The Lights That Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for nearly 365 days. Some moments, it feels like two years ago but mostly I still forget and think to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.

A song s-t-u-c-k in my brain like a worm the last couple of days has been “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album (if you haven’t heard it, stop what you’re doing and go download it or,  for those of you a tad more technologically challenged, click on the pink “Fix You” words above for a link to the video – you’re welcome. Now listen to it before reading the rest of this post).

I’ll wait.

Still waiting. (Uncle Toddy, have Gma’s second favorite grandchild help you. Mama CBXB, I will help you. Uncle Lew, you’re fucked unless Aunt Patti knows how to do it.)

OK, then.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, 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

CBXB

 

Weekend Winks – Legally Blonde, Margaritas and Partying On

This was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long, long while. And everything started off on Friday – which as of now, will go down in my world as the most outstanding, fabulous fucking last day of the work week in history.

It all started when I saw on the news that over 250,000 peeps across the pond were protesting the person with the highest position in this country.

I kinda wanted to be a Brit there for a second on Friday.

My fave thing was the spin POTUS put on it…”Many, many protests in my favor.”

Uh huh.

Then I realized via social media that it was just 50 days until the Iowa Hawkeyes first kick-off of the season.

Bring on the swarm!

This was all before 8am. So I was already practically skipping around the office.

THEN SOMETHING ELSE FABULOUS HAPPENED.

You know, I lost my baby girl Precious three weeks ago.

Partner in crime, upstairs now doing her time.

Well, Mama CBXB is in Iowa watching the twins.

Camp Gigi

While Mama was perusing Instagram, Princess B looked over her shoulder and said, “Aunt Juju got a new puppy?”

Wait for it…

I wonder how she got the impression?

Oh hi. It’s just me. Aunt Juju Spoon.

Regardless, if I could still do a cartwheel, I would have been doing them in my stilettos.

More fun after work took place at Avo, where they make avocado margaritas that are beyond.

When I posted my pic on Instagram, Avo reposted on theirs. Pretty sure this means I’m now considered an influencer, right?

Right?

And ending the FriYAY off right, I’ve started a side hustle, Animal Queendom, pet sitting pooches and pussies. So I made a stop at a clients house for a cuddle.

Side hustle doesn’t suck.

Saturday was a sun’s out, bun’s out pool party kinda day.

Three pool stooges.

Prince B and Princess B were very busy catching lightning bugs while I was playing Shamu in the blue water.

Bug catcher shenanigans in very professional attire.

I put on very unprofessional attire to attend a birthday soirée for my Cycling Queen.

Celebrating the birthday gal.

Sunday as I was scrolling through social media, my Facebook memories popped up. While I have a love/hate relationship with them, this one was a photo of Aunt Crazy Pants from a wild night at Robert’s Western World six years ago.

“Take my picture! Put it on Facebook.” Direct quote from ACP.

Funny enough, it was also National Ice Cream Day yesterday too – her favorite fucking indulgence.

Coincidence? I think not.

Rainy Sundays are the best for being lazy as fuck. So, I wallowed in bed, reading a new book finding enough energy to move my ass to the bath.

Who’s the fave gonna be?

I have a new cable system that lets you talk into your remote (which has been around quite a few years but I am slow to change because I hate it BUT this has been a TV watching game changer). With this system, it also suggests new shows I may like because of my previously watched history.

I got sucked into binging a show called The Affair on Showtime.

WHERE HAS BINGING BEEN ALL MY LIFE?

And then it became a family watching affair. I could not stop.

Neither could Fabio.

Neither could Rocky.

Princess Elsa Pants was only present for the chin rubs.

Ruby Sue was the most committed.

I finally had to make Sleepytime tea because even my sleeping pill wasn’t making me want to tear my eyes away from the screen.

It worked.

I found myself waking up at the time I’m due to work this morning but still beat my boss in…although my so-greasy-it-might-have-bugs-in-it hair that I was supposed to wash is in a bun (thank gawd for long hair). As I was scrambling around the mini manse to get my ass to work in 20 minutes, these three were beyond concerned.

Go earn us food money.

Here’s hoping your Monday is as chill as my pussies.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Cinco de Drinko

How can you cram in the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo AND a Nashville Predators hockey play-off game all in one day?

Piece of cake for this liver of mine.

Oh how the anticipation of a Friday feels so good. A long week of work and an even longer week of insane non-fake news calls for a pit stop at my fave watering hole, Dalts.

Skinny Pirates for celebration and consoling.

There was something ultra empowering for victims of sexual assault this week, as America’s former favorite TV dad was found guilty in court for his heinous acts. As he fucking should have been in the first place after nearly five dozen women came forward and spoke out – and keep in mind these are his victims that chose to speak up. Think about the countless others who remain silent for their own reasons. I can’t wait for this man to rot the rest of his life away.

EPIC WIN FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

On the far end of the negative spectrum, my home state, Iowa, that has always been my pride and joy, took women’s rights back about 50 years. BY THE FEMALE GOVERNOR. Now, I don’t care where you stand on abortion – however, this new legislation prevents abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. SIX WEEKS. Most of my friends who have had children, didn’t know they were pregnant until well after this point. Even if a child is molested and becomes pregnant, or a pregnancy occurs because of rape, the victims only have 45 days to speak up before they must keep the baby. FUCK THAT SHIT.

I mean, if the government truly thinks humans were put on this Earth to procreate, men shouldn’t be able to masturbate to fruition because, the sperm ejaculated could have produced a baby, right?

EPIC FAIL IOWA

All that being said, Dalts was happy to see Camo and Captain doing our drinking thang.

Camo with crazy runaway bride eyes – you guys remember her?

While I was sipping on Skinny Pirates, awaiting Mama CBXB’s arrival to Nashville, my Iowa twins were enjoying the simple treats in life…baseball and ice cream.

While I had my mini sombrero laid out for Cinco de Meowy, I had major tugging at my heartstrings when this popped up in my Facebook feed.

I have a love/hate relationship with these goddamn Facebook memories.

While I was a tad teary eyed Saturday, the twins were all giggle and games in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Princess B didn’t let dizziness deter her.

 

Prince B was a bit further from the tail…

 

I tried gussying up with a new product for the celebratory holiday – magnetic false eye lashes. It went about how you’d expect with me.

 

False eyelash-less, I hosted a small party for my NHL Stanley Cup hopeful Nashville Predators. Bird Lady, First Mate, Mama CBXB and yours truly partied regardless of the dismal performance by the Preds. They ended up losing at home 6-2…but the drinkos kept being poured anyhow.

Derby Success.
Cinco de Drinko Success.
Predators FAIL.

A gorgeous Sunday was made for a fun day of errands. Specifically to my second mothership, where I picked up a cat tree fit for my four pussies. Mama CBXB gifted it to her grandcats as a late Christmas gift.

Cray Cray Cat Lady version of Sunday Funday.

I was a usual shit show carrying it to the car, adorning the dumpster wedding veil I keep in my trunk “just in case,” to load the tower into my vehicle. I mean, I didn’t want to crush it, so I put it on.

Who doesn’t do this?

After clearing a little room for plants, we picked up a few flowers to help my black thumbs (I killed a cactus this winter) morph more toward green. Upon arriving home, the pussies couldn’t decide whether to climb on the cat nip loaded tower or eat all of the greenery and throw up.

Decisions. Decisions.

Fabio declaring his space.

Ruby Sue nestled right in.

Rocky couldn’t be bothered to try either, as he was near comatose on the bed.

Fine here, thanks.

Elsa Pants, aka Stank Face, bucked the trend and went for the plants.

…she owns this title.

I can’t wait to see what she’s left for me after work today.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

Say Yes to the Dumpster Dress

There is zero shame in my game.

While holy matrimony has never been high on my list of hopeful accomplishments (although I can train the fuck out of a man. Ex-boyfriends that were once couch potatoes, allergic to family encounters, bitched about having to go to out-of-town weddings, were closeted alcoholics, verbally abusive – all matters leading to break ups are now treating ladies right. Now I get to sit back and watch my masterpieces practice my long, hard efforts in their current love lives. Bitter much…who moi? You’re welcome girls).

Whipping male asses into shape for fellow females.

Often classifying myself as trashtacular, it will come as no surprise that when I was driving by one of the many dumpsters near my mini manse, my interest was beyond piqued when I spied a gigantic white box big enough to store body parts beside the filthy green trash receptacle.

I did what any classy person would do…I slammed on the brakes, leapt out of my rust bucket, just knowing that the headless corpse I was about to discover would land me on my fave TV show, Forensic Files without having to be deceased.

Instead, as I slowly opened the box, an even bigger surprise awaited my eyeballs.

A fucking wedding gown. Preserved to perfection.

Was this a sign? An omen? Bad juju (I mean Jesus, is there any luck in finding a wedding dress dumpster diving? I mean, aside from it being free and all). I suddenly became a woman more excited about a wedding dress than finding a stray pussy that needs a home (JUST KIDDING. I would first home the cat and then set my sights on my pretend wedding).

This dress had been abandoned once before. Who was I to do it again? The chiffon pouf found a home in the back of my rust bucket, along with a Christmas tree and anything else I don’t have room for in the mini manse. It resided there until one evening at a gathering of gals for Supper Club. Among the convo, I mentioned my dumpster diving prowess skills and with zero urging, ran out to my car and got the box.

The shenanigans began.

Upon opening the box, we not only discovered there was the dress but also the veil AND THE SHOES – which revealed the previous owner’s practicality, as they were ballet flats. Ew.

My new favorite bad hair day ‘do.

Suddenly, I became a flushed bride trying to stuff myself into polyester chiffon (I mean, I didn’t go on a wedding dress diet because I didn’t know I would be so fortunate to be all dressed up…with no altar to go).

I haven’t tried to stuff myself into anything chiffon since, well, ever. I mean, naturally my prom dresses were sequins and any bridesmaid dress that I will “totally wear again” (and never, ever have) were more on the silk/satin side of the material world.

With a touch of fake tulips off my gal pal’s mantel, I was a (literally) hot bride – one lit cigarette butt from going up in flames.

While half of the group was trying to get me in and out of the dress, the other ladies were playing private detectives. We had a name from the alteration receipt, which was from a dress shop in Hoover, AL. WHAT WAS THE STORY BEHIND THIS DRESS?

I mean, if it was cheating, wouldn’t one burn the dress? A nasty divorce, even, maybe donate the dress? But to leave it unscathed at the dumpster really proved that this former bride had a sliver of regard for the giddy-up that once promised her forever, which may now be my forever. But whatever.

With the small paper trail and armed with her maiden name, our investigators were able to peruse social media, locate her, see second wedding photos (with a far more updated gown) and we all now know she lives three buildings down from me. Maybe we should all quit our jobs and become private detectives?

Lost but found.

OR maybe I will just quit my day job, go down to Broadway Street in Nashville in my new threads and pretend I got left at the altar for sympathy and free Skinny Pirates.

OR better yet, I can be the runaway bride and charge tourists (who pay for any and everything) $5 for a picture with this damsel in distress.

OR do I plan a wedding to myself for myself and register for all the things like Louis Vuitton bags, Christian Louboutin heels, a Go Fund Me account for vet bills, and a collection for a new car (i.e. Range Rover)?

OR do I wear this on every second date I go on?

While I have yet to ever online date, this for sure will be a profile picture if I ever do. Accompanied with one single tag line:

Must love cats.

I betcha they’ll be lining up to say, “I don’t,” even if I’m not looking for anything but casual.

Regardless, I can’t stop wearing the fucking veil.

Don’t mind me. Just a crazy lady parading around in a stranger’s veil.

Here comes the bride…to the nearest dumpster near you.

CBXB

Lucky Charm

Cinderella once sang “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

I’m talking about the hair metal 80s band, not the princess of course.

I think we all can relate to the sentiment in one way or another. However, when it comes to peeps in my life that I love, you’re either in or out. One quality that I gratefully possess is I am never regretful of time spent with folks that I hold in my heart, nor do I take time with them for granted. That’s why for me, when you love the fuck out of someone and they no longer roam the earth, it can be a heart yanking time when their milestones still appear annually.

Aunt Crazy Pants celebrated her first birthday above on February 23, and in honor of this occasion, Mama CBXB came to Nashville and we par-tayed the only we way our family ever does. Trashtacularly.

On ACP’s actual day of birth, we took her to get her cocktail of choice, gin rickeys, at my fave local watering hole, Dalts.

A hungover day later, we went to get permanent tributes of the lady whose favorite color was green, loved shamrocks and owned one of the most unique signatures ever, which is what we were going to have tattooed on our wrists. I gussied up in my green heels I fashioned at the celebration of ACP’s life, perfected my mani to match and we were ready to go.

Naked and afraid.

While mother/daughter bonding over tattoos may seem odd to you, it’s sort of a family tradition in my clan (which should shock no one hence Jell-O shots with Gma at Christmas and Iowa Hawkeye moonshine touchdown shots are also custom family practices, well shared on this blog).

In summers of yesteryear, our families would spend Fourth of Julys at the Lake of the Ozarks. Which entailed not only in boating and booze but often tattoos and belly button piercings. Yes, yes, you read that right. I even think we made each new girlfriend of our dude cousins get belly button rings on their first Fourth with us. (A dream come true family that acts like a fraternity right here folks).

I was with ACP when she got her first ink from none other than the not even close to being world famous Tattoo Ted in the Ozarks.

We may have had one or eight drinks with sun poisoning but what did it matter?

With our history of classiness, we brought ACP along with us in spirit as Mama CBXB and I rolled into the Rebel Yell Tattoo and Social Club that came highly recommended.

When we traipsed through the doors, I’m fairly certain all four folks in the shop on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon were well aware that this wasn’t a past time in which we often partook. Especially when I wondered aloud with Justin, our extremely patient artist, how a tattoo on my wrist would look when I do jazz hands. Because I use them a lot. Like, we seriously had a five-minute conversation about it, he put a stencil on my wrist with ACP’s name facing me and let me look in a mirror before I decided how I wanted the fucking three-inch artwork done.

I mean you guys. Obvies we use them.

All.the.time.

Maybe our novice was a dead giveaway when I asked my mom 400 times in the seven minutes it took Justin to tattoo her wrist if she was going to cry when it was over (she did – Tearfest 2018).

My defense mechanism against physical pain is apparently laughing because it’s all I did the entire time my four-minute ink was being perfected. Justin kept stopping to ask if I was OK and all I could do was giggle in the most unquiet way possible.

All in all, mission accomplished.

Shortest time frame yet most annoying tattoo subject ever to grace Rebel Yell.

Getting any type of tattoo makes one a bad ass motherfucker, right?

I mean, look at my recovery plastic.

So what did these bad ass mother fuckers do? Celebrated with cocktails of course!

And it just so happened that two of ACP’s grandgirls came through Nashville that night, so we all cheersed our hearts out to the lady we love and miss.

Bittersweet without sharing the experience with ACP, there’s something ultra comforting to know she’s right here on my wrist. There have been some dark days for me recently, and I’ve found myself flipping my wrist over, admiring her signature, reminiscing on conversations, knowledge, 1,573,982,400 laughs and love we shared over her lifetime.

What I come to think of most is right after Rapegate, ACP was one of the first phone calls I received as the news made its way through my family. Her first words were, “you’re already one helluva strong lady – but you’ll be the strongest woman you know now.” The same words rang true when we found out she had terminal cancer six months later – and I repeated her words of wisdom back to her.

While cancer can go fuck itself, I’m comforted by the fact that I knew what I had with ACP before she was gone. Which is why her absence is ever present, more so now that I’m a bad ass mother fucker with a fancy signature on my wrist.

Know what you’ve got before it’s gone.

Now who wants to go get tattoo sleeves with me?

It could be the experience of your lifetime.

CBXB

Live at Five

My favorite day of all time will always be January 17, 2013. The two most important humans to me graced this planet with their presence. While I was the last of my immediate family to find out about the twins (I’m totally over it, as you can tell), I won’t ever forget the moment on a Thursday late afternoon when Sister CBXB called and told me to pull over and stop driving.

I was going to be an aunt. Two times over.

It’s a good fucking thing that I was in my car because the decibel my already extremely not quiet voice reached piercing heights (my whisper is your regular “inside” voice) It would most definitely have caused anyone around me immediate deafness.

I was so fucking happy, thrilled, excited, for myself (oh, and Sister CBXB and Bro-in-Law of course) discovering that I would forever get to spoil a little boy and a little girl. I loved them before ever laying eyes on them.

Then I laid eyes on them.

My heart basically exploded and in the very best way possible, I knew that life was never, ever going to be the same. They immediately became my number ones (my sister is my number two because she got married and had the kids, taking all pressure off of me – yay – and now I can adopt all of the cats in the world).

Honoring the liveliest duo I know, here’s…

Cheers to Five Years

It seemed like yesterday you arrived

How can you be turning five?

Birthdays

One

Two

Three

Four

Were big fun galore

Princess B, you have a flair for sparkles like me

My sweet knight in shining armour you are, Prince B

Getting a pic with the two of you has never been easy

You’ve never not enjoyed giving my face graffiti

There’s so much I’ve loved watching you do

Yet so much more is in store for you two!

You’ve got me in your corner whenever you need

Anyone hurts you

The deal with me

The loves of my life, it’s simple but true

Most of all, I love you just for being you.

Aunt Juju sends kisses. The fur babies send hugs.

All of us send five years of big love!

Celebrate BIG my favorite two!

Love,
Aunt Juju and the rest of the world

One More Time, Mom

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 last summer. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

Family and friends gathered to give life stealing cancer the middle finger, celebrating ACP with her favorite cocktails of Gin Rickeys, Black Velvet and margaritas.

Gin Rickeys all around.

Sharing stories of peeing our pants over shit she would say or do (when she literally shit her pants – like during a shopping trip at Target with her mom once. I just got an eye roll (sorry Gma) and a belly laugh (you’re welcome ACP) from the sky), witnessing tears running down her leg from laughing so hard and generally 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.

What I do know is:

I will carry on her klutziness (I fell into her closet after getting out of her bed the day after the funeral).

We also ruin phones the same. She dropped 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).

Did I seriously say that?!

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).

Wanna hear it or not, we tell it like it is.

I will honor her by eating double what I normally do during trips to the Iowa State Fair.

Two for me.

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 torch 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.”

                 

I hope my cats step up to the plate like that for me when the time comes.

Yeah…I’m fucked.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. We all miss you something terrible.

Life already isn’t the same.

I love you.

CBXB