The Colbert Report

Tokens of appreciation can go along way. So, too, can the tokens of absolute strangers who help make magic happen.

As many of you readers know, I lost my Aunt Crazy Pants to fucking lung cancer last September. Her son, R. Nasty became her primary caretaker and together, they watched The Late Show With Stephen Colbert every evening – in fact, it was one of the last things they ever did together.

It was also something I got to watch the last time I partied with ACP.

Colbert Time!

Ever since her passing, my sister and I had been working on how to solidify tickets for R. Nasty to attend the show. You know, kind of a way to honor his mom. Through letters and emails and contacts and friends and acquaintances of friends and husbands of wives who work at Conan O’Brien, who had a friend who writes for The Colbert Show, WE GOT TICKETS.

Don’t mind if we do!

VIP to be braggy.

While R. Nasty resides in Iowa and I am in Nashville, we decided it would be super easy to meet up at LaGuardia Airport because what could possibly go wrong? Naturally, upon my landing an hour ahead of him, I selfied the fuck out of myself and sent it to all of my friends and family.

R. Nasty and I were only two terminals away from one another, so what I thought would take hours, took mere minutes to find one another after he landed. It was the non-city slickers in us that needed aid. So I texted Rasta, the gal pal who was extremely instrumental with our VIP ticket grab, how to get an Uber in NYC. I mean, there are Ubers and Lyfts in Nashville but you walk right out of the baggage claim and BAM there is no way to fuck it up.

So Rasta guided us on how to get on the bus that would drop us off at the parking lot where an Uber we called would be waiting on us. This city shit was already hard.

But we did it!

Upon checking into the hotel (that I made R. Nasty pay for naturally, after surprising him with tickets, making him cough up cash for shit), I immediately checked on a bottle of Tennessee champagne I had packed carefully in my luggage to celebrate this momentous occasion (you guys, R.Nasty and I don’t get out much – neither of us has been to a city bigger than Chicago, k?).

Who doesn’t put champs in their suitcase?

Once we guzzled drank the champs dry, we unpacked and here’s what our bathroom counter looked like…

My accessories at the top of The Economist vs. his one accessory which was The Economist.

We decided to giddy up and check out the area – Manhattan – to be exact, which I thought would look a helluva lot fancier than it did. But I’m from Nashville, so what the fuck do I know? What I DO know is to ask for recommendations and my social media buddy, suggested a fab place called Faces and Names.

Fabulous find compliments of a fellow Captain@sgrstk – and if you don’t follow him or have never read his books, go do so right now.

We were kind of excited to be there. And when I asked R.Nasty if he was having fun, he responded with “Yeah, this is kinda fun.” To which I kindly replied – YOU WILL AND ARE HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.

Not excited. At all.

We had libations in honor of our first time in NYC, talking about ACP and just chit chatting about whatever the fuck you typically do when you are getting a bit buzzed.

Cheersed!

…and cheersed…

… aaaaaand cheersed.

So as we stumbled marched out of the bar to explore more of the block (I mean, my feet already hurt), what did before my wondering eyes did appear?

Destination Station!

Not being in the least bit full of any ounce of shame, it was selfie time.

Theater selfie fail #1.

Due to the length of my arm being about as tall as an earthworm, we had to do round two.

Theater selfie fail #2.

Satisfied with shitty selfies, we went back to the hotel room for wine and snacks in preparation for the one and most likely only day of our lives we would be VIPs.

Tidiness runs in the family. Obvies.

I must say the kink in my neck remains at my incessant gawking at all of the buildings and signs and bicyclists who give zero fucks if you are walking in their pathway. I also very narrowly missed my death about 536 times by stepping off of a cub almost too soon which would have resulted in my demise by a yellow taxi cab.

Daylight theater.

What do good tourists do when heading to their fave late show? They do as tourists do and eat at there.

The restaurant of Mr. Colbert’s choice, or so I like to think.

I also continued my unabashed selfie taking because what’s a memory without a photo?

Not a tourist at all.

R.Nasty and I sipped on cocktails and waited for our 4pm call time to stand in the VIP (I did mention we were VIPs, right?) lane at Angelo’s watching all of the little people who only had priority seating. The horror.

 

We straight up VIP, yo!

And naturally I needed to document with a selfie as well.

Yep. Proof we’re VIPs.

We also had Aunt Crazy Pants with us. Lest not forget the things all mothers and daughters bond over, tattoos – Mama CBXB and I had ACP’s signature inked onto our wrists (yes, I know we are now complete bad asses) over her first birthday weekend above us.

Lucky charm in tow.

Then it was time to enter the theater that makes me want an entrance to my mini manse in lights now.

Before I made my national television debut, the warm up comedian came out and picked on audience members. R. Nasty was beyond relieved that we were seated middle balcony but don’t worry, I was loud enough to get picked out of the crowd. As we were being interviewed, the comedian asked where we were from and if we were married. I said no, we’re cousins but since I’m from Tennessee, we could be.

Yeah, R. Nasty could have died. Of course I hated the attention and laughs.

The could be our wedding photo.

The show started and the anticipation was beyond expectation. It was super fucking cool seeing Stephen Colbert run out from behind stage left and to the crowd slapping high fives. He delivered his monologue and the guests were a very beautiful but boring Lucy Liu and an engaging Henry Winkler.

Oh and you won’t be one bit surprised that my family and friends who tuned in that evening heard me laughing more than they saw me. Only because I have the loudest laugh on the planet….and you could only see the back of my head.

No autographs please.

If there’s any take away from all of the whirlwind 36 hours I spent in NYC with R. Nasty, it’s that the experience we shared together is irreplaceable. I’ve typically lived my life as an as afterward kind of gal, a chick that just jumps in if something sounds fun and I’m so fucking glad I was able to share this with R.Nasty who deserved to get the hell outta Iowa and cut loose (side note, I needed to get the fuck out of Nashville and have some of my own fun as well).

The Infamous Iowan and the Trashy Tennessean.

So if you’re ever contemplating what you should be doing, or if you can swing that trip (hey, I packed hard-boiled eggs and protein bars – AND booze) do what Barb would do…

Love ya, mean it Aunt Crazy Pants. We all miss you something terrible but we’re living it up with you watching over us down here.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

The Big Apple Will Never Be the Same

As many of you well know, my beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life).

Crazy and Aunt Crazy Pants.

By the time cancer was found through an unrelated surgery, it had already spread everywhere but her brain and she was given six months to a year to live in June of 2016. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

While it’s important to remember that when someone may no longer be among us on earth, our relationship with them can still exist, it’s also important to remember the quality of life given during an especially grueling battle with cancer. ACP’s youngest son R. Nasty made sacrifices I can’t say many young adults his age – let alone any adult – would do to care for his dying mother. I mean before being diagnosed with cancer, she was already the most dramatic woman on the planet (like bitching about “having” to pack to go to Hawaii – or any other fabulous destination…yeah, poor thing), so you can imagine the sheer joy the magnification of her theatrics became.

Flair for fun dramatics.

R. Nasty moved in with his mom (all young men’s dream come true) being closest in proximity and able to make accommodations to do so, while his other brothers and extended family lived further away.

All other Bros and Hos live far away.

He answered every time she hollered with a patient, “yes Mother,” sauntered into her room after every bell ring (a sound that will surely haunt him for the rest of his days), removed an ice cube each time he accidentally put four instead of three into her water and endless other duties that come along with caring for a cancer patient.

The true meaning of ‘got your back’.

My point is, this dude is a fucking saint. Throughout all the treatment routines, doctor’s appointments, therapy, surgeries, etc, ACP’s absolute favorite time was watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with R. Nasty every weeknight. Even if she dozed off in the evening as she got more cancer riddled, she wanted to be woken up to watch Stephen Colbert with her son.

Wake me up before you go go!

In the evening on August 31, 2017 my feisty aunt was taken from home hospice to the hospital. That night, as the end was drawing near, the room full of family was clearing out and R. Nasty leaned in and said, “We’re going to watch Stephen Colbert one more time, Mom.” And that they did. She died at 3am on Friday, September 1st, 2017.

While we’ve partied in every way possible in honor of Aunt Crazy Pants’ love of life, I’d like to acknowledge the sacrifices her son made so selflessly. When asked about it he always says (and still does), “it’s my honor to take care of my mother.”

So how can you show a small token of appreciation in return to a son who lost a friend, a mother and a fucking funny lady all rolled into one? Sister CBXB came up with a great idea, reached out to me to execute (why do I have to do all the work?) and with the help of some letter writing, reaching out to every.single.contact I have and making them reach out to every.single.contact they have, magic happened.

Don’t mind if we do.

Through the efforts of fabulous friends and the help of family, we were able to pull this shit off and I scored two VIP tickets (yeah, you read that right – VIP bitches) to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. R. Nasty and I will be gracing our small kids in the big city presence in the Big Apple next week for a taping of the show on Wednesday.

We’re coming to annoy the fuck out of you New York.

Now, I have a hard time finding the bathroom at work, so I have NO CLUE how we will manage roaming a city the size of my home state of Iowa. I’ve never been on a public city bus. I’ve never been on a subway. You’d think that I would have some skills now that I reside in Nashville but sadly, I barely know up from down let alone east from west. Blonde is hard, guys.

My navigational comfort zone.

I’m certain we will look less like city slickers and more like…

Regardless, I can’t wait to make an ass in the city as big as my ass, with R. Nasty patiently waiting out my shenanigans. Or maybe silently fuming. Either way, it’s gonna be a fabulous way to celebrate ACP’s life with a whopping side of shit show.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. We all miss you something terrible but I promise to quietly laugh my ass off at the Colbert show for you next week (after probably tripping and falling down some stairs first).

CBXB

Lucky Charm

Cinderella once sang “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

I’m talking about the hair metal 80s band, not the princess of course.

I think we all can relate to the sentiment in one way or another. However, when it comes to peeps in my life that I love, you’re either in or out. One quality that I gratefully possess is I am never regretful of time spent with folks that I hold in my heart, nor do I take time with them for granted. That’s why for me, when you love the fuck out of someone and they no longer roam the earth, it can be a heart yanking time when their milestones still appear annually.

Aunt Crazy Pants celebrated her first birthday above on February 23, and in honor of this occasion, Mama CBXB came to Nashville and we par-tayed the only we way our family ever does. Trashtacularly.

On ACP’s actual day of birth, we took her to get her cocktail of choice, gin rickeys, at my fave local watering hole, Dalts.

A hungover day later, we went to get permanent tributes of the lady whose favorite color was green, loved shamrocks and owned one of the most unique signatures ever, which is what we were going to have tattooed on our wrists. I gussied up in my green heels I fashioned at the celebration of ACP’s life, perfected my mani to match and we were ready to go.

Naked and afraid.

While mother/daughter bonding over tattoos may seem odd to you, it’s sort of a family tradition in my clan (which should shock no one hence Jell-O shots with Gma at Christmas and Iowa Hawkeye moonshine touchdown shots are also custom family practices, well shared on this blog).

In summers of yesteryear, our families would spend Fourth of Julys at the Lake of the Ozarks. Which entailed not only in boating and booze but often tattoos and belly button piercings. Yes, yes, you read that right. I even think we made each new girlfriend of our dude cousins get belly button rings on their first Fourth with us. (A dream come true family that acts like a fraternity right here folks).

I was with ACP when she got her first ink from none other than the not even close to being world famous Tattoo Ted in the Ozarks.

We may have had one or eight drinks with sun poisoning but what did it matter?

With our history of classiness, we brought ACP along with us in spirit as Mama CBXB and I rolled into the Rebel Yell Tattoo and Social Club that came highly recommended.

When we traipsed through the doors, I’m fairly certain all four folks in the shop on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon were well aware that this wasn’t a past time in which we often partook. Especially when I wondered aloud with Justin, our extremely patient artist, how a tattoo on my wrist would look when I do jazz hands. Because I use them a lot. Like, we seriously had a five-minute conversation about it, he put a stencil on my wrist with ACP’s name facing me and let me look in a mirror before I decided how I wanted the fucking three-inch artwork done.

I mean you guys. Obvies we use them.

All.the.time.

Maybe our novice was a dead giveaway when I asked my mom 400 times in the seven minutes it took Justin to tattoo her wrist if she was going to cry when it was over (she did – Tearfest 2018).

My defense mechanism against physical pain is apparently laughing because it’s all I did the entire time my four-minute ink was being perfected. Justin kept stopping to ask if I was OK and all I could do was giggle in the most unquiet way possible.

All in all, mission accomplished.

Shortest time frame yet most annoying tattoo subject ever to grace Rebel Yell.

Getting any type of tattoo makes one a bad ass motherfucker, right?

I mean, look at my recovery plastic.

So what did these bad ass mother fuckers do? Celebrated with cocktails of course!

And it just so happened that two of ACP’s grandgirls came through Nashville that night, so we all cheersed our hearts out to the lady we love and miss.

Bittersweet without sharing the experience with ACP, there’s something ultra comforting to know she’s right here on my wrist. There have been some dark days for me recently, and I’ve found myself flipping my wrist over, admiring her signature, reminiscing on conversations, knowledge, 1,573,982,400 laughs and love we shared over her lifetime.

What I come to think of most is right after Rapegate, ACP was one of the first phone calls I received as the news made its way through my family. Her first words were, “you’re already one helluva strong lady – but you’ll be the strongest woman you know now.” The same words rang true when we found out she had terminal cancer six months later – and I repeated her words of wisdom back to her.

While cancer can go fuck itself, I’m comforted by the fact that I knew what I had with ACP before she was gone. Which is why her absence is ever present, more so now that I’m a bad ass mother fucker with a fancy signature on my wrist.

Know what you’ve got before it’s gone.

Now who wants to go get tattoo sleeves with me?

It could be the experience of your lifetime.

CBXB

Live at Five

My favorite day of all time will always be January 17, 2013. The two most important humans to me graced this planet with their presence. While I was the last of my immediate family to find out about the twins (I’m totally over it, as you can tell), I won’t ever forget the moment on a Thursday late afternoon when Sister CBXB called and told me to pull over and stop driving.

I was going to be an aunt. Two times over.

It’s a good fucking thing that I was in my car because the decibel my already extremely not quiet voice reached piercing heights (my whisper is your regular “inside” voice) It would most definitely have caused anyone around me immediate deafness.

I was so fucking happy, thrilled, excited, for myself (oh, and Sister CBXB and Bro-in-Law of course) discovering that I would forever get to spoil a little boy and a little girl. I loved them before ever laying eyes on them.

Then I laid eyes on them.

My heart basically exploded and in the very best way possible, I knew that life was never, ever going to be the same. They immediately became my number ones (my sister is my number two because she got married and had the kids, taking all pressure off of me – yay – and now I can adopt all of the cats in the world).

Honoring the liveliest duo I know, here’s…

Cheers to Five Years

It seemed like yesterday you arrived

How can you be turning five?

Birthdays

One

Two

Three

Four

Were big fun galore

Princess B, you have a flair for sparkles like me

My sweet knight in shining armour you are, Prince B

Getting a pic with the two of you has never been easy

You’ve never not enjoyed giving my face graffiti

There’s so much I’ve loved watching you do

Yet so much more is in store for you two!

You’ve got me in your corner whenever you need

Anyone hurts you

The deal with me

The loves of my life, it’s simple but true

Most of all, I love you just for being you.

Aunt Juju sends kisses. The fur babies send hugs.

All of us send five years of big love!

Celebrate BIG my favorite two!

Love,
Aunt Juju and the rest of the world

Family Traditions of Christmas Past

How different would Christmas be if I wasn’t surrounded by family?

IMG_2941

Opening packages would be such a bore,

IMG_2940

If I wasn’t encircled by cousins galore.

Christmas chaos.

A lonely gal Christmas sock affair,

Image 6

Instead of hanging stockings by the chimney with double the care.

IMG_2938

All dressed up with nowhere to go,

IMG_2932

Instead of trying to be one of the stars of the show.

IMG_2934

Christmas pageants with one can be so annoying,

Image 2

But with two, the show is much more enjoying.

IMG_2943

Lonely lonely would Christmas celebrating be,

Without the decades of fun with family.

IMG_2933

From past to present with futures near,

Hold those who are dear with your heart full of cheer because you never know when they may not be here…

Image 8

Cheers to keeping the memories, traditions and spirits of Christmases past alive and kickin’.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Gizzards, Griswolds and Gaming

Over the river and through the woods to the mini manse they came…

So, I haven’t ever cooked a turkey (or mowed a lawn, washed dishes without rubber gloves, changed a dirty diaper… because you know, my nails are jewels, not tools) but my friend Rasta decided to bake a bird for the Thanksgiving holiday, as she wasn’t traveling back to New York. I had family from Iowa coming into Nashville, she was kind enough to invite us over and it was a Griswolds meets the Iowa Hillbillies meets City Chic. In other words, the best kind of holiday mash-up.

I’ll let you guess which is which.

I went to help prep the evening before and basically sat on my ample derriere washing the evening away with wine, BUT I did help with snapping green beans, K?

Being a sous chef is hard work.

Upon my return to the mini manse, I called Mama CBXB no less than 31 times in 25 minutes because I was attempting my first casserole with a whopping six ingredients.

What’s a ¼ lb. of cheese?

Do you drain the corn or leave the juice in it?

What’s a ¼ lb. of butter look like?

And voila!

Corn and noodle casserole was a hit.

OK, I may have eaten half of it but still, a success.

Rasta baked her tail off, as I supplied a cases of much-needed vino.

My contributions.

Rasta stirring up a storm in her kitchen.

Upon completion of the bird baking, no one in the place had ever before carved a turkey.

How many peeps does it take to carve a turkey?

The bird got divvied, the casserole was a hit and Precious the chug may have had the tryptophan kick in earlier than the rest of us.

Tired turkey.

Friday, after shaking off our turkey comas, we headed down to Bailey’s Irish Pub to join another 125 Hawkeye fans to cheer on our fave team for the last game of the year.

Hey-oh! Hawkeye time!

The outcome of the game looked rather bleak at halftime with the score being tied at 14-14 (and as the Hawks basically rolled over and died their last two games, it was anyone’s guess as to who would win). But, in the third and fourth quarters, Iowa scored an unanswered 42 points, leaving us with a winning 56-14 score.

Somewhere between shots one and four…

… and somewhere between shots five and eight.

Of course each and every time the Hawks scored, I had to Facetime Dada CBXB who was up in Iowa visiting the twins.

I can’t hear you but drink!

What do you do after a victorious beat down? Celebrate, naturally. We headed to Robert’s Western World for some of the best old school honky tonkin’ around.

Showing G’Lee a fun old-fashioned country time.

Enjoying the holiday leftovers in Iowa, my BIL was showing off his doughing skills, making turkey and gravy pizza.

Dough master.

No one was upset about the use of leftovers.

Of course, the second the clock struck 12:01 am the day after Thanksgiving, the twins were ready for Christmas. And the decorating commenced.

Tree trimming.

Old school advent calendar.

While the mini manse residents are still recuperating from the shenanigans – surely, it’s just a turkey hangover.

Snuggle train still ongoing.

A day of Hallmark holiday movies and moving from one side of the couch to the other worked wonders for us.

Working our wind down with wine. Duh.

Here’s hoping your well on your way out of a gravy coma.

CBXB

The Man, The Myth, The Birthday Legend

Oh dads.

If you are lucky enough to have one or have had one in your life, then you win. A familiar fixture on this blog and in my life, my dad celebrates his day of birth (along with his twin!) today. Aunt Crazy Pants once doled out advice that I didn’t think much of at the time when I was younger. She said (during some stupid crazy boy drama, no doubt) “No man will ever love you the way your dad loves you.”

This didn’t really dawn on me until I was an “adult” (a term I use for myself extremely loosely these days) and a dude I was living with said to me, “I can’t treat you like your dad treats you.”

BOY BYE.

I guess I never had to think about it because of the jackpot I scored when my dad chose to be mine. A knight in shining (well, in his case probably rusty) armour. A frugal on the allowance guy whose driving abilities were always affected by how loudly the radio was playing in unknown territory (TURN DOWN Q.102 GIRLS WE’RE IN DES MOINES!). A dad who commuted four hours daily to work but rarely missed an extra curricular activity. A dude who could scare boyfriends shitless with his size but is actually a giant, goofy Teddy Bear.

A father who not only duct taped my glasses together in the third grade (hence the short-lived nickname “Ducky”) but also uses the same magic to keep my bumper adhered to your car as an “adult”.

A dad who tells you to “tough it up” when you’re sitting in the superintendent’s office, holding a bloody chin after being hit in the face with a baseball bat during PE but remains strong and silent decades later when he’s driving you to the hospital after being raped.

So yeah, Aunt Crazy Pants and her advice rings true – best of luck to a dude ever living up to The Man, The Myth, My Legend.

As we celebrate the Big Fella today, please join me as I share some of the valuable…

LESSONS FROM MY LEGEND


Image 90

You should always have your family’s back…

bl

       … even if they often attack.

Throw your hands up in the air…

wave

…and wave them like I just don’t care.

Even if you’re a dork inside…

...without my shades.

                                              

…it’s no matter if you’re cool on the outside.

The art of muscle blowing is unique.

blow

                       Passed down to generations…

and

                                              … and generations …

still

…to upkeep.

Pink isn’t just for girls…

flex

…guys often put the color on for a whirl.

Sequins should be in my everyday attire…

love

     … as you gave me the first bedazzled top I ever acquired.

It’s OK to stand out in a crowd…

Dada C-Note

…just be sure to do it loud and proud.

Giving is better than receiving…

Image 91

…except when you let your three year old open your gift to be appeasing. 

The importance of slathering on sunscreen daily…

very

                      …just be sure to not get too crazy.

The significance of jazz hands…

was

…often help when making demands.

It’s not a road trip…

check

…unless you have rot gut vodka and your finger to mix.

Reminding me there’s more than one fish in the sea…

fish

                …especially whenever a boy has been mean to me.

Being the life of the party…

never

                                          …is like leading one big…

                                                            …fun army.

The duo that shoots shots together…

Wild Turkey

Image 11

Stays together.

…stays together.

It’s important to share…

at the

                 …even while pigging out at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s OK to relax…

after

…after a day has been crap.

You’ve carried me through physical hard times…

broken foot

         

broken ankle

…even if sometimes it was from too much self-inflicted wine.

Tipping my Skinny Pirates when my nails are drying…

treat

                         

…because you know there’s a silver lining.

Most importantly, not all heroes wear capes…

Not all

…just dads who pick us up no matter our proverbial scrapes. 

So let us all raise our glasses today…

cheers!

…and cheers your birthday away!

Those are just a few of my lessons from…

happy

 The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

Happy Birthday Dada!

CBXB

CBXB!