seem to put in on their end. It feels like nobody is really that interested in me which is disappointing but I’m hoping with this new person it will be different.

    I’m also taking a break from shaving, because I’m tired and gay.

  17. I would also like an answer to the cut off question. After I got back from Camp I bought like 3 shorts-type rompers and on Monday I even wore one out in public to the beach without a bra and felt so fucking great about myself!! I’ve also been rocking the dark purple lipstick and just generally feeling awesome about my body which is a TOTALLY NEW EXPERIENCE FOR ME and I credit all you fabulous folks at camp for helping me own my awesome.

    As a reward to myself for Therapy-ing so. fucking. hard. this week, I’m going to get my nose pierced tomorrow wearing my Gender Traitor shirt because it is FINALLY SUNNY AND OVER 70 degrees here in the Midwest and I’m celebrating by wearing all the tank tops/sandals I own!

    I’m still recovering from CampPlague but might go see Wonder Woman tonight or tomorrow because it looks amazing.

    As for your chapstick – did you check the bottom of the washing machine? Because that’s where mine ALWAYS ends up.

    • Yesss for your confidence! Enjoy the nice weather! You’re going to look awesome with the piercing!

      I hope you recover from camp plague soon! (Also, Wonder Woman is awesome)

  18. I just moved back home after college graduation and it’s… rough. Big transitions suck! It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m not in school anymore! The weather isn’t helping either; it’s been so chilly recently it feels like its still March. Today it’s sunny and in the 70s/80s though… finally!

    And on Tuesday, I’m finally able to go see my doctor and (hopefully) start some sweet, sweet treatment re: mental illness (or, rather, some underlying conditions that may be causing it). After ~2 years of wondering why I feel awful all the time and nothing helping, I’m a little excited to be able to do something about it.

    Otherwise…. I’m stuck in mountains of things to unpack from school. I’m home until my health improves, but the hometown is vaguely rural (albeit tolerably ~liberal~) with no friends or gay community anywhere nearby. I joined local LGBTQ+ MeetUp groups, but I’m trying to work up the nerve to go to one by myself. Please send help.

    In gayer news, I had to drive my grandma to the airport at 5:30am yesterday, and on our way there we saw the biggest double rainbow! The universe knew it was the first day of Pride month. Hopefully that’s a good sign!

  19. CW: i’m going to talk about panic attacks & sexual assault (and recovery!)

    this is going to be a really long & serious comment about how i kinda sorta maybe got over an assault while i was at a camp this year. it makes me feel nervous & vulnerable & sorta sappy, but i can’t stop thinking and writing about what happened. i want to shout it everywhere, but you can’t really shout about sexual assault everywhere, so i’m doing it here because it seems right, somehow?

    i was assaulted 7 years ago by a boy in my dorm, and ever since i’ve had panic attacks whenever i had a crush on anyone, or ended up in any sexual situation. i had panic attacks at the last two a camps!


    my very first workshop was your personal essay one, rachel. we picked an event from our lives to write about, and my whole body was like “you have to write about assault.” so i did. we wrote 25 one sentence statements describing what happened, and in the course of doing that i reconciled what happened, realized it wasn’t my fault, and came to terms with it?????? somehow that was all it took????? i’ve been fighting this thing for 7 years, and it was like a key turned in my brain and BAM, everything changed. it’s been so weird and exhilarating and i sort of don’t know who i am now, but in a really good and cool way.

    i haven’t had a panic attack since camp. this is the longest i’ve gone in 7 years without one. i had a date on tuesday and i did not panic? I FEEL VERY DIFFERENT AND GOOD AND STRANGE AND SO, SO LUCKY.

    just wanted to say a massive thank you to rachel and to a camp and to queers and trees and zoloft and my therapist and my parents and also myself. i love you autostraddle!

    • This makes me so so so happy!!! (the processing part, obvi, not the assault part because that sucks and I am so sorry that happened to you.)
      But yay processing and not panicking!!
      This week in therapy I started down the road of talking about/dealing with my own assault many years ago and my super fucked up romantic/sexual history. And it sucked. But also felt like maybe there is hope for me?
      Yay being more functional people!!!! We can do it together, yo. *hugs*

      • There totally is, I GENUINELY never thought I would get over it, and all the therapy sucked and I had a million panic attacks but idk……… I guess therapy works sometimes?? Who knew?


    • Well I just choked up. I can relate to some of these feelings and I’m so happy you were able to help yourself get to a better place.

    • Brianna, thank you for sharing. This is awesome. Camp is magic! But, like, so are you!

    • brianna i’m so proud and happy for you, and it really means a lot that you shared this w me and with us! i’m so happy that any small thing from camp or space i helped make could be healing for you.

    • I ❤️ Brianna, thank you for sharing! I felt very fortunate to share a cabin with you, and I’m so glad you got this from camp!

    • “i’ve been fighting this thing for 7 years, and it was like a key turned in my brain and BAM, everything changed. it’s been so weird and exhilarating and i sort of don’t know who i am now, but in a really good and cool way.”

      Holy shit that’s *exactly* how I felt when I came out to myself. It was like a puzzle piece just randomly clicked into place and everything made sense. And I could almost physically feel the weight being lifted from my shoulders. It’s a phenomenal feeling.

      I am so, so happy that you got to experience that ♥♥♥ Thank you for sharing ♥

    • Brianna- That’s so wonderful you’re feeling better! I’ve had that experience too- where you work and work toward something, and then you finally have a magic moment. And the magic moment and all the hard work come together and it’s awesome! I’m really happy for you!

  20. Here in western France, our weather has varied between sunny days of 30°C (86°F) and overcast days of 22°C (71°F).

    Unfortunately, the cooler overcast days came with thunder and my 11 year old Weimaraner is terrified of thunder. When he was about 10 weeks old, we had the worst thunderstorm I’ve ever experienced—it sounded a lot like all the neighbouring houses disappeared in a massive landslide—and he has been a mess whenever there’s thunder in the air ever since.

    My week has been extremely productive. My partner is in Germany, playing a concert, so I’m all alone and feel like I need to prove (to myself) that I’m not a lazy, blubbering mess. Instead I’ve kind of failed to take proper care of myself on my quest to DO ALL THE THINGS, from overdue chores to home renovation stuff (“Surprise! I finished the custom built window seating!”).

  21. I still have Camp Plague. I am almost done with the ten days of antibiotics the doctor gave me for the strep I came back with, but I am STILL COUGHING ALL THE DANG TIME and just feeling poorly.

    But I got excellent news yesterday that the Humane Society has approved our application in general, AND approved us specifically for the dog we want (even though lots of other people want her too). She has some issues with food aggression, but we had a dog for 14 years that had to eat in the laundry room for all but the last year of her life so like feeding one dog separate from the other two is just normal dog business in our house. Her name is Luna and she looks like a REAL LIVE MUPPET.

    I also went yesterday and did a sensory deprivation tank float for the first time. It was so amazing and incredibly weird all at the same time, and I can’t wait to do it again.

    Pride activities start tonight in my town, and I want to go, but if Luna comes to live with me starting this afternoon I won’t want to leave her so I’m conflicted. I suppose it’s a bridge I’ll cross when I come to it.

    I hope you all have a good weekend! I loved meeting some of you in Wisconsin and hope to see you again.

    • oh congrats on this dog she is perfect! also not to be weird but i would LOVE to hear more about the tank; i’ve always wanted to try but am also sort of… scared???

      • This is the tank! You get in and the water is exactly skin temperature. You can leave the lid open if you want, or close it. The main lights in the room are motion sensor and go off after 5 minutes so it gets dark. The lights in the pod are controlled by one of the big circle buttons inside it. You can keep them on for a little while, or go “full dark” and shut them off too. There is also soothing music in the pod but I turned that off because it was irritating.

        Then you just float there in pitch black silence with your thoughts. For the first little while I felt like “oh my god this is so much time how long will I be in here what the fuck” but then the time just morphs and suddenly the hour is gone. It is so dark in there that you truly can’t tell if your eyes are open or closed. I wasn’t asleep but had moments where my thoughts wandered into like, dream state? It’s a little hard to explain. But I recommend to anyone who isn’t scared of an enclosed space (but seriously you can leave the lid open). The water also isn’t deep at all, and you get a little foam donut to rest your head in.

  22. I am sitting out my sister’s dining room table, drinking boozy strawberry lemonade and making emojis out of craft paper for my niece’s birthday party. Trying to decide between catching up on Supergirl (because Cat Grant) or watching Twin Peaks.

  23. Happy Friday lovemuffins! I’m just waiting to get done with work so I can go work out then volunteer then grocery shop then tackle my weekend to-do list :-/ I was really depressed last week/weekend and my anxiety has been kicking in here and there this week, but generally I am doing much better!

    The weather has been Lake Superior beautiful here lately, but of course it’s supposed to rain over the weekend. I started a new job last week and was hoping to submit to the “Queer at Work” gallery but my office isn’t ready yet and my temp office is just the desk of whoever happens to be out that day, so I decided not to cuz the space isn’t “mine” yet. But the new job is really wonderful and I feel beyond honored to be here!

    Happy June and much love to you all! <3

  24. It’s been like 20 degrees or so recently here in England (68 Fahrenheit) but over 90% humidity because Great Britain is an island and it’s also been raining a lot so it’s shit basically.
    My car is 16 years old with over 130,000 miles (it also has masking tape permanently seared to the bonnet) and it went for its MOT today which I was expecting it to fail but it passed with flying colours! I’m very relieved, it’s a shit car but I love it so much, I learned to drive in it and passed my test in it. Because of this, I got to drive my dad’s car which is an automatic and I had never driven one of those before, it felt so weird at first and I actually moved my foot to the non-existent clutch a couple of times but once I was used to it it was great fun. It felt like driving a dodgem.
    Anyway, I have life altering exams this month (as in, my university admission rests upon the results) which I’m really not ready for so I should go deal with that/cry for a couple of hours.

  25. The weather here (Louisville) has been really lovely — not too hot yet, mostly sunny, decently cool at night. It’s that lovely time of the year when it makes sense to keep a couple of windows open at night (without either freezing or steaming as we sleep).

    I went to a pool party on Monday — the first time in my life that I’ve been happy just to hang out by the pool, enjoying the sun and my friends, and (this is the important part) feeling totally comfortable in my own skin. Sadly, I haven’t yet gotten myself a lady-type bathing costume, but I surely will before the next pool party opportunity comes along. (Though I’m still dithering about just what kind/style of suit I want to go with.)

    I’m devastated, of course, by the Sense8 news, though not entirely surprised. I love the show, but it must be horrifically costly and logistically difficult to produce. I will certainly mourn not knowing what happens to the characters, especially Nomi/Amanita.

      • I figure we have a week of it left, at best. Then the heat and humidity will hit. Also, apparently, cicadas, even though they’re 4 years ahead of their 17-year cycle. But for right now, I’ll take as many nice nights as I can get!

  26. I am at the airport and my fight keeps getting delayed so I gotta over and over text the stranger coordinating the shuttle for the conference I’m attending (ANXIETY) but on the plus side it’s a great opportunity to go mommi-watching.

    • oh man that’s so stressful i’m sorry! i hope a mommi comes to your rescue, concretely or abstractly, soon

  27. Hello! I just saw Wonder Woman and adored it. I’m looking forward to a weekend full of personal projects and decorating my home. It’s sunny and warm where I am, punctuated by refreshing rain showers. It’s been a trying week, but it’s worth it.

    Hope you ladies have good things on your dockets :)

  28. I don’t know about any of this other stuff, but I watched AWOL this week. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and everything in between. I already watched it three times.

  29. I am foregoing cutoffs because I have these nice, cool bermuda shorts to wear with my fuzzy legs and teal toenails! *androgyny confetti*

    Today I am roadtripping five hours into the hot and dusty eastern half of Washington state to vend at a comic convention. I’ve been such a depressed husk lately that my last show felt basically pointless, but I’m on a higher dose of antidepressants now, so I don’t feel so dead inside! Just in time to interact with hordes of teenagers for two days straight!

    Wish me luck! Woo!

  30. Today on Power Lesbian Friday the clerk at the cafe downstairs at work told me she really likes my style, “It’s so individual”, and I was just wearing dress pants, a button-up shirt and a tie like literally every man that comes in there but I’ll take it.

  31. Hiiiiii beautiful Autostraddle family! (I’m very happy autocorrect has finally decided I write Autostraddle often enough to include it in its dictionary! Woohoo!)

    I’ve been too busy….but at the same time I have no idea what I’ve done?! I went on holiday with my ex, it was fine, we had fun, we didn’t rekindle anything but we didn’t kill each other either so I guess that’s a win anyway. I’m very jealous of all of you who went to camp. It’s my mission for next year! Next weekend I’m going on a mini camp weekend with my gay women drumming group soooo that should provide me with a good pic for the next gallery!

    Yes, it’s hot here already. Like 33 Celsius average (no idea what that is in Fahrenheit sorry!)
    It was hot one day in Amsterdam when we were on holiday too….here’s a photo of me trying to cool off in a fountain, with bonus super gay rainbow!

    I have friends visiting from England this weekend so busy busy. I hope you all have a fabby weekend and week! <3

  32. And what if I live in the northern hemisphere and I’m already sick of hearing about northern hemisphere summer?

    I try not to go full Debbie Downer on the summer-loving world once it hits 75°F but I’m just really REALLY bad at heat and in my 30 years on this planet I haven’t been able to find warm weather fashion that both fits my gender presentation ideals AND keeps me from passing out from overheating. So I’m locking myself in my air conditioned apartment until it’s cardigan and coat season again It’s already touched on 90°F in Ohio last month and I’m throwing in the towel.

    • Yeah I’m starting to notice my sex (breasts) more in summer things & I have light sensitive eyes that can’t handle bright sunlight so I get you on the not worshipping summer thing.

      For overheating, I suggest baggy clothes & camel coloured/pastel clothing (depending on gender ideals, I guess white is neutral) but I’m not sure of your individual circumstances so this might not help.

  33. my summer look right now is “girl loses, outgrows, or dislikes 90% of her current clothes and hasn’t gone thrift store shopping yet”-chic. i somehow misplaced all of last year’s shorts? all of them?? it’s a mystery

    the weather in bellingham keeps swinging from summer to soggy spring to summer again, and i’m so so ready for some more vitamin d. every time the sun peeks out i start sprinting for the park.

    i have a friend coming over to binge watch some riverdale tonight! other than that, no real weekend plans, but i kind of feel like getting into at least a *little* trouble.

    • Bellingham, MA? Haha the weather’s been consistently inconsistent! I bet the gardeners are happy with all the rainwater, but I’m definitely itching for more Daystar.

      • bellingham, wa! it’s reassuring to know that both coasts are playing hard to get with summer though lol

  34. Today was my worst ever day at work and i stress cried in the parking lot on my break and I’m just. Not. Feeling it. Everything is terrible™️ etc etc etc

  35. TW; overly personal ramblings about panic attacks, anxiety :/

    I spent last Saturday in the emergency room with what I thought was my imminent demise but what turned out to be my very first big girl all-grown-up panic attacks! Very exciting. But after spending the week with a heart that refused to stop racing and downing a questionable amount of NyQuil every night in order to get a few minutes of sleep, today, my therapist helped me realize that this is probably happening because I spent last semester shoved back in the closet when I ended up with a conservative, straight roommate, after only popping out of said closet for the first time in November. It turns out that one tiny dorm, one closeted queer, and one God-fearing Republican staffer do not make for a healthy mental state. It was really rough and I hadn’t even come to terms with it until yesterday, but now I’m feeling FEELINGS again and boy howdy does it suck, but I haven’t had a panic attack all day. I might actually be able to leave my house and go to my first Pride next weekend! So thank the gods this effing week is over

    • I’m sorry you’re going through awful stuff. I can relate, a lot. Going to Pride could be really helpful! I’m planning on doing the same.

  36. I’m a giant lesbo you guys. I thought I was bi, but men just don’t stir up the feelings that women do. Not going to lie I want to put together a giant lesbian weirdo meetup, where lesbians/transfolk can talk about crystals and woowoo stuff without straight folk.
    I’m kind of fearful I am going to end up alone…
    Family and life are kind of sucky, sigh. But being 95% sure of my sexuality helps. Yay boobies!

  37. Gonna go see Wonder Woman. Right! Now!

    Also, today I dressed like I was going to a yacht party, or an Easter garden party. Mint green shorts, lavender button down short sleeve shirt, yellow sunglasses. It was on accident, really.

  38. I’m going to hog this again cos I can’t stop being selfish.

    But for now. I’m reading Handmaidens tale and I’m really interested in what other trans ppl think. Especially from a trans femme/trans woman amab perspective. I’m nb but quite trans masc and afab. These are my thought but I don’t want to dominate this.

    I was scared Atwood was a terf. Not sure if she was when she wrote the book but I was reassured she’s not now by a recent guardian interview. Therefore, I’m interpreting the book differently.

    Shows how scary a world is when it’s divided by ‘biology’ (which isn’t actual biology, as ive heard trams brains are different and brains are part of bodies, more important to me than genitals when considering a person and what they’re like). Also how amab men, not all amab ppl but cishet men have created a stigma against everyone else and a hierarchy of everyone else being ‘under’ them. Less so irl than in the book but it still exists as a phenomena in reality too.

    I haven’t read the whole book or seen the tv show. I suspect the afab trans ppl who ‘managed’ (ugh i hate that) to stay closeted are divided into the ‘women’ categories while the amab trans ppl and intersex ppl and possibly the afab ppl who aren’t closeted are treated as the ultimate ‘gender traitors’.

    • Also that’s the last time I let auto correct over rule me. Handmaids not handmaidens

  39. Going to be a downer and tell y’all about how my girlfriend and I just had to say goodbye to her dog today. Holy shit guys I have never done that before and I definitely am struggling so hard to be strong for her. I know I don’t have to be and it’s okay to be sad and breakdown but I don’t know if I would be able to stop once I started. So I’m the rock I never thought I could be which is interesting. Hugged and loved on my kitties extra fierce tonight and gave them way too many treats and cat grass and nip. Hug your babies y’all.
    On a lighter note I’ve started packing my apartment for moving into this new awesome rad place with a pool. 4 weeks to go! Super exciting and so jazzed to build a catio for my fur babies.
    Picking up my brand new bicycle tomorrow and then going to cheer on my love at dragon boat races. Sunday is the Pride Parade and I’m excited to skate in it with my roller derby league! 3rd time for me, and finally the route is going down a major roadway, and it’s ending at The Forks/Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
    Keep your head up, keep your heart strong.

    • That’s sad I’m sorry about your dog. It’s always awful to lose a family member such as a dog or cat

  40. Well, after debating about it for a long time, I finally came out to a friend from church yesterday! And it went really well; she was very supportive! I was totally terrified, but I did it anyway, and I’m really proud of myself. I’m not out to very many people I’m my life, so it was a pretty but deal for me. And especially because of the church thing. So I’m feeling pretty empowered today :)

    • That’s great! So glad it went well. I recently came out to my parents, and it went way better than I was expecting and left me feeling empowered too. Go you!

    • Yayyyy! You are so awesome. I dream of coming out, it is wonderful you gathered up the courage to be your TRUE self.

  41. I went to a football match for the first time since my social anxiety was diagnosed. I forgot to take my medicine. It was mostly great. I met hundreds of ppl. Most were friendly, sometimes really friendly to me, two grumpy ppl who were twins & one guy (in town, not one of ours lol) who was rude & didn’t realise just how much but did realise he was being rude, just not that it was personal to me. Anyway, met some great ppl there too. Ended up sharing songs & tequila w someone on train on way home :) saw my childhood heroes & bought stuff but not a lot. Next match im at is in my exact home county, fifteen minutes away from where I grew up. So exciting as its unexpected for me as it was always very one sided there, so I’m determined to be very loud. This is all the stuff should have happened when I was a youth… (not the booze lol just the general nearness)

    ‘Met’ corbyn. He was coming off what I call a bus train (a rubbish train with the look of a bus not designed for travelling across a country/two countries on). We all shouted at him, positively. Not sure what mentioning that here will do for him but I might as well be honest. He was more shy about it than I’d expect from a politician. I really like him but not like my stepdad who seems to have a het man crush on him lol. Seriously he kept telling ppl multiple times about it.

    My diary is complicated. I’m a writer. I want to share stuff. I’m a writer so I think it’s fairly good as first drafts go, but I’m not sure where I want diary (privacy) to end & confessional to begin. It’s very raw & not filtered through any real lens.
    Sunday morning:
    Like the old grandmother who has given so much and I want to give her it back but I haven’t that much. When I leave her, I cry… We met at a sort of reunion and I always think of you when I see her. Of course I cry.

    Monday early:
    The mark of an imperialist is to tell a tale not their own to tell.
    Im starting to wish I hadn’t come out to my folks about being trans/nb. My stepdad reacted to it by now thinking its ok to be misogynist around me when there’s no women present, including implying trans women aren’t women even though he seems ok w afab ppl being trans… My mum pretends terfs don’t exist but is one (well worships the ‘female’ body, [cis] women are her favourite species apparently) and now keeps on using gendered compliments where she didn’t before. She told me I should be proud of menstruation as all healthy young women go through it, apparently.

    Though you know what, I am proud of it, it’s not something I’ve chosen but I do feel tough for handling it & I feel a sense of solidarity w ppl of all genders who’ve experienced its pain, emotional and physical. I also feel similar solidarity w amab trans ppl who’ve experienced dysphoria, though mine is slight compared to some. I just refuse to gender a physical experience as it means leaving out some ppl inc myself who experience it.

    I’m slowly reading Handmaids Tale. It took some getting into but it’s actually really great & scary & I keep jotting bits of it down into my diary & stuff inspired by it, too.

    Won pub quiz under Invincibles name which is good cos if we lost we’d have looked stupid & also good cos we won £4 each :)

    (trigger warning: brief mention of sex abuse on tv)
    Coronation Street was really good this week. The Bethany situation/response is def how some ppl feel immediately after being groomed. It’s really laying it out for me how this is due to brainwashing. I hope she works that out soon. River City is doing a very similar story. Soaps copy each other a lot but I feel it’s justified this time. Only thing that annoys me is ppl justifying it/blaming her online, ugh. Not her fault.

    Made pastel pictures w new pastels today :) And I have an artists magazine which is really useful & the latest copy of Diva :) might be odd an nb person reads that but we don’t have our own magazine & I find it a lot less shallow than something like Attitude. In magazines men get porn, women get lifestyle/self improvement & nb ppl aren’t catered to.

    Oh I got a new haircut :) short at neck, left parting, blunt cut. Hairdresser says its perfect for lazy sorts like me (ok she actually said ‘very low maintenance’ but that’s what she meant).

    I think that’s enough ramble lol

  42. It is so hot!!! I do not like it, I have seasonal depression in the summer and I can feel it starting early cause the weather got hot earlier than normal :/
    Doing fairly ok this week (after Summer SAD breakdown on monday with christmas movies/rain sound effects). I’m like two weeks away from graduating college and everyone keeps asking how I feel about that. I’m not sure but it’s exciting/weird, and I’m more than happy to ignore and evade old white guys asking me what I’m going to do with my degree and how I’ll find a job.
    Also the grad program I’m going into (MA in Critical Studies) just mailed me some info on the new chair and some of her writing and I am sooo excited to read it! I want to share with my friends, and thankfully most of them are nerds like me and are excited to read it.

  43. Mixed feelings this week… Good news I am getting 2 articles published next week.
    However, the week ended in a bad note as again I got annoyed by visa rules and the news of more waiting time regarding marrying my fiancée. Visa rules are insane sometimes! Trying to move to a different country and actually following all the rules regarding application can be very frustrating.
    All documents are done and all we need is a date from the Immigration Office which is taking forever… so we decided to try a different law firm and see if they can get a date faster for me to able to finally travel and be married! It shouldn’t be this difficult and timing consuming.
    These things just wear you down for sure!
    frustration! frustration!

  44. It’s been slowly getting hotter throughout the week here in Southern Oregon- Monday was in the 60s and today was in the 90s. Honestly, I’m so sick of the cold I’m completely okay with 90 degree weather. Okay with it for now, anyways, we’ll see how I feel in a couple months. I haven’t seen Sens8 yet, but it’s on my summer watch list. Summer- that amazing season when I’m not busy every moment with work and school and I actually have time for fun. Can’t wait!

    In other news, I’m currently working on designing a sexual health class for work. I’m including education about LGBTQ health needs, so I’m excited to do my part for improving our health, increasing inclusiveness and reducing health disparities.

  45. IT IS VERY HOT AND I AM VERY UPSET ABOUT IT. it’s veering into the 90s here and everything is sweaty and i can’t sleep or get any work done. save me, mild san francisco summers.
    y’all, i’m maybe taking a graduate seminar next year! one of my professors recommended that i take one as an undergrad to get a feel for graduate work so we just have to clear it with the department and then i’ll be livin’ it up in “Studies in Modern British and American Literature” come winter quarter. ONWARD AND UPWARD WITH ACADEMIA!
    rachel maddow has been out sick for like a week and i’m lowkey despondent about it.
    i found vintage blue suede adidas gazelles at a thrift store for the low low price of $15 and i’m SO excited about it. i finally look like the Cool Sporty Lesbian i always wanted to be.
    two more weeks until summer. i can do this.

  46. It doesn’t feel as hot as it should right now which makes me worry the heat is going to come smack us upside the head in July or August real had and break some records.

    I don’t think there’s any way for an American citizen living in America to actually emotionally budget for The Handmaid’s Tale unless they think Gilead is great idea and are a shoe in for a martha’s position or an aunt. But I find organised “polite” society scarier than serial killers, had to stop reading 1984 and run into the dark of night because I felt claustrophobia-like feelings.

    Sense8 looked super expensive to shoot so I refused to get too attached to it and decided to enjoy what ever I was going to get of it. Don’t ask how I enjoy stuff and don’t get attached, because I don’t know and it’s probably really unhealthy.
    I blame the patriarchy. smh

    Um got my bloodwork back an’ uh well my white blood cells etc are tad too feisty for my allergist’s liking. He wants me to go back to a rheumatologist.

    I was worried about not having enough fight left in me, but nah at a cellular level my body seems to have no chill and too much fight.

    Gawd shut up Tyler I’m not inflicting you on innocent bystanders

    I’m going to have a nap and then probably have ice cream for breakfast right out the carton if it really is a nap and not a sleep.
    Sorry anybody expecting speedy correspondence.

    Play with this?

    • OMG THAT DRESSUP DOLL SITE. If that existed when I was a child I would have never left the house.

      Being able to enjoy stuff without getting attached actually sounds really healthy to me.

    • I don’t even live in the US, or have any ties to the US, and I don’t have the emotional budget for The Handmaid’s Tale. It was bad/real enough when I was in high school and it was just words on paper.

      I’ve never been terribly emotionally connected to any series either. I enjoy things, but I don’t “ship” characters, I don’t get worked up when shows get cancelled, etc. It’s the one thing I’m a naturally good Stoic about (though Marcus Aurelius rather tells us not to get attached to either the red or the blue team at the races, because ancient Stoic philosophers and Roman emperors weren’t big on TV). Sometimes it feels like I’m missing out, but overall it seems healthier. The way I see it, it’s a bit like being childfree (which I also am). Studies indicate that parents have greater “highs” (joy) than childfree and childless people, but those highs are irregular and they also have much greater lows on a regular basis. Sure, it would be nice to get super excited about a TV show or a book, but on the other hand …

  47. I live in Mississippi so it’s been like 90 degrees for a month now. Ugh. But yesterday I booked a cruise and tonight I saw Wonder Woman and it was fucking fantastic so yay!

  48. I bought my first pair of compression socks yesterday. Then I came home and found fucking RAINBOW COMPRESSION SOCKS on amazon so I’m gonna have several pairs of compression socks to wear around and I am goddam stoked to have those rainbow ones. I feel a lil bad that I’m spending like all my tax return money on the compression socks (which are a medical necessity) and then also probably an AS shirt and also a local boater hat and/or shirt but I haven’t bought clothes in a long time and kind of need more clothes anyway.

  49. I went to Pride solo this weekend, got my tarot cards read by a beautiful woman. She told me to stop being so strong all the time, so I went home, had a good cry, and binge watched Parks and Rec with my dog. And I am definitely rocking the mid-thigh cut offs.

  50. It’s blazing hot in Missouri. I just survived a very sweaty Pride weekend, and I am now decompressing: drinking coffee in my banana undies, catching up on Autostraddle, and rubbing glitter out of my eyes. This may be the most sore I’ve ever been in my life and I’m covered with mysterious bruises. In other words, life is good. :D

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