For the Love of the Game

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.

It can be hard for those who experience trauma to remain in the moment, appreciating what life offers up for enjoyment. No matter how small the pleasure.

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.

I went into deep personal hibernation.

Somebody wake me when it’s 2025.

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 1,277 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.

My thoughts on hiking.

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’ve tirelessly acted as my own advocate with a horrendous 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 two years ago, ten days after I suddenly lost the fur ball love of my life, Ted. The searing dual losses not only felt like unusually cruel timing but also 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 the Iowa Hawkeyes versus the Iowa State Cyclones. It was a thrillingly unexpected day jam-packed with tailgating shenanigans.

The friendly family rivalry…

Battle of the birds.

The fun of endless booze all around…

I hate tailgating.

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

Shotski for three please.

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 big, loud pie hole…

A beauty and a sparkly beast.

Embarrassing my youngest cousin with all the right moves…

Cousin love is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line.

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.

I’m happy to report that in the two years after this fun day of football, I will be there again this upcoming Saturday as a thriving survivor. And holy shit Ames, look the fuck out. This survivor is gonna be there in the wee hours of the morning to secure a spot to see my 82 year old boyfriend, Lee Corso, with the rest of the College Game Day gang.

At the end of every episode, Lee picks one of the two teams featured and my fucking fingers, toes and legs are crossed that I get to see him don a Herky head.

Everything else is triple fucking crossed that I not only get to lay eyes on Lee but also, hopefully, maybe just maybe, get my hands on my other boyfriend, Herky the Hawkeye.

Stud.

I attended the University of Iowa for four years and never once got close enough for a pic together. But you bet your ass I tried.

Wait. Stop. I love you.

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.

I love you too, Lee.

The love of the football fan experience was and is a much needed reminder that I’m doing the best that I can every goddamn day. Aren’t we all?

Appreciate what life offers up for enjoyment when you can.

ON IOWA!

CBXB

 

Weekend Winks – Traditions, Tailgating and Touchdowns

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.

Love.

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).

Back in black.

As game time approached, the twins set the scene for our family touchdown tradition.

W-I-N.

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!

Shot #1!

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.

No go.

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?

Cat Tails.

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.

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Join the Mile High Club

How do you join the Mile High Club?

You go to Denver, CO. Get your minds out of the fucking gutter.

My birthday has been never-ending this year (sorry not sorry to those who’ve been forced lucky enough to celebrate endlessly with me), and one of my gifts was a trip to Denver from Van Waffles.

Poor, poor me.

Being the spoiled biatch that I am, the vacay commenced with bloody marys at the ass crack of dawn in the airport.

Time doesn’t exist in airports.

There’s something about the heinous Nashville airport carpet that is a “thing” to local peeps. A shop even sells t-shirts about this beautiful floor accessory. Naturally, I had to join in on the social media fun.

Upon landing, we headed to our hotel downtown (Denver, what the fuck is up with your airport being 35 miles outside of the fucking city?). It was a sunny, 70 degree day that was just perfection. As soon as we left to explore the downtown, I somehow made a wrong turn but in such a right way.

My Mothership.

Yes. I came all the way to Colorado to shop in a Target because I’ve never been in my Mothership that was located in a downtown setting with no parking lot. I mean, it’s all about new life experiences, isn’t it?

Target in the heart of downtown.

Once Van Waffles was able to drag me out of the store that I just scoured the day before in Nashville (they have the same items in case you’re wondering which I’m sure you aren’t but now you know) it was time to enjoy pink wine in the sunshine.

A perfect day for rosé.

We then made our way to a shuttle that transported us to the famous Red Rocks amphitheater for a 311 concert.

I sure the fuck didn’t know what I was about to embark.

I was warned not to wear heels to Red Rocks. I listened. I was warned that it was “quite a walk” to the venue. I practiced hills at my local park in Nashville. But I still almost died (or so I thought) on the way up to that motherfucking theater.

The worst part was being sweaty, thirsty and having to stop to take a piss in the middle of my mountain climb in a hot, humid, stank ass port-a-potty. I’d never wished I had a penis more in my whole life as I tried to stand to pee over the gaping hole of other people’s waste (you know the feeling).

Mouth breathing.

Low and behold, much to Van’s bleeding ears, after all of my bitching…

As soon as I got to the fucking top of the mountain, my iWatch buzzed. I was certain that it might explode from my activity during the climb but alas it was just reminding me that I hadn’t come close to closing my step (in red) or exercise (in green) rings. And I’d had this watch on since 4:30am.

I work out a lot. Obvies.

What I do work out on a regular basis? My biceps. And by the time I spied the wine line, all was right in the world.

Workout more my speed.

All in all the weather was perfect, the band was killer and the night was fabulous.

If you ever get the chance to see a show at this venue, GO. But maybe watch my coaching videos above for reference before you attempt to mountain climb unless of course you’re in shape. Then it’ll be easy breezy for you.

When the concert was over, I walked down the mountain like I was a 94-year-old woman recovering from a hip replacement surgery. Mostly this was due to the fact that I fall down like it’s my day job and I’m not sure how much more my joints can take before I need a true knee, hip, ankle, elbow, and wrist replacement surgery.

Me: Sorry we’re having to walk down so slowly. (Literally taking left foot and stopping. Letting right foot catch up)

Van Waffles: It’s OK. Nobody knows us here.

Me: That’s so sweet fucking true.

After consuming every drop of water in the hotel (along with every bag of potato chips and maybe a Snickers bar because I got contact high from the legal marijuana smoked at the show) I woke up Saturday hacking like I’d been a lifelong smoker.

I soon got my act together because I had told my college bestie, Tdawg, that I would take her yoga sculpt class at Core Power Yoga where she instructs. She was picking me up at 10am and being that I take hot yoga, have taken many sculpting classes, I incorrectly assumed I was up for this challenge after a night out and a mountain hike.

Pre-yoga excitement.

Upon arriving, the serene yoga room had a reminder on the door.

Just what I need after a mountain climb.

Then Tdawg came in and blasted old school Nelly…”Andele andale moma E.I. E.I. uh oh!”

Uh fucking oh was right. She didn’t teach a power sculpt yoga class. She instructed a Jane Fonda on crack cardio class with a few yoga moves thrown in here and there while the room was heated. No big deal. This was just the second time I thought a workout was going to be the death of me in Colorado in a matter of 24 hours.

Yoga Barbie and a sweaty pig in a blanket.

Keeping everyone updated via Instagram stories, Sister CBXB kindly asked if we’d be partaking in our favorite college past time.

Not drinking.

Not doing drugs.

Yes. Embossing cards. We would stay in our dorm on the weekends and fucking craft homemade greeting cards. We were beyond cool.

Obvies.

Heading to her house after class to meet her offspring and hubs, she informed me that I am doing a fabulous job educating the youth of America.

Oh be still my beating heart. This is truly one of the highest honors of my life. Teaching kids the F-bomb and S-word is basically my equivalent to winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tdawg’s hubs, Cdawg was celebrating his birthday and when he offered me a mimosa to start his celebratory weekend, who was I to turn him down?

My Uber descended to their house and both the Dawgs could not have been more gracious, offering me a full-to-the-brim roadie I happily accepted. “Hopefully one day you’ll come out of your shell,” Cdawg’s dad said as I doled out departing hugs.

Shyness doesn’t become her.

Next up? I showered, gussied up in my finest sequins to meet a friend who until today was only a virtual friend. She’s a fellow blogger who lives in Boulder and when I reached out to let her know about my last second trip, she was available to meet! IN PERSON! When does this happen?

It’s Viv in the flesh!

We’ve been virtual friends for almost six years and she’s known me before the twins, before Rapegate, before losing my music business career…so it’s like we knew each other because we did. It just took it to an entirely new level being in the flesh. Best long lunch date ever.

I told her I didn’t smoke at the concert the prior evening because I don’t like smoking but maybe I would try an edible while in Denver. She said if I did, to nibble on the ear of a gummy bear because peeps usually over do it (and let’s be honest, I could eat a bag of regular gummy bears, so eating just the ear off of one would seem like an underperformance on my end).

After lunch, she sent me this very ominous meme.

I chose not to edible.

Avoiding edibles proved to be the best possible thing because I wanted to keep my eyes open to meet up with yet another gal pal SS. Our mammas were sorority sisters in college and we were childhood friends. I hadn’t seen her since 4th fucking grade.

Not much has changed since we were 10…

Then we went and met up with the rest of the Nashville crew.

Hanging with the gang.

Although I didn’t get high, just mostly drunk, I still had the munchies on the way back to the hotel and it was very upsetting when passing a gluten-free bakery that was closed. I handled it like a lady.

I was just trying to fuel up for the flight home, which was occurring in a matter of hours after our night out.

Too many people before coffee, a bloody mary and 6am.

Best part about the early flying is I got to sit by the Easter Bunny and I scored her phone number!

Furever friends. For real.

Immediately upon arrival home in Nashville, I got a bloody nose that was the gift that just kept on giving all goddamn day long.

Dry Denver air don’t care.

Once the door to the Mini Manse opened, Van Waffles looked at me and said in all seriousness, “is your birthday over now?”

What the fuck do you think?

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Two Geeks in a Pod

Ever had a friend who has zero problem making a gigantic asshole out of herself with you? On a college Friday night while everyone else is out and about drinking copious amounts of beer but you wanted to stay in and make cards with rubber stamps (I was such a slut in college) and your bestie did, too (I think the love of craft making on weekends kind of sealed our friendship forever fate). Or instead of putting your best black pants on for a Saturday night out (with no coat on in an Iowa December while walking to the bars), you two decided to give being in a band a whirl instead and play air drums and a mean air guitar to Journey songs?

Friday night fun night in Slater Hall

Friday night fun night in Slater Hall. Yeah I know, we oozed hip and cool.

Ever had a friend that hid what you thought was a double chin (WTF was I worried about back then? Now, I might need the assistance) in photos for you?

It ain't easy being cheesy.

It ain’t easy being cheesy.

Ever had a friend dork out with you while studying in the sun, trying to scope out boys on Sunday afternoons (I apparently thought that washing one’s hair and putting makeup on was not necessary while trying to land a boyfriend – and I didn’t even have a booze hangover – I had a crafting hangover. Jesus).

Fashion forward study buddies

Fashion forward study buddies.

Ever had a gal pal who didn’t mind that you framed a picture where her eyes were shut (I’m such a sweet friend) because you thought the rest of the crew looked like they were having fun (and extremely schnockered up) on her birthday?

Eyes wide shut

Eyes wide shut.

Ever had a friend where you thought it necessary to share the same hairstyle?

Grown up?

I know! Let’s cut our hair so it looks like we’re trying to grow it out.

Ever had a friend that loved the holidays as much as you – making them all the more memorable?

Christmas

Santa, where the F are you?

Ever had a friend you don’t get to see very often but when you do, you pick up right where you left off no matter how much time has passed between visits?

Ladies who lunch

Ladies who lunch like they just did it yesterday.

Ever had a friend who knows your best stories and lived a lot of them with you? Lucky us.

Happy Birthday Tdawg!

CBXB

CBXB!