Weekend Winks – Cinco de Drinko

How can you cram in the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo AND a Nashville Predators hockey play-off game all in one day?

Piece of cake for this liver of mine.

Oh how the anticipation of a Friday feels so good. A long week of work and an even longer week of insane non-fake news calls for a pit stop at my fave watering hole, Dalts.

Skinny Pirates for celebration and consoling.

There was something ultra empowering for victims of sexual assault this week, as America’s former favorite TV dad was found guilty in court for his heinous acts. As he fucking should have been in the first place after nearly five dozen women came forward and spoke out – and keep in mind these are his victims that chose to speak up. Think about the countless others who remain silent for their own reasons. I can’t wait for this man to rot the rest of his life away.

EPIC WIN FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS

On the far end of the negative spectrum, my home state, Iowa, that has always been my pride and joy, took women’s rights back about 50 years. BY THE FEMALE GOVERNOR. Now, I don’t care where you stand on abortion – however, this new legislation prevents abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. SIX WEEKS. Most of my friends who have had children, didn’t know they were pregnant until well after this point. Even if a child is molested and becomes pregnant, or a pregnancy occurs because of rape, the victims only have 45 days to speak up before they must keep the baby. FUCK THAT SHIT.

I mean, if the government truly thinks humans were put on this Earth to procreate, men shouldn’t be able to masturbate to fruition because, the sperm ejaculated could have produced a baby, right?

EPIC FAIL IOWA

All that being said, Dalts was happy to see Camo and Captain doing our drinking thang.

Camo with crazy runaway bride eyes – you guys remember her?

While I was sipping on Skinny Pirates, awaiting Mama CBXB’s arrival to Nashville, my Iowa twins were enjoying the simple treats in life…baseball and ice cream.

While I had my mini sombrero laid out for Cinco de Meowy, I had major tugging at my heartstrings when this popped up in my Facebook feed.

I have a love/hate relationship with these goddamn Facebook memories.

While I was a tad teary eyed Saturday, the twins were all giggle and games in celebration of Cinco de Mayo.

Princess B didn’t let dizziness deter her.

 

Prince B was a bit further from the tail…

 

I tried gussying up with a new product for the celebratory holiday – magnetic false eye lashes. It went about how you’d expect with me.

 

False eyelash-less, I hosted a small party for my NHL Stanley Cup hopeful Nashville Predators. Bird Lady, First Mate, Mama CBXB and yours truly partied regardless of the dismal performance by the Preds. They ended up losing at home 6-2…but the drinkos kept being poured anyhow.

Derby Success.
Cinco de Drinko Success.
Predators FAIL.

A gorgeous Sunday was made for a fun day of errands. Specifically to my second mothership, where I picked up a cat tree fit for my four pussies. Mama CBXB gifted it to her grandcats as a late Christmas gift.

Cray Cray Cat Lady version of Sunday Funday.

I was a usual shit show carrying it to the car, adorning the dumpster wedding veil I keep in my trunk “just in case,” to load the tower into my vehicle. I mean, I didn’t want to crush it, so I put it on.

Who doesn’t do this?

After clearing a little room for plants, we picked up a few flowers to help my black thumbs (I killed a cactus this winter) morph more toward green. Upon arriving home, the pussies couldn’t decide whether to climb on the cat nip loaded tower or eat all of the greenery and throw up.

Decisions. Decisions.

Fabio declaring his space.

Ruby Sue nestled right in.

Rocky couldn’t be bothered to try either, as he was near comatose on the bed.

Fine here, thanks.

Elsa Pants, aka Stank Face, bucked the trend and went for the plants.

…she owns this title.

I can’t wait to see what she’s left for me after work today.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

Weekend Winks- Tidbits

It’s been a minute since I have been able to post about my weekend shenanigans as I’ve had my head in the proverbial sand, trying to get my own shit together and love myself.

Loving myself fives hundred times over.

Thanks to my kick ass friends, family and followers, you’ve showered me with enough kindness and love to last a lifetime. And it’s meant the world.

Thank you from the bottom of my butt because it’s a helluva lot bigger than my heart.

Speaking of friends, an old pal from Iowa, Buffalo, blew in from Phoenix a few weeks ago and could not have come at a better time. The belly laughs, peeing of pants and long afternoon pass out naps were severely needed by this chick.

No straws left in Music City.

Dumpy, Buffalo and an Ass Clown.

You guess which one is which.

Honky tonkin’ in Nashvegas is literally like Vegas only you don’t win any money. There isn’t a chance. But you can sure blow your wad…just as Buffalo.

Cowboys and cowgirls out on the town.

What weekend of mine would be complete without jazz hands?

This man could be my soul mate.

After all of the shenanigans, this chick needed a low-key soak in a bubble bath. Since I lack a large lip around my tub, I resort to putting Precious on the shitter. She doesn’t seem to mind, since we’re still together.

Chug a dub dub while mom’s in the tub.

My other four fur babies can’t be bothered to join in any bathing fun because naturally, they sleep 22.6 hours per day.

Why did you have to use the flash, you bitch?!

Oh and those Iowa twins of mine? I’m waiting by the phone for a modeling agency to call me, as I’m dying to be their auntager. I will give Kris Jenner a run for all of her millions with these two natural beauties.

Yes, these are the two cutest kids on the fucking planet.

If the modeling doesn’t work out, there is always basketball. Especially if it’s a super girly league and Princess B is able to wear whatever the hell she wants and use a purple basketball.

Future Hall of Famers.

Speaking of kids, I’d be remiss not to speak to the horrendous mass shooting in Florida. The ongoing heartbreak of losing innocent lives, is beyond measure. And, I’ve had to question my own ideas, opinions and thoughts over the days since it’s happened.

Of course, I don’t know the answer. But I sure as shit don’t think that any kind of military grade rifle should be allowed in the hands of regular folks. Do you really need this sort of firearm to hunt? To protect your house? To shoot clay pigeons? I am no gun expert, believe me. I own a revolver and I have exactly five bullets in my mini manse and they are in my gun (for those of you who stay over at the mini, my gun gets unloaded and the bullets are housed in a separate drawer when guests arrive, so calm down). When I see people freaking the fuck out over the phrase “gun control” and being insulted by second amendment rights being taken away, I think that’s extreme. You want a gun to protect your house, fine. You want a rifle to hunt, fine. But do you need a military grade rifle to do so?

I have been reading all points of view – and yes, if someone is bananas enough, they will find away to kill people. Folks think the FBI could have done something, as they have admitted they missed two tips. I wonder though, what could they do? The kid had no record. His mother, when she was alive, notified the police of his behavior. He’d been expelled from school. He was having mental problems that were being treated. How many empty threats are made on a daily basis? Or, would this be like when you take a restraining order out to protect yourself but it does nothing?

Is this the answer? I don’t know what is – I wish I could look to those in politics who can enforce change but it’s beyond evident that I can’t. In my opinion, it’s not a Republican vs. Democrat problem. It’s an American problem that rings through every single state. I can’t imagine being a parent – let alone a fucking kid that has to practice gun shooting drills – today. It’s insane and it has to stop.

While the domination of news was focused on the Florida mass shooting (as it should be), the Olympics have also been underway and Dada CBXB and myself entered in our favorite sport. Drinking.

We trained all football season for this moment.

Speaking of moments, I still have my Christmas tree up (aka Celebration tree) and since it was pouring down on Saturday, I sat my ass on my leopard couch and got sucked into TV movies.

Redneck? White Trash? I don’t give a fuck.

Cuddled up butt to butt with my favorite snuggle pants.

A chug with a chugger.

Watching horrendously cheesy Hallmark movies (side note – it’s a dream of mine to star in one, no shit) full of you-already-know-what-the-character-is-going-to-say-before-they-say-it while falling in love and getting engaged within a week pulled at my cold, dead heart for once. I immediately called in all reinforcement.

Divorce court here I come. Crisis averted.

While I peruse Facebook as often as the next person, I have a serious love/hate relationship with the fucking memories that pop up from forever ago. Yesterday, my Aunt Crazy Pants and I celebrated nine years of social media friendship. Which was fitting because her birthday would have been this upcoming Friday, so she’s been on my mind constantly (not that she isn’t always).

Taking solace in my wine glass was quite easy because it was national drink wine day yesterday (which is every day for me but since it was a nationally recognized holiday, who am I not to overly partake?!).

OH. MY. GOD. BECKY. It’s an every day for us.

Good thing I have wine glasses that hold entire bottles of wine while I plot how to take over the universe.

Cheers to all of the tidbits in your life. Now go pour a heart healthy glass of vino.

Captain’s orders.

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Freezing! Fiesta! Football! Fun!

One of the joys of living in a city that isn’t equipped to handle any type of winter weather, is it’s kinda fun when it comes. Freezing rain on Friday meant that I was able to slide out of work and into my bed for a day of conference calls and cat naps (the cats, not me of course).

When you’re given the option to work from home…

YOU TAKE IT.

No one was excited about it at all.

My mom checked in from Iowa to make sure I was all set with necessities because it’s a fucking freak out frenzy when there is even mention of the “s” word – SNOW. Nashville citizens (and anyone else who didn’t grow up above the Mason Dixon Line) all but lose their goddamned minds.

While I was hunkered down with my pussies Saturday, my Iowa twins were getting hyped up to par-tay. Why you ask? Because they are turning five – FIVE – FUCKING FIVE YEARS OLD – on Wednesday. I mean holy fucking shit how did this happen so fast?

FIVE!

Due to the fact that Princess B eats salsa like its soup, the day was a fiesta complete with the best cakes on the planet.

Crazy over cake.

My artsy sis even crafted a pinata for the occasion.

FUCKING FIVE.

Fiesta fun!

Naturally, there were outfit choices to be made and Princess B did not disappoint.

Just a little gussy up.

Nor did she get any salsa on the sequins.

I finally mustered up the energy to walk over to Rasta’s pad on Saturday night, forcing myself out into the blustery cold I’m not used to anymore. Speaking of force, Rasta isn’t a football fan of any sort and I made her watch the Titans game in her own house.

I’m so sweet.

While I drank her wine.

Tailgate City.

My Titans were playing actual football titans, the New England Patriots and so I was hoping for at least a touchdown. And we scored one first! Then, just as quickly as that happened, my dudes ended up getting an ass beating. Rasta kept up with the team spirit though, assisting me through the horrendous game.

She’s officially my wine coach now.

Yeah, it was that bad.

She wins the sportsmanship award for sure.

Football fun.

I was up at what felt like the ass crack of dawn on Sunday to watch a segment on CBS Sunday Morning. It was regarding the Time’s Up movement and Oprah interviewed several prominent women who helped initiate the campaign. Being that I take great interest in this due to Rapegate and the #MeToo movement, I expected support from my pussies.

Only one showed the fuck up.

#whywewearblack

The others were busy having a menage à trois in the unmade bed.

Thanks for the support, assholes.

While watching other NFL playoff games, I started to take down the few Christmas decorations I put up this year and toyed with the idea of Valentine’s Day. But promptly stopped after dressing my Glamingo.

I also somehow came across a hideous Pucci hat that a lady who thought she was famous and was my boss at the time gave me as a leftover present (she would regift her unwanted Christmas presents to me for my birthday in March). You want it? It’s yours.

Her exact positioning and expression in every photo.

After throwing one helluva classy fiesta, my sister pulled through in our white trash ways when storing leftovers.

After getting her text, I was craving Mexican and justlikethat First Mate sent a text wanting to meet up for wine at our fave joint. Talk about fate.

We come for the handsome pours of wine, not the margaritas.

The Minnesota Vikings game (which was one of the best last second endings ever) was on at the restaurant. The fans chant skol and my sister and I were confused as to what it meant. We had an Iowa-Tennessee-Georgia family tutorial via text from my cousin Tballs – a huge Vikings fan.

My guess of “yeehaw” was way off.

After heading home with a belly full of wine, salsa and chips, I settled in for a night cap.

A literal night cap.

Here’s hoping your week is full of fiesta-ish fun.

SKOL!

CBXB

 

 

 

 

The Little Things…

Being an Iowa Hawkeye football fan leaves most folks with a sense of pride (I mean, hello, ever catch my blog during football season?) even if their season is sometimes less than stellar.

We’re #1! Even if it’s just in our hearts.

Iowa is not only known for its corn, it’s truly dubbed the Hawkeye State. I grew up singing a song that included the line, “where the corn grows tall and the kids grow great. I’m glad I live in the Hawkeye State!”

If any strings are attached in being associated with this university, they’re welcomed. Now that I live in Nashville (or if you live anywhere outside of the Corn State) when I tell people Iowa is my original home, I’m received with “Oh the Buckeyes!” or “The Potato State!” and living in the South, some peeps think I say Ireland when I say Iowa (no fucking clue how they hear that, as all Iowa schools taught phonics but whatever).

Raygun t-shirts always on point.

My point is the University of Iowa may be little known by others but man, the people there are some of the fucking greatest. And it’s not because they’re mostly from Iowa (although I swear to god that the state produces the nicest, most modest (aside from me of course), hard working, earnest, salt of the earth people ever).

I was surprised yesterday by an act of kindness that almost (I said ALMOST) made me ugly cry in a happy way (which pretty much means hell would have frozen over because the first and only time I happy cried was five years ago after finding out the twins had arrived).

Happy cry, sad cry, neither is pretty.

I have a Hawkeye football poster I get every year from the Iowa State Fair (one of the greatest events on the planet) hanging in my workspace, along with a few other pieces of Hawkeye memorabilia.

Pride and joy.

Letting the love show.

Even cups get the Hawkeye treatment.

I’m sure my co-workers are all “OK. OK. We fucking get it.”

The poster has been a great conversation starter and almost any college football fan stops to comment upon seeing it. One vendor stopped and asked if I knew of CJ Beathard (quarterback) and George Kittle (tight end), both who played at the University of Iowa and both of whom were drafted in 2017 by the San Francisco 49ers. Almost responding with a “fucking duh!” I was excited this dude knew past Hawk players. So we chit chatted about how Beathard and Kittle were the shit and then the gentleman slid in that his son also was drafted in 2017 by the 49ers. His son roomed with Kittle and is tight with both former Hawkeye players.

I couldn’t wait to text my dad and tell him the scoop.

You know, because he’s a little bit of a fan, too.

I looked up Trent Taylor, who is a wide receiver (from the Nashville area!) for the 49ers and my new buddy’s son. Every time Dad Taylor came to our office, he’d stop to talk football shop and I enjoyed hearing a little inside scoop. Well, yesterday was just a dreary winter day and I got a phone call from Dad Taylor asking if I was in the office and then he instructed me to meet him in the lobby in 15 minutes.

Still having trouble with a regular fucking phone and a headset. But I’m here.

Assuming he had something for my boss, I moseyed up to the front and waited his arrival. Dad Taylor had a FedEx envelope in his hand and as I went to grab it (ever the classy gal that I am), he put his hand up. “I have something for you and I want to see your expression when you open it.” What? What?!

Then he slid out a photo from the envelope. And I immediately saw football players. And I immediately tried to not be too excited who those football players might be on that fucking photograph.

It was an autographed photo signed to me with the inscription, “Go Niners! Go Hawkeyes!” along with signatures from Trent Taylor, CJ Beathard and George Kittle. FUCK ME IN THE GOAT ASS.

Be cool! be cool! be cool! be cool! becool!becool!becool!becool! BE!FUCKING!COOL! I kept thinking in my head while my mouth was wide open (so it was basically to the floor) and at the same time I thought don’t cuss, don’t cuss, don’t fucking cuss. Because all I wanted to do was throw my arms around Dad Taylor and scream holy fucking shit! This just made my year!

I haven’t smiled this hard since 2015.

I realize that it’s just a picture. But the idea that someone who doesn’t know me well, just wanted to do something nice for the sake of being fucking nice. Trent Taylor’s dad reached out to him and Trent took the time to not only sign the photo himself but get Beathard and Kittle to do so as well. Standing there trying not to shriek my brains out, with moist eyes, all I could utter was “I can’t say anything right now or I might cry and I’m never a lady with nothing to say!”

Dad Taylor did what most dads would do and gave me a great big hug and said, “I’m so thrilled you’re thrilled.” I basically skipped my way around the office the rest of the day showing anyone who would look and listen (and gave no shits) my photo and back story.

I ran around searching for the perfect frame and naturally got something ultra studly to home the picture. A matted, mirrored frame. That sits proudly underneath my Iowa Hawkeye poster.

A very subtle, footbally frame.

I slept with a grin on my face that night. I know I woke up with one in the morning. And I haven’t smiled so hard since 2015 – that’s no lie. What I’m getting at is you know that saying – you never know what battles others are facing (or something along that fucking line)? These peeps don’t know any struggle I’ve endured over the last three years. All they know is that I’m a huge Hawkeye fan (and now the Niners #1 fan) and did something nice because they fucking wanted to. And now I have a treasured story and possession to remember the feeling of specialness because of strangers’ kindness.

Aside from making my fucking day, week and month, this act basically made my year. Which is a fabulous sign because it’s still only early January. Whoop!

Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye.

Now go start someone’s year off on the right foot by being nice.

Go Niners!

GO HAWKEYES!

CBXB

Weekend Winks – The Buck Stops Here

You know those weekends that you think are going to be low key? Mine started out on Friday with a heavy pour of pinot noir and snuggle down with the fur balls.

Wine down Friday.

Saturday rolled around and I could hardly get out of the bed, even though it was an Iowa Hawkeye game day.

Caturday canoodling.

I mean, with lay outs like the one below, I decided to crawl back into the throne and frolic with the fur balls.

A king almost falling off a queen sized bed.

The Hawks were going to play a number three ranked Ohio State University (whom I loathe, have always loathed and will continue to loathe forever and ever amen. Maybe it’s because you’re supposed to say THE Ohio State University…maybe it’s because they seem to piss every major bowl game down their leg, maybe it’s their cockiness….you choose). Dada CBXB and I almost didn’t get together because my he was having his cable worked on and we weren’t sure it’d be done by the game. I also think we both figured that being the 20 point underdogs, it may be the most boring game of the Hawkeye season.

Cheerleading from bed.

A game against THE Ohio State University several years ago is the reason we started taking touch down shots (to keep the games more interesting for us Hawk fans when we scored maybe one touchdown per game).

Then this gem of a text rolled in from my sister. Who, may I note, lives about 25 fucking minutes from the University of Iowa and Kinnick Stadium where kick off takes place. EVERY. SINGLE. Saturday she asks:

A) Who the Hawks play

B) What time the game starts

I, in turn, always love asking her who the Tennessee Titans play. Her guess this time goes back to when our dad played for the Baltimore Colts (who are now located in Indianapolis for you non sports fans). She’s a huge football fan, obvies.

I got all game day gussied up and headed out to watch what was possibly going to be the worst ass beating in the history of our team. It’s not that I don’t have faith in my Hawkeyes – I do – however, it’s sometimes heartbreaking being a fan because when we’re bad we’re very, very bad and when we’re good we rock.

On my way!

The game started and as I was saying, “Jeez it’s really lou-…” the Hawks got a pick six and scored for a touch down eight seconds into the game.

“At least we lead once this game,” said Dada CBXB.

Then, something miraculous happened and Iowa scored again.

Surprisingly a second shot as Dada said, “Well, at least we lead some of the game.”

Shot three game and we were silly with excitement.

NO ONE thought we’d have four touchdowns on THE Ohio State University during the first half (let alone the entire game).

Colin Cowherd, a sports media personality with his own pod cast hates the Hawkeyes with a passion. Even when Iowa had a perfect 12-0 season two years ago, he found holes to poke. Well, he taunted with a Tweet during halftime….

….SUCK IT Colin, ’cause the Hawkeyes kept on steam rolling. Cowherd really does owe everyone at the Deadwood bar in Iowa City a PBR.

We were ultra prepared for an OSU comeback in the second half but instead, the Hawkeyes kept on trucking and gave our livers a run for their money.

Shot fucking 5?!

Holy SIXTH!

Our reputation precedes us, as even our loyal Facebook touchdown shot counters noticed we had posted nothing during the entire game, as we typically document each shot taken.

HEY-OH we posted the last shot taken of the game!

THE BUCK STOPS HERE at shot seven.

With a final score of 55-24, all of the Iowa fans rushed the field…

…as did yours truly, only virtually.

I mean, how could I miss out on a moment like this – that will most likely never happen again?

Victory shot for good measure, along with how the rest of the night felt.

Even the Internet took notice over the ass beating we handed THE Ohio State University.

Being that I thought I would be sober Sally upon the completion of the game, I didn’t pack a bag to stay at dad’s….but I who am I kidding? I wouldn’t have changed out of my Hawkeye gear anyhow. I may or may not still be in my game day clothes and I may or may not change out of them until we lose again.

Not ashamed of this walk of shame.

Here’s hoping you’re having a week as high as I’m feeling. My head is still in the clouds because the buck stopped here.

CBXB

 

Weekend Winks – Panic, Boos! and Pussy Shenanigans

Friday started on the right foot with some prep for a Halloween party at the office tomorrow.

However, things took a hard turn when I had a panic attack out of fucking nowhere after lunch. I had to leave work, after catching my breath and then I managed to throw up while driving down the interstate. With my head out the window like a dog. And still  got my empty stomach contents all over my shoulder and down the inside of my door.

Adulting is hard.

I threw my newest armour on that I received last week via mail with no note. Now, obviously the sender really knows me, as the shirt not only included sparkly pink text, it read, “Onward Buttercup there’s fuckery to spread.” I had posted a blog about my own personal Harvey Weinstein on Friday (thinking back, possible trigger for a panic attack), and got this text from the sender.

I have the best friends.

Unable to un-tense any section of my body (even my eyeballs ached), I wallowed on the leopard couch, played Words With Friends that pissed me off when realizing my favorite state isn’t really considered a word.

WTF?

I was joined in snuggles from Iowa by my sister and Princess B.

Miles apart but the same at heart.

I was being mauled by my fur balls and I didn’t hate a second of it.

Fierce feline snuggles from Ruby Sue.

Precious and Rocky joined in, too.

I was mighty happy the Iowa game didn’t start until 5:30 pm on Saturday, so I was able to do one out of 100 loads of laundry I should have done, lay on the couch, and watch my 81-year-old boyfriend Lee Corso on ESPN’s College Game Day rock a skeleton outfit. It was pretty much a perfect fucking all day.

Game day ready.

Extremely conflicted as to wear a costume, Iowa Hawkeye gear or a combo of both, I went for the gaudier side. A little Halloween and a whole lotta Hawkeye.

Conflicted costume.

Traveling out to Dada CBXB’s for the game (also known as Pamela Anderson to my Kid Rock this time of year), we got to see Cousin Eddie and Clark that I originally rescued but they took to my dad so much so, that I wrapped them up and gave him to them for Christmas two years ago. He can’t tell them apart and calls them Cat 1 and Cat 2.

To me it’s beyond obvious.

Cousin Eddie

Clarkie

We were all Skinny Pirated up and ready for the 5:30 kick-off. Some of our crowd were more excited than others…

Although the first half was kind of a snore, my Hawkeyes pulled out a win and we take those no matter how ugly!

Two touchdown and one victory shot! Whoop!

We then settled down with nightcaps of Manhattans courtesy of my BIL’s famous recipe.

Nighty night.

I slept the most consecutive hours Saturday night in as long as I can remember. TEN hours. TEN! I’ve been averaging maybe four per evening the past two years, so saying I felt like a new lady is an understatement.

To top off the start to my Sunday, I was treated by Dada’s world-famous cheese omelette (according to him) which is one of my fave things he cooks.

Ah, yeah baby.

My Iowa twins couldn’t decide which holiday they wanted to celebrate more…

From Halloween. To Christmas. Back to Halloween.

Pumpkin perfecting.

With some elbow grease to finish.

Paw Patrol is still big at the Twin Castle, and my handy sister was able to create adorable ensembles for the most adorable duo on the planet.

Skye

Zuma

Then, all hell broke loose for me when fucking Facebook popped up a memory from a year ago and feelings started to seep into my soul. This time every year, I would be prepping Teddy Bear’s costume – this is the first time in eight years I haven’t been able to do it. And top that off with it being National Cat Day, I had a come apart of epic proportions.

Hole in my heart over my main squeeze who is gone too soon.

Not wanting my current fur babies to feel left out, (as I do have the cutest kids on the fucking block), I still celebrated my fave four pussies, of course.

My fab four. Rocky, Fabio, Ruby Sue and Elsa Pants.

I’ll leave you with a little wisdom one of my Nashville sistas gave me in regard to closing out 2017, looking forward to a new year:

Anyone have any cheese for my cracker?

CBXB

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