Summertime Sadness (And Makeup)

Inaccurate post, because I'm not 'sad.' But it's a good song by Lana Del Rey, so I used it for a title.

I've just been feeling kind of 'blah' on blogging the past week.  I've been out, doing a lot of things, like going to the Utah Arts Festival, (which I'll blog about next week) and haven't had time to sit down and answer emails and stuff like that.  Which sucks, because I hate falling behind on stuff like that.  With the husband gone, my attitude has been kind of 'ehhhh fuck it, whatever, time to go walk around and enjoy stuff.'  It's strange, I didn't think his deployment would affect me in the way it has.  We've lived 2,000 miles apart for the entirety of our marriage.  Week-long visits happened maybe twice a year.  It will be less than a year before we're living together.  And I just don't know what to do or how to feel.

Beyond that, the medicine I've been taking, plus coconut oil, seems to really be helping me. I've been dropping inches, my energy has never been higher, my mood is pretty positive, and I've been less of a hermit, spending a lot of time with friends.  I can never stress enough on this blog just how important my friends are to me.  There are people in my life who know me, who know my past.  They've seen the veneer of 'badass' fall down and in most cases have seen me cry like a baby, or punch the shit out of someone.  And they still find me worthwhile.  That is priceless.  And that's what's gotten me to thinking lately about my attitude on makeup.  Every single time I plan something, this girly frilly part of me (which has honestly never held much sway) says 'put on makeup! curl your hair! wear a cute dress! gogogo!' but then the other part of me says, 'meh, these guys know what I look like.  I'm not trying to date them or impress them. They're my friends.'

This used to bother me.  My own lack of will to have high maintenance bothered me, because I would look at the girls who had perfect hairdos and perfect lipstick and think 'wow, if only I could be like that.'  Now more or less when I see those barbies I think 'guh that looks uncomfortable.'  I like being able to not think about what happens when I sweat or the wind blows or I eat and my perfectness rubs away.  I'm not, nor have I ever been, anti-makeup, but the difference I've noticed is that I no longer feel bad when I don't wear makeup. I don't feel ugly or 'unmade'.  I feel like me.  Sometimes I feel pretty, sometimes I feel gorgeous, other times I feel gross and sick or blah and apathetic.  But I'm comfortable in my own skin.  I wish everyone could feel that.  People like my little sister who absolutely refuse to be seen without makeup and consider their 'real face' one that has foundation, blush, lip gloss, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara on it before it's acceptable to look at.

I guess that's another thing I can thank my friends for: they not only accept me as I am, but many of them have voiced that I look better without makeup, or that I don't need it.  And that it's strange to see me 'made up' because it's just not me.  Now, I have my days, and there's nothing wrong with makeup, but as a whole it's something I do rarely and I wouldn't have it any other way.


I'm a nutcase probably.

This is one of those entries I really struggled with thinking about writing, thought, maybe I should just wait a few days, or not at all because it's personal and I hate knowing there are people who read my blog and might think that I'm a total pussy, or whiny, or whatever. I mean I have no problem if someone says "wow that blogger is a bitch" or "you're a terrible person" because those things have no validation with me, I find them funny. But if someone said, "wow, you sure do whine and complain a lot" I'd have no argument, because I feel like I do.

That's probably just me over-analyzing myself, but at the end of the day, it's my blog, so I DO WHAT I WANT.

Like take terrible pictures of myself at midnight.

1. Before makeup.  2. This was supposed to be an outtake.
3. Something close to my resting face.  Scary.  4. I'm fucking psycho.  

This day....was a day to be remembered.  It was the start of a new week.  If I'm having a bad time it rarely lasts longer than a week.  I kind of mentally say 'that's enough now, let's get back to being happy and normal.'  But it was not in the stars, not at all.  Already in a terrible mood and just...down as all hell....I had to take the car to the mechanic.  It had stopped working, as in, no more anything.  Ever.  In the continuing trend of stupid people meandering into my life, the mechanic made my head explode into brain goo all over his counter.  Here's why (because I just can't make up this shit) 

We needed an alternator. Autozone had one for $130.  Phillips, (the place I went yesterday) quoted me at $350.  When I mentioned that Autozone had the cheaper part, the mechanic said in that huffy condescending voice, "They have cheap parts. I won't even buy from there.  You'd never catch me dead in there.  If you want to go drive and pick it up I'll install it for you."

Go drive and pick it up

go drive and pick it up

go drive

...As my fucking car is sitting, NOT WORKING, in his garage.  Like ten feet away from us.  Unable to move. Dead battery.  Yes, I will drive my fucking broomstick right the fuck over there.  And then I will beat you in the head with it upon my return.  Stupid ass.

So anyway, then I got to go to the doctor, and here's where the story gets good.  I got to get poked TWICE with needles.  Thyroid levels? AWESOME.  Problem? My doctor and I are very close.  She's a really great woman who has taken the time to get to know me since I started visiting her.  She probably knows me better than most other people, which is weird maybe.  Regardless, she saw how tired and worn down I looked and started asking me about stuff.  I told her I'd gone probably 30 hours with no sleep, and I told her about how down I've been feeling.  

And this is the part that's hard to write....after discussing it she suggested putting me on a really low-dose antidepressant.  She was really worried about me--early this year I was having panic attacks and anxiety problems, rather manic, and now I seem to be slipping too far in the other direction.  Depression.  And let me tell you, I know the difference between depression and regular old sad.  I've been chronically depressed before.  Suicidal.  I hate talking about it because anyone can throw out 'I feel depressed'.  

But the truth of the matter is, this is something that runs heavily in my family, and it's a mental illness I've had since my early teens.  And the other truth of the matter is that it's something you learn to live with, like any other disease.  If there is a miracle cure for depression, I've never found it.  I have to be really careful, like an alcoholic around alcohol--if I sit in the house too much, if I sit and dwell too much, it is very easy for me to give into that illness and spiral downward into that terrible place where apathy rules over everything and my biggest enemy is myself.  

I didn't argue with the doctor, which is weird, because I pride myself that I don't have to take any medication.  I don't really believe in it, I don't like putting chemicals in my body, and the side effects to me outweigh the benefits with just about any pill.  But the simple fact that I didn't argue shows how scarily exhausted I was.  I didn't feel like fighting for alternatives.  I just said okay, and went to pick up my fucking pills.

When I was 16 I was prescribed Zoloft.  It was a 25mg dosage and I never took it.  I swore I'd fight through the depression without it, and so my crazy ass aunt sold the pills and I never ingested a one.  When I got the same medication--sertraline--today, I cried because the dosage was 100mg.  The doctor told me to just take a half a pill every day, which lowers my dose to 50mg, but that's still twice the amount I was told I needed as a kid.  Body weight arguments couldn't deter me.  I was convinced I was just hopeless and helpless and depressed.  

So, because I am just too mentally fed up to fight anymore, I am going to listen to my good friend Dr. Wells and take the goddamn happy pill and see how I feel after a month.  I am also going to start taking coconut oil again as well as forcing myself into sunlight.  I have an almost hilarious vitamin D deficiency.  Anyway, this is me, I'm a fucking nutcase, I hope you enjoy.


My Nonna and Grandpa.

We all know family is a rough topic when it comes to me, but due to thinking about them a lot lately I wanted to share my maternal grandparents, because they are amazing.

My Grandpa's name was Harold Calvin Panter.  I didn't find out the Calvin part until last year and I squealed. I think that's such an adorable and yet very masculine name.  He joined the Navy at an early age (don't know exactly when) and served as a Boatswain's Mate---the same rate of my husband!!--during World War II.  Afterward, he married my Nonna.  And everyone I talk to who knows him says the same thing immediately:

He would have loved you.  He would've been so protective of you.  He would've thought the world of you.

They tell me about how he was so sweet.  Never a more sweet man existed; he spoiled his family and happily did so.  He loved kids and spent a lot of time laughing at the antics of his grandchildren (my older cousins.)  He especially loved and cherished my mother, giving her everything he could.  It's strange to think that any man in MY family had the capacity to be so gentle and kind.  Not to mention suave: as one of many presents to his wife, he skinned a deer he'd hunted, and had the skin made into a beautiful jacket for her.  He bought her jewelry and purses and according to everyone in my family his taste was impeccable.

And he carried a picture of the ship he served on, the USS Holland, everywhere with him after his service. 

See that handsome man in the middle of the photo? That's him, Harold Calvin! 

Sadly, I never saw or met Grandpa Harold.  I've visited his grave several times, but that's it.  I did defend his honor though--when I was 12 my mother approached me with an artistic project; she wanted a banner for her and my father's Southern Rock band, and she wanted me to make it.  I agreed, until she brought out the banner---my grandfather's Navy flag.  Put over his casket at the funeral and given to my mother as a keepsake after his death.  I immediately said no.  Mom has no talent at art and knew I was her only chance, so she went through a huge ordeal that lasted days, screaming my face and throwing the flag at me, threatening to rip it up or throw it in the fire unless I painted on it.  She refused to feed me for those several days too.  Finally, thankfully (amazingly) my dad stepped in and told her to stop.  He found another canvas and the flag was put back in the closet.  At the time I knew next to nothing about my Grandpa.  After learning what I know now about him I'm doubly thankful I stood up for him, even if it was over a flag.  

Then there was my Nonna.  I don't know her middle name, but her first name was Leslie.  The one word that comes up around her, regardless of what aspect, is 'beautiful.' She was beautiful.  She made her home beautiful.  She acted beautiful, she dressed and spoke and cared for her children, beautifully.  She was such a lady.  I've learned a lot about her in the past year and it's only made me love her more.  She was drop dead gorgeous, charming, and intelligent; she was graceful and womanly and had a heart of gold.  The love shared between her and my grandfather is something else that is talked about.  

Nonna was also THE domestic goddess. She could do it all.  All of those things which I can do none of. She could garden.  She canned food.  She cooked DELICIOUS meals.  She sewed the absolute most beautiful clothes.  She had an almost innocent humor about her, but at the same time she saw a lot of the world.  In other words, she never became jaded, even at the end.  Unlike my parents, I don't see my grandparents shunning my curiosity for life outside the hillbilly holler.  Had my Nonna and Grandpa lived, I'd like to think they would encourage my moving around.  Traveling.  Exploring.  Making things better for myself.  I like to think they wanted to see me as happy as they were--another thing I always hear about them is how much they enjoyed life and each other. And how they made others' lives better in the process.

The Nonna I remember still had those amazing skills and that huge, huge heart.  I never once heard her speak ill of anyone, not even my father.  She was always welcoming to him (though I've heard my grandpa wouldn't have been) and she always loved to crack jokes with him.  I'd like to think I inherited my artistic talent from her as well, because she always painted, drew, designed.  She could also sculpt! She could really do just about anything.  Once she tried to teach me how to sew.  It ended horribly, but she always encouraged and loved my drawings, even framing several of them.

Nonna sensed that I was deprived of a decent household and so she made up for that in every way she knew how.  I went to visit her every summer and it was without any doubt the best part of my childhood.  I had a huge room all to myself, a backyard where I picked blackberries every morning to put in our cereal, and a Nonna and Alex only porch swing where she was fearless and always pushed me as high as the swing could go.  Due to my extreme shyness and introversion as a kid, she never reprimanded me for anything; she always told me how sweet I was, instead.  And how smart.  She made me outfits, bought me the shoes with the sparkly laces.  Painted my nails.  She loved me, in other words.

And she loved me right up until the end.  This woman defended my safety to my father and got a shotgun pointed at her face for doing so.  And while my aunt begged her to back down, she refused.  Doris had to physically pull her away.  She was fighting for me, and I didn't even know it.  She died without ever seeing me again, and I've heard several times that she carried a wallet picture of my sister and I while she was sick and showed it to visitors to brag about us.

One of the driving forces behind my success is the fact that I want to make her proud.  I want to make what she did--standing up for me---justifiable.  I love my Nonna and I really do think of her every day, sometimes with sadness, and sometimes, on the good days, with nothing but memories of us on that porch swing, shelling green beans and giggling and talking about life.


Atheist inspiration.

Gah I feel like it's been seven years since I've sat down and blogged.  Even though it's probably been like, three days, lol. Anyway, I noticed I hadn't made an atheist post since my myths about atheism post back in what, April? March? Pff, anyway, I'm still kind of busy (so sorry if I haven't responded to your email/comment/etc) and other people can say things better than I can anyway, so I decided to share some of my favorite atheist quotes.

Atheism is a beautiful thing.  I feel as strongly and warmly about it as theists tend to with their religion.  Enjoy!