FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Please Tell Me The Worst of It Is Over

Hi, hedgehogs and porcupines! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread, in which we eat hummus using whatever vegetables I forgot I bought the other day and then found in my produce basket in the fridge. They’re still good, I promise, I just lose track of my life a lot. But also, JK! This is our sacred space in which to gather and share love, light, happy thoughts, pictures of cats, poems we wrote when we were teens, and whatever else we fancy to put into the world at the moment because fuck it, let us live. And I’m really glad you’re part of it!

Here’s a picture of a dog I’d normally caption “mood!”

To be honest, I am struggling with how much to reveal about the fact that I’m just now closing out what was undoubtedly the bleakest week of my life. How about instead I just let you know the kind-of-happy endings: Hillary Clinton could still become President so my one true dream might not be dead; going home for my grandma’s funeral provided me with an opportunity to find healing and also see my family which seems important; Eli got away from a coyote almost unscathed; sure I’m sick now but I like soup anyway. Does that work?

In case you’re still feeling dark or looking for light, don’t forget what my SoulCycle instructors have so often told me in various ways but also in these exact words during different courses: that on the other side of resistance is resilience, that what defines us is our ability to put one foot in front of the other even when it’s hard, that you are loved and supported. That in this thread (okay they said “room”) we are family.

And most importantly, a modified manifesto: Be brave in this space so you can be brave out there. Be a warrior in this space so you can be a warrior out there.

In other news, I haven’t been to SoulCycle in two weeks and I think I might cry tears of joy on my stationary bike tomorrow. Now come on down, tell me somethin’ good, and get to loving on each other! I’ll be over here making some more soup and drinking Evian in pursuit of a day when I don’t have to carry this many Ricola in my Hillary Clinton tote bag softly weeping for my nation.

I love you. Welcome home.

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

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. First off: love and light and support and consensual hugs to everyone more affected by this election than me, secondly love and light and everything else anyway to all the other straddlers, and lastly a heartfelt hope that I will keep it together until my counsellor gets back from holiday. It’s Friday! It’s raining! This thread is so important xxx

  2. Today I am trying to catch up on my to-do list while also supporting my friends and community. There’s a lot of pain in the air, and my WOC, Arab, trans, and fellow queer friends need support. So goddammit, I am going to put on my apron and bake cookies, drive people to where they need to be, stroke people’s hair while they cry in my lap, whatever it takes. I am a defiant femme and I am going to love everyone because right now that too is resistence.

    I am also planning on hanging a pride flag in our front-facing window, and making some form of cute “Safe Space” cross-stitch to put in the front entry hall, because my partner and roommates would not let me hang a picture of Mike Pence defaced with menstrual fluids. They said Mike Pence is too disguisting to be in our house, but the period art can stay. (In conclusion, I love my home and everyone in it)

    I love you all <3

    • “a picture of Mike Pence defaced with menstrual fluids” is the best phrase I’ve read all day, and I work at a literary magazine.

  3. I cataloged two books that may be of interest to others here for my library this week.
    Under the Udala trees, by Chinelo Okparanta; and Sounds and sweet airs: the forgotten women of Classical music, by Anna Beer.

    Otherwise, getting over my “high” of going to GaymerX East in New York City last weekend, and enjoying the treasures I picked up there. It was my first gaming/fandom convention and my first time in New York.

    • Yay libraries! I am also (are you?) a librarian! This week, while ordering geological sciences books, I came across a linguistics title in the databases that was about gender in language. It’s How Gender Shapes the World, and I think it’s going to be a great read because linguistics is one of my favorite things. Definitely a lucky find.

      Is that forgotten women of classical music book good? I remember seeing it, and my GF and I were talking about women composers a few months ago …

      • I just cataloged it today, I haven’t had a chance to look at it beyond the standard copy-cataloging needs. There was a list of around 10 name subject headings for the composers referenced in the book though, so it looks pretty thorough. A good number of citations as well.

        I don’t have an MLS, so can’t be called a librarian. I do systems work primarily, and copy cataloging on my little bit of downtime. We’re converting ILS’s, so I have a lot of reporting and cleanup to do with that.

        Under the Udala Trees had requests, so I rushed to get it out today, so I didn’t have a chance to read that one either. I’m glad others are enjoying it!

  4. I’m about to go pick up my brother’s dog from the airport

    Longer story short- He hasn’t seen her in the past 6 months while he was going through his brain cancer treatments

    I except to have EMOTIONS when they reunite tonight

  5. Things have been hard recently but I just (a couple minutes ago!) found out that I am off the waitlist for my university’s sexual assault counsellor and have an appointment! I am getting to a place where I am finally ready to deal with this and it is panicking me a lot but I think it’s good?

    I am also going to petsit my best friend’s puppy for a couple weeks starting really soon and I am so excited for that. She is the best dog on the planet.

    • There is a wait list to see a sexual assault counselor?!

      You can do this. Wishing you the best and giving you some support.

      • There is at my school! There was a big sexual assault scandal that happened earlier this year and now the university is trying to make it right. Part of that is hiring a trauma counsellor who specializes in sexual assault. That’s really the only good thing they’ve done tbh. But I am very happy they did it and that they are trying

  6. I am not sure if I can tell you anything good, because I found more reason to be depressed. I forget to reactivate WhatsApp on my phone until last night, only to find out that some of my family voted for the wrong person. I get that that fiscally one candidate maybe better for you, but the rest of the platform as Middle Eastern Jews(some of whom are very religious as in one of them wears a wig) should just be totally appalling. I didn’t say shit, because frankly I’d be the only one. Plus, one of them was praising Kellyanne, who threw a fit on tv because news anchor called Trump fans a racist. Like I get finance is important, but enough to vote against your own people? I give up. It really took me down to depression levels again.

    Last week I went to a drag king show in Long Beach and I am starting to realize I am not really a fan of drag shows as there is always an air of transphobia in the air. One of the performers brought all the people(all women since it was queer ladies night) up who were having birthday celebrations there and then instead of asking if they are straight, bi, queer, or lesbian they ask the transphobic question of which genitals are you a fan of. Like, hello trans people come to this venue(their bathrooms are labeled men room and all gender room), and you are promoting this idea that genitals equals gender. Can we try to strive better as a community?

    On the plus side, I’m going to a gay b-day party tonight so I am excited for that, then if I know the folks we’d be going to the Abbey for drinking and dancing. I plan to wear a fabulous shade of plum lipstick, and hopefully look like a mix of dapper fierce with a glitter all over my mini JewFro. I am also kind of excited for the show Grand Tourer(new amazon show from the Top Gear Guys). Sure the guys are a bit problematic, but they mostly entertain me(when they aren’t problematic) and we all need something to keep our minds off the clusterfuck of a year.

    I don’t have any new nature shots, but it is finally dark enough to do this at work, which is a good, calming distraction for me.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend! Also, stay safe if you are going to a TDOV event. <3

    • If your family knew about finance, they would not have voted for the guy that said he would default on US treasury securities.

      • Correction, they have to know about economics and how financial markets work. Most people only learn about equity financing in school. Most of our financing actually comes from debt contracts but it is not widely taught. But still, they should have looked into how the economy works and how polices affect the financial markets.

      • I think some of them like his tax cuts, and a couple are doctors(something about ACA not paying as much as before. I don’t know whether to cry or hide in the closet(in all senses of it).

        • That is disturbing. They don’t need tax cuts. Buy some municipal bonds and earn tax free income from the interest payments to keep taxes low. Ughhhhh! Do you have room for one more in that closet of yours?

  7. Good morning dumplings! Keeping warm?

    Everything is shit but I don’t think it’s still fully sunk in yet. Every day the headlines look like one of those montages from the beginning of a disaster movie, as Trump puts together a cabinet of literal Death Eaters. There is a large gray area of static in my brain that is just badness and uncertainty. And I’ve really been shit this week at getting work done. But that just is what it is.

    I am also dating someone new and it feels really nice and good and happy. Weird to have both going on at the same time.

    I love you all and am thinking of you and hope that you are keeping safe. Here is Cyrus asking me to stop cleaning and play with him.

  8. It’s been a hard few days. In the last week, there have been 5 reported cases of swastikas and being spraypainted on various buildings here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: two synagogues, the home of a rabbi, a mosque, and a church with a black pastor.

    I’ve never been very heavily involved in the Ottawa Jewish community before, even though I’ve lived here for five years, and have a lot of Jewish friends in the city. I usually go to Toronto for all the holidays, because I like to spend the holidays with my family, who are mostly all in Toronto, so I don’t belong to a synagogue in Ottawa. But this week has been hard, so after hearing about these incidents, I’ve decided to go to a Jewish Learning event this Sunday, and am going to try to be more involved in the Jewish community in Ottawa.

    Other than that, Supergirl Sanvers fanfiction and anxiously counting down the days till the Gilmore Girls revival are what’s keeping me going at the moment.

  9. I was doing rounds with my much appreciated and beloved Chief of Oncology today, and we were in one of my favorite patient’s room, the patient, who had gone home tumor free three months prior and left me a letter and a CD of self written children’s songs to thank me, then.
    We were in his room and his wife was there, and the light struggled through the stormy skies and fell perfectly into the somber room.
    It touched against my patient and the room so strikingly, I ached for a camera, while the Chief talked of sadness.
    You see, my perfectly optimistic patient, through the worst of it, had suddenly grown sad.
    His GP and wife had worried and brought him in.
    They hadn’t when he had run into the bike rack with the car.
    He hadn’t said anything when he started spilling the coffee from the cup in his left hand, either.
    And he hadn’t paid attention to his smile growing crooked in the mirror earlier.
    But his wife had dragged him to the doctor when he had started growing sad.
    Change of being, is the rough translation of the poetic German word, that describes a person changing their character.
    I got an urgent call on Wednesday, with that one word hurried over the line.
    And of course.
    Chemo doesn’t reach the brain.
    Whatever hides there, no matter how miniscule, has time to grow and fester and compress.
    So now, on Friday, diagnosis made, plan set, we had settled into a tableau in my patient’s room, my patient, his wife, the Chief and I.
    And he adressed the sadness.
    “It is a heavy blow, of course,” he said, “you were so hopeful before.”
    “But this, this is the saddest month of the year.”
    “Even the healthy people are sad right now.”
    And that made me feel a world of better.

    P.S.: Feel free to see this as an allegory to the current political situation, but most of all:
    I hope y’all feel better, soon, even though it might not be before spring.

    P.P.S.:I signed up for an LGBT refugee mentoring program instead of going to a comic con in December, today. SO looking forward to that!

  10. Love to you all!!
    Yesterday I went to a public reading of a new book one of my favourite, newer, young German feminist activists, Margarete Stokowski, wrote. Check out her work! Unfortunately, I didn’t get the book, but instead, I could talk to her, and she’s sooo inspiring and powerful and intelligent and funny and she wished me strength to keep on fighting, so I’m really motivated right now <3

    • Thank you I will! My friend is living in Germany (she is American) and I’m putting together a care package for her. Maybe I can even find her a German edition to send.

      • It’s her first book, I think it’s only available in German, it’s called “Untenrum frei”, “Free down there”, also she wrote for German newspapers “taz” and “Spiegel online”. It’s really worth checking out!! :)

  11. Oh god last week and this week have been trash fires in my personal life.
    But I’m not going to fail my 9am class, my grade might be low tho.
    Soy is in EVERYTHING and it appears I’m allergic to it. Especially soy lethcin.
    But it appears I’m not allergic to wheat, I’ll just have to make my own bread and buy raw nut butters.
    Good thing is I really like making bread, pounding my frustrations out into something productive is therapeutic.
    Also I’ve always loved corn tortillas and the ones I buy don’t have any soy additives.
    And grits are great with feta.
    My breakfast is secure.
    Snack foods
    Well I’ve discovered I’m great at making trail mix and beef jerk is still my BFF.
    I will still miss the ever loving crap out of my kind bars tho.

    I rarely have straight up good things, just some blessings here and there to count.

    Another blessing is I’m on schedule (and ahead on some parts) with my final projects.

    Any one have some non pork based, low on the onions taco recipes they’d love to share?

    Like the nice soft corn tortilla tacos, not the giant crunchy tortilla chip which was actually a Mexican-American invention I learned from the Taco Tuesday series.

    I can’t congri, red beans and rice everyday.

    • I don’t have taco recipes on offer, (and I’m trying really hard not to pun on that), but if you’re allergic to soy, maybe dipping into the paleo corner of the interwebs might help you out.
      They don’t believe in any additives and soy is off limits, too.

    • Depends on what kind of meat you prefer on your taco when you say non-pork based.

      Cheap meat cuts make great taco meat. Just remember to marinate your meat and slow cook the tougher cuts. Flank steak is my go to meat cut. Use some Sazon seasoning and something sour, like lime juice or vinegar and marinate the meat ( I do it for 24+ hours). It’s best to cook it on a grill until it is too your liking. If you can’t grill, you want to cook it on mid-high heat on the stove with a tbl spoon of oil for about 4 – 5 mins on each side. Afterwards, cover the meat in foil and let it continue cooking in the oven for about 20 – 25 mins at 375 – 400 degrees. When it is done, take it out and DO NOT uncover the meat. Let it rest for 10 mins. Then you can slice and dice the meat and make some tacos.

      I must admit, I don’t really look at the time or temperature anymore because I’ve done this so many times I can smell and see when it is done. Just remember to let the meat reach room temperature before cooking it. It will make your life easier.

      • It’s chicken or beef at this point, turkey has yet to be reintroduced to flailing fail of a body.

        That is a mighty fine way to do meat. Bless you and I can have the spices Sazon is composed of.
        I need more containers for spice mixes. Shesus I’m a strumpet for spices.

        Any advice on green plant based stuff to go with the meat?
        I tried peas because shawarma is my point of reference for wrapped like things and frozen peas are a stock item for me like canned tomatoes. That was a disaster. Not even a tasty disaster.

        • The seasoning is basically a rub. Wear gloves. Your hands will be orange. Store in an airtight container. 1 1/2 teaspoons of this mix equals one packet of commercial sazon

          1 tablespoon ground coriander. 1 tablespoon ground cumin.
          1 tablespoon ground annatto seeds (achiote) or turmeric.
          1 tablespoon garlic powder.
          1 tablespoon kosher salt.
          2 teaspoons oregano.
          1 tsp ground black pepper.

          You really don’t put greens with it unless it is to garnish it. Like cilantro. But it doesn’t stop me from enjoying a salad in the side . If you want to incorporate vgetables you can stirfry them in the same pan you cooked your meat in. Tacos rarely have extra stuff. But then again i make street style tacos. Cabbage and queso fresco is allowed though. Go crazy with that shit.

          make some picadillo if you wamt some type of greens in it. Basically ground beef with random stuff like greenbeans and corn.

          Really all you need is a well seasoned protein. Breakfast tacos is wear you can get creative. Eggs with chorizo, beans or potato is good to start and just incorporate stuff.

          • Oh dear I guess my sentence was sloppy. What I meant when I said “I can have” I meant I looked up the ingredients and they are things I can have. My immune system when haywire twice in this year, giving me 2 fucking awful allergic reactions and I’m in the middle of a long term weeding out of stuff that may have caused it.
            Some of the spices I love very much and put on everything but fish are the list of things that tested as an allergen.

            Turmeric and cumin were 2 of the “exotic” spices I used in my MENA inspired rub and power pack that were spared the elimination diet.

            But I do like this ratio you’ve shared better that some of the ratios I looked at.

            Ha I hate salad and my allergy tests concluded I’m allergic to lettuce and a couple of other major salad things. xD

            I’ll try cilantro and maybe some sauteed spinach.

            Breakfast tacos were my only breakfast at the beginning of this elimination thing because I had to go find plain grits and oatmeal with no soy contaminants.
            Oregano, cayenne and paprika were the only things I could add as the sacred spice mix of my people, Tony Chachere’s, was not spared from the soy scourge.

            Well seasoned protein one of my favourite things, I’m so glad for all this taco knowledge.
            I can only eat so many things right now.
            Thank you, so much.

    • Honestly the fact that you can even show up to a 9 a.m. class makes you a stronger person than College Me ever was.

      • Mwha ha not only does my sick ass show up at 9am I’m competing with only one other person to be the first person seated each session of this class.
        And I do it all without coffee.

        Thank you for the ego stroke >D

  12. So sorry for your loss Carmen, sending you lots of love ❤️❤️.

    I have two different sets of friends who have decided to push up their weddings to this month because of the election. Even though he said he won’t go after marriage and it would take a lot of time for a Supreme Court decision to be overturned I get the feeling that people just want to have some power over deciding when to get married, before that’s taken. I’m really happy for both couples, I love them so much, and I’m also sad about the situation that makes this necessary. I work in events and am an expert online shopper, so if anyone else is considering a last minute marriage I am here for you!

    I made a therapy appt yesterday for the first time in almost a year and a half though, so looking forward to that! I’ve found a lot of love and support in queer circles these past two weeks and that has made all this bearable.

    • YES YES

      I almost tripped over a woman at the market a couple months ago who looked like an 11-foot-tall Desiree Akhavan and then she smiled at me and I fell apart completely

  13. This has been an odd week. Not really happy but not as bad as the previous one. It feels like a transition week but I’m not really sure if that is a good thing either. To be honest, I could not help but roll my eyes when I read “we are family” in this thread, because these past two weeks have actually been lonely for me in the family department. I have not seen my family at all, nor have they reached out to me. Out of all my friends, only one friend really made sure I was okay, but the ones I considered “family” pretty much just left me out in the cold.As much as I like that we are all basically supporting each other, I seem to be lacking something that makes me feel like I am part of a family or community. I feel very much like a spectator even though I do my best to interact and help. I’m still lost and trying to find something that is stable to hold on to. But hey, that’s life right? You just put on a brave face over all your other faces. You don’t let your tears cloud your vision. You keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going and you help others do the same when times are hard. You just keep telling yourself euphemisms like “it’s just growing pains”. You just keep living.

    Eh, enough ranting.

    So, last night I had a study group for a quiz for my economics class that ended really late. I didn’t get home until 11:30pm. There are only 4 grades for the class so we take the quiz seriously and my professor tests us on extra knowledge. We pretty much had to work some word problems on time valuations, annuities and risk structures. Well, there was a lot of mansplaining last night. These guys were having trouble the whole night one easy problems while I was already half way done. Then they had the nerve to ask how I did it and tell me how I could have gotten the answer faster on the calculator….. I do my calculations by hand so that I understand the concepts and how they are applied in different situations…. I told them the reason why I am ahead of them is because I do it my way, the smart way and not the lazy way. I pissed some of the off. There was one problem that did stump me though. Everyone told me it was straight forward and the answer was D but I knew it wasn’t. I attempted the problem again this morning after realizing I never put my answer for another equation in annual terms. Long story short, the answer was A and I had to womansplain to a bunch of cry babies why the answer was never D to begin with.

    At least now I am confident in passing my quiz tomorrow morning. Can’t wait for the semester to be over so I can sleep.

    Have a good weekend and a great week everyone. Happy Friday.

  14. So I’m dreading Thanksgiving. Already told my mom I might not be able to handle the cousins (the only sect that I know that hardcore voted for Trump) and got the expected guilt trip ala dead grandmother’s memory. But I have some humorous things that are keeping me going.

    This week, after nearly a Decade of mostly working in technology (social media, a touch of databases, a slide of digital literacy/technology research, smatterings of HTML)… I suddenly realized … I am part of STEM. Like legitimately. Which is hilarious to me that I knew this but didn’t really know it? So I’m just … don’t miss the bus as it hits you, darling–as it reaches the midway point of having already run me over.

    And then I just watched this

    (Or here’s the link if its not working there)

    And I feel that “not getting mistaken for an unaccompanied minor everywhere thing, even if its finally happening less.

  15. FYI, we LITERALLY just got some really good news! Bill C-16, which is a bill to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination, just TODAY passed 3rd reading in the House of Commons!

    For the non-Canadians, this means it now moves to the Senate, where last year the same bill died on the order paper when the federal election was called, but it has a REALLY GOOD chance of passing this year, so it’s hopefully just a matter of time!

    • That is good news! I’m keeping my fingers crossed it passes the senate.

      It’s not even troubling that this has to be brought about through the parliament today. The charter of rights should have given recognition to our diversity in the first place; just as it has with multiculturalism.

  16. ugh, the awful election stuff is getting me down so much. i’m not getting anything done lately, just reading thinkpieces 24/7. trying real hard not to get sucked into social media debates.
    the situation in hungary (where i live) is predictably depressing, there is a constant backdrop of racism and all kinds of -phobias. president orban was STOKED about trump winning. also today i heard that a random hungarian bakery chain is collecting signatures against gay marriage? like, that isn’t even on the horizon and they still try to prevent it with all they’ve got?

    on a brighter note, i finally put my money where my browser goes to and got an a+ membership. i appreciate this website and its content and its comment section SO MUCH. thanks autostraddle <3 (not gonna lie, an important factor in this decision was wanting to make sure that erin continues to have a stable income and can keep doing what she's doing. i can't even.)
    so anyway, thanks to trump nemesis george soros, whose university i'm getting my phd scholarship from. enabling yet another evil liberal institution, wheee!

    on another bright note, i've been living together with my girlfriend with a bit over a month now and it is SO SO SO AMAZEBALLS. i'm so consistently happy about this. coming home every evening to her (and our cat, who is aggressively affectionate these days), cooking dinner together, sharing our lives this way… it is THE BEST, omg. we've been dating for almost three years and i feel more lucky to have her every day. true love y'all. i placed the order for an engagement ring today (and hope she doesn't read this) :)

    hope you are all holding up, channeling the circumstances into something productive (whatever that may be), and sending hugs to those who want them. <3

  17. I don’t have much to say today… it’s actually been quite an eventful lease (I signed a lease on a new apartment & am moving in 2 weeks), but I feel almost bad about feeling good. I recognize my privilege in living in a fairly liberal, supportive environment where I’m with many like-minded, equally-grieving individuals. I also feel selfish in the fact that people’s lives are going to get totally fucked over, and my biggest concern is feeling lonely. I guess I’m used to being very psychologically/personal-oriented, and I’ve never really concerned myself with sociology/community. I mean, I have, but not like this. There have been swastikas posted around NYU (where I went to college) and other schools in NYC (where I live), and I should be terrified as a Jew who works at a Jewish organization…I just feel blerg. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just lonely and single. :(

    In other news, I presented my song from CAROL: THE MUSICAL in my musical theatre writing class on Tuesday, and several classmates said it’s my best lyric in class yet (and we’re in the second year, so this is 14 months of my lyrics). I relate to Therese Belivet and Carol Aird in ways that I feel like most people don’t… I get the not belonging and feeling out of place, and not just because I’m queer. I need to write more…I just don’t know what to write. I can’t do anything with this musical outside of class because of the rights- I’d love some suggestions of sources (books, stories, movies, etc.) in the public domain (or written/created by someone who would want to give me the rights) that would make a good musical. I’ve been so ready to give it all up, but I can’t. I’m an artist, and I need to keep creating art during this difficult time in the world. That’s what artists have always done.

    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what you love. Because when you do what you love, the world will need it.”

    • Times like this are the most important times to be creating art Rachel. Do what you do with a passion; go girl!

  18. This past week and a half have been horrible, with personal stuff on top of the other horribleness since Tuesday. I am really struggling to keep it together and keep my head over water. However! Two good things happened yesterday, my child got his arm out of a splint, and I received my AS hard femme shirt in the mail. And today I got a call anout starting full-time where I am now working part time, which is great because my other fullish time job is ending and that was one of my stresses! So I guess not everything is horrible? Also currently looking at hotel rooms outside of DC for the million women March in January with a couple friends… tip to anyone planning on going, get a room now because they are all gone!

  19. Yesterday I crashed out at nine after being awake for thirty six hours so I missed my article going up but I am wildly excited and have been all day about it and have been chatting to the people commenting on it because I wrote a thing for Autostraddle and people liked it!

    My right wrist hurts a lot again so I can’t make jewellery or crochet, which is driving me a bit up the wall, but my Prof really likes the short synopsis for my major project which he described as “queer stranger things! aces!” (I’m doing the creative writing masters I’ve always wanted this year) so I’m really happy about that.

  20. I can’t say that too much has happened this week. We had a few reports of violence in the last week at my university and it freaked some people out. Come to find out, though, that the students had lied, which is unfortunate because in this time of stress and worry people lying and causing panic is the last thing we need. The one good thing that has come from this election is that I decided to come out to my parents. It was terrifying, but it didn’t go as awful as I expected. That’s one giant weight off my shoulders.

  21. Things have been rough in the past few weeks, but I’m trying to turn to activism and organizing to stay sane. My mom even called me the other day saying that it’s time she gets political and I think she’s already volunteering with an org that helps people get citizenship and helps refugees get resources they need.

    I’m having about 20 people (maybe more) over to my house on Sunday to write letters and make phone calls to our representatives asking them to disavow Bannon. I’ve been presently surprised at who’s attending from old coworkers to some like minded people I met at a coffee shop last week. It’s so easy to host a bunch of people for stuff like this and it can make a huge difference. Sending love to all the straddlers who are still coming to terms with all of this. There is a lot we can do to fight and we must never lose hope.

  22. I have a question that may be poorly worded, but the intent is to learn and google isn’t helping me much. I work at a community college with multiple campuses and my boss wants to start a women’s leadership program to encourage female students (and she has been consulting with me). She’s very focused on white, black, and latina women, but not very aware that there are more “minority” groups on our campuses. I told her we needed to be clear about the organization including trans women (specifically in our mission statement and values) and she agreed but she is opposed to doing further research to identify the needs of trans women here on campus. How do I help? How do I identify trans students, faculty, and staff that might be interested in being a part of the planning stages? I don’t how to say “here is this flawed thing we are doing, but give us your input so maybe it can be good for you.” Can anyone suggest a book or guide to building trans inclusive organizations? I feel completely stuck.

  23. I thought I was handling things well, but I have been procrastinating sleeping, and going to bed 30min-1h later than I should, and having restless nights. I think I’ve been trying to make myself so tired that I don’t have the energy to care about things anymore.

    On the not awful side of things, I had a fairly nice dinner with my co-workers yesterday. There were two conservative guys, and they were speaking a lot of racist stuff about Syrian immigrants (I’m in Canada), and one of my other coworker shut them down by saying he’s an immigrant and he turned out ok, so why wouldn’t the others do as well.

    This weekend I plan on playing Watch Dogs 2 and hanging out with my nerdy friends. I hope being around my friends helps cheer me up a bit.

  24. I’ve been doing ok. Not great, but not awful. Except today, today has been terrible. Reasons I need to not forget to refill my scripts for chronic pain. Well I got it finally and have taken every other drug I’ve to help with things so right now things are not terrible (read: I am very high on my medications). But I can’t try to do phone calls that I needed to do about health stuff nor can I make phone calls to my rep to voice my Concern (understatment of the past year) about several of the appointments of our President-Elect.

    But being dizzy plus being on crutches is THE WORST COMBO. -10/10 do not recommend. Who wants to come over to carry me around on a litter?

    • Have you thought about taking Kratom instead? Or something like wild opium lettuce? Cinnamon tea always helps me. Look up some natural pain killers that help with the pain but causes less drowsiness.

  25. My victory for this week is that I actually picked up the phone and made calls to congressional people to tell them my opinions as a constituent and ask them to act in what I think is the best interest of the country. I’d never done that before! I wrote letters to my congressfolks once in college for a project but I’d never made a phone call and I’d never contacted any gov’t officials of my own volition. It was… not bad! Very quick, I think they’re a little overwhelmed with other folks doing the same thing right now. I didn’t have a script in front of me, which was a rookie mistake; I always try to have a script for every phone call. But I had the thought to do it so I had to get it over with before I chickened out or got lazy.

    The new Pokemon games come out today and they should be in my mailbox when I get home–one for me, one for my wife! I’ve also got a new Star Wars tie-in novel waiting to be read on my Kindle, because I’m a giant nerd who keeps buying these things for the lore even though they’re usually not great as books. And since last weekend was our six year anniversary (of being together, not being married) but my wife and I were both sick and gross, we’re going to celebrate it this weekend instead. Lots to look forward to.

  26. Hello family! I’ve missed you. I feel like i have nothing particularly interesting to say, so I’m just showing my face and feeling you all (consensually) by hanging around here until I fall asleep in ten minutes time.

    You people give me life.

  27. oh, friends: has anyone been able to get through to / leave a message with Paul Ryan’s office(s)? I called about eight numbers the other day and they all seemed to route to the same voicemail system where the mailbox was full.

    • I got through for that ACA survey a few minutes ago… Called about six times to get to it, though. Not sure why it changes.

  28. “I love you. Welcome home.”

    Home is exactly how I feel about Autostraddle. Thank you for what you do, and thanks to everyone who shares this space.

    This week, a girl in my class told me “you’re always so calm and well-spoken in class!” so naturally I responded with, “hahahamhrrwellluhhhaha ok.” To those who can speak to women without sounding like a total nimrod, I salute you.

  29. “I love you. Welcome home.”

    Home is exactly how I feel about Autostraddle. Thank you for what you do, and thanks to everyone who shares this space.

    In lighter news, this week a girl in my class told me “you’re always so calm and well-spoken in class!” so naturally I responded with, “hahahamhrrwellluhhhaha ok.” To those who can speak to women without sounding like a total nimrod, I salute you.

  30. Man, things have been weird, guys. But at least I’m acknowledging it and facing it head-on, even if I am making some questionable decisions about it. I did persuade myself not to try to do crazy things with our only remaining savings in the stock market, trying to make a quick buck on the volatility in the wake of the election before the crash (seriously folks I like you all, I care about your finances, please start making plans for a worldwide depression and get your assets into cash/sound money stat). On the other hand, I drove to TN and bought Powerball tickets (some of you will probably ignore any financial advice for me after reading that – I understand). I know it’s like flushing the money. I know I might as well have bought a cigar and at least got a little buzz out of setting my money on fire. But I sorta get it, the lottery thing. All the way home, I fantasized about what I’d do with the money, how my mate and I wouldn’t have to struggle anymore, how I’d have time to do all my important intellectual work and write my stories, how we could buy a big chunk of NH and just never have to interact with other humans if we didn’t want to.

    Needless to say, I did not win the Powerball. Fuck.

    I have done some constructive stuff, though. I can see my contract work (editing) ramping up quickly, so hopefully this will be a good “season” for me. I know I’m not making as much as I did last year by this time, but I should still do OK, and I’m done paying for grad school after next year (forever! no more degrees! ever! I promise!) so that’ll be the end of that money drain. I also took a little time to write a new scene for my fantasy series. I’m not finished with the part I intend to publish in January, so of course I worked on a scene like five books ahead of where I am now! Obviously. As often happens, I found my characters speaking for me, in a way. Here’s the snippet that pretty much sums it up:

    “I just feel so…I am lost. I have no sense of myself in your world…Your ways are different, but I could adapt to them, if only I could be myself. Instead, I am rendered mute and useless. What good am I to anyone here? Yes, you have given me times and places to break my facade of servitude, but it is not enough. I have nothing here, except for you, and my zef, and my runt. I care for all of you, and for our purpose in coming together, but Lady Cassandra, I fear I am losing my mind in this idleness!”

    Damn, Gwynn (the char in question), you preach it, girl. But whatevs. I’m gonna bang out another couple assignments and then go explore my ennui at the coffee shop like a good little itinerant intellectual.

    • For a moment I read that you were doing crazy things with your savings in the stock market. I was going to lose my mind lol. But then i reread and saw you prevented yourself from doing so. Honestly if you had looked at Trumps policy and purchaced some stocks that dealt with construction before the election results, you probably could have made a killing when the market went down after trading hours. After he was declared the winner, that was when investors actually checked his policy and started buying baised on that. That readjustment was enough for the market to rebound when it opened back up. At least that is what we gathered in class.

      I agree that financial health is important though. Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to promote a world wide depression just yet. It is very speculative and could trigger emotional buying and selling. I would suggest Plan accordingly and reasearch how financial markets work, saving and investment options second and then look at how stocks and bonds work. There are so many tools out there but I don’t know why I never see an actual written article on here about financial health. I am going to look into Annuities, defense companies like Lockheed and Martin, commodities realted to contruction and REITs to allocate some risk. Maybe buy a mutual fund and several index funds. Pretty sure gold will go up again too. Hope you have some DRIPs in your portfolio.

  31. So yeah the world has not been a great place to be in lately, and I am definitely struggling to cope with that, because it is fucking scary. But I have a couple of good things.

    First, an Irish senator who not only has his head screwed on (unlike most irish officials) but also isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said right now. I definitely feel a little more hopeful knowing that there’s someone trying to stop my stupid country from taking the wrong side here.
    (Also I feel really bad for Katherine Zappone right now, because as part of the cabinet she’s been forbidden from speaking out too much against Trump, and it must feel like the most unfair bullshit to her. She came here to be with her Irish wife, even when this country wouldn’t recognise their marriage, and ever since she got here she has worked and worked to do what she can to make this country better. Even before she got into politics she was working to give kids from low income families the best start possible, and her and her wife’s court case to get Irish recognition of their marriage was a huge part of what got the country talking about marriage equality. They pushed that fight significantly forward. And now we’ve won that fight! She was elected to the Seanad, and then this year she ran as an independent for the Dáil, and not only won a seat, but was chosen as a government minister. The last independent minister we had only had that position because her party collapsed while she was minister (it’s not like anyone was going to fight her for the department of health. Only masochists want that job). Before that it hadn’t happened since 1948. So it’s not unheard of, but it’s pretty rare. Katherine Zappone has put so much time and energy and work into serving this country, and in return she gets forbidden from sharing her feelings about the state of her home country? Because god forbid we risk upsetting the american companies whose investments here are what keeps our economy afloat. It’s a load of crap, and I’m mad on her behalf)

    Moving on from that totally unplanned tangent, I’m going to be getting a new foster pet soon! I had to put off taking any more in while we got insulation and other work done on the house, but now we’re done with that so I can start up again! Aside from the comfort of having new gorgeous fluffies to snuggle, fostering homeless pets helps me feel like I’m helping put some more good into the world, which is definitely something I could really do with right now. And it’s something I can do even with my awful energy levels and executive dysfunction and just general inability to adult. Most of what it needs from me is stuff I have plenty of to spare (time at home, love and affection), and anything else is stuff I already need to do for my own pets, or something that my family can help with (like driving me to the shelter for checkups). It takes very little extra effort from me, and it’s good for me, it’s good for the animal, it’s good for the shelter, it’s good for society. Definition of a win-win situation!

    And here’s a video of my last foster baby, Ella! Because she was the sweetest little cutie.

  32. hi honey,

    sounds like it’s been a bad week, I’m sorry.

    I feel okay. I was having waves of nausea and despair that have mostly quieted down since midweek, and now and am just trying to settle into both doing my work and doing The Work and figuring out the balance of my life and also What The Fuck Is This.

    Seattle has gotten really cold and gray in the last week, and it’s been dreary, but I’ve been knitting a gorgeous blanket for a friend, and having some good talks with my honey about the future of having a kid(s), started reading a memoir called Tough Girl which is about being a gaywad, winning an Olympic medal at age 14, and your partner leaving you at 67. I’m only about 50 pages in but I’m way into it so far.

    I need to get some acupuncture soon I think because my whole body has tensed up and I’ve had a bunch of headaches this week, but I’m really trying to do the thing where you attend to your body and then the symptoms of anxiety subside and things feel easier. Hopefully, yes?

    I don’t know. The news is a dumpster fire, I need to be calling my representatives a bunch more than I am already but I feel a bit more ready to do the work and not just turn inward this week (tho like also that’s fine, and if that helps you get thru the day, great, do it).

    I hope y’all are finding folks to reach out to, I know the times when I’m in connection things feel less hopeless.


  33. This week has been interesting, to say the least. I’ve totally procrastinated studying for my GRE next month, but I’m letting that slide for now because I’m trying to plan what I need and want to do before the orange menace takes office. I’m considering starting a local LGBTQ+ safe space/support group, even though I have no idea how to do that and I have no money; I just know it’s needed (any tips would be helpful). I’m going to see if my family members in the DC area will help me get to the Million Woman March. If I can’t go to that, I’m considering getting a protest haircut on Inauguration Day to look more visibly queer (and, if I can’t donate it, mail the 2ft of hair to the White House with a note that says “I am not afraid of you”). The thing I’m definitely going to do is have a conversation with my national news show producing family member about trump’s gaslighting and how it needs to not be normalized.

    As for good news, the universe seemed to know I needed people and sent me two new friends in one week!

    • I’m taking the GRE on the 30th, and the math section is kicking my butt. This is why I majored in English. I can’t even remember how to do basic algebra.

      Potential protest haircut, going to the Million Women March, and making new friends all sound fab, though!

  34. I went to a Hayley Kiyoko concert last night in West Hollywood (gayest sentence I’ve ever typed) and saw a bunch of teenage queer girls being very comfortable with themselves and their identities, which just made my heart very happy. Everyone singing along, everyone dancing, Hayley crying at one point after a slower rendition of Gravel to Tempo…

    Also had intense lesbian fashion envy over some of the older queer women who were there because damn. They were just rocking that mohawk/lipstick/eyeliner/blue hair.

    All in all, it was a nice bright spot in the midst of all this heartbreak.

  35. Hey you guys, remember when we were all like “I can’t wait until after Nov. 8th when this stupid election will finally be over”?

    • Yeeeeep.

      I’m glad it’s over so I finally can stop waffling on whether or not to start planning for an apocalyptic event or a totalitarian crack down.
      But I hate that the fucked up part of my mind that assumes and plans for the worst outcomes was right. The part of my mind that sees a delivery truck and thinks “that could mow us all down and there’s shit we could do about it” and looks for sturdy building I might be able to get into. That looks for cover and all the exits where ever I go.
      The part of my mind that said in June of my cute rainbow sandals “better not wear those to a Pride thing, you won’t be able to run fast and not trip in those if someone decided to shoot us.” I was too busy to go to any Pride things but Pulse happened and that fucked up part of my mind was crowing in vindication of all the horrible outcomes it plans for.

      I’m not a soldier, I’ve never been to war or lived in an actual warzone, but still I’ve had that “you take the seat, no you” quibble with a combat vet over the seat that had the best vantage point with a wall behind it.

      Okay I think that was my post election freak out right there.
      It’s just indulgent existential crisis bullshit to me tho/

      But hey lemme do something useful with it:

      I’ve heard from STEM types the vinegar thing is bullshit, gas mask or respirator is the way to go

      And this is something I’ve seen footage of in Palestine, but I think it was smoke grenade and not tear gas, a gallon bucket to cover an RCA after it was activated to prevent further dispersancy.
      I’d very much not try that tho, plastic shrapnel is still shrapnel.

  36. Good things! I’m going to visit my bestest friend for the whole weekend. I’m incredibly behind in everything in life, I’ve been ignoring my classes, assignments, and priorities to help others. Its been nice to be a support for a quite a few people, but I’m realizing I can’t keep doing it as much as I am. So I’m taking the weekend with my bud to reset and soothe my hurting self. Then I’ll start next week with a focus on my goals and maybe even a plan!
    So ready for cooking amazing food with the best human in my life! <3

    • Go you!!! You gotta fit your own oxygen mask before (and in between) assisting others, and it’s such a struggle to keep things in balance when there are people in need. Congrats on realising it is the time to look after yourself!

  37. It’s Friday! The last week has left me in such a fog that I’ve forgotten all about that.

    Sharing good things; positivity is resistance right now.
    I went to spin class for the first time ever. It was weird, I am not good at the standing part. My legs are sore and I love it.
    I purchased a new coffee mug, it is excellent.
    There are roughly 11 pints of ice cream in my freezer. My roommate and I are thrifty and purchase when it’s on sale.

    REMINDER: CALL YOUR SENATORS. We cannot let this racist fool be appointed AG.

  38. Hi Carmen. I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time (more than most of us). I’m glad Eli is okay and I hope you feel better soon!

    I haven’t been on AS for a while now, but I’m going to make myself miserable if I refresh Facebook once more, so.

    I have to work tonight, which means spending 7+ hours with drunk, rich, white, straight people and I just want to curl up and die thinking about it. Last week I skipped, because I just couldn’t take it, but I have to make money this week. Ughhhhh.

  39. Folks, my dayjob is kicking my ass, to the point of scream crying at my wife for an hour about how much I hate it followed by working at home until 10:00 at night and eating crisps for my dinner. So I need to get out of this soon. *sigh*
    Also I had an emergency filling at the dentist yesterday, my fear of dentists is extreme so a sudden injection in the jaw left me white knuckling and shaking for a couple of hours…but I was back at work and being shouted at…so yeah.
    In good news I ate hot roast chestnuts today fresh from folks in Victorian garb at a Christmas market. I ran through it avoiding the crowds as I headed to the barber.
    So I’ve been playing Mass Effect 2 and watching Buffy in the brief occasions when I’m not freaking out about my dayjob/the state of the world/my future. I’m telling you flirting with blue ladies in space really helps. I need to get the shadow broker DLC so I can get my space girlfriend back though…
    Hope you all have great weekends, and even better weeks.

    • Hope your job survival goes well and all employer arseholes get their own back eventually.

      I can really identify with the dental fears too. Good Luck with next week.

  40. Hi Carmen! I don’t have a lot of good news for you, sorry. But I can contribute the fact that I listen to girl power playlists on Spotify while elliptical-ing (10/10 would recommend, btw) and since the election they keep making me cry, bc somehow my brain manages to make every single one of them relevant to this political travesty.

    That said, I haven’t really cried about the election in the past few days and I honestly kind of miss it. Now I mostly just feel dead inside, which I think is worse than pure misery??

    Regardless, thank you for hosting us, for being our home, and for being as heartbroken about this as I am. I can’t tell you how much it means to know that I’m not the only one who’s still grieving.

    Hope you feel better soon!

    • If anybody really wants to cry they should try “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. Cheesy as all get out but oh my, will it get to you.

  41. It’s been a mixed week. I’ve just come and my family illness situation continues, with all of us trying to support each other without admitting we’re struggling. It’s like an optical illusion, with everyone holding everyone above themselves with no one coming out on top. It’s exhausting and people in my family who don’t cry are coming to me, the weepy one, for comfort.

    I’m also still sad for your election, and worried about my friends who are gay, trans and people of colour in the states.

    BUT, I have channelled that in to giving directly to some US charities which makes me feel a little better and more supportive from across the pond. AS was helpful in selecting them, so thanks!

    Also, a random stranger online did me a great kindness for no reason, at cost to themselves, to help me with a present. It was a joyous reminder that the internet can be a great thing and connect people for positive reasons.

    I finally told the last person on the ‘need to know’ list about sexuality, which has been exhausting but I feel I can start being more comfortable in my identity now. There’s still a few people I might explicitly tell but I feel I’m at the point it can casually come up in other conversations now. Which is good, right?

    It’s nearly 2017. I keep telling myself that.

    • Congratulations! I hope that you can indeed start to feel easier in your identity now, and wish you all the best as you continue the coming-out process.

      We are so close to 2017. Just a few more weeks. We can do this.

  42. I took this picture the other day at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. I find sunsets very soothing, and maybe I’m not the only one!

  43. Hi, everyone!

    I live in a rural community in Tennessee, but my corner of the state also happens to be a blue bubble, so I feel unnervingly insulated from our national trauma. I’m doing my best to support the people I love, address conflicts with the people who came down on the other side of this nightmare, and give and make phone calls and all the rest of it so far as I am able. So, so glad that y’all are here. <3

    As far as my personal life goes, things are in their usual state of anxious flux. We had an office party on Wednesday night, to celebrate getting the proofs for the Winter 2017 issue of the magazine off to the designers and typesetters, which was kind of awkward. (The staff consists of me, two other interns, the managing editor, and the editor-in-chief. It's a pretty chill work environment—walking around in sock feet and reading on the roof in nice weather are perfectly acceptable—but I'm not the greatest at social stuff.)

    I'm now out to nearly all of my friends, though! Also, I'm finally comfortable enough to make casual references to my sexuality with some of them, and to not freak out or tense up when they do the same thing. And I had a really helpful conversation with one friend about queerness and imposter syndrome, and how feeling "not queer enough" doesn't in any way mean that I'm not queer. (This is something I worry about a lot, as a person who has only dated one man and zero women or otherwise-gendered people.)

    Still not out to my parents. Not because I feel unsafe—I'm fortunate, since that's absolutely not an issue—but because I worry (based on what my mom in particular has said when friends or public figures in my age bracket have come out) that they won't take me seriously/will think I'm just being "trendy" unless I can come to them with A Woman and not just the nebulous, unproven idea that I prefer women. And looking for a relationship in part because I want my parents to believe me when I tell them this thing about me is a REALLY AWFUL reason to try and date someone, so until I'm confident enough to not feel that way, I don't think I should say anything at all.

    Oh, and I'm still trying to apply to MFA programs in fiction, and the personal statements/statements of purpose are kicking my butt.

    Wow, sorry, that was a lot. I think you guys are great, I'm glad AS is here, if I can help you in any way please feel free to PM me.

  44. Hello fellow porcupines! I don’t have a lot that’s new but I hope to next week. I bought new bedsheets and realized they’re very similar to the new bedsheets I bought for my first apartment at 18 which in turn looked suspiciously similar to the new sheets I got for my first big-kid bed at 5. I bought Work Pants in the hopes that I will soon also get Work, and I got rid of my Work Bag when I moved because it was ugly and now I am on a tight budget and have to get a new Work Bag and they are all ugly and I am questioning my decisions. I tried the men’s section and it was full of better bags that were all too leather and too way-beyond-my-price-range and also turns out the men’s department is full of entitled shovy men who may outright smirk at you for being there, WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED.
    My cat is lying on top of me and purring and the best.
    Carmen, you are the strongest porcupine.

  45. {{giant hugs to everyone who wants one}}

    Wow, sounds like it’s been kind of a shitty week for all of us. Really, this entire year has been a raging trash fire, but some weeks hit harder in particular.

    For a while now, I’ve been doing a modified version of the #100happydays challenge. Essentially, the idea is to post/write down at least one positive thing about your day every day, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant that thing is. It’s not intended as an ~*~everything is awesome!!!~*~ sort of thing – it’s more of a refocusing exercise.

    For instance, my happiness for today:
    – I made whiskey banana bread with dark chocolate chunks. It made my apartment smell amazing.
    – I got a call from my grandma and got to chat with her for a bit.
    – On my way to the doctor’s, I saw a super-happy puppy running with its owner.

    Some days the challenge is harder than others – it can take me an hour or more to come up with even one good thing on some days. But… there’s always something.

    Feel free to share your little moments of positivity about this day/week with me!

    • If you could share the recipe for that banana bread, I know some people here in Sewanee who would LOVE it. (My town is, as you may or may not have heard, kind of the epicenter of Southern Whiskeypalianism.)

      {giant hugs right back}

      Hmm, positive things for today:
      1. I’m halfway through Mary Renault’s “The Bull and the Sea,” and reading it feels like taking one of those enormous breaths of air that goes all the way down into your lungs.
      2. I found out that there’s a biography of Angela Carter, one of my favorite writers at the moment, that’s going to be published in the spring.
      3. I’m getting back into the swing of learning poetry by heart (yeah, I was one of THOSE English majors), and started with Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art,” which I love more, the more I work with it.

      Oh, dear. I’m not intentionally being pretentious. It’s just that I got an English degree in May, work at a literary magazine, and am currently applying to grad school for fiction. Pretty much the only thing in my life right now that doesn’t revolve around reading or writing is all the stress-baking (mostly pumpkin-chocolate-chip muffins) that I’ve been doing.

      I see your Lego Movie reference, by the way. And I appreciate the tenor of your take on gratitude-challenges.

  46. My grandpa went in for his surgery. So far it has gone well. He is recovery at the moment. Hoping it goes well.

    My weeks has been a bit disconnected. I took off Monday from work. Wasn’t feeling good. Needed the extra day to recoup my mental health and regular health, I think. Tuesday was work. Which went well. I work in the processing section of our library system. I put the plastic covers on the new items we recieve and all the labels. It is a pretty great job honestly. Where else can I be in my own little introvert nest* aka desk of comfort and get paid?
    I did put in for a circulation desk job. It would be full time, which is needed at this point. But since I have only been in the library state for two years, my chances are a bit small for an interview. But I have a chance, so that is my silver lining. ?
    *comfy chair, cozy sweater, fully charged iPod for music and podcasts, and coffee make up my little nest.

  47. While the world around me seems to be a shit storm somehow I have had a fairly good week. I finished exams and am now 99.9% done with high school, except for graduation in two weeks.
    Last night I went to an awesome comedy show called frocking hilarious and I got to see 11 super funny women do stand up. I got to see Hannah gadsby and Demi Lardner perform and I’d really been looking forward to that and they were so good. I went to the show with a friend who I hadn’t seen in like 18 months so it was super good to catch up with her. Also I’m starting to think there is a correlation between lesbianism and being a comedian. I’ll have to do some more research.
    Yesterday my birthday as well. I turned 19 so it wasn’t super exciting but obviously ok. I went shopping with my mum and sister. Ooh and my sister got me a ghostbusters poster as a present so that was awesome and my parents gave me pyjamas with lamingtons on them and a subscription to a really cool artsy magazine called frankie. Overall it was quite a good birthday. Although I’m a bit miffed bc quite a few of my school friends didn’t say happy birthday to me at all – not online or when I saw them. So that wasn’t great.
    But anyway I’m going out clubbing tonight so hopefully I can drink and dance any bad feelings away.
    Anyway I hope everyone else’s weeks were somewhat ok even though the human cheeto has started to assemble the worlds worst White House staff.

    • Happy Birthday for Friday!!! Congrats too on finishing your exams and graduating soon. Hope you had a good night out and feel better now.

      You’re right about the US mess but our own, in Australia, is depressing me enough too. Hopefully somethings will improve in ’17.

      Any way best luck for the New Year and your new life post High School.

      • Thanks!! I had an okay night out, although my phone did go missing (it has been found though).
        Yeah god Australia is an absolute mess too, problem is half of the population doesn’t even really care :(

  48. This week, in my “The Marriage Plot in the Novel” class @ UCLA, I began a sentence with, “Like all great failed relationships…” which made my professor laugh out loud and then declare that she wants to teach a class titled All Great Failed Relationships.

    I don’t know how I did it, but I think I made this week less crappy just by describing what makes a good breakup narrative.

    Also, I think I’ll be naming my autobiography that. I hope your week was at least that good :)

      • The discussion went something like, “Like all great failed relationships, there is a lot left unsaid…”

        We were discussing Mrs. Dalloway and the conversation between Clarissa and Peter where basically everything occurred in their minds and neither of them ever really said how they were feeling.

        If you want a really good breakup—the kind that lingers in your heart for years and gets replayed in your head when the right song comes on—all you have to do is NOT say the thing that you really wanted to say.

        The less you say, the more the torment will persist.

          • Which is why I have learned to say it all. I’d rather regret what I said than what I didn’t. Words that you speak might sometimes echo in pain, but their reverberations eventually cease. Words left unspoken linger in your mind and heart forever.

            Fuck, I have to write that down and use it someday…

  49. Hello everyone. It’s good to be here.

    I am feeling better about leaving behind my short lived, incredibly dysfunctional attempt at heterosexual marriage. My ex proved to me today that I was right – he’s still an abusive arse – and In that instant, all of my guilt and self doubt vanished and now I’m like, yep, I made the right call. So, I’m thankful for that message from the universe. Im feeling so free.

    I Had a fantastic afternoon in the sun and cherished my children. This isn’t the life I dreamed of for them but this is real and finally I feel like I’m actually part of it. It’s exciting to be starting fresh.

    On the lighter side, I realized that I have no shirts with sleeves on them, so I went shopping. I’m trying to balance the fact that I really love “men’s” clothing with my self-consciousness about wearing it. Like, I’m not trying to make a statement about my identity, I just like it better and it fits my body because I’m built like a teenage boy. Girl clothes are weird on me. I’m tired of wearing them like I’ll-fitting camouflage. But, I don’t want people to think I’m trying to be political, it’s only shirts?

    Have a good weekend everyone. Goodnight.

  50. I finally learned how to mow a lawn, and mowed our entire front and back yard.

    It may sound simple but there were some hurdles – I was terrified of the mower, no manual, parents live far away, none of my friends knew how to do it, broken mower, we didn’t have the money or tools/skills to fix it even with YouTube, certainly no money to pay anyone to mow the damn lawn when it grows ferociously here, everyone else in the house is disabled and I’m overworked and exhausted.

    However, each problem was solved in turn, as I was fueled by queer feminist rage after my mum told me to ‘just get a man to do it’.

  51. I know I’m late to this thread but I’m currently driving up to Trump country upper Michigan to spend a week with my family, with a evangelical Christian and 2 privilege denying brothers. Goddess keep me sane. Autostraddle family, give me tips for survival?

    • Pics, vids and gif of adorable baby animals. Remembering you don’t have to stay with these people, you get to leave. I peeked at your profile and you’re employed so I’m guessing you don’t have to financially depend on them and if you want to leave ’em forever you could. But I can understanding wanting to be there as a good influence for the youngins.

      And just do not engage if some body is spoiling for a fight with ya, you can’t fix ignorance in grown ass adult and it ain’t your responsibility to do so.
      I have an inner Hermione and when someone is wrong I itch to explain in detail why they are wrong, it does nothing but make me look like a wannabe autocrat and solidifies the other persons’ viewpoint.

      It’s some psychology thing I don’t remember the name of but when you come hard at someone with a vastly different stance than yours all you do is make them cling harder to their stance and feel more right about it.
      All I’m 100% on is that I’ve experienced this in real life in a variety of situations from opposing political stuff to graphic design class critiques.

  52. Hi Guys! I also have been continuing to cycle through tears of rage then grief then rage RE: our new state of affairs in which He Who Must Not Be Named has ostensibly come back. UGH.

    But I just mostly wanted to share a HUGE HUGE HUGE VICTORY wherein I am applying to graduate school this year and due to struggles with depression and anxiety have been having extra trouble since the election working on my application which is due very soon. And anyway as you all are aware you need THREE letters of recommendations for most porgrams and reaching out to people from my past has ALSO been INCREDIBlY agonizing and scary for me because of large amounts of burned bridges and trauma etc.

    SO ANYWAY. I finally FINALLY really just way too late in the game e-mailed my old profs for a few letters and have spent the last week agonizing over whether they would write me back with a yes or even at all–and today I FINALLY HEARD BACK from ALL THREE PEOPLE who have stated it’s “GREAT to hear from me” and “YES of COURSE”

    THIS IS HUGE NEWS FOR A PTSD LADEN INDIVIDUAL AS MYSELF! I have been putting off applying to grad school for fear of having to reach out to people who I left behind in the coming out process of my life. I can hardly believe I no longer have to worry about this!!!!! I’m thrilled and sad at my insane amount of anxiety over a thing that has turned out to be not that big a deal.

    Anyway, I know there is that voice in my head that is saying if APPLYING to school is this stressful then I am probably not ready to actually go back to school but I know now what the process entails and I am certainly learning alot about myself in the process.


    Just needed to vent and share bc I know y’all get it ab depression and productivity. xx

    • Oh wow, that is amazing and really awesome. I am also dealing with anxiety+depression power combo while trying to live my life which is like running the American Ninja Warrior course but it’s coated in lube and you’re also getting attacked by angry bats.

      But, it is powerful that we try anyway! I’m so glad you’ve had some success!

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