The Stupid Cardinal

When Aunt Crazy Pants was fighting her fierce battle with fucking cancer, she told family to think of her every time we saw a cardinal after she passed. I took that advice and ran – it’s the best thing of my day when I see a red bird. And somehow, it always comes at a time that I’m trying to make a decision or on the verge of a panic attack. Funny how the universe works.

See a cardinal, think of me.

My Iowa twins also took that advice and sprinted.  Announcing whenever they would see a cardinal that it was ACP.

Birds of a feather.

But Princess B, especially, took to the notion.

If you’re gonna go, go all in.

This ties to the passing of my beloved sidekick, Precious the Chug. Presh (or Pweshy as the twins called her) was always a welcomed joy to my Iowa duo. Luckily she didn’t mind getting gussied up to impress her fashion upon them when we would head up to see the twins.

All glittered up and ready to go.

A nine-hour drive never deterred this dog’s ability to behave.

World’s Greatest Traveler.

It was a maulfest as soon as we’d arrive to the Iowa palace where my twins reside.

Hands on.

The squeeze.

One of their favorite parts of seeing Presh was walking her out and around the neighborhood.

Dynamic duo dog walkers.

Princess B always had to have alone time with her fave chug.

Walk Solo.

She’d be upset when we’d leave (I mean, what’s not to miss people), and it would tug at my heart strings something fierce. A video like the one below had me wanting to pack up my rust bucket and drive non-sensibly to Iowa from Nashville.

Luckily, it was time for Dada CBXB and myself to fly our sleigh in for Christmas shortly after receiving the tearful action shot of my takes-after-me-in-the-drama-department niece.

We’re baaaaaaaaaaack!

Precious was just so pleased.

Obviously.

A look of love.
Also, a look of hate.

We continued to change outfits and make a model of my canine.

Poser.

P was even fortunate enough to ride shotgun in Princess B’s new ride.

Cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

And then there was Presh’s cousin, Spike, who like everyone else before him fell in love with my little Ewok.

My horse-sized dogphew.

Spike and I have always had a tight bond, being the crazy animal lover that I am, letting him love attack me whenever he deemed necessary.

Snuggle buddies.

Dance partners. I took the lead, naturally.

Once Spike laid eyes on Precious, it was L.O.V.E.

A hard, romantic comedy type of love.

He barely left her side for a second, attentively watching P’s every move.

Making sure she was properly seated for all meals.

Letting her use his new Christmas bone first.

When it was clearly meant for a dog of a much larger stature.

When Presh had enough, she would sit on her throne and watch Spike roam around the couch, anticipating her jump down.

Waiting out the horse dog.

Preshy was already a member of the family because she was basically my fur covered spawn.

She cocktailed with us.

She cheersed with us.

She watched movies with us.

She played in the snow with us.

She dried off at the kitchen bar with us.

She forcefully posed with us.

In between visits, we’d Facetime with the kids and they always needed to know what the fuck Presh was up to (along with my other four fur kids). This past March, the Prince and Princess graced Nashville with their presence and you can guess who had the pleasure of being the guest of honor.

All tucked in.

All tuckered out.

Cuddle chug.

Walk Solo round two.

When we suddenly lost Precious a month ago, there are no words for the way my heart ached (and still does). But I don’t think anyone realized how hard it would smack Princess B. The day she found out, I was ordered to send all photos and videos I had of the chug to Sister CBXB for memories.

R.I.P. Sweet P.

When she was told that one day she would see Presh again (like in 140 years when my mini me passes away and reunites with all animals she’s loved), Princess B replied, “Yeah. AS A STUPID CARDINAL.”

Oh the reasoning of kids.

Yesterday, the twins were out walking their horse dog.

Spike is more manageable now that the kids are taller.

Princess Prance.

After getting these pics, I couldn’t help but smile that they were having fun with my dogphew. Then, this text came in from Sister CBXB.

I died. I laughed. I cried. A legacy left by Aunt Crazy Pants has now lead to comfort in areas of grieving for my little loves.

Maybe Princess B doesn’t think cardinals are so stupid after all.

I sure the fuck don’t.

CBXB

CBXB!

 

How to Make an Ass of Yourself in NYC

For me, you know it wasn’t that difficult. I mean, I’ve made an ass of myself in Key West. I’ve also made an ass of myself on a Carnival cruise. So New York City was a piece of fucking cake.

I made asked Rasta to escort me as an unpaid Uber driver to the airport early one ass morning to spend a whopping 36 whirlwind hours in New York City, meeting up with my cousin R. Nasty to see The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. As I was doing this trip on an extremely tight budget (as I was saving the small amount of spending money for booze, naturally), I packed food I knew could last me for my less than two day stay.

Hard boiled eggs, popcorn and protein bars.

You shoulda seen the TSA lady’s face.

Sauntering to my gate, it was fate that my fave airport wine bar, Vino Volo started opening that morning before 7am to appease travelers that needed mimosas. And it was located straight across from my gate.

FATE.

How did I commemorate my first trip to NYC with a mimosa that cost the same as a bottle of the fancy champs I typically consume, Cook’s? Of course I asked the bar tender to take my photo – which was a big deal for me as I am a master selfie snapper.

No shame in my game.

For real though.

When I boarded the aircraft, I wanted to get a window seat so I could see the Big Apple as we flew in. Asking what looked like a non-judgemental lady if the seat in her row was available she practically did a cartwheel and said, “I’m so glad you aren’t a fat ass.”

Um, thanks?

Upon landing in LaGuardia, gathering my suitcase (yes, I checked a bag for a 36 hour trip because I could – and it was free, as I was flying Southwest) I waited about an hour for R. Nasty to land from the fabulous Hawkeye state.

I took the opportunity to capture my emotions.

My it’s cool, I travel all the time (to Iowa) face.

My HOLY FUCKING SHIT I AM FINALLY IN NEW YORK CITY face.

Once finding R. Nasty, we were off to the metropolis to live it up.

The most non-city slickers ever.

Being the budget friendly gal I am, I packed booze in my bag. (Free travel tip. I do this everywhere I go unless I’m flying to Iowa where Sister CBXB has a cocktail connoisseur for a husband and a wine closet. I have yet to have any bottle taken out of my suitcase or break – but I do carefully pack, wrapped in my jeans with a box of tampons thrown on top – no one wants to look through that mess. You’re welcome).

We celebrated our arrival with a bottle of fancy champs from Arrington Vineyards, a winery in Nashville that I received for my birthday recently. I knew I was gonna save it for a special occasion and my first time in NYC with my cousin to see Stephen Colbert in honor of his mama deemed most appropriate.

Then it was time to hit the town and acting like any local, I took photos of every bar napkin, drink and sign in sight.

Flash on in a dark bar.

When the bartender asked where the hell I was from, I turned on my non-Southern charm and he bought us shots for us being NYC virgins.

Cheers to cherry poppin’!

I forced myself up in the morning to take advantage of the scrumptious breakfast included in the cost of our hotel room.

I woke up like this. No really, I did.

An omelette like concoction, hydration station and some sort of semblance of meat.

Regardless, I ate it all and then some. I needed fuel for the day to walk around the streets of the city. R. Nasty needed a bit more beauty sleep, so we decided to meet up later. Until then, I was on my own, which is scary as I have zero sense of direction and could have walked all the way to Canada before realizing it (well, my feet would have started hurting first and I would have stopped because I’m a big fucking baby but you get the idea).

Where the fuck am I?

I swore to Christ I couldn’t find Time’s Square. Above is the image of what my eyes saw when I actually fucking Googled “where’s time’s square?”

I almost asked this guy but he seemed a little angry…plus, I couldn’t pay him but I could give him a “FUCK YOU” back.

Suri responded to my insanely stupid question with “Bitch Please, (someone entered that as my name on my iPhone and I don’t know how to change it), you are in Time’s Square.”

FUCKING DUH.

It was then I caught a glimpse of this contraption of stairs with a dude on top getting his picture taken. Uh, guess who also needed it done rightfuckingnow?

I went over to the guy as he came down the steps and asked him to take a picture of me. He laughed kindly and agreed.

Do you think ABC News noticed my jazz hands and will come calling?

As I was hopping down the stairs, there was a small crowd around the man who’d taken my pic and I said it seemed like I was missing out on the joke. Come to find out….I’d interrupted a photo shoot for a Jamaican rapper. And it was the rapper whom I’d asked to take my picture. And the stairs were their prop for the photo shoot.

Uh…..*cue unashamed tourist moment*………

Curly Cash the Jamaican rapper couldn’t have been more nice and accommodating to this ass clown of a tourist.

I’d worked up quite an appetite unabashedly disrupting a photo shoot, so I stopped at Angelo’s Pizza on the way back to get R. Nasty. Who was I not to stop since happy hour started at noon?!

Selfie game on. At the bar. By myself. ‘Cause I’m cool like that.

Let’s not forget the food pic.

After our experience with Stephen Colbert, more selfies and food pics ensued in our NYC fun.

We hit up Ruumy’s Tavern which had a large array of sake cocktails.

I ordered the most naturally named for me booze concoction on the list…Because I Cannot Sleep.

Oh bro-in-law Dr. Cocktail, can you recreate?

Flash on again at the bar. I think this one finally got an eye roll from R. Nasty.

Not wanting our hours full of NYC fun to end, we picked up some booze at Duane Reed and had after hours in our hotel room. Which really was all fun and games…

… until I had to depart the hotel at 5am to catch my flight back to Nashville.

Upon returning to the mini manse, a hot, hot, hot soak was needed for my weary feet (and body…and liver).

The Pussy Posse couldn’t have been more lazy about their mother being back home. All five of them could barely lift their heads and open their eyes when I squealed at the highest decibel possible how happy I was to see their faces.

The Fab Four Pussies

Preshy rounding up The Posse

You can bet your ass I took my non-embarrased, touristy tired ass and nestled in between them for the remainder of the day.

So now I’m wondering if I can ever show my face again in NYC, acting like a cool, calm, collected, well traveled person.

I think we all know the answer to that question.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

 

 

The Colbert Report

Tokens of appreciation can go along way. So, too, can the tokens of absolute strangers who help make magic happen.

As many of you readers know, I lost my Aunt Crazy Pants to fucking lung cancer last September. Her son, R. Nasty became her primary caretaker and together, they watched The Late Show With Stephen Colbert every evening – in fact, it was one of the last things they ever did together.

It was also something I got to watch the last time I partied with ACP.

Colbert Time!

Ever since her passing, my sister and I had been working on how to solidify tickets for R. Nasty to attend the show. You know, kind of a way to honor his mom. Through letters and emails and contacts and friends and acquaintances of friends and husbands of wives who work at Conan O’Brien, who had a friend who writes for The Colbert Show, WE GOT TICKETS.

Don’t mind if we do!

VIP to be braggy.

While R. Nasty resides in Iowa and I am in Nashville, we decided it would be super easy to meet up at LaGuardia Airport because what could possibly go wrong? Naturally, upon my landing an hour ahead of him, I selfied the fuck out of myself and sent it to all of my friends and family.

R. Nasty and I were only two terminals away from one another, so what I thought would take hours, took mere minutes to find one another after he landed. It was the non-city slickers in us that needed aid. So I texted Rasta, the gal pal who was extremely instrumental with our VIP ticket grab, how to get an Uber in NYC. I mean, there are Ubers and Lyfts in Nashville but you walk right out of the baggage claim and BAM there is no way to fuck it up.

So Rasta guided us on how to get on the bus that would drop us off at the parking lot where an Uber we called would be waiting on us. This city shit was already hard.

But we did it!

Upon checking into the hotel (that I made R. Nasty pay for naturally, after surprising him with tickets, making him cough up cash for shit), I immediately checked on a bottle of Tennessee champagne I had packed carefully in my luggage to celebrate this momentous occasion (you guys, R.Nasty and I don’t get out much – neither of us has been to a city bigger than Chicago, k?).

Who doesn’t put champs in their suitcase?

Once we guzzled drank the champs dry, we unpacked and here’s what our bathroom counter looked like…

My accessories at the top of The Economist vs. his one accessory which was The Economist.

We decided to giddy up and check out the area – Manhattan – to be exact, which I thought would look a helluva lot fancier than it did. But I’m from Nashville, so what the fuck do I know? What I DO know is to ask for recommendations and my social media buddy, suggested a fab place called Faces and Names.

Fabulous find compliments of a fellow Captain@sgrstk – and if you don’t follow him or have never read his books, go do so right now.

We were kind of excited to be there. And when I asked R.Nasty if he was having fun, he responded with “Yeah, this is kinda fun.” To which I kindly replied – YOU WILL AND ARE HAVING THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.

Not excited. At all.

We had libations in honor of our first time in NYC, talking about ACP and just chit chatting about whatever the fuck you typically do when you are getting a bit buzzed.

Cheersed!

…and cheersed…

… aaaaaand cheersed.

So as we stumbled marched out of the bar to explore more of the block (I mean, my feet already hurt), what did before my wondering eyes did appear?

Destination Station!

Not being in the least bit full of any ounce of shame, it was selfie time.

Theater selfie fail #1.

Due to the length of my arm being about as tall as an earthworm, we had to do round two.

Theater selfie fail #2.

Satisfied with shitty selfies, we went back to the hotel room for wine and snacks in preparation for the one and most likely only day of our lives we would be VIPs.

Tidiness runs in the family. Obvies.

I must say the kink in my neck remains at my incessant gawking at all of the buildings and signs and bicyclists who give zero fucks if you are walking in their pathway. I also very narrowly missed my death about 536 times by stepping off of a cub almost too soon which would have resulted in my demise by a yellow taxi cab.

Daylight theater.

What do good tourists do when heading to their fave late show? They do as tourists do and eat at there.

The restaurant of Mr. Colbert’s choice, or so I like to think.

I also continued my unabashed selfie taking because what’s a memory without a photo?

Not a tourist at all.

R.Nasty and I sipped on cocktails and waited for our 4pm call time to stand in the VIP (I did mention we were VIPs, right?) lane at Angelo’s watching all of the little people who only had priority seating. The horror.

 

We straight up VIP, yo!

And naturally I needed to document with a selfie as well.

Yep. Proof we’re VIPs.

We also had Aunt Crazy Pants with us. Lest not forget the things all mothers and daughters bond over, tattoos – Mama CBXB and I had ACP’s signature inked onto our wrists (yes, I know we are now complete bad asses) over her first birthday weekend above us.

Lucky charm in tow.

Then it was time to enter the theater that makes me want an entrance to my mini manse in lights now.

Before I made my national television debut, the warm up comedian came out and picked on audience members. R. Nasty was beyond relieved that we were seated middle balcony but don’t worry, I was loud enough to get picked out of the crowd. As we were being interviewed, the comedian asked where we were from and if we were married. I said no, we’re cousins but since I’m from Tennessee, we could be.

Yeah, R. Nasty could have died. Of course I hated the attention and laughs.

The could be our wedding photo.

The show started and the anticipation was beyond expectation. It was super fucking cool seeing Stephen Colbert run out from behind stage left and to the crowd slapping high fives. He delivered his monologue and the guests were a very beautiful but boring Lucy Liu and an engaging Henry Winkler.

Oh and you won’t be one bit surprised that my family and friends who tuned in that evening heard me laughing more than they saw me. Only because I have the loudest laugh on the planet….and you could only see the back of my head.

No autographs please.

If there’s any take away from all of the whirlwind 36 hours I spent in NYC with R. Nasty, it’s that the experience we shared together is irreplaceable. I’ve typically lived my life as an as afterward kind of gal, a chick that just jumps in if something sounds fun and I’m so fucking glad I was able to share this with R.Nasty who deserved to get the hell outta Iowa and cut loose (side note, I needed to get the fuck out of Nashville and have some of my own fun as well).

The Infamous Iowan and the Trashy Tennessean.

So if you’re ever contemplating what you should be doing, or if you can swing that trip (hey, I packed hard-boiled eggs and protein bars – AND booze) do what Barb would do…

Love ya, mean it Aunt Crazy Pants. We all miss you something terrible but we’re living it up with you watching over us down here.

Cheers!

CBXB

 

The Big Apple Will Never Be the Same

As many of you well know, my beloved Aunt Crazy Pants passed away after a valiant fight against terminal lung cancer (after never smoking a goddamn cigarette in her life).

Crazy and Aunt Crazy Pants.

By the time cancer was found through an unrelated surgery, it had already spread everywhere but her brain and she was given six months to a year to live in June of 2016. Well, being a feisty little bitch, she survived with cancer 370 days.

Beat cancer for five extra days. Suck it.

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

Flair for fun dramatics.

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

All other Bros and Hos live far away.

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

The true meaning of ‘got your back’.

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

Wake me up before you go go!

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

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

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

Don’t mind if we do.

Through the efforts of fabulous friends and the help of family, we were able to pull this shit off and I scored two VIP tickets (yeah, you read that right – VIP bitches) to The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. R. Nasty and I will be gracing our small kids in the big city presence in the Big Apple next week for a taping of the show on Wednesday.

We’re coming to annoy the fuck out of you New York.

Now, I have a hard time finding the bathroom at work, so I have NO CLUE how we will manage roaming a city the size of my home state of Iowa. I’ve never been on a public city bus. I’ve never been on a subway. You’d think that I would have some skills now that I reside in Nashville but sadly, I barely know up from down let alone east from west. Blonde is hard, guys.

My navigational comfort zone.

I’m certain we will look less like city slickers and more like…

Regardless, I can’t wait to make an ass in the city as big as my ass, with R. Nasty patiently waiting out my shenanigans. Or maybe silently fuming. Either way, it’s gonna be a fabulous way to celebrate ACP’s life with a whopping side of shit show.

Cheers to the craziest fun aunt I got to call mine. We all miss you something terrible but I promise to quietly laugh my ass off at the Colbert show for you next week (after probably tripping and falling down some stairs first).

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Glitz, Groping, Girltime

Someone once told me that I was the ‘girliest dude they know’ and took that as a huge compliment. I love sports but I also love my sequins, using a spare bedroom as my dressing room at the mini manse and makeup. I adore makeup. So, it was a dream come true to have a whopper of a package sent to me compliments of Too Faced made possible through my friend M. Star.

I got home from hot yoga and had to take a look at all of my loot in between undressing and the shower, naturally.

No. It doesn’t get much better than this.

March marks my last payment on my Toyota Forerunner! It also marks the time that every cent from my tax return check (and then some!) goes right into the fucker. This year, I needed all new power steering. Once they thought it was fixed, the vehicle was back three more times because it kept leaking fluid. So I started taking power steering fluid wherever I went so I could keep the car on the road.

Classy lady at the bar.

I’ve decided that after dumping $2,000 into my rust bucket, the chances of me getting my dream car of a Range Rover are waaaaaay out of reach for years, so I’m settling for my version below.

Done and done.

Snuggling with my two furry fellas helped ease the pain of my ever diminishing bank account. And while I was gonna stay in on Friday, I was coaxed into making an appearance outside of the mini manse.

Bed heads.

Rasta, our buddy DS and myself lived it up in Nashville’s midtown area.

Tequila + Jell-O = FriYAY

Being ever so responsible, we called a Lyft for a ride home. I sat up front with the driver chit chatting and we dropped Rasta off first and then headed the 45 seconds it takes to get to my mini manse from hers. As the ride was ending, the driver asked for my phone number, which I declined to give him, he asked for a hug and kiss, which I absolutely denied to give him and as I was opening the door to back out of it (worried he’d slap my ass), he instead groped my chest. I slammed the door and ran inside.

I was in shock to a degree and think that after Rapegate, I’ve become somewhat desensitized – although it’s not OK to fall back on that. It’s mentally exhausting to think through this shit and then realize that due to no fault of my own, I get the pleasure to chase this man down through his company and be sure this doesn’t ever happen to any other passenger of his again. This shit is exhausting. And wouldn’t be an issue in the first place if people remembered body basics taught in kindergarten and just keep their fucking hands to themselves.

It took a minute, but was a trigger for me on Sunday, making the emotions of PTSD come to the forefront and well, exasperating other aspects of Rapegate. But such is life and this is how it is for now. So bitchiness is my best friend.

In happier moments, one of my Iowa twins lost his first tooth!

Prince B and his pea sized tooth.

Naturally being related to me, Princess B was miffed she didn’t lose one and get a visit from the tooth fairy. So you know what this gentle soul of a young fella did? He snuck into her room before she woke up and gave her one of the two dollars he’d received.

And he also played tooth fairy dress up with his sister. Best brother ever.

In the biggest news yet, the twins are making their debut in Nashville this week and I. AM. DYING. with anticipation of their arrival.

Saturday was an impromtu brunch date with Bird Lady and as always, I had to have both hands full.

Double fister through and through.

My gal pal found a fabulous place called City Fire with bottomless mimosas (I’m their worst nightmare).

Cheers times two.

Bird Lady then acted as my own personal Uber driver and took me to my hair appointment, where I also kept both hands occupied.

I never want one hand to feel left out.

I received one helluva fun surprise from one of my fave cat lady besties.

Best. Shark. Ever.

All of the pussies took turns in their own personal shark tank. Ultimately, fur flew as one fur baby pushed the other out for a mouthful all day long.

Speaking of babies, my cousin welcomed his first – a sweet baby girl named Lucy Kay!

You’re gonna rock this dad shit.

Fabulous parenting must run in the family because one of my sweet pussies aided me in lunch today.

And cats get a bad rap for being assholes.

In other animal news, GO GET THIS APP NOW.

So, my squad is on the road already today!

Here’s hoping wherever you are, this week feels more like spring than winter already. Am I right?!

Cheers!

CBXB

The Man, The Myth, The Birthday Legend

Oh dads.

If you are lucky enough to have one or have had one in your life, then you win. A familiar fixture on this blog and in my life, my dad celebrates his day of birth (along with his twin!) today. Aunt Crazy Pants once doled out advice that I didn’t think much of at the time when I was younger. She said (during some stupid crazy boy drama, no doubt) “No man will ever love you the way your dad loves you.”

This didn’t really dawn on me until I was an “adult” (a term I use for myself extremely loosely these days) and a dude I was living with said to me, “I can’t treat you like your dad treats you.”

BOY BYE.

I guess I never had to think about it because of the jackpot I scored when my dad chose to be mine. A knight in shining (well, in his case probably rusty) armour. A frugal on the allowance guy whose driving abilities were always affected by how loudly the radio was playing in unknown territory (TURN DOWN Q.102 GIRLS WE’RE IN DES MOINES!). A dad who commuted four hours daily to work but rarely missed an extra curricular activity. A dude who could scare boyfriends shitless with his size but is actually a giant, goofy Teddy Bear.

A father who not only duct taped my glasses together in the third grade (hence the short-lived nickname “Ducky”) but also uses the same magic to keep my bumper adhered to your car as an “adult”.

A dad who tells you to “tough it up” when you’re sitting in the superintendent’s office, holding a bloody chin after being hit in the face with a baseball bat during PE but remains strong and silent decades later when he’s driving you to the hospital after being raped.

So yeah, Aunt Crazy Pants and her advice rings true – best of luck to a dude ever living up to The Man, The Myth, My Legend.

As we celebrate the Big Fella today, please join me as I share some of the valuable…

LESSONS FROM MY LEGEND


Image 90

You should always have your family’s back…

bl

       … even if they often attack.

Throw your hands up in the air…

wave

…and wave them like I just don’t care.

Even if you’re a dork inside…

...without my shades.

                                              

…it’s no matter if you’re cool on the outside.

The art of muscle blowing is unique.

blow

                       Passed down to generations…

and

                                              … and generations …

still

…to upkeep.

Pink isn’t just for girls…

flex

…guys often put the color on for a whirl.

Sequins should be in my everyday attire…

love

     … as you gave me the first bedazzled top I ever acquired.

It’s OK to stand out in a crowd…

Dada C-Note

…just be sure to do it loud and proud.

Giving is better than receiving…

Image 91

…except when you let your three year old open your gift to be appeasing. 

The importance of slathering on sunscreen daily…

very

                      …just be sure to not get too crazy.

The significance of jazz hands…

was

…often help when making demands.

It’s not a road trip…

check

…unless you have rot gut vodka and your finger to mix.

Reminding me there’s more than one fish in the sea…

fish

                …especially whenever a boy has been mean to me.

Being the life of the party…

never

                                          …is like leading one big…

                                                            …fun army.

The duo that shoots shots together…

Wild Turkey

Image 11

Stays together.

…stays together.

It’s important to share…

at the

                 …even while pigging out at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s OK to relax…

after

…after a day has been crap.

You’ve carried me through physical hard times…

broken foot

         

broken ankle

…even if sometimes it was from too much self-inflicted wine.

Tipping my Skinny Pirates when my nails are drying…

treat

                         

…because you know there’s a silver lining.

Most importantly, not all heroes wear capes…

Not all

…just dads who pick us up no matter our proverbial scrapes. 

So let us all raise our glasses today…

cheers!

…and cheers your birthday away!

Those are just a few of my lessons from…

happy

 The Man. The Myth. The Legend.

Happy Birthday Dada!

CBXB

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