FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: So Like Did You Miss Me Or What

Hello, perfectly made milkshakes in strange but wonderful combinations! Welcome back to another beguiling and bewildering Friday Open Thread, a weekly space we carve out so that we can all cast spells and read lesbian poetry together. Sidebar: Would y’all like to cast some spells and read lesbian poetry? I’d have to call in Mey for the witchy stuff, but I’ve got my Eileen Myles collection out and that seems like a solid start for the latter part, so. Wanna read Sorry, Tree while I dig in to Skies? Cool, but you can’t leave my room with the books. That’s the only way I loan them out, sorry.

via, also mood

via, also mood

Since the last time you all gathered in my heart to help me through a crises (read: the last time I cried out for help on the Internet), I made some progress and devoted an entire week to not shopping. It was okay, but honestly, I would’ve rather been shopping. Another sidebar: I still have this hoodie I’m never gonna wear waiting to be returned so if anyone wants to check out the new crop tops at Fashion 21, let me know.

I can’t really take all the credit for it, though, because really it was much less me “not shopping” and much more me “having so much shit to do and/or on the brain that I couldn’t have possibly set aside a moment for myself, much less for debating whether or not that crop top was worth it or not.” I hopped a plane to New York for an amazing, life-changing, dude-filled work trip and actually impressed other human beings! I saw a lot of other human beings! I drank a lot of espresso! I went to a f*cking gay wedding and it was cute as hell and I don’t know what to do about it! And then, I obviously did what we all needed and wanted to do with our lives this week and drove to In-N-Out and back listening to Blond. Also, is it Blonde or Blond. Let’s discuss. Like someone please tell me so I can stop feeling embarrassed whenever I send the fucking word to someone. Am I right? Am I wrong? Will Frank Ocean ever stop reading my secret Tumblr? We’ll probably never know, honestly! If he knew the password I’d be really embarrassed, though. It’s not a good look.

I’m hoping to have a lot of fun and also sleep forever this weekend, so I’ll keep you posted on which of those two often diametrically opposed missions works out. (Spoiler Alert: Probably not sleep.) (The results of my last study, however, conclusively decided that it is possible for one to go up to 14 days straight running on coffee and nicotine – or in this case, iced Americanos, nicotine, and Perrier – while getting under four and sometimes even under three hours of sleep a night before either their body or their emotional state actually begins to visibly and apparently break down, so I think I’m okay, y’know.)

Meanwhile, I’d really appreciate if you would get your cute butt over here into the comments and tell me all the juicy details about your life. I’ve missed you! Did you miss me? It’s been SO LONG, y’all.

via NatGeo, also same

via NatGeo, also same

Please spill all of the piping hot tea you’ve gotta spill. Please feel free to open the lid on the salt shaker and just let it loose. I want the hot goss, honestly, I like secrets, wanna know any of mine, maybe if you ask really pointed questions about my life in the comment fields below you’ll get an answer! If not, I’ll bet you get a vague Tumblr-esque evasion of the answer or a photo of my dog, so solid runner-up prizes TBH!

But no, I’m about to say a true thing, I wanna know your actual life. Please tell me everything! It doesn’t have to be witchy nor does it have to involve us reading lesbian poetry together, in fact it could be something as tiny as a routine life update or something as amazing as a photo essay about your week. It could be you talking at length about your cat, dog, hamster, snake, rat, or pet rock. Or partner! Those are chill, too. Or parents! Sometimes those are fun. Or friends! I have some of those, too! Weird! It could be about something that happened at work, at the pupuseria while you were revealing too much of your life to a new friend, at the park, on the side of the highway when your car broke down, at school, or even on this website! It could be anything. We could be heroes. COME AT ME BRO AND LET ME FUCKING LOVE YOU.

Okay bye! I mean, hi.



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

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


  1. Okay but important question: if I were to host a lesbian poetry reading for two, which poets do I go to? Which books do I bring?

    Also, I’ll have you know that I have made a number of frightening phone calls this week, and taught myself how to make a vegetarian baked thing (my girlfriend is vegetarian, I’m not), including a homemade tomato sauce. Nothing from the jar here. Nuh uh. (I am not shaming jar’d sauces, I am mostly being hyped about having chopped A NUMBER of herbs and came out with something edible afterwards! Even if I had to google whether or not it’s safe to eat the flowers on thyme!)

    My life is very small, so this counts as eventful. I am happy with this!

    Also I think blond/e is a masculine/feminine thing from when it was stolen from the French, but I could tooootally be pulling that out of my arse. I was going to google it to check, but then I started thinking about the phrase “pulling that out of my arse” and wondering when I started to use it, and got distracted. Have vocabulary think instead.

    • This may be a silly question, but having never made homemade tomato sauce, did you use canned tomato purée or anything or just tomatoes themselves? I tried making one dish that essentially required homemade sauce but in staunchly following the recipe, the sauce was so bland (the tomatoes I used were far too watery).

      • I used a mix of tomato paste (which is thicker than puree I think? it was in a toothpaste-esque squeezy tube) and canned tomatoes (and then herbs/garlic/etc.)

        Also worrying about that being a silly question implies that I have any kind of food authority, which I am really really not. This was me staunchly following the recipe *I* had, and also double checking with other people in the house that I had the right sized spoons at all times.

        So yeah! That!

        • …The implication there being that I am afraid of spoons and therefore not an authority on cooking, not that spoon sizes are integral to making a not-watery tomato sauce.

          • Okay that sounds like a great way to make homemade sauce. For whatever reason I just envision people skipping out to their gardens and picking beautifully ripe and tasty tomatoes and fashioning sauce directly from those with no assistance from paste or anything. My imagination likes to set very high expectations for myself haha.

      • One of my favourite ways to make a delicious tomato sauce for pasta is to chop up tomatoes, garlic and basil, salt, pepper, and a variety of herbs ( oregano, rosemary.. whatever you’d like),toss it in olive oil, put it in an oven-safe dish and bake it covered in tin foil for approx 45 minutes at 375degrees, then take it out, add some fresh parmesan a few minutes ( until it melts, so not long), then take a hand blender to it. Ta da! instant homemade, delicious tomato sauce over pasta.

    • This could just be me but I think your life is grand and so this event is even grander! Hope that’s okay.

    • “My life is very small…” I don’t know why but I find this very comforting, it’s such a nice little phrase.

      Also Eileen Myles, Andrea Gibson for poets!

  2. 1. It can be blond or blonde; it’s a carry over word from French, and French has the whole gender thing going on, but English doesn’t. Free for all!

    2. I think I saw that wedding on Instagram and I think it looked cute af

    3. I find out next week if I got a job as an assistant teacher at a Christian preschool, pray for me? Unironically and also ironically? It’s full-time!! I have $6 in my checking account!

      • When I first read your comment about the haircut and the possible preschool job on facebook I laughed out loud! I work in early childhood in a small, fairly religious community and appreciated the irony and or lack there of.

    • Dude. Small children? I will un/ironically pray for you, not because I don’t wish you everything good because I do, but because I’m totally atheist so the prayer thing is a can of worms for me. Yay for full time jobs tho! Unironic Yay!

      • Small children are the best and most exhausting children!

        I love preschool. Everything is New and Wild and Exciting! Small people are so inhibited and FREE and willing to literally shout for joy.

        Also, they have health benefits. So.

    • 1. oh i just mean it’s styled differently – on the album cover it’s “blond” but apple music calls it “blonde” in its official listing. I DON’T APPROVE.

      2. sounds like the right wedding #thepoetandthescientistwedwasgoodformybrand


      also your checking account is just a big drake fan i think

  3. I love espresso. Especially freshly brewed, I will slap the eyelids off your face, kind of espresso that I make every other morning. Two years of working at Starbucks made me into the caffeine junkie I am today :O Glad you didn’t shop. I can’t say I did the same. Classes started yesterday and I spent 245 bucks on 2 books! I couldn’t rent them or pirate them because I needed an online access code to do all the work online. I still have 2 more books to buy and one of my professors sent an email saying we need to get a tablet or laptop for class. Like really? I am broke. I have rent. I need to replenish my supply of alcohol.

    I am happy this week. I was checking my bank account balance and I noticed the bank increased my credit limit again. It hit me hard that I have come a long way from having nothing to having a roof over my head and getting an education. I still struggle but it is like a happy struggle because I am not going insane. I spend like a good 5 minutes just hugging my fiancee in the shower because of it. :) It freaked her out and she thought I was crying because she ate my chocolate bar. Turns out she has a secret stash of candy in my desk. lol

  4. Guys, I made life choices this week. I spontaneously got my nipple pierced last Sunday (which I kind of regret only because it’s REALLY painful, and I can’t do my favorite thing, which is laying face down on my couch while I use my laptop) and also I had a very Abbi-on-Broad-City experience of buying my own weed for the first time as an adult. I even bought the necessary tools I will require for this to become a regular thing. I feel like I’m on my way to becoming a real cool gay adult? Can someone endorse me?

    • I can endorse you, just make sure the person selling it to you(or shop you are getting it from) is being honest with you. Also, if you haven’t I’d suggest going back and reading the high femme article that were post here. Cheers!


    • As a formerly nipple pierced human I feel your pain…or rather felt it. It was worth it though, I loved mine. I’m a front sleeper so that was a tangy few days to start with. Got rid 11 years back, and occasionally regret it.

      • Do you have any idea how long I should expect to be hurting? I guess it was a long time ago though so you probably don’t remember… I’m just tired of clutching my boob when no one is looking

        • Honestly I can’t remember, sorry. Give it a Google. Maybe just search “surface piercing heal time” to avoid weirdness. I think the hardest part for me was that it was under a bra and so obviously couldn’t breathe.

  5. So this is a huge week for me! This is the first time in over two months that I now have the semblance of a functioning kitchen because I am finally wrapping up a kitchen renovation. Yay!

    I hope everyone has a marvelous Friday ?


    ugh love ya

  7. Well, first thing…..your dog is really cute in the red hoodie!!!

    And I am reading all about how and why all of us human animals act and think and live and love and survive……and getting to discover where my queermo self fits into this academic morass of anthropological research and postulations has emerged.

    So far, still thinking I came from a weirdo monkeyish something who took the path less traveled….

    • Hey, what are you reading? I love behavioral ecology and anthropology and all manner of evolutionary approaches to the study of why the hell we do all the shit that we do. I have an advanced degree in it which has so far proven fairly useless. I love to investigate all of these types of questions from the sex/gender angle as well. If you have any questions about your readings, feel free to bounce them off of me…can’t help myself. You can take the prof out of the academy, but you can’t take the academy out of the prof!

      My only advice for navigating the academic morass – don’t neglect the science-y side of things! There are a lot of anthropological explanations and hypotheses out there that sound just dandy, except that it turns out they are flagrantly contradicted by some empirical result or other. No sense wasting your time getting excited about those. :)

  8. I once read lesbian poetry for a class. When I was done with the class, I used the printed poetry pages to make paper snowflakes for my window. Lesbian poetry can be enjoyed in so many ways!

    My big news this week is that I finally stopped being a lurker and created an account. It was every bit as awkward and terrifying as I expected, because I got wrapped up in investigating that rude Dr. So-and-so from the “Anne of Green Gables is Bisexual” article and am still worrying that “Hi, I’m new to Autostraddle, I have discovered this person’s professional details” is coming on a little strong.

    My childhood nickname was Harriet, as in Harriet the Spy. I guess it still fits, but maybe in more ways than my mother intended.

    • Yay for delurking! I only finally created an account a few weeks ago and still feel awkward posting, but that feeling has to go away eventually, right? I suspect the solution is to stop overthinking it…

      Also I am pretty sure Autostraddle is the kind of place that welcomes commenters digging into stories!

      • Welcome to you both! It does get less awkward posting, though some awkwardness still remains at times, at least for me, simply due to being an awkward person.

        (For your reference, I rewrote that last sentence about three times.)

        I tried finding out more about the doctor as well, but I didn’t turn up anything conclusive. Usually Googling academics’ names quickly turns up pages on university web sites, publications, or pages on, but I couldn’t find this person…. Of course, not everybody with a PhD remains in academia, but still, it’s suspicious.I’m curious as to what you found, @hollyrabbit.

        • Okay, so I looked at all the new comments on this investigation. Fascinating! I’m not sure either about what would be the best thing to do about the fact that he does exist, though (also a grad student, but in a different field).

          • Thanks for the welcomes! :) Haha I’ve rewritten pretty much every sentence I’ve typed so far, hit Submit, and then been like, “No, that isn’t how I wanted to sound at all!” I tell people that my specialty is overthinking things and that’s why I’m in grad school for English. :P

            I’m honestly relieved that that professor turned out not to be working at a university anymore. At this point it wouldn’t make sense to contact their (former) boss, which means I can stop thinking about what to do.

            Sophia, what field are you in?

          • (For some reason I can’t reply to your comment right now, @hollyrabbit, so I’m replying to mine): I’m in a Spanish and Portuguese department, and I specialize in early modern Spanish literature (some medieval as well). My dissertation is on the relationship between the book and the body – how books were described and theorized as bodies, how books and bodies circulated and were controlled in libraries (spaces meant for both), and the challenges of accurately reading and writing human bodies in regards to gender, race, and religion.

        • Ooh I love it ? Yay, a fellow early lit specialist! Your dissertation sounds awesome. Mine is on medieval English romance: I’m looking at the relationship between women and their bedchambers in romance and how that relationship works to create political power and social norms. (But mostly what I’m doing is procrastinating on actually writing it.)

      • I’m a relatively new person here too, just awkwardly posting and hoping I am not breaking any unwritten, autostraddlian etiquette rules…

    • i also creeped the internet to find out about rude doctor! found the same stuff as you. welcome to autostraddle!

    • Please come on strong. I don’t want to be the only one who does. I regret so much the years I wasted being a fading person.

      However, I will testify that it is possible that awkwardness increases rather than decreases over time. Or remains constant. I think this is an occupational hazard for strong women and the spectacularly queer.

      But what else would we rather be than strong women and/or spectacularly queer?

  9. A health update I guess. The MRI I had in July came back clear but this past month I’ve still been having a lot of problems and feeling like crap. I’ve had breathing problems and discomfort in my abdomen dizziness. Anyway, it’s really scary so I’m going back to the doctor this morning. I’m trying to not dwell on all the scary possibilities but I’ve been dealing with so much anxiety for weeks now it’s really hard. One good thing is I was able to qualify for medicaid so hopefully that means I can have tests done without using all the money I need to finish my mom’s house I’m building her.

    I really love you guys and I hope you have a beautiful, rich and fun day today. I wish I could hug you all. <3

    • Hello Erin! I just wanted to send you lots of strenght and offer you a big internet hug (of course only if you want it! :) ) I´m glad your MRI came back clear and hope that the visit at the doctor helps you find out what could be the reason for the way you feel!
      Probably not the biggest help, but maybe it makes a tiny difference for you: Have you ever tried ASMR-videos? :) (It´s definitely a matter of taste… I only watch the ones of one British lady, “Whispers Red”. She has one, for example, where she calmly and nicely tugs you into bed. To me, that helps me relax when I´m really anxious… and when I´m just stressed, it helps me go to sleep…).

      Oh, and a really good ressource (which I have found out about because of Autostraddle): If you google “You feel like shit”, you will find an interactive flowchart (at, that guides you through possible ways, how you could take care of your needs at that given moment. It has helped me often, when I was anxious… I just thought I told you, in case you wanted to try it out…
      (Sorry… thats now longer than I meant it to be. I just feel you so much on the bodily health induce anxiety…) I wish you a really good day and weekend!

      • Hey, I fell asleep last night without replying to you and I’m sorry. Thank you very much for your advice and kindness. I do watch so ASMR videos sometimes to help fall asleep and I will definitely check out this channel. *hugs* <3

        • Hey! No problem at all! :) I´m just happy if my hugs have arrived well at the other side of the internet! ;) Have a very nice sunday (at least here its sunday right now)! hugs <3

    • This sounds really hard. In my undiagnosed years, I spent about half my energy worrying about what was wrong and the other half worrying I’d never find out.

      Ultimately, I think it’s always better to know, so I hope you get answers soon!

      One of the ways I dealt with my anxiety about not knowing was to break things down into tiny pieces. Instead of thinking about “the big picture” I would think about a specific, manageable thing. Like: I will now think about this paw on my cat for 5 minutes. I will stroke this paw. I will listen to the cat purr as I stroke her paw. I really like this fuzzy paw….”

      Or I would just do what I could do at that moment, like maybe sit in a chair and rest. Or on a good day, maybe wash a dish or two. And just feel immersed in that and good about it.

      The big stuff will be there when you’re calmer, but if you never get a break from it, you just get more worn out and it’s harder to deal.

      Also, I continually reminded myself that whatever IT was, it was. Knowing or not knowing, it was still what it was. So fretting over whether it was this or that or the other thing was just mental playing, and fearing it wasn’t going to change it so I would try to just kind of wait and see. It was a very difficult exercise to do, but when I managed to get that attitude on board for a few seconds, those few seconds were pretty relaxing and I was able to draw on them for sustenance.

      Also, don’t give up. If some doctor doesn’t know, keep researching til you find something that hasn’t been checked yet, and get another doctor to look for it (or the same doctor if you prefer).

      Sometimes doctors aren’t really great at continuing to look for stuff if their first idea doesn’t pan out. But if you come up with a plausible theory and tell them what test you want, they will often do it for you.

      Keep asking questions til you get answers! You deserve answers!!

      • I really appreciate this. Thank you so much. I’ve been poor most of my life and have had to just suffer through things rather than go to the doctor and that’s done a number on my sanity I’m sure. One bright spot right now is that I was able to get medicaid for a year and so I can finally go to a doctor and have tests done. I really do think it will be a relief to have some answers. *hugs*

        • I apologize for sounding like I didn’t hear it the first time you said you finally got medicaid. I know how annoying it is when people seem to not be paying attention to details like that, which are so significant.

          I was on SSI for a long time and I know what a battle it can be to get help through the system and what a victory it is when it finally happens.

          I think I leapt to the “ask another doctor! never give up!” stuff because I was over-identifying and projecting my own stuff; even though I’ve had access to doctors, they have often disappointed me, and so I was bracing for you to come back here and say “I still don’t know!!”

          But that is my own stuff, and hopefully whatever is going on with you is going to be easy to diagnose and quick to fix, and we can forget about my gobbledy wobbledy history of the diagnostic and misdiagnostic maze.

          Hugs back at ya!

  10. Hi Carmen!!! I 100% understand your book-loaning rule, I get very sentimentally attached to all my books and won’t let anyone borrow them because I know I’ll probably never get them back. I hope you get lots of sleep AND have lots of fun this weekend. Or just sleep a lot because sleeping is SO MUCH FUN :)

    My favorite thing about today is that I’m going to visit my parents this weekend, which is great because whenever I go visit they make me literally whatever foods I ask for.

    My least favorite thing about today is that I’m at work right now wearing TWO sweatshirts AT THE SAME TIME because it’s so cold in here. We have no control over our own thermostat in our office so we all just sit around bundled up in jackets drinking millions of cups of tea. I’m taking the afternoon off though so ROAD TRIP TIME!!!


      also honestly two sweatshirts sounds fun

      true story i once loaned a book to someone i was dating and was so annoying about it because even then i was like nah c’mon did you lose it or what where is it did you bend it is it fraying help sos like on a daily basis, i love my books, i love things, what can i say, we are living in a material world and i am trying to do my part to save the publishing industry by forcing people to drop twelve bucks on their own copy if they’re gonna turn the pages like that

  11. Good morning, peaches and plums!

    1. My body image stuff has been through the ROOF lately. I am really struggling to stay positive and feel confident. I got my hair cut on Wednesday and I had to keep my eyes closed the whole time I was facing the mirror, which is no way to live! (My poor hairstylist – I always say things like “wow, so sleepy!” which is a LIE.) TIPS ANYONE?

    2. Thanks to Heather Hogan, I am embarking on a lunchbreak re-reading series of all my fave books from childhood. Finished Anne of Green Gables, am halfway through Catherine Called Birdy, plan on reconnecting with every powerful girl I read about when I was a kid before the weather turns cold! Witch of Blackbird Pond is next! <3

    3. Found all the seasons of GBBO on Youtube and they're giving me life.

    4. Here's a real thing. I went to my small-town pride last weekend and it made me incredibly claustrophobic. There's this local hall where all of these events are always held, and it's little, and I've sat in there a million times for a million local events, and I sat in there on Saturday, surrounded by the same three exes and handful of people I know and like and handful of people I can't stand and handful of people who probably just started at the local university, and I thought about all of my good friends who had moved away to join bigger communities, and…I dunno. It just made me feel like I'd be sitting in the same hall all my life, talking to the same people, only more and more of them will someday be my exes. Lol.

    I might need to move ;-)

    • And actually, the local volunteers and orgs put on an amazing event considering the size of our town, and brought in great music and EVERYTHING, so thank you to all of them! This is just a thing about my brain :-D

    • When I get my hair cut, I ask my stylist to turn my chair away from the mirror – even just to one side works for me if there isn’t room to turn completely backwards. This way I don’t have to see myself. Maybe that’s something you could try?

    • If you didn’t read Tamora Pierce as a kid, I highly recommend you add that to your list of kids books that have totally badass girl main characters. Her “Song of the Lioness” series is so wonderful I can’t even.

        • “Song of the Lioness” is one of my favourite books/series´- if not my favourite book of all time! I read it at about 12 years old and recently re-read it. I love it so so much and just wanted to express my gret approvel of this recommendation! :)

      • Oh my gosh, PLEASE read Tamora Pierce. The Song of the Lioness series, The Immortals series, and Protector of the Small series (they’re all linked) will not let you down!

    • Somehow it did not occur to me to look for GBBO episodes on YouTube. Guess I figured they’d all have been taken down?

      BRB, going to watch ALL THE BAKING and then probably burn my building down attempting a ridiculously fancy cake or something.

    • Loveliest nectarine,

      When I am feeling bad about my body (which happens even though we are both/all majestic dragons on fire at all times A++++), I take abstract artsy selfies. Close up of a lovely neck curve, feet placed soles together, fingers peeking out of arm/elbow crease. Shot of bedroom, hip curve just barely present in the corner of a mirror. Usually I do this naked ’cause I enjoy being naked but also sometimes clothed in some fashion, in which case the cloth can be a great compliment to the textures of hair and skin. I’ve noticed that in natural morning light, my zitty spotty freckly skin looks like the shell of a particularly lovely farm fresh egg. Weird but strangely comforting.
      Sometimes you just gotta appreciate the little things, I guess??????

      • Yes, we are all majestic dragons! One of my best friends just had new “business cards” made for herself – they are pink and glittery, with her name and Magical Unicorn as her title.

    • Thank you all, you perfect dried apricots! I now have a photo project to do thanks to Jane, a new book to read thanks to a BUNCH of you, and I feel much less claustrophobic/isolated in our little community because I have you guys. ????? on this Saturday morning.

      Also I mastered pin curls last night!!!

  12. In my desk right now, I have The Lesbian Sex Haiku Book (with Cats!) and Pansy. That’s my total contribution to your lesbian poetry at the moment, because all my other books are in a box, because *drumroll please!* I moved!! Yay!! So happy with my new apartment, and my new queer roommate (who I am trying to get to read Autostraddle–if you’re reading this J, heyyyyy).

    Everything’s great and I have my softball banquet tonight and it’s an open bar and this cutie I’ve been crushing on is going to be there…but I am also getting up at 5:30 tomorrow, so this should be interesting.

    (Also also my ex is coming home from the deployment that broke us up. In a few days. But that’s fine and not stressful, right? Right.)

    Have a great weekend!! Carmen I want to know…hm, how about, what is your favorite poem? The advanced version of that question is: have you written a poem recently? Care to share?

  13. Carmen! You are as revivingly awesome as the first sip of your favorite drink. We missed you too.

    Currently I am attempting to chai latte/ibuprofen my way away from a migraine before work. Fingers crossed.

    My favorite part of these last ten days or so has been hearing the Coast Salish Anthem twice – at a blessing at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and at the Tsleil-Waututh cultural festival on Sunday. My wife had been telling me about it because she sings it every Monday at the start of work, and I felt honored to get to share that experience.

    Also I particularly loved seing/hearing Miss Christie Lee, who is an amazing hip-hop artist who performs in Musqueam dialect and English. She’s also performing at Cafe Deux Soleils in Vancouver on Sunday as part of “Poets for the Peace” supporting resistance against the site C dam project, for anyone who can/would like to go!

    Have a glorious weekend everyone!

    • Thank you for mentioning Steven Universe! I am loving it so much, I can’t believe how awesome it is and that more adults I know aren’t watching it. It makes me wonder if I know all the wrong people.

      The episode this week about feeling the feelings and not fearing your regrets– this is not just a kid lesson to learn!

      I think this show is medicinally good.

  14. Happy Friday, love muffins! I have returned home from my road trip across the country. I am still processing a LOT of feelings about it. I saw places I never dreamed could exist – our national parks are a precious resource and I hope everyone gets to spend time in one (or more) of them. Yellowstone and Grand Teton were stunning. I will admit to being SLIGHTLY disappointed not to have seen any bears, but I saw a lot of other wildlife which was good enough.

    On the way up north, I stayed at the most rad hotel in Denver. It’s downtown and all of the guest floors have different pop culture themes. My fave was the video game floor.

    After the parks, I met up with my sister in Idaho and did some Mad Max shit – riding around on sand dunes in sand rail cars and ATVs. It was absolutely the most butch thing I’ve ever done. I also got to hang out with my nephew, who is so sweet and smart. When I was leaving to head back home (to north Louisiana) he cried because he was worried that I would be caught in the floodwaters (from Baton Rouge). I told him that I would be safe because we didn’t have any flooding at my house and the water hadn’t come there, and he looked at me with a very serious expression and said, “but it COULD.” Sweet little angel heart.

    This is me in the RZR out in the sand, being a badass.

    And here is me holding a 5 year old sweet angel nephew, being a big softy.

    I hope you all enjoy the rest of your Friday as well as your weekend. I’ve missed being here while I was away!

        • They did not, that I saw anyway. The list of teevee channels was outer space themed (to go along with Floor 8 – SciFi) and was called “Space Stations” though

    • cross country trips! i love those! i’m jealous you went on one of those and all i got to do was be in a stupid plane in the stupid beautiful sky next to stupid men. i hope it was amazing, life-altering, dumb messy, deeply moving, etc.

      • It was absolutely all of those things. Round trip was 3800 miles through 8 states. The greatest part of giant road trips, besides seeing what you set out to see, is listening to audiobooks and this trip had PLENTY of time for that.

    • You know, I hadn’t realized it before but Mad Max was really missing heart shaped sunglasses!

  15. So I need that red hoodie for my tiny dog. I just made him a tiny bandanna (the extent of my craft skills, and I almost messed it up) out of a larger, red bandanna. He is adorable in it.

    ALSO ALSO, I’ve caught a major case of cute girl text anxiety. I met someone with an adorable face and perfect tattoos on Tinder, and we went Pokehunting and watched Carol together (of course) but now over the course of a few days I’ve been hearing from her less and less. And I thought it was going super well! Is my text anxiety premature? During the course of watching Carol did she decide she needed to pursue Cate Blanchett instead of me?? (No hard feeling there, of course. Cate Blanchett is a Goddess.)

    I’m about to meander off to order a chai latte and ponder all the Cute-Girl Mysteries of the universe and (maybe?) if I’m brave text her again. Enjoy your weekend of sleep/wild and beautiful shenanigans! <3

  16. I have a lot of feelings today. My wedding is in 8 days! I am so excited to see all my friends and family and have a beautiful ceremony and a lovely party and be joined spiritually and legally to my best friend for the rest of our natural lives. SO excited!

    But! But! I am also trying not to freak out about the fact that the wedding dress my mother is making for me is not yet done, that I somehow convinced my family it was a good idea to have homemade pies instead of cake for dessert at the reception and now have to buy ingredients for and supervise the baking of 24 pies in 6 flavors, and that I have no idea how to orchestrate this event with grace and aplomb.The last month has really been a rollercoaster.

    ALSO, I got my master’s degree a few months ago and job searching is the wooooooorst and I went to a networking event this week and felt like it went really well, but of course now I am filled with self-doubt and wonder if anyone will ever hire me in my chosen field.

    This year I became an aunt, got a degree, moved to a new city, adopted a dog, planned a wedding and honeymoon, and have watched Trump campaign for president. 2016 is my craziest year of life yet.

    • your wedding is in EIGHT DAYS that’s amazing! please promise to come back next week and post pictures, or just invite me and i’ll take pictures and post them next week, that works too, is it open bar, thanks in advance, i promise to look cute, i can bring my dog, SEE YOU SOON

    • Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! If you have any questions about things that you really ARE worried about, party planning wise, feel free to message me. I’m a wedding planner (by profession) and would be happy to give you any suggestions you might need.

      PS – one of my fall brides last year had a pie buffet instead of cake. It was wildly popular. Just be sure to label the pies if they are double crust – little flags stuck in the top with skewers work well.

    • YAY WEDDING. where are you getting married? (I live in Seattle too)

      we had pies too! it’ll be great! it’ll be okay! 8 days! woo!

    • Congrats on your wedding and all of those other accomplishments! If your biggest worry is ‘supervising the baking of 24 pies in 6 flavours’, I’d say you’re doing all right.

    • Wow! You’ve had an enormous year and it’s not over yet. Congratulations on all of your achievements and don’t forget to enjoy your wedding day.
      The jobs will come before long.

      Best wishes to you both and for good lives together.

  17. I’m suddenly able to access a secret facebook of 1000 feminists in my area, I’m about to move to another city far away, and I have information that two cis men have raped or abused two queer lady friends of mine.

    I want to post these cisdudes’ photos on this group and suggest that no one date them and seriously re-consider existing friendships with them because they are ‘creeps’ (ominous but not specific enough to compromise identity of survivors, I hope?)

    The problems I can foresee:

    one of the survivors will continue to live in this city (one is moving at the same time I am) which leaves her vulnerable to repercussions for sharing this information with me and then seeing that I made it public that this guy is a fucking creep.

    these dudes will probably be sent the post if a friend of theirs is in the group (I know there are several of these people in the group) which means they may recognize me and know exactly who I got the information from (my friends the survivors)

    I don’t think the culture of this secret facebook page is going to allow this post to stay up for long (admins will likely remove it).

    But I’m feeling really, reaaaaally tempted and I don’t have an issue putting my name to it because they are creeps and they deserve to have the city know it and maybe think twice before matching them on tinder. I’m just worried about the safety of my friends, but I want these fuckers to pay. Talk this through with me?

    • I think this comes from a good place, and it’s awesome that you’re trying to protect your community. However, I don’t think there is any way you can go about this that isn’t going to feel like a *huge* violation of privacy of your friends. Even if you’re not naming them or giving them away with specific details, *they* know, and mutual friends may put two and two together. Even if it’s really well covered, it’s a risk, and it was information that you were given in confidence.

      I totally get wanting creeps to pay, but one of the shitty things about receiving this kind of disclosure is a lot of the time, there is nothing you can do with that information other than provide support to the survivors. If it’s not public knowledge, you (the generic you, because I understand you-you are moving away) still have to risk encountering these men and having to be civil to them, which is the same lot that many survivors are in. To me, part of disclosing that you’re a survivor to someone is saying “I trust you enough to include you in this shitty social contract, even though I know it’s going to suck”.

      I think the fact that you’ve identified the ways this might be a risk to your friends means we’re likely on the same side here, but I do very much understand the want to get revenge on these creeps. It’s a familiar impulse, but it unfortunately isn’t your choice to make.

      I hope you get where this is coming from, and is sufficiently talk-it-through-y.

      • You’re right, damn it, you’re right!

        Survivors should be able to choose the way they want justice to look. I’m going to keep listening, keep loving, and take up boxing or some other rage outlet.

        • Hey “r”, I really feel you. It’s hard bearing the burden of someone’s suffering and knowing you can’t help them in any other way except listening. A couple of weeks ago, an old friend (who, admittedly, was more or less my first love, except neither of us knew that) told me her husband is hurting her. She doesn’t even live in the US, so I can’t direct her to resources or anything. It completely sucks and the day she told me, I had to go to the gym and do a whole bunch of deadlifts and the like just so I wouldn’t explode.

          I don’t have a good solution to this. I just told myself that the way to support her was to help her bear the burden in the only way I can, being available to listen and chat, but it sucks.

        • did you ask the friends if they would like you to post the info? maybe they would think it was a great idea. you never know.

          but there is likely to be backlash, so just make sure that you consider all the repercussions even if they give you the OK.

          another possibility might be to post the general question to the list, about what can be done about rapists and whether if someone is known to be one there is a way to protect others from being targeted while still protecting the previously targeted. maybe that discussion will have some interesting ideas.

    • ooh ruff.

      that can’t have been the first community accountability post? I see those sometimes in my larger social media network.

      My strongest recommendations are:

      a) do not out your friends do not out your friends do not out your friends. which it doesn’t sound like you intend to, but their privacy is huge.

      b) let your friends know you intend to do this.

      c) I think it’s acceptable to post their pictures and say “these people harmed and abused women in my community” without providing details.

      d) maybe do a search in the group to see how they’ve handled community accountability posts like that in the past.

      e) consider if either of these dudes are likely to follow up with legal action, since I know of situations where people have called this defamation and responded to accountability/call outs with legal action.

      I think it also makes a difference in how big the city is that you live in/how big the community is that you run in. If it’s bigger, I think you diminish the risk of outing people, but if it’s smaller, that can be a real likelihood.

      I also feel like people talk, and I know a few different folks that have gone through community accountability processes entirely offline, and I feel like there are ways to raise red flags in community that proclude outing your friends. Like, most rapists are serial rapists, or people that treat the people they date poorly usually do so consistently, and the way this become public knowledge is by people comparing notes.

  18. Why is there not a Pokemon that is a muffin? There is one that is based on a trash bag so why not a muffin. Random thought of the day.

    • Slurpuff looks kinda muffin-like, but yeah, there isn’t a muffin Pokemon (well, at least there’s eggs and mushrooms and ice cream):


      didn’t mean to write it in all caps, then decided to roll with it. hi! not yelling! just excited! espresso!

  19. Hi Carmen! Welcome back. I gotta admit, I’m not sure I’m all that great at spells or poetry, but I can at least pretend, lol.

    “Also, is it Blonde or Blond.”

    Neither. It’s redhead! =)

    “on the side of the highway when your car broke down”
    I never had that happen buton my old car, I was hit twice, once when someone rear-ended me at a stop sign (and insisted it was my fault =/ ) and then again when someone ran a red light and t-boned me (that one totaled my old car, but thankfully neither I nor the other driver was hurt). Have I ever mentioned that I hate driving? Oh, I do. So so so much. It’s scary!

    • I’ve never been t-boned or been in a major accident while I was driving, but I’ve had some close calls. I totally hear you about hating driving and it being scary. It is so scary!

  20. Hello everyone!
    I enjoyed reading your text so much, Carmen! My week has been hectic, but pretty successfull and now I´m looking forward to a weekend with as much sleep as possible and hopefully some fun as well (I´ll probably crochet and continue reading “My Gender Workbook”). I´ve looked at appartments (2 of which I would really like to rent!) and work was really hectic and I ended up staying at my friends commune (I hope thats the right word?) for 3 nights, which wasn´t planned. (Also it was nearly 90 degree Fahrenheit and I was not prepared for that. And didn´t have enough shirts in generall – I ended up handwashing my shirts to have a clean one for the next work day…) I´m very gratefull to my friend that she helped me out sponaneously.

    But now I´m home again for the weekend, my migraine is already nearly gone and I just wanted to tell you guys, how thankfull and glad I am that you are here, on Autostraddle! And in this world in general. Reading what´s going on in your lifes, seeing the conversations in these Friday Open Threads (and on Autostraddle in general) unfold makes me so happy and I´m always looking forward to it.

    I wish you all a really nice weekend!

  21. I can keep the poems as I am not really an Eileen Myles fans as she doesn’t have the best record with the trans community(specially trans women). But, yes I missed you, as you are a cool straddler and writer.

    How is everyone’s week? I have no cute pics to share as I have not pets at the moment. After a positive week last week, this week has a bit boring. Well except for today, I got a letter from Proctor & Gamble saying they need to see all the products of theirs we sell, along with the receipts, and our supplier. Good way to start a Friday. On the plus side it’s national parks week, so I have plans to go to another national park this Sunday to hike and see nature. You should come join(my friend Mary Jane will be along), but I take you’d probably be caching up on sleep. Speaking of which I also went hiking last week with a relative(who I am slowly using my Autostraddle teachings on) and it was a good time It use to be housing until 1982 where a fire burned all the houses down(like 3-4) and now it’s a trail. It leads to a waterfall, but the lack of rain has made it nothing to special. Still it was nice.

    Oh and last Saturday I did queer karaoke again in LBC. It was queer lady’s night, where second floor becomes a club, which had some lovely go-go dancers(couldn’t tell if they were queer or not). The host was the same woman who hosts queer and trans night! I meet another new queer friend from tumblr, which was legit. I sang three(last one after she left), as did she. My first song was Breaking the Law – Judas Priest, which I dedicated to all the queer and trans folk in repressive states. Then Suffer Well by Depeche Mode, & finally This Charming Man by The Smiths, which I made even queerer by trying to make it gender neutral(worked out alright). I don’t have a good voice(being honest here), but I had a blast & it’s almost addicting. Thought to be fair Mary and her friend Rum helped.

    Picture from my hike last week. I didn’t like what I have of the waterfall so I won’t be posting that.

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

  22. I had this deep and thoughtful emotional post all worked out, however, my friend dragged me outside and we’ve just discovered a new gay bar, a five minute walk from my house.
    It’s suddenly summer in Berlin with over 30 degrees Celsius, they’ve been playing “Work It”twice in a row(I do love that song), and you’re keeping me company while I’m sitting outside, waiting for my friend(who probably got chatted up at the bar) to bring the drinks.

  23. Every day this week has been a challenge of making my day slightly better than the last. M-terrible anxiety waiting to hear about an apartment T- waking up to call that i didn’t get apartment/settling into dread of starting my roommate search over W- exhausted/depressed but tried to be social with writing friends who were also feeling down Th- Cleaned up from my laziness/ met with potential roommate which went ok Today- Met with someone else and she is really chill and cool and like actually wants to move in, so that would be great and I hope it all works out! I really don’t want to spend anymore time meeting with strangers and dealing with the stress of finding a roommate.
    I’ve been really really wanting it to rain and be cooler! I want fall! I really want a rain storm to happen! Its been in the 100s though, 108 last week. :(

  24. Good evening folks, this small wet island has been damn hot this week. Not like proper continents get hot, but it made it up to 26 degrees C. Woof.
    Today wife and a friend and I went to a street food festival, we wondered around for hours just eating all the things. I had Poutine IN ENGLAND, bought from twins…but sadly not those twins. The temptation to go back every day this weekend is extremely high.
    Other than that I’ve been binge watching anything vaguely gay and drawing some more.
    Hope everyone has rad weekends, enjoy the Bank Hols UK folks. Fingers crossed the weather holds! Hugs for those that need/want.

    • Hahah maybe next time it will be those twins. Fingers crossed. Have you got anythig planned for the bank holiday?

      • We can only hope! No major plans, I’m still cat sitting so I can’t go away anywhere. Figure we’ll head back for more food on monday night, since we didn’t quite try everything. Pretty much avoiding the busy places for the next couple o days. How about you?

        • I’m at my parents house for the next week while half my family go on holiday. Although first we have the maternal side of the family BBQ tomorrow which I should enjoy. My twin is going and I havent seen her in months so it should be good.

          • Nice, hope the BBQ is good and you have dry weather, all the best for twin reunion, hope it is awesome.

  25. I’ve been reading all the books about Witchcraft and Wicca this week (thanks for recommending Jailbreaking the Goddess Autostraddle!!) and having a lot of feelings about it. Because on the one hand I think its awesome and I want to become a witch and make an alter in my apt and be 18 kinds of witchy, but on the other hand my science/logic brain refuses to let me believe in anything (except that the Doctor WILL show up on my door one day and whisk me off to fabulous adventures). So skeptical atheist is skeptical, but I love so much about the idea of Goddess worship. I suppose time will eventually tip me one way or the other.

    In other news it appears that someone is donating a piano to the library where I work and so I’ll have access to a piano again and I’m super pumped about that.

    Also also, who else is watching So You Think You Can Dance? Because that show gives me hope in the future of humanity and not a whole lot does these days.

    • I went out and bought Jailbreaking the Goddess after reading the Autostraddle article! I haven’t been able to really dig into it yet because I haven’t had a quiet block of time for reading. I have sort of the same issue. One part of me really wants to be witchy (the part of me that’s been excited about witchcraft since I was a little 5th grader with a crush on a girl who liked witches), but the other part (the agnostic part, I guess) is like, “But how do you KNOW? How do you KNOW anything you believe is real and anything you’re doing matters?” (The agnostic part of my brain is good friends with the existential crisis part.)

      • Cheers to having had crushes on girls who liked witches!!
        The existential crisis part of my brain is also super hyperactive. For me it’s less “how do you know what it means?” and more “but…. science.” I can get behind the idea of the goddess being a personification of the forces that exist in nature, but any mention of “the gods might be offended” and I get all like BUT THEY DON’T REALLY EXIST!!! (of course I know many people believe in deities and that is awesome and I support that belief, I just don’t believe) So. Struggle.

    • I’m right there with you. My interest in Witchcraft has seriously picked up the last year or so, and I have several friends who are some variety of Witch or another who I love and support, but when it comes to intensely-skeptical-of-everything me, I’m like “… okay, but how and why and i want science and-“, so it’s been a weird journey so far.

      How’ve you been liking Jailbreaking The Goddess? I was super interested after the review and just haven’t gotten around to actually picking it up yet.

      • I am loving it! I personally haven’t felt a major disconnection/problem with the Maiden/Mother/Crone thing, which is sort of odd since I have no desire to ever have children, so it hadn’t really occurred to me that this might be a Thing for others. But then reading a new interpretation of the stages of the Goddess I’m finding it really empowering and awesome. I especially like the idea that these stages are not strictly linear and that different aspects of the Goddess may be manifesting in different areas of our lives simultaneously. Highly recommend!!

  26. I’ve had the most adult week I have had in a long time. Appointments with the bank to sort out my less than stellar money situation, forgoing my usual shitty frozen meals for actual home cooked food, getting up and going to bed at reasonable times, and the (very respected) place that I volunteer has asked me to do some training in order to take on a more responsible role. I feel good for the first time in as long as I can remember! I lost my job four years ago because of a mental illness and I finally feel like I am rejoining the rest of the world. I’m looking for work and excited for the second year of my degree to start soon. It’s been a good (couple of) week(s), guys!

  27. So. Those of you who were here last week probably saw me stressing about the job/moving to QC situation. Long story short, I was going to write a very Professional Email asking for more details, discussing salary, etc., and send it after my current project is finished in a few weeks.

    But then my boss messaged me on Wednesday basically nudging me about it, trying to figure out what I was going to say.

    And I just… said yes. While knowing pretty much nothing other than a) there’s a position there for me and b) I’ll get at least a one-year contract. Like I don’t even know when I’ll start, although that’s more up to me than to him.

    On the upside, I don’t think my boss is going to try and take advantage of me for agreeing before I know anything, and he’s actually offered to put me in contact with a real estate person to help me find an apartment. But just jumping in like this is very much Not Me. And I’m freaking out a little (OK a lot).

    So that’s my big news.

    And on a completely unrelated note, it’s National Dog Day today. So have a picture of Oscar Meyer modelling a new shirt and practicing his “Blue Steel” look.

    • Wow that all happened fast huh. Glad you think your boss is a good egg. Hope it is all an exciting adventure for you. I’m consistently delighted by your pooch’s antics on Insta. Gorgeous boy!

    • I always find when things happen really quickly and almost unexpectedly like this they turn out to be the best things! I hope this is the case for you.

      Also this is the cutest dog!

  28. So here’s the truth: I’m lonely. NYC is really lonely. I’ve always got a lot going on, but I don’t have anyone to share it with. My grad school friends are all super busy with everything, and we’re all kind of growing apart. My best friend got deported, and it’s been hard to keep in touch from across the world. I have my dog, but she’s not the best conversationalist. Plus being single doesn’t help me feel less lonely. :(

  29. I’m sitting on the sofa at my parents house with a cat on my chest, purring so loudly. I love it.

    So this week lots happened. I packed up all my belongings and sent them to my parents house in England, finished my job, saw all my friends for the last time and today moved me and my bike out of Cardiff and Wales permanently for the first time in six years.

    I’m now going to be house/brother/puppysitting whilst the rest of my family go on holiday and then move to Scotland to start my nursig degree.

    Honestly Rose (the cat) is really helping me feel grounded and safe right now. Everything is good and exciting but that makes it difficult to relax.

    Update on the housing situation, I think I have somewhere to move into! Its affordable and in the right area with a nice housemate, just going to be a bit squished as my move in date covers the old tenants move out date. But I can cope with that I think. Thank you everyone who was so lovely last week. You were all babes.

    • This all sounds really exciting (and, yeah, I can imagine it is pretty stressful too). Good luck with starting the degree! I really want to head to Scotland, specifically Edinburgh, for a masters degree when I’m done with my undergrad (I’m in NI) so I’m a little bit jealous.

      • I’m going to Glasgow! I applied to Edinburgh too, but I’m pretty happy with my choice as it feels a bit more down to earth and real than Edinburgh. Which is entirely MAGICAL in every way as I’m sure you know. I honestly didnt realise there was a castle that grand still in existence. I hope to visit Edinburgh lots when im up there though. And also the Highlands! I want to go camping and climb mountains!

        • I always think that Edinburgh is the closest I will ever get to a real life Diagon Alley or just the wizarding world in general. Glasgow is a really great city too, I have a lovely friend who lives there and she loves it. Also I was watching a show about the Highlands tonight (because I am that’s how I roll on a Friday night) and it made me want to move to Scotland right now!

          • That documentary on channel two? Id just finished Bake Off Extra Slice with my mum and it came on and I just shouted THAT’S WHERE I’M GONNA LIVE repeatedly for the whole introduction.

          • Yes, that documentary, with deer and whales! Sounds like we had a very similar Friday night!

    • Hooray for housing, and Glasgow is awesome btw. I loved it there. The stealth suffragette Rennie-Macintosh tea room is awesome…also all the gay bars, which I lived in pretty much way back in the day. Ah youth. Cat sitting solidarity :)

  30. OH HI.

    hi honeys and chickens and waffles,

    I just had a new friend date! I’ve been rubbing elbows with a new buddy who I’ve known for awhile who I particularly like because she makes offhand comments about classic film (re: Katherine Hepburn and that sort of thing) and has all these tattoos and was a punk in the 80s and has all these interesting stories about living around the world and getting sober and is a neat lady.

    She’s getting into tarot and I’ve read it casually for about 10 years so we hang out and drink tea and I read her tarot, because I honestly feel like that’s the thing that helped me get practiced in it the most is having a friend read my tarot a bunch, and it gets to be this lovely familiar thing and it doesn’t feel like I’m doing it wrong because it’s like cooking, you get familiar with it by having somebody who cares about you do it for you for awhile until you get a rhythm of what you like best.

    Also I made the fancy Tao of Tea Five Hundred Mile Chai which is my favorite. It’s the only tea I know how long it’s supposed to boil/steep for and I only make it for special, and it’s really delicious.

    I’ve been fine, this week continues in an epic story of being like ‘who gives a fuck about working, I don’t want to do it’ except small biz owner= no sick days, so I’ve had a super chill day so far just chatting with my friend, and our house is sort of clean, and I’m really enjoying the easy day I’ve had so far. I have paperwork bullshit to take care of but it’s not quite time for that yet.

    I don’t have any good gossip, except that my honey and I are probably going to buy a house in a small city about 50 miles from where we live now, and we will probably commute a couple of days a week, and my friends have been SALTY. I’ve never moved really, as an adult, (grew up in Seattle, went to college away, came right back) and I have never really experienced the thing where you move away and people are kind of bratty to you, because they are sad you will leave. But like, our friendship cannot make purchasing a house possible in this city with an exploding real estate market, and I can love you just as well when I live some not-very-far-ways-away.

    I’m also having the thing lately where I work late a lot, and haven’t been as available, and friends are salty about that, and I have been trying to stay in better touch over text message about checking in and telling them funny stories and sending them emoji love notes and shit like that, and that only seems to make them more crabby! And I get it, it sucks when friends can’t hang out as much as they used to, but people seem to have a hard time internalizing I STILL LIKE YOU I JUST WORK ALL THE TIME. I AM BUYING A HOUSE IN A DIFFERENT CITY NOT BECAUSE I DON’T LOVE YOU BUT BECAUSE I CAN’T AFFORD ONE HERE.

    oh, and it’s our wedding anniversary this weekend! we’re getting a fancy cake and going to a cabin and doing nothing, it’ll be great.

    happy weekend, honeys!

      • thanks! I really enjoy your name, it makes me think of when somebody pleasant leaves the room, which is nice bc it is nice to chat with somebody pleasant and also to be like “I liked her!” after they leave. :)

    • Have a great anniversary! Also I 100% hear all that friends being salty about work and moving choices. I’m at the point where I just am shutting out the friend, who is an ass about it all, as much as possible. Which is not really a solution but I’m done trying to make her feel better. Her husband told me not to mention moving away because it upsets her, and I just couldn’t take the snide remarks alternating with guilt tripping any more. So yeah I get that! I hope your new place is amazing.

  31. Happy Friday! This week was pretty good. I got results back and it turns out my thyroid issue was either not really there (we only tested the T4 hormone once) and my kidneys are apparently fine (my doctor thinks I was slightly dehydrated the day of the first test). So that got my week off to a good start. The other good part is that this week was the first week of my last year of undergrad! By the end of next May I should have a degree in astrophysics! I love my classes. It was a bit sad seeing the place with even fewer friends running around, and then I learned that someone I didn’t know well but that I had met had died at age 18 (no idea how as the family isn’t accepting and won’t talk to anyone in the campus’ queer community, and I don’t think the coroner who informed the university of the death could legally tell us). So a good week with some sadness mixed in.

    • Argh! Forgot to end something after a parenthetical. *sigh*
      So my thyroid issue was either never really there or corrected itself.

      Oh, and one more nice thing happened today. I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen since she graduated a couple years ago. That was neat.

    • Astrophysics is fun! Congratulations on being almost done. Are you going to be writing a thesis?

  32. Hi friends!

    I had my first kiss and it was great and amazing!

    However, she has now gone back home and I’m sad because we have no plans to live in the same country (or continent) within the next few years…

    Still! I’m so happy and honestly it was like a film

    Love you all x

  33. So I officially decided to jump in and make an account here, with how often I read. So hello, all! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful things you do. <3

    Life is crazy stressful right now, but I'm dealing with it pretty damn well thanks to being 203 days into my sobriety, and I'm crazy proud of myself. Past-me would be blacking out most nights to cope, but I've been indulging in self-care and getting plenty of sleep, so I'm muscling through!

    My roommate and I finally found an apartment after months of searching, which means I AM SO CLOSE TO GETTING A DOG, OMG. Y'all don't know how excited I am by this. And my roommate is a wonderful friend, and I'll be living with a queer roommate again for the first time in several years, so I'm so excited to have our gay lil' space. And also DOG.

    • 203 days is such an achievement! Incredibly proud of you. You are pig to be the best doggy parent of all time. Its guaranteed.

      • Thank you! And ahhh, I am so excited to be a dog mom. I think I’ve already found the pup I want to adopt from a rescue here, so I’m hoping to get settled into my new place and get her approved ASAP!

    • Welcome to the big show! But seriously, glad you came out of lurking, welcome to AS, and enjoy your doggie-dog! What kind of a dog you after? I’m not super into dogs, but I prefer the medium to large varieties. If I ever got one, I’d probably want a German shepherd or something.

    • Yay sobriety! Life is more enjoyable when you remember it. Keep up the good work! Don’t forget to post some pics of your fur baby in the future. Pet pictures are awesome ☺

  34. Lately I have been making jewelry and hiking to beautiful places. This has really been a great summer. I’ve found the town I want to live in – now I just have to figure out how to make that happen re. work, etc.

    I made dis! It took me five hours, lol.

    Silver Spray cabin in Kokanee Glacier Park, my second time visiting

    A glacier-fed lake a couple of hours hike from the cabin. So pretty! But cold

    • Looks very lovely, I take this is British Columbia? It also looks like it wasn’t too warm, was it? Is the lake swimmable?

      • Yes, it’s in the Kootenay region of B.C. My friends swam in the lake briefly and said it was refreshing, but I just dipped my feet in and that was more than enough. I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to cold water…

    • That necklace looks awesome! Hot damn. I was planning on trying to make something fancy-ish like that with a leftover octopus charm, to make it look like a net that the octopus caught pretty things in. This necklace is so cool & has reminded me of my own idea, haha! Also, out of curiosity, where did you get the bird skull? Or did you make it?

      • Thanks! I got the raven’s head charm at the bead shop where I bought all the other supplies. I’m not at the skill level yet to make something like that. :) Your octopus net idea sounds super cool!

    • that’s such a cool necklace! did you make it up or find instructions? I would make one like that but with a crystal for the dangly bit. :)

      • Thanks :) I made it up, and it ended up looking somewhat different from my original design because I had to do a fair bit of experimenting to get the triangly part to lie flat. A crystal would look awesome too!

  35. THIS GIVES ME LIFE! new and super #grateful reader here, thanking her lucky stars that virtual spaces like this exist when unescapable and toxic spaces IRL sap all the energy. aka, long, ruff week. sending so much peace and love out into the universe hoping it lands on each of your shoulders and gives y’all a lil love and kindness when you need it xx

  36. Carmen! I am glad you’re back because I read your blog posts about hoodies and emotional voids after last Friday and had many feelings and was going to write about them but haven’t yet, so now I feel like I get an extension. I bought more stuff! Mostly just yet another tank top, and this really dykey-looking sports bra that I liked so much I wanted to wear it on its own, which is not a way I ever feel about my underwear, and then it got really hot and I was hanging out on a dock so I just got to subtly remove clothing!

    I possibly made new friends with a heterosexual guy for the first time in like five years but it might just be that I want his haircut.

    I got my tattoo I mentioned a couple weeks ago! It’s still kind of goopy so maybe next week I’ll have a photo. Are tattoo photos a thing you all care about?

    Also I got to hang out with kittens, twice, and met a really nice cat and I am going home to my sweet kitty in just over a week. May you all meet nice pets this weekend!

    • Tattoos are the best!! I’m getting one done on the inside of my arm for my daughter. For a short time she lived with my parents while I was getting inpatient help for mental health stuff. When she’d visit we’d paint a birdhouse together. So I’m getting the 4 bird houses in the next month or so, kinda smallish, about a 2-inch diameter for each. I can’t wait to show her when they’re done!

  37. I just realized that I am starting fall coursework again on Monday – for the tenth (post-high school) time, and hopefully the last! Unless I’m teaching. I mean, that’d be fine. But after Monday I never want to say I’m starting fall courses as a student again unless I’m really, really old and doing a PhDo-over.

    Don’t grow up to be me, kiddos.

  38. Carmennnnnnn do you still want me to draw a silly drawing of your pupper??????? (yes i am trying to make you spend but srsly do u want drawing or did u change ur mind pls do the letting know of me)

    It’s National Dog Day, apparently, so, fittingly, the cow ears i ordered for my dog showed up today & he really liked the one i gave him. As in, when i thought i’d need to take it from him to lead him up to my room, he turned away from me & even got up to move away from me further. I got him to come upstairs; he carried his cow ear in his mouth all the way & i might have squealed because it was so cute. I’m really glad he likes them, because i read they’re supposed to be good for dog’s teeth, with stuff like plaque or tartar or something like that. And it occupied him for, idk, maybe at least 30 minutes? (He gets kibble out of his Kong wobbler even faster than that. He mostly just smacks it until it dispenses the kibble hahaha)

    I also made a zine about my dog & i have it on Etsy & this weekend i’ve made each version $1 cheaper than usual, because it’s National Dog Day so why not? And who doesn’t want a zine full of adorable pictures of my dog? (If you don’t, just shh. Don’t tell me that you don’t want a zine full of adorable pictures of my dog why would you even tell me that???) If you’re interested, which i know you are, you can find them here! (If that all doesn’t funky your monkey [cookies to anyone who recognizes that from SBP], you can get 20% off your order if you use coupon code FRIENDZ16 at checkout, up until Dec. 31st. Because let’s be friennnnnds.)

    My week’s been fairly boring, i guess??? I haven’t gone anywhere, though tomorrow i’m gonna go volunteer at the art museum, then Monday again i meet up with the job coach/search/help guy at the local library & i should pick up some meds & mail the book someone bought this week. Tuesday i hang out with my friend Zack, who is moving to the freaking DC area because he got a job there, so it’ll be harder for us to hang out. I’m legitimately glad for him, but at the same time, i feel like i might end up being even lonelier than i already have been. Zack is one of my favorite friends, if i’m allowed to say such a thing. Hanging out with him is always fun, i can always make him laugh, & he listens to me & doesn’t judge at all. It’s like, idk… yknow? Like yay for him, for landing an awesome job & being able to have his own apartment, but also, like, no… don’t leave… come back…

    And i know DC isn’t that far in the grand scheme of things, but this means he can’t just spontaneously hang out & stuff.

    Then on Tuesday i’m supposed to have a “phone meeting” with someone, i guess about getting state assistance, which i signed up for with the help of a friend’s mom who’s a social worker. I still need to get an appointment to try & get SSI. Fingers crossed, though, ahahaha. Meanwhile, my so-called “father” continues to try & screw us over & tells lies about all of us, especially my mom.

    Mostly this past week, i’ve been making things to try & sell on Etsy, so i’ve technically been working a lot. Two weeks ago i got a few pounds of different air-dry clays; they need 24 hours in order to fully dry, but i like that i don’t need to bake them. So far i’ve made a simple rune set, a few little goddess/goddex figures, & i’m starting on a femme rune set that includes glitter on the runes. I still need to paint the night/space goddex, but the rainbow, earth, sun, & water ones are all painted & sealed with satin varnish, which makes the paint look nicer than it does unvarnished. They did take a lot of work, despite being small, so i was thinking of pricing them at $12 or $15; an online friend told me i could go for $18, but i don’t really think so. The simple runes are so simple that i think they’d be $8; $10 at most, especially if i threw in some sort of simple bag to keep them in. Of course, it’s a lot of waiting, all told: the clay dries for 24+ hours, & each layer of varnish has to dry for at least 3 hours before the next layer/they’re finished. I’ve had some ripping & tearing of varnish on the runes & also the rainbow goddex, which always sucks, but i’m just trying to go with it haha. I managed to fix the rainbow goddex, so i’m glad about that. :) Someone was interested in it before i had to fix it, so hopefully she still is & will be okay with the pricing, if i can settle on what it should be. :B

    For a while my mood was okay– like, for a good while. But in maybe the past day or so, it’s gone down for no discernible reason. Yesterday i mostly slept, & then was tired by 9 pm so i just went to bed. I took sleep meds to make sure i slept the whole night, so i woke up at 11:30 am-ish & had a “meds hangover” for HOURS. Like, maybe within the last two hours or so, i’ve finally felt more awake, like i don’t need to prop my eyelids open. Unfortunately, it’s now about 7:30 pm EDT, & i’ve got to get up early tomorrow in order to catch the bus to get to the art museum. :P Typical, amirite?

    Sorry for babbling so much, & thanks for reading & commenting & stuffs. ♥ I’ve gotta go finish typing up an oracle reading that someone bought & i was too tired to finish typing last night. And i neeeed to shower because mosquito bites & sweat. Ew.

  39. Wow, I am super late to this party. (I’m always asleep when these threads go up. Thanks, time zones!)

    ANYWAY, I finally had a chance to read that femme roundtable from a month(ish?) ago and it was just what I needed. I’ve dug through the archives, but don’t see much more like that. Can any of you lovely humans point me towards more writing on femme identity?

    I’m especially curious about femme that’s not glam, or even very pretty – blue jean femme, I’ve heard it called, or comfortable femme. But mostly, I’d like to read more about the emotional aspects of femme, and so on.

    Thanks bunches, from a maybe newly discovered femme.

    • Seconded, on wanting to hear more discussion of femme presentation and identity. I still worry a lot about never finding a girlfriend because I don’t “look” queer, but my femme-ness is really important to me and I’ve paid enough for it (I’m trans).

    • yes seconded on the time zones! It’s fine where I mostly live but I’m back where I used to live now and it’s hard to contribute. and maybe seconded about femme things? I’ve been thinking about the tomboy femme label a lot but I’m not sure if femme feels right at all right now.

  40. Hi everyone! I’ve been like in an upward spike with a hint of depression so I haven’t been able to comment the past couple of weeks but yes today seems like a good day to get back into it!

    So glad to have you back, Carmen! Hope you have a great weekend and maybe get some sleep? I mean I’m such a big fan of sleep as of late so I can like not really imagine going without it but whatever you do, hope you feel fantastic!

    I went to LAMBDA at the end of July and like. I know it’s been a month and I should calm down but I’m still so in awe of the whole experience. I got so much love so much encouragement to do something that means so much to me and I WENT TO MY FIRST GAY BAR HOLY SHIT also I didn’t know about go-go dancers and I’m pretty sure the best time to learn about them is when you’re away from home by yourself for the first time and are surrounded by people who volunteer to move so you can get a closer look (though I didn’t, it felt kinda too much to me.)

    And then I came back, and after Pink Door last year, I knew there was gonna be a big adjustment coming home, but it’s not as bad as last year cause I just jumped right back into some work. I’ve been taking this group class with Shira Erlichman (who is wonderful amazing wow wow wow) and I’ve been advising for the second summer session of Winter Tangerine and then I also need money so I work weekends. And I just got into this wlwoc network on line and its been like two days but its already just !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ve been in like not super good emotion wise places for a while, and like all my warning signs of a huge dip in my mood/productivity are coming or are here but I’m kinda just rolling with it at this point so it doesn’t feel as apocalyptic as usual.

    I saw two of my best friends today and that was great and I’ve been listening to Alice Isn’t Dead and like we’re all in love with Jasika Nicole right? But like. This is maximizing my love for her like times infinity it’s the best.

    Oh! I wrote this article on Quntfront Media ( and people have been really kind about it and I’m still happy with it, and like it’s not my usual super sad stuff and yeah, I’m glad to see it where it is. I also got some stuff in Up the Staircase Quarterly and Glass’s Pulse Special Issue and I’m happy with those too. I’m not used to being like anywhere near okay with my work so all of this is slightly overwhelming but the good kind I think!

    I’ve also marathoned You Me Her and am in a really strange state of ????? just because polyamory has never crossed my mind and now that and all kinds of other stuff especially after LAMBDA is and it’s strange trying to fit things in places/expand so I can hold it all. I’ve also been watching Bojack Horseman (still a couple left on the most recent season) which gives me like existential crises so that’s always good and I read Year of Yes which honestly bless Shonda Rhimes period but then also bless her again for that book. And it was my best friend’s birthday and I wrote on her wall but was also buzzed so it felt over the top mushy but she loved it! Still does! And honestly so many people I love I’m just waiting for them to tell me, “you can’t love me like that anymore” so really it’s always a huge sigh of relief when they like….don’t do that.

    AND I got this fucking amazing journal so now I can put notes and stickers and all the stuff I’ve collected and it won’t fall apart and I am PUMPED. And like I’m also super sad but I’ve made a lot of people laugh, I’ve laughed a lot, and people have given me really gentle surprising thoughtful love especially in the past few days so I’m like sad but the holding isn’t as heavy.

    Anyways. Hope you’re all doing well. Hope you have a great weekend!!

  41. Imma spill but first…


    If you want to donate to victims of the recent (and historic af) flooding in Louisiana and also Texas please consider TAMPONS, PADS and 6 packs of UNDERWEAR as a donation or a part of your donation.
    Clothes, coats, socks and non-perishable food are always good, but menstrual supplies aren’t as widely donated and are always in demand more than the scant supply.

    If you’re volunteering to clean up; bleach alone doesn’t get rid of mold for good it only kills the active mold. To kill the spores and prevent spread you need a SPORICIDE.

    If you’re thinking of gutting affected drywall please for your own health wear a disposable DUST MASK and try to sleep somewhere well ventilated and free of construction dust.
    You don’t wan the Katrina Cough, trust me on this.

    If you’re going to eat an M.R.E, DON’T eat the candy.

    I might have lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or if I’m lucky a viral infection having a field day with my joints. Too busy dealing with my symtomps and school work to be angry and sad or even start to panic about this. Maybe I’ll have the space to panic or what during fall holiday break after midterms.
    If don’t have to drop out I’m on track to finally GRADUATE in spring. I’ve spoken with one of my instructors about everything and I won’t be held to the same deadlines as everyone else so passing and being able to register for my final classes is a strong possibility.

    Oh and for one of my projects I get to make beautiful vector graphic of NOLAW’s logo for a shirt design and when I work on this project my internal soundtrack is very delightfully Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl. Never have I been so happy with a song stuck in my head. :D
    It’s aces y’all.

    Other Songs Stuck in My Head:

    Tinariwen- Assouf


    rock an’ the blues are universal mes amies

    Un Bel dì Vedremo from Madama Butterfly sung by Felicia Weathers


    I watched a recorded performance of this on PBS from the Met Opera and a lot of the design had a Japanese influenced aesthetic. And Cio-Cio-San looked like a yuki-onna in the last scenes which reminded me of a tale I don’t remember the name of. A wronged woman coming back to haunt those who wronged her basically, but I can still see the woodblock print in my mind and her long brittle hair.

    The Distillers- The Hunger


    it’s one of those song I want to learn because I know how to growl and it’s not sung by a baritone. I hear baritone I subconsciously try to sing baritone and I am not a baritone.

  42. Today I Learned that I have two gay coworkers! A lady gay and a gay guy. I’m so excited, I’ve never been aware of other gay coworkers. Yay.

  43. I really appreciate having this reminder to check in with myself and the community every week! People are open enough here that I talk about things I barely talk about with anyone else.

    Not only are events that trigger my anxiety slowly creeping over the horizon, I scratched my cornea this week trying to get a stuck contact out. I went to the doctor and got it treated, but my eye hurts, and my vision’s blurry, and I couldn’t take time off work because I’m hourly. Without being able to see, there’s not much I can do to make my anxiety go away. I can’t study for the GRE, I can’t work on my applications. I could go shop for my dress for my sister’s wedding, but feeling fat and unlovable and forced into heteronormative formalwear AND in pain does not sound like fun.

    Honestly, things aren’t that bad yet, but the specter of my worst, self-destructive anxiety is lurking just around the corner. I’m scared of being scared, if that makes sense? I’m going to try to sleep as much as possible this weekend, clean clothes, maybe get that dress out of the way, cook healthy food for next week. Then I’m just going to chip away at the things that bother me little by little next week after my eye heals cause that’s the only thing I can do!

    Also, I reread Anne of Green Gables this week cause of Scholar-gate and it was lovely to realize how much of the best of her I’ve internalized. When I was little, I felt that I was like her because I have red hair, and I’m stubborn, and dreamy, and can be a little too mean when provoked. Now I feel that I’m like her because I worked hard through high school, I won an English prize, I’ve gotten through friends and family dying, I put off my education to help my family out, I’ve taught kids. I’ve clung to that Anne-like ability to push everything pressing out of my mind and focus on nature and things that are high and fine and beautiful, which is honestly a little bit of a handicap but makes me happy. I’ve lost a little bit of her ambition and confidence during college. Regardless, I’m proud of what I have accomplished and I’m inspired to work harder on my shortcomings. Thanks for bringing Anne back to my attention!

    • Eehe, Scholar-gate.
      Thanks for that.

      Hmmm how heteronormative? Like Baptist wedding in the small town that still has a statute against bobs and pants for AFAB people heteronormative or like suburban American heteronormative?

  44. As to your hair colour question the word “blond/e” came from Frankish “blund” and when we get to Middle French with have a masculine and a feminine form of this word form the color between golden and light-brown.
    Masc- Blond Fem- Blonde

    As far as I know there is no official ruling of SAE (Standard American English) on which one is “correct” but if we’re gunna follow the trend of SAE dropping “u”s (Normand invasion is why those are even there) from words like colour and using “z” instead of “s” in words like rationalise a case can be made for blond over blonde.

    In UK English the use of blond/e follows the rules of French in regards to gender.
    HOWEVER in SAE I’ve only seen brunette used and not the masc. brunet.

    Personally I go with blonde because I’m secretly re-frenchifying American english.
    It’s like a tiny act of vengeance for on going death of Cajun French from the world, but Carmen Y.D.Y
    I won’t try to convince you to use blonde.

    • “Do it for Evangeline” is my new favourite phrase, and I will probably use it to explain why I translate. After all, it’s partly true – growing up around chiac/Acadian French is what inspired me to get into translation.

      (Also: get thee to the Canadian Maritimes. Cajun French is alive and well there.)

      • Gud. >D

        I grew up with this on the wall

        hearing virtually no French in the household except for the lone BeauSoleil record and at an occasional musical festival. Oh an’ maybe small pleasantries, endearments and some words for certain dishes like pain perdu, but still I only really have a tongue and ear for Spanish.

        I forget to specify Louisiana Cajun French dialect when I say Cajun French is dying which is such silly little mistake, I know better. Plus one of my Pepe’s last stories before about his travels before the medical troubles started up was about brokering a deal in French speaking Canada when other Americains could not. Anglo people treated our Cajun French like it was something dirty and low class while butchering Continental French trying to be fancy. And well that fact it kinda has bits of Choctaw and Houma did not make the case for it being language worthy of not beating out of children.

        Oh and the painting is “The Last Novena for Gabriel” by George Rodrigue.

  45. Hey everyone!

    Long time lurker, recentish commenter! Carmen, of course we missed you but it sounds like you had a blast! Also I bought some stuff I didn’t need today. Arhhhhh. At least it was less stuff, though?and I’d love some lesbian poetry recommendations, I never know where to start with poetry.

    I came back from a trip to Melbourne in April wanting to get into Wicca but the idea of candles kinda worries me, because I am scared of burning the place down? I did love the spell jar article lovely Mey wrote recently, though.

    What is happening with me…
    – I’m settling into my job more. I started three weeks ago and feel a lot better about it.tea reading had something to do with it, and my closest coworker and boss are great.
    – I got my tea leaves read last week by a lovely lady who was lots of fun. She said that I’d be exploring my sexuality more this year and figuring out if I like guys or girls more (I feel like I may be poly pan but definitely up for exploring that later). That’s a big piece of goss for me, haha. She said a bunch of other stuff, too.
    – uni stuff, I have a fair bit to catch up on, but it’s doable. Gonna jump back in after I post this!
    -signed up for meetups cause I need more friends!
    – working on finishing the desire map! I’m almost there.

    And that’s it for now!

  46. The time difference in Japan (and just generally being very busy, or exhausted) means I keep missing these, but I’m jumping in on Saturday afternoon anyway because I miss it!
    Friday Open Thread is always such a good end to my week.

    So anyway, not a lot is new with me, but I absolutely think I’m going to need to impose a shopping ban on myself, too! I’ve been here for just over three weeks now, but everything is still so novel. I keep going into shops to buy something for dinner, and coming out with a bunch of weird looking crap, and nothing for tea.
    For instance, today I bought some kind of cake/bread thing that is MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM FLAVOURED. It’s also blue. What!!!!!
    I haven’t tried it yet, though. I will absolutely keep you informed on what happens. I’m probably gonna have it once I manage to bother my arse to make lunch!

    Oh, and also today, I went into the 100 Yen Store to buy normal things, like a chopping board, but I wound up spending the equivalent of, like, £20 on Halloween stuff and cute stickers. It’s August. I don’t know what my life is anymore.

  47. I have gained more confidence exploring PDX again post MS diagnosis.I just use a walker now hahaha.The bad part is I feel lonely but not alone if that makes sense. I’m an introvert so being by myself doesn’t bother me but I feel awkward seeing people socialize with their friends. I mainly just have family and very few close friends. I don’ now how to make friends in real life but online is not a problem. I’m also accepting that my only choice for dating chances is online dating.That worries me because being bi= perverts and threesome invites from couples on many dating sites. I’m not willing to pay for I need to learn how to meditate and mindfulness asap

  48. This week I left my horrible job when where I was being bullied by an awful woman! I am free of her!! I now have 4 weeks off before going back to University to start my MA and i plan on spending most of it in my girlfriends bed :) its weird not being in work, I am finding it hard to find a new routine but every day that I dont have to deal with that woman is a blessing!

  49. Every time I see this video I always have one pressing question: why the hell this video only has 475933 views? (even some people in the comments shared this opinion)

    This song is my personal national anthem and it comes from one of the best albums in the 2000’s, The Id.

  50. Target is having a sale on Sunday. 10% off of basically everything in the store or online. Supposedly the boycott over the transgender bathroom policy is having an effect, and their sales are down badly. Please support Target.

  51. I don’t know what to say about my week. I’ve been extra tired lately and not doing much.

    Discovered that the reason the very nice single dad in the apartment next door who seemed to want to be a good neighbor when he moved in has been allowing his teenager to play extremely loud music at 2 a.m. It is because he (the dad) leaves the kid alone 3 nights a week while dad stays over at dad’s girlfriend’s house, and thus did not know what was happening.

    I was super angry that after his big show of wanting to be a good neighbor he somehow did not realize that blasting extremely loud music at 2 am was a problem. But now I realize he didn’t know it was happening and I’m trying to decide if I’m super angry that he’s leaving his kid alone half the week and also if I’m mad at the kid.

    When I was a teenager I would have LOVED being left alone at home. But I don’t know how the kid can not realize that music so loud it shakes the entire house is too loud for 2 a.m. So maybe he needs more supervision.

    Mostly I’m just tired and cranky because it’s been so noisy.

    I realize some people like loud music, but I moved here specifically to get away from it and it worked for a long time, until now.

    Anyway, I finally spoke to Single Dad Neighbor and he says he will speak to Unsupervised Teenage Son, and maybe I won’t be as tired next week. We are going to negotiate things like quiet hours and maximum volume boundaries, and also look for some anti-vibration pads to put under his speakers maybe. I really don’t want to ruin the kid’s happiness, or be at odds with the neighbors in general. I was relieved that once I finally managed to talk to Single Dad, that the conversation went OK.

    There is a hummingbird who frequents the flowers in my yard and it hovered in front of me in mid air and looked me in the eye and I found that thrilling. I told a friend and she said the hummingbird at her house does that, too. I find it quite thrilling and I hope it happens again before the hummingbird migrates to someplace warmer for winter.

    My usually very considerate cat woke me very early this morning. She was patting my face with her paw and would not take no for an answer. Then she went and pointedly eyed her food, and made it clear she was Ready For Breakfast NOW. I usually do not like to give in to that sort of thing but she is usually so considerate and not at all demanding, so I fed her. And then she didn’t eat! It was so frustrating. Another reason I’m extra tired. I don’t know what she wanted and I feel bad for her that I am not a better interspecies communicator and also for me because it seems like there are just so many forces conspiring to keep me from getting sleep.

    A friend said to me: “I ran into Person X and she gave me this message to give you [a very long message about all the things that had happened to Person X in the past year or so].”

    I felt a little weird about it because: a year is a long time to not get in touch and then want a third party to relay all your news. It was explained as part of the message that X couldn’t contact me directly because her computer isn’t working so she can’t do email.

    But what about the phone?

    I thought: maybe her phone no longer works either? I know she had some money problems, so maybe it got disconnected.

    So I was thinking about how to respond, and I thought: OK, I will send her a letter in the old fashioned snail mail!

    And then I realized I had never written to her that way before and though I know where she lives, I don’t know the street number.

    So I’m working my brain here, and I think of yet another mutual friend who probably knows. So I contact that person and she says she can give me the street address but also, here’s X’s email address if I want that also.

    So I say: I thought that X couldn’t do email?

    And mutual friend says: she reads them on her iPhone.

    So. She has a phone AND she uses email. But she can’t get in touch with me directly? She has my street address also, now that I think of it, because she’s been to my house a lot.

    So now I’m confused about what to think and whether I should bother responding to the very long message she sent me. I mean, it was very detailed and it seemed like it took a lot of effort to construct and relay it.

    But it also seemed like she could have contacted me herself if she really wanted to be in touch.

    Maybe I’m over-thinking this because I’m so tired, or maybe I’m under-thinking it because I’m so tired, but… it just feels weird to me. She was never shy, either, so I don’t think she would be afraid to contact me directly. The last time we had a conversation, I was very friendly so she wouldn’t have any reason to think I’m avoiding her, I don’t think.

    I realize this is not a serious life problem. But it’s what I’m thinking about today.

  52. Our cat had eight kittens.

    We have nine cats now. This is too many cats.
    They are sleeping under my four year old daughters bed and she is in heaven.

    Also, I have to decide whether to move my family to a remote paradise for work. its pretty perfect except I am afraid that I will be single and lonely forever because hardly anyone lives there and certainly very few lesbians.

    Maybe I will write stories by the ocean and live in a fantasy world as a replacement for loving someone I can touch. This opportunity is too good to turn down but I am so afraid that the loneliness will be too big for me to handle.

  53. I’ve been lurking so here goes:
    1) finally emerged from a really terrible summer depression where I lost 30 pounds & had to drop my summer classes. Back in therapy with a meal plan so yay for (belate) self-care
    2) also quit my shit old job and got a great new one where I feel valued & apreciated
    3) I’m totally hopelessly in love & it’s super scary & wonderful. I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for her. I kinda want her to meet my parents, but what’s a good timeline for that?

  54. Hi everybody! I just came back from NY (internship) after being there for 2 months, I had a lot of fun there. I ate the best pizza of my life at Bleeker Street Pizza (go there now, if you’re in the area). I should’ve brought a whole pie with me. Although I was alone about 85% of the time, it took some getting used to but I realized I can handle things on my own. I just wish I had experienced it more with other queer people my age, but I am pretty introverted so that didn’t really happen. But my true accomplishment was going to Cubbyhole (gay bar) alone; I deserve a pat on the back. I was so nervous the entire time. Now that I am back here in Los Angeles, I am looking to move out of my parents house. Side-note 1: Why is there no Queer Exchange LA ?! I am trying to find a place to live with other queer people because I think I’d be more comfortable. (If anyone knows of a cool place let me know, please. I am a 24yr old UCLA student, super clean and chill) Surprisingly, there is not much in LA. Side-note 2: Why is Autostraddle not big in LA ?! There are many events in NY (and other east coast areas) but there isn’t much happening here (correct me if I’m wrong), and it is LA after all!

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