FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Our Collective Internet Cook-Out

image by Rory Midhani

feature image via Shutterstock.

Hello vegan hot dogs! Welcome to the Friday Open Thread, where we are probably all still bloated from our respective barbecues celebrating anything but rampant toxic nationalism. Personally, I celebrated vegetarian food and its ability to get in my mouth. I celebrated family. I celebrated frosé. Anyhow, despite being super tired of grilled corn and guacamole and pasta salad, we are inexplicably still eating it and also talking to each other in a loving respectful manner on this,, at this, our own personal internet cook-out.

How did you celebrate this holiday weekend, is what I specifically want to know? I baked another variation of this cake:

It uses the I Want Chocolate Cake Cake recipe, which Carolyn has also used. I recommend cake baking. It makes me feel like perhaps I am in the Great British Bake Off tent and the world isn’t falling apart around us. That maybe the biggest consequence in this wild, crazy universe is Ian throwing his Baked Alaska in the bin. When we move back to New York City in the Fall and we have our own kitchen again, I am going to attempt to talk my wife into bunting as a decorating choice. As we’ve decided that the overall aesthetic for our next apartment is “cozy modern witch library,” I suspect this will fail. Can someone teach me how to make cozy modern witch bunting?

While I took most of the weekend off, I worked in protest on the actual 4th of July, pausing only to make fun of Chris Christie with my family made up of New Jerseyans and also to do yoga, because I’m trying to not be such a trash person and feeling better is probably step one in that. I used to be so active! And then writing was my career instead of my hobby! And now I am not so active! Well no more, because my wife discovered a YouTuber whose actual name is Leslie Fightmaster, which is ~inspiring~ and I discovered that she has a beginner course. I am on Day 10 of this 30-day thing and I feel pretty good!

My dog also figured out how to silently achieve the following while I worked three feet in front of her at my desk, resulting in my extraordinary surprise and a lot of photos:

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In closing, listen to this fox make sounds and then tell me everything:

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A.E. Osworth

A.E. Osworth is part-time Faculty at The New School, where they teach undergraduates the art of digital storytelling. Their novel, We Are Watching Eliza Bright, about a game developer dealing with harassment (and narrated collectively by a fictional subreddit), is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing (April 2021) and is available for pre-order now. They have an eight-year freelancing career and you can find their work on Autostraddle (where they used to be the Geekery Editor), Guernica, Quartz, Electric Lit, Paper Darts, Mashable, and drDoctor, among others.

A.E. has written 542 articles for us.


  1. The good: my “Lavender Menace” and “Gender Traitor” tees arrived this week. Yay! And on Sunday at church we got to sing one of my favorite hymns, the basic sentiment of which is, “Fuck nationalism!”

    The not-so-good: Massive uncertainty at work. Maybe (probably) the company is going to be sold. Maybe the new owners will keep us on staff, maybe not. All I know is, I do *not* thrive amid this much uncertainty.

    • Oh I love that hymn. My favorite line is, “Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard.”

      • We sang both “All Are Welcome” *and* “This is My Song” (sung to Finlandia, last line is “a song of peace for their land and for mine.”) Both of those are guaranteed to get me crying. Every. Single. Time.

    • That work situation sounds very difficult to thrive under. I hope it resolves soon and that you still have a job in the end!

    • That Gender Traitor teeeeeee. Ugh. So good.

      I’m sorry to hear about that work situation, that sounds super rough. And if you’re anything like me, your job is a big part of how you identify. Healthy or not, that makes job uncertainty super extra tough. I’m thinking really good thoughts in your direction!

  2. Love your Doggo Ali!

    I spent the fourth moving my mom in to her new house in San Diego. My mom is a boss bitch that raised two girls on her own in spite of my deadbeat dad’s lame attempts to fuck with her. She busted her ass for a long time and deserves this more than anything.

  3. Fox noises are on my list of favourite animal noises, along with raven noises, greedy porcupines, and prusten.

    We had an equally problematic holiday here in Canada this weekend and I went to visit friends who also didn’t feel that there was anything to celebrate. I was actually happily surprised by how much dialogue I heard leading up to the day about the wrongness of basically celebrating genocide. There’s still so far to go, of course, but it’s encouraging that the message really seems to be getting out.

    In other news, it’s supposed to hit almost 40°C here today (104°F) and I’m supposed to teach a super-sweaty fitness class this evening. Hellllp

    • Holy Macaroni, that temperature. No AC in the fitness center? Back when I was a kickboxing instructor, they kept the temp so so so cold. Or is this an outdoor fitness thing you’re teaching?

      • No, it’s indoors with AC, but there are big windows that beam sunlight into the studio, and the AC is never strong enough, and we’re all going to be melting before we even get there. It’s a kickboxing-style class choreographed to music so we’re supposed to bounce around and do jump kicks etc. but all I want to do is lie on the couch in minimal clothes.

        What class did you used to teach? Was it one of the branded group fitness programs, or actual kickboxing techniques? I would so love to see a queer-friendly actual martial arts class happen in my town.

        • Nope, it was a silly branded one and I totally loved doing it. I just say kickboxing because if I say BodyCombat, no one knows what I’m talking about.

          But please please tell me you are also teaching BodyCombat. Because that’d be hilarious.

          • OMG, I teach Group Fight which is the Mossa/BTS version of BodyCombat and I love it more than anything (during times of reasonable temperatures, anyway)! :D It’s actually a secret dream of mine to lead a Fight class at A-Camp one day…

    • Oh no, good luck! I remember dance classes as a teenager in similar heat. (Though having said that, everyone was getting incredibly sweaty together, which I think brought out the best in all of us somehow).

      (I feel like that sounds euphemistic, but. It /was/ a good bonding experience.)

  4. Hello tiny dragons,
    Over the long weekend I only ate foods off of grills and drank drinks out of cans. Marinated portobello mushrooms on the grill, sliced up, and then on tostadas with avocado and hot sauce. Would eat forever.

    Our new apartment has a cute little backporch, which we have stuffed with tomato plants, witchy herbs, and flowers.
    The best thing that happened on July 4th is that our 2-year-old neighbor came and hung out with us on the backporch. She does not know who the President is; I recommend making friends with 2-year-olds.

    I’m in the middle of a four hour meeting right now. Work is super exciting. All told, it’ll be a 15 hour day, yay Friday!

    • “She does not know who the President is; I recommend making friends with 2-year-olds.”

      This is the best advice that I have never heard before, you deserve a goddamn medal.

  5. I am so tired. I couldn’t find 1 gif to describe my fatigue, so here’s a whole page of them:

    I saw Hamilton last night. I ushered the show when it was off-Broadway (therefore seeing it many times), but this was my first time seeing it on Broadway.

    Don’t throw away your shot, Autostraddle.

    • Fun story: my wife and I filled out that lottery form every day for a month and we still have not yet seen Hamilton. But sometimes I sing King George’s parts in the car. Or on the subway. If the car is empty.

      • I hear the chances of winning the regular lottery are better than winning the Hamilton lottery. Although I know people who’ve won the Hamilton lottery, but I’ve never met anyone who’s won the Mega Millions lottery. Last time I heard, around 20,000 people enter the Hamilton lottery per day, and there are around 20 winners.

  6. The little baby birds on the back porch are starting to flap their wings! I think that either today or tomorrow they may try to start flying. I tried to take a photo, but they’re in a dark corner and it’s so light outside.

    • My roommates found a baby bird out of its nest in the yard recently and took it to a refuge to be cared for, it was sooo tiny. I hope all of your neighbor birds find success in their flights!

  7. I didn’t really celebrate, just spent the day working on a puzzle of a waterfall/flowers and listening to Portland’s blues fest over the radio! Then my roommate and I ended up talking about Steel Magnolias and I happened to have just gotten it on VHS (yay for a working VCR and cheap movies!), so we spent the night watching and appreciating everything about it! I love my roommate, she is literally the best person I have ever lived with! I’m kinda sad that I’m moving away in a month, even though I will be on my own which is nice too.

      • Yup, I love Oregon too much to leave, moving back to Portland for grad school! :D Though it’s weird to be starting school in August! What is with semesters? why can’t school start in September!?

        • I start teaching the last week of August, too. What kind of grad school are you doing? If I had to guess with you…MFA in some type of creative writing?

          • Nice! There will definitely be lots of writing! Yes! It is a MA in Critical Studies, kind of a combination of sociological theories with art/writing practices. I’m not entirely sure what direction I’m looking to take this, but I never do, so I’m just so excited to see what I end up creating. And so glad I can combine my nerdy interests in theory and creativity!

  8. That cake looks amazing. Would you say that having spring form pans, is integral to good cake baking? Maybe that’s covered in the recipe.

    I have reached my 5 year anniversary at work and I get to choose a gift and the options are so random that I am having a hard time deciding.

    Items to choose from: nose hair trimmer, mini tool set, spring form pan set, candy dish (sans candy), various watches, bracelets, necklaces, am/fm radio arm band, blue tooth headphones, blue tooth speaker, random decorative pillows, random framed prints (one of a golden retriever) etc.

    • What on Goddess’s good green earth is this gifting system?? That assortment is, like, super random. What kind of Bluetooth headphones and speakers are they offering? Because if they’re brand names you trust with audio, then I think one of those is the way to go. I did not use springform pans for this cake, but if you’re a fan of cheesecake or very, very round pies, springform pans are good for that.

      • Good to know about the cake pans.

        It appears they are Vector headphones, and a Qfix speaker- I am not familiar with either of those brands. I am leaning towards the speaker, or the, previously not mentioned, spritz cookie press.


          • Thank you for helping me make this decision. You’re right, Spritz cookies are magic!

          • The dough is so EASY and if you eff one up, you just scrape it up and put it back in the press! When you get it, you’ll have to put pics of your creations in the Friday open thread.

    • Congrats on your five years! That’s an interesting list of gifts to choose from. =)

    • I KNOW.

      It took everything I had not to make a “what does the fox say” joke.

  9. Hi, Ali! That cake looks amazing, and your dog is adorable. =)

    I only had July 4th off, so Monday was a bit weird at work. In the 4th, I ran in the local 10K run, as I usually do. It was far from my personal best, but, hey, I beat my time from last year. For dinner, my neighbor invited me over to join him and his family, which was nice. His wife is from Barbados, and she made fried fish and cou-cou, both of which were delicious. And their kids are cute too. So, it was a good evening, all in all.

    • I am so impressed that you can even run a 10k at all! Running is one of those things that I desperately want to love doing (it seems like it’s so good for you and people seem so passionate about it!), but I don’t. So I have an intense amount of respect for anyone who, personal best or not, took their holiday to run ten entire kilometers. Go you!

  10. I spent most of the “holiday weekend” (four days, wtf?) busting my ass to get my master’s project done, because then I can graduate on time and start my sweet new job in the fall that I’m all stoked for and not completely fuck up everything I have worked for the last two years to build. Did I mention that I just dropped a shit-ton of money in preparation for the move/new life and would be completely boned if anything were to fall through with this new job? Hooray!

    Seriously, though, it’s OK. Not waiting until the absolute last second to crank something out is a new look for me, but the prospect of being done, truly and actually DONE, with academic obligations for the foreseeable future and then having about a month and a half to pretty much do whatever the fuck I want before starting work is a good motivator. The sooner I get done with this, the sooner I can do all this other tempting stuff my brain keeps leading me towards. This stuff ranges from actually finishing and publishing the first installment of my fantasy serial to watching the 1992 X-Men cartoon because I am mentally 9.

    My Fourth was all right, I guess, though it couldn’t top last year. Not even close. I did take a nice work break to go help rebuild our gym in the owner’s garage, though. Assembling squat racks is really satisfying. Or maybe it’s just me. Next year I aspire to be able to set off my own fireworks again. It’s been a long time since I got to indulge in such revelries.

    • Congrats on this impending new awesomeness! And what is this fantasy serial about?

      Also I’m so curious—what happened last year that other 4ths would have a tough time topping it?

      • Oh, I’ve been working on this story for over ten years, although it tends to come in fits and starts. Actually getting (part of) it published is a promise I made to myself this year. It’s your classic book-and-game-inspired fantasy story, and it’s supposed to be a good adventure, but it’s also an exploration of various philosophical ideas and social orders because I am a huge nerd. It uses some recognizable archetypes but then turns them into something else entirely. When I do put it out, it’ll be available on Amazon and other major outlets, so hopefully people besides me get to enjoy it. I’ve retained an absurd degree of creative control over this (to the point of coding the e-book myself) because it’s more about my enjoyment than it being a viable commercial venture.

        Last year’s 4th was awesome mostly because I got to spend it with my best pal from China, showing her various slices of Americana and then watching fireworks with her on the mountain as a thunderstorm rolled in. It was perfect but I miss her to a stupid degree. I don’t know when I can see her again, and that is…not a good feeling.

  11. That cake looks AMAZING, and I am going to make it as soon as I have access to an oven again (3 weeks!!!)

    I have mostly spent this week wilting in the heat and taking many many showers, but I did get to make this lovely thing:

    For a few brief moments I felt vaguely like an adult but then:

    1. I forgot to cook the chickpeas first though, which meant ~20 minutes spent picking them one by one out of the salad bowl and putting them in a pan to boil.
    2. This was technically lunch, but I was eating it at 4pm because I’d stayed up until some ungodly hour this morning watching Car Boys/general McElroy content.
    3. I nearly fainted from hunger because of the resultant gap that created between dinner time yesterday and lunch time today, and then I poured boiling water on my foot.

    So yeah. Still a disaster human. Tonight’s dinner is chicken nuggets and smiley faces and the quiet acceptance that I am not yet an adult. Happy Friday!

    • That’s all the most adulty adulting I’ve ever heard. I feel like the myth of adulthood is something we’ve all been sold. My theory: no one ever feels like an adult and everyone does stuff like this all the time. We’re just the first generation to broadcast that feeling.

      Also re: this sponge recipe. For my family, that sponge recipe beats most Marry Berry cake recipes. I KNOW, BLASPHEMY. But it’s just that good a recipe.

      • Thank you! That is an excellent point. I still remember last year, when I gave my Dad a birthday card with the message inside that read ‘thank you for guiding me through the waters of not-quite-adulthood’. My Mum read it over his shoulder, sighed wistfully and said “does anyone ever really leave those waters, though?” I think about that reaction a lot.

        And oh my gosh, it really is. HOW COULD YOU? (jk jk, Smitten Kitchen is 100% as good as Mary Berry tbh, even if some of her recipes are way above my pay grade. Also my go-to sponge recipe is still 8oz of everything, put it in a bowl, mix, enjoy! so y’know. No room for judgement here.)

    • My most adult of dinners to date was chicken nuggets and melted camembert. Highly recommend. Although you absolutely cannot go wrong with smiley faces. They are a delight to eat. Like jelly babies but for dinner.

      • Ooh, I might have to try this while I still have access to French cheese aisles. Or maybe with tartiflette cheese? Raclette with chicken nuggets would be /fantastic/ now I come to think of it.

        And they really are! I love them so much. I really miss turkey dinosaurs though, they’d make that dinner perfect.

      • It /is/ so good! I’m glad I could evangelise on its behalf a bit. It’s very tasty and colourful and summer-y, though watch out for an onion-y aftertaste (I think it works best if you add the onion in, let it sit in the salad a bit, and then take it out again before serving/while you eat, but YMMV).

  12. For the first time in something like twelve years I actually wasn’t working on the 4th. I almost didn’t know what to do with myself. My partner, some work friends and I got together and had a cookout. MMM, so much food.

    Now I’m just scrambling to get ready for the event that usually takes place over the 4th: a week long convention of 3,000 blind people. Bring on the, “I’ll never get it all done,” stress. :-)

    • omg, coordinating 3k people sounds so stressful indeed! Hopefully you have a team to help? Hopefully your team is actually helping and not opposite-of-helping?

  13. Your dog has made me the happiest today, Ali, thank youuuu

    I’ve successfully marathoned and caught up on Wynonna Earp in time for the new episode tonight and my sister is having a really good birthday (it’s today!) so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Fourth went much better than expected! We hung out with my family and had good food and laughed a lot, still trying to like come to terms with things I’m learning about family/myself/etc. and that’s tough but it’s going okay I think

    I’ve got work this weekend and I’m not looking forward to it at all especially after last weekend bUT I get to watch Orphan Black and maybe read fic as like “yay you did the thing” so it’s okay.

    Have a great weekend, everyone!!

    • I hear you on learning things about your family. This election definitely brought some uncomfortable things to the surface. Sending positive thoughts in your direction re: that!

  14. I did so many errands today! Got a day off from placement and still out the house before eight. Banks, opticians, gp, occupational health, shops, pharmacy. And then ended at the post office where my new binder had arrived and they forgot to charge me the £13 customs fees!! Well chuffed. Ran away in disbelief.
    Happy weekend everybody.

    • Holy shit, that’s amazing. I can’t even believe the magnitude of that list. Also congrats on the new, apparently duty-free binder!

      • I super needed a new binder, old one is threadbare and barely binding. But cash is a thing so my wonderful mum agreed to pay the main costs of a new one if I paid the customs But now I feel like there is a queer postal angel looking over me, teaming up with my mum, being the ally dream team of the binder world.

        Wearing it now, feeling awesome.

    • Oh goodness, that is so many things! Congrats on the Post Office win too, that sounds delightful.

  15. Happy Friday! Even though it was a short week it still felt long. I wish I could have taken Monday off and had a 4 day weekend like the majority of people at my job, but I need to start hoarding my PTO again (having PTO makes me miss England and their minimum 4 weeks of vacation time).

    I’ve never been the biggest fan of the 4th, though I do love fireworks. All I did this year was barbecue with my parents and created a strawberry pineapple margarita. The local fairgrounds fireworks didn’t start until 10:30pm which annoyed me because I was trying to sleep. Also the two obviously illegal fireworks that went off in my neighborhood and shook my house annoyed me. But it was nice to have an extra day with my kitty. I know she appreciated it :)

  16. I had nandos just now so I guess that’s kind of cook out vibes?

    Tomorrow I’m going to Pride in London so I’m really excited about that. I’m hoping to march with National Student Pride, so I have to get to the meeting point early enough to actually gauruntee my space with the rest of my uni’s LGBT+ soc. I was supposed to go to an event today but I bailed because I decided it would be better to preserve my energy for tomorrow (and Sunday when it’s my friend’s b-day.)

    Speaking of uni, I’m graduating on Tuesday! I’m soooo glad it’s finally over and honestly if I could leave right after I get *my* scroll that would be fantastic. I’ve got my internship the day after, and the week after that I’ll be doing the full Monday to Friday, which I’m not complaining about.It’s just that I’m going to have to be up really early on Tuesday and that place has taken enough of my sleep already loooooooooo9l

    • Nando’s! I miss Nando’s. Also I hope you have a fantastic time at Pride, and congrats on graduating!!

      • Thank you! The last time I had nandos before this was when my sister graduated last year so I guess things are coming full circle in a way. Also where is this place without the nandos??

  17. I hate fireworks, so the fourth was not great for me. However, I did surprise my gf with the AS Lavender Menace pin and chocolate for her birthday (7/2) so that was great :)

    Also, I confirmed earlier tbis week that I’m moving to a new apartment!!! Please share your fav places to get accessories for your living spaces ♡

    • I also am not a big fan of fireworks, so I can sympathize. Congrats on the new apartment! Does your city have any Facebook buy and sell pages? I found a lot of stuff that way when I moved last time.

    • I can totally sympathise w the fireworks thing. I had two years in late childhood where I could tolerate them (I was a wussy kid/obsessed w the second world war, they sound like bombs) then my eyes got bad.

  18. I’m working out of town, in this small town near a giant lake, and instead of commuting every day, I rented an apartment this week and staid there.
    It’s crazily beautiful in the summer, so color me surprised at actually and truly unwinding after work.
    I’m a lot of in between places, literally and figuratively, atm, but it’s a challenge, like building up the courage for change.

    Have a good week everyone!

    • That lake looks beautiful! I’m glad you had a chance to explore the area and see such lovely things.

      • I’m a city girl. Sleeping on a boat by myself at night would freak me the fuck out.
        The boat is a weather station, though,so there is actually more to this picture than first meets the eye.

  19. “It makes me feel like perhaps I am in the Great British Bake Off tent and the world isn’t falling apart around us. That maybe the biggest consequence in this wild, crazy universe is Ian throwing his Baked Alaska in the bin.”

    This moment broke my heart then I had forgot about it, but now my heart is broken again.

      • Ali do not worry. I will heal if only by watching that one episode of the American version of the show where they teach Mary Berry to say snickerdoodle.

    • Ian’s baked alaska bingate really put Howard’s stolen custard into perpective.

  20. Welp, this has been a rough week.

    Last month my wife and I started the process of looking for our first house. We intended to use the inheritance my grandfather left me to buy it outright, rather than dealing with a mortgage. After a few weeks of searching, we found The One, and narrowly managed to beat several other prospective buyers to putting an offer on it (the real estate market in Phoenix is heating up currently). Everything’s going really well.

    Except, it’s just been revealed to me that there actually isn’t anywhere near as much money in the inheritance trust as I thought there was, due to how the accountants were reporting it (nothing illegal, mind you, they just had a really arcane and counter-intuitive way of showing the principal balance of the account). As a result, we’re not likely going to be able to afford The One, at least not without taking out a mortgage, and given that our offer was accepted partially on the fact that we were paying in cash, I don’t know if we’ll hold our claim on it. So, that sucks.

    I’m pretty devastated- for me, and especially for my wife, this house represented freedom. After a decade of apartment living, having a space that *we* owned and that no one could evict us from (at least, not easily) was a really inviting prospect. My wife- who has PTSD – was particularly benefiting from it, since it, meant that she potentially wouldn’t have to spend as much time working a job that triggers her on a fairly regular basis, just to keep the rent paid (unfortunately, being a grad student, I earn only a pittance, and my skills are so hyperspecialized I don’t even know where I’d begin to look for additional income, aside from tutoring and/or (if I get desperate enough) camming). I’m actually pretty worried about how she’s going to react, and I feel like I’ve let her down.

    So, yeah, feeling pretty devastated at the moment. Currently contemplating getting drunk later this evening – which is something I’ve never really done before (I usually stop at only 1 or 2 drinks), but hey, first time for everything.

    • House buying is so stressful, I’m sorry. I bought my house a year and a half ago and that is a process I never want to repeat. I hope you can still get the house with a mortgage. At least a mortgage is still cheaper than rent! It is where I live, at any rate.

    • Oh no! I’m so sorry!

      Buying our forever-home was definitely one of the darker periods in my life, on account of similarly being told one thing, then actually getting to the point of having an offer accepted, and then being told another thing that made the whole house-buying process a total no-go. :( Make sure to take care of each other. Gods know that’s something I really neglected in the heat of it.

  21. I love Leslie Fightmaster! She has great classes and also her voice totally relaxes me, so it’s like a combination of yoga and ASMR. *bliss*

    I want cake. Instead I am eating cauliflower. :|

  22. It’s Pride week in my town so I get to attend a couple of dances, a parade, and the festival.

  23. Not American, not in the USA, no more US clients, so I was almost blissfully unaware that it was 4 July until late in the evening when my Instagram feed turned red, white and blue.

    I just turned on my out-of-office autoresponder to play host as my parents descend on us for two weeks. No work!

    I’m ridiculously pleased about buying an outdoor wheelie rubbish bin and setting up a rubbish and recycling station by the kitchen back door. We don’t have rubbish collection where we live so we drop everything off in the village on the way out for our weekly grocery shopping, but our first four years here we haven’t had a good system or money to spare on such non-essential creature comforts.

    This week, Miss Kitty Fantastico started being allowed outside unsupervised. We keep the back door open so she can run back to safety when she feels insecure, but she seems to be mostly loving it. Here she is chilling while watching me pull down the past owner’s goat fencing:

    I told my parents and they could not have been better or more chill about it. Half-assedly keeping a secret in name only and just refusing to say it out loud is a particularly weird kind of stress and I’m glad to have it off my back.
    In less celebratory news work is a total stress disaster and I actually can’t wait for school to start again so we’ll all be back in the office instead of trying to publish a newspaper remotely.

  25. Ate a hot dog for lunch, had leftovers with bbq beans on the side.

    Made these fucking awesome things here

    Or rather did the brilliance of micro baking blueberries and putting them on the cookies that day.
    Micro baking fruit is my favourite hack. Sitting the fruit in cornstarch or tapioca for a couple of minutes is the key to it getting all gooey like pie.
    Add a dash of cinnamon sugar and people tell me it tastes exactly like pie filling.

    • I don’t know how to Insta but yeah I dyed half a batch of sugar cookie dough red, left the rest alone, rolled balls half the regular size that I then squished together all party per pale or per fess depending on ya look at it.
      Lastly put goopy warm blueberry-ness on top 2 days after baking the cookies.

      When dyeing baked goods us gel based dye, that includes frosting. :3

  26. Not American so not got strong feelings on fourth July but I know how you feel on problematic holidays. I feel like that about anything specifically British but especially royal weddings and bonfire night (ok he tried to blow up parliament but it was centuries ago, I hate making effigies of ppl to put in bonfires, even ppl I actually hate).

    My granddads eightieth birthday is on Sunday but we celebrated early at a posh hotel. Had Sunday dinner & this cherry cake which wasn’t really a cherry bakewell. It was a great experience, got treated like a prince (more than my family would ever do) & mostly good food.

    I heard Glad To Be Gay all the way through for the first time. I’ve gone from being mildly annoyed by its cheesy chorus to loving it now I know it all in context. Does anyone have any other suggestions of lgbt protest music? Esp folk. My annual protest song day is coming up & I think some queer stuff would be fitting.

    On 10k in my camp nano. A dystopia about a Britain turned overly socially conservative. Twenty minutes into the future obviously. Gay protagonist and the fmc is his wife whose straight but only likes short relationships. He’s trying to escape the world he now finds himself in, she’s fooling around with men to forget it.

    Didn’t think I’d do anything for fourth July but then my currently existing least favourite team got knocked out of Europe by a bunch of part timers so that was nice.

    Really fed up of my dad making sexist/transphobic jokes. My current approach is just to say it isn’t funny. I’m not going to come out to him, bad enough coming out to my mum who ignored me and keeps referring to my sex. My dad is really set in his ways/religiously conservative so I know it wouldn’t go well.

    In general. Good week. No net though.

    • Liam I had no idea you were British! I probably forgot or something. Whereabouts are you (vaguely)? I’m in Glasgow, that ‘heatwave’ never quite made it up our way.
      Also cherry bakewells are the shit. You are making me hungry for cake.

        • I know :) sadly it wasn’t what Id call cherry bakewell although it was advertised as such. Was a lovely cake but more cherries and no white icing or jam. I really wonder if my definition of ‘cherry bakewell’ is wrong, just as when I thought they were called bakewell tarts. (too many experiences with other cakes after ordering have shown me wrong lol) I’d not mind but the cooplands/mr Kipling one is my favourite.
          I’m in east midlands but it’s not really home. I’m from north Yorkshire and going back when I’m ready to leave home & my mortgage is paid off. My house is rented out as a holiday home right now & seems very popular with scots (I’d say school holidays but my youngest resident so far is eighteen so it can’t be that, bit of a mystery really)
          I love Glasgow, Gilbert :) there’s the obvious (or maybe not for a rugby player ;)) football but also the people and the art/architecture and the general vibe. And weirdly it’s not often been bad weather when I’ve been up, which I have to admit has always been in summer. My hometown seems to have attracted lots of Glaswegians to go live there so I grew up with mostly friends from there or with parents from there. My best friend of all time (ppl accepted I was trans & thought we were gay cos of each other, we were just very close friends) came from Skye though.

  27. Evening folks! Hope you had fun being variously patriotic over the start of the month. No holidays here, but it was my birthday on weds. Which was cool. More stressfully I’m trying to arrange a surprise bbq for my Ma’s birthday on Sunday which is turning into hell, the cake maker/friend/guest/lifesaver has shingles, the house we’re holding it at has scaffolding blocking the patio, I’m working the whole of day and having to leave my wife to set up…alone, and I haven’t yet bought the food and feel super disorganised due to Ma having me do odd jobs all week when I was trying to sort stuff out. Lesbian Jesus Grant me the sanity to get through that and then the mental fortitude to deal with my Grandmother and racist uncle on Tuesday-for an early birthday celebration as we are road tripping over G-Ma’s actual 80th. I haven’t spoken to any of that side of the family since their Brexit vote, and now am being forced to, it was only a matter of time but FUCK I am not in the best place to handle it…in public…at an event…where I am completely in the minority because the others that stand in opposition won’t go…because of the racists/low key homophobes…but I’ve been guilted into it. Straddlers if you have any advice please dispense it now.
    In between these two insane days is my wife’s birthday (July is a big month for us-like a summer Christmas…but with people we don’t like) for which we are spending the evening hiding from the world.
    Have great stress free weekends folks. ?

    • Good luck with your relations. I have no advice other than maybe have a few neutral topics prepared that you can drag your qofe into if anyone starts talking politics. I hear that Love Island is being universally watched by the masses atm, but maybe not appropriate…

      • Haha I think my whole statement on Love island would be “I hear that love island is being watched by the masses” Idk my wife has to be at work early the next day for a meeting so maybe that’s a get out, along with we have to get back for the dog. It’s a meal with everyone I’m mad at. I’m feel decidedly thrown to the wolves. As long as I don’t start shouting “you voted against the existence of 3 of your nieces and your nephew/against your grand kids” it’ll be fine…right? My wife things my grandma is finally going to come for her, because up to this point she hasn’t. I guess we’ll see.

  28. I’m watching my cat and my girlfriend watch the rain from the window of our new apartment and it’s summer and our tomatoes are growing and it’s bright over in the east which means there’s going to be a big gay rainbow once the rain stops.

    • What a comfortable and comforting word picture you’ve just painted.

      That’s lovely.

  29. We had Canada day over here, and it is Canada’s 150s year, so it was extra big on celebrations all over. I abstained from celebrating. I’ve been informing myself about first nations and other indigenous population in the country, so it did not feel right.

    My parents are coming to visit starting this Sunday, and they are staying for 3 weeks, and I’ve been really anxious about it all. I came out to them a couple of years ago, and they were great at the time, but they have a hard time understanding how important the queer community is for me, and how I want to fight for us. My mom specially is also very stuck on her views on gender expression, so me growing my hair leg, and moving toward a more androgynous style might lead to some fighting. I think a-camp has helped me feel more confident about my identity, so I’m not willing to bend to her expectations like I did in the past… so it’ll be a couple of interesting weeks.

    On the positive side, me and my sister are planning on getting matching tattoos. We’re both hoping to get DNA’s, mine based on Orphan Black, her because of med school. I’m hopefully getting mine with En Tze (she’s a really cool artist that does watercolour.)

  30. My girlfriend and I went to ALDI and bought a cast iron grill pan so we could (sorta) grill in my apartment. We ate grilled chicken and steak and basically had two days’ worth of muscle meat. It was amazing. We didn’t see fireworks, though, and I’ve been a bit ambivalent about the holiday.

    I’m doing a UU church service (my congregation is lay-led) this weekend about the Goddess Athene, civic engagement, and the like — usually I pray to her on the 4th of July, but this year, I honestly had no idea what to say and just froze. In retrospect, I should have said prayers related to the Constitution and First Amendment. I’m doing some background reading tonight/tomorrow so I can come up with the general gist of the service and outline/sort the thoughts I have. Hopefully, I’ll get some fiction-writing or conlanging done, too. I am under 2K away from hitting 160K in the current part of the epic fiction project I’ve got going on. I also did divination last night about some things on my mind and have new directions/things to think about in my religious life.

    Finally, yesterday, I reworked apps on my phone to make it more distraction-free and increased the amount of time Offtime locks down distracting apps on my phone. Constant. Vigilance.

    As an aside, one of the reasons my girlfriend is so awesome is that we both actually love eating meat. Back when I was single, I was in despair over the likelihood that I would find another meat-lover GF (because I saw that Autostraddle reader survey infographic). The second-biggest reason I support environmentalism is that I seem to be one of the few meat-lovers who understands that our successes today will impact our access to steak in 20 years. I guess the downside is that we overlap on fewer than a dozen vegetables. I love asparagus, chard, watercress, bitter greens like arugula, and basically anything with a very intense flavor. She’s more of a nightshades + lettuce + broccoli person. This means that right now, I am eating a billion pounds of asparagus ON MY OWN and it is glorious.

    • I understand you so much! I became a marine biologist researcher because I need to keep seafood around for future generations. Everything in moderation.

  31. My last two weeks of celebrations went very well. I celebrated seeing my sister for the first time in 6 months when I visited her overseas. We celebrated both a harvest festival and the end of Ramadan with her friends, neighbors, and students. I then came home and got to see my extended and much-loved family. Finally, my former partner and I decided to begin patching up our relationship after a half a year break. Send me your positive relationship vibes, and may you all have a wonderful summer with your family of choice.

  32. Straddlers, a couple of weeks ago I was idly wondering what happened to Filipino pop singer Charice Pempengco (Sunshine Corazon on Glee) since she came out as lesbian a couple of years ago. Turns out he’s come out as trans-masc and is now Jake Zyrus. I am happy for him (and rolling my eyes at comment sections on articles; Filipino-in-the-Philippines commentariats are quite conservative).

    Not American nor Canadian, so no holidays for me, just shifting over from freaking out about my to-do list for my theatre companies’ shows opening next week (I’m mostly done now, just photographing the dress rehearsals) to freaking out about moving out of home next week (I’ve barely started packing/shopping).

  33. Being in Europe and also not American I didn’t celebrate…..instead last weekend I celebrated the shit out of World Pride which was here in Madrid. I played with my LGBT samba band in the parade, partied, and was an official volunteer for the closing ceremony.

    It’s been raining so hard the last 2 days that one of the metro stations has completely flooded….but this afternoon it stopped which was just as well because we were playing to open a fiesta. But the funniest thing was, as we reached the plaza which was the end of our march/where the fiesta was, a double rainbow suddenly appeared over the church. We lesbians brought the gay power out ? who says God doesn’t love gay people?! It really was a great moment I just wish I could have taken a photo!

    I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ❤

  34. My week has been sh*tty. I had to quit my job because my manager
    would not do anything about the other manager sexual harassing me. I have to take care of a family member’s child because he does not have his shit together. And no I don’t want to, I’m not a beautiful mother Theresa soul on the inside. I only have x amount of hours to be secretly gay on the inside and this child is invading on my space right now. But you know what? It may sound stupid but I found a meditation circle and I am aware of my sexuality. I am a lesbian. And this makes me happy in the quiet mundane moments. When I am a little more out and I don’t fear my family I hope I can hit up a few gay bars. So ready to be GAYGAYGAY.

    • I remember being secretly gay. It sucks. Best of luck to you, Kayla. We’re here for you now and then! :)

  35. Hello sweetest of peas!

    I am finishing a crabapple cider before I leave this goofy pub and checking in with y’all! (And previously had a lavender black current one, what is life)

    I’m okay! Nationalism is trash garbage, but the anti-trans bathroom bill in WA apparently didn’t get enough signatures, so it’s not going to ballot, so we celebrate the small victories, because The News These Days is a very scary shitsmear.

    I am making frose tomorrow because my dear friend has a vitamix and I don’t know what to say to that except yes, please, I shall bring fancy ice cream bars also.

    Also I just did a two deck tarot spread for a girl I’m friendly with partially bc it was her birthday and also partially because she has had a million life upheavals recently and I wanted to know her business. (It was like a short reading with one and a long reading with the other one)

    Anyway, using magic to facilitate finding out people’s business is a mutually beneficial scheme. And now I shall walk home in the sunshine and read romance novels. Also! Go watch love between the covers! It’s about romance novel writers and it made me feel so good about the world and women and romance novels! Try it out!

    When evil walks the streets of Boston, one woman lurks in the shadows; shielding the innocent, judging the guilty. That guardian is…THE SILVER SHROUD!

    (Bonus, I was just about to have an evening stroll with Magnolia)

  37. Scared about potentially moving. There’s three of us. Two are disabled, but without any legal recognition or income for it. It’s something we’re working on, but the move would be significantly higher costs of living on only one income. It’s an amazing opportunity, but terrifying. Might mean a lot of sacrifice. Scared about debt and medical expenses. Worst case could result in losing it all.

    Not a fun week.

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