Sunday, April 29

The 'Heart of the Matter'


It's no secret that as an English major, I love to read. And I read a lot. A ton in fact. My reading goes in cycles: I'll read like crazy for a few weeks, devouring all kinds of things. Then, I'll see my reading taper off and I'll struggle through one novel in a month. I blame it on college. Welllllll, college is over now. I'm out of excuses, time to make a commitment to reading my tail off. Summer's always been my favorite time for reading: between the pool, vacations and the warm air, being outside with a book is second nature to me. In fact, when I was about 15 I read 100 novels over the summer. Yes, I'm that nerdy. And yes, my Momma and I are that competitive. But I digress...

I started this “Summer of Reading” off with Emily Giffin's Heart of the Matter. Giffin, the brain behind Something Borrowed and Something Blue, two of my absolute favorite novels. When I came across Heart of the Matter I was thrilled. In fact Giffin even references the Something characters in Heart! From page 1 to page 288 I could not stop reading. I fell in love with the heart stoppingly fierce leading lady that sleeps with a married man. (It's not what you'd think....) But then when the married man finally makes his decision, I became disenfranchised. I hope I'm not giving too much away, but the ending left a lot to be desired, something I never thought I'd say after having read all of Giffin's previous novels. Each character is thoroughly developed, strong yet raw. Real. Exactly what you'd expect from Giffin. I had to force myself to continue on, push through the final eighty pages. I owed it to Giffin and myself to give it a fighting chance. I was disappointed. Check it out for yourself and tell me what you think? I'd love to talk about it with someone!

Wish me luck as I tackle another title on my seemingly never ending reading list: Beginner's Greek byJames Collins.

Thursday, April 19

Cover Letters and Resumes

Job searchin'...every day. Yeah, I wish I had the energy to come up with a better pun. Something witty. But frankly, I'm done. I'm dead inside on the subject. As a writer I know this introduction sucks, but hang in there. It gets much, much better.

Endlessly trying to make oneself sound awesome can be a challenge. Cover letters are a struggle. If you think they aren't you are either A: Lying to yourself and/or others or B: A freak of nature. I've written my fair share of standard, boring cover letters, just as I have spent hours pouring over my resume and writing samples. What for? The hope I get picked from the pile.

A few weeks ago, my dear friend Caitlin posted the fifty hidden talents she has that aren't on her resume, which I loved. We began to make a list of a few of mine, these being my favorites:

4. Straight boss when it comes to drinking tequila shots.

18. Frequently bakes, and loves to share aforementioned baked goods.

23. Crafts like none other. Known among friends and family as the one that sends “off” holiday cards—example from this year, St. Patrick's Day.

37. Will ALWAYS lose something after a night at the bar. Typical favorites include dignity and check cards.

Talents I'm sure my parents are glad I've acquired. As I'm sure they are just as glad their hard earned money went to financing the fine tuning of said skills. Just as I'm sure they would be proud of the cover letter I sent expressing my interest in a job at BroBible, an online magazine of sorts that contains “bro code, hot girls, funny stories and videos” among other things. Read and laugh, because for once writing a cover letter didn't suck. Now they just need to call me....

Subject: Assistant Editor from Sweet Home Alabama

Boys of BroBible,

Add some Southern Flair to your staff and hire me. Why? Because I'm a funny, mildly attractive girl that can hold her own amongst a bunch of Bros. Meaning, I'm a Southern sorority girl; I can drink Bud Light and watch football with the best of them. Don't challenge me in Thumper, King's Cup or Flip Cup, I have a delicate touch. Play me in Beer Pong and I'm a sloppy mess that gets better with time. I have editing experience both in print and online. I'm not located in NYC currently, as I graduate from the University of Alabama in four short weeks, but I'm ready for an adventure. I run an online college women's magazine for the University of Alabama, so I have experience on quick turn arounds on edits and also know how to write quickly and cleanly. (I would send you a link to some of my clips I've done for Her Campus Alabama, but every good girl knows, Bros don't really care about the Oscars.) I was featured in The Huffington Post in October about the Occupy Wall Street movement. The piece can be found here. Attached is my resume, look it over and judge me. If I pass muster you can contact me via email (jmjohnson4@crimson.ua.edu) or on my cell phone (770/861-5078). I look forward to possibly speaking with y'all.

Oh yeah, and I would hope to make an income that would put me above the poverty line....so how's $35,000 sound? Too high? I'm up to your suggestions and a discussion on that number. But let's just get to talking first.

Have a fabulous day and Roll Tide!
Jessica Johnson

Now y'all, say a prayer, as I am still waiting on the Bros to call me back.

Thursday, April 12

Fresh Start...

I feel like I am constantly making promises to myself...I will be faithful about writing in my journal. I will be faithful about blogging. I will be faithful about crafting/cooking/baking. I will be faithful about writing letters to my Nanny. Yet, somehow, life "gets in the way". I'm a little under 4 weeks away from a second undergrad degree. It's almost really time to be a big girl. (Which TERRIFIES me.) This year I've made some big personal changes. I've tried to use this online journal as a tool to express myself, but as a writer, I just don't think I'm there yet. Too much crazy nonsense as gone on. This year has taught me how lucky I am to have the family and friends as a support system that I do. Say a prayer for a few of us, as we anxiously await job offers and big girl lives!! I did however make a promise to myself and one of the members of my writing staff: I will get healthy. Since she is doing a weekly blog on HCA about her quest for a healthier lifestyle, I decided to do the same. Below is simply a re-post of the original piece. There are a few eye opening sentences in there! But wish me luck as I spend the next 4 weeks exercising, eating right, and trying like hell to “grow up”!


I've never been an athlete. I enjoy sports (what girl raised in the South doesn't?) but I've never really played one. Along the same line, I've never worked out, like really worked out. In high school I was a ballerina, and I have done yoga for the better part of my adult life. But I never really considered those sports. I use yoga to center myself and to just be quiet for a half hour each day.

When I gave Ashley the go-ahead to start writing about her getting healthy plan, it got me thinking: am I as healthy as I could be? No. I'm on Pinterest, so I see all the skinny girl recipes, workout plans, and various motivation tactics. Why am I not using them?

I've always had an excuse in the past: I'm too busy, I want to spend my free time doing something else, blah blah blah. Well the reality is, I'm always going to be busy and I'm sick of not feeling as good as I could. Plus there was this one thing that happened....

My boyfriend broke up with me.

You could say it was amicable (which he does and I don't). You could say I'm bitter (I was, let's be real), but now I'm using it as motivation. I'm using it to remind MYSELF how awesome I am.

Like Ashley, I don't have a goal weight in mind and I haven't decided to follow a specific plan. I've just decided that I want to have a healthier lifestyle. I gave up sugar for Lent, which has been painful let me tell you, but I've seen myself making smart snack choices because of it. Now, when Sunday came and Lent drew to a close, you can bet your bottom dollar I was in a sugar coma all day long. But I do hope that going 40 days without it will help me continue to make smart choices, even when I could technically have that cookie. I want my clothes to fit better and my muscles a little tighter.

I've downloaded an App for iPhone called "Lose It" which is allowing me to track my calories for the day, both food and exercise, by entering in what food I eat and what exercise I do. I've pledged to myself that I will take my dogs walking each day outside for at least 30 minutes, because they need to exercise too! In a moment of sheer stupidity (no other way to put this for a girl that is decidedly NOT a runner) I signed up for a 5K in 2 weeks. With the goal of running a half marathon in 2013. So you'll see me at the Rec pretty much every day on the treadmill. I'm the one sweating to death, watching Jeopardy.

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