FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are You Playing?

Hello, wolves and wolverines! Welcome to this week’s Friday Open Thread!

I hope you’re cozy and feeling well rested today. It’s starting to get chilly in New York City, but I’m feeling okay about it because this means that fleece-lined tight and flannel-lined jean weather is nigh. Tonight I’m probably finally going to take the air conditioning unit out of my bedroom window. Wild Friday night plans, I know.britney-spears-party

I’ve been traveling and being social and generally saying “yes” to lots of things lately — and while this has been good, I’m also feeling ready to wrap myself in a blanket, hunker down in bed and consume vast amounts of media. Which brings me to my question: what have you been playing?

Music-wise, I’ve been playing a lot of Rihanna lately. Specifically, I’ve been listening to her 2011 album, Talk That Talk. Do you remember that album? It’s really something! Some favorites:

  • Make me your priority / There’s nothing above my pleasure / She may be the queen of hearts / But I’m gonna be the queen of your body parts – “Cockiness
  • Can’t wait to blow my candles out / He want that cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, cake / Ooh baby, I like it / You so excited /Don’t try to hide it / I’mma make you my bitch – “Birthday Cake
  • If I toot it, leave it tooted up / Then I drop it, drop it, ’til ya making faces and look like you wanna tell me stop it / I’mma do it, do it, do it ’til you can’t take no more / ‘Til my lipstick ain’t up on my face no more – “Watch n’ Learn

Like: oh. Okay, Rihanna. I’m down with your very aggressive display of sexuality, yes. I like this mild undercurrent of misandry, sure. You just keep going. I’ll be over here, dying, nbd.


Have you ever read Urban Dictionary’s entry on cake? I found it enlightening.

In the realm of gaming, I’ve been playing lots of Crypt of the Necrodancer. It’s an 8-bit rhythm-based dungeon crawler, following young heroine Cadence as she searches for her father in a cursed underground crypt. The game mechanics are super simple (move with the arrow keys! pick up items! hit monsters and avoid them hitting you!), but there’s something about it that I find deeply satisfying. You wind up playing variations on the same levels over and over again, repeatedly dying and restarting, trying to move a little further the next time. There’s a sort of meditative quality to it that appeals to me, I think. Or maybe I just think this because I like to play it in the morning when I’m waking up, who knows. Regardless: I dig it.

Also, on the recommendation of a friend, I recently bought Sushi Go! I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but it’s a fast paced drafting card game that looks really adorable and I can’t wait to try it.

And on Netflix, I’ve been playing Grey’s Anatomy. From the beginning. All the way through. Right now I’m on season five, and Callie just went down on a lady for the first time. I expect that this relationship is going to end poorly in the end (because let’s be real: this is a drama and it’s on, what, the 200th season now?), but right now they’re being extremely cute together.


So now it’s your turn. What are you playing? And how did your week go? What are you having for dinner? Did you take any cute selfies recently? What’s been on your mind?

I’m here! Let’s talk!

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Laura Mandanas

Laura Mandanas is a Filipina American living in Boston. By day, she works as an industrial engineer. By night, she is beautiful and terrible as the morn, treacherous as the seas, stronger than the foundations of the Earth. All shall love her and despair. Follow her: @LauraMWrites.

Laura has written 210 articles for us.


  1. I have not been playing any music outside of my head, but for some reason three different George Michael earworms have been on rotation inside my head for the last two weeks and somebody has to please tell me how to MAKE IT STOP.

    • Oh man, what songs? I get “Faith” stuck in my heads sometimes.

      Maybe you would like to listen to this “Sunday Candy” song instead. It’s bouncy and I think it’s sweet that he’s singing about his grandma.

      • “Faith” and “Careless Whisper”, but the one that’s the most stubbornly stuck is “Father Figure”. I have no idea why; I haven’t actually listened to it since like 1998.

        Thank you for the alternate-earworm suggestion. I will try that.

    • Oh man, I had “Mr. Brightside” inexplicably stuck in my head EVERY morning last week, and I feel your pain! This is going to sound weird, but listening to music without lyrics might have helped? (I love classical music and have been on a big ol’ Rachmaninoff/Chopin kick lately). Not sure if there’s anything to it, but you have my sympathy at least. Earworms are the worst, except for those rare times when they’re not.

      • Hah! My roommate was playing “Mr. Brightside” earlier this week. I think before that, I hadn’t heard it in… at least two years.

        I am glad you found something to get it out of your head.

    • [youtube

      I fail at embedding but uh it’s Emergency by Icona Pop and if you want something eye popping to watch look up the official video. I swear they’re mashing up the Lindy Hop and the Charleston in some parts of it. Never mind the outfits that are like Salt ‘n’ Peppa had babies with Lady Gaga or Nicki Minja.
      George Michael or The Killer will be a distant memory.

      If not there’s a creepy Russian lullaby I could recommend, just don’t read the lyrics if you get nightmares or creep out easy. Maybe Mongolian rap style with throat singing?

  2. I’ve been listening to the Hamilton cast recording this week, over and over and over. I don’t see myself getting tired of it soon.

    I bought The Beginner’s Guide on Steam earlier, the new game by the creator of the Stanley Parable, and it finished installing a few moments ago, so I don’t know what it’s like yet (aside from the impression I got from the trailer and from reading the non-spoiler parts of Offworld’s review of it).

    There isn’t too much on my TV calendar for once, so this week has only involved new episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which I LOVED, and to think I shamelessly caught up with just to have another conversation topic with my crush), The Last Man on Earth (made me guffaw a few times), and How to Get Away with Murder.

    • Ooh, The Beginner’s Guide looks very interesting. And it’s on sale. And short. Hmm…

      I approve of and support you in catching up with that show to discuss with your crush! That’s dedication, and I think it CLEARLY demonstrates that you would make a good partner. ;)

      • The trailer and the fact that the Stanley Parable was one of the first ever games I played obsessively meant I had opened Steam and clicked Buy within a half hour of hearing about it, oops. (Usually I deliberate buying games for a looong time first)

        She spoke about the season 2 finale so animatedly I figured a binge of the latest 6 episodes would be worth it, and thank you!

        • Oh gosh. SOLD. I just bought it and I’m going to play it tonight.

          Thank you for this! I’m excited.

          • Update: I just played it, all of it, and wow. This was not what I was expecting. It was so much better. Wow.

    • I am definitely going to have to check out The Beginner’s Guide when I get home from work. You had me at Stanley Parable.

    • I’m so there with you on Hamilton. Specifically, I’m obsessed with Angelica and “Satisfied”. So much goodness in that song.

  3. I yielded and bought a season pass to Season 12 of Grey’s Anatomy this week. I was going to resist. I was going to change my routines. And then I did not. Thanks, recaps/Shonda/10 year routine.

    In other news, this week was feeling like it was possible to not merely survive but possibly even be somewhat thriving again after maybe 6 weeks of barely holding on to all the pieces. It’s been a solid month of drowning in work and stress and other people’s life circumstances combined with a wee bit of my own {unreasonable yet valid} sorrow/guilt for not being my role model.

    • Eventides, I’m so happy to hear that this week went better. That sounds incredibly stressful!

      I find watching Grey’s to be a very calming routine, and I haven’t even doing it for the past decade. So I’m glad you have this constant in your life.

  4. Musically, I’ve been on an immediately-after-high-school-graduation nostalgia trip, playing Fall Out Boy’s “Infinity on High” album from 2007, for all my spiteful 18 year old needs. I also can’t stop listening to the Struts’ “Everybody Wants” because it gets me pumped for my day. As for something a little more female orientated, I’m addicted to Elle King’s “Love Stuff” because it’s full of shameless sexuality. Super hetero, though.

    I haven’t been doing much in the way of gaming, but I can’t stop watching let’s plays on YouTube of Until Dawn (PS4). I haven’t fallen so hard for a game I can’t even play… ever.

    And TV wise… I’m back on the nostalgia train, having downloaded and rewatching “The War at Home” circa 2005-2007… and cringing at how overtly racist, sexist, and homophobic it was. Eesh! You ever rewatch a show you liked a decade ago and think, “OMG how did I even stand this?” because I do, like, all the time.

    • I DO do that all the time. Not so much with TV, but it keeps happening with books. I reread “The Sirens of Titan” which had been one of my favorites in high school, and it turns out the way the women characters are handled is just… nope.

      I will have to listen to “Love Stuff.” Any particular song?

    • It’s too high on the gore/scare for me, but my gf is LOVING LPs of Until Dawn right now!

  5. What a week folks, what a week. Missus and I celebrated our 9th anniversary with an expensive trip to the vets. Our fur baby had to have her ear tip amputated due to ongoing medical problems. They also took 3 teeth. Poor girl. She’s perked up today and now her ears match again so there’s that.

    I’ve been listening to Some Feelings by Julia Nunes. Because it’s awesome, but the new Allison Weiss album is out so I need to get on playing that. I’ve been playing Scream on Netflix and Orphan Black season 3 on iPlayer and Carmilla on the interwebs, guys all the shows have given me feelings…so many feelings. As for video games I fell back down the DAI rabbit hole-or should that be Deep roads- on Sunday and finally overcame the annoying horde section that made me give up last month. So playing good things :)
    Playing aside I’ve decided to do inktober this year since I’ve finished uni and need to remember how to draw after a year of conceptual work. So far so ok. Hoping to improve with practice over the month.
    Have a great weekend folks and for those of you who, like me, will be working KOKO. Good luck with the air conditioner Laura!

    • Thanks Hat! I have been meaning to watch Carmilla ever since I became aware of its existence. Orphan Black kinda lost me with season 3, but maybe it’s more bearable if you can watch it all at once?

      I would love to see anything you’ve made for Inktober, if you felt like sharing a link. (But like, no pressure! I’m just interested and curious!) :)

      • This is yesterday’s, it’s a start, as it says its just a scribbly doodle from off the top of my head.
        I’m just doing today’s now. I did some pencil work on Wednesday that was better, but not ink or ‘tober. I’m not great with ink alone but I’m hoping to get better by warming up with doodles and figuring out what pens do what and how they react. It’s been years since I drew properly so it’s nice to get back to the fundamentals.

        • Cool! I hope the rest of the month goes well for you. You’re clearly already starting from a good place, so it will be neat to see how much better you get by the end. :)

      • Also yeah I think orphan black would have been frustrating if I’d seen it weekly. I feel like more shows are these days, or maybe I’m losing patience due to the fact binge watching is a possibility for so many shows, I’m not sure how to feel about that. I’m a late Carmilla adopter but it fully sucked me in. It’s been a heck of a month and a bit. So worth it :)

      • Do it :) even if you just do a drawing a day for yourself and don’t upload. I’m enjoying the practice and forcing myself to use pen straightaway and not use under drawing. I’ve spent so long doing installation and sculpture work that I am so happy to get back to the fundamentals.

  6. I haven’t been playing anything recently, when I think of it. Unless you count watching Perry Mason. Yyyyyyup. I will stay up and watch the ~mystery movie~ after the 50s show. One week it was Columbo.

    I have, however, been reading the amazing story anthology Octavia’s Brood. It’s described on the cover as sci-fi from social justice, and the stories are amazing. I think the majority, if not all, are written by PoC, and so there is actual PoC representation, as well as disabled people (in a story that was amazing and horrifying all at once), and it’s just so so so good. I got it last weekend when Mik and I went to the city’s book fair/festival/thing; the local anarchist bookstore and coffeeshop had the “radical book fair pavilion” where they had books and talks and there was one about race and food, and then Tim Wise was speaking, and yeah. Them that night the bookstore had a thing with like, Jiz Lee and Stoya and im so bummed I didn’t know and totally missed it. But in the up side, I got to meet more dogs ♡ Mik’s smelly babies (I didn’t think they smelled that much).

    BTW my dog is still adorable. He met my old friend yesterday and he sat on her.

    I’m also going to try and read Touched With Fire, an old-ish book about the possible link between bipolar and the arts. I tried to before, but the descriptions of depression were too close for me to deal with.

    It’s cold and rainy here, and I’ve been having tea in the first time in forever. It’s nice, but flooding is an issue, so im really hoping hurricane Joaquin stays out to sea. :/

    I’m also gonna be looking for a new therapist. Which I should’ve done this past week, haha oops.

    Ooo also:) I’m starting to really use my art tumblr for real, and it’d be super cool if you guys checked it out/followed/reblogged some stuff? The username is caitlinmharris if you wanna look :) thank yooouuuu~~☆♡

    • I have mixed feelings about Tim Wise, but it sounds like purchasing this book was a good decision. I have heard good things about Octavia’s Brood!

      I hope you got a photo of your adorable dog sitting on your old friend. If not, maybe you should post a photo of your adorable dog anyway.

      Good luck therapist hunting!I have followed your Tumblr. :)

      • I have a friend who feels the same way. I don’t know much about him, except for what I overheard while browsing books. Is it okay if I ask about his problematic side, from your opinion? You definitely don’t have to!

        Ohmygosh, it is so good. I’m not good at using words to describe things, other than “holy shit, this is so good.” The stories are just phenomenal and they stick with you.

        I did! I’m on my phone right now, though, so it won’t let me copy paste/share :c I want to show him off, though aaaaa.

        Thank you!
        Aaaaaa thank you for following eeeek ♡♡♡♡

    • i really like that oil pastel painting you did with the face and the star. great use of colors/subject! right up my alley ;)

  7. Right now I’m playing “Ori and the Blind Forest” and “Betrayer”. “Ori” is a fun platformer, but there’s a lot of backtracking. “Betrayer” is a horror genre FPS. It’s got a lot of good points including it’s visual style, but right now I’m stuck because the game is just throwing a lot of enemies at me and I can’t get past them.
    PS – I have “Carmilla” feels, and I need to talk about them.

  8. I obsessively play the Sims Freeplay on my phone. Right now I’m on some weird plant quest to unlock the second floor of the mall or something. I recently unlocked all long hair styles for women. I’m trying to collect enough orbs to build the dog park. That all sounds real dumb when I read it back, but that is the only game I really play. I like that I can sneak in quick play in-between meetings, on the toilet (don’t judge), before bed, etc.

    All the tv shows came back, so my DVR is full of Shonda Rhimes’ shows and Project Runway and Steven Universe and Bob’s Burgers and lots of other things that are hard to keep up on!

    I’ve been on a David Bowie kick lately, but today is a Big Freedia day.

    Happy Friday, ya’ll!

  9. Two of the best video games I’ve been playing for a while now are Child of Light and Never Alone!! Child of light is an AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal, and is an RPG with a battle system kinda similar to the Active Time Battle system in Final Fantasy. The plot is super awesome especially if you are into pseudo fairytale inspired plots with evil queens, evil stepsisters and various cast members you can continuously cycle through your fighting party depending on what enemies you encounter (example: lighting capable wizard against water based enemies). Honestly I’m on my second run through the game and I just am continuously baffled by how beautiful and rich the storytelling is. Also! The soundtrack was composed by the super awesome Canadian band/singer Coeur de Pirate!
    Never Alone is also ridiculously awesome, but also super important because it was created in collaboration with the Iñupiat, an Alaska Native people. When you play through the game you have the option to open up different videos where Alaskan elders and various members of the community talk about the real-life things that the game is based around. So, when your character is caught in a snow-storm you can choose to listen to a real-life account of someone who was caught in a multi-day long storm and how they survived. Or when your character receives her weapon, a bola, you can watch a video about how that weapon is actually used. The video game itself is a puzzle-platformer and you can switch between playing as the girl Nuna (!!!) or her animal companion/spirit guide the arctic fox. It’s super adorable, surprisingly scary at times and you get to be clever and solve puzzles and defeat various magical creatures/evil humans/polar bears.
    Sorry for the long comment!! I just have a lot of thoughts/feels about video games apparently.

    • Child of Light is the most beautiful game I’ve ever played. One of the best gifts I ever received. The only flaw I see in it is that there is no difficulty level between normal and hard. I would recommend it to anyone who likes RPG’s.

      Never Alone was one of the games I was looking forward to most, but had to stop because it required an XBox style controller to use the bolas. At the time, I couldn’t get it to function in keyboard mode either. I’m hoping the newer patch improved it, and I do need to try it again.

      • I’m playing through child of light on the “hard mode” currently and I think it’s set up so that it corresponds with how advanced your stats are after you finish the game the first time through, so far I haven’t had any trouble with that! :) :)
        Also! I play Never Alone on my Macbook Air through Steam without any additional controllers or whatever so hopefully you’ll be able to on whatever laptop you have as well!!

  10. I don’t really game, and I have had zero time for TV lately. You’ll see why below.

    However Fall is live music season, here in Phoenix, and I plan on attending one or more shows a week this month! Therefore I’ve mostly been listening to artists who are coming to town, so I can decide which ones I want to buy tickets for.

    Last month, I wore out Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Cut/Copy before they came. This Tuesday was Clean Bandit. Next week, Mynabirds. The week after that, Misterwives, Marian Hill, and maybe Givers too (I’m gonna be broke and exhausted!) Not sure who else after that, since Django Django cancelled (boo you whore!)

    If I had to choose one song that I’ve been digging lately, it’s this one:

  11. Music-wise, not much. A bagpipe set, Bastion’s soundtrack, and an album from a semi-local acoustic folk group (Indian Summer Jars).

    Games, picked up the PC release of Final Fantasy V last week, I’m about 15 hours in, and I’m liking this translation of it quite a bit. Also my normal Guild Wars 1 and Guild Wars 2 gameplay.

    Books, re-reading the entire Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. Just starting the 4th of 15 books.

    • Wait, a bagpipe set? You’re casually listening to a bagpipe set?I am fascinated.

      I have never actually played any final fantasy games and they’re on my wishlist but I keep impulse buying other things so idk when that’s going to happen.

  12. That necrodance game looks fun. I’ve been playing arkham city on my pc. It was $4.99 on steam the other day. It’s pretty fun. I like to play on easy, so I rarely die and can feel like I’m good at the game. And I am good at it.

    I’ve also been watching grey’s anatomy from the beginning. It sure is one heckuva ride.

    • I believe you that you are good at it!

      And yes, Grey’s is quite a ride. I like knowing that it’s so long, actually, because it means that all of the crazy drama I’m watching right now is almost definitely going to be wrapped up by the time I catch up to the present season.

  13. Laura! Hi! Do you remember me?!

    This weekend I will be in Crown Heights hiding away from the rain with a six pack and a big vat of homemade curry. I, too, started watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning (for the first time! So much drama!), but I’m not nearly as far along as you are.

    When I’m not doing that, my cat Neil and I will be dancing feverishly to this song:

    Yeah yeah.

  14. This thread is making me so happy, so so so so so happy. I am having a rough week in clinical, and I want to just make out with my door knob when I get home and ask it to never turn again, so I can enjoy the warm creak of my ancient hardwood floors with spaces the size of dimes between some boards. I just want to be wrapped in one of those arm/blankie things and drink minestrone soup out of a mug and read Jane Austen and cry at the inhumanity of school shootings and refused refugees and unwitnessed aboriginal murders and cats that I am allergic to who can’t live inside after all, and girls who have epilepsy, and sisters who live too far away. I want to draw every feeling on paper and sell them to raise funds for a queer recovery program, and be a cheerleader for the addicts in my community, and rescue myself.

    Ah, that felt good.

  15. Music-wise, I’ve been playing the Hamilton soundtrack on constant repeat for the last week. If you haven’t heard it yet, you MUST. It’s incredible. Lin-Manuel Miranda is INCREDIBLE. Also, I have developed what is probably an unhealthy crush on the fictionalized version of real-life historical figure Angelica Schuyler based on her song “Satisfied” in the show. Seriously, go listen to it.

    TV-wise, I’ve been rewatching early seasons of House. I don’t really know why. But I have revised my opinion on Allison Cameron – I kind of can’t stand her anymore. Sure, Jennifer Morrison is still gorgeous, but GOD, Cameron is just PATHETIC. And NEEDY. And really, just plain sad. Like, who seriously blackmails their boss into taking them out on a date? Why?

    And now this weekend, roller derby playoffs are happening, so I’m cheering on CN Power from Toronto and the New Skids on the Block from Montreal!

    • Holy shit. This is so good.

      I didn’t remember that about Cameron! I have vaguely fond feelings towards her, not remembering much about her storyline.

      Have fun at the derby playoffs!

      • Yeah I always liked her too, but that may have been due to watching House the first time around when I was still in high school and didn’t understand how adult relationships are supposed to work, or how adults are supposed to behave in relation to their bosses.

        Playoffs are awesome, but unfortunately I’m not in Omaha this weekend, just streaming live and watching in my pyjamas!

        • Yeah, definitely. I’m sure I was in the same boat. (Although I watched it in early college, I think? Still. I didn’t know things.)

    • yasss hamilton is genius. was #blessed enough to see both hamilton and fun home last week, and am still crushing hard on joan. swoon.

      • I saw Fun Home last month and it was SO GOOD! Didn’t have time that weekend to see Hamilton too though, so I’m going to have to go back in the near future!

    • The Hamilton soundtrack is so amazing! I cannot stop listening to it. I think I only learned enough about Alexander Hamilton to pass a standardized test so I was genuinely shocked by some of the events.

  16. Music: I found the Steven Universe SoundCloud page this morning, so I’ve been jamming on that all day.

    Games: I’m nearly done with LoZ Wind Waker HD, and it makes me sad. I love playing this game. I’m also trying really hard to play more League of Legends, but it kind of scares me. Heh. I’m a new player, and I know the only way to learn is to keep playing, but still.

    TV: Adventure Time, because I haven’t had time to sit down and watch long episodes of things. :( Feeling like I want to get back into Star Trek TNG tho.

  17. I am excited because after a “breakup” (I use quotes because it was never an official thing) with a partner who then broke the rules of the breakup (which dragged out bad feelings for a few extra months), and seeing this person and hanging out in groups often (sometimes multiple times per week :/), then making a bad rebound decision, then once again hanging out with the people involved multiple times, I have a date with a lady whom I think I have a lot in common with. Tonight at 7. I hope it goes well. SO MUCH.

  18. I’ve “accidentally” been listening to Exile in Guyville and Veruca Salt all day and I’m wearing my fav flannel and drawing and hoping I can survive another winter. Feeling much too lonely for cooler weather, ya feel me?

    • Hi I’m wearing flannel too today and “Flower” is a great song, I listen to it regularly. I think you are really great all on your own, and a thing I have been telling myself lately is that it’s better to be a whole person all by yourself than to be a partial person in a multi-person arrangement. Friendly or otherwise. So.


    • I recommend a hot beverage and a scarf as the perfect partners in crime for all cold weather activities–no extra humans needed!

  19. I haven’t slept in over 24 hours..
    I’m binge watching the entire avatar series. I started on Wednesday and I’m on season 3 now. Soon I’ll get to kora.
    I’m playing dnd with my mates today.. if I can stay awake.
    I need to make a soap carving for art but the soap is breaking, which sucks.
    Feeling cautiously optimistic this semester, I may be getting my depression in check. Almost 2 months into school and I’m not -horribly- screwed.
    So things are good today.

    • Yay for not being horribly screwed! I’m glad to hear that you’re taking care of yourself.

      I’m really curious about how you carve soap. Is it a special kind?

    • I think no d&d game is complete without one person who’s pounding caffeine to stave of exhaustion, right?

      And on the soap–carve out REALLY TINY bits! You probably know that already but just beeee paaatiant! And good luck :)

  20. I’m not a big Alice Cooper fan, in fact, this is the only song of his I know. But “Eighteen” has been stuck in my head all week.

    And today its the Raveonettes “Last Dance”. Again, its the only song of theirs I know.

    I’m thinking about buying the new fifa, but I don’t quite have the money to throw at a $60 game right now.

    • “Rooster” is the only one that I know. Well, and now “I’m Eighteen.” I like yours better.

    • I would think most people would know his song Schools Out for Summer. Thought it kind of wouldn’t make sense now since it’s autumn now(unless you are the South West and California where it’s still feels like summer).

  21. OMG Callie & Erica! So many feels. I wrote a musical based on those two.

    I’m listening to classical music, but mostly the Hamilton cast recording because I’ll never be satisfied.

    I canceled my Netflix account because I’m broke.

    I’m going on a date tonight.

    All these things are equally important to note.

    • Hehe, of course you wrote a musical about them, Rachel. That’s amazing. <3

      I hope your date goes well!

    • iiiiiif you hypothetically still want to watch the telly on your computer you should google couchtuner, but just be sure to (hypothetically) use ad blocker because the ads on it are awful. hypothetically.

  22. I’ve been playing the “PTSD can’t possibly apply to me, even though I’m 3 months away from getting a service dog, because it’s all in my head and I’m just being an overreactive attention-seeking idiot” game.

    I’ve been playing NCIS ’round-the-clock, because apparently that’s what I do in the two weeks between my foster brother’s suicide, declaration of brain death, organ donation surgery, funeral, and birthday. Currently on season 6 of 12? 13? At least Ziva David is nice to look at…

    I’ve been playing the “let’s hide away from anyone and everyone you used to care about because you’re in a dark place and you don’t know what else to do” game as well.


    Happy Friday, all :-)

    • Oh that is so much. I wish I could redistribute some of the awfulness in the world, because it sounds like you’ve had way more than your fair share lately.

      I hope you are taking care of your heart.

      I am a big fan of losing oneself in TV shows to deal with difficult times. If you run out of NCIS, I can vouch for the following as excellent emotional distractions: The Good Wife, Bojack Horseman, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess.

    • Ah, what a super fun sounding game! I hope you can start to finish up soon, and go outside and have a snack and maybe pet a dog. Even if it takes a while.
      *internet hug* <3

    • sending you love. hope you are taking care of yourself and a service animal is a great idea. I have two pups.. they give SO much love.

    • Oh goodness. And this is why Autostraddle is the best. A pretty amazing group of gals around here. Even if it’s in completely anonymous Cyberland, it means a lot to know I’m not alone… Thank you for the hugs and support – back atcha :-)

  23. game-wise, i was playing oblivion like last week, but i think i’ve gotten bored of it. in further sagas of hi i play games after they’ve been out 8 million years, now i’m playing borderlands 2. i got it because supposedly a friend is going to play it with me, but if anyone wants to play, feel free to message me! (i’ll note: i’m not the world’s best gamer.)

    tv-wise, i started arrow the other day. kinda liking it, but i don’t feel very strongly about it. i need to watch this week’s two carmilla episodes.

    music-wise, i’ve got the dismemberment plan going in my car. before that, fiona apple. before that, speedy ortiz. pretty bummed at myself that i forgot to pre-order the new mal blum album. no signed copy for me!

    tonight, i think i’m gonna watch mad max: fury road with a friend and make popcorn. and maybe whiskey cokes.

    • I was super into Oblivion when it came out. I spent so much time reading the books in the game, and just like, going through all the conversation trees with the NPCs. I don’t think I “progressed” very far, but I did log a lot of time just enjoying that world.

      Your evening sounds delightful. I still have not seen that movie, and I’m not going to tonight either, but I bet I have room for whiskey cokes in my life.

    • So far arrow has two many white cis man abs for me to be particularly interested, I think. But also there’s supposed to be pretty ladies shooting things later??? I am conflicted.

      • maybe I will watch it some more and let you know

        for science

        (where by science I mean pretty ladies)

        • …you’re right. they’re so over the top with the white cis man abs. I don’t know why they’re so obsessed. I did see an episode with some lady-fighting though.

  24. I’ve been listening to all of my Scissor Sisters cds (Ta Dah, Night Work & Magic Hour) on repeat all week. I was trying to get a little out of my comfort zone by socialising with people and actually needed the little confidence boost that I always get while listening to their music.

    I stopped meeting new people and catching up with friends a couple of years ago because of a mild depression. Now I’m somewhat better but still in the habbit of isolating myself (because my stupid brain tells me that life is so much more easy without people to talk to). Anyhow, I actually managed to meet up with a friend of mine and didn’t cancel at the last minute! Success! And I reconnected with an old friend of mine online – I think, I’m on a roll :)

  25. This week I’ve been listening to a lot of music, but mostly 3 main people: Brandi Carlile (to prep/recover from her concert on Wednesday), Katie Herzig, and Florence + the Machine. Katie Herzig is generally my go-to artist, though, because her stuff just sort of resonates with me, especially her latest album, Walk Through Walls.


    I haven’t had much time for gaming recently, but I have been watching a lot of Daria on Hulu. It makes me happy. I’ve also started playing a fun new game. I call it “Oh look, I’m at Target. I should buy Watson a Halloween costume.” So far, he’s been Yoda and a pirate. This week, he was…

    …a dinosaur (and he thanked me for giving him a proper tail to chase)…

    …and Darth Vader.

    Also, don’t let his face fool you. He loves his costumes.

  26. Musically, I’ve been playing Julia Nunes’ “Some Feelings” all day, everyday for a week. I cannot get enough of it.

    Tonight, I’m playing board games with some coworkers. I think Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, and Ticket to Ride are on the docket!

    • Ooh, I love Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride, although I haven’t played them in forever. German board games are the best, imo. Never tried Pandemic.

  27. Playing this week it’s been the pitch perfect sound track for my little girl as she loves singing about two bottles of whisky. For myself it’s been sectionals in my orchestra this week and my fingers have been bleeding through Tchaikovsky 1812 Berlioz and the Grieg piano concerto. This weekend kicked off with a Star Wars marathon with my son since we need to remind ourselves of all three canon movies before the new one comes out. He is very hazy about the clone wars. I intend to keep it that way.

  28. Well I’ve been playing the new Silversun Pickups and Metric album, both of which I am really liking. Also, just re-listed to the first Iron Maiden album, Iron Maiden and it stands the test of time for me, the new album not so much. Also, I have a really queer idea of serenading someone to Turbo Lover by Judas Priest(probably one of the gayest songs ever), but I first need to find someone. lol
    For a while I was playing Beach Buggy on PC, but I got a bit tired of that. So, I am now looking for a new game to play.

    I took my bike for a ride this week. This was taken as I was sitting on my bike.

    This was taken later in the day, with same equipment. I was a bit late for the blood moon, but did get some of the eclipse.

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

    • Wait I want everyone to see this Turbo Lover music video:

      I really want you to serenade someone with this. I am in love with that idea.

      • Yes, that video. Thank you, it’s good know there is at least one queer who agrees with the idea. Gave me a smile(that and just posting the video).

  29. My roommate and I have been watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch for the past week and we keep asking my black cat if he can secretly talk like Salem

  30. FRIDAY!!! HEY ALL! <3 I think I really ended this week on a high note. What about you? =D

    I'm still playing the playlist from Crystal's column on living forever when I run. Here at home, my music varies. I like to live on the edge and let shuffle choose. Then I end up skipping like 10 tracks before stopping on one. RN it's FRIDAY IM IN LOVE (heyyyyyyyyyy) by The Cure ♫♪♫♫♪

    I'm still playing Minecraft. I got this idea to make a castle looking mansion thingy on the mountain that extends over the river and onto the mountain on the other side so it will be huge? Plus it's in an ice land so it will get some snow on it's top soon enough. I feel like it's sort of like virtual legos and I love legos IRL already.

    I got to go to Knott's Berry Farm yesterday for my co-worker's birthday. We rode on all the rides in like 3 hours. And we still had time to go on log ride one more time. And eat Mrs' Knott's fried chicken which was so good. THE POTATOES. POTATOES. and gravy. OMG. And funnel cake. THE FUNNEL CAKE. I almost went into a food coma yesterday. I also bought some jam so now I'm really really happy. And eating a lot of bread.


    Winner winner chicken dinner!!!!! Or lunch. WHATEVER. PO-TAY-TOES

    Our favorite picture from log ride.

    • Wow that funnel cake. And you guys look so happy in those photos! :)

      Your giant castle sounds fantastic.

    • Did you see the VR minecraft thing at E3 where it’s actually on front of you on a tablet and you can use your hands to zoom and rotate and all manner of making it more like Lego? I don’t even play it and I got excited.

      • WHAAAAT WHAAAAAAAAAT omg that would be so cool. You would actually really be building all the things!!

        • It must be on YouTube so worth looking up. It was the zooming in thing that was so cool to me :)

  31. I’ve been listening to an album called Jaime & Becky, by a singer/guitar playing duo of the same name, I don’t think they are a group anymore, but in early 2000s Portland they played shows around town. My mom worked with one of them, I remember going to one of their shows and loving it and then loving the album a lot. I rediscovered the album about two years ago and every couple of months I endlessly listen to it falling in love with all of it over again. I wish there was more to listen to but there is something beautiful about this one album that has a very specific time and place for existing.
    Tv wise I’m finally making my way through Buffy, at the very end of season three now. Unfortunately with school starting I don’t have as much time for Netflix, but tonight I am going to a friends house for dinner and Buffy night! Much needed after a pretty awful first week back to school. School wasn’t even that bad but life sure was.

    • Aw, I’m sorry you had a bad first week! I’m really thrilled that you’re watching Buffy though. I watched it after the show had been off the air for years, and by the time I got to the end, I felt like I retroactively understood a lot of reference people around me had been making that I’d missed? Like, watching the show helped me understand my friends and pop culture better. (Also it’s really good.)

  32. I’ve been listening Led Zeppelin’s first album on repeat all week.
    Game-wise, I started with Final Fantasy VI (it’s great to play it on my phone while traveling on the tube), and as usual, good old Call of Duty 2.
    As for TV shows, I’m almost done with Fargo.

    • Wait, you can play Final Fantasy VI on your phone? I did not know this. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

  33. I had an amazing week, I teach an Applied Psychology class, which basically is a class for freshmen and I have to say, I felt great, facilitating conversation and helping making people aware of their default setting. I showed them this talk “this is water” by David Foster Wallace, if you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. It basically is about how we mostly all operate on our automatic default setting and do not take the time to question our automatic thoughts. I have listened to it at least four times this week in various classes and probably about 20 times total and every time i get something different.

    I have been listening to Wayne Dyer speak bout the Tao, on an audiobook.

    I also have been meditating with HeadSpace, anyone use that app? I find myself much calmer with it.
    Other than that, rewetting, season three of Orange and watching Sense 8.

    Sending love to all of you.

    • I’m re-listening to DFW’s speech now, thank you for reminding me it exists! It really is very good.

    • Your screen name is wonderful and teachers that facilitate convo and help students develop awareness are a gift.
      Have you ever read “I Just Wanna Be Average” by Mike Rose?

  34. Last video game I played was the Deadpool game. That was in July I think and I sang bits of ‘O Canada’ because when I play Deadpool I become one with the Deadpool.

    Ooh and you caught me just after I finished listening to the most Autostraddle palatable of my bookmarked 8track playlists

    Um haven’t listened to this one in a couple of weeks but it’s dedicated to Freyja and she is witch goddess in addition to being a war goddess, and goddess of beauty

    I think someone might like or appreciate it.
    If you’re interested I have bookmarked a great Helena playlist, and a startling amount of Black Widow/Red Room playlists because I was a ballerina, Natasha was my Marvel root ect.

    My musical tastes are “strange” and sometimes grating to people who listen to mainstream music and heck even people who listen to nothing but classic rock. I like throat singing, like all of the kinds. From arctic of the “new world” to the steppes of the “old world” I’ve listened to and enjoyed it.
    Other things I listen to that people find unpalatable are things like Eivør Pálsdóttir singing old Faorese songs and “shamanistic” music which covers a lot of ground and is not a good descriptor. Oh and old ass liturgical music in Latin or something Eastern Orthodox. Carmina Burana is secular music but it’s kinda the same style as somethings of the Roman church at times.
    That and just about all the rock music ever, but especially neue deutsche härte and classic rock.

    Something about growing up listening to the “racket” that is Cajun and Zydeco music expanded my mind and made it real hard to find inharmonious vocals or tinny sounds annoying, I guess.

    If it kick starts my heart, makes me want to sing, dance, or bring me into some sort of contemplative state of mind it is my kind of music, but uh acoustic guitar stuff like Mary Lambert and lots of other queer women music is just so boring to me. It’s too soft and gentle I can’t stand ittt. Which makes no sense because I like the bluegrass, old timey country music, the blues and Robert Johnson.
    Oh and screamo music, I can’t abide by screamo music. I don’t mind some cookie monster vocals, growls, and screams mixed in but it just takes the power out if you’re doing it the whole fucking damn song.
    Take a cue from Iggy Pop and Brody Dalle kids, pack those powerful monstrous sounds in where they’ll give the baddest punch.
    Get off my lawn.

    My week was numbing and that is all.

    • I am definitely not into most of the music you are, but I really enjoyed listening to you describe it. :)

      • Oh Laura that was hardly a description, but I don’t even know how to describe some of the things you just have to FEEL them. The way I connect to “the craft” is through music and if I master the elder futhark I could call myself a volva maybe or a galdr at least.

        The best I could to do to get descriptive would be describe the traditions of some of the music and the people that made it. Or wax dorkishly about feeling connected to the origins of humanity roving across the world, how connected really humanity is when you strip music down to just voices and the most “basic” instruments. Or how powerful and versatile the human voice is. Just me myself can make low soft soothing lullaby sounds to sounds so loud and high they break up dog fights. I’ve called it my Canary Cry at times.

        I haven’t even started yammering on about Pre-Colombian Meso-American wind instruments, but I learned in elementary school to not discuss anything that will lead to me talking about the Aztecs. Because that is how you scare people away, and that skillset need not apply here.

  35. I’ve been playing audiobooks. I’ve been voraciously consuming them. I download them for free from the library using Overdrive on my phone. I find that audiobooks have largely replaced music in my life when I want to listen to something. I know some people prefer “real” books, but for me, it’s wonderful being able to listen while working or driving or hiking or cooking. The only time I find that I can’t concentrate on them is when I’m doing some sort of verbal task, like writing or talking. Listening to books can help me spend less time listening to my ruminative thoughts.

    I prefer nonfiction. I like science and psychology-related stuff. I love Oliver Sacks books (and was sad that he recently died). I also love books by Sean Kean including “Disappearing Spoon” (about the periodic table, recommended by an autostraddler) and “Tale of Dueling Neurosurgeons.” And I love books on epidemiology, history of diseases and medical breakthroughs, like “Demon in the Freezer” (smallpox), “Ghost Map” (cholera), and “Cured” (HIV). And I’ve recently gotten into memoirs by doctors (I recently finished “The Real Doctor will See You Shortly”), probably because they have so many stories of actual patients. They’re sometimes painful but also gripping. Ooh and outdoor-adventure memoirs, like “Wild” (Cheryl Strayed) and “Walk in the Woods” (Bill Bryson). I think the only genres that really don’t interest me are political or religious books… possibly a good thing because it makes for less controversial conversation topics.

    Presently, I’m listening to “Chaos: Making a New Science” and “Into the wild.” I just finished “Girl in the dark” which was about a woman with severely photosensitive skin, who would sometimes need to spend weeks or months inside a dark room, and some parts of the book were absolutely wrenching. It made me so grateful for freedom and daylight and the outdoors. It’s amazing how much we take for granted.

    I haven’t been playing any TV shows. I don’t own a TV or have a netflix subscription, and I’m not really into movies either. But I do watch stuff on youtube. I go through phases where I binge-watch a stuff from a queer youtube blogger, like Everyone is Gay, Arielle Scarcella, or Bria and Chrissy. I have watched so many youtube coming-outs.

    I also like to watch videos from websites like Test Tube and Upworthy.

    Anyway, my week was uneventful, but today I am happy. It was an extra-long work week for me, but I have a long weekend and I’m headed to Mt. Rainier on Monday! I’ll spend the night in an AirBnB and spend the day hiking and seeing the fall foliage! I’ll be going with my mother, also an avid outdoors woman.

    Happy October everyone! To quote Anne Shirley, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

    Photo of leaves taken near Commencement Bay in Tacoma, near where I live:

    Also I saw what (I think) was an orca today! I barely caught a glimpse of it, but I saw a dorsal fin. I also saw a couple dead harbor seals nearby. :( Not sure if the orca killed them. I hope that’s all it was (rather than something caused by humans).

    Beach photo!

    Also did everyone see the blood moon?

    • Those are absolutely gorgeous.

      I did see the blood moon. It was also gorgeous.

      And I’ve been voraciously consuming audiobooks too! Right now I’m listening to “Beautiful Ruins.” It’s… okay. I think the best two that I’ve heard are “Redefining Realness” and “Bossypants.” I love it when authors read their own memoirs.

    • Was it an awesome and rusty red with a glowy edge?

      *TMI and I don’t know why.*

      I didn’t see the blood moon because I was having my very own blood moon of agony indoors and the storm shutters were in the way. Very disappointed in my uterus, but horrifically fascinated by its synchronicity.

      *TMI over*

      • Haha. Yeah, that’s a fairly accurate description, I would say!

        I am sorry to hear about your agony. But I appreciate the synchronicity as well.

      • Ha – That’s perfect!
        I am sorry to hear about your pain, and I can empathize with it. :( I guess nature has a sense of humor?

  36. Hello! I have spent the past week making bean soup, and discovering Cambodian soul music. Which is earth-shattering. I’ve been obsessively social networking due to impending assignments, developing a crush on my mail-lady, coddling my dog, and wishing The L Word was still a thing. Check it:

  37. I’ve been listening to Halestorm’s Into the Wild Life non-stop.

    As for Netflix- I just finished The L Word this week anD I FEEL SO BETRAYED that I don’t know if I’ll trust TV enough to start watching anything new. What was that finale. What was that entire last season. I’m angry.

  38. Thanks to insomnia, I have been watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch almost non-stop. My roommates and I watched it nonstop in college, and I haven’t re-watched it since. I just texted my friend yesterday and asked if we could have a Sabrina themed party and call it Bobunk (a million best friend points goes to anyone who understands that joke).

    I’m also desperately searching for someone to teach me how to play the ukulele.

  39. I’ve been playing World of Tanks a lot lately when I take a study break. It isn’t quite the cesspit of homophobia, misogyny, and racism that I was expecting (although, chat does sometimes display one of those, all of them, or a host of other problematic behaviors). If anyone here plays on the North American servers, you can find me by the username WeaponizedCuteness. I’m still a scrub, but I’m improving. Other than that, my week was fairly uneventful (STILL don’t have the second job I desperately need).

  40. Music. Ive been playing a lot of Darkest of the Hillside Thickets because it gets me in a good drawing headspace.

    Computer. Last thing I played was Don’t Starve Together because it has caves now. But I can’t run a server because I’m (usually) on a Mac, and I don’t have friends who play, so I play with random.

    Analog. I am about to play a lot of Magic the Gathering because my girlfriend is returning from holiday and she preordered a booster box. We are gonna draft that thing.

  41. I am so excited because in 3 days I’ll be travelling to Japan for a holiday! I am going to many places including the famous Rabbit Island, where I will snuggle many many buns. As for what I’m listening to, I’ve set up a travel playlist for the plane that includes new Mal Blum, Allison Weiss, Julia Nunes, CHVRCHES and Anabelle Kay. If anyone has recs in similar styles I’d be keen to hear them :)

    I also wrote my very first article for a magazine and it’s about polyamory! You should read it if you want to :)

  42. I’m listening to Janet Jackson’s new album. It’s so good!!!

    I’ve also started watching Scream (the tv series). Probably not the best idea since I’ll now have to sleep with the lights on tonight. Eeek!

  43. Im also TRYING TO catch up on Fear the Walking Dead which is basically what happened before the world went to the zombies and evil people. Having it set in LA makes it extra interesting for me because Ive lived here forever and now I will forever have the thought of what it would be like if the apocalypse started happening here. Which is equal parts terrifying and horrible and worrying. Hahaha. TOO MUCH IMAGINATION. I also wanna watch Game of Thrones again because I got my wife to start watching it and shes so hooked. Then she told me her fave characters so far are Ned and Catelyn Stark and Im like grrrrl………-.-

  44. Some acquaintance posted a vid of A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something” this week and I have been SO hung up over that song the last few days.
    It’s like I’m reminded that there’s a beating, broken heart someplace in my chest, after all.
    Another vid that’s impressed the shit out of me is Stromae’s “Quand C’est?”
    It’s so dark and gritty and realistic and heartfelt and so full of the bereavement and horror of cancer, that it’s really wowing in its intensity.
    Sometimes I feel that a large part of the younger generation, even mine, doesn’t deal well with imperfection, sickness and feels immortal.
    That vid, imho, feels a lot like a generation in being startled awake by loss.
    Loss that can’t forever be outrun by advancing medicine or perfect lifestyles.

  45. I have been playing old Florence and the Machine albums and gf has been requesting to watch Call the Midwife but I sometimes call it Baby Disneyland (like, you have a baby and everything is magic! you’re never unhappy again!) but mostly it is charming and sentimental, and otherwise, I’m not really into games, except for telephone pictionary which is THE MOST FUN GAME.

    Really otherwise the only game I like is called “throw chicken skin at the dog and try to get one to land in her mouth” which is mostly a game because she gets so excited but is very old and uncoordinated and is forever snapping at the air too early or too late, but eventually she gets it off the kitchen floor.
    silly dog.

    For the uninitiated, this is telephone pictionary:

  46. Music-wise: Jenny Owen Youngs, Allison Weiss, Julian Nunes, and Tegan & Sara.

    Life-wise, I’ve just moved into university, so have been playing a lot of “cooking my own dinner” and “doing my own food shopping”. :D

  47. I wish my week would of went completely different but hopeful for this coming week to be a better one :). At least i got paid!!

  48. What is going on? I keep trying to post a comment, and the site won’t let me. Now it’s telling me I already posted that comment, but it’s not here.

  49. My gf and I just finished the cutest indie rpg called Undertale, and you all should too because it’s adorable, supes clever, hilar AND… lesbian monsters. LOL

    We’re also playing a game called Nier which is super artistically awesome and has a trans character. Yay lgbt moments in games.

    Music wise I’ve been listening to a lot of Skrillex. Don’t judge me. :|

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