10 Quasi-Interesting Facts About the GoJo Girl

After a few years of fighting it, here I am, writing a blog.  So family, you win.  And in case you're not my only readers, I will continue writing as though each of you suddenly contracted amnesia.

Welcome to GoJo Runner!  I'm Jolie -- the source behind this weird "gojo" name (which is apparently also a cleaning product -- perhaps I would have known that earlier if I actually cleaned stuff).
This blog is called "gojo" because around my family and friends, my nickname has always been Jo.  Not Joe -- put on the "e" and I am suddenly a plastic G.I.  Anyway, I have many fond memories of hearing my loved ones yell "Go Jo!" as I crossed a race finish line or competed in musical chairs or didn't see the light turn green.  Other people have mojo.  I have gojo.

Finishing the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon

To induct myself and given readership into the gojo blogging experience, it's been recommended I introduce who I am.  So, here goes: 10 quasi-interesting facts about this blogger -- in random order.  As honestly painful as it will be to be self-centric for the remaining prose (thus the reason for fighting the blog), I'm going to jump in -- even if I belly flop. 

#1 - I'm a Filmmaker

Like many modern day filmmakers, I started making movies when I was a teenager.  My teenage movies were more dumb than good, but somehow I started winning awards at film festivals, which only encouraged me to keep going. 

On the set of "Weirdo Wonderland" (2004)

Eventually I moved to Southern California, promised Chapman University all my future earnings for the next decade, and three years later they gave me a piece of paper that said "Master of Fine Arts - Film Directing" on it.  

On the set of "The Tragic Self-Improvement of Ross Lawson" (2006)

For the last 15 years, I have been working in the film industry, making mostly narrative shorts, commercials, infomercials, and corporate videos.

Here's a short film I wrote and directed:

I love filmmaking -- there's nothing like connecting with people's emotions through visual storytelling.  Don't be surprised to see video clips frequently sprinkled throughout my blogs.

#2 - I Have Eaten an Eggo Waffle with Butter on it Every Day Since 2nd Grade

Ok, not on days when I'm traveling.  But pretty much every day when I wake up at home, I toast and eat an Eggo Waffle for breakfast.  Why?  I dunno -- they taste yummy, and they're super easy to cook & eat before going to work.  Weird?  Probably. 

The makers of Eggo will never go out of business as long as I am alive (though their stock might go down once I publish this).

#3 - I Married My Best Friend of 10 Years

More than eleven years ago, I met my husband when my brother wrangled up a last-minute boom mic operator substitute on the set of one of my low budget films. When he (Spencer) arrived sporting his typical giant red afro, I started laughing, and I pretty much haven't stopped laughing since.

Spencer and his hair on the set of the 2nd movie we work on together -- "Light Boy"

Instantly platonic friends, Spencer and I worked on other movies together, talked, and hung out for years.  By the time something romantic sparked between us, we were living in separate states with no plans for one to move to the other.  Eventually, I won and he made the move out to California and proposed to me on the tenth anniversary of the day we met on that movie set. Yay!

He is the sweetest, most selfless person I know.  Best decision ever.

#4 - I Used to Be an Ambassador for Disney

Beginning January 1, 2011, I served a 2-year term as a media spokesperson, representative, and host for Disney -- specifically Disneyland, California Adventure, and the three nearby Disney hotels.

Hosting a ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

It was a lot of work, but crazy awesome.  I was blessed to travel, speak in hundreds of media interviews, shadow different jobs from custodial to the Jungle Cruise, host ceremonies & shows, give back to the community, work beside amazing people, and dramatically deepen my smile lines, all in two years.  Phew!

#5 - I'm a Dog Person

Whenever I meet someone who says they don't like dogs, they might as well be telling me they don't like happiness.  Each day when I get home from work, my two Italian greyhounds jump up and down and wag their tails in a joy spasm like the greatest thing in the universe has just showed up.  How could someone reject that?  I guess if your one experience with a dog consists of it trying to bite your face off... fortunately this has not been my experience.

Comet & Spencer

Savvy & Spencer

#6 - I'm a Mormon

Not only am I an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but because I got so tired of people thinking I was a polygamist or wore magic underwear or hated gay people, I made a YouTube Channel to clear up misconceptions about what Mormons really believe.

To my non-Mormon readers -- don't worry.  I love my faith, but the channel exists to explain Mormon beliefs factually -- not try to convert you.  There's not any you-should-believe-what-I-believe stuff.

#7 - I'm the Oldest of 4 Kids

My family and I are pretty tight, 'cuz they're awesome!  

My sister, Christy -- 2.5 years younger -- is a sassy, smart shoe collector, married to an awesome guy, and they have an adorable baby boy:

She also has a fun blog, and is acting as my tutor as I try to relearn HTML and how to manipulate widgets.

Christy with her husband Ben, and their little cutie, Bentley.

My brother, James -- 5.5 years younger -- is a talented, fun guy who also has a great blog and a YouTube channel, where he vlogs about his experience of being a gay Mormon (yes - they do exist), and writes and performs music.

My youngest brother, Dallin -- 12 years younger -- just got home from his LDS mission, and is just ramping up at college and writing great music himself.


Our parents are awesome too -- I'll talk more about them in a later post (too much to write, here).

#8 - I'm a Closet Video Game Nerd

It's true.  Beginning way back with Joust & Centipede on Atari, I was one of the few female gamers of the 1980s.  Later in life, I conquered every Final Fantasy video game that was published in the English language -- with 100% side quest completion, and even dropped a few hundred bucks on collecting the resin figurines.  You want to see confusion?  Try inviting your prom date to see your nerd collection.

FFVIII was the first one I played

Today, I try to squeeze in time for some Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers on the Wii-U.  Character of choice?  Sheik. 

#9 - I Sing

I suppose everyone does!  

Here's a "Give Blood" commercial I sang the background track for -- special shout out to my talented composer/arranger friend, Jared Ong!

#10 - I'm a Runner

I used to point at runners on the street and say "You won't catch me doing that unless I'm being chased by a velociraptor."

Cut to 2011. I was sitting at my desk as a Disney Ambassador when I was invited to run the Disneyland Half Marathon.  When I opened my mouth to say "not on your life," somehow the demon of fitness possessed my tongue and I accidentally said, "Sure, why not?"

I "ran" (more limped) that race in 4-year-old tennis shoes with an injured right ankle, left knee, and right hip flexor, but I crossed that finish line, dang it!  I came in at 2:16:49, and was convinced and relieved that I had checked that box for good.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2011 -- My first race ever.
It's pretty obvious that I didn't know what I was doing.

But then another time, I found myself in front of the camera at the Inaugural Tinker Bell Half Marathon press announcement, and when the reporter asked me if I planned to run the new race, that demon of fitness swooped in again and I blurted out, "Sure, why not?"  

A few months after that, I was wearing wings (though oddly the same outfit) and running across the finish line around 2:07:47, but much less injured.

Tinker Bell Half Marathon, 2012
Tucking the race shirt into the skirt?  Still obvious I don't know what I'm doing.
After training for both back-to-back half marathons, training was a regular part of my life now, and I was hooked.  So really, I owe it to runDisney for getting me into running.

10K Run for Homeless Children, 2015

These days I run at least one race each month -- all different lengths (other than ultras -- good for them, but you won't catch me doing that unless I'm being chased by a velociraptor), and with all different race costumes (it's like cosplay for athletes!).

Halloween Half Marathon, 2013

Coincidentally, all three of my siblings and my dad individually took up running around the same time, so now we run races together whenever possible.

Salt Lake City Half Marathon, 2014

We are especially stoked, because in 36 hours, we all board a plane to fly to 

to run the 

well, the HALF marathon, that is.
But awesome, nonetheless!

Look how fun this looks!!

People look like they're going to pass out in pretty much every picture of the race.  What a party!

I'll bring my GoPro so you can be a part of the journey when I get back!  

Wish us luck!


  1. I LOVE this. I am so happy you are doing a blog! Reading this makes me really miss you. Keep the blog posts coming!

  2. The waffle thing will probably grow tenfold when you get pregnant if you're anything like me (they were the only thing I could eat for months).

    Fun first post! Thanks for the shout out and welcome to the blogosphere.

    I can't believe China is here. See you shortly!


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