It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for almost 1,500 days now. Today, marks four years since she went to bicker with her mother up above (they seriously used to keep track of who phoned 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.)
I still forget and go to pick up my cell to text 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, I’ve missed the last two years).
ACP was always my state fair side kick, unabashedly adorning the most hideous footwear on the planet – fucking CROCS. You know, the so-called “shoes” (I hate with a passion) that are supposed to be for gardening or for careers with slick floors. NOT FOR FASHION. She gave two fucks about my opinion and put her feet comfort over my protests, 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).
I haven’t been back to the Iowa State Fair since ACP passed and it will be bittersweet when I get to go again.
I really miss her something awful, as she was my second mom.
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.
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.
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, making tears run down her leg.
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 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.
In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, turn your radio (or for you techy kids out there, your iPhone/app) 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.
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
Down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
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
You’re not missing out on the party, celebrating you.
Iowa is my home. It’s where I was born, raised, grew up and attended college. All four of those life instances took place in different parts of the state. I was born and raised in a small town (I refer to as home home) of 1,200 peeps, moving to the Des Moines area when I was in eighth grade (which is where I “grew up” so-to-speak) and became a Hawkeye when I attended the University of Iowa. Due to a downhearted event with the passing of a cousin, I needed to get home home (where I was born and raised) in the corner of Southwest Iowa with a few day’s notice earlier this month. Me trying to figure out how the fuck to get where I needed to go with 3,612 moving parts was like the worst algebra problem I ever faced.
Do I fly into Des Moines or Cedar Rapids? Who can pick me up on short notice? Should I try to borrow a car? What about getting back to the airport? Do I have to have the gold star on my license yet to fly?WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Performing this feat is like trying to get to Mars (where’s Jeff Bezos when I need him?) because once you land at one of the two major airports in Iowa (IF you can find a last minute flight there), you still have hours to go by car in order to wind up at your final destination. Thank fuck I have friends and family who put in time and effort acting as travel agents, angel investors (flying to Iowa isn’t cheap in the first place and one of the flights I saw to book cost $6,000 with a layover – my ticket was nowhere near that pricey) and Pussy Posse sitters to make this last second shit happen for me.
Once travel plans were set on a Friday for me to leave the following day, I acted as if I’d never flown anywhere before and found my leopard suitcase full of 2019’s St. Patty’s day shit.
After unloading it, I texted a family member, asking what she was wearing to the funeral service (as I was planning on a black dress). She responded….and I could only imagine one thing pictured below.
Now, I’m not the end all be all when it comes to the fashion police but there are a few things I loathe more than Crocs footwear (when not properly used for yard work or as non-slip work shoes) but jean capris rank right up there (she did not, in fact, wear jean capris to the funeral, FYI).
After throwing what black dress I thought might fit into a suitcase, I was ready to head to the airport where I realized I hadn’t checked in 24 hours prior to my flight and if you’ve ever flown Southwest, you know that’s a grave mistake. The seating starts at A-1 and ends at C-50 in order of boarding the flight.
Indeed I was the final person to board the full aircraft and I realized I forgot my hand sanitizer but that ended up being the least of my worries once I found the last open seat.
Arriving to Iowa without incident, I was greeted by Aunt Crispy and Uncle Toddy (the man who taught me to snort knox blocks up my nose as a kid) at the airport and escorted to their fab abode for a night’s stay.
Adding further insult to my fashion sense, the fella picking me up from Uncle Toddy’s the following day arrived to escort me to Southwest Iowa in what he calls “time savers”. Naturally I voiced my concern at his footwear choice immediately but all was forgiven being that he adorned an Iowa Hawkeye hat even thought he attended the rival school.
Upon arrival at my stay in Lenox, I was shown to the guest quarters where the bed made me resemble André the Giant. I couldn’t decide if it was adorable or creepy as fuck but regardless of my feelings, I slept on a very accommodating air mattress that would allow for my short legs to stretch long.
Even with a comfy sleeping arrangements, I basically stared at the back of my eyelids all night, dreading the next day in that we were saying goodbye to my smiley cousin Linda.
While it was a hard, it was a beautiful day to celebrate Linda’s life. I was the youngest grandkid by far on this side of the family. Linda was ALWAYS so pretty and doing something cool that seemed so fabulous to me and I couldn’t wait to be like her (and her sister Dianne) one day.
The “didn’t wear Jean Capris” and “Time Saver sandals with socks” folks ordered a gorgeous flower arrangement for the celebration service. This complicated as fuck bouquet was ordered from a town over, that didn’t deliver and proved to be a challenge in the day’s events because we (Jean Capris) worried about getting it to the final destination for no less than 12 hours in the three pieces it came in.
Thank fuck there’s no stoplight in this town because by going slightly under the 15 mph speed limit, the flowers, statue and candles in this arrangement made it in one piece. They knew better than to entrust me with anything that could be dropped – or – broken if I had a slip and fall (very common for me these days).
One of the best things about awful days like this are seeing the peeps and family you grew up alongside. The folks who shaped (and tolerated my ass) in the early years of life. We’re missing a few cousins for the now vs. then pic but they were there with us in spirit.
I couldn’t imagine what my closest cousin on this side was feeling, losing her older sister. But man, it felt good getting to hug on her and see that she has not aged one bit with the time that has passed.
I ran into a few teachers of my old teachers at the service and I could NOT bring myself to call them by their first names even though decades have passed and we’re friends on Facebook. Mrs. Shawler, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Oliphant (who assisted me when I got hit in the face with a baseball bat in 7th grade and told my terrified ass I was going to need stitches), were all among the crowd paying respect.
It’s been at least a dozen years since Time Saver and Jean Capris had their photo nabbed with these three gorgeous gals. The most contemporary pic they have of me is my high school senior class photo and I’m not mad about it in the slightest because I pretty much peaked in high school.
As we gathered to celebrate Linda’s life, you couldn’t help but see the love she had for her family and especially, her kids.
I’m so very thankful and lucky to all of those who helped get me to my final destination in a day’s notice. Being home home meant the world in order to say goodbye to my cousin and hello again to family I hadn’t gotten to lay eyes on in real life for years. The trip was brief, sad and fulfilling in all of the ways.
As if we need this reminder in today’s world, say what you need to say, hug when you can hug and love the fuck out of people while they’re here.
Also, don’t wear socks with slip on sandals – no matter how much time it saves you.
Stay safe out there. Remember others as you go about your days. You never know whose life you could be saving by getting vaccinated and masking up.
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.
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.
Saying last week was hard is and will always be an understatement when it’s Rapegateversary time. The days moved so slowly, it feels like it should be October by now instead of February 3rd. Sharing my experience helps me in what I still grapple with from being raped and also, offers my support to whomever may need it. Speaking of support, you showed up for me in droves and that means everything.
Just a small sample of you making it easier for me…
Just so you know, showing up for someone who needs it is beyond explicable. A kind comment on social media. A text. A check-in. A fucking hilariously inappropriate gif. I think sometimes people don’t reach out to others when they know it’s a hard time because they don’t know what to say and I just want to remind you that you don’t really have to say anything. A heart emoji does the trick.
Thanks for keeping me badass.
While I was busy with my International Day of the Badass, my two kick ass twins were celebrating their 100th day of school.
Princess B treated it like a party day.
Prince B couldn’t be bothered to look away from his Bad Guy book.
In this family, we may have our Touchdown Shot tradition but there are a few others that have remained alive and kickin’ – one of those being homemade donuts. When I saw what Princess B was baking I almost got in my rust bucket of a vehicle for the nine hour trip to indulge.
There’s never, ever, ever, ever a dull moment regarding the twins. In between bike rides and hot tub splashing this weekend, they started their Valentine day celebrations as soon as February commenced.
Spreading the love.
Speaking of celebrating, I could not, for the life of me, decide whether or not to keep my pink tree up all year long again. Being that my pussies can’t answer with words, I turned to the ever scientific Instagram poll for assistance in decision making.
Enticing the decision, I displayed my prior celebration trees.
Digging around my phone for those pics basically translated to me wanting to keep the goddamn tree up in the first place. And my Instagram peeps agreed.
Instead of immediately throwing Valentine’s decor on the pink corner of merriment, I went to celebrate the outcome with First Mate.
We sea more wine in our future.
Always stocked full of wine, First Mate has been collecting bottles and boxes from Trader Joe’s, where the price points make it beyond easy to try different vinos. I think the total of the featured wines below is a whopping $35.
So many options (and we’re cheating on Bota Box).
The thing with fancy gals like us typically drinking wine from a box is that we sometimes forget what tools properly open a bottle of wine. I can tell you this – it’s not a can opener.
Blonde is hard.
After First Mate’s failed attempt with uncorking a bottle with a can opener, we decided to fill our pie holes with pizza. Because she lives in a newer area, deliveries are sometimes difficult. Thankfully, not only can First Mate dismantle a bomb from her time in the military, fly a plane and be a boss bitch at work, she can also traffic direct (even though she can’t open a bottle of wine with a can opener).
Very important delivery instructions.
I knew better than to leave my pristine white sweatshirt on while stuffing my face dining like a classy lady and managed to get pizza sauce on the bottom of my arm. I have many talents. Sloppy eating is one of them.
With a full belly and a good night’s sleep, Saturday started with an overhaul of the Mini Manse living room. Rocky and Scooch were primed and ready to assist.
Before Rapegate, the pride I had in my own personal appearance, along with my Mini Manse was skyscraper high on my list. However, PTSD and depression have a way of sucking every last motherfucking bit of energy out of you and everything once prideful to me was thrown to the wayside. In finding a new rug for the living room, a spark was ignited that isn’t going to be extinguished anytime soon. I spent 14 hours touching all items scattered about, dusting, Windexing, vaccuming, moving furniture, building a cat scratch tree (OK, I just had to screw some things in but still), getting all photos and sparkles in just the right places.
This is a significant sign in my recovery process because it’s me acting like me again. I’m super fucking pumped that this bitch is back to being badass in almost all areas of my life again.
Also badass? My Iowa Hawkeye football players who now play in the NFL making appearances at this year’s Super Bowl. George Kittle and CJ Beathard on the 49ers and Ben Niemann and Anthony Hitchens on the Chiefs team. Either way the game went for me, it was a win.
The pussies could have given two shits.
Super no thanks on that bowl.
But Dada CBXB and I were sure to have one last tailgate of this football season.
Cheers to our final football watch until fall.
With my badass outlook back, I’m starting to see life through my fuschia colored glasses again.
While Labor Day doesn’t technically make it Fall yet, the long holiday weekend seems to mark the end of summer. While it’s sad to say goodbye to lazy pool days, it was like Christmas come Saturday morning as my Iowa Hawkeyes played their first football game of the season.
Me. All last week.
Always welcoming a long weekend, I kicked off the fun at my fave watering hole Dalts Friday night, guzzling Skinny Pirates.
College football eve time killer.
My Iowa twins have basically turned into mini adults this summer. They’ve lost multiple teeth, learned how to ride bikes and just started first grade.
Wheels of time need to slow down. Please and thanks.
While the twins started their Saturday off with a bike ride, I was gussying up my celebration tree adorning it with Hawkeye decor. I mean, how could we possibly watch a game without a matching pink tinsel tree?
The game didn’t start until 6 pm and the anticipation was killing me. So I prepped the Mini Manse and had everything set up by 8:32 am.
With more than several hours to kill before kick off, there only one thing to do with the Saturday sunshine.
Pre-party at the pool!
The usual lounge lizards all showed up in our finest black swim gear (I pretended it was in support of my Hawkeyes – our colors are black and gold).
Dada CBXB and I have switched from our typical grow-hair-on-your-chest moonshine for touchdown shots to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. It’s cinnamon whiskey at its finest. Plus, I don’t look so fabulous with hair on my chest and I don’t need to add waxing to my already high maintenance beauty regimen.
The game started a scosh slow but that didn’t dampen the excitement for our first touchdown of the season!
On our way from #2 to a few…
Three cheers for #3!
Funny fun for #4.
Our Hawks outscored the Miami of Ohio RedHawks 38-14.
Clearly, we had a bit of pent up energy from last year to let out. And also clearly, I don’t know how to convey excitement without my pie hole being wide open.
Prissy really couldn’t have been more unimpressed with her first Hawkeye game experience.
Football is so boooooring.
Ruby Sue was so over college football season’s arrival, she tried to go home with Dada CBXB via his cooler.
Sunday marked the second anniversary of ACP’s passing. Her favorite place to go was the Cheesecake Factory, as they make the best gin rickey’s on the planet. So Mama CBXB and I took her there to celebrate her life over one of her fave cocktails.
Speaking of celebrating, Van Waffles took another trip around the sun, so the gang gathered for birthday fun.
The bday boy and Sleepy double fisting.
M.Star couldn’t contain her excitement at seeing me twice in one week.
She loves me. So much.
Photo shoots and selfies were endlessly abound and I tried to pose for every.single.one.
The Nicest Girl on the Planet, First Mate and an Ass Clown.
The evening started early and ended early for me as I could no longer keep my eye lids open for pics.
Eyes Wide Shut.
Upon my return home, The Big Three of the Pussy Posse demanded cat tails, turning my vanity into a makeshift bar, fighting over the skinny stream of water that trickles out of the faucet. When in fact, they have no less than five other watering troughs to wet their whistles. But who am I to say no to my pussies?
Winding down on Monday was imperative to this lady. When I went to draw my bath, I realized I was out of bubbles but due to my innate ability for classy beauty hacks, the problem was solved.
Perfect end to a long weekend.
Until next Saturday’s Hawkeye game, my liver will be enjoying some recovery (when I shock it with water). Here’s hoping you enjoyed your long weekend of down time, too.