Select Page

Author: Natalie Lyalin

On Gilmore Girls (Part 1 of the GIRLS ARC)

When I was a sixth grader in Georgia, a local weatherman by the name of Glen Burns was supposed to visit our school to talk about his job and the weather, presumably. As we kids excitedly waited for his arrival, word came that Burns would NOT be coming that day. A weather-related emergency, we were told, was keeping him away. We did not take the news well. We spontaneously erupted into chants of “Burn Glen Burns! Burn Glen Burns!” What does this have to do with Gilmore Girls? I don’t know. Maybe I’m thinking about this episode in order...

Read More

The Artist is Present and She Makes Good Pasta For a Former Lover and You Will Cry About It

This is a pleasantly weird and deeply moving documentary about Marina Abramović. If you think you are hard core about anything, this will challenge your standards. In a good way. You will laugh and cry, which is a great combo. The entire thing is a beauty. For instance, what better way to come to terms with a dying relationship / partnership with a deeply beloved person than to start at the opposite ends of, and to meet in the middle of, The Great Wall of China? (The Lovers, The Great Wall Walk). And then, years later, to have that former lover come visit you at your summer house, and to drive them around in your Land Rover, and to cook them pasta? But then, have MoMA host a retrospective of your life’s work, and perform a new piece, called The Artist is Present. Have your former lover / partner, sit across from you. Look into his eyes. Have him look into yours. Go back and forth like this. Hold hands. This is magnificent. This is simple and it is so complicated. It is so deeply beautiful. You will cry. People will cry. They will walk away from you in awe, not sure what just happened, but something did. Did they sit across from a witch? A healer? A diety? They will act like you are all of those things,...

Read More

Fifteen Thoughts on Happy Valley

This is a female character-driven show. Basically all the good, smart, brave, and interesting shit that happens on this show happens because of a good, smart, brave and interesting woman. It’s complicated. The initial action of the show centers on sergeant Catherine Cawood pursuit of the man who is suspected of raping her daughter. She has no proof other than her daughter’s cryptic suicide note. What complicates this scenario is that this rapist is probably the father of Cawood’s grandson, who she has raised since her daughter’s death. This is a BBC show, so you know it’s quality. Seriously,...

Read More

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Monica Geller

Friends is a natural choice for a postpartum viewing experience. For one thing, it’s a comedy, and laughter is so very important during those hazy sleepless days and nights following your baby’s birth (or babies, OMG). Another factor that makes it ideal postpartum viewing is the short episode length. Twenty-two minutes is just enough time to keep your attention span while simultaneously allowing for a bit of a zone-out situation. Also, there are no complicated plot lines to follow, so if you doze off or have to leave the room you will not miss some crucial twist in the narrative....

Read More

Things I Do Not Watch When Feeding A Baby

Here is my highly subjective list of shows that I just can’t hang with when feeding baby. These are also shows I wouldn’t watch while eating. Too emotional / stressful / violent for me to deal with. I’ll stick to The Office for a good dose of digestive giggles (terrible title for a book, but you can have it). Luther: Is it okay to feed your baby while having adrenaline coursing through your veins? Or while watching a person get stabbed, frozen, tortured, murdered, or to see their head ripped through a ceiling? If so, then Luther is the show for...

Read More

Scallop Cooked Over Burning Juniper Branches and Other Magical Food Thoughts

Food takes on a mythical quality during pregnancy and post-birth. A pregnant person’s relationship with food can become quite weird, almost like science fiction. To find a balance is elusive, because you really need to eat to feed yourself and the growing child within, but sometimes you can’t eat anything but pirate’s booty and Fage yogurt. And foods you normally like become revolting, while foods you normally find revolting become delicious slices of heaven (for me, that meant no salad, but all the beef I could get my hands on). Post partum, food is a battleground. How to get...

Read More

Felicity as the Antidote to Death

Felicity was the first show I watched post having a baby. Post standing at the foot of the bed in which my father-in-law passed six weeks before I gave birth. Post my original birth plan being placed in a blender, crapped on, and then blended to perfection. To say that nothing went according to plan in the weeks leading up to having my first baby would give way more coherence and structure to what giving birth and living during that time was actually like. It was like having my head dunked under water and at some point not coming back up. It was like trying to leap out of my own body but having to stay put. It was like everything that anybody ever told me was the opposite of what happened. It was like, I will marry this anesthesiologist. It was like, I’ve come to, and I’m not going to marry the anesthesiologist, I’m going to marry this morphine pump and we will live in Mexico and operate a surfing school. I never felt closer to death than when I was about to give birth. Death hung around my family. My husband lost his father so suddenly and with such finality. Up until then I was lucky not to know the permanence of death. How it is to walk into a kitchen and fully, truly, absolutely expect the...

Read More

Open Concept and Other Concepts

  About three years ago I had a baby. And six months ago I had another. Both babies ate voraciously, every two hours or so, for the first six to eight weeks. It was insane. It was like doing something non-stop and not doing anything at all. My brain was on fire and it needed soothing. I turned to Netflix. I turned to Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Top of the Lake, Sherlock, Restaurant Nightmares, Friends, Luther, Parenthood, The Office, etc. As I fed my babies I watched one episode after another. I paused whenever they were done and we resumed...

Read More

Real Pants

Good hair, crooked gait

Our Sponsors

Mailing List

Keep current with literary stuff

Type in your email and hit enter
* indicates required