Living La Viudez Loca

Saturday, July 16, 2016

I wet my be... Wait a minute! Who writes these headlines?

Although I suppose there could be worse alternatives1

It all began with "Let there be light", although that might be taking an introduction to the topic a little too far.  Suffice to say, sleeping in my bed has become a bit of an adventure (not that I'm suggesting that anyone other than I try it2) since a recent ant invasion.  I'm not sure if any uncles3 were involved, but I immedia soonishly binged4 "get rid of ants", which led me to a page that suggested a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, a teaspoon and a half of dish soap, and some water in a spray bottle.  Being a man, I of course didn't measure.  Furthermore, since it doesn't say where exactly to spray, I tried spraying it directly on them and found their claim that the ants "will stay clear away from" the solution because of the alcohol was a little understated.  Specifically, they weren't alive enough to do so after a shot or two, although that might be because of the dish soap rather than the rubbing alcohol.


1 My bed has a wet spo5.... NO! NO! NO!  Bad headline writer, bad!  Anyway, it's gone now.
2 Although that might (or might not) be subject to change in the future.
3 A joke the appreciation of which will be severely reduced by those who pronounce "aunt" as "awnt".
4 It's like Googling, except using Bing.
5 Not that I mind discussing topics involving that subject.  It's just that I wasn't referring to the common definition of that term.  Furthermore, I would think that towels (either under the affected area before or over afterwards) would usually solve the problem.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bit of a headache

Sorry, today's post has been cancelled.  Except this is today's post.  And it's here.  Sounds like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, surrounded by a conundrum, compounded by a complexity, steeped in puzzle, infused with a quandry....  Well, I suppose Churchill had a better idea of when to stop than I do.  Whatever I was going to write about is going to have to wait until later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Yep, it's laundry day again

Translation: It Took So Long To Do Laundry That I Can't Think Of  a Topic I Can Write a Quick Post About

Sorry about that, but sometimes real life get int the way of things you want to do and I'm feeling a bit lazy at the moment.  So I'll just leave a few of my favorite YouTube videos:
Because weight fluctuation ≠ weight loss
Wonder how much practice that took?
I already figured this out....

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What fun can one guy have with two pairs of nearly indentical glasses?

Another busy day, another late, quick post.  So let's get down to it: Just seeing how long it takes people to realize I not only have new glasses, but two new pairs of them.    While the brown/gold-ish pair do look a lot like my old pair (the new ones are a bit darker in the frame, but lighter on the "plastic" ear covering), I would think the sudden absence of the tape used to hold the old pair together would make it obvious.  Or maybe I did too good of a job with the scotch tape so that no one noticed it?  However, I suppose that means that you, my dear and loyal readers, are privy to a secret that the virtually the rest of the world knows nothing about.  So don't go telling anyone, make them suffer for not reading my blog even if they don't know they're suffering, 'kay?
Got to get ready for work.  Just remember to tune into (maybe) the same Jon-time, on the same Jon-blog.

Today's quick trivia question: what label first makes its appearance with this post?

Monday, July 11, 2016

I'm going Gotham style (Op, op, op, op)

(With Apologies to Psy)

That certainly was a lot painful than I thought.  Only $170 for two pairs of glasses.  It would have $150 but I added on the option of UV400 coating for $10/pair.  It also helps that I forewent both the progressive (which I probably wouldn't have included even if it didn't cost extra) and polychromic lens options.  Anyway, I bought them at Complete Eye Care Center (location: 2825 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016).  The frames are more or less identical (except one is "gold", the other "silver") and based on remembering seeing "Gotham" and what I remember of the logo, forgot that, I just saw that they have the manufacturer's name (GOTHAMSTYLE) and the design (STAINLESS# 5 CE) on the inside of one of the arms and the color (BROWN for the "gold" pair and "GUN" for the "silver") on the other.
Then, to top them off, I ordered two pairs of Square Lite Smoke and a pair of  Delta "fits over" sunglasses, plus a Foster Grant lens repair and cleaning kit online from Dioptics Sunwear.  They would have been $57.60 altogether, but the sunglasses were 50% off, which made it only $32.17.  I'll have to write a follow up post tomorrow since it's getting time for me to go to work.  Hasta la vista, person-of-indeterminate-age!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Starting over

Or, I Guess I Got What I Paid For

Long story short: I took my glasses off to place them on top of the cabinet and dropped them on the floor.  As tired as I was, I failed to look where I stepped and my foot landed on top of them, with predictable results.  All efforts to try to fix them failed, so I thought maybe I could order another pair of frames and pop the lenses into them.  Unfortunately, the place I bought them from doesn't sell frames only.  I know that they say that into every life, a little rain must fall, but sometimes it seems like it's pouring over here.  But I have survived a lot worse, so I suppose it will turn out ok.
So... I have temporarily have had to return to using the falling-apart-but-still-usable-if-taped-together old pair and will have to check into buying a new new pair tomorrow. But if I can't blog tomorrow, that's why.  Thankfully, I just got paid last Friday and don't have to worry about rent until next paycheck.  So cue Gloria Gaynor...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

(Not quite) forever in blue jeans

 Not much to add to the lyrics of this Neil Diamond song:

Money talks
But it don't sing and dance
And it don't walk
And long as I can have you
Here with me, I'd much rather be
Forever in blue jeans

Honey's sweet
But it ain't nothin' next to baby's treat
And if you pardon me
I'd like to say
We'll do okay
Forever in blue jeans

Maybe tonight
Maybe tonight, by the fire
All alone you and I
Nothing around
But the sound of my heart
And your sighs
1) Money would mean nothing compared to having my wife back, if it were possible.
2) While I could make a few educated guesses, I don't know exactly what he's referring to as "baby's treat".
3) I don't think we were ever together "by a fire".
Hope you enjoyed today's recent widower review and join me whenever I have another.

Friday, July 8, 2016

¿Y Maria? ¡Se Fue...!

(Translation: And Maria? She left.)

A complete list of the wedding party's attendees would include:
My wife and I (at least I remember us being there)
My older brother (best man/ one of the Best men/ second marriage certificate witness)
Maria Sanchez (best woman, but not a Best woman/ oh, wait, they call that a "bridesmaid"/ except I think her two sons [at the time of the wedding, since she might have more children since] disqualifies her from the "maid" part/ first marriage certificate witness)
her two sons (if she had another, she could have made a TV show out of it)
My dad and step-mom
I would say the minister, except I'm pretty sure he left right after the ceremony
Lorena (not the one who is my wife, but the lady that introduced us)
Two other female co-workers, only one of whom I remember the name of (Angie)

Obviously, not the most-heavily attended marriage in history, but I'll take it anyway.  The reason I bring all of this up is because I finally decide to contact Maria to tell her about Lorena's death and, as the title would indicate, there was no Maria there.  I can't remember if it was a landline or a cellphone, but either way, the number is in the hands of someone else.  So, Maria, if you're out there, I didn't lose that number, I didn't (at the time I used it) want to call nobody else (I'm working with lyrics here, so please forgive the double negative), sending it off to a letter to myself wouldn't have helped anyway, it's not the only one I owned (although it is the only one I owned for you), and, finally, I suppose it could have made me felt better, except I was already home.
Oh, one more piece of trivia of dubious importance: Lorena (my deceased wife, not the co-worker by the same name who introduced us) was staying with Maria somewhere between 3 and 9 months after she stopped working for the other Lorena's brother and sister-in-law and before she moved in with me.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

To make up for the other night, I forgot to not forget something else last night

I can't remember where I was when I thought of it, but I remembering having an topic for today's post. I also forgot to have a writing instrument and paper handy to write down the idea, but that might not have helped considering how busy I was at the time. But most importantly, I forgot what the topic that I thought of was, which would have made the other two superfluous anyway. So it's on to plan (or topic) B (as soon as I think of one, that is). Today's fun rant ("fun" because I'm more amused by them than I am angered) is brought on by advertisements that could be better targeted. For example, I just got an e-mail asking whether I want a low rate car loan. Since I don't have, have never had, and doubt I will ever consider getting a driver's license (much less a car), I think I'll pass. Similarly, I received a letter a few years back guaranteeing that they could lower my auto insurance, making me wonder if I would technically qualify for the reward they offered since I was already paying $0. Then there's the TV ad that asks "What is your life like with a period?" (wording may be a little off since I'm relying on my previously demonstrated less-than-completely-accurate memory), a question I lack the necessary experience to answer. I don't know why I'm suddenly so sleepy, but I am, so I'll just wrap this one up here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I forgot to forget...

Quite a few times, I have had difficulty coming back to work after a holiday and remembering to adjust for it being a day later.  For example, if the holiday fell on a Monday, I would find myself doing Monday tasks when returning to work on Tuesday.  Somehow I avoided that yesterday.  Go me!  It might not seem like much, but sometimes one has to celebrate one's victories wherever he or she can find them.  Speaking of "wherever", doesn't it seem like there should be another "e" in there since it's made up of "where" and "ever".  For those interested, yes, such randomness is typical for my thought patterns, although I'm usually quiet about what I'm thinking when they are.  Ooh, look, a squirrel....
Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah, Los Angeles, CA.  Wait, that isn't what I meant.  I also wanted to mention that today is the last day I get to see 283 pageviews in one day stat for Jun1 28, 2016 on the Overview page for the blog.  The weird thing about is that a different page for the stats shows the pageviews at about half that.  Even if the former counts my pageviews and the latter doesn't, I still don't see that coming anywhere close to making up the difference between the two numbers.  Curiouser and curiouser.
Anyway, happy sixth of July!2

1 Before anyone comments that this is a typo, that's the way the infotip shortens it.
2 What? Would you rather I wished you a unhappy sixth of July?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I guess that's it until September 5

Just another thing to like about September, I suppose, as it's also a three-paycheck (2, 16, and 30) month.  Not that three-paycheck months have always been kind to me, but that's a story I'll save until later.  For now, it's back to the daily grind- and I'm not talking about coffee.  Then again, it is what it is and all there is to it is to make the best of it.  Beyond work, my step-grandson and I plan to go through the house and figure out what we want to donate of my deceased wife's stuff, mostly from the kitchen and bath as most of her items from the bedroom I've already sorted and boxed (as in put in boxes, not engaged in pugilistic encounters) and she didn't really have all that much in the living room. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Blogged on the fourth of July... Random thoughts

1) I wonder what blogs would have looked like if they had them during the Revolutionary War?
2) Maybe it's just me, but fireworks aren't my thing.  I'd much prefer to witness a good thundershower myself.  Part of that may be that the latter are natural and a much rarer occurrence where I live.  Then again, being awakened/kept awake odd hours of the night might have something to do with it as well.
3) While I still like watermelon, it's not quite the treat it once was to me, either.  Maybe my tastes have changed, or that the old association of watermelon =  summer = vacation just doesn't work any more.
4) As for eating hot dogs... there's an activity I can get into.
5) I'm not starting to sound like Andy Rooney or Calvin Trillin, am I?
6) I'm trying to come up with a single Fourth of July memory that I and Lorena shared, but have been unable to do so.  Then again, I'm pretty much having trouble remembering anything that happened on this day for several years.  I suppose that growing accustomed to working most holidays tends to leave less room for memories on those days.

Finally, last but not least:
HAVE
A
HAPPY
FOURTH
OF
JULY!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Of Past Presents and the Past Future of Particular Pieces Thereof

Or, Gimme a Break, Gimme a Break... Wait! Belay That!

The quest for our one and only wedding present began in the living room of my father and step-mother with my step-mother returning after retrieving a plate1 from a kitchen cupboard.  My wife and I were sitting on the sofa when she proceeded to drop the aforementioned plate1 on the carpeted2 floor.  Since we had not been forewarned of the whys and wherefores of her actions, my wife and I were shocked, SHOCKED, to find someone purposely dropping their own dishes in this manner since one would expect such an action would not end well for the plate1, because E = mc2 3 or some other law of physics.  It turns out that it had been made by Corelle®4, a leading manufacturer of glassware, dinnerware, and heart attacks sustained after watching someone drop one of his or her plates on the floor to demonstrate how break-resistant they are.  Seeing that dinnerware would probably as good a gift as other that my wife and I could think of, we accepted her offer to buy us some.  It was then that she told us that the closest Corelle outlet5 was in Gilroy, CA, about a 34 mile drive without traffic or 4 hour and 15 minute ride if one uses uses the Amtrak Thruway Connecting Service and then catches a local bus in Gilroy.  Since taking the Monterey-Salinas Transit 86 and then the (Santa Clara County) Valley Transportation Authority 17 would only take about 1 hour and 49 minutes, I'm guessing even that would be more popular than taking Amtrak for that purpose.  Either way, my step-mother drove us there, sparing us from having to find out for ourselves.  We eventually settled on several plates, bowls, and teacups, most of which had coral pink6 trim, while some of the plates had roses of the same or similar color6.
Note to anyone viewing this from the front page: feel free to ignore "And now the rest of the story" link at the bottom right.  There's nothing to see there.  Really.  Just move on to the next post.  Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The good, the bad, and the glasses

While the glasses I bought online probably wouldn't be ones I would buy in person at a brick and mortar, they aren't terrible. First, the negatives:
  1. Not only are they not metal frames, but the plastic doesn't appear to be all that durable. I could be wrong, but, then again, I wouldn't stress test them to find out.
  2. I don't like small frames as the tops and/or bottoms of the frames tend to get in the line of vision.  Also, anything in my line of vision that are above or below the frames aren't as sharp as objects viewed with the lenses and I find that annoying.
  3. Progressive lenses are going to take some getting used to and I'm not certain I want to.  I'll give it a few days try before making a decision though.  However, I'm currently strongly considering seeing if I can get different lenses put in.
  4. Looking at something while turning my head can be... interesting (as in "may you live in interesting times" type of interesting.)
Now, for the good:
  1. They're cheap.
  2. Polychromic lenses seem to work as advertised.
  3. They're cheap.
  4. They're better than having a pair of glasses that seem to be in constant danger of falling apart as long as I can get the lens issues worked out.
  5. They're cheap.
  6. They seem to function properly.
  7. I would ask "Did I mention that they're cheap", but that tends to be overused, so I won't.  Forget I even mentioned it.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Jon Best's Groom's Guide to Planning a Wedding In Less Than One Week and On a Budget

I might not be Mary Fiore1, but I can do in a pinch

  1. Choose wedding date.  I've heard that the groom's birthday is an especially suspicious, I mean auspicious, date.
  2. Have ring bought and marriage certificate arranged beforehand
  3. Tell family, friends, and co-workers about wedding.  Financial tip: waiting until it's too late for people to RSVP makes buying and sending invitations unnecessary.
  4. Tell family, friends, and co-workers2 that you met a lady that you're considering marrying.  Wait... did I do that backwards?
  5. Sometime during all of this, ask brother to be the best man and have him accept.
  6. Have co-workers who refuse to go to the wedding if no (free) alcohol will be served.  Considering the wedding and reception will take place in a public park that prohibits such beverages, it's not really a choice.  Besides, such a move eliminates people who aren't there for the nuptials from attending and that's probably not all that great of a loss.
  7. Although not absolutely necessary, having a father who has been a minister and knows someone who can perform the wedding (in Spanish and English, no less) certainly helps3.
  8. Have step-mother willing to buy wedding cake and batteries for boom box to play music at reception.  Remember that it's only the latter that goes into the boom box.
  9. On the day of the wedding, get up and get dressed, wife... I mean, bride (because she wasn't my wife yet) does the same and then prepares ceviche4 for the reception.  Besides the ceviche, I believe we also had tostadas and soft drinks.
    5
  10. Have co-worker who introduced you to each other do bride's hair and helps with her makeup.
  11. Go to park (I'm 90% sure it was the McKinnon Neighborhood Park, but have a slight bit of doubt).  Did I see her before the wedding?  I believe so, but it's not like I believe in superstitions so it turned out ok after all.
  12. Give a little time for anyone who wants to show up to do so.
  13. Have wedding and don't mess up any lines.  Since I think all I had to say was "I do", that made it fairly easy.  Kiss the bride when minister gives the order.
  14. Par-tay!  (Sorry, no bouquet or garter belt to toss)
  15. Not know that one is supposed to pay the minister and have father volunteer to do so.  Have witnesses and minister sign form.
  16. Cut the cake.
  17. Have co-worker do the traditional (at least I guess it is in Mexico) smearing of a bit of frosting on my and my lovely wife's lovely nose (hers, not mine).
  18. Get toasted with apple cider.
  19. Get birthday card from father and step-mother.
  20. That's pretty much it.  We took the remaining wedding cake home after that and lived more-or-less-happily ever (or at least until she died) after.
1 Especially since I did not fall in love with the groom.
2 If one of these co-workers happens to be the person who introduced you to each other, that's one less person you have to tell since she probably already knows.
3  And, yes, that does mean we did not have someone to perform the ceremony until a few days before the event.
4 Mexican sushi
5 Sorry, I couldn't find a ceviche4 recipe on YouTube in English.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The glasses are coming! The glasses are coming!

Featuring the Amazing Disappearing Tracking Number!

They're supposed1 to be here tomorrow!
1 As if everything in life went the way it was supposed to....

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Getting a buzz....

Or, Shave and a Haircut... No bits

Decided to tame the unruly mane on top of my head by getting out the electric hair clippers today1.  Then again, I have tended to prefer function over form anyway.  As long as it's inexpensi- on second thought, let's call it what it is, cheap, I don't have to find a barber or schedule an appointment, and I can do it myself, it's my hair and it doesn't really bother what other people think about ti  Plus, needing to use less shampoo and no styling gel means I save money, not to mention that I don't have to waste time maintaining it.  Finally, it'll probably be cooler (temperature-wise, rather than in terms of popularity).

Weird stat of the day: for some reason my page views spiked to 283 yesterday1- or almost 5 times the 2nd most page views in one day of 58 and probably more than seven days1 previous combined. At first I was wondering whether the comment I posted on disqus.com had drawn some attention, but that site isn't mentioned among the traffic sources.

1 All references to days are from the perspective of June 29 (the date on the post) rather than June 30 (the date I actually posted it).  In other words, for the purposes of this post, today means the 29th, and yesterday means the 28th.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Not quite done with bedroom updates

Or, Which Books Where?

After finally getting the bookshelf up, I find myself at an impasse as to which books I want to move from the living bookcase onto it: the bigger ones, which would leave more space in front of the smaller ones left behind, or the smaller ones, which are less likely to warp the singly-stacked boards? Furthermore, I had to explain to my grandson that just because I had cleared off a shelf in the living room that that doesn't mean it will stayed clear (i.e., that I might have to move some of the books back out there) to make sure that he doesn't cover a bookshelf I might need later with photos or similar stuff. Finally, between starting this post and then eventually getting back to finishing it, I left a comment in an internet discussion in response to someone (who happened to be atheist) who said his significant other was dying of ovarian cancer. Shared some of my experience going through a similar situation with Lorena and how quickly it went from thinking she had years to live still to her death. A bit drained by it, so I'll end here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bedroom update update!

Seeing how my pageviews spiked to 57 yesterday (although probably most of those were mine from checking several tweaks I did on the blog), I figured I might as well try to see if using "bedroom" and/or "update" in the title would work again.  Anyway, while trying to place books on the bookshelf I wrote about yesterday, I discovered that a great many of the books were higher than the ~7½" height of the cement blocks I bought.  Thus, one little piggie and his nine "siblings" must hie themselves back to the market to buy blocks with more height and, since I'm at it anyway, wood for a couple more shelves.  Thankfully, I'll be going to a closer store (1.6 miles/31 minutes according to google maps vs. 2.2 miles/48 minutes) because my grandson isn't feeling well and won't be able to take me.  Of course, I'm writing this all out before I go, only to post it once I get back.
So, I grabbed a ½ gallon of horchata (I'll explain later) at Food 4 Less, a couple of machaca burritos at Chile Verdes , then swung over to Home Depot only to find out I forgot the order number and they couldn't find it under my name.  Therefore (oh, the horror of it all!) I had to go and grab the items myself .  Thus laboring and heavy laden, I pushed my cart (and I do mean my cart, not the stores- hmph!) home in about the ½ hour allotted by google maps).  There I gave my grandson his food (before anyone questions how I could have left him home alone, especially since he's not Macaulay Culkin, when he's not feeling well, I would like to remind readers he's over 20), chowed down on mine, took a quick cold shower (because of the heat, people, because of the heat), typed out this epilogue, hit first publish and then the hay.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bedroom update!

Or, It's Not What You Think1

Listen up, you yahoos!  I know what probably many of you might be thinking after reading such a titillating and tantalizing title: he's been recently widowed, he's posting this after a Saturday night (spent prowling meeting places, no doubt), and now he's talking about the bedroom, so it must be about that.  Puh-lease!  Give me more credit than that.  If I had found another companioness to companionate2 with, I would have informed my family immediat... well, at least one week before our wedding4, if past performance is any indicator of future results6.
Anyway, after my wife died, I tossed the too-small cupboard (that's the closet... closest approximation that I can think of.  Although it wasn't made to hold cups, it was about the same size and had a shelf which we somehow lost) and only-slightly-bigger "media center" and moved the TV and the computer/computer desk about a month ago, during which time I somehow lost the cord that connects the TV to the cable box.  A few days later, while calling the cable company to find out why the TV wasn't picking up any channels, I managed to disconnect the cable box and lose misplace it as well (Trend?  What trend?).  Then, just yesterday, I built fabricated constructed formed a bookshelf, the details of which can be found in various footnotes. The next step I plan to undertake involves moving books that I had stacked on the bookshelf in the living room to the bookshelf I... had a hand in the formation of in the bedroom.  Plus, while I have more or less separated items of hers that I have no interest in keeping, I still have to get them boxed up and see if my grandson wouldn't mind helping me take them to a donation center.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Getting so much (or at least somewhat) better all (or at least some of) the time

Then again, I suppose it depends on what's getting better.  Physically, I feel good... like I knew that I would now.  Ok, maybe "know" is a bit strong considering how I have been feeling the past few days due to the heat.  However, at the moment, whether it's because it's early morning and it hasn't heated up yet, the temperature has cooled a little, or maybe my figuring out that the fan has a high1 setting for a reason, I seem to have a bit more energy.  Oh, great.  Just as I finish writing that, my eyes don't want to stay open.  After these messages, I'll be right back.
So... did you miss me?  Of course you did.  But let's return to our feature discussion and turn to how I have been dealing with my wife's death.  That remains virtually unchanged: long periods of coping followed by gut-wrenching moments of one thing or another reminding me of her.  Even events as innocuous as buying a rotisserie chicken (the focal point of many of meal since moving to Los Angeles) become an opportunity for such an attack, as if going to or arriving at one of the bus stops near our home or shopping at the pharmacy that filled her prescriptions or the other stores and restaurants in the same plaza didn't provide enough.  Yet from the very fields of familiarity where grow such weeds of sorrow also sprout forth the soothing herbs of tender memories.  Perhaps time can teach me how to better tend the latter while eliminating the other.

Friday, June 24, 2016

'Cause this is filler, filler night...

Since I missed a few days of posting a while back and now find myself with some news I want to share, but don't find it interesting enough to put on the front page, I figured why not kill two birds1 with one stone and simply postdate the post?  I finally got around to adding videos to my recent widower review posts that review song lyrics only to find that I must have clicked the "revert to draft" button instead of "update", so I had to fix that as well2.

1 Figurative ones only.  No actual birds were harmed in the writing of this post.
2 I hope such news doesn't cause heart palpitations for anyone.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brain-fried

If my posting the next few days seems sporadic, it is due to the lethargy-inducing heat here in Los Angeles.  Even when I have been able to come up with topics, developing them into a presentable post has sapped my already low energy.  The blog should show some improvement once I become acclimated to it, but for now, I'm just too tired.  That's pretty much all I can write on the matter at the moment.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Why must I be... let's just not go there

Today's Recent Widower Review of Dion and the Blemonts' "Why Must I Be a Teenager in Love" has been cancelled due to a complete lack of sympathy for the plight of the singer.  Being about 30 years older and having a wife recently die will do that to you.  But for those that really want to see it anyway, here it is:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Breakdown of the order

DESCRIPTION                                              QUANTITY      AMOUNT      TOTAL
Frame                                                              1.00                  $9.95               $9.95
1.56 No Line Progressive Photocromic Grey    1.00                  $68.95             $68.95
Prescription Type:   Progressive Lenses
Anti Reflective Coating                                     1.00                  $4.95               $4.95

Not bad for a pair of glasses, IMHO.  I would have preferred a metal frame, but I can't really complain at the price, especially with how badly I am need of new glasses at the moment.  I'll provide another update as soon as I get them and would like to see what they are like before giving the site any publicity.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Looking for Mr. Goodframe

Currently looking into buying a new pair of glasses and having to decide to buy locally or online. The main problem with the latter is that the place I got the prescription from refuses to give a pupillary distance without a purchase of glasses at their store, which means I would have to find a way to measure it for myself. While I don't have a problem with them having such a policy, the same cannot be said for their failure to notify of said policy before the exam since that may have altered my decision. Then again, that would not be necessary if I had just kept my previous prescription since it supplied that information. Furthermore, I have had a hard time finding a decently priced (read: cheap) pair of metal frames with a solid nose bridge instead of nose tabs online. On the other hand, there's no guarantee I would be able to do so locally either. On top of that, the optometrist I saw recommended that I get progressive and photochromic1 lenses, which adds considerably to the cost. Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Update (06/21/16): Bought some online, will give more info in a later post).

1 Yes, you stupid spell check, "photochromic"2 is a word.
2 Suggested alternate spellings: "photo chromic" and "photo-chromic". Who creates these word lists anyway?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Important information for those getting an eye exam

When getting an eye exam, make sure to ask the optometrist if a pupillary distance measurement is included in the prescription, especially if you plan to buy your glasses online.  While you might be able to do the measurement yourself, it's one of those things best left up to a professional1.  If they won't supply it, you might want to consider taking your business to someone else who will.  I found out the hard way at Target Optical, they will only provide one when you purchase glasses with them2.

1 In fact, I believe I read somewhere while searching online to buy glasses that New York (state or city, I can't remember which) law requires a professional measurement when buying eyeglasses.  I don't know whether or not this means an optometrist is required to provide one.  Yes, I'm too lazy to look it up, so if anyone who knows could leave a comment, it would be greatly appreciated.
2 While I do not have a problem with them having such a policy, I think it's a bit dishonest to not inform people getting an exam of this beforehand.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

¿Como te voy olvidar cuando no puedo?

Translation: ¿How can I forget you when I cannot?

Although this Recent Widower's Review includes another foray into my translating Spanish into English, my task should run a bit smoother as I won't have to decipher my wife's handwriting and spelling as well.  However, I will slightly change the format a little.

The song starts with repeating amor six times and although the word is literally translated as "love", a better translation in context would be "my love" since it's addressed to a person.  Note: count on hearing/reading this word a lot throughout the song.  Note the second: that certain describes my wife.
Even though the next line ("Quiero que me vuelvan a mirar tus ojos") is grammatically correct Spanish, it still causes difficulties for online translators because "in Spanish, changes in the word order can be heard in everyday conversation or seen frequently in everyday writing such as that found in newspapers and magazines."  Google, for example, bungles it completely as "I want you to look into your eyes again" by completely ignoring the "me".  Bing's rendering of the sentence as "I want to get me to look at your eyes" is a bit closer, yet confuses the object and subject.  However, in this sentence, it is the verb that determines the object rather than word order.  In other words, since "vuelvan" is third person plural, the subject has to be a third person noun- and the only noun that fits that description is "tus ojos".  It is easy to understand why the song writer chose this particular word order (i.e., he needed a rhyme for "rojos"), but placing the two "misplaced" subject in the normative spot before the verb (i.e., "Quiero que tus ojos [subject] me [object] vuelvan [verb] a mirar") fixes the translation problem for both Google and Bing: "I want your eyes to look at me again".  Unfortunately, something that is no longer possible for my wife.
After another couple of lines of thrice-repeated "amor", we come to "Quiero volver a besar tus labios rojos", which Google inexplicably translated as "I never want to kiss your red lips".  Bing wins another round almost by default with a closer-but-still-no-cigar "I want to kiss your red lips", since it omits that pesky "volver a".  Including a translation for those two words would make it "I want to go back/return to kiss (or kissing) your red lips".  Yet another nonviable option in regards to my deceased wife.
The next four lines also contain several pitfalls for translation.  Not only do lines one and two (Comó no acordarme de ti and De que manera olvidarte; literally, "How not to remember to me of you" and "Of what way to forget you"), for example, contain infinite verbs and omit a subject altogether, but they build on each other: "How can I not remember you/ In what way can I forget you / If everything reminds me of you ('Si todo me recuerda a ti')/ [and] You are ('estás tú') everywhere ('En todas partes')?".  More on this after the rest of the song.
The singer then goes on to mention a couple of places where "you" are ("estás tú" or just "estás"): a rose and (literally) "to breathe", i.e., "act of breathing".  I haven't seen my wife in any roses, but then again, I haven't looked at many roses since her death other than those that someone (probably one of her daughters or sisters) brought to her final viewing.  As for seeing her in the act of breathing, that comes and goes.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
This is followed by the repeated line "How will I forget you?" (Como te voy a olvidar), which will also repeat twice after the next two lines.  The next two places the singer finds "you" is in "kissing the cross" ("besando la cruz") and praying a prayer ("rezando una oracion"), both which carry a religious significance, the first of which (i.e., kissing the cross) I do not participate in and the second of which I would attach only to the love of God and not another person, up to and including my wife.
Now we come to the only part of the song that isn't repeated again:
Si te clavaste aqui en mi corazon (If you have embedded yourself here in my heart)
Y mi amor, has llenado mi alma (And my love, you have filled my soul)
Y tu sangre corre por mis venas (And your blood runs in my veins)
Y mi sangre me hace estremecer (And my blood makes me shake/tremble)
Yo contigo (I with you)
All I can say about this part is I guess it's supposed to be romantic... and maybe it is and I just have poor taste in judging whether something is romantic or not.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Trivia Time: what do Election, Notting Hill, Wild, Wild West, and Galaxy Quest have in common?

Yes, they all may be movies that you liked, disliked, or never heard of, but I'm looking for a more specific answer than that.  That they all came out in 1999 is closer to the desired response, but not close enough.  One may notice, however, a trend towards movies that came out sometime between the time Lorena and I met and when we married.  So if you guessed that they are all movies that Lorena and I saw while dating, you win an invisible, tasteless, and non-existent cookie.  Or it could be a real cookie as long as you or someone other than myself buys it for you.
I also won a "Nidorino" Pokemon card (I was aiming for just about anything other than that, though) from a claw crane in the movie theater arcade.  Despite how much I do not like Pokemon, it is not for sale, for what should be obvious (sentimental) reasons.
Postscript: all of the movies cost $7.25/person except for Galaxy Quest, which cost $4.50/person.  I don't think it's a comment of the quality of the movie, but instead that we saw it during an afternoon matinee rather than at night.  Our ticket sellers appear to have been Lexie (Election), Alex (Notting Hill), Claucia (Wild, Wild West) and Hicke, Rit (by process of elimination, Galaxy Quest).

Thursday, June 16, 2016

It's my blog and I'll meme if I want to.

Feeling a bit out of ideas today, so I'll just share a meme I made yesterday (well, actually two, but they pretty much the same message):


Let me know if you like either/both/both, but one more than the other or if you have any other comments.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

They didn't ring up this purchase (they just gave us a receipt)

How much would you think a pair of top-of-the-line wedding rings would cost back in October of 1999?  Would you believe a price of only $371.00?  Well then, how much would you think a pair of near-the-bottom-of-the-line wedding rings would have cost?  No, that was not anywhere near two months' salary for me and probably a lot closer to 1/3 of one month's salary.  Then again, the whole two months' figure was conjured up by a diamond company trying to get people to spend more money on their product.  Money was tight enough for both of us without buying more expensive rings.  Finally, considering how many people have spent a lot more money on wedding rings only to have their marriages end in divorce in less time than the almost 16 years our marriage lasted, it should be obvious that more expensive rings do not guarantee length.
Anyway, the exact date of purchase was October 9, 1999 at Del Pueblo Jewelers.  While the receipt gives their address as 1026 East Alisal Street, Salinas, CA, at least two online sources give the address as 1030, while at least one other place Foodsco at the 1030 address, and Google Maps shows nothing at the 1026 site and a Factory 2-U store at 1030.  If memory serves me correctly, they are within the Factory2U store with the Foodsco next door.  But it's been at least 16 years, so my memory could be playing tricks on me.  About the only other information the receipt supplies is that we were served by salesperson 25 and the tread-in1 value was $0.

1 No, that's not a typo... well, at least not my typo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My wife, she wrote me a letter

Or a lesson on hard it is to translate something when
the person who wrote what you are trying
to translate did not spell it correctly


This is just going to be a semi-Recent Widower Review explaining the similarities and differences rather than go through the entire song so that I can get back to discussing the letter/note under discussion:
  1. She was never my baby.  She was always a woman to me (although I have plenty of disagreements with those lyrics as well), both before and after she became my wife.
  2. An airplane/train ticket wouldn't have helped anyway since she lived within walking distance.
  3. I didn't need to spend any money for that same reason.
  4. She did write me a letter (well, actually three), although many might call a missive of that length a "note" instead.
  5. Lonely days were gone, but only for awhile.  They've since returned.
  6. I was probably at the restaurant when I read the letter, so I did have to go home.
  7. The closest thing the letter said about not being able to live without me was that she wants to know if I would like to meet her.
So, it's pretty much 2½  points of agreement among the 7, although it does include the major point (that she wrote me a letter) included in the title.  But let's get to the note itself (Spanish first, translation in green second).  Note: Lorena tended to confuse "b" and "v" (since they sound alike in Spanish), drop the "h" (since it is silent in Spanish) in words, and not add necessary accents, so I have had to make minor spelling changes and make a few guesses.  Some parts of the translation might not be perfect (please let me know of any better ways to translate this in the comments), but I've done the best I could.

"Jon" (I don't think that needs translation)
¡Hola! (Hello!)
Me platicó Lorena lo que les pasó anoche pero es que yo le dijé a Lorena que me ablará [= hablará] antes de benirse [= venirse] para saber si Jesus y su esposa se habían ido al baile y no mas me quede esperando la llamada.  (Lorena1 talked to me about what happened to them last night but I told Lorena that she will speak to me before she went [to work?] for me to know if Jesus and his wife were going to go to the dance and I would no longer have to wait for the [phone] call.
Tambíen le dijé que iba a estar a las siete afuera del restaurant aber [= a ver] si podían salir pero como no salieron. (Also2 I told her that I was present at seven outside the restaurant3 to see if they could leave but they had not left).
Me biene [= viene] para la casa y a las nueve me iba debolver [= devolver] para benirme [= venirme] con Lorena y conoceste porque de tanto que me habla ella de ti y a te conosco [= conozco]. (I went home and at nine, I went went to return to come with Lorena and meet you because of how much she has told me about you and to know you.)
Aunqué yo [no?] sé que te bas [= vas] a desepcionar [= decepcionar] de mi porque no sé si quieres tener una amiga chaparrita y gordita. (Although I do [not?] know if you will be disappointed in me because I do not know if you want a slightly short and slightly plumpish female friend.)
Tambíen aller [= ayer] en la tarde estube [= estuve] con una amiga comiendo en el restaurante y cada [vez?] que alguien asomaba de adentro de donde ustedes estan decía cera [= sera] él o no sera.  (Also2, yesterday afternoon, I was eating with a female friend in the restaurant y each [time?] that someone looked out from where you are she said "Will it or will it not be him?".
... y me decía mi amiga pues que tanto mirar para alla pues nada le contestaba... (and my friend said to me because so many would look from there and yet nothing would answer)
... y tambíen estaba un muchacho sirviendose fruta y dijé a mi amiga que fuera  a ber [=  ver] como se llamaba y que decepcíon se llamaba Ezequiel. (and also a guy was serving fruit and I told my friend that I would go see what his name was and what a disappointment that he was called "Ezequiel").
bueño.  es todo lo que te puedo desir [= decir].  hasta pronto.  Lorena F.  (Well, that is all I can say to you.  Until soon.  Lorena F.)
Me contestas porque lo que me mandaste el otro día lo perdio y no me dio nada.  Me dijiste que allí abias [= habías] puesto tu numero de telefono (Answer me because that which you sent me, I lost and you did not give me anything.  You told me that you put (wrote) your telephone number there.)


1 My co-worker at HomeTown Buffet who gave me the note.
2 Since she used a lower-case "t" on tambíen, it may have been the last word of the previous sentence, but it makes more sense as the beginning of this one.
3 Probably HomeTown Buffet in Salinas.

Monday, June 13, 2016

My Mom... celebrity lookalike?

I'll just let you, the readers, be the judge:
Then again, I could just be falling into the temptations of letting my imagination run away with me.
Did I mention how much I love you, Mom?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

This is the story of a lovely lady...

Or, A Story Written Because of a Request of My Mother,
Despite My Belief I Had Already Told Her This Before

Except... she had four girls, not three.  Furthermore, they were already grown by the time she met the man she married, his name wasn't Brady, he didn't have any children, and neither the mother nor her daughters had golden hair, much less curls for the youngest.  As for the possibility of a housekeeper, finances (or more accurately, lack thereof) kept that as a pipe dream.  So except for several major differences, we were just like Carol Martin and Mike Brady in that they met and they married.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Enlarging the (Google+) circle

Or, A Lesson In the Fine Art of Subtlety

Warning!            Warning!            Warning!
The following post is extremely graphic1 in nature.

Alas and alack! It appears that perhaps some of my dear readers remain uninformed regarding the means by which to add another person to a Google+ circle.  For example, perhaps someone has a brother who has demonstrated that he loves his younger sister more by already adding her to his Google+ circle at least a week ago and to whom she has yet to reciprocate such feelings, however limited they be in comparison to his.  Or maybe one has a son or even a brother-in-law... it doesn't matter since I shall graciously provide the information to rectify this situation in my Jon Best's Creatively-Named "How to Add Someone to a Google+ Circle" Guide.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Facebook wants me to... say what?

Allow me to get the following clear from the outset: if Facebook requires someone to photograph or scan his or her I.D. and then upload it to them before they activate the account, I have no problem with that. However much I may think it's a bad idea to not provide an alternative means to verify I.D. for those who can't or don't want to do so, it's their prerogative as a business to choose whatever methods are acceptable to them and withhold services from anyone who declines to follow their stipulations. However, when they fail to inform someone of this requirement until after said person has already signed up for an account and then fail to provide for a way for that person to delete the account, that's just... plain... stupid. It's a catch-22: one can't delete the account without verifying his or her i.d. and one either can't or doesn't want to provide an i.d. to verify an account one wants deleted.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Incumbents" may be exposed to... say what?

From an ad that I saw in the Inglewood City Hall lobby for a Food Service Aide:
Work may require frequent standing, walking, bending and lifting up to 20 pounds.  Incumbents may be exposed to repetitive motion, sharp objects or utensils, hazardous chemicals and infectious diseases and a valid California Driver's License.
 I could be wrong about this, but I think they meant to include "a California Driver's License" as part of the first sentence rather than the second.  Also, I'm fairly sure the writer misused the word "incumbent" as well.  On the other hand, I guess that's better than a news article a few months back that discussed a female singer's rapping during a recent concert... except they spelled "rapping" with only one "p".
In related news, if anyone needs the services of a talented orthographer, I'm always available.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

We should turn at the... say what?

Continuing the "say what" series of posts (began here and continued here), today's tantalizing tale tells of a time that occurred shortly after Lorena and I moved to Los Angeles and had to fill out the forms to transfer the payments for her Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability from Salinas.  Our first attempt to do so landed us at the wrong building and one of the workers there told us where to go.  In our rush to get the task done, however, we forgot to get the directions for how to get there.  We soon remedied our lack of information at a nearby bus stop by requesting it from another lady waiting there.  I cannot recall most of what she told us mainly because I quickly concentrated on a single detail: that her directions involved us going north until we reached a green line.  Or rather, the green line, which seemed even more bizarre to me at the time, for I imagined my wife and I having to walk while searching for a literal green line (painted?) on the street (if you're reading this from the home page, you'll have to click below to read the rest...).

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

My lady in red (or whatever color[s] she chose to wear)

Today's Recent Widower Review comes courtesy of Chris De Bergh22¾

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
Every day she grew lovelier in my eyes.
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance, given half a chance
I might have a few objections to that.
And I have never seen that dress you're wearing
Or the highlights in your hair that catch your eyes,
Then again, my wife was a prolific shopper, although there were several pieces of clothing (but only one dress) that I don't ever recall seeing her wear, some with tags still on them.  As the three packages of men's dress socks and three tubes of shower body wash that I found unopened further demonstrate, she always seemed to be buying items to use for later but then never got around to using them.  Furthermore, she wasn't much of a dress wearer, because I only found the one aforementioned dress.
I have been blind
But then again, we all seem to be in our own little ways.  I'm no exception to that.
The lady in red...
I haven't really come across much of her clothing that is red.  She did have a pair of pink pajamas and two (actually four, but two of them were quite small and designed to be worn with their respective piece among the other two and thus I wouldn't consider them separate) other garments that I would call sleepwear except however often I may have seen her wear them to bed, I don't recall her actually getting to sleep in them.
...is dancing with me, cheek to cheek
If we ever danced together, I don't recall it.  It doesn't seem to be an activity that she enjoyed.
There's nobody here, it's just you and me
And sometimes one or two of three grandsons, one daughter, or one sister living with us, if I remember correctly.  Although I think the total time would be less than a year.  Also, she went to visit various family frequently, so sometimes it wasn't even just her and me.
It's where I want to be
Always and forever, love of my life.
but I hardly know this beauty by my side
Maybe I should have asked more, but she didn't seem to like revealing much of her past life before she met me.
I'll never forget the way you look tonight
Sometimes such visions haunt me, sometimes they comfort me, and sometimes they do both.
I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And now we're back to a slight variation of the first few lines.  Although she was amazing.  Nor would I mind people wanting to be by her side (well, depending on the reason) like I would men wanting to dance with her while looking for romance.
And when you turned to me and smiled, it took my breath away
And I have never had such a feeling
Such a feeling of complete and utter love, as I do tonight
... and every other night.  The rest is mostly chorus and repetition until the last line, so I'll just skip to that:
I love you
 I can't think of anything to add to that.

Monday, June 6, 2016

It's Laundry Day!

Or, What I'm Going To Post in Lieu of Something I'm Working On,
But Have Not Quite Finished

Although I did learn one valuable (at least to me) lesson: I had a smilie of someone washing clothes ready to use, but it was on http which conflicts with the https protocol established by Blogger/Blogspot.  So all you would have seen is: Image and video hosting by TinyPic.
Okay, now it is working in preview when it didn't previously.  So if you can see it, enjoy.  If you cannot, at least I have told you why.  All it was showing was a black square with a broken pane of glass in the middle that I'm sure most of you have either seen or seen something close enough and across the top of the post was an error message.  It was there... I'm telling you it was there1 [sounds of hysterical sobbing ensue].

Sunday, June 5, 2016

They're offering... say what?

While looking at various sites that offer to create an embedable1 timeline (because I wanted to include one on a static page that shows important dates in my deceased wife's and my lives), one of the ones that I found have a paid and free (lite) versions.  At the risk of overwhelming you with their generosity, the latter includes allowing the user to create one timeline with a maximum of five events.  Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like they are hoping that people will sign up for a free account, invest time and effort into creating a free timeline only to discover they need to add more than five events (because seriously, how many timelines have you seen that have included only five events?), and then decide to upgrade to a paid account rather than waste the time and effort they have already put into making the timeline.  Thanks all the same, but I'll think I'll pass.
Oh, they also offer a 100% money-back guarantee "if you aren't able to create a timeline that you absolutely love", but one should remember that if someone really needs or wants a timeline and already has invested time and effort into creating one only to find out that he or she doesn't "absolutely love" it, how willing one would be to expend additional time and effort to start over.
While their "free offer" might skirt the legal definition of a scam, it is of such limited use that I think it makes their motives for offering one suspect.

1 I had to look that up because my spell-checker was marking it as not a word. But what else would you describe something that can be embedded?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

(NS)FAQ You're living... say what?

For those readers who may not understand Spanish, La Viudez Loca translates to "the crazy widowhood" or, in case one is referring to a guy, "the crazy widowerhood".  And, yes, it's a pun on the title of a song.  Not that I particularly like or dislike that song, I just thought the pun conveniently described the current stage of my life.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Don't try this at home (or anywhere else, for that matter)

I have always had a... peculiar... sense of humor as far as I can recall and I doubt I would have lived (and remained within shouting distance of sanity) as long as I have without the ability to find whimsy in even the most trying times.  Probably just as important to my continued survival (and avoidance of jail time), though, is that I lack the proclivity to follow through on such deeds mischievous despite how many of them I might dream up.  To put it another way, it is largely the same imagination that allows to think up such ideas that prevents me from carrying them out.  Case in point: while transporting my wife's urn/ashes back to Los Angeles from my step-daughter's apartment, I wondered what would happen if I "accidentally on purpose" left them on the train.  Mind you, I haven't taken leave of senses to the point where I would do that, for her remains are far too valuable to me to try.  For example, whoever found them might report them as a suspicious package and they might receive less than ideal treatment by those called in to deal and/or dispose of them, especially in this age of heightened security.  However, I don't think anyone has yet devised a way to punish someone for merely having such thoughts, thus allowing me to indulge in a capricious mental exercise of visualizing the reaction of the poor, unsuspecting soul who happened upon them had I actually gone through with it.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Until (a) death (certificate) do us part, the conclusion

In which we find our intrepid hero (i.e., me in case you missed the last two parts of this gripping tale) returning home to make an important discovery.  Sometime after returning home, inspecting the purchases he had made while downtown, and resting a bit, our protagonist decides not only to change his pants, but to put on the same pants he wore the day he went to Oceanside to get his wife's urn/ashes.  At which point, it behooves your humble narrator to make a slight backtracking in the story to revisit a significant detail that turns out to have been in error.  For instead of placing the death certificate inside the inner pocket of his coat as he had thought, someone (and I won't mention any names here mainly because it's me) had put them in his pants' pocket... the very pants which he had jsut changed into and whose pocket he now reached into.
[Please kindly ignore the sound in the background of what might be someone banging his or her head against the wall.]

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Until (a) death (certificate) do us part, Part 2

When we last saw our intrepid hero (i.e., me), I... rather, he was leaving the Department of Public Health Vital Records at 313 N. Figueroa Street, Room Lobby-1, Los Angeles, CA 90012 ("X" on the map below, which you'll have to click on the post's link to see) with a couple of newly purchased copies of his wife's death certificate.  Looking up and down the Figueroa Street, however, failed to produce any sight of a stop for a Metro bus that would return him to downtown Los Angeles.  True, there was one a block southwest of him.  Instead, he started traipsing southeast down Figueroa and managed to turn what should have been a three-minute walk to the bus stop into a 2.1-mile trek.  But at least he eventually got home.  However, what he found when he got home... that's a whole 'nother tale for the next post.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Until (a) death (certificate) do us part, Part 1


Gather 'round, one and all, to hear a tale of one of my greater facepalmingest moments1.  My step-daughter had just given me my wife's urn and ashes along with her death certificate and some other papers concerning her cremation (my wife's. that is, not my step-daughter's... just thought I should make that clear).  I proceeded to put the ashes on the floor beside and place the papers in my coat's inner pocket shortly before she (that "she" would be referring to my step-daughter this time) and her husband drove me to the North County Transit Center to await the train that would take me home to Los Angeles.  Shortly after we said our goodbyes, I felt too warm and took my coat off, folding it over my arm.  As the train arrived, I put the coat back on just before I boarded.  Finally I got home, took my wife's urn (with the ashes still inside) over to my sister-in-law's place, where I spent some time before going back to my apartment.  I checked for the papers and discovered they weren't in my coat pocket.  Ok, so maybe I left them at sister-in-law's, but asking her reveals that's a dead end.  So I search my room, but turn up nothing.  So part of Sunday is spent searching once more and finding the e-mail addresses of lost and found for MetroLink and the North County Transit Center and explaining what happened and asking them to get in contact me on the off chance someone has turned them in.  Long odds, I know, but better than no odds at all.
Monday comes, but it's Memorial Day.  About the only news concerning the death certificate is that I discover I cannot order it online.  Looks like my only option is to go down to the Los Angeles County Public Health building (LACPH; remember that acronym- I'm probably going to be using it tomorrow) and buy a new copy (or two, since I'm already going to be there, I might as well get an extra).  But that part of the tale is for another day....

1 I would add "of my life" here, except that would be redundant. I don't think I've ever had a facepalmingest (or any other) moment in anyone else's life but my own.

Monday, May 30, 2016

I just learned how to change the cover photo on my Google+ profile

Words cannot describe how beautiful she is to me.  And the emotions every time I see it: love, pain, joy, sorrow, blessedness, betrayal (how dare she leave me alone?), and too many more to sort them all out.  Then there are the questions to which I do not know the answer.  I have to restrain myself from punching the monitor so that I no longer can see it while at the same time wanting to linger on it, caressing the image of her face (why can't it be the real thing?).
I hope that no one reading this is bothered by my remembering this Memorial Day someone who fell in the battle against cancer.  I didn't plan it this way, it just happened.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

She's Baaaaaaaaaaaaack!

Finally, the Lorena has returned to Los Angeles1, 2
And for one brief and shining moment,she was even here, back home in what was previously our apartment.3  But for better or worse, I took her over to her sister's place... and tears began to flow4.  And when that was all over, they began to flow again.  In between, there was time for me to eat three chicken tortillas and some reheated Mexican-style pinto beans interrupted by periods of comforting her sister and our (i.e., my and my wife's) niece and answering or declining to answer questions from our 5(?)-year-old grandniece5 (Is that tía Lore in there?  Can she get out?  Can you open it?).  Some time during all of this, I offered to let them keep her ashes for a brief yet unspecified amount of time and they agreed.  Thus, she is currently being memorialized in a vigil there with the whole burning candles around her "urn" 6.

1 And not only can't I smell what the Lorena is cooking, I doubt that she is cooking.
2 And, yes, it is time to play "how many cultural references can you spot and identify in this post".
3 The "where she belongs" is, of course, implied.
4 As a male, I can neither confirm nor deny that any such tears proceeded from me, but let the reader(s) figure it out.
5 This is the same grandniece who once (when my wife was still alive) asked me "Is your tía Lore home?". In an effort to correct her, I explained that Lorena was not my tía ("aunt"), but my esposa ("wife").  After which she asked, "Oh, so is your tía esposa home?".
6 It looks more or less like this7:
except:
  1. it's dark blue instead of black;
  2. it has a label with her name and the name of and information for the cremation service (Cremation Services, Inc., 2570 Fortune Way Suite D Vista, CA 92081, 760-727-8906); and,
  3. most importantly, it is closed and possibly sealed.
7 This is in no way meant as a criticism or complaint against the service. On the contrary, one of the things that most impressed me about them is that while they offer (more expensive) alternatives, they didn't try to upsell any of them to me by suggesting that paying more equates to loving my wife more8, which I have read is a common tactic among funerary services. Not the most creatively named, but highly recommended by yours truly.  Now if they only offered a referral fee if I can get someone to mention that he or she heard of their service here....
8 Then again, that was probably a smart and/or fortunate move on their part when dealing with me because I would have immediately asked them whether that was what they meant if they had.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

9 minutes to go and I better finished getting my socks and shoes on and turn off the computer.

It's been fun.  I might do this again sometime.  Then again, probably not.  Y'all come back now, ya hear?

18 minutes.... guess I'll find clothes to wear

I would tell you what I found, but either:
  1. you wouldn't find it all that exciting, or,
  2. if you did find it exciting, I probably wouldn't want to tell you because you seem to get excited too easily.

20 minutes and checking Phins.com didn't turn up anything worth reading

Then again, it is the off-season, which means mostly fluff pieces.

Ok, 24 minutes now, I'm going to check my email

Bleh... nothing interesting.  Guess that's it for this post.

I've got 29 minutes to go before I leave, let's start blogging

Slight change of plans since I got off of work an hour early and it gave me time to go home.  Good thing, too because I left the clothes I was going to take at work.  Yes, work was that rough last night.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Going to pick up my wife's ashes

Not really much to expand on from the post's title.  Just put the finishing touches (namely, calling my step-daughter to make sure she doesn't have any plans that would prevent me from getting the ashes) to get off of work at 6:00 a.m. (Inglewood) ⇒ Union Station (Los Angeles) ⇒ Oceanside, CA via MetroLink ⇒ Stepdaughter's house ⇒  get ashes and return home.  Or at least that's the plan.  Hopefully Mr. Murphy won't make an appearance on the trip.
So everyone behave until I get back, hear?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Just another difference between pre-widower life and post-widower life

While I was out shopping today (according to the scheduled posting date, which would be about a week ago by the time I actually got around to posting this), I saw a multiple picture with "Together is my favorite place to be" written across the bottom.  Before, I would have viewed it as merely a charming sentiment and some small part of me can still recognize it as such.  Now it mostly delivers a gut punch with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, a painful reminder that my wife's death bars "together" as a "place" I can visit with her in the present.  I'm not quite sure why I share this other than to point out 1) how differently I perceive an innocuous message before and after my wife's death and, 2) how randomly a "bad moment" can appear.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

They could have told me this in the first place (or at least, if they did, I don't remember seeing it)

According to an e-mail I just got from BlogCatalog:
Thank you for submitting your blog Living La Viduez Loca (http://beeljo.blogspot.com/) to BlogCatalog.

Unfortunately upon reviewing your blog we are unable to grant it access to the directory.

The most common reasons for not getting into Blog Catalog are:

    We could not verify ownership of your blog.
    A link back, widget or meta-tag is required to verify site ownership. visit: http://www.blogcatalog.com/buttons for more information.
I would think they would want the "BlogCatalog Approved" badge displayed only after the blog was actually approved, but c'est la vie and que será, será and a whole bunch of other non-English phrases like that.  So I added the badge, resubmitted the blog and let's see what happens.
Death, Dying and Loss Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Oh, and the other funny thing about the e-mail? It's addressed as follows: Dear donotreply@blogcatalog.com.... =OP

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

We are not cameras!

The good news: my "1 Million Love Messages" message finally appeared.
The face palm news: the photo I attached to it is titled "[image: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA]"
91888181d6c7215dc9bd1e6da4c784c7146dce01fdf6f04d
I'm pretty sure the photo I included in my message depicts two people about to cut into their wedding cake... or at least that's the way I remember it.

(Photo source)
(Photo I wanted to use)

Monday, May 23, 2016

A site that might be even more amazing than mine...

Sometimes an idea is just so great, yet simple, that you wonder why you didn't think of it first.  Such is the case with a site I found on BlogCatalog called "1 Million Love Messages".  My review is as follows:
I don't understand how anyone could rate this site less than five stars. Words cannot express how wonderful an idea this is. 

 Furthermore, I dedicated the following message to my deceased wife:

Te amo, te quiero, te necesito.
Te extraño.
Siempre estarás en mi corazón.
============
I love you, I want you, I need you.
I miss you.
You will always be in my heart.

I will probably update this post once I see my message appear on the site to add more details.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Suffering from PWRD

I don't know how prevalent Phantom Wedding Ring Disorder1 or even if anyone other than myself suffers from it.  I do, however, know that in my case that is altogether too real.  After growing accustomed to almost sixteen years of brushing my thumb against my wedding ring to check that it was still there, it is now gone from the fourth digit of my left hand.  And even the knowledge that it's gone (and why) doesn't stop me from rechecking- just in case I misrembered or dreamt both the real and symbolic reasons for its absence.  But what can one do when she's gone from one's life, but not from one's heart?

1 I was going to call it "Phantom Ring Syndrome" before learning that name is already taken for an entirely different malady.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

(NS)FAQ #2: Why "Loreto"?

One question I have received several times, especially among hispanohablantes ("Spanish-speakers", for you English-speakers) is why my wife's name was "Loreto" rather than "Loreta" since "o"-ending first names tend to indicate males and "a"-ending names tend to indicate females.  When someone first posed this question to me, I thought it might have to do with her being the eldest child in her family and there are quite a few guys who want their first child to be male.  However, that overlooked a more obvious answer, one that came to me the night before her final viewing as I sat my sister-in-law's living room in Vista, CA and saw a poster for this city:

(That would be Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One more post to go to fulfill my BlogCatalog quota

The day is finally here.  I am at the cusp of fulfilling the ten-post minimum needed to submit a blog for approval in the BlogCatalog directory.  As for the other criteria, my blog must:
  • be a blog... Check!
  • not have pop-up nor pop-under ads... Check!
  • be verified... nothing I can do about this one but wait
  • have unique content... I doubt I could make my content any uniquer, so Check!
  • not be adult only content... the content seems more childlike than anything else
  • have value to readers... this one, unfortunately, seems a bit subjective.  However, if someone who didn't know about BlogCatalog were to read my blog and find out about that way, I would think that would have value to him or her (does flattery count?).
Now if I just had something to write about in my tenth post.  I guess I'll just have to think of a topic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nothing Compared 2 Her

Let's get right at with another installment of (insert drum roll here)... Recent Widower's Reviews®.  For those who have not already guessed it by the post's title, I will be looking at a song by Prince that was popularized by Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor by the name of "Nothing Compares 2 U".

Nothing Compared 2 Her

Let's get right at with another installment of (insert drum roll here)... Recent Widower's Reviews®.  For those who have not already guessed it by the post's title, I will be looking at a song by Prince that was popularized by Sinéad Marie Bernadette O’Connor by the name of "Nothing Compares 2 U".

Monday, May 16, 2016

When is a party not a party?

One of my tendencies that people who know me- whether personally or through reading this blog- might recognize is that I often have difficulty putting times, such as dates, months or even years, to a lot of events that I otherwise remember quite well.  For example, some time back before I met my wife, a female co-worker (yes, that's one of the reasons I wanted to emphasize the above) asked me if I wanted to go to a party she was having at her house, if I remember correctly, that night.  Since I didn't have plans for whatever night it was (or pretty much any other night, come to think of it), I agreed after making arrangements for her to pick me up at my apartment as I don't drive and it was quite a distance away.  After work ended that day, I went to pick up some juice just in case the refreshments weren't to my liking (while I don't have anything against drinking per se, it's something I have never developed a taste for personally) and then home to change.  She arrives later on and we drive over to her house.  After awhile there, though, it appears that no one else is going to show up and eventually she takes me back to my place.  I think nothing of it until....

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A cautionary tale

I cannot recall the month, much less the date, it happened.  I thought I had narrowed down the time frame by finding a purchase made at the Salinas Amtrak followed by another at an Inglewood Costco, but their date of April 25, 2011 marks them as about a year too late.  While the exact "when" remains a mystery, the "what" I remember all too well despite dismissing it as trifling at the time.  My wife had returned to our Salinas, California apartment after visiting her sister in Los Angeles.  While there, she said, she went to the hospital with abdominal pain and the doctors discovered a lump/mass (masa) in that area of her body.  Maybe it was fear of the effect of hospital bills on our financial situation (we weren't too far from almost losing our apartment due to back rent we eventually paid off and both of us being temporarily unemployed) or perhaps I didn't want to believe that it was what it almost definitely was, but I should have rushed her to Natividad Hospital or pretty much anywhere to have it checked out.  I didn't.
And so I am left here to wonder: would they have caught it in time if I had?  Would it have made a difference?  Would she still be alive, perhaps even well?  What kind of husband was/am I, to allow that to have happened to her?
 I cannot prevent questions like these from haunting my thoughts or wounding my heart.  But that is as far as I will let them go in crippling my life and destroying my future.  Yes, I made those choices.  Yes, I own up to my failures.  However, I am human.  I recognize my imperfections.  The past remains unchangeable, but I can repent of what I have done and use the knowledge I have gained from my errors to make better choices now and in the future.  The story has not finished and I feel joy over that.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I just saw my (dead) wife

After I got off the bus at Crenshaw Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard (hollow black dot on the map of Los Angeles, CA above) and crossed the street while returning home from work around 6:15 this morning, my eyes beheld the vision of my wife rounding the corner of South Victoria Avenue (hollow light gray dot to its left; the black circle with the dot was close to my destination) and heading towards me. Yet, inexplicably, as we approached, the woman I identified simply by her hairstyle slowly and agonizingly transformed into a complete stranger who I doubt I had ever seen before and appeared almost nothing like who I originally thought she was.
Silly, stupid, foolishly desperate me.

Friday, May 13, 2016

It's the End of the World As We Know It And I (Mostly) Feel Fine

Welcome to the first installment of recent widower's reviews, where I (the recent widower in question) look at some songs and possibly other media that relate- however remotely- to how I feel since my wife's death.
It should become a semi-regular feature on this blog since it's easy to do (except when I'm using it as a dual-purpose post, like this one) and I need filler from time to time.  So let's get to it.

It's the End of the World As We Know It And I (Mostly) Feel Fine

Welcome to the first installment of recent widower's reviews, where I (the recent widower in question) look at some songs and possibly other media that relate- however remotely- to how I feel since my wife's death.
It should become a semi-regular feature on this blog since it's easy to do (except when I'm using it as a dual-purpose post, like this one) and I need filler from time to time.  So let's get to it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

(NS)FAQ: What's a "beeljo"?

Before addressing the topic referred to in the post's title, let me first explain that a (NS)FAQ is a (Not So) Frequently Asked Question- sometimes so not so frequently as to be equal to zero.  Then again, sometimes the best time to answer a question is before it is even asked.

So who, what, where, when , why, and/or how is a "beeljo"?
It's the first two letters of my last name followed by the first two letters of my middle name and then topped off with the first two letters of my first name.  Thus: "beeljo".

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Currently experiencing not-quite-technical difficulties

In my quest to provide for you, my loyal readers (if there are any such creatures) a better and more aesthetically pleasing experience, I have noticed an unsightly space between the bottom of the comment section and the Previous Post / Home / Next Post links as can be seen in the screenshot below:
I am trying to resolve this problem on the Blogger Help Forum.   Until further notice, I have removed all customizations since someone who responded to an earlier query implied that they were hindering his efforts at finding a solution.  I hope you can bear with me through this trying and troubling period.

Thank you.

Update: since the request has been up already for 7+ hours and I haven't gotten a response, I'm going to assume that one is not forthcoming.  Hence, I'm just going to return load the old template back in and assume the space is being caused by a height in an IFrame and therefore not changeable by me.

Update 2: I finally was told to try Stackoverflow.com again.  While I don't mind that they couldn't help, the first response seemed like an attempt to shift the blame on to my customizations than simply admit that the problem was with template itself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In which I compose why I suppose I have to propose a purpose for this blog

Welcome and I hope you enjoy reading this blog and I, for the most part, enjoy writing it. Please note that while many of the early posts will deal will have a somber tone, I will balance these out with lighter pieces later on.  This brings me to the first few reasons for my blog:
  1.  To show the pain in my life and the causes thereof in my life, especially those related to my wife's death.  I wanted the blog to reflect all aspects of my life and realistically portray my experiences rather than cherry-pick the good.
  2. I hope that by sharing such events, I can multiply the joy and divide the sorrow brought by them.
  3. To show that at least one person (i.e., me) has learned how to overcome such pain and possibly give hope to someone who thinks he or she cannot.
But wait... that's not all!  Act now (or any other time before this blog ends) and you'll also receive these additional reasons for no extra charge:

  1. To share some of my and my wife's history, both before and after we met.
  2.  To encourage myself to become more social.  A couple of consequences of moving around so much throughout my life are first, I do not know how to develop roots within a community, and, second, I have a hard time picking up social cues that would have been more obvious.
That's all I can think of for now, but I'll come back and add any more that come to mind.