FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Take Care

Hey y’all, how the hell are ya? I know, that’s a huge question right now, but it’s important that we keep asking each other and taking the time to listen to each other, and take care of each other you know? That’s why I’m so excited to be here in this week’s Friday Open Thread with all of you! I can’t wait to hear how you’re doing!

Me, myself, and I are doing pretty fine right now. My bills are paid, my sink isn’t clogged for no understandable reason, I got 10 hours of sleep one day this week, and I’ve finally built up a coffee tolerance so I’m not jittery after drinking an entire pot anymore. I also just got selected as a semifinalist for a very cool scholarship which will remain unnamed because I’m superstitious and don’t want to risk it. All very good things!

Also, my pets are looking SO GOOD this week? Like I don’t know what’s going on, but I feel like Buffy’s turned into a model, and Alexei and Anya do something adorable and sibling-y almost everyday and I am overwhelmed with love. Here, have some pictures.

Alexei T. Monts looking so sweet

Anya M. Monts relaxing so hard

Buffy B. Monts being beautiful and also blocking the television

Not my cat, but I met them on campus and fell in love!

What good things are happening to you this week? Did your pet do something adorable? Did you get discounted chocolate after Valentine’s day? Did you actually do something on Valentine’s day with an actual human(s) you love???? However you’re doing, I wanna hear about it. As Rihanna says, “If you let me, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll take care of you.” That’s what we’re here for. To take care of each other. So take care babes.


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Profile gravatar of Alaina

Alaina is a 20-something working on a PhD in Performance as Public Practice. They are a mom to three cats, they listen to a lot of NPR and musicals, and they spend a lot of time on Pinterest lusting over studio apartments. They are actively trying to build A Brand on twitter @alainamonts. One day, they will be First Lady of the United States.

Alaina has written 84 articles for us.

185 Comments

  1. 0

    all your kitties! so sweet!

    I wrote a blog post about a dog I like:

    http://www.seattlefeministtherapy.com/2017/02/17/trauma-like-taking-anxious-dog-walk/

    My v-day was unremarkable, my week was totally slammed, I went for a run this morning and my legs hurt and I’m about to go to therapy and then do 2 weeks of clinical notes that I haven’t had time to do until in a minute.

    I’m okay! It’s starting to be spring in Seattle, which is so lovely, tho I just bought boots because for some reason I have a mental block around buying sneakers? which is at odds with my desire for a slightly more andro presentation + comfortable shoes, but something about sneakers particularly just doesn’t happen for me. I know there are options, I just haven’t committed yet.

    I’m doing okay- something I’ve been doing really successfully is getting more sleep! Which makes me all-around a better human.

    Otherwise, idk, things are stormy in the world, but I am managing to hold myself together, and mostly have been thinking a lot about things like If I Have Really Comfortable Shoes Then I Will Go To More Marches and I Don’t Have To Argue With People Who Aren’t Trying To Understand Me But At Some Point I Will Be Deliberately Disagreeable For The Sake of Progress, and like doing the clench/release of the work of the movement, y’know? Do the work! Then take a break! Then lean more into it! Etc!

    Hope yall have a sweet weekend. xoxoxoxo.

  2. 0

    Ooh, first! That’s a first. Valentine’s Day was low-key lovely. Spouse and I went out for Korean food during the day. He was off that night, so the evening was also quite awesome. I seriously need to get a real jorb and be an actual adult Kat so we can be together and enjoy ourselves more often. Soon, I hope, but like Alaina, I don’t want to talk about it and jinx it!

    Today I’m kind of “grrr” and I think I probably need to go on a walk or something. I’m not sure what my trip is, specifically, as things have been going OK lately for the most part. Guess my frustrations about stuff are boiling over. I will attempt to finish this week’s readings and do my writeup, as well as learn some more PHP, to make myself chill out, and probably also throw a walk in there since weirdly enough it’s 60 degrees and sunny today. Yes, I do find PHP relaxing, weird as it may seem. Want to try my baby’s-first-PHP exercise? It doesn’t do anything exciting, but it works, and that’s all I care about.

    http://student-l.slis.kent.edu/~twork14/second.program.html

    It’s an ugly-ass form because I didn’t write any CSS for the webpage. I like expanding my skills into web stuff more generally, though, and I’m hoping it will be a competitive advantage in my eventual career.

    Right, I’m gonna take my Grumpy Kat self out on a walk while listening to some angry/brooding hard rock. By the time I get where I’m going I’m sure I’ll feel better.

  3. 0

    Well, yesterday I smashed my head into the wall and got a concussion (we think, can’t be added to go check it, just going to rest it out).
    Today we got the good news that they’ve rescued the two kittens we’re going to adopt, so we should get first visit soon. They’re from a wild litter, and they were staying in a shed, but now they’re in the animal shelter for the time being. I’m quite nervous but mostly excited. It’s a huge responsibility, but we’re going to do our best, and the family will grow.

    And I have my mother’s full support to change my last name so it doesn’t shout to everyone a gender I no longer (completely) identify with (the annoyance of a patronymic naming system).
    All in all a good few days, constant pounding headache aside.

    Your cats are gorgeous and I want to be friends with them.

  4. 0

    So the thing that made me happy this week to eclipse all else was the first issue of Batwoman’s new comic series coming out! It was everything I’ve been waiting years for you guys and why she’s been my favorite character for years. Just so good and sooooooo gay!

    And that’s just a tiny bit, there’s so much more! Definitely read this comic! 😀

  5. 0

    I saw 3 musicals in 3 consecutive evenings. On Tuesday, I saw Kid Victory, which is a new musical by John Kander, who wrote Cabaret and Chicago. It was dark and twisty and awesome. I got to catch up with a dear friend from grad school (we saw the show together), and I drank caffeine and didn’t have a panic attack! On Wednesday, I saw an immersive production of Sweeney Todd that was in a theatre-turned-pie shop. They even served meat (and veggie) pies. Last night, I saw Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close. A friend of mine is in the show and took me backstage after; I didn’t get to meet Glenn Close, but it was thrilling to see her onstage. Tonight, if I’m still awake, I’m going to Shabbat services, and then sleeping all weekend.

    My dog went to the groomer last night, and she’s such a cutie patootie!

    But the theatre-going doesn’t end there! On Tuesday, I’m seeing Come From Away, which is a new musical on Broadway.

    I’m so exhausted from being out late 3 nights in a row (and having to get up for work at 7 am every day). Zzzzzzzz.

  6. 0

    Never been much for celebrating holidays although I did cry out of frustration harder than I have in a long while so if that counts, hooray for releasing tear poisons!

    My week was a throwback to that Little Red Hen story. The hen who, after asking others for help, is repeatedly turned away and ends up like, “Nevermind, I’ll do it myself.” Except in my case, asked for help, realized the offer wasn’t feasible, and then was significantly billed anyway for asking. :-/

    In the end of the story everyone wants her bread they didn’t help at all to make and remember how she doesn’t share with any of those jerks? Well… I’mma share anyway b/c that’s the future I want to live in BUT I doubt my inner chicken will forget those who made the struggle that much harder.

    I really look forward to the world that works for everyone that we’re slowly building, guys, b/c I wanna be in a position to actually help the next hen like me that comes along. I hope everyone who needs it finds their resiliency this week and embraces the shit out of it, tears and all.

  7. 0

    That is great you are finalist, you will do great things! Your cats are totally cute and seem very nice.

    It’s raining right now fairly hard(in fact the news said it hasn’t rained this hard since the 1920’s), which means I am not work, but no customers. Yesterday, was a day without immigration and the streets were mostly empty, and only a few people opened up shop. It was also a half day cause no one was there. In fact it was kind of great cause it shows the power of the internet. Though I don’t think middle eastern immigrants understood it as our stores were all open(though most of them had to get their family members to come to work as their employees were given the day off to protest). I really hope the protest worked cause half the city was protesting. I am told the day without immigrants march will be tomorrow so if people keep hitting the new admin with stuff like this they will start to crumble(maybe fail is the better word).

    Last Saturday I went to an LGBTQ pop up event, solo again. It was okay, but it was so close to work that I was parked in front of my store. In fact all the houseless people who I see on the regular were asking why I am in this area so late. I dunno it was a little weird. The event itself was okay, but it felt a little too cliquey, and more of a thing you go too with a group of friends. Why can’t there be events geared towards us lbtq folks who’s friends can’t make it or live too far away? Like every event I go to is like you need to be with least one friend or it’s groups of people in a circle/group just kind of dancing and kind of talking to each-other. Anyone else feel me on this? Or is this just more of a LA/SoCal thing? Oh, and I bought a pink pin of a bong with flowers in it, from a queer-ish feminist store, that was outside the venue. Two women were running the table and handing out condoms(I asked about dental damns and they had no answer as to why they don’t carry them).

    Speaking of lgbtq, I went around my work area again, partially due to the need to walk to the bank for work, and have more fuck tr*mp related graffiti to share. Some of it I wrote, while others I found.
    This is one of the ones I actually wrote.

    There are more on my tumblr page if you want to check them out.
    http://thefleetingimage.tumblr.com/

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

  8. 0

    Hi all! Happy Friday! I have quite a few happy points in my life right now:

    -I gave birth to my twin girls and they’re amazing! I was freaked out over the c section and being a mom and so many other things, but everything has gone so well and they are already amazing little human beings 🙂

    -I got a new job! Yes, after only being postpartum 5 weeks I got a new job and it’s on the other side of the country in CA. We are excited to move bc its closer to both our families and it’s a nice pay raise.

    I’ve always had it in my mind that I could be that woman who did it all: kids and successful career. I’m, of course, finding it hard and complicated but so far so good. I’m just really glad to have my amazing, supportive wife by my side along the way. 🙂

    I hope everyone has a lovely Presidents’ Day weekend!

  9. 0

    This week has actually been great! My partner got me some beautiful purple flowers for Valentine’s Day (it was the best of times, it was the Valentimes, as we call it). I also finally committed to a grad program and sent in my paperwork/deposit! Our tiny family is officially moving to CLE! 🙂 Also: I got a new phone for the first time in 4-5ish years, and it has an amazing camera, which means tons of selfies and cat photos, of course.

    Overall, despite all the badness happening in the world this week, I feel like I’m moving forward, and it’s that much easier to cope and fight and resist because of that.

  10. 0

    Today I spent my session explaining to my white, cis, hetero, second-wave feminist, antitrans therapist what racism is instead of helping me deal. This because I was telling her about yet another rather extreme example of racism/homophobia/antifeminism that I experienced this week, and obviously that’s something you might want to talk about in therapy, right? And she responded by asking why I don’t move to another country if I get treated so badly here. I responded that if I move to another country, I have to take my face with me, and most of the places where my face won’t lead to this type of racism have a lot more homophobia. For any white people wondering what else you can do to be a good ally, *don’t* suggest that removing people of color from the country would solve the problem of racism. It would, but hey, so far ethnic cleansing hasn’t turned out the way Trump/etc thought it would, now has it. And of course I am the asshole for saying that. Dear white people, the next thing you can do to be a good ally is to take responsibility for what you say, including the historical context, and realize that “innocent comments” can in reality be ignorant comments issued from a position of power, and that people of color do not enjoy the privilege of ignorance, which as we all know is bliss. Also, this is one reason why we have worse mental health overall: not only is it harder to get access to mental health services, but when we do get them, they’re designed to address someone else’s needs. Is this year over yet?

    • 0

      Yikes, that sounds awful 🙁 I’ve also recently had a lot of issues with mental health professionals just *not getting it* (esp. being ignorant about trans and disability stuff) and it derailing sessions, I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with this. I hope you can either find a new/better person or at least still get some kind of value out of it, that is the worst

      • 0

        Thanks! Good thing I’m not trans in this instance because holy hell is this lady transphobic. They should all have to take units in cultural studies before being allowed to practice. I had a therapist before who said “that’s retarded”, and I was like hi, not ok.

    • 0

      I, too, have been there and I always wonder if that’s supposed to be some crappy confrontation-intervention-thing, and that would be fine, if it’s a safe sourrounding, and the relationship is safe and supporting and you *know* that its supposed to only be a thought-experiment. But if thats not the case, it goes against everything I believe, which is that therapy should be a safe haven from the world, where of course you do work (hard!), but which is nurturing and providing support you don’t get elsewhere.

      I have been announced to be dumped by my psy last week, reason was contradictory: on the one hand that I am too frail, on the other hand suggesting I see a doctor to have a talk every once in a while. ??? It hits hard, because I did trust in that lady (she did seem to provide a safe haven), and did rely on having a reliable place in the world – now she just abandons me and tells me to go elsewhere – that’s what I experience regularly (and despite the fact that she had said in the meeting before that it is very hard with psych-diagnosis, because you only get handed from one health provider to the next. Well, obvs she was talking about herself, too.)
      I will do what I am used to doing my whole life, which is keep going, but at what expense? It so often doesn’t feel like *living*, only keeping to go like through a sandstorm. I think that I have advanced a lot in the last time, and I was hoping to continue on that path, have support in things I have to face. I feel unsure if I can do that on my own or if I just fall back into my default mode and eventually loose what I have achieved?

      • 0

        That’s terrible. “Go elsewhere” is such an awful thing because they tell themselves that they are saying “the next one is where you will get what you need and I want that for you”, but really they are saying “go away”. As for my therapist, if it was meant as an intervention, it was a bad one because she will never be able to convince me to give up my ethnic background (even if I wanted to, etc.) and I sure as hell am not gonna stop being angry about racist/homophobic/antifeminist crap. And you don’t have to fall back into old patterns (which are not default! People change their baseline all the time) because of something someone else did, even if it was terrible. You don’t have to give them that power over you.

        • 0

          Thank you!!

          You are who you are and that is why you are great. and maybe thats what you could take out of this situation, that even if it might be difficult sometimes, its so worth it.

          I’ll remember the possibility of changing baselines. Thank you for believing in me.

  11. 0

    On Tuesday I had a lot of energy and joy. I made homemade chocolate truffles, they weren’t the prettiest thing ever but they tasted so good!!! And then made the best spaghetti for dinner!
    But the rest of my week has been a disaster. It really really hurts to told by a group of people that all the work you’ve done for them, to keep them from making mistakes and forgetting things, is no longer wanted (has been unwanted). Yet they are actually still expecting me to help with little things they could do, after being told to not do anything for them. It really hurts to have to let go of a project that I love and helped me grow and learn so much. I feel so protective about it and I don’t want to see what they are going to do to it, because I’ve had to redirect so many different things that would have been disrespectful and gone against the goals of the project. But now I can’t redirect anymore. I have to see this thing I love fail, knowing that I could have saved it.

    • 0

      Urrg that sucks. I have had similar experiences – the way I have dealt with it it’s focusing on New projects and trying to emotionally disentangling myself. It’s still so hard because I feel like I have abandoned my baby.BUT it has helped with constant resentment and I have found a new project to invest myself in which is more under my control. Also, being able to make chocolate truffles sounds awesome and is basically magic to me. So I hope you can find a way to do your great stuff on your own terms.

  12. 0

    Hey folks! I’m doing pretty well this week! I’m so glad that it’s Friday, and I’m totally neglecting my work responsibilities to attend to some personal things while I’m tethered to this desk 🙂 I didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day as I am Forever Single, but it wasn’t a big deal. I’ve been feeling very stressed/behind on a lot of stuff this week and am looking forward to a quiet weekend when I can play catch-up 🙂 I’m also ahead on my bills for once thanks to my tax return, and overall feeling pretty okay! I want to thank everyone that’s been supportive and kind on here for the past couple of weeks as I’ve been having a rough time recently, but I think things are finally looking up! Thanks, all! Have a great weekend all ya beautiful queers <3

  13. 0

    Your cats are adorable and I love them. It makes me want to go home and snuggle my kitten and not be at work anymore.
    It is 60 degrees here in Chicago and sunny and gorgeous and I want to go sit by the lake forever. Also my friend is coming into town tonight so life is pretty good.

    This week I fell in love with tarot.

    I’ve always sort of wanted to dabble in witchi-ness, but always talked myself out of it for various reasons. I started reading Fool’s Journey here on autostraddle and that led me to Beth’s blog which led me to, which led me to. Next thing I know I’ve purchased my own deck and then had a huge meltdown about it for no reason I could rationalize. I spent a whole therapy session crying and processing how, for whatever reason, this decision to go on a journey with tarot has triggered a huge trauma response in me from growing up in an oppressive cult… so I have some shit to work through? But we can’t fix things until we face them, so I guess having things come up to the surface is good and means that there is more room for new truths underneath as I get rid of the old shit.

    Plus I’m really thankful to have an awesome therapist who is like “Eff yeah! Tarot is a cool thing, and we can use that as a vehicle to process some of these really shitty feelings if that feels like a good method to you.”

    So here’s to me dragging my skeptical ass on a Fool’s Journey!

  14. 0

    My week would have been better if my little sister hadn’t been home sick all week with a rash of unknown origin. I’m at least thankful that my family can afford decent medical care for now; I’m aware that many in my sister’s situation aren’t as fortunate.
    Good stuff: GSA meeting on Valentine’s Day, feeding feral cats on Thursday(I volunteer with my campus’s feral cat program, which includes trap-fix-release as well as feeding), and food truck night. I’m currently procrastinating on homework.

  15. 0

    I saw Tegan and Sara live for the first time on Valentine’s Eve after 12 years of being a fan! With a friend I met at a London Autostraddle meet-up! Those two are a joyful, soothing balm for the heart and the experience was incredible beyond words. A++ on stage banter, and you better believe Sara talked about her cats. (Whilst looking FINE AS HELL. Daaaamn, Sara.)

  16. 0

    This week has been stressy, as I’ve struggled to balance work, derby, and spending time with my girlfriend, who came to stay with me for a week and a half. I’m not very good at saying no to things, and the social anxiety is strong with this one, so there was a lot of, “Oh no, will Girlfriend be upset if I go to practice? If I skip practice, will my teammates forgive me? Will my coworkers judge me if I leave work after only 8.5 hours at a time when everyone is super busy? Aaaaaaaaaaaa!”

    My dad is supposed to be flying from LA to visit me tonight, but apparently it’s going to storm there tonight, so who knows if he’ll make it.

    I made Rice Krispie treats to bring to a potluck tonight and then left them on my counter. I think my subconscious wanted more Rice Krispie treats.

    I finally bought new headphones that are not actively noise cancelling but do a lot of muffling, and I’ve been wearing them basically nonstop at work without any music playing. The world is quieter, which is something.

  17. 0

    I turned 30 on Sunday. That was kind of neat. It feels interesting. I went to work this week. I work in a library. Part-time, but it is okay for now.

    Our budget got approved. So I spent Thursday opening boxes of new books. Also makes me happy.

    I have realized that having part time hours aren’t too bad when I am having a panic attack or I am sick (like today). Having built in days off is kind of handy.

    I also made my plans with my best friend to see her and her kids in upstate New York in 2 weeks.

  18. 0

    Hi 👋! This week has been stressful because I am moving to Atlanta and I don’t know what I’m doing lol. I’ve never moved by myself except to college and it’s going to be a big change. In better news, I’m seeing PWR BTTM tonight and I’m so so stoked!

  19. 0

    You have triplet thumbprint-nose cats?! You win at cats.

    This week a person said a thing that confirmed something I’ve been convinced about for many years and it made me very happy! I’m trying not to read too much into it because it doesn’t change any current circumstances, but the validation is nice. Sorry to be all vaguebooky.

  20. 0

    I’m doing good! It’s been a long week and I’ve been in a funk here lately, but I’m trying to pull myself out. I hung out with my best friend on Monday– we both had bad days and decided to have some sort of Galentine thing. We ate pulled pork and talked stuff out, and it was exactly the kind of low-key Queers Night In that I needed.

    I ordered a pair of boots, which came in the mail yesterday, AND got a haircut, so I’m feeling some really good Butch Power Self-Confidence right now.

    I’ve also had some nice conversations with my dad this week. I keep getting these reminders to appreciate the folks around me, and it’s been good for my mood.

    Take care!

  21. 0

    Happy Friday!

    Ok nothing really exciting happened to me this week (except I managed to grab a drink with one of my closest friends on Tuesday which rocked)…

    Instead I thought I’d leave you with a funny story:
    On Wednesday I was at an Afro-jazz jam night and I was feeling good and dancing loads as always. A guy was singing a wicked song about how we should respect our pussies and how those without them should also respect our pussies, and my friends and I were dancing away….I dropped down to the floor and danced down there for a few bars, and then I came up with a booty roll so fierce that I actually knocked the drink out of a guy’s hand and SENT IT FLYING! Luckily he thought it was hilarious and there were no hard feelings. That’s the power of the booty!

    Hope you all have a great weekend <3

  22. 0

    I walked to work yesterday for the first time – it’s a 90 minute fast walk, but part of it is by the ocean seeing the mountains, so that’s pretty phenomenal.

    I still enjoy the bus rides too, even if they get punctuated with helping people off the floor, the occasional person trying to kick the door in, and even (this week’s special) the guy next to me asking his neighbour to not smoke crack on the bus. He did say please though, since it’s Canada.

    I’m aiming for walking 3 times a week. I’ll see if I can take some photos for next week!

    Oh, and thanks for the Rihanna – it made me smile because there’s a 98% chance of my wife playing her music whenever I get home <3.

  23. 0

    I’ve had a pretty awesome week to be honest!

    On Monday I saw Tegan and Sara for the first time in London and holy crap it was one of the most incredible shows I have ever been to. A 22-song set with hilarious banter and two solid support acts. I have listened to little else this week.

    Then on Wednesday all of my university’s sports teams were wearing rainbow laces because it’s LGBT History Month here – that was pretty cool.

    Yesterday we organised that some of us from the LGBT+ society are going to go to the NUS LGBT conference next month – ready to have a fab time and make change!

    And then today, just before a super important Skype call about an event I’m organising, I found out that I got accepted to study abroad in Madrid next semester, which is super exciting!

  24. 0

    I’ve had a pretty awesome week to be honest!

    On Monday I saw Tegan and Sara for the first time in London and holy crap it was one of the most incredible shows I have ever been to. A 22-song set with hilarious banter and two solid support acts. I have listened to little else this week.

    Then on Wednesday all of my university’s sports teams were wearing rainbow laces because it’s LGBT History Month here – that was pretty cool.

    Yesterday we organised that some of us from the LGBT+ society are going to go to the NUS LGBT conference next month – ready to have a fab time and make change!

    And then today, just before a super important Skype call about a cool event I’m organising, I found out that I got accepted to study abroad in Madrid next semester, which is super exciting!

  25. 0

    Your kitties are adorable!

    Miss Kitty Fantastico is at that age where she currently does something cute and unexpected just about every five minutes. I’m pretty sure every other thing out of my mouth this week was a retelling of the latest adorable or wacky thing she did.

    In home renovation news, we had to call the French equivalent of Home Depot because they never delivered the chimney tube we ordered. Then we had to call them again because the chimney tube they delivered was severely dented—this thing is supposed to heat up the air circulating our home, and I am not about to die in my sleep because their subcontracted delivery man wasn’t the careful sort. A new pristine tube arrived today, so if it weren’t for the fact that we’re both a bit behind on our Monday deadlines we’d spend the weekend installing our fancy new wood stove. Next week! Maybe!

    In self-improvement and spiritual news, I just finished a list of my 100 greatest character flaws. I clearly have my work cut out for me, but I am not going to divide and conquer this list until I have started and finished a list of my 100 greatest virtues, which, let’s be honest, is going to take forever and might not even make it to 100.

      • 0

        It’s part of a spiritual development programme I’m doing, but I’ve done similar things before on a teeny tiny scale. The key, for me, to getting to such a high number without feeling incredibly bad about myself is to write down what I DO, qualified by frequency instead of what I AM. In other words, I don’t write “I am petty”, but rather “I tend to choose who deserves my forgiveness or leniency ahead of time”.

        That also gives me something to work with that is actionable, and when I’m sitting there at the dinner table and someone says something rude or ridiculous I am more likely to recognise that “oh, this anger, that’s that thing that I do where I decided that his flaws are more offensive than other people’s flaws” rather than “I’m being petty”.

        The list has come about in a number of ways. The first 40-50 entries came purely from meditation, but once I got into the swing of things I started seeing character flaws in action and jotting them down after some inward wincing.

  26. 0

    Happy Friday! I had a postcard writing party and a few people asked about LGBT issues and honestly I don’t know how we can advocate for them. So we wrote about Planned Parenthood and Scott Pruitt and the ICE deportations but there are honestly too many things. Elizabeth Warren is my senator so I gushed to her thanking her for standing up for f*ing EVERYTHING.

    What else… I hate Valentine’s day so my girlfriend went out with friends and I stayed in to have an Ellen Page marathon. But then I got mad about it afterwards because secretly even though I hate Valentine’s day I enjoy it. I’m the most aggravating.

  27. 0

    I won’t say nothing good has happened to me this week, but it’s close. I had my credit card declined, and when I called my bank, I found out that someone pretending to be me had been trying to get access to my accounts. (Why didn’t they call me to tell me this when it happened, rather than waiting for me to find out by having a credit declined? Excellent question!) The fraudster didn’t succeed, but that’s about the only good thing because since then I’ve been buried in bureaucracy dealing with the fall-out, and now I get to spend the rest of my life worried about future identity-theft attempts.

    I hope everyone else had a better week than I did.

  28. 0

    My Bi Pride scarf has grown and my knitting skills have improved over the past week.

    An awesome organization liked the abstract from my thesis research study and invited me to give a presentation at their big conference this spring! I gave a short presentation about myself, my field of study/work and my business for a bunch of professional people yesterday. The setting was more intimidating and formal than I thought it would be, but it went really well!
    Thanks to Autostraddle, my Valentines day involved some of the best lesbian movies. My husband cooked me an incredible vegan meal and made vegan chocolate avocado mousse for desert.
    I’ve gotten back into my spiritual practice and it seems to be going well. I’m doing oracle card readings every morning. I’m staying involved with Grassroots Organizing.

  29. 0

    Happy weekend, lovelies! Despite the constant shitfire from our government, I’ve had a fantastic week.

    My friends and I have organized weekly literary readings on the back patio at our local dive bar Wednesday nights. This week was my turn to choose the author, so we did all Eileen Myles. The random straight guys that turned up were so uncomfortable and I was so happy.

    Thursday, I met with the LGBTQ+ college group I work with. They had heard about my reading project from Facebook, and wanted to do a similar program next month for Women’s History Month – public readings of LGBTQ+ identified women writers. I’m so proud of those folks.

    I’ve spent the day preparing for a workshop I’m teaching tomorrow about Mardi Gras masks and the history of the holiday in Louisiana. I’ve got a big group of ladies coming to hang out with me at the gallery, and I’m excited to play with glitter with all of them!

    The best thing that happened this week was getting my dog entered in a dog runway show to benefit our local low-cost spay & neuter clinic! He’s going to be a star.

    This picture is from a few winters ago, but he’s still just as beautiful. I’ll post the Facebook link in next week’s open thread when online voting opens – I’d love it if y’all would vote for him!

  30. 0

    I won’t say nothing good has happened to me this week, but it’s close. I had my credit card declined, and when I called my bank, I found out that someone pretending to be me had been trying to get access to my accounts. (Why didn’t they call me to tell me this when it happened, rather than waiting for me to find out by having a credit declined? Excellent question!) The fraudster didn’t succeed, but that’s about the only good thing because since then I’ve been buried in bureaucracy dealing with the fall-out, and now I get to spend the rest of my life worried about future identity-theft attempts.

    I hope everyone else had a better week than I did. I’m going to go look at pictures of cute rats for awhile.

  31. 0

    One of my friends got me a double-sized bottle of pink moscato at Target so I’ve been working my way through it and just had 2 glasses and have reached a level of drunk I like to call “i love everyone in this bathroom” drunk so things are p good.
    My Valentine’s day was unremarkable (except for a chronic fatigue flare that wrecked my plans) and I raided Target for discount candy the next day (also I went with my friend to pick out new glasses for her and apparently I have some kind of magical power because normally she takes hours to pick out new frames but when I went with her she found the perfect frames in under 10 minutes)
    Also I’m writing a fanfic for a charity fic auction (proceeds go to the ACLU/CAIR) and knitting rainbow beanies to sell (donating at least half of the profits to local queer/trans rights funds).
    (I have leftover yarn from the rainbow blanket I’m crocheting and this seems like the best way to use it.)

  32. 0

    Your cats are so precious!!

    My week was actually pretty good, although I’m about to descend into paper-writing hell this weekend because taking four writing intensive classes at once was probably a mistake. But all in all I was pleasantly surprised by this week’s chill-ness. I had a great meeting with one of my favorite professor about publishing a thing I wrote about libraries, had a queer zine-planning meeting, and got to know some of my coworkers better, and tried a new kind of bubble tea.

    (Although there was a slight damper on my day when I got home today because someone sometime in the 70s when this awful student house I live in was last remodeled decided it would be a great idea to place a smoke detector above the stairs, too far over to reach without balancing on the railing, and it started chirping because of low batteries, and trying to fix it was an adventure in almost dying. Meanwhile, there is no smoke detector in the kitchen. Go figure).

    But, now I get to hang out in my room alone for my last few hours of paper-free bliss and catch up on Netflix.

    Happy Friday, I hope y’all have a lovely weekend <3

    • 0

      So, off topic and feel free to tell me to eff off, but I am curious about your name? Only because I am also sort of a Sarah/Alex because my first name is Sarah and my last name is Alexander and so I started going by Alex because there are too many people named Sarah and also I kind of hate that name (for me!! not for anyone else) and some other Reasons. So I am curious.

      • 0

        Oh, no prob! I wound up a Sarah/Alex because Sarah is my first name but I’m genderfluid and started going by Alex during a time of really bad dysphoria and stuff (it’s not my last name but Alexander is a kind of family name), as a more gender neutral thing, but I don’t particularly dislike the name Sarah, and my family/professors/work/etc. still used it so I just kind of use them interchangeably now!

  33. 0

    I had a good Valentine’s day! I worked, but it was a fun day and everyone had a good time and I did a good job even though I had to step out of my comfort zone.

    Also I dressed up in a way that made me feel very cool and everyone was commenting all night on how good my outfit looked, and I have a very complicated relationship with how I want to dress and actually being able to get that across so I was really happy that it all aligned.

    Even with all of this my brain is like “But did you really have a good time though? I think you should remember it differently. REMEMBER THOSE TWO MISTAKES YOU MADE THAT NO ONE ELSE WOULD EVER CARE ABOUT? Yeah, the night was a disaster.”

    Can you break up with your brain? Asking for a friend…

  34. 0

    Missus and I saw Tegan and Sara Live on Valentine’s Day! It was AWESOME! Also I have never seen so many undercuts or so much flannel in one room. The support acts, (Ria Mae and Alex Lahey), were amazing too and hung out by merch after the show so I said “hey you were awesome” and “thank you” to them-obviously, because I shouldn’t be allowed near people. Superb evening. Side note of additional bitter sweetness: I stood in a queue outside in the freezing cold cuddling my wife, which I wouldn’t normally do, but there were so many queers also cuddling/smooching that I felt totally safe to do so -which is sadly a rare occurrence.
    After the show we listened to last weeks buffering cast in our hotel room to keep the whole queer theme going. Dayjob has been heavy so we’re a tad behind. Dayjob continues heavy until Monday. Wish me luck for my 13 hour day tomorrow!
    Have great weekends folks-solidarity to the workers.

  35. 0

    I WAS IN THE SAME ROOM AS TEGAN AND SARA A MERE THREE HOURS AGO AND EVERYTHING WAS WONDERFUL.

    In other news, I’m on placement with my uni course which makes me take care of myself a bit more seriously because I have to be clean, fed and awake to work. So generally, it’s suiting me well.

    Also did I mention that I went to see Tegan and Sara? In all seriousness, it’s the first time I’ve been and I had such a good time. I bought the ticket alone, thinking something would fall into place, which it did and I went with a friend from rugby a her pals. So I was super social and making friends as well, which I’m giving myself brownie point for.

    • 0

      I honestly keep thinking I dreamt it. They’re incredible right?!? It was our first time too. Now I have to see them again. I’ve got twitter mutuals who are superfans following the whole tour, except tonight sadly, couldn’t do it myself but, I’m living vicariously through their Instagram not going to lie haha.
      Yay for rugby pals. Yay for adulting!

      Also I’m loving playing spot the Brit by who has seen T&S this week haha.

  36. 0

    Bit late to the party, so here’s an Oscar picture as an apology or something:

    My week’s been pretty good. My best friend came to visit over the weekend, and it was so good to see her! We had a few “life, the universe and everything” type conversations, and I realized how long it’s been since I’ve had one of those. And on a lighter note, she gave me an excuse to do all the touristy shit in my city. We went to the Ice Hotel, saw a parade, toured Old Québec and I introduced her to the joys of poutine. All in all, a pretty good week.

    (I’ll just leave it at that and spare you the rant about my “zombie client” who has my project manager and I dreaming of murder…)

  37. 0

    You know, I had a pretty good week. I buried myself in a couple work projects from home (I work from home lots) and made great progress. My home is pretty clean at the moment, and my laundry is ready to fold.

    My biggest wins this week I guess are around self-care. I took myself off social media entirely on Valentine’s as a way to avoid getting triggered into a pitiful spiral of singledom loneliness. It worked. I’ve started saying no to more things in life, having recently burnt myself out.

    I also gave myself a damn great pedicure the other night while watching trash Netflix. A friend turned me on to nail buffers (OMG) and my pedicure routine is forever changed.

    Been processing the hell out of life too. I’m turning 41 in March, my dad died in December, I’ve been seriously lonely, and Trying to Figure Out What It’s All About. When I do so, I’ll let you know. 😉

    Oh, and I’ve been making progress on my latest sewing project, a vampire jacket. Black, shiny, with high upright collar and a feather epaulette, plus lots of buckles and stuff. Can’t wait to have it done. Now, I just need to figure out what to wear with it.

    Oh, and we had a couple days of sun here in western Canada, so yeah, life is good. The blossoms are coming out!

    • 0

      Oy, what’s the return policy on it?

      I’ve never been vomited on per se…I don’t think getting back splash from my own vomits count.
      But I do know the impact it can have on various materials, if your clothes don’t have holes or something in them they can probably be salvaged.

    • 0

      Ok so binder talk for a sec-I’m pretty sure mine is the right size-but I’m not strong enough/flexible enough to get it on…or is the wrong size? How do I tell? Does anyone even know? It’s been staring at me for 8 months like ha-you can’t figure me out. Argh.

      Hope the puke stains come out.

          • 0

            @gloriousobscurity I only have experience of gc2b and you have to remeasure yourself, its not the same as bra band size. I had to measure around the top of the chesticles, not under. And i think i measure a couple of inches bigger than the bra size i used to wear (i gave up on ‘real bras’ a while ago). Are you able to change the size? Some companies can be really good if youve never worn it.

          • 0

            I’d also like to mention that I remember reading somewhere that, contrary to what we binding aficionados often tell n00bs, the majority of binding related injuries happen to people who wear actual binders, NOT to people binding with bandages or duct tape or layering sports bras.

            While the reasons for this are unclear, It is possible that mis measuring or intentionally buying a size down for a “better bind” are at play here,

            And I would urge you, @gloriousobscurity, to be careful, and not force yourself into any garmets, or if you do, have safety shears and a helper nearby in case you crack a rib / are in extreme discomfort or pain / cannot breath.

      • 0

        Hi OK so if you’re not physically capable of putting it ON, getting it off might be impossible and/or panic inducing.

        Assuming you measured your body correctly, I’d recommend trying a zip-up or side-velcro binder instead of a pull-over one for people who are less flexible or have mobility or shoulder issues.

        I measured myself a bunch of times and was on the cusp of being in the overlap between a S and a M. (My shoulder measurements were in the overlap between the two, but my chest size was solidly listed as being a size S.)

        I went with a small, and I think it would fit me well if I didn’t have a funny scoliosis hump right where the binder hits in the back.

        This has been my main binding issue from the beginning:

        I have mild lumbar scoliosis. The place where my curve ends, and my spine starts to twist back into a semi normal thoracic trajectory, is right where most binders are at their tightest.

        I have a sort of hump on my back at that spot from my wonky spine, my slightly out of place ribs, and the inherent muscle imbalances created by having a fucked up back.

        Binding puts pressure right on that spot, and visibly increases the lateral twist of my pelvis and shoulders. (It’s like I’m twisting my hips to face the left wall while twisting my shoulders to face the right.)

        My scoliosis is very mild (around 20-25 degrees, depending on who is reading the X ray), and generally asymptomatic, but binding can make it quite painful, especially as it forces one to compensate for their bound and semi frozen upper back with added strain on their lumbar region.

        Also, my sternum aches when I stand up straight while wearing it, which is not a good sign.

        I don’t like it when binders force me to slouch.

        • 0

          This was my major concern with my shoulder – also scoliosis sufferers unite! I have a lateral twist so if I stand with my hips and feet facing forward and relax my upper body rotates to face the left hand corner of the room, my ribs appear to be an inch and a half further forward on the left, my wife has a mild one too *shrugs wonkily* – so I ordered a size up in the band because my ribs also flare out, I guess yeah it’s just a shoulder issue. Aaaah Fuck. I’ll maybe give it one more try and then look into other types. Or maybe give up because my ribs have a habit of dislocating/shifting out of place as it is… ugh. Stupid giant boobs. Genuine thanks for the helpful info though.

      • 0

        Hi!

        The vomit will not damage my clothes because I wear jeans every day.

        The exchange policy is simple, I just have weird ADHD problems about mailing things, and am sad about having to wait to get a better binder, and am worried that the larger size won’t bind as well, or will cause the same problems as the smaller one did (maybe it’s a binders in general issue, not a size issue??), or both.

        Also, even though I am highly uncomfortable at the moment, I don’t want to take it off,because I like how I look bound.

  38. 0

    So I’ve been lacking in the self care recently, just too much going on. My best friend of 8 years ghosted me, a family member broke an ankle, and I’m just finding myself very stressed out especially at work. One of the ladies I work near always has talk radio on as loud as she can get away with, specifically extremely conservative talk radio. While I used to work further away and could ignore it, it has now become very annoying and I can hear it despite wearing headphones sometimes. So I’ve been trying to find new music to tune it all out, and this week spotify gave me a hand and suggested MUNA. I’m in love with their new album and have been listening to it on repeat all week. Along with Shura, Tegan and Sara, and any other artist I can find and add to my queer self care/resistance playlist.

  39. 0

    Good things:
    – My friends were very encouraging about a couple of things that added to a series of related disappointments
    – I’m all registered for training to tutor refugees and new migrants in English
    – and also for helping out with street appeals for child cancer and rape survivor organizations in my area
    – I had my first ballet class of the year and those dancendorphins are great
    – Teerico has free international shipping right now so I made a Treat Yoself purchase
    – My friend confirmed I can crash with her when I see Tegan and Sara next month, and we’re making plans for other fun stuff that weekend

  40. 0

    So, I donated $40 to Kickstarter for this book, Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic. Then a few months later I find out it’s being published, I get a copy, and the book launch party was in Brooklyn. One subway stop away, in the Industry City complex.

    But my sweetie had to fly to SF this morning. For a conference. For a week. So I went by myself, which is really hard for me to do, and everyone there was about 20-40 years younger than me, and absolutely no one there who I knew. The only person I managed to introduce myself was one of the bartenders, that’s just because I think she kind could tell I was feeling out of place, because she asked me how I was. I don’t normally get that from bartenders.

    There’s an after party I just couldn’t get myself to go to, not by myself, it’s happening right now, but I’m just not interested in watching other people have sex, if I’m just watching. So, awkward, except the readings were really interesting. Buy the book. It’s good.

    I get the feeling I’m going to have to start doing open mic readings around town simply in order to meet people. I wish my wife had been with me. Sorry, this is kind of depressing but so am I.

  41. 0

    Hi, Loves! I can’t complain this week. I got payed, I’m pet sitting a menagerie of critters, I had a yummy curry for dinner, and I’ve been listening to Tegan and Sara all day in honor of those of you who got to see them this week (I’m basically transforming my jealousy into fun). Cheers to you all. Hope you have a great weekend!

  42. 0

    It’s been a hell of a week, honestly. Spent valentines day w/ my best friends watching Agents of Shield, which was a nice surprise because i thought for sure at least one of them would have valentines plans. Spent the day after valentines day buying up cheap candy, including a giant chocolate assortment the size of my torso currently out on the table tempting my roommate. Honestly the feast of st. mark down is the only catholic holiday i still enjoy. taking advantage of the valentine’s day event in pokemon go by camping out at a cafe w/ water stop and getting free drinks for putting down lures.

    I went on an interview Wednesday and we’re currently in salary negotiations but i’m unsure about taking the job- there are some major red flags that it might be a toxic workplace but taking the job will make it more likely that i will be able to get offered a better job, and a job in another city with a bigger job market in my field, which is my end goal. Because it’s not skimming off the top if it’s people, I guess. I’m trying to get in touch with someone I know that worked there so I can get some idea what the corporate culture is and if glassdoor is yanking my chain.

    I started therapy today and when I got home i ate 1000+ calories in a single sitting and slept for 3 hours. Therapy is exhausting.

    Tell me what you did for the pokemon go event, autostraddle. Did you catch a clefable and if so where? because I could not find a single one all week. Tell me the extremely inappropriate places you caught licktungs.

  43. 0

    I had a very self love focused valentine’s day. It’s been a year since I came out to my family (don’t remember the day but I know it was sometime this week),and I wanted to celebrate! I went out to eat and watched Hidden Figures (it was everything I wanted it to be and more <3) .I'm waiting to see if I've been accepted for a thing today so I am very anxious but I've told myself that I'll be fine no matter what.

  44. 0

    This is silly, but I’m just ridiculously excited about having ordered enough new lipstick to double my collection (i.e. two). Part of me has arbitrarily decided that I’m going to be a lot less “invisible femme” in magenta or fuchsia lips, as opposed to my usual red coral or orange red. Obviously, I know that isn’t true … which is why I threw in some discounted gold leaf liquid eyeliner for good measure.

    Ok, so gold leaf cat eye and magenta lips probably won’t make me read as less heteronormative, but I’ll look so fierce that I don’t care.

  45. 0

    I am visiting my family in Uruguay, which is very, very very awesome, but unfortunately, me and my father are both sick. also, all this is emotionally overwhelming, and the pain of leaving soon is depressing me and making me shutting myself out…

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