Heavenly at Seventy

My beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life). By the time cancer was found through an unrelated surgery, it had already spread everywhere but her brain and she was given six months to a year to live in July of 2016. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

Today is ACP’s heavenly birthday and she would be turning a very young 70. Ever since her passing in September of 2017, we keep celebrating the fuck out of one of our favorite crazy ladies. We always cheers with her fave cocktail – specifically from The Cheesecake Factory – a gin rickey.

Celebrating ACP’s first heavenly birthday together, Mama CBXB and I did what all mother/daughters do to bond. We got tattoos of ACP’s signature. We were the first ones at the tattoo shop that day and acted like we’d never been in a place of permanent ink before.

Totes normal Saturday with static in our hair.

In fact, we’d been several times with ACP to get her tattoos, so we brought her along in pictures. 

She was there to witness our ink ups.

The photo I chose was of me holding her hand while she got her first tattoo. It was at the Lake of the Ozarks non-world renowned Tattoo Ted’s after a day of coving out and cocktails.

Mothers and daughters who tattoo together, PARtay together.

We then went to our fave spot on Broadway in Nashville, Robert’s Western World to keep the celebration alive.

We love sharing stories and peeing our pants over shit she would say or do (she literally shit her pants during a shopping trip at Target with her mom once. When ACP shared why she had to rush to the bathroom, Gma might have well been on the store’s loud speaker and announced loudly, “YOU SHIT YOUR PANTS?” For the record, I’ve also shit my pants at Target. Must run in the family….). I just got an eye roll (sorry Gma) and a belly laugh (you’re welcome ACP) from the sky, I’m sure. We’d often witness tears running down her leg from laughing so hard and we have fun remembering the spirit this woman, mother, daughter, sister, crazy fun aunt and loyal friend to countless people sprinkled throughout our lives.

To say there’s a hole in my soul doesn’t do it justice, as my aunt was like a mother to me and I take after her in many lovely ways.

I carry the torch for her klutziness (I fell into her closet after getting out of her bed – still in my emerald green stilettos and funeral dress – the day after her funeral).

Humor helps klutzy broads.

We also can ruin phones like nobody’s business. She would constantly drop hers in a toilet, I run my over with cars. It’s a special talent.


I carry her ability to get tongue tied at any given moment (I asked a male co-worker at a new job if “these are the size of rubbers you wanted” – I forgot the word band after rubber). She constantly called my boyfriends the wrong name. I once dated a guy named John for a few years. He answered the phone when she called once and, for whatever reason at a loss, she said, “uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh GARY?!”

Quite the combo.

I have the ease of her unabashed bluntness and no fear of confrontation (she deemed me the biggest bitch of the family before she passed. I know, so sweet).

Whether ya wanna know the truth or not, ya gonna hear it. Even if we look like ass clowns with delivery.

I will honor her by eating double what I normally do during trips to the Iowa State Fair when this bitch Rona finally gets the fuck outta dodge.

Being a crazy aunt is something I’m already all over.

Or rather, they’re all over me.

I was born with her dramatic flair for life, so that bonfire was lit long ago within me.

Jazz hands for life.

While it’s important to remember that when someone may no longer be among us on earth, our relationship with them can still exist, it’s also important to remember the quality of life given during an especially grueling battle with cancer. ACP’s youngest son R. Nasty made sacrifices I can’t say many young adults his age – let alone any adult – would do to care for his dying mother. I mean before being diagnosed with cancer, she was already the most dramatic woman on the planet (like bitching about “having” to pack to go to Hawaii – or any other fabulous destination…yeah, poor thing), so you can imagine the sheer joy the magnification of her theatrics became.

Flair for fun dramatics.

R. Nasty moved in with his mom (all young men’s dream come true) being closest in proximity and able to make accommodations to do so, while his other brothers and extended family lived further away.

All other Bros and Hos live far away.

He answered every time she hollered with a patient, “yes Mother,” sauntered into her room after every bell ring (a sound that will surely haunt him for the rest of his days), removed an ice cube each time he accidentally put four instead of three into her water and endless other duties that come along with caring for a cancer patient.

The true meaning of ‘got your back’.

My point is, this dude is a fucking saint. Throughout all the treatment routines, doctor’s appointments, therapy, surgeries, etc, ACP’s absolute favorite time was watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with R. Nasty every weeknight. Even if she dozed off in the evening as she got more cancer riddled, she wanted to be woken up to watch Stephen Colbert with her son.

Wake me up before you go go.

In the evening on August 31, 2017 my feisty aunt was taken from home hospice to the hospital. That night, as the end was drawing near, the room full of family was clearing out and R. Nasty leaned in and said, “We’re going to watch Stephen Colbert one more time, Mom.” And that they did. She died at 3am on Friday, September 1st, 2017.

While we’ve partied in every way possible in honor of Aunt Crazy Pants’ love of life, I’d like to acknowledge the sacrifices her son made so selflessly. When asked about it he always says (and still does), “it’s my honor to take care of my mother.”

So how can you show a small token of appreciation in return to a son who lost a friend, a mother and a fucking funny lady all rolled into one? Sister CBXB came up with a great idea, reached out to me to execute (why do I have to do all the work?) and with the help of some letter writing, reaching out to every.single.contact I have and making them reach out to every.single.contact they have, magic happened.

Through the efforts of fabulous friends and the help of family, we were able to pull this shit off and I scored two VIP tickets (yeah, you read that right – VIP bitches) to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. R. Nasty and I graced the Big Apple for a taping of the show, celebrating ACP in NYC.

The start of my 28 hour stay.

R. Nasty flew from Iowa, I flew from Music City and we met at the airport. Sounds like a meet cute except we’re cousins. 

Of course I had to document every.single.moment of our celebration trip and ever accommodating, R. Nasty indulged me.

VIPs Baby!

See me? I’m the blonde in center of the row. The guests were Lucy Liu (boring) and Henry Winkler (fun).

Regardless of R.Nasty’s twisted ankle and me accidentally crashing a rapper’s photoshoot in Time’s Square, we had a fabulous trip celebrating ACP’s life with a whopping side of shit show. We were only there for what some would say resembles a long layover but it was worth every second.

Oh I’m sorry, this is a prop for your photoshoot? Sorry. Not sorry.

The deeper the love for someone, the deeper the grief. For grief is the price we pay when someone we love the fuck out of departs us for greater pastures. For me, celebrating their life and what they loved makes me still feel connected. And boy, does the grief still run deep for those of us who loved ACP.

We all miss you something terrible.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. I promise to quietly laugh my ass off at memories of you (after probably tripping and falling down some stairs first) forever.

Join me in raising a gin rickey high to the sky tonight in honor of the Aunt Crazy Pants in your life. Throw on a little green (emerald or kelly green to be precise) if you really wanna kiss some ACP ass.

Happy Heavenly Birthday Aunt Nancy. 

Love ya, Mean it.

CBXB

BUY ME A DRINK

 

Nashville Strong

There is strength in numbers.

As many of you are aware, a tornado ripped through Middle Tennessee just last week. Its reign of terror was 50 miles wide and remained on the ground for 60 minutes, hitting in the dark of the night while many residents were asleep.

Strength in numbers.

I had gone to a Nashville Predators game the prior evening and upon returning to the Mini Manse, realized I left my phone in Mama CBXB’s car. I texted her via my iWatch to let her know.

Ignorance is bliss.

Mama CBXB came by around 6am on Tuesday morning to return my phone and told me there’d been a tornado and to turn on the TV. The images being shown were inconceivable.

I sat in silence. I sat in shock. I sat in sadness. I started freaking the fuck out when I saw the areas where the tornado reportedly touched down because I know people from every area. I checked my email. The CEO of our company sent a message at 6am to stay home until further notice. Our office building had survived the attack from Mother Nature but this is the view of damage from our parking lot, across the street at Tennessee State University.

The magnitude of damage was hard to comprehend via the television screen. The scariness of unknown lurked within every thought. My phone started dinging with messages, DMs, and calls that were concerned peeps checking on me, my friends and family.

None of the local stations broke for the national morning news programs and fresh information kept flooding in. Missing persons lists started circulating, the mayors of areas affected were conducting press conferences, advising residents of what to do. By 10am, the city of Nashville declared a state of emergency. Twenty-two people were confirmed dead and 50,000 people were without power.

The feeling of helplessness subsided when by finding out those loved ones in the areas hit the hardest, historic East Nashville, Germantown and North Nashville were alive. My girlfriend and her family lost their house but they were able to take cover with seconds to spare at 1:45am.

After seeing the above photos of her house, we spoke on the phone. You know what she said? “It could have been so much worse.”

She’s right. It could have been worse. And for some of our residents, it was as the death toll from the storm grew to 25 lives lost. The city went to bed Tuesday night with an uncertainty of what to do and how to help our neighbors while staying out of the way of first responders and city maintenance crews.

Strength in numbers.

The next day, local news showed the droves of volunteers answering calls from organiztions.

My office was able to open and operate off of a generator. We were the only business able to open in about an eight-block radius.

Friends, acquaintances and loved ones kept checking on me and all things Nashville that I love and adore.

Open for business, baby.

I poured over the news while at work, seeking ways we could help. That is the damndest feeling – knowing people need help, but having to stay away because you’d create more havoc. While I was scrolling through Huffington Post, I notice a familiar stature.

No big deal first day.

The Silent Indian’s first day at Edley’s BBQ in East Nashville ended up being a training in tornado clean-up instead of how to be a General Manager of the restaurant.

Before and after images started circulating on social media, creating awareness of the damage done to the heart of the affected areas.

Then, the names of victims started to trickle out. Mike and Albree were leaving an East Nashville speakeasy, Attaboy, headed to their car when they were struck by debris. Albree died on the scene, Mike later at the hospital.

Putnam County saw the most lives lost to the tornado.

With all of the devastating emotions reeling around, the communities stepped the fuck up, showing the world why Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State.

Tide rolled into East Nashville with their Loads of Hope program, helping first responders and those displaced by the tornado wash their clothes.

Animals were displaced from their families and heartbreakingly wondering the streets. The Nashville Human Association, along with numerous other animal rescues and organizations were on hand collecting donations, taking in stranded animals and spearheading social media sharing to get fur babies back to their loved ones.

Local companies started donating 100% of proceeds from merchandise to the tornado relief efforts. In four hours, an Instagram account, @nashvilletn, raised $50k. In a little over a week, they’ve raised $450,000 and counting. They hope to break $1 million by the end of March.

Anything on their website is 100% donated to the relief efforts. CLICK HERE to visit their online store.

Project 615 is a local business that only does good and creates awareness through their tee shirts. All of the profits from the shirt below go toward the Middle Tennessee tornado fund. CLICK HERE to visit their online store.

There are numerous colors and variations of the shirt below from local Nashvillian, Love and Lion. Again 100% of proceeds from sales are headed to relief efforts. CLICK HERE to visit the online store.

The couple, Albree and Mike, were both service industry workers in East Nashville. The Fox Bar & Cocktail Club, where Albree worked, is selling pins in honor of the couple.  All proceeds will benefit service industry workers without employment due to the tornados.

CLICK HERE to purchase a “Pancho” pin, named after their cat.

Witnessing the outpouring of love, support and efforts made by friends and complete strangers alike have been beyond heartwarming. Those who have reached out questioning how to help, please invest in a product above as Nashville is now in the rebuilding stage.

The response for calls of supplies, volunteers, organizing, recovery efforts, etc. has been enormous.

After four full days of volunteers, many organizations pressed pause over the weekend. More than 30,000 people volunteered in Middle Tennessee during that time span.

Strength in numbers.

The cleanup efforts are ongoing, the rebuilding will take months and years but one thing I know is true about the city I love so madly…we’re always open.

See you all on Broadway soon.

There is strength in numbers.

CBXB

CBXB!

Yule Be Bowled Over

Holy shit the holiday season crept up and is flying out faster than a fad diet at the beginning of a new year.

This season not only marked Prissy’s first Christmas with me and The Pussy Posse, it also was our premiere road trip together.

One of us was embarrassed of a hotel lobby selfie. One of us was clearly not.

Dada CBXB is not known for his speedy lead foot. If anything, when we are on a road trip to Iowa, the texts I usually get from family go a little something like, “see you next week” when it’s simply a day’s drive. However on this trip, Dada CBXB splurged and got a hotel room in St. Louis, the mid-way point between destinations. He very cleverly booked us at a place that featured three free cocktails per guest, along with snacks until 7pm. We arrived at 6:30.

Will speed for free booze.

After chugging, we wound down catching former Hawkeye, George Kittle kill it on the field with the San Francisco 49ers. Always a way with a nickname, Dad called our usual night caps, “Kittle Kaps” and well, that’s what it shall be named from here on out.

Kittle Kaps all around.

Not only was this first holiday road trip for Priss, this was also her introduction to the twins. I was slightly worried I may not get to take her back to Music City with me once the duo of cuteness got their paws on her.

Prissy, the instant hit.

One of the reasons Prissy is enviable to the twins is her size as my dogphew, Spike, can’t sit on laps and be carried around on a hip easily. But boy can he snuggle like nobody’s business.

You can totes see the family resemblance, right?

It was new hair dos all around for the big man in red.

Hair envy, anyone?

What would a Christmas be without a sugar cookie fest for my pie hole? Sister CBXB had three pounds of buttercream frosting that may or may not all be sitting on my hips at the moment.

Cookies more delish than they appear.

When the wee ones wondered to bed my BIL (also known as Dr. Cocktail) whipped up some of his finest drunk mixes. One round was vaguely familiar and it inspired me to start watching Sex and the City on my next TV binge.

Carrie Bradshaw style Christmas Cosmopolitan.

Prissy couldn’t decide if she’s a Carrie or a Charlotte. Jury’s still out.

After matching cosmos, we kept up the sister game by sporting matching sequined Santa starter jackets because why the fuck not?

Holla Ho!

The following evening we were treated to a snazzy seasonal supper complete with place cards created by the twins. They somehow managed to set their own cards at the heads of the table. Clever little fucks.

Supper is served.

Soon after our bellies were full, it was time for the slumber before Santa’s visit.

The calm before the Christmas tsunami.

HE CAME.

Our day was filled with stockings, sugar cookies, mimosas, coffee, sugar cookies, mimosas, presents, dogs, kids, mayhem, mimosas, movies, naps, a fire pit, sugar cookies, pizzas, wine and fun.

Fucking crazy for Christmas.

The holiday went off without a hitch and I’m pretty sure the blood pumping through my veins is still straight saccharine.

Prissy and the Princess.

The Christmas stimulation proved to be tiring to my pooch who typically acts as if she’s on some sort of canine cocaine on the daily. She spent most of the nine hour sleigh ride back to Nashville the next day with her eyes shut.

Sleeping ’til 2020.

While I was trying to pry my eyes open with toothpicks for work back in Nashville, the twins were partying with tacos and Mama CBXB.

Taco time.

With Christmas falling in the middle of the work week combined with two travel days in a car, my body didn’t know up from fucking down. I was able to muster a work outfit together on Friday, which felt like a Monday and then felt like a Saturday because the Iowa Hawkeyes were playing in a bowl game that night, when they usually play on Saturday day. See the difficulty for me?

Be bold, wear gold. And sequins. Lots of sequins.

A mix of emotions for the last game until next August. The horror.

It was quite fitting the Iowa Hawkeyes played in the Holiday Bowl against USC this year. Our long time beloved coach, Hayden Fry, passed away earlier in the month. When he was coaching, this bowl was one of his favorites, so winning it would be extra special. Dada CBXB and I weren’t sure what to make of Iowa scoring on their first drive, even though we were favored to win by two points.

Naturally, we did the typical Family Tradition…times fucking seven. Yes, SEVEN.

Touchdown #1!

Touchdown #2!

Touchdown #3!

Touchdown #4!

Touchdown #5!

Touchdown #6!

Touchdown #7!

It’s been forever since we needed two hands for counting shots so we were a tad out of practice. We also had to get really crafty with our picture props, as the Hawks kept scoring TDs. The final victorious score was 49 – 24, making Iowa’s overall record this year 10-3.

If that’s not a way to end a season, I don’t know what is. ON IOWA!

High five to a new decade.

I was certainly feeling bowled over the next day…with no complaints.

Cheers to the last few days before a new year!

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!

 

Hometown Tourist

You’d think with all of the belly aching I do regarding Nashville’s ever growing population that I hate it here in Music City. That’s not true though – I love this city. I just wish other people loved it the way I loved it instead of moving here and trying my once (and still to some) mini city on for size for a few years before moving on to bigger and better.

OMG. Stop moving here. You are driving me to drink.

The job market is oversaturated, gentrification is becoming a serious side of living here (especially if your income is a single lady living on her own – cannot imagine what it’s like for families), high rises have already murdered the once charming Music Row, First Mate can count 18 cranes (she calls them sky birds and for the record, she’s totally fine with the havoc wreaking taking place) from her downtown office, every.single.fucking. bro country “music” artist has a bar in the once quaint downtown (from Florida Georgia Line to Blake Shelton to Jason Aldean). My once gem of a city is turning into a bonafuckingfide bigger Branson, Missouri, right in front of my peepers.

https://cowboysandcrossbones.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/image2.jpg

Country. When country wasn’t cool.

I digress.

When pals come to town, it’s always been fun playing tourist in my own city. Due to the massive growth the last few years, I haven’t taken advantage of seeing Nashville through the eyes of others lately (and because if one more fucking to-be bride drunkenly steps on my foot, I might lose my goddamn mind and kick her Taylor Swift wearing cowboy boots with skirt outfit circa 2015 to the fucking state line).

There’s enough crazy in town already, bachelorettes.

This past weekend, my college bestie, Tdawg was in town to get her giddy up on with some of her gal pals from Denver.

It was the group’s first time in Nashville and I threw caution to the wind, swallowed $40 for two hour parking (you parking lot people are seriously horrible human beings), and trotted my ample ass down to the swanky hotel on Friday and met the crew at the rooftop bar.

Gorgeous lobby.

Intricate ceilings.

Most importantly, the bar.

The views from this spot did not disappoint.

Three ladies and an asshole.

Because I must always be up to no good, I was more than happy to oblige photo requests.

Oh. Just you three in it? Sorry. Not sorry.

They had supper reservations Friday night and I promised (after she forced me to call the studio by literally holding the phone up to my ear to make an appointment while I guzzled rosé at the bar) Tdawg I’d meet her on Saturday morning for an exercise class at Pure Barre. If you wonder who the fuck works out on a two day vacation, look no further than Tdawg. I have enough trouble sweating in my own city, let alone when I’m traveling.

Unless I’m visiting Yoga Barbie in Denver, I DO NOT workout on vacay.

Needless to say, I overslept and missed the fucking class. It ended up being OK thought because Tdawg was overserved the evening prior and spent the next several hours in her dreamy hotel bed. But she was up and at ’em for the evening and after supper, I took the gals to my fave honky tonk on the planet – Robert’s Western World to see my fave country band on the planet – The Don Kelley Band.

Recovered.

I used to frequent Robert’s so much before the besiege of tourists take over every summer, the last time I was there, Don Kelley said to me, “you don’t get out much, do you?” while I was dancing for the 4,812,654 time in front of him.

You AGAIN?!

Usually, on a Saturday night at 8:30 it’s already asses to elbows on Broadway and it was no different when we were frolicking about downtown. However, luck was on our side and when we galloped into Robert’s, there was an open booth at the front of the bar waiting for our rear ends. This kind of magic hasn’t happened since 2014.

Yeehaws all around.

Tawg was beyond impressed with the twang and spent most of her time at Robert’s on one of many devices.

 

The owner of Robert’s, JesseLee Jones, is the leader of the house band, Brazilbilly. They play every Saturday night from 10pm – 2am. In all of my years going to Robert’s, every single Saturday night, his mom comes and watches his show. Every. single. time. She sits in the same spot and drinks either coffee or Red Bull. It’s the fucking cutest thing ever.

Mama Jones.

Tdawg called it an early night but No Digity, MoHo and yours truly stayed to see The Don Kelley Band’s famous rendition of “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”

We didn’t hate it.

Upon returning to the Noelle Hotel, I tried to fill Tdawg in on what she missed.

No pillow talk for me.

The ladies had to get up at the first sign of the sun to catch their 8am flight. Meanwhile, I was able to get some much needed beauty sleep in a quiet, cool, dark hotel room.

Not so sleeping beauty.

When my lids decided to fling open, I realized that this place was a whole lot fancier than the Holiday Inns in which I’ve grown accustomed.

 

This mastery was just a reach beside the bed and I honestly don’t know how much longer I can live without one.

Controls for the entire room.

 

Parched after my previous evening’s boozefest, I sauntered out of the room to get some water and didn’t know how many choices there were when it came to H2O.

 

I couldn’t figure out where the ice machine was until I saw what looked like a fancy refrigerator drawer below the water.

 

I would have taken some ice packages if I had a bigger purse with me. Because, I’m nothing if not white trashiness at its finest.

Speaking of finest, what about my departing outfit from the fancy Noelle Hotel?

 

I looked like I was a hot mess because I was a hot fucking mess. No Digity gifted me a Robert’s Western World t-shirt that I refused to take off. When I went to retrieve my car from the valet, the dude asked me where I was heading home to (since I looked like a confused, hungover bachelorette from Nebraska).

No shame in my game.

“West Nashville.” Ever heard of it?

I had so much fun being a tourist in my town, I can’t wait to do it again. So consider this your warning if you’re coming to Music City and staying at a fancy establishment. I’m crashing your party. Until then, I’ll be riding as high as the rooftop bar I was lucky to experience.

Oldies but goodies.

Party on.

CBXB

CBXB!