Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Archive for August, 2012

Dark Places.

I know I must come off as an idealistic Pollyana most of the time, always finding the bright side of everything (or at least filled with hope). But the truth is that I suffer from social anxiety (undiagnosed).

I find myself without many friends in person (you friends of the internet, I adore you so and do count you as true friends), and every time I approach a situation where I might meet people- I freeze up and panic. It’s that nagging voice in the back of my mind that tells me I’m just not good enough.

The voice first popped up in high school when I started getting rejected for parts. It’s because you weren’t good enough, it said. When I did get cast in parts outside of school, the voice told me I only got the part because other people must not have auditioned.

Then as I made friends, grew away from friends, and was shunned by people I’d thought were friends, the voice grew stronger.

It’s gotten louder in the past week. I start to accomplish a lot, and WHAM, there it is, telling me I’m a loser.

Case in point, I bought some stuff yesterday to organize the house. A spiffy caddy for letters with hooks on it to hang up in the bedroom (remember, I live with the in-laws, so the important stuff all goes in my room). Some magazine boxes to store both magazines and the dozens of notebooks I own. And a very nice hanging file box to keep the things I store downstairs organized.

I also started to lay out plans so that I can finish my Ramona costume for Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo. I’d bought the last few costume pieces, I just have to work on the props.

Progress, right? No, the second there was a window to wonder if I had enough time, the voice started telling me it was pointless to finish.

So I went on a run, hoping to clear it from my mind.

Instead, it went into overdrive. It’s too hot. It’s too humid. You forgot to put on the ankle brace, doesn’t your ankle feel a little wobbly? Oh, look at the dog on the running trail by itself. It must be dangerous. After about .3 miles, I turned around and ran back to my starting point and walked home. (But in all seriousness, the dog did make me a little uncomfortable. I don’t have dog strength pepper spray, so it seemed to be a bit more wise to simply turn around than risk running into a dog that’s frightened- since most aggressive dogs are actually just scared.)

Even with the amazing first day of school and everything I got accomplished- it wasn’t a good day. But hopefully by acknowledging the bad, I’m giving it a little less power over me.

Super love and Orange Juice.

I was going to write a piece about Superman and Wonder Woman, but I’ll just say this. While I see why they’d be attracted to each other, I don’t think it could be anything permanent. Why? Ultimately, they’re really similar. Really, really similar. Both are essentially outsiders fighting for the good of mankind, and historically believed in the same things. Not to mention they’re on the same team. Being around each other all the time can’t be good.

It just feels like once they’re together there won’t be enough conflict to keep it interesting.

Yeah, I know Lois and Clark worked together, but they were competing to get their work printed and noticed. They didn’t always agree on how things should be handled, and so it was always interesting. (For what it’s worth, if Bruce & Clark were suddenly gay, that would be a lasting pairing because they approach everything differently. My evidence? Apollo and Midnighter.)

Now that I got that out of my system… orange juice. Last week, the Oldest Kidlet went to pour himself a glass of orange juice and spilled it all over the counter. “OH NO,” he wailed, standing there.

I got up to inspect, and he was still standing there, doing nothing. Frustrated, I told him to get paper towels, but still he froze and I had to clean up the whole mess. I even had to mop the floor because the orange juice had somehow spilled everywhere.

I lost it, and sort of shouted at him about how you can’t just stand there because the mess just gets bigger if you don’t rush to clean it up. I felt bad that I shouted, but honestly, it was a weird thing to see. He isn’t typically a deer in the headlights type of kid.

Fast-forward to today. I could hear him set out his cup, and get the orange juice. “Yikes!” he said. “Don’t worry Mom, I got it!”

I looked up. He’d accidentally dropped the orange juice carton on the floor and spilled a little on the floor. He was already cleaning it up. I pointed out that you have to clean up the floor after you clean up the orange juice (since it just gets sticky unless you clean it twice). So he got a paper towel and asked me what I’d use to keep it from being sticky (I got one damp and put a little dish soap on it)- and he cleaned it up.

I guess he was just having a really rough today that last time.

Today was pretty awesome. He started first grade and proclaimed it the best day of school ever. I’m just happy that he’s happy- he was getting pretty tired of summer near the end, there. It’s true.

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I don’t expect my kids to stay the same. Honest. But in the last week, we’ve had a lot of changes.

In the first couple weeks of school, the Little Kidlet has sort of gotten the hang of writing his name. I’m glad we went with a short name for him, because I pity the kids learning to write Christian, Alexander (he doesn’t go by Alex) or Enrique. It’s at least beginning to look like his name- the first week it was just a bunch of scribbles.

He’s also suddenly begun nearly coloring neatly inside lines and drawing faces. This particular classroom is MAGIC. I haven’t even worked with him on those thing. I only had him try to write his name ONCE, too.

This week, the Oldest Kidlet started to insist that he make his own peanut butter sandwiches (I supervise) or peanut butter cracker sandwiches. He’s also been putting his clothes in the laundry pile.

I did not expect these level ups to come so quickly, people. At least video games usually give you progress meters.

I have shoes!

Running shoes, that is. This weekend we went to a local running store (not a general sporting goods place) where there was someone who could watch me walk and figure out what sort of shoe I need.

I now have a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12. And boy, it feels like a complete 180 from what I’d been running in.

TheBoy came along with me on my run today, which was nice. I’m not used to actually having someone to talk to, and when we got to the final stretch of me walk/run, he pushed me to run it. And I did!

16:45. Considering that I took a week off from running because of my being sick, the heat and then my ankle- I’m pretty darn proud of that time for my mile.

Yes, I do plan on starting Couch to 5k. That’s on the slate for this upcoming week. I anticipate a lot of whining.

If you’re into misery, well, then you’ll probably be in luck.

Blood and lasers.

Last night, as with many nights, I put the kids to bed and it turned out that the Oldest Kidlet didn’t brush his teeth. So out he came from his room, explained what he was doing and went into the bathroom.

And started screaming, “THERE’S BLOOD EVERYWHERE.”

Turns out that both TheBoy and a BIL had inexplicably left their razors out on the counter, and he’d touched one. Neither guy leaves them out usually, and I don’t know which razor he cut his thumb on. But there you have it.

There was blood everywhere- fingers bleed a lot. So I calmly had him sit down, rinsed off his hand with a wet cotton ball so that I could see which finger was cut, cleaned the wound and put on a band aid. Cleaned up the blood and right away I could see that he’d already bled through the pad of the band aid.

As soon as I put on the new one I realized he’d been pressing down on his thumb, forcing the blood out. So we put a stop to that, and the bleeding stopped. No trip to the ER necessary. (He’s disappointed about that)

We had a long talk about not touching things you aren’t sure what they are, especially when you know a grown up is in the next room. I explained what the razors are for, why they’re sharp and he should just get a grownup if he sees one without any protection on it.

Fast forward to the next morning, when the Oldest Kidlet was telling his dad what happened. “And then I cut my finger on your LASER!”

No matter how many times I’ve corrected him, he still says lasers. So I suppose I’ll just have to get used to the fact that the woman at the grocery store probably thinks we’re supervillains with lasers everywhere.

Do you have any stories that sound way more interesting the way kids tell it?

A fabulous start to my day.

While out today I ran a quick errand and found myself at Starbucks, buying a mocha for TheBoy. The one up the street has my absolute favorite barista. Once, knowing that one of the cups TheBoy was ordering was for me, he wrote [TheBoy's name]-isha on the cup.

He asked my name (it’s been awhile since I’ve been there) and the girl making it misheard. “Brittany?”

“Whitney,” he corrected. “Like Houston, sweetie.” He looked at me. “Sorry about that.”

“Eh, I answer to it. If it ends in -itney, I’ll answer.”

“But what about Whitley? Honey, she was fierce.”

“I LOVED that show,” I said. “And yeah, I answered to that.”

“Who else knows Whitley?” He glanced at the two early 20s female baristas. “Either of you? Oh, I’m old.”

“Oh,” I pouted. “That means I’m old, too.”

“But honey,” he said with a smile. “That means we just look fabulous.”

As I got my drink and headed out the door, he said goodbye and told me to drop back soon since he couldn’t wait to see what I was doing with my hair next.

Gotta say, not a bad way to kick off my morning.

Non-Apologies

I wanted to comment about Rep Todd Akin, but so many people already have. What he initially said is offensive on so many levels, as is his non-apology. The “apology” said that he misspoke, he empathizes with rape victims, but still doesn’t think they should have abortions. There is no apology in there.

I’m tired of politicians who build their platforms based off one crackpot’s scientific finding (and really, there is no scientific basis for thinking that women have way to halt a pregnancy from occurring- a woman is just as likely to conceive during consensual sex as she is in rape). I’m tired of politicians being caught in lies and instead of admitting they were wrong and saying they’ll try to be more educated in the future, just say they misspoke. His words were so deliberate in terminology from anti-abortion legislation that there’s no way he misspoke. Excuses aren’t apologies.

No matter what side of the issues you stand on, I hope we can all recognize that we need politicians who are better educated. From understanding economics to basic science to knowing what actually constitutes an apology. While not all of us understand economies, we all had to pass science to graduate. And heck, most of us learned that excuses aren’t apologies by the time we were 5.

It shouldn’t be this hard. We deserve more.

Excuse me Internet…

So today I was supposed to start Couch to 5k. But… yeah, stuff got in the way.

Around midnight I woke up with cramps in my stomach. Severe enough that I couldn’t sleep. And then I threw up. The cramps continued and when all was said and done, I only got a couple hours sleep.

My family was awesome and covered for me, and I got some sleep. Which has helped a lot. But sort of ate up my blogging time. So… tomorrow, internet.

I’ve got a novel that needs working on.

Superfan or Bot?

Every day I look at my site analytics. I use pMetrics in addition to Google Analytics, because pMetrics gives me live data. (I’m not paid by them, but I really like what I get to see)

When you log in, it gives you an overview of how many people had visited your site, as well as their “actions” – refreshes, clicks to other pages. Obviously a high number means more engagement. Usually it’s about 1-1 1/2 times the number of visitors. Yesterday it was at 900+ actions. WAY over the norm.

When I clicked through, I found out that aside from the usual amount of views- it was all from one IP address over the span of TWO hours.

I figured that was the end of it. But when I logged in this morning, same deal. Same IP. So I blocked it.

How did I know it wasn’t someone REALLY into my website? They only viewed one page. Over and over.

See? That is just crazy. Near as I can guess, they were just refreshing the same image search constantly. I don’t know what the purpose of that is- but man. That’s just some crazy bot-like behavior.

I thought I’d share it because it was weird, but if you have a blog/site that you run, this is why checking your stats once a day is important (and why live analytics are really helpful). Not that numbers lead to validation or anything- but you can see if someone is looking at your site an unhealthy amount and possibly eating up all your bandwidth.

First Day of School!

Today, the Little Kidlet started preschool. Well, this year of preschool. It’s the same school from last year (a preschool at a private Christian K-8 school)

When we showed up, the parking lot was a madhouse- which I anticipated this time. We found a spot and headed in. On the first day, they have a mixer for the new parents- with coffee and pastries! It’s to let them get to know the Booster Club president, the Principal, and to meet other parents. It was easy to spot the new families- they were dressed to impress. I even saw a pair of Louboutins. Or a knockoff with a red sole.

The regular parents, the ones who looked down on me last year? They were all wearing comfortable clothes because it was already 82 degrees. Most of the stay at home moms were in cutoffs and tees, instead of the usual skinny jean and nice top.

Took LK to his class, spoke with his new teacher (who already met him a little this summer, and who was the other teacher in the classroom that OK had been in). She was a little nervous about LK’s allergies, but I told her that he’s pretty good about remembering his snack. Which she confirmed that his previous teachers had told her. And I said that I’d do my best to make sure that he was prepared for class parties, and volunteer as often as I could if it made her feel more comfortable.

Meanwhile, LK kept staring at me, waving. “Bye, Mommy.” “BYE, Mom.” “MOM, go.” When I was finished talking to his teacher, I took the hint and left.

All told, he had a good day. He got to play in the “big” playground, at last. It has a jungle gym, a fire engine thing to climb on, tricycles to ride, some little basketball hoops and a sandbox.

And when he came home, the kidlets played on the new Slip n’ Slide.

Oh, right. We got a new one. You see, a week ago, the boys had theirs out. It had two lanes to slide down, and a splash down pool that filled with water and sprayed you when you reached the end. Well, they were playing, when SPLOOOOSH- the water-filled ring deflated and water was everywhere, but in the pool part.

I flipped it over, and a whole seam had split open. FIL vowed to get a patch kit to fix it, but decided that a small Slip n’ Slide was just more cost effective.

This one has no pool, but a little bumper at the end that sprays water. How do the boys like it?

Apparently they were thirsty. But they really do love it!

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