FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Send Love, Share Love

Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread! A space to gather, a space to hang out, a space to post photos of your pets or partners or friends or bookshelves or plants or dinner or outfit or your partners or friends holding your pets in front of your bookshelf with plants and dinner on it with a reflection of you in your outfit in some sort of strategic mirror (ten points for anyone who goes out of their way to actually do this, or who can say this sentence in one breath) or anything else that feels right in your heart. Send love, share love, get in here with your awesome moments big and small. I missed you guys.

It’s almost the weekend, so hopefully you’ve gotten everything you had to do done so you can enjoy it! The last few weeks I’ve been working especially long days because that’s what’s making my brain and bank account happy right now, even though it’s murder on my body. I’ve also been adulting hard — a term I’m certain adults use — and figuring out a US credit card and saving for my new half sleeve in advance and only eating popcorn and wine for some dinners instead of many dinners. The world is my oyster! Maybe Monday I’ll go to the DMV! (Probably not.)

what are you supposed to do with 30 photos of someone else's dog anyway

what are you supposed to do with 30 photos of someone else’s dog anyway

Also the last time I hosted I talked about how much I want a dog and guess what, I still really want one! I dogsat for a friend a few weeks ago and even though the dog in question threw up all over the bed and was bad at focusing on walks it was still everything I’d hoped for and more. Anyway my building manager is talking to my landlord about whether I can get one right now, so fingers crossed.

Anyway if anyone happens to have advice related to back pain, wrist pain, eye strain, making your elderly laptop battery last longer, taking care of a (future) new puppy or being patient enough to wait for your new tattoo instead of exploding with anticipation, I’m here taking notes.

But enough about me! TELL ME ABOUT YOU. What happened this week? What are you feeling proud of? Excited for? Eating right now? Drinking right now? Watching? Reading? How’s work? How’s school? What are you doing later? What’s making you happy right now? What new thing did you just try? Did you finally remember that weird dream you had about the ghost with all the pies? Did you talk to that girl? Whatever’s going on in your life, we all wanna hear it!

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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. “Wynonna Earp” premieres tonight on SyFy at 10e/9c. It’s directed by one of the women who directed “Lost Girl”. Hopefully there’ll be some queer content in it.

  2. I hope you get a puppy! And then live-blog the experience and photos right here on AS so we can all enjoy it. I am also on the teetering edge between dog enthusiast and actual dog parent. I’m not sure I want that much responsibility/committment because life is stressful. maybe I’ll do what you did and start with dog sitting and volunteering at the dog shelter. I can read them books! They like it! Dogs are so awesome. <3

    Today I went to a lot of effort to transport and cook a healthy oatmeal breakfast to work. It's still sitting there on my desk because I had a chocolate muffin and a stick of celery instead. Being an adult means oatmeal for lunch, maybe.

    • “Being an adult means oatmeal for lunch, maybe.” <- me at this moment. There is no other food in the house besides oatmeal right now oops. They like when you read them books? Filing that away! Going from my extremely limited and almost nonexistent experience, dog-sitting was great because it was similar to how (I imagine) a dog would fit into my day-to-day life, what with the many walks and cleaning up throw-up at 2 am and etc.

  3. I currently have the hiccups, and there was cilantro in my salad today (I have the gene that makes me dislike cilantro). So now I’m chewing gum to try to get the cilantro taste out of my mouth, and I keep hiccupping.

    In other news, it is temporarily spring in NYC (snow on Sunday), and I’m not wearing pants, aka I’m wearing a sundress. My office building doesn’t know how to control heat (neither does my apartment), so I’m hot. Last night, my dog was so hot that I had to refill her water bowl twice during the night. Poor baby! Needless to say, last night was not the best night of sleep.

    I picked up a house managing gig, so I now have (I think) 7 jobs. The house managing gig starts tonight, but I’m already getting burnt out. I would love one full-time job, but alas…

    I’m almost ready to give up on internet/app dating. It’s the actual worst. :(

    • Congrats on the gig! (And on what sounds like an excellent hustle.)

      Do you have a usual hiccup cure? I know someone who bets people that if they can hiccup once more right now she’ll give them a dollar which usually inexplicably makes them stop. I know someone else who swears by orange juice.

      • If we’re talking hiccup cures, I find holding my breath usually works (and it’s a non-disruptive way to deal w/hiccups in class/at work)

    • I know the feeling with internet/app dating. But, one that app will come along and we both will meet the right queer.

    • I’m interested in what your struggle has been with online dating?
      I know so many people who have had loads of luck with it. I did when I first tried it but nothing in a long time. I’m giving up myself but if I don’t internet date I don’t date. A woman has never ever hit on me IRL in almost 30 years of life and I have too much anxiety to talk to someone that way myself. It’s Internet or nothing so right now it’s nothing ?

    I’m just about to go a social for my new Gaelic football team. I’ve only been to one training (I missed this weeks as I was in Scotland for a uni interview) and I’m nervous! I don’t know anyone properly. I only know one person by both name and face. It is scary. But I am going. I shall take sweets so I can appear friendly and then be smiley and make friends. This shall go well. I insist.

    • My fingers and toes are crossed for your social to go well! (or to have gone well, if it’s later when you read this)

    • Have fun and good luck with the social!
      Also, good luck with the uni interview! Where abouts in Scotland, if you don’t mind my asking?
      (I’m curious because I live in Scotland and am still weirdly thrilled whenever it’s mentioned online! haha)

      • I’ve applied to both Edinburgh and Glasgow, just waiting to hear back. You got any opinions on which would be better? I’m open to persuasion.

        • Gonna start by saying I live in Edinburgh so I am tooootally biased, but it honestly is such a beautiful city! And there are so many cool places and neighbourhoods to explore.

          But my best friend lives in Glasgow, so I’m through there fairly often and like it too! (I grew up visiting Glasgow a lot, so I think part of the reason I like Edinburgh is because it’s newer to me than Glasgow, which makes it more exciting!)
          Glasgow also has way more bands visit, so if live music is a big deal to you, that could be important! (They also have something like the most vegan restaurants outside of London, so my friend tells me!)
          Oh, and I couldn’t completely vouch for this, but I always get the feeling that the queer scene is bigger or more active in Glasgow? (But honestly don’t quote me on this because I haven’t had a lot of time to properly scout out the scene in Edinburgh, and it could just be a case of the grass is greener, haha)

          But honestly, both are great cities!

    • Thanks guys! It went fine! We were crafting table centrepieces for a future dinnerdance thing, so I had things to do with my hands which made chatting easier and everyone was really friendly. And I found someone else who is a newbie and has no idea what’s going on either :D Honestly giggling at how worried I was getting. Oh hindsight.

      • It’s 15 a side, there’s a slightly smaller football (like soccer ball), you pass by hitting it, you can kick it, you can’t run more than 4 steps holding the ball. It’s played on the same pitch as hurling. It’s borderline contact. I’ve been to one training session so I know almost nothing, but it’s fun so far! (I had to google it because I didn’t know either but it is REALLY popular in Ireland.)

  5. Nope, pretty sure real adults don’t use the term “adulting”. Lol. I hope you get a dog too!

    • I definitely use the word adulting and at 24 with a full time job being responsible for vulnerable adults, I feel I’m the most ‘real adult’ I will ever become. Also ‘ladmin’, i.e. life admin, like bills and banks and pensions and stuff.
      For example,
      Me: Did you get all your ladmin done?
      Friend: Yeah, I did! Omg I adulted SO HARD.

    • Pfft, I use the word “adulting” all the time. I’m closer to forty than twenty and I have arthritis. I adult the hell out of my life. ;)

  6. This is my first time commenting on an open thread here! In a somewhat symbolic queer gesture I am cutting off all my hair today, and apparently my stylist has done TEGAN AND SARA’S HAIR ON TOUR WITH THEM. I didn’t know this when I booked the appointment.

    • Hi welcome! Your hair appointment already sounds like it’ll be awesome. What haircut are you hoping to end up with? Do we get to see it after?

      • I’m bringing in a picture of Alia Shawkat as inspiration! I’m probably too shy to post a picture, but we’ll see. :)

  7. I’m very tired but MoCCA fest (comic convention) is this weekend and I am very much looking forward to tabling and accidentally blowing all my money on comics. And also there’s a Rebecca Sugar panel!!! More reasons to be excited.

    Also this is a shameless plug but another thing I’m excited about is Power and Magic, an upcoming comic anthology about queer WOC witches, which had its lineup announced this week :) It has a lot of great artists and writers working on it, so please keep a lookout for it this fall!!

    • I hope you have a great time! (Have you been to MoCCA before? I’ve only been once but it was a ball.)

      *adds Power and Magic to the list*

      • I went last year! It was great but also so uncomfortable and cramped because of the venue (and also somehow someone dropped popcorn on my head in the stairwell??) but it’s in a different place this year so hopefully there will actually be room to move around a little.

    • MoCCA sounds excellent! Thanks for the heads-up about Power and Magic, I’m such a nerd for comics and that sounds like a great one. I can’t wait to get a copy!

  8. Oh I hope you get the dog of your sloberry dog dreams!

    I’m starting my new job on Monday! This job will require the wearing of scrubs, which is a new thing for me–anyone have a favorite brand or style? Maybe for someone who doesn’t want a feminine cut but also doesn’t want to look like she bought the wrong ones?

    In other news, I am hunting for housing! Which is totally chill and not scary.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone! I’m going to take all the walks in all the sunshine. So I guess you can do something else.

    • I’m a big fan of Dickies. If your first reaction to that name is an immature snort and loads of jokes pop into your head… you’re probably well suited to a field that requires you to wear scrubs.

      At any rate, they’re more expensive than a lot of brands, but you get what you pay for and they LAST. I’ve had some of the same Dickies brand for ten years before I had to retire them.

      I also hear good things about Grey’s Anatomy scrubs, but I can’t get over the brand name. =P

      You can totally buy unisex or “men’s” scrubs too. You won’t look like you bought the wrong size. If anything, IMO, you’ll look like someone who doesn’t want to be a girly girl. I prefer the unisex scrubs because they don’t cling me. Plus, if you’re in the top of job where patients can be inappropriate (like me in nursing) with where their eyes (or worse, hands) go, it’s better too. Especially when a patient gets inappropriately grabby. They can’t grab what they can’t see well.

      Also, try to find a scrubs store or a professional uniform store. You’ll get way better selection and more help. Avoid the retailers and big box stores.

      Hope that helps. =)

      • @joanna1701 Thank youuu! That’s just what I needed. I actually have a scrubs store nearby, and I went there today and picked up a pretty cheap Cherokee unisex set just to get me going–but I will be back, armed with this new information! I really appreciate your insight–I feel like a kid going to pajama day at school and worrying it’s not really pajama day or maybe it is but the other kids will think her pajamas are stupid. So thank you!

        • As long as you’re within your workplace policy, your uniform is clean and undamaged, and it’s not way too big or too small; I can’t imagine you having any trouble with the other kids or the principal. ;)

          If you do, get a different job. Those people are immature, unprofessional assholes and there’s probably worse problems in that place!

  9. Well for all the pain I would if you are friendly to it try maybe strain for medical marijuana that is higher in cbd(the pain relieving properties of cannabis). I know they even have legal cbd oil you can get from Amazon(but it hasn’t worked for me like proper medical cbd can) and price varies depending on strength. Maybe worth a look?
    As for the laptop battery, short of getting a new battery there isn’t much. Some companies like Sony/Vaio, and Lenovo(specifically their ThinkPad line) offers a software feature that allows you to set maximum you can charge the battery(ies) to 50%, or 90%(at least on the two Sony’s I used, others may offer different %). What this does is, if you know you are going to be plugged in, or be near the charger all day one could set it at say 50%, so the rest of the battery isn’t being charged/affected. Worked pretty for me when I had a Sony computer and in fact after 5 years I was still able to get 4-5 hours of battery life(new was closer to 6). In fact the computer died before the battery did. Worth looking into trying such method/software feature. Sony calls it battery care, not sure what others call it. Or you could do it manually, by unplugging at say 50%. I hope I didn’t get to nerdy.

    How’s everyone’s week going? My birthday is next week and I am not sure what my full plans are, but earlier in the week LA Times sent me an email saying they have an even going on with Carrie Brownstein next Sunday(day after my b-day) where you get to see her live get interviewed and get a pre-singed copy of her book(priced fair), or of even higher cost sit closer, get the book, and have her sign it in person. I was pretty transparent and my sister got me that for my birthday. I am seriously ecstatic about it. I’ve been imaging what shade of lipstick to wear and how I would introduce myself without looking like a dorky queer(that and I want her to invite me into her queer circle/coven somehow).

    Took a hike early last Sunday that I wish could have been longer(had plans later in the day). Here are some images from it.

    Thank you for reading and viewing my post. Have a positive weekend! I hope I didn’t go to long this week.

  10. I like the word “adulting.” I’m going to borrow it, if you don’t mind! I promise to credit you. And I hope that you’re able to get a dog as well. =)

    Running through your questions:

    1) What happened this week? I had to sit through a lot of boring meetings at work. On the plus side, they had donuts one day.

    2) What are you feeling proud of? Well, I (finally) filed my taxes yesterday. That’s earlier than last year, at least!

    3) Excited for? Well, it’s Friday, so I get to sleep in tomorrow and Sunday. Hooray!

    4) Eating right now? Drinking right now? Nothing, this very moment.

    5) Watching? Reading? I’ve been watching Supergirl and Sleepy Hollow. I’m currently reading, well, the Autostraddle site and folks’ comments in this thread.

    6) How’s work? How’s school? Work’s okay, but see #1. I’ve been out of school for several years.

    7) What are you doing later? I’m going on a dinner date and, to be honest, will probably get sloshed. And then, well, you know.

    8) What’s making you happy right now? Well, I’ve been lucky in many ways, so I’m happy for that.

    9) What new thing did you just try? Nothing really comes to mind. I’ll try something new tonight. I don’t know what, just yet.

    10) Did you finally remember that weird dream you had about the ghost with all the pies? Mmmm, ghost pie.

  11. I just got back from 4 days in the Dominican Republic, during which I did little else but sit on the beach and read books. It was glorious. I’m paying for it with a bad head cold and a laundry list of adulting-type tasks to do, but I’m banging that shit out because my gal pal is flying into town tomorrow morning and we get to spend 36 hours together. (This was a last-minute mini trip to tide us over before our next longer visit in mid-April!) I made oatmeal cookies for breakfast this morning because they’re basically the same thing as granola, and granola is a breakfast food.

    • I’m excited for your trip and really excited for your visit (do you have it all planned out, or are you ahem just staying in, or something in between?) but I also just wanna know what books you read.

      • Yay, thanks! I am excited, too. We’re gonna go to a roller derby bout on Saturday night (the A and B teams from my league are playing) and wander around and get lost on Sunday afternoon, but there’s also gonna be plenty of staying in, probably.

        I read:
        The Friendly Young Ladies, by Mary Renault
        The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
        In One Person, by John Irving
        The Small Rain, by Madeline L’Engle.

  12. Hello my baby
    Hello my honey
    Hello my ragtime gal
    And everyone else.

    I’m fine! It’s sunny and lustrous in Seattle, and I have some admin shit to catch up on this weekend, but otherwise I feel pretty good about this week! I went to happy hour with a friend and had avocado margaritas, (good!) and my girlfriends work schedule is still totally whack but we are doing much better at being easy with each other and not being snippy when we’re both tired and grouchy, (SUCH A RELIEF IM SO GLAD) and, I dunno, I’m feeling sort of confident this week.

    I’m nannying and critter is asleep but when he gets up we’re gonna go for a walk so I can talk to my friend about planning our road trip to Missoula, because I like Montana and idk what else except that that’ll be cute.

    I’ve been rereading come as you are by Emily Nagoski and this book called sexual intelligence which are my favorite books right now about sex therapy type things.

    My knitting game has been real slow lately, oh! I’m starting a banjo class next Monday. I’ve mostly only ever noodled around with string instruments, and I like to learn new things every so often, and lots of my friends have banjos to borrow.

    Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Xo!

    • I’m in Seattle too! Were the avo margaritas from Nacho Borracho by any chance? I love that place. Also, those books sound awesome.

      • Yeah! I’d never been before, but they’re so tasty! And it was on a sunny day when there were so many queers out on Capitol Hill which is not what I see typically and I was like HI I LIKE YOU ALL SO MUCH. ‘s a good day.

      • And yeah! They are great! I do therapy so I need to have smart things to say to people about sex and why it’s such a strange beast, but they’re both smart and accessible and feministy by turns.

          • Neat! I’m not a sex therapist, exactly, you have to train extensively for that, just a regular therapist who talks about sex semi-often. What kinds of stuff do you write?

    • Also Carolyn dogs are awesome but also so much work. So so so much work. Granted I just put down my very old sick dog, and healthy youngish dogs might not be so much work, but my great relief of the dog being put down is that when I wake up in the morning I don’t ha e to immediately think of anyone’s needs but my own. But also, you are maybe a small dog person and those might be more manageable. Girlfriend is not keen on dogs under 40 pounds, which is not an opinion I share, but it’s not like we can live in the same house and be like “the dog that lives here too is not my problem”

      • I am a bog-dog person, I want an enormous wolf friend that weighs more than I do and is gentler than a kitten. (Kittens not being especially gentle, when it comes to it.) I will likely end up with “whatever is cutest and nicest when we go to the rescue” when it comes down to it, but.

      • They’re good! Though they are sweet, and some people are very comfortable with sweet avocado things, others are not. Like avocado milk boba tea- I don’t like boba tea but the avocado aspect wasn’t bad.

        • yeah that is not a problem. i’ve made avocado ice cream before. i’m suuuuper curious to try one sometime.

          • How was the avocado ice cream? (There’s a place near me that has it on the menu and I am always intrigued but also always unwilling to try it.)

          • it was pretty tasty. i’d definitely make it again, and if you like avocado and feel like being adventurous, you should try it at that place sometime imo!

  13. I’ve been getting back into writing, and by that I should say I’ve finally started editing my novel. I wrote the damn thing a year and a halfish ago, put it aside to let it rest, and then promptly fell head over heels in love with roller derby and signed away 80% of my free time. But I’ve been injured since December and finally remembered I had a rough draft of a novel waiting, and having that to occupy my thoughts has helped with the “I am the worst at derby I will never get to play in an actual game glubglubglub” thoughts.

    It’s been interesting reading it over and finding problems that were invisible at the time. Editing will be a lot more work than I thought, but it’s nice to have a project, especially since I just found out that I’m going to have *at least* six more weeks of recovery before I can even look at my skates again. The good thing is that I still think it’s a high-quality piece of writing. I think I can sell an agent on it. So if I work on it a little bit every day, there’s no reason I can’t have it ready for agents by the time I start skating again.

    • Oof, editing! I both love it and hate it – I’m perfectly happy to spend a ridiculous amount of time tinkering with a single sentence, but then I remember just how many sentences I need to tinker with and I get all overwhelmed.

      That’s so great that you’re feeling good about your novel draft! There’s nothing quite like getting caught up in your own writing and then realizing, ‘hey, this is actually pretty good!’

      I’ve got my fingers crossed for you that it all chugs along well.

      • Thanks! (And thanks, Carolyn, for your encouragement below!) I’ve also got a love-hate relationship with editing. My issue is attention span, especially when I get to the fiddly bits. My brain wanders like a leaf in the wind. I’m committing to at least two hours every night; that’s usually enough time for the work to get its hooks in me, and making it a daily thing makes it even easier. I’m optimistic!

    • Good luck with the editing! (Editing is personally my favourite; editing is also one of my day jobs, so I’m a little biased.) You got this.

    • I love going back to old manuscripts – they’re a sort of fascinating insight into my state of mind at the time they were written. Usually though, I get to a point in editing where I feel as though I could recite the entire damn novel by memory! Definitely have a love-hate relationship with editing.

      I hope you have fun with it :)

    • I feel you on falling in love with derby and having everything else fall by the wayside in the quest to perfect crossovers and exactly what urethane and durometer wheel will be the grippiest ( but not too grippy!) on which surface!

      I hope you mend well! I tore my McL and sprained my wrist playing ( or like you, learning to play) and my best advice is to let it fully heal! Don’t be too quick to jump back in because the chance of greater injury is so much higher! That squat count will lower but you’ll get it back and be so much better!

      Have a speedy recovery!

      • Hello fellow derby-ers (??)!! I started in November, so I am pretty new, but as i get more involved, I can see how it takes 80% of your time!

        Also…crossovers are/were one of hte hardest things I had to try and learn to pass my “fresh meat” test. I still am only about 65% comfortable with them…and reverse crossovers….forget it.

        I am also overwhelmed by gear choices…especially skates. I haven’t braved trying my own yet. Roller Derby is so, so difficult and SO MUCH TO LEARN.

      • This response is all kinds of late (because I spent the weekend scorekeeping the shit out of my league’s home opener doubleheader, and then sleeping) but ohhh my god I miss crossovers! They’re one of the only skills to come naturally to me. I feel so elegant doing them! I love being able to go to our space when no one else is there and do crossovers for ages with the track all to myself.

        And thanks! I hope so, too. This is injury #3, so I’m getting pretty good at this rest and recovery thing (been doing derby for 19 months, have spent 10 of them injured), but it does drag on. Left to my own devices, I probably would go back too early, but my fiancee and my league-mates are very happy to be my voices of reason.

  14. I really hope you get permission, Carolyn!

    Also: official petition for a puppy parenting article series! So we can share all the wonderful and terrible things our pups do and revel their in the cuteness (and non-cat-ness)!

    • YES YES YES to the puppy parenting article series! Although because this is geared towards lesbians, maybe a cat parenting article would be more appropriate ;)

  15. It’s so cool to have a dog, dogs are awesome, dogs are the best, fingers crossed for you.

    (and now I miss mine :()

    I’m back at uni after Easter break (it was almost a week of not having to fend for myself, a bliss) and well, it was eventful – we didn’t have water through half of Saturday until my dad fixed it on Sunday afternoon – not long but things like that make you realize just how important is running water. And how awesome showers are, seriously.

    Excited for? Another night out with friends, it’s the best thing about studying. Apart from getting a possibly good future. If I finish my degree. But friends, living alone, semi-adulting.

    Also adulting is a wonderful word.

    And what’s most important for me this week – I WATCHED BATMAN V SUPERMAN! And fell in love with Wonder Woman all over again.

    The Supergirl/Flash crossover episode was also fun.

    That’s it, happy Friday everyone!

  16. i bought bubble yum for no reason and taped a lil picture of my face to the phone of everyone who sits near me.

    happy friday.

  17. I’m supposedly waiting to get my first tattoo as a celebration for publishing my first story. Supposedly. Frankly, all the waiting just gives me time to think of more and more ideas for tattoos! (and stories, thankfully.)

    I’ve signed up for instagram as part of my Seize the Future, Build a “Brand”, Become Successful initiative, and hoo, boy, am I tech-illiterate. It took me ages to realize I could only post from my phone. That’s after it took me three days to figure out how to answer said phone when it was ringing! (I’m not exaggerating at all, unfortunately.) Someday I will share a picture of my dog, and maybe my haircut, with all of you here. I conservatively estimate a month for me to figure it out. :)

    Hope you all have rocking weekends!

  18. Get a dog, yo! Both of my dogs (well, one is a family dog) were completely done on the spur of the moment, which is not like me because I like to plan EVERYTHING and I’m always wishy-washy with big decisions (Typical Libra). I adopted my dog 6 months ago when I was dealing with a lot of depression. At first, I was like, “Am I doing this for the right reason? I’m no better than a person who has a child to fill some void.” But now I can’t see my life without my goofy boy and he really has been making my life better. My mother spoils him rotten with treats, but that’s a grandma’s job right?

    This week, I finally started my writing gig over at an entertainment website that begins in U and ends in X producing content at night. During my days, I’ll be working for a local LGBTQ youth organization which is a total departure for me since I’ve only worked in the entertainment and advertising industry since leaving grad school 4 years ago. I received my paperwork and it included “Preferred name” and “Preferred Pronoun” which I internally giggled and smiled. I’m confused though if I should put She/Her or They/Them. In fact, a week ago I was having a conversation with a friend about Gender identity and she knows my gender fluidity regarding my sexual proclivities personally (we’ll leave it at that haha) and asked if I’m using They/Them pronouns now and I said that I am using them on social media, which she picked up on, so I prefer them I guess, but She/Her certainly aren’t triggers for me. I never would have second guessed this a year ago, but now I am and I’m not sure what I should circle.

  19. I’m super glad it’s Friday because while I had an awesome time in Seattle for the thirty-six hours I was there I’m tired. :)

    I’m also in a battle royalle with Time Warner who claims I owe them money for an account I cancelled in December (at which time they wanted me to return my modem to a service location and not mail it back which would be fine if I wasn’t 1200 miles away from the old service address and now living in a Comcast service area). They’ve also hung up on me multiple times today (and I haven’t even been yelling) so it’s gonna be a fun afternoon. :)

    As for your laptop battery, sadly there isn’t a ton you can necessarily do. If it’s 18-24 months old they just don’t hold the charge like they used to. However, if the inside is dirty and the fan has to work overtime to try and cool it, that could contribute to battery drain. At least it did with mine. I pulled it apart last week and blew out the guts with some compressed air. IF you’re comfortable opening your laptop, and it’s one you can actually open, it might be a bit of help.

  20. I hope your landlord lets you get a dog!
    I’ve been home for the holidays with my dog (who my parents have basically adopted since I left for uni) and I totally get that whole “Even when they’re throwing up or pestering you when you’re tired, they still never truly annoy you” thing!
    I’m heading back for my last month of uni next week and I’m already sad about leaving the dog behind, haha

    In other news, I applied for a graduate position last October, had an interview in January, and now the final stretch is in progress, as apparently the decision letters have started being sent out (!!!!!!)
    Of course, even though I’ve been (mostly!) patiently waiting for months, these last few days have been the most painful.

    I keep realising that, if I get accepted, I’ll be moving an 11 – 12 hour flight away from home, but if I’m NOT accepted, I’m not entirely sure what my Plan B is! (I mean, I have ideas, but nothing as concrete as this)

  21. Who knows how to send a check to Canada for Fifty Canadian Dollars?

    BONUS: Who knows how to do this when your bank doesn’t exist on the West Coast / you don’t actually have a checkbook (but u do have a checking account)?

    I decided recently to blow half my savings on a 3 week French immersion program in Trois-Rivières, Québec, and u guyz I just really don’t understand how checks work in this instance.


    Also wow I should probably start going to French conversation meet-ups / re-reading my old textbooks???

    ALSO I applied to a temp agency in Portland, Wish Me Luck, I Need A Job and general life skillz outside of “Good Handwriting”, which was an actual skill they had in a pre-made list of skills to choose from when describing yourself.

    • Also I drew a comic that I’m proud of and I forgot to refill my Adderall script and I don’t have insurance on the West Coast

      (“your plan doesn’t have guest services in that area” – CIGNA employee in Texas who was so, so friendly that I forgot to be mad about this injustice)

      So right now I feel like I’m trying to stay awake after taking a lot of Nyquil, IT’S GREAT, hahahaha (crying)

    • (Fifty Canadian Dollars is the application fee btw

      Thats not half my savings

      Tragically, the program costs a bit more than that)

    • Do they accept money orders? (Are money orders a thing in the states?) If you don’t have/can’t order cheques, that might be one solution.

      • Money orders are a thing, but I’m not sure if they accept them or not because the website just says “mail a check to”

        Hmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm

        I might just have to wander into a random bank and ask

      • Also now I’m wondering who translated the English pages of the University of Quebec, because I’m p sure they spelled it “check”, not “cheque”, which isn’t v Canada of them

        • Someone who spent their formative years as a USian, someone lazy, or someone who hates the letter q.
          It’s annoying letter to just be in the middle of a word like zit on an otherwise perfectly smooth face.
          In this analogy I think q’s at the beginning of a word are like moles or beauty marks.
          I don’t know what happened here.

          • @m1ch0u

            Hey there’s a Central America, South America, our hat Canada and lovely beard Mexico. USian is about as elegant and that sad tomato tart Chicagoans call pizza, but it works.
            And to me it fits the character of this nation like a glove or sock maybe.

    • Do you have the ability to do “online bill pay” through your bank? Usually takes about a week for the check to reach the destination, but you just tell the bank how much and where to send it and they send the paper check. I don’t know if you can add a foreign payee, but it should be possible.

      • Also I need my legal name to be printed on the back of the check, and I don’t know how to tell the bank to do that

    • Out of curiosity, what program are you doing this through? Is it related to the Explore program?

      (Sorry I can’t help you with the cheque thing – I’m Canadian)

      • I’m doing the 3 week “intensif” program at the University of Quebec at Trois Rivières

        There were other programs I looked at, but the ones in Trois Rivières had the on campus housing included in the tuition cost, and the others did not // I’m too much of an introvert to handle living with a host family

        • @m1ch0u wrt French skills, you could try Lingvist. It is an app for learning the most relevant vocabulary in context, rather than a mix of expressions loosely linked by theme. In my opinion, Lingvist is better than any other spaced repetition software for keeping a working bank of vocabulary at the front of your mind. I have been using it for a few months now, and it is like magic!

  22. Today is the best day!!!! It’s April Fools!!!! and my cat zaboo’s 17th birthday!!!
    I just finished putting googly eyes all over my apartment and my car. I already had a bunch up from last year but now! now there are so many more!!! April 1st is one of the best days of the year!!!!
    I have so much energy and good feelings this week, its amazing! I have so much free time I don’t know what to do with yet, but I have a feeling I’ll start some great projects soon.
    My lovely 17yr old Zaboo:

    and one of the googly eye things:

  23. My dog threw up this week, too! All over my carpet. Nothing gets you up faster than even the quietest of vomit sounds.

    You should totally adopt a pupper and then post tons of pics. I’ve heard ppl suggest older dogs bc they’re mellow and will love you for rescuing them, versus puppies, who are generally considered to be assholes. My dog is 3,so idk either way. (He’s also reactive, which is hilarious when you consider that I got him to try and help with my anxiety and depression. He’s anxious, too!)

    Uhhh what did i do this week. I basically had the “we need to break up” talk with the therapist I was seeing, and it went surprisingly well. I’m really considering dropping therapy altogether. Trying to find someone who actually meshes with me is way too stressful, and adds to my current irritation. (I’ve been a very, very angry caterpillar recently. I wake up irritated.) It hasn’t helped at all.

    Neither have the meds. I actually haven’t taken my head meds in about two weeks now, I think, and there’s literally no change either way. I’m exactly the same as when I was on them. And ive gone through so many different meds that im just like, honestly, fuck it. The only head med that does remotely anything for me is ativan; unfortunately it needs dr authorization to be refilled. But other than that one pill? Nothing in the past year and a half has done anything for me. So, like, why bother?

    Wednesday I was very productive! Long day, bc buses. Busses? Anyway. I got my dog’s meds and I went to H mart to get groceries, and it took the whole day and my legs and feet were so sore in the end, but I felt very accomplished and grown up. Which, conversely, makes me sound like a two year old. Oh well.

    Still don’t have any job leads, though. I don’t know what to apply for, and nobody’s contacted me, and it’s all very soul sucking.

    Mom keeps saying things and asking things that upset/agitate/frustrate me. I wish /she’d/ get a therapist.

    And I overslept today, and when I woke up, I found that we’d lost power. Still waiting for it to come back so I can charge my phone. I’m a VERY irritated caterpillar today.

    Last weekend tho, I got to see a friend I haven’t seen in months, and it was really great hangout times. We made a ridiculous jam comic and drank tea and ate hamentashen that her family had made, and I had dinner there which was “crab” cakes made out of artichokes and if I didn’t know I wouldn’t have been able to tell. I think I prefer those, actually, bc me and seafood have never really agreed. I’d share the recipe, but it’s bookmarked on my laptop, and with no power, the laptop has no internet. :p (they’re vegan, btw, for all you vegans whose eyes are passing over this.)

    OOO ALSO i finished the book The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and YOU SHOULD ALL READ IT BC IT’S AMAZING that is all b’bye

    • congrats on having the talk with your therapist! and dude no, going to the grocery store is totally a thing worth celebrating and feeling adult over. i usually have to pep talk myself before i go. ALSO, “crab” cakes made out of artichoke?? i love crab and i love artichoke and i’m fascinated; when your ‘puter and internets are alive again, plz do link

      • @carules Here’s the recipe! They’re so good; the texture is spot on. Also, idk where you live somehow???? so idk if you use Old Bay, but, with Old Bay on you can’t even tell the difference. I liked crab cakes alright to begin with, but these were soooo good. I can at least keep up the seafood facade & thus keep the Republican attacks of “not being born in Maryland” at…. Bay. ;P (faint weak badum tss in the distance. im going to hell ok by e)

        I had to haul my ass up out of bed to go get groceries lmaoo. For some reason, the day after i go places via public transport, i’m wiped. And i’m internally whiny when it comes to starting things, idk why. But i actually kinda liked it once i got going! I also still ended up buying candy, but in my defense, i haven’t had Milky candy or cola candy since middle school Japanese class, nor the Korean peanut crunchies since 2010. Plus, i was buying Real Food, to attempt to make Real Food (despite the fact that i totally forgot to get, like, bean sprouts & bamboo shoots, & was instead ogling the round rice cakes. THEY’RE JUST SO PLEASINGLY CHEWY). Look at me trying to justify :’D

        I think it helped that i was kinda frustrated at my therapist?? for calling me lazy??? And when i saw my friend last Saturday & told her about it all, she was like, “Break up with her; she sounds terrible.” haha. ;;;;

    • i feel ya on the med situation! i also stopped cold turkey on my meds a few years ago, and i felt the same way–exactly the same off them as on them. i am on a second round of different meds this time, and i still don’t know if they have helped at all, either. my GP has been prescribing them, but finally convinced me to make an appointment with a psychiatrist, which i will see in a couple of weeks. We’ll see.

      I’m sorry about your therapist. She called you lazy?! Awful! I beat myself up enough with how lazy i feel, i wouldn’t be able to handle a therapist who said the same thing.

      I also understand the “I’ve felt the exact same” feeling, because i’ve pretty much felt “blah” for about 13 years…THIRTEEN. I quit therapy for a year because I was stuck and not going anywhere, but am trying again. I really like this therapist, and feel like i’ve gone farther in 7 months than 5 years. We’ll see…

      • @confused04 Holy crap, this is my 13th year of feeling like shit too! High five hahahaaahhh -lies down- It wasn’t until, like year 11, tho, that i had a breakdown & could no long hide everything/live in denial/act like it was normal/etc etc etc. Sooper fun times. So i’m sure there’s people who would tell me i haven’t been trying stuff for “long enough,” but, uh, i think i’ve been.

        She was definitely not a good fit. I thought she’d do DBT because it was mentioned on her online profile when i was looking up people, & then she told me once that she could work through a workbook with me, & then more recently when i brought up DBT she said “Well, I don’t do that.” ???????????? The fuck? On top of those kinds of comments & making me feel invalidated more often than not.

        The med-giver is probably wondering where i am; i haven’t even called him to say i’ve stopped my meds. He also hella invalidated me when shit with my “father” went down in February, to the point i stupidly ended up with tears leaking out while i glared away from him, & when i left, i said nothing & didn’t schedule another appointment. So it’s just a huge bundle of awkward, there, along with “i don’t really want to try anymore.” :\

  24. So I had too much coffee today (I didn’t realize cold-brew coffee was more caffeinated than normal coffee and now I’m literally vibrating this is great) and had a panic attack and burst into tears because a car alarm went off under my window (well okay it was because of a lot of shit I’d been bottling up but for some reason the combination of the car alarm and the caffeine set it off and made me burst out crying) and then I started re-reading the Artemis Fowl books to calm myself down and came to the conclusion that Artemis Fowl is 100% definitely a trans guy and now everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.

    Also last night I helped run an open mic night and even got up on stage and sang some ultra gay Vienna Teng songs and it was great.

    • I drink cold brew almost every morning. (Due to being too lazy to boil water right out of bed?) And I forget what cold brew does every. single. time.

      • Hey Guyz I’ve found high protein foods like PB on crackers helps when I over do the caffeine and or have panic attacks

        It’s heavy and makes me feel Grounded

        Best of Luck

  25. So, nothing has happened today. Literally nothing. I went in to work and I’ve been sitting here since 730, and I’ll continue sitting here for another hour and a half.

    I had an interview earlier this week, so that was good I guess? And last night I went over to my mom’s for dinner and that was a lot of fun… but my girlfriend is sick now so I’m just sorta like: welp. Can’t think of anything but getting home and taking care of her.

    In other news I’m going to attempt to make kheema mater tonight, so yaaaaaay!

  26. Hey, so I’m bringing a cute plus one (my girlfriend!) to a friend’s wedding tomorrow. This is the first time I’ve ever had this particular experience and I’m anxious excited! I’m even trying on a new look and opting for a bow tie/not suit, instead of a dress. To add to things, my grandma who doesn’t know I am gay just called because my parents (who know I’m gay) mentioned I was going to a wedding. She was like, I hope your college friend shows up and then you’ll have one person to hang with! One person. I could have easily come out right there and said I was bringing a plus one but I didn’t because I’m a moron!!

    • Grandmas can be complicated; you’ll have other opportunities. I bet you and your girlfriend will look cute as fuck at that wedding.

  27. What I’m feeling proud/excited of is a long awkward story about stories that go no where.
    But long story short a character I created finally has a name and fuller background. Her name is play on the etymology of the word that made the name Eve.
    The name Eve comes from a derivative of one of 2 words, one means to breathe and the other means to live to my sparse knowledge ancient Hebrew. If one can recognise that I did with those words as Hebrew anymore >_>

    I’ve had her face, personality, home system and how she got here for so long without a name it feels so good for her to have both and kinda kismet because she’s what we would call trans and perhaps identifies that in the 21st century way being as from the age of 12 she’s been on our planet and Trans Day of Visibility was this week.

    I don’t know if this a thing to be proud but I’m still excited she has good name and a fuller background than just marooned alien from an imperialised world whose parents were involved in a movement to de-imperialise that failed and got the whole fam punished.

    Also I’m in the process of getting a list of all the characters rolling around in my brain down on an actual file that is not just my brain. Some of them might never have names because they’re just one off short stories that won’t connect to any of the other stories in a significant way (or even cameo), but their stories are getting names.

    I’ve got 12 down that are primary characters in their stories so far.
    It makes me happy even if it’s pointless.

    I’m about to snack on breakfast food and y’all greek/strained yogurt spun with honey is the awesomest thing not chocolate or pizza.
    What was life before this glory?

  28. Hey, first time commenter here! Good luck with the dog, they can be such sweeties. Mine sheds and whines and steals food and trips me and I love him so much.
    My week has been okay, mostly trying to catch up on adulting stuff like laundry, cleaning my room, and making a better resume. I’ve also been doing some prep work for an up-coming gallery show at my school. It’s my last one, so I’m nervous/excited and really want it to go well. Still figuring out some stuff for next year, but it looks like I’ll be heading to Oakland, CA for even more school! Any recommendations for a midwest babygay looking to transplant herself into the Bay Area? It wold be really appreciated.
    I hope everyone else has really good weekends!

  29. I found a three legged dog last night. I almost didn’t look for its rightful owners but I did the right thing. BUT IT WAS MAKESTIC AND BEAUTIFUL!

  30. Anyone else being driven crazy awaiting important grad school emails that never seem to come?

      • Thanks, M! It wouldn’t be so bad if seat deposits weren’t due but geez… It would be nice to know my options before I start putting down money. I hope all turned out well with your admission! Stressful stuff.

    • THIS SO HARD. I’m waiting to hear back from university interviews and I just spend most of my day refreshing my emails. I’m finally realising how much spam I am signed up to, because now every time I see a new message my heart thunders and my brain thinks ‘THIS EMAIL COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE’ and then it’s just a newsletter for a club I didn’t even join seven years ago. BLEURGH.

      • Yep yep. Honestly, I called (pestered) them a couple times, usually there is someone who will know what day the emails will go out. And for one of the department I didn’t even get an email, just a letter in the mail. All annoying and not at all uniform between schools.

  31. GUYS! I found out I got a big fat scholarship for one of the grad programs I got into! So I can go in the fall and get out of it debt freee.

    Anyways, I’ve been absolutely lusting after these shoes – and wanting to throw away all my clothes and start over. Also graduation outfits???

    Last week I spent my spring break with this lady – .

    Tonight it’s a quick stop at an exhibition reception and then a bbq taco night with my boyf and our friend. Good Friday :)

  32. Please get a puppy, if only so you can upload lots of photos to AS & all of your social media accounts. I will then follow them with the same amount of energy I pour into looking at photos of Tegan & Sara’s cats.

    I had a refreshing and wonderful weekend with my friends, which I SO DESPERATELY NEEDED after getting my eviction notice last week. I feel much more content and focused on all of the good things in life. I also decided for certain that I will be attending grad school in the fall, and can start making plans for that. Exciting and happy things on that front!

    I still need to find new housing, which is super-stressful right now. It’s not clear if I should try and find a short-term lease in my current city to finish out a few months of my job, or if I should just up and move to my new grad school city now. I looked at a few places this week, but nothing was affordable. :/ But thank you to all of the lovely Straddlers who left such good advice and support on comment last week!!! You all made things seem a little bit brighter. <3

    • Obviously the puppy will be immediately incorporated into my entire personal brand without exception.

  33. I’m dyyyyying to get another tattoo. Part of me wants to get something to intricate and complex, but I also want more simplistic, small tattoos. I can’t decide! And I can’t be the only one who enjoys the feeling of the getting a tattoo..right?

    • I personally find the sensation very relaxing. Also it is okay to have either, or both, or one type in some places and the other type in others, or any combination! Own it etc.

  34. Hooray adulting, hooray dogs, hooray tattoo! I hope it all goes swimmingly and you can get your bundle of fluff.
    I got tattooed on Monday so I’m currently in that delightful post-covered-after-care crispy situation wherein I am itchy as all hell. I got an arrow through the knee, so it starts inner thigh and ends outer calf-ish. It was hands down the worst tattoo pain, and then the weirdest tattoo sensation, I’ve ever experienced. It’s the start of an out doorsy leg all in traditional style. Should be fun. So yeah.
    I’m in severe need of doing the adulting…I have car insurance due soon and have to go through speciality insurers to get a reasonable price, because I drive a camper, which is a pain in the ass. Ugh.
    But I get the whole weekend off work with my missus so I’m pretty flipping delighted right now.
    Have great weekends folks!

    • Totally envious of the giant leg tattoo! At least it’s getting warmer/hot, so you’re not wearing pants and worried about them scratching the scabs! Send us pictures when it’s healed! I want to see the arrow!

      • Oh I’m in England it’s frickin cold AF and scratchy on my chinos. Jeans not currently an option. Pics for sure when it’s all healed. Probably on next weeks FOT :)

  35. Hi, everyone!

    Just wanted to share something incredible with y’all. I love watching old movies so I spend a lot of time on imdb adding new movies to my ever-growing watchlist. Today I came across an old Joan Fontaine film from 1945 and its original tagline might just be the best out of modern context usage of the word gay I’ve ever seen.

    “SHOCKING! Susan’s Still Confusin’ Us With Her Gay Experiments in Romance!”


    I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! <3

  36. So I’m still a medical mystery. The colonoscopy showed that I have a completely normal healthy colon. So yay, it’s not Crohn’s disease. But oh wow would I like a diagnosis. Especially since nobody knows what the fuck’s wrong with me and every somewhat obvious thing has been ruled out and all tests have been done that I am aware of. I honestly don’t know where to go from here, unless it’s an exploratory laparoscopic procedure? Maybe an abdominal ultrasound because though my pain isn’t remotely close to where kidneys are nor do I have symptoms of kidney stones but maybe it’s that? Maybe it’s a hernia? Nobody knows! It feels like I’m on some hell version of a carnival ride and I want off of it because it’s no fun.

    My cats have been cuties though, which is making this couch-exile almost bearable.

    • I’m sorry. I’m in that place too, and it’s so frustrating. Sending healing vibes your way.

    • I know two different people that had serious abdominal pain and it took over a month for them to be diagnosed with appendicitis. I guess sometimes it takes a while to get symptomatic enough for that diagnosis. I’m not even remotely a doctor but if you do go back for another opinion, maybe ask about that? I think it can be biopsied/removed laparoscopically. I hope you feel better soon!

      • Thanks for the tip, but my pain is on the left side, opposite where the appendix is. Also, I had appendicitis in December and my appendix was taken out, so I know FOR SURE it’s not that, despite my first paranoid thought being “what if I somehow have a second appendix on the left side of my body????!!!”

  37. when i was at the grocery earlier this week, i decided i’d try a new beer. as per usual, i managed to choose one i do not dig. i drank most of one the other day, and i decided i should have one today just in case i liked it more on a different day? result: no not really. however, because i’m an adult, i put some chocolate syrup in it, and now it’s pretty good.

    while having dinner with a friend of mine last night, a mutual friend of ours came up, and i realized that friend must have de-friended me on facebook. i’m not entirely surprised, because that friend can be really petty, but it still hurts my feelings a little bit. blaaaah.

    in better news, apparently the princess bride is on netflix now! i love that silly movie so much.

      • it’s a particularly dark brown ale. i’d like to claim that it was all my own brilliance, but a local coffee shop does a beer float that has espresso and chocolate syrup in it, and that inspired me to give it a whirl. it makes sense though–stouts and stuff can already have hints of chocolate or coffee in their flavor, so why not add more?

        • Ohhh that does sound good! I was imaging sour beer (because I’ve been on that train lately) and couldn’t help but imagine it curdling.

  38. Does anyone else just love reading these comments and cheering everyone on from afar? I feel like I need a gif of myself just doing an awkward kid cheerleader Pom Pom situation for all of these every week.

    Also has anyone seen the Cookie Monster iPhone commercial because it’s kinda the best and I get all smiley every time it comes on.

    • That commercial is so GREAT!!! I actually hope for it to come one! It makes me really happy really really happy! :D

    • Aww i love the positivity and cheering folks on :) aaaaaand I totally had to watch the commercial after I read this comment. It really is so darn cute!

    • I feel like shouting ‘You can do it Bruce! GO BRUCE!’ to every single person here.

  39. YES you should adopt a dog! I mean, it is a lot like having a baby in some ways (SO MUCH POOP), but it’s worth it. I’m convinced that a dog wagging its tail at you is a cure-all.

    (Pics of Penny, Reid and Oscar below:)

    As for dealing with the anticipation of getting a new tattoo, you can always resort to drawing on yourself. I did that (with varying degrees of success) with all 3 of my tats.

    Also, “adulting” is totally a word. I’ve adulted with moderate success this week by compiling invoices and billing my client. Almost like a real professional!

    • Make that Reid, Penny and Oscar. They’re all rescued wiener dogs – Reid’s from a puppy mill, Penny’s a side effect of my former job at the Humane Society and Oscar’s a foster fail from a senior dog rescue. They are utterly ridiculous and I love them to pieces.

      • Dachshund! I love those little dogs so much. And yours is adorable in that vest thingy. So glad you posted a pic.

        (Your other two are cute, too!)

    • You have the most photogenic dogs. <3 That last photo of Oscar kind of reminds me of simple dog from Hyperbole and a Half (though Oscar is probably smarter). If you haven't read Hyperbole and a Half webcomics, I would highly recommend it.

      • I love Hyperbole and a Half! Not sure Oscar’s that much smarter than Simple Dog – he’s 18ish and starting to get a bit of doggy dementia. He’s not terribly quick on the uptake and has managed to get lost in our (relatively small) backyard before… I still love him like crazy though ♥

  40. So, I’m moving to Austin, and I’m honestly terrified. I’ve lived in Houston for ten years and have known most of my friends for six years. I don’t know how to make friends and I for sure don’t even know what I’ll do in austin. Everyone’s like “oh, it has a great local music scene” but I’m not the type of person that sees live shows anyway. It doesn’t help that I’m looking through articles about stuff to do in Austin and the comments for every article is “don’t move here transplants are overcrowding this city and ruining everything that made it great austin is terrible now”. So that adds a lot of unneeded anxiety to my predicament…

    • Ha! I was just talking about moving to Austin one day and I live in Houston now. It’s so crazy hard making new friends as an adult. I feel ya

    • Maybe join a club? I like sports teams as a way of making friends but if that’s not your thing, you could totally volunteer. Youth groups, charity shops, libraries, hospitals, old people’s homes, parks, schools. There’s loads of places to volunteer, even if you only have a little time every other week or whatever. Before you know it, youcan be tripping over your friends you’ve so many!

  41. This week wasn’t bad, all things considered. It was certainly better than most of my semester has been (long, non-academics involved story). I did have a midterm, but I’m not too concerned about it. Not much else happened this week. Tonight, however, will be fun. I’m currently fixing burritos for dinner tonight, but the fun part comes in three hours. One of the astronomy student groups on my campus is doing a Messier Marathon tonight at the observatory on campus, and I’m going in to help out with the late public viewing (10pm-1am) and the imaging shift (1-6am).

    Short(ish) explanation: Charles Messier was a French astronomer in the late 18th century who wanted to be remembered forever, so he started desperately looking for comets so he could discover one and have his name repeated every time it came back around to the inner parts of the solar system. So he looked at anything he thought might be a comet, but none of them turned out to be comets. So he created a catalog of these objects, and sent it around to other astronomers telling them not to look at these objects as they weren’t comets and therefor of no interest. Thing is, the Messier catalog has some very interesting objects in it like the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier catalog number 31, or M31), and nebulae like the Crab Nebula (M1). In all, he cataloged 110 objects, none of them ever comets, before he died a disappointed man. A Messier marathon is where astronomers today try to view (and image) all 110 objects in the space of a night.

    Okay, that explanation was longer than I intended, but there it is.

    • Long explanation totally worth it, that sounds incredible. I hope it’s a clear night and you see some awesome stuff!

    • That was a poignant story; I always wondered what the letter in M31 stood for. I assume it was something like Magellanic (like the Magellanic Clouds).

  42. Hi everyone! I’ve missed the FOT lately. Work is busy, life is good. I’ve been looking into apartments online for grad school. I’ll probably start research in July, before classes start in August. I’m wondering how 46+ hours of driving with a cat from Washington State to Florida will work. My cat isn’t new to this – I’ve dragged her along for two cross-country moves, and she tolerated it fairly well, but this will be the longest one yet.

    I have no dog advice for you since I am a cat person, but good luck! My fingers are crossed for you. Please post photos if you get one!

    No advice on the laptop battery either – I’ve been struggling with the same thing…

    On a Florida-related note: Manatee appreciation day was March 3rd. I am so excited to see manatees. I’m going to be studying chemical oceanography, and the campus is right by the water, and I’ve heard that there are frequent manatee and dolphin sightings! The closest thing I’ve ever seen are the harbor seals here in the Pacific NW – but a manatee is actually more closely related to an elephant.

    Here’s a beautiful manatee video I found on youtube (let’s see if this works – last time I tried embedding a video, it failed)


    Reading: Just finished “physics of the future.” Michio Kaku always gives me something to chew on. I think my favorite book from him is “future of the mind.” Currently I’m enjoying “Blue Mind” which talks about our human connection to the water by dabbling into themes from human evolution and psychology. In a totally different genre, I just finished a collection of short stories by Dan Chaon called “stay awake.” Normally I’m more of a nonfiction person, but I enjoyed this collection. They kind of had a dark/eerie/twilight zone feel.

    Also I’m getting excited about a-camp! Aahhh this summer has so many adventures and I oscillate between scared and totally excited.

    Last night I watched a YouTube video of Kristen Russo from Everyone is Gay interviewing Brittani Nichols, who was wearing an a-camp sweater, and then that night, I had a dream that I met both of them a-camp. (If either of you are reading this, Hi!, you seem cool, please don’t think I’m creepy for dreaming about you). I resented being awoken at 4:30 by my alarm clock. I’ve been on this early shift for 2 years, and it still doesn’t feel natural. I think I’m just biologically programmed to be a night owl.

    Let’s talk about dreams, because I think they’re fascinating. Does anyone else have really vivid dreams? I often do, and I feel like I’d be missing out on something if I were one of those people who never remembered their dreams. I don’t interpret them to mean anything deep or Freudian, just a reflection of what’s on my mind.

    Typical themes lately have involved:
    1- typical school anxiety dreams (eg can’t find my classes, etc)
    2- outdoor adventure dreams (hiking, white water, skiing – sometimes fun, sometimes scary/out-of-control )
    3- falling elevators
    4- disappointing my family
    5- accidentally outing myself to someone when I don’t want to
    6- the ocean (these dreams are almost always pleasant/soothing)
    7-crashing airplanes
    8- work

    Thank you for reading my rambles. Hope everyone else is well! I’m looking forward to meeting lots of awesome people at a-camp in a couple months! If anybody has thoughts on manatees or dreams or non-fiction books, feel free to let me know! :D

    • I also have really vivid dreams! I definitely feel like I’m missing out whenever I don’t remember my dreams after waking up but usually I do. A lot of mine lately have involved water in some form or another, which is really soothing. I’ve dreamed about swimming in the ocean, splashing around in a creek, flying over the ocean. My other main category of dreams is incredibly boring mundane dreams where I clean the bathroom or drive around in circles looking for a parking spot… Your elevator dreams sound terrifying! I’m scared of elevators in real life because of these two awful nightmares I had as a kid about elevators.

      Hopefully after your move to Florida you will have manatees in your dreams :)

      • Yeah, I try to make a habit of journaling about my dreams right after I wake up, because it helps me to remember them better. Water dreams are the best! I often have anxiety dreams about other things, but my ocean dreams are almost always peaceful.

        I actually don’t have a fear of elevators or flying in real life, but for some reason, I have frequent dreams of being in a free-falling elevator or crashing planes. It probably has something to do with feeling out-of-control in some area of my life.

        I have mundane dreams too – i’ve had a lot of work dreams lately. And the worst part is when I dream that I’ve gotten up, but I’m actually still in bed.

        • usually I have anxiety dreams but one time I dreamed that the NY Times did a photodocumentary about little hamsters and other rodents using a mini-playground. All serious photo spread of adorable little frolicking fuzzy buddies.

          I totally woke up in a good mood heheh.

  43. My big accomplishment of the day is dragging my butt off the couch after work and going to the gym. I went for a swim and it was a great way to relax after a long week at work! Work was good this week because I finally got the news that the full-time staff position I’ve been waiting on has been approved so I can stop being a “temporary” employee (after working there almost 3 years) and start getting fun stuff like vacation days and paid holidays and retirement plans. Outside of work, it’s been a little bit of a rough week (let’s just say that reading Carrie Brownstein’s memoir was not the only time I cried…) but I’ve been trying to take good care of myself and eat lots of fruits and vegetables and get enough sleep. On that note, I need to get off the computer and go to sleep now because I have to be at work tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 7:15 on a Saturday morning… Hope everyone’s weekend is great!

  44. This week was pretty good for me, but tiring, because I’m getting back into the aerial arts game and I’m assistant-costuming a show at my school. So I’ve been spending the week writing papers, hanging from bars, and yelling at people for leaving their shoes on the floor of the tech room (SERIOUSLY. ALL ACTORS. WHERE DO YOUR SHOES GO? WITH YOUR COSTUME? THEN WHY DON’T YOU PUT THEM THERE, HUH?). But you know, good over all. The gf and I are being sad because I’m leaving next year so you know.

  45. A new baby was introduced to the household- now, we have a ferret. The cat so far isn’t impressed, but he’s coming around. Slowly.
    (he tolerates having his space- and me!- shared… Even if, if it looks like I’m paying the new little donut too much attention, he’ll come over and plop himself somewhere close. So I can see how much he disapproves not being the center of attention.)
    ((also, does anyone else have ferrets? Any tips? I’m doing my best, but I’m floundering a bit- brand new to ferrets here, and everything I research cranks my panic to eleven. Hints? Hacks??))

    Besides this, I’m job hunting. It’s… (frustration) something, alright. I’m looking in town, but I’m hoping that I can get enough of a leg into the artsy part of the internet that I can do commissions. I’m Trying.

    I do yoga specifically for back pain, when it gets bad- specifically for the lower back. It helps me, certainly- Youtube a few videos, maybe?

    I’m kind of terrible with the wrist pain(I ignore it) and eye strain(I ignore it x2). I wouldn’t even know where to begin with trying to make my elderly laptop battery last longer(I’d probably try to ignore it.)

    But I do have tips for a new puppy!

    1. If it can be chewed on, it will be chewed on. Shoes, bags, cords, stuffed animals, pillows- they are all in danger. If you don’t want it chewed on, put it up(by which I don’t mean away- I mean up. Literally. High.)
    2. Pup is gonna poop. Pup is gonna pee. Pup will also get into something they shouldn’t have(it’s inevitable), or will eat too much, and pup will end up throwing up, too. None of these things is fun to clean. Don’t take it out on your pup- it’s important to potty train, but don’t blow it out of proportion.
    2-a. Likewise, it’s also important not to make it seem like it’s not a big deal. You have to be firm(even if pup’s eyes will make you want to scoop them up and cuddle them and tell them that It’s Okay).
    2-b. You kind of can’t help the vomit. Sometimes dogs will vomit. Sometimes they will also try to eat it. It’ll be race to see which of you can get to it first.
    3. Late nights staying up with the pup will be a thing. Try to keep pup awake during the day, playing, what have you- it’ll help when it’s bedtime, and pup is actually tuckered out, instead of taking a dozen naps beforehand and being sO ENERGIZED IT’S TIME FOR PLAYPLAYPLAY.

    As for the tattoo, well-
    there’s no help for the anticipation- sorry. But congrats!

  46. “Adulting” is totally a word that “adults” use…assuming that I am an adult…which I do, because I definitely did my taxes well before April this year and folded my clean laundry instead of just leaving it crumpled in the basket all week.

    On that note, I’m super proud of myself today for using my day off to actually relax and not worry about the million things I could/should/would be doing instead. I think knowing when to do nothing is also part of adulting, too, yeah?

    And fwiw, I highly recommend finding a chiropractor for back pain. I ended up seeing one in an attempt to solve my migraines. It didn’t help the migraines but it turns out that I had no idea how much my back and neck hurt until they didn’t anymore! Life changing.
    Yoga also seems to help me with a lot of random aches and pains. Here’s a quick wrist exercise that I like when I’ve spent too much time hunched over a keyboard:

  47. 10 days post-surgery now, one week on crutches down, 3 more to go!

    I’m proud of myself for weaning off the strong pain killers! It was doing weird things to my brain and it’s my favourite asset, so I went cold turkey and nixed the drugs as soon as I could.

    The best news of the week came today however! If applied for a contract awhile ago, with an agency I’ve admired for a long time, but always felt too inexperienced to apply to. They work with the kinds of clients that I want to work with, do good things for the worlds and are owned and operated by a co-founder who is a powerful and kind woman I admire a lot! Today, they called and said they weren’t going to offer me a job on the team, but they were going to offer me another contract instead!!! I’m thrilled to get the mentorship and direct supervision of such experienced people! It’s even better than what I initially applied for! I’m stoked!!!! I’m astounded by how generous people are willing to be and what lengths they’re willing to go to accommodate people sometimes!

    • Congrats,Stevie! That’s incredible!!! I’m going through the same thing right now and its such an amazing feeling when ppl see and value all of your hard work and are willing to make changes so that you can grow and develop in the company beautifully :)

      When do you start?

      • Thanks, Natacha! :) Congratulations to you as well! Start date looks to be beginning of May. If you’ll be at camp, maybe we’ll get to swap stories on our new jobs!

  48. ABOUT EYESTRAIN: f.lux for your computer makes the temperature of its light the same as the light temperature outside so your eyes don’t have to stare into blue glare at night!! And eyeCare for Chrome bugs you to rest your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes!! (Even when you are using a programme other than Chrome provided you have Chrome on.) I had such bad eye strain in the autumn that I woke up with a headache even in the morning, but these apps really helped. You do have to actually do the 20-20 stuff though (spend 20 seconds looking at stuff far away and elsewhere and not your screen every 20 minutes) but it worked for me :D

  49. Today is the third anniversary of my move to Portland, and fuck yeah was that a good decision.

    This weekend I’m at a fan con called Bitchin Party, and even though I feel nerdy as hell for being here, it’s also great to be around lots of probably queer women who are excited about fandom like I am.


    I had a consultaion with a life/health coach this week because it was free and I’d gone to one of her workshops and liked her, but I don’t have the kind of money she’s asking for her services. (All of my extra money is going to A-camp, y’all) So I’ve decided that I need to start handling some of this myself. Things like, actually remember what I eat during the week and looking at how that does or does not help me. Calling my counsellor and re-making the appointment that I cancelled 2 times because I was sick. Scheduleing an actual physical appointment so I can check up on my health and I can ask my doctor questions.

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