I Must Explain My Jacked Up Life
Monday, January 31, 2011
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If you've been reading my nonsense for any amount of time, you know there is one blog that means more to me than all of my other beloved blogs.

And I have a lot of beloved blogs.

This is a place I go visit every single day without fail. Even if I've banned the internet for the day so I can get some writing done or even rarer, work on the consistently burgeoning piles of laundry around these parts, I always go check in over there at least a couple of times a day. 

And no, it's not U2's fan site.

Although, Bono does come in a close second. 

For the record, Bono is first in my heart, but second in my web site love.

And just so you know, I have total access to everything over at U2.com since I'm a paying member of their fan club. I have been for years.

And yes, I'm proud to be in a fan club. And no, I'm not 13. 

Anyway, the blog I'm speaking of is called Bye Bye Pie. 

I started reading June Gardens of Bye Bye Pie a few years back when June was nominated for best humor blog at the big time Luxe Awards. She didn't win that year. I think stupid Cake Wrecks won. And don't be all up in my comments saying, "HEY,  I LOVE Cake Wrecks!" 

Goody good for you. But as for me, I'm not feelin' the love. 

It's kind of like Avatar. I don't get blue people or cakes. 

How many wrecked cakes can one look at, before you go, "Okay, that was funny. But after the first 400, I'm kind of losing my luster for wrecked cakes."

I started reading June because she was hilarious, but there's an extra something at June's that you don't get at any other blogs. 

And that, sir, is the audience, June's readers. June will write a post and the conversation begins. And where we end up is usually, never even close to the original topic of June's blog that day. 

The commenters over at June's are a cast of characters themselves and over time, we've become this rowdy, eclectic (yes, we are eclectics), group of friends. 

Because the ones of us who converse throughout the day, we're a band of nutjobs. 

Really fun, witty nutjobs, but nutjobs all the same. 

Anyone is welcome to join us. Over at June's, we love and embrace animals, hypochondria, celebrities, books, coffee, good deeds, Barry Gibb, incredibly inappropriate jokes and spying on neighbors.  

Occasionally, June asks us to participate in her blog, like in her Pieces of Wisdom Wednesday where she asks us a question on Tuesday and then posts our advice on Weds. 

I know, right? You're asking yourself, what the hell have I been doing with my Wednesdays up till now? I'll tell you what you've been doing. Wasting them, that's what, if you're not over with us at The Pie. 

This Sunday, June asked us to take a photo of something we did during the day and send it in to her. 

And you know me. 

There will be no pictures of me making breakfast, because me and making anything would be hilarious in itself or playing Frisbee Golf with the fam, or any other normal activity that occupies a Sunday. 

Because first of all, I am not normal. 

Nor is my family. 

In short, my family is a group of ridiculously obsessed Disney fanatics. 

I hate that about them. 

Every weekend, if there's nothing going on, someone inevitably pipes up with the dreaded, "Why don't we go to Disneyyyyy?" And they all jump up and down, cackling and applauding and acting like Disney is a place to cherish instead of a Hellish black hole infested with germs, massive child meltdowns, wait times in which you can see yourself physically age and spandex loving foreigners who don't understand the concept of personal body space. 

I am not a Disney fan. I'd even go so far as to call myself a Disney hater. 

But even with all of my Disney hate, my family forces me to go all the dang time, with their whines of, "But it wouldn't be the same without youuuu." 

And actually, it wouldn't be the same. 

It would be better. 

Because I make the rules around this place. And the laws are, I will not wait in a line over 20 minutes, which pretty much rules out every Disney ride. I let my family of freaks stand in line for hours, while I go find myself some pretzels and cheese sauce and commence to people watching, which is the very best part of Disney. 

I will not go on any ride where there's even an infinitesimal chance I'll get wet. I also refuse to walk around in the heat getting sweaty. I will not stand in line next to someone who is so close to me, I can feel their body hair against my skin. I make my hubby switch places when the leg hair is rubbing against my calf. I will not do any shows or rides that are all scientifical. I went beyond my tolerated limit of science stuff while in school. I'm a grownup now, so no one can force me into situations with science . . .  or math for that matter. 

And my number one Disney rule is, I will in never go to the Magic Kingdom, a place that is so very, very un-magical. 

So, in other words, I'm a hell of a lot of fun. 

Yesterday, when my family suggested Disney, specifically Hollywood Studios, I thought, well at least I can get a good Bye Bye Pie picture. 

My other option was to put on a ball gown and feed my stupid ducks. 

So off we went to Hollywood Studios. The freaks all bouncing with excitement—me, just wanting a photo op. 

As soon as we got there, I started fretting about photo opportunities, while they headed over to the bakery for caramel apples and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. 

I will begrudgingly admit, the food at Disney World is one of the reasons I keep going back. It's also one of the reasons I refuse to go to Magic Kingdom because if Flying Dumbos and Toon Town weren't hellish enough, the food over there is limited to chicken nuggets, hamburgers, hot dogs and cardboard fries. 

Animal Kingdom has jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels. That's all I have to say about that. 

After we finished up our grub, we were standing in one of the busy thoroughfares deciding where we should go for the best photo opportunity when this fabulous woman with an amazing plume of a hat came out of nowhere, put down a wooden crate right beside me and stood on that crate.
Now, here's the thing about me.

I'm a magnet for anyone looking for a show volunteer.

I do not raise my hand to be in these shows. I do not wave my arms, frantically shouting, "Pick ME! Pick ME!" I do not show the slightest interest whatsoever. In fact, most of the time I try to hide. But inevitably I am found and dragged up on stage to do humiliating things.

Perfect example, my recent dance off in Mexico.   Which by the way? I have to tell you all, that Mexican post is my very favorite title of all times—"Don't Cry For Me Mexico. The Truth Is I've Never Been A Very Good Dancer." I just crack myself the freak up over that one.

Anyway, I've been brought up stage at a dinner show to do The Chicken Dance, with a very hot German dude in leather lederhosen, I might add. I've been magicians' assistants. I've been called up onstage by comics. I've helped in feeding the alligators whole roaster chickens at the zoo. I am consistently picked to light the candles or bring up the offering at my church, which if these Godly people had any clue of the amount of cussing that went on in my car as we sped to church, late again, they would NOT be picking me. I've been pulled up on stage by an Elvis impersonator who sang to me. And to my everlasting horror, I have been plucked from the audience while chaperoning a school field trip to milk a cow.

Sadly, I have never been hand picked by Bono to dance with him during a U2 concert. I am still waiting for that glorious, glorious moment.

Anyway, so as I'm standing there scouting the area for a great photo op, the lady on the box announces she likes everything about me. She announces this to the entire street. She then asks me my name and to step forward and the next thing I know, I am once again, the involuntary prop in a show. And so I turned to my hubby and hissed, "This is it! Take the pictures!"

And so the tall lady on the box proceeded to tell the world that her assistant P.J. has never had a date before and she wanted P.J. to ask me out. With her Cyrano De Bergerac prompts, P.J. proceeded to make a grand spectacle as he went about asking me out on a date. Don't you love the way I am NOT posing for the camera?

P.J. was coerced into serenading me with his ukelele.

And then he had to ask me out, which he claimed he could only do from a safe distance away from me, in order not to lose his nerve. 

I wasn't sure what the protocol was when a ukelele playing dude in plaid shorts and knee socks asks you out while being coached by a lady in a plumed hat standing on a wooden crate, in front of everyone at Hollywood studios including your husband, so I was all, what the hell and I said yes.

And as the crowd cheered, the lady on the crate told him he had to seal the deal with a kiss to my hand.

This took some bravery on P.J.'s part and a running start.

There was a great deal of trepidation as the lady on the crate and the audience cheered him on.

He was mightily scared, even after I told him I didn't have cooties. 

It was tough for him. He tried.

And tried.

And tried

And finally after many attempts, he went in for the kill and landed a big, squishy wet one on my hand.

The audience loved it, my girls were only slightly mortified and I had my photo op in the bag.

After that, I didn't care what we did, as long as it didn't involve sweaty foreigners pressing against me.

We saw a couple of shows and then headed over to American Idol, one of my favorite stops.

Where the camera men kept coming over to my daughters and putting the camera right in their faces which my girls totally loved. They would then flash their images on the big screen. I tried to snap their images every time they popped up, but my stupid iphone was taking too long and I only managed to get this one blurry shot of them up on the big screen.

After our Idol fest and a quick picture with a Betty White bust

We walked by The Brown Derby which is as impossible to get into as it is to get up on stage during a U2 concert. It is, on the average, a three month wait. But because we're kind of dumb, we strolled in to check anyway and also to use their classy bathroom.

And as we walked up to the hostess stand, the hostess stood there menus in hand with three of them being kid's menus and said, "Kwan, party of five?"

And we were all, "Oh hell yeah, we're the Kwans!"

We really didn't say that because we do have a tiny bit of moral fiber. But my husband said, "We're not the Kwans, but we do have five people and no one in our party is young enough to crumble food on the floor or scream throughout the dinner. And you can put those kids' menus away because we all order adult entrees and several appetizers, and a nice bottle of wine, along with a very generous tip. So, what do you say?"

And the hostess sized us up and said, "One minute."

She went off and conferred with some suits in the corner, pointing at us and the next thing we knew we were being ushered to a big, round plush booth! And we were all JACKPOT!

We had a lovely meal with good wine for the grownups.

And light up drinks for the daughters.

And of course, we had to show off our classiness
Our dinner was a huge, classy success.

We then took this blurry picture while strolling after our dinner. Another rule of mine: If it's walkable, we will not take a form of sweaty transport. So, we walk a lot. And we walked over to Epcot.
Because in my Hubby's eyes, life is not life without adventures and fireworks. And he will never miss an opportunity to ooh and ahh over fireworks. 
We have oohed and aahed so many times at Epcot's firework show, my girls know the words to the song and are not afraid to sing them. 

Loudly and with great drama and hand motions.

I'm actually shocked to say this, but I had a good time yesterday. A fireworks kind of good time.

But the whole point of this ramble was to tell you, that June has posted photos of all of us today and since my photo is totally random, I knew you, Internet, would be all, "Why is Joann getting her hand kissed by a dude in knee socks while a tall lady on a box stands over them, watching? This is what she does with her Sundays?"

I figured I needed to explain my life. Something I'm used to doing.

Head on over to the Pie and join the conversation if you're looking for some fun.

By the way, I'm Original Joann over there because one my best writer friends, regular Joann, hangs out there, too.

Vacation Tales are coming this week. Look for them.

No download again today. I'm kind of messing around with my iTunes right now, but my opinionated music insistence will be back shortly. 


McKenzie said...

I will trade Sunday mornings with you! In fact, this Sunday would be a great time to switch. You could come sit at my house and flip through the tv or browse blogs, and I will honor your Disney tradition! =] What do you say?

twelvedaysold said...

There is too much to say about this post, so I'll just say:


Amanda said...

"Over at June's, we love and embrace animals, hypochondria, celebrities, books, coffee, good deeds, Barry Gibb, incredibly inappropriate jokes and spying on neighbors."

This sounds like my real life friends! Screw them, I'm heading over there to make some internet buddies! Except for the Barry Gibbs thing, I don't really get that.

Noelle said...

I love June's blog. I never comment, but I love her humor! Also, thank you for explaining your picture here...on June's blog I was confused. :)

Sounds like a splendid weekend...even if you were at Disney!

Sandy said...

First...you have beautiful daughters! Second, I am so not a Disney fan either. Mostly, standing in line with people invading my personal space just freaks me out and I will not do it either. Thanks for turning me onto a new blogger and glad you had a fun Sunday.

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

I might have to head over and check out the pie! *snort* And damn it all woman - do you HAVE to look gorgeous even at Disney?!

LisaPie said...

You tell such great stories. Nothing would make me happier than to meet up with you and your darling family at Disney World!

Unknown said...

Your daughters are lovely! Great photos!

Dawn in D.C. said...

I am not so much about the Disney, either. Although, I think I would like to go once more, now that I am without kids and go to the good places that you mentioned. The ones with the wine.

Looks like you had a great time!

Unknown said...

Wohooo a new blog to check out.. and I love the story behind the pic. I am ashamed to say I have NEVER been to any Disney world of any kind at any point in time. Nor have I ever had a desire to go, despite having a deep love for the Mickey Mouse club when I was a young girl.

Kate Geisen said...

I may need to stop reading your blog, because you keep pointing me to more good blogs and I only have so much time in my day, lady!! :)

This post is hilarious. Your family is adorable. I think the whole audience participation thing is like the way pets are...they seek out the people who least want them around. I'd be allll about being embarassed in public...and I'm never picked. "Luckily", I have two teenage boys who are happy to embarass me regularly for free.

The Zadge said...

As a newbie-Pie-er, thanks for the back story on Carin!!! Would love to find *her* blog!

Unknown said...

Seriously Joann, your picture was awesome. I wish I had time to lurk on June's blog, all day, everyday.

I think you have a way too exciting life though. What was that? That lady with the guy and she was standing on a box? Why?


also I can't believe you said I am one of your best writer friends. SWOON!

June Gardens said...

A) Thanks for coming to my blog every day. And please tell Amanda up there I would love to have her at my blog as long as she stops saying "Gibbs." It's GIBB, Amanda. I know this because it will some day be my last name.

Z) Why you didn't send me the photo of you and Betty White among the 87293284 photos you sent me yesterdya is beyond me. It is riDUNKulous and I must have it framed in my home.


Hulk (When I come to Orlando we won't make you guys go with us to Magic Kingdom...but please take me to Epcot. I've missed it BOTH TIMES!) said...

HEY! We don't ALL hate Rush...

Shabbygal said...

Wow, I really need to get off the prarie more often! I really do miss living amongst civilization and doing fun things! I used to live in Cali and we took the kids to Disneyland several times and I'm afraid to admit it but went there on my honey moon. Gasp, I know but I was a child bride from Iowa please don't hold that against me! Hugs, Traci

Pat said...

At least you are a cute volunteer! I absolutely HATE being chosen from the group!

You have a great looking family!

Funny in My Mind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wrecked cakes make me sad. But it sounds like June would not so I will check out her blog.
Also, who were those people supposed to be. At first, I thought she was a wicked stepsister but the ukelele and lack of warts threw me.

Shelley said...

I do heart me some Bye Bye Pie. I just haven't had time to read or post anything lately! But I did sneak my picture of Red Rocks in this morning.

How cute are you and your family at Disney? I can see how it would get old pretty fast if you lived there though. Look at Monsieur Gaston kissing your hand. Squee!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way as you about Disney. And my husband and kids want to go every time we visit my mother. Sigh.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

You must have been the best dressed person over there at Disney. Your daughters are adorable. You know, I have 3 boys...my oldest being told he looks like Johnny Depp...just saying.

So much fun over at the pie today. You seriously should have sent the Betty White picture. Though I would have never known it was her if you hadn't said so. Or it didn't have a marker. When did she become African American?

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Your friend June has a special bit of blog going on. I love what she did with everyone's photos and I laughed like hell over her reference to all of YOUR messages!!!!
Thanks for sharing her.
And it looks like you guys had an awesome time at Disney. Lucky you! I've never been!

Kristen said...

Can I be your sister? Because, I d love Disney.... on my over to June's.....

jayayceeblog said...

Your hubby is the man ... Rico Suave at The Brown Derby. I like the way he thinks. Sounds like a fun day. Looooove the pictures!!!

Nancy C said...

I hate Disney. My mother, on the other hand, went there with my dad for her 60th. She wore the button and everything.

I told her she can take the kids while the husband and I find a beach and umbrella drinks.

Although I do like those glow in the dark ice cubes.

SoMo Mom said...

OMG. Was that Lady Gaga? And 2 more words... Steven. Tyler.

duffylou said...

I have to admit, sheepishly, when I saw your picture yesterday at June's, I thought the she was a he in drag.

Oh well, it was fun non the less.

Cheeseboy said...

American Idol WAS my favorite stop at Disneyworld. It was so hard not to laugh at some of those people, but I felt so badly for them.

I will have to stop by this blog in which hypochondria is the norm. I could feel so normal there. Does she allow for men?

Shell said...

I have never been to her site. Must check it out.

My kids wish they could go to Disney all the time like that- though they LOVE Magic Kingdom.

I got totally distracted by thought of jalapeno cheese stuffed pretzels. never been to animal kingdom but I think I would for a pretzel.

Alexandra said...

I am not coming back to this blog again.
You live close to Disney. I love Disney.

You knew June Gardens before I did.

You are more loyal to her than I am.

Your husband looks way too uncrabby.

Your daughters are beautiful.

I've heard rumors of a famed 400 bottle wine cellar.

I'm done with ya..as Leonardo said to Cameron.

lies lies lies I'll be back next time you post.

Jealously yours.

Kelly said...

I hear ya on the Disney part. Living just a few miles away, I've gone so many times that it's no longer "magical." The exception is dining at Club 33. That's always magical because then it's all about being a "Have" and not a "Have Not." Because I'm a snob that way.

Judie said...

We never took our kids to Disney, but we did take them to Six Flags, and Joey threw up after every ride. We did take our granddaughters to Disneyland once when they were younger. After the first day Rod and I just looked at each other and almost cried, knowing that we were going back for more the next day. The girls enjoyed it, though, and that was the whole ideal. My feet have never been the same. Great post, Joann. You're soooo cute!!! loved the pics!

Kelly said...

Oh, and I so agree with you about Cake Wrecks.

Liz said...

So what was the highlight? The box lady/ukulele dork, Idol or the fireworks?

And did he ask you to sit on his lap?

You always have the coolest experiences, Joann!

Desperate Housemommy said...

Thank you, Joann. I can't tell you how many times I have spied a plumed-hat wearing lady perched atop a nearby wooden crate whilst being wooed by a gentleman with a ukelele.

And each and every time I have lamented, "Oh, the humanity! What to do? What to do?"

Now...I know.

Again, I thank you.

Off to Bye Bye Pie now.

Lori said...

You're girls are beautiful. Disneyworld looks way funner than Disneyland (even though I have to admit, I LIKE Disneyland) and great pics! I'll have to check out Bye Bye Pie. She sounds like a kick.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Holy crap this is my first time here and I am laughing so hard. First, we are headed to Disney on Sunday and to Hollywood Studios for the first time. Now I want to see that strange woman. Second, I too always get picked for everything and for some reason it makes me feel like I should have been famous. This annoys my hubs. Third, I will be coming back here often. FInally, I will be heading over to Bye Bye pie. That sounds awesome!

Sandra said...

Fabulously post! I love the pictures! I think you're so pretty! The only way this post could have been more perfect is if that had been Bono kissing your hand...then again, it probably woudln't have been an appropriate photo for the blog. Right?

Just A Normal Mom said...

Every time I stop by here to read, I am left speechless... in a good way! ROFL. Hilarious. And I'll check out Bye Bye, Pie, too. :-)

Deborah said...

Your family! Love them.

Is it weird that I have a crush on you?

Ash said...

You AND Nancy hate Disney?! Today is worse then when I was finally told that there's a little dude in the Mouse suit.

I may need therapy...

Baby Sister said...

I wonder who that woman was pretending to be....anyway, looks like you had fun, despite your sad hatred of Disney. ;)

Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey said...

Disney is so not the Happiest Place On Earth. That right there is a false advertising I felt for it 4 times already. I convinced myself that this times the kids are older and it will be better....it wasn't.

I guess the shame's on me cause they fooled me 4 times.

Love the pictures.

Sue B said...

Ya know.... I just have to say... Thanks!!! Thanks alot.... Now ya got me hooked on Bye Bye, Pie too.... I JUST got done reading a blog post about procrastinating... Ok... so... hmmmm, stressing because I should be doing stuff.... or laughing my a** off reading hysterical blogs.... Which is healthier.....


julie said...

You had me with the comment about refusing to be rubbed by other people's arm and leg hair - oh my. Can't stop laughing over that one.

Also, when I came home from running errands today, I THOUGHT my dogs had pulled out both our trash and recycle cans and spread large volumes of garbage all over our house.

I was very angry with them.

But now I know. It was Carin.

purplume said...

You are a handsome family. Amazing post. I'm checking out the pie blog now.

Unknown said...

I've been so caught up by life I don't know how I missed so many of your posts! (and everyone else's for that matter).

You looked very beautiful being courted by P.J.

We had a really good time at Euro Disney as well and the only way I could get hubs to take the family was to make it our anniversary date.

Mary M., RDH :) said...

You know why you always get picked for that stuff don't you? It's your "stupid hair"! :) Love ya!

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