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

It’s All in the ‘Tude

Attitudes are the shit and I burst onto this planet with one in tow. I was born with the confident “I can do anything” stance somehow and my folks continued to nurture that temperament as I grew up. The only thing they cautioned me on was to not get married until I was at least 25 (they may be wishing they’d sung a different tune as I’m a candle lovin’ lady with four pussies, a chug and would now be considered an ‘old maid’ in a different era).  Before Rapegate, there was never an issue with me adjusting my attitude – being able to kick my own ass back into shape as needed.

Lately I’ve been exceedingly inundated with cheerful “I’m thankful for…” countdowns, “reasons for merriment,” and “I resolve to…” positive posts on social media. Going into the holiday season, I struggled to gear up for anything festive – and I hated my attitude. As some of us were excited to be knee deep in gravy for a solid two months, I was hoping this holiday season didn’t linger as long as my 21st birthday hangover.

I may or may not have drunk dialed my boyfriend’s mother at 3am. She answered.

Thing is, I never thought I would fall into latter category, as typically on America’s birthday, I’m salivating like Dracula does over a neck – thisclose to getting my Halloween décor out on the fifth of July. But mentally for the past two years, it’s been a monstrous war inside of my skull, emotions swinging back and forth more extremely than POTUS’s hourly tweets. Not just regarding holiday cheer but being cheery about life in general. Oh Rapegate, thank you for PTSD, adjustment disorder, severe stress, insomnia, panic attacks and all of the insecurities I gained at your reckoning.

Previous multi-seasonal head cheerleader.

In my experience, PTSD (can go fuck itself) is exhausting – not only mentally but physically as well. I’m constantly on edge, have nightmares, difficulty staying asleep, experience major loss of interest in activities I used to love the fuck out of and feel ultra-guilty about “letting” myself be raped (how fucked up is that feeling?). Accompanying these symptoms are feelings of alienation and self-inflicted detachment from friends, family and my old self. Problem is, I’m having trouble kicking my own attitude back into shape and I loathe being out of control of my emotions (so you can imagine how comfortable the last 23 months have been for me).

I think I’ll just stay in bed and wallow.

With mental issues, one can rationally know how lucky they are (or know what happened to them isn’t their fault)– no matter what bad shit has happened to them – or people they love. With this being the first holiday season without Aunt Crazy Pants and the fur ball love of my life, Ted, grief has also been a constant companion even though there are crazy fun memories of hilarity, hijinks, pee-your-pants fun to fall back on. The heaviness of grief crashes like tsunami waves, compounding the sense of loss I carry with me daily due to my personal trauma. I can almost feel my heart hardening at times.

Miss you something crazy.

Miss you something terrible.

Thing is, it super sucks because I missed my old holiday pukes all over the place self (and I mean all over – the mini manse, my office, fucking reindeer antlers on my car, Christmas underwear, socks, sweaters (that others might wear to an ugly sweater Christmas party I wear on the December regular), adorning Santa hats like they’re simply a part of my noggin, blasting holiday  music from my car like I’m Santa himself, watching fa-la-la-la-la Lifetime movies that are so full of cheesiness, I want to kick my own ass for loving them).

Christmas Gaudy Queen of yesteryears.

In therapy, I’m tits high into the thick of processing the act – the moment of my rape and my feelings (ew) – while also constantly reminded, triggered, (whatever you wish to call it), daily by the super cool humans who apparently never learned fucking body basics in kindergarten. Thursday afternoons I see my own personal super hero, Sheila, and as she guides me toward a semblance of my old self, sessions almost always leave me with an emotional hangover that can last days. The mental, emotional and physical fatigue I fight daily, barely leaves me any energy to gussy up for work, so the thought of getting in any kind of holiday spirit was simply draining.

I woke up like this. And just want to go to work like this.

But I’m at a point where I must ban myself from a weekend full of bed lingering when I’m not trying to be social (stepping out of my mini manse and Dalts bubble little by little). I forced myself to get Halloween decorations out to the max because I hadn’t for two years. The fucking nerve of me.

There’s a glimpse of my old holiday mistress.

So, too, it is time to get in the motherfucking thankful, celebrate everything, CBXB spirit again YEAR-ROUND. Period.

When Dada CBXB and I were watching the Iowa Hawkeyes win their first bowl game in four years (yeehaw!) and he suggested I keep my Christmas tree up a little longer because it looked so pretty. (Side note – my buddy Camo insisted that I put my worldly pink, sparkly possession up and almost forced the ornaments on the fucking thing himself – and I’m glad he did).

Once the goddamn thing was up, I couldn’t help but be excited about turning the lights on when I got home from work. I also raced home every evening to see if anyone from my pussy posse knocked the pink tinseled delight over (remained in tact all season) being that this was their first experience with an actual Christmas tree. Turns out, they just like to sit underneath it and stare up at the lights, much like their mother.

Hello Gorgeous.

Speaking of moms, mine suggested that if I still had mine up, I should decorate it with Valentine’s attire. And just like that – I had an Oprah AHA! moment.

If I kept my tree up all year round would that make me:

  • a) Festive
    b) Red neck
    c) White trash
    d) Crazy as fuck
    e)All the above

Guess what my answer is?

  • f) I don’t give a fuck

So, there you have it. I’m keeping my tree up all 2018 in celebration of celebrating.

Getting my ass back into the habit of loving everything about any little out-of-the ordinary thing of the day/week/month/year. If you visit the mini manse, best bring me something to hang on the pink tinsel (yes, mini bottles of Captain Morgan count).

I have a sparkly army – and if you’re reading, you’re a part of it – who has done nothing but encourage me every step of the goddamn way. Via comments. Messages. Snail mail. Phone calls.

Just minor digit change from last year.

I rang in the new year with reminders that I’m facing nothing alone sent to me from all over the world – here’s a sample of my faves:

I even wore armour sent by HJ and CC by way of Denver, CO (and no I wasn’t tipped and yes I was pissed no one tried all night).

Onward Buttercup There’s Fuckery to Spread

Attitude for gratitude, my friends. I have nothing but it for you.

Join me in being fierce as fuck in 2018.

Cheers.

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!

Griswold Family Style Fourth of July

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks…

Party Chick

…is a party girl from Tennessee.

Party Girl

As cousins gather every Fourth…

Cousins

…to be with family

The Griswolds

From Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

Constant fights over the mic…

Mic Fight

to sing karaoke.

Karoake King

Trivial Pursuit winners, always reign supreme!

Winners!

From new tattoos…

Tattoo

…to pool dunks…

Dunk

…with drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

Our favorite toy is the aqua bar…

Aqua Bar

…that prevents us from floating too far.

Floater

 I’m proud to be from my family!

Family

Where at least I can be me.

Beerpoo

And they never, ever let me forget

Just how handy my booty can be.

Handy

Cousins blowing their muscles up…

Blow Hards

…next to me

Muscles

so I won’t cry and feel left out.

Cry Baby

There ain’t no doubt I love my clan –

Clan

Thank God for my family!

Fam

Here’s hoping your version of the Griswolds has a safe and booze filled 4th.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Crazy Pants and Crazy Aunts

 

Being a crazy pants, entertaining aunt may be the death of me but it’s sure a lot of goddamn fun. A recent trip back home to Iowa was full of celebrations – and that’s just the kind of days this chick needed.

My Aunt Crazy Pants had a birthday a few weeks ago and although she’s kicking cancer ass, she still found her party pants. My sister (the not always happy about being my partner in crime but does it anyway) and Mama CBXB were able to join in on the festivities.

Fab four.

Birthday Queen.

Naturally, I couldn’t resist adding a little bit of fuchsia to the birthday bash.

I now want to grow a mustache. Only in the fuchsia hue.

We even forced Mr. Jakers to get in on the shenanigans.

We kept the thrown down going the following day because, well, why the hell not stretch out a birthday for as long as possible?

Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

It was also my Aunt Crispie’s actual date of birth, so it was a double party whammy. Naturally our trashtastic family always uses the ever classy red solo cups for guzzling beverages of the alcoholic sort.

A trio of fun aunts. You figure out the crazy one.

Being the fun aunt just may be the reason of permanent paralysis below my waist… but so worth it.

A back adjustment the old-fashioned way.

One of the perks of being a short adult is my capability of stuffing myself into an extra-large kids t-shirt. Therefore, I get to wear matching tops with Princess B while she still thinks it’s cool.

It’s party time!

We ended Aunt Crazy Pants’s celebration week with a trip to trivia night at the local grocery store (yes, that is what we do in small town Iowa and it’s fucking fun). Although my brain cells only provided one correct question of 20, our team “The Rats,” were able to slip into second place while having a laugh riot.

Trivia tomfoolery.

Being that I live 1,000 miles away in Nashville, cramming in all celebrations close to my visit date is common. Therefore, Santa made a special visit just for me – even with a small, glittery tree.

Christmas in March.

We also scrunched in an early birthday bash for yours truly, so I really raked it in (don’t worry if you haven’t picked anything out for me yet – you still have time and yes, I will provide a list).

The more the merrier in March!

Any Iowa birthday party of mine isn’t complete without a trip to see my bro-in-law, Dr. Cocktail, who makes libations that rival any mixologist on the planet (and no, that isn’t an overstatement).

Manhattan man.

Mine. All mine.

While there were only four adults present at the kitchen island, it sort of seemed a fraternity party took place when we were winding down. But that only means it was an evening of amusement, yes?

A party of four…or 44?

Regardless of the time my head hit the pillow, I had the two most adorable alarm clocks bust in and interrupt my beauty sleep with their not-so-spot-on rooster imitations.

Cockadoodle don’t.

Talk about a fun aunt. I went to visit my great aunt Marge, whose husband of 67 years recently passed away. Out of the five sisters in her family, her husband was the last to pass and holy shit was he was one gem of a person. He basically became the surrogate hubby to the four widowed sisters – much to his (dismay, perhaps?) delight.

Uncle Bill’s ashes sit in an urn next to Marge’s TV stand. She pointed at it and said, “I’m going in there with Bill but I gotta lose some weight first.”

A BV and water party night.

If there’s anyone I can think of emanating in this lifetime, it’s this spunky, hilarious broad. She’s 88, looks maybe all of 68 and acts 38.

She can also sing karaoke from the couch.

And is obviously true relation with our family tradition of Jell-O shots.

More whipped cream for you?

After my Iowa party parade, I made it to the airport and back to Nashville just in the nick of time, as inches of snow were starting to accumulate.  Although, I was a tad disappointed I didn’t get to play with my two faves in the snow.

Snow bunnies.

However, I’m not sure I would have fit in with this “angel”.

Angelic my ass.

Here’s hoping your day is filled with a little fun, a little crazy or a whole lotta both.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!