(Catch-up post, five of five.)
If this page is accurate, it’s incredibly difficult to change your name if you’re not going through the paperwork of getting married or getting divorced (and even then it’s incredibly difficult—and probably always has been, although I think it’s now even more difficult since the terrorist attacks seven years ago). But the easiest route (again, if wikiHow is at all dependable) seems to be the part where the page says that “[a]nyone can legally change their name ‘by use’ by simply using a new name consistently.” (I once peeked in the glove compartment of the car of the famous pop star mom of the girlfriend of a friend of mine; taking out the car’s registration, I noticed that she actually had never legally changed her name to the pop star name the world knows her by. So perhaps the thing to do is just to use your new name, and not ever bother with the DMV, IRS, SSA, etc.?) In any case, I guess that’s what I’m going to start to try to do here. I’m changing my middle name to Israel.