A doldrums day.

Sometimes I hate Facebook. One of my friends is at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Another one just got back from skiing in Park City. One is eating spinach lasagna. Another is finishing a bathroom reno.

We ordered a pizza tonight. My life is pretty boring.

[Stares at screen for five minutes.]

Yup.

So in light of that, how about some good bloggage, again?

Soul Cycle, our own Charlotte’s baby cousin’s business, mentioned yesterday in The Hottest Comment Section on the Internets ™, gets a big piece in New York magazine. Although I will say, without a gift certificate, I won’t be joining in — $32 per class? Lordy, the skinny really are different from you and me.

The Atlantic photo blog, In Focus, looks at National Geographic’s best photos of 2012. A good balance of the beauty of nature (there MUST be a God!) with the degradation of humanity (there CAN’T be a God!).

If there’s anything that could make the Lance Armstrong story worse, it’s this: Oprah. Awk.

Wednesday, it is? Coulda fooled me. Have a good one, all.

Posted at 7:39 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |
 

49 responses to “A doldrums day.”

  1. beb said on January 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Enough with Lance Armstrong already. Yes, he (probably) cheated but they cheated or would if they knew how to not get caught. He won all those races despite increasingly close monitoring. He wasn’t any better or any worse (morally) than the others. He has been targeted for abuse because he was good at what he did. Which may not be cycling. Nut his rep is already damaged so let it go.

    In other outrage/news…. I was reading last night (I think it was on Laws, Guns and Money) that there is a “Newtown trutherism” bubbling up among the right. It was all staged or something so Obama could take away our guns. What’s happening to our country? We’ve got people obsessed with the idea that the government wants to take away people’s guns. We’ve got anti-abortionists talking about how birth control is abortion, splitting hairs over real or unreal rape. It’s like the inmates have taken over Bedlam.

  2. Basset said on January 9, 2013 at 8:08 am

    I am so proud this morning. Life is now worth living – the New York Times says my city “has taken on the luster of the current.”. And you thought all we did down here was fornicate with our cousins and pray…

     
     
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/nashville-takes-its-turn-in-the-spotlight.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=tw-nytimes&partner=rss&emc=rss
     

  3. alex said on January 9, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Last night caught the first installment of “The Abolitionists.” I must confess that I was skeptical about a dramatized documentary. I’m accustomed to Ken Burns-style presentations with images and a narrative. But it was well done and I’ll be back for more.

    I think it’s a shame that Indiana’s own Levi Coffin never gets his due. One cannot read this man’s captivating memoirs and not realize that he is one of America’s greatest unsung heroes. I doubt that Spielberg or even Ken Burns could do him justice.

  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

    By the time the NYT says somewhere or something is hip, it is by definition yesterday. I think a hipster told me that.

    beb, while I don’t agree with lots of “it’s the fault of the internet” social/cultural arguments, I’d say my own experience says there are plenty of cases, of which any number of “trutherisms” are the main example, where outliers used to be the province of the guy down at the end of the bar, the wild-eyed fellow near the campus used bookstore handing out a mimeographed “newsletter,” or at the most glossy, the LaRouche-ies handing out their magazine next to the Worldwide Church of God folks passing out “The Plain Truth.”

    I heard all this stuff in college from those kinds of settings, and the settings reminded me of the outsider, non-mainstream nature of what they claimed (“rock music’s rhythms actually interfere with memory and intelligence, while Renaissance music increases both!” was an article I recall from a LaRouche mag my roommate brought home one day that I read in the john). The chart showing how the comet coming was describing an arc that intersected the plane of solar system in *exactly* the same way a cosmic penis would fertilize the womb of the sun, of which earth’s orbit was the vagina — I saw it on a sheet stuffed into my hands on Jackson St., and shoved it into a trashcan on State St. as I Christmas shopped in Chicago.

    Now, that same mentally unbalanced guy can used a WYSIWYG page to create a website that looks marginally more professional than The Daily Beast aka the corpse of Newsweek, and a site on how the moon landings were faked, something that was a mildly funny adventure movie I saw in college, is now MIT-like in exhaustiveness and depth of links and explanation of sub-questions raised by the shadows on Aldrin’s visor.

    So I sigh sadly, but I think the bizarre and ugly claims about Newtown would have existed, and had not many fewer adherents in 1972; it’s just that they can cluster and coalesce and present in a much more impressive manner with the tech available. I’m actually encouraged in that they and other fringe-y folks don’t seem to have that much more traction today than they did when it was VonDaniken and Grassy Knoll fans back then. Silly and sad will out, truth will . . . continue to struggle, because it just ain’t all that sexy.

  5. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Alex, thanks for keeping on reminding me about Levi. He deserves the attention (as does John Rankin here over the border).

  6. alex said on January 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

    John Rankin’s brother, Alexander, has become a significant historical figure around here. People were late to discover abolitionist history in these parts, never mind that all of the old history books reveal that many major abolitionist figures were present in northeast Indiana prior to the Civil War and Fort Wayne was a major hub of activity.

    If you haven’t read Coffin’s memoirs I urge you to spend some time with them. They are simply spellbinding. He became committed to the cause as a young boy after witnessing slave auctions where he saw mothers and children being ripped apart and beaten for their crying. Then one night he was walking home along a country road and heard a baby’s cry. Upon further investigation he discovered a fugitive woman in hiding who was clutching an infant. She pleaded with him not to tell anyone of her presence. And that’s where it all started.

  7. Peter said on January 9, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Well, continuing with the birthday tributes, 100 years ago today brought forth the bat shit craziest person to walk the White House, with the possible exception of Dick Cheney.

    But some good comes out of everything, no matter how eveil – if it weren’t for him, this clip would make no sense:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U-qiCXNsng

  8. Danny said on January 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Nance, I’ve beened slammed the last few days, but I did have mostly negative thoughts to share on “spinning” classes. Of course, since I am in Lo Cal, there is little need for me to resort to such measures, but I did have a positive experience in a class that was offered on a cruise ship we were aboard several years ago. It all depends on the style… cycling-fitness-based versus stupid-loud-obnoxious-aerobics-instructor-based.

    Guys, this was funny:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/tv/current_situation_XLE3W50v6I9Gbyqe6Z4pFP

    Al Gore sells Current TV to Big Oil concerns (Al Jazeera, no less) and does so before the new tax code kicks in so he can keep more of the cash. Gov Granholm (who was/is an employee, I guess) asked if there was a severance package and got the following:

    “This isn’t the place to discuss this!” Hyatt barked at her.

    Sounds like that meeting went well. Like an orchestra of scorched cats, as Mr. Jorkin (Christmas Carol) might say.

  9. Danny said on January 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Nance, would it cheer you up if I sent you that picture again of the “Sandman” from Maui 2008?

  10. mark said on January 9, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’m truly shocked by the number of employers turning previously full-time employees into part-time employees (by restricting weekly hours) in order to avoid the expense/penalties of the current phase of Obamacare regulations. Locally (Fort Wayne, I learned yesterday that Lassus, which operates about 35 gas station/convenience stores, turned all non-management employees in to part-timers, restricted to 27 hours per week with no overtime. They reportedly provided informaion on food stamps, rent assistance and other welfare programs with the announcement.

    A loca not for-profit for which I consult (not on benefits), has started restricting the number of full-time employees to stay below the number of 50, which triggers coverage under some of the new laws. It is a strategy recommended by the national organization.

    • nancy said on January 9, 2013 at 11:58 am

      That’s rather depressing, Mark. May the invisible hand of the market punish them both.

  11. Mark P said on January 9, 2013 at 10:34 am

    beb and Jeff (tmmo), I think the crazy has been here all along, but the Internet has made it easier for the non-nuts to hear about it. Back in the day, late-night AM talk radio had its share, or more, of the crazies, but who listens to that other than long-haul truckers in the middle of Nevada or other crazies? There is probably the same proportion of crazies today as many years ago, but since the population is huge, the number of crazies has grown, too.

    You all know this: if a thing exists, then somewhere on the Internet there is a group of people who collect them. In the same way, if it is possible to have an idea, no matter how crazy, then somewhere on the Internet, someone believes it.

  12. Suzanne said on January 9, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Crazies have always been there, but what has struck me in the past few years is the number I’ve come across who are well-educated, otherwise sensible people. It’s a bit unsettling. I know a college educated young man who believes everything from that the mass shootings are orchestrated by government officials who want to take away guns to the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane crash being staged. I think the internet does give them a bigger audience than they would otherwise have, and there is usually enough kernel of truth in what they say to get the gullible on board. It’s just that the gullible pool seems to be growing larger.

    I have Lance Armstrong weariness, too. I’m tired of hearing about all those super athletes, especially the Tim Tebow types who are held up as icons of all that is good. You don’t get to that level of sport by being a nice person, and almost none of them get there without some sort of enhancement.

  13. adrianne said on January 9, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I enjoyed “The Abolitionists” on PBS, will catch the next two episodes, waiting, waiting for John Brown segment. Actor portraying him in the series looks scarily like the original. I recommend “Cloudsplitter” by Russell Banks for a great fictional portrait of Brown and his family (who lived in the Adirondacks).

  14. Charlotte said on January 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Thanks Nancy — I hadn’t seen that piece. Like I said, it’s not my cup of tea, but Elizabeth and Julie have really built something special (and lucrative with the per-class model). Which reminds me, we were going to try to get together in LA next month … time to get on that.

  15. coozledad said on January 9, 2013 at 11:27 am

    A good balance of the beauty of nature (there MUST be a God!) with the degradation of humanity (there CAN’T be a God!).

    I generally side with the atheists, until they start talking about fellowship. but it’s at least clear that if there isn’t in fact some evil god with an insatiable appetite for the destruction of everything decent and beautiful, there are at least enough of his followers to will his shitty vibe into being- a Roman perversion of Mithra, maybe.

    Here’s an essentially atheistic cult of the pre-orgasmic that will ultimately dry up like the Shakers, because most sentient people would welcome spiritual death rather than face the possibility of lunch with this sad case:
    http://wonkette.com/496075/andrew-sullivan-wants-to-know-why-women-americans-dont-want-to-overturn-the-civil-rights-act-endorse-fetal-personhood

    I think I’m going with a kind of animism. I’ll call it Zoologetics*.

    *Tagline? They’re better than us.

  16. coozledad said on January 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Oops. Didn’t close me fucking italics.

    That was a nice obit. Brian.

    When my mom died, I pissed the bed two nights in a row. We didn’t get along all that well, but I processed that loss at a very basic level.

    One of my friends had the same experience when he lost his mom.

  17. DellaDash said on January 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

    It’s interesting to juxtapose the hard-to-find/hard-to-get-in/high-dollar urban chic of SoulCycle, against the ‘Queen of Versailles’ Siegal time-share empire where there was such blatant contempt for the ‘mooch’ clientele for whom they were spinning delusions of grandeur.

  18. Basset said on January 9, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Lloyd Loar’s birthday today, as well as Tricky Dick’s. Gotta play the mandolin tonight.

  19. Jeff Borden said on January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Lance Armstrong suffers from a malady that afflicts a large number of people. . .the absolute need for a spotlight and people paying attention to them. Places like Las Vegas and Branson, Mo. are filled with these kinds of folks. . .faded celebrities who cannot exist without some applause, some form of worship.

    Anyone who ever watched Bob Hope in his later years. . .half-senile, unsteady on his feet. . .telling moldy old jokes from 50 years prior knows what I’m talking about. Here was a true pioneer and one of Hollywood’s beloved old guard, but he couldn’t bear to just fade away and enjoy his gazillions.

    Libertarianism is such a silly political belief. My genius nephew sent money to Ron Paul despite his status as an impoverished college student and is constantly posting Paulisms on his Facebook page. He is, of course, a well-educated white male from an upscale Ohio suburb, so of course he sees no disconnect in Paul’s platitudes about how we do not need civil rights laws, equality for women, etc. All we need is FREEEEEEEEEDOM. Seriously, I look at libertarians the same way I used to look at those folks who devoted their lives to “Dungeons and Dragons.”

  20. brian stouder said on January 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Cooz – I was glancing across one of those heavy-stock glossy publications at the funeral home, and there was a list of different sorts of grief that people experience, along with a sentence or two on the manifestations of each (and it was ll in italics, too, for some reason).

    It included all the usual suspects – anger, frustration, mood-swings, distractedness, and so on….and on the list was something like ‘cloying attachment to loved ones’ – which I think is the one I’m embarked upon!

    All through this process – all the legal and emotional and practical “to do” list items – she’s been absolutely on it…I think the sun rises and sets on Pam, right now.

    Of course, I wasted no time pointing this italicized grief listing out to her, so as to indicate that she shouldn’t get too used to this (that woman already has way too much power in our relationship – but we digress!)

  21. Bob (not Greene) said on January 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Basset, you have a Lloyd Loar mandolin? Wow! Well, if things ever go bad, you always have that insurance policy!

  22. beb said on January 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    While I also believe the crazy has always been with us, lately it’s been disturbing to see how mainstream right-wing mainstream has gotten. Birthers. 9/11 “truthers,” Agenda 21, Newtown truthers. Sure this stuff used to get passed around in bars but nowadays it seems like it’s getting passed around by the mainstream media.

    When we were visiting my Dad over the New Year’s weekend he was telling me about the compannies that were cutting the hours of the employees so they’d be part-timers and not subject to Obamacare. I found that not entirely unbelievable but hard to credence. Yesterday there was a report on Americablog that mentioned a Taco Bell franchise in Oklahoma and Wendy’s franchise in Nebraska that was reducing hours of their employees. They admit that they have no idea what the actual effect of implementing the new law will be but they’re pro-actively cutting hours. This is just more of the Crazy.

  23. JWfromNJ said on January 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    @Basset – My birthday as well. And Jimmy Page, Kate Middleton, Tricky Dick Nixon, and Joan Baez, Bob Denver and my fantasy babe Joey Lauren Adams
    (I’d tolerate that voice but I haven’t consulted with my wife yet). Awkward. I did meet Nixon once and I have debated with myself how Watergate would play out in our internet and social network age. I believe he did what he did because his world view (again due to the age) was that the USA had to have unquestioned credibility and pesky things like an anti-war movement, and the electoral process could not interfere with the nation and the president’s credibility. It’s helpful when you want to prop up dictators and teach the Saudi’s how to make money off oil they had no clue how to extract from the sand.

    I met him after he moved to Upper Saddle River, NJ, a friend and I had a part time pool service business. He was in his yard and came to the gate, I told him I was also a January 9th birthday boy, and he noted something along the lines of a lot of talented or intelligent people shared that birthday. I’m neither. I gave him a flyer and wrote on it “Former Presidents Special 25% off of weekly service.” He never called us back.

    • nancy said on January 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Great story.

  24. Jakash said on January 9, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),
    Your points about the way the internet abets the nuttery are well taken. But I also agree with those who find that the nuttery seems much more mainstream these days. However, I am shocked, shocked! that you would include Erich von Daniken among the nutters. “Chariots of the Gods?” was a masterpiece! Or so I thought when I was in high school. ; )

    JWfromNJ,
    I thought the story would conclude with Nixon proceeding to swim his customary 25 laps while wearing his suit and dress shoes…

  25. MarkH said on January 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff Borden — So true about Bob Hope, unfortunately. There were news stories out in the last year of his life that he could be spotted at the Palm Springs airport, alone in a waiting area, trying to hold court mostly talking to himself. At midnight or 1:00 AM. Don’t know how he got away from his handlers at that hour or how true this is, but it fits your description.

  26. Basset said on January 9, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Bob, I have an old Gibson but it’s not a Loar… only had one of those in my hands once. I am not worthy.

  27. Dexter said on January 9, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Jakash: Hahahahahahha! Good one! Nixon did all kinds of “good stuff”, like signing into law the clean water bill, and proposing national health care, but he was such an evil bastard I never thought I’d see a worse president. Boy was I wrong! Jesus! The closest I ever got to Nixon was one day driving down from LA to San Diego and I saw an exit sign for San Clemente. Yawn.

  28. JWfromNJ said on January 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Well LAMary can tell you that Saddle River and Upper Saddle River are two towns in NJ that the rest of us can’t comprehend. Nixon and Pat spent soem good years there and he was a frequent (like 3-4 nights per week) patron of a Chinese restaurant in Saddle river. My sister said she saw him at a pizzeria in Ridgewood, NJ. He kept a low profile in his NJ years but he wasn’t a hobbit. He moved to NYC to a condo before he died, but he walked his neighborhood, shopped locally and blended into the Northeast NJ affulent crowd.

    I’ve actuaolly been lucky enough to meet three POTUS and be within spitting distance of the Gipper. His motorcade passed me on a side street in Hackensack after a 1984 campaign rally. My date was “andrea Reusing,” the now well known chef, and a liberal to the core. She claimed she was having a miscarraige and
    pushed her way deeper into the crowd.

    I met Bush One at Teterboro airport after a rally in 1988, it was that event where he proclaimed he “kicked a little ass last night,” in his debate with Ferraro, and at the same time I resolved to hate all things Bush related. Can’t wait for Jeb to volunteer for Whack-a-Mole, but anyway.

    I had actual face time and a hearty handshake from Bill Clinton. A friend and I had volunteered for a congressional camapaign in NJ, and one of the staffers went on to work for the white house travel office. He thought of us when he needed drivers for the motorcade. We were taking Clinton to a day care center in New Brunswick and then to a rally at Rutgers. It was crazy, a view behind the smoke and mirrors. One of the other drivers almost rear ended my van when we left the super secret hotel parking garage. Snipers at Newark Aiport bounced lasers off our head, we got searched few times.

    Clinton was riding in a bus, he flew up in a Guflstream 3 version of Air Force
    One. My pal drove the Zapruder car, where a network pool camera man rides on the roof. He was in the secure package, so if the package had to boogie he was in for the ride. He had Wolf Blitzer in his station wagon. I had the radio pool, but we weren’t part of the secure package. I was told to throw my keys on the ground if the secure package was evacuated.

    Bill spent (yes) three hours alone in the MTV bus at Rutgers with Tabitha Soren. I’ll never forget the NJ state troopers arguing with the Secret Service, shutting down the NJ Turnpike for hours is a major economic impact. OTOH it was cool to be driving in the motorcade at 100+ mph with cops blocking every entrance and exit ramp. Bill’s best move – when they got him out of the bus and into the limo he slid across the seat and got out on the other side.

    My friend and I were exhausted when we finally got back to Newark Airport but Bill asked for the drivers to line up along the wing. We all got autographs, hugs, and he looked it me the eye and said, “It’s been a marvelous day here in NJ.” I got an autograph on the official paperwork (future episode of Pawn Stars) and my friend and I got actual job interviews with the White House Travel Office in the Old Executive Office Building. But we had to check in at the White House. We didn’t get called back and a week or so later the travel office scandal hit the press, and our pal had jumped to another federal agency.

  29. brian stouder said on January 9, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    The only two presidents that I was in the same place with were when President Ford came to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, and when Senator Obama and his altogether beautiful family came to downtown Fort Wayne’s Headwaters Park.

    ‘Course, Senator Obama wasn’t president yet then, but everyone (including his impressive Secret Service detail) knew he would be!

    Today has been fun fun fun – in the sarcastic sense. Met with the lawyer in the morning (which was pleasant enough), and with the financial guy in the afternoon (which was taxing). All is well, but there are potential pitfalls, in amongst the drudgery.

    Bottomline: thank God I was slated to be the guardian, and not the executor.

  30. JWfromNJ said on January 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Brian,the obit was touching, I hope that you lived a life that made how you feel clear to your mom. I got a birthday wish from our gracious host and she thanked me for being a part of the gang. If only we were a real gang, the collective brain trust and morals (not counting me or a few others) could fix all the first world problems and most of the other 2/3rds tooo.

    I’m dealing with my Dad’s racing Alzheimers, my mother’s firm denial and unwillingness to deal with their realities, but on the plus side I’ve become much closer with one of my sisters, and yet it feels shamefull to be “plotting” behind mom’s back and while this will sound reprehensible, my sisters and I hope that Mom goes first because Dad will get better care and their finances will be better managed.

    He needs some level of assisted living now and it’s not happening.And her care is taking a huge toll on her, and shes do stubborn about her zip code. I wish mom would realize that the so called friends would cut her lose if she moved to poorer town, but she’s clinging to their house (where none of us kids grew up) and she can’t support $17k in taxes.

  31. MaryRC said on January 9, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Have you seen this photo of an Australian family taking refuge from one of the fires that is ravaging the country? They are all OK now, even the family dog who was standing on top of the pier. But it’s horrifying to see what is happening there.

  32. brian stouder said on January 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    JW, the thing I learned today (from the financial guy) was both good – mom had a nice nest egg which will settle all accounts, and with a pleasant amount left – and vexing; the financial guy insists* that ALL the dollars get paid out to my brothers and I; and then it is upon them to contribute back to the estate, for settlement of mom’s bills and so on.

    What could possibly go wrong, eh?

    But leaving all that aside, JW, I hear you about the “plotting”. The biggest blessing we had was that my mom’s decline was so rapid. It was just more than 2 months ago that we essentially tricked her into going to the hospital to get checked over. She thought she was embarked for a trip to the supermarket, but, thankfully, never protested at all when my sister in law (again – leave it to the women to successfully get the hard stuff, or the tricky stuff, done!) drove straight to the hospital.

    And it was in the course of that evening that we learned that her increasingly ‘loopy’ behavior was caused by a brain tumor. I believe it was yet that evening (or possibly it was the next day) that the doctor showed us an X-ray that clearly depicted a large tumor – and he frankly stated that if we threw the kitchen sink at it (treatment-wise) she might live 8 or 10 months more; and if we left it alone she might live 3 months more.

    I won’t drone on, except to say that one of the most astounding things I experienced in this (ultimately brief) progression of events was the dementia floor at St Joseph’s hospital, across from where Nancy and her husband used to work (insert joke about how the dementia floor might also describe that building’s News-Sentinel editorial offices, nowadays). Suffice it to say that it was like a scene out of a movie, with all the actors working to steal the scene from one another. And indeed, those fathers and mothers and aunts and uncles might live for a decade or two or three, and always require round-the-clock supervision and care. (I learned about the term “sundown syndrome”, as I visited at about 6 pm, and things were at a full boil all up and down the long hallway)

    So indeed – peace and strength to your sisters and you, JW.

    *this of course means we have to see the lawyer again, so as to get another opinion regarding whatever instruction the financial guy is operating from.

  33. Mark P. said on January 9, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I met Jimmy Carter when he was governor of Georgia, and I missed shaking Ford’s hand at some kind of to-do in Columbia, SC, way back when I was a reporter. A friend told me that his cousin was reading one of Jimmy Carter’s post-presidency books on a plane when Carter got on. He noticed and stopped to talk, then signed the book.

  34. JWfromNJ said on January 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    My sidekick from those stories went on to a string of semi-law enforcement gigs that put our brief brush with Bill to the sidelines. He was “working for the State Department when Allbright met Kim Jong Ill, and he went on to a post at another agency when he exposed himself to anthrax in the mailroom, and later moved on to a flying gig for a Totally Stupid
    Agency where he met anumerous celebrities – John Edwards was arrogant and had B.O., Kanye was polite, Oliver North figured out his true occupation in less than five minutes, and Jay Leno ws nice but fell asleep wheeels left the ground.
    He flies a desk now for an insane amount of $$$, but he is still milking his hotel rewards points. He also mapped out a list of the world’s great Irish pubs outside Ireland, with the winner in Berlin, go figure.

  35. Mark P. said on January 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    brian, when I read your last comment, it was like a dagger to the heart. I can just barely keep it together when I hear about an innocent and pretty much unsuspecting person getting a death sentence.

    Seeing the lawyer sounds like a necessary idea. I always thought the estate consisted of what was left after the bills were paid. Having the family pay back into the estate to settle bills sounds way, way off. After all, it’s the estate that’s liable for the bills, not the heirs. I just can’t imagine a case where that would be appropriate, unless there are some different kinds of assets.

  36. Minnie said on January 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Okay. Why does the Libertarian loudmouth in the video have a blue tongue?

  37. coozledad said on January 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Minnie: I can’t figure it out. I didn’t think they used paraldehyde for psychosis anymore, and she’s too fidgety for chlorpromazine.

  38. alex said on January 9, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Brian, you shouldn’t even need a financial advisor. It’s my considered opinion that the financial advisor business is a racket and what you just described sounds pretty suspicious. I’ve known a number of elderly widows who’ve been fleeced by just these sorts of people when they could have gone to their friends—lawyers and businessmen, etc.—for any advice they would have needed. These were ladies who never had to manage the family finances and so they lacked confidence in their ability to take the reins.

    Please do ask your lawyer whether what you’ve been told makes any sense. As Mark P mentioned above, it sounds highly unusual that an estate wouldn’t settle its obligations first, and then be distributed. I’ve seen lawsuits by creditors where they were stiffed by people pulling shenanigans to conceal decedents’ assets in anticipation of the death, so it sounds fishy to me that an estate could legally be distributed if debts haven’t been satisfied. Unless, of course, this financial advisor happens to be a friend of one of your siblings who cooked up just such a scheme.

    Wow, that was one powerful entry you have there. JW too. One of the reasons I came back to Indiana was to ensure that my parents would have the best possible quality of life in their old age and that their wishes would be respected. They begged me not to ever let them be placed into a nursing home. They believe they have the financial means to avoid such a happenstance, and I certainly hope they do, but there are some medical conditions that simply require being in a medical facility and so I know this is potentially a hard wish to honor. They don’t want heroic life-saving measures. They don’t want funerals and they don’t want obituaries. They want to be cremated and strewn upon the property where they live. They’re in their mid-eighties and still drive cross-country whenever they please and are sharper than a lot of people who are in the prime of their lives, but I know it can’t last forever. I feel blessed—me, the unreligious guy—for being able to have them close by for the last eight years in relatively sound mind and body. But at that age anything can happen at any time.

    I don’t even want to think about my own mortality. I don’t have any children.

  39. Judybusy said on January 9, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Brian, I hope it goes more smoothly than you fear.

    Mary, had no idea what was going on in Australia, so thanks for the news.

    Alex, I don’t have kids either. I have a bachelor uncle with whom I don’t have much contact. My mom does–he’s now her only sibling. I have his burial plans and when the time comes will figure out how to get him to North Dakota where he wishes to be buried. I have no idea why he chose this, as he was born, raised, and lived his life in Chokio, MN, a very small town near the SD border. I also know if he has any trouble, my sister and I will be there.I hope my good deeds result in one of my three nieces picking up the pieces for my partner and me, in a karmic sort of way.

    For some humor, someone posted on FB today: “If you could tell someone from the 1950s about just one thing about today, what would it be?” Answer: “We all have tiny devices which fit in our pocket. We can find out anything in the world on them, but use them to look at cute cat pictures and get into arguments with people we don’t know.”

  40. alex said on January 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Answer: “We all have tiny devices which fit in our pocket. We can find out anything in the world on them, but use them to look at cute cat pictures and get into arguments with people we don’t know.”

    Glad you’ve figured your device out. Mine didn’t come with much of a manual and my schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of trial and error.

  41. MarkH said on January 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    JW — THREE hours with Tabitha Soren? Did it take that long to explaing to her about The Lonliest Monk?

  42. Julie Robinson said on January 9, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Happy Birthday, JW! I hope that by now you’re enjoying a great meal at a wonderful restaurant.

    That estate advice sounds off to me too. I speak only as someone whose been in the room as this was discussed over the last two years, but the order was pay off bills, then distribute proceeds.

    And my heart goes out to everyone dealing with their aged parents. Dad died at 62, but we had a long, long goodbye with my in-laws. I’ve been trying to get Mom to move closer for years, and suspect things will come to a head next summer, when she won’t be able to pass the vision test at the license bureau.

  43. LAMary said on January 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    JW, people are going to think that meeting famous folks is an NJ thing. My rep here has been as the brush with fame queen. I’ll see your one Bush I and raise you a Leona Helmsley. She was more colorful.
    Happy birthday as well. My birthday was last Sunday and I celebrated with my oldest best friend doing a Chinese restaurant crawl through the San Gabriel Valley. MichaelG, I have a great Chinese dumpling place to recommend.

  44. Connie said on January 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Brian you pay income taxes on the value you inherit. So that doesn’t make sense at all.

    I saw then congressman Ford several times as a kid, he came to town with his trailer and parked it next to my dad’s office. I thought my dad was important because this really important man always remembered his name.

    And I saw Reagan and Bush 1 and their wives in the 1980 Holland Tulip Time which so coincidentally fell just prior to the primary.

  45. JWfromNJ said on January 9, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    LAMary, I’ll take your Helmsley but raise you in that I toured he and her husband’s airplane, a BAC-111, kind of a british clone of a dc -9. We even got to crawl into her plane’s cargo bins.

    JGW

  46. Deborah said on January 9, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Happy Birthday JW, great stories. The only president I’ve ever seen was Clinton, he was jogging and had shorts on with his pudgy pink legs showing. This was in St. Louis, he was campaigning for his second term (I think) and he jogged up one of the main streets in the downtown area with a huge entourage. Oh, I just remembered that I also saw Obama the night he was elected for his first term, but I was so far away from the stage they had set up in Grant Park that he was just a microscopic dot. We were walking past the Four Seasons hotel near us and saw Rumsfeld (not that it counts as a president) getting into a van, my husband said something rude to him but I don’t think he heard it.

    Since my mother died when I was 14 I don’t have the experience of having it happen in my middle age. My father died when I was 41, but he was married again and his wife took care of most everything. I went to the funeral home with her and helped some, I thought it was odd when they were asking a bunch of questions for the death certificate that she didn’t know the answers and I had to supply them. My Dad was 80 when he died, my mother was 48 when she died. My husband’s mother is 93 and going strong for the most part, his father died at age 64 before I was in the picture so I never met him. My husband and his siblings have it all worked out what to do about their mom so there shouldn’t be any problems, but you never know.

    I’ve begun putting together my portfolio to see if I can get some freelance work. I must say it’s kind of nice to be designing again.

  47. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    If you count tombstones, I’ve met George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, William Henry Harrison, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and LBJ.

    Shook Reagan and Clinton’s hands. That’s Ron, Jr. and Chelsea.

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