FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are You Holding On To?

tea party (just image)

image by rory midhani

Hello there, shy slow lorises! Lori! Loris, plural! Loriseseses! What are you eating there? Is it a rice ball? Welcome to Friday Open Thread, where no one will ever take your rice balls away and you can sleep the day away with all your loris friends.

Who needs spoons when you have paws? (via giphy via tumblr)

Who needs spoons when you have paws? (via giphy via tumblr)

FOT!!! Weeeeeee!!! (via

FOT!!! Weeeeeee!!! (via

You do you, babe. Omnomnomnaps. (via gifsoup)

You do you, babe. Omnomnomnaps. (via gifsoup)

Speaking of holding onto rice balls like the life-giving sustenance they are, I’ve been thinking lately about stuff I’m holding on to. Literally, stuff. More specifically, the stuff I don’t really need anymore that lives in boxes and clutters my home. Recently, I went through several boxes of stuff from my childhood that I inherited from my parents’ box pile. They’d been living in an unused bedroom for over two years. It was a lot of unpacking, literally and figuratively.

Do I need this hotel shower gel that I saved from a high school trip to Germany, the trip where I made new friends and considered what it might feel like to be completely myself? (No.)

How about my mint condition New Kids on the Block comics from 1990 that went with my NKOTB sleeping bag and posters and trading cards and tapes and crush on Jordan Knight? (Yes. Uh, probably. Probably not. I don’t know. Put them back in the box.)

What about all these newspaper clippings my mom saved from when I was in a local Junior Miss pageant? (Yes, but not all 25 copies. Also, don’t judge. It was a scholarship pageant.)

How about these old button hooks from my Grandpa Sadler’s (close family friend, not relative) collection that his family let me have after he died? (Yes. Definitely, yes.)

Here's some junk I found in a box, top left to bottom right: that German hotel shower gel (not for douching), a patch from a college fraternity project, random papers I picked up on that same high school trip, my first PDA (pre-smartphones).

Here’s some junk I found in a box, top left to bottom right: that German hotel shower gel (not for douching), a patch from a college fraternity project, random papers I picked up on that same high school trip, my first PDA (pre-smartphones).

What stays? What goes? What does stuff mean? Why do I hold onto this little prism that holds some of my Grandma’s ashes, stashed behind a framed picture of her as a young woman? Is it her, really, my Ama? Is she in there, in that sealed white container that looks inconspicuously like a paperweight? Does she live on in some way? Or is dust just dust? Or is it just an idea of her, sealed up neatly to fit on a shelf? My idea of who she was? My memories of her: bringing me steaming hot beef bouillon in a mug when I was sick, letting the dogs lick up mac-and-cheese leftovers out of the pan, playing Go Fish and watching The Golden Girls on her red corduroy couch? Is all that she was encapsulated, literally, in her remains? And are her remains all that remain of her? Is my grief in there, too, the loose remnants of everything I never got to share with her after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease? The helplessness of watching my mom say goodbye a little bit more every day for almost a decade? The sad relief of her passing, and the way she squeezed my hand the last time I saw her, like she knew I was there even though she hadn’t known I was there for years? Is Ama this thing, this little white prism? I don’t think so.

My Ama and me playing "Don't Spill the Beans."

My Ama and me playing “Don’t Spill the Beans.”

But at the end of the day, I won’t ever pack Ama’s ashes away. And I would be sad if I lost my little prism in a move. I would feel guilty if I packed it into a box. Stuff is just stuff. But sometimes some stuff is more.

So I’ll hold onto some stuff: my button hooks, my white prism, my comic books, a necklace from my first boyfriend, the pictures I took in college on real actual film, the corsage from my first high school dance, the scrapbook Waffle made me for our one-year anniversary that opens with an L Word quote, the dot matrix printed poems I wrote in middle school, a few beloved toys. Some of it I already threw away. The sentimental feelings that made me put those things in the box when I was 17 or made my mom put them in a box when I was 10 had passed and they were just things again. Just stuff. Stuff that could be recycled or thrown away or given new homes. Maybe when I open these boxes again, in another thirty years, I’ll be ready to purge more stuff. Maybe I’ll seal new things in.

What about you? What sentimental objects do you hold onto, either on display or packed away? Why do you keep them? Do you ever struggle with getting rid of your things? Do you keep things for too long sometimes? Or are you a minimalist? Is it easy for you to pare down? Tell me about your things.

Or tell me about the other stuff going on in your life. What are you doing this weekend? How are you feeling? How are your kids and furkids? Give me your life updates. I want to know all about it!

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KaeLyn is a 40-year-old hard femme bisexual dino mom. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, over-caffeinating herself, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Upstate NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a scaredy cat, an elderly betta fish, and two rascally rabbits. 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 231 articles for us.


  1. Books. Books are never discarded … they are my link to everything I’ve ever been and ever lived through. They are a secret diary of readings past, and the hint of future selves. Books wait presciently; they regally repose on shelves which themselves keep wolves at bay.
    The rest I can let go.

    • I love this, this little prose poem about books!

      I am actually starting to pare down my book collection, but it is hard! I want to keep so many, even though I’ll probably never read them again.

      • The ‘I’ll probably never read them again’ is a sneaky trick. Even if a I really do end up never reading ‘them’ again (but I pretty much always do), I still like to see their spines on my bookshelves mischievously beckoning me – ‘are you really sure you don’t want to read just a couple of pages … maybe I’m not how you remembered me…’
        And sometimes that’s totally true, and sometimes it’s not – and sometimes I think, nahh, I’ll give it another decade, then see if that first reading was enough.
        Good luck with your sorting out!

  2. Gosh, we hold on to a whole heck of a lot, don’t we? (Not sure why my writing voice went all Ned Flanders there, but anyway.) I’m so bad about sorting I feel like the important stuff ends up surrounded by a lot of junk — I’m not a hoarder or anything, but my garage is a little scary — and doesn’t get separated back out again or get the treatment it deserves until I next move.

    I do still have my first iPod, from 2001. It looks like it was built out of Legos. And I have a tiny cast-iron doll stove my grandma played with when she was a little girl, complete with a little metal skillet full of fried eggs cast in early plastic. So many yearbooks. A picture book my mom gave me for Christmas the year I turned one — it’s inscribed! 100,000 cases for my iphone 4 (apparently I couldn’t make up my mind). And a bunch of outfits from that three month period when I actually wanted to make my dog wear clothes. He’s got a flannel, folks. He’s a better lesbian than me!

    • I love all these little things. Moving does force us to get rid of things, doesn’t it? It’s incredible how you can keep giving things away and throwing things out, yet still have just as much to let go the next time around. We are accumulators!

  3. I have a box full of cards and letters and notes from every person who has ever written anything on paper for me, even silly little things. I’m glad I kept it all though, because there are a handful of things in there from my brother that are the only words of his I have left.

    I also have this twee little miniature porcelain tea set that my Nana painted for me when I was a kid. It’s all kitschy and floral and nothing at all like my style, but I insist on putting it on display in my bookshelf wherever I live.

    • Your tea set sounds so lovely and comforting. My style is mostly modern, but I love anything that has sentimental value, even if it “doesn’t fit.” Who decides?

      I love that you keep letters. Waffle does, too. A little piece of someone is left behind in their handwriting, I think. A little moment in time, preserved in ink.

  4. That was beautiful what you said about your Ama, she sounds like a lovely lady.

    The only things I’m pretty sentimental about are things I can’t recreate, like notes and letters and stuff. So I have shit ton of notes and letters and journals from years ago, but other than that, I’m pretty okay about giving stuff up (you kind of have to be when your mom’s favorite holiday is Bulk Trash Day).

    I’m getting over this cold flu whatever this mess is that I’ve had for two weeks which is on one hand exciting but then also not cause I have work this weekend, but I’ve decided I’m treating myself to more books so it’s okay. I’ve been having a bit of an icky time but I think that’s moreso me sleeping through a class because my meds knocked me out, kinda having a not so great therapy session/no art therapy, possible seasonal depression, and kind of isolating myself more than anything, but it’ll be okay. I wrote a poem that’s on Rising Phoenix Press and I’m really happy about it, so that’s a good thing and I’m a huge fan of all my shows being A+ as of late so that helps too.

    This is my poem if anyone wants to read it:

    I hope you guys have a great weekend!

  5. WHOA KAELYN YOU LIKE READ MY MIND. I was just on my way to ‘de-clutter’ my closet and side table because there’s definitely A LOT of things I could get rid of already. LOL. There are a dozen clothes I no longer use and IDK why I keep them. There’s so much stuff I could get rid of too. That eraser from the 3rd grade shaped like Badtz Maru? Probs not gonna use it. That gel pen that’s 2 sentences away from running out of ink? Yep, still here. Notes from 2 years ago about renting? WHY. GoPro stickers? I’m running out of space on my trash can and printer! And those 2 3d printed frogs from work? Hm, I could probably keep those. Put them with my metal earth!

    I hold onto all the letters that Christine has ever wrote me no joke. Since 2009. They’re kept in a box in my sock drawer (i know, not the most flattering place for them) but they’re there. She just recently sent me a picture of all the letters I’ve wrote her. LOL.

    Also my parents gave me a card about 10 years ago on my birthday that I keep on the side of my mirror. I like to read it to I guess inspire myself when I’m at my desk here at home and thinking about life.

    Andy and Jessy are great. Christine is headed out of town this weekend with some co-workers.

    Well I’m off to de-clutter and re-fold my clothes. Maybe I can make a metal earth when I get back! =) see you all in a few hours. LOL

    • I love that you both keep your notes to each other. That’s really sweet.

      Keep those 3d printed frogs! By the time you have kids, they will be a relic of outdated technology of the past. :)

  6. I haven’t posted on FOT for almost a month. That has something to do, I think, with a puzzling loss of confidence in my ability to pretty much do anything (at least to do it “well”). But I really have missed being part of the conversation, so I’m forcing myself to do it this week.

    This lack of a sense of competence feels different, somehow, from the generally abysmal self-image I’ve had most of my life — it’s like I feel unable, rather than unworthy. It’s actually a new feeling (I think — or maybe it’s just been masked on the past by the more overwhelming unworthiness), and not all that frightening. But definitely new and very weird.

    • Hi Willow! As a fellow straddler, I’m glad you posted. :-)

      Not that it’s particularly important for posting in FOT…but you certainly write well. You’re quite eloquent in text.

      You may not be looking for validation or encouragement, just recognition of where you are, but just sayin’ — that’s one thing right there that, without even knowing you, I can tell that you do well. ♥

    • I’m glad you are back! I think it’s OK to sit with that feeling, as long as it’s not destructive. You don’t have to do everything well, or anything, even. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just doing and doing OK. Doing OK is an awful let. If you are doing OK and doing it well, that’s pretty good. You know?

      I usually feel like I’m doing 100 things and none of them well, but that’s…I dunno, how to get 100 things done, I guess. Maybe one day I’ll do just 1 thing really well. Or not. :)

    • Glad to have you back! Hope the feelings of self-doubt subside. But it sounds like you’re doing the right thing in challenging them.

  7. Tons of postcards. I’ve been collecting them for years. And I generally keep things that were written to me by hand – certainly all the proper letters I’ve received, and a fair number of cards and other things. I had to have a clear out a couple of summers ago, but felt compelled to save at least one card from each person. Including people I’m no longer in touch with. Not sure why.

    I also find it really hard to part with books.

    • There really is something about handwritten letters and cards. I don’t keep a lot of them, but I keep a few, the ones that really bring me back to a time and place with a person. But I’m bad at keeping track of my papers. Most likely, all those things I saved are now lost…

      I want to get rid of books. I’m working on it…

  8. I tend to hold on to a lot. Maybe it’s a flaw, maybe I’m a bit of a hoarder? Who knows. I still have all of my Hot Wheels cars, Power Rangers action figures, first Gameboy, a bunch of Beanie Babies…you get the idea. I think the biggest thing I’ve been holding on to is my “old” life back in Philadelphia. In fact, that old life might actually become my new-new life very soon.

    This week was probably one of the most difficult weeks I’ve had since losing my grandmother last year; loss was involved, but this time it was my job where I was only at for less than 5 months. I didn’t even see the “letting go” coming. I finished the company’s entire website revamp, rewrote handbooks, did the copy for an ad campaign that will run for 18-months in the Wall Street Journal, and wrote the script to a highly successful viral video. The co-owner (a late 20-something, cis white dude, Silicon Valley wannabe with the creativity of a gnat and the social skills of Sheldon Cooper) told me that I wasn’t “passionate enough for the tech industry” and that my “creativity is too outside of the box for them”. I’m not even kidding. Really!? Too outside the box; didn’t they realize what they were getting when they hired the art school graduate, COMEDY WRTER who worked in film production and did ad work for wine and spirits companies? I actually told them this and they said, “We want to make the brand’s image be more technical.” and I looked at them and said bluntly, “Fine. Do what your competition has been doing for years.” What’s funny is that I was planning my exit after the holidays anyway, I was getting bored and when all of my ideas were being treated like a child’s finger paint artwork even with the standard, “Wow, that’s great Kayla.” then forgotten about, it was draining and sucking out my soul. So now the entire corporate office is down to 4 women in a sea of white, cis hetero dudes. Yay, diversity in tech!

    What I’m assuming is that they weren’t planning to keep me anyway…they disguised a temp position as full-time salary, got what they wanted (new brand content) and disposed me. That is perhaps the worse feeling. I was used, then just thrown away. Creatives get treated like this by big companies all the time. Sad, but true and it made me realize that I DON’T want to work for a company like this every again. In fact, I think it’s time to start exploring and get cracking on my LGBTQ focused business plan.

    So, this weekend, my old life and new life will be coming together. I’ll be heading up to Philly to spend time with friends (some I haven’t seen in almost 4 years), and attend Outfest activities in the city that embraced my coming out when I first moved there for undergrad. I went up just a month ago and that laid the blueprint to possibly leave Florida and head back there; hell I was even looking at jobs. Now, with the job loss, this trip is going to mean more. If last month’s trip laid the blueprint to move back, this could possibly be the trip that pours the foundation.

    • UGH THAT IS AWFUL. But it sounds like the place wasn’t a good fit. It still feels awful to be terminated versus walking outta’ there on your own terms. :/

      BUT NEW-NEW LIFE sounds full of possibility and rest and hopefully just enough stress to light a fire under you. Good luck!!!

    • Have a great weekend dude and flip off those corporate d-bags because they don’t deserve your creativity, or your time.

  9. Oh interesting! I have been a purger for a long time- when I was like 10 I found this New Age magazine in a free pile and it had this article about how if you get rid of your stuff then your external space will impact your internal space and you will feel in control and have a clear mind and I was like IS THAT ALL IT TAKES REALLY.

    Though I’m really untidy for somebody with actually not all that much stuff.

    But I hang on to stuff friends give me- I had this shot glass somebody gave me that was a memento from their high school gf and gf would be like “maybe we give this to Value Village” and I would be like NO WE ARE THE PROTECTORS OF THIS MEMORY but then it broke, so.

    Otherwise throughout my life I have always kept cups filled with half-sharpened pencils and odd markers, and jumbled dishes filled with change and beach rocks and hairpins and buttons from that one Pride 3 years ago with bananas dressed like leather daddies, and a sweet note my gf left me on a post-it but I forget why exactly folded up six times. Some of this stuff just accumulates! Stuff like sweaters and books and chairs I can get rid of, but the little bits I just continue to accumulate until I throw it all away and probably lose six dollars in the process because picking through everything is just too much of a bother.

    • Your “NO WE ARE THE PROTECTORS OF THIS MEMORY” reaction resonates so deeply with me. And then it breaks or gets lost and it’s like, “OH! Well….oh, well.”

      I guess it becomes stuff again. Broken stuff.

      I have a problem with jewelry and junk. We have a few designated junk spots in the house where we can just throw stuff we want to deal with later, but it often gets overwhelming. I have random jewelry stashed in at least 6 places in the house at any time….

      • ha! I take off jewelry random places and leave it there, and then I’m like where are my earrings….

        totally, and it’s sort of hard, but I have to rationalize with myself, like, probably that girl from high school is not gonna come back around and be like I made you take my copy of 1984 but now I want it back….

        • Oh gosh. I have a few too many books that aren’t mind but it would be too weird and/ or I don’t have the contact info to give them back but I still have them though…just in case.

    • Oh yes I can completely relate with that feeling of clarity in getting rid of stuff. Especially if it can be donated to a thrift store, so then I don’t feel guilty throwing it away. Clutter = stress and disorder.

      I do have a designated “crap I can’t quite throw away” box though. As long it is all contained completely within this box, it is out of sight and my brain can function without clutter distracting it.

      • Interesting! I don’t hide my clutter boxes, they just live where they live, and my jumbles of yarn and clothes I was going to alter and other crap all swim around in there together. I recently found a ‘misandrist’ t-shirt for a friend in the junk box and it was such a great discovery!

  10. Those lorises are adorable!!

    My heart goes out to you and your mother. Alzheimer’s is such a heart wrenching illness to watch someone go through.

    My answer to the question is… Not much. I’m a minimalist, almost compulsively so. It’s weird because I used to be a collector and a bit of a pack rat as a kid and teen. In so many ways, I’m entirely the opposite of what I used to be: from conservative to liberal, fundamentalist Christian to agnostic, sure of myself to clueless. But then, some things are the same: my love for nature, love for learning, and anxiety demon. There isn’t much to remember my old life by, and sometimes that past seems surreal. But I’m fortunate that I’m still close to my immediate family, and they seem to have become more open-minded too as the years have gone by.

    In other news… Pretty photos!

    I took a short vacation with my mother to Mt. Rainier and it was amazing! We made it right before the rain hit and spent a night at a charming cabin through AirBnB. I’d recommend AirBnB to everyone – our cabin was affordable and clean and our host was lovely. We spent most of our time at a region of the park called Paradise, which was filled with brilliant high-mountain shrubs in all the colors of autumn.

    Bright blueberry leaves and yellow spiria plants:

    And lots of little alpine lakes:

    We saw a ptarmigan too!

    The rivers were low due to the lack of rain this summer, but we still saw some nice waterfalls. Comet Falls was particularly spectacular:

    Yellow color + river:

    I’m so grateful for the mountains and family and warm heaters on cold autumn days.

    • Your photography is so beautiful, as always!

      I strive to be a minimalist, but I tend naturally towards being a pack rat like my mom. I actively work on reducing, though, and reminding myself that if I bring something new into the house, it’s OK to let go of the old thing. I don’t need to hold onto it “just in case,” as much as I feel like I do.

    • I may need to take a vacation there, as cold sounds good right about now as I am sitting in my semi-air conditioned store while it’s 3 degrees short of 100 right outside. Plus, waterfalls and changing of leaves do look beautiful. Thank you for sharing the beauty of PNW.

  11. Currently the only things that I really “hold on” to are old gear–there’s my old beat up helmet covered in stickers, the stretched out skirt that has a hole, and two different pairs of very beat up and worn out booties that are ready to completely wear through that I keep around because people forget gear all the time. I’ve leant out the booties before, actually. I also leant out the helmet, too. And if I can get my brother to visit me next weekend AND I get ahold of the duo, I’ll need that spare gear for him to wear so I can finally take him kayaking. But I’ll need to find someone else’s spare PFD and paddle.

  12. I’ve lost several friends in the last few years, and all I have left of them are their clothes. None of it fits me. Sometimes I sleep in their oversized shirts, but for the most part it’s all in duffel bags under my bed. My roommates joke that it’s like I’ve never unpacked, but I don’t have room for it all, and I can’t get rid of them.

    • I’m so sorry, Dani. That sounds like a lot. I hope their things bring you comfort. As long as it doesn’t impact your ability to life your life, it’s OK to hold on, I think. You’ll know when it’s time to let go of their things. It’s OK if it’s not time yet.

    • I just want to give you the biggest virtual hug.
      I can’t get rid of clothes, specifically, so someone recommended that I sew a quilt out of them.
      That advice didn’t really do anything for me, but maybe it’s something that would totally rock for you.

  13. Since my Mum passed away there’s things of hers that I can’t part with; her coursework from when she went back to school a couple of years ago, the letters she wrote to my Dad when she’d finally grown tired of his shit, the coat she bought for nice occasions at 22 and still had in pristine condition when she died at 50, the memory book of my older sister (she was still born), and all of my old school work, paper clippings (to be fair, they were whole newspapers when I found them), and the first dresses she’d bought for me as a baby. I’ve kept other stuff of hers like jewellery but that’s more because I like it and less about being unable to part with it.
    I also struggle to let go of handwritten letters. I’ve got a few from old friends, but mostly they’re from the first girl I loved. I’ve pared them down a lot over the years (there were over 500 postcards at one point, because she wanted to get as many entries as possible in postal contests for me to win trips to see her!) but there’s still a decent stack left. I know nothing’s ever going to happen with us, but she was my first love so I think that excuses a bit of sentimentality on my part!

  14. What are you holding on to?

    My sanity because I have been trying to read this book on queer Black people, literally called, “Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology,” naively thinking it was a man repellent but no, not today or ever because it has took me way too long to finish. I enjoy reading books on the train to dull the pain of a long commute and without fail (coming back from work) a random man who I really have no interest in talking to must interrupt me.

    This morning took the cake because I managed to get a seat in the morning rush and I was just thrilled to be able to sit and read, no, no-no-no.

    “What are you reading,”


    “Excuse me I know you can hear me.”

    *Gives annoyed confused look, goes back to reading*

    He motions to see the cover of my book, “I aint no f*g! Why are you reading that?”

    At this point I realized I had to make a decision; it was the beginning of my commute and it seemed like he was not going to leave me alone unless I said something.

    “If you don’t mind, I would like to be left alone please.” *evil grin* I said this in a unhinged way because the fear on his face was priceless.

    #Misandry, but seriously it’s so rude to interrupt people while they are reading!

    After that ordeal I felt better because 3 stops later a group of NYC Comic Con attendees were dressed up at Power Rangers. I was especially tickled when the Black guy dressed up as the White Ranger and we made eye contact and nodded in a “I SEE WHAT YOU DID THAAAAAR!” Another Black guy dressed up as Miles Morales of Spider-Man and I just had the biggest smile the rest of the way of my commute.

    I swear this is the testimony on how Black Nerds save the fucking (day)!!!

  15. I have forever been a pack rat, and mostly a pack rat for actual junk. Ever since I was little I’ve compulsively collected rocks, sticks, shells, trash, feathers, secondhand clothes, you name it. On the other hand I HATE owning all that junk because I get irrationally sentimental about it and feel somehow obligated to keep it even though it’s stifling. I’ve lived away from home for several years now and my parents are looking to sell the home I’ve kept a bedroom in since I was a teenager so now is the time for me to try and trash all the junk I’ve been “storing” there out of sight. Sometimes I daydream that there’ll be a very localized disaster that removes all of my own possessions from my life and I have to start over with nothing and I’ll finally be free

    • It can be hard to part with stuff. You’re definitely not alone in that. Maybe it’s a good time to just throw some stuff out, if you can, when you clean up your old room. Or let your parents do it for you so you don’t have to look at it all?

      If it all is overwhelming, sometimes it can help to start with just one thing. Like, just one box or just one collection or just one pile of clothes. Just making a little bit of progress can feel huge. Good luck!

  16. After ten years in business, I closed down my in-home day care, so it meant a lot of going through stuff. My wife and I don’t have any kids but are still debating. So some of toys and books stayed though a lot were sold in my first ever yard sale. Also, I love having furniture from important people in my life- a dresser and chair from my grandmother, pictures and a mirror from my grammy, a lamp that one granddad made and a table from the other, a shelf and chair from my extra grandma/friend. Still trying to arrange our house as for grownups, I have been working on going through the random boxes to see what to display, what to keep in a box, and what to let go.

  17. I have a storage unit that I pay money for,and a hallway with semi unpacked boxes.
    Everyone keeps giving me grief about that storage unit and ALL THAT money going to waste, and I probably don’t even care about half the things in there, but what people don’t get, is, that I keep half of my memories, half of the things that remind me of how much I miss people and times in there, and all of it is half way across town, locked away and I simply don’t have to deal with it.
    I have my past and my grief and my subconscious literally locked away and you can’t really put a price on that.
    Yeah, not very wohlesome, but oh,so practical.
    I should probably go through all that before I ever start seriously dating, though.

  18. A guy in my high school had the b&w version of that palm device. I thought it was really cool cause of the stylus the Gameboy emulator he had on it. This was back in 2002-2003. I went to compua(remember those?) and got a Toshiba model, cause it had a color screen, played music and videos too, something the iPod lacked. Plus, it came with a cable that hooked up to specific cellphone I had. It was nerdy and the internet was half the speed of dial-up and used minutes vs data, but I could go on yahoo(and autostraddle if it existed back then).

    Well I have a rainbow-ish candle(all shades of green, purple, and dark yellow) I made in the 4th grade that was used once that I still hold on. I am not going to throw it out, but I dunno if I will ever light it again? I may give to a someone I really, really like? I also have ticket stubs of all the concerts I have been to in the last decade, plus autographed and framed stubs, and cd jackets(remember those?). But, I guess that is more memorabilia than anything else. Oh, I also notes, and books from classes dating back to my hs years. My thinking being it may some how come in handy(it hasn’t really, but I guess I can say look at all the books I read once).

    How’s everyone’s week? I’m going to a queer, vegan house warming tomorrow, so I am pretty excited to for that. I also, got invited to watch the Lakers pre-season practice that I really want to go to on Sunday, but sadly I have to be at my aunts house. The quandaries of being an adult who know people with money. I am also talking to an adorable queer human right now, so I am hoping that leads to at least us hanging out?

    So, I may or may not have for no reason bought another camera, that I may or may no have needed. But, it’s so compact(almost skinny jeans pocketable) & has built in wifi. That said here are more shots of artwork around town.

    Here are flowers for my fellow straddle!

    More powerbox(?) art.

    This one was taken with my regular setup I use to share on here.

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

    Also, this!!

    • I tried to fix your photos, but it looks like they aren’t public on the site you uploaded them to. :/

      My palm was probably circa 2007. I got it for work and felt pretty cool using it during meeting. Then my Palm became a Blackberry and now and iPhone. I remember when all the organizers and politicians had Blackberries. That was the thing to have. But now everyone has a Samsung or iPhone.

  19. I don’t do spring cleaning – I do it in the fall. Right now I’m working on the big, obviuos things. Like the fact that a real, cheap bookshelf will take up less space and hold more books than boards and cinderblocks. And also weigh much less.

    Then there was the bag of unusable kitchen tools and hotel toiletries. And the first bottles of nail polish I ever had, minimum 16 years old and long since dried up, which have traveled across the country with me more than once.


  20. I have a number of knickknacks that have followed me from apartment to apartment. My favorite is probably a bottle filled with sand from the Sahara that my brother scooped up while studying abroad in Morocco.

    In other news…

    Some of you may recall a couple weeks back that my partner came out to me as trans, and while they’re still not entirely sure how they identify yet, they’re pretty sure they’d be more comfortable with a male body. I’m a trans woman myself, so, theoretically, this shouldn’t be too hard to wrap my head around.

    But it’s been a bit rough. I kept on thinking I was OK with it, then discovering that I really wasn’t (lots of crying fits- having the hormonal levels of a 13 year old girl doesn’t help much in that regard). A lot of my resistance unfortunately stems from my own dysphoria (I have issues with masculinity since it reminds me of my own masculine past), though I’ve been seeing a therapist to help straighten that out. Because I’ve had such a hard time accepting it, my partner actually has basically said they’ll forgo transitioning rather than risk losing me, but obviously that isn’t a sustainable long-term solution. And it’s very clear that it’s still bothering them, and resentment is brewing over it.

    At this point, I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to go ahead and give them my blessing to explore their gender identity, because while it’s still really hard for me to deal with, I can’t stand seeing them in this much pain.

    I guess the major thing that worries me at this point is the fact that I honestly am not sure how I feel about male bodies. Put me in a room with people and I will almost always check out the women first, and traditionally I haven’t experienced that much interest in men. However, there are a handful of guys that I’ve found attractive (or I think I have, anyway), and part of me finds the idea of a more masculine partner appealing- but I don’t know if that’s actually genuine attraction, or just because, due the magic of internalized cissexism, I feel like being with a man would somehow validate my own femininity. Alternatively, I could actually be perfectly attracted to men, but haven’t been able to accept it because of my own internalized homophobia (yes, I know, I’m not actually a dude, but the repressed parts of my brain may not have figured that out yet) and the aforementioned aversion to masculinity. I don’t really know how to tell for sure, and it bothers me. Sigh.

    • Heya, I had a friend who was superduper queer friendly, believed in gender fluidity, everything.
      However, when her partner decided to transition, she was struck.
      She was struck by how much she grappled with the whole thing, despite being so genuienly cool with stuff usually.
      She was also struck by the loss of her girlfriend.Her voice, those things.
      It just took an extra amount of time to deal with all of those prejudices and insecurities she didn’t even know she had.
      It also took some time to get to know that new person.
      I guess there’s a lot of things going on if your partner changes, because it makes you reevaluate yourself on an uncomfortably intense emotional and intimate level.
      So, what I’m trying to say is, give it some time, because it’s a big thing, and try to take it one step at a time.
      And to the sexual identity thing: According to Kinsey only 5% of people at either end of the scale are a 100% gay or straight, the rest falls somewhere in between. If the idea of being with a man turns you on for whatever reason or in whatever capacity, well, that’s just all right. If it doesn’t,that’s ok, too.
      If it only does whenever there’s a full moon, nobody will judge you.
      Sexuality can be so much more than just male/female, body parts or hormones, it’s so complex, and I wish you calmness and enjoyment while you explore that terrain.
      That said, good luck on your journey! The journey both of you are embarking on.It does sound like your hearts are in the right place, and despite all the other stuff floating around, that is the most important thing.

      • “And to the sexual identity thing: According to Kinsey only 5% of people at either end of the scale are a 100% gay or straight, the rest falls somewhere in between. If the idea of being with a man turns you on for whatever reason or in whatever capacity, well, that’s just all right. If it doesn’t,that’s ok, too.
        If it only does whenever there’s a full moon, nobody will judge you.
        Sexuality can be so much more than just male/female, body parts or hormones, it’s so complex, and I wish you calmness and enjoyment while you explore that terrain.”

        This comment really helped tremendously. Thank you.

    • Good luck to you on all of this. It’s hard to tell how it will turn out, if you’ll grow together or grow apart or what. This is a thing I wrote a bit ago answering a You Need Help question from a reader in a similar relationship situation. Maybe it could be helpful?

      Whatever happens, I hope you and your partner both find a lot of happiness in your futures. You both deserve it! <3

      • Thanks, that did help, at least knowing that I’m not the only one facing this, and that it’s ok for it to feel complicated or overwhelming.

        On the plus side, I’m not actually as worried about being queer spaces, even if my partner transitions- we both identify as queer/bi, and we’d both be trans (my partner in particular has said they have little interest in being gender conforming or traditionally masculine, to boot), so I feel like we’d both have a right to be there, even if we get static for it.

        (Admittedly,when I told them last night that they had my blessing to start exploring and experimenting with their gender identity, even if I sometimes still struggle with it, they mentioned that I shouldn’t make assumptions just yet- they’re still not really clear on how they identify, so this may not even turn out to be that much of an issue. I’m still going to try to ready myself psychologically for the possibility of their transitioning at some point, just in case)

  21. I’m holding onto feelings I’m working though about a girl I wanted to love and a bracelet made of ribbon that she gave me. However, I’m going on a date with a super cool new girl in Monday after my classes, which is really rad and cool.

    I’ve never actually been on a date date before, and it’s going to be weird for me, but I’m excited.

    Also, I’m looking after an anti-worrying toy pig this weekend but I’m scared I’ll lose it now because I’m reading Othello and it feels like it’s Desdemona’s handkerchief. So I’m not sure how well the anti-worrying charm is working. But it glows in the dark too, so I guess it’s cool.

    I got an A in my biology test, which I was proud of, but I need to keep working harder in my chemistry next week to get one there too.

  22. I have hundreds and hundreds of letters and passed-between-classes notes going back to my very early childhood; I drag them from house to house, but I think I’d be okay if they disappeared.

    Becoming a librarian has made me super ruthless with my book collection, but there are a few that are really dear to me–mostly those that belonged to my mom when she was a kid.

    Other than that, I have a little box of things that I would want to grab if I had to flee, and it’s the kind of “German shower gel” stuff that makes no sense to anyone but me. A seashell from an artist whose studio we visited when I was about 8. A little green army man from my 10th grade history teacher. Love letters and notes of praise from people who aren’t really in my life now. Old nametags.

  23. I’m back!!! It’s so hot here in LA the wind coming in my room feels like someone opened an oven. LA YOU ARE NOT LETTING SUMMER GO. I have successfully de-cluttered my closet and I feel accomplished. LOL.

    Also here’s my Metal Earth. It’s the Turian Cruiser from Mass Effect.

    Christine sent me the cutest picture of Andy asking for attention when she got home the other day <33333

    You guys I went to church last Sunday looking like this and went to the mall looking like this. My mom said she likes my tie. I told her Christine gave it me on our anniversary. I think she smiled a little.

    This is just some spicy tuna on crispy rice. Just gonna leave this here =)

    • My first thought is “Yes, broken pots should be held on to you never know when you need a bludgeoning weapon that can be fairly unquestioningly disposed of.”


      But uh there's also plenty of…crafting opportunities too.

    • Safety pins are strangely beautiful and useful. I try to keep them with me, but then I tend to give them away to people who need them, so I got one tattooed on me…I always have one now.

  24. I’ve been cleaning out my room since I’m moving to LA soon, and I have found that I really like hoarding old papers & assignments. Like I managed to find homework assignments I kept from middle school — I’m 23 now. Safe to say there was a lot of cringing to be had at 13 year old me. Oh my misguided straight phase.

    Speaking of moving to LA; I was wondering if anyone here is looking for a roommate or knows someone who is — because I am looking for a place to call home that isn’t my friends’ couch. I’ve mostly been looking for places near Hollywood; like Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz and Studio City, etc. The office I will be working at is located there.

    Also, I spent my whole life in the SF Bay Area so if anyone would like to give me tips or places to hit up in LA; please feel free to do so because I’m sure the city of angels is a completely different animal from The City. Thank youuuuu

    • Well that depends on what you like to do. I say check out coral canyon road in Malibu. I find the road fun to dive(lots of curves and beautiful ocean views). The end of road leads to you to a dirt parking lot where there is a wonderful trail to the right(once you enter the parking lot). It leads you to the Jim Morrison caves, where he carved stuff into it, and people now do interesting graffiti.

      Korea Town is always a great visit as there is a lot of good places to eat. If you are into Mexican food, King Taco, and Lucys(both chains) are places that is good to eat. It all depends on what you are into.

    • I know someone who moved to NYC from LA and needs someone to take her apartment! I don’t know anything besides that, but I can put you two in touch.

  25. Is it bad for me to say that I’m finally letting go of the fear that’s kept me in the closet? Leave it to an anonymous woman in Dublin making out with me on a Saturday night. I told my therapist that the needle moved much closer to “L” after that. Now I want to make out with more ladies.

  26. Me, I’m currently holding onto the hope that I can convince my uncle NOT to vote Conservative in the upcoming (October 19th) Canadian Federal election. It’s not looking good so far, but I do have the rest of the weekend to work on him.

    I also have ever letter I ever received while at summer camp (8 summers!) plus a whole drawer full of notes that my friends and I passed to each other in middle school. I doubt I’ll ever get rid of most of those.

    • Good luck with your uncle! I’m trying to decide if I should broach the subject with my grandma (also a fan of the Conservatives) over Thanksgiving dinner.

  27. I’m holding onto a box of letters from an ex girlfriend, ex friends, and scraps from the last show I was part of because I have a hard time letting things like that go.

  28. In the phone conversation with the toxic ex that yielded an apology for sexually assaulting me, one of the things said to me was that I hold on to things. Negative things and I never let them go.
    There is some truth in that because I never forget when someone has done me wrong. Sometimes I forgive, but for somethings I cannot and never will. I’m no Christian, but I do have mercy and grace in my heart.
    It’s just not for people who’ve betrayed me or authority figures who should have protected me as child but instead contributed to my mistreatment.
    They have my understanding, my analytical dissection into the whys of the things they did and didn’t do that they should have. That is not forgiveness or me attempting apologetics for them.

    I can’t think about the material things I hold on to right now without dissecting the fact I might be hoarder and it is most likely tied up into PTSD kinda. It’s hard to kill someone in their sleep if you wake them up by tripping and falling on your face. :P

    Or talking about that time I read the religion section of the TP and considered Sikh women are possibly the only people who could understand me rather than think I’m being dramatic or ridiculous ect when I say I feel like I’ve lost something when I remove or cut hair from myself.
    Like a part of me has wrongfully been separated, a part of me missing.

    Also I can’t decide whether or not I regret holding in my tears at my PePe funeral on Christmas Eve. Crying because someone’s suffering has finally ended just seemed selfish and I didn’t want to be selfish. I felt like I was taking up to much space that day.
    Fuck that funeral was awful, it was worse than watching someone who had such and influence on me waste away like he did.
    But it helped me let go of even trying to be subdued around the people that are supposed to be my family.

    So much melancholy



    • Thank you for those sugar gliders. I hope they brought you comfort, too.

      Holding on isn’t always bad. It’s when the holding on keeps you from living and moving on with your life that it might be time to ask for help, to get support. You have no obligation to forgive and forget. Those are two separate things and neither should be given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

      Take care of yourself!

      • Thanks for the affirmation.

        I’m use to being told to forgive, that I’m such a negative person for not “having it in my heart”
        I know I have no obligation or forgive or forget just hate being treated like storm cloud when I’m trying to BE a person.

  29. This is most definitely not related to the topic at hand but man, I’m just so fucking sad. It’s that feeling of wow, I could be in a room full of people, or like, I am in a room full of people, and I still feel like running out and crying on the streets–and sometimes, like tonight, I do. It’s just so all-consuming, this sadness, and I don’t know how I’ll ever escape it

  30. I’ve mentioned my “scrapbooks” before, which are basically just notebooks filled with rambles and every conceivable thing I find on my day-to-day life (for instance: flyers, notes I find on the pavement, sweetie wrappers, etc.)

    So, generally, I hold onto everything!
    The main thing I seem to be known for amongst my friends is hoarding receipts. Whenever we go out for a meal, they’re always like, “Give the receipt to Sophie, she’ll want to scrapbook it!”
    And I always do, haha.

    I’m never sure if it’s “worth it” to hold onto all this (I’m up to six scrapbooks and counting now!) but I could never, ever throw them out.

  31. Hi folks, late to the party due to flu and dayjob…uck.
    This topic is pretty apropos as we are currently clearing out our living room to redecorate in a more minimal style. Missus is a purger and I’m a pack rat, I’m one of those people who other folks call if they have crap they want to get rid of because I’ll probably take it. My studio is rammed with random stuff given/found/foraged, amongst other stuff I have 3 CRT televisions, two broken vcrs, mountains of furniture, two damaged massive bibles, enough scientific glassware to make Walter White weep, old carpet, and cardboard tubes – one day it’ll be a huge sculpture…honest :|
    The house is not so bad as I cave to Missus frequently, which is probably for the best, and we’ve got rid of loads of stuff-some to my studio. Last month I did consider the things I absolutely would keep if we had to move overseas and ship our stuff, I narrowed it down to books, my dads old camera, a 19th century steamer trunk, my ukuleles and a couple of small sculptures I’ve bought from artist friends. This made me reconsider why I keep so much stuff and helped me get rid of a few pieces of furniture from home and I’ve been turning things down when offered…it’s a breakthrough truly.
    Hope the rest of your weekends are wonderful :)

  32. I hold on to things from my ex-boyfriends. A necklace, a picture, or letters. I’m not sure why, because they don’t really serve a purpose in my life, but because I don’t feel any animosity to them, it feels really unnecessary to throw them out? Even though they wouldn’t know, every time I approach the bin with them, I just end up turning around and tucking them back onto my shelves.

  33. This is very timely because I finally sorted through the memory box I’ve kept since childhood. While I’m unemployed/looking for work I’ve been cleaning & sorting through my childhood room. My dad’s a purger and my mom’s a packrat and I think I’m somewhere in between. Right now I’m focusing more on organizing/displaying my keepsakes – I figure that if they’re more accessible, I’ll receive more enjoyment from them than if they were just haphazardly stuffed in shoeboxes (out of sight, out of mind). So, I’m trying to figure out a way to scrapbook it all – challenging when there are 3D objects!

    I started with my collection of greeting cards – sorted and organized them all, inspired by Martha Stewart, and I’m super proud of how it turned out!

    Like several of the above commenters I also have some stuff from exes. Right now each ex has a plastic shopping bag in the back of my closet. But, I’m thinking of incorporating some of the stuff into my scrapbooks. Enough time has passed since some of the break-ups that the objects are no longer upsetting or sadness-inducing, and even make me smile!

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