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!

 

The Lights That Guide You Home

It’s fucking insane that my kick ass Aunt Crazy Pants has been partying up above for nearly 365 days. Some moments, it feels like two years ago but mostly I still forget and think to pick up the phone to text or call and then remember I can only communicate via the red bird, a cardinal.

A song s-t-u-c-k in my brain like a worm the last couple of days has been “Fix You” by Coldplay from their X&Y album (if you haven’t heard it, stop what you’re doing and go download it or,  for those of you a tad more technologically challenged, click on the pink “Fix You” words above for a link to the video – you’re welcome. Now listen to it before reading the rest of this post).

I’ll wait.

Still waiting. (Uncle Toddy, have Gma’s second favorite grandchild help you. Mama CBXB, I will help you. Uncle Lew, you’re fucked unless Aunt Patti knows how to do it.)

OK, then.

In honor of Aunt Crazy Pants, raise those gin rickey’s (or Black Velvet and Diet 7Up, whichever you’re feeling) 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

CBXB

 

Family Traditions of Christmas Past

How different would Christmas be if I wasn’t surrounded by family?

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Opening packages would be such a bore,

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If I wasn’t encircled by cousins galore.

Christmas chaos.

A lonely gal Christmas sock affair,

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Instead of hanging stockings by the chimney with double the care.

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All dressed up with nowhere to go,

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Instead of trying to be one of the stars of the show.

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Christmas pageants with one can be so annoying,

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But with two, the show is much more enjoying.

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Lonely lonely would Christmas celebrating be,

Without the decades of fun with family.

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From past to present with futures near,

Hold those who are dear with your heart full of cheer because you never know when they may not be here…

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Cheers to keeping the memories, traditions and spirits of Christmases past alive and kickin’.

CBXB

CBXB!

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 two years ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak and love of having my fingernails polished.

To celebrate what would have been her 94 birthday today, an ode to my Gma the great!

Gma

Always one to laugh at surprises…

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…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 hair ‘dos 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.

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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!

This is How We Roll

Wheelin'

Rollin’ around.

While visiting Iowa last week, I resided with my Gma in her studio apartment at a retirement home.

Gma

My roommie.

I not only found myself without Internet access along with shitty phone service and an overabundance of daytime TV, I also found myself without a vehicle among miles and miles of cornfields.

Among the cornfields.

Nope, still not heaven. Just Iowa.

Although we love one another, being cooped up in 400 square feet with someone for days can lead one to be a tad irritated edgy claustrophobic.

We decided that venturing a few blocks to the town square shouldn’t be too big of a feat. And while Gma is perfectly capable of walking, traipsing up and down streets isn’t her strong suit at 91, so we borrowed a vehicle from her buddy.

Wheels

Motorized by CBXB.

We were a traffic stopping duo, as cars had to wait for minutes while I popped wheelies to get Gma up and over a curb to the restaurant where we intended to be ladies who lunch.

Selfie!

Selfies cause gridlock when you take them in the middle of the road.

Streets

Bricks aren’t kind to wheelchairs. Or their drivers.     Photo – Wikipedia

After scooping the loop down Main Street a time or two, Gma announced that she was thirsty and I kicked into a gear so high I think I left a trail of smoke knowing a cold bottle of wine awaited our arrival.

Cheese!

Happy hour awaits!

We decided it was best to sit out on the porch and watch everyone else (while we also talked about them) drive by in actual vehicles as we sipped (well, she swigged, I gulped) our evening vino.

Cheers!

Busy bodies on a balcony deck.

Who needs a rental car when you can wheel it around town?

That’s just how we roll.

CBXB

CBXB!

Trashtacular 90th Birthday Shenanigans

Can you imagine turning the big nine-oh? I can’t either (really, I can’t imagine my liver lasting that long). But my family certainly turned up the class when we were celebrating behind the scenes at my Grandma’s 90th birthday shindig, starting off with her heart bursting in pride at my inability to wash off rub on tattoos I’d received at the Iowa State Fair the day prior.

Tough enough to celebrate 90?

Tough enough to celebrate 90?

Of course we threw Gma an appropriate celebration complete with cake, cookies, punch, old friends and best (depends on how you look at it) of all  – family.

Nonagenarian

Nonagenarian in her birthday glory!

All five sisters are still alive and kickin' it into their 90s.

Party girls! All five sisters are still alive and kickin’ it into their 90s.

Whenever the seven of us are now in the same state, my immediate fam always feels the needs to take a photo just in case we use it at holiday time.

Might be another Christmas card!

Smile! Might be the Christmas card this year…but it for sure won’t be because the babies aren’t looking into the camera. Plus, why do I have two dark holes as eyes?

During the four-hour throw down, a few of us cousins snuck off to Aunt Crispy’s house for a quick cocktail.

You pose

None of the 90-year-olds even noticed we went missing.

The celebrating really started when we spiked the punch and got out the elaborate appetizers at the after party.

Party food!

Nothing says fancy like Anderson Erickson French Onion Dip and party sized Ruffles!

We took turns primping in the new hand mirror my sister gifted me…

Fairest in the land?

Definitely not the fairest in the land.

I cheated on Captain for the first time ever (hurt so good) and used Lady Bligh for Skinny Pirates.

Cheater!

You can catch me on the next episode of Cheaters.

Friendly, loving sign language was exchanged as I “made” family members sign Gma’s guest book, accompanied by a favorite memory with her.

All smiles forcibly signing the guest book (even though it's her own son).

Tough times signing the book (even though it’s her own son).

With the addition of B and B, we were sure to keep the after-party baby friendly.

This twosome

Party animals taking notes from Auntie CBXB.

As we turned their binkies into new wine glass decor.

Binki wine charm

Binky booze charms will be all the rage. Mark my words.

We then felt the need to forgo glasses and just pass the bottle, in old-fashioned, celebratory, heathen-style family fun.

Who needs a glass?

Who needs a glass?

Once we threw the stemware out, we felt it appropriate to just use our hands to eat left over cake.

Stuff the cake

Don’t forget to lick under your fingernails.

And what family birthday party is complete without someone taking their shirt off and using it as a turban?

Turban Times

Uncle T’s head was cold. Really cold.

Taking one’s shirt off also means you can just let it all hang out…all over the kitchen table.

Gut Strut

Bonding time over the gut strut.

You may think that all of this white trash birthday behavior would be enough to make one go mad…

Cry!

I don’t care about your gut Uncle T! This mirror won’t answer my question. AM I PRETTIER THAN SNOW F’ING WHITE?!

But I was still concerned with not being the fairest in all of the land.

I’m sure you’re wondering if my clan is available to attend your next family gathering. The answer is yes. But we do require chips, dip and booze. Lots of booze. Oh, and a piece of your square footage to lay our weary party heads when it’s all over.

CBXB

CBXB!

Iowa State Fair Bound, Baby!

We're off!

We’re off!

Teddy and I are taking a blogging break to eat our way through the Iowa State Fair (well, I will be eating my way through the fair. Ted will just continue to eat, sleep, eat, eat and eat his way through life).

While in Iowa, I’m also going to party down with my Grandma as she celebrates her 90 years on the planet…wonder if I can get her to do Jell-O shots at this shin dig?

Go Granny Go!

Wonder where I get my party skills? Look no further!

I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers!

CBXB