Being a mammal on the internet

Over the last several days, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time with my curser blinking helplessly in Google’s search field and my mind in the same condition. I can’t think of the right search term. I’ve tried them all. Nothing is giving me the information I seek. Mostly because I know better than to directly ask Google the question I really want answered: When, exactly, will I go into labor?

Read more

The Real and True Me

I’m changing my name back. I know. After all the the serious thought, hemming and hawing I put into the decision to become Natalie Burg Vial, I picked the wrong choice. I was just wrong. I tried it on, and it didn’t fit.

I have been annoyed at every piece of mail that has come addressed to Natalie Vial. I roll my eyes at the people in my doctor’s office who look up my file and say, “Oh, Natalie Burg Vial?” Which is insane, because the only reason they have me filed that way is because I told them that was my name. But it feels wrong. It feels like a lie. It’s not romantic or sweet. Every time I hear myself referred too by the (actually rather cool) last name of my (wonderful and loving) husband, I feel the crushing weight of thousands of years of patriarchy grind on my bones.

Read more

Harry Potter, feminism, and remembering we’re all still evolving

There were a number of happy things about the recent holidays for me, and among them was reading all of the Harry Potter books again, from start to finish. It took a long time, but was a delightful exercise in experiencing something old in a new way. Some books I’d read multiple times; some only once. Years separated reading each book before, just as years have changed me since my last reading of them.

Read more

Don’t Freak Out Friday

It’s rough caring about so much shit all the time, amiright? Life gives enough personal tough stuff, and then society comes along throws a bunch of other stuff at us.

For instance, as my husband can attest actually happened a few months ago, sometimes you’re having a fine day and then you find out the Right to Life of Michigan is using insane, backchannel legislative methods to push an extreme, anti-choice bill into law, even though our Republican governor already vetoed it, and you have a complete emotional meltdown. Other times, there’s another shooting in another public place and you can’t even. You can’t even. Sometimes you read a headline about another female celebrity bragging about how she’s not a feminist, and it takes over the rest of your day with rage posting. And other days you are so freaked out about the yelling and screaming over Obamacare that you can’t even yell back anymore, you just want walk into traffic, even though that would result in medical bills so high you would be financially ruined for life because everyone won’t stop yelling about making healthcare affordable and not stupid, OH MY GOD, HILLARYHURRYUPANDSAVEUSFROMTHISALREADY.

Read more

Possibly premature lessons from a government shutdown. That just started.

The government has been shut down for almost 20 hours now, so why not start thinking about what we’re going to be saying to ourselves after it’s over? I mean, nothing any of us peons out here in the American public can do a thing to resolve this mess, so we might as well start considering what we can do, which is use our power as “the people” (as known from such oldies but goodies as “of the people” and “by the people”) to avoid this type of disaster in the future.

Here are my ideas:

Read more

Unfortunately, it’s not the internet’s fault, guys.

I had an internet meltdown today. I saw an article in my Facebook newsfeed, one that being commented on and shared that 1) was factually incorrect, 2) listed no author, nor identified the credentials of the site itself, 3) used links to other posts on the same site as the majority of its source citations. Why? Why was this on the internet? Why had it gotten picked up by a major news source? AND WHY DOES IT MAKE ME WANT TO PULL MY TOENAILS OUT?

Read more