Heavenly at Seventy

My beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life). 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 July of 2016. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

Today is ACP’s heavenly birthday and she would be turning a very young 70. Ever since her passing in September of 2017, we keep celebrating the fuck out of one of our favorite crazy ladies. We always cheers with her fave cocktail – specifically from The Cheesecake Factory – a gin rickey.

Celebrating ACP’s first heavenly birthday together, Mama CBXB and I did what all mother/daughters do to bond. We got tattoos of ACP’s signature. We were the first ones at the tattoo shop that day and acted like we’d never been in a place of permanent ink before.

Totes normal Saturday with static in our hair.

In fact, we’d been several times with ACP to get her tattoos, so we brought her along in pictures. 

She was there to witness our ink ups.

The photo I chose was of me holding her hand while she got her first tattoo. It was at the Lake of the Ozarks non-world renowned Tattoo Ted’s after a day of coving out and cocktails.

Mothers and daughters who tattoo together, PARtay together.

We then went to our fave spot on Broadway in Nashville, Robert’s Western World to keep the celebration alive.

We love sharing stories and peeing our pants over shit she would say or do (she literally shit her pants during a shopping trip at Target with her mom once. When ACP shared why she had to rush to the bathroom, Gma might have well been on the store’s loud speaker and announced loudly, “YOU SHIT YOUR PANTS?” For the record, I’ve also shit my pants at Target. Must run in the family….). I just got an eye roll (sorry Gma) and a belly laugh (you’re welcome ACP) from the sky, I’m sure. We’d often witness tears running down her leg from laughing so hard and we have fun remembering the spirit this woman, mother, daughter, sister, crazy fun aunt and loyal friend to countless people sprinkled throughout our lives.

To say there’s a hole in my soul doesn’t do it justice, as my aunt was like a mother to me and I take after her in many lovely ways.

I carry the torch for her klutziness (I fell into her closet after getting out of her bed – still in my emerald green stilettos and funeral dress – the day after her funeral).

Humor helps klutzy broads.

We also can ruin phones like nobody’s business. She would constantly drop hers in a toilet, I run my over with cars. It’s a special talent.


I carry her ability to get tongue tied at any given moment (I asked a male co-worker at a new job if “these are the size of rubbers you wanted” – I forgot the word band after rubber). She constantly called my boyfriends the wrong name. I once dated a guy named John for a few years. He answered the phone when she called once and, for whatever reason at a loss, she said, “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh GARY?!”

Quite the combo.

I have the ease of her unabashed bluntness and no fear of confrontation (she deemed me the biggest bitch of the family before she passed. I know, so sweet).

Whether ya wanna know the truth or not, ya gonna hear it. Even if we look like ass clowns with delivery.

I will honor her by eating double what I normally do during trips to the Iowa State Fair when this bitch Rona finally gets the fuck outta dodge.

Being a crazy aunt is something I’m already all over.

Or rather, they’re all over me.

I was born with her dramatic flair for life, so that bonfire was lit long ago within me.

Jazz hands for life.

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.

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 graced the Big Apple for a taping of the show, celebrating ACP in NYC.

The start of my 28 hour stay.

R. Nasty flew from Iowa, I flew from Music City and we met at the airport. Sounds like a meet cute except we’re cousins. 

Of course I had to document every.single.moment of our celebration trip and ever accommodating, R. Nasty indulged me.

VIPs Baby!

See me? I’m the blonde in center of the row. The guests were Lucy Liu (boring) and Henry Winkler (fun).

Regardless of R.Nasty’s twisted ankle and me accidentally crashing a rapper’s photoshoot in Time’s Square, we had a fabulous trip celebrating ACP’s life with a whopping side of shit show. We were only there for what some would say resembles a long layover but it was worth every second.

Oh I’m sorry, this is a prop for your photoshoot? Sorry. Not sorry.

The deeper the love for someone, the deeper the grief. For grief is the price we pay when someone we love the fuck out of departs us for greater pastures. For me, celebrating their life and what they loved makes me still feel connected. And boy, does the grief still run deep for those of us who loved ACP.

We all miss you something terrible.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. I promise to quietly laugh my ass off at memories of you (after probably tripping and falling down some stairs first) forever.

Join me in raising a gin rickey high to the sky tonight in honor of the Aunt Crazy Pants in your life. Throw on a little green (emerald or kelly green to be precise) if you really wanna kiss some ACP ass.

Happy Heavenly Birthday Aunt Nancy. 

Love ya, Mean it.

CBXB

BUY ME A DRINK

 

Lights Will Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for over 1,000 days now. Today, it is three years since she went to bicker with her mother up above (They seriously used to keep track of who called who last – and reported it to me every time I spoke to either one of them. Thinking about it now, I should have just conducted a three-way call and then they would have been even.)

Oh, no shit? Did you know the phone works both ways?!

I still forget and go to pick up my cell to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.  I think about ACP every day (I mean, I do have her signature tattooed on my wrist) but I especially think about her during my beloved Iowa State Fair, which typically takes place for ten days every August (but thanks to that bitch Rona, it was canceled this year).

Giant tenderloin time.

After my folks moved to Nashville, ACP would always be my state fair side kick unabashedly wearing fucking Crocs (so-called “shoes” that I hate with a passion) on her feet while she humored me on my yearly 12 hour day of fair festivities (present when the cannon goes off at 8am until the fireworks boom after the nightly concert at the Grandstand).

She also poured water over her head when she was hot. I think she wore a white top on purpose.

I haven’t been back to the Iowa State Fair since ACP passed and it will be bittersweet when I get to go again.

Corn dog round four, waiting on the fireworks.

But she relayed the torch to R. Nasty who was keen to accompany ACP and me to the fair in past years even though it was most likely the worst days of his life. Now, he gets me all to himself as I force him to eat everything in sight, ride the death traps carnies assemble (although they took the double Ferris wheel away and I AM NOT OK WITH IT), and visit every.single.livestock barn.

Two peas in a forced fair pod.

I’ve really been missing her beyond lately. She was my second mom.

Obvies.

It’s comforting to a degree knowing that she’s with her folks, other family members, and all of my furballs (who are most likely mauling her) that passed before ACP. While our family celebrates her life while we’re still living, it doesn’t make the void any less painful.

Five Hussies. One photo booth. What could go wrong?

I miss the cards she used to mail me. I miss her texts that made no fucking sense (so I’d end up having to call her anyway to find out what the fuck she was talking about which may have been her plan all along). I miss her not giving one fucking thought to what came out of her mouth before she said it aloud.

Oh my fucking Gawd. Did you really say that?!

I miss cheering her up on what she called her ‘blue’ days. I miss having her to call when I’m having ‘blue’ days. I miss making her laugh until she pissed her pants (super easy). I miss her Christmas Village she set up every year that was literally the size of a small town. I miss laughing my ass off with and at her.

Whenever I hear the song “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album, I think of ACP and the fucking cancer that stole her life waaaaaaaaay too soon (the chicks on her side of the family easily live to at least 90 years young. This means I’m going to need a helluva lotta Botox). If you haven’t heard the song or need a refresher, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it or click on the highlighted Fix You words above for a link to the video. I’ve always loved the song but it’s taken on a new meaning for me since ACP passed.

We miss you.

When she received her unfuckingfair diagnosis, her peeps rallied and while we couldn’t fix or take the pain away from her, we could provide happy experiences for her remaining time and memories for her to leave with us. She tried her best to stay as long as she could here because she was insanely in love with her kids, grandkids, family, friends and was at a point in life where she was positively starting over.

Positive pants.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, turn your radio (or really these days, your iPhone) up, raise those gin rickeys high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

Love you Aunt Nancy.

Too In Love to Let It Go

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for over 700 days now. This weekend, it will be two years since she went to bicker with her mother up above (They seriously used to keep track of who called who last – and reported it to me every time I spoke to either one of them. Thinking about it now, I should have just conducted a three way call and then they would have been even.)

No shit. Eleven days since you last spoke? Did you know the phone works both ways?

I still forget and go to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.  I think about ACP every day (I mean, I do have her signature tattooed on my wrist) but I especially think about her during my beloved Iowa State Fair, which just took place at the beginning of August. After my folks moved to Nashville, ACP would always be my state fair side kick unabashedly wearing fucking Crocs (so called “shoes” that I hate with a passion) on her feet while she humored me on my yearly 12 hour day of fair festivities (present when the cannon goes off in the morning until the fireworks boom after the nightly concert at the Grandstand).

She also poured water over her head when she was hot.

I haven’t been back to the Iowa State Fair since ACP passed and it will be bittersweet when I get to go again. But she relayed the torch to R. Nasty who was keen to accompany ACP and me to the fair in past years even though it was most likely the worst days of his life. Now, he gets me all to himself as I force him to eat everything in sight, ride the death traps carnies assemble (although they took the double ferris wheel away and I AM NOT OK WITH IT) and visit every.single.livestock barn.

Two peas in a forced fair pod.

I’ve really been missing her beyond lately. It’s comforting to a degree knowing that she’s with her folks, other family members and all of my fur balls (who are most likely mauling her) that passed before ACP. While our family celebrates her life while we’re still living on, it doesn’t make the void any less painful. I miss the cards she used to mail me. I miss her texts that made no fucking sense (so I’d end up having to call her anyway to find out what the fuck she was talking about). I miss cheering her up on what she called her ‘blue’ days. I miss making her laugh until she pissed her pants (super easy). I miss her Christmas Village she set up every year that was literally the size of a small town. I miss laughing with her. She was my second mom.

Whenever I hear the song “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album, I think of ACP and the fucking cancer that stole her life waaaaaaaaay too soon (the chicks on her side of the family easily live to at least 90 years young. This means I’m going to need a helluva lotta Botox). If you haven’t heard the song or need a refresher, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it or click on the highlighted Fix You words above for a link to the video. I’ve always loved the song but it’s taken on a new meaning for me since ACP passed.

When she received her unfuckingfair diagnosis, her peeps rallied and while we couldn’t fix or take the pain away from her, we could provide happy experiences for her remaining time and and memories for her to leave with us. She tried her best to stay as long as she could here because she was insanely in love with her kids, grandkids, family, friends and was at a point in life where she was positively starting over.

Positive pants.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, turn your radio (or really these days, your iPhone) up, raise those gin rickey’s (or Black Velvet and Diet 7Up, whichever you’re feeling) high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

Love you Aunt Nancy.

Game Changing Moments

For everyone there are moments in our lives that epitomize time where we will never forget the place, the exact feeling of that minute.  I’m talking about the big life changers – births, space shuttles exploding, wedding days, traumatic events. Then there are the smaller instances you don’t realize the significance of what you’re about to experience and the way it will shape the days ahead, forever changing your life.

Like the occasion it was presented that life as a ballerina wasn’t on the table.

Maybe not ballet....

Step ball changing my way through elementary.

Maybe the time you realized Christina Aguilera was not singing about you in her hit song “Genie in a Bottle.”

No belly dancing...

Anyone got a magic carpet?

Could be when you realized you not only lacked the tact but also the appropriate attire for becoming a super model.

I see London I see France I see above your underpants.

I see London
I see France
I see above your underpants.

Pleated khakis look good on a runway…

Bitch, please.

..said no one ever.

Remember when you saw your first concert and it inspired you to be a rock star?

Judo chop!

You either have it or you don’t. This Elvis doesn’t.

Maybe the time you had the first bite of your now favorite delicatessen, you knew nothing else would ever taste this good.

Taste bud changer. Don't judge my classiness of food choice.

Taste bud changer.
Don’t judge my classiness of food choice.

Maybe it happened when you realized that the art of watching a collegiate football game would never again be a dull time if you add in some Skinny Pirates and moonshine?!

College football changer.

College football changer.

Possibly being educated about where feminine products are appropriately placed turned your world into a real life Monopoly board game, making all the difference.

Womanhood changer.

#SOS

A few months after the beginning of Rapegate, I found myself at the downtown Nashville police department that was all but deserted of anything reminiscent past the ’80s. I sat alone and waited impatiently for my name to be called so that I could further discuss my impending case against Shane the Rapist. My leg was inadvertently bouncing so hysterically that the lone security guard came over to ask me if I was OK.

GAME CHANGER.

MOTHER FUCKING GAME CHANGER.

I was to meet with a detective and make a ‘spoof’ phone call to my fucking rapist. A spoof phone call means that the detective would route a police phone to show up as my cell number on caller ID when calling Shane the Rapist. I was a fucking nervous wreck not ever wanting to speak with the dude who violated me again, let alone try to lure him into admitting he did it against my will over the phone. The detective came to escort me back and immediately said to me, “why are we doing this call so long after your assault.” Um, gee dude, I don’t fucking know. This is my first (and hopefully only) experience being raped.

When I sat to make the phone call, the detective could not figure out how to do the spoof correctly. He went to get two other veteran detectives who also could not get the spoof to work correctly. And there was no way in hell I was going to use my personal cell phone to call because what if Shane the Rapist called me back? So, the initial detective went and retrieved a manilla file folder that had a single piece of paper in it. When I glanced over, it was a printed out email with directions on how to conduct a spoof phone call from fucking 2006. An ENTIRE DECADE prior to this moment.

Three fucking stooges.

It was in that split second that my game changed. There was nothing I could do about the ineptitude about the “experts” handling my case like the Three Stooges as I sat there helpless trying not to let the tears of rage, frustration and fright fall down my cheeks.

It was in that split second that my game changed.

Right then and there.

I can’t help what happened to me. I can’t change the way I feel about this situation. I can’t help the sleepless nights, the not wanting to be alone with my thoughts, the shame I still experience. But I CAN do something about it. I’ve been fighting the fuck for my mental life and while it’s nothing short of a fucking marathon, I’m doing it.

News today came about a goddamn glorious friend who is nothing but exuberant, feisty as fuck and full of fire. This game changing moment dawned on me when I heard news about her prognosis with breast cancer. There she was one day, sitting in her doctor’s waiting room, headed in for a mammogram. And boom. Cancer.

Motherfucking unwanted game changer.

She can’t help what is happening to her body. She can’t change the way she feels about this situation. But she is fighting the fuck out of it. She has the support that resembles an army backing her, much the same as I do, when uncontrollable circumstances that are unfair as fuck arise.

My game changing uniform is now permanently on.

For her.

For me.

Here’s to kicking the shit out of the game changers we don’t want. The game changers for which we don’t ask. The game changing moments no one expects or wants in their lives.

Swinging for the fences of good game changers.

Love you friend.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Super Twins, Super Friends, Super Bowl

Anyone else feel the wrath of the Polar Vortex last week? Living in Nashville, it was just a touch chillier than usual. But my where my Iowa twins reside it was a balmy -51…and that was the actual temperature, not the wind chill. Busting out of the house on Friday night made for two happy kids (and two happier parents).

Cheering on their cousin at a basketball game.

With blue tongues.

While the twins were cheering being out of the house during the Polar Vortex, I was watching the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball team school a fifth ranked Michigan. An unranked Hawk team won with a score of 74-59. God I love a rush to the court.

ON IOWA.

I’ve been meaning to give the Mini Manse a facelift since I’ve been letting everything pile up in the three years since Rapegate. Now that I’m back to giving fucks about everything, it was time to roll up my sparkly sleeves and get to work. I decided to start with The Pussy Posse wing, which I am also converting into an office Carrie Bradshaw style (you know, since I will have a martini by my side while I’m writing).

Disaster area.

As you can see, I had my work cut out for me. Basically, it looked like I was removing into the Mini Manse instead of reorganizing. My Posse couldn’t have been more excited for the overhaul.

So helpful.

In other animal news, my side hustle is pet sitting and I finally have a logo. With Hawkeye colors and a crown, could it be more fitting?

Pet Sitter Extraordinaire.

Mama CBXB provided an organizing break on Saturday morning with a much needed mimosa.

Respite from reorganizing.

While brunching, I was reminded of a long, lost pet peeve I hadn’t seen in many moons. Does it bother anyone else when parties of two sit on the same side? It makes my skin crawl for some reason.

Why can’t I just let people eat in peace?

After carb loading, it was back to finishing the cat room and it turned out swimmingly (if you like all things cat and also don’t mind memorials to my lost fur ball loves, fittingly stored in cocktail shakers and a disco ball for Ted).

 

Yes. I know you think I’m crazy. No, I don’t give a fuck.

After the finishing touches on the organizing, it was time to relax.

Some of my fave gal pals from the ‘hood came over to bitch, moan, celebrate, laugh and lean on each other.

Nothing better than gal pals.

Galentine’s Day prep.

Sunday marked a sad sports day for me. The official end of football season. However, I am much more of a college football fan than an NFL lady but still, I have to wait until August for my beloved sport to start again.

See ya later Tailgater.

While I loathe the fucking Patriots (don’t forget Bill Belichick released my dad from the Baltimore Colts back in the day – oh, and that video camera in opposing teams’ locker rooms still seems a lot like fucking cheating to me). However, between both teams combined playing in the Super Bowl, my Iowa Hawkeyes had the most players of any other college representing.

The Patriots have four former Hawkeyes total on their team. Adrian Clayborn and James Ferentz are on the roster, while Cole Croston and Riley McCarron are on the practice squad. The Rams sport two former Hawks, starting guard Austin Blythe and Henry Krieger-Coble on the practice squad. Not a bad turnout from one college program, huh?

Dada CBXB and I decided to forgo our usual tailgating snacks for a Chili’s enchilada platter and it did not disappoint in the slightest.

Um…I’m still eating on this today when I was starting a diet on Monday…

Filler up for a snoozefest of a defensive game.

While I was rooting for the Rams, I will always be happy to see former Hawkeyes achieving great feats.

One of my all time fave Hawks and my all time fave coach, celebrating.

It was even cooler that Coach Ferentz’s son also will be receiving a Super bowl ring.

Iowa girl through and through.

Lastly, I learned news yesterday of a spunky, feisty, young, bad ass mother of two who has been given a diagnosis none of us want. She’s got an army around her but I ask you to send your magic, juju, positivity and whatever else you can muster her way.

FUCK CANCER.

CBXB

CBXB!