The Love of Your Own Life

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

I do. I love me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a Valentine’s Day box, my teacher always had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was left out. Not even one that I often hear guys claim is “made up” for women to get gifts. (Well fellas, if you treated your gals “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). We’d wake up to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a box of chocolates. Always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations for a dollar and the members would drop the carnation off to your designated Valentine anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. Open flung the doors and our band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whomever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

And it didn’t come from a love interest. Or the non-existent boyfriend I had at the time. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend gave me the best Valentine’s Day memory. Why? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

If force dancing with your head taller than you female cousin at your uncle’s wedding isn’t a grand gesture of love, what is?

More importantly, regardless of whether we are madly in love with our kids…

I mean…

COME ON.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our romantic partner…

Thank you boyfriends of yesteryears.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, co-workers….

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with extended family…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about)…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love – let alone like – yourself as your own #1, no one will love the you who is meant to be loved.

Bitch, I’m a Queen. A Queen Bitch Supreme. And I know it.

Be your own damn Valentine.

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Appropriately colored libations required.

I’m taking myself out with First Mate tonight – same as we did last year – to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how bad ass we both are in our own right.

Now treat yourself to your version of a stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day. You deserve it.

Be the love of your own damn life.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Reason for My Season

As a kid there wasn’t anything worse than the last hour of Christmas because I would sit and think that I had to wait another 364 days for the fucking fun to come around again.

Just your typical family Christmas chaos.

Santa would not only eat the milk and cookies, he even tracked in ashes from the fireplace when he came down our chimney. The man in red also responded to the letters we’d leave him and when we asked for him to give us a kiss while we slept (totally not creepy asking an essential robber breaking into your house through the chimney to also age inappropriately kiss but whatever), we’d wake up to jingle bells by our beds for proof.

Kiss the Girls

There was also never short a short supply of cousins to share in our Christmas spirit.

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These family gatherings and traditions have waned over the years, as everyone but me  grew up, flew the coop and started procreating their own spawn and time gets prioritized differently. I do miss our large family get togethers but with everyone peppered across the states, it’s difficult.

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However, that has never deterred the Christmas in my heart all year-long type of person you want to punch in the face.

Christmas cheer overdrive…always.

My mini manse never not looked like I was singlehandedly going to host Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the season (naturally I was always hoping that would happen and I could adopt a reindeer and an elf – and yes, I’m being fucking serious).

Serious outside decor.

Not until, that is, Rapegate occurred. It is insane that something that happens in an instant can alter your world so hard that you don’t even recognize yourself. Getting out of the bed was feat enough, how the fuck was I ever gonna be able to muster the energy to pretend I felt joy about celebrating anything when my world was now nothing but gray?

The past two Christmases I’ve twinned with Alice Cooper.

However, with therapy and through my evolving recovery, my holiday merriment is back. It doesn’t feel like a mask I have to put on, making sure those around me don’t feel burdened by me or worry about my state of mind. And oh boy, is it ever the fuck back on in full force.

The past three years, dealing with PTSD, chronic fatigue, severe stress and depression, life continued on which it always fucking does and should. That doesn’t make shitty situations any easier, and some that I’ve loved deeply, have passed on to party in the sky since I last celebrated Christmas in 2015. And, they were all a part of my Christmases, be it from childhood, adulthood or being my fur baby forced into Christmas costumes for a photo every year.

Those that I have lost all loved celebrating the season (whether forced by moi or not).  And this tinybuddha.com quote really resonated with me when I read it.

I celebrate for Ted.

I celebrate for Aunt Crazy Pants and Gma.

I celebrate for my sweet Precious.

I celebrate for Big Al.

Celebrating for those who have passed before is melancholic at times. But I also have 400 million other reasons to celebrate – including you reading this post currently.

So, I’m throwing my sequined antlers on and running the goddamn hap-hap-hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack.

Blitzen – for all kinds of reasons.

Starting with the celebration tree I’ve had up all year, it’s now adorned with all things Christmasy.

The mini manse….has been in transition from ultra gaudy to ultra ultra ultra gaudy. I have no less than 16 bins brimming with Christmas cheer that I haven’t touched since 2015. So it’s basically been like a supermarket sweep only with tinsel and all things sparkly.

Work in progress.

This is the first year that The Pussy Posse has witnessed the madness of the holiday season with me.

Exact replica of my four pussies reactions to all decor.

So if you’re wondering what I’ll be up to the rest of December between holiday parties and merriment, I’ll be decorating until the new year.

Very busy with my tinsel pillow.

Please feel free to stop by and receive a festive as fuck guided tour. It will only cost you a bottle of Captain, box of wine or bag of cat food. Seems reasonable, right?

Go get your festive on. NOW.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Bubbles, Books and a Birthday

It’s no secret that I’m batshit crazy.

However, due to the aftermath of Rapegate, I didn’t decorate my mini manse for the holidays for almost two years (this is the equivalent to giving my animals away). So it was serious business. When I put that goddamn glorious pink tinsel tree up this year, I didn’t have the heart to take it down. So it’s become my Celebration tree.

Just chalk it up to another reason I’m so fucking fabulous: cats, candles, books, and now a year round Christmas tree.

Christmas in July anyone?

At least it’s adorned with appropriate gear…flamingos, leis and sunglasses.

 

My cousin, B Master and his fam were traveling through Nashville and stopped for a quick bite to eat.

Being a bonus aunt doesn’t suck.

B Master had a relic with him and it’s a super doozie from a craft camp when he was a young lad.

A handmade wallet that won’t even properly hold a dollar bill.

However, it was designed to hold a photo of his favorite cousin, moi.

And, of course one himself.

As you can tell, good looks run in the family.

My side hustle is pet sitting and it was a fun week continued into the weekend with the foursome below.

Side hustle with this wild bunch for the week.

The bonus of this gig was the mega deep jet tub that I could hardly rip myself out of, as a bubble bath is my idea of heaven.

Friday Night Lights.

Princess B bucked up her bravery and had two teeth pulled.

No tears, no fear.

These days, the Tooth Fairy leaves behind a little more than I got back in the day.

Two bills a tooth, yo.

Even though Prince B didn’t have any teeth to yank, he proved his bravery by adorning his ninja warrior giddy up.

I’m glad he’s lacking a sword.

After a short recovery, it was time to head to an outdoor concert. Not sure why Prince B removed his red outfit.

Who wouldn’t wear a tutu to an outdoor concert?

Saturday was one of the most gorgeous of the summer, so Dada CBXB came in to enjoy the private pool at my side hustle (no, that also didn’t suck – along with the cute animals).

Sunning for fun.

A little gal pal gathering for our friend who was celebrating a big birthday and a move all in the same day.

Partay for a fave girlfriend, G Money.

Sunday was nothing short of a dream day for me. I woke up spooning a German Shepard, while butt-to-butt with the mutt and two cats on each side of my pillow. It took a long while for me to get my ass out of bed but when I did, I headed out to my private pool and relaxed the day away.

Sunday. Super, duper fun day.

After a book down in the pool and the sun said goodbye, I headed into that bliss bubble tub and read another.

I feel like I may have been a mermaid cat in another life.

I mean, hello!

Last week, I shared the love of rosé between Sister CBXB and myself in a post. My smart niece has taken to our slogan, “rosé all day.” You can imagine the family high fives when Bota Box liked the tweet, including my blog post.

Yes. Yes I will be her Auntager.

I’m already waiting by the phone for the Bota Box people to call my people. As well as prepping a filing system.

Just practicing for my future.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Loud and Proud

First world problem – a non-working cell phone that carries over to a week.

How the fuck do landlines work again?

My iPhone 6 took a literal dump. Complete with a cracked screen (I seriously replaced that motherfucker four times – FOUR TIMES and each and every time cracking occurred, it had a protective screen on it) and total black out of the phone BUT if I kept it charged, sometimes Siri would work. Bonus, I was gifted an iWatch from Sister CBXB for my birthday and I could use that to talk and text like a fucking secret service agent.

Who doesn’t scream into their wrist?

Wanna know how I felt as soon as I had a brand new phone in my hands?

Hello again 2018.

While I was awaiting my new phone, I was able to hire, beg my gal pal Rasta, into being my own personal paparazzi. My cousin, Tballs and his wife with whom he’s been with so long, she feels like a cousin, Hussy #5 visited Nashville and naturally, I needed documentation.

A trashtacular family sandwich.

Hussies for life.

Dad’s Day required margaritas and four heaping bowls of salsa.

Feel good Father’s Day.

My twins of The Pussy Posse turned six last week. They were overjoyed. Obviously.

Sleepy at six.

Another member of my posse is making the rounds at the vet (and I’m still paying off Ted who’s been over the Rainbow Bridge for almost a year), Precious my chug.

Fainting couch needed.

Pres is 12 years old but truly acts like a puppy in the fact that she canNOT contain her excitement over anything. At all. So, in the recent weeks, she’s been so excited seeing her leash, she passes out for a few seconds. The first time at the vet, we were supposed to keep an eye on her. Then, she passed out upon my return home from work last week (I mean, I do know how to make an entrance into a room).

Vet visit two resulted in a referral to a pet cardiologist AND an order to keep this chug as calm as possible. I sound like a fucking ass clown coming home from work, trying to talk in a monotone voice, when typically my screech could shatter windows when talking to my fur kids.

Netflix and chillin’.

I’m not even supposed to take her out to pee (she’s puppy pad trained) because the sight of her sparkle leash literally makes her pass out. So what’s a fabulous fur mom supposed to do for a little stimulation? Put her in a Louis Vuitton and take her on errand runs.

Most annoying duo on the west side of Nashville.

Preshy even joined First Mate and yours truly for an early Friday happy hour.

While speaking of illnesses and fur kids, Mama CBXB  has two pussies that I may or may not have had a hand in getting her. One is a fucking beast who gives all felines a bad name – hissing and batting at legs and making sounds that don’t seem like they belong on this planet. The other, is the sweetest little baby you could imagine. Yet, they get along.

A beast and a baby.

When I tried picking the beast up over the weekend, I got a little souvenir for my heroic efforts of love.

Finally! I’m sprouting cat hair.

Speaking of hair, look who is the proud owner of some colored locks…

Sorry. Not sorry she’s my mini me.

My nephew, Prince B, is taking after his folks for a love of baking. This weekend it was pizza.

Chef BoyArdee.

The ultimate taste tester.

After a week full of shit show news, it was good to get out and about at Nashville Pride.

Roaming the festival with Rasta.

LGBTQ allies.

One of my fave parts of festivals is gawking at people and boy, this one did not disappoint. The best t-shirt ever goes out to this dude, who found it on Etsy.

Trump is not his safe word.

It was also Tan Boy’s birthday and we had a big time making fun of my blondeness.

Taking Pride a tad too literally.

Pride weekend was a much-needed positive reminder after all of the hate spew coming from people of all walks of life these days.

Love is love.

Regardless of your political affiliation, every person bleeds red, compassion is compassion and treating people like actual human beings is NOT hard.

Image by Justin Teodoro.

Care.

Care your fucking brains out with compassion. It matters. If you need any guidance on how to do this, give me a ring. I no longer have to shout into my wrist.

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Make an Ass of Yourself in NYC

For me, you know it wasn’t that difficult. I mean, I’ve made an ass of myself in Key West. I’ve also made an ass of myself on a Carnival cruise. So New York City was a piece of fucking cake.

I made asked Rasta to escort me as an unpaid Uber driver to the airport early one ass morning to spend a whopping 36 whirlwind hours in New York City, meeting up with my cousin R. Nasty to see The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. As I was doing this trip on an extremely tight budget (as I was saving the small amount of spending money for booze, naturally), I packed food I knew could last me for my less than two day stay.

Hard boiled eggs, popcorn and protein bars.

You shoulda seen the TSA lady’s face.

Sauntering to my gate, it was fate that my fave airport wine bar, Vino Volo started opening that morning before 7am to appease travelers that needed mimosas. And it was located straight across from my gate.

FATE.

How did I commemorate my first trip to NYC with a mimosa that cost the same as a bottle of the fancy champs I typically consume, Cook’s? Of course I asked the bar tender to take my photo – which was a big deal for me as I am a master selfie snapper.

No shame in my game.

For real though.

When I boarded the aircraft, I wanted to get a window seat so I could see the Big Apple as we flew in. Asking what looked like a non-judgemental lady if the seat in her row was available she practically did a cartwheel and said, “I’m so glad you aren’t a fat ass.”

Um, thanks?

Upon landing in LaGuardia, gathering my suitcase (yes, I checked a bag for a 36 hour trip because I could – and it was free, as I was flying Southwest) I waited about an hour for R. Nasty to land from the fabulous Hawkeye state.

I took the opportunity to capture my emotions.

My it’s cool, I travel all the time (to Iowa) face.

My HOLY FUCKING SHIT I AM FINALLY IN NEW YORK CITY face.

Once finding R. Nasty, we were off to the metropolis to live it up.

The most non-city slickers ever.

Being the budget friendly gal I am, I packed booze in my bag. (Free travel tip. I do this everywhere I go unless I’m flying to Iowa where Sister CBXB has a cocktail connoisseur for a husband and a wine closet. I have yet to have any bottle taken out of my suitcase or break – but I do carefully pack, wrapped in my jeans with a box of tampons thrown on top – no one wants to look through that mess. You’re welcome).

We celebrated our arrival with a bottle of fancy champs from Arrington Vineyards, a winery in Nashville that I received for my birthday recently. I knew I was gonna save it for a special occasion and my first time in NYC with my cousin to see Stephen Colbert in honor of his mama deemed most appropriate.

Then it was time to hit the town and acting like any local, I took photos of every bar napkin, drink and sign in sight.

Flash on in a dark bar.

When the bartender asked where the hell I was from, I turned on my non-Southern charm and he bought us shots for us being NYC virgins.

Cheers to cherry poppin’!

I forced myself up in the morning to take advantage of the scrumptious breakfast included in the cost of our hotel room.

I woke up like this. No really, I did.

An omelette like concoction, hydration station and some sort of semblance of meat.

Regardless, I ate it all and then some. I needed fuel for the day to walk around the streets of the city. R. Nasty needed a bit more beauty sleep, so we decided to meet up later. Until then, I was on my own, which is scary as I have zero sense of direction and could have walked all the way to Canada before realizing it (well, my feet would have started hurting first and I would have stopped because I’m a big fucking baby but you get the idea).

Where the fuck am I?

I swore to Christ I couldn’t find Time’s Square. Above is the image of what my eyes saw when I actually fucking Googled “where’s time’s square?”

I almost asked this guy but he seemed a little angry…plus, I couldn’t pay him but I could give him a “FUCK YOU” back.

Suri responded to my insanely stupid question with “Bitch Please, (someone entered that as my name on my iPhone and I don’t know how to change it), you are in Time’s Square.”

FUCKING DUH.

It was then I caught a glimpse of this contraption of stairs with a dude on top getting his picture taken. Uh, guess who also needed it done rightfuckingnow?

I went over to the guy as he came down the steps and asked him to take a picture of me. He laughed kindly and agreed.

Do you think ABC News noticed my jazz hands and will come calling?

As I was hopping down the stairs, there was a small crowd around the man who’d taken my pic and I said it seemed like I was missing out on the joke. Come to find out….I’d interrupted a photo shoot for a Jamaican rapper. And it was the rapper whom I’d asked to take my picture. And the stairs were their prop for the photo shoot.

Uh…..*cue unashamed tourist moment*………

Curly Cash the Jamaican rapper couldn’t have been more nice and accommodating to this ass clown of a tourist.

I’d worked up quite an appetite unabashedly disrupting a photo shoot, so I stopped at Angelo’s Pizza on the way back to get R. Nasty. Who was I not to stop since happy hour started at noon?!

Selfie game on. At the bar. By myself. ‘Cause I’m cool like that.

Let’s not forget the food pic.

After our experience with Stephen Colbert, more selfies and food pics ensued in our NYC fun.

We hit up Ruumy’s Tavern which had a large array of sake cocktails.

I ordered the most naturally named for me booze concoction on the list…Because I Cannot Sleep.

Oh bro-in-law Dr. Cocktail, can you recreate?

Flash on again at the bar. I think this one finally got an eye roll from R. Nasty.

Not wanting our hours full of NYC fun to end, we picked up some booze at Duane Reed and had after hours in our hotel room. Which really was all fun and games…

… until I had to depart the hotel at 5am to catch my flight back to Nashville.

Upon returning to the mini manse, a hot, hot, hot soak was needed for my weary feet (and body…and liver).

The Pussy Posse couldn’t have been more lazy about their mother being back home. All five of them could barely lift their heads and open their eyes when I squealed at the highest decibel possible how happy I was to see their faces.

The Fab Four Pussies

Preshy rounding up The Posse

You can bet your ass I took my non-embarrased, touristy tired ass and nestled in between them for the remainder of the day.

So now I’m wondering if I can ever show my face again in NYC, acting like a cool, calm, collected, well traveled person.

I think we all know the answer to that question.

Cheers!

CBXB