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AKA Haley Gowland. Bringing you anxiety, queerness, music, outdoors, existential mishaps and more, while supplies last!

Introspective as ever, cult-classic Pheobe and hopeless-romantic Taylor gave the world what we needed

Phoebe Bridgers makes sad, brutal music. Like “we were just playing a game and now we’re talking about death” sad. Like I have to be emotionally stable to listen to her, or bring on the mascara Mississippi River down my cheeks.

And up until now, she was relatively unknown. People who loved her loved her, but she wasn’t nominated for a Grammy or anything. Well after her latest release, Bridgers was nominated not once, but four times.

What I considered a win was when I heard it in a Subaru waiting room on the radio. The song I heard is…


From Bob Dylan to Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift, and Phoebe Bridgers

Two slightly familiar faces, barely lit and clutching steaming beverages, emerge through the crowd like children through a heavy curtain. It’s 2013, and the moment we’ve all been waiting for is creeping closer, and closer.

“You’re our heroes! Thank you!” My best friend and I completely swoon, reaching out with our cold, wet hands. We take their offerings, a trade, for holding their spot at the gate. Now, all four of us don’t even have an inch to spare, but we don’t mind. The company grounds us from both the light spring drizzle and the buzz of excitement.

Soon, the…


asking for plastic bags, but only to save and reuse them.

getting excited when said bags don’t have any holes.

saving up for ski passes.

accidentally buying a nice bike.

accidentally ordering WAY too much on Etsy.

splurging on plastic tampons, as opposed to cardboard.

learning about Omega-3s, anti-oxidents and kale.

drinking protein shakes and kombucha by the mason jar,

and counteracting all that goodness with a healthy dose of craft beer and Franzia.

realizing a BA isn’t good enough.

eliciting that an MA is too good.

starting a blog.

starting a podcast.

starting a band.

working with kids.

getting…


But sadly, are not

In a world without concerts, merch tables, or even talking about bands over a drink, I was fortunate to discover artists like Kim Petras on the internet. First, I recognized her as an amazing, talented pop writer and singer. Then, I found that she is transgender. Discovering Petras in this way got me thinking about LGBTQ representation in music and the power it holds.

It was a delight to find out that she is trans after I heard her music. How cool is it that we get to listen to a variety of stories, from a variety of perspectives? How…


When that scene from The Office becomes a terrifying reality

It’s a strange year for the holidays. My partner and I, among our other roommates, decided to celebrate unconventionally, in hopes of fending off COVID for our families’ and essential workers’ sakes. Instead of risking going home for the holidays, we booked an air bnb and headed west.

And let me tell you that Moab, Utah in the winter is a truly unique sight. You’d think you were on Mars if it weren’t for the dustings of snow, desperately lingering Trump signs, and 40,000 Watt Christmas spectacles. Oh yes, we are on earth after all.

No matter the season, Moab…


The smallest actions make the biggest difference

After rising well before the sun, my crew and I stumbled up a nearby mountain. Nederland, Colorado may only boast a few thousand residents (does 1,541 count as a “few thousand”?) but it bursts at the seams with adventure. The snow, stark wind, and thin, open air cleansed my internet-soaked, quarantined soul.

That was hours ago. Now, back below tree line, the wind no longer claws at our soft faces. The wet snow is finally packed in the relieving shape of a trail.

The sun is now high in the sky, and casts long shadows off of ponderosa pines. My…


A response to “How Identity Politics Destroyed the Left”

The American left has one of the biggest battles of its life coming up in just a few months.

To many, this upcoming election rests on a precarious edge: swayed left, and we have a chance at making meaningful climate, international, economic and social change. Swayed right, four more years of catastrophic, political absurdity of a global degree.

We need to be critical of every move made in this drag race. In this context, Umair Haque’s piece, “How Identity Politics Destroyed the Left,” caught my eye.

I too have seen the discussion around identity politics get harsh, to say the…


Finding unexpected pleasure from pain

Everyone works 15 hour days right?

without a nap?

As I drive through the snowy canyon, I fight to keep my eyes on the road. I’m 30 minutes in, and I’ve become quite savvy at locating the salty spots, and tread marks to follow. Through the cold darkness, I catch sight of what I call “15-minute rock”: A boulder reminiscent of an ice burg that marks being close to home.

The cascading snow clouds my vision and thought process alike until I pull into our driveway. …


New year, new beef

Let’s start with the small stuff:

I’ve been sick in three different ways since the new year. Sure, ONE of them was a hangover and totally self-inflicted, but you get the idea. I’ve been house-ridden, buckled over, sneezing and squinty-eyed.

Life happens. People get sick. This wasn’t too much to handle.

Moving on: my toilet overflowed this morning. A lot. I caught myself venting to the dogs, hands stretched to the sky, from my soaked-towel surfboard.

Lucky for me, only the dogs heard my rant. This, again, wasn’t too much to handle.


And what actually happens out there

The Lightbulb Moment

I was in the midst of a dull season at a temporary job. Between emails, my scrolling seemed to reveal every tropical destination ever posted. I started to pass the time daydreaming about leaving home with just myself and a backpack.

Ever since college, I had tried and failed at solo travel. When I scrounged together enough money to go to Ireland, my parents bought a ticket last minute. They had always wanted to see Europe. No further comment.

As I hopped around the continent, I stayed with friends who showed me around first hand.

Each time, what would start…

The Smallest Giant

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