Birthday Cheers to My Legendary Girl Dad

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) armor. 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 extracurricular 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 my 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

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You should always have your family’s back…

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… 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
                      
and
                                       
still

Passed down to generations for upkeep.

Pink isn’t just for girls…

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…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…

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…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 rotgut vodka and your finger to mix.

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

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           …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
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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…

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…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, Sister CBXB, and the rest of our crazy crew!

CBXB!

Spooktacular Sidekicks

Oh Halloween, how I’ve always loved thee. The 31st day of October was – and still remains – the kick-off to a long-awaited holiday season for me.

I'll cut a bitch
I’d still cut a bitch.
With an assist from my dad.
Letting Dada CBXB (you know, the guy who dresses up like Pam Anderson) do all of the carving work because even way back my nails were “jewels, not tools”.

In a small Iowa town where I was raised, we had costume parties at school and church (when you used to be able to call it a Halloween party complete with witches and bats, instead of a fucking bland Fall Festival with scarecrows and hay bales – why are there fun haters? Why?), parades to prance proudly down our eight block Main Street (where every single one of the 1,200 citizens showed up) and so much trick-or-treating mania, I’d have to come home halfway through the evening just to dump my candy (hiding it all from my dad in the dryer or it’d be gone by morning) because my pumpkin got so overloaded, it was too heavy for me to carry.

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Forget my adorableness for one second – what about the clown behind #165?
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A spectator sport for the entire town where I could show off my killer cookie wheels.

In my younger years, I carried the burden of celebrating Halloween by myself and being a lone Cookie Monster got frustrating.

Ho Hum
One is the loneliest number.

Begging my parents to procreate, I was presented with Sister CBXB (you know, the one who called my dad a goddamn son of a bitch at the age of four) who was immediately awarded with side kickin’ it as my lifetime partner-in-crime (lucky her). If I was going to be dressing up (oftentimes making an ass out of myself in later years) she was going to be doing it too, by god (town parades included).

In the beginning of our twosome, we were all about cutesy costumes.

Sugar'n' Spice
The rock star and Raggedy Ann. A little sugar for my spice.

The ‘cute’ theme seemed to carry on in our early years.  Except for the tilt in our heads…and the fog in the background…and the overall sinisterness of this photo.

Creepy Hollow
Cute masked crusaders in Creepy Hollow.

As we grew older, I wanted a little edge (well as much edge as an elementary kid and toddler could muster) to our giddy ups. I let my young inner badass out, as my sister scared the pants off no one as a two-headed monster, um, farmer?

very busy
That’s right. I was hardcore even in elementary school.

We slid slightly into the ghoulish department as my sidekick joined me in grade school.

Scardey Crow
Scaredy crow and premature mini old man. Almost spine-chilling. Almost.

Then I graduated to truly frightening and fearful territory as I crept toward junior high.  Pebbles was not impressed.

Pebs
I’m also starting to wonder if there was any other color of hair paint than green, since that tends to be a trend here.

When we thought we were oh so grown up, our costumes reflected our mature attitudes.

Lady and the Tramp.
Lady and the Tramp. Or Princess and Sock Hop Girl…however you want to see it.

We were reminded in following years just how far from adults we were…especially yours truly. A recycled mask and costume from a previous Halloween hid my “I’m way too old for this shit” attitude toward trick-or-treating when I was forced to go with my younger sister in the eighth grade.

Barley a Boo
I can’t tell who’s more excited – the monster or the witch.

And being older we’re not so much cute, cuddly or even scary creatures…we’re just mostly cocktailed.

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The odd couple. Pocahontas and Kid Rock.

Now that we’re miles apart during the costuming time of year, it’s fun to look back at our sisterly ghosts of Halloweens past. But what’s even more fun is seeing her twin goblins growing to love the holidays as much as she and I did as kids.

Scary season #1.

As
Permanent partners-in-crime.

Scary season #2.

I know, I know. The cutest fucking dog and cat you've ever seen.
I know, I know.
The cutest fucking cat and dog you’ve ever seen.

Scary season #3.

Princess Leah and Yoda
Star Wars at its silliest.

Scary season #4.

A mermaid with her super hero.

Scary season #5.

Captain America and a Princess Peacock.

Scary Season #6.

Lloyd the LEGO ninja and a bitchin’ witch.

Scary Season #7.

No matter how you choose to spend Halloween, here’s to having a side kickin’ ghoul for your spooky festivities.

Happy Haunting!

CBXB

CBXB!

Lights Will Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for over 1,000 days now. Today, it is three years since she went to bicker with her mother up above (They seriously used to keep track of who called who last – and reported it to me every time I spoke to either one of them. Thinking about it now, I should have just conducted a three-way call and then they would have been even.)

Oh, no shit? Did you know the phone works both ways?!

I still forget and go to pick up my cell to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.  I think about ACP every day (I mean, I do have her signature tattooed on my wrist) but I especially think about her during my beloved Iowa State Fair, which typically takes place for ten days every August (but thanks to that bitch Rona, it was canceled this year).

Giant tenderloin time.

After my folks moved to Nashville, ACP would always be my state fair side kick unabashedly wearing fucking Crocs (so-called “shoes” that I hate with a passion) on her feet while she humored me on my yearly 12 hour day of fair festivities (present when the cannon goes off at 8am until the fireworks boom after the nightly concert at the Grandstand).

She also poured water over her head when she was hot. I think she wore a white top on purpose.

I haven’t been back to the Iowa State Fair since ACP passed and it will be bittersweet when I get to go again.

Corn dog round four, waiting on the fireworks.

But she relayed the torch to R. Nasty who was keen to accompany ACP and me to the fair in past years even though it was most likely the worst days of his life. Now, he gets me all to himself as I force him to eat everything in sight, ride the death traps carnies assemble (although they took the double Ferris wheel away and I AM NOT OK WITH IT), and visit every.single.livestock barn.

Two peas in a forced fair pod.

I’ve really been missing her beyond lately. She was my second mom.

Obvies.

It’s comforting to a degree knowing that she’s with her folks, other family members, and all of my furballs (who are most likely mauling her) that passed before ACP. While our family celebrates her life while we’re still living, it doesn’t make the void any less painful.

Five Hussies. One photo booth. What could go wrong?

I miss the cards she used to mail me. I miss her texts that made no fucking sense (so I’d end up having to call her anyway to find out what the fuck she was talking about which may have been her plan all along). I miss her not giving one fucking thought to what came out of her mouth before she said it aloud.

Oh my fucking Gawd. Did you really say that?!

I miss cheering her up on what she called her ‘blue’ days. I miss having her to call when I’m having ‘blue’ days. I miss making her laugh until she pissed her pants (super easy). I miss her Christmas Village she set up every year that was literally the size of a small town. I miss laughing my ass off with and at her.

Whenever I hear the song “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album, I think of ACP and the fucking cancer that stole her life waaaaaaaaay too soon (the chicks on her side of the family easily live to at least 90 years young. This means I’m going to need a helluva lotta Botox). If you haven’t heard the song or need a refresher, stop what you’re doing and go listen to it or click on the highlighted Fix You words above for a link to the video. I’ve always loved the song but it’s taken on a new meaning for me since ACP passed.

We miss you.

When she received her unfuckingfair diagnosis, her peeps rallied and while we couldn’t fix or take the pain away from her, we could provide happy experiences for her remaining time and memories for her to leave with us. She tried her best to stay as long as she could here because she was insanely in love with her kids, grandkids, family, friends and was at a point in life where she was positively starting over.

Positive pants.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, turn your radio (or really these days, your iPhone) up, raise those gin rickeys high in the air, as we celebrate how much we miss her and hate the fuck out of cancer in my mixed lyric rendition of the song.

Fix You

When you try your best

But you don’t succeed

When you get what you want

But not what you need

When you feel so tired

But you can’t sleep

Stuck in reverse

And high up above

Or down below

When you’re too in love

To let it go

But if you never try

You’ll never know

Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we did try to fix you

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Tears stream

Down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

Tears stream

 Down your face

When you lose something you cannot replace

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

And we don’t have to fix you

Love you Aunt Nancy.

My Gma the Great

I’ve never been one to take my family or time with them for granted, so it was real bummer when my Gma passed away five years ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak, lipstick and love of having my fingernails polished.

To celebrate what would have been her 97th birthday today, an ode to my Gma the great!

Gma

Always one to laugh at surprises…

Image

…you took to my photobombing like it was one of your most treasured prizes.

Photo Bomb!

You never let anyone forget…

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…when it was time to celebrate you bigger than the national debt.

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I learned from the best…

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…how to celebrate my life full of zest.

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Now seriously Gma, you taught me to party harder than Mae West.

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A love of leopard you instilled….

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…which is now being passed down to the next generation, who’s thrilled.

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It’s so fun you two met at a skating rink…

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…even if after 44 years you still had to steal kisses quicker than an eye blink.

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Although I took after Gpa avoiding kisses, rather craving a hard drink…

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…you always insisted on showing your love, making sure everyone was in sync.

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Beauty sleep and a hairnet was apparently all that you needed…

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…but truly it was your hairdos that always succeeded.

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So it was with glasses and confidence that I superseded…

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…the grace and confidence that you always heeded.

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I wish I would have felt more impeded.

photo 1

The Iowa State Fair you never did love,

probably because you couldn’t wear foot gloves.

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It will never be the same, not bringing you a corn dog…

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…and discussing how I ate my way through the fair like a prize-winning hog.

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Circled blacked out dates always meant you had a companion…

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…you always loved attention bigger than the Grand Canyon.

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Attending every homemade Christmas pageant we made…

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…and most likely secretly prayed…

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…that I would never end up a lonely old maid.

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The first to pass of five sisters, who lived out their misters,

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…you loved being pampered more than a fever blister.

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Your nails were painted the day before you passed…

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…and Jell-O shots without you will seem so miscast.

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Regardless of view near or afar, life will never be the same…

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…without you as my shining rock star.

Love and miss you Gma.

CBXB!

To the Fabulous Fathers Who Rock Our Worlds

Where in the fuck would we be without our dads, father figures, uncles, cousins, and all-around good dudes in our life?

Here is an ode to my dad, the dude who’s taught me quite a few important life lessons worth sharing …

#1) The art of playing dress-up.

One should never take themselves too seriously (doesn’t he make a beautifully awkward-looking woman?).

Teach the importance of playing dress up.

Kid and Pam. Duo of the Halloween circuit (click here to read about it).

#2) Giving good fashion tips and showing the importance of taking risks.

I may never have rocked neon pink jeans or turquoise sneakers if I hadn’t seen my dad risking it by wearing a pink feather boa.

Oh, pink feathers would look good on me!

It takes balls to boa.

#3) Instilling the importance of a family tradition during holidays.

Thus taking this lesson to heart, I’ve turned into a Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, anything-that-has-a-theme seasonal maniac.

Help you fall in love with holidays, so now you're a maniac when it comes to

Pumpkin carving passion 101.

#4) Schooling me on the art of loving your birthday so much, it’s your favorite day of the year.

My birthday is in late March (and if you must know, three months exactly after Christmas), therefore it’s my birthday month. And, although it’s June, I’m still accepting presents and celebratory cocktails. I really took this lesson to heart. Thanks, Dad.

Teach the imporance of a celebration

I’m all business when it comes to taking tips on the art of blowing candles out.

#5) Showing the almighty ability to shake it up and party down without spilling your cocktail on the dance floor.

This might be the most important lesson learned from my father. I’ve fallen down stairs, tripped in grass, and jumped into a pool without losing a drop of liquor from my glass. TALENT taught well.

Dancing maching

Drip dry dancing machines. Liquor intact!

#6) Establishing the idea that no matter what, your family will be there to pick you up in times of need.

Like the time I accidentally got shit faced at my sister’s bachelorette party and couldn’t walk to the car because my feet hurt.

My feet hurt, I need a lift.

My heels are killing me! I need a lift.

Stiff as a board but sure as shit not light as a feather...especially after cocktailing.

A family effort trying to throw my dad’s back out.

Are we there yet? I think I just threw my dad's back out.

The dude who’s carried me through life like a champ.

Whether your dad is still cruising the streets or has departed to the big party in the sky, I’m raising my glass to each and everyone this Sunday.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads that have rocked our worlds.

We love you.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!