Monday, July 25, 2011


So remember last post when I said I wish I had a hobby so I could blog more consistently?

Welcome to my new hobby:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Reading

Obviously, I haven't been doing so well with my summer goal of posting here once a week. I've found that while I like the idea of it, I'm not actually a very good blogger. I wish I had a hobby or something to focus on so that I could be more consistent, but at this point, it's mostly just my random musings that I feel the need to express. So here's a bit of an expression:

Last night, I felt the need to read through the last journal I completed. If you didn't previously know, I've been keeping journals pretty consistently since the end of 7th grade. Most of the completed ones are currently sitting in a backpack in my closet at home, and I've told my Mum that if I somehow die before her, it is her task to burn that backpack and all of its contents. Journals are something that I believe to be incredibly private--while I sometimes use them just to write about my day or about who I think I'm in love with, I also use them to chart my growth as a human being. They've helped me discover my identity, what I truly care about, how I relate to God, how I relate to others. I feel like even if I was dead, I would still somehow be embarrassed if my journals were found and read...or worse, published. That's me in the raw, all guards down, no concern for my audience because there's not supposed to be one. Not to mention the fact that I wasn't all that deep at 16. If I remember correctly, there were a lot of entries about Corbin Bleu back then.

That was a large tangent just to say that I'm pretty proud of this last journal. It spanned the entirety of my junior year at NAU, from the first day of Fall semester to the first couple weeks of summer vacation. It was the most difficult year of school I've ever experienced, but it also pushed me to be a better student, writer, and creator. There were so many instances where I felt reassured that I was studying the right things and pursuing the right field. And it was also a time where I feel like I landed such a great group of friends that I was able to spend ample amounts of time with. There are so many memories in that journal, from the inceptions of various story and poem ideas, to eating IHOP after the Ke$ha concert, to processing after my trip to Haiti, to a Step Up marathon that turned out to not be a Step Up marathon at all. It felt great to relive all of that, and to feel like I really made the most of this past year. So if you were a part of it in any way, thank you for that.

All of this to say...I have some pretty large expectations for the coming semester. And I'll be there through it all, pen in hand.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stuff I Like: StoryCorps

I would love to work for this organization one day.

(From their "About Us" page):
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.
We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.
In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How to Write a (Good) Romantic Comedy

As I write this, I'm currently watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, which I remember being my favorite romantic comedy of my junior high days. I've been reading the script for When Harry Met Sally, and a couple days ago at Target, I bought The Holiday (another one of my favorites) on sale for $4.75.

Let's try to ignore the underlying implication of why there are so many rom-coms in my life lately, and instead focus on the fact that I am a firm believer in the fact that they can be divided into two separate genres: Smart Rom-Coms, and Dumb Rom-Coms. The Smart ones work because they don't just rely on the fact that girls want to be sucked into a story and led to believe that the male love interest is worthy of pining over. They have strong, witty writing and believable characters with real flaws. My favorite examples of the Smart Rom-Com include When Harry Met Sally, The Holiday, and The Awful Truth (not to be confused with the Katherine Heigl/Gerard Butler film The Ugly Truth...never saw it, don't plan to).

On the other side of the coin are Dumb Rom-Coms. They tend to recycle the incredibly generic formula of "Boy meets Girl, Boy deceives Girl and/or Girl deceives boy, someone finds out, Boy and girl are through, but after some time of healing they realize they belong together and ignore the previous deception." The End. There is also plenty of eye candy to distract from the fact that audiences have already seen this movie, just in a different setting and with different-looking characters. In my opinion, dumb Rom-Coms include She's All That, Someone Like You, and From Justin to Kelly. Also, I've never seen it, but I'm sure what they say about Gigli is true. These films are an insult to the audience's intelligence, expecting them to believe that the characters presented are realistic and likable when they are actually one-dimensional and usually pretty annoying.

So a note to anyone who is planning on writing a Romantic Comedy at any point in the future (including me)...write real characters. I want Billy Crystal, not Freddie Prinze Jr.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stuff I Like: Sassitude

When it comes to music, my tastes are pretty male dominated. I frequently say that my favorite genre is "men with butter voices": John Legend, Guy Sebastian, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye.

But every once in awhile, there comes a female voice that makes me stop, listen, and reevaluate my "Favorites" list. So in addition to "men with butter voices", I also have an ear for "ladies with Sassitude":

We call that Sassy Brass.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Dressed in 2D: Roger Klotz

After months of thinking about it and planning trips to Savers that have yet to happen, I have FINALLY brought together my first outfit that is a nod to a famous cartoon character. I was looking through my wardrobe last night to see if there was anything I could pull together without going out to buy anything, and it dawned on me--Roger Klotz from Doug.

Simple enough. All I needed was a white T and jeans, a leather jacket, and sideswept hair. I wasn't willing to dye my skin green, but I had recently gotten lime green nail polish, so I think that sufficed. The results:

Though it's normal enough that nobody around me noticed, I still felt super cool and animated. So here's hoping that now that I've had a taste of it, I'll get to Savers soon in search of my next character. I think all I need to complete a Linus Van Pelt is a striped red shirt.

If you have any suggestions on other cartoons that should be emulated, feel free to let me know.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Endless Summer

After the roughest semester of my life (academically speaking...socially it was fantastic), summertime is finally here. I'll be living in Flagstaff, on the NAU campus, in my very own dorm room that is decorated with Haitian art, a potted plant named Beatrice (in honor of the sassy character from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing) and a sacrilegious painting of Jim Henson. I now carry the noble title of Housekeeper, though I was informed that we won't be cleaning toilets or showers, so that's a welcome surprise.

My schedule will be erratic, but I will have plenty of free time to journal in the cemetery that sits right next to my building, make a sufficient dent in the List of 100 Movies that I want to watch before I graduate, and generally enjoy all that Flagstaff has to offer in the summer: namely, NOT 100+ degree weather. In fact, it snowed today.

Summer is a great time for pursuing goals, so I've come up with a few that I would be happy to achieve in the coming months. Hopefully it will turn out better than last summer, when my goal was to read every children's book Roald Dahl ever wrote. I believe I only got through 3, though they were all brilliant. Naturally.

Jordan's Goals for the Summer of 2011

1. Blog here at least once a week. Hopefully life as a Housekeeper will provide plenty of fodder. I hear that Cheer Camp week is the worst, on account of all the bobby pins that our vacuums suck up and all of their popsicles that get stuck in the freezer. I can't wait. That last statement was not sarcastic.

2. Complete another draft of the full-length screenplay I just finished this semester. I'll hold off on this one for a bit...I need some distance, as it was the bane of my existence for 16 weeks.

3. Work out another idea for a new screenplay. Working on the last one, I realized that while fantasy/action movies are some of my favorite to watch, they are not my favorite to write. Now I want a dialogue-heavy, character driven comedy. I'll probably be watching When Harry Met Sally a lot.

4. Become YouTube famous. I feel like if I wasn't so afraid of marketing myself, that this could actually happen. Currently, there are two videos on my account that have more than 2,000 views, and one with over 3,000. It is time to explore what I have to offer the YouTube community, and see if it could actually take me anywhere. Plus, some people get PAID just to make videos all day erry day. So why not try, right?

5. Read the entire Old Testament. I feel like I'm pretty knowledgeable on what happens in the New, but that there are a lot of things I've never read through fully or that I've forgotten from the OT. I know it's pretty long--according to my Bible, it's 793 pages. But I had to read The Count of Monte Cristo the summer before sophomore year of high school and that behemoth was over 1,000. Maybe that's not a good example...I read the SparkNotes. But I have higher hopes for this endeavor, because it was not assigned to me and I genuinely believe it to be very important. Nothing against Dumas, but he's no Creator, knowwhatImean?

6. Find a man. I'm half joking, and am borrowing this goal from my roommate of two years.

But only half joking.

Since I want to write here so often, perhaps I will actually update you on my progress with everything. Easy content! It's a beautiful thing.

Hope you're having a lovely summer,

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Bird is the Word

Every time I post a new blog entry, I believe that I am going to make it a regular thing and have posts at least every other day. Obviously, that's not going to least not while I'm staying up at ungodly hours of the night to finish papers about Shakespearean comedies.

In any case, Stephanie the roommate loves henna, and I love being a faux rebel.

Another aspect of my faux rebellious nature is that I mostly listen to music with a lot of curse words in it. You might find it offensive; personally I believe it's some of the wittiest wordplay out there.

But I won't repeat any of it here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A (long) Explanation

So this past week was a little more insane than normal. First of all, let me start by saying that I have some pretty wonderful friends like Stephanie and Adriane that say very nice things about me that I do not deserve.
It started last weekend:

Almost everyone that I normally love to hang out with was gone for the weekend, and a winter storm was raging outside, so I spent most of Saturday and Sunday by myself in the dorm room. On Sunday evening, I remembered that I had started writing something for a potential video about the character of Troy Barnes from NBC's Community back in December. So I decided that since I obviously didn't have anything better to do, I should finish writing it, and then produce it. So I did. And by a little after midnight on Monday morning, it was finished. I uploaded it to Facebook the next evening, and then after some encouragement from Stephanie, I uploaded it to YouTube on Tuesday. I follow Community on twitter, so I sent them a link to the video, and they ended up posting it on their own page.

Now here we are, over 800 views later. That doesn't make it viral by any means, but it does mean that people around the country and the world actually watched it, liked it, commented on it, and sent it on to their friends. There is a reason why this feels so huge to me, and I think I need to let you know why it is that I do what I do.

Near the beginning of Sophomore year, I was having a lot of trouble figuring out what exactly I wanted to do after graduating. I absolutely love the feel of small towns, and I believe that I would be truly happy living in one for the rest of my life, working in an old book store or bakery. But I also felt like Los Angeles was pulling at me. The whole entertainment industry can be a pretty dark place, and I felt like maybe I was being called to be a part of it in order to love those people specifically working in it. These people are incredibly successful; they live the American Dream and have more money than they know what to do with. But I know that they are also broken, cynical, and depressed.

I got some advice to not only pray about this idea in general, but to pray for God to speak to me specifically by giving me a verse from the Bible that would confirm that this was what God was calling me to do. So I did. And while I was praying, "Jeremiah" popped into my head. At first I was disappointed, because I thought for sure that it was going to be the "For I know the plans I have for you..." verse, which is nice and all, but very vague. But then "12" entered my mind, and finally, "1". Jeremiah 12:1. It was a verse I didn't remember ever reading before, but it says this:

"You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice; why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" 

This spoke to me because of my own feelings, as well as those of many others I know, that celebrities and those that work in Hollywood get everything they want and more without being tied to a relationship with God. How do you present Jesus to someone who supposedly already has it all? I think it's simple: everyone on the outside thinks those people have everything, but the people themselves know that something very large is missing. They just don't know what that is, yet.

I really believe that God confirmed this plan for me, and that this is why certain things have been happening to me recently. So every time I make these videos and it results in me winning a contest to meet Ke$ha or getting recognized by what I believe to be the funniest show on television, it makes me emotional because I believe that God is reassuring me that he is working through me, though it might not be in the most conventional way. Every time I turn in something for one of my creative writing classes and a professor thanks me for giving them the privilege to read it as a "reader" rather than a "teacher", it makes me feel like crying because it reassures me that maybe God really has given me this gift, and that it can actually lead to a successful and fulfilling career. I really don't know why God chose me for this, and I have no idea what will happen next week or five years from now. But I hope that you will continue on with me in this journey, because I would love nothing more than to have you with me, every step of the way.

If you actually got through all of this, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to talk to me about any of what I have shared, whether you have questions/comments/concerns or something different. Catch you on the flip side,

Jordan Johanna

Monday, February 7, 2011

Soup or Bowl?

It has been a good amount of time since I have written here. For a bit, I was attempting to see if a move to Tumblr was necessary. It's tempting, really. So many famous blogs, so user friendly, so trendy. But I figure since everyone and their third cousin (twice removed) is using it now, all of the hipsters are coming back to Blogspot in protest. So by never really hopping on board the Tumblr Train, I have a leg up on the hipsters and their patchouli-scented dreadlocks.

Or am I getting hipsters confused with hippies? This might warrant a few minutes of research at Urban Dictionary.

In any case, hopefully I'll be writing here more often again. But for now, all I have to say is this:

Puppy Bowl VII

Never have "ridiculous" and "adorable" come together in so perfect a marriage.