FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: We’re In the Eye of a Hurricane So Just Chill Out With Me

Hello, storm chasers! Welcome to Friday Open Thread, a place to turn off the weather reports and chase our passions together and also a space to chat and hang and share what’s going on in our lives. Help yourself to some coffee or tea or hot chocolate. Pull up a pillow cushion in this cozy little nook and let’s chill out, ok?

Look, I know the weather outside is frightful.

But the fire in the Hogwart’s library is so delightful.

Life is feeling pretty intense right now for a lot of us. I found myself typing things into my work calendar in ALL CAPS on Monday this week, like subconsciously text-screaming about my life. My day job, working for the New York ACLU, feels pretty awesome and important right now, but it also feels fucking impossible. Like, how are we going to stay on top of this all?

Every day, I’m hearing from people who are scared and every day I’m working my ass off trying to get something, anything done that might help protect our rights. It’s dark days and everyone at my office is overwhelmed.

Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton looking at each other during Trump's inauguration

YUP. (via Twitter)

In an effort to take a needed break, I had lunch with my former boss from Planned Parenthood on Tuesday. She reminded me that Trump’s tactic here is to do so many things so fast that we all become dazed and exhausted and so broken down that we become complacent. So, with that reminder ringing in my head, let’s talk about other stuff here today in the interest of not letting Trump burn us out.

Like, I’m down to talk about U.S. politics if you want to, but what I’d really like to hear about your life outside of that, what’s new and exciting, what you’re working on, what you’re reading or making or trying for the first time, how you’re making time for yourself (or struggling to), if you’re watching the Super Bowl this weekend, pics of your craft projects and pets and family and whatever you ate for breakfast.

As for me, I’m just past the five-month mark of life as a human/dino parent. It’s going so fast! I can’t believe how much she’s changed already. Parenting has gotten a little easier as she gets older and can start to do more things, play more ways, and express herself vocally. She wants to engage with the big beautiful world, all the time.

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Having a childcare schedule that allows Waffle and me to share responsibilities around our opposite work shifts means that I can’t do as much outside of 9-5 hours as I used to. It’s forced me to go home at a reasonable time most days. I have to focus on caring for this little human instead of going to every rally every day. It’s changed how my activism looks, but it’s forced me to prioritize family time over work/resistance time — something I’ve been notoriously unsuccessful at in the past.

A video posted by KaeLyn Rich (@kaelynrich) on

I’m still squeezing in a lot of work (between day job 9-5, writing for Autostraddle, and teaching a college class). I’m just prioritizing my parenting responsibilities now. It feels busy in a different way. Most nights, by 6:00 PM, I’m on the couch playing with Remi instead of still sucked into my inbox.

Speaking of being on the couch by 6:00 PM, I’m thrilled that both Steven Universe and Adventure Time aired new episodes this week and both with so much new canon material! (OK, so I saw the Steven Bomb episodes already when they early-released them, so I’m technically re-watching them.) Both series are doing some freakin’ great stuff that I don’t want to spoil for y’all if you haven’t seen it, but I’d love to chat about it if you have! I preferred “Stakes” to “Islands,” but I’m relishing in finally getting the long-awaited Finn backstory and Susan Strong’s sweet, tragic origin story. It’s resonating on some awkwardly personal level with me as a transracial adoptee.

Speaking of personal awkwardness, I recently tried to repair something for Waffle with a sewing machine my mom refurbished for me about a decade ago. I was really confident that I remembered how to use a sewing machine. So confident. Waffle raised a dubious eyebrow, but he brought the sewing machine down from the attic. After thoroughly removing the shroud of dust and grime, I spent about 30 arduous minutes trying to thread the damn needle. Turns out, no, I do not know how to operate a sewing machine. In fact, I don’t even know how to attach the needle or wind the thread. DIY/crafting/making continues to be NOT MY THING. My mom is a master crafter, but I just didn’t pick it up from her, as much as she tried to instill it in me.

HORROR SHOW (via Shutterstock)

Speaking of my mom, she’s going to watch Baby T. Rex for a couple days in March so Waffle and I can have some grown-up childfree time. We’re going to our favorite place in NYC for the weekend. Waffle scored on-stage seating tickets for Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. I’m confident it’s going to be this year’s Hamilton at the Tony’s. If weird off-off theatre gone mainstream Broadway is your thing, check it out!

Oh, and bonus, Josh Groban is off the night we’re going, so we get to see the original Pierre. No hate to Groban, who has been getting rave reviews. I’m just more interested in seeing the original Pierre who is also the composer, Dave Malloy. OK, enough #theatrenerd.

So now you go! Tell me what’s up! I can’t wait to see your pics and read your words and chat about life, the good, the bad, and the weird! Hit me with your real real reals!


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KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can buy her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 182 articles for us.

246 Comments

  1. Oo, I saw Great Comet! Both off-Broadway and on. I’m not sure it’s going to sweep the Tonys like Hamilton, as Dear Evan Hansen has some serious buzz. It should get Best Director, though – Rachel Chavkin is a boss.

    Yesterday was my birthday! I had such a lovely day. It included Levain cookies from my supervisor. For those non-New Yorkers, Levain cookies are these giant, gooey, dough-y cookies which are delicious. And I painted pottery with my sister and ate delicious Italian food.

    Tonight is my birthday party, and I’m really hoping my crush comes. She said maybe (she has work late), but HOPEFULLY she comes. Even if she doesn’t, I’m going to wear a glittery dress, and it’s going to be fun!

    [edited per commenter’s request]

    I’m currently at work, listening to the Bring It On: The Musical cast recording, which Lin-Manuel Miranda co-wrote with the composer of Next to Normal and a couple others.

    Happy Friday! I hope we’re all taking deep breaths.

  2. UGH! It’s snowing here again after being long gone and it was starting to feel like spring. Here are some pictures of just how almost spring it was.

    A driftwood fort someone made on the beach

    A couple of a Blue Heron that was not impressed to be photographed

    and the sunrise from last Sunday.

    I’m currently reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post for my book club this month and I can’t believe I haven’t read it sooner! I am completely obsessed and can’t put it down, so much so that I have taken it electronically from the library so I can read it at my desk instead of working.

  3. BABY T-REX SQUEALS!

    I am currently at day 4 of relentless pain and muscle spasms in my shoulder/upper back. I think one of my ribs might be out. Typing hurts. Breathing hurts. Sitting up hurts. It fucking sucks. Blah. I hope you are all having a better week than me.

    Here is my cat staring into the fireplace because he’s cold:

  4. I hear you with the busy. Last quarter, while I was commuting from San Francisco to Santa Cruz for graduate school and my wife was working her ass off to make this possible, our teenager decided to stop eating. Fuck this thin culture! We noticed the getting skinny part, but, since she was eating in front of our faces, we thought it was a growth spurt at first, and went about our busy lives until the kiddo collapsed while applying Manic Panic to her hair. The bathroom now has some delightful pink splotches to remind me of that time I thought my daughter was having a seizure, and I had to call the ambulance.

    I took a leave of absence from school, the kiddo spent two weeks in hospital pretty much watching Bones and eating, and the wife and I frantically rearranged our entire lives to combat this seriously fucked up disease. I am now what one doctor described as a short-order cook/chauffeur/dishwasher/nanny, as the best medicine seems to be eating, therapy, and basically treating the kid like a toddler with serious attitude. In addition to preparing six meals a day (seriously) and going to lots of different doctors, I am preparing papers for two conferences, designing a lecture on the history of my union for an apprentice class, and maybe, possibly finding time to work on my dissertation research.

    All of this leaves little time to be out in the streets protesting whatever messed up thing the Cheeto’s puppetmasters have thrown at us, so I am living vicariously through the AS community in that regard. Thank you all for keeping me informed and for putting your bodies out there while I can’t. Also, good luck with the Tex R. and make sure that little bugger eats!

    • I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. It makes me so sad that we live in a culture that shames young women and girls into literally starving themselves. Sending lots of love as you support her in battling the disease and the stigma.

      I try to shield little Remi from negative body talk, but already people sometimes comment on her body and size. It’s ridiculous! At least for now, calling her “chubby” is a compliment because babies are supposed to have warm layers of baby fat. But every time I hear those words, I think of how it will become an insult as soon as she’s old enough to understand what it means.

      OOF.

      You and your wife are doing an awesome job, it sounds like, as parents. And as people. Sending you loads of good wishes as you plow through. Raising a strong, amazing woman is part of the resistance, too.

    • I’m sorry you’re daughter is dealing with that, but I’m glad she has you and you have the ability to take a leave of absence to be there for her, quite literally. Being able to have someone there is helpful for recovery for many things (speaking from personal experience), and I’d imagine it’d be the same for an ED.

  5. Ahhhh it’s Friday. It’s been so hectic this week, it was actually a surprise to me yesterday when I realized it was Thursday. It’s already 9 pm where I am, and the plan is to do my writing for the evening (trying something I’ve never had much success at, and that is romance. IRL, too), and then I’m going to drink my ginger beer, and read.

    In good news, my newest, littlest baby niece was born this week, and so the days have just flown by. She’s so tiny, and so new, and fresh, and the poor thing has been born into this world. In good news, the church of Norway finally allowed same-sex marriages, and I feel so much happiness about this process that has taken time, but was worth the wait. The world feels so harsh and unforgiving, so this week I chose to focus on two wonderful things, and they truly were hopeful and wonderful. I hope you all have a good weekend. Cheers from Norway xx

  6. We made our cat (BUDGIE) a blanket nest next to her favorite radiator in a room she thinks she’s not allowed in, to try to convince her that she’s totally allowed in there. She loves the nest but still vacates once she’s been discovered. She puts a lot pressure on herself to be good.

    In other news I’m donating $1 to the ACLU for every beer I drink this month and it’s making beer EVEN MORE FUN. It’s like unlocking real life achievements for being a ne’er-do-well but those achievements are mostly just a bill.

  7. I have been binge-watching Supwrgirl for last 6 weeks(almost caught up) and am adoring Dangers! Also the show and Melissa Benoist’s performance. And Katie McGrath for the win(but why are all her fictional families horrible to her?!) Anyway, alongside the awesome recaps on here, I have been checking out the AV Club reviews, because I am a geek and any show I like I read several reviews of, plus comments. There has been lots of support for the storyline , which is great, and some discussion over bury your gays. Which led up to people bringing up Lexa and some people saying the fans overrreacted. So now I am in a comment fight with some person over whether or not Lexa’s story had to end the way it did(whilst they ignore all my points about the showrunners shitry behaviour and how the death played out). Le sigh. I wanted to rant about that and here seemed the right place

  8. …not politics.. ok! I can do this.

    Kittens. There are two kittens in my household, recent additions in the past 3 months. Paris (i.e. Paris of Troy, not Paris of Hilton or Paris of France) and Magnus are 6 month-old Turkish Angoras and tearing around the house… Paris is recently recovered from having a back leg amputated. It hasn’t slowed her down one bit, she’s the more forceful one. Magnus is skittish and tends to emit high pitched squeals when I don’t let her follow me everywhere / close a door. …I think the last post I made to Friday Open Thread was when my previous cat, Moglee, unexpectedly died. I haven’t forgotten him and the kitties are no replacement but it is nice to have cats around nevertheless. I’d attach a picture if I could figure out how. Someone help me out?

    Misandry. I ordered those pins for me and a number of friends and have been waiting what feels like FOREVER. I check the shipping status a few times a day even though I *know* that it doesn’t get updated. I’m in Canada. UPS delivered the package to USPS a week and a day ago and there won’t be any updates until it gets delivered. Still I check.

    Moving. I need to find a new place but not many things are being posted that are in sync with my budget and timeline / the rental situation in Toronto is crazy. Keeping hope alive and continuing to look / plan but its so frustrating…

    Writing. I’m writing another play. Its been a couple of years since I stopped writing / being produced for reasons-too-long-and-feelsy-to-get-into-here and the return to it is nice. Unlike my other writing, this play involves queer women and a cat. Its happy-making if hard going to start again.

    People. There’s a person. She’s new. She’s great. Plus, friends that I haven’t seen in awhile, who are also great but in a very different, less Magic way.

    Vanity. In my attempt to, a. avoid doing work for school, b. avoid doing work for work, and c. not talk about politics in this post my mind has set upon an urgent and pressing problem. WTF am I going to wear tonight? I had a plan but I used it last night. Going out dancing at a place I haven’t been to in quite awhile. When I can’t think of anything I err on the side of hella serious and formal so, you know, want to try to avoid that. That being said, I feel tapped out of ideas… and DapperQ and other blogs I follow for them are a bit light on that front. Ideas, folx?

    …well that was long…

    ..Oh wait! Not done yet! I went to a *free* zoo in High Park the other day that had BISON and three (3!!) YAKS (as well as a NAK, which is a female Yak) and REINDEER and some sort of… smaller-Kangaroo-thing-but-called-something-different… and PEACOCKS and EMU and SHEEP (!!) and some Capybara that I did not see but exist. It was the best. The reindeer and the Yaks did a little parade by the fences. One of the yaks licked my hand which was amazing and cool.. but then it peed and licked some of that.. so I was a bit more grossed out after that.. but still super happy to be seeing all the am-nimals. Hot chocolate came after, as it is wont to do on a cold day. I think if I as ever going to be a mascot of the type where you don a costume to personify a particular consumer item or brand, I would want to be a giant walking hot chocolate mascot. #dreams

    • I was just looking up Turkish Angoras last night because I think that’s what mine is. Hooray new kittens, AND a new person! Go you! I had no idea a female yak is called a nak and I am kind of charmed by that piece of information.

        • I’ve had him for 7 years but took over his care from a former housemate, so I never knew (or thought much about) his breed until my parents adopted a cat who looks and acts a lot like him, and my dad being my dad wanted to know all about what kind of a cat he was. They’re likely either Turkish Vans or Turkish Angoras. If yours are anything like ours, prepare yourself for several years of mischievous antics.

    • I mean we can talk politics, but we could also talk outfits!

      I think it depends what kind of dancing situation this is–nightclub? dyke bar (as if those still exist)? drag bar? casual? red rope fancy? popular music? alternative music? hip hop?

      But generally, when I used to go out dancing, I’d just wear as little clothing as possible…and lots of eyeliner. If that’s not your style, I feel like a black shirt is ALWAYS sexy and works on a lot of people and for a lot of situations. I also just personally have a thing for the black-shirt-and-jeans look, so…take that as you will.

      • Black is a good idea – eyeliner is less my style but I agree, super sexy on all sorts.

        The dancing situation is… “A heavy queer rock n’ roll dance party, featuring music by only female and gender-expansive punkers and rockers” held at a small cafe with a mix of eclectic chairs and some craft beers, open late, open to all, queers to the front.

        Do dyke bars still exist somewhere? I want to Believe!

        • Um, definitely anything goes, then. Like, jeans and a black shirt or a band shirt or funny queer slogan or band tee or like really anything at all. A casual t-shirt with a skinny black tie? Jean jacket with ripped sleeves? Lots of pins? Tight pants? Baggy jeans? Leggings as pants? Like I think you could wear anything you can rock out in, really…

          Have so much fun!

          • I love the list and I def feel more empowered to just go with something that feels right! Who knows what yet, but yeah, smiles!

            Thanks – hope your night is stellar too! 🙂

  9. Thank you for this thread. Bouncing baby t-Rex is adorable!

    I just recently decided to start doing arts and crafts again as part of my self-care-as-resistance regime. I’m working on my monument quilt square (like the AIDS quilt but for survivors of sexual violence) again. I started it in 2014, finished piecing it and then put it away to rest in Jan 2015. The organizers are planning to display all the squares on the National Mall (I think) in 2018, so I’m not actually behind schedule.

    I pulled it out a couple weeks ago. I’d forgotten how much I love it – it’s huge – it’s required to be a 4′ square and mostly in red and mine is beautiful (if I do say so myself). I’m planning to write on it and I’ve been testing fabric paints and scribbling notes and testing out phrases. It feels good to be working on a creative project, especially one connected to my own healing and supporting a cause I believe in.

  10. Not the dino pics I expected, but the dino pics we NEED right now! 😀

    Spent 2 hours in the Social Security office to update them on my name change but I’m feeling good about it.

    • Please report back! I gave up on OUAT finally, this season. I just couldn’t care about most of the characters anymore…especially now that Hook is back (ugh) to provide the worst on-screen chemistry ever with Emma.

      But do let me know if Ruby Slipper reappears!

  11. Those baby pictures melted my heart and give me hope for the future.

    I can’t believe I just signed up for my first A-Camp! My palms were sweating the whole way through the sign up. I’ve never been to Wisconsin! I’m shouting every time I speak!

    I know a lot of things seem hopeless these days but I’ve taken a lot of solace in reviewing history and practicing the idea of letting shit go. I’ve also been working on a jigsaw puzzle of llamas for about an hour each night. It lets me relax but also feel mentally engaged which is a better feeling that just sitting in front of the tv or scrolling through my phone.

    And tomorrow I am going to my first Indivisible meeting. People have the power.

  12. I’m at work and have no one to tell rn and I MUST share this news. I got an email today informing me that Jen Richards and Angelica Ross are going to screen Her Story at Lesbians Who Tech in SF this year!!! A conference which I am also attending!!

  13. I accidentally submitted a partial sentence because a giant puppy just bounced onto my arm, sorry about that!

    I am currently hanging out at my best friends house where I am looking after her six month old. Right now she is sleeping but I watched her for an hour yesterday and it was exhausting! She is such a well behaved, lovely child but I have so much respect for anyone who does that 24 hours a day.

    My week has been fairly uneventful, really. I’m still taking time off but hoping to go back in next week. I’ve been watching a lot of Bob Ross on Netflix to deal with my anxiety and I’m about to have my first Buffy night this Monday (literally just a bunch of friends who are gonna hang out at my house and rewatch Buffy). That’s about as exciting as things are in my personal life right now!

    Im genuinely finding it hard to think of things to talk about that aren’t related to politics, which probably reaffirms my decision to just turn my phone off for a couple of hours every day and breathe!

    • Babies are so.much.work. (I don’t have one, they only briefly come into my orbit, but yeah..)

      Buffy, on the other hand, is not. Are you starting at the beginning? I was singing Walk Through the Fire the other day to get my mood up after reading all of the news.. it worked. For awhile. I clearly need another dose of Buffy.

      • And I sort of want to listen to the ‘Once More, With Feeling’ soundtrack! Yeah, we’re starting right from the first episode! I had started on my own, inspired by the Buffering podcast, and then realised it would be fun with friends. Plus one of my friends has actually never watched it before!

    • I really need to commit to watching Buffy. I still have never watched it other than a random episode here or there…

      I also find it hard to think about anything that’s not politics. I’m so glad some of my favorite shows just came back on TV. It’s a necessary distraction!

  14. That headline just reminds of a Sleater-Kinney lyric from End Of You.
    “Eye of the storm What a cruel, cruel myth. There’s no bigger spotlight than shown on the ones brave enough to live.”

    Thank you for sharing with us. Baby Remi is such a cool kid! At least you are busy, these days I feel like I am being sucked into the news more because it’s getting weirder, more dangerous, and of course getting more personal(Queer Middle Eastern Jew here). I try to get my mind of it, but straight people everywhere.

    Speaking of which, I went to a lgbtq women’s night over the weekend and it wasn’t fun alone(Silverlake are of LA). Then Wednesday I went to a boogie for birth control, also alone in the same area, but that turned out to be on the straight side of things. I again wore my they/them pin, which I am big fan of. Only con I have for the pin is that it doesn’t glow in the dark/low light, so I was mistaken for a guy with orange lips. Ugh

    I did go hiking Sunday and that was really nice, as the weather was Spring like, and I had my pin and a dark shade of blue lipstick. on while listing to protest-ish songs(Evil Empire by Rage Against the Machine to be exact). Even bros couldn’t ruin the day, though the very fit women they were with did bring up that age old question, do I want to go after a toaster(Ellen reference), or look like that. Oh well, at least I was in nature for over 3 hours, on nature, listing to Evil Empire.

    I am seriously thankful for the community here, because I’ve been searching for more local communities to spend time in and I am finding out that once you dig in a little that’s where the transphobia(or stories of it) comes in and makes things more negatively complex. It’s not the time to be divided, we need to band together as a community again to protect our rights and our communities. Enough with the hate and transphobia.

    Images from my hike. Malibu California:

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

  15. I’m going to New York in a couple of weeks, and will be traveling with a friend who I fear I will not be entirely travel compatible with.
    Or rather: I’m so beyond tired that I really just want to be by myself and chill and not see all the sights all the time.
    But she’s beyond excited.
    Be that as it may, we’re definitely going to see something on Broadway (I’m the theater nerd) but I haven’t decided on what yet.
    Still have not seen Avenue Q in the flesh, if that’s still on, but will look up what you mentioned, Kaelyn!
    I’ll also drag her to Marie’s Crisis.
    Still, two weeks seems very far away and I’m being burnt up by work so hard, that I’m worried I’ll fall sick before then.
    Work is very hard in an emotional gut punch kind of way, too.
    I feel like I need to walk into a bar and order a whiskey, double.
    Most of my patients atm seem to have some kind of “lesion” on their lung, on their liver, in their spine, and finally, on their soul, and it is fucking heartbreaking.
    I’m happily single for the most part, it’s just super hard if you don’t have someone to curl up with at the end of a really bad day.
    Oh well, *raises tiny fist* onwards!
    Have a good weekend everybody!

    • Avenue Q is still on, but it’s off-broadway now! Check out same-day discounts at the TKTS booth. They seem to almost always have discounts on Avenue Q.

      I hope you get to forget about work, at least, even if you’re running around playing tourist with your friend! Is she the type that might be willing to go off on her own for a while so you can relax alone?

  16. The main thing that made me happy this week is that “The Expanse” came back for it’s second season and it’s incredible. One of the two best shows on TV right now along with Orphan Black and one of the greatest and most intelligent science fiction shows of all time. And the cast is full of awesome women and PoC. There are a few background queer characters but I’m hoping we get a lead one soon. That’s one thing where Orphan Black blows it out of the water obviously.

    Also there was a new issue of Goldie Vance and you guys really should be reading it! She had a cute moment with her girlfriend and there was even a kiss! I stil want an issue that focuses on their relationship, but it’s such a cute and fun comic.

    Finally it seems like Marvel has been releasing some amazing America Chavez art every week and there was another amazing one! This time a Hamilton mash up. So excited for this book and it’s only a little over a month away!

      • One thing about The Expanse is it is SO SMART. It’s not your standard SyFy channel fair. The science part of it is so accurate. Actual scientists rave about how well it’s all handled. Also, the production values are insane! I couldn’t believe it was a SyFy show at first because it has, with no hyperbole at all, HBO or Netflix levels of money put into it. It’s based on a book series and the writers are actively involved in the show so it’s layered, thoughtful and feels deliberate, not made up as it goes along. And again, there are wonderful characters you grow to love and get to know.

  17. I signed up for my first a-camp and went on a friend date with someone I just met and it was much more enjoyable than I thought it would be, so my week has been going alright!

    I’ve also been house sitting for someone that has 7 ANIMALS and as beautiful and lovely as they all are, I am going to be so relieved when the owners come back. I AM NOT THIS RESPONSIBLE. Esp since one of them needs antibiotics that she hates twice a day, there are 3 litterboxes to keep clean, 2 dogs to make sure are walked, fed, and don’t pee in the house or chew up the furniature. Also all my clothes are now covered in animal fur. Only one more day and I can go back to sleeping in and being totally selfish with my time and energy.

    • I love new friend dates! Especially when you both feel that you “click”!

      Your house-sitting situation sounds like my pet situation a few years back. At one point, we had 1 cat, 2 guinea pigs, 4 rats, and a rabbit. There were five cages in all (because one pair of ratties had to be separated) and it took me all afternoon on Sundays to clean them. WOULD NOT DO AGAIN. Especially when the rats all started to get sick around the same time. It was a LOT. Then again, just recently we had 2 guinea pigs, 2 bunnies, and a cat, so…

      Now that we have the human babe, we’re not introducing any new pets. I’m down to a cat, a rabbit, and a dinosaur.

    • I actually HATE friend dates lol so good for you! I have been w my partner for 8 years so I kind of feel about friend dating the way normal people feel about romantic dating (also coming from a religious background making friends has always seemed more intense than it should be since I was brainwashed into thinking that every single one of my friends should be the “accountability partner” of my dreams…leads to a lot of overshare on the first “date”) anyway I’m glad it went well. I went on a new friend date last week that was pretty good but I still don’t really feel like I know what I am doing!

  18. I took a little media break this week because I was starting to have whacked out government nightmares?? Ugh. I hung out with some friends and did some art and I felt all fixed up, so I’m back to paying attention! Weee! x_x

    If you, like me, are suffering from insane anxiety that’s making it through your medication, check out this sound therapy song that is scientifically proven to alleviate anxiety!

    http://www.anonews.co/neuro-song-anxiety/

    Ah, science. What would we do without you?

    • Before he was elected, I had a dream that Trump was president and I was drafted into a war. HAHAHA. It was funny then. Now…it’s a little too real…

      Anyway, good for you for doing the self-care you needed to reenergize!

      Thanks for the song! I’m bookmarking it!

    • i saw this post on tumblr not long ago about a song that was supposed to be the world’s most relaxing song or some such. turned out to be smash mouth. i’d have honestly rather been rick-rolled…

  19. I know the tone of this FOT is meant to be positive, but I have been having a really hard time these past couple of weeks. I also haven’t posted here in awhile because I’ve been so busy, and I miss it-sometimes writing these words down and throwing them into the Internet void helps!

    I lost a dear friend of mine last week. He was young and his death was a shock to everyone. I found out last Thursday evening, and Friday and Saturday I had some weird and draining and completely un-rescheduleable obligations so I wasn’t able to take much time to process and care for myself. I was out of town Friday and Saturday, and I got back Saturday afternoon and had planned to hang out with with some of my close friends, two of whom are from out of town and were just in the area for the weekend. Well, those plans didn’t work out and they chose to go hiking instead of coming to see me and I sort of crumbled. I definitely struggle with feelings of insecurity and oscillating between not allowing myself to be vulnerable and then being too vulnerable and feeling like I’m being needy. But feeling unimportant or not like a priority to the important people in my life is definitely a *thing* I have. Usually I’m feeling resilient enough to pick myself up in those situations, but between the death of my friend, the weird time of shit I had to do, and some work stuff (been dealing with some really horrific experiences of child abuse with my former foster kiddos this week) I was just completely emotionally spent. And I needed someone to be there for me in that moment, and no one was. And even before that happened I was also feeling stressed and swamped at work and behind on things and not on top of my schedule and and like I was failing everybody, including myself. The past days have been a bit better and I finally sort of got my shit together and cooked for myself and cleaned my house a bit and have been going back to the gym. And this weekend for the first time in living memory I don’t really have any obligations this weekend, so I should be able to take some time for myself. But I’m still feeling pretty sad, and all this Tr*mp shit is not helping. So Straddlers, I’d love to hear some ways you show up for yourself/show love for yourself when you feel like no one else does, and how you keep going with the immensity of it all. Hope everyone has a great weekend <3

    • Sending love <3 My comfort things are tv programmes that make me happy so I can escape into another world. Also got baths and a good book.Basically stories that can make me take a break from my life. Video games also if that is your thing. If my brain is too whirry worried I will do a puzzle whilst watching tv. I basically fill my brain with other things. Also talking on here is good.

    • The tone wasn’t meant to be positive, just…supportive of life and living life, in all its messiness.

      I’m so sorry for your loss and that you didn’t have the support you needed to care for yourself. When I feel that way, I take a media break–no email, no texts or phone calls–and do something to force my brain to slow down. Read a fiction book or take a nap or binge watch something on Netflix or play a video game or make a low-key date with a friend. Getting out of the house also helps sometimes, even if it’s just for a quick walk.

      When I’m really wound up (like I have been a lot lately), I do deep breathing and make a list of the things I CAN do. I hope you have a good weekend, too, and are able to make time to decompress. <3

    • I am so sorry for your loss. You are being so brave right now! Things will get better but for now it seems like just letting yourself be a mess might be the best thing for you. You are worthy. You are enough. You are worthy. You are enough. You are worthy. You are enough. <3

    • {{{HUGS}}}

      One of my go-to “therapeutic” activities is baking. Sometimes I’ll try something new, but my go-to is “my” version of the Toll House chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have it down to a ritual, almost, so I can just kind of tune out and relax. Plus, it results in cookies and the smell of baking.

  20. Y’all…I’m in desperate need of some brainstorming. I’m chronically ill, flooded with debt, have no family support, no car, and have a “less than perfect” criminal record. I was just about to start breaking even at my restaurant job when I busted my knee. Now I can’t work and the state I’m in doesn’t offer short term disability. Things like this always seem to happen to me. I need an actual way to make money for myself. Right now I webcam on the side but it’s not enough to pay my bills. Ideas? Help?

    • It’s so hard to ask for help, but sometimes you have to. Can you borrow some cash from a good friend? Or set up a GoFundMe for your immediate expenses?

      If your debt is revolving (credit cards, finance line), you can often call and see if they’ll defer or reduce your minimum payments until you’re working again. You might be able to get a deferment on any school loans, if you have them, too, due to unemployment.

      There’s the usual stuff–selling your skills and your possessions, but that isn’t always enough to make cash quick.

      I’m really sorry this is all happening. Hugs.

    • I don’t know what your webcam job involves exactly so maybe you’ve already thought of this, but one thing I’ve been interested in lately is teaching languages online – if you’re a native English speaker (or another language, English is just the most popular) you can get paid just for having conversations with people and giving corrections when you can! italki.com is one example, haven’t got round to trying the paid version myself but might be worth a shot?

    • I’ve seen a couple things on Tumblr that are links to sites where you can transcribe videos for money? It’s something I’ve done some looking into, but not a ton because I’m not the best at transcription, but it might be something you can do?

    • Money sucks. When times have been desperate, I have used MTurk.com-it’s run through Amazon and it’s a place where researchers and companies outsource simple tasks for small payments-it ranges from anything to captioning photos to taking surveys. You can usually make a buck or two off of taking academic surveys, and the shortest, easiest assignments pay very, very low (like 1-5 cents). However, they’re always adding new tasks and while it’s mind-numbing you do make very real money. The drawback is you don’t get paid instantaneously-the requesters have to approve your work, and then deposit money into your account, and then you have to withdraw it into your bank account. But, with medium effort, I’ve made a couple hundred bucks in a couple weeks when I’ve been stuck at home or otherwise not working. And, as another commentor mentioned, there is always internet transcription. There are tons of companies out there that will pay you to transcribe audio. Not exciting work and doesn’t pay the greatest, but it is legit and you will make some extra cash. Thinking of you, I hope your situation gets better <3

  21. It’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster:

    I’ve had a lot of good stuff happen. My wife has enrolled in an online calculus class as a refresher on the subject, the first step in her journey of going back to school to study physics- I’m so proud of her! Speaking of first steps, this week I also recently joined up with the Phoenix Women’s Chorus, an SSAA choir for LGBT people, which, so far, has been lots of fun. Additionally, I successfully submitted a major proposal to NASA- if I get it, it’ll the fund the rest of my PhD, so cross your fingers! Lastly, I’ll (hopefully) be making my public debut as a burlesque dancer in a few weeks at my studio’s student recital, which I’m absolutely pumped for.

    The only flaw in the ointment- aside from the occasional exhaustion that comes with grad school- is that I’ve been having fairly severe dysphoria episodes (not want-to-kill-myself bad, but definitely hold-yourself-together-until-the-end-of-class-and-then-find-a-secluded-place-to-sob-quietly bad). Remember how I mentioned the singing? And the burlesque? Well, as much as I enjoy those things- and I do, very much so- I’m the only trans member of both organizations, and it’s hard not to feel second-rate when you’re the only person in the Alto II section who has to fight with her falsetto on high notes, or you’re visibly the least flexible and least graceful member of your burlesque choreography class.

    Admittedly, these things are fixable- and, in the case of the former, I’ve started getting Skype lessons from a pretty phenomenal trans female vocalist to learn how to tame my upper range while still achieving a feminine sounding timbre- but sometimes it really depresses me how much effort I have to put into everything just to get to the equivalent level of the other women around me. I seem to always end up feeling like I’m the proverbial slow kid at the back of the class.

    My wife has done an excellent job of not letting it get to me too much- she points out that I really shouldn’t necessarily compare myself to those other women, since they don’t at all represent the average population- and I try to focus on my own strengths, the things that I’m exceptional at. But lately it’s been hard to figure out what those strengths even are- true, I’m pretty good at science, and I’ve been told I’m a good communicator, and I try my best to be a decent human being- but, at a visceral level, it’s difficult that to genuinely feel like any of that makes up for my other shortcomings. The closest I’ve gotten is just telling myself, I may not be talented, but at least I’m persistent.

    • i hadn’t read any comments before I posted in a flurry but yes! I am having some dysphoria too even though I am cis I still have days where I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself at all which induces panic attack level anxiety. I am trying to get fit again and going to these yoga classes also makes me feel like the last kid picked for dodgeball all over again. Just throwing out there that I feel ya (as much as I can) and I know it’s hard so let me just reiterate for you and myself that you are a beautiful strong woman who has a bright future and a kickass hairdo almost all of the time I am sure!! I hope you get your grant! I would never have the audacity to sign up for burlesque so go youX1000000 for just getting out there at all! xx

    • I imagine it’s hard feeling like the only trans person in any group setting. I give you a million gold stars for putting yourself out there. Burlesque class! I wish I had the guts to do that! You are a braver woman than me, for sure!

      Yayaya on all your and your wife’s accomplishments! Sounds like you have an amazing partner and lots of good things to look forward to!

    • Wow, lots going on for you! What’s the topic of your PhD?

      You keep being you. You are perfect.

      One thing: would it be a flaw in the ointment? Or more of a fly in there? I would love to see a perfect vs imperfect ointment 🙂

    • You and your wife are totally badass and awesome women, the young girls and queers thanks you!

      I feel you about the dysphoria. For me sometimes it gets worse when I see a group of women or even other trans and non-binary folks. Sometimes food helps, sometimes just reading autostraddle or talking to friends help. Just know you are awesome, cause look at all the cool stuff you are doing!

    • i feel like burlesque classes probably in general skew toward either the very flexible or the very brave or both? i am possibly the world’s least flexible person, so if i were brave enough to try, i’d probably end up pulling a muscle or something. i try to not let myself get too embarrassed in yoga classes when you’re sposed to be sitting and leaning down toward the floor or whatever, and i’m like, knees pointed to the sky basically sitting straight up while all these other people are like foreheads on the ground. lol. anyway, that to say, some of us just have to work a little harder at these things! don’t let it get you down. lotsa different body types and flexibility levels in the world.

      also: NASA! faaaancy.

  22. I am currently waiting for a phone interview while filling out my fitness calendar (tryna!!) which all sounds great except that the interviewer is now 45 minutes late and I left a yoga class halfway through bc I felt so akward and embarrassed as the “least fit” person in the room….

    Halp!

    Listening to Hamilton to get some mojo moving again so I don’t just sit here sweating through my sweatpants. Love you AS community!

  23. Hello all!

    My second post ever on here! I love coming on AS and seeing all of the beautiful things that everyone is doing all over the world. I am not usually a very heart-feeling person, but these desperate times call for a re-evaluation of the usual.

    I am making a strong effort to fill my world with non-traumatic stuff. My day job is all about trauma, and the bombarding nature of current events makes me feel exhausted all the time. I will keep pointers from K’s old boss in mind! Fight the exhaustion so we can keep on.

    My puppy keeps me busy and happy! Here he is with a fresh haircut that a friend helped my wife him him.

  24. Happy Friday, your hair looks fantastic!

    I spent last weekend belatedly celebrating my birthday. Saturday morning I went to a pro-choice protest against the “March for Life” being held downtown in my city. I ended up on the news, bringing shame on my family as usual.

    I wandered around the arts district after the protest and met up with my friend at her gallery job, and by 4:00 we were running away from town to take to the woods. My bff made us all fleece kitty ear headbands, we had a cookout, and then built a big fire. Also, because they all think they’re so funny, a bottle of Arbor Mist appeared at the party and we all drank it out by the fire. It was exactly as bad as I remembered.

    I put my “read a fucking book” pin on my jacket before I left for the DC march and it was wildly popular there. Thanks for making it easy to flirt, autostraddle.

    • This is cool. I confess to knowing next to nothing about America Chavez. What are her powers? Her team affiliations? I used to follow Marvel and especially the mutant-related titles pretty intensely, but she’s a new one on me. I’m still over here trying to find an X-23 figure to hang out with my new Phoenix and Kitty Pryde…

      • Her powers aren’t fully known yet but she’s similar to Superman. She’s one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes and she’s invulnerable, super strong, flies, can move close to the speed of light, survive in space without a suit, but her signature power is she opens doors between dimensions and has been all over the multi-verse. Unlike everyone else though, there’s no other versions of her. She’s unique in the Marvel universe.

        Now her powers are similar to Superman, but she’s best described as Marvel’s Wonder Woman analog. She was raised in a utopia by her two moms and they sacrificed themselves to save her. It’s quite tragic. She does what she does to protect people in honor of them but she can never go home again.

        She was on the Yong Avengers and that’s where we fell in love with her. Lately she was on Marvel’s most powerful team, the Ultimates who deal with cosmic level threats. It’s a fantastic book and the team is made up of three women and two men, four of whom are PoC. Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Captain Marvel,Black Panther and her. Originally Captain Marvel was the leader but after Civil War America is in charge.

        Beyond all the other awesome things about her, the reason she’s a big deal here is that she’s a lesbian and will be Marvel’s first ever book with a lesbian as the lead. Hope that all helps. Check out Yong Avengers for sure, but only the Gillen/McKelvie run. Joe Casey created her but she was a bad stereotype and it was Gillen who made her into the character everyone loves.

        • Wow, thanks! I’ve never read Young Avengers (hell, I didn’t even read the “old” Avengers, although I love Cap). I’m often not as drawn to the “cosmic battle” type titles, unless it’s a huge event like Phoenix Saga or Inferno, but as long as the characters are still sufficiently human with human concerns I dig it. Might have to check it out next time I head to the comic shop. Also, thanks for noting which writers made her awesome. The writer definitely matters – I’m a huge Wolverine fangirl, and to me the definitive writers for him were Chris Claremont and later Larry Hama. More recent writers have totally mishandled him.

          Marvel has a history of intending to introduce lesbian themes and then having the kibosh put on that by editorial staff. Claremont fell victim to it twice. Nightcrawler was intended to be the bio kid of Destiny and Mystique, with Mystique having impregnated Destiny by taking a male form. However, Marvel wasn’t having it, so Mystique became Nightcrawler’s mom instead and some random German dude impregnated her (later retconned to be Azazel, a minor demon, wtf Marvel you make no sense). At least when Destiny died, there was some acknowledgement that Mystique was grieving her life partner, although she jumped into the arms of Forge soon after (right after Forge broke off his engagement with Storm…again, wtf Marvel).

          Later, in the 80s, still with Claremont writing, Yukio (one of Wolvie’s allies/lovers) was supposed to be bisexual, and she and Storm were supposed to have a fling. Marvel nixed that too. Instead, they just formed a really intense bond and Storm got a mohawk. Oh, 80s.

  25. Omggg such a cute baby!

    I’ve decided to take this weekend off–for the reason above of avoid burn out at all costs. While I would like to be all RA RA RA all the time, I know myself well enough that if I don’t light a fire in the fire place and cuddle up for a while I will just collapse. I highly recommend this to anyone else, too. Some stuff this week has been utter fuckery–including some xenophobic bigots attack a friend and threaten her job because they were really pissed at another woman in the conversation but said woman was not vulnerable to being fired. It was so sickening.

    But positives! Positives. I did apply to that writing workshop! I kind of expect not to get it but I am so proud of myself for hitting send. I belatedly found out that autostraddle had an article on it–really, if its queer and involves women I should just do a cursory search, shouldn’t I? But I didn’t.

    I am trying to find other good things but I’m stuck. But I hope everyone’s taking care of themselves out there!

    • Yes! Yes! Do take time off! Burnout is caused by lack of recuperation between stresses, not from having the most stressful life imaginable.

      I keep telling my workaholic spouse this, and after pulling out a study to back it up some weeks ago it’s finally bearing some fruit.

  26. Hey all,

    Well, the shit well and truly hit the fan in my living situation last week. I thought that it might result in some radical changes, but so far, that hasn’t materialized. Weird as it sounds, though, it sort of has in that my behavior has changed. Since a certain person crossed a line, I now have full and total license to “not care”, to absolutely not have this person be my problem any more than strictly necessary to coexist in the same space. Until my spouse and I finally move out, I’m pretty much checked out on this situation. Not how I wanted it to go down, but such is life.

    The good news is I now have “permission” (metaphorical and actual, as my spouse literally told me to do what I have to do without reservation) to focus entirely on my own business, and business is booming. I really enjoy my class that I’m taking now, my first in-person real-time class in library school (I’m doing it remotely). My PHP workshop starts up next week, and I’ll also get to see the client list for my dataviz class next week so I can try to pick a good fit and find a group to work with. My overall goal is to have lots of stunning and beautiful graphics to be able to show folks at the professional conference next month. Please Hire This Nerd! 🙂 So yeah, it’s hard to be too down when I’m enjoying school stuff so much.

    I’m also making February a month to whip my body into shape. Everything is basically OK now except for my neck. Granted, my neck being jacked up is a big caveat (as I type this for you now I feel like I have carpal tunnel, and guess what, I don’t…) but I’m ready to really give it a go. I’m putting my foot down on not eating junk too – I don’t have to go full keto to dump my extra lard, I think a more modest low-carb diet should do it. And who doesn’t like meat and vegetables? Right after I finish this up, I’m hitting the gym. Squats actually work for me now. May push my luck and try some bench today, if only to stretch out my chest and tire out the spazzy intercostals. God, I miss being solid and flashing those arms. No idea who I’m trying to impress, but screw it, muscles make me happy!

    I also just finished an amazing book which I wholeheartedly recommend to anybody, although I expect it might get a mixed reception around these parts. Galileo’s Middle Finger by Alice Dreger is the first new/recent book I’ve read in a long-ass time that made me go, “oh man, this is important”. If you are any kind of scientist, but especially if you’ve ever tackled the human behavior monster, this is practically required reading. I’m fangirling a little bit right now, I admit it. I had a lot of fun hearing names of researchers whose work was familiar to me (mostly in the fields of bio and anth). tl;dr Facts and evidence matter, and there is no good activism without a solid basis in the truth.

    Right then, no more articles and no more videos for class, time to throw some chunks of metal around.

      • Hey Tessa, I would argue that’s precisely the point. We don’t step in to defend settled science (or at least we shouldn’t have to…fucking creationists, that’s a rant for another day though). Standing up for academic freedom means defending the work at the margins, work that has a good chance of actually being wrong in the end – because we end up being wrong most of the time, and that’s part of the scientific process. Dreger doesn’t defend people like Bailey because she thinks they’re right. He might be, and he might not be, but that’s beside the point. The search for the truth is important. The process is worth protecting. If we only stand up for people whose work we like, or whose work justifies our biases, it hurts the whole enterprise and contributes to the lie that there are no real facts.

        Before I quit my PhD, I was doing work that could have had some controversial social implications. That was part of the whole reason I picked the work – I thought it was important to know. Though I didn’t study humans directly, my results could have had implications for understanding human social structure and sexual conflict, since they are affected by evolution. I know this is going a bit off in the weeds, so I’ll sum it up and say that regardless of what my findings would have been, I’d have reported them honestly, even if they weren’t what I expected to find, or what I’d hoped to find, and even if they had implications I didn’t like. And I can easily imagine that someone might have come after me for it. I don’t do this work anymore, but I miss it, and if I had the chance to finish this project, I would have.

        Quite frankly, knowing me, I still may end up in hot water with somebody someday, because I’m not walking away from scientific research into human behavior, even though I’m changing careers. If that day comes, I sure hope that there are still people out there who will be willing to consider facts and evidence before they decide to “burn the witch”, because I’m the kind of idiot who would go down rather than give in. Isn’t that what we want, anyway, to have people confront facts that make them uncomfortable or angry? Isn’t that what the freedom of the disadvantaged depends on?

        Sorry about the preaching. It’s just really important to me. 😉

  27. Hey there, Friday open thread.;)

    Just wanna say HEY to the bodacious Columbus babes that came out to Bossy Grrl Tuesday! (I know it was you guys b/c usually no one claps at my name bein’ announced b/c I am a social media-less hermit!)

    Y’all are SO AWESOME for coming out and I should have spoken words of thanks to any of you at the time but didn’t b/c I was super dumb! Unlike many of my fellow comics I never repeat the same set so if you come again- new jokes! And a promise that I will thank you-in person this time-like a normal socially adjusted person with words, and also prob compliment yr undercut.

    Thanks beautiful humans!

  28. This week was mostly work and other mundane things, but it was also the week I officially became a cat-owner! I’ve chronicled my life with Miss Kitty Fantastico here since she showed up out of nowhere and moved into our outbuilding in December, at around 6-8 weeks old. On Monday, Miss Kitty Fantastico, my partner and I drove to the next village over to start her first round of vaccinations and get her microchipped, and yesterday, in the mail, we got the official pet registry card for my wallet that says I, Faustine so-and-so, have a female cream-coloured pet cat with such-and-such ID number.

    She’s doing super-well, by the way. She’s grown a lot. She no longer cares much about food (because it’s available). She plays like a maniac and climbs on everything. She’s still separated from the dogs, though, but she has a training session with them every day (twice on he weekends) so that the dogs can learn to relax and not try to chase her. They’re still quite excitable, and she’s pretty chill, and I was so impressed with her until I realised that she’s spent literally half her life seeing these two dogs every day, whereas to them (age 11 and 5) she’s still really new.

  29. Focusing on the positives -Tegan and Sara gig is a week on weds.
    Buuuut – My dayjob is kicking my ass and has taken over my life… again. Everyone around me has a cold and I am like NOPE! I have my first ever T&S gig to get to-because they’re finally close enough that I can take two half days from work, midweek, during a busy period, I cannot be ill. (With accompanying external factors my stress levels are gnarly. I’m just freaking tired. I’m trying not to be. I’m trying not to stop calling out bullshit even though it seems to be making no dent.)
    Anyway…
    I’m replaying dragon age origins and trying to get it “right” this time. Like somehow I missed loads of companion quests last time-I powered through the main like an idiot because I didn’t realise how short it was. So there’s that delight-attempting on hard-my “journey ends” a lot. Plus in other Dragon Age news; I found great new Trevelyan/Sera fanfic today. Which is awesome.
    Next Friday I have agreed to model makeup in photos for a friend who is setting up her beauty business. I am a soft butch gender non conforming human and holy mother of god why did I agree to this – So I will report back. Biggest fear is massive personal discomfort with associated sobbing meltdown. Wish me luck, patience and fortitude for that one…it’ll make a change from my usual Friday visit to the barbers I guess.
    Have great weekends folks-I once again get to work from home tmrw with my wife which is nice.

    Oh oh also- my local mini supermarket has a valentines ad with a female couple right on the door, and paperchase has some cute non gender specific valentines such as “you’re my favourite human” -These were random queerish things, that crossed my path without me seeking them, at which I smiled this week. ?

    • A lot of cools things. I went to my first T&S concert late last year, and it was the best I’ve ever been. I hope you have a great time (and don’t get sick.)

      The companion quests of DA origin are really cool. Leliana’s was my favorite, and she’s my favorite character!

      • Super excited about the concert, might meet some queer twitter mutuals so that’s cool. I’m socially awkward AF tho haha.
        Yes Leliana was the one I was most upset about- I think I triggered the romance too early in my haste. Oops. Although I haven’t triggered it this time out yet and she still stepped in when I was going to go back to the ship with Isabela. I was like dude what?!? Oddly I had similar things happen on my second inquisition playthrough, people I hadn’t romanced were treating me like I had. Weird.

    • can your friend do an edgier or queerer job with your make-up, maybe? best of both worlds she shows off her skills while hopefully not making you feel really uncomfortable and unlike yourself in a bad way?

      • I wear eyeliner and a smudge of grey eyeshadow for work so I’ve asked for a smokey eye…basically I said I’d only do it if there was no lipstick and it was natural and an extension of what I’m comfortable with. So basically I’m aiming for like a dirty next day punk rock look-Brian Molko circa ’98-he was my high school makeup inspo before I came out-should’ve figured it out sooner. She tried to get me to do a colour and I said no. So as long as she does simple non super femme stuff it’ll be ok (I keep telling myself this-over and over)-plus she’s going to hide my eye bags! Nervous she may take too much eyebrow away. The pictures part is like…yikes.

  30. I’ve hard a really hard week between politics stuff, life, the uncertainty of my future, and dealing with so many SO SO many issues at school (mentoring/TA for a huge project). But I’ve been so so lucky to have the support of a couple of friends who are dealing with all the same stuff. We have each other, even if we are all struggling, I know I can vent to them and they vent to me. And I just haven’t had a group of friends support me this much before. It feels so good and I feel like the luckiest person to know them and love them and they care about me!

  31. I’ve had a pretty decent week actually?

    So I was diagnosed with narcolepsy on Saturday, so THAT definitely explains a great deal of my tiredness and my accidental 5-6 hour naps during the day. And I was prescribed ritalin to help with the “excessive daytime sleepiness” and IT WORKS. I CAN DO STUFF! Just not like…a ton of stuff (but that is more related to chronic pain and recovering ankle). But ritalin is definitely messing with my appetite, so if people have tips on what to eat/how to eat when you have no appetite, that’d be cool because eating when you have no appetite is zero fun and no enjoyment and blah, but my body still needs food (and right now I’m trying to get in with an endocrinologist to see if I do have issues with hypoglycemia or if my random almost fainting spells are due to something else so I’m trying to not eat sugary things bc that would be bad if I do have hypoglycemia, but sugary things are also the only things that are appealing :/).

    Next week in PT I get to try to jog again for the first time since the initial injury! I am excited and I hope it goes well, but also a little nervous because there’s still more stiffness in my ankle than my PT was expecting.

    The pelvic PT is also helping my chronic pain because the stretches I’ve been given really help, especially when combined with moist heat. Unfortunately the trigger point injections seem to be wearing off after a good 3 weeks, but that was kind of expected (though I had hoped they’d last longer), but it’s nice to know that they were doing something and it wasn’t all placebo effect.

    • Yay for pretty decent weeks actually!

      I’m glad you’ve got one thing figured out, at least. I hope you keep feeling better and better. Either way, you’re one of the strongest people I’ve ever met. I don’t know how you just keep going and going, but you do. <3

  32. Scuzz-tastic week. Trump sucks (sorry it’s personal AND political for me 😉 )

    rhinovirus –> miscarriage –> tough times cause of Trump and his effect on research in this country (because of his BAN)

    Normally I eat my feelings, but I need to stop that so I can fit in Erin’s pants one day. So, this week my approach to dealing with crappiness: I walk it out

    Hope you lovely ladies have a great weekend!

  33. My fiance and I are in LA from
    New Zealand for IVF treatment. We would love to go to an LGBT event while we are here. We went to Rainbow roller skating in Glendale this week which was fun. Even knowing a good place to watch the Super Bowl would be good. We are near the Santa Monica area. Thanks!

  34. Oh man, guys. This week has been just…busy but somehow not-busy, y’know?

    So over the weekend, my ex-bf came to visit. We’ve gotten to the point in our relationship where we’re both in two different places in our lives. I mean, he reminded me that we’ve known each other ten years but we’ve gotten so far afield of our boyfriend/girlfriend relationship that we’re just weirdly comfortable around one another, as evidence with me repeatedly but good-naturedly open-handed smacking him on the belly while watching Youtube. I am proud of him that he’s losing weight because he’s a trucker and it’s surprisingly easy to gain a lot of weight when you spend a lot of time on that road. I remember we were at Panera and he was really happy he could actually fit in the booth, lol.

    That Saturday we hung out at my friend Ed’s tiny house that he just got and we (me, my ex, and my other high school friend Krys) spent some time drinking Barefoot wine and watch her show off Skyrim mods where you could seduce NPC’s and get into weird glitchy sex-acts. It was nice because it’s been so long since I’ve hung out with them and I miss them like crazy but they live pretty far away and I’ve just been so busy with work.

    Speaking of work, I was actually supposed to go into work that Monday but the schedule wasn’t up from last week and my manager called me in way too late for me to go in anyway so I kind of played hooky. I should have felt bad but it was actually nice to be home and chill and help my younger brother with this absurdly large train puzzle with an episode of MST3K on in the background. I mean, it says something about the state of my life nowadays where doing this puzzle that is half incomprehensible purple pieces was relaxing and kind of enjoyable.

    So work was tedious, even more so because even thought I thought I was going to be paid this week and my manager (who has the problem of his vocal volume making it seem like he’s ALWAYS yelling) was like “no, next Monday” and I’m just like “but…you said that *last* week :(” I hate that I feel so hobbled: I’m not assertive at all but at the same time, it felt like I couldn’t argue about it. My closing manager (who’s like my work mom) said the same thing and I was confused but it was just like nothing I could do. I just hate that I have no money and me and my family are having another lean week. How lean? Right now I’m drinking HUGS. The little barrel-shaped plastic bottles of drink that tastes like watered-down Kool-Aid or the official drink of ghetto kids. All week long I’ve been working from 5pm to almost 11pm and I’ve had almost no time to do much of anything. I’d just get home, shower and slide into bed and watch Let’s Plays. Again, it says something about my life where catching up on my go-to Let’s Players play Resident Evil 7 made me super happy, if for no other reason than even though it’s deja vu watching different Youtubers play the same game and get to the same parts but do it slightly differently, I’m just like “Ohhh, spooky stuff :3”

    I tried to do Hourly Comics on Wednesday but I had work that day and I’m so busy I could not tear myself away from the register for even a second and I’m sure from 5pm to 10pm it would just be me frantically swiping cards, wiping Parmesan cheese and flour off my side of the counter and staring dead-eyed into space waiting for the sweet embrace of death since it seems like since I’ve been working at a pizza place, I get nauseous at the smell and my appetite is all but zapped. My parents brought McDonalds this morning and even the fries made my mouth hurt, like I was eating dry salty twigs. I hope it’s only because I really can’t eat anything when I first get up and not because I’m becoming an undying ghoul that feeds on the ashes of smoked leaves, occasionally thirsting for bubbling colored sugar water.

    I don’t have any musical experiments to show off this week. The little free time I had messing around in Audacity I ended up fucking up and getting frustrated. I did start writing a pathetic mythology poem and my other writing is devolving into an amorphous mess. It feels like my mind is scrambling to save myself from going crazy and therefore it’s going in a thousand different directions in effort to keep going. I did get a book trade in the mail (the third Dragonriders of Pern book, “The White Dragon”) and I’m waiting on fried chicken for dinner. YAY LIVING PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK SO FRIDAY IS SUPER EXCITING BECAUSE OF THE PROSPECT OF MONEY.

    I’m sorry if this is a really big, depressing check in. I hope I have good things to report next Friday.

    • That’s really fucked up that your employer isn’t paying you on the schedule you’re supposed to be paid on. BOO.

      No shame in enjoying a good sibling puzzle time. Sounds like a good way to pass a day to me! Then again, I’m here on a Friday night staring at a computer screen, so…

      • Tell me about it.

        Yeah, my youngest brother is autistic but he’s high-functioning enough to do a lot of stuff on his own and not needed to be taken care of a lot and when I’m able to, I bring some kind of edible thing from work. Lately since I’ve been working ’til closing, the oven will be off so there won’t be any pizza left, I bring him some cookies or a brownie to make up for the fact we can’t really spend much time together during the week. Before, we’d hang out and watch “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” together because he thrives on things being consistent and having things happen or doing things in a certain order. My mom got him this huge puzzle I’m sure with the best of intentions (it’s a train puzzle and he loves trains) but’s so big with so many pieces I ended up doing a lot of it and I’ll admit, when she pesters me to help him finish it, I’m just like “UGH, but…it’s so hard D:” but it is starting to come together bit by bit so…if it makes him happy, sure, I’m willing to bite the bullet and finish it for him.

  35. Hi all my fellow wonderful straddlers! Hope your week has been little less dreadful…if not here’s a hug!!
    I’m just having drinks in my house with my friends before we go check out a new girl party! Today I went to an intro to type bondage class and fell a little in love with the teacher after she tied me up hahaha. It was interesting because it’s the first time I’ve experimented with bondage outside of sex and it was awesome.

    In other news, my hair cut last week came out really good! (The lines look better in real life, it’s hard to photograph the back of your head!)

    Love and hugs from Madrid xx

    PS I’m a little concerned that if my work check my internet usage, they’re gonna fire me because of the amount of time I spend on Autostraddle haha

      • I tried twice….maybe it doesn’t like me doing it from my phone? Maybe I’m taking the URL wrong from imgur? Thanks for taking the time to check though 🙂

        PS I had a great night, but one girl said to me “I know you….from Escape” (our usual girl club) and then proceeded to whip out her phone and show me a video someone had posted on Twitter OF ME DANCING IN THE CLUB. I don’t know whether to be honored or freaked out…

  36. I got the first volume of one of my favorite comics in the mail today, Fresh Romance. I’m so happy to have it! I also had very good catered lunch at work.

    Otherwise my day was garbage but if I get into it right now I’ll get mad all over again, and I’ve finally calmed down. Watching Getting in Bed with Kristin (& Riese) has helped me calm down and not want to set the world on fire!

  37. Put the decorations up on my campus for LGBT+ history month (UK), there wasn’t really a lgbt+ presence at my vet school til last year when me and a friend started doing things, and now we have a weekly drop in for people to pick up sexual and menstrual health products for free. Here’s a picture of our flag above the imposing old white man statue.

    Reaction we have had to this has been fab from everyone, things are looking bleak pals but theres little pockets of good in some places. Hope everyone in the UK has some good history month plans, and everyone outside is keeping as safe and well as they can.

  38. I signed up for A Caaaaammmmmmpppppppp!!!!
    I’m really really really excited about it. I’m notoriously bad at self care so this is just what the doctor ordered. Literally. When I told my therapist about it he was like “yes yes all the yes.”

    Also this week, I went shopping with my work/best friends for costumes for our yearly big ass presentation of the best teen books of last year. Yes we wear costumes because YOLO. This year I am going as a Queen because I’m presenting the Fantasy/Magical Realism section and 3 titles have “Queen” in the title. Also because I’m fabulous as Fuck.
    On our adventure I spent a lot of money on yarn to knit a new blanket for my cat to sleep on because I am wrapped around her adorable little claw. The pattern requires knitting needles so thick, if they weren’t as pointy they could double as dildos.

    Scary looking knitting needles:

    My cat being not impressed about this new knitting development:

    And. I may have successfully gotten a session on “Working with Trans/Gender Non Conforming Patrons” on our yearly all staff training day and it makes me feel like I’m doing something positive in the world.

  39. Hiiii! This week has felt SUPER LONG– I’m in the “do super well during the school day but crash and burn at home” pattern, but on my way out of it. It’s been a GOOD ASS WEEK.

    I participated in Hourly Comics Day on the first (Woo! See here: https://mobile.twitter.com/oshort17/status/826994534001307648 ) and it was a good exercise in being mindful of & grateful for all the cool little things. (Side note– today I experimented with ink and metal-nib pens for the first time and had so much fun!!!! Wow)

    And JEEZ, today was a jam-packed day. I placed in a really high-profile writing contest for high school students! All my weird queer poems have critical acclaim now. I called my mom right away and we had a cute moment. This was a much-needed surprise, and I got to share the joy with my friends and teachers.

    Tonight, I spoke at a small rally down at my local city hall asking that our senator reconsider his endorsement of Betsy DeVos. Politics has given me so much Big Despair recently that I often just feel paralyzed and depressed. I know y’all know what I mean. I wrote an open letter to Senator Portman (OH-R) and read it to the crowd of local activists who I’m coming to know better. It was good to get it all out there and be with my community, even if it was 26 degrees out.

    I’m taking it easy this weekend. It’s time to rest and be proud of all my hard work in school. I’m visiting a friend on Sunday to catch up, but until then it’s time to relax and eat sugary cereal.

    Take care of yourselves!

  40. You guys! I made a tinder account after all the awesome tinder posts lately and it worked! I have a tinder date tonight! Hopefully it goes well as this is my first time dating in a long time, since I developed an anxiety disorder. I’m kind of freaking out!

  41. Thank you so much for the baby T-Rex pics ♥

    This has been a pretty tough week. I live in Quebec City, so I’m dealing with a lot of shock and heartbreak. And it’s almost as bad to see how quickly people here are moving on. This is a very white, very Christian city and people tend to be pretty insulated – they acknowledge that it’s sad and horrifying, but I’m seeing very little drive for change within the city itself.

    On a more positive note, I’ve discovered a little collection of Anglo lesbians here and am thinking of organizing a lesbian baking day. Seems to be a popular idea and it’s a great way to meet people 😀

  42. I am working from home for the next four months and I’m in a new city. How do adults make new friends if not at work? Help me out please, I know literally nobody here and I’m dying of isolation! It feels awkward just like…chatting up people at the gym.

    How fast do you think A-camp will fill up? I’d like to come but I’m not sure yet if I’ll be available that week.

  43. Y’all I’ve got a confession (I’m not Catholic but it seems appropriate to do this on a Friday)… Before this week, I had never seen Supergirl. I kept hearing the name Sanvers and thought it was one of the characters names.

    Rest assured I am rectifying this matter quickly and efficiently.

  44. My course started back which is great as I’m aspie and hate to be without the routine. I’m writing prose poems both for it and for some personal writing and feeling like that’s something I could actually maybe do and feel ok about submitting, unlike my attempts at novel writing which… I can’t do plot.

  45. Your baby is just the cutesttt.

    Fridays are really long days for me (TA for a six hour class -> five hours at work) so I’m really tired but feeling fuzzy from seeing some cute pictures online. With being back into my school schedule, it’s hard to have the time and energy to get ahead on my work when it feels like I’m spending each day just trying to get my work done for the next 24 hours. I also feel frustrated with my lackluster Chinese speaking ability at work, where I need to talk to customers and my managers in Chinese. It slows me down and makes me clumsy and I don’t like it. I really really want to get better so that I can be better at my job and talk to the international students in my class who express themselves better in Chinese.

    Did Hourly Comics Day on Wednesday; for the first time I drew more than four of the hours hahaha. I made it almost all the way through the day, just need to finish up the last 2-3 tonight and then I’m done. I was actually looking through my phone for photos to delete and I found pictures of the hourly comics I did one year ago, and they totally suck in comparison to now, so that’s great. In other comic news, I also got waitlisted to exhibit at a large comics festival, which doesn’t sound great but I only applied on a whim and didn’t expect anything at all, so I’m pretty satisfied with how that turned out.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

    • Thank youuuu! We think she’s pretty cute.

      Hope you have a restful weekend! I know what you mean about spending each day trying to just get work done for the next 24 hours. That’s every day for me most days lately!

  46. I recently ended a 3 year affair with one woman on sunday. I am going to end another affair of 4 months tomorrow or tonight. I can’t keep doing this. There were no feelings involved for me and I can’t keep playing with my wife’s heart like this even if she doesn’t know what I’ve done. It’s like I don’t even recognize myself anymore too. This site taught me a lot about how my actions affect the ones around me and that I might need help. This week I realize I am not okay and neither are my actions. Communicating with your SO is important and self medication is a slippery slope when you use sex and drugs to cope. I’m going to tell my wife everything tonight and hope she forgives me. I will do anything it takes.

  47. So, it’s been eighteen days since I survived being injured, tortured and held hostage by my fiance after telling her I was no longer cool with her abusing me. She was arrested and is in jail (thankfully); she faces anywhere between 1 and 5 years for domestic battery, coercion and assault with a deadly weapon (she had brandished a knife in front of my face and told me she should “carve out my pretty green eyes” wtf?!) That day, I won. I survived. That seems easier (which was no easy feat, let me tell you) than this *after* part, oddly enough. At 32, I’m learning to love myself and BELIEVE I am a super awesome human being. I was so accustomed to living life quietly and unseen, unexpressed and unfulfilled that everyday is a struggle to practice self-care. This website, and this Friday forum, esp., is truly inspiring and has kept me feeling connected with other women – strong, intelligent, beautiful, and empowered – which helps me know that there is a tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow. Thank you for all of your cute kid pics, cat pics, and inspiring stories. Keep your fingers crossed for me – I’m applying for Campership! (I dunno what the chances are of being accepted but just the thought of it alone keeps me pushing forward, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.) Peace and love all.

    • Congrats on getting out of a bad situation and taking care of yourself.

      Trying to find a future (especially if it looks like a different one than you had in mind and planned for) is hard, but it gets easier with time and some practice thinking about it.

      Good luck with campership! I hope you get it!

  48. This week I decided to volunteer at a local arts space for their Valentine’s Day themed shows… Best. Decision. Ever! It’s practically a queer sanctuary! And it’s underground enough where I don’t have to worry about anyone in my mainstream life showing up and making things awkward. (I’m not out at work). Also, it is proving to be a beautiful distraction… I found out there is a recently discovered genetic autoimmune disease in my family, which would explain various weird health ‘episodes’ I’ve had over the last couple decades. I never gave them a second thought, to be honest. Funny how you automatically assume your normal is everyone’s normal.

  49. this week has not been the most awesome, but tonight one of my roommates, a friend, and i ordered a pizza and watched finding dory on netflix. none of us had seen it, and it was a nice time. i briefly considered going out with some friends after that, but i begged off ’cause i was tired and just didn’t want to go. i really was tired, but also it’s really late and i’m still awake. i finally decided, just like four years late to the party, that i should prolly get around to trying fallen london, so i’ve been playing that off and on all night. while waiting for actions to regen in fallen london, i watched the new “getting in bed with kristin (and riese)” episode on facebook which was really good and got me thinking about self-care and how sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself doesn’t align with what you think you should be doing. it has somehow become 5am though, so right now i’m pretty sure self-care looks like sending myself to sleep already. goodnight good morning good day, straddlers! have a lovely saturday

  50. Hi, KaeLyn, I don’t know how you are doing alk that you are doing! Baby, job, writing, teaching. Wow.
    I stared my own dream business and just had my first appointment with a client and it went great. I am involved in local grassroots political resistance stuff, but take breaks when it feels too exhausting because I don’t want to brun out. I walked my dog almost all day yesterday because I like hiking and it helps me relax. Life in the eye of the storm is actually going really well. I had some very good luck recently and came into enough money to pay off all my student loans which feels totally surreal, but good. It means that I can focus on my business. Today, I had 15 mins of fame because I am an #actuallivingscientist and I #DressLikeAWoman
    I’m going to be interviewed by an awesome journal about my scientific research. 🙂
    I found a picture of my 4th bday cake and realized it was the most perfectly queer cake ever. It was decorated with a rainbow and had a toy Garfield in roller-blading gear on top. Things like that make me smile.

  51. Oh my god, Remi is adorable!
    I’m writing thesis #1 this semester, so I should be writing my lit review that’s due in 4 days but have I started yet? No. My partner is being so patient as I work on this project. (Oh, and I’m so proud of them. They figured out some academic things over the last couple of weeks and I’m so proud of them).
    I made my roommate watch “Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela” this week with me and we almost cried and she’ll never watch a film I bring home from class again. (It’s so good! It’s a Bollywood adaptation of Romeo and Juliet and I love it so much).
    My partner started going to the gym and I’m going with them which means this butch is starting to build actual muscle. I just came out of a strong depression spiral so it’s good to be up, about, and moving instead of having to down caffeine just to make it to class and barely functioning. Navigating the drs about that has not been fun, I just want a migraine medication and the dr is basically not wanting to discuss certain options with me unless I can prove that I don’t need an antidepressant! So much fun! Not at all frustrating! I’m going to call planned parenthood bc the one here is so good and so wonderful and competent and see if they can see me instead bc now that we’ve decided that no one knows why I was losing weight, student health is not being helpful.

  52. Yesterday I had an interview at a nonprofit, which took major spoons to travel to (it would require relocation). The interview didn’t go well – they didn’t seem to take me seriously, and the interview lasted fewer than 10 minutes.

    I came down with a cold in the process and am now thankfully taking time to relax and recover…

    • Sorry about your interview. I’ve been there. :/ Flew internationally for one interview, my second job interview ever, where I completely bombed an on-the-spot creativity test for a position that was mostly archives research and computer literacy. Came back to my hometown to find the car dead in the snow and had to push it to a safe location and my suitcase on the bus. Then there was the other international interview a few weeks later where knowing how to use a certain national museums database was listed as a bonus, but not a requirement, and they proceeded to ask me lots of questions about that database, from a country I’d never worked in before, after acknowledging that fact. Makes you so glad you travelled for that, right?

  53. hey, what a cute baby!! <3

    I'm trying to fight my depression very hard, ignoring my upcoming exam bc it makes me anxious, hanging out with queer friends and yesterday had an evening with wine and board games with a sleep-over, now I am TIRED and anxious about the exam, but my holidays are getting nearer, so I'm trying to chill.
    love, M.

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