FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Perfume, Pastry, and Pastry Perfume

Hello junebugs! I hope you had a magnificent week, because it’s Friday Open Thread time and I’m dying to hear what you’ve been up to! Bokchoy is too.


Yes, that was a wink.

Last Saturday, my girlfriend and I went to a perfumerie. They had hundreds of essential oils and fragrance oils in dropper bottles lined up along the walls, with cupfuls of coffee beans to smell in between. I picked out chocolate, pineapple, earth, vanilla, and a couple others to make a custom blend. The perfume I wound up with I dubbed “butter accident in the pie shop,” and it smells exactly the way it sounds. Or possibly like someone stole a warm chocolate pie and ran into the woods with it to gobble down? I’ve been drenching myself in it, obviously, and on Sunday I even made some homemade deodorant just so I could add my perfume to it. I  wear it and daydream, all day long, about pastry. Life is good.

Laura and her girlfriend

M and me on our way to the perfumerie.

The weather here in NYC is juuuuust starting to cool. Even though we’re passing through that weird nobody-knows-what-to-wear-for-this-temperature zone, I feel like everything’s more or less coming up autumn. In the mornings, I’ve abandoned my usual iced honey mint tea in favor of big, frothy mugs of hot chocolate. At night, the sheets on my bed are now a soft grey flannel. Last week I bought an oversize fisherman sweater, and yesterday I wore closed toe shoes for the first time in forever. We probably have a couple vagrant heat waves left, but we’re definitely down to the last dregs of summer. I’m ready for hot buttered rum, apple cider and pumpkin pie. (Again with the pastry!)

Particularly when it gets cold outside, M and I like to marathon bad TV while we work side by side on our laptops. She’s really into Criminal Minds, but I refuse to watch it with her because I hate looking at crime scenes. It’s okay, though, because that’s when I watch Merlin, which turns out to be really gay. Last week we rewatched Dollhouse together and lamented about what could have been, if only the writer’s strike hadn’t struck. We’ve also been watching Boy Meets World, and its mediocre-but-improving offspring, Girl Meets World. It feels Disneyfied, but not as much as I was expecting; it could have come out a lot worse.

Boy Meets World cast photo, Girl Meets World cast photo

Girl Meets World meets Boy Meets World.

So! Now that we all know what’s going on with me, what’s going on with you? What are you up to this weekend? What’s your favorite smell? What’s your favorite pastry? Are you team cake or team pie?

Get in here, because I have to know: do you like pumpkin spice, or does it repel you? Are you watching either version of GenderPerson Meets World? Oh, or are you watching Sailor Moon Crystal? Do any of you watch TV on a TV? What do you love? What do you hate? What do you fear?

Talk to me! I’m right here, waiting.

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. I’m taking it easy tonight after a super busy week. As of this morning, I’m taking a break from social media for just the weekend. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve never done this before so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes. So far, it feels pretty good! I turned off all notifications that go to my phone so all I receive are texts. This is probs not a big deal for a some but I’m on social media A LOT so being away from it for 3 days is a big deal. I feel like I don’t know what’s happening cuz this is where I get a lot of my friend/family/world updates. More Autostraddle articles. More reading. More netflix. And more outside fun time!

  2. Laura, hello! First of all, I’m so glad we’re Tumblr buddies now.

    That perfumerie place sounds delicious and I would like to check it out. I’ve never worn perfume, but I probably would if it smelled like cinnamon or something spicy. Not pumpkin spice though, I’m not a fan of that.

    I’m curious about Girl Meets World, but Boy Meets World was such a part of my adolescence I’m not sure I can risk this new incarnation being terrible. I had such a crush on Topanga as a kid, omfg.

    I’m up to basically nothing this weekend, but I’m hoping that a plan will materialize. If it doesn’t, I’ll probably keep job searching and doing marathons of Bob’s Burgers.

  3. A perfumerie sounds great! I’d love to go to one, but I feel like I’d be overwhelmed and it would take me forever to choose smells.

    Today is the last Friday I have before I start school again – and my body decided to gift me with terrible cramps/nausea/headaches alongside my period. It was a lovely day and I spent it in bed, wanting to turn into a potato, because potatoes don’t have periods.

    But! I got a job this week! This is great because I’ve been looking for one for a while (and I need the money), but not-so-great because it’s at a beauty/hair/face shop and they require women to wear make-up to “maintain the image”. Um, when did we go back to the 1950s? How do I stop feeling like I’m selling my soul both to the patriarchy and to capitalism?

    Also my mental health game is not on point and my “relationship” is a mess but somehow I will work things out.

  4. I’m trying to curate my life into A Different World after a good chunk of my life of being the “Angela” in Boy Meets World.

    *sips tea*

    It has been an interesting week for me to say the least and I really would like to have a really buttery and flaky pastry.

  5. Wow, perfumerie sounds incredible.

    As for my week, well… uhh… my phone got stolen? Which has been a massive bummer and was super stressful when it happened (I had one of those phone-wallets too which meant my student ID, drivers license, bus pass, and bank card were in it too!) but I’ve been dealing with it pretty well since and I’m kinda proud of myself for that.

    The last time I commented in one of these threads I mentioned that I’d broken off contact with someone who was doing me no good, and that situation seemed to get worse before it got better. It has gotten better though. I feel like I’ve learned things about myself, and I feel more… mature, I guess!

    It was also a bit shocking to realise how unhappy I had been, and to start making decisions, plans, and actions to make myself happy again.

    One of those plans is to seriously try and make it to the next A-Camp. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how that goes!

    • Lauren I really relate to your comment; feels like we’re going thru similar thing at the same time. cutting someone out of my life feels like a failure to me even though i know it’s for the best, so your thoughtful and hopeful comment helped; thanks.

      • I think if it is a failure, it’s a failure on their part instead of yours. Otherwise the implication is that taking care of yourself wasn’t the best thing and that’s nonsense. You deserve to be happy and treated well. I hope things get better for you! In the meantime at least there’s a video of DeAnne Smith playing the ukulele with a kitten interrupting.

    • I’ve also had to cut someone out of any part of my life because they were doing no good to my emotional health! Theme for the week?

      I can’t cut her out entirely because we met through the Local LGBT resource center, where I facilitate a support group for trans folks. But she is fine in group around other people, just dealing with her one on one makes me feel crazy! I run the group because I want to help people, but at some point, you have to take responsibility for yourself!

      Anyway, it can be a tough decision, but stay strong! You can’t sacrifice your own health and sanity for others in all cases.

  6. I sell perfumes for a living at the moment so my sense of smell isn’t the best as on a daily basis I am smelling perfumes over and over again. That said I am a fan of orang-y smells, and Cartier makes a Essence D’Orange, which I really like, plus as a bonus it’s unisex.

    In a related note I had a lot of busy work yesterday, i.e. organizing merchandising, and now I am experiencing back pains. I am also hosting a local Straddler club night in Anaheim at Bravo, which Saturdays are queer night and they even have a karaoke room. It’s a perfect excuse to become a homoganja/cannaqueer and get some back relief as I enjoy the festivities.

  7. Laura your fall experiences so far sound wonderful! I’m actually sort of excited about fall this year…super weird for me to admit because I hate being cold more than anything and summer is my favorite, but I’m getting really into the spirit of pumpkins and apples and sweaters this year. But I’m one of those people who insists that fall hasn’t started yet until the calendar officially says so, on September 22, so this weekend I’m gonna go to this street festival thing that will involve margaritas and sunshine. Other than that, I will probably be watching some TV on a real TV with my roommate, because AT&T somehow gave us a year of free HBO.

    Also! About smells…one of my favorite things about the changing seasons is the very specific smells that go along with each season. Like in the summer, I love that mixture of sunscreen, sweat, and bug spray smell when you’re outside all day. And right now I’m looking forward to smelling bonfires and apple pies (team pie all the way), and yes, pumpkin spice lattes. So a perfumerie sounds really interesting!

  8. I am definitely team cake. Not a massive pastry person, although I do like a chicken pie or a good french style fruit tart. Also I only watch TV on a TV if I’m watching something with my parents.
    The combination of these two topics of discussion makes me feel that I should mention Great British Bake Off, which is currently a major aspect of my life along with apparently the whole of Britain. (For any confused non-uk people I was going suggest you search it on tumblr but then realised that will probably only confuse you further.)
    The main other thing happening with me right now is that this evening I went to my last ever rehearsal before I got to uni for a concert band I play flute in, and have been part of since I was an extremely shy 10-year-old. It feels pretty massive, I guess because it’s been a constant in my life for so long. Plus I know there’s no way I’d be as confident as I am now without getting involved in music and ensemble playing.
    Anyway, hope everyone else has had a good week!

        • Seriously someone needs to recap you with bake off Laura because Sue Perkins Lesbian icon has been presenting it from the start, with her Co host/comedy partner Mel, from the start before it jumped to prime time. Alaskagate was crazy and it seems we Brits take our baking extremely seriously.

        • It’s essentially a competition for amateur bakers but has become somewhat of a national treasure. As Hat says, the presenters Mel and Sue are amaze, supporting the contestants through emotional baking crises and making lots and lots of food innuendos and puns. I think it’s just great to watch because it’s light hearted but at the same time people take it very, very seriously.

          The picture of the sad looking man is indeed from a baked alaska disaster/alleged sabotage which sparked national outcry and was generally a very intense time.

          (I didn’t realise until writing this how difficult the bake off is to explain, you probably have to see it to believe it haha)

          And thanks! I’m planning to join the wind band at uni so hopefully that will be good fun.

  9. I was almost the first person to comment, but I think I’d have to be really funny for that or something so I waited and this seems like a good spot!

    This week was a blast with biking and not a lot of homework. Last weekend I came in tenth at my bike race with a mechanical and was named a team captain! Now my friends from the team are coming over and it’s the first time I’ve had friends over in more than a year I think so it’s going to be fun.

    I have solid cologne that is “pipe” scent which I got in Iceland this summer and is so great. I can’t eat many pastries based on food allergies, but if I could eat anything I’d have my mom’s cranberry chocolate chip scones, yummmm.

    • Well I’m glad you chimed in. I was late myself because of scheduling confusion, and then a lonnnnng subway ride with no service. But we’re both here now!

      Congrats on team captain!

      Pipe scent cologne sounds lovely. I like the smell of lingering cigarette smoke on other people, although I feel like it wouldn’t make a good perfume. Actually I think it would make a terrible perfume.

    • Wow! Pipe scented??? I want to buy that for my girlfriend! It would be perfect for her, especially as she is always looking out for scents she like that are masculine but not in an Old Spice kind of way. I’m always nervous about buying anything scented though because if it’s not super natural scents, the chemicals get so overpowering and give me a headache. I found some Pipe scented solid perfume online, and I think I’m going to go for it. Thanks!!

  10. I go to this little perfume shop in the Marais run by a gorgeous woman named Renetta who trained as a master sommelier. I went there first with my writer friend with whom I was working on a photography project. It’s a cosy affair with complementary evening wine and daytime coffee. You can say to Renetta, as I did, ‘I’d like something that smells like a dark room’ and she’ll simply find one for you. Mine was Chambre Noir and it came with a black and white hand printed photograph. The Writer wanted something that smelled like dusty books and Renetta found it. The following year I asked for something that smelled like these specific roses from my grandmother’s garden in Kent, and she found something. She’s a magician. Relatedly but somewhat tangentially, has anyone read André Aciman’s fantastic essay that begins ‘life begins somewhere with the scent of lavender.’?

      • it’s superb. she lets you spend hours in there asking questions, talking to her, explaining your personality and having her explain it back in floral format. She also recommends, if you’ve the time, that you take a sample and wear it for a day or two so that you don’t end up wearing a scent that goes badly with your natural cassolette etc. It’s heaven.

    • So jealous of dusty book smell! I have ordered four different “book” and “library” perfumes online, and they’ve all been really disappointing. They smell kinda mildewy to me.

      I have not read that essay, but what a great opening sentence. What’s the rest of the essay about?

      • if you can, somehow, against all odds get hold of a bottle of Voleur de Ciels Stephanie de Saint-Aignan (genius perfumer) then that is the one to go to.

        The book of essays is called Alibis: Essays on Elsewhere and you can read an extract here: it’s about memories and masculinities and the role of scent in the construction of memory. Incidentally, my life also begins somewhere with the scent of lavender. In the front garden, a small thicket of lavender grew tall by the small frog pond. So i can’t write this essay, because he wrote the perfect first line.

        • Really into this essay. Thank you for sharing.

          Fragrances linger for decades, and our loved ones may remember us by them, but the legend in each vial clams up the moment we’re gone. Our genie speaks to no one. He simply watches as he’s loved open and investigate. He’s dying to scream with the agony of ten Rosetta stones begging to be heard across the centuries. “This was the day I discovered pleasure. And this — how couldn’t any of you know? — this was the night we met.”

  11. omg, Boy Meets World. I have ALL THE FEELINGS about that show. I have seen the first two episodes of Girl Meets World and I think I’ll keep watching. Nothing can top the original though.

    That perfumerie place sounds amazing – in theory. I feel like the moment I set foot in the store I would have some kind of catastrophic allergy attack combined with a massive migraine. Maybe I can just find someone to send in and bring me samples.

    In other news, last week I was talking about not being able to find a teaching job before school started here. I was able to get an interview on Thursday for a kindergarten position. I think it went really well and now I’m just waiting to hear back. This is my 4th interview, so I’m stresssssssed about the whole damn thing.

  12. I’m allergic to perfume and just had to quit my new job of 2 months because this woman in the office refuses to stop wearing her perfume that makes me ill and HR just won’t get on it.

    2 weeks notice leaves me with 3 more days of work – if I can be arsed – so tonight I’ve been drinking red wine (what else when watching anything vampire related) with my annual Buffy marathon. I’m on season 7 – my favourite – and reluctantly looking forward to the final episode.

    “Yes. The world is definately doomed.”

  13. My favorite smell in the whole world is beer brewing. The hops and barley create the most heavenly aroma. Having a dad that makes homebrew and going to an elementary school just blocks from Widmer brewery in Portland definitely influenced that.
    Related to smells, I know people love lavender but I wish people wouldn’t use things that are strongly lavender scented in public. After a short time, it gives me headaches and I start feeling woozy. I know many other people who get intensely sick within an instant of smelling it.
    I’ve felt very unproductive this week. I need some major project or something to keep me motivated until school starts. I just have way to much time on my hands and I’ve run out of ideas.

  14. One of my proudest achievements to date (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration) was making myself some chai tea-scented perfume in undergrad. I wasn’t 21 yet so I had to have a friend buy me vodka, and he still doesn’t believe me that it wasn’t for drinking.

    I have mixed feelings about pumpkin spice lattes. On the one hand, I now know a lot more about coffee than I used to and am a firm believer in keeping sweet syrups out of it, but on the other hand a pumpkin spice latte was my first step in breaking away from a coffee-free Mormon childhood. (I was really a rebel in my younger days, apparently … drinking lattes and buying vodka for scent-making.)

  15. Hello fellow straddlers,
    This week has been a real mix.
    First, the bad news: I’m back in school to become a Dietitian (Nutritionist), which is sort of like training while in a hurricane. Nutrition is an emerging field and there are so many conflicting messages getting thrown at us…
    My instructor will be discussing the social determinants of health and how the societal failure to address things like food insecurity makes our job virtually impossible, but then 5 minutes late will say some pretty awful fat-shaming ‘obesity crisis’ BS. She will be discussing why we need to cultivate counselling and critical thinking skills, and then ask someone to speak for their race. Throw in an 8am start time, and you have a perfect storm brewing. I want to say something but she has thoroughly communicated that this is a very small field ‘so don’t burn any bridges’ which scares me, since she could make or break me professionally. Ugh. There are times when an anti-oppression framework really does not help me deal with life stuff…
    On the other hand…
    I technically met her a few weeks ago, but now I can say it out loud without feeling like I am jinxing some sort of highly improbably wonderful dream.
    For whatever cosmic circumstances brought us together, Praise Lesbian Jesus!

    • I feel like pumpkin spice is on the same trajectory that bacon was a year or two ago? Where there’s just this MANIA for that flavor and people self-consciously push it and push it wayyyy beyond, over-the-top ridiculousness. And then there’s like this come-to-Jesus point where everyone sees how ridiculous they’re being so then it becomes this ironic hipster thing to like it so much, and then, uh, there’s simultaneous backlash and people leaning in even harder, and then everything snaps back to normal.

      You know?

  16. I like earthy smells, that smell after it stops raining, the smell of cedar, burning sage, juniper, the slight saltiness of sea air. I have found that most perfume/cologne to be too intense for me to determine if I like them at all. Is there a technique to smelling/sampling that I don’t know about?
    Does anyone have scent suggestions?

    Also, I enjoy the smell of smoking meat, but I probably wouldn’t wear it.

    Pumpkin Spice is meh, Merlin is cool, and I’ve just started watching Masters of Sex and it’s pretty good.

    • You just described some of my favorite scents! I went into the perfume store thinking that I would make something more along those lines, actually, but then maybe I was just hungry, idk. It turned out for the best.

      But! Before that, I wore a fresh fig scented perfume called Philosykos. Maybe you’d be into it too? It’s kinda pricey, but if you can get your hands on a sample, it smells like heaven.

    • there’s a word for this which i think is petrichor and this person makes a perfume to smell like it (i’ve never tried it so couldn’t recommend) BUT as I have also looked for this kind of rainy perfume: Courreges’ Niagara, Angéliques sous la Pluie (can’t remember who makes this one,) Demeter’s Rain, they also (possibly) make one called Thunderstorm, and also this might be helpful. (appaz i have an encyclopaedic knowledge of perfume now)

      All my memories of people are distinctly tied to voices and smells as opposed to faces and interests. “Zoe, you remember from the steps of All Souls?’ “??” “nice international voice’ ‘ ah yes, I remember the one, smells like wood fire’ etc.

      • Thanks for this! It’s interesting to talk about memories. I remember the feelings and smells more than details of faces or especially names, which makes it difficult to put my experiences into words sometimes.

        • Yes. I definitely have a taxonomy of friend smells — these sorts of sensations are underrated I think precisely because language doesn’t have the capacity to articulate them properly. I have many Wandering Thoughts about these kinds of mute experiential registers.

  17. like many people, one of my favorite smells is rain. story time!

    in microbiology class we had to isolate and identify a bacterium from a mixed environmental sample. My isolate ended up being pseudomonas fluorescens, a common soil bacterium that grows on leaf litter. it smells exactly like a forest after a rain storm, because it is partly responsible for making forests smell that way. so, rain smell is actually from a variety of bacteria including p fluorescens. also, it glows under UV when grown on special media. bacteria rule.

    i currently live in the sonoran desert (Phoenix) which unhappily for me has a scarcity of both rain and trees. BUT we do have creosote bushes, which have an oily resin that releases a wonderful fragrance when it rains. it’s almost as if the magical scent is to recognize how special it is when we get that rare rainstorm in the desert.

    p.s. this week phoenix had record rainfall and i did my laundry at 330 in the morning in a wonderful rainstorm and thoroughly enjoyed wading through ankle-deep water to get to the laundry room. rain! thankfully my neighborhood was spared the flooding that required evacuation in nearby areas.

  18. I sort of had plans to spend this weekend being very introverted, especially now that I am a proud Netflix subscriber (this is night #2!!) but then I was feeling bad for wanting to just stay home. I don’t know why. It made me feel guilty somehow. I’ve been hanging out with this girl who is super extroverted all the time and goes out with people every night and is always doing stuff, and she was like, “What do you mean you don’t have plans for the weekend?” Maybe I am just comparing myself, which I shouldn’t do, because everyone is different. But also I am just very tired because I just finished my second week of work at a brand new job and my brain feels like it’s going to explode at any given point in time. And I ended up at a mini work party so I feel like that was pretty damn extroverted.

    Thanks for being my therapist, Autostraddle.

    As for pumpkin, pumpkin pie = yes, “pumpkin spice” things = no.

    • I feel that sometimes too. I think you just have to give yourself permission to do what you want to do. You’re tired, so you deserve rest! And even if you weren’t tired, it would be okay to stay in just because you feel like it.

      Congrats on the new job!

    • Hi! I’m an extrovert. I currently have pneumonia, a cold, a UTI, and a fever as of like 10 hours ago. I had the day off, so I read, did some housework, and then napped. And THEN I went out and met a friend for dinner, hangouts at her house, and tea. It is embedded in my character, brain, and body to be around people in order to feel better. I feel withered and sad without people, and it makes me more sick. This probably sounds crazy to you, and it is, but it’s who I am. Please don’t feel like you have to be anybody but yourself; who you are and how your brain and body respond to that is just fine, don’t draw comparisons! I could no more be like you than you could be like me. :)

  19. So many good questions! I’m really attracted to citrusy scents, and mint and vanilla too. I’m personally team cake, but my best friend’s mom makes the best damn cherry pie I’ve ever had in my life, so shoutout to her. Sailor Moon Crystal is amazing, even with the weird spaghetti arms CGI transformation sequences.

    And as for my weekend plans… I’m finally FINALLY going on a date with this awesome girl I met on online back in January. She lives in Kansas (I live in Missouri) and it’s about a four and a half hour drive, so it’s gonna be a weekend event- going on an actual Date we’ve been planning and then just hanging out around her apartment. I’m currently taking a break from packing and freaking out over outfits. I’m so excited!!!

    • Yeah, not that impressed with the animation on Sailor Moon Crystal. I like the other choices they’re making though, story adaptation wise. I hope they cover a lot of ground super fast so we can get to the weird space politics part. :D

      That’s a long drive for a date! She must be really special.

  20. Foster pup has her stitches out for a while now and is back to parading about and bouncing around just uh she’s developed this little uh habit where she eats my hair. As in start chowing down on the hair that is still attached to my head. Compounded by the fact she is not 100% housebroken and prefers privacy while she poops this uh gets “dangerous” cause my hair long enough I’ve been asked if it was against my religion to cut it.
    Basically she tries to do a secret poop and it doesn’t stay secret for long as she runs in terror and confusion because her poop is following her. Then she realises she’s been caught pooping and runs faster when anybody tries to help. It’d be hilarious if this could only happen outside during potty time but no this happens indoors. *headdesk*
    Look at me talking about puppy feces with hair in it when the sorta theme is perfume and pastries….
    Um I’m Team Cake but I make awesome pies and pastry things. The reason I’ll never be Team Pie is that baked fruit tastes like an abomination to me. Citrus curd and key lime pie don’t count as baked fruit to me, too processed.
    My favorite pie that I don’t eat and love to make is my strawberry icebox pie. It’s my favorite because part of this process is to take half the pint of strawberries and smash them to a pulp. OvO

    I love eating lemon curd pie so much I can’t pick which setting is my favourite. Lemon meringue so fluffy and light or turnovers full of delight. Won’t you be my dessert tonight?

      • She is a bonkers, tunneling, wiggly, speedy little sock murderer but once she’s house broken she’ll do great in her forever home.
        You want the recipe? Leave out the crust it’s certifiably vegan and gluten free.

      • 1 quart fresh strawberries
        3 tbsp cornstarch or 4 tbsp tapioca
        3/4 cup water
        (If you’re going to use a crust 9 inch deep dish works the best.)

        Halve and hull the strawberries then take half of them and arrange them in the the pie pan. Prickly side up, flat part down
        Mash the rest and combine with sugar in a medium sized pot. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring frequently.
        In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water, gradually stir into boiling strawberry mixture.
        Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over the berries in the pie pan, chill for several hours before serving.
        If you’re into cream

      • Have you any anecdotes as why the hell a puppy would actively try to eat someone’s hair? It’s not like I’m waving my braids around and she’s just trying to play. I’m perfectly still, she goes pounce OM NOM NOM.
        My dog is gladdest of all; her little buddy can finally play and race around the yard with her again.

  21. Okay, one of the “girl” things I could never give up is perfume. Especially my delicious-smelling pumpkin spice scent. I will smell like a delicious fucking pie and be as masculine or feminine as I want while doing so.

    Also, I am watching the HECK out of Sailor Moon Crystal. Watch it with the babe every week.

  22. So I got sick this week and had to be out of school because I couldn’t stand up without passing out, and now people are saying mono’s been going around and I’ve been having mono-like symptoms and I really hope I don’t have that. On the plus side, I got through the entire first season of The L Word in two days. Not sure if I should be proud of that but I am. Also I went on a sorta-date with this girl and I managed to form coherent sentences and flirt and say a non-awkward goodbye all in the same day, so I’m happy about that.

    In more related news, I think my favorite scent is the barest trace of lemon or vanilla.

    • Ooh I hope you don’t have mono. :/

      I only watched The L Word this past year, and I also sped through the first season! But then I slowed wayyyy down as it went on. Because it just gets so. bad. I think it’s still worth it to watch (especially the last season, because everybody talks about it), but I’m just warning you!

      • Well, according to the doctor it’s just a virus, but that means sticking it out for a few more days, so I’m not terribly thrilled about that. But it could be worse. And thank you for the warning. I originally started it so I’d know what everyone was talking about, but then I ended up getting into it in spite of myself. I think I’ll keep watching.

  23. Yo! Team cake here!! Actually, team carrot cake loaded with spices and carrots and walnuts…..and as much butter as I can get in the bowl. Then buttercream icing on the two layer yummy!
    On second team lemon meringue pie!
    Went on a French pastry creating situation a while back! Cream puffs filled with pastry cream( half vanilla custard and half whipped cream folded together),
    dipped in caramelized sugar, was a very tasty and not too difficult special treat!

  24. To my surprise, I’m actually surviving college! I’m back this weekend, though, and it’s so strange – like my room isn’t even my room anymore. Kind of scary.
    In other news, the webcomic I follow, Nimona, is almost done and it’s getting really emotional!! I am very scared and excited for the end.

  25. Hi everyone! This week has been super busy but pretty excellent. Taking 4 grad classes while working full time is hard, but I’m doing it. It’s good to have something to do again besides work and I’m really enjoying my classes. I’ve even made some new friends. Plus, I’m working toward a stable career so I don’t have to work retail anymore. Really excited about the future lately.

    Perfume that smells like pastries and woods sounds perfect. I loooove woodsy scents. I think I’m just on Team Baked Goods. I like most all baked things be they cakes, pies, pastries, or what have you.

  26. This week was tough because I dropped my laptop & broke the screen (my first laptop too! I’d never broken it before!) and also my mental health is still shaky after getting over depression this summer. But! Things have improved since Tuesday (The Laptop Incident), and my girlfriend and I just Hung Out with another queer friend who we both really admire. Also, the fall weather is finally here and it’s making me happy.

    A perfumerie where you can make pie perfume sounds like the shit. I don’t usually wear perfume but if I could pick out all the smells myself and make deodorant out of it? Yes.

    • When my mental health is shaky, I try to imagine it doing the hokey-pokey instead. I laugh, and it releases endorphins, and I’m like “take THAT mental health, I have literally turned you around!” Try it ;) Sorry to hear about your laptop, you’re taking it like a champ!

    • Aw. Broken laptop solidarity. My laptop screen looks like a blizzard, there are so many scratches and weird light patterns from being dropped. It’s getting to the point where I’m not going to be able to see enough to write anymore, soon. Not looking forward to replacing it.

  27. This week was pretty busy and crazy at work so I compensated by marathoning Orange is the New Black and Battlestar Galactica. So it ended up being a good week despite work. I also found a super cute kitten at a party that I really wanted to keep but unfortunately had to leave behind.

  28. I made sure to make it to todays Friday Open thread because at work, we have gone live and everything is pretty much a shitshow. Boo! There has been chaos everyday since Sunday and people have lost sleep over worrying about how to computer charting. Also its a bit tiring to hear your name over and over all day because youre a ‘superuser’ But its FRIDAYYYYYYYY!! tomorrow LA straddlers are meeting in barnsdall park in hollywood.

    Im enjoying a shocktop right now tjat is a honey bourbon cask wheat and hoping I dont have too many spelling errors. I did this metal earth thing and when I get on thr destop i will upload. Jam on you guys. Jam on.

    ps I love that you, the team, are giving away memberships! =)

  29. It’s nearly midnight, and I’m at work. We have a 10:30 pm show. I could fall asleep right now. I have another 2-show day tomorrow, and then Sunday I’m having a read-through of a play that I wrote, which is equal parts exciting and terrifying.

    I loooooooove fall! It’s very symbolic for me. I was really sick when I was in high school, and the peak of it was fall, so I measure my life in how many autumns I survive. I also love the weather, pants, boots, sweaters, and leaves (or hypothetical. NYC nature). I’ve written several songs about the season. Today is the first day since probably May that I’ve worn pants.

    In terms of food, I’m trying to limit my sugar intake, but generally I’m all for pumpkin-flavored goodies (especially caffeine free pumpkin chai tea lattes), apple cider, hot cocoa, etc etc. This fall, I will stick with fresh apples and hot herbal tea. Maybe I’ll figure out a homemade recipe for sugar-free caffeine-free pumpkin chai.

    Also, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year) is coming up, which really means fall. And the Broadway Flea Market, but that’s another story.

    Happy fall & happy life!!!! L’chaim!

  30. Alright I got an weird favour or suggestion to ask. I’ve got a class project where we make a poster for a film but with us recast as the star and I got West Side Story. Our instructor clearly prefers it when people mix it up a bit whether it be parody, an in joke, a local take, or gender switch so what came to mind after blocking how I want the poster to present I had 2 ideas. Make Tony Puerto Rican or a lesbian and then I thought por qué no las dos?

    So what I need is a quality large (1000 x 1200 or so) picture of a latina MOC lesbian or a suggestion as to where I might find a picture to help subvert heteronormativity and give racism a balletic kick in the pants.
    Any volunteers or suggestions? :P

  31. What is going on with me?

    I have almost bought a house… hopefully it will be finalised by next Tuesday. Living through a lot of earthquakes in the past two years and shifting countries has kind of burnt me out so I will be happy to settle, make gardens, have cats, and my own space.

    What is up with me this weekend?

    My lady friend is on call but I will hopefully watch some OITNB with her (yes I am finally watching it, legitimately, am up to episode 7 season 1 where Piper is made Lady President of the Prison??) and it is great, but we may watch instead either Labyrinth, the Princess bride, or the dark crystal.

    What is my favourite smell: (can I answer this in the following way??)

    To eat: Garlic, Lemon, Citrus, Cheese
    To smell sexy: Jo Malone Nutmeg and Ginger, Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin
    To appreciate: anything gardenny. Also my pets. The garden during and after rain. City before a storm.

    What is my favourite pastry:
    When I ate meat, Cornish Pasties, and Mutton Pies from Oamaru NZ.
    Vegetarian sausage rolls, Denheath Custard Squares, Napoleon Creams, Vanilla Slice.

    Team cake or Team pie: that is a tricky question and goes both ways. I sit on the fence because I don’t understand the implications here. Can I put a Bob both ways?
    I made a beautiful pie last night which is perfect for winter (southern hemisphere here): Caramelised Leek, Granny Smith Apple, Vintage Cheese and Rosemary pie in Puff Pastry – yum!!!!! Best pie ever, you need to try this if you can manage.

  32. Also my bespoke dress shirt came in. I wanted to make sure I looked good for the holidays this year IDK why. LOL. #dapperlife

    Also I found this dapper sticker for the back of my car. According to the interweb, ‘dapper’ is to be neat in trim, appearance or dress. My car and I have similarities. What are your guys’ thoughts on the word ‘dapperette’ or ‘dappy’?

    Here’s my metal earth thing for this week. It’s the Sydney Opera House. I was watching Finding Nemo a few days ago. =) P sherman 42 wallaby way sydney!

  33. So I’ve only just recently started actually commenting on Autostraddle, save for the odd one here and there, and I decided I wanted to *show* as much interest as I *have* for what’s going on in these here parts. :) I’ve been pretty sick with pneumonia the last few weeks, so I’ve had a lot more time at home with my laptop than I usually enjoy, but my lungs were all “you better check yourself before you wreck yo’self,” so I’ve been reading a lot and catching up on stuff here. So, earlier this week I kind of snarkily made a point by posting a picture of my butt… and I used imgur figuring oh well, who’s really gonna see this aside from the folks at AS? Well, according to imgur, ~7,500 people in the last 5 days. I am ass famous. All in a week’s work. Serves me right for being one.

    I’m allergic to most scents, so I go with an oil-based one from The Body Shop called Japanese Musk. I am straight up Team Pie, except when there is an opportunity to bake a pie inside a cake, which I have never done, but I imagine is where the diabeetus comes from.

    • I’ve only just started commenting, too. *waves!*

      AS FOR OILS is it the alcohol in perfumes that generally makes you have an allergic reaction? For me that was the case, at least. In Dubai and Egypt they make oil based versions of popular perfumes by the big perfumeries, and I believe similar are available here: (i’ve never used so couldn’t recommend, but generally these are less harmful for the skin and the nose) (i always sneezed far too much with some alcohol based perfumes yachhh)

    • I bet it was the ninja turtle undies. [And your cute butt, obviously.;)]
      AS ass-famous seems like an okay thing to be!

      I am also Team Pie. I like cake, too, but it’s just like… fancy bread. Whereas pie is magic.

      I didn’t know pie inside cake was a thing and I’m really excited about this! Is this a turducken thing? That would require another layer though, right? Maybe donut holes inside the pie.

    • Yep, Michaelangelo and Donatello smiling their sweet beedy-eyed turtle smiles straight from m’buns. :D Strange turn of events, I already had that picture on my desktop from a No Pants Dance Party. Pretty sure my friend asked me what I was wearing and I sent a picture haha. I love living in the city for that reason. The club had pants check instead of coat check.

      Thanks for the tips on the perfume! I don’t know what it is, but yes, the alcohol ones really send me into an allergic tornado of eye-popping sneezes and itchy throat. Weird! Floral ones are the worst!

      And, I agree that cake is just fancy bread. On making a pie in a cake – I imagine you would half-bake a thing layer of cake, then turn the pie upside down into the cake pan, and pour the rest of the batter on top. I feel like this would be really great with chocolate cake and cherry pie. I don’t eat any of these actually, cause I’m on a weight-loss journey of self discovery, but it seems like a violation of baking and I love violating things a la turducken.

  34. This week I bought new bras (really really cute ones from Aerie that you should be jealous of — although I haven’t quite grown into B cups just yet), and unsuccessfully tried to set an appointment with a therapist several times, and played a lot a lot of video games.

    Is there a policy against sharing existential woes in these threads? ‘Cause I kinda wanna say how I’m feeling very much lacking connections to other queer women, and I live in Portland, and those things seem direly opposed to one another, don’t they? I think I must just be really bad at this whole being queer thing.

    • I am jealous of your Aerie cute bras. And existential woes are welcome! Although I’m sorry you’re having them.

      I don’t think there’s any way to be bad at being queer. Lack of connections isn’t reflective of your queerness in any way; it’s just reflective of a lack of connections. But that’s at least a fixable problem, even if it can be really hard to put yourself out there over and over.

      Are you in the Portland Straddlers group, by any chance? I don’t know how often they meet, but there are a lot of good people — some of which I met at the introvert panel last camp.

    • The only regular meet ups they have are at the same time as my writer’s group, and it isn’t really all that regular.

      But there have been a couple that I’ve missed just becuase.. Well, I’m intimidated! I’ve heard all these horror storries about how women like me get treated in lesbian communities. Most people in this site’s comments section are really inclusive but I just can’t shake the worries. :(

    • Is there any sort of LGBT Community Center in town? Ours has support and social groups which have really been an awesome resource for me as I’ve begun on my path.

      What honestly enabled me to begin accepting myself was seeking out queer spaces. There was a local bar called (you’ll never guess..) The Emerald City. Anyway, I was invited by this amazing woman that I met randomly while buying makeup. I went, and started making friends. This was long before hormones or anything, but I was accepted as a woman even then.

      I don’t think there is anything special about me, but when I went to the places where awesome queer people were, I was able to find awesome queer people that I got along very well with. I know it is tough to go somewhere alone, but find somewhere and go! Tip the bartender well, and learn their name on a slow night. If you don’t drink, Coffee Shops are awesome places too. You live in Portland! Everyone makes it out to be like the queer shangra-la! You’ve just got to get out there! Be safe, but give it a try.

      (in addition, I checked your profile and I now want to re-read 2001: A Space Odyssey. I think I was in Junior High when I read it the first time..)

  35. Well I missed the Friday part of open thread as per. It’s 6a.m. GMT and I jarringly just awoke from a strange dream where Erika Linder was my best friend. Bizarre. We were running around all dapper and whatnot.
    Anyway. I’ve been wearing CK one since it came out and don’t see that changing…set in my ways, lazy and nostalgic for the 90s. Plus my baby queer brain loved the non gendered aspect of it.
    I’m British/ignorant and thus unsure of what pumpkin spice is but I love chai spice and I love pumpkin pie, which is not easy to come by commercially here, but due to many American friends, from the airbase nearby, I was exposed to it at a young age. Team pie/pastry all the way. Last year I had a serious cheese twist addiction, they’re like a croissant pastry with cheese rippled through (in case they’re named something else elsewhere). Finally at the point where I can walk past them in the shop and not have to purchase several.

  36. Welllll we were supposed to get dressed up and go to a Grease-themed cruise night last night but then instead we got lazy and sat on the couch and watched a movie.

    And then tonight we thought maybe we could go to the Supercrawl happening downtown after I got off work because the Arkells are supposed to play. But then instead we got lazy and sat on the couch and watched a movie.

    My bestie and his girlfriend are supposed to come over for dinner & games tomorrow night so we had better actually do stuff after I get off work tomorrow or they are totally not going to get fed…

    I am also trying to figure out what I would give myself an A+ in to try to win an A+ membership but I’m coming up blank. I feel like I’m about an A- at best? Not in like a self-deprecating way, I’m cool with being an A-, being MOR is awesome, it just seems a little disingenuous to pad my own grade like that.

    Oh, and I made a pie with probably the last of the summer peaches. So I guess if people come over they won’t totally starve to death, at least there’s dessert?

  37. i am definitely team cake and pie. someone up-thread called themselves team baked goods, and that is a sentiment i can stand firmly behind. i’m alright with pumpkin spice, but i don’t usually go out of my way for it. that said, for some reason, i find myself been in pursuit of a good pumpkin beer. i’ve been curious to try all the options i run across since a particularly tasty one i had last autumn.

    i’m very much looking forward to fall weather, but i’ve a bit longer to wait. earlier this evening, my roommate commented excitedly about how the highs are only in the 80s next week instead of the 90s. woohoo / big ole sigh. until it gets properly cool, i guess i’ll have to content myself with wearing my flannel only while inside my apartment (thank you, air conditioning, for allowing me that at least).

  38. I am team pro-baking. I do baking like it’s jazz music or something. I like to improvise, and being celiac/dairy free for 5 years, means I have better odds trusting myself and the ingredients than trusting a recipe from a cookbook. Disliking most GF pastry recipes I’ve come across, I started making pumpkin flan (basically just the filling) last year and it’s amazing!
    OR you can poach chunks of fresh pumpkin with cinnamon sticks and sugar and then eat it with Coconut pudding and toasted coconut/almonds. I could basically talk food all night long!
    I forgot to mention I also started a new job this week; I’m now officially a personal chef! Basically, the wealthy people of Vancouver are going to finance my ability to do the things I want to do (food justice) that are mostly volunteer positions. Also, I like a good challenge and cooking is pretty fun. I’ll post updates (hopefully with pictures next week)

  39. team pie 5ever
    [honestly, I’m not one to turn down cake either]

    work life has been heinous, but I got to hang out with some of the raddest queer ladies of dallas this week so a++ there

    right in the middle of the itchiest peeling part of my newsst tattoo healing and it’s taking everything I have not to fiddle with it ._.

    happy weekend, kids

  40. I am definitely team pie. I enjoy baking apple pie so much; it’s well worth the effort.

    On another note, my week has been pretty alright! I’m still loving the my new wardrobe that I got from shopping the week previous. I feel 200% more confident, and people are really noticing!
    My ex, who is also my friend, is finally getting over me. My whole friend group is happy, because she was getting really awkward about it.

    Also also, the first meeting of our school’s GSA started on Thursday! It was ULTRA AMAZING. One of my best friends is also the president, so I get to help him out personally and I feel very involved. Plus every girl at the meeting was absolutely adorable, and I even got one of their numbers. I’m very excited. I know I’ll form a crush on one of them, once we know each other better. I’ve also made at least 4 new friends, which is really good considering that I’m not that social. (though my goal this year was to be more social, and I’m succeeding!) Life will be even more fun, now. And by fun, I mean gay, haha.

  41. Here is a thought! The Snuggle and Chat Test of Acceptance! The test must last at least 15 minutes, involve hugging, at least 3 personal emotional thoughts…each, and looking into each other’s eyes for a minute’s continuous duration!
    Both of the people are present in those eyes…..! Try it! :)

      • Hey Laura, the idea is that we have a small, but real personal interaction, including all the senses…. touch, speech, emotional through the looking into each others’ eyes. This creates a real interaction that shows a valid understanding of each of the people, rather than relying on assumption.
        I refer you to Marina Abramovic, the famous artist, who created the performance art film.. “The Artist is Present” which involves her and strangers sitting opposite each other and looking into each other’s eyes silently for a long period….. An amazingly emotional interchange. Please find it and see for yourself! :)

  42. First, let us dispense with the pleasantries, obligatory Phoebe pic:

    She was thrilled that I was taking pictures instead of going to bed.

    I’ve wanted to find a perfume for a while, but my sinuses are easily triggered to pain and nastiness, so I’m thinking diy with essential oils is probably what I should do, but they are pricey! I imagine something like orange and sandalwood, maybe with a hint of spice?

    Oh, we had our local Pride Festival! This year, it was amazing! So, we have it in September, because this is a college town (Champaign, IL.) I was running a clothing drive so that we could have a clothing swap, ostensibly for trans folks to get some things they may need, but really anyone was welcome. We had an early start, getting things set up, this was our first year outdoors in the heart of downtown! Anyway, I and the other Pride Committee members worked our butts off, and it paid off! The clothing swap was well attended, making my many runs through downtown with a plastic cart loaded with clothing feel very rewarding! We even had the first local Pride Parade and it was short, but so awesome!

    I’m not usually a big crowd person, but I felt like I had to be out there waving the trans pride flag! Fortunately, I wasn’t alone! I’ve never been surrounded by twenty plus out and proud trans people before, and the feeling was amazing!

    I was dressed to work, because I saw volunteering, and needed to be able to move (and sweat) without worry. This is right before the parade, a close knit group of Trans*men I know tie dyed shirts in trans pride colors, and a local school’s GPA brought the bandannas, which were perfect!

    So, I was a little more butch than I prefer. But I did do some hopefully fab pride eye makeup :

    Not being a crowd person, as I mentioned, the parade was fun, but a little overwhelming. I kind of had to just be in my head and strut and wave my flag and soak it in with some mental distance. But the crowd and the energy were good. I saw friends and coworkers (after they shouted to get my attention.)

    It was really incredible. After the parade, a new friend and I (our bond forged through hard work!) grabbed some dinner at Big Grove Tavern, where the staff were sporting rainbow tie dye! Enjoy relaxed and soaked it in. Downtown was so busy, there is no way Pride is not going to be HUGE next year! I checked in with the UP Center administrator to make sure I wasn’t needed, and I went home to bed! So I missed most of the more adult parts of pride, but I’d worked hard to help it be, and that felt worth it.

    Oh, and you’d better believe that I got glammed up for brunch with the gals the next morning!

    • Very fab eye makeup! You look awesome.

      I was originally looking at essential oils too. But yeah, they’re surprisingly pricey. And I was worried about ordering them online, because what if I didn’t like the smell? Maybe you can find sample bottles somewhere.

      Congrats on the successful clothing swap. :)

      • Thank you! We’re working on trying to have an open clothing drive/swap to help year round. We just need space. Fortunately, the pastor from a local, very lgbt friendly church reached out to me, so things may move ahead for that! I’m not a person of faith, myself, but I’m happy to work for the greater good with such organizations!

    • I just left Champaign this summer! I was so sad to leave before the first ever parade. I’m so happy it sounds like it went well, I’ve been loving all my friends’ pictures on facebook.
      You look lovely and rad, btw!

      • Aw, it sinks that you missed it! It was really great to feel so much lgbt support from the community!

        And thanks for the compliment. Someone creeped your profile and saw Dune in your favorite books! I only got into Dune a few years ago, but I was super obsessed for a while. Audible has an audio book version read by an all star cast, and it really shaped my perception. If only we could get Hollywood to put a real budget behind it, and a director who cares about the source material…

      • Thanks! Pride was really great, full of those moments that I kind of cling to when I’m feeling down to help me remember that there are really good things in the world.

        And thanks for the compliment, one friend at Pride told me she wanted to teach me more about blending for a more subtle, daytime look. Inside I was thinking “IT’S PRIDE, I DON’T WANT TO BE SUBTLE!” But it was fun and MOST people liked it ; )

        Haha, I didn’t know there was a trick to being a brunette, it’s just nature (well… not the length in the last picture. SOMEDAY.)

  43. Yay! I have time to comment this week.

    Perfumes are ok. I don’t absolutely hate perfume but I don’t want to smell a different perfume on every person I encounter every day of my life. I feel that perfume is a lot out of control. I prefer natural smells. I’m SO glad my girlfriend isn’t into wearing perfume!

    This week I feel a huge weight has been lifted off of me. My homophobic, mysigonist boss was fired! Hurray! After trying to get me fired. His boss was all like, no way, she’s not the problem here, you are. And then there was so much rejoicing at work. It was awesome and my life will be 100% better now.

    This Sunday is our local Pride. So, even though it’s late for most of everyone else here, happy Pride! Thanks to AS for existing! You all have made a huge impact on my life!

    • Congrats on the work development! That is great, knowing upper management sees what is happening!

      I feel very much the same about perfume! Too many people wear too much! I like the old school dab behind the ear and maybe on the neck. (When I wore fragrances)I’d catch a small whiff sometimes, and maybe someone I was talking to in a more intimate context may have as well, but not people across the room. I get headaches from overbearing perfumes!

      Yay local pride! Ours was the best so far in the five years it has been happening. This was my first year involved, and it felt so rewarding! I hope yours goes well!

  44. (I know I’m a day late but I was REALLY busy yesterday!!!)

    Funny you should talk about perfumes and smells because I went to visit my BFF last weekend and the first thing I said when I walked into his/his boyfriend’s new apartment was “It still smells like you!” He used to work at Victoria Secret Body so he’s REALLY into scents. Which led me to spend this week wanting to have my very own signature scent. Which will be something lavendar/lilac-y I think. I fucking love lilac.

    And also pastry. I am on the fence re: pie vs cake. With cake you get frosting. But PIE! I think also pie is particularly fall feeling to me. And Holy shit to I love fall.

    In other news, today I got to wear my super dykey and awesome leather jacket for the first time in forever. So that makes me happy. Also a sweater. I’m totes ready for sweater/sweatshirt/boots season.

    As for tv, I want to be really pumped that Gilmore Girls will be on Netflix, except I own all 7 seasons on DVD and also don’t have internet at home. But I like the IDEA that it is on netflix.

    So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be curled up with my cat and a quilt reading “The Magicians” while listening to film soundtracks and sipping my coffee.

    (after I get off work)

  45. This week/summer/year has been awful.
    I’m 21 and have never had a relationship in my life and I have never had to turn anyone down either (online randos don’t count). I’m down to one last interested-in and unmessaged queer lady in my (pretty small) area on okc, and I’m about to (hopefully) meet a lot of lovely queer humans b/c of a program I’m starting that I’m really excited about, but all of those people will be off-limits b/c I will be in a “supervisory” position. I know there are more important things in life than romantic relationships and I know I’m incredibly lucky to have what I have but it’s like that doesn’t mean anything anymore because I’m so lonely that it physically hurts and it’s really fucking hard to come to terms with the fact that nobody wants me and every night as I’m falling asleep I can’t believe I have to wake up to another day of this.

    • Wow sorry you’re going through a hard time :( I have like -2 relationship advice for you as a complete baby dyke with an aversion to commitment, but just know that you are enough on your own and you don’t need a romantic relationship in order to be happy, even if being
      single feels a bit sucky sometimes.
      Maybe meeting the lovely queer people at the program thing will help you feel less lonely, even if they’re not potential dates.

      Hope you feel a bit better soon!

    • *hugs*

      Rachel gave some wise advice.

      Community may not substitute a girlfriend, but it will hopefully help alleviate your feeling of being all alone. Once you realize how many wonderful queer women there are out there who are single despite being awesome, I hope you will see being single in a new light: it isn’t in any way a negative reflection of who you are, but rather a state of being that’s no better or worse than any other state of being.

      And someday you’ll find your awesome person and you’ll have done so much for the community through this program that she will be amazed and fall in love with you.

      P.S. Single queer person right here! *high five* *and then a hug because we can’t start a conversation with a hug and end on a high five, that’s just wrong.*

    • Dude. I feel for you. I was actually in the same boat. I was 20 when it finally happened for me, and that was a relationship with a guy. I’m a lesbian, I’m not bi, so you’re already one up on me by knowing what it is that you’re looking for (whether that be lesbian, bi, or queer company). I’m 28 years old now. I can tell you that when I had my first relationship with a woman, at 25, it felt as scary for me as if I had never had all that experience with dating men. What I’m getting at is that you are not alone, many people all the world over experience the same feeling, and that 21 is not a pathetic number (which I am inferring is part of your concern). When I was 20 and had never been kissed, I felt like a big loser. Everyone in my life had a significant other, and I felt unwanted and alone. I was fixated, and it consumed me.

      This made a heavy impact on me: “I’m so lonely that it physically hurts and it’s really fucking hard to come to terms with the fact that nobody wants me and every night as I’m falling asleep I can’t believe I have to wake up to another day of this.”

      You’ve already said that there are pretty slim pickings in your area. And then you have to account for attraction and viability, where other people are in their lives. It seems to me that you already know that the reason you are single has little to do with you, and more to do with geography. I’m sorry that it hurts so much, and it feels so personal. It did for me, too. I think that’s normal. BUT, saying that you can’t believe you have to wake up to another day of this – that rings bells for me that you may be coexisting with some other issues like depression. Fixation is also a characteristic of anxiety – I should know, I have generalized anxiety disorder and OCD. It’s not the end of the world. But maybe you should talk to someone?

      • Okay, I just also want to say, cause I didn’t complete this thought very well: I felt like the biggest loser when I was in your position, and I was fixated on it. I was fixated because I was anxious, and I didn’t like myself the way I was very much. What I found, and you likely will too, is that once you get there, relationships will never make you feel less lonely. Only loving yourself will complete you. You’re “the one”. Whoever you ultimately find to be with has to be a companion, someone to complement, not supplement you. You are already finding ways to supplement yourself, and I really commend you for that. What you are doing, helping with your community, is such a good idea, and so positive. Just keep swimming.

  46. I just realized I missed a huge chunk of what we’re really talking about this week. Perfume-wise, I go between Adidas Moves for her (triangle like bottle thats blue only) and Burberry Brit Sheer. For a pink bottled perfume I like it a lot. I’ve been trying to find something more unisex and smells less flowery/girly. I’m sure there’s a post in here somewhere! =) ALL THE PUMPKIN SPICE. There were even beers last night that were flavored pumpkin spice! WHUUUUUT.

  47. TEAM PIE because PI but also because one time i made a Venn pie-agram with pumpkin and pecan pies (blended in the middle! mine was an intersection(ality) pie-agram! the middle part tasted the BEST!)

    I never thought I would find a conversation relevant to sharing my pie-agram story. :^D Thanks Laura!

  48. Pie or cake is so hard. Pie, for me, is kind of like pizza. Even if it’s mediocre it’s still really, really good. But mediocre cake is not a thing I subject myself to. But a slice of moist, walnuty carrot cake with cream cheese frosting… that’s hard to beat. So, put me down for team sugar.

    So, um. I passed the bar. And I went on a really promising first date. So I’m pretty much having a non-stop dance party with rabbits, wine, and cookies all weekend.
    The rabbits disapprove of my antics, as they are prone to do.

  49. A perfumery sounds dreamy. I have been thinking recently about scents and wanting a really great signature scent. The spray I use on my hair smells really good on its own though- I feel like perfume might ruin that?

    News for this week:

    I’m teaching an elementary Brazilian percussion ensemble, and last week we got a whole lot of Brazilian drums, which was exciting! And then the repinique (essentially a tom tom) that I’ll be leading the group with – which I ordered especially for me from my own pocket- arrived too from Germany! (It’s a Brazilian drum but no longer made by Ivsom and it was the last one in stock!)

    I was playing it today and it’s a lot of fun.

    Here it is:

    The plan is to have a Brazilian drumline happening for Reclaim the Night, which can then possibly continue the good times for Pride in November! Whee!


    I feel it’s only right to talk about pastry. So I’ll talk about poptarts. My local supermarket in Australia recently started stocking these, which is rad! I just cooked one each for my sister and I, and then put on two more for me just because. They weren’t crispy enough so I put them in again, and then this happened…

    I have much to learn!

    Also over the course of writing this post I have learnt that four pop tarts to myself (sister couldn’t finish hers) is at least three pop tarts too many. Whoah!

  50. One day wearing perfume is going to be seen as undesirable as smoking cigarettes. I’m sensitive to perfume and it’s a huge problem when trying to form new relationships. Dating is really hard because you can’t just walk up to anyone because they might be covered in perfumed products. A tip for anyone on the dating scene, please consider going fragrance-free. You might miss out on meeting an amazing person. Fragrance creates barriers.

  51. what’s going on with you? Mostly just weddin’ work. We have a big wedding coming up at the beginning of October, so I am in work mode basically all the time.

    What are you up to this weekend? Well there was a Major Work Shitstorm on friday (which is why I didn’t comment then!) and saturday was spent fixing said Major Work Shitstorm. It went pretty well! But it took a long ass time and it will continue to take a long ass time and I’ve developed a stress cold so I feel kinda crappy. BUT I didn’t let that stop me from fun queer hang outs with the lovely Al and my Holly last night at Club Bravo, even though I was wayyyy too tired. There was booze and dancing and they both did karaoke and it was super fun! I’m pretty sure I was dancing next to a gogo dancer while he got a blow job at one point, though?? Clubs are so weird. But friends! Dancing! So you know, it’s worth it I guess.
    Also afterwards I spent the night cuddling with H so I feel better (yay happy!) even though I don’t feel better (gross cold), you know?

    What’s your favorite smell? I love those really heady florals, like jasmine, tuberose, and gardenia. I always feel a little bit drunk after sticking my face in a jasmine vine.
    Perfume-wise, I have three I really love:
    1) Tokyo Milk’s Bulletproof, which smells kind of smoky and sweet? Like some crazy hot butchy queer wearing a leather jacket and smoking a cigarette but also eating a cupcake at the same time. Makes me feel super awesome and super gay (and thus super hot). This’s as close to everyday perfume as I get.
    2) Some perfume I got from Anthropologie many years ago once, and then just recently found again! Smells like jasmine. Not like jasmine essential oil, which is usually just a wildly disappointing smell, but like actual blooming jasmine. Makes me feel sexypretty but also like I could kill a man. Drunk on power/jasmine 24/7
    3) Chanel’s Coco. Not Coco Mademoiselle, but full-on old-rich-lady Coco. Shit’s intense. I worked in the makeup department at Macy’s for a while and mostly I would work at the chanel counter because they were understaffed, but sometimes I worked at the perfume counter. Every day I would get to work, do my makeup with super fancy Chanel shit, and then douse myself in Coco. Needless to say I have been spoiled and can no longer wear cheap lipstick. I am pretentious trash. Anyway, The guy who was in charge of the makeup counter told me he was surprised I could wear it, especially three squirts of it, because usually it’s really overwhelming, but apparently some people’s skin just sops up scents and I am one of those people? Anyway it smells spicy and floral and heavy and I love it so so much. Makes me feel like a super powerful, super intelligent, super stylish, super hot ruler/queen/empress with perfect hair and questionable morals who is simultaneously loved and feared. Such a great perfume.

    What’s your favorite pastry? Do muffins count as pastry? I feel like no, but also maybe yesss??? Sort of? Anyway: Raspberry muffins from Zinc Cafe. They’re made with almond flour and fresh raspberries and I have never had another muffin anywhere near as good, but Zinc’s millet muffins are a close second. I’ve loved these raspberry muffins literally as long as I can remember. When I was little I remember my mum taking us there, and I would eat the muffin and my little sister would chew on the paper muffin wrapper because she was a little paper-eating weirdo. I can tell you all embarrassing stories about her as a child because she grew up to be much hotter and less weird than me.

    Are you team cake or team pie? Team cake, but not necessarily team frosting; team specifically peach pie, pumpkin pie, and lemon cream and/or meringue pie.

    do you like pumpkin spice, or does it repel you? I like it in sweet food items, like bread and muffins and actual pumpkin pie, but I don’t drink coffee so I don’t really give a shit about pumpkin spice lattes, which everyone seems to have a giant autumn boner for? I’m glad they seem to make people happy, though.

    Are you watching either version of GenderPerson Meets World? Nope.

    Oh, or are you watching Sailor Moon Crystal? Not currently, but it’s on my list of things-to-watch.

    Do any of you watch TV on a TV? Pretty much never. My dad always tries to get everyone to watch TV with him in the evenings, but he thinks that America’s Funniest Home Videos is a great show, so that doesn’t usually work out for longer than 30 seconds of “funny” sounds and laugh track.

    What do you love? Currently in love with my work playlist. It is has gotten gayer and gayer as I have added things to it, and then there was that life-changing list of queer covers this week, and it is now a thing of beauty.

    What do you hate? Having a cold when it’s hot outside. I mean I hate having a cold any time, but it’s kind of insulting when the weather is so warm.

    What do you fear? Never being able to get my small business off the ground and having to find a Real Job that is not my wonderful business that I love. I have no idea what that would even be? I’ve still not found a suitable car and my parents, who I am currently still/indefinitely living with, seem to think I should just wait and get one when I have more money (when will that be? like never?? UGH). I’m afraid that I’m not going to be able to have kids because I’ve got PCOS and my mum had a really hard time having kids after she was 30 and I’m turning 26 in December and what if I’m not in that kind of relationship by then and what if I end up barren and unsuccessful and alone??? Also I had another dream about my ex this week, which hasn’t happened in a few months, and I woke up from it in the middle of the night and sobbed until I finally fell back asleep. What if this never stops? What if I end up barren and unsuccessful and still not quite over an ex even though I’m really pleased about my current romantic situation? I DON’T NEED THIS KIND OF DEEP QUESTIONING WHEN I’M TIRED AND SICK AND HAVE CRAMPS. HELP THIS IS TOO REAL. PULL BACK. TOO REAL.
    I’m afraid of the dark! because when I lie awake at night alone and worrying about the next election, and the patriarchy, and net neutrality, and my grandpa finding out I’m queer and disowning me, and how helpless everyone seems to be concerning whatever the hell is still going down in ferguson, and whether or not I’m going to end up barren and unsuccessful, it’s always dark. Dark both literally and metaphorically. HAHA YES JUST A LITTLE AFRAID OF THE DARK NO BIG DEAL HAHAHA HA ahahahAHA

    Anywayyyy here’s the weekly flower picture:

    pink snowberry! So cute.

    Tulips aren’t in season right now but these ones still looked beautiful!

    These are Waratah! They’re a new favorite, which happen to be related to my BFF (Best Flower Forever), the Protea.

    And to finish off, here’s a blurry picture of Holly and I wearing each other’s glasses from saturday night, because it’s too cute and makes me mad giggly:

  52. You know, I so wanted to come talk to you all on the weekend, but I spent most of it sad and hibernating. But at least today is Monday, which is better than last week’s effort of Tuesday.

    So, smells that I love. There are many. I like to smell things; fresh coffee, tomato vines, damp earth, the dawn. I can’t decide what I like in my fragrances though, what I think I like isn’t always the case, but I do know it comes down to nothing flowery, or with a heavy musk. My go to perfume is Armani Elle.

    Pie or cake? Mostly cake, especially if I’m baking. But, there is always time for apple pie – especially if it’s with custard.

    I don’t get Pumpkin Spice. Maybe because I’m British? It really is just lost on me.

    What do I hate? How I feel right now. Trying to work out why someone has pulled a vanishing act on you isn’t fun and basically makes you feel like crap. Why do people just do that? Answers on a postcard please.

  53. So this past week has been…interesting. Let’s go with that. Intentionally came out to a bunch of people, and unintentionally came out to some others. The folks that I intentionally came out to have been absolutely lovely about things and are doing their best with using the right pronouns and have been using my chosen name all the time and that feels great. Some of the people that I unintentionally came out to have been great too. Some have not, including my mother, who is insisting that I have a long, uncomfortable “discussion” about the “changes in my personal life” and is making my gender into a whole huge deal (where I need to give her some support too). On the other hand, she keeps telling me that she supports me and that’s a better reaction than I expected soooooo…that’s good at least?

    On a much more exciting note: I’m going to Gauleyfest AKA biggest whitewater festival pretty much anywhere ever in 2 days with several friends and I AM SO EXCITED. Because not only will I be paddling a freaking amazing river for three straight days, I’ll be doing a ton of hanging out with boaters drinking beer. And possibly buying some discount gear (dear lord, let there be elbow pads there because I really need some)

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