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No seriously, please tell me.

You ever see those cool women whose hair is just, like, up? And it looks great? Full and lush and shiny and both mussed and also elegant? How do they do it?

This is a serious question. Because I am 34 years old and I have had this hair growing out of my head for almost that entire time and I have never mastered a top-knot that looks both presentable and breezy.

Reader, I’m beginning to believe that all of these fantastic top-knots that I’ve seen at farmer’s markets (ok, Target) and on TV are, in fact, not effortless at…


Most people are earning less on unemployment, but at least they’re earning it regularly.

A woman serving a cup of coffee across a counter
A woman serving a cup of coffee across a counter

If you caught the H1N1 virus (also known as the swine flu) in Bellingham, Washington, in 2008, it might have been my fault. I was 21 years old, in my final year of college, and working as a waitress in an all-night diner. One night after a shift, the pain in my lower back was so extreme that I texted my dad to ask how I would know if I was passing a kidney stone. …


I mean look at that guy.

When I was in junior high, my friends and I used to rank the boys we found attractive based on a Friends scale. Joey was the worst, Chandler was ok, and Ross was the holy grail.

What the fuck was wrong with us.

Now, to be fair, none of the men (or women, or anyone) in that show is perfect. Or honestly even remotely tolerable (oh, the fat jokes. THE FAT JOKES). I can honestly say that as an adult, I would not want to be friends with any of the Friends.

But, rewatching Friends now—when I am no longer…


Image via Pixabay

Hello anxiety my old friennnnnnd.

In the last two weeks, I have socialized (safely, at a distance, or within other quarantine protocols) with a record 4 (four) individuals who were not my partner or my immediate family.

What a rush! What a roller-coaster! What an exercise in after-the-fact self-loathing!

At the dawning of the pandemic, I felt an enormous amount of relief that my calendar was suddenly free of events. Between involvement in my local Democratic Party, my work as a consultant, and having, you know, friends and acquaintances, there were a lot of weeks pre-pandy where I did not have a single block of…


Image of a cat yawning broadly.
Image of a cat yawning broadly.
PAY ATTENTION TO ME.

Or a Tamagotchi, whatever’s in your heart

Here is how my 14-year-old dog lets me know he’d like to go outside:

First, he lumbers down off of the bed on his special wooden stairs, which are very noisy. Then, he lingers in the hallway like a chatty neighbor who makes meaningful eye contact until you finally ask how he’s doing.

If boring a hole into me from 10 yards away doesn’t help, he will then start shuffling his feet to ensure I can’t ignore him. He is still staring at me as his little paws tip-tap on the floor. If I’m still unmoved, he will start to…


Image of a disposable mask on a light blue background with a frown drawn on it
Image of a disposable mask on a light blue background with a frown drawn on it

You cancelled Christmas. You had a Zoom Thanksgiving. But it feels like it doesn’t matter because some dingus had a no-mask NYE rager.

Today as folks with office-type jobs slid back into their home office chairs, facing a tidal wave of office emails and arbitrary office deadlines, many probably paused to consider the fact that they were still working from home. Their kids got up for “school” in whatever way that manifests — for littles with limited internet access or parents who can’t or aren’t involved in their education, the morning probably wasn’t a lot different than the winter break.

For shift workers, medical care providers, home health care workers, transit operators, and so many others, there’s little distinction between “holidays” and “every…


Three young women popping champagne to celebrate their recent graduation
Three young women popping champagne to celebrate their recent graduation
Wheeeeee! Debt!

Honest question.

So you recently heard about the idea of student debt forgiveness and your first reaction was something like disgust, or maybe indignation. You heard that today’s students were just going to be let off the hook like the entitled babies that they are, never having to learn to be responsible. Pfft! You paid your debt! Why can’t they do the same?

To which I would ask, my dude: Why do you care?

But let’s talk about it.

When I was 17 years old, I voluntarily stepped into something like $75k in student debt, which might as well have been seven…


We seem to think that we need to voraciously consume bad news to be engaged. The opposite is true.

Some time in the early-1990s, I remember reading a bumper sticker out loud to my mother and asking her what it meant.

IF YOU’RE NOT MAD, YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION

The sticker was fairly worn and we were in Eugene, Oregon, so I assume the owner of the vehicle had probably purchased and placed it in reaction to the decisions and actions of the first President Bush, though I can’t be certain. There were plenty of things to be mad about at that time — which is exactly what my mother told me. …


Queue “Eye of the Tiger,” baby, because you are READY! FOR! THIS!

In video-therapy today (which I almost forgot but then didn’t because while time has no meaning now it is also very much the same!) my therapist asked how I was handling [gestures at everything, from the well-trod grass below to the alarmingly blue skies above]. And I told her that honestly, I’ve been doing ok. Not to brag, but I’m not having a complete mental breakdown right now.

In fact, I have found myself taking the societal changes and the firehose of awful news almost too well. Because, well, life has thrown harder things at me and a lot of…


It’s barely March.

There’s a popular meme reserved only for Wednesdays. You might have seen it. It looks like this:

Hanna Brooks Olsen

I wrote that one thing you didn’t really agree with. Interests include progressive policy, minor league baseball, and avoiding Zoom calls. Curious to a fault.

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