Oh, my poor neglected blog.  I know there are a bajillion of you out there waiting on pins and needles for my every post, so for the delay I’m deeply sorry.  YOU GUYS KNOW I’M KIDDING, RIGHT?  I can’t really say what the delay has been, other than there was traveling, and the general malaise of late pregnancy, and well.  If I can’t bring you a well crafted blog entry, I just won’t bring you one at all (errr, whatever.  My posts are not even slightly CRAFTED, much less well crafted).

ANYHOO.  I thought, since so many of you slogged through the epic story of how I started the process of changing my last name (like married ladies, some of them, anyways, do), I would share what has happened since my four trips to the courthouse and all the associated angst.  Once all my paperwork was properly filed, I received a court date, midday on a Monday (again, I’d like to make the point that I can attend these sorts of things in the middle of the day without monetary penalty is a function of my socio-economic status, and that at no point was I told HOW LONG this court date might take, so had I been working, I would have had to take the entire afternoon off to guarantee I didn’t have to leave in the middle of the proceedings).

I conned J into coming with me for the court date, and I dressed as “business casual” as you can get at seven months pregnant, which is to say all my naughty bits were covered, and my shoes were not slippers.  Once at the appointed courtroom, we waited for the clerk to let us in, and then J and I and one other gentleman changing his name sat and waited in the seats of a courtroom that looks nothing like what they do on Law & Order, and I admit, I was a little disappointed.

And then (Jesus, this is getting long, especially for such a non-story), the clerk asked me for my proof of publication…

ASIDE: so, when I talked to the lady at the Press Telegram about this Proof of Publication, and how I would be getting it in the mail at the end of the four weeks my announcement was running in the depths of their classified section, I was expecting some sort of really official paperwork.  I mean, the damn thing is called an AFFIDAVIT, after all.  But no, it was a single sheet of paper with a clipping of my notice taped to it, and some legalese about how I’d paid for the notice and hadn’t bribed someone to help me change my name to escape my creditors or ex-girlfriends.  What I’m saying is that this was one expensive piece of copy paper, is what I’m saying.

Ok, so I hand the clerk my paper, and she asks me to fill out one line of my application, and then she disappears into the back room.  It’s beginning to dawn on me that I will not even SEE the judge at all, and sure enough, the clerk returns with a paper stamped FILED IN SUPERIOR COURT, and sends me on my way.  Total time: 30 minutes.

Honestly, after the horror of the first round, I expected to walk out of the courtroom bloody from battle, not with enough time to grab a celebratory beer and burger before J had to head back to the office.  It was… anti-climactic.  It is also the most expensive (SEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS, NO I AM STILL NOT OVER IT) piece of paper in my possession, and again, it is not even embossed with the seal of LA County (I do not know if LA County has a seal.  If they don’t, they should look into getting one, because that would make all the paper work look more official).

This week I changed my name at the Social Security office, total transaction time, 30 minutes.  I am hoping to have similar luck at the DMV, but that might be pressing my luck just a little bit.  Then it’s the US Passport office, but then I sorta don’t know.  When do I call the credit card companies?  All the other bills in my name?  Anyone got any practical advice?