It’s Good to be Home

First of all, my apologies for not blogging for a while- it’s just been a busy last couple of weeks getting ready for finals and such. Which brings me to reason number 1 as to why it’s so good to be home: no school work for a solid 4 weeks.

No more Religious Text quizzes, no more Consumer Behavior papers and my personal favorite- no more World Views tests. For the next 4 weeks, I don’t have to do anything but lay in bed and eat food. Ahh the life we live!

Next, I get to see my family and friends for more than just a long weekend or a spontaneous overnight visit to campus. Although, like everyone says, Bonaventure is our second home, it’s still good to see the people I spent the first 18 years of my life with. By the way, the Hammerl Family is probably the coolest family you’ll ever meet. Plus, I will always be a Buffalo girl at heart, I love my city!

Now on to the little things- I never thought I’d say this, but I now actually enjoy filling the dishwasher. Let me explain. For the past two years of my life at Bonas in my apartment last year and in my house this year, we have not had the luxury of having a dishwasher. This means watching the sink fill to the very brim with dirty dishes until eventually hand washing every plate with God knows what splattered all over them. So when I’m home, I feel a sense of satisfaction when I can just throw my dishes into the dishwasher after using them. Weird? I know.

Now let’s talk about the laundry situation. At my house at school, I have to pay three dollars in quarters just to wash and dry a single load of laundry. However, being the poor college student that I am, I usually just drive all my laundry to campus and do it all at one of my friends’ apartments. This is usually a hassle for both myself and my friends. However, when I’m home, I can do as much laundry as I want without spending a single dollar. As you can imagine, I do laundry at home like it’s my job. Forgot to wash that one single t-shirt? Throw her in by herself. Wore that pair of jeans for an hour? Toss her in and get that fresh, clean, warm feeling for the next time you wear them for a second. Because, why not?

Lastly, what kind of “it’s good to be home” blog post would this be if I didn’t talk about food? At school, I eat about four things: Turkey sandwiches, Mac n Cheese, Spaghetti, and bagels. I usually don’t have the time/money to make anything else for myself. However, when I’m home, it’s like a smorgasbord of food every day. And the best part is I don’t have to worry about finishing something because when it’s gone, my parents will just buy more! How great is that? I love it.

Of course, being home for the holidays means more than just taking advantage of the dishwasher, laundry machine, and kitchen cabinets, but these things are definitely an added bonus. Thanks mom and dad for all that you do when I come home for Christmas break, you guys are the best!

family pic

 

 

A Letter to My 14 Year-Old Self

Dear Little Julia,

Dear God do I have some wise words to share with you. But first, just to clarify something, you’re so not as tough as you think you are. So stop acting it. You are a young, naïve, and fragile pre-teen- it’s OK to break down your walls a little and let people see your soft side! And it’s important to remember that no one should ever be allowed to make you feel like less of a person when you do.

Now, on the topic of “acting tough,” let’s discuss how you shouldn’t ever wear anything that you have in your closet right now- like ever again. Those big bulky DC shoes? Yeah throw those suckers in the trash because you look like a clown. That super tight hot pink t-shirt you bought from Hot Topic? Trash. And don’t even get me started on those blood red tight skinny jeans. Ugh. The only thing I will applaud you on was your stellar pink hair. Although it was a little aggressive for a 14 year-old, it was still pretty cool. Also black nails are still cool, even though they’re now more chic and less punk.

Moving on. Here is a list of six important lessons I have learned over the past six years. Buckle up.

  1. It’s so typical of me to talk about this, but it has to be said. You know that boy who you thought you loved and couldn’t live without? Well, turns out he was never worth even a second of your time. You are the prize and any boy who doesn’t make you feel like that is a loser. Also, remember that you are young! Although it’s tough with all those raging hormones and crap, try to focus on yourself- you deserve it! Focus on your school work, get those good grades and become a strong and independent woman! You don’t need no man!
  2. Remember all of those hours you spent worrying about how all the other kids at school thought of you? Remember how you didn’t join those clubs and participate in those activities because you were afraid you would be seen as “un-cool”? Big mistake! The people who stand out and who aren’t afraid to go against the crowd usually end up becoming the most successful. Being popular and well-liked is always a good feeling, but it’s not the most important thing you should focus on.
  3. So you’ve just begun your freshmen year of high-school and grades don’t really matter that much yet, right? WRONG. The minute you step into high-school you’ve started on your journey towards getting accepted into college. Those math grades actually do matter and that AP class you turned down could have actually saved you a lot of time and money in the future. Stay focused in school and work on getting the best grades possible to keep your GPA up. (If you didn’t almost fail 9th grade algebra you probably would have gotten a better scholarship to Bonaventure and you wouldn’t be in so much student debt. Just sayin).
  4. Listen to your mother. She is right about LITERALLY everything. You may think that most of the time she’s working against you, but in actuality she’s just trying to help you out. Also, just give up on ever trying hiding anything from her because she will find out. Every time. Guaranteed.
  5. Talk to people. A lot of people. Just because someone isn’t on the same sports team as you or doesn’t join the same clubs you do, doesn’t mean you can’t be friends. It’s good to have variety in your life, otherwise it gets boring.
  6. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be yourself! Why would you waste any time pretending to be someone else? The sooner you figure that out, the better. If the friends you have right now don’t appreciate you the way you were born then ditch those bitches and find a better friend group. Simple as that.

In conclusion, little Julia, keep your head up because life does actually get better. Everyone is going through a rough time at 14. You’re not the only one. Fight your way through those mean boys and evil girls. Embrace the fact that your body is currently being pumped with hormones and take control of it. You are a strong girl; you can do this! Also, for the love of God develop a new fashion sense.

Love your older and much prettier self,

Older  Julia

Good Old Fashioned Handshakes

I’ve recently heard  that handshakes no longer have the same level of importance as they once did in the workforce. That the once deal-breaker at an interview is no longer considered that significant. Now, I realize that the stakes have been raised for our generation, and a pleasant smile and firm handshake no longer guarantees you the job. However, ever since I was about ten years old, I was taught that a strong and confident handshake is one of the most important things a person can have.

This might be a little bit of an over-exaggeration of course, but I personally still believe in the significance of it all. In fact, I will find myself judging a person’s entire character on the way they shake my hand. And when you think about it, it kind of makes sense to.

Let’s say you are an employer looking to hire for an important leadership position in your business. Who are you more likely to hire- the woman (or man) who graduated from Harvard with a 4.0 who comes in hot for the handshake with her eyes on the floor and a shaking hand, or the woman (or man) who graduated from a much less impressive school with a much less impressive GPA who looks you dead in the eye with confidence and has a strong and powerful handshake? I guess it depends on what type of job you’re looking to fill, but I’m willing to bet that 90% of the time the second woman (or man) will get the job.

Handshakes not only hold a significant place in the workforce, but also in every day life. I don’t care who you are- man or woman, old or young- you better not try to shake my hand with your wet noodle hand. Save that for grandma. I also can’t STAND when people (mostly men, sorry guys but it’s true) think that they need to moderate their handshake when shaking my hand because I’m a petite woman. Boy you have a surprise coming if you think I have a soft grip. I can usually tell when it’s coming, so I make sure to squeeze extra hard when shaking hands with those kinds of people.

If you know me at all, you know that I am very adamant  about the significance of a strong handshake. You should also know that I have no problem calling you out for shaking my hand with your wimpy dead fish hand. Just a fair warning.

bad handshake

Wrong. Stop what you’re doing and re-evaluate your life.

good handshake

Right. Good job, you’re hired/accepted into my friends category.

Badass Women Always Win

There is nothing I love more than watching a badass leading actress crush it on screen- whether it’s in a movie or on TV. There’s just something about watching Olivia Pope run shit in The White House on Scandal, or Katniss Everdeen dominating in The Hunger Games that really inspires me to take control of my own life.

I remember watching Herbie Fully Loaded when it came out in 2005 (I was 10) and thinking, “Yeah, that’s right!” when she finished the race, got out of the car, took her helmet off and shook her hair at all the haters who thought she was a boy. From that moment on, I never again wanted to be the Cinderella of the story. I wanted to be Cadet Kelly, killing it at military school or Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, beating up all those scary ancient statues.

Ask most girls if they could be one character in a movie/TV show, and you’ll get answers like Allie from Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook, or Regina George from Mean Girls.  That’s not my style. I’d go with someone a little bit more dangerous.

Here are the top five roles I would choose if I could pick to be any character in a movie:

hermione granger

5. Hermione Granger in The Harry Potter series (2001-2011). I’m not going to pretend that I am any expert at all when it comes to Harry Potter, but I always thought that Hermione was so cool the way she outsmarted anyone and everyone. Of course, once she grew up, she turned into a quick witted and fearless woman who would do anything to keep her friends safe. Total badass!

catwoman

4. Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Catwoman is a sexy, cunning and devious character who spends most of her life as a world-class burglar who takes things from the rich. I like her because she’s mysterious, sassy and of course- a total badass.

katniss everdeen

3. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games series (2012-2015). Katniss is the epitome of a badass. She alone is the symbol used for the rebellion against the capital. She doesn’t take orders from anyone but herself and she’s always full of surprises. She actually reminds me of myself a little. Especially when she shot her arrow right through the apple in the pigs mouth when showcasing her skills to the capital before the game, and when they all looked at her in disbelief she simply curtsied and left.

mrs smith

2. Jane Smith in Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005). This is one of my favorite movies just because of how cool Angelina Jolie is in it. I’ve always thought it would be so cool to be a super secret spy and this movie just makes it look ten times more appealing.

the black widow

  1. Natasha Romanoff (The Black Widow) in Marvel’s The Avengers (2012). I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have any special superpowers except for her ability to be a total and complete badass and looking good while doing it.

feared women

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, and I think it ties in perfectly with this blog post. Strong is sexy!

Things That Are Things That Shouldn’t Be Things

“Why is that a thing?”

I find myself asking this question that doesn’t make sense but you know exactly what I’m talking about at least six times a day. Here is a list of just a few of those things that really have no reason to be things at all.

  1.  Mosquito bites. Actually, mosquitoes in general. Why in the world do mosquitoes exist? What purpose do they serve? All they do is fly around, suck my blood and make me itch. I’m pretty sure if those annoying creepy little bugs became extinct we would all live to see another day. So get on that, Mother Nature.
  2. Instagram accounts made specifically for dogs.  I literally don’t think it would be possible for me to care less about what your dog ate this morning. I don’t care that your tiny shit of a dog is wearing a red sweater with a bone on it. I just don’t. Some of these Instagram accounts for dogs get millions of followers and I’m over here worrying I won’t get over 12 likes on my picture and everyone’s names who actually did like it are just gonna sit there and stare at me mocking my existence.
  3. Bad Wifi connections. It is 2015, and yet I still can’t get on the internet at my house at least half of the time that I am here. Why/how is bad wifi still a thing. Why do I get better wifi sitting in my car outside of Dunkin Donuts when I pay $100 a semester to have wifi at my house? Get your shit together Time Warner. Imbeciles.
  4. Holding the door for someone and realizing they aren’t going to say thank you. Like excuse you I just wasted my time trying to accommodate to your wants and needs like the nice person I am, and you’re not going to say thank you? Oh no. Every time that happens I almost just want to make them go back outside and then shut the door in their face and stick my tongue out at them. But then I realize that I am 20 years old and that’s frowned upon in most places.
  5. The massive amounts of money that we pay to get an education. Why am I spending all of my (parents’) money just to get a job in order to pay off all of my student loans… it doesn’t make sense and it shouldn’t be a thing and I hate it.
  6. Pointy finger nails. Why do you have to have such pointy long nails? You’re not a witch this isn’t Halloween and those are a safety hazard.
  7. Kylie Jenner. Remind me why she’s relevant again?
  8. People who talk over other people. Sitting in class and hearing someone else talk when the professor is talking is like nails on a chalkboard to me. You can shut your mouth for 50 minutes and not die, I believe in you Ms. Chatty Cathy. The only thing that might be worse than that is when people try to talk to you when you’re watching your show. Like remove yourself from my presence if you’re going to make noises while I’m watching Scandal, thank you very much.
  9. Girls who cry about everything. Your emotions stress me out and I’m going to have to ask you to get a grip and grow up. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s not that serious. Actually, sensitive people in general really piss me off. Like no I wasn’t talking about you when I asked why there was an ugly horse in the dining hall, please get over yourself.
  10. Silent letters. If they’re silent, why on Gods green earth are they there in the first place. Why is there a “k” in knife, why is there a “s” in island and why is there a “b” in dumb? Oh that’s right, for absolutely no reason at all except for to mess with kids who participate in spelling bees.
  11. And finally, even though I could go on forever, people who suck at texting. I know you have your phone and I know you read my text. It’s funny- I see you tweeting but I don’t see any messages popping up on my phone from you I guess it must have gotten lost in the digital world because I know you’re not just ignoring me because I know you know I know you read it…

And that, everyone, is my shortened and censored list of things that are things that really shouldn’t be things.

Baby I Was Born This Way

My parents say I’m crazy, my sisters say I’m insane, and my friends say that sometimes I kind of frighten them… but I like to say I’m a perfectionist.

I have self-diagnosed myself with OCD, and if you knew me you’d know why. I’ve never been tested for the disorder (can you be tested for OCD?), but the way I live my life is not exactly “normal.” It sometimes takes me 15 minutes to make my bed because wrinkles and bumps make me cringe. The same thing can be said about folding my laundry, although that usually takes a lot longer for me to do. I remember one day I was folding my clothes in my room after I had just washed them and my mom walked in, stood there for a minute and watched, then turned around sighing and said, “You scare me.”

Cleaning my room doesn’t mean picking up clothes off of the floor and shoving them in drawers like it does for most young adults. Cleaning my room means taking everything out, pledging, windexing, vacuuming, and frebreezing, and then reorganizing everything into its perfect place. Sometimes I’ll kind of black out doing it and wake up with every piece of clothing out of my drawers and all refolded neatly and color coordinated on my bed. I know, it’s weird. This happens at least once a week.

Cleaning is my way of relieving stress. Some people workout, others read a book or listen to music, and I clean. Ask my roommates, I’ve said more than once, “Nothing makes me happier than a clean house.” I mean I have my own purple rubber cleaning gloves that I always use. Sometimes I even clean those for God sakes. Ok, maybe I’m a little crazy.

The fact that I’m a total control freak and germaphobe might contribute to this insanity as well. I never leave the house without my trusty green apple germ-x hand sanitizer.

So, all of you who have ever looked at me like I have two heads, I’ve always been this way and I will always be this way so ya’ll are just going to have to learn to accept it. And stop laughing at me. Also, if you ever need a cleaning lady, I charge $50 an hour.

We’re Being Inspirational Today

It’s so funny how our perspectives on age change throughout our lifetimes. I remember being 10 years old and thinking, “Once I’m 16, I’ll be able to do whatever I want because I’ll be able to drive a car and I’ll be an adult.” Once I turned 16 I thought, “Ok I’m definitely not an adult yet, but I will be once I turn 18.” Once I turned 18… well you get the picture. I remember thinking as a child that people who were 20 years old were basically half dead they were so old. However, now that I’m 20, I know my life is just beginning. I definitely have mixed feelings about graduating from my teenage years. I’m stuck between getting mad when my parents don’t treat me as an adult, but also getting mad when my mom makes me schedule my own doctors appointments.

It’s kind of like I want you to treat me like an adult, but I don’t want you to expect me to do any grown up things. Give me a credit card because I’m responsible enough to manage my own bank account, but still pay for my groceries and hair appointments. Let me live in a house with my five best friends in the town of Allegany, but still pay for my Wifi and phone bills. Don’t hound me on my school work but still send me money for getting good grades. The list goes on.

I love having the freedom to do as I please and make my own decisions without my parents watching my every move, but I don’t necessarily think I’m ready to live completely on my own without the help from my family. It totally freaks me out that in the next two years I will be graduating from St. Bonaventure University. I’ll be graduating college in a year and a half. WHAT?! I swear to god yesterday it was 2009 and I was just starting high school.

My little sister is almost 15 years old and just finishing up her freshman year in high school. It’s funny to watch her stress about the exact same things I used to stress about; things that in the long run have absolutely no importance. The best advice I can give to her and all of the other young women and men just starting their teenage years is to relax. You know that party that everyone else got invited to that your invitation was tragically lost in the mail? Forget about it. Have your own damn party. You know that boy/girl that you thought liked you but ended up just being a jerk? Screw them.You’ll find someone else. You know that girl that seems nice to your face but talks shit about you behind your back? She’s honestly just jealous. Throw her a dirty look, maybe even flick her off, but move on with your day. She’s not worth it.  Keep your head up because it’s REALLY not that serious.

I remember being 15 and thinking that every bad grade, every frenemy fight and every broken heart was the end of the world. It’s funny looking back now at my high school years and realizing that all of that heart ache really did mean nothing (except for the fact that it made me into the woman that I am today). Now I’m not saying I am an expert on life now that I’ve graduated high school. I’m sure I have a long ways to go. I’m sure five years from now I’ll look back at my life and think, “what in the world was I thinking.” But that’s what’s so great about life. We are all always changing and evolving and nobody really ever knows what the hell they’re doing. We’re all just doing our best to survive and thrive.So live life to the fullest and screw anyone who tries to bring you down.  How inspirational, right?

Innies Rule, Outties Drool

Imagine a world where instead of discriminating against people based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc. we discriminated against those who have outtie bellybuttons rather than innie bellybuttons.

Ridiculous, right? I mean how could you discriminate against someone based on something so silly – something they were born with and can’t control?

I know how it sounds… I’m a 5 foot, blonde hair, blue eyed, white girl from Williamsville, New York. What could I possibly know about discrimination? And in most cases, that’s true. I’ve never personally been discriminated against- unless you count those times at the amusement parks when they wouldn’t let me ride the rides because I was too short.

But I’ve experienced it second hand. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen friends go through it, I’ve seen it on the news, I’ve heard it on the radio and I’ve read about it on the internet. I know it’s not the same and I’m definitely not trying to say it is, but what I am trying to say is that it needs to stop.

I saw a video on Facebook last night about an old gay couple who had been together for 52 years before they were legally “allowed” to exchange vows with one another and get married in front of the people they loved. After a period of time of being together and not being allowed to wed, they were desperate to have some legal connection with one another so the one man actually “adopted” the other man as his son. Like are you kidding me? Who the HELL are you, stuffy old prick who passes laws in the government, to tell another human being who they can and cannot love. Who died and made you king of humankind? I just don’t understand how anyone on this planet can have the power to tell another human being that they are not allowed to love who they do.

Is two men who have loved each other for 52 years finally being allowed to get married going to give you brain cancer? Are your kidneys going to fail? Gonna have a stroke? No. So get your arrogant head out of your ass and move on. Sorry for the vulgarity, this topic just really grinds my gears.

Now, I know that this year same-sex marriage was legalized in all 50 states of the United States, which is an awesome win for the gay community. However, I also feel like I want to yell at the government for not doing this sooner. My question is why was it ever illegal?

Nevertheless, our generation is the most accepting generation of the LGBT community. With icons such as Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres standing behind the movement towards equal rights to all individuals no matter their sexual orientation, how could we not be more accepting? With that being said though, I still think we have a long ways to go.

Let love win!

Let’s Talk About Thanksgiving

Fall is my favorite season, therefore Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the crisp cool weather mixed with happy feelings and delicious food. Almost every other year, my parents and sisters and I drive down to Michigan to stay with my cousins for a couple of days for the holiday. My Aunt Heather always makes the most amazing Thanksgiving feast including soup, salad, stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes and of course, dessert. My mouth is literally watering writing about it. You know that feeling kids get the night before Christmas where they stay up all night too excited to sleep? That’s the feeling I get the night before Thanksgiving. A couple of times a year I find myself laying awake at night not being able to fall asleep because I can’t stop thinking about this dinner, I’m not kidding.

Last year in Michigan, my cousins and sister and I went out to a club in downtown Detroit the night after Thanksgiving. We were all drinking and dancing and having a good time, and all of a sudden my mind jumped to Thanksgiving leftovers (because the only thing better than the actual dinner are the leftovers), and I immediately texted my dad to come and pick me up and take me home. Like this is not a joke. Of course he didn’t, because that would be ridiculous, but I was so set on going home, eating leftovers and falling asleep.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m not a big eater. I’m fine with going a while without eating and when I do eat, I can usually never finish a meal. But I don’t mess around with Thanksgiving. It’s the one day out of the year that I refuse to let my stomach win. I will eat myself into a coma and I’ll have no problem with it. Most years I physically can’t keep my eyes open after stuffing my face so much that a nap is absolutely necessary/ inevitable.

I have a countdown on my phone…24 days……

I promise I’m not crazy.