The Trek to Santa Ana

[Alt: Why I Still Get Valium Refilled]

I hate California ~ have I ever said this? Someday I shall retire to an idyllic place where there’s way less traffic and constant hassle.

So my dad had a checking account at Bank of America. As you may know, this is an institution with a ton of problems, but one thing they’re right on top of is freezing the small accounts of dead old people. I produced all manner of ID and stuffs, including a power of attorney, but none of that was good enough ~ I had to get his death certificate for them, plus then wait 40 days, for them to give me the money. If only I had thought of writing a check to myself for the full amount the minute I heard the news, right? But no.

The death certificate is available (for $16) in Santa Ana at the OC Health Care Agency, where it marinates for 60 days and then is transferred to the Hall of Records. Why is that? Because we need to have arbitrary rules. Dur. So, I left early Tuesday morning to go to the HCA, but the freeways were all messed up even then, so I arrived in Santa Ana at almost 8:00AM, and the streets were all crowded and miserable.

I found the building and saw the parking was all metered, natch. I had to drive around the block, and on the other side was the High School for the Performing Arts, mashed between all the gobblement buildings. WTF? Who’d put a high school there? Oh, and it was time for school, yay. So, I had to wait while all the budding Rembrandts and Lady Gagas ambled across the street, ushered by cops, and the mommies in their ginormous SUVs dropped off their preciousnesses. Gah!

OK. Finally I got back to my building, parked, found two quarters for the meter, and went inside. I was the only customer, whew. I decided to get two certificates, just in case. This was the easy part, figures. It’s always the driving/parking that stresses me out.

My grandmother’s middle name was Ann, like mine. I never knew. Strange to find out this way, after all this time.

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9 responses to “The Trek to Santa Ana

  1. Makes me remember that I want to make a will and set up bank accounts and deeds and titles for transfer on death and all that good stuff.
    It’s too bad the weather in Kansas City is so crappy–it is not overcrowded, and our “rush hour” is, like, this thirty minute period where you can’t do the speed limit. And we have a cupcake shop!

    http://www.cupcakealamode.wedolocalweb.com/index.html

    Odd. They have a location in Roseville, CA.

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  2. My name is a variation of Ann. My patron saint, from when I was a Catholic where we had such things, is St. Anne. You had to go to Santa Ana.

    Lotta Anns there.

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  3. I wonder what person, and where, decided that the cost of a death certificate should be $16. What the hell kind of weird job would that be…to decide such a thing?

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  4. Get several copies of the death certificate. You will need them.

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  5. Things I have learned that may be helpful to you in this regard:
    1. Come visit me in TN to see if you could stand the quietness! I have discovered that the only thing I miss about CA is the weather cuz I can’t get used to having it sunny outside while the air is still freezing. That’s how it is in TN but in CA sunny means warm.
    2. When somebody dies ALWAYS get MULTIPLE copies of the ORIGINAL death cert. I know it’s ghoulish but through vicarious experience I have learned that you never know when you will need one, even long after the individual’s death.
    3. If you have an account with Merrill Lynch, they have a person who will interface with the ginormous bureaucracies at BofA (there are mulitple – y’all deal with the ones in SF while those of us in the SE get to talk to the hicks in Charlotte, NC) on your behalf. That’s one of the reasons I am moving my IRA and all the other accounts of my deceased relatives there.

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  6. I’ve learned that when you say “California” you really mean “the L.A. basin” or maybe just “Orange County.”

    My dad’s death certs cost a lot less than $16. Maybe it was a county thing.

    We had thunder and lightning last night. It was wonderful.

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  7. Even as a fourth gen. Californian, O can honestly say that I don’t miss it at ALL. You want idyllic? Have I got the state for you. I’ve always hated that my first name is half the population’s middle name. Bor-ing.

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  8. It’s all a mechanism to distract you from the grief. They’re totally secretly on your side. Or something.

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