Saturday, April 4, 2015

If You Read This After Monday, It May Be Too Late

In October 2011, I published a post called “Cyborg, YouBorg, We All Borg” that illustrated the folly of setting forth my “Death Demands” before the heart surgery I had in 2010. Well, it’s 2015 and I’m going back under the knife on Monday morning, so it’s like déjà vu all over again.

I still don’t have a will (see # 5 below) so I thought I should likely publish my updated list of Demands as I’m sure that what I write in this blog is totally legally binding and besides, it’s a little late to engage an attorney at this point, unless watching last week’s DVR’d episode of “Better Call Saul” will suffice. (Spoiler alert: It was awesome. Fuck Chuck. I hope this show is available in the Afterlife.)

As you may know, despite how outwardly… um, robust… I appear, I’m actually rather a delicate flower for whom garden variety surgery is a tad more fraught with danger than it is for your average bear. (And by the by, I’ve known bears, and they are decidedly not average.) This was reinforced for me this week when the anesthesiologist assigned to my case took one look at my chart and said what I imagine to be the professional medical equivalent to “Oh, HELL no.” Since that time, my life has been one giant circus (mmmm... popcorn!) of running to various superfluous doctor appointments to jump through various medical hoops to prove that Real Life Me is quite a bit different than Medical Chart Me. Seriously, this dude is going to feel so stupid when I saunter into the operating room on Monday and the scariest thing about me is my thighs. Or my hair in this ridiculous humidity.

All of this hoop-jumping has me on red alert and if I’m being totally honest, yes, I’m making a big joke of it here because I’m pretty terrified that I’m going to die on Monday. And of course my way of dealing with just about anything I'm concerned about is to mock it to the nth degree. <-- OMG, Look at me, doing math and stuff! So here they are, my updated Death Demands. Learn ‘em. Love ‘em. And for God’s sake, abide by them unless you want me to haunt you. Because I’m just crazy enough to do it, you guys.

  1. I have one small life insurance policy. It’s a Term Life policy, but I have no idea what that means in terms of payout. The Boy is, of course, the beneficiary—and once the police have ruled out foul play (hey, I watch "Dateline" and to be fair, he is kinda shifty), give the man his payday. God knows he’s suffered for long enough.
  2. I think I may also have a life insurance policy through my company.  I don't know how to tell and I refuse to log into my work computer the weekend before I die. I’m taking this stand right now mostly so that at my funeral, you can all discuss how I was a woman of principle.
  3. I have a 401(k), but I don't really know what that is or what happens to it unless I do something with it upon retirement, which clearly isn’t going to happen if you’re revisiting this list after about 11:00 a.m. on April 6.
  4. I own some stock. I’m not sure if there is a beneficiary for stock or 401(k)s  because I’m stupid about that stuff. But assuming that The Boy isn’t in foul play cahoots with the medical staff, he should get it all.
  5. I do not have a Will.  But damned if I haven't always had a Way.
  6. When I survive this surgery and feel sheepish about posting this blog, remind me to get my financial and legal shit together. Note to yourselves: You failed to do this in 2010 and look where that gotten us?
  7. Also, remind me to get some principles.
  8. "Vegetable" is not a good look for me-- you know how I even hate candid photos or photos taken from my “bad side” (pffft—like I have one!).  If I go all brain-dead and drooley, pull the plug.  I am not kidding.  Plug the plug or I will haunt you.
  9. I wish to be cremated. I’d like my ashes mixed together with Chanel’s (her ashes are in my safe) and to have both of us taken back to Colorado and scattered from what The Boy calls “Jake’s Rock” on our favorite hike in Pike National Forest. This will be the first time I’ll ever get there without breaking a sweat and honestly, I’m kind of excited by the prospect. You know how I deplore sweating.
  10. I would prefer a cocktail party to a funeral.   It should be catered.  There should be an open bar (premium liquor only) and definitely a champagne toast (I'm picturing many of them). Please no baby corn (it’s just weirdly unnatural) or deviled eggs on the buffet and no carnations in the arrangements. You must make sure this is a festive thing—I wish to be celebrated, not mourned.
  11. Celebrate me, dammit!
  12. Please find the absolute best photo of me possible and put it in a frame in lieu of a viewing. I should look thin in this photo, so Photoshop it if necessary. There will be no “viewing” of my dead body. If you let there be a viewing, see #8 above because I will completely haunt your asses.
  13. There are many songs that must be played at my cocktail party:
    1. Good Riddance, by Green Day
    2. I Won’t Back Down, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
    3. I’m Gonna Live Forever, by Billy Joe Shaver
    4. Say, by John Mayer
    5. Amazing Grace
    6. You Make My Dreams Come True, by Hall & Oates
    7. Uptown Funk, by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson
    8. Pussy Control, by Prince
  14. Everyone, and I mean everyone, must furiously 80s dance to #f above.
  15. Vicki & Tracye must choreograph a line dance to #g above prior to the party, and all of the ladies must participate at the party. This means you, Priscilla. I know how you feel about dancing in public… but just dance like nobody’s watching. (No one is, they’re all staring at their phone screens.)
  16. I chose #h only for how uncomfortable it will make everyone. And that shit is funny.
  17. I understand that Mom and Dad will want a religious service and that’s okay too. Please be sure they use 1 Corinthians 15:55 and Psalm 27:1 (my absolute favorite). Also, maybe leave out that Prince song from #13 above.
  18. But I want a cocktail party.
  19. If there is an obituary, please make me sound more important and wonderful and happy in death than I was in life. See #11 above. And use the photo from #12. If you’re not going to spring for the additional cost of the photo, I will haunt you.
  20. There are some things in my bedside table that I would prefer no one else see. Second drawer. Ideally, The Boy will be too devastated to remember this, so take care of it for him.
  21. Don't judge me for #20.
  22. I made a casserole for The Boy to munch on while he takes care of me post-op. It's in the freezer in the laundry room. Since he's undoubtedly too devastated to eat, someone will need to eat that. Maybe put it on the buffet. I hate to see food go to waste. See principles referenced above.
  23. If he's not devastated and is instead happily devouring that casserole, don't rule out foul play.
  24. I did not have time to get my hair colored prior to my surgery and I refuse to enter the Afterlife with grey temples. Please engage Kelsey at the Silverdale location of Gene Juarez to take care of that. She's a genius with hair color and I'm sure will take no umbrage with processing my hair once I'm dead. She'll likely appreciate the silence and not having to tell me to stop moving my head.
  25. I love you all beyond measure… Time, distance and death will never, ever change that.
Okay, not to be morbid or anything, but should Jesus take the wheel on Monday and decide to run this car off a bridge (which is kind of how I always imagined I’d die), I am relying on you!


  1. Andrea I simply love this girl. I may have to cut and paste a few suggestions for myself especially #20 lol. This was well stated, funny and perfectly legal. I think. Best of luck on Monday. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. We are looking forward to seeing you very soon. They will find and extract the alien. All will be well.

  3. This is better than any will, any day! Will be thinking of you on Monday with prayers and well wishes.

  4. Brilliantly written, but totally unecessary at this time. I have it on good authority, that your primary mission in life (as designated by the BIG GUY upstairs) is incomplete. He wants you to keep entertaining the rest of us mortals, so that we are able to truly appreciate our own lives. Tuesday will be a great day for you Godess Andrea!

  5. Hello Andrea,

    After 37 years, I found your last will and testament and I hope and pray your surgery went well because you have a rendezvous to make in Rocky Mountain National Park where you were a corp member working on the Bear Lake Trail, Long Peaks and many other beautiful areas in the park. We would be sadden if you did not attend as your creative wit and charm will be missed as we once again share some stories, sing songs and enjoy the beauty of mother nature. You own it to The Boy to show him your outdoor side and no matter how hard you worked, I remember you glowing and not sweating. So for more information, visit It would be good to see you again.