Geek. Pirate. Mom

The Life and Times of Whitney Drake

Posts tagged 'theboy'

Vlog Madness! DL Half Marathon and 9/11 Healing vs Holding On

Wow guys, I realize now that I didn’t post last week’s vlog vid here, so you get two vids on one page.

First, TheBoy and I did the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend over Labor Day weekend (he did the Half Marathon, I did the 5k) and so I vlogged about it!

Yesterday was 9/11 and I’ve written a lot about it, but had a couple things to say. (Just in case you weren’t in the mood for me to gloss over my feelings, the first minute is actually about TheBoy. So watch it and then stop)

If you have ANYTHING to say about either video, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesdays, man.

I know that the Hitchhiker’s Guide quote is about not being able to get the hang of Thursdays, but Tuesdays are killer around here.

This morning, TheBoy and I got into a fight. He’s my soulmate, but occasionally, he can be an asshole. On occasion, I can be an dick. It’s a fact. (I’m sure my mom is livid I’m swearing, but it’s true) Not really related to the argument, but his car wouldn’t start so he was home for a bit of the morning. Also, the fight ended and we’ve moved beyond it, so that’s all you get about the fight.

Because I knew TheBoy was waiting for AAA to show up and he hadn’t had any coffee, I swung by the Starbucks near us to pick up a cup for him (and a chai and croissant for me). Obviously, I wasn’t in the best of moods, and the middle-aged woman ahead of me turned. “Oh, you should smile. You’ll look so much prettier if you do.”

And I admit, I saw red when she said it. And I sort of mentally pulled a Mrs White:


But don’t worry! I didn’t actually do anything. I just gave her the Look of Doom, smiled politely to the two Sheriff’s Deputies that were watching our conversation and grabbed my drinks.

The day has recovered. It took 3 things. Bohemian Rhapsody played on Sirius radio. I bought Tempura shrimp for lunch. And I found out that one of my favorite characters will be back as they were in previous seasons for Supernatural. Oh, 4 things. I introduced TheBoy to Teen Wolf.

Now, TheBoy’s car. I have no idea what’s wrong with it (haven’t heard back from the shop yet), but the Kidlets are worrying that we’ll need to get a new car (unlikely). Why? The Oldest Kidlet is very much attached to the Zelda decal on his back window.

Of course, explaining that I could just get him one at the next convention I went to led to an in depth description of what comic book conventions are, and having to justify why we haven’t brought them yet. The idea that you walk around even more than you do at Disneyland made it okay. That’s a comparison they easily understand.

But they did make me promise to take them to one when they’re older.


Doing the Time Warp.

Over the weekend, TheBoy and I snuck out for dinner. We went to the same restaurant we had our first date (well, it was a chain, so a different location- but same restaurant). And for whatever reason, half the songs they were playing were from the late 90s. Practically the soundtrack for when we were first dating.

And as much as we were mocking the waitstaff for their terrible taste in music, it was great. In some way, it made a simple night out feel like one of those early dates.

Of course, it might have been the margarita I had on an empty stomach. Or the super juicy burger that made me so very happy.* Or even the 20+ minutes that we were waiting outside for our table, standing and talking like we had on our early dates.

While I will never try to state that he and I are perfect, or that our marriage is. I can say right there that night out was perfect. (Well, except for the drive home. We got stuck in some horrible traffic- but I’d rather have that problem than anything else)

The next day we renewed our Annual Passes for Disneyland- something we weren’t sure we’d do this year, but we had so much fun last year, it seemed like a no brainer.

And the Oldest Kidlet finally worked up the courage to go on Star Tours. Nevermind that he’d already ridden Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean. He was just too afraid. But he decided Sunday morning that he was going to give it a try- and he LOVED it. He’s already asking when we can go back.

But my favorite part? Driving through the offroad part of Autopia and remembering the first time I met TheBoy. So much has changed since then, except for the fact that my heart still races when I see him.

*Wow, apparently I’m channeling Cas. Re-reading this post, I realized where I knew that line from… but yes, burgers do make me that happy. Good ones, though.

Valentines Day and Being Loki.

I was going to write about why I don’t really like Valentine’s Day (and the only Valentine’s Day that mattered to me) – but I did that two years ago. (Go read it, really!)

What I do like is that it’s an excuse for me to make dinner for TheBoy. In years past, I’ve done steaks, risotto… this year I’m making turkey tikka masala w/ naan. YUM.

However, the story I have to share today has nothing to do with V-Day. It has to do with The Avengers. Now, of TheBoy and I, I am the comic book geek. Though he happily watches movies that are based on comic books, in recent years his work schedule got in the way. (Just try to stay awake in a movie theater if you normally work nights) So in 2012, I went to see two of the biggest movies of the year along- The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.

We’d missed Captain America and Iron Man 2 in theaters, but it didn’t make much of a difference to me. I knew Cap’s basic story as well as who the Black Widow was. And I loved The Avengers. But TheBoy wanted to see Captain America before seeing Avengers, and it just didn’t work.

Then I discovered it was on Netflix, so we put it in our Instant Queue and watched it one Friday night. So I went right out and bought the BluRay that I’d been dying to get- The Avengers.

Since the Sunday we bought it, I’ve seen it a grand total of 6 times. Yep, 6. Three of those times have been with TheBoy, three of those times with the kidlets. And yes, I do still love it.

Yesterday, the kidlets were busy playing Avengers. The Little Kidlet was using his foam round pirate shield as Captain America’s shield, and the Oldest Kidlet was Iron Man. The two of them went from room to room, searching for Loki.

The rug in our living room (one of those street rugs to play with cars on) became the map of New York they were using to track Loki down.

After about fifteen minutes of them running around and having Loki sightings, the Oldest Kidlet stopped. “You thought I was Iron Man,” he crowed. “But I have really been Loki all along!” And just to make me even more proud of him (especially since he doesn’t watch The Avengers cartoons like LK does), he threw back his head and laughed maniacally.

The Little Kidlet turned, throwing down his shield. “You can’t do that,” he screamed. “That’s against the rules.”

“It is a very Loki thing to do, sweetie,” I reminded him, trying not to laugh.

“But it isn’t fair. I don’t want him to be the bad guy.”

The Oldest Kidlet shrugged. “It’s okay, LK, I was just joking. I’ll be Iron Man.” And off they went again.

That night, as TheBoy and I were putting the kidlets to bed, TheBoy asked them if he was Loki.

“No,” the Oldest Kidlet said. “You’re the Hulk!”

TheBoy looked at me. He does have a bit of a temper, something that he’s really learned to control in the last few years. “And you thought they wouldn’t remember.”

“Why is Daddy the Hulk?”

“Because he’s big and strong and can smash stuff.” Yep, there’s the kid logic right there. It had nothing to do with his temper. Just that they know he’s strong.

We walked out of their room, and I turned, poking my head back in. “So who am I?”

“The Black Widow, since she’s the girl,” the Oldest Kidlet said.

“That’s what you think,” I said with a laugh. “I’m actually Loki!”

And as I shut the door, the two kids shrieked with laughter. “No!”

Admittedly, I do like Loki a lot. So far as bad guys go, there’s something fun with the sly villain who manipulates everyone to show off how clever he is… but in reality is just setting up his own downfall. Also, the horns are pretty cool.

Should I throw Lady Loki on my list of costumes? Sure, I’m tiny, but attitude is something I have in spades…

Have any great kid stories to share? Or, do you have a good Valentine’s Day tale?

After Midnight.

This weekend, I did the unthinkable. I had a weekend filled with events. And for an introvert, that’s major.

On Saturday afternoon, we went out to my brother-in-law’s housewarming party. The kidlets played with some other children and I actually talked to people instead of hiding behind my phone. It’s shocking, I know.

Even more shockingly, after we dropped the kidlets at home, we went to another party. This one was at the house of someone that TheBoy works with, who apparently throws amazing themed Christmas parties each year.

This year’s theme was Japanese, and there was a great spread of food (the party was a potluck). They even had Taiko drummers perform. That was pretty neat- they performed for a bit and then let some volunteers go.

And TheBoy volunteered! He was in the last group to go, and with each group, the things they taught them became progressively harder. His group even had to do a bit of a competition- each person had to pick a Christmas song to play, and the other guests would guess what it was.

The first one, a woman played a tune that nobody could pick out, and admitted it was sort of obscure. “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The drummer reminded them to make it something people could guess. The second one, played a tune that was guessed after 10 notes. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”

Then it was TheBoy’s turn. BAM BAM BAM… pause… BAM. And before he could go any further, everyone shouted Jingle Bells. And he won!

Afterwards, he admitted that he had been worried that someone else would pick Jingle Bells, and that he’d first thought of it because of A Charlie Brown Christmas- the scene with Lucy and Schroeder at the piano, where furious, he just taps out Jingle Bells with a finger. “THAT’S IT!” Lucy screams.

So remember… keep it simple.

It was a really mellow low-key night. I got to meet two of them guys he works with, and I can only hope I lived up to whatever TheBoy had told them about me. One of them snagged a deck of cards and did some card tricks, which filled up a good portion of the night. Admittedly, it was really fun to watch- especially when I wound up at an angle where I could see how some of the tricks were done. Not because I like exposing how tricks are done, but I always like seeing hands at work. Whether it’s watching a skilled musician play, an artist draw, or seeing a card be palmed and tucked back into a deck- there’s something amazing about it.

We left a little after eleven, realizing that one of us would probably be up early with the kids. TheBoy took the scenic route home, driving me past where he worked and showing me the route he normally drives home.

On the way back to the freeway, we passed an In-n-Out, which sounded good. I’d been sick on Thursday and Friday and had really only been hungry at night. So even at midnight, having eaten dinner- I was hungry again.

So we did something we hadn’t done in ages. We picked up drive-thru at In-n-Out and parked in a nearby parking lot to eat and talk. And for a half hour, I was transported back to countless late night dinners we’d had after nights worked at Disneyland. Which was pretty magical, too.

While not from this weekend, this is a recent picture of us.

While not from this weekend, this is a recent picture of us.

As far as the rest of the weekend goes, we took the boys to McDonald’s for lunch, and they got to play in the indoor play area for awhile- which was good. It had been raining (drizzling) most of the day, and it let them burn off some energy. (We brought food in for LK and made sure to bring along his epi-pen and Benadryl, neither of which were needed. It’s making me happy to know that he had to have run into a lot of cross-contamination there, but nothing spiked a reaction)

Yes, I’m exhausted.

How was your weekend?

New pants. And dinner out.

Last night, on the eve of TheBoy’s first day at his new job (which means, yes, today’s his first day), we went out to celebrate. And to shop.

You see, I’ve been after TheBoy to buy a new pair of pants for the last few months. For the most part, we don’t buy new clothes unless we need them (admittedly, I confuse need and want when it comes to boots). Earlier in the year, I bought a couple new pair of jeans because mine were stretched out. And it was time for him to do the same. Not only had his stretched out with normal wear, but he’d resumed his running regimen and eating better- and lost weight. So the pants were way too big. He had to wear a belt to keep them up, and hold them up while he chased after the kidlets. But he refused to buy new pants because they were still intact. (Honey, I’m not posting this to shame you, just to point out that you deserved the new pants because you’re awesome.)

So when he got the new job, we agreed that he’d need new pants before he started. As it turns out, from all that exercise, he’s back in the same size pants he wore when we first met. When he was 18. Go TheBoy!

He also bought a few new button down shirts (the casual kind). While he could get away with wearing his geek tees, he wanted to have something he could wear in case he needed to go out on a call that would seem a little more professional. And I have to say, I love the silhouette of the ones he got. They’re a bit slimmer than what used to be available, and he looks great in them.

We also bought him some new notebooks to take notes in, but bought some that looked a bit more adult and professional than the standard cheap ones.

From there, we went to Set´, our favorite upscale restaurant. Steakhouse fair with a latin twist. We first went there a couple years back, and this was our second trip in the last few months.

We started off with their crabcake, which is served in a lobster cream sauce and topped with a mango salsa. So good, we have to get our own. There’s no way we could split those bad boys. (I would post my pictures, but just go to their site where you can see well lit pics. Mine are dark and weird)

I ordered the braised short ribs, which are so tender they just fall apart the moment you touch it with a fork. It comes with a creamy polenta, and a cabernet reduction sauce. TheBoy ordered their fish special, which was a red snapper served with a risotto and fresh vegetables.

Usually we order a dessert, but we were too full to even attempt it.

Here’s the weird thing about their restaurant- I have cheated and had dairy there, without any sort of reaction like I had the other night. My only guess is that it has to do with the freshness and the quality of the ingredients. But they do work with food allergies (especially since most of their food is prepared fresh), I’ve had friends who mentioned it when they placed their reservation and had a great time out.

The only thing that bothered me this last trip was that the restaurant was pretty empty, and a couple people on the staff were loudly talking to a couple in the bar area. Very loudly. Oh well.

It’s certainly more expensive than our usual places ($9-$12 for appetizers, $19+ for entrees), but I’ve never had a bad meal there.

FAQ: Why don’t I talk about his job? While I’m willing to put myself out there, I don’t want my blogging to affect his career.

This will probably be all I mention about his new job, in fact. He’s working a day shift again, and this job won’t have the same sort of overtime/on call factor that the last one had.

Thanks For Not Being Rachel McAdams

I’d been so good about posting daily, and then this week I dropped the ball. Only, it wasn’t quite my fault. Well, it sort of was. My body hates me.

For those new here: In January I was diagnosed with either Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis – it was too early to tell which one. So every so often I have flare-ups that send me to bed with ridiculously bad cramps. This was one of those days.

Wednesday started off well. I went for a run (more on that another time), go the kids to school and then in the afternoon- BAM! Enough pain that I was crying. Granted, I cry at a lot of things, but it takes some serious pain to produce tears.

On the plus side, I finally had the time to watch Midnight in Paris- the Woody Allen movie. It was a solid movie, and one that hit home a little- especially with my being someone who felt she was born too late. My family joked that had I been of age in the 30s, I would have had quite the singing career.

The movie itself has Owen Wilson as a writer who is trying to finish his first novel, already having a successful career in screenwriting. He’s in Paris with his fiancee and her family, who all look down on the notion of him being a novelist- since he’s already successful. His fiancee is played by Rachel McAdams, who isn’t so much the villainess. She simply doesn’t understand him, and wants a secure life with nice things. She just doesn’t want to support anything that weakens that.

But to me, it’s the most unlikeable character she’s played- because she’s the sort of person I’d hate to be in a relationship with. In fact, when the movie was finished I called TheBoy at work to thank him for not being Rachel McAdams.

Because he isn’t Inez at all. We’d been dating for years before we were married, and at the time I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. In college, I’d tried out majors in theater, anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology and computer science. None fit. While I was working full time, I started writing in my spare time (which at the time, I did have). And that felt right. When I finally told TheBoy that’s what I wanted to do, we were married with one child and another on the way. And he supported me fully. He’s always supported me in it, even when I feel like I’m going nowhere.

So thanks, TheBoy. Thanks for not being Rachel McAdams. (And for those who read this blog- thank YOU for not being Inez either. Your support means so much!)

8 years!

Today’s my anniversary. 8 years ago, I was lucky enough to be marrying a man I loved deeply then, but even more-so now.

We had a lovely ceremony at a building that’s no longer accessible. I would talk about it more, but it’s not available as a venue anymore, since it was bought by Scientologists (I am not making that up).

The building was an art deco affair in Santa Ana, with an old elevator, as well as a theater. We used the theater for both the wedding and the reception. Chairs were set up for the wedding, and after the ceremony, guests were whisked away to a cocktail reception while they set up the reception.

The room was transformed into a 1930′s nightclub, with a live band, and even a Maitre’d to tell the guests where they would be seated. The tables were named after nightclubs and dance halls, and the signs served as the guestbook.

We danced! Our first dance was to “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You,” my dance with my father was to “Moonlight Serenade”- since he introduced me to Glenn Miller’s music, and TheBoy’s dance with his mother was to “Unforgettable”. And the rest of the night was a blur of dancing- with just about everyone.

Pictures and helpful links behind the cut. Read More…

Anniversaries and Such

Sunday was my anniversary. Seven years ago, I married a wonderful man. It still seems like yesterday.

Since our trip to Las Vegas (more on that soon, I promise) was for our anniversary, we weren’t really going to go out to dinner or anything big. Instead, we decided to take the kidlets to the beach- something that the Oldest Kidlet has been asking to do more of the summer.

Living in Southern California, we’ve taken the boys to the beach every summer since the Little Kidlet could walk. The first year we took the boys to the beach, the Oldest Kidlet walked up to where the beach began to slope downward to the waterline, and ran right back to me. “It’s too loud,” he said about the waves crashing. The second year, he didn’t even bother to leave our blanket, asking us to bring him water to help build a sandcastle.

There was something different about him yesterday morning. We surprised them with the trip to the beach, just like we surprise them with trips to Disneyland or anywhere else that we’ll have to pack for. From the start, he was determined to go in the water. He told me so all the way to the beach, though it’s not unheard of for him to change his mind at the last minute. We’re so used to this that TheBoy didn’t even put on his swim trunks. The little one prefers his water in a bathtub, so it wasn’t likely he’d want to go in either.

The first attempt began not long after setting up our blanket and chairs. My son walked down to where the sand starts to become damp, turned and ran right back to me. This happened a few more times. Then he convinced his little brother to go (not a hard feat to do- all you have to do is say “Come on Little Kidlet, let’s” and finish it with whatever you want to do). They walked right to the point where the beach slopes to the water, and while the little one ran back to me, he walked straight into the water and turned. He might have been a good 30 feet away, but the look of pure joy on his face was unmistakable.

They came back, and he was breathlessly excited. He told me all about jumping in the waves, and swallowing salt water. He rested on our blanket, wrapped in a towel, but you could see in his eyes that he wanted nothing more to be back in the surf. TheBoy napped while the boys dug holes in the sand, and as soon as the Oldest Kidlet was bored, he woke up his father and dragged him back down to the shore.

The Little Kidlet tried to go down, but mostly refused to walk back to the blanket when he decided not to go to the water. So I’d have to rush towards him, scoop him up and carry him back. We passed the time by building giant mounds of sand, and using what little wet sand I had to make a small sand castle. An hour later, I was able to get TheBoy’s attention and brought he and the Oldest Kidlet back to our blanket. They had no idea it’d been that long.

All the Oldest Kidlet could do was gush about how much fun the beach had been (after the lengthy nap he began in the car, that is). Even as I was herding him upstairs towards bed, I could see it in his eyes. He’d rather be dancing in the surf.

Note: Previous trips to the beach, we were harassed by the people selling beach toys, and had one of their kids refuse to leave our kids alone the last time (he wasn’t a mean kid, just bossy and rude). We expected it this time, but the biggest nuisance came from the Scientologists that were giving our free audits next to the pier. Seriously. I meant to get a picture on the way back to the car, but my arms were full.

(This post is an edit of a piece I’d written for @The3six5 as a backup post Sunday night. They didn’t use it then, but posted it naturally… today. So if you see it again, now you know why)

Surviving a weekend.

I am gluten-intolerant. At least my body is. I still remember what breads taste like, and more than occassionally crave what I know will make my life miserable.

This last weekend, TheBoy and I got to take some time away from the kidlets. His mom offered to watch them for the weekend, so we booked a room at a local hotel and left shortly after we got back from Disneyland. Why local? We’d debated going up to Hollywood near where he works, as he knew he’d have to work over the holiday weekend. But we’d only have one car (I left the van at home for my mother-in-law). So there were two factors at play. I know our city. I feel comfortable walking around, which I’d have to do when he was gone. Not only that, I know the restaurants here, and with the gluten-free diet, I knew I’d be able to get food.

We went out to dinner on Friday night, and I was bad. I ate food with gluten in it (though when I’d checked with the restaurant, they said they could accommodate me, I just was weak and really wanted their crabcake appetizer). The meal was lovely, as always, but I learned that yes… even after two months gluten-free, it still affects me. Definitely not making that mistake again.

The next morning, I was sore from walking around Disneyland and still bloaty feeling from having gluten the night before. As we walked up the road (and literally up, the road’s on a hill) towards the diner where I’d planned on having potatoes and eggs for breakfast, we spotted a little cafe that we kept forgetting about. They had menudo, I wasn’t feeling like I could make it the rest of the way, so we stopped in! I ordered an omelette with potatoes and marveled at ordering a meal. TheBoy marveled at how good the menudo was. We walked to his car, ran some errands. Since I was going to be alone that night, we wanted to get me some snack foods so that I could cobble something together in case room service couldn’t accommodate me.

Snack foods obtained (I brainlessly bought myself malt vinegar chips, which I threw out before I glutenized myself again), we went back to the room. And I started writing. TheBoy left, and I just cranked up my music and wore my headphones. Yes, I was alone in my room and wore headphones. But I found myself unable to turn off the Mythbusters marathon that was playing, so the headphones kept the show out of my brain.

I was writing, when I realized that there was a weird beat meshing in with my Pirates soundtrack. I pulled off the headphones and realized that the fire alarm was going off. So I put on my shoes, grabbed my purse, phone and laptop and headed out the door. No sooner than I got out the door, the alarm stopped. Which was good, I had to go to the bathroom. I figured I’d duck back in my room, go, then go downstairs to see what was up. Well, the alarm never came back on. But I heard the all too familiar sounds of someone freaking out in the hallway.

So I took my key and went out to investigate. For those who didn’t know, I worked at Disneyland from 1998 to 2002. Those 4 1/2 years were more than enough to shape the way I handle emergencies. In the hallway was a family- father, mother, daughter (9 ish) and son (7 ish). The daughter was hysterical. As with most hotels, there are doors that block access to the elevators if an alarm goes off. The girl thought they were trapped. I did what most normal people wouldn’t do. I butted into their conversation. I explained why the doors were closed, and showed them where the stairs where locations (yes, Disney people, I used the double finger point too!). I pointed out that if there were really a fire, the alarm would still be going on.

The girl calmed down. The parents thanked me (I was expecting the “who are you” look of death), and I made sure to throw in that I worked at theme park, so I’d seen it all. Then everyone seemed to smile. The doors to the elevators opened again, and it was all over. I went back to my room, and opted not to go down to the front desk and see if they knew what caused it- there were families there with kids. I figured someone must have pulled the alarm.

I went back to writing, and called room service for dinner. I’d had my eye on a couple of options- a salad and a burger. We’d even bought gluten-free buns at the store so that I could simply order the burger without a bun. Which I did! And this is where the hotel earned their thumbs up from me- the guy on the other end of the line immediately suggested that I replace the fries that come with the burger with fresh fruit when I mentioned I had a gluten allergy. I doubt they’d trained their employees on food allergies, but honestly, it’s rare to run into someone who knows what I’m up against. So it made my night. (The burger was great, btw. I wound up eating it without my gluten-free buns, which crumbled as soon as I held them)

The next morning, TheBoy stumbled in from a long shift at work. I knew it was unlikely he’d be up for breakfast when I was hungry, so I went downstairs to have the hotel’s buffet-style brunch. They had plenty of options that worked for me, and I didn’t get glutenized again.

For dinner I walked myself to the same cafe and managed to scrounge something that worked. I went back there with TheBoy for breakfast (I’m now the Mayor of it on Foursquare!) where I had potatoes and bacon.

It was a great weekend. I finished my outline, and started my first draft of my novel. But somewhat more importantly- I managed to survive without my kitchen! I know what happens when I eat gluten, and thanks to some quick thinking, I was able to find something to eat! I wasn’t afraid of dining at a place that I knew was 100% prepared to deal with my food issues. Talk about a great feeling. Though I do think I am going to start asking the smaller eateries I loved if they can accommodate me with something other than a crouton-less salad.

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