Hometown Tourist

You’d think with all of the belly aching I do regarding Nashville’s ever growing population that I hate it here in Music City. That’s not true though – I love this city. I just wish other people loved it the way I loved it instead of moving here and trying my once (and still to some) mini city on for size for a few years before moving on to bigger and better.

OMG. Stop moving here. You are driving me to drink.

The job market is oversaturated, gentrification is becoming a serious side of living here (especially if your income is a single lady living on her own – cannot imagine what it’s like for families), high rises have already murdered the once charming Music Row, First Mate can count 18 cranes (she calls them sky birds and for the record, she’s totally fine with the havoc wreaking taking place) from her downtown office, every.single.fucking. bro country “music” artist has a bar in the once quaint downtown (from Florida Georgia Line to Blake Shelton to Jason Aldean). My once gem of a city is turning into a bonafuckingfide bigger Branson, Missouri, right in front of my peepers.

https://cowboysandcrossbones.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/image2.jpg

Country. When country wasn’t cool.

I digress.

When pals come to town, it’s always been fun playing tourist in my own city. Due to the massive growth the last few years, I haven’t taken advantage of seeing Nashville through the eyes of others lately (and because if one more fucking to-be bride drunkenly steps on my foot, I might lose my goddamn mind and kick her Taylor Swift wearing cowboy boots with skirt outfit circa 2015 to the fucking state line).

There’s enough crazy in town already, bachelorettes.

This past weekend, my college bestie, Tdawg was in town to get her giddy up on with some of her gal pals from Denver.

It was the group’s first time in Nashville and I threw caution to the wind, swallowed $40 for two hour parking (you parking lot people are seriously horrible human beings), and trotted my ample ass down to the swanky hotel on Friday and met the crew at the rooftop bar.

Gorgeous lobby.

Intricate ceilings.

Most importantly, the bar.

The views from this spot did not disappoint.

Three ladies and an asshole.

Because I must always be up to no good, I was more than happy to oblige photo requests.

Oh. Just you three in it? Sorry. Not sorry.

They had supper reservations Friday night and I promised (after she forced me to call the studio by literally holding the phone up to my ear to make an appointment while I guzzled rosé at the bar) Tdawg I’d meet her on Saturday morning for an exercise class at Pure Barre. If you wonder who the fuck works out on a two day vacation, look no further than Tdawg. I have enough trouble sweating in my own city, let alone when I’m traveling.

Unless I’m visiting Yoga Barbie in Denver, I DO NOT workout on vacay.

Needless to say, I overslept and missed the fucking class. It ended up being OK thought because Tdawg was overserved the evening prior and spent the next several hours in her dreamy hotel bed. But she was up and at ’em for the evening and after supper, I took the gals to my fave honky tonk on the planet – Robert’s Western World to see my fave country band on the planet – The Don Kelley Band.

Recovered.

I used to frequent Robert’s so much before the besiege of tourists take over every summer, the last time I was there, Don Kelley said to me, “you don’t get out much, do you?” while I was dancing for the 4,812,654 time in front of him.

You AGAIN?!

Usually, on a Saturday night at 8:30 it’s already asses to elbows on Broadway and it was no different when we were frolicking about downtown. However, luck was on our side and when we galloped into Robert’s, there was an open booth at the front of the bar waiting for our rear ends. This kind of magic hasn’t happened since 2014.

Yeehaws all around.

Tawg was beyond impressed with the twang and spent most of her time at Robert’s on one of many devices.

 

The owner of Robert’s, JesseLee Jones, is the leader of the house band, Brazilbilly. They play every Saturday night from 10pm – 2am. In all of my years going to Robert’s, every single Saturday night, his mom comes and watches his show. Every. single. time. She sits in the same spot and drinks either coffee or Red Bull. It’s the fucking cutest thing ever.

Mama Jones.

Tdawg called it an early night but No Digity, MoHo and yours truly stayed to see The Don Kelley Band’s famous rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

We didn’t hate it.

Upon returning to the Noelle Hotel, I tried to fill Tdawg in on what she missed.

No pillow talk for me.

The ladies had to get up at the first sign of the sun to catch their 8am flight. Meanwhile, I was able to get some much needed beauty sleep in a quiet, cool, dark hotel room.

Not so sleeping beauty.

When my lids decided to fling open, I realized that this place was a whole lot fancier than the Holiday Inns in which I’ve grown accustomed.

 

This mastery was just a reach beside the bed and I honestly don’t know how much longer I can live without one.

Controls for the entire room.

 

Parched after my previous evening’s boozefest, I sauntered out of the room to get some water and didn’t know how many choices there were when it came to H2O.

 

I couldn’t figure out where the ice machine was until I saw what looked like a fancy refrigerator drawer below the water.

 

I would have taken some ice packages if I had a bigger purse with me. Because, I’m nothing if not white trashiness at its finest.

Speaking of finest, what about my departing outfit from the fancy Noelle Hotel?

 

I looked like I was a hot mess because I was a hot fucking mess. No Digity gifted me a Robert’s Western World t-shirt that I refused to take off. When I went to retrieve my car from the valet, the dude asked me where I was heading home to (since I looked like a confused, hungover bachelorette from Nebraska).

No shame in my game.

“West Nashville.” Ever heard of it?

I had so much fun being a tourist in my town, I can’t wait to do it again. So consider this your warning if you’re coming to Music City and staying at a fancy establishment. I’m crashing your party. Until then, I’ll be riding as high as the rooftop bar I was lucky to experience.

Oldies but goodies.

Party on.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – Tight Ends and Taylor Swift

Oh Nashville.

You used to be my hidden gem of a city. I’d lure people to visit because if someone didn’t like country music, they weren’t interested in coming. Nashville was never just country music and cowboys but only true peeps who lived here knew that. Now, the secret’s out. It’s been out for quite some fucking time since the overly dramatic television show Nashville hit TV screens and the last few years, one hundred people have been moving here per day, taking up precious space on my interstates (yes, the interstates here are mine and mine only) and causing housing prices to sky rocket (seriously stop moving here or I’m going to be unable to afford to live in my Mini Manse that is a 42-year-old, popcorn ceilinged, ratchety carpeted, brass hardwared apartment that has gone up in rent almost $100 per year the last three years).

After this weekend, it’s suffice to say that Nashville is a legit city. Music City hosted the NFL Draft (downtown), the Country Music Marathon (downtown), Jimmy Buffett threw a parrot head party (downtown), and Taylor Swift decided to make a surprise appearance in the city with an impromptu meet and greet at the same time regular tourists and bachelor/bachelorette parties invaded the city while regular events went on per usual.

In 2017, Nashville’s population was 691,243.

This weekend, 600,000 more people invaded the city.

A projected 340,000 people for the weekend. That number nearly doubled for the three day shenanigans in Music City.

Most folks that live here took heed from the warning below…

The traffic lights literally spelled NFL. Photo credit: Pedro Esteban Tellez.

Just because my city was inundated with NFL fans didn’t mean I wasn’t in the mood for the draft. Two Iowa tight ends were projected to be selected Round One. So naturally, I gussied up at work in support.

Tight End University, Baby!

Lucky for me, First Mate is a sports head too and she hosted a draft partay at her castle.

Do gators eat hawks or do the birds peck gators to death?

Nothing says football party like a little two boxes of rosé.

True to the projections, my Iowa Hawkeyes tight ends, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were selections eight and 20 overall in the first round. The University of Iowa is the first ever to have two tight ends drafted in the first round, which is why we’re now known as Tight End University.

I’m a size medium if anyone is at Raygun in the near future.

Detroit for Hockenson.
Broncos for Fant.

Might as well have been downtown.

Or maybe we were glad we were in air conditioning.

Either way, we had such a ball that we accidentally killed two boxes of rosé.

R.I.P. Bota Boxes.

Did I mention it was Thursday night? I woke up with such confusion at First Mate’s Friday morning (because I usually stay over on a weekend), I almost lollygagged too long to make it to work on time.

As if draft day one wasn’t enough, Taylor Swift decided to grace Nashville with her presence the day she dropped her first single off of the upcoming album. Hint after hint was dropped by Swift’s camp and Swifties from all over the planet somehow figured the fuck out where she was going to be at 11am on Friday morning.

If you want to stand where Taylor is standing, this mural is in the Gulch area of Nashville.

For those of  you Swifties out here, below is a video (it’s grainy but you’ll get the gist) captured by a dude who misses nothing in Nashville and is hip to every.single.thing happening in town. Taylor apparently stayed and signed autographs and graciously took selfies for hours.

One thing most Nashvillians can unite on is our disdain for the “woohoo” girls who come down for bachelorette parties. Now of course they pay good money and stay downtown but are, quite possibly, the most annoying of all tourists. So this was an especially funny site to see.

Speaking of bachelorette parties, check out the best sign from the marathon on Saturday.

A big congrats to the 30,000+ runners who completed the half and full marathon. I’ve done both and they are hard as fuuuuuuuuuuck.

Run for the tacos. @rosepepper

Even though neither First Mate nor myself did any kind of running, we still decided we needed tacos.

So we ran to eat Mexican.

While Nashville was abuzz with all kinds of shit happening, my Iowa twins were all primped up for a wedding. It’s too bad they don’t enjoy each other’s company.

Nothing but love.

J. Crew model in the making.

Hair model in the making.

I mean fucking COME ON.

When Sunday rolled around, I was ready for some mauling by The Pussy Posse.

Rocky and Fabio have snuggling down to a science.

The newest addition Scooch, is another story.

After watching everyone stand on their feet for three days downtown, my tootsies ached for them. Of course I remedied that the best way I know.

To all those that came in for a few days, thanks for coming!

But mostly, thanks for getting the fuck out of town.

Love ya, mean it!

CBXB!

 

 

 

How to Hit Rock Bottom by Twirling

What happens when something – or someone hits rock bottom?

I dunno. You tell me.

According to the dictionary rock bottom is defined two ways, with a third added by me:

rock-bot·tom

ˌräk ˈbädəm/

adjective

  • at the lowest possible level.
  • “rock-bottom prices”

noun

  • the lowest possible level.
  • “morale is at rock bottom”

 CBXB style

  • hit head as hard as possible on concrete
  • “head hit rock bottom”

I took the phrase rock bottom in a very literal way a few Fridays ago, as I twirled around in a parking lot, lost my footing IN FLATS (Louis Vuitton if we’re keeping track) landing only on my noggin which was cushioned by a yellow concrete tire stop.

An absolute guarantee my twirl was not as cute as this girl’s.

I can also guarantee that the concrete was not as cozy as this cushion.

I lost time but never consciousness. My head didn’t crack open and I didn’t have any kind of bump, so no visit to the emergency room commenced. I’ve fallen down so much in my life, this was just a par for the course in my novel.  I spent the night on a friend’s couch aided with water, ice and a high dose of ibuprofen.

The next morning, I did have quite the headache but only where I’d fallen on my head, so I wasn’t concerned.  I retrieved my car, ate breakfast, drank coffee, water, went to the pool, had wine, snacks, wine, supper and wine.

Totally fine enough to go to the pool.

Then that evening, I took a turn for the confused, belligerent and ended up at my mom’s house escorted by Bird Lady who kept telling me, “you’re not making any sense.” (Author’s side note: not uncommon for yours truly to not make any sense due to my self-described ‘blonde brain’ so this was waaaaaaay beyond my usual rambling).

Wait. What’s happening?

Upon waking Sunday, my entire body throbbed from my hairline, behind my eyeballs, my teeth, my neck, spine, knees and somehow in the middle of the night, my right big toe turned black and blue. I was a fucking mess.

Rock bottom if you will.

Mama CBXB had the pleasure of icing my head, listening to me complain about being nauseous, then getting to clean up after her grown ass daughter as I missed the bowl upon abruptly vomiting, when my symptoms were getting more serious. We called my health insurance nurse’s triage line and the on-call doctor at my general practitioner’s office for advice. It was decided I could miserably wait until Monday to see my doctor.

Ice. Ice. Baby.

I rewarded Dada CBXB for being my dad by giving him a reason to waste PTO days on, again, his grown ass daughter. Really, I’m just looking for more ways to bond with him at hospitals. So far, we’ve endured the removal of my tonsils, a busted face stitched up after an aluminum bat hit in 7th grade, Rapegate, his colonoscopy this year and now, my inability to twirl in a parking lot.

Hospital bonding.

I had a CT scan and X-ray of my foot (Dada CBXB just added my out-of-pocket cost to my ever-growing bill) performed, with the results saying there was no brain bleed, just a severe concussion. And a broken fucking toe (I have no idea how in the fuck I managed to break a toe and concuss myself all in the same twirl down, but somehow, I managed).

My doctor prescribed a week of no concentration and rest. No reading. No screen time on the phone and computer. No driving. No work. Just literally sitting and relaxing. And use a cane to help with the fucking toe. Oh, and I couldn’t be alone, so again, Dada CBXB cashed in four more PTO days and waited on his klutzy as fuck kid.

Oh woe is me.

So I decided the best way to communicate my neediness was to not look at him and ask for something while he sat three feet from me on the couch, but instead, I rang a bell.

I got used to the bell in about .000000003 seconds.

Leading up to my twirl down, I was insanely tired. My chronic fatigue has been in full force almost the entirety of this summer. I’d get restless sleep (because Shane the Rapist appears in my dreams but is just there – like, if I’m at a party, he’s there too. But nothing happens to me in the dream, well really, nightmare). So, I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up feeling refreshed. It’s basically been my job to be as relaxed as possible so that’s even become a chore. How fucked up is that? Three minutes of my life have doled out almost three years of recovery – with many more to come.

But, I’m back doing my beloved hot yoga, which helped me wind down in the past.

I take bubble baths after yoga. I read. I take my meds as needed. I drink sleepy time tea an hour before bed. I have a sound machine. I smell lavender. I put oil on my pulse points. I wear a sleep mask. I have a weighted blanket that is supposed to help with relaxation. I mean Jesus tap dancing Christ, this is my nightly ritual that shouldn’t seem like a fucking chore. But nothing was really working for my exhaustion and I was a train in dire need of some WD-40 on my wheels before they rolled completely away.

GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.

Something had to give – and so, it did.

It came in the form of a severe concussion and a broken toe, forcing my ass to sit still and let others step in and care for me.

More water, please.

I can’t remember the last time I ate three meals a day consecutively since January 29, 2016. Well, that was remedied quickly.

My dad’s omelettes are my fave.

His BLT lettuce boats aren’t bad, either.

His stuffed peppers don’t suck.

Nor do his chicken lettuce wraps.

Chef Boyarcbxbeeee

I can’t remember the last time I took hour-long naps in the middle of the day.

Let’s get some day zzzz’s.

I can’t remember my dad ever watching the Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise, but we did.

New shows on the radar.

I can’t remember the last time I slept ten consecutive hours overnight. But I did.

I know you can’t tell, but I’m well rested.

I can’t remember ever not feeling like I’d swallowed the weight of a bowling ball in my belly since January 29 of 2016. But that feeling is gone.

The feeling of not feeling like I’ve swallowed a 14 lb. bowling ball.

The thing is, I’ve been treading water justenough to keep from drowning to the depths of my own personal Bermuda Triangle. There’s no escaping the aftermath of any trauma but when I started making baby steps in progress, even if I’d regress some later, it seemed so daunting to get up on that goddamn horse and try, try again.

When I saw glimpses of pre-Rapegate me starting to shine through my cracks, I wanted to do everything at once to grasp, hold on, keep the feeling there. I wanted to fight through therapy and come out on the other end, meet with the detective and sergeant of the Nashville Sex Crimes department to discuss the mishandling of my case, lose the 40 lbs I’ve gained since being raped, feel confident no matter what, work out daily, keep the mini manse sparking clean, be “on” and “happy” at work, make my bed without feeling like I should earn a gold medal for that feat, eating even though I have no appetite, grocery shopping, taking and keeping track of my meds, paint my nails, gussy up, take pride in my appearance, not wanting to make people who care about me worry, trying to not feel like a burden to those who do love me, avoiding panic attacks only to have them creep on stronger, listening to the judgement of others not solicited from folks who mean well and like to offer suggestions and the “I told you so” phrase even though they aren’t medical professionals or have experienced my exact trauma, remaining relaxed to try to sleep, trying to save money and pay back loans while keeping my lights on, dealing with life and loss like a normal person when I’m feeling like a tsunami inside (loss of self, ferociousness, confidence, dignity, ashamed of being raped (all daily feelings), my best fur friend Teddy Bear died, my second mom, Aunt Crazy Pants died, a friend of mine cut me out of his life completely with no explanation, a job loss, Precious my beloved Chug died – and this is all just part of fucking life) – I have been exhausted to the marrow of my bones.

Then, I suffered a severe concussion.

I first thought maybe one of those stupid cardinal wings of Aunt Crazy Pants’s was under my head, keeping me out of further harm when my noggin hit the concrete. Looking back now, I’m wondering if everyone who is a cardinal in Heaven and loves me joined forces and pushed my ass down, knowing I needed to stop.the.madness that had become my life. I was circling the drain in a bad way and I needed my ass kicked to stop it.

Thanks for the shove from above. Let’s not do it again, mmmkay?

Thankfully because of my family and friends (virtual and in real life), the Sparkly Army, that – if you’re reading this, you’re a part of– I’m back at it again.

Albeit a tad slower.

Canes are cool, right?

Unless you are my parents, sister, family, friends, or co-workers. In their case it’s me, then you.

Happy to report I’m on the mend, hobbling around on a broken toe, which is like a glimpse into my nursing home future.

If ever I twirl down again, I hope I’m in more appropriate attire.

Twirl at your own risk.

CBXB

How Many Bitches Does It Take to Open a Bottle of Wine?

At a recent bachelorette party, we wanted a little swig of wine before leaving (and to be honest, carry in our plastic cups during our walk) to the bar.  Being the oh-so-smart ladies we are, no one brought a wine opener for the bottles so we called down to the front desk. And after about 30 minutes (they apparently don’t keep them on hand…at a downtown Nashville hotel…WTF?), one arrived.  I thought my years of deep expertise uncorking bottle after bottle of vino would suffice and I offered to open the damn thing that we could hardly wait to get our tongues on.  But I was wrong. Way wrong.

Not a job for one...but two...

Not a job for one…but two…

This cork would.not.budge. It seemed really crusty (if that is even possible for a cork) and we had the shittiest wine opener on the planet (the kind that makes a T at the top with a tiny spiral attached).

If I had on a skirt, I'd have rug burns on my knees

Coco’s leg power and my spaghetti arms were no match for this bitch.

Not if G can help it!

If I had been wearing a skirt, I’d still have rug burns on my knees.

With all of the difficulties the two of us ladies were having, my gal pal G (you know, the one who yelled at the 80-year-old man) decided to bring her pull into this uncooperative wine bottle.

Tug-o-wine war

Tug-o-wine war.

This was one serious cork

Three ladies, no luck.

Realizing Coco was outnumbered by G and yours truly, LK entered the corking contest, pulling and tugging on the biceps of our resident redhead.

And the fourth gal got involved, trying to help Coco

Eight arms outsmarted by one defiant jug of vino.

When it was all said and done (and I was thankfully not pulled apart into two pieces) this fucking cork refused to budge.

No such luck but a great arm work out.

No luck but a great arm work out.

We then decided it would behoove us to push the cork down into the wine. And then it started disintegrating before our eyes, breaking in half and making me want to start bawling while kicking my arms and legs on the floor in true tantrum style. I WANT WINE DAMMIT!

All of that for half a cork still in the f'ing bottle

All of that for half a cork still in the f’ing bottle.

Then Coco used what strength she had left in her arms to push the stupid piece of shit into the liquid we all needed so badly. SCORE!

Cork pieces taste so good

Pieces of cork really add something special to a glass of pinot noir.

And that folks is how it takes four bitches to “open” a bottle of red wine.

I know, so classy. Expect anything else from this chick?

I didn’t think so.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!