The Underdog

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.

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.

That period of time was as beautiful as I look in this photo.

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 616 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. Because that’s what this last year and over a half has dealt…an excruciatingly slow climb out of (or rather up) the lowest of extreme lows, seeking the summit of a mountain top that appeared further and further away by the day.

What happens when I hike.

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 tirelessly acted as my own advocate with a less than helpful (and that description is extremely nice) 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 a month ago, ten days after I suddenly lost the fur ball love of my life, Ted. The searing losses felt 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 Iowa versus Iowa State. It was a thrillingly unexpected day jam-packed with tailgating shenanigans.

The fun of family…

Mama CBXB, Uncle Toddy and Aunt Crispie host tailgating done right.

Friendly family rivalry.

OR WAS IT?!

The fun of the endless booze all around…

I hate tailgating.

The classiness of passing time while waiting to use the port-a-potties…

Shotski for three please.

The catching up with old friends…

Game ready.

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 loudness…

A beauty and a sparkly beast.

Embarrassing my youngest cousin with all the right moves…

Cousin love is acceptable below the Mason Dixon line.

Seeing a live marching band was fulfilled for the season…

March on.

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.

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.

It was a much needed reminder that I’m doing the best that I can every goddamn day. Aren’t we all?

Happy tailgating!

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Twinning, Winning and Spinning

Being a crazy pants aunt, I love to vicariously live first experiences through with my Iowa twins. These three and a half-year old slices of perfection went to their first dance – a sock hop – at their school last week.

All by themselves.

Hop sockin'.

Next time, I’m chaperoning.

Coming home to unwind after dancing her socks off, Princess B. changed in to her most appropriate college game day attire in  support of our Iowa Hawkeyes.

Best. Outfit. Ever.

She’s got spirit, yes she do.

You know who else had spirit(s) on Saturday?

Of course you do. Dada CBXB and yours truly were at the ready to see our fave football team take the field for an 11am kick-off. What we weren’t anticipating during our weekly trashy family tradition of touchdown shots  was guzzling five before the clock struck noon.

#1

Foxy and loxy at 11:15 am.

Double done before noon.

Double down a few moments later.

Three and

Three and free by 11:32 am.

Four had us feeling...

Four had us feeling…

FIve

… like five was keeping us alive.

Luckily for us, I’d made my blogfamous Shit Dip that also acts as an extremely effective cleanse if you eat the entire dish of butter, corn, jalapenos and cream cheese.

Blogfamous shit dip.

Which of course we consumed in its entirety.

Dada CBXB made his “best batch of ribs ever” which is the tag line he uses in accompaniment of any fresh batch of anything that comes off of his grill.

Best batch ever.

Best fall of the bones BBQ in the county.

Thankfully our halftime helpers laid foundation for the additional two touchdowns the Hawks scored during the second half.

Two hander

Getting our kicks with our sixth.

Seven for the win, baby!

Seventh heaven for the victory, baby!

With a 49-35 Iowa Hawkeye win over the Purdue Boilermakers, the party was just starting for our football afternoon. Except I switched to a little H2O in order to save face with the fur balls in my presence (that would be Clark, Cousin Eddie and Presh).

What the fuck is going on with the humans?

What the fuck is going on with the humans?

Super fun Saturday football proved a hard recovery on my day of ‘rest’.

Little less than energetic on my day of rest. Sunday 'shot' to hell.

Not such a mover and a shaker on Sunday.

But hey, like a building in Nashville’s quaint Germantown says…

You You

And I will continue to do so, thank you very much.

Here’s to a week of you doing you.

Cheers!

CBXB

The Things I Do For Booze

What do you do when it’s snowed six inches overnight in a city that can barely function when it rains three centimeters and you realize that you only have enough wine for one more glass?

First world problems.

SOMEBODY! ANYBODY! CALL THE WINEBULANCE!

Since the Nashville Public Works denied my attempts to sweet talk a street sweeper to drop some vino my way, I trudged out of the mini manse to further assess the situation.

My snowmobile wasn't moving.

My snowmobile wasn’t moving.

So, I went back inside to load up on booze fuel in order to get my energy levels up in order to possibly face Snowmaggedon on my own.

Litle something warm.

Running on coconut rum and coffee.

With a belly full of warm libations, I headed out to haul my ass to the mother of all things blizzard. The liquor store.

Let's do this.

Let’s do this.

Naturally, I gussied Precious the Chug up in a matching outfit, as I needed company on my 1.5 mile walk.

P was all gussed up in a matching outit. Yes, I'm that pathetic.

Yes, I’m that pathetic.

Presh was all kinds of excited until she saw this first block of wet nonsense she’d have to traipse through.

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You want me to put my four inch arm in six inches of snow?

She turned around faster than one can acquire whiplash in a fender bender.

FUck that noise.

Fuck that noise.

So then I was off on a lone trip to kill more of my vastly shrinking brain cells.

So I was off in my not pink snowboots.

Losing site of each foot in the snow with every step.

Keeping myself entertained, I took selfies about every 200 feet.

Bending in this

Yep. Still shin deep.

I must say it was a tad eerie being out on typically bustling roads but I had no time to be scared because I was trying to thwart myself from heat exhaustion due to the 18 layers of clothing I’d thrown on myself before leaving my mini manse.

Lovely views

All down hill from here.

After getting tangled in branches that rivaled a Disney villain, I finally made it to the store after 90 minutes of non-wanted exercise.

Treacherous Trees

Treacherous trees.

Hallelujah!

I shoulda brought a backpack. Fuck.

Being that I didn’t want to over exert myself with back to back 1.5 mile walks (and also being that the entire way to the mini manse would be uphill), I decided to see if the bar next door was open.

Better fuel up before heading up the hill I just about had a heartattack comeing down.

Better fuel up before heading up the hill I just about had a heart attack coming down.

Everyone on the west side of Nashville appeared to be at the local joint, as it was asses and elbows at 4pm.

One tasty cocktail for me.

My kind of fuel.

Just so happens, I met up with some of my favorite gents who were looking for some snow day fun themselves.

Knights in Shining Armor

Snow days don’t suck.

1 100 for the road.

At all.

When it was time to say goodbye, my buddies became my knights in shining armor, giving this busted ass queen a ride up the hill. Naturally I insisted they come in for just one cocktail. And maybe a little guitar playing. And maybe a little dance party. And maybe another shot. Or nine.

We made it home shot!

The ‘we made it home shot’!

A little music break.

Guitar hero.

Because it's a snow day break.

The ‘because it’s his birthday shot’.

Head banging from the couch.

Head banging from the couch.

Because it's we're thirsty shots.

The ‘because we’re thirsty shots’.

Put your glitter kitty in the air. And wave it like you just don't care.

Put your glitter kitty in the air. And wave it like you just don’t care.

Because we can shot.

The ‘because it’s a snow day shot’.

Sock fighting with a chug at its finest.

Sock fighting with a chug at its finest.

Because we can't stop shots.

Because we can’t stop shots.

You know what comes in handy to soak up copious amounts of liquor consumed? Snacks. Unfortunately, due to the snow (and my decision to save myself with wine instead of food), I only had a pan of cornbread to offer as a feast.

Crumbs of cornbread.

It went over well.

All in all, I’d say we partied our cabin fever right out onto the snow covered sidewalks.

Um....so yeah, I'm empty.

The empty aftermath.

I know I did.

Snow days are hard.

What the fuck did happen last night?!

Snow days are hard.

Cheers!

CBXB

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Three Weeks of Winks – Bruised Legs, Egos and Victories!

You know those times that can just kind of suck you into a funk?

Well, I’ve been there for the past month due to circumstances out of my control (decisions being made for me, being called not-so-friendly names and revolving in a constant run around) but no one is in charge of your happiness but you, right? A swift kick to my own ass and a much needed life break over Thanksgiving helped put the pep back in my step (with help from the knowledge that karma is a mother fucker and the bad juju is not headed my way).

With aid from my brand new phone case that speaks for me without my gigantic yapper even having to open, I’m well on my way to kicking ass again.

Truth

TRUTH.

Taking a rather large spill at the beginning of November pretty much paralyzed my work out (not to my dismay) abilities due to an out-of-commission shin and ankle.

Anger issues, perhaps....

Ah the joys of being a klutz.

But a little leg limp didn’t stop the Nashville party wagon from traveling to St. Louis for Dada CBXB’s birthday, where we were able to meet up with Sister Nuts, who drove down from Iowa.

STL baby!

STL party weekend!

Being that our hotel was directly across the street from Busch Stadium, I became an immediate Cardinals fan upon walking into the gift shop. Naturally I got a leopard and pink Cardinals hat, a silver foiled team jacket and a bedazzled tee.

All in.

All in. Even though I haven’t been to a Cardinals game since I was eight.

And don’t think we didn’t meet up with the Iowa Hawkeye St. Louis club to watch the football game. Aunt Bert and my cousin G were able to hang with us, although you know the birthday boy was the real center of attention.

Family celebration with a front and center star.

Family celebration with a front and center star.

Our traditional touchdown shots were accomplished (we even brought our own lucky shot glasses) as our waiter kept bringing us a ‘bartender’s choice’ after every Hawkeye score against the Indiana Hoosiers.

Bartenders choice? Yes please.

Oh how our waiter Marcus helped make the 9th Hawkeye win of the season a drunken victory!

But because Dada and I are pros, we were still standing when it came time for a real family photo-op.

Still standing for a little fam time.

I even held a baby. I’m so maternal.

Not long after our return from St. Louis, I took another tumble down some concrete stairs injuring my other leg.

Missed five of the six stairs....

This is what happens when you miss five of six stairs.

I ended up with a fractured foot, putting yet another damper on my ability to work out (at least my right bicep is still in full tact, making sure my Skinny Pirates hit the mark every time!).

No, I typically don't have cankles

No, I typically don’t have cankles.

Yet another injury couldn’t slow me down when it comes to Iowa Hawkeye games.  This gimp celebrated with friends at the Nashville Iowa Club party, watching our team move on to 10-0 against the Minnesota Gophers (I mean, what kind of mascot is that?).

Victory is sweet! Er...make that saucy....or let's just call it liver friendly.

Victory is sweet! Er…make that saucy….or let’s just call it liver friendly.

Yep. Waaaay liver friendly.

Yep. Waaaay liver friendly.

The following week, nine inches of snow blanketed the home field at Kinnick Stadium on game day. But the snow removal crew cleverly cleaned the area and it was prepped for kick off against Purdue.

Hawks don't care about nine inches of snow.

Hawks don’t care about nine inches of snow.

My Iowa men were able to pull off a 40-20 win over Purdue, upping our record to 11-0 for the first time in school history (and our football program has been around since 1847).

Another victory!

Fifth shot for yet another victory!

In between football shots and falling down stairs, I visited Miss America who recently added twins to her gaggle of kids (seriously, this woman now has five kids six and under).

Miss America and the 11th runner up.

Miss America and the 11th runner up.

Another adorable set of twins in my life!

Another adorable set of twins in my life!

Speaking of k-ute twins, check out the faces of my Iowa twins after seeing their first snowfall this year.

Snowall can really take breath away.

Oh the wonder of white powder…and yes, I’m talking about snow.

Snowfall means it’s time for expert Christmas tree decorating and if anyone is taking over in that domain, it’s Princess B.

Bottom heavy.

Even if her contributions make for a bottom heavy tree.

Prince and Princess B are also trying to master the art of being under the mistletoe this time of year.

Mistletoe mania.

Almost but not quite.

Yet another set of twins in my life, Clark and Cousin Eddie are not really wanting to leave Dada CBXBs’s abode as he has been spoiling them rotten while Ted is still on the mend for his recent bought with pancreatitis.

Clark and Cousin Eddie

A comfy Clark and Cousin Eddie.

To know me is to know I love Captain Morgan and my Skinny Pirates more than water. I couldn’t love my fur ball Ted more if I’d birthed him myself (yeah, I said it). My birthday and Christmas are my two favorite days of the year, with Halloween coming in at a close third (because why not celebrate as much as humanly possible?).

BUT I can’t say there’s much more I love right now than my Iowa Hawkeyes.  They took to the field against Nebraska this past weekend and won, making school history as no team has ever gone 12-0 in a single season (and here I was just hoping for a winning season).  Although Dada CBXB and I weren’t together, we were able to celebrate our touchdown shots together through FaceTime.

Touchdown shots even though we're 600 miles apart!

Still doing shots 600 miles apart.

I can’t even begin to tell you the excitement of being one of the two undefeated teams in college football right now. And this weekend, we’re packing up and heading to Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis where the Iowa Hawkeyes will take on the Michigan State Spartans for the Big Ten Championship title.

Even though we’re the underdog going into this game, when a rapper is on your side, shouldn’t that be the team favored to win?

Even this dogg is a fab of the Hawks.

What could go wrong if Snoop Dogg is a fan of the Hawks?

Bandwagon up for my team, pretty please. We’ll need all of the help we can get in an unforgettable season.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – Ghostbusters, Rockstars and Star Wars

Oh Halloween.

How I love the kick off to a long-awaited holiday season, especially when it falls on a weekend.  Oftentimes as a kid, I had multiple costumes for different Halloween parties (the horror of wearing the same thing twice), so I followed my own tradition and mixed it up this year.

Stay Puft mania!

Stay Puft Marshmallow man mania!

My costume was so on point that the TV show The Goldbergs tried to bring back the beloved ’80s Ghostbusters characters only to fail.

Suck it Goldbergs!

Suck it Goldbergs!

As you can see, our group dominated this category. And we did our own costuming.

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters done right.

Another Halloween scene called for more comfortable attire, as my crew was going to see a show and I didn’t really want to sweat (let’s be real, I don’t sweat, I glisten) to death (plus, I wanted to pee and the Stay Puft outfit makes you hold it for however long you’re wearing it).

Rock Trio

Lenny Kravitz, Alice Cooper and Kid Rock.

Not to be left out, my fave little chug (chihuahua + pug mix) Precious was an adorable little ladybug.

Ladybug

Most precious lady beetle ever.

Those Iowa twins of mine? They’re obsessed with Star Wars (as all kids I know have been except yours truly…I still don’t get it but whatever).

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Yes I know. The cutest fucking Princess Leia and Yoda you’ve ever seen.

Seeing how excited the twins were over their costumes, I decided Ted and I would stay in the same family of sorts and dress up as galaxy characters as well.

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October 31st happened to not only be the day of candy collecting but also a game day for my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes, who have yet to lose a game and are ranked #10 in the nation (yeah, that’s right!).  My team was geared up to keep their record pristine against the Maryland Terps (turtles, in case you didn’t know what a terp was because I didn’t know).

Trick or Treat

Ghoulish game day treats.

Teddy Back Bear

Teddy Back Bear enjoying some ribs while still trying to put weight on after his bought with illness.

So….with all of that being said, our touchdown tradition carried on in great force on Saturday!

TD 1

Touchdown celebration #1!

TD 2

Celebration shot #2!

TD 3

Third touchdown is a charm!

Victory

Victory is sweet!

Now one of my blogging besties, Mark Bialczak is a fellow Big Ten fan, who cheers on his Maryland Terps. Last year, we had a bet that whomever’s team lost must be featured on the winner’s blog and ….. here he is in all of his loser glory this year!

Terp stew.

A Terp loss means a bottle of wine is needed.

Kinda feeling bad...but let's be real. The Hawks have sucked for years and the T

But how bad do we feel that his other team was the Mets?!

The celebration carried on to my fave Nashville watering hole, Dalts.

Skinny Pirates are my treat!

Skinny Pirates are a treat to my tricks!

Isn’t the day after Halloween the best when you are tallying up your treats?

Loot Round Up

Princess B laying out her line up.

You know my twins Clark and Cousin Eddie are still hanging with Gpa CBXB as Ted is still in weight gaining mode.

Cuddles

A belly big enough for two.

Ted was exhausted from all of the weekend shenanigans (of course) so he made it beyond difficult to do anything the rest of the weekend.

So I didn’t do shit.

Snoozefest

Snoozefest 2015.

Here’s hoping you are recovered from any kind of sugar overdose you may have encountered.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

Goodbye to 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 a few weeks 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.

An ode to my Gma, HJ who recently passed away…

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.

IMG_4861

I learned from the best…

Image 16

…how to celebrate my life full of zest.

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

photo 1

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…

photo 5

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

IMG_3760

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

IMG_4858

…but truly it was your hair ‘dos that always succeeded.

IMG_4893

So it was with glasses and confidence that I superseded…

photo 3

…the grace and confidence that you always heeded.

IMG_4892

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.

Image 12

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

Image 42

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

Image 145

Circled blacked out dates always meant you had a companion…

IMG_4875

…you always loved attention bigger than the Grand Canyon.

IMG_4898

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.

photo 1

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.

I love you Gma.

Megan

CBXB!