Learning to take a compliment.

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I admit, I’m terrible about taking compliments. I think at our core, we’re all still who we were in high school.

And in high school I felt invisible. I was afraid to make a move on anyone I was interested in (after I tried once my freshman year, and he told me he thought of me like a kid sister – he was as kind as you can be in that situation), and watched them date girls who didn’t look as young as I did. Who had breasts. Who were tall. Who were white.

I wore a mask of confidence. Armor, technically. I cut my hair, wore clothes that were a little more fashion forward than you’d expect in the 90s and sort of did what I could to keep people at arm’s length.

I was only confident about my singing and acting.

I still feel a little weird when people compliment me in real life. On the internet, I can dismiss it and say that oh, I did look cute in that picture – but it’s because they can’t see how awkward and weird I am. In a snapshot, of course I look adorable.

But that isn’t healthy, and it isn’t accurate. My therapist called me out on it when we were discussing things and I kept trying to say that it wasn’t like I’m that attractive. At some point in time he stopped me. And asked if I really felt that way.

Black Widow, out!

Pretty cute, double-jointed fingers and all!

I said that I look in the mirror and see an attractive woman. I look at pictures I take and think I look nice. But a big part of it is that I question what others think because of high school. And because most people who tell me I’m pretty do so with an agenda.

So I’ve been working on trusting that not everyone who says I look good is out to wreck my life.

Today at the grocery store, I was talking with an employee that I see pretty regularly. She’s a motherly type. She’d never seen the Kidlets before, and she thought they were adorable- and so polite! She told them she thought they were cute, then glanced at me. “But not as cute as your mother.”

And I froze. Part of me wanted to shrug it off. But I knew my therapist would be annoyed and I wanted something good to tell him since I’d had to reschedule today’s appointment. So I thanked her, and told her I hoped she had a good, pain-free day (her arm was in a sling).

She didn’t think I was full of myself. She just smiled back and said she’d see me later in the week.

Pretty sure that the next time someone tells me out of the blue that they like my creative writing, I’m still going to wonder if they’re crazy. But, baby steps.

Tell me, do you find it hard to take a compliment?

#WomensLives, Revenge Porn and Closure

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pri-imageIf you follow me on social media, you probably saw me post using the hashtag #WomensLives this week. BlogHer and SheKnows have partnered with PRI for the #WomensLives news incubator. It’s a non-profit effort to make sure that stories are seen, because only 24% of news stories are about women, and only 6% of stories highlight gender in/equality. (Nobody is getting paid for this – not SheKnows, and not me. We’re all involved because it’s the right thing to do)

When I was asked if I was interested – I immediately said yes. Because anyone who spends more that an hour with me generally learns that I am very much invested in gender equality, and feminism. I’ll be sharing stories with you here and there. And the first story posted hit a little close to home. Congresswoman Jackie Speier is on a quest to criminalize revenge porn, which is just one of the issues that women face online. Including threats of rape for expressing opinions about inequality or being doxxed (having private information like addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers posted online) simply for being a woman in a male dominated field. I could rant about the misogynistic GG (not going to spell it out to keep those creeps from finding this blog) for ages.

But when I started to think about how women are treated online, and revenge porn – it made me think of the very unsettling turn my offline life took last summer. In September I blogged about Celebrity Photo Hacks, and what was going on in my life. Just after the Fourth of July, TheBoy (my husband) and I learned that about a decade ago a close and trusted friend of ours had stolen a tape containing about 10 minutes of intimate moments of ours. He’d taken it from our things while helping us move, copied it, and put the tape back. We only learned of the theft because someone the friend was disputing with had the tape and was going to contact us (which is why I refer to them as the Extortionist)- so the friend (the Thief) told us first.

(more…)

[Vlog] Whitney Watches: Agent Carter “The Blitzkrieg Button”

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After taking a week off for the State of the Union, Agent Carter is back! Which means, it’s time for another vlog! (Which yes, I did film, edit and upload late at night. TheBoy was fast asleep next to me while I edited.)

And let me tell you… this was a fantastic episode! I… eeee!!! It wrapped up one story line and opened the door for something so much bigger. And it tackled a lot of societal issues you don’t normally see in shows set post-WWII.

So it looks like next week’s episode sets up the next direction the show’s taking, and I’m excited. Are you?

I want to hear all about your thoughts. And if you’re curious what I did for my hair, I did some quick victory rolls and then pinned up the back – I was a teen in the mid 90s, and while I had short hair, I was in fact a Swing Kid.

If you like the vlog, subscribe to my channel on YouTube! And if you happen to know a graphic artist who can do a quirky, geeky logo for me, let me know!

me - I was right 2

[Video] Whitney Wears: 1940s Makeup Tutorial – How to get Peggy Carter’s look!

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Finally! I ran into some setbacks (this was a new type of video for me, so lighting and setting it up was totally different), but here it is!

As promised, here’s the full list of makeup and tools that I used in the video.

L’oreal BB cream (as foundation), applied with bb Brush from H&M.
NYX waterproof concealer
Kat von D liquid eyeliner in black, fullsize (Mine was from a Sephora sampler.)
Ofra eyebrow pencil in “universal”
NYX eyebrow shaper.
NYX bronze smokey eye look kit (which I got through ipsy, but their natural and adorable palettes are good for all skin tones)
Urban Decay Perversion mascara in Black (I got that through ipsy)
NYX cream blush in Glow
Sephora retractable waterproof lip liner in “the red
Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick “Cherries in the Snow

Everything from the NYX line (except the palette that I noted) I found at either Target or CVS.

Next makeup tutorial – Angie Martinelli. It’s a similar look, but with peachier tones.

If you have ANY questions, or any makeup looks you want me to try to piece together, let me know!

Remember: Agent Carter is new this Tuesday! Make sure you watch it (live if you can) and tell your friends! And my recap will be up on Wednesday!

Oops!

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Sorry guys, if you’re seeing this post, it’s because you clicked through a link that’s dead.

The video that’s supposed to be here had to be taken down for a technical issue and I’m working on getting it back up.

Whitney Watches: Agent Carter 1.03 “Time and Tide”

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If it’s Wednesday, then it means it’s time for another edition of Whitney Watches!

As a reminder, these videos are meant for regular viewers of the series – since I talk about current character arcs and where the show might be headed. It isn’t a recap video!

So tell me, what are YOUR theories about what’s going to happen? Is mine all that crazy? Let me know in the comments, and if I get enough of them, I might just do a separate video since there isn’t a new episode next week.

If you aren’t following these accounts already, you probably should:

Hayley Atwell, Peggy Carter herself, posts a lot of BTS pictures.
Giovanna Melton is the costume designer for Agent Carter, and she shares patterns and pictures.
Lyndsy Fonseca, who plays Angie.
Chad Michael Murray, who plays SSR’s Thompson
and last but not least, Enver Gjokaj who plays Sousa.

Whitney Watches: Agent Carter 1.01 & 1.02

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It’s been far too long, but I’m back with another vlog – and it’s about Marvel’s Agent Carter – the 7 part television event (that’s a fancy name for mini-series) focusing on Peggy Carter. Last night’s two hour premiere was made up of two episodes, and the above video are my mostly coherent thoughts.

I promise that next week I’ll have it more together- the Whitney Watches videos aren’t recaps, they’re meant more to talk about characterization, possible arcs and all the fun references. But I was overwhelmed by the awesomeness.

If you missed last night’s episodes and didn’t DVR them, ABC will reair both on Saturday night.

The ratings for the premiere are on par for this time of year- but tell your friends, and lets send the message that this is the kind of entertainment we want.

What did you think? I want to hear it.

Hello 2015.

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Last selfie of 2014

Last selfie of 2014

2014 by all accounts was a pretty uneven year. The great things were awesome, the terrible parts were really bad… and there weren’t many things that actually fell in between.

There were a lot of great moments- TheBoy and I went to four different conventions and had a great time at all of them (two were fan conventions for TV shows, and two were comic cons- and I cosplayed at all of them). We went to Vegas and ate extremely well. I met an online friend in person- and we discovered that we really were that much in sync, that it wasn’t just an online thing. We had a great summer, and spent a healthy portion of it at Venice Beach. We did a trip to San Francisco that was a lot of fun! Getting a great job and working with a fantastic group of women.

And then there were the not so great moments. Finding out a friend had stolen a tape and someone linked to them was holding it over our heads for unknown reasons. Being hospitalized at the beginning of the year. A plethora of freakouts linked to social anxiety.

But it was a wonderful year because of the people I’ve come to lean on. I learned that I have a lot more friends than I ever thought, and that they weren’t just “friends” – but the sort of people who track you down when you disappear from the internet, or if you post something odd. And it really does mean so very much.

Now, to the thing you guys are probably curious about. My goals for 2015. Here they are, as I wrote them on the road home last Sunday.

hello-2015

It’s a weird list of things, I know. I want to make my physical health more of a priority, I’ve learned it’s important for maintaining my Crohns- but I can’t just throw myself into training suddenly (that will only aggravate it).

I got a storage unit when my parents moved to Florida, but it was boxes of things that weren’t organized- just thrown together from when my parents were packing. So I really need to go through it, get rid of the stuff I don’t want and make sure the rest is labeled and makes sense. And the house, well, we accumulate a lot of stuff. I want to make sure we’re saving the right stuff.

The passport is something I’ve wanted- I enter contests for trips around the world. It’d be nice if I didn’t have to rush to get a passport so that I could do that. (Plus, I need one to visit my Seester)

I’ve wanted to be the sort of artist who went to art museums to draw and learn, so I want to get back into that. And the uke…. well, I’ve been wanting to sing more. And it’s hard to sing if you have no accompaniment.

What are you wanting to accomplish in 2015?

(The card I wrote my list on is one of 8 cards from Just Jenn Designs’ “curse-ive flat cards”)

Supporting the trans community- we need to do more.

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My heart hurts because of the death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager who told her parents than she was a really a girl, not the boy she had tried to be for her entire life. And was told that God didn’t make mistakes and that she was wrong. The Alcorns continued to refer to her as their son. They took her to therapists who fit their point of view, who didn’t help Leelah’s depression- but judged her and continued to tell her that she was wrong. And then her parents proceeded to isolate her from her friends- pulling her out of school and cutting her off from the internet.

So Leelah gave up. She wrote a suicide note and put it in her Tumblr queue- set to post in the event she wasn’t there to stop it from going up. And she apparently walked onto a highway where she was struck by a semi and died.

Her mother posted to social media, mourning the loss of her son. And the tragic accident that took his life. That’s right. She didn’t even acknowledge what happened, and rewrote it to keep up appearances.

The line from Leelah’s suicide note that gutted me was this:

My death needs to mean something.

If you are a transgender individual who needs to talk to someone who understands you can call Trans Lifeline: (877) 565-8860 (http://www.translifeline.org/). It’s staffed by transgender individuals, and is supported by the community.

If you are someone who wishes to better understand how to support someone who has come out to you as transgender, ask them what pronouns they prefer, or if there’s another name they want you to use. But most importantly, let them know that you still love and care about them.

Because no matter what name or identity someone has- that’s all that’s changed. Their personality, their interests, those haven’t. And in the end, they’ll be so much happier when they’re being honest about themselves- and isn’t that what you want?

If you have a loved one who abuses you like Leelah’s parents did (and yes, misgendering and trying to “correct” someone’s gender is abuse)- please know that there are people out there who will listen and help you through this. As Supernatural put it- blood don’t mean family.

We need to do more. There are so many misconceptions about transgender people. There is so much hatred and violence – so little support for the trans community even in the LGBT community.

We need to stop telling kids that it gets better, in some nebulous future that they can look forward to. We need to start telling them that it gets better NOW, because we’re there for them- and we need to make good on that.

On the Road.

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on-the-road-blogThis holiday, we found ourselves on the road – doing the every other year Christmas drive out to my family. You see, shortly after TheBoy and I were engaged, we arranged with our families to switch holidays with them. One year we’ll spend Thanksgiving with his parents and Christmas with mine, then the next year it’s Thanksgiving with my parents.

And we like the drive. Granted, it’s a drive I’ve been making since I was little. I have fond memories of leaving in the middle of the night to drive out to Arizona, sleeping in the car and waking up in Indio to have breakfast. I can tell you which rest stops between Los Angeles and Arizona are worth stopping at. (There’s one along the I-10 that warns you not to pick up hitchhikers because it’s right next to a State Prison. Not kidding)

It’s a drive the Kidlets are learning to love. Though let me tell you, making that drive with a baby isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. One trip back, the Oldest Kidlet made us stop about every 45 minutes to nurse (including at the scary rest stop mentioned above). Little Kidlet made us stop about 45 minutes away, so we had to pull into the only thing with some privacy- a school parking lot. We sat in the back while the Oldest Kidlet and TheBoy walked around.

Flying is hard to do at the holidays. So many things to take the kidlets anywhere for more than a couple days, and Christmas presents on top of that.

And while, admittedly, you do have kids whining about how long the drive is. How far away my grandmother’s house is. But there’s just a lot of time, to listen to music and to talk.

What are my top 5 things to have to stay sane in the car? (Note: I was not compensated by any of these companies. I just like making these lists)

1. AAA card. I’m not kidding. Two years ago, on our way TO Arizona, we got a flat off the I-10 in the middle of nowhere. The AAA guy put on our spare tire, and we made it into Blythe where it was already dark. My dad booked us a room, and we started calling tire shops. Only to find that nobody in town had the size my van needed.

In the end, my dad realized we could go with a slightly different size and it’d be enough to get to Arizona- where we wound up finding a tire that was the right size and went from there.

2. Satellite radio. Gone are the days where you leave town and radio stations drop off one by one until you’re left with country radio and then the Spanish language stations. Until there’s nothing but static.

We spent this entire trip listening to Sirius’s Holly station, turning it down for conversations and turning it up when the Kidlets spotted song titles they recognized. (Satellite radio – excellent for practice reading)

3. So many chargers. Not just car chargers for your phone either, I have a power inverter for my car- in short, an adapter so that I can plug in cord that would normally go into a wall. It comes in handy for charging gadgets that I might not have car adapter for (or that doesn’t end in a USB).

4. Lots of snacks. You’ll get hungry, and you’re going to make a lot of bad decisions in a minimart if you’re starving. So I buy my snacks beforehand.

5. Comfortable pants. If you’re going to be taking a car ride that’s longer than 6 hours – wearing something like yoga pants or pajama pants are a must. Jeans are not comfortable, no matter how stretchy they are. Trust me.

So what are your favorite road trip tips? And am I crazy for preferring to drive than fly? Tell me, I want to know!

Image: Mine