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 – Can’t Steal My Sunshine

The past 240 days of 2016 have put me in a seemingly endless downward spiral, creating a monster of a walking, talking freak show shell of myself because when bad shit happens to good people, everyone responds differently. In my case, I’ve been left in a constant state of limbo for nearly 9 months, in which actions of those in authority performed, conducted demanded (by me) on my behalf were out of my control (a fucking nightmare for an OCD maniac such as moi).

Being wound tighter than a yo-yo that hasn’t been used since 1972, good news was delivered Friday morning that made me happier than in as long as my memory can serve me (which isn’t saying much these days). The kind of happy that makes you feel intoxicated in the absence of booze (of course that didn’t last long). The kind of happy that makes you feel genuine joy. The kind of happy that gives you a glimmer of hope, a sliver of validation and sparkling reminder that karma is a motherfucker when it’s doled out to those who deserve it.

The kind of happy that feels like sunshine.

Cheersing to karma being a motherfucker.

The celebration between a mother and her little fucker.

As tidings of joy (god, I can’t wait for Christmas) spread, my support group helped me celebrate from coast to coast.

From Hotlanta!

Love in the form of a 12 pack from Atlanta.

Flowers of

Feted with flowers from gal pal and blogging bestie  Princess Rosebud from Cali.

Good thing for me the celebrating didn’t end with Skinny Pirates on Friday night. The party trickled into Saturday, where I didn’t have to choose a fave booze to holler’n’swaller t0 while cheering on my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes.

Playing Favorites

Room for all of my nearest and dearest game day delights.

A small hair of the dog did take the Friday night bite out of the 11am kick-off.

Game day started off right.

Even the tailgate crew gussied up in their game day finest.

Gussied up and

Glitterati is a good sport.

Trying to keep our average American figures in check, our tailgate spread remained low carb (but who gives a rat’s ass how many are in your cocktail, amIright?).

Healthy spread to offset the dehydration of livers.

Healthy spread to offset the dehydration of livers.

I even cooked something without a recipe…yes. Be ah-mazed. Because I still am.

Cauliflower crusted buffalo chicken pizza.

Cauliflower crusted buffalo chicken pizza.

Family tradition continued the shenanigans of good fortune with touchdown shots.

Shot one! But not done.

Shot one! But not done.

Two and through.

Two and through.

The Hawkeyes eeked out a victory (a win is a win no matter how ugly) and while I take a victory even if not proudly, my heart about burst with delight when I received this video of Princess B.

 

I know that you are now overflowing with patriotism. I mean, who couldn’t after that rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance?  And, speaking of overflow, here’s hoping all of you peeps in Iowa are staying as dry as possible although the waters seem to keep rising.

Four feet of sandbags and still a raging river in Cedar Rapids.

Four feet of sandbags and still a raging river in Cedar Rapids.

The rest of my weekend was spent deciding what mini manse improvement projects I should do now that I have a little pep back in my step. It’s amazing how much an ounce of relief can revive your spirit. My pal Mills made the suggestion below and I think it’s something that even I could handle in a day’s work.

img_4669

I mean, I already have the bag of wine, I just need to find massive shower clips. Who can help?

The pussy posse dominated my Sunday, demanding some mama time. I’m sure you can guess who still remains king of the castle though, right?

Thank God I have enough body mass for all of them.

Thank God I have enough body mass for all of them.

While I’m not a political pot stirrer, I couldn’t help but fall truly, madly, deeply in love with this shirt

Love trumps hate. Truth trumps dishonesty. Karma trumps asshats.

Love trumps hate.
Truth trumps dishonesty.
Karma trumps asshats.

Here’s hoping nothing steals your sunshine this week.

Cheers!

CBXB!

In Heaven There is No Beer…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (aside from my birthday, Ted’s birthday, Christmas and the Iowa State Fair)!

IMG_7503

The white trash classiness that is my life continues as another season of college football kicks off this weekend!

My dad and I started a tradition a few years ago to celebrate every touchdown that our favorite college football team, the Iowa Hawkeyes, scored with a shot of moonshine (this way no matter what the outcome of the game, you can have fun – even if your team sucks – which is how this lovely tradition began. Unless they score nothing of course, and if that’s the case, get a new team).

First shot of the season.

First shot of the season feels so good!

Our freezer stash of Popcorn Sutton’s Tennessee White Whiskey is prepped and ready to go for the season opener.

Iced

Chic shenanigans await.

Problem is this year, Dada CBXB is heading up to see my fave duo on the planet as I type, so we’ll have to resort to our trashtacular tradition via Facetime, which we’ve already mastered in years past.

Miles schmiles.

Miles schmiles.

Being that the Hawks were 12-0 in the regular season last year, we hope our liver tolerance remains in tact for alcohol that makes chest hair grow whether you like it or not. While we’ll be celebrating apart, we have everything we need to round out the first college game day.

Double fisting at its finest.

Double fisting at its finest.

W-I-N.

Who’s with us?

CBXB

CBXB!