Fight For Your Right

Who doesn’t love the Beastie Boys song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”?

OK, maybe you don’t love the song but you at least know of it – or have at least heard it at some point in your life.

Sister CBXB and I never asked for party permission.

Luckily for me, as a woman in 2018, I don’t have to fight for my right to party, nor do I have to fight for the right to vote. But, I still have to fight for so many other fucking issues, it’s insane. Reproductive rights, economic rights, educational equality, fighting to end gender based violence….I could go on (and I’m a white, straight woman – the list is longer when you are neither of the aforementioned).

However, I was raised among fierce fucking females. Whether they knew it or not, their actions and verbal lessons through their own histories somehow sank into my brain between my blonde ears. Gma worked at a factory while raising four kids and cooking (from scratch) for farm hands and her family daily.

Gma the great.

She also taught me to party.

My other grandma had five kids in three and a half years because she had two sets of twins (grandpa probably never got to touch her again). Another grandma raised four kids, cooked daily for family and farm hands, volunteered at church and taught piano (as she pronounced pie-ano). Kick ass women if you ask me.

Mama CBXB ran her own preschool out of our basement and went back to finish college when I was in the third grade.

She also taught me how to party.

Aunt Crazy Pants moved from a tiny Iowa town of 600 to Chicago and supported her husband through optometry school as a dental assistant, starting at the age of 19, then raised four boys.

She also taught me to party.

My great grandma Lulu (Gma’s mama), who passed away at 103, was born when women weren’t allowed to vote (and was also alive when two Presidents were assassinated (McKinley and Kennedy), the Wright brothers flew their first plane, when the original Ford Model T car was produced in 1908, and when Amelia Earhart disappeared in the air  – just to give you an idea of her historic longevity).

While a badass, she only drove a car once and crashed it, ruining a cherry pie. That was the end of her driving career.

Once women were granted voting rights in 1920, she participated in every single election until her death. Fact is, GG Lulu thought it was important to vote every chance she was given because there had been a time in her life when her voice didn’t matter.

So often, I think people feel that their vote doesn’t matter or count. That their voice is lost in a sea of political abyss. It’s easy to forget there was a time when not everyone in the United States could vote and use their voices. But it does matter. Your vote counts. Your voice is heard.

Don’t you hate it when someone is bitching and moaning about politics, the President or a policy? And then you find out they didn’t even vote in the election pertaining to what they’re griping about?

If you don’t vote in this election cycle, I don’t want hear one.single.piece.of.political.opinionated.shit.coming.out.of.your.mouth.

I voted early (mostly because I couldn’t fucking wait to voice my opinions – albeit silently via a ballot) and informed myself beforehand on what issues were most important to me as a voter.

Therefore, I can express opinions on the outcome of today’s midterm elections.

Civic duty done.

Oprah Winfrey was in Georgia campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) late last week and had these choice words for folks on the fence about voting. “For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family,” Winfrey said.

Respecting the fuck out of GG Lulu while also performing my civic duty.

In my perfect world, Jack Sparrow would be elected to the Tennessee Senate or as Governor and there would be Skinny Pirate parties every day.

Skinny Pirates

Talk about a political party.

Whether or not you choose to vote is your right (and be glad it’s a choice that you get to make). But if you don’t show up at the ballot booth today and cast a vote, don’t come crying when you disagree with policies of the victorious. If you need any ideas on where to stand when casting your vote…

And if that’s too much of a stretch for you, please keep this in mind…

Truth.

Always.

So in a recap, vote or shut the fuck up.

I even made The Pussy Posse vote.

Now get out there and make your voice heard.

Let’s paaaaaaaaaartay!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Losses, Lounging and Little Things

We all know life isn’t fucking fair. There are constant small reminders of the good, fabulous, bad and ugly.

Current life status via photo.

But then there are the gigantic catastrophes that just take your breath away. Last week, with extreme suddenness, a friend, former colleague, father of three, stand up, bad ass, nicest kinda guy you know passed away. While twists and turns are inevitable, I can never fathom why bad shit happens to good people. But it does. Big Al, you will be missed beyond measure. We love you.

Support your peeps at all times, friends.

As we also all know, life moves on just as quickly as it changes. I’ve started a side hustle, pet sitting, dog walking and basically loving on all fur balls. I was beyond thankful to have a fucking cute client (I’d like to kidnap) at the mini manse for some playful diversion. He seems to take after my beloved Teddy Bear, by killing tampons and presenting them to me as presents.

Tampon terror.

The Pussy Posse is less than thrilled with some visitors but on the plus side, they can climb away from the mini manse menace.

Shedding on the clean, black laundry, avoiding tampon time. And yes, I see the typo – it’s slowly driving me crazy.

I also welcomed family into town and as I do with all visitors, being that I reside in the Bible Belt, I took him right to church.

Just kidding.

I showed him the alley door from the world-famous Ryman Auditorium (the old Grand Old Opry) where the performers used to leave the stage and head straight to the bars without being bothered by fans. Funny how I know that…

Back alley church.

We also headed to Bailey’s bar downtown Nashville to watch my Hawkeyes football with the Nashville Iowa Club.

Glitter for game day.

Touchdown tradition shots ensued – even though Dada CBXB wasn’t present, with some technology we were able to cheers together. But, it just wasn’t enough. My Hawks lost to a last second field goal scored by the Purdue Boilermakers.

Family Tradition FaceTime Fail.

So, we went to eat our emotions at Outback, a restaurant not found in small town Iowa.

We’re sorry, not sorry Sherri!

With a busy Saturday under our belts, we hung around the mini manse and enjoyed the fall weather Sunday.

Venturing out for some brunch at a new spot that I fell in love with (due to their availability of gluten free bread – what? what?!), Wild Eggs. The buffalo chicken omelette didn’t suck either.

Food coma fabulousness.

A final wine(d) down on the weekend includes bubbles and vino via lavender candlelight, as always.

Sudsy self-care Sunday.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that keep the wheels turning.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

I’ll Get You My Pretty

What better way to commence my favorite week of October than by upping my mani ante with a little blood splatter masterpiece?

Poison?

Not your ordinary apple.

I got a tad ambitious in my manicure adventures but with a glass (or four) of wine, I found my inner confidence beaming through.

To achieve this look, you’ll need a clear, nude or white polish, a toothpick and your choice of a red hue.

Terrifying trio

Terrifying trio.

After applying Seche Vite base coat, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White Out.

First

Hopefully you’re better at staying in bounds than me. Wine makes my lines blur.

To create the blood drips, I dipped a toothpick into a bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Rapid Red and started with a single drop in the middle of a fingernail (be careful how much polish is on the end of your toothpick or you’ll have a large glob instead of a small drop – I’m speaking from experience).  Once you’ve dripped in your desired nail locale, use the toothpick to drag the red to the tip of your nail.

Dip baby dip

Dip baby dip.

After I had my drips appropriately placed, I added little dots of red for a splattered effect. Then, I did one thin swipe of red along the top of my fingernail (still with the toothpick) to tie everything together.

Dripped with blood...

Dripping digits.

Wait about 15 minutes before applying a top coat (I’m in love with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat), as the red globs need more time to dry and will smear if you don’t wait long enough (again, speaking from impatient experience).

While my talons have gotten a few raised eyebrows already today, it’s the best way I can convey my excitement for a beloved holiday. A lady at the grocery asked me why I painted my nails with red stripes (because I fucking wanted to, lady) this morning.

Poison?

I offered her an apple from my cart.

*Insert evil, cackling witch laugh here.*

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Saucy Scaredy Cat and Civic Duty

There’s a fucking saying, “do one thing every day that scares you”… and I’ve always thought it was pretty silly.

Go on a bungee jump? Try chugging a gallon of milk? Jogging instead of walking?

Well folks, I abided by the often used “scare you” quote and ran with it over the weekend (because my friend M. Star made forced coerced asked me too nicely).

Toilet paper on my sparkly pink wedge scares me.

What also scares the fuck out of me is how fast my Iowa twins are sprouting.

Road trip!

Prince B and Princess B were fortunate enough to score tickets to Kids Bop through their parents, thus were escorted to Minneapolis for the big show. This being their first pop rock concert, they needed to fit the part.

Princes B channeled Auntie CBXB in the non-permament pink haired department.

All spray, no stay.

Pop star ready.

What concert goer is complete without signs to hold up while fawning and screaming over the Kid Bop performers?

Already concert going pros.

You know what else is scary? Voodoo got married and I want her wedding ring so badly that I may chop off her finger.

Scary

Voodoo is now a +2.

Cheers to your married years!

Class Acts – First Mate, Voodoo, Bird Lady, Boob and yours truly.

Behind the scenes assy.

It’s also so scary to not watch Hawkeye football games with Dada CBXB because, it’s what we do. Well, what Dada CBXB and I do. Sister CBXB lives roughly 25 miles from the stadium and still, we get texts on game day like…

Because Voodoo’s marital celebration of bliss was in the middle of the Iowa vs. Indiana game, I arrived armed and ready for our Family Tradition shots. This week, we made an exception to do a winning (in lieu of an every touchdown) shot together, which may have been a blessing in disguise because the Hawks won 42-17.

W-I-N shot. With help from Boob and First Mate.

Until next week.

While I was basking in Voodoo’s marital bliss and a Hawkeyes win, the twins were reveling in the first snowfall on Sunday.

The first taste of snow.

Second taste of snow.

While the twins were busy avoiding yellow snow, I was mustering up energy on Sunday morning, trying to remember why in the hell I told one of my besties, M.Star that I would go to my first ever spin class AND then go canvassing. Plus, it was a dreary, rainy day.

Any pussy care to join? Fuck off, we’re good.

M.Star picked me up in her carriage and off to spin class we went. I was mostly worried about having to ice down my crotch afterward.

Will I ever be able to walk again?

A few things happened during class:

  • I could not stop staring at myself in the dimly lit room’s mirrors because my cleavage is off the chains due to Rapegate weight gain.
  • My foot came out of my shoe that is locked into the bike when I tried to increase the resistance on the bike. Body was obviously saying DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE.
  • I came in second to last in overall standings after 45 minutes. Bright side? I beat somebody!

Best part is, this was a mimosa ride.

No mimosa left behind.

M.Star then had asked me to go canvassing with her. I thought she meant to the local gay bar, Canvass and was all “hells yeah!” but what she really meant was “let’s go knock on stranger’s doors and tell them they should go vote.”

Plied with alcohol, anything is possible!

We stopped at the local office for a quick run down of what to and what not to say (i.e. I was forbidden to say “Marsha Blackburn is a cunt.” But I was allowed to say, “you should go vote – here’s where you can even vote early.”) It was deemed that M.Star would be our spokesperson and I would be her sidekick along with our mascot, Mabel.

Would you open your door for us?

I dug deep. Into a bottle of wine. And it worked. Civic duty here I am.

A very convincing duo, indeed. Now go get your ass to the polls. NOW.

Back at the mini manse, I was mobbed by the very non-scary Pussy Posse, easing my weekend fears away.

I think I’m gonna take a breather from doing something ever day that scares me. Unless I’m plied with alcohol. Then, I’m pretty fucking fearless.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

The Bun of Steel

Who doesn’t not wash their hair for almost two weeks?

Anyone? Anyone?

Whenever I go see my fabulous stylist, I relish the wine, the time, the wine and the way I shine when I leave the salon. Upon my arrival, the desk dude always says to my stylist, “China, your bull has arrived.” Wonder why?

Hot head.

After getting pink nestled in my locks, I wait as long as possible to wash my hair, letting the dye really sink in. Typically I will get my hair colored on a Wednesday or Thursday night so I have the weekend to wear my hair up, washing my mane on Monday morning.

The day after my dye job.

This time was no different, except I overslept on Monday and didn’t have time to wash my hair, so I threw it up in a bun.

At this point, I was on day five with no shampoo touching my scalp.

After work, I went to hot yoga and got extremely sweaty. Normally, the bun doesn’t hold up through class but somehow this time, it did.

Hot bun.

I took a bath when I got home, leaving the bun in place, planning to take it down Tuesday morning. But when I woke up…it looked fresh out of the oven done. So, I left it in – again. I hit up the park after work for a long walk, fully planning on sudsing my locks afterward. But…

Welp, whether you think it’s gross or not…

That made it an entire seven days with not washing my hair. And, I got lazy on Wednesday night with no working out, therefore, the bun survived with another evening. (And when I say survived, I mean I’m doing nothing to it except loading it with more hairspray every day. I’m not taking it down and putting it back up.) So Thursday, my bun and I made our eighth appearance together.

By this point, if you follow me on Instagram, this was the hot topic in my stories. It had been referred to as Bungate, I was told that I was turning into one of those old church ladies who only has her hair ‘set’ once per week, leaves it in an updo until my next beauty shop appointment. One wire pick away from Grandmaville…

Especially when I announced my now disgustingly beloved bun was on its fifth day of perfection.

My direct messages were nothing short of hysterical upon my posting of day five with the bun.

My bald friend across the pond even joined in on the fun making a bow bun for himself.

Since it was Friday, I thought fuck it, I will just wash it tomorrow and had some Skinny Pirates with what was now basically my Siamese twin.

Skinny buns.

Waking up to bun perfection on Saturday, I went to the park to walk…maybe jog.

Run or walk?

When I posed the run or walk scenario on my stories, I got the most important response.

I heeded the advice given to me and walked. Then I headed out to Dada CBXB’s for a Hawkeye game watch. Problem was, I needed to stop at my mothership, Target on the way and IT WAS RAINING.

With no shame in my game, I raced into run my errands and then arrived in time for kick-off. While watching the game, Cousin Eddie, one of my dad’s cats (that naturally I gave to him), took great interest in the knot on my head. Ed loves hair and heads (like he sleeps on my head when I stay there), so I was fairly certain it would be bye-bye bun.

Bun thwarter.

But he was willing to wait until after the game. However, Dada CBXB tried to smush the bun with a helmet during one of our Family Tradition touchdown shots.

Helmet head.

The bun survived both threats.

I woke up on Sunday like this…

Upon leaving heavy-handed from Dada CBXB’s, I took great precaution again, putting my makeshift grandma hair net on before setting out into the rainy day.

Bags, bowls and a protected bun.

Buns anonymous, here I come. Because the goddamn thing was still in on Monday morning.

Thankfully.

Wondering if I washed it before work? You bet your ass I didn’t. Although by this point, I was having to carry around my envelope opener to itch the inside of my bun because it was beyond scratchy. Also, I used about half a bottle of perfume, just dousing my top knot in it daily to avoid looks from others due to the greasy fumes that were emanating from my head.

Monday night, I again went to yoga…and the next morning…

So adorbs. It felt like ten year old plastic Barbie hair to the touch.

Sexy Plastic and I know it.

The back of my head was a different story…

Cat’s nest.

After an hour long shower, four shampoo cycles, and one deep conditioner left on for 20 minutes, I was good to go. So much so, I thought about calling Suave and offering to be a hair model for the day.

The exquisitely preserved pink.

I don’t think that old saying, “one must suffer to be beautiful,” really applies to my situation but I’m going to pretend that’s why I waited so long to end Bungate.

Now I’m off, being too busy washing my hair to do anything else. Then, I’ll start working on my next bun of steel.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Surprises, Six Degrees and Slaying

This shade of black really brings out the color of my soul.

God I love a t-shirt that speaks for me.

Open for fun.

My aunt flew in to surprise my dad for a mini retirement celebration. It was pretty fucking fabulous.

The par-tay train headed downtown to honky tonk on Broadway.

The Bat Building never gets old.

Robert’s Western World never gets old.

Arriving late after gussying up, as soon as my ass hit the bar stool in Robert’s, I got a message from an old school friend asking if I happened to be around. Seeing as Music City has 100 fucking people moving to the city every.single.day (please for the love of god, STOP MOVING HERE. Come visit, spend some cash and get the fuck out) Nashvillians going downtown is about as rare as a man being falsely accused of rape. So like, 99.9% never.

Downtown used to be a fun hang every so often but now, it’s asses to elbows everywhere. So it was Kismet that I happened to be in a bar right across the street from my old buddy, who still resides in Iowa. He was visiting for work and just thought he’d reach out. As kids, our families would camp (yes, I actually camped (ew) before I knew glamping was a thing) and one of our fave activities was going around Wilson’s Lake and collecting pop cans that we’d turn in for a refund at Cheese’s grocery store. Redeeming five cents per can, I thought we were going to be thousandaires as we packed garbage after garbage bag full of aluminum. I think we each ended up with about $50. Still not bad for 10 year olds.

Six degrees of CBXB.

When I went to meet up with his crew, I didn’t know anyone else at the table. But within the 30 minutes I chit chatted, I somehow had a connection to or through or knew someone they knew at the table. My friend came across the street to say hey to Dada CBXB who, prior to his move to Nashville (and retirement), was a teacher and coach of some sort for over 30 years.

Old school.

Naturally we did what all teachers and coaches do when they reunite with former students.

Shots.

I mean, you know I have an ever classy fam.

Blurred lines.

Saturday came early for my Iowa twins, who were frying up a donut storm.

Then they decided to create costumes since the weather was kinda shitty.

If you guessed bats, you’d be right.

Inspired by my mini bakers, my lazy ass decided to get out a new pancake mix I picked up. Mostly because it was gluten free but really because all it takes is 2/3 cup of the mix and 3/4 cup of water.

Betty.Fucking.Crocker.

My Iowa Hawkeyes had a 2:30 kick off, so I sauntered out to Dada CBXB’s and watched my dudes school the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Hawks won 48-31. You know what that meant….six rounds of our classy Family Tradition.

I’m not good at math but I couldn’t fit six pics into my cute photo collage.

It also meant that the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy will reside another year with my favorite birds.

The pig stays in the Hawkeye State.

After the welcomed distraction of a win, it remained consistently hard to escape the painful thoughts that have been swirling around my noggin for the last three weeks, as America’s attitude toward rape culture continues to shock the ever living hell out of me.

It’s sad. It’s so sad. So much so that I’ve turned to eating my pain away. Which isn’t working for my brain as much as it is my already ample ass.

I’ll have five pounds of wings, please. No, really, we had five pounds of wings. And Shit Dip that was already inhaled when this photo was snapped. And like one celery stick.

We welcomed Sunday by washing Saturday away with margaritas at our fave Mexican joint.

Tasty treats.

Accompanied by what felt like 482 lbs of food after I scarfed my feelings food down.

Another side of salsa, please.

Of course no self care Sunday would be complete without my personal bible, People magazine, and a dip in bubbles.

To those of you weary to the motherfucking bone after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who are confused after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who feel hopeless after the past few weeks, that’s not OK.

You matter.

The next generation matters.

K. Thanks. Bye.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Back to the Future

Is it just me or does it feel like 1991?

Funny how my history teachers always said history repeats itself and here the fuck we find ourselves in the dramatic throes of a SCOTUS nominee scandal, with sexual assault being at its core – AGAIN.

Proud as fuck of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

I chose to follow the hearings as closely as possible because I want to be as informed as possible. Others I know chose not to watch, read or follow anything in the media for all types of various reasons.

Can’t stop. Won’t stop stress eating.

The testimony from Dr. Blasey Ford and the SCOTUS nominee could not have been more opposite. It was like watching a bad reality show, only it’s for real unfolding in front of your eyes. Lucky for me, I had my therapy Thursday and then an evening in with my band buddy, A-Ha.

Sometimes wine out of pumpkin glasses is just what the day ordered.

Another distraction which is funny as hell but not to one little lady in particular. My nephew, Prince B has lost three more teeth than Princess B – all within one week.

AND RUBS IT IN.

Ah, the good old days when all that mattered was who was losing teeth before whom.

I was asked/told several times that I was attached to the SCOTUS drama (along with the millions watching America’s politicians around the world) because I’ve been a victim of rape. Well, that’s partially true because my trigger bell went into high force when the person in charge of America started victim blaming and shaming publicly and others joined in the prior Friday.

All I can say is I know in my bones that Dr. Ford Blasey is not lying. I would bet my life on it. I would bet my cats’ lives on it. I also know that as a woman, this took me back to the first time I found a hand in my pajamas at 14 years of age and didn’t know what to do. I can’t tell you all of the details but I sure as shit know who did it to me. And the “minor” incidents – the ass grabs and slaps from strangers, unwanted come-ons from superior co-workers, just ultimately knowing that most of the women in my life have had some degree of harassment – even if it didn’t culminate into a rape. Shit like this reopens deep seeded wounds and memories whether or not we like it.

On a happier note, Dada CBXB retired on Friday! His company had a breakfast par-tay for him and then we went to lunch with his department. I adorned his college football practice jersey and a football card from when he played for the Baltimore Colts.

No work, all play!

As soon as the lunch was over, I sat in my car, trying not to have a come apart. First, I was enraged last week. I was furious watching the hearings on Thursday and then Friday, knowing how there would be a confirmation, the feeling of pure defeat washed over me. A feeling I couldn’t shake.

And while I want to be brave and strong when people say, “there’s nothing you can do about it,” I call bullshit. I can speak up. I can write. I can vote. I can demand better for my niece and nephew’s generation. But, it’s exhausting to try to move through normalcy when the culture of this country regarding women has hardly budged in 30 years.

 

 

I share these videos and emotions to show the vulnerable side and the aftermath years after incidents take place on survivors. I want to share how I truly feel. How it feels for people – women especially – to over prove, over think, over compensate themselves in every.single.situation. To think about what you have to wear before going to jog – can you insert both headphones or leave one out? My key goes in between my fingers as a weapon. To have your mom remind you to wear a hat while driving at night alone, so you look more like a dude. To be careful about walking alone to your car, cause you never know when someone may try to mug you.

You are not alone.

Through all of this, humor is the one thing I can always cling to and happily welcome from Sister CBXB. Along with the hundreds of you who checked in on me all last week, lifting my spirits. My sister noticed something very key that stood out to her in the videos.

The lipstick is Urban Decay for the record. And I put one coat on Friday morning. I took the videos Saturday am, FYI.

Heading to the park for a walk while bawling underneath sunglasses (so chic and not weird at all) helped ease some of the sadness.

Fucking preach.

And so did strawberry martinis with Mama CBXB who demanded a lunch date.

And so did some vino with Bird Lady and First Mate, who have seen more ugly than pretty in me the past five years. I’ve cemented their friendship in happier times, so they’ll need a jack hammer to remove themselves out of my life.

Stuck like cement.

Oh, and speaking of humor, I want to personally deliver an Emmy for a guest appearance to Matt Damon and his spot on, perfect depiction of the SCOTUS nominee at the hearing on Saturday Night Live. Luckily, I recorded it and have watched the cold opening no less than 461 times. So on point. If you have not watched it, Google it now. Right now.

Sunday, Rocky and I got sucked into binge watching and football.

Not wanting to acquire couch sores, I made it to the bathroom for my bubbly routine.

Then it was time to love on my youngest boy, Fabio (who is also known as Fartio because he farts when he gets nervous). It was our one year anniversary together and we celebrated his “Gotcha!” day.

Fabio hearts being mauled.

Starting a fresh week, there’s a few things I know for sure…

I think this bun makes me appear smart.

This still rings true…

And…

Oh, and in case you were wondering what to write down in your calendar/journal this week so you can look back on it 36 years from now when hopefully there isn’t a circus full of ass clowns – and yes, I’m talking about almost all of them – “leading” the country here’s a suggestion:

Write it in permanent marker, just in case we go back to the future and need reference.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!