FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Revival, Reduce, Reuse!

Feature image via shutterstock.

HELLO MY KITTENS, welcome to Friday Open Thread, the internet’s campfire. Don’t worry, I’ve only collected fallen wood and kindled with organic material. It’s really heating up, so come gather ’round and let’s get cozy, tell some stories, show some pictures, sing (post) some songs and make some friends.


I think I should start by introducing myself, one because I’m just three-ish months into my position here as staff writer at Autostraddle and two because if I had to put a label on the genre of my posts it would be “the stuff that no one’s asked for,” so it’s entirely possible you’ve missed them. I’m Erin, I’m a Kathie Lee & Hoda stan and I spend a lot of time with my dog, Cooper, who sits like this for large portions of the day just to stare at me.


Cooper, who may or may not be plotting my death

March has been a big month of transformation and rejuvenation for me, and not just because I discovered a song that has the lyrics “dropkick me Jesus through the goal post of life.” It’s entered me into a new dimension, maybe even more so than my 30th birthday, which was last Friday. My age was maybe evident to the people who got my reference in this post’s title to the early 90s’ “Recycle, Reduce, Reuse” PSA that weirdly followed those three words with “…and close the loop!” Anyway, it was a great birthday that ended with a roaring fire that into which I hurled a decade worth of intentions and dead weight.



Also, I went on a mountain retreat near Helen, GA where I breathed in the freshest air I’d ever encountered, made genuine eye contact with animals and climbed up the side of a 400-foot waterfall. On one hike I was able to flag down a miniature horse in an open field by waving a carrot in the air, but when I tried to feed it to her an erratic turkey named Octavia swiped it out of my hand and ran away with it. Life: just when you think you’re up it knocks you down!


Octavia, carrot stealer

In an attempt to cultivate a positive mindset I’ve been revisiting videos of Audrey Nethery, a 7-year-old zumba fanatic with a rare bone marrow disease whose Facebook has been a constant source of joy in my life. She recently posted this video of her trip to New York where she met her heroes, the cast of The Rockettes.

Have you ever been so excited about life that in the case of a non-emergency you’ve JOGGED INTO A ROOM ON PURPOSE?? What do you watch or listen to when you want to feel inspired/empowered/transcended?

Then here’s a picture of me from a couple weeks ago meeting a woman who was the literal embodiment of my grandmother who’s been dead for ten years. I’m not sure I can explain to you how bizarre it is to experience a memory in 3D, but what I can tell you is that it involves telling a stranger in the middle of a meal with their family that you 100% thought she was your dead grandmother and then asking that stranger for a hug. Please tell me how you would have approached this situation!

What else? Oh, the drastic change in weather here in Nashville has really amped up my productivity, which meant the bags and bags (and bags) of recycling I’ve stealthily hid inside our neighbors’ unused garage for months finally got taken to the recycling center. It’s unfortunate that it’s such a hassle not to be wasteful and that a lot of areas in the south just don’t have the monetary, political, or social backing for things like city-provided recycling and compost bins that are picked up on a weekly basis or sustainability incentives, but GIRL WE AIN’T IN PORTLAND ANYMORE GET A LIFE GOTDAMN. What’s even more disheartening is every time I go to the recycling center I’m always the only person there. It’s just me and a bunch of wasps around the bin designated for glass bottles. My true friends.

What about you? Does where you live seem apathetic towards recycling too or no?? What else have you been up to? Did everybody see that teacup pig dancing to Rihanna’s “Work”? Did anybody else tear up to it for some weird reason? Me neither!

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. This is all gold. I think your posts are about things I have not asked for, but for which I have a previously-undiscovered longing. So, thanks!

    Your month sounds amazing! Aaa! We totally recycle on the reg here, in case you’re making a chart or something.

    My week has been a little stressful because one of my onboarding steps for the new job got delayed and if it doesn’t get processed soon I might be jobless for a month! So if you have fingers, maybe please cross them for me?

    Also, I am starting to look at apartment/roommate situations. I saw one that is tiny and a little less central but shared with a fellow queer? I kind of feel I should just take that, as it would be a better social experience? But maybe one of these nicer places would be better even though they are inhabited by straight people…. Hm. Thoughts?

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

    • rachel! do you know a lot of “rachael”s? i do! more rachaels than rachels! anyway, all fingers crossed for this new job sitch – ugh the not knowing and inability to be proactive about i.e. would drive me bananas.

      there is DEFINITELY something to be said for a home environment where you feel safe/seen even if that means it’s a ways out. honestly unless you are like smack dab in the middle of everything, i’m talking less than blocks away from everything you’d need or want in life, chances are you’re going to drive/commute anyway.

      where do you live that recycling is a thing!!!

      • Thank you for the advice and the well-wishes! I think I know more “Rachels” than “Rachaels,” but I do know a lot of them, for sure. This actually made for some pretty hilarious sitcom-style confusion this week, so that’s funny you mention it! Also, I should add that from my experience, “E-L”s have a tendency to consider ourselves purists.

        We curbside recycle hardcore in the suburb of Philadelphia in which I currently reside, and in the city itself, too.

        Um also after I commented I went for a walk and saw my very own turkeys! What a coincidence!

        • haaaa i have heard that about you “E-L”s!

          and turkeys in the suburbs of Philadelphia?? what will they think of next!

  2. Happy belated 30th birthday! I’m glad it was a good one! Did you experience all those emotions I keep hearing about? The ones that supposedly become extra prominent at 30? I’m approaching my 28th and I am feeling so odd pressure… Two more years to reach certain goals ( finish my undergrad at last, start my masters, write a book!) before my 30th!

    This week, I got much needed knee surgery. While in there to reconstruct my ACL, they were able to repair my MCL as well. This means, a year from now, I’ll be back to my active life, able to walk without pain and fear, and jump without worrying that the landing will put me on crutches for a week.

    On the other hand, I’m in pain, and on hydro morph one. I learned that narcotics don’t get you high when you’re truly in pain. So there’s that, but I’m really excited to get past this!! So for now, I’m in bed, with my leg iced and elevated, taking pain killers and watching Netflix. ALL the Netflix!

    Any suggestions on new movies or shows?

    • ahhh not ACL! i’m so sorry. i’ve known so many women who’ve had that surgery. i found out women have a higher rate of knee injuries because during menstruation (or ovulation??) the cartilage in their joints become weaker/softened.

      and i didn’t feel the big emotions, but then i’m not a big birthday person!

  3. Hey Erin! Glad to have you here!

    I’m so grateful for these beautiful souls that are the Autostraddle community. I was feeling anxious this morning because I might have a big date tonight (still waiting for confirmation), and I posted something in an Autostraddle group, and everyone sent me photos and videos of cute animals (which is what I requested), and now I feel so much better!

    Online dating is weird. Non-online (nonline?) dating is weird. Dating is weird. I’m just looking for a mind at work who doesn’t mind me using Hamilton pick-up lines and quoting musicals non-stop.

    Do you ever feel like things are out of your control? I feel that way right now. I’m job hunting, and I send out applications and go on interviews, but getting hired is not in my control. With dating, obviously consent is mandatory, so whether someone’s interested in me is not in my control. I’m a control freak, if you haven’t noticed (it’s very directly linked to my anxiety), so I like to be in control of my life. I just need to breathe and play with puppies.

    Speaking of puppies, my dog is turning 5 on Monday. My baby girl is going to be 5 years old! That’s Bernie. My heart.

    • oh my gosh, that face. your inclination to let go and let dog is CORRECT RACHEL. does it feel better or worse for you to know no one has anything in control? it makes me feel better, but i’m not you!

      online dating has to be the weirdest thing we’ve e-made and is a great way to feel 100% not yourself, but boy does it work! i say tonight go into the date being mindful of what you can take from the date rather than the other way around. then you can get excited about things! oh, i get to look at someone in the eyes probably that’s not my dog/boss? thank god!

  4. You’ve been my fav new contributer though as in I didn’t know you were new because I am also new? But everything you write is 10/10 I’m very excited

    Once I saw my grandma who is alive in the basement of my high school

    She passed by me and then disappeared into a throng of students

    I stopped in my tracks, incredulous, and said allowed


    – but by then, she was gone.

    I thought I’d hallucinated it the entire day, but later that evening my mother informed me that my grandma had been volunteering at the head start classroom located in the basement of my high school

    (“there’s a preschool in my high-school????” – me, aged 16, really surprised)

    for literally years.

    Yesterday I applied for a passport and bought a Serviceable Black And Grey Knit Xtra Slouchy Beanie.

    I wanted to find a plain Jane dickies type one, but unemployed thrifters can’t be choosy, so I’m calling it a success.

    • ALOUD

      Guyz i deleted all the saved words in my phone keyboard because it seemed stalkery to me and also if you typed “l” it immediately suggested “lesbian” and I was EMBARRASSED

      Like sometimes people borrow my phone for texting purposes

      And now THIS.

      I feel so betrayed

      • Also I realized it was FRIDAY OPEN THREAD time right as was getting in the shower so I think my roommate thinks I’ve died in the bathroom but really I just got distracted while half naked and started Internet Commenting

        Living My Best Life

      • I know what you mean type in q on my phone and queer pops up and type in a, adorable gentlebeing comes up as an option.

      • My phone has learnt my most common search terms for fanfic and so knows words like Karnstein, and occasionally throws them in to confuse my txts. Mercifully few regularly used words begin with K. It also knows Autostraddle god bless it.

    • welcome, to both of us!! and thank you!

      you should write a short story about this grandma story but with an alternate ending.

  5. I was up at 2am today spooning my dog and crying into his fur while actively missing my dead grandmother so I can say with 100% certainty that if I met someone who is the embodiment of her out in the actual real life world I would absolutely burst into ugly tears before I could even ask her for a hug.
    So I guess what I’m saying is that I think you handled it really well???
    And you got a pic with her, which is my favorite part.

    Also I come from a place where recycling was NOT A THING forever and ever except that my Nana did it anyway, so I was fully prepared when I moved to Portland, where that shit is fucking SERIOUS.
    I also learned about composting from her before I knew what composting was because it was my job to empty the food scraps from the big old chock full o’ nuts canister (aka the swill bucket) next to the kitchen sink.

    Grandparents are my favorite.
    I hope to be one some day.

    Also also your dog is so beautiful and I am loving your contributions here and thank you for the opportunity to talk about my grandmother out loud because she died 4 months ago and she’s the first person I’ve lost in my immediate family and we were very close.
    I’m 33 so I had a lot of time with her and I know I’ve been incredibly fortunate to get this far without losing a loved one so its weird talking about it because people are like ‘okay but like she was 85’ and I’m like ‘okay but she was still a person and we loved each other and I’m allowed to miss her so go away forever thanks bye.’

    Okay that’s that.
    I’m gonna go play with my dogs now because playing with dogs is the most perfect way to create and absorb joy.
    Happy Friday!

    • wowwww who are these people that are like “stop talking about your grandmother” because definitely keep talking about your grandmother! first of all, she sounds awesome just from one paragraph?? i’m sorry for your loss!

      this woman, lita, was so adorable and sweet. when i calmly explained that i had to get a picture with her because my mom and her siblings were on a reunion trip together and they would love to see a familiar face, she started to primp her clothes, which made me almost faint. the picture i have up there is when she was leaving and said, “would you like to get one without my coat?” LITA FOR PRESIDENT 2016!!!

  6. Wah-hey! This comment is going to be an exercise in how well I do or do not understand HTML coding. As a child of the late 80s I’m super partial to the recycle song from Rocco’s Modern Life:


    I’ve been in Italy for a week and a half. The first week I was in Rome (crazy busy) and now I’m in the north doing research for my PhD until next week. It’s kind of lonely, I’m pretty bored, and I’m drinking beer out of a little can by myself in my room because I’m so cool.

    Anyway, I saw this sticker while in a random park in northern, middle-of-no-where Italy:

    It says something like ‘Some people are gay. And they depend on you!’ and I think it’s an advertisement from Italy’s LGBT group. Was pretty surprised to see it here actually, but total thumbs up.

    • That picture makes me want to travel to Italy just so I can see the poster myself.
      Just out of curiosity, what kind of research would you be doing in Italy? The only thing that comes to my mind is wine. :)

      • I wish it was wine! I think I’m allowed to say ‘I’m an archaeologist’, but that sounds way better and sexier than the reality of it all, as I mostly spend time in libraries and in front of my computer and do no real archaeology ;)

        • I can’t believe I thought of wine before thinking about Italy’s historical value! I’m embarrassed lol! Hey research is one of the few or reasons archaeology is sexy. No one likes a dumb explorer no matter how cute they are. But hey, you can call your self an archaeologist and read all the fantastic stuff! What is the primary focus? Please say architecture ?

        • That sign is awesome, Italy is awesome (although I totally get the loneliness thing), and you’re awesome. That is all.

  7. I have had the WORST WEEK EVER and I am not in a happy mood. I’ve gotten full-on screamed at every day I’ve gone into work (by customers, not the people I work with), and I’m getting evicted from my apartment. I also haven’t been feeling good and have stayed up most nights puking. Everything is hard and everything is awful.

    Also, even though I got a really awesome alternative lifestyle haircut last week, men have still tried to hit on me this week.

    So things are meh, but I’m going to get away for the weekend and I hope that it will help clear my head. I’ll get to see my best friends, and that’s something to look forward to.

    Erin, welcome, I love your pictures in this post – they made me smile. Also, I see that you have lived in some of my favorite cities, so woo!

    • i’m glad these goofy animals brightened your mood, and i’m so sorry you’re going through it right now! i’m going to blame it on a full moon and say this weekend is going to turn things around for you.

    • Breathe. Life is a cycle of good and bad things happening. I always found that just telling my self “it going to get better” helped me through a lot, even if I knew I was just lying to myself. You might want to look for a job that doesn’t deal with customers too. When I quit my job at Starbucks I was immediately 20 times happier. But hey, do what YOU need to, for you to be happy.

    • Oh no!! Massive massive internet stranger sympathy and hugs. I’m so sorry you’re going through all of this, and I hope your weekend away helps to anchor you to those parts of life that are nurturing and worthwhile and not hellish.

      Have you got a new place to go to? Losing your home is so, so hard. I really hope you have a place to go that will be your own and can become a haven at least for a while. Having someone fuck with your housing is one of the most horribly destabilising, terrifying, disempowering experiences.

      I just really hope things get ok for you again soon.

  8. I am having a great day! I submitted my thesis this week, on social critique in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway… I’m studying architecture but whatever, I made it work. Since then I have been watching steven universe with my girl and now I am finally home for the holidays with my dogs and my parents’ fridge full of food. Now I am listening to a combo of Dolly Parton and Missy Elliott classics and it’s working out really well for me

    ps. since that “technology for your thesis” post I have been thinking a list of all the autostraddler’s thesis titles would be super interesting to read I wonder if that is a thing that can happen

    • hey this is a good idea!

      AND WOW KATE WAY TO REALLY KNOW HOW TO SPEND A DAY. there was a time in my life when i heard missy’s “lose control” every other day for like a year straight and every time i was like, “another one.”

  9. I submitted 4 or 5 Big Important Things yesterday and cleaned my entire apartment in a stress panic after finding out that my mom’s routine surgery went mildly awry and she was being admitted to the hospital. On top of all the work lately, both at my job, in school, and in preparation for my looming Adult Future, I’m SO GLAD it’s Friday.

    • also: Hi Erin!! my best friend and I love your navigating the heteronormative patriarchy posts, and all your other posts. Our texts are a constant stream of AS links…

  10. This week has been a mixed bag of good and bad things happening. I went to school and had a lot of homework and tests to get through, but I like college so it is no big deal. The stress from education is almost addicting. The good thing is that I had no class for economics all week so I managed to work on all that wholesome course work.

    On Wednesday I have Business Computer Applications and the professor likes to have “discussion time” to talk about how technology affects firms and consumers. I don’t have a problem with it, so long as you teach me what I paid you to teach me. She used that time to talk politics. Not a problem. Until the topic of immigration popped up….. She talked about how illegals come to the USA to have kids and drain the system….. what do you think she said next…. “you call them Anchor Babies”. Yup. half of my class is hispanic, latino, brown, or whatever other names we identify ourselves as. We were in disbelief that we heard that term with no correction or apology. Then she continued to say we don’t assimilate, but we need to let Cubans in because “at least they are educated.” I am still upset and I don’t know what to do about it, other than let it go. We tried to actively engage in the conversation but nothing was accomplished. So there’s that.

    Also I got into a car accident the next day! :D I am okay. I called my mom as soon as it happened and I am surprised at how fast she contacted my brothers and sister. I felt so loved. My fiancee cried when she found out. Lots of hugs.

    I am really happy though. My sister in law gave me her broken laptop. The screen just needed to be replaced and she didn’t have the money. I got the part and installed it myself! I am so proud of myself, and the laptop was barely used so it runs really nice! Next thing on my list is to finally fix my bike, strip off all of the old paint and stickers, and repaint the damn thing! :D :D :D :D :D

    Happy Mother F**king FRIDAY! t(-_-)t

    • eesh, has this professor been fired yet?? i’m glad you’re okay from your accident! every time i get in a car i’m like, “why are we all doing this it’s too dangerous!!””

  11. My hometown was, I realise now, pretty forward-thinking about recycling and green stuff in general – to the extent that I remember going on at least two trips to the recycling plant during my primary school years (in the 90s), and also that we had to sort our rubbish properly otherwise it wouldn’t be collected – so I grew up recycling and now find it confusing when I live in places where people seem ambivalent or apathetic about the whole thing.

    • my mom has always been obsessed about it even though my hometown wasn’t, and just recently she met a man who worked for the city and he was non-nonchalantly like, “oh, yeah, the recycling and the trash go to the same place here,” and it was like she had been shot

  12. Happy birthday! I’m glad it was so refreshing/transformative.

    What kind of retreat was it (if you don’t mind me asking?) I currently have nearly a month off before I start my new job (I only have to work a few days at my current one until then), so I’ve been thinking that I should take some sort of adventurous/reflective outdoor vacation before then, and reading about this is additional motivation to do so. (ALSO being around that many goats/turkeys/other animals is terribly exciting, I’m somewhat jealous).

    I haven’t watched the video of the 7 year old Zumba fanatic yet because I’m nearly positive what I’ve typed so far will disappear if I navigate away from this page, but speaking of things that inspire you have you ever heard of Tao Porchon-Lyn (I think that’s the right spelling??) She’s in her upper 90’s, and she is basically this yoga master/ballroom dancing superstar, totally living the fullest expression of her life. She teaches yoga classes somewhere in the northeast still, and one of my initial traveling ideas was to go up and take a class from her, but she’s currently recovering from some sort of fracture, although I think I had read she is nearly all the way better. Sometimes I think about her and now Eddie Izzard (with his 27 marathons in 27 days), and I think about any excuses that I tell myself, but instead I’m like look at them, what the f* can’t you do, apparently.

    Also in regards to meeting your dead grandmother, I’ve worked with the elderly for years, and one of my main motivations for doing this is basically so I can try to recreate the feeling of spending time with my granny. (I don’t have any actual advice on how to approach that situation, I would have for sure done the same thing)

    • it’s called the “enota mountain retreat” and really was less of a retreat in the traditional sense and more of quick weekend with family, but with this springy warm days/cool nights thing, i recommend going somewhere and being outside if you can! animals are so a plus.

      i’ve never heard of them but ohhhh man am i going to be looking up youtube videos.

  13. I’m actually excited it’s Friday because even though I’m a freelancer and don’t follow a typical work week schedule, I finished up all of my assignments for the month today! So I’m going to take a few days off before I start hustling for more work.

    I spontaneously bought a plane ticket today to go home to visit my parents in a few weeks. My dad’s health is really poor and I was going to go in July, but I just got a bad feeling that that might be too late so I sprang for a ticket when I got paid today. My mom is SO excited I’m coming home, it was great to hear her be happy, and I’ll get to see my best friend and my niece, neither of whom I’ve seen since oct/nov.

    Other than that nothing exciting here…I’m feeling inspired by your mountain retreat and want to get out of the city this weekend. To the beach or to the mountains, who knows!

  14. I have this super itchy anxiety that I’d normally work off at the gym, but I am still sick so I am going to resentfully and angrily go do laundry.

    I figure everything is irritating, nothing is right in the world*, and I’m crawling out of my skin, so I might as well go clean something, yes?

    *this is a lie, I plan on maybe making a list of things that ARE ACTUALLY right in this world, so…

  15. I am sitting out on the patio of my apartment with a gin and tonic. I’m wearing shorts and a sports bra, it’s sunny and 75 degrees out. It’s also a three day weekend, life is surprisingly good despite the fact that my state is probably on a one way trip to hell (yay NC…)

  16. Hello beautiful ducks of fuzziness! I hope your day is full of warm cuddles and fierce feelings.

    I have been spring-cleaning my home, but most of all my emotions…I recently performed in my first burlesque show..and instead of starting by feeling energized and empowered, I realised that I am a crazy perfectionist that feels as though they cannot do anything well. I was fine with near-nudity in public, not so much with feeling good about the dancing/performance/costume. So…big lessons on being part of the universe, and being in the moment and acceptance etc….I’m working on it!

    Here are some photos…also especially for @carmenrios, who kindly asked for some weeks ago.. first one is the starting outfit, second one is fan and pasties. The dress fits differently on, as the stand is not the same size as me!

    Today I have a day off – huzzah! – and am sewing/playing piano/posting, before going to see this tonight:

    Next…to channel something wilder into sewing…

    May you all live your most glorious wildness, and let us all howl with the moon!

  17. I’m doing better than I was last week, but still pretty crappy. Still have no official diagnosis, but the best guess for the cause of my pain is Crohn’s disease, especially since my dad has it. Which cool, I really wanted another chronic health condition :/. I have a colonoscopy next week to check that shit out and hopefully that’ll be conclusive.

    The worst part of the whole thing has been being told that 1.) ibuprofen might be making things worse so stop taking it (thus far, yes, that’s probably correct) 2.) the percocet might also be making things worse so stop taking it (which also is looking like that’s right) 3.) tylenol might also make things worse so don’t try taking that either. So like, I’m in less pain right now than I was last week, but I’m also in more pain overall because there are no pain medications I CAN take without the fear of making any inflammation/pain worse in the long run.

    Plus tensions with my parents are running high because they’re frustrated at me for not doing stuff. Like, dude, I physically can’t do things, and with the anti-nausea meds I can’t drive myself anywhere anyway, so even if I were capable I can’t. Also, I guarantee I’m 100x more frustrated by my lack of ability to do things than you are, so cool your fucking jets and stop yelling at me for being so sick.

    • ahhh crohn’s is no joke, my best friend had it growing up. here’s to finding a pain management routine that actually works xx

  18. I’m not sure what I would do if I saw someone that looked like my deceased grandmother, or really any relative. I’d probably say nothing, unless I am with others family members, and they wanted to say something. If anything I’d be wondering if they are somehow distant relatives(specially if they are the same ethnicity). I have distant relatives I have never really met. Hell, a few years back my grandmother(still alive) told me, that my grandpa(RIP) has a half brother she was never told about. She found out when he came to the door(I think this was back in Iran) asking to see his brother. I forget what happened next, or if he is still alive, but I’m told he kind of looks like my grandpa.

    How’s everyone’s week going? Mines has been kind of long. I was out for a friends birthday last week that was pretty good, but sadly, I learned just cause it works for some people doesn’t mean I will be so lucky. Now, I am down a few hundred cause my car was towed. I was told it’s cool to park there, as they do it all the time, but no dice. My parents where nice enough to get me a 2:30am and drive me to the impound lot to get the car. Thank you mom and dad!

    I am also having a dilemma. Last week I mentioned a friend started saying/sharing these racist/kkk/anti-Semitic leaning material with me. Person hasn’t directly apologized(at least to me); but, has been saying stuff that her depression of being a single queer has them in a hole which lead them to watching & reading all this garbage. I kind of want to forgive them, as my friend count is kind of low atm, but then again they did believe in some awful shit. So….not sure.

    I just finished reading this fascinating article and really learned somethings I didn’t know about babies of drug addicted mothers.

    I think I found my new cup for drinking tea.

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

    • their resemblance was so striking i also asked what area she and her family were from because i was curious about genealogy too! she was from Tennessee though and it seemed her family had been pretty south leaning too and my grandmother’s family was from upstate new york. anyway, still cool! i wonder about the doppleganger thing all the time, about each one of us having like 6 of them in the world.

      ayiyi, your friend situation is rough.

      • a friend of mine linked me to a gif of a girl who looked a decent bit like me once. it was softcore porn, nbd. not weird at all.

        • Now you have me wondering if there is a person in the adult entertainment industry that looks like me or not. Was she at least a quality actress?

          • i dunno! it was just one unattributed gif and that’s all. it was sort of run of the mill made for the male gaze lesbian stuff, though, which doesn’t lead me to assume anything too positive.

  19. Hi hi how’s it going!
    Yay 30! Come on in! The water’s fine!

    I’m In the car right now while girlfriend is driving us to a weekend island adventure, but she is talking to her bestie on the phone at the same time, because was the only time they could get a phone date in the next three weeks, so I am on my phone with the headphones in like a teenager listening to Mariah Carey.

    I live in Seattle which is decidedly not indifferent toward recycling, but I was also raised by Catholic hippies, which basically is like if you don’t recycle Jesus will cry. I have guilt spasms when people throw soda cans in the trash. It’s a problem.

    My week has been fine, I worked a bunch and went for a walk with my friends and their new baby to see the fabulous cherry blossoms, and last night went to a faux speakeasy with my buddy, which I love particularly because they will make you a fancy cocktail based on your ephemeral preferences, and I learned I don’t like sweet vermouth. (And the waitress was like, you don’t like that, I’m getting you something different, and I was like but but but but but, and then I had something different and it was fabulous. She was also very pretty and kept refilling my water glass and I was like uh hi you again um hi thank you.

    I want a miniature donkey! And I learn sometimes they are good herd tenders, if there aren’t predators that you’d need a dog for. I guess she and goats feel more comfortable being watched over by a donkey, generally?

    Girlfriend has been working like 70 hour weeks so we’re going to a cabin to remember what each other’s faces look like, and I am hoping we recalibrate really nicely. No plans except traipsing around the island some and then just really easy chill time with each other.

    Hope everybody has nice weekends!

    • uhhh besides the 70 hour work week this all sounds so lovely.

      bartenders who are on that water refill tip are angels on earth tbh. also people know what people like based on things like that?? the world is a mystery.

      the idea that sheep and goats are like “oh thank god” when a donkey is around makes my heart do fist pumps

      • yeah also I wanted to say I am really enjoying all your rando articles for autostraddle! I do writey stuff for the internet and I am delighted by all the random things that you come up with, it for some reason makes me think of when you’re making popcorn on the stove and there’s the really LOUD ones that ping against the lid right before the rest of the rabble starts in. Like exciting and unexpected.

        And also yeah, apparently that’s why sheepdogs are so fluffy, because then the sheep will be like “one of us, cool” because I guess just goats and sheep are really particular about who bosses them around, which is fine.

        This is the boo boo I wish we could get.

        no it was a fancy fancy bar, my friend orders something with something whiskey and something ginger, and they made something elaborate, and then I didn’t like it, so they made up some other secret elaborate thing. There are a lot of people in Seattle with a lot of money, and a lot of people who are really smart about food and mixology, so there are some fancy dancy places who will cater to your whims and frankly I am not used to that. But they still take my money!

        also I wrote this goofy thing about snacks.

        • Ayyyy can i make that popcorn analogy my bio?? such a generous assessment of my posts, thank you!

          i’ve worked at a couple dog boarding places and the herding dogs are always so bossy i love it. like very rule abiding and rule ENFORCING. we truly don’t deserve animals.

          I am going to read the hell out of mental health snacks!!

  20. Happy Birthday, Erin! Mine’s tomorrow. :)

    Got my hair cut today – I had been growing out the top (but still shaving the sides and back) aiming for a rad Viking look, but I just missed the short and spiky style too much. It’s all purple now, too.

    I’m trying to get some short stories done and sent out before summer (my summer job won’t give me any writing time), so that’s keeping me busy. But I work really well to deadlines, so it’s actually been a fairly productive few weeks.

    I should find adorable goats to hand out with on my birthday. That would be good.

  21. The highlight of my week was getting sexually harassed in an elevator of the downtown public library. I picked up “Tell Me How a Crush Should Feel” by Sara Farizan from the YA section (I’m pretty sure I got the rec for that book from this website!) and got in the elevator to go down to the first floor to check out my book.

    Me: *pushes elevator button, sees that a person is immediately outside of the elevator and might want to get on, pushes the OPEN DOOR button because I AM A NICE PERSON AND I WILL LET YOU ON MY ELEVATOR*
    Dude who walks in elevator: Hey thanks, I wasn’t sure if you would accept my proposal.
    Me: *Thinking-“Proposal? wtf is he talking about?”* Oh yeah I always try to hold the elevator open if I see-
    Dude: So where are we going tonight baby?
    Me: -someone trying to get on…
    Dude: Where are we going baby? To the movies? Dinner?
    Dude: Aw come on baby!
    Me: HahahahAHAHAHA *almost runs to the check out counter*

    THANKFULLY he didn’t approach me again after that or follow me.
    This incident didn’t help my already existing fear of being alone in an elevator with any male. THANKS RANDOM STRANGER FOR REMINDING ME ONCE AGAIN THAT THERE ARE NO SAFE SPACES, NOT EVEN MY BELOVED LIBRARIES.


    • I hope that before leaving the elevator you pressed the “down” button, the “way down, straight to hell” button.

    • Oh wow I’m sorry. If a patron at my library reported such an incident to me, I would ban the offender at least for the rest of the day, maybe permanently. I’d have to check the policy. But libraries should be safe spaces! So if you feel comfortable doing so, you could try telling a staff person, if this were to happen again (though I sincerely hope it does not).

      • This is a super late response-but I should have told someone for sure! I think I was just too distressed/freaked out. If it happens again I will definitely let someone know!

  22. Hi Erin, hi Cooper!

    I’m currently watching our soccer team getting beaten into the ground. Such a shame :(

    At least I’ve successfully tried out a new recipe for a Frozen Mudslide and I’m buzzed enough not to care anymore.

    • Mudslides!! When I was in high school, my friends and I would go to Ruby Tuesdays at the mall and get virgin mudslides…then I finally went back, just recently, to order a proper mudslide with alcohol… but they’d stopped doing them! Thanks to you, though, I’m going to look up a recipe and make this dream come true.

  23. Hi, Erin! I’m happy that you’re writing this now. I’m sure the Friday Open Threads were always amazing, but I’ve always been scared off by the gigantic number of comments on each of them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s like the internet version of being in the middle of a large crowd. But anyway, what I’m saying is, I like all of your articles so now I am in that crowd! For you.

    Guess what, I will be 30 years old on Monday. I have a lot of feelings about this. Mostly, like, what the heck am I doing with my life. But! I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that I’ve watched a lot of movies and read a lot of comic books lately. So, there’s that.

    Oh, and I totally would have hugged stranger grandma, too. I sometimes think I see my dead dad, but then it just turns out to be some random dad with a mustache. But I don’t hug them. But if they looked like either of my grandmas, I probably would.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

    • blackmar! thank you for coming for my content xo

      and 30 is a helluva club, i promise!

      random dads with mustaches are the Ultimate Dads

  24. Happy belated birthday!! I love your posts, they have such a nice tone. When I read them, I feel like I’m in on hearing a very cool weird person’s inner workings. Or more like. Your outer workings? Whatever. It’s rad.

    I should’ve been asleep an hour ago so I can get up for my amazing (not) job at 5 in the morning, but I wanted to drop by anyway because FRIDAY OPEN THREADDDDD. My second now!!! My week was okayish, the weekend was absolute parent-visiting hell, my girlfriend was with me in that hell and we both freaked out. I cried so much guys. Thankfully, the rest of the week went better. I finally have a new dentist (my teeth are rotting, OOPS), my best friend is visiting soon, I had really cool sex this morning, also I told my psych I’m doing amazing by myself and we both agree that it’s time for me to get into the end phase of therapy. WOOP!!!!!

    ALSO, my cat almost died on monday, I went all the way back to my parents’ hell house to help my little sister deal with the mess and to bury him if need be, BUT HE PULLED THROUGH. My oldest friend is alive for now!

    On that note, I love life and all the weirdness it has to offer, and I hope you all have a great weekend. Listen to your heart, give yourself plenty of time to calm down etc. etc. Love your articles Erin (and I also love your name wow), can’t wait to see more.

    P.S.: hugging the grandma was the right thing to do

    • “very cool weird person” is my personal brand and thank you picking that up cecil!! also i feel the same way about your name.

      so happy life is bringing you light and that your cat is OKAY!

  25. I’ve just spent three and a half hours hanging out on a cafe sofa in my socks with a woman I really like, who likes me too–but, because we live in different cities and are both unemployed and going through a lot of Challenging Chaos right now, we had a very mature conversation about how we definitely are not going to date but will instead continue to simply be friends, because that is mature and sensible.

    But after we said goodbye, I stood there felt like I couldn’t breathe, I was just gasping and staring, too stunned to get on my bike. I crouched against a wall watching people pass me, wanting to grab someone and tell them about her, or hear about their lives to clear my head. The whole ride home, I had to keep telling myself to ignore the heart palpitations, focus on traffic.

    It’s not a good idea, it isn’t, it is the wrong time, but oh god, oh god.

  26. i am having a clothing crisis. i’m going to my parents’ for easter, and my family does the whole get dressed up really nice and go to church then have fancy lunch afterward thing. so. i have to wear nice clothes. i stopped wearing dresses a couple years ago, and i still haven’t really found a suitable dressy replacement. i got a suit for job interviews, but i don’t want to look that gay, and it’s also not very spring-ish! so??? i could just wear a dress–it’d be simplest, but blaaaaah. i need a clothing fairy.

    other than that, i’m nursing a couple minor injuries from a ski trip last week (worth it) and trying to fight off a cold. also trying to figure out what to have for dinner, so if anyone has any good suggestions…

      • because i strive to be impossible, i’m not into either of those pants situations. i really want to like leggings because they seem so comfy and convenient, but somehow despite being ok with skinny jeans, leggings are just *too tight*.

        miso soup great suggestion.

    • Just dress up as a giant egg. When people question you, just solemnly state: “Easter.”

    • I am Not A Dress Person but also feel like a full on suit is too much for most occasions… in this context I often go for a smart high waist skirt + oxford shirt combo + some funky brogues

      I have just tried to google this to illustrate but with no success, I can’t tell if this is because my style is just so original or (more likely) I’m just bad at the internet

      will update if the google situation develops

      • i feel like i can picture what you mean even though google has let us down. i think it’s interesting that you are Not a Dress Person but you are a Skirt Person? i kinda lump them together in my head.

        • because a dress covers your whole body with femininity but a skirt does just half! you can contradict or undermine a skirt more easily

          at least in my head

          • i like that. i’ll have to think about it and see if i can convince myself to give skirts another go. broadening my wardrobe choices would be nice…

      • eg


        or failing that if you feel obliged to wear a dress or that’s just easiest with what you’ve got, add a suit jacket/blazer and/or DMs for a touch of badass

    • I think that light pants (gray, taupe?) and a spring/pastel-color shirt is sufficiently dressy for this occasion. Maybe a tie (bow or otherwise), maybe not if you’re keeping it more lowkey. If you have a jacket that would match, throw that over top, but you don’t need it. I think socially there is more room for improvisation in the women’s formalwear department.

  27. Hey Erin, I too went to the recycling centre this week. A man that worked there assisted me with my cardboard, and then out of the blue complimented me on my “perfume”. He proceeded to attempt to guess what it was…I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was mens. Frankly it was all just bloody weird. Bear in mind my hair is a short undercut, that I have cut at the barber, and my “style” is flannel for days…
    Tonight me, Missus and her best mate played pandemic whilst listening to early 00s pop punk and nu metal. It was cool, but we lost a month for the first time though. Gutted.
    I’m on break from work at the mo which is great and my missus has the long weekend off too so we get to do stuff together which is awesome because we normally only get one day a week together. – and you can tell my excitement by the lack of punctuation in that overly long sentence.
    Have great weekends folks. May they be filled with chocolate, and may that chocolate be filled with the ganache of your choice.

      • Right?!? Bizarre. I’m sure the sweet queer punk chick who works there would have put him straight, so to speak, had she been around.


    also HELLO THERE NEW PERSON how r u i totally picked up on the reduce, reuse, recycle thing hehehe

    This week has been a butt. My mother’s sisters just keep showing what assholes they are throughout this whole ordeal– only two out of the five are supporting her; the others are pulling total & utter bullshit. I mean, i knew, years ago, that this “family” was full of shit, but hot damn, now i really know. I mean, these people are selfish & self-centered & have victim/martyr complexes like you wouldn’t believe. Along with the holier-than-thou “I’ll pray for you” bull. These are the people for whom pain is a competition, that your pain is never enough because, oh, they’ve been through so much worse. If you climbed Mt. Everest, they would should up & say, “Oh, but I climbed Mt. Everest naked & with one hand! And nobody helped me!

    Pro tip: if anyone claims that nobody ever helped them through their time of struggle, so as to play the victim even more, they are most likely talking out of their ass. This is why what they’re saying is actual, literal shit. They are spouting lies & half-truths, & the fact that even cousins of mine are pulling this shit just shows that the Hall Family is passing on the noble art of martyrdom down to their next generations. Should i have expected anything different? (Not that the Harris Side is any different, as my “father” clearly shows, being so steeped in his victim/martyr complex.)

    And the thing is, all these people are listening solely to my “father,” & taking whatever he’s saying as gospel, & then going around talking shit about my mother, my brother, & myself, & claiming they know “the truth.” Even as they state outright lies. And then they have the gall to mail my mother things that say, “I’ll still pray for you.” And claiming to “love” her. Bullshit. And guess what? When you have screwed someone over a billion times, & when you pull shit that is the last straw, & they’re done with you, you’ve burned your bridges down & you no longer have the privilege of trying to fix things. Not when you’ve been a manipulative asshole, not when you’ve spread lies & listened to only one side of the story. You don’t have the luxury of trying to fix something after you’ve pushed a person (or persons) one too many times. When you’ve squandered every second chance you’ve been given because your head is so far up your ass & you want to always play the martyr, it comes to a point where people are Done with you. You don’t get another chance. Boo hoo, too bad. You made your bed, & now you have to lie in it. Especially after talking shit about us.

    And the reason i’m basically ranting here is because i don’t really have another outlet. Because this current therapist…. guys, i need a new one. Again. I don’t feel comfortable with this person at all. I saw her yesterday, & when i told her i’ve been mostly sleeping the past week– because i feel like shit & i’m exhausted– she told me she thinks part of it is just me being lazy.

    No “let’s talk about that, what’s going on, why do you feel this way”, just, “I have to be honest, I think part of it is you’re just being lazy.”

    And when i said i hadn’t applied to any jobs in the past week, she gave me a Look for that, too. It’s the same shit that my father pulled a ton. Like, no matter how shitty you felt, if you didn’t “get something done,” you were open to an attitude, to being judged. Like, i feel like shit??? My father has essentially abandoned me, & i’m not even trying to act like i’m a child– which is another thing, she keeps going “You’re an adult.” Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. But my father has turned his fucking back on me & my younger brother. Entirely. His paycheck isn’t even going to his & my mother’s joint account anymore, so i don’t know what we’re going to eventually do about money, because even if i do finally get a paying job, it won’t be enough to support us.

    But even financial shit aside, it’s an emotional abandonment. This is a man i thought i was close to, who raised me my whole life, & suddenly he thinks it’s fine to turn his back on all of us without even trying to talk things out & fix them. He didn’t look into therapy, whether individual or otherwise, nothing like that. Instead, he just walked out & left us, & i’m pretty sick of being told, “You weren’t abandoned, you’re an adult.” Even if i hadn’t been living at home when this happened, & he still shut me out, i’d feel abandoned. Like duh, hello?????????

    And just, this therapist doesn’t seem to listen to me at all. I feel like i can’t talk to her, because i don’t feel like she’d take what i say into consideration. That she’d tell me i was making excuses. Because yesterday, i also tried to explain the difficulty i had talking, saying certain things– like where everything just locks up & i can’t talk, even if i try. And she basically told me that i was making excuses. ????????????????? Why do i bother trying to talk when i’m told i’m trying to derail things & saying bullshit? She didn’t get it at all.

    I don’t feel heard or validated when i talk to her. I’m not asking to be coddled, i’m asking for an actual therapeutic relationship, yknow? I’m asking for someone who won’t talk down to me & make me feel like a fool, who won’t accuse me of just being lazy & making excuses. And then she turns around & is like, “It’s either that or you need a higher level of care,” as if there’s no in between. Which i know there is, because that was my life for years on end. But, hey, what do i know? I’ve only lived with this shit, i don’t have the degree.

    OH MY GOD THATS THE OTHER THING hahaha jesus h christ. When i mentioned selling prints on my Etsy, she was all, “Well, people don’t want prints.” Uh huh, right, sure, let me go tell that to all the people who sell shit at things like Artscape every summer. Let me go check with my past art teachers. And while we’re at it, why don’t you show me your degree in Fine Art, since you think you can speak on this shit?

    Like when i said i didn’t do graphic design because that’s not what i wanted to– i did all fine art, for twelve years– & she goes, “It doesn’t matter what you want to do, it’s about survival.” Right, let me just sell my soul over here, because that’ll REALLY help my depression & shit.

    And then she claims there’s jobs “everywhere”, but when i later say that yeah, i’ll practically take whatever job, she goes, “But you have a degree.” Like, your point is? There’s people with Associates’ who work in fast food because that’s the job that got back to them. Like, i thought she’d be young enough to get the whole “this economy & country is a shitstorm,” but apparently i was wrong. It also showed when she was asking me why i took my last job, the one i had before i went inpatient the first time, because it only paid $7.50, & i was like, Uh, because they were the first to actually get back to me & actually hire me??? “But you have a degree.” VERY GOOD. I guess i’ll just walk into wherever with my ~degree~ stapled to my face & slam it on their counter while screeching “DEGREE!!! DEGREEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!” & see if THAT works.

    Also, if you don’t actually do DBT with clients, don’t put it on your Psychology Today profile. I mean, holy hell, people.

    But, so, i haven’t been able to sit down & talk about how all this shit that’s been happening has been affecting me. Because i don’t even feel comfortable enough to try, because i’m anticipating her talking over me & shutting me down. Every time i leave her office, i feel like this:

    I mean, i actually went & bought a used book about using mindfulness to deal with depression because i figure a book & CD will help me more than this person. PhD or no, she’s not helping me at all. Sometimes i come away from these appointments feeling even worse, & then all i want to do is get on the next bus(ses) & get home to my bed as quickly as possible. Like i said, i’m not asking to be coddled. I’m asking to be listened to & actually heard, i’m asking to have my thoughts, feelings, & experiences to be treated as valid. I’m asking for actual help, not feeling like i’m being judged because i haven’t submitted any job applications in the past week. Not just being told, “Well, you’re not doing anything; you need a higher level of care.” Uh, no, i need someone who will listen to me with compassion & openness & will help me think of ways to cope with the bullshit that is life.

    And that someone has to accept Medicaid, so that’s a needle in a haystack deal.

    A nice thing about yesterday, though, was that i went to a local Buddhist temple for the first time for dinner & a meditation class. The people there were really kind & welcoming, & the food was filling. I definitely want to go back. I actually have a vegetarian friend visiting this weekend from New York, & i’m pretty proud of myself for now knowing three places around town where she’ll actually be able to eat the food (i just haven’t been to the third place yet; it’s near Hopkins & i only ever pass by on the way to my volunteer job). :) They also set out free snacks after the class, so i got to have some cocoa & Oreos before i left to get the bus home.

    And you have to take your shoes off before going into the temple proper, & the carpet is very nice & squishy & soft. I really wanted to lie on it & roll around, but i didn’t. hehe. I definitely would like to go back; i’m hoping to get into meditation to see if it’ll help me at all, yknow? And then there’s also the mindfulness bit, as shown through DBT & Kabat-Zinn’s work. I find it really difficult to practice that stuff on my own, though, because of how noisy & busy my mind is, so classes & CDs & stuff like that are a+, imo. Also, the Buddhist place knocks $4 off their class price if you’re a senior, a student, or unemployed. Which is awesome, since i have zero income.

    I also saw a toad on a manhole cover on the way home last night. I took pictures. I hope the toad is safe.

    I slept a lot today, because i felt wiped, but, hahahahahaha, i guess i’m just ~~lazy~~ :’D hahahahahahahaha HELP ME

    Oh, another good thing is AWESOME BOOKS. (hint hint add me on Goodreads hint hint) I’m reading The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet & i’m really liking it. I don’t know much about literary lingo, but i think? it’s highly character-driven. And it’s just really interesting to me, & funny, & thoughtful. I bought it over a month ago off Amazon UK, because the US paperback doesn’t come out until the summer, & i didn’t like its cover. :P Im also reading the Night Vale book, & it’s weird, i find it’s creepier to read about Night Vale than to listen about Night Vale. Haha :’D I also recently finished The Ornament of the World, which i definitely recommend.

    If you read this all the way through, you get, idk, a cookie or something. I’m sorry, i just needed to get that all off my chest, because i don’t know where else i can. :( People ignore you on Facebook unless you’re trying to put a ~positive~ or spiritual spin on your pain; then they’re much more likely to care. But i’m ~too negative~, remember? Heaven forbid that i just be in flat-out pain & not try to dress it up at all. But whatever. Thanks for at least letting me post this rant here, even if it goes unread.

    And, uh, if you know of any good therapists in the Baltimore, MD area who accept Medicaid, let me know? I think i have one i might check out, who’s actually near the Buddhist place, & see if they’re a match. (Oh, & ones who won’t look at my BPD diagnosis & brush it off? I’m basically looking for a unicorn.)

    • sorry things are still so hard, caitlin. i hope you manage to find a good new therapist. that sounds like a bad situation with your current one.

      • Thanks :( i hope so too, haha. Sorry you have to see me whining all over tumblr sometimes :B

      • I dunno?? i mean. It’s unsettling? But then again, it’s Night Vale? I dunno how to explain it :x Maybe it’s the absence of Cecil’s generally calming voice.

    • What’s your name on goodreads? I read The Ornament of the World (by María Rosa Menocal) a few years ago.

        • I finally saw that you replied to my comment, so I added you on Goodreads. I’m studying medieval and early modern Spain, so I read a lot from/about it. I highly recommend the (academic) book Lesbians in Early Modern Spain!

    • That’s so cool you’re getting into Buddhism and meditation. I really really like Pema Chodron; she has long talks on youtube and probably some books in the public library. They helped me sooooo much. Plus she is legitimately funny! She’ll be talking about these deep concepts and crack a really dry joke in the middle of it; I love it.

      Another thing might be online therapy like 7 cups of tea, which has different options including free and paid, chatting with groups and chatting with therapists. I liked it because it includes free worksheets with citations for more reading, for each type of issue like ptsd, depression, etc. it seemed to emphasize compassionate listening and learning.

      Sending good job search vibes! I enjoyed your description of bringing your degree to the job counter heheh, relatable (I have a music degree; so employable! Ah, no). I can attest that just because someone is a PhD or MD, like your current (hopefully soon to be former) therapist, does not mean they have a clue or are a good person. :/

      Actually I’m reading this book now called The Monk and the Philosopher about this scientist who quit science after finishing his PhD because he saw that just because someone was accomplished in science, they weren’t necessarily good or whole people. And so he became a Buddhist monk to spend time with monks who had dedicated their lives to developing their humanity and compassion, instead of their science. It’s a cool book.

      I hope you do keep sharing here if it helps you; I always appreciate when people share stuff that’s real as I think it helps all of us with our own lives and brings people together. So, I don’t think it’s a burden to others to share stuff; I think the opposite, it can help everyone. Hope your holiday weekend has something nice in it.

  29. Question: has anyone else ever just straight up quit dating? If so for how long? And I’m not talking about the time you take between a big break up but just legit giving up on the whole deal. I’m there right now and while it makes me cry lots it’s also strangely freeing. I just can’t keeping meeting people just to be rejected over and over and over for being “too perfect”, whatever bs that is. So I’m tapping out.
    The saddest part is it really makes me extra sad I’m hopelessly gay and that I wish I had stayed closeted. No one else ever says this but I can’t be the only person on earth to admit it. Guys adore me and want to be with me, women drop me like hot potatoes. So after all this build up to finally being real it’s been a huge let down that’s going on two years.

    • I could see a break from active searching being helpful/cleansing. “They” (whoever they are) do say love often finds you when you stop looking.

      I’m sorry you’re so frustrated.

      • Thank you for the encouragement. I don’t think I believe that as I have never had a relationship unless I was actively looking. I have a relative who gave up on finding someone and was single for 16 years until she tried again and is now married!

    • i can confirm that yes i did this for 4 years and it was beneficial for. i think if this is making you feel so terribly, don’t! truly there are more things to life, even if it feels so pressing now. i believe in you lolly!

      • Thank you! Four years is a long time but I’m glad it worked. I have taken a year off before when I had a huge break up but it’s so sad to take more time now simply because in a whole year of dating not a single girl wanted a relationship with me.
        But I really like how you say there are more things in life! How true that is

    • I quit dating for a month and just did whatever made me happy. It loosened me up enough to actually try new things and start rhe process of embracing life as it is. Short after I started to talk to a girl I would later start dating and now we are going to get married. Things happen on their own time no matter how hopelessly gay we all feel. I still feel like going back to my nice safe closet on occasion so you are not alone. Maybe you need to take an honest look at what you did wrong in your relationships and what you did right. If anything maybe you just have a really high standard that can’t realistically be met. Or you haven’t met a girl that understands you and wants the same things you do .

    • *raises hand*
      I have.
      Honestly, I don’t need rejection in my life because someone doesn’t like the way I look on a picture and I don’t need to have that struggle in my life where I’m rejecting someone either.
      Or that whole hopeful, terrifying world of opportunity that comes with every date.
      Either Love comes and finds me, or it doesn’t.
      I used to believe in falling in love and the big romance kind of thing as a kid, and now I’m stumbling through intimate moments with strangers.
      What a chore.
      What a loss.
      I’ve decided to go back and believe in falling in love as a concept and get on with my life in the meantime.
      It’s very liberating and freeing up a lot of time and headspace.
      And as to the gay thing: I’m meeting so.many nice and sweet and pretty men, but still gay.
      I’m just gay all by myself.
      And I am enjoying how that liberates me from a lot of the pressures and expectations my straight friends deal with.

      • I love your answer so very much! Thank you!!!
        Yes to be free of desiring something, as Buddah would say, is to be free of suffering. I’m just such an intrinsically relationship oriented person so it’s very very hard. What’s harder is being my very best self and getting rejected over nothing again and again. I want to get off this ride, it’s making me sick. Lol
        And oh all the nice dudes who do want to pursue me, and for so long I went with it and was also nauseated. Coming out feels like coming out as eternally alone. Gay women just don’t like me the way guys do. And yet I’m not even a tiny bit bi, and I so wish I was.
        Thank you again! This helps

  30. Happy FOT! Were you able to drink any fresh mountain water on your hike? If you can get some close to where it pops out of the rock/earth, it isn’t contaminated, gross, or anything. Blew my mind when I tried some a few years back!

    This week has been mostly tiring. Trying to cope with a new job that pays monthly, so all my bills and budgets are fucked. I almost wish they’d told me about the paycheck schedule when I was interviewing. I love my job, but it’s been rough. Plus, there was the whole NC debacle this week.

    I have complicated thoughts about using Her for the last two weeks. At first, I got a couple messages a day. Totally new people, and it was awesome! I’m really clear about being trans on my profile, so as to not waste my time, nor the time of anyone else. But I’m also cool with new friends. Over a dozen people hit me up, and it was honestly kinda overwhelming. And then everyone just ghosted. And that really bummed me out. Everyone backed out of hanging out, even after it was their idea to begin with. I can’t help but feel like the rivers of queer love and community in PDX are parting and bypassing me.

    I’m trying to stay positive, but that definitely put a damper on my week. I’m tired of my gender identity being someone’s “issue.” It’s such a tiny, tiny aspect of me! Kinda feeling more and more dehumanized and desexualized by the world. I need to get on your wavelength, Erin! I need to go hike a mountain and hangout with some rad goats.

    • Ugh that’s frustrating. I think some of it may just be the nature of dating apps, though.

      Thanks for the mountain water tip! I would never have thought to look for any, and I may be on some mountains this summer.

    • i didnt get to drink fresh water, just nearly slipped down 400 feet of it. I imagine it has the same sort of zest! hey i hate that people are being such goobs towards you and hope that doesnt turn you off to being open and fully yourself. thats all that matters and all you can ask of yourself, really.

    • Fresh mountain water is amazingggggggggggggg

      And Ew at everyone being butts at you. If nothing else, at least they showed their true colors before you got in any deeper. And let’s be real, goats are probably better than people any day of the week.

  31. Coming in just under the wire here, at 11:45 PM my time :D

    I’m posting so late because I just got back from a games night/potluck thing with a lovely fellow Autostraddler, and it was a lot of fun. And it got me out of the house, which was a bonus – as a freelancer, I don’t tend to interact with the outside world much.

    Speaking of, I just got a very large work project with a generous deadline. The content itself isn’t terribly exciting (I’m translating a “state of the industry” type report from 2013), but it’s my first such project with the agency I’m working for. And to be trusted with something like this after only working with them for 2 months is pretty exciting.

    Sadly, the potluck/games night and the project are pretty much the only exciting things going on. Otherwise, I’m just sitting here, daydreaming about Paris and charting my hormones’ slow descent (back) into chaos for my OBGYN specialist.

    (Also: yes, I usually post as Kate. Chrome deleted my passwords and I can’t remember my AS one because I’ve had to log in all of maybe 3 times since 2013, because I’m always logged in)

    • Your games night sounds super fun! I recently played this (German?) game called Dancing Eggs, which is kind of like Spoons…but with rubber eggs? Good luck with your project!

      • Normally we play Cards Against Humanity, but last night we played Pictionary and a word game designed by the host’s aunt. It was fun :)

        My friend and I were also both lucky enough to snag some board games from an LGBT space that’s moving (including Supernatural Clue), so we have lots of options for future nights!

    • i have approximately 5000 more on my computer and phone if you need a standby folder for when you see cuties in glasses!

  32. Super late for FOT but I needed to publicize the fact when I put “autostraddle” into google’s search bar it suggested “afterellen” at the top of the list of suggestions.
    WTF is dat.

    Seriously waaat.

    This week I got Twilight of the Thunder God stuck in my head and this song that is not necessarily sad but an MV that uses it makes it so sad with the toxic masculinity destroy close interpersonal relationships.

    Don’t watch it is saaaaaaaad
    A father destroying his sons in the name of power and violent patriarchal perfection.
    Hold on to your empathy and humanity boy is now what that song means in my brain forever.

    • WTF google?? I’ve got my chrome trained to suggest autostraddle as soon as I type “a” which is convenient. For a while would redirect to autostraddle so sometimes for fun I’d type that and eventually “af” would get me straight to autostraddle. :p

      Google should be taking better care of you.

      • Extra WTF is I’ve been on AF maybe like twice in my life and not since like 2009 which means before google chrome was even a thing.

        I understand getting ads in Korean if I’ve been researching or listening to Korean media but this suggestion of “afterellen” in the stead of autostraddle does not make sense that way, to me.

        Unless Big TV (idunfuckingknow) is out to get us (LBTQI) on to AF and away from AS because of the Dead LBs of TV List and Lexa response. O_o

        Should Heather be watching her back or something? OnO

  33. Happy Easter everyone!
    It’s Sunday morning and I’m still laying in bed and we’re having holidays and the sun is out and it’s finally warming up!
    We haven’t had sun here in weeks and it’s been too cold and uncomfortable for too long.
    So, this heralds spring and the city unwinding and life changing from hiding inside and watching netflix to biking everywhere and having late coffees and talks with friends on terraces and sidewalks, hanging out in parks and going for long walks.
    It means a lot of sunlight and motion, and for me, as someone, you know, having depression hover over me like a dementor over Hogwarts, it means the world.
    So, while I really do want to (and need to!) join into the spring cleaning, I’m off for a date with a book and breakfast in the sunshine

    • Guten Morgen and Felices Pascuas to you too.

      It’s raining where I’m at and suppose to be a rain dreary day, but it does not matter for I will be inside feasting, listening to fantastic music and have a legit reason to wear beloved boots instead of nice lady shoes.

      Enjoy your well earning sunshine oh human who lives much further from the equator than I.

  34. I just spent most the weekend down at my parents place which has no internet. It was like, what are we even doing? And like, why? And like, don’t.

    Nah, it was actually a good weekend. I slept in a camping hammock to test it for Bonnaroo. Me and my sister in law teased my hippy brother for saying the phrase ‘your body will thank you for it’ and a joke reference was made from Scary Movie that made me laugh but feel old.

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