Weekend Winks – Bitch Since Birth

Oh, the joys of having a birthday fall on a weekend.

Not hating my day of birth.

I got to do a whole lot of nothing (aka snuggling with pussies on dreary, rainy Friday night and Saturday), squeezed in some gal time with an at-home impromptu cocktail party (where a handle of Captain was drained by Skinny Pirate consumption) and the sprinkles on top of the weekend were the bottomless mimosas I was treated to on Sunday.

Skinny Pirate #1.

After some basketball watching, Skinny Pirates and pie hole stuffing on Friday night, I was beyond elated when I woke up Saturday, realizing I slept 10 consecutive hours. Ten hours people! While this may seem like an overindulgent feat, I haven’t slept more than four hours at a time since Rapegate happened in early 2016. The lack of consistent sleep has only added negatively to my already challenging, stereotypical “blondeness”.

Feeling and looking like a million dollars, I hustled to the fridge and busted out the birthday cake Sister CBXB made while she was here. Then I promptly returned to bed to consume.

Because why the fuck not?!

Theses two demanded a lick.

I got sucked into the footage from the March For Our Lives coverage and holy shit. These fucking kids…I can’t even. My heart was aching while also bursting with pride at the firsthand accounts of honesty regarding an epidemic that knows no class, demographic, race or political affiliation. Gun reform isn’t a republican or democrat problem. It’s an American problem. It’s an issue that these kids who were born after 9/11 and Columbine have faced their entire lives – at schools, churches, movie theaters, concerts and many others face in urban communities daily. How fucked up is that?

I am hopeful that the rally cries this generation is making turns into meaningful legislation with compassion to act because thoughts and prayers aren’t, haven’t and don’t work as we have all witnessed. Realizing it’s encroaching on Second Amendment rights, how does a government limit rights stated in the Constitution and yet, the most basic human right is life itself? Is there truly a reason to have weapons of war in the hands of civilians? The government tells me to wear my seat belt and abide by speed limits (which I mostly do). I must take my fucking shoes off at the airport and walk on ever germy floors because of one shoe bombing incident.

This 11 year old girl spoke more eloquently than most adults I know.

My favorite quote from a Parkland survivor, “We cannot keep America great if we can’t keep America safe.” I love that these kids are fearless in their relentlessness to call bullshit. BRAVO. I stand with you.

Fucking truth.

I was happy to see that even in my home state of Iowa, they were marching even though it was dumping snow on them.

Speaking of Iowa, you know who was cooped up inside after ten inches of snowfall? My twins, who were going to decorate Easter eggs but ended up eating them instead.

Rainy Saturday night rolled around and my gal pal Rasta came over and delivered a very spot on gift.

We can’t wait to wear them to the pool this summer.

Sunday, I lolligagged in the bed just long enough before slipping into my bday giddy up.

I opened up gifts from bed, too….because why not?!

As for my giddy up, it was nothing but class, as always.

BITCH SINCE BIRTH

And, what outfit of mine would be complete without a pair of whore in church heels?

Dada CBXB was one lucky dude, accompanied by five gorgeous gals to brunch.

Practicing our drink counting in prep for football season.

We enjoyed bottomless mimosas, food and for me….

Mimosas.

Presents I obviously hated.

And more mimosas.

I was spoiled beyond but there are no complaints from this chick who got to laugh her ass off with some of the best folks in the world.

Bird Lady and Rasta took me to my fave honky tonk, Robert’s Western World to cap off my day.

Birthday Bliss!

I don’t think we made a scene at all.

Monday morning came waaaaaay too quickly, but it was well worth it.

Cat ass. My morning wake up call.

I’m so lucky to have you guys in my life. Thanks for knowing how to make a lady feel like a queen with all the kind well wishes, messages, cards and calls.

Until next year!

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

How to Beat the Birthday Alternative

Getting ready to start another 365 fresh days, looking back on birthdays of yesteryear has been bittersweet. I’ve lost (and found!) the “celebrate everyday” mantra that I was so used to pre-Rapegate, coupled with the loss of relationships, deaths and general life changes that have been no control of mine.

YOU WILL CELEBRATE. AND YOU WILL FUCKING LOVE IT.

However, peering back over my shoulder now, there are extremely important lessons that I adhere to even today, as I prepare to celebrate another year of fabulous fun.

Huff. Puff. and Blow.

Huff. Puff. Blow.

Still at it.

Thank God I have candle blowing help now.

1) Always take a peek in a mirror before a photo is snapped, forever capturing the loveliness of you on your special day or you may end up with something like this….

My most gorgeous birthday photo ever.

Hello Gorgeous.

Relax already.

Seriously. Stare in the mirror and give a rat’s ass or you’ll be gazing at your lovely self in something as beautiful as a crocheted vest for years to come.

Crochet nightmare

Fashion at its finest accessorized with wispy bangs.

Celebrate

Own advice not taken. Clearly.

2) Upon receiving presents, always act like you’ve just received the best.gift.ever. Even if you have no clue what it is or have no intention of ever wearing/using/displaying/eating/drinking.

Always act surprised.

Holy shit! I love it! No, truly I do.

3) Hold up fingers to commemorate which age you were celebrating, as these photos will end up in albums and you won’t always remember what outfit you wore which year (side note: how hilarious is it that I have a shirt on that says First Mate, First Mate?).

Insist

I’m this many today.

Even if you’re not quite sure how old you are, own whatever you are saying which will demand more attention on you.

Even

If I say I’m two and a half, I AM TWO AND A HALF, ya dig?

When you’re out of fingers on both hands, just count drinks.

Three times….infinity?

4) Cake matters. Choose your design wisely.

Scoobs.

Everyone wants a piece of Scooby.

Then insist someone hand feed it to you.

Keepin' it classy. As usual.

Keepin’ it classy. As usual.

Just be careful if your cake starts on fire due to the copious amount of candles.

5) Practice your ‘birthday face’ so you can look adorable in all photos.

Mug for the camera.

Oh who me? Why yes it is my birthday. I’ll just hold this pose for the rest of the day.

Camera!

Adorableness fail.

Oh hi, just an adorable Mexican giddy-up for a girl who can’t keep her eyes open.

6) Be sure to have a themed party. Even if it involves you looking like an ass clown.

theme

Send in the clowns.

Even if no one shows up, you still look like you got it going on.

7) Dance, jump and twirl to your heart’s content, acting as if you have one ounce of rhythm somewhere in your being.

PARTY!

Shake, rattle and rollin’ expected.

Dance

High kicks accepted.

Head banging also accepted.

Head banging also welcomed but you’ll regret it in the morning. Trust me.

8) Noisy favors are a must. Especially if party goers are under the age of six.

Blow it out.

Blow out birthday party.

It’ll wear them out and force them to be couch potatoes.

Overcrowded couch? What’s better than that?

9) Always go with the celebratory flow.

Go with the flow

Balloons in my hair? Sounds like a good birthday look.

Or at least let someone catch you when the flow gets to be too much for you to stand on your own.

Hey-oh!

Hey-oh!

10) Don’t ever turn away a birthday kiss, no matter how much you think it may hurt your face.

Scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Always low maintenance.

Always being low maintenance, scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Shave already!

Presh loves to French kiss. Don’t judge.

11) Even if you share the same birthday with a cousin (gentleman to my left in photo below with thrilled look on his face) be sure you try to be the star of the show anyhow.

Sharing

Sorry. Not sorry B. Happy Birthday by the way!

12) Never, ever, ever, ever turn down a birthday shot. Ever.

Why thank you

Birthdays taste so good.

13) Enjoy the fuck out of the loved ones who surround you for celebration because you never know when it’ll be the last time.

Teddy B and me.

Crazy and Aunt Crazy Pants.

This year, I’ll be drinking to the wise words my Gma always told me as I bitched about growing another year older, “having another birthday sure beats the alternative.”

She was one smart lady.

I’ll drink to that!

No matter how hard I have to huff, puff and blow on my candles.

Cheers to your birthdays of yesteryear – as well as a year full of the happiest of birthdays for all of us and those we hold dear!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Glitz, Groping, Girltime

Someone once told me that I was the ‘girliest dude they know’ and took that as a huge compliment. I love sports but I also love my sequins, using a spare bedroom as my dressing room at the mini manse and makeup. I adore makeup. So, it was a dream come true to have a whopper of a package sent to me compliments of Too Faced made possible through my friend M. Star.

I got home from hot yoga and had to take a look at all of my loot in between undressing and the shower, naturally.

No. It doesn’t get much better than this.

March marks my last payment on my Toyota Forerunner! It also marks the time that every cent from my tax return check (and then some!) goes right into the fucker. This year, I needed all new power steering. Once they thought it was fixed, the vehicle was back three more times because it kept leaking fluid. So I started taking power steering fluid wherever I went so I could keep the car on the road.

Classy lady at the bar.

I’ve decided that after dumping $2,000 into my rust bucket, the chances of me getting my dream car of a Range Rover are waaaaaay out of reach for years, so I’m settling for my version below.

Done and done.

Snuggling with my two furry fellas helped ease the pain of my ever diminishing bank account. And while I was gonna stay in on Friday, I was coaxed into making an appearance outside of the mini manse.

Bed heads.

Rasta, our buddy DS and myself lived it up in Nashville’s midtown area.

Tequila + Jell-O = FriYAY

Being ever so responsible, we called a Lyft for a ride home. I sat up front with the driver chit chatting and we dropped Rasta off first and then headed the 45 seconds it takes to get to my mini manse from hers. As the ride was ending, the driver asked for my phone number, which I declined to give him, he asked for a hug and kiss, which I absolutely denied to give him and as I was opening the door to back out of it (worried he’d slap my ass), he instead groped my chest. I slammed the door and ran inside.

I was in shock to a degree and think that after Rapegate, I’ve become somewhat desensitized – although it’s not OK to fall back on that. It’s mentally exhausting to think through this shit and then realize that due to no fault of my own, I get the pleasure to chase this man down through his company and be sure this doesn’t ever happen to any other passenger of his again. This shit is exhausting. And wouldn’t be an issue in the first place if people remembered body basics taught in kindergarten and just keep their fucking hands to themselves.

It took a minute, but was a trigger for me on Sunday, making the emotions of PTSD come to the forefront and well, exasperating other aspects of Rapegate. But such is life and this is how it is for now. So bitchiness is my best friend.

In happier moments, one of my Iowa twins lost his first tooth!

Prince B and his pea sized tooth.

Naturally being related to me, Princess B was miffed she didn’t lose one and get a visit from the tooth fairy. So you know what this gentle soul of a young fella did? He snuck into her room before she woke up and gave her one of the two dollars he’d received.

And he also played tooth fairy dress up with his sister. Best brother ever.

In the biggest news yet, the twins are making their debut in Nashville this week and I. AM. DYING. with anticipation of their arrival.

Saturday was an impromtu brunch date with Bird Lady and as always, I had to have both hands full.

Double fister through and through.

My gal pal found a fabulous place called City Fire with bottomless mimosas (I’m their worst nightmare).

Cheers times two.

Bird Lady then acted as my own personal Uber driver and took me to my hair appointment, where I also kept both hands occupied.

I never want one hand to feel left out.

I received one helluva fun surprise from one of my fave cat lady besties.

Best. Shark. Ever.

All of the pussies took turns in their own personal shark tank. Ultimately, fur flew as one fur baby pushed the other out for a mouthful all day long.

Speaking of babies, my cousin welcomed his first – a sweet baby girl named Lucy Kay!

You’re gonna rock this dad shit.

Fabulous parenting must run in the family because one of my sweet pussies aided me in lunch today.

And cats get a bad rap for being assholes.

In other animal news, GO GET THIS APP NOW.

So, my squad is on the road already today!

Here’s hoping wherever you are, this week feels more like spring than winter already. Am I right?!

Cheers!

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Freezing! Fiesta! Football! Fun!

One of the joys of living in a city that isn’t equipped to handle any type of winter weather, is it’s kinda fun when it comes. Freezing rain on Friday meant that I was able to slide out of work and into my bed for a day of conference calls and cat naps (the cats, not me of course).

When you’re given the option to work from home…

YOU TAKE IT.

No one was excited about it at all.

My mom checked in from Iowa to make sure I was all set with necessities because it’s a fucking freak out frenzy when there is even mention of the “s” word – SNOW. Nashville citizens (and anyone else who didn’t grow up above the Mason Dixon Line) all but lose their goddamned minds.

While I was hunkered down with my pussies Saturday, my Iowa twins were getting hyped up to par-tay. Why you ask? Because they are turning five – FIVE – FUCKING FIVE YEARS OLD – on Wednesday. I mean holy fucking shit how did this happen so fast?

FIVE!

Due to the fact that Princess B eats salsa like its soup, the day was a fiesta complete with the best cakes on the planet.

Crazy over cake.

My artsy sis even crafted a pinata for the occasion.

FUCKING FIVE.

Fiesta fun!

Naturally, there were outfit choices to be made and Princess B did not disappoint.

Just a little gussy up.

Nor did she get any salsa on the sequins.

I finally mustered up the energy to walk over to Rasta’s pad on Saturday night, forcing myself out into the blustery cold I’m not used to anymore. Speaking of force, Rasta isn’t a football fan of any sort and I made her watch the Titans game in her own house.

I’m so sweet.

While I drank her wine.

Tailgate City.

My Titans were playing actual football titans, the New England Patriots and so I was hoping for at least a touchdown. And we scored one first! Then, just as quickly as that happened, my dudes ended up getting an ass beating. Rasta kept up with the team spirit though, assisting me through the horrendous game.

She’s officially my wine coach now.

Yeah, it was that bad.

She wins the sportsmanship award for sure.

Football fun.

I was up at what felt like the ass crack of dawn on Sunday to watch a segment on CBS Sunday Morning. It was regarding the Time’s Up movement and Oprah interviewed several prominent women who helped initiate the campaign. Being that I take great interest in this due to Rapegate and the #MeToo movement, I expected support from my pussies.

Only one showed the fuck up.

#whywewearblack

The others were busy having a menage à trois in the unmade bed.

Thanks for the support, assholes.

While watching other NFL playoff games, I started to take down the few Christmas decorations I put up this year and toyed with the idea of Valentine’s Day. But promptly stopped after dressing my Glamingo.

I also somehow came across a hideous Pucci hat that a lady who thought she was famous and was my boss at the time gave me as a leftover present (she would regift her unwanted Christmas presents to me for my birthday in March). You want it? It’s yours.

Her exact positioning and expression in every photo.

After throwing one helluva classy fiesta, my sister pulled through in our white trash ways when storing leftovers.

After getting her text, I was craving Mexican and justlikethat First Mate sent a text wanting to meet up for wine at our fave joint. Talk about fate.

We come for the handsome pours of wine, not the margaritas.

The Minnesota Vikings game (which was one of the best last second endings ever) was on at the restaurant. The fans chant skol and my sister and I were confused as to what it meant. We had an Iowa-Tennessee-Georgia family tutorial via text from my cousin Tballs – a huge Vikings fan.

My guess of “yeehaw” was way off.

After heading home with a belly full of wine, salsa and chips, I settled in for a night cap.

A literal night cap.

Here’s hoping your week is full of fiesta-ish fun.

SKOL!

CBXB

 

 

 

 

The Man, The Myth, The Birthday Legend

Oh dads.

If you are lucky enough to have one or have had one in your life, then you win. A familiar fixture on this blog and in my life, my dad celebrates his day of birth (along with his twin!) today. Aunt Crazy Pants once doled out advice that I didn’t think much of at the time when I was younger. She said (during some stupid crazy boy drama, no doubt) “No man will ever love you the way your dad loves you.”

This didn’t really dawn on me until I was an “adult” (a term I use for myself extremely loosely these days) and a dude I was living with said to me, “I can’t treat you like your dad treats you.”

BOY BYE.

I guess I never had to think about it because of the jackpot I scored when my dad chose to be mine. A knight in shining (well, in his case probably rusty) armour. A frugal on the allowance guy whose driving abilities were always affected by how loudly the radio was playing in unknown territory (TURN DOWN Q.102 GIRLS WE’RE IN DES MOINES!). A dad who commuted four hours daily to work but rarely missed an extra curricular activity. A dude who could scare boyfriends shitless with his size but is actually a giant, goofy Teddy Bear.

A father who not only duct taped my glasses together in the third grade (hence the short-lived nickname “Ducky”) but also uses the same magic to keep my bumper adhered to your car as an “adult”.

A dad who tells you to “tough it up” when you’re sitting in the superintendent’s office, holding a bloody chin after being hit in the face with a baseball bat during PE but remains strong and silent decades later when he’s driving you to the hospital after being raped.

So yeah, Aunt Crazy Pants and her advice rings true – best of luck to a dude ever living up to The Man, The Myth, My Legend.

As we celebrate the Big Fella today, please join me as I share some of the valuable…

LESSONS FROM MY LEGEND


Image 90

You should always have your family’s back…

bl

       … even if they often attack.

Throw your hands up in the air…

wave

…and wave them like I just don’t care.

Even if you’re a dork inside…

...without my shades.

                                              

…it’s no matter if you’re cool on the outside.

The art of muscle blowing is unique.

blow

                       Passed down to generations…

and

                                              … and generations …

still

…to upkeep.

Pink isn’t just for girls…

flex

…guys often put the color on for a whirl.

Sequins should be in my everyday attire…

love

     … as you gave me the first bedazzled top I ever acquired.

It’s OK to stand out in a crowd…

Dada C-Note

…just be sure to do it loud and proud.

Giving is better than receiving…

Image 91

…except when you let your three year old open your gift to be appeasing. 

The importance of slathering on sunscreen daily…

very

                      …just be sure to not get too crazy.

The significance of jazz hands…

was

…often help when making demands.

It’s not a road trip…

check

…unless you have rot gut vodka and your finger to mix.

Reminding me there’s more than one fish in the sea…

fish

                …especially whenever a boy has been mean to me.

Being the life of the party…

never

                                          …is like leading one big…

                                                            …fun army.

The duo that shoots shots together…

Wild Turkey

Image 11

Stays together.

…stays together.

It’s important to share…

at the

                 …even while pigging out at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s OK to relax…

after

…after a day has been crap.

You’ve carried me through physical hard times…

broken foot

         

broken ankle

…even if sometimes it was from too much self-inflicted wine.

Tipping my Skinny Pirates when my nails are drying…

treat

                         

…because you know there’s a silver lining.

Most importantly, not all heroes wear capes…

Not all

…just dads who pick us up no matter our proverbial scrapes. 

So let us all raise our glasses today…

cheers!

…and cheers your birthday away!

Those are just a few of my lessons from…

happy

 The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

Happy Birthday Dada!

CBXB

CBXB!

Ghouls Night In

Being that I haven’t been in a celebratory mood for the past two years, retrieving my Halloween decor out of Camo’s attic was an exciting feat. Getting my giddy up back after Rapegate, I’m trying to stay on the right track by doing what I would “normally” do, which is celebrate the fuck out of every. single. thing. I can.

So Halloween has been my first glittery stiletto heeled step in the thriving direction. And what better way to get my ass in gear than to host my monthly Supper Club in October?

Yeah…all for the mini manse.

As soon as the bins were in, I was in shopping heaven – being that I hadn’t seen my sparkly Halloween accessories in almost 700 days. I perused my own decor, acting like I was on an episode of a holiday themed Supermarket Sweeps.

Decor for days.

This was also the first time any of my current fur ball amigos had seen any type of Halloween madness from their mama, and it was super fun trying to avoid stepping on a live cat bomb, as they hid amongst everything.

Elsa Pants trying her hand as a ground hog.

As the count down began, I decorated like the Wicked Witch of Nashville, readying my mini manse for a Ghoul’s Night In.

Why would it be worth even putting one decoration out, if you didn’t dress up the outside of your haunted house? Even the Glamingo slipped into her skeleton feather attire.

Grand entrance.

While most mansions have extravagantly large foyers, mine is excruciatingly small – but grand nonetheless.

Instead using my dining room for what its intended, I naturally have a few bars (duh).

The bar cart gussy up.

The liquor bar gussy up.

The side bar gussy up.

The wine bar gussy up.

The fur ball bar gussy up.

No, I do not think I have too many bars. No, I also do not need to attend weekly meetings (*cue eye roll*).

In lieu of dishes in kitchen cabinets, I chose to display Halloween knick knacks galore because…really, dishes are boring.

The stove top was easy to cover because it’s so rarely used.

My piece de resistance happens to be my player piano, which I turned into a haunted forest of sorts where resident pussies often tip toe through like abominable snowmen, seeing what all can be knocked over. Or broken. Or played with to pieces.

Speaking of my pussies, of course their room is also decorated – or else they’d be pissed.

Kit cats killed the witch.

Truth.

After my mini manse was haunted to the gills, it was time to prep for the ghouls.

Appetizing table setting.

Spooky Sangria prepped and ready.

My finest china ready for chili and potato soup.

Chili costume accessories.

All that was left were the ghouls who came to par-tay as my fave non-scary Halloween movie, Practical Magic, played in the background.

Cutest ghouls in Nashville.

Don’t think I let them forget me.

I mean, I am the ghostess with the mostess.

Happy Haunting!

CBXB

The Underdog

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.

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.

That period of time was as beautiful as I look in this photo.

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 616 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. Because that’s what this last year and over a half has dealt…an excruciatingly slow climb out of (or rather up) the lowest of extreme lows, seeking the summit of a mountain top that appeared further and further away by the day.

What happens when I hike.

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 tirelessly acted as my own advocate with a less than helpful (and that description is extremely nice) 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 a month ago, ten days after I suddenly lost the fur ball love of my life, Ted. The searing losses felt 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 Iowa versus Iowa State. It was a thrillingly unexpected day jam-packed with tailgating shenanigans.

The fun of family…

Mama CBXB, Uncle Toddy and Aunt Crispie host tailgating done right.

Friendly family rivalry.

OR WAS IT?!

The fun of the endless booze all around…

I hate tailgating.

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

Shotski for three please.

The catching up with old friends…

Game ready.

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 loudness…

A beauty and a sparkly beast.

Embarrassing my youngest cousin with all the right moves…

Cousin love is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line.

Seeing a live marching band was fulfilled for the season…

March on.

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.

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.

It was a much needed reminder that I’m doing the best that I can every goddamn day. Aren’t we all?

Happy tailgating!

CBXB