Who are you?
My name is Julia Hass. I’m 29. I live in Boston with my parents and two gerbils.
What do you do?
A lot of things. Currently, I’m a part-time student majoring in Digital Journalism at UMass Amherst’s University Without Walls program and work part-time as a barista. I’m the social media manager for the American Gerbil Society and run Double Boop Embroidery.
Why are you only going to college now?
I had a pretty bad stretch in terms of mental health after graduating high school because I had terrible anxiety and no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I spent my twenties getting my act together, trying a lot of jobs, and exploring a lot of things before settling on what I do now as the right path for me. Most people do their whole anxiety-induced existential crisis after college instead of before it, so just think of me as having gone through my twenties out of order.
What do you write about and why do you rarely update this blog?
Because I’m very busy and Beyoncé still hasn’t shared her secrets with me on how she manages to have it all.
When I do write, I write primarily non-fiction in the form of essays or columns. Those I tend to keep for shopping around instead of publishing (unless they’re time-sensitive) on the off-chance I can make money from them. And when I do copywriting or copyediting, I can’t add that to this blog. It belongs to the company I do it for, not me.
If you very badly want to keep track of my daily thoughts because I’m just that fascinating, I’m always “writing” on my Twitter.
DID YOU KNOW BARACK OBAMA FOLLOWS YOU ON TWITTER?
You seem very calm about this.
Considering Barack Obama “follows” over 600,000 people and I was one of the ones that got added when some bot he employed followed back people at random, yeah, I feel safe saying he doesn’t actually read my tweets or know I exist. I mean, I would love if he did, but also I would hate if he did because that would be mortifying. I’m pretty sure at some point I’ve tweeted about my farts.
Why are you a Penguins fan if you live in Boston?
I was a late in life convert to hockey, which meant I got to choose the team I root for. It’s a long story as to why I chose the Penguins since no one who got me into hockey was a fan of them, but mostly I just really liked the style (which tends to be more like the women’s game and rely on skill and speed instead of hitting. Incidentally, I’m also a really big fan of the women’s game), I liked the players, and also their mascot was far and away the best one.
You talk a lot about animals, too, and I can never figure out how many you have.
I have two gerbils named Sasha and Rizzo. I also have a dog, but we share her with another family, so sometimes she is at their house and sometimes she is at my house. And I babysit people’s pets a lot or just go over their house to visit their pets and ignore the actual people.
What other stuff do you talk/write/tweet about?
Cute animals, pop culture, politics, feminism, any intersection of the last three things, food (especially dessert), history, art, how great Boston is and all the stuff you should do there (mostly involving dessert, history, and art), my myriad of opinions which I do my best to make well-informed, and none of which reflect on anyone employing me, anything I think I can make a joke about, making a lot of terrible jokes.
How terrible are these jokes?
Pretty dang terrible, but I feel like in the so bad it’s good way.
Can I use [drawing/piece of writing/thing you made] for [a logo/a zine/anything]?
Not without my permission. And unless there’s a really good reason (like, say, charity), not without paying me. Mama’s got gerbils to feed and tuition bills to pay. If you are interested in hiring me, shoot me an email. We can discuss rates depending on what exactly you’re hiring me for.
How do I hire you?
You can either shoot me an e-mail (julia.m.hass at gmail dot com) or look at my writing portfolio (or art portfolio, if that’s what you’re into) for some samples. If you’re interested in custom embroidery, I take care of that over at Double Boop Embroidery (doubleboopembroidery at gmail dot com) instead.
Do I get something for making it through all that?
Those are hamsters, not gerbils.
True, but why quibble with artistic greatness?