Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Archive for the 'personal' Category (3)

Chill out, National News!

I had another blog post ready to go for today – but on Friday we had an earthquake sort of near where we live. No damage in our house, and as far as earthquakes go – there’s been property damage, but no injuries or death. No freeways in need of repair.

But if you watch the national news coverage, it’s nothing but the absolute worst circumstances being presented as the norm. No mention of how small an area the bulk of the damage has been contained in.

And naturally, all they do is talk about the likelihood of a bigger quake. Even though experts very carefully said that because it’s been awhile since we’ve had a large earthquake in Southern California, it’s likely- but that there was only a 5% chance that Friday’s quake was a precurser to a bigger one.

So we’re fine here. Most everyone is. Don’t let the news freak you out.

If you want to find a natural disaster to be more concerned with, look into the landslide in WA, and see if there’s any way that you can help there. People died, people are missing. That’s a natural disaster that we should be focusing on.

[Vlog] Whitney Watches Teen Wolf – 3.24 “The Divine Move”

It’s been awhile since I’ve recorded a Vlog, and it seemed like a good time to discuss one of my favorite TV shows, Teen Wolf!

This week saw the end of Season 3B! This video is spoiler filled, but I’d love to hear what you think.

Any other TV shows you want me to do video discussions for? (I plan on writing recaps for Supernatural.)

My weird week on the internet.

Today I blocked a third person on Google+. Not for trolling, but for the most basic sort of idiocy… I blocked men who were being skeevy in the comments.

I’ve been noticing a trend. I’ll be circled by a guy from SouthEast Asia, who proceeds to +1 every single post of mine with a picture, and will comment on how nice I look. Then eventually they’ll ask if they can contact me, I’ll say no and they’ll get weird.

But this last one took the cake. He got me to block him in three comments without my having to post anything. On my most recent picture, he said “sweet and pretty. just what i like.” Then two minutes later, “can i have your phone number.” And two minutes after that, “virgins are the best ar you one?”

So yeah, I blocked him. Granted, with his first comment I’d already told TheBoy that I had a potential candidate to be sent to the CreeperZone.

It’s making G+ uncomfortable, though. It’s like MySpace used to be. I couldn’t log in there without getting some guy in SoCal asking if I wanted to hookup. Didn’t matter if my profile pic was a cartoon character or my kids. There were explicit offers and dick pics. I got tired of blocking people and just deleted my account.

I stay on G+ because there are circles of people there that I talk to regularly. I’ve found a nice circle of writers. But technically “being a creeper” isn’t against their TOS, so all I can do is block them.

I also got a fair number of fallout from posting reports from Creation Entertainment’s Supernatural Convention in Vegas (VegasCon). There was an incident involving a celebrity guest, and his fans thought I was being unfair. First time I’ve actually had angry anonymous messages. And I know that I was posting my opinion (and stated that) and that ultimately I didn’t need to do anything to make anyone look bad. I’ll be putting those con reports here on the site next week- as well as all my Tumblr recaps for this season of Teen Wolf.

So that was my week – how was yours?

Chai and dewdrops.

One of the baristas at our nearby Starbucks knows my name. A couple trips ago, she greeted me cheerfully by it, and I was thrown. She’d probably only taken my order a few times, made my drinks twice. But she knows my name.

Today, I was distracted while I was in line. I was looking at one of the giant cold cups in their clearance section, thinking about the trip I’m taking and whether or not I still need to buy anything for it.




I looked up, and there she was, laughing. “Lost in thought?”

“Something like that.” And I’m pretty sure I was blushing. Somehow it’s infinitely more embarrassing when someone’s calling your name.

Not that you need another picture of a cup with my name on it… but here’s something else from this morning. When I pulled up at the house, I saw the lawn- covered in dew with the sun shining on it, and I just had to get a picture.

Dew covered lawn

Arizona. Again.

I know, I’m overdue on some posts. I have a post queued up where I berate myself for skipping my posting schedule, but I felt like this one was more important.

Recently, there have been some states that tried to pass legislation saying that businesses could discriminate refuse service if they felt the individual would violate their religious freedoms. Kansas had a bill that passed in the House, I think, but didn’t make it through the other in order to even make it to the Governor.

Arizona, on the other hand, has passed a bill that would allow business owners to deny service and refuse lodging. Gov Jan Brewer hasn’t vetoed it yet.

But it’s likely considering a number of high profile businesses (not to mention the Super Bowl committee) are urging her to veto it, and people are preemptively cancelling reservations.

I’ve seen a number of people saying that a boycott takes this too far, but honestly… threatening a boycott and urging large businesses to speak up is really all you can do. Arizona’s lawmakers have proven again and again that they don’t care about the rights of others, just sticking up for the conservative white voter (though ironically, this bill is getting minimal support from constituents). So unless you can show them that this would harm the livelihood of their taxpayers and in turn hurt Arizona’s own tax revenue, they won’t do anything.

It will be vetoed. The backlash is too public, and growing larger daily.

The sad thing is that we’ll never know if Jan Brewer would have vetoed it without the backlash. (She probably would have signed it, who are we kidding?)

I’ve seen people say they’d rather know upfront who the bigots are. I’d much rather the bigots have to smile and push down their hatred so that they can make a living. To have to live in a closet of their own making.

And frankly with Arizona, you have some major issues if people can pick and choose who they serve like that. Most of Arizona’s filled with small, small towns off the interstates. Places with one gas station, a restaurant, maybe one motel. That get business because they’re the only place for an hour or so. So what if those little places deny someone service? They could get stranded in the middle of nowhere or be forced to drive while being exhausted. It could actually lead to a dangerous situation. I’m not saying that discrimination is okay in a larger city, but in this particular state, these laws could theoretically cost someone their lives.

These proposed laws are Pandora’s Box, the more you think about it. It’s one thing to guarantee someone the right to practice their religion, but you have to consider whether these laws will protect all faiths – or just Christianity? Will they stand up to any sort of scrutiny by the Supreme Court? Will they be used to start denying service to atheists? To justify discriminating against anyone they perceive to be Muslim?

Which might seem ridiculous, but once you have laws to allow businesses to not serve LGBT individuals on the basis of the business owner’s religious beliefs- it opens the door to deny any services based on religious beliefs. It’s like a small leak in a dam. At first it’s just a little hatred, but soon, it’ll be used to cover everything.

Will I fight? Of course I will.

Update: Jan Brewer vetoed the bill, saying that it had “unintended and negative consequences” and it “has the potential to create more problems than it purports to solve.”

Which essentially is political double speak for it’ll cost the state to lose money in Tourism and possibly from companies relocating. And frankly, the fact that it took her three days to come to this conclusion is ridiculous.

Whitney vs Days of the Wolf

So I’m a big Teen Wolf fan. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those of you who follow me on Twitter (or Tumblr).

I admit, I wasn’t sure about watching it – a non-reality show on MTV? And it’s based on a movie from the 80s? After being wooed by GIF sets on Tumblr, I gave it a shot. I was drawn in by the blend of horror and teen drama. The way that the characters faced just as many real issues as supernatural ones- and then the show evolved into something that other shows I love lacked. Actual character growth.

Anyways, I won tickets to Days of the Wolf through FanBolt forums. DOTW is a fan convention that was this last weekend. First fan convention I’ve gone to, though I’m going to Creation’s VegasCon (for Supernatural) next month. Day One had Holland Roden, Crystal Reed and the Carver twins- as well as a few contests.

I cosplayed as Kira Yukimura, one of the new additions to the cast this season. I even tried my hand in all the contests. The first was a yes/no trivia contest (I got out on a question that was worded trickily, but eh). The second was pitching a Teen Wolf movie (which really wasn’t too far out of my wheelhouse, having done advertising for a bit – but I forgot the audience, and pitched a good story vs something that would appeal to a younger crowd – the winner pitched them being in college, and doing normal college stuff and having to come back to Beacon Hills to solve some vague mystery. Mine was time travel. The whole pack is cursed by a witch and get sent back to just before the Hale Fire, so they all have to try to get ingredients to reverse the curse. But Derek’s tempted to change things, to stop the fire from happening, so they have to avoid all their past selves and keep Derek from doing something reckless. Oh well), and I got a Teen Wolf mug for playing! I also tried my hand in the costume contest, and didn’t place- but I got another mug. So now TheBoy and I can each drink from a mug while watching Teen Wolf.

All in all, it was a great day. We met up with a friend we’d worked with at Disneyland (who I’ll dub T) as well as her husband. Sat in the ballroom and enjoyed the panels, joked, and had dinner together. It was a great time.

But this wasn’t exactly typical for me. None of it. I’ve gone to cons by myself in the past and talked myself out of talking to people, and I did three separate contests. And I talked to people!

Just before Crystal Reed’s panel on Saturday, I spotted a girl dressed as Abaddon from Supernatural. When I realized she was with a girl dressed like Dean, I snapped a picture and uploaded it to Tumblr. It started to get some reblogs/likes, but I just kept liveblogging Crystal’s panel.

At the end of it, Abaddon and Dean showed up. “It’s you! We saw your picture and followed you on Tumblr, and then I saw your post about Crystal-” And just like that, I started to talk to them! Without panicking! And then I got an even better picture of them- they’ll be at VegasCon, so I’m hoping I see them again.

On Day Two, I was excited because there were four panels that day! And as soon as we got there, TheBoy suggested that I buy the photo op for Tyler Hoechlin. The pit of my stomach fell out, and I gave him a million reasons why I couldn’t. And he just looked at me and told me that this was a chance I wouldn’t run into very often, and I’d regret it if I didn’t.

So I went for it. And honestly, of all the celebs I’ve met (and I worked at Disneyland, I’ve met plenty), he was probably the nicest. No, really. He introduced himself to every person in line (“Hi, I’m Tyler, it’s nice to meet you.” – like we didn’t know who he was, it was adorable), smiled, laughed. It was just sort of magic. But I did it! I was terrified of all the unknown, and I did it.

I’m going to put up pictures from Days of the Wolf on Friday. I took a bunch on my cell phone, some need editing – and I need to scan the picture from the photo-op. But, Friday.

But there you have it. TheBoy’s been helping me push myself safely in bringing myself out of my shell. He’s known me for long enough that he tends to know better than I do what I can and can’t do. Not that I don’t- but for those with anxiety issues, sometimes you talk yourself out of something you could do. And he knows where my boundaries are.

Everyday magic.

This weekend, TheBoy and I went to Days of the Wolf, a Teen Wolf convention. But that isn’t what that post is about.  (I’ll post about that on Wed)

We surprised the Kidlets with a trip to Disneyland and a stay last night in a hotel. (We haven’t left yet, right now we’re waiting for breakfast to get her)

After we left Denny’s for dinner, the Little Kidlet realized he forgot his current favorite stuffed animal at home. The tears began.

But it was already late and we knew it would take at least Ann hour to go home get Carrots and drive back. So TheBoy tried to distract the Little Kidlet. “What’s your favorite: bacon or fries?”

“Bacon and fries.”

This went on, along with quiet sobs of, “I want Carrots,” all the way back to the hotel room.

The Kidlets got out their Nooks, and the Oldest Kidlet started to draw something.  After a few minutes, he held it up. “I drew Carrots!”  And true enough, he’d drawn the brown bunny. “This way you can look at his picture when you miss him.”


The crying stopped as the Little Kidlet looked at it. “Thank you.”

It was one of those moments where it felt like we’ve done everything right.

(True story, I’m posting this from my phone to avoid paying for the internet for only two hours of usage. And when I was part way through this post, TheBoy informed me he was probably going to pay for it anyways.  Just my luck.)

The Obligatory V-Day Post.

It’s Valentine’s Day today, which doesn’t exactly mean much to me. TheBoy and I have never really been about celebrating the day.

Though I did get him a Valentine’s Day present. I bought him this laptop skin because his laptop was naked and he loves Legend of Zelda. I just used Valentine’s Day as a justification. (By the way, the skin is gorgeous, a nice print quality. As skins go, it stretches a little more than the one I’d bought for mine through Gelaskins. So just be careful about the placement. Society6 is a cool vendor though- you can get the designs on any number of things.

It isn’t that I’m against romance, it’s just that forcing it on a day makes there be expectations- which generally just leads to disappointment. When I was working in an office (I won’t say which job, since I worked as an office rat for years), I remember women staring at gorgeous arrangements of flowers that were probably bigger than me if I was sitting with my knees brought up to my chin, complaining. Because it wasn’t their favorite flowers, or because they didn’t think they were getting anything besides the flowers.

Or there were the women who gloated that their arrangement was bigger/more expensive than the other arrangements. TheBoy once sent me tulips when I was having a rough week, and one of the women sort of sneered at the 16 tulips. Until I explained that I like tulips, so he surprised me with them- the she cooed over how sweet it was. Don’t get me started on the looks of incredulity when I’d add an action figure to my desk and explain that he’d found it for me. Or that he’d called me from his job to tell me about a character he saw in my favorite film franchise that they were working on at a couple jobs prior.

Our love is nerdy and personal. I’m sorry if you don’t get it. That’s what I told someone earlier this week when they asked what I was getting TheBoy for Valentine’s Day, and they said that a laptop skin wasn’t very romantic.

To me, flowers and chocolate aren’t romance. They’re fine, but something small and personal? Always means so much more to me.

So if you haven’t gotten your significant other something yet and are scrambling for a gift- Think back to an inside joke from time spent together. A movie or album that means something to the both of you. Or, if all else fails, tie a ribbon around your neck.

No if you’ll excuse me, I need to make sure that we have the precise amount of valentines for each Kidlet’s class.

Insurance. Glad I have you, but you are a pain.

I am lucky. A lucky, lucky girl. We have insurance through TheBoy’s work, and it’s a pretty good insurance.

That said, health insurance still manages to make my life difficult.

TheBoy started a new job little over a year ago, and I wouldn’t say that I had any particular health issues around the time of the transition from one insurance to the other. Just the usual doctor’s visits. But I did have to notify my doctors of my new insurance, and there were a couple things that were misbilled. But I spoke with people at my old insurance and my new insurance, and that was that.

At least I thought it was.

In the last year, I’ve had to call my insurance company 5 times because they’ve tried to say that the old insurance was my current primary insurance. Five times. And then it happened last week again. So I called, spoke with a very nice woman about my claims that were pending.

And now I got a bill for my CT scan that says my insurance claim was denied. I’m 99% sure that it was because of last week’s issue. Which means that I get to call whoever handles the billing so that I can try to get them to resubmit the claim.

And likely have more of these issues to deal with in the next month- because obviously, I have a disease that isn’t going anywhere. They know I’m going to be expensive, so if they can’t pay for something, they’re going to find a way to try to get out of it.

I know, I’m extraordinarily lucky that I have insurance. It’s just stressful to have to fight with people to get them to cover what they’re supposed to. And unfortunately with Crohn’s, stress leads to flare-ups.

I didn’t think it would be this hard.

Since I was released from the hospital (wow, that makes me sound like a wild animal, doesn’t it?), I’ve been cooking for myself regularly.

Which is fun. I love cooking, and it’s the easiest way for me to manage my restrictions and make sure I’m eating healthily. Is that a word? It is now.

So I thought I’d start filming me making some of the dishes that I enjoy. Quick, flavorful stuff like ramen or curries- things that make your tastebuds happy, but won’t take up all of your time. But I’ve run into a couple problems.

All my previous vlogs have been shot on my laptop. There’s no real way to set up my laptop in the kitchen to film a cooking vid. There just isn’t. So I can shoot it on my phone – I have a tripod and an adapter to put my smartphone on the tripod.

But then I just keep running into more problems. Our kitchen is narrow and not exactly set up in a way where I can put the camera where I want it, so most of the video would need to be my back to the camera. Then, the lighting in the kitchen is terrible – so I want to rely on as much natural light as possible. Which only works if it isn’t overcast. And it’s Southern California in February – it’s going to be overcast.

Plus, I have no control over the camera if it’s just me shooting it. I can’t see if I moved out of frame (which I did in my test shoot last week)

So…. what have I learned?

I need a camera person. I need to figure out a better angle. And apparently I need to invest in some sort of lighting that I can diffuse to so that it looks natural.

Adding all of those to my to-figure-out list.

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