Post Pandemic PANIC

Holy hell! Anyone else find yourself wondering what it was like in the Before Times?

Did I really love the the Before Times life as much as I thought I did while experiencing a global pandemic with the rest of the world? I mean FUCK. Talk about seeing the world through rose colored glasses pre-Rona.

I was fortunate to be able to work from home most of 2020, returning to an office in January of 2021 part-time that did not enforce masks. In fact, almost 90% of employees chose not to wear them (which was like living an episode of the The Twilight Zone since the rest of the world was still on high Rona alert). As soon as I knew I would be returning to a maskless office this March, I made every effort possible to get the vaccine. Fortunately, I received it with Prissy in tow, my partner-in-crime turned stage five clinger due to endless months of quarantine together.

Fauci Ouchie received with my support system in tow.

I still wore my mask at all times in public and while at work. And then one afternoon, President Biden came out and leisurely announced that those of us who chose to be tracked by Bill Gates (I kid, I kid but how do people seriously believe that shit?) could carry on with life like in the Before Times.

WHAT THE WHAT?

Did I hear that correctly?!

Like, for realsies though?

After 14 months of following the Centers for Disease Control and my boyfriend, Tony Fauci’s advice, this announcement seemed like a miracle of sorts. A beacon of hope after a year of uncertainty and fear. But then, my anxiety kicked in. Do I still wear a mask at work? Or in public (I live in a state where leadership flagrantly downplayed Rona, costing lives)? What about if I’m around an unvaccinated person? The questions swirled like a tsunami in my noggin. What about people who were lying about being vaxxed…was it OK for me to be around them maskless? As a person with already severe anxiety, this should be fucking fabulous announcement sent my brain into overload.

On top of that, I was used to being able to skip makeup and any sort of regular beauty routine, hiding behind a mask, greasy hair in an up do and sunglasses 24/7. Major pandemic glamour.

I thought maybe we’d be easing back into the Before Times but instead (for those of us that took this shit seriously, wearing masks and caring about our neighbors and community continuously for 14 months) mask mandates were being ripped off as harshly as a band aid stuck to arm hair with no countdown.

I’m having a hard time recollecting what was so fabulous about leaving the house at 7am only to return at 7pm (after a commute, eight hour day of employment at a desk in a cube and post work yoga sesh), every week day. And, after working from home nearly a year, I absofuckinglutely DO NOT MISS getting up hours before arriving to my job to shower, (washing my hair on a regular basis is STILL a pre-Rona trait coming back at a snail’s pace), feeding my zoo (of six indoor pussies, four outdoor pussies, one high maintenance Pomeranian), taking the dog out, scooping cat shit, taking said shower, blow drying hair, putting in contacts, trying to remember how to apply makeup, making coffee, chugging down my vitamins, meds and supplements, attempting a quick breakfast (still a microwaved egg, slice of cheese on a piece of toast – my first meal of the day since college), not forgetting a fast packed lunch on the counter to rot the day away, and sitting in traffic all before getting to the office at 8am.

I do not miss any of that one bit. My work from home lewk was a greasy, casual, wait to shower until after my lunchtime workout, roll out of bed and take my time making my way to the computer anywhere I wanted in the Mini Manse unappealing, not easy on the eyes but easy on my mind routine I’d come to adore.

I chose to wear sunglasses and fancy headpieces.

Of course this news was fabulous. But I had to get my shit together overnight (like the rest of folks like me) and start giving fucks about my appearance again (I mean, I guess I don’t have to) once I was going to be recognizable in public without the lower half of my face covered. I had to remind myself what it was like wearing lipstick again, paint my face with at least tinted moisturizer so I didn’t constantly get asked “are you sick?” at work (I got serious dark circles gang), and work on not letting my facial expressions get out of control since again, they’d been covered up for the better part of 14 months.

Time to get this Bitch back in action.

Once I had my mind straight on the ground rules, being out in public and seeing others at the grocery, liquor store, post office, etc. without a mask made me want to put mine back on or ask them to stop breathing unless they were across the room from me. Turns out after talking to friends and fam, I’m not alone in the post Rona panic. It’s a discussion that comes up with peeps in my ‘bubble’ (those I know who took Rona with the same seriousness and are vaxxed or on their way there). Adjusting to the new (but really old) norm is gonna take some time for most of us.

BUT this also means hugs, kisses, seeing loved ones again, drinks at Dalts, leisurely trips to my mothership Target just for shits and giggles, no more maskne (zits caused by the cloth covering), and almost most importantly back to the Hair House to see my Elf on a Shelf who works hair wonders on my mane.

He does the hair. I provide the accessories.

So, if I have yet to see you in our new post pandemic world, the only reason you’ll need to panic is if I haven’t yet seen you. Prepare yourself for a major mauling by moi. In the meantime, I’m taking baby steps back into the maskless universe with the first stop being my pool. Surprise.

Adjusting to the new (but really old) norm is gonna take some time for most of us.

Be kind.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

BUY ME A DRINK

How to Have a Pandemic Party Round Two

Holy fucking shit.

The fashionable 2020 March look is the fucking same in 2021.

If you had told me 365 days ago that I’d be having a second birthday during a worldwide pandemic tomorrow, I would have cock/cunt punched you.

@effinbirds

But here we are STILL in the throes of a global pandemic due to many “you can’t tell me what to do with my body” mask refusing ass hats, accompanied with politicians who act like they know more than the Center for Disease Control (go fucking figure) closely accompanied by the folks that follow said non-doctors blindly. I digress. My VIP Rona ticket happened to include my first ever birthday in quarantine. And now my second.

Oh hi! You feel like celebrating with people now? Too bad.

Little naive me thought I’d be hosting a half birthday party on September 25, 2020. Joke was on me! Well, really all of us. These were thoughts on my day of birth last year…

Poor, poor late March babies.

My birthday took place the first full week of lockdown in Nashville (when every business finally complied – lockdown actually started earlier). But still, I think everyone was hopeful/under the impression/couldn’t comprehend how this could last longer than a month, tops. 

Due to Rapegate, I would have been down to par-tay in isolation on any of my past five birthdays. But in 2020, I was ready for shenanigans and celebrations all about me, as I would have typically been pre-Rapegate. CELEBRATE EVERYTHING!

But not 2020. Oh no. This was the first year where this badass bitch was baaaack to finding all things joyful and ready to celebrate the entire month. So I did just that in spite of a fucking global pandemic.

I still celebrated my face off.

I partied and Prissy force loved it.

While the circumstances were not the most epically fabulous, my peeps far and wide celebrated with me. Boston Barbie canceled a trip she had planned to Nashville to celebrate with me in person due to the germy Rona shit. So she did the next best thing – had a bottle of champs with me via FaceTime and sent a pizza for supper.

Presents and hot toddy’s were delivered to the Mini Manse door.

First Mate tapped on my window and brought her own airplane sized bottle (is that what they are really called?) of fancy vino over and poured it into her own glass.  Rona shit was still so new, masks weren’t a required accessory yet (ATTENTION NASHVILLE RESIDENTS AND THOSE COWBOY BOOT PUKING TOURISTS – AS OF THIS DAY IN 2021 MASKS ARE STILL MANDATED IN DAVIDSON COUNTY).

Text messages dinging my phone all day kept me smiling from ear to ear. 

The world literally stopped turning on March 25, 2020. Yes. I am that.fucking.special.

Even my boyfriend T-Rac wished me a happy birthday and I pretty much died and went to Rona heaven (which would be the Mini Manse bed).

I almost burnt down the Mini Manse drunk baking my own gluten-free birthday cake.

Booze, boobs and baking.

While it was not on the top ten (or top 100) sweets I’ve ever tasted, it went down the hatch like a dry, dry, dry, dry, dry, dry charm (I think it was because of all the sprinkles). Yes, I still ate the damn thing.

Look the fuck out Martha Stewart.

This year’s pandemic birthday cake is gonna look different and be waaaaaay easier since I’m not gonna do fuck all with an oven.

Just need a candle.

Last year I wrote – and I quote, “What I want for my birthday wish is for you and your loved ones to be alive, healthy and ready to celebrate your faces off with me on my half birthday bash on September 25, 2020. Until then, stay the fuck home. Let’s make my half birthday party go viral for reasons other than a worldwide pandemic.”

So naive. So innocent.

This year my still-in-a-worldwide-pandemic-but-there-is-a-light-at-the-end-of-the tunnel plans are as follows:

An evening at the Mini Manse theater with a birthday themed film, accompanied with pizza and copious amounts of champs. And a side of extremely cold Diet Coke.

Hello Lovah.

Should I just get a case?

And because dreams do sometimes come true, I’m still alive and kicking after last year (and Rona free!). Typically, I’d head to my treasured watering hole, Dalts (they survived Rona too, woohoo!) to see my fave bartender ever to have eight a Skinny Pirate(s).

Marja + Skinny Pirates = Purrfection

Last year was the first time since I’ve lived in Nashville I didn’t celebrate my arrival into the world with Skinny Pirates and loved ons at Dalts.

2020 loner.

Maybe a more crowded party in 2022?!

It may not be post Rona normal yet but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna commemorate my day of birth all weekend and then some. Remember, there are six more days in my birthday month and I intend to celebrate the fuck outta each and every one. Shocker.

See ya in 2022!

Last year celebrating my birthday couldn’t help but feel full of doom and gloom. This year’s vibe is a MOOD called gratitude. Now every one of you start saving your pennies to come par-tay at Dalts with me in 2022.

Cheers to seeing you next year!

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

Buy Me a Drink

New Phone, Who Dis?

How do you survive without a cell phone?

Anyone else feel like their mini computer (that also acts as an old fashioned voice-to-voice communication device) may as well be a required apparatus for existence these days?

First phone, what dis?

If you don’t, I envy you. My cell phone is somewhere in No Man’s Land. I have been without it for a whopping 84 hours at this point and I feel isolated (which makes that a first world problem, how basic can I get?) and out of sorts with life. I slept on the couch when I realized my one digital alarm clock I still own no longer worked, setting the oven timer to awake me from a semi-sleep for work (you know the kind of sleep where you don’t sleep because you are worried that you will over sleep, so you can’t sleep).

Sleeping motherfucking Beauty.

That nifty “find your phone” app only works when your cell phone is alive and kicking. Mine is unequivocally deceased.

Me. Without a cell phone.

Thankfully (or maybe forcefully), I committed to Apple a company of technology products that allows me the capacity to receive text messages to my computer. Realizing my phone was gone, I was able to message my folks on Facebook, letting them know I was still in the Mini Manse with the Pussy Posse.

Only available through my office landline.

I haven’t ever had much luck with technology (I took a hammer to a Canon printer in college after it failed the 1,734,902 time I was trying to print a paper. The hammer was therein referred to as “Canon Killer”).

Technology is hard.

Upon getting my first cell phone, it was simply a new means of applied science for which I could fail. There was the time my phone accidentally got ran over by a boyfriend picking me up for supper.

Let’s just stay in and have some wine.

And the time I lost a fucking phone in the Mini Manse (where it has yet to be recovered). I retraced every single high-heeled step from the prior night (knowing it was in the manse because I’d ordered a pizza upon arrival home), morphing into a Tasmanian devil tearing the Mini Manse apart. After five hours of scouring my trash cans, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom drawers, couch cushions, the piano, under the bed, in the freezer, through dirty laundry, in the pussies food bowls, behind every piece of furniture under the roof, outside of the balcony AND through my car, I looked like a deranged lunatic in dire need of a bottle of booze.

Luck of the Irish my ass

Anybody seen a pink sparkly phone?

How ever could I survive without my pussy picture taker?

Another phone debacle took place when my phone screen literally faded to black, therefore staying connected to WiFi, enabling me to communicate through my iWatch but unable to use the device. I looked like I was in a perpetual play state of FBI agent.

Not so secret agent woman, as I tended to scream at my wrist.

Once again, I was relegated to the old fashioned phone cord plugged into a wall piece of equipment that’s utterly foreign to many peeps today.

So very busy, chained to my landline.

Upon realization I played David Copperfield with yet another cell phone this weekend, I unsuccessfully retraced steps, places, nooks and crannies in Music City. WHAT. THE. FUCK. was I going to do?!

How would I capture the every day beauty of my pussies?

Yes. The world needs a good morning pic from Rocky.

How would I document my uneventful weekend debauchery?

Yes. People need to know what First Mate and I do all.the.time.

What if the Iowa twins wanted to FaceTime during my seconds, minutes, hours, days without a device?!

Whatever would I use to pull up a photo of the actor who played Alf’s dad to compare to people who look like Scooby?

Yes. This is important work.

How in the fuck would I paint my lipstick on (at the fucking table – yes, I have the audacity) without using my cell as a mirror?

Taking high maintenance to a whole new level.

The agony of feeling so helpless with the scenarios that I missed capturing with every waking second was almost unbearable (I mean, my ultra, beyond dramatic side could be showing its ass). And then, I received my new phone today right around noon.

Eighty four hours after a true first world nightmare.

This was an early Christmas miracle, indeed.

Call me!

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Not-So-Secretly Love a Scrunchie

Glasses + retainer from 9th grade + scrunchie from 4th grade = dream girl.

Maybe more of a nightmare than dream.

Not to mention I own five pussies, feed seven outdoor cats and recently added a pomeranian to the mix.

Just over here, wondering how I’m not yet married.

I fucking loathe scrunchies with all of my being (along with fucking Croc shoes that convey “I really have given up on life” – unless you’re a gardener).

The huge gator bit off more than it could chew in this unique series of images captured on camera by American photographer, Phil Lanoue.

My thoughts on Crocs captured purrfectly in an exquisite photo by my buddy Phil Lanoue.

Being that I consider myself fashionable, and how loudly I make my disdain for fabric wrapped elastic known, it may surprise you to know that I still have two scrunchies from my earlier years.

I own the black one pictured above in the tangled mess of fuchsia and sorta blonde hair I got at Kmart in sixth grade. I also sleep in the purple scrunch below that I bean walked my ass off on my aunt Marilyn’s farm to purchase in fourth grade (I got more than a scrunchie with my loads of money from pulling weeds in bean fields. I also got a tie dyed shirt, which I still own (my hoarding abilities can be discussed another time). Obvies I put my money to expert use).

Hard earned hair acccessory.

Hard earned hair accessory.

Although I saved scrunchies from years past, this does NOT mean that I condone wearing anything of the sort in public. I feel so strongly about this, I have risked jobs and friendships, saving folks from public embarrassment.

A few years ago while at an extremely new place of employment, I spotted my boss sitting at her desk with a white scrunchie in her gorgeous hair. And while I hadn’t quite figured out our working relationship boundaries yet (being that I was her assistant) I felt it my womanly duty to rip it out of her hair.

Well, actually I walked up behind her and as I slid it off of her locks I leaned in and whispered, “We don’t wear these in public. Trust me.”

Um, no.

About to be unemployed but I don’t care.

Horrified at my casual approach and sure as shit I was about to be fired, she laughed and said thank you. We’re still gal pals to this day thanks to my brazen move in the name of fashion.

Fuck that noise. No boss of mine will sport a scrunchie

Fuck that noise. No boss of mine will sport a scrunchie even though I wear tiny sombreros and t-shirts announcing my crazy cat lady status.

And then there’s my old band manager I ran into at the mall one afternoon. I was so excited to see him and his fabulous fam but also felt immediate shame for his kids when I assessed his outerwear.

I expected so much more than….

Manager fail.

THIS.

While I can’t agree with his white socks and black sneaker approach (but I mean, it’s such a classic dad look, so it’s cool), it was the teeny, tiny piece of material stuck in the layers of curls that made my skin crawl.

NOT blending in.

Scrunchie not blending in dude.

Being that I didn’t work for my buddy, I could be a little more blunt in expressing how insane it was to see a grown man wearing a scrunchie.

Someone actually procreated with you?! TWICE?!

KNOCK. THAT. SHIT. OFF.

A mere two seconds later, the scrunchie was mine and my buddy was back to being, well, my buddy.

Yep. Back to being a bonafide '80s rocker

From totally geek to totally chic 80s rocker.

My intense dislike for scrunchies in public does not reflect my feelings on the use of them in private.

CBXB shocker!

CBXB shocker!

But I only sport these little pieces of fashion fails on two occasions.

I wear one to keep myself cool when I sleep within the confines of bedroom walls.

Night sweat no more.

Night sweats no more thanks to my ancient accessory.

Even love it when it gets stuck in my mane.

Morning mane tangles.

The other occasion in which I wear something so taboo is a deep, dark scrunchie secret.

I wear it to perfect my bun.

Which, now that I think about it, means I technically wear a scrunchie in public.

THE HORROR!

Bun magic

Scrunchalicious bun secret.

But you can bet your ass I never let anyone in on my bun magic…except all of you.

Hey-oh. But why would I ever let anyone in on my bun magic?

We’re all friends, I know you won’t tell.

So there I was, going along happily in life with my stealthy scrunchie use until…

I LOST THE BLACK ONE.

After visiting Iowa a few years ago, I returned to my Nashville Mini Manse unable to find my bun perfecting pièce de résistence I’d taken with me on my trip. I was certain that I left it in Sister CBXB‘s guest bedroom and quickly resigned to the fact that I may never see this beloved piece of my hair history again (I mean, it’s not like she’s that busy with twins that she couldn’t drop everything and scour her palace for my beloved accessory but whatever).

Noooooooooooooo!

Goodbye my love.

What will keep me cool at night?!

How will a bun ever be the same?!

But then I remembered I still had a purple scrunchie.

Be still my beating heart.

Be still my beating heart.

As I went to sleep that evening, reaching for the limp pile of aged elastic and who-knows-how-many-germs-its-infested-with-material, I heard a snap.

S-N-A-P.

Noooooooo!

Can a girl catch a goddamn break?!

My purple piece of shit went to scrunchie heaven, as the decades old elastic finally died (most likely committing suicide).

Finding myself empty-handed, I did the only thing I could think of to console myself.

I headed to Claire’s – a store I haven’t stepped foot in since I was a gal on the hunt for prom accessories in high school.  Upon entering the overstuffed store, a sweet girl who was maybe 15 greeted me and instantly looked baffled when I told her I was in dire need of a scrunchie.

“A what?” she asked.

“A scrunchie. You know, an elastic band with material around it,” I exasperatingly explained as I felt a bead of sweat rolling down the back of my neck.

Feeling 101 years old (and thinking the store music was blaring too loudly, further solidifying my elderly status), I followed her back to the clearance section where she announced…

“This stuff has been here since before I started working here two years ago. Maybe you’ll find something to help you out.”

Um, what the fuck 14-year-old?!

Um, what the fuck Gen Z-er?!

The new take on scrunchies are pieces of fake fur wrapped around elastic that are about as durable as an earthworm on a dry day, which would be why they were on clearance for 99 cents.

I mean, seriously?

I mean, seriously?

Giving up on Claire’s, I headed to The Mall at Green Hills where my fashion world was rocked so hard, my head still hurts (but not as badly as when I gave myself a concussion while dancing in a parking lot). Perusing the endless, out-of-my-budget fashion at Nordstrom, I saw a rack of scrunchies in the accessory department.

Fucking scrunchies.

At Nordstrom.

Fucking silk scrunchies at Nordstrom.

What.in.the.fuck.has.this.world.come.to?

Search to replace. Nordstrom FAIL. FAIL. FAIL! Especially with silk scrunchies. Old people lunch tables in nursing homes is hte only place this is acceptable.

These are only acceptable on white hair around a nursing home lunch table, mmmkay?

And they wanted twelve (12!) motherfucking dollars for one (1!) scrunchie.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

Still crying tears of scrunchie sadness.

First world problems.

Knowing that I would never again sleep at night without waking up to a crease in my typically straight ‘do combined with the fact that my bun days were suddenly over, I tried mending my broken haired heart to no avail. A regular hair tie left dents in my otherwise straight locks. Bobby pins weren’t strong enough to keep my mane up at night. I was doomed.

But then, the universe must have sensed my intense agony and a miracle occurred. The black scrunchie found its way back from Iowa into my loving arms.

BUT WAIT! My sister found it. And is my hero.

Miracles.Do.Happen.

All of this mental anguish over the love of a scrunchie. Thank god I have Xanax handy for extremely significant life challenges.

Now where’s my Caboodle?

CBXB

CBXB!

From Totally Geek to Totally Chic…

Ever had a friend who has zero problem making a gigantic asshole out of herself with you?

Ahem. Let me rephrase that. Ever had a friend who has zero problem with you making a gigantic asshole out of yourself while patiently standing by?

One asshole. One fabulous birthday gal.

On college Friday nights while everyone else was out and about drinking copious amounts of beer but you wanted to stay in and make greeting cards with rubber stamps (I was such a slut in college, obvies) and your bestie did, too (I think the love of craft making on weekends kind of sealed our friendship forever fate). Or instead of putting your best black pants on for a Saturday night out (with no coat on in an Iowa December while walking to the bars), you two decided to give being in a band a whirl instead and play air drums and a mean air guitar to Journey songs?

Friday night fun night in Slater Hall

Weekend fun night in Slater Hall. We oozed nothing but fucking cool.

Now we still stay in, the cool just looks different.

Ever had a friend that hid what you thought was a double chin (what the fuck was I worried about back then?) in photos for you?

It ain't easy being cheesy.

Always there with the assist.

Definitely a two hand job she’s failing me at today.

Ever had a friend geek out with you while studying in the sun, trying to scope out boys on Sunday afternoons? Where, I apparently thought that washing one’s hair and putting makeup on was not necessary (and this was pre-Rapegate!) while trying to land a boyfriend – and I didn’t even have a booze hangover (I didn’t really partay in college – don’t die of shock right now). I had a crafting hangover. Jesus.

Fashion forward study buddies

Fashion forward study buddies.

Now we’re sweating into our oldies.

Ever had a gal pal who didn’t mind that you framed a picture where her eyes were slammed shut (I’m such a sweet friend) because you thought the rest of the fabulous crew looked on point (and extremely shit faced) on her 21st birthday?

Eyes wide shut

Eyes wide shut.

I’m still an asshole.

Ever had a friend where you thought it necessary to share the same hairstyle?

Grown up?

I know! Let’s cut our hair so it looks like we’re trying to grow it out.

Ever had a friend that loved the holidays as much as you – making them all the more memorable?

Christmas

Santa, where the fuck are you? I mean, it is Christmas in July!

I’m drinking to that today!

Ever had a friend you don’t get to see very often but when you do, you pick up right where you left off no matter how much time has passed between visits?

Ladies who lunch

Ladies who lunch like they just did it yesterday.

Ever had a friend who knows your best stories and lived a lot of them with you? Lucky us.

I guess it’s best to say we’re two pretty chic geeks in a pod and proud of it.

Happy Birthday Tdawg!

Love you!

CBXB

CBXB!