For the Love of the Game

It’s no secret that I’ve had a rough go in my personal life the last few years. Of course, no one has perfection and bad shit happens to everyone, however, I’ve been numbed to the point that I don’t expect the worst but am surprised by nothing. Nothing.

Martians falling from the sky? We believe you.

It’s also no secret that I love college football – especially my alma mater, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Fans #1 and #2.

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

The last day that I can truly say I was ‘in the moment’ was December 5, 2015. I got to experience the first Big Ten Championship with my dad, The Silent Indian (who cheered for the wrong team) and Camo with my Iowa Hawkeyes taking on Sparty of Michigan State.

Big four at the Big Ten game.

It was one of the best days of my life even though Sparty won in the literal last second of the game.

All the after morning feels.

Four days upon returning home from that game, I was pushed out of a career that I’d worked my ass off to obtain in the music business. Eleven days after that, I experienced the worst Christmas of my life – a day I cherish (almost as much as my birthday) due to family dynamics shifting and my unwillingness to accept it. Less than one month later, a woman who was like a little sister to me died in a car accident. That evening, I went to my best friend’s house and was raped by her boyfriend.

I went into deep personal hibernation.

Somebody wake me when it’s 2025.

The day I was at the hospital awaiting my rape kit to be performed, I was asked if I’d like an advocate to come sit with me. I didn’t know if I did or didn’t because as my bare ass was hanging out of the back of a hospital gown, I was in a state of shock. An advocate was called on my behalf. Aside from her beyond sweet demeanor, her name being Barbie (I mean, c’mon!), her fabulous Louis Vuitton purse (obvies the right advocate for me), she said something that still rings true to this day.

“There will be a before rape in your life. And there will be an after rape.”

A before and after. Seems like a simple enough concept but I did not comprehend then how fucking true this would be in my daily life moving forward.

The Before: last selfie I took before Rapegate.

The After: first selfie taken after Rapegate.

It’s now been 1,277 days since the saga of Rapegate began. At first it was all-consuming, eating me up – a worm in my brain, invading every moment of my sleep, thoughts, feelings – I had no idea that I might as well have been standing at the bottom of Mount Everest, readying to climb 29,029 feet with zero conditioning.

My thoughts on hiking.

Thing is, life goes on all around even though time stands still for victims of any sort of trauma. For me, I was stuck on January 29, 2016 but I still had a job to find, bills to pay, fur ball mouths to feed and personal hygiene to maintain (this took much insisting from Mrs. America and my sister). I just wanted to wallow on my leopard couch and have it swallow me whole but of course that didn’t fucking happen.

Not so fresh and so clean clean.

With the support and love from my family, friends, and readers of this blog (my sparkly army), I was encouraged to put one (semi-clean) foot in front of the other and got into counseling. I’ve tirelessly acted as my own advocate with a horrendous detective, found a job, kept my lights on, was diagnosed with PTSD, adjustment disorder and severe stress and stumbled forward.

I don’t wanna but I’m gonna!

Through what felt like a continuous avalanche in my life, I put on the happiest face possible and plowed forward. Although, everything had less meaning, was less fun, was just not right. I went to my fave watering hole Dalts, invited girlfriends over, tried to read books but couldn’t remember the page I just read, watched TV only to forget what the episode was about as my mind couldn’t stay focused, stopped going to yoga and jogging due to not being able to be alone with my thoughts – because the aftermath of Rapegate was never far.

SAY WHAT?

Trying to trudge through life, every step felt like I was moving through snow waist deep. Yet again, life stops for no one. Aunt Crazy Pants was diagnosed with terminal cancer almost six months to the day after I was raped. She passed just a little over two years ago, ten days after I suddenly lost the fur ball love of my life, Ted. The searing dual losses not only felt like unusually cruel timing but also like a hot iron had been stabbed into my chest. I’d never experienced the throes of despair (navigating my way out of Rapegate), alongside devastating, life altering grief (losing those we deeply love) at the same time.

There’s not enough wine for this.

While I was home for ACP’s celebration of life, I had an opportunity to go tailgating with my Uncle Toddy, Aunt Crispie, my cousins and their many friends at the in state rivalry of the Iowa Hawkeyes versus the Iowa State Cyclones. It was a thrillingly unexpected day jam-packed with tailgating shenanigans.

The friendly family rivalry…

Battle of the birds.

The fun of endless booze all around…

I hate tailgating.

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

Shotski for three please.

Having to ask your uncle if there’s anyone he’s friends with in his season ticket section just in case I embarrass him with my big, loud pie hole…

A beauty and a sparkly beast.

Embarrassing my youngest cousin with all the right moves…

Cousin love is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line.

Up close and personal for the live action overtime win didn’t suck!

End zone win baby!

Afterward, I realized how much fucking fun I truly had that day. I lived in the moment for the first time in almost two years – at yet another football game. I didn’t think about anything other than what I was partaking in every. single. second. The bands marching through the tailgates. The booze. The Hawkeye buses arriving. The booze. The food. The booze. The rivalry. The family and friends I was enjoying the fuck out of spending time with. The game I got to watch from the end zone and the exciting win by the Hawks in overtime.

Some cousins took it well.

Others were sore losers.

Point is, for a brief day I got a taste of what it will be like when I transfer from survivor to thriver. I felt normal. I felt the fun I was experiencing. I felt like pre-rape me for once in almost two years. And it was fucking fantastic, freeing and I caught a glimpse of my old self starting to shine through the cracks I still carry.

Fist forward.

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

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

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

Stud.

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

Wait. Stop. I love you.

The Hawkeyes are almost always considered the underdogs. And it’s not lost on me that both the last and first time I realized I was living in the moment were at football games, watching my favorite team with some of my favorite people.

I love you too, Lee.

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

Appreciate what life offers up for enjoyment when you can.

ON IOWA!

CBXB

 

Weekend Winks – Traditions, Tailgating and Touchdowns

While Labor Day doesn’t technically make it Fall yet, the long holiday weekend seems to mark the end of summer. While it’s sad to say goodbye to lazy pool days, it was like Christmas come Saturday morning as my Iowa Hawkeyes played their first football game of the season.

Me. All last week.

Always welcoming a long weekend, I kicked off the fun at my fave watering hole Dalts Friday night, guzzling Skinny Pirates.

College football eve time killer.

My Iowa twins have basically turned into mini adults this summer. They’ve lost multiple teeth, learned how to ride bikes and just started first grade.

Wheels of time need to slow down. Please and thanks.

Love.

While the twins started their Saturday off with a bike ride, I was gussying up my celebration tree adorning it with Hawkeye decor. I mean, how could we possibly watch a game without a matching pink tinsel tree?

The game didn’t start until 6 pm and the anticipation was killing me. So I prepped the Mini Manse and had everything set up by 8:32 am.

With more than several hours to kill before kick off, there only one thing to do with the Saturday sunshine.

Pre-party at the pool!

The usual lounge lizards all showed up in our finest black swim gear (I pretended it was in support of my Hawkeyes – our colors are black and gold).

Back in black.

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

W-I-N.

Dada CBXB and I have switched from our typical grow-hair-on-your-chest moonshine for touchdown shots to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. It’s cinnamon whiskey at its finest. Plus, I don’t look so fabulous with hair on my chest and I don’t need to add waxing to my already high maintenance beauty regimen.

The game started a scosh slow but that didn’t dampen the excitement for our first touchdown of the season!

Shot #1!

On our way from #2 to a few…

Three cheers for #3!

Funny fun for #4.

Our Hawks outscored the Miami of Ohio RedHawks 38-14.

Clearly, we had a bit of pent up energy from last year to let out. And also clearly, I don’t know how to convey excitement without my pie hole being wide open.

Prissy really couldn’t have been more unimpressed with her first Hawkeye game experience.

Football is so boooooring.

Ruby Sue was so over college football season’s arrival, she tried to go home with Dada CBXB via his cooler.

No go.

Sunday marked the second anniversary of ACP’s passing. Her favorite place to go was the Cheesecake Factory, as they make the best gin rickey’s on the planet. So Mama CBXB and I took her there to celebrate her life over one of her fave cocktails.

Speaking of celebrating, Van Waffles took another trip around the sun, so the gang gathered for birthday fun.

The bday boy and Sleepy double fisting.

M.Star couldn’t contain her excitement at seeing me twice in one week.

She loves me. So much.

Photo shoots and selfies were endlessly abound and I tried to pose for every.single.one.

The Nicest Girl on the Planet, First Mate and an Ass Clown.

The evening started early and ended early for me as I could no longer keep my eye lids open for pics.

Eyes Wide Shut.

Upon my return home, The Big Three of the Pussy Posse demanded cat tails, turning my vanity into a makeshift bar, fighting over the skinny stream of water that trickles out of the faucet. When in fact, they have no less than five other watering troughs to wet their whistles. But who am I to say no to my pussies?

Cat Tails.

Winding down on Monday was imperative to this lady. When I went to draw my bath, I realized I was out of bubbles but due to my innate ability for classy beauty hacks, the problem was solved.

Perfect end to a long weekend.

Until next Saturday’s Hawkeye game, my liver will be enjoying some recovery (when I shock it with water). Here’s hoping you enjoyed your long weekend of down time, too.

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Cheers to Seven Years!

It’s my seven year blogoversary!

Celebration Queens.

When I started Cowboys and Crossbones at the urging of my sister one wine filled night seven years ago, I didn’t quite know what kind of content I was going to create. Maybe ways to look fashionable on a budget? Or a nail painting blog? A lazy in the kitchen, you can do it too recipe blog? As I played with different ideas and posts, the more I shared about my life in general as a single Nashville, crazy cat lady, Iowa Hawkeyes, Skinny Pirate and wine loving gal, a lifestyle blog surfaced.

The photo above was taken on the same day I started CBXB and just appeared on my Facebook memories. Back when I thought the worst thing that could happen to me was my then boyfriend running over my cell phone on our way to eat Italian one Friday night. Oh, how life would school me.

Wait a second…you’re telling me life isn’t all sunshine and fuckin’ rainbows?

Naturally, with life milestones coming and going, I’ve been thinking about what has taken place since I started this blog. I loved so hard on Ted, moved three times, found a career I adored in the music production business, adopted New Cat, broke up with relationships not healthy for me, gained a niece and nephew (!), loved on Precious, lost my Gma, got promoted to an executive in a career I adored, lost New Cat unexpectedly, was sexually harassed at the career I adored, forced out of the career I adored, guzzled countless family tradition Hawkeye touchdown shots, hosted celebratory for anything parties, endured Rapegate (and the shit show that still ensues), adopted three pussies in one day (and love the shit out of them), lost Ted, gained a happy work environment, lost Aunt Crazy Pants, fell into depression, grew boobs as an adult woman due to weight gain associated with Rapegate, lost Precious, twirled my way down to a concussion, have discovered who my ride or die life peeps are and remain in therapy with my super hero Sheila to this day.

I’m still standing.

The amount of band aids I’ve required over the last seven years rivals the amount of silicone in a Kardashian body.

Finding joy again has been a long overdue relief. And while I’m focusing on me, being happy and moving forward, those steps that take you back can feel like falls that rival the depth of the Grand Canyon. My stress level has been off the charts and to cope, I’ve been looking into getting a dog. A constant companion that can travel with me (I’m still a pussy galore gal but none of my current posse loves an errand filled day in a car). While I’d just been thinking about it, First Mate knew a friend of a friend of a friend who was a foster and here’s what happened this weekend.

It was just one of those things that was meant to be and it was further solidified when her foster mom sent this photo to me…

Waiting on her forever home.

My response…

I’m ready for her.

The Pussy Posse and I are pleased to introduce you to the newly named Prissy. She’s a four-year-old Pomeranian that was being fostered by Russell Rescue TN.

We really hate each other.

Obviously.

While celebrating her arrival it was discovered she has a taste for boxed wine, just like her mother.

Booze Hound.

The Pussy Posse gained a new member but are still a tad on the leery side regarding Prissy.

The Big Three questioning their mama’s sanity while watching Prissy frolick about the Mini Manse as if she owns it.

I let the animal queendom work itself out as I headed to soak in some summer rays.

And ended the weekend as I always do…

Stressless soak.

Please send your good juju and patience to me as I attempt to run a zoo.

Cheers to another seven years!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Christmas in Retrograde

Anybody else’s life been feeling slightly off lately?*

*slightly off for me is the understatement of the fucking century but you get what I’m saying.

Ever heard of Mercury in Retrograde? I have but I thought it only had meaning for those who comprehended astronomy or astrology (neither of which I have any sliver of understanding). I mean it involves a planet and a fancy word that means backward so what the fuck would I know about it?

The Farmers’ Almanac explains, “Retrograde is when a planet appears to go backward in its orbit, as viewed from Earth. Astronomers refer to this as “apparent retrograde motion,” because it is an optical illusion.” According to Horoscope.com, it may be an optical illusion BUT “when Mercury is in retrograde, technology, communication, travel, logic, and information all get disrupted.” Ah. I see.

It is an explanation as to why life is a shit show for periods of time (if you’re looking for an excuse and I am always looking for an excuse for the complications in life no matter how minor).

Apparently, this shit happens a few times a year (it’s over August 2 but starts again on October 31 – be prepared for a freak show of a Halloween!). During this ass backward Mercury rotation, I have had a car tire almost fall off due to negligence during my last tire rotation (one lug nut was holding the tire on – there are supposed to be five), ruined an entire work outfit due to white paint around the Mini Manse door that didn’t have a fucking ‘wet paint’ sign, discovered mold in my kitchen cupboard above the stove (which we all know doesn’t get used so what the actual fuck?), found mushy, rotten wood is holding my patio doors together – barely (been 30 days and counting for maintenance), and these are just small examples. Could it be worse? Fuck yes.

Me. Until Mercury exits retrograde.

Speaking of could it be any worse, Podunk has really had a fucking bout with this spin of the planet.

Instead of sandwiched between two blondes, it was marble.

She had a bundle of marble fall on her and sustained four broken ribs, a torn spleen accompanied by internal bleeding, a bruised liver, a partially collapsed lung and a contusion on her arm.

Please send my gal all of the good juju you have for fast and proper healing of her injuries. I’m doing that, as well as hoping she has some leftover feel good meds to share.

I was so excited to see the end of the week I couldn’t get my ass in bubbles quickly enough Friday. I stayed in the tub nearly three hours after work.

Yes, I use every single product you see in this photo.

Prince B has had zero problems with this Mercury bullshit. In fact, he celebrated his Ninjaversary on Saturday. Not familiar with that holiday? It’s when you have an anniversary for ninja class. Duh.

The two faces of Prince B.

What’s a celebration without cake? Chocolate cake with lemon frosting to be exact.

Sweet ninja.

And of course, it’s not a celebration without balloons and matching party accessories.

Par-tay done right.

Always a prince and princess to me.

While Prince B was kicking serious ninja butt, I was trying to keep my legs attached to my body at a spin cycle class. I may have come in last place on the scoreboard but goddamnit I showed up.

What my shirt says.

Wondering about my ever growing gaggle of pussies? Welp, I trapped, spayed, neutered and released two adult cats. When I finally caught the third adult cat and took her in for surgery, she’d already had another batch of kittens. Please be aware of the adorableness below.

Beyond.

There are three kittens total that I’m going to catch and have spayed/neutered. Anybody want one?

The photo below gives me multiplying chills just like Danny in Grease.

Family tradition on the horizon baby!

Longtime friends passed through town and we had a pool party Saturday. I really made quite the impression on their youngster (surprise).

“Dad, she drinks more wine than you.”

I also got to see Uncle Toddy and Aunt Crispie as they made their way through Music City two weekends in a row. They really love posing for photos with me.

There’s always that one asshole in the family.

Keeping it cool on National Ice Cream day were the royal members of our family.

Ice cream dreams.

They’re always loved the cold stuff.

About to scream for their ice cream.

I wasn’t as excited over frozen dairy as I was the Hallmark Movie Channel marathon of Christmas movies. Why? Because Christmas in July. Duh.

Merry Christmas.

July decor in tact on the year round Celebration tree.

The pussies thought I’d lost my ever loving fucking mind (this tends to happen quite often).

The fuck is she doing now?

They got used to taking turns cuddling during the massive cheesiness in the Mini Manse living room for 16 hours straight.

Heavy rotation of pussies. Thank gawd there’s five of them.

I’m not mad about it.

This week, my ass is going to be planted on my leopard couch, adorned in my Gpa’s 45-year-old robe, along with my sequin Santa hat and rosé. Always, always rosé (during the week).

Suck it Reverse Mercury!

Aside from that, my excuse for anything that goes sideways before August 2 is Mercury in Retrograde. Please feel free to use it for yourself, too. You’re welcome.

Superhero Sheila can’t wait for my session this week.

Merry Retrograde!

CBXB!

Badass Family Therapy

I’m in the middle of EMDR therapy and it’s hard.as.fuck.

My family is joining me in this therapy ride, whether they like (or know) it or not.

Cry Baby

Thoughts on therapy.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is an interactive psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress. It’s often used to treat trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which I’ve had for over three years thanks to Rapegate.

This poop emoji raft really “gets” me. I want to float on it every Thursday after therapy.

PTSD doesn’t necessarily last forever – but it can linger. It’s just the fucking hardest thing to describe a disorder that is invisible. It’s like having a ghost live within you and it comes out to haunt your body where its housed anytime it motherfucking pleases. Just like no two rapes are the same, no two pregnancies are the same, no two diagnosis of PTSD are the same.

I need a tank that reads “Surprise! It’s PTSD!”

So, there are obviously different treatment approaches depending on the person, the therapist, the situation. I started with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Rationally, I knew it wasn’t my fault I was raped. But I could not help but feel that I let it happen to me. I was my own worst enemy, standing in the way of my recovery process due to my black and white thinking. I still wrestle with this after three years of therapy but CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. Coping mechanisms are put into place and for me, mine is – ‘would you talk to a friend like this?’ Fuck no I wouldn’t, so quit talking to yourself this way.

We can be our own worst enemy.  CBT helps anyone learn how to better manage stressful life situations.

Jazz hands also help.

Starting EMDR with my therapist, Superhero Sheila, I was told to think of a happy, relaxing, real life place. Somewhere I’ve experienced first hand, where I felt safe. It took me a minute but I thought about water. I thought about laughing. I thought about what I loved in my life. Maybe it’s the time of year, but my safe place is memories of time spent at the Lake of the Ozarks with my family every Fourth of July.

Family

Clan

We kinda had some fun there over the years.

From wapatoolies, to aqua bars, to tattoos, to boys against girls Trivial Pursuit games (pretty sure the chicks won more), I can envision this place and be at ease. Hearing the boat motors, my family’s belly laughing, smelling the lake water, my uncle ‘washing’ his hair in the lake (true Griswolds move right here), the relentless teasing, remembering my sister getting hit in the face with a can of Budweiser thrown from the boat to the water (ah, memories).

Aqua Bar

Aqua bar doubling as a life saving device.

Tattoo

Tattoo Ted performing his kind of adequate skills on Aunt Crazy Pants.

Winners!

Trivial Pursuit Chicks rule. Dudes drool.

The first thing for me to tackle in EMDR was the exit off of the interstate which leads to the house where I was raped. My ex friend’s house. I pass by that exit almost every day. And every.single.time I think, “oh, that leads to Ex Friend’s house where I was raped.” It doesn’t ruin my day. I don’t ruminate over it. But it’s a thought that pops in my head and can causes anxiety that sometimes spills into my daily life.

To tackle this, Superhero Sheila hands me a device with two knobs – one for each hand. They vibrate, alternating, then at the same time, then alternating, using both your right and left sides of the brain to re-train your thoughts.

“Close your eyes.”

“You’re driving on Interstate I40, coming up to the exit. You see it through the windshield.”

*feel pang in my stomach, think of safe place*

Driving a boat at Lake of the Ozarks.

Party Chick

“You are getting closer to the exit, what are you feeling.”

*pang in belly, think of safe place*

Oh hello boozy party cove.

Party Girl

“Are you going to pass the exit or get off?”

*if I get off here now in my thoughts, it will take me to the place where I was raped…think of safe place*

Laughing with family.

Cousins

All day laughing with family.

The Griswolds

Family laughing all day with help from Jell-O shots…

Jell-O

…and whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

“You are going to pass by the exit. What are you thinking?”

*why are there tears starting to roll down my face..stop it…think happy place*

Lake of the Ozark patio karaoke nights.

Mic Fight

With a microphone hog.

Karoake King

 “Are you OK? Do you want to keep going?”

*yes…even though a river of snot is now accompanying the stream of tears down my neck*

“Take a deep breath in. Take a deep breath out. Think of your safe place.”

After boating pool dunks while our moms fixed supper.

Dunk

“You’re now passing the exit. You’re past the exit. Take inventory of your body. Do you feel anxiety anywhere?”

*a small pang remains in my stomach but it doesn’t ache*

“How do you want to feel?”

*more tears, happy place, happy place*

Drunken dancers around a hunk.

Hunk

*I want to stay afloat, I don’t want to cry, where’s the goddamned aqua bar when I need it*

Floater

 “Deep breath in, deep breath out. How do you want to feel – how do you see yourself?”

I see me cooling off with a refreshing beverage.

Beerpoo

“How do you see yourself?”

*I’m strong but I’m crying*

“You are not alone. Emotions don’t equate weakness. Feel them. Sit with them. Think about your happy place.”

Better together.

Muscles

*I feel strong. I feel like a badass. I am a badass*

“Know that this exit, this representation has a beginning, a middle and an end. You’re OK. How do you feel?”

*I feel…better…no dull ache in my body but what do I do when I drive by the exit…fucking christ, how will I feel then…*

“You will go to your secure place. You will use your coping tools. Now open your eyes. How do you feel?”

I feel safe. I feel happy.

Fam

Therapy of any kind is fucking hard. The interstate exit is the smallest of my issues that root in my Rapegate anxiety but, as with anything, sticking to it is a gigantic key to my recovery process. No matter how much I want to quit. No matter how many fucking tears I shed. No matter what. It’s my key to carrying on.

Here’s hoping you have a secure and favorable place to go in your mind, whenever you need.

Be your own badass – with as much help as you need. Thanks to my own version of the Griswolds family, I am…how bad can that be?!

Happy Fourth!

CBXB

CBXB!

How to Be Loud and Proud

Treat others as you want to be treated.

Sounds pretty fucking simple because it is, however we all know that isn’t the way the world works.

I don’t know how, but my folks somehow instilled embracing my uniqueness as I grew up (most likely because I was an asshole perfectionist who wouldn’t have listened to them one way or another but still). If someone made fun of my vibrantly colorful outfit (think turquoise sneakers with pink jeans), called me fat or four eyes because of my Coke bottle thick glasses, I always retorted “God made me this way. If you have a problem, talk to him.”

https://cowboysandcrossbones.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/photo-38.jpg

Honestly though, forget the glasses, can we please talk about my earrings and sweet blouse?

I was loud and proud before I could even understand the meaning.

It’s not that I don’t give any fucks, I just give zero fucks about the opinion of people who are judgemental. The type of folks who have no right to be judgemental about anything, let alone my clothing choices, lifestyle choices, crazy cat lady status, my loudness, my swears like a trucker but knows my surroundings mouth, my social media sharing, my sexuality, and on and on and on. And, like they (whoever “they” are) say, what someone thinks about you is none of your business. Unless, of course, unsavory opinions about me are shared with me and I can tell one how many fucks I give about their opinion.

That being said, you can imagine my delight when a celebration of all things colorful, shiny, anything goes, you do you partay takes over the streets of Nashville in the fashion of LGBT Pride.  For those of you not aware, LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. The month of June was chosen for LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969. As a result, many pride events are held during this month to recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world.

The impact of my LGBTQ+ friends in my life has been enormous. To me, their sexual preference means nothing more than what they eat for supper. I’ve stuck to those peeps in my life who treat others the way they wanted to be treated and I must say, I have one helluva large quantity of folks I love and adore. If you’re reading this, you’re one of them. And Pride is really a large celebration of love and being whoever the fuck you are – loud and proud.

Pride just happens to fall on the birthday weekend of my friend OMG. Last year, we went and turned up the snark because we thought we were oh so fabulous.

Until I took the meaning of “drag stage” a scosh too literally.

All the snark left the stage.

Outfits are one of the best things about Pride. Anything – and I mean anything goes. OMG just happens to be the most creative person I know and he bedazzled the shit out of some kicks.

Too bad he has no talent.

I decided on a t-shirt from fringe + co for my razzle dazzle.

This New Orleans chick has a love for sparkle that rivals mine. Thing is, she can sew like a motherfucker and creates the most bad ass pieces.

Mastermind behind all things sparkly.

My sidekick creative director, OMG put the finishing touches on my Designer Pussy giddy up.

Just a tiny bedazzle.

My gal pal, M.Star really upped her makeup game from neutrals to mauves in honor of Pride and when I commented, we had this spot on exchange.

My normal crazy turned out fiercely, felinely fabulous.

Not hating my vibe. At all.

When it comes to supporting Pride, Nashville steps up (as any city should in 2019). Local business, news stations, conservative restaurants (thumbs up, Cracker Barrel) and even the Metro Nashville police department join in on the color parade.

The only time I want a ride in a cop car.

Love is love. Love breeds love. This is why I adore that Pride is a family friendly event. Although my Iowa munchkins were enjoying a Peppa Pig (love is love and they love this pig) live show, Princess B adorned her sparkly rainbow in solidarity.

I tried showing everyone my rainbow when we posed for a pic but I couldn’t get my leg quite high enough.

Seated high kicks are not as easy as they appear.

After sweating our asses off while sitting and looking fabulous drowning in our own sparkly sweat guzzling cocktails, we decided to hit the dance floor. Said dance floor was the fountains typically reserved for the squeals of delight from small children and drunk people. We might have fallen into the latter category.

The negative side effect of continuously quenching your thirst at an outdoor festival is the restroom availability.

Ew. Just ew.

Upon barely surviving the stench of the enclosed commode, I came out to find OMG slightly sideways.

Tipsy at its gayest.

When we were walking to our Lyft, OMG was stopped to give his thoughts for a podcast on whether one chose to be gay or one was born “that way”.  He slayed.

Slay Queen, slay.

Needless to say, the day was full of fun celebration for all of the right reasons. I woke up feeling like the most beautiful woman on the entire planet the next morning.

So…Pride was fun.

I applied my eyeshadow with such dexterity, it lasted through sweltering heat, fountain water rhythmic dancing, face washing, drunken slumber AND pool shenanigans the following day.

Still proud.

I basically had to take a jackhammer to it on Monday morning before work, as my lids looked like this – even after washing my face.

MAC glitter shadow base with Too Faced eyeshadows.

All in all, I’m still on a high from the laughs, the people watching and most importantly, seeing everyone at Pride celebrating in however fucking fashion they chose.

We came. We saw. We slayed.

All kinds of proud and always loud.

Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

However you live and love in life, here’s to doing it loudly and proudly.

Cheers!

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – A Wonder Dog and Dads

All is well and good until you kick your weekend off with a purple gin martini.

Then it’s fucking fabulous.

I only like gin when it’s purple.

A gaggle of friends were in Music City and we had so much fun, the time spent together warrants its own post. But what started out like this…

Was raging the following 24 hours like this…

No fun zone.

My Iowa twins were having their own fun on my old work stomping grounds at Adventureland, an amusement park near Des Moines.

You’re gonna have a fun filled day! (jingle)

I used to sing and dance on a stage that rose from the ground six times per day in the sweltering Iowa heat. It was so much more fun than waiting tables and it gave me the performance bug that eventually led me to Nashville.

I was not fortunate enough to be a plush dog. Once I was a fucking clown.

Princess B decided to get a few inches chopped off of her luscious locks and I don’t care that she’s my mini me, this chick can do no wrong when it comes to life her hair.

those. curls.

Saturday called for brunch and while I was busy guzzling bottomless mimosas at the bar, I saw a dog (it’s like my eyes are magnetically drawn to anything furry). The bartender took a beer, the dog retreived it from her hand and gingerly carried it to his owner at a nearby table.

I was so bummed I missed the video but naturally had to go and maul the dog, Dog for his fabulous efforts. Luckily for me, the owner was not a one and done kind of drinker, therefore, I had a chance to get this genius canine in his pet trick element.

*mind blown*

What else would one do on a low key Saturday night than watch your favorite Christmas movie for the 6,380,156 time? I couldn’t even wait until “Christmas in July”.

A fun old fashioned family Griswold Christmas.

Sunday greeted me with a fancy omelette courtesy of Van Waffles.

That drizzle is everything.

Father’s Day celebrations then commenced and I sent messages to my peeps. I have dudes in my life who are fathers to fish, four legged friends, and humans. First photo I received of the day was from my cousin and his one and some months year old daughter (why don’t people just say one? Why does it have to be 16, 18, 24 months? Just a side question for the humanless parents).

Juicy Lucy!

My mini party headed to the ever affordable Chili’s for their all day happy hour (2 for 1 house wines and beer, hello!) to celebrate dear old Dada CBXB.

Chips, salsa and snoozes.

My girl, Sleepy, went out the evening before and the salsa dipping proved to be too much, so she shut her eyes for a second.

Party animal.

While she was regaining her dipping strength, I gifted Dada CBXB with a small token of gratitude that he can share with me, naturally.

Bota Box Rosé. Bring that into the pool next weekend. Thanks.

I then turned my dad into Elton John by adorning him with my new sunglasses that are only missing lights.

Here’s hoping your week is just as extra as my dad’s sunglasses.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!