Thursday, December 4, 2014

Writing, Procrastination, and Squirrels!

Aphorism of the day: “Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.”  Mickey Spillane 

Writing is a hard way to make a living, “Only 5% of books sell over 1,000 copies,” but what a way to live. In a few minutes, you can be anywhere in the world, with anyone you want, and doing anything your heart desires.
I make a habit of writing everyday no matter what . . . but there’s always something that can get in your way.  If that happens, I punish myself. I’ve got 24 hours, so I do without sleep, without food, and without people. No phones, no pets, no emails—lockdown, till I write something before the end of the day. 
Still, procrastination is a sneaky thief . . . like today. I have a good friend staying with me this week from Boulder, CO. He’s a lawyer with his Notary seal, so . . . you guessed it: legal stuff.  We redid my Will, Health Care, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. I mean it’s free; you can’t pass up an opportunity like this, right?
And while I’m at it, I might as well get a twofer. I pulled from my do-it-next-week stash an application for Genesis, a donor program, and we discussed this, and he put his stamp to my signature. I mean, the last thing I want is a crowd of people gawking into my open casket looking at some old wrinkled up, powder-faced corpse, charging $18,300 to throw dirt in my face. Below is what my insurance company, USAA estimated for the cost. However, Genesis will pick up your body immediately upon death and a year later deliver your ashes in a nice urn to your designated kin without any charges. After a year, memories faded. My kin can fly down to Key West—my old stomping grounds—have some fresh seafood, with a bottle of Madame Clicquot’s, “Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin,” and afterwards let the warm ocean breeze walk you down to Mallory Square and watch the sunset as they empty my ashes into the Gulf Stream.
I opted out on the special project gift where they do some experimental research projects on your body in the fields of battlefield medicine, forensic pathology, crime scene investigation, fire investigation, and other vital scientific endeavors. I know you're dead, and your body is going to rot, but it’s enough that I’m leaving it to the UT medical center for study and not for voodoo practice.

Funeral home or mortuary $4,800
Burial $4,100
Medical out-of-pocket expenses $4,300
Transportation & accommodations for
out-of-town relatives $1,200
Family gathering (hall rental, food, drink) $1,500
Churches services $400
Legal matters $2,000


SIDE BAR:      I was bitten by a squirrel. I live on three wooded acres in the middle of the city with 200-year-old oak trees in the company of many, many squirrels and other tenants: a couple of families of raccoons (one baby albino), beautifully colored knee-high owls that drink from my garden pond, red tail hawks, and some other critters. This one squirrel, whom I named Pete, ran down the tree every time I came out into the yard and stood watching me from about 15 feet away. I started feeding him, and soon he was eating out of my hand until he mistook a pecan for the end of my finger. Today, I have two puncture wounds in my left index finger, and it’s a little awkward typing with just three fingers. I Googled “squirrel bites,” and it assured me they carried no disease. I cleaned it with peroxide and then swabbed it with methylate (my all-purpose healer) and it’s healing nicely. 

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