Reason for My Season

As a kid there wasn’t anything worse than the last hour of Christmas because I would sit and think that I had to wait another 364 days for the fucking fun to come around again.

Just your typical family Christmas chaos.

Santa would not only eat the milk and cookies, he even tracked in ashes from the fireplace when he came down our chimney. The man in red also responded to the letters we’d leave him and when we asked for him to give us a kiss while we slept (totally not creepy asking an essential robber breaking into your house through the chimney to also age inappropriately kiss but whatever), we’d wake up to jingle bells by our beds for proof.

Kiss the Girls

There was also never short a short supply of cousins to share in our Christmas spirit.

IMG_2934

These family gatherings and traditions have waned over the years, as everyone but me  grew up, flew the coop and started procreating their own spawn and time gets prioritized differently. I do miss our large family get togethers but with everyone peppered across the states, it’s difficult.

IMG_2933

However, that has never deterred the Christmas in my heart all year-long type of person you want to punch in the face.

Christmas cheer overdrive…always.

My mini manse never not looked like I was singlehandedly going to host Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the season (naturally I was always hoping that would happen and I could adopt a reindeer and an elf – and yes, I’m being fucking serious).

Serious outside decor.

Not until, that is, Rapegate occurred. It is insane that something that happens in an instant can alter your world so hard that you don’t even recognize yourself. Getting out of the bed was feat enough, how the fuck was I ever gonna be able to muster the energy to pretend I felt joy about celebrating anything when my world was now nothing but gray?

The past two Christmases I’ve twinned with Alice Cooper.

However, with therapy and through my evolving recovery, my holiday merriment is back. It doesn’t feel like a mask I have to put on, making sure those around me don’t feel burdened by me or worry about my state of mind. And oh boy, is it ever the fuck back on in full force.

The past three years, dealing with PTSD, chronic fatigue, severe stress and depression, life continued on which it always fucking does and should. That doesn’t make shitty situations any easier, and some that I’ve loved deeply, have passed on to party in the sky since I last celebrated Christmas in 2015. And, they were all a part of my Christmases, be it from childhood, adulthood or being my fur baby forced into Christmas costumes for a photo every year.

Those that I have lost all loved celebrating the season (whether forced by moi or not).  And this tinybuddha.com quote really resonated with me when I read it.

I celebrate for Ted.

I celebrate for Aunt Crazy Pants and Gma.

I celebrate for my sweet Precious.

I celebrate for Big Al.

Celebrating for those who have passed before is melancholic at times. But I also have 400 million other reasons to celebrate – including you reading this post currently.

So, I’m throwing my sequined antlers on and running the goddamn hap-hap-hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby danced with Danny fucking Kaye.

I’m baaaaaaaaaaack.

Blitzen – for all kinds of reasons.

Starting with the celebration tree I’ve had up all year, it’s now adorned with all things Christmasy.

The mini manse….has been in transition from ultra gaudy to ultra ultra ultra gaudy. I have no less than 16 bins brimming with Christmas cheer that I haven’t touched since 2015. So it’s basically been like a supermarket sweep only with tinsel and all things sparkly.

Work in progress.

This is the first year that The Pussy Posse has witnessed the madness of the holiday season with me.

Exact replica of my four pussies reactions to all decor.

So if you’re wondering what I’ll be up to the rest of December between holiday parties and merriment, I’ll be decorating until the new year.

Very busy with my tinsel pillow.

Please feel free to stop by and receive a festive as fuck guided tour. It will only cost you a bottle of Captain, box of wine or bag of cat food. Seems reasonable, right?

Go get your festive on. NOW.

Cheers!

CBXB

CBXB!

Fight For Your Right

Who doesn’t love the Beastie Boys song “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”?

OK, maybe you don’t love the song but you at least know of it – or have at least heard it at some point in your life.

Sister CBXB and I never asked for party permission.

Luckily for me, as a woman in 2018, I don’t have to fight for my right to party, nor do I have to fight for the right to vote. But, I still have to fight for so many other fucking issues, it’s insane. Reproductive rights, economic rights, educational equality, fighting to end gender based violence….I could go on (and I’m a white, straight woman – the list is longer when you are neither of the aforementioned).

However, I was raised among fierce fucking females. Whether they knew it or not, their actions and verbal lessons through their own histories somehow sank into my brain between my blonde ears. Gma worked at a factory while raising four kids and cooking (from scratch) for farm hands and her family daily.

Gma the great.

She also taught me to party.

My other grandma had five kids in three and a half years because she had two sets of twins (grandpa probably never got to touch her again). Another grandma raised four kids, cooked daily for family and farm hands, volunteered at church and taught piano (as she pronounced pie-ano). Kick ass women if you ask me.

Mama CBXB ran her own preschool out of our basement and went back to finish college when I was in the third grade.

She also taught me how to party.

Aunt Crazy Pants moved from a tiny Iowa town of 600 to Chicago and supported her husband through optometry school as a dental assistant, starting at the age of 19, then raised four boys.

She also taught me to party.

My great grandma Lulu (Gma’s mama), who passed away at 103, was born when women weren’t allowed to vote (and was also alive when two Presidents were assassinated (McKinley and Kennedy), the Wright brothers flew their first plane, when the original Ford Model T car was produced in 1908, and when Amelia Earhart disappeared in the air  – just to give you an idea of her historic longevity).

While a badass, she only drove a car once and crashed it, ruining a cherry pie. That was the end of her driving career.

Once women were granted voting rights in 1920, she participated in every single election until her death. Fact is, GG Lulu thought it was important to vote every chance she was given because there had been a time in her life when her voice didn’t matter.

So often, I think people feel that their vote doesn’t matter or count. That their voice is lost in a sea of political abyss. It’s easy to forget there was a time when not everyone in the United States could vote and use their voices. But it does matter. Your vote counts. Your voice is heard.

Don’t you hate it when someone is bitching and moaning about politics, the President or a policy? And then you find out they didn’t even vote in the election pertaining to what they’re griping about?

If you don’t vote in this election cycle, I don’t want hear one.single.piece.of.political.opinionated.shit.coming.out.of.your.mouth.

I voted early (mostly because I couldn’t fucking wait to voice my opinions – albeit silently via a ballot) and informed myself beforehand on what issues were most important to me as a voter.

Therefore, I can express opinions on the outcome of today’s midterm elections.

Civic duty done.

Oprah Winfrey was in Georgia campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) late last week and had these choice words for folks on the fence about voting. “For anybody here who has an ancestor who didn’t have the right to vote and you are choosing not to vote wherever you are in this state, in this country, you are dishonoring your family,” Winfrey said.

Respecting the fuck out of GG Lulu while also performing my civic duty.

In my perfect world, Jack Sparrow would be elected to the Tennessee Senate or as Governor and there would be Skinny Pirate parties every day.

Skinny Pirates

Talk about a political party.

Whether or not you choose to vote is your right (and be glad it’s a choice that you get to make). But if you don’t show up at the ballot booth today and cast a vote, don’t come crying when you disagree with policies of the victorious. If you need any ideas on where to stand when casting your vote…

And if that’s too much of a stretch for you, please keep this in mind…

Truth.

Always.

So in a recap, vote or shut the fuck up.

I even made The Pussy Posse vote.

Now get out there and make your voice heard.

Let’s paaaaaaaaaartay!

CBXB

CBXB!

Weekend Winks – Losses, Lounging and Little Things

We all know life isn’t fucking fair. There are constant small reminders of the good, fabulous, bad and ugly.

Current life status via photo.

But then there are the gigantic catastrophes that just take your breath away. Last week, with extreme suddenness, a friend, former colleague, father of three, stand up, bad ass, nicest kinda guy you know passed away. While twists and turns are inevitable, I can never fathom why bad shit happens to good people. But it does. Big Al, you will be missed beyond measure. We love you.

Support your peeps at all times, friends.

As we also all know, life moves on just as quickly as it changes. I’ve started a side hustle, pet sitting, dog walking and basically loving on all fur balls. I was beyond thankful to have a fucking cute client (I’d like to kidnap) at the mini manse for some playful diversion. He seems to take after my beloved Teddy Bear, by killing tampons and presenting them to me as presents.

Tampon terror.

The Pussy Posse is less than thrilled with some visitors but on the plus side, they can climb away from the mini manse menace.

Shedding on the clean, black laundry, avoiding tampon time. And yes, I see the typo – it’s slowly driving me crazy.

I also welcomed family into town and as I do with all visitors, being that I reside in the Bible Belt, I took him right to church.

Just kidding.

I showed him the alley door from the world-famous Ryman Auditorium (the old Grand Old Opry) where the performers used to leave the stage and head straight to the bars without being bothered by fans. Funny how I know that…

Back alley church.

We also headed to Bailey’s bar downtown Nashville to watch my Hawkeyes football with the Nashville Iowa Club.

Glitter for game day.

Touchdown tradition shots ensued – even though Dada CBXB wasn’t present, with some technology we were able to cheers together. But, it just wasn’t enough. My Hawks lost to a last second field goal scored by the Purdue Boilermakers.

Family Tradition FaceTime Fail.

So, we went to eat our emotions at Outback, a restaurant not found in small town Iowa.

We’re sorry, not sorry Sherri!

With a busy Saturday under our belts, we hung around the mini manse and enjoyed the fall weather Sunday.

Venturing out for some brunch at a new spot that I fell in love with (due to their availability of gluten free bread – what? what?!), Wild Eggs. The buffalo chicken omelette didn’t suck either.

Food coma fabulousness.

A final wine(d) down on the weekend includes bubbles and vino via lavender candlelight, as always.

Sudsy self-care Sunday.

Sometimes, it really is the little things that keep the wheels turning.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

 

 

Two Ghouls Are Better Than One

Oh Halloween, how I’ve always loved thee. The 31st day of October was – and still remains – the kick-off to a long-awaited holiday season for me.

I'll cut a bitch

Even at the tender age of three, I’d cut a bitch.

With an assist from my dad.

Letting Dada CBXB (you know, the guy who dresses up like Pam Anderson) do all of the carving work because even way back my nails were “jewels, not tools”.

In a small Iowa town where I was raised, we had costume parties at school and church (when you used to be able to call it a Halloween party complete with witches and bats, instead of a fucking bland Fall Festival with scarecrows and hay bales – why are there fun haters? Why?), parades to prance proudly down our eight block Main Street (where every single one of the 1,200 citizens showed up) and so much trick-or-treating mania, I’d have to come home halfway through the evening just to dump my candy (hiding it all from my dad in the dryer or it’d be gone by morning) because my pumpkin got so overloaded, it was too heavy for me to carry.

hall

Forget my adorableness for one second – what about the clown behind #165?

ped

The Halloween parade. A spectator sport for the entire town.

In my younger years, I carried the burden of celebrating Halloween by myself and being a lone Cookie Monster got frustrating.

Ho Hum

One is the loneliest number.

Begging my parents to procreate, I was presented with Sister CBXB (you know, the one who called my dad a goddamn son of a bitch at the age of four) who was immediately awarded with side kickin’ it as my lifetime partner-in-crime (lucky her). If I was going to be dressing up (oftentimes making an ass out of myself in later years) she was going to be doing it too, by god (town parades included).

In the beginning of our twosome, we were all about cutesy costumes.

Sugar'n' Spice

The rock star and Raggedy Ann. A little sugar for my spice.

The ‘cute’ theme seemed to carry on in our early years.  Except for the tilt in our heads…and the fog in the background…and the overall sinisterness of this photo.

Creepy Hollow

Cute masked crusaders in Creepy Hollow.

As we grew older, I wanted a little edge (well as much edge as an elementary kid and toddler could muster) to our giddy ups. I let my young inner badass out, as my sister scared the pants off no one.

very busy

That’s right. I was hardcore even in elementary school.

We slid slightly into the ghoulish department as my sister joined me in grade school.

Scardey Crow

Scaredy crow and premature mini old man. Almost spine-chilling. Almost.

Then I graduated to truly frightening and fearful territory as I crept toward junior high.  Pebbles was not impressed.

Pebs

I’m also starting to wonder if there was any other color of hair paint than green, since that tends to be a trend here.

When we thought we were oh so grown up, our costumes reflected our mature attitudes.

Lady and the Tramp.

Lady and the Tramp. Or Princess and Sock Hop Girl…however you want to look at it.

We were reminded in following years just how far from adults we were…especially yours truly. A recycled mask and costume from a previous Halloween hid my “I’m way too old for this shit” attitude toward trick-or-treating when I was forced to go with my younger sister.

Barley a Boo

I can’t tell who’s more excited – the monster or the witch.

And being older we’re not so much cute, cuddly or even scary creatures…we’re just mostly cocktailed.

bl

The odd couple. Pocahontas and Kid Rock.

Now that we’re miles apart during the costuming time of year, it’s fun to look back at our sisterly ghosts of Halloween’s past. But what’s even more fun is seeing her twin goblins growing to love the holidays as much as she and I did as kids.

Scary season #1.

As

Permanent partners-in-crime.

Scary season #2.

I know, I know. The cutest fucking dog and cat you've ever seen.

I know, I know.
The cutest fucking cat and dog you’ve ever seen.

Scary season #3.

Princess Leah and Yoda

Star Wars at its silliest.

Scary season #4.

A mermaid with her super hero.

Scary season #5.

Captain America and a Princess Peacock.

No matter how you choose to spend Halloween, here’s to having a side kickin’ ghoul for your spooky festivities.

Happy Haunting!

CBXB

CBXB!

I’ll Get You My Pretty

What better way to commence my favorite week of October than by upping my mani ante with a little blood splatter masterpiece?

Poison?

Not your ordinary apple.

I got a tad ambitious in my manicure adventures but with a glass (or four) of wine, I found my inner confidence beaming through.

To achieve this look, you’ll need a clear, nude or white polish, a toothpick and your choice of a red hue.

Terrifying trio

Terrifying trio.

After applying Seche Vite base coat, I started with two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in White Out.

First

Hopefully you’re better at staying in bounds than me. Wine makes my lines blur.

To create the blood drips, I dipped a toothpick into a bottle of Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in Rapid Red and started with a single drop in the middle of a fingernail (be careful how much polish is on the end of your toothpick or you’ll have a large glob instead of a small drop – I’m speaking from experience).  Once you’ve dripped in your desired nail locale, use the toothpick to drag the red to the tip of your nail.

Dip baby dip

Dip baby dip.

After I had my drips appropriately placed, I added little dots of red for a splattered effect. Then, I did one thin swipe of red along the top of my fingernail (still with the toothpick) to tie everything together.

Dripped with blood...

Dripping digits.

Wait about 15 minutes before applying a top coat (I’m in love with Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat), as the red globs need more time to dry and will smear if you don’t wait long enough (again, speaking from impatient experience).

While my talons have gotten a few raised eyebrows already today, it’s the best way I can convey my excitement for a beloved holiday. A lady at the grocery asked me why I painted my nails with red stripes (because I fucking wanted to, lady) this morning.

Poison?

I offered her an apple from my cart.

*Insert evil, cackling witch laugh here.*

CBXB

CBXB!

The Bun of Steel

Who doesn’t not wash their hair for almost two weeks?

Anyone? Anyone?

Whenever I go see my fabulous stylist, I relish the wine, the time, the wine and the way I shine when I leave the salon. Upon my arrival, the desk dude always says to my stylist, “China, your bull has arrived.” Wonder why?

Hot head.

After getting pink nestled in my locks, I wait as long as possible to wash my hair, letting the dye really sink in. Typically I will get my hair colored on a Wednesday or Thursday night so I have the weekend to wear my hair up, washing my mane on Monday morning.

The day after my dye job.

This time was no different, except I overslept on Monday and didn’t have time to wash my hair, so I threw it up in a bun.

At this point, I was on day five with no shampoo touching my scalp.

After work, I went to hot yoga and got extremely sweaty. Normally, the bun doesn’t hold up through class but somehow this time, it did.

Hot bun.

I took a bath when I got home, leaving the bun in place, planning to take it down Tuesday morning. But when I woke up…it looked fresh out of the oven done. So, I left it in – again. I hit up the park after work for a long walk, fully planning on sudsing my locks afterward. But…

Welp, whether you think it’s gross or not…

That made it an entire seven days with not washing my hair. And, I got lazy on Wednesday night with no working out, therefore, the bun survived with another evening. (And when I say survived, I mean I’m doing nothing to it except loading it with more hairspray every day. I’m not taking it down and putting it back up.) So Thursday, my bun and I made our eighth appearance together.

By this point, if you follow me on Instagram, this was the hot topic in my stories. It had been referred to as Bungate, I was told that I was turning into one of those old church ladies who only has her hair ‘set’ once per week, leaves it in an updo until my next beauty shop appointment. One wire pick away from Grandmaville…

Especially when I announced my now disgustingly beloved bun was on its fifth day of perfection.

My direct messages were nothing short of hysterical upon my posting of day five with the bun.

My bald friend across the pond even joined in on the fun making a bow bun for himself.

Since it was Friday, I thought fuck it, I will just wash it tomorrow and had some Skinny Pirates with what was now basically my Siamese twin.

Skinny buns.

Waking up to bun perfection on Saturday, I went to the park to walk…maybe jog.

Run or walk?

When I posed the run or walk scenario on my stories, I got the most important response.

I heeded the advice given to me and walked. Then I headed out to Dada CBXB’s for a Hawkeye game watch. Problem was, I needed to stop at my mothership, Target on the way and IT WAS RAINING.

With no shame in my game, I raced into run my errands and then arrived in time for kick-off. While watching the game, Cousin Eddie, one of my dad’s cats (that naturally I gave to him), took great interest in the knot on my head. Ed loves hair and heads (like he sleeps on my head when I stay there), so I was fairly certain it would be bye-bye bun.

Bun thwarter.

But he was willing to wait until after the game. However, Dada CBXB tried to smush the bun with a helmet during one of our Family Tradition touchdown shots.

Helmet head.

The bun survived both threats.

I woke up on Sunday like this…

Upon leaving heavy-handed from Dada CBXB’s, I took great precaution again, putting my makeshift grandma hair net on before setting out into the rainy day.

Bags, bowls and a protected bun.

Buns anonymous, here I come. Because the goddamn thing was still in on Monday morning.

Thankfully.

Wondering if I washed it before work? You bet your ass I didn’t. Although by this point, I was having to carry around my envelope opener to itch the inside of my bun because it was beyond scratchy. Also, I used about half a bottle of perfume, just dousing my top knot in it daily to avoid looks from others due to the greasy fumes that were emanating from my head.

Monday night, I again went to yoga…and the next morning…

So adorbs. It felt like ten year old plastic Barbie hair to the touch.

Sexy Plastic and I know it.

The back of my head was a different story…

Cat’s nest.

After an hour long shower, four shampoo cycles, and one deep conditioner left on for 20 minutes, I was good to go. So much so, I thought about calling Suave and offering to be a hair model for the day.

The exquisitely preserved pink.

I don’t think that old saying, “one must suffer to be beautiful,” really applies to my situation but I’m going to pretend that’s why I waited so long to end Bungate.

Now I’m off, being too busy washing my hair to do anything else. Then, I’ll start working on my next bun of steel.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

Weekend Winks – Surprises, Six Degrees and Slaying

This shade of black really brings out the color of my soul.

God I love a t-shirt that speaks for me.

Open for fun.

My aunt flew in to surprise my dad for a mini retirement celebration. It was pretty fucking fabulous.

The par-tay train headed downtown to honky tonk on Broadway.

The Bat Building never gets old.

Robert’s Western World never gets old.

Arriving late after gussying up, as soon as my ass hit the bar stool in Robert’s, I got a message from an old school friend asking if I happened to be around. Seeing as Music City has 100 fucking people moving to the city every.single.day (please for the love of god, STOP MOVING HERE. Come visit, spend some cash and get the fuck out) Nashvillians going downtown is about as rare as a man being falsely accused of rape. So like, 99.9% never.

Downtown used to be a fun hang every so often but now, it’s asses to elbows everywhere. So it was Kismet that I happened to be in a bar right across the street from my old buddy, who still resides in Iowa. He was visiting for work and just thought he’d reach out. As kids, our families would camp (yes, I actually camped (ew) before I knew glamping was a thing) and one of our fave activities was going around Wilson’s Lake and collecting pop cans that we’d turn in for a refund at Cheese’s grocery store. Redeeming five cents per can, I thought we were going to be thousandaires as we packed garbage after garbage bag full of aluminum. I think we each ended up with about $50. Still not bad for 10 year olds.

Six degrees of CBXB.

When I went to meet up with his crew, I didn’t know anyone else at the table. But within the 30 minutes I chit chatted, I somehow had a connection to or through or knew someone they knew at the table. My friend came across the street to say hey to Dada CBXB who, prior to his move to Nashville (and retirement), was a teacher and coach of some sort for over 30 years.

Old school.

Naturally we did what all teachers and coaches do when they reunite with former students.

Shots.

I mean, you know I have an ever classy fam.

Blurred lines.

Saturday came early for my Iowa twins, who were frying up a donut storm.

Then they decided to create costumes since the weather was kinda shitty.

If you guessed bats, you’d be right.

Inspired by my mini bakers, my lazy ass decided to get out a new pancake mix I picked up. Mostly because it was gluten free but really because all it takes is 2/3 cup of the mix and 3/4 cup of water.

Betty.Fucking.Crocker.

My Iowa Hawkeyes had a 2:30 kick off, so I sauntered out to Dada CBXB’s and watched my dudes school the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Hawks won 48-31. You know what that meant….six rounds of our classy Family Tradition.

I’m not good at math but I couldn’t fit six pics into my cute photo collage.

It also meant that the Floyd of Rosedale rivalry trophy will reside another year with my favorite birds.

The pig stays in the Hawkeye State.

After the welcomed distraction of a win, it remained consistently hard to escape the painful thoughts that have been swirling around my noggin for the last three weeks, as America’s attitude toward rape culture continues to shock the ever living hell out of me.

It’s sad. It’s so sad. So much so that I’ve turned to eating my pain away. Which isn’t working for my brain as much as it is my already ample ass.

I’ll have five pounds of wings, please. No, really, we had five pounds of wings. And Shit Dip that was already inhaled when this photo was snapped. And like one celery stick.

We welcomed Sunday by washing Saturday away with margaritas at our fave Mexican joint.

Tasty treats.

Accompanied by what felt like 482 lbs of food after I scarfed my feelings food down.

Another side of salsa, please.

Of course no self care Sunday would be complete without my personal bible, People magazine, and a dip in bubbles.

To those of you weary to the motherfucking bone after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who are confused after the past few weeks, know that it’s OK to feel that way. To those of you who feel hopeless after the past few weeks, that’s not OK.

You matter.

The next generation matters.

K. Thanks. Bye.

CBXB

CBXB!