The Underdog

It’s no secret that I’ve had a rough go in my personal life the last few years. Of course, no one has perfection and bad shit happens to everyone, however, I’ve been numbed to the point that I don’t expect the worst but am surprised by nothing. Nothing.

Martians falling from the sky? We believe you.

It’s also no secret that I love college football – especially my alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Fans #1 and #2.

The last day that I can truly say I was ‘in the moment’ was December 5, 2015. I got to experience the first Big Ten Championship with my dad, The Silent Indian (who cheered for the wrong team) and Camo with my Iowa Hawkeyes taking on Sparty of Michigan State.

Big four at the Big Ten game.

It was one of the best days of my life even though Sparty won in the literal last second of the game.

All the after morning feels.

Four days upon returning home from that game, I was pushed out of a career that I’d worked my ass off to obtain in the music business. Eleven days after that, I experienced the worst Christmas of my life – a day I cherish (almost as much as my birthday) due to family dynamics shifting and my unwillingness to accept it. Less than one month later, a woman who was like a little sister to me died in a car accident. That evening, I went to my best friend’s house and was raped by her boyfriend.

That period of time was as beautiful as I look in this photo.

The day I was at the hospital awaiting my rape kit to be performed, I was asked if I’d like an advocate to come sit with me. I didn’t know if I did or didn’t because as my bare ass was hanging out of the back of a hospital gown, I was in a state of shock. An advocate was called on my behalf. Aside from her beyond sweet demeanor, her name being Barbie (I mean, c’mon!), her fabulous Louis Vuitton purse (obvies the right advocate for me), she said something that still rings true to this day.

“There will be a before rape in your life. And there will be an after rape.” A before and after. Seems like a simple enough concept but I did not comprehend then how fucking true this would be in my daily life moving forward.

The Before: last selfie I took before Rapegate.

The After: first selfie taken after Rapegate.

It’s now been 616 days since the saga of Rapegate began. At first it was all-consuming, eating me up – a worm in my brain, invading every moment of my sleep, thoughts, feelings – I had no idea that I might as well have been standing at the bottom of Mount Everest, readying to climb 29,029 feet with zero conditioning. Because that’s what this last year and over a half has dealt…an excruciatingly slow climb out of (or rather up) the lowest of extreme lows, seeking the summit of a mountain top that appeared further and further away by the day.

What happens when I hike.

Thing is, life goes on all around even though time stands still for victims of any sort of trauma. For me, I was stuck on January 29, 2016 but I still had a job to find, bills to pay, fur ball mouths to feed and personal hygiene to maintain (this took much insisting from Mrs. America and my sister). I just wanted to wallow on my leopard couch and have it swallow me whole but of course that didn’t fucking happen.

Not so fresh and so clean clean.

With the support and love from my family, friends, and readers of this blog (my sparkly army), I was encouraged to put one (semi-clean) foot in front of the other and got into counseling. I tirelessly acted as my own advocate with a less than helpful (and that description is extremely nice) detective, found a job, kept my lights on, was diagnosed with PTSD, adjustment disorder and severe stress and stumbled forward.

I don’t wanna but I’m gonna!

Through what felt like a continuous avalanche in my life, I put on the happiest face possible and plowed forward. Although, everything had less meaning, was less fun, was just not right. I went to my fave watering hole Dalts, invited girlfriends over, tried to read books but couldn’t remember the page I just read, watched TV only to forget what the episode was about as my mind couldn’t stay focused, stopped going to yoga and jogging due to not being able to be alone with my thoughts – because the aftermath of Rapegate was never far.

SAY WHAT?

Trying to trudge through life, every step felt like I was moving through snow waist deep. Yet again, life stops for no one. Aunt Crazy Pants was diagnosed with terminal cancer almost six months to the day after I was raped. She passed just a little over a month ago, ten days after I suddenly lost the fur ball love of my life, Ted. The searing losses felt like a hot iron had been stabbed into my chest. I’d never experienced the throes of despair (navigating my way out of Rapegate), alongside devastating, life altering grief (losing those we deeply love) at the same time.

There’s not enough wine for this.

While I was home for ACP’s celebration of life, I had an opportunity to go tailgating with my Uncle Toddy, Aunt Crispie, my cousins and their many friends at the in state rivalry of Iowa versus Iowa State. It was a thrillingly unexpected day jam-packed with tailgating shenanigans.

The fun of family…

Mama CBXB, Uncle Toddy and Aunt Crispie host tailgating done right.

Friendly family rivalry.

OR WAS IT?!

The fun of the endless booze all around…

I hate tailgating.

The classiness of passing time while waiting to use the port-a-potties…

Shotski for three please.

The catching up with old friends…

Game ready.

Having to ask your uncle if there’s anyone he’s friends with in his season ticket section just in case I embarrass him with my loudness…

A beauty and a sparkly beast.

Embarrassing my youngest cousin with all the right moves…

Cousin love is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line.

Seeing a live marching band was fulfilled for the season…

March on.

Up close and personal for the live action overtime win didn’t suck!

End zone win baby!

Afterward, I realized how much fucking fun I truly had that day. I lived in the moment for the first time in almost two years – at yet another football game. I didn’t think about anything other than what I was partaking in every. single. second. The bands marching through the tailgates. The booze. The Hawkeye buses arriving. The booze. The food. The booze. The rivalry. The family and friends I was enjoying the fuck out of spending time with. The game I got to watch from the end zone and the exciting win by the Hawks in overtime.

Some cousins took it well.

Others were sore losers.

Point is, for a brief day I got a taste of what it will be like when I transfer from survivor to thriver. I felt normal. I felt the fun I was experiencing. I felt like pre-rape me for once in almost two years. And it was fucking fantastic, freeing and I caught a glimpse of my old self starting to shine through the cracks I still carry.

Fist forward.

The Hawkeyes are almost always considered the underdogs. And it’s not lost on me that both the last and first time I realized I was living in the moment were at football games, watching my favorite team with some of my favorite people.

It was a much needed reminder that I’m doing the best that I can every goddamn day. Aren’t we all?

Happy tailgating!

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Slumber Party, Sniffles and Snuggles

Anything better than a fun old-fashioned slumber party?

Captain and First Mate back at it.

Captain, First Mate and Clark Griswold don’t think so.

I had three gal pals over to the mini manse in order to jump start my holiday spirit slump – and boy did it do some good for yours truly.

Sparkles, Umbros and wine for four.

Sparkles, Umbros and wine for four.

Not too long after one box of wine, we couldn’t figure out how to open the second…

How many bitches does it take to figure out a box of wine....

Um, it doesn’t even have a cork.

So I thought it was the best time to bring out my homemade sangria, Pirate’s Punch, which consists of Fireball, Captain Morgan and red wine.

Home made.

Who needs Betty Crocker when you can be Betty Crocked?

Upon proudly sharing my non-store purchased concoction, my friend Bex said “Tastes homemade.”

I can tell.

Uhhhh, thanks?

I made her drink it anyhow.

Made her drink it anyhow. Drink up bitch.

Or did I?

Typically a true party animal seeking to be the center of attention at all times, I knew my Tedstar was feeling low when I had to force him to take a selfie.

Stuffy host.

Stuffy host due to kitty sniffles.

When it was time for the ladies to sleigh bell it to slumber in their own beds, I gave away pussies as parting gifts.

Pussy parting gifts.

Just kidding. They stayed.

Saturday morning I was hoping to treat myself to brunch with sat-out-all-night-snacks but who wants room temperature carrots as hangover food?

Anything left for breakfast?

No breakfast for me.

While I was perusing an empty fridge, my Iowa twins were basking in the first snowfall of the year.

First snow in Iowa!

A few inches to start the season.

Being that they are almost four, this duo isn’t looking forward to the holidays, presents or Santa.

Not excited for Christmas. At all.

Not excited for Christmas. At all.

I for sure wasn’t excited to take Ted to the vet – worried that his sniffles may signify a worse problem than the common cat cold.

Hungover and Not Feeling Hot.

Getting the cold shoulder.

At the risk of sounding like an even bat shit crazier cat lady than I already am, I found TB’s little stuffed up nose and snot bubbles kinda cute.

Pissy pants.

Not at ALL amused having to breathe through his mouth.

I knew I was in for it on the way home after the vet because not only did he get shots of antibiotics but they also took blood as well, which is something that never thrills Ted E. Bear.

Trouble in the face.

Trouble in paradise for CBXB.

Dropping my pissy pussy off to pout the day away, I headed to my fave watering hole Dalts for a little happy hair of the dog.

Taking the edge off.

Taking the edge off.

I was only in the restaurant about 12 minutes before I inhaled a cheeseburger that I couldn’t eat fast enough but wanted to make last the entire day.

There was a burger here. I swear.

There was a burger here. I swear.

Heading home Saturday night to watch college football conference games, I was reminded where I was a year prior. The Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis with Camo, The Silent Indian and Dada CBXB, cheering on my beloved Hawkeyes (who have had a less than stellar 2016 season BUT made it to the Outback Bowl – I’ll take it).

Big Ten 2015

Two Hawkeyes, a Spartan and a Volunteer.

Funny thing is, although Iowa lost in the last two seconds of the game, it was still one of the best days of my life. As I prepped to watch Wisconsin play Penn State, I couldn’t help but connect with this sign during Game Day.

Truth.

Truth.

Sunday snuggles meant that somebody was starting to feel back to his old self.

Sunday make-up session.

Sunday make-up session.

After a day of rest and relaxation, the work week has started off guns blazing. Which is why I may or may not have Pirate’s Punch in my mug…

Captain's Christmas punch may or may not be in my work mug today.

100% chance.

Here’s hoping there’s more snuggles than sniffles in your week.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

p.s. - Only 25 more days until Fuck Yeah 2017!

p.s. – Only 25 more days until Fuck Yeah 2017!

 

 

The Perfection of Stinky Roses

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Iowa is not a word many folks associate with perfection (unless, of course, you’re me and think everything about the damn state is pretty spot on with being mistaken for heaven as Kevin Costner so kindly did in his 1989 movie).

However, perfection touched the state I hold so dear to my heart in a way that before 2015 was unimaginable. My Iowa Hawkeyes had a perfect – yes I said perfect – regular college football season. The Hawks are typically mediocre (but full of heart!), and us fans were just hoping for a winning season to get to a bowl game. So you can imagine our surprise when our team kept winning game after game after game….after game (and we kept doing shot after shot after shot…).

Our livers love us.

Our livers love us.

Our perfect record granted the Hawks a slot in the Big Ten Championship game held in Indianapolis, so you bet your ass our classy clan was there.  It was going to be an especially fun game, as my buddy The Silent Indian is a Michigan State Spartan fan – the team Iowa was up against.

An unbiased Camo, The Silent Spartan Indian, Dada CBXB and some drunk Iowa cheerleader.

Because I’m psycho (and also an asshole), I made our foursome leave Nashville at 3:30 am so our arrival to Indianapolis would be in conjunction with my Saturday morning staple College Game Day – who was finally broadcasting live from an Iowa game.

Worth it.

Running to secure a spot. The only exercise my body received all fall.

Sunglasses hide early morning sins.

Sunglasses hide early morning sins.

One of my favorite things about College Game Day are the signs fans make in hopes of making it to the broadcast. And these fans didn’t disappoint.

The Silent Indian left speechless.

The Silent Indian left speechless.

Truth

Truth

Even Tay knows a thing or two about the lack of respect given to the Hawks.

Even Tay knows a thing or two about the lack of respect given to the Hawks.

The Silent Indian and yours truly snuck our way up into the fourth row, so I could get a better look at my 81-year-old commentator boyfriend, Lee Corso.

A Hawkeye and a Spartan friends...for now.

A Hawkeye and a Spartan – friends…for now.

We also became famous for .00001 second during the broadcast.

Famous. Obvi.

Blink and you missed it.

After standing for four solid hours in freezing temps (I’d still be standing there if I could be), we headed into warm up next door with my boyfriend Captain Morgan at a party sponsored by my favorite rum.

My boyfriend, his girlfriend and me.

My boyfriend, his girlfriend and me.

We had no fun.

We had no fun.

After the Captain shenanigans, it was time to take our seats and watch one helluva heartbreaker as Iowa lost in the last seconds of the game.

Time.

A fabulous view of a tough loss.

The Gloating Indian

The Gloating Indian. Yes, we let him stay and watch the Spartans get their trophy. Sometimes I have a heart.

Aren’t you glad this wasn’t your four-hour ride home with a sore loser?

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No explanation needed.

So Iowa loses one game post season but do you know where that got us in the line-up of bowl games?

For the first time in 25 years, the Iowa Hawkeyes were going to grace Pasadena, CA with their presence at The Rose Bowl against the Stanford Cardinals.

HELL YEAH BABY!

HELL YEAH BABY!

And while the richer Iowa fans with jobs swarmed the fuck out of California, my unemployed ass  hosted a game watch at the mini manse on New Year’s Day.

Who needs Cali when I had a green carpet for a step and repeat?

Who needs Cali when I had a green carpet for a step and repeat?

Booze at the ready.

Booze at the ready.

Tailgating treats galore.

Tailgating treats galore.

Mascots in their best giddy up.

Mascots in their best giddy up.

Front row seats acquired.

Front row seats acquired.

There was just one teeny, weeny tiny problem. My Iowa Hawkeyes apparently left all of their motivation in 2015. It was 21-0 before the end of the first quarter and we were left with empty shot glasses in our hands. So we did the next best thing.

Sympathy shot.

A sympathy shot.

And then there was sympathy shot number three.

Thank God someone was keeping track.

Thank God someone was keeping track.

Followed by sympathy shots four and five…

Thank god my jazz hand also communicates the number of shot we're on.

Jazz hands for the number of shot taking!

After a very dismal final score of Stanford 45, Iowa 16, I laid down on the green carpet for a well deserved tantrum.

Tantrum

I wanted to win dammit!

Dada CBXB tried to join me but found the ground was too far for him to reach, therefore conducted his tantrum on all fours.

As far as he goes.

Losing at its finest.

While the post season games for my Hawkeyes didn’t come out with wins, I couldn’t be more proud of the team, my favorite coach on the planet, Kirk Ferentz, and the fans who are tried and true season after season.  For all of the haters who are going to lecture me on our lack of a tough schedule, mediocre players and how the Big Ten Conference is weak, you can go fuck yourselves.  I love the fact that most of the Hawkeyes are from the Midwest, many walking on from small Iowa towns (although I also love the fact our quarterback is from Nashville!), going on to become great college football players and going on to play in the NFL. I love the fact that Coach Ferentz will make a stand out player miss an entire quarter of an important game because he was late to practice (please don’t do that again Desmond King –  you’re my favorite player and THANK YOU for coming back for your senior year!).  And I love that there typically no more than a total of eight four star prospects on the entire roster, making us always seem like somewhat of a Cinderella team.

Thank you to the Iowa Hawkeye football team for putting some much needed pep in my 2015 step. Your two biggest fans can’t wait until September!

We're still your number one fans.

We’re still your number one fans.

Until then, we’ll be drinking moonshine shots every time the Iowa Hawkeye basketball team sinks a bucket to keep our livers in tact for next football season.

Just kidding!

Or am I…?

Cheers!

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Ghostbusters, Rockstars and Star Wars

Oh Halloween.

How I love the kick off to a long-awaited holiday season, especially when it falls on a weekend.  Oftentimes as a kid, I had multiple costumes for different Halloween parties (the horror of wearing the same thing twice), so I followed my own tradition and mixed it up this year.

Stay Puft mania!

Stay Puft Marshmallow man mania!

My costume was so on point that the TV show The Goldbergs tried to bring back the beloved ’80s Ghostbusters characters only to fail.

Suck it Goldbergs!

Suck it Goldbergs!

As you can see, our group dominated this category. And we did our own costuming.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters done right.

Another Halloween scene called for more comfortable attire, as my crew was going to see a show and I didn’t really want to sweat (let’s be real, I don’t sweat, I glisten) to death (plus, I wanted to pee and the Stay Puft outfit makes you hold it for however long you’re wearing it).

Rock Trio

Lenny Kravitz, Alice Cooper and Kid Rock.

Not to be left out, my fave little chug (chihuahua + pug mix) Precious was an adorable little ladybug.

Ladybug

Most precious lady beetle ever.

Those Iowa twins of mine? They’re obsessed with Star Wars (as all kids I know have been except yours truly…I still don’t get it but whatever).

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Yes I know. The cutest fucking Princess Leia and Yoda you’ve ever seen.

Seeing how excited the twins were over their costumes, I decided Ted and I would stay in the same family of sorts and dress up as galaxy characters as well.

PastedGraphic-1

October 31st happened to not only be the day of candy collecting but also a game day for my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, who have yet to lose a game and are ranked #10 in the nation (yeah, that’s right!).  My team was geared up to keep their record pristine against the Maryland Terps (turtles, in case you didn’t know what a terp was because I didn’t know).

Trick or Treat

Ghoulish game day treats.

Teddy Back Bear

Teddy Back Bear enjoying some ribs while still trying to put weight on after his bought with illness.

So….with all of that being said, our touchdown tradition carried on in great force on Saturday!

TD 1

Touchdown celebration #1!

TD 2

Celebration shot #2!

TD 3

Third touchdown is a charm!

Victory

Victory is sweet!

Now one of my blogging besties, Mark Bialczak is a fellow Big Ten fan, who cheers on his Maryland Terps. Last year, we had a bet that whomever’s team lost must be featured on the winner’s blog and ….. here he is in all of his loser glory this year!

Terp stew.

A Terp loss means a bottle of wine is needed.

Kinda feeling bad...but let's be real. The Hawks have sucked for years and the T

But how bad do we feel that his other team was the Mets?!

The celebration carried on to my fave Nashville watering hole, Dalts.

Skinny Pirates are my treat!

Skinny Pirates are a treat to my tricks!

Isn’t the day after Halloween the best when you are tallying up your treats?

Loot Round Up

Princess B laying out her line up.

You know my twins Clark and Cousin Eddie are still hanging with Gpa CBXB as Ted is still in weight gaining mode.

Cuddles

A belly big enough for two.

Ted was exhausted from all of the weekend shenanigans (of course) so he made it beyond difficult to do anything the rest of the weekend.

So I didn’t do shit.

Snoozefest

Snoozefest 2015.

Here’s hoping you are recovered from any kind of sugar overdose you may have encountered.

Cheers!

CBXB