Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Escaping the Sanitarium.

Linda and my son, Todd, took me to Edgefield Sanitarium, but fortunately McMenamin's has transformed it into a kind of yuppie Disneyland, so I escaped being committed one more time.

Got to Portland on Saturday in time to help Todd clean up the garden in front of his house. I actually dug in and enjoyed it. Showed him my skills, man. We had that front yard looking good. He gave me a couple shoots of curly willow to take home, and some chive plants.

We figured out that The Cave of Forgotten Dreams was in 3-D, even though the paper didn't say.
Neither Todd or Linda had any idea what the movie was about.

"Two words -- mutant crocodiles." (Well, I wasn't exactly lying and I got them to go along.)

We had dinner at Kenny and Zukes. I ordered a corned beef Reuben sandwich, because I love Rubens and I don't eat corned beef much, but I think it was a bit of a failed experiment. I should have stuck to pastrami Reuben.

Todd and I shared a pitcher of beer. We probably would've been just fine with a single beer each, so we rushed to not waste it. A nice leisurely glass through the meal, then we (mostly I) gulped down the rest before walking across the street to the theater. Since I hardly drink anymore, I think I've lost my ability to gauge how much I will consume.

(By the way, I simply can't remember the name Kenny and Zukes, and had to ask twice just while writing this....)

I'm determined not to say no whenever anyone wants to go to a restaurant -- I want to get over this phobia little by little. One trick that helps me, is I ask for a table in the rear of the establishment and then I turn my back to the room. Artificial privacy. (They never seem that surprised when I ask, even though it almost always is near the noisy entrance exits to the kitchen -- must be other people who ask for it.)

Anyway, we got to the Living Room Theaters. They had 3-D glasses piled near the door, and we snagged some (in the theater another middle aged couple seemed bewildered they didn't have glasses so I told them about the pile. Two other couples got up to get the glasses, and I felt in the 'know'. heh.) Bought a couple of more beers, as the smell of garlic wafted over the theater. ("Ah, the smell of garlic and movies...." I said to Linda.) The theater was almost TOO comfortable. If I was inclined to fall asleep at the movies, that could've been a problem -- plus the seats were so wide, I had no place to put my elbows. (I've been trained to be a sardine, obviously.)

The movie was good, but I'd probably built it up too much in my mind. Todd and I started laughing at the "cave sniffer" and a lady behind us joined in, but we were the only ones who thought that was hilarious.

Oh, and the mutant crocodiles were a tad random.

Linda and shared a queen sized bed at Todd's, and I was concerned. See, I toss and turn, and when I toss, I turn emphatically. Meanwhile, Linda has restless leg syndrome, and her leg twitches like a metronome all night.....drives me nuts.

But we were fine, and we're thinking maybe with current mattresses, we could share a king-size bed at home instead of two singles shoved together. That would be awesome.

So, slept pretty well.

But hungover.

It's funny. Todd doesn't have a T.V. even though he has two roommates and their girlfriends. But they have an I-pod playing all day, morning, noon, and night. Different. *** (Later, turns out he does have a T.V. downstairs, but it's just local broadcast. Watched Hercule Poirot which was fun.)

Today we're going to Edgefield McMinamins, which will be a real challenge to my phobia, especially since I'm slightly hungover. But, like I said, I'm determined to say yes, especially accompanied by people I know and like, because someday on trips it will be Linda and Me and I'll want to see these types of places, and eat in these kinds of places -- so I may as well become accustomed to the experiences now.


Huge crowds, beer around every corner, and lots of funky art.

We ate in a kind of beer garden, snagged a table near the reservation booth and told the waitress we'd move if anyone needed it. Ended up being our table.

People watching -- big time. Lots of interesting and beautiful people. I tell you what, if I could get through that situation and not feel panicked, then maybe I just don't feel panicked anymore. It helps to down a couple of brews. I started with Ruby Red and stuck with it.

This was one busy place, and employs a whole lot of young people. What a formula.

You know what this agoraphobic person(former?) likes? Fitting in. Not really being noticed.

Maybe I'm succeeding. The couple next door started talking to us, and we were having a good conversation until the lady came back to the table with a newspaper she had found and started moaning about inheritance tax.

"As long as it isn't over a million dollars," I said. "I don't much care."

"Yeah, but you probably have a million dollars," the woman insisted, "if you add up everything."

"Well," I laughed. ".....999,999.99." ( I'm joking, I'm joking!)

"But I really don't want to talk politics." I said.

She continued on.

"Really, I don't want to talk about politics."

She went on.

"Well, actually, " I said, pointing at my wife. "SHE'S a COMMUNIST."

Linda just grinned and didn't deny it.

I think we quit talking a little bit after that.

But, hey! I think I was fitting in! At least for awhile.


Anonymous said...

The Pastrami at Kenny & Zukes is awesome. It is a lot better than the Corned Beef.

Heroes Haven

H. Bruce Miller said...

The federal inheritance tax (estate tax) doesn't kick in until the size of the estate reaches $5 million, and there's no estate tax on money left to your spouse no matter how much it is. I'd venture to guess that less than 0.1% of the people who bitch about the "death tax" will be affected by it at all. They're useful idiots for the plutocracy.

Duncan McGeary said...

"I'd venture to guess that less than 0.1% of the people who bitch about the "death tax" will be affected by it at all. They're useful idiots for the plutocracy."


The woman was a fifth grade school teacher for criminy sake.

RDC said...

The groups that are most negatively impacted are small business owners and farmers. Often it results in the forced sale (or very heavy borrowing against) of the business or farm to be able to cover federal and state taxes.

It is less of an impact now since it was raised to 5 million, compared to the 2002 level of one million.

Then you have the entire other issue of taxing someing that has already been taxed (earnings). If it is taxed as anything is should be as a capital gain paid by the recipient or passed with a zero basis (instead of a stepped up basis) and then taxed at time of sale.

A practice more consistent with US tax practices would be to have no inheritance tax, but instead cash assets would be taxes as income by the recipient, property would be passed with a zero basis and the complete value taxed at time of sale, if and when it is sold in the future. That would avoid the forced sale or indebitedness issues and would still result in revenue that is in line with other tax practices.

H. Bruce Miller said...

RDC: "The groups that are most negatively impacted are small business owners and farmers."

There are not many true small businesses or family farms that are worth more than $5 million. Unless we're talking about the Simplot family.

"Then you have the entire other issue of taxing someing that has already been taxed (earnings)."

This "the money has already been taxed" argument infuriates me because it's so illogical. Money doesn't pay taxes -- people pay taxes. An inheritance is "new money" to someone who inherits it, so why shouldn't he/she pay tax on it? If I inherit $20 million from my rich uncle, how is that any different from winning $20 million in a lottery? In either case I have never paid taxes on that money, and whether somebody else did at some point in the past is irrelevant.

When I had my PR business all my clients paid me with money that "had already been taxed" (i.e., they had earned it and paid taxes on it) so by your logic I guess I shouldn't have had to pay taxes on it.

"A practice more consistent with US tax practices would be to have no inheritance tax, but instead cash assets would be taxed as income by the recipient ..."

That would work for me, but I'd want to include non-cash assets such as stocks and bonds as well. Certain kinds of real estate could be exempt, as you suggest.