Life Wisdom & Admonitions

Having reached a certain age and having taken considerable stock of my health and habits, I have some advice 4 u folks who think that u r too young to think about such things. Remember that every possible day u live could be your last. Keep in mind war-torn Ukraine, and despots who r crazed to even ignite World War III, before u dismiss the possibility. Also, keep in mind weather catastrophic events, even those that have hit near u, or your area, causing loss of life, devastation. Or the lunatic near u who is homeless and has a knife or a gun, or just doesn’t like how u look at him…all of these situations present danger. And even today, endemic COVID-19 1813 deaths on March 9, in the USA alone…take stock and be aware. U need to prepare if u have anyone who really counts on u. To not do so is to abdicate caring about someone, as u can leave and leave a bad legacy 4 your spouse and minor children, if u do nothing. So here is my heart thoughts and having witnessed plenty of devastation in my life already, in these almost 58 years now….

  1. If u r living with someone and r not married, but in a committed relationship, consider whether your joint home is yours, if u don’t have joint deed ownership of the property, or if u rent it. Will u be able to continue occupancy if your partner dies? In fact, in my lifetime, aunt Rae was living w uncle David, and because they were unmarried, the landlord took it upon himself to say that when David died (he had a brain tumor, inoperable), Rae was going to have no leg to stand on in order to continue renting the rent stabilized apartment they shared in Manhattan. So Rae had to get a clergyperson quickly to marry them in order to continue occupancy. Never mind that David was incoherent and unable to give consent to the marriage, it happened anyway, w great embarrassment to those assembled in their apartment, myself among them. Rae continued to live in such apartment until her own death in 1997.
  2. Execute a health care proxy and get consent from whom u intend to designate as your agent to make health care decisions. In the absence of a spouse, or parent, or adult child, u need to designate someone, and think about what u want done or not done, in order to preserve life, or what things r unacceptable 2 u. And write it down, also, w a witness, and preferably by a lawyer, or a/k/a a “living will.” U have to face that u may become incapacitated suddenly, or over time, due to dementia. If u r becoming forgetful as u age, that is your clue that u r approaching the time when u may need such documents and advanced directives. Best to have 2 agents, just in case one is unable to do it 4 u also.
  3. U may also need a general Power of Attorney (POA) to execute in case u cannot pay your bills, due to death, in which case your will and last testament comes into play, or if incapacitated, then your general POA is applicable. U don’t want to have your home in foreclosure or credit rating damaged in case something unexpected happens. U need someone u can trust financially, so cultivate close friends, or scope out trustworthy relatives…hopefully, u won’t need to pay a lawyer in order to do these things at hundreds of dollars per hour…
  4. If u r very isolated, w neither close friends nor family that is trustworthy, then u may need to pay someone in order to assume such duties 4 u. And when that is the case, u may be at risk of losing any assets u may have, as the person will get custodianship over u, and may decimate your hard fought for fortune. So it’s important to be a good person, recognize that no man is an island, and cultivate these caring, committed relationships that r worthy, who will look out 4 your best interests, and not become grifters, thieves, or worse. When that day comes that u realize that no one is committed 2 u, and u have no one to look after u or your best interests, then u recognize that your life has been an utter failure. I only cite karma in my daily teachings.

I know of both friends and family who r in jeopardy currently, and have no one who will look out for their best interests. The person who lives w you, who won’t marry u, is effectively saying that they do not care what happens 2 u after they r gone…even unto homelessness. U have no claim to their apartment or house, and by that date, u may not have any parents to take u in…and u may not have a job, or may have become disabled, living on savings…and your children may be estranged…or u may never have had any. There r a million permutations to personal chaos. I have reminded u today just in case u r living on such a precipice, not confronting same. Get people into your life who buttress your existence, or else u r lost.

One last happy note: my dear friend M. did finally sign up 4 life insurance, because she has a minor child and also a disabled husband. Bravo, M! U took the steed by the horns this time. Next stop is that custody arrangement 4 her child, who is presently 13 yrs old. A last will and testament is necessary. Just to show love and concern. No one knows the day or the hour of their death, so pray, and make preparations, in order to establish control. U can only do that while u still have your wits! And also, have an actuary estimate your life expectancy while u r at it…if u r heavy, smoke, take narcotics, drink to excess, etc…your lifetime is apt to be less than u think. Also, evaluate your stress level as well. Altogether, u can self-estimate given your own parents’ lifetimes and age at death…and extrapolate your own remaining time. And an extra caveat is that COVID is not the last pandemic we shall ever see…and it took many people way before their time would have been, in its absence. Keep that in mind too. And long COVID also caused both cerebral and coronary damages as well as pulmonary, of which we shall see many co-morbidities arise in the intervening years after 2020…and psychiatric is only one of them. It’s way later than most people think.

PREP NOW or else u abdicate control and caring!

Post Vacation Euphoria!

I am still reeling from my experience aboard the latest Star Trek the Cruise V! So in contrast to my normal day to day life it was! I fled my isolation, hibernation, winter cold and wet NYC, where driving is at best a white knuckled adventure of potholes, ice, snow, and when u have a mobility disability, it’s like u need to stay in, a lot. And get delivery. Also, when COVID is raging outside, and u r high risk, u r further encouraged to get triple vaxxed, and also avoid people in close proximity at least. So it’s a lonely time to go forward from Christmas 4 me in NY, after which meeting people who matter is just put off, for several months actually….I only see my doormen on staff, the super, once in a while, my primary care physician, my cleaning lady once a month…and it keeps up, too long…like a glacial pace of watching the calendar move, day by day, until such time as warmth arrives…and as NYC is really too far north in this country, winter can run even from October, in the thirties Fahrenheit, to even as long as early April, when we have even seen snow, from time to time! But u get some days of warmth also, here and there, and a light jacket is all that is needed. I find comfort in beaches and sunshine, especially under this long hibernation, as a human, not a bear. So Star Trek the Cruise is an annual ritual of escape and joy, not only because of warmth, but also the really thriving community of people who share a love of Trek and its values, of inclusion, tolerance, charity encouraged, against bullying, laughter, comradeship, oodles of celebrities, whom u idolize, and u get to see friends from across the country, who gather 4 this fest, all of us afloat together! This year, it ran from Feb. 26 to March 5, 2022, leaving from a new point, Port Canaveral, FL.

Next year, it will be in a new place yet again, from Los Angeles, CA. So I will be the cross country traveler then, but it’s also good, in that I will use the jet lag to get out there faster, get accustomed to Pacific time, and also extend my vacation thereby. So the vacation will run likely two weeks then, in order to feel less physical stress, and more warmth. I am accumulating free miles on my American Airlines account, so I can cash in my miles for that 1st class ticket too. And we will be going to a new set of places too, in ports along the Mexican Riviera: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. All new to me. But it’s not even the destinations that r the draw really: it’s my fellow cruisers, and the celebs, and the nice staff on board the ship, all exemplary! They do what we call cosplay, which is remarkable costuming from many Trek series, and have a judging contest each year, and some folks do get also prosthetic makeup put on, on the cruise, to make them professionally made up aliens. People also do other things, like chimpanzee astronauts, dinosaur suits, really the gamut of sci fi loves….even Spiderman! I like to see the cosplay, and perch myself in a chair w camera in hand. This year, one of my friends won the contest even! Q’s Costume Party is voted on by the crowd, w loudness of cheers.

And the dining! Wow, such good stuff also. Even tho it’s not exactly healthy, as u feel the salt content building up in your lower legs w stiffness, as the cruise goes on…and u feel unmoored post cruise, w sea legs, used to walking differently on board a ship, so that land feels peculiar afterwards. It takes a few days to reaccustom to land. And your skin returns to normal too, as the salt flushes out of your body. I am back to my normal functioning now, a week later after my arrival home, on 3/5. I got sick temporarily post cruise too, w a wicked sore throat, and extending to my right ear, some pain…but it was gone quickly too. Only sick from Sunday to Wed. There was no need for further care, and my self care regimen was miraculously brief. And why not? I am still glowingly happy! Special thx to my CA friends Pauline & Daniel, who went w me to dinner out at Jamie Oliver’s Restaurant on board….and then subsequently sent me a 1st time in life gift: a cameo video personalized 4 me, by celeb Nana Visitor, who was also on the cruise! What a gift that was, to have Nana thank me on their behalf for that dinner, in an emailed video message running 52 seconds! I am still flabbergasted by it actually. And I have a pathetic wish to have some friends do this 4 me again even, it was so thrilling! Cameo.com has hundreds of celebrities on their site, for hire, to do any message u might want, at varying rates of pay, depending on how famous the celebrity is. I am looking into doing this for some of my friends also, in case it might be helpful to them, and as thrilling as my 1st one was, to me! But it can be quite expensive, as the cameo message can run as high as $1000, depending on who u hire. My idols include Star Trek celebrities, of course, but also Dionne Warwick is available on the site too….I Say a Little Prayer….a song w special life significance to me. But God bless all my friends, whether or not I get more cameos. I love them all! They make life worth living in fact. Even in lonely winter in NY.

Happiness can also be a warm puppy, which 2 close friends went and got picked up from a breeder, on March 5, 2022. His name is Milo, and he’s truly adorable, if a little bitty breed, a silky haired terrier. I hope to meet him in person soon, along w my friends, as warmth is arriving slowly to NY. Soon, the furs will go back into storage, 4 refurbishment, and it will be soon to get together again, w the locals. All I have to do is write it out, and watch the calendar move to Daylight Savings Time.

And yes, even took out that black and silver sequin dress for this cruise too! I felt exuberant in celebration!