FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Will You Attend A Spider Bake Sale With Me, Y/N

Hello babes! Welcome to the Friday Open Thread! I hope you’ve been having the most amazing week. The weather in New York City has really been all over the place recently, so my main activity as of late has been sitting in bed, fiddling with the dials on my space heater.

My girlfriend recently convinced me to play Undertale, a very smart and funny role-playing game that is 100% a thing you want to play. It is delightful, and one very cool thing about it is that you don’t ever have to use violence to advance. When presented with combat situations, you can compliment (or tease or flirt or intimidate or whatever else) your way out of them, potentially winning the game without ever killing anyone. I feel very invested in this! I got stuck early on (when Toriel tries to keep us at home), but I am sticking with it and I’m going to figure it out.

Undertale

Also this week I finished watching Master of None, the Aziz Ansari comedy on Netflix that Heather told us to watch three months ago and I foolishly ignored. Or, well, I didn’t ignore it; I watched two episodes with my family over Thanksgiving, felt undecided about it, and gave up. This was the wrong thing to do! This show is amazing! I strongly prefer female-centric media, but if I’m going to watch men, I wish they could all be written as wonderfully as Dev — who, throughout the course of 10 episodes, considers such issues as male privilege and his role in upholding or tearing down the patriarchy; communicating with older generations as a second generation Asian American immigrant; and his feelings on parenthood and settling down. Minor spoiler: the last big monologue of the season uses that fig tree image from The Bell Jar and it’s just really freaking real and when I heard it I was reminded of that beautiful personal essay Vanessa read at A-camp that tore my guts out.

Lena Waithe is also fucking hilarious and I relished every moment that her character, Denise, was on screen. I would 100% watch a Denise spinoff. What is she doing to “make a woman come more times in 20 minutes than she has in the last six months?” Like, specifically? The world needs answers.

waithe_ansari

Beyond that, I have been drinking a lot of cucumber mint tea (it makes me feel like I’m in the lounge area of a spa), reading Juliet Takes a Breath and listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat forever and ever. I highly recommend this, and also, Hamilton the Podcast, which dives way, way in on lyrical analysis. Exactly as it should be.

But enough about me and my various consumption habits! What about you? How did your week go? Do you have a space heater? Do you need one? What have you been watching lately? What’s your favorite Hamilton lyric? Did you accidentally kill Toriel, too, and if so, how are you dealing with your all-consuming grief and regret? What are your tea preferences? Would you attend a spider bake sale with me, y/n?

I like your hair. Sometimes secrets do make friends. Tell me everything.

ruby_wink


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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.

179 Comments

  1. I am having a terrible month and this week has been the worst. I was basically broken up with twice within 24 hours at the beginning of the week and it triggered a depression spiral that I thought I was going to crawl out of yesterday when I went to work out with my sister, but the walls of which have seem to have grown today.

    Today I had one of the biggest milestones of my education/career to date and I feel completely numb to it. Life feels like a neverending to-do list and I’m not sure how to deal. I want to be excited because this has implications for everything from where I’m going to live in the next few months to my future career options, but I can’t muster up any enthusiasm.

    Annnnnnnd. I have been talking about my depression a bunch (including here, now, obvs), but I feel super weird about it because I think it makes people not like me. Which is kind of a catch because if I don’t talk about it I can’t get help, but if I do I feel like people think I want attention or something? And also probably my primary goal in life is to be liked, so. That’s clearly unhealthy, but that’s where I’m at.

    • @karal I am so sorry to hear that! February is a short month, though, and it’s almost over. There are only 10 days left until March. Good things are on the way, I know it. Hang in there.

      And congratulations on the big career milestone! Even if you don’t feel good about it now, I bet you will later. <3

    • I’m sorry that it’s been such a rough time.

      But please keep talking, cause it’s so important, and you’re important and you deserve to be heard/helped if you want to be.

      If it helps any, your depression and talking about it, doesn’t make me like you any less. (I feel like that could get really crunched up in like understanding but: I like you and that won’t change.)

    • I like you anyway <3 It helps to talk about it, stating your needs does not make you an attention whore (and, what if you want attention who doesn't like support and hugs and positive attention?) sending you a million virtual hugs!

    • Thank you all so much! I don’t know why THIS month has been so hard, but I really appreciate the encouragement to talk because it is something I want to work on, but I feel so ambivalent about it (what if I say things and am rejected for them!)

  2. I read In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware this week and OMG! It was really good, I just could not put it down and when I finally did to go to sleep I would dream about it. Needless to say I would highly recommend it. I am about to start reading The Gallery of Lost Species by Nina Berkhout and I’m excited, there is a unicorn on the cover and I may have judged this book but its cover.

    I started re-watching the X-Files from the very beginning and thank goodness I am able to watch Netflix while I am at work or there is no way that I would all ready be half way through the 4 season.

    That pretty much has been my week, Netflix and reading.

    • @ehmanna90 Judging a book by its cover is entirely appropriate when there is a UNICORN on it. This is my belief.

      I also started watching X-Files from the very beginning! There’s so much of it, though, and Mulder is such a wanker. I didn’t make it nearly as far as season 4.

      I’m so jealous that you get to watch Netflix at work.

    • I too have been re-watching X-Files! I’ve also been listening to Kumail Nanjiani’s podcast “The X-Files Files” to go along with it. I really recommend it! He talks about each episode (well, most, he skips some crappy ones) with guests, and you can tell he just loves the X-Files so freakin’ much it’s a joy to listen to.

  3. For Gal Palentines Day I made a dozen of roses. I printed off 12 celebrities, athletes, and characters that have Rose in their name (Of course, Ruby Rose was one of them) and stuffed them in an unmarked envelope. It was a big hit with my gal-pal-best-friends-with-tons-of-feelings-and-sexual-chemistry-but-we’re-not-totally-official-yet. She’s obsessed with puns and I was surprised that it took her a few minutes to get it. When she did, she totally freaked out, cried, and said it was the best gift she has ever received for Valentine’s Day.

    I don’t mind if any of you steal my idea either for next Valentine’s Day or for Hanukkah or whatever. Haha.

    Besides that, I’ve been feeling a bit down. I went for an important job interview at a female-owned ad agency that seemed to go extremely well. They said they would be making decisions by the end of the week and I will hear something either way. Well, it’s Friday and I haven’t heard anything. You know, just perfect for someone who has suffered from anxiety since the age of 13.

  4. I’m going on a date tonight! *does happy dance* We met on Tinder, but we go to the same gym, so it’s not super random. I mean, it is, but it’s not. I think I’ve actually met her once (at the gym), so I know she’s a real person, haha.

    I’m getting a new tattoo on Tuesday! I’ll definitely share it on next week’s FOT.

    If you live in NYC, check this out: https://www.facebook.com/events/224162107916529/
    It’s a benefit concert I’m producing, called Broadway Sings for PKD, to raise awareness of Polycystic Kidney Disease and funds for the PKD Foundation. My dad has PKD, and it’s something that’s affected my family and my life, so I recommend checking it out. Shiny Broadway people are singing new musical theatre songs by emerging composers & lyricists. See you there?

    Also, my sister and I are planning a Caribbean beach vacation. We’re stuck trying to figure out which island to go to that isn’t too expensive but is near a good beach. We’re currently looking at Turks and Caicos. If you’ve been to the Caribbean, please give advice! We’re going in early June, if that helps. Thanks!

  5. I was lucky enough to be at work on valentines day, so apart from telling all the elders I care for that they are my valentine, I managed to avoid it pretty completely.
    Atm I’m struggling to not feel hurt when friends don’t/can’t hang out with me. Objectively, I understand, but I’m spending too much time alone and it’s getting me down.
    On a proactive note, I’m meeting up with a gaelic football team on Wednesday, hoping to join them soon and learn how on earth you play gaelic football. Wanna put some strength back in my legs and remember what it feels like to run in mud! Anyone else getting into any sports atm?

    • @thecirrhosismachine Gaelic football! I’m reading about it now. The rules on Wikipedia say that you can get carded for verbal fouls, but that tackling is also a part of the game? I think I’m going to have to look up some video when I get home, because I’m having a hard time understanding the intensity level of this sport just by reading about it.

      Please learn all about it and report back.

      • I’ve watched a quick video about it last year, really just to confirm there is no sticks involved like hurling. After a smash in the face with a hockey stick at school, I refuse to play those sorts of sports. But I’m coming from rugby so I don’t think I’m going to be too put off by any contact. Super excited about making new friends though!

          • I was a flanker! Although I live with a hooker’s boyfriend and love to hear them introduce each other.
            Also, is it weird to say I’m glad that you’ve heard violent things? I just was worrying that I’d have trouble ‘holding back’ as it were. I like a game where you can give it your all.

  6. This week was pretty good! Tea preferences: anything by Traditional Medicinals (particularly Cup of Calm, these days). I do not know what/who Toriel is. I don’t have a space heater right now, it’s 78 degrees in Texas today (!) This former Minnesotan does not know how to process that temperature in February…

    All is well. Hope all y’all are well too.

    • @shiner Ahh, that weather sounds heavenly. I’m glad you’re well. :)

      Cup of Calm looks tasty. I wish I could have some, but I am allergic to chamomile! I learned this after gulping down massive amounts of chamomile all day every day for about a month. Then suddenly it made me feel itchy and my throat started closing up!

      Bodies are a mystery.

  7. I saw the post title and squealed because I fucking *love* Undertale. I watched an LP instead of playing it because I do not at all have the co-ordination for the battle bits, but honestly I probably would have accidentally killed Toriel too because I was watching that bit like “IS IT MEANT TO GO LIKE THIS?”

    I also watched an LP of a genocide route (ie. all violence) and even as a passive bystander I was *heartbroken* like there was genuine emotional pain going on here, it was awful.

    Re: favourite Hamilton lyric, I’m torn between the poetic (“death doesn’t discriminate between the sinners and the saints, it takes and it takes and it takes”) and “that was my wife you decided to-” “fuuuuuuuck”. I have been listening to it on repeat for like three or four days now? Since it was on at the Grammys and I decided to get in on the hype. I have no regrets.

    Tea preferences: I don’t remember because the I CAN’T WORK THE KETTLE. Nobody else has said anything about it being broken so it must just be me but? I miss tea. It has been so long.

    Spider bake sale: Hell yeah. All proceeds go to real spiders, it’s a good cause.

    • @floam I FEEL LIKE A VERY BAD PERSON. Which is what the game intends me to feel, I think. Ugh the writing on it is brilliant.

      The “that was my wife” bit makes me grin every time I hear it. Today I’ve been really digging on “Best of Wives and Best of Women” — not for any particular lyric, just because it’s this lovely moment of quiet affection. Also I like the way that it ties back in musically with “Quiet Uptown.”

      Spider bake sale friends 4eva.

  8. I have spent the past week waiting for tomorrow night to arrive. Because tomorrow night is Movie Night (a monthly event that some friends of mine host; it includes a sleep-over component) and also my kid and my parents are taking off for a week, leaving me with the house, and my time, to myself. So I’m looking forward to a week of greater social freedom than I usually allow myself, beginning with an evening of good food and the good company of the people who are my core support structure.

    Oh! sweet heavens! how much I need this. I keep letting myself get dragged down by distressing politics: there’s the wave of Bathroom Bullshit Bills that’s sweeping through state legislatures, and a new Governor in my state who seems hell-bent on dismantling every good thing we’ve got. And apparently, our state is now going to have separate-but-equal marriage license forms. When I went into the break room here at work to eat lunch, I saw that somebody had left a stack of hate-propaganda newspapers (urging “Christians” to call their state legislators in support of particular bills, including our own Bathroom Bullshit Bill and an expanded “religious freedom” [read: freedom to discriminate] bill). That’s left me feeling particularly unsettled.

    So, yeah, I really need Movie Night and a week of hanging with friends.

    Oh, and thanks for noticing my hair. It’s actually been behaving really nicely the past week or so. I’m still working on growing it out, but this week it’s been less straggly/unkempt and a lot more soft/lush.

  9. Made tons of chocolate covered strawberries and did a bunch of house chores for my girl last weekend. I can recommend this plan if you’re looking for good relationship results. ;)

    Loved Undertale too! I would definitely attend that bake-sale with you and join in with the Mettaton serenade. Planning on finishing my first run through this weekend.

    I also spent a bunch of time at my local nature center tapping maple trees. What better winter butch activity is there?

  10. YAY LAURA FOT ONE OF MY FAVORITES.

    I just made some bread like Ali told me to and I’m gonna drive it north with me to go see some old friends! One of them’s getting a divorce, I’m bringing fresh bread and wine, and I’m gonna see her band play.

    I’m good! It was such a busy busy week and I’ve been so tired! But I’m feeling really good about my mini-vacay, and I have another dinky trip to the San Juan Islands next weekend for a writing retreat of one, and I negotiated my schedule with my group practice so that my private practice can keep bumpin’ the way it has (therapy! yeah!).

    Otherwise babe has been in Jamaica for work this week, and gone for another week and a half, and mostly I always mean to be like PARTAAAAAAAY when she’s gone for work but I usually just wind up being like ‘There’s nobody to talk to zzzzzzzzzzz’ but the quiet has been nice and the clean clean house has been nice, and overall, can’t complain.

    I’ve been tearing through some really dopey comedian memoirs and think I need to deep dive into some old favorites just to get into something a little more toothy, and have been re-watching New Girl because my brain has needed something really POINTLESS to watch at the end of the day but I’m into any suggestions yall have.

    Happy FOT! Hope yall have a good weekend, I’m going to collapse into a pile of bedding.

    • @shmerdyberdy <3

      I watched New Girl all the way up until this past year… and basically as soon as I stopped watching, they introduced Cece as bi. Sigh.

      Jane the Virgin isn’t pointless, but it *is* pretty silly and light! It filled a similar TV hole for me as New Girl, in that I put it on in the background while I did chores and cleaned my house. Although it sounds like you’ve already cleaned your whole house, haha.

      And oh man, your friends are going to be so thrilled with that bread and wine. I’m traveling this weekend as well. Wonder if I can pull off the same thing…

      • Jane the virgin is INCREDIBLE. There are so many thing I like about that show and I know her character isn’t gay but I have a hard time not just talking to everybody about the hotness of Jane, I’m not sure why, aside from her hotness, like I’m not typically like “pregnant good girls that write smut, yowza” but it sooooo works for me.

        You are totally correct, I have cleaned the whole stupid house including the microwave, since there is nobody else in the house to pick up after right now, it’s slightly disconcerting.

        Have a good trip!!

  11. Yes. I love spiders. I love all of nature’s creepy crawly things. I made mossy tree homes for millipedes as a kid. I collected snake skins and caught garter snakes (to my mothers chagrin). I caught tadpoles and raised them into frogs. I felt bad killing flies, but I thought Venus fly traps were awesome. I loved the book “be nice to sliders” and always felt bad when I inadvertently destroyed their webs. So yes. Spiders are cool.

    I missed last week’s FOT because I was busy in Florida!! I was at a grad student recruitment weekend for the University of South Florida’s marine science program! It’s one of the three grad programs I applied to. I applied on a whim at the last minute, because I was initially planning on staying in the Pacific NW, but now it has actually risen to being my top choice.

    It was at their St. Petersburg location, which is on the gulf coast near Tampa. I was a little nervous because I was interviewing with a faculty member whose lab I would join, but everything went better than I could’ve expected. I’ve never lived in Florida before and never expected I’d move there, but the school just felt like a perfect fit. I really liked the research group I was applying to, there was good funding, and the whole atmosphere for the program seemed to be very positive. I met two future potential labmates (fellow prospective students) and even shared a hotel room with one, and they were also cool. After interviewing, we toured the campus, a research vessel, and the surrounding city of St. Pete. The weather was perfect last weekend too, not too hot, and there were beautiful views of the waterfront from all the CMS buildings. Apparently there are frequent manetee sightings in the spring, but I didn’t see any. I did see a very laid-back pelican though.

    I was very sleep-deprived the first day because I had an overnight flight and couldn’t sleep on the plane, but I did manage to get three seats all to myself my flights back, so I was able to spread out and enjoy my airplane luxury. This made me unreasonably giddy, just like the free juice and pretzels mid-flight.

    Anyway, I still haven’t “officially” been admitted yet, but I’m fairly certain I’m going to after the visit, and I’m really excited!

    Florida people! I’ve lived in the Northwest, Midwest, and Rocky mountains, but never in the south. What’s it like living there? Is the humidity tolerable? Do you see manatees and crocodiles?

    Anyway, photos:

    USF campus

    Dali art museum, near the university. I got up early on the second day and walked around the outside of the museum before the events began

    More early morning sunrise photos

    Very chill pelican

    • Oooh! Looks like a fun time! And it sounds like a good research situation — hope it comes together for you!

      My kid has gone several times to the Dali museum while on visits with his other mother (Coraline reference kind of intended), who lives in Tampa. And every time he comes back here, he talks about how nice the weather was.

    • Amazing pics! Thanks for sharing.

      I haven’t ever lived in the south, but I have some Midwest friends who are down there for grad school who really like it. They were surprised about some of the cultural differences (particularly Mardi Gras/Lent shock), but enjoy the change of scenery.

      • Glad to hear your friends like it. Yeah it’ll definitely be an adventure! and if I don’t love living there, it doesn’t have to be for the rest of my life. A masters degree will probably only take 3 years – and the most important thing is to get a school that’s a good fit.

    • Looks like a lovely place. Just a small correction in Florida it’s gators not crocs(also the reason why it’s called Gatorade). From what people tell me and from the one New Years week I spent in Miami the winters are nice, but humid(up north it gets a bit more winter like I am told). One thing you also may find different is how calm the ocean is vs the west coast(wasn’t a fan).

      • Gators, got it! Thanks for the info! Yeah I did notice the lack of waves. I wasn’t sure if that was just Tampa bay or if the rest of the gulf was equally calm. I’m kinda used to calm water in the puget sound where I live, but I’m definitely not used to warm beaches.

    • I’m a Wisconsin transplant living in north Florida for, um, 8 years now, I think. I think things down at USF are a bit different, but here’s my take:

      Alligators are scary/cool and manatees are adorable, but the gecko/lizard things take some getting used to. They scurry around across the sidewalk and I was always convinced they would run up my leg and ultimately into my nose a la The Parent Trap. We’re cool now though. :)

      Ah, humidity. Summer days like living in a microwaved sponge. But then, I’m pretty sure the humidity is the single biggest contributor to how I realized that I am gay. I shaved off most of my hair off because I couldn’t stand how sweaty it made me, then I discovered all my “hair twins” at the Women’s World Cup last summer, which lead to my first massive lady crush.

      Like anywhere, ultimately it will be how you make it, and Florida’s got some things going for it.

      • Thanks for sharing your experience! I’m really looking forward to seeing manatees!

        Re. Hair- I have a short-ish pixie cut, but maybe I’ll go shorter. I’m all for convenience and functionality when it comes to my hair.

  12. Hi, hope everyone’s doing well this week :)

    TW: mention of suicide and self harm (don’t want anyone to read if it’d hurt you know?)

    I’ve had a kind of shitty but also kind of not type of week? Work’s been pretty good and I got to see my best friend on Valentine’s Day and I laughed and felt just very happy/warm a lot so that was really good. But then a super bout of depression has come about, like I know in general I’m depressed, but my day to day depression is like that one where you know you kind of live underground but as you go along, you know you’ll get little holes in the ground that’ll bring about patches of sunlight, or at the very least, glimpses into the outside world, right? But recently, I’m not getting glimpses, no blinks of sunlight and I just wanna sleep and do nothing which is pretty frustrating, or it would be if like I could feel anything. I’m vaguely tring to get to the root of it, but I’ve just summed it up to trauma overload and self harm stuff, so it’s nothing to get upset over I guess, but it’s still kinda blegh.

    Also, there’s been a lot of talk with people I care about asking me about like wanting to be in love/getting a girlfriend/etc. and like that’s the only time I’ve felt lots of emotion and it turns into a mush of embarrassment (cause I’m me) and bitter (cause why is it okay all of a sudden? like why couldn’t I get this care and stuff when I nearly killed myself over it?) but actually I didn’t even realize that til I wrote this, so like now I can work through that. I’ve had like fifteen conversations in my head just now, but anyways, thank you for always having this open to us, cause I need it lots.

    I don’t have a space heater, but we had to get my sister one and now I can’t go in her room unless I want to be in the desert.

    I’ve been watching a shit ton of American Crime and I watched Spotlight for the first time and it was so good and so important and also just kinda soul scooping. I watched Dope yesterday and like it’s not fantastic but I love love it and I’m gonna make my family watch it with me tonight. And Thursday is my therapy day, yes? So, I come home to like talk about shit with my family and it’s kinda icky, but we watched that one episode of Bob’s Burgers where Tina thinks she’s a jinx and we laughed so hard and for so long that it really made me think we were gonna be alright. (ALSO KENDRICK’S SONG I mantra that shit to myself on the daily)

    I’ve been trying to get Juliet Takes a Breath for like the past week but my bank account is taking a vacation in the negatives so it seems like next pay day is when I can. I’m so excited though!

    I like Hamilton a lot but I can only get through it like once every couple of months because there’s SO MUCH and I just don’t have the attention span for that and also In the Heights has a very near dear place in my heart so it’s hard for me to choose to listen to anything else (besides Next to Normal or Matilda) before that.
    I’m a milk tea kind of person! I used to think I hated tea but I’m surrounded by people who put a shit ton of sugar in their tea and would do the same to mine until I got older, so it turns out that I just don’t like the way they do my stuff which is probably like a metaphor or something to a bigger thing.

    I’m not sure what a spider bake sale is but as long as spiders aren’t crawling on me I’m going with yes!

    I hope you guys are doing well and have a fantastic weekend!

  13. I had something I really wanted to share on Friday Open Thread. Reeeeaaalllly wanted to share it. So of course I completely forgot what it was. My brain is a sieve and memories are water and I am drowning in an ocean of things half-forgotten, etc., etc.

    As for how my week is going: pretty good! I started doing some non-skating officiating for my roller derby league. I took a leave of absence in December because I busted my knee in the second scrimmage I ever did. After two previous long-term injuries I was so frustrated. Watching everyone else skate would have driven me mad. But I live so far away, taking time off meant I never saw my leaguemates and I missed everyone so much. It’s been so, so, so good to be back and see everyone again. So many hugs! And everyone ASKS before they hug me which makes a difference. And it’s so comfortable being called by my derby name again! So many benefits from derbying.

    That said, it hasn’t been easy. The first time I watched them line up for a jam start I felt elevator-drop despair beneath my ribs. But the happiness of seeing my friends again far, far outweighs the sadness of not skating.

  14. Undertale is the next game on my “bought-but-haven’t-played” list, after I finish Read Only Memories. Ori and the Blind Forest is in that queue as well, as per recommendations here. Will try to avoid any potential spoilers from here on out.

    Space heater, yes! I have one at home, which I only have to use rarely. At work, the geothermal heat-pump system just doesn’t work well for a very busy library in the Winter; and in the Summer the air conditioning is blasted. It’s always in the mid to high 60’s (degrees F) in the building, and I can’t handle cold well. I’m cold when it’s below 75.

    Tea…wide variety. I’m looking at 6 different kinds right now at my work desk, though I’d have to say my favorite is jasmine. Once, probably 10-12 years ago now, I tried a magnolia blossom tea I found at a Japanese grocery, and loved it. Of course, I’ve never seen anything like it since, online or off.

    Spider’s are neat, never minded them. I grew up on a farm, so they were EVERYWHERE, and in everything. Loved them in the vegetables, especially the wolf spiders and jumping spiders since they are active hunters, no webs to tickle your skin.

  15. My week was solid. Last Saturday I went to small(think like 30 people at most) queer lady bar with a dear friend. We became homogajas/cannaqueers & played connect 4(well we did it connect 3) part of the night. I kept loosing :-P. It was just nice to be out, in a place not WeHo. Plus, I got to try out my neon blue lipstick for the first time. I didn’t like the color as much as I thought I would, and it came off a little too easy.

    I had plans to solo hike Sunday, but road closure(due to a car accident) changed my plans so instead took a short hike paired with a really spirited drive through the mountains(what happens when you’re in an SUV that can take corners). I went back to the spot I carved black trans live matters to see if was still there, it was. I also adjusted it a bit.

    The resulting work, which I fully wasn’t able to finish due to running out of material.

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

  16. My week has been the best surprise.
    Started out awfully, because I missed the deadpool movie ..

    But then …
    Juliette takes a breath showed up in the mail on the evening of the 15th and I sat down and read it all immediately. Oh my God..it’s so good. It’s so freaking good. I want to buy so many copies and just throw them at people.

    Then..to top it off, my person found out rent was touring and bought us tickets!!!
    Then..we found out wicked is showing too!!!

    It’s been a great week. My hair even turned out OK today. I’m so incredibly happy, and blessed that I have you guys cus in the bad weeks you guys pull me through, and make me even happier in the good weeks. !

    • We had a real tough time getting Dealpool tickets, but ended up being able to see it. Walking out after the film, we were shocked to see a kid who couldn’t have been more than seven trotting out with his folks. What are people thinking?!

      Great news on your Rent and Wicked tickets. I had to drive over three hours round trip into Chicago, but Wicked was definitely worth it.

  17. This week was weird. I really thought it was Thursday when it was actually Tuesday, which left me super bummed out for about 15 minutes.

    I went to get my eyes checked and decided that after 10 years of wearing glasses, I was finally ready to try contacts. Y’all, these things are weird. They apparently gave me the heavier ones that supposedly work better. I have nothing to compare it to, so I can’t tell any difference. I also hate putting them in. Please tell me it gets easier.

    I have a short hour gig tonight that I don’t feel prepared for whatsoever and it’s causing me great anxiety. I’m thinking if I just do a shot or two before I go on stage I’ll feel great. Then again I could forget all the words to all my songs and fall off the stage. It could really go either way.

    Happy Friday everyone!! :)

  18. Guys I saw Allison Weiss and Jenny Owen Youngs play this week, plus an awesome English singer called Sally Pepper who you should check out, loop pedal skills to the max. Such a fantastic gig. So much talent in one venue at one time ugh. Also when buying a t-shirt from actual Allison Weiss I wasn’t a totally embarrassing failure at functioning fangirl this time around, so I’m calling that a win. Honestly I am just so awed by talent it turns me into a blithering idiot. I’m not good at social interaction in general to be honest, I took the Myers Briggs test today and was unsurprised to be INTP.
    Anyway – I also got pancakes again this week! Without a pancake day. God bless Manchester and it’s amazing eateries.
    Tonight I am chilling by my living flame gas fire – (what’s a space heater?) – and shortly I’m off to see if the spider living in the bathroom door frame is still there – I could hold a bake sale to make money so he could move to a better location?

    • Ooooh, the Meyers-Briggs test. I’m so conflicted about that. My results have been INTJ multiple times, and I have to say it fits, but I don’t like it. It makes me seem like an evil mastermind doomed to be perpetually friendless. But I remind myself that people can challenge themselves and change, and no “type” is inherently negative, so I take it for what it is – an interesting way of thinking about my tendencies, worries, and values so that I can keep what I like and work on what I don’t like.

      Gosh, even THAT sounds very INTJ, doesn’t it?

      • Haha doesn’t it just, I was actually surprised my Slytherin missus wasn’t INTJ she’s INTP like me – which still makes sense, we apparently can come across as sociopathic too – Fun! To clarify how one comes across is not how one necessarily is. However my main issue comes from the negative tag of “laziness” – doing nothing because of a lack of interest in what’s on offer is not laziness in my opinion, it’s actually time and energy conservation. Also I rarely misplace things, or maybe I just find them quickly.
        I have some feelings about the “career types” that conflict and yet they also make sense. For example I am a jack of all trades and master of none, but I’m not a scientist, I’m in the arts, but with a scientific approach. I suppose there is a stereotype to logicians as being inherently STEM based, yet the application of systems to the process of art making was my MA focus.

        Fairly sure this is one of the most INTP things I’ve ever written.

      • Yeah I just did some research today so it’s not that I’m into it, just overly curious since it seemed super accurate. And yes pancakes again. I’m so lucky. They had bacon and smoked sausage IN THEM! Oh what decadence.

  19. Hm. Now I guess I’m going to have to watch Masters of None. I, too, was underwhelmed after two episodes, and gave up. So perhaps.

    I will not, however, be revisiting cucumber mint tea, no matter how spa-like you make it sound. Tried some yesterday and was unimpressed. But maybe your brand is better? Eh.

    The space heaters at work are drying out my skin and I’m /not/ happy about it. But it’s so cold in there!

    This week I have been reading some good books (including Fingersmith, for the first time, and can I just say omg?), eating Annie’s fruit snacks, and applying to jobs like its..my job. Hopefully it pays off! (The fruit snacks def already have, highly recommend)

    Hope everyone has a good weekend! Mine will be a mix of one day of work and one of attempted relaxation as a reward for all the time I’ve spent on applications.

    Stay warm! (Unless it’s already warm where you are, in which case..I dunno, good for you?)

    • @platyophthalmos Good luck with the job applications! It feels like everyone I know is looking for a new job right now. I think right now is a good time to apply, because this fiscal year is almost over. I hope you hear back from EVERYONE and get to pick between lots of wonderful options.

      I had never had cucumber mint tea before this week. I have learned that you need to be vigilant about how long you leave the tea bag in, or it gets disgusting and tastes like soap. Maybe that was it? Or maybe your tastebuds are just different from mine!

      Enjoy Fingersmith!

      • @laura-m Thanks! That is what I hope will happen, too. But I just want it to hurry up and happen already!

        I think you might be right about the steeping. Especially because mine was a white tea…definitely had some soapiness going on. I’m really great at forgetting about a cup of tea while it’s brewing, but I usually drink stuff that isn’t so finicky. So all right, you got me, I’ll try it again!

        And I did enjoy the book! So much! I don’t know how I haven’t read it before. Even beyond the, ya know, gayness, it’s just such a great story. Real twists and a satisfying ending–that’s not too much to ask for, is it? And yet I’m constantly disappointed.

  20. Oh you guys, my heart is heavy.
    A right mob surrounded a bus full of refugees last night, chanting, while Police tore women and children, scared to leave, brutally from the bus.
    It’s sickening..it’s really horrible.

    I just wanted to say, that right wing extremism isn’t something exotic, something small and hidden in the backwoods of our home countries anymore. Something, that maybe, sometimes, serves as something to shake your head over,or laugh at over the idiocy of a select, ignorant, violent few.
    It’s not something that serves as a punchline or cheap antagonist in a movie or a horrorscenario of a dystopia anymore.
    It’s here.
    It’s here in chanting masses, it’s here in public speeches and cheering GOP voters.
    In the Senate trying to block a new judge, in Congress almost shutting down the country over planned parenthood, in people trying to take AWAY our rights.
    It’s here in burning refugee camps and exclusionism, in closed borders and drowned children.
    It’s here.
    Now, it is our duty, as thinking, as sensible citizens, to stand up against extremism.
    Maybe in facebook likes or posts, or maybe in protest marches, in speeches and blogs and letters even.
    In donations and volunteer hours.
    But most of all,in votes.
    Vote, vote, vote, because what comes after…we do not have the bliss of not knowing what comes after, since the past century.
    We know what happens.
    We know the violence that will come with the lack of rights, with the hate that is given a voice, with the free hand to exercise it.
    And we cannot trust in a common human sensibility,in a common human memory.
    In a common humanity.
    We can only stand up for it, in whatever way we can.
    And we should, every single one of us.

    I’m ashamed to be a German today.

    • Amidola I was just talking to my mom and we were thinking “it’s such a fucking weird time that we’re thinking of giving praise to Angela Merkel of all people”. If you’re afraid of being German I don’t even know wtf I can feel as a French. Almost the whole of Europe is going down the gutter (save us Podemos) and I don’t even know if the damage can be reversed or repaired.

      • Angela Merkel is the only person on the planet at the moment who remembers that the “Christian” in her party’s credo isn’t there for decorative purposes or to be freely interpreted and used for one’s own benefit, but that it bears responsibility as well.
        It is SO weird, atm, because right now, as a staunch liberal who’s been voting green for years, I couldn’t vote for anyone else but Merkel, despite loathing, absolutely loathing, the CDU!
        It’s really weird watching the Republican debates in the US as well, because the CDU is basically the Republican Party of Germany, without a case of self delusional psychosis, right wing extremism and apparent bribery by the fossil fuel industry.
        Everything is really, really weird these days.
        If it weren’t for Merkel and her determination, Europe wouldn’t even be a thing anymore.
        Because every time another member of the EU shuts their door into the refugees’ faces, they’re shutting the door in our faces,as well..their driving economic power.
        and also..I don’t really know if keeping one’s comfort safe is really worth giving up one’s humanity.
        Interesting times, indeed.

  21. I legit almost didn’t open this thread today because I thought there would be giant pictures of spiders. Thank you for sparing my tired nerves. (Sorry all you spider lovers, it’s not you, it’s the legs).

    This week I am really and truly starting the hunt for a PhD program. Anyone else in this boat or recently in this boat — what are some resources you like for figuring out how queer friendly a university truly is? Not just what their official policies are or whatever. I’ll look closely at faculty and what they publish etc., but is there some secret queer postgrad forum or something? I don’t want to just be able to include queer theory in my dissertation, I want it to be integral to what I’m doing. Most of the resources and rankings I’ve found are focused on undergrad experiences, and while that’s helpful, it’s also a sort of different world.(I’m looking at English programs if anyone has suggestions!)

    Favorite Hamilton lyrics are currently all of the cabinet battles (I just want that to be what history really was, you know?). I downloaded “Juliet Takes a Breath” weeks ago but somehow forgot and never read it (somehow = wine, probably). So reading that is part of my weekend plan now!

    • @b-rx The cabinet battles are hilarious. I like to watch the debates and think about how true-in-spirit those Hamilton songs (probably) are to what happened.

      I alsoooo love Washington On Your Side, specifically for “Southern motherfucking Democratic-Republicans.” Like you can see where all the foundations for modern Republicans are! The concern about size of government, the culture clash and impulse to stand up for Southern values, people in upstate NY and more rural areas thinking wall street is corrupt (which is also referenced in a different song, when Burr takes the father in law’s seat), etc.

      It’s just! So! Good!

      Best of luck on your PhD program hunt!

  22. This week was better than most weeks! I fought my fears, downloaded a gps and went to some really cool events: a play based on the novel Middlesex, a movie afternoon, and a really nice bisexual meeting. Since I found a job back home in the countryside, I’ve been pretty depressed and felt so isolated… so even if I’m usually very shy, I needed to make a first step towards finding a community :)

  23. I fucked up at work. I fucked up at work. I fucked up at work.

    I haven’t been able to handle my procrastination AT ALL and deadlines piled up and it became too much and now I failed to submit an abstract to a conference. I just finished writing a semi-apology / semi-“don’t worry it’s not worth it the theme was a good fit anyway” email to my supervisors. I feel so shitty now.

    And also I feel like I’m an asshole and an idiot and I’m sabotaging my future and they’re gonna realise any day soon now that they’ve hired someone who doesn’t even meet the minimum for “how much work you need done to at least be mediocre at what you do”.

    I think I need help. I hope this is rock bottom and a wake up call but I can’t underestimate my supreme capabilities for self sabotage and procrastination…

    • Chloe, I promise, I promise, it is not as bad as you think it is. Not that your feelings aren’t valid because they are. But I have been through professional things that feel like horrible, horrible fuck ups to me and to the people around me, they are just normal parts of having a job/being human. Or, yeah, I fucked up, but that is also normal/human. As is procrastination and indeed, even self-sabotage.

      If you want help with new tools/building new pathways for productivity, by all means seek that help out, but also know that it will be okay. And for now — happy weekend. :-)

    • I’m going to pm you my email adress and you can message me a list/outline of what you need to do and I will check in with you whether or not you did them.
      You can do this, Chloe, we’ll find a way, don’t give up.
      I need to study for work, my specialization exams and finish my pHD thesis(I’m a procrastinator,too) so, if it helps, we can even tag team and you can kick my butt in return, ok?
      @queergirl you up for a team effort?

      Have a cup of tea and get me an outline of To Do s with deadlines in list form by Sunday.
      Stay realistic!
      I’ll do my insurance papers, chamber application by Sunday as well, so you know, don’t leave me hanging.:-)

    • Ugh, I’m so sorry! I don’t have any advice or anything, I’m just another person whose been in a similar position and wants to acknowledge that yup, it feels real shitty.

      BUT ALSO being in a similar situation is the first time I went to counseling, and while it didn’t fix things it did really help. If nothing else, it helped me get a better grasp on my own mind and realize that most of my feeling of a boundless ability to fail was fear and not reality. And those moments of failure maybe had a big impact but did not completely alter my life’s course in an irrevocable way.

      It might feel like shit, but it’s not actually the end of everything ever, you know? At least, that is a thing I find it helpful to remind myself in similar positions. I hope things look up, and you can find the kind of help and support that empowers you.

    • I feel you with the self-sabotage and procrastination. But I also feel like other people “mess up” in the same way you just did and think nothing of it, and everyone lets it slide. Which isn’t a great motivator for stopping that behavior…but it should be an encouragement that it will be ok. I don’t think anyone’s going to give you nearly the grief you’re giving yourself.

      Do you like your job?

  24. I’ve been having a pretty shitty week.

    It started off great, housesitting for friends even though their one idiot cat singed her fur on the wood stove and for a hot sec I thought the house had started on fire because I smelled what I thought was a burning blanket. The cat is fine, and here’s the picture of her post-toasting

    Then the snowstorm Tuesday was pretty awesome, and I let my normally indoor-only cats outside because there was enough snow they weren’t gonna run away anywhere. The one cat who is normally such a sneaker trying to escape didn’t appreciate the snow, but the older cat really seemed to like being outside (at least, I think so, because it was a challenge to corral him back indoors).

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BB3NtkLPUZC

    But Wednesday hit and it has been not good. Anybody have experiences with IUDs? I got one in on Wednesday to *hopefully* help with my periods from hell, but I’ve been in a TON of pain since then. They called me back for an ultrasound because they were afraid the IUD was out of place and perforating my uterus, but that’s not the case. Except after a closer look, I got a call today saying that one of the arms is bent out of position, which might be causing my pain, but if the pain goes away, the IUD will be effective and can stay there. I’m planning on giving it until Monday to stop causing me pain, but I’m just really frustrated because I haven’t been able to leave my couch since Wednesday (and like I’m in waaaayyy less pain than Wed but the minute I start to do things, I’m in more pain so doing anything is not exactly a thing I’m interested in doing). Anybody have a similar experience with an IUD being really painful or needing to come out shortly after insertion?

      • We’re not entirely sure–my friends found her when she was almost definitely dumped in an area with no houses around and she was in horrible shape. The vets thought potentially feline herpes virus prevented the eye from really developing, but from when we found her, she had basically just an oozy socket. The remnants were surgically removed and voila, no more oozy socket and heathy kitty (other than her sometimes life-threatening desire to get too close to the fire aka no, you can’t jump in the wood stove, cat).

    • @hollisb Wow, I’m sorry. I don’t have personal experience with an IUD, but I did recently listen to an episode of the podcast “Why Oh Why,” in which several IUD-having people shared their experiences. Pain following insertion seemed to be common. The episode is called “Hacking the Uterus,” if you’re interested.

      That said, definitely listen to your body! Especially if the pain increases. But it sounds like you’re already doing that.

  25. I am struggling this week, seems to be a new patten lately. I don’t have the energy or brain power to accomplish my responsibilities. I’ve been delaying everything and not doing what I should. I feel bad about it but then I’m so down and tired that I do it again.
    I guess the good thing is in all the time I’ve been wasting, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my life. I definitely have a more solid idea and even found a graduate program I would be interested in pursuing. So like my life has a bit of a plan or idea for a plan. But currently in the present I am a huge mess and I don’t know how to get myself together.

    • @kendra I’m sorry. It /will/ all come together, you can be sure about that. I know that doesn’t help so much right now, but you said yourself you now have some more solid ideas of where you’re headed, so that’s progress right there. I’m kind of just past that step, onto taking specific actions towards reaching those goals. But I was on the “I feel like I’m just wasting time” step for a long while, so I feel you. Once you get some forward momentum going I think you’ll feel a lot better.

  26. My week hasn’t been terribly exciting due to school, which is pretty overwhelming at the moment, seeing as I am in year twelve. The workload just seems never ending and I feel a bit hopeless honestly.
    Also I am yet to see Carol and it leaves cinemas by Wednesday so I better see it this weekend or I will miss out.
    On the more positive side of things, at school for Girl Up we had a (belated) Galentine’s day bakesale yesterday and it went really well! We raised $350 and sold everything. I was really relieved because I had been planning it for ages and had been quite stressed out about it.
    I’m probably going out tonight because there is a big arts event in the city so that should be fun but I need to get a lot of work done before then..

  27. My life has literally fallen apart this week. Which sounds really melodramatic but it’s really the truth. There’s a lot of anger & angry words in this, so skip it if you need to.

    My father walked out on us Tuesday night, because we haven’t been cleaning & organizing like he asked. My mom was crying & begging him not to go, & i told him “fuck you” & he said “fuck you too” right back. I told him he disgusted me. I pushed him so he fell against the back of the sofa & he claimed i punched him. He threatened me that if i touched him again, he’d call the cops & get me thrown in jail. I slammed the door open to go outside, where my poor dog was, & when my “father” came out, i lost it & screamed at him at the top of my lungs, telling him to go fuck himself, that he was a son of a bitch, to go die. My mom came out begging me to stop & begging him not to go; my dog ran inside & shat himself he was so scared. I screamed at the car when it drove past. I went inside & threw some of his things because i wanted to break them but couldn’t manage it. I couldn’t stop screaming & ranting even though my younger brother told me my dog was shaking. I finally broke down crying, & my brother cried & asked “what kind of god” would allow this to happen. My dog was afraid to come near me & i had to bathe him because he’d stepped in his own shit, which was everywhere.

    This on top of an already shitty day where, even after i explained & clarified & apologized & owned up, i was dragged on tumblr bc of something i said out of anger & frustration at the whole “skinny girls are beautiful too!!!!!!1” thing. They accused me of making assumptions & being a horrible person, while they made assumptions about my body, my body image, whether or not i have an ED, etc, & also calling me a piece of shit. Remember, kids, owning up to your mistakes means nothing when people want to power trip & drag you!!! Remember, two wrong makes a right, & it’s a-okay for them to call you a piece of shit!!!!! Thumbs up emoji!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hilariously, these were people who claimed to be “anti-feminist” & “anti-SJW” & think reverse racism exists.

    And i’m also coming off of Cymbalta so i can go on Prozac, so i have physical withdrawal symptoms that are kicking my ass. My balance is off, my head feels really light & fuzzes in & out, my eyes & sometimes my teeth feel funny. I can barely think & i am so, so, so exhausted. But i hate sleeping because then i have dreams, & sometimes my father is in them, & sometimes it’s Star Wars or sentient giant chicken nuggets racing around a track. And then i wake up & i’m drenched in sweat, which is another withdrawal side effect.

    I go between absolute rage & wanting to cry. Last night, Mom told me he’d done something, i think switched emails on their joint credit union account & shit, so she can’t see the finances. She can’t see bill pay. I lost my shit all over again & screamed & ended up crying & Mom hugged me & my poor dog went away from me again. He’s supposed to be my dad, he raised me, he had me grow up on Star Wars & Star Trek & old anime & heavy metal & he introduced me to Tolkien & so much & just, how could he do this to us???? How can he hate us this much??????????

    And i was working on getting my shit together, as much as i could. I was job searching, i was following up applications, i was trying to get rid of stuff through the internet, i started listing things on my Etsy again, i was trying to help & train my dog (& we ended up not being able to see the vet behaviorist the day before because of the weather, so who knows when or if that’ll ever happen now), i was trying to get my learner’s permit, i was volunteering at an art museum downtown…. But no. Nothing i do is ever good enough for anyone, much less for him. Never mind the fact that i still want to kill myself regularly, never mind the fact that it’s only just over a year since i was last inpatient for suicidal ideation. Never mind the fact that i’ve been working with a DORS counselor, never mind the fact that i’ve started taking public transportation & doing my best to not ask him to drive me too many places.

    But no. He has a victim/martyr complex where he thinks the whole fucking world is against him, & that’s all that matters. Anytime i take out my stress & frustration on another, i get called out on it. Whenever he did that, though, it was always, “Oh, your father’s stressed, be nice.” He NEVER got called on it, NEVER got told to cut it out & get his head out of his ass. HIS stress ALWAYS trumped EVERYONE ELSE’S, unless, UNLESS i ended up inpatient because i was going to kill myself. That was seriously the ONLY FUCKING TIME it was like anyone else’s shit mattered.

    And boo hoo, stress? Feeling shitty? I went through school & work despite feeling shitty & wanting to die & feeling like i couldn’t tell anyone (& i didn’t); i graduated college despite all that, but i don’t expect the world to kiss my ass because of it. I don’t expect people to suck my dick over it. But he sits there & acts as if the world is against his white cis-male ass, as if boo hoo, nobody appreciates him or listens to him. But when i started college & said i was miserable, i got told i was being ungrateful & basically “too bad.”

    Last night Mom told me “Don’t kill yourself. Don’t give that man the satisfaction.” Today she asked me if i would text him apologizing, because she “wants [her] husband back; [she] wants to grow old with [her] husband.” I told her calmly that i deleted his number in my phone, & that i wouldn’t apologize, i wouldn’t make it seem okay again for him to get away with his temper tantrum, when HE’S the one who’s decided that his relationships with us mean NOTHING. I’m not going to apologize when HE was the one who thought this course of action was fucking acceptable. If anything, his ass is going to come to me & apologize from here on out, because, i don’t know if he remembers, but i was raised that “sorry” doesn’t magically fix things you’ve fucked up & ruined, that just “sorry” doesn’t cut it & make things better when you’ve really fucked up. I don’t trust him– he was going to throw his mentally ill child’s ass in jail, he was going to claim i hit him! I only wish i did. He’s totally demolished any relationship he ever had with me, & if he wants it back, he better kiss MY ass for once in his goddamned worthless life.

    And hours before this happened, everything seemed normal. A DAY before this happened, everything seemed normal. But no. Apparently he doesn’t care enough about us to actually try & fix things, or work things out, he just wants to have his temper tantrum & fuck all our lives over. I so want to contact his brother & his mother & tell them congrats on the sack of shit-eating garbage. If you’re not going to ream his asshole, then you can fuck off too.

    And no matter how much i rant, no matter how many times i retell any of this, NOTHING makes the pain go away AT ALL. Nothing makes the rage go away until the sadness hits, & nothing makes the sadness go away until the rage comes back. Or they come together & nothing stops them. Everything is a nightmare. I have to get to someplace that sells monthly bus passes so that i can do things like go to my volunteer job, & hopefully soon to a paying job (i’m crossing my fingers that i’ll get this part-time bookseller job at a Barnes & Noble), among other things. I’m scared that he’ll make it so bills don’t get paid, & we’ll have our electricity & water shut off. I’m scared we won’t be able to buy food, or dog food. And i have psych bills from 2014 that i still need to pay off. I’m scared that he’ll make it so we can’t use our phones, because we were all put on a family (HAHAHA) plan, that he was paying… BECAUSE HE TALKED US ALL INTO IT. Because he said it would be cheaper. So if he tries to boo hoo about that…..

    I slept all day today & i’m still exhausted. I’m so drained. I can’t get anything done. I can’t do anything. I feel empty & angry & betrayed & heartbroken & so exhausted.

    • @caitlin-2 I am so sorry this is happening!

      I hope that you get the Barnes & Noble job, and that the bad things you think might happen do not happen. I hope you are taking care of yourself and that there are people you can lean on who will be supportive. I hope your situation improves, quickly.

      Sending so much love your way.

      • Thanks. There’s only a few people who seem to care lmao. And my mom has said if he doesn’t come back, we have to move out of the house. And I have art stuff in storage that he has access to. And I guess this all means he hasn’t replied to my mother’s texts.

        Right now a bullet to my skull would be the only thing I really want in life, tbh :) my therapist hasn’t texted me back soooooo I guess she doesn’t gaf either lmao :) I should’ve killed myself back in 2014 tbh :) :) :) :) :) :) idk why I even try anymore lmao :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) maybe if I go down to the precinct I can get a cop to shoot me for me :) :) easy :)

        I give up, tbh. Life just keeps beating my ass and im sick of trying and “~staying strong~” & whatever else. I’m so angry and hurt and tired and I just want to be dead.

        • I mean the normal response to this much stress and upheaval showing up in your life right now is to be Not Okay With Any Of It, and expecting to be *staying strong* etc is in my opinion asking way too much of oneself at this point.

          Like stuff is still going down; just doing a duck-and-cover and giving yourself the space to feel whatever you’re feeling without expecting anything more of yourself seems totally reasonable.

          Feeling this horrendous is a completely logical reaction. Ugh I know it doesn’t help any but I’m sorry stuff is so horrible and you’re not getting support from your therapist yet! Wish we could help.

    • *internet hugs if you want them*

      So, there’s a lot you can’t do anything about. You are powerless over them, and that sucks. That can really, really suck. Here are some things you can do something about:

      *Your relationship with your brother: sit down and have some ice cream. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, it’s a normal thing you can do together, and starting to do normal things in an abnormal time is when things start making sense again. Create a new reality.

      *Your relationship with your dog: Use high-pitched “good dog” comments throughout your day with him. You can’t go back to normal right away, but with consistent rewards for him, he should be cool with you within a few days/the week :) He wants to love you and wants you to want him to love you lol that’s what dogs do best :)

      *Your sleep: Okay, this is the big one!!! This takes a lot of work, but it’s so so so worth it. Get as much sleep as you can. Your body physically needs the rest from the emotional and chemical stress it is experiencing. I know the pain of the emotional impact from having such weird, fucked up, scarring dreams, and it made me an insomniac for about 15 years. This is what I do: When I wake up, I write down the dream and I analyze it by remembering that I am every person in my dream. Dreams are a way for our brains to digest whatever happened in a day. You are those sentient chicken nuggets, and you are the track. It’s a way to digest the idea that you are a person of substance who is caught in a circle, there’s no way to break free. That’s how you’re feeling, right? So anyway, writing it down and analyzing it at the beginning of the day relieves me of the burden of stress from the memories. Like, whether I know it or not, when I don’t write it down, those dreams stress me out ALL day, because I have this weird sense that I’m forgetting something important, but actually it was important in my dream, not a real thing to be worried about. So by writing it down, I’ve already remembered what I have to, and can let it go. Then going to bed is a lot less stressful, and I’m a lot more likely to do it. If you’re super dedicated (I used to be, and it helped, but then I was stressed out about journaling so much), you can journal right before you go to sleep. Get those thoughts outta your head before bed, and you have less to digest overnight, ergo fewer fucked up dreams to deal with in the morning. I found that even with fewer dreams, I still needed to journal it out in the morning, so I may as well save the trouble at night lol. Honestly, since I’ve started doing this, my insomnia has gotten like 80% better. It’s incredible.

      I’m sorry about those bitches on tumblr. I’m sorry you’re experiencing all of this. Keep taking care of you.

    • (That pic might be jarring for some without context: Maria Bamford is a stand-up comic that is also a mental health activist and patient, and includes those topics in her stage material. This is from her album Ask Me About My New God, which I highly recommend.)

      Anyway Caitlin, glad you shared and sending care your way.

  28. My week has been… pretty good? I spent the majority of it at my parents’ place in Winnipeg, and I was there in time to go to an ice show (complete with massive ice slides/toboggan runs) with my friend. So that was nice.

    Also, I had my first appointment with a gyno specialist today and she’s… awesome. She was actually a “second opinion” doc, and while she didn’t have any new solutions for my issues she actually *listened* to me and didn’t judge at all. Which shouldn’t be a new experience, but it was and I really needed that.

    As for media I’m consuming, I’m currently rereading the Harry Potter series for the umpteenth time. It’s giving me approximately All The Feels.

  29. I am moving to Portland on the 25th and crashing with friends

    I am going to purchase a ticket for a plane that leaves from Portland to go to A Camp, so that I will HAVE TO FIGURED OUT MY SHIT and move to Portland

    Even Though I Have Nightmares About The Potential For A Catastrophic Cascadian Subduction Zone Earthquake, No Big Deal, it’s not like panic attacks about natural disasters plagued my youth or anything

    Then I might go to Canada for a three week French immersion program

    I really just want to move to Montreal but I have no skillz and immigrating is so hard when you can’t be like

    “I’m an engineer with a job offer from a company in your country!”

    Like my sense is that college dropouts aren’t exactly SOUGHT AFTER.

    Anyway I’m filled with stress but my last week in central Oregon is in an Airbnb and people are home a lot? I can’t weep my troubles away under these circumstances

      • Thankyou! And yes I am SO EXCITED FOR A CAMP

        Also jokes because apparently my Airbnb host brews craft ginger soda that is infused with cannabis and I tried their weakest brew and it didn’t get me buzzed because apparently I’m less of a lightweight than I thought but OMG TASTIEST GINGER BEER I’VE EVER HAD

  30. What a draining, but also fun week for me!

    Loads of work for sure, but I celebrated my birthday yesterday was was completely spoiled by awesome coworkers. I honestly get so teary eyed when I think about how I’m surrounded by such friendly, caring people.
    I want to get my ass back in the

  31. She was sitting on the toilet, looking up at me, smiling dreamily and waiting to be told what to do. I work with people who have dementia and still live in their homes, and sometimes, in the more advanced stages, they don’t know how to eliminate without instruction. I really don’t mind the dirty parts of the job, and I’m humbled by how open people are when they know they need help. I mean, really need it. When people are all but catatonic, they will still, occassionally, ask for help. I can’t ask for help. I’ve been taking this well recovery action plan class every Thursday for 5 weeks, and when the facilitator asked me, “When do you know you need your supporters to take over for you?” I answered, “I don’t have any supporters. I don’t have anyone. It’s really just me.” That was bullshit, actually. I do have supporters, I just can’t ask them for help, literally not even when my life depends on it. My teacher was surprised, and said, “But Lauren, what do you do? You just described your worst as listless, lethargic, apathetic, unable to care for yourself? What do you do?” I said I just keep going to work. Helping other people helps me get out of myself, helps me connect and find some joy. I said I just keep going to work, and doing this list of stuff I can do to help myself, until I get better. I’ve learned to ask for help from friends and family, in my last mental health crisis, over a year ago, almost two. I’m in another crisis. I haven’t asked anyone for help. She was looking up at me from the toilet, this woman who barely speaks two words, and I said, “What are you thinking about, love?” She said, “About how nice you are. You’re a nice person.” I said, “How can you tell that from looking at me? You don’t know, I could kick puppies all the way down the street on my way here.” She said, “No, you couldn’t. You help people. You’re a helper. It’s you. It’s all about you (indicating my body shape), it’s who you are. Sure, you’re nice. You help people, it’s you’re whole life, I can just tell.” She stopped for a minute. “But what about you? Do you need help?”

    How did she know?

  32. My sleeping schedule all semester has been really horrible (like sleeping three/four times a week bad) but this week it’s completely reversed itself so that I’ve essentially become nocturnal. Which is a lot more inconvenient than I thought it could be since I have like no sense of time anymore and I never know when I did things or how long things took, and it leads to things like ‘working on homework all night that’s due at 9 and then thoroughly sobbing when at 5 am something happens in Photoshop I don’t know how to fix’ (how I spent last night). But my week of classes is over now so thankfully I can actually go to sleep at night tonight and hopefully correct it and maybe get my life in general as back together as it could be (honestly I’ll probably be back to all-nighters by Monday, but at the least I can get two full nights of sleep).

    Otherwise I’m mostly just settling into a state of panic about applying to internships over the course of the next month, fueled by the fact that I don’t know where I’m applying yet that actually might accept me. I have a backup summer teaching job at an art studio where I live if all else fails but I’d really really like to have an actual internship this year. There are also like four separate projects/cons/exhibits I want to apply for in the next few weeks, + finishing the comic for an anthology that I need to keep track of next to homework so everything is still as stressful as it usually is. But for tonight I’m just going to clean up my disaster of a room and go to bed.

  33. Does anybody want to help me find a necktie online for my thesis defense next month? I’m a microbiologist, and my research is about cyanobacteria, biofilms, and biofuels, so I’m hoping for a nerdy tie to go with it.

    I’m leaning for a tie in a dark color. My shirt is navy and white gingham in a very small print, and tan pants and brown shoes. (Sorry, no bow ties). Thanks for any links or hot tips!

  34. *Considers how much hair they got* I must have so many secrets…

    Not An Actual Secret But Something I Should Probably Be Kept Secret:
    Since I was a child I have disliked Alexander Hamilton and boy do I dislike that musical. I find no part of it enjoyable at all and find its songs so very blah snooze-ville I can hardly get through any of them because my body craves something more. It’s like listening to Ani DiFranco or any of the other queer white girl music I’m suppose to like.
    I can’t with it I just can’t.
    I’d rather file some legal journals in those scary binder volumes that once bit my poor lil’ Sophia because at least the nerve rack fear is at least interesting.

    I wonder sometimes if my need for music that is exciting or deeply moving is related to all those scrapes with death or the fact I went through it’s metalish or it’s crap phase when I was 14ish or both.
    Hamilton tries to be moving but I find still find it shallow.

    My week was tiring. I got all confused Monday with what time my class actually started and showed up an hour early interrupting a different class and wasting time that could have been spent finishing a project that was due that day.

    Then Tuesday I had a Spanish test with a 2 part oral section. One of those sections was a reverse spelling bee. I missed the day of class profesora lectured on el alfabeto because of a doctor appointment that ran over. So I had to learn it by myself and the book version contradicted her dialect’s version. But spelling from a restricted group of words is something I am boss at so when a letter I was pretty sure was lápiz sounded very different I followed my conviction in the clues and got the accent mark on the right letter.
    Yesterday I got said test back passed and the reverse spelling bee section was mark free perfection.

    Addicted to these two songs this week


    Tu Mirá- Lole y Manuel, a flamenco duo from the 70’s and yes they are Spaniards and that is why the the d is missing and there’s an accent mark over the a.

    Djelem, Djelem sung by Esma Redzepova
    I learned last night I can staccato my voice like that in extended low and high notes.

    So joking about being a volva or galdr is much less a joke and more something I could probably do. But man oh man does Heathenry attract the white supremacists and people with machismo issues. Odin is not like Zeus or any patriarchal law giving figure but that is the polar opposite of both of what Odin was and historical the followers of his path. The deity you are looking they are looking for is Tyr. Followers of Odin were not respectable patriarchs, they were argr gender bending seidr workers like Odin.

    My tangents break geometry like rebar breaks glass.
    Obscurity isn’t cool, it’s awkward and kinda lonely.

  35. This week was pretty bleh. They fired one of my work friends last week and her last day was Wednesday. Since the owner has come back everything’s been changing and this person just…completely lacks compassion. They had a really fake send-off for my friend that was…really awkward. I was allowed to help work friend 2 pick up some heavy supplies (she’s been in pain from her endometriosis and can’t lift things or stand very long AND YET was still asked to run errands and do other physically taxing things?!?!)and I’m glad I went, there was no way she could’ve handled that alone! I had to push the cart with my entire body it was so flippin heavy!

    I’m really tired at the end of every day at work taking on about 8 billion responsibilities(they narrowed mine down but because of work friend 2’s illness and losing an employee I have to soak up more work to keep things moving quickly)and the ~negative energy~ from the owner is draining so I’m looking for FT jobs in my field. I applied to 4 today and 12 before then but have heard nothing from the 12 and am hopeful about the 4(but also the fact that there were only 4 suitable job openings terrifies me).

    Recently-terminated-work-friend and I are going shopping at a new age store tomorrow though so it should be fun! We got really close and it’s hitting me she won’t be there and she was my go-to for venting about the job but now I have to vent via text and we can’t go get cookies or pudding at lunch anymore.

    My roommate is sick so I’ve been wiping things down with clorox wipes. I’m a baby and hate being sick alone so *clorox wipes my entire life*

    Oh and I deleted my okc account because things have not been going well there(read: I got dumped when I wasn’t even in a relationship twice in the past 6 months and it all ended with them completely ignoring me *sassy lady emoj*). I’m taking a break from that for minute and am just gonna start from scratch once I’m in a better place mentally…and physically I guess because I’m back to exercising and am sticking with it.

    I’ve been catching up on loads of TV so I can read some of the recaps here as well as watching Lost Girl on Netflix(which I already searched for recaps on here and they exist but I’m waiting because I’m afraid to accidentally read a spoiler). I think I’m going to take a break from that and watch the new show called Love and see if it makes me want to throw up or not…

  36. I LOOOOVE that Ruby gif. Omg i seriously stared at it for way too long.

    Im stressed. The girl i love seems like shes distancing herself. Then at the same time she seems like everything is fine. Its confusing.

    But im PUMPED i leave for cali on Monday to do some soul searching in the redwoods and will probably drive into Portland at some point. Ive never been before!!

  37. I’m a little tipsy and so I apologize for potential incoherence.
    I dunno, it’s been forever since I’ve commented or participated in any autostraddle stuff, and that’s mostly because I’ve been busy/unable to relate to a lot of the content? And pretty much I’m exhausted and rambling, but I’ve never felt super fucking welcome here (even after camp) because I’m not touchy feely (not to be confused with not self aware or in touch with my emotions, I’m just not…demonstrative) and that seems really just, not valued here? Also, I’m in the military, and holy shit there is some pretty serious bias against the military in the gay girl community, it is throwing me way the fuck off. Especially since half the women in the military are gay. More than half. Seriously, I can usually count on my female coworkers to be some form of queer. Why isn’t this talked about more.

    I dunno. I’ve also just moved to a new area, and for the first time in literal years there is an actual, for real, gay girl community where I live. And I haven’t dated in literal years, because aforementioned lack of actual physical community (outside the military. I refuse to date coworkers. No matter how cute they are). I’m not quite sure how to anymore? Like, a lot has happened since the last time I dated anyone, and that was a typical early college relationship which I ended. I don’t even know how to start the conversation. Especially since my occupation alone will start an immediate, angry argument with quite a few girls.

    In conclusion, dating is hard, being in the military is weird, and I’ve had too much wine. I will likely regret this in the morning.

    • Don’t regret it.

      I’m kinda of a Southerner and hm well let’s just say at this school assembly the retired Marine who was director of the school’s band requested kids who have or had a person in a the branch of military whose song he was gunna have the band plan to stand up. I should have never sat down. I kept having to get up after each time he explained each piece of music because family served.
      Air Force to Coast Guard, in time of war and peace.

      I’m, I think the first generation to not serve in…fuck if I know. There’s Civil War service records on both sides of the conflict.

      So..super aware of the anti-establishment and military bias in queer lady places/communities. And the Southern bashing, but that’s like a bougie Northern coastal thing I don’t really run into where I’m at.

      But yes all the with gay laydehs in the military with aforementioned community bias. What the fuck is with that? And yeah where’s the dialogue on that…I think AS had a first person essay of someone who was 28 and her experience with the enlistment process in the post DADT world as an out lesbian. I think she had a naked lady tattoos and was joining the Navy and that’s why I remember it so well. Cause historically naked lady tats happen after not before joining the navy.

      I have no imbibed so I have no excuses for being rambly and weird. I’m just rambly and weird all of the time.

      I think maybe why being demonstrative is valued here is because we are all in some way in our life sucking it up and holding things in because we do not fit. And some times we you do not fit things happen to you and you shove in so far down sometimes when we get in touch with it things come out like a volcano or water fall. Letting it (in some campacity) out feels good in a way that can be addictive.
      And to find other people hurt or experienced they same sometimes it’s comparing notes or relating. Relating, bonding with others feels good cause human no matter how advanced we get are pack animals. The hunger for pack is something we all have in some way.

      I can’t think of any sort of groups or societies off the top of my head that would be helpful for you finding at date. Something lesbian and military friendly.
      Just don’t know what that would be and not dating people you work with is sound decision. Don’t feel bad for being smart.

      • God yes, also a Southerner (another under represented group here in my opinion. A lot of the advice I’ve seen on here does not track with Southern culture/could be downright unsafe. It bugs me.)

        I remember that first person essay, it came out right as I was going through MEPS! I’m kinda disappointed it stopped, but having been in for a while now, I can see why it did. Free time is precious, and conflict of interest is a thing.

        As for the not fitting thing, I dunno, I’ve always not fit. It’s almost normal for me at this point. It’s just uncomfortable here since there’s so much emphasis on this being a community where everyone is supposed to fit, but I feel like it’s mostly for the liberal college crowd? But no one is acknowledging that? It feels weird. I’ve seen some legit criticisms get shut down here because they were coming from an older or less radically liberal perspective. I say that as a liberal.

        Also, super excited you even mentioned the Coast Guard because that is my branch and everyone forgets us!

        And dating is super weird because I live in CA now, so there’s all these people who are super anti-military and super anti-Southerner and it feels weird because you aren’t part of those groups? So please stop? There are definitely criticisms to be made, and I am the first to make them, but coming from a civilian Yankee it’s just…off. Like, I get a lot of people feeling sorry for me since I’m from the South, and I really don’t like that, because I love being from the South, politics and everything else aside.

        It’s just strange to be liberal and gay but not in an acceptable way.

        • I live in a coastal parish, no way I’m forgetting about the Coast Guard. Y’all save lives and interrupt the drug trade. Semper Paratus.

          At the moment the none of the really active writers right now are particularly Southern or rural, but still AS is understanding (and loving towards) of people who stay where it feels like home and fight for their rights rather than evac to nears liberal big city hub type place. I’m not rural and if my use of parish is a clue not a typical Southerner either because my state is a special state. Like a snowflake. Or fancy shoe.

          But yeah it does feel sometimes a lot like the gay lady community(anywhere) is for the liberal art university set, not the rest of us. And that’s a very homogeneous group sometimes. A group I don’t fit into either even though I’m white and not really urban.

          I don’t fit here in some ways, but eh they’re ways I’ve kinda gotten use to not fitting in anywhere because I was an outcast since kindergarten and multiple scrapes with death aren’t a standard normal civilian experience. Also living with one of those scrapes with death for years because they are related to you does somethings too.
          But when I make jokes about some of these things here no one seems to get overly upset, some people even like the jokes. I’ve told people IRL stuff that happened to me that I found humorous and they’ve gotten upset and tried to like fix(?) me or at least comfort me which can be awkward.

          Ah fuck you’re in Cali. That is some rough shit, I’ve been there for a brief period of time and other than the bike lanes I kind never want to go back because the people I need to sort after y’all slips outta my mouth. Being Southernish means either sitting by while some calls your homestate a bunch of ignorant bumfucks who ruin everything or explain the systemic power structures that murder the fuck out of education and people gain health, wealth and stability. Same thing with the military. The person shooting is not the person making the war happen or putting troops in those places.
          But I can’t do nothin bout their weird eat to live thing. You should live to eat, not eat cause it keeps you alive. Eating should be a joy not an exercise in guilt. I feel sorry for Cali types in that aspect.

          Which I guess is one the reason I like Autostraddle so much is they understand systemic shit, gray areaa. None of the black and white nonsense, call out culture that pervades in liberal spaces.
          I mean at least the staff does, sometimes members do not but hey nothing can be 100% golden all the time.

          Also AS understands the eating delicious things because they are delicious and fuck shame cycles diet bullshit, eat the yummy thing.

          There’s a difference between fitting in, and getting along/feeling kinda chill in a space.
          It doesn’t have to be jig saw puzzle piece to work.

          It doesn’t seem that strange to be liberal and gay in non-acceptable ways to me. The community isn’t a monolith. Where I live there’s unacceptable ways to be femme and unacceptable ways of being MOC. My mascu is too good ole boy looking/working class/criminal element looking for the Uni and hipstery crowd (I’ve be looked at with honest to god fear before) that’s at the lesbian pop-up bars.
          And my femme is either to cute or too creepy and not done up enough right so I get a butch doing the “straight bitch invading our spaces glare” at me in the restroom.

          I think I’m trying to say I feel you.
          Empathizing and relating isn’t fitting in either, but it feels gud don’t it?

          • In the cold and sober light of the morning I…do not regret posting.

            So the fitting in thing for I think really stems from camp, specifically my cabin. Like, I agree, fitting in and being chill are two different but equally workable and good things, and I’m very very used to the latter. But at camp and in my cabin, there was a ton of emphasis on how everyone felt that kind of jigsaw puzzle piece fitting in, and for the few of us who didn’t feel that it felt…off. Especially when it became obvious during and after camp that our concerns and feelings were not as valued, to the point that we were being ignored. And that’s kind of colored my view of autostraddle ever since. Which is a mostly personal thing, but still bugs me.

            And autostraddle does continue to be great when it comes to articles and content that relates to a broad part of our community! Which I enjoy! But the social part of it has been soured for me, and for a few others, and the social part of autostraddle is pretty deeply intertwined with the site itself, so it’s hard to enjoy content without also feeling that same exclusion again. And being in the military has made it worse because now a lot of the content does not relate to my day to day life, and it’s just contributed to this overall feeling of no longer being part of the community. Which is a strange place to be. Like, I have said my piece, asked for help for Southern specific things, and been ignored. Not a great feeling.

            But it works great for other people, which I don’t want to devalue! So I dunno, it’s just kind of a personal bias that’s developed.

            Haha, you’re right though, you’re state is a bit of a special snowflake. I would still definitely consider it the South though. Just with some extra. I’d love to get stationed down in the Delta there for my next duty station. I feel like I’m gonna be tired of not being in the South after I’m done here. And lord knows I’d at least be kept busy.

            Being in Cali is weird as a Southerner, and you’re right, the food is the weirdest thing. It’s either super expensive fancy, or cheap and shitty. There’s no in between. No kinda cheap but still good hearty and delicious food. Even In n Out was a disappointment (a burger only a quarter of an inch thick is not a burger). Basically, I’m seriously craving some Waffle House. Or Steak n Shake.

            And I know community isn’t monolith, but this is also my first time in an area where there is community outside the white liberal college crowd (which is often times still in a pretty precarious position. The amount of push back those college LGBT organizations get is kinda ridiculous). Or hell, even a physical community at all. So I guess I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate that, and a lot of my reactions feel out of context. It’s hard to relate to people who have never lived an area where there isn’t something for them and it’s hard for them to relate to me. Which is not to say there are no gay girls or gay girl communities in the South, because there obviously are, but they are very quiet about it, and hard to find or build. Or they don’t talk to each other. At all. At least, that’s how it was in my area.

            Basically, I both miss and do not miss living in the South. I’ll be glad to go back, I think.

  38. So, I’m a late-night weekend bartender in New Orleans. And the standard is that when you’re done with your shift,
    you go out and drink with your coworkers. But all
    my coworkers are men, and men who make jokes about so-and-so being a “lady” or so-and-so acting like a “little girl”. I’ve addressed it, but the reactions are “I don’t mean anything by it, it’s just that women cry more.”
    I guess my conundrum is in three parts:
    1. Where are my queer service-industry friends in New Orleans? Let’s get together.
    2. How does one balance co-worker bonding with minimal misogyny? Because I need my both, but I can only handle so many “girl” jokes.
    3. I’m 22 and shy and lonely and queer in a relationship with a man and working in a male-dominated industry. Help.

    • Maybe try to explain why it upsets you so much… Don’t be scared to be firm with them. They are making YOU uncomfortable, they are upsetting you, and if they don’t take that seriously- which they should, and it is stupid that they don’t, along with their ‘I don’t mean anything by it’, because if that were the case, why would they keep on saying it?- they don’t sound like the kind of people you want to be hanging out with(because what other things that you try to tell them upset you will they shrug off?)

      I get wanting to get along with your coworkers(and being lonely!) but there’s only so much you can accept at a cost to yourself. Good luck!

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