Love Ya, Mean It

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

Who love me? My pussies. My pussies looooooove me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine and Skinny Pirates.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a box my teacher (shout out to my first grade teacher, Mrs. Shawler who reads this blog!) had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was ignored. Not even one that I now often hear claims that it’s “made up” for people to get gifts. (Well peeps, if you treated your loved ones “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well-meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). My sister and I’d wake up at home to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a small box of chocolates. We were always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations to fellow students for a dollar every Valentine’s week and the members would drop the flower off to your designated recipient anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl one year.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. My sophomore year, the doors flung open and the band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whoever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me? I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

This moment of sweetness it didn’t come from a love interest. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend delivered my grandest Valentine’s Day memory. Why was this so significant? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Scooby was celebrating Galentine’s Day with me before Galentine’s Day was a thing.

Galentine’s Day started about a decade ago on the TV show, Parks and Recreation by Amy Poehler’s character to celebrate “ovaries before brovaries”. It was about women celebrating female friendship.

Now, Galentine’s is a nonofficial holiday celebrating all things love without romance.

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

Finding yourself in a non-traditional Valentine’s day sitch? You aren’t alone. You do have love in your life.

Maybe we are madly in love with our offspring and the kids around us…

Maybe we are in love with our partner who we married on Valentine’s Day…

Maybe we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, work pals….

Maybe we are madly in love with our parents and write them letters to them when they’re away…

Maybe we are madly in love with extended family…

Maybe we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about mine and is honestly the greatest love in the entire universe)…

Maybe we are madly in love with thoughts of yesteryear…

Maybe we are madly in love with our sibling…

Maybe we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love (let alone like) yourself as your own #1, no one will love the true you who is meant to be loved.

Be your own damn Valentine. Because whether you realize it or not, there is some sort of love in your life worth celebrating (even if that deep, deep love is for binge watching Netflix).

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Johnny always shows his love.

Whatever it may be, treat yourself to your version of my stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day.

Heart heels – my updated stuffed animal.

After spreading some love around the office today, I’m mauling my fur babies and then taking myself out with First Mate. The same as we did last Galentine’s Day and the year prior- to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how badass we both are in our own right.

Last day of love we went to Sperry’s – an old school steak house where the same patrons have been visiting during the restaurant’s 45-year existence. First Mate and I felt like runway supermodels surrounded by folks in their eighth decade of life and said yes to the complimentary dessert and adult beverages that headed our way.

So fancy in 2019.

Now go be the love of your own damn life. If you need inspiration, please think of me.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

 

Turkey Table

Oh the good times I had at the kids’ table on holidays. Us cousins would sit around a tiny table that our Gpa Morris constructed for Mama CBXB’s pre-school kids (she ran Kiddie Kollege from our basement) and we would have our construction papered pilgrim hats proudly atop our noggins.

Pilgrim Fun

Yeah, we know. Killer hats.

Topics often covered during the meal at our no-one-yet-in-the-double-digits table included knuckle sandwiches (usually whether or not I wanted one to which my response was, “No thank you I’ve already had one”), Sister CBXB announcing for the umpteenth year in a row she was thankful for her “Gaggy” (in non-toddler speak, that means dad although she couldn’t enunciate the “d” sound which made her declaration all the more nauseating for those of us who understood) and who was going to get a Jell-O knox block (this was obviously long before we started adding vodka to this delicatessen) for dessert first.

A few decades later, here’s what the same cousins look like at a “table”.

Knuckle sandwiches traded in for Patrón.

Now that we all live in different cities, states and the majority have procreated, the tables at turkey time look different but that doesn’t mean they still aren’t full of some fucking fun.

Maybe your table leans on the traditional side with overflowing dishes prepped by master family chefs (that would not be me, mind you).

Come and get it.

Maybe your table is a mixed bag of friends who all have human offspring but yours truly.

Maybe your table is surrounded by folks who don’t have spawn.

Fur moms.

Maybe your table is for two with your great aunt who has more energy at 90 years young than you’ve ever had in your life.

Head locked lovin’.

Maybe your table is surrounded by folks who show the fuck up when it matters most.

Sisters sandwich.

Maybe your table is reserved for remembering those who don’t physically sit with us any longer.

Margs and memories.

Maybe your table is full of extended family from far away, new friends and not one of you knows how to carve a fucking turkey.

Who has the knife?

Maybe your table is reserved for jazz handing, crown wearing queens.

Yes. We are all queens.

Maybe your table is filled to the rim with vino and friends.

Fuck food. Fill us up.

Maybe your once full table is empty as you relish a second helping of pumpkin pie.

Still desserting.

So Aunt Juju virtually joins you because we’re 500 miles apart.

Maybe your table is a toilet because you just need a holiday alone.

Never not classy.

Now new occupants reign the kids’ table, complete with their own artwork.

Turkey masterpiece.

The pilgrim hats of yesteryear have sure come a long fucking way.

The next generation at the turkey table.

Thanksgiving is a holiday for appreciation and I’m thankful for my fellow pilgrims who’ve weathered every type of table with me.

Love ya, mean it.

Cheers to enjoying your seat at the table, wherever and whatever it may be.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Gobble on.

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 – Sleeping, Sunning and Celebrating Beauties

There are 168 hours in seven days time. Last week, I think my eyes may have been open a solid 24 hours maximum. I caught some sort of bug that made me incapable from seeing the back of my eye lids. When I tried to go to work on Wednesday, I sat down to have coffee on the couch at 6am after 12 hours of sleep and suddenly woke up at noon.

Couch potatoes.

When I did make it into work on Friday, I sounded and looked stoned. My eyes were little slits, so being the 90-year-old I’d morphed into, I had to leave at noon and promptly take a four-hour nap upon my arrival home to the mini manse.

Day of the Living Dead.

In between sleeping all day and night like a newborn baby, I was able to catch up on some news. I almost taped my eye lids open to read every single report of R. Kelly being indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong overdue. He’s been taped having sex with minors, reportedly keeps women hostage and if you haven’t seen the documentary series on Lifetime, Surviving R. Kelly, watch it. The revelations will make you queasy. He was acquitted in 2008 for child pornography charges but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Suck it R. Kelly.

#muterkelly

In not so fabulous news, I read that outright racist, Steve King, who was yet again voted into Congress by Iowa (narrowly beating J.D. Scholten who actually campaigned and visited every.single.county in the district while King sat back and watched) plans on running in 2020. If you live in one of the 39 counties in the 4th District of Iowa (click here if you don’t know if you live there) and don’t go to the polls and kick this motherfucker out of office, then you’re doing something wrong. The fact that he unabashedly quotes and defends white nationalism should be enough but if you need more convincing, contact me.

When this sleeping disaster woke from her slumber Friday evening, I was greeted with a FaceTime from Scooby. What this technologically challenged lady didn’t know is that if you have the iPhone 10, you can make your head anything you want. And now this is a must have for me.

Unicorns are real.

Saturday would have been Aunt Crazy Pants’ birthday.

Sisters.

While ACP should be here, we know she was having gin rickies galore upstairs, so in her honor, Mama CBXB and I got together to celebrate. When she showed up at the mini manse, we had unknowingly dressed as twins in green and sparkle.

Matchy, matchy.

Green was ACP’s fave color and we showed up in Irish spirit. We went to the Cheesecake Factory where her favorite gin rickey is served, we found a parking spot, one bar table was open AND I kept my eyes open until bedtime. Think we might have had some help from above.

Gin Rickies for everyone.

Two other hooligans celebrating were my Iowa twins who are living it up in Mexico this week.

Off to the beach!

Bed bugs.

Beach beauties.

They have been so active, I’m exhausted just by looking at the pics sent of their overabundance of fun. On their second day – before noon – they’d been swimming, gone on a boat ride, zip lined and swam again. Meanwhile, I was very busy deciding to keep my celebration tree in full swing.

When you live in Tennessee, it’s no big deal if your Christmas tree is out all year. Or so I tell myself.

Rounding out the celebration festivities, who doesn’t love an Oscars party? The twins walked the red carpet in Mexico.

Award winning duo.

While I slid into my most comfortable stretch pants and did this…

Well, actually I did have on a floor length sequins jacket and rhinestone wine glass, so that counts as glam, right?

One of my long time buddies, Aha! came over and heard me say “shhhhhhhhhhh!” 4,902,653 times when a gown I had to have appeared on the red carpet. Which was every .00007 seconds.

Aha!

We paired our boxed wine with fancy cheese of course.

Snack City.

I loved this year’s show, which opened with Queen featuring Adam Lambert and had to rewind the performance of “Shallow” with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga three times. I died. I cried. I’m still swooning over the fucking thing. Shortly after that part of the show, my cable went out. And that part wasn’t as pretty with me yelling into my phone for Instagram stories while I was missing out on Best Actor, Best Director and the other fucking big time categories you wait three hours to view. Oh, Comcast is getting a letter.

These two were not alarmed in the slightest by my raised voice.

Lucky for me the internet exists and Aha! was able to pull up the speeches I’d missed. Also lucky for me, I was gifted tickets to the Nashville Predators (hockey for you non sports folks) game last night. Dada CBXB sure hated it.

Armful.

We started the evening off at the very first honky tonk I ever took him to when he first visited Nashville.

Legends Corner.

We realized that when I am trying to take selfles of us, I lack the needed arm length when he is standing at his normal height (and not squatting to get a touchdown selfie during a Hawkeye game).

Selfie fail.

We got smart and asked another human to take our photo when we got into the arena. The seats were killer, the game was close and the Preds kicked ass by winning in a shoot out.

PREDS WIN!

And we all know how I ended the evening…

Sudsy soak.

Cheers to keeping our eyes open this week!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

The Love of Your Own Life

Ah, Valentine’s Day.

I do. I love me.

The day of love so many tend to loathe while others welcome the warm fuzzies with gigantic appetites that rival my admiration for wine.

The feel of Love Day for certain peeps.

As a kid, I carefully crafted a Valentine’s Day mailbox for school every year (you know, back when you could celebrate shit in school without the worry of the teeniest tiniest chance of offending someone). Students weren’t required to participate but I can’t remember when a kid didn’t. Everyone in class gave everyone a Valentine. If a kid didn’t have a Valentine’s Day box, my teacher always had an extra shoebox or two wrapped in red paper. No one was left out.

Will you be mine?

I was always lucky that I had a family who liked to celebrate everything, so no holiday was left out. Not even one that I often hear guys claim is “made up” for women to get gifts. (Well fellas, if you treated your gals “special” all the time, grand gesture days wouldn’t be needed, now would they? You could simply just get a well meaning card or write a note from the heart any day of the year but I digress). We’d wake up to little Valentines on our chairs at the kitchen table, maybe along with a box of chocolates. Always excited for the party to take place that day at school.

Fast forward to high school when the day of admiration became a sport of sorts.

If this high school Glamour Shot doesn’t make you want to be mine, I don’t know what fucking will.

The Honor Society sold carnations for a dollar and the members would drop the carnation off to your designated Valentine anonymously. Some peeps had armloads. Some had none. I just wanted a pink one.

Some girls got called to the office and paraded delivered – delivered in a vase and everything – flowers around school. It didn’t matter if it was from their dad, grandparents or boyfriend. I was one jealous bitch. Then, in an instant, that all changed.

Because I became that girl.

Oh hi. I got the flowers…and then some.

The Honor Society members delivered carnations during first period. I was in concert band every morning with my sweet silver Doc Severinsen trumpet at my side. Open flung the doors and our band instructor stopped our warm-up. A group of kids came in hauling carnations in large buckets for their soon-to-be owners. While I was hoping to get a flower or two, my eyes laid sight on the mother of all Valentine’s day hauls. A gigantic, white stuffed teddy bear with a red bow around its neck, holding a bag of Hershey’s Kisses. So enormous, you couldn’t see the person transporting it.

About as big as this dog I gifted Princess B a few years back.

I think I literally turned green with envy at whomever was going to be the recipient of this stuffed animal. I mean, I thought I would get a flower or two because my girlfriends and I always sent them back and forth. But this, this shit was different. This was the stuff that warm and fuzzy, cheesy as fuck Valentine’s memories were crafted.

Being in the brass of the band, I sat in the last row of the room. And I’ll be damned if that fucking bear didn’t inch its way closer and closer. I kept thinking…which girl had a boyfriend that sat near me. I couldn’t wait to see who was going to get the pristine bear.

As the hidden stuffed animal transporter walked behind me, I almost gave myself whiplash looking to my left. But to my unabashed chagrin, that motherfucker was lifted over my head and sat into my lap. Hershey’s fucking kisses and all. To this day, that is one of my best Valentine’s Days (which may seem a little sad since my day of love peaked in high school but I mean, it’s true).

And it didn’t come from a love interest. Or the non-existent boyfriend I had at the time. It came from a friend. From a best friend who (although didn’t take me to his senior prom and I will never, ever let him forget it) remains a bestie to this day.

Oh the bangs. On both of us.

The teddy bear came from Scooby.

We share a love of stuffed animals. Obvies.

Relationship game still on point today.

This gesture seemed like the grandest of all gestures in the universe at the time. All of these years later, it still does. My gay best friend gave me the best Valentine’s Day memory. Why? Because he didn’t have to do anything. But he loved me and wanted me to know. Isn’t that just a simple thing to do?

Grand gestures aren’t needed (but if any of you have a Louis Vuitton en route for delivery today, professing your love for me, I am not going to turn it down). A single flower is nice. A card will do. A simple text message. A smile, a hug, a thank you. Whether it’s love or like in today’s climate, bringing happiness to any and all of those around us isn’t really that hard. We just have to be kind to let one another know that we like – or even love – them.

If force dancing with your head taller than you female cousin at your uncle’s wedding isn’t a grand gesture of love, what is?

More importantly, regardless of whether we are madly in love with our kids…

I mean…

COME ON.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our romantic partner…

Thank you boyfriends of yesteryears.

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our friends…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our careers, jobs, co-workers….

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with extended family…

Regardless of whether we are madly in love with our fur babies (which you all know I’m bat shit about)…

Regardless of what it is in your life that you love, be madly in love with your own authentic self first.

Yep. This about sums it up for me.

If you don’t love – let alone like – yourself as your own #1, no one will love the you who is meant to be loved.

Bitch, I’m a Queen. A Queen Bitch Supreme. And I know it.

Be your own damn Valentine.

Make some snacks.

Toast to yourself.

Appropriately colored libations required.

I’m taking myself out with First Mate tonight – same as we did last year – to not only toast to our love of one another but also to how bad ass we both are in our own right.

Now treat yourself to your version of a stuffed teddy bear this Valentine’s Day. You deserve it.

Be the love of your own damn life.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

CBXB!