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” by the oh-so-sweet fellow 4th graders) 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 P.E. 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.

Celebrating 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!

Join the twins in a sing-a-long to Coo Coo…

(of course we do not have normal monikers such as Grandpa in my classy family)

We love you.

CBXB

CBXB!

The Bun of Steel

Who doesn’t not wash their hair for almost two weeks?

Anyone? Anyone?

Whenever I go see my fabulous stylist, I relish the wine, the time, the wine and the way I shine when I leave the salon. Upon my arrival, the desk dude always says to my stylist, “China, your bull has arrived.” Wonder why?

Hot head.

After getting pink nestled in my locks, I wait as long as possible to wash my hair, letting the dye really sink in. Typically I will get my hair colored on a Wednesday or Thursday night so I have the weekend to wear my hair up, washing my mane on Monday morning.

The day after my dye job.

This time was no different, except I overslept on Monday and didn’t have time to wash my hair, so I threw it up in a bun.

At this point, I was on day five with no shampoo touching my scalp.

After work, I went to hot yoga and got extremely sweaty. Normally, the bun doesn’t hold up through class but somehow this time, it did.

Hot bun.

I took a bath when I got home, leaving the bun in place, planning to take it down Tuesday morning. But when I woke up…it looked fresh out of the oven done. So, I left it in – again. I hit up the park after work for a long walk, fully planning on sudsing my locks afterward. But…

Welp, whether you think it’s gross or not…

That made it an entire seven days with not washing my hair. And, I got lazy on Wednesday night with no working out, therefore, the bun survived with another evening. (And when I say survived, I mean I’m doing nothing to it except loading it with more hairspray every day. I’m not taking it down and putting it back up.) So Thursday, my bun and I made our eighth appearance together.

By this point, if you follow me on Instagram, this was the hot topic in my stories. It had been referred to as Bungate, I was told that I was turning into one of those old church ladies who only has her hair ‘set’ once per week, leaves it in an updo until my next beauty shop appointment. One wire pick away from Grandmaville…

Especially when I announced my now disgustingly beloved bun was on its fifth day of perfection.

My direct messages were nothing short of hysterical upon my posting of day five with the bun.

My bald friend across the pond even joined in on the fun making a bow bun for himself.

Since it was Friday, I thought fuck it, I will just wash it tomorrow and had some Skinny Pirates with what was now basically my Siamese twin.

Skinny buns.

Waking up to bun perfection on Saturday, I went to the park to walk…maybe jog.

Run or walk?

When I posed the run or walk scenario on my stories, I got the most important response.

I heeded the advice given to me and walked. Then I headed out to Dada CBXB’s for a Hawkeye game watch. Problem was, I needed to stop at my mothership, Target on the way and IT WAS RAINING.

With no shame in my game, I raced into run my errands and then arrived in time for kick-off. While watching the game, Cousin Eddie, one of my dad’s cats (that naturally I gave to him), took great interest in the knot on my head. Ed loves hair and heads (like he sleeps on my head when I stay there), so I was fairly certain it would be bye-bye bun.

Bun thwarter.

But he was willing to wait until after the game. However, Dada CBXB tried to smush the bun with a helmet during one of our Family Tradition touchdown shots.

Helmet head.

The bun survived both threats.

I woke up on Sunday like this…

Upon leaving heavy-handed from Dada CBXB’s, I took great precaution again, putting my makeshift grandma hair net on before setting out into the rainy day.

Bags, bowls and a protected bun.

Buns anonymous, here I come. Because the goddamn thing was still in on Monday morning.

Thankfully.

Wondering if I washed it before work? You bet your ass I didn’t. Although by this point, I was having to carry around my envelope opener to itch the inside of my bun because it was beyond scratchy. Also, I used about half a bottle of perfume, just dousing my top knot in it daily to avoid looks from others due to the greasy fumes that were emanating from my head.

Monday night, I again went to yoga…and the next morning…

So adorbs. It felt like ten year old plastic Barbie hair to the touch.

Sexy Plastic and I know it.

The back of my head was a different story…

Cat’s nest.

After an hour long shower, four shampoo cycles, and one deep conditioner left on for 20 minutes, I was good to go. So much so, I thought about calling Suave and offering to be a hair model for the day.

The exquisitely preserved pink.

I don’t think that old saying, “one must suffer to be beautiful,” really applies to my situation but I’m going to pretend that’s why I waited so long to end Bungate.

Now I’m off, being too busy washing my hair to do anything else. Then, I’ll start working on my next bun of steel.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Surprises, Six Degrees and Slaying

This shade of black really brings out the color of my soul.

God I love a t-shirt that speaks for me.

Open for fun.

My aunt flew in to surprise my dad for a mini retirement celebration. It was pretty fucking fabulous.

The par-tay train headed downtown to honky tonk on Broadway.

The Bat Building never gets old.

Robert’s Western World never gets old.

Arriving late after gussying up, as soon as my ass hit the bar stool in Robert’s, I got a message from an old school friend asking if I happened to be around. Seeing as Music City has 100 fucking people moving to the city every.single.day (please for the love of god, STOP MOVING HERE. Come visit, spend some cash and get the fuck out) Nashvillians going downtown is about as rare as a man being falsely accused of rape. So like, 99.9% never.

Downtown used to be a fun hang every so often but now, it’s asses to elbows everywhere. So it was Kismet that I happened to be in a bar right across the street from my old buddy, who still resides in Iowa. He was visiting for work and just thought he’d reach out. As kids, our families would camp (yes, I actually camped (ew) before I knew glamping was a thing) and one of our fave activities was going around Wilson’s Lake and collecting pop cans that we’d turn in for a refund at Cheese’s grocery store. Redeeming five cents per can, I thought we were going to be thousandaires as we packed garbage after garbage bag full of aluminum. I think we each ended up with about $50. Still not bad for 10 year olds.

Six degrees of CBXB.

When I went to meet up with his crew, I didn’t know anyone else at the table. But within the 30 minutes I chit chatted, I somehow had a connection to or through or knew someone they knew at the table. My friend came across the street to say hey to Dada CBXB who, prior to his move to Nashville (and retirement), was a teacher and coach of some sort for over 30 years.

Old school.

Naturally we did what all teachers and coaches do when they reunite with former students.

Shots.

I mean, you know I have an ever classy fam.

Blurred lines.

Saturday came early for my Iowa twins, who were frying up a donut storm.

Then they decided to create costumes since the weather was kinda shitty.

If you guessed bats, you’d be right.

Inspired by my mini bakers, my lazy ass decided to get out a new pancake mix I picked up. Mostly because it was gluten free but really because all it takes is 2/3 cup of the mix and 3/4 cup of water.

Betty.Fucking.Crocker.

My Iowa Hawkeyes had a 2:30 kick off, so I sauntered out to Dada CBXB’s and watched my dudes school the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Hawks won 48-31. You know what that meant….six rounds of our classy Family Tradition.

I’m not good at math but I couldn’t fit six pics into my cute photo collage.

It also meant that the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy will reside another year with my favorite birds.

The pig stays in the Hawkeye State.

After the welcomed distraction of a win, it remained consistently hard to escape the painful thoughts that have been swirling around my noggin for the last three weeks, as America’s attitude toward rape culture continues to shock the ever living hell out of me.

It’s sad. It’s so sad. So much so that I’ve turned to eating my pain away. Which isn’t working for my brain as much as it is my already ample ass.

I’ll have five pounds of wings, please. No, really, we had five pounds of wings. And Shit Dip that was already inhaled when this photo was snapped. And like one celery stick.

We welcomed Sunday by washing Saturday away with margaritas at our fave Mexican joint.

Tasty treats.

Accompanied by what felt like 482 lbs of food after I scarfed my feelings food down.

Another side of salsa, please.

Of course no self care Sunday would be complete without my personal bible, People magazine, and a dip in bubbles.

To those of you weary to the motherfucking bone after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who are confused after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who feel hopeless after the past few weeks, that’s not OK.

You matter.

The next generation matters.

K. Thanks. Bye.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Back to the Future

Is it just me or does it feel like 1991?

Funny how my history teachers always said history repeats itself and here the fuck we find ourselves in the dramatic throes of a SCOTUS nominee scandal, with sexual assault being at its core – AGAIN.

Proud as fuck of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

I chose to follow the hearings as closely as possible because I want to be as informed as possible. Others I know chose not to watch, read or follow anything in the media for all types of various reasons.

Can’t stop. Won’t stop stress eating.

The testimony from Dr. Blasey Ford and the SCOTUS nominee could not have been more opposite. It was like watching a bad reality show, only it’s for real unfolding in front of your eyes. Lucky for me, I had my therapy Thursday and then an evening in with my band buddy, A-Ha.

Sometimes wine out of pumpkin glasses is just what the day ordered.

Another distraction which is funny as hell but not to one little lady in particular. My nephew, Prince B has lost three more teeth than Princess B – all within one week.

AND RUBS IT IN.

Ah, the good old days when all that mattered was who was losing teeth before whom.

I was asked/told several times that I was attached to the SCOTUS drama (along with the millions watching America’s politicians around the world) because I’ve been a victim of rape. Well, that’s partially true because my trigger bell went into high force when the person in charge of America started victim blaming and shaming publicly and others joined in the prior Friday.

All I can say is I know in my bones that Dr. Ford Blasey is not lying. I would bet my life on it. I would bet my cats’ lives on it. I also know that as a woman, this took me back to the first time I found a hand in my pajamas at 14 years of age and didn’t know what to do. I can’t tell you all of the details but I sure as shit know who did it to me. And the “minor” incidents – the ass grabs and slaps from strangers, unwanted come-ons from superior co-workers, just ultimately knowing that most of the women in my life have had some degree of harassment – even if it didn’t culminate into a rape. Shit like this reopens deep seeded wounds and memories whether or not we like it.

On a happier note, Dada CBXB retired on Friday! His company had a breakfast par-tay for him and then we went to lunch with his department. I adorned his college football practice jersey and a football card from when he played for the Baltimore Colts.

No work, all play!

As soon as the lunch was over, I sat in my car, trying not to have a come apart. First, I was enraged last week. I was furious watching the hearings on Thursday and then Friday, knowing how there would be a confirmation, the feeling of pure defeat washed over me. A feeling I couldn’t shake.

And while I want to be brave and strong when people say, “there’s nothing you can do about it,” I call bullshit. I can speak up. I can write. I can vote. I can demand better for my niece and nephew’s generation. But, it’s exhausting to try to move through normalcy when the culture of this country regarding women has hardly budged in 30 years.

 

 

I share these videos and emotions to show the vulnerable side and the aftermath years after incidents take place on survivors. I want to share how I truly feel. How it feels for people – women especially – to over prove, over think, over compensate themselves in every.single.situation. To think about what you have to wear before going to jog – can you insert both headphones or leave one out? My key goes in between my fingers as a weapon. To have your mom remind you to wear a hat while driving at night alone, so you look more like a dude. To be careful about walking alone to your car, cause you never know when someone may try to mug you.

You are not alone.

Through all of this, humor is the one thing I can always cling to and happily welcome from Sister CBXB. Along with the hundreds of you who checked in on me all last week, lifting my spirits. My sister noticed something very key that stood out to her in the videos.

The lipstick is Urban Decay for the record. And I put one coat on Friday morning. I took the videos Saturday am, FYI.

Heading to the park for a walk while bawling underneath sunglasses (so chic and not weird at all) helped ease some of the sadness.

Fucking preach.

And so did strawberry martinis with Mama CBXB who demanded a lunch date.

And so did some vino with Bird Lady and First Mate, who have seen more ugly than pretty in me the past five years. I’ve cemented their friendship in happier times, so they’ll need a jack hammer to remove themselves out of my life.

Stuck like cement.

Oh, and speaking of humor, I want to personally deliver an Emmy for a guest appearance to Matt Damon and his spot on, perfect depiction of the SCOTUS nominee at the hearing on Saturday Night Live. Luckily, I recorded it and have watched the cold opening no less than 461 times. So on point. If you have not watched it, Google it now. Right now.

Sunday, Rocky and I got sucked into binge watching and football.

Not wanting to acquire couch sores, I made it to the bathroom for my bubbly routine.

Then it was time to love on my youngest boy, Fabio (who is also known as Fartio because he farts when he gets nervous). It was our one year anniversary together and we celebrated his “Gotcha!” day.

Fabio hearts being mauled.

Starting a fresh week, there’s a few things I know for sure…

I think this bun makes me appear smart.

This still rings true…

And…

Oh, and in case you were wondering what to write down in your calendar/journal this week so you can look back on it 36 years from now when hopefully there isn’t a circus full of ass clowns – and yes, I’m talking about almost all of them – “leading” the country here’s a suggestion:

Write it in permanent marker, just in case we go back to the future and need reference.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Best Day of My Life…and Then Some

Due to the current football season underway, we were encouraged to decorate our work spaces with items showing off our #1 team last week. Per usual, I went with subtlety.

Just me, over here in my Hawkeye sequins jersey.

Overboard much?

I hate the Iowa Hawkeyes, obvies.

On Friday, we had a pot luck BBQ and there were raffle prizes to be distributed. When it was said that we were having a few “special guests” help draw the raffle names, my interest was beyond piqued. Then, in skipped two Tennessee Titans cheerleaders, which was pretty cool. As they were getting ready to draw the first prize, it was announced that there was one more special guest. My stomach dropped. I was thinking please don’t be the new head coach Mike Vrabel, please don’t let it be the quarterback Marcus Mariota, but pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let it be my T-Rac. The official mascot of the Tennessee Titans.

See, I have a thing for mascots. You know, those fur coated creatures that accompany my fave sports teams. It sure as shit was my lucky day.

In waltzed T-Rac. My face went red, I screamed like a girl seeing The Beatles on the 1964 Ed fucking Sullivan show, and about broke my metal folding chair pumping up and down on my plump rump. With my heart racing, the cheerleaders started drawing names for raffle winners. T-Rac was the one distributing the awards and I had to get my hands on him. The final prize of the day – a $100 gift card and commemorative Titans glass was on the line. The blonde beauty drew that last ticket and….said MY NAME.

I reacted with real class.

I jumped like a fat rabbit up to get my prize while giddily giggle screaming the entire way.

HUG ME ALREADY.

In the span of 25 seconds, I managed to make a gigantic ass hat of myself in front of my entire office. I also managed to not only maul T-Rac but told him that I loved him AND announced that this was the best day of my life. It wasn’t even noon on a Friday yet.

 

Afterward, the gentlemanly raccoon and his cheering sidekicks stayed to graciously take pics with the peeps.

Four’s a crowd.

demanded asked the hot mammas to please move over and allow me a solo photo with my main plush squeeze.

Move over bitches. He’s all mine.

On top of being in the arms of a giant stuffed animal, my life was absolutely complete when I made my debut on T-Rac’s social media page as the inaugural “Fan of the day”.  Of course I turned right around and added it to my Instagram.

Stand by for our “Save the Date” wedding invites.

How could this day get any more exciting?

An email went out announcing free cans of wine in the breakroom. I had to steady myself as I sprinted down the hallway to hoard the loot.

Mine all mine – now safely in my fridge and damn good.

My adrenaline was pumping pretty high, so I was excited I had plans to celebrate one of my nearest and dearest gal pal’s birthday after work.

Birthday girl sandwich.

I could hardly go to sleep since I had such a positive karma filled day. Luckily, Ruby Sue was wide-eyed with me.

Too excited to sleep.

With it being a balmy 90 degrees on Saturday, I hauled ass to the pool, trying to make summer last.

Saturday sun soak.

While I was hoping Saturday wasn’t the last hurrah in the sun, my Iowa twins were up and at ’em with a clever activity. They put coins in pans to freeze overnight.

Different version of Frozen.

They had to break the ice open, count the coins and exchange them for dollar bills from their parents.

Big money for Prince B.

Princess B headed straight to the Dollar Tree.

Saturday night my Hawkeyes played and I headed out to Dada CBXB’s to get the tailgate going.

Who doesn’t love boxed wine and wings?

Positions assumed.

The kitty didn’t stay cozy for long, as Iowa scored five touchdowns. You know what that means…

Five Family Tradition winning shots, baby.

Easily soaked up the next morning by my omelette making father.

What shots?

Being back in the maniac celebrate-everything-for-fun-life mode again, I started decorating for Halloween all day Sunday. My fabulous Fabio could have given two shits about my hard work, turning the mini manse into a haunted fortress.

As I was going back and forth to fetch my Halloween bins from my car, it was raining lightly. When I looked up in the sky, there was a full on rainbow. I seriously considered getting in my rust bucket and searching for the end, hoping for a pot of gold.

For like, a full five minutes.

I mean, I had fab karma going on.

Instead of looking for lost treasure, I plopped down in my tub for a soak and a People magazine read (side note – I get Meghan Markle is now a princess from America and all but if I wanted to read about the Royals every week, I’d move to fucking England).

Then it was time for a snuggle down on the leopard couch with my new fall scented candles.

No better way to wind down after an exhaustingly excitement filled 48 hours. Amiright?

Here’s hoping your mascot equivalent finds you this week.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Hit Rock Bottom by Twirling

What happens when something – or someone hits rock bottom?

I dunno. You tell me.

According to the dictionary rock bottom is defined two ways, with a third added by me:

rock-bot·tom

ˌräk ˈbädəm/

adjective

  • at the lowest possible level.
  • “rock-bottom prices”

noun

  • the lowest possible level.
  • “morale is at rock bottom”

 CBXB style

  • hit head as hard as possible on concrete
  • “head hit rock bottom”

I took the phrase rock bottom in a very literal way a few Fridays ago, as I twirled around in a parking lot, lost my footing IN FLATS (Louis Vuitton if we’re keeping track) landing only on my noggin which was cushioned by a yellow concrete tire stop.

An absolute guarantee my twirl was not as cute as this girl’s.

I can also guarantee that the concrete was not as cozy as this cushion.

I lost time but never consciousness. My head didn’t crack open and I didn’t have any kind of bump, so no visit to the emergency room commenced. I’ve fallen down so much in my life, this was just a par for the course in my novel.  I spent the night on a friend’s couch aided with water, ice and a high dose of ibuprofen.

The next morning, I did have quite the headache but only where I’d fallen on my head, so I wasn’t concerned.  I retrieved my car, ate breakfast, drank coffee, water, went to the pool, had wine, snacks, wine, supper and wine.

Totally fine enough to go to the pool.

Then that evening, I took a turn for the confused, belligerent and ended up at my mom’s house escorted by Bird Lady who kept telling me, “you’re not making any sense.” (Author’s side note: not uncommon for yours truly to not make any sense due to my self-described ‘blonde brain’ so this was waaaaaaay beyond my usual rambling).

Wait. What’s happening?

Upon waking Sunday, my entire body throbbed from my hairline, behind my eyeballs, my teeth, my neck, spine, knees and somehow in the middle of the night, my right big toe turned black and blue. I was a fucking mess.

Rock bottom if you will.

Mama CBXB had the pleasure of icing my head, listening to me complain about being nauseous, then getting to clean up after her grown ass daughter as I missed the bowl upon abruptly vomiting, when my symptoms were getting more serious. We called my health insurance nurse’s triage line and the on-call doctor at my general practitioner’s office for advice. It was decided I could miserably wait until Monday to see my doctor.

Ice. Ice. Baby.

I rewarded Dada CBXB for being my dad by giving him a reason to waste PTO days on, again, his grown ass daughter. Really, I’m just looking for more ways to bond with him at hospitals. So far, we’ve endured the removal of my tonsils, a busted face stitched up after an aluminum bat hit in 7th grade, Rapegate, his colonoscopy this year and now, my inability to twirl in a parking lot.

Hospital bonding.

I had a CT scan and X-ray of my foot (Dada CBXB just added my out-of-pocket cost to my ever-growing bill) performed, with the results saying there was no brain bleed, just a severe concussion. And a broken fucking toe (I have no idea how in the fuck I managed to break a toe and concuss myself all in the same twirl down, but somehow, I managed).

My doctor prescribed a week of no concentration and rest. No reading. No screen time on the phone and computer. No driving. No work. Just literally sitting and relaxing. And use a cane to help with the fucking toe. Oh, and I couldn’t be alone, so again, Dada CBXB cashed in four more PTO days and waited on his klutzy as fuck kid.

Oh woe is me.

So I decided the best way to communicate my neediness was to not look at him and ask for something while he sat three feet from me on the couch, but instead, I rang a bell.

I got used to the bell in about .000000003 seconds.

Leading up to my twirl down, I was insanely tired. My chronic fatigue has been in full force almost the entirety of this summer. I’d get restless sleep (because Shane the Rapist appears in my dreams but is just there – like, if I’m at a party, he’s there too. But nothing happens to me in the dream, well really, nightmare). So, I couldn’t remember the last time I woke up feeling refreshed. It’s basically been my job to be as relaxed as possible so that’s even become a chore. How fucked up is that? Three minutes of my life have doled out almost three years of recovery – with many more to come.

But, I’m back doing my beloved hot yoga, which helped me wind down in the past.

I take bubble baths after yoga. I read. I take my meds as needed. I drink sleepy time tea an hour before bed. I have a sound machine. I smell lavender. I put oil on my pulse points. I wear a sleep mask. I have a weighted blanket that is supposed to help with relaxation. I mean Jesus tap dancing Christ, this is my nightly ritual that shouldn’t seem like a fucking chore. But nothing was really working for my exhaustion and I was a train in dire need of some WD-40 on my wheels before they rolled completely away.

GO THE FUCK TO SLEEP.

Something had to give – and so, it did.

It came in the form of a severe concussion and a broken toe, forcing my ass to sit still and let others step in and care for me.

More water, please.

I can’t remember the last time I ate three meals a day consecutively since January 29, 2016. Well, that was remedied quickly.

My dad’s omelettes are my fave.

His BLT lettuce boats aren’t bad, either.

His stuffed peppers don’t suck.

Nor do his chicken lettuce wraps.

Chef Boyarcbxbeeee

I can’t remember the last time I took hour-long naps in the middle of the day.

Let’s get some day zzzz’s.

I can’t remember my dad ever watching the Bachelorette or Bachelor in Paradise, but we did.

New shows on the radar.

I can’t remember the last time I slept ten consecutive hours overnight. But I did.

I know you can’t tell, but I’m well rested.

I can’t remember ever not feeling like I’d swallowed the weight of a bowling ball in my belly since January 29 of 2016. But that feeling is gone.

The feeling of not feeling like I’ve swallowed a 14 lb. bowling ball.

The thing is, I’ve been treading water justenough to keep from drowning to the depths of my own personal Bermuda Triangle. There’s no escaping the aftermath of any trauma but when I started making baby steps in progress, even if I’d regress some later, it seemed so daunting to get up on that goddamn horse and try, try again.

When I saw glimpses of pre-Rapegate me starting to shine through my cracks, I wanted to do everything at once to grasp, hold on, keep the feeling there. I wanted to fight through therapy and come out on the other end, meet with the detective and sergeant of the Nashville Sex Crimes department to discuss the mishandling of my case, lose the 40 lbs I’ve gained since being raped, feel confident no matter what, work out daily, keep the mini manse sparking clean, be “on” and “happy” at work, make my bed without feeling like I should earn a gold medal for that feat, eating even though I have no appetite, grocery shopping, taking and keeping track of my meds, paint my nails, gussy up, take pride in my appearance, not wanting to make people who care about me worry, trying to not feel like a burden to those who do love me, avoiding panic attacks only to have them creep on stronger, listening to the judgement of others not solicited from folks who mean well and like to offer suggestions and the “I told you so” phrase even though they aren’t medical professionals or have experienced my exact trauma, remaining relaxed to try to sleep, trying to save money and pay back loans while keeping my lights on, dealing with life and loss like a normal person when I’m feeling like a tsunami inside (loss of self, ferociousness, confidence, dignity, ashamed of being raped (all daily feelings), my best fur friend Teddy Bear died, my second mom, Aunt Crazy Pants died, a friend of mine cut me out of his life completely with no explanation, a job loss, Precious my beloved Chug died – and this is all just part of fucking life) – I have been exhausted to the marrow of my bones.

Then, I suffered a severe concussion.

I first thought maybe one of those stupid cardinal wings of Aunt Crazy Pants’s was under my head, keeping me out of further harm when my noggin hit the concrete. Looking back now, I’m wondering if everyone who is a cardinal in Heaven and loves me joined forces and pushed my ass down, knowing I needed to stop.the.madness that had become my life. I was circling the drain in a bad way and I needed my ass kicked to stop it.

Thanks for the shove from above. Let’s not do it again, mmmkay?

Thankfully because of my family and friends (virtual and in real life), the Sparkly Army, that – if you’re reading this, you’re a part of– I’m back at it again.

Albeit a tad slower.

Canes are cool, right?

Unless you are my parents, sister, family, friends, or co-workers. In their case it’s me, then you.

Happy to report I’m on the mend, hobbling around on a broken toe, which is like a glimpse into my nursing home future.

If ever I twirl down again, I hope I’m in more appropriate attire.

Twirl at your own risk.

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!