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

Make Me Love Me

I have loved hot yoga for years – I always called it my natural Xanax because all I could concentrate on during class were the poses and postures – and nothing else (well, except for that pesky under arm fat/boob located in my armpit that won’t go away no matter what the fuck I do that I can’t stop staring at in the mirrors).

Sweat Now. Wine Later.

As the day of celebrating love is upon us, lightning struck a few days ago as I was in my very last pose of hot yoga class – savasana (for those non-yoga peeps, it’s when you lie on your back completely still and reap the benefits of your workout). The lights are dim, the instructor typically is silent as a song plays and you are relaxing/internalizing the ah-mah-zing shit you just did/thinking about the wine you’ll have after class (well, at least I am).

Worth the sweat.

Thing is, it took almost a solid two years to regularly get back on my beloved mat after Rapegate because I couldn’t be alone with my thoughts. I’ve recently been going at least three times a week since the new year and been proud of myself, getting back in my sweaty groove in a room heated to 100 degrees. However, the most fun thing about being triggered by trauma is you never know when the fuck it’s going to come out of the clear blue and smack you in the face. Or gut. Or heart. Or the motherfucking trifecta.

That night in savasana, as I settled in for my thoughts on snuggling with my pussies and Precious the chug while guzzling wine, Bonnie Raitt’s insane voice came quietly through the speakers singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

All I wanted to think about…

While I have heard this song no less than 5,872,012 times, it punched me in the heart. HARD. And I started ugly crying as quietly as one can while trying to act like I was just seriously out of breath. THANK GAWD the lights were off, and we sweat our asses off, so no one could see tears rushing down my red-hot cheeks.

Why though? It’s a stupid fucking love song that is about pining for something you can’t have with another. Except in this case, it was me realizing I haven’t been able to make me love me since being raped. The lyrics hit me faster than I can down a Skinny Pirate. And my thoughts followed the words…

“Turn down the lights”

  • It won’t matter because I won’t sleep anyway

“Turn down the bed”

  • I didn’t have the energy to make it this morning (and I love a made bed)

“Turn down these voices inside my head”

  • “You didn’t scream.” “Did you finish?” “You should have said no.” The voices won’t go away

“Lay down with me”

  • I can’t get vulnerable with myself

“Tell me no lies”

  • If I don’t lie, there’s nothing good to tell

“Just hold me close, don’t patronize”

  • In the fetal position permanently

“Don’t patronize me”

  • I can’t stop condescending myself

“Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t”

  • You’re broken. Damaged goods. Carry permanent baggage.

“You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t”

  • My heart is numb

“Here in the dark, in these final hours”

  • If only I could get hours of sleep

“I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power”

  • Self loathing is beyond power

“But you won’t, no you won’t”

  • I won’t, I don’t

“Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”

  • You’re broken. Damaged goods. Permanent baggage.

This could get ugly.

Jesus tap dancing Christ. I was a puddle. Here I’d thought I’d come soooooooo far. But in reality, I’ve been having a seriously hard time liking, let alone loving myself over the last 746 days (I mean, washing my hair is still hard – and I love my hair. So I resort to wearing it in a bun on an almost daily basis).

Wake up. Put up. Repeat.

Until friends force me to wash it.

If you knew me pre-Rapegate, self-esteem, confidence and the ability to ignore negative background noise aimed at me from others was ingrained in my personality. Or my core. Or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. I sparkled. I pulsated to my own beat no matter who loved it or not. I gave no fucks. Loud and proud.

Hieeeee. It’s jazz handing me not giving a shit how much my loudness annoys you.

But that was ripped from me without my permission. And it hurt. It aches still. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt lost with myself (like, Tom Hanks from Cast Away, with a fucking volleyball as my companion lost).

No shit behind my mini manse this morning.

It stems from the actual rape itself but it also has to do with the betrayal, abandonment and neglect I was left holding when my best friend believed her boyfriend of five weeks over me when he said it was consensual sex (which as a reminder, he got up out of their bed and assaulted me on the couch as I was sleeping in the middle of the night).

Yeah…she can also SUCK IT.

Rationally, I know none of this bullshit is my fault. But hearing that song about making someone love you if they don’t…well, that’s been me. My super hero therapist, Sheila has been on point in telling me my self-talk is beyond harsh. I’m supposed to speak to myself the way I would to a friend or any loved one in my situation. However, I’m such a black and white person, my coping skills in the past with myself have been “wallow, get over it, it’s life, move on.” With trauma like this, accompanied by PTSD, severe stress and adjustment disorder, I’m not getting off the hook that easily.

For fuck’s sake.

When I am triggered, various emotions come barreling down the hatch like a tsunami. Sadness, anger, grief, loss swirl in my brain and body – and then, I fall down the rabbit hole. I hate The Rapist who walks free. I hate my ex-friend for not believing me and stating falsehoods in her on-the-record police interviews. I hate I never got to confront either of them. And then, I end up hating myself for “letting” this happen to me (beyond fucked up, I know).

Haters gonna hate. Oh and love special places in hell saved for those they hate.

So here we are at the, “I can’t make you love me if you don’t.”

Thing is, I can make me love me. I loved the fuck out of myself before this shit. And I have been working second after second, minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day, month after month and now – year after year to get my groove back on with my bad self.

January 29th marked my second Rapeversary and a sample of how I am reminded to make me love me?

Family –

Sister CBXB…

Mama CBXB…

And friends like you? Fuck you guys are my sparkly army shining bright. Reminders from you that I truly am making leaps and bounds. Prompts that no matter how exhausting, how minute, how trivial the day feels to me, I matter. And isn’t that what we all need to remember? We matter. We matter most to ourselves. And it’s so easy to forget that in daily life, regardless of whether you’re insanely happy every second of every day or in the throes of despair, desperately trying to figure out why the fuck to get out of bed.

If I can, you can.

Friends from afar have noticed and commented in photos I’ve posted –

Friends who have experienced similar trauma know when to give me a head’s up –

Shit like the above makes the quote below all the more believable…

Folks like you help me, help me…. you know, Jerry Maguire style. Help me, help you. And, hopefully I can help others beat stigmas they feel due to their own experiences.

On this day of love and pondering of when I will be 120% back in love with myself, it’s important to know that the struggles are real. We all have them. And I’m thankful to be reminded constantly by those around me near and far that I am loved. I matter. And so do you.

So, cheers to being the own goddamn loves of our lives.

Being our very own, every day Valentine.

Love, love, love from me to you. But mostly to me (see, there’s more of me back than I think).

Love ya, mean it.

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

 

 

 

 

Weekend Winks – Lights, Santa, Action!

The most wonderful time of the year…has been really fucking hard for me to get into the past few seasons. So in an attempt to kick-start my holiday merriment, I went to see the lights at Nashville’s Opryland Hotel on Friday. Every year, they decorate their botanical gardens with millions (or maybe thousands) of lights throughout the property.

Light show captured by @steve_zeinner.

This trip used to be tradition but I just haven’t been in the mood the last three years, so I forced the fucking spirit – even if it almost killed me. Which it did because if you take a look at the doors to your right in the photo, the platform I had to jump up to was well beyond my physical skill set. But goddamnit I got up there.

It only took 8.9 minutes for me to jump onto this platform.

The lights and music did help (along with a few martinis) rally me into the festive spirit.

While I was creating holiday mojo, my Iowa twins were gearing up to ride the Polar Express to see Santa.

Cuteness overload.

Not excited.

At all.

When they finally got to the man in red, Princess B tried putting the moves on him by holding his hand (as I’ve said before I couldn’t have birthed her better myself).

Nothing but love.

While the twins were living it up on the pseudo North Pole, I was taking the newest addition of the mini manse to the vet. For…ultra attractive, not at all disgusting worm treatment.

I had one pissed off pussy on my hands but Fabio took his butt treatment like a champ – and then we also discovered he had ear mites. Poor dude. All is well now and none of the other members of my pussy gang have contracted either squirmy, wormy ailments, thankfully.

Last week when I had family in town, a cactus that was cut from my Grandpa’s (who passed over ten years ago) was delivered to me (thank you S.S.). However, being that I have no green thumbs (pink only for me of course), it’s already turning a bit brown. How do I save it? I’ve seriously had this thing for maybe 12 days and I’m already murdering it. Anyone?

Cactus SOS.

While the spirit of any holiday has been hard to jump into, life in general has been a fucking challenge of late. And, again with friends and supporters like you, it’s all but heart exploding when I get reminders like this from you guys. These reminders always come at the perfect time.

Reminder well received Allidme.

Not sure if you guys remember but I am a huge Iowa Hawkeye football fan. A little earlier this year our mediocre team beat the shit out of a nationally ranked number five team THE Ohio State University Buckeyes whom I loathe (although, this team is the reason Dada CBXB and I started the Touchdown Shot tradition) with a score of 55-24.

And we don’t hate it.

Even though Ohio State went to win the Big Ten Conference championship on Saturday night, they were snubbed hard when the top four selections of teams came out on Sunday, being eeked out by Alabama, thanks in part to the Iowa ass kicking.

You’re welcome Bama fans.

Sorry not sorry for the cockblock of THE Ohio State University.

While running errands to put some holiday touches in the mini manse, I couldn’t believe my alcoholic eyes when I saw Target actually sold corks for decor.

I have about 429 corks around my mini if anyone wants to buy them.

Princess B acquired a cold after all of the Santa excitement. Luckily for everyone involved at her castle, she had her own remedy plan put in place.

I uncorked a bottle of vino (which brings my total to 430) and hopped in the bubbles for a long winter’s bath (even though it’s 70 degrees in Nashville).

Turns out that was an ideal move by yours truly as I sat in over an hour of traffic on a route to work that usually takes me 15 minutes.

Good thing I found this gem shopping yesterday to help with my Monday woes.

Dreams do come true.

All in all, the weekend got me festive enough to slowly start embracing the Christmas cheer.

Ready to get this holidaze shit show started.

Cheers!

CBXB

Rapegate Therapy Fun

One of the perks of Rapegate is I’ve gained a superhero named Sheila that I see every Thursday. As a matter of fact, Thursdays are now just referred to as Sheila Day in my world. She’s been my therapist since the saga of this soap opera turned shit show of my life began January 29, 2016.

The non-perks of Rapegate have been the PTSD, severe stress, adjustment disorder, insomnia and borderline clinical depression. BUT this gal is keeping me in check weekly and slowly putting my broken ass back together.

Sheila Day begins with carefully crafted armor, to assess the correct attitude.

Yes, the sunglasses help.

Yes, I need hand lotion suggestions.

Watches from Gma and Aunt Crazy Pants keep me company every Sheila Day.

And I love that my friends take notice, in keeping up with my struggles.

Thanks DC. I heart you.

 

I always leave Sheila a little more than shredded emotionally, mentally and sometimes even physically (examples: throwing up in my car after a particularly brutal session, stomach aches that cause me to shit my pants and in the rare case, full on panic attacks). PTSD is a real fucking humdinger. Thank you Rapist.

Some times I need complete alone time to cry in my closet after Sheila Day. Other times, I need companionship that First Mate was happy to supply last night.

After therapy therapy.

One thing that always happens after therapy is the inability to get an appropriate night’s beauty sleep.

Well hello 3am.

Naturally, I wake up more beautiful and less aged than the night before.

Just kidding.

Due to the lack of seeing the inside of my eyelids for more than two hours requires copious amounts of coffee that I loathe all hours of the day. Then, my emotional hangover for the weekend kicks in.

Sometimes coffee turns into…

But it’s nothing the pink stuff can’t cure.

Shots straight from the bottle.

So, as my leg is bouncing to the ceiling here in Nashville today, you can bet your ass I’ll be doing a little relaxing later on.

Coping mechanisms.

Here’s hoping your FriYAYs are more fun than mine. Throw back an extra Skinny Pirate for me, pretty please.

Cheers!

CBXB

ENOUGH

Did NO ONE pay attention to the lessons of body basics in kindergarten? Keep your fucking hands to yourself. PERIOD.

Sexual harassment in the workplace isn’t new. Yet every time I hear another famous name added to the growing list of sexual harassers, it triggers me in a way due to my residual PTSD from Rapegate…and my own experiences with sexual advances in the workplace.

Sexual harassment has been around as long as …well, FOREVER. There isn’t one industry that a woman doesn’t deal with this issue from men in power (and not in power). But, this morning, I had to sit down with a heavy pit in my stomach after the announcement that Matt Lauer was fired from the “Today” show effective immediately. Why? Due to “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

While the specifics haven’t been disclosed, the incident reported to the network’s HR department included enough evidence to fire an anchor that had no prior complaints and 20 year tenure with NBC news. I have watched the “Today” show as long as I can remember, welcoming Matt and co-hosts into my home, strangely feeling like we were somehow friends. Savannah Guthrie summed up her shock and confusion extremely eloquently.

Obvious shock.

“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly and I don’t know the answer to that,” she said. “But I do know that this reckoning, that so many organizations have been going through, is important, it’s long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected. We are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt — he is my dear, dear friend and my partner, and he has been loved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”

It’s just that – brave women and men coming forward – telling their awful experiences endured while working in environments where it can feel impossible to share incidents of abuse or harassment. I can’t applaud the decision to severe Lauer’s employment immediately enough.

Although I loved you Matt, boy BYE.

Of course, our always professional President of the United States, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 12 women had his two cents to contribute via Twitter:

“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!”

You’re such a fucking ass clown Donald Trump.

New to the NBC network, Megyn Kelly had this to say, “I see anguish on my colleagues’ faces. But when this happens, what we don’t see is the pain on the faces of those who’ve found the courage to come forward. And that is a terrifying thing to do.”

Preach Megyn.

In light of yet another revelation of a man abusing his power, I’m sharing my own story of sexual harassment in the workplace again. Because I will beat this shit like a dead horse because it’s fucking ridiculous.

As chick in the career world, I’ve been told not to wear makeup and dress down working at a construction company home office because I was too “pretty” and the construction workers wouldn’t be able to control themselves from ogling when they came into the office. I abided by the request only to be let go about six months later for not looking “professional” enough. Is that harassment? Maybe just discrimination – but still. I said nothing. I felt disrespected, of course, and I lost my job because of my looks?

I’ve heard men at more than one company bitch about having to provide maternity leave (for women who are carrying YOUR FUCKING SPAWN and need to recover) when I’ve written handbooks with maternity – and paternity – leave included.

Most recently, I encountered sexual harassment at a job where I thought I would stay until retirement. It was in the music business and I started as an office manager. While the company worked with big and small artists alike, the core of its personnel was about 10 full-time employees (two of which were female, including myself, and were also the lowest two paid peeps there…even though we both had manager in our title).

As my comrade Slappy would say….

Going into any business environment eyes wide open, I worked with a vast array of people, which is why I loved the company so much. It was the most non-politically correct place – corporately speaking – and I was a contributor in every way. Lunch banter included topics of a dude asking me about Jesus when I was wearing only a leopard bra, an instance when I was sent a dick pic and I was once told I would be “punched in the tits” from an executive if I pinched him for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day. None of it bothered me because I dished it right back. It wasn’t unnatural to ask a fellow employee how their weekend was with the response, “I got laid,” to which I started responding, “me too.” Swapping dirty jokes, tales of road mayhem and being able to freely be ourselves didn’t create a hostile work environment because we all respected each other.

Typical office equipment.

If anyone fucked with me (say the dick pic sender), I knew I had an army of fellow friends/brothers who had my back no matter what. Once, a new sales person let it be known that he was going to “fuck” me (oh and he was married with a wife and kids). He was immediately terminated when upper management found out after another employee overheard me telling someone. I felt valued no matter what my sex. We were all working our asses off together and I absolutely loved the atmosphere.

Decor often left on my desk.

As the company grew, we opened a new division and naturally, more folks were hired. One of them, the COO of the division and I became friends. Hell, we were all friends – with more of a small business family feel, even as we became a larger company. This COO, who I will fondly refer to as Piss Ant from here on out, was the person who fired the dude who wanted to “fuck” me. Piss Ant gave me airline miles to go home to Iowa and see my ailing Gma one summer. Piss Ant ranted and raved and sat in my office for hours on end and asked my opinions on everything from work to personal matters. Piss Ant was my friend.

Thanks for the miles and memories.

Piss Ant also loved power. And as he was granted more of it through his ability to land deals and bring in the big bucks to the company.  His tiny head grew bigger. And bigger. And bigger. AND BIGGER.

One day, he’d gotten back from a rather rough week on the road. He came to my office and said he needed a drink.

So we got him one.

The actual day.

He proceeded to get shit faced during the afternoon and unload dirty laundry from years past, present and what was to be his future. I listened. I gave advice. I also grew increasingly aware that this situation was about to take a wrong turn.

Uh….u-turn! U-TURN!

While sipping on moonshine at three in the afternoon (almost every office had some sort of alcohol in it – and it was nothing for folks to have a drink around quitting time), his stories got more personal. More sordid. More wistful. Wistful as in telling me I had a nice ass. As in telling me he married the wrong woman…he should have married me (his wife was at home pregnant). As in telling me I would never get married because I was too good for anyone. And, as you are all well aware, I’m no shrinking violet.

Fuck the shrink.

I immediately shut the shit down. I told him to stop fucking talking. That he would regret this later that night and especially the next day. I was being ‘cool’ – level headed, and as I went to get him some water, he followed me out of the office and pulled me into one of our dark rooms where designers could come and rehearse. It was pitch black and he slammed the door shut. He kept saying he wanted to kiss me. I kept telling him to back the fuck off and that he was going to have regret.

Once I manhandled him out of my way, I opened the door and went into the bathroom. When I came out, the note below was on my desk, folded neatly. As he sat in a chair in my office and giggled drunkenly, I responded the most flippant way that I knew how and told him he needed to go home.

Oh, you want to kiss me? In your fucking dreams.

And he did. And he called to apologize. And I told him that we all make mistakes. But I kept the note. Because I knew what happened wasn’t in the slightest bit OK.

Our working relationship recovered because I think as a woman, (and anyone else who has put up with this shit before) I HAD to move past the situation professionally. But personally, I was enraged. And confused. And conflicted. Piss Ant was my superior. Piss Ant was my friend, right? (Obviously wrong). What was I to do? Who was I to tell? What would be believed? Piss Ant was the company cash cow. What would this do to my career? Would this give me a tattletale reputation in the still small music industry Nashville?

WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?

This is what goes through minds when sexually harassed, assaulted, abused.

I stayed silent.

Piss Ant was promoted to CEO. I was promoted to the executive team and I had no problem going toe-to-toe with him and his dictator style of micro-managing. He once called me to ask what my employees were doing. When I rebuffed with a ‘what are your employees doing’ it turned into a two-hour conversation about how he can run his division and I can run my department. He didn’t like that – but was always quick to apologize when he overstepped boundaries or knew conversations got heated for no reason due to himself.

He didn’t just bully me. He abused his power, he fucked with people for his own ego purposes and no one in the company was upset that he traveled 90% of the time. After I was promoted to his level as an executive, the work environment got extremely hostile and toxic for me. It felt like a personal witch hunt. Here was a man who used to show people a video I made while in an ‘80s cover band that showed a helluva lot of skin (you can’t see anything – trust me, my dad made sure of it) – to acting repulsed when he saw a photo of me modeling for a fellow employee’s jewelry line (who later became my direct report).

Said employee’s jewelry site was linked briefly (like 30 minutes) to our company Facebook when she was featured as the weekly team member. When Piss Ant clicked the link and found the above picture (that had been posted 10 months prior), he called and I immediately removed the link. You cannot tell it is me. My name is not mentioned. The company name is not mentioned but I completely understood why it needed to be unlinked. Problem solved, right?

Not so much. Three weeks later, I’m sitting in an office with Piss Ant, the president of the company, and an ultra conservative business consultant who knew (knows) nothing about the music industry and this photo is again brought to my attention. Piss Ant said an employee’s wife complained. When he told me who, I went to discuss the situation with him and he had no clue what I was fucking talking about. It was Piss Ant who had the “issue”.

One week later, the employee I had ‘modeled’ for – a member of my team – was terminated without my knowledge because they were ‘eliminating’ the position. A fucking social media position. Uh huh.

One month later, my position (which consisted of human resources, all administration, marketing, branding, production of new website, public relations, merchandising, company culture, company events, outside events, all things internal and external communication wise) was ‘eliminated’ and I was told by Piss Ant that I could now report to a new hire with 30 years of experience. The hired person was 29 years of age (who no longer is with the company – surprise – and has posted on their consulting website that they created everything I did at my tenure with the company. Classy fucking people, I tell ya). If I didn’t accept the new position offered to me (the social media position they eliminated just a month before), it would be considered a resignation on my behalf.

I was told that after almost four years with the company (who still had a former executive on a six month severance, which included healthcare and phone coverage) that they owed me nothing. As the conversation among us four executives got heated, we decided to take the night.

Well, you can imagine how that sat with me.

I was totally fine with it.

I came in the next day, knowing what was going to happen. I wasn’t going to be put into a corner, lay down and take it up the proverbial ass. When I brought the situation of sexual harassment with the note to a fellow executive, I was told to keep quiet, or I would receive no severance. The president had taken pictures of a box of wine I kept by my trashcan under my desk – again no secret that drinking took place at the office, as every single manager had either a mini fridge or a full bar in plain sight. I was told their lawyer was powerful, to take my severance, and they would send an email out to the company saying they eliminated my position and we would part ways (the email sent said I left of my own accord – again FUCK OFF).

Did you guys know I like to drink? Fucking secret’s out.

After I signed termination paperwork, tears were shed by Piss Ant as he walked me out the office front door and he said he didn’t agree with the way things went down. He didn’t agree with my leaving. He didn’t agree with the hire that was made in my place (FUCK OFF. He went to lunch with the replacement, gave the replacement the budget I had created, handed my department over, etfuckingcetera). He said he wanted to help me find another job. He said he would call. AS HE BAWLED.

I have yet to hear from him.

I can only hope that no one ever treats his daughter the way he treated me. The way he treats women. The way he treats other humans in general. But I sure as shit hope karma gets him.

Karma’s coming for you Piss Ant.

Sexual harassment isn’t new. Hostile work environments aren’t new. Men (and even women) abusing their status of power isn’t new. It’s also not going away anytime soon. But for me, this is about standing the fuck up for yourself. This is about standing up for those who can’t – or don’t – or feel unable (as I did). This is about awareness. This is about placing responsibility where it belongs. On the harassers. The predators. The abusers of power.

It’s not me. It’s YOU.

My takeaway from my horrible work experience(s), the career ruiner (what if I told? what would it do to my career in the music industry? would I be judged?), my anger (I still carry) is this –  it elevated me and gave me the gusto to tell when I was raped a month later.

I will never be silent. Ever again.

I will shout forever.

For you.

For me.

For them.

ME FUCKING TOO.

CBXB

Weekend Winks – Gizzards, Griswolds and Gaming

Over the river and through the woods to the mini manse they came…

So, I haven’t ever cooked a turkey (or mowed a lawn, washed dishes without rubber gloves, changed a dirty diaper… because you know, my nails are jewels, not tools) but my friend Rasta decided to bake a bird for the Thanksgiving holiday, as she wasn’t traveling back to New York. I had family from Iowa coming into Nashville, she was kind enough to invite us over and it was a Griswolds meets the Iowa Hillbillies meets City Chic. In other words, the best kind of holiday mash-up.

I’ll let you guess which is which.

I went to help prep the evening before and basically sat on my ample derriere washing the evening away with wine, BUT I did help with snapping green beans, K?

Being a sous chef is hard work.

Upon my return to the mini manse, I called Mama CBXB no less than 31 times in 25 minutes because I was attempting my first casserole with a whopping six ingredients.

What’s a ¼ lb. of cheese?

Do you drain the corn or leave the juice in it?

What’s a ¼ lb. of butter look like?

And voila!

Corn and noodle casserole was a hit.

OK, I may have eaten half of it but still, a success.

Rasta baked her tail off, as I supplied a cases of much-needed vino.

My contributions.

Rasta stirring up a storm in her kitchen.

Upon completion of the bird baking, no one in the place had ever before carved a turkey.

How many peeps does it take to carve a turkey?

The bird got divvied, the casserole was a hit and Precious the chug may have had the tryptophan kick in earlier than the rest of us.

Tired turkey.

Friday, after shaking off our turkey comas, we headed down to Bailey’s Irish Pub to join another 125 Hawkeye fans to cheer on our fave team for the last game of the year.

Hey-oh! Hawkeye time!

The outcome of the game looked rather bleak at halftime with the score being tied at 14-14 (and as the Hawks basically rolled over and died their last two games, it was anyone’s guess as to who would win). But, in the third and fourth quarters, Iowa scored an unanswered 42 points, leaving us with a winning 56-14 score.

Somewhere between shots one and four…

… and somewhere between shots five and eight.

Of course each and every time the Hawks scored, I had to Facetime Dada CBXB who was up in Iowa visiting the twins.

I can’t hear you but drink!

What do you do after a victorious beat down? Celebrate, naturally. We headed to Robert’s Western World for some of the best old school honky tonkin’ around.

Showing G’Lee a fun old-fashioned country time.

Enjoying the holiday leftovers in Iowa, my BIL was showing off his doughing skills, making turkey and gravy pizza.

Dough master.

No one was upset about the use of leftovers.

Of course, the second the clock struck 12:01 am the day after Thanksgiving, the twins were ready for Christmas. And the decorating commenced.

Tree trimming.

Old school advent calendar.

While the mini manse residents are still recuperating from the shenanigans – surely, it’s just a turkey hangover.

Snuggle train still ongoing.

A day of Hallmark holiday movies and moving from one side of the couch to the other worked wonders for us.

Working our wind down with wine. Duh.

Here’s hoping your well on your way out of a gravy coma.

CBXB