Badass Lady Wisdom

“You better not make fun of me in your blog again.” –my mom

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: October is my mom’s birth month. She’s turning twenty-nine next week, and it is imperative that celebrations be held every weekend from the 1st of the month right up until Halloween. If you’re a longtime friend of my mom, or a Facebook friend of my mom, or if you’ve recently met my mom in passing, you probably know this already. But I thought the PSA might be necessary.

I’ve been given a very specific list of items to exclude from this blog post. “Pre-menopause,” “hot flashes,” “middle-age,” and “just menopause in general.” By listing these things now, I’m 100% violating this request, but I’m only doing it because if these things hadn’t been mentioned, I never in a million years would have thought to include them in this post, and I think they add a little something special. But let me rewind.

Julie and I took a break from honoring our campus with scenes like this to spend the weekend in the White Mountains for my mom’s birthday. We were invited to join in on a “Girls’ Weekend,” a mystical and outdoorsy 48 hour getaway with my mom and a bunch of her friends. Why they wanted to invite us—two relatively uncoordinated co-eds who spend most of their free time discussing second-string Harry Potter characters—is still a little bit lost on me, but we packed up our hiking boots and went on our merry way.

(Side note: If you were wondering which HP characters count as “second string,” our roster includes Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and occasionally Fred and George Weasley. Dean Thomas, Seamus Finnigan, and Cho Chang are third string. Ernie MacMillan’s on the bench.)

The thing about my mom’s friends is that they’re not really just my mom’s friends. They’re my surrogate moms. When I was younger they bathed me and changed my diapers and yelled at me when my boots tracked snow in the house, just as loudly and with as much enthusiasm as my own mother would. I call most of them “Auntie,” and I’m pretty sure they make up about 73% of this blog’s readership. (Love you guys! Keep it up!)

Over our 48 mystical and outdoorsy hours together, my mom & co. taught Julie and me a lot about life, love, and how best to lose a member of the group on a mountain in the middle of a rainstorm.

Badass Lady Wisdom:

  • Make time for weekend trips with friends, even if it feels like you don’t have any. (Time, that is. If it feels like you don’t have any friends, consider making some before you plan weekend friend trips.)
  • Always bring a bottle of wine. Doesn’t matter where. Just bring it.
  • Don’t be afraid to break the rules.
  • Good friends make you a birthday cake. Best friends make you a birthday cake and hike with it for 8.4 miles so you can eat it next to a waterfall.
  • Get up early. Go outside. Climb a mountain. Bring a raincoat. Life’s too short to say no to an adventure.

momandcakeandcandles grouptop1 groupbefore2hannahandjulie!

To my mom & co., thank you for all of your badass lady wisdom. I was raised by a team of experts. Readers—badass ladies and gents and everything in between—I hope you enjoy this wisdom too. (And remember to wish my mom a happy birthday. It’s the law.)



Two Dudes, One Moped

The other night I was walking home from class, attempting not to get tangled in my headphones cord while balancing a cup hot of cider and spilling it all over my hands. I strolled down Main Street, happy for my day to be over. And that’s when I saw it: Two Dudes, One Moped.

They’re a majestic creature, really. Like Bigfoot or the Lochness Monster. Just a couple of guys sharing one small seat on a motorized scooter and looking upset about it. There’s the guy driving, hunched forward and looking anywhere but back at his friend, or at anyone else, for that matter. Then there’s the passenger, following strict, guy-on-the-back-of-a-moped protocol.


  • You think this is weird, and you must make it known to the world that you think it’s weird.
  • Sit as far back as possible without actually tumbling backwards into the street. Risk life if necessary.
  • Do not, under any circumstances, wrap your arms around the dude in front. Put your hands anywhere else. Hold the seat, flail your arms around, pick your nose. Anything else.
  • Absolutely no hip contact.

Hannah and Julie as Two Dudes One Moped

This next part goes out to you, Dude On The Back Of A Moped. It’s okay. Sometimes, when you’re running late to wherever you’re going, you have to hitch a ride of the back of another dude’s scooter. There’s nothing wrong with Two Dudes, One Moped. Just relax and enjoy the ride, you mythical creature of this college campus.

The Gym

The Mono Scare

Tennis practice on Friday afternoon began like it always does—with dynamic stretching drills that make us look like morons. Our club tennis team coach has recently been watching a lot of YouTube videos by the “professionals,” and apparently the professionals are into things like running across the court while flapping your arms in circles. We also practice swinging at empty air, balancing on one leg in a variety of strange positions, and running frantic circles around our own tennis rackets. The team gets a lot of encouraging honks from passing fans.

But as we grabbed our rackets and started to get into position for triples—3 vs. 3 tennis, also kind of silly looking but a good time as long as you don’t collide with too many teammates—my friend Bruce* gave me some startling news. “Did you hear about Rachel?” He asked. I hadn’t seen Rachel since our tournament the previous weekend, so I shook my head no. Bruce grew serious. “She has mono,” he said.

Mono—or mononucleosis, as Web MD would say—is a stupid illness. Affectionately known as “the kissing disease,” mono spreads primarily through the sharing of saliva. (I formally apologize for the phrase “sharing of saliva.”) On top of making you feel like shit for months, mono causes inflammation of the spleen, and if you fall on your spleen while it is inflamed, there’s a good chance that it’ll rupture. (Aside from swelling up and benching you from all physical activities when you have mono, the spleen doesn’t do a whole lot. It’s like the right-fielder on a little league baseball team. Just sort of stands there.)

The bottom line is mono sucks. I felt terrible for Rachel and her spleen. I was about to tell Bruce this, but then I had a flashback so vivid, it could’ve been the final scene of a Law & Order episode.

6:15 AM on September 27, 2014. Fifteen or so members of the tennis team crowd the local Dunkin’ Donuts. Almost all of us are wearing grey sweat pants with our team logo and matching I regret signing up for this tournament but I’m trying not to show it expressions. It is still dark outside. The college we’re traveling to for our tournament is two and a half hours away. We’re excited, deep down we really are, but it’s a Saturday and all of our neighbors were blasting music until 2AM and no one can report getting more than five real hours of sleep. Rachel orders a large, cream-colored iced coffee. I do not order a coffee, because I know it will give me a) the jitters, b) a stomachache, c) an intense and prolonged need to pee, or d) all of the above. But Rachel’s cream-colored coffee looks damn good.

 “What kind of coffee did you get?” I ask her out of genuine curiosity. (Coffee fascinates me. Most of the time it makes me feel like I’m going to die and I never know how to order it right, but it’s just so sophisticated, you know?)

 “French Vanilla decaf,” Rachel says. “Want to try?” Then she smiles, tilts her straw towards me, and…


My stomach dropped. My skin went cold. I gulped. “Damn,” I said to Bruce, “that sucks.”

Things I chose not to say to Bruce:

  • Rachel is patient zero, and I am whatever the next victim after patient zero is called. Because I’m an idiot, Bruce.
  • Oh god, I can already feel my lymph nodes swelling.
  • I had mono in fourth grade and my mom made me sit on the couch watch Little House on the Prairie with her for six straight weeks. I can’t go back there, Bruce. I CAN’T.

I managed to swallow my fear—noting that my throat felt a little dry, like it was on the verge of becoming severely sore—and I played through the rest of the practice. It was a great practice, actually. Shout out to my friend Alfred for making it to the final round of Around the World two games in a row. (In the final round, you have to drop your racket and spin around in a circle after every shot you hit. I’m starting a petition to bring that rule to the Wimbledon Championships.)

Since the flashback, I’ve had two doctors, several family members, and most of the Internet tell me that contracting mono twice is a highly unlikely scenario. Julie has decided that she is immune. My other roommates are pretending that I have the Bubonic Plague.

Moral of the story: club sports rock, mono sucks, and fuck French Vanilla decaf.

*All names have been changed to protect the ill. Also, all names have been inspired by Batman.

This is the closest we've ever gotten to being one person.

Symbiotic, Not Codependent

Since the beginning of our college careers, Hannah and I have been slowly morphing into one being. It started freshman year when ate lunch at a table for two in the dining hall every day of the week. Then we moved in together, and it escalated from there.

Now we’re roommates. We’re also co-writers of this blog. Instructors have taken to calling us “thing one and thing two,” in our yoga classes. Last semester we both got jobs in the same office on campus. Oh, and we’re taking a fiction class together right now. We’ve started to dress alike, and sometimes we say the same thing at the same time.

People have started to call us out on these sweatshirts being similar.

People have started to call us out on these sweatshirts being similar. (We’re not amused.) 

We’re working on it.

Recently, it has gotten to the point where people start to get confused when they see us apart. A few weeks ago I strolled past the windows of our office, all by myself. One of our coworkers shot up from his chair and called, “Hey! Where’s your other half?!” (For the record, I was on my way to meet her for dinner.) Last week I announced that I was going to the RedSox game with my brothers and someone gasped, “You’re going somewhere without the other one?”  We might just work with a bunch of wiseasses, but we’re starting to get the feeling that people think of us as being codependent. And I’d like to clear that up right now.

For the record, Hannah and I are not surgically fused together. We’re symbiotic, not codependent, and that is an important distinction. Allow me to explain.

You know those little fish that sort of hangout on sharks’ backs? The fish keep the shark’s skin clean, and the shark protects the fish. They each do something that helps the other, and this is how Hann and I work. (Since I’m the one writing this post, I totally get to be the shark. Suck it, Hann.)

This summer Hannah and I spent a weekend on Cape Cod. It wasn’t until I arrived and opened my overnight bag that I realized how severely I had under-packed. I didn’t even bring a towel. (As far as I’m concerned, if I remember shoes and my car keys then it’s a good day.) Hannah, on the other hand, was armed to the teeth with everything practical that one might need for a day and night by the sea. But as we set off for the ocean, Hannah turned and walked proudly in the opposite direction of the water. Head held high, confidently calm, and completely wrong.

This is not the first time this has happened. About once a week Hannah leads us fearlessly in the wrong direction, and I used to follow and trust that she had a plan. Folks, she almost never has a plan. She’s winging it, just like the rest of us. So now I’ve taken to ignoring her and walking the correct way until she notices and catches up. Works like a charm.

So while Hann approached traffic with her towel under her arm, I turned and walked in the other direction. She caught up to me a few moments later, laughing at herself. And at that moment, we realized something beautiful. She never knows where she’s going and I always forget everything.

“You know what? If you walk next to me and tell me where to go for the rest of our lives, then I will pack for you.” -Hann.

And that’s when we realized that we have a good thing going here. She’s the little fish to my shark, and the person I make fun of when she gets us lost. We’re soulmates, roommates, yoga buddies, and two halves of a whole idiot. I think the best part of college is finding your person who’ll pack for you.

And we’re symbiotic, not codependent.

Food and Friends

Eating Like a Goldfish

(Warning to my grandparents, extended family members, and Internet friends who might be offended by explicit language/prolonged use of the term ‘bowel movements’: This video is not for you. Proceed to the post below.)

“The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” –Louis CK

My lunch starts out as an innocent dining hall excursion. I’m still sweaty from yoga, and I really outdid myself with the high lunges in there, so endorphins are flying high. A hearty salad, I tell myself, piling lettuce and veggies and chicken in a bowl. Hummus is yummus, not to mention a great source of protein, so I add a big scoop to my salad bowl. Top the whole thing off with a little bit of roasted red pepper dressing and shredded cheese, and voilá, I’m sure I’m just a phone call and a photo shoot away from landing my face on the cover of Health Magazine.

As I leave the salad bar, I notice the loaf of fresh-baked oatmeal bread sitting on a cutting board nearby. I take a slice and slather it with butter, because everyone deserves a slice of fresh-baked bread after a good workout.

Then I pass the giant bowl of pretzels. I fucking love pretzels. I scoop some onto my plate next to the bread. And another little blob of yummus, just to keep the pretzels company.

Then there are the apples—they’re in season! I manage to balance both my salad bowl and my plate on one arm so I can reach into the apple basket with the other. I bite into the crisp apple, make a noise like an overeager customer in a Pizza Hut commercial (mmMMmm!) and add the apple to the quickly growing pile of food on my plate. Soon I’m sitting in front of my post-yoga feast—which in its final glory includes a glass of ice water, a glass of chocolate milk, and a double chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven—and I’m ready to eat.

I take my feast to the face over the course of about ten minutes. About ten minutes after that—when I’m walking back to my dorm room, still thinking about how awesome the double chocolate chip cookie was—I feel a little bit like I’m going to die.

It’s a subtle feeling of imminent doom, the post-feast-regret. You’ve eaten yourself into discomfort, but you can’t undo it now, you dumbass, so you might as well just go about your business. Usually I just take a few minutes to reflect on the situation, assure myself that next time, I’ll leave the double chocolate chip cookie out of it, and moan to Julie about how full I am. (She somehow refrains from punching me in the face.)

The balance between eating healthy and eating what makes you happy is a tough one to strike, especially in a college setting. Dining halls are enormous and the food is endless. With the right meal plan, you could conceivably eat nonstop for 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week. (This is not recommended by health professionals.) You can eat the same bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can put peanut butter on pizza and wash it down a glass of blue Powerade. You can skip the whole thing and boil some water to make Ramen instead. With great power comes great responsibility, Spider-Man, and unlimited swipes at a modern college dining hall carry a little bit of both.

So this week, I will be making a concerted effort to eat like a human being instead of a goldfish. (Julie told me once that if you keep giving a goldfish food, it’ll eat until it dies. I then googled “goldfish eating until they die,” like any self-respecting researcher would, and found that this fact isn’t totally supported by science, but the metaphor still works.) Balance is key.

I saw a thing the other day somewhere on the Internet that had a picture of Miley Cyrus doing that tongue thing she always does and someone had commented: MILEY YOU ARE MY SPIRIT ANIMAL. I do not know this someone. The term “spirit animal” always makes me think of 1) Hermione Granger‘s otter Patronus, and 2) the fact that an online quiz once told my friend Annabelle that her Patronus would be an elephant, in that order. (Imagine an elephant fighting Dementors! The logistics! The noises!)

My point is, I’ve never really thought of myself as the kind of person whose spirit would manifest itself as an animal. But if it did, that animal would probably be Louis CK.

whiteboard move in day

Hannah and Julie 2.0

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that a few things have changed. We’ve done some spring cleaning if you will, except it’s not the spring, and we didn’t actually clean anything. (Frantically waving a scrubbing bubbles toilet wand in front of your laptop screen does not ‘clean up’ your blog’s home page. We tried.) We have a new look and a few new ways to make it easier for YOU, our darling twelve readers, to keep up with our college adventures:

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  • Tell your friends about our Facebook and our Twitter! Tell them you’ve been one of the twelve from the beginning!
  • If there’s something you want us to write about, tell us. We accept Facebook posts, Tweets, and notes delivered by carrier pigeon.

So, with that, we blog on. This new template has bigger font and better pictures and perfectly fits our straight faces in that little oval at the top, but the pages where we previously posted the “About Hannah” and “About Julie” sections are a little hard to find. So we’re bringing the About Pages to you.

About Julie (by Hannah):

She is a bendy person. I know I should probably start with something else, like how she understands Neurology and is able to use words like ‘arcuatefasciculis’ in the correct context, or how her full name is really Julianne because her parents wanted her to be a Supreme Court Justice someday, or how she took five children to the beach this summer and managed to keep all of them alive. But she can bend down, grab her heels from behind her heels, straighten her legs, and press her forehead into her shins. Without dying. It is both inspiring and a little bit disturbing to witness. “Hey, Julie,” said one of our favorite instructors as we left the sweaty Bikram studio one night this summer. “You know we compete, right?”

So Jules has the potential to become an award-winning bendy-ass person. That’s probably the first thing you should know. She also worked her butt off this summer to save for a semester in Ireland, where she will be studying this spring. She has a lot of hair and she likes taking the scenic route home. She always sleeps on top of her comforter. She has this magical ability to teach kids and make them love her at the same time—it’s like she’s half Mary Poppins and half Jack Black’s character in School of Rock. Someday, after she gets her undergraduate degree in Communications Sciences and Disorders (with a minor in Creative Writing) and then her graduate degree in Speech Pathology, she is going to be the best damn speech therapist the world has ever seen. And she still wears a lot of black tank tops.

About Hannah (by Julie):

She answers to many names. First and most often: Hannah. Also, Hann. HD. Occasionally, “you doofus,” when she confidently walks the wrong way on campus. She spent her summer writing a fantasy novella and sweating profusely next to me in yoga. This semester she’s taking classes that have her up at all hours of the night reading medieval Spanish poetry. She’s nuts. Hannah went from having no major to having all the majors, and she’s settled on English and International Affairs with a minor in Spanish, which is a mouthful. One day she’s going to publish her Young Adult novel and I will be the first in line to buy it. Her likes are chocolate, elephant puns, and that song from Ice Princess when Michelle Trachtenberg keeps falling down. She’s an impressive yogi and an even more impressive writer. And a doofus.

We’re just going to assume that you’ve been missing our weekly doses of wit and wisdom, or at least the goofy pictures we post of each other when they pop up on your Facebook feed. Probably more of the last part, but let’s just pretend that neither of us know that. We’ll be posting every Monday again, starting with Hannah next week. We’ll see you then, lovebugs.

Food and Friends, Uncategorized

The School Year In Review

Not to get all nostalgic on you, but we’re sad to say that this school year is coming to a close. We’ve taken our finals, submitted our papers, and shoved all of our belongings in trash bags to take home for the summer. (Hannah moved out yesterday, and she owned roughly 80% of our room so 434 is looking especially empty today.) The end of the year feels bittersweet.

It’s sweet because finals are ending and we don’t have to hide in the darkest corners of the library for hours on end to write papers and make flashcards until we forget what sunlight feels like. In our newly-found free time we’ve mostly been finding romantic comedies to watch, planning to lambaste them, but ultimately falling into a comatose silence while we watch them then wonder after why we did that in the first place. We’ve been specializing in the Miles Teller RomCom genre, which is surprisingly extensive. That Awkward Moment and The Spectacular Now are just a few mediocre movies that you can add to your list.

It’s bitter because Hannah, Natalia and I will no longer be sharing a room. (Thank god we all live in the same town.) We’ll miss dining hall breakfasts and the endless supplies of chocolate chip cookies. But most of all, we’ll be bummed because this blog will be taking a break for the summer, to return when we come back to school in the fall.

So, for our last post for a while, we’ve compiled a “Best Of” list for this year, our sophomore years in college. Please enjoy.


That time we jumped out of a plane:


That time we practiced jumping out of a plane:


That time we played real-life MarioKart. (I’d like to point out that we were on our way to see the One Direction movie, a decision we’re only mildly ashamed of.)


That time Hannah travelled all the way to London but was just as goofy as she is here:


That time we learned to ski:


That time Andie looked like this, (featuring Meg doing homework):


That time we learned how to vacuum for ourselves, like big people:


That time Hannah looked like a teletubby:


That time Andie looked like Strega Nona


(For comparison):


So that’s it for us for a while, friends! Hannah and I are working on some cool things this summer. She’s starting a novel, and we’re going to be writing a screenplay together. We’ll also be working on re-vamping this site, so make sure you check us out again in the fall. We’ll have some cool stuff for you, we promise.

And above all, thanks so much for reading. (Special thanks to Andie for letting me post a bunch of goofy pictures of her.)