Thursday, July 26

"The Hard Hat Diaries" Chapter Two

I am now the proud owner of TWO, yes, TWO paper fold out maps.
Yes, that is exactly what you think it is.
I know what you are all thinking, paper maps? Wellllll, see, I, as do many of you, have a GPS. Tomtom has helped me fearlessly navigate Montgomery as I find the important things like restaurants, The Fresh Market, Big Lots, Dillards, the art house movie theater, my vet’s office. Tomtom has helped me do wonderful things. But Tomtom has also failed me.

He has epically failed me. Enter the paper map. With my job I visit with some of the most hard working, honest, wonderful people in the country. Due to the nature of the timber harvesting business however, they usually live out in the country. Remote areas where AT&T doesn’t feel that 4G, 3G, EDGE, hell any kind of service is needed. Remote areas where Tomtom gets confused and lost; areas where he frequently lies, saying “Arrived at destination.” Said destination is not where I am wanting to go Tomtom. Being lost in the swamplands of South Georgia with no cell service is not how I like to live my life.

Yet, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week I felt myself slowing losing my mind. Hence, the maps. The outdated, for 90% of the United States at least, but perfect for me, paper maps. I felt very road trippy and adventurous while also having the feeling that I was lost and just asking for some scary sociopath to kill me. (I watch waaaayyyy too much Dexter and Criminal Minds.) So here I am in a rental car armed with paper maps winding down US highway 441 North looking for the job.
At the 441 North split in Homerville, Ga. the Delk family are hard working pond loggers.

There is something exhilarating about not having technology telling you when exactly you will arrive somewhere, simply going and arriving when you get there. I found everything I needed to find this trip using my two eyes and two paper maps. I vow to do this from now on with my logging visits. Unplugging can be a good thing right?

Tuesday, July 10

Sorry, bro.

I love it for so many reasons. My twins are about the sweetest things in the world. They are more afraid of you than you are of them, Sip especially. Today, just for me, push yourself to think outside of a stereotype perpetuated by Michael Vick and people, I use the term people loosely, like him, that don't see the personality inside each animal. You won't be sorry you did. If you still can't understand what I mean then, frankly, you're doing it wrong.

Thursday, July 5

"The Hard Hat Diaries" Chapter One

The cat's out of the bag. I work for a trade magazine publishing house to pay my bills. (I look fabulous doing it, mind you. But that VISA ain't paying for itself. Just like I need a solid supply of Sauvignon Blanc and the pups need to eat...) But I am pushing my limits in ways I never thought possible. I mentioned in my post about #montgomerymove2012 that I would be going on a business trip to the backwoods of Mississippi...well welcome to the first installment of "The Hard Hat Diaries."
Woods Barbie in all her glory!
 A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to accompany Jennifer, a freelance-work-from-home fellow HB editor on a trip to Mississippi. In three days we visited four loggers. I have a thing for shoes. Specifically, high heeled shoes, the more beautiful the better. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been what my family calls a Barbie doll. I’m the epitome of a girly girl. Spiders scare me. So, putting on some work boots, jeans, a neon orange vest I was told to wear in order to not die, and a hard hat was a little…hard to believe. Never one to shy away from an adventure, I went in with an open mind. I’m proud to report I did not die. There were no close calls, at logging operations anyway! Jennifer and I did have a moment or two where we couldn’t exactly pinpoint where we were… I actually got some pretty good pictures as well as some successful interviews.

The loggers were all extremely sweet and very understanding. Each went out of their way to explain the equipment to me and push aside my fears. What I didn’t expect to happen was one trying to set me up on a date with both his son and/or his grandson. The sweet older logger pegged me for a little younger than I am, detailing all of his grandson’s high school football accomplishments from the last year. When I kindly informed him, I was out of high school, in fact out of college; he quickly changed gears and starting talking up his son! Fresh from a divorce, the son, who I am sure, would die if he knew about his father’s antics, was healing and needed a good, fine woman. A good, fine woman, according to the father, like me. Poor guy.

I’m sure my first solo trip will be another adventure filled with all sorts of silliness, drive thrus and Comfort Inns, and I can’t wait! These trips were one of the reasons I both loved my job during the interview process and was horrified by it. I mean, a machine with a blade that cuts down one ton trees? AHHHHHHH! 
A Tracked Feller Buncher aka a machine with a blade that cuts down one ton trees

Tuesday, July 3

Yes, I am sensational. At times. Maybe?

Last night’s episode of Bachelorette taught me so many things.

Like how, given a set o’ steamy kisses in exotic locations, and a fun day on the racetrack, Arie’s super skinny tie in Charlotte night 1 can be forgiven.

 Or how I really don’t use the word sensational enough. Though, that was more the men in my life don’t call me sensational enough. Such a great word, sensational, especially when using it to describe the object of your affection. I am pretty sure I would melt on the spot if someone crushingly handsome looked at me unsolicited said, “Jess, you are sensational.” ***Bonus points would be available if he said it when I felt I looked a mess, or was rocking a giant Daddy sized tshirt and running shorts. 

I’m big fan of the show, and if you follow me on twitter you might notice that I am a complete child of the 21sy century when it comes to my Monday nights. I am simultaneously texting with some of my best friends and my Momma, and keeping up with some of my favorite snarky Twitter accounts (@POSSESSIONISTA, @jenniferweiner to name a couple), all while watching the drama unfold.
Momma and I just doing what we do best.
Monday’s are my least favorite day of the week work wise, do you know how hard it is to pretend to be productive on a Monday? Especially when you work with three men that are always trying to freeze you to death!! But I digress. There is something about Monday nights that put a spring in my step, even on the roughest of days. The clock hits 4:45 and I bust out of my cube on a mission. I make myself a fabulous dinner, indulge in a few adult bevies and settle in.

I always wondered what my post-grad life would be like. How would I mesh my college self, which may or may not have had a little too much ridiculousness on the reg, with a more serious, working girl mentality. Oddly enough, Bachelorette last night showed me exactly that.

Monday through Friday from 8:30(ish on most days) to 4:45(on the dot), I am Jessica Johnson associate editor with Hatton Brown Publishers, a little bit of woods and a whole lot of Barbie. I’m me, to a steal a one liner from that dreadful new Willow Smith song. I gchat with the important people in my life, check for daily posts from Suri’s Burn Book, Guy in Austin and some of my favorite Mommy-bloggers. But I also scan Market Watch for news on the EPA and tier 4 (google it), edit scientific garbage into readable information, tell the stories of sweet older men trying to develop businesses their sons and grandsons can be proud of. I mesh my ridiculousness with my seriousness.

I haven’t lost myself along the way. I may have a career now, but I’m still a little lost, drinking a little too much gin, staying up a little too late, and making excuses for why I never fit a long run in.

If I ever need clarification on how I would make it all work, I’ll remember the summer Emily was the bachelorette and how, just like Arie made that hoodie work for him, I made my life work for me.

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