Another Year, Another Dead Kennedy
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Well . . .  another year, another dead Kennedy.

If I ever catch myself anywhere close to a ten mile radius of one of these cursed folks, I am running for the hills. Well, maybe not the hills. They seem to have a lot of trouble with those.

It's bad enough I reside in the same country. Every time I travel, I'm always like, "Hold up. Are there any Kennedy's on the slopes this week?"

Even craggy Maria Shriver makes me nervous. So far she seems to have escaped the Kennedy curse. Her only bad luck has been in marrying a bodybuilder/movie star/governor who's strangely attracted to ugly maids. But still. I'm not taking any chances.

And if I'm ever on a plane and a Kennedy boards, I am shrieking off that plane.

Their bad juju becomes your problem when you're trapped 30,000 feet in the air with them. Just ask Caroline Bessette Kennedy and her sister.

That poor sister. What did she ever do?

I mean, Caroline, I'm sure, was like, "Hey, Hey, y'all! I snagged America's handsome prince. Take that Daryl Hannah."

So I understand her being a little blinded to the fact that she was getting into a wee baby airplane. At night. A hazy night. With a husband who hadn't "technically" mastered night flying. A husband who was still on crutches, recovering from a broken ankle. A husband who didn't bother with a silly old flight plan. Or instruments.

I can understand her ignoring all those annoying details so they could get to the Kennedy compound, chop-chop, for one of their 456,000 cousins' wedding. Because, I can guarantee a Kennedy wedding is one rip-roaring good time.

They're Irish Catholic. Rip-roaring times are in their blood. I know of what I speak.

But even with all those glaring warning signs, the fact alone that your husband is a Kennedy should make any logical person put the kibosh on getting into a single engine airplane with him. No matter how hot he is.

And forget about one of those big-jawed Kennedy's driving past in a convertible. I wouldn't be waving. I'd be on the ground, hands over my head, screaming, "CHECK THE DEPOSITORY!"

Which by the way? I have never used the word, depository, in my life. And I used to be a banker.

It seems like a very formal word.

Sort of like vehicle. My sister's boyfriend is in law enforcement and he is the only person I know who refers to a car as a vehicle. It's kind of rubbing off on me.

So now I'm all, "I'll be in my vehicle cleaning out my purse for the next 5 minutes. If you kids are not in my vehicle by the time I crumple up the 78 old grocery receipts in the bottom of said purse, your asses will be washing said vehicle for the rest of your lifetime."


Since we're on the subject of American royalty, I was in Utah a few weeks ago. Salt Lake City, to be exact.

And I did not spot a single Osmond anywhere.

I figured I'd at least see Jimmy at The Cheesecake Factory in Salt Lake City's brand new fancy mall, the one with the retractable roof, but no.

They were probably all too busy flossing their teeth.

I did get to see someone much more amazing than any old Osmond, though.

The lovely Noelle of Because Nice Matters was kind enough to trek it on over to Salt Lake City from her town to have lunch. This meant a lot to me because Noelle has had one roller coaster of a year. Her sweet nine-month old daughter Emily was born with some serious health issues, namely a heart defect, digestive problems and a chromosomal deletion. 

She's also had far too many major surgeries already in her little baby life. But even with all of that, Emily has been kicking all her problems to the curb and keeping up on her baby milestones. Look at that sweet girl sit up.

Go, Emily, Go! And thank you Noelle for meeting me. I'm sorry Emily couldn't come with you, but I understand. Besides, mommies deserve their own time. 

We were in the beautiful city of Salt Lake City because my Tori Girl placed at the state finals of her high school DECA competition. (DECA is an organization for all the mini-Donald Trumps of the nation, those kids who have big plans to rule the world. And I have no doubt my Tori Girl will rule her own large corner of the world some day.) So, Tori was off to Nationals, to make her mark in Utah. 

The parents of all the state qualifiers from our high school were required to go because we don't have a DECA sponsor. You see, our sponsor got arrested.

That's right, arrested. 

For stalking an old girlfriend. 

She had a restraining order against him and was so afraid for her life, she was in hiding. He was pulled over in the middle of the night and the po-po found printouts and maps to all of her family's addresses spread out over the front seat of his car, er, vehicle. The po-po also discovered a cache of weapons in the teacher's Datsun. 

I do so appreciate the teachers union.  

*Cough. Cough*

He's now in jail, probably teaching DECA to his fellow violent offenders. 

Now, THAT would be one competition I'd like to see. Prisoner DECA. Gary Busey on the Apprentice couldn't hold a candle to tatted up criminals trying to outdo each other in a marketing prompt. I'm sure shanks would come into play which would make one fabulous finale.    

We had a great time in beautiful Utah. Tori didn't win, but:

**She traded all her Florida pins for the states with light-up pins. 

**She also traded her Florida hat for the most coveted hat of the convention, the Texas Cowboy hat. 

**She attended every DECA dance party. 

**We ate at the Red Iguana twice. Those mole sauces? Oh My Lawdy. 

**We went to a minor league baseball game, The Salt Lake City Bees, where Tori befriended some of the boys on the Bee team. We were sitting behind home plate amongst a sea of ballplayers who had the night off from playing and were recording stats and ball speeds with their cop-looking radar gun. Halfway through the game, this was my Tori. 

I don't know who she might get it from. Hmmmm. 

**Our hotel kept platters of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby. 

**And every morning, room service would wheel their little cart into our room with the chef's special triple stack of blueberry and strawberry pancakes with guava butter and homemade whipped cream. And we would eat every bite. 

So, I'd call that a great success. 

While the hubs and I were whiling away the hours waiting for Tori to finish testing, we stumbled upon a lovely cemetery. We have always loved old graveyards, so we decided to take a look around. We weren't there long when we spotted a herd of deer resting among the tombstones. 

Actually, it was more like a group of moms and baby deer. Maybe it was a play group. A graveyard deer play group. 

My hubs saw them first and said, "Look at the deer!"

I pulled out my phone and started snapping away from the confines of our car. 

My hubs was all, "You should get out and take a picture. Get a little closer."

And so I did. Treading carefully around graves, moving cautiously as the deer watched me with wary eyes. 

My hubs called from the car, "Get closer!" 

And because I never need much prompting to do anything remotely dumbass, I edged even closer. 

My hubs kept egging me on from the car. I noticed he had his own phone out and it looked like he was filming me as I crept slowly up to the deer, saying things like, "Hey Nice Deer. How's it going Nice Deer? Say hi to your mother for me, Nice Deer."

The deer never took their eyes from me while my hubs coerced me into going closer and closer and still, closer. 

Finally, one of them stood up and I thought: That is the biggest freaking deer I have ever seen. 

He didn't run away, just stood tall, staring me down with his big brown eyes as if to say, "Bring it on, Crazy."

My hubs was still yelling, "Closer! You can get closer!"

When the second one stood up not looking afraid, I thought it might be wise to go back to the car even though my husband was still yelling at me, this time saying, "Why don't you try to pet one of them?"

I climbed back in the car and said, "I didn't want to scare the deer away. They were starting to look a little nervous."

And that's when my hubs said, "They're not deer. They're elk."

And I was like, "Aren't elk dangerous?"

My hubs answered simply, "I'm pretty sure they are."

Yes, he did. 

It's why I have to watch my back every second of the day. Even in my sleep.

I googled elk and the first words I read were: Elk are dangerous—no matter where or when you see them. (I guess this means graveyards.) Stay at least three bus lengths away from elk at all time. (I was about a Smart Car's length away from them.) Cow elk are especially dangerous during calving season which is April through June. (This was the last week of April.)

You know he sells life insurance, right? 

I'm quite certain, elk mauling would never get questioned when it was payout time. 

I need a Ryan Gosling in my life. Ryan would have realized his mistake and rushed out of his Bugatti, swept me up, out of harm's way with one strong muscular arm, all the while offering me a flute of champagne with his other manly hand, to calm my nerves. 

I get Mr. "Let's see if I can get the elk to charge her, so I can make it into the finals of America's Funniest Videos."


In other news, I'm headed to the Lone Star State this weekend for my writer's convention. 

I'm super excited! Wish me luck, that I won't sit down during my one-on-one with an agent and go brain dead when they ask me that one important question: "What's your novel about?"

Because, with me, and my rapidly firing brain that is constantly going off into thousands of tangents, I could very likely become that little Miss Teen South Carolina who could only mangle her answer with a mish mosh of gobbledy gook and about 10,000 utterances of "such as." That poor girl.   

But it's a huge possibility I'm about to become Miss Teen South Carolina, y'all. 

Today's Definite Download: One of the biggest things I miss about blogging regularly, besides missing all you sweet, sweet friends, (By the way, I PROMISE TO GET BACK TO ALL OF YOU. SOON. VERY, VERY SOON.), is not getting to share all my fabulous music loves with you. Today, here's one of my new loves, Alabama Shakes. These kids are all about, bluesy, gritty old-fashioned rock and roll with a gravely voiced singer who just makes me dance all over my house. 

"Hold On" by Alabama Shakes. Check it out, right here.

I'll be holding on, to my crossed fingers, praying I don't do a Miss South Carolina on my agent pitch. 

I'll let you know. Such as, how it goes. 


Christine Macdonald said...

Quite the adventure! Lovely photos, as always.

Excited to hear all about your conference...


twelvedaysold said...

Gosh, I miss you. I planned on emailing you to tell you that, but now I can leave a comment saying it. Crisis adverted! Or something.

I've never actually watched that "the Iraq" clip, but I saw the season of Amazing Race she was on and everyone gave her crap. That clip was probably one of the most embarrassing things I've ever seen, thank you for sharing. I'm going to post this and watch it again.

Also, your husband sells life insurance. That was hilarious.

Mom vs. the boys said...

wow just look at all those elk, incredible! and shame on your husband and me too for laughing my butt off at the story! lol
no apologies for laughing at the video though, that was hysterical!

mdgtjulie said...

I would not have recognized them as elk either. I probably would have tried to pet them, lol. I'm sure they wouldn't have let me either!!!! I did notice they didn't quite look like deer, but I wouldn't have come up with elk. Glad you backed off when you did! And thanks for showing off the baby pics. They're adorable. She's just the sweetest little thing. Good luck with the meeting, Joanne. I hope the publisher likes your idea!!

Pat said...

You are one funny woman! What the heck was your husband thinking? That explains it...he WASN'T thinking!

Good luck at the conference!

karen said...

Well its clear you can't turn your back on your husband. Not for a second. As for the Osmonds: Donny and Marie are probably in Vegas at the MGM Grand. The rest were probably in Branson, being a little more washed up than Donny and Marie. My youngest son used to be a waiter at the Macaroni Grille in Provo. He once spilled a Diet Coke on Marie. Good times.
Good luck at your convention, and pray that South Africa and Iraq, such as, can edumacate their young and, for heaven's sake, get some maps!

Rebecca Grace said...

OMG -- I did student teaching at a red neck high school in South Carolina, and Miss South Carolina would have been an honors student compared to the dumbass kids in my classes.

Glad your husband failed in his attempt to feed you to a herd of elk, but at least he gives you plenty of material if you ever want to do stand up comedy.

Fingers are crossed for you and your book about, um, how America should help South Africa in exchange for some maps.

Cap'n Salty said...

OMG, your hotel had cookies on tap and you didn't send me any!? Where's the love?!

hehe, great pics, glad you had a good time, so so jealous you got to meet Noelle! ...good luck in Texas

Gigi said...

I love your posts. And keep an eye on that husband of yours. That is all.

Unknown said...

It was so nice to see a post from you today. It's been a while. Tori is gorgeous! Stay away from the elk, girl!

W.C.Camp said...

Gee, will you come scare my herds away - don't worry we just have deer but they are just as irritating but they won't TRAMPLE you if you scare them. Mention that to your hubs next time! W.C.C.

Kimberly said...

Welcome to my Canadian barn.
Deer can be jerks.
Like one ran in front of my sisters car and totaled it. Such a jerk that deer.
I'm so glad that your back weaving in the random into a hilarious post.
That babe is so adorable and I want to squish her.
I stalk you does that mean I'll get arrested?

Julie said...

I love you HARD for posting that clip of Miss South Carolina.

I've been having one of those days where I doubt my ability to do anything besides breathe.

And this just reminded me that I'm at least ahead of some people.

Thank goodness I have a map.

Good luck at your convention, lady. You will Knock. Their. Socks. Off.

(Even if they don't wear socks.)

granny1947 said...

Love your always make me laugh.
I would definitely watch my back!
Cute kid.
Beautiful daughter.

Dawn in D.C. said...

Oh, your husband is quite the comedian, isn't he?? Hardy-har-har! Why do boys do us that way? Mine let me sniff a dried up slug once, because he knew I thought it was a flower pod. Jerk.

Good luck in Texas!! And be is hot in Texas. Yes, already.

My Inner Chick said...

I've missed you!

Great Photos.

Those deer are magic.

& That video makes me cringe w/ embarrassment.


JoAnna said...

I love the word vehicle, especially if you say it all southern-like and say vee-hi-cal. Love that.

Those elk have the biggest ears I've ever seen! I kept thinking they didn't look as smooth as the deer I've seen. I can't believe you were standin among them. In.A.Cemetery!!!

Noelle said...

My goodness that baby is cute! How did the conference go?????

Tracie Nall said...

I want to go on vacation with you. You always have the best time....even if your husband did try to murder you with an elk.

Um. Scary DECA teacher. Ouch.

Judie said...

OH MY GOD! You took photos of elk in a graveyard?? That was sooooo dangerous!! Those were not really elk, you ninny! They were shape shifters! They were the spirits of all the really evil people who were buried there! How can you NOT know about this???? You could have been killed, and dragged down to the netherworld!!

Well, all that's a lie that I just made up, but elk are especially dangerous during mating season, and from your photos, there are a LOT of women elk there. You know how women get when you try to get close to their man. You were really lucky. Maybe it's your hair.

Alexandra said...

Oh, garsh.

Poor South Carolina.

I would just spend the rest of my life under my bed.


Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Joann, you weave a good tale. Plus live dangerously. I'm surprised your elk photos haven't gone viral!

Nicki said...

Oye! You write about so much that by the time I get to the comment section, I forget all my replies! But keep it up cuz I love it and I can get a notepad out! Soooo...

Vehicle. I never said vehicle and used to laugh at anyone nerdy enough to say it...until I joined the fire department. Now, even bicycles are vehicles (just not motor vehicles)!

Deer play group! You are so damn funny. I sat here thinking, "first of all, I have never seen 10 deer in a herd. Second of all, they are not leaving this damn graveyard even with people getting closer. I think they are zombie deer!" But thankfully, they are not zombie deer. Instead, they are horny elk who were soooo hoping you would join the orgy!!! So glad you got you and your pooper out on time!

And that baby! How cute is that baby? Those curly little toes...I could just dip them in chocolate and eat them!

Baby Sister said...

I would have gone for the Texas hat too. There are deer everywhere in Utah. And it takes a lot to scare them off. They just don't care.

Unknown said...

Who needs the Kennedys? Look at the life you lead!!!!

On another note, that baby girl is full of adorableness. Truly.

Anonymous said...


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